FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Edmonton

First Impressions, IndyCar commentary — By on July 22, 2012 10:14 pm
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PAUL’S IMPRESSIONS:

Today’s Edmonton Indy really had a little bit of everything for everyone, unless you’re one of those race “fans” that thinks the only excitement on track is when worthless and invalid caution periods lead to mayhem-inducing restarts.  If that describes you, I’m sorry you were bored today.  For the rest of us, it was a sensational race that provided exciting action from the green flag to the checkered.

In the first caution-free race of the year, Helio Castroneves proved once again that he is indeed a contender for the championship with a brilliant victory at the location where he suffered perhaps his most memorable defeat two years ago.  Without needing any blocking tactics, Helio shone as he drove smart and fast throughout the second half of the race to hold off a hard-charging Takuma Sato.

For Sato, the runner-up finish was a great result given the struggles he and his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Team have endured since his last-lap crash at Indianapolis.  While Taku drove his hardest, he kept it clean and brought home a critical podium finish.  The sting of defeat must have been abated somewhat by the $80,000 check he and his team received for being the top-finishing non-Leader Circle entrant.

The race at Edmonton always seems to get a bit of a bad rap.  Whether it’s looked upon as Toronto’s Little Race Brother or because the race seemed to perpetually be in jeopardy for a number of years, this race is often over looked on the schedule.  With races like the fans were treated to today, it is clear that Edmonton should be around for many years to come.  Of course there are a whole host of issues to be ironed out with the pending closure of the City Centre Airport and what that will mean for this event, but the support of the Edmonton community has made this a destination that INDYCAR would be well off to continue serving.

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Steph was on assignment during the running of the Edmonton Indy and was unable to view the race live.  She will be posting his First Impressions of the event here in the coming days.

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