Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day 2 of Qualifying for the Indianapolis 500

It's been a hard season for IndyCar racing. Dreyer and Reinbold Racing has said they're running in the 500 this year, and shutting down, because of a lack of sponsorship money. IndyCar CEO and fan favorite Randy Bernard was ousted, and Tony George tried to buy out the series. On top of that viewership is still declining for IndyCar racing as a whole, and everyone is trying to figure out how to bring fans back.

All of these difficulties have given us a limited field in the Indianapolis 500 this year. We have a field of 34 drivers and 33 available spots. All drivers, except for Buddy Lazier, have two cars, a race car and a backup; Buddy Lazier has one car.

After 24 drivers qualified yesterday, we have 10 drivers to fill 9 more spots.

The drivers we have remaining to qualify are
  • Sebastian Saavedra (Dragon Racing)
  • Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan)
  • Michel Jourdain Jr. (Rahal Letterman Lanigan)
  • Ana Beatriz (Dale Coyne Racing
  • Josef Newgarden (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing)
  • Conor Daly (A.J. Foyt Enterprises)
  • Tristan Vautier (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)
  • Pippa Mann (Dale Coyne Racing)
  • Katherine Legge (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)
  • Buddy Lazier (Lazier Partners Racing)

One of these people is going to be horribly disappointed today. While it won't affect race day, ultimately, I think the fans are going to be the ones who are hurt the most, because this could be a sign of a dwindling Indianapolis 500. A few years ago, during the Great Recession, there were difficulties in finding teams to enter for The Big Race. This year, they were able to find exactly one more team to take the plunge (Buddy Lazier? Dreyer and Reinbold?). But what will this portend for next year's 500?

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