By David G. Firestone
I’m going to start moving My Thoughts On to Tuesdays as it is much easier for me to write on a Monday after a race than Sunday Night. Now that the protocol change is out of the way, I’d like to discuss The Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park.
I’m always interested in the first race at a new track. The track is at its peak, the surface is perfect, and nobody has a distinct advantage. The course had a lot of potential, but the race itself was a disaster. The rain that came in was unavoidable. Now in defense of NOLA, they brought in an Air Titan system to dry the track, but there was rain in the forecast, so they had a brief window to hold the race. They ran 44 of 75 laps, and I have to say, it was one of the worst races I have ever seen.
It’s almost as if the designers failed to realize that cars pass each other while racing, at least that is what I took away from it. It was a caution fest, and the rain didn’t help things at all. The really tight turns made for a series of spin outs and wrecks that slowed the pace to the point that it wasn’t fun to watch. After James Hinchcliffe won, I watched The Masters, and I had more fun watching that than I did watching the race.
What made the race even worse was NOLA Motorsports Park’s advertising. The whole “have your next team building exercise here” series of commercials reeked of desperation. The commercials were basically saying “we need your business to have meetings here to keep us in business.” It was just painful to watch. At one point, I went to lunch with my cousin and DVR’d the race because I couldn’t stand the commercials.
The most amazing part is when Gabby Chaves spun, and a corner worker came out and pushed him back into the race, as shown here…
I first thought it was a fan, but it was a track worker. I’ve never seen a track worker do something like that, and I was shocked.
After that race, any respect that I had for NOLA Motorsports Park is now gone. Hopefully 2016 will be a better Grand Prix of Louisiana, but the 2015 race was something to forget.