Curt Cavin reported this morning in the Indianapolis Star that the Month of May would be shortened to the Two Weeks of May. The track will open on May 15th for practice and rookie tests, but qualifying will be condensed to a single weekend.
no images were foundPole Day will be on Saturday, May 22, and Bump Day will be on Sunday, May 23. The reasoning behind the change is to reduce the operating costs for all parties associated with the event. The teams will spend less money on room and board, the Speedway will spend less money on staffing, and the TV production crew will spend less money on room and board, and operations. Cutting out the first weekend of qualifying really does trim everyone’s budget significantly, and its a logical move. We fans, however, are anything but logical. We want the full Month of May. …or at least we think we do.
Almost as soon as the schedule changes was announced, the twittersphere was alive with consternation and disgruntlement. Quite honestly, I fully expected to be amongst their numbers and declaring how the IMS leadership had lost touch with the fans (enter additional cliche rants here). However, I was surprised to find that after reading through and thinking carefully about the changes, I was quite ok with them. Granted, I make my evaluation from the very selfish point of view that now I’ll be able to see all phases of qualification, Community Day, Carb Day, the Parade, and the Race. Always before, I was unable to attend Pole Day because it would invariably fall right before Finals Week, and the only way I could call in sick then is if I produced my own death certificate. I fully understand the lamentation of those who are closer to the track and look forward to two weekends of qualification and practice at the track. I’m sure this change crimps their style just as much as the extended schedule put a crimp in mine. The unfortunate fact is that you can’t please everyone, but hopefully this move doesn’t tick too many people off, or at least it doesn’t tick them off too much. This really will save all parties involved with the 500 a ton of money, and we could see qualifying crowds larger than we’ve seen in a long, long time. Let’s hope it all turns out for the good. I for one think it will.