Roger Penske has taken his first IZOD IndyCar victory at Watkins Glen. Not often you here that phrase, Penske’s first win at a facility. It was on this Independence Day that the legendary car owner saw his drivers Will Power and Ryan Briscoe take a rather convincing 1,2 and reassert their dominance on the series. The three Penske drivers would occupy the first three spots at the start of the race with Will Power never looking back.
The first incident of the day would see Scott Dixon and Helio get together ever so slightly through the fast and sweeping corners at Watkins Glen. Helio would slow up just a bit and that would see Dixon just clip the Brazilian’s left rear tire. That would give Dixon a damaged wing and a left rear puncture to Castroneves. Both would stop for repairs and be set on a different fuel strategy than the race leaders. Due ot the large natural road course, the two drivers would not lose a lap and would still stand a chance at victory.
While the battle would rage between the other Penske cars and the lone Ganassi of Franchitti, racing in the middle of the pack was furious with a number of positions changing hands. One of the mid pack surprises would be the fifth Andretti Autosport car of Adam Carroll. The A1GP champion from Northern Ireland would do battle with some of the series best pilots, even forcing Paul Tracey into a mistake. All in all a great performance from Carroll on his IZOD IndyCar debut.
Raphael Matos would have a strong run as well in New York as he would run as high as third position before being overtaken by Dario later in the race. Franchitti would then launch an assault on the Penske duo during the closing stages. This year’s Indy 500 winner and defending series champion would overtake the #6 of Ryan Briscoe in the last laps but would then lose the position after a mistake and would have to settle for third position.
Other notable incidents on track included Dan Wheldon (Panther) getting turned by Alex Lloyd. Lloyd would retire shortly after the incident, but Wheldon would recover for a strong P6 finish. Simona de Silvestro would trash her HVM machine into the armco barriers bringing about an unpleasant end to her weekend. Other incidents included the moving chicane that was Milka Duno. Amazingly enough she would not be parked and finish as the last running car a mere three laps down. This coming after calls for her to be parked on Twitter by nearly everybody who follows the series. Many drivers had nothing nice to say at all about the Citgo pilot, but in the end the calls fell on deaf ears as she tooled around for yet another Sunday drive. I wonder if she has been banned from the autograph sessions yet? Not out of being rude, but out of her own safety?
In the end it was a great race in my opinion and a very welcome sight to see the cars back on a road course. Will Power will maintain his points lead going into the next race which will be in Toronto. Last year’s race was amazing and I expect the same results this year as the Indy machine powers through the 2010 campaign. Below are the final results for this weekend.
Pos Driver Team Gap
1. Will Power Penske 60 laps
2. Ryan Briscoe Penske + 1.2181s
3. Dario Franchitti Ganassi + 1.4573s
4. Raphael Matos De Ferran Dragon + 5.3454s
5. Mario Moraes KV + 9.3229s
6. Dan Wheldon Panther + 9.7523s
7. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti + 10.5003s
8. Scott Dixon Ganassi + 12.0546s
9. Helio Castroneves Penske + 12.9834s
10. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold + 13.5635s
11. EJ Viso KV + 18.7591s
12. Hideki Mutoh Newman/Haas + 20.2279s
13. Marco Andretti Andretti + 26.6965s
14. Paul Tracy Dreyer & Reinbold + 27.7310s
15. Takuma Sato KV + 28.8774s
16. Adam Caroll AFS/Andretti + 29.3624s
17. Alex Tagliani Fazzt + 35.3753s
18. Bertrand Baguette Conquest + 36.5350s
19. Vitor Meira Foyt + 36.9869s
20. Danica Patrick Andretti + 38.2675s
21. Tony Kanaan Andretti + 38.6700s
22. Mario Romancini Conquest + 1 lap
23. Milka Duno Dale Coyne + 3 laps
Simona de Silvestro HVM 38 laps
Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne 22 laps