May 2017 News
Alonso IndyCar Test

May 2 - Fans can watch a live show of the highly
anticipated first Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval test
by two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando
Alonso on Wednesday, May 3, with commentary from
Mario Andretti.

A fully produced live show will be televised online from
9:30 a.m.-noon.  Coverage of the test will continue from
1-5 p.m. with a live stream without commentary.

Both the live show and stream will be available at these
online outlets:
RaceControl.INDYCAR.com
IndyCar YouTube Channel
IndyCar Facebook
RACE NEWS & VIEWS
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Most recent news is at bottom of page.
Fans can watch testing for free from 9
a.m.-5 p.m. from the Turn 2 viewing
mounds,  and South Terrace Grandstands.
Indy 500 Pace Car Chosen

May 5 - The Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport will pace the
101st Indy 500 on May 28th.

Grand Sport Corvettes can be recognized by the twin
stripes on their front fender.  These models are slotted
between the base Corvette and the Z06.

Equipped with the Z07 package, this 460 hp car can
accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, cover the
quarter mile in 11.8 seconds and achieve 1.2 g cornering
capability.
2017 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car
St Louis Gateway Test

May 3 - IndyCar racing is returning to Gateway
Motorsports park for the first time since 2003.  The
course was almost demolished, but was saved by
Curtis
François
, a real estate developer and former open-
wheel racer, came up with money to help revitalize the
340-acre facility.

St. Louis sports has suffered recently with the Rams
moving back to L.A. last year and a major league soccer
stadium not being built.  IndyCar was happy to see
several hundred residents show up to watch the IndyCar
test.

The weather cooperated too, as the two-day rainfall quit
in time.  However the session was shortened by cut tires.
The Fastest Drivers on the 1.25-mile Oval

1 Connor Daly     Time: 25.437
2 Helio Castroneves
3 Juan Montoya
4 Josef Newgarden
5 Simon Pagenaud
6 Scott Dixon
7 Will Power
8 Carlos Munoz
9 Tony Kanaan
10 Ed Carpenter

Carpenter’s team-mate
JR Hildebrand was the only
crash of the day, and while his ECR Chevrolet didn’t
reappear due to damage, Hildebrand did not aggravate
his broken hand.
Alonso ran into a pair
of birds today.
At 200 mph, his car
obliterated them.
May 6 - There were more than 20,000 participants in the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon
There are 22 regular IndyCar drivers.  So far, an
additional 10 drivers have entered the Indy 500.  This
leaves one spot open on the 33-car grid.
Juncos Racing Enters Indy 500

May 10 - Juncos Racing, a competitor in Indy Lights,
completed their new 40,000 sqft headquarters in
Speedway, IND in December.  In March they purchased
some IndyCars from the KV Racing auction and will be
entering the Indy 500 this year!

IndyCar driver
Spencer Pigot, 23, is a road and street
course driver specialist at Ed Carpenter Racing.  Last year
he finished 25th in his first Indy 500, driving for RLL.  
Juncos is giving him a ride for this year's Indy 500.  (Pigot
won the  Indy Lights and Mazda Pro championships
driving for Juncos.)

Sebastian Saavedra, 26, will be driving the AFS Racing
car for them, leaving one backup car for Juncos.

Saavedra has made five previous Indy 500 starts, his best
finish being 15th in 2014.  The Columbian hasn’t raced
since the 2015 season.
Sebastian Saavedra
Spencer Pigot
Indianapolis Grand Prix Qualifying

May 12 - Team Penske reached a milestone in Indy car
qualifying today, as well as extending its Verizon P1
Award domination at the IndyCar Grand Prix and for the
2017 IndyCar Series season.

The renowned team with more race wins and pole
positions than anyone in Indy car history earned its
250th pole position when
Will Power turned the fastest
lap in the Firestone Fast Six, the climactic third and final
round of knockout qualifying for Saturday’s fourth annual
Indianapolis Grand Prix.

Power’s lap of 1 minute, 7.7044 seconds (129.687 mph)
in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet broke the
track record he set in qualifying last year on the road
course. Power won the Indy Grand Prix from the pole in
2015. It is also the 47th pole position of Power’s 13-year
Indy car career, the fifth-best total all time.
Teammate Helio Castroneves qualified second in the
No. 3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, at 1:08.1169.
The Brazilian who celebrated his 42nd birthday this week
will start from the front row Saturday for the fourth
consecutive race.

Team Penske drivers
Josef Newgarden and Juan  
Montoya
qualified third and fifth, respectively, to give the
juggernaut an armada up front for Saturday’s 85-lap race.
The fifth Team Penske driver, defending race winner and
series champion
Simon Pagenaud, will start eighth.

Scott Dixon qualified fourth in the No. 9 NTT Data
Honda. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has reached the
Firestone Fast Six at all four road/street events this season.

Sebastien Bourdais, winner of the season opener at St.
Petersburg in March, qualified sixth.
<<< DAY 1 - Monday - OPENING DAY - TESTING & PRACTICE >>>
INDY 500 NEWS
IndyCar Grand Prix

May 13 - Front-row starters Will Power and Helio
Castroneves
got relatively cleanly through Turn 1 in their
Penske-Chevrolets.
Scott Dixon got his Chip Ganassi
Racing-Honda ahead of
Josef Newgarden’s Penske
under braking for Turn 1 to snatch third.  I think this is
the first time this race has gotten past the first turn with
out an accident.

However, they would not make it cleanly through the first
lap.  At turn 7 at the end of the back straight,
Marco
Andretti
, Tony Kanaan and Ed Jones all made contact
and spun in to the grass.  Andretti earned himself a drive-
through penalty although he would still emerge ahead of
Kanaan, who was forced to pit with a puncture.  At any
rate, no Caution was necessary and the entire race was
ran without any.

Sebastien Bourdais went straight on at Turn 1 with a
blown engine on Lap 4.

Spencer Pigot had a disastrous first pitstop on Lap 21,
stalling as he attempted to leave his pitbox, while
Castroneves pitted on Lap 22 for reds, leaving Power
leading Dixon by 7.8sec.

Power and Dixon stopped on Lap 23, both taking the
primary tires, but Castroneves’ earlier stop and instant
grip from red tires paid off perfectly, as a strong out lap
meant he took the lead from Power, and they ended Lap
24 1.2sec apart, and 8sec up on Dixon.

Castroneves nursed his reds and gently stretching away
from Power. On Lap 30, the Brazilian’s lead was out to
2.5sec.

In the meantime, considering Honda was at an aerokit
drag-induced deficit to Chevrolet on this track, Hunter-
Reay was doing well to keep
Sebastien Pagenaud a
consistent 1.8 sec behind and Newgarden no more than 1.8
sec ahead, despite all of them being on primary tires.

Meanwhile
James Hinchcliffe and Ales Rossi, both on
alternate compound tires, were hassling Pagenaud for
sixth but in fact it was Rossi who made the first move,
passing Hinch for seventh on Lap 35.
Max Chilton made
an aggressive move on Hinch to further demote him on
Lap 37, and Pigot followed him through.

Power pitted on Lap 42, switching to scuffed red tires.  
Castroneves pit on Lap 45. Power, meanwhile, had been
laying down his fastest laps of the race, and despite a
slick stop by Castroneves' crew, the #12 Penske retook
the lead. At the end of Lap 46, Power had a 3.2sec
advantage.

Behind, Dixon was 7.8sec from Castroneves.

Castroneves now started doing a fine job hunting down
Power, and ran only 1.5sec behind his teammate by Lap
50.

By Lap 56,  Dixon closed within 5 seconcs on
Castroneves. Like Power, Dixon would be able to take on
red tires at his final stop.

The likelihood of a Penske 1-2-3 temporarily increased as
Newgarden started closing on Dixon, and they pitted
together on Lap 62. Unfortunately for Newgarden,
Conor Daly’s Foyt car would emerge from the pits
between them. Even more unfortunate, Newgarden
would be assessed a drive-through penalty for a pitspeed
violation. While obeying this, he racked up another one,
and Penske’s 1-2-3 dream died there.

Power pitted from the lead on Lap 64 to get his brand new
reds, while Castroneves stopped for his blacks on 65.
When Rahal stopped on Lap 66, Power retook the lead
and had a 5.2sec lead over Castroneves, with Dixon
pressing the Brazilian hard for second. The move came
on Lap 69, although Dixon now faced a 7.8sec hurdle to
catch Power.

Ryan Hunter-Reay was now only two seconds behind
Castroneves and on red tires which were approximately
1.3sec faster over a lap. By lap 70, Hunter-Reay was
within 1.5sec of Castroneves and Pagenaud was only 3.5
sec further back. Four laps later Hunter-Reay was through
into third and gone.

Pagenaud was all over Castroneves with ten laps to go,
but it had been a slightly tentative race from the
Andrew Luck, the Indianapolis Colts star quarterback
was at the Speedway today
Movie star Alicia Silverstone
waved the green flag to start the race today.  
She also took a IndyCar 2-seater ride with Mario Andretti
Dixon, Power and Hunter-Reay
Frenchman, who wasn’t happy with his car’s rear-end
traction. However, the reigning champion finally made it
past the three-time Indy 500 winner on Lap 81 to grab
fourth.

Power crossed the finish line 5.28sec ahead of Dixon  to
clinch his 30th victory.

That broke the tie on the all-time win table that Power had
shared with teammate Castroneves and Penske legend
Rick Mears since last August. It also marked Power's
second win on the IMS road course.

Hunter-Reay held on to third, ahead of Pagenaud,
Castroneves, and the deeply impressive Rahal and Chilton.

Rossi, Pigot and Montoya completed the top 10, with
Newgarden charging back to 11th and claiming fastest lap.
May 15 - Honda-powered drivers seized eight of the top
10 spots on the speed chart on a sunny day with air
temperatures in the mid-80s and track temperatures in the
low 120s.

Marco Andretti led the practice with a top lap of
226.338 mph.  He was the only driver to top the 226-
mph mark, receiving an aerodynamic tow in traffic in his
No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda.

Fernando Alonso ended up 19th overall in his first day
of practice, with a top lap of 223.025 mph in the No. 29
McLaren-Honda-Andretti Honda. Alonso was the fastest
today of the four rookies in the field, all of whom turned
laps.

Ed Jones completed the Rookie Orientation Program
today in the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda.
Jack
Harvey
and Zach Veach each completed the first phase
of the three-phase Rookie Orientation Program.

Harvey, from Bassingham, England, was involved in the
only incident of the day. He made contact with the
SAFER Barrier in Turn 2 with the right side of his No.
50 Michael Shank Racing w/Andretti Autosport Honda.
Harvey was unhurt and cleared to drive.  "I don’t know
what did happen apart from I went to turn in and it went
straight,” he said. "I was coming out of the pits, I wasn’t
even going fast. I was probably not even going 100 mph -
so bizarre."

Thirty-two drivers turned 1,501 combined laps Monday.
The only driver named to a car on the entry list who
didn’t practice today was 1996 Indy 500 winner
Buddy
Lazier
, who is expected to make his debut later this
week.
#27 Marco Andretti
#29 Fernando Alonso
<<< DAY 2 - Tuesday - TESTING & PRACTICE >>>
May 16 -  The track opened at noon.  The first 15
minutes was reserved for
Zach Veach and Jack Harvey
to complete the remaining two phases of rookie
orientation.  They only had time to complete the first
phase (drive 15 laps between 210-215 mph.)

AJ Allmendinger was at the track today hanging out with
Harvey and Michael Shank.  AJ raced Champ Car until
switching to NASCAR in 2006.

Hinchcliffe suffered electrical problems again today.

Will Power was fastest today at 224.656 mph.

The International Collegiate evGrandPrix competed in the
infield in electric go-karts.  They will return tomorrow as
well.
Jack Harvey
Electric Go-Kart Race
Pippa Mann signing autographs
<<< DAY 3 - Wednesday - TESTING & PRACTICE >>>
May 17 - It was sunny, warm and dry today, but very
windy. Gusts registered 47 mph.  This caused several
teams, such as Penske, not to even come out of the
garages.  Only 21 drivers posted a speed today.

Ed Carpenter had the fastest speed today - 222.894 mph.

Fernando Alonso completed 117 laps Tuesday – more
than any of the other 31 drivers – on the Indianapolis
Motor Speedway oval with a best lap of 221.029 mph.
He spent much of the day on track surrounded by his
teammates as he became more accustomed to running in
traffic

For the third time in four years, driver
Sage Karam and
team owner Dennis Reinbold are working together to bring
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing to victory lane at the
Indianapolis 500.  Last year, Karam climbed from 23rd
starting position to the top five before hitting the Turn 1
SAFER Barrier while battling for position.

Karam posted the fifth-fastest lap on Tuesday. The 22-
year-old feels comfortable back behind the wheel of an
Indy car after not driving one since last year’s crash.

“It took me like 10-15 laps to go flat through Turn 1
again,” Karam said. “But I knew once I got my feet back
under me, I was going to be the same old Sage again.”

Along with his ride at the Indianapolis 500, Karam drives a
Lexus GTD entry in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar
Championship.
Ed Carpenter
Winds reached 30 mph
<<< DAY 4 - Thursday - TESTING & PRACTICE >>>
May 18 - The weather cooperated today as the wind
decreased from yesterday.  It was mostly sunny with
temperature reaching the low 80s.

At 1pm,
Josef Newgarden's back end came around on
him while exiting Turn 1.  He hit the wall and slid down
the short chute and hit the Turn 2 wall as well.
At 3 pm, Sebastien Bourdais's car stalled on the back
straight bringing out another yellow (caution.)

Every driver got on track today, although
Buddy Lazier
did not get up to speed.

Jay Howard, piloting a Honda-powered car for Schmidt
Peterson Motorsports, had the fastest lap today, going an
average of  226.744 mph.

Tomorrow, the turbo pressure will be turned up, allowing
the cars to run faster and get ready for this weekend's
qualifying, assuming the weather permits it.
Jay Howard was fastest today
Chad Smith made it to the track today.
He's the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers
who are playing downtown tonight
<<< DAY 5 - Fast Friday - TESTING & PRACTICE >>>
May 19 - Early morning thunderstorms soaked the 2.5-
mile oval’s track surface.  It was dry in time for
qualifying.

IndyCar does something weird here at Indy and that is to
raise the boost pressure allowed on the turbo-chargers for
Qualifying.  The reason for this may be to gives the fans
a chance to see how fast the cars can go (over 230 mph),
but then slow things down for the race as speeds under
230 mph produce more competitive racing.  That is just
an idea I have.  Anyway, today is practice for qualifying
and so the turbo boost was turned up and the cars were
dramatically faster.

At 12:27,
Sebastien Bourdais ran the fastest lap of the
day at  233.116 mph in the No. 18 Sonny's BBQ Honda
for Dale Coyne Racing.

The caution waved 12:30 when smoke erupted from the
rear of the No. 50 Michael Shank Racing with Andretti
Autosport Honda driven by rookie
Jack Harvey.

The weather cooperated until 1:30 pm when showers fell.  
The rain stopped and the track was dried and once again
cars took the track at 4 p.m.

Juncos Racing’s
Spencer Pigot made heavy contact with
the Turn 2 SAFER barrier at 4:37 p.m., causing significant
damage to the No. 11 Chevrolet. Pigot was uninjured and
quickly cleared to drive.
Buddy Lazier finally got some laps in today, reaching a
speed of 219.640 mph. He hopes to find more speed and
qualify for his 20th Indianapolis 500 this weekend.

Rookie
Zach Veach met the SAFER Barrier at 5:42 p.m.
after losing control of the No. 40 Indy Women in Tech
Championship Chevrolet at the exit of the 2.5-mile oval’s
first corner. The Ohio native made secondary contact
with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 2, but walked away from
the incident.
Zach Veach
Gabby Chavez drawing his starting number
for tomorrow's qualifying
<<< DAY 6 - 1st Day of Qualifying >>>
May 20 - After misty conditions caused a brief hold-up of
the morning's practice session, the famed 2.5-mile oval
was opened to the 33-car field, where a handful of cars
turned laps. In all, just 51 total laps were recorded for the
session.

Rain began falling at the track just as first-day qualifying
was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Heavy rain and ligh-
tning persisted until after 1 p.m. Safety trucks started
circulating the oval at 1:30 p.m. as the track-drying
process began. Shortly before 3:30 p.m., IndyCar
announced that qualification attempts would begin at 4:01
p.m., with each entry being permitted one attempt at the
four-lap qualification run to set the groups for Sunday's
second day of qualifying.

IMS president
Doug Boles announced that the track
would remain open past its normal 6 p.m. closing time to
allow all entries one four-lap attempt once the track is
open for qualifying.

Drivers took their turn in the order below at the four-lap
qualification run in attempt to qualify for the 500-mile
spectacle, as well as to position themselves in the Fast
Nine Shootout to give them a shot at the Verizon P1
Award and pole position for the Indianapolis 500.
Ed Carpenter
1) Ed Carpenter
2) Takuma Sato
3) Scott Dixon
4) JR Hildebrand
5) Alexander Rossi
6) Will Power
7) Fernando Alonso
8) Tony Kanaan
9) Marco Andretti
230.468 mph
230.382 mph
230.333 mph
230.205 mph
230.148 mph
230.072 mph
230.034 mph
230.007 mph
229.924 mph
Drivers Who Made the Fast 9
Takuma Sato
Scott Dixon
JR Hildebrand
Longtime Rivals
Indy 500 Queen - Shivani Bajpai
Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi
Mario Andretti and AJ Foyt Jr.
Sebastien Bourdais, 38, posted the two fastest laps of the
day (over 231 mph) before losing control in Turn 2 on his
third lap and driving nearly straight on into the wall,
bouncing off, exploding and flipping over.  It was a horrific
crash.  He reportedly stayed conscious.  It took the safety
team a long time to extract him from the car.  Later at the
hospital, they determined he had multiple fractures to his
pelvis and a fractured right hip.

After the wreck was finally cleaned up on the track,
qualifying continued.  Average speed for field was 228 mph
Sebastien Bourdais
Josef Newgarden
<<< DAY 7 - 2nd Day of Qualifying - POLE DAY >>>
Fernando Alonso is as popular as Danica Patrick was!
May 21 - Following a brief delay for track drying after
morning showers, final practice and preparations got
underway for Day 2 of qualifications.

Dale Coyne Racing announced that Australian driver
James Davison will replace Sebastien Bourdais in the
No. 18 GEICO Honda for next Sunday's race, making his
fifth Indy car start and third in the Indianapolis 500.
Davison last raced an Indy car with Coyne at the "500" in
2015.  The Australian driver will get his first chance on
track on Monday when the track opens for practice from
12:30 - 4 p.m. ET, followed by an hour-long session on
Friday's Miller Lite Carb Day.  Davison's race starting
position will be at the rear of the 33-car field.

McLaren-Andretti-Honda driver
Fernando Alonso posted
the fastest lap of the 35-minute session allotted to Fast Nine
participants from 1:30 - 2:05 p.m. Alonso's lap of 231.317
mph was run without a tow.  McLaren-Honda-Andretti
elected to change the engine in Fernando Alonso's car
before the Fast Nine Shootout later this afternoon after
finding something they didn't like with the engine.

The slowest "24" drivers from yesterday re-qualified today
to determine their starting position to fill rows 4-11 on the
grid for the Indy 500.

Then, at 5pm, the fastest 9 drivers from yesterday
re-qualified to determine their starting position in the first 3
rows of the grid.

The drivers were running laps averaging 230-231 mph.
Will Power, the only Penske driver to crack the Fast Nine,
was the slowest of the 9 drivers.

Andretti drivers qualified 3,4,5 and 8th

Scott Dixon took his turn and blew everyone away by a
second - running in the 232's!

Team owner-driver
Ed Carpenter will start 2nd and the
winner from last year's Indy 500,
Alex Rossi, will start 3rd
on the outside of row 1.
Mr & Mrs Scott Dixon wait with anticipation to see if
he has secured Pole Position for the 101st Indy 500
May 22 - MotoGP is the fastest international motorcycle
racing series in the world.  The Indianapolis Motor
Speedway was on their calendar from 2008-2015.

Many fans rooted for American
Nicky Hayden, who grew
up down the road in Owensboro Kentucky.   He was world
champion in 2006.   He raced for Repsol Honda when they
first came to Indy, where he finished in 2nd place, behind
the great
Valentino Rossi.

The following year he switched to the Ducati team, and he
finished 3rd.

He returned to race at Indy in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015.

In 2016, he returned to racing in the Superbike World
Championship.

Last week in Italy, after a motorcycle race at Imola, Hayden
was out training on his bicycle.

A car ran into him putting Hayden in the hospital with
severe cerebral damage and multiple traumatic injuries.  
The 35-year-old racer died today.
May 21 - After driving an average of over 232 mph around
the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval track for
four consecutive laps and securing the $100,000 Pole
Award,
Scott Dixon celebrated with his wife and two little
girls.

It had been a nerve-wracking weekend for all the IndyCar
drivers who had to run on the ragged edge of speed and
sanity for 10 miles, all for just an opportunity of starting
the Indy 500 a little closer to the front of the grid.

The drivers for Ganassi Racing were also hungry after the
day's events and Dixon offered to make a run to Taco Bell
for some quick grub.

As Dixon, his wife Emma and friend and former team-mate
Dario Franchitti waited in the drive-through, two men
approached their window, stuck a gun against Dixon's head
and demanded a cell phone and wallet.

The Kiwi and Scot got lucky and survived the robbery.  

Fortunately, Indianapolis police were able to apprehend the
criminals later that night.  The suspects are only 14 and 15
years-old.

It sure seems strange that Chip Ganassi Racing did not have
something edible and healthy available for their drivers to
eat.  These guys are athletes, so I'm sure they rarely eat fast
food.  Maybe their idea of celebrating is going to Taco Bell?
The Streets More Dangerous Than Race Track!
Scott Dixon Robbed At Gunpoint
Nicky Hayden Killed In Auto Crash
<<< DAY 8 - PRACTICE >>>
May 22 - The weather was sunny and mild all day.  The
temperature was mainly in the upper 60s.

All 33 drivers got out to practice, their turbo-pressure
lowered back to race settings after the weekend of
qualifying.   Combined, they accumulated 2,705 laps on the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s demanding 2.5-mile oval.
This was their last full day of practice before the Indy 500.  
They will get one hour's practice next Friday, from 11 a.m.
- noon.

The session was the closest they’ll get to a full rehearsal of
Sunday’s race. At times, it was wild, with cars going three-
wide in the stretches and passing in turns.

Max Chilton, driving the No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi
Racing Honda, was the fastest of today, reaching 228.592
mph.  He ran 108 laps today.

In his second year with the Verizon IndyCar Series, Chilton
says he’s still learning the ways of IMS and the 500.

“I still feel like I’m a rookie,” said Chilton, who finished
15th last year as a rookie. “I’m still learning a lot every time
I get on the track. It’s the case with anything. (Teammates)
Tony (Kanaan) and Scott (Dixon) have been in this 15 or
20 years, and they’re still learning. Tony says every year
he treats it like he’s never been in one because it’s always
so different. I get what he means.”  

One expected development in the session was the return to
speed by Team Penske after a surprisingly poor showing in
qualifying. Last year’s series champion,
Simon Pagenaud,
who will start 23rd in the 500, had the fastest lap by a
Chevrolet driver in today’s session – 226.998 mph. That
was fourth-best overall.

The session also marked the first run for
James Davison,
who replaced the injured
Sebastien Bourdais in the No.
18 Dale Coyne Racing GEICO Honda.

Driving a road-course car that’s served as a backup to
Bourdais’ primary car, Davison proceeded with caution as
he recorded the 28th-fastest lap of the day (223.670 mph).

The session went without a crash, but
Oriol Servia’s
engine in the No. 16 Manitowoc Honda failed early in the
day. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver didn’t
return to the track.

“It’s never fun to blow an engine,” Servia said. “It’s a little
worrying, but the good news is that I’ll just get a fresh one –
and I wasn’t supposed to get a fresh one – for the race. I
talked to some Honda friends and I said, ‘Just give me the
best one, please.’”
Max Chilton running on the inside of Alex Rossi
No one told Fernando Alonso that
skateboards are not allowed!
Helio Castroneves
GATE 4 CLOSED!

May 25 - The Vice-President of the United States will be
attending the Indianapolis 500.

Security for him is shutting down GATE 4 for pedestrian
traffic from now until the race is over.

Gate 4 is on the south-east corner of the track.

People used to entering there will need to keep walking and
enter via Gate 2.
Pace Car Driver Selected...Finally

May 25 -  Jeffrey Dean Morgan won the Critic's Choice
Award last year for best guest performer in the hit TV show
"The Walking Dead."  He will be driving a Corvette Grand
Sport to set the pace for in the Indy 500.

Morgan shot to stardom with a recurring role on ABC's
show "Grey's Anatomy," and has appeared on shows
ranging from "Supernatural" to the award-winning comedy
series "Weeds" on Showtime.

He also has appeared in several films, including the comedy
"Watchman."
May 15
May 16
May 17
May 18
May 19
May 21
May 22
Marco Andretti
Will Power
Ed Carpenter
Jay Howard
Sebastien Bourdais
Ed Jones
Max Chilton
226.338 mph
224.656 mph
222.894 mph
226.744 mph
233.116 mph
233.008 mph
228.592 mph
Date
Driver
Speed
FASTEST LAP SPEED IN PRACTICE
May 15
May 18
May 19
May 19
May 20
Jack Harvey
Josef Newgarden
Spencer Pigot
Zach Veach
Sebastien Bourdais
Brushed T2 wall
Spun & hit T1 & T2 walls
Hard hit to T2 wall
Spun & hit T1 & T2 walls
Head-on into wall, flipped
TRACK MISHAPS THIS MONTH (not including Grand Prix)
He's OK
He's OK
He's OK
He's OK
Mult Fractures
<<< DAY 9 - CARB DAY >>>
<<< DAY 10 - INDIANAPOLIS 500 RACE DAY >>>
May 26 - The IndyCar drivers got one hour of practice
this morning, there final time in the cars before they are
garaged until race time on Sunday.

3-Time Indy 500 Winner
Helio Castroneves (Penske)
ran a best lap of 227.377 mph in the session, followed
by Takuma Sato (Andretti) at 226.802 mph and 2013
Indy 500 winner
Tony Kanaan (Ganassi) at 226.757
mph.
Kanaan's teammate and Sunday's pole sitter,
Scott
Dixon
(Ganassi) at 226.685 mph, and heralded rookie
Fernando Alonso (Andretti) did 226.608 mph,
rounding out the top five.

All 33 drivers took to the 2.5-mile oval as teams looked
to fine-tune their machines. The session was interrupted
multiple times for cautions, though no serious incidents
occurred on track. After a pair of track-inspection
yellows,
Conor Daly made slight contact with the inside
wall on the front straightaway, bringing out a third
caution. Shortly after resumption of the session,
James
Hinchcliffe
began smoking on the back straightaway,
prompting another interruption. Hinchcliffe's incident led
INDYCAR to add five minutes to the practice.


18-year-old Brazilian
Matheus Leist captured the
Freedom 100 with a commanding flag-to-flag outing from
pole in his seventh Indy Lights start and first on an oval.

Leist, the 2016 British Formula 3 champion, fended off
numerous challenges throughout the 40-lap race on the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, but none more than
the No. 9 Soul Red Mazda of
Aaron Telitz. On Lap 34,
Telitz, who had charged from sixth on the grid, went to
the outside of Leist heading into Turn 1. The duo
remained side-by-side thru the short chute and past Turn
2 until Leist gained the edge in a drag race down the
backstretch.

Telitz lost momentum and faded to third place before
rebounding to edge Andretti Autosport’s
Dalton Kellett
for second at the finish line on the last lap.

Leist’s win was especially sweet to team owner
Trevor
Carlin
, who lost the Freedom 100 last year by 0.0024 of
a second with Indy Lights champion
Ed Jones.

“We got so close last year of winning the race,” said
Carlin. “After qualifying we had a quick car, but it’s such
a competitive race, we didn’t really expect to win today.
So for Matheus to do what he did, keep his cool and
drive so smoothly, calmly and lead every lap is unheard
of. "


The last racing event for the day was the annual
TAG
Heuer Pit Stop Competition
.  In a new twist for 2017,
the final round of the competition consisted of a best-of-
three competition between
Will Power's Penske crew
and that of
James Hinchcliffe from Schmidt Peterson
Motorsports. After the crews split the first two rounds, it
came down to a winner-take-all final stop. Power's crew
executed flawlessly with a stop of 11.614 seconds, the
fastest of the day.

Team Penske has claimed 17 victories in the 41 times
the pit stop competition has been held, but this was the
first for Power, who had never made a competition
final prior to this year.

"That was an example of four or five perfect pit stops,
no mistakes," said Power.  "You know, when you think
about the 500, that's what wins races. No mistakes on
pit lane, quick pit stops under yellow, and I have
absolute faith in these guys every time I pull in the pit
box."

Chief mechanic
Matt Jonsson earned his record-tying
third competition win, all with Team Penske, and each
with a different driver (
Sam Hornish, Jr. in 2005 and
Ryan Briscoe in 2011). Jonsson, in his 22nd season
with Team Penske, is the only chief mechanic to win
pit stop competitions with different drivers.

Power's crew earned $50,000 for the victory. The
winner of the pit stop competition has gone on to win
the Indianapolis 500 six times, most recently by Team
Penske's
Helio Castroneves in 2009. Castroneves'
crew, the two-time defending pit stop champion
coming in, was eliminated by Hinchcliffe's crew in the
quarterfinals.
Matheus Leist
Pit Stop Competition
Scott Dixon (Penske) Vs. Ryan Hunter-Reay (Ganassi)
Will Power's Team Penske won the coveted Golden Gun
...oh, and $50,000!
The Golden Gun prize
Vintage IndyCars did laps first thing in the morning!
The annual Carb Day Concert
featured acts by
Bare Naked Ladies
and the
Steve Miller Band.
May 28 - Much of the focus for the 101st Indianapolis 500
was on a Formula One driver competing for Andretti
Autosport, but it was another former F1 pilot who took the
checkered flag in today's race.

Takuma Sato held off three-time Indianapolis 500 winner
Helio Castroneves by 0.2011 of a second to win an
exciting race. The 40-year-old from Japan, in his eighth
IndyCar season after driving seven years in Formula One,
collected his second Indy car win.

This was the first time an Asian has won the Indy 500.
It was the third time Castroneves finished 2nd in the race.

It was also the second straight year that an Andretti
Autosport driver won "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,"
following
Alexander Rossi in 2016, and the team's fifth
overall in the race.

Dale Coyne Racing rookie
Ed Jones finished third in the
No.19 Boy Scouts of America Honda.

Two-time Formula One champion
Fernando Alonso, who
bypassed today's F1 Monaco Grand Prix to race in the Indy
500, ran up front all day and led 27 laps before a
mechanical failure ended his day after 179 laps.

Scott Dixon led the field to the green flag, having scored
his third career Indy 500 pole on May 21. After starting
from the inside of Row 3, teammate
Tony Kanaan took
and then traded the lead with the Kiwi over the course of
the opening laps. It marked Kanaan’s 13th time leading the
Indianapolis 500, tying him with
A.J. Foyt for most
all-time. After leading four laps, Kanaan notched his
4,000th career Indy car lap led.

Ed Carpenter took the lead when Kanaan made his first pit
stop on Lap 28.

After starting fifth in his maiden Indy car race, Formula One
double world champion
Fernando Alonso only needed 37
laps to take the lead in the No. 29 McLaren-Honda-Andretti
Honda.

The first caution of the day came out on Lap 52 when
Dixon and
Jay Howard made contact in the short chute
between Turns 1 and 2. Dixon's car was launched into the
SAFER Barrier lining the infield between the turns, causing
significant damage to the catch fencing.

Both drivers got out of their cars under their own power
and were later cleared and released from the Medical
Center at the track. Repairs to the fencing necessitated the
red flag being displayed at the completion of Lap 55.

After an 18 minute pause for the repairs, engines refired,
and when the race resumed on Lap 60, four of the six
Andretti Autosport-owned entries battled for the lead, with
Alonso, defending race winner
Alexander Rossi, Ryan
Hunter-Reay
, and Sato trading the point.

On Lap 66, AJ Foyt Racing's
Conor Daly made contact
with the Turn 3 SAFER Barrier, bringing out the second
caution of the day. Andretti driver
Jack Harvey spun to
avoid debris left by Daly's incident, and made contact with
the with the inside wall in the north short chute. Both
drivers emerged from their vehicles without assistance, and
shortly thereafter were checked and released from the
Medical Center and cleared to drive. At the time of the
incident, Sato was in the lead, as the Japanese driver led his
second Indianapolis 500 in eight attempts.

Racing resumed on Lap 75, but went back to yellow for
debris on Lap 81. The pits opened during the caution,
where most of the leaders came to pit lane, while
Will
Power
, Max Chilton and Castroneves stayed out and led
the field to the Lap 84 restart.

Chilton passed Power off the restart to lead his first laps at
the Indianapolis 500, and just his second time leading an
Indy car race, but Hunter-Reay and Rossi quickly returned
to the fray, passing Chilton and trading the lead.
Castroneves worked his way to the front just before the
halfway point, and the three-time "500" winner led The
Greatest Spectacle in Racing for the 12th time in his career.

The third round of stops saw Hunter-Reay re-assume the
lead on Lap 115.

1996 Indy 500 winner
Buddy Lazier brought out the
fourth caution of the day when he made contact with the
Turn 2 SAFER Barrier. Lazier has been transported to
Methodist Hospital complaining of chest discomfort and he
ended up being fine.

Under the yellow,
Sage Karam came to a stop at the exit
of Turn 1. Team owner
Dennis Reinbold reported that the
car suffered an issue with the battery, which stuck the car
in gear ended Karam's day.

The field restarted on Lap 129, but a debris caution a lap
later slowed the field again, for the fifth time on the
afternoon. The Lap 133 restart was also short lived, as one
of the main contenders suffered an issue on Lap 137 when
Hunter-Reay's car lost power and coasted to a stop in Turn
3, bringing out the caution yet again. With the pits opening
on Lap 139, the leaders pitted for the penultimate time, and
Chilton assumed the lead followed by
Charlie Kimball,
JR Hildebrand, James Davision, and Graham Rahal.

The field restarted on Lap 142, but less than half a lap was
completed before
Ed Carpenter and Mikhail Aleshin
made contact in Turn 1. Both drivers continued on, but
Carpenter lost part of his front wing, bringing out a debris
caution, the eighth caution of the day.

The race restarted on Lap 147 with Kimball in the race lead.

Chilton and rookie
Ed Jones pitted, surrendering the lead to
Davison, who completing his run from last-to-first with 35
laps to go. Davison was the 15th different leader of the
day, setting a record for number of leaders in an
Indianapolis 500.

The following lap, Kimball suffered a mechanical issue and
peeled off course, bringing out a ninth caution of the day.
At the same time, rookie
Zach Veach pulled off course
with an issue as well.

The pits opened on Lap 168, where Castroneves beat
Davison, Sato, and Hildebrand off pit lane. Chilton and
Jones stayed out and assumed the first two positions, with
Castroneves behind when the field restarted on Lap 171.

For the tenth time of the day, the caution flag flew for
smoke from the No. 29 of Alonso, whose thrilling run in his
maiden Indy car race came to a disappointing end with 20
laps to go.

Chilton led the field to the restart on Lap 183, but a multi-
car melee in Turn 1 brought the caution immediately back
out as the race neared its closing stages. Drivers involved
included Power, Davison,
Oriol Servia, Josef Newgarden
and
James Hinchcliffe. All drivers were checked, cleared
and released from the Medical Center.

Chilton led the field to the Lap 189 restart, when
JR
Hildebrand
was penalized for passing before the previous
restart with a drive-through penalty.

Castroneves again worked his way forward to second, and
with an amazing pass on the outside of Chilton in Turn 3,
took the lead on Lap 193. But a lap later, Sato also passed
Chilton, then Castroneves at the line at the conclusion of
Lap 194, and fought off multiple challenges by Castroneves
to claim his second career Indy car win and first at the
Indianapolis 500.
Actor Jake Gylenhaal Waved the Green Flag
IndyCars coming down main straight
After Conor Daly dropped out of race,
he headed over to the Snake Pit to party.
IndyCars coming out of the pits
Davison and Servia tangle in late race crash
that took out five drivers.
Very Happy Driver and Team Owner
Takuma Sato and Michael Andretti
Castoneves, Sato and Jones dual for win
Actor Paul Giamatti got ride in Indy
two-seater with Mario Andretti
Video of Wild Crash of Scott Dixon
On lap 52, Jay Howard's car hit the wall and rebounded out onto the track
into the path of Scott Dixon, the pole sitter.  Dixon's car was launched high into
the air and came down upside down on the wall.  He was very luck to have
walked away from this one.