Scott Dixon & team

After winning the pole position for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500, you’d think that Verizon IndyCar Series driver, Scott Dixon and his winning No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet team would get to celebrate and sleep in Monday morning. But, winning such the Verizon P1 Award means you all have to get up with the chickens and be all ready for a mega photo shoot at The Brickyard. This goes for your front row companions also.

There’s variations on a theme – change the hats, smile for the photogs, pose with the trophy, add or subtract the various folks who post with you, and so on.

The front row trio aren’t the only ones who get to have photo shoots. It’s tradition that after qualifying each driver, car and team go to a designated place in Gasoline Alley and has a group photo taken, which is then part of the Firestone Indy 500 Grid Display.

Scott Dixon

Will Power

Simon Pagenaud

And, for Pagenaud, it’s a special day. It’s his birthday. Joyeaux Anniversaire, Simon! He’s 31 today. All day.

And for the front row teams, it is an especially long, busy time from the end of qualifying to the photo shoot, because of the engine changes.

For the Indy 500, teams are allowed to take out the existing engine, even if it hasn’t mileaged out. A new Indy 500 engine out of the crate can be installed for the week culminating in the race. After the race, that engine is sealed by INDYCAR and put back in the crate to be used at a later time. The previous engine – if it hasn’t mileaged out – is reinstalled and run til it’s done. Then the Indy 500 engine can be used.

The teams swap the engines Sunday night so that they can be prepped Monday morning for the Monday afternoon practice. So now you know.

Although the weather forecast is the same as it’s been all weekend – 82 and thundershowers, it’s 73 degrees F at noon and overcast. The wind measures 10 mph. Stay tuned. This is Indianapolis, after all. If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.

Monday’s schedule calls for a couple of hours practice for the Indy Lights drivers – all 11 of them. This is followed by practice for the Indy 500 drivers, for three and a half hours.

Then they all pack up and head off for specific locations to promote the race far and wide for one full Tuesday.

The track is relatively quiet, and the fans are fewer. Another good day for the local schools to have field trips.

The Firestone tires folks are busy getting all the tires ready for the upcoming track days. In total, Firestone brings about 5,000 tires.

Monday is the last on-track day for the Indy 500 drivers until Friday’s Carb Day.

Firestone Indy 500 Grid Display

Lonely food court

Firestone tires