Quick Thoughts on Gateway Day 1

Qualifying for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 was cancelled due to weather and the other events scheduled. According to rule, the fieldlines up for Saturday’s race in order of entrant points. Points leader Scott Dixon will start from the pole and Alexander Rossi is also on the front row. I understand this what the rulebook states. I also think there is a better way to set the grid.

Using times from the last practice session before  scheduled qualifying would be fairer to teams and drivers who showed up with a really good setup. At Gateway Motorsports Park, there is no track action until noon tomorrow. A 10 or 10:30 am qualifying round would work. With the closeness of the points race, the field should be allowed to qualify. This situation has potentially cost someone a point in the title chase. There have been two ties for the season championship.

It was odd not seeing the 6 car on track. Robert Wickens was truly missed today.

It appears passing will be difficult in the race. Sebastien Bourdais looked like the only car that could get by others without much difficulty. Rossi also cold pass, but not quite as easily. Track position will be important.

The track has made several improvements which were noticeable. There is more parking on paved lots, the main roadway is three lanes wide, and there are more food vendors on the midway as well as in the infield.  A second area to redeem pit/paddock pass vouchers is on the midway. The real traffic test comes tomorrow night. I heard from someone who went to last month’s truck race that traffic was still an issue then.

The weather made for a disjointed first practice session. It got off to a rocky start when Marco Andretti’s car stalled in turn 2 on the first lap.

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