Archive for May 19, 2010

Speedway Sightings …

By: Wm. LaDow
Daily Trackside Reports from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Published in the Post-Tribune — May 19, 2010
Speedway, Indiana

With rain threatening the entire afternoon and temperatures in the high 50s, thirty-six drivers finally got out on the track after a one hour delay here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Race teams methodically laid down a total of 1,590 laps in just less than 5 hours of practice.

The almost 4,000 miles of high speed practice was really only interrupted on two occasions. At 3:23pm, Mario Moraes, who had posted the second fastest time of the day at 225.913 mph, spun hitting the inside retaining wall twice with the rear of his No. 32 KV Racing Technology Dallara, damaging the rear wing.

The day’s practice ended abruptly at 5:50pm when E.J. Viso spun, backing his No. 8 PDVSA-KV Racing Technology car hard into the SAFER barrier, sliding down the track between turns one and two. The rear of the car sustained heavy damage and Viso was carefully removed by the track safety team. At 6:14 pm. it was reported by track officials that that Viso was awake and alert and being transported to Methodist Hospital complaining of back pain.

Scott Dixon in the Target Chip Ganassi No. 9 Dallara was fastest on the day with a lap of 226.549 mph.

On a day when many teams were working on their race day setups in their primary cars, five different drivers, from five different teams were at the top of the leaderboard. Running behind Dixon were Moraes (225.913), Marco Andretti (225.751), Alex Tagliani (225.394), and Dan Weldon (225.378).

Simona di Silvestro saved the best for last, going from 33rd on the leaderboard to 10th on her 60th and final lap of the day. On the grid, less than one second separates 34 of the 36 drivers.

Of a final note on the day are reports of a developing story indicating that several teams have learned that due to their shorter-term Honda engine leases (800 mile versus the longer 1,200 mile lease,) they will be allocated 26 sets of tires, rather that the full allocation of 33 sets. Thirteen teams could be affected and one report indicates some of these teams had no idea a shorter engine lease equated to less tires for competition. We should learn more tomorrow.

Tomorrows forecast call for a 20% chance of rain, with cloud clearing later in the day and temperatures in the mid-60s, which should bring another busy day at the Brickyard.