Barber Day Two Wrap-Up

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Sometimes the things you plan in your head, just never quite work out. I had planned on (and promised) to post here between Practice Three and Qualifying. Well, one thing led to another…yada,yada,yada…and we never came back in where I could write anything out. When we go to a race track, we actually like to go all over the race track.

We watched practice from the Turn Two spectator area that sits atop Turn Two. That is where we usually watch the start of this race, before moving around to other vantage points. The best thing about that area is that you can go up high and see many sections of the track, or you can go down right by the fence to get a good look at the cars coming out of the pits and merging with oncoming traffic – sometimes with interesting results. I took this 50-second video right by the fence, just as cars were coming back out of the pits after a red-flag situation in practice.

Shortly after taking that video, Jordan King slid through the gravel trap and walloped the armco barrier with a hard thud that resonated through the park. I happened to be in the right place and got a good picture of his damaged car on the hook.

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After practice we went and ate lunch and wandered through the paddock. I did take this one gratuitous photo of Susan in the garage area as the teams were working frantically on their cars to prepare for qualifying.

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We also came across Alexander Rossi, with a huge swarm of fans around him. He was taking time to sign everyone and pose for selfies.

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Soon after that, we headed to the Fan Zone across the track. There I found my biggest disappointment of the weekend. By the time we got there, it was hot and I was wanting an adult beverage to quench my thirst. There were some drinking establishments you had to pay an admission fee for the weekend just to go in, but I just wanted one beer. There was none to be found. We made a complete trip through the entire place and saw no beer for sale to the general public.

Finally, I spotted to young ladies that were drinking Michelob Ultra. That’s certainly not my brand, but t would do. They told us of a place that was very hard to spot that was selling beer – and it was the only lace o the grounds. We went and found it and I was ecstatic to see that they also offered my favorite – Budweiser. I got the 16 0z size. It was cold and delicious. But how can a race track justify having only one beer stand on the grounds?

We went up in the stands near the Fan Zone to watch qualifying. That’s a good vantage point because you can see a lot of the track and you can get a nice view of cars snaking through the backstretch.

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As I’ve seen before, a lot of the fans here don’t really get qualifying. When the second group of the first round was over, many apparently thought the field had been set. They all got up en masse and started to leave. Susan yelled out to them “It’s not over!” They looked at her like she had two heads and kept walking. I said nothing. I figure that if they’re that stupid, let them miss out.

Qualifying offered no real surprises. Tony Kanaan crashed going into Turn Two with time dwindling down in the first round. It capped off what has been a disastrous weekend for the Foyt team thus far. Kanaan will start last in the field (twenty-third), while teammate Matheus Leist will roll off twenty-first.

One surprise has been Rahal Letterman Lanigan. They have been quiet all weekend and it carried over into qualifying. Graham Rahal will start fifteenth, while Takuma Sato will start eighteenth.

At the front of the field on the pole will be last year’s winner, Josef Newgarden. Will Power will join his Team Penske teammate on the outside of Row One. Sébastien Bourdais and Ryan Hunter-Reay will make up Row Two and James Hinchcliffe and Scott Dixon rounded out the Firestone Fast Six.

The forecast for tomorrow looks slightly better. They are calling for occasional spotty showers, with the worst not hitting until after 6:00 – which will make for a fun drive home tomorrow night. It sounds like they will race, albeit on rain tires. Since no one has driven this new low-downforce edition of the DW12in the rain, which I found out this weekend is now called the Dallara UAK18 (Universal Aero Kit – hmmmm…) – it will be interesting to watch who can adjust on the fly. It should make for an interesting afternoon.

I’m still going with Scott Dixon to win. This has been a typical Scott Dixon weekend. He has not been spectacular, but he’s been on pace all weekend.

There is no early warm-up tomorrow. IndyCar has chosen to not do the Sunday morning warm-up on the permanent road courses this year. Teams just tested here a couple of weeks ago. What good does it do to get up early and rush to the track? They can’t test on street circuits during the year, so they will continue to have the early race-morning warm-ups on those.

With that being the case, and the fact that we will have a late night tomorrow night – we may sleep in a little before heading to the track. Still, we’ll be here before 11:00 tomorrow morning. Susan will also have her article posted before the race – that I promise.

That will do it for us today. It’s been a fun day at the track. Perfect weather at a gorgeous track with race cars on track all-day every day for three days. Could you really ask for much more?

George Phillips

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5 Responses to “Barber Day Two Wrap-Up”

  1. An early morning warm-up with rain tires would help some teams. If it is a wet race I’m going with Bourdais.

  2. Thanks for posting the photo of your gratuitously attractive wife. It’s a wonder she puts up with you. I am happy that you had to work to find that crummy Budweiser swill.

  3. NBC reported that three drivers are sick this weekend but I had trouble catching any names other than Zack Veach. I think they said one the other ones was Tony Kanaan. Was any announcement made in the press room.

    Zack said he had food poisoning and NBC said he had four IVs and a bunch of meds for nausea,

  4. thanks for sharing your observations, george. appreciate it. hope the rain is without lightning today. don’t they allow coolers inside the Barber Country Club?

    • Yes, they do. I know this because I left mine unattended for a bit and when I came back, someone had helped themselves To all of our beer, but they left the Cokes and water.

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