Sunday, May 23, 2010

IndyCar Garage Breaks down Bump Day

Sarah Fisher Racing teammate Jay Howard (pictured above) will miss the 2010 Indy 500

The 94th Indy 500 will take place a week from today, but not without spectacular drama from bump day. IndyCar Garage takes a look at what happened this afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

1. 33 spots open, but 37 drivers trying for them

For the first time in almost five years, bump day provided plenty of action. 37 drivers were going for 33 spots, and hopefully in years to come, the IZOD IndyCar Series can get up to 40 or maybe 45 drivers going for 33 spots. The Indianapolis 500 was known for several drivers going for a spot in the show, this year appears to be a step in the right direction.

2. The last 45 minutes where action packed

From about 1:30ish to 5 o’clock there was little drama on the track, but around 5:15 the drama started to build. Several cars filled the tech line in an attempt to qualify, among the worried competitors, Danica Patrick, and Simona De Silverstro. The last 45 minutes of bump day provided everything the fans paid to see, including crashes, bumping, and big names missing the show.

3. Why did Paul Tracy and Jay Howard remove themselves from the show?

Sebastian Saavedra hit the jackpot when Paul Tracy and Jay Howard both removed their speeds from the field and attempted to put their cars back in the field. The problem with Tracy’s and Howard’s strategy is that they never regained the speed to make the 94th Indy 500. At 5:58 , Howard , sitting on the bubble, had the option of pulling out of tech and letting Paul Tracy use his third attempt. Howard elected to pull out and use his last attempt at qualifying for the race. When Howard pulled out, he immediately eliminated Tracy, who wouldn’t have enough time to get back out on the track. So it came down to Saavedra and Howard, if Howard could have pulled out a higher average speed than 223.6, he was in the field. His four lap average? 223.1. If neither Paul Tracy nor Jay Howard would have removed themselves from the field , one of them would have made the race. Paul Tracy speed of 223.8 would have made the field, if he had not removed himself from the field. Jay Howard’s 223.8 would have stuck as well, if he had not removed himself. Instead, Sebastian Saavedra who wrecked about an hour before the drama unfolded, finds himself in the 94th running of the Indy 500.

4. What would have happened if Danica Patrick landed on the bubble?

Danica Patrick for awhile had her helmet on, car in tech, and strategy ready to go. Patrick possibly could have been on the bubble if a few more cars had found speed. The bottom line for Patrick is that she has had a very rough month and she will start in the lowest position (23rd) in her fifth Indianapolis 500.

5. The field is set and it’s missing a big name, a feel good story, a female, and a driver that took his first laps of the day today.

The starting field for the 94th running of the 2010 Indy 500 is set and several key drivers are missing from the field. Paul Tracy, who was running a one off for KV Racing will not be in the field, Tracy arguably is the biggest name in the series outside of Danica Patrick. Jay Howard, who is driving for Sarah Fisher Racing, will not be in the show, Jay is scheduled to drive three more races this year, look to see if that plan follows through. Milka Duno was attempting to race in her fourth Indy 500, but in reality never came close, Milka will continue throughout the season with sponsorships from Citgo. Jacque Lazier hadn’t turned a lap at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year, but this afternoon was called upon to drive the second A.J. Foyt car. Jacque gave a valid effort, but didn’t have the speed necessary to put it in the show. All in all, all four drivers will hurt and agonize over missing the race.

No comments: