By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel
My new feature for The Open Wheel continues with a collection of random thoughts from a wild Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.
- This Win Meant A LOT To Power – Look at how fired up Will Power was when he hopped out of his car in victory lane. You rarely see that kind of positive emotion from Power and he typically has a lot to be happy about. The combination of a big win, his dominance in a wild race, his wife’s ties to Texas, and what this could mean for the championship created a special scene in victory lane. Here’s part of what he had to say after the race: “It was very intense…I’m so stoked to win in my second home, where my wife (Liz) is from, Texas. All the family is here, it just feels awesome.”
- “Pack Racing” Returns For A Night – This absolutely was far from 2011 Las Vegas but it was as close to “pack racing” as we’ve seen in a while. It made for thrilling, if not overly anxious, viewing for those watching in the stands and TV but ultimately it became a very expensive night for every team and thankfully all of the drivers came out unscathed. However, in my opinion the field was still fairly strung out relative to the amount of side-by-side racing and it seemed like it still took some effort and maneuvering to complete a pass. As far as the incidents go, in each case poor decision making and/or similar moves to the racing we all laud at Indianapolis were responsible for the crashes. Hinchcliffe and Newgarden should have never attempted three-wide passes in the turns at the time of the race they did and though that isn’t exactly why Hinch crashed that certainly escalated the craziness before his run in with Kanaan and therefore Aleshin. Firestone definitely needs to figure out the blistering problems we saw a lot of but it will be interesting to see how INDYCAR reacts to the formula of this race moving forward. Of course, we may never really know as next year’s Texas event will feature the new universal aero kit.
- Dale Coyne Racing Continues To Impress And Suffer Horrible Luck – Dale Coyne Racing had an excellent race going at Texas before suffering the misfortune of having both cars swept up in the Hinchcliffe aftermath. Tristan Vautier qualified an incredible fifth and was arguably the most impressive driver of the race before the incident. Ed Jones hadn’t been nearly as spectacular but had worked himself solidly into the Top 10 and spoke before and after the race about never feeling more comfortable on an oval. What this team has done this year has been unbelievably impressive but you have to wonder how much longer they can keep up this level of performance after another race of torn up equipment. This team has managed to persevere through awful luck all season and that’s going to be even tougher after the damage sustained at Texas. They’re certainly among a number of teams that are thankful for a weekend off to prepare for Road America.
- Alonso Calling In To The NBCSN Broadcast Was Awesome – I thought it was awesome that Fernando Alonso was interviewed on the phone during the NBCSN broadcast of the race. He continues to not just leave open the possibility of a return to the Verizon IndyCar Series, but to throw fuel on the fire of the suggestion. Whether it be for another Indianapolis 500 Mile Race or in a full-time capacity, almost nothing would be better for INDYCAR than Alonso coming back to race in the series.