INDIANAPOLIS -- And you thought the rise of the mid-major was just a Butler thing.
Pole Day at Indy gave us the racing version Saturday as Alex Tagliani (from Sam Schmidt Motorsports) outran Scott Dixon (from Target Chip Ganassi, the Duke/UConn/North Carolina of racing) for the pole. Even more revealing was that six of the Fast Nine were from outside the Ganassi/Penske power conferences: Tagliani and Townsend Bell from the Schmidt stable; Oriol Servia from Newman/Haas; Buddy Rice from Panther Racing; Dan Wheldon from Bryan Herta's team; Ed Carpenter from Sarah Fisher's team.
It might not be a sea change, exactly, as Rice noted afterward. But at least the color scheme up front this time will be ... well, somewhat more colorful.