2010 Race 2 Finish travel blog

view north toward Turn 4

the new Pagoda

view south toward Turn 1

Qualifying starts at 11:00 - first there is a last practice session

the 'yard of bricks' finish line and one of the cameras that...

the pace car - which won't be needed today

a spectator checks out his rented scanner and headphones - just like...

A.J. Foyt lV gets ready to go out for practice

gets help with his helmet

all the drivers are doing this - Foyt just happens to be...

a driver is in a near reclining postion when they are in...

Townsend Bell is ready too

and heads out for practice - the Indy 500 is the only...

Foyt lV is back for a wing adjustment from Gramps and a...

off with the old

on with the new

no lugs to bother with here - just spin on the hub...

Tony Kanaan's team is having problems and they head back to the...

so does Sarah Fisher

and Simona de Silvestro

Simona always looks cheerful

Milka does too - but now she's preoccupied because she's running slow

Danica however is in a deep funk - choosing to walk back...

her crew follows her with the troublesome car

but Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are always good for a smile

Graham Rahal's 30 car on the way to the Paddock

got some time to kill before qualifying so let's see what people...

this guy's putting away a burger

and this man's got his Pringles

his girlfriend's got her soda pop

and this guy's got his beer

and as long as we're being healthy here - why not have...

whatever it is - I'm glad he's drinking it and not me

while these lovebirds share their drink

but hey - we came here for the qualification

and the qualifiers are starting to arrive

no tow vehicles now - they push and pull the cars into...

Paul Tracy's car on its way into line

then Will Power

Ana Beatriz between Tracy and Power

Alex Tagliani's FAZZT car 77

Marco Andretti's viper

meanwhile - to keep the crowd entertained this bird is shooting tee...

he's pretty good at working the crowd

reloading

that gun is incredibly powerful

he can shoot the shirts clear across the track into the highest...

everybody's yelling at him to shoot them a shirt

it's really pretty cool

back on the track Helio comes rolling in

and one of Ganassi Racing's cars - hard to tell if it's...

things are getting busy at the south end

Team Rahal shows up

and Townsend Bell's 99 car

Ana Beatriz walks to her car

the flagman is ready

First car is on the track and qualifying has begun

after four qualifying laps Foyt lV gets the checkered flag

directed in to get his picture taken

if you're the first guy out all you have to do is...

Grandpa congratulates him but next day they had an argument and A.J....

next out was Paul Tracy but he never took the starting flag

a slipped gear forced him back into the pits

Ana Beatriz on the track

while Tracy gets interviewed for TV

Ana comes in qualified

A.J. lV got bumped out before the end of the day -...

Ana didn't qualify fast but she qualified

OK for a rookie and the first woman in the field this...

posing for posterity

Will Power - a Penske teammate of Castroneves qualified next

Will Power

Alex Tagliani put down the hottest lap so far

a new team and a happy one

have to have your picture taken with each sponsor's hat

Marco Andretti qualified next

Marco Andretti

John's cousin and Michael Andretti's son - makes him Mario's grandson

crowd favorite Helio Castroneves gets the green - doing close to 230...

Helio's fast but to everyone's surprise he's behind Tagliani

TV Girl want's to know 'why?'

but our hero from Dancing With the Stars isn't worried

posing with boss Roger Penske (left)

Scott Dixon of Team Chip Ganassi

Dixon

TV Girl's got a hold of Graham Rahal now

Graham is driving for his father Bobby and he was quick

doing the hat shuffle

Townsend Bell was not the fastest but he did well

Davey Hamilton - oldest driver in the field

 

Jay Howard drives for Sarah Fisher in the 66 car

posing with the boss

and by himself

Sarah, a crowd favorite herself, walks past Paul Tracy's car still under...

Beatriz teammate Mike Conway

Izod's driver Ryan Hunter-Reay

rookie Mario Romancini from Sao Paulo, Brazil

Hideki Mutoh talks to TV Girl after turning in a top 9...

 

Milka Duno qualified for the time being - but was later bumped...

still she gets to pose with her team and the hats

Dario Franchitti of Ganassi Racing

will be starting on the outside of Row 1

former winner Dan Wheldon is sponsored by the National Guard

Ed Carpenter is in the top 9 for the shoot-out

brings mom and the kids aboard

for a nice family shot

Danica Patrick should never have given this interview

she was tired and frustrated and she said some things that did...

Justin Wilson in the 22 car

Danica poses for the team picture

and tries to put a happy face on but that interiew will...

meanwhile word comes in that Mario Moraes has crashed his 32 car...

Raphael Matos has just come off the track and poses

while they pick up the pieces of car 32 - one of...

Raphael Matos is also from Brazil

Sebastian Saavedra is from Bogota, Columbia

Simona de Silvestro setting off that camera

Simona is a rookie from Switzerland where racing is not allowed -...

Simona did well

pictured here doing the hat shuffle for the photographers

Tony Kanaan was the last out and unbelievably he crashed on the...

Tony wasn't hurt but it was the end of the day for...

one look at his dejected crew tells the story

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MOV - 5.39 MB)

a qualifier gets the checkered flag

(MOV - 9.51 MB)

what 230 mph looks like


A day of hot laps and hard decisions

Saturday morning

We started the day early and the crowd came early too. Today they had the grandstands across from the Pagoda open so we sat there. It turned out to be a good place to watch because after each driver qualified they did a posed photo shoot in front of the Pagoda. We had a pretty good view of it, even if we were 100 yards away. We also had a good view of the pits, but there wasn’t much going on there for the first stage of the event.

For the first stage runs drivers and cars lined up at the south end of pit row where they had an easy out to the track. They drew for their starting positions, and A.J. (Anthony) Foyt lV was out first in the 41 car. They were making runs to qualify for the first 24 positions today, or the first 8 rows. Each car gets one warm-up lap before they get the green flag, then they have to run four laps (ten miles) to finish the attempt.

A.J. qualified for the 24 on his initial run, but later got bumped off the board by faster cars. His team mate Vitor Meira in the 14 car also made it to the list for a while but was eventually bumped off too. This was not a good day for A.J. Foyt Racing, and probably not a very good day to be around A. J. himself!

The plan for the day was to qualify the 24 fastest drivers by 4:00 o’clock, then close the track for half an hour. At 4:30 the nine fastest cars returned for a ‘shoot-out’ in which they each made at least one more qualifying run to determine their final starting positions. This put a lot of stress on the drivers, because as Dario Franchitti said, “You come in shaking from going out and doing four laps on the ragged edge just to get into the top nine, then you have to go out and do it all over again to qualify for your final position.”

Shoot-out rules guaranteed all top drivers a starting position no lower than ninth, and if they went out for second or third runs they did not jeopardize their previous times if they did worse. With $175,000 awarded to the pole winner and choice of pit location for the race, there was a lot of incentive to go for it. All qualifying drivers received points toward their season standings too, and the points were higher for the faster positions.

The qualifying went well, with only three ‘incidents’ in which drivers crashed and were not able to finish. Rookie Takuma Sato crashed first and he was not badly injured but he did not return to the track. Mario Moraes crashed the beautiful 32 car next and was put out of the running for a while, but he was able to return in his back-up car and qualify later in the day. The saddest story was Tony Kanaan who is a big favorite with the crowd. Tony crashed on the first lap and wiped out his car badly. He walked away from the crash, but did not return to the track for the rest of the day.

After everyone eligible and able has gone out and qualified, drivers have the opportunity to go out again and try to improve their positions. The risk is that to do so they must sign away their previous times and start over from scratch. If they fail to qualify this time, or do worse than they did on the original attempt, they have to live with the results or hope to make a third try if there's time. It's a tough decision.

To everyone's amazement Helio Castroneves opted to sign off his original time and go out and requalify. This was a huge risk as he was in second place already. The reason Roger Penske and Helio decided to take that risk was so that if he did improve his time and go into first place, they would have their choice of position in the pits for the race as well as starting location in the shootout.

The risk paid off and Helio laid down a blistering time that put him in first place of the top nine. The next surprise was Ana Beatriz, who was on the bottom of the board in 24th place. She too threw out her original time and went out again, with the result that she vastly improved her time and went ahead of both Danica and Simona de Silvestro. E.J. Viso also improved his time with another run.

The stage was set for the shoot-out!



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