Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Take on Dario Franchitti- Takuma Sato incident during Indy 225 at New Hampshire and Will Power inching closer to Franchitti in 2011 IRL IndyCar Series Championship hunt.

Unfortunately for the IRL IZOD IndyCar Series and the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the Indy 225 at New Hampshire will be remembered for a wreck filled, rain, red flag, poor called, bizarre race that ended in controversy and not for Ryan Hunter-Reay picking up the victory.

But for me, I’m thinking more about the IndyCar Series Championship and the two main contenders of Dario Franchitti’s and Will Power.

During the Indy 225 at New Hampshire, Dario Franchitti was well in control of this race as he dominated the early laps with as much as a 10 second lead over second place while Will Power was about to go a laps down outside the top 10. Power just wasn’t having a good day so far.

However on a normal restart, Dario Franchitti was leading on the outside with second place Takuma Sato on the inside. When the green flag flow, it appeared to me that Dario Franchitti moved to the inside on Sato and was clipped in the left rear by Sato sending Dario straight into the inside wall collecting a few drivers in the process.

In watching several replays of the restart and despite hearing Dario’s post-incident interview on the ABC Telecast, I believe that this was all on Dario Franchitti and I didn’t see where Takuma Sato was at fault at all. Dario had plenty of room to his outside, but for whatever reason not only choose not to use it, but move to inside where Sato was and paid for it was a wrecked indycar.

I hope Dario Franchitti watches the race at home later this week and sees that Sato did nothing wrong and admits he simply made a mistake or the car just moves over too much. However and I mean however, if Dario Franchitti isn’t going to admit he came up on Will Power at Toronto and clipped Power spinning him around, I don’t see him admitting to making a mistake in this case neither. Sorry, I call it like I see it.

But make no mistake, I know that Dario Franchitti is a championship racecar driver in the IndyCar Series, I just disagree with his assessment sometime after these races.

But while Dario Franchitti had went out early, this would become at least on the surface, a good day for Will Power. Just beyond halfway, Will Power made his way into the top 5 in the race due to race strategy, but with 5 laps to go, the IRL IndyCar Series officials made a poor call, and let’s be honest here, this was one of many that would have bad results.

The track was still wet, but nonetheless, one the restart nobody could get going and Danica Patrick among others spun setting off a chain reaction, wrecking several indycars including putting Will Power into the inside wall.

That would have been the end for Will Power, but because finally the IndyCar Series official realized that they made a big mistake, they decided to reverse the last restart and reverted to the order before the restart and due to rain, called the race with 5 laps to go. That move put Will Power in the 5th spot in the final restarts.

But before Power know of the results, he was pissed and he had every right to be upset. Unfortunately for Power, he didn’t realize that the ABC Telecast cameras were on him when Power gave two middle fingers up to the tower in frustration and in his post-race interview, had a few words for the series officials.

I really don’t know what the penalties are here in the indycar series, but I would imagine that Power will be looking at a big fine and nothing more like a point’s penalty. As a result of the finish, Power moves within striking distance of Dario Franchitti, just -45 points behind unofficially. Let’s hope that stands.

But I would say that while Dario Franchitti does have a good lead in the points, with five races to go, anything can happen and Power needs finish in front of Franchitti especially in the next two races which are on road course, Sonoma and the Baltimore Grand Prix. This should be interesting.

UPDATE - 8/15/2011: Following the publishing of this article, it was reported that Sato said that something got into his eye and he made a mistake. However I still stand by my original thoughts on this incident that Dario Franchitti was at fault. Franchitti did crowd Sato and he was in the middle of the track versus being on his side of the track.

The second update was the title. Simply put even with having over 6 years of blogging experience, I am still trying new ways of writing posts and killer headlines.

However a few hours after publishing this article, I felt like I should have written the title in a better way (like a bear huge, instead of coming directly up the middle sort of speak, so I changed the original title “Dario Franchitti- Takuma Sato incident during Indy 225 at New Hampshire was Franchitti fault; Power now within striking distance in championship standings.” to what it is now. You learn something new every day and today I did.