Fast Times At IMS
By fast times, I don’t necessarily mean that the cars are that fast (but they are). Instead, I’m referring to how quickly the day went. Shortly after I put up the last post, we went on top of the Pit Row Terrace Suites and watched qualifying. Afterwards, we went to the Garage Area and somehow the day got away from us. We wandered over to the museum and gift shop, found a couple of items we couldn’t live without and then made our way back to the Media Center. By the time we got back it was 5:45.
I really enjoy the knock-out qualifying format. Every round is do or die. Today, for the first time in the short history of IndyCar knock-out qualifying – the Firestone Fast Six consisted of six different cars from six different teams. It was also the first time that only one car from Team Penske made the final group.
For the record, Simon Pagenaud set an event record (I refuse to call it a new track record) time of 1:08.6868 to win the pole. His day-glow Menard’s sponsor car is as bright as it looked when I was watching practice online yesterday. It is almost retina burning, it is s bright – but I love the use of day-glow. I wish more teams and sponsors utilized it.
Charlie Kimball will start alongside Pagenaud ont he front row. Graham Rahal continued his strong run from Barber by qualifying third. James Hinchcliffe had a good run in his Honda and will start fourth. Josef Newgarden and Jack Hawksworth rounded out the Fast Six.
There were some surprises in the session; some good some not. Tony Kanaan had been agonizingly slow all weekend, but found some speed at the end of Round One. He barely missed the Fast Six and will start seventh. Matt Brabham will start sixteenth in a twenty-five car field in his first Verizon IndyCar Series start and Honda had three cars in the Fast Six
Surprises on the not-so-pleasant kind were that Scot Dixon will start ninth, Will Power will roll off in twelfth and Helio Castroneves is mired back in the fifteenth starting spot. Marco Andretti is still in his funk and Takuma Sato will start twenty-second even though his Foyt teammate will start sixth.
I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow. Hopefully it will resemble more of the 2014 version, without the crash at the start – more than last year’s version that saw Will Power lead sixty-five of eighty-two laps in a bit of a snoozer. This track is capable of providing decent racing. Hopefully, the cars can provide it.
That’ll do it for the evening. We are going to hit Main Street in Speedway tonight and possibly try one of the new places that have popped up in the past year. We may end up a Dawson’s, but we are meeting friends there tomorrow night so we’ll just have to see. Mug –n-Bun perhaps?
We plan on being here relatively early tomorrow. There is a full day of racing before the IndyCar race. We will be taking in the IMS experience all day beforehand. Check back in the morning.