Saturday, April 18, 2009

indy car: thoughts on long beach qualifying

The second race of the 2009 Indy Car Series season will take place on the streets of Long Beach tomorrow. Qualifying was this afternoon. I’m still not sure how I feel about the Fast Six/”Knock-out Qualifying” method. Will Power (yes, that’s his real name) won the pole after moving from the No. 3 car to a new, third Team Penske Car, The Verizon No. 12. It’s a really sharp looking car. And so very Penske. I hope something will work out for Power to stay on with Penske past Kansas. But it was SO great to see Helio back in the No. 3 car today. He seemed so happy and was smiling non-stop; his dimples were like craters. I loved what he said to Jack Arute on learning he had been exonerated in his tax evasion charges.

“To be honest, I was, I was like just, uh, crying. You know I am a very emotional person. When I’m happy I’m crying. When I’m sad, I cry.” - Helio Castroneves

It’s that genuine personality that makes Helio my favorite driver. Unfortunately he spun and ended up with the rear of his car in the wall during qualifying at Long Beach. But he won the last time he raceed there, in 2001. Maybe there'll be a little bit of fence climbing tomorrow. I’m just glad to see him back.
Long Beach is an interesting course that should make racing very interesting. There are sharp hairpin turns and I'm sure even some of the best drivers will end up in the tires tomorrow.
Toyota of Long Beach
Sunday April 19
3:30 p.m. (Eastern) on VERSUS

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