Day-Two Qualifying Wrap-Up

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As far as the Last Row Shootout, there was not really a whole lot of drama – at least not enough to justify the word “Shootout”. Each of the five cars made an attempt once the the session started, and this was the order on the bottom of the pylon after those five attempts.

It pretty much stayed that way.

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Then there was a lull…a big lull. All five of the drivers sat sweating in their cars, waiting on someone else to make a move. With about fifteen minutes to go, Charlie Kimball and RC Enerson made a couple of stabs at it, but to no avail. Simona De Silvestro nervously sat and played the waiting game. Her patience paid off as both challengers fell short. When it was over, she breathed a sigh of relief and climbed out of the car and gave a big waves to the fans in the upper deck of the stands, who were cheering loudly for her.

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For the record, the last row will be Sage Karam, Will Power and Simona De Silvestro.

After a thirty-minute break, the Firestone Fast Nine took place. With the slowest of the nine from Saturday, Marcus Ericsson, going first. The Fast Nine went almost according to yesterday’s speeds; except that Helio Castroneves,Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter went a little slower. Rinus VeeKay fired up the crowd when he was on the provisional pole with a four-lap average of 231.511 mph, going even faster than his boss Ed Carpenter. When Colton Herta laid down a 231.655, Scott Dixon knew he had his work cut out for him.

While the NTT IndyCar Series seems to be in the middle of a youth movement, experience is what counts the most at 16th and Georgetown. Dixon came out and let everyone know he was up to the challenge , when he posted a 232.757. At he end of the run, Dixon nipped Herta for the pole with a slightly faster speed of 231.685 mph.

Scott Dixon joins AJ Foyt, Rex Mays and Helio Castroneves with four poles in the Indianapolis 500. Rick Mears is the all-time leader with six, and no one has five.

The front row is a mix of experience and youth. Scott Dixon is forty, while Colton Herta is twenty-one and Rinus VeeKay is twenty.

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Now the boost gets turned down for the late afternoon practice, Carb Day and the race next Sunday. I’m not sure why the increased boost this weekend benefitted the Hondas more than the Chevys. Throughout the week, the two manufacturers appeared to be dead-even. Once the boost was added on Fast Friday, the only competitive Chevys seems to be those of Ed Carpenter Racing. The cars of Penske, McLaren and Foyt seemed to be out to lunch. Now that the boost is about to be dialed back, does that mean the Chevys will be more competitive in the race than they were this weekend? You would think so, but who knows?

I am not going to stick around for the final practice this afternoon. It is scheduled to go from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm. I plan on being in Kentucky by the time it is over. I will still have a (probably abbreviated) Random Thoughts post on Monday, and will continue posting every day in May this week.

That is going to do it for me for this weekend. Thanks to everyone who followed along. Don’t forget that the entries for the Trivia Contest are due on Tuesday May 25 by 6:00 pm EDT. Check back tomorrow morning.

George Phillips

3 Responses to “Day-Two Qualifying Wrap-Up”

  1. Trevor Gardiner Says:

    Thanks George. Good job

  2. Brandon Wright Says:

    Thanks for the coverage George, I found it to be a fun and entertaining weekend.

  3. Yannick Says:

    Thank you for the coverage of this event.
    The talent level of this field is so deep, it’s unbelievable.

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