Good Morning From Bump Day At IMS!

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First of all, I apologize for not having anything up here first thing this morning. Susan got up here late last night and I actually slept in for the first time since I’ve been here. Then I had a post all ready to go, but I moved my laptop slightly and the battery became askew and my screen went blank. I lost everything I had just written. When I rebooted I was hoping to find it saved as a draft, but no such luck. So I am retyping this from memory. Not happy.

We missed the morning practice session, but there wasn’t that much to see. One item of note was that Katherine Legge turned her first laps of the month. She ran twenty-nine laps and is already up to 223..191. That doesn’t bode well for fans of Pippa Mann or Michel Jourdain, Jr. I had predicted that when the gun goes off at six o’clock this afternoon, Legge would be the one on the outside looking in. Now, I’m not so sure. It would stand to reason that the third Sam Schmidt car is going to be faster than the third car at Coyne or Rahal – and they are all Honda’s. I’m just surprised that Katherine Legge was able to get up to speed so quickly. But I shoul point out that she is still 2 mph slower than the speed Pippa turned in her second attempt yesterday. But she is much quicker than Jourdain, who could go no faster than 219.843 in the morning practice. Now, I’m not sure we’ll see the Office Depot car of Jourdain next Sunday.

Buddy Lazier turned a quick lap of 225.167 this morning. At first glance, I was surprised but I really shouldn’t be. Although the team was thrashing the car together all week, Buddy Lazier has proven that he needs very little seat time to get a car up to speed around here. I’m now actually thinking that car may make the race. I’ve always felt that Buddy Lazier never got his due credit as 500 winner. He is unfortunate to have won the race in those dark formative years of the IRL. He and a few other winners in that time have had invisible asterisks assigned to their names by many. Buddy is an excellent driver. I’m hoping history will treat his legacy kinder as time goes on.

Maybe the biggest surprise of the morning session was who didn’t run. The two cars of Dale Coyne Racing who are still trying to squeeze in didn’t turn a a lap this morning. Both Ana Biatriz and Pippa Mann are still trying to find more speed. Pippa was quicker on her second attempt yesterday and turned at least one lap over 225. But both need to find more speed today to assure themselves of making the race. I would have thought that we’d see both of them running thios morning, but with his reputation of being, um…thrifty; I guess Dale Coyne didn’t want to spend the money.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the events of the day unfold. I always prefer bumping, but I never want to see the drivers that I’m pulling for get bumped. But that is part of what makes this race special. It should be an interesting day. now that I have almost completely re-written this post, we’re going to go out to the garage area and see what the teams are doing to get bready for Day Two of qualifying. For more immediate updates and pictures, follow me at @Oilpressureblog or Susan at @chiapet58 – or you can check back here throughout the day for updated posts.

Enjoy the day!

George Phillips

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