Fast Friday Is Now Complete

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So, I lied. I said that when the rains came, I would be back here to post something Well, the rains came as promised – I ate some lunch and headed to the garage area while the track dried.

The time that Sébastien Bourdais posted this morning stood as the fastest all day. The closest that anyone came to his speed of 233.116 was Ryan Hunter-Reay who managed a 232.132.

The big question is – is Chevy sand-bagging or are they really that slow? Juan Montoya, at fifth quickest, was the only representative of the Chevy camp among the Top-Twelve cars today. The other Team Penske cars were as follows; Helio Castroneves was thirteenth quick on the day, Will Power was sixteenth, Simon Pagenaud was twenty-third and Josef Newgarden was twenty-fourth.

The Honda-powered cars of Chip Ganassi Racing were so-so on the day. The fastest Ganassi car was driven by Tony Kanaan and was eleventh quick, immediately followed by Scott Dixon in twelfth. Max Chilton was eighteenth quick and Charlie Kimball was twentieth.

The team with the greatest success today was Andretti Autosport. Along with Hunter-Reay at second quick, Takuma Sato was third on the day, Fernando Alonso was fourth quick and Alexander Rossi was tenth on the day. Marco Andretti did not have a great day, posting on the fifteenth quickest time and Jack Harvey was twenty-fifth fastest.

The Hondas for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports were all solidly in the Top-Ten. James Hinchcliffe was sixth, Mikhail Aleshin was seventh and Jay Howard was eighth.

What does all of this mean? Probably absolutely nothing. But I do think that it does indicate that Honda has the upper-hand here. Looking at the entire speed chart, While Honda had eleven of the Top-Twelve, Chevy had nine of the Bottom-Ten.

Kudos to Dale Coyne Racing and Sébastien Bourdais for being the fastest of the day – after losing two engines over a six-day span. After a disastrous 2016 when Coyne had a revolving door in his cars, he has opted for stability this season and it has paid off. Sébastien Bourdais led the points leading into the Phoenix race. Had he not been taken out in the first lap at Phoenix and lost an engine in last week’s Grand Prix – he may be higher than his current seventh place in points.

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In the press conference after practice, Bourdais seemed to take everything in stride. He knows this is practice and it means nothing but bragging rights. But putting up a 233-plus is nothing to sneeze at.

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With a questionable weather forecast for both days this weekend, there is added importance to Saturday’s qualifying. If Sunday ends up as a washout – times posted on Saturday may end up being our starting grid for next Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

That’s going to do it for us today. We are going to grab a bite at a place yet to be determined and then go to Sarah Fisher’s Speedway Indoor Karting. Sometime we have to check into our hotel. We’ll be here tomorrow, so be sure and check back tomorrow. Thanks for following along today.

George Phillips

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2 Responses to “Fast Friday Is Now Complete”

  1. Ron Ford Says:

    It may not be generally known, but Bourdais is an excellent father. I believe he may still travel from race to race in a motor home to be able to spend time with his family and visit places along the way. I know this because the day after the last Milwaukee Mile race, which he won, I spotted him at a famous Wisconsin resort town called Wisconsin Dells. It has water parks, indoor and outdoor, karting tracks, and all the kinds of places that would attract kids.

  2. wish i had your energy.
    racing and posting and hoteling would
    have put me in the ER or the Nervous Hospital.
    please keep up because (obviously) i can’t.

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