It’s Pole Day At IMS!
As pointless as the exercise of “qualifying” was yesterday, today actually matters. In fact, it matters a lot. Not only will the Fast Nine battle it out for the pole late in the day, but those in positions 10-33 will be vying to improve their position as well.
As dire as Pippa Mann’s situation seemed yesterday after her crash, she is still eligible to start as high as tenth – assuming she runs fast enough. That isn’t likely, since she will be the first to go out in the heat of the day, when qualifying starts at 2:45.
Each driver gets one attempt today, including the Fast Nine. There will be no re-qualifying and no withdrawn times. What the get is what they get. That puts some finality and urgency into each run. There are no do-overs. That is one part I like about this new format. It puts some importance into the run. Rick Mears always said that the four laps of qualifying were more pressure-packed than the actual race. Of course, that was in the days when there was no guarantee to make the race.
That’s what will be missing today. There will be no hearts broken by a driver not making the race today. Even if someone crashes on their run, they’ll simply start at the back. That is the genuine drama I miss about qualifying – not the manufactured and made for TV drama that we’ll witness today.
But, that’s the world we live in. I‘m not going to sit around and pout with a scowl on my face and pine for the “…good old days of the sixties”. I’ll enjoy today’s events and whoever wins the pole will have earned it.
As far as predictions go; based on what I saw yesterday with the way speeds continued to go up as the track cooled off – James Hinchcliffe will win the pole, simply because he will go last. He earned that position by posting the fastest time yesterday. That will put a Honda on the pole for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Who saw that coming two weeks ago?
Susan will have her post up here early afternoon in the lull of the day. I’ll be posting later today. In the meantime follow both of us on Twitter for photos and comments. Follow me at @Oilpressureblog and Susan at @MrsOilpressure.
The cars just fired up for practice, so I’m heading out. Please check back later and often.