The first item of business is we stopped by the Dale Coyne Racing garage after breakfast and the team has repaired the No. 63 Honda of Pippa Mann after yesterday's Carb Day crash.
While not crashing, the No. 4 Lazier/Burns Racing Chevrolet of Buddy Lazier suffered a front-wing failure during yesterday's practice.
"We're glad that this was Carb Day, because we certainly wouldn't want this to have happened on Race Day," said the 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner. "An adjuster on the front wings failed. Whatever angle was set in the pits, out on the racetrack the wing wouldn't hold. So, we have zero data," from the Carb Day practice.
As for the race, Lazier noted "I'm confident that we're going to be very competitive."
Speaking of competition, we all know Chevrolet has gotten the best of Honda during the early part of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season. However, during the last two weeks of practice and qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, the competition has been tight between the two manufacturers, with Honda arguably having the edge. AR1 spoke with a few of the teams trying to get a sense of what tomorrow holds in terms of competition between Honda and Chevy.
Of course, it was suggested before qualifying that Chevy teams were "sandbagging." While team members often play things close to the vest the intelligence we received was Chevy teams were not "sandbagging" to the level many suggested.
"I can't speak for anyone else, but we haven't been sandbagging," one front-running Chevrolet team member told me. This same team member also asked me if I had spoken with any of the Honda teams, and knew what they might have.
The general belief is that Honda appears has a slight horsepower edge on Chevrolet. However, I head something else I found interesting. You remember the domed-skid controversy before the month of May, which Honda teams voiced their opposition to. Strangely, some seem to think the domed-skids have helped Honda. I was told that since the domed-skid raises the ride height, the Honda's aero kit, which has more parts than Chevrolet is more efficient. In essence, the impact of the extra parts is increased due to the greater ride height.
Of course, the hot temperatures forecast for tomorrow throw another variable into the equation. And as Mark Cipolloni told you yesterday, he believes that would favor Chevrolet, or so we are told. So, who knows.
What do I think?
As I stated in a feature article Thursday, I believe Honda has the slight edge. And if Honda has the edge, that leads me to the best Honda driver – Ryan Hunter-Reay. And if you want a dark horse in the Honda camp, Carlos Munoz has looked very confident this weekend.
Brian C. reporting from IMS