All month long, our racing guru David Scoggan is blogging LIVE from the track! Check back here regularly for a dose of Dave’s wit and whimsy.
Greetings from a Drying Speedway!
Disregard the 231 laps from Marco, Wickens, and Carpenter yesterday, the real star of “Fast Friday” was Will Power and his #12 Verizon/Penske Chevy. Willy P. stunned the IMS onlookers with an unaided lap of 229.780, almost a full MPH clear of teammate Josef Newgarden’s 228.994 effort. Power repeatedly ran consecutive laps in the 228-229 range, so the fast lap was no fluke. Simon Pagenaud gave Penske a clean sweep of the top three with his 228.8 lap and Ed Carpenter’s 228.7 made Chevy the four fastest of the day.
Sebastien Bourdais was the highest ranked Honda with his 228.6, while Spencer Pigot (228.4), Danica (228.4), Alexander Rossi (228.1), Tony Kanaan (227.9), and Robert Wickens (227.9) rounded out the no-tow top ten. Kanaan was particularly impressive as he improved in the late afternoon when many drivers felt the track conditions had worsened slightly. Scott Dixon bounced back from an early migraine headache to post a 227.7 in only 13 laps. Graham Rahal struggled all day and could only muster a 225.3 no-tow best.
Twenty-two cars logged unaided laps above 227 MPH and I certainly wouldn’t feel comfortable with any 4-lap average below that. James Davison crashed coming off turn two Friday with his #33 sustaining moderate damage, but the car has been repaired and a sore-kneed Davison anticipates some practice whenever Mother Nature relents today. Finally, the Media Center was abuzz concerning the pit lane visit by Vice President Mike Pence; I don’t know details but I overheard one guy babbling about the “Secret Service in a standoff with the Yellow Shirts”!