Talking About Practice
One of my favorite parts of the Month of May are the practice days.
The drivers are still fairly relaxed, and the crews always seem to have that Cheshire Cat grin when you ask them what tricks they plan to pull out of the bag to find the speed needed for a run for the pole.
Yesterday's practice session was especially entertaining, as Marco Andretti and James Hinchcliffe swapped rides, each going faster in the other machine as the primary driver.
It was a small throwback to years gone by when "test-hopping" was common. It didn't matter what team you drove for, you could just wander to another drivers pit and work out a deal to borrow their car for a few laps.
Hinch had another busy day, in addition to his driving duties he, and Will Power stopped to sign dozens of autographs for the students of Arlington Elementary School who were in a field trip.
As an aside, I want to mention how cool it is that schools take field trips to the Speedway. When I was growing up in Toledo, Ohio we went to the world-famous Art Museum and bowling.
The big question in Gasoline Alley this morning is, will the #99 Schmidt-Peterson entry run? Basically every available driver from Buddy Rice to Jay Howard to Katherine Legge has been connected to this ride. Heck, my friend Jigger Sirois is driving in from Virginia to watch Pole Weekend and should arrive tomorrow and I know he wouldn't mind another shot at the 500. ;)
But in all seriousness, whatever momentum Rice had for this ride a few weeks ago is gone. Howard has been working hard behind the scenes for the second straight year to get a deal done, but Legge posted the cryptic #indy500orbust on Twitter.