Thursday, April 11, 2024

INDY 500: Let the Games begin!

But will we really learn Anything from testing?


Yeah, Y’all are probably way ahead of me. Knowing that yesterday marked the beginning of Indy Cars two day “Open” test at Mother Speedway, in preparation for this year’s 108th Indianapolis 500 running.


As the test runs from April 10-11, weather permitting…


And Wayback’ in Mid-February, with the announcement of Takuma Sato running Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s (RLLR) fourth Indy 500 entry. The unofficial entry list had swelled to a robust 35 entries.


Since we know Thars’ 27 Full-season entries. Along with “One OFF” entries for Marco Andretti at Andretti Global. Some Roundy Round Star named Kyle Larson at Arrow McLaren. Christian Rasmussen at Ed Carpenter Racing, Helio Castroneves at Meyer Shank Racing, and the aforementioned Sato.


Not to mention the two car Dreyer & Reinbold/Cusick Motorsports entry of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Conor Daly. Which my rudimentary math gets us up to 34 entries.


And that’s before adding Abel Motorsports entry for R.C. Enersen to the mix. Although the Enersen’s, ergo Pops’ and R.C. were scrambling to find a primary sponsor prior to the Open test. With Bill Abel, the proprietor of Abel Motorsports having bought a brand new Dallara DW12 chassis to potentially run a different “funded” driver aboard, if the Enersen’s effort falls short.


Although I don’t expect Abel Motorsports to participate in the Open test, unless they’re running somebody besides R.C. Enersen…


While A.J. Foyt Enterprises has elected to not field a third entry, leaving us with a maximum of 35 cars vying for those Hallowed 33 starting Grid slots. Y’all know those still being the Fastest 33 Qualifiers overall!


Chevrolet (17)

Abel Motorsports, (1) Arrow McLaren, (4) Ed Carpenter Racing, (3) Team Penske, (3) A.J. Foyt, (2) Dreyer & Reinbold (2) and Juncos Hollinger Racing. (2)


Honda (18)

Chip Ganassi Racing, (5) Andretti Global, (4) Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, (4) Meyer Shank Racing, (3) and Dale Coyne Racing. (2)


We also know that everyone will be racing their 2024 Spec Dallara “lightweight” chassis, minus the “Hybrid” Energy Recovery System. (ERS) Which will be the first Full field running upon an Oval.


Not sure what to expect? Since the April running typically doesn’t correlate to May’s race conditions. Making me feel like the IMS test is slightly akin to Formula One’s vaunted three days Winter Olympics Pre-season test…


Although Dale Coyne and Company will be running a brace ‘O  new drivers for Indianapolis. As we know that rookie Nolan siegel will be attempting to make His Indianapolis 500 debut. Whilst we’ve just been waiting for official confirmation that Thy Leggy Juan’, aka Katherine Legge will be piloting the No. 51 on Ovals this season at the team with a rotisserie of IndyCar drivers…


Thus by my unofficial thumbs ‘n fingers count Pre-Open test, Thars’ a total of seven rookies this year vying for the 108th Indianapolis 500. Where still only the Fastest 33 Cars make the Show. Can You Hear Me Roger!


As McLaren has Kyle Larson, whilst Ganassi has three rookies, i.e.; Marcus Armstrong, Linus Lundqvist and Kyffin Simpson. Dale Coyne and His Band ‘O Merrymen have the aforementioned Nolan siegel. As No Stu Seagull Jokes here as my Awntie’ Harriet called Steven Seagal, Hya!


ECR has Christian Rasmussen, and MSR has tom “the bomb” Blomqvist filling out the rookies roster. As I don’t think I missed anyone?


Mother Natured decided that She should be on Pole position or the top of the scoring pylon after All 34 entries, minus Abel Motorsports ran during Wednesday morning. With Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden being quickest before rain brought the afternoon session to a premature close.


Thursday’s second day of practice was cancelled outright due to inclement weather, with the next IndyCar action to be at Long Beach on April 21st.