After months and months of waiting and testing (for the Lotus teams it was more waiting and less testing) a proper Race Day came upon us. A brand new era was to start out of the bitter ashes of the old. Brand new cars and brand new engines meant possibly a different kind of result.
During the race you got the impression that instead for the most part it was same-old-same-old. Penske and Ganassi looked strong and Andretti were nipping on their heels. Besides the occasional mechanical failures of the
Lotus smaller teams the bigger ones seemed bulletproof. As for the racing itself ABC made sure each and every live pass (and several of the mechanical failures) was NONE OF OUR BUSINESS. At least they showed the replays. Sometimes. ABC, FIX YO TV DIRECTOR. Not helping was the "meh" attitude and enthusiasm from the broadcast booth.
You can kind of take a guess who leads Power Rankings heading into Alabama.
(This week's Power Rankings after the jump)
1. Helio Castroneves
Early favorite...for Photo of the Year, at least.
2. Scott Dixon
He's just happy he didn't hit anything at St. Pete, like he has for the past few years in a row.
3. Ryan Hunter-Reay
His new moniker = The Andretti Autosport Camp Counselor
4. James Hinchcliffe
HAWT. He's not really fooling anybody with that wig. Now, had he qualified in the back far from his teammates...
5. Simon Pagenaud
So much for grid penalties.
6. Ryan Briscoe
For those wondering how much ESPN cares about IndyCar he married ESPN's Nicole Manske a few years back and STILL hasn't appeared on SportsCenter. Although it's been nearly that long since he's been in the winners circle...
7. Will Power
A week in which Dario finished somewhat down the order and he puts a P7 on the board. DOH.
8. EJ Viso
He had food poisoning and actually drove CLEANER than usual...AND had a nice run. Look for all of his former victims to serve him White Castles weekly in hopes for duplicate performances.
9. Josef Newgarden
FACT: Since team owner Sarah Fisher gave birth to daughter Zoey her car has finished ahead of Dario Franchitti in the two races since with an average finish of 6th place.
10. Charlie Kimball
Quietly moved up more than a dozen positions from his starting point (22nd). Even finished ahead of Junior Team Ganassi ace Rahal.
11. Justin Wilson
You almost forget this was his first IndyCar race since he broke his back...
12. Graham Rahal
13. Takuma Sato
Like his former KV Racing Bash Bros. teammate Viso he looked damned impressive. Sad victim of the new equipment gremlins.
14. Dario Franchitti
Uh oh...? MEH, no worries. Just watch him place on the podium this week. Ahead of Will Power for good measure. SCOTTISH TROLL GENIUS.
15. Sebastien Bourdais
Ran in the Top 5 for awhile...in a LOTUS? He's this week's winner of the Lotus Index of Effluency (LIE) Award.
DNQ (bumped from the field)
STILL doesn't have Moon Pies OR a peanut sponsor to go with the RC Cola? This week is Alabama for f**ks sake!
He was having a spirited run against Will Power until...??? Thanks for nothing, ABC.
Apparently F1 drivers get confused if a track has a bump or two. "THIS CANNOT BE FIA APPROVED!!!"
First mechanical DNF of this new era and AJ was nowhere to be found with a hammer. WE DEMAND WEEKLY AJ RAGE SCHADENFREUDE.