Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Notebook: Opening Day's Eve

-It's the day before Indianapolis 500 Opening Day, which means it's going to be one of the longest work days of the year. There's nothing to be done for it, aside from trying and failing not to watch the clock every two minutes.

-Every year at Indianapolis is special, but I can't recall a year with fewer definites than this one. It seems as if nearly anyone could be a contender; from Foyt to Carpenter to Andretti, many teams have plenty of reasons for hope. While Ganassi and Penske will doubtless have their moments, the parity we've seen this year, plus memories of last year's flood of lead changes, means all bets are off. Anything seems possible, and I absolutely love it.

-What's always fun is marking what we think is so when practice begins. In 2011, it was Ana Beatriz and Pippa Mann having little chance to make the field. In 2010, we though the same of Sebastian Saavedra, and believed Tony Kanaan would be a top qualifier. In 2008, we thought the same of Marty Roth and that pokey Hemelgarn car piloted by Buddy Lazier. When it comes to the Indy 500, prevailing wisdom rarely works out as we'd believe it. Remember that in a few weeks, when someone we thought would be a first-day qualifier is trying to pull it together to slot into Row 11.

-As far as the car count, I don't think we'll have a firm idea of whether we see 34 or 35 entries until later next week (though I believe we will). There's still plenty of time to work, and I'm pretty certain we will see some bumping. There are just too many possibilities out there for one not to land. Let's see how teams fare early in the week, and see what develops from there.

-One of the last TBA details on the current announcement list was resolved yesterday, as Pippa Mann not only showed what her car will look like this year, but it sounds as if they may be going with number 63 (despite 81 being shown in the car's mockup). We'll see if we get more info today.

-If you're anywhere in Central Indiana or in town on 500-related business, don't forget about the Festival on Main tonight from 6-10 pm in Speedway. It's for the Indy Family Foundation, which is a great organization that assists with hardship cases in the motorsports family. There will be plenty of activities for adults and kids alike, and plenty of drivers will be there, too. Check here for more information.

-I'll be out at the Speedway all weekend, and will have one or more of my kids with me. This is a family-oriented weekend for us, a chance to spend time with them without it being the marathon Pole Day/Bump Day experience I usually engage in. It's going to be a great time, and a great May. There's nowhere else on Earth I'd rather be.

1 comment:

  1. Will be at track Sunday, but will be back in South Bend for live show at 11 pm as usual.

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