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!