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View Full Version : Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...



Bball
05-12-2011, 03:55 AM
This Indy feels a little odd. Yes, it's the 100th anniversary of the Speedway (though not the 100th race because the race wasn't ran during the WWII and WWI as well IIRC). After a prior season with several positive PR moves and good buzz for the future the proverbial wheels seem to have gotten loose here lately.

Firestone announced this is their last in Indycar... then a 11th hour deal was announced to have them back for next season.

Trump announced as Pace car driver...then canned and replaced by AJ Foyt after a backlash over Trump. I suspect most of the PR damage from that hiccup will be local and short-lived because by the time the race rolls around national viewers will never even know Trump was going to drive the Pace Car and that there was a furor over it. They'll see Foyt in the Pace car and that will be that. Most locals are pleased to see Foyt in that role even if the path was a little rocky so that will help it blow over.

Meanwhile, talk of changes to allow the cars to potentially set track records again this year has died out over the winter. Roughly, qualifying speeds won't be much different than last year in all likelihood.

New cars are scheduled for next season. So it's one more season of sameness with the current chassis. But next year will allow different aero packages giving the cars different looks. ...Except the owners have now voted to hold off on that 1 more year. Boo Hiss... That's been the general fan reaction to the owner's desire. And it's understandable. IMHO the sooner Indy can get away from spec-racing the better... and every small step in that direction needs to be taken just as soon as possible. (Note: And I have no idea why they didn't open the rule book up in this season for these current model Dallaras and let the teams experiment). So, now the series is debating on listening to the fans or the owners on the aero package rules for next year.

At least the turbos are coming back next year and multiple engine manufacturers will be back on the track next season. ...Unless there's an announcement ready to take the wind out of the sails of that needed change.

So for a month of May that was looking like a bridge into a new era of Indycar, somewhere along the lines someone decided some cold water needed thrown into the mix.

That all said, this should be a strong lineup this year. You've got some really good one-offs trying to make the race along with what's been 26 or so regulars for the series. So there will be 40 or so cars and drivers trying to make the 33 car field. Bump day should be interesting. Let's hope the weather cooperates to make qualifying as dramatic as it should be. Give them plenty of practice days and a clear weekend of quals. There will probably be some series regulars spending time on the bubble as well as loading their car back on the hauler come 6PM next Sunday.

By the way... as important as "happy hour" has been to the fans and media throughout the years why can't anyone figure out that the track needs to be open until 7PM due to DST for "happy hour" to have the same impact it used to have with the cooling track temps and shadows making the track conducive for finding speed? Every year since DST I keep expecting them to make the change in the schedule but they don't. The only real reason I can see is so local TV news can cover the final hour during practice each day.

And BTW... I read that Helio isn't over his IRS problems yet. After the IRS losing in criminal court they are undeterred and proceeding in Civil court... and basically over the same issues that they lost in criminal court over. In Civil court he's facing no jail time but he's facing huge penalties and interest and a lower threshold for a guilty verdict. Makes me wonder if some of the questionable driving we've seen from his this year is because this troublesome stuff is sapping his focus?

DaveP63
05-12-2011, 08:00 AM
Here's the link to the photo gallery of the new car. I think it looks like a cross between the delta wing and the conventional car. Not sure I like the big fat a$$ on it...

http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/indycar-2012-presentation-car-unveiled

On the upside, I plan on heading to Carb Day for the first time in several years just to see out the old "crapwagons".

Bball
05-14-2011, 04:17 PM
Track is open and so far 224.786 is the top speed. In 1990 the pole speed was 225.301

It's not hard to see why interest has waned....

PacerDude
05-14-2011, 05:57 PM
I'm not so sure the speeds are the problem - it's the drivers. Back in the 90's, there was name recognition. We knew the guys. Now, anyone with a bankroll can get in the race - talented or not. Then, lay back, stay out of trouble, get a good finish ............... BORING.

Bball
05-14-2011, 09:39 PM
I'm not so sure the speeds are the problem - it's the drivers. Back in the 90's, there was name recognition. We knew the guys. Now, anyone with a bankroll can get in the race - talented or not. Then, lay back, stay out of trouble, get a good finish ............... BORING.

It's going to be hard to lay back and get a good finish this year. It really is a good field.

I get your point though and it's valid. I think there's a vicious cycle taking place too though.... It's hard for these drivers to get name recognition if nobody is paying attention.

It's hard to get excited about practice and quals when the cars are running 1989-90 speeds. Even if they can pick up the pace as the week goes on it's probably safe to say they will be about 10MPH off the 1996 pace.

PacerDude
05-15-2011, 06:49 AM
It's hard to get excited about practice and quals when the cars are running 1989-90 speeds. Even if they can pick up the pace as the week goes on it's probably safe to say they will be about 10MPH off the 1996 pace.Yeah - there's a lot wrong with the race lately. Though, I've been there often enough and to a spectator, 210 isn't that much different than 225 or 230. It's a number - maybe if they went metric and called out the speeds in KPH, some people would get more interested. "And it's a new track record .......... 337.95 KPH."

This whole qualifying thing is pretty odd also. A 9 car 'shootout' for the pole ?? WTF ?? Eh, I'm not sure what they need to do to fix things, but it just ain't what it used to be. I remember the whole town being about the race for the whole month. Now, it's not much more than an afterthought.

Oh - and when they DO promote it ............. there's just waaaaaaaaaaay too much Danica. There are a few other gals that are running who are just as competitive, but they get no publicity. Simply because they haven't sold out and prefer just to race.

grace
05-15-2011, 12:51 PM
Oh - and when they DO promote it ............. there's just waaaaaaaaaaay too much Danica.

Next year she'll be in NASCAR full time so we won't have that problem. :pray:

Lou Bega
05-15-2011, 03:58 PM
Hate on the weather only. 40 Cars 33 Spots going to be a great weekend next week. I think everybody will qualify on Sat and Sunday will be nothing but bumping.

One of my greatest track memories was when John Andretti made the race in 2008 on bump day. I was @ the track and rooting for the local boy. Drama and Bumping is great and we have that this year.

idioteque
05-15-2011, 05:52 PM
I'm not so sure the speeds are the problem - it's the drivers. Back in the 90's, there was name recognition. We knew the guys. Now, anyone with a bankroll can get in the race - talented or not. Then, lay back, stay out of trouble, get a good finish ............... BORING.

I agree with this. I don't mean to sound xenophobic, but it is a lot easier to relate to a guy who grew up working on cars in some garage in Indiana or North Carolina (or is at least descended from someone who did) rather than some rich boy from England or Brazil.

Sandman21
05-15-2011, 06:15 PM
Anyone but Team Penske to win.

Bball
05-15-2011, 06:20 PM
Hate on the weather only. 40 Cars 33 Spots going to be a great weekend next week. I think everybody will qualify on Sat and Sunday will be nothing but bumping.

One of my greatest track memories was when John Andretti made the race in 2008 on bump day. I was @ the track and rooting for the local boy. Drama and Bumping is great and we have that this year.

Lou,
Everyone won't qualify on Saturday. Only 24 cars will qualify on Saturday. Only 24 spots are available on Saturday. So, technically, you could see bumping on Saturday trying to make those 24 spots. Then there will be a 9 car shootout for the pole during the final session on Saturday with the top 9 cars locked into to the top 9 spots and guaranteed no worse than 9th starting spot no matter how they do in the pole session.

On Sunday, the final 9 spots will be filled and then bumping will begin with the slowest car (no matter what day they qualified) on the bubble.

And if the weather holds out it should be fairly dramatic with the depth of this year's field. Especially if the weather cooperates enough for the one-offs to get plenty of practice this week and level the playing field even more.

DaveP63
05-16-2011, 05:18 PM
Next year she'll be in NASCAR full time so we won't have that problem. :pray:

Simona will eat her lunch this year. She is 100% for real.

Sollozzo
05-16-2011, 07:15 PM
Like Danica or not, she at least injects some national interest in the race. ANYTHING that makes people talk about the Indy 500 is good as far as I'm concerned. Ever since Tony threw his fit the race has been dead as far as most are concerned.

Bball
05-16-2011, 08:39 PM
Like Danica or not, she at least injects some national interest in the race. ANYTHING that makes people talk about the Indy 500 is good as far as I'm concerned. Ever since Tony threw his fit the race has been dead as far as most are concerned.

I dunno... That was true but I think Danica is just a giant turn-off for most Indycar fans and casual race fans now. It's turned into the time spent talking about Danica is time that could be spent talking about someone who is relevant to the sport for actual accomplishments.

For potential new fans, I think they hear the Danica stuff and end up tuning out.... They probably think if she's all the series has to talk about, why bother?

The only thing the Danica talk does now is gin up interest in Nascar fans who are curious about her coming to their series.

And I don't think they are tuning in Indycar races to keep tabs on her so there's not much benefit there.

Although I must say the boos she generated at driver introductions last year at the 500 was pretty funny.

Probably the only thing worse than being under-hyped is being over-hyped... And Danica has that down.

DaveP63
05-16-2011, 08:48 PM
Like Danica or not, she at least injects some national interest in the race. ANYTHING that makes people talk about the Indy 500 is good as far as I'm concerned. Ever since Tony threw his fit the race has been dead as far as most are concerned.

I agree, but I don't know how much buzz she's good for these days. A lot of people are Danica'd out. We'll see what she can do now that she's the queen bee.

ilive4sports
05-17-2011, 04:18 AM
Anyone but Team Penske to win.

I was able to go to the Indy races at Nazareth Speedway from 1996-1999 because of Team Penske. My dad knew a guy and that was the closest track around and we got pit passes and everything. Met a ton of drivers too. Bobby Rahal, Bryan Herta, Robby Gordon (my personal favorite), and some more. Great times.

I haven't really followed the scene for a long time now.

DaveP63
05-17-2011, 07:47 AM
225 on day three (2) of practice. Pretty impressive given the windy conditions. Expect some 227s when they can get trimmed out.

duke dynamite
05-18-2011, 03:30 PM
I met a ton of drivers last weekend. I'll post photos.

Sollozzo
05-18-2011, 03:50 PM
I dunno... That was true but I think Danica is just a giant turn-off for most Indycar fans and casual race fans now. It's turned into the time spent talking about Danica is time that could be spent talking about someone who is relevant to the sport for actual accomplishments.

For potential new fans, I think they hear the Danica stuff and end up tuning out.... They probably think if she's all the series has to talk about, why bother?

The only thing the Danica talk does now is gin up interest in Nascar fans who are curious about her coming to their series.

And I don't think they are tuning in Indycar races to keep tabs on her so there's not much benefit there.

Although I must say the boos she generated at driver introductions last year at the 500 was pretty funny.

Probably the only thing worse than being under-hyped is being over-hyped... And Danica has that down.

I agree that she's been over-hyped, but she's actually raced pretty well at Indy:

05 - 4th (led the race at one point)
06 - 8th
07 - 8th
08 - 22
09 - 3rd
10 - 6th

That's pretty solid anyway you slice it. In 5 out of 6 years she has placed in the top 10. It's not like she is Sarah Fishering it and wrecking year after year. She has clearly proven that she can race at Indy and has had more success there than any woman. That is deserving of some hype.

I know it can get annoying, but I'll still stand by what I said and that's that ANY hype for Indy is good hype. When she led the race in 05 that gave the event national attention. And when was the last time the Indy 500 had national attention like that? It was pre-1996, that's for sure. As far as the rest of the country is concerned, the race has been dead since George ruined something that didn't need fixing.

Sandman21
05-18-2011, 06:13 PM
And to be fair to Danica, that 22nd place finish was a result of Briscoe being a fool in the pits and IIRC not her fault (although I do recall her having some issues during the 04 race at points).

DaveP63
05-18-2011, 06:56 PM
I agree that she's been over-hyped, but she's actually raced pretty well at Indy:

05 - 4th (led the race at one point)
06 - 8th
07 - 8th
08 - 22
09 - 3rd
10 - 6th

That's pretty solid anyway you slice it. In 5 out of 6 years she has placed in the top 10. It's not like she is Sarah Fishering it and wrecking year after year. She has clearly proven that she can race at Indy and has had more success there than any woman. That is deserving of some hype.

I know it can get annoying, but I'll still stand by what I said and that's that ANY hype for Indy is good hype. When she led the race in 05 that gave the event national attention. And when was the last time the Indy 500 had national attention like that? It was pre-1996, that's for sure. As far as the rest of the country is concerned, the race has been dead since George ruined something that didn't need fixing.

Credit where credit is due. BTW, Exactly how many "Sara Fishering it's" were Sara's fault?

Bball
05-19-2011, 01:40 PM
Speeds climbed to over 226 today with Townsend Bell posting that a short while ago.
Simona was burned in a bad looking crash when something broke on her car. The crash initially doesn't look bad at the first contact but then gets hairy after the car slides down the track, gets airborne, and gets into the catch fence and catches on fire and gets upside down.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=18pFE6cRHYw

Bball
05-22-2011, 03:24 AM
Say what you want about the new qualifying format but it's certainly done what it intended:
Keep the day active for fans and create drama.

Allowing the cars 3 attempts per day and making only 24 spots available on day 1 of qualifying pretty much guarantees everyone is going to go out and take at least one shot to get a number on the board. Not only do you see what you have compared to others but you don't have to worry about getting bumped and your car being relegated to the scrap heap. So the fans get to see some non-stop track activity.

Then you have the people trying to make that top 9 so they have a shot at the pole in the final session and the decisions they have to make about standing on their times or taking another shot at the top 9. You could toss out a fairly solid time in the top 24, get on the track and the conditions change, miss your setup, whatever... and find yourself in worse shape than before. Or like today, have weather be a factor and end up like Helio with a bad run and no opportunity to get back out and get himself into the top 9.

The Captain can't be happy with only one car decently qualified (Will Power), Helio only being mid pack after being the top speed on Friday, and Briscoe not even able to make the top 24.

Honestly, just allowing cars 3 attempts, even if you are bumped from the field, creates action and drama because teams don't fear wasting an attempt plus they want that safe number on the board in case weather or whatever would shorten the day. And with everyone free to take an attempt with little downside it gets you a better idea of where your team AND the other teams really are. Fast 9 session or not, you'd still have cars considering withdrawing and going for the pole. But with the Fast 9 session it does condense the time for the 1st qualifying session so you can't wait too long on better weather/track conditions or you risk taking your fate out of your hands (see: Helio... today).

Tagliani putting the car on the pole was a great story. Too bad it wasn't on ABC or NBC (as the case may be in a year or two) for more people to see and follow. I'm sure casual fans who might never stumble across Versus, or even try, would've been caught up in the activity.

And that said, I'm sure glad Versus gave us that 90 mins or whatever it was this afternoon of pre-Preakness coverage while Indy qualifying was still going on.

Of course, in the old days the chances of much going on in those afternoon hours at IMS on Pole Day would be pretty low. But the new format has changed that traditional dead period. So TV could've found plenty of track activity and storylines to fill that time.

Sunday afternoon (bump day) should be interesting. Penske's still got 1 unqualified car and all of Andretti Autosport's regulars (including Princess Sparkle Pony) need more speed to make the race. The numbers don't necessarily bode well for every one of them making it if they don't find some speed. But their one-off driver (John Andretti) did qualify and they think he found the issue that will help all of their cars find some speed Sunday.

Jay Penske has some issues to work thru for his upstart Dragon Racing team. Scott Speed hasn't been very fast and left the team in a huff on Friday. Supposedly, they've ironed out their differences and he'll attempt to qualify Sunday. Meanwhile, the team's other driver crashed and suffered a concussion on Pole Day so he won't be cleared to drive until at least next week. And since he's not got a car qualified yet at best someone else would need to qualify it and then turn it over to Ho-Pin Tung IF he gets cleared for race day. It's at best questionable if the Dragon team can get a car in the field, let alone 2 given the circumstances. Any drivers without a ride, and a resume' that says they can gas a car without much seat time should be calling Jay Penske about now. Unfortunately, Rich Vogel is no longer with us.

grace
05-22-2011, 01:24 PM
Any drivers without a ride, and a resume' that says they can gas a car without much seat time should be calling Jay Penske about now. Unfortunately, Rich Vogel is no longer with us.

Patrick Carpentier wrecked Scott Speed's so now Dragon doesn't have a working car.

Bball
05-22-2011, 04:25 PM
The nightmare scenario for the Speedway... Rain... Limited qualifying... Track is being dried now... And Danica hasn't been able to get her car on the track to make an attempt... and the field is full.

AFAIK (barring a change in the rules that I've missed) you are guaranteed 1 attempt to qualify for the 500 and Danica had that yesterday. And that doesn't mean you have to get on the track, just that your position in line comes up and you have a chance to roll out then. And technically, even if the rule has changed and it's a 'per day' rule now, Danica's slot came up and her car wasn't ready (failed tech for some issue) today. So she's had an opportunity to take the track already today.

BUT... she's first in line as soon as the track dries... IF the track dries...

And there's also the issue of WOULD the Speedway extend the 6PM official closing time? Barnhart didn't actually rule that possibility out when asked when the rain started falling for the 2nd time today.

The Andretti team is having a rough 500 right now. It's pretty likely if q's resume for any length of time at all that they will get a car or two bumped.

Scott Speed was hoping to find another ride but the rain has almost made that an impossible scenario. He'd need a miracle to find a car and speed... let alone time...

Bball
05-22-2011, 04:38 PM
Barring more rain it looks like quals will resume just before 5PM... and go until 6PM...

Day-V
05-22-2011, 07:47 PM
That was an awesome Bump Day.

Sandman21
05-22-2011, 11:44 PM
Thats two awesome bump days in a row... Maybe IMS is onto something?

grace
05-23-2011, 01:45 PM
And Danica hasn't been able to get her car on the track to make an attempt... and the field is full.


That was my favorite part of the whole day. I would have rathered it kept raining so she couldn't qualify (since she'd failed tech and missed her inital spot qualifying), but I didn't want her taking John Andretti's ride from him. You know that would have happened. :mad:

DaveP63
05-23-2011, 06:56 PM
They can deny it all they want, but Cousin John would have been without a ride. Bet on it. Part of me really likes the fact that some of the big dogs struggled. Makes the appreciate how hard is used to be and hopefully, will be, in the future.

Bball
05-23-2011, 07:12 PM
Ryan Hunter-Reay is back in the 500. Andretti and Foyt have worked out a deal. Hunter-Reay will take over the #41 car qualified 19th by Bruno Junquera for the Foyt team.

For the 2nd time in 3 years Junquera gets the short end of the stick, losing his ride to another driver.

Per the rules, the driver change means the car will start 33rd.

Bball
05-23-2011, 07:31 PM
They can deny it all they want, but Cousin John would have been without a ride. Bet on it. Part of me really likes the fact that some of the big dogs struggled. Makes the appreciate how hard is used to be and hopefully, will be, in the future.

Not sure... considering the Hunter-Reay deal and how that has played out. Also, besides sponsorship considerations (although how much does Window World really pay for their sponsorship?), I think there'd be a severe anti-Danica PR backlash if they put her in John Andretti's car.

Honestly, I think they would've allowed another hour of quals if the rain would've forced them to not have the track dry in time for Danica to get a run.

Keep in mind, Barnhart sidestepped saying they wouldn't do that when asked. He said something about it was too early to think about that and to just see if they could get the track ready first.

IMHO had Danica been qualified Barnhart's answer would've been different... It would've been "The field is full... Everyone has had their chance to qualify this weekend. Qualifying ends at 6PM"

....We'll never know now...

There was plenty of drama and storylines this weekend. Robin Miller said it was the best in 30 years because of the storylines.

Things like the Scott Speed/Jay Penske situation would've been a major story not all that long ago, but there were so many other relevant stories to follow that they just went on the backburner.

And being a sucker for real emotion I gotta admit it choked me up a little when Bob Jenkins choked up telling how about 20 people got together at the S/F line back in Feb after the Tom Carnegie memorial to have a drink in Tom's memory.

I really wish last year they would've let Tom say "Ladies and Gentlemen... Start Your Engines". In fact, I thought that was what they were going to do when they went to him but instead that let him announce Mari-Hulman George to say it again.

Bball
05-23-2011, 07:43 PM
That was my favorite part of the whole day. I would have rathered it kept raining so she couldn't qualify (since she'd failed tech and missed her inital spot qualifying), but I didn't want her taking John Andretti's ride from him. You know that would have happened. :mad:

I was hoping she'd get her shot and not make it... or get bumped. I didn't want to hear how they had her car all figured out and she just got screwed out of taking the track. ...Or else she'd have to go out there and gas it on a bonzai run to make the race. The last thing I wanted was to hear anybody whining how the fastest 33 weren't in the race... how Danica got robbed... etc etc etc....

So she made it on her time. Good for her.

Now, let's see how many spots she can lose to start the race.... I swear she must put her car into reverse for starts and re-starts...

PacerDude
05-23-2011, 08:07 PM
http://www.wthr.com/story/14700758/hunter-reay-may-still-get-indy-500-ride

I just don't think stuff like this is right. I know - it's all about the $$, but it's just not the right way for a driver to get in the field.

grace
05-23-2011, 08:46 PM
I sure hope Bruno got lots of $$$ for this. That's the second time he's gotten his ride taken away.

Bball
05-23-2011, 09:16 PM
I sure hope Bruno got lots of $$$ for this. That's the second time he's gotten his ride taken away.


At least for the other one it was for a teammate who was the #1 driver... and more or less he'd had time run out... and there were sponsor commitments the team had to consider.

In this case, AJ has no connection to the sponsors. It's not AJ's problem.

OTOH, RHR probably gives AJ a better shot at a win than Bruno. I'd assume RHR will bring his own Andretti pit crew with him... and he's probably getting in a better car... albeit one he's not very familiar with. An experienced pit crew working with their regular driver is a one advantage the regular teams have over the one-off teams and drivers.

..But I'm just speculating that's how this plays out with the crew...

Sandman21
05-23-2011, 10:31 PM
AJ is probably getting a very NICE financial boost for this.

DaveP63
05-25-2011, 07:57 AM
As distasteful as it is, it is hardly unprecidented. There's a poll on Speed.com to vote for changing the rule so it's prohibited. I voted to make it against the rules because I think it's BS.

Bball
05-25-2011, 09:28 AM
What is the official scenario being used... because it could be played 2 ways...
#1- RHR/Andretti buys the Foyt #41 seat
or
#2- Foyt (thanks to cash, etc) withdraws his #41 car and RHR's own car then makes the field as the first alternate.

#2 means the rule change wouldn't even have mattered in this case.

DaveP63
05-25-2011, 10:31 AM
#1. There has been no talk of withdrawing the #41. It is still to be the Foyt ABC #41, just with DHL and whatever else on it.

Bball
05-26-2011, 05:04 AM
I hope this brouhaha over the driver swap dies down and doesn't overshadow all the good PR leading into the race.

The switch isn't that big of a deal. The rule exists. Nobody is really doing anything wrong. Yes, it sucks for Junquera to lose his ride this way... There's no denying that... but this isn't some bush league, underhanded, rule bending thing that should detract from the event.

Lost in the public's mind over the years is that technically you qualify the car, not the driver. Back when innovation was king the driver was of course important because you wanted some brave, hotshot to make sure you got every last tenth out of your rocket ship... but the focus was also on the equipment too. It's not like this is something that is new to the 500.

But you have a lot of people, and media, paying a little more attention this year due to the 100th anniversary, the good PR that has been building in the past few months, and the quality of the field this year and buzz that creates. And a lot of these people don't really know the history of the event. So making a big deal, especially allowing for any negative press, is making a mountain out of a molehill. It's also fueling a perception... (that it's somehow cheapened the race) and it's a perception that isn't necessarily reality.

The fact is, RHR probably has a better shot at winning than Junquera since RHR IS both a good driver and a series regular (and one thing that could cause the one-off teams trouble will be on pit lane where the teams don't necessarily have the continued trial by fire of the current season, as well as working together, under their belts. A mistake on pit road could very well mean the difference between contending for the win and even staying on the lead lap.

IOW... It's not like AJ Foyt sold out Junquera for Milka Duno to have a ride.... or Dr Jack Miller.

Should the rule be changed? Does the rule reflect the current Indycar model? The rule does allow for a driver who's injured or racing another series to hire someone to qualify for them. Does that need to be changed?

The cars being so much more alike than in the past, along with the promotion of the drivers, does put more of a premium on the driver. So that's a reason to change the rule. As does the argument that it cheapens the race. Whether it does or it doesn't, the Indy 500 doesn't need that debate in the press.

And finally, as I said above... Even if this rule was changed to where you could not sell a ride Foyt could've still agreed ($$$) to withdraw his #41 car and RHR would've immediately made the field since he was the 34th fastest qualifier. If you take a car out of the field then the 34th place car moves up.

With the rule at least you can argue for some reasons to keep it, plus remove the murkiness of a team making a backroom deal to withdraw a car to allow the 34th fastest to make the field. At least now, either way, they can do it in the open.

I don't necessarily like it, and I might like it less if it was a regular occurrence or if it was used to bounce a quality driver for a Milka Duno bringing $$$$, but as it is it's not going to ruin my enjoyment of the Indy 500 this weekend. There's many more relevant things to follow this race than that.

.02

Sandman21
05-27-2011, 03:59 PM
I just got home from Carb Day, and one of the things I noticed is that RHR was in the top 10 in the final speed charts in the last practice today. He might be a surprise on Sunday.

<iframe width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/fMY2od5R7kA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
This got what seemed to be the entire front stretch to all yell OOOOOHHHHHHHHHH in unison!

Psyren
05-29-2011, 12:36 AM
Am I the only one who's continually disappointed that I won't be able to watch the race in real time tomorrow (Anybody in Indianapolis/Central Indiana area)?

It just pisses me off that I can't watch it in real time because I live in the city where it's at.

That's like telling me I can watch this years Superbowl the following day just because I happen to live in the host city.

F**k it pisses me off

Bball
05-29-2011, 05:43 AM
Am I the only one who's continually disappointed that I won't be able to watch the race in real time tomorrow (Anybody in Indianapolis/Central Indiana area)?

It just pisses me off that I can't watch it in real time because I live in the city where it's at.

That's like telling me I can watch this years Superbowl the following day just because I happen to live in the host city.

F**k it pisses me off

Well, you can watch it in real time... Come on down to the Speedway and watch it live as it happens... ;)

Bball
05-29-2011, 06:17 AM
I see they've made a late change in the double-file restarts. The go zone was going to be on the front stretch... But now the go zone is going into turn 4. I'm not sure how that's really better but apparently the drivers, who don't want double-file restarts, think that is better.

I suspect they're going to blow the double file start a couple of times to the point Indycar will at some point scrap it for the remainder of the race.

It wouldn't surprise me to see the 3 abreast start that (AFAIK) will still be tightened this year and start closer to the flag stand be a bit of a cluster.... For one thing they've been allowed ragged Indy starts for so long under Barnhart that I think old habits will die hard. Then they will also be in uncharted territory because none of these drivers have had to start Indy maintaining a nice formation onto the front stretch without the silly unspoken rule that the pole sitter has earned the right to lead the first lap.

Honestly, I'm not so sure about the double-file restarts at Indy. Not unless they bring back the apron and I don't see them repaving that this morning! ;)

But I'm still not sure how heading INTO 4 is a better compromise...

Of course no matter what the drivers do have a brake pedal and a gas pedal.

I can't imagine how the outside row won't be a disadvantage for the front running cars. ....Although I hope the rule also now includes "Green for the leader is green for the field" as opposed to a "no advancing your position until the S/F line" rule. But thinking about that... that does allow the leader to clear the field and the 2nd place car to fall in line behind him before the s/f line... and if the other rows follow suit then it's basically a double file restart that ultimately is really a single file restart.

But someone is going to try passing on the high side anyway... at some point...

idioteque
05-29-2011, 09:35 AM
I've been to every Indy 500 since I was eight years old but am missing it this year. I had a one in a lifetime opportunity to the go to the KY Derby and couldn't afford plane tickets for both.

I've never watched the thing on TV in my life and am sort of interested to see what that's like. But I'll be back next year!

Psyren
05-29-2011, 02:12 PM
Well, you can watch it in real time... Come on down to the Speedway and watch it live as it happens... ;)

Haha well I usually do, but I just wasn't able to make it to the track this year.

Thankfully, I'm able to stream it live on my computer...:p

pacer4ever
05-29-2011, 03:15 PM
wow that was sad the rookie had it won and just choked.

Psyren
05-29-2011, 03:26 PM
Wow. Just wow.

Honestly, I just want to cry right now, and I'm a guy. That was just one of the hardest things you could ever watch in sports.

My heart really goes out to that kid.

Just in utter shock right now. Wow.

Day-V
05-29-2011, 03:37 PM
wow that was sad the rookie had it won and just choked.

While he definitely gets blame for it, that's not entirely his fault. That lapped car really screwed him up. Really forced him into No Man's Land.

Jared Sullinger
05-29-2011, 05:40 PM
One of the all-time greatest choke jobs in sports history. He's the 2007 New England Patriots of racing. A brilliant run ruined by total failure at the end.

idioteque
05-29-2011, 07:35 PM
Well, that hurt. By the way, watching the race on TV, you see almost as much racing as you do commercials. Almost.

Sandman21
05-29-2011, 09:51 PM
While he definitely gets blame for it, that's not entirely his fault. That lapped car really screwed him up. Really forced him into No Man's Land.

If he slows down, Wheldon might have caught him still. Hildebrand said later his concern was that if he slowed down and waited to get around Kimball, he wouldn't have enough left in the tank to get back up to speed. He had pitted for the last time at the same time as Dario, so I think he had some validity to that.

Bball
05-29-2011, 10:16 PM
The team and spotter should've known whether he could afford to tip-toe around the lapped car... pull in behind him and slingshot out on the straight... whatever..... It's easy to blame the rookie but what info did his spotter give him?

A lot of people said Marco relaxed a few years ago and that was the momentum killer than Hornish needed to catch him and get around him before the stripe. I'm sure that scenario was on Hildebrand's mind as well.

I gotta say though that was a heartbreaker for the kid. I'm just glad that the next car in line was Wheldon and not a Penske or Ganassi. I respect what those guys have done but a deserving winner from another team was so much better for the event and fans.

And of course if the yellow would've came out within a few moments of the contact with the wall...... Hmmmmmmm......

Sandman21
05-29-2011, 11:15 PM
I don't think Marco relaxed. The Penskes that year had been the fastest day in and day out. Sam had the horses under the hood to catch him even after Marco slammed the door shut in turn 3 on lap 198.

And I agree, Im glad it was a small time team who won it after JR hit the wall, I'd been ticked if it had been a Penske or Ganassi.

Bball
05-30-2011, 03:20 AM
This shouldn't be so confusing...
First I read this:

Speculation surrounded the finish as the final lap was officially run under a yellow flag. The rules dictate that the finish would normally revert back to the running order on the previous lap--Lap 199, which Hildebrand led--but because Hildebrand caused the yellow, the results will stand.

"[IndyCar Race Director] Brian Barnhart explained to us that because JR was a wounded car on the last lap, he was fair game," said Barnes. "I'm fine with that. It's a classy decision and we're not going to protest."
www.speed.com


The question was, when did the caution light come on? Chief steward Brian Barnhart said that was irrelevant since a wounded car is always fair game to pass.

"There has never been an expectation for a car not to pass a car involved in an accident," Barnhart said.

Said Wheldon: "As Brian says, you have to make it to the bricks with a car that can go forward on all four wheels. At that point I knew it was mine."

www.Indystar.com

First, I thought the rule about reverting back to the previous lap was LOOOOONG gone.

Second, the caution light clearly didn't come on until Wheldon passed Hildebrand. You can argue the caution light was late, but you can't argue the track lights weren't green when Wheldon passed. So whatever excuse officials would want to give for the late light is basically their prerogative.

Just leave it at that. Wheldon passed under green....and the track took a little extra time to decide on going to caution due to the desire to finish under green, the position of the wreck, and the limited racing left (last turn of last lap)....whatever.... I mean, they don't really even have to explain why there was a delay going to yellow. The track went yellow when the track went yellow.

Why complicate it with this wishy washy stuff? Half the reasoning starts calling into question how Hildebrand could even be credited with 2nd place if we're going down the road of saying a car must be able to go forward with all 4 wheels on it. Comments like that are just begging for a scenario they'll end up regretting one of these days (at Indy or somewhere else in the series).

If Wheldon had not been close enough to pass Hildebrand before he skidded past the S/F line would Barnhart still say a car needs to get to the line with all 4 wheels on it under its own power? ....And not allow Hildebrand the win?

Oh well... Fortunately Barnes is not going to raise a stink so that is good. Although behind closed doors some drivers and team owners should be seeking some black and white clarity on the rules and the situation that doesn't lead to contradictions. That question needs answered and it needs an answer consistent with Hildebrand being awarded 2nd place. They can't have it both ways... IMHO...

DaveP63
05-30-2011, 08:00 AM
I just got home from Carb Day, and one of the things I noticed is that RHR was in the top 10 in the final speed charts in the last practice today. He might be a surprise on Sunday.

<iframe width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/fMY2od5R7kA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
This got what seemed to be the entire front stretch to all yell OOOOOHHHHHHHHHH in unison!

I was Jorge's chief mechanic in FBMW...Great kid.

DaveP63
05-30-2011, 08:06 AM
The team and spotter should've known whether he could afford to tip-toe around the lapped car... pull in behind him and slingshot out on the straight... whatever..... It's easy to blame the rookie but what info did his spotter give him?

Exactly this and the high priced talent on top of the war wagon should have been keeping him advised of his "gap" back to the next car. His fear about losing momentum and a possible stutter getting out of and back into the gas (because of the low fuel state) is valid but, then, hindsight is always 20/20.

Sandman21
05-30-2011, 04:43 PM
Keep in mind that Wheldon (with more fuel and fresher tires than JR) was FLYING those final laps. A couple laps earlier, there was a lot of us who thought that if JR and Dario ran out of fuel, it was going to be Scott Dixon taking the checkered. Apparently his fuel guy screwed up again though. For all we know, one of JR's spotters saw Wheldon flying and advised JR to keep on the gas.

Trader Joe
05-31-2011, 11:51 AM
One of the all-time greatest choke jobs in sports history. He's the 2007 New England Patriots of racing. A brilliant run ruined by total failure at the end.

He's a rookie. Give me a break. He's 23 years old. He did what every other 23 year old in the world would have done right there, he took the only line he had and he went balls to the wall. No one has any right to say they would have done differently at this age or experience level.

Trader Joe
05-31-2011, 11:51 AM
Also, as I said in the other thread, IMO Kimball blew it. If you're that slow, and you know you have the leader coming up on you, it's completely ridiculous to force the leader to take the high line.