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Archive for May 22nd, 2018

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)


ICYMI: Quotes from final day of practice for Indy 500




‘What They’re Saying’ from Indianapolis 500 Fast Friday

MATHEUS LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Fast Friday is done. It was a pretty good day for us. The car has been feeling pretty fast since the beginning. I believe that we have a pretty solid set up for qualifying for the race. Looking forward to tomorrow. It’s going to be a long day, for sure, but we have a great car. I’m excited to set fast laps, and hopefully, advance to the Fast Nine on Sunday.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda): “I think we learned a lot in the Arrow Electronics car today. Unfortunately, we learned that we were not as fast as we were hoping to be, but that’s the nature of the beast here. I think we have a really strong race car, and it’s less about being quick over 10 miles as it is being quick over 500. Tomorrow, we are going to do our best. Obviously, the guys put a lot of heart and soul into these cars for the 500… We want to go out there and do them proud, and put up good speed for four laps and see where it shakes out. But, at the end of the day, like I said, our big focus is obviously next Sunday, and hopefully, we are strong then.”

ROBERT WICKENS (No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda): “We need to find a bit more speed in the Lucas Oil car. Until you can sit on top of the time sheets on merit here in Indianapolis, I don’t think you can ever relax. We have to work hard… Everyone is working hard, and we have to make sure we find that a little bit more than everyone else. At the moment, we are 10th or 11th with no tow, and our goal is to make the Fast Nine; we’ve been around there all day. I feel like we didn’t make enough progress today, so we have to have a hard think overnight and give it a shot at qualifying.”

JAY HOWARD (No. 7 One Cure SPM Honda): “Today was another good day. The One Cure car feels good in qualifying trim. I think we are ready, feeling pretty happy and we have a good plan for tomorrow. Hopefully, we qualify comfortably and we don’t have any dramas (laughter).”

ED JONES (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It was a long day and we went through a lot of changes in the NTT DATA car. The crew did a great job, especially today, working on the car and going back and forth to the garage with all the changes we made. I’m looking forward to qualifying tomorrow.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I think the No. 12 Verizon Chevy is definitely in a good window. I think, obviously, we’re fast. I know there’s a lot of guys up there. I think it’s going to be very tight tomorrow, so we’ll know more when everyone goes. It’s always that you can feel fast on Friday, and suddenly go out, no traffic, or wind changes or anything, and the car’s not as good. But I felt I’ve been good all month, so we’ll see tomorrow.”

DANICA PATRICK (No. 13 GoDaddy Chevrolet): “We started off the day with a mechanical issue, so we got a little delayed taking off, but it wasn’t really the worst thing because the car was really good on the first run. We did a step of trim and it was a little bit loose the second run, but still pretty good and definitely fast. To go to the next step, we had to make some changes back in the garage anyway, so we went back, and in that point in time, the track had slowed down and we just decided to sit for a while. We ended up coming to the conclusion that the car was pretty good and there was no reason to go out there and get lost or angry or confused because the speed was not in the track anymore. We just decided to, as they say, put a cover on it, make a couple tweaks and put a cover on it and go out tomorrow.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “It was a typical Fast Friday. We worked on the qualifying car, didn’t run a whole lot. We had five sets of Firestone tires so that means we only had 20 laps all day. We did five qualifying simulations. We’re getting ready for tomorrow, and we’ve got the information that we’ve got. We have to hope that it will be enough.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 United Rentals Honda): “It was a tough day for us. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We don’t seem to have the pace. We’re trying everything we can possibly but we’re just not quite there yet.”

CONOR DALY (No. 17 United States Air Force Honda): “We feel pretty good with how our practice went today. The balance was good, right where we ended it yesterday, and today was just about trimming, and each step we trimmed, the car was comfortable. Do we have the overall speed of our teammate Sebastien (Bourdais)? Probably not, but we’re not too bad. We’re really happy with the car. We went through all the trim steps we wanted to do, and that was good, and I think on the no-tow report, we’re pretty OK, depending on what no-tow report you look at. But realistically, I think we’re in the top 20, which is where you need to be, so we’ll go from there.”

ZACHARY CLAMAN DE MELO (No. 19 Paysafe Honda): “Today was a good day for the No. 19 Paysafe car. We accomplished what we needed to heading into tomorrow, so we’re happy with that. But it’s also hard to know what to expect going into qualifying because the weather is going to be a lot different. That said, I’m confident we can put in a good performance and come out with a decent qualifying result.”

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “Today was a good day. Fast Fridays have a way of being odd, so we just had to be smart. The team has done a really good job of getting us to this point. All three of us have good cars that we are happy with. The speeds are a little all over the place today, but I feel like all the ECR cars have a chance to be in the shootout come Sunday. The focus is getting it right for tomorrow and make all the right decisions so we have a chance at it on Sunday.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 Fiasp Chevrolet): “Today was about being smart and methodical as we trimmed the car out to qualifying spec with the higher boost level for Fast Friday. The Carlin boys have done an incredible job preparing for this week and really the whole month. They haven’t put a foot wrong with the car and we’ve been able to make progress all week each and every time we go on track. I have a lot of confidence about where we are heading into this qualifying weekend. I’m excited for what tomorrow and Sunday are going to bring for the No. 23 Fiasp Chevrolet.”

STEFAN WILSON (No. 25 #Driven2SaveLives Honda): “Yesterday was a bit of a tough day, so it was great to come back today. We struggled a bit initially, but I think we really hit on something. I’m extremely thankful to the team for really pushing us forward and it’s really nice to have quick teammates that have been able to give me good setups to work off. Now we just have to focus on tomorrow and put our best foot forward and work to put it in the show.”

ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Relay Group 1001 Honda): “Our practice week has come to a close with Fast Friday. I think we’re in a pretty good spot to see what speed we can show tomorrow. Our goal has been the same all week – just put a package together that can get us into the top nine. We’re looking inside there by a small bit right now. I think with the right changes overnight, it’s a possibility. We’ll see how the day unfolds and what the conditions are like tomorrow.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda): “Today was another improvement overall, I think. P2 on the no-tow, and second quickest Honda is kind of where we’ve been, but I think the car is definitely a step better. All we’re focusing on is qualifying and, I think, if we execute tomorrow we can be in the Fast Nine and that’s the goal right now. Hopefully there’s no curveballs that prevent that from happening. Hopefully the weather stays consistent so what we learned today is as useful tomorrow.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “All the speed in the car is not really where we were hoping to be – but we made some gains early in the day. We’re just trying to eek out as much as we can. We’ll see, tomorrow will be a different day and a different wind direction. We’ll put our best foot forward and hopefully qualify somewhere mid-pack. I think that’s the best we can hope for at the moment. On a positive note, we qualified 19th here in 2014 (when I won the Indy 500), so as long as we have a good race car – that’s what matters.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 29 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda): “I think I’m really happy with the balance of the car right now. We just need to find a bit more speed compared to some of our teammates. But, this is Indy, I think… sometimes you just don’t understand why things happen. One day to another everything can change. The goal tomorrow is going to be as far to the front as possible. It is going to be hard to get into the Fast Nine, but we will see what we can do.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack/Panasonic Honda): “Fast Friday is always exciting. You go five or six mph faster on average with higher boost, suddenly the corner you are looking at is suddenly tighter, but I love this kind of sensation of speed and trying to work specifically only for the speed. We used multiple sets of new tires, made short runs for qualifying and we’re still not satisfied with our speed relatively but we made good progress. We will see all the data tonight, and hopefully, it will all come together for qualifying.”

KYLE KAISER (No. 32 NFP / Juncos Racing Chevrolet): “Overall, we had another really solid day. We are making progress and slowly inching toward where we need to be for qualifying. We definitely had a speed bump in the middle of the day. I think we lulled ourselves into an area we shouldn’t have been, but we rebounded. We went out towards the end of the day and found a pretty solid setup that I feel really comfortable with. I think it will be good enough to get us into the field for the race. I am very happy with the team. They have been working hard to get the car ready and I am ready to go for tomorrow.”

JAMES DAVISON (No. 33 Jonathan Byrd’s 502 East Chevrolet): (About what he felt before the crash): “Absolutely nothing, then I was backwards, so that was definitely a new experience for me here around at Indy or driving on ovals, in general. I guess I became one of the drivers to slam the wall at Indianapolis, so I joined the club today. Obviously, it’s not ideal, but we had to try some things. We’re 32nd quickest, right on the bubble and we are not going to go faster just standing there and looking at it, so no regrets there. I have been having a fantastic time with this AJ Foyt/Byrd/Hollinger/Belardi team. We’ll regroup, see what we can pull out of the bag tomorrow and give it everything again.” (About if he’s going to a back-up car): “It’s just too early for me to tell. From the damage that I saw, I didn’t see that the tub was hurt. I think the biggest thing that you always hope for is the gearbox isn’t, generally the back-up stuff is not going to be as good or fast, so we’ll just have to have a look and go from there.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet): “It was an unusual day today for Fast Friday. We had predicted that the weather would make it a short day, so we got a lot of our running done earlier in the day. We didn’t run the last few hours of Fast Friday actually. We feel comfortable with the car balance, but we don’t know where we are performance-wise because the time of day when people ran made a big difference. I’m feeling confident about where we are and we didn’t want to take any silly risks today with big changes, because we want to make sure the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet is in the show tomorrow.”

JACK HARVEY (No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM MSR w/SPM Honda): “With the number of laps we’ve done so far, we went into today well prepared. We got most of our qualifying sims done yesterday and today was really just fine tuning for qualifying. The guys have been doing a great job to give me a solid car. We are hoping to put everything we’ve learned in practice together for a good run tomorrow.”

PIPPA MANN (No. 63 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “Today was definitely the toughest day we’ve had so far, and unfortunately, it’s the day right before qualifying for the Donate Life Dale Coyne Racing No. 63 car. The handling of the car feels OK, we’re just really struggling to get the speed that we need from the car in qualifying trim. Tomorrow is another day, and hopefully, with the heat on the racetrack, making it more difficult for everyone will play into our favor because we feel like we have a fairly good handle on the car in those conditions.”

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 64 Scuderia Corsa/Manitowoc Honda): “Fast Friday has come and gone. The day goes quicker than you want. We still had a couple things to try for tomorrow’s qualifying, but I am pretty pleased. We finished fourth fastest with a little bit of tow on that lap. So right now, I think if we make everything right, tomorrow we may have a shot at top nine. But again, we have to get everything perfect in the four laps. If not, we may be just missing that line. We still have a lot of data to look at overnight and try to make a good guess for tomorrow. The weather should be good enough for at least letting everyone try a couple attempts. So, hopefully, we get everything right and make that top nine for qualifying.”

GABBY CHAVES (No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet): “Fun day at the track for Fast Friday, one of the most fun days, as we get an increase in horsepower and a nice increase in speed. We got a lot of work done to make sure we’re competitive in qualifying, so I think we found a good place with our car. Tomorrow we should be pretty decent and competitive, so hopefully we can get some good weather that cooperates with us so we can get all of qualifying in and see where we stack up, where we’ll line up for the Indy 500.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 U.S. Concrete / Curb Honda): “The No. 98 car is fast in a tow. I’m not sure how fast it is on its own. Right now, I think we’re right on the bubble of the Fast Nine and we’re going to have to absolutely nail it to get it in – but so is everyone, I suppose. Conditions tomorrow could vary. It always depends on weather and cloud cover and the cooler temps always help. We’re lining up later in the day, so we’ll see how it goes.”


ICYMI: Indy 500 final practice day sees speeds move upward




INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, May 18, 2018) – Fast Friday was just that at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

With added horsepower at their disposal, drivers exceeded 231 mph for the first time in practice this week for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, on the eve of qualifying for the world’s largest single-day sporting event.

INDIANAPOLIS 500: Fast Friday practice resultsNo-tow practice resultsQualifying order

Marco Andretti was fastest with a lap of 231.802 mph in the No. 98 U.S. Concrete/Curb Honda. It earned the Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian driver a $10,000 check from Harding Group for turning the top lap in Fast Friday practice.

“The car is close in race trim; I don’t know how much better we can get it,” Andretti said. “But (qualifying) trim alone, I’m not pleased with the car speed right now. I think we’re right on the bubble of the top nine, to be honest.”

Robert Wickens, the Verizon IndyCar rookie who has impressed in his first five races, was second fastest with a lap of 231.732 mph in the No. 6 Lucas Oil Honda for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Ed Carpenter was third on the timesheet at 231.066 mph in the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet.

“I feel like I don’t fully deserve to be here,” Wickens said. “Fast Friday is for qualifying (simulation runs) and all that stuff, but my very first lap of the day, two people came out of the pits in front of me and I just got like this insane tow that got me to where I am.

“Honestly, we have a lot of work to do. I think we’re OK by ourselves here on Fast Friday, but we’re definitely, in my opinion, on the outskirts of the Fast Nine, which is my goal for tomorrow.”

INDYCAR rules permit increased engine turbocharger boost equating to approximately more 50 horsepower for Friday’s practice and continuing through the two days of qualifications. While the top lap speeds Friday also benefited from the aerodynamic tow of cars running ahead, the all-important no-tow list saw a jump in speeds as well – led by a trio of Team Penske drivers.

Will Power, the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series champion, topped the no-tow chart at 229.780 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Teammate Josef Newgarden, the reigning series champ and points leader after five of 17 races this season, was second on the no-tow list at 228.994 mph in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. 2016 series champion Simon Pagenaud was third among no-tow laps at 228.857 mph in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet.

“I think the No. 12 Verizon Chevy is definitely in a good window,” said Power, who is third all time with 51 career Indy car poles, but has none for the Indy 500. “I think, obviously, we’re fast. I know there’s a lot of guys up there. I think it’s going to be very tight tomorrow.”

The fourth Team Penske driver at the Indy 500, three-time winner Helio Castroneves, was 12th on the overall speed chart (229.122 mph) and 11th on the no-tow list (227.895 mph) in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet. Danica Patrick, competing in the final race of her groundbreaking career, was 20th on the overall list but seventh in no-tow laps (228.284 mph) in the No. 13 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing.

“The car was really good on the first run,” Patrick said. “We did a step of trim and it was a little bit loose the second run, but still pretty good and definitely fast. … We just decided to, as they say, make a couple tweaks and put a cover on it and go out tomorrow.”

With 35 drivers entered, bumping into the field of 33 could come into play for the first time at Indy 500 qualifications since 2011. Dale Coyne Racing rookie Zachary Claman De Melo is expected to be the first qualifier on Saturday following the blind draw for positions held after the completion of Friday’s practice. Patrick would be 15th to qualify and Power 30th.

Saturday’s qualifying will determine the 33 cars that will start the race, but not the grid order. The fastest nine on Saturday are locked into Sunday’s Fast Nine Shootout to decide the Verizon P1 Award and grid positions for the first three rows. The 10th- through 33rd-fastest qualifiers on Saturday will make another four-lap run on Sunday to determine those starting positions.

The lone incident in Friday’s practice occurred when James Davison spun exiting Turn 2 and made hard left-side contact with the SAFER Barrier in the No. 33 Jonathan Byrd’s 502 East Chevrolet. Davison was uninjured, but the Foyt with Byrd/Hollinger/Belardi entry sustained significant damage that will need to be repaired overnight if he hopes to qualify on Saturday.

Davison wasn’t certain what led to the crash.

“I guess I became one of the drivers to slam the wall at Indianapolis, so I joined the club today,” the 31-year-old Australian said. “Obviously, it’s not ideal, but we had to try some things. We’re 32nd quickest, right on the bubble and we are not going to go faster just standing there and looking at it, so no regrets there.

“We’ll regroup, see what we can pull out of the bag tomorrow and give it everything again.”

Pre-qualifying practice is scheduled from 8-9:30 a.m. ET Saturday and streams live on and the INDYCAR Mobile app. Qualifying airs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on WatchESPN, with the final two hours broadcast on ABC from 4-6 p.m.

Sunday’s qualifying is available from 2:30-4 p.m. on WatchESPN and then from 4-6 p.m. on ABC.

The 102nd Indianapolis 500 airs live beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 27 on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

INDYCAR universal aero kit earns prestigious Louis Schwitzer Award

The prestigious Louis Schwitzer Award was awarded Friday to four men instrumental in the design and development of the INDYCAR universal aero kit that has generated so many positive reviews in its debut this season. Tino Belli, INDYCAR’s director of aerodynamic development who spearheaded the program, was honored with the award along with Andrea Toso and Antonio Montanari of Dallara, INDYCAR’s chassis and aero kit manufacturer, and Chris Beatty, whose conceptual aero kit designs were significant every step of the development process.

The Schwitzer award is presented by BorgWarner and the Indiana Section of the Society of Automotive Engineers. It includes a $10,000 prize, as well as having recipients’ names added to a trophy listing all winners dating to the first presentation in 1967.

The Schwitzer Award recognizes individuals for innovation and engineering excellence in racing technology associated with the Indianapolis 500. It memorializes Louis Schwitzer, winner of the first auto race at IMS in 1909 and designer of the “Marmon Yellow Jacket” engine that powered the Marmon Wasp to victory at the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911.

“This award is for engineers, provided by engineers, so it’s just in the technical environment,” Toso said. “I see this award as a right example to reward engineers. The engineers are the unsung heroes of our society. They are under a lot of pressure to comply with a lot of requirements – technical, stylish, performance, crash safety and such. Really, they are on the front stage like we are today.”

Dale Coyne Racing names Ferrucci to drive No. 19 Honda at Detroit

Dale Coyne Racing announced that Santino Ferrucci, a 19-year-old from Woodbury, Connecticut, will drive the team’s No. 19 Paysafe Honda in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear from June 1-3. Ferrucci is currently driving in the FIA F2 Championship and serving as a reserve and test driver for the Haas Formula One team.

The opening to drive the car came about when DCR shuffled its driver schedule in the wake of Pietro Fittipaldi being injured in a sports car crash on May 4, putting the grandson of two-time Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi out of the INDYCAR Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500 this month. Teammate Zachary Claman De Melo is filling in for Fittipaldi at Indianapolis, with Ferrucci getting the nod for the Detroit doubleheader race weekend.

“It came together quickly,” Coyne said. “His agent contacted us and said there was an interest in maybe doing an INDYCAR race or two this year. It kind of fit together all at the right time because we were trying to decide who was going to be the driver here (at Indianapolis) and how are we going to move around and make that work logistically, financially, all the things that had to happen.”

Though he’s never driven an Indy car, Ferrucci is confident his European experience will carry him.

“Coming from F2 into INDYCAR, I’d say my race craft is going to be OK,” he said. “Racing in Europe is very hard, just as it is in INDYCAR.

“I just look forward to being on a street course. I have to bring my mouth guard to Detroit, as I’ve been told it’s very bumpy.”


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