Runoffs Report – Tuesday

For my thousands of adoring fans (!) who read this, I thought I’d post a quick note about how things are going here at the Valvoline Runoffs.

I returned to Mid-Ohio from Seattle in time for testing on Friday and Saturday; I was running ok, nothing spectacular; I seemed to always be a few tenths off of the fastest guys.  Pretty close, nothing to worry about.

Sunday was raining all day, hopefully not an indication of things to come.  This was an off day; I wasn’t testing, so we just cleaned up the car and got it through the required technical inspection.  All went well.

Monday was the official start to the runoffs, and we had our practice session in the morning.  This also went pretty well; I went out on factory-shaved tires (about 4/32″ tread depth), on their second heat cycle; I had the 6th fastest time (1:41.9) out of the 29 cars entered.  Not too bad, I figure…we can work with that.

This morning we had our first qualifying session; there are 3 total qualifying sessions, one today, one Wednesday, and one Thursday.  We line up for qualifying according to a random draw; I was lucky enough to draw #1, so I went out first in line for the session.  I ran on shaved tires (2/32″), on their second heat cycle.  I had clear track ahead of me for about 10 laps, and managed to turn a 1:41.7, which is good for 6th position on the provisional grid.  Unfortunately for me, the provisional polesitter cooked off a 1:40.7, and I just have no idea where I’m going to find another second – a second is an eternity on a racetrack.  Just to give you an idea how fast this guy is, the second fastest qualifyer had a 1:42.2 – half a second slower.  Third fastest was, I believe, a 1:41.5 – and the field is pretty tight after that.

Anyway, hope this didn’t bore you all too much…I’ll post updates if I get some time.  And if I don’t post anything, and you just can’t stand it, I believe official qualifying and race results will be posted here as they are made available.

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