Sunday, May 10, 2009

Indy Magic 33 Ball - May 10th Edition

Big weekend of qualifying with Helio and Briscoe of Penske 1-2, Franchitti of Target/Ganassi fills out the front row. Alex "Pink" Lloyd bumped in the first 11 and Scott Sharp's Panther Patron car, scrambled through the tech inspection line before the gun sounded the end of Sunday's attempts, bumped into the 22nd slot yesterday.

Townsend Bell is the newest Indy 500 entry, but his ride is with KV Racing and not with Vision as I'd guessed (half point). Rumor is that one or two more announcements may coming this week... stay tuned.

Predictions are so-so and after the qualifying of Day 1 and 2, I'll shorten the list to the entries that are not yet qualified with my predictions for qualifiers in bold. has a complete and current rundown of the qualified cars

Entry# Team - Driver
#8/8t KV - tba (Townsend Bell, 5/8)
#13 - HVM - EJ Viso (13t to HVM #31, 4/27)
#17/17t RLR - tba
#19/19t Coyne - tba
#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
#34/34t Conquest - tba (Alex Tagliani, 5/4)
#36/36t Conquest - tba
#43/43t Dreyer/Reinbold/Petty - John Andretti
#48/48t Foyt - tba
#52/52t Roth - tba
#68 Fisher - tba
#91 Hemelgarn - tba (Buddy Lazier, 4/27)
#98/98t Curb/Agajanian/3G - Stanton Barrett
#00 HVM - (Nelson Phillipe, 4/27, from #13t)
#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. Vision and Bryan Herta announced that this entry will not be participating in this year's Indy 500.
(confirmed 5-4-09 - #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. (confirmed 5-8, Herbalife with Townsend Bell for 2nd week program)
#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 the next one 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 (actual = 224.864)
Bump Speed 219.855

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