Rough start to the Brickyard

The start to this year’s Brickyard 400 will not be going into the Hall of Fame of Attractive Starts.

The 17th Brickyard 400 is underway and it hasn’t been pretty.

Indianapolis Colts’ tight end Dallas Clark dropped the green flag to get things going and it hasn’t been very pleasant since. Seven cars were involved in an incident in Turn 2 and cars are still feeling the effects. Not only have several of the cars involved been in and out of the pits, but so have most of the other cars in the field for everything from tires to tweaks to capping off the fuel tank. Numerous cars have had overheating problems and Max Papis even had his car catch fire and end his day early.

Speaking of rough, this crowd is pretty sparse, even considering the expectations of a small crowd. Economy, heat or whatever might cause it, there is still a ton of bare metal in the stands this afternoon.

Though that didn’t seem to take anything from the pre-race atmosphere, and in fact, may have enhanced things a little, giving a bit more room for fans (and media types like me) to move around and experience IMS.

Back to the race, we’re now 37 laps in and have found a flow and Montoya is off and running again. And with that, he pits to check a handling issue. Keep it to 55, Juan.

Lap 69: Things aren’t so hot for two-time defending champ Jimmie Johnson coming off a caution flag for debris, he’ll start 22nd. Greg Biffle, who had run down Montoya for the lead heading into the caution, won the race off pit road and held onto the lead as the race nears the halfway point.

Lap 81: We’ve got an official race. Or at least I’d figure we do by Indy 500 standards. Either way, we’re past the halfway point. The new tires have helped Montoya from being demolished by Biffle, but the 16 car is still slowly opening up his lead. Montoya’s Ganassi teammate Jamie McMurray is in third.

Lap 100: Another round of pit stops and Montoya, who pitted first, has regained the lead, but Biffle is back on his heels, within a half-second. Jamie McMurray is third, ahead of Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick.

Lap 121: History will have to wait for Jimmie Johnson. Starting from the outside of Row 1 a little over two hours ago, Johnson’s crew got caught in a long repair during a caution and went a lap down. Prior to the yellow, Johnson was the last car on the lead lap.

Through it all, Montoya held onto his lead, then battled Biffle for the lead on the restart, with McMurray sneaking into second.

Lap 132: Another driver has had his attempt at history deflated. Jeff Gordon blew a tire late in the race and was forced to pit under green, dropping him a lap off the lead. Meanwhile, Montoya’s lead is up to almost 3 seconds over McMurray and Biffle, who are battling for second.

Lap 138: Another caution for debris – for the second time, it involves a large piece of metal, apparently – will tighten up and shuffle the field. The top six drivers reportedly put on just two new tires for the final 22 laps. Montoya might have come out on the short end, taking four tires and lining up in seventh coming out of the pits.

Tony Stewart continued his climb to the top, getting out of the pits in second spot, behind McMurray and ahead of Kevin Harvick, Martin and Kurt Busch.

Lap 149: Montoya’s day at Indy has ended prematurely again. After leading the most laps for the second straight year, the #42 car got loose in Turn 4 and hit the wall, then was struck by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at the entrance of pit road.

Kevin Harvick took the green flag as the leader, but was passed by McMurray headed into the final 10 laps of the race.

Jamie McMurray holds on for the historic win at Indianapolis.

Early crash causes problems

Debris from the crash may have caused some problems for several drivers after the green flag went up.

Debris from the crash may have caused some problems for several drivers after the green flag went up. Ryan Newman had a tire problem that sent him to pit road twice. Other drivers were running hot.

Robbie Gordon shredded his front right tire, prompting the second caution of the day.

Max Papis, who made his first Brickyard 400 this year, finished his day early with a fire at the back of the car.

It’s always sunny at IMS

The WTHR.com team is back at IMS for coverage of this year’s Brickyard 400!

Despite clouds and even some rain showers for the (EARLY!) morning commute, the sun is shining bright and promising to wreak havoc on IMS today. It’s going to be a(nother) steamy one!

After hanging around last night to make sure a line of storms didn’t do too much damage to central Indiana, the alarm came awfully early for this web guy to get back to the corner of 10th & Meridian for the ride to the Brickyard. It’s a quick turnaround and an early day, but if you’re going to cover a race at IMS, the three hours between caravans from the station can mean a lot of missed opportunities.

So here I am.

I feel a little more out of my element covering the Brickyard 400 than the Indy 500, probably part by being more of an open wheel guy, but also even an abbreviated May schedule gives you a chance to get more familiar with the names and faces in the cars, even at the back of the field.

Speaking of the back of the field, the field for this year’s (This Space For Rent) 400 at the Brickyard is bookended by former Indy 500 winners. Juan Pablo Montoya will start from the pole and, by all signs over the last 52 weeks at this track, have as good a shot as any at winning. In the last spot is 1995 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve, a late entry and an even later qualifier.

You want predictions? No clue. Montoya *should* win, Jimmie Johnson probably *will* win, the hunch says a breakthrough for the old fella Mark Martin (ran very well last year and qualified solidly this year), which means someone else will likely end up with the win.

Stay tuned to this blog throughout the day as I document the day at IMS. And don’t forget the Eyewitness News team on Twitter, as well!

Brickyard morning photos

Brickyard 400 Forecast

Showers and thunderstorms will gradually push out of Central Indiana today, but will it be dry for the race?

Highs today hit the mid 80s with showers and thunderstorms gradually exiting the state.  After noon, most of the rain should be south of Indy, but I can’t rule out the chance of a pop up shower during the afternoon.

Tonight, we dry out with partly cloudy skies, and drop to the mid 60s!

Monday, we’ll see a mainly dry day with highs in the mid 80s.

Starting Tuesday, a daily chance of t-storms comes back into the forecast as temps warm back up closer to 90.

Indianapolis Seven Day Weather Forecast

Haute Dog!

Couture food isn’t new… but paying more than 50 bucks for a hot dog?

A restaurant in New York City, Serendipity 3, is the “weiner” of the most expensive hot dog.

They’re charging customers $69 for the fabulous frank.  They’ve also claimed the title of most expensive hot dog in the Guinness Book of World Records.

So what do you get for your bucks?  The dog comes with truffle oil, a salted pretzel bed, truffle butter, duck foie gras, Dijon mustard, Vidalia onions and ketchup.  Oh it’s also a foot long!

So, would you try it?  I’m embarassed to say, I would! 

Read more about the haute dog, here… plus click to see what your money buys you!

I couldn’t resist posting this pic!

Hot With Strong Storm Chances

Friday, we hit 93 degrees, and today we’re shooting for the same!

Highs today will hit the low 90s across Central Indiana, but the humidity won’t let up so it will feel like 100-110 degrees.  A Heat Advisory is in effect for all of Central Indiana this afternoon.  A pop up storm is possible throughout the day, but there will be plenty of dry time.  The later we head into the day, the better chance for showers and t-storms.  This afternoon into tonight nearly the entire state is under a slight risk for severe weather.  Damaging wind, isolated tornadoes, and flash flooding will be the greatest threats.  The activity will continue into the overnight.

Now for the big Brickyard forecast!  Storms look to push south by race time, but I wouldn’t rule out the chance of an isolated storm.  The good news about the rain passing through?  Highs will “cool” off to the mid 80s!

Starting Monday we’ll continue to see a daily chance of showers and t-storms, with temps creeping towards the 90s the later we head into the week.

Indianapolis Seven Day Weather Forecast

Heat Advisory Friday

Get ready for a hot one, to say the least! Highs today will hit the low to mid 90s, but it will feel much warmer thanks to the humidity.

Highs today will hit the low to mid 90s, but it will feel much warmer thanks to the humidity.  A Heat Advisory is in effect for all of Central Indiana.  It will feel like 100-110 degrees because of the humidity.  There’s a slight chance for an isolated storm this afternoon, but most spots stay dry.

Saturday, more heat, but a little relief is on the way.  Highs will hit the low 90s, and as a cold front approaches the state in the afternoon/evening our chance for t-storms increases.  Some may be strong to severe with heavy rain and damaging wind.

For Race Day, it is a little “cooler.”  Highs hit the mid 80s, but there’s a 30% chance of t-storms until midday.  We’ll be watching the radar closely, so tune in from 6am-noon for your complete Brickyard coverage.

Indianapolis Seven Day Weather Forecast

Hot, Humid, Storms Building

Our stormy pattern rolls on, but wait until you see the heat coming our way!

Highs today will hit the upper 80s with a mix of sun and clouds and t-storms building during the heat of the day.  Some storms could be strong to severe, and they will be hit or miss as we’ve seen over the past week or so.  Again, very heavy rain and damaging wind is possible from some t-storms that develop.  Is this Groundhog Day or what?

Overnight lows only drop to the mid 70s, but the chance for storms goes down drastically as we lose daytime heating.  I can’t rule out an isolated storm, but at this point, I don’t see widespread storms overnight.

Friday, whew!  The weekend is almost here!  Highs will hit the low to mid 90s and with the heat index it’s going to feel closer to 100-105 or so.  yikes!  We’ll keep the chance for an isolated storm in there.

Saturday, the heat continues, and so does our chance for isolated storms.

Now for the Brickyard Sunday!  We cool off to the mid 80s, but a 30% chance of a t-storm still sticks around.  We’ll be on the air from 6am to noon with the latest weather and traffic info.  Plus, give you a look at the race!

Indianapolis Seven Day Weather Forecast

My Name is Nicole, and I’m a BlackBerry Addict

I never thought this would happen to me, but it has, I’m addicted to my Blackberry.

I’m going to come clean, I’m addicted to my BlackBerry.

I never thought this would happen to me.  I’ve only had it for about 2 months.  Before that, I just had a regular old cell phone.  But, now, I’m always connected, with the internet at my fingertips.  The little red light blinking means I have a new e-mail, and I must… check… it! 

Twitpic-ing has become easier, and even more tweets are flying from my fingers when I’m on the run.  I am a total believer in social media, and I guess that fuels my BlackBerry addiction even more.

The worst part of my addiction, is leaving my BlackBerry by my bedside.  I have to, in case I get called in for work.  I need to be able to answer my phone.  But, it’s turned into me waking up in the middle of the night, and grabbing out in darkness to check my e-mail, or even check the radar if t-storms are supposed to be on the way.

Throughout the day it’s always by my side.  My husband’s even “yelled” at me to put it down while watching TV. 

How many of you are doing the same thing… or am I just crazy?

More of the Same

Another day, another chance for scattered showers and t-storms across Central Indiana.

Highs today will hit the mid to upper 80s with a mix of sun and clouds.  We’ll see plenty of dry time, but there’s still a chance of scattered t-storms as we’re under an unstable atmosphere.

Tonight looks mainly dry with lows in the low 70s.

Again tomorrow… we watch for the upper 80s and scattered storms.

Friday, we could hit the low to mid 90s with scattered storms.  Same story Saturday… this is getting old… isn’t it?

Sunday there’s a slight chance for a pop up shower or t-storm as highs hit the mid 80s.

Indianapolis Seven Day Weather Forecast