It’s Pole Day At IMS

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Good morning from a sunny and quiet Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For some reason, track activity does not begin until noon. That’s a departure from recent years, when practice would start in the morning. I actually preferred that, because the run for the pole would conclude at 3:00 and we could get on the road at a decent hour. This year, practice starts at noon and the Fast Nine will conclude at 6:00. I think I smell ABC. But I’m not sure why, because a look at the local programming in Nashville shows an infomercial for an Airfryer oven and Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild. Just before IndyCar coverage begins is a one-hour episode of The James Brown Show. Hmmm…

There is still no word on whether or not Jay Howard will come out of the SPM car in favor of James Hinchcliffe. That hasn’t stopped a flurry of opinions and rumors from flying around. Last night, there was an AP story saying that IMS would expand the field to thirty-five cars. IMS came out this morning squashing that notion. There is a local Indianapolis reporter that has been very vocal before and after yesterday’s events, on the evils that Bump Day presents. In my opinion he has crossed the line from journalist to standing on a soapbox. If he wants to do that, he needs to start a blog.

The weather could play a factor this afternoon – another reason why this should be scheduled earlier. All of this sunshine is going to waste right now. By the time 4:00 hits, we could have weather. There is a small line approaching and could be here by 12:30. There is a much larger system to the west, but I seriously doubt that it will be a factor.

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Today, we not only find out who gets on the pole – we also find out everyone’s starting position. Did the Rahal cars find speed overnight? Will some of the surprise runs from yesterday, like Kyle Kaiser being twenty-first quick, continue through today or will he come back to reality today.

In the Fast Nine, many people will be watching Danica Patrick as she tries to become the first woman to qualify on the pole. Ohers will be watching the only two Hondas of Sébastien Bourdais and Scott Dixon, to see if they can salvage a disappointing day for the Japanese brand.

Team Penske has a chance to make history. In 1988, they became the first team to occupy the entire front row. It has not been done since. They have a chance to repeat the feat thirty years later. Things will get interesting.

Practice will run from noon until 2:00. After a short break, qualifying for positions 10-33 will begin at 2:45 and Fast Nine qualifying begins at 5:00.

Susan is putting the final touches on her post and will have it up here shortly. I’m going t go roam the garage area to watch the teams get ready for practice.

You may follow me on Twitter at @Oilpressureblog for photos, comments and videos. You may also follow Susan at @MrsOilpressure. Please check back later.

George Phillips

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