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.