Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Indy's Magic 33, con't

Shuffle up and deal.
As the game for qualifications at Indy tightens, so does the focus on the 'who, what, when, how...'

Entries will be shuffled and changed, and deals made almost daily in the run-up to Indy and I'll attempt to keep you abreast of the changes by modifying the original IMS entry list and part of my original post as reference (and also to score my predictions for those twists and turns to Indy driver seats). My predictions from the original entry post of April 20 are shown below and those that have come to fruition will be highlighted in bold italics.

Entry# Team - Driver
#2/2t Luczo Dragon - Raphael Matos
#3/3t Penske - Helio Castroneves
#4/4t Panther - Dan Wheldon
#5/5t KV - Mario Moraes
#6/6t Penske - Ryan Briscoe
#7/7t AGR - Danica Patrick
#8/8t KV - tba
#9/9t TCGR - Scott Dixon

#10/10t TCGR - Dario Franchitti
#11/11t AGR - Tony Kanaan
#12/12t Penske - Will Power
#13 - HVM - EJ Viso
(13t to HVM #31 - 4/27)
#14/14t Foyt - Vitor Meira
#15/15t KV - Paul Tracy
#16/16t Panther - Scott Sharp
#17/17t RLR - tba
#18/18t Coyne - Justin Wilson
#19/19t Coyne - tba
#20/20t Vision - Ed Carpenter
#21/21t Vision - Ryan Hunter-Reay
#22/22t Vision/Herta - tba
#23/23t Dreyer/Reinbold - tba
(Milka Duno - 4/22)
#24/24t Dreyer/Reinbold - Mike Conway
#25/25t Roth - tba
#26/26t AGR - Marco Andretti
#27/27t AGR - Hideki Mutoh
#31 HVM - Nelson Phillipe (confirmed 4-27, from #13t entry)
#34/34t Conquest - tba
#36/36t Conquest - tba
#41/41t Foyt - AJ Foyt IV
#43/43t Dreyer/Reinbold/Petty - John Andretti
#44/44t Dreyer/Reinbold/Kingdom - Davey Hamilton
#48/48t Foyt - tba
#52/52t Roth - tba
#67/67t Fisher - Sarah Fisher
#68 Fisher - tba
#91 Hemelgarn - tba
(Buddy Lazier - 4/27)
#98/98t Curb/Agajanian/3G - Stanton Barrett
#99 Sam Schmidt/TCGR - Alex Lloyd
#02/02t NHLR - Graham Rahal
#06/06t NHLR - Robert Doornbos

Highly Likely Group:
(confirmed 4-22-09 - #23/23t Dreyer and Reinbold - There's an experienced engineer already listed for this entry with no driver. My guess = Milka Duno or Buddy Rice.)
#22/22t Vision - We're just short of the magic 33 and I'm sure if we're within one or two drivers, this will be filled. My Guess = Townsend Bell or Tomas Scheckter
#34/34t Conquest - They're showing nobody in a seat yet, but they're surely not totally missing the biggest race of the year. My guess = Alex Tagliani
~~~~~BUMP LINE~~~~~

Likely Group, below bump line:
(confirmed 4-27-09 - #91 Hemelgarn - Ol' Ron will try it one more time with Buddy Lazier, but the magic won't be there as it was last year.)
#19/19t Dale Coyne - There are a group of very good and Indy-experienced drivers around during May and if all goes to plan with Wilson (no damaged chassis for the main entry or backup), this car will get a Sonny's BBQ sponsorship on Bump Day and make into the last two rows of the field. My guess = Roger Yasukawa.
#36/36t Conquest - See previous, fill-in-the-blank sponsor. My guess = Max Papis.
#25/25t Roth - Guy has 4 chassis just sitting around? He loves this race and will try to run if he can get some sponsors. If not, I still doubt he'll let them all sit idle. My guess = Marty Roth.

Unlikely Group:
#8/8t KV Racing - Maybe, if some big money falls out of the sky and lands in Vasser's lap.
#17/17t Rahal Letterman - How long will this go on? The 1986 winner and the Indy native are owners with no money to race Indy? This reminds me of 1993 when Rahal got bumped with a weak Honda oops, Judd motor.
#48/48t Foyt - Only if a Luyendyk is on the bubble or there are 32 cars in the field on Bump Day. My guess = Jeff Simmons.

Very Unlikely Group:
#52/52t Roth - Nah. No chance.
#68 Fisher - This is an insurance entry only. Only a worst-case, last-ditch scenario for Sarah will see this chassis out of the garage.

My assumptions are that all of the 28 original entries will make the field. One caveat may be that Stanton Barrett won't make the field, bumped by one of the few below cut line. Also, if Alex Lloyd can't keep his lone chassis off the wall for the entire month, he too may fail to qualify.

Pole Speed 228.165
Bump Speed 219.855

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