Some controversy emerges over red flag timing during IndyCar qualifying

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Qualifying for an IndyCar road or street course race will always leave some drivers unhappy and feeling as though they “got screwed.” Friday’s mixed wet-dry qualifying for the first race in the Chevrolet Indy Dual at Detroit was no different.

At the end of the wet Q1, Charlie Kimball crashed on the exit of Turn 2, and slid down to Turn 3. He pulled off course, and the session remained green for full course but with a local yellow in Turn 3.

All drivers bar Sebastien Bourdais (pictured) – who’s making his 100th open-wheel start this weekend – didn’t slow down, and the Dragon Racing driver felt slighted as he tumbled down the timesheets to eighth in his group.

“I’m pretty unhappy,” Bourdais fumed to IndyCar Radio. “There was the local yellow, and everyone bettered their lap. It’s total BS; it’s not right. No one is doing anything about it. I let off and I got screwed.”

The drama continued into Q2, when Helio Castroneves spun at the exit of Turn 3 and could not restart. The Team Penske driver couldn’t find the reverse gear, then got out of his car. Several drivers made it through under a local yellow, before IndyCar Race Control threw a red flag moments afterwards.

“We expected a fair shot,” A.J. Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato told IndyCar Radio. “It was a local yellow. Then they kept going with no condition change, then went red for no reason. Then they stopped. It wasn’t fair and was an interesting qualifying, and we’re not happy.”

The usually unflappable Simon Pagenaud of HP Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports was nearly apoplectic about the change.

“There was danger on the race track,” Pagenaud admitted to IndyCar Radio. “But you don’t do yellow then red; then everyone gets hosed. We respected the rules. We’re starting ninth and had the chance to move higher. It’s not a fair way of refereeing. It’s very rare I raise my voice.”

As for Castroneves, he was more frustrated with himself than anything else.

“What I did in the car, I didn’t turn it back,” he told IndyCar Radio. “I locked the rear and spun. My frustration wasn’t with the spin, I just couldn’t find reverse. I did whatever they were telling me and the car never had the opportunity to get there. You get forward, backwards, and then stall it. The fricking reverse didn’t work!”

Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series triples to 34 races in 2023

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023
Xtreme Outlaw Series
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After hosting 10 rounds in 2022, the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series 2023 schedule will more than triple to 34 races. The 2022 season featured seven different winners in the first seven races, a female racer in Jade Avedisian as the only repeat winner and Zach Daum as the champion.

“Dirt Midget racing is a growing entity in American motorsports, and the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota is proud to drive further into the growth of the division with both a diverse and lucrative schedule for 2023,” newly appointed Series Director Tyler Bachman said in a press release. “From the kickoff at our first indoor event, to each of the new tracks we’re set to visit next year, it’s a lineup we know both our teams and fans will enjoy.”

The championship purse fund has also more than double with an increase of $42,000 to $80,000 in 2023. The champion will win $25,000. Last year, Daum pocketed $10,000.

In addition, the series will offer tow money to the top 12 in points. Six drivers attempted to qualify for all 10 races in 2022 with 89 drivers attending.

The series will begin on March 10 at Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, Ill. and end the same place it did in 2022 at I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City on October 15.

During the season, they will visit 21 tracks in 10 states.

Some highlights of the season include the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series pairing up with the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars in 2023 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo. in April for the Outlaw Showdown and again in August for the Ironman 55 weekend, as well as the creation of a five-day Midget Speedweek.

The Midget Speedweek will immediately follow the Ironman 55 with a swing through Pennsylvania and New York.

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023 Schedule

Friday, March 10 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Saturday, March 11 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Friday, March 31 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.

Saturday, April 1 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.
Friday, April 14 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Saturday, April 15 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.

Friday, May 5 | Humboldt Speedway | Humboldt, Kan.
Saturday, May 6 | 81 Speedway | Park City, Kan.
Tuesday, May 23 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.
Wednesday, May 24 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.

Thursday, June 1 | Tri-City Speedway | Pontoon Beach, Ill.
Friday, June 2 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.
Saturday, June 3 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.

Friday, July 21 | TBA
Saturday, July 22 | Southern Illinois Raceway | Marion, Ill.
Friday, July 28 | TBA
Saturday, July 29 | Atomic Speedway | Chillicothe, Ohio
Sunday, July 30 | Brushcreek Motorsports Complex | Peebles, Ohio

Friday, August 4 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Sat, August 5 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Tuesday, August 8 | Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway | Newmanstown, Pa.
Wednesday, August 9 | Action Track USA | Kutztown, Pa.
Thursday, August 10 | Linda’s Speedway | Jonestown, Pa.
Friday, August 11 | TBA
Saturday, August 12 | Bridgeport Motorsports Park | Swedesboro, N.J.
Friday, August 25 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa
Saturday, August 26 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa

Friday, September 1 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Saturday, September 2 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Friday, September 15 | Jacksonville Speedway | Jacksonville, Ill.
Saturday, September 16 | Red Hill Raceway | Sumner, Ill.

Friday, October 13 | Port City Raceway | Tulsa, Okla.
Saturday, October 14 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.
Sunday, October 15 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.

* Co-sanctioned with POWRi