Thursday, May 22, 2008

Indy 500 Carb Day Preview: Drivers to Your Cars

When I started my work for American Motor Journal at Indy this month, I had two primary goals: shoot from as many places as I could, and get driver shots of every entrant. On the first goal, I am very happy with the variety in my pictures, plus I got lucky on the second weekend with accident shots of Dominguez and Mutoh on Saturday, and Foyt's fireball on Sunday. On the second goal, the only entrants I missed were Giebler, Simmons and Yasukawa. Giebler wasn't around long enough to get a driver picture, and I didn't happen to be in the pits or garage area when Simmons or Yasukawa were around. At any rate, I did get every car that saw track time and besides, I have a blue million race car pictures in the can, plus I've posted bunches in my photo galleries, both on picasa and on my flickr site at so tonight I decided to put up just driver shots of those actually starting the race Sunday for my Carb Day preview.

The link to the photos on my picasa gallery at has a current pic of every driver except one: Jeff Simmons, and his is from Nashville last year before he got canned by Rahal Letterman. I hope to make up for that tomorrow. All 33 starting drivers are depicted for Sunday's 500. You can also click on the following photo to go to that gallery.

Indy 500 2008 Starting Field - Drivers

Carb Day is always one of the best days of the month, as the whole field is out and often running in packs of 10 or more cars nose to tail. Race day conditions prevail in the pits, and although I don't expect anyone to run too many laps, you will still know who's ready and who's not by the end of the one hour practice session. I will stick around for the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race and hope to post another update after tomorrow's action is over. Saturday I head down to Kentucky Speedway to shoot the Frank Kimmel Street Stock Enduro race and then will be up with the sunrise and out to the 500 Sunday morning with my Mom, my brother and his son. Seventy-two hours from now, the winner will be on Speed Channels' "Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain" and my pick remains the same:

Helio Castroneves. He knows how to pass on this track and will have his car set up to pull off the 2nd & 4th turns so he can get under people at the end of the long straightaways. Two-wide racing in the turns could lead to calamity, especially with so many rookies in the field this year, so let's hope everyone gets through Carb Day with their cars intact. Don't be surprised if Buddy Lazier makes a charge from 32nd folks. Don't forget 1992 when Scott Goodyear almost won the race from the last row so although I don't think Buddy's got the team to repeat that feat, watching a veteran like him come from the back should be fun. He's a sentimental favorite of mine anyway, along with John Andretti, so I hope they fare well.

God bless everyone involved this weekend and may everyone get home safely.

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