In 2013, IndyCar returned to Pocono Raceway. While I was excited to see the racing there I wasn’t overly thrilled while watching the two previous races. Perhaps that was because Dixon won in 2013 and Montoya in 2014. Neither are my favorite. I just don’t remember being wowed during the races. Tomorrow will be the 2015 race but if qualifying is any indicator it will be a great race. I loved watching qualifying today. I watched it on my DVR but thankfully was also taping IndyCar chronicles so I only missed Scott Dixon qualifying. Honestly so much happened so I will just briefly touch on the highlights. Here is goes–
Ed Carpenter- He was first out and did extremely poor. He was so slow. Not at all what he was wanting. He has just been having a terrible season and tomorrow is his last day to get it together. I personally think the pressure will be too much for him and I’m predicting a DNF for him. That makes me sad but it’s what I think will happen.
Sage Karam- SO COCKY!!! I’ve said it before but man he is cocky. In his interview after his qualifying he said, “Seemed like I was the only one to pass cars out there this morning.” Wow! Really Sage? He expected to do better and was surprised at his result. C’mon kid you are a rookie. Perhaps it’s his arrogance that makes him a good driver but wow what comes out if his mouth always surprises me. He is great for our sport. You either love him or hate him. I still haven’t decided yet.
Marco Andretti- he had a horrible qualifying run. Not sure what was up there. He was fast in practice so this was a huge surprise. He said they got greedy with the set up but still surprising he did so poorly.
Pippa Mann- YEAH!!! She needed this good run for her confidence if nothing else. So excited to see her starting ahead of Montoya, Briscoe, Andretti and others. She needed that.
Charlie Kimball- Holy Crap. Hate seeing crashes like that. So very thankful he is ok. Loved seeing him immediately give the thumbs up sign. IndyCars Dallara chassis is AWESOME. Has to be so frustrating for Charlie though after being fastest in practice.
Interviews during crash clean up–
Please shave Hinch. I love you but you look awful.
We need Conor Daly in a full time ride.
Derrick Walker- I don’t think plexiglass would be an answer to the catch fence. Too hard to keep clean and it would scratch. I’m so thankful for what he has done for IndyCar. I hate that he has resigned.
Justin Wilson- suggested sitting in the infield. While that would help for crashes it would not provide as good a view.
Dario Franchitti- Man, I miss him.
Brian Barnhart- Saw him overseeing fence repairs and as Carlos Munoz began his qualifying run. I know many don’t like him but I don’t know many others that have such a passion for Indycar and have stuck around and take the heat the way he does. He truly has a heart for IndyCar and that makes me a fan.
A.J. Foyt- he is at home with knee problems. I hate to hear that.
Juan Pablo Montoya. He had a horrible run. I’m not a huge fan so I may have been grinning ear to ear after that run. It was said he declined interviews- could he be feeling a bit of pressure about the championship? Interesting.
Tony Kanaan- Not a great job on qualifying but we know he will pass several cars at the green flag so I’m not concerned at this point.
Tristan Vautier- Happy Birthday! Good qualifying run for him. Love seeing both Dale Coyne cars showing some improvement with consistent drivers.
Interview with Tristan- Love watching interviews with drivers I’ve met.
Helio Castroneves- took Pole Position and kept it. 220.530. Good for him. He needs a win this year.
Justin Wilson- still so thankful he is in a car. Qualified ahead of RHR. Great job!
Graham Rahal- SWEET!!! Great job getting P5. Love seeing the momentum of that team and the Steak ‘n Shake car up front. Go Graham. I want him to win the Astor Cup!
DVR ended with one driver to go. Are you kidding me. Ran to get phone and check results. Helio kept the pole and Dixie did not have such a great run. I was surprised he didn’t do a bit better. He is in 11th position.
Between some surprising qualifying runs and Kimball’s terrifying crash (which I hate to see but sure adds drama) the qualifying was edge of your seat. If the race presents the same we are going to have another great day. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.