Despite a rocky start, the Timing and Scoring on IndyCar.com finally came online, although the video was more of a slideshow than smooth video. Here’s hoping that the online coverage improves over the season. The ontrack action, however was pretty dicey. Ryan Hunter-Reay narrowly avoided being hit by Duno, Viso, and apparently just about everyone else on the grid. Once again, Will Power showed that he has the measure of this circuit, although the other drivers have caught up a bit. The surprise performer this session was EJ Viso rising as high as 2nd quickest midway through the session throwing down a 1:02.3614 sec. Graham Rahal, who had done so well in FP1 and FP2 yesterday, struggled this morning posting times a full second behind his Friday best. Both DRR drivers, Justin Wilson and Mike Conway found their way into the top ten showing that the old DRR what we’ve seen in past seasons bringing up the rear is dead and gone. I’m very excited and optimistic for the team this year. This might be the event where we see them find the top five, and perhaps the podium. …ok the podium might be a stretch, but don’t look for them at the back of the grid. What you WILL see at the rear is Milka Duno. Her times have been abysmal all weekend, and today’s final practice session was no exception. To give you an idea of how far off Milka is, Conor Daly set the pole for the Star Mazda race today with a lap time of 1:10.352 sec. Milka’s best time is 1:09.9728 sec, only 0.48 sec quicker in a car with double the horsepower, and she’s a full seven seconds behind Power’s time. I won’t be surprised if Barnhart requests that she sit out this race. Hideki Mutoh after showing some decent speed in his new Newman-Haas-Lanigan ride, crashed hard into the Turn 9 wall, causing serious damage to the car, and its going to be tough for the team to make this afternoon’s qualifying sessions.
So with the practice sessions complete, we’re set for qualirfication this afternoon. Here’s my picks, and I think we can all agree on who’ll take the pole:
- Will Power
- Tony Kanaan
- Justin Wilson
- Ryan Briscoe
- Scott Dixon
- Dario Franchitti
That’s my expected Firestone Fast 6. For a couple of dark horses to watch, keep an eye on EJ Viso, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Mike Conway, and Marco Andretti.