Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pole Day At IMS's Centnnial Era

The main straitaway Pagoda of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway located at 16th and Georgetown in Speedway, Indiana. The Pagoda is decorated to commerate the first 100 years of the race facility's existance. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2009)

Pole Day At IMS's Centnnial Era

The first full day of qualifications for the 93rd running of the INDY 500 begins today as Justin Wilson takes to the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in his Dale Coyne Racing prepared, Z-Line HD furniture sponsored Dallara.

On this first day, only the first 11 places of the grid will be filled based upon the average speed attained over four laps of this 100 year old 2 and a half mile four-cornered oval. The field for the race on race day will have 11 rows of three cars per row making 33 cars, but on this first day only 11 cars are assured of a position in the grid of "The World's Greatest Race Course".

Each driver will have a maximum of three attempts to get into the field in the allotted time of the six and a half our qualification period.

Once the fastest 11 places are filled, the slowest car to qualify will be on the "Bubble" for the balance of the day. The driver who ends up in the 11th position will be a position that will be in jeopardy of being bumped until the six and a half hour session ends.

Winds swirl around the Speedway and set the flags mounted on the Pagoda straight. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2009)

This excerpted and edited from -

Handicapping qualifying

By Dave Lewandowski - - Friday, May 8, 2009

Helio Castroneves has started from the pole twice in his eight Indianapolis 500-Mile Races. Scott Dixon, attempting to qualifying for his 100th IndyCar Series race, was the 2008 pole sitter. Tony Kanaan is the only other full-time IndyCar Series driver with 10 career pole starts, including 2005 at Indianapolis.

Does that make them favorites to win the PEAK Performance Pole Award presented by AutoZone on May 9?
The point is there are more contenders than pretenders to fill the 11 positions on Pole Day. There's a two-hour practice window (first hour split between two groups) preceding commencement of four-lap cumulative time qualifications.
Once positions 1-11 are filled, bumping will occur for the remainder of the noon-6 p.m. (EDT) session to determine the pole winner and 10 other qualifiers for the day. Each car has three attempts per day to qualify and, if bumped, that entrant can re-enter the qualification line. Entrants also can withdraw a qualified car and re-enter the line.

"Today was an important day," said Meira, driver of the No. 14 ABC Supply car for A.J. Foyt Racing. "The main thing is that the car is solid. We might not be the fastest car out there but it's very, very solid. It's really grippy and definitely a good race car."

Four consistent qualifying laps - on the largest stage in auto racing - is all that's needed to claim one of the 11 spots available for the May 24 race. Maybe even the pole.

"I would be surprised if one of the Penske's wasn't on the pole," Patrick said. "They seem to really be quick right now. But anything can happen around here. You can be one small change or two or three small changes away from having a really great car or a really bad car -- or at least a car that's not in the ballpark for the front spot. Anything can happen."
Reference Here>>

Click it:
Qualification procedure Qualification order

One impression of a long time motorsports legend of the 100 year old Indianapolis Motor Speedway complex came in from Richard Petty on his first year as a car owner at the track ...

Petty's initial IMS impression ... not so great. Re: garage area -- "Looked like a bunch of barns for horses and cows and stuff." --pd

Ryan Briscoe (224.131), Helio Castroneves, Graham Rahal, Will Power, Marco Andretti, Danica Patrick, Hideki Mutoh, Mario Moraes, Raphael Matos, Ed Carpenter, & Justin Wilson fill the top 11 places - Let the bumping begin!

It's 4:00 PM ET at the track, two hours to go and drivers are beginning to take runs for the pole position.

Tweets - From Twitter:

IndyTalkDanica 7th 222.882. Faster than first run. Climbs from 10th to 7th. #indy500

IndyCarPRCastroneves takes the pole from Ryan Briscoe with a four-lap average of 224.864.

kvracingMario & Paul going out for practice for maybe attempting to qualify again for MM and first time for PT

FuriousWedgeHelio's run should be the lighting of the fire for everyone, those wanting poll, and those just wanting in the Top 11

1:30 PT - 4:30 at the track and 90 minutes left to make it into the first 11 spots ... or grab the pole away from Helio Castroneves.

Stack ranking at 90 minutes out: 1-Helio Castroneves (224.864), 2-Ryan Briscoe, 3-Dario Franchitti, 4-Scott Dixon, 5-Graham Rahal, 6-Will Power, 7-Danica Patrick, 8-Marco Andretti, 9-Tony Kanaan, 10-Mario Moraes, 11-Hideki Mutoh

With the action warming up on the track, Danica Patrick wonders if her position in the field is assured [CONTROL-CLICK PHOTO - 1st Qualifying Run Video]. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2009)

IndyTalkWe're back to practice at Indy. #indy500

Transcript of press conference today at Indy with The King, Richard Petty: #indy500

VisionRacingEd & the 20 Menards car heading out to get in some practice laps & see where we can do... no decision on a qualifying attempt yet #Indy500

Off to tech....we shall see- Klint

VisionRacing21 Vision car will wait until tomorrow to qualify. Ed however in the 20 Menards car... we'll see! OH the drama #Indy500

5:00PM ET at the track and one hour to make it into the top 11!

17:03:09 GMT-0400 The track is green. Tony Kanaan is out to make a qualifying attempt. He thinks he has a shot to move up ... maybe take the pole.

17:04:44 GMT-0400 Tony Kanaan has a 223.619 mph second lap.

17:06:21 GMT-0400 Tony Kanaan takes the checkered flag and qualifies in P5 with a 4-lap average speed of 223.612 mph. Moves up four places.

17:07:34 GMT-0400 Paul Tracy is on the track for a qualifying attempt.

PlanetIrlPT talking to his favorite person in the world there. I expect a good run here. #indy500

17:09:16 GMT-0400 Paul Tracy has a 222.076 mph first lap.

17:10:38 GMT-0400 Paul Tracy has a 221.893 mph third lap.

17:11:25 GMT-0400 Paul Tracy takes the checkered flag and qualifies in P11 with a 4-lap average speed of 221.915 mph. He is presently "On The Bubble" ready to get bumped.

IndyCarPRTracy qualifies 11th, bumping Hideki Mutoh from the field.

IndyTalkTracy 11th at 221.915. Bumps Mutoh. Tracy heads right back into qualifying line.

Penske Racing's Will Power makes it into the field at P9 making three cars operated by the Penske stable in the top 9 positions. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2009)

17:18:20 GMT-0400 Hideki Mutoh is at the track pad for a qualifying attempt.

Talk has it that Graham Rahal may pull his time and head to technical inspection in order to improve his position at P4??? This does not make sense, but it is not official.

17:22:22 GMT-0400 Hideki Mutoh takes the green flag for his qualifying attempt.

17:23:05 GMT-0400 Hideki Mutoh has a 223.245 mph first lap.

17:25:17 GMT-0400 Hideki Mutoh takes the checkered flag and qualifies in P10 with a 4-lap average speed of 222.581 mph. Bumps PT (Paul Tracy) to the curb.

Shock of the day - NHLR's Graham Rahal removes himself from the second row for a shot at the pole!

17:30:08 GMT-0400 Graham Rahal has a 224.230 mph first lap. Fastest lap for him in the month.

Graham Rahal moves up from the outside of the second row to the inside of the second row - What Is The Point?

Marco Andretti on the track - 17:35:46 GMT-0400 Marco Andretti has a 223.143 mph second lap.

Four lap average 223.114 puts him on the inside of row 3.

Scott Dixon now out challenging for the pole. Finishes the four laps with 223.867 and does not move his position on the grid.

IndyCarPRDixon fifth. Moraes out for a second attempt.

17:42:27 GMT-0400 Mario Moraes is on the track for a qualifying attempt.

17:44:08 GMT-0400 Mario Moraes has a 223.785 mph first lap.

17:46:08 GMT-0400 Mario Moraes takes the checkered flag and qualifies P7 with a 4-lap average speed of 223.331 mph.

Paul Tracy is the only driver to be bumped each time these qualified drivers remove their times and post better or equal times.

17:47:42 GMT-0400 Raphael Matos takes the green flag on the qualifying attempt.

17:50:28 GMT-0400 Raphael Matos takes the checkered flag with a 4-lap average speed of 222.466 mph. Does not qualify for the field today. Hideki Mutoh on the bubble.

Ryan Briscoe had already placed his car next to his teammate Helio Castroneves, was thinking of giving it another try at the pole position [CONTROL-CLICK PHOTO - 1st Qualifying Run Video]. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2009)

Ryan Briscoe removes his P2 time to challenge for the pole.

17:52:05 GMT-0400 Ryan Briscoe takes the green flag on the qualifying attempt.

17:52:48 GMT-0400 Ryan Briscoe has a 224.377 mph first lap. This is faster and looks good.

17:54:09 GMT-0400 Ryan Briscoe has a 223.930 mph third lap. Not faster. May lose a spot!?

17:54:49 GMT-0400 Ryan Briscoe takes the checkered flag with a 4-lap average speed of 224.083 mph. Struggles with wind on the track - inconsistant. Keeps P2 on the grid.

17:55:19 GMT-0400 the driver for Ganassi/SamSchmidt, Alex Lloyd is on the track for a qualifying attempt.

17:57:08 GMT-0400 Alex Lloyd has a 222.989 mph first lap.

17:58:28 GMT-0400 Alex Lloyd has a 222.427 mph third lap. Four lap average of 222.622 and bumps Hideki Mutoh and places the HER energy drink sponsored ride into 11th and last place for the day.

17:59:53 GMT-0400 Justin Wilson is on the track for a qualifying attempt. Seconds from the final gun and out for four laps.

17:59:53 GMT-0400 Justin Wilson is on the track for a qualifying attempt.

Justin Wilson does not make the field on this day.

18:04:05 GMT-0400 Justin Wilson takes the checkered flag with a 4-lap average speed of 222.476 mph.

IndyTalkWilson too slow. 222.476. But he should be a solid Day 2 qualifier. Way to go Dale Coyne for taking a shot. #indy500

Helio Castroneves captures his third pole position for the Indy 500 [CONTROL-CLICK PHOTO - Qualifying Run Video]. The Brazilian, who won the race in 2001 and 2002 as well as taking pole in both 2003 and 2007, beat his Penske team-mate Ryan Briscoe to the top spot, with Dario Franchitti completing the front row for Ganassi. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2009)

IndyTalkHelio in tears on pit lane, overcome with emotion after winning third career Indianapolis 500 pole. #indy500

A great story for Helio, from facing a prison term jus a couple of weeks ago to Pole Position at the INDY 500 - May has been very, very good for Helio Castroneves!

Pos --- Driver --- Team --- Speed
1. Helio Castroneves Penske 224.864mph
2. Ryan Briscoe Penske 224.083mph
3. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 224.010mph
4. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 223.954mph
5. Scott Dixon Ganassi 223.867mph
6. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green 223.612mph
7. Mario Moraes KV 223.331mph
8. Marco Andretti Andretti Green 223.114mph
9. Will Power Penske 223.028mph
10. Danica Patrick Andretti Green 222.882mph
11. Alex Lloyd Ganassi/Sam Schmidt 222.622mph

Story description of the day's events HERE >>

... notes from The EDJE

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