Racing Coast to Coast

March 30, 2011
by Lee

So where do we go after the IZOD IndyCar series race at St. Petersburg last week? I am not really sure. The race offered some interesting action at very specific times, yet the second half of the race was boring as all get out towards the end. The only thing the race had going was a battle between Simona De Silvestro and Tony Kanaan.

There is a news story from this race that is not getting too much play in the main stream media, at least from what I have seen. IndyCar drivers Ana Beatriz and Justin Wilson both suffered a broken wrist in accidents during the race on Sunday. I do not recall this being reported on the broadcast of the race, and I find it odd that it is not being reported in the mainstream media as well. Beatriz required surgery to repair her wrist. Hopefully these injuries do not sideline these drivers for a long period of time.

How about the restarts during the IndyCar race? It seemed that every driver that was interviewed wanted to complain about the restarts. I understand the complaint, but I also say suck it up and race. IndyCar does need to make sure the drivers do a better job on the restarts. You cannot have the back of the field being basically up to speed catching up to the front of the field waiting for the green flag. The entire field has to be rolling the same speed and have the green flag drop giving all the competitors the opportunity to get rolling at the same time. The drivers will adjust to the restarts and they will get better, but it caused some cautions and chaos in the first race of the IndyCar season. Keep in mind on the start of the race, the new restart rule would not have mattered because IndyCar races started two by two in the past anyways.

How about the finish to the race at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday with Kevin Harvick getting the win? I read some stories and tweets this week that many were upset with the racing at California this week. Fans thought the race was kind of a snoozer. I can understand that form a standpoint, but I thought it was a pretty good race. Fox did a good job of moving through the field and showing battles on the track. The focus came to the front of the field exactly when it needed to. Every week we are not going to be treated to races at the front of the pack that make for great racing. Take what we can get, and get ready for Martinsville.

Speaking of Martinsville, let’s talk about that coming up this weekend. Martinsville is the shortest track on the circuit, and has been dominated in recent memory by Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson. I expect to see close racing on Sunday with a lot of beating and banging going on. It could be survival of the fittest per say to the end, but we will see what happens. Look for both of those drivers to find their way to the front. Keep on an eye on Dale Earnhardt Jr. as well. Can Jr. keep his solid performances going at the short track?

My fantasy pick of the week is Jeff Gordon. I have a feeling Gordon is going to turn things around this week and have a great run, and possibly even take his second checkered flag of the year. Remember, I have had bad luck mostly this season with the pick. There is a chance the 24 ends up on the hook before the end of the race.

In other racing news this week, Kimi Raikkonen is planning on coming over from Formula One this year to starting running NASCAR. I am looking forward to see if the open wheeler can have success. Finally, the Tea Party announced it will be sponsoring a truck in the Camping World Truck Series later this year. This is an interesting sponsorship coming to the sport that we will have to keep an eye on to see if any controversy is stirred up. Controversy is sometimes fun to write about.

Here is the wreck of the week, the initial green flag to the IZOD IndyCar Series and turn one:

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