Archive for May 15, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS – Will Power picked up where he left off a year ago from his life-altering Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge win by leading opening practice on Tuesday for the 103rd running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

The Team Penske driver turned a best lap of 229.745 mph to take honors on the first of four practice days ahead of qualifications to set the 33-car field. All 36 entered drivers were on track and completed a total of 3,003 laps on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.

A year ago, Power delivered team owner Roger Penske his record 17th Indianapolis 500 victory. The 2014 NTT IndyCar Series champion was pleased to start his repeat bid well, but knows that most of Tuesday’s speeds weren’t representative because they came with the aid of aerodynamic tows from leading cars.

“All the big speeds came from big tows,” Power said.

“It’s kind of hard to judge the true speeds of cars right now by themselves,” he added. “You don’t know what aero configuration people are running, whether they’re doing qualifying sims or they’re in race trim. We don’t know where we stack up, honestly, as far as true speed.”

Power, in the No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet, led a charge of four Chevrolet-powered Dallaras atop the speed chart, three from Team Penske. Simon Pagenaud, fresh off a triumph Saturday in the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the IMS road course, was second fastest at 229.703 mph in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet and three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves fourth in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevy (228.441 mph).

Ed Carpenter, the team owner/driver and pole winner in 2018, was third on the speed chart at 228.653 mph in the No. 20 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet. Ed Jones, Carpenter’s teammate in the No. 63 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevy, clocked the fastest lap without the aid of a tow, 224.542 mph.

“There is always more you can get done, but today was a really good start,” Carpenter said. “The baseline setup was good and we were able to work through everything that we wanted to try today. Not only on my car, but the other two as well.  “All things considered, where we are starting Day 1, speed-wise and race setup-wise, we are in a decent place.”

Rookie Colton Herta topped the Honda contingent, fifth overall at 228.284 mph in the No. 88 GESS Capstone entry for Harding Steinbrenner Racing.

“I think today we were more towards trying to figure out the race car, and that’s how I want to kind of go,” said Herta, who became the youngest race winner in Indy car history in March at Circuit of The Americas. “I think we have a good qualifying car already; we were kind of fast on our own. I was really struggling in traffic, though, and that’s when it’s going to count, in the race.”

Two midday hours were set aside for rookie orientation and non-regular veteran refreshers. Patricio O’Ward endured mechanical problems in the No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet and did not complete his rookie program, but will be permitted track time Wednesday morning to do so.

Practice continues Wednesday through Friday, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. ET each day, with a livestream on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold. Saturday’s first day of qualifying decides the first 30 spots in the field and streams live on INDYCAR Pass starting at 11 a.m., with NBCSN picking up coverage at 5 p.m.

The second qualifying day on Sunday, broadcast live from noon-3 p.m. on NBC, features the Last Row Shootout to establish the final three grid spots, followed by the Fast Nine Shootout to determine the pole sitter and starting order of the first three rows of three.

The 103rd Indianapolis 500 takes place Sunday, May 26. NBCSN offer prerace coverage at 9 a.m., with NBC taking over for its first-ever Indy 500 broadcast at 11 a.m. NBCSN will also have a postrace show beginning at 4 p.m.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind., May 15, 2019 – Hulman & Company announced today the sale of Clabber Girl Corporation to B&G Foods, Inc. (NYSE: BGS), a leading manufacturer, seller and distributor of shelf-stable and frozen foods across North America. 

“Our core focus is the pursuit of world-class motorsports competition and entertainment,” Hulman & Company President & CEO Mark Miles said. “This decision positions us to fully focus on the continued direction and growth of INDYCAR, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IMS Productions.

This provides Clabber Girl with a well-prepared owner ready to use its vast expertise and considerable resources to accelerate the growth of the newest member of its impressive portfolio.”

“The Hulman-George family takes great pride in the Clabber Girl brand’s success, history and critical role in the development and rich cultural fabric of Terre Haute,” Hulman & Company Chairman of the Board Anton Hulman “Tony” George said. “Clabber Girl will always be a cherished and celebrated part of our legacy, and we’re excited we’ve found a strong steward for its very bright future.”

Like Clabber Girl, B&G Foods has spent more than a century in the food business. The company maintains more than 50 brands and 2,500 employees across North America. This includes Ortega, Green Giant, Cream of Wheat, Mrs. Dash, Back to Nature and many others. 

“We are excited to join the B&G Foods family as we add our iconic Clabber Girl brand to its impressive portfolio of brands consumers both recognize and trust,” Clabber Girl President and COO Gary Morris said. “Clabber Girl will benefit from the knowledge and reach B&G Foods will provide as a seasoned food manufacturer and distributor. Together, we will continue to grow this historic business.” 

Guggenheim Securities, LLC acted as Hulman & Company’s financial advisor for this transaction.