Saturday, May 21, 2022

INDY 500: It’s Qualifying Day, Who’ll Make the fast 12?

Although Hopefully it Ain’t gonna be an All Bowtie Affair…


Being a Blind Word Butcher’, and being the vaunted Month of May. I’ll do like All of us Bench Racers do this time of year, and most certainly, inaccurately predict my Fast 12 prior to Saturday’s riveting Qualie’ Day, which still makes me Mad that it ends at 5:50PM Eastern – Just to Appease the TV Broadcast schedule of Not Bumping Up against the time Honoured 6PM Gun!


Pre Fast Friday Initial Guess

Prior to this year’s “guns ‘N Roses” Indy GP, I took a crack at trying to come up with my Fast 12 entrants, albeit I’ll tweak this list after the completion of Fast Friday, which is another tradition I don’t like! Y’all know when the Gimmickry of turning Up the Boost for an Additional 90 “Ponies” (Horsepower) is used to Artificially Inflate Speeds, Urgh!


Naturally you’d have to expect the Usual Suspects, i.e.; Andretti, (5) Ganassi (5) and Penske, (3) albeit I’m positive that Not all 13 of their entries will make the Fast 12 for Obvious reasons, Botta Boom!


So I’ll pick Colton Herta and Alexander Rossi to represent Andretti Autosport. And you’d have to think that TK’ Follow your Schnoz! Kanaan will lead Ganassi Racing’s Quartet, since I’ll go against the grain and predict JJ’ Uhm that RASSCAR Guy Jimmie Johnson won’t make the fast 12, be Still my Beating Heart!


 Team Penske’s three drivers should be a lock, so that get’s us up to nine, meaning I’ve got more choices left than room. Since I’d Arse-sume my Numero Uno IndyCar Driver Pato O’Ward of Arrow McLaren SP will certainly be there, although Don’t know ‘bout his AMSP teammates?


Whilst I think that the Cagey Taku-San’, aka Takuma Sato will drag his Coyne/Ware Racing’s Hondre’ into the Show, which I believe leaves me with just one more choice, Righto?


Although still awaiting Geo. Phillips Indy 500 Spotter’s guide, since Don’t think they’ll do a repeat of the Black ‘N Orange Polka-dotted Underwear livery this year? But I’ll give P12 to Rinus VeeKay, leaving his Boss Fast Eddie’ on the Outside.


Although it’s now been well documented this week that Rinus chose his florescent Dare I Say It? Dayglo Orange? Uhm, vivid Dutch Orange from 20 different shades ‘O orange…


Final Pre Fast Friday Guess…

Following Fast Friday’s practice session, which I completely missed, think I’m more Cornfuzed’ than ever over who’ll be in the Fast 12 Shootout Sunday, especially with the weather being so Up in thoust Air! Since part of me wants to See’ Mother Speedway being too Damp Saturday and Forcing Qualifying into just Sunday. But then again we Don’t wanna give IndyCar too many ideas on how to Water the Show Down any further…


Going by just top speeds alone for Friday Doesn’t really get Yuhs Anywheres’ Me Thinks. Even though Takuma Sato once again went Quickest for the third day in a row, with a speed of 232.789mph, ahead of Alexander Rossi. Followed by Pato O’Ward, Marcus Ericsson, Scott Dixon, Felix Rosenqvist, David Malukas, Tony Kanaan, Scott McLaughlin, Josef Newgarden, Will Power, and 12th Fastest being Alex Palou at 231.085mph.


Yet the winds were Attrocious all Day long, with Drivers running limited laps in order of Not wrecking their racecars! So, once again, Thars way more possibilities than just 12 Drivers to choose from…


As we’ll See’ how many of these I get right? Since we All know Thars gonna be someone who surprises us, and others that Disappoint us. Yeah, I’m stalling here since I’m struggling over my final 12 choices.


So I’ll stick with Colton Herta and Alexander Rossi. Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist, along with Takuma Sato. Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson and tony Kanaan. Will Power, Scott McLaughlin and Rinus VeeKay plus Ed Carpenter.


Although I’m guessing that Josef Newgarden and Alex Palou both make the Cut, so who do they Bump from the 12 above? And How Many will I get right? As I believe it’s almost time to begin Qualifying Day, unless the weather’s not cooperating For which I’m Not planning on getting up for practice at 5:30AM Pacific to find out!


Qualifying Day No.1, In the books?

Ok, I guess how my morning started off by spending the first 10mins of Qualifying trying to figure out why the IndyCar Radio Network was continuing to play an ‘Ol Indy 500 race with a younger Paul Page as lead Announcer when we should have been Hearing the Qualie’ run of Pato O’Ward should have signaled how the day would go, Eh?


From the sublime of Takuma Sato having his first Qualification Attempt Disallowed for having “Blocked” Marco Andretti’s first lap is something I cannot recall ever happening before.


To the Disappointment of Colton Herta having his engine Misfiring on the start of his Qualie’ run, not to mention Alexander Rossi giving IndyCar Radio’s Rob Blacman the world’s Shortest Interview with a scant nine words spoken by the ever Scowling 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner…


As of just around 11:15AM Pacific, ergo 2:15PM Speedway Indiana time, following Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Sage Karam having pulled his initial Qualification time and on his warm up lap, the track went Yellow for light Rain. Followed about five minutes later by Lightning having been spotted nearby , and All Fans being told to leave the Grandstands!


Thus as of 11:30AM Pacific the Top 12 in order  were:


Row 1

Rinus VeeKay, (233.655mph) Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist


Row 2

Alex Palou, Tony Kanaan and Jimmie Johnson


Row 3

Ed Carpenter, Marcus Erisson and Romain Grosjean


Row 4

Scott Dixon, will Power and Takuma Sato


Amazingly, Takuma Sato who Tagged the Wall in Turn 2 during the middle of his first “Official” Qualifying run, to which IndyCar Radio’s Davey Hamilton said I can assure you, Sato’s Not gonna lift! Knocked his DCR teammate David Malukas out of the Fast 12 by a scant tenth of a mile speed average!


While I really Don’t expect there to be any more Qualifying Attempts Saturday, since the whole reason Qualifying was oved forward One Hour was because of the weather forecast, but “We’ll See” what Mother Nature decides to do? As IMS was trying to Dry the Track when typing this…


Then tuning back in at 12:45PM Pacific, Sage Karam was taking the Green Flag for his second Qualification Attempt which He completed this time, moving forward from potentially being P32! Next Scott McLaughlin withdrew his 15th position for a four lap run which knocked him back to 26th! Before Josef Newgarden’s run was Halted by the Caution Flag coming out again for more lightning strikes, followed by Mark Gravelly’ James agreeing with Davey Hamilton’s assessment that the Track was Lost!


Alas, Fast 12 Qualifying will see the Slowest to Fastest making a single Qualifying attempt before the final Six Drivers repeat this procedure a second time to determine the Pole winner Sunday.