May 21, 2009
Our View: Despite the length of this race, qualification is important and Newman is in great shape to earn his first top-10 at this track since 2005.
Memorial Day is one of the best days in auto racing. Get up early to watch the Monaco Grand Prix, grab a second cup of coffee, and then fire up your cell phones to play Event Day Games' first-ever IRL contest. We just couldn't help becoming part of the 93rd running of this great American race.
The Indy 500 is so big that the Indy Racing League takes the entire month of May to prepare for it and the drama has already started. Helio Castroneves drew first blood by winning the pole over his Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe. The front row is crowded with Chip Ganassi's Dario Franchitti lined up to the outside of this amazing three-abreast configuration and watching them barrel down into turn one is hair raising.
Further back in the field, equal rights are alive and well as Danica Patrick, Sarah Fisher and Milka Duno locked up more than 25 percent of the field for women drivers. Fisher starts 21st and has the most experience of the group as she competes in her eighth Indy 500, but Patrick has better odds since she rolls off the grid 10th.
Join us at http://www.eventdaygames.com/ this week to play along with our unique fantasy game.
Our View: Track position is important at Lowe's and the track should get fastest as the temperatures cool. Jimmie Johnson rolls off the grid 19th and most of the fastest cars in practice are earlier than that, which should create an interesting session.
Our View: Have you noticed how much more exciting Nationwide practice is? That's why these guys need track time.
Our View: That makes him the favorite to win Thursday night's pole and the way he's run in the last month, he has to be considered a front runner for the Coca-Cola 600 as well.
Our View: Max Mosley needs to become familiar with the term, "win the battle; lose the war," however.
Our View: This tempest in the teapot is threatening to become a hurricane due to the heavy handed handling by Max Mosley.
Our View: That's the car in which Gordon snapped his long winless streak, so he's got to be watched closely in Coca-Cola 600 prelims.
Our View: There's nothing like a little dirt in the teeth to help identify the real racers.
Our View: Bliss was expected to be one of the top Nationwide Regulars, and this certainly doesn't improve his odds. Look for a solid but unspectacular run now.
Our View: Luckily, the shop is just around the corner, so they can get a third car to the track before Saturday, but that Chevy will start the race with no practice time at all.
Our View: A graduate of the ARCA Truck series, Knupp has made nine Camping World Truck Series starts, but he hopes this will be his first Nationwide race.
Our View: Fitzpatrick started the season with a ride in The Racers Group truck until funding dried up. Harvick will be able to provide greater resources.
Our View: Rosberg led Lewis Hamilton, Rubens Barichello, Jenson Button and Felipe Massa as the top five drivers. This is a good indication of who will finish up front in the race.
Practice Two Speeds
|10||Nelson Piquet Jr.||1:16.286||43|
|20||Robert Kubica||No time||2|
Practice One Speeds
Our View: It doesn't matter where this kid starts; he'll contend for victory before the night is over.
Our View: This happened early enough that the team should be able to recover, but don't commit to the No. 88 until they get on track with their backup car and so you can see how fast it is.
Our View: He says that while this is a step in the right direction, their speed was nearly a half second slower than leader Rubens Barrichello.
Practice One Speeds
Our View: Third-best Lewis Hamilton is still hoping to turn his season around, while Heikki Kovalainen and Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top five.
Practice One Speeds
|12||Nelson Piquet Jr.||1:19.204||36|
Our View: Mosley has threatened that unless people honor the May 29th deadline, there may not be a spot open later. His bigger concern should be whether he is able to fill that grid at all with Ferrari and Sauber threatening to pull out and several other teams in BMW's shoes.
Our View: Davis is attempting to become the first fulltime Black driver in a major NASCAR division since Wendell Scott and he's doing it the same way—as an owner/driver. Fans of dark horses have to think of him as a sentimental favorite.
On Tuesday night, Ken Schrader did not fare very well in his first of three nights competing against the USMTS dirt track stars at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa. After starting 15th in the 30-lap A main, he was able to climb to only 13th at the end of the race.
Our View: For Schrader, this is as much about having fun doing what he loves. He would certainly have wanted a better result, but the track time was important nonetheless.
Jason Hughes won the feature.
Our View: This adds another unknown to the equation. If the engine holds together, Kahne could be a favorite to win this weekend, but fantasy owners have to be willing to roll the dice in case he blows up.