Saturday, May 28, 2016

Today was carb day! 
Short for carburation day, carb day includes the last Indycar practice and the Indy Lights race.

Our thoughts and experiences: 
We couldn't believe the crowds.  It was almost like it was race day.  I can't say I enjoyed the crowd,  but I'm glad that everyone likes Indycar so much

We got there extra early since we knew that there would be more people since it's the 100th running, so we got right in with no line. 7:30 gates didn't open till 8

The Indy Lights race was amazing, and the end was super close.  A new record in the history of the speedway, in fact, at 2.4 hundredths of a second.

One of my favorite parts was after the Indycar practice.  People flocked toward the Gasoline Alley and there were mobs of people along the stairs, standing, sitting, trying to see some drivers as they passed from their pits back into the garage area.  All the cars came through, and then drivers on carts.  Unfortunately  for Alex, we missed Josef, but had a great view above everything.

We also ran around collecting hero cards, The driver autograph cards that they have in the garage areas,  and we eventually had to put them in the car because we forgot to bring a folder and the  stack was getting too big.  Marco Andretti's and Scott Dixon's were out and none of the Penske drivers had cards out, but we managed to get everything else

While we were in the garages, Alex was  longingly looking in the fence with our dad.  Josef's pit wasn't anywhere close to the fence, so she had to settle for watching other drivers' garages.

We did run in to Josef, though.  We saw Arie Lyundyke and were taking pictures when Josef walked out, so we went over and said hi and wish him luck.  He's so nice.  Then we told Alex we saw Ted Crasnick.  She didn't get it at first, but then it sank in and she insisted we spend the next  half of the day outside Josef's pit, trying to watch him.
For those of you who don't know, Ted Crasnick was Josef's alter ego on media day when he went around interviewing drivers with silly questions dressed as an elderly gentleman.  You can watch it during the race on Sunday on ABC!  

We also got to see Sam Schmidt's car specially equipped Corvette, which allows him to drive the car using his mouth and head movements.  It was really cool.  It was in the garages, and then later on we saw him drive around the track a couple times.

It was also really hot.  The morning was really nice, because the drizzle cooled things down, but then it got hot and humid.  Because what would the Indy 500 be if it wasn't hot? Although I guess that's better than '92, when half the field crashed out because of the temperatures.  Or the race that was shortened because of the tornado... so, yeah, I guess we'll take the heat.

We left at around 2:00, because we were meeting a friend soon and plus we were still a little sick and tired.  Unfortunately, we missed the pit stop competition, which is always a highlight.  Not surprisingly, Castroneves won.  There were also some concerts afterward, so even more people were coming in for that as we were leaving.

Plus, as an added bonus, there were really cool vintage cars driving around the track.  It was really neat, and the sound was especially cool.  However Indy cars progress through the years, I hope the sound never goes away.  Anyway, there were a whole bunch of them, some were faster, some were slower, so they were spread out so you could just sit there and watch them for while.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Starting Lineup for the 100th Running on the Indy 500

The Indy 500, 100th running, is only a few days away!
Starting Lineup
1. James Hinchcliffe  Hollywood couldn't make up a better story.  After his near-death crash at IMS last year, it's great to see him sitting on the pole for the 100th running

2. Josef Newgarden We readily admit that this is our favorite driver.  We'd love to see him win, although Alex is hoping for it the most.  Watch for her Josef update post for her view on it

3. Ryan Hunter-Reay Looking to become a 2-time winner after his battle for the win with Helio Castroneves in 2014

4. Townsend Bell  Only races in the Indy 500 each year, and has his best shot ever at the win this year, with Andretti Auto sport

5. Carlos Munoz  Always exciting to watch at Indy, came so close in his rookie year, finishing 2nd in the 2013 Indy 500

6. Will Power  Waiting for his chance to win an Indy 500 for Roger Penske

7. Mikhail Aleshin  No one was more exciting in qualifying as he drifted through all the corners

8. Simon Pagenaud  Looking to continue his 3-race win streak this season
9. Helio Castroneves Taking his 7th shot at becoming a four time Indy 500 winner

10. Oriol Servia  Racing in his 8th Indy 500

11. Alexander Rossi  Missed being int he Fast Nine by about .04 seconds, highest qualifying rookie

12. Takuma Sato  How great would it be if one of AJ Foyts drivers won the 100th running?

13. Scott Dixon    It's been 8 years since his Indy 500 win, would love to  win another.  Won four championships

14. Marco Andretti  An Andretti winning the 100th running of the 500...Wow.

15. JR Hildebrand  He's due a Indy 500 win after crashing so near the finish, last turn, last lap, in 2011

16. Charlie Kimball  His best Indy 500 finish is 3rd.  He's looking to be on the top of the podium, instead of the bottom

17. Juan Pablo Montoya  Will be racing to make his Indy 500 wins a 3 out of 4 starts

18. Tony Kanaan  One of the most popular drivers in the sport, especially after he finally got an Indy 500 win in 2013.

19. Sebastien Bourdais  Racing in his 6thh Indy 500

20. Ed Carpenter  2-time Indy 500 Pole winner, looking to win the race this time

21. Gabby Chaves  This is his best Indianapolis 500 start, and his second year as an Indycar driver

22. Max Chilton  The rookie from   England has taken well to the super speedway

23. Sage Karam  One of our two hometown drivers.  Had a fantastic rookie 500, didn't make it through the first lap in his second due to a crash.  How will he fare this year?

24. Conor Daly  He's a hometown favorite, and after a fire last year on the parade lap, he hope to make a comeback

25. Pippa Mann  After two crashes this month, she hopes she has better luck in the 500

26. Graham Rahal  Would love to win on the 30th anniversary of his dad's Indy 500 victory 

27. Matt Brabham  He becomes the 3rd third-generation to race in the Indy 500

28. Bryan Clauson  Accomplished USAC driver starting in his third Indy

29. Spencer Pigot  2015 Indy Lights champion.  Hopes to finish good and get a full time Indycar ride

30. Stefan Wilson  Is racing to honor his late brother Justin Wilson

31. Jack Hawksworth  Has been with AJ Foyt since last year, and is starting his 3rd Indy 500
32. Buddy Lazier  Is the 1996 Indy 500 winner, great to see him back again

33. Alex Tagliani  His best Indy 500 start is 1st, and his best finish is 10th

1971 Indy 500 Program

1971 Al Unser Sr. won the second of his four Indy 500's and became the first back to back winner since Bill Vukovich in 1953/54.
Some great names starting the race.
A.J. Mario, the Unsers, Donahue,  Ruby, Rutherford...)
Turn 1

Monday, May 23, 2016

1996 Indianapolis 500 program

The 1996 Indy 500.
Won by Buddy Lazier who will start 32nd in this year's 100th Running of the race.

NASCAR driver Tony Stewart started first in the race. 
1998 Indy 500 winner, Eddie Cheever (who will be commentating the 100th Indy with ABC),
started on the inside of Row 2.

Scott Brayton won his second Indy 500 Pole in a row,
before being fatally injured in practice 
when his tire blew going into Turn 2.
1996 marked the first year of the IRL/CART split.
Tony George, grandson of Tony Hulman,
ran the Indy Racing League.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

100th Indy 500 Qualifying Day 1

Technically, the first day of qualifying for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 yesterday didn't mean much.  There were no points given out, no money paid, and with only 33 cars trying to fill a field of 33 there was no concern over not being able to make the show.
However, there was the opportunity to make the Fast Nine and have a shot at qualifying on the pole for the Indy 500 next Sunday, and that made it entertaining.
It was great to be able to watch all of practice or qualifying on the Indycar site or on ESPN3 on our computer and then on ABC and ESPN News.  Sure, we had to switch around a lot, but it was as close as we could get to being there. 
There was rain which switched up the whole schedule and although the teams didn't get as much practice time, they did extend qualifying for an extra hour till 7pm.  That led to cooler temperatures, a faster track and lots of drama of who would get in the Fast Nine. 
With just a few minutes left Marco Andretti bumped out his teammate, Ryan Hunter Reay, who immediately went out and qualified second fastest for the day and bumped Marco back to tenth.  Then, with a second left Mikhail Aleshin got on track as the gun ending qualifying went off, and in his fourth run of the day he was 8th fastest, That bumped another Andretti Autosport car, driven by rookie Alexander Rossi out of the Fast Nine. 
And the best story of the day, James Hinchcliffe topping the charts with a four lap average of 230.946!
Going for the Pole
for the 100 Running of the Indianapolis 500
(it would be the first Indy 500 pole for 8 of the 9 drivers. 
Helio will be going for his 5th)
1.  James Hinchcliffe - A great story if he wins the pole after nearly losing his life practicing for the Indy 500 last year.
2.  Ryan Hunter Reay - The 2014 winner would look good on the pole this year.
3.  Will Power - With 43 career Indycar poles it's hard to believe he has never won the pole for the 500.
4.  Helio Castroneves - Would be great to see him go for his 4th Indy 500 win starting from his 5th pole.
5.  Townsend Bell - Indy 500 only driver, how super if he could win the pole.
6.  Josef Newgarden -  In his fifth Indy 500 it would be fantastic to see our family's favorite drive sit on pole.
7.  Mikhail Aleshin - Arguably the most exciting qualifier yesterday sliding his car through the corners it'll be great to see what he can do going for the pole.
8.  Carlos Munoz - the youngest driver going for the pole, has been exciting at Indy since finishing second his rookie year in 2013
9.  Simon Pagenaud - Has won the last 2 poles this season, will he continue his win streak.