Monday, May 22, 2023

INDY 500: Pole Day Overshadowed by Last Row Shootout!

Hildebrand’s (Panther Racing) Pit crew standing on wall on Lap-199 cheering as JR takes the white Flag seemingly headed for victory! (The Tomaso collection)


As where’s the late Jim McKay to say “The Thrill of Victory, and the Agony of Defeat!”


Suppose it’s just Mwah? But I was far more sintilated by the outcome of the Last Row Shootout vs. Fast Six Shootou for Pole position at Mother Speedway on Sunday!


Have never had anything against Jack Not Bloody Nige! Harvey, just that He’s never moved thoust proverbial needle for Mwha. Making it Uber Funny that I was rootin’ so vehemently for the Englishman Sunday!


As I know it’s probably wrong, as I flash back to Gory Ought Nine (my first Indy 500) and riding in the IMS Elevator with Daniel Banes Cooper and Graham Rahal. With Danny commenting upon Graham’s “Air Jordan-like” Sneakers.


Whilst to Graham’s credit. He’s the only IndyCar driver who took a question from this  lowly No Fenders Blogger about Portland International Raceway during a long ago IMS Teleconference…


But I simply wanted Graham to Not Qualify for this year’s Indianapolis 500! Especially since the symmetry was so grand! Being the 30th Anniversary since His father Bobby Rahal failed to qualify for the Indianapolis 500!


As it’s strange how vividly I can still remember three decades later, a lifesize cardboard cutout of “Stash Senor”, aka Bobby Rahal resplendent in His Miller High Life Firesuit. At a local Portland, Oregon “Watering Hole” during that year’s G.I. Joes Budweiser 200 Portland IndyCar race - that some clever Patron had attached Wanted, Two Tickets for Indy underneath His right Armpit!


And although I’m Arse-suming it was simply programmed for sometime during the broadcast, since they place the same Promo every broadcast. I found it Uber’ ironic hearing good ‘Ol bobby Rahal’s voice promoting the IMS Museum whilst two of His drivers were fighting to Bump each other out of this year’s Indy 500!


As Harvey went out on track with some 16mins remaining, I found myself crossing two sets of fingers for bloody Jack! Even though it was simply a cooling down lap at 170mph…


Thus I found myself feeling the “Agony of Defeat!” thinking that Jack Harvey had simply Shot His Wad! Saying Bye-Bye Jack, you’ve just lost your Job!


As Harvey’s second run during the Last Row shootout with some ten minutes remaining in the One Hour session wasn’t Quick enough to Bump Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing teammate Graham Rahal from the field!


With the Englishman originally needing to find what I thought Davey Hamilton said was some eight tenths of a mile per hour! Although apparently it was only 0.68miles per hour to advance…


Thus I felt that IndyCar Radio Driver Analyst Davey Hamilton was correct when Harvey’s crew thru on a third set of Firestone tyres, which came from Christian lundgaard’s supply. That Harvey simply wouldn’t have enough speed to Bump Graham from the field!


And only Harvey and His team will know what was the true difference? As Harvey pulled out onto Mother Speedway with some 2.5 minutes remaming as Graham sat in His cockpit with No chance of responding! As was it the tyre pressure adjustments or something else? Or simply Jack Harvey driving the four laps of His life to potentially save His Job as an IndyCar Driver?


But whatever it was, Harvey did the unthinkable by knocking Graham out with a four lap average of 229.166 vs. 229.159 miles per hour after four laps or ten miles! Which I believe is a difference of seven One-thousand’s mph?


For which I cannot believe how ecstatic I was! And how loudly I Kackled over Graham’s demise! Since I know it wasn’t the same. But I hadn’t felt that same amount of euphoria since Kyle Kiser Bumped some Smarmy Spaniard named Fernando Alonso out of the field in 2019!


Thus for Mwah, and with No disrespect towards any of the Fast six Pole Shootout competitors, including my Numero Uno IndyCar Driver Pato O’Ward. With both eventual Pole winner Alex Palou and second place Rinus VeeKay throwing down monster first laps of 235mph-plus, aye Karumba! It really simply didn’t matter to me!


As I’d gotten what I wanted; being for Graham Rahal to Not make the Show! For which I have to say that both Graham and father Bobby both handled most professionally! And Didn’t shy away from All of the unwanted Attention and Scrum for interviews…


As even more classy was Graham apparently shaking Harvey’s hand in Congratulations immediately afterwards!


Since not sure why? Especially since it was a different circumstance. But I found myself Flashing-back to when Big Al (Unser) Defeated His son ‘lil Al’ for the 1985 CART/PPG IndyCar World Series Championship! When Al Unser said although He Didn’t want to Beat His son, He owed it to His team and sponsors to do His Best…


Whilst I believe it was IndyCar Radio Pit Reporter Alex Wolff who interviewed Bobby Rahal before the Last Row Shootout warm-up session began. To which bobby answered that He was Proud of Katherine Legge and that She deserved to be in the race! And that RLLR wouldn’t “Pull” Her from the cockpit no matter what happened during the Last Row Shootout!


For which I’m also glad that RLLR won’t deny Jack Harvey from starting this year’s race in favour of Graham Rahal! And that Graham, bobby and the rest of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will simply face the music come this Sunday. Although perhaps Harvey’s, Lundgaard’s and Legge’s cars will carry some extra “Associate” sponsors from Graham’s car upon them now?


Picture C/O No Fenders Offical’ Photographer CARPETS’