Thursday, May 26, 2011
Four Days to Centennial Indy 500: Bruno Out - Hunter-Reay In
With tomorrow's Carburetion Day runs set for 11 a.m., Ryan Hunter-Reay has a yeoman's task ahead of him with only an hour of practice to get a totally foreign car set up for Sunday's Indy 500. Anyone who hasn't heard that Michael Andretti bought Bruno Junqueira's seat from AJ Foyt and Ryan Hunter-Reay will start shotgun in the 41 car has been sleeping under a rock this week. Regardless of how you feel about the post-Bump Day switch, the field is set and the Fastest 33 cars will still start the race at Noon May 29th.
I will be in Turn 3 once again to cover the action for American Motor Journal and have put together the following slideshows which depict every driver and car which will take the green flag. I hope to make my predictions here sometime before the race begins this weekend but as of right now I must stick with my January 2011 predictions. I still think James Hinchcliff will be Rookie of the Year and Helio Castroneves will become the next 4-time Indy 500 winner. I've been doing pretty well on predictions this month as I said early on the morning of Bump Day that one (maybe two) Andretti cars would not make the race. But for the fat checkbook that Andretti wields, I would have nailed that one. I feel bad for Mike Conway, whose comeback from his horrific accident in the 2010 Indy 500 has been put on hold after not making the show, and for Bruno Junqueira, who did a fantastic job in Foyt's second car to get it ready to race. I hope they keep the Coyote orange color even with the new sponsor decals that Hunter-Reay will bring to the race day paint scheme. See you in Turn 3!