Two days later, GP of Indy’s Turn 1 mess comes under fire (VIDEO)


Post-race penalties are the norm for 2015 in the Verizon IndyCar Series; penalties have been doled out on the Wednesday after the opening four races of the season in St. Petersburg, New Orleans, Long Beach and Barber.

So it is likely that any penalties handed down in the wake of Saturday’s Turn 1 mess involving several cars to kick off the second Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis will also follow on Wednesday.

The interesting thing is, while Helio Castroneves avoided any penalty for avoidable contact in the immediate aftermath of apparently triggering the first of two Turn 1 accidents, he still managed to finish ahead of all other drivers either in the accident or who avoided it to the outside of Turn 1, with the exception of Charlie Kimball – who took the escape road to avoid, but didn’t gain any Lap 1 positions (started 14th, ended Lap 1 14th, ended fifth overall).

Here are two videos of the accident, from two different angles. The top one is the IndyCar footage posted to its YouTube channel; the second is from a fan seated outside in the corner.

Castroneves and Scott Dixon both explained their sides of the incident, via the official IndyCar release:

“I was just trying to make sure I didn’t hit anyone – and that I didn’t get hit – in that first corner,” Castroneves said. “Just wanted to put the No. 3 Verizon Chevy in a good position there. Unfortunately, I clipped (Scott) Dixon in the right rear when he turned into the corner. Obviously him spinning out put me into the grass and we lost many spots. From there it was a great comeback for the team.”

Dixon countered, “Well, we had a great Target car today and I was looking forward to gaining some ground in the points after starting on the front row. There’s not much you can say about the start. We got turned around from behind and then had damage to both front and rear wings, and had to change both. Tough day for the Target car.”

Here was the starting grid (LEFT), and here’s how the field looked at the end of the first lap (RIGHT), with positions gained/lost from the starting grid:

Pos # Driver Pos # Driver Gained/Lost
1 1 Will Power 1 1 Will Power
2 9 Scott Dixon 2 22 Simon Pagenaud +3
3 3 Helio Castroneves 3 11 Sebastien Bourdais +4
4 2 Juan Pablo Montoya 4 20 Luca Filippi +5
5 22 Simon Pagenaud 5 2 Juan Pablo Montoya -1
6 10 Tony Kanaan 6 15 Graham Rahal +11
7 11 Sebastien Bourdais 7 6 JR Hildebrand +8
8 8 Sebastian Saavedra 8 98 Gabby Chaves +8
9 20 Luca Filippi 9 26 Carlos Munoz +12
10 4 Stefano Coletti 10 4 Stefano Coletti
11 41 Jack Hawksworth 11 25 Justin Wilson +7
12 21 Josef Newgarden 12 8 Sebastian Saavedra -4
13 5 James Hinchcliffe 13 14 Takuma Sato +9
14 83 Charlie Kimball 14 83 Charlie Kimball
15 6 JR Hildebrand 15 10 Tony Kanaan -9
16 98 Gabby Chaves 16 5 James Hinchcliffe -3
17 15 Graham Rahal 17 3 Helio Castroneves -14
18 25 Justin Wilson 18 7 James Jakes +2
19 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 19 27 Marco Andretti +5
20 7 James Jakes 20 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay -1
21 26 Carlos Munoz 21 19 Francesco Dracone +4
22 14 Takuma Sato 22 18 Carlos Huertas +11
23 18 Carlos Huertas 23 9 Scott Dixon -21
24 27 Marco Andretti 24 41 Jack Hawksworth -13
25 19 Francesco Dracone 25 21 Josef Newgarden -13

Rahal even addressed the first corner chaos in the post-race press conference, as to how he cleanly gained so many positions.

“Honestly, it played out perfectly,” Rahal said. “Honest to God, I said to my dad before the race, he said, ‘What are you going to do at the start?’ I said, ‘I’m going to go as far left as I can. When they all crash on the inside, I’ll be on the outside, so I will have a great angle to cut to the apex. Worst comes to worst, I’ll have to do the shortcut. Rather than being inside and getting collected in the whole deal, it’s going to be fine.’

“It literally worked perfectly. I saw smoke everywhere, then next I see him. I got Hildebrand going into four. But it kind of just worked. As Juan said, part of this deal is luck. We had the pace, for sure, but that definitely went our way.”

Kanaan, who like his teammate Dixon was caught out in the first turn mess, argued the lack of a decisive call from race control – which is done by a steward committee rather than placing all decision-making on just the Race Director’s shoulders – proved costly.

“Helio divebombed into me and Montoya and then hit Dixon, how he started it,” Kanaan told Indianapolis ABC reporter Dave Furst (full interview here). “I went around and a lot of guys went off the course and gained positions. That was it.

“Track position was so important here today. Once they didn’t reposition the guys that cut the course to get ahead of us, because cutting the chicane you’re much quicker, it was pretty hard. Not getting the penalty on the 3 car, taking Dixon out, it is unacceptable in my opinion. Race control did an extremely bad job.”

Kanaan broke down in words what the above chart does in terms of who gained and lost positions by way of either going through the grass or going around the outside.

“It was avoidable contact… he took Dixon out … he made a big mess through the field. Second mistake of race control? Not actually repositioning the field. You got guys who started in the top six going to 19th, the guys 19th cut the course and got up to fourth. Bad call, but it is what it is.”

The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin (linked here) and’s Robin Miller, who’s also an NBCSN IndyCar pit reporter (linked here) each argued their points, agreeing with the 2013 Indianapolis 500 champion in wondering why Castroneves wasn’t called in for a drive-through for avoidable contact. As Miller notes in his piece, the contact is of the same degree that Rahal’s contact of Kimball was in St. Petersburg, but Rahal was issued a drive-through during the race.

The one thing IndyCar can’t be perceived to have is inconsistency or indecision in race control; both of which appeared to re-emerge on Saturday.

Still, figure any post-race penalties would be close to coming down the pike on or before Wednesday.

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Seattle


The final results from the Monster Energy Supercross race in Seattle suggests the season is turning into a two-rider battle as Eli Tomac scored his sixth win of the season to tie Cooper Webb for the points’ lead and Chase Sexton crashed in yet another race.

Tomac downplayed the neck strain that caused him to lose the red plate for two weeks, but without that holding him back, it would appear it might have been a bigger problem than he admitted. Despite finishing on the podium in Detroit, Tomac has not shown the late-race strength everyone has come to expect. He was in a slump after scoring a season-worst in Indianapolis and described his sixth win as a “bounce back”.

With this win, Tomac tied James Stewart for second on the all-time list with 50 career Supercross victories. Six rounds remain and there is no sign that Tomac is slowing down. Jeremy McGrath’s 72 wins remains untouchable, for the moment at least.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Overall Results; Click here for 250 Overall Results

Cooper Webb was disappointed with second-place, but he recognized the Supercross results at Seattle could have been much worse. He rode in fifth for the first nine laps of the race, behind Tomac and Sexton. When Sexton crashed from the lead and Tomac took the top spot, Webb knew he could not afford to give up that many points and so he dug deep and found enough points to share the red plate when the series returns in two weeks in Glendale, Arizona for a Triple Crown event.

Justin Barcia scored his third podium of the season, breaking out of a threeway tie of riders who have not been the presumed favorites to win the championship. Barcia scored the podium without drama or controversy. It was his fourth consecutive top-five and his 10th straight finish of eighth or better.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Jason Anderson kept his perfect record of top-10s alive with a fourth-place finish. Tied for fourth in the standings and 49 out of the lead, his season has been like a death of a thousand cuts. He’s ridden exceptionally well, but the Big Three have simply been better.

Sexton rebounded from his fall to finish fifth. He entered the race 17 points out of the lead and lost another five in Seattle. Mistakes have cost Sexton 22 points in the last three races and that is precisely how far he is behind Tomac and Webb. Unless those two riders bobble, this deficit cannot overcome.

The rider who ties Anderson for fourth in the points, Ken Roczen finished just outside the top five in sixth after he battled for a podium position early in the race.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

The 250 West riders got back in action after four rounds of sitting on the sideline and Jett Lawrence picked up where he left of: in Victory Lane. Lawrence now has four wins and a second-place finish in five rounds. One simply doesn’t get close to perfection than that.

Between them, the Lawrence brothers have won all but two races though 11 rounds. Jett failed to win the Anaheim Triple Crown and Hunter Lawrence failed to win the Arlington Triple Crown format in the 250 East division. In two weeks, the series has their final Triple Crown race in Glendale. When he was reminded of this from the top of the Seattle podium, Jett replied, “oof”.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

RJ Hampshire finished second in the race and is second in the points. This is fourth time in five rounds that Hampshire finished second to Lawrence. If not for a crash-induced 11th-place finish in the Arlington Triple Crown, he would be much closer in the points standings. With that poor showing, he is 23 points behind Lawrence.

Cameron McAdoo made a lot of noise in his heat. Riding aggressively beside Larwence, the two crashed in the preliminary. McAdoo could never seem to get away from Hampshire in the Main and as the two battled, the leader got away. It would have been interesting to see how they would have raced head-to-head when points were on the line.

Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 West Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points

The Supercross results in Seattle were kind to a couple of riders on the cusp of the top five. Enzo Lopes scored his second top-five and fourth top-10 of the season after crossing the finish line fourth in Seattle.

Tying his best finish of the season for the third time, Max Vohland kept his perfect record of top-10s alive. Vohland is seventh in the points.

2023 Results

Round 11: Eli Tomac bounces back with sixth win
Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Tomac, H Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, J Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 10: Chase Sexton leads with consistency
Week 8: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Cooper Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s