Sunday Morning Coming Down, Indy Style It's not total panic for most teams, but there is a sense of nervousness for at least 10 teams that haven't qualified for this year's Indy 500. Graham Rahal was the fastest at 225.564, followed by Josef Newgarden 2/10th of a second behind.
Of interest was Charlie Kimball warming up the 83T car during morning practice. It is still possible that a 35th entry might materialize, but one wonders where the motor will come from. Among those not practicing were Ana Beatriz and Pippa Mann.
Truth is the first casualty of motor sports. Having said that, here are some things overheard at Indy:
- Conor Daly's failure to qualify yesterday was due to a header failure. Header failures seem to be more common in the Honda cars, and there is speculation that the cause is the intense back pressure running the turbo. Conor got up to 224.764 in morning practice.
- USAC star Bryan Clauson, who ran last year's Indy 500, was the person who was rumored to be walking around with $400,000 looking for a ride. Clauson is said to be tied to Chevy, while most of the "for sale" rides were with Honda teams.
- Buddy Lazier's team still exudes confidence, in spite of the fact that being bumped out of the show is a possibility. I was in Lazier's pits when he broke the 225 mark, going 225.167, his only lap over 225.
- Rumor has it that Stefan Wilson will get a shot in the big show. He is pegged to take over the seat occupied by Ana Beatriz this week, which would mean that both Wilson brothers will be running for Dale Coyne.
Shaker Heights native Roger Penske has rarely missed Indy qualifying, but he was not present for the weekend. Instead, he was in Italy participating in Mille Miglia, a race across Italy, with race engineer Mario Illien. Penske is expected to be at Indy for next Sunday's race.
- Finally, rumor has it that IMS won't publish the video of yesterday's legendary press conference featuring the second- and third-row qualifiers. The thing quickly went awry, with jokes about Roger Penske, driver's hair, and protective cups. Because, they say, it might harm "their brand". Uh, after the past 2 decades, **this** laugh fest would somehow hurt "their brand"?
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