Third Place Feels Disappointing…

Given Dario’s commanding dominance at Infineon
in 2009, 3rd place somehow feels a little disappointing.
I am truly a very spoiled racing spouse, no doubt about it!
Teammate Scott Dixon being a bit quicker and Dario letting him by
reminded me of Houston, 1999, when Dario’s then-Team Kool Green teammate Paul Tracy was leading, but Dario was the one fighting for the championship.

Such situations pose interesting considerations for a team: do you want the faster guy to win an individual race, or do you want the team to win an overall championship?

Barry Green’s call in Houston was that if Dario could get within 10 seconds, he would issue team order for Paul to let Dario by. Paul was running away with that race and indeed the 27 car came in second. Came in second in the championship, too; shuffling the order of the cars in Houston would have given TKG a championship. But,
it should be noted that a ’99 championship is one Dario said in retrospect he did not want, given his best friend and compatriot Greg Moore was killed in the last race of the season.

As for this Sunday, once Dixon was not able to challenge Power for the win, I wonder about the value of Team Target finishing 9 (2nd) and 10 (3rd); let’s hope the championship is not decided against Dario by 5 points of fewer. If I were a team owner….and I clearly am not….so I am just like other fan with an opinion about what I see…I would factor in how late in the season, and many races remain, when considering issuing team orders.

Having been on the other side of team orders, I also genuinely get the princple of competition and truly rewarding the faster car with the better result. It’s an interesting debate.

And, please duly note: The opinions expressed here are strictly those of the wife who gave them, so take what you like and leave the rest!