Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bump Day Wrapup

Wasn't a good situation for Michael Andretti all around.

Mike Conway, the team's only winner this season, had already made his three attempts at making the 2011 Indianapolis 500 field, all unsuccessful. Marco Andretti was on the bubble and teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay was right next to him.

Dale Coyne Racing's Alex Lloyd was on his 3rd and final attempt after making the field before being bumped by Andretti Autosport pilot Danica Patrick. Circling the 2.5 Mile square oval at 223.732mph on his first of four laps, the pace would be good enough to best Marco's 223.668 4-lap average. Three laps and 7.5 miles later, Lloyd's speed was good enough, bumping the 2006 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year from the field.

Moving Ryan Hunter-Reay to the bubble position, Marco Andretti took back to the track at 5:59pm for a final attempt. Running a speed of 224.728mph on his first lap, 224.481mph on the second, and 224.576mph on the third, if he kept the #26 Dallara in one piece he'd probably be safe. Taking the checkered flag with an identical lap to his first, the Venom car qualified in the 28th position, bumping Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Seven entries failed to make the race including 4 full-timers and 3 rookies. Conquest Racing's Sebastian Saavedra, Coyne rookie James Jakes, and Andretti Autosport veterans Mike Conway & Ryan Hunter-Reay, all IZOD IndyCar Series regulars, couldn't muster enough speed. AFS Racing's first foray into the '500' also came up short with driver Raphael Matos behind the wheel as the Brazilian was bumped earlier in the day.

Entering the month with two entries, come Noon on Bump Day Dragon Racing was down to zero. Ho-pin Tung backed his #8 Dallara into the wall Pole Day morning sending the rookie to Methodist Hospital. Although released just a few hours later, Tung was diagnosed with a concussion, sidelining him for the month. Struggling all month, Scott Speed reportedly quit Friday afternoon, then was back in the ride Saturday morning. Not attempting to qualify Saturday, come Sunday morning open-wheel veteran Patrick Carpentier was at the track and behind the wheel of the #20 Fuzzy's car. Sliding into the wall in a nearly identical fashion tat Tung had done just 24-hours earlier, Dragon Racing's day and month were over.

Four rookies, five former winners, 4 woman, 10 Americans, and 14 different teams qualified for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500.

2011 Indy 500 grid:

1st Row - Tagliani, Dixon, Servia
2nd Row - Bell, Power, Wheldon
3rd Row - Rice, Carpenter, Franchitti
4th Row - Sato, Meira, Hildebrand
5th Row - Hinchcliffe, Baguette, Hamilton
6th Row - Castroneves, J. Andretti, Viso
7th Row - Junqueira, Wilson, Howard
8th Row - Scheckter, Kanaan, De Silvestro
9th Row - Tracy, Patrick, Briscoe
10th Row - M. Andretti, Kimball, Rahal
11th Row - Lloyd, Mann, Beatriz


Thanks for your tweets throughout the two qualifying days. Here in the UK we had no TV coverage and next to no live streaming so had to rely on a dodgy table on someone else's site and your detailed and very useful tweets. Without them we'd have been almost completely in the dark.

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