Sunday, May 30, 2021

INDY 500: It’s Finally Race Day, So Who Will win?

As Enquiring Minds wanna Know who’ll win Duh biggest Race of the year?


Although I began pondering this prior to the completion of Fast Friday, for which I sincerely wish they wouldn’t Turn Up the Boost, since It Reaks of being even More Artificial then IndyCar’s vaunted P2P’, aka Push-to-Pass! But I digress…


Thus I held off until reading the day’s results via before making my initial considerations towards potential winners for this year’s 105th running of the Indianapolis 500.


Naturally the main Contendahs’ come from the Usual Suspects, i.e.; Penske, Ganassi and Andretti. As you can never count out Team Penske’s three veteran Drivers Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power. Whilst Scott McLaughlin seems a certain Shoe-in for (ROY) Rookie Of the Year honours, especially since the other two Rookies R.C. Enerson and Pietro Fittipaldi were struggling to find Speed!


Although Pietro impressed Mwah with an excellent 13th place qualification, while Y’all know Enerson didn’t make the field, leaving just two Rookies this year, ironically with McLaughlin being the Quickest Penske in 17th


Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon is always a threat, and you can never count out his returning team-mate Tony Kanaan. And while Alex Palou’s been Quick all thru practice, I just don’t think the Sophomore driver or Marcus Ericsson have the experience to win the Indy 500.


The prognosis for Andretti Autosport seems even more bleak to Mwah, since their only true threat Alexander rossi’s first time inside the Top 5 on the Time Sheets came Midway thru Fast Friday. Colton Herta seems too Hot Tempered and Ryan Hunter-Reay hadn’t cracked the Top 10 Speed-wise until the end of the final hours of practice. Marco Andretti typically Fades during the race and Thee Mayor ‘O Hinchtown’s Nightmarish season continues, as the Kuhnuck’ has been mired near the bottom since arriving at Mother Speedway!


While the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Boyz’ have looked strong during practice, albeit Graham Rahal’s been the slowest so far, Santino Ferrucci crashed once during practice and seems unlikely to win. So I’d just say count Rahal and Takuma Sato in. But there hasn’t been a repeat Indianapolis 500 winner since Helio Castroneves went back-to-back two decades ago.


And speaking of Hulio’, I’ll count him as a Darkhorse candidate, even though I Don’t expect him to win driving for Meyer Shank racing, as the team just still seems too young and “Raw” to pull off what surely would be an Upset.


Ed Carpenter Racin always has fast cars at the Speedway, albeit it’s been Conor Daly posting the Quickest times during practice, and like Ye Oldest IndyCar Blogger Geo. Phillips, I too don’t think Rinus VeeKay’s ready to win the Indianapolis 500. Nor do I think Conor will, but you can never count out Thar Boss Fast Eddie’. (Ed Carpenter)


And that just leaves us with Arrow McLaren SP to consider, especially since Pato O’Ward’s my Numero Uno IndyCar Driver! As Pato’s been fast, flirting inside the Top 10 during  practice, while Felix Rosenqvist’s and Juan Pablo Montoya’s names have barely been whispered. And although I’d revel in Pato Drinking Milk Sunday, I don’t think it’ll happen. Rosenqvist is a “Non Starter” leaving me to say that only Montoya’s a Dark Horse threat, albeit I’d say a pretty long long-Shot.


A.J. Foyt Racing’s running four cars this year which seems to be overburdening them, and they haven’t been a threat at All during practice with the exception of Team leader ‘le Hamburgular’ (Sebastien Bourdais) once in the Top 10 at P6 when getting a Tow during practice. So we’ll count SeaBass’ as a longshot candidate.


Pre race Contendahs’

Therefore, with my very quick assessment of this year’s grid, with No Disrespect towards those I didn’t consider, I’ve come up with a Dozen Bonafied Contenders towards Drinking Milk atop the Victory lane elevator’s Top Floor! In alphabetical Order: Sebastien Bourdais, Ed Carpenter, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Juan Pablo Montoya, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Graham Rahal, Alexander Rossi and Takuma Sato.


And it’s easy for me to say now, but I’ve been feeling pretty confident it’s Thee gory Iceman 2.0’s race to lose, following Scott Dixon being Fastest both Qualifying Days…


That said, naturally my list of potential winners has been somewhat reset.


Fantasy Picks

Although some of these drivers I don’t think have a chance, as I’ll list ‘em in the Longshot’s column below, here’s my updated selections for potential Winners in order of Team, with Starting position in parenthesis.


Andretti Autosport: Colton Herta, (2nd) Ryan Hunter-Reay, (7th) and Alexander Rossi )10th)

Arrow McLaren SP: Pato O’Ward (12th) and Juan Pablo Montoya (24th)

Chip Ganassi Racing: Scott Dixon (1st) and Tony Kanaan (5th)

Ed Carpenter Racing: Rinus VeeKay (3rd) and Ed Carpenter (4th)

Meyer Shank Racing: Helio Castroneves (8th)

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: Takuma Sato (15th) and Graham Rahal (18th)

Team Penske: Josef Newgarden, (21st) Simon Pagenaud (26th) and Will Power (32nd)


As the driver of this revised group who impressed me most with his Steely determination and Good Sportsmanship afterwards is Colton Herta, who now seems like a definite Contendah! While I’ll still say All of these drivers have a chance, along with the other 18 drivers.


Fantasy Long Shots

That said, of the 15 listed above, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Pato O’Ward, Juan Pablo Montoya, Rinus VeeKay, both Rahal drivers and Bloody Hell! Even the three Team Penske Boyz’ All feel like longshots at this point. As Odds are against Takuma Sato repeating, whilst Graham Rahal seems like a Darkhorse choice, while think we’re All Ah-Waitin’ to see if Team Penske Shows Up on Race Day?


And the Winner Is…

Of my Top 3 choices, One is my Preferred choice, One’s my Sentimental Pick and the third’s my Actual prediction.


I’d prefer for Alexander Rossi to win his second Baby Borg this year, as this would definitely boost his confidence over what’s been a ragged season’s plus racing. Not to mention Colton Herta’s trying to Steal his mantal of Team leader.


My sentimental choice would be Tony Kanaan for obvious reasons, as how can you not like TK’, Eh?


But the driver I’ll pick to actually win this year is Tuh-Duh! Scott Dixon. As “The Iceman” has just been astonishingly fast, Uhm Bloody Quick ever since practice began, and just seems like he’s intent on finishing business from last year’s humbling Defeat.


As Dixon has either been at the top or in the Top-5 of every day’s practice sessions, Quickest both Saturday & Sunday, and led some 160 laps last year, so I’d say he’s got this place figured out, El Correctomundo?


And I made my choice for winner following the Fast 9 Shootout, and didn’t even bother with the day’s latter practice or Carb Day results…


“Gentlemen and Lady, Start Your Engines!” 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Indy 500: 40-something’s’ Still Going Strong

As how many more Indy 500 Rodeos will they Attend?


Ah, what better subject to scribble ‘bout on what should have been Legends Day at Mother Speedway, Eh? As interestingly, Thars as many Old Salts as Indy 500 Winners contesting this year’s race, albeit just by my very Un-Scientific research. Although two of this year’s previous Indianapolis 500 winners haven’t reached this illustrious plateau yet, i.e.; Simon Pagenaud celebrated his 37th Birthday on May 18th, when IMS held a Party for him with 34 of his “Friends” Ontrack during Opening Day Festivities! While Alexander Rossi is the “baby” of this group at just 29 years old. As our nine 40 year Old’s are:


Sebastien Bourdais, Ed Carpenter, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power and Takuma Sato.


Hmm, how to go about this, eh? As originally I was gonna do another long form No Fenders expose on each of these drivers, but I’m Not feeling up to it, and besides, I’m running outta time before they wave the Green flag upon thou GURR-Reatest Spectale in Uhm, Motor Racing Tuh-Duh!


Thus we’ll See if you can figure out my logic?  Since I was gonna G-O in order of Indianapolis 500 victories originally, albeit that would have left two of these Grey Beards out. With both of the Non Indy 500 winners landing in my “Mythical” Group 2 of this riveting tome. Since after all, what’s that saying about Age before Beauty, Eh?


Indianapolis 500 Winners

Juan Pablo Montoya,  (2000, 2015) Helio Castroneves, (2001-02, 2009) Scott Dixon, (2008) Tony Kanaan, (2013) Ryan Hunter-Reay, (2014) Takuma Sato (2017, 2020) and Will Power. (2018)


As these seven drivers have a combined total of 11 Borg Warner trophies between them. With Fast Eddie’ (Ed Carpenter) being the “Baby Face” of this Geriatric group. Whilst Bourdais is still looking for a Top 5 finish at Mother Speedway…


On Pole position is TK’ Follow-your-Schnoz! Kanaan being the Elder Statesman of this group at Age 46, and will celebrate his 47th Birthday this December 31st. As I’m not really sure what to expect from Tony, who seemingly is always a threat on Ovals, and especially at Mother Speedway when he has a good car. And driving for thou Cheepster’, aka Chip Ganassi he certainly has good equipment for the next two years to try winning his second Indy 500.


Second Oldest on this Hit Parade list is my past Number One villan Hulip’, aka Helio Castroneves who just celebrated his 46th Birthday on May 10th. As Castroneves is the only Three-times Winner of this bunch, who desperately wants to join the rarefied Four-time Winners trio. But at age 46 and driving for a brand new team, as it still seems wrong for him to be in anything other than a Penske car! And the way Meyer Shank Racing has been having equipment failures and Silly Mistakes, I’ll proclaim that Helio won’t be Drinking Milk this May 30th.


On the Outside of Row 1, Third Oldest is Juan Pablo Montoya who turns 46 on September 20th. And although the Columbian has a most impressive winning percentage tally at Mother Speedway, his performance at this year’s Indy GP did little to impress me! As Seriously? Qualifying Dead last behind the likes of Jimmy Johnson and Dalton Kellett, before finishing a very pedestrian P21 and 1-lap behind.


Along with finishing once again behind Kellett! Although Monty’ will probably finish much better on the IMS Oval. Since as ‘Ol Kenny Sargent of Speed Freaks fame would say, BAM! JPM was fourth fastest in the opening 2hr practice on Opening Day, Quickest of the Arrow McLaren SP trio, before finishing the day P12.


On the Inside of Row 2, one position behind last year’s Indianapolis 500 Qualifying position. Clocking in at No. 4 is a very likeable Japanese driver as ‘Ol Casey Kasem would say. As Takuma Sato celebrated his 44th Birthday this January 28th and got a belated birthday gift when finally getting to see his face upon the vaunted Borg Warner trophy for a second time earlier this year.


And as the reigning Indianapolis 500 winner, I’d Arse-sume he get’s to grace this year’s ticket stub, as I think Mother Speedway still gives it’s Fans the traditional ticket, Righto?


As the defending Indianapolis 500 winner, Taku-san’ seems like he’s been somewhat flying underneath the radar so far this season, and hasn’t really wowed up so far. But as a Two-times Indy 500 winner who could have won three before colliding with Dario REO Speedwagon Franchitti in 2012 on the last lap. Hey, “No Attack, No chance!” Sato could conceivably be gunning for his fourth Borg Warner trophy this May… 

Friday, May 28, 2021

INDY 500: When Age 40 is Just A Number

Especially since the Number 40 Always make’s me think of ‘Ol top Jimmy’ (Vasser) in that brilliant Dayglow Orange Patrick Racing Visteon sponsored IndyCar from Wayback’


This year by my Unofficial Count, Thars’ nearly a third of the Grid who are  40 years Old or Older participating. Even if All we hear about is the Youth movement occurring in IndyCar’s currently, these 40-year Old’s have Something to say about it…


Sebastien Bourdais, Ed Carpenter, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power and Takuma Sato


Counting Down our “Top 9” Old Farts as ‘Ol Casey Kasem would say. Clocking in at No. 5 on our IndyCar Geriatric countdown as the El Senor member of “Group 2,” or the Bottom Half of our Elder Nine is le Hamburgular’, SeaBass or the former Sealmeister B’, aka Sebastien Bourdais at Age 42. As I never noticed before that Seb’ shares his Birthday with SuperMario’, (Andretti) albeit Mario’s his senior by 39 years!


As Bourdais has had an interesting career at Mother Speedway, beginning in ’05 with a total of eight starts (prior to this year’s race) to his credit. With two Top 10 Finishes both with KV Racing Technology and it’s Spinoff KVSH Racing being a 7th place in 2014 and P9 in 2016 respectively.


As you’d have to think that ‘Ol Top Jimmy’ (Vasser) and James “Sully” Sullivan are wondering why they unceremoniously Dumped Sebastien in favour of Santino Ferrucci and current #18 Sealmaster Pilote Ed Jones, Eh?


Especially when Sebastien scored his Career Best Finish of 7th Overall during the Mergified IndyCar era in 2018 before being Fired, Huh? Although may be Ferrucci winning 2019 ROY (Rookie Of the year) Honours made up for this?


Whilst unfortunately Bourdais is probably best known at IMS for that Freakish Qualifying Crash in 2017, his first season at Dale Coyne and Company, when he got Airborne and broke his pelvis! As somehow I don’t think he’ll be able to put the storied No. 14 A.J. Foyt Racing into Victory lane, or is that ride the Victory lane Elevator to the Top Floor this May.


Coming in at No. 6, on the Outside of Row 2 is Scott Dixon, the Oldest of our 40 year Olds, who’ll turn 41 on July 22nd. As I’m Arse-suming that Ye “Iceman 2.0” feels like he’s got unfinished business after last year’s Dominant performance before finally getting “Bested” by Taku-san’, nee Takuma Sato after leading most of the race!


Next up is The Dude’, Ryan Hunter-Reay who turns 41 on December 17th. As it must feel like a really, really long time ago since drinking Milk in Victory lane Wayback’ in 2014. Although I still love how he audaciously won that race ahead of Castroneves!


In the Middle of Row 3 at P8 on our Countdown. For his 40th Birthday, El Capitano’, aka Roger Penske gave him a 2-year contract extension, as DJ WillyP’ turned Ye Big 4-Oh on March 1st. As I’m still somewhat surprised by this move, since his lone IndyCar title came in 2014 and he won at Mother Speedway in 2018. But perhaps Roger & Co. are hoping to soak in the adiration of Power breaking Mario Andretti’s All-time career Pole positions, as he’s just five shy of tying the mark of 67. And may be there’s nothing better currently available on the Driver market?


And Kicking Off our 40-Something’s Old Farts 9X Countdown. Not to be Cornfuzed with the Fast Nine Shootout, Botta Boom, botta Bing! Take it away Casy, Hya!


Coming in at No. 9, albeit not necessarily the “Slowest,” but instead Ye Youngster of the 40 something’s Brigade is Indiana’s very own Fast Eddie’, aka Ed Carpenter, who’s just a scant 48 Hours Younger than Will Power! As the Butler Graduate turned 40 on March 3rd.


As Fast Eddie’ is best known for capturing three Pole positions at Mother Speedway, beginning with back-to-back Poles in 2013-14 before his third and latest in 2018, when finishing an Indianapolis 500 best as runner-up after leading a race high 65-laps behind that Show Me some Respect Mother Fuckers Will Power! While He’s the only Owner-Driver on the IndyCar Grid. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

INDY 500: Sunday Qualifying Debrief

And then there was just the Race left to G-O…


Obviously by now, if You’re Not living Underneath A Rock or in your Mum’s Basement W/O Wifi’, Hya! Then you know the outcome of Sunday’s “Day 2” of Qualifying, when the final Bits of the Made for TV Drama occur.


Unfortunately for Mwah, Sunday turned into an extremely Sad and Bittersweet day, which I’ll save for another belated No Fenders story, since right now I know Yuhs just want to hear about Motor Racing instead, Righto?


Thus the day was obviously a mix ‘O emotions for Mwah, and it was nice to have the Last row shootout and the Fast 9 Shootout as a Distraction.


Since I was able to Tune Into The Fan, 1075AM WFNI once again, I elected to listen to the radio broadcast vs. TV, since when you’re Blind, the radio definitely gives you a better description of what’s going on instead of just Arse-suming you can See the action! And I do enjoy Mark Gravelly’ James and  his Contingent ‘O Supporting Voices.


Although I did also turn on Thy Telie in order to try minimizing missing any of the riveting Boomp’ Day action during the Last Row Shootout since Jeannie was dropping by during the middle of it.


And with No Disrespect towards Jimmie Johnson or Dale Earnhardt, Jr. who both seem to be fine, Upstanding people, or their Sidekick Steve Letarte. I just do Not understand why NBC Sports was having the Qualifying action called by a trio of ex-NASCAR Drivers & Crew Chief? As None of them are truly Qualified to talk about the intricacies of Open Wheel Racing and what each driver attempting to put their respective mount into The Show is experiencing. Since only Johnson has driven a current spec IndyCar, but Never on a Oval!


As I totally felt like this was just another Mind Numbing Infomercial for NBC Sports upcoming presentation of the second half of this year’s NASCAR season…


Oh yeah, almost forgot where I was going, since I haven’t even taken the Green Flag. As it’s still Uber Baffling over why DJ WillyP’, aka Will Power, winner of the 2018 Indianapolis 500 was even in this Gory predicament? Or the fact that a “lowly” One-off Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (DRR) and Sage Karam Outqualified Power on Sunday! As Karam layed the Gauntlet down by Qualifying at 229.156mph.


Actually Karam Outperformed two Team Penske cars, albeit Paretta Autosport is just an Affiliate, or dare I say it? A Satellite Penske operation, but nonetheless Karam and DRR were the Stars of the Last Row Shootout. And like IndyCar Blogger Raymond Hando said, they should probably change the car number to 31 since that’s where they’ve Qualified for the Indy 500 several years now.


One of the day’s biggest dramas had to be when Will Power tagged the Wall during the latter stages of his lone Qualie’ run. Hitting the Wall in Turn 2 on his final lap!


As he even possibly broke the right Rear tow link? Since I know one of the Talking Headz’ noted how he’d cracked some bodywork that had a white sheen upon it, with the Firestone lettering missing from his rear tyre! And would have had to Withdraw his 4-lap average of 228.876mph in order to effect potential repairs, as the Toe link’s Alignment was definitely askew!


As Power just stayed seated in his cockpit to wait out the remainder of the 75 minutes Shootout, which really didn’t live up to it’s name, since the last row was ultimately set after the five drivers had made Thar obligatory attempts, with an Hour’s worth of No Cars Ontrack.


I think next out was Simona de Silvestro since Top gun Racing (TGR) and R.C. Enerson had been late to Technical Inspection? As Simona coaxed everything out of her recalcitrant Dallara-Chevrolet and would ultimately end up 33rd in the Field with a four lap average of 228.353mph, behind the two drivers above, ultimately positions 31-32 on Row 11 of the Grid.


Both A.J. Foyt Racing’s Charlie Kimball and TGR’s Enerson simply couldn’t will their respective mounts above 227mph even after making second attempts, with Kimball slower at 227.584mph and Enerson at 226.813mph as time expired. And the “Drama” was over for the moment.


As I think Top gun Racing and Enerson made a truly valiant attempt at Qualifying  since they were Always behind the proverbial “8 Ball!” And it was just wishful thinking on my part when predicting they’d make The Show. As I really hope we’ll see ‘em later this year and back at Mother speedway next May…


Interestingly, believe it was the Indianapolis Star’s Motorsports reporter Nathan Browne? Who wrote that Kimball and his Engineer knew last Tuesday that they didn’t have the speed to Qualify since they were running a Road Course chassis, Huh? As I thought the teams converted their Dallara chassis between Twisties’ configuration and Oval set-up?


Fast 9 Shootout

During another lull in the action, it was really nice hearing ‘Ol D-Squared’, aka  Donald Davidson’s voice on the Radio, which I hadn’t heard him in two years either. Although I missed the beginning of how he got onto a very interesting tangent about Motorcycle Racers who’ve race at Mother Speedway in the Indianapolis 500, albeit may be it was off of davey Hamilton’s mention of Jeff Ward in relation to something else? As it’s quite amazing how many Kneedraggers have raced at IMS, and Donald even politely tip-Toed round The Split when talking about “Steady Eddie,” aka Eddie Lawson having raced in the wrong race in 1996!


Best part of their Broadcast was when Davidson mentioned how he wasn’t aware they were No longer using Pit Boards and Hamilton rambled on ‘bout how they’d use Hand Signals when the Radio Cut out. Sublimely saying One would mean loose, Two would mean before ‘Ol Gravelly’ (Mark James) brilliantly interjected Thars’ still One Signal that’s Universal Yuck Yuck Yuck! As Davey quickly said yeah it’s still used today by All the Drivers, Hya!


Hell, even Will Power got Fined $50,000 for giving IndyCar Officials a Double Bird Salute Once!


Think you’d have to say the Fast 9 Shootout also was somewhat muted excitement-wise? Or at least for Mwah, since I typically care more about who makes the Final Row.


As it seemed fairly processional with each driver’s increased speed, and I really didn’t get excited until Halfway thru with Rinus VeeKay’s run, thinking how Cool it would be if he pulled off what would be an Upset when electrifying the crowd with a 4-lap average of 231.540mph. Especially with the lack of Bowtie runners towards the Sharp end of the Grid!


As only two Chevrolet runners made the Fast 9, those of ECR’s )Ed Carpenter Racing)  VeeKay and his Boss Fast Eddie’, (Ed Carpenter) with Pato O’Ward being the third quickest Chevy in P12.


But it wasn’t to be, since next up was Colton Big Shot! Herta, who ultimately kept his qualifying position from Saturday, remaining 2nd with a speed of 231.655mph. As “The Iceman came out next as the final runner and Beat Herta by the slimmest margin of three Hundreds of a Mile per Hour (0.030) after four laps! Reportedly a distance of seven feet after 10 miles!


Thus Scott Dixon claimed his fourth Indianapolis 500 Pole position with a speed of 231.685mph, tying him with Rex Mays, A.J. Foyt and Helio Castroneves, while “Rocket Rick” Mears holds the record with six Poles…    


Row 2 features Ed Carpenter, Tony Kanaan and Alex Palou, while Row 3 is comprised of Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves and Marcus Ericsson.


And now we’ve just got a very short Carb Day practice session remaining before we wave the Green Flag for 500 Miles of racing! 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

INDY 500: Saturday Qualifying Debrief

How The Mighty are Humbled!


So it’s really, really Annoying how Difficult it’s become for a Blind person to “Easily” find  IndyCar on Ye “radio” these days, Err tune-in via Zed Internets to the IndyCar, Uhm IMS Radio Network, which after Fumblin’, Stumblin’, and definitely Bumblin’, is it over here? Whoopsie, Butterfingers! I miraculously landed upon WFNI The Fan 1075AM Straightup at 9AM Pacific, or High Noon Eastern to the voice of Mark Gravelly’ James and his supporting cast as the day’s first qualifier Scott Dixon pulled onto the Warm-up lane, DUREKA!



As much has been made ‘bout many Indy 500 Fans not having set foot upon Mother Speedway grounds for two years, but for Mwah, it’s been two years since I’ve listened to Mark James, Davey Hamilton, Nicky Salt’ Yeoman,

Jake “the Riddler” Query  and Mike Screech’ Young, plus the IndyCar Radio Pit boyz’ Ryan Marie and Rob Blackman. As he doesn’t sound like Bloody Some Heads Are Gonna roll Rob “Halford, Hya! Voice of the prior Rob “Whoever” Pitlane Reporter was, Rob Howden? While I miss hearing “The Viking,” aka Anders Krohn who Hamilton’s replaced…


As I listened to the first 2hr-plus before they went Off the Air at 11AM Pacific, WTF? And then after listening to WFNI’s “B Team,” I reluctantly switched over round 11:35AM PT as the 35 cars had completed their first Qualie’ runs  to thy Telie’ and “Watched,” Err listened to the voices of Leigh Diffey, Paul Tracy and townsend Bell during the multitude of Uber’ Annoying Non-stop Commercials on big NBC! (Nothing But Commercials) Before I elected to return to the IMS Radio Network for the final two hours of Saturday’s action.


Am still in shock over DJ willyP’, aka Will Power of Team Penske being relegated to the Last Row shootout, WTF! As I totally thought that A.J. Foyt Racing had Screwed Dalton Kellett by pulling his time when he was P30, since they thought for sure he’d be Bumped out of the Top 30. And I’m still not sure how, but Kellett after running what seemed a slower time, still managed to Hang onto 30th, meaning that the Unthinkable happens wit Power having to bump his way into the field, Crikeys! As let that sink in for a moment.


As Kellett’s initial 4-lap Qualifying average speed was 229.250mph vs. Power’s fastest 229.228mph, i.e.; -0.022mph after 10 miles! If I’m “reading” the Time Sheets correctly?


Although most like myself will be super Cornfuzed when reading the final Qualifying times, as Kellett lines up 30th with a speed of 228.323mph, but since he was P30 when his time was “Pulled.” As long as he completed his final Qualie’ run without Crashing, then he was in “The show,” Cornfuzed? As this is another of IMS’s Somewhat Archaic Qualifying Rules that IMS is constantly Tinkering with!  


Thus, the Day’s Slowest Five Competitors (P31-35) were: Will Power, Sage Karam, Charlie Kimball, Simona de Silvestro and R.C. Enerson.


Meanwhile the Top 9 Shootout in order of Saturday’s times were: Scott Dixon, who was the day’s very first qualifier at 231.828mph.  followed by Colton Herta, Tony Kanaan, Ed Carpenter, Rinus VeeKay, Helio Castroneves, Alex Palou, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marcus Ericsson.


The second biggest Shock of the day had to be when Alex Palou went back out to “improve” his P7 time and following saving the first wiggle from the rear end, summarily clouted the Wall on the second wiggle! Completely destroying the right side of the car! As Paul Tracy said look at how the right rear Halfshaft has punched it’s way thru the rear tyre, Yikes! But the good news was that Palou was uninjured and that they won’t need to go to a Backup Car. And he’ll be able to contest the Fast 9 Shootout Sunday…


The most pleasant surprise of the day had to be Pietro Fittipaldi solidly locking himself into the field, as positions 10-30 are locked into the race on Saturday. As the Rookie Brazilian Driver qualified 13th, ahead of All four Team Penske entries!


Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward led the way for the team as he’s done all week long, being the Meat in a Dale Coyne Sandwich in 12th, as Ed Jones made a late, second Qualie’ run to move himself up to 11th. Felix Rosenqvist was P14 and Juan Pablo Montoya was 24th.


Alexander Rossi was the third quickest Andretti Autosport ride, qualifying P10, while James Hinchcliffe had a quiet run to 16th. With “One Off” Andretti driver Stefan Wilson winding up P28 and staying outta (Townsend) T-Bell’s’ Dangerzone of the Slowest 5.


Rookie Scott McLaughlin led the charge for Penske in 17th. Followed by Josef Newgarden in P21 and Simon Pagenaud P26.


Defending race winner Takuma Sato was the fastest RLLR driver in 15th followed by team-mate Graham Rahal in P18, one place ahead of Conor Daly.


J.r. Hildebrand was the fastest A.J. Foyt Racing runner in 22nd, followed by Sebastien Bourdais in P27, Kellett in 30th and Kimball on the Outside looking in.


Dalton’s Dilemma…

Naturally I was  very Cornfuzed over Dalton Kellett makingthe The “Cut” for the Top 30, and like I said previously, thought He’d been Screwed by his team! As I understand why they Pulled his time, since why wouldn’t Will Power of the mighty Team Penske not Bump him out of the Show? And I understand that once you commit to the Fast Lane One’s immediate Qualie’ run that you cannot Back Out of it and  your time is Withdrawn.


But what I didn’t understand was that Power had never made it into the Top 30, since he originally qualified 31st and therefore his time was Never registered.


And listening to NBC Sports I think it was Paul Tracy who said Power “lost it” on Turn 3 of his final lap when he  ended up with a Slower time then Kellett’s original time.


Thus in a way, A.J. Foyt Racing actually ensured that Power couldn’t Bump Him by withdrawing their time and making Kellett have to run again, albeit this time at a Slower lap speed, since Power was never technically in the field. And as long as Simona de Silvestro didn’t go faster than Dalton’s time, which she didn’t and the Gun sounded with time expiring at 5:50PM ET, with Power unable to make another run. Which I still think is Bullshit@ As why do the Racers get Shafted in order for Television to Wrap-up it’s show in order to not Bump Up against the prestigious weekend edition of the Nightly news? But I digress…


AnyHoo’, Dalton Kellett was in with a speed of 228.323mph and Will and Simona in two Penske entries were relegated to the Last Row Shootout on Sunday. 

Monday, May 24, 2021

INDY 500: Practice Debrief, Days 3-4

But even after turning Up the Boost, did we really learn Anything?


Have to say I’ve Never been enamoured by thou Gimmickry of Turnin’ Up the Boost for Qualifying, solely to inflate the lap speeds, presumably to get everybody excited, Err Pump You Up! Talking about the upcoming race and how fast they’re going, even though they Dial Down the Boost afterwards in order for them to be able to race 500 miles, but I digress…


“Fast Friday,” Practice 4: Fryday, May 21st

The “Mercury” kept rising, to a fairly toasty 83deg-f, according to my information when I began typing this at 1:26PM Pacific. With a predicted High of 84 that felt like 87 with a low of 62deg-f, four degrees warmer then our forecasted High for Florence, Oregon, but I digress further…


Thus I was surprised when reading after lunch the daily Mid-day report via, since I Don’t have that Cursed Peacock Paywall service! That Ed Jones and his Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan’s #18 Dallara-Honda was sitting Atop the Pylon in P1 with a speed of 231.569mph! Which Jones had posted with a helpful Tow before the track & ambient temperatures rose.


RLLR’s Takuma Sato was second, followed by Scott Dixon, CGR team-mate Alex Palou and Alexander Rossi, a welcome site for the Andretti Autosport driver. While AMSP’s Pato O’Ward was the top bowtie runner in P6 at 231.014mph, with All six of these racers posting 231mph+ laps due to their extra 90bhp of Turbo boost.


RLLR Driver Santino Ferrucci was cleard to drive and returned to the track at 2PM ET, while Top Gun Racing’s R.C. Enerson attempted two Qualie’ Sims but was still slowest in P35 at 224.736mph.


Yet by day’s end, it was a thou Cheepster’s Four Musketeers Hogging the Top 5 positions, only interrupted by Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta P2. As Scott Dixon was fastest with a lap of 233.302mph, with CGR team-mates Tony Kanaan 3rd, Marcus Ericsson 4th and Alex Palou P5. With Pato O’Ward remaining the quickest Chevy in P6.


The rest of the Top 10 was Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato, Ed Jones and Ryan Hunter-Reay in P10, his first time in the Top 10 of the Time Sheets.


Rinus VeeKay led the way for ECR in 12th, with Ed Carpenter 15th and Conor Daly P19.


Others making noticeable jumps up the Time Sheets were Andretti Autosport’s “Sixth Wheel” Stefan Wilson in 13th, along with James Hinchcliffe in P17 and Pietro Fittipaldi a practice high 18th. While Carlin’s Max Chilton was P23, splitting the top two Penskes!


No idea what Team Penske was up to? Since Josef Newgarden was their quickest HotShue’ in 22nd. Scott McLaughlin was 24th and Power and Pagenaud were P29-30, Huh?


As the Slowest 10 Drivers (P26-35) were: Marco Andretti, Dalton Kellett, J.R. Hildebrand, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud, Sage Karam, Simona de Silvestro, Sebastien Bourdais, Charlie Kimball and R.C. Enerson.


As Enerson’s fastest lap was 226.055mph, jumping nearly 2mph from earlier runs, but was still over 2mph Slower than Kimball in P34. As time appears to be running out on the Top gun Racing effort.



Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing was penalized from running the first 30mins of Fast Friday due to the Kerfuffle they caused when trying to stage Thar three abreast Photo Op’ on Thursday, and therefore couldn’t begin practice until 12:30PM ET Friday.


Practice 3: Thursday, 5/20

The day got off to a Bizarre start when the three Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR) Boyz’ were running three abreast at reduced speed down the front Straightaway for a Photo Op’ crossing the Yard ‘O Bricks. As Simona de Silvestro and Scott McLaughlin dually slowed down, Colton Herta came round Turn 4 at Full speed and ended up colliding with McLaughlin and brushing the Wall when trying to go High round the Kiwi Rookie! As both cars were taken back to Gasoline Alley for Inspection/repairs, costing them an hour’s-plus time of practice!


At the Halfway point it was a Chip Ganassi Racing Freight-train holding positions 1-4  with Scott Dixon on point at 224.666mph. Followed by Marcus Ericsson, Tony Kanaan and Alex Palou, with Team Penske’s McLaughlin shaking off his earlier encounter with Herta to be P5.


At Day’s end it was Kanaan in P1 with a lap of 225.341mph followed by Conor Daly. With an unexpected Santino Ferrucci ahead of Josef Newgarden andScott Dixon rounding out the Top 5. Whilst Rinus VeeKay nipped at Thar Heels in P6.


Jumping into the Top 10 for the first  time this week was Meyer Shank Racing’s Helio Castroneves in 7th and Takuma Sato in 9th. Colton Herta was Andretti Autosport’s fastest runner in P10, with next best  being Ryan Hunter-Reay in 12th.


Pato O’Ward still led the way for Arrow McLaren SP, but slid down to P14, one place ahead of Will Power, the third slowest of the four Team Penske cars with McLaughlin 13th and Simon Pagenaud 23rd.


Matching his car number for the day was Ed Carpenter in 20th, followed by Alexander Rossi and Juan Pablo Montoya P21-22 respectively.


The Slowest 10 runners (P26-35) were: Graham Rahal, Pietro fittipaldi, Sage Karam, Charlie Kimball, J.R. Hildebrand, Simona de Silvestro, James Hinchcliffe, Max Chilton, Sebastien Bourdais and R.C. Enerson. As Enerson’s lap was 217.444mph, nearly 2mph slower than Bourdais’s unexpected “Basement Dweller” speed.



Top Gun Racing finally returned to Pitlane some 80mins into practice with R.C. Enerson running a total of just 50 laps before ultimately ending up 35th and slowest at 217.444mph set in the early afternoon.


Santino Ferrucci became the first driver to Crash during the Month of May just after setting his quickest lap of the day, then P2! When backing Hard into the Wall at 4:14PM ET with heavy damage to the left Rear corner. Ferrucci was taken to Hospital for further evaluation to his left leg, but was expected to return on Friday. 

INDY 500: Practice Debrief, Days 1-2

    But what did it really tell us?


Author’s Note

Not really sure why I’m doing this, as Nobody really seems to care lately what I scribble ‘bout on No Fenders, Sigh! But since I started this, and seem to be extremely interested in the daily outcome for this year’s Indianapolis 500, presumably since Thars’ Nothin’ else going on right now here in my Mum’s basement Mikey A’, Here goes Nothing…


Practice 2: Wednesday, 5/19

Had my own Mini Computer problem during the morning and wasn’t sure I was gonna have any Zoomtext Fusion 2021 Screen Reader functionality! So I scrambled to solve my First World Problem and Wallah! Here I am, Lucky You, whoever my remaining No Fenders readers are ,Thank you!


The temperature increased by 10-15 degrees, to nearly 80deg-f, making for very different track conditions, Obviously! At the Halfway point of the day’s six hour session, Marcus Ericsson from Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) was fastest at 226.007mph, folowed by Conor Daly, Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais and Ed Carpenter as the Top 5. While Alexander Rossi jumped up to P6.


But at the end of the day, it was Dixon on top with a lap of 226.829mph followed by Daly and Carpenter, with Ericsson sliding down to fourth. While Tony Kanaan crashed the party by finishing P5. And Sebastien Bourdais finished 6th, as everybody apparently were making Tow assisted runs.



Pato O’Ward stayed 7th with his team-mates Felix Rosenqvist and Juan Pablo Montoya P22-23 respectivley. While Marco Andretti led the Mikey A’ Armada in 10th, with Alexander rossi P12.


Young Guns Rinus VeeKay was 11th and was the Meat of an Andretti Autosport Sandwich! Whilst Alex Palou moved up the Time Sheets to P8, seeing All four CGR cars firmly inside the Top 10.


The Slowest 10 Drivers (P25-34) in Order were: J.r. Hildebrand, Max Chilton, Stefan Wilson, Simon Pagenaud, Pietro fittipaldi, Josef Newgarden, Dalton Kellett, James Hinchcliffe, Charlie Kimball and Santino Ferrucci. With Ferrucci’s lap being 219.088mph.


But I’m somewhat loathe to “Read” too much into this since Seriously? Team Penske’s Pagenaud and Newgarden were 28th & 30th respectively. And Will Power was the quickest in 15th (224.785) with Rookie Scott McLaughlin P17, which we know isn’t a true representation of Team Penske! But the bulk of the Foyt boyz’, with the exception of Team leader Sebastien Bourdais  have languished at the bottom, so who knows, eh?



R.C. Enerson completed his ROP session before the day’s practice began, but strangely sat out the rest of the day’s running. Reportedly with their Dallara-Chevrolet suffering from Fuel Starvation issues, which apparently began at the end of his ROP completion, so guessing the team  spent the rest of the day trying to resolve this mechanical Gremlin? As it’s worth noting that the team worked round the clock to put the car together Justin-time for Indy this year…


Opening Day, Practice 1: Tuesday, May 18th

The morning Veteran’s session saw Graham Rahal atop the Scoring Pylon with a lap over 223mph, as the session was interrupted multiple times by rain.


The Refresher and ROP (Rookie Orientation Program) had three participants,with J.R. Hildebrand being the only  driver to complete his requirements. As Stefan Wilson’s car struggled with some niggling problems, while the lone rookie R.C. Enerson had to cut his session short with a rear Halfshaft/Bearing issue, that fortunately the team spotted before Enerson Smacked the Wall!


The Top 5 Fastest Drivers were: Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Takuma Sato, Sage Karam and Conor Daly, with Power’s lap being 226.470mph.


The Slowest 10 Drivers (P25-34) were:Scott McLaughlin, Graham Rahal,Dalton Kellett, J.R. Hildebrand, Jack Harvey, Max Chilton, Pietro Fittipaldi, Santino Ferrucci, Sebastian Bourdais and Stefan Wilson. As Wilson’s lap was 218.573mph.,


Pato O’Ward led the way for Arrow McLaren SP in P7, while Scott Dixon led the Chip Ganassi Racing effort in 8th. And I’m guessing it’s too early to read anything into Alexander Rossi being 22nd and Alex Palou P23, especially with Rahal going from fastest to P26! But it was good to see Simona de Silvestro P13, Sandwiched by Juan Pablo Montoya ahead of her, with Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden one spot behind her.



Was this an Ominous Sign for Carlin and Max Chilton? As the Bloody Brit’ was shown the “Black Flag” when his Helmet’s Air-hose came off and became a “Streamer” entangled upon his rear wing! Before ending the day in 30th out of 34 drivers.


R.C. Enerson didn’t take part in the Day’s first Full Field Practice session after having completed the first two of his three ROP Stages. As an errant CV Boot coated the Right rear corner in Grease and the team sat out the session. As the team later confirmed it was caused by a broken rear Halfshaft.


Birthday Boy Symone’, aka Pageantry’, nee Simon Pagenaud celebrated his 37th B-Day by finishing P6 at 225.230mph. 

Thursday, May 20, 2021

F1: Sir Lewis sets Another Milestone

But how many people actually care?


Yeah, I know we’re All supposed to be Punch Drunk over the endless Drone ‘O IndyCar’s warming up for this weekend’s riveting Boomp’ Day and Qualifying for this year’s 105th Indianapolis 500. But Across thou Puddle as the late Claire christened it! Thars another race taking part in Ye Principality this weekend, beginning with the traditional day of practice for F1 commencing on Thursday in Monte Carlo…


By now, Y’all know that “Golden child,” aka Sir Lewis, nee Lewis Hamilton has done the unthinkable by scoring his record setting 100th Formula 1 Pole position, something I truly thought would never happen!


As Hamilton’s totally smashed his Boyhood Hero Ayrton Senna’s long standing tally of 65 Poles, then beaten only by Der Terminator’, nee Michael Schumacher’s 68, which Lewis has long since eclipsed.


Yet putting this into even more astonishing perspective, was the fact that Kroftie’, aka Sky Sports TV Pundit David Kroft prattled on ceaselessly following Saturday’s Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying session about how only five Bloody Formula 1 Constructors have ever scored 100 Pole positions. As initially I struggled to guess who the fifth F1 Constructor was? As the Top 4 should be easy for any of Yuhs F1 Diehards. Which I’ve listed below in order of Thar “Historical” Sporting Heritage, albeit Number 5 should come before which of the Others?


Times Up, put them Pencils Down!


Scuderia Ferrari

First Race: 1950 Monaco Grand Prix

As the only F1 Constructor to have participated in Formula 1 since the inception of the Modern era in 1950, albeit missing the very first race at Silverstone and beginning at  the second round in Monte Carlo instead. Naturally the Scuderia leads All categories, i.e.; Starts, Wins, Podiums, Pole positions, Fastest laps and Constructors and Drivers World Championships.


As la Scuderia has amassed amazing tallies from it’s 1,014 Grands Prix Starts as of the previously concluded Spanish Grand Prix. Having claimed a staggering 237 Wins, 228 Poles, 16 constructors and 15 Drivers Championships. Although Ferrari hasn’t won the Constructors title since 2008, whilst Kimi “The Iceman” Raikkonen is the last F1 World Champion to don rosso Overalls in 2007, Aye Karumba!



First Race: 1966 Monaco Grand Prix

This iconic British team was founded by Bruce McLaren a long, long time ago. And is currently in a long rebuilding process, trying to return to it’s last great Dominant era under thou Ronster’, aka Ron Dennis and those crushing Marlboro McLaren race teams, not to mention it’s fruitful West McLaren days, when Cigarette sponsorship came in Cubic Dollars…


McLaren has amassed 182 victories, 155 Poles, eight Constructors and twelve Drivers Championships in 884 Starts. Yet it’s now nearly a decade since Jenson Button won the 2012 Brazilian grand Prix, the team’s latest victory. While their latest Constructors & Drivers titles were in 1998 and 2008 respectively.   



First Race as a Team: 1977 Spanish Grand Prix

First Race as a Constructor: 1978 Argentine Grand Prix

Although Sir Frank actually began his storied foray into Formula 1 a decade prior with the advent of his Frank Williams Racing Cars, Team Willy’ will always revolve around it’s main iteration as Williams Grand Prix Engineering for Mwah.


As Sir Frank and Sir Patrick Head molded the Minnowesqe F1 “Garagist” into arguably one of Formula One’s Greatest Teams,. Amassing a impressive 114 Wins, 128 Poles and 9 Constructors and 7 Drivers Championships during 748 Starts as an F1 Team and 740 Starts as an F1 Constructor over it’s 43 year reign, before the team was sold to the somewhat “Mysterious” Owners, U.S. Based Dorilton Capital in August, 2020.


Thus the Starts tally are somewhat inflated since the team continues racing under it’s iconic name, which after all is the strongest part of it’s Brand  identity.


As Williams Glory Years arguably were the Mid 1980’s with Honda power and early 1990’s when they slayed everyone yearly with their le Reggie’ (Renault) V-10 lumps’ with Bloody Nige’ (Mansell) “the Professor” (Alain Prost) Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve claiming their final World Championships between 1992-97.


Although it’s interesting to note that Williams actually won it’s first two World Championship titles with Alan Jones in 1980 and Keke Rosberg in 1982 with the legendous Ford Cosworth DFV three liter normally aspirated V-8.


While the team’s latest win came following Sir Frank’s 70th Birthday at the hands of the unlikely Pastor Maldonado, with a belated birthday present at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix.



First Race: 1954 French Grand Prix

Although the Silver Arrows legacy began in the 1950’s, when Formula One Constructors raced in the colours of their respective Country, hence Mercedes-Benz donning a Silver hue,. The German Auto Manufacturer ceased All Motor Racing activities after it’s horrendous crash during the 1955 24 Heurs du Mans where over 80 Spectators were Killed!


Yet El Maestro’, aka Juan Manuel Fangio claimed two of his then record five F1 World Championships when driving for Mercedes-Benz, along with his most capable “Wingman” Sir Stirling Moss, when the two drivers crushed their competition.


But for Mwah, Mercedes as an F1 Constructor doesn’t truly begin until 2010, when they took over, Err bought out Ross Brawn and his Brawnd Grand Prix operation. Thus in only a decade’s plus time, from a modest total of 231 Starts, compared to their contemporaries. The All Conquering Silver Arrows and Sir Lewis have simply decimated the Competition! Winning 118 races and 129 Poles in that relatively short span. Along with seven Constructors and nine Drivers Championships and counting, Sheisa!



First Race: 1958 Monaco grand Prix

Last Race: 1994 Australian Grand Prix

After I thought about it, I guessed that it must be the once mighty Team Lotus who belonged to this elite fraternity of Formula 1 constructors…


Yet the sorted history of Lotus is most construed, with reputedly a total of four, or is it five? Various incarnations of what originally began as the illustrious Team Lotus founded by Colin Chapman in 1954.


Then for 1995 Pacific Grand Prix merged with the faltering, dying embers of the once glorious Team Lotus for one season rebranded as Pacific Team Lotus before their demise. As longtime IndyCar Aficionado’s, err Champ Car diehards will recognize the Pacific Grand Prix Team founder’s name, since it was a bloke named Keith Wiggins.


Then there was Tony Fernandes Commercial attempt towards resurrecting Team Lotus by laying claim to the name and racing under it’s perceived Banner between 2010-11 before Gerard Lopez and his “Lotus-Lotus,” Err Lotus Cars carried on between 2012-15 before the Lotus name was again retired when Renault took back over it’s previously jettisoned Formula 1 Operation at Enstone.


As Team Lotus scored a total of 102 Pole positions from 489 Grands Prix Starts, along with 74 Wins. Plus a tally of 7 Constructors and 6 Drivers title, with both of these final Championships occurring in 1978 when somebody named Mario Andretti won his lone F1 World Championship.


And whilst I find myself rooting Ah-Mightily for Max Verstappen, or anybody else? To knock Sir Lewis Off his Perch, for which at least hopefully Verstappen can win this year’s Monaco Grand Prix.


“Golden Child” (Hamilton) who currently sits on 98 Grands Prix victories firmly has claiming Number 100 and many more on his radar. By doing so, will match what only four F1 Constructors, ergo Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Mercedes have done, i.e.; winning 100 Gory Grands Prix!