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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Indianapolis 500 Qualifying

May 21, 2018

Ed Carpenter

Sebastian Bourdais

Conor Daly

Danica Patrick

Indianapolis 500 Qualifying

Like many things related to the Indianapolis 500, qualifying for the starting field is a tradition in that only the thirty-three fastest cars make the field. Unlike most races the qualifying procedure calls for a four lap, ten mile average speed that has been described as the toughest four laps in motorsports. It is a harrowing, somewhat dangerous and certainly entertaining weekend as the teams try to secure their spots in the greatest race in the world.

Foe the first time since 2011, another qualifying tradition was back at the Speedway as bumping was back as there were thirty-five teams vying for the thirty-three starting spots, meaning two teams were going to suffer the devastating reality of not making the race.


Rahal and Rossi

Christian Daly

Qualifying is held over a two day weekend with the first day determining not only which teams would make the starting field, but also which nine cars posted the fastest speeds thus guaranteeing them a spot in the fast 9 and a one shot chance to win the pole on Sunday. Positions ten through thirty-three simply locked in a spot and had to requalify on Sunday to determine the starting position. The unfortunate cars with the thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth fastest speed would be going home.

Becky and Hinch


Saturday was thus one of the tensest days of the year in the Indy Car season as teams are trying like hell at both ends of the field, to make the fast nine and to not be on the outside looking in. The weather played havoc as well with two periods of rain that interrupted and took away a valuable few hours of track time during qualifying. Sadly my favorite driver was caught out in a combination of terrible luck and poor decision making by the team and James Hinchcliffe was bumped and failed to make the field.



The bad luck started when the first rain started falling just as it was Hinch’s turn to go out for his initial qualifying attempt, he had to pull off and missed an opportunity to qualify while the track was relatively cool and inn the two plus hours it took to dry the track the heat and humidity skyrocketed, yet the team was not able to make any adjustments so when he was the first back out on a hot, green track, his speed was way slower than it might have been. They were sort of forced to keep the time with the weather conditions iffy, because if there were a washout they would not be guaranteed another attempt.

Danica Patrick

Charlie Kimball

With another rain delay and the time it took to go through the line, the team did not get back out for another attempt until there was about 4o minutes to go (though they could have been in line sooner), and a vibration scratched that attempt. By the time they were back in line, others had effectively jumped in front of them, using all the time until the final gun sounded with Hinch next in line to go out.

J.R. Hildebrand

Joseph Newgarden


Seeing Hinch not make the field was gut-wrenching, as he is not only my favorite Indy Car driver but one of the nicest people you will ever meet. I have become an acquaintance of his parents, brother Christopher and his girlfriend Becky, who often spend time in my friend Brent’s suite (where I can often be found), and they are also some of the coolest and nicest people in the paddock and to see how devastating it was to each of them was tough as well. Hinch himself handled it all like the class act that he is, but as a competitor, I known he must have been burning up inside and I truly feel for him.

Pippa Mann

Conor Daly

Pippa Mann was the other car bumped as she just could not get her car up to speed at all and it was really tough on her as well. Helio Castroneves had the fastest time, leading all four Penske cars in the fast nine with Pagenaud, Power and Newgarden all making it. Ed Carpenter led all of his team including Spencer Pigot and Danica Patrick into the fast nine with Scott Dixon and Sebastian Bourdais also making the Sunday shootout.

Sunday was a little bit of a downer as I pretty much stayed in the Suite watching the qualifying efforts by the tenth-thirty-third place starters as they locked in their positions. Even the fast nine shootout did not seem so dramatic to me as my heart just wasn’t in watching with-out Hinch in the field. Ed Carpenter did a great job securing his third pole position and was the only driver to turn a lap over 230 mph. Simon Pagenaud and Will Power completed the front row.

Tony Kanaan

Kate and Olivier

Helio Castroneves, the fastest on Saturday could only manage eighth fastest as the final qualifier and Carpenter’s pole position was secure. At the other end of the field, Jack Harvey, Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly qualified for the last row to start the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500.

Alexander Rossi

James Davison


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