500 Qualifications Update- 19 Qualifiers, Pigot Currently First

Nineteen cars have completed qualifying runs at this time.          currently is at the top of the pylon.  Pole contenders yet to make their runs are  Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal, and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

“Pigot’ s run with  a four lap average of    230.083  with a best lap at  230.8.

Will Power just missed getting the top spot with a 230.081 average.

Ed Jones had the fastest lap so far at 231.015, but his past lap dropped to 227.

More after q.ualifying

 

 

 

Back after the field is full and the fight to be in the top 30 begins.

Qualifying Day- Weather Could Make This Pole Day

Today’s schedule:

Screenshot_20190517-222102

Coverage of practice and qualifications until 5 pm will be on NBC Gold. The last hour will be on NBCSN.

All 36 cars will make qualifying runs today. The fastest 30 are locked in to the race. Tomorrow, weather permitting, the fastest nine will each get one attempt to determine the staring order of the first three rows.

The six slowest cars from today will then each get one attempt to make the field. The fastest three will be the last row a week from Sunday.  The 500 no longer has alternate starters.

The latest weather forecast calls for sunny and 82 degrees today. Tomorrow there is a 90% chance of rain with a possible severe thunderstorm. If Sunday is completely washed out, the slowest six will make their attempts on the next available track day. There will be no Fast Nine runs for the pole. Today’s order will be official.

Going for the Pole

As I said yesterday, look for the usual suspects. The teams in last year’s Fast Nine should make up the first three rows.  Drivers who could crash the party are Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato, and I wouldn’t count out Marco Andretti, who has been fast all month.

I don’t think we will see many 230 mph laps today with the heat. fewer than ten drivers reached that mark yesterday and today will be warmer. Those going out early will have a big advantage.

Juncos Update

The team has put in a lot of work to get the backup car ready. Crew from their Road to Indy program are helping out. NFP has increased their sponsorship. Other teams have offered parts. The Indycar family always comes through when a team is in need.

Needless to say, but Juncos racing and Kyle Kaiser will have a lot of fans today. Qualifying hasn’t had a true underdog to cheer for in a long time. Making the race after yesterday’s incident would show the true spirit of this race. should Juncos get in, we will have exhibit A for no guaranteed spots.

The Last Row

I haven’t seen anything to change my thoughts on the last three in and the three going home. Tomorrow’s weather may make the slowest six sweat out an extra 24 hours.

I plan to have an update after every 15 qualifiers as well as keeping you aware of the Juncos situation. This evening, look for my Quick Thoughts on the day and a full wrap-up after that.

Indycar Grand Prix Entry List

Twenty-four cars are on the Indy Grand Prix entry list for Saturday’s race. Hello Castroneves joins the full time NTT Indycar Series drivers.

Patricio O’Ward remains in the second car for Carlin Racing. Charlie Kimball will join the team for the 500.

Look for Bump Tales Thursday.  Another former race winner misses the race in 1957.

The entry list:Screenshot_20190506-200921

 

 

COTA Qualifying-Quick Thoughts

 

Will Power is trying to pass Mario Andretti’s pole record this season.

Another first round red flag cost Sebastien Bourdais a chance to advance. Has to be frustrating for him, especially since his teammate, Santino Ferrucci, advanced. The red flag to end group 2 may have cost Marco Andretti. Unlike St. Pete, the reds came with less than a minute left in each session, so no one can complain about not having a shot.

I’m not so sure now that the race will be caution free. Turn 19 could be an action packed spot tomorrow.

This rookie class is good. Four of the six advanced to the second round. Felix Rosenqvist was the only to get through to the Fast Six for the second race in a row. He has out-qualified Scott Dixon twice. Rosenqvist had the fastest qualifying lap, 1:45.5 in round 2.

It’s great to see the rookies contending for starting spots at the front every week.

Look for the Power-Rossi front row a lot this season, though not always in this order.

Cars are sliding a lot, which will make for some exciting racing.

Round 2 was one of the best qualifying rounds I’ve seen.

Thank goodness there are no track limits in turn 19. The series might want to move some Porta Potties around, however.

The cars of Pato O’ Ward and Kyle Kaiser look very similar. Doesn’t help that they are numbers 31 and 32.

The race could be 2 hours long at these speeds.

A full qualifying report will be on Wildfire Sports later this evening.