As you are most likely aware by now, Scott Dixon pulled off the win on Sunday in the threatening Kansas City weather. The truck series race scheduled for Saturday night was rescheduled for Monday due to tornadic activity and the IndyCar feature looked like it might suffer the same fate with thunderstorms predicted for the entire day. On top of the uncertainty with the weather, there were high winds all day long making car setup an exercise in high drag, high downforce wing angles. Unfortunately, this appeared to make passing on the high line very difficult, giving the front end of the field a very processional appearance in the closing stages of the race.
Dixon showed his strength all afternoon as he consistently ran at the very front of the field. Despite green flag pitstops and multiple cautions, his crew was able to keep him at the front in the shuffle.
Helio Catroneves had to start from the rear of the field due to going below the white line in his qualifying run. Despite that, he started moving through the field early but ran into a snag when he rear ended Vitor Miera, punting him out of the race. Helio was able to stay on the lead lap through the resulting caution and get his nose changed. After which, he had to start working through the field again and was able to finish 2nd. Helio also chalked up the pass of the race against Tony Kanaan, who was vigorously defending his 2nd place position on the track, but Helio set him up over several laps and took the spot and the points.
Tony Kanaan rounded out the podium in 3rd. But that is the tip of the iceberg for Andretti Green. All four cars qualified well with Hideki Mutoh picking up the worst spot on the grid at 13th, but the team then capitalized with Kanaan in 3rd, Patrick in 5th, Andretti in 6th and Mutoh in 8th. This on top of their Long Beach performance with three cars in the top 6. It would appear that this team has last years juvenile power struggle sorted. Recall that Tony almost packed his bags for Ganassi.
Ed Carpenter and Dan Wheldon seemed to be equally matched all day. They spent the majority of the afternoon dicing it up amongst themselves running around 5th -10th. At the end of the day, Ed came out on top finishing 9th to Dan’s 10th.
Of concern this weekend was the lack of pace shown by Ryan Hunter-Reay. He qualified way off pace in 20th and finished the race 5 laps down in 15th. The team press release stated that they had difficulty finding a stable setup and had handling issues all weekend. Clearly, this was a disappointing finish though.
Also finishing 5 laps down was Milka Duno in 16th. Granted, this is Milka’s first time in the D&R car since last season and she did keep it in one piece, but her race was a travesty. Milka qualified 12th, but promptly dropped to the rear of the field after the start. Others who were off pace (Barrett & Hunter-Reay stayed off line while being lapped). But Milka hugged the white line, making her a source of contention all day long. She could routinely be spotted on the track by looking for the traffic jam.