IndyCar Reaction to Twin Races at Texas Motor Speedway
The idea behind bringing back the twin races at Texas Motor Speedway this year was to create some more buzz around the series. Mission accomplished.
As far as the races themselves, everything went very well. There was only one caution throughout the entire night, which came late in the first race. The racing was intense and action packed up front as cars were duelling it out side-by-side at over 210 mph. We saw the typical Ganassi/Penske battles, as well as Marco Andretti riding his famous high line all night. Heck, we even saw all three KV Racing Lotus cars finish in the top 10.
The only hiccup that the series seemed to encounter was the way they went about setting the grid for the second race.
After winning the first race, Dario Franchitti selected his starting spot last, which meant he really had no choice in the matter at all. As it was, he was left with the 28th position, while the man he is fighting for the championship (Will Power) drew the third starting position. Power went on to win the second race, and Dario was never a factor.
While it sounded like sour grapes after the events transpired, Dario did say that the field should have been inverted long before Saturday night. The odds of him actually getting that far behind Power in the starting lineup were slim, but it happened. Once again he voiced his displeasure and frustration about what happened and how it should be changed for the future.
The rules are the rules, but this is something that will have to be changed. It wouldn't matter so much if it were a race that didn't reward any championship points, but this one did. He is now 21 points behind Power after starting in the worst spot of his IndyCar career, a spot he didn't even qualify for.
Scott Dixon passed 16 cars in the second race, while his teammate passed 20. Will Power passed just two, but collected more points as he crossed the finish line in first. Normally I would say it doesn't matter, because you start where you qualify, but they really had no say in where they lined up.
While the night was filled with many things for the fans to see and do, I think there are a lot of people out there that would prefer the standard one-race format that we have had recently at Texas. I'm not really sure what we, or anyone benefited from doing the twin races. The only thing that it could possibly do is give us some controversy if the Target/Chip Ganassi teams lose the championship by a very slim margin.
If they are going to keep doing the twin races at Texas, they will surely have to change the rules and make the second race an inverted field, rather than doing a blind draw. They could also just decide to not reward any points for the second race. Even if they decided to go back to just the one race under the lights, I don't think anyone will be crying about that either.
There were a lot of people talking about this race, both before and after it was run. Hopefully we won't be talking about it towards the end of the season, and how it cost somebody a championship.
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