Krisher's new PontiacSunday, September 05, 2010
Posted by: John Jodauga

For quite some time, Ron Krisher has felt that the Chevy Cobalt that he has driven this year was aerodynamically inferior to the Pontiac GXP vehicles. “We just could never could get the car to run in the back-half,” said Krisher.

“We didn’t know if it was the car or the carburetors.” Krisher finally decided to make the switch and showed up at Indy with a new Jerry Haas-built 2010 GXP, and during Saturday evening’s qualifying session, Krisher recorded a 6.586 for the No. 3 spot. But even more significantly, his speed was 209.56 mph, second only to Allen Johnson’s new track record of 209.75.

“This new car is really slick on the top end, and that 6.58 was only the 12th run on the car.” said Krisher.  Obviously, I’m glad we made the change and now we can start focusing on producing good performance on both halves of the track.”

Saturday recap: The Hangover editionSaturday, September 04, 2010

After getting off the plane at Indianapolis Int’l Airport, I thought about telling my colleagues, “How about that flight in? No wonder they call it Sin City.”

I’ve thought that at the end of every flight since seeing The Hangover for the first of approximately 2,314 times. Super Comp racer Cameron Ferre has repeated that line to me during almost every greeting at the racetrack. There are so many lines from that film that have permeated my memory bank, pushing out more important things like driving directions and access codes.

As per my usual, I will recap some of today’s events using lines from the film. It promises to be a satchel of fun.

And we're the three best friends that anyone could have!
Byron Hines, Terry Vance, and Matt Hines put Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec on the top two bikes in the Pro Stock Motorcycle field. Hines recorded the quickest run in class history and backed it up for a national record (provided no other rider runs quicker and backs it up at this event).

Tigers love pepper... they hate cinnamon.
Some people have freakish knowledge and possess the ability to see things in a race track or an engine that others do not. Alan Johnson is one of those people.

Would you please put some pants on? I feel weird having to ask you twice.
The commenters on the interactive blog did an excellent job of keeping the comments rolling in. The only nit I have to pick is the repetition of often-answered questions; yes, Bob Glidden is driving Jim Cunningham’s Pro Stocker, and Courtney and Brittany Force are not here due to a) car repairs and b) teaching, respectively.

It's where I keep all my things. I get a lot of compliments on this. Plus it's not a purse, it's called a satchel. Indiana Jones wears one.
This line reminds me of John Force Racing track specialist Lanny Miglizzi sporting all of the gadgets and accessories he needs to give expert track info to the crew chiefs on his team.

You guys might not know this, but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack.
As good as the DSR and Kalitta teams were in Top Fuel, the single-car teams have been stout as well. Dixon is the low qualifier in Top Fuel, and strong runs were made by Brandon Bernstein, T.J. Zizzo, and Steve Torrence.

Don't let Alan drive, because there's something wrong with him.
Although this happened last night, I didn’t hear about it until today. During the second Top Alcohol Dragster qualifying session, Darren Nicholson got sideways in the JC Auto/B.R.A.K.E.S. dragster – about as close as I’ve seen one crash without crashing – and the relieved crew met Darren at the other end to hear him say, “That was [expletive] fun!”

You probably get this a lot. This isn't the real Caesar's Palace, is it?
It may be hard for some who are looking at the qualifying sheets to believe that the original Gs – Garlits, Glidden, and “the Greek” – are in competition this weekend, but it is so. “Big Daddy” Don Garlits missed the Stock field with his Dodge Challenger, but Chris Karamesines is trying to get a spot in the Top Fuel field and Bob Glidden shoots for the same in Pro Stock while driving Jim Cunningham’s Mustang.

Hey, you guys ready to let the dogs out?
The uncharacteristically cool Indy weather led to some great runs down the strip at O’Reilly Raceway Park, so much so that there was a great deal of speculation as to whether or not the first 3-second Funny Car run would be recorded. Matt Hagan came close. He ran .882 to 60 feet, 2.274 to 330 feet, and 3.228 at 267.75 mph to 660 feet, but his engine lost power before the finish line, slowing him to a 4.03 at only 277 mph. Oh, what could have been!

Gambling? Who said anything about gambling? It's not gambling when you know you're gonna win.
ND colleague Kevin McKenna was sure that we’d see a 3-second Funny Car run tonight. I don’t think so.

What?! We’re getting married in five hours! “Yeah… that’s not gonna happen.”
Those racers who missed in both night sessions aren’t in a good position heading into Sunday. Of having five qualifying runs and two night runs, Dixon quipped, “To take from Dennis Green, you are what you are on the qualifying sheet.”

Hey man, I can be your Doug!
Jeg Coughlin is known more for winning rounds than for topping the qualifying sheets during his successful Pro Stock career, but he’s happy to be the provisional polesitter heading into the final two qualifying sessions on Sunday.

Hey, there are skittles in there!
Even though all-time great Frank Manzo had to miss this event due to the passing of his father, the Top Alcohol Funny Car field was still full of gems. Tony Bartone posted his first 5.4-second e.t. to lead the field with a 5.49, and Fred Hagen Jr. ran a 5.55 to follow him at second. Alexis DeJoria, Mickey Ferro, John Lombardo Jr., and Jay Payne figure to be a factor as well.

Trust me, you do not want to be sitting in these seats. We call this place "Loserville".
Those who aren’t in the show would certainly like to rectify that situation during final qualifying tomorrow.

It was parked in the middle of Las Vegas Blvd. with a note that said "Couldn't find a meter, so here's $4."
Cruz Pedregon found his tune-up after spending much of the year getting his new Snap-On Funny Car team to jell. Danny DeGennaro tuned him to a very competitive 4.05 in the Saturday night session.

To a night the four of us will never forget!
Larry Dixon, Matt Hagan, Jeg Coughlin, and Andrew Hines can celebrate their memorable performances in route to their provisional no. 1 qualifying positions.

There's a jungle cat in the bathroom!
What a great euphemism for racers you don’t want to sleep on. In terms of the title chase, I’d declare Brandon Bernstein, Hagan, Jason Line, and Matt Smith to be the “jungle cats.”

I'm a steel trap. No matter what happens tonight, I will never, ever, ever speak a word of it.
Richard Tharp made an appearance in the press room today. Oh, the stories I wish I could retell.

It’s been a great day here in Indy. I’ll pack up and head for my beeper-friendly hotel, but, oh, wait … I keep forgetting about the damn tiger! Toodaloo.

Glidden update:Saturday, September 04, 2010
Posted by: John Jodauga

Although Bob Glidden’s first run in qualifying was hampered by lack of traction off the starting line that held him to a 19th-best 6.78 with Jim Cunningham’s ’10 Ford Mustang, he is looking forward to today’s pair of qualifying sessions, especially under the cooler conditions. “We’ve made some changes on the car that will hopefully improve our numbers off the line,” said Glidden.

On his return to driving after a lengthy absence, Glidden said, “These cars leave so much harder that what I drove before, and the engine speed is 1,000 rpm higher at the finish line. It’s very different from what I had been used to, but the guys have been baby-sitting me this weekend, which is making things easier for me.”

Glidden also stated that he plans to work with Cunningham “As another pair of eyes for his engine program.” Glidden said that if things move forward, there is the possibility that he will drive Cunningham’s car more at future races.

Indy track historySaturday, September 04, 2010

Some interesting info here, from the event information handout, for fans wondering about the history of this great facility.

In 1958, led by Tom Binford, Frank Dickie, Rodger Ward and Howard Fieber, 15 Indianapolis-area businessmen and racing professionals invested $5,000 each to fund the development of what would become O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. The group purchased a 267-acre farm about seven miles from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and developed a multipurpose auto racing facility. The original intention in creating O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis was to design a 15-turn, 2.5-mile road course. Nearly as an afterthought, and as an insurance measure against economic problems, the investment group decided to incorporate a quarter-mile drag strip into the long straightaway of the 2.5-mile road course design.

Constructed with assistance from the NHRA, the drag strip was the first of the three courses to be completed, with the facility’s first event held on the strip in the fall of 1960.

During the 1960 U.S. Nationals in Detroit, a handshake agreement between Binford and NHRA founder Wally Parks promised that the event would move to O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis in 1961. The historic three-year pact was signed and sealed under a tree in Detroit Dragway’s pits, and O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis eventually became the home of NHRA’s biggest annual event. The NHRA purchased the entire facility in 1979. The first major improvement came in 1983 with the construction and dedication of Parks Tower, the four-story drag strip tower. In 1998, new grandstands, suites and a tower complex on the front straightaway were completed at the oval track at a cost of nearly $2.5 million, which included the repaving of the entire oval surface as part of a three-phase facility improvement project.

In 2001, NHRA and O’Reilly Raceway Park constructed a new drag strip racing surface, replacing the strip with a 660-foot concrete pad and laying new asphalt on the remainder of the track and shutdown area. Prior to the 2003 Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, eight new luxury suites were added along the top of the west-side grandstands of the drag strip, giving fans a unique perspective of the action on the famed quarter-mile track. In 2006, new soft barrier walls were added to the oval. In 2007, the track announced its first track entitlement with O’Reilly Auto Parts.

The track – formerly known as Indianapolis Raceway Park – is now known as O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. During the winter of 2008, a new main track office building was constructed near the track entrance.

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