On Saturday night, IndyCar had its finale at Auto Club Speedway, and boy, was it a wild one. The race stayed green until lap 71, when Sebastian Saavedra spun into the SAFER barrier after a tire went flat and Pippa Mann spun trying to avoid Saavedra. On lap 101, Carlos Munoz, who was filling in for an ill EJ Viso, spun and hit the wall of turn 2. Thankfully, he was able to climb from the car unassisted. On lap 111, Justin Wilson spun in turn 2. Josef Newgarden, Simona de Silvestro, and Oriol Servia also spun trying to avoid the incident. Tristan Vautier was not so fortunate and made contact with Wilson, causing Wilson’s pelvis to be fractured in three places. There wasn’t another yellow until lap 190, when AJ Allmendinger spun and hit the wall in turn 3. 20 laps later, on lap 210, Alex Tagliani, who was Dario Franchitti’s sub, spun out in turn 2. And on lap 230, Sebastien Bourdais made contact with the wall on the backstretch and spun going into turn 3. Only eight laps later, the yellow was thrown since both Charlie Kimball and JR Hildebrand were slowing and off pace. In the end, Will Power won the race followed by Ed Carpenter in 2nd and Tony Kanaan in 3rd. Scott Dixon finished in 5th, making him the 2013 Izod IndyCar Series champion.
The fact that this was the 2nd race in a row resulting in a driver injury is kind of scary. Not two races in a season. Two races in a row. Both were accidents, I’m glad the injuries weren’t any worse, and I don’t know if the cars could get any safer, but still. One guy with a concussion, fractured spine, and fractured ankle and another with a fractured pelvis from racing accidents that close to each other doesn’t exactly look great for the series. Who knows what needs to change.
I have to say, it was a pretty good championship battle to watch. While I wanted Helio Castroneves to win it, Dixon definitely earned the championship these past couple races. It just sucked seeing the Penske Championship Curse kick in for Castroneves with all the mechanical issues the past few races. He was so close to getting that first championship, too.
It was awesome seeing Will Power win on an oval for the second time. The first time it happened was Texas Motor Speedway in 2011. Here’s hoping he continues to do well on ovals more frequently than every other year.