INSIDE THE TITLE SHOWDOWN
“It’s just not good,” Rahal says on
lap 34. “It’s a real shame.”
“It is what it is,” the team counters.
“We just have to make the best of it.”
The field was under caution at that point
after Luca Filippi stopped with a throttle
sensor problem. The pits open a lap later,
and all of the championship contenders
take advantage of the opportunity to stop
under yellows. With new boots fitted, Rahal
resumes the chat about tire wear.
“I know they’re engineered this way,” he
says. “I know they’re supposed to do this.
But they’re doing a burnout over the hill at
Turn 9. I didn’t even know that’s possible.”
Prior to the restart, Will Power’s
channel also sparks into life as Tim
Cindric updates his charge about the cars
that have gone off-strategy.
“The guys in front have done 14 laps,
so their tires are crap. Just so you know.”
“Did anyone catch the yellows
perfectly?” Power asks.
Cindric: “None of the championship
guys caught it right.”
Moments after the restart, that
channel gets a lot busier.
“What happened?” asks a bewildered
Power as he rejoins after clashing with
Montoya and spinning through the dust.
“Looks like you came down on Juan,”
Cindric responds. “You and Juan came
together. I don’t know why.”
Montoya is also leaning hard on the
radio button, although bursts of static
make the indignation from the No. 2
Penske more difficult to discern. “We’re
going to lose about eight places, aren’t
“[The tires] are
doing a burnout
over the hill at
Turn 9. I didn’t
even know that
ON THE AIR:
[Clockwise from ABOVE] Juan Pablo Montoya was the
pre-race favorite; Ganassi’s hopes rested on a Scott Dixon
win that seemed unlikely when he qualified ninth; Graham
Rahal fought a losing war against rear grip; Montoya had
some steam to let off after fallling one position short of the
championship; Rahal was the king of title contender radio
chatter; Dixon turned an outside shot into a fourth IndyCar
title. (BELOW) Montoya runs fourth, Dixon fifth in the early
going. It’s still very much advantage JPM at this point...