We’ve written it before this year, and we’ll try it again going into the IZOD IndyCar Series’ race this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Can the racing gods give Alex Tagliani and Barracuda Racing a break?
Tagliani is the twice-defending pole winner at Texas, and could use any sort of golden horseshoe or lucky leprechaun appearance to turn around what has been an entirely frustrating year.
Pace in practice has often been masked by a poor draw for qualifying groups. Then in races, it seems as though there’s been a target on the back of the No. 98 Barracuda Honda for Bryan Herta’s team. That was evident last weekend in Detroit, when in both races contact from other cars sent him into the wall.
“It was a pretty disappointing and shocking weekend for Barracuda Racing in Detroit,” Tagliani admitted. “Having had a really good racecar, I have to say it’s probably one of the most heart-breaking weekends this team has had.
“We were involved in multiple incidents. We were always at the wrong place at the wrong time and we couldn’t really capitalize on how strong the Barracuda Racing car was. I guess we’re lucky in a sense, that Texas is right around the corner and we don’t have to wait too much to get back on track.”
That’s just more motivation to come out firing at the track where the winner shoots pistols from Victory Lane.
“I’m hopeful that we can have an amazing weekend at Texas Motor Speedway,” Tagliani said. “Last year we were on the pole. We think we know what to do to the car to make it even more competitive this year, so it should be an exciting weekend.”
It’s known as “Carburetor Day” – or in its simplest term, just “Carb Day.”
But the final day of on-track action Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 is so much more.
Especially on NBCSN, which will have wall-to-wall live coverage starting Friday morning.
Here’s how Friday’s schedule breaks down:
- 11 a.m. ET: Carb Day kicks off with the final practice for Sunday’s Indy 500. The session will last one hour in length.
- 12 p.m. ET: We’re going racing! Strap in for coverage of the Indy Lights’ Freedom 100 on the famous Brickyard.
- 1:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have coverage of the annual IndyCar Pit Stop Challenge. Which teams have the best – and most importantly, fastest and accurate – pit crews? Team Penske has won 10 of the last 12, including the last two years edging out Schmidt Peterson Motorsports each time. Who can potentially beat them this year?
- 3:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have our annual NASCAR America Motorsports Special. Among segments included in the 90-minute show will be:1) 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi will discuss how it used to upset him when people suggested he “backed into” his big win and how he didn’t really feel vindicated until he qualified on the front row for last year’s race.
2) Defending 500 winner Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to ever win at Indianapolis, discusses the impact of his big win personally and professionally, particularly back in his native land.
3) An essay by Robin Miller on Stefan Wilson giving up his ride last year to allow Fernando Alonso to race for Andretti Autosport.
4) An essay by Nate Ryan on Danica Patrick as she looks to compete in her final Indy 500 before retiring from professional racing.