Thursday, August 28, 2014

INDYCAR: Who Wants to be this year's Champion?

So who'll ride the IndyCar Ferris-wheel to the championship's top step this year? (DOB images)
'Whale, I hate to say I-T, as it's been a very entertaining year's battle over who'll decide to be the next contestant to step-up and become this year's Indy Car Series Champion, as the points leader's position has swapped round 'N round multiple times this season; hence the Ferris-wheel photo caption above; Hooah! (Taken at the Milwaukee Mile this year by 'CARPETS) As Me thinks that Helio Castroneves, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Will Power have all taken turns leading the way...

Yet unfortunately for Mwah, I found myself more miffed over the STUPENDOUS Off-track machinations dumped upon us by 'Dem Fine Folks at Starship HC', nee Hulman & Company, namely in their ever more Corporate "In-your-Face" how can we line our coffers deeper mentality! For the majority of the season, from May onwards...

As I fell outta favour with duh Boyz in the stuffed shirts 'Wayback in the "Month of May," upon suffering thru that ridiculous 2hr "Extended" Infomercial Mother Speedway qualifying coverage; BARF! Which I scribbled' my thoughts upon this greedy cash grab in;

Won't even try recounting this epic; Err sorrid rain soaked Hydrofest' Up North Eh! Which I endured watching nearly A-L-L 43hrs of, 'Whale it kinda felt like it was that long, due to Saturday's miserably wet deluge 'O wet stuff that precipitated multiple attempts to start the race, along with the bizarre image of the Pace-car slipping 'N sliding precariously on-track! Other than I found myself somewhat ironically defending IndyCar's Derrick Walker and the officials, which I scribbled 'bout in;

Although I-T was strange 'N stranger to find myself rootin' for le 'Hamburgular, aka my past Champ Car villain Sebastain Bourdais, who triumphantly romped to victory  in the day's first race; his first Open Wheel victory in some six-plus years, as SeaBass kept proclaiming it'd been six years, but my math screamed seven, since he hadn't won since 2007, right Sebastain?

But I was  more enthused over the day's second race, albeit my Numero Uno IndyCar Hombre Justin 'B-I-G UNIT Wilson's gamble to remain on rain tyres backfired mightily whilst leading the race, being  overhauled  by eventual race winner Mike "Ice-Ice, Baby!" Conway, before futiley falling to sixth place 

Thus, my current day Villain, the Brazilian Hat Dance Boy 'HULIO, nee Helio Castroneves clung to his fast disappearing points lead after the day's prior miraculous repair work performed upon team-mate 'DJ WillyP's (Will Power) racecar, ultimately seeing the "Toowoomba Toranadoe" dodge a massive points tally gaff and depart Oh 'KanaDuh only 13-points behind Castroneves.

Meanwhile,  previous point leader RHR endured another tough weekend's  outing 'N stumbled his way over the day's two races to keep his third place, albeit "Symone Pagenoe" (Simon Pagenaud) is nipping at his heels, then just a scant  two points adrift of his last season's final standing third place position, while 'MAC Montoya remained mathematically alive in the championship hunt in P5, as uncharacteristically, 'Cheep's quartet  'O Hired Guns were on the outside looking in upon the title fight...

IndyCar Point Standings
(Following Toronto's Double Header)
1) Helio Castroneves     533
2) Will Power                 520
3) Ryan Hunter-Reay    464
4) Simon Pagenaud       462
5) Juan Pablo Montoya  428

With the Ganassi Boyz' falling in at: 6th) Scott Dixon, (387-points) 8th: Tony Kanaan, 11th: Ryan Briscoe and 13th: Charlie Kimbal...

Double your Trouble; Uh, double your fuel mileage? As Scott Dixon did the unthinkable by coming from dead stone last (P22) to winning the race before running out of fuel just a few hundred yards past the stripe - after he and Mike Hull completed some  cagey race strategy to vault the Kiwi' into first place; as we'll never know if Joseph 'STUD! Newgarden could have forced Dixon into running out of fuel en route to the Nashvillian's debutant IndyCar win?

Yet my day was completely made upon Castroneves electrical maladies during the race's start saw the Brazilian fall four laps behind before Team Penske coaxed the Chebbie' into "full-chat" mode, with Power soldiering home  in P6 to overhaul the Brazilian's point lead. As although there's still five drivers with a legitimate shot at the title, I like most pundits tend to think Montoya's on the outside looking in, leaving us with just four contenders...

(Rd 15) Points Standings
Following Mid-Ohio
1) Will Power                 548
2) Helio Castroneves  544
3) Ryan Hunter-Reay  485
4) Simon Pagenaud    484
(5th) Juan Pablo Montoya      447
(6th) Scott Dixon                 440

Will Power's "John Hancock" obtained at this year's penultimate round  of the championship; Sonoma. (The Tomaso Collection)
WOW! What  a weekend's performance by Will Power, who came, saw and conquered! First winning the Pole with a scorching 169mph-plus average, the 'Aussie's 35th career pole, just five shy of the esteemed 'HULIO's 40. Then Power simply put  on a good 'Ol fashioned WHOOPING! By leading 229 of the race's 250-laps, holding off first Tony Kanaan and then Juan Pablo Montoya en route to his 24th career win - first on a short Oval... Firmly establishing his grip upon the title chase by taking a 39-point lead over Castroneves, who had a pretty lackluster day, finishing P11.

And while Ryan Hunter-Reay & Co. made public his contract extension, there was little to celebrate about race-wise, having to work his way forward, first from his poor qualifying result, then from repeated bad Pit-stop's before enduring another broken rear suspension, causing him to finish 21st.

And while Simon Pagenaud revealed his dislike of  Oval's, nevertheless the Frenchman motored home to a solid seventh-place finish, thus vaulting ahead of RHR in the title  fight, with long shots Montoya finishing runner-up and Scott Dixon fourth; I'd say there's now realistically just three drivers left in the championship fight, as we'll see how the protagonists fare at Sonoma...

(Rd 16) Points Standings
Following Milwaukee
1) Will Power                 602
2) Helio Castroneves  563
3) Simon Pagenaud    510
(4th) Ryan Hunter-Rey          494
(5th) Juan Pablo Montoya      488
(6th) Scott Dixon                 472

And Y'all know how KURR-RAZY of a race Sonoma was this year, as surprisingly I found myself attending this race on a whim - and even more bizarre rootin' feebly for thee "Grahamcracker" (G. Rahal) to win the race after apparently Will Power dozed off momentarily due to his potential lack 'O sleep  due to the earthquake? While leading handedly.

Yet I secretly wanted  ECR's Mike "Ice-Ice, Baby!" Conway to win, whilst apparently Scotty "Iceman 2.0" Dixon and RHR (Ryan Hunter-Reay) were crusin' serenely behind in formation, albeit RHR was setting quickest lap times in his pursuit of leapfrogging the trio ahead of him!

Yet first Graham Rahal's race went array when running low on fuel with 4-laps remaining and then Conway ran out of fuel on the last lap after having used one last "P2P" (Push-to-Pass) to try avoid being overtaken by Dixon to no avail, as the 'Kiwi did his magic again, notching his second win of the season - and tying him with "Uncle Bobby's" 35-career wins tally with Hunter-Reay second and Simon Pagenaud third, while Power managed to  work his way up to P10 after passing Justin Wilson for ninth under yellow. With Castroneves waffling his way home in a lowly 18th! And then there was just one race left...  

(Rd 17) Points Standings
Following Sonoma
1) Will Power                 626
2) Helio Castroneves  575
3) Simon Pagenaud    545
4) Ryan Hunter-Rey    534
 (5th) Scott Dixon                523
(6th) Juan Pablo Montoya      519

Will Power leading the way at Milwaukee earlier this year hopes to repeat the feat  at Fontana where he's the defending race winner. (DOB images)
In what's becoming Indy Cars latest tradition, the ex-Roger Penske owned Fontana Oval-track built upon an ex-Alcoa aluminum smelter and now owned by ISC, has become IndyCar's new season finale home, with this being the third season ending race to date, albeit also being held upon its third different date.

Having first been held  in September, then moving to October last year, it's  now been pushed forward to an unseemly August date, A-L-L just to make  way for 'RASSCAR; Err, I forgot,  not running opposite the NFL; yeah, that's the ticket!

From 2010-12, I agonizingly held my Will Power champion flag aloft, only to be severely Gutted' three years in-a-row, before switching allegiances to his country's nemesis (New Zealand last year, for which I happily enjoyed watching Scott Dixon notch his third) series championship title from the cozy confines 'O Carpets' Manor appropriately in Indianapolis last October, which I previewed in;

And while I do wish for Will Power to finally break his  proverbial Championship Duck, nonetheless, I'm pretty sure I won't be overly  ecstatic about this, as the  'Aussie tweaked my fandom for him with that BONEHEADED BLOCK he threw upon none other than team-mate and title protagonist 'HULIO at Pocono; as Yuhs just can't be doing STUPID SHIT like that at over 200mph, Will!

While I'll be even more PEEVED at IndyCar if the insanely STUPID addition of Double Points in ANY way effects the eventual series winner outcome; Crikeys Mates! What a croc' of SHIT!

As I'm NOT even gonna try writing A-L-L of the championship point permeations other than 104-points is the cutoff for the drivers still mathematically alive chasin' Will Power, as I like how Scott Dixon likened Pagenaud & RHR needing a meteorite to land upon Power to win the title, as it seemingly is a duel for best 'O show; Err team honours at Penske this year where Power leads Castroneves by 51-points...

As Y'all can watch the season finale on NBCSN starting at 6PM PACIFIC Saturday night, August 30th, albeit I'll be skipping the majority of the overly elongated 'N stupendous Pre-race Pre-amble 'N tunin' in sometime 'round 6:45PM Pacific instead...


(Photos Courtesy of No Fenders ‘Offical Photographer ‘CARPETS)