My Take On Homestead

The crowd for Saturday night?s IndyCar Series GAINSCO 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway would have been better if the weather was a bit nicer…Seriously though, the weather was perfect. And from my seat near the Turn Four exit, I thought it was a pretty good crowd but strangely subdued. Lots of locals which meant lots of Tony Kaanan fans but they didn’t seem very excited about anything.

Lots of stuff in the Midway and the paddock area, thanks to the Grand-Am teams was packed.

I’d never been to Homestead before but the place is clean and neat and well organized. Stark contrast to the last International Speedway Corporation (ISC) track I went to, Michigan International Speedway.

The IndyCar Series seem to have struck a nice balance between parades and pack racing. Good cars could make a pass but it wasn’t easy and that’s how it should be.

Not sure if the TV guys mentioned it but Dan Wheldon and Ed Carpenter made nice marches up through the pack. Ed then went backwards when he tried to stretch his tires, went down a lap because of the lack of yellows.

I’m guessing the Champ Car guys are probably realizing about now this flat on the floor stuff isn’t as easy as it looks.

Still not sure why but Newman-Haas-Lanigan has a flashing strobe on their fuel tank and the Team Penske’s guys have strobes on their pit boards but nobody else does.

Race Control – Brian Barnhart was all over the slow guys on the radio, telling them to pick up the pace or get in the pits and try something. About Bruno Junquiera: “I can’t have him being lapped every 3 laps.” Others he was hard on included Jay Howard and Franck Perera – prompting this from an official: “Hey, the Conquest guys say you may park their car. They want to know if this is a new deal….”

Odd to see Milka Duno not be the slowest car on the track. She was actually doing a respectable job until someone slowed in front of her, she jumped on the brakes and the back snapped around.

Having 25 cars on that track was way cool?I literally got vertigo whipping my head around trying to follow all the action. Contrast that to the race I went to in Kentucky when only 13 or 14 were running and it was pretty dull.

Not the greatest race I’ve ever seen but pretty darn entertaining. And while Brian Barnhart will rightfully get flak for letting Kanaan stay out, he should also get credit for not throwing fake yellows when the race was stretching out and he was careful to let the new guys try to race but pulled them in when he had to.

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