Words by John Olsakovsky, Photo by Doug Patterson
As the dawn breaks over Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the reaction is not one of anticipation and joy, but one of anxiety and concern. This year marks the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, meaning that year is the start of a second century of cars circulating this historic Speedway. What will the future bring?
If the forecasts have any semblance of accuracy, the future will bring rain for both Qualification Days on Saturday and Sunday. There are a lot of scenarios that could have Qualifying pushed to Monday, with each driver getting a single qualifying run and no Fast 9 qualifying. It’s also possible that Qualifying is a complete wash-out, meaning drivers lining up based on championship points. This would hurt all the one-off drivers such as Zack Veach, Pippa Mann, and Buddy Lazier. Oh yeah, that wacky Spaniard in the orange car could become a member of the Last Row Club, too.
Judging from the Fast Friday practice speeds (which include the increased turbocharger boost available for qualifying), Honda appears to be on point. The fastest Chevrolet-powered car is that of Juan Pablo Montoya who was fifth fastest, with the next being Helio Castroneves thirteenth on the charts.
This being Formula1Blog.com, I’m sure y’all want to know how Fernando Alonso will do. Friday showed him a tick quicker than Montoya (231.827 mph or 38.8220 seconds), so he appears to have the speed part figured out. He also drew the 33rd qualifying draw. Assuming we get a qualifying session in, you’ll have to wait until the very end. It really couldn’t be scripted better.