Dixon is a total polecat

Posted by Iannucci | 5/10/2008 | 19 comments »
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Scott Dixon claimed his third pole position of the season with Saturday's fine run at Indy, besting his shiny-toothed teammate with an average speed higher by two tenths or so of a mile per hour.

Of the eleven drivers to qualify by position for the Indinapolis 500, all 8 of the "Big 3" drivers are slotted almost by team. Two Ganassis, then two Penskes, then three AGRs comprise the first seven slots. Panther's Vitor Meira snuck in ahead of rookie Hideki Mutoh for P8 on the grid, who because of a technicality had his first run of the day disqualified.

Editorial Note: Of all of the infractions to come down on someone for, poor Mutoh had his initial run DQ'd for missing a 3-pound camera battery - despite being 7-pounds over the weight minimum. You gotta be kidding me!

Anyhow, Ed Carpenter and Tomas Scheckter made up the rest of the Saturday qualifiers. There was some drama late as Mutoh bumped Graham Rahal (The Bobby's son) out of the Top 11, who was then held up from attempting another run after Ryan Hunter-Reay (The Bobby's driver) backed into the Turn Three SAFER barrier at well over 200 mph. With about 20 minutes to go it looked like Graham wasn't going to make another run, but incredibly the track workers cleaned up the carnage and fixed the wall in like 5 minutes.

I said 5 minutes to clean up an accident and weld a cover back on the wall. That NEVER happens!

Regardless, Graham got his run and failed, but then was going to attempt another run before the gunshot...except his team had lined his car back up without putting fresh tires on the vehicle. Uh, oops. The Son of 'Stache was not pleased.

If you're not on this list then you can try again tomorrow. Weather permitting.

1. (9) Scott Dixon, 226.366 mph
2. (10) Dan Wheldon, 226.110
3. (6) Ryan Briscoe, 226.080
4. (3) Helio Castroneves, 225.733
5. (7) Danica Patrick, 225.197
6. (11) Tony Kanaan, 224.794
7. (26) Marco Andretti, 224.417
8. (4T) Vitor Meira, 224.346
9. (27) Hideki Mutoh, 223.887
10. (20) Ed Carpenter, 223.835
11. (12) Tomas Scheckter, 223.496


  1. Anonymous // May 11, 2008 4:30 AM  

    I wanna see these drivers bumped : Bernoldi, Moraes, Duno, Roth.

    and I wanna see these drivers make it in : Giebler, Buddy Lazier, Sarah Fisher, Roger Yasukawa

  2. Anonymous // May 11, 2008 4:36 AM  

    Graham Should cool his jets. His car was not good enough to make

    Paul Newman, Carl Haas, and Mike Lanigan should talk to Graham. He needs to be more humble and quit acting like a hot shot.

    A driver should never call out his crew on tv.

    Maybe what Graham needs is to act more like his Dad. Maybe his Mom is very out spoken.

    I would like to see Graham work for Rahal-Letterman. Ryan needs a teammate and Graham needs to be straiten out by his Daddy. And it seems as though Bobby is distracted by NOT having his son on his team.

    and Newman/Haas/Laningan Racing , for God's sake 02 & 06 are NOT REAL numbers !! please pick a number 1-99 !!

  3. pressdog // May 11, 2008 5:08 AM  

    z-z-z-z-z-z-z. I was gripped by the excitement. Which of eight cars (actually 7 since Mutoh probably had no chance this year) will win the pole. Dixon? What a SHOCKER. Now if he can just save enough gas to win it. I watched maybe 12 minutes of it. Ironically, today will be more exciting, possibly, than day one since more cars have shots. Ditto for bump day. Pole day? Um, another pole for the big three. SHOCKER. I agree with anonymous (at least make up a name for yourself), you don't call out your team on TV. Total Dario move. Or, next time Rahal stuffs it into the wall, I expect the crew chief to get on camera and call him out for that. Then Rahal will say it's "unfortunate" that he screwed up and rolled it.

  4. Anonymous // May 11, 2008 5:28 AM  

    THE IRL showed today that it is entirely possible to repair SAFER walls and clean up after a heavy hit in 5 minutes. There should never be any excuses again for taking 15, 20 laps worth to do it again during a race.

  5. Anonymous // May 11, 2008 5:30 AM  

    THE IRL showed today that it is entirely possible to repair SAFER walls and clean up after a heavy hit in 5 minutes. There should never be any excuses again for taking 15, 20 laps worth to do it again during a race.

  6. Anonymous // May 11, 2008 5:31 AM  

    Sorry. Didn't mean to post twice. Not enough coffee yet this morning. Now Jeff'll put me on super secret probation.

  7. SS Minnow // May 11, 2008 6:39 AM  

    I actually liked that Graham went off. If nothing else, it shows he has a personality. Could you imagine what Hornish would have said if by the slimmest, remote chance that the Penske team made the same mistake.... "Oh well, just one of those things. I'm happy, blah, blah, blah....." BORING!!! Don't get me wrong, I loved having Sam in the series, but it's nice to see some real passion. Yes, he's 19 and probably will be taught a lesson out of this but still.... it was cool to see the emotion. For me, it was the highlight of the day.

    On another note-
    How about Jay Howard? How hard do you think he was biting his tongue when they interviewed him? Wish he was in the car.

  8. Bash // May 11, 2008 7:27 AM  

    It's probably easier to clean up the track faster when there isn't a whole field of cars rolling by every half minute to minute...

    NHL forgot to put new tires on a car that was in line for another qual attempt? Total team brain freeze. I'd be peeved too and don't blamed Graham for speaking out.

  9. chrisestrada // May 11, 2008 11:07 AM  

    Cheever said on the telecast that N/H/L didn't deserve to take as much heat as they should since they're new to the series...Yeaaaaah...N/H/L ain't some greenhorn team, Eddie. I'm glad Rahal called 'em out, that was as Bash said, a HUGE brain freeze.

  10. Anonymous // May 11, 2008 11:49 AM  

    Why so many taking Graham's side ?? Its a team sport, and the team knew it couldn't beat Tomas Scheckter's time.

    Mike Lanigan should give that bouy a verbal lashing for throwing the team under the bus.

  11. Sarah Fan // May 11, 2008 12:01 PM  

    I have to agree with the above. Danica!'s been called out many times for throwing her crew under the bus over and over again the past three years. Graham does not get a bye for the same bad behavior.

  12. Tabernerus // May 11, 2008 3:24 PM  

    Well, anonymous, if that IS your real name, it isn't clear that Graham wouldn't have beat Scheckter's time. When Scheckter went out and withdrew his time, he ran slower on that attempt. If Rahal could have found the same speed he found earlier, he'd be locked into the top 11 now. That said, he was much more circumspect this morning. The unfamiliarity with the system may have caused them to not be ready when half the frickin' cars pulled out of line. It happens.

  13. Dale Nixon // May 11, 2008 3:34 PM  

    Maybe what Graham needs is to act more like his Dad.

    You mean you WANT Graham to act like a lying, thieving weasel?

    Bobby Rahal has ruined the careers of Vitor Meira, Jeff Simmons, Buddy Rice and is in the process of doing the same to Ryan Hunter-Reay.

    Graham would be well advised to stay clear of his father's operation, and also keep his attitude in check.

  14. pressdog // May 11, 2008 5:16 PM  

    It'll be OK for Graham to call out his team for a screw-up when they give his crew chief equal time to call out Graham when he dicks something up on the track. "We gave the kid a perfect car and he put it into the wall. That's just not acceptable."

  15. Tabernerus // May 12, 2008 6:27 AM  

    Rahal's still a teenager, and teenagers should be expected to say and do stupid things from time to time, even when they seem to be mature for their age. The next day, he stepped back from his remarks a bit, and seemed to have a better grasp of what happened and why. I say we give the kid a bit of a pass for this one - in the heat of the moment, having just gotten himself psyched up only to have to take the helmet off, and then immediately getting a camera stuck in his face, it wasn't THAT bad a remark. Would any of us really want to be asked on camera how we feel right after every bad moment at our jobs? Think of what we'd all say from time to time.

    As for Graham driving for a different team, why would he want to drive for Dreyer & Reinbold, when he coulod run for Newman Haas, which by next season will almost surely be another top-running team? Oh, you meant Rahal Letterman? I got confused - because they're both mid-pack (at best) teams with little hope of ever getting over the hump and competing at any point in the next few years! My bad. :-)

  16. Anonymous // May 12, 2008 2:20 PM  

    tabernerus must work for Graham Rahal or Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing. Or perhaps he is a diehard CART/Champ Car fan.

    Graham should NOT have people excuse him.

  17. Anonymous // May 12, 2008 2:21 PM  

    Age 19 or 29 or 39. You don't throw your crew under bus when they have been in the business longer than you have.

  18. Tabernerus // May 12, 2008 2:27 PM  

    Yeah, throwing out comments like, "must be a CART/Champ Car fan," while posting under the guise of "anonymous" totally makes me consider and value your opinion.

    And as for being a CART fan, of course I'm a Rick Mears fan. I'm also a Little Al fan. And a Mario Andretti fan. Aren't you? They were all CART drivers, whether you like it or not. Anything else is the type of thinking that got us to the point where 43 guys in taxicabs are considered American Racing.

  19. Anonymous // May 12, 2008 3:07 PM  

    Graham : Time to eat humble pie.