|2nd place qualifier Will Power|
Today's qualifying session was unique in the way the sessions ran with a few raindrops threatening the outcome. The rain started to fall lightly towards the last few minutes of Group 2. Then it stopped before the top 12 went out. And it started to rain lightly again during Qualifying 3 session. Not enough rain to warrant the use of the new rain tire that was introduced last year at Mid-Ohio and has still not been used for a race or qualifying session. The rain moved out and the fast six qualified on the red tires.
Our pole sitter and new track record holder, Simon Pagenaud, was happy for his achievement today but explained that during the first Friday practice session, he felt a stabbing in his back after his third lap around the track. He has been resting his back muscles and was fortunate to feel good enough today to qualify and end up on the pole.
The most upset with his outcome of starting 11th was Scott Dixon. Known as the Ice Man, Dixon normally has a pretty even keeled temperament. He was visibly disappointed as the reporters came over to interview him after dropping out of the top 6 in qualifying session 3. Dixon remarked, "I had the speed in the car, but it was a miscommunication". His crew called him in thinking the rain would start falling harder and it did not happen.
I spoke with Kevin Savoree of Green Savoree Racing Promotions about the attendance at the race. Savoree said all the campsites were sold out and they were using an overflow camping site. The infield parking is also sold out. It does not look like all the campsites are full, but Savoree remarked that the weather yesterday may have held people back from setting up tents in the rain.
The rain never developed today and all of the day's activities ran on schedule. Will rain threaten us tomorrow? I would like to see a dry/ wet race myself. Start out the race on the slicks and then have enough rain to have to use those rain tires. That will show the drivers that are talented in the wet.
Lucille Dust reporting for AutoRacing1.com from Mid-Ohio