Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sad T-Points End To Open Wheel Unification

Justin Wilson misses out on capturing the IRL's Bombardier Rookie of the Year for the 2008 IndyCar Series season championship by six points. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

Sad T-Points End To Open Wheel Unification

Qualification for the Chicagoland oval race typified the fortunes of the teams transitioning into the IRL in the last points paying race for the championship of the 2008 IRL season.

Not one driver from a former ChampCar World Series team made it into the top ten on the grid. This represents the beginning to a sad end to the first year performance of transition team drivers during this unification year of open wheel racing in North America.

This excerpted from -

Briscoe beats Dixon to Chicago pole

Saturday, September 6th 2008, 21:38 GMT

Ryan Briscoe helped his Penske teammate Helio Castroneves' chances of winning the IRL IndyCar Series title by beating points leader Scott Dixon to pole position for the championship decider at Chicagoland.

Ganassi driver Dixon, who had dominated practice, held provisional pole for most of the session, resisting strong challenges from the Andretti Green cars in particular.

But Briscoe, the last driver to take to the track, set a four lap average of 215.818mph to snatch pole away from Dixon, out-pacing the Kiwi by just over a tenth of a second.

Detroit winner Justin Wilson (Newman/Haas/Lanigan) struggled on the 1.5-mile oval and only qualified 22nd.

Ryan Briscoe will start in position P1 on the grid for PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

Pos Driver Team Speed

1. Ryan Briscoe Penske 215.818
2. Scott Dixon Ganassi 215.553
3. Danica Patrick Andretti Green 215.548
4. Helio Castroneves Penske 215.372
5. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green 215.368
6. Marco Andretti Andretti Green 215.064
7. Dan Wheldon Ganassi 214.967
8. Tomas Scheckter Luczo Dragon 214.855
9. Vitor Meira Panther 214.796
10. Marty Roth Roth 214.794
11. Will Power KV 214.583
12. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green 214.444
13. Oriol Servia KV 214.441
14. Ed Carpenter Vision 213.875
15. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 213.523
16. AJ Foyt IV Vision 213.485
17. Ryan Hunter-Reay Rahal Letterman 213.430
18. Jaime Camara Conquest 213.417
19. Sarah Fisher Sarah Fisher 213.389
20. Alex Tagliani Conquest 213.305
21. Milka Duno Dreyer & Reinbold 212.857
22. Justin Wilson Newman/Haas/Lanigan 212.753
23. Buddy Rice Dreyer & Reinbold 212.682
24. Darren Manning Foyt 212.406
25. Franck Perera Foyt 212.126
26. Bruno Junqueira Dale Coyne 212.040
27. EJ Viso HVM 211.996
28. Mario Moraes Dale Coyne 211.451

T-Team Tally In Qualifications

Will Power grids in position P11 for the final points paying race of the season. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

Pos Driver Team Speed

11. Will Power KV 214.583
13. Oriol Servia KV 214.441
15. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 213.523
18. Jaime Camara Conquest 213.417
20. Alex Tagliani Conquest 213.305
22. Justin Wilson Newman/Haas/Lanigan 212.753
26. Bruno Junqueira Dale Coyne 212.040
27. EJ Viso HVM 211.996
28. Mario Moraes Dale Coyne 211.451
Reference Here>>

Missing from the line-up is Pacific Coast Motorsports who have bowed out after entering the season late, showed good improvement but wanted to spend this time to build for a stronger campaign next year.

15:46:25 GMT-0400 All cars are away from the grid for the pace laps. Green flag is expected on the third time by.

Start waived off due to spacing, Briscoe slowed the field way down – too slow.

Green Flag!

Three wide racing gets the heart pumping at the start. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

The cars charge three wide into the first corner

Tony Kanaan is trying to pass Briscoe on the high side. Castroneves is already up to P21 from P28

Castroneves is moves up to P18 from P28

LAP 11
Helio Castroneves is up to P13 from P28

LAP 14
Dan Wheldon looks to take P5 from Danica Patrick

LAP 15
Marco Andretti gets moved back to P13 as Castroneves passes by for P12

LAP 25
Castroneves gets moved back to P11 as Rahal passes by to regain P10

LAP 32 of 200
It’s Briscoe, Kanaan, Dixon, Carpenter, Weldon, Patrick, Meira, Foyt IV, Hunter-Reay, and Castroneves in positions 1-10

LAP 37
Yellow Flag - Ed Carpenter smashes into the wall on Turn 2 – ON FIRE

LAP 38
In the pits – All cars take on fuel, tires, get adjustments, and try to advance position

LAP 39
After the first round of pitstops Tony Kanaan appears to have won the race off of pit lane with Dixon in tow - Castroneves moving past Hunter-Reay. It’s Kanaan, Dixon, Briscoe, Weldon, Patrick, Meira, Foyt IV, Castroneves, Hunter-Reay, and Viso in positions 1-10

LAP 50
Green Green Green- Restart underway – Castroneves moves up another spot making that 20 positions in 50 laps

LAP 53
Positions 9-13 running almost on top of each other – Hunter-Reay, Viso, Power, Rahal, and Scheckter

LAP 57
Double pass on Weldon and Patrick by Castroneves to P4 … right behind Dixon

LAP 63
T-Team Driver, Jaime Camara of Conquest Racing is done for the day

LAP 64
Jaime Camara appears to have his issues resolved as he rejoins the race

LAP 67
Helio Castroneves passes Dixon to P3. Dixon shows maturity by not contesting the position

LAP 74
Yellow Flag – Full Course Caution – Vitor Meira of Panther Racing hits the wall in turn two. Vitor received an email earlier in the day telling him that he will not be racing for Panther Racing next season … he is expected to be replaced by Dan Weldon currently at Target Chip Ganassi Racing … who is expected to be replaced by IRL 2007 Series Champion, Dario Franchitti – and so goes the silly season here in the last points paying race for the IndyCar Series 2008 Championship

LAP 84
Green Flag – Helio Castroneves leads the field after a great pitstop. Behind him It’s Briscoe, Kanaan, Dixon, Weldon, Foyt IV, Patrick, Power, Viso, and Rahal in positions 1-10

LAP 92
1.1 seconds separates the top nine cars

LAP 93
Three abreast at 213 mph with Castroneves on the bottom, Ryan Briscoe in the middle, and Dan Weldon on top – Dixon drops to seventh

LAP 95
Mario Moraes of Dale Coyne Racing and EJ Viso of HVM Racing are in the top nine. Moraes is 19 years old with little oval experience has moved up from next to last P27 to P5

LAP 108
Over halfway and the Yellow Flag comes out for debris on the track. Dixon runs at P10 and this race is beginning to slip away. If the race were to end right now, Dixon would only win by two points (down 28 from 30) for a $1,000,000 season championship bonus

Sarah Fisher in her new Dollar General livery races along side, three wide, with Marco Andretti and T-Team driver, nineteen year-old Mario Moraes in the Sonny's BBQ sponsored Dale Coyne Dallara. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

LAP 109
Buddy Rice of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing gets tapped while in pit lane by Graham Rahal of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and is unable to continue in the race

LAP 113
Rahal in pits to replace mirror – penalized to restart from the back of the pack

LAP 117
Green Flag – Helio Castroneves leads the field after a great pitstop. Behind him It’s Briscoe, Weldon, Kanaan, Viso, Foyt IV, Patrick, Dixon, Power, Moraes, and Wilson in positions 1-11

LAP 118
Yellow Flag – Sara Fisher in the Dollar General Fisher Racing car hits the wall in turn #4 hard. She has stopped in the grass. Sarah Fisher is out of the car, but is limping to the safety vehicle

LAP 119
Where season points leader Scott Dixon is running right now … he would win by four points. If Castroneves were to get the bonus points for leading the most laps – Dixon would still win by one point

LAP 125
Green Flag – 75 laps to go. Justin Wilson passes Scott Dixon and pushes him back to ninth

LAP 127
Weldon drops back one position from P3 to P4 moving Kanaan up

LAP 128
Dixon is able to make some passes and is now up to P6 after passing Patrick

LAP 132
Kanaan passes Castroneves – not good for Helio … and Dixon up to P4

LAP 136
Announcers speculate if Dixon is applying the same strategy Dario Franchitti employed last year where Dixon Pressures Castroneves to use up more fuel and have him run out at the end – the same way Dixon ran out last year giving Franchitti the win and the championship

LAP 137
EJ Viso’s tire deflates and sends the car into the wall from P8

LAP 140
Leaders in the pits – Dixon may have a problem in that he looses a few positions because a tire got away from a pit crew member causing Dixon to hold a little longer

LAP 144
Milka Duno stays out to get some camera time for her sponsor CITGO Petroleum - Green Flag – Helio Castroneves is second after a great pitstop. Behind him It’s Briscoe, Weldon, Patrick, Kanaan, Dixon, Moraes, Hunter-Reay and Andretti in positions 1-10

LAP 158
The top eight have opened up a 1.8 second lead on the field

LAP 163
Hideki Mutoh is slow on the apron near Turn #1

LAP 167
Dixon is holding station at P4 – if he finishes there, he wins the series championship for 2008 by nine points.

LAP 168
Hideki Mutoh is in for an extended pit stop. This could cost him Bombardier Rookie of the Year

LAP 177
It’s Weldon, Castroneves, Briscoe, Dixon, Kanaan, Moraes, Hunter-Reay, Patrick, Foyt IV, and Manning in P1 through P10

Helio Castroneves and teammate Ryan Briscoe get a nudge at over 200 miles per hour while running ... three wide. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

LAP 182
Mario Moraes of Dale Coyne Racing scrapes the wall and brings out a Yellow Flag. Mario out – Castroneves has the bonus points (3) for most laps led

LAP 184
Pits are open and the leaders come in – this could turn the race if there is a problem for either Castroneves or Dixon

LAP 185
Dixon picks up three positions and passes Briscoe and Castroneves out of the pits – only about 13 to 14 laps of racing to the end

LAP 189
11 laps left and it’s Green Green Green RESTART! – Graham Rahal gets into the wall from P18 – Yellow Flag

LAP 194
Six laps to go, after two wave offs due to Helio trying to get a jump - they are going to the end

LAP 195
Castroneves is all over leader, Scott Dixon’s rear wing

LAP 199
Two laps remaining and it is side by side

LAP 200
On the bottom Dixon out stretches Castroneves for his seventeenth race win by one one-thousandth of a second. The video evidence would suggest that Castroneves noses out Dixon – we’re waiting for the announcement

It’s official!

Scott Dixon is the 2008 IndyCar Series Champion and is second to Helio Castroneves in this race here today in the closest finish ever in an open wheel motorsports race … still at margin of one one-thousandth of a second flying along at 213 miles per hour. Image Credit:

Photo finish
By staff

JOLIET, Ill. - Helio Castroneves made a exciting dash to the front of the pack - going from worst to first in 77 laps - but Scott Dixon did what was necessary to wrap up his second IndyCar Series championship.

Dixon, who needed an eighth place in the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway to clinch, finished second in the 200-lap race -- by 0.0033 of a second to Castroneves in the second-closest finish in IndyCar Series history. The closest finish is 0.0024 of a second in 2002.

Another IndyCar Series championship-deciding race came down to the final turn of the final lap at Chicagoland Speedway. This time, Scott Dixon came out on top. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

IndyCar Series champion celebrates with all of the members of his Target Chip Ganassi team. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

Dixon won by 17 points. Castroneves' teammate, Ryan Briscoe, finished third (0.0778 of a second behind) and Tony Kanaan was fourth. Will Power finished fifth and Dan Wheldon was sixth.
Reference Here>>

The highest finishing Transition Team driver is Will Power of KV Racing Technology.

So, it is a sad T-Team points end to this open wheel unification season at the end. Justin Wilson and Will Power both had a chance to take the lead in the rookie of the points but came up short.

Oriol Servia, Will Power's KV Racing Technology teammate was the highest ranking T-Team driver, but since he raced at the Indianapolis 500 in a previous season, he did not qualify as a rookie.

Bombardier Rookie of the Year

Rank. Name – PTS. Behind Leader

1. Hideki Mutoh - 346 Leader – and a rookie driver for an established IRL team
2. Justin Wilson -6
3. Will Power -15
4. Graham Rahal - -58
5. E.J. Viso -60
6. Mario Moraes -102
7. Enrique Bernoldi -126
8. Jaime Camara -172
9. Mario Dominguez -234

Overall 2008 Championship Points Standings

Rank. Name – POINTS – PTS. Behind Leader
(T-Team in CCWS orange)

1. Scott Dixon - 646 Leader
2. Helio Castroneves - 629 -17
3. Tony Kanaan - 513 -133
4. Dan Wheldon - 492 -154
5. Ryan Briscoe - 447 -199
6. Danica Patrick - 379 -267
7. Marco Andretti - 363 -283
8. Ryan Hunter-Reay - 360 -286
9. Oriol Servia - 358 -288
10. Hideki Mutoh - 346 -300
11. Justin Wilson - 340 -306
12. Will Power - 331 -315
13. Vitor Meira - 324 -322
14. Darren Manning - 323 -323
15. Ed Carpenter - 320 -326
16. Buddy Rice - 306 -340
17. Graham Rahal - 288 -358
18. E.J. Viso - 286 -360
19. A.J. Foyt IV - 280 -366
20. Bruno Junqueira - 256 -390
21. Mario Moraes - 244 -402
22. Enrique Bernoldi - 220 -426
23. Jaime Camara - 174 -472
24. Marty Roth - 166 -480
25. Milka Duno - 140 -506
26. Townsend Bell - 117 -529
27. Mario Dominguez - 112 -534
28. Jay Howard - 72 -574
29. Franck Perera - 71 -575
30. John Andretti - 71 -575
31. Tomas Scheckter - 66 -580
32. Sarah Fisher - 37 -609
33. Paul Tracy - 32 -614 - honorable mention
34. Alex Tagliani - 30 -616 - honorable mention
35. Roger Yasukawa - 16 -630
36. Davey Hamilton - 16 -630
37. Buddy Lazier - 13 -633
38. Alex Lloyd - 10 -636
39. Jeff Simmons - 10 -636

... notes from The EDJE

No comments: