It was a great day to be at IMS. There were no weather issues and instead of it being cloudy, it was mostly sunny all day. The road course at IMS brought out the contrast between the Chevy and Honda aerokits. We know that drag has been an issue for the Honda’s and with the long straightaways, it showed how much they are really struggling to reduce it and close the gap to Chevy. Team Chevy took the top 10 spots and 13 of the top 15. The highest qualifying Honda was Jack Hawksworth in 12th position. The slowest Honda, Dracone, was only 2.5 seconds faster than the Indy Lights pole position. Honda needs to figure this problem out quickly, or Chevy is going to dominate every road race this season.
I watched qualifying from the turn 1 mound and here are some observations:
- Luca Filippi and Stefano Coletti looked really competitive and were attacking corner entry
- Helio locked the brakes up going into turn one and slid past it. I would say he was waiting as late as possible to brake
- Dixon looked smooth every time as he entered turn 1
- Saavedra was only .1 slower than Bourdais which tells me with the right equipment, he has the skills
- Andretti Autosport has to be scratching their head. They looked bad in qualifying and Marco was barely faster than Dracone
- The first time Justin Wilson steps in the car this year and he’s the fastest AA driver. Where might Honda’s development be if he had been racing all year
- Graham Raha’s car looks amazing in the Steak n Shake/Maxim livery
The weather tomorrow may make it interesting like it did at NOLA. It could give Honda an opportunity to be competitive because the only chance they have at winning tomorrow is through strategy.