Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway should be absolutely fantastic this year. A near perfect weather forecast (high of 73 and sunny), the final practice before the 500, an incredibly entertaining Lights race, the pit stop challenge, and a brand new race with the addition of Robby Gordon’s Stadium SUPER Trucks should make for a remarkable day of on-track action. The Open Wheel’s Dylan Reynolds previews it here.
Verizon IndyCar Series Practice – 11:00AM-12:00PM
The DW12 at IMS is a beautiful thing. While the IndyCar Series entertainment value might have left something to be desired on Carb Day with the old chassis it’s impossible to watch the current cars together on the the IMS oval and not be entertained. The unbelievable drafting these cars create makes every practice fun to watch and this one will be no different as the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers prepare for the likely record-breaking passing of this year’s 500. Even in practice there’s always plenty of tight passing in turns 1 and 3 making any trip to IMS in the Month of May absolutely worth it.
Freedom 100 Indy Lights Race – 12:30PM
The Freedom 100 has a lot to live up to after last year’s amazing finish. Just like the big cars this is the first oval of the season for the Lights series so it’s tough to tell who to watch for with a whole new crop of drivers but my pick here will be Gabby Chaves. He’s been lightning quick all year, was part of the the tight finish last year, and drives for the same Belardi Racing team that won last year. Expect Andretti Autosport drivers Zack Veach and Matthew Brabham to give him all he can ask for. I’m also excited to see SFHR’s developmental driver Kyle O’Gara as he drives for Fan Force United.
UPDATE 5/22/14 – Kyle O’Gara has sent out a tweet announcing that plans have changed and insinuates he won’t be in the Freedom 100 now.
TAG Heuer Pit Stop Challenge – 1:30PM-3:30PM
The always-interesting staple of Carb Day should be exciting again this year. As always, the question will be does anyone have an answer for the 6-time winning team of No. 3 Helio Castroneves? His team is the defending champion and has won 5 of the last 7 years. I don’t like “going chalk” so I’m going to take advantage of a rare time to pick Scott Dixon and his crew as an underdog. They’ve had some success with the Firestone Pit Stop Performance Award this season winning two of the three races where a winner has been announced.
Menards at the Brickyard Formula Off-Road by Traxxas Race – 4:40PM
Have you seen these trucks in action? Robby Gordon’s Stadium SUPER Trucks will no doubt put on a good show at IMS. Watching these beasts go over ramps on the front stretch should be awe-inspiring even if it is a problem for the “traditional” types. But it gets E.J. Viso back on the track and he may be the only one who could challenge Robby at this race. E.J. did manage a second place finish at Long Beach but the safe, smart, and only pick here is Robby Gordon.
UPDATE 5/22/14 – E.J. Viso tweets that sponsorship for his ride has fallen through and he won’t be participating.
By: Dylan Reynolds – 5/21/14