Heading into Saturday night’s IndyCar 300 lap race at Iowa Speedway, Andretti Autosport had won four straight and five of seven races at the track. The other two races were won by Chip Ganassi Racing. For most of the race, it looked like CGR’s Tony Kanaan would end Andretti dominance but a great strategy call and a hard charge at the end made it five in a row for AA with Ryan Hunter-Reay taking the checkered flag.
What constitutes a family curse being broken? The Andretti family curse at the Indianapolis 500 goes back almost 50 years when Mario won his first and only Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. Neither son Michael nor grandson Marco have been able to win the race since then.
Since 1969, the Andrettis have won the 500 twice… as team owners. Michael’s team won the 2005 and 2007 races but he was just an owner. This year was the closest that an Andretti has come to winning the race but not thanks to Marco’s driving. It was Michael calling the shots on the pit box for race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay who picked up the win with a last lap pass of three-time race winner Helio Castroneves.
Neither rain nor severe weather nor standing water stayed the drivers of the IndyCar Series from the swift completion of their appointed round at Barber Motorsports Park. Okay, it did a little as the race was pushed back by over two hours due to a severe rain storm and standing water.
When the race got going, it looked like Will Power was going to storm off into the distance and win his second race of the season. However, as it so often the case in inclement weather, the only person that can beat you is yourself. Power left the track early in the race which allowed Ryan Hunter-Reay to claim the lead and his first win of the season.
Let’s face it, last week’s race in Texas was a bit lacking in action. Drivers trying to keep their cars out of the wall and tyres under the car doesn’t make for an exciting race on TV, though it probably makes for an excessively exciting night in the cockpit. Fortunately, the series’ trip to Milwaukee produced a bit more action that ended with Ryan Hunter-Reay scoring his second straight win on the Milwaukee Mile.
The first round of the season at St. Petersburg didn’t go well for many of the expected championship contenders. Will Power’s race was derailed when he was hit by J.R. Hildebrand. Dario Franchitti was the first car out after hitting the wall on cold tires. And Ryan Hunter-Reay had a mechanical problem that relegated him to an 18th place finish.
This week at the Barber Motorsports Park, two out of the three were able to turn their seasons around. Franchitti finished 25th for the second consecutive race but Power was able to finish fifth. However, it was the defending champion Ryan Hunter-Reay who picked up his first win of the season.
The top level of open-wheel racing in North America went to Toronto for the 26th time this weekend. This weekend was a complete change from the previous IndyCar races around Exhibition Place in Toronto. The car was new, the engines were new and the crew in race control were new. Twenty-five cars raced around the streets of Toronto for the first of two Canadian stops on the IndyCar calendar led by Canadian drivers James Hinchcliffe and Alex Tagliani. Continue reading