Qualifying Preview- A Toss-Up; Lots of Questions After a Weird Week of Practice

I have never seen a practice week where no one driver stood out consistently. As a team, Andretti was probably the strongest overall.  Today, with the qualifying boost,  Only one Chevy, Juan Pablo Montoya, was in the top 10.

So, who will win the pole? I have no idea. The last row is easier to predict than the front row. It appears both Chevy and Honda were both holding back a bit this week.  I can’t believe the Penske cars are as slow as they were today.  I’m not sure the Coyne cars will replicate today’s speeds.  Sebastien Bourdais was fastest today  with a tow and Ryan Hunter-Reay fastest without one.  A pole for Bourdais gets him back in the points chase.It would help Hunter-Reay make up some ground from his DNFs .

Ganassi cars have been very quiet. They seemed to be very excited about getting the race started, but haven’t really been to the front much.

Schmidt_Peterson Motorsports seems to be coming together. Both James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin had good runs today, as did Jay Harvey, who led Thursday’s practice.

This weekend will be very intriguing. Who was sandbagging? Who showed all they had? Has Honda solved the engine issue that has bitten several teams, including at least one in the Grand Prix last weekend?

We will have all the answers by Sunday evening. Next week I will have several posts, including my mostly inaccurate race predictions.

Notes:

Jim McElreath, 1962 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, died Thursday at the age of 89. McElreath was a popular driver, started 15 times in the 500, with a best finish of third in1966. He had six top 10 finishes. His last 500 was in 1980.

Spencer Pigot and Zach Veach were unhurt in crashes late this afternoon. their crews have a lot of work to do to be ready for tomorrow. Pigot may have to go to a spare tub.

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