Saturdays nights IRL Indycar race at Nashville Speedway was just never meant to happen. ABout 10 minutes before the cars were scheduled to take to the track, the heavens opened up and flooded the track. The IRL took some time to see if the rain was going to stop, and it did for a while, but soon after it started raining again, so that was the end of Saturday, with the race being re-scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
Sunday it was overcast, and there was a pretty good chance it was going to rain at some stage. After his win at Watkins Glen, Scott Dixon was on a roll, taking pole at Nashville.
At the start Dario Franchitti quickly moved into the lead form his 2nd place start, and seized control of the race. Dixon meantime ran around, keeping in touch with Dario. Not too far form halfway and suddenly with some quick pitwork, Dixon found himself out front, with Dario right behind him. By then it was lap 97 and suddenly it started to rain lightly. With 4 laps to halfway the organizers kept the cars out, and fortunately the rain was light enough that within a few laps they were back to green flag racing.
That was pretty much the story of the race, with Dixon staying out front, extending his lead over Franchitti, and surpassing Franchitti’s total of laps led, and then pulling into victory lane, making it two races out of two, and closing Franchitti’s lead in the championship to 34 points. While Dixon did close the gap by 13 points, Dario really is having a great season. This race was Franchitti’s 10th top 10 in a row, making it difficult for the chasing pack to get any real points back on him.
Behind those two 3rd place was taken by Danica Patrick, equaling her best ever finish, although after the race she was very vocal about being held up by slower cars. in fact a number of the drivers were complaining about slower cars, especially after a late race caution left slower lapped cars in between those on the lead lap for the last restart within 10 laps of the end of the race. It appears from the comments that the current crop of IRL cars on fast ovals are to the point where it is impossible to pass anyone again.Maybe it’s time to revist the oval track package.
Some suggested that it’s time in the IRL to adopt the NASCAR rule, that any restarts within 10 laps to go, and all lapped cars will be moved to behind all the lead lap cars. There are arguments both for an against this one. In these days where a blue flag is waved at slower cars earlier and earlier, and drivers absolutely demand that other slower drivers get out of their way we seem to have lost sight of the fact that everyone is racing out there, whether you are racing for the lead, or for 10th, you are out there racing as hard as you can. It would be interesting to hear AJ Foyts views on this one, after all in his day you didn’t complain when someone didn’t get out of your way quick enough, you just raced your way by them.
Let’s hear your views on this one.