May 2012
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Back Home in Indiana....Not
May 2 - Jim Nabors is having heart surgery at the end of this month.  Consequently he will not be able to attend the Indy 500 and sing "Back Home
Again".  The baritone also missed the race in 2007 due to his health.   Nabors is most famous for his role of Gomer Pyle in the 1960's comedy TV show.  
He has become a beloved tradition at the 500 when he flies in from Hawaii and sings the Indiana song during opening ceremonies at the 500.  Another
singer who has become a tradition is
Florence Henderson (from the Brady Bunch) who sings "God Bless America" at the beginning of the race.
Jim Nabors first visited the
speedway back in 1971 or 72
as a guest of Mr. Harrah.  
Tony Hulman saw him and
asked him if he'd like to sing
"the" song.  He said yes and
assumed he was going to
sing the National Anthem.

WIth 5 minutes to go, he
found out different and said
"I'm from Alabama!". He
jotted the lyrics down on his
hand and the rest is history.
AJ Foyt IV Adds Golf Event to May Calendar
May 2 - A celebrity golf tournament will be held Tuesday, May 22
at the Brickyard golf course.  The event is sponsored by Foyt
Family Wines and proceeds go to charity.  

To find out how you can participate, visit Web Site
2012 Official Logo
American Driver Misses Portugal MotoGP
May 5 - During qualifying for the MotoGP Grand Prix of Portugal,
Randy De Puniet crashed and slid into American
Colin Edwards causing him to crash.  

Edwards suffered a broken left collar bone and had to have
surgery.  De Puniet hurt his fingers but will race.

Casey Stoner won the pole.
2012 Pace Car Revealed
May 9 - I was not surprised to hear the Chevrolet Corvette was
again chosen to pace the Indy 500.  However, what I found
surprising was that they will be using the ZR1 model.  It's 638 h.p.
may make it as powerful as an IndyCar!

As you can see, there is not much to the graphics.  I do not
suppose there are many ZR1 buyers who want a pace car.  Also,
since these cars cost 6 figures, I don't think you're going to see
50 of these things running around town as festival cars.  Hopefully
the festival cars will have a more exciting paiint job.  

The pace car driver has yet to be announced.
The 2013 Corvette celebrates the 60th year of mark.
Rookies Prepare for Indy
May 11 - Wednesday was opening practice for the rookie

Drivers who have not race in Indy ever or in a long time must
pass Rookie Orientation before they can participate in the Indy
500.  They must run 10 laps consistently at 200-205 mph; then
15 laps at 205-210 mph and finally 15 Laps at 210 mph-plus.

Thursday six drivers completed the three required speed
phases of Rookie Orientation:

Josef Newgarden    - Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing
Bryan Clauson          - Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing
James Jakes             - Dale Coyne Racing
Simon Pagenaud      - Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports
Rubens Barrichello  - KV Racing Technology
Michel Jourdain Jr.  - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Wade Cunningham of A.J. Foyt Racing completed two of the
three phases. He, along with
Jean Alesi of Fan Force United,
can complete the final phase when ROP resumes at 4:30 p.m

Jakes set the fastest lap of the session, running a lap of
41.2338 seconds, 218.268 mph in the No. 19 Boy Scouts of
America Honda.

“I have mixed memories of this place,” Jakes said. “Obviously I
love driving around here. There’s no place like it, but going
home last year was probably one of the lowest points of my
racing career. I’ve never not been able to get into a race
before, and it really got to me last year. But we said this year
we wouldn’t be in the same situation, and we’ve started things
the right way. It’s only ROP, but we sailed through the first three
stages and it went well.

F1 star Rubens Barrichello said, "“I enjoyed today very much.  I
want to thank IndyCar for having the ROP (Rookie Orientation
Program) session.  It allows you to progress gradually without
too much pressure, so I was at ease with my car and the whole
Boost levels increased for Indy 500
May 11 -  IndyCar announced today that turbocharger boost
levels will increase for “Fast Friday” and the two days of
qualifications for the Indianapolis 500.

The standard boost level of 130 kPa (kilopascals) for
superspeedways will be upped to 140 kPa for the May 18
practice session, Pole Day on May 19 and Bump Day on May
20. The increase will result in the addition of 40-50 horsepower.
New IndyCar SuperSpeedway Chassis Debuts
The boost level will be 130 kPa for all other practice days and
Race Day on May 27.

IndyCar set boost levels for the Borg-Warner single and twin
turbochargers utilized by Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus before
the season based on testing. It also will be 130 kPa for the
superspeedways of Auto Club Speedway and Texas Motor
Speedway.  The boost level for the short ovals of the Milwaukee
Mile and Iowa Speedway is 140 kpa, while it’s 155 kpa for road
and street circuits
Williams F1 Team's Great and Terrible Day
May 14 - Thirty-one people were injured and seven were
hospitalized after a fire erupted inside Formula One team
Williams' garage after driver
Pastor Maldonado won the
Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.

Williams confirmed that a fuel leak caused the problem, with
four of its staff members treated for injuries.

The fire erupted soon after Maldonado and the team had taken
the traditional victory photo in front of the team garage, with
members of all teams close by rushing to help contain the blaze.

Williams team principal
Frank Williams, who is a paraplegic,
was rushed from his wheelchair as he was giving a celebratory
speech for a first F1 victory in eight years that coincided with
the longtime team principal's 70th birthday celebrations.

Williams driver
Bruno Senna's car was torched by the blaze,
while Maldonado's car was alongside fellow podium finishers'
cars away from the Williams garage.
Pace Car Driver Is Going to Cook it
The pace car driver will be celebrity chef Guy Fieri.
He collects classic cars and features his own red 1967 Chevy
Camaro SS Convertible on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Guy
also owns a 1971 Chevy Chevelle, 1968 Pontiac Firebird, 1976
Jeep CJ-5, 1996 Chevy Impala SS, 2004 Cadillac Escalade and
a 1967 Chevy C10 pickup[
Grease Is The Word
Four-time Grammy Award winning singer Olivia Newton-John
has been named grand marshal of the 55th 500 Festival
Parade.  It will be held on Saturday, May 26 in downtown

Newton-John also will give the command to start engines for the
Indy Lights Freedom 100 race Friday, May 25. Her nephew
Emerson Newton-John is making his debut in the series in
the race.

Olivia Newton-John also will walk the red carpet on Race
Morning before the 96th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 27.
Saturday May 12 - Twenty-six drivers have been on the track to
date and turned 693 laps today and 693 laps this month.

Josef Newgarden turned 46 laps today, most of any driver.
There were six cautions for a total of 32 minutes today.    
Newgarden also had the fastest lap today.

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner
Dario Franchitti has
switched car numbers from No. 10 to No. 50 for his Target Chip
Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone during the 96th
Indianapolis in honor of Target’s 50th anniversary in 2012.
Target and team owner
Chip Ganassi have partnered together
for nearly half of those 50 years. TCGR was established in
1990, as the 2012 season is the 23rd year of partnership
between the two organizations.
<<<<< DAY 1 - OPENING DAY >>>>>>>
<<<<< DAY 2 - PRACTICE >>>>>>
Sunday May 13 - Wade Cunningham turned 58 laps today,
most of any driver. There were five cautions for a total of 51
minutes today.
Sebastian Saavedra turned the fastest lap

1996 Indianapolis 500 winner
Buddy Lazier is at the track this
weekend, helping rookie
Jean Alesi learn more for his oval-
racing debut.
BUDDY LAZIER: “It’s so cool, the month of May, Opening Day
and now the second day, and these new cars look like a lot of
fun. And for a race driver it is really fun to sort out a new car
because there are so many different things you can play with,
so it is hard to watch. It is just too painful for me to watch. When
it isn't painful anymore, then it is probably time (to walk away).
But it looks like too much fun, and I would just love to be out
there driving. Obviously, and at my age I'm still very open to
driving a few more years, especially here at Indianapolis
because it is such a special place.” (Are you looking for a
ride?): “Yeah, sort of. But it is late, and there isn't a lot of
equipment. But trust me, if someone is looking for someone to
put in a race car, I would love to be the one, that is for sure.”
(About working with Jean Alesi, Lotus and Fan Force United
team): “Yes, I am here in an official capacity helping out. A
friend of mine put this together so I am helping out. But I am
also talking to other guys, as well. But there just isn't a lot of
equipment floating around. It's a new year with new cars and
new motors, so there isn't a lot of excess equipment. But you
never know; I'm here.”
Monday May 14 - James Jakes turned 76 laps today, most of
any driver. There were three cautions for a total of 31 minutes
today.  Josef Newgarden had the fastest lap today.

A crew member usually sits in a race car and steers when it is
towed back and forth from Gasoline Alley to the pits during
Indianapolis 500 practice. But rookie
Jean Alesi is staying in
the No. 64 Lotus-FP Journe-Fan Force United Lotus at all times
this month – both on the track and when it is towed back and
forth from the garage to the pits.

TED BITTING (Team Manager, Lotus Fan Force United): “We
have to have somebody steering the car when it is being towed.
Drivers don't normally do that. In my experience, drivers don't
want to do that. Unfortunately, none of our crew is able to fit in
Jean’s seat, so he ends up having to do it. Besides, he needs
to break in his seat, so the more time he spends in it, the
better. Jean is great to work with and does everything we ask
him to do. He has a great attitude.”

JEAN ALESI: “This is what the team has asked me to do, so this
is what I am doing. At the same time, I am happy to spend as
much time in my seat as possible, so that I can break it in. I am
enjoying my time here very much. I am enjoying being able to
talk to the fans, to sign autographs and pictures of my race
cars from quite a few years ago. Everything here is very much
different from what I have experienced, and I am liking it quite a
lot. Of course, I have heard about the Indy 500 from many of
my friends who have raced here over the years, so being here
and finally doing it myself is very exciting. I am finally beginning
to understand why they were always so excited.

Alesi may be a rookie at the speedway, but he raced in Formula
One from 1989 to 2001 where he had a ton of top 5 finsihes,
but only one win, at the 1995 Canadian gp.

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports
Honda): “This process is interesting, but I’m learning every
session. The car is plenty fast, and we actually improved a lot
today. I’m really happy with the race car. We’re getting closer to
what we need. Right now, it’s just me learning how to shift, when
to shift, when to tow, when to draft, when to pass and when to
be aggressive and when to be a little more gentle with my
hands. Man, there are so many things. Remember, I’ve never
been on an oval before. Every single lap is a discovery. I really
had fun tonight, running in traffic, running with Justin, running
with the Penskes. The car was really dialed in, so it was really
<<<<< DAY 3 - PRACTICE >>>>>>
Jean Alesi
Sebastian Saavedra
Josef Newgarden
Simon Pagenaud
<<<<< DAY 4 - PRACTICE >>>>>>
Tuesday May 15 - James Jakes turned 100 laps today, most
of any driver. There were five cautions for a total of 45 minutes
today. Marco Andretti had the fastest lap.

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team RC Cola Chevrolet): “I’m
really pleased with where we are at with the race car so far. I
have just been really working on the car in a pack, and just
trying to stay flat in traffic. We have the car to the point now
that I am confident to say we would be the ones to beat if the
race was today.

(About differences in drafting this year compared to previous
years): “These things, it is just obvious looking at them, they
poke a huge hole in the air. I think it is going to be great for the
fans, man. I don’t think anybody is going to be able to lead for
more than a couple of laps because the leader is just a sitting
duck. You get such a great tow. There is going to be a lot of
passing. The thing I am concerned about is the last minute
because what happens is you get a decent tow, but then that
last couple of car lengths, it really sucks you in, so a lot of guys
are going to be, ‘No, I can’t get him, can’t get him’. Then they
are going to feel that, and they are going to be doing last-
minute dive-bombs. That will be interesting, but you just have to
be heads-up. That’s all.”
Marco Andretti
<<<<< DAY 5 - PRACTICE >>>>>>
Wednesday May 16 - Rubens Barrichello turned 114 laps
today, most of any driver. There were five cautions for a total of
41 minutes today.  Josef Newgarden was not only the fastest
again, he became the first driver to make contact with the wall

Newgarden did two full counter-clockwise spins exiting Turn 4
and tapped the inside retaining wall with his left front wheel,
nose and left rear wheel before the car spun a half-turn
clockwise and stopped on the front straightaway. Newgarden
was ok and climbed from car without assistance.  There was
light damage to his car.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: “You don’t get many lucky breaks
around this place, and I think I just got one. The guys have
done a great job putting together such a good car, and I don’t
want to hurt the thing. I’ll try to learn what happened and why
the thing got around on me. Everyone’s trying to figure out the
race car around this place, and obviously I have a little more
work to do. We were old on our tire run and trying to run as far
as possible to see how the car reacts, and I think it’s just
difficult to run in the tow, and today I got bit by it a little.”
Hinchcliff, Andretti, Beatrix, Hunter-Reay
Josef Newgarden spinning
<<<<< DAY 6 - PRACTICE >>>>>>
Thursday May 17 - Michel Jourdain Jr. turned 92 laps today,
most of any driver. There were three cautions for a total of 22
minutes today.  
Scott Dixon was fastest today.

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It’s
nice, I think we’ve taken this week a little slower. We didn’t have
the speed; these speeds are all big tows, so it doesn’t really
matter much. For us, we’re just working on the race car, and I
think we’ve made big improvements on how it feels. For me, I
feel happy because we made the car feel a lot nicer to drive,
and especially in traffic it pulls up better, I think. Tomorrow and
Saturday are going to be totally different stories to see who’s
got what out there by themselves, so that will be interesting.
[because tomorrow the teams can use more turbo boost.] But
all in all, I think Honda and Team Target are doing pretty well.”

INDYCAR, the sanctioning body for the IZOD IndyCar Series,
confirmed today that it has approved an engine partner change
for Dragon Racing.

The team will transfer from Lotus to Chevrolet power for the
entries driven by
Sebastien Bourdais and Katherine Legge.
The change is effective immediately.

Lotus and Dragon Racing have worked together to find a
solution they are both happy with.

INDYCAR officials will made provisions for Legge to begin the
Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program today and by the
end of the day she had passed.  Bourdais also needed to
complete an Indianapolis 500 refresher program because the
only time he raced in the Indy 500 was in 2005.

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 7 Dragon Racing Chevrolet): “It’s
great to be back, but if you had asked me that this morning, I
would have had a different answer. We had something that
completely messed the car up, and it made for the toughest car
that I’ve ever driven. We struggled to run 209, and I wasn’t
really comfortable at all. I’m just glad we found the reason and
now we are good to go. The car is easy to drive and has a
good balance. We can drive flat out and not even think about,
which is what you want around here. Pretty happy with that.”
<<<<< DAY 7 - FAST FRIDAY >>>>>
Friday May 18 - Scott Dixon turned 60 laps today, most of any
driver. There were four cautions for a total of 36 minutes today.
Marco Andretti turned the fastest lap today.

Following six days of practice totaling 35 sun-splashed hours
on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it’s time for teams to
literally switch gears.

INDYCAR approved an increase in the turbocharger boost level
for “Fast Friday” and the time trials for the Indianapolis 500
from 130 kPa (kilopascals) to 140 kPa. The increase will add 40-
50 horsepower to the 2.2-lter, turbocharged V-6 engines
supplied by Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus, resulting in an
increase of 4-5 mph per lap.

The boost level will be returned to 130 kPa for the 200-lap race
May 27.

1963 Indianapolis 500 winner
Parnelli Jones visited the track
today. This is the 50th anniversary of Jones turning the first
150-mph lap at IMS, when he won the pole for the 1962
Indianapolis 500.

PARNELLI JONES: (What do you think of the 2012 car design?)
“I think they’re safer than the cars last year. I think that was
very important. I think they’ve done some great things to make
them safer. I think with these cars having so much ground
effects that they’re pretty easy to drive. It appears that way to
me. Not that it doesn’t take talent to drive these cars in the first
place, but I think one of these days we’ll get the car to where
you have to back off at the end of the straightaway a little bit
and put a little more emphasis into the driver and not so much
into the car.” (Didn’t you go through a transitional phase when
you were a driver, as well?) “We went through a transition, too,
with the front-engine roadsters to the rear-engine cars. I even
drove the side car, which was the turbine (powered) car. So I’ve
had it all the way around. Of course, I’ve been here many years
as a car owner, too, with Al Unser Sr., winning here a couple of
times. So it has changed over the years, and it’s hard to go
backward, but we need to find ways to just make racing safer
and more entertaining.” (Do you enjoy coming back to the
famed 2.5-mile oval?) “It’s like a reunion, so to speak. Every
year I come back. I used to like it really well when the
(Speedway) hotel was here. I had closed-circuit in the room,
and I could know everything going on at the track. Also, I could
jump out and play golf when I wanted. I didn’t realize how good I
had it. Now we stay downtown at a great hotel, the J.W. Marriott.
I enjoy coming back and being with my friends and seeing all of
my friends.”

Sam Schmidt and Davey Hamilton, co-owners of Schmidt
Hamilton Motorsports, surprised their driver,
Simon Pagenaud,
with a surprise birthday cake this morning in the garage area. A
contingent of race fans and members of the media sang “Happy
Birthday” to Pagenaud as he received his cake from the team
owners. Pagenaud turned 28 today.
Katherine Legge
Scott Dixon
Parnelli Jones - 1962 Pole 150 mph
Marco Andretti
<<<<< DAY 8 - POLE DAY >>>>>
Saturday May 19 - Today is the first day of qualifying.  22
Drivers will make the field today.  The 9 fastest will have a
shoot-out at the end of the day to determine the pole winner
and where they will start the Indianapolis 500 next weekend.

Indianapolis 500 Pole Day qualifying procedures:
Order – A blind draw was conducted Friday after practice.
Warm-up laps – Each car is permitted two warm-up laps
Green-flag laps – A qualification attempt consists of four timed
laps. The average time is the official qualifying time for the car.
On Pole Day, qualifying is broken down into two segments,
progressively narrowing the field to determine the pole winner.

Segment One – Held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., to determine
positions 1-24 in the field based on the fastest four-lap
averages. Once all 24 positions have been filled, bumping will
occur until 4 p.m. Each car has up to three qualifying attempts.
The top nine qualifiers advance to Segment Two.

Segment Two – Held from 4:30 to 6 p.m., the top nine cars will
run in reverse order based on Segment One speeds. All cars
are required to make at least one attempt in Segment Two.
Cars making additional attempts will receive an additional set of
tires. At the end of the session, the cars are ranked 1-9 based
on their four-lap average during the segment.

Indianapolis 500 veteran
Ed Carpenter talked this morning
about the pressure of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.
Carpenter is the owner-driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed
Carpenter Racing Chevrolet.

ED CARPENTER: “Qualifying at the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway is more stressful for me than the race itself. I get
more anxiety for qualifying, especially if you have a car that can
make the front row. Or now you have a chance to make the Top
Nine Shootout on the first day. There just is much at stake then.
We are trimmed out so much with the qualifying setup
compared to the race setup. Especially when you are on the
edge with a chance for the front row or the shootout, you take
so many more risks. You are trying to get out just little things on
the car to pick up tenths of a mile per hour. You are usually
separated by the smallest amount on qualifying days. So it is
very stressful for the drivers. Those morning practices on Pole
Day when the track is much cooler than during the afternoon
qualifying runs can be very intense. If you can go out and put
together four good qualifying speeds, that is one of the most
rewarding times of the month.”

During morning practice, Helio Castroneves was the only driver
to go over 227 mph lap speed.

Three cars hit the wall today during qualifying but the drivers
did not get hurt.  They were
Bryan Clauson, Oriol Servia and
Ed Carpenter.  They will have to fix their cars tonight and
prepare to qualify tomorrow on Bump Day.

Only one Honda-powered car made the Fast Nine, Sarah
Fisher Racing's driver
Josef Newgarden.  All of the other cars
are powered by Chevrolet.

Ryan Briscoe qualified first with speeds in the 226 mph range.  
James Hinchcliffe came out later and ran some faster laps,
bringing the crowd to its feet.  But his speed slackened off and
he lost the pole on the last two turns of his 4-lap run.

The time differential of 0.0023 of a second is the closest 1-2 in
race qualifying history (equivalent to 9.168 inches over the four
laps). The 1970 time trials yielded a difference of 0.01 of a
second between pole winner
Al Unser (3:31.49) and Johnny

"Yeah, the smallest of margins; it’s heartbreaking in a sense,"
said Hinchcliffe, who recorded the best lap of the session
(39.6591 seconds on Lap 1 of his second attempt). “I’m going
to lose a little bit of sleep over how small that margin was to
Ryan and knowing that we had it there for three laps, but you
know that’s Indy. It’s a gust of wind, it’s a shadow over a corner
that changes and that can be the difference.

"But at the end of the day we get to start on the front row of the
Indy 500, and that’s just the coolest thing ever. At the end of
the day it’s a great result for us."

Briscoe is the first Australian to sit on the pole at Indianapolis
Scott Dixon was born in Australia but claims New Zealand as
his homeland). It's the 17th pole start for team owner
at the Speedway.

"A week ago I didn't think we'd have a shot for the pole," said
Briscoe, whose best Indy 500 finish is fifth in 2007 (his only
IZOD IndyCar Series race of the season).

Briscoe and Hinchcliffe, competing in his second Indy 500, will
be joined on the front row for the 200-lap race May 27 by
(226.240). It's the first time brothers-in-law
(Hunter-Reay and
Robby Gordon) have started on the front

Four different teams are represented on the front three rows.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates
Scott Dixon and
Dario Franchitti, who have three Indy 500 wins between them,
will start 15th and 16th, respectively.

Sebastian Saavedra, who will “do the double” of competing in
the Freedom 100 and Indy 500 for the second time, cracked
the top 24 with one minute left in Segment One. His four-lap
average speed of 222.811 mph bumped
Wade Cunningham
to Bump Day.
Chevrolet rules the first two rows.
Parnelli Jones lapped the speedway today in his 1962 racer
Ryan Briscoe
Team Penske
226.484 mph
James Hinchcliffe
Andretti Autosport
226.481 mph
Ryan Hunter-Reay
Andretti Autosport
226.240 mph
Marco Andretti
Andretti Autosport
225.456 mph
Will Power
Team Penske
225.422 mph
Helio Castroneves
Team Penske
225.172 mph
Josef Newgarden
Sarah Fisher Racing
224.037 mph
Tony Kanaan
KV Racing
224.751 mph
E.J. Viso
KV Racing
224.422 mph
Rubens Barrichello
KV Racing
224.264 mph
Alex Tagliani
Bryan Herta Autosport
224.000 mph
Graham Rahal
Ganassi Racing
223.959 mph
Ana Beatriz
Conquest Racing
223.920 mph
Charlie Kimball
Ganassi Racing
223.868 mph
Scott Dixon
Ganassi Racing
223.684 mph
Dario Franchitti
Ganassi Racing
223.582 mph
James Jakes
Dale Coyne Racing
223.482 mph
JR Hildebrand
Panther Racing
223.422 mph
Takuma Sato
Rahal Letterman Racing
223.392 mph
Townsend Bell
Sam Schmidt Motorsports
223.134 mph
Justin Wilson
Dale Coyne Racing
222.929 mph
Michel Jourdain
Rahal Letterman Racing
222.893 mph
Simon Pagenaud
Schmidt Hamliton Racing
222.891 mph
Sebastian Saavedra
AFS Racing
222.811 mph
Sebastien Bourdais
Dragon Racing
223.760 mph
Wade Cunningham
AJ Foyt Racing
223.258 mph
Oriol Servia
Panther Racing
222.393 mph
Ed Carpenter
Ed Carpenter Racing
222.324 mph
Mike Conway
AJ Foyt Racing
222.319 mph
Katherine Legge
Dragon Racing
221.624 mph
Bryan Clauson
Sarah Fisher Racing
Simona de Silvestro
HVM Racing
214.393 mph
Jean Alesi
Fan Force United
210.094 mph
Oriol Servia
James Hinchcliffe Missed Pole by Closest Margin Ever
He still won $50,000 for 2nd place

INDYCAR FANS - Go vote for Hinchcliffe over Danica at
Ryan Briscoe Collects $100,000 for Pole Position
Bryan Clauson
All five Andretti Autosport
drivers achieved
career-best Indianapolis
500 starting spots this year.
3-Time Indy 500 Winners:

Louis Meyer
Wilbur Shaw
Mauri Rose
Johnny Rutherford
Bobby Unser
Helio Castroneves
The teams cannot buy the
Firestone tires they race
with at Indy.  

They lease them for
$2,500 a set.  

They last about
80 miles.
4-Time Indy 500 Winners:

A.J Foyt
Al Unser
Rick Mears
Carb Day Concert
It looks like the speedway has moved the stage
for the Carb Day concert slightly, to aim at a
angle toward the NW.

This year the remains of the best Southern Rock
band of all time will be performing -
Lynyrd Skynyrd.

In 1977, a plane crash killed band members
Ronnie Van Zant (lead singer), Steve Gaines and
sister Cassie Gaines among others.  The rest of
the band was injured, but survived.

The band formed again in 1987 for a tribute
concert with Ronnie's brother Johnny filling in as
lead singer.  However, the band has continued to
perform ever since.  

Over the years, other members died and today
the only original member left is Gary Rossington.
Johnny Van Zant is still their singer.
2012 Indianapolis 500 Race Results
Dario Becomes Three-time Winner
May 27 - Dario Franchitti, the 2007 and 2010 Indy 500
champion, won a memorable race Sunday that included a
record 35 lead changes. He overcame a spin after his first pit
stop that dropped him into last place and then, hours later,
won an exhilarating last-lap duel with the Japanese driver
Takuma Sato.

Sato tried to dart to the inside of Franchitti’s red Honda
racecar entering the first turn of the two-and-a-half-mile oval,
but Sato lost control of his car, spun and thudded into the
white outside wall, scuffing it with a long streak of tire rubber.
Franchitti kept his foot on the gas.

He won under caution, crossing the finish line ahead of
, his Target Chip Ganassi teammate, and the
gregarious Brazilian driver
Tony Kanaan, who had taken the
lead earlier with an audacious pass that carried him past four

The Indianapolis 500 victory was the fifth for
Chip Ganassi,
the owner of Franchitti’s car, who was not so happy the
previous weekend after Dixon and Franchitti qualified poorly
for the race. Dixon, the 2008 Indy 500 champion, started
15th on Sunday, one spot ahead of Franchitti.

But it became clear early in the race that Honda-powered
cars were getting better fuel mileage than Chevrolet-powered
Marco Andretti, in a Chevy, led 59 of the first 90 laps
but dropped back into the pack when he made an early pit
stop, ceding the lead to Dixon. After Franchitti clambered
back to the front after spinning out on his initial pit stop, he
and Dixon stayed there.

Andretti spent the rest of the day grumbling on his radio as
he tried to get back into contention. After Kanaan startled
everyone by simultaneously passing four cars for an early
lead, then grabbing the lead back from Franchitti with 13 laps
to go, Andretti spun out and hit the wall in Turn 1, crumpling
his car. The Andretti family is now 1 for 66 in the Indy 500.

“It wasn’t over by any means at that point,” Andretti said,
referring to the moment before the spin.

Sato, a 35-year-old native of Tokyo who drives for Rahal
Letterman Lanigan Racing, started 19th but took the lead for
the first time on the 119th lap, then regained it twice after

While Dixon and Franchitti traded the lead eight times in the
span of 19 laps, Sato hung close. A driver from Japan has
never won the Indy 500. Sato finally took a shot at victory,
but Kanaan said he probably waited too long.

“You do not play Dario like that,” Kanaan said of Sato. “He
should know better than that. I think it was a young driver
mistake. That’s going to haunt him a little bit.”

Ganassi said he thought Franchitti would have passed Sato
for the lead anyway — maybe on the back straightaway —
had Sato been able to make that bold pass. Ganassi said he
was not that concerned. Franchitti was more experienced,
and he was driving a faster car.

The weather reached a near-high 91 degrees.  The 1937
race was the hottest Indy 500 in history.
But Sunday’s clash will surely become part of Indy 500 lore.
Franchitti said he thought of the thrilling moment on the next-
to-last lap of the 1989 race here, when Emerson Fittipaldi
clipped Al Unser Jr., spinning him into the wall in Turn 3 and
producing a victory for Fittipaldi.

“Turn 1 was the trickiest corner,” Franchitti said. “If you went
in with a tight line, it tended to get a bit loose.”

He later took another ride through Turn 1 at a much slower
speed, on the back of a convertible with his wife and Susie
Wheldon. Dan Wheldon liked to wear white sunglasses, and
Franchitti made sure to wear a pair, too.
Spun coming out of T4 clipped inside wall. He's ok.
Heavy impact in T1 to back left of car. He's ok.
Spun out of T4, hit retaining & pit wall. He's ok.
Heavy hit in T2. He's ok.
Heavy hit in T1. He's ok.
Josef Newgarden
Bryan Clauson
Oriol Servia
Ed Carpenter
Charlie Kimball
May 16
May 19
May 19
May 19
May 20
CRASHES DURING MAY (not including race)
220.250 mph
221.526 mph
222.486 mph
223.676 mph
222.785 mph
223.088 mph
227.540 mph
226.9 mph
Josef Newgarden
Sebastian Saavedra
Josef Newgarden
Marco Andretti
Josef Newgarden
Scott Dixon
Marco Andretti
James Hinchcliffe
May 12
May 13
May 14
May 15
May 16
May 17
May 18
May 19