It’s Pole Sunday At IMS
Good morning form a sun-soaked Indianapolis Motor Speedway! For once, there is not a cloud in the sky. The temperature is still a little cool at 48-degrees, but it is supposed to warm up tot he mid-sixties. For those wondering, the3 long-range forecast for Race Day looks good – sunny and a high of 77. Of course, a lot can change over the next few days but they have gotten much more accurate in recent years.
We watched some of practice this morning. Mikhail Aleshin led all drivers with a speed of 232.917, but that was obviously with a very good tow. Rounding out the Top-Five were Josef Newgarden, Kurt Busch, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Carlos Huertas. There were nineteen drivers over the magical 230 mph barrier. Only twenty-seven drivers took to the track for the morning practice.
Like everything else this month, it seems surreal to be having Pole Day on the final day of qualifying. Normally this day is reserved for the drama to see who goes home. With only thirty-three cars entered, there was no drama yesterday for the “new” Bump Day. With so few entries, it’s a good thing they re-arranged Pole Day for today, otherwise, this would be no more than a glorified practice.
One question came up this morning that we had to clarify with track officials in order to get an official answer. Let’s assume Ed Carpenter ran a record breaking lap yesterday at 238 mph. Then today, for whatever reason, he won the pole at 235. Since yesterday’s times are officially wiped away for today’s qualifying – would the 238 be a track record? The official answer is “yes”, because it occurred in an official qualifying event. Something tells me it may end up with an asterisk beside it. It doesn’t matter, because it didn’t happen. But it may in future years if they continue with this format. That is one of the unintended consequences of tinkering with tradition.
Qualifying for position for rows four through eleven begins in at 11:00, then the Fast Nine will go at 2:00 and we will know our pole-sitter by 3:00 or thereabouts. With such a compacted schedule today, this will probably be my only post here until after the Fast Nine is completed. But you can follow me (@Oilpressureblog) or Susan (@MrsOilpressure) on Twitter for instant pictures and updates throughout the day.