Q: Gee, you're actually ready?
A: Hey pal, do you want answers or not?
Q: Fine, let's go back to on-track issues.
A: Fine by me.
Q: So, seriously, favorites? No stalling this time!
A: Well, as I was saying last night, this is not as simple as it sounds. Take last yr., for example. Early in Week 1, the Ganassi boys were clearly the fastest in the field. But by Pole Day, they had lost it, and never got it back.
Q: So, you got nothin'?
A: Look, on an elementary level, it's obviously a battle between AGR, Penske and Ganassi, the three superteams in the IRL. As always, they SHOULD dominate the month.
Q: Among those, who do you like?
A: Well, Kanaan is always quick at Indy. Truth be told, he had the fastest car on race day last year, but rain and strategy ruined his chances.
Now this will surprise folks, but watch out for Marco Andretti.
Q: But isn't he still making mistakes?
A: Yes, but he has FINALLY shown consistent oval speed this yr. If he stays smooth during the month, look out.
Q: What are your thoughts on Ryan Briscoe?
A: Hmm, is Nicole Manske around? Kidding, Nicole (wink). Look, he's in a Penske, so no doubt he has a shot. While in US Open-wheel racing, he's shown speed... and a knack of finding trouble. If he keeps it off the wall, he's got a reasonable shot.
Q: What about Danica?
A: Yeah, what about her?
Q: Look, pal, I'll ask the questions here.
A: Geez, alright! Anyway, she seems to do well at IMS and she's with AGR, so, yes, I don't dismiss her chances.
Q: Thoughts on those coming from Champ Car?
A: Good question.
Q: I know.
A: Don't flatter yourself. Anyway, they have a mountain to climb, esp. when you understand that AGR, Penske, and Ganassi have a FIVE-YEAR head start with these cars.
Q: You'd agree with Robin Miller (SPEED) that they have "no chance" at victory?
A: In spirit, yes, but totally ruling them out seems foolish. Sure, they won't beat anyone on raw speed, but given the whole month, I think NHL, KV Racing and even HVM (VisoMania!) could be close enough to make some noise.
Q: In the end, who wins?
A: Luck aside, I come back to Dixon. He's too good not to win one, and Chip has got be hungry for an Indy win.
Q: Final subject. Darkhorses?
A: Well, all the Champ Car guys fit this bill, and I think a select couple will surprise. Top of my list is Ryan Hunter-Reay of Rahal-Letterman. Alex Lloyd should be quick too.
Q: OK, that's it.
A: Thank God.