Behind the Barriers - Indy Pole Day

The Daily Trackside Report is issued by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway public relations department to help journalists with notes and quotes. This year the DTR includes a "Centennial Era Fact of the Day." The entry for May 9 notes that "IMS ...

The Daily Trackside Report is issued by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway public relations department to help journalists with notes and quotes. This year the DTR includes a "Centennial Era Fact of the Day." The entry for May 9 notes that "IMS features 17 grandstands with a footprint of 22 acres. If the seats boards were laid end-to-end, they would stretch 99.5 miles."

Some quick math gives us a seat count if we assume each person is allotted two feet of seat space. Ninety nine and a half miles translates to 525,360 feet of seat space. If each ticket holder is provided two feet, IMS can sell 262,680 seats. Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star counted the seats at IMS several years ago and came up with 257,325 seats.

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Does he or doesn't he? Alex Lloyd's bright pink driver's suit has grabbed a lot of attention for his sponsor Her energy drink. But does Alex's wardrobe actually include any pink apparel? After thinking for a moment, "Yes," was the answer from Alex's wife Samantha. When pressed for the type of apparel, Mrs. Lloyd said, "I can't tell you. I want to stay married to him."

The Lloyd's are expecting their second child within the next month.

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Former Formula One driver Takuma Sato is visiting the Speedway on Pole Day. The 32 year old Sato competed in the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis twice.

Sato last drove for Super Aguri in Formula One, competing in four races during the 2008 season.

Although Sato said he had unfinished business in Formula One, he may be setting his sights on the IndyCar Series. "Obviously, I know the track," said Sato, when asked about the Speedway, "but this is my first trip during the IndyCar Series, and I'm very impressed. This place, obviously, is very important. I'm looking forward to any possibility of a chance in my future plans (to race in the Indianapolis 500). Obviously I can get the feel that this is one of the biggest events in motorsports in the world. I'm so excited for it."

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In keeping with our IndyCar Series social pages theme, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Beccy Gordon announced their wedding engagement at Long Beach in April. Miss Gordon is the sister of driver Robby Gordon

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Veteran driver Jaques Lazier was turning laps in the garage area in hopes of finding a ride. "There's obviously a couple of available seats, said Lazier. "Hopefully we can get something put together. We still have some time. I know that I'm confident enough that if we do get it put together, I'll have plenty of time to get in a car on Thursday and Friday and get it in the show next Saturday."

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Them's the rules. Tony Kanaan's first qualifying run was disallowed when his car was found to be underweight by less than one pound.

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Nelson Philippe said he was struggling with his car before he hit the wall at the south end of the track. "The same thing that's been happening all day," said Philippe. "We've been having a lot of understeer coming out of (Turn) 1. I kept telling the team, 'It's going to bite us in the butt; it's going to bite us because I'm scared the car was going to loop around.' And it did. I really wasn't expecting it, but I'm OK." After the track had closed for the day, Philippe was seen sneaking a case of beverages into his garage. Obviously it was a little something for the crew to enjoy after finishing an extended work day.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Takuma Sato , Robby Gordon , Tony Kanaan , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Nelson Philippe , Alex Lloyd , Jaques Lazier , Beccy Gordon