Today’s question: What was your favorite part of the one-day show last Saturday at World Wide Technology Raceway, when practice, qualifying and the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 took place all within 12 hours?
Curt Cavin: I was fascinated by Romain Grosjean’s oval debut, which is why I chose it as my second-day story on INDYCAR.com. As a colleague said to me, Grosjean seems to be driving with such joy, and that’s how it looked when he was passing five cars over a period of 20 mid-race laps. Of course, then he appeared to get carried away with his out lap following a pit stop and drifted into the marbles, costing him several slow laps and a handful of positions, but watching him regain his confidence was also part of the enjoyment. I’m really happy that Grosjean’s oval debut went well. More often than not, oval newbies become fans of that type of racing, and I suspect he will, as well.
Zach Horrall: I’ll mention two favorite parts really quickly. Oddly enough, 1A was single-car qualifying. I genuinely love single-car qualifying on an oval, where it’s just driver and machine on track by themselves seeing who can go the fastest. Even though he was P16 on the practice charts, Will Power showed us why we should never doubt him when he has a clean track in qualifying. 1B was the aggression we saw throughout the race, which I’m sure the drivers would have liked to avoid. Sure, the bold moves tore up some race cars, but it made for an exciting race. These guys had to go all-out almost every lap just to have a chance at competing at World Wide Technology Raceway. I’m not sure what was in the air, but it brought some flared tempers and pointed fingers in a very short track Saturday night-esque feel. I loved it.
Paul Kelly: I immediately noticed the fire shown by Alex Palou as he walked from his wrecked No. 10 The American Legion Honda to the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team truck for a ride to the infield medical center. Alex is a super-nice guy and seems unflappable under pressure and after misfortune. His TV interview after his mechanical troubles late in the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix on Aug. 14 at Indianapolis was so serene, so rational, that it may have caused some fans to wonder if this guy could ever get angry or bummed out. Well, we saw a small eruption Saturday night. The coiling and uncoiling of his whole body in pure disgust, including snapping his driving gloves from his hands, proved once and for all that Palou wants this championship and burns with as much hot-lava passion as anyone in this series. It was human. It was real. I want to see more of it.