We’re Off To Great Weekend
As you read this, I should be en route to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I plan on arriving at the Speedway around noon Indianapolis time – just in time for Fast Friday practice to begin. This will be the last practice before tomorrow’s run for the coveted pole position. But other than pocketing a check for $100,000 and getting your name in the record books, is the pole position really that coveted?
Well, a look at history would indicate that it is. The winner of the Indianapolis 500 has come from the pole position more times than any other starting spot. When Helio Castroneves won from the pole in 2009, it was the twentieth time that the pole winner ended up in Victory Lane.
Oddly enough, however, the pole winner has finished thirty-third five times, with Scott Sharp being the most recent when he got into the grass of Turn One on the first lap in 2001. More embarrassing than that was when pole-sitter Roberto Guerrero spun on the parade lap in 1992. I was there that frigid day. It was a sign of things to come as most drivers had problems getting heat in their tires for grip.
The weather forecast looks good for today, but tomorrow and Sunday look iffy. If they don’t get the field qualified by 6:00 on Sunday, they’ll have to go to the next available day. This is where lopping off the extra week of practice and the extra weekend of qualifying, has the potential to bite. I’m sure there will be as many eyes on the radar this weekend as there will be on the track.
Of course, the biggest question now, is the status of Simona de Silvestro after her terrible crash yesterday. Her hands are burned and her car is destroyed. I had counted her as pretty safe to make the race. Now I’m not so sure.
Once Susan and I get settled at IMS, I’ll be posting updates today and all through the weekend. Check back often. It should be a great weekend.