Indianapolis 500 Qualifying Preview

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This morning, we head up to Indianapolis for our second of three consecutive weekends at IMS. Last week, we froze at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. The weekend forecast looks much better for Indianapolis 500 qualifying. I shouldn’t say anything, but the long-range forecast for Race Weekend is looking pretty good. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

It’s a shame that my employer doesn’t understand how important the Month of May is. Because of the rainout on Tuesday, I was only able to watch practice on Monday. I had it going on my computer at work, while trying to do some work for the day job. Wednesday and yesterday, I had meetings scheduled (not by me) both afternoons that prevented me from even getting a glimpse of track activity. Therefore, I feel a little bit detached from what all went on throughout the week. Fortunately, I was able to catch Trackside every night.

I was also able to keep up with the goings on through my Trackside Online subscription. If you aren’t a subscriber, you should be. I’ve been a subscriber since 2006. For $22 a year, you get in-depth and instantaneous reports, analysis and commentary delivered to your e-mail inbox. No race fan should be without their subscription. I get no reimbursement for that mention. I just feel that strongly about it.

As I said at the beginning of this month, I am not a fan of the current qualifying format. Being the traditionalist that I am, I prefer the old four-day format that was used through the beginning of the last decade. They tried a couple of other formats before this current one was adopted for 2014.

There is just something wrong with having the whole field qualify on Saturday just to set the Fast Nine, only to wipe out the times for positions 10-33 and make them re-qualify on Sunday before the Fast Nine battle it out for the pole. As Jay Frye examines and re-evaluates everything, I’m hoping he takes a close look at this and try something else that puts the run for the pole on Saturday and eliminates the requirement that everyone must qualify at least twice.

Unlike picking a race winner, I won’t pick a pole winner this year. It’s too wide open. I’m still not convinced that the Hondas are on par with the Chevy powered cars. Am I suggesting that Chevy has been sandbagging? Well, yes I am. With the boost being turned up today, I think we’ll have a much better idea of who has what by the end of the day.

I was challenged by James Black of 16th and Georgetown last week. Knowing the difficulties I face in getting away from Nashville n a timely manner, he said he would give me a dollar bill if I was sitting at my desk in the media center by noon today. Being the competitive person I am, I have accepted the challenge to Susan’s chagrin. That being said, we should be arriving at IMS by 11:30 local time. We should be anyway since Fast Friday starts at noon. Thanks James, I love a challenge.

As usual, Susan and I will be posting here throughout the qualifying weekend and will be here for a post-qualifying wrap-up Sunday evening. But please follow us on Twitter for photos and snarky comments all weekend. Follow me at @Oilpressureblog and Susan at @MrsOilpressure. Thanks for reading and please check back later.

George Phillips

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10 Responses to “Indianapolis 500 Qualifying Preview”

  1. Here is hoping that Chevrolet was NOT sandbagging. Of course, I will be able to keep up from my Nashville perch because my boss is out of town!

  2. Ron Ford Says:

    Have a safe trip. We will be looking forward to your posts. Good luck finding the ever more elusive tenderloin of yore. I don’t know of a single fan who likes the current qualifying format, much less understands it. Saturday qualifying seems pointless now and having to do it again on Sunday simply increases the chances of a wreck. I am underwhelmed by any drama artificially manufactured by the “fast nine” deal.

  3. billytheskink Says:

    Safe travels George and Susan. Good luck to the Hondas. Curse the meetings I too have to be in all day.

  4. Safe travels here. I am not convinced the Chevys aren’t sandbagging either. Yesterday’s no tow chart shows they have more than they’ve shown all week. see you at the track

  5. hey George. lets look at this stupid time trail format. its for one thing only . and that’s television!
    but does it really matter this year? I don’t think so with only 33 cars entered any way.

  6. When I first started watching Indycar in the 2007-2008 timeframe they were doing 11-11-11 and I thought that was an enjoyable format. I really like the Fast 9 format and was bored out of my mind last year when they did just 1 round of single car runs. However, I thought the earlier format was more fun (like 2011) and the last couple tweaks are both confusing and unnecessary.

  7. Yannick Says:

    I dislike the current qualifying format because it requires drivers to qualify at least twice, and 3 times for those in the Fast 9. Once should be enough.

    I agree with my forespeaker that the 11-11-11 format was OK but having 2 weekends of qualifying does not seem economically viable for the teams anymore, compared to not even 10 years ago.

    My guess is that there won’t be much going on on Saturday. It might just as well rain all Saturday. I mean look at last year when only 2 cars qualified Saturday (Hunter-Reay and Huertas) and had their speeds deleted due to the Chevy flips. That was pretty awful officialdom.

    Here’s wishing you a safe and enjoyable qualifying weekend.

  8. Enjoy.

  9. tonelok Says:

    After all the bitching and moaning from Marco Andretti earlier in the month, look who is second fastest behind Will Power on fast Friday.

    I was hoping to head up to Indianapolis tomorrow but I will probably have to work because of the weather. I remember looking at the schedule for the weekend to see what the qualifying format was going to be . It has changed so many times over the last 10 or so years. I thought to myself, it’s kind of sad that I have to look at the schedule to see what they’re going to be up to this year. I agree with you George. The first half of the field should qualify on Saturday in the second half of the field Sunday .

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