Indy Day 2 Pre-Qualification Report

Here’s what we think we know… We only have 33 cars who are taking a qualification run, so there will be no bumping. We have 9 cars that will compete for the Pole Award in a made-for-TV event. Each car will only get one attempt, so the day will move quickly. And skepticism abounds with yet-another qualification format for the Indy 500.

Mikhail Aleshian lead the field with a 232.9 in morning practice. The air was clean, crisp and still, so the speeds were high, and speeds posted were probably all augmented by tows, so speeds for qualifications will no doubt look like yesterday’s numbers. Josef Newgarden was second fastest, the first of the Top 9 group. Kurt Busch, 10th fastest yesterday, posted the third-fastest speed.
ppp, An while Chip Ganassi was in victory lane last night in NASCAR, his Indy teams continue to struggle. A team spokesman said that the team is more focused on race day setup now, with lots of conversations about how to find speed over the last 24 hours. Briscoe was 5th fastest in morning practice, Dixon was 16th, Charlie Kimball was 18th, and Tony Kanaan was 23rd. And while we’re at it – there has only been one wall contact incident. Looking at the close speeds, and listening to the comments of veteran drivers like Jacques Villeneuve, it is obvious that this year’s aero / tire formula is a little off. As IndyCar did with Texas a couple of years ago, they need to eliminate some down force in order to put more driver skill back into the equation. While the high-down force formula might make for exciting restarts, it is also a recipe for disaster.

Tim Wohlford, reporting from Indy

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