Carb Day Rolls On

Despite a heavy thunderstorm that rolled through the Indianapolis Motor Speedway around 9:00 this morning, as soon as the lightning subsided, the fans rolled through the gates. We correctly assumed that practice would be slightly delayed, so we stayed at the hotel a little longer.

That strategy backfired because the traffic heading into the track was much heavier than we expected. When we finally got parked, we were on our way to the Media Center when we heard the cars screeching out of pit lane, announcing that practice had started at 11:20.

But we trudged on and finally made it. When I looked out and saw the crowd sitting in the Tower Terrace and an even heavier crowd in the pits; I suddenly became a snob and figured I’d observe practice from the giant plate glass windows of the IMS Media Center, in the air- conditioning.


I’m not sure how much stock I put into Carb Day practice times. I think most are just working on how well their car handles in traffic and figuring out how and when to pass. But for those that are interested, Tony Kanaan led today’s practice with a fast lap of 225.517 mph. Santino Ferrucci was second quick on the day with a speed of 225.486 mph. Takuma Sato, Jordan King and James Davison rounded out the Top-Five. Pole-sitter Simon Pagenaud was twenty-second, Ed Carpenter was eighteenth and Ed Jones was thirty-first; so the front-row was obviously not looking for speed. The slowest two cars were Kyle Kaiser and Ben Hanley.

The Freedom 100 was run after the IndyCar practice was over. There was a frightening crash in Turn Four during the early going involving Chris Windom and David Malukas. Both drivers were OK. In the end, it was Oliver Askew winning by the slimmest of margins over teammate Ryan Norman. I write like I know who they are, but most know that I don’t really follow Indy Lights or the Road to Indy. I’m not proud of that, but I just don’t have the time nor interest to follow the lower series. I know, my man-card needs to be revoked.

After that it was the MotoGator Pit Stop Challenge. Marcus Ericsson and Scott Dixon faced off in the finals, with Ericsson and Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports taking the win. It was the first time in fifteen years that a team other than Penske or Ganassi won the Pit Stop Challenge.

And then there was the crowd. There are two concerts this afternoon. As I type, Kool & The Gang is playing on the Turn Four stage. This is about as close as I care to get to the concert stage.


The crowd is big, but in all honesty – I’ve seen bigger here for Carb Day. I have an idea that either Foreigner, which plays later this afternoon is not that big a draw; or the weather this morning scared some people off.



Although I opted for comfort, Susan braved the crowds in the pits and got a few photos.

dario power




beach balls

That’s going to do it for today. Tonight a bunch of us have been invited to the world premier of Rapid Response, the documentary based on the book of the same name by Dr. Steve Olvey. It chronicles the IndyCar Safety Team over the decades. The premier is hosted by none other than Robin Miller, so it should be an enjoyable evening.

My brother and his crew get in late tonight, so we will be meeting up with them tomorrow morning (hopefully at Charlie Brown’s – I haven’t been there yet this month). We will be spending all day tomorrow for Legends Day, with my favorite part – the running of the roadsters. Then we will thrill Susan with our annual trip to the museum tomorrow afternoon.

Please check back tomorrow. In the meantime, please follow us on Twitter for photos and videos. You may follow me at @Oilpressureblog and Susan at @MrsOilpressure.

George Phillips

One Response to “Carb Day Rolls On”

  1. billytheskink Says:

    Foreigner not that big of a draw?! That’s got me hot-blooded!

    I felt awful for Windom, who missed last year’s Freedom 100 after a practice wreck and was wrecked out of this year’s through no fault of his own. On top of that, he cut a tire and flipped in the Hoosier Hundred last night.

    The Lights put on a great show at the Speedway though.

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