Welcome To Pole Day At Indianapolis

Welcome to another soggy day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Torrential rains swept through the area around 9:30 this morning. It has stopped and practice is now underway. The good news is that the forecast for this afternoon is perfect – sunny and a high of 72-degrees. With cooler temperatures, I’m guessing that speeds may be higher than yesterday. Based on the early speeds we’re seeing in practice, I’d say that’s the case. Ed Jones already has turned a lap of 233.008 mph.

Sébastien Bourdais underwent successful surgery last night at Methodist Hospital. He is expected to be hospitalized for about ten days. His IndyCar season is officially over as well as his scheduled drive at his hometown of Le Mans next month. The good news is that he is still with us. Without the SAFER barrier and the HANS device, this story may have had a far worse outcome.

James Davison has been announced as the replacement for Bourdais. Although it is an unpopular choice among the people that I’ve talked with – to me, it makes sense. He has had two “500” starts, one of them with Coyne in 2015. The sentimental choice was Stephan Wilson, but in these circumstances with no time to practice – I think it’s a wise move.

As for today, there seems to be some confusion here about the last row and whether the three drivers are locked in. I still think that is the case, but I’ve asked a couple of people and they aren’t sure. I guess we’ll know in a couple of hours. One thing that is for certain – if we are now three or four years into this new qualifying format and we die-hands are still confused about it – that tells you it’s way to convoluted for casual fans to understand it. I really don’t like this format at all.

As far as the Fast Nine are concerned, Chevy really needs to step up its game. Sure they had the fastest qualifier yesterday in Ed Carpenter, but they only had two other cars in the Fast Nine. Chip Ganassi Racing had two Hondas with Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan, while Andretti Autosport has Marco Andretti, Takuma Sato, Alexander Rossi and Fernando Alonso filling out the Honda contingent. Ed Carpenter’s teammate JR Hildebrand and Team Penske’s Will Power have the other two Chevys in today’s Fast Nine, which will run at 5:00 today local time.

That’s going to do it for now. We’re going to go out to enjoy the sunshine and practice. I’ll be back after qualifying is over. In the meantime, Susan and I will comment and post photos on Twitter throughout the day. Follow me at @Oilpressureblog or Susan at @MrsOilpressure. Check back later.

George Phillips

One Response to “Welcome To Pole Day At Indianapolis”

  1. Bruce Waine Says:

    Not to be overlooked is that Sebastian’s two lap speed average prior to his third lap accident apparently exceeded Ed’s three lap average.

    Another Honda otherwise displacing a Chevrolet ?

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