Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen

An eventful weekend for many families across the nation and a great weekend for racing in New York as the IZOD IndyCar Series took to the 3.37 mile course of Watkins Glen this past weekend. With the 4th of July weekend race now in the history books, let us go back and take a look at a few of the highlights from the Independence Day event.

The race started off with just a small hiccup as Simona DeSilvestro slightly checked up the back of the field through turn 1 but all drivers managed to keep it green and have a safe start for the begining of the Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen. Penske drivers pushed their way around the track in the top three positions followed closely behind by the Target Ganassi boys Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon. Justin Wilson of Dreyer and Reinbold racing tried to make an attempt to join the pack of 5 in their racing action but was quickly overcome by Dixon. They remained the top 5 until Dixon made a costly mistake in judgment taking both him and Helio Castronevez back to the pits for repairs. Scott needed the front wing replaced on the car while Helio, only needed a fresh set of Firestones. Both Scott and Helio continued out on the track fighting their way back to regain top 10 finish for both teams.

What can I say… Paul “Push ’em to the Limit” Tracy… Paul drove that DR&R, Honda Indy Toronto car to the limit but the DR&R cars didn’t seem quite ready to go racing! Always willing and Able to “Make New Friends” on the track, he pushed every driver that tried to make a pass on him to give it all they had… or go home crying about it. Paul fell to 14th for his finish but team-mate Justin Wilson was able to bring a 10th place finish home for the Z-Line Racing Team.

What about 4th and 5th place finishers Raphael Matos and Mario Moraes? With the luck Moraes and the KV Racing Technologies Team has had this season this was a great run for Mario. Starting in 9th position, Mario maintained his car throughout the race and finishing in 5th. This was a much needed and much appreciated finish for the team, and you can bet they will continue to strive for success as the season continues. All of the K V Racing drivers are showing they can run up front in these races but just need a little luck to start falling their way. Raphael Matos started in the 11th position and fought his way through the field even after telemetry problems struck their de Ferran Dragon, HP sponsored race car. Matos earned himself a well-deserved season best 4th place finish and got my vote for the Firestone Tire-Iffic move of the Race

With 6 consecutive pole position starts for the Penske Racing Team, they had not been able to find the “key ingredient” for sucess when it came to winning on race day at The Glen until now. Will Power came on strong from the time they pulled that car out of the garages and headed out for the track. After taking the Peak Performance Pole Award, Will simply wanted to bring home that first Camping World Grand Prix win at Watkins Glen.

And what about that new addition to the Andretti Autosport team Adam Carroll. Adam took to the track for the first time in the IZOD IndyCar Series and seemed to fall right into place with the rest of the IZOD IndyCar drivers throughout the weekend. Adam, who had not been in the drivers seat of a race car in 14 months, ran with the front runners for most of the weekend and really looked strong in the new Boost Mobile Andretti Autosport machine. Adam kept it together and brought home his first IZOD IndyCar finish with a respectable 16th place finish. I personally look forward to seeing what this new driver can bring to the road course circuits. Carroll has recorded five victories and eight podium finishes overall to lead Ireland to the 2008-09 A1GP title. He’s also won in GP2, British Formula 3, British Formula Ford, and test drove for BAR-Honda for two seasons. As we make our way through this last stretch of road courses, you need to watch out for Adam Carroll as this is the type of racing he is well accustomed to. I don’t see him having any issues in this series as long as he can adapt to “The Left Turn” as the season ends on oval circuits.

Fan favorite and GO Daddy girl, Danica Patrick, isn’t too happy bringing home her 20th position finish but , look where Andretti Autosport driver, Tony Kanaan, finished… right behind her. So heads up Danica fans there is a bright side. So it wasn’t a great, and if it wasn’t for a bad strategy for the Seven-Eleven crew they wouldn’t have been behind her but, racing is racing boys and girls, got to take the good with the bad and press forward. The Andretti Autosport Team manages to bring it all home safe and sound with Ryan Hunter-Reay earning the highest finish of 7th, followed by Marco Andretti…13th position, and Adam as I said in the 16th spot.

I thought the race was really pretty exciting. The action on the track was intense and if you weren’t on your toes then you were gonna miss out on some great passes (or in many cases, the attempts made to get around PT). The IZOD IndyCar Series has four more road races coming up on the schedule before we see another oval and I look forward to seeing some more racing action like we have seen thus far this season on our road course circuits.

Now it is off to Canada for the next two events with the first to take place on the streets of Toronto. Until then take care IZOD IndyCar fans. I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day weekend, and we’ll see you in Toronto!

NR Honda-Indy-Toronto


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