Image from fox59.com
Fast Friday lacked urgency, action and speed, though on the bright side the weather cooperated and nobody got hurt. At least not too badly. Maybe drivers and teams feel they’ve adequately prepared the past three days of practice for the four most nerve wracking laps of their lives, or maybe they’re saving all the best moments for this weekend – and next. When the whole world’ll be watching.
Like yesterday, the fastest speeds came early in the running rather than late, an up is down, black is white scenario if ever there were one. Marco “practice warrior” Andretti managed to again turn in the quickest of the tow speeds at 231.8 mph, followed closely by Robert Wickens, Ed Carpenter, Oriol Servia and Will Power. Danica was 20th. The added turbo boost only raised speeds a mile per hour or so, but for some reason the series does it anyway. The fastest non-tow speed belonged to Will Power with a lap of 229.7 mph, trailed by his teammates Josef Newgarden and Pags as well as Ed Carpenter.
Another of the day’s flops occurred shortly before 3:00 p.m. James Davison lost it in turn 2 and spun A.J. Foyt Racing’s gorgeous, red third car, slamming the wall and wrecking it pretty substantially, destroying the gear box. He suffered a banged up knee, but was otherwise all right and cleared to attempt qualifying tomorrow – provided the car’s fixed by then. It was only the second such mishap of the week.
Obviously, the Aussie’s accident puts the team in a world of hurt with thirty four other entrants and mere hours remaining before bump day. It’s not his first encounter with the wall, either. As if that bunch didn’t already have their hands full with the likes of TK and Leist. Pippa Mann’s huge sigh of relief could be heard from quite a long distance away.
Photo from pippamann.com
Only twelve hundred some odd laps (or so) were turned in a rather light day of activity at the Speedway. A few sprinkles fell but no weather interruptions came, as was feared in some quarters. Teams seemed reluctant to risk much after Davison’s incident, coming on the heels of JR’s turn 4 re-run wreck Thursday afternoon. In an anti-climactic conclusion to the day, happy hour saw an empty track for most of it, as teams clearly had had enough practice. After four days, so had we.
Check back often for nearly constant updates throughout the month of May.