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June 2017
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‘Motor Sports’ Articles

Friday’s NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Qualifying leader is Rickie Smith



NORWALK, Ohio – Rickie Smith continues his successful return to the cockpit by racing to the provisional No. 1 qualifier at the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by Real Pro Mod Association, is the eighth of 12 events on the 2017 schedule.
Smith, who sat out four races due to back surgery won the event in Englishtown and raced to a 5.821-second pass at 248.80 mph in his ’15 IDG Chevy Camaro. Due to persistent showers in the area the category had only one qualifying session during the day.
“We’re running good,” said Smith. “I feel like my knowledge over the years just pays off when you have to make a one-run call on average. I’m not perfect every time. But I think that’s the reason I’m No. 1 qualifier right now I made a better call on the racetrack.”
Shane Molinari qualified second with a pass of 5.831 at 257.28 in his ’68 Firebird and points leader Mike Castellana qualified third at 5.841 at 246.98 in his ’17 Camaro.
NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Series qualifying continues Saturday at approximately noon with the first round of eliminations slated for 4:30 p.m.
NORWALK, Ohio — Friday’s results after the first one of two rounds of qualifying for the 11th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, the eighth of 12 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.   Qualifying will continue Saturday for Saturday’s first round of eliminations.
Pro Modified — 1. Rickie Smith, Chevy Camaro, 5.821, 248.80; 2. Shane Molinari, Pontiac Firebird, 5.831, 257.28; 3. Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.841, 246.98; 4. Shannon Jenkins, Ford Mustang, 5.843, 246.93; 5. Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.846, 244.03; 6. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 5.860, 240.42; 7. Troy Coughlin, Chevy Corvette, 5.867, 253.85; 8. Sidnei Frigo, Corvette, 5.873, 252.61; 9. Michael Biehle, Mustang, 5.884, 250.32; 10. Pete Farber, Dodge Daytona, 5.895, 247.61; 11. Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 5.895, 247.16; 12. Doug Winters, Chevy Chevelle, 6.015, 239.31; 13. Danny Rowe, Corvette, 6.016, 241.54; 14. Mike Knowles, Mustang, 6.041, 240.12; 15. Chuck Little, Corvette, 6.058, 241.50; 16. Mike Janis, Camaro, 6.066, 240.59.  Not Qualified: 17. Eric Latino, 6.115, 243.63; 18. Clint Satterfield, 6.145, 245.32; 19. Jim Whiteley, 6.162, 193.29; 20. Dan Stevenson, 6.818, 159.95; 21. Harry Hruska, 7.035, 175.75; 22. Steve Matusek, 8.825, 124.16; 23. Steven Whiteley, 9.136, 99.73; 24. Bob Rahaim, 10.916, 95.15; 25. Chip King, 11.878, 83.35; 26. Ruben Tetsoshvili, 20.973, 28.42.
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Friday night qualifying leaders at Norwalk: Anderson, Hagan, Kalitta & M. Smith




NORWALK, Ohio — Doug Kalitta powered his dragster to the Top Fuel qualifying lead Friday evening at the 11th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.


Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional qualifying leaders in their respective categories at the twelfth of 24 events on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.


Kalitta leads the Top Fuel category with an elapsed time track record run of 3.709-second pass at 327.43 mph in his Mac Tools dragster during his second session of the day. He is searching for his first No. 1 qualifier on the year, and 48th of his career.


“I was hopeful that we would run well and fortunately we had a good tune-up for the track tonight,” Kalitta said. “We’re hoping to turn things around at our home track in front of home fans and we always feel good about coming to Norwalk.”


Brittany Force landed second in Top Fuel qualifying with a 3.714 at 327.66 in her Monster Energy dragster. Current points leader Steve Torrence sits at third in preliminary qualifying, with a 3.715 at 328.46.


Hagan powered to the Funny Car qualifying lead with an elapsed time track record with a 3.865 at 333.33 in his MOPAR Express Lane Dodge Charger during the second qualifying session. He is aiming for his third No. 1 spot of the season to go along with three wins on the year.


“We knew we didn’t have anything to lose with the second qualifying session and these conditions tonight made us feel like we could have a great run,” Hagan said. “It’s been a lot of fun to win some races this year and we’re definitely looking to get that points lead back again soon.”


Earlier in the second round, Robert Hight set the track speed record at 334.65 with a 3.870 in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevy Camaro to sit at second after the preliminary qualifying. Teammate John Force is third currently after a 3.911 at 319.98 in his PEAK Chevy Camaro.


In Pro Stock, Anderson holds the top spot after driving to a 6.808 at 208.62 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro during the second session. He is looking for his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and the 88th of his career.


“To be able to get two runs in and run in the night-time conditions is an absolute blast in Norwalk,” Anderson said. “Fortunately we came out on top after day one, so hopefully we can keep that up the rest of the weekend.”


Points leader Bo Butner is currently second after a 6.617 at 208.55 in his Jim Butner’s Auto Chevy Camaro. Erica Enders is in third place after a 6.623 at 208.36 in her Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro.


Smith finished atop the Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying order with a 6.885 at 195.11 in his Victory Gunner during his second pass of the day. He is aiming for his 25th career No. 1 qualifier and his first of the season.


“We struggled a few weeks ago in Englishtown but we found a few problems and figured it would run better this week,” Smith said. “I think we can still go even faster tomorrow, and I think we have turned a corner now to help be more competitive for the rest of the year.”


LE Tonglet is second after a 6.903 at 193.29 on his Nitro Fish Racing Suzuki, while Hector Arana Jr. is currently in third after a 6.906 at 193.16.


Qualifying at the 11th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals continues at 12:45 and 3:15 p.m. on Saturday at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.




NORWALK, Ohio — Friday’s results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 11th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, 12th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.


Top Fuel — 1. Doug Kalitta, 3.709 seconds, 327.43 mph; 2. Brittany Force, 3.714, 327.66; 3. Steve Torrence, 3.715, 328.46; 4. Leah Pritchett, 3.720, 322.27; 5. Antron Brown, 3.736, 332.26; 6. Clay Millican, 3.741, 322.19; 7. Terry McMillen, 3.750, 323.35; 8. Tony Schumacher, 3.766, 328.38; 9. Mike Salinas, 3.792, 315.71; 10. Scott Palmer, 3.828, 319.14; 11. Dom Lagana, 3.860, 320.51; 12. Pat Dakin, 3.912, 313.95; 13. Ike Maier, 3.952, 263.98; 14. Troy Buff, 3.972, 284.33; 15. Luigi Novelli, 4.429, 186.07; 16. Troy Coughlin Jr., 7.578, 92.35.  Not Qualified: 17. Shawn Langdon, 7.844, 95.61.


Funny Car — 1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.865, 333.33; 2. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.870, 334.65; 3. John Force, Camaro, 3.911, 319.98; 4. Jonnie Lindberg, Toyota Camry, 3.922, 323.89; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.925, 329.34; 6. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.930, 324.67; 7. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.943, 318.77; 8. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.974, 321.35; 9. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.982, 317.05; 10. J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.119, 238.60; 11. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.144, 236.13; 12. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.151, 310.91; 13. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 4.749, 183.19; 14. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 6.361, 115.36; 15. Jack Beckman, Charger, 6.723, 103.40; 16. Dale Creasy Jr., Charger, 6.746, 97.38.  Not Qualified: 17. Courtney Force, 7.293, 82.58.


Pro Stock — 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.608, 208.62; 2. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.617, 208.55; 3. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.623, 208.36; 4. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.625, 208.55; 5. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.626, 207.43; 6. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.632, 208.26; 7. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.633, 207.72; 8. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.633, 207.56; 9. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.635, 208.17; 10. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.638, 207.85; 11. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.668, 206.73; 12. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.679, 208.55; 13. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.740, 205.04; 14. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.869, 199.64; 15. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.872, 202.91; 16. Mark Hogan, Pontiac GXP, 6.924, 200.11.


Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.885, 195.39; 2. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.903, 193.29; 3. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.906, 193.16; 4. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.908, 193.54; 5. Cory Reed, Victory, 6.932, 191.13; 6. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.935, 193.46; 7. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.943, 193.79; 8. Angelle Sampey, Victory, 6.943, 192.49; 9. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.952, 192.28; 10. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.981, 192.36; 11. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.998, 190.51; 12. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.031, 189.90; 13. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.050, 190.00; 14. Angie Smith, Buell, 7.111, 190.97; 15. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 7.142, 186.25; 16. Odolph Daniels, Suzuki, 7.624, 171.34.  Not Qualified: 17. Michael Ray, 11.035, 73.72; 18. Melissa Surber, 13.817, 54.03.



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Clay Millican heading to Norwalk and Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals with momentum


Clay Millican Sunday celebration 6 18 2017 at Bristol (Photo by Marc Gewertz/NHRA)


NORWALK, Ohio – No matter what happened on Sunday in his ninth career Top Fuel final round, Clay Millican would have gone to Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, the site of this weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, with a smile on his face.
But after grabbing his first NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series victory, fans can expect that grin to be a little bit wider this weekend. Millican knocked off Leah Pritchett in the final round at Bristol in his 10,000-horsepower Parts Plus/Great Clips dragster, sewing up a win that had been a long time coming. One of the most well-liked competitors in the sport, Millican received hearty congratulations after the victory and now hopes to build on that heading to Norwalk.
“I never questioned myself,” Millican said. “All I did was I just started working harder. I’ve been working harder right now than I’ve ever worked. Age doesn’t have a factor on driving a Top Fuel car, but these kids are awesome out here, and when it’s hot and sweaty I want to be able to sit in that car and it not bother me. Guess what, I sat in that car and it didn’t bother me.”
Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event that will be televised on FOX Sports 1, including final eliminations coverage starting at 6:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, June 25. It is the 12th of 24 events in 2017 and finishes off a stretch of four straight races.
As the year hits the halfway mark, Millican couldn’t be more pleased of what his Stringer Performance team has accomplished. They sit seventh in points after the victory – but are just 39 points out of fifth – and Millican is thrilled with the atmosphere within a team that has shown significant improvement through the first 11 races of the 2017 season.
“I love what I do, whether I ever won one of these or not,” Millican said. “There’s no such thing as a coincidence. This was supposed to happen, and when the time was right this was going to happen. When it’s your day, it’s going to happen. It took a family and (team owner) Doug (Stringer) put together a heck of a group and a heck of a family.”
The victory and the emotional celebration that followed is something Millican will always remember, but he’ll also use it to for even more motivation heading to Norwalk, a facility and race that has long been near the top of the veteran’s favorites. Getting a second straight victory against the Top Fuel elite won’t be easy, as Millican will duke it out with the likes of points leader Steve Torrence, back-to-back world champ Antron Brown, Tony Schumacher, Doug Kalitta and Brittany Force.
But Millican saw something special from his team and crew chief David Grubnic in Bristol, and he knows that it wasn’t just a one-time thing, either.
“I saw a guy that was smiling some (Sunday) and I think a lot of that stems from when we swapped chassis,” Millican said. “He felt like he kind of got a handle on something that was giving him problems the last few races. We were going rounds, but the previous chassis would throw him a curveball. He just had an easiness about him all weekend. When that dude’s smiling, the results show. The car was doing what he wanted it to do and that’s what a crew chief wants.”
Defending event winner Capps has been dominant since winning his first Funny Car world championship. He has five victories in 2017, including last weekend in Bristol.
Line started 2017 with a win, but he’s chasing points leader Bo Butner and rookie Tanner Gray, who both have two wins this season. In all, seven drivers have won a race in Pro Stock in 2017.
Krawiec leads the Pro Stock Motorcycle points after a season-opening win, but L.E. Tonglet has back-to-back wins. Other stars include Andrew Hines and reigning world champ Jerry Savoie.
The NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series makes its eighth of 12 stops in the 2017 season in Norwalk. The event also features thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. After Nitro qualifying, fans can watch the spectacular Douthit Motorsports eye lighting Black Pearl Jet Funny Car vs. Pro Jet Motorsports Al Z’s Hot Blade Jet Dragster. Jet cars are thrust driven propelled by jet engines with exciting pre-run flame shows.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.
Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 5:15 and 7:45 p.m. on Friday, June 23 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, June 24, at 12:45 and 3:15 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 25.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park at (419) 668-5555. Tickets also are available online at Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. For more information about the NHRA visit

Clay Millican in action Sunday at Bristol burnout 6 18 2017 (Photo by Marc Gewertz/NHRA)


Wild night at Texas for IndyCar as Power takes the Checkered Flag

Power wins at Texas for 31st career victory

FORT WORTH, Texas (Saturday, June 10, 2017) – Will Power survived a Wild West night of racing at Texas Motor Speedway to win the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 and join a pair of greats on the all-time Indy car victory list.

The Team Penske driver won the incident-filled race on the 1.5-mile oval, taking the checkered flag in the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet under caution ahead of second-place Tony Kanaan in the No. 10 NTT Data Honda from Chip Ganassi Racing.


The victory is the 31st in Indy cars for the 36-year-old Australian, tying him with Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy for ninth all time. It is also his second win this season and second at Texas Motor Speedway.

Will Power at Carb Day 2015 by Sarah Stierch - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“Over the moon to win here,” Power said. “My second home and my wife is from here, so we spend a lot of time down here, so just an amazing feeling.”

The frenetic Verizon IndyCar Series race featured 23 lead changes among seven drivers, though Power led a race-high 180 of the 248 laps. He won under the last of nine caution periods after four cars – including Takuma Sato and Scott Dixon battling for second place right behind Power – were involved in a crash in Turn 1 on Lap 244.

Power’s win is the ninth at Texas Motor Speedway for Team Penske and the legendary team’s record 191st victory in Indy car history.

“It was a matter of getting to the front,” said Power, who started ninth in the 22-car field. “We talked about that in our pre-race strategy meeting, that track position is going to be everything because I know whoever would have the lead and (stay on) the bottom of the track would be very difficult to pass.”

Kanaan finished second despite being levied a 20-second stop-and-hold penalty after being involved in the largest incident of the race. On Lap 152, Kanaan, Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin went three wide into Turn 3. The cars of Kanaan and Hinchcliffe touched, ricocheting Hinchcliffe into Aleshin and triggering a mishap involving nine cars. No one was injured.

The race was red-flagged for 30 minutes while the Holmatro Safety Team and track workers cleaned up debris. When the race was restarted, Kanaan went down two laps after serving the penalty, but clawed his way back onto the lead lap to secure a season-best second-place finish and his fourth podium showing in the past five Texas races.

“There was a bump going into Turn 3 there and I guess I moved up, and I really have to apologize to Hinch,” Kanaan said. “I don’t do those kind of things. I race people clean and I want people to race me clean. It was definitely an honest mistake.

“Got a penalty, paid a penalty and we finished second, so I guess it is what it is.”

For the final 90 laps of the race, INDYCAR mandated competition cautions after every 30 green-flag laps so teams could change tires to account for abnormal tire wear on some entries, due in part to the newly repaved track surface.

A statement from INDYCAR, read, in part: “This action has been taken out of an abundance of caution as race conditions presented different conditions than seen in earlier tests.”

Dixon retained the Verizon IndyCar Series championship lead despite finishing ninth after being collected by the spinning Sato on Lap 244. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver sits atop the standings after nine of 17 races with 326 points. Simon Pagenaud, who finished third in the race, is second with 313 points, Sato is third at 312, Helio Castroneves fourth with 305 and Power fifth at 286.

The next Verizon IndyCar Series race is the KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America on June 25. The race airs live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.




Driver Quotes from Saturday night’s IndyCar Race at Texas Motor Speedway

“What They’re Saying” from the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 race

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet, 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series champion): “It was very much pack racing, so we were trying to get away from the pack, which we did for quite a while. It was a way also to save some fuel and stay behind (Will Power). I was trying to protect him so that we could just go as fast as we could, and it worked out really well. At the end there, I was hoping we were going to go a little longer because I had a really good car. It was a lot of fun. It got a little crazy at the end. I tell you, it is just incredible how close we can race against each other. Good fun, good night, awesome working with Will. That is Team Penske, we all work together, you guys don’t believe us, but we do and we showed it tonight.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 hum by Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “It was definitely a bad decision. It seemed OK…we just got loose. It’s hard to tell if that’s what it was or not, probably going third lane was not a right idea. I was just trying to get some space with (Scott) Dixon, I didn’t know exactly where he was going to go. I probably could have backed out of it sooner and realized it’s not going to be good up there. It’s just my fault. I feel bad for the guys on the No. 2 car. With everything we have been doing, hum by Verizon on the vehicle with us, we’ve had fast cars and it’s always a shame when you make a mistake for your guys. I put that on me, just trying to race hard, and the third lane wasn’t there, so we didn’t have it tonight.”

CONOR DALY (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “That was crazy. I think the biggest thing tonight is that I learned a lot. That was the first time ever on an oval that I raced side-by-side or that close to anyone. (Indianapolis Motor Speedway) we’re never like that and last year I didn’t make it through much of the race. It was a huge level of experience gain. We made progress on the car all the way through and on the last stint, I thought we were really in contention for a top five. We were right in the fight which was really fun. I’ve never experienced any racing like that in my life. Really enjoyed it. It was crazy to spin at the end, but we kept going, so overall just a nice day for us to make it through and survive. I think my guys did a great job – tonight was a lot of work in the pits – we were adjusting the car every stop so I have to thank them for all their work.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “We had a run on (Tony Kanaan) and he had plenty of room on the left, but he just came to the right. If you look at the replay, he comes all the way from the white line to the middle of the racetrack, just pinched me into Mikhail (Aleshin). Either his spotter didn’t tell him we were three wide or what, but I couldn’t go anywhere, I was sandwiched in the middle. I was not expecting him to do that; Tony has more experience in this kind of pack racing than anybody. I went wheel-to-wheel with him last year for the win and nine times out of 10 would do that all day long, but for whatever reason, he wasn’t playing very nice today and wrecked a lot of good equipment. It turned into way more of a pack race than we’ve had here in a long time, which unfortunately, leads to situations like this. A lot of good cars taken out, but I’m glad everybody’s OK. We had such a good car. We had that penalty after I looped it in pit lane, but then we raced our way back to the lead lap; we were side-by-side with Will (Power) and we had the car in the top five. The Arrow Electronics car was just incredible and that last pit stop from the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports guys was just great, it’s just a super frustrating way to end a day that was going as well as that in this fashion. I just feel bad for the Arrow Electronics boys because we had two good cars that got taken out today.”

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Honda): “Well, the thing is I was much faster than the guys on the lower line. I thought we were all going to stay together up there, but I think James (Hinchcliffe) touched (Tony) Kanaan – I don’t know the reason for that – then we basically all crashed. I thought we could make it three lanes up there. I didn’t understand what was going on, because I gave space to them, but something was going on with James and Kanaan. In the end, you know, what we have is two great cars that ended up in the wall and that’s just dumb. It’s stupid and I’m very disappointed in regards to the shape of the team this weekend. We could have been in the top spot today.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Honda): “That was a wild ride in Texas. I was hanging on for 200 laps, then the car started to come to me. Luckily half the field was taken out and it was easy to get into the mix because of attrition. With 20 (laps) to go we were competitive. Unfortunately with the incident, I collected (Scott) Dixon in the aftermath of that accident and that ended it for the Gallagher car.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Honda): “It was a tough night, just very intense from the first to the last lap. I’m going to apologize to (James Hinchcliffe) for what happened – I just got up a little too high. We paid the price for my mistake. We got a penalty, paid the penalty, and we were able to finish second. I’m proud of the team for sticking with me and fighting our way back up front. It was just an intense race. A lot of things happened and you had to avoid a lot of things to finish. I’m not going to lie, I’m glad it’s over.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, 2017 Rainguard Water Sealers 600 winner): “It was very intense. I could see (Scott) Dixon was able to pass me at the start/finish line. So, I was starting to think about what I was going to do there at the end. Phenomenal job by the guys in the pits. I am so stoked, so happy for Verizon. Shows you how good that Chevy engine is, man, it was super fast tonight. I’m so stoked to win in my second home, where my wife (Liz) is from, Texas. All the family is here, it just feels awesome.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “I’m proud of my team. From yesterday’s mistake, we wanted to go to the front and we were coming. We were in the top 10 most of the time and looking pretty good. On ovals, you have everyone in a pack and when there’s a crash in front of you, there’s nothing you can do. I couldn’t avoid crashing. It’s racing, it’s ovals. This is my first crash on an oval, so I guess there’s always a first time. I was proud of my team, we were running pretty good and staying with the leaders. It’s a shame.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Mi-Jack / Bobby Rahal Automotive Honda, 2016 Rainguard Water Sealers 600 winner):
“It was a crazy night with a lot of guys taking a lot of chances. After Indy and after this race, drivers need to have to take a deep breath and realize that this is dangerous stuff. I’m glad that our car doesn’t have a ding on it. We weren’t the prettiest thing out here tonight, but the Mi-Jack boys worked very hard and I’m pleased with the end result. We raised a lot of money for Turns for Troops and our United Rentals initiative. I would have liked to have won it, and I actually felt like I had the car to do it, but I struggled with track position all night and I got lucky to not get involved in all those crashes. I’m obviously disappointed in myself to stall on that last stop, but I’m probably lucky because I cleared the incident right after that. We got lucky to miss and avoid those crashes because all of them were right in front of me. I’m looking forward to Road America, which should be a good one for us. Coming off three top fives in a row, hopefully we can go have another good points race with a good result.”

TRISTAN VAUTIER (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “I think I showed everything I could tonight. I gave it my all and I raced really hard. I’m happy we maximized everything, it’s just a shame to be taken out by something out of our control, and the team really did not need another crash because of all of the crash damage they already had. I tried my best to avoid that and race well. Sometimes you can’t do anything about it.”

ED JONES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda):
“The guys were trying to run three wide, I think Tony (Kanaan) didn’t leave them enough room. So they crashed, I backed off and hit the brakes, and then I got collected from behind and there’s nothing I could do about that. It put me in the wall and game over. Super frustrating to the team, two extremely fast cars, came from 19th and I think we had a chance to win that one. That’s what hurts most.” (About how frustrating is it that their cars were so fast and yet got collected in the incident) “I feel bad for Dale (Coyne, team owner). Dale’s put so much work into this team. We’ve been so quick this year, but we’ve had a lot of incidents – this is my first incident. It’s painful, but he keeps coming back and coming back stronger every time.”

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “It was a wild night. We overcame a lot of adversity. First the spin – I was hoping for a spin and win! – and then got caught up in that big one. But there’s no quit in Ed Carpenter Racing. As many cars as were crashed out, we figured we’d patch it back up and salvage some points. You collect points all year long and you never know what a night like tonight might do at the end of the year for the entrant championship standings for both the No. 20 and the No. 21. I’m proud of the Fuzzy’s Vodka guys putting in the extra work. The easiest thing to do would have been packing up and heading home. I’m thankful for the drive of this team, getting back out there and finishing with both cars. There was a lot of tore up stuff tonight, but all things considered we got out of it alright for crashing twice. But it was really unfortunate, I think we could have raced with those guys at the end. We just had too many things happen, but that’s the way it goes.”

JR HILDEBRAND (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “Huge credit to the team for recognizing that there was an opportunity to fix the car, get back out, and pick up some positions. The Fuzzy’s Vodka crew killed it. With no setup pad, the car that I rolled back out there with could have competed for a top-five finish today with no problem. I’m really proud of the guys. It is a big confidence boost for everyone, the day goes totally sideways and we’re able to end on a positive note which always feels good. Ed (Carpenter) and I were both able to take advantage of the team doing awesome work. Hopefully this kind of gets us on a bit of momentum heading into the rest of the year, we have a lot of racing left to do. It is a bummer not to get a much better finish that we easily could have gotten today, regardless of the carnage, but it makes us all feel good about what we can do from here on out.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda): “It’s disappointing. We had a very good car the second half of the race. It was an unfortunate situation – I had a car in front of me and a car to my right, I got two tires in the grass, bottomed out and there was nowhere for me to go from that. We just ran out of track. All the cars were battling for position and constantly moving. It was an exciting race for sure, and I am disappointed it ended the way it did.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda): “It was absolute mayhem – a crapshoot whether you got through it. The good Lord was looking after us probably about 50 times tonight. It was pretty crazy. It was a survival type day, we had a one-lane car so I couldn’t really pass cars. We were fast, but every time I go the run and popped out for the pass, we just lost grip. It was like one-and-a-half lanes out there, the second lane just never came in.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “I don’t know what I need to do here to get things right, but we had a good car early on then came in and made a downforce adjustment and then I completely missed the compensation on the front wing and then I went straight to the back. We spent the rest of the night trying to claw back, just missing the whole downforce front grip equation. We started getting going there, then this deal happened. There were guys making too many moves out there late into the corner. I will save my opinion for after I look at it. I came down, there were cars spinning and sparks everywhere. I went for the apron, I kind of high-sided a bit, and I was just a passenger from there. There was no where to go. You can’t jump all over the brakes from these cars once you are doing 220mph into the corner, there’s not a whole lot of places to go.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Tresiba Honda): “I’m obviously gutted for the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing guys. We had such a good day yesterday winning the pole and we had a lot of momentum heading into today’s race. The No. 83 Tresiba Honda was really fast and I believe we had a good chance to win tonight, which makes it even more frustrating that a mechanical failure ended our day. The guys did everything they could to get the 83 back out on track, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us. This one really hurts. I’m glad we have a weekend to regroup and get our heads back in the game for Road America.”

GABBY CHAVES (No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet): “We did what we had to do. We kept our nose clean. We had a solid car. I think before the accidents, we were inside the top 12. We had great Chevy power until the end, and just made the passes when we had to. Just really proud of the team effort.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 Andretti Autosport/Curb Honda):
“Our car started off struggling a little bit but then as the high-line started coming in we were getting better. It’s unfortunate because our car was getting good and the track was coming in and I think it was going to turn out to be a decent night. I went to pass Tony (Kanaan) on the inside of (Turn) 3 and we were three wide… and there are two lanes here but there aren’t three.”




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