Feature: May Fab 5
Topic 1:Does the Grand Prix of Indy become a permanent tradition at IMS and a fixture on the IndyCar schedule?
TonyD: I enjoyed the race personally. I thought it was very competitive, lot’s of drama and entertainment. I think IMS is happy with the result and I know a lot of people tuned in on the radio to listen. Would love to see it stay, but maybe move to the last race of the year moving forward.
Lauren: I hope so! I thought it was an exciting race (and Road Courses are not always) that brought a pretty nice fan turn out. Indianapolis is a racing city, that I think would long term embrace it.
Rick: For the foreseeable future, yes.
Nancy: Yes, I believe so. I don’t think it will get the crowds though.
Topic 2: The only real issue at the Indy GP was the standing start. Roger Penske has given his opinion that a longer first gear should be used. Derrick Walker said several things like the anti-stall system has not worked correctly, not enough practice time and using the FIA distance between starting positions was not long enough for IndyCar. Are you for or against standing starts and what should IndyCar do to fix this issue?
TonyD: I think they are exciting and different. I enjoy them, if Indy Car would make the distance between cars more and get the anti stall to work, it would be great. But it’s no coincidence that Saavedra has stalled at both events.
Lauren: Though they make me nervous to watch, I am a huge fan. I think they are exciting to watch every time.
Rick: I like the standing starts, but as with most new things, it needs to be tweaked. The anti-stall equipment needs to be improved and other changes. It should be modified for this equipment and tried in that manner. If they can’t make it safe, then it has to go.
Nancy: I am not a fan of standing starts. These drivers have trouble with double file restarts, why would anyone think a standing start is good? I would rather see them start regular, Saveedra could have gotten killed.
Topic 3: Do you think the changes to the Indy 500 qualifying procedures made it more exciting and created more drama for television?
TonyD: Yes. I thought it was great, with the drivers only having one shot at it, it was do or die for all 9 attempts of the top 9.
Lauren: Personally, I found it terribly boring. For me, it seemed that Saturday was nothing more than a practice for Pole Day on Sunday, aside from determining the top nine.
Rick: The changes to the qualifying were done to replace the lack of drama from not having more than 33 cars. Eliminating the drama from Bump Day required the need to manufacture some drama for the weekend. While it may have been interesting, I am not sure about how much drama was created.
Nancy: I think the changes were good, if you have no bumping you have no drama. This created some drama. I saw the ratings were up which is never a bad thing.
Topic 4:Who is your pick to win the Indy 500?
TonyD:Ed Carpenter, Charlie Kimball-darkhorse.
Lauren:TK. I won’t bother with an explanation!
Rick:My head says Will Power, but my heart says Ed Carpenter. I will be cheering for Martin Plowman and Justin Wilson also.
Topic 5:Kurt Busch had the courage to do the double which hasn’t been done since Tony Stewart. How do you think Kurt has handled it so far and will we see more drivers from NASCAR try the double?
TonyD: Kurt is so good at explaining what’s going on and admitting his mistakes. I have gained a lot of respect for him over the last few weeks and hope he does well in both races!
Lauren: He has kicked it’s butt. He got up to speed in his IndyCar very quickly and seemed to handle the back and forth during Cup’s All-Star weekend well. If he manages to do well in either of the races, I think we may see plenty of others man up to the challenge.
Rick: Busch has been ok. He has shown himself well on track. I hope he does well in the race and completes the double. There will be individuals willing to try the double as long as there is someone willing to pay for it. Are there any IndyCar drivers willing to try it?
Nancy: Kurt has been calm, cool and been great with the fans. He admitted he made a mistake causing his accident but I think he handled it great. Not sure about more drivers yet, although I’ve read others would like to try.