Some thoughts from afar:
The track appears to be going all out to make Indycar feel welcome. The $100,000 bonus for winning the race from the pole is something more tracks should consider, perhaps not on that scale if they can’t afford it, but some kind of bonus would be good. COTA is definitely a track where winning from the pole is more likely.
What a great touch having the drivers’ names painted in front of their pit boxes. It’s a nice idea for those in the stands opposite the pits and might help for television.
More engine problems for Honda. I hope they can figure out the cause quickly. Three engines from three different teams shows it’s manufacturer problem.
Colton Herta could be a sleeper this weekend.
I can see the race getting strung out quickly with pit strategy determined by tire wear determining the outcome.
I’m glad race control decide to allow use of the turn 19 runoff area. We could see some crazy moves there.
I watched on NBC Gold for the first time today. I was impressed with the depth of the coverage, especially the shots inside the Harding Steinbrenner garage this afternoon as they threw the car back together.
Tomorrow- I will have Qualifying Quick Thoughts here and a full report on Wildfire Sports.