The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Auto Racing

May 14, 2013

Ken de la Bastide: Indy pole is wide open affair

If you're a fan of open wheel racing, the place to be over the next two weeks is central Indiana with the Indianapolis 500, Pay Less Little 500 and winged sprint cars in action.

The action begins Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the run for the pole followed by “bump day” on Sunday.

There is a lot of speculation that the pole speed for the Indy 500 will be in the 230 mph range. With practice speeds on Monday surpassing the 225 mph mark it certainly appears that 230 mph is obtainable.

Personally I expect the pole speed to be in the 228 mph range. A lot will depend on the weather conditions, temperature and wind speed.

So far the five drivers with Andretti Autosport are running at the top of the speed charts, with rookie Carlos Munoz setting the pace last Sunday and Marco Andretti topping the charts on Monday.

This early in the week the teams are not showing all their cards as pole day approaches. The focus is getting the cars comfortable as the drivers come up to speed.

Right behind Andretti Autosport were the drivers with Penske Racing, led by Helio Castroneves with Will Power and A.J. Allmendinger close behind.

Well down on the speed charts in what has to be considered a surprise are the drivers with the Target/Ganassi team of Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe.

I would expect Takuma Sato, driving for the Foyt racing team, to be a challenger for the pole position.

With the format on pole day to include the fastest nine drivers making a run at the pole, there should be a lot of drama on Saturday.

Bump day could also be interesting with more than 33 cars expected to contend for a position on the starting grid. There was talk this past weekend of the drivers not being mentioned for a possible ride at Indy — including Tomas Scheckter, Vitor Meira and John Andretti.

There will be a lot of attention given to the attempts by Castroneves and Franchitti to win their fourth Indy 500, joining the exclusive club of A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser Sr.

Text Only
Auto Racing
  • SPL - PT072314 - PT Ken de la Bastide column - column sig Ken de la Bastide: Good racing across the board

    This past weekend I got to witness four pretty good races at three different venues in central Indiana, none of them disappointed.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0728 - Gordon art Rain doesn't dampen Brickyard fans' spirits

    Despite threatening skies and chances of rain, fans at the Brickyard 400 were not disheartened by the forecast Sunday. Fans expected the race to be completed and were anticipating an exciting race for the Sprint Cup event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0728 - Gordon art Fifth Brickyard for Gordon Indiana racing fans roared their approval of the kid they watched growing up in open wheel cars as Jeff Gordon scored his record fifth Brickyard 400 victory Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dorer scores JEGS win at Anderson Florida driver Steve Dorer has had career moments at Anderson Speedway, and at other times ones he would just like to forget. Dorer recorded the biggest win of his career when he passed Chase Elliott on the final lap in the 2011 Stoops Freightliner Redbud 300. The next year he flipped in Turn 1 during the CRA Super Series event. He scored another highlight Saturday night by winning for the first time with the CRA/JEGS All-Stars Tour event in the Edgewater Woods 100.|ANDERSON — Florida driver Steve Dorer has had career moments at Anderson Speedway, and at other times ones he would just like to forget. Dorer recorded the biggest win of his career when he passed Chase Elliott on the final lap in the 2011 Stoops Fre

    July 27, 2014

  • Jones perfect in ARCA competition Georgia driver Brandon Jones remained perfect in the ARCA Racing Series by winning for a second time Friday at Lucas Oil Raceway, but he needed some misfortune to strike another driver for the victory.

    July 26, 2014

  • Chris Hacker image Hacker helping kids go to camp Born with an injury that affects the nerves controlling the muscles in his left arm hasn’t slowed Chris Hacker when he climbs behind a race car.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway mourns death of Garner

    The death of three-time Indianapolis 500 pace car driver James Garner is rippling through the motor racing community.

    July 20, 2014

  • Marcum claims Late Model win Morristown driver Jeff Marcum has watched victories in the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models slip away this season, but that changed Saturday at Anderson Speedway.

    July 20, 2014

  • Ken de la Bastide: Disappointing short track news abounds During the past two weeks, there has been disappointing news coming out of the local short track racing community.

    July 15, 2014

  • Atkinson wins Street Stock 75 New Castle’s Jason Atkinson appeared headed to a dominating win Saturday night at Anderson Speedway in the CRA Street Stock feature.

    July 13, 2014

Latest Racing News