Rainy Racing At Indianapolis

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Although ‘Skip in SC” was correct in pointing out that we have seen rooster-tails at IMS in rain-shortened races – today was the first time I’ve ever seen rooster-tails here, while the cars continued at speed. Racing is one of those sports that television sometimes fails to do it justice. For one thing, you don’t get the sense of speed like you do in person. The size of the rooster-tail produced from a car at speed is another. You just don’t get the sense that these things seem to tower more than thirty feet into the air, while sitting at home watching on television. These things are huge!

After coming her over an almost fifty year time span, it’s hard to get used to watching cars continuing to race in the rain. That “window over Terre Haute” is no longer anything to watch. Of course, that’s assuming I’ll get used to watching cars run the wrong way on the main straightaway – which is somewhat of a stretch.

The indecisive weather today, finally decided to open up and soak The Speedway, between the second and third rounds of Verizon IndyCar qualifying. It was a downpour for about ten to fifteen minutes, before the sun suddenly popped out again. They did delay the Fast Six qualifying round due standing water on the track. Once it subsided, the green flag waved.

With les than two minutes to go, there was the usual jockeying for position when Ryan Hunter-Reay got loose coming onto the main straightaway. The back-end of the car came around and he backed hard into the outside wall in a spot that had no SAFER Barrier. Fortunately, Hunter-Reay walked away, but his car suffered significant damage. The Andretti Autosport DHL crew will be busy tonight.

Hunter-Reay was probably the car to beat, but by bringing out the red flag, he lost his top two times. Hunter-Reay will start third. The surprise of the weekend is the starting front-row. Rookie Jack Hawksworth continues to impress and will start on the outside of the front row. Perhaps an even bigger surprise is the pole-sitter for tomorrow’s race – Sebastian Saavedra. It should make for some interesting opening laps.

I’m going to wrap this up for now. They’ve just announced another storm is quickly approaching, as the Mazda Pro Series is currently racing. I’m goig to try and get out of here and go check into the hotel before it hits. But I have plenty more to say. I visited the gift shops and the concession stands today. I am supposed to eat dinner with friends tonight, but I plan on posting again either tonight or tomorrow morning about my findings. Please stay tuned.

George Phillips

Qualifying Results for the Inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis

1. (17) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 01:23.8822 (104.675)
2. (98) Jack Hawksworth, Dallara-Honda, 01:24.0788 (104.431)
3. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 01:24.8882 (103.435)
4. (77) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 01:25.2881 (102.950)
5. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 01:25.5216 (102.669)
6. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Chevy, 01:25.6548 (102.509)
7. (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 01:24.5187 (103.887)
8. (2) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dallara-Chevy, 01:24.6209 (103.762)
9. (10) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 01:24.7099 (103.653)
10. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 01:24.8839 (103.440)
11. (27) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 01:25.1318 (103.139)
12. (15) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 01:25.4748 (102.725)
13. (25) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.2488 (124.990)
14. (8) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 01:10.2261 (125.030)
15. (67) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.3601 (124.792)
16. (14) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.2804 (124.934)
17. (18) Carlos Huertas, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.4264 (124.675)
18. (19) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.4141 (124.697)
19. (34) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.5097 (124.528)
20. (41) Martin Plowman, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.4591 (124.617)
21. (26) Franck Montagny, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.5571 (124.444)
22. (16) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.5996 (124.369)
23. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Chevy, 01:10.6413 (124.296)
24. (20) Mike Conway, Dallara-Chevy, 01:10.6535 (124.274)
25. (7) Mikhail Aleshin, Dallara-Honda, 01:11.2704 (123.198)

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6 Responses to “Rainy Racing At Indianapolis”

  1. JohnMc Says:

    Good for Saveedra, but I see this as an Andretti month and RHR very well could put it all together.

    • Ballyhoo Says:

      Yes, I agree with you, John. Even with the loss of his two quickest times, RHR is still in Row 2.

  2. Ron Ford Says:

    Pagenaud is a lurker, seldom far from the top.

    It is nice to get these in person reports. Thanks George. I am waiting with anticipation for the tenderloin report from that Nashville food critic.

    I think it is good for the series, and of course for their respective teams, to see some new faces in the front row. Perhaps you have to go all the way back to Bob Uecker for a new face in the “front row”.

  3. Tenderloin rant, er…review may not appear until tomorrow. Fading fast.

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