Since Nobody saw that Coming!
For those who watched Iowa’s Race-2 on Sunday July 24th; remember that Y’all? When an additional 50 laps were added, meaning drivers had 300 laps to complete around the Ultra Quick 7/8th’s Short track Oval. Then Y’all know the Heartbreak that Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden suffered after leading a race High 148 laps.
Yet for several reasons, I now exclusively listen to IndyCar Qualifying and Races on the IndyCar Radio Network. Ahem, if you’re paying extra for that Peacock service, then shouldn’t you be getting the A Team of Leigh Diffey as lead Announcer instead of His Backup Kevin The Werewolf! Lee in the booth? Oh Never Mind!
Yet it’s funny how the Racing Gawds work, since Mark Gravelly’ James and Davey Hamilton were singing the praises of How Newgarden seemed totally Hooke Up and could go wherever He wanted on track, i.e.; High, Low or Middle lane to Pass all of the competition with ease.
And then Nicky Salt’ Yeoman spent a few minutes pontificating upon How Newgarden simply Owned Iowa Raceway, having begun the day having led a ridiculous 1,385 laps and had then surpassed 1,500! And it there was one racetrack that Newgarden simply Dominated, having the most wins with four there, and surely Headed for number five, it was Iowa! Before an excited Mark James broke in saying we’ve got one car up against the wall!
With Hamilton saying How about that! As race leader Josef Newgarden’s car inexplicably spun out and collected the Turn 4 Wall on lap 235 with a mighty Thump! Whilst leading the race’s Most laps, i.e.; 148 laps, nearly Half race distance!
With Hamilton claiming when watching the accident’s replay that Newgarden’s car Had Bottomed Out, seeing Sparks just before the incident! For which I feel like I was the only one who remembered that Michael Young had earlier reported that Josef had radioed in saying He’d felt a vibration following His latest Pitstop…
Thus obviously the race was turned on it’s Head with second placed Patricio Pato’ O’ward taking over the lead, which He seemingly held off will Power with ease enroute to His fourth career IndyCar win. While Power’s Penske teammate Scott McLaughlin finished third, being ecstatic over having passed His fellow countryman and Hero Scott Dixon in the closing stages of the race.
While I’ll mention that Jimmie Johnson came Home fifth, His best IndyCar finish to date in His two year IndyCar career. As it was somewhat Disappointing to Hear CGR teammate and current Points leader Marcus Ericsson saying that JJ’ was too strong for Him at the end and He couldn’t get around Him!
But is it just me? Since the whole weekend seemed like a JJ’ Love fest, Barf!
Thus it’s amazing how the points swung back ‘N forth over the Double Header weekend. As Ericsson was destined to leave Iowa either second or third with Newgarden taking over on the strength of His impending season’s fifth W’ before that unexpected crash. Hence seeing Ericsson leave Iowa with 8th and 6th place finishes respectively. With the Swede proclaiming they knew it was His weakest track.
As Ericsson left Newton, Iowa with a razor thin eight points lead: 403-395 over Will Power. While Newgarden dropped one place and was subsequently tied with thee “Iceman” Dixon who finished a Quiet P4. Both being just 34 points adrift. With Josef holding the Tiebreaker on wins.
The Driver having the Best Overall weekend mathematically at Iowa had to be Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward, who capitalized upon Newgarden’s misfortune to win Sunday’s race. Although I don’t think either O’Ward or anybody else was going to catch Newgarden! And Along with finishing runner-up in Race-1, Pato effectively cut His 75 points Disadvantage entering Iowa in Half. Leaving Newton only 36 pointsbehind Ericsson.
Alex Palou’s points gap continues sliding Backwards ever since His Contract Debacle announcement. With the Affable Spaniard dropping to sixth Overall after an uncharacteristic 13th place finish , coupled with a sixth place finish Saturday. Seeing Alex leave Iowa 44 points behind Ericsson.
While ScottyMac’, aka Scott McLaughlin rebounded strongly by finishing third Sunday, after an error with His right rear tyre during Saturday’s race saw Him finish P22. With the Kiwi’ keeping His Championship Hopes alive, albeit marginally as the last Contendah’ 86 markers behind. Since All of the Pundits are saying 100 points deficit is the Cut line for staying in the title fight…
Meanwhile Christian Lundgaard had a Brake issue forcing the Dane’ to finish P26 while David Malukas scored His first Top 10 finish of the season in eighth place. Thus Malukas closed the Rookie Of the Year (ROY) title fight from 24 points to now only four! With Lundgaard leading 208-204 prior to Mother Speedway’s IndyCar-NASCAR Road Course Double Header.
Whilst I won’t belabour the point of how the Face of the Hy Vee Iowa Double Header Jack, Not Bloody Nige! Harvey did, since it’s already been covered Ad Nausea elsewerhe…
While Who’d ah-Thunk It! That Romain Grosjean would be carrying the Banner for Andretti Autosport as their Best performer of the weekend with finishes of seventh and ninth respectively. Especially since it was only Romain’s fourth ever Oval track outing, and first time on this Uber Short Track Oval!
Afterwards, we learned that Team Penske had diagnosed the culprit of Josef Newgardne’s mechanical failure. As Newgarden’s car suffered an extremely rare right Rear Damper failure, or what us Yanks’ call Shocks. With Team Penske President Tim cindric saying the failure was somewhat troubling since it’s a part not known for failing and it hadn’t exceeded it’s life cycle, so very odd. Especially since they’d been running this Damper configuration a long time without any issues…
2022 IndyCar Point Standings
1) Marcus Ericsson: 403
2) Will Power: 395, -8
3) Josef Newgarden: 369, -34
3) Scott Dixon: 369, -34
5) Pato O’Ward: 367, -36
6) Alex Palou: 359, -44