I wanted to do a quick update before qualifying got under way today. I was feeling a bit under the weather last night, and actually overslept! I couldn't believe it--oversleeping on Pole Day, the best morning of the year!
Yes, I said best morning of the year. As much as I love the entire race day experience for the Indy 500 itself, Pole Day morning holds a special place in my heart. It means getting in just after the gates open, sitting in the Pagoda Plaza, and just watching the Indianapolis Motor Speedway come to life. It means coffee and a pork tenderloin for breakfast, most years. It means having the sounds of the Gordon Pipers awaken the place as you sit and watch teams rush by, on some mission or another. It means seeing teams finally start to show their hand in morning practice. The expectancy and guessing that goes on all month finally begins to climb towards a resolution that will be played out between today and next Sunday.
It's also a great time to get a wonderful feel for the scope of Indy. Walking up and down pit lane, if you look towards Turn 4, it's partially shrouded by an early morning mist. There's just no track like this one.
I wasn't a total speed demon on the roads this morning, but I made good time, getting through the gates at 6:30am. As I write this, speeds are closing in on the 230mph range, we've just gone yellow for a bit moisture in the area. Most predict we'll have some interruptions today, but likely not a full-fledged deluge.
Of course, if you're talking entries, the speculation today is all about the #99 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry, which we could see for Bump Day tomorrow. Katherine Legge is the most often-mentioned name is conjunction with the ride, and if the funding is there. She's been all over the Schmidt garages, and seems to be the most likely choice. If we do see the #99 car go out at this point, and it isn't Legge, I guess I'd be a bit surprised.
More thoughts to come, but for now, we'll wait for the rain to get out of there and get some Pole Day qualifying action in!