Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

May 21, 2012

Days Spent At The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Are Always Good

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 5:58 pm

The long week my party spent at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway exceeded our lofty expectations in a number of ways. Occasionally Mother Nature does the best job. Not one day (so far) has been negatively impacted by precipitation or wildly variant weather. From that standpoint few could ask for better. Despite the overall lack of ongoing maintenance at the facility the mostly Latino vest-wearing folks wielding brooms and Clorox are keeping it looking presentable for the big show, and their efforts are appreciated.

IMS continues to offer fans the best values in motorsports, from relatively cheap daily admissions to huge access bronze badges. The Pole Day crowd was sizable, and even most of E and B stands (including the Penthouses) were open. Most people jockeyed for seats there, along with the start/finish line, turns 2 and 4, not to mention pit lane and the spectator mounds. We had the requisite track dogs and tenderloins, along with wares from the allowable drinks folks.

The team that impressed us the most was Andretti Autosport. The chemistry, makeup and results seem much better this season; the complete opposite of last year. A Penske driver snuck in another pole, and it is really refreshing seeing Ryan Briscoe up there for a change.

The only complaint about what we saw on the track was the contrived, pre-ordained makeup of the field. Part of the historic allure in May is seeing a big team struggle or miss the show (Penske in ’95) while small, even shoestring efforts find a way in. Ganassi had some difficulty this season, but nothing that would threaten their presence in the race. This year ‘Bump Day’ should have been renamed ‘Race Day Setup Testing Day.’

The new Dallaras got crash tested all weekend and acquitted themselves nicely, although it would be nice to talk to the folks who band-aided the humpty-dumpties back together again.

All in all the grand old dame looks magnificent in May, especially when the sun shines brightly. Carb Day and Race Day appear headed for another couple of great shows, and we will be there again, in my case for the 48th time in person.

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9 Comments »

  1. good to see the 12 of ya who showed up for pole day had a good time. Hope you didn’t have a hard time finding a parking spot.
    Editor’s Note: Your complete ignorance in this reply is particularly stunning. Stands in 2, 4, Paddock, A, B and E were open, and E and B were particularly full…not to mention the inside pits and spectator mounds. Perhaps you should not allow your juvenile hostility to get in the way of rational thought. Of course those who fail to attend are usually going to be clueless.

    Comment by J.B. — May 21, 2012 @ 8:47 pm | Reply

    • “are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?” I think that is what you just wrote.
      Editor’s Note: Wrong again, crazy canuck. I was there. You weren’t. I am in a much better position to evaluate attendance. IMS was quite happy with the turnout.

      Comment by J.B. — May 22, 2012 @ 10:46 am | Reply

  2. Dear Defender:

    If the lack of any drama or importance attached to Bump Day is any indication of this series’ direction, then Indy Car is in a sad state of affairs….how could Ropin’ Randy and the leadership fail on such an epic scale? Nine open positions for exactly nine cars? Where is the interest in this scenario? I guess we should be grateful that Jay Penske and Bryan Herta were able to dump the Lotus engines or we would have been subjected to more cars qualifying at ten miles an hour less than the slowest Chevy or Honda powered cars….of course, its a battle between two teams, this time Penske vs. Andretti and the rich get richer… If I was a betting man, I would lay serious odds that Honda regrets its call for ‘competition’ and leaves this series next year after witnessing the dismal performances turned in by Ganassi and the other Honda powered machines…perhaps Kalkoven can convince the brain dead series’ leaders to allow Cosworth into the series as a badged Ford and we can have Chevy pounce on Ford next season.

    Comment by Neil Rubin — May 21, 2012 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

    • I heard Volkswagen possible Ford and Fiat want to be involved in IndyCar. Two more of the worlds largest auto makers. Things couldn’t be that bad plus attendance is up and looks like 4more races added to next years schedule, and don’t let me forget aero packages return as well.

      Comment by Wronkle — May 22, 2012 @ 5:04 am | Reply

  3. I thought the cars looked great,speeds went up as the week moved along, I can’t wait for Sunday and another awesome Indy 500. Cheers Disciple

    Comment by Wronkle — May 22, 2012 @ 5:01 am | Reply

    • Great race this year as usual which makes the loss of ovals even more striking. Also, other than the size of the wing the DW12 realyl looks like a Can Am 2.0 circa 1977 minus a few panels.
      http://miketanphotography.com/?m=200806

      Comment by J.STEIN — May 28, 2012 @ 3:41 am | Reply

    • The other problem with the cars this year is the shrinking size of the numbers. This is what F1 has done and it’s not fan friendly. There should be a minimum size of the number that the fans can see both from the stands and on television.

      Comment by J.STEIN — May 28, 2012 @ 3:51 am | Reply

  4. I thought Pole day attendace was down from the previous two years. But it appeared the infield parking was pretty full. I was impressed the first day of practice to see the third turn parking lot full by 2:00. And it did seem like more sections of the stands were open for the fans to sit for both days. This was particularly true of practice.

    I attend pole day every year and will continue. But I find this shootout to be a gimmick that trashes the tradition of this race track, and I wish they would keep the track open until 7:00, return to the old rules, and make happy hour again what it used to be. Make it possible for a “new track record” and you will see Pole day rebound and resemble the 1980’s and before when it was so popular. It wouldn’t take that much.

    For Bump Day to have meaning depends and the number of cars. Beyond making it easier for teams to submit cars for qualifying, I think this woukld be tougher than adjusting Pole Day. A lot depends on the future of the league, which in my mind is still questionable.

    Going back to the mid-1980’s, I cannot remember better weather during the Month of May.

    Side comment: I watched the NBC coverage on Sunday. It was pretty good, however, something has to be done with Robin Miller.

    Comment by Bob F. — May 22, 2012 @ 1:51 pm | Reply

  5. I, too, wish there had been more drama on bump day. I’m a little uncomfortable with the two slowest qualifiers, and I mean SLOW, the slowest since when? Things must be getting a little tough when someone has to employ Jean Alesi, a driver who hasn’t been behind a wheel in how many years, and never behind the wheel of an Indy car? Shades of Danny Ongais. I was very pleased at the performance of James Hinchcliffe–looks like AMS finally has itself a contender, after years of having to indulge “The Princess”. All she was was an advertising object, never mind competition. Good luck to all.

    Comment by DOUG — May 22, 2012 @ 3:06 pm | Reply


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