Good morning from Pocono (Update)


Mikhail Aleshin starts today's race from pole
Mikhail Aleshin starts today's race from pole

It's about an hour before the green flag of the ABC Supply 500. The sun is popping through the broken clouds on a cool, breezy morning here at Pocono Raceway as the Verizon IndyCar Series teams are going through their final systems checks.

I passed Mikhail Aleshin a few moments ago near the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports hauler. The 29-year-old Russian, who earned his first career IndyCar pole position Saturday, was joking with SPM team members looking very relaxed, confident. With Honda appearing to have an edge over Chevrolet might Aleshin follow up his first career pole with a first career win? And might this be a good day for other Honda drivers such as Carlos Munoz, James Hinchcliffe, or Takuma Sato? All start in the top-six and have come close in 500 milers before.

I talked to a few team members this morning about the cool weather conditions, wondering what role that might play today. One team noted they were concerned about the weather on a green track considering they don't have a ton of data running in such temperatures. A member of another team looked at me as if to say, "what a stupid question, Brian" noting the temperature was really no concern at all. What to make of it all, I don't exactly know.

One thing I do think we'll see (this is assuming the colder track temperatures are at most, a minimal concern) is a cleaner race than last year. Saturday in the post-qualifying media bullpen multiple drivers noted something to the effect of they "didn't want a repeat of last year," referring to the accident filled race. It is probably safe to assume there has been some discussion amongst them, and that we may see them take it easy particularly early. We shall see.

As for a winner, I'm going with Carlos Munoz. The Colombian finished third and fifth in his two previous Pocono races and has shown himself quite capable on these larger ovals. Also, during the post-qualifying media session the very understated Munoz referred to his car as a "rocket ship" Saturday.

Munoz is very confident, and you have to think he's due for a 500-mile win.

Brian Carroccio reporting from Pocono Raceway

Yesterday's rain is behind us. The forecast calls for clear skies today.
Yesterday's rain is behind us. The forecast calls for clear skies today.

08/22/16 I just arrived here at Pocono Raceway. It is an unseasonably cool, breezy morning here at The Tricky Triangle. And with temperatures currently in the low 60s sweaters, pullovers, and light jackets seem to be the order of the day. By race time at noon, temperatures are expected to reach the high 60s.

The best news however is this: the AR1 Weather Bureau reports 0% chance of rain today. So, after a miserable rain-drenched Sunday, the ABC Supply 500 should run the full distance today.

I'll have more later.

Brian Carroccio reporting for AutoRacing1

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