S2E4 - Races are Won and Lost
- Races are won and lost in the pits ... (25:02)
- Woman of the Week - Monisha Kaltenborn (46:12)
- Shit We Didn't Make Up - Mario Andretti's Injunction (49:50)
It’s not paranoia if it isn’t true, and it seems every time we bitch about something not happening – it happens after we record our episode (like the calendar for 2018) and so last episode we bitched about not knowing the television rights for 2019 and it was released about an hour after we finished it would be NBC. It’s a three-year deal, 8 races (including the 500) will be carried on NBC proper with the rest on NBC Sports. You can purchase NBC Gold Package and be able to stream all races, practices, qualifying sessions, support races, Carb Day events, and the post-season championship celebration. NBC called it’s shot basically saying they’ll make sure the Indy 500 is sold out so those of us in Indianapolis can watch it live (well we go to the race in person, but people like Molly’s parents don’t).
Speaking of the 500 – Jay Howard finally announced his partnership with SPM and OneCure and he’ll be driving in the Indianapolis 500. He is the thirty-third OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED CAR. We know there’s still the second DRR car out there, but they’ve not officially named that driver so for now – it stands at 33 cars in Indy.
What’s not lost on anyone is the same day that Jay Howard announces he’ll be driving in this year’s 500, Chip Gansassi says he wants a stricter Rookie Orientation Program for the 500. (You know the “rookie” Jay Howard took out Scott Dixon in last years race…don’t look up the footage it’s pretty horrific and Scott just walked away with a busted foot)
Teams were on the IMS track on Friday testing the new cars on the road course. Alexandar Rossi had the fastest lap time, followed by Will Power, and then continuing to impress the heck out of us Rookie Jordan King. Teams were scheduled to test Tuesday and Wednesday but because it says it’s going to rain and be cold everything got pushed to the end of April #IndianaWeather
On a non-IndyCar note, Florida Georgia Line is going to be sponsoring the Brickyard 400 with Big Machine Label. They’re also headlining the FGL music festival that weekend – the festival that was called 400 Fest and last year was all EDM, it’s going to be country for the next three years at least.
Finally, of note, on April 26, 2018, on Main Street Speedway the Chamber of Commerce is putting on “Behind the Wheel” which is a 21+ event that allows people to hear engineers, officials, and others speak about IndyCar and travel around to different sites including Dallara Factory, Foyt Racing, and 1911 Grill.
Main Topic - Pit Stops (26:02)
As much shit as we give Katie Hargitt for always saying “races are won and lost in the pits” a lot of shit does happen in a pit stop, and depending on how your luck shakes out, a good pit stop can win you the race or a horrible pit stop can cost you the race. A normal pitstop? Includes changing four tires, adding 18.5 gallons of fuel (using gravity), and making any adjustments to the car all under 10 seconds (Bobby Unser set the record in the 1976 pit stop with a 4 second pit stop). An Oh-Shit Stop can involve anything from replacing full sections to the car, to electrical issues.
By IndyCar rule, only 6 pit crew are allowed over the wall (in F1 it appears there are at least twelve guys and their fastest pit stop is approximately 1.92 seconds). There are four guys who change the tires (the two inside guys can be in position on the lap prior to the stop, the outside guys have to wait and dash) and the two rear guys give the car a little push on out of the pit, there’s a guy who jacks up the car, and the guy who fuels the car. They all have to wear the Nomex fire suits.
There is some straight strategery to the stops. What tires do you need to be on? What’s your fuel level and how quickly are you burning it up? Are you in a pack and need to get in a cleaner part? All times to pit. If you’re looking at pitting – what type of lead have you achieved or do you need to stay out and build a lead?
Of course, no discussion on pit stops can’t neglect the Tag Heur Pit Stop Challenge link held on Carb Day after the final practice session. It’s a single round elimination where up to twelve teams vie to have the quickest pit stop. Two cars line up and race into a faux pit box where they have four tires changed and a mock fuel hose attached. The cars then race about a hundred feet to a finish line, quickest wins (you can be penalized for loose lug nut, pit box violation, or jumping the start). Penske has won it the most as a team, Helio as a driver. Two of the three times he won the 500, Helio has also won the pit stop challenge. And last year at the Bommarito 500, they did something similar, except there the cars had to do a full lap around the track.
Woman of the Week Monisha Kaltenborn "First Lady of Formula 1" (46:12)
Monisha Kaltenborn graduated from the University of Vienna with a law degree, and subsequently earned a Masters in International Business Law at the London School of Economics. She was at a firm where the partner was co-owner of Sauber motorsports. She first was brought on to run the legal side of the team, and in 2010 was appointed CEO, the first female to have such a position in F1. IN 2012 she was part-owner and then became team principal of the team. She ultimately left Sauber in 2017, and in 2018 founded KDC Racing which competes in Formula 4.
Shit We Didn't Make Up (49:50)
The 1981 Indianapolis 500 ended with a shit show that remained a controversy officially until October at that year. It all started on lap 146 where an incident caused a full-course caution. Mario Andretti (P1) and Bobby Unser (P2) pitted and upon exiting pit lane they both passed cars. Unser passed 14 cars, Andretti passed two or three. This is against the rules as it was during a yellow but it wasn’t called at the time. It got called later because of the ABC commentary on the tape delay. Unser went on to win the race, Andretti coming in second.
Andretti filed a petition that evening, and on Monday USAC penalized Unser with a 1-position penalty and Andretti was declared the winner. On Monday Unser/Penske filed their protest, which was denied.
Wednesday after the race, Penske filed a formal appeal with the USAC board. In June the USAC board started their hearing, and from what is recorded it was a shit show (Molly would like to one day read the transcript…but her lawyer brain may implode). The hearing was adjourned before finished and resumed in July of that year. Ultimately in October the USAC board voted 2-1 to reinstate Unser as the winner. Their rationale: that the stewards did not penalize/call the infraction at the time, and failing to do so was okay’ing the move (another reason why we should be in Race Control!)