Last standing start at Indy ever.
Last standing start at Indy ever.
Congrats to Pageneud!
I'm not sure Indycar puts enough emphasis on the standing starts. Both from a driver/familiarity point of view and from a technical/mechanical/software POV.
I've not been to a track where Indycar is going to do a standing start but I do know F1 cars would leave the pits and then stop at the end of pit road to practice a standing start.
I wonder what happened to Hinchcliffe? Pretty sure he got hit by debris. I first thought he might've lost a finger or extremity due to his reaction on the radio, and lack of updates, but then that didn't appear to be the case from the camera shot they had of him on the stretcher... but the lack of an update seems odd. It's not like it was forgotten about, it's just that no one is talking (on record) when asked.
Andretti Autosport driver James Hinchcliffe was transferred to Methodist Hospital for evaluation after an apparent head injury. The team will release more information when it is available.
Still seems odd to not have even a confirmation of the nature of the injury at this point. Wonder why the secrecy?
I kind of wish that experiment is over...I'm thinking the 1K or so people there thought so too. :p
Concussion (still not sure why the secrecy and slow reporting around it):
I thought the event worked as a kickoff to the 500 festivities... as far as they didn't try to make the race 'too' big (which would've been a monumental fail IMHO). I think as a standalone event 50,000 ppl (such as an August/Sept race) would've seemed like a buzzkill type event and been in a death spiral from the start. But everything was all about the 500. It was "We have a road course race, at Indy, that leads up to the Indy 500 later this month"
For the opening salvo for the Indy 500, 50,000ppl (if they reached that number), or whatever they had, seemed pretty good. It wasn't a buzz kill anyway. It did give Indycars a couple of extra days of news coverage with testing and q's, as well as a race on a broadcast network leading up to Indy 500 q's and the 500 itself. So getting a reminder blip that there actually still is an Indycar series that is racing in May can't hurt.
And a big reason I say that is because there's not much hype or PR to be gained from practice when the cars are running short of the 1989 pole speed. There's not enough interest in the drivers to really generate media or fan buzz to see teams trying to break the 1989 pole speed in 2014. Yes, the cars might pick up a couple mph. Especially in good conditions or with a tow. But that still isn't anywhere near interest generating numbers in a sport about speed.
I don't know if the cars get extra boost for Fast Friday and qualifying or not this year. If not, then we're not even going to see last year's pole speed.
So last year's cars with little visible change, everyone in the same looking car, and practicing close to the 1989 pole speed. Not exactly awe-inspiring stuff on the whole. And what is there to write about if you are covering for the press?
Now, speaking of qualifying and and fan eyeballs...
How did they come about setting the time for Sunday's Fast Nine and their 'made for television' qualifying format? Wouldn't it have made the most sense to keep the track's traditional hours and run that at 4-6PM or thereabouts? Locally, not much changes from the norm timewise. Things finish in time for the local news. The track would have a nice full day for selling concessions. You get (at least the DST version of) the Fast Nine in Happy Hour. And, (and this is the bewildering part), you'd get what I would assume would be a better west coast TV time for live qualifications and catching viewers.
****! Keep it a decent product and with the new Indy Lights cars, it just might be something!
Excellent crowd and the track has already said it's going to take the fans input as to more seating or different areas for seating. We were in Turn 1 and saw a lot of good racing. Had a view of the straight, turns 1, 2, 3 and into 4. Lots of passing, a few bumps ... entertaining stuff.
And adding to it - there couldn't have been better weather. Great day.
Hinchcliffe has been cleared to drive....
Arni Sribhen @neckthai 3m
This is cool news: @ByrdRacing announces @BryanClauson will be its driver when it returns to #Indy500 in 2016.
Dead Ed up over 230 on Fast Friday!
The new format, as far as Saturday goes, worked for me. I watched the net feed until it went black at 3PM and then watched ABC at 4PM. That would've been awesome all afternoon television for a sports channel.... especially a motorsports channel. A lot of drama, strategy, questions, and non stop racing action all day long. And speed too. It (drama) didn't feel contrived or manufactured to me.
I'm curious to hear if there were any snags with the format that Indycar, teams or drivers ran up against that weren't obvious to the outside looking in. Other than drivers continually having to hang it out for 4 white knuckle laps at Indy.
That said, how can tomorrow live up to today? Part of me thinks they found the perfect 21st century, short attention span public, Indy 500 qualifying format today. At 6PM (or 5:50PM as the case may be) you call it official and don't need a day two. But OTOH, I haven't seen tomorrow play out yet.... And #2 a major part of today was everyone trying to place themselves in that fast 9, let alone be fastest on the day. I'm not sure whether that would change if everyone was just taking multiple shots at the pole and grid placement with no fast 9 to be concerned with. Of course they could've ran the Fast 9 today from 6-7PM too and really made a day of it.
And this crossed my mind today... It's too bad that when national TV doesn't want to televise parts of a day like today that Indy then doesn't let a local TV channel (or channels) cover it. Much like what happens with the Kentucky Derby and Derby Day. Local Louisville stations cover the day and undercard races all day long until they hand off to the national TV that is exclusively covering the derby. It sucked to have that blackout at 3PM where there was no TV and no streaming coverage.... Of course I guess a person can always buy a ticket... ;)
Ed on the pole with 231.067...
ABC needs to get their tracker fixed...
For a 2 hr TV package the new format worked today... But I'm still left wondering about just getting it all done in one day. This format seems great for TV (particularly as long as the weather is good). And Saturday was pretty much non-stop action. But for ticket buyers.... for action you'd want to be there on Saturday. But then Saturday you leave without much really decided. But Sunday isn't much to cause someone to want to come out to the track. You get to see the actual Pole Runs but they are condensed into an hour. And you get to see midpackers and back markers try to improve in the morning. Not a lot of bang for the buck.
All that said.... Getting the cars back over 230 MPH I think is a must. And keeping them there. I believe in the IRL era they crested that mark twice before hammering them back down. The Genie was out of the bottle back in '96 on speeds. Losing several 'names' in the split hurt, but then that also fed the perception the guys that were driving were 2nd or 3rd rate 'replacement' drivers because once the IRL got their own chassis/engine rules the cars went from 236MPH to 217MPH. Pretty easy for people and a media who don't pay much attention to detail to think that drop in speed was a driver issue. Constantly keeping the speed in that 220-229 window and regulating it back just isn't going to capture the public's imagination.
I don't think they have to race in the 230's.... they just need to pop those numbers out for qualifying and practice to get headlines and attention. 1989 pole speeds in the 21st century did not and won't cut it. The race itself has its own drama.
They still need to keep the speeds from getting out of control and rising too fast. You can even knock them back 10MPH as long as you do it prudently and rarely, and fans realize it's a rule change doing it and technology will get that speed back sooner rather than later when safety catches back up. But once Indycars got to 236MPH qualifying the Genie was too far out of the bottle to put back entirely. That was nearly 20 years ago.
EDIT: Oh, and ABC... Hire Dario. Alan Bestwick does a fine job, but then he has to because Goodyear and Cheever don't bring much. In fact, I think Marty Reid was unfairly maligned because he had absolutely no help in the booth with Goodyear and Cheever. He wasn't as good as Bestwick, but I don't think he was as bad as the production made him look. If he'd had Dallenback and Jan in the booth he probably would've been looked on much more favorably. Dario really added to the telecast. IMHO....
I think you'd have to say that the new qualifying format was an unmitigated success. Very entertaining stuff.
WRTV 6 had to love the whole Racers into Pacers aspect they had going yesterday as well.
Hope everyone enjoys the race Sunday. I'm heading on a plane this afternoon, sure the ticket was expensive, but my race ticket was free and I enjoy going and getting out of the incestuous swamp known as Washington DC.