Saturday, May 18, 2013

Your Quick Bump Day Preview

-The gates open for Armed Forces Bump Day at 7:30 am ET tomorrow, but there first cars will hit the track for practice from 9-10 am. Then, there's a 2-hour wait before spots 25-33 are filled, starting at noon ET and going until 6 pm. It doesn't look like adverse weather will be a factor, happily--the forecast is pretty clear.

-The qualifying order probably won't matter much after the first hour, but it goes as follows (sans T car listings): Lazier, Beatriz, Saavedra, Daly, Jourdain, Rahal, Legge, Vautier, Mann, and Newgarden.

-There are a few different groups of drivers going tomorrow that I'd classify. The first are the drivers I'm not really too worried about. Those would include Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, and probably Ana Beatriz and Pippa Mann. I think they all have enough speed to make it happen tomorrow. I think Tristan Vautier is probably here, too, though perhaps not quite so sure a thing.

-The second group would be the remaining Chevy entries of Buddy Lazier and Sebastian Saavedra. Both didn't look stellar on Pole Day, but Chevy seems to have enough power to suggest that barring an accident, both entries should find their way in.

-Conor Daly is in sort of an interesting category. I think he can find enough speed to make the field, but he's also had  the "double" in terms of IMS issues this week--first a nasty crash, then all sorts of mechanical issues on his qualifying run. Hopefully, he's still in a good place mentally and can get that car qualified.

-For the last category, there are those that I really have some concerns about. Michel Jourdain, Jr. is the slowpoke of the field right now, and there hasn't been much sign of improvement yet. What will be interesting will be to see how Katherine Legge gets up to speed in the #99 #81 car. Simon Pagenaud is safely in, but Vautier hasn't exactly been a lighting it up yet. Where will Legge land on the speed charts, and how quickly can she get up to speed?

-While most eyes will understandably be on Legge tomorrow, there's also the question of Honda-on-Honda violence. Unless Lazier or Saavedra really get in trouble tomorrow, it looks very likely the 33rd position will be filled with a Honda. What happens if it comes down to Legge trying to bump Vautier? I'm not sure, but I bet it's messy.

-If I'm Chevy, I think I'd play with the idea of throwing one more car out there, especially if Jay Howard has last-minute or somesuch. You've won this round; might as well spike the football. Before you say it's too late for that to happen, I suspect we'll have several hours of practice and open track time tomorrow. It could be done, if a team and Chevy wanted it to. I doubt it, but it's fun to throw it out there.

-Speaking of track time, I'd expect everyone to go through once tomorrow, perhaps one or two more 2nd attempts, and then a long wait until later in the afternoon for more qualification attempts. There will be no shortage of cars on track, working on race trim, though!

-Remember, each entry only gets three attempts to bump their way into the field, so after that, it's either so long, or scramble to get the "T" car qualified.

-Right now, I'll go with Lazier, Daly, and Jourdain as my last three in, but all it takes is one bobble out there for everything to change in an instant. Plus, you never know when a team will find that last link they need to put it all together and move up the charts.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment