What To Expect This Weekend

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I’m not quite sure what it says about me as I am about to head into the second most anticipated weekend of my year. It’s little surprise that the following weekend is number one. This either means I have little or no life the other fifty weekends a year…or maybe I simply have my priorities in order.

Whatever the case – anticipation fills the air around my household. For a variety of reasons in my personal life that I’ll choose to not go into, I no longer get to travel very much. I basically have had to move mountains in order to clear the deck for the next two weekends, so this is a big deal for me to actually be getting out of town – no matter where I was going. The fact that I am headed to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the next two weekends just makes it that much more special.

What can we expect this weekend? Well, for one thing – it looks like the weather will be totally different than what the teams and drivers have had to contend with all week. It looks like the forecast calls for sunny and warm. Actually, I think that calling for the upper 80’s on Sunday actually classifies as hot. They have been battling rain for most of the week, and earlier this week it was just downright cold at the track.

The new pole format will be interesting, to say the least. Common sense tells me that the top-nine will be filled primarily with Penske, Ganassi and Andretti Autosport cars. The fact that I have little common sense may alert you to the possibility that there may be more than a couple of surprises as to who is in and maybe more surprisingly – who is out of the top-nine. If I had to guess, based on what we’ve seen this week – it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Alex Tagliani or Hideki Mutoh crash the party. Dan Wheldon, Townsend Bell or Mario Moraes wouldn’t be a bad bet either. Don’t be too surprised if Vitor Meira squeezes his AJ Foyt entry into the mix either.

Sunday will offer relief for some drivers and tense moments for others. I will be shocked if either Conquest car makes it in. I think, at best, only one Dale Coyne car will make the race – and it won’t be Milka Duno. Alex Lloyd isn’t a sure bet to make it either, but I think he will finally make it in somehow. I hate to say it, but I’m now worried about both Sarah Fisher Racing entries. Neither Sarah nor Jay Howard have shown much improvement throughout this past week.

Assuming they run today, which looks iffy at best, the wild card is whether or not teams will be able to keep cars out of the fence today and tomorrow prior to qualifying. At this late hour, wadding up a car will almost doom a smaller team’s chances of making the race. It will even cause a major setback for one of the bigger teams to have a crack-up this late in the game. With only one weekend to qualify, the margin of error is almost non-existent.

My role this May: Again, as I did at Barber – I will be posting from the track for the next two weekends. I have broken down and spent a few bucks to buy a Netbook so that I won’t be forced to tap out posts on my i-Phone, like I did at Barber. If you’re looking for the latest news updates from the track, this probably isn’t the place. Instead, I plan to give more of the actual fan’s perspective of a trip to the track.

Check the site often throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. I’ll start the day with a re-run…a post that I did last year on Pole Day. All twelve readers that I had then, said that was a great post – and it will save me from having to stay up late tonight and write one. I plan to arrive inside the track by late morning tomorrow. I’ll start posting shortly after that.

May Indy Tweetup: One thing going on next week, is something you won’t want to miss if you are in the area – the May Indy Tweetup. What’s a Tweetup you ask? A Tweetup is a trendy name for what we used to call a get-together for people that use Twitter.

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Although I’m already in my second half-century, I use Twitter. You may follow me at @oilpressureblog. I don’t use it near as much as most do, but I actually have found it to be one of the quickest ways to get news in the IndyCar world. It was on Twitter when I first learned of Helio’s acquittal. It was also on Twitter where I saw my very first pictures of the DeltaWing, along with first glimpses of all of the other renderings of the other chassis manufacturers.

I don’t see the need to tell the world that I am eating a sandwich or about to go to the gym (mainly because I’ve never been to the gym), but many others do. However, without posting many “tweets” – I have learned a lot from the people I follow in the IndyCar world on Twitter and it is an interesting “community”.

Two young and rabid IndyCar fans, Elizabeth (@happyfish103) and Monica (@the_race_gIRL) have come up with this brainchild as an excuse for all the IndyCar Twitter people to get together for a party. I wasn’t aware that IndyCar fans needed an excuse to party in the last week of May, but here’s another opportunity.

If you’re on Twitter and follow them, you know how busy they have been putting together a string of events that start next Wed May 26. They have worked very hard and my hat is off to them. For more information, you can check it all out here. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend because I have to be back at work next week before returning to Indianapolis next Saturday. If I could, I would. But I’m looking forward to meeting these two at the track this weekend.

Enjoy Qualifying and check here often throughout the weekend.

George Phillips

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6 Responses to “What To Expect This Weekend”

  1. Tim Nothhelfer Says:

    Sounds great…look forward to the “remote” posts!

  2. Mike Silver Says:

    Hope to get to meet you Sunday.

  3. SkipinSC Says:

    Wish I was going this year. Don’t count Paul Tracy out of the top 9. With the weather conditions going to be entirely different from most of the practice, I think the likelihood for surprises increases dramatically.

  4. I set up a cot for you in the garage, old man. So you’re all set. I also put out some hot dogs & sunflower seeds in case you get hungry. See you tomorrow!

  5. Enjoy the weekend, George. I’ll be watching on TV all weekend, trying to pick you out of the crowd milling around behind the interviews. ;)

  6. Top 9: Helio, Brisco, Dario, Dix, TK, Tags, Power, Marco, Mutoh. I’m guessing pretty much in that order.

    I’d like to see PT in there, but I’m not holding my breath.

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