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Welcome to day 3 of More Front Wing’s weekend live blog from the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway! Steph Wallcraft will be reporting live from trackside all weekend long. The page always has the most recent update at the top, so please scroll to the bottom and read up to start from the beginning.
Comments are most welcome — please leave them either in the comments section below or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To access time sheets, schedules, and other statistical information, please visit More Front Wing’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Event Summary.
6:19 PM (Pacific): No doubt you know by now that it was a busy race today! Sadly, I must resort to finishing this off by firing a bunch of links at you before running out the door to catch a redeye.
First, here’s a list of some of the most notable quotes from the day, including an exchange wherein Dario Franchitti accuses Team Penske of unsportsmanlike conduct and Roger Penske responds.
And here’s our GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Event Summary. It’s got the box score right now, and additional results lists and statistics will follow over the next 24 hours.
Finally, keep an eye out on the site for the More Front Wing team’s first impressions of the event, which should appear on the site within an hour or so.
Thank you all for participating in our coverage of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma this weekend. Remember, we’re supporting the Indianapolis chapter of Greyhound Pets of America for this race, so please consider sending them a donation if you appreciated our coverage by clicking on the banner above!
12:31 PM (Pacific): Just got back from a quick trip to the timing and scoring booths above the grandstands (the person I was looking for wasn’t there, but the view is spectacular!) and a walk around the main concession area, which looks fairly busy. The seating areas are also filling in nicely now. One thing to keep in mind — and people criticize this track for this quite a bit — is that although the seating areas look half-empty at times, this place fits in a lot of people. The track doesn’t give out any seating capacity information, so it will need to suffice to say that the terraces are much bigger than they look on TV. A half-full terrace could be considered a healthy turnout.
There’s a very cool aerial demonstration taking place right now, and the pre-race ceremonies are getting under way shortly with the cars pulling out to the grid in about 15 minutes and the driver introductions starting a little after 1 PM local time.
11:25 AM (Pacific): Morning warm-up was relatively uneventful. (The time sheet can be found in our GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Event Summary.) That means we’ve gotten to race time with the only incident being the light contact between Will Power and EJ Viso yesterday.
The official starting line-up has also been released, and the only engine penalty is on the Dale Coyne Racing’s No. 18 car, which is being piloted this weekend by James Davison.
One thing I can report from overhearing on the radios: by the end of warm-up, Marco Andretti was very happy and Ryan Hunter-Reay was not. They’ve now got a little over two hours to see if the changes Marco made this morning can help Ryan out.
I also spoke with Michael Andretti on pit lane this morning, and he indicated that both he and James Hinchcliffe want James to be with Andretti Autosport in 2014.
9:55 AM (Pacific): Good morning from Sonoma Raceway! News flash: it’s still beautiful here. The sun is shining, the temperature is perfect, yadda yadda. Let’s move on. (Though if you don’t care for the travel bloggy stuff, you can stop here and wait for the next update.)
Last night in Marin County was also beautiful. I had plans to meet some race friends at a brewpub in Novato for dinner, but I had a bit of time to kill after leaving the track. So, I found an empty gravel parking lot and listened to some music while watching the sun set behind the hills. A couple of kids who clearly want to be rallycross drivers were circling around nearby kicking up dust. The night mist was just beginning to form at the top of the peaks. It was fabulous.
The song of the weekend, by the way: Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. Not my idea of great music necessarily but it’s everywhere right now, and I have an eidetic memory, so the association is now made whether I like it or not!
My dinner companions were composed of some serious race fans and a couple of members of the NBC Sports Network crew, and the company was lovely. We had a fabulous time exchanging stories. (The consensus is universal, it seems: it’s been a pretty quiet weekend news-wise.)
After I got back to San Francisco (which was relatively late to begin with, by the way — and there were always enough people around that I never felt unsafe in the middle of downtown, so more points for the city there), my lovely hostess for the weekend and good friend Bash stayed up even later with me to catch up on the day.
At one point, Bash’s album of old IndyCar newspaper clippings and photos came out, and much emotion ensued. She’s got a signed Scott Brayton hero card of which I’m extremely envious. She also had a cut-out of an old ad for 1-900-INDYCAR. Does anyone else remember that? We both had the same story about calling the number exactly once before our mothers put the kibosh on it for fear of racking up insane telephone bills, and we both remember pulling the line, “BUT MOM!” Fun times.
As I drove through the morning mist that shrouded the Golden Gate Bridge this morning, my heart was heavy. It’s rare that a travel destination truly speaks to me the way that the Bay Area has, and I’ll leave a piece of myself here when I depart late tonight — most likely with a little tear in my eye.
Anyway, enough about me. Morning warm-up is getting under way shortly. Time to get to work!