Friday Afternoon Barber Wrap-Up

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What a great day at the track! I thought last year’s practice day at Barber was fun, but this year topped it. The rain lasted about thirty minutes. When the sun came out, it made everything nice and steamy.

This morning, I ran into Monica Hilton, formerly of The Race gIRL. She has moved up the food chain and is now the PR person for HVM Racing and Simona de Silvestro. I was glad to see that Monica hasn’t forgotten her blogger roots and would still talk to one of us. She is a little more corporate now, but who can blame her. She is doing a great job and I think that team is going places.

The second practice session was fun to watch. we went over to the other side of the track and watched them snake through the turns on the backstretch. Helio ran off once. So did Kanaan. Several drivers looked squirrely trying to navigate the turns. The biggest hit of the day happened with about ten minutes to go in the session. E.J. Viso ran his string of crashes in this early season to four. Sato has kept his nose clean so far, but Viso continues to make for late nights for KV Racing Technology – Lotus. I hope the check from PDVSA is big enough to cover his damage.

I won’t be here tomorrow. We’re driving back tonight. Qualifying in the morning is about the only IZOD IndyCar action going on here on Saturday. But I’ll be back on Sunday for the race and my 11:00 Sunday morning meeting with Randy Bernard. There have been some great questions sent in. Please continue to send them. I’ll cut them down and prioritize them, but I’ll try to get through as many as I can before he throws me out.

I’ll try to throw some pictures up here tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

George Phillips

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9 Responses to “Friday Afternoon Barber Wrap-Up”

  1. Steve K Says:

    I love the self deprecating humor.

  2. Randy Holbrook Says:

    Probably not really a question for Randy, but I was disappointed with the amount of team swag available in the fan zone. Danica had a trailer and there were a few generic ones, but I couldn’t find any gear for Simona anywhere. There were a few items from Penske and Ganassi. I know you can get a few things over the internet for some of the smaller teams but I was hoping to be able to pick up some stuff at the track.

  3. Ganassi always has a trailer, and Whanica always has a trailet… Law of demand-and-supply.
    Have safe commutes, George.

  4. My main observation of the day is that Barber is an awesome place to see an INDYCAR race. Good places to see the track and it is a very comfortable, beautiful facility. This event should be a long-term jewel on the INDYCAR schedule.

    • Classy Chassey Says:

      Barber is an awesome motorcycle track.

      Its not a track built for race cars.

      Don’t care how “beautiful” it is.

      Hope the first lap is exciting. That will probably be the extent of the excitement tomorrow.

  5. Cool site man! Nice to meet you guys today.

  6. 2 questions, George. The first is very unimportant, but I’m curious why they are numbering cars with a zero in front, like 06 or whatever? Don’t they have enough regular numbers?

    After “watching” qualifying on the website, it seems like the qualifying is not as exciting as last year when they had the option to change tires.

    I read that they changed it for the promoters so more teams would practice. Why take away from exciting quals to make practice better? Don’t more people watch quals than practice? Surely they could think of a better way to encourage (or mandate) that teams do practice runs?

    • Oilpressure Says:

      Regarding the numbers with zero’s…I’m not a fan. When Newman/Haas came over from Champ Car. Their traditional numbers had been Nos. 2 and 6. When they moved over to IndyCar, those numbers were taken. Rather than taking whatever was available, they opted for 02 and 06. When de Ferran dragon didn’t answer the bell, then No. 2 was available, but they are still using 06 for Hinchcliffe. At least there is a reasonable explanation for that. Scheckter will run No. 07 at Indy. I’ve heard no explanation why. Of course, this all was started by Vision Racing in 2007 when Davey Hamilton ran Indy in the No. 02. Before that, there had never been a “0″ number at Indianapolis.

      As far as the new tire qualifying rules go, it is a problem that they didn’t anticipate. They may tweak the rule or wait until next year.

      • George, I think you were channeling Donald Davidson on that first answer. Thanks.

        hey–have a blast tomorrow and good luck with the R. Bernard one-on-one.

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