Sears Point INDY - Play By Play Via Tweet By Tweet
The Indy Grand Prix Sonoma represents the last road/street course on the IndyCar Series schedule for the 2009 season, so if any of the Transition Players (drivers and/or teams merged into the IRL from the ChampCar World Series in 2008) wish to make a mark in their specialty ... this is the place.
Nelson Philippe as he sits stalled on the track in his Conquest Dallara before EJ Viso (HVM) and Will Power (Penske Racing) crest the hill. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2009)
Unfortunately, the biggest star who transitioned from the ChampCar World Series last year got seriously hurt in a crash yesterday with Nelson Philippe after Nelson's car had stalled in the middle of the track just over a blind rise. Philippe was first brushed by EJ Viso, then "T-Boned" by Power (all three drivers are Transition Players). Without the accident, Transition Players would have fielded their largest contingent of drivers in the grid this year (save the INDY 500 with 10) with a total of 9 of 24 total cars.
The initial 24-car field is now down to 22 entrants as both Will Power (Penske) and Nelson Philippe (Conquest) have been sidelined by the practice accident that left them with broken vertebrae and a fractured leg respectively.
Will Power's Penske on the hook with Will Power, himself, on a stretcher with injuries inside the ambulance after his collision with the Conquest Dallara of Nelson Philippe. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2009)
Starting Grid (** denotes Transition Player)
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m16.7987s
2. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m16.8485s
3. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m16.8702s
4. Marco Andretti Andretti Green 1m17.0524s
5. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green 1m17.2055s
6. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m17.3885s**
7. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green 1m16.9900s
8. Franck Montagny Andretti Green 1m17.0840s**
9. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 1m17.0895s
10. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m17.2247s
11. Danica Patrick Andretti Green 1m17.6145s
12. Dan Wheldon Panther 1m17.6782s
13. EJ Viso HVM 1m17.9180s**
14. Mario Moraes KV 1m17.4730s**
15. Robert Doornbos HVM 1m18.1095s**
16. Ryan Hunter-Reay Foyt 1m17.6401s
17. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m18.1409s**
18. Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon 1m17.6552s
19. Justin Wilson Coyne 1m18.3353s**
20. Richard Antinucci 3G 1m17.7500s
21. Ed Carpenter Vision 1m18.2413s
22. Milka Duno Dreyer & Reinbold 1m23.6185s
Infineon Raceway - Located just 30 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the 1,600-acre facility serves as the gateway to the beautiful Sonoma Wine Country. Photo Image Credit: Infineon Raceway (2005)
This excerpted and edited from Twitter, IndyCar Live Timing & Scoring, and various digital resources -
VisionRacingRT @VersusIndyCar: The six on boards cameras are going to be Helio, Servia, Franchitti, Kanaan, Hunter-Reay, and Justin Wilson #indycar
VisionRacing#IndyCar drivers are doing a lap @InfineonRaceway in a trolley car. No joke. Not letting them actually drive it though. That's a good thing.
MyNameIsIRLAs a former resident of The City I have to inform Robbie Floyd that those are not "trolleys". Those are "cable cars". Google it if you must.
14:38:41 GMT-0700 Lap 0: Drivers to their cars.
IndyCarSeriesThe Silent Pagoda*: The Pagoda Society’s Live Colloquium: Aye aye, Lindy. We’re a go. .. http://bit.ly/19JpMi
kvracingRace is about to start in 15 mins. Watch all 75laps live on Versus.
pressdogJon keeps saying "passing zone" in connection to this track. Drug tests may be in order.
kvracinghttp://twitpic.com/f1f33 - Moraes talking to Jack Arute from Versus before the race
VisionRacingNew photos from the weekend up at www.facebook.com/visionracing.
pressdogLive timing and scoring. Recliner. HD wonder. Anchor Liberty Ale. Twitter stream. Maxoderm commercials. Let's light this candle.
GREEN! GREEN! GREEN!
kvracingGreen flag racing here at Sonoma. Dixon spun on turn 2 and caused all the cars behind to via off into dirt to avoid
Full Course YELLOW!
Major crash on turn #2 started with Graham Rahal ... everyone checks up and many cars collect each other. EJ Viso flys over Tony Kanaan.
kvracingMoraes had to avoid accident by running off into dirt but no damage to car
14:55:03 GMT-0700 Lap 1: Danica Patrick may have some suspension damage.
luczodragonCrazy crash at start, we move up 6 spots to 12, as it collected several cars. Could get more when they open pits
TeamIndyChatExciting beginning to the race. Looks like a demolition derby @InfineonRaceway #IndyCar
14:58:36 GMT-0700 Lap 3: Tony Kanaan is getting a new nose cone.
PlanetIrldotcomI blame @paultracy3 for that ;)
MyNameIsIRLAs messed up as that start was, there was some amazing driving buy Servia and Hunter-Reay. Just noting that in case we don't see them again.
Pat Caporali- Media & Public Relations Director, Tweeting - "Nice of them to put a big screen in view of our pit." Image Credit: Vision Racing (2009)
GREEN! GREEN! GREEN!
Franchitti takes the lead with a pair of Penske's behind him, Briscoe, Castroneves, Mutoh, Weldon, and Doornbos round out the top six.
MyNameIsIRL5 laps in and Milka is in 14th. Shoulda picked her int the TrackSide Online fantasy league.
luczodragonDixon was in middle of the opening lap wreck. Some big names impacteð
Justin Wilson ducks into the pits and employs an alternate strategy ... takes on REDS.
FuriousWedgeput a camera on Wilson please he's devouring the field!
VisionRacingCrAZY start to #Indycar race. Ed drove smart and is now P11!
15:05:49 GMT-0700 Lap 8: Dario Franchitti is maintaing a nice lead, but Briscoe isn't letting him get away yet.
Transition Players EJ Viso (HVM), Graham Rahal (NHLR), and Frank Montagny (AGR) are currently shown as being out of competition - AGR is working top place Frank's car back into the race.
VisionRacingNice of them to put a big screen in view of our pit. http://flic.kr/p/6SeK33
IndyCarNationSome specifics for everyone...The race is 75 laps/175 miles..,The overtake assist button may be used 15 times for a duration of 15 seconds
pressdoglock step in this race is like a glacier ... you cannot stop it from showing up.
IndyCarPRLap 10: #10 Franchitti leads #6 Briscoe by .6896 of a second.
15:12:14 GMT-0700 Lap 13: Mario Moraes got by Dan Wheldon for P5.
Ryan Hunter-Reay is tight on Bobby-D's #33 NHLR machine.
VisionRacing#indycar race is 75 laps/175 miles under beautiful blue skies. Overtake assist (push to pass) button will work 15x for 15 seconds each.
MyNameIsIRLRT @HVMracing: "13 car cannot be repaired in time to return to the race." Who else wants EJ to grab a snake and terrorize Arute some more?
indy44Why can't the others drive smart like Wheldon,too many Banzai moves lately
IndyCar101Looks like Briscoe is closing the gap on Franchitti.
15:15:22 GMT-0700 Lap 15: Dario Franchitti is looking good in the lead, but Briscoe is hanging close.
VisionRacingAlmost just like watching at home. http://flic.kr/p/6SeVq7
Of the eight cars that were involved in the first lap crash ... only Viso and Rahal are sidelined.
VisionRacingEd reports roll bar adjustment not making a difference. Team will try to help with tire pressure adjustments. Pitting in 5 laps.
Carpenter in the Vision pits on first stop - Stop complete...Go Ed, Go! Image Credit: Vision Racing (2009)
15:21:34 GMT-0700 Lap 20: Mario Moraes is looking strong as he slowly closes on Hideki Mutoh.
15:25:17 GMT-0700 Lap 22: Ryan Hunter-Reay is closing on Robert Doornbos.
END OF UPDATES
Normally, in this type of weblog posting activity, the entries from Twitter and other digital reference resources would continue to be read, reviewed for content, copied, then added to the Blogspot weblog account portal (... notes from The EDJE).
Unfortunately, this particular race was being written about, and information was being gathered, while traveling in a pristine, white '95 Ford F-250XLT, with a matching, form-fitting white shell, with passengers riding high above the traffic, from Coachella Valley to a conference on the economy and planning for the upcoming economic trend of Government induced inflation. The problem arose where the laptop (outfitted with a Verizon USB port cellphone technology internet access device) ran out of battery power and the realtime information gathering had to stop - "END OF UPDATES".
This weblog posting was a New Media experiment that was working beautifully until the power became depleted. Inside the extended cab of this Ford truck was a fully charged DieHard Portable Power 950 Jump-starter/DC and USB Power Source and that would have been useful, probably to the end of the race, and thus allowing the experiment to come to a successful completion ... IF we had a power inverter with a cigarette-lighter plug port for power, or had purchased the DieHard Portable Power 1150 instead.
DieHard Portable Power 1150 Jump-Starter/AC-DC Power Source - Emergency power at home or on the road! Portable Power's 1150 Peak Amps jump starts 12V vehicles and powers 12V DC lights, and other devices. Includes: Two 12 Volt DC power outlets to provide up to 50 hours of DC power for accessories and two, built-in lights. Inflate/deflate air mattresses, with the built-in air inflator/deflator. Pump up car tires and sports balls with built-in 150 PSI air compressor. Two AC outlets power up to 400 watts of household power for small electronic appliances/devices. With the use of the fast 1000mA wall charger, the internal circuitry recharges the internal 22Ah DieHard® AGM battery then switches to float-mode monitoring so full power is available when you need it! Includes battery cables, pressure gauge, hoses and adapters, male-to-male accessory plug, door for battery replacement. 5V USB port. Caption & Image Credit: SEARS
We, at The EDJE, are buying one of these bad puppies today! In the immortal words of Tim Allen, as he expressed his joy of power tools in the TV series, Home Improvement ... Arrr, Arrr, Arrrrrrrrrrrr!
This excerpted and edited from Motorsport.com -
Dario Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) with Ryan Briscoe (Penske Racing) in tow at Infineon Raceway, Sears Point. Image Credit: autosport.com (2009)
Franchitti leads flag-to-flag for Sonoma win
By Tony DiZinno - Motorsport.com - Date: 2009-08-23
The points lead changed once again as Dario Franchitti led flag-to-flag from pole position en route to his fourth victory of the IndyCar Series season. The Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver avenged his prior struggles on the road courses and led home Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske in Sunday's race at Sonoma, Calif.'s Infineon Raceway.
"Track position was critical today," Franchitti said. "I did what I had to do to get out front. We stuck to our pit strategy. There were a couple hairy moments out there but this is critical and crucial for the championship."
Speaking of said championship chase between Franchitti, Briscoe, and Scott Dixon, Franchitti gained 13 points to within four markers of Briscoe for the series lead. If a coin had three sides it would be an appropriate description of this year's title chase, the championship lead changing hands for the 13th time in 14 races.
Briscoe, for his part, admitted frustration at his seventh runner-up finish of the season and said winning at least one of the final three races is crucial to capturing the crown.
"If we're going to win this championship, I'm going to have to win one of the last three," he said. "Dario got maximum points today, he's right there and Dixon stumbled. Coming in second gets old a little bit, but I know we're up there."
Dixon was a non-factor in today's race after a poor starting position and being involved in accidents at both the start and finish of the race. He was credited with a 13th-place finish.
From 12th on the grid Dixon was among those bottled up in a first lap fracas, and after recovering to eighth by the final lap he was punted by Marco Andretti and fell to 14th. He now drops 20 points behind Briscoe, third in the title chase. Andretti was penalized shortly after the checkered flag to behind Dixon for causing avoidable contact.
"We made a few passes on quite a few people, and he got into the back of me and spun me around," Dixon described the afternoon. "He came up after and apologized though, he said he didn't mean to do it. As far as our strategy, we tried to catch a yellow to vault up, but we ended up in the same position."
The chaos also vaulted a number of drivers with poor starting positions forward, chief among them the returning Mario Moraes of KV Racing, as well as Dan Wheldon, Mike Conway, Hideki Mutoh.
The British rookie restarted fifth but passed both the fading Mutoh and Moraes to get onto the podium. Conway eclipsed his personal best result of sixth set earlier this year at Watkins Glen to earn Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's first podium finish since Briscoe achieved the feat at "The Glen" in 2006.
For his part, Moraes was finally able to turn his blistering speed this season into a result. The best career finish for the 20-year-old Brazilian came after he missed Mid-Ohio because his father passed away. Moraes' previous best result was seventh at Watkins Glen last year, and his best this season was ninth at Milwaukee.
Mutoh completed the top five, tops in the Andretti Green Racing five-car camp. His fifth place was his second consecutive, as he also achieved the result last race at Mid-Ohio.
The rest of the top ten was Oriol Servia in his second start for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, Wilson, Kanaan, Matos and Robert Doornbos, in his second go this year for HVM Racing.
Wilson had an eventful race, starting 22nd and last in the field after a last-minute switch to start on Firestone's primary tire, the blacks. He had three sets of new alternates, the reds, available for use and worked them to his advantage. Passing cars on the notoriously difficult to pass circuit was Wilson's M.O. all day.
It almost didn't end as well as it did. Wilson dived down to Servia's inside at turn 11 only to lock up and spin out. He narrowly missed hitting Mutoh in the process, but he didn't stall and recovered as he lit up the tires.
Others of note -- Andretti came home 11th but was penalized for his role in the Dixon accident, Antinucci ran tantalizingly close to the top ten for the underfunded Curb/Agajanian Team 3G effort but finished 15th, and last car running was unsurprisingly Milka Duno in 17th, who added only to the race as a moving chicane, nothing more.
Montagny, making his IndyCar Series debut in the fifth AGR car, struggled despite an eighth place starting position. He collided with Antinucci at one point and that set him off the road with suspension damage.
Overall it was a landmark day for Franchitti. He ended a string of poor results, by his and the team's lofty standards, on permanent road courses. He hadn't finished better than third on such a circuit this season.
By leading all 75 laps, Franchitti accomplished the feat for the first time since his teammate Scott Dixon did in a rain-shortened, 206-lap race at Richmond in 2003. It is his 22nd win in his open-wheel (CART and IndyCar combined) career, tying him with Castroneves and Emerson Fittipaldi for 14th all-time.
Only the top four have a mathematical shot at the title but it is realistically three. There is no rest for the weary as the final stretch of ovals begins Saturday night at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. [September 19, 2009 at Motegi, Japan and the season finale on October 10, 2009 at Homestead, Florida]
Dario Franchitti capped a perfect weekend at Infineon Raceway on Sunday with a wire-to-wire victory in the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi Racing), who qualified on the pole, took the lead at the drop of the green flag and never looked back to post his first-ever win at Infineon Raceway. It was the first wire-to-wire win in the IndyCar® Series since Richmond in 2003. Image Credit: Infineon Raceway (2009)
How they fared (** denotes Transition Player)
Pos Driver Team Time/GapNOTE: Transition Players Will Power driving for Penske Racing and Nelson Philippe driving for Conquest Racing were not able to fill the grid due to injuries from a crash during the warm-up session on Saturday.
1. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1h49m23.0073s
2. Ryan Briscoe Penske + 0.2488s
3. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold + 0.8293s
4. Mario Moraes KV + 3.6171s**
5. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green + 5.4536s
6. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas/Lanigan + 6.3801s**
7. Justin Wilson Coyne + 6.6997s**
8. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green + 7.1808s
9. Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon + 8.5936s
10. Robert Doornbos HVM + 10.8175s**
11. Ed Carpenter Vision + 11.3688s
12. Dan Wheldon Panther + 12.4000s
13. Scott Dixon Ganassi + 13.8968s
14. Marco Andretti Andretti Green + 14.8978s
15. Richard Antinucci 3G + 19.0650s
16. Danica Patrick Andretti Green + 1 lap
17. Milka Duno Dreyer & Reinbold + 4 laps
Helio Castroneves Penske 66 laps
Ryan Hunter-Reay Foyt 65 laps
Franck Montagny Andretti Green 57 laps**
Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 30 laps**
Ernesto Viso HVM 0 laps**
Photo Album From Infineon Raceway at Sears Point>>
... notes from The EDJE