I have purposely refrained from commentary over the past week or so specifically because I was off work for a couple of days before qualifying weekend through the 96th running. It was my intent to soak up the event and all that goes with it. I was not disappointed. Much. Best of all, the weather was great for the duration.
The race was much better than anticipated. 35 lead changes, no contrived manipulation (except Barfield’s extension of the yellow after Newgarden’s accident to ensure all participants had enough fuel) and multiple inspired drive. More than half the spectators booed very loudly when they realized Dario would win again, and I understand the sentiment. TK would have been a far better story. Even Taku would have been nice. That said, Dario earned it on the track, and regardless of how anyone feels about what generally is perceived as smug arrogance he did his job on the track despite a pit incident.
The new car provided some great action and the live crash testing affirms many of the safety aspects.
Pole day was also well attended by I am not convinced the gimmick about a ‘fast nine’ shootout will stand the test of time. Bump day was ‘bump’ in name only. That must be resolved in 2013. Carb day drew the usual 100K or so and the on-track action was well worth the time, including a very competitive Lights race.
As part of my absence here I also refrained from reading anything anyone anywhere had to say about the event, particularly on the Internet. Why? Simple. Most people offering commentary there are blithering idiots without clue one. The vast majority have never even been to Indy. It was admittedly refreshing to choose not to read about some random blithering idiot contribution about attendance, overnight 12+ audience estimates, or some other variation of ‘the death of Indy’ whacko theory.
Speaking of blithering idiots there is evidently a movement afoot by selected Chevy team owners to have Randy Bernard fired. Most fingers point toward John Barnes as the instigator. Randy Bernard himself confirmed the rumor in a tweet. I believe I can empathize with both ‘sides.’ Owners have legitimate concerns about cost, availability, etc., and Randy has issues as well. He has a tendency to pander to whatever audience he is in front of and can speak out of both sides of his mouth. He has, however, worked harder and elevated the sport more than any one person has in decades. He should get a raise.
A mutiny by any owner would be the most stupid act possible. Any such insubordinaton should be dealt with swiftly and firmly. An ‘owner’ revolt, in whatever arrogantly stupid form it takes, would lead to self-inflicted injuries that could easily be prevented with minimal sense. It is my hope that some serious ass gets kicked.
So far all the races this season have been compelling in their own ways, and that trend looks to continue.