Archive for May 18, 2011

Speedway Sightings at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

By: Wm. LaDow
Daily Trackside Reports from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Published in the Post-Tribune, a Chicago Sun-Times Publication
May 18, 2011

Tuesday’s IndyCar practice proved to be a substantially tamer session for teams with only 13 laps run compared to the 1,379 laps equaling 3447.5 miles laid down on Monday.

Wind, intermittent rain coupled with unseasonably cold temperatures during the course of the afternoon reduced IndyCar practice efforts to a crawl. Although the speedway was open for business from Noon till 4:05 pm there was only one car that turned laps on the storied oval.

Andretti Autosport put their No. 27 Hire Heroes USA/7-Eleven/ Dr. Pepper entry on the course with the current driver Mike Conway and teammate Marco Andretti. Both drivers took turns bringing the car up to speed at 219.910 and 220.656 miles per hour respectively.

For Conway, the attempt to challenge the weather conditions was explained simply “We made quite a few changes to the Hire Heroes car overnight, and we just wanted to feel some of those things and see what we had. These were certainly not ideal weather conditions and aren’t representative of what we’re going to see in a few days, so it didn’t make too much sense to log a lot of laps. We’ll just keep chipping away as the week goes on and learn as we go.”

Marco Andretti explained his reasoning for getting out into the difficult weather conditions in greater detail: “I think I have a little bit of my grandfather in me to where I was probably the only one on the team that thinks we can learn something. At the same time, though, I think I was just trying to convince them so that I could go drive. I just wanted to feel out a different setup and thought, ‘Why not?'” (On his goals for the day): “I was able to try a setup that I haven’t run yet. You always learn. If we were going through pretty extensive test items and stuff like that, it’s different. I just wanted to feel out an overall package.” (On the shortened schedule before qualifying): “I think guys like me, we could be in trouble if we slip a little bit. I’m not sure it’s experience because I’m going to be flat those four laps, and it’s whether the car wants to do it or not. It’s going to be super-competitive out there. We’re going to try to get what we can get.”

IndyCar practice resumes Wednesday 12 noon to 6 pm.