So from a national broadcast on ABC, Sunday afternoon, with a N***** rain-out, to a Monday morning on the Deuce. Randy Bernard is going to have to get a rain totem and soon if the Izod IndyCar Series is actually going to attain a whole number rating before May.

Nice to see Jamie Little back on pit road. Marty is talking about birds and worms. Am I the only one wondering why Marty Reid gets so excited for the tin tops and is so laid back for the Izod IndyCar series (there, I said it...)? Maybe Scott Goodyear (another name anomaly in a Firestone-shod series) should borrow some Venom Black Mamba from Marco and set up an IV drip?

Race control has declared it a "dry race". Barnhart is furiously knocking beer cans out of spectators' hands - oh, not that kind of dry. Apparently, if it's a "dry race" you can start on any kind of tire, but if it was "wet" you have to start on rain tires. Decisions, decisions. Looks wet from here. Crowd is actually looking robust for a Monday morning.

Drivers are strapped in to their cars. Tires they are a changin'. Vitor and AJ are starting on blacks. Overhead shot. Skies look clear, ground is wet, overhead shot of the crowd is not as flattering as the straight-on view.

Engines are fired. All rows are "hot". Yes, even Milka's engine is working.

Turn one ought to be fun. Green, greasy track and some drivers angry at being up so early on a Monday may not bode well. APEX Brazil commercials abound. Skies are blue.

Milka spun on the pace lap. Not even kidding on that one.

Uh oh. Lots of moisture still on tires as they come around but it seems everyone is starting on dry tires. Everyone makes it through turn one, TK drops back. Uh,oh Mike Conway is stalled in T2, and Dario gasses it onto the straight and spins himself. Still pretty moist off the racing line. Both cars refired, Dario flatspotted all four tires as the yellow emerges.

Rafa Matos comes in for gas, Franchitti new tires and Conway also gets gassed. Franchitti took off his reds before two laps, so confusion over the rules.

Marco squeezes past Dixon and into P2 on the restart. He's on it. And looking for more as Power is squeezed off line and it's Marco, Marco, Marco in the lead. TK third, Justin fourth, RHR fifth.

Lap 42 - it's Briscoe as the bright sunshine hits the track, followed by Mutoh and Helio.

Lap six Dixon takes over the lead from Marco as Andretti Autosports flexes the muscles. Marty says "looking very racy" for the first time. Cars are still running weird lines as moiture is still off line. Helio drafts past Marco into T1 for second place. ESPN2 does not have side by side, so bathroom breaks are permitted. Gawd, bad daytime TV commercials for ambulance chasing lawyers.

FINALLY able to log in to timing and scoring feed. Lap 10 run down - Dixon, Helio, Marco, Power, Kanaan, Wilson, RHR. Brief interlude for a Panica as the Superstar drops from 21st to 22nd...already 30 seconds back. Rest of the Top-10 Tags, Sato, and my dark horse pick for the season EJ Viso. A Little sidebar on Simona, who is up to P12. Disco Briscoe in for blacks on lap 13, first green stop for anyone.

Bottom of the board 20- Matos, 21- Dario, 22 - Danica, 23- Briscoe, 24 - Milka...Dario turns fastest race lap flying past Danica. Milka has mechanical issues. Probably something to do with a lift in her right foot. More commercials. Thou shall not be denied commercials on an ESPN broadcast. Ever. Uggh.

Izod commercial - it's RHR in Alcatrazz shorts wakeboarding. Progressive Insurance commercial, maybe they should sponsor a car? Got to admit Flo is kind of hot.

Lap 17 - back in Dixon +3.9 seconds over Helio, Power passes Marco for third as track is drying rapidly. Power pulls out of the draft past Helio into T1...getting offline could still be tough, so drivers are actually yielding positions if someone is on the race line next to them.

Alex Lloyd is out due to suspension problems and smacked the wall. It's Dale Coyne Racing locked up in P23 and P24 as racing continues with a nice dice between TK and Justin Wilson. Wilson past TK into T1...looks like the only good spot for passing in the street parade.

Lap 21 - Rahal and Tags with green flag stops. Dixon is driving away +6.6 seconds over Power. I'd imagine more stops are pending. We shall see how Briscoe's early stop pays off. Back from commercials brief Lights interlude, props to JK Vernay.

Surprise, Sato is into the tires in T4, as Vitor was pressuring him and pushed him out in a battle for ninth. Yellows all around. JLittle said Sato's left front tire had been done for several laps. The series really should figure out a way to get cars off track faster, the yellows on street courses are ponderous.

Lap 26 - Dixon, Power, Helio, Marco ...everybody is coming in for pit stops who hasn't already. RHR +3 spots into fourth out of the pits. The track sweeper wakes up pretty much everybody coming off the line. Vitor stays out and takes the lead.

Okay Vitor is the race leader but without pitting, followed by Matos and Dario. I'm sure Vitor is happy to see Matos next to him as we head towards a restart. Or not. Vitor is waved around the pace car but for some reason the rest of the field is behind it, so we have a bit of a salad in the order. Brief editorial comment - it should not take 5 laps to pull the nose of Sato's car out of a tire barrier. Get rid of these lazy yellows, Mr. Barnhart. Yank the car off the track and go green.

Some fun in the field as Mutoh jets past Tags for fifth. Helio and Power squeeze Rahal and move past the Dollar General car. Mario Moraes chops off Dixon's front wing, Moraes gets a flat for his troubles and Dixon's wing is weirdly folded up and blocking his vision. I'd file that under racing incident as the replay shows both guys with some blame. Dixon, TK, Moraes and Marco all pit. Vitor in for blacks and gas on lap freakin' 34. Tires? We do not need new stinkin' tires.

Matos and Franchitti are the leaders, but neither has pitted since lap two so I'd guess they will be coming in soon. Vitor rejoins in P17 in front of Dixon, TK, Marco and Moraes to catch up on that group. Matos coming in for gas as the rest of the field bunches up like Iannucci in Phoenix traffic.

Okay, now there are several different pit sequences going out there, with Dario due in very soon while running P1, followed by Briscoe, Mutoh (!!!), Helio, Tags, Power, Wilson, RHR, Graham and Viso. There is a big congo line going as Mario Moraes is holding up everyone from Tags back while Conway attacks Graham at the rear.

Dario green flag stop on lap's Briscoe and Hideki Mutoh in second. That's right - Mutoh running VERY strong and you know that NHL can track every drop of fuel at the street festivals of speed. Mutoh is actually haulin' oats and actually pulling away from Helio. Moraes is STILL holding up a train of about 15 cars.

Man, ESPN2 needs to chill on the commercials. There was just approximately 1.5 minutes of racing between four of commercials here as we soldier on to the halfway point. Seven different leaders in the first 44 laps, and Hideki next in line as Briscoe nears his window.

Oh, no. Back from commercial to see Moraes and Wheldon being pulled from the car in turn one. Carbon fiber everywhere as it looks like Wheldon broke something and spun as he hit the brakes. There are parts everywhere as Wheldon's mirror sits under a Firestone banner. If it took six laps for Sato cleanup, get ready for 12 here. A big break for Briscoe to pit under the yellow though, as he was due in for juice any freakin' time now. Just wondering if Johnny Rutherford has push-to-pass in the pace car?

Power, Wilson and Viso stay out and take the Top 3. Okay replay confirms Dan's left rear suspension broke at the braking zone of the front straight, and sent him on a ride. Could've been much worse, but it was unfortunate for Moraes being in the wrong place as Dapper Dan spun on by. Another bad break cuts off Marty in mid-sentence with dumb ESPN commercials.

Lap 51 - Top-3 remains the same, followed, by Simona, Danica and Dario. Wheldon apologizes to Mario and KV for taking them out. Nicely done by Dapper Dan, who also gave props to Panther for giving him a good car. Jeez. We are now in yet another break. The continuity of these broadcasts is terrible.

Lap 53, back to green as Dixon outbrakes Vitor into turn one, with obligatory Danica props for running in fifth. Dixon last pitted on Lap 40, so he's in shape for a good while despite the front wing disaster. Franchitti flat left rear so he comes in for rubber and gas. It's impossible to track the sequences. Simona doing a nice job holding off Dixon for now. Spoke too soon, Dixon past Simona, who now has Danica and her ESPN entourage in the mirror.

Lap 58, it's Will "Don't Call Me Billy" Power +2.5 seconds over Justin Wilson, with Viso holding down third despite a white wall, as Dixon attacks from fourth. Then it's Simona, Danica then another .6 seconds to the rest of the field spearheaded by Matos. Wilson staying in touch with Power, but not pushing too hard. Can anyone imagine the pandemonium of a D&R win?

TK, Helio and Briscoe all up in the gearbox of Matos. Viso in to the pits lap 64. He might be close to the rest of the race if we get another yellow. WOW, Viso catches a HUGE break as Conway gets punted into the wall by Matos. Full course yellow.

Fuel strategies out the window as engineers furiously recalculate. If they come in 66, most should be able to make it to the end. Viso...looking amazing if the yellow lasts for a while from P14. Danica comes out of the pits on reds. We shall see what happens there since they only have been lasting 10-12 laps. Power's crew nails the stop. Vitor stays out and assumes the race lead and we all know what happens when one assumes...

And my network crashes. Viso's gearbox says goodbye moments after inheriting the lead. Oh, Simona "obviously" gets divebombed by Graham, and while she sat in the middle of the track a few turns back, Dixon clips the inside wall of Turn 9 and stuffs it on the exit, bringing out yet another caution.

Push to passes galore as the counter hits Lap 80; it's Power back in the lead, followed by Wilson, Helio, Briscoe, Tags (!!!), Danica, Matos, Graham, TK and Dario (!!!) We have had 10 lead changes...and a big train of angry cars. Tags took on fuel only, and is being told to baby the tires. Lap 82 Wilson has begun to push Power and is pulling up on the leader's gearbox. Push to pass speculation abounds.

Riding on board with RHR - there are some fast times being posted with 15 laps to go. Power, Wilson and Helio all posting sub 1:04 lap times, putting some ground on the rest of the field. Sidebar piece on Power's engineer David Faustino. Who'd have thought Bud Bundy would be engineering the series points leader? Oh, it's a different guy. Or is it? The evil empire of Penske Racing can be a font of subterfuge and disinformation.

Lap 90 - Dario outbrakes TK into T1; it's game on for everyone. Power, Wilson, Briscoe, Helio, Tags...then Danica, Matos, Graham, Dario and TK. That 7-10 group is really dicing. Could be some antics there before the end of the race. Sidebar speech on how 'Stash isn't helping Graham with his sponsor finding. Big surprise there. Dario past Graham with Dario charging and Danica on her disintegrating reds holding up the line. Dario outbreaks Matos and is on Danica like, well, a Go Daddy commercial.

Lap 95 - Wilson has been stockpiling P-2-P pushes...and has +5 to Power. Dario past Danica and sets off after Tags, who is +2.5 seconds. Replay shows Will Power with a very very close miss in T10. Feeling the pressure as Wilson charges.

Three laps to go. Power and Wilson both furiously pushing to pass, while Dario runs down Tags! From P11 to P5 in 12 laps. Briscoe and Helio are also dancin' with two laps to go.

White flag is out. Power, Wilson, Briscoe, Helio and Dario, who is probably going to have to be content with fifth, while Tags' tires hold up a line. Danica uses her last P2P.

At the line, it's Power a few car lengths over Wilson, followed by Briscoe and Helio. Dario fifth. Tags holds on to sixth, with Danica, Matos, Graham and TK.

Little parting fact from Marty, Will Power is only the second driver in series history to open the season with two wins, the gone but not forgotten Sam Hornish Jr. being the other.

"Perfect weekend, perfect race," Power said. He's memorized the Penske Book of Rhetoric. Wilson did not use all of his Pushes according to Jamie Little. A second for D&R is a nice start. Briscoe charged from his bad starting spot, Helio not even sweating somehow after the race. Either a quick blow dry or a lap with the helmet off?

Thanks to St. Pete for letting everyone out of work today, and thanks to Iannucci for the spot in the lineup. It's time for me to head to work, as well.


  1. Leigh O'Gorman // March 29, 2010 9:36 AM  

    Excellent race - great drive by Wilson too

  2. Unknown // March 31, 2010 4:14 PM  

    Dale: I just comprehended that you said "Progressive Flo" is HOT??????????

    I just threw up in my mouth a bit! UGH!! Do you surf the bars @ 1:45AM too??? Not only is she beyond FUGLY... her voice is like fingernails on a blackboard.

    To keep this in a TV advert vein... last year IZOD gave us just ONE (some would say irritating)commercial. So this year they tease us with a series that will offer an "interactive" experience (pick a series of drivers). So far they have played Tony Kanaan 99% of the time. I saw Hunter-Reay's version just ONCE.

    Is it too hard to ask that IZOD have ALL FOUR played during a race??? Seeing TK ride his jet ski 11 times during a race is getting as bad as hearing "... ITS GONNA BE ALL RIGHT!" 11 times.