By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer
Enough, Racing Gods. Enough. Dale Coyne has clearly suffered through massive amounts of heartache.
During Saturday’s Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, the longtime Verizon IndyCar Series team owner had another night that would make any normal team owner question his involvement in the sport.
With Tristan Vautier becoming the driver du jour in the No. 18 GEICO Honda replacing Sebastien Bourdais, the new Frenchman qualified fifth and was running in the upper end of the field. Meanwhile, teammate Ed Jones was figuring out his way around TMS, slowly climbing his way through the field.
Then disaster struck.
James Hinchcliffe was side-by-side with his teammate Mikhail Aleshin. Tony Kanaan came beneath both of them to the bottom of the track on the backstretch. After moving up the track, Kanaan and Hinchcliffe touched, setting off an eight car accident that claimed Ryan Hunter-Reay, Carlos Munoz, and both entries from Ed Carpenter Racing (J.R. Hildebrand and Ed Carpenter), Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (Hinchcliffe and Aleshin) and Dale Coyne Racing.
This isn’t the first time that Coyne has had major repairs to deal with this season. Let’s look back at his team’s season before Texas.
St. Petersburg: Bourdais crashes in qualifying, starts last. Ends up winning.
Phoenix: Bourdais caught up in the first lap incident. Bourdais and Jones have to share a car at the Gateway test on May 2nd.
Indianapolis: Bourdais crashes in qualifying on Saturday, James Davison announced as replacement because of Bourdais’s injuries. Davison has an incident in the race with Oriol Servia, Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Hinchcliffe.
It’s quite clear that Coyne has been through enough and through no real fault of his own. After spending years near the back of the pack, Coyne finally has a damn good driver and an engineering talent to match and through sheer racing luck that driver is sidelined and the engineering duo of Craig Hampson and Olivier Boisson still produces good cars that get involved in stupid situations.
At what point will the racing gods finally reward Coyne properly for putting renewed effort into his team? He’s done the most with the least and it’s pretty hard to be able to race when all of your equipment gets torn up, most of it through no fault of your own.
If it weren’t for bad luck, Dale Coyne Racing wouldn’t have any luck, and they’ve had enough bad luck to last the rest of the season.
Racing Gods, please leave Dale Coyne alone.