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Thread: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    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?
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    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/artic...n-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".
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-tr...nce-stephenson
    "But, first, let us now praise famous moments, because something happened Tuesday night in Indianapolis that you can watch a lifetimeís worth of professional basketball and never see again. There was a brief, and very decisive, and altogether unprecedented, outburst of genuine officiating, and it was directed at the best player in the world, and that, my dear young person, simply is not done."

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    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....
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    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.

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    Quote Originally Posted by PacerDude View Post
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    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.
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    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.

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    Quote Originally Posted by PacerDude View Post
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    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.

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    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.

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    Quote Originally Posted by PacerDude View Post
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    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.
    Already stoked for 2013-2014.

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    Anyone but Team Penske to win.
    "Nobody wants to play against Tyler Hansbrough NO BODY!" ~ Frank Vogel

    "And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen. "
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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Bega View Post
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    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.
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    Quote Originally Posted by grace View Post
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    Next year she'll be in NASCAR full time so we won't have that problem.
    Simona will eat her lunch this year. She is 100% for real.
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-tr...nce-stephenson
    "But, first, let us now praise famous moments, because something happened Tuesday night in Indianapolis that you can watch a lifetimeís worth of professional basketball and never see again. There was a brief, and very decisive, and altogether unprecedented, outburst of genuine officiating, and it was directed at the best player in the world, and that, my dear young person, simply is not done."

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    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.

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    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.
    Last edited by Bball; 05-16-2011 at 08:41 PM.
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    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.
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-tr...nce-stephenson
    "But, first, let us now praise famous moments, because something happened Tuesday night in Indianapolis that you can watch a lifetimeís worth of professional basketball and never see again. There was a brief, and very decisive, and altogether unprecedented, outburst of genuine officiating, and it was directed at the best player in the world, and that, my dear young person, simply is not done."

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandman21 View Post
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    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.

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    225 on day three (2) of practice. Pretty impressive given the windy conditions. Expect some 227s when they can get trimmed out.
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-tr...nce-stephenson
    "But, first, let us now praise famous moments, because something happened Tuesday night in Indianapolis that you can watch a lifetimeís worth of professional basketball and never see again. There was a brief, and very decisive, and altogether unprecedented, outburst of genuine officiating, and it was directed at the best player in the world, and that, my dear young person, simply is not done."

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    I met a ton of drivers last weekend. I'll post photos.

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    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.

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    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).
    "Nobody wants to play against Tyler Hansbrough NO BODY!" ~ Frank Vogel

    "And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen. "
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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    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?
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-tr...nce-stephenson
    "But, first, let us now praise famous moments, because something happened Tuesday night in Indianapolis that you can watch a lifetimeís worth of professional basketball and never see again. There was a brief, and very decisive, and altogether unprecedented, outburst of genuine officiating, and it was directed at the best player in the world, and that, my dear young person, simply is not done."

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    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...&v=18pFE6cRHYw
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    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.
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    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.

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    Default Re: Month of May.. .It's Indy 500 time...

    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...
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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