It’s Qualifying Day at IMS

Good morning from a sun-drenched, but cool Indianapolis Motor Speedway. As predicted, just as we were packing up to leave around 7:00 last night, A downpour came. The rains were so heavy that we could hardly see the grandstands across the track from the media center. What does that mean, other than we had a very soggy drive to Dawson’s? It means that all the rubber from the past three days has been washed off of the race track, and those hitting practice at 8:30 this morning will be faced with a very green track.

There have been no incidents this month, but an ill-timed crash today could really put a team behind the 8-ball. No matter who it is, it would be devastating for any team to have their driver wad up a car just before qualifying. The best teams would most likely be taken out of contention for the pole. One of the slower teams would suddenly find themselves in danger of making the race.

They would be joining the likes of Callum Ilott, RC Enerson, Stefan Wilson and any of the Rahal cars just fighting to stay off of the bottom. You only have to beat one car to be in the race. Just don’t be that one car.

There have been good crowds here all week, relatively speaking. Thirty years ago, I was here on Fast Friday in 1993 and the crowd was huge – much bigger than we will see today or tomorrow. But times change, and the crowds we’ve seen for practice this week have been bigger than recent years.

Yesterday’s crowd was so big that we had problems getting into the media lot. We sat in traffic for roughly forty-five minutes. While I was glad to see a big wave of people for Fast Friday, I would’ve preferred to not be held up in traffic. We came in much earlier today and had few problems.

That’s going to do it for us for now. Practice starts in about ten minutes, and we want to get out there. This morning’s practice will be available on Peacock. Qualifying gets underway at 11:00 am and will at first be shown on Peacock, then will switch over to Big NBC from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm EDT, before switching back to Peacock only for the conclusion.

Depending on if there is a mid-afternoon lull, I may have a midday post here. If not, I’ll return at the end of the day with a recap of the days activities. Susan will work on her next post today and will post tomorrow late morning, since things don’t get going until Sunday afternoon. Please check back later today.

George Phillips

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