Archive for May, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, May 29, 2022) – Marcus Ericsson won the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge in a wild scramble after a late red flag Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, earning his first career victory in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Ericsson, from Kumla, Sweden, won under caution in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda after Sage Karam crashed in Turn 2 on the final lap. Before the race-ending incident, Ericsson and Pato O’Ward were locked in a fantastic duel for the lead after the restart with two laps to go after the red flag, snaking around the 2.5-mile oval in one of the most breathtaking finishes in the century-plus history of the race.

O’Ward ended up 2nd in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet in his best career “500” finish in 3 starts.

“I knew the Huski Chocolate car was fast enough, but it was still hard,” Ericsson said. “I had to do everything there at the end to keep him behind. I can’t believe it. I’m so happy.”

Former Formula One driver Ericsson became the second Swede to triumph in the “500,” joining 1999 winner Kenny Brack. Ericsson and Brack spoke via videoconference during the winner’s press conference Sunday afternoon. Ericsson’s best finish in three previous Indy 500 starts was 11th last year.

This was the first victory in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” for team owner Chip Ganassi since 2012 and his fifth as a solo owner and sixth overall.

Ericsson took the lead in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES standings with his third career victory, boosted by the double points awarded in this event. In a fateful twist, all three of his victories have featured red flags, as his wins in 2021 at Detroit and Nashville also included race stoppages.

2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan finished third in the No. 1 The American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, as the Ganassi team finished a dominant Month of May by putting two cars in the top three. Kanaan recorded the fifth top-three finish of his illustrious “500” career. Felix Rosenqvist placed fourth in the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP, as Arrow McLaren SP placed two cars in the top four.

Alexander Rossi, the winner of the 100th Indianapolis 500 in 2016, rounded out the top five in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS/AutoNation Honda after starting 20th.

2021 winner Helio Castroneves finished seventh after starting 27th in the No. 06 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda, gaining the most positions from start to finish in the race.

Ericsson, who started fifth, took the lead for good on Lap 190 when “500” rookie Jimmie Johnson made his final pit stop out of sequence with the leaders. Ericsson led O’Ward by 3.2869 seconds and appeared to be on Easy Street toward a spot on the Borg-Warner Trophy with one of the largest gaps by a leader during the 200-lap race.

O’Ward chipped away over the next four laps, pulling to within 2.7 seconds. But it still looked like Ericsson just needed to keep his car in the racing groove for the win.

Then the script was flipped on Lap 194 when Johnson spun into the SAFER Barrier in Turn 2, triggering the fifth of six caution periods in the race. INDYCAR officials decided to red-flag the race in an attempt to finish under green, so all cars pulled into the pits for nearly eight minutes while the debris from Johnson’s crash was cleared.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Ericsson said of the red flag. “You can never take anything for granted, and obviously there were still laps to go, and I was praying so hard it was not going to be another yellow, but I knew there was probably going to be one. It was hard to refocus, but I knew the car was amazing.”

Green-flag racing resumed on Lap 199, with Ericsson snaking left and right on the front and back straightaway to try and break O’Ward’s aerodynamic tow. Heading toward the white flag, Ericsson dove toward the pit entrance and then back to the center of the racetrack, trying to break away from O’Ward.

The gap between the two was .0445 of a second at the flag stand with one lap to go, with O’Ward making a run toward the outside of Turn 1 on Lap 200. He pulled slightly ahead of Ericsson entering the corner, but Ericsson held the low line and forced O’Ward to lift the throttle.

“He was going to put me in the wall if I would have gone for it,” O’Ward said. “We were alongside each other. It’s frustrating. It’s bittersweet. I’m so proud, but it definitely stinks.”

Said Ericsson: “I was not going to put him in the wall, but he had to work hard to get around me there. I knew I could hold my line. I was going to go flat. He was going to have to go two-wide through (Turn) 1 to get there. I knew if I went on the inside into 1, I could keep my foot down. I was hoping I could keep my foot down. That was my plan. It worked.”

Ericsson started to pull away on the back straightaway after repulsing O’Ward, speeding toward Turn 3, when Karam crashed in Turn 2 in his No. 24 AES Indiana DRR Chevrolet. The fifth incident of the day in Turn 2, the race’s calamity corner, triggered the caution period that ended an event featuring a thrilling 38 lead changes among nine drivers.

NTT P1 Award winner and six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon appeared to be the driver to beat, as he led a race-high 95 laps and became the all-time lap leader in Indianapolis 500 history with 665, surpassing the record of 644 by legendary four-time winner Al Unser. But Dixon was assessed a speeding penalty entering pit lane as he stopped from the lead on Lap 175 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

The subsequent drive-through penalty dropped 2008 Indy 500 winner Dixon through the field, and he ended up a disappointing 21st.

“It’s heartbreaking, to be honest,” Dixon said. “I came into the pit and had to lock the rears and kind of locked all four. I knew it was going to be close; I think it was a mile an hour over or something. Just frustrating. I just messed up.”

The next NTT INDYCAR SERIES race is the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear on Sunday, June 5 at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park in Detroit. The race will be broadcast live on USA Network and the INDYCAR Radio Network starting at 3 p.m. (ET).

 

 

INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, May 26, 2022) – As the largest crowd since 2016 plans to gather at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 29, fans should plan ahead and arrive early.

Fewer than 10,000 grandstand seats remain unsold for this year’s Indy 500. With more than 325,000 race fans returning to the Racing Capital of the World for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure a smooth entry into the facility fans are encouraged to arrive earlier than usual, even as early as 6 a.m. when gates open. This is the best way to ensure a smooth and quicker entry into the facility with time to visit activations and be in seats for the green flag.

“Ticket sales for the Indianapolis 500 continue to ride a surge of momentum as fans realize they can’t miss the full return of ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “With one of the largest crowds in history, we know Race Day will be fantastic.

“With the expected crowd, it’s important for fans to arrive as early as possible with plenty of time to park and patiently make their way in through the gates. The earlier you can arrive, the better. There’s no shortage of things to do at the track, even several hours before the green flag. I hope everyone will treat this like the 100th Running and come out in the early morning hours ready for an epic day.”

Race fans coming “Back Home Again” are encouraged to “Plan Ahead” through IMS.com/PlanAhead, an interactive web page that serves as a home base for fans headed to the track this weekend.

The “Plan Ahead” page features detailed information about the entire fan experience at IMS, including directions, parking, schedule, gate regulations, digital ticket guide, ADA accessibility and much more.

Race fans are encouraged to download the IMS App and use brand new technology from NTT INDYCAR SERIES title sponsor NTT and its Smart Solutions platform, which will update the IMS App every 30 seconds with wait time information at each gate to allow race fans smoother entry into the facility.

IMS is offering a whole morning of thrills and entertainment for ticketholders looking to beat traffic and avoid longer lines by coming to the track early. Gates open at 6 a.m. following the traditional infield blast.

Many enjoyable opportunities are available to fans right as the gates open or shortly after, including:

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum Open at 6 a.m.

Located inside Gate 2 of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Museum will be open from 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for guests over the age of 62 and $8 for guests ages 6-15. Children 5 and under and Museum members are free.

Race fans can walk to the IMS Museum from the Speedway’s infield, and a free shuttle will run between the IMS Museum and tram stops located at 6th and Hulman and Tunnel 10. Pedestrians on the south end of the racetrack can access the IMS Museum via Gate 2.

Exhibits at the Museum this year include “Traditions,” which offers a unique look at the iconic moments that lead up to the Indianapolis 500, as well as “Roadsters to Records” that allows race fans to experience the 12 years that revolutionized the Indy 500.

Enhanced Midway Experience Open at 6 a.m.

This year’s fan Midway features several exciting attractions, including the INDYCAR Rookie Zone for kids, the action-packed Chevy stage and more.

Shopping and Food

Exclusive and commemorative 106th Running attire will go fast, so don’t miss out! Grab breakfast at one of the many concession stands open all throughout the facility, and then shop for family and friends while supplies last. Retail and food options are available at 6 a.m.

Cashless Operations

All IMS concession stands and merchandise locations are cashless this year. Tap-to-pay phone payments will be accepted, as will credit and debit transactions. Cash-to-Card machines, which convert paper money onto a temporary debit card, will be located throughout the facility. These funds can be spent inside the venue, outside the venue, online or anywhere in the world where Mastercard/Visa debit cards are accepted.

Cash is accepted at gates and ticket remotes for ticket sales.

Cooling/Water Stations

With sunny skies and temperatures expected to be in the mid-80s on Race Day, IMS will have cooling buses located near the IMS Museum, outside Turns 1 and 4, and near the Turn 4 parking lot in the IMS infield. There will also be six water bottle filling stations located throughout the facility on Race Day in each of the four turns, as well as in Pagoda Plaza and behind Tower Terrace.

Borg-Warner Trophy March to the Yard of Bricks at 8 a.m.

The iconic Borg-Warner Trophy will begin an epic march to the Yard of Bricks at 8 a.m. from the basement doors of the IMS Museum. Line up outside the Museum for a chance to see the Trophy – escorted by the Gordon Pipers – begin its journey. From the IMS Museum, the Borg-Warner Trophy will head toward the South Pit Gate, Pagoda Plaza and IMS Midway before reaching the famed Yard of Bricks.

Caesars Sportsbook Lounge at Pagoda Plaza

Don’t miss the opportunity to place your bets for the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge by visiting the all-new Caesars Sportsbook Lounge at Pagoda Plaza. As the Official Sports Betting Partner of the Indy 500 and IMS, this lounge will provide Caesars Sportsbook app users with an elevated viewing experience with complimentary food and drink, live entertainment and racing games to go along with branded giveaways. In celebration of the 106th Running, Caesars Sportsbook will offer new customers an exciting promotion: download the Caesars Sportsbook app and make a first-time deposit of $20 to receive $106 in free bets along with entry into the Caesars Sportsbook Lounge at Pagoda Plaza.

Epic Pre-Race, Be in Your Seat for It!

This year’s pre-race festivities for the Indianapolis 500 are a carefully organized and choreographed show that will entertain race fans at any moment they are in their seats. It will feature two fantastic flyovers, military tributes, a DJ on the Pagoda 3 stage, former Indy 500 winner and historic race car laps around the famed 2.5-mile oval, the heartfelt singing of “Back Home Again in Indiana” by Jim Cornelison, the national anthem sung by Broadway star Jordan Fisher, blockbuster actor Miles Teller waving the green flag to start “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and so much more.

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Additionally, all Speedway patrons should be aware of the following facility information and regulations to ensure a successful day at the track:

Public Parking

Parking for the Indianapolis 500 is sold out, including ADA and motorcycle parking. All IMS exterior parking lots open at 5 a.m. on Race Morning, while interior lots open at 6 a.m.

Bike to the 500 and Bike Parking

IMS and Bike Indianapolis have collaborated to offer race fans a safe and healthy way to commute to the track on Race Day. The commute starts at the AMP at 16 Tech and follows a police escort to the racetrack, where cyclists will then park outside the famed Gate 1. Race fans can register for Bike to the 500 here.

Bike parking is available for all cyclists at Gates 1, 6 and 9.

Rideshare Location

Race fans who are not planning to park at the racetrack should consider using a rideshare program, such as Uber or Lyft, when traveling to or from the facility on Indianapolis 500 Race Day. Guests using rideshare services like Uber, Lyft or taxis will be dropped off at the corner of 10th & Polco Streets. Guests also will be picked up at this location after the race. IMS also offers a Race Day round-trip shuttle service that provides a stress-free trip to the Indianapolis 500. Shuttle services pick up and drop off from the Indianapolis International Airport or at Gate Ten Events and Parking, located across the street from Lucas Oil Stadium. Those riding the shuttle will be dropped off and picked up from the Main Gate parking lot. Indy 500 shuttle services can be purchased here.

Pedestrian Gate Entry

Public pedestrian gates open are: Gate 1, Gate 1B.1, Gate 1C, Gate 2, Gate 3, Gate 4, Gate 5N, Gate 5B, Gate 6N, Gate 6S, Gate 6B, Gate 7S, Gate 7 Vehicle, Gate 7N Gate 9, Gate 10, Gate 10A, Gate 11A, Gate 11B, Gate 11C, Gate 12.

Vehicle Traffic at Gate 9A

Gate 9A is no longer open to vehicular fan traffic. Fans who previously used this gate should plan ahead and choose another route for entrance to IMS.

Digital Tickets

Digital tickets are accessible via a mobile device only. Fans can access and manage their digital tickets by logging into their IMS.com account on their smart phone’s web browser or via the IMS App. Fans are encouraged to ensure the brightness on their smart phone is turned up before approaching the gate for a seamless scanning of their digital ticket. Race fans are also encouraged to visit the IMS Digital Ticket guide to manage their digital tickets and enhance their at-track experience.

Weekend Street Parking

Race event parking restrictions in the Town of Speedway will be enforced during the Indianapolis 500. No parking will be allowed on the south and east sides of any street bound by 25th Street on the north, Georgetown Road on the east, Lynhurst Drive on the west and Crawfordsville Road on the south from 6 p.m. Thursday through 8 p.m. Sunday. Additionally, race fans will not be able to park on Main Street in Speedway between 10th Street and 16th Street on Race Day starting at midnight.

Parking will also be restricted in other areas of the Town of Speedway on Indianapolis 500 Race Weekend from 6 p.m. Thursday through 8 p.m. Sunday along several neighborhood streets. Local streets impacted by street parking can be found here.

Road Closures

Race fans should be aware of multiple road closures before making their way to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Race Day. Those include:

  • Speedway Police Department will close Georgetown Road at 6 a.m. on Race Day to all vehicular traffic. Guests accustomed to entering Gate 7 should enter through Gate 2 or Gate 10. Local residents are encouraged to make provisions for the temporary traffic restriction. Georgetown Road will remain closed until approximately one hour after the race.
  • Speedway Police Department will also close 16th Street between Olin Avenue and the roundabout from approximately noon until the end of the race. Additionally, 16th Street will not be accessible from Polco Street, as it will be blocked at 10th Street.
  • The Indiana Department of Transportation is reconstructing the I-65/I-70 interchange between the north split and Washington Street in downtown Indianapolis. I-70 eastbound and westbound traffic will be routed around I-465. I-65 northbound and southbound traffic will be routed through the South Split, I-70 and I-465. Drivers southbound on I-65 will not be able to enter westbound I-70, and drivers northbound on I-65 will not be able to enter eastbound I-70.

Additional Resources and Information

Drivers can learn the locations of work zones and highway restrictions by calling INDOT’s TrafficWise at 1-800-261-ROAD (7623) or viewing an online map at pws.trafficwise.org or visiting @TrafficWise on Twitter.

No coolers larger than 18 inches by 14 inches by 14 inches can be brought into the facility, which will be strictly enforced. Fans will be allowed to bring one cooler and one standard backpack or book bag per person. Coolers are allowed inside the Snake Pit gates.

For more information regarding access to IMS, visit IMS.com. For additional information, follow on Twitter the Indiana State Police @IndStatePolice, the Speedway Police Department @SpeedwayPD or listen to radio stations WFNI-FM 107.5/WFNI-AM 1070 or WIBC-FM 93.1.

The Speedway Police Department can be reached for non-emergency services by dialing 311 on a cell phone. The goal of 311 is to provide an easy-to-remember number for non-emergency services while freeing up 911 lines for timely emergency response.