Race 1 May Depend on Setup

Photo: Graham Rahal in fall colors. Indycar, Chris Owens

Good morning from the northwest media annex. Today’s schedule:

7:30 Gates open (Gates 1 and 9)

10:20-11;35 Indianapolis 8 Hour Practice

1:40-3:10 Indianapolis 8 hour Practice

3:30 Opening Ceremonies for Harvest Grand Prix Race 1

4: 00 Green flag (TV- USA Network beginning at 3:30)

Today’s race may hinge on who has the setup right. several drivers yesterday complained of loose cars. Today’s forecast is for a high of 59 degrees. Tire degradation may be lower than normal, which could negate an alternate pit strategy.

Rinus VeeKay on his way to his first career pole. Indycar photo by Chris Jones

It was a big day for rookies. Alex Palou led the practice session and Rinus VeeKay won the pole. Could we see a rookie win today? Josef Newgarden is my favorite to win right now, but I would not count out Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi, or Jack Harvey. Why should this race be normal?

Yesterday proved a long held theory of mine. The air inside Indianapolis Motor Speedway is lighter and fresher than the air outside. I felt the weight of 2020 lift from my shoulders the moment I entered the gate. It was great to be back inside the track and to see cars running again.

The place is immaculate. The speedway is cleaner and brighter than it has been in many years. The museum building gleams in the sunlight.

It was a decent crowd for a Thursday afternoon. Everyone was smiling just because they were at the track. I have heard ticket sales have gone very well for the rest of the weekend.

I enjoyed the sports car races as well. Jarrett Andretti just missed a podium finish in the first race. In the second race, the Andretti Autosport entry recovered from an early penalty to finish fifth. I need to read up on this series more.