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Massa

2013 Indianapolis Racing League

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Bump Day today, with actual bumping, as Katherine Legge becomes the thirty-fourth driver (#81 Angie's List Schmidt Peterson Pelfrey Dallara/Honda, if you'd like a name...remember when they just called them Specials...I don't, because I wasn't alive...anyway...).

It's going to take some real drama for anyone other than Michel Jourdain, Jr. to fail to qualify. He's doing 219s...everyone else in the field can do a 219...on the warmup lap...the next slowest car does a 223 four-lap average. Only a total gaffe (i.e. withdrawing a locked-in time like Tracy or Bell have done) or a wreck/mechanical failure can really get Jourdain in...

...or Jourdain and company will find 4 mph. We'll see.

I was happy to see Muñoz do what I knew he could do. The guy's lines are incredible...a lot of experience drivers would spin out running that low. He's a special talent, as I've said elsewhere in this thread. I'm hoping he can win from that front row, but I actually think we'll see Ganassi find a way to get the Hondas back up front again for the race.

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So, Carlos Muñoz is leading with one to go in the Freedom 100.

On the back stretch, he chooses the low line, and Sage Karam goes high, but right as they're about to enter the corner, Gabby Chaves makes it three wide up high.

I'm thinking, whoa, this might not end so well...

...but they go through turns three and four three-wide, unscathed, no contact...

...and they come onto the front stretch, running to the checkered...

...Peter Dempsey, a distant P4 a lap ago, slingshots on Chaves to go four-wide up high...

...and he gets him by .0026 seconds...

proxy.jpg?t=HBgpaHR0cHM6Ly90d2l0cGljLmNvbS9zaG93L2xhcmdlL2Nzd2Z2ai5qcGcUkAMUrAIAFgASAA&s=SMC0WOmRhrp8S-XPEnYqU5UZcy4BKKMmqNTQpBPvu2g

That's a screen capture from @Mattzel89 on Twitter. YouTube video as soon as it's out there. Whoa!

Great finish.

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The Indianapolis 500 is tomorrow.

Honda looked a lot better during Carb Day. The extra boost for qualifying really upsets that engine.

Here is a great starting lineup graphic. It doubles as a spotter's guide if you are unfamiliar with all the cars:

http://www.indycar.c...starting-lineup

I'd figure that Ed Carpenter, James Hinchcliffe, and the Ganassi boys are the "favorites" to win tomorrow. You never know how 500 miles will play out, though, and it's going to be cooler with a chance of showers all afternoon. It could be a very strategic, cerebral race, which is what I like. Last year's 500 had a totally different feel to it, I thought, with the passing that paralleled the Handford Device era's offerings. It was fun, for sure, but I like to feel totally drained after an Indy 500. :)

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Race day.

A test of physical and emotional endurance, itself having endured 102 years, this the 97th running.

Timed laps in a timeless race; the lowest sum of 200 belongs to the victor. Yet the real speed is for qualifying: patience and precision dictate outcomes as much as pace. Those mindful of the line between pushing and passive find themselves lining up for a final run to the finish, when prudence gives way to passion.

Some respect the race with caution, a guarded operation of extraordinary equipment, a smoothness so calculated the flash of 220 miles per hour becomes subtle. Others honor the Speedway in their own way, tempting the track with every passing lap, low lines, aggressively swinging the car through its regiment, willing to accept any punishment just to have the smallest of chances. In fluctuations, these strategies converge, as no plan accounts for the narrative Indy wishes to tell.

It's legacy is expansive; today's entries are but one part of it. Don't be caught looking back, though. Records are still pursued today, and barriers are still broken. There is no closure at the end of a race, not even for the victor. Every running simply creates a need for the next edition.

But they must wait for that. An entire calendar passes by, the date approaching, closing the gap, pulling in the tow out of four, ducking out on the front stretch, then alongside from turn one. It rides there for 500 miles, a small window for thirty-three racers who wish to undo all prior defeats with unfathomable triumph and immeasurable glory.

That window is now.

Now for Dario Franchitti and Hélio Castroneves, three wins each, applying skills perfected in the rigors of thousands of miles behind them as they venture for a fourth.

Now for Takuma Sato, the series leader, always finding the courage to find a gap, the victim of his own aggression in last year's attempt.

Now for Tony Kanaan and Will Power, both willing to risk again and again while always falling on the wrong side of reward's spectrum, discarding their losses for yet another run.

Now for Oriol Servià, a student of mechanical engineering who has become the professor of racecraft, masterfully carving his way to the front in any car on any circuit.

Now for Carlos Muñoz and Tristan Vautier, impressive rookies, quick in study as on track, making futures through present performance.

Now for Simona de Silvestro, a racer like any other when the helmets go on, chances improved with power to match her abilities.

Now for Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal, descendants of winners, both driving for their fathers, inching toward earning the regards of those before them.

Now for Buddy Lazier, champion seventeen years ago and four years removed from his last trial, hoping for a late-week, last-row miracle.

Now for twenty-one others, their stories just as important and yet cast away by all with the dropping of the green flag, focus consuming the contestants and those who support, engineer, and service their competition.

Millions witness what few do, making heroes and villains at will, but only can the few decide amongst themselves who shall win.

It is the Indianapolis 500, International Sweepstakes that it is, withstanding all the tests of another year, to test again those who wish to withstand it.

Race day: now, just one night away.

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I watched till lap 127, then had to step away.

Really enjoyable to watch. So much action, with the battle for the lead never ending. I know that loads of overtaking doesn't always equal an exciting race, but man, that was exciting.

Pleased for TK too. A really great guy, and that victory is long overdue after all the bad luck he has experienced at Indy over the years.

Great day for motorsport fans. Now there is Le Mans to look forward to next month. :P

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Glad you enjoyed it.

Couldn't get into the race, myself.

I was happy that it had very few incidents. I do like long, green-flag racing.

I just felt that the aero package made it too easy to overtake, and that the whole race was almost meaningless up until the last restart. I did not like that it was a disadvantage to be the leader, personally. It was over-the-top.

It would have been, to me, a great Daytona 500. As an Indy 500? Eh, it just felt wrong. No strategy, no tension, no skill. It was just in-your-face, constant drafting.

Of course, I am glad that Carlos Muñoz, a driver who I have been saying for a long time is the next best thing, really is. His three-wide overtake on the restart was special. I am also glad no one was hurt, and glad for Tony Kanaan.

It wasn't a bad race, either.

It just didn't feel like Indy to me, though. You can have too much of anything, and I think we had too much today. People will talk positively about this race, sure. But I don't think anyone will be saying, "hey, remember that time Ed Carpenter took the lead, boy, what a pass!" And back in the day (oh, gosh, here I go :P), almost any pass for the lead at Indy was highlight reel material.

The aero package functions as a permanently activated DRS, really, just in a different way. The lead car sucks the trailing car, and the trailing car has no choice but to go by. The difference is that many DRS overtakes actually happen in the corners, and are just set up by DRS, though, to be honest, I prefer a world without DRS, too. I just live with it because it doesn't normally create 2,782,354 lead changes on a straightaway. ;)

I guess it was the first time I ever watched the Indy 500 and felt nothing. No emotion, no excitement, just nothing. Indy used to play out like an endurance race, almost. Cerebral, strategic, draining, tension. I prefer that, personally.

Anyway, I'm happy that you, and seemingly many others, enjoyed the race. It is a good thing for auto racing when people enjoy a race, and it is a good thing when a race runs green with few incidents. :)

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The new owner of Lola has said he is going to target Indy for the next chassis, or at least, as an alternative because "they're ugly" (speaking of the Dallara)

Might be in with a shot as the new owner is American, based in America, and very rich....$$$$$

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Anyway, I'm happy that you, and seemingly many others, enjoyed the race. It is a good thing for auto racing when people enjoy a race, and it is a good thing when a race runs green with few incidents. smile.png

Watched it last night - it was a good race. What happened to Franchitti? :( Pleased for TK - long overdue.

Our English Rose - Katherine Legge had a blinder of a start, in the first few laps moved up nine places from the back of the field - then brushed the wall and went seven laps down :( Bummer, if she hadn't think she would have been quite racy.

Oh and from 1st August British Telecom are giving all their broadband customers in the UK free sports channels which includes ESPN - yay I get to watch live races (for the first time ever!)

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The new owner of Lola has said he is going to target Indy for the next chassis, or at least, as an alternative because "they're ugly" (speaking of the Dallara)

Might be in with a shot as the new owner is American, based in America, and very rich....$$$$$

It'd be good, but don't count on it.

The aerokits are getting stage one introduction in 2014; they will be used in the Indianapolis, Pocono, and Fontana "Triple Crown" rounds. In 2015, they will likely be full-time, making their full introduction a good three years late.

The DW12 itself was a full two years late.

So, if anyone believes the DW12 is actually gone in 2016 as scheduled, well, I'm not sure I'd agree with those people. Nothing happens on-time here.

But let's say it is. They could go with competition, but Dallara doesn't want that. They could go without Dallara at all, but IndyCar doesn't want that.

You see, the relationship with IndyCar and Dallara has become so close that it's practically inbred. The state of Indiana gave a subsidy to Dallara to sell their chassis at a massive price reduction to teams in 2012. Dallara opened their factory in Speedway, IN, right by the track. The entire 2012 car selection process was simply to solicit ideas from other manufacturers, swipe them, and put them on a Dallara. They were always picking Dallara. The IndyCar management themselves admitted they would have been just fine continuing with Dallara and Honda as sole suppliers, but eventually allowed engines to be open to others (however, they closed the engine rules, which had previously allowed any engine 3 cylinders or more of any size, and now only allow 2.2L V6 turbos), and are finally getting ready to do aerokits.

If you want an example of how the suppliers are tightly linked to the sport, look at what happened when Randy Bernard tried to replace Firestone with Continental, who were offering big money to be the title sponsor (IZOD's really not there anymore). The owners got upset, and forced the board to fire him.

Now, the owners don't like Dallara's prices, and would rather build the stuff themselves, so there is that component. It's a little different. However, whenever aerokits were on the table, all the owners said, no, no, no! Seemed to me they didn't actually want to build any parts themselves; they just wanted to make empty threats to see if Dallara would sell stuff cheaper.

Long story short, I'd like to see Lola, or anyone else, out there, but I don't count on it.

Watched it last night - it was a good race. What happened to Franchitti? sad.png Pleased for TK - long overdue.

Our English Rose - Katherine Legge had a blinder of a start, in the first few laps moved up nine places from the back of the field - then brushed the wall and went seven laps down sad.png Bummer, if she hadn't think she would have been quite racy.

Oh and from 1st August British Telecom are giving all their broadband customers in the UK free sports channels which includes ESPN - yay I get to watch live races (for the first time ever!)

Yeah, Legge did have an impressive month in general, just to make the race, be up to pace quickly, and have a good start. She ran well at Fontana, too, and her best ever result was Milwaukee in Champ Car, so the ovals are actually pretty good for her. We'll see if she can get a program together for some more races.

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More, RE: Lola.

The DW12 will be the IndyCar until 2018 at the earliest, and 2021 at the latest.

So, that's the end of Lola's hopes.

Other technical announcements:

Aerokits will start in 2014 for the ovals. In 2015, they will be at all races.

This illustrates the parts that will be included in aerokits: https://twitter.com/IndyOreo/status/341205216672219136/photo/1

The plan for Indianapolis qualifying is to hit the following average speeds:

2014: 232 mph

2015: 235 mph

2016: 237 mph, breaking the track record

2017: 236 mph

2018: 235 mph

2019: 235 mph

2020: 236 mph

2021: 237 mph

The fluctuations have to do with "competition enhancements" and other changes.

I hate to be morbid, but I do not feel this is a very safe idea for drivers or fans. Not without new catchfencing technology. There will be "safety improvements" to try to reduce lift, but I just don't trust it. I don't think we should go that fast again until we have autonomous race cars, remotely serviced by engineers in remote locations, and watched by fans through their Google Glass without needing to actually be at the circuit where debris will hit them. Until then, this flirting with 230 stuff they did in 2013 was good enough for me. That is, of course, just an opinion. I know that "pursuing the track record" is something a lot of people like, and something that is believed to restore interest in qualifying. In theory, I get that. In reality, I want fewer people in the stands if they're going 237, not more, because we really just can't become immune to the dangers. Not a few months after the NASCAR incident, not a few years after the Wheldon incident. They killed Scott Brayton the year they set the track record. Jovy Marcelo died in 1992; they were over 230 then, as well. They were over 230 in 2003 when Tony Renna was killed. I don't think safety has come far enough to do 237. Yes, there are obvious improvements, but nothing is going to be safe until they figure out what to do with the catchfencing. They need a solution there; it's the common link in these accidents that have caused driver and fan injury in recent years.

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Ah, sorry, I goofed.

The aerokits are delayed another year.

They will come in 2015.

They want to use 2014 to figure out how to prevent the car from flipping over on its side, as it does in many wrecks at IMS.

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