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Track Damage Nearly Wrecks Detroit IndyCar Race

Crash, long delay blamed on problem with track surface.

by on Jun.04, 2012

Detroit Grand Prix crews make emergency repairs on the damaged Belle Isle track.

Detroit’s weather-beaten roads are a frequent target of criticism, but drivers on the IndyCar circuit were particularly disturbed when the surface on the Motor City’s Belle Isle race track began to break up, leading to a crash and a long delay as crews raced to patch things up.

After a more than two-hour delay, the race was allowed to resume, albeit in abbreviated form, with Scott Dixon delivering the victory in a Target Chip Ganassi Honda, his first win of the year.

Breaking News!

The Detroit race was the city’s first since 2008 and was intended to serve as a highlight of Motown’s turnaround, with sponsors including Chevrolet and race and industrial mogul Roger Penske investing heavily to pull out all the promotional stops.

Initially, the biggest problem appeared likely to be the rain clouds that hovered over the Motor City since Friday’s practice sessions began.  But by Sunday the weather finally seemed ready to cooperate.  Unfortunately, the track didn’t.


McBlog: Splash/Dash

Make that: Nope/Hope

by on Jun.17, 2011

Want to have us clean your windshield and check your oil, too? Dario Franchitti pits at the 2011 Indy 500.

Is it just me or are there more fuel management problems than usual in racing?

Take Chip Ganassi’s team at Indy’s 100th anniversary run. A one-two finish looked to be a lock with either Scott Dixon or Dario Franchitti crossing the line first. Dario had set fastest lap of the race; Scott the fastest lap while leading. Combined they were assured of having led more than half the race already. At worst, with the pair on different fuel strategies, Chip was confident that one or the other of his drivers would be guzzling milk in Victory Lane.

Then the one-two finish turned to five-twelve as the checker dropped. Thanks to bloody running low on gas! (Well, more correctly, ethanol. Indy fuel is E98 with only 2% a gasoline blend.)

News you can use!

The Tarjay folk were not the only team with blips in their fuel strategy – there was splashing and dashing going on in the pits as the end neared. For instance Danica, leading for ten laps, dropped to 10th after a needed fuel stop. A yellow might have made a difference. But in qualifying both Target cars ran out of fuel. Hello! A teaching moment here? Suggestion: replace some computers or the ones paying attention to them. There’s a mis-connect here.