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DATE News (chronologically)
06/08/12
IRL
Texas Friday update - 1
Weepers were the story of Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, taking over 2 hours for the TMS grounds crew to dry out the weepers from yesterday's rain storms.

The IndyCar practice session started at 2:45, two hours late. It is scheduled to end at 3:00, shortly before the qualification session was scheduled to begin.

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Katherine Legge
Tim Wohlford/AR1.com
For those of you keeping track, this weekend is Katherine Legge's weekend with the car. This joint custody agreement between Katherine and Sebastien Bourdais shows no sign of being resolved, as both Chevy and Honda insist that they are totally maxed out with their motor program. As one Honda rep told me, "You can't exactly get the parts to build these motors at Jeg's."

When the track was dried, Katherine began her rookie test. Normally, rookies pass their rookie test before the season began, but due to the Lotus motor fiasco -- Team Dragon didn't get their first motors until literally hours before the first race at St. Pete -- this wasn't possible.

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Angst over high-banked ovals in IndyCar racing isn't new. In 1959, two USAC drivers -- Marshal Teague and George Amick -- were killed at the newly constructed Daytona International Speedway. Teague was killed in a speed record attempt in an Indy car, and Amick was killed in a 100-mile race. Obviously, Indy cars haven't returned to the high banks too many times since then.

Michigan International Speedway is another track where drivers, from USAC to CART to IndyCar, struggled to maintain safe speeds. While no Indy driver was ever killed at Michigan, a few drivers ended their career there in nasty crashes.

There are drivers here at Texas that believe we shouldn't be at Texas. James Jakes told me that he thought that half of the field felt that way. Whether pack racing can be avoided is to be determined. **************

Then again, the new DW12 car has a staunch advocate with Graham Rahal. "I passed more at Detroit (last week) than I ever have. I've passed more cars in 5 races than in the last 2 years combined!" And he added that the "Kardashian" side pods -- widely criticized by IndyCar purists -- are pure gold for sponsors. Which of course means, it's pure gold in the pockets of the IndyCar series.

-- Tim Wohlford, reporting from Texas
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