Sunday, May 17, 2009

Preview of Sunday's Bump Day Qualifications

Here are the 5 fastest times of Sunday's Bump Day practice session.

Pos. Car Name Time Speed

1. 23........Milka Duno........40.6163........221.586
2. 13........E.J. Viso.........40.7508........220.855
3. 00........Nelson Philippe...40.7804........220.694
4. 36........Bruno Junqueira...40.8769........220.173
5. 91........Buddy Lazier......40.9526........219.766

Rookie Stanton Barrett, Buddy Lazier, and Bruno Junqueria are all looking to get in the show. Andretti, Duno, and Philippe are practicing, because they know they'll have to take a crack at qualifying again. And if I were Mike Conway, EJ Viso, and Ryan Hunter-Reay, I would keep the keys in the ignition, just in case.

All in all, three people will be watching the race from the stands next week. I expect Junqueira to be one of them, since he was just named the Conquest Racing driver this weekend, which means he's missed 2 weeks of all-important practice, and they haven't had a great chance to shake down the car to his liking.


Here's how Bump Day qualifying works:


Bump Day Qualifying consists of one warm-up lap followed by a four-lap qualifying attempt. Any qualifying attempt that is faster than a qualified entrant in the 33 positions in the starting field will bump the slowest qualifier from the field, regardless of the day of qualification. The "bumped" entrant will be removed from the field of 33, and the remaining field will move ahead one position in the starting field as the newly qualified entrant will take the 33rd position, or a higher position if faster than the other fourth day qualifiers.

  • Each car is allowed three attempts per day. An attempt is considered by taking the green flag after the warm-up lap.


  • A designated team representative must be at the north end of pit lane to show a green flag the second time by for the driver to receive a green flag from the starter. If the representative does not show a flag or displays a yellow flag, it will not be considered a qualifying attempt.


  • An attempt can be waved off by the representative displaying a yellow flag or by the car returning to pit lane.


  • Cars that complete qualifying attempts before 4:45 p.m. may go to either voluntary or mandatory impound. Cars that go to voluntary impound at Pit 17 forego the mandatory impound and post-qualifying photo. Teams may get the car back only if it is bumped, withdrawn or goes to mandatory impound.


  • Cars that complete qualifying attempts after 4:45 p.m must go to mandatory impound. The only way teams may get the car back is if is bumped or withdrawn.


  • If a yellow flag comes out during a qualifying run, the car on track will go back to the front of the qualifying line. Teams may put on new tires but are not permitted to make any other adjustments.


  • A car that leaves pit lane before the gun sounds at 6 p.m. will be permitted to finish its qualifying attempt.


  • At noon, the ambient temperature was 67 degrees with a relative humidity of 32 percent and winds from the north-northeast at 14 mph, gusting to 18 mph. Skies were partly cloudy. The track temperature was 87 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.


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