Wednesday, May 22, 2013

INDY 500: 2013 PreQuil - Almost Time to GO Racing!

Otay, so now the field’s set and all that’s left is to try not putting a wheel wrong during the final Pre-race practice session during this coming Friday’s Carb Day, as here’s a look at what are some of the potential story lines to this year’s 97th running of the Indianapolis 500...

Qualifying ‘Schmoll-uh-Fyin’
So did Y’all watch this past weekend’s riveting Qualifying show? As I’ve already ranted on ‘bout how excruciatingly exciting ‘Boomp Day was, right? As thee BEST part of the entire weekend was FAST EDDIE, aka Ed Carpenter winning the Pole vs. five Andretti’s and three Penske’s in the  Fast Nine Shoot-out; wait, where is I-T? And what’s this Horsey wrap-up SHIT!!! As can Fast Eddie GO ALL      THE     WAY?

Ladies du Jour
Although we weren’t  originally quite at the dizzying heights ‘O four Femme Fatales competing in this year’s I500, as Y’all know, Thy Leggy ‘Juan made a very late splash in the IndyCar pool by “Boompin” a very distraught Michele Jourdain Jr. from the field upon her first day of driving an IndyCar this year...

Thus, although perhaps? Much to do will be made over this being the first time ever that two females have been teammates at Mother Speedway with the pairing of Brazil’s Ana ‘BIA Beatriz and England’s Pippa Mann who raced against each other previously in the Indy Lights series both starting the race for Dale Coyne Racing. (DCR) As you’d somewhat expect the fourth female “Symona-symona” (de Silvestro) to be the leader of this quartet in the supposedly “stronger” KVRT concern. With Simona fielding a ‘Chebbie vs. the DCR Dynamic Duo’s and third Schmidt Hamilton Peterson Motorsports Honder’ lumps.

While I’m guessing many will be watching to see which of the two DCR drivers comes out on top while Justin ‘B-I-G UNIT Wilson should enjoy being the (Man) meat of this sandwich, eh? As theoretically ‘BIA should fair better since Pippa’s been out of the cockpit for a year-plus. Yet I’m actually far more interested in seeing Katherine Legge finish ahead of either one or both of the Dragon Racing Boyz instead...

As anybody who’s been following this year’s field, Y’all will know that there’s four highly touted rookies contesting this year’s Indy 500 - with a pretty diverse background being split between two ‘Yanks, another Columbian and a ‘Frenchie.

Thus in alphabetical order our contestants for R.O.Y. honours are A.J. Allmendinger, Conor Daly, Carlos Munoz and Tristan Vautier, as you’d have to say that Daly and Munoz are the least “experienced” ‘lad’s of this lot regarding piloting the B-I-G CARZ.

And although Allmendinger was previously a Champ Car Star upon winning five races in his final season ‘Wayback in ‘Twenty-oh-Six, and did run on an Oval, nonetheless things have changed in the seven year hiatus he’s taken from Open Wheel Racing in favour of Stock Cars.

Yet AJ has gotten testing time along with a Road course & Street circuit race this year aboard his No. 2 Team Penske mount and should benefit immensely from some three-time winner named ‘HULIO! Whilst title favourite Will Power looks to put his season back on track at the Speedway.

Conor Daly seems to be the most unique rookie this year, as he actually missed Opening Day weekend due to his “Day Job” getting in the way, as Conor’s racing in the European GP3 series once again for ART whose season just so happened to be commencing in Barcelona, Spain at the same time.

Yet, Daly did test briefly for ‘SuperTex at Sebring earlier this year and surely must be encouraged to be piloting the No. 41 A.J. foyt Enterprises chassis after the remarkable role lead driver Takuma Sato’s on at the moment - currently leading the points standings after finishing 1st and 2nd the past two races. Yet I suppose that Conor’s just relieved to be in the field after being the only driver to wreck prior to Carb Day, along with losing an engine.

Carlos Munoz looks set to become the fourth Columbian to race at IMS by my very unscientific research, as I know very little about him other than he’s currently plying his trade in the Indy Lights “Feeder” series for Andretti Autosport, who’ll he’ll make his Big Carz debut for this May, as I’m ARSE-sumin’ he’ll be doing the “Double” this year - as in running the Freedom 100 on Carb Day before racing again on Sunday aboard “Mikey’s” 5th wheel, the No. 26 “Double-A” machine, albeit Munoz was the fastest of Andretti’s five qualifiers on Pole day!

Frenchman Tristan Vautier is this year’s only rookie contesting the full Indy Car Series campaign for Sam Schmidt’s second car, the No. 55 Schmidt-Peterson Motorsport entry and has looked overly impressive so far in his first four outings by being unbelievably quick. Also seems to have nerves ‘O steel after having crashed three separate times over the Sao Paolo weekend before motoring to a 16th-place finish.

Vautier along with French teammate “Symone Pagenoe” (Simon Pagenaud) were originally hoping to benefit from the addition of 2004 I500 winner Buddy ‘Hotrod Rice as the team’s third entry this May, who subsequently turned down the ride and then Katherine Legge joined  the team instead...  

Miracle on 16th Street?
Otay, this is just a little Feel Good Mojo for the No. 22 Panther DRR entry of Oriel Servia, as Dreyer & Reinbold co-owners Dennis Reinbold & Robbie Buhl have announced the team will shut down immediately after Indy if no additional sponsorship is found. As I’ve gotta pull for ‘Ol “suitcase” Servia who’s an ex-CART/Champ Cars BAD ARSE who deserves better!

Servia has been competitive at Indianapolis before, most recently sweeping to a fourth place finish last year while he also has a knack of qualifying up front on this historic oval and it’d be the perfect Cinderella story to this ‘lil IRL team that began with the long forgotten farm implement sounding Nissan Infiniti motors in the back of its ‘CRAPWAGON...


The Usual Suspects
And every year it seems the debate with Indiana Bureau Chief Daniel Baines Cooper is the same, i.e.; there’s ONLY 5-6 cars that can win which typically comprises of the Penske’s and Ganassi’s, although so far for this year, you’ve definitely gotta throw Andretti Autosport into the mix, with three of its drivers running consistently up front, i.e.; RHR, ‘Hinch and Marco, while I’d have to say Viso and new-boy Munoz are outside threats.

Thus on this premises, then the following should be the top prospects for drinking the buttermilk in victory lane come Sunday, May 26th: Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe; Helio Castroneves & Will Power; Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and James Hinchcliffe. And I think you need to throw ‘TK (Tony Kanaan) into the conversation as well, thus giving us nine bonafied contenders.

Yet, Takuma Sato seems to be needing to be considered as well as ‘FAST EDDIE, nee Ed Carpenter, while I’m certain there’ll be somebody who’s a surprise, as I seem to recall that Justin Wilson was near the front last year in the Minnowesqe DCR entry - while could a rookie win his debutant outing? Or can J.R. Hildebrand recapture his 2011 magic? And I suppose we shouldn’t leave out his teammate Townsend Bell either, eh?

As I guess that’s why we’ll run the race, right? As I won’t try being so bold as thee OLD-est IndyCar Blogger Geo. Phillips by casting a prediction on who’ll win, although I’d like to see Oriel Servia pull off the shocker for the reason listed above, not to mention seeing ‘TAG (Alex Tagliani) have his moment of glory, or Wilson, Sato or HELL, even Kanaan, as I’ll be sportin’ my support for a most unlikely candidate instead, having just obtained a No. 20 “Parkin I-T!” Bryan Clauson T-Shirt to wear race day instead, as that’ll hopefully ‘Cornfuze a few Indianan’s, eh? As I can always claim I thought I-T was a FAST EDDIE tee instead; Hooah! (Especially since Clauson didn’t get an invite to the B-I-G dance this year...)

 Otay, now I’ve gotta go get ready to catch an Aeroplane bright ‘N early tomorrow morning!