RAHAL VERSUS ANDRETTI(S) – SPEED's Robin Miller has said “hate is great!” before, and has also mentioned it's imperative for IndyCar to have both Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti consistently winning races. The rivalry almost took off (pardon the pun) after their accident during the race, and led to the Ganassi driver being placed on probation Tuesday afternoon (CLICK HERE for story).
Their coming together during the race was one of the most highlighted aspects of the day. The physics of the accident and the dynamics of Andretti's car as it took off after hitting the rear-wheel guard merit a further investigation on its own.
About a day and a half of “Twitter wars” ensued before cooler heads prevailed publicly. The issue started when a quote Rahal gave to the Associated Press added fuel to the fire rather than doused the flames, when he said, “What's Marco's last name? I've said enough.”
It turned out Mario Andretti took offense to that, saying Monday on Twitter, “What is your problem with me? Your quote to AP says Marco is an Andretti so enough said. That insult includes me. You insulted me to the world & I responded.”
Rahal responded, “I'm not going to argue with you. If you want to discuss this and my quote you can call. Thanks.” He later added, “I'm very surprised ur not callin and bringin it up here. Actually respect u tremendously n admire u. If u want to talk call!”
He tweeted Monday evening he'd already talked with Marco Andretti and would call Mario Andretti thereafter. All was well officially when come Tuesday morning, Mario Andretti tweeted, “Thank you for the call @GrahamRahal. All is well between us. Now lets go win some races.”
To put the checkered flag on the minor dust-up, Rahal responded, “@MarioAndretti great speaking with you. We will get some wins no doubt, see you in May!”
BRIEFLY – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's aspirations of a third car at Indianapolis appear less likely by the day, thanks to either available engines or large enough budgets. It now seems an either/or situation for Michel Jourdain Jr. and Luca Filippi, rather than both as has been previously rumored. Fellow Honda squads A.J. Foyt Enterprises and Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports should announce drivers of their second cars this week.
Tony Kanaan's fourth-place finish vaulted him from 26th to 11th in points. All three KV Racing Technology drivers now rank in the top 12, a spot ahead of Franchitti in 13th.
Give credit where it's due to Ed Carpenter, who has finished each of the first three road and street course races of the year for the new ECR Indy team, led by team manager Derrick Walker and engineer Michael Cannon.
The points standings fall into three tiers at the moment. Will Power's 127 is 24 points clear of Helio Castroneves in second. Castroneves at 103 to Ryan Briscoe, seventh at 73 points, have that 30-point margin. Meanwhile, Graham Rahal's 62 for eighth place is just 26 clear of Simona de Silvestro, who along with Katherine Legge has scored the fewest points so far. There's still potential for a lot of shuffling in the middle to back of the standings, even as some of the leaders are starting to emerge.