Good morning from the Social Media Garage at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where folks are either recovering from Carb Day, lining up for autographs at Legends Day, or most likely both! I had a couple of quick thoughts I wanted to share on the Carb Day experience in advance of tomorrow's race:
-Esteban Guerrieri was masterful in moving from the back of the field to take the checkered at the Firestone Freedom 100. In a crazy race, he not only stayed out of trouble, but seemed to conserve his ride until he was able to charge later in the race. Let's not sleep on rookie Tristan Vautier, though--he led some laps, fought hard, and gave a good account of himself in his first race at Indy.
-The Firestone Freedom 100 is a blast to watch, but is also at least a little bit terrifying. Reckless moves aren't limited to just Indy Lights drivers, but the dive-bombing and blocking was wince-inducing at times. The Lights racing here at Indy is garnering a sure reputation for being the most chaotic, wild 40 laps you'll see all season, and while it's always a hope the drivers behave and stay safe, it's almost hard to breathe while you're watching them dive four-wide into the turn.
-Carb Day has a great Lights race, the pit stop competition, and more than a few meetups and team events, but it can also be a trying day for the race fan. Many of the folks here for the concert are of a--well, let's say different nature from your standard race fan. They aren't here for the racing, and they often lack some of the respect of the grounds and other fans that your Pole Day or Bump Day fan might have instead. It's great to see so many folks at IMS, but you can definitely note many of the INDYCAR hardcores headed for the exit before the concert goes full-swing. Now that I sound like a priggish old man, let's move on.
-If you had your doubts about this weekend being hot, hot, hot at Indy, don't. The weather yesterday was hot enough, and Sunday should be even more brutal. For fans, that means plenty of water, sunscreen, and being smart with how long they stay in the sun. For the drivers, that means an extremely slick track. I spoke with Ed Carpenter yesterday, and he said that's the assumption for race day. It could be messy, and we're going to have a chance to see who really has setup nailed on their car. Pure, raw speed only counts for so much here at Indy.
Enjoy the weekend, and we'll be back with more Indy 500 goodness before long!