- Graham Rahal on Pole
- Scott Dixon not in the Fast 6
- Justin Wilson/DCR in second?
- Tags and Manning 7th and 10th respectibly
- 3 AGR in the top... I mean bottom 7?
Graham Rahal seems like he is ready to break out this year I think. Last years rain soaked St. Petes GP was more luck then anything. But now it seems like, on the road and street courses, Graham Rahal has shown he is ready to roll this season and I like it. I'm impressed with his ability to put the NHL car on pole ahead of IRL Vets like Franchitti and Kanaan and Briscoe. This is a shot across the bow of the Big-3 and I hope NHL and Graham sink them this weekend.
As for Dixon, I expected him in the top 6 for sure. I know most of his wins came on the ovals but I still expected Dixon to compete for the pole here based on the team he is with and how his teammate did. But maybe it was just a rough session for them, but I think the competition will be gunning for him and will make it tough for him to do well as often as last season.
Anyone else notice that Justin Wilson picked up second place? Is it a typo or did DCR really step it up over the off-season? I know Robin Miller made it seem like Dale Coyne was ready to spend some of his coin to step up the ladder a bit, but this seems a bit far fetched to be competing with the Big 3 at St. Pete's. I doubt they will find this success on the ovals, but it is nice to see them start up front. Hopefully this means Paul Tracy will change his mind on turning down the offer for the second car at DCR.
The 2 last minute replacements did very well considering they finished ahead of most of AGR while Manning also finished in front of his teammate in the qualifying session. Tags best time was actually faster then Will Power's time in the Fast 6. Hopefully this will encourage some sponsors considering taking the plunge to hop on board the Conquest train.
Is it personnel or is it drivers? We all know AGR has all the parts and pieces for their Dallara's available so you have to wonder why they are so far back in the field for qualifying. I don't actually remember the last time an AGR driver aside from TK qualified for the Fast 6 session. Personally, I actually enjoy seeing Danica and Marco in the bottom half of the field because I don't like either of them while I'm null on Mutoh. Atleast Kanaan is near the top as I do enjoy him even though he is driving for AGR. The problem with Danica and Marco in the bottom of the qualifying order is that they are the drivers that the IRL needs to have near the top of the time charts to get the Americans who cheer for Americans back watching the series. It's a good thing one famous racers son has the ability to do that.
Anyways, with the field so spread out talent-wise (the top 19 are less then a second apart), it should make for an interested race. There will be some good battles for position and I'm hoping Versus covers it well. This is their first big test so we'll get to see how it goes.