Video: Antron Brown's spectacular accident Matco Tools Top Fuel driver Antron Brown's engine explodes as he crosses the finish line in spectacular fashion. Antron was uninjured in the incident and walked away. The pass qualified him in the No. 2 position at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals.
KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS met with media and discussed qualifying for the Indy 500, logistics, this evening’s All-Star race at Charlotte, and more. Full Transcript:
HOW WAS IT TRAVELING BACK TO CHARLOTTE FROM INDY? ALSO TALK ABOUT HOW FAST YOU WERE IN QUALIFYING FOR THE INDY 500 "It’s been an exciting day. It’s a lot of fun to qualify into the Indianapolis 500 my first outing. I was hoping for a little more, but the air in the morning there is so thick, those cars have a hard time cutting through that air. And then as the day progresses, conditions get better. And then right here, now, we got bumped out of the Fast Nine, which I thought we might be able to hang on but, hey. First time there to be 10th, 11th, 12th is right in the mix and it’s really exciting. To have had the chance to go 230 mph; and then to have a fast plane with Cessna to get back here to be ready for the All-Star race."
Quotes from Indy Qualifying.....Busch learns what it takes to drive a real race car KURT BUSCH (No. 26 Suretone Honda): (About his first run): “I’ve qualified Pro Stocks on the quarter-mile; I’ve done the longest track on the NASCAR circuit (Talladega) but to do four laps here on a 2.5-mile track, that’s a 10-mile run. That’s the longest I’ve had to focus for a qualifying run. Just the shear excitement of trusting a car with downforce going down into Turn 1 at 230 is indescribable. Those four laps felt like one; 230 is a totally different game. I wasn’t as focused as I needed to be; the moment of Indy can kind of overtake you. It was a very solid run; I was hoping for more. I didn’t keep up with the adjustments in the car. Those guys at Andretti Auto sport have given me a great car. I have to head to Charlotte by 3 p.m. I’ve got to be able to start the Charlotte race – there’s a million bucks down there. It’s been an experience, the month of May in an Indy car. It’s really hard to digest at all. The chance to qualify is one thing but to do it in an Andretti car is another. The qualifying run I made felt very comfortable, maybe that’s why it wasn’t as good as I had hoped. Maybe I was conservative with the car instead of edgy. I have to thank Andretti Autosport and Suretone for making all this happen; those guys have been great to partner up with and run a big advertising campaign around the Indy 500. We’re going to try and make it to Charlotte in time for the drivers’ meeting tonight. It’s nice that NASCAR has allowed my car to be practiced (by Parker Kligerman).”
Power on top at Indy....so far As of 4 PM, with two hours to go before the gun, Will Power is the fastest qualifier for the Indy 500 with a four-lap average speed of 230.323 mph -- set midway through Round 1 of qualifications May 17 for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
Ed Carpenter set the tone early in qualifications with a four-lap average speed of 230.114 mph in the No. 20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka car, and Ryan Hunter-Reay followed two hours later with an average of 230.011 mph in the No. 28 DHL car for Andretti Autosport. They were joined in the 230 club by Simon Pagenaud (230.070) and JR Hildebrand (230.027).
But it is all meaningless because drivers can make as many attempts as they like.
Marco Andretti set a blistering 232 mph pace but was it with a tow?
The last practice session before the start of qualifying for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 saw new fastest laps of the entire week as drivers made the most of their weekend boost in turbo power, and many of them also making use of new engines for the qualifying weekend.
Marco Andretti was in the first group and promptly set a blistering speed of 232.239mph (38.7531s), the fastest lap speed in practice since Scott Dixon in 2003. It's still some way off Arie Luyendyk's all-time single lap speed record in practice at Indianapolis, which is 239.260mph (37.616s) set in 1996 with very different chassis and engine specifications.
Second fastest in the morning practice - but running in the second group from 9.30am - was the 2013 Indy 500 champion Tony Kanaan who was a tenth of a second back from Andretti with a speed of 231.598mph, while Ryan Hunter-Reay (also in the second group) ran a lap of 231.021mph (38.9575s).
Indy Day 1 Qualification Mid Day The nice thing about the current format is that drivers can take as many stabs at the thing as they want. In past years, the car had to be withdrawn for a new effort, but now there is no such downside – and so the track continues to be busy. Showers are in the area, adding a bit of urgency to the proceedings.
In my previous report, I omitted that the top 9 will be in a shootout for the Pole Award tomorrow. The rest will be in a shootout for the rest of the spots. Unless another entry materializes by the end of the day, there won’t be any bumping. For most teams.
Marquez thunders to 5th straight pole After dominating the French GP weekend so far, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez recorded his fifth pole of the season – in as many races – and set the fastest lap ever on two wheels at the Le Mans circuit. Teammate Dani Pedrosa will start from the third row of the grid in ninth position after struggling with the time attack in qualifying.
It was another thrilling session in sunny conditions in Le Mans with Marc wasting no time to set a fast time on his first run. However, on his second exit of Q2 Marc bettered his own time by half a second and lapped the 4.185km circuit in a new record time of 1’32.042, which was 0.692 faster than anyone else, and beat Dani’s record time from 2008 – on qualifying tyres – by 0.605s (1’32.647).
Indy Pre-Qualification Report Okay, let’s get it over with. The current Indy 500 qualification rules require a copy of Visio to chart out what it is going on. And it’s not like IMS made it crystal-clear. And yes, it sucks.
-Basically, the cars can take runs all day long. Basically, the first 30 cars get a guaranteed start based on today’s efforts. All 33 cars – and so far, that’s all we have – have to re-qualify tomorrow, meaning that, BASICALLY, today’s show is a practice run for tomorrow’s “Made for TV” event. The weather is cool today, and combined with the adoption of Daylight Savings Time a few years ago, we won’t have a happy hour today to speak of. At least I think that’s where we are.
Electric cars are the future for automobiles This guy does a pretty good job of explaining why electric cars are the future of the automobile, something AR1.com has been saying for years. In fact AR1.com's cars are now electric and we would never go back to polluting the air and paying money for gasoline to people in the middle east who want to kill us.
The dilemma for auto racing is that if race cars become silent, the sport may die. But are fans begging for hybrid race cars or electric race cars? Nope! Fans do not say "I will only like auto racing if the cars are green." Auto racing is supposed to be a thrilling sport, not a tree huggers paradise. People come to races to be thrilled, not be green. They do not give a hoot how many mpg they get. They want to see race drivers do the impossible at blazing speeds in flashy cars that sound awesome.
F1 stepped on their dick thinking fans wanted hybrid race engines. Nope, exactly the opposite. They loved the awesome sound of the old cars and fans were not standing around at race tracks carrying signs saying "the cars sound too awesome, please make them sound like sh#t." The new F1 engines are four times more expensive, sound horrible and the paying customer hates them. The power units are a nice engineering exercise that produced engines that belong in passenger cars, not race cars. It was an expensive lesson that all race series around the world should learn from and NEVER copy.
Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Still Seeking Event Volunteers With the gates of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix set to open in a little over two weeks, Grand Prix officials are still accepting applications for volunteers interested in joining the Detroit Grand Prix Association (DGPA) for the upcoming May 30-June 1, 2014 event. Now in its 31st year, the DGPA is the official volunteer organization of the Grand Prix while Quicken Loans serves as the Official Volunteer Sponsor of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.
The DGPA is still looking for 100 volunteers for the event, with the biggest need being circuit marshals. Volunteers in this department will be positioned closest to the race circuit as they will work in teams to help control and assist with pedestrian and vehicle flow adjacent to the Belle Isle track. Some volunteer teams will manage the traffic flow within the venue, including race team and various support vehicles. A typical day begins at 6:30-7:00 am and will last until 7:00 pm, with volunteers divided into two overlapping shifts of approximately 7 ½ hours each throughout race weekend.
A car like this would excite IndyCar fans too much while protecting the drivers head, therefore it will never happen
Sure would be nice if IndyCar would consider this for their next race car (right). The canopy would protect the driver in accidents such as what happened to Hinchcliffe. Luckily he was hit at 90 mph and not 230 mph we may have tragically lost him. Traditionalist will say open wheel race cars cannot have a closed cockpit, at least not until another driver gets killed by a flying wheel, object or smashes their head on a fence post like Dan Wheldon.
05/11/14 Hinchcliffe was hit in the head by flying debris, apparently from Justin Wilson's damaged front wing on the lap 57 restart. The cars were approaching turn seven when the incident occurred. Andretti Autosport said EJ Viso will fill in for Hinchcliffe as needed.
05/10/14 “I want to thank all the fans for their messages of concern and support. I’m a little stiff and sore and I’d love to be back in the car tomorrow, but I suppose I should probably let the doctors make that decision. Such a bummer for the UFD car when things were really starting to come together.”
The official update from INDYCAR:
“Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe was discharged from IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after being evaluated and having a CT scan of his head and neck.
“INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Michael Olinger said Hinchcliffe was diagnosed with a concussion. The driver of the No. 27 United Fiber & Data car for Andretti Autosport will be re-evaluated by Olinger and INDYCAR medical consultants before being cleared to drive.”
Indianapolis 500 Qualifying 101 (Update)UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I’m a regular IndyCar viewer and avid auto racing enthusiast and I have no idea what is going on for qualifying at Indy this year. If I can't follow it, I can only imagine the casual (or young) viewer will be utterly confused and switch the channel.
WTF is up with qualifying twice? And what is this qualifying points system? So if I qualify on pole on day two do I get the pole or not? What if I qualify on pole on day one? Whatever happened to everyone qualifying on the same day and the starting order is based on those results? Obviously, there is no need for Bump Day anymore after Tony George's 'vision' destroyed the sport and his beloved Indy as well. D. Hughes, Cincinnati, OH
Dear D. Hughes, It's sort of like putting lipstick on a pig. Nothing is more boring that oval track qualifying with one car at a time droning around in circles at 100% throttle. Even NASCAR was putting their fans to sleep, so they now have a new qualifying procedure too. As far as fans switching off the TV after being utterly confused, we do not think IndyCar cares about TV ratings. They still have most of their races on NBC Sports Network so obviously getting good TV ratings is not important. We'll see how it goes this year and then make a final judgment whether it's the best thing since sliced bread, or indeed lipstick on a pig. Mark C.
05/16/14 SATURDAY QUALIFYING
• All entries are guaranteed one attempt to qualify between 11 a.m. and 5:50 p.m.
• The fastest 33 cars will make up the provisional field for the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race based on the fastest four-lap average time.
• Once the qualifying session ends, the top 30 cars are locked in to the field.
• However, all 33 cars must re-qualify on Sunday to determine final starting positions.
• The fastest nine cars advance to a shootout on Sunday to determine the Verizon P1 Award.
• There will be two qualifying lines at the end of pit lane:
o Line 1: Cars that are unqualified or have withdrawn their previous qualifying times. Priority will be given to this lane.
o Line 2: Cars that have already qualified but want another attempt and have not withdrawn their previous qualifying times.
• Multiple attempts are permitted without withdrawing a time by entering Line 2.
• Teams can withdraw their time and enter Line 1, which will have priority over cars already in the field.
• Teams that make multiple attempts can only improve their times if they have not withdrawn their time to enter Line 2, meaning, even if a driver records a slower four-lap average, that driver's previous (faster) time will stand.
Qualifying Points, Saturday:
1st - 33 points
2nd - 32 points
3rd - 31 points
4th - 30 points
5th - 29 points
6th - 28 points
7th - 27 points
8th - 26 points
9th - 25 points
10th - 24 points
11th - 23 points
12th - 22 points
13th - 21 points
14th - 20 points
15th - 19 points
16th - 18 points
17th - 17 points
18th - 16 points
19th - 15 points
20th - 14 points
21st - 13 points
22nd - 12 points
23rd - 11 points
24th - 10 points
25th - 9 points
26th - 8 points
27th - 7 points
28th - 6 points
29th - 5 points
30th - 4 points
31st - 3 points
32nd - 2 points
33rd - 1 point
• All Saturday times are erased and positions 10-30 will re-qualify to determine starting position.
• Order will be the reverse of Saturday's rankings.
• Lineup will be determined based on fastest four-lap averages.
• In the event that there are only 33 cars entered, this group will determine positions 10-33.
Group 2 (Only used in the event there are more than 33 cars):
• All Saturday times are erased and positions 31-33, and any entry that has yet to make one attempt to qualify, will re-qualify to determine the 11th row of the race.
• The top nine cars will run in reverse order based on Saturday's times.
• All cars will make one attempt.
• At the end of the session, the cars are ranked 1-9 based on their four-lap average during the segment.
Qualifying Points, Sunday:
1st - 9 points
2nd - 8 points
3rd - 7 points
4th - 6 points
5th - 5 points
6th - 4 points
7th - 3 points
8th - 2 points
9th - 1 point
Note: The Indianapolis 500 will award double points for race results, but the qualifying points and any bonus points awarded for leading a lap (1 point) or most laps (2 points) will not be doubled.
Master and apprentice dominate the Perth 400 With nearly 20 years gap between them Kiwi youngster Scott McLaughlin and veteran Craig Lowndes dominated the Perth 400 today as the Championship battle continues.
McLaughlin scored Volvo's first Australia Championship win in 28 years while Holden's Lowndes grabbed win number 15 in Perth - the most ever - with Ford's Mark Winterbottom consolidating his Championship lead.
Reigning Champion Jamie Whincup had a topsy turvy day with a seventeenth and a second but still managed to step up a place to fifth on the Championship ladder.
Kyle Busch Takes Truck Pole at Charlotte Kyle Busch scored his 14th-career NASCARA Camping World Truck Series pole with a record-breaking lap in Friday's qualifying session at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch turned in a single lap of 29.384 seconds (183.773 mph) in the third round of qualifying to eclipse the old record of 29.500 seconds (183.051 mph) set in 2005 by Mike Skinner.
Matt Crafton was second, followed by Brad Keselowski, Ron Hornaday and Brian Ickler.
Ed Carpenter turned the fastest practice lap since 2003, as rain-shortened "Fast Friday" preparations for the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Carpenter's lap of 230.522 mph, turned less than 15 minutes into the abbreviated "Fast Friday" session set the tone for a run at a 230 mph four-lap average speed in the May 17-18 qualifications. The last driver to top 230 mph in a practice session was Scott Dixon, who recorded a lap at more than 233 mph in the pre-Pole Day session in 2003.
"The car is definitely up to speed this year," Carpenter said. "When it comes to predicting the pole, I think a lot of it will be figuring out what the weather is. If it warms up enough and the air gets a little thinner, certainly I think 230s are realistic, even up to 232 and 233."
GP of Indianapolis TV Rating (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 The final TV rating for last weekend's Grand Prix of Indianapolis Saturday on ABC was a 0.9 rating with 1.3 million viewers.
05/14/14 In Indianapolis, the race was the highest-rated TV show all day on Saturday, according to officials for ABC affiliate WRTV-TV Channel 6. The live broadcast of the race scored a 9.1 rating (98,000 households) in the central Indiana market, according to New York-based Nielsen Media research.
“That’s a really big number, especially for a Saturday afternoon,” said WRTV spokesman Paul Montgomery.
Indianapolis by far had the most people watching of any market nationally. The next two highest-rated stations for the race were WFTS-TV in Tampa, which earned a 1.6 rating, and WHAS-TV in Louisville, which registered a 1.5, according to Nielsen.
NASCAR Kansas Sprint Cup TV rating (Update)UPDATE The final TV rating for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 400 Sprint Cup race from Kansas was a 3.5 with 5.755 million viewers tuned in.
05/12/14 Overnight ratings for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Kansas were the lowest in the young history of the race. The NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Kansas earned a 3.3 overnight rating on FOX Saturday night, down 15% from last year (3.9), down 11% from 2012 (3.7), and the lowest overnight in the four year history of the race. Until this year, the race took place on Sunday afternoon. Saturday's 3.3 overnight is tied as the third-lowest ever for Sprint Cup racing on FOX, matching the 2009 Phoenix race.
Auto racing as a sport will continue to deteriorate because the age of the average fan is increasing every year. Today's young kids have little interest in racing. The only solution is the AR1.com proposal, but the leaders of the various racing series think they know better. The results speak for themselves. Every NASCAR TV rating is down this year and IndyCar's are nothing to write home about.
Clauson to attempt Indy 500 berth with Jonathan Byrd’s Racing
Speedway, IN – Jonathan Byrd’s Racing is excited to announce two time USAC National Sprint Car Champion, two time USAC National Midget Champion, three time USAC National Driver’s Champion, two time National Midget Driver of the Year, and 2012 Indy 500 starter Bryan Clauson as the driver of the Jonathan Byrd’s IndyCar beginning with the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2015.
Speaking to that announcement, Bryan Clauson said: "I'm extremely excited to be headed back to the Indy 500. Getting back on track at IMS is something I've been working toward since the end of the 2012 race, and I can't thank the Byrd family enough for giving me this opportunity. The Byrd family has a tremendous history not only at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but also among the short track community as well. To add my name to an impressive list of Jonathan Byrd’s Racing drivers that includes guys like Rich Vogler and Stan Fox is an honor. With what I learned from my previous Indy 500 experience, along with a full year to prepare, I can't wait to see what we can accomplish together."
All Star Guest List for The Yellow Party Indianapolis
A star-studded lineup will be joining Ryan and Beccy Hunter-Reay for The Yellow Party next week in Indianapolis.
Indianapolis, IN. (May 16). On May 22nd, some of the most prominent names in IndyCar will gather together for one of the biggest events of the year, The Yellow Party at the Crane Bay in downtown Indianapolis. IndyCar Series Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay will host the annual party, joined in attendance by reigning IndyCar Series Champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon, as well as fellow IndyCar Series drivers Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe, Carlos Munoz, EJ Viso, Ryan Briscoe, Ed Carpenter, Alex Tagliani, Charlie Kimball, with possible appearances by the rest of the Field of 33, including Helio Castroneves and 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan. Team owners Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser will also be present at The Yellow Party presented by AutoNation and Lennar; a can't-miss event that will again bring VIPs and race fans together for the movement to raise awareness and Beat Cancer.
The focal point of the night will be the live and silent auctions of one of a kind motorsports memorabilia as well as goods and services donated from local Indianapolis businesses. All proceeds will go to benefit foundations dedicated to the early detection of cancer, research and prevention: Racing for Cancer, The Little Red Door, and the Indy Family Foundation. In addition to the funds raised from the donation, AutoNation, America's Largest Automotive Retailer, will match all funds raised at next Thursday's event.
Ganassi, McElreath, Mehl, Rahal, Simpson to be inducted into HOF The five 2014 Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductees who will be honored on Thursday night, May 22, as part of the annual Indianapolis 500 Oldtimers dinner at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Indianapolis are as diverse as any class in recent history. And with A.J. Foyt being recognized for not only his four Indianapolis 500 wins but his win 50 years ago in the 1964 Indy 500, it is sure to be an exciting and memorable evening.
The five 2014 Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductees are Chip Ganassi, Jimmy McElreath, Leo Mehl, Bobby Rahal and Bill Simpson. The first induction class was recognized in 1952, and there are now 148 members in this elite fraternity. The Auto Racing Hall of Fame is located at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.
Will Iowa be same old story for IndyCar? We have heard this before from every NASCAR track owner as they ran their once successful IndyCar race into the ground. Happened 100% of the time once ISC bought out all the Penske tracks. Ditto for the Bruton Smith tracks - only Texas is left and that attendance has been decreasing rapidly.
Iowa Speedway President Jimmy Small Thursday re-affirmed the track's commitment to continuing to host IndyCar with this statement:
"IndyCar is incredibly valuable to us here at Iowa Speedway for a number of reasons. IndyCar invested in us early, committing to racing here in 2007. This was a watershed deal for us, as it was the first major national sanctioning body to add us to its schedule. Simply put, IndyCar’s commitment made Iowa Speedway immediately relevant. Additionally, the state of Iowa shares great enthusiasm for motorsports, so this was a wonderful gift for Iowa and our many passionate fans. Lastly, this commitment allowed us to build an international platform for our outstanding partner, the Iowa Corn Growers Association. IndyCar’s presence will remain very important to Iowa Speedway under NASCAR ownership and management. Our (Iowa Speedway) ultimate goal is to elevate and benefit all of motorsports, and IndyCar is most certainly included in our plans to achieve success."
Kurt Busch is with a top team, Andretti Autosport, but he has been a fast study for a taxicab driver. While a number of IndyCar drivers have won the Daytona 500, a taxicab driver has never come close to winning the Indy 500. Busch could be the first if things fall his way.
Kurt Busch is off to a good start in his quest to win the Indy 500.
With about 45 minutes left in practice on Thursday, Busch was fourth on the speed chart with a lap of 224.739 mph.
Former Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves was fastest at 226.098 mph, followed by Townsend Bell and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Busch, who has one win this season on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit, is attempting to become the fourth driver to run the Indy-Charlotte double on Sunday, May 25.
Busch, who is driving for Andretti Autosport, plans to race in the Indy 500 on Sunday afternoon, and then fly to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 that night. Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon and John Andretti are the other drivers who have competed in both races on the same day.
Busch will have a busy weekend. Indy 500 practice resumes Friday, while Sprint Cup practice gets underway at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Parker Kligerman will drive Busch’s Cup car for Stewart-Haas Racing on Friday.
On Saturday, Busch will participate in Indy 500 practice during the day, and then fly to Charlotte for Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race. Indy 500 qualifying is next week. Sporting News
After 20 days pounding the track and more than 8300 km covered the development program of the Ligier JS P2 has been wrapped up. These tests with official test drivers Olivier Pla and Alex Brundle have enabled the Onroak Automotive technical team to fine-tune the setup of the new car.
Olivier Pla and Alex Brundle have relayed each other at the wheel of the Ligier JS P2 since 7th March, the day on which the car first turned a wheel on the Bugatti circuit under the watchful gaze of Guy Ligier. In close collaboration with the technical team directed by Thierry Bouvet, the two drivers racked up the laps to provide the engineers with the maximum amount of information to work on the setup and add the necessary little tweaks where needed.
Team Penske expects 230 mph laps at Indy Team Penske showed its speed Thursday in the penultimate full day of practice for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 by recording three of the eight fastest laps, including the fastest of the day.
Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves led the field with a lap clocked at 39.6186 seconds - 227.166 mph - in the No. 3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet.
“The weather dropped a lot today, but right now the car is handling really well,” said Castroneves. “Certainly the draft counts a lot here and I feel very confident in the Pennzoil No. 3 machine, so right now we will keep going and keep working. Right now, I really like what I have, but tomorrow we will go to the boost and you are going to see big numbers up there again."
The standing start in Long Beach worked perfectly fine
IndyCar President of competition Derrick Walker said there are no plans to ditch the standing starts despite the accident at the start of the GP of Indianapolis.
"The system we have on our cars is not as good as it needs to be," Walker said Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "It's tricky to set up. The manufacturers set that up, the way the system behaves. It's enough to say it's not foolproof. It needs a lot more work than we've given it."
"Even if the standing start doesn't work, there's a function called anti-stall," Walker said. "The engine should always be running. I don't think the manufactures have gotten that one correct yet. They're trying to go fast and we're trying to make sure the engine is running when something goes wrong. The car isn't perfect."
Driving the yellow submarine Pennzoil car, Helio Castroneves cracked the 227 mph barrier on Thursday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as practice continued for the Indy 500.
Ed Carpenter was second quick at over 226 mph and he was followed by Will Power in third just below 226 mph.
Townsend Bell was 4th to make it a Chevy 1-2-3-4 on this day.
Thirty-three drivers, including the debut this month of first-year participant James Davison and 1996 winner Buddy Lazier, logged 2,516 laps. James Hinchcliffe, who was diagnosed with a concussion resulting from an incident during the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10, was cleared by INDYCAR to resume driving. The No. 27 United Fiber & Data car underwent a mid-afternoon engine change, which limited Hinchcliffe to one installation lap late in the session.
Four different teams were represented in the top five as drivers and teams began ramping up for "Fast Friday," when lap speeds are expected to as engine boost levels are increased for all competitors.
Ed Carpenter, the 2013 Indy 500 pole sitter, was second (226.257 mph) in the No. 20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka car, while Verizon IndyCar Series championship points leader Will Power was third (225.899 mph) in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car. Davison's KV Racing Technology teammate, Townsend Bell, was fourth (225.484) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (225.340) was fifth in the No. 28 DHL car for Andretti Autosport.
Castroneves' bright yellow No. 3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske car is one of many that has or will receive fresh Chevrolet or Honda engines for May 17-18 qualifications, which will be televised by ABC. The race is May 25. Full-season Verizon IndyCar Series entries are allotted four 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engines to cover the 18-race season, with a threshold of 2,500 miles between changes.
Davison, who competed in two Verizon IndyCar Series races last year, completed two of the three phases of the formal Indy 500 Rookie Orientation Program in the No. 33 KV Racing Technology entry. Lazier, driving the No. 91 Lazier Partners Racing car, registered 11 laps (best of 218.277 mph.)
DAY 5 NOTEBOOK:
Takuma Sato is offering an opportunity for race fans and serious collectors to own his Indianapolis 500 helmet. Sato, driver of the No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda, will put his race-worn helmet especially designed for the 500, up for auction to raise money for the "With you Japan" charity, which Sato founded to help the victims of the 2011 tsunami that wreaked havoc on the island country.
The helmet's red, white and blue scheme echoes Sato's distinctive helmet but also integrates elements from Japan's only IndyCar race winner and the Speedway's first four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt, who owns the No. 14 IndyCar Sato will drive May 25. In addition to Sato's name and the Japanese flag, the helmet will feature Sato's car number (14) plus bricks to represent the historic Speedway nicknamed 'The Brickyard.' The four white stars atop the helmet were included as a tribute to Foyt's four Indy victories as a driver.
TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): "I think this helmet design is really cool, so I am looking forward to challenging in the Indy 500 with it. To develop the design concept, I had several discussions with the designer, who has also designed our TS official goods (including my driver's cap). He came up with this wonderful design, which represents my wishes and challenging spirit. I will do my best to win a new star for my fans, A.J. and the team. This helmet will be auctioned off for charity and I hope many people will join in the auction."
Helio Castroneves says that viewers of the May 27 episode of "Celebrity Wife Swap" on ABC "will see who wears the pants in my family."
As the show's title implies, the mothers in two celebrity families move into the other's home for a week and adopt that family's lifestyle. They agree to follow a manual written by the departing mother that sets out the rules of their new household - how they parent, manage their social life, do house work, unwind, etc.
Adriana Henao, the mother of Castroneves' 4-year-old daughter, Mikaella, moved into the home of Larry Birkhead in December, while the three-time Indianapolis 500 champion opened his Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home for Birkhead.
"It came about in June last year and I when told Adrianna I didn't think she would do it because normally she doesn't like the red carpet and things like that," Castroneves said. "But she decided to do it, and I think it was a great experience for Adriana to try a different family, and myself, too. The whole Zodiac Production (company) did a great job and I'm looking forward to it. I have no idea how the piece is going to come out; I haven't seen it. It turned out to be some interesting scenes in our (house)."
The show airs at 10 p.m. (ET). ABC, which will televise the Indianapolis 500 for the 50th consecutive year on May 25, also will televise qualifications on May 17 (4-6:30 p.m. ET) and May 18 (1-3 p.m.).
Former Indy car driver and team owner Robbie Buhl will join chief announcer Paul Page and Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian Donald Davidson as an analyst for the IMS Radio Network broadcasts of Indy 500 qualifying and the race.
Olympians Dallas Robinson and Abe Morlu are members of the Lazier Partners Racing entry for the No. 91 car driven by 1996 Indy 500 winner Buddy Lazier. They came on board through their association with race engineer David Cripps, who worked with the U.S. Bobsled & Luge team for the Sochi Games.
Quotes from James Hinchcliffe, who was medically cleared to resumed racing activities today.
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda): "Obviously very excited. It's been a long couple of days sitting at home and not even really watching. I was banned from electronics and I was getting little updates and snippets here and there, and that made it tougher because you don't know exactly what's going on. But I knew everyone was running and I was sitting at home. Getting better was the No. 1 goal and the effort we put into that is paying off because we even surprised the doctors with how quickly we've been able to come back. All of the testing has been good and everything we've done is pointing in the right direction, so I'm feeling good." (About his recovery): "I woke up Sunday with a little bit of a headache, but other than that, not bad at all. I did a really intense day of resting, which is kind of an oxymoron, but a lot of sitting around. My girlfriend (Kirsten Dee) and my sister (Rebecca) and my family were there and they took really good care of me and made sure I didn't have to lift a finger. By Monday, I was feeling myself. I felt 100 percent. We knew we needed to take time and make sure. I got permission on Tuesday to get back in the gym and Wednesday just went lightly to make sure my head was fine with the heart rate coming up and yesterday, no sorry, this morning - I swear my memory is fine - I got back in the gym and working a little harder and got that heart rate threshold up to where it would be in the car and everything was great. I did some reaction training and I was on the upper end of average of the previous runs and then came here for the ImPACT Test. That was the toughest thing knowing it was kind of make or break and seeing everyone driving. It was the first time I'd been here for any on-track activity and it was tough to watch but it's all come good. Looking forward to getting out there."
INDIANAPOLIS 500 PRACTICE:
At noon, the ambient temperature was 50 degrees with a relative humidity of 77 percent and winds from the north-northwest at 4 mph. Skies were cloudy. The track temperature was 67 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.
12:45 p.m. - GREEN. Session has begun after a delay of 45 minutes. #2 Montoya is first on track.
1:12 p.m. - YELLOW. Tow-in for #63 Mann, who slowed on course on the backstretch. Car is able to continue to pit lane without power.
1:15 p.m. - GREEN.
1:56 p.m. - YELLOW. Track inspection.
2:05 p.m. - GREEN.
2:08 p.m. - YELLOW. Smoke trailing from #27 Viso. Driver pulls off course in Turn 1 and climbs out of the car.
2:16 p.m. - GREEN.
2:33 p.m. - YELLOW.
2:42 p.m. - GREEN. Bourdais shaking down #33 car of Davison in preparation for Davison's participation in ROP.
3:02 p.m. - YELLOW. Tow in for #63 Mann, who has pulled off course in the Turn 1 warmup lane.
3:08 p.m. - GREEN.
3:40 p.m. - YELLOW. Track is closed to allow #91 Lazier and #33 Davison to complete Rookie Orientation/Refresher Program
3:42 p.m. - GREEN. Track is open to #91 Lazier and #33 Davison.
3:53 p.m. - #33 Davison has completed Phase 1 of Rookie Orientation Program.
3:57 pm. - Course has reopened to all cars.
4:15 p.m. - YELLOW. Track is closed to allow #91 Lazier and #33 Davison to complete Rookie Orientation/Refresher Program.
4:16 pm. - GREEN. Track is open to #33 Davison to complete Phase 2 of Rookie Orientation Program.
4:27 p.m. - #33 Davison has completed Phase 2 of Rookie Orientation Program. Track is open to all cars.
4:38 p.m. - YELLOW. #7 Aleshin is stopped on course at pit in with smoke and fire under the engine cover.
4:53 p.m. - GREEN.
5:09 p.m. - YELLOW. Track inspection.
5:19 p.m. - GREEN.
5:31 p.m. - #20 Carpenter turns lap at 226.257 mph, fastest lap of the month so far.
5:55 p.m. - #3 Castroneves turns lap at 227.166 mph, fastest lap of the month, so far.
5:58 p.m. - #98 Hawksworth back on track for first time since accident nearly 24 hours ago. #27 Hinchcliffe also records first lap of the month.
6 p.m. - CHECKERED...
TONY KANAAN (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “We worked on logging laps today and knew that we were getting close to maxing out the engine mileage of the Target car. We ran for a few hours this morning and did long runs, then the team did an engine change before finishing out the afternoon on track.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “It was overcast all day today with the temperature just hovering over 50 degrees. It was cold but we got some good track time in after the engine change [last night]. We mostly worked on aerodynamics today as well as began trimming the Target cars out for qualifying this weekend.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): ““We ran out the miles on our first engine this morning and had an engine change this afternoon. The guys on the No. 2 Verizon Chevy did a really quick job on that to make sure we got as many laps as we could afterwards. Now we are starting to understand a little bit of what we need for qualifying; just trying to get the basics of how the car feels in that trim. We’ll start taking more downforce off to get ready for the weekend.”
MARTIN PLOWMAN (No. 41 ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): “We definitely worked on the balance of the car in traffic. I was a lot happier with it today and we're tickling on the edge of it being a little loose right now. That's not a bad thing. We need to get the car solid at the rear again and I think we've got a good race car." (You have one more day of practice. What do you need to get accomplished tomorrow?): “Tomorrow we'll hopefully start working on trimming out the car and seeing what kind of speed we have. We haven't really been thinking about speed all week, just getting extra downforce on the car and working on balance and also allowing me to have extra laps just for experience. There's no point in risking the car to do a quick time early in the week. So I think tomorrow we may start pushing the envelope a bit more and getting closer to where we need to be for qualifying."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “It was great to finally get in a full day of on-track time here at IMS. It was really important for us to be out there today running as many laps as we could so that we could hit the mileage mark to change our engine. I think it’ll really benefit us to have a fresh engine during qualifying and I was really happy with the way the No. 8 NTT DATA Chevrolet performed today on the long fuel runs. I’m looking forward to Fast Friday tomorrow and qualifying this weekend.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL, No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet: “Today was really good. We got a lot of running in with the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet. We were able to do a lot of race work and do a couple of full-tank runs. We were even able to get in a few runs looking towards qualifying. Overall we’re pretty happy with the day and I think we’re in really good shape for the weekend. We’ll start working towards Fast Friday tomorrow then onto qualifying. Once we get through the weekend, we can really just focus on race-day setup.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): ““I think it was a very productive day. We ran 150 laps and we tried many other things to make the car more stable. I was happy this afternoon with the way the car behaved in traffic—it was better. We made good progress.”
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “We got a lot done today and made some improvements with the balance of the car, so that feels good. I think we are in reasonable shape for tomorrow. We’ll see how it plays out tomorrow when we get more power. I’m looking forward to it. So far, have been focused on race set up—seeing what the car is like on old tires and on long runs.”
JAMES DAVISON (No. 33 KV Racing Technology/Always Evolving Racing Chevrolet): (About completing Rookie Orientation Program today) “I can go to bed resting easier knowing we got through our first day at IMS smoothly and completed ROP. We now know what to expect, any anxiety has dried up and I am excited to continue working on our program. I am pleased with my first laps in an Indy car at IMS. We got up to speed conservatively. In the end, we trimmed the car one stage and I was happy with the balance. In terms of speed, we know where we’re at since we didn’t run in traffic or with a tow. The No. 33 KV Racing Technology/Always Evolving Racing team had a good day and we will build on it tomorrow.”
BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Wynn Institute for Vision Research Chevrolet): “For me, (shaking off the rust) was much easier than last year when I had never been in the car. It feels really good. We have some continuity from last year. We have some of the same guys back. I’m enjoying starting the process. I would have liked to start earlier, but I’m enjoying starting the process with our engineers and with the car. Bottom line is that I’m thrilled to be here. Happy to be part of this group of drivers. It’s a great group of drivers and I’m looking forward to advancing our car as quickly as possible.”
CARLOS HUERTAS (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “Things have been going good. We are improving every day. The first day we couldn't run a lot so it put us a bit behind our plan. Today was the best day so far and the car is improving all the time. I have been getting more comfortable in traffic. The first day was really difficult. Today was the best day in every aspect, by far, the best. Running on your own you get up to speed very quickly but running with other cars is challenging. Sometimes you have to anticipate or you have to be more patient than you think you have to be."
PIPPA MANN (No. 63 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “Overall it was another extremely positive day in the Susan G. Komen / Dale Coyne Racing car. I've spent the most time I've ever spent outside of a race here running in dirty air today, and it was so great to have the opportunity to go and do that. The direction we found yesterday definitely gave me a car I could go and play with today, and I started to get a lot more comfortable working in the draft, and working out the timing I think I'm going to need to make a pass. I got to do another full-tank run, this time the entire way through without a yellow. I was extremely pleased with how the car handled over the entire stint. The cooler track conditions today mean it would be easy to be overconfident given that cool air and track temp helps everyone, including us, but I'm definitely pleased with where we ended up. Hopefully everything we learned will still translate once we get back into higher ambient temps. We also turned another 78 laps today. I'm thrilled with our month total so far for the pledge site, and that we're getting all of these laps banked before we even get to race day. It’s great for me as a driver to be getting so much track time, and it's great in terms of our pledgers knowing that we really are making those laps, and therefore will be making a difference in the fight against breast cancer.”
Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe was cleared to resume driving duties after being re-evaluated May 15 by the INDYCAR medical team and passing the post-concussion ImPACT test, according to INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Michael Olinger.
STATEMENT FROM JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, DRIVER, NO. 27 UNITED FIBER & DATA HONDA: "It goes without saying, I'm thrilled to be back in the United Fiber & Data car. It's been a long couple of days watching everyone practice, but obviously getting healthy was the number one goal. I really want to thank everyone at INDYCAR Safety, INDYCAR Medical and IU Health for their great care. Also, to Jim Leo with PitFit Training for helping with the rehabilitation, and of course a big thanks to E.J. (Viso) and the team for all the hard work during practice. The car looks fast and I can't wait to get out there and get up to speed."
Brian C. and Keith Ori will go head-to-head in previewing the Indy 500 in the coming days.
We’ve received some positive feedback on our relatively new AR1 Head-to-Head series. You can find the latest installment, a quarterly review of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series featuring Keith Ori and yours’ truly on the AR1 home page now. In the next day or so, look for another AR1 Head-to-Head, previewing the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500.
In the meantime, I will briefly hit on a couple points from the world of IndyCar.
Kudos to Steph Wallcraft of More Front Wing, who caught up with Ford Motor Company board of directors’ member Edsel Ford II earlier this week and asked him about the auto giant’s prospects for entering IndyCar. For Steph's story click here, but Ford basically reiterated—albeit in more emphatic tones—what members of the auto giant have said for years: they have no interest in IndyCar.
First Formula E cars delivered to teams Formula E teams received their first cars on Thursday, as the series unveiled its new Donington base.
It marked the official launch of the FIA's new electric championship, which is scheduled to visit 10 countries in its inaugural season, starting in China in September of this year and concluding in Great Britain in June 2015.
"Today marks a very significant milestone in the genesis of the FIA Formula E Championship," said Formula E series chief Alejandro Agag. "In September 2013 we launched this incredible fully-electric 150mph car and after more than 3,000km of rigorous testing we're delighted to be now handing them over to our 10 teams."
Donington Park will play host to five pre-season test sessions on July 3, 4, 9 and 10 and August 19.
Electric Drive Transportation Association Teams Up with Andretti Formula E Andretti Formula E is further dedicating its commitment to sustainability in motorsports and the automotive realm through a strategic alliance with the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA). In addition to integrating Andretti Formula E with other EDTA member companies, the alliance will allow both organizations to collaborate on initiatives to advance and promote the use of electric drive technologies in mainstream application.
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 Updates shown in red below.
05/15/14 Added photo of Mercedes mechanics interpretation of the failed megaphone exhaust, a band-aid fix for a problem F1 spent a billion dollars (the collective budgets of all the manufacturers to engineer a new engine fans - paying customers - all despise) to create.
F1's Louie Armstrong exhaust
Megaphone exhaust 'didn't work - Rosberg
Mattiacci's silence 'deafening'
Ecclestone, Gribkowsky 'battled for F1 control' - witness
Vettel 'working for his money' in 2014 - Ricciardo
Jonathan Byrd's Racing Planning Indy Return (Update)UPDATE At 12:15pm on Friday May 16th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jonathan Byrd’s Racing will be announcing its Indy 500 driver, along with providing an update to its previously announced Indy 500 plans.
04/21/14 In the wake of announcing major changes to their operations, and as part of the new era of restaurant operations for Jonathan Byrd’s, the Byrd family is excited to announce the return of the Jonathan Byrd’s Racing team. Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, a long-time fixture at the Indianapolis 500, will be returning to competition beginning with the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May of 2016.
“From the beginning , racing has been part of the DNA of our business” said Virginia “Ginny” Byrd, wife of the late Jonathan Byrd and owner of Jonathan Byrd’s, “and the Indy 500 has been an especially important part of shaping our identity in central Indiana.
Video: Eddie Sachs and Dave McDonald Fatal crash at Indy '64 From several angles the accident that killed Eddie Sachs. It was a devastating accident and IndyCars switched from gasoline to methanol after that. This happened the day before Glenn "Fireball" Roberts crashed at the Charlotte Speedway and would die less than 2 months later from burns. The video says CART series. Of course CART was not yet formed, it was the USAC days.
Rookie Hawksworth is the Month of May’s first accident at IMS Jack Hawksworth’s first season in the Verizon IndyCar Series has been off to a decent start, but unfortunately for the English rookie, he became the first driver to contact the wall at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval this month.
Hawksworth lost the rear through Turn 3 and hit the outside retaining wall. He emerged unscathed, and was checked, released and cleared to drive. But the No. 98 BHA/BBM with Curb-Agajanian Honda, now adorned in a new livery with new primary sponsor Integrity Energee Drink, was badly damaged.
NASCAR will implement its automated pit road officiating technology In yet another nod to the priority NASCAR has placed on innovation, NASCAR Executive Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell spoke in Boston at the Front End of Innovation, a cross-industry conference bringing together industry executives, practitioners, academics and experts in innovation, product development and research and development. Joining leaders and innovators from best-in-class companies such as Walt Disney, Procter and Gamble, MasterCard, IBM and Microsoft, O'Donnell today presented a case study on the Air Titan 2.0 drying technology, as well as provided an update on NASCAR's technology-driven pit road officiating system. O'Donnell touched on these and other initiatives spearheaded by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and borne out of the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C., including safety and competition enhancements, as well as fan engagement and event experience.
New Ford Technical Support Center to help its NASCAR race cars Ford announced the opening of its new Ford Technical Support Center in Concord, N.C. on Wednesday (something it needs given Chevy eats their lunch in just about every racing series). The state-of-the-art facility will add an array of tools to develop future performance vehicles and help increase Ford's overall success in motorsports. Expected to be fully operational later this summer, the 33,000-square-foot building will serve as a center for Ford Racing technical support and for teams to develop and test their cars for competition. The location was selected because of its proximity to the NASCAR research and development center and a majority of race car team headquarters. Beyond its direct and immediate effect on Ford Racing, the new technical center with its advanced simulation and measurement tools is just the latest investment by Ford in its pursuit to offer a profitable lineup of performance vehicles. The new infrastructure will allow swifter and smarter leverage of the latest in product development technology.
Patrick to run GoDaddy Cares scheme in Showdown Danica Patrick to continue her upward trend Friday night in the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte and get herself into Saturday's Sprint All-Star Race. She can finish in the top two positions and qualify for the All-Star Race or become the top vote-getter online. Patrick won the online vote last year and is hoping to do so again. If Patrick gets into Saturday's race, her #10 GoDaddy Cares Chevy will be decked out with an all-star lineup of logos from nonprofit organizations, all in support of education. Three organizations are represented: the Boys and Girls Club of America, which helps promote youth development; the SCORE Foundation, which provides free small-business advice for entrepreneurs; and DonorsChoose, a group that promotes K-12 education. GoDaddy is donating $10,000 to each non-profit organization and encouraging customers to chip in as part of the GoDaddy Round-Up program, which gives customer a choice to 'round up' to the nearest dollar on the purchase for a non-profit organization.
Kurt Busch is back in Charlotte Indianapolis 500 practice resumed Wednesday afternoon after rain fell just prior to 2:00pm/et on Tuesday, halting the session. Kurt Busch, who spent Sunday through Tuesday at the track, headed back to Charlotte for Wednesday to check in with his Stewart-Haas Racing #41 team on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series side. With rain falling in Indianapolis, it made no sense for Busch to stick around. Still, he's pleased with where he's at right now. "It definitely wasn't on my radar. But what I've been able to do as a student is each day progress at a strong rate, and progressing is being able to digest the information and then being able to apply it the next day," he said, in a statement released by the team. Busch compared Indianapolis a bit to another abnormal oval design, Darlington.
IndyCar stats updated We have updated our IndyCar stats through the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. As always, they can be found on our IndyCar main page. You can find updated stats the week following every race.
Busch up to speed at Indy, could threaten for 'Fast Nine' in qualifying
As morning rains and a thick, dark gray sky hovered over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for what was supposed to be the fourth day of practice for the 98th Indianapolis 500 on Wednesday, Kurt Busch cut out of town to head back to his "Day Job" as driver of the No. 41 Chevrolet at Stewart Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He flew back to North Carolina to get his Cup car up to speed for this week's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
But he is already up to speed as a rookie driver in the Indianapolis 500.
In Tuesday's practice session, that was rained out after just 97 minutes of activity, Busch clocked off the second-fastest lap of the day at 224.159 miles per hour in a Dallara/Honda. Although that lap was aided by a "tow' (in NASCAR teams, the draft) Busch's lap is the third-fastest combined lap of all the practices so far.
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