Welcome to World Wide Technology Raceway

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Welcome to World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, which throughout the rest of the weekend will be known here as simply WWTR or just Gateway. I try to give sponsors their recognition, but that’s just way too much to type each time.

As promised, the weatherman has been kind to us this year. We were a little late arriving to the track (1:00 when cars were heading out for practice). But even at that late hour, it was only 77°. Even now as I type at 3:00 it’s only 82°. Compared to what we’ve had here for the last two years, this feels like a Godsend. It’s still supposed to be almost perfect for the race tomorrow night.

The first practice session is in the books, but it was not the usual cast of characters at the top. Surprisingly,rookie Santino Ferrucci paced the first session with a fastest lap of 184.804 mph. Second quick was another rookie – Marcus Ericisson, with a speed of 184.527 mph. Third quick on the session was my pick to win, Scott Dixon; who had a speed of 184.433 mph.

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Points leader Josef Newgarden was fourth and Sébastien Bourdais rounded out the Top-Five. Longtime fans will remember when Dale Coyne Racing was a punchline – not anymore. They have placed both of their cars in the Top-Five and both of their drivers are now legitimate threats to win each race. That team has come a long way and I don’t feel like they get enough recognition for what they’ve accomplished.

Other championship contenders, Alexander Rossi and Simon Pagenaud, were sixth and fourteenth respectively.

The Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports cars practically bookended the field for the practice session. While Marcus Ericsson was the second fastest, James Hinchcliffe was the slowest, with a speed of 180.122 mph. Marco Andretti was second slowest at 180.620 mph.

There’s not a ton of time from practice to qualifying. Practice ended at 2:00 and qualifying starts at 5:15, but the NBCSN broadcast begins at 5:00 – all times are Central Daylight Time.

Just as I was wrapping this up, a press conference started featuring Graham Rahal and St. Louis Blues defenceman Colton Parayko. The two of them struck up a friendship back in 2013. With the Blues winning the Stanley Cup, the two of them were brought in.

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The Stanley Cup will be here tomorrow night for the Blues to show it off. While I appreciate the tradition of the Stanley Cup, I’m a little partial to the Borg-Warner Trophy. Still, if able – I will get a photo of it.

We’re going to go get what will essentially be a combination of lunch and dinner before qualifying. Then between qualifying and the final night practice, we are going to get together with our friend, Lynn Weinberg and her dad. We haven’t seen Lynn since Barber of 2018, she’s a hoot and a very knowledgeable race fan.

That’ll do it for now. I’ll have a quick post up here later tonight after practice. In the meantime, please follow us on Twitter for photos and video. You may follow me at @Oilpressureblog and Susan at @MrsOilpressure. Please check back later.

George Phillips

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