Friday, May 24, 2013

Carb Day Update: Amazing Finish, Carb Day Woes

Greetings from Carb Day, where I just witnessed the most exciting finish in Firestone Indy Lights history. That's not hyperbole. Coming from fourth place on the last lap, Ireland's Peter Dempsey of Belardi Auto Racing joined a 4-wide melee that also included Sage Karam, Carlos Munoz, and Gaby Chaves. It looked as if Chaves had it, but Dempsey--in what would be the closest finish in Lights history--won by a mere .002 of second. 

In the most high-profile race of the year, Firestone Indy Lights came through, in a huge way. And it was so fitting that Peter Demspey should win the race. Few drivers have had the stamina to go through as much career drama as Dempsey has, moving from team to team, subsisting on part-time deals and "almosts" for a long time. When it counted, however, he made the run, and it's one that will be replayed and featured countless time by racing fans. The fans here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway absolutely loved it, I can tell you that. Also, congrats to the Lights drivers for giving us a very clean race.

Earlier today, Simon Pagenaud grabbed the fastest Carb Day speed, with a nice mix of Chevys and Hondas at the top. As always, it's smart not to read too much into practice speed--we'll see who has it for the long run on Sunday.

What is noteworthy, however, were two separate incidents earlier, which involved Ana Beatriz and Ryan Briscoe, respectively. Bia suffered minor damage to her car's front wing in an incident at pit entry. We grabbed a shot of her damage wing being walked back to the garage. As you can see, it wasn't anything too bad:

(Courtesy E. Bishop)
More severe, however, was Ryan Briscoe's car having a fire and engine failure just before the end of the practice session. Better now than race day, of course. We grabbed a shot of it being carried back to the garage on the wrecker:

(Courtesy E. Bishop)
The cars have been taken back to Gasoline Alley, quiet now until Sunday is here. Here's a shot of James Jakes' car heading back to the garage:

(Courtesy E. Bishop)
Buddy Lazier's car was already being worked on by the time we made it back:

(Courtesy E. Bishop)
Speaking of, if you missed it, be sure check out my interview with Lazier that was featured this morning.

That's it from Carb Day for now, but there will be plenty more to come this weekend. The sun is shining in Indy, the weather perfect, and everything seems to be leading up to another great Indy 500.

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