Friday, September 1, 2023

IndyCar Rewind: Coronating A champion in the Rose City this Weekend?

As what’s that ‘Ol Airplane movie Shtick about Don’t Call Me Shirley! Since surely Alex Palou will finally be crowned the IndyCar Champion…


AH, what’s that ‘Ol Sayin’ about Back in thee Saddle again? As your somewhat refreshed No Fenders Scribe Tomaso returns to Ye Keyboard after a month’s sabattical…


As it’s funny how I’d managed to listen to every single Qualifying session and Race upon IndyCar Radio from St Pete thru Toronto. Which I still Don’t understand why our fine and Oh, so pleasant Kuhnaidiun’ Neighbours gets Crapped upon yearly with it’s race not being on mainstream Cable TV!


As seriously Comcast and IndyCar? You cannot find a measly three hour window of time upon either USA Network or Ahem, CNBC!


And whilst I was rootin’ for Christian Lundgaard, whom No Fenders Offical’ Photographer nicknamed Looneygard’, Hya! To win His maiden IndyCar race ahead of my Numero Uno IndyCar Driver Pato O’Ward.


All I could do was repeat the words that Alex Palou was Shitting Gold Bricks! With His masterful drive from P15 to runner-up with a severely damaged Front Wing that IndyCar Radio’s Mark Gravelly’ James was incredulous over it not falling off the last 20-laps!


Thus seeing Palou increase His points lead to 117 markers ahead of then second place Scott Dixon, who finished fourth Up North Eh! In what seems such an Oh, So Bloody long time ago!


As I’d miss “watching”, Err listening to the next three races. Since I prefer listening to them upon IndyCar Radio, since have I reminded Y’all I’m blind lately?


As Y’all know that was before “the King of Corn”, aka Josef Newgarden once again ran the tables with a clean sweep at Iowa’s Double Header weekend. As reportedly ‘Ol (Townsend) T-Bell’ came up with that Newgarden nicknamed…


Thus, with Newgarden scoring maximum points at Iowa, minus the two Poles positions being captured by Penske teammate will Power. Coupled with Palou’s eighth and third place finishes. Newgarden trimmed a healthy 37-points off of Palou’s lead, vaulting to second in the Championship at 477-397 points. Scott Dixon was third with 357 points. Marcus Ericsson fourth with 330 points and Scott McLaughlin fifth with 329 points prior to Nashville. Which you’d have to say was then effectively a two “Horse” fight for the Astor cup with Dixon a remote chance…


Totally missed the Nashville Crash-fest, albeit Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary ellen read me a race recap afterwards. Although it didn’t make any mention of how once again Palou’s Midas Touch continued! Since I believe it was sometime during the IndyCar-RASSCAR’ Double Necker’ weekend’s IndyCar Radio broadcast. Hearing Mark Gravelly’ James note how Palou had gotten lucky over not running out of fuel during Nashville to finish third…


As Palou led the Championship with 539 points prior to Gateway, Err Wide World Technology Raceway. With Dixon second with 438 points and Newgarden third with 434 points, being the only three potential Astor Cup Contendahs’.


As Scott McLaughlin with 395 points and Pato O’Ward with 388 points; positions fourth-fifth respectively were effectively eliminated from the title fight.


Yet even after Dixon scored an impriveable victory on Mother Speedway’s road course, wit the Kiwi’ now claiming at least one W’ for the last 19 years! Dixon still trails Palou by 101 points and Newgarden 105 points behind! Meaning all Palou needed to do was increase His lead to 109 points following WWTR and He would be crowned the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series Champion.


Gateway threw a few rinkles into the Championship chase, the first being the novel use of Alternate Flinstone’ tyres during the weekend’s condensed two day event. With Firestone allocating two sets of alternate rubber – with the mandates of one new set being used during Saturday’s first practice session, and the other during the race. With All 28 competitors being required to start on the primary coumpound and nobody being allowed to run the alternate during Qualifying. As this was hoped to spice up the show and bring in some alternate Pit strategies.


Secondly, initially five drivers were Hit with nine place Grid penalties for unapproved engine changes. With Scott McLaughlin, Scott Dixon, Takuma Sato, Kyle Kirkwood and Augustin Canipino All having taken on fifth engines for the season, which isn’t allowed per IndyCar rules. With the most significant of this quintet being Dixon, albeit the “Iceman 2.0” has a long habbit of making lemonade from lemons…


And I scribbled that analogy prior to Sunday’s race, where Dixon started P16!


Which IndyCar was trying to do Saturday at Gateway, since Thunderstorms and a steady Downpour totally disrupted the schedule, with the morning’s 8AM Pacific and Qualifying at 11AM Pacific both being Rained Out!


As it’s Uber Annoying how difficult for somebody who doesn’t do the TWIT-ER” game or other Social Media outlets to find out in “real” time what’s going on? Since All that the official IndyCar website told me was to come back for updates, after being the first place I learned of the track being under deluge!


Thin Mike Silver of The Pit Window gave an WWTR update saying that track activities could begin as early as 5:00PM Central time, being 3PM here on the Central Oregon coast. Before Ye Oldest IndyCar Blogger George Phillips of Oilpressure Fame finally posted His Welcome to WWTR post around 1PM Pacific saying that there was still some Drizzle and that the track had lights. So who knows what the day’s schedule will turn out as? Meaning I spent the morning and afternoon going round the “Horn” trying to find out when track activities would actually begin? With the totally revised schedule commencing nearly some nine hours later! At 4:45PM Pacific, (6:45PM Central) with just a single 60mins practice – plus the two 10mins High line “rubbering-in” sessions. For which overnight rain was expected to wash away.


While the Diehard IndyCar Fans got to see the Indy NXT race be held under the lights Saturday evening…


Qualifying was shifted to Sunday morning with the race staying in it’s same “time” window.


Yet Sunday morning’s Qualifying was delayed by 22mins due to a Silver Crown sprint Car having laid Oil down upon the racing surface during their practice. But the weather was much improved, albeit the predicted rain overnight had indeed washed the rubber away.


While it was also announced that IndyCar points leader Alex Palou would incur a nine place Grid penalty for an unapproved (fifth) engine change, ultimately starting P14.


Whilst some on Ye Bloggosphere are singing the praises of Kevin The Werewolf! Lee as Fill-in lead Announcer for Lee Diffey, Splat! Kevin’soverly manufacturered Faux excitement is one of the reasons compelling Mwah to have switched to IndyCar Radio instead!


And while the Gateway race was enjoyable, I stil really Don’t know how Scott Dixon worked His Majic once again for another W’. As I was rootin’ Ah-Mighty’ for Pato O’Ward to win Sunday. But like O’Ward said following finishing runner-up by 22 seconds. Being the largest winning margin since Juan Pablo Montoya beat Patrick Carpentier by 12 seconds in 2000…

 Dixon Pulled a Dixon!


While is it wrong that I broke into Gleeful laughter when Josef Newgarden Hit the wall on lap-211! As I simply didn’t want Him to win All five Oval track races this year. Not to mention He’s become my new Villain – Thanks to Hulio’s demise, and soon to be Indy 500 Only status!


Hey, Robin Miller says Hate’s Good!


Whilst it was super enjoyable having David Malukas in the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing entry running at the front All race long, ultimately claiming His second ever series Podium finish of third.


Thus with Alex Palou’s subpar day of finishing seventh coupled with Scott Dixon’s win. Dixon trimmed a healthy 27 points off of Palou’s lead and now trails Alex Palou by 74 points entering the Rose City, aka Portland. Where I’ll be expecting Palou to finally be crowned this year’s IndyCar Champion, Sunday!