Race Weekend Central

Open Wheel Wednesday: Thoughts On The IndyCar Finale

2014 IndyCar Sonoma Dion Franchitti credit Linn Ladner

The Verizon IndyCar championship will be decided this weekend.  The race, being held at Auto Club Speedway, on Saturday night, is likely to be captivating, with a battle down to the end between Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves.  Should they both find a banana peel on the racetrack, Simon Pagenaud is lurking, sitting …

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IndyCar Recap: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

2014 IndyCar Sonoma Scott Dixon trophy

The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma started under rather inauspicious circumstances, as a massive earthquake nailed the Napa/Sonoma area around 6 am.  The IndyCar series let it be known that the event would go on as scheduled.  Hence, as the on-track festivities began, with the IndyLights race and the air show, one would never know …

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Happiness Is… Bristol, the Pole & Another Soap Opera

2014 IndyCar Milwaukee parade laps

Photo Credit: IndyCar

So, let’s rewind for a moment and go back to Michigan. OK, that may not be the best way to put it, as most fans are happy to put Michigan in the rear-view mirror and look toward Bristol, where the hope is that the track might restore some of its past flavor and produce some …

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Open Wheel Wednesday: Is Will Power the un-likable Favorite?

2014 IndyCar Milwaukee Will Power woohoo

Will Power is entering this weekend's race at Sonoma fresh off a victory at the Milwaukee Mile.

Will Power somehow extended his lead from four points to 39 over Helio Castroneves at Milwaukee.  Somehow?  Well, Power has frequently struggled when racing on oval tracks, something he has frequently admitted.  At the Milwaukee Mile, however, he displayed a rare sense of calm and confidence, earning the pole and then leading for much of …

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Pace Laps: Jimmie Johnson Success, First Time Nationwide Winners and Powers’ Power

2014 Michigan II CUP Jimmie Johnson car CIA

Sprint Cup: A normal race at Michigan for Jimmie Johnson usually means that he runs out of fuel in the final laps after leading for most of the day and having the best car.  Johnson, however, did the other Jimmie Johnson thing at Michigan.  That usually means falling way back in the field and then seemingly arriving …

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Happiness Is… Napping, the Fight for the Chase & Cheese and Beer

2014 Watkins Glen CUP Tony Stewart phone CIA

Ugh. Yep, that’s the best opener that Happiness Is could deliver to start the column. The tenor of the past week has been deflating.  The Tony Stewart–Kevin Ward, Jr. incident has loomed large over auto racing, finding itself a continual headline in the news outlets.  Even Yahoo had coverage of Ward’s funeral on its homepage …

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IndyCar Preview: ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest

2014 IndyCar Iowa Ryan Hunter-Reay

It’s the beginning of the end. After a weekend off, the IndyCar Series is primed to resume – and in doing so will bang out three weeks of rather varied kinds of racing.  When looking at the schedule and some of its silliness (double race weekends, double points for select races), it’s easy to question …

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Pace Laps: Settling Safety, Farewells At Watkins Glen

2014 Indianapolis CUP Marcos Ambrose CIA

Sprint Cup: Watkins Glen Odds & Ends – One of the things that makes Formula One racing successful is the commitment the series expects from its viewing constituency.  Races typically conclude in a two-hour window, and when it seems that might not be the case, due to weather, an accident, or some other issue, F1 switches …

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Happiness Is… Indifference Darian Grubb & The Glen

At Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY on August 11, 2013.

Martin Truex, Jr.‘s No. 56 team went from full-time to part-time status in the blink of an eye.

Well, Pocono was fun.  Or something. At one point it seemed more like bumper cars at 200 mph than actual racing.  Then again, who ever expected the Big One to happen at the triangle, a track long considered one of the most boring?  The overall culmination felt like a disjointed mess of a race, which …

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IndyCar Breakdown: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

2014 IndyCar MidOhio Scott Dixon woohoo

In a Nutshell: The race began with a bang as drivers eager for the green flag got a bit excited as they hit the gas.  The wreck brought about a rare caution for IndyCar at Mid-Ohio.  Scott Dixon cruised home for the win, his fifth at the track in the last eight races.  Polesitter Sebastien …

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Pace Laps: Pocono Oddity, Iowa Adventures, Ohio Excellence, and More

Cup: Strange Results from Pocono It’s not a surprise that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won at Pocono.  He raced with the leaders all race long and his crew chief, Steve Letarte, made a brilliant strategy call that put him in the best position to win. But what about the rest of the field? Kyle Busch completed …

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Happiness Is… A Storybook Career, Sigh of Relief & Those Open Wheelers

2014 Indianapolis CUP Jeff Gordon woohoo II CIA

Jeff Gordon celebrates after winning the 2014 Brickyard 400. (Credit: CIA)

Sigh of relief. Everyone can thank Jeff Gordon for putting a stop the Ford juggernaut.  The win streak, of four in a row, was getting out of hand and some other manufacturer needed to be represented in victory lane. There’s a couple interesting things about the string that Ford had just put together, with the …

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