Our friends in the business of guessing the weather have divined a potential wildcard for this weekend’s IndyCar festivities – rain. Don’t fret, as the rain’s forecast for Saturday night while race day Sunday actually looks clear. IRR’s guaranteed prediction of our full money’s and mile’s worth for the race still stands. Nevertheless rain Saturday night still will affect Sunday’s race. To counter rocker Steve Miller’s line from “Jungle Love,” in IndyCar not everything’s better when wet.
Photo from firestoneracing.com
Rain washes the surface of a track, removing the rubber build-up from the racing line that’s been laid down during practice and qualifying. In the strange, through the looking glass land of auto racing – and only there – buildup is considered good and desirable by the drivers and teams. A downpour results in what is called a “green” track surface, which is very slippery with little to no grip.
IndyCars’ hundreds of horsepower combined with high performance racing slick tires make them hard enough to control on a track that’s been “rubbered in.” Beginning a race on a green track makes it tricky indeed for the drivers, especially the handful of rookies who haven’t raced at the Methuselah Mile at all. A sketchy start on a green track is our first wild card of the weekend, and the concrete walls of Milwaukee stand at the ready to perform the function for which they were built.
Photo from examiner.com
Which leads us to the second wild card of Milwaukee – the rookies in the race. The Mile’s a difficult oval to drive under ideal conditions, especially with an ill-handling car. Struggling cars then are quickly lapped by the leaders and become dreaded “traffic.” This will likely give a couple of the rookies and other drivers multiple challenges, although happily the beer glass is half full on the second wildcard, as well.
Photo from indycar.com
A couple of the rookies are exceptionally talented and may well excel at the track. In fact one of our predictions to win the race is rookie AA driver Carlos Munoz, who’s leading the ROY honors comfortably and has shown flashes of brilliance on the ovals dating back to last year’s 500. The young Colombian’s one to watch in these final three races of the season. Just a couple of things to consider for tomorrow’s race, which should be an exciting one to behold.