Pocono Saturday Wrap-Up

Posted in IndyCar on August 17, 2019 by Oilpressure

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Sometimes, you just need to be flexible. There were two IndyCar practices and a qualifying session scheduled for today, but the weatherman had other ideas. A low ceiling prevented the med-evac helicopter from making it to the track. Cars are not allowed to run without the helicopter on the grounds, for obvious reasons. Then the rains came, in massive amounts at about 10:45. But it didn’t last long.

As expected, IndyCar cancelled qualifying and decided to set the grid by entrant points. But they needed a lot of practice for a 500-mile race, so they scheduled one tow-hour practice that got underway at 1:50 pm.

Although it doesn’t amount to more than bragging rights, but Tony Kanaan was the fastest on the day. He posted a quick lap of 216.354 mph. That was with a tow, but his no-tow speed was 213.968 mph, and he was still fifth-quick with that. So with all of the negative comments being flung toward AJ Foyt’s team, it looks like Tony Kanaan came ready to do battle this weekend.

That’s the good news for Chevy. The bad news is that besides Kanaan’s top speed, Chevy only placed two other cars in the Top-Ten – Simon Pagenaud was fifth quick and Charlie Kimball was eight fastest. Otherwise, the rest of the Top-Ten was filled with Honda-powered cars.

Santino Ferrucci sat in the second-quickest slot for most of the day, but right at the end of the session – Scott Dixon posted a 215.761 mph lap, bumping Ferrucci to third-quick with a 215.377 mph lap. Alexander Rossi and Pagenaud rounded out the Top-Five.

Where was points-leader Josef Newgarden? Only seventeenth quick on the day. His Penske teammate, Will Power was only twentieth out of twenty-two, with a speed of 213.953 mph. Was this typical Penske sand-bagging or are they really that off the pace. I tend to think they are sand-bagging, but we’ll find out tomorrow.

One team that I think is genuinely struggling is Ed Carpenter Racing. Spencer Pigot was twenty-first on the day and Ed Carpenter was the slowest car today, posting a fast time of only 213.207 mph. That shocks me, how they could be as fast as they were at Indianapolis but come to Pocono and be bringing up the rear of the field.

Tony Kanaan was brought into the Media Center after the practice, since he was fastest on the day. He seemed to be in a good mood, but turned to an all-business demeanor when asked about how he will do tomorrow.

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Kanaan is currently eighteenth in points, so I’m assuming that’s close to where he will start tomorrow. He promised to move into the Top-Ten on the start and then work his was forward from there. He’s obviously got a fast car so it’ll be fun to watch.

That will do it for us today. Susan will (hopefully) have a post up here either tomorrow before the race. I’ll close with a short video I took standing at Pit-In as the cars were coming off of Turn Three. Thanks for following along today and please check back tomorrow. It should be a very interesting race.

George Phillips

Welcome to Pocono Raceway!

Posted in IndyCar on August 17, 2019 by Oilpressure

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Welcome to an unusually warm and humid Pocono Raceway. It was actually sprinkling a few raindrops when we left our hotel this morning. I didn’t really think much about it. By the time we got settled at the track, it was time for the 9:30 am practice. Just as we were heading out to catch practice, we were told there would be a slight delay because the med-evac helicopter was not able to land due to the low ceiling – even though the sun was shining directly overhead.

A slight delay turned into an extended delay as darker clouds moved in over the track. At 10:15, IndyCar told the teams to take their equipment back to the paddock. As I type this, I’ve heard no word on a revised schedule, but I can’t imagine qualifying taking place without a wheel being turned in practice.

This is just a guess on my part, but I imagine practice will take place during the block allotted for qualifying and that the qualifying order will be set by points, but again – that is just speculation on my part.

It’s a shame the weather is becoming a factor. I think this weekend’s attendance is very important in determining the future of this event; if the fate hasn’t been decided already. The good news is that the crowd here before the practice that didn’t happen seemed much bigger than the last time I was here in 2017.

As I continue to type, I see darker skies out the window and I’ve heard my first rumble of thunder. And now here comes the rain. In fact, this shower has those big heavy drops that almost hurt when they hit you. I’m glad I’m currently inside. There was a sprint car out on track for some reason when the rains came, and he got stranded. They showed it on the monitors here in the Media Center and I grabbed a picture of it. You can see that they’ve definitely lost the track. No comment on the name of the car.

Mr. Beef

At least in the forty-five minutes we were out there, Susan was able to get some good shots of drivers in the pits. Enjoy her photos, and check back later for revisions in today’s schedule.

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Carpeter

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coyne

bordais

MARCO

herta

hinch ericcson

Rossi

veach auto

sato

Pocono Preview

Posted in IndyCar on August 16, 2019 by Oilpressure

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Later today, Susan and I will be boarding a northbound flight for the Poconos to attend this weekend’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. Unlike our grueling flight to Road America, which left Nashville at 5:30 am and routed us through Kansas City before eventually landing us in Milwaukee; our flight today leaves Nashville at a leisurely 1:00 pm and lands in semi-beautiful Newark, NJ at 4:00 (losing an hour). Assuming Friday rush-hour traffic isn’t too bad heading west out of New Jersey, we should get to our hotel around 6:30 or so. We may eat dinner along the way, or after we check in. It really doesn’t matter since there is no scheduled IndyCar track activity until 9:30 tomorrow morning. Leisurely travel days are nice when there are no looming deadlines.

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Jim Ayello Has Proven Himself

Posted in IndyCar on August 14, 2019 by Oilpressure

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Last week, I caught a glimpse of something on Twitter that made me dig a little deeper. As it turned out, Jim Ayello of The Indianapolis Star was announcing that his role at The Star would be changing soon and that he would be moving over from covering IndyCar to covering the Colts as his full-time job.

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More Questions Than Answers

Posted in IndyCar on August 12, 2019 by Oilpressure

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For the second time in less than two weeks, I have had a nice topic in mind to write about, only to have it blown up by some major IndyCar news. The topic originally planned for today will now be shifted to Wednesday, since I feel compelled to share my thoughts on the news that McLaren is coming to the NTT IndyCar Series full-time in 2020.

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The Long-Awaited Return of “Two Sites Unite”

Posted in IndyCar on August 9, 2019 by Oilpressure

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The last time that Paul Dalbey (Fieldof33.com) and I did a "Two Sites Unite" video together, we were both actually together at IMS immediately following qualifying for the Indianapolis 500. Two and a half months later we’re back; albeit via Skype. That’s way too long, and a lot has happened since then.

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The Most Dreaded Time of the Year

Posted in IndyCar on August 7, 2019 by Oilpressure

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By Susan Phillips

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here, maybe not since we went to Road America, so excuse me if I get on here to rant for just a bit. That trip to Road America was such a happy time. The weather was cool, we were both in good moods, the food was great, the drinks were even better, and that doesn’t even begin to describe how much we like being at that track. It seems like forever ago.

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