This Year’s “Fuson Form Chart”

Posted: May 25, 2019 in Uncategorized

The 1974 Souvenir Edition of the Indianapolis News, previewing the 1974 Indianapolis 500.

 

By: Jeff Majeske – Managing Editor

INDIANAPOLIS – Something I always looked forward to each May was the Fuson Form Chart. This page of analysis was penned by Wayne Fuson, sports editor of the Indianapolis News, which was the afternoon paper in Indianapolis.

Wayne Fuson, Indianapolis News Sports Editor, went with A.J. Foyt in 1974. Foyt led much of the race, but dropped out.

It came in the souvenir preview section and was a staple of pre-race coverage. Fuson had an engaging, unique style patterned off horse racing forms that were eminently readable and entertaining. It rated the jockey (driver), horse (car), stable (team) and sometimes even the groom (chief mechanic or crew chief then; now it would be a lead engineer or strategist, I suppose), advising readers how much to bet in a good-natured, humorous manner.

Mr. Fuson died in 1996. So consider the following a bit of a tribute to him leading into this year’s race:

Car 22 — Simon Pagenaud 2-1

Jockey has had a magnificent May, winning the IndyCar Grand Prix two weeks ago and now the pole for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. Proven mount from the Team Penske stable, which already has 17 Indy wins. Bet a bundle and you may be sitting pretty.

Car 20 — Ed Carpenter 3-1

Just edged out of fourth Indy pole and second straight, jockey itching for that first 500 win. After leading 65 laps last year and finishing second to Will Power, Carpenter showed he has the mettle to get it done. Dig deep for a big bet.

Car 12 — Will Power 3-1

Another top-notch entry out of the Team Penske stable, last year’s winning jockey is primed to win two straight. That doesn’t happen often in the 500, but if you have some extra cash, use it here.

Car 9 — Scott Dixon 4-1

It’s been a low-key week for this proven jockey, who won it all in 2008. Goes to the post just 18th, but Chip Ganassi stable always provides a first-class mount and groom Mike Hull is one of the smartest around. Visit your friendly PNC Bank for a sizable withdrawal.

Car 27 — Alexander Rossi 5-1

Miserly fuel consumption and deliberate pace lifted jockey to Indy glory as a rookie in 2016. He’s continued to impress since, and mount looked very racy in Monday’s practice session. Dig up that coffee can in the backyard.

Car 88 — Colton Herta 7-1

Rookie jockey has been smooth, fast and impressive. He’s already cracked the win column this year, the youngest ever in IndyCar competition (at 18; he’s now 19). If you feel youth will be served, dip into your rainy-day fund.

Car 2 — Josef Newgarden 7-1

Jockey leads the IndyCar points chase and is another of the younger set seeking first Indy win. He fell just short in 2016, taking third, and now he’s in his third season with Team Penske. Isn’t it time that so-called friend finally paid you back? Use that cash and a little more at the betting window.

Car 98 — Marco Andretti 9-1

Day-glo red mount is a tribute to grandfather Mario’s lone Indy victory 50 years ago. Third-generation jockey has had some strong runs at the Brickyard, including getting nipped at the wire by Sam Hornish Jr. in his rookie year back in 2006. He’s worth at least a little something for old time’s sake, if nothing else.

Car 3 — Helio Castroneves 9-1

He and his team know the way to Victory Lane as the jockey has contributed three of Team Penske’s 17 victories in the Indianapolis 500. Now a full-time driver on the twisties, Castroneves remains a bona fide threat on the Indy oval. Dance on up to the betting window.

Car 30 — Takuma Sato 9-1

Jockey is one of the bravest and he’s an Indy winner, too – just two years ago. Mount from Rahal Letterman Lanigan stable should run all day. Use the money you would’ve used for a couple of trips to the concession stand and you might be eating well the rest of the week.

Car 15 — Graham Rahal 9-1

Second-generation jockey would love to join dad Bobby on the Borg-Warner. Indy has been rather unkind to him, with an average finish of about 18th and two last-place finishes in 11 previous starts. Worth a bet, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Car 18 — Sebastien Bourdais 10-1

Jockey came back last year after a vicious crash in qualifying for the 2017 race. Smooth, smart and savvy, he’s more than capable of winning. Groom Dale Coyne often a clever strategist. If you’re looking for an underdog to bet big, you could do worse.

Car 63 — Ed Jones 10-1

After an outstanding debut two years ago with a marvelous third-place finish, jockey now trying to restart his Indy career after a disappointing season in 2018. Mount out of the Ed Carpenter Racing stable has been fast all month. Dip into the butter-and-egg money.

Car 21 — Spencer Pigot 10-1

Young jockey surprised everyone with front-row qualifying effort for the Ed Carpenter Racing stable. Boss has an eye for talent, though, as Newgarden came through Carpenter’s team. Throw a few old presidents the young American’s way.

Car 14 — Tony Kanaan 15-1

He’s a former winner (2013) and back driving for the legend himself, A.J. Foyt. The combination showed excellent pace last year, leading 19 laps. No harm putting a little on TK’s, uh, nose.

Car 28 — Ryan Hunter-Reay 15-1

2014 winner has been a step behind his Andretti Autosport teammates this month but definitely has the ability to bring his mount forward. Use that leftover birthday money your aunt gave you.

Car 5 — James Hinchliffe 15-1

Popular jockey knows well the exhilarating highs and the cruel punishment the Speedway can dish out – horribly injured in a crash in 2015, pole-winner in 2016, failed to qualify in 2018. Had to sweat it out this year but came through with stout qualifying run on last day in his backup car after trashing primary mount. Talk to your rich uncle and get a race-day loan.

Car 25 — Conor Daly 18-1

Jockey has been waiting for a mount like this his whole career, and he’s done well this month with the Andretti Autosport entry. He’s sponsored by the U.S. Air Force and it’s Memorial Day Weekend, so drop a little green for the red, white and blue.

Car 77 — Oriol Servia 18-1

Quietly does a professional job each May, and this year is no exception. Some rumors said his mount would be given to fellow Spaniard Fernando Alonso, but that was just talk. If you can get a bet for the Top 10, take it.

Car 23 — Charlie Kimball 18-1

Only Carlin-affiliated mount to make the race as Fernando Alonso, Max Chilton and Patricio O’Ward are the three left in the barn this year. An Indy win would lessen that sting considerably. If you believe the team is due for redemption right away, here’s your chance.

Car 48 — JR Hildebrand 18-1

Speaking of redemption, jockey came within one turn of winning Indy as a rookie in 2011. He’s back for a second go-round with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, sporting the No. 48 made famous by Dan Gurney. That alone is worth a few dollars, right?

Car 26 — Zach Veach 20-1

Goes to the post much deeper than expected (28th) for an Andretti Autosport mount. The great Louis Meyer won from there once, but that was a long, long time ago (1936). Jockey is capable and his time is coming, but probably not this year.

Car 10 — Felix Rosenqvist 20-1

Rookie jockey has a class mount from the Chip Ganassi stable. He’s been a winner in other series, but this is his first time on a high-speed oval. Maybe next year.

Car 7 — Marcus Ericcson 30-1

Another rookie, he showed well in qualifying with a fine run (13th), second only to Colton Herta among the first-year jockeys. Like Rosenqvist, he’s from Sweden. And like Rosenqvist, let’s wait a year or two.

Car 19 — Santino Ferucci 30-1 

Teammate to Sebastien Bourdais, the 20-year-old American has quietly done a solid job this month. Best bet would be if he can upset Colton Herta for Rookie of the Year.

Car 4 — Matheus Leist 30-1

Second-year jockey again teamed with Tony Kanaan out of A.J. Foyt’s stable. Has shown promise from time to time. Advance cautiously to the betting window, though.

Car 60 — Jack Harvey 30-1

Third-year jockey rides perhaps the most colorful mount in the field. Tried a fuel-economy run last year, and it nearly paid off. Seems to have a bright future, but that future probably isn’t now.

Car 24 — Sage Karam 30-1

Jockey delivered a thrilling last-day qualifying performance to secure his spot in the field. The outpouring of emotion afterward was touching and underscored how badly these drivers want to compete in the Indianapolis 500. Best hope and bet would be a Top 10 finish.

Car 81 — Ben Hanley 33-1

Rookie jockey drives for DragonSpeed, and believe it or not, it has nothing to do with “Game of Thrones.” Expected to be among those battling for a spot in the last row, he instead safely secured a spot on the first day of qualifying and goes to the post 27th. If he can move into the top 20 by race’s end, that would be a good day.

Car 39 — Pippa Mann 33-1

Before the month, she was on everyone’s “going to be bumped” list, but, man, did Mann do a great job in qualifying. Ousted last year in gut-wrenching fashion, she vowed to come back stronger and did just that. Jockey has snuck her way up front on occasion in previous races. This would be the ultimate Cinderella story, so to speak, so if you’re so inclined …

Car 33 — James Davison 33-1

Another fine under-the-radar performance, jockey goes to the post 15th. From there, he’ll look back on three former winners (Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon and Ryan Hunter-Reay). If he can maintain that spot at the end of the race, that would be a nice accomplishment for this little team.

Car 42 — Jordan King 33-1

Young Englishman drove the twisties for Ed Carpenter Racing last year before joining Rahal Letterman Lanigan stable this season. A rookie starting deep in the pack (26th) isn’t a great combination.

Car 32 — Kyle Kaiser 33-1

Second-year jockey thrilling run sent two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso to the barn in one of the biggest qualifying shockers in 500 history. Don’t expect this feel-great story to continue, though. Give Kaiser a salute on race day, but skip the betting window.

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