Baltimore postscript Don't expect this restart question to go away. While it is doubtful that IndyCar will reverse the win, no doubt they will clarify the restart situation. In the mind of Hunter-Reay and Pagenaud, when the green flag flies, you're racing. In the mind of Briscoe and team Penske, the green flag shouldn't fly until the leader accelerates, unless he's past the restart zone (at which point the flag is thrown). Probably both are correct.
In defense of IndyCar, they probably flew the green flag early to prevent problems at the chicane / turn 13 / railroad tracks. The solution was an ad hoc answer to an unanticipated problems, and no doubt that, given another race, this would've been resolved too.
AutoRacing1 caught up with Bruno Junqueira before the start of today's race. He was quick to give the current IndyCar a praise -- "It is much MUCH better" than the previous car on road and street courses. He hadn't been in an Indy car for 5 years before this weekend, but adapted quickly, qualifying 10th (he started 20th due to an engine penalty). Bruno fell out with mechanical difficulties and finished 20th.
The Grand Prix of Baltimore was dubbed the "East Coast Long Beach" from the first day last year. Beautiful harbor setting, a good street course, and a huge crowd overshadowed the string of bumbling that had almost killed the event before it ran.
However, more bumbling and political wrangling almost doomed the event again this year. Literally 100 days before race day, the Andretti Sports Marketing people got their hands on this event, and in many ways walked on water to get this event pulled off. While the crowds were smaller this year, Andretti officials were quick to point out that they minimized the number of freebie tickets. "You can't even do a wedding in 100 days" quipped Michael Andretti in praise of his team.
We caught Star Mazda race winner Sage Karam. I'm not saying that this kid is young, but yeah, he's still in high school. It must be difficult for a professional race car driver to take driver's ed, but yeah, he had to take driver's ed. And he's also required to take phys ed, even though he's a professional athlete. Sage confirmed that most in his high school don't really understand what he does, although his close friends came to this race and finally have a bit of a clue. Since he's a native of Nazareth, PA he's already getting good coaching from the Andretti family. With a bit of luck, nice guys like him end up in IndyCar. With a bit more luck, guys running our feeder series get noticed by the rest of the world -- including the people back home -- someday.
Quote of the Day (that you will only read here): "It looks like I peed my pants" when I mentioned that his (Sage Karam) driving suit was soaked after the race. "I didn't, but it looks like I did!" For sure, that suit couldn't have been more wet, either way. -- Tim Wohlford, reporting from BALTIMORE!!