After a great showing in Long Beach, Sebastian Saavedra’s poor Indy luck would continue. He was caught up in the Lap 1 accident, but suffered no damage. However avoiding the wreck cost him valuable time and he would drop from 8th to 12th. A final, unscheduled pit stop would drop him to 17th overall. Still, this is quite an improvement from 2014 where he covered exactly 0% of the race before being rear-ended at the start.
Turn 1 was the hot spot for action. Here, Hinchcliffe tries to out-brake Castroneves for a position pass. Hinch’s lock dropped him back and he would have to try again.
Graham Rahal had a stellar day. The early crash vaulted him far up the field. Using his Honda engine’s superior fuel mileage, he would pick up the lead briefly on Lap 22 when the leading Chevy drivers were forced to pit.
After pitting, Rahal was jammed mid-field and had to fight traffic, in this case Luca Filippi ahead and J.R. Hildebrand behind. This traffic arguably held Rahal back in his final push to catch the leaders.
Pit stops! One of the most exciting parts of an IndyCar race. Here, Charlie Kimball slides into his pit. Even before his car has come to a stop, the jack man is already fitting the air hose for the jacks and the tire changers are moving to loosen the wheel nuts. By the time the jacks have engaged and the car is in the air, the wheel nuts are off and the tire is loose.
Kimball was staying on the alternate Firestone red tire (the softer of the two compounds Firestone offers for road courses). The wall side tire men hand off their old tires to a crew member behind the wall, while the outer changers must fend for themselves (and make sure the tires do not roll away). IndyCar has stricter limits on the number of crew member that can go over the wall than F1 does. Couple that with the refueling, and a normal stop in IndyCar takes around 8 seconds to complete, compared to 3 seconds for F1.