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INDYCAR: The Friday Setup (Fontana)

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One more Saturday night...
One more Saturday night...

"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.

2012. There's only 500 miles left. Yep, 500 miles.

No, this isn't Indy. The powers that be decided that to makeup for the China DERP there should be a 500-mile race to decide the title. Yes, a rare 500-mile race that DOESN'T take place at Indy. Yea, those weren't any good in their day...

Anyways, I'm sure the whole title fight story is getting a lot of run in the (racing) media now. The mere 17-point spread is a fine attention-getter, but in my mind it's not the biggest story:

Dario and Ganassi...DENIED.

Yep, it's the first time since Dan Wheldon's 2005 IndyCar Series Championship with Andretti/Green Racing that neither a Ganassi car nor a car driven by Dario Franchitti is in the hunt for the title at the final stop of the IndyCar season. Nope, there won't be a celebratory 94-hour clubbing posse led by the Chipster nor will there be any sight (or preferably, sound) of Ashley Judd. This is indeed a new era. A brand new champion will be crowned by the break of dawn sometime around 2am EST the Izod Trophy Girl as she makes a triumphant return to the public eye the end of the night.

...and the trophy will be neither a glorified birdbath nor an aroused cyborg with a gut-penis.

Also the end of the evening will be highlighted by Simona de Silvestro and HVM Racing starting a bonfire with all existing Lotus hardware and paraphernalia. Probably.

(Race weekend schedule and Iron Maiden Song of the Week after the jump)

TV Schedule (NBC Sports Channel)

Qualifying, Friday 7:30pm Eastern
Race, Saturday 7:30pm Eastern

(INDYCAR 36 will air BEFORE qualifying)

Race Weekend Schedule of Events

ALL TIMES LOCAL (Pacific, left-coast night racing means you have our permission to stay up past bedtime)

Friday, September 14

9:45 a.m. - Firestone Indy Lights Practice

10:45 a.m. - IZOD IndyCar Series Practice

1:00 p.m. - Firestone Indy Lights Qualifying

2:15 p.m. - IZOD IndyCar Series Qualifying

4:45 p.m. - Firestone Indy Lights Practice

5:45 p.m. - IZOD IndyCar Series Practice

Saturday, September 15

3:00 p.m. - Firestone Indy Lights Race (50 laps)

5:50 p.m. - MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championship Race (250 laps)

* * * * *

Iron Maiden Song of the Week - "When The Wild Wind Blows"

Goodbye, IndyCar blogosphere.

Until we meet again...