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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Morning After: Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

A collection of thoughts sparked by yesterday's Sao Paulo Indy 300 in Brazil:

GOOD TO SEE... Alex Tagliani finish sixth after getting torpedoed in Brazil. His young FAZZT Race Team has come together quite nicely in only two races, and may establish themselves as a top-10 team, week in and week out, by the end of the year.

DISAPPOINTED NOT TO SEE... E.J. Viso make it to the finish without having problems. Viso's car was strong in the late stages of the race, and gearbox failure ruined what should have been a great battle to the end between him and Will Power.

BIGGEST SURPRISE... Nobody who finished in the top five in Brazil, besides Power, had a solid points day in St. Pete. Nobody who finished well in St. Petersburg had a great day in Sao Paulo, either. So a driver a full year removed from his last full season of competition takes a 44-point lead into the third race of the season - almost enough of a cushion to take a race off.

LEAST SHOCKING... Mario Moraes having another rough day. He held up a lot of the field while he was lapped, and by the time he finally got out of the way, Dan Wheldon's broken right rear suspension caused the Brit to launch into Moraes' car.

LEADING THE PACK... Power now has a win in major American open-wheel racing in each of the last four seasons. He's the first IRL driver to win the first two races of the season since Sam Hornish Jr. in 2001. (The last time any major American open-wheeler pulled off the feat was in 2006, when Sebastien Bourdais did it in Champ Car.)

BRINGING UP THE REAR... Moraes, Alex Lloyd, Milka Duno, and Takuma Sato have failed to finish both races thus far this year. Sato's solid run was compromised when his team told him to refrain from pitting for five laps while he had front wing issues. Duno spun before the race even started.

NEXT YEAR'S RACE... will hopefully be a lot drier, and won't need to be postponed until Monday.

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