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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!

Monday, May 04, 2015

Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana

April 14, 2015


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 photo 312_zpszrn5eltg.jpg Hinch

 photo 250_zps8yrwmw9p.jpg Helio


Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana 

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For most of the morning of the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of New Orleans it seemed as if there was no way there was going to be a race because of the torrential rainstorms that moved through the New Orleans area. It was crazy wet and as we drove out to the track, I really thought that there was no way they were going to get any running in at all. It wasn’t just rain, it was a continuous downpour, but somehow the skies sort of cleared the rain stopped and the track maintenance crew got busy trying to dry the track.

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 photo 006_zpsijnhha1l.jpg Kathy

 photo 002_zpshekybfxf.jpg Conor Daly

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Thankfully with the rain tires, the track did not need to be completely dry like it would on an oval and once the track was deemed drivable- even though there were a couple of rivers of water flowing across the track. The race got underway, slowly as Juan Montoya jumped out to the lead and the roostertails made visibility almost impossible for the drivers behind. 

 photo 016_zpsxfpd7z51.jpg Michael & Fuzzy Zoeller 

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 photo 246_zpsk60acbga.jpg James Jakes

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It was sort of ironic that while the track was the wettest, the drivers seemed to keep things under control but once a dry line appeared and drivers started switching to the slick tires that all went away pretty quick and the cars were suddenly sliding all over the place, While veterans like Tony Kanaan even had trouble, young drivers seemed to spin out just about every other lap, leading to extended caution periods and it became clear that rather than the scheduled 75 laps, the race would run to the two hour time limit.

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 photo 289_zpsehvtkj3p.jpg Kirsten

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This played right in to the hands of James Hinchcliffe, who pitted on lap 13 and then skipped pitting on lap 33 when the majority of the field came in handing the track position and lead to Hinchcliffe. It most circumstances there was no way that he would be able to hold the lead without running out of fuel. But this was not a normal experience at all and thanks to a plethora of cautions, Hinch was able to hold on for the victory.

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 photo 035_zpsupgikwdx.jpg Roger Penske

 photo 030_zpsxmbvfy6u.jpg Helio Castroneves

The race concluded after only 47 laps, 25 of which were run under caution, concluding with a race-ending spectacular three car crash involving Simon Pagenaud, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastian Bourdais. Thankfully nobody was injured, but the wreck had the race finishing fittingly under yellow. Hinch beat Helio Castroneves and James Jakes for his first win of the year. 

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Kathy and I joined in the celebration in Victory Lane as Hinch , his crew from Sam Schmidt motorsports, his friends, family and girlfriend Kirsten all gathered to take part in the exciting victory. Hinch’s victory speech was like something from a comedy show as the good-natured Canadian realized the good fortune he got, but sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. 

 photo 322_zpsddifiljz.jpg Hinch & Kirsten 

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I hope that Indy Car will return to New Orleans, the race has tremendous potential and it is an awesome city to host the event. If it had not rained so much it would have been a much better show and perhaps a spectacular race. Even so Kathy and I had a great time and it was great to see Hinch get the victory.

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