The Verizon Indy Car Series visited NOLA Motorsports park for the first time ever, and it will definitely be remembered as the race that finished under yellow.... [read more]
(Above) Not only did qualifying have drama, but the race wasn't the smoothest by any means. The drivers braved the wet conditions at the start, running full wets in soaked track conditions. As the drivers got up to speed, the race started to take some shape for the first 15 or so laps, slowly forming a dry line around the track. Ryan Hunter-Reay along with Tony Kanaan were 2 of the first to switch to drys. From there the race took a turn for the bad side. Gabby Chaves ended up spinning and getting stuck in the swampy grass, when a corner worker violated Indy protocol and pushed Gabby back on track. Personally I don't care what Indy car thinks, the turn workers did the right thing. If I was Gabby I would be very thankful of the turn worker. From there pit stops took place and most everyone switched to slicks, making it a very cold but still damp track in areas, causing some slippery conditions.
From there cautions bred cautions, resulting in a yellow flag filled second half of the race. Entertainment factor was high for all of the spins, but on the other hand green flag racing was not to be for the day. Either way the fans stuck around and braved the rain, like the young boy above, holding his Will Power Diecast car. Credit to the fans for sticking it out.
With 7 minutes to go after several full course yellows in a row, the cars made it to green. Coming into the final corner Simon Pagenaud was incidentally run off the track by Ryan Hunter-Reay causing a big wreck as Pagenaud lost control in the grass and slid right into Hunter-Reay and Bourdais, taking all 3 out of the race. I personally would feel Pagenaud did nothing wrong, and after watching some onboard video it does appear that Hunter-Reay had room to move over to his left, either way all three were done. With time running out, the race would finish under caution leaving the Mayor of Hinchtown, James Hinchcliffe, with the victory after going off strategy. Helio in second and rounding out the top three was James Jakes with a great run. Credit to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports on some great strategy, but any other race he would have had to come in for splash essentially leaving the fight to Helio vs. Jakes.
In my own opinion I feel Indy needs to put in a rule where no race can finish under yellow. Put in a green, white, checkered rule. No excitement for the fans and it's not the way the drivers certainly want it to finish. A proper race finishes under green with the fastest guy that day in the winners circle. End of story.
Editorial: Austin Bradshaw