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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Indy Carnage

March 30, 2011

Photobucket Dario Franchitti

Photobucket Mike Conway



Indy Carnage

The opening round of the 2011 Indy Car series at St. Petersburg featured all sorts of action, much of it not the sort that many of the drivers and teams were hoping for as the start and the new double-file restarts that are being instituted this year created a plethora of spinning and wrecked cars. It added excitement for the fans, not so much for the mechanics who had to hustle to get the cars pieced back together.

Photobucket Al Unser, Jr., Brian Barnhart, & Kevin Savoree

Photobucket Tampa Bay Cheerleaders

Unlike the monsoon filled race day that we suffered though last year in St. Pete, this year the weather was picture perfect. There was a decent crowd to watch both the Indy Lights race and the headlining Indy Car race. After checking out of my b&b, I walked the short distance down to the track and watched most of the Indy Lights race before meeting up with some members of Indy Car Nation to head over to victory lane. We had scored access to the Indy Lights victory lane celebration as well as the pre-race ceremonies for the Indy Car race.

First Lap Crash

This included getting a front row seat for the driver introductions and all the other pre-race hoopla. It was interesting, especially since they have built and entirely new fancy stage that comes complete with hydraulic lifts, flames that shoot into the air and fireworks. It was quite a show.

Photobucket Oriol Servia

Photobucket Ana Beatriz

Photobucket Helio Castroneves

The Indy Lights drivers were celebrating their race, which was won by Josef Newgarden of Sam Schmidt Motorsports over his teammate Conor Daly (son of former F1 & Indy Car driver Derek Daly) and Peter Dempsey.


Photobucket Conor & Derek Daly


As soon as the intros were completed, I headed the short distance to my Grandstand seat along the front straight as was in place to see the huge first corner pile-up that was triggered by Helio Castroneves being somewhat too anxious to move up and causing a five car crash that involved himself, teammate Ryan Briscoe, Mike Conway, Scott Dixon and Marco Andretti. Andretti ended up flipped over on his head and his day was done 100 yards into the first race.

Photobucket Takuma Sato

Photobucket Ryan Briscoe

Photobucket Alex Tagliani hugs Tampa Bay Lightning player & Grand Marshall Vincent LaCavalier

Multiple mishaps followed as the drivers had trouble keeping themselves in check during the early restarts and chaos seemed to come with each successive attempt to get started. Eventually it calmed down and Dario Franchitti who darted to the front early on in an impressive outside pass, was rarely challenged and led 94 of 100 laps on his way to a dominating victory.

Photobucket Dario Franchitti


Photobucket Danica Patrick

Will Power ended up second, though he was surprisingly uncompetitive (at least with Dario). The real battle was for third where Tony Kanaan in his first race with KV racing, held off a charging Simona De Silvestro, who drove a spectacular race. It was a really enjoyable race, especially watching the dicing between TK & Simona and watching Danica Patrick close in and eventually punt rookie J.R. Hildebrand out of the way in a battle for 11th place. Danica got around , but was penalized back to 12th place for her aggressive driving.

Photobucket Simona De Silvesto

Photobucket Tony Kanaan

It was a good start to the season, a lot of fun to attend and a good way to get me excited for this year’s 100th anniversary Indy 500 which is coming up in May. I can’t wait to see it!

Photobucket Scott Dixon


Race Hi-lights!


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