Archive for May 16, 2016

Speed leader of the day; Marco Andretti leads Andretti Autosport teammate Carlos Munoz into the short chute at Indianapolis -- Image by Chris Owens

Speed leader of the day; Marco Andretti leads Andretti Autosport teammate Carlos Munoz into the short chute at Indianapolis — Image by Chris Owens

INDIANAPOLIS (Monday, May 16, 2016) – The importance of track time was plainly evident on the opening day of practice for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

With skies mostly cloudy, ambient temperature of 59 degrees, relative humidity of 38%, and winds from the south-southeast at 6 mph, along with a track temperature of 94 degrees, Ed Carpenter‘s No. 20 Chevrolet-Dallara was the first car to hit the track.

By days end all 33 entered cars saw time on the vast 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, totaling 1,972 laps, along with five cautions for a total of 39 minutes and 30 seconds.

The 33 cars on track is the most for an Indianapolis 500 opening day since 2010.

Andretti Autosport led the way with its five drivers all finishing in the top six. Marco Andretti sat on top of the leaderboard with a lap of 228.978 mph in the No. 27 Snapple Honda.

“It was a definitely a good start for the team,” said Andretti, the 11th-year Verizon IndyCar Series driver who has finished in the top four at the Indy 500 five times but has yet to win the race. “I think our team in particular looks pretty stout because we looked at the weather and moved things forward on the test plan from later in the week.

“I think we’re really going to see how things will shake out in the next few days. I know how this month goes. It’s definitely a roller coaster, so we’re prepared for that, but it’s a good opening day.”

Andretti was followed by teammates Carlos Munoz in the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda (228.945), Ryan Hunter-Reay in the No. 28 DHL Honda (228.033) and rookie Alexander Rossi in the No. 98 Castrol Edge/Curb Honda (226.865). Townsend Bell, driving the No. 29 Honda, was sixth at 226.724 mph.

Rossi was among the five Indy 500 rookies who participated in the two-hour rookie/veteran refresher session that opened the day. The 24-year-old Californian enjoyed the extra track time before the oval opened to all competitors for the final four hours.

“It felt fast,” the ex-Formula One driver said. “It was definitely eye-opening in terms of not having any kind of prior comparison to a place like this. I was glad we got through (rookie orientation) without any issues, and this afternoon we got to work and it was a very good day for the team in general.”

Scott Dixon, the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner, was fifth on the chart and fastest of the Chevrolet drivers with a lap of 226.835 mph in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing entry.

“We tried a number of things today with the car, but no one is going for big numbers this early out there,” Dixon said. “No issues overall and looking forward to getting closer to qualifying trim tomorrow.”

Defending Indianapolis 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya was 13th fastest at 224.613 mph in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. The entire day ran incident-free.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing rookie Spencer Pigot was the busiest driver in both of today’s sessions, turning a total of 161 laps in the No. 16 RLL/Mi-Jack/Manitowac Honda.

“It was a lot of fun out there,” Pigot, 22, said. “I have always been looking forward to the day that I got to drive an Indy car around this track, so it was a great experience. We gradually built speed through the day and got through (rookie orientation) and did a lot of laps.

“The car feels good in traffic,” the Florida native added. “There is a lot more for me to learn and get used to as the days go on, but I think it was a good first day.”

Rookies and Refreshers get track time first

Five Indianapolis 500 rookies and five veteran part-time drivers took part in the two-hour rookie orientation and veteran refresher session.

Rossi, Pigot, Matt Brabham (No. 61 PIRTEK Team Murray Chevrolet), Max Chilton (No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Chevrolet) and Stefan Wilson (No. 25 Driven2savelives – KVRT Chevrolet) completed all three phases of rookie orientation, which included 10 laps in the range of 205-210 mph, 15 laps at 210-215 mph and 15 laps at 215-plus mph. Those who didn’t complete all three phases during the two hours were able to later in the afternoon.

Veterans taking the refresher needed to complete the final two phases. All five – Townsend Bell, Bryan Clauson (No. 88 Cancer Treatment Centers of America Honda), JR Hildebrand (No. 6 Preferred Freezer Fuzzy Vodka Chevrolet), Sage Karam (No. 24 DRR-Kingdom Racing Chevrolet) and Oriol Servia (No. 77 Lucas Oil Special Honda) – did so.

HunterReay Sets Young Minds Racing in STEM Fair

An hour from the first practice for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, Ryan Hunter-Reay could be forgiven for being focused on his upcoming work in the No. 28 DHL Honda. Leave it to a room of sharp students to get the 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion thinking of life outside the car.

The 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner took questions from 600 Indiana middle schoolers today at the Honda Purdue MSTEM3 Student Fair at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The fair uses motorsports to provide students with hands-on experiences in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and shows how STEM applies to exciting future careers.

“I’d be doing something on the engineering side of the sport if I wasn’t racing,” Hunter-Reay said to one student’s question about where his career might have gone, and the good questions kept coming.

One student asked the Floridian how old he was when starting in racing. Hunter-Reay surprised with an answer that put him squarely in the room’s demographic: 12 years old. Hunter-Reay arrived late to the sport compared to most of his peers in the Verizon IndyCar Series, who were karting at age 6 or 8.

“I tell them that I’m inexperienced,” Hunter-Reay said with a smile.

Another smart question asked what were the best and worst things about racing, to which Hunter-Reay said were blocking everything else in the world out when inside the car (best) and the pressure when it’s not going well (worst).

One of the last questions – before Hunter-Reay had to run to that aforementioned first practice – involved the top speeds he has hit in his career.

The answers dropped some jaws in the room: 242 mph at Auto Club Speedway (California), 232 mph at IMS.

Of Note

Andretti Autosport announced that United Fiber & Data will sponsor the No. 26 Honda driven by Carlos Munoz in this year’s Indianapolis 500. UFD has sponsored Andretti cars at Indianapolis in 2013 and ’14. …

Practice for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 continues Tuesday through Friday, from noon to 6 p.m. ET each day.

Qualifying to set the 33-car field will be held Saturday and Sunday. The May 29 race airs at 11 a.m. ET on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.


Charlie Kimball, Kyle Larson and team owner Chip Ganassi announce Charlie Kimball's participation in diabetes awareness - Image by Chris Jones

Charlie Kimball, Kyle Larson and team owner Chip Ganassi announce Charlie Kimball’s participation in diabetes awareness – Image by Chris Jones

Indianapolis, Ind. (May 16, 2016) – Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and longtime partner Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care, along with their Verizon IndyCar Series driver Charlie Kimball, will join together to honor the diabetes community at the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing will change the number of Kimball’s Tresiba® Chevrolet from its usual No. 83 to No. 42 at the 2016 Indianapolis 500. He will borrow the number from fellow CGRT teammate, Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS). Larson has a cousin living with diabetes, so the program has a personal tie for him. Larson’s No. 42 NSCS car will carry Kimball’s name on it for the Coca-Cola 600 race weekend, also running on May 29, to honor those living with diabetes.

Team owner Chip Ganassi said: “It’s been great to see Novo Nordisk use their racing partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams to launch one of their brands, and I love that we’re strengthening our ‘one team’ mantra with the sharing of the number 42 across different series. The number 83 is obviously very meaningful to both Charlie and myself, but the number 42 is also just as meaningful with this product and the diabetes community. Charlie had a great run last year at the 500, so hopefully the 42 will bring Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing and Charlie their first Indianapolis 500 victory.”

Kyle Larson added: “All of us who race for Chip (Ganassi) really are one team and it’s really cool to share the No. 42 with Charlie, especially for this historic race. He is a strong and popular advocate for the diabetes community and I can’t wait to see him and the No. 42 in this year’s Indianapolis 500.”

42TresibaCar1The number 42 is a reference to the duration of action of Tresiba®, a once-daily, long-acting basal insulin approved for blood sugar control in adults with diabetes, which was launched by Novo Nordisk earlier this year. Tresiba® lasts at least 42 hours after eight once-daily injections (0.4 U/kg). Patients who miss a dose of Tresiba® should inject their daily dose during waking hours upon discovering the missed dose, then continue with their regular dosing schedule. Patients must ensure that at least eight hours have elapsed between Tresiba® injections.

42TresibaCar2Kimball was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2007, and in addition to sporting the logo on his car, takes Tresiba®, along with a mealtime insulin, as part of his daily diabetes management.

Kimball said: “The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be the highlight of this year’s season and it gives me a great opportunity to honor the diabetes community and help inspire those people living with or affected by diabetes. As a race car driver and a person living with diabetes, the duration of action of Tresiba® is important to me and plays an important role in my management plan. I am honored to represent Novo Nordisk and Chip Ganassi Racing and to share my story with the diabetes community.”

As part of the efforts to raise diabetes awareness at the Indianapolis 500, Kimball’s No. 42 Tresiba® Chevrolet will carry the name of 42 leaders in the diabetes community. Included among the names on the car are Dominique Wilkins, Billie Jean King, diabetes organizations such as JDRF, and first all-diabetes professional cycling team, Team Novo Nordisk. Additionally, Novo Nordisk will make a $4,200 donation to the Indiana Chapter of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) on behalf of the Verizon IndyCar Series driver who is leading the race after the 42nd lap of the Indianapolis 500. Novo Nordisk will also make the same $4,200 donation to the Charlotte Chapter of the ADA on behalf of the NSCS driver who leads the Coke 600 after lap 42.

Charlie Kimball and Kyle Larson announce Charlie Kimball's participation in diabetes awareness - Image by Chris Jones

Charlie Kimball and Kyle Larson announce Charlie Kimball’s participation in diabetes awareness – Image by Chris Jones

Camille Lee, Senior Vice President of Novo Nordisk commented: “As an individual living with diabetes, Charlie continues to be such an inspiration and leader for the community of others affected by diabetes. By changing the number of the Tresiba® Chevrolet to 42, and displaying names of real people touched by the disease on his car for this historic race, he is making great strides to honor the diabetes community.”

The 2016 race season marks the eighth consecutive year of partnership between Novo Nordisk and Kimball and the sixth year of partnership between Kimball, Novo Nordisk and CGRT. Since his type 1 diabetes diagnosis, Kimball has been a passionate diabetes advocate. He is the face of Novo Nordisk’s award-winning Race with Insulin® campaign, which aims to raise awareness and educate the public about diabetes management.

For the remainder of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series campaign, Kimball will run his normal car number, No. 83.

Continue to follow Charlie’s journey and his work with Novo Nordisk at, learn more about Tresiba® at, or follow Charlie on Twitter at @RaceWithInsulin.

c77037d1-63d7-4491-9134-8d3e7cc99956Indianapolis, Indiana (May 16, 2016) – Dale Coyne Racing is writing history of its own this year, with the team entering four cars into the 100th Running of the Indianapolis. It’s the first time in the team’s history that it will be taking on such an undertaking, in any event.

The team is counting on full-time driver Conor Daly (#18), newcomer to the team Gabby Chaves (#19) and Indianapolis 500 only drivers Pippa Mann (#63) and Bryan Clauson (#88) to qualify their cars for the historic running of the 500-mile race.

All drivers were on track for practice starting from 2pm to 6pm ET, with Clauson doing the refresher session earlier in the day from noon to 2pm ET.


Conor Daly – #18 Dale Coyne Racing

Conor Daly sits in his No. 18 Jonathan Byrd's Restaurants Honda on pit lane prior to practice - Image by Chris Owens

Conor Daly sits in his No. 18 Jonathan Byrd’s Restaurants Honda on pit lane prior to practice – Image by Chris Owens

– Full time rookie in the Verizon IndyCar Series, he won’t be sporting rookie stripes for this event though, as he first raced in the Indianapolis 500 in 2013 for AJ Foyt Racing.
– The American will be attempting to qualify for his third Indy 500 on Saturday.
– His first year competing in the historic event, Daly qualified 31st and finished 22nd.
– Last season, he qualified 31st but the car caught fire on the pace laps.

Conor Daly comments

“We’re obviously all pumped for the Indy 500. It will be fun first of all to just to get things going. Everyone is really excited to see competition wise where we all stack up. I think no one really knows. The excitement of the unknown is really cool. I know our mission is to work every day and get the cars as fast as possible for qualifying weekend and then make sure we’re ready for the race. The goal is to do as much work as we can and stay focused on that main goal.”

“It means everything to me to be here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It’s my hometown, this is where I grew up. It’s the castle that I want to rule. I want to be here all the time. It’s always a great place to be and when you’re getting to drive a race car here, it’s rare, but it’s always awesome.”


Gabby Chaves – #19 Boy Scouts of America

Gabby Chaves during the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis qualifying - Image by John Cote

Gabby Chaves during the Grand Prix of Indianapolis qualifying – Photo by John Cote

– A recent addition to the Dale Coyne Racing team, Chaves is the reigning Indy 500 Rookie of the Year as well as the Verizon IndyCar Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
– Columbian qualified 26th as the fastest rookie for his first Indy 500 last year and went on to finish 16th.
– Chaves led his first IndyCar Series laps last year at Pocono superspeedway, leading the field for 21 laps.

Gabby Chaves comments:

“I’m super excited to get rolling with the practice sessions for the Indy 500. Especially this year with the 100th Running, a new team, new aero configurations, it’s really an exciting challenge. I’m really looking forward to working through those challenges to see where we can come out and hopefully have a very strong car & showing in the race.

“(What does it mean to you to be at IMS) More so than being on track at the Speedway, I think it’s really about the last 100 plus years of history and the 100 runnings of the race. All the legends, all the drivers, teams, cars, all the innovation, everything that this place has been a route for, now I get to be part of that as well, along with 32 other drivers, so I’m really looking forward to it and to have my place in history.”


Pippa Mann – #63 Dale Coyne Racing supporting Susan G. Komen

Pippa Mann -- Photo by Forrest Mellott

Pippa Mann at speed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Image by Forrest Mellott

– Mann is entered into the Indianapolis 500 for the 4th consecutive year with Coyne Racing and will be attempting to qualify for her fifth Indy 500, first start was  2011.
– Mann last competed in IndyCar August 2015 at the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway, where she registered her best Series start (12th) & tied her IndyCar Series best finish (13th)
– To donate to the British driver’s  #GetInvolved campaign Click Here

Pippa Mann comments

“It always feels like it’s such a long time out of the car for me. I’m so happy that I actually get to finally get back in a car on Monday for the first time since August of last year. I’m really looking forward to picking up where we left off last August, and to be teaming up with Rob Ridgely again as the engineer, with who I’ve had my best IndyCar finishes.

“It’s the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, even walking around the garage area I get goose bumps being here, it’s really great to be here and to get back on track. Hopefully seeing that pink car on track will also help boost the campaign to raise money for Komen. I’m aware I’m married so I’m not meant to say this, because it comes off as a bit too strong but it means everything to me to be here. My husband is aware of that and he knows how wound up and worked up I get when I try and pull things together to ensure that I’m going to be in a race car, so he has to live through that too. It’s kind of everything to me to be in a car here, it really is.”


Bryan Clauson – #88 Jonathan Byrds Hospitality & Restaurant Group

Bryan Clauson prepares for practice for the 100th Running of the Indy 500l - Image by Chris Jones

Bryan Clauson prepares for practice for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 – Image by Chris Jones

– Clauson, a regular in the dirt track open-wheel world and four time USAC Champion, is making his third appearance at the Indianapolis 500 this year.
– Noblesville, Indiana resident registered best finish (30th) in the Indy 500 in 2012.
– At the 2015 running of the Indy 500, the American finished 31st after starting in 33rd.
– Clauson is more than a quarter of the way through his Chasing 200 Tour: Circular Insanity, in which he is attempting to take part in 200 races this year, including the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Bryan Clauson comments

“It’s a special place for everybody, but for me, being my only IndyCar race every year, it’s very exciting to be back, it’s such a special place. I always refer to this place as the Disneyland for race car drivers because some days you have really fun days, some days you have tough days and some days it’s really crowded and hard to get around, but at the end of the day we all love being here, it’s a lot of fun and this year is an even bigger year with the 10th Running. There will be a lot going on and a lot of extra excitement surrounding the race. I’m just happy to be back with Jonathan Byrd’s and to be joining Dale Coyne Racing and looking forward to getting to work on Monday.

“Switching to driving the Indy car versus what I normally drive is a big difference. Nothing really translates but you just kind of have to go back and remember where you left off last year and certainly the learning curve becomes a little bit longer because you’re spreading it out over years not races. This will only be my third IndyCar race since 2012. Certainly that learning process takes a little bit longer. You sit differently, you steer differently, everything is so different but once you climb in and get out there everything comes back and shortly after you’re back in the zone.”

Conor Daly pits in his continuing pursuit of leading laps in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis - Image by Walt Kuhn

Conor Daly pits in his continuing pursuit of leading laps in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis – Image by Walt Kuhn

Indianapolis, Indiana – Dale Coyne Racing recorded its best performance this season with Conor Daly placing sixth in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday.

Both Daly and teammate Gabby Chaves had the same strategy going into the race with the young American starting 22nd and the Columbian 23rd.

The pair had a good start and gained positions early on in the 82-lap event but their fortunes would take different directions following a full course caution on lap 38.

While Daly managed to get across the blend line ahead of the safety car following his pit stop, Chaves missed it by a few seconds which resulted in Daly moving into second place and Chaves finding himself 19th once the second round of pit stops had cycled through.

Daly went on to take the lead on the Lap 45 restart after getting by Helio Castroneves going into Turn 1. The rookie continued to impress, leading 14 laps and building a three second lead before making his final trip to pit lane.

Following the final round of stops, the driver of the #18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality car found himself in third place, fighting with James Hinchcliffe.

Unfortunately, with no more overtakes to defend himself and tires that were quickly going away, Daly lost three positions to Hinchcliffe, Rahal and Kimball. He did, however, manage to hold off reigning Series Champion Scott Dixon in the final seven laps to register a sixth place finish, matching his career best Verizon IndyCar Series result.

Said Daly: “It was a great effort from the team. They put us in the right place at the right time and thankfully I was able to get around Helio on the restart and go from there. It was a crazy race, even after the last stop coming out in traffic was just so painful but we tried our best to work around it. When Graham (Rahal) got around me I had no more overtakes left. I was really helpless and our rear tires were going away and Charlie (Kimball) got a good run on us. The other manufacturer is really hard to keep up with on the straight so he was able to get me but I had to hold on to what we could do. We just lost the tires at the end. But it was awesome to lead laps at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It’s a good way to kick off May here.”

While Daly was fighting up front, Chaves had his own battles with the likes of Will Power and Takuma Sato. The sophomore driver gained a few positions his final stint, moving up from 20th to cross the finish line in 17th.

Chaves commented: “It was the first race back for me. We had the potential just like our teammate did. We were on the same strategy as Conor, we just got caught by a safety car at the wrong time. A few seconds difference and we would have been right there as well. We could’ve had a double team run for the top six. We just got unlucky with the safety car. I think I took a step forward as well, with this being my first race back and figuring everything out. It felt good in the car. We just have to keep working.

Gabby Chaves chasing Josef Newgarden during the Grand Prix of Indianapolis - Image by Chris Owens

Gabby Chaves chasing Josef Newgarden during the Grand Prix of Indianapolis – Image by Chris Owens

There won’t be much time to rest for the Dale Coyne crew as the team will be back on track today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first day of practice for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.




INDIANAPOLIS (Monday, May 16, 2016) – Six drivers whose images are immortalized on the famed Borg-Warner Trophy for winning the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” are among those named to entries filed for the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race Presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 29.

Thirty-three drivers have been named for the 33 entered cars at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. Honda will provide 17 entries with engines and aerodynamic bodywork kits for the race, while Chevrolet will provide 16 entries with aero kits and engines.

Indy 500 Entry List 5-16

Former Indianapolis 500 champions entered include a pair of multiple winners in Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002 and 2009) and Juan Pablo Montoya (2000 and 2015) of Team Penske. Other past Indy 500 winners entered are: Buddy Lazier (1996) of Lazier/Burns Racing, Scott Dixon (2008) and Tony Kanaan (2013) of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams and Ryan Hunter-Reay (2014) of Andretti Autosport.

Castroneves will try to join one of the most exclusive clubs in worldwide motorsports – four-time winners of the Indianapolis 500. Castroneves is attempting to become the fourth four-time winner of the race, joining A.J. Foyt (1961, 1964, 1967, 1977), Al Unser (1970, 1971, 1978, 1987) and Rick Mears (1979, 1984, 1988, 1991).

In all, 19 drivers entered have won at least one race in Indy car competition, including Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Simon Pagenaud, winner of Saturday’s Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the IMS road course. Seven entered drivers have won Indy car season championships.

“This year’s Indy 500 field contains all of the ingredients and storylines of a legendary race and sets the stage for this historic 100th running,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles. “I know IMS fans are looking forward to every minute of practice and qualification action as the stars of the Verizon IndyCar Series compete to drink milk on May 29.”

Indy car season champions entered in the race include four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion Dixon (2003, 2008, 2013 and 2015), four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais (2004-2007), Montoya (CART 1999) and Verizon IndyCar Series title winners Lazier (2000), Kanaan (2004), Hunter-Reay (2012) and Will Power (2014).

Five rookies with diverse credentials are also assigned to cars, including reigning Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires champion Spencer Pigot, former Formula One driver Alexander Rossi and Mazda Road to Indy graduates Stefan Wilson, Matt Brabham and Max Chilton.

Rookie orientation and veteran refresher programs start on-track action from noon-2 p.m. ET today, followed by practice open to all cars from 2-6 p.m. Practice continues through Friday, with qualifications to set the 33-car field scheduled for May 21-22 and another practice May 23. Miller Lite Carb Day, which includes the final one-hour practice before the race, is set for May 27. The epic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29 airs on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network (11 a.m. ET).