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Archive for May 30th, 2019

NASCAR Series heads to Pocono Raceway this weekend



Pocono Raceway taken from a passing jetliner in late March 2014 photo by DReifGalaxyM31 via wikipedia commons

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Pocono 400

The Place: Pocono Raceway

The Date: Sunday, June 2

The Time: 2:00 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 12:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 400 miles (160 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 50),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 100), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 160)

2018 Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr.

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Pocono Green 250 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons

The Place: Pocono Raceway

The Date: Saturday, June 1

The Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 12:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 250 miles (100 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 25),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 50), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 100)

2018 Race Winner: Kyle Busch

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series

Next Race: 400

The Place: Texas Motor Speedway

The Date: Friday, June 7

The Time: 9 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 8:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 250.5 miles (167 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 40),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 80), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 167)

2018 Race Winner: Johnny Sauter



Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series


Martin Truex Jr. on a roll

Martin Truex Jr. is not only the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ most recent winner – earning the victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday night – he is the defending winner of this week’s race, the Pocono 400 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).


The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry collected his third win of the season last weekend and surely feels optimistic arriving at another of his best tracks. Truex won the 2015 Pocono early summer race leading a race-best 97 of the 160 laps and his victory in this race last year gives him three top-10s in his last four starts there. He’s led laps in four of the last five Pocono races. And he earned a front row start three consecutive times from 2016-2017 seasons – winning the pole in 2016 and starting on the outside of the front row both races in 2017.

Leading laps has proven to be a good indication of how strong the 2017 Cup champion’s team is at a race track. He’s led at least 100 laps in all three of his 2019 victories and in fact 434 of his season total 459 laps out front (94.5 percent) have been in his winning venues (at Richmond, Dover and Charlotte).


Truex is ranked sixth in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver championship points standings with two runner-up finishes (at Atlanta and Phoenix) in addition to his three wins.



Kyle Busch back on top

Kyle Busch reclaimed the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points lead from reigning series champion Joey Logano last weekend with his third-place finish at Charlotte. Busch has top-10 finishes in 12 of the season’s 13 races, including three victories (at Phoenix, California. and Bristol), a runner-up showing in the Daytona 500 and third place finishes at Las Vegas, Martinsville and Charlotte.


Busch has led laps in 11 of the 13 races and led 60 or more laps six times – topped by a 177-laps out front en route to his ISM Raceway win.


It may have taken Busch a little time to finally earn that first victory at the “Tricky Triangle” as Pocono is known, but he’s clearly on track now. Both his wins have come in the last three-race span. He won his first Pocono race in 2017 from the Busch Pole position.


The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry has led 239 laps in the last four Pocono races. He’s led 262 laps in the last seven races, which means 81 percent of his 325 Pocono laps led total came in that time frame.


Last year, Busch won in every series at the Pocono track – claiming his second Cup win and notching his first NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series victories as well.



Hamlin stands atop the mountain at Pocono

Denny Hamlin arrives at Pocono Raceway with fond memories and high hopes. He won his first two races at the track from the pole position in 2006 – a feat never accomplished at the storied race venue. He and Jimmie Johnson (2004) are the only active drivers to sweep a season’s races and Hamlin answered his work in 2006 with back-to-back wins in 2009-10. His four-win total is most in this weekend’s field.


The driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry could use a Pocono boost after a comparatively frustrating May. Hamlin won the Daytona 500 and answered with a trophy at Texas Motor Speedway in April. But after a fifth-place showing at Richmond in April, Hamlin has had four straight finishes outside the top-10 and is ranked seventh in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points.

Pocono may well be the panacea. Not only does he boast an overall top record there among his competitors, he has three top-10 finishes in his most recent five starts. He’s earned 16 top 10s and 10 top fives in 26 starts. And his 693 laps out front is second only to three-time race winner Jimmie Johnson (740 laps led) in this week’s field.


Hamlin has a 7.1 average starting position through 26 races – a phenomenal statistic – and an average finish of 12.6. Of drivers with more than one start at Pocono, only the late NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson has a better average starting position (4.667) but that came in only six starts compared to Hamlin’s 26.


“We had a really fast FedEx Toyota in Charlotte and it’s crazy how many cars we passed over the course of the entire race, repeatedly going from the back to the front,’’ Hamlin said. “Unfortunately, our finish doesn’t reflect how good of a car we had, but I’m proud of the speed our team brought to the race track and if we can bring that speed with us to Pocono, we will be in great position to win.’’


“Historically, the FedEx #11 has had some success and we will be entering Pocono confident that we can secure another victory.’’



Potential for Penske power at Pocono

The perennial powerhouse Team Penske team continues to wrestle with Joe Gibbs Racing for high honors this season.


Penske’s Brad Keselowski joins two JGR teammates (Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.) with three wins through the opening 13 races of 2019. And Penske driver Joey Logano – the reigning Monster Energy Series champion – has exchanged the points lead with Busch for most of the season as well. He won at Las Vegas and has nine top-10s.  And the team’s newest addition, Ryan Blaney, has held his own with the veterans even as he looks for his first win of the season. All three drivers are ranked among the top 10 in the standings.


Pocono Raceway is not necessarily a place where Penske cars have dominated and collected trophies like they have elsewhere on the schedule. But each of the Penske trio has a Pocono victory and reason to feel optimistic this weekend as the series returns for the first of two summer stops.


Logano won from the pole position in 2012 driving for the JGR team. He has six top-10 finishes since the victory, but only two in the last seven races. In 2018, the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford was ninth and 26th in the two races at Pocono.


Keselowski, who drives the No. 2 Team Penske Ford Mustang, had six consecutive top-five finishes – six of the last seven races – before last summer’s second event when he crashed in the waning laps of the race. He has three runner-up showings (2014,15,16) since his 2011 victory and his average finish is a stellar 11.7 in 18 starts.

There will always be a special place for Pocono in Blaney’s heart since he scored his first Monster Energy Series win there (in June 2017). He has five finishes of 12th or better in six starts, was sixth and 12th in the two races last year and boasts the same 11.7 average finish as his teammate Keselowski.



Kurt Busch brings confidence to Pocono

Chip Ganassi Racing veteran Kurt Busch brings a lot of confidence and a successful resume to Pocono Raceway. His three wins are second only to Denny Hamlin’s four wins among active drivers (Jimmie Johnson also has three wins).


In 35 starts at Pocono, Busch has 20 top-10 finishes, which also ties him with Johnson for most in the field. No one on this week’s grid has more previous top-five showings (14) than Busch at the track. And Busch is one of only four drivers currently ranked among the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ top-16 with multiple pole positions (two) and wins (three) at Pocono.


His 102.8 driver rating is third best in the field and second only to Hamlin among those drivers with at least 10 starts. He has top-10 finishes in four of his last six starts at the 2.5-mile Pennsylvania track.


Busch returns to Pocono this week looking for his first win of the season and first driving the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. He has eight top-10 finishes through the opening 13 races of 2019, including a runner-up showing at Bristol, Tenn. and a third place at Atlanta. He’s had top-10s in two of the last four races but is coming off a 27th-place finish in Charlotte.



Fans treated to impressive racing as 2019 season rolls on

The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season has brought some great racing action to the fans this season. It has also brought some solid statistics to back up all the stellar racing everyone has seen through the first 13 races of 2019.


For starters, green flag passes for the lead (513) are up 56% compared to last season’s first 13 events (330). Three of the 13 races this season have produced record-setting green flag passes for the lead; producing more green flag passes for the lead than ever before – Las Vegas (47), Bristol (47), and Kansas (41).


Additionally, in the year-over-year comparison, 2019 has seen significant gains in green flag passes for the lead in nine of the 13 races this season; including all five of the 1.5-mile tracks (Atlanta, Las Vegas, Texas, Kansas and Charlotte).


Plus, nine of the 13 races this season have produced more green flag passes for the lead than the five-year average (See chart below).



But that’s not all, passing is up through the field as well; total green flag passes (45,590 GFP) through the first 13 races of the season are up 30% compared to 2018 (35,069 GFP). With nine of the 13 races in 2019 seeing an increase in green flag passes compared to last season; including the Daytona 500, Talladega, Martinsville, Bristol, Dover and four of the five 1.5-mile tracks (Las Vegas, Texas, Kansas and Charlotte).

Youth can move at Pocono

Several of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series most promising members of the sport’s “youth movement” certainly “move” well at Pocono Raceway. Three drivers in this weekend’s field scored their very first Cup win at Pocono – Denny Hamlin (2006), Chris Buescher (2016) and Ryan Blaney (2017).


Fourth-year series JTG Daugherty Racing driver Buescher, 26, is still looking for his second Cup trophy. However, third-year Cup driver Blaney answered his Pocono showing with a win in the Charlotte ROVAL Playoff race last fall. The Team Penske driver, 25, has five top-12 finishes in six Pocono starts and won the Busch Pole in this spring race last year.


Erik Jones, 22, of Joe Gibbs Racing, has three top-10 finishes in four starts at Pocono, including a third place in his 2017 Cup debut on the “Tricky Triangle.” He’s led laps in three of his four Pocono races. Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott, 23, has five top-10 finishes in six races at Pocono with a best showing of fourth place in his 2016 Pocono debut.


Richard Petty Motorsports driver Bubba Wallace, 25, made his Monster Energy Series debut at the track in 2017 and scored his best showing (16th) to date in that race. He led four laps in the spring race of 2018 before his No. 43 Chevrolet retired with engine issues. He does have a pair of top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series at the track as well.



Sunoco Rookie update

JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ryan Preece continues to pace the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by a slim eight points over Richard Childress Racing’s Daniel Hemric.


The last few races have been challenges for both. Preece, 28, has a pair of top-10 finishes on the year, highlighted by a third place showing at Talladega, Ala. four races ago. The driver of the No. 37 Chevrolet hasn’t had a top-20 since, however. His 25th-place finish at Kansas two weeks ago is best in that stretch. This will be his Cup debut at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. He finished 17th in the 2016 Xfinity Series race there – his only previous start on the track.


Hemric, 28, similarly had his best season showing at Talladega, Ala. – a fifth place and his only top-10 of the season. He also has struggled some in the past month, earning a best of 18th at Kansas in that time. The driver of the No. 8 RCR Chevrolet does have the most experience at Pocono’s Tricky Triangle, previously earning a pair of top-10 finishes in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition and another in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.


Matt Tifft, who is ranked 31st in the points standings, is coming off the best rookie showing at last week’s Charlotte Motor Speedway. He finished 20th equaling his best result of the season (Phoenix). He has top-10 finishes in the Gander Trucks (2015) and Xfinity Series (2017) at Pocono.



Parade Laps: Insights ahead of this week’s driver media rotations

Six drivers from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series –  Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola, Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney, Go Fas Racing’s Corey LaJoie and Roush Fenway Racing’s Ryan Newman will be participating in this week’s media rotations at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in advance of Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Pocono 400 (2 p.m., ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Chase Elliott, 23, of Dawsonville, Ga., earned his fourth consecutive top-five finish last weekend with a fourth-place effort in the season’s only 600-mile event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Elliott scored his first win of the season on the Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway four races ago and is currently tied with Kevin Harvick in third place in the points standings. This week’s Pocono (Pa.) Raceway venue brings a lot of promise for Elliott and his No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team. He’s finished top-10 in five of his six career Cup starts at the track. His best showing was fourth place in his 2016 debut there in the June race, when he led 51 laps. Elliott finished 10th and seventh in the 2018 season races at Pocono.

Erik Jones, 22, of Byron, Mich., arrives at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway after an encouraging recent run in the schedule. Although he suffered a disappointing 40th place finish after an early race incident at Charlotte last week, he had back-to-back top-10 finishes in the two previous races. Pocono has historically been a good place for the Monster Energy Series’ 2017 Sunoco Rookie of the Year. He has three top-10 finishes in four Cup starts including a third place in this race in 2017. The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has led laps in three of his four Pocono starts and has an impressive 11.2 average finish at the track.

Aric Almirola, 35, of Tampa, Fla., is on track to answer his career best season in 2018 with another attempt at a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship run. He has seven top-10 finishes in the opening 13 races – including six straight top-10s between the Atlanta and Texas Motor Speedway stops in March and April. His best finish is fourth (at Phoenix) and he’s already led 99 laps – half his career-best single season total only 13 races into the year. Almirola was seventh in the first Pocono (Pa.) Raceway event last year – his best-ever showing at the track.

Ryan Blaney, 25, of High Point, N.C., returns to a special venue in his young Cup career. Blaney won his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono (Pa). Raceway in this race in 2017. He won the Busch Pole for this race in 2018 and has finished 12th or better in five of his six starts at the historic track. His average finish is an impressive 11.7. He’s won a race in each of the last two seasons, but is looking for his first trophy of 2019. His best finish is third at ISM Raceway in Phoenix in March. The driver of the No. 12 Team Penske Ford is ranked ninth in the points standings with four top-five runs this season.

Corey LaJoie, 27, of Concord, N.C., has notched his season’s best results in two of the last four races – an 11th-place finish at Talladega, Ala. and 12th at Charlotte last weekend. The driver of the No. 32 Go Fas Racing Ford is still looking for his first top-20 showing at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. His best finish at the track is 25th in July, 2017.

Ryan Newman, 41, of South Bend, Ind., has had a promising early season in his first year driving the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. He earned three consecutive top-10 finishes, finishing the streak with a season-best seventh place at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. He was 16th at Charlotte last weekend and looking to get back into Playoff position – he’s currently ranked 18th in the points standings. Newman has historically been strong on the 2.5-mile Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. He won the 2003 July race there from the Busch Pole position. He has 15 top-10 finishes in 34 career starts and between 2011-14 finished top-10 in seven of eight Pocono races. He finished 25th and eighth in the two races last season.



NASCAR Xfinity Series

Pocono Raceway: A ‘Tricky Triangle’ for Xfinity drivers

This week the NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains for the Pocono Green 250 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, June 1, at  1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Pocono Raceway, with just three turns, is unlike any other track the series competes on.


This Saturday’s race marks the fourth time the series has visited Pocono Raceway. The three previous races have produced three different pole winners – Erik Jones (2016), Kyle Benjamin (2017) and Cole Custer (2018) – and three different race winners – Kyle Larson (2016), Brad Keselowski (2017) and Kyle Busch (2018). It will be interesting to see if both streaks of different pole and race winners will continue this weekend; as Cole Custer is the only one of those mentioned drivers entered in Saturday’s race, making a new winner a guarantee.


Custer is currently third in the series standings. He has made two series starts at Pocono posting one pole, one top five, two top 10s and an average finish of 6.0.



Reddick reassures his doubters he is championship material

Richard Childress Racing hit the jackpot when they signed Tyler Reddick to drive their flagship No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro this season. The Californian just picked up his second win of the year (Talladega and Charlotte) and has opened up his series standings lead to an impressive 65 points over second-place Christopher Bell.


While other drivers may have more wins, Reddick’s consistency has been unmatched. He is riding a streak of eight consecutive top-five finishes. Plus, he’s spent 14.5% of his time out front leading 306 laps this season – fourth most.  In 11 starts this season he has posted two poles, two wins, three stage wins, nine top fives and 10 top 10s.


Don’t expect the momentum to slow for the 23-year old. He made his series track debut at Pocono Raceway last season, starting ninth and finishing ninth.



Pocono might be the place Austin Cindric grabs his first checkered flag

Though the sample size is small, Team Penske’s Austin Cindric put on quite the performance in his NASCAR Xfinity Series track debut last season at Pocono Raceway. The 20-year old North Carolina native leads all series championship contenders in three key pre-race loop data categories at Pocono.


Top three contenders from each loop data category:

Driver Rating – Cindric (118.9), Cole Custer (110.2) and John H. Nemechek (100.1).

Average Running Position – Cindric (5.780), Custer (6.505) and Nemechek (8.060).

Fastest Laps Run – Cindric (17), Justin Allgaier (6), Custer (5).


In his second full season of Xfinity competition, Cindric is still looking for his first career trip to Victory Lane. But Cindric should be optimistic this weekend. Keep in mind, Brad Keselowski took this No. 22 team to Victory Lane at Pocono in 2017.


Cindric is currently fourth in the series points standings, the highest ranked driver without a win this season. In 11 starts in 2019, he has posted one stage win, four top fives and nine top 10s.


In his lone start at the ‘Tricky Triangle’, Cindric started third and finished fourth.



Jeffrey Earnhardt putting up career numbers in the limelight

He’s not the first, and definitely will not be the last, but Jeffrey Earnhardt is the latest to pool his resources for a part-time run with one of the top teams in the series to showcase his true talent, and it’s working.


Earnhardt is coming off his NASCAR Xfinity Series career-best finish (third) this past weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway driving the No. 18 Toyota Supra for Joe Gibbs Racing. His average finish this season is also a career-best of 11.6 and he has led a single season career-high 29 laps.


The grandson of NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt, Jeffrey has embraced the limelight and in doing so has posted one top five and three top 10s in just five starts this season.


Watch for Earnhardt this weekend, as he will be making his series track debut at Pocono Raceway in the No. 18 Toyota that Kyle Busch drove to the win in last season’s event.



Sunoco Rookie Update: Noah Gragson closes points gap on leaders

For the first time this season, JR Motorsport’s Noah Gragson won the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award this past weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway by being the highest finishing rookie (fourth) of the event. In the process, Gragson has closed the points gap on the rookie standings leader Chase Briscoe and second place John Hunter Nemechek.


Current rookie standings following Charlotte – Briscoe (369), Nemechek (-11), Gragson (-20), Justin Haley (-43) and Brandon Brown (-148).


Gragson, Haley and Brown will all be making their series track debuts at Pocono this weekend. Briscoe and Nemechek have each made one start at Pocono, both last season. Briscoe started sixth but finished 38th due to an incident. Nemechek started eighth, led four laps and finished seventh.



Monster-type presence on Saturday

Two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers, Austin Dillon and Ryan Preece, will be pulling double duty this weekend and competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race, the Pocono Green 250 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, June 1 (1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).


Austin Dillon will be piloting the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro with crew chief Alex Yontz this weekend at Pocono Raceway. Dillon has been helping Kaulig Racing as they are bringing their second part-time team up to speed. Dillon has made two series starts with the team this season, posting one top-five finish (Las Vegas).


Ryan Preece will be back in the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro with crew chief Tyler Moyer this weekend for his third series start of 2019. Preece has posted two top 10s in his previous two starts with JRM this season.


Preece made his series track debut at Pocono in 2016 driving for JD Motorsports – he started 19 and finished 17th. This weekend’s race will be Austin Dillon’s series track debut at Pocono Raceway.



Parade Laps: Insights ahead of this week’s driver media breakouts

Four drivers from the NASCAR Xfinity Series – JR Motorsport’s Michael Annett, Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick, Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley and Motorsports Business Management’s Timmy Hill – will be participating in this week’s media rotations at Pocono Raceway leading into this Saturday’s Pocono Green 250 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, June 1 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Michael Annett (No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro)

Birthdate: June 23, 1986

Driver’s Age: 32

Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa

Hobbies: Cycling, working out, boating

Team: JR Motorsports

Crew Chief: Travis Mack

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • In 2017, he made the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs and finished the season ninth in the championship standings.
  • In 2012, finished a career-best fifth in the series championship driver standings.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently 10th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver championship standings, 186-points behind series standings leader Tyler Reddick.
  • Posted first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win in the 2019 season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, qualifying him for the Playoffs for first time since 2017.
  • In 11 starts this season, he has posted one pole, one win, two top fives, seven top 10s and an average finish of 10.3.
  • Has led the sixth-most laps this season (61).

Pocono Raceway Performance:

  • Has made two series starts at Pocono, posting a career-best finish of 13th in 2017.
  • Average start, 21.5 and average finish, 24.0


Tyler Reddick (No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro)

Birthdate: January 11, 1996

Driver’s Age: 23

Hometown: Corning, California

Hobbies: Riding ATVs, gaming, working on cars

Team: Richard Childress Racing

Crew Chief: Randall Burnett

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • Won the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship
  • Also won the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors; just third driver in series history to win the title in his rookie season joining Chase Elliott (2014) and William Byron (2017).
  • In 2017, he captured his first NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at Kentucky, while running a partial schedule. Currently has five series career wins.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Current NASCAR Xfinity driver points standings leader, 65 points ahead of second place Christopher Bell.
  • In 11 starts this season, he has two poles, two wins (Talladega, Charlotte), nine top fives and 10 top 10s – leads the series in both top fives and top 10s this season.
  • Leads the series in average finishing position this season with a career-best 4.4 in 11 starts.

Pocono Raceway Performance:

  • Made NASCAR Xfinity Series track debut at Pocono last season starting ninth and finishing ninth.


Justin Haley (No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro)

Birthdate: April 28, 1999

Driver’s Age: 20

Hometown: Winamac, Indiana

Hobbies: Muscle car restoration, sports car racing, surfing, fishing and hunting, triathlons,

mountain biking, fitness, graphics & design, anything competitive

Team: Kaulig Racing

Crew Chief: Nick Harrison

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • Signed with Kaulig Racing in the off season to run his first full season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2019.
  • Posted series career-best finish of fifth – last weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
  • Made NASCAR Xfinity Series career debut last season – making three starts for GMS Racing posting a best finish of 12th at Iowa Speedway.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently 11th in the NASCAR Xfinity driver championship standings, 194-points series standings leader Tyler Reddick.
  • In 11 starts this season, he has one stage win, one top five, eight top 10s and an average finish of 10.0.
  • Currently fourth in Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, 43 points back from Chase Briscoe in the rookie standings lead.

Pocono Raceway Performance:

  • This weekend will be his series track debut at Pocono Raceway.

Timmy Hill (No. 66 Motorsports Business Management Toyota Supra)

Birthdate: February 25, 1993

Driver’s Age: 26

Hometown: Port Tobacco, Maryland

Hobbies: Redskins fan, spending time with family

Team: Motorsports Business Management

Crew Chief: Clinton Cram

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • This season marks the fifth full season he has competed for a championship in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
  • Finished a career-best 17th in the series driver championship standings in his rookie season (2011).
  • Has posted three top 10s in 170 Xfinity career starts – all at Daytona International Speedway.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Current 28th in the NASCAR Xfinity driver championship standings.
  • In 10 starts this season, he has posted three top-20 finishes.
  • Has an average finish of 27.5 this season.

Pocono Raceway Performance:

  • Has made two series starts at Pocono Raceway, posting an average finish of 34.5.



NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series


Sauter chasing sixth win at Texas

He has to wait one more week to get back on the track, but when he does, Johnny Sauter will be looking to do what only one other driver has done – win six races at Texas Motor Speedway.


Sauter’s five wins at the 1.5-mile track in Fort Worth are second only to Todd Bodine’s six (Fall 2004, Fall 2005, Summer 2006, Summer 2007, Summer 2009, Summer 2010).


Two of Sauter’s wins at Texas came in this June race – including his first at the track in 2012 and his most recent as he returns as the defending race winner. He’s compiled 11 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes in 22 starts there – as well as starting on the pole four times.


Sauter is the lone multi-win driver at Texas to have piloted two different manufacturers into Victory Lane there. His first wins, a sweep of the 2012 races, came in a Toyota during his first go-round with ThorSport Racing.


His next three (Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Summer 2018) came in a Chevrolet for GMS Racing.


He now has a chance to win with a third different OEM emblem on his truck as he’s back with ThorSport Racing – but the team now competes in Fords.



Crafton yearning to win again in Lone Star State

The person who would probably least like to see Johnny Sauter reach six wins at Texas Motor Speedway next week is his ThorSport Racing teammate, Matt Crafton.


Because if Sauter is victorious at Texas, it’s one more race added on to Crafton’s current winless streak – which currently stands at a difficult-to-believe 43 races, dating back to Eldora in July of 2017.


The two-time NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck series champion (2013 and 2014) hasn’t been without his chances since then, however. He tallied seven top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in his winless 2018 season – the first for him since 2012.


So far in 2019, he is tied with Kyle Busch for top fives with five. He’s won the pole at the most recent two races on the schedule (Charlotte, Kansas) – both are 1.5-mile circuits like Texas.


And his record at Texas isn’t too shabby, either. He has a pair of wins – both in the June race…2014 and 2015 – as part of 15 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes in 37 starts. Therefore, it’s entirely probable that Crafton can find a way to guide his No. 88 Ford back to Victory Lane when the series returns to action in the 400 on Friday, June 7 (9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).



No rest for Harrison Burton

Even though the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series is on a break this weekend, that doesn’t mean all of the drivers took the time off.


The ARCA Menards Series joins the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the “Tricky Triangle” of Pocono Raceway this weekend. And with that, Gander Trucks regular Harrison Burton will be competing in the No. 20 Toyota for Venturini Motorsports on Friday evening in the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 (5:30 p.m. ET on FS2).


Burton is the defending winner of this June Pocono race for the ARCA Menards Series. He then went on to finish fourth in the July edition of the race last year. Those two races mark his only experience at the 2.5-mile venue.


Overall, he has competed in 14 ARCA races – recording three wins.


In the Gander Trucks series, he has a pair of top fives and four top 10s through the opening eight races of 2019, piloting the No. 18 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports.



Crew chief spotlight: Scott Zipadelli looking to repeat as champion

In 2018, Scott Zipadelli led the little team that could, Hattori Racing, to the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series title with driver Brett Moffitt at the wheel.


But if he and Hattori are to repeat, they will have to do it with a new driver as this year Austin Hill is piloting the No. 16 Toyota. And they are off to a good start, winning the season opener in Daytona to lock themselves into the eight-driver Playoffs.


The win was Zipadelli’s eighth atop the pit box in his five seasons as crew chief in the Gander Trucks – and was his first with a driver other than Moffitt. The duo recorded a win with Red Horse Racing in 2016 at Michigan, the first series victory for both. And then went on to tally six wins during the championship run last year.


Now with Hill, the team has a pair of top fives and five top 10s through the opening eight races of the season. Hill’s previous efforts in the Gander Trucks netted him a single top-five and six top-10 finishes last season in his first full-time campaign.


Zipadelli has a pretty good track record in the Gander Trucks series at the next track – Texas Motor Speedway. He’s been at the helm for nine races there, producing a pair of top fives and six top 10s.


He will have a bit of work to do at Texas next weekend, as the team’s finish in March was a hit to Zipadelli’s average finish. Prior to 2019, his average finish with a driver at the 1.5-mile circuit was a 9.6. A 27th-place effort in the first visit to the track this season dropped his average to 11.6.



Ohio State announces networks and game times for six 2019 football contests



Four of the six are noon starts, including the first three games vs. FAU, at Indiana and vs. Cincinnati


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Television carriers and game times for six Ohio State Buckeye football games this season have been announced by the networks and the Big Ten Conference, including noon starts for the first three games of the season and the season finale at Michigan, and a 7:30 p.m. kickoff for the Oct. 5 homecoming game against Michigan State.


The network carrier breakdown is three games on FOX, one on FS1, one on ABC, and one to be broadcast on either ABC or ESPN.


The 130th season of Ohio State football will kick off Aug. 31 at Ohio Stadium against Florida Atlantic at noon. FOX will televise.


ABC will televise the in-state rivalry game Week 2 against a Cincinnati team that is coming off an 11-win season and is coached by Ohio State great and longtime Buckeye assistant, Luke Fickell. Start time is also set for noon.


Ohio State will be back on FOX Sept. 14 at Indiana (a noon kick) and also for the regular season finale Nov. 30 at Michigan with its traditional noon start time.


The Michigan State game will be televised on ABC/ESPN and start at 7:30 p.m.


Friday night lights

The first Friday night game for Ohio State since the Big Ten Conference’s decision in 2016 to begin playing some games on Friday night will take place Oct. 18 in Evanston, Ill., against Northwestern. FS1 will carry the game and it will start at 8:30 p.m. EDT (7:30 p.m. local time).


Additional start times will be released during the season in the six- and 12-day window protocol that has been typically used by the networks.

2019 Ohio State Schedule

All times EDT

Aug. 31 – Florida Atlantic –  Noon on FOX (Faculty & Staff and Alumni Band game)

Sept. 7 – Cincinnati – Noon on ABC (Hall of Fame game)

Sept. 14 – at Indiana – Noon on FOX

Sept. 21 – Miami (Ohio) – (Scarlet & Gray and Buckeyes Care game)

Sept. 28 – at Nebraska

Oct. 5 – Michigan State – 7:30 p.m. on ABC/ESPN (Homecoming game)

Oct. 12 – Off

Oct. 18 – at Northwestern – 8:30 p.m. on FS1

Oct. 26 – Wisconsin – (Buckeye Club game)

Nov. 2 – Off

Nov. 9 – Maryland (Military Appreciation game)

Nov. 16 – at Rutgers

Nov. 23 – Penn State (Senior Day)

Nov. 30 – at Michigan – Noon on FOX

Dec. 7 – Big Ten Championship Game






With Ohio State Men’s Hockey back on a national level, Steve Rohlik given contract extension




·        Release online

·        Follow the Buckeyes on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Steve Rohlik, back-to-back Big Ten Hockey Coach of the Year, has signed a contract extension with Ohio State, running through the 2023-24 season. Through his first six years at the helm of the program, he has led the squad to a Big Ten championship, three NCAA berths and a Frozen Four appearance.


“We appreciate Coach Rohlik and the leadership he brings to the program on and off the ice,” Shaun Richard, senior associate athletics director for sport administration at Ohio State, said. “He has executed the plan he laid out to elevate this program and the success academically and athletically over the past six years has shown that. We are looking ahead to his continued leadership within the hockey program as we strive to continue moving this program forward on a national level.”

Steve Rohlik


Rohlik, the 2018 and ’19 Big Ten Coach of the Year and a two-time AHCA National Coach of the Year finalist (including a runner-up finish in 2018), has compiled a 113-84-28 record, with three consecutive 20-win seasons. The Buckeyes won the 2019 Big Ten regular season title, the first B1G crown for the program and the team’s first regular season title since 1972.


Under Rohlik, the Buckeyes have been outstanding academically, combining as a team to post a grade-point average of above 3.0 throughout his tenure. He has had 39 players combine for 79 Academic All-Big Ten accolades and 46 accumulate 106 Ohio State Scholar-Athlete nods.


During his time, four Buckeyes have garnered All-America honors, two have won major conference awards, his players have compiled 14 First/Second Team All-Big Ten honors and seven have earned a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. Under his direction, two players have been Hobey Baker Award finalists and two garnered Mike Richter Award semifinalist mention. Not just standouts on the ice, Buckeyes have won the Derek Hines Unsung Hero award, been named a Hockey Humanitarian Award finalist and claimed Senior CLASS Award First Team All-America accolades.


The squad improved a spot in the Big Ten final standings each of the last four years, culminating with the conference regular season crown in 2018-19. The past season began with high expectations for the team, as it was selected first in the Big Ten preseason poll and started the year ranked in the Top 3 in the national polls, moving to No. 1 before the squad even played its first game. It was the first time Ohio State was atop a national poll since Fall 1983. The Buckeyes responded to the expectations, winning the B1G with a 13-7-4-3 record and a nine-point cushion in the final standings.


The Buckeyes have earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament each of the last three seasons, matching the feat first set by the program from 2003-05. In 2018, Ohio State was an NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed for the first time. That squad won the NCAA Midwest Regional, defeating defending national champion Denver in the regional final, to advance to the NCAA Frozen Four for the second time in program history and marking the first appearance in 20 years.


On the ice, the team led the NCAA on the power play in 2016-17 and on the penalty kill in 2017-18. The squad has ranked in the Top 10 nationally in scoring offense and in the Top 12 on the power play three of the last four years. The Buckeyes allowed just 2.07 goals a game in 2017-18, the best mark in program history.


Heading into 2019-20, the Buckeyes return 20 players from the Big Ten championship squad, looking to compete in the NCAA Tournament for a program-record fourth year in a row.





Indy 500 win nets Pagenaud $2.66 million in prize money






64,811 Roger Penske John Menard Owners Kyle Moyer Crew Strategist Team Penske 5 30 19 Part 1

64,823 Roger Penske John Menard Kyle Moyer Crew Strategist Team 5 26 19 Part 2


103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge

Official Box Score

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, May 27, 2019 – Simon Pagenaud earned $2,669,529 from an overall purse of $13,090,536 for his victory Sunday, May 26 in the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

2016 NTT IndyCar Series champion Pagenaud, from Montmorillon, France, captured his first victory in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet. He beat 2016 winner Alexander Rossi to the finish by .2086 of a second to score the record-extending 18th Indianapolis 500 victory for Team Penske.

Pagenaud took the lead for good on Lap 199 of the 200-lap race. He led seven times for 116 laps, becoming the first pole sitter to win since Helio Castroneves in 2009.

Rossi, from Nevada City, California, earned $759,179 in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda. He led five times for 22 laps, continuing his streak of leading in all four of his career “500″ starts.

2017 Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato earned $540,454 for finishing third in the No. 30 Mi-Jack/Panasonic Honda.

2017 NTT IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden earned $462,904 for finishing fourth in the No. 2 Shell V-Power Nitro Plus Team Penske Chevrolet.

Rounding out the top five was 2018 winner and 2014 series champion Will Power in the No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet, who earned $444,554.

Team Penske placed three cars in the top five.

Santino Ferrucci earned $435,404 for his seventh-place finish after starting 23rd in the No. 19 Cly-Del Manufacturing Honda, including $50,000 for being named Rookie of the Year. Ferrucci, who led one lap, was the highest-finishing rookie among the six drivers making their first Indianapolis 500 starts this year.

The Indianapolis 500 purse consists of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NTT IndyCar Series awards, plus other designated and special awards. Purse awards were announced and presented at the Victory Celebration on Monday, May 27 at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.

Visit to renew tickets for the 104th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 24, 2020. Visit to buy tickets for the remaining races in 2019 at the Racing Capital of the World – the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational, Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line, Indiana 250 and Driven2SaveLives BC39 Powered by NOS Energy Drink, and the Red Bull Air Race.

Quotes from 103rd Running of Indy 500



‘What They’re Saying’ from Indianapolis 500 race day


JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 Shell V-Power Nitro Plus Team Penske Chevrolet): “We just fell out of position with 10 to go. (Takuma) Sato got by me, and that hurt us. We needed to be in that top three. I got into third on the restart, which was good, but falling behind Sato, that hurt us. Really, the top two is where you had to be. You had to be in the top two on the restart, maintain that position. That was the catbird seat for trying to win the race. (Alexander) Rossi and Simon (Pagenaud) really did a great job of defending there. They were methodical. That’s the style of this race. The top two spots, that’s where you’ve got to be. We were just a touch short today. It stinks, but we’ll learn from it and we’ll come back better next year. It was a game of patience today. We were saving fuel, trying to work on our car. We were lacking something at the beginning. I think we got the car a lot better toward the end. It was just a little off. It’s been consistent all weekend. It’s been great having the Shell V-Power car this year. Chevy did a great job. We weren’t lacking everything; it was just a couple of ingredients that were missing. We got better. We just weren’t good enough. We were getting better throughout the race, just not enough to challenge at the end.” (About teammate Simon Pagenaud’s victory): “One of us winning is what The Captain (Roger Penske) wants. They do such a great job. It’s great to reward the whole group with a victory. Congrats to Simon. It’s still not a bad day, but it hurts a bit when you fall short.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet): “I’m not sure what the 33 (James Davison, on pit lane incident) was doing in the fast lane. He was really slow. I didn’t know if I could go around him; I didn’t know if I would be penalized or not. He was looking for his pit. I saw his pit. Finally, I decided to stay away because he’s not coming in. I saw he was going to miss it and all of a sudden he just stopped. It damaged not only the front wing but the steering rack as well. It was frustrating because we had a phenomenal setup. The No. 3 Pennzoil Chevrolet was really strong. However, the good news is the team captured the win and Simon deserved it.”

MATHEUS LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “I feel like from everything we went through in the race, it wasn’t a bad result. We finished P15. Of course, it’s not where the team wants to be, it’s not where we want to be, but considering that we started 24th, we had some bad pit stops and some other things, I think we did a great job. I felt good in the car; that’s a good thing, too. I could pass some people and run together with some people. I think I got a lot of experience and a lot of good fun. Hopefully, next year, I’ll be a couple positions more up in the chart.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda):“Honestly, it was a hell of a day for the Arrow Peterson Schmidt guys. I really wanted that top-10. We were sitting there near the end, but TK (Tony Kanaan), famous for his restarts, just snookered us there. We got boxed in and I couldn’t make a move. From where we started, we kept our nose clean all day, smart decisions on the racetrack, pass when we could, patient when we needed to be, and great strategy in the pits. We made the most of what we had today. It was a great comeback for the guys. On the first stint, the thing was really dialed in. Then the track temps got hotter, we lost a little bit of front-end. The cloud cover came and went; we were up and down with the changes on the stops. The car was in a pretty good window the whole time. We were just fine-tuning. Thanks to all the engineers. It was a solid run for us. (close to accidents) I got away twice. I actually white-walled in the first stint coming off Turn 4, hit pretty hard and was lucky enough not to bend anything. When the wreck happened at the north end, I was slowing down but Hunter-Reay also slowed at the same time and he was low so I couldn’t go there. After Charlie (Kimball) spun, he rolled back just enough for us to sneak through the middle – a little too close for comfort but we got through it. Not quite a top-10, but we’re pretty damn proud of that.”

MARCUS ERICSSON (No. 7 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “The Arrow car was really good all day, and the guys had really good pit stops. Up until I did that mistake at pit entry, we were looking really good. We were running in the top eight most of the time, plus or minus a few positions, but really in the race like we were hoping and planning on. I just pushed a bit too hard and locked up the rears. Obviously after that, our race was pretty much over, but we still kept fighting. The car was still really good after that, and I was able to race and finish the race, so that was a great feeling to finish and get the checkered flag. Obviously, I’m disappointed for the guys because they put in so much work all month, and I was hoping to get us a better result.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It was kind of interesting. I thought the first part the PNC Bank Honda was really good. We kept extending our pit windows. I think we were probably going to eliminate a stop, which was going to put us in a great position. And then that yellow flag just hosed us. It dropped us back, both myself and the No. 10 car (Rosenqvist). We were hung out in the back of the field, and we just got caught up in that accident. I had the car stopped in time, but then I just got hit up the rear. I’m not sure who that was, but it hit us pretty hard then broke the right side floor. It took the gear out, so it was just stuck in sixth gear the whole time. So it was pretty interesting just to finish.”

FELIX ROSENQVIST (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “The first thing I could see was the 60 car (Jack Harvey) going really slow on the inside. He had just come out of the pits. I managed to get around, and I just tried to stop. It was kind of just a pack-up of a lot of cars spinning and smoke and grass on the track. I tried to go on the outside, and it didn’t work out. I kind of wish I would have seen earlier what was about to happen, but it was an unfortunate situation to be in. It was a shame. We had a really, really good car today. The NTT Honda guys did a brilliant job today, coming from the back up to the top 10. I’m really sad for the guys. I thought we deserved a top 10 today.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “It’s a typical day that you have to prove that you can’t give up. We never gave up. We had a little bit of a mishap; we ran out of fuel under the yellow. We were too close to pit, and it went yellow and they closed the pits. That stuff happens, right? You can’t predict all the yellows. We got lucky, finally: We got our lap back, and I got to do my magic at the end, which I enjoyed the most. You know, we have so many ABC Supply employees and Bryant employees here. Actually between them, we had more than 2,000 employees here today. I feel like even on my worst day, I can’t give up. So even when I was back there in 24th , a lap down, I still had to race. I still had to prove to them that we’re here and we’re trying. It paid off with a top-10. Is a top-10 what we want? Not really, but after the day we had, I’ll take it.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 United Rentals Honda): “I just got a killer run, and I was lifting to just manage my gap. You pull out, and you get to this point, and you can see him squeezing me inside, turns into me, and nothing you can do. As all of us know, with 20 to go, 22 to go, it’s the time. You have to give every opportunity to go for it. I think Sebastien (Bourdais) knows that, which is probably why he hasn’t said much to me. But, yeah, it was disappointing. The United Rentals car was just heating up. It seemed like Alex (Rossi) and I were the only two who were really able to pass there at the end. I was feeling good about things. Hadn’t changed much, just trying to march to the front. I’m just very disappointed. It’s another year you get to sit and think about this. I respect Sebastien a lot. I don’t respect that move. I do respect him as a driver tremendously, and I’m sure he feels the same right now. At those speeds, that’s how you kill somebody. And I’m just not a fan of squeezing people and putting people in those positions. It’s not necessary.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 SealMaster Honda): “I didn’t think he (Graham Rahal) had as much of the car as he did inside. It’s always a dynamic thing. He got a run, and then he kind of stalled there for a little while. And then I was there at turn-in. We made contact before we even got there. That’s what set off the whole thing because it kind of got the car wiggly a little bit before turn in. It’s always easy to say I should have given up going into the corner, but at that point when you have to make the call whether you’re going to jump on the brakes and let the guy fly in because I didn’t really feel like the side by side was an option. I didn’t really want to pay the price to see what was going to happen there. It started to be a bit of marbles, and I didn’t really feel like that was an option. I thought he was going to back off, and we were going to be OK. It’s that stage of the race where nobody wants to give up. It’s just bad timing.”

SANTINO FERRUCCI (No. 19 Cly-Del Manufacturing Honda): “These guys did a hell of a job, and I had a hell of a race car. I think if it wasn’t for that unlucky yellow toward the end, with 65 or 70 laps to go right after we pitted, we could be drinking the milk. But I can’t complain. I mean, it is my best finish in the series, and it is in the Indy 500. This place is an intimidating enough as it is, and these guys did some of the best work I have ever seen.”

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet): “We were trying to just play the game. At the end, we just didn’t have anything. I got loose for the first time in the day, which was a little weird. I just didn’t really seem to be running that quick. I thought sitting P3 that last restart was going to be a good opportunity, but on the start I just couldn’t get it rolling. It just didn’t have anything. I am pretty disappointed for myself and for the team.” (On how the race evolved as the track got a mixture of cloud cover and sun): “I thought it gripped-up, for the most part, as it went on, but the balance kind of changed around. I don’t know; I really don’t know what to make of it because we were so bad at the end compared to what we had been. I’m happy Chevrolet won with Simon (Pagenaud) and Mr. Penske. I didn’t really want to see a Honda win this race. So I’m happy to see them win, but I didn’t come here for sixth. We just didn’t have the speed that we’d had at the end of the day, for some reason. I don’t know. I’m happy for the month the team had, don’t get me wrong, but sixth is a failure to me.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): “It was a difficult day. I thought it was going all right at the beginning. Then just as it heated up or whatever, we seemed to struggle more and more on old tires. At the end of the stint, we struggled a lot. As it got hotter or we got later in the stint, it just kind of fell off. I couldn’t hang with the guys throughout the stint, and that just kind of got worse and worse throughout the race. It was just a tough day, and we’ll look at what we can do better.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “It’s hard to believe right now, to be honest with you. It’s been such an intense race. I believe we led most of the race. The car was just on rails. The yellows came out perfectly. The stars are aligned. Man, wow, I’m seeing myself on TV with this. It’s pretty amazing. It’s a dream come true, a lifetime of trying to achieve this. So I’m just speechless. It’s just incredible. I never expected to be in this position, but I certainly was trying to make it as hard as I could. I want to thank the fans. The fans are amazing. It was awesome to share that with you guys on the Yard of Bricks. You’re the best, Indianapolis.” (Did questions about your job security motivate you?): “It didn’t. I’m just focused on the job, man. When you have a car like this, a team like this, you just work your way. It’s all about achieving and executing at the end, and we did execute perfectly today. No mistakes. Here we are, Victory Lane, man. We did it! I thought we had the best car. We consumed a lot of fuel by being up front all day. Kyle Moyer told me to let Josef (Newgarden) go by in one of the last stints to see if I can save fuel. That was the key of the race for us. We saved so much fuel trailing Josef there, and I could follow him easily, as well. It was the best car I’ve ever driven on an oval. No weaknesses. I was so spirited today. It was my time.” (About the red flag): “The red flag made no difference for us. The yellows equaled it out for everyone. It would’ve made it easier on fuel. Being aggressive for us made the difference today, and we attacked the whole race, and we got it. The Menards Chevy was so fast all day, and we did it. The team made no mistakes. Great stops all day. Everything worked out perfect. I’m so proud of my flag and country. Happiness. After the Notre Dame tragedy, the French people needed something like this. And I’m so glad I can do that for them. I’m proud to be French and proud for the support from everyone here in America.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 Fiasp Carlin Chevrolet): “At the end of the day, the result wasn’t at all what we wanted, but I am so proud of this 23 crew and everyone at Carlin for staying focused and motivated to get us to the checkered flag today. We were on for a top-six or top-eight finish, but we got collected in someone else’s crash. I feel really bad for the guys, but they did a great job on pit stops all day long and they got the car back out after the accident so quickly. The No. 23 Fiasp Carlin Chevrolet was pretty quick in clean air. It maybe needed a little more downforce for traffic, but we saw the checkered flag and we had a good run going there for a while. I can’t stress how proud I am of this Carlin team and what they’ve done here all month long.”

SAGE KARAM (No. 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet): “Our qualifying put us in the back row at the start, definitely not where you want to be. We struggled when we qualified. We were already last in the race when the first caution came out, so it didn’t hurt to come in and take on a little more fuel. We later wound up a lap down, and that’s not where you want to be, either. At that point, that’s all you can do is fight back. We made some gains. All in all, it wasn’t quite the race I expected. The team (Dreyer & Reinbold) gave it their all this month. I enjoy racing for Dennis Reinbold (team owner). Our goal is to win this race, so we’ll come back again and give it another good try.”

CONOR DALY (No. 25 United States Air Force Honda): (This is your best performance in the Indy 500. Do you think you made the most of it?): No, but I don’t think it was our fault. We didn’t put a foot wrong; we had good pit stops. The car was good. I don’t know why INDYCAR put us behind (Takuma) Sato. Every driver is going to be upset about something like that, but track position is everything here. That can ruin your race, and it essentially did. I never saw Sato the whole race. So I don’t know where that came from, but our car was great. It was nice to drive. It was just really cool to be in the fight, to be with Alex (Rossi) and those guys. It was awesome. I think we can be proud of what we did today.” (Did you validate yourself in your first start of the season?): “I would like to think so because this is all I get to do. I haven’t been in a car for a year, and we are out there fighting with guys who are really good. Multiple Indy 500 winners, champions, and we were there. I don’t know what else I can do. Winning helps a lot, and if we would have finished in the top five, that would have been great. But I, for sure, think we can be proud of what we did. We will see what happens after this.”

ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda): “I think that was the biggest hit I have ever had on an oval. My knee came up and hit the steering wheel where I backed in. I got my right knee pretty bad – I think it is OK. Luckily, they did X-rays, but it is just really bruised. It is unfortunate. The Gainbridge car was so good. It was one of the best cars I have ever had. We went from 28th to 12th or 13th at that time. We were well on our way with the final pit stop to be an easy top 10 for us. I hated it for the team; they did an incredible job. I hate it for the people supporting me. I hate it for my friend, (Felix) Rosenqvist, too. We both started 28th and 29 th, then were running 11th and 12th when our races ended at the same time. It’s tough. Hopefully, we can come back and have a little more luck on our side next year.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda): (What was the difference at the end?): “Horsepower. That’s unfortunately the way it is. They did a great job. Obviously, he was on pole and led the most laps, but I think we had the superior car. We just didn’t have enough there at the end. Huge hat’s off to the entire No. 27 NAPA Andretti Autosport team. They’ve been fantastic all month, and I’m happy to get them a result. But unfortunately, nothing else matters here but winning. This one will be hard to get over, but at the end of the day, it was a great showing for the team and good for the points overall. But today will suck for a while.” (Why were you driving angry?): “There was a lot of lapped cars that had no respect for what we were doing. It was really unfortunate. Ultimately, I don’t think it really made a difference with the end result, but with 50 laps to go and cars are two and five laps down and blocking, it’s just disrespectful. We’ll deal with that another day. We just need to take the positives from this, and the positives are that the 27 boys did an amazing job to recover from a difficult pit stop, and I’m proud of them for that.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “A had a slow car in a straight line. There’s nothing I could do about that. The DHL crew did everything we could with what we had. In the end, we were dealing with a narrow drag issue that we couldn’t overcome.” (Do you think you got everything you could out of the car?): “Absolutely. It didn’t even deserve to finish eight today.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack/Panasonic Honda): “We had some issue on the second pace lap, and we got down. It was lucky that we got back. And the last 15 laps were great excitement. Huge congratulations to Simon (Pagenaud). A big win. We tried to get Alex (Rossi), but we were not quite there yet.” (Did you think you could run this well?): “It’s always challenging. It’s always difficult. We just kept our heads down, did our job and made the most of it.”

KYLE KAISER (No. 32 Juncos Racing Chevrolet): “We went high and caught the marbles in Turn 3. We were just a passenger with a lot of understeer. Once it gripped back up, the car just spun around on us. I was hoping we would be able to recover it, but unfortunately we couldn’t. Obviously, an extremely disappointing result for us after a such a wild month. I really feel for the guys and all the work they put in for us all month. Not the result we were hoping for, by any means. But we can’t hold our heads down. We were competing out there, and I’m so proud of the guys all month. Everyone can be so proud. Thank you for all the sponsors and everyone who came onboard this month. 250ok, NFP, GMR, Hagerty, River Plate Indiana, and so many more joined our effort, and we are so proud to have represented them today. This team has made great strides, and only positive things ahead for us moving forward.”

JAMES DAVISON (No. 33 Dale Coyne with Byrd and Belardi Honda): “Man, that was a pretty epic Indy 500 for the 33 team. Obviously, we got a fantastic start – and first restart – and moved up into the top 10 and running comfortably. I pitted and the speed limit limiter didn’t work. As a result, I had to do it NASCAR-style, just looking at the RPMs on the dash. Helio (Castroneves), unfortunately, was a victim of circumstances. He pulled out to pass me since I wasn’t going exactly 60 miles per hour doing it manually. Right when I needed to pull into my box, it spun me, and it was unfortunate for both of us. We recovered from being two laps down. I got a fantastic restart and finished 12th . That was the best that we could do the way the bed was made. I’m just really happy for this crew. It was an epic day. We’ll be back.”

PIPPA MANN (No. 39 Driven2SaveLives Chevrolet): “Our goal coming into this month was to be smart, do the right things and have an error-free month in the No. 39 Clauson-Marshall Racing Driven2SaveLives Chevrolet. Today, I feel like we went out there and we executed that plan. This was an entirely new group of people we put together, and I’m really proud of how the Driven2SaveLives car ran out there on the racetrack. I also want to thank Chevy again for all of their support this month and I feel that finishing 16th in our first Indianapolis 500 together is a really strong way to start this partnership.”

JORDAN KING (No. 42 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): “Obviously, I’m thinking about Chachi (Chris Minot).  I’m really disappointed in myself for the team, really for everybody. I think we had a pretty strong car. We were looking quite strong and making progress, and looking at how the race finished, I think we could’ve been in the top 10, so that’s quite hard to swallow. First bit of call is to check that everything’s OK at the hospital. It’s not good, it’s not what you want to do (injure a crewman). It’s not. I don’t even know what to say. I’m really disappointed in myself and for everyone involved. We could have had a good race but didn’t, so that’s that.”

JR HILDEBRAND (No. 48 DRR Salesforce Chevrolet): “It was a longer day for us when I hit the pit lane too quick and received a drive-through penalty. I thought I was a gear down when I hit the pit lane. I just didn’t get the gear down quickly enough, and I was speeding into the pits. So I then locked up the rears (tires), and I slid into the pit lane. I had a good start and moved up several spots pretty quickly. We thought we needed some fast stops to make up some positions throughout the race. We had some good pit sequences with the in and out laps, too. Then the drive-through penalty put us a lap down that we couldn’t get back. I had to protect the tires early in the stint, and I couldn’t charge how I probably needed to. At the end of the race, we got the car into a window where I could maintain our position during the run. We made a number of adjustments through the race, and the car did improve at the end as the track changed. I’m bummed for the guys because they did an awesome job in the pits. I think we were running with guys who were hovering in the top 10 at the checkered flag. We could have been knocking on the door for the top 10 had we kept everything together. So I’m a little disappointed in myself with the penalty. We got the car back into the garage after 200 laps again.”

JACK HARVEY (No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda): “We started 25th and finished 21st, but it was a very trying day. This was the most challenging Indianapolis 500 that I have been a part of. We started off the month with a podium at the INDYCAR Grand Prix, and we were hoping to continue that momentum into the Indianapolis 500. Halfway through the race, I thought the car was going to end up in the wall because of how unbalanced it felt. We didn’t have the pace that we had all month in practice, and during the race is when you need it the most. It was an overall average result and an average day.”

ED JONES (No. 63 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet): “First of all, thank you to Ed Carpenter Racing and Scuderia Corsa. Fortunately, we had the good weather, so that was nice since up to today we weren’t sure about that. We struggled a bit with some issues at the start and restarts. That really hurts you a lot when those are the biggest times to overtake, and you’re unable to do anything. At that point, it sets you back and makes it harder to recover. We were still running inside the top 10, but we had a problem at the second pit stop, and that put us back. Once you get further back in the pack, it gets harder and harder to move forward. It’s a bit of a disappointing day from where we started. Hopefully, we will be back next year and be a little stronger.”

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 77 Fuel Battery Team Stange w/ Arrow SPM Honda): “It was the most uneventful 500 I have ever had. Anti-climactic. We came in for the first stop, and we had a problem with the left front – the wheel nut fell under the car – so it took the guys a few extra seconds, obviously. That put us back behind the leaders, which usually is not a big deal in a 500-mile race, so at that point I wasn’t too upset. It was early in the race, and we’d get our lap back. Somehow, the way the race played out with the yellows – it was a long, long stretch without yellows, only until the end – it meant that we could never get our lap back. I was in no man’s land, sitting. At one point I had the speed of the leaders, I was behind (Simon) Pagenaud, (Ed) Carpenter, the whole steam, my car was great. At that point I still hoped that we were going to get our lap back, and I knew I had a car to fight with the winners. We just never got the lap back. Honestly, it feels like I had a decaf coffee, not a regular coffee, it was never a real race. So frustrating. Anyway, I’m proud of the work we did the whole month, the team did great, the car was great … it was just not our day. I hope we have another chance to redeem ourselves.”

BEN HANLEY (No. 81 10 Star DragonSpeed Chevrolet): “It has been amazing for me. We learned quite a lot. We pushed really hard make the race, and unfortunately we didn’t have a good race car in traffic. On our own, we were OK. My first Indy 500 was an unbelievable experience. We knew we were up against it as rookies but focused on making the show the first week and did it, which was a huge achievement for everybody at DragonSpeed. The rain last Sunday cost us three hours’ track time for developing our race setup, but we still managed to make progress in practice this week and more today with the adjustments available to us. Our race pace was improving, and we had a promising strategy lined up before a driveshaft problem ended our run. I can’t wait to come back for next year’s ‘500.’”

COLTON HERTA (No. 88 Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda): “I couldn’t get into sixth the whole time, so I stuck it in fifth gear. Just kind of sitting there. I knew it was going to be a long day after seeing that. I was hoping maybe we could just run around in fifth gear the whole time. But we lost the gear pressure in it, and it didn’t want to change gears. Once I went down to fourth and back up to fifth a few times, it completely depleted it and there’s nothing left. So the engine is dying. Couldn’t get it to neutral. That’s why we had to put it on the flat tow and go back. The gear issue was caused from a fuel leak that burned the wires for the gearbox. The gearbox is controlled electronically, and I wasn’t getting the signal to upshift or downshift. It sent something into emergency mode to where the engine just completely shut off, and that was it.” (About being out of first ‘500’ so early): “It’s sad. The car was actually really good. I was just cruising there in fifth. I didn’t have any need to push or anything. We were happy just staying there until the pit stop. It’s just really sad. The guys have been working really hard to get the cars in service at the Speedway. They worked through Mother’s Day and every weekend. It just sucks. I know everybody is still super fired up for this year. We’ve been quick everywhere and haven’t qualified outside the top 10 yet. I know we’ll be back next week.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 U.S. Concrete/Curb Honda): “I don’t know; we need to look at it, I need to look at it. But I picked a terrible day to have the worst race of my career. I don’t know. It’s pretty embarrassing. Today was, for sure, the wrong day to have a bad day. I wish I could say more, but we’re just not quite sure yet what happened with the 98 car. We came into the day behind from the start and didn’t have what we needed. We’re now looking ahead to Detroit – we were on Pole (Race 1) last year and looking to come back strong.”


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