Racing Takes a Back Seat

As I mentioned yesterday when I posted qualifying results, I am back in Indy. Friday Last night I could not reach Marti, my significant other. I didn’t think much of it because sometimes she retires early. An attempt to call yesterday morning also went unanswered and I became concerned. I received a text from her just as I got to the track. She said she was in the hospital. I turned in my golf cart, went to back to my Airbnb and packed, and headed for home.

It turns out Marti fainted Friday afternoon. She was able to reach her phone and call 911. We are awaiting the results of one test. The other lab work does not indicate anything serious, perhaps just a severe electrolyte imbalance. She is resting comfortably. Tanks to everyone who reached out with good thoughts yesterday afternoon.

I will watch the REV Group Grand Prix from home today and post my thoughts either later this evening or tomorrow. It looks like a really good chance of rain late n the race. Who goes to rain tires first? In 2018 at Barber in the rain postponed race, Josef Newgarden went to rain tires before the track got slippery. The move paid off as he retook the lead when everyone else had to pit for the treaded rubber.

How will the same front row as Detroit’s Race 2 last Sunday play out today? In consecutive races weekends we have had two multiple pole winners and our first multiple race winner. I see our eighth race winner of 2021 happening today.

If you are at Road America, have fun and be prepared for the weather. For those of you driving back to Indy, Chicago traffic was a nightmare yesterday. Be careful coming back. I will keep you updated on things here at home. Thanks for reading.

Pole Fight and Last Chance Battle Involve Former Winners

Today’s Schedule; All Times eastern

Gates Open 9:00am 7:00pm

Last Chance Practice 11:00am 11:30am

Firestone Fast Nine Practice 11:30am 12:00pm

Last Chance Qualifying 1:15pm 2:30pm


1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET

Firestone Fast Nine 3:00pm 3:45pm


2:30 PM – 4:30 PM ET

NTT IndyCar Series Practice 5:00pm 7:00pm


4:30 PM – 7:00 PM ET

Grandstands open:

Paddock, Paddock Penthouse, A Penthouse, B Penthouse , E, E Penthouse, Tower Terrace, Northwest Vista and Deck, Southeast Vista and deck.

Note: only limited sections open in all stands.

Parking:

North 40 is free. All other lots are paid. $10

Four former winners have a shot at the pole this afternoon in the Fast Nine shootout. That is a routine occurrence. Onf ormer winner will fight to make the field. That doesn’t happen often.

Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, and Ryan Hunter-Reay earned a chance to run for the pole this afternoon. Dixon had the fastest time yesterday, Kanaan was third, Castroneves sixth, and Hunter-Reay eighth.

I think the pole battle is between Dixon, Kanaan, and Colton Herta. Dixon is favored, but don’t dismiss Herta’s chances.

On the other end of the field, five drivers, including 2018 winner Will Power, need to qualify for the final three spots in the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500. Power had the 31st fastest time yesterday, but the if three of the other four can outrun him, the 2014 series champion will sit out next Sunday. Power, one of the greatest qualifiers in Indycar history, will get one of the spots, but it may be tight. The cars are competing just against each other today, and not against the rest of the field.

Also looking for a spot on next Sunday’s grid are Simona DeSilvestro, Sage Karam, Charlie Kimball, and R C Enerson.

Stay tuned. this will be a fascinating day at both ends of the field.

Some photos from yesterday:

Can Helio Castroneves win another pole?
Always nice to see Robert Wickens at the track
Simona DeSilvestro after her first qualifying run.

Dixon Leads as Some Contenders Struggle

Scott Dixon qualified first and no one has been able to match his four lap average of 231.320 mph. Colton Herza, Tony Kansas, and Ed Carpenter put up a challenge for two laps, but their last two laps brought their average below Dixon’s.

The Fast Nine as of 3:15 Eastern:

Dixon

Herta

Kanaan

Ed Carpenter

Rinus VeeKay

Helio Castroneves

Alex Palou

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Marcus Ericsson

The botzom five, two of whom will miss the race:

Saze Karam

Will Power

Charlie Kimball

Simona De Silverstro

R C Emerson

Qualifications run until 5:50 Eastern. Coverage is currently on NBCSN as well as on Peacock

It’s Qualifications Day!

Photo: Can Conor Daly win the hometown pole?

It’s time to build the grid. For the first time in two years, fans will get to witness qualifying in person. The size of yesterday’s fast friday crowd indicates there could be a huge turnout today. More grandstands are open today, including parts of the Northwest and Southeast Vistas.

here is what you need to know:

Today’s Schedule:

Gates Open 8:00am 6:00pm

Indianapolis 500 Practice 9:30am 10:30am

Indianapolis 500 Qualifying 12:00pm 5:50pm


12:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET


2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET


3:00 PM – 6:00 PM ET

Grandstands open:

Paddock, Paddock Penthouse, A Penthouse, B Penthouse , E, E Penthouse, Tower Terrace, Northwest Vista and Deck, Southeast Vista and deck.

Note: only limited sections open in all stands.

Parking:

North 40 is free. All other lots are paid. It cost $10 Friday; may be $15 today.

From last night:

https://thepitwindow.blog/2021/05/21/dixon-goes-233-pole-battle-wide-open/

Qualifying Order:

Draw #Car #DriverEngine
    
19Scott DixonHonda
298Marco AndrettiHonda
328Ryan Hunter-ReayHonda
406Helio CastronevesHonda
518Ed JonesHonda
629James HinchcliffeHonda
725Stefan WilsonHonda
848Tony KanaanHonda
92Josef NewgardenChevy
1021Rinus VeeKayChevy
113Scott McLaughlinChevy
1230Takuma SatoHonda
1345Santino FerrucciHonda
1424Sage KaramChevy
1551Pietro FittipaldiHonda
1686Juan Pablo MontoyaChevy
171JR HildebrandChevy
1812Will PowerChevy
1920Ed CarpenterChevy
205Pato O’WardChevy
217Felix RosenqvistChevy
2259Max ChiltonChevy
234Dalton KellettChevy
2447Conor DalyChevy
2515Grahal RahalHonda
2660Jack HarveyHonda
2775RC EnersonChevy
2810Alex PalouHonda
2922Simon PagenaudChevy
3026Colton HertaHonda
3127Alexander RossiHonda
328Marcus EricssonHonda
3316Simon De SilvestroChevy
3411Charlie KimballChevy
3514Sebastien BourdaisChevy

Since cars and drivers can make multiple attempts, the order doesn’t matter as much as it used to. The heat of mid day will probably determine when a second run occurs. It will be interesting to see who pulls out of the line to wait for better conditions.

I hope to have an update around 3 pm. Enjoy the day no matter where you are viewing from.

EXPEL 375- Another Dixon Runaway?

Tonight’s EXPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway could possibly be a repeat of lat night’s race. There are a couple of factors that may change the outcome. The race is 36 laps longer, 248 laps, which will require an extra pit stop. The temperatures will be warmer, which will increase tire wear. Whether these things are enough to make a better race I’m not sure. It will be just be different.

The starting lineup- Entrant points once again determine the lineup. The points used for today’s race reflect the standings following last night’s race. Setting the lineup when qualifying is washed out is a no win situation for the series. There is no way to make everyone happy. Some fans have said there is plenty of time to qualify today. That may be true, but there is no broadcast window for it, and the rules for this situation are in the rule book.

Here is how the grid looks. Green flag is at 5:15 pm Eastern on NBCSN. Coverage begins at 5 pm Eastern.

I will be back with my thoughts on Race 2 later tonight.

Kanaan Leads Practice

Indycar photo by Chris Owens

Green Flag at 7:10 pm Eastern. Watch the Kentucky Derby on NBC then immediately switch to NBCSN.

Just like getting on a bike again, Tony Kanaan got into a car for the first time this season today and led the only track time before tonight’s Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. The session was clean although there were a few close calls when cars got a little too high on the traction patch were grip is sketchy.

Tire degradation may play a big role in tonight’s race. There is still a chance of rain. The race is official after 107 laps.

The top 12:

The starting lineup. I’m hearing that this will also be the starting grid for tomorrow’s race.

Happy May! Race Day 1 at Texas

Many of us old timers remember when May 1 meant opening day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and 30 days of activity at the track. This May begins at Texas Motor Speedway with the first of two races this weekend. Today is packed with practice, qualifying, and Race 1, the Genesys 300 ,212 laps around the 1.44 mile tri oval. Rain is still a threat today.

All times listed are Central Time. The race conveniently follows the Kentucky Derby.

I will have brief practice and qualifying reports and a race wrap up in the morning.