SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 1 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET:
YOU’VE BEEN THE FASTEST PENSKE DRIVER ON RACEDAY THE LAST TWO YEARS. WITH THE AERO KITS FROZEN SINCE LAST YEAR, DOES THAT MEAN YOU’VE HAD LESS TO DO THIS YEAR? “I don’t know. The car is pretty much the same from the last two years. We didn’t feel like changing was going to make me feel better. We’ve actually tried a few things and every time it is worse. So we went back on track really quickly and worked mostly aerodynamics. We’re learning every year on the body kits. We are working on finding less drag and still keeping downforce on the car. The mechanical setup hasn’t changed at all so I’m quite comfortable that way. I know exactly how my race car stands, and that gives me confidence.”
Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan to Drive Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car at 500
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who has played major roles in hit television series such as "The Walking Dead" and "Grey's Anatomy," will drive the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car to lead the starting field of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil to the green flag Sunday, May 28.
Morgan plays "Negan" in the smash hit AMC series "The Walking Dead," which returns for its eighth season this fall. He received a Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series and an MTV Movie & TV Award for Best Villain in 2017 for the role.
Rookie Matheus Leist will start from the pole position for tomorrow’s Freedom 100, Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Round Seven, after posting two record-breaking laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this evening. The 18-year-old from Novo Hamburgo, Brazil, set new standards for both the two-lap qualifying average (199.198 mph) and the fastest Indy Lights single-car lap set during qualifying (199.268 mph) for the Carlin team following a lengthy delay due to rain.
Leist edged out second-generation Indy Lights racer and fellow rookie Colton Herta, from Valencia, Calif., who recorded a two-lap average of 198.648 mph for Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing. Andretti Autosport teammates Dalton Kellett, from Stouffville, Ont., Canada, and Ryan Norman, from Aurora, Ohio, will share Row Two of the grid.
Erik Jones turned in the fastest lap Thursday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice session for Sunday night's Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Jones posted a top speed of 192.713 mph in the No. 77 Toyota to lead the session. Jimmie Johnson was second fastest with a fast lap of 192.472 mph.
Kyle Larson held the second-fastest lap before he brushed the wall coming out of turn two in the closing minutes of the session. His crew was still evaluating whether or not to pull out the backup car or try and fix the damage. Larson had clocked in with a lap of 192.465 before hitting the wall. Denny Hamlin (192.465) and Kevin Harvick (192.150) rounded out the top five in the session.
Regan Smith will continue his relief duties for driver Aric Almirola in this weekend's Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway while Almirola continues to recover from injuries suffered nearly two weeks ago at Kansas.
Smith filled in for Almirola in last Saturday's Monster Energy Open, trying to earn the Richard Petty Motorsports team a shot in the Monster Energy NASCAR All Star Race. Smith finished fourth overall in the no. 43 Smithfield Foods Ford Fusion.
Almirola is expected to miss 8-12 weeks with a fractured vertebra in his back. The team has not yet announced who will driver the car beyond this weekend's events.
Vettel lights up Monaco in 2nd practice (Updated) UPDATE Added quotes and photos below.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was in a class of his own in the 2nd practice session for the Monaco GP Thursday afternoon. Vettel not only was the only driver to dip into the 1m12s bracket, he was 0.487s up on 2nd quick Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull, he also had a standout long run. Advantage Ferrari.
Kimi Raikkonen made it a Ferrari one-three as he lapped 0.563s slower than Vettel, while Toro Rosso continued their excellent form as Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz finished fourth and fifth respectively, ahead of the second Red Bull of Max Verstappen and Force India’s Sergio Perez.
Memo Gidley Returns to the Cockpit Three years and five months after his horrific accident at the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona, Memo Gidley tested the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance® Porsche 911 GT3 R at Sonoma Raceway.
Gidley suffered fractures in his back, knee, heels in the "freak" accident while driving the No. 99 Red Dragon early in the 24 hour event in January of 2014. He spent several months in the hospital, endured eight surgeries and an intense three year rehabilitation, but his focus never wavered, Gidley said 100% he will return to the race car in this 2014 Autoweek article and today, he took his first green flag, returning to the Red Dragon, with several of his GAINSCO teammates from that fateful day by his side, smiling ear to ear. "It felt awesome. It felt so natural, it's just such a comfortable environment for me." Said Gidley. "I've worked so hard to get to this point, and this was my goal. There were a lot of days where it wasn't going well, but I just kept imagining getting back out on the track, getting back behind the wheel. I just wanted to be a driver looking for a ride, and now I am…I am back!"
Bourdais released from hospital (Update) UPDATE Verizon IndyCar Series driver Sebastien Bourdais, injured in a crash May 20 during a qualifying attempt for the 101st Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, was discharged from IU Health Methodist Hospital on Wednesday and has been moved to a local rehabilitation facility.
Bourdais sustained multiple pelvic fractures and a fractured right hip when his No. 18 GEICO Honda crashed into the SAFER Barrier in Turn 2 on the third lap of his qualifications attempt Saturday. The Dale Coyne Racing driver underwent successful surgery that evening at IU Health Methodist Hospital.
It is a cold, rainy morning here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Yes, it is overcast and raining off and on. They are installing the pit stop competition equipment in the rain this morning. Pit lane is quiet otherwise with no teams required to be here today.
Fans on the way to Indy will be treated to much the same weather all weekend. I think the mild and dry winter has been followed by a wet spring. Hopefully Sunday will only have rain before the race and clear up before race time.
Charles Leclerc has delighted his local fans by grabbing provisional pole in a dramatic split qualifying session this afternoon at the Grand Prix de Monaco, leading the way in Group A ahead of Oliver Rowland before watching Group B from the pits as Alexander Albon headed the second group but missed the Monegasque’s time by just one hundredth of a second.
100th Running Wins 2016 Event of the Year at Sports Business Awards
Start of 100th running
The 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil added another accolade to an already stellar resume Wednesday night, taking home 2016's Event of the Year honor at the 2017 Sports Business Awards. The annual event hosted by the SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily recognizes the top events, leagues, partners and executives in the sports world and took place at the New York Marriott Marquis at Times Square.
Indy 500 to be carried on 400 radio affiliates (NEXSTAR)– There are just three days left in our countdown to one of racing’s biggest event, the Indy 500. Watching the Indy 500 is like nothing else. The speed and adrenaline is infectious.
If you can’t be there inside IMS, you might turn to your TV or even a hand held device like an iPhone. But for millions of others, this is a sport for the ears.
Charles Leclerc belied his lack of experience racing around his home circuit in Monaco by claiming the top spot in this afternoon’s free practice session, biding his time as he came to terms with the fabled circuit before grabbing P1 late in the session by a tenth from Sergio Canamasas and Oliver Rowland.
The Monegasque driver has lived just off the circuit for his entire life but has never sat in a racing car on it, until today: he spent the session slowing easing up to speed before putting in a lap of 1:19.722 ten minutes before the close, setting a target that his rivals were unable to overturn.
Stewart-Haas Racing, Nature's Bakery tentatively settle lawsuit Stewart-Haas Racing and Nature's Bakery have tentatively settled their lawsuit over the fig-bar company's dropping its sponsorship of Danica Patrick one year into a three-year deal.
Nature's Bakery informed SHR in January that it would not sponsor Patrick this season, and SHR filed a lawsuit in February asking for $31 million for the final two years of the deal. Nature's Bakery countersued, citing that SHR did not live up to its promises of support and that Patrick's endorsement of a protein bar violated the deal.
Rick Mears does a few laps at the Chevrolet Racing Driver in the Loop Simulator Facility
In every form of motorsports, the level of competition for wins and championships is at an all-time high. Teams and drivers have to maximize every tool available to optimize performance.
Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner and Team Penske consultant Rick Mears recently took the controls of the Chevrolet Racing Driver in the Loop Simulator Facility in Huntersville, North Carolina, for laps on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.5-mile oval and 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course.
Mears, also the spotter for three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves at Verizon IndyCar Series races, relays his thoughts about the “amazing tool” utilized by Team Chevy drivers in the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Championship rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel picked up where they left off in Spain during Thursday morning’s opening session in Monaco, as the former headed the latter by the smallest of margins. In a relatively drama-free session, Hamilton lapped his Mercedes 0.196s quicker than Vettel’s Ferrari, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen a further tenth and a half back in third place.
Valtteri Bottas was fourth in the second Silver Arrow, while the other Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo was fifth, and the only other driver within half a second of Hamilton’s benchmark.
Firestone previews the 101st running of the Indy 500
"The Firestone Indy 500 tires are designed to meet the unique demands of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said Cara Adams, Chief Engineer of Bridgestone Americas Motorsports.
"With a design process lasting over a year, Firestone Engineers and Chemists, using information gained at the September 2016 Indianapolis tire test along with the positive feedback from last year’s race, selected specifications very similar to those used in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.
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