There may be a race on the Streets of St Pete in a few days - and one the refugees should look a whole lot better in - but we're all still talking about Tony Kanaan's failure to yield on the final restart in Homestead. Weighing in on the subject now is Brian Barnhart, IRL President of the Gentle Hand of Tolerance, who is now quoted at IndyStar as saying sternly "We were pretty upset with him."
Boy, that'll teach him. "Don't disobey me or I'll...I'll...I'll be upset. No, I'll be pretty upset! Don't make me furrow my brow, Tony. I'm serious."
Check out how Nariz justified his actions.
"I followed my team orders and stayed out to see what would happen," he said. "If the IRL had wanted to pull me in, they had plenty of time to do so (under caution).Are you kidding me? OK Tony, let's play this hypothetical: what if the race restarts and your 650 horse-powered tricycle causes a crash? Isn't that a little more important consideration than a few points towards "the championship"?
"What if the race restarts and somebody crashes (in the back of the pack)? There's a yellow flag and I probably finish (higher). Points toward the championship are really important. I was going to give it a try."
Oh, and speaking of points and the dollars that accompany them:
After sending our note yesterday on Tony Kanaan, we heard from several team owners and a couple team representatives that were irate about that final restart. One was livid because with all the talk of limited parts availability, Kanaan's staying on the track with a damaged car created an incredibly dangerous situation on the restart that put a lot of cars (and drivers) at risk.Come on, Tony. We know you're tweaked because you won more races than anyone last year but you didn't win the championship. And you still haven't won Indy because of crazy weather conditions. And your rival Helio is now ridiculously famous. And despite the fact that you win lots of races and have personality by the boatloads you aren't featured as a marquee driver. We feel your pain, truly.
Watching the start from high above the track, we saw the initial group act tentatively to get around Kanaan, and then cars from farther back were running full bore when they reached Kanaan's disabled car around the start/finish line. Frankly it was a mess, and several people gained/lost spots based on that. Consider Ryan Hunter Reay who went from 5th to 7th, and was highly upset with that loss of positions. Not only are those valuable points gone, but he also lost $10k in bonus money that instead went to 5th place finisher Ed Carpenter.
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But for goodness sakes, don't throw safety and sportsmanship out the proverbial window for the sake of a few extra championship points. That's so not the loveable battling driver who likes to leave donuts on his competitors sidepods that we've all come to appreciate. Just because Paul Tracy is still without a ride doesn't mean you need to wear his black hat.