Texas Firestone 550K Thoughts

There is something about Indycar at Texas Motor Speedway that just spells out excitement. Between the promotional skills of Eddie Gossage, the skill of the Izod Indycar Drivers, racing under the lights, and the wheel to wheel action, Texas is a must see each year, and very rarely does it dissapoint (2009 is the exception).

The race Saturday night saw 11 lead changes, multiple challenges for the lead, and slicin' and dicin' from 6th through 20th for most of the race. Anyone who complained about Texas last year (everyone) and Kansas this year (me) could not complain about the 550K this year. This race had drama, suspense, danger, and excitement all bundled up into one.

But can someone explain why Ryan Briscoe decided to ruin the Izod Indycars potential big night? Texas is one of the highest rated races asides from Indy the entire year, and is about as red, white, and blue as you can get in the USA. What a night for an American (specifically named Ryan, Marco, or Danica) to pull out a big "W" in Texas. With Danica and Marco in the running, as much as it pains me to say this, having a Danica/Marco 1-2 finish would had been a huge night for the series and Versus.

On a side note, did anyone else notice the roar from the crowd when Danica flew past Briscoe on his out lap? I guess they still like her in Texas.

However, it was good to see Briscoe bounce back from his Indy mistake and show the Captain he should no be replaced by a certain Graham Rahal. Briscoe was in contention all night and pulled away at the end, proving the Penske clan (along with Target Chip Ganassi) still has the best equipment, no matter how close Andretti Autosport gets.

I don't really want to get into the safety team screw up as it has been covered everywhere else already, instead, I'll simply link you to 16th and Georgetown's article on the matter. He did a great job explaining the situation, much better than I can do.

Back to racing matters, how about Alex Lloyd?! 3rd or 4th at Indy (depending on who you ask) and now an 8th place finish at TMS! Can I just remind everyone that Alex is no longer running for Chip Ganassi, but is instead running for Dale Coyne Racing. No offense to Dale, but his chances of putting in good performances occur on the twisty road courses where driver skills take precedence over aero. For Alex and Dale to be running in the top ten on ovals is a big step up for them, and I'm very happy to see it happen. Now, imagine if they were running a competent driver in the second car?

Next up on the radar for the Izod Indycar Series is the Iowa Corn Indy 250. That track has taken some time to get racey since they started going there, but it is by no means a boring race track. The 7/8 mile super-speedway as some drivers call it makes for a different view on short track racing, and usually provides tight finishes, and Hideki Mutoh sightings near the front.

As for the Texas Firestone 550K, I will give it 8.5 Robbie Knievel jumps out of 10.


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