The rain that hampered things here at Pocono Raceway Saturday has gone, and we look clean and green to get the ABC Supply 500 in today.
So what’s going on?
* I (heart) IndyCar fans. Not race-related, but this is my 11th race of the season so far, and everywhere we go I’m amazed by the support of the fans. I arrived at the track 4 1/2 hours before the race is supposed to start and there was already a great crowd here, especially for the driver autograph session. The NTT IndyCar Series is growing, but hopefully it never loses its small-but-mighty charm.
* Ripping through the field. Kanaan isn’t the only car that was fast in practice but starts in the middle to the back of the field. Santino Ferrucci, who was third quickest in practice, starts 13th, with Colton Herta (6th fastest) starting next to Ferrucci. Another driver to watch could be Charlie Kimball, who starts in the 21st position but posted the eighth-best time in practice.
* Today’s a new day. While some drivers are looking to keep the momentum going from a positive practice yesterday, a few others are happy to turn the page and just go racing. For sure Josef Newgarden (17th fastest) and Will Power (20th) will look to bounce back, and they also have the advantage of starting first and fifth, respectively. Also looking to forget about yesterday are Ed Carpenter and Spencer Pigot, who were the two slowest cars in the field.
Historically, this race has been run at a fast pace and with few yellows. Since the race returned to Pocono in 2013, three times its had and average speed of over 190 mph, and two more over 180. Last year’s race was caution-free for the final 188 laps after the long red flag, and I expect long green runs to be part of the story today.
In practice yesterday it seemed like the cars could run fairly close together, so I also expect to see lots of passing and lead changes. By the time it all shakes out, I think Alexander Rossi will win his second consecutive ABC Supply 500, with Ferrucci and Simon Pagenaud rounding out the podium.
Here’s to a good race, and more importantly, a safe one as well.
Photo credit: Joe Skibinski/IndyCar Media