Help wanted

Posted by Iannucci | 5/13/2009 | 12 comments »
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I have nothing against Oriol Servia, who seems a very competent choice for an Indy 500 driver on the part of Rahal-Letterman Racing, but the fact of the matter is his announcement today by RLR means as of now exactly one of these entries will fail to qualify on Bump Day.

1. John Andretti, Dreyer & Reinbold
2. Stanton Barrett, Team 3G
3. Townsend Bell, KVRT
4. Mike Conway, Dreyer & Reinbold
5. Robert Doornbos, Newman/Haas/Lanigan
6. Milka Duno, Dreyer & Reinbold
7. Ryan Hunter-Reay, Vision
8. Buddy Lazier, Hemelgarn
9. Nelson Phillipe, HVM
10. Oriol Servia, Rahal-Lettterman
11. Alex Tagliani, Conquest
12. EJ Viso, HVM

12 cars. 11 spots. ONE BUMP, people.

Now, I'm not usually in the business of telling people how to spend their money, so I'm not going to say so-and-so need to hire whats-his-name because no matter what that guy can qualify that car for Indy. The fact is there aren't nearly enough teams to hire the plethora of unemployed pilots wandering Gasoline Alley, some of whom you can find right here in this video.

And as we all know it takes money to go racing, and sometimes there just isn't enough to go around. Kind of like how you at one time you could eat an entire meal at Taco Bell for like two bucks, and now all that gets you is a couple of tacos. Times are tough indeed. Perhaps in the "the good old days" a guy would take the proverbial hamburgers and hot dogs deal just to qualify some whacked-out jalopy for the Field of 33, but that's not today.

No, today drivers need to ask themselves questions like "Do I really want to take a ride with a team that might not be able to put a car together that can safely exceed 215 mph without sliding to the SAFER barrier?" or "Do I need to risk serious injury knowing the cost of insurance and medical care will exceed my paycheck?" or "Is it worth it to start back there in a row oft inhabited by the Marty Roth-level of driver?" (And yes, I may be explaining why some drivers who might have been rumored in recent weeks to drive for certain teams have yet to consummate a deal.)

So while we all breathlessly await word on pending speculative entries (like OMG a possible second car for Conquest Racing) I'm going to hold out the faint hope that Bump Day doesn't involve someone withdrawing a time and subsequently putting their car into the wall right after lunch, effectively ending any chance of them making the race. Because then Bump Day would have, how shall I put bumping.

In the meantime, I presume Stanton Barrett is already on the bubble.


  1. Jenna // May 14, 2009 4:58 AM  

    The only way Conquest will have a second car is if a driver brings the motherload of a sponsor. I think Conquest can barely afford what they have with Tags right now...

  2. Oilpressure // May 14, 2009 5:10 AM  

    Stanton Barrett is a pretty good choice for the bubble, but if we hold at 34, I'm thinking Nelson Philippe may be the one on the outside. HVM is normally a one car team-this week they are three with none of the three qualified. Odds are, one of those three don't get in and my money is on the rookie.

  3. SandWedge // May 14, 2009 6:39 AM  

    E.J. Viso, Nelson Philippe, whos the 3rd HVM? Did I miss an announcement somewhere?

  4. EnsErmac // May 14, 2009 11:26 AM  

    So who hits the wall first Conway or Barrett?

  5. AZZO45 // May 14, 2009 12:10 PM  

    Mike Conway better PRAY its Stanton Barrett getting the Indy 500 DNQ "crown".

  6. Tony Solorzano // May 14, 2009 1:36 PM  

    Dude, you know I'm not ashamed to say that I'm part of the Milka-licious brigade, but even I'm sure that she's got more of a chance to be on the bubble that Stanton does.

    It pains me to say that, because of my "connections" to her (See the entry on my motor sports blog from a week ago for details), but as much as I want to see her at Indy again, I'm not so myopic to not recognize that she doesn't have the speed yet.

  7. Carlos // May 14, 2009 2:30 PM  

    A month ago, I remember the SPEED guys saying that we were going to have mid to high thirties for Indy500 entries. What happened? Did I miss a bunch of entries drop out? I've only heard of guys being put in seats.

  8. Anna Neemus // May 14, 2009 5:12 PM  

    EnsErmac said...
    So who hits the wall first Conway or Barrett?
    Dude, are you not paying attention? Have you compared DNFs since the beginning of the season?Easily, Conway.

  9. Anna Neemus // May 14, 2009 5:14 PM  

    Ok. I really did use the space bar and the enter key up there. ^^^

  10. Anonymous // May 14, 2009 9:05 PM  

    Who's VOICE is that doing the interview??!

  11. Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. // May 15, 2009 10:59 AM  

    This kind of made me sad. Some of those guys show up really really hoping for a ride – Jeff Simmons & Roger. Makes me glad Larry Foyt already has a job…

    Then you have PJ Jones who is probably just there to be there because he’s always there. And if someone wants to put him in a care he’d say yes. But Jeff & Roger…it made me kind of sad. Wouldn’t it be something if one of those guys ended up in a car because of that video? At this point, I hope they have some other source of income. It doesn’t seem likely. Maybe they could try blogging.

  12. Ryan // May 15, 2009 11:35 AM  

    With Scheckter at the 2nd Coyne car, that makes 13 aiming for 11.