"The Friday Setup" will be a preview of the upcoming races and the schedule of the weekend events (practice and qualifications) leading up to race day. Also it will include other forms of rambling about the upcoming race (and the overall state of IndyCar) by yours truly, because I got to somehow bring up the word-count so SBNation will allow the posting of this article/schedule so you can see it. Or something like that.
...and yes, the picture for the banner above is Simona bending over her naked car "Porkchop" looking at her cockpit. Of course that's the picture I'll use for The Friday Setup. Duh. What else was I going to post? A picture of Scott Dixon going over wing angles with his engineer? Hell, no! Sexy drivers bending over nude cars showing its innards FOR THE WIN! Heh, heh..."bending over a naked car looking at her cockpit"...sometimes I amaze myself.
So here it is, the final race weekend. It's Vegas, and it's already a blast. Thursday testing saw cars breaking the 220 MPH barrier. Yes, cars are going faster than on any other oval (and basically as fast as Indy). Oh yea, there's that championship thing between Dario and Will. Also Dan Wheldon is going for 5 million dollars. But the bigger story (to his 1500+ twitter followers) is this is the final race of Porkchop's career. He better BRING IT or else that watch and fragrance deal he so covets will never happen and he'll just collect dust in the HVM Racing lobby.
Like Porkchop, this is also the final race for rest of the 2003 vintage Dallara cars in the IndyCar series. From the testing speeds it appears the ugly old things will go out in some form of style. Most racing fans want the old car to be banished from society since they're so ugly and have been used for so long. They also represent the CART/IRL split and how far IndyCar racing has fallen in the mainstream.
As for the championship on the line it appears to be all Dario Franchitti's with that 18-point cushion he has over Will Power. The Penske Rat Pack better step up their game and block Dario so their buddy Will can finally grab that championship that has elluded him...and end the championship streak of Dario. If not, Dario will will his third title in a row for Chip Ganassi and considering the event is in Vegas and how Chippster rolls with his posse in victory, no one will be safe Sunday evening on the strip.
Schedule of events at the IZOD IndyCar Series World Championsips in Las Vegas after the jump.
(All times Pacific...because duh Vegas is actually west of Terre Haute. By quite a bit.)
Friday, October 14
8:30am – Ticket gates open
8:30-9:30am – NASCAR Truck Series practice.
9:45-10:30am – Indy Lights practice.
10:00am, Education Day - Las Vegas Motor Speedway
10:00am, Fan Zone - Mandalay Bay Parking Lot
10:45am-12:15pm – NASCAR Truck Series final practice.
12:30-1:15pm – IndyCar Series practice (Group 1).
1:15-2pm – IndyCar Series practice (Group 2).
2:15-3 – Indy Lights qualifying (2 laps, all positions).
2:30pm, Licorice Pizza Concert on Verizon Stage in Fan Zone – Mandalay Bay Parking Lot
3-4:30pm – IndyCar Series qualifying (2 laps, all positions).
4:30pm – NASCAR Truck Series qualifying (2 laps, all positions).
7:00pm – Neon Garage closed.
7:00pm, INDYCAR Charity Blackjack Tournament presented by AirMed - MGM Grand
7:30-8:30pm – Free NASCAR Truck Series driver autograph session at Stratosphere Hotel & Casino.
Carburetor'd turtles' schedule crossed out for obvious reasons. Hey, a CHARITY Blackjack tournament? You mean this time I lose money for a GOOD CAUSE? And how much better does it get to lose both money AND dignity in defeat than to do so in front of your favorite IndyCar driver???
Saturday, October 15
10:00am, Ticket gates open
10:00am, Fan Appreciation Event at Fan Zone - Mandalay Bay Parking Lot
10:00am, Ortsbo Live & Global with Power, Franchitti & Wheldon – Online and at Fan Zone
Noon – NASCAR Truck Series driver introductions.
12:30pm – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Smith’s 350 (146 laps, 219 miles).
2:30pm, Good Charlotte Concert on Verizon Stage in Fan Zone - Mandalay Bay Parking Lot
5:00pm – Neon Garage closed.
8:00pm, Champion Member Celebration Party - Mirage Hotel & Casino
No track activity scheduled due to another struggling series wanting track time and a Mediocre Green Day concert in the afternoon.
Sunday, October 16
8:00am, Ticket gates open
8:00am, Fan Village - Las Vegas Motor Speedway
9:45am, Firestone Indy Lights World Championship (67 laps, 100 miles) - Las Vegas Motor Speedway
11:15am, Los Lonely Boys Concert – Neon Garage, Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Noon – IndyCar Series driver introductions.
12:45pm, IZOD IndyCar Series World Championship presented by Honda (200 laps, 300 miles) - Las Vegas Motor Speedway
4:00pm – Neon Garage closed.
6:30pm, Doors Open, The Concert to 'Beat' Paralysis presented by William Rast to benefit the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation - House of Blues, Mandalay Bay
Not listed: 1:45pm – EJ Viso hits something, Safety Team deploys, tow truck carries the last ever Viso'd crapwagon.
Monday, October 17
9:00am Tee Off, The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation's Racing to Recovery Golf Tournament presented by IZOD - Southern Highlands Golf Club
7:00pm, INDYCAR Championship Celebration - Mandalay Bay
I'm willing to offer as high as $4.85 for high-res pictures of Simona in her elegant evening dress and heels at the awards banquet. Only $4.85 you say? Hey, it's a rough economy. That's good enough for a double-cheeseburger meal at McD's. And change back. BAM.
Actually, I'll double it if you can spot and snap-shot her out and about in street clothes...and by street clothes I mean an Iron Maiden t-shirt. High-res preferred, but optional.