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May 2018
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‘Motor Sports’ Articles

IMS officials encourage fans to arrive early and hydrate for Sunday’s Indy 500





INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 25, 2018 – There are three important facts to remember for every fan attending the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on Sunday, May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – plan ahead, arrive early and hydrate.

One of the largest crowds in decades is expected for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the largest single-day spectator sporting event on Earth, so fans can best ensure a stress-free day at the track by arriving by the time all public gates open at 6 a.m. (ET).

“Last year’s attendance was the best attendance we’ve had in over a decade at the Indianapolis 500 by a significant number, except for the 100th Running (in 2016),” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “This year we are tracking to be significantly higher than last year. This will be another one of those amazing Indianapolis 500 crowds.

“With that, it’s important to remember that we want folks to plan ahead so they know where they’re going to park and to be patient when they come in through the gates. Once again, like the 100th Running, it’s most important to start thinking about coming a little bit earlier.”

A perfect way for fans to prepare for Race Day is to visit the special Plan Ahead section of the IMS website, , a special interactive page that serves as a home base for fans attending the Speedway during the Month of May.

The “Plan Ahead” page features detailed information about the entire fan experience at IMS, including directions, parking, track map, schedule, camping, gate regulations, tickets, ADA accessibility and much more.

Warm, humid conditions are forecasted for Sunday, so fans are encouraged to begin hydrating well before they arrive at the track and continue to drink as much water as possible at the track. Fans are permitted to bring coolers no larger than 18″ x 14″ x 14″, with the reminder that no glass bottles are allowed.

“We want to make sure that everybody here is safe,” IMS Director of Medical Services Dr. Geoffrey Billows said. “What we recommend is you make sure you hydrate. Don’t wait till the day of the event. Start a day or so before. You want to keep your tank full.

“When you’re here, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, some type of electrolyte solution, as well. When you come here, we recommend that you would wear very lightweight, light-colored clothing.”

Five cooling buses will be stationed around the property on Race Day, with two near the IU Health Emergency Medical Center in the infield, one near the Snake Pit presented by Coors Light concert venue inside Turn 3 and one outside of Turn 4. Approximately 75 misting stations also are positioned around the property to help fans beat the heat.

Gates at IMS open at 6 a.m. following the traditional cannon blast. From there, fans looking to beat traffic and avoid longer lines can take advantage of many fun opportunities, including:

IMS Museum: The Museum, which opens at 6 a.m. on Race Day, features a special exhibit honoring the legendary Unser family this year. Learn more about the Museum’s world-renowned attractions here:

Fan Midway: The IMS Midway, located in the infield, includes many new features this year for fans of all ages. Go karting and check out the virtual reality simulators, displays and more.

Shopping and Food: A wide array of 102nd Running attire and collectibles will go fast, so don’t miss out! Shop for family and friends while supplies last. All concessions and retailers will open at 6 a.m.

Borg-Warner Trophy March to the Bricks: Back by popular demand, the Borg-Warner Trophy will begin an epic march to the iconic Yard of Bricks at 8 a.m. from the IMS Museum. Line up outside the west side of the Museum for a chance to see one of the most famous trophies in the world – escorted by the Indianapolis 500 Gordon Pipers – begin its journey to Victory Podium.

IMS Red Carpet: Many celebrities, including superstars Kelly Clarkson and Chris Hemsworth, will walk the IMS Red Carpet, located just north of Pagoda Plaza, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. The fans lining up in the viewing area earliest will have the best view of Race Day celebrities.

Epic Pre-Race! Be in your seat for it: This year’s pre-race ceremonies will serve as a fitting, stunning tribute to our nation’s military heroes and continue as America’s greatest Memorial Day Weekend sporting tradition. Be in your seat early to ensure you see every can’t-miss moment.

Other Important Race Day Tips for Fans

IMS App and Twitter: Download the IMS app, available on both iPhone and Android. Also follow the IMS (@IMS), Town of Speedway Police (@SpeedwayPD) and Indiana State Police (@IndStatePolice) accounts on Twitter for the latest Race Day information.

Cooler, Backpack Restrictions: No coolers larger than 18 inches by 14 inches by 14 inches can be brought into the facility, which will be strictly enforced. Fans will be allowed to bring one cooler and one standard backpack or book bag per person.

• Smoke-Free Grandstands: Smoking (including cigarettes, electronic cigarettes and vapes) will not be permitted in any IMS grandstands. Fans wishing to smoke will be asked to do so 20 feet away from buildings and seating entrances. Smoking will continue to be allowed in the IMS infield.

Parking: All IMS exterior parking lots open at 5 a.m. on Race Morning, while interior lots open at 6 a.m. All IMS exterior and interior parking is sold out, including ADA parking.

Gate 2, Gate 10 Access: Gate 2 and Gate 10 are not accessible via car on Race Day without a pre-paid parking pass. Fans with a pre-paid parking pass in Turn 3 must enter IMS through Gate 10, not Gate 2.

Road Closures: To increase the safety and security of race patrons, the Speedway Police Department will close Georgetown Road and 16th Street to all vehicular traffic during the running of the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Georgetown Road will be closed south of 25th Street beginning at 7 a.m. After Georgetown Road is closed, no vehicular traffic, including placarded traffic, will be allowed to access the roadway. Race patrons with pre-paid parking passes who are accustomed to entering IMS Gate 7 must enter through Gate 2 (W. 16th Street) or Gate 10 (30th Street).

Upon completion of the race, Georgetown Road will remain closed to vehicular traffic until the vast majority of race pedestrian foot traffic clears from the roadway (approximately one hour after the race).

In addition, 16th Street will be closed between Olin Avenue on the east to the 16th Street roundabout on the west from approximately noon until the race ends. In addition, 16th Street will not be accessible from Polco Street, as it will be blocked at 10th Street.

Once 16th Street is closed, traffic traveling east on Crawfordsville Road from the west will be turned around at the 16th Street roundabout. Traffic traveling west on 16th Street from downtown will be diverted south on Olin Avenue.

Exiting the Facility: Fans are encouraged to remember to be patient when leaving IMS after the race. There’s no need to rush to your car, as parking lots are held until law enforcement deems the roads safe for vehicular traffic. This process takes slightly more time but keeps everyone safer when heading home.

More Traffic, Road Information: Drivers can learn the locations of work zones and highway restrictions by calling INDOT’s TrafficWise at 1-800-261-ROAD (7623) or viewing an online map at or visiting @TrafficWise on Twitter. ISP will offer updates on traffic and parking on Twitter and Facebook.

For more information regarding access to IMS, visit For additional information, follow on Twitter the Indiana State Police @IndStatePolice, the Speedway Police Department @SpeedwayPD or listen to radio stations WNFI-AM 1070 or WIBC-FM 93.1.

The Speedway Police Department can be reached for non-emergency services by dialing 311 on a cell phone. The goal of 311 is to provide an easy-to-remember number for non-emergency services while freeing up 911 lines for timely emergency response.

Tickets: Visit to purchase tickets for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on Sunday, May 27, and for more information on the Race Weekend schedule at IMS.


Fan-favorite, Tony Kanaan leads final 102nd Indy 500 practice session: veteran driving for legend A.J. Foyt Racing





Tony Kanaan discusses Indy 500 history on Media Day ( photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, May 25, 2018) - If there’s one thing known following the final practice prior to the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, it’s that no one knows for sure what is going to happen in Sunday’s iconic race.

Miller Lite Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway featured the traditional one-hour practice for Verizon IndyCar Series competitors – the last chance for the 33 drivers and teams to zero in on the ideal car setup for race day. Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 winner, led the session with a lap of 227.791 mph in the No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet.

“I think this is the closest that we’re going to get as far as weather for Sunday, so we tried to optimize that and run in the heat conditions and see what are we going to do,” Kanaan said. “But really, if you haven’t figured it out by today, you’re in trouble.”

INDIANAPOLIS 500: Miller Lite Carb Day practice resultsCombined practice results

With the 2018 Indy car featuring the universal aero kit in use for the first time on a superspeedway oval, teams used every minute of the final practice to gather data in the sunny and warm conditions. The forecast is similar for race day, with temperatures expected in the low 90s.

A total of 1,273 laps were run on the 2.5-mile oval on Friday – an increase of more than 300 laps from Carb Day practice a year ago.

“I remember back in the days when we had to save the engine and you couldn’t do more than 10 laps (on Carb Day) to save it for the race,” said Kanaan, the 21st-year driver who will make his 17th Indy 500 start and record 289th straight start in an Indy car race on Sunday. “Nowadays, the engines are so good, Chevy does such a great job, that you can run full power all the way through. So then you tell the engineers that, we ran three sets of tires, almost 50 laps.”

Scott Dixon, the 2008 Indy 500 winner, was second on the Carb Day practice speed chart with a lap of 225.684 mph in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

“I don’t really know if today told us too much about what the race will bring in the PNC Bank car,” Dixon said. “It’s really warm today and we think it could be even warmer on race day. The track temp was way up there today as well. I’m not really sure what you can learn from the times today.

“Overall, the car felt good and we were comfortable. You just never know exactly what you’re going to have until you get into the race.”

Fifteen drivers turned 40 laps or more in the practice, led by Graham Rahal’s 51 laps in the No. 15 United Rentals Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Ed Carpenter, who will lead the field to the green flag as the pole sitter on Sunday, was 14th fastest in the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet (223.219 mph).

Danica Patrick, making this year’s Indianapolis 500 the final race of her epic career, ran only 15 laps, as an electrical issue forced her Ed Carpenter Racing crew to hustle the No. 13 GoDaddy Chevrolet back to its Gasoline Alley garage for repairs. Patrick still wound up eighth on the speed chart with a lap of 223.653 mph.

“We had a little bit of an electrical issue, but our team was able to get me back out there before practice was over,” said Patrick, who will make her eighth Indy 500 start on Sunday with a best finish of third place in 2009 to date. “At the end of the day, these are things you’re actually glad for, because if this had happened Sunday, we would have been done. I’m glad to get the issues out of the way early on.

“Overall, today felt good. We made some changes when I went out the second time, and I’m feeling good about starting seventh on Sunday.”

All 33 cars are now locked away in their garages as crews make final changes in anticipation of race day. Drivers will be kept busy Saturday at IMS with a public autograph session (9 a.m. ET) and the traditional public drivers meeting starting at 10:25 a.m. (streaming live on They will all then ride in the IPL 500 Festival Parade in downtown Indianapolis.

The 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 airs live at 11 a.m. Sunday on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. Tickets remain available at

Herta wins thrilling fastest Freedom 100 in history

Second-generation driver Colton Herta held off teammate Patricio O’Ward at the finish line by 0.0281 of a second to win the Freedom 100 in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires race that set a record for speed average (191.422 mph) and lead changes (20).

Five of the eight drivers in the race led during the 40-lap event, with pole sitter Dalton Kellett leading the most laps (17). Herta, who led 10 laps, took over first place for the final time on Lap 39 and then held off O’Ward, Kellett (third place), Santi Urrutia (fourth place) and Ryan Norman (fifth place) at the finish. The top five finished within 0.3303 of a second of each other.

The victory made Herta, from Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing, the first driver to sweep all three Indy Lights races at IMS in a year. The 18-year-old son of former Indy car driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series team co-owner Bryan Herta won both races during the INDYCAR Grand Prix weekend May 11-12.

Dixon’s crew wins Pit Stop Challenge

The Chip Ganassi Racing crew for Scott Dixon defeated James Hinchcliffe’s Schmidt Peterson Motorsports crew in a best-of-three final to win the Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge. It marks the third time that Dixon’s crew has won the contest in the past seven years.

The No. 9 PNC Bank Honda crew – consisting of tire changers Blair Julian, Kyle Clark, Mike LeGallic and Jason Beck, fueler Alphonse Girard and airjack operator Dave Pena – split the $50,000 first prize. Hinchcliffe’s crew competed even though he didn’t qualify for the race and finished runner-up in the competition for the second straight year.

Indianapolis 500 featured as category on ‘Jeopardy!’

Indianapolis 500 fans can tune in to the popular game show “Jeopardy!” on Friday to catch an entire category dedicated to “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” The exposure on the classic game show where the answers come in the form of a question is geared to rev up anticipation for Sunday’s 102nd running of the race.

Check local listings to see when “Jeopardy!” airs in local markets.


Wild Indy 500 Bump Day qualifying has Castroneves as the fastest; Hinchcliffe, Mann no spots in upcoming race




INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, May 19, 2018) – The first day of qualifying for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil was its typical emotional roller coaster. It was filled with nail-biting four-lap attempts, rain delays that ruined strategies, last-minute bids to bump into the field of 33 and ultimate heartbreak for those left on the outside looking in.

Helio Castroneves (courtesy IndyCar)

The cars and drivers that will start the race on May 27 were established in qualifying on Saturday. Two drivers – Verizon IndyCar Series regular James Hinchcliffe and Indy-only pilot Pippa Mann – did not earn a spot in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” this year as a result of the dramatic qualifications process.

“That’s part of the lure of what makes this race so special,” team owner/driver Ed Carpenter said of the bumping that occurred for the first time at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 2011.

INDIANAPOLIS 500 PRESENTED BY PENNGRADE MOTOR OIL: First-day qualifications results

Helio Castroneves was the fastest qualifier of the day with a four-lap run on the 2.5-mile oval at 228.919 mph in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet under overcast conditions before the first of two rain delays that totaled 2 hours, 41 minutes. Castroneves’ teammates – Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Josef Newgarden – joined the three-time Indy 500 winner in advancing to Sunday’s Fast Nine Shootout that determines the starting order for the first three rows, including the Verizon P1 Award pole winner.

“Obviously, my run (being) earlier, the weather was much more consistent,” Castroneves said. “When you have that kind of scenario, it helps a lot. We all work together (at Team Penske) to obviously find the limits. We did. We have to do it again tomorrow, in the fast nine, and let’s see what happens.”

Joining the Team Penske quartet in the Fast Nine Shootout will be the Ed Carpenter Racing trio of Carpenter, Spencer Pigot and Danica Patrick. Making the final start of her crossover career in INDYCAR and NASCAR, Patrick set another standard by becoming the first woman to qualify for the Fast Nine Shootout that debuted in 2010. Patrick was the first woman to lead the Indy 500, as a rookie in 2005, and remains the best finisher in race history when she placed third in 2009.

“I have high expectations for doing well here,” Patrick said. “That’s why I was fortunate enough to be able to drive for Ed. They always have great cars, especially here at Indy, they’re always very strong. I am very happy with this car.”

Sebastien Bourdais of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan and 2017 Indy 500 pole sitter Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing rounded out the fast nine qualifiers. They represent the only Honda drivers who will have a shot at the pole position, as Chevrolet dominated the top of the speed chart.

At the other end of the spectrum, James Davison recovered from a crash in Friday’s practice to qualify the No. 33 Jonathan Byrd’s 502 East Chevrolet in the 33rd and final position. The 31-year-old Australian nervously waited out the end of qualifying at 5:50 p.m. ET to retain his spot in the field.

“It was an incredible 24 hours, something that I think all of us on the team didn’t expect that we were going to face,” Davison said of his Foyt with Byrd/Hollinger/Belardi crew. “It’s a life experience, making it into the Indy 500, actually earning it. The three times I’ve done this race, there were 33 cars. … This time, we had to earn it in there.”

The fortunes weren’t so kind for Hinchcliffe and Mann. Hinchcliffe had to wait to make a qualifying attempt until after the initial weather delay. The first driver on the oval when qualifications resumed, Hinchcliffe posted a disappointing run of 224.784 mph in the No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda that was bumped from the field by friend and former roommate Conor Daly with less than 20 minutes left

Hinchcliffe went out to make another attempt, but sensed a vibration in the car from what was later discovered to be a tire pressure sensor failure and didn’t take the green flag. After quick repairs by his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports crew, the car was rushed back into the qualifying line, but time ran out with Mann on track and Hinchcliffe – the 2016 Indy 500 pole sitter – sitting in line next to go.

“Nobody failed us, the system didn’t fail us. We failed us,” a dejected Hinchcliffe said. “At the end of the day, everybody got a run, which is the rule. Our run wasn’t good enough, so blame the weather, blame other cars in line, you can blame whatever you want, but it just didn’t happen today. You’ve got to take your lumps here sometimes.”

Mann, who’d been bumped earlier by a Daly attempt, wasn’t able to muster enough speed on her final try to dislodge Davison from the field.

“When we got back in line for the last run, we took every single trim we could possibly could to the race car, we did everything,” said Mann, a six-time Indy 500 starter. “Obviously it wasn’t enough.

“It’s the worst feeling in the world.”

The tension starts anew on the second day of qualifications. The drivers who qualified 10th through 33rd on Saturday will each make one four-lap run in qualifying starting at 2:45 p.m. Sunday – in reverse order of their qualifying speeds Saturday – to determine grid positions 10 through 33 for those cars.

They’ll be followed by the Fast Nine Shootout at 5 p.m. – also run in reverse order from Saturday’s speeds – to set the first three rows. Castroneves is a four-time Indy 500 pole winner. Only retired Team Penske driver and four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears has started at the head of the field more times in race history (six).

Second-day qualifying will stream live on WatchESPN from 2:30-4 p.m. Sunday, with ABC picking up the national TV broadcast from 4-6 p.m. The 102nd running of the world’s largest single-day sporting event airs live at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 27 on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.



ICYMI: Qoutes from 2018 Indy 500 Bump Day



‘What They’re Saying’ from Indianapolis 500 Bump Day qualifying

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I definitely think we’re working with a slower track. It’s very humid. Rain brings humidity. There’s a lot of moisture in the air. It slows our cars down. I think it would’ve been a little better to go early today, but we still found some speed. We were real close. The only thing we were missing was that fourth lap. If that fourth lap could’ve been a little bit better, we probably would have popped up to third. This Verizon car is quick. I think we have a little more speed in it.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet): “I didn’t make many adjustments. The Shell Pennzoil Chevy looks really strong. Right now, we’re working very well and trying to make sure Chevy power keeps pushing up to the front. When I saw the 229 ,[j, I thought it was 228. I had to compose myself. It's amazing how the car became so sensitive by the last lap. You don't want to do anything too aggressive."

MATHEUS LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): "Qualifying was pretty good I think, I was pretty comfortable in the car and I'm happy with the performance and happy with the effort of all the ABC crew, I think they did a great job today. We'll see how it goes tomorrow. It was a tough run because the conditions changed so much from yesterday. Yesterday I had one car and today I had a different car but the good thing is that we were still fast. We had a little bit of understeer in Turn 1 and 2 and we were a little bit edgy in (Turn) 3 and 4, but I had my tools so I could control the car. I think I and the team did a great job together."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda): "It's devastating in every way possible. We got in line there and then we had a tire vibration. I'm not exactly sure what the problem was... Indy is a cruel mistress sometimes. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows, but SPM worked their tails off to get these cars ready. We have three cars in the show, unfortunately the fourth one didn't make it, but we win as a team and we lose as a team. It's crazy to be here after where we were two years ago, but we will put our heads down and we will take a look at it and definitely learn from this experience. It's a character builder for sure, but yeah, I'm just disappointed. The Arrow Electronics car is fast enough to be in the show, no doubt about it. We've got one of the best crews in pit lane - we've proved that all year long. It's just a big blow for sure."

ROBERT WICKENS (No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda): "I think we lost some speed overnight, which is always frustrating. On Fast Friday, we were right in the mid-227s or low-227s and now we can't even make it there, so we have some work to do. I don't think that rain delay could have come at a worse time. We got the Lucas Oil car all hot and ready, did one timed lap and had to stop [for moisture on track]. It rained but it’s not cold outside, so everything is hot and the engine’s not making great power because it’s just hot. We did what we could, but I feel like I didn’t get a fair chance. I know there’s more speed – it’s frustrating because I honestly think we had a shot at the Fast Nine today.”

JAY HOWARD (No. 7 One Cure SPM Honda): “The objective today was to make sure we got the One Cure car in the field, and we did just that. Thanks to the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports boys, Honda, One Cure – we are pretty proud. It’s pretty special to be here. It’s been so smooth being back with the team with so many familiar faces. I really appreciate the guys’ hard work and I’m really happy to get the car in the show.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It was much better today out there overall for the whole No. 9 PNC Bank team. The car really felt good today and I was comfortable – I was feeling a lot better than yesterday too, but we’re just still lacking some speed to match the tops cars right now in qualifying. The team has been working very hard to make the most out of it and we’ll see what the conclusion of qualifying brings tomorrow.”

ED JONES (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “The guys did a great job overall for the NTT DATA car. We struggled a bit yesterday trying to find qualifying pace, and ran about 50 laps alone on qualifying setups. It’s great to be with this (Chip) Ganassi team because they constantly work at it and push to find speed. I think we got a little bit unlucky with the sun coming out during our run. That definitely hurt our pace a bit, but on the other hand considering our struggles yesterday I’m happy with the pace we have now.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I think the balance just came in as the run went on. Obviously, fuel gets a little bit lighter, too. So, I think I think we have a good solid-balanced car so that’s why it was going faster. This is obviously a very different condition to the early runners, so hopefully we have a shot at the pole tomorrow. But, I think we’re solidly in the nines, and I’m happy with that.”

DANICA PATRICK (No. 13 GoDaddy Chevrolet): “Every year is a little different. I remember 13 years ago my first time, similar conditions (to today) early it was overcast and cooler and having to save it in (Turn) 1. I remember that and then I remember years where the car was very neutral the whole way around the track, and looking at the steering trace afterward – and my heart rate is still not down – to times you go out there and it just won’t go fast enough. That gets your heart rate going in a different way. That’s the thing about Indy. It’s unpredictable. It ebbs and flows here. You can go out one day and you’re good and you go out the next day, try some things and wonder how you lost your way. You have to respect that process about Indy that it comes and goes. I am very happy with this car. I am comfortable, (Ed Carpenter Racing) has made me comfortable. We got off on a path that didn’t go very well for a while. The good thing is you come back to it and the car is there. I wish I would have been able to qualify before the rain came. The conditions were probably a little more ideal.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “It was a good day. The luck of the draw definitely hurt us a bit. It is what it is. As a team, it’s nice to see A.J. so happy. I wish I could’ve locked in the Fast Nine for him, but it doesn’t matter. Today, the most important thing was to be in the show. We have two cars that are very strong in the show. Tomorrow we will fight for the pole which is for tenth [smiles] then we’ll go win the race. The year that we won here, I started 12th. I believe that we can do it.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 United Rentals Honda): “We’re in the show and that’s probably as much as I can ask for. We get to go racing. Obviously, we have our work cut out for us back where we are but it’s a long race and anything can happen. We will finish it up tomorrow to get our final starting position. Most of all I can’t thank these guys enough. The No.15 car, the No. 30 car and the  o. 64 car guys stayed so late last night to help get everything swapped over. We changed cars, changed engines, gearboxes, uprights and literally built a new car start to finish. They were here until 3:30 a.m. and were back here at 5:30 p.m. The work and effort that was put in is pretty much appreciated and I am honored to work with them. These United Rentals guys have no quit in them. Sure we’d like to qualify 10th tomorrow but, realistically, if we can sneak up to 20th and just hit everything just right that would be ideal. Race day is the important one for the United Rentals team. I’m just happy to be in the show right now!”

CONOR DALY (No. 17 United States Air Force Honda): “It was tough. Yesterday we were confidently running high 226s so we didn’t really expect to worry. Then we went out on our first run and we had a massive imbalance. We found the problem on the scale pad but once you’re already out, you’re in big trouble so we trimmed out, we made some mechanical changes that we didn’t know if they would work and we just had to go out and hold it flat. I’ve never pushed harder on that pedal and I just tried to make sure that it didn’t crash and we made it. It’s a relief just for this whole program with the U. S. Air Force, for my career. I’m just happy to be here.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 Team SealMaster Honda): “It was a solid run for the SealMaster Honda No. 18. Very conservative, obviously. I kind of owed it to myself, my wife, everybody on the team. A lot of things went through my head, particularly yesterday. We were back in qualifying trim and it was not an easy day, but the guys did a great job and the car was pretty strong. We almost did a repeat of yesterday during the qualifying run today. It was a tough set of circumstances. The conditions were a little tricky. Just before we were supposed to go out, it rains. Then it got hot. You go from 80 degrees of track temp to 105, six to eight degrees more of ambient. It was tough to hit the setup right with the conditions that changed so fast, but we had the right amount of downforce. The car was pretty solid, so very happy with the run.”

ZACHARY CLAMAN DE MELO (No. 19 Paysafe Honda): “I definitely would have liked to go later in line. It’s difficult to go first having never qualified here before in an Indy car. There were a lot of unknowns going into qualifying for me, I kind of figured them out now. It wasn’t really the qualifying we wanted. I wasn’t too pleased with the car. It was easy to drive but we didn’t have the speed. That said, we have a good race car so we should be fine and we have another chance tomorrow to improve our starting position. I’m just happy to be here. The whole event has been a great experience, from the fans to driving here to being with a great team. So, I’m really happy.”

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “It is so stressful qualifying for this race, especially on days like today when you’re just sitting around, waiting to see what’s going to happen. I was finally happy to get out there, but the conditions were a bit harder. I’m really happy with the speed in the car, especially in this time of day because it wasn’t ideal. Weather permitting, we will be able to go out and have some fun tomorrow. It’s cool to have me, Spencer, and Danica in the Fast Nine. That’s awesome for Ed Carpenter Racing, Fuzzy’s Vodka, Preferred Freezer Services, and GoDaddy. We were really happy to put Danica in a great position for her final ride and be a part of that history. If all three cars have a chance for the pole tomorrow, it is truly a testament to the team and how hard they work, how dedicated they are, and what a good group we have. It really is a team effort to have three cars that are as close in performance as we are. When you look across the paddock and how hard it is in this field, not all teams can do that; it’s a true testament to our team.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Preferred Freezer Service Chevrolet): “It was a really good day obviously for the team to have all three ECR cars in the Fast Nine. It just shows how much hard work and effort has gone into our program. I’m really happy for all the guys and girls on our team, specifically everyone on the Preferred Freezer car. I’ll look over everything tonight to see just how aggressive we can be, and hopefully, be towards the front of the top nine.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “I hate waiting. I just wanted to go, get it out of the way. At least, see the performance. Conditions are going to be key for speed. A gust of wind that goes your way, you’re going to pick up a lot of speed. Or a temperature drop could be a big advantage. Conditions today are what is going to get you up top the front. (How do you move to P1?) That’s one of the secrets of Indianapolis. Sometimes you have some super fast stuff going on and sometimes another teammate goes faster. We’re trying everything we can. It depends on the conditions on track. So far, the 22 Menards Chevy is really strong. I think it was a pretty strong performance. I’m very glad we got our run in and see the performance of the car. I think we’ve got something good. I think the four Team Penske cars are going to be very fast and obviously Helio (Castroneves) was really, really fast. I feel like the 22 Menards Chevrolet car is very competitive. We have a shot at (pole). I take my hat off to Chevrolet for the hard work that they’ve done all winter to get this engine at a different level of performance. They stepped up their game, and Team Penske the preparation with the car is rolling better than the others. It’s an honor to drive for two big friends like this.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 Fiasp Chevrolet) : “I’m just so proud of the whole team for how much work they’ve put into this INDYCAR program and especially into making sure that both Carlin cars qualified for next Sunday. You know, we stopped a little early during practice yesterday and the conditions today were significantly different, so we were a bit worried about making sure we adjusted to those factors. I think we were hoping to get a bit more speed out of the No. 23 Fiasp Chevrolet, but we’re all just over the moon that we made it into the show. We definitely have some work to do tonight after we comb through some data from this afternoon and hopefully we’ll have a shot at moving up even further tomorrow.”

SAGE KARAM (No. 24 WIX Filters DRR Chevrolet): “It’s about where I expected. I said I’d be between 15 and 20th. I just wanted to get into the field today. That was the main goal, then tomorrow we can attack more. We missed the gear ratio today. I had to downshift going into Turn 1 on my first lap; that really killed the speed. But we’ll go back to the drawing board tonight, fix it and should be good. It’s a good starting point. We missed the setup a little bit. We’ll probably go more toward where JR (Hildebrand) was and should be good.” (How challenging was it with the variable weather conditions today?): “Yeah, that was the most challenging part. That’s why we missed the gears and the downforce level a little bit. If we have gotten out right before that last little rain, we would’ve been perfect. Unfortunately, that’s how Indy is. It makes its own luck around here, and today I didn’t have the luck of the weather on my side.”

STEFAN WILSON (No. 25 #Driven2SaveLives Honda): “I’m super relieved. The last couple of nights – when qualifying is looming, it can get pretty crazy on bump day. It’s definitely been on the top of my mind. I focused on having four clean laps and executing my job. I think we managed to do that and put us safely into the field. I’m just so relieved. Even though I felt like we were good coming into the day, it plays on your mind knowing that two people are going home. I’m excited to really go after it tomorrow and potentially move up there a little bit and set a good starting position or the Driven2SaveLives / Intelisys team.”

ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Relay / Group One Thousand One Honda): “I’m just relieved that we get to say that we are in the 102nd Indianapolis 500. Our qualifying run started out pretty well and then we ran into a mechanical issue that really robbed our second through fourth laps of speed, so we were kind of worried that might put us in a bad situation of making the field. I think we have the speed in the car to definitely try to be in the first half of the top 10. I think we can start anywhere between 10th and 15th, hopefully we just have to nail it right tomorrow. A lot happened today – a lot of wind and a lot of rain and a lot of stress, but extremely excited to say that the Relay Group 1001 car is in the race.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda): “It was a wild day. It wasn’t nearly as straightforward as we were hoping for. We started off this morning being very aggressive with our downforce selection. That wasn’t the right call. Fortunately, we got another run right at the end and the NAPA car was way, way better. I don’t know if it was a missed opportunity because I knew we had a strong shot to get into the Fast Nine. We’re the first car that didn’t make it, so I think we have the potential to start in the top 10. If we do our job right tomorrow, we can make that happen.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “All in all, it was a pretty positive day for the No. 28 team. We certainly didn’t expect to make the Fast Nine, but we had to give it every chance we could. To end up 14th, I think, is pretty positive. We’ve got our work cut out for us tomorrow when we all qualify at the same time. We really swung for the fences there at the end and got more ultimate speed out of it, but the fall off, sliding, lack of downforce, was too much in the end. We know we’re safe in the race, we can start as high as 10th – we’ll give it our best tomorrow to get as high on the grid as we can.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 29 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda): “I think my Ruoff Home Mortgage crew did a good job over night. I think we’re finally up to speed. We’re just missing that big first lap that some of teammates had, but it was an OK run. I think it is a bummer we didn’t have a shot at the Fast Nine – especially, since this is the first time the team hasn’t been in (the Fast Nine) in a long time. But, we’re going to do our best to grab the 10th spot tomorrow and start the highest we can for the race. I am really happy that everyone from the team made it and we’ll have six cars running in the Indy 500.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack/Panasonic Honda): “First of all, I’m glad that Oriol (Servia) made it after a great save. It was a tough day for all of us. Obviously, we are not satisfied at all with where we are. I particularly couldn’t enjoy the lap which was disappointing.” (About the problem with his third lap): “I had a little moment, so I had to really lift. It’s tough. The track conditions were not necessarily good, but we are lacking speed, for sure. I ended up lifting off the throttle because I simply couldn’t make the corner. We have a lot of work to be done. We gathered a lot of data over three cars and it’s going to be a long night. Our engineers are working so hard. Hopefully we can put up good lap times tomorrow.”

KYLE KAISER (No. 32 NFP / Juncos Racing Chevrolet) : “Overall, I am ecstatic right now. We had such a great day. Rolling in, the guys made a few changes to the car from yesterday and we only had to qualify one time and the NFP Chevy car had the pace. I am just so happy with the team and the all the hard work they’ve done and put in. I am very excited to say that I will be in the Indianapolis 500 this year. I cannot wait for tomorrow to determine where we will actually be starting in the race, but to know we are in the show is an unbelievable feeling. I am so grateful to Dan Andersen and the Mazda Road to Indy for the opportunity to get me this chance to qualify. Now that I know I am in the race, I couldn’t be happier. I look forward to an exciting week ahead preparing for the race and getting out there for the biggest stage in racing.”

JAMES DAVISON (No. 33 Jonathan Byrd’s 502 East Chevrolet): “It was a big effort all night to get the car ready. That 225.6 mph was what we wanted to see. But, the drop off obviously was not. We dropped down to a 223.9 mph, but if someone said to us before that run that we were going to be quicker than the No. 5 car (James Hinchcliffe), I would have never believed it. At least we know that we’re somewhat in the mix in similar conditions. Things are going to change, weather-permitting. We know that we have some speed in the car. We just have to try and keep the consistency over the four laps. It’s motorsports – full of highs and lows. Indianapolis rewards bravery and experience. I just had to man up and get on with it. I’m just very proud of my team.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet): “I was really comfortable coming out of practice yesterday with the balance, but when I went out today it was literally within one corner I knew that it had changed a lot out there. The wind had gone up, the wind direction had changed, and I felt like the balance had changed. It’s just difficult if you’re struggling even a little bit because you just don’t know which way to go. I felt like the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet was a little loose and then the wind was getting stronger as we built up on speed so it was quite difficult. We weren’t thrilled with our overall pace, but honestly I’m just so proud of this team for getting both cars qualified for the Indianapolis 500.”

JACK HARVEY (No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM MSR w/SPM Honda): “We felt really close to the bubble because of our disappointing first run. I have been sweating it all day. It was tight until the checkered flag dropped. The second run was a much better run than the first. Meyer Shank Racing has done a great job the whole month. What’s been confusing at times is that we don’t know exactly where the speed is, but everyone at Meyer Shank Racing has done a great job at figuring it out for me. We know what we need to do and then we would execute it. The guys are putting the hours in, so we will just keep trying heading into pole day tomorrow.”

PIPPA MANN (No. 63 Donate Life Honda): “Coming into this May, I knew things were going to be tough. I normally get time in an Indy car once a year. With a new aero package, not getting to do any of the testing ahead of time because we don’t have a budget that allows for that… All of the people who have supported me to be here, Dale Coyne Racing, the entire crew on my car, worked so hard to turn that car over from a road course car to an oval car so we could shake it down, get me through my refresher on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday… I’ll be honest with you, we thought things were going pretty well. The car handled great. It was really good. It was pretty good in traffic. We thought things were rolling along pretty nicely. The no tow reports, they looked fine. Then yesterday morning, I rolled out, 226 mph out of the box. Great, this isn’t bad. Now let’s trim the car. Went through it again, nothing. That’s when we started to realize we might really be in trouble. We tried everything we could think of yesterday. The boys stayed really, really late last night. We pulled the rack off the car, we resanded the car, resanded the floor. We went through all the brakes again because we thought we had some brakes that were dragging a little bit out. I knew if everything we did last night still hadn’t made us go faster, we were going to be in trouble today, but you have to try and get out there anyway. When we got back in line for the last run, we took every single trim we could possibly could to the race car, we did everything. Obviously, it wasn’t enough. What’s worse, it was slower than our time before. Once you pulled your time, if the car is still functioning, you kind of have to finish the run because what if somebody in front of me just didn’t get through tech and I withdrew and didn’t complete my run and pulled off the racetrack? It’s the worst feeling in the world. The team worked so hard. Earlier today I really thought we were going to get it done. Then we went out again for the first run and I knew we were in the fight in final trim. We took it further than any of our cars have gone. Big stats. If we understood what was going on, we wouldn’t be here.

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 64 Scuderia Corsa/Manitowoc Honda): “It’s been probably the biggest roller-coaster of my life, just today. We started today in free practice, 8 a.m. in the morning, the track was green and it’s usually a little tricky in those hours. The car was the best it’s been the whole month. It was perfect. And then we went out in qualifying, and I almost crashed on Lap 1. Thankfully, we saved it, came in. We made some changes. We thought we were going to be pretty solid in the show. We didn’t take any risks, we put some downforce back in the car, we just wanted to make the show. I went out and it was as awful as the other attempt. We didn’t know what was going on. We are going to spend a lot of time looking at the car. It’s one of those days – it’s Indy drama. I was talking yesterday about how sad it would be that we have 35 great entries this year and two will go home. That’s the drama we were all waiting for – bump day. Then, here I am, and I think it’s going to be me because that’s how the day went. We were 31st; the car just wasn’t right. I don’t know why. We had a great team. We had all the right ingredients to not only be in the race, but to be challenging for the pole, and we almost didn’t make it. That shows how challenging this race is.” (About how he found the extra speed on the last run): “It was just the hardest I’ve driven – the hardest 12 laps I’ve driven ever. When the car is off, it’s not right, at a speedway like this, there’s not much you can do apart from trying not to crash, which is what I did. It was really difficult. At that point (on the last run), you’re committed. Like (James Hinchcliffe), if you come in, you might not have a chance to go out again. I knew I had to try to stick it in. I’m happy for the effort, and we’ll see what we’ve got tomorrow.”

JR HILDEBRAND (No. 66 Saleforce DRR Chevrolet): “I think we have a little bit more in it, for sure. I think we expected to get a little more out of it there. It’s really becoming a game of what are the conditions actually going to be like when you make your run. With the new car and the conditions all over the place, the car seems to be really sensitive to what the ambient condition is like. I think doing what we did there was the right call for where we were at. We’ve made a lot of progress over the last couple of days. I’d like to ride the momentum train up the order a little bit further. We’re going to end up right on the bubble on the outside looking into the top nine. But the Dreyer & Reinbold boys have been doing an awesome job, particularly the last couple days recovering from our incident on Thursday. The guys did an awesome job overnight from Thursday to Friday. It speaks to the preparedness of this team.”

GABBY CHAVES (No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet): “Glad to finish the day safely inside the show. Our Harding Racing #88 had some really good speed, but we weren’t really able to maximize the speed that we thought we had. It was good enough to land us safely inside and now we’re going to look overnight and find a way to make the car really fast so we can start as close as we can to the front.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 U.S. Concrete / Curb Honda): “I think for a second run, we would’ve had the speed to challenge the Fast Nine, for sure. I think we potentially would have a chance at it had we been able to have a run at it. It was a dramatic ending – obviously, I would’ve wanted another shot, but perspective-wise – with [James Hinchcliffe] not making it today, we can still be 10th but we had a problem that we found in our one and only attempt today, so hopefully we find some speed tomorrow.”


ICYMI: 2018 Indy 500 Bump Day qualifying results



Click HERE to view and download the official qualifying results for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Results of first-day qualifying Saturday for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race presented by PennGrade Motor Oil Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with rank, car number in parentheses, driver, engine, time and speed in parentheses.

1. (3) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 2:37.2607 (228.919 mph)
2. (20) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 2:37.4167 (228.692)
3. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 2:37.6845 (228.304)
4. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 2:37.7604 (228.194)
5. (18) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 2:37.8322 (228.090)
6. (21) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 2:37.8588 (228.052)
7. (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 2:37.8608 (228.049)
8. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 2:38.0457 (227.782)
9. (13) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 2:38.1654 (227.610)
10. (27) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 2:38.1996 (227.561)
11. (14) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 2:38.2363 (227.508)
12. (4) Matheus Leist, Chevrolet, 2:38.2826 (227.441)
13. (10) Ed Jones, Honda, 2:38.5941 (226.995)
14. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 2:38.6238 (226.952)
15. (29) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 2:38.8702 (226.600)
16. (66) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 2:38.9409 (226.499)
17. (98) Marco Andretti, Honda, 2:39.1837 (226.154)
18. (7) Jay Howard, Honda, 2:39.2233 (226.098)
19. (24) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 2:39.2459 (226.065)
20. (6) Robert Wickens, Honda, 2:39.3241 (225.955)
21. (32) Kyle Kaiser, Chevrolet, 2:39.3388 (225.934)
22. (25) Stefan Wilson, Honda, 2:39.3561 (225.909)
23. (88) Gabby Chaves, Chevrolet, 2:39.4273 (225.808)
24. (26) Zach Veach, Honda, 2:39.4298 (225.805)
25. (23) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 2:39.4673 (225.752)
26. (19) Zachary Claman De Melo, Honda, 2:39.4881 (225.722)
27. (60) Jack Harvey, Honda, 2:39.4894 (225.720)
28. (59) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 2:39.5275 (225.666)
29. (30) Takuma Sato, Honda, 2:39.6362 (225.513)
30. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 2:39.7114 (225.407)
31. (64) Oriol Servia, Honda, 2:39.9953 (225.007)
32. (17) Conor Daly, Honda, 2:40.0897 (224.874)
33. (33) James Davison, Chevrolet, 2:40.1439 (224.798)

Did Not Qualify:
34. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 2:40.1547 (224.784)
35. (63) Pippa Mann, Honda, 2:40.4565 (224.360)


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