Archive for May, 2010
There’s a lot of chatter going on about whether the new qualifying format is a good thing for the Indy 500 or not. (In fact, I’ll wait to type more until you go cast your vote on the matter on the WTHR homepage. Go ahead, I’ll be here.) The new “Fast 9″ format was kind of growing on me until Helio threw up a 227.OMG! on his first run. Game over. That’s like a baseball team scoring 10 in the top half of an extra inning game. Sure, someone *could* knock him off, but as the day’s best kept trying (including an impressive afternoon by Alex Tagliani), it was obvious that #3 was going to be on the pole again.
But aside from that, what about the rest of the day? Admittedly, I only watched the first dozen or so qualifying runs before my wife yanked me off on a quest for hostas and hanging baskets (which was actually not a bad time, but it wasn’t hanging out in the sun at 16th & Georgetown by any stretch of the imagination), but I couldn’t help but reflect on the “what-ifs” of the rest of Saturday.
How different would this year be if it were last year?
Immediately, most will point to Tony Kanaan’s crash as the head of the “cons” list regarding the new qualifying. But as much as I hope beyond hope that TK wins one, if not several, 500s before his time in a car is up, maybe his situation is overshadowed by a couple feel good stories that the new qualifying created.
At the top of that list, I think, is rookie Bertrand Baguette. While he could easily be bumped from his 24th spot in Sunday’s qualifying, what a fantastic situation for a rookie to be in – and one who many thought may be kept outside the bubble by his lack of oval experience, at that – now only having to worry about getting back in the car if nine drivers top his qualifying time. There are some big names left to hit the track and find some speed, sure, but Baguette has to be sleeping a little easier tonight.
Speaking of rookies, who would have thought *both* Ana Beatriz and Simona de Silvestro would qualify in front of Danica Patrick? Even with Danica’s troubles the first week and a half of practice, you had to think she would, along with the rest of Andretti Autosport, get it together enough to put in a solid qualifying spot, if not get into the Fast 9 mix. Instead, Saturday turned into a rocketship of nerves that culminated in a very public, very emotional moment for Patrick.
I don’t think it’s fair to decide on whether or not this year’s schedule tweaks are good or bad, based on one year. In the end, whether they qualified two or 32 cars on Saturday, Sunday is Bump Day at Indy and when the sun starts to sink below Georgetown Road, the fun will begin and we’ll have our 33 drivers ready to go next Sunday.
And I can’t wait.
I am a huge animal lover, so you don’t have to convince me that animals are special. I don’t think we give them enough credit for how smart they are, or, what they feel.
Matt Lauer shows us just how special the bond can be. Click here to see the incredible story of a man, and the gorilla he raised. You won’t believe what happens when the two come together again.
Highs today will reach the upper 70s with a mix of sun and clouds.
Overnight, lows drop to the low to mid 60s.
The heat is on (cue 80s music) Sunday. Under mostly sunny skies high temps will heat up to the mid to upper 80s.
Monday-Thursday temps stay in the mid 80s, but a 20% chance of scattered t-storms will be in the forecast each day. Not only will we experience summer like heat, but we’re also expecting humidity too.
The following data has been put together by the National Weather Service Indianapolis:
Measurable rain (at least 0.01 inch) has fallen at the Indianapolis International Airport every day since May 10. This means there has been 12 consecutive days with measurable precipitation. For the Indianapolis Area, this is the second longest stretch of measurable precipitation. The record for most consecutive days of measurable precipitation is 13 days, which occurred in April 1893.
Precipitation records for the Indianapolis Area go back to 1871. Below is a table of the longest stretches of measurable precipitation for the Indianapolis Area.
Rank # Days End Date
1 13 4/21/1893
2 12 5/21/2010
3 11 7/17/1992
4 11 6/19/1945
5 11 5/15/1933
6 11 12/20/1929
7 11 5/ 9/1908
8 11 1/26/1896
9 11 12/23/1883
10 11 7/ 7/1876
11 11 3/24/1875
12 10 1/20/1907
13 10 9/13/1890
14 10 2/13/1884
I don’t think most fans completely understand the new qualifying format for Indy 500 Pole Day. To be honest, not many teams and drivers totally understand it either. But it should be interesting and hopefully fun on Saturday.
First of all, qualifying starts at 11:00 am. Each car can make up to 3 qualifying attempts until 4:00 pm. The Fast 9 move on to a pole shootout from 4:30 – 6:00 pm. The speeds are thrown out and each driver must requalify for the pole. Drivers can make two attempts.
But here’s an important subplot to the first qualifying session. The fastest car at 4:00 pm wins a very important first choice: pit selection. Pit selection might be more important to winning the race than starting position. So teams and drivers will be pushing just as hard for the top spot in the first session as the late afternoon shootout.
How many qualifying attempts cars will make is hard to say. There are several prizes to run for Saturday. The provisional pole in session one, plus the fast 9, and the 24 spots available on the first day of qualifying. How important are each of those prizes? And then comes the shootout. The fastest driver going in gets to pick when he wants to run in the shootout. Weather might be a factor on when a driver wants to go.
I’m looking forward to seeing how it all plays out. But no matter what happens, anyone other than Helio Castroneves on the pole will be an upset.
-Rich Nye, WTHR Sports Reporter
TheSportsGuy13 on Twitter
Coming up this week on my Lean 13 reports:
Saturday on Morning Sunrise: A rare recommendation for a healthy product. I rarely make personal recommendations but I made an exception…tune in!
Sunday on Morning Sunrise: My “Pro Moves” segment…Running and Yoga, do they compliment each other? Tune in to find out!
See you this weekend!
It’s Bike to Work Day. That may mean nothing to you, or, for the teeny tiny minority of central Indiana residents who ride their bike to work, that may mean a small sense of validation for a lifestyle decision for which we are marginalized and ridiculed by the SUV-driving cycnical masses.
CityBeat reporter Mary Milz and WTHR.com web content manager Sara Galer put together a “point counterpoint” list of reasons why we bike to work. Or not, as the case may be.
Why I don’t bike to work.
I work out regularly. I run, swim and during the summer months, I bike, but I don’t bike to work. I feel mildly guilty about that but I have a litany of excuses that I rattle off to my colleague Sara Galer, who rides religiously. Here are my reasons why I DON’T bike to work.
1) I have to go to bed and wake up early to accommodate the extra 25 minutes it would take to get to work. I treasure my zzzzzz’s
2) I can’t fit everything I need for the day in a backpack – make-up, hair dryer, shoes, clothes, towel, toiletries, etc (that’s not to mention getting a suit to work without crumpling it up in a ball of wrinkles.)
3) That means pre-planning – bringing everything to work a day or two before. Heck, I can’t even get my lunch packed the night before!
4) The shower thing – we have one at work, which is great but it’s like a shower you’d find on a small sailboat… Plus I’d have to wait in line for Sara and other colleagues who occassionally ride in.
5) I carry extra gear in my car – hats, gloves, boots, jeans, etc. Just in case I’m sent to cover, say flooding.
6) What if I need to meet someone for lunch – no wheels. Do I show up in biking clothes?
7) I like the Monon but riding downtown can get a little crazy, especially at rush hour.
8) What if the weather changes? It’s fine on the way in, but what if it starts to pour or storm when I’m ready to leave?
9) And, what if my plans change? I suddenly need to be somewhere after work? What if it’s across town? What if it’s after dark? You’re not supposed to ride the Monon after dusk (and before dawn.)
10) I’m sometimes tired after a long day and still have to get home and get a run or swim in – which brings me back to zzzzzzzz’s.
I admire you Sara – you are my hero, but I just don’t think I have the pedal power in me to ride to work on a regular basis.
Okay, let’s just get a few things straight here. I don’t do anything religiously, unless it involves eating some sort of decadent chocolate dessert. However when the weather permits, I do enjoy riding my bike to work as often as possible. I would also like to differentiate my bike riding habits from my husband’s, which verge on the fanatical. He rides in the winter, sometimes in snow, occasionally on ice, which results in elbow injuries that take a long time to heal, and relies on me to drive the car so I can pick him up if the weather is really bad. So I might be crazy, but not THAT crazy.
1) It takes me about 15-20 minutes to drive, or about 40 minutes to cycle. If the wind is with me, it can be as short as 30 minutes. Sometimes it takes longer if I have to stand on the pedals! Although it does probably add a good 40 minutes to my commute, I don’t mind the prep time because being outside and getting exercise at both ends of my day makes it worth it.
2) Since I’m behind the scenes here at WTHR, I don’t have to make myself beautiful like the reporters do. I carry a set of clean clothes, shoes and a towel. My office casual look usually survives the bike ride. Unless I forget to bring pants.
3) I usually pack my bike bag the night before and then make a game-day decision after checking the weather forecast.
4) It’s true we have a shower room at WTHR. It’s also true that it’s a little scary. I use it for those 90+degree days. Otherwise I just air dry, wash my face, apply deodorant and hope for the best. I also sit a good distance away from my colleagues in the mornings, something they’re probably grateful for.
5) Again, not being a roving reporter, I know that most of my day will be in the office. Which makes my time on the bike all the more appreciated.
6) If I have to meet a friend for lunch, I either hop on my bike or make them pick me up at work!
7) I get off the Monon at 14th, then make my way through the old North Side to WTHR at 10th and Meridian. It’s not too treacherous. Come on, Mary, that’s a feeble excuse!
8) I won’t disagree with you here. I’ve occasionally asked colleagues for a ride home due to unpredictable weather. Rain is unpleasant, but thunderstorms are scary. We report the news. We don’t want to BE the news. Like that guy in Goshen who went outside to roll up the windows on his truck, then was struck by lightning. Now he can’t even count to ten.
9) It’s true that taking your bike to work limits what you can do with regards to making plans later in the evening. Fortunately, there are many bars and restaurants not far from the Monon that are within reach, if you are desperate for that post-work beer. It also takes planning to make sure you are not cycling in the dark.
10) If I refrained from exercise every time I felt tired, I would probably never get off the couch! I like the challenge of biking to work. Some days are a good workout, other days I’m just slodging through and cursing the wind, dodging stray dogs and chain-wielding teenagers (it’s a bit like Grand Theft Auto in that respect). But I get to observe things I would never see in a car (a red-winged blackbird on a fence, Lilly volunteers painting a mural on community day, KIBI folks watering the little trees along the side of the Monon), and it’s a fantastic stress reducer. And once I’m home, I’ve already put in about 14 miles for the day!
What Mary didn’t say is that she runs marathons and triathlons….something that I would never have the self-discipline for! So Mary, I think you’re the real athlete. I’m just a wanna-be! (I should also mention that I supplement the bike riding with Crossfit, a GREAT way to get in shape!)
All of Central Indiana is under a “slight risk” for severe weather today. There’s a chance for t-storms about mid-morning, but we’ll see a greater chance this afternoon. The biggest threats from any severe storms that develop will be damaging winds and large hail. Highs will hit the low 70s.
Tonight, the showers start coming to an end as lows drop to the upper 50s.
Saturday, we may see a few sprinkles to start off the morning, but then we dry out and highs hit close to 80 degrees!
Sunday, get ready for sunshine and the mid 80s!
Mainly dry weather sticks around through next Thursday with highs in the mid 80s. There might be a slight shower chance on Tuesday, we’ll keep our eyes on it! Enjoy this nice warm rebound!