May 2019 News
RACE NEWS & VIEWS
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Indy 500 Entry List

May 1 - The car and driver entry list for the 103rd
Indianapolis 500 mile race has been released:

2019 500 ENTRY LIST

Synopsis:  There are 36 cars entered for the 33-car field.

7 previous 500 Winners entered:
Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony
Kanaan, Will Power, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato

7 500 Rookies entered:
Marcus Ericsson, Santino Ferrucci, Ben Hanley, Colton
Herta, Jordan King, Patricio O'Ward, Felix Rosenqvist

14 American drivers:
Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter, Conor Daly, Santino
Ferrucci, Colton Herta, JR Hildebrand, Ryan Hunter-
Reay, Sage Karam, Charlie Kimball, Josef Newgarden,
Spencer Pigot, Graham Rahal, Alexander Rossi, Zach
Veach
20 International drivers entered:
England
- Max Chilton, Ben Hanley, Jack Harvey, Jordan
King, Pippa Mann
Brazil -  Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Matheus Leist
Australia - James Davison, Will Power
France - Sebastien Bourdais, Simon Pagenaud
Sweden -  Marcus Ericsson, Felix Rosenqvist
Canada -  James Hinchcliffe
Japan - Takuma Sato
Mexico - Patricio O'Ward
Spain - Fernando Alonso
New Zealand - Scott Dixon
United Arab Emirates - Ed Jones

There are 18 Chevrolet engines and 18 Honda engines
entered.
MEN
MEN WHEELCHAIR
WOMEN
WOMEN WHEELCHAIR
Panuel Mkungo
Brett Gravatt
Ivy Kibet
Chelsea McClammer
1:03:25
51:39
1:12.10
56:07
500 Festival Mini Marathon

May 4 - For the 22nd time in 24 years, a Kenyan won the
race. Panuel Mkungo finished in front by more than two
minutes, covering the 13.1-mile course in 1 hour, 3 minutes,
25 seconds – an average of 4:50 per mile. He earned a total
of $3,000 -- $2,000 for victory and a $1,000 bonus for
breaking 1:05.

He won a half-marathon in 1:03:50 a week ago at
Champaign, Illinois, and “found myself winning this race,” he
said.

He said he liked the course, which starts Downtown, runs
through the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ends by
Military Park.

“It’s amazing here,” Mkungo said. “I love the people
cheering. It’s beautiful.”

Frank Shorter won the inaugural race in 1977, five years after
winning marathon gold at the Munich Olympics. Gabriel
Muchiri, a 27:48 runner at 10,000 meters, set a course record
in 2005. Scott Overall was third in 2007, five years before
representing Great Britain in the marathon at the London
Olympics.
WINNERS
Panuel Mkungo
May 9 - Sebastien Bourdais will have a special livery -
Geico has been an associate sponsor for him, but will be
primary sponsor for this race.
IndyCar Grand Prix
May 7 - Chicago Blackhawks goaltender and two-time
Stanley Cup champion
Corey Crawford will lead the field
to the green flag for the sixth annual IndyCar Grand Prix.

The pace car is a Corvette Grand Sport.
May 8 - Actor Justin Hartley, who stars in NBC's series
"This Is Us," will serve as honorary starter.

Hartley will wave the green flag at 3:30 p.m. (ET) to start
the 85-lap IndyCar race on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile IMS
road course.
IndyCar Grand Prix:  Official Entry List
Dan Wheldon Memorial Pro-Am Karting Challenge

May 5 - The Dan Wheldon Kart race was held for the fourth time at the 1-mile course at the New Castle Motorsports Park.  

The teams are sponsored and consist of one professional driver and three amateurs. The race lasts 2-hours.

Fourteen IndyCar drivers competed!

Susie Wheldon organized the event.  She said getting driver involvement was the easiest part of the process.

Colton Herta won the race.  Scott Dixon finished 2nd and Conor Daly came in third.
Grand Prix Spotters Guide
May 10 - Colton Herta's associate sponsor GESS
International is his main sponsor at this weekend's race.
GESS is a globally established renewable energy service
company with twenty-one years of energy efficiency and
renewable energy experience.
May 11 - RACE DAY  It was a cool day in the 50's &
60s.  Sprinkles began at the start of the race.

At the start, 19th-place
Pato OWard ran into the back of
17th-place
Alex Rossi which slammed him into the pit
wall severely upsetting his car.  He had to wobble around
the track and to the pits for repairs.  Rossi would spend the
day laps down, letting cars go around him and finishing last
among cars still running at the end.  O’Ward had to serve a
stop and go penalty for the “Avoidable Contact” with
Rossi.  At the front,
Jack Harvey got the jump on 5-time
champion
Scott Dixon to take 2nd place, as Felix
Rosenqvist
powered away in first from the pole.

On Lap 14, Ex-F1 driver
Marcus Ericsson spun heading
out of the infield toward the oval track and hit the outside
wall.  He had been in 10th place.  This was the end of his
race.  It brought out a full-course caution.

On the restart, leader Rosenqvist had to get hard on the
brakes at turn 1 and his teammate Dixon slipped by him
for the lead.   And right behind them, Harvey chopped off
Herta at turn 1, spinning him around.   As cars went by
avoiding Herta,
James Hinchcliffe charged into T1 out of
control and hit
Ryan Hunter-Reay, spinning him around
and into Herta.  (Hunter-Reay was sick this weekend.)
This brought out another full-course caution.

200-seconds of push to pass adds 60 horse-power.  It can
be used in 20-second increments.  Drivers were using it
early trying to get position.

Rosenqvist's car caught fire a few times in the pits, but he
took off anyway and the wind distinguished the flames.

Lap 45 - Harvey was catching Dixon, who led, with
Pagenaud coming up in third.

Lap 55 – Newgarden was leading over O’ward, Hinch-
cliffe, Dixon, Simon Pagenaud, and Harvey.  Track was
becoming slick due to rain sprinkles.

3-time Indy 500 Winner
Helio Castroneves has been
racing sportcars for Penske.  He is in Indy this month to
race in today’s IndyCar race and in the Indy 500.  He
didn’t have any luck today, finishing in the back 2-laps
down and only Rossi behind him.  He spun off course on
lap 59 after coming out of the pits.  It brought out another
full-course yellow.  Many cars pitted and switched from
slicks to rain tires as the sprinkles had turned into a light
rain.  Castroneves finally made it out of the sand and grass
and back onto the course.

Drivers who did not put on rain tires were soon back in the
pits for those tires.

Newgarden got a drive-through penalty because his pit
crew lost control of a wheel that rolled out into the pit lane.

With 22 laps to go,
Takuma Sato spun in turn 3 into the
grass.

Lap 16 - Pagenaud passed some cars moving into 4th.  
Foyt’s sophmore driver,
Matheist Leist, was in 3rd!

With 11 laps to go, Pagenaud got around Leist.  He then
went after 2nd place Harvey, who had never raced an
IndyCar in the rain before.

On Lap 6, Pagenaud got by Harvey going into turn 1.  

While Dixon had a large lead on him, Dixon’s tires were
worn out.  Pagenaud caught up with him and with 2 laps to
go, passed Dixon for the lead and the win!
Today began with many new drivers qualifying ahead of
veterans.  To my surprise, many finished in the top ten :
3rd – Jack Harvey  (MICHAEL SHANK RACING)
4th – Matheus Leist  (AJ FOYT RACING)
5th – Spencer Pigot (ED CARPENTER RACING)
6th – Ed Jones (ED CARPENTER RACING)
8th – Felix Rosenqvist (CHIP GANASSI RACING)
10th – Santino Ferrucci (DALE COYNE RACING)
Part-owner of a race team, David Letterman showed up today
A crowded Turn 1
Marcus Ericsson Crashed Out
Felix Rosenqvist - Team Chip Ganassi Racing
Colton Herta Got Spun in Turn 1
Simon Pagenaud, driving for Team Penske
Won his 3rd IndyCar Grand Prix
Jack Harvey had his best IndyCar race to date
INDY 500 NEWS
Tuesday May 14th                              DAY 1                  Rookie and Veteran Practice
May 14
May 15
May 16
May 17
May 18
May 19
May 20
May 24
Will Power
Josef Newgarden
Ed Jones
Conor Daly
Spencer Pigot
Simon Pagenaud
Simon Pagenaud
Tony Kanaan
229.745 mph
228.856 mph
226.699 mph
231.704 mph
230.083 mph
229.992 mph
228.441 mph
225.517 mph
Date
Driver
Speed
FASTEST LAP SPEED IN PRACTICE
May 15
May 15
May 16
May 17
May 18
Fernando Alonso
Felix Rosenqvist
Pato O'Ward
Kyle Kaiser
James Hinchcliffe
Crashed in Turn 3
Crashed in Turn 2
Crashed in Turn 2
Crashed in Turn 3
Crashed in Turn 2
PRACTICE MISHAPS THIS MONTH
He's ok
He's ok
He's ok
He's ok
He's ok
The speedway has put down some
type of new coating on the track's
surface which helps prevent tire
wear from the track's abrasive surface.
James Davison's Indy 500 helmet paying tribute to his grandfather Tony
Gaze
, WWII RAF Squadron leader, founder of Goodwood Motor Circuit
and Australia's first Formula 1 driver.
The helmet cam on NBSCN coverage is
cool!  I bet that's what this is.
Practicing at the track today Included these non-regular IndyCar drivers:
May 14 - The weather was fantastic today.  It was mostly
sunny, no wind or rain and temperature was in the 60s.

ALL 36 cars entered for the race made it out onto the
track today for the first day of Indy 500 practice!
Kaiser is racing in a limited
number of IndyCar races, as is
Ben Hanley (not pictured),
Helio Castroneves and
Charlie Kimball.
Wednesday May 15th                        DAY 2                              Open Practice
Kelly Clarkson will once again sing the National Anthem
before the start of the Indy 500.

Race Conditions at noon - 64-degrees, partly cloudy, wind
SW 12 mph.
12:30 pm - Fernando Alonso was following
behind
Graham Rahal, when he lost traction
in Turn 3.  A glancing blow spun him back-
wards into an inside wall.  He ricocheted back
across the track, the side lifting up in the air
briefly, and he smashed the left side of his car
into the outside wall.  It's likely he got caught
in dirty air off of Rahal's car and lost down-
force to his front wing.  

Alonso was quickly released from the infield
care center.  This was his first crash at the
Brickyard.  The cars this year have much
smaller wings and less downforce than they
had in 2017 when Alonso was last in the Indy
500.
Helio Castroneves
Charlie Kimball
FASTEST DRIVER OF THE DAY
239.745 mph
Will Power - Team Penske
5 pm - Felix Rosenqvist spun in turn 2, doing
a 360 before hitting the safer-barrier wall hard.  
As he rebounded back across the track,
Will
Power
went left, barely avoided hitting him.  
Jack Harvey went right to avoid him and
almost got hit by a piece of debris, which did
hit his rear wing.  One of Rosenquist's wheels
came off.  This was his first wreck on an oval.  
Rosenqvist had been following
Colton Herta.  
Rosenqvist went too low too soon into the
corner and got down below the line onto the
concrete which caused the spin.  He is ok.
Alonso Crash Video
Rosenqvist Crash Video
FASTEST DRIVER OF THE DAY
228.856 mph
Josef Newgarden - Team Penske
Ben Hanley, of Dragonspeed Racing, had an amusing ornament
on his IndyCar today.
Colton Herta not only drives for Harding
Steinbrenner Racing, he is in a band too.  
He began playing drums when he was 7.
He plays drums on this song:
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Monday
Friday
Sunday
May 14
May 15
May 16
May 17
May 18
May 19
May 20
May 24
May 26
INDEX
Thursday May 16th                        DAY 3                              Open Practice
Bryan Herta & Marco Andretti
Academy Award-winning actors Matt Damon and
Christian Bale will wave the green flag to start
The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

Damon and Bale are starring in the upcoming film
"FORD v FERRARI", the remarkable true story of the
visionary American car designer
Carroll Shelby
(Damon) and the fearless British driver Ken Miles
(Bale), who together battled corporate interference, the
laws of physics and their own personal demons to build
a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company and
take on the dominating race cars of
Enzo Ferrari at the
24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.
12:20 pm - Pato O/Ward crashed hard in Turn 2.  His car
almost flipped upside down.  He damaged the tub of the
car - will he be able to qualify?  He's ok.

1pm - 74-degrees, mostly cloudy

Nascar drive
Jimmie Johnson was at the speedway today.

4:30 pm - Practice stopped for incoming storm weather.

Every driver made it out on the track today except
Fernando
Alonso
.  

Sage Karam did the most laps today - 86.
Matt Damon
to play Caroll Shelby
Christian Bale
to play Ken Miles
Waving Green Flag at Indy 500
Pato O'Ward watches replay of his crash.
Friday May 17th                        DAY 4                              Fast Friday
The Indy cars get to dial in more boost for their turbos
during qualifying weekend.  The drivers and teams get
to run this higher boost today in order to get ready for
the weekend.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. To Drive 2019 Corvette Grand Sport
Pace Car, Lead Field to Green Flag of 103rd Indianapolis
500 presented by Gainbridge.
Temperatures are much higher today than they've been
previously this week.   81 degrees at 1:40 p.m.

Kyle Kaiser crashed hard in turn 3 and almost flipped
over.  The car is heavily damaged, the tub is completely
collapsed and he has no spare parts.  He also lost a
sponsor this week.  Terrible news for him and his small
Indy Lights team, Juncos Racing.  On the bright side, he
is uninjured.

About 2:30 pm, track action was stopped due to storms
in the area.  The storms passed by without hitting the
track. Practice will probably resume at 3:30pm.
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN TEAM
Takuma Sato, Graham Rahal, Jordan King, Bobby Rahal, Michael Lanigan
Join Mario Andretti tonight for a special screening of
the new documentary "Drive Like Andretti" at the
Indianapolis Museum of Art ("Newfields").  
If  you can't make it, the program will be televised on
NBCSN.
FASTEST DRIVER OF THE DAY
231.704 mph
Conor Daly - Andretti Autosport
Marco Andretti held the fastest speed all day until 6 p.m.
when
Conor Daly snatched it.
FASTEST DRIVER OF THE DAY
227.843 mph
Ed Jones - Ed Carpenter Racing
Saturday May 18th                        DAY 5                             First Day of Qualifying
It was already 72-degrees at 9 a.m.  It would climb into the
mid-80s.

Spencer Pigot from Ed Carpenter Racing qualified early
and had the fastest qualifying speed for the day. Tomorrow,
the fastest nine drivers from today will requalify to determine
the pole.  There is a good chance of rain tomorrow.  If it
rains out the Fast 9 Qualifying, then he's on pole and the
other fastest 8 drivers will start where they qualified today.

James Hinchcliffe (Arrow SPM) crashed hard in turn two
during his first qualifying attempt.  He was ok and would
keep trying to qualify later in a backup car, but it was setup
for road courses and they never got it fast enough to qualify
among the top 30 today.  He amazed everyone last year
when he also wrecked in qualifying and did not make it into
the race.

This time Hinch still has a chance.  The 6 slowest drivers
from today will battle it out tomorrow in another qualifying
session to take the last 3 open positions on the back row
of the grid.  Those drivers are:
Fernando Alonso -  McLaren
Pato O'Ward - Carlin
Max Chilton - Carlin
Sage Karam - Dreyer & Reinbold
Kyle Kaiser - Juncos

Note:
Pippa Mann made it in into the field!  She didn't fair
so well last year.

The average speed of field is 228.434 mph.
FASTEST DRIVER OF THE DAY
230.083 mph 4-Lap Average
Spencer Pigot - Ed Carpenter Racing
Sunday May 19th                        DAY 6                             2nd Day of Qualifying
Five slow drivers from yesterday who will have a shoot-
out today to get into the race came out and practiced this
morning:

228.125 mph  - James Hinchcliffe
228.082 mph  - Sage Karam
227.403 mph  - Max Chilton
224.821 mph  - Pato O'Ward
223.309 mph  - Fernando Alonso

Rain arrived bringing a stop to on track activities.
It stopped raining at 2:45 pm.
It will probably take 2 hours now to dry the track.
4:30 p.m. - Slow cars are back on the track making qualifying runs.

James Hinchcliffe does 227.543 mph 4-lap average.
Max Chilton does 226.192 mph.
Fernando Alonso does 227.353 mph.
Sage Karam does 227.470 mph, bumping Max Chilton out.
Pato O'Ward does 227.092 mph - He doesn't make the race.
Kyle Kaiser goes last.  He does 227.372!!!
Oh my God, Kaiser has knocked Fernando Alonso out of the
Indy 500 by 0.019 mph!  Unbelievable.
LAST ROW SHOOT OUT
FAST 9 SHOOT OUT
Fast 9 Qualifying began at 5 pm.

RESULTS:

4-Lap Avg        Driver                  
229.992 mph  - Simon Pagenaud
229.889 mph  - Ed Carpenter
229.826 mph  - Spencer Pigot
229.646 mph  - Ed Jones
229.086 mph  - Colton Herta
228.645 mph  - Will Power
228.621 mph  - Sebastien Bourdais
228.379 mph  - Josef Newgarden
228.247 mph  - Alexander Rossi
Team           
Team Penske
Ed Carpenter Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing
Harding Steinbrenner Racing
Team Penske
Dale Coyne Racing w/Vasser & Sullivan
Team Penske
Andretti Autosport
Pole Winner for the Indy 500
229.992 mph 4-Lap Average
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske
Sad Bumpees...
This is the closest starting field in
Indianapolis 500 history, by time.
Simon Pagenaud’s time was 1.8932
seconds quicker than the slowest
qualifier Pippa Mann.

This is the 18th Indianapolis 500 pole
for Team Penske.
Monday May 20th                        DAY 7                             Practice
Little Al got arrested at 1 a.m. this
morning west of Indy.  

The police said that after they pulled
him over for speeding in his Beetle,
he was so intoxicated that he fell and
rolled down an embankment!
Pato O'Ward
Carlin
Fernando Alonso
McLaren
Max Chilton
Carlin
Practice began at noon.  The weather is cool (59-degrees)
and mostly cloudy.
FASTEST DRIVER OF THE DAY
228.441 mph
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske
Points Available today to drivers
that qualify in the Fast Nine:

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 points
75-degrees, mostly cloudy
Kyle Kaiser
James Hinchcliffe
McLaren Leader Desperately Makes Excuses After Failing to Qualify for the Indy 500.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown fired Bob Fernley, the head
of the IndyCar operation, hours after
Fernando Alonso
missed the race.

Brown made these excuses:
1. They forgot to order a steering wheel so their first test in
April at Texas Motorspeedway was delayed half a day.

2. At the April test at IMS they had an electrical problem.  
The person responsible was fired.

3. They aligned themselves with the Carlin team, who
made their IndyCar debut in 2018.  This team was not
only inexperienced, they expanded their Indycar team
from two cars to three for the Indy 500, leaving them
little time to help McLaren.  (Only one of those three
Carlin cars even made it into the race.)  

Why did McLaren choose Carlin as their technical partner
instead of the experienced Andretti Autosport team, as
they had done in 2017?  Because Andretti runs Honda
engines.  McLaren had egotistically blamed Honda for
their terrible performance in Formula 1, hence angering
Honda.  McLaren's continued poor performance after
switching to Renault engines proved it was not all Honda's
fault.  But now, their bridges burned, McLaren were
stuck looking for a team with a Chevy engine whom they
could work with.

4.  The car they received from Carlin in April was not the
proper shade of orange.  When this back up car was
needed over a month later after Alonso crashed on the
2nd day of practice last week, it had still not been painted.  
This cost the team two full days of much needed practice.
5. He said he did not become heavily involved with the
project as he was busy trying to fix their F1 problems.  

6. He said he waited too long to give
Gil de Ferran
oversight of the IndyCar program.

7.  They'd purchased bad tire temperature sensors so did
not know they sent Alonso out to qualify with a punctured
tire on Saturday.  They didn't explain why they never
could get the car up to speed the rest of the day.

8. After not qualifying on Saturday, McLaren sought help
from other teams.  McLaren decided to setup the car
differently.  However, they did not convert cm to inches
correctly which caused the bottom of Alonso's car to
scrape the track.  Then it rained.

9. After the track was dried, they began trying to qualify
again, but with no success.  Brown says they later
discovered they had the wrong gear ratio setup.

Brown hinted that there would be more firings.

Brown says that none of their problems were caused by
arrogance. Then I suggest they start with a USF2000
team next year and spend a few years working their way
up to Indy Lights and try the Indy 500 after they've won
an Indy Lights championship, like Juncos did - the little
team that bumped them out of the race!
The right shade of orange didn't seem to help.
NBC's "Today" Show at IMS

May 23 - Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks spent the
morning encouraging people to invest time — and not
necessarily money — to help caretakers of military
veterans.

It's a realistic request, he said after wrapping up an hour of
co-hosting NBC's "Today" show at Indianapolis Motor
Speedway.

"You don't have to write a check," said Hanks, campaign
chair for the Hidden Heroes initiative of the Elizabeth Dole
Foundation. "You have to have a service you can provide.
I think anybody could just ponder some of the blessings
they have and pass it on."

The special "Today" telecast, which alternated between a
trackside stage and a pavilion east of the Pagoda on a rainy
morning, wrapped up two days of local Hidden Heroes
promotion by Hanks, former senator Dole and "Today"
anchor
Savannah Guthrie leading up to Memorial Day
weekend.

"Today" weather forecaster
Al Roker appeared at IMS
(telling the audience he thinks rain will "hold off" for
Sunday's Indianapolis 500), and
Sheryl Crow sang three
songs.
Friday May 24th                           DAY 8                                   Carb Day
Freedom 100 - Indy Lights Race

As usual, the Indy Lights race didn't disappoint.  As the
two lead cars raced for the finish line, I couldn't tell who
won.  It was literally a photo finish,  
Oliver Askew's car
was a foot ahead over his Andretti Autosport teammate
Ryan Norman as he crossed the finish line.

Askew won by .0067 second.   Surely it was the closest
finish ever, right?  Nope. 4th!

Starting second, Norman jumped to the lead quickly in
the No. 48 entry and appeared to have the dominant car.
Norman led 29 of 40 laps on the 2.5-mile oval.

But on the final lap, he attempted to run wide off of Turn
4 to stall the momentum of the charging Askew, who dove
inside instead and won the sprint to the finish.

Making his Indy Lights debut, Jarett Andretti spun on the
pace lap coming to the green flag, which put the first race
lap under yellow.

Then on the first lap,  
David Malukas spun entering
Turn 4 and collected
Chris Windom.  Windom’s car
climbed over Malukas and slid along the top of the
SAFER Barrier before coming to rest on the track. Scary!
Both drivers were ok.
FASTEST DRIVER OF THE DAY
225.517 mph
Tony Kanaan - AJ Foyt Enterprises
Some celebrities at the race:
• Matt Damon, Academy Award-winning actor, co-honorary starter
• Christian Bale, Academy Award-winning actor, co-honorary starter
• Kelly Clarkson, Grammy Award-winning singer, will perform national anthem before race
• Matthew Daddario, actor and "Shadowhunters" star
• Jackson Robert Scott, actor and "Criminal Minds" star
• Akbar Gbajabiamila, co-host of "American Ninja Warrior," co-honorary grand marshal
• Matt Iseman, co-host of "American Ninja Warrior," co-honorary grand marshal
• Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers forward
• Terrell Davis, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back, 1998 NFL Most Valuable Player
• Justin Gatlin, Olympic gold medalist and World Champion sprinter
• Ryan Tannehill , Tennessee Titans quarterback
• Jim Cornelison, singer, will perform "Back Home Again in Indiana" before race
• Chevel Shepherd, singer, winner of "The Voice," will perform "God Bless America" before race
• Matt and Kim, American indie electronic musicians
• Kevin Ray, bass player, American rock band Walk the Moon
• Jordan Kimball, model, "The Bachelorette" contestant
• Kevin Coleman, Red Bull Air Race World Championship pilot
• Michael Goulian, Red Bull Air Race World Championship pilot
• Henry and Irma Escontrias, World Champion Texas race fans :-)
Olver Askew
IndyCar Final Practice

The race cars preparing for the Indy 500 get
one last chance to tune and dial-in their cars -
on the Friday before the race, known as Carb
Day.

In the past, they have been given one hour to
practice.  This year the practice was being
expanded by a half-hour.  However, due to
rain earlier, the practice was postponed and
shortened 18-minutes while IMS finished
drying the track.

Tony Kanaan, the 22-year Indy car veteran
and 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner, posted the
fastest lap of the session in the No. 14 ABC
Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet.

A total of 1,755 laps were completed in the
practice.
The Pit Stop Challenge is a tradition on Carb Day that lets the pit crews get some glory.  
This year the racing surface was changed to make both lanes equal.  
(A new type of sealant was also applied to the entire track, turning it from gray to black,
which not only looks much better, but makes the track better for the drivers as well.)

The Arrow Schmidt Peterson Racing Team made it through the eliminations to win the
competition with driver
Marcus Ericsson.
Back in 2000, a new tradition began at the speedway - the Carb Day Concert.
That first show featured the band Smashmouth and the crowd filled the new Pagoda Plaza.
The concert continued growing and was soon too large to be held there.  The concert has been
moved around over the years from the center of the infield, to the area behind the museum and
recently to the 4th turn infield.

Kool and the Gang opened the show this year, followed by the band Foreigner.
I'm glad I brought a hat as the sun beat down during the whole concert with only a couple clouds
ever moving by to offer a few minutes of "shade."
Sunday May 26th                           DAY 9 - INDY 500                                  Race Day
Santino Ferrucci finished in 7th place and won Rookie of
the Year
.  He drives for Dale Coyne Racing.  Ferrucci's race
included a daring pass of
Tony Kanaan coming out of pit
road and a minor miracle when he avoided a crash in the
177th lap that claimed five cars ahead of him. The rookie in
the No. 19 Cly-Del Manufacturing Honda avoided the wreck
by swerving into the infield grass in the third turn to find
asphalt in the warmup lane before returning to the main track
out of the fourth turn.

The Other Rookies: Arrow Schmidt Peterson's Marcus
Ericsson
finished 23rd and Rahal Letterman Lanigan's
Jordan King finished 24th. Harding Steinbrenner Racing's
Colton Herta and DragonSpeed's Ben Hanley bowed out in
the first half of the race with mechanical problems and Chip
Ganassi Racing's
Felix Rosenqvist was swept up in the crash
that Ferrucci avoided.
His incredible win in the 103rd Indianapolis
500 will give
Simon Pagenaud immortality
when his face is added to the Borg-Warner
Trophy later this year.

Meantime, the Team Penske driver will have
to settle for a check for $2,669,529 from an
overall purse of $13,090,536 for his Indy 500
triumph at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 2016 IndyCar Series champion from
Montmorillon, France, captured his first
victory in Indy 500 in the No. 22 Menards
Team Penske Chevrolet.

He beat 2016 winner
Alexander Rossi to the
finish by .2086 of a second to score the
record-extending 18th Indy 500 victory for
Team Penske.

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

“I’m looking forward to getting a Corvette,”
Pagenaud said, referring to the fact he also
gets the 2019 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car as
part of his winnings. “That’s pretty cool. I
get a Corvette, wine color, burgundy. It was
meant to be I guess. I’m looking forward to
that.”
Santino Ferrucci and Dale Coyne
Simon Pagenaud
Tony George gave the command to start engines, a role his
mother
Mari used to perform before she passed away in
November. Mari was 11-years-old when her father, Tony
Hulman, purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1945.
Popular local racer Conor Daly again
visited the Snake Pit before the race.
Hollywood actors Christian Bale and Matt Damon
got to wave the green flag to start the Indy 500.
Even after a career- and family-best 10th-place finish at
the Indy 500, it was hard for
Conor Daly not to think
about what might have been.

“We really should have finished in the top five. It was a
shame the way it ended.”

Team owner
Michael Andretti had similar regrets after
Daly qualified 11th and climbed as high as fourth with 32
laps remaining. A late mechanical adjustment may have
cost Daly several places and left him vulnerable at the
final restart with 18 laps to go.

Instead, Daly slid from sixth to 10th when he got stuck
between first and second gear on the final restart.

Daly's father,
Derek Daly, raced in six Indy 500s from
1983-89, topping out at 12th in 1985.

“No idea how IndyCar put (Takuma) Sato in front of
us,” on the final restart, Daly said. “Never saw him the
whole race before that last restart.”

Coincidentally, during the Awards Banquet the following
night, Sato said he thought he was a couple laps down
toward the end of the race and was told on the radio that
he was in the top 10.  

Was there a scoring error?  If so, I hope Taco has cashed
that $540,000 check he got for 3rd-place!
Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
drove the Pace Car
during the pace laps.

Sarah Fisher drove
the Pace Car during
caution periods.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. laughing it
up with Mario Andretti.  
Takuma Sato Congratulates The Winner
How Did Takuma Sato Beat Conor Daly?
I examined the lap charts for this debrief:
Sato started the race in 13th.  He quickly moved up to 11th.
Last to pit, he led laps 36-37, but dropped back to 19th after
his pit stop, it must have been a bad one.
On the next lap Sata drops back to 23rd, then 28th, so he pits
again!  He returned a lap down and in 31st (2nd to last)
He pits again on lap 76 and retains his 26th position.
He pits earlier than everyone, on lap 98.
During the next pitting session, he gets his lap back and pits on
lap 145. He came out in 19th and quickly worked his way up
to 17th.  He quickly races up to 7th!  
Sato came into the pits on lap 180, directly behind Daly, who
was also pitting.  Sato's team got him out in front of Daly.
By lap 191 Sato has raced his way up to 3rd.
Meanwhile, Daly dropped from 6th to 10th over the last 20 laps.
Takuma Sato made 8 pit stops to finish in third.

The other top drivers made just 6 pit stops, as did
Conor Daly.
Tom Hanks says help our veterans' caregivers.
Sheryl Crow played three songs.
Elizabeth Dole
Hulman Co. Sells Clabber Girl

May 15 - Tony Hulman, who bought the Indianapolis
Motor Speedway in 1945, came from the family that
created Clabber Girl baking powder over a hundred year's
ago.

His only daughter passed away last November.  Now her
children and grandchildren have control of Hulman Company
and therefor IndyCar and IMS.

I've recently wondered about what would happen if some
people in this extended family began vying for more money.  
Could they end up selling the speedway?  What would
happen to it if it were took over by some conglomerate?

So, I was alarmed to hear they've already sold off their core
brand to some conglomerate.  
Niki Lauda Dead at 70

May 21 - Niki Lauda, the Austrian racecar driver who
won three world championships in Formula One, and was
regarded as one of the greatest racing drivers of all time,
died on Monday in Zurich. He was 70.

His F1 championships were in 1975, 1977 and 1984.

He is best known for surviving a fiery crash at the
Nurburgring in 1976 where he suffered bad burns to his
head.  His ordeal and quick return to racing are the
subject of the 2013
Ron Howard film "Rush."

Lately we could watch him on TV at currrent F1 races
as he was non-executive Chairman of the Mercedes F1
team.
Niki Lauda 1975
Niki Lauda with driver Lewis Hamilton in 2018