Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Practice Day 3 Notebook

-This will be a short notebook, since I was unable to attend practice in person today. Instead, I suffered through an interminable day of work. You know the sort of day in May; the sun is out, the sky blue, cars are roaring around the Speedway, and you find you've been staring at the same Excel spreadsheet in your cubicle for a quarter of an hour. You begin to concoct elaborate excuses to get over to the track, or at least to a spot where you can focus your attention on the online broadcast. The pull of the Speedway is a strong one, and it seems to stretch work hours accordingly.

-How great was it to see Pippa Mann and Conor Daly on track today? Daly passes his Rookie Orientation, and Mann got through her refresher session with no issue. It seems as if we've been waiting a long time for those two to hit the track; Mann in a return, and Daly for his debut. 

-The Rahal Letterman Lanigan team certainly has had a slow start this month, with Michel Jourdain slowest on the combined speed charts so far, and the rest of the team in the lower third of the chart as well. There's little sense in panicking at this point, but it's at least worth keeping an eye on. We'll see how things change once qualifying engines are installed in the next couple of days.

-Others have weighed in on the Derrick Walker hire as INDYCAR's President of Competition quite thoroughly, but I'll add my voice to those very pleased with the hire. Walker has plenty of common sense, respect in the paddock, and a realistic streak that should serve him well indeed.

-Looking at the combined speed chart so far, only two of the top twelve practice speeds are currently Honda (Josef Newgarden and Takuma Sato). Again, we'll see what happens as teams change out engines, but I don't think Chevy will be caught off-guard again this year. For me, one of the biggest questions comes in asking just which Honda entries will crack the first three rows. Let's see how matters shake out once that boost kicks up, and with a few more days of practice under everyone's belt.

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