2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

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2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by SpeedDemon37 on Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:34 am

The fourth race of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season takes place in Birmingham, Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park, a deceivingly tricky road course with lots of quick corners and elevation changes, a high-grip racing surface, and pretty trackside scenery.

In the first six years of IndyCar racing at Barber, four drivers have visited victory lane, all of whom will be racing here again this weekend. These drivers include Hélio Castroneves, Will Power (two wins), Ryan Hunter-Reay (two wins), and Josef Newgarden, who scored his first career victory in what turned out to be a very exciting race last year.

Other drivers who are hoping to become the fifth winner at Barber include Simon Pagenaud (who is coming off of his fifth career win and first for Team Penske), Scott Dixon (who has finished on the podium in every IndyCar race at this track with the exception of a 4th-place result last year), and Takuma Sato (who, after finishing in the top 5 last week, is currently the highest-ranked Honda driver in the championship), among many others who have a legitimate chance at scoring the victory.

Following the controversial decision last week at Long Beach not to penalize eventual race winner Simon Pagenaud for rejoining the racing surface too early while exiting the pits, IndyCar has created a pit exit commitment line at the end of the pit exit lane, embedding an electronic reader underneath said line that reads the transponder of each car that passes over it. The series will be adding a commitment line with an electronic reader to all other racetracks this season where it is necessary (which are presumably all of the road courses and street circuits).
http://motorsports.nbcsports.com/2016/04/21/indycar-adds-electronic-pit-exit-commit-line-tweaks-qualifying-rules/

The green flag waves on Sunday at 3:00 P.M. EST.
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by Cynon on Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:02 am

Taku has been brilliant on the temporary circuits, not so much on the permanent ones. Hopefully I'm proven wrong and Taku and Jack Hawksworth have a strong weekend. It'd be good for the series if Foyt was a strong team week in and week out.  I think Penske will be very tough to beat, but if anyone will, look no further than Scott Dixon.

I wouldn't count out Josef Newgarden either, and as much as I can't stand Ed Carpenter I'd be happy if Newgarden won again.

Also, Rahal might not be a threat for the win, but if car 15 winds up on the podium I wouldn't be surprised.

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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by JMac525 on Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:04 pm

I'm real excited for this one. I personally think the races at Barber have progressively gotten better every year that Indycars have gone there. Hopefully Taku can keep up the good work. I'm pulling for him, Rahal, and Josef, particularly Josef to repeat, this weekend to gain some momentum for Indianapolis. Not looking great for Honda at the moment, but I hope they can find a win from any of their teams soon.
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by AntmanB on Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:31 pm

Pagenaud on Pole.
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by PackerMan71 on Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:05 pm

AntmanB wrote:Pagenaud on Pole.
He's been on a roll so far this season. I'm smelling a championship run out of him.
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by Memoriesallbutdone on Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:21 pm

PackerMan71 wrote:
AntmanB wrote:Pagenaud on Pole.
He's been on a roll so far this season. I'm smelling a championship run out of him.

Nope, pretty sure that's just his B.O. Razz
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by JMac525 on Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:50 pm

Munoz. >_>
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by BooyakaDragon on Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:37 pm

Two butt clenching finishes within 1 hour between 2 series, what an ending.
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by East Londoner on Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:40 pm

Last 10 laps were great, but by IndyCar standards, the race was pretty meh. I think they've got to look again at the aero, they've got too much of the stuff on the cars this season. They had the balance pretty much right last season.

Also, Pagenaud becomes the first repeat winner since Power won the last race of 2013 and followed it up by winning the first race of 2014. Repeat winners, what is this sorcery? Razz
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by The_Wall_91 on Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:49 pm

Round of applause to Graham Rahal for throwing the win away

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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by SpeedDemon37 on Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:52 pm

Rahal came so close.

Agonizingly close.

As soon as I noticed him closing in on Pagenaud when they were approaching turn 6, I could tell that he was going to make the move, and I repeatedly said to my TV that it wasn't going to work. Considering his newer tires and his Push-to-Passes, I think that Rahal could have waited for a safer opportunity to make the pass. Pagenaud was well ahead of him on corner entry and had little choice but to try to cut back to the inside; there's no way that he would have been able to make the turn otherwise.

The contact with Hawksworth that broke the front wing of the #15 car and essentially ended Rahal's chances of winning was just plain unfortunate. Hawksworth was in a very bad position, and he was trying to be courteous by moving out of the way. I feel that Rahal could have held off Pagenaud, used his Push-to-Passes, and gone on to win had that contact not occurred. At least he still was able to finish in 2nd-place.

Disregarding the finish, that was another very good race! It was great to see Hinchcliffe run as well as he did, and it was pleasantly surprising to see Montoya work all the way up to 5th-place from last (this is probably the only track where a top 5 finish from Montoya is a surprise). It's always nice to see clean (aside from the start), competitive races, and there was a fair amount of close racing all throughout the field.
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by Alta on Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:05 pm

Race was ok, i feel like the downforce is an issue Indycar needs to look at.

Hell of a finish though with Pagenaud and Rahal going hard, Pagenaud is having the best run of his career right now.
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by SpeedDemon37 on Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:07 pm

The_Wall_91 wrote:Round of applause to Graham Rahal for throwing the win away
How exactly did he throw the win away? The contact with Pagenaud was a very silly mistake on his part, but that didn't cost him the win. The only reason that the #22 was able to try to take the lead back was because of the same reason that helped Rahal to catch up to him; lapped traffic.

The contact with Hawksworth is what ended Rahal's chances of winning, and that was a result of Hawksworth letting off of the throttle when the #15 was too close behind him. Not that I'm blaming Hawksworth for doing that; he just made a misjudgment while he was running in a very precarious position and trying not to interfere with the race for the win.

Alta wrote:Race was ok, i feel like the downforce is an issue Indycar needs to look at.
I would have to concur with this. I think that the racing is pretty good as it is, but I feel that reducing aerodependency could make it even better!
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by Alta on Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:22 pm

[quote="SpeedDemon37"]
The_Wall_91 wrote:
Alta wrote:Race was ok, i feel like the downforce is an issue Indycar needs to look at.
I would have to concur with this. I think that the racing is pretty good as it is, but I feel that reducing aerodependency could make it even better!
Yeah maybe it's just the aero stuff that's worrying me, then again i think i focused a lot more on the lead this race.
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by The_Wall_91 on Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:16 pm

SpeedDemon37 wrote:
The_Wall_91 wrote:Round of applause to Graham Rahal for throwing the win away
How exactly did he throw the win away? The contact with Pagenaud was a very silly mistake on his part, but that didn't cost him the win. The only reason that the #22 was able to try to take the lead back was because of the same reason that helped Rahal to catch up to him; lapped traffic.

The contact with Hawksworth is what ended Rahal's chances of winning, and that was a result of Hawksworth letting off of the throttle when the #15 was too close behind him. Not that I'm blaming Hawksworth for doing that; he just made a misjudgment while he was running in a very precarious position and trying not to interfere with the race for the win.

He had plenty of time to make the pass for the win. He made the move with 9 laps to go with 8 push to passes. If he waited until a later part of the race, he might not have had the situation with Hawksworth.

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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by SpeedDemon37 on Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:13 am

The_Wall_91 wrote:
SpeedDemon37 wrote:
The_Wall_91 wrote:Round of applause to Graham Rahal for throwing the win away
How exactly did he throw the win away? The contact with Pagenaud was a very silly mistake on his part, but that didn't cost him the win. The only reason that the #22 was able to try to take the lead back was because of the same reason that helped Rahal to catch up to him; lapped traffic.

The contact with Hawksworth is what ended Rahal's chances of winning, and that was a result of Hawksworth letting off of the throttle when the #15 was too close behind him. Not that I'm blaming Hawksworth for doing that; he just made a misjudgment while he was running in a very precarious position and trying not to interfere with the race for the win.

He had plenty of time to make the pass for the win. He made the move with 9 laps to go with 8 push to passes. If he waited until a later part of the race, he might not have had the situation with Hawksworth.
I would think that the incidents of contact with Pagenaud and Hawksworth were too unrelated to blame Rahal for the second one (if the first one didn't happen then the other likely wouldn't have either, but the second one was too unforseeable to determine). I just misinterpreted your comment as meaning that the contact with Hawksworth was Rahal's fault.

I do agree, though, that the lap 9 move for the lead was reckless and unnecessary. He was lucky not to have directly thrown away the win with that attempt to pass.
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by RetrogradeRenegade on Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:56 am

I feel like the contact between Rahal and Pagenaud was more Pagenaud's fault - regardless of whether or not it was a risky attempt, Pagenaud should've closed off the inside better to prevent Rahal ever getting alongside him, as it's not like you can pass around the outside in the following chicane.
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by f1fan12 on Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:06 am

The first contact was a racing deal. The 2nd was caused by Pagenaud using Hawksworth as a pick to get by Rahal. Rahal got impatient and tried a crazy move to take it 3 wide. At the same time, Hawksworth backed off to let him by at Rahal misjudged it. If you write it out, it sounds like Hawksworth's fault, but one can't put any blame on him for that. Pagenaud pulled a brilliant tactic and put Rahal and Hawksworth in a bad spot.

Reject of the race goes to Andretti Autosport. They spend all week whining about how crappy the Honda is yet they get murdered by 2 single car Honda teams and is on pace with the Coyne cars.
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by f1fan12 on Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:06 am

The first contact was a racing deal. The 2nd was caused by Pagenaud using Hawksworth as a pick to get by Rahal. Rahal got impatient and tried a crazy move to take it 3 wide. At the same time, Hawksworth backed off to let him by at Rahal misjudged it. If you write it out, it sounds like Hawksworth's fault, but one can't put any blame on him for that. Pagenaud pulled a brilliant tactic and put Rahal and Hawksworth in a bad spot.

Reject of the race goes to Andretti Autosport. They spend all week whining about how crappy the Honda is yet they get murdered by 2 single car Honda teams and is on pace with the Coyne cars.
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by zfitzwater599 on Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:50 pm

Penske has been on Fire since Pagenaud's Win from Long Beach and Winning Barber heading into Indy 500 Weekend in May there the Team to beat
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by RetrogradeRenegade on Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:58 am

Penske's been the best team in IndyCar since the start of 2014. It's just taken until now for one of their drivers to start driving like it. Sure, JPM was great last year but even then I think only one podium after the Indy 500 was a little underwhelming.
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Re: 2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Post by PackerMan71 on Sun May 01, 2016 6:39 pm

I know this is a week late, but I finally found time to watch the race today.

2016 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Review

After a wild beginning, the middle portion of the race was kind of boring, but things began to heat up near the midway point when Pagenaud was getting held up by lapped traffic, allowing Will Power to close in, as well as allowing Graham Rahal to close down a 6 second gap to make it a three way race for the lead.

The pass by Rahal, IMO, was a racing incident. Rahal had the line, and Pagenaud had to make the turn, and I'm glad the officials let it go.

Hawksworth could've done a better job of moving out of the way for the leaders, but at least he tried. It was a helluva battle between Pagenaud and Rahal, though. Tough break for Rahal, but at least he got a podium out of it.

Star of the Race: Juan Pablo Montoya. Started last and drove up into a top 5 finish. Proof positive that JPM is on top of his game right now.

Reject of the Race: Carlos Munoz. He gets his second nomination of the year for being a wrecking ball on the start.

FINAL RATING: Solid race, with a pretty wild finish. IMO, best race of the year thus far, so I'll give it a 6.5/10.

Next up, it's Indianapolis month, boys and girls, starting with the GP of Indianapolis on the road circuit.
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