101st Indy 500 Preview: Second Thoughts Edition


Photo from indycar.com

As race day approaches a number of issues become secondary, while others rise to primary importance.

The two days of qualifying were, as f-ing F1’s Alonso says, intense. Sebastien Bourdais was putting up the month’s fastest laps on Saturday when he crashed horribly in turn 2, ending his day and season with a broken pelvis and hip. Post surgery, Dale Coyne‘s pilot Tweeted thanks for the support and that he’ll “be back at some point.” Meantime, James Davison will drive the 18 car in the 500 and start last.


Photo from twitter.com

Sunday’s round was less eventful as everyone managed to avoid Bourdais’ fate, if not the turn 2 wall entirely. Pushing their cars to the limit, several drivers slapped the safer barrier on the backstretch, including Takuma Sato and Charlie Kimball.


Photo from sports.usatoday.com

It was Scott Dixon‘s day, as his four lap average of 232.1 mph was the fastest qualifying speed since 1996 – when Arie Luyendyk set the record – and good enough for pole. Ed Carpenter went out last, but could only manage a second place start beside last year’s winner Alexander Rossi in third. Qualifying’s over and the focus now turns to the 500 mile race.


Photo from Indy Race Reviewer

Dixon’s win in 2008 came from pole – where he also sat in 2015 – and Ganassi’s ace is endeavoring for his second swig of milk in victory lane. Rossi is of course also going for his second in a row after last year’s incredible finish, when the Andretti Autosport rookie coasted across the yard of bricks on fumes. Dixie’s teammate Tony “buzz kill” Kanaan starts seventh and is also going for his second win at the Brickyard, though at over 42 years of age it’s unlikely.


Photo from sports.usatoday.com

Team Penske‘s surely second guessing their performance, with only a single car making the fast nine and Will Power starting ninth. The rest of them start no better than 18th. Hondas have clearly had the upper hand so far this month, with only four Chevys in the first six rows. However there is some concern in the Honda camp with four blown engines last week including Alonso’s quick change on Sunday.


Photo from twitter.com

This year’s race may play second fiddle to the 100th running, but there’s still plenty to listen to. After over fifty years of televising the race ABC’s questionable coverage amidst an uncertain future with the 500 is one, while crowd size is another. Most important is the quality of the racing come Sunday, as the whole world will be watching. Here’s hoping for fair weather, safe racing and an exhilarating race.


5 thoughts on “101st Indy 500 Preview: Second Thoughts Edition

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