GMR Grand Prix Friday Wrap-Up

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The grid is now set for Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix on the IMS road course. There will be some familiar faces and some different names up front. What is not too hard to believe is that Will Power will start from the pole. It is the Australian driver’s sixth pole at the IMS road course and his 64th career IndyCar pole – putting him within three of tying Mario Andretti’s all-time record.

It’s also not too unusual for Alex Palou to be starting alongside Power on the front row. It’s also not very different to find Josef Newgarden starting third. What is a little unusual is seeing Conor Daly starting fourth. But since his teammate, Rinus VeeKay won this race last year – it does seem that Ed Carpenter Racing has a pretty good handle on this circuit.

Speaking of VeeKay, the defending winner of this race never made it out of Round One. He will start fifteenth.

But that wasn’t the only surprise among drivers who will not be starting up front. Neither Colton Herta nor Alexander Rossi made it out of Round One either. They will start fourteenth and sixteenth respectively. Maybe the biggest surprise is that Scott Dixon will start twenty-first.

I had said that Romain Grosjean and Graham Rahal would probably qualify very close to each other. That part came true, as Grosjean starts tenth and Rahal will be right behind him, starting twelfth. However, I thought that they would qualify a lot closer to the front. Still it will be interesting to see if there are any lingering fireworks between the two tomorrow.

I predicted Romain Grosjean would earn his first IndyCar win on Saturday. If he is going to contend, he has his work cut out for him, coming from tenth.

Positions six through nine are filled by Felix Rosenqvist, Callum Ilott, Christian Lundgaard and Jack Harvey, who had his best qualifying effort of the season. I continue to be impressed with Ilott and his Juncos Hollinger Racing team.

Congratulations on another pole for Will Power. It took him a while to earn No. 64. I have an idea No. 65 is not too far off.

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Even if it stays dry, there is enough of a mixture of drivers that will make things very interesting. If it does rain, look out! Things could really get interesting.

Tenderloin Search:  Changing the subject, I went on an abbreviated tenderloin search. It’s usually tough to find any of the stands along Georgetown Road open on the Friday of the GP, if not impossible. But I also know to not eat one of those abominations from directly behind The Pagoda.

While I didn’t eat a tenderloin today, I found that most of the stands along Georgetown will sell them. That’s the good news.

The bad news is the price. In 2014, the Classic Jumbo Tenderloin cost $6. That was eight years ago. To buy a tenderloin at the track this May will set you back a whopping $12.50 Ouch! Here are all of the concession prices under the Paddock stands.

Prices

I will probably try one tomorrow if they are available, despite the hefty cost. I will let you know how they are.

That wasn’t the only sticker shock today. I bought a program in the gift shop. What cost $6 in 2006, has jumped up to $20 in 2022. Oh, well…I’m here once a year.

That will do it for me today. I am going to Dawson’s to treat myself to a tenderloin that I know is delicious. I will be back here first thing in the morning. Please check back then.

George Phillips

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