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IndyCar is BACK! Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg 2024


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#1 Afterburner

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Posted 06 March 2024 - 22:47

“Never stick your penis anywhere you wouldn't stick your finger”
WE INDYCAR NOW!
“All pussy is pink on the inside”
WE FLORIDA AGAIN!
 
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The sweet sound of engines firing up around the globe means winter’s over, race fans. Didn’t enjoy your blast in Bahrain? Then prepare for the series with 70% less corruption, 100% less sex fiends, and 20% more dog murderers: IndyCar is back.
 
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NTT IndyCar Series
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
8-10 March 2024
 
Coverage begins 12:00pm EDT on NBC/Peacock/Sky Sports F1. EDT.
Green flag 12:30pm EDT on 10 March 2024

Dat Schedule:

8 March (Friday)
2:45 PM - 4:00 PM — Practice 1

9 March (Saturday)
9:35 AM - 10:35 AM — Practice 2
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM — Qualifying

10 March (Sunday)
9:10 AM - 9:40 AM — Warm-Up
12:30 PM - whenever — Race
 
Stuff to Scroll Past:A lap of the track:
 

 
Last year's race in 30 minutes:
 

  
”Hey, get out of here! I’m busy supporting human rights abuses and sportswashing in Saudi Arabia!”
 
Well I might not be able to help you there, because we’re racing in Florida, which would probably be famous for having the highest number of blubbery redneck muffin tops and permanent bikini tan lines per capita if it wasn’t famous for banning gay people, but only one of these places is going to feature a racing series that can’t spell its own name correctly. According to the world’s most trusted source of information, St. Petersburg is known as “The Burg”, “Sunshine City” (say it quickly), “Always in Season”, or just “St. Pete”. It’s also known as “Monaco without the tunnel”, which I suppose is better than “a center of venereal disease”, “endless square miles of low-density failure”, “ass-deep in cockroaches”, or even “Crashville”, but after you’ve passed the 50th fat shirtless guy wearing Oakleys in as many minutes you probably won’t be able to tell the difference anyway.

The Tampa Bay area is the thirteenth-largest TV market in the US, which places this race in the smallest TV market of all IndyCar street circuits. Don’t let that fool you into thinking this isn’t a sports town, though—there are barely more fans of mediocre stick-and-ball franchises roaming these streets than there are crackheads wandering aimlessly around Los Angeles, incidentally the nation’s largest TV market and fentanyl boofing capital of the world. The Tampa Bay area and its throngs of Tampans have avoided a direct hurricane strike for over 100 years, but with Romain Grosjean returning to the field that streak might be over this weekend.
 
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Is it true? Is IndyCar still alive?

Hell yeah it’s still alive, and if you’re tired of watching a bunch of rich guys publicly investigating themselves, that means you’re in luck. Sure, IndyCar has its own kinks—we spent way too much time last year imagining this guy swimming naked in whipped cream—but no sport in the world is ever going to get 350,000 people to stand at attention like this one does. IndyCar is the ultimate anachronistic paradox, doggedly lumbering on under the impossible weight of ancient traditions and internal disputes over its identity while at the same time routinely providing the kind of pure, raw, emotionally combustible racing that stirs things you haven’t felt since your last teenage fever dream. It’s the way racing felt the first time you saw it and fell in love with it, and even though it makes every wrong decision you could ever imagine, it somehow makes you love it even more. It shouldn’t exist anymore, and every part of you is telling you it can’t exist and likely won’t for much longer, but somehow it does, in the here and now. It’s passionate. It’s intense. It’s enthralling. It’s ridiculous. It’s IndyCar.

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The older and wiser amongst us know that things which rile up these kinds of emotions within you can be fickle, and IndyCar is no exception. I did say it was bad at making good choices, which means if you’re not bullshitting yourself, you have something in common with it to some degree—if you hang around this rock long enough you’re bound to let everyone down eventually. Nobody’s perfect, after all, and some of us are proud of that. Unfortunately, the folks at IndyCar tend to be a little too proud of that. After a grueling 182 days of watching old CART videos on YouTube, dissecting pointless sponsor announcements from anonymous companies, pretending we know how to run a racing series, and bitching about people bitching in Marshall Pruett’s mailbag, we finally have something worthwhile to talk about—and despite what The CW would have you believe, it’s already only 77 Days to Indy. If I never hear the words “business to business”, “activation”, “hybrid system”, or “new chassis” again it’ll still be too damn soon. Even in days of the Novi, a mythical 2 billion horsepower engine that started the Earth’s rotation when it first pulled out of pit lane, the offseason was the most difficult and dreaded part of every IndyCar fan’s existence, and this one was no exception.

But thank sweet baby Jesus, it’s over at last.

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So, what the hell happened last week month year?

You don’t remember? We got two first-time winners in Kyle Kirkwood and Christian Lundgaard, a first-time Indy 500 Pole-Sitter in Alex Palou, a first-time Indy 500 winner in Josef Newgarden, and the championship finished early for the first time in 17 years, which is a lot more than you could say for a 50-year-old F1 team principal. Honda dominated the street races, Josef Newgarden dominated the oval races, and Scott Dixon dominated the wacky random bullshit races. It may sound predictable, but it sure as hell wasn’t if you were paying attention.

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For a time, Marcus Ericsson and Romain Grosjean fooled us all into thinking they were legitimate championship contenders, but both of them wound up hitting walls—the former metaphorically and the latter physically. As they faded, Scott McLaughlin came to the fore, but his campaign was quickly deleted by Alex Palou, who ruined the whole damn year for everyone by winning four out of five races in the middle of the season. Only Newgarden, CEO of oval racing, seemed a realistic threat, but a miserable stretch of races in the end handed the title to Palou.

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Elsewhere in the field, Will Power, Colton Herta, and Pato O’Ward went winless while Rinus Veekay, Jack Harvey, and Felix Rosenqvist receded into obscurity. Callum Ilott and Agustin Canapino got in each others’ way at every opportunity, Graham Rahal rigorously avoided the podium all year except for that one time Dixon stole a win from him, and the rest of us who couldn’t afford Ozempic or a personal physio all got older and fatter.

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All of this continued in an orderly fashion until the last race, in which everyone did their best to murder one another, presumably in the hope that succeeding would mean fighting one less competitor for an engine lease next year. Thankfully, IndyCar has decided to amend its restart rules this year to reduce the chance of vehicular homicide, never mind any other kind of homicide. Other changes for the year include blinking rear wings, stronger suspensions, and a $1 million exhibition race for tech bros. We’re also going back to the Milwaukee Mile and Nashville Superspeedway after a pair of breakup texts to a reformed Texas Motor Speedway and the marquee Nashville street race, which is kinda like passing up cars and coffee in Sydney Sweeney’s Mustang to play Halo with Conor Daly.

For some dumbass reason, we’re also changing the engine rules halfway through the season, but if IndyCar wasn’t known for making things up as it went along it probably wouldn’t be known for anything. It’s not what we all wanted, but sometimes things work like Hector Rebaque: seemingly lacking purpose and kinda useless only to prove you wrong on the very last lap.

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The series isn’t the only thing changing clothes between seasons. The driver market went through its share of upheaval, too:

Changing scenery are…
  • ... Marcus Ericsson (Ganassi -> Andretti; paycheck chase)
  • ... Romain Grosjean (Andretti -> JHR; last hurrah)
  • ... Felix Rosenqvist (McLaren -> Meyer Shank; McLaren’s fourth choice)
  • ... Jack Harvey (Rahal -> Coyne; can’t bump the boss here)
  • ... David Malukas (Coyne -> McLaren -> bike accident)
  • ... Sting Ray Robb (Coyne -> Foyt; God’s will)
  • ... Takuma Sato (Ganassi -> Rahal; Indy 500 only)
  • ... Callum Ilott (JHR -> McLaren; one-race wonder)
We’re also saying goodbye for now to…
  • ... Benjamin Pedersen (return to obscurity)
  • ... Devlin DeFrancesco (sitting on a pot o’ gold)
  • ... Tony Kanaan (brand ambassador)
  • ... Simon Pagenaud (recovering from a concussion)
  • ... Ryan Hunter-Reay (second retirement)
  • ... Conor Daly (Xbox Live Gamepass)
And a welcome aboard to…
  • ... Linus Lundqvist (Ganassi; talent-spotted)
  • ... Kyffin Simpson (Ganassi; tax shelter $$$)
  • ... Tom Blomqvist (Meyer Shank; IMSA transfer)
  • ... Pietro Fittipaldi (Rahal; bored of F1 reserve duty)
  • ... Christian Rasmussen (Carpenter; NXT chmpn)
  • ... Colin Braun (Coyne; Indy-curious)
  • ... Nolan Siegel (Coyne; big money events only)
  • ... Barry Wanser (cancer conquerer)
It’s anybody’s guess as to how any of this works itself out on the streets. Six different teams put drivers in the top six in the pre-season Sebring test, and if a street circuit ever tried to disguise itself as a road course it’d look like Sebring. Wrinkly 80s rock stars Bret Michels and Bon Jovi are tuning their guitars for the pre-race festivities but it’d still be better than listening to Andretti’s boy band. It’s set to be sunny for Friday and Saturday but there’s a chance of rain up until the start of the race on Sunday—as if these guys needed any help causing yellows after Laguna Seca.

And now, all the usual features!

IndyCar Fantasy Game

Click the link above to sign up to the IndyCar fantasy game, in which you get to enjoy all the benefits of being an IndyCar team owner without the risk to personal property. You have to pick a new team every race, and the driver market changes more rapidly than the stock market. PM me the e-mail address you used to sign up if you want to enter the forum’s official league. tpatricio is the defending champion.

You wish you had...

… the ability to rap like Mario Andretti.

Take a drink every time...

… “that puts him in the danger zone!”

Useless Indy Fact of the Day:

An IndyCar equipped with a hybrid system is projected to put out nearly 900 hp at its peak. That’s still not enough to outrun the endless chorus of bitching about batteries in race cars.

Do you remember...

... how last year’s race started?

Anagram of the Day:

Alexander Rossi / Oral sardine sex

Are you ready yet?
 
The 2024 season is upon us, and there’s every indication that for IndyCar, it’s going to be another great year. So long as everyone keeps it within the boundaries of the race course it’s guaranteed to be exciting, and if they can’t, well, it’ll sure as hell be entertaining. No matter what, we win! Whatever happens next, you don’t want to miss it.
 
Do you remember what IndyCar feels like?
 
















The feeling is back.

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====================================================================
====================================================================


We miss you Andrew.

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This thread is dedicated to our fallen comrade Andrew Michael Ainscow, forum alias Andrew Hope, who was tragically stabbed to death in November of 2020. Brother, if you’re reading this somewhere, know that you meant a hell of a lot to me and lots of others here, and we all miss you terribly. Ten years since your last OP, I did my best to emulate your style, but as Devlin DeFrancesco learned after Turn 1 on the Indy road course last fall, you can only pretend to be someone else for so long.

Andrew’s family has requested that interested parties make donations in his honor to the Ontario SPCA. If you enjoyed this post or the ones which inspired it, I would encourage you to do so.

Let’s go racing everyone.

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#2 jonpollak

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Posted 06 March 2024 - 22:47

WOW …
Jp

#3 OvDrone

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Posted 06 March 2024 - 22:54

Gauntlet has been thrown THICC

 

Was not at all prepared for the memorial for dear fellow racer, Andrew Hope. He was the Hunter S Thompson of this place. Bless him. Race in Power, brother!

AB, take a bow. Phenomenal. You made Hope proud for sure.



See y'all on Sunday  :clap:


Edited by OvDrone, 06 March 2024 - 22:56.


#4 loki

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Posted 06 March 2024 - 23:28

gifki-aplodismenti-15.gif



#5 red stick

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Posted 06 March 2024 - 23:28

Excellent.

#6 red stick

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Posted 06 March 2024 - 23:31

Also, for the record, we have no idea who's going to win this race, unlike some other open-wheel series of note, and we'll soon have the fantasy results to prove it!

#7 Alan Lewis

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Posted 06 March 2024 - 23:46


This. This is why I prefer the IndyCar threads to the F1...ones.

#8 prommer

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 02:33

I mean, that is an all time OP.   :up:  :up:  :up:



#9 H0R

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 06:35

Oh wow, an OP for the history books. Exceptionally well done, Afterburner, even by your own high standards.

When I saw Greg Moore's picure it actually gave instant goose bumps. Can it really be twenty****ingfive years already?



#10 Peat

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 08:21

WE INDYCAR NOW, indeed! Well done Afterburner. 

As you brought him up, I happened to be in the same iRacing F3 race as Devlin DeFrancesco at the weekend. If he whines as much on the radio as he did on the in-game comms, Andretti will be glad to be shot of him. He gives Grosjean a run for his money.



#11 Beri

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 08:29

There will not be a better OP ever again in the history of ever and ever. Never.



#12 chdphd

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 08:37

That's not an OP. It's a thesis. Great work  :clap:



#13 Muppetmad

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 10:09

You've done Andrew proud, AB  :up:  Spectacular stuff.



#14 InSearchOfThe

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 10:44

Colin Braun should've been in Indycar 15 years ago.

#15 FLB

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 11:06

Colin Braun should've been in Indycar 15 years ago.

I don't think you'll find a lot of people here arguing against that, at least those of us who were following what he was doing when he drove for Tracy Krohn's team in Grand-Am  :up:



#16 BobbyRicky

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 11:10

Brilliant stuff



#17 juicy sushi

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 11:48

This was the OP that we needed. Maybe not what we deserved, but definitely what we needed. Well done.

#18 jcbc3

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 12:27

:clap:

 

 

spoiler alert

 

Spoiler


#19 paulb

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 12:54

You're a treasure AB. I was all wrapped up in the discovery and joy of what you were laying down to get us ready for the race then boom, a heartfelt tribute to Andrew Hope. The latter will stick. Thanks, man. Lets go racing lad and laddettes

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#20 maximilian

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 13:54

Holy crap, what an OP!  :love:

 

Also:  FINALLY another IndyCar race!  Can't wait!  :clap:   

 

I really like the concept of race cars passing each other for positions other than 12th, and not knowing who will win the race before it starts.  Seems entertaining!

 

Guess I need to sign up for Peacock again for a couple of months?



#21 AncientLurker

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 14:32

Thanks AfterBurner for going full Indycar on the OP!

 

I am excited that the real racing season is about to begin.



#22 red stick

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 14:45

Holy crap, what an OP!  :love:

 

Also:  FINALLY another IndyCar race!  Can't wait!  :clap:   

 

I really like the concept of race cars passing each other for positions other than 12th, and not knowing who will win the race before it starts.  Seems entertaining!

 

Guess I need to sign up for Peacock again for a couple of months?

 

I really like the concept of not having somebody explain to me that, if I really loved racing, I'd focus less on who is winning and appreciate the intricacies of how Team #8 got their car from 18th to 12th.  You know, what all kids dream about when watching sports growing up.   :well:



#23 STRFerrari4Ever

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 14:58

Who’s everyone supporting this season then? I haven’t decided yet…

#24 juicy sushi

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 15:08

I'm rooting for the same thing I am rooting for every race:  chaos.

 

But seriously, there are many likeable drivers worthy of supporting for many reasons.  I don't like trying to pick when I can just be happy for all of them.  



#25 Frood

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 15:24

I'm supporting Sting Ray Robb, lest one be smote down by the Almighty.



#26 red stick

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 16:18

Ostentatious displays of piety may not necessarily be reciprocated from beyond. You can do better.  ;)

#27 AncientLurker

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 16:38

Who’s everyone supporting this season then? I haven’t decided yet…

That's the best thing about Indycar, I am here for the racing & tomfoolery and root for (almost) all of them.



#28 juicy sushi

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 16:51

Ostentatious displays of piety may not necessarily be reciprocated from beyond. You can do better.  ;)

Indeed, don't hesitate to shop around and get a second opinion to find what might be the best deity for you.  There is a recently retired ancient Sumerian you may wish to consult.



#29 Frood

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 16:54

The Prophets of Toh'nee are right, of course.

IndyC'amen.

#30 TomNokoe

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 16:57

Go Ilott!

#31 se7en_24

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 17:05

I'm a dip in viewer of Indycar, but your OP has got me hooked to this race weekend now Afterburner - bravo!



#32 GlenWatkins

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 17:06

Go Ilott!


I too am interested in what he can do in a good car. Same with Malukas.

Agree with Ancient Lurker, I just enjoy IndyCar for being IndyCar.

#33 markpenske

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 17:39

Who’s everyone supporting this season then? I haven’t decided yet…

Hertamania



#34 red stick

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 17:44

There will not be a better OP ever again in the history of ever and ever. Never.


Gauntlet thrown down!!!

#35 red stick

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 17:45

Newgarden!

But we knew that.

#36 paulb

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 18:38

Dixon! But that should be no surprise. I will be interested to see what David the bike rider will do at McLaren.

#37 billm99uk

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 19:21

Right it’s that time of year where I get confused by all the new liveries again. And haircuts…



#38 FLB

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 19:24

Dunno why (or maybe I do), but I'd love it if DJ Willy P could add to his already-impressive tally this year.



#39 billm99uk

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 19:38

>…”while Rinus VeekayJack Harvey, and Felix Rosenqvist receded into obscurity.”

 

Did Jack ever emerge from obscurity in the first place though?



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#40 Disgrace

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 19:41

He was pretty handy by the end of his MSR stint, but it's a distant memory now.



#41 DS27

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 19:43

I'll be happy with anyone but Palou winning the championship to a degree, but if Scotty Mc wins, then i'm going dancing.



#42 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 20:22

I'll be happy with anyone but Palou winning the championship to a degree, but if Scotty Mc wins, then i'm going dancing.

 

Please put Christian Lundgaard on my dance card.



#43 juicy sushi

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 20:55



#44 jonpollak

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 23:53

PR.

 

Jp


Edited by jonpollak, 07 March 2024 - 23:59.


#45 jcbc3

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Posted 08 March 2024 - 12:13

I'll deliver myself some smiting:

 

1. Lundgaard, ScottyMac, Newgarden

4. Dixon

.

.Meh

.

Penultimate. Rahal

Last: Sting Ray Robb



#46 FLB

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Posted 08 March 2024 - 13:15

 

Last: Sting Ray Robb

Expecting Random WinAmp Guy to play Madonna's Like A Prayer the first time he bins it  :p



#47 jonpollak

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Posted 08 March 2024 - 15:07

“Papa don’t Preach…. I’m in trouble deep.”

If he’s in the tyre barrier.
Jp

#48 aportinga

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Posted 08 March 2024 - 15:20

Question...

 

Is the only way to watch qualifying on Peacock?



#49 juicy sushi

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Posted 08 March 2024 - 15:58

“Papa don’t Preach…. I’m in trouble deep.”

If he’s in the tyre barrier.
Jp

"Knockin' on Heaven's Door" if he hits the turn 3 wall at Indy?



#50 red stick

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Posted 08 March 2024 - 19:15

30 minutes to Practice 1.