How the Young Guns Have Done this Year:
RESULTS  OF FAST 9 QUALIFYING
May 2021 News
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Bobby Unser Dead at 87

May 3 - The Unser family is the winnigest racing family at
the Indy Motor Speedway.  Today, Bobby Unser died of
natural causes at his home in Albuquerque NM at age 87.

Bobby Unser and two of his brothers began racing in 1955.  
His brother Jerry died at the 1959 Indy 500.

Besides winning in IndyCar, the Unser family was also
legendary at the Pike Peak's Hill Climb.

Bobby won the IndyCar national championship in 1968
and 1974.  He won the Indianapolis 500 in three different
decades - 1968, 1975 and 1981.  

Bobby is 5th on the list of retired IndyCar drivers with
most wins - 35 wins in 263 IndyCar races.
1968
1975
1981
36 Entries for Indy 500

May 11 - 35 IndyCar engine leases from Honda and Chevrolet have been doled out for the Indy 500.
Dale Coyne has an extra for Cody Ware if he can get sponsorship for it.   Only 33 cars can start the race.
Drivers Attempting 2021 Indy 500 Who Are Not IndyCar Regulars
Driver
No
Team
Age
JR HILDEBRAND
CHARLIE KIMBALL
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO
SAGE KARAM
STEFAN WILSON
RC ENERSON
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA
MARCO ANDRETTI
1
11
16
24
25
75
86
98
AJ FOYT
AJ FOYT
PARETTA
DREYER & REINBOLD
ANDRETTI
TOP GUN
MCLAREN
ANDRETTI
33
36
32
26
31
24
45
34
Corvette Convertible to Pace INDY 500

May 11 - The 2021 mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
hardtop convertible will lead the 33-car field to the green
flag for the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May
30th.

The Arctic White Stingray will be the first convertible since
2008 to pace the iconic race.

The upholstery has Sky Cool Gray and Strike Yellow
accents.
The Corvette  is powered by a naturally aspirated 6.2L
Small Block V-8 LT2 engine.  It will produce 495
horsepower (369 kW) and 470 lb-ft (637 Nm) of torque
when equipped with performance exhaust.

The LT2 is paired with Chevrolet’s first eight-speed
dual-clutch transmission and a double-paddle de-clutch
feature that allows the driver to disconnect the clutch by
holding both paddles for more manual control.
10
10
5
7
2
0
5
15
Indy 500
Experience
2
3
14
9
15
-
1
2
Indy 500
Best Finish
Tuesday May 18th                              DAY 1                  Rookie and Veteran Practice
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Friday
Sunday
May 18
May 19
May 20
May 21
May 22
May 23
May 28
May 30
INDEX
Wednesday May 19th                           DAY 2                                          Practice
May 19 - Danica Patrick will drive the Indy 500 Pace Car
to lead the field of 33 cars to the green flag.

Driving the Corvette Stingray convertible will be part of a
busy Race Day for Patrick at IMS. She also is serving as a
studio analyst for NBC’s live race broadcast .

Patrick raced in the Indy 500 from 2005-11 and in 2018.
As a rookie, she qualified 4th and led laps near the end of
that race.  She finished third in 2009.

She then moved to NASCAR and competed in the Cup
series for six years.
Will Power led a busy, compressed opening day of practice
for the Indy 500, turning a top lap of 226.470 mph.  Power
was the busiest of the 35 drivers on track today, turning 87
laps. The field combined to turn 2,369 laps overall.

Graham Rahal led the morning session for veteran drivers,
which was interrupted three times by light rain. His top lap
was 223.449 and that stood as his top speed of the day.

After a rain delay of two hours, 20 minutes, the track
opened for two hours for the Rookie Orientation Program
and veteran refresher tests.

JR Hildebrand and Stefan Wilson completed their
refresher tests.

RC Enerson was the only one of the three rookies assigned
to cars who didn’t complete his rookie test during testing in
April, and he was nearly finished with the second of the
three phases of his test when mechanical trouble struck his
No. 75 Top Gun Racing Chevrolet.

Enerson will return to the track at 11 a.m. Wednesday to try
and finish the second and third phases of his rookie test.
May 18
May 19
May 20
May 21
May 28
Will Power
Scott Dixon
Tony Kanaan
Scott Dixon
Scott Dixon
226.470 mph
226.829
225.341
233.302
226.323
Date
Driver
Speed
FASTEST LAP SPEED IN PRACTICE
May 20
May 20
May 22
Colton Herta
Santino Ferrucci
Alex Palou
Scraped wall and McLaughlin
Backed into T2 Safer barrier
Hit T2 Safer barrier
PRACTICE MISHAPS THIS MONTH
Both Ok
Hurt leg
He's Ok
Juan Montoya Returns to
The Greatest Spectacle In Racing
Driving for McLaren!
Scott Dixon led practice Wednesday with a best lap of
226.829 mph as track and air temperatures climbed
compared to yesterday.  Dixon led three Chip Ganassi
Racing drivers in the top five.

Ed Carpenter Racing drivers took the second and third spots
on the speed chart Wednesday.
Conor Daly was second,
while team owner
Ed Carpenter was third.  ECR is surging
during the Month of May, as
Rinus VeeKay won the GMR
Grand Prix for the team last Saturday.

Chip Ganassi Racing drivers
Marcus Ericsson and Tony
Kanaan
rounded out the top five.

The speed charts showed the unpredictable and competitive
nature of this year’s deep field, which features nine “500”
winners. 2018 Indy 500 winner
Will Power, who led
practice Tuesday, was 15th today.

All the top speeds today came with the benefit of
aerodynamic tows in heavy traffic, as 34 drivers combined
to turn 3,326 laps during the six-hour session.  
Alexander
Rossi
was the fastest driver running alone, turning a top
no-tow lap of 221.114 mph.

RC Enerson completed Phase 2 and the speed requirement
for Phase 3 of the Rookie Orientation Program in the No.
75 Top Gun Racing Chevrolet in a special session before
the track opened for practice. Enerson didn’t participate in
the open practice.
The Women On Simona de Silvestro's Paretta Autosport Team
Scott Dixon
Scott McLaughlin Switches To
Yellow Livery for Indy 500
Ed Carpenter and Teammate Conor Daly
JR Hildebrand's AJ Foyt Racing Team
JR Hildebrand
McLaren Teammates
Pato O'Ward at top
Felix Rosenqvist's New Livery
Ed Jones
Thursday May 20th                        DAY 3                                          Practice
Track and air temperatures continued to climb after a cool
start to practice Tuesday and moderate temperatures
Wednesday.

Today’s practice opened with drama from the first lap.
Colton Herta brushed the Turn 4 wall and the car driven
by
Scott McLaughlin after McLaughlin and Simona De
Silvestro
slowed due to three Rahal Letterman Lanigan
Racing cars running slowly in formation on the front
straightaway on the first lap of the session for a photo
shoot.

Per IndyCars rules, RLL Racing was penalized for
improper conduct, and its three cars – driven by
Takuma
Sato
, Graham Rahal and Santino Ferrucci – will not be
allowed to participate in the first 30 minutes of practice
Friday.

Herta and McLaughlin returned to the track later after
Andretti Autosport and Team Penske checked their
respective cars in Gasoline Alley.

Tony Kanaan found the right blend of ingredients for
speed Thursday, leading the third day of practice.

Conor Daly continued a strong week on the 2.5-mile oval
by ending up second. Ferrucci was third in an abbreviated
day.

Ferrucci was evaluated and released from IU Health
Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after being involved in
the first major incident of practice this week. At 4:14 p.m.,
Ferrucci’s No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda did a quarter-spin to the
left in Turn 2 and made hard rear contact with the SAFER
Barrier in Turn 2 before stopping on the back straightaway.
The rear of the car suffered heavy damage.

Jack Harvey was the fastest driver without the benefit of
an aerodynamic tow today – similar conditions to single-car
qualifying – at 222.091mph.
Scott McLaughlin Drives for Team Penske
Simona De Silvestro
driving for Paretta Motorsport
Conor Daly
Friday May 21st                               DAY 4                                          Fast Friday
A sunny hot day with temperatures rising into the 80s.

The IndyCar teams get to increase turbo boost for qualify-
ing this weekend.  The additional boost will add between
80 and 90 horsepower and increase speeds.  Today they
turn it up to practice for the weekend.  

Scott Dixon raised the speed limit today, turning the fastest
lap of the week – 233.302 mph – in the final full day of
practice before Qualifying.

“It was really tough out there today. Just really tough to get
a clear track. I know it's difficult. I know everybody wants
to try to get a (qualifying simulation) run.”

Today’s increase in turbo pressure increased speeds 8 mph
from Thursday.

Dixon’s top lap came with the benefit of an aerodynamic
tow, which drivers won’t get in single-car qualifying this
weekend.

Alex Rossi was the fastest driver running alone - his best
no-tow lap today was 231.598 mph.

All the top five overall speeds today came in a tow from
traffic.  Honda-powered drivers sweep the top five spots
on the speed chart.

Other drivers to watch this weekend based on their speeds
without aerodynamic help include
Graham Rahal and
Pato O’Ward.  They were also fast in traffic today as well.
                                   Qualifying Order for Tomorrow:

Note: The drivers line up in order of the fastest in today's practice and pick a coin from a table, which contains a
number on the flip-side, between 1 and 35 (There are 35 drivers entered in this year's race.)  Often though,
someone besides the driver picks the coin for them.  The drivers want a low number so that they can qualify early
before the heat of the afternoon.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Scott Dixon
Marco Andretti
Ryan Hunter-Reay
Helio Castroneves
Ed Jones
James Hinchcliffe
Stefan Wilson
Tony Kanaan
Josef Newgarden
Rinus VeeKay
Scott McLaughlin
Takuma Sato
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
Santino Ferrucci
Sage Karam
Pietero Fittipaldi
Juan Montoya
JR Hildebrand
Will Power
Ed Carpenter
Pato O'Ward
Felix Rosenqvist
Max Chilton
Dalton Kellett
Conor Daly
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
Graham Rahal
Jack Harvey
RC Enerson
Alex Palou
Simon Pagenaud
Bryan Herta
Alex Rossi
Romain Grosjean
Simona De Silvestro
Charlie Kimball
Sebastien Bourdais
Stefan Wilson driving for Andretti Autosport
Felix Rosenqvist's McLaren in the Pits
Saturday May 22nd                               DAY 5                                1st Day of Qualifying
Mostly cloudy with temperatures expected to rise into the 80s.

Nine drivers came out this morning for practice:
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
Dixon
Herta
Kanaan
Carpenter
VeeKay
Castroneves
Palou
Hunter-Reay
Ericsson
Rossi
Jones
O'Ward
Fittipaldi
Rosenqvist
Sato
Hinchcliffe
McLaughlin
Rahal
Daly
Harvey
Newgarden
Hildebrand
Ferrucci
Montoya
Andretti
Pagenaud
Bourdais
Wilson
Chilton
Kellett
Power
Karam
Kimball
De Silvestro
Enerson
231.828
231.648
231.639
231.616
231.484
231.134
231.145
231.139
231.104
231.046
231.044
230.864
230.846
230.744
230.708
230.563
230.557
230.521
230.427
230.191
230.049
229.980
229.949
229.891
229.872
229.778
229.744
229.714
229.417
229.250
229.228
229.158
228.401
228.173
227.283
LIVE INDY 500 QUALIFYING UPDATES
2:45 pm - Now that everyone has had a chance to qualify, drivers
can try to qualify again.  Drivers who want to be in the Fast 9 will
want to as will drivers who are on or near the bubble, i.e. position 33.

Drivers can get in the slow lane and keep their current time.
OR
Drivers can get in the fast lane, but that will force them to discard
their current time.

This may come into play when time is short and the slow lane is long.

If no cars are lined up to re-qualify, practice may resume.

Alex Palou hit the wall.
Marco jumped from 28th to 24th.
Harvey jumped from 35th to 20th

3:15pm - temperature is rising, may see lull in re-qualifying.  Often drivers
wait until late in the day to requalify. Qualifying ends at 6 pm.

VeeKay jumped from 12th to 5th.
Jones jumped from 19th to 11th
Rosenqvist jumped from 18th to 14th.
Power jumped from 33rd to 31st.
Simona De Silvestro was the last driver to attempt to qualify today.

Only the top 30 drivers have guaranteed spots for the race.
Tomorrow, the slowest five drivers from today will duke it out for the
remaining three spots.  

The fastest nine drivers from today will fight for pole position tomorrow!
DRIVERS WHO IMPROVED POSITION:
Chip Ganassi Racing has all four drivers in the top 9:
Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Alex Palou and Marcus
Ericsson
.  Palou later crashed, hitting the Safer barrier in
Turn 2 doing heavy damage to his racer.

Cloud cover broke shortly after the first trip through the
original 35-car qualifying draw, and the sunshine raised track
temperatures nearly 25 degrees, decreasing traction and
engine efficiency. That prevented any successful attempts at
bumping into the Fast Nine from multiple drivers after the
first run through the draw, but there was plenty of suspense
and tension at the back end of the grid in the final hour.

The surprise of the day was that 2018 Indy 500 winner
Will Power failed to record a speed in the top 30 in two
attempts and will have to partiicpate in tomorrow's Lasst
Chance Qualifying.
Scott Dixon Was Fastest Qualifier
Relief!  
Dalton Kellett was the slowest driver to
earn a guaranteed spot in the Indy 500.
Tony Kanaan Qualified Early and Fast!
F1 Monaco Grand Prix

May 23 - Charles Leclerc won the pole yesterday and then
cut a corner too close, smashed his wheel and crashed.
Ferrari decided his gear box was ok.  Big mistake.

During warmup this morning, the car did not work right and
he missed the race!

Max Verstappen started the race in front in P2 and went
on to win the race.  

Surprisingly, all conquering
Lewis Hamilton qualified and
finished in 7th in his Mercedes.`
Sunday May 22nd                               DAY 6                                2nd Day of Qualifying
This morning, cars are practicing.

From 1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., the five slowest drivers from
yesterday will qualify again.  The slowest two will miss the
show.

3 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. - The fastest nine cars from yesterday
will qualify again in reverse order of their speed yesterday.  
The fastest driver will win the Indy 500 Pole.

Afterward, there will be a 2-hour open practice beginning
at 5 p.m.

At noon, temperature is 75 degrees.
Leclerk wrecked his Ferrari after capturing pole!
LAST ROW SHOOT-OUT
- Five drivers try to get into the last 3 positions

1:15 p.m. - Temperature is 81 degrees.

Will Power brushed wall coming out of turn 2
during his last qualifying lap, but he didn't let off!
His car now needs work on his rear wheel alignment.
If they fix it, he'll throw out his time. So they'll wait to
see if he gets bumped first.

The session ends at 2:30 p.m.
RESULTS  OF LAST ROW QUALIFYING
Karam
Power
De Silvestro

Kimball
Enerson
229.156
228.876
228.353

227.811
227.298
31
32
33

34
35
2:15 p.m. - RC Enerson attempted to bump his way into
the field.  His 4-Lap average is slower than his initial run.

2:28 p.m. -
Charlie Kimball made another attempt, but it
wasn't quite quick enough.

No time left,
Simona De Silvestro is safe and in the field.
FAST NINE SHOOT-OUT
- 9 drivers try to capture the Indy 500 Pole

Starts at 3 p.m.  Temperature is 83 degrees.

Speeds are down from yesterday because it was cooler.

Rinus VeeKay got a little loose in one turn, but posted
fastest 4-lap average so far.

3:25 pm - Skies get cloudier and temp drops to 81.

VeeKay's teammate and team-owner,
Ed Carpenter
qualifies behind him by a 1/100th of a second.

Colton Herta comes out next to last, and puts it fastest.

Scott Dixon came out last and won his 4th Indy 500 pole
by 3/100th of a second!
Dixon
Herta
VeeKay
Carpenter
Kanaan
Palou
Hunter-Reay
Castroneves
Ericsson
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
231.685
231.655
231.511
231.504
231.032
230.616
230.499
230.356
230.318
Chip Ganassi Racing
Andretti Autosport
Ed Carpenter Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing
Chip Ganassi Racing
Chip Ganassi Racing
Andretti Autosport
Meyer Shank Racing
Chip Ganassi Racing
Driver
Race Team
4-Lap Avg
Speed
Dryer & Reinbold
Team Penske
Paretta Autosport

AJ Foyt Racing
Top Gun Racing
out
out
Rinus VeeKay
Colton Herta
Pato O'Ward
Alex Palou
Poles
Age
Driver
Wins
20
21
22
24

1
1
1
1
1
1
4th
3rd


1
1



1
Friday May 28th                          DAY 7                                  Carb Day
Carb Day is the most attended event of the Indy 500,
besides race day itself.

While the pandemic has relented enough to allow fans back
to the speedway, there are still event cancellations and
restrictions.  No day has been more affected than Carb Day.

Two popular Carb Day events - the Pit Stop Competition
and a rock concert were cancelled.

Carb Day also took another hit with IndyCar's cancellation
of the Freedom 100, an Indy Lights race that has been held
on Carb Day since 2005.  That cancellation had nothing to
do with the pandemic.

Today, the only event was the morning IndyCar practice -
the last chance IndyCar has to practice before the Indy 500
race.  It is an important day for the teams and drivers as the
last time they were on track was last weekend for qualifying,
and the engines and turboboost were different than what
they will run in the race.

A huge front of rainstorms began moving through Indiana
last night and looked to continue throughout the day.  Fears
were that no one would get to practice today.

Fortune smiled and the rain relented long enough to dry the
track and get in nearly two hours of practice.  Instead of
starting at 11 a.m. as scheduled, practice began at 1:37 p.m.

Although it was windy, the cool temperatures and cloudy
skies allowed the cars to run faster than expected.  To the
delight of fans, the practice seemed more like a race, as the
cars ran close, fast and made passes.  Fortunately there were
no crashes.

Pole-sitter
Scott Dixon had the fastest lap today.
Takuma Sato & Colton Herta
Sunday May 30th                          DAY 8                                     Race Day
The fastest field in history.

The largest gathering of people
since the pandemic
began. (60% of Americans have been vaccinated and the
CDC has said they do not need to wear masks or social
distance, even indoors.  The federal government allows
cities, states and businesses to make their own decisions
though, and the speedway told people to wear masks when
not eating or drinking.)

Last year, the Indy 500 was postponed till August in hopes
that the pandemic would improve. While the race was finally
run, no spectators were allowed.  Thanks to the amazing
German scientists who quickly invented a new vaccine last
year, the world has been able to move back toward
normality.  No where was this best demonstrated than at the
speedway this month.  None the less, spectators were limited
to 40% of capacity.  This worked out to 135,000 seat tickets
with no infield parking or spectating.

The speedway sold out and the usual central Indiana
television black-out was lifted.
It was not a hot Indy 500 as usual, but a very pleasant
temperature with clear blue skies and a little wind.

Chip Ganassi veteran driver
Scott Dixon was easily the
odds-on favorite to win the race.  He' proven himself fastest
in practice and had captured the pole.  Looking a little closer
though, revealed the drivers behind him were only a
split-second slower.

A century of history has shown, anything can happen in the
Indy 500.  There is never a shoe-in.  Reliability, weather,
car setup, pit crew performance and other drivers are just
some of the contributing factors every driver must contend.  
One small mistake can mean the difference between winning
and not finishing the race.
The Race
Scott Dixon started on the pole position but led only three
laps after
Colton Herta took the lead on Lap 1.

While Herta and
Rinus VeeKay traded the lead, Dixon
conserved fuel in third - which seemed a smart strategy when
the caution flew on Lap 33 as Dixon inherited first when
Herta, VeeKay and several other lead-lap drivers had pitted.

But the pits were closed for multiple laps under yellow
because Briton
Stefan Wilson had spun into the wall on
entry, which left Dixon in a predicament. Choosing to make
an emergency stop while the pits remained closed on Lap 36,
Dixon's Honda coasted in out of fuel and wouldn't re-fire.

The same situation happened to
Alex Rossi on an emergency
stop for fuel a lap later, and both former Indy 500 winners
were a lap down when the race restarted because of the
timing of Wilson's crash. Race over.

Castroneves, however, was in the mix at the front throughout
- and after the final pit-stops it seemed to be a three-horse
race between him,
Alex Palou and Pato O'Ward.

Castroneves and Palou exchanged the lead several times,
including on the penultimate lap after a superb and daring
move around the outside of Turn 1 from the 46-year-old.

As the Brazilian encountered traffic it looked like Palou was
going to have a shot at a maiden Indy 500 win - but
Castroneves held his nerve, and Palou had no answers.

The few race incidences were all pit-stop related.  Wilson,
Will Power and Simona De Silvestro appeared to have worn
out brakes causing them to spin in the pit lane as they tried to
slow down.  While Wilson and De Silverstro made contact
with the wall, ending their day, Power's car remained
unscathed and was able to continue, losing only time and
position.

The other incident occurred when Rahal exited the pits too
soon, before his left rear tire was tight.  The wheel came off
sending him out of the pit exit lane across the track and into
the Turn 2 wall.  The loose tire hit the wall, then Rahal's car
and flew into the air, coming down right in front of
Conor
Daly
.  A scary moment for Daly and it damaged his front
end, but he continued.

The race was the fastest and was over the soonest
than any in history.
Graham Rahal and Alex Rossi pre-race.
They wouldn't be smiling post-race.
The Race Start
Alex Palou in the Lead
Helio Castroneves Crosses Finish Line First
Helio "Spiderman" Castroneves
Mario Andretti Congratulates Castroneves
on his fourth Indy 500 win, tying the record
set by A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.
The Pain of Failure Shows on Charlie Kimball Face
Scott Dixon Hugs Team Owner Chip Ganassi
After Winning Pole
GMR Grand Prix

May 15 - To the surprise of many, rookie Romain Grosjean
captured the pole for this, his 3rd IndyCar race.  He then
went on to lead the first half of the race, before being passed
by
Rinus VeeKay who won the race - his first IndyCar win.  
Grosjean led the most laps of the race and finished in 2nd
place.

Conor Daly was among several cars who went into the grass
at the first turn of the first lap, but he was the only car unable
to continue.  That brought out the only caution of the race.
Rinus VeeKay - 1st
Romain Grosjean- 2nd
The Indy 500 produced 5.581 million television viewers, with viewership peaking at 7.129 million.
Top Viewer Markets:
Market
Indianapolis, IN
Dayton, OH
Cincinnati, OH
Ft. Myers-Naples, FL
Louisville, KY
Knoxville, TN
Nashville, TN
Columbus, OH
Hartford-New Haven, CT
Greenville-Spartanburg, SC
HH Rating
21.3
8.1
8.1
6.3
6.3
6.0
5.4
5.4
5.1
5.0
HH is a rating/share based on the number of US
households.