Saturday, May 19, 2012

Indy 500 Pole Day Dawns Clear - Hot One Expected

Marco Andretti fastest so far at Indy
Set up in the IMS media center this morning, today promises to be filled with excitement and probably a few surprises. Marco Andretti was fastest on "Fast Friday" at Indianapolis after the IZOD Indycar Series officials bumped up the turbo boost pressure. The extra boost had 13 drivers crest 225 mph and and another 10 crack the 224 mark so the competition for the Fast 9 spots which will compete for the Indy 500 pole today should be fierce. Weather may also be a factor as the hottest temperatures of the month are forecast. With the advent of daylight savings time in Indiana a few years ago, the front stretch does not get nearly as much shade late in the day as it used to so the driver who can wait into the final hour for the best conditions may have the best shot at the pole. Tony Kanaan drew the first qualifying spot and ran over 225 yesterday so he may be the one to set an early benchmark for the day. The Andretti Autosport team continues to look very stout with four drivers in the top 10 Friday, including Ana Beatriz in a one-off ride for the team. Rookies Josef Newgarden and Bryan Clauson have been very impressive for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing this week and it will be interesting to see how they handle the pressure of their first Pole Day at Indianapolis. And lest we forget the Penske juggernaut:  Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves have the second and third fastest speeds of the practice week, also set on Fast Friday. Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti lurk nearby for Target Chip Ganassi with the fifth and ninth fastest speeds so they cannot be counted out. It could be a wild day here at Indy so until I can get back on line later, I leave you with the following slide shows from practice days I shot earlier this week.

Practice Day May 15, 2012

Practice Day May 17, 2012

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