2010 Race 2 Finish travel blog

there's a lot of tension in that group this morning

the Firestone bird is firing tee shirts into the crowd again

not that the tee shirts would fit everybody who wants one

it's hard to believe he can hit these stands from that far...

he loads

takes aim

and fires - that's a tee shirt flying through the air

darned if she didn't get one - and gave it to her...

the bird fired again

and the same woman got another one - what are the odds?

if some pictures are grainy it's because the action is taking place...

Takuma Sato has his car fixed from yesterday's crash and he's ready...

race fans

Bruno Junqueira - a driver we haven't seen before - even this...

the pictures are taken through several fences - and around some other...

the hour has come and an engine fires

Marco Andretti is on the track

Paul Tracy moves up to take a run

Andretti at speed - doing around 230 and averaging over 224 mph...

ten miles later he takes the checkered flag

his fourth lap speed and pretty close to his average for the...

Andretti posing with his crew

Sato posing with his crew - this picture is at maximum optical...

Sarah Fisher on the track

Sarah Fisher is a very popular driver

Sarah posing happily with her crew

the Firestone bird is always right in the middle of things

Paul Tracy is on the track and qualifying - but his 223...

Milka Duno tried again but didn't make the cut

Mario Moraes qualified in the top 24 yesterday but that car is...

Bruno Junqueira has been on the list all week but hasn't been...

Junqueria's car caught in the window reflection as it flashes past the...

Junqueira's times are the fastest of the day and now Paul Tracy...

the 33 car comes into pit lane

these yellow cars are doing OK!

the nine spots are filled but Sato is on the bubble and...

the last driver to qualify was Howard in the 66 car, bumping...

now the big boys come out to practice

trying to get data if race day is sunny and hot

it's been overcast and cool all week and their cars have been...

Townsend Bell waits for the green flag

Tony Kanaan's car is fixed and he's anxious to try it out

meanwhile techicians work on their equipment

time to check out the crowd - this girl has a Dale...

this mom is kissing her kid

don't know if I'd trust that setup with a wiggly kid

this guy enjoys his burger

then takes a quick nap before the action

wonder if her husband gave her that shirt

Jacques Lazier did not qualify this morning so they're going to try...

Scott Dixon walks past Paul Tracy's car

Tracy is qualified but too low to be very safe

Lazier gets ready to go out and practice

Alex Tagliani's car

they put these copper colored wheels on it for show when they...

Romancini is also low and worried

walking to work off nervous energy

it's time for final qualifying as crews rush their cars to the...

Sato is down one position and has to get it back

Kanaan is first out and qualifies - the crowd is ecstatic

he goes into 30th place - and while he ends up in...

not taking any chances he passes on the photo shoot and gets...

Romancini goes back out and qualifies 27th this time

Sato goes out and qualifies well this time

bumping Howard and putting Tracy on the bubble

same Tweedle Dum but a different Tweedle Dee today

things are getting very tense down there

Danica was ready but she decides nobody is going to get her...

Tracy makes a call he will always regret

Howard does the same thing

leaving the bottom spot open to Sebastian Saavedra again! It's finally over!

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MP4 - 1.42 MB)

the Penske team at speed

(MP4 - 1.39 MB)

fastest part of the track

(MP4 - 1.73 MB)

Penske pit stop practice


A lot of drama at the end of the day!

Sunday afternoon

At noon we headed for the grandstands. Today was ‘Bump Day’ and it promised to be exciting. There are 37 cars entered this year and only 33 will start the race. The top 24 qualified on Saturday. The goal today was to fill the nine remaining spots in the starting line-up - then it would get crazy.

First car out was John Andretti who qualified with ease. He was followed by Sarah Fisher who qualified faster than Danica Patrick but had to settle for a position in the bottom nine for not doing it yesterday. One by one the rest of the empty spots were filled and when the session ended rookie Sebastian Saavedra was on the bubble in 33rd position.

The four drivers still not qualified were Milka Duno, Takuma Sato, Tony Kanaan and Jacques Lazier. Duno and Sato had qualified in earlier sessions but were bumped by faster cars. Kanaan crashed his car on Saturday’s first qualifying lap, and this morning he crashed his back-up car in exactly the same place on the first lap of practice. His crew was working feverishly to get the car repaired in time for the last session in the afternoon. Lazier is a new driver who was hired by A.J. Foyt to take over for his grandson after they had an argument. Lazier is the brother of former Indy winner Buddy Lazier.

For the rest of the afternoon everyone tried to improve their car's handling, waiting for the track to cool down. The day was sunny and hot and when the track is hot it's slower and more dangerous. Even the best drivers were struggling to keep their cars off the wall, and nobody was turning very good times. Kanaan’s crew got his car going and he came out for a number of practice laps, but they kept taking it back to the garage and working on it all afternoon. By about 5:00 the stage was set for a wild and crazy final hour of qualifying. Once Kanaan got in line to qualify everyone rushed to also get in line - guessing where they might need to be to improve their time if need be. Even cars that where well up the qualifying order got in line and were pulled out of line by the officials as there was no need for them to be there.

First car out was Tony Kanaan who finally qualified in 30th position, bumping Sebastian Saavedra off the board and dropping Mario Romancini to the bubble. Romancini went back out and this time he qualified 27th, dropping Jay Howard to the bubble. It was Takuma Sato’s turn, and this time the rookie qualified 30th, knocking Jay Howard off and moving Paul Tracy to the bottom of the board.

Saavedra went out to try again, but this time he crashed. Now he was down two positions and he couldn’t even go out and try to get them back. It looked like the end of his hopes - but all was not lost. Paul Tracy finding himself on the bubble panicked and went out to qualify again. In doing this he was rolling the dice because he had to throw out his previous times. If he didn’t qualify fast enough this time he would be out and Howard would be back in - which is exactly what happened. It turned out to be a very bad mistake.

Now Jay Howard was back in but he too was faced with a dilemma. Paul Tracy was behind him wanting to go out and try again and there was only time enough in the session for one more car. If Tracy went out and did better this time Howard would be bumped again and would have no time to go out and try to get it back. He also panicked and decided to go out himself to keep Tracy from doing it. It turned out to be another bad mistake. He failed to qualify, the gun ending the session went off, and it was all over for Tracy and Howard. Sebastian Saaveda was back in the race.

Saaveda learned of his good fortune at the hospital, where he was being checked out after his crash. He saw his crew on TV and they were jumping up and down and waving their arms. He could hardly believe his good fortune. Dale Earnhardt said, “You win some, you lose some and you wreck some.” Sebastian Saaveda found out you can wreck some and still be a winner, at least for today.

When the dust settled it was the closest qualifying starting lineup in Indy history, with only 3 seconds separating the top car from the bottom. A record four women will be starting and two of them are rookies who beat out some seasoned old timers. The race on Sunday should be one for the record books in more ways than one.



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