Sunday, May 26, 2024

Another Zany Indy 500 Race Prediction

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Will Pato O’Ward be exchanging His latest Energy Drink for Milk on Sunday? (The Tomaso Collection)


As who will Mother Speedway choose this time? And will Mother Nature also get in upon “the Show?”


Blogging from the wilds of Nofendersville, where the Intrawoods’ connection is purdy G-Damn slow! Y’all really shouldn’t take too much below for granted, Hya! Especially due to the time delay…


Following Fast Friday’s conclusion, I initially came up with my Top-11 Contendahs’ for this year’s 108th running of the Indianapolis 500. As I’ll let Y’all figure out my “11” connection. And Nah, it doesn’t have anything to do with the Indy 11 Soccer team, Hya!


Thus alphabetically Team-wise: Andretti Global: Colton Herta and Marcus Ericsson; Arrow McLaren: Pato O’Ward and Alexander Rossi; Chip Ganassi Racing: Scott Dixon and Alex Palou; Meyer Shank Racing: Helio Castroneves; Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: Takuma Sato, and Team Penske: Josef Newgarden, Scott McLaughlin and Will Power.


Whilst at the beginning of May, prior to the annual Indy GP, I made the Bold prediction with zero thought or scrutineering. That Alex Palou would be the winner of this year’s Indy 500…


Naturally after qualifying weekend, I’m not sure what to think about Cheep’s top two drivers, i.e.; Palou and Scott Dixon. Although both drivers are methodical at getting to the front. And if Chevy continues having it’s plenum Fires on race day, who knows? Although now that the Boost has been turned back down, this may no longer be an issue…


Naturally on the surface, the race initially seems likely to go one of two ways, albeit weather depending! As Team Penske has simply dominated thru Qualifying, enroute to locking out the Front row for only the second time in History. With 1988’s Indy 500 winner “Rocket rick” Mears starting from Pole in the “Yellow Submarine”. “Spin ‘n win” 1985 Indy 500 winner Danny Sullivan in the middle, and defending Indy 500 winner Big Al’ (Unser) on the outside of Row-1.


Thus Team Penske could be in for another repeat of History, if ScottyMac’, aka Scott McLaughlin can win His debutante Indianapolis 500 from Pole aboard the vaunted (Penzoil) Yellow Submarine. Although I still think odds are against the Kiwi’, who hasn’t won on an Oval yet.


Although I believe the last driver to win from Pole was also a Team Penske driver from France in 2019, when Symone’, nee Pageantry’, aka Simon Pagenaud was victorious.


As how Cool is it that Pagenaud will make His long awaited return to the cockpit when driving Gil de Feran’s 2003 Indianapolis 500 winning racecar as part of the Pre-race festivities…


The Odds are also stacked against Josef Newgarden going back-2-back, as No P2P Jokes here! As repeat winners have only occurred five times in the race’s history, with the last being Helio Castroneves in 2001-02.


And according to the Indianapolis Star’s 33 Things to know about the 500 article. Whilst 45 of the previous 107 winners have come from the Front row, only three of the last twelve have started there.


And that’s before we even get into the scuttlebutt suggesting the Penske trio work together to stay at the front of the pack until the end of the race.


Ok, I can come up with my own scuttlebutt. As what keeps Andretti global from sending Marcus Ericsson, whose had a brutal month as a sacrificial Rabbit at the head of the field, Oh Never Mind!


Leading me to think that Mother Speedway will lend Her Hand in picking a deserving winner as always. Although will it turn into being only Half distance due to weather? Since I cannot remember the last year with rain delays…


As right now I’m torn between two different drivers drinking milk on the victory podium. Torn between Alexander Rossi whom somebody called Luke Skywalker not being able to destroy the Team Penske Death Star – and has been mocking Penske’s Chirpiness All Qualie’ weekend! Along with Colton Herta whom just seems to be exuding quiet confidence.


Obviously as previously mentioned, Alex Palou is certainly a Contendah’, along with Scott Dixon. Although the Kiwi’s making His worst Indy 500 start ever in P21 and will have to come from way deep to pull off the upset. Hmm, another Dixon Master class Fuel saving run in the cards?


Other drivers I’d be happy seeing in the winner’s circle include thee Great Santini’, ergo Santino Ferrucci. As this would be a super popular victory since Ferrucci drives for A.J. foyt. Whom I still remember last year’s In-car radio replay saying Shall we go lead this Boys? Before rocketing to the lead, with thunderous, vocal approval from the Stands!


Whilst I’d also be happy with DJ WillyP’, aka Will Power winning His second Borg Warner trophy. As this would give the Aussie’ His 42nd win, tying Him for fourth All-time with Michael Andretti for career IndyCar wins.


Interestingly, I also learned via the Indianapolis Star that Power’s fifth Front row Start without winning the Pole ties Him with Harry Hartz and Wilbur Shaw.


Yet certainly you’re thinking what about my Numero Uno IndyCar driver Pato O’Ward, Eh? As I haven’t even mentioned Him yet. As this could be the break-thru year like always. But Pato’s already been complaining about His Chevy’ being slow, and He just seems to mercurial!


As I even pondered over qualifying weekend if He was feeling rattled over not being the No. 1 McLaren driver He’s used to? As I’ll begrudgingly admit that Kyle Larson has suitably impressed me both On and Offtrack. Although I still don’t think Larson will win. He’ll lead laps, but will get Outfoxed for the win…


Although somehow I missed another “Memo”. As I was totally unaware that Larson’s deal with McLaren is a two year contract for racing at Mother Speedway, i.e.; 2024-25.


Other outside chances are Felix-the-Cat’, aka Felix Rosenqvist who was the quickest Honda runner. Yet unfortunately the Swede’ has a record of qualifying better than finishing. While obviously the spotlight will be upon His elder teammate Hulio’. But Castroneves won’t win again!


And ditto for Fast Eddie’, nee Ed Carpenter who seems His best days are behind Him. Along with The Dude! Aka Ryan Hunter-Reay.


Otay, Y’all are probably sayin’ Quit stalling and tell us your prediction, Eh?


Yes, I feel that Will Power’s laser focused and has to be a serious threat. While Alexander Rossi seems to have a massive Chip upon His shoulder, not to mention being in a contract year.


But I’ll stick with my Gut feeling and go for the not so obvious pick and select Colton Herta as this year’s winner! As Herta just seems to be exuding confidence along with sounding “loose” and not overtly serious. Kind of making me think of The Gasman, aka Tom Sneva…


But if it becomes a rain shortened race, then All “bets” are Off! And I’ll predict that Dixon wins His second Indianapolis 500.


As Y’all can compare ‘n contrast this year’s predictions vs. last year’s riveting No Fenders post below…