Event Coverage: Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis


When it all shook out, 7 cars had to pit due to damage sustained in the accident.  Dixon and Jack Hawksworth (left) both spun, but were able to keep their engines running.  Hawksworth eventually stalled trying to turn around, while Dixon was able to get away cleanly.  Newgarden was hit from the rear and also spun, stalling his engine.  The Holmatro Safety Team was able to restart both stopped cars and neither lost a lap.
Newgarden would be forced to pit with a broken rear wing and cut tires.  Dixon would need both his front and rear wings repaired.  A number of other cars including James Hinchcliffe, would need their front wings replaced.  Controversially, Castroneves was not penalized for hitting Dixon.  This could be due to Helio being involved and losing a number of positions, but as has been pointed out, a quick stop for tires was all he required and he restarted 17th, ahead of all of the cars who had to replace bodywork.  This isn't much of a pentalty, especially for the driver who caused the wreck!  The officials also shorted Dixon and Newgarden by going green before the pair could catch back up to the field, despite being complete victims in the accident.  
The Holmatro team cleared up the debris and by Lap 4, the race was green again.  Under a single file start, the field made it through Turn 1 cleanly.  Will Power was able to keep his lead, followed by Pagenaud (who benefitted greatly from the accident), Bourdais, and Montoya.  Graham Rahal benefitted the most from the first lap incident, jumping from 17th position to 6th.
The wide open nature of the Indy road course makes for some good passing opportunities.  Turn 1 is a great passing spot, a hard 90 degree right hand corner off Indy’s famous main straightaway.  Care must be taken as Turn 2 is a 90 degree left, so passes must be completed before Turn 2, otherwise the passer ends up on the outside!  James Jakes learns this the hard way as he tries to pass Carlos Huertas.  Huertas would keep his position, while Castroneves (just barely visible behind Huertas) would sneak past Jakes a few turns later.
The Andretti squad would also be helped by the first turn antics.  None of their cars were involved and all would benefit from the cars that had to pit to repair crash damage (though Justin Wilson would later retire with a mechanical fault on Lap 68).

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