So, have we all dried off now? If not, don’t worry, you’re just going to get soaked again. It’s time for the race recap.
TWIN CHECKERED FLAGS
Seab(ad)ass Part 2:
Yes, that’s right, for the second week in a row, Sebastien Bourdais is my top moment of the race. I know, I know, we shouldn’t be surprised at how well a four time champion is performing but he’s no longer in one of the big teams but one of the smallest full time teams in the paddock. He stuck the car third behind the Penskes of Josef Newgarden and Will Power and stayed with them in the torrential rain of the Sunday, overtaking Power just before he aquaplaned out. On the Monday he was one of the drivers going for the one stopper and then the rain happened.
While Newgarden, who was dedicated to the two stopper, dived into the pits for wets, Bourdais stayed out.
On slicks, in the rain.
In the end he stayed out a lap or two too long and dropped back to fifth but gave us and incredible drag race to the checkered flag against Scott Dixon to keep it and now sits third in the championship.
Could he beat Dixon to five champions if he keeps this up?
TENNESSEE STAND UP:
For the second year in a row, Josef Newgarden won his home race only this time in dominate fashion. His, shockingly, third ever pole, he lead from the start in the torrential rain, in the dry and the wet again. The first to pit for the wet tyre, many thought he had done it too soon, especially as Bourdais initially pulled away.
It could of been easy for Newgarden to of pushed and destroyed the tyres, trying to keep up with the Frenchman but he kept calm and by the time Bourdais pitted, the Tennessean was beyond Ryan Hunter-Reay’s reach and took both the win and the championship lead.
When the drivers are left milling about during a red flag period, there’s often chances for magic moments. Previous it was half the paddock going into the stands at Texas. Now it’s James Hinchcliffe confessing that, after boasting about never doing it only the other week in his podcast, he had wet himself.
His explanation, which also included revealing that former teammate Carlos Munoz had also done it, was two minutes of gold.
It continued into the press conference the next day after finishing third with Hunter-Reay making suggesting that he should make it into a twitter trend.
Whether this will happen, remains to be seen…
PT = Piss Takes:
By now we are all use to the hot takes that come out of Paul Tracey, the former Canadian driver infamous for his aggressive racing style and former arch rival of Bourdais (though he still likes to continue it via commentating). This weekend’s take was simply stupidity as he bemoaned the decision to go to red flag, insisting that the weather really wasn’t that bad.
Even when Oriol Servia, who was in the safety car, Tony Kanaan, Bourdais all called him out, Tracey stuck with his guns because the man who’s retired for several years is really going know better than the drivers he raced against that are still racing.
Because of course he does.
Now before the initial red flag, we had the likes of Pagenaud and Andretti coming in under the safety car to top up and go off strategy. Obviously it wasn’t to be on Sunday as the race got red flagged and rescheduled to Monday but surely it would give them an edge then?
Turned out the the teams were allowed to refuel is they wanted to, much to Andretti’s frustration. Eventually, we found out the reason why. Due to the open nature of the paddock at Barber Motorsport Park, there was no way for the officials to prevent crew members from sneaking in to make any changes to the car so they decided to allow it to happen.
Understandable? Yeah but still unfair to those that had pitted.
Oh Simon, this season really isn’t going at all the way he’d want it to at all. This weekend, he was the only Penske not to qualify in the fast six. Then his attempt to go off strategy was spoiled due to the inability to enforce parc ferme conditions. While he managed to finish in ninth, it didn’t come without some post race drama.
Annoyed with how Gabby Chaves failed to let him by despite being two laps down, he approached the Harding Racing driver to yell at him. The Colombian was having none of it, cursing him several times before later on tweeting a picture of himself eating a croissant.
Well, at least he’s moved up to fifteenth in the championship?