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DATE News (chronologically)
05/16/09
irl
Saturday Indy Notebook - 1  
- Due to the weather, qualification attempts will begin 30 minutes later than scheduled, at 12:30 pm.  The weather is threatening, overcast and 70 degrees.

- Townsend Bell lead morning practice, followed by Oriol Servia.  Not in the top 11 in speed were Mike Conway and Stanton Barrett. 

- The official qualification list has 17 cars listed, including a second AJ Foyt car as well as a Marty Roth effort.  However, this does not include Tomas Scheckter, Alex Tagliani or Bruno Junqueira.  This means that perhaps 20 cars will try for the remaining 11 spots, making this the most meaningful bump day in years, if not decades.

-  In the last decade, AR1 wrote about those who left Indy-style racing for NASCAR.  Now, you might see a migration back the other way.  Last year a major sponsor spent $10 million on an above-average NASCAR Nationwide series sponsorship, only to be disappointed with both exposure and the absence of star power.  In the IRL, that money would buy a sponsorship for a top-tier 2 car team.  Given the instability in the ALMS ranks, some of those teams could be coming as well.  Richard Petty, Stanton Barrett could be the first from NASCAR, and Scott Sharp's return might signal a migration from ALMS. 

- Speaking of sponsorship, this year there is a noticeable softness in the number of sponsors at Indy.  One team owner noted that, unlike previous years, there don't seem to be any potential sponsors looking to spend ad money.  Tim Wohlford reporting from Indy
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