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sunday may 26th
Newgarden Goes Back-to-Back at Indy in Thriller

INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, May 26, 2024) – It was worth the wait, and then some.

Josef Newgarden joined the immortals Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by becoming just the sixth driver to win the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge in two consecutive years, edging Pato O’Ward in a scintillating race that included the start delayed four hours by a midday rainstorm.

SEE: Race Results

Two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Newgarden drove his No. 2 Shell Powering Progress Team Penske Chevrolet to the victory by .3417 of a second over the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet of O’Ward, as they swapped the lead four times over the last eight laps.

“I knew we could win this race again,” Newgarden said. “There’s just no better way to win this race than that. I’ve got to give it up to Pato, as well. He’s an incredibly clean driver. It takes two people to make that work.”

Newgarden, who started third, became the first repeat winner of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” since Helio Castroneves won in 2001 and 2002 for Team Penske. Newgarden also earned the record-extending 20th victory in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” for Team Penske.

The repeat victory delivered a $440,000 bonus to Newgarden from BorgWarner, the sponsor of the winner’s Borg-Warner Trophy.

Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon finished third in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, followed by Alexander Rossi in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet.

Reigning series champion Alex Palou rounded out the top five in the No. 10 DHL Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Just 1.5079 seconds separated the top five cars despite the last 46 laps running caution-free in a frantic finish.

Christian Rasmussen was the top-finishing rookie, 12th in the No. 33 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet. 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson finished 18th in the No. 17 Hendrickcars.com Arrow McLaren Chevrolet in his first “500” start, hampered by a pit road speeding penalty.

Newgarden celebrated in familiar style for the second straight year, climbing into the crowd in the grandstands adjacent to the Yard of Bricks start-finish line, where he was mobbed by fans.

It was hard to blame his exuberance, as the victory capped a Month of May in which he was without Team Penske President and strategist Tim Cindric and engineer Luke Mason. They were suspended by Team Penske for the two races this month at IMS after the team’s cars were found to have violated INDYCAR Push-to-Pass rules in the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding. Jonathan Diuguid and Raul Prados substituted for Cindric and Mason, respectively, this month.

“They can say whatever they want after this point; I don’t care anymore,” Newgarden said of critics after the violations were discovered. “I’m just so proud of this team. They crushed it. Crushed it. Luke, Tim – they’re not here today, but they’re a huge part of this. I’m just so proud for everybody at Team Penske. That’s the way I wanted to win the thing, right there.”

There were seven caution periods in the first 117 laps, as the race struggled to find a rhythm. But as the intensity ratcheted in the second half of the 200-lap race, the racing was breathtaking – and clean. There were 32 lead changes alone in the last 70 laps.

Rookie Kyffin Simpson was the last of the drivers on a different pit sequence to surrender the lead with their final stop, on Lap 184. That set the stage for a phenomenal four-driver scramble for the win between Newgarden, O’Ward, Rossi and Dixon over the closing 15 laps.

Newgarden took the lead on Lap 193, with O’Ward climbing to second. That set the stage for a series of slingshot passes between the two drivers over the last seven laps.

O’Ward passed Newgarden on the outside just before the start-finish line as the white flag flew in the air for the final lap. O’Ward stayed out front in Turns 1 and 2 ahead and down the back straightaway, but Newgarden tucked in behind O’Ward’s car and made a daring pass outside of O’Ward in Turn 3 to take the lead for good with the crowd of 330,000 on their feet in rapture.

“It’s hard to put it into words,” said O’Ward, who also finished second in 2022. “So close again. I put that car through things I never thought it was going to be able to do. Sometimes I said, ‘Aw, that’s it,’ and somehow I came out of the other side of the corner.

“Oh, man: It’s just so painful when you put so much into it, and then two corners short.”

It was only the fourth time in Indianapolis 500 history that the race was decided by a last-lap pass. Newgarden also achieved that feat last year by passing Marcus Ericsson on Lap 200.

This year’s race was a classic, with an event-record 18 of the 33 starters leading at least one lap. NTT P1 Award winner Scott McLaughlin led the most laps, 64, before finishing sixth in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet.

There also were 649 on-track passes today, the most in the “500” since 2017.

The next NTT INDYCAR SERIES race is the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear on Sunday, June 2 on the streets of Detroit.

saturday may 25th

my thoughts of 108th indianapolis 500

by terry daniels

there is so much competition  in the 108tth indianapoliis 500 that it is quite hard or almost impossible to pick a sure winner

team penske dominated qualifications with the top 3 speeds however  i still can't sat they are favorites

all cars are the same  Dallara model with two different engines honda and chevy and five teams that have the knowledge to put a driver in victory lane

honda struggled a little this may with only two drivers in the top 10 on the speed chart after  qualifications however had 7 of the top 10 speed on "carb Day" which is the 2 hour final practice before the 500

Chip ganassi racing and andretti racing seem to be the leaders for honda however meyer shank racing with 4 time indianapolis winner helio castroneves whom showed much improvement on carb day and will be a contender tomorrow for sure with his team mate Felix Rosenqvist

graham rahal who was the only driver to qualify under 230mph has made major improvements and should be able to gain many positions tomorrow watch for him and  Marcus ericsson to rapidly move towards the front from their last row starting positions

nascar ace kyle larson is in my opinion the best overall driver in the field however is participating in his 1st indianapolis 500 i just hope the rain does not keep him from his nascar commitments and give him the opportunity to compete

arrow mcclaren has a sure chance of winning tomorrow pato o'ward and Alexander rossi are great drivers on a great team

rossi is the only driver that has kept up with team penske this month of may and o'ward is overdue

scott dixon and alex palou have been very quiet all month scott set fast time on carb day so the speed is there have they been sand bagging ?

a.j foyt racing driver santino ferrucci defiantly knows how to go fast he could be a dark horse tomorrow like takuma Sato he will get everything out of his race car

the remainder of the field are like field horses filling the remaining spots non of them are bad drivers I just do not believe they have the race cars to win tomorrow

Friday May 24th

Dixon, Honda Drive to Top of Miller Lite Carb Day Practice at Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, May 24, 2024) – Scott Dixon led the Miller Lite Carb Day final practice for the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as Honda-powered drivers turned the qualifying form chart upside-down with two days remaining before “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Dixon, who won this race in 2008, was fastest at 227.206 mph in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. It was the ninth time in the last 10 years Dixon ended up in the top four on the speed chart in the final practice.

SEE: Practice Results | Starting Lineup

Dixon will start a career-low 21st in the race Sunday (11 a.m. ET, NBC, Universo, Peacock, INDYCAR Radio Network) but is confident he can climb through the field to contend for a long-awaited second “500” victory.

“We rolled off pretty good,” Dixon said. “It was a good day. The car seems pretty fast, pulls up well, pretty consistent.

“I think you have to take the moment as it is. You don’t want to rush it too much (with early-race passes). We’ve got some positions to make up. Hopefully move up as quick as possible. I’d like to pass all 20 cars (in front of me) on the first lap, but that’s probably not going to happen.”

Chevrolet-powered drivers captured the top eight spots on the starting grid last Sunday during PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying, including the Team Penske trio of Scott McLaughlin, Will Power and Josef Newgarden sweeping the front row, respectively. But Honda-powered drivers rebounded during the two-hour practice Friday on the 2.5-mile oval, taking seven of the top 10 spots on the speed chart.

Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves raised expectations for a record-breaking fifth victory Sunday after ending up second at 226.939 in the No. 06 Cliffs Honda fielded by Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian. Castroneves, at 49 the oldest driver in the field, is starting 20th Sunday in his only race of the season.

“These boys are doing a phenomenal job,” Castroneves said. “They don’t look a bit like one-offs (one start this season). It’s just like me: As you get older, you get better – just like fine wine. Great job.

“We’re going to have some work to do in the race, but the whole vibe is incredible.”

Pato O’Ward, who qualified eighth, was the top Chevy driver in final practice at 226.666 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet. Colton Herta continued his strong performance in traffic during practice at this event by ending up fourth at 226.220 in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda of Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian.

Rookie Tom Blomqvist, who starts 25th, rounded out the top five at 225.450 in the No. 66 AutoNation/Arctic Wolf Honda fielded by Meyer Shank Racing, as the team put all three of its cars in the top eight in the session. Felix Rosenqvist, starting ninth, was eighth at 225.310 in the No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda.

Pole sitter McLaughlin was 20th at 224.264 in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet. Power, starting second, was 21st at 224.253 in the No. 12 Verizon Business Team Penske Chevrolet. Reigning race winner Newgarden, starting third, was 32nd in the 33-car field at 222.847 in the No. 2 Shell Powering Progress Team Penske Chevrolet.

All 33 cars were on track during a practice filled with passing and thick traffic, turning a combined 2,721 laps in the busiest session of the month despite lasting only two hours.

The session was slowed by just two cautions, one for debris and one for a tow-in for heralded rookie Kyle Larson, whose No. 17 Hendrickcars.com Arrow McLaren Chevrolet ran out of fuel. 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Larson, the highest-starting rookie in fifth, is attempting to complete the “double” of racing in the “500” and the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday.

“My car handling was good,” Larson said. “I didn’t suck up (aerodynamic tow) as good as I thought I did on Monday. The pit stop stuff, just kind of getting familiar with that. It’s obviously a little different than a NASCAR pit stop.

“I felt comfortable with all that. I feel like we checked off a lot of boxes before the race.”

The Public Drivers’ Meeting, at 10:30 a.m. ET Saturday, is the only official function remaining at IMS for the field of 33 drivers before the race.

Penske Extends Pit Stop Challenge Record

Team Penske won its record-extending 19th One Stop to Start Pit Stop Challenge, as driver Josef Newgarden earned his second win in the prestigious annual contest between the best Indianapolis 500 pit crews. It was the first win for Team Penske and Newgarden since 2022.

Newgarden and Team Penske earned the victory by beating Arrow McLaren and driver Pato O’Ward in the best-of-three final round, sweeping the first two rounds.

Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Newgarden entered the pit box in the No. 2 Shell Powering Progress Team Penske Chevrolet and Team Penske’s crew changed four tires and simulated fueling in 11.333 seconds in the first round, edging O’Ward and the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet crew’s time of 12.121 for service.

In the second round, Team Penske and Newgarden completed its stop in 10.792, the quickest of the entire contest. Arrow McLaren and O’Ward trailed at 12.647.

Newgarden’s crew earned a $50,000 prize for the victory, while O’Ward’s Arrow McLaren crew earned $25,000 for its runner-up finish.

Members of the winning team: Chad Gordon, chief mechanic/outside front tire changer; Caitlyn Brown, inside front tire changer; Kyle Lapier, inside rear tire changer; Keenan Watson, outside rear tire changer; Derrick Ruppert, fueler; Tom Jones, air jack. Brown is believed to be the first female crew member to be a part of the winning team.

The last time a driver swept the Pit Stop Challenge and Indianapolis 500 in the same year was 2009, when Helio Castroneves of Team Penske achieved the feat.

 

Thursday May 23rd

by terry daniels

Part 3 of 3

Here are the 11 top drivers to win the 2024 indianapolis 500

any wagers made on any of these drivers could bring you back big dividends

any of these drivers could be a top 3 finisher

there are 4 former winners and any of them could taste the milk in victory on sunday

 

Alex Palou

+400

Has had the best car last 2 years with bad luck both years kinda quiet this year however will be a threat on race day top 3 for sure

Pato O’Ward

+650

arrow mcclaren driver has the equipment however i don't see him doing any better than a place or show finish

Kyle Larson

+750

most talented driver in the race if he gets the right breaks he could head to charlotte with a bottle of milk in hand

Scott Dixon

+800

has had terrible luck at Indianapolis on race day been favorite more times to count been quiet all month that scares me

Josef Newgarden

+1000

defending champion drives foe team penske which has dominated indy this year can he repeat? I sure am not saying he will not

Scott McLaughlin

+1000

has stepped up proving he deserves to drive for team penske this year can he win on sunday? any team penske car can win this year

Will Power

+1200

former winner driving for team penske he could win or make it a 1 2 3 finish for the team they are the class of the field this year

Alexander Rossi

+1500

former winner with arrow mcclaren this year only driver all month that has been able to keep up with team penske on speed

Marcus Ericsson

+1600

1st and second last 2 years struggled after wrecking his car during practice starting in last row is a long way to come to the front

Felix Rosenqvist

+2000

with a new team this year has proven he can still be fast can he avoid a mishap like last year and be around at the end

Santino Ferrucci

+2000

a.j. foyt driver finished 3rd last year  knows how to get around the track fast and willing to take a chance to win

 

INDYCAR Announces Procedure Updates for 2024 Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, May 24, 2024) – INDYCAR has informed race teams of procedural updates ahead of the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. During this morning’s drivers’ meeting, teams were made aware of:

  • The dashed white line from the exit of Turn 4 to the pit entry attenuator will be officiated for Sunday’s race. Cars that have left-side tires past the dashed line will be penalized unless entering the pit lane, for incident avoidance or in an obvious attempt to avoid a closed pit lane and return to the racetrack.

In accordance with INDYCAR penalty guidelines, INDYCAR can impose penalties that include:

    • Drive-through penalty

    • If at the conclusion of the race, a time penalty equal to a drive-through penalty

    • If under yellow condition, the car is ordered to the rear of the restart lineup

  • Consistent with its use at other NTT INDYCAR SERIES events, EM Motorsport light panels positioned around the track will illuminate all flag conditions, including green, to supplement the traditional cloth flag waved at the start-finish line for both starts and restarts. The EM Motorsport light panels are mounted in addition to the traditional track condition lights used at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

  • Restart procedure:

    • In collaboration with NTT INDYCAR SERIES teams and drivers, the 2024 restart line designated in the last corner will not be implemented at the “500.”

    • As in previous years, cars may begin racing (including passing) at the declaration of a green condition.

The 2024 INDYCAR rulebook will be updated to reflect these changes later today.

The 108th Indianapolis 500, round five of the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship, is Sunday, May 26. Coverage begins at 11 a.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with a Spanish-language version available on Universo. The award-winning INDYCAR Radio Network is available on SiriusXM channel 218 and the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.

 

wednesday May 22nd

by terry daniels

part 2 0f 3

2 former winners with 6 victories are included in our pick 12 to 22 for this years indianapolis 500

anyone of these drivers could be the surprise winner sunday

these drivers are driving for established teams and may be a long shot bet on sunday

you can never overlook takuma or helio

Kyle Kirkwood

+2000

Andretti global driver could be a top 5 finisher has a honda power plant which could be a problem

Colton Herta

+2000

Colton could win if he has any luck hr defiantly has the talent to do so could long shot bet it may pay off

Rinus VeeKay

+2500

accident on pole day set team back still made firestone top 12 if he has his issues fixed will be around at the finish where at i do not know

Linus Lundqvist

+3000

another rookie  driving for Chip Ganassi Racing the team has not had the best month maybe they can make it up on race day

Takuma Sato

+3000

has won this race twice has the attitude win it or wreck it kinda been quiet all month he could win his third if luck goes his way

Conor Daly

+3500

Has proven he can compete in the right equipment however lacking it this year in this one race deal with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

Helio Castroneve

+4000

4-time winner in his  drive for 5 cannot overlook him and at these odds it could be very beneficial to place a small bet on this driver's Head

Graham Rahal

+4000

has had the worst month of may the last 2 years and honestly don't see any improvement on race day

Christian Lungaard

+4000

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver honda power conna hold him back believe he will break before the end

Callum Ilott

+4000

Last minute driver added to arrow mcclaren team has the ccar and motor however lacks experience maybe someday not Sunday

Marco Andretti

+5000

The only Andretti here only participates in one race a year He has passed his prime should be around at the end however not in victory lane

Tuesday May 21ST

by terry daniels

aS a annual tradition we handicap all 33 drivers participating in the Indianapolis 500

This is first  of three parts

there is a former winner here 2 of Chip Ganassi Racing super rookie class and the only woman to participate in the 500 this year

these drivers are on the outside looking in with very little chance of winning the Indianapolis 500 this year no disrespect for any of these drivers they have excelled in other forms of racing to get a chance at Indy

Marcus Armstrong

+5000

ANOTHER ROOKIE IN THE Chip Ganassi Racing STABLE hE HAS HAD ROOKIES WIN HERE BEFORE HONDA POWER MAY KEEP HIM FROM RUNNING AT THE FRONT

Ed Carpenter

+5000

THE "BUTLER bULLDOG" HAS HAD A FEW GOOD CHANCES IN THE PAST HOWEVER RIDDLED BY MISTAKES IF HE DOES NOT MAKE ANY COULD EASILY BE TOP 3 FINISHER

Christian Rasmussen

+5000

A ROOKIE DRIVER FOR ED CARPENTER RACING MAY SURPRISE A FEW ON RACE DAY OR MAYBE NOT HE HAS A CHEVROLET POWER PLANT

Roman Grosjean:

+7000

Juncos Hollinger Racing driver whom can be a top 10 finisher maybe even better just don't see him drinking the milk anytime soon

Ryan Hunter-Reay

+7000

"Captain America" is a former winner however lacks the equipment to run with the big boys however may be around at the end 3 laps doown

Kyffin Simpson:

+8000

A rookie driving for Chip Ganassi Racing whom have had a bad month of may Ganassi is good for picking talent maybe someday not this year

Pietro Fittpaldi

+10000

has a winners last name however does not the ablity of his famous grandfather  Emerson whom is a 2 time Indianapolis 500 winner

Tom Blomqvist

+15000

a rookie with the 3rd ride in the Meyer Shank Racing has a honda power plant that seems to be a little behind the Chevrolet

Sting Ray Robb

+20000

Has the racing name however and drives for A. J. Foyt Racing whom has been fast however sting ray has not

Agustin Canapino:

+20000

He has Chevrolet power and drives for Juncos Hollinger Racing however really not much more than a DNF

Katherine Legge:

+30000

Great Gal! however lacking equipment bet her to be first driver out and you might make a little cash back

Tomorrow picks 12 thru 22 former winners and drivers who ould pull an upset on sunday

Monday May 20th

Newgarden Leads Hectic Race Prep Practice at Indy

 

INDIANAPOLIS (Monday, May 20, 2024) – Whether running with qualifying or race setups, there is one indisputable fact this Month of May: Team Penske is fast.

Reigning Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Josef Newgarden led the two-hour practice Monday for the 108th edition of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” as teams shifted from the all-out speed of PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying last weekend to stable setups for the race Sunday, May 26. Newgarden, who qualified third Sunday, turned a best lap of 226.238 mph in the No. 2 Shell Powering Progress Team Penske Chevrolet.

SEE: Practice Results

“The car feels good,” Newgarden said. “I’ve been happy with it since we showed up. I’m excited to go racing. The team has done a great job.

“We’re going to see how things shake up. You’ve just got to be ready for everything. We’re going to make a plan, like qualifying, and we might change the plan. You never know with the Indy 500. We’re ready for Sunday.”

The next and final on-track session is Miller Lite Carb Day practice from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. ET Friday (live, Peacock, INDYCAR Radio Network). Live coverage of the race starts at 11 a.m. ET Sunday on NBC, Universo, Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

Colton Herta, who qualified 13th, climbed to second on the speed charts Monday at 226.222 in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda of Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian. 2018 “500” winner Will Power, who qualified second, was third in practice at 226.137 in the No. 12 Verizon Business Team Penske Chevrolet.

Agustin Canapino, who qualified 22nd, jumped to fourth in the thick traffic of this practice at 225.747 in the No. 78 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet. Pato O’Ward, who qualified eighth, rounded out the top five at 225.738 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet.

Team Penske swept the front row in qualifying for just the second time in “500” history Sunday – repeating its feat from 1988 – with Scott McLaughlin winning the NTT P1 Award, Power qualifying second and Newgarden third. McLaughlin was 21st fastest Monday in practice at 224.031 in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet.

Drivers flipped the mental switch from running alone in four-lap qualifying runs Saturday and Sunday on the 2.5-mile oval to darting in and out of tight thickets of traffic Monday in preparation for the race.

All 33 starters combined to turn 2,655 laps, more than any practice this month despite the session lasting only two hours. Rookie Tom Blomqvist was the busiest driver, turning 106 laps – more than half of the race distance – in his No. 66 AutoNation/Arctic Wolf Honda fielded by Meyer Shank Racing.

 

 

Sunday May 19th

McLaughlin Wins Indy 500 Pole as Penske Earns Historic Front Row Sweep

INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, May 19, 2024) – Get out the brooms – for Team Penske and Chevrolet.

Scott McLaughlin won the NTT P1 Award in Firestone Fast Six qualifying for the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, leading only the second front row sweep by one team in the history of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Team Penske first achieved the feat in 1988, with Rick Mears on the pole, Danny Sullivan starting second and Al Unser third.

SEE: Starting Lineup | Qualifying Results

It was the first career Indianapolis 500 pole for McLaughlin, who also set the fastest four-lap average pole speed in the history of the race of 234.220 mph in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet. McLaughlin’s best qualifying position in three previous Indianapolis 500 starts was 14th in 2023.

“Welcome to the party,” McLaughlin said. “The Pennzoil Chevy was unreal. There’s so much pride in being able to do it. I’m working hard. Indy hasn’t been kind to me, and a lot of it was my doing. I need to work on things. This is the first step. The Thirsty 3’s, baby, we’re coming.”

Two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion and 2018 “500” winner Will Power will start second after his run of 233.917 in the No. 12 Verizon Business Team Penske Chevrolet. Reigning “500” winner and two-time series champion Josef Newgarden will round out the front row after his run of 233.808 in the No. 2 Shell Powering Progress Team Penske Chevrolet.

It was the record-extending 19th Indianapolis 500 pole for Team Penske in the hottest day of this year’s event, with air temperatures reaching 91 degrees and track temperatures topping out at 129 degrees.

Chevrolet-powered drivers swept the top eight spots in the 33-car field for the race Sunday, May 26.

Among other qualifiers in the Firestone Fast Six were Alexander Rossi, who will start fourth at 233.090 in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, rookie and 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson fifth at 232.846 in the No. 17 Hendrickcars.com Arrow McLaren Chevrolet and Santino Ferrucci sixth at 232.692 in the No. 14 Homes For Our Troops Chevrolet fielded by A.J. Foyt Enterprises.

Felix Rosenqvist was the fastest Honda-powered qualifier, starting ninth after a run of 232.305 in the No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda of Meyer Shank Racing.

Katherine Legge, Marcus Ericsson and Graham Rahal earned the final three starting spots in Last Chance Qualifying.

Legge qualified 31st at 230.092 in the No. 51 e.l.f. Cosmetics Honda. 2022 “500” winner Ericsson qualified 32nd at 230.027 in the No. 28 Delaware Life Honda of Andretti Global, and Rahal avoided being bumped from the field for the second consecutive year by earning the final starting spot at 229.974 in the No. 15 United Rentals Honda of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

“I've been there – last year, it still stings,” Rahal said. “It's not much better being 33rd, I can tell you that. At least we're in the field, and we're going to go racing.”

Rookie Nolan Siegel failed to qualify. INDY NXT by Firestone standout Siegel, who was bumped earlier during Last Chance Qualifying, crashed in the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda on the final attempt of the session. He was unhurt.

“I wish we could have shown that we deserve to be in the ‘500,’” Siegel said. “But we've had a difficult couple of days, and we pulled through it as a team. We did everything we possibly could. I feel like we maximized the runs today. That's all you can do.”

The 33-car field average speed is 231.943, the second fastest in history. Last year’s record field average was 232.184.

Up next is a practice session for the 33 starters from 1-3 p.m. ET Monday, with live coverage on Peacock.

The 108th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 26 (11 a.m. ET, NBC, Peacock, Universo, INDYCAR Radio Network).

INDIANAPOLIS - Results of qualifying Sunday for the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge NTT 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) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 02:33.7017 (234.220 mph)
2. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 02:33.9007 (233.917)
3. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 02:33.9726 (233.808)
4. (7) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 02:34.4469 (233.090)
5. (17) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 02:34.6083 (232.848)
6. (14) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 02:34.7110 (232.692)
7. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 02:34.7657 (232.610)
8. (5) Pato O'Ward, Chevrolet, 02:34.7829 (232.584)
9. (60) Felix Rosenqvist, Honda, 02:34.9686 (232.305)
10. (75) Takuma Sato, Honda, 02:35.0578 (232.171)
11. (27) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 02:35.8490 (230.993)
12. (23) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Chevrolet, 02:36.1367 (230.567)
13. (26) Colton Herta, Honda, 02:34.9616 (232.316)
14. (10) Alex Palou, Honda, 02:34.9682 (232.306)
15. (6) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 02:35.0184 (232.230)
16. (11) Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 02:35.0504 (232.183)
17. (20) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 02:35.1608 (232.017)
18. (4) Kyffin Simpson, Honda, 02:35.2069 (231.948)
19. (98) Marco Andretti, Honda, 02:35.2458 (231.890)
20. (06) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 02:35.2587 (231.871)
21. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 02:35.2723 (231.851)
22. (78) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 02:35.2750 (231.847)
23. (41) Sting Ray Robb, Chevrolet, 02:35.2888 (231.826)
24. (33) Christian Rasmussen, Chevrolet, 02:35.3852 (231.682)
25. (66) Tom Blomqvist, Honda, 02:35.4554 (231.578)
26. (77) Romain Grosjean, Chevrolet, 02:35.4982 (231.514)
27. (8) Linus Lundqvist, Honda, 02:35.5034 (231.506)
28. (45) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 02:35.5308 (231.465)
29. (24) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 02:35.6803 (231.243)
30. (30) Pietro Fittipaldi, Honda, 02:35.7768 (231.100)
31. (51) Katherine Legge, Honda, 02:36.4590 (230.092)
32. (28) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 02:36.5037 (230.027)
33. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 02:36.5396 (229.974)

 

Saturday May 18th

Power Fastest as Penske Eyes Pole after Top Three Sweep

INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, May 18, 2024) – Team Penske continued its march toward Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge history Saturday during the first day of PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying, capturing the top three spots among the 12 drivers who will compete for the NTT P1 Award on Sunday.

Two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion and 2018 “500” winner Will Power turned the fastest four-lap average run, 233.758 mph, in the No. 12 Verizon Business Team Penske Chevrolet. Fellow two-time series champion and defending race winner Josef Newgarden was second at 233.332 in the No. 2 Shell Powering Progress Team Penske Chevrolet, while Scott McLaughlin was third at 233.293 in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet.

SEE: Qualifying Results | Qualifying Procedure

“It was a good, smooth run,” Power said. “We got an early draw, which helps. We would have liked to have run in the heat, but (team owner) Roger (Penske) didn’t want us to go out. I think (Alexander) Rossi is the one who could break up the all-Penske front row, but I think one of us (Team Penske) will get the pole. We put a lot of work in. All the cars are about the same speed.”

If the Penske trio can advance from Top 12 Qualifying and hold the top three spots at the end of Firestone Fast Six qualifying Sunday afternoon, it will be just the second front-row sweep by one team in Indianapolis 500 history. Team Penske first achieved the feat in 1988 with pole sitter Rick Mears, No. 2 qualifier Danny Sullivan and No. 3 qualifier Al Unser.

Top 12 Qualifying from 3:05-4:05 p.m. ET Sunday will whittle the field to the Firestone Fast Six that will compete for the NTT P1 Award from 5:25-5:55 p.m. In between those sessions, 2022 “500” winner Marcus Ericsson of Andretti Global, Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and Katherine Legge and rookie Nolan Siegel of Dale Coyne Racing will compete for the three final spots in the 33-car starting field in Last Chance Qualifying from 4:15-5:15 p.m.

Practice for the Top 12 will take place from noon-1 p.m., with a final practice for the Last Chance Qualifiers from 1-2 p.m.

The Team Penske dominance under sunny skies came as little surprise. Newgarden, McLaughlin and Power were the three fastest drivers, respectively, during qualifying simulations on “Fast Friday.”

All three Penske drivers benefited from favorable positions in the qualifying draw and made their sole four-lap qualifying attempts in the first hour of the six-hour, 50-minute session, when track and air temperatures were at their coolest.

Joining the Penske trio in the Top 12 Qualifying session Sunday are 2016 “500” winner Alexander Rossi of Arrow McLaren (233.069 Saturday, fourth), Kyle Kirkwood of Andretti Global (232.764, fifth), rookie and 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson of Arrow McLaren/Rick Hendrick (232.563, sixth), Felix Rosenqvist of Meyer Shank Racing (232.547, seventh), Santino Ferrucci of AJ Foyt Racing (232.496, eighth), two-time “500” winner Takuma Sato of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (232.473, ninth), Pato O’Ward of Arrow McLaren (232.434, 10th), Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing (232.419, 11th) and 2014 “500” winner Ryan Hunter-Reay of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (232.385, 12th).

Team Penske and Arrow McLaren each will feature three drivers in the Top 12 Qualifying session. Eight teams overall will be represented in the Top 12.

VeeKay made a dramatic run into the Top 12 on the penultimate qualifying attempt of the day in the No. 21 askROI Chevrolet. The run capped a mad thrash for the Ed Carpenter Racing team to rebuild the car after VeeKay crashed in Turn 3 at 11:14 a.m. on just the fourth overall attempt of the day.

He then made one waved-off attempt and a successful attempt of 231.166 in the mid-afternoon that put him toward the back of the top 30 before his nerve-wracking final run.

The last-gasp run kept alive VeeKay’s chances of qualifying in the top four for each of his five “500” starts. He just missed the pole last year to qualify second in his career-best Indy start.

“Roller coaster times three,” VeeKay said. “Started the day out with the biggest heartbreak there is. We were on the edge of the last row, and then the team, this is magic right here. They made it happen. The car felt awesome.

“This crew, they deserve a thousand dinners and a lot of beer.”

Rahal was able to enter the 2.5-mile oval just before the clock struck 5:50 p.m. to end qualifying, but he waved off the run after just one lap due to lack of speed in his No. 15 United Rentals Honda. It will be the second straight year in the Last Chance Qualifying session for Rahal, who failed to qualify for last year’s race but competed as a substitute for the injured Stefan Wilson.

There were 74 qualifying attempts in a frantic day in which air temperatures reached the low 80s, topped in Indianapolis 500 history only by the 84 attempts on the first day last year.

Public gates open at 10 a.m. Sunday at IMS.

The 108th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 26 (11 a.m. ET, NBC, Peacock, Universo, INDYCAR Radio Network).

INDIANAPOLIS - Results of qualifying Saturday for the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge NTT 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. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 02:34.0053 (233.758 mph)
2. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 02:34.2863 (233.332)
3. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 02:34.3124 (233.293)
4. (7) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 02:34.4609 (233.069)
5. (27) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 02:34.6634 (232.764)
6. (17) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 02:34.7965 (232.563)
7. (60) Felix Rosenqvist, Honda, 02:34.8074 (232.547)
8. (14) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 02:34.8415 (232.496)
9. (75) Takuma Sato, Honda, 02:34.8566 (232.473)
10. (5) Pato O'Ward, Chevrolet, 02:34.8826 (232.434)
11. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 02:34.8930 (232.419)
12. (23) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Chevrolet, 02:34.9153 (232.385)
13. (26) Colton Herta, Honda, 02:34.9616 (232.316)
14. (10) Alex Palou, Honda, 02:34.9682 (232.306)
15. (6) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 02:35.0184 (232.230)
16. (11) Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 02:35.0504 (232.183)
17. (20) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 02:35.1608 (232.017)
18. (4) Kyffin Simpson, Honda, 02:35.2069 (231.948)
19. (98) Marco Andretti, Honda, 02:35.2458 (231.890)
20. (06) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 02:35.2587 (231.871)
21. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 02:35.2723 (231.851)
22. (78) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 02:35.2750 (231.847)
23. (41) Sting Ray Robb, Chevrolet, 02:35.2888 (231.826)
24. (33) Christian Rasmussen, Chevrolet, 02:35.3852 (231.682)
25. (66) Tom Blomqvist, Honda, 02:35.4554 (231.578)
26. (77) Romain Grosjean, Chevrolet, 02:35.4982 (231.514)
27. (8) Linus Lundqvist, Honda, 02:35.5034 (231.506)
28. (45) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 02:35.5308 (231.465)
29. (24) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 02:35.6803 (231.243)
30. (30) Pietro Fittipaldi, Honda, 02:35.7768 (231.100)
Friday May 17TH

Penske Flexes Muscle on ‘Fast Friday’ as Qualifying Looms

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, May 17, 2024) – If “Fast Friday” is any indication, the record pole speed for the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge could be in jeopardy Sunday, and Team Penske has that mark squarely in its sights.

Penske teammates Josef Newgarden, Scott McLaughlin and Will Power were the three fastest drivers during simulated qualifying runs in practice Friday for the 108th edition of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” as the focus shifted toward PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying on Saturday and Sunday on the 2.5-mile oval.

SEE: Practice Results | Qualifying Procedure | Qualifying Draw

Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Newgarden averaged 234.063 mph in his best four-lap qualifying sim in the No. 2 Shell Powering Progress Team Penske Chevrolet. Reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Alex Palou set the event record last year with an average speed of 234.217 en route to his first career “500” pole.

Speeds soared Friday because the Honda and Chevrolet engines that power the field featured approximately 100 more horsepower due to increased boost levels that also will be available this weekend during PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying.

“You can’t get too excited on a day like today,” two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Newgarden said. “We’re testing. Everybody’s testing. It counts when it counts, but I think we have fast cars. There’s no doubt. We’ve got to be somewhat pleased at what we’re looking at. This team has worked hard.

“We need to put our pieces together tomorrow. It’s going to be harder tomorrow; it’s going to be even harder on Sunday.”

The first day of PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying takes place from 11 a.m.-5:50 p.m. Saturday. A practice session will precede qualifying from 8:30-9:30 a.m., with two 30-minute groups.

Positions 13-30 in the starting field will be set Saturday, with the Last Row Shootout, Top 12 and Firestone Fast Six qualifying sessions Sunday afternoon deciding the rest of the 33-car starting grid.

McLaughlin posted the second-fastest qualifying sim, 233.623 in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet. 2018 Indy 500 winner and two-time series champion Power was third at 233.451 in the No. 12 Verizon Business Team Penske Chevrolet.

Arrow McLaren drivers took the fourth and fifth spots on the qualifying sim speed chart. 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi was fourth at 233.355 in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, while Pato O’Ward was fifth at 233.043 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet.

Colton Herta was the fastest driver overall on a single lap Friday, with a top trip of 234.974 in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda fielded by Andretti Global w/ Curb-Agajanian.

“I’m happy with what we were able to do,” Herta said. “We seem to be lacking a little bit of speed (for qualifying runs). It’s nice to be quickest, but it doesn’t mean much for qualifying.”

Rookie Kyle Larson was second fastest overall on a single lap at 234.271 in the No. 17 Hendrickcars.com Arrow McLaren Chevrolet. He was 10th on the qualifying sim speed chart at 232.549. 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Larson is attempting the “double” of racing in the “500” and the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 26.

Newgarden’s lap of 234.260 – the first on his fastest four-lap qualifying sim – ended up as the third-fastest single lap overall.

All 34 drivers attempting to earn one of the 33 starting spots combined to turn 990 laps today, a significant reduction from Wednesday and Thursday as teams focused mainly on solo runs in qualifying simulations instead of running numerous laps in traffic to test race setups.

There was one incident in the six-hour session. Rookie Nolan Siegel spun in Turn 2 during a qualifying simulation and hit the SAFER Barrier. Siegel’s No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda then rolled and became briefly airborne, landing on its left sidepod and sliding down the backstretch on its roll hoop. Siegel was unhurt. The car was heavily damaged, and Siegel said the team is shifting to a backup car.

The 108th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 26 (11 a.m. ET, NBC, Peacock,

 

 

 

Thursday may 16th

O’Ward Fast in Traffic, Herta Speedy Solo as ‘Fast Friday’ Looms

INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, May 16, 2024) – Pato O’Ward led the overall speed chart Thursday during practice for the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, while Colton Herta led the “no-tow” speeds that gain more importance as qualifying approaches.

O’Ward was fastest at 228.861 mph in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, a speed turned with the help of an aerodynamic tow from leading cars around the 2.5-mile oval.

SEE: Practice Results

“We got a really fat tow lap on the board, which was unexpected,” O’Ward said. “I’m happy with my car. We did race runs. We did qualifying runs. Obviously, it doesn't necessarily translate perfectly to when the boosts come up just because the speed is so different. But tomorrow if it does rain out, at least we got a bit of a feeling of what the car is tending to want to do on a bit more trim level.”

Speeds will jump during the next practice, from noon-6 p.m. ET on “Fast Friday.” The Honda and Chevrolet engines that power the field will feature approximately 100 more horsepower due to increased boost levels that also will be available during PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying on Saturday and Sunday.

Scott McLaughlin, fastest Wednesday at 229.493, was second Thursday at 227.316 in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet. Reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Alex Palou ended up third at 226.915 in the No. 10 DHL Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

Herta was fourth at 226.828 in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda fielded by Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian. While that lap – like all of the top five drivers of the day – was turned with the help of a tow, Herta was fastest when running alone in a qualifying simulation, turning a best lap of 224.182.

Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Josef Newgarden rounded out the top five overall at 226.684 in the No. 2 Shell Powering Progress Team Penske Chevrolet.

The eight-hour session was halted for 68 minutes late in the afternoon and ended 13 minutes early due to rain, the third straight day precipitation has hampered practice. In between raindrops, all 34 drivers alternated focus between honing car setups for qualifying and the race, combining to turn 1,896 laps.

There also were two caution periods for separate crashes – the first contact of the month – involving rookie Linus Lundqvist and 2022 Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson. Neither driver was hurt.

At 11:30 a.m. ET, Lundqvist’s No. 8 American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda slid through Turn 2, making contact with the SAFER Barrier with the right rear wheel. The car then made light secondary contact with the inside wall on the backstretch. Lundqvist’s machine suffered significant damage and turned no more laps.

Lundqvist ended up as the fastest rookie of the day despite his crash, as his best lap of 226.261 was seventh overall.

At 3:49 p.m., Ericsson’s No. 28 Delaware Life Honda fielded by Andretti Global spun in Turn 4 and hit the SAFER Barrier, continuing to spin and making contact with the inside barrier and then hitting the pit lane attenuator. The car suffered heavy damage, Ericsson turned no more laps, and the team confirmed it will move to a backup car.

The 108th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 26 (11 a.m. ET, NBC, Peacock, Universo, INDYCAR Radio Network).

What We ARE HEARING AT THE TRACK

NBC Sports has announced its team of race and studio commentators for its comprehensive coverage of the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. Host Mike Tirico and studio analyst Danica Patrick return to NBC Sports’ Indianapolis 500 coverage for the sixth consecutive year, joined by seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and former Indy 500 competitor Jimmie Johnson. For the sixth consecutive year, “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will be called by NBC Sports’ lead INDYCAR play-by-play voice Leigh Diffey and analyst Townsend Bell, with analyst James Hinchcliffe in his third consecutive. Marty Snider, Dillon Welch, Dave Burns and Kevin Lee will serve as pit reporters. Former NASCAR driver Jeff Burton and Kim Coon will serve as roaming reporters throughout the broadcast.

Andretti Global driver Ericsson is a former hockey goalie and NHL fan. He’s friends with Boston Bruins defenseman Hampus Lindholm. However, while he wants his buddy to win the Stanley Cup, Ericsson’s pick to win the coveted trophy is the Dallas Stars.

Kyle Kirkwood said his No. 27 AutoNation Honda for Andretti Global is the same car he drove in last year’s Indianapolis 500. Kirkwood climbed from a 15th-place starting spot to the top 10 before a spectacular crash on Lap 183.

Kyle Larson’s No. 17 Hendrickcars.com Arrow McLaren Chevrolet underwent an engine change before Thursday’s practice session. The swap was planned. Larson called the cadence of the day “frustrating” because he only completed 29 laps with a best speed of 222.805.

Phillip Phillips To Sing ‘God Bless America’ at Indy 500 “The performance of ‘God Bless America,’ on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, is one of the most important tributes to our country and is an often-heard tradition of the pre-race ceremonies,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “Adding Phillip and his voice to the pre-race festivities will round out his weekend of participating in the ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ after having been in the 500 Festival parade and performing at The Vogue the night before the race.”

Wednesday may 15th

McLaughlin Jumps to Top on Another Damp Day at Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, May 15, 2024) – Scott McLaughlin led three Team Penske cars in the top four on the speed chart Wednesday after another rain-interrupted day of practice for the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

McLaughlin was fastest with a best lap of 229.493 in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet in a session that started five hours, five minutes late due to persistent morning rain and was interrupted three times by sprinkles before heavier rain washed out the last 59 minutes. All 34 drivers in the field still managed to turn 2,084 laps in rapid packs of traffic around the 2.5-mile oval.

SEE: Practice Results

“The Pennzoil Chevy ‘Yellow Submarine’ straight out of the box is pretty good,” McLaughlin said. “I was able to use that draft and get that speed. Obviously, the car’s got good pace right now. We ran through a lot of items, as much as we can, and I think we’ve gotten in a really good spot.”

McLaughlin’s lap was the fastest so far in two limited days of practice, as Scott Dixon led opening day Tuesday at 229.107 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda in a session that ended after just 23 minutes due to heavy rain.

Two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Will Power helped Team Penske take the top two spots Wednesday on the speed chart. 2018 Indianapolis 500 winner Power ended up second at 228.767 in the No. 12 Verizon Business Team Penske Chevrolet.

Colton Herta was third at 227.858 in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda of Andretti Global, followed by reigning Indianapolis 500 winner and two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Josef Newgarden in fourth at 227.675 in the No. 2 Shell Powering Progress Team Penske Chevrolet.

2016 “500” winner Alexander Rossi rounded out the top five at 227.484 in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet.

Rossi’s Month of May teammate Kyle Larson also attracted attention, as he was the fastest of seven rookies on the track while continuing his preparations to attempt the “double” of competing in the Indianapolis 500 and the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 26. 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Larson was 15th at 225.245 in the No. 17 Hendrickcars.com Arrow McLaren Chevrolet.

“It’s a little bit frustrating,” Larson said of the weather delays today and Tuesday. “But it is what it is. There’s plenty of track time. I’m trying to remember that.

“I’m glad to have gotten out there and got running. I’m still trying to figure a lot out and work through the car balance, timing of runs and all that. Just trying to play around with things and make runs and pass people.”

Practice is scheduled to resume from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. ET Thursday. PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying is this Saturday and Sunday, with Race Day on Sunday, May 26.

What We ARE HEARING AT THE TRACK

Sparks To Perform National Anthem at Indianapolis 500 Grammy-Nominated, Multi-Platinum Artist Joins Must-Watch Pre-Race Show on NBC Jordin Sparks, a Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum singer-songwriter and actress, will perform the national anthem before the start of the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Kyle Larson enters the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge as one of the betting favorites. “Yeah, that's crazy,” Larson said of his odds. “That doesn't make any sense. I think people are wasting their money, but maybe not. I guess I hope not to get people to waste their money on me. It would be great to win. I just think that’s crazy.”

Arrow McLaren driver Callum Ilott noted he had a special FaceTime call following his World Endurance Championship victory in the 6 Hours of Spa last Saturday – from legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady, who is an investor in Ilott’s WEC team, Hertz Team Jota.

Helio Castroneves showed off a special helmet design that he’ll wear inside the No. 06 Cliffs Honda for Meyer Shank Racing this month. The helmet mimics the colors of good friend and former teammate, 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran, who died suddenly in December.

Romain Grosjean was perplexed by the 7:45 a.m. ET media session today at IMS. He said race car drivers like to sleep in. “Today, I was in my bed like six minutes ago,” he said. Chip Ganassi Racing driver Marcus Armstrong said it was a long day. He got up at 6 a.m. Wednesday morning and said he didn’t strap into his car to practice until 4 p.m.

Chevrolet-powered drivers produced five of the top seven speeds Wednesday, with all three Team Penske drivers landing in the top four.

TUESday May 14th

Dixon Tops 229 on Rain-Shortened Opening Day at Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, May 14, 2024) – Short, but still speedy.

Persistent rain curtailed the opening day of practice May 14 for the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as the 2.5-mile oval was open for just 23 minutes, until 9:26 a.m. ET. Showers intensified during the afternoon, preventing any more laps.

SEE: Practice Results

Speeds were impressive despite the brief session. Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon led at 229.107 mph in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. 2020 “500” pole sitter Marco Andretti was second at 228.399 in the No. 98 MAPEI/Curb Honda fielded by Andretti Herta w/Marco & Curb-Agajanian. Both Dixon and Andretti benefited from aerodynamic tows as morning traffic was brisk while teams eyed the leaden skies.

Two-time Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato was third at 225.551 in the No. 75 AMADA Honda of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Pato O’Ward was fourth – and the fastest Chevrolet-powered driver – at 224.993 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet.

Christian Lundgaard ended up fifth at 223.844 in the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda, as Rahal Letterman Lanigan was the only team with multiple cars in the top five.

Just 219 total laps were turned before the rain arrived, with 29 of the 34 entries on track and no driver exceeding 13 laps.

2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson managed just two laps in the No. 17 Hendrickcars.com Arrow McLaren Chevrolet before the rain. Larson, racing for Arrow McLaren/Rick Hendrick, is attempting to become the fifth driver to complete the “double” of racing in the Indianapolis 500 and the NASCAR Cup Series’ Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day. Kurt Busch was the last to achieve the feat, in 2014.

“It’s good to finally have the Indy 500 here,” Larson said. “I’ve known about this (double attempt) for a couple of years now, so it’s been a lot of waiting. Just happy to get this experience underway. The weather is getting in the middle of things today, but once we get through today, it should be good.”

This is the second consecutive year rain hampered the first day of practice. Last year’s opening day was a washout, with no laps turned.

Practice is scheduled to resume from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. ET Wednesday. PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying is this Saturday and Sunday, with Race Day on Sunday, May 26.

What We ARE HEARING AT THE TRACK

Romain Grosjean earned the distinction of being the first driver on track on Opening Day, in the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet. Since “first on track” became a stat in 1984, no driver has won the “500” after being the first car on track. The best finish is second by Helio Castroneves (2014) and Marco Andretti (2006). The first car on track won the NTT P1 Award twice, with Team Penske’s Ryan Briscoe being the lastest, in 2012.

Following a pair of on-track spats Saturday on the 2.439-mile IMS road course, Grosjean and Santino Ferrucci found each other early in opening day of Indianapolis 500 practice. Grosjean slowed coming through the pits at pit exit on the north end of pit road and Ferrucci’s No. 14 AJ FOYT RACING/SEXTON PROPERTIES Chevrolet was directly behind. With what looked like another tense moment, Ferrucci said all clear as far as he’s concerned. He said it was fine – Grosjean just wanted clear track. “In my head, it’s over,” Ferrucci said.

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES announced Tuesday the official debut of the hybrid technology for July 5-7 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by the 2025 Civic Hybrid. Graham Rahal said it’s a good track for the hybrid debut but feels slightly overwhelmed as a driver because that weekend is going to arrive quickly after the hubbub of the Month of May and a busy June schedule of races. “We’ll adapt to it,” he said. “We were very fast at Mid-Ohio last year so hopefully we can be fast again.”

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Pietro Fittipaldi said the biggest difference between competing in the Indianapolis 500 as a full-time driver like this season and part-time like 2021 is rust. When showing up as a rookie for Dale Coyne Racing in 2021, he had to build up to speed. This year, he’s raced the full season and said the cadence is aggression, on pit stops and in and out laps. “It’s much better when you’re doing the ‘500’ and the whole season because you just arrive much more in tune,” he said. “I think it’s, for sure, important and very helpful.”

 

MONday May 13th

sCHEDULE OF eVENTS LEADING UP TO THE  2024 iNDIANAPOLIS 500

tErry dANIELS

iT ALL BEGINS TOMORROW AND WE WILL  BE THERE EVERYDAY WITH THE COMPLETE DAY TO DAY COVERAGE

2024 Indianapolis 500 schedule: Practice, qualifying, and race times

Here are the upcoming practice, qualifying, and race times on the Indianapolis 500 schedule (all ET).

Tuesday, May 14

  • 9:00 a.m.: Practice 

  • 1:00 p.m.: Practice

Wednesday, May 15

  • 12:00 p.m.: Practice

Thursday, May 16

  • 12:00 p.m.: Practice

Friday, May 17

  • 12:00 p.m.: Practice

Saturday, May 18

  • 8:30 a.m.: Practice

  • 11:00 a.m.: Qualifying, Day 1 –

Sunday, May 19

  • 12:00 p.m.: Practice

  • 3:05 p.m.: Qualifying,

  • 4:15 p.m.: Qualifying,

  • 5:25 p.m.: Qualifying,

Monday, May 20

  • 1:00 p.m.: Practice

Friday, May 24

  • 11:00 a.m.: Final Practice, Carb Day

Sunday, May 26

  • 12:38 p.m.: 2024 Indianapolis 500

What We ARE HEARING AT THE TRACK

 

Sunday May 12th

bORG wARNER tROPHEY up for grabs IN 24

Terry Daniels

WELL it is MAY AND THAT CAN MEAN ONLY ONE THING

tHE 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge will start this week with a field consisting of eight former winners of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and five NTT INDYCAR SERIES champions.AND MANY dRIVERS WHO HAVE THE ABILITY TO TASTE THE MILK AND KISS THE BRICKS

There are 34 entries set to contest the 33 starting spots WHICH MEANS A LAST ROW SHOOT OUT

dEFENDING cHAMPION Josef Newgarden WHO earned his first career “500” victory last May after passing 2022 winner Marcus Ericsson IN a one-lap shootout WHICH IN YOUR WRITERS OPINION WAS THE BEST FINISH OF ANY iNDIANAPOLIS 500 ON RECORD

former winners aiming for a spot in the race this year include four-time winner Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009, 2021) and two-time winner Takuma Sato (2017, 2020), plus single winners Scott Dixon (2008), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2014), Alexander Rossi (2016) and Will Power (2018). The record for winners in one field is 10, set in 1992.

The field includes five past INDYCAR SERIES champions: Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Newgarden, reigning champion Alex Palou and Power.

NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson will attempt to become the fifth driver to complete the Memorial Day “double” of racing in the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day, joining John Andretti, Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon and Kurt Busch. The last driver to complete the feat was Busch in 2014.

Larson is one of seven drivers competing for top rookie honors, along with Marcus Armstrong, Tom Blomqvist, Linus Lundqvist, Christian Rasmussen, Nolan Siegel and Kyffin Simpson hOW EVER lARSON IS BY FAR THE CLASS OF THE ROOKIES.

2024 ENTRY BREAKDOWN:

tHE fORMER WINNERS ARE : Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato

 Marcus Armstrong, Tom Blomqvist, Kyle Larson, Linus Lundqvist, Christian Rasmussen, Nolan Siegel, Kyffin Simpson WILL CALL BE COMPETING FOR THE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR HONORS

13 dRIVERS ARE ANERICAN BORN  Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter, Conor Daly, Santino Ferrucci, Colton Herta, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Kyle Kirkwood, Kyle Larson, Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, Sting Ray Robb, Alexander Rossi, Nolan Siegel

there are 21 Foreign  drivers  from 13 countries  Marcus Armstrong, Tom Blomqvist, Agustín Canapino, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson, Pietro Fittipaldi, Romain Grosjean, Callum Ilott, Katherine Legge, Christian Lundgaard, Linus Lundqvist, Scott McLaughlin, Pato O’Ward, Alex Palou, Will Power, Christian Rasmussen, Felix Rosenqvist, Takuma Sato, Kyffin Simpson, Rinus VeeKay

tHE Engine BREAKDOWN ARE Honda 18, Chevrolet 16 (all cars use Dallara chassis and Firestone tires)

Saturday May 11th

Palou Launches May Mission with Sonsio Grand Prix Victory

INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, May 11, 2024) – Alex Palou capped a perfect start to the Month of May by winning the Sonsio Grand Prix on Saturday from the pole on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Two-time and reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Palou drove his No. 10 DHL Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to a 6.6106-second victory over the No. 12 Verizon Business Team Penske Chevrolet of fellow two-time series champion Will Power. It was his second consecutive win in this event on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course at IMS, which leads into the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on the 2.5-mile oval.

SEE: Race Results

“It was an amazing win,” Palou said. “It’s great to be back-to-back from last year, and we’re going to continue this May. A win helps a lot, especially if it’s a pole and a win and the way we won it. We’re going to celebrate, for sure, but we’re going to switch this afternoon our focus to the big one.”

Practice for the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge starts Tuesday, with PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying next Saturday and Sunday. Race Day is Sunday, May 26.

Spaniard Palou earned his 10th career victory and first points-paying victory of the season, as he also won the non-points The Thermal Club $1 Million Challenge in March. He also took the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship lead by 12 points over Power, who finished second for the third time in four races this season.

“It’s what was available to us,” Power said of the runner-up finish. “Yeah, you do get sick of finishing second. Oh, my God. You’re just racing very tough people, and if you’re not exactly perfect, you won’t win. I wasn’t exactly perfect in qualifying, and I didn’t win.”

Christian Lundgaard took the lead from Palou on Lap 1 of the 85-lap race but ended up third in the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda fielded by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for his best finish this season.

“We needed a little luck today,” Lundgaard said. “I think we did everything we could in the first two stints to make sure the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda had a shot. Palou really deserved it today.”

Chip Ganassi Racing took three of the top five spots, as six-time series champion Scott Dixon finished fourth in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda and Marcus Armstrong was fifth in the No. 11 IU Simon Cancer Center Honda. The Ganassi team has won the last three road races at IMS, as Palou repeated as winner of this event and Dixon won the Gallagher Grand Prix last August.

Colton Herta, who entered this event with the points lead, rallied from the 24th starting spot to finish seventh in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda fielded by Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian despite being hip-checked off track by his teammate Marcus Ericsson early in the race. Herta fell to fourth in the standings, 25 points behind Palou.

Lundgaard took the lead in Turn 2 of the opening lap – one of a record 13 lead changes for this event – and stayed out front until making his first pit stop on Lap 19 along with Palou, who was running second after Power made his first stop on Lap 18.

That set the stage for a three-way tactical fight that was as much about strategists and pit crews as drivers for the rest of the race.

The decisive stops took place at the end of the second stint. Power dove into the pits late on Lap 39, attempting to undercut leader Lundgaard, who pitted on the next lap in reaction to Power’s surprise early stop.

It appeared Power, charging down the front straightaway on hot Firestone Firehawk tires, might jump Lundgaard when Lundgaard exited the pits on Lap 40. But the No. 28 Delaware Life Honda of Ericsson was between Lundgaard and Power, letting Lundgaard keep the advantage.

Meanwhile, Palou stopped on Lap 41 on an overcut strategy and left the pits ahead of Lundgaard. When the rest of the field cycled through its stops, Palou found himself out front on Lap 45 and steadily increased his gap over Lundgaard.

“I did a mistake on that start, lost our first position that we fought so hard for in qualifying,” Palou said. “But everybody on the crew, engineers and the mechanics did an amazing job in the pits, and we just had to try to get the performance we had all weekend in the No. 10 DHL Honda car.”

Most of the 27-car field made its final stops between Laps 62-65. Palou cycled into the lead for good on Lap 65, but his rivals got one more chance to pass him when the only caution period of the race was triggered on Lap 66 by rookie Luca Ghiotto’s spin in Turn 10 in the No. 51 Dale Coyne Racing Honda.

But Palou pulled away on the restart on Lap 68 and put the pedal to the metal to secure the victory. He turned the quickest lap of the race while leading on Lap 72 and never was challenged to the checkered flag.

INDIANAPOLIS - Results Saturday of the Sonsio Grand Prix NTT INDYCAR SERIES event on the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (1) Alex Palou, Honda, 85, Running
2. (3) Will Power, Chevrolet, 85, Running
3. (2) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 85, Running
4. (6) Scott Dixon, Honda, 85, Running
5. (8) Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 85, Running
6. (13) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 85, Running
7. (24) Colton Herta, Honda, 85, Running
8. (7) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 85, Running
9. (9) Graham Rahal, Honda, 85, Running
10. (10) Felix Rosenqvist, Honda, 85, Running
11. (14) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 85, Running
12. (23) Romain Grosjean, Chevrolet, 85, Running
13. (5) Pato O'Ward, Chevrolet, 85, Running
14. (11) Pietro Fittipaldi, Honda, 85, Running
15. (25) Kyffin Simpson, Honda, 85, Running
16. (21) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 85, Running
17. (4) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 85, Running
18. (17) Jack Harvey, Honda, 85, Running
19. (18) Theo Pourchaire, Chevrolet, 85, Running
20. (20) Christian Rasmussen, Chevrolet, 85, Running
21. (15) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 84, Running
22. (27) Sting Ray Robb, Chevrolet, 84, Running
23. (26) Tom Blomqvist, Honda, 84, Running
24. (19) Linus Lundqvist, Honda, 84, Running
25. (22) Luca Ghiotto, Honda, 84, Running
26. (12) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 84, Running
27. (16) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 54, Mechanical

Race Statistics
Winner's average speed: 117.956 mph
Time of race: 1:45:27.2320
Margin of victory: 6.6106 seconds
Cautions: 1 for 2 laps
Lead changes: 13 among 8 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Lundgaard, Christian 1 - 18
Armstrong, Marcus 19
Rahal, Graham 20 - 21
Fittipaldi, Pietro 22
Lundgaard, Christian 23 - 39
Palou, Alex 40
Dixon, Scott 41
Rossi, Alexander 42
Fittipaldi, Pietro 43
McLaughlin, Scott 44
Palou, Alex 45 - 61
Armstrong, Marcus 62 - 63
McLaughlin, Scott 64
Palou, Alex 65 - 85

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Point Standings: Palou 152, Power 140, Dixon 127, Herta 127, Rosenqvist 107, McLaughlin 88, O'Ward 88, Kirkwood 86, Lundgaard 84, Rossi 78, Armstrong 76, Rahal 71, Lundqvist 68, Grosjean 68, Ericsson 63, Ferrucci 63, Newgarden 61, Simpson 60, VeeKay 58, Canapino 48, Harvey 47, Fittipaldi 45, Blomqvist 41, Pourchaire 38, Rasmussen 32, Robb 31, Ilott 19, Ghiotto 14, Braun 10, Siegel 10

 

What We ARE HEARING AT THE TRACK

  • Five of the last six Sonsio Grand Prix podiums have produced the NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion. That’s great news for Palou, Will Power and Christian Lundgaard.
  • Power comes to oval activity second in points but has three runner-up finishes in four tries this season. The 2018 Indianapolis 500 winner hasn’t won in 32 races but has seven second-place finishes in that span.
  • Team Penske won five of the first six Sonsio Grand Prix races. The organization is winless in the last five.

 


Patient Foster Earns First Victory of Season at IMS

Patience paid off with a victory for Louis Foster on Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Foster sat behind leader Caio Collet for numerous laps in the second race of the Indianapolis Grand Prix doubleheader before passing him with 11 laps to go and earning his first INDY NXT by Firestone victory of the season in the No. 26 Copart/Novara Technologies car fielded by Andretti Global.

SEE: Race Results

English driver Foster, who started fourth, powered to a 2.3688-second victory over series leader Jacob Abel in the No. 51 Abel Construction entry fielded by Abel Motorsports. Rookie Collet hung on to finish third in the No. 18 HMD Motorsports car.

“Managed our tires, managed our Push to Pass,” Foster said. “It was quite tricky for me because I had to burn a lot (of Push to Pass) to get past Abel, and then I had to pressure Caio enough to burn off his. But I think we managed it well. All around, a really good job by the Andretti crew. Super happy.”

Abel, who won the first race of this doubleheader from the pole Friday, has finished first or second in all four races this season and leads the standings in the INDYCAR development series by 25 points over Nolan Siegel.

James Roe finished fourth in the No. 29 Topcon car fielded by Andretti Global, with Siegel rounding out the top five in the No. 39 HMD Motorsports entry.

Collet powered from his second starting position past pole sitter Abel in Turn 1 of the opening lap to take the lead, building a gap of around one second for the next 10 laps of the 35-lap race. Meanwhile, Foster passed Abel for second on Lap 11 and set his sights on Brazilian rookie Collet.

By Lap 14, Foster pulled to within one-half of a second of Collet and then pulled side by side with him on the front straightaway two laps later. But Collet parried the move in Turn 1, and Foster decided to stay close to Collet’s gearbox but conserve his Firestone Firehawk tires and Push to Pass over the next eight laps.

Foster made another attempt to pass Collet with an over-under move in Turn 1 on Lap 24, but Collet also repulsed that. Meanwhile, Abel – who also conserved his tires and Push to Pass after falling to third – stood on the gas and pulled to within seven-tenths of a second of the dueling Collet and Foster on Lap 25.

On that same lap, Foster made the decisive pass with a bold move under Collet in Turn 11.

“I put my nose there, and he got a penalty for blocking me yesterday,” Foster said. “So, I knew that if I put my nose there, he wasn’t going risk it, and he didn’t.”

Abel had more Push to Pass for the remaining nine laps and passed Collet for second on Lap 26, and it appeared a showdown with Foster for the win might loom over the closing laps.

But Foster’s pace was too quick, and he eased away for his third career INDY NXT by Firestone victory.

“I was expecting them to fall off a lot,” Abel said of Foster and Collet. “They were battling really hard. I was just sitting back, saving my Push to Pass and letting them do what they were doing. Collet fell off a ton. I was expecting Louis to kind of do the same. Louis was just super on it today. Congrats to them.”

The next race is the INDY NXT by Firestone Detroit Grand Prix on Sunday, June 2 on the streets of downtown Detroit.

NDIANAPOLIS - Results Saturday of the INDY NXT by Firestone Indianapolis Grand Prix INDY NXT by Firestone event on the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (4) Louis Foster, 35, Running
2. (1) Jacob Abel, 35, Running
3. (2) Caio Collet, 35, Running
4. (3) James Roe, 35, Running
5. (5) Nolan Siegel, 35, Running
6. (9) Michael d'Orlando, 35, Running
7. (10) Myles Rowe, 35, Running
8. (7) Jonathan Browne, 35, Running
9. (13) Salvador de Alba Jr, 35, Running
10. (8) Callum Hedge, 35, Running
11. (12) Reece Gold, 35, Running
12. (14) Josh Pierson, 35, Running
13. (16) Jordan Missig, 35, Running
14. (19) Niels Koolen, 35, Running
15. (15) Christian Bogle, 35, Running
16. (6) Jamie Chadwick, 35, Running
17. (18) Nolan Allaer, 35, Running
18. (20) Jack William Miller, 35, Running
19. (11) Bryce Aron, 35, Running
20. (21) Lindsay Brewer, 35, Running
21. (17) Yuven Sundaramoorthy, 35, Running

Race Statistics
Winner's average speed: 113.464mph
Time of Race: 45:08.4692
Margin of victory: 2.3688 seconds
Cautions: 0
Lead changes: 1 among 2 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Collet, Caio 1 - 24
Foster, Louis 25 - 35

 


Garcia Wins, Extends USF2000 Points Lead

at Indianapolis


gavin baker


 

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – USF2000 Presented by Continental Tire championship leader Max Garcia stretched his points advantage with a somewhat fortuitous victory this morning at the Indianapolis Grand Prix road circuit. The youngster from Coconut Grove, Fla., took the lead on the final lap following a dramatic accident at Turn One involving erstwhile leaders Evan Cooley (Exclusive Autosport) and Nico Christodoulou (VRD Racing) to secure his fourth win of the season for defending champion team Pabst Racing.


 

Yesterday’s winner Max Taylor (VRD Racing), from Hoboken, N.J., inherited second place with Indianapolis native Elliot Cox rounding out the podium in his hometown race for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Development.


 

Results


 

A dramatic 15-lap race which included two full-course cautions and eventually finished under yellow due to the final-lap crash began with impressive debutant Cooley, from Frankfort, Ill., leading the field that was set according to each driver’s second-best lap during the lone qualifying session on Friday. Cooley’s was fast enough to claim his second Continental Tire Pole Award.


 

Cooley maintained his lead at the start and even pulled out an appreciable advantage on the opening lap as the rest of the field squabbled in his mirrors, only for it to be negated by an early incident further down the field.


 

Christodoulou, who had made a fine jump from fifth on the grid, overtook Cooley soon after the restart, but was unable to pull away. Instead, Cooley’s pressure paid off as he regained the lead into Turn One on lap 12. The leading pair continued to battle hard as the race drew toward its conclusion.


 

Cooley still held the point as they began their final lap, whereupon Christodoulou drafted to the outside of his rival as they approached Turn One at the fastest part of the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Grand Prix road course. Both drivers were on the limit as they turned into the right-handed corner. Christodoulou boldly stuck to his outside line, but Cooley wasn’t about to give up easily. Unfortunately, after Cooley locked up his front brakes slightly as they approached the apex, contact was made which sent Christodoulou’s car tumbling into the grass at the exit.


 

Garcia, who had been close behind, gratefully ducked through to take the win ahead of Taylor who had also been part of the titanic battle for the lead.


 

Cox also profited to finish third, finally scoring a result commensurate with his speed this season. Behind, Cooley recovered sufficiently to cross the line in fourth, but was later penalized by Race Control for his part in the incident which relegated him to 15th in the final results.


 

Ayrton Houk, from nearby McCordsville, Ind., impressed while rising from 13th on the grid to fourth for DC Autosport, securing his best result to date in front of a large group of supporters, while last year’s USF Juniors champion Nicolas Giaffone (DEForce Racing), from Brazil, also recorded his best finish in fifth.


 

The Tilton Hard Charger Award went to another debutant, G3 Argyros, from Newport Beach, Calif., who overcame some problems in qualifying to rise from 22nd and last on the grid to 12th.


 

Augie Pabst took the PFC Award home to Wisconsin as the winning car owner.


 

A busy month of May for the USF Pro Championships will see the USF2000 contingent travel firstly to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, and then onward to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., for a pair of officially sanctioned test sessions over the course of the next two weeks. They will then return to the Indianapolis area for the only oval race of the season, the Freedom 75 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park on the evening of May 24.


 

Provisional championship points after 7 of 18 races:

1. Max Garcia, 184

2. Evagoras Papasavvas, 144

3. Sam Corry, 140

4. Max Taylor, 121

5. Elliot Cox, 99

6. Joey Brienza, 95

7. Nico Christodoulou, 92

8. Ayrton Houk, 79

9. Hudson Schwartz, 78

10. Quinn Armstrong, 68


 

Max Garcia (#24 Advance Auto Parts-Pabst Racing Tatuus USF-22): “It was a wild race. It was crazy that my over-under for third ended up being for the win. I am glad that Nico [Christodoulou] is okay. It was a scary incident, but it just shows how much our sport has developed. It is just awesome to get a win here.”


 

Max Taylor (#3 PINK ETF/Susan G Komen Foundation-VRD Racing Tatuus USF-22): “Coming in (to the weekend) we knew the VRD car was going to be fast, winning the race (yesterday). (This morning) ended up being a salvage for damage limitation. I had no sixth gear throughout the race so I was struggling with that, but I found a rhythm and just capitalized on other people’s mistakes. I ended up getting second in the end after a massive crash and I am glad everyone is okay. Thank you to VRD again for an amazing weekend and an amazing car, and congrats to Max.”


 

Elliot Cox (#67 Drive Planning/Hartman Oil-Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Development Tatuus USF-22): “It was a strong race. I struggled with a little bit of understeer throughout the race, but I stayed strong and just held position. I drove a smart and consistent race. We got a little bit lucky with the crash, but still a podium in my home race which is amazing I am so happy for all of the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Development team and Drive Planning.”


Johnson and Sikes Share USF Pro 2000 Honors

at Indianapolis


gavin baker

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – VRD Racing’s Nikita Johnson and Pabst Racing’s Simon Sikes both stood on the top step of the podium in the final two rounds of the VP Racing Grand Prix of Indianapolis tripleheader. This was the fifth win of the season for Johnson, of Gulfport, Fla., who also stood atop the podium yesterday at the Indianapolis Grand Prix road course. For Sikes, from Augusta, Ga., the victory marked the reigning USF2000 champion’s first since graduating to USF Pro 2000.

This morning’s podium was a déjà vu of yesterday with New Zealand’s Liam Sceats (TJ Speed Motorsports) finishing second ahead of Australian Lochie Hughes (Turn 3 Motorsport).


 

Johnson stretched his already considerable USF Pro 2000 Presented by Continental Tire points lead by chasing Sikes home in second place in the final race of the weekend as Hughes once again took third.


 

Race 2 Results

Race 3 Results


 

Johnson had continued his recent dominance this morning with another emphatic victory. Once again he started at the front, courtesy of his second fastest lap during the lone qualifying session on Friday which secured another Continental Tire Pole Award, although it was outside front row qualifier Sceats who stole a march at the start by snatching the lead at the first turn. It didn’t last for long.


 

Sceats immediately came under pressure from Johnson, who drafted alongside the New Zealander on the long front straightaway leading into Turn One. Sceats did his best to defend, holding a tight inside line, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Johnson from executing a textbook “over-under” maneuver by tucking back to the right as Sceats ran a little deep into the braking zone and then slicing past cleanly before they reached Turn Two.


 

Job done. Johnson then put his head down and rapidly extended his lead. The 15-year-old never relaxed his pace, even posting a new fastest lap of the race just two laps before the finish to ensure himself of the maximum 33-point score.


 

Sceats maintained second position for the remainder of the all-green 25-lap race, despite intense pressure throughout from Hughes, who finished third for the second straight race.


 

Fourth place was taken by local resident Jace Denmark (Pabst Racing), who provided one of the drives of the race by rising from 13th on the grid to claim the Tilton Hard Charger Award.


 

Starting positions for the final race were set according to either each driver’s second fastest lap in qualifying or their best lap time set during Race Two this morning, whichever was faster. Johnson duly claimed a sweep of the Continental Tire Pole Awards, thanks to his time from Friday, while Sikes finally gained a glimmer of light after a disappointing couple of days when his best lap from earlier today proved good enough to secure an outside front row starting position.


 

Hughes started fourth but lost no time in making his presence felt as he grasped the lead on the opening lap. Johnson, though, fought back immediately, taking the lead on the second lap, while Sikes followed through into second next time around.


 

The two leaders traded fastest laps as they inched away from Hughes in third until, as the 25-lap race neared its halfway mark, Johnson managed to eke out his advantage to over a second.


 

Shortly afterward, however, in stark contrast to the previous two races, Johnson abruptly lost some pace, which allowed Sikes to close in once more.


 

On lap 19, Sikes drew alongside Johnson as they sped toward Turn One, then grasped the lead with a move around the outside.


 

Once in front, Sikes was never able to extend much of a lead, but there was no way back for Johnson, who had to be content with second. Hughes also finished hot on Johnson’s tail.


 

The scrap for fourth place was all about TJ Speed Motorsports, with Hunter Yeany, from Virginia Beach, Va., slipping past Sceats to claim the position with four laps remaining.


 

Mexico’s Ricardo Escotto pocketed the Tilton Hard Charger Award after rising from 14th on the grid to ninth, as VRD’s Dan Mitchell of VRD and Augie Pabst shared the PFC Awards as the winning car owners.


 

A brace of official tests at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, in Lexington, Ohio, and Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis., are up next for the USF Pro 2000 regulars, followed by a return to the Indianapolis area for the only oval race of the season, the Continental Tire Freedom 90 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park on May 23/24.


 

Provisional championship points after 8 of 18 rounds:

1. Nikita Johnson, 235

2. Hunter Yeany, 147

3. Lochie Hughes, 141

4. Liam Sceats, 130

5. Christian Brooks, 122

6. Jace Denmark, 120

7. Simon Sikes, 112

8. Nicolas Baptiste, 96

9. Ricardo Escotto, 92

10. Frankie Mossman, 91


 

Nikita Johnson (#17 409A Direct/AnyDesk/Labrador Primary Care-VRD Racing Tatuus IP-22): “It was an amazing day. In Race 2 we took the win. Unfortunately, I had to use the tires from before where Simon and other people had new tires, so we struggled a little bit with tire deg toward the end of Race 3. I had a pretty comfortable lead and was expanding my lead and then I had some shifting problems and then a back marker blocked me. Simon came up to me and I couldn’t battle with him too much because I couldn’t downshift. I was trying to hunt him down but every time I had a shift problem. Overall, a great points haul – two wins and a second place. I am really looking forward to the oval.


 

Simon Sikes (#18 USF Pro Championships/Mockett/Bell Racing/Sabelt-Pabst Racing Tatuus IP-22): “Well, it’s a comeback story. The whole weekend was. We didn’t get a single lap in qualifying, so I spent the first two races playing around at the back of the field. I finally managed to start at the front for Race 3, a little late in the weekend but we will take it where it comes. It was a chaotic start. I managed to survive and came out running third and it was just about running down Lochie and got him. Nikita was super tough; he had a lot of pace. Late in the race the pace came back to us and we were able to go and hunt him down. I made a pass around the outside of Turn 1 that really sealed the deal. It was amazing to finally get it done here in Pro 2000. It felt like it has been a long time coming. I am super thrilled for everyone that has been supporting me – Mockett, USF Pro Championships and the Pabst Racing team.”


 

Liam Sceats (#Tony Quinn Foundation/Omega Rental Cars-TJ Speed Motorsports Tatuus IP-22): “The race was kind of the same as yesterday. I got into the lead in Turn One which was good. I was aggressive, but early in the race I just didn’t have the pace for Nikita. I struggled a bit on cold tires and probably didn’t maximize the limited grip I had. I made some minor mistakes which cost me a little bit of time, even for him to get in the tow and drive by me. Once he was past me, honestly he was too quick. Lochie kept the pressure on the whole race. It was nice to have no cautions but at the same time, I would have liked to have a shot at the win. Thanks very much to the TJ Speed Motorsports group. The car is very fast and has the potential to win. The driver has to do better, but I am super stoked to be on the podium.”


 

Lochie Hughes (#44 Turn 3 Motorsport Tatuus IP-22): “It was a pretty good day. P3 in the first race and I was kind of stuck behind Liam just with aero wash. I couldn’t really do anything. The second race today started off really good. I went from fourth to first at the start and then really struggled with the grip. I didn’t feel like I had much grip those first few laps. It was so easy to make a mistake and I made a bit of one and Nikita passed me and then Simon pretty quickly after that. We were all in a group after that. I got close to Nikita at the end but as soon as I got close, I had too much understeer.”

 


 
 FRIDAY MAY 10th

Abel Keeps Rolling with Wire-to-Wire Win at IMS; Chadwick Third

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, May 10, 2024) – All it takes is one.

Jacob Abel spoke to how much confidence his maiden INDY NXT by Firestone victory April 28 at Barber Motorsports Park did for his psyche. Friday, Abel scored win No. 2.

Abel held off second-place finisher Nolan Siegel in a three-lap shootout on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course to score his second consecutive victory in the No. 51 Abel Construction entry.

SEE: Race Results

“This is awesome,” Abel said after leading all 35 laps in this race. “Unfortunately, we don't get to celebrate for too long here. We're getting another chance tomorrow. That was a really great race, though.”

Siegel came in tied with Abel for the points lead and charged from a fifth-place starting position to bring his No. 39 HMD Motorsports entry home second, .5470 of a second in arrears. He trails Abel by 14 points entering Saturday’s second race of the Indianapolis Grand Prix doubleheader at 1 p.m. ET, with live coverage on Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

Friday’s result was the third time in as many races this season the duo finished 1-2, as Siegel won the season opener in March in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Andretti Global’s Jamie Chadwick scored the best finish for a female driver in INDY NXT by Firestone since Pippa Mann’s 2010 win at Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 4, 2010, when she brought her No. 28 VEXT entry home third. Chadwick’s previous best finish was sixth last September at Portland International Raceway.

Rookie Callum Hedge finished fourth in the No. 17 HMD Motorsports entry, with fellow rookie Myles Rowe rounding out the top five in the No. 99 HMD Motorsports with Force Indy car.

Abel initially had the win on cruise control before a pair of late-race cautions caused by both Abel Motorsports teammates erased his advantage. He leaped to nearly a five-season lead over Siegel before the first caution flew for Yuven Sundaramoorthy stopping off course in his No. 22 S Team Motorsports/Abel Motorsports entry in Turn 4 on Lap 21.

On the Lap 26 restart, Abel led Siegel to the green on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. Two laps later, his advantage grew to .9704 of a second.

On Lap 30, Jordan Missig (No. 21 Abel Motorsports) went off course after contact with the wall in Turn 7, sparking the second full-course caution.

Siegel had a second chance to pass Abel for the win. Even with a great launch on the Lap 32 restart, Abel prevailed.

“Nolan and I had a great battle,” Abel said. “I had it under control the whole time. I had a big lead there, and unfortunately a lot of yellows really made me work for it at the end. I was just saving tires early on, so I was ready for that.

“Massive thanks to all the Abel Motorsports crew. They delivered an amazing car. We didn’t roll off 100 percent here, but we everyone figured it out in that one practice session that we had, and that's almost more gratifying than last weekend, when we just rolled off perfect.”

The exciting race featured 165 on-track passes and 136 passes for position, both series records for this circuit.

INDIANAPOLIS - Results Friday of the INDY NXT by Firestone Indianapolis Grand Prix INDY NXT by Firestone event on the 2.439 mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway RC, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (1) Jacob Abel, 35, Running
2. (5) Nolan Siegel, 35, Running
3. (6) Jamie Chadwick, 35, Running
4. (8) Callum Hedge, 35, Running
5. (12) Myles Rowe, 35, Running
6. (10) Reece Gold, 35, Running
7. (4) Louis Foster, 35, Running
8. (7) Jonathan Browne, 35, Running
9. (17) Christian Bogle, 35, Running
10. (19) Niels Koolen, 35, Running
11. (13) Salvador de Alba Jr, 35, Running
12. (9) Michael d'Orlando, 35, Running
13. (18) Nolan Allaer, 35, Running
14. (11) Bryce Aron, 34, Running
15. (3) James Roe, 34, Running
16. (20) Jack William Miller, 34, Running
17. (21) Lindsay Brewer, 33, Running
18. (16) Jordan Missig, 33, Running
19. (2) Caio Collet, 32, Running
20. (15) Yuven Sundaramoorthy, 31, Running
21. (14) Josh Pierson, 6, Off Course

Race Statistics
Winner's average speed: 105.437 mph
Time of Race: 48:34.6690
Margin of victory: 0.5470 of a second
Cautions: 2 for 7 laps
Lead changes: 0

Lap Leaders: Abel, Jacob 1 - 35

 


VRD Sweeps the Day  as Johnson Takes USF Pro 2000 Victory

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Nikita Johnson and VRD Racing are on a roll. The 15-year-old rising star from Gulfport, Fla., today scored his fourth victory in a row when he once again showed a clean rear wing to his USF Pro 2000 Presented by Continental Tire rivals and comfortably won the first of three races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix road course which will comprise the VP Racing Grand Prix of Indianapolis.


 

Ditto his VRD Racing team, which also won the USF2000 race earlier this afternoon.


 

New Zealand rookie Liam Sceats finished a distant second for TJ Speed Motorsports, earning his best finish of the young season, while fellow Antipodean Lochie Hughes, from Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, bounced back to form with a strong run to third for Turn 3 Motorsport.


 

Results


 

Johnson served notice of his intentions this morning as he set the fastest time in qualifying to secure his second Continental Tire Pole Award of the season. Sceats lined up alongside with Exclusive Autosport’s Braden Eves, who now resides in Indianapolis, and DEForce Racing’s Mac Clark of Milton, Ont., Canada rounding out the second row.


 

The start saw a reshuffle of positions with Eves suffering the worst of the affair after going into the cut off in Turn One to avoid contact and rejoining in 10th position. Johnson briefly lost the lead to Sceats but regained the point in time for Lap 2, which saw contact between Clark and Hunter Yeany (TJ Speed Motorsports). Clark’s damage ended his day while Yeany, of Virginia Beach, Va., was shuffled back down the order after starting sixth.


 

Over the course of the next few laps, several cars made off-course excursions but it wasn’t until Lap 5 when the first caution flag flew as Frankie Mossman (Jay Howard Driver Development) ground to a halt in Turn 6. By this stage, everyone in the top five in points was having issues with the exception of Johnson.


 

Eves’ day continued to worsen as contact in Turn 7 on Lap 8 brought out a second caution and ended his day. Jace Denmark of Pabst Racing, who was running seventh, was penalized for the avoidable contact and sent to the back of the field.


 

The race resumed on Lap 11 and all eyes were on the ensuing battles mid-pack, including a sensational drive by Simon Sikes of Pabst Racing, who started last after an incident in qualifying and had worked his way up into the mix in seventh – earning the Tilton Hard Charger Award along the way with a gain of 14 positions.


 

The remaining laps were caution free with Johnson romping to a lead of over four seconds when the checkered flags flew. Ricardo Escotto – a winner last year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – finished a fine fourth for BN Racing to claim his best result of the season to date with Yeany rounding out the top five.


 

The PFC Award once again was claimed by Dan Mitchell as the winning team owner.


 

Two more 25-lap races will take place tomorrow on the Indianapolis Grand Prix circuit with green flags slated for 7:55 a.m. EDT and 12 noon.


 

Provisional championship points after 6 of 18 rounds:

1. Nikita Johnson, 174

2. Hunter Yeany, 119

3. Lochie Hughes, 97

4. Christian Brooks, 93

5. Liam Sceats, 88

6. Jace Denmark, 86

7. Mac Clark, 81

8. Simon Sikes, 77

9. Ricardo Escotto, 72

10. Nicolas Baptiste, 71


 

Nikita Johnson (#17 409A Direct/AnyDesk/Labrador Primary Care-VRD Racing Tatuus IP-22): “The race was really good. We started P1 but unfortunately lost the lead at the start when we went three wide. I was able to get back around Liam and just focus on getting clean laps. There were a couple of restarts and I just kept it out front and kept them behind me and drove my VRD car to the end. I was the first to hit the checkered flag line. A great day overall and I can’t thank the VRD boys enough. Also, thanks to my dad for being here and my mom and brother watching back home and all of my sponsors. I can’t wait for tomorrow.”


 

Liam Sceats (#Tony Quinn Foundation/Omega Rental Cars-TJ Speed Motorsports Tatuus IP-22): “It was a good race. The start was really important. We managed to get into the lead and I am not really sure how. I think at one point we were going three wide. Early on I struggled a bit for rear grip and that allowed Nikita to have that edge on me. I lost out to Lochie as well and dropped to P3, but the pace from mid to end was really good. I think we were one of the quickest on track behind Nikita if not the same, so I was really happy about that. The TJ Speed Motorsports crew gave me a car capable of winning today, but I just couldn’t get it done. I’ll focus on tomorrow to jump up the podium one more step.”


 

Lochie Hughes (#44 Turn 3 Motorsport Tatuus IP-22): “A decent race. I started fifth and got to third pretty early on in the race. We seemed quite good on pace. It was a bit tricky out there. I think the track was a bit different. We hadn’t driven on it that hot, so the car was moving around a bit. I was able to lunge Liam and start to chase down Nikita and then it went Safety Car. I had a go on the restart and ended up losing a couple of positions. I came back to third in the end and brought it home.”


Palou Powers to NTT P1 Award for Sonsio Grand Prix

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, May 10, 2024) – Alex Palou started his defense of his 2023 Sonsio Grand Prix victory in the best way possible Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, winning the pole for this year’s race.

Two-time and reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Palou earned his fourth career NTT P1 Award and his first since the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear last June. His best lap today in the Firestone Fast Six was 1 minute, 9.0004 seconds in the No. 10 DHL Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

SEE: Qualifying Results

The pole on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course came after Palou ended up 17th and 11th, respectively, in the two practice sessions today that preceded qualifying.

“It’s been a tough day, honestly,” Palou said. “Practice 1 and Practice 2 wasn’t amazing. Even the start of qualifying, too. So, really happy to be there. Didn’t expect it. I’ll take it.

“It was my mom’s birthday today, so it’s probably a good birthday present.”

Live coverage of the 85-lap race starts at 3 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC, Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network. A 30-minute warmup session starts at 11:15 a.m., with live coverage on Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

Christian Lundgaard qualified second at 1:09:0921 in the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. This was his third consecutive front-row start on the IMS road course, as he won the pole for this event last May and started second in the Gallagher Grand Prix last August.

Two-time series champion Will Power will start third after his top qualifying lap of 1:09.1636 in the No. 12 Verizon Business Team Penske Chevrolet. Teammate Josef Newgarden will join Power in the second row of the starting grid after qualifying fourth at 1:09.2528 in the No. 2 Snap-on Team Penske Chevrolet.

The strong performances for Power and Newgarden came despite working this month without their respective strategists and key engineers. Team president and Newgarden strategist Tim Cindric, Power strategist Ron Ruzewski, Newgarden engineer Luke Mason and Power data engineer Robbie Atkinson were suspended by Team Penske for this event and the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge for their roles in the Push to Pass technical infractions found on the cars driven by Power, Newgarden and teammate Scott McLaughlin.

Pato O’Ward will start fifth after his best lap of 1:09.3320 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet. Six-time series champion Scott Dixon rounded out the Firestone Fast Six at 1:09.5270 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi qualified a season-best seventh at 1:09.0801 in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet after missing the Firestone Fast Six by .0185 of a second. Rossi’s previous best start this season was 13th at Long Beach.

Series points leader Colton Herta faces a long climb in the race Saturday after qualifying a season-low 24th in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda of Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian. Herta’s car ran out of fuel on his final flying lap during the first round of qualifying. He led the first practice this morning.

This is Herta’s lowest qualifying position since he also started 24th for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear last June.

 


Taylor Scores a Stylish First USF2000 Victory

at Indianapolis

gavin baker

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Continental Tire Grand Prix of Indianapolis doubleheader for USF2000 began in dramatic fashion this afternoon with Max Taylor taking an accomplished victory for VRD Racing. Taylor, from Hoboken, N.J., took the lead in Turn One immediately following an early full-course caution and a restart, then quickly established his authority to claim an overdue maiden victory.


 

Exclusive Autosport’s Joey Brienza, from Golden, Colo., overcame a poor qualifying position to finish second ahead of teammate Evan Cooley, from Frankfort, Ill., who made an impressive USF2000 debut by qualifying on pole position.


 

Results


 

Cooley’s primary commitment in his first full season of car racing is to USF Juniors Presented by Continental Tire in which he has recorded one top-five finish from the opening five races. But with an eye to the future, he entered this weekend’s USF2000 event and immediately made an impression by posting the fastest time in qualifying earlier this morning to secure the Continental Tire Pole Award.


 

Cooley led the first three laps under caution following a midfield accident even before the green flag, and while his initial restart was good, he was unable to prevent the more experienced Taylor, who started third, from taking the lead in Turn One with a bold move around the outside under braking.


 

Behind, Brienza made extraordinary progress at the first corner after lining up a disappointing seventh on the grid due to his best lap in qualifying being thwarted by a red flag. Brienza followed Taylor on the outside line, braking deeper into the right-handed Turn One than the majority of his rivals and sweeping past outside front row starter – and Exclusive Autosport teammate – Thomas Schrage, from Bethel, Ohio, to vault all the way to third.


 

Taylor duly completed the first proper lap of racing with a handy lead, only it was Brienza who followed in second after Cooley found himself shuffled down to sixth position behind Schrage, Evagoras Papasavvas (Jay Howard Driver Development), from Loveland, Ohio, and VRD Racing’s Canadian Nico Christodoulou.


 

Farther back in the pack, a mistake by Naples, Fla., rookie Michael Costello (Jay Howard Driver Development) under braking at Turn Seven sent championship leader Max Garcia (Pabst Racing) spinning and delayed several other contenders in the midfield.


 

A variety of other minor incidents during the 15-lap race resulted in some major shuffling of the pack, but the race remained green and there was no stopping Taylor, who followed up a strong weekend last month at NOLA Motorsports Park, where he earned a podium finish, by speeding home to a well-deserved win.


 

Taylor also secured another PFC Award for team owner Dan Mitchell, whose VRD organization has now won five of the last seven USF2000 races on the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix road circuit.


 

Brienza was similarly untroubled in second place, finishing well clear of Cooley, who picked off, firstly, 2023 Indy race winner Sam Corry (VRD Racing), from Cornelius, N.C., and then Papasavvas.


 

Garcia, from Coconut Grove, Fla., mounted an incredible comeback following his early spin to climb from 19th to sixth at the finish, three places ahead of where he started, although the Tilton Hard Charger Award went to DEForce Racing’s Brady Golan, from Austin, Texas, who steered clear of the midfield carnage and rose from 19th on the grid to eighth.


 

The second leg of the Continental Tire Grand Prix of Indianapolis doubleheader will see the green flag tomorrow morning at 8:55 a.m. EDT.


 

Provisional championship points after 6 of 18 races:

1. Max Garcia, 154

2. Evagoras Papasavvas, 142

3. Sam Corry, 128

4. Max Taylor, 96

5. Joey Brienza, 94

6. Nico Christodoulou, 87

7. Elliot Cox, 77

8. Quinn Armstrong, 67

9. Hudson Schwartz, 63

10. Ayrton Houk, 60


 

Max Taylor (#3 PINK ETF/Susan G Komen Foundation-VRD Racing Tatuus USF-22): “My plan was to get into the lead as fast as I could and I did just that. I got to the lead and had a little battle with Evan and just checked out and put some good laps in. The VRD car just drove itself really. I put cruise control on and just left. It is an amazing feeling to do this here. I couldn’t have dreamed it any different. I want to thank everyone at VRD for putting together a rocket ship of a car and a great program together, all of my sponsors and my parents for coming out here and my sister as well.”


 

Joey Brienza (#91 Huntsman Mental Health Foundation/UBS-Exclusive Autosport Tatuus USF-22): “It was a good race. I got a lot of spots at the start and went from P7 to P3 on the first lap. I was able to get Cooley at the end of the first lap, so five spots on the first lap. I settled in but didn’t have an answer for P1 today. Nevertheless, seventh to second is something I am happy about and a pretty good recovery from qualifying. We’ll do some work tonight and figure out where we can get the final few tenths. I want to thank Exclusive Autosport, all of my sponsors – Huntsman Mental Health, Corpay, UBS – my parents as well for their continued support and all my friends who came out to watch me this weekend.”


 

Evan Cooley (#90 ITI Intermodal-Exclusive Autosport Tatuus USF-22): “The start was okay. Max got around to my outside and we made a little bit of contact. I had a little bit of damage and fell back, but we were pretty fast. We carved back through the field and were able to finish third. I would like to thank Michael and Kimberly (Duncalfe) and everyone at Exclusive Autosport. We have a rocket ship of a car this weekend and I am excited for Race 2 tomorrow.”

 


Thirteen of the 15 IMS road course races have been won by a top-eight starter. Herta (14th in 2022 Sonsio Grand Prix) and Dixon (15th last August) are the only two drivers to win from outside the top eight.

Among the last five Sonsio Grand Prix races, only one driver – Palou last year – won from a Firestone Fast Six starting position (third). Three of the last five races were won from Row 4. Alexander Rossi of Arrow McLaren and Marcus Armstrong of Chip Ganassi Racing occupy Row 4 Saturday.

Four of the last six Sonsio Grand Prix race winners were 10th or worse in points entering the event.

 
 

FAST FACTS: Sonsio Grand Prix

Race weekend: Friday, May 10-Saturday, May 11

Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course (clockwise)

Race distance: NTT INDYCAR SERIES 85 laps / 207.3 miles

Push-to-pass parameters: NTT INDYCAR SERIES: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation. | INDY NXT by Firestone: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation

Firestone tire allotment: NTT INDYCAR SERIES: Five sets primary, four sets alternate to be used during the event weekend. Teams fielding a rookie driver may use one additional set of primary tires. Teams must use one set of primary and one set of new (sticker) alternate tires for at least two laps in the race. INDY NXT by Firestone: Four new sets to be used during the doubleheader weekend. Two carryover sets from the Barber event may be used in practice prior to qualifying. 

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Instagram: @indianapolismotorspeedway, @INDYCAR, #INDYGP, #INDYCAR

Threads: @indianapolismotorspeedway, @INDYCAR, #INDYGP, #INDYCAR

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YouTube: @IMS, @INDYCAR

Event website: www.ims.com/

INDYCAR website: www.INDYCAR.com

2023 race winners:

NTT INDYCAR SERIES

May: Alex Palou (No. 10 The American Legion Honda)

August: Scott Dixon (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda)

INDY NXT by Firestone

May: Matteo Nannini (No. 75 Juncos Hollinger Racing)

August: Hunter McElrea (No. 27 Andretti Autosport)

2023 NTT P1 Award winner (NTT INDYCAR SERIES):

May: Christian Lundgaard (No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda), 1 minute, 9.3321 seconds, 126.643 mph

August: Graham Rahal (No. 15 Code 3 Associates Honda) 1:10.1132, 125.232 mph

2023 INDY NXT by Firestone pole winners:

May: Matteo Nannini (No. 75 Juncos Hollinger Racing) 1:15.3194, 116.576 mph

August: Hunter McElrea (No. 27 Andretti Autosport) 1:15.1216, 116.882 mph

Qualifying records:

NTT INDYCAR SERIES

Will Power, 1:07.7044, 129.687 mph, May 12, 2017 (Set in Round 3 of knockout qualifying)

INDY NXT by Firestone

Ed Jones 1:14.6743, 117.583 mph, May 13, 2016

NBC race telecast: Sonsio Grand Prix, 3 p.m. ET Saturday, May 11, NBC (live). Leigh Diffey is the play-by-play announcer for NBC Sports’ coverage of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, alongside analysts Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe.

Peacock Live Streaming: All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on Peacock, NBC’s direct-to-consumer livestreaming product, while the NBC race telecast of the Sonsio Grand Prix will be simulcast on the streaming service. The INDY NXT by Firestone Grand Prix doubleheader races will be streamed on Peacock, with practice and qualifying being shown on INDYCAR LIVE.

INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the anchor alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query, Nick Yeoman and Chris Denari are the turn announcers. Ryan Myrehn, Michael Young and Alex Wolff are the pit reporters. The Sonsio Grand Prix race (3 p.m. ET Saturday), the INDY NXT by Firestone Grand Prix doubleheader (6:05 p.m. ET Friday and 12:55 p.m. ET Saturday) and all NTT INDYCAR SERIES and INDY NXT by Firestone practices and qualifying sessions air live on network affiliates, SiriusXM 218, racecontrol.indycar.com and the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.

At-track schedule (all times local):

FRIDAY, MAY 10 (All times are local)

9:30-10:45 a.m. NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice (75 minutes), Peacock

11:05-11:55 a.m. INDY NXT by Firestone practice, INDYCAR LIVE

1:10-2:10 p.m. NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice (45 minutes of green flag – limited guarantee), Peacock

2:30-3 p.m. INDY NXT by Firestone qualifying, (two groups/12 minutes each), INDYCAR LIVE

4:20 p.m. Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (three rounds of NTT INDYCAR SERIES knockout qualifications), Peacock

6:15 p.m. INDY NXT by Firestone Indianapolis Grand Prix Race 1 “Drivers, start your engines”

6:20 p.m. INDY NXT by Firestone Indianapolis Grand Prix Race 1 (35 laps/55 minutes), Peacock

SATURDAY, MAY 11

11:15-11:45 a.m. NTT INDYCAR SERIES warmup (30 minutes), Peacock

1:05 p.m. INDY NXT by Firestone Indianapolis Grand Prix Race 2 “Drivers, start your engines”

1:10 p.m. INDY NXT by Firestone Indianapolis Grand Prix Race 2 (35 laps/55 minutes), Peacock

3 p.m. NBC on air

3:39 p.m. Sonsio Grand Prix “Drivers, start your engines”

3:45 p.m. Sonsio Grand Prix (85 laps/207.3 miles), NBC (Live)

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Notes:

  • The Sonsio Grand Prix will be the 16th INDYCAR SERIES event conducted on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Active race winners expected to compete are Alex Palou, Alexander Rossi, Colton Herta, Rinus VeeKay, Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden and Will Power.
ACTIVE RACE WINNER WINS SEASONS
Will Power 5 2015, 2017, 2018 (Sonsio Grand Prix); 2020 (Harvest Grand Prix-2); 2021 (Gallagher Grand Prix); 
Scott Dixon 2 2020 (Sonsio Grand Prix); 2023 (Gallagher Grand Prix)
Colton Herta 1 2022 (Sonsio Grand Prix)
Josef Newgarden 1 2020 (Harvest Grand Prix-1)
Alex Palou 1 2023 (Sonsio Grand Prix)
Alexander Rossi 1 2022 (Gallagher Grand Prix)
Rinus VeeKay 1 2021 (Sonsio Grand Prix)
  • Five NTT P1 Award winners have won on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course from the pole: Will Power won the 2015, 2017 and 2018 Sonsio Grand Prix and the second Harvest GP race in 2020 from the pole. Simon Pagenaud also won the Sonsio Grand Prix from the pole in 2016.
ACTIVE POLE WINNER POLES SEASONS
Will Power 6 2015, 2017, 2018, 2020. 2022 (Sonsio Grand Prix and Harvest Grand Prix-2)
Felix Rosenqvist 2 2019, 2022 (Gallagher Grand Prix)
Graham Rahal 1 2023 (Gallagher Grand Prix)
Christian Lundgaard 1 2023 (Sonsio Grand Prix)
Pato O’Ward 1 2021 (Gallagher Grand Prix)
Romain Grosjean 1 2021 (Sonsio Grand Prix)
Rinus VeeKay 1 2020 (Harvest Grand Prix-1)
  • Four drivers have competed in every INDYCAR SERIES race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course – Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden, Will Power, and Graham Rahal. All are entered this weekend.
  • Team Penske has eight wins on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020-Race 2, 2020-Race 3, 2021-Race 2). Chip Ganassi has three wins - with Scott Dixon in 2020-Race 1 and 2023-Race 2 and Alex Palou in 2023-Race 1. Andretti Autosport, Ed Carpenter Racing and Arrow McLaren SP are the only other teams to win at the track. Andretti Autosport won the Sonsio Grand Prix with Colton Herta in May 2022 and Gallagher Grand Prix with Alexander Rossi in August, while Ed Carpenter Racing won in 2021-Race 1 with Rinus VeeKay and Arrow McLaren SP won the inaugural race in 2014 with Simon Pagenaud when it was known as Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
  • Four NTT INDYCAR SERIES Rookie of the Year contenders – Tom Blomqvist, Linus Lundqvist, Christian Rasmussen and Kyffin Simpson - are entered and will race an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car on the IMS road course for the first time alongside veteran driver Pietro Fittipaldi.
  • Milestones: Scott Dixon will attempt to make his 325th consecutive start, the second-longest streak in INDYCAR SERIES history.

INDY NXT by Firestone Notes:

  • INDY NXT by Firestone will conduct a doubleheader weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend with a pair of 35-lap races. Jacob Abel claimed his first series win on April 28 at Barber Motorsports Park and sits tied atop the point standings with St. Petersburg winner Nolan Siegel.
  • The 21-car field for the INDY NXT Indianapolis Grand Prix doubleheader is the largest INDY NXT by Firestone field at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since the 2007 Liberty Challenge doubleheader. There were 25 cars for that event which supported the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.
  • The 2024 season features a deep and talented field with INDY NXT race winners such as Nolan Siegel, Jacob Abel, Louis Foster and Reece Gold joining a promising rookie class that includes Myles Rowe (2023 USF Pro 2000 champ), Callum Hedge (2023 Formula Regionals America champion), Michael d’Orlando (2022 USF2000 champion), and Caio Collet (Formula 3 race winner/Nissan Formula E reserve driver). Other contenders include returning drivers  Josh Pierson, James Roe and Jamie Chadwick.
  • For the second consecutive season, INDY NXT by Firestone has added a new team. Miller Vinatieri Motorsports – co-owned by former INDYCAR SERIES competitor Dr. Jack Miller and former NFL standout Adam Vinatieri – debuted at St. Petersburg with driver Jack William Miller.
  • Group qualifying will decide the starting grid on road and street circuits. Based on the best lap times from the practice session immediately preceding qualifying, the fastest driver in that session will choose which group will compete in the first of the two qualifying sessions. With 12 minutes allotted for each group (with a guarantee of one timed lap), the fastest driver between the two sessions will be awarded pole position with the drivers who finished behind that driver, in order and in that group, occupying the odd-numbered starting positions (3, 5, 7, etc.) for the race and the drivers who finished in order from the other group occupying the even-numbered starting positions (2, 4, 6, etc.). One driver and entrant championship point will be awarded to the fastest car in each qualifying group.

2024 Indianapolis 500 entry list

2 United States Josef Newgarden  W  Team Penske Chevrolet
3 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin Team Penske Chevrolet
4 Cayman Islands Kyffin Simpson  R  Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
5 Mexico Pato O'Ward Arrow McLaren Chevrolet
6 TBA Arrow McLaren Chevrolet
06 Brazil Hélio Castroneves  W  Meyer Shank Racing Honda
7 United States Alexander Rossi  W  Arrow McLaren Chevrolet
8 Sweden Linus Lundqvist  R  Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
9 New Zealand Scott Dixon  W  Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
10 Spain Álex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
11 New Zealand Marcus Armstrong  R  Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
12 Australia Will Power  W  Team Penske Chevrolet
14 United States Santino Ferrucci A. J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet
15 United States Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
17 United States Kyle Larson  R  Arrow McLaren w/ Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
18 United States Nolan Siegel  R  Dale Coyne Racing Honda
20 United States Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
21 Netherlands Rinus VeeKay Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
23 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay  W  Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet
24 United States Conor Daly Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet
26 United States Colton Herta Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian Honda
27 United States Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Global Honda
28 Sweden Marcus Ericsson  W  Andretti Global Honda
30 Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
33 Denmark Christian Rasmussen  R  Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
41 United States Sting Ray Robb A. J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet
45 Denmark Christian Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
51 United Kingdom Katherine Legge Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda
60 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Meyer Shank Racing Honda
66 United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist  R  Meyer Shank Racing Honda
75 Japan Takuma Sato  W  Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
77 France Romain Grosjean Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet
78 Argentina Agustín Canapino Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet
98 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Autosport w/ Marco Andretti and Curb-Agajanian Honda
  •  W  Former Indianapolis 500 winner
  •  R  Indianapolis 500 rookie
  • 7:30 AM - 7:00 PM

    Gates Open

    *subject to change

    7:55 AM - 8:25 AM

    Cooper Tires USF2000 Qualifications

    8:40 AM - 9:10 AM

    USF Pro 2000 Qualifications

    9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

    NTT INDYCAR SERIES Practice 1

    11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

    Indy NXT Practice 1

    11:30 AM - 12:15 PM

    NTT INDYCAR SERIES Autograph Session

    Come to the INDYCAR Fan Village in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway midway to get your favorite NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver autographs.

    12:10 PM - 12:50 PM

    Cooper Tires USF2000 Race 1

    12:45 PM - 1:15 PM

    Indy NXT Autograph Session

    The stars of Indy NXT Presented by Firestone will be in the INDYCAR Fan Village in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway midway.

    1:10 PM - 2:10 PM

    NTT INDYCAR SERIES Practice 2

    2:30 PM - 3:00 PM

    Indy NXT Qualifications

    3:15 PM - 4:00 PM

    USF Pro 2000 Race 1

    45 minute race

    4:20 PM - 5:50 PM

    NTT INDYCAR SERIES Qualifications

    6:20 PM - 7:15 PM

    Indy NXT Race #1

     

    7:30 AM - 6:00 PM

    Gates Open

    *subject to change

    7:55 AM - 8:40 AM

    Cooper Tires USF2000 Race 2

    45 minute race

    8:55 AM - 9:35 AM

    USF Pro 2000 Race 2

    40 minute race

    11:15 AM - 11:45 AM

    NTT INDYCAR SERIES Warm-Up

     

    12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

    Cooper Tires USF2000 Race 3

    1:10 PM - 2:05 PM

    Indy NXT Race #2

     

    2:50 PM - 3:20 PM

    Badge Grid Walk

     

    Bronze (and Silver) Badge holders must enter and present their Bronze Badge at the South Pit Gate or Victory Podium. Grid Walk exits will also be located through the South Pit Gate and Victory Podium.

    Pre-Race Schedule Subject To Change

     

    3:30 PM

    Sonsio Grand Prix

    5:45 PM - 6:45 PM

    Post-Race Track Walk (Time approx.)

     

    Shortly after the completion of the Sonsio Grand Prix, fans have a unique opportunity to walk onto the track. You can stroll along the straightaway, snap pictures at the Yard of Bricks and take part in the victory celebration. Bring the crew to experience the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a whole new way.

    *exact times are subject to change.

     

 

 

     

 

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