Sunday, August 14, 2011

Poor calls by the IRL IZOD IndyCar Series officials in a bizarre race overshadows Ryan Hunter-Reay’s win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

This article is part of a cross-promotion between both my blogs RaceDriven.com and ThinkingBrian.com. Over on ThinkingBrian.com, I discussed Dario Franchitti-Sato incident and the championship outlock.

Over the past two seasons, one of the biggest problems that IRL IndyCar Series drivers and owner, not to mention some fans including me on some cases, have been poor officiating (namely poor calls by the officials in charge) from the tower on race day. I mean one poor call that struck a chord with not only a driver, but the fans were last year’s black flag call on Helio Castroneves at Edmonton, Canada where the headline read “IRL IndyCar Series officials screws Helio Castroneves out of win and hands it to Scott Dixon.

However in my opinion Castroneves’s black flag doesn’t even compare to watching today’s IndyCar Series race from New Hampshire Motor Speedway because that was a blocking call with a line on the restart, as today’s issue was with the officials in the tower putting drivers safety at risk.

I realize that this is a strong statement to make and even after Brian Barnhart (the President of Competition and Racing Operations for the IZOD IndyCar Series) came on to the ABC telecast to give his prospective, I still believe that they made several bad calls that put drivers in a bad spot.

In this case, it was going back to green flag racing a few times when the track was still wet and one slick tires in a light weight open wheel indycar with tons of power, that doesn’t make for a good restart nor a controllable one.

But in the end after the officials said we’re going green despite conditions for what would be another pileup on the front straightaway, the final call to make the final restart as a missed restart was a good one because it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

So with all that said, according to the ABC telecast, here are the unofficial results from this one.

1. Ryan Hunter-Reay,
2. Oriol Servia,
3. Scott Dixon,
4. James Hinchcliffe,
5. Will Power,
6. Danica Patrick,
7. Takuma Sato,
8. Ryan Briscoe,
9. Charlie Kimball
10. Vitor Meira.

Congrats to Ryan Hunter-Reay on his victory and a win is a win, but this race will go into the record books as being just another example of poor calls by the IRL IndyCars officials and that’s what it will be remembered by.