Friday, May 17, 2024

INDY 500: Another Fast Friday Bubble Burster

Did somebody at the IMS Hall of Fame museum take Team Penske’s “Double Secret Probation” too seriously by letting the Air outta Big Al’s winning racecar? (The Tomaso Collection)



As whose looking on the Outside, trying to make this year’s race? Outside, Outside, Still Outside…


As I waited impatiently for the Indy GP race to commence, I suddenly thought of ‘Ol bob Seger’s song appropriately titled Turn the Page, as everyone eagerly awaits this year’s Indianapolis 500…


“Here I am, on the road again,

There I am, Up on the Stage,

Here I go, playin’ Star again,

There I go, Turn the Page”


Since All everyond wanted to do was Turn the Page and get on that Darn blasted Oval! Yet this has to be the part of the Indianapolis 500 I Hate the Worst! When each year, the turbo boost is “Pumped Up!” In order to achieve artificially inflated speeds around Mother Speedway, Spew! As why don’t they let the teams run the higher boost ratings during the race? Can Y’all say Kuhblamoe!


With a fulltime field of 27 entries, there’s an additional eight “One-off’s”, i.e.; extra team entry or Indianapolis only competitors trying to make the field of the 33 Fastest Qualifiers, Kapishe!


And prior to this week’s truncated  Indy 500 practice sessions, immediately following the Grand Prix of Alabama, I scribbled the following thoughts…


You’d have to say that Helio Castroneves, Takuma Sato, Kyle Larson, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Conor Daly. Uhm, plus Oh yeah, Marco Andretti would All be “Shoe-ins” to qualify for the race.


Although I was one of the few who correctly predicted that Abel Motorsports and R.C. Enerson would qualify for the Indy 500 last year. This seems to be the most “unsure” entry to Mwah, since Abel Motorsports has supposedly been building up their brand new Dallara chassis, vs. massaging the Enerson’s chassis. Making me wonder who’ll be driving their No. 50 entry?


Although Marshall Pruett noted that the “Deal” was down to the wire on April 30th, whether or not RC Enerson could pull funding together or not in time…


Then Friday afternoon, May 3rd, Pruett reported that team owner Bill Abel had pulled the plug upon this year’s Indy 500 effort. Noting that RC Enerson wasn’t able to come up with the necessary funding. Meaning that only 34 cars will be contesting this year’s 108th running of the Indianapolis 500.


The other drivers I wasn’t sure initially about making the Show, with No disrespect. BeforeAbel Motorsports withdrew were the two Coyne entries of Katherine Legge and Nolan Siegel. And Meyer Shank’s rookie Tom Blomqvist. Whilst Foyt’s Sting Ray Robb seems like He’s been pretty slow this season, eh?


As Robb’s my initial pick to DNQ’, as I think the Foyt driver will be slugging it out with Thy Leggy Juan’ for P33…


And that was before McLaren Fired, Err released David Malukas from His contract. Making me believe that the team will tap Callum Ilott for this year’s Indianapolis 500. Especially since their precocious “Teddy Bear” IndyCar rookie Theo Pourchaire, or His loquacious Anglicized name is “Teddy Porkchops” isn’t “cleared” to run a Super Speedway Oval. Even if He just tested on His first Oval at Gateway on May 6th…


And that’s before McLaren confirmed Pourchaire as the driver of it’s No. 6 entry for the remainder of the season following the Indianapolis 500 on May 9th, with Marshall Pruett noting that the IndyCar and Indy 500 media guides have Ilott listed as it’s Oval driver. Before this poorly kept “secret” was confirmed a day before Opening Day practice…


“Double Secret Probation”

Why did the cynic in me immediately come “Galloping” out when “reading”, err listening to the initial article about Team Penske’s suspension of four team members, including it’s top two members, i.e.; Tim Cindric and Ron Rozewski, Eh? As All I could think was what a convenient way to muzzled or “Gag” them from being available to be hounded by the press, Oh Never Mind!


As I’m just looking forward to going back to racing, even if Team Penske was caught Cheating, plain ‘n simple. And El Capitano’ (Roger Penske) has placed His eponymous racing team on “Double Secret Probation” Tsk-Tsk!


Fast Friday Buildup

For the second year in-a-row, Mother Nature Rained upon Mother speedway’s parade! Although a miniscule 23mins Dry session was held in the morning, before the rest of the day was scuttled by wet stuff. thus nothing really should be taken from Scott Dixon being fastest at 229mph, followed by Marco Andretti at 228mph and Takuma Sato at 225mph. Since these speeds were aided by tows, whilst many drivers simply did “Install” laps. With a total of only 29 drivers on-track.


Wednesday’s practice was also interrupted by persistent rain, totaling some five hours, with cars finally taking to the track just after 3PM eastern.


Scott McLaughlin was quickest with a lap of 229.493mph, the only driver in the 229’s. While Penske teammate Will Power was second, being the only driver with a lap over 228mph. With Colton Herta third ahead of Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi rounding out the Top-5.


Positions 30-34 were: Sting Ray Robb, Katherine Legge, R-Nolan Siegel, Santino Ferrucci and Augustin Canapino.


Thursday’s practice once again saw more rain in the afternoon, along with the first two crashes of the month. Ironically being two of the Swedes’ in the field. As rookie Linus Lundqvist was the first to Hit the Wall during the Month of May! With the Ganassi rookie ckipping the Turn-2 curb, rotating the car backwards into the Safer Barrier! And then snapping round and writing off the side of the racer!


Then later, Marcus Ericsson made a copybook mistake, albeit in Turn-4. Also apparently clipping the curb before losing the car and heavily destroying His primary chassis! As Ericsson’s wreck sees Andretti Global having to go to a back-up chassis. While Lundqvists Dallara was repairable.


And hafter multiple stoppages for rain, conor Daly brought out the day’s final yellow flag with 12mins remaining when slowing on-track.


Pato O’Ward set the day’s fastest time at 228.861mph. Followed by Scott McLaughlin and Alex Palou. With Colton Herta and Josef Newgarden in the Top-5 again. This time seeing Herta fourth and Newgarden P5.


Positions 30-34 were: Christian Lundgaard, Pietro fittipaldi, R-christian Rasmussen, R-Nolan Siegel and Sting Ray Robb.



And thus, with more rain expected today. Fast Friday, even with the Boost artificially turned up, speeds might not be so fast? And with Qualifying on the horizon. Some six drivers will play Stars on Sunday fighting for Pole. While obviously the lone driver dejectedly going Home, will definitely wish to Turn the Page!


Partial Song lyrics from:

Bob Seger and the Silver bullet Band

Song: Turn the Page

Album: Back in ‘72

Year: 1972