May 17, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; IndyCar Series driver Carlos Huertas poses for the traditional photo with his car after qualifying for the 2014 Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Huertas wins first Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston

You can’t take anything away from Carlos Huertas. Yes, he won a rained shortened race. Yes, he won under caution. Yes, half the field hit either the wall or another car during the race but Huertas deserves massive amounts of credit for his first win in the Verizon Indycar Series

The Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston delivered on its expectations to be a grueling survivor series of back to back races in the first event on Saturday. Intermittent rain on the parking-lot-turned-racetrack in to half dry course studded with pools of standing water. It was a course that caught out some of the best as driver after driver made unforced talent. Scott Dixon, Will Power, Mike Conway, and Luca Fillippi all “Ran out of talent,” as Dixon put it, and those are some of the most talented road and street drivers in the series.

So for Huertas to be in a position where he could ride a series of late race cautions to a rain-shorted victory is a massive statement about his talent. I think a lot of people point at high attrition races as though they’re somehow tainted, I think it’s just the opposite. On a day with very challenging conditions a driver maintained where others failed, and took a hero-or-zero gamble and won.

The Shell/Grand Prix of Houston was close throughout and provided some close racing that resulted in some flares of frustration and anger. A.J. Foyt essentially called race control a bunch of, “G– D— idiots,” for allowing Marco Andretti to block leader Takuma Sato for James Hinchcliffe and a lapped car to finish him off. Sato had a fabulously aggressive and successful start, only to be taken out by Mikhail Aleshin who was a lap down at the time.

On the final restart a surging Graham Rahal ran into the back of Tony Kaanan under caution like a punk. A very frustrated Kaanan admitted he was angry at Rahal for taking away what would have been his best finish with Target Chip Gannassi Racing, but had to restrain himself.

“I have a great team and a lot of great sponsors, so I can’t do what I really wanted to do,” Kaanan said during the NBCSports post-race interview

The nice thing about double headers is that the drivers will buckle up and do it again on Sunday. The forecast calls for 90 degree temperatures and only a 20 percent chance of rain. So with a radically different forecast we should probably get an entirely different race. Oh, and NASCAR fans, stop bitching about how “Real races” don’t end under caution on twitter.

Tags: Graham Rahal #Indyrivals Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix Of Houston Tony Kaanan Verizon Indycar Series

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