Thomas Marquis

Thomas Marquis

Phenom...

My weekend started and ended with Zeb Wise, a 16 year old phenom from Indiana. Before he died, Bryan Clauson decided this kid had what it took to be a major player in midget racing, and he was not wrong. Zeb took on, and held out over his teammates for a win on Thursday night.

But the really fabulous thing? Watching the interview with Zeb when he saw his picture on the wall at IMS. He was so excited and so shocked. This guy has the poise of a much older individual, but seeing his reaction to his poster on the wall made you realize that in actuality he is 16 years old. It was really good to see the moment of youth in this otherwise poised young man.

I sent a picture of Zeb winning the race on Thursday to a friend of mind who joined me for the midget races on Thursday. She made the comment that she had not realized the backstory of Zeb and his connection to the Clauson family, but she stated that it the fact that he had won the race on Thursday was even more special. And she is absolutely correct. As we were watching the commercials talking about Clauson's gift, the thought that the kid he had believed in had won the race on Thursday was so special.

Bryan Clauson's legacy lives on in the individuals whose lives he saved through his organ donation, but also through the ability to save multiple lives through putting a spotlight on this important topic.

 

Hanging out in Turn 4 you get to meet all sorts of individuals. I met a couple of folks that I will not readily forget. Reggie was at IMS for the inaugural Brickyard in August of 1994. Chase’s daughter was here today for HER inaugural Brickyard. Today was a day of firsts to firsts!

Reggie came from Nashville, TN and while he was here for the inaugural Brickyard 400, today he was here for Bubba Wallace, who had his best finish at Indianapolis. As we got to the last 10 laps of the race, you could FEEL Reggie pulling for Bubba to finish well. He kept say, “If he finishes top 5, that will be good”, but you could feel that he wanted better for Bubba. And Bubba pulled it out! Bubba Wallace ended up with a 3rd place finish. I know that Reggie’s trip to Nashville will go fast!!

 

 

I also met Chase and his daughter. Chase is a NASCAR fan, but his daughte, has never been to a NASCAR race, until today. She is a die-hard Chase Elliot fan and it was great to see the next generation of NASCAR fans in the crowd today.

 

I think the thing that struck me today was that I met someone who had been here for the inaugural Brickyard in 1994 and I also met someone who had not even been alive for that inaugural Brickyard. NASCAR and IMS brings folks of all ages together.

Speedway, IN  9/6/19

USAC comes to IMS! The Driven2savelives BC39 was held over the past 2 days at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and USAC put on a great show! Wednesday night's finish was one for the record books. What a great memorial for Bryan Clauson!

Thursday night's weather was perfect to watch dirt track racing! As I was wandering around Turn 3 at IMS, I noticed all the drivers that were represented on t-shirts. Each race brings with it it's unique race fans, but I noticed how much overlap there was between USAC drivers and NASCAR drivers. There were just as many cheers for USAC drivers as there were for drivers like Kyle Larsen. How great to see everyone mingling and having a great time!!

I started chatting with a woman in the grandstands and Thursday was her first experience with dirt track racing. She was no novice to IMS, having attended quite a few Indy 500s and Brickyard 400s, but this was a completely different experience for her. She talked about the ambiance and how great the atmosphere was. She remarked about the smells of the fuel and the sounds of the engines. It is completely different from Indycar and NASCAR. She said quite a few times that she kept expecting the drivers to crash as they were coming out of their drifts and she thought the control they showed was amazing! When one of the drivers in one of the heats ended up on their side and the fact that they were able to be righted, and take off with a push start, she was in awe! I think she will be back for a repeat visit!

Today, the Xfinity young guns got behind the wheel and had their first practice in an attempt to take on the veteran NASCAR drivers for the Indiana 250.  Tomorrow the action continues with Cup practice and Xfinity qualifying, capped off by the Xfinity race Indiana 250 at 3pm.

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Speedway, Indiana - May 27, 2019

Congratulations to Simon Pagenaud for winning the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500. A great race to the end with Alexander Rossi! 

 

I want to talk to you about what it's like to be a fan at the Indianapolis 500. I started the day at around 6am in one of the lots. I met some really great folks from NJ. It was their first race and it was a check off on the bucket list of the man in the pair. They were both really excited about what the day would hold for them. 

 

I saw a fan I have talked to for many years from Victory Lane. He has been coming to the track since 1954. He has only missed 1 Indianapolis 500 and that was because he was in the service. I saw a mom pushing her baby around with a t-shirt that said "My First Indianapolis 500". As the month progressed I saw various events; Will Power kissing a girl with Downs Syndrome, the fan access is incredible.

 

On May 7th, the Friday before the GP, I talked to a teacher who had brought her students (about 30 in total) who were on a field trip to IMS. This is a group of kids from a low socioeconomic area of the city and it was their first visit to the track. She talked about how excited her students were to be able to experience the track and hear the sound of the engines. As I watched them, I could see their excitement coming off them like waves. They were trying to be cool, because they were high school students, but it was one of the best things I had seen that day and they could not hide their excitement. That is the spirit of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

Race day was spent in the infield of the 4th turn. I set my stuff down and then headed to the red carpet. There, I hung out and watched the crowd wait patiently, for about 2.5 hours, for the incredible list of celebrities to make their way down the carpet. Matt Damon and Christian Bale did not talk to media, but made themselves extremely available to the fans. Matt Damon went so far as to take selfies with anyone who handed him a camera. There was a 19 year old girl there from Belgium and when she mentioned to Damon that she was a fan and from Belgium, he took the time to interact with her personally.

 

Another highlight of the red carpet was seeing Michael Goulian, 2018 winner of the Red Bull Air Race, in Indianapolis. It was great to see past champions of other types of racing at IMS celebrate the Memorial Day Weekend. All the celebrities on the red carpet were incredibly generous with their time with the fans. Jackson Robert Scott and Chevel Shepherd were incredibly open to interacting with their fans. 

 

My race was spent in the infield of turn 4. I had a view of turn 4, and the straightaway toward turn 1. My favorite moment was after the 3rd parade lap and I could hear the engines rev up to running speed. If you haven't heard Indy Cars in full throttle, you haven't lived. It runs straight through your body and lets you know you are alive in no other way. I eagerly watched as we hit lap 100, knowing that if we could not get a full race in due to rain, things were going to get VERY exciting. As it turns out, God really does love Indy car because we were able to get the full race in, even with the threat of rain. There was a wreck at 177  that included Graham Rahal and Sebastian Bourdais that stopped the race. The last few laps were extremely exciting! There were several lead changes between Pagenaud and Rossi. The fact that it came down to the very last minute made it a race that will go down in the history book of Indy.  Thanks to Simon Pagenoud and Alexander Rossi for a GREAT race!!

 

 

 

 

 

Speedway Indiana- May 24, 2019

In celebration of his 50 years... IMS announces start of the “Robin Miller Award” for those dedicated to the service of racing. R is the first recipient.

He was an Indy Car  pit crew member and drove in the USAC series in the 1970s.

Miller is best known for being a writer at The Indianapolis Star from 1968–2001. He has also written for Autoweek, Car and Driver, ESPN and Speed  He currently is a correspondent and senior writer for Racer magazine and website, while also reporting on IndyCar broadcasts for the NBC sports Network

Speedway Indiana May 20,2019

After spending the entire day in the rain Sunday! A small window opened late in the afternoon for qualifications.

For the second year in a row 2 highly known drivers were bumped from the Indy 500. In 2018 it was James Hinchcliff, and now this year 2 time Formula One Champion Fernando Alonso was the latest to get bumped from running the Indy 500!

Frankly it could have been avoided! McLaren did not give Fernando car he could compete with, and that fact was proven Sunday! The buzz around the media center was McLaren was going to buy a spot. Well that was quickly squashed. Fernando said if didn’t earn a spot then he didn’t want to be in race. Television cameras focused on Alonso during Kaiser's run as he sat on the brink of elimination. The Juncos driver ran four neat and composed laps, eventually crossing the line and knocking Alonso and McLaren—both synonymous with success but, more recently, catastrophe—out by just two-hundredths of a mile per hour.

Then we had the fast nine and it appears we are playing game of “Simon Says”. Simon Pagenaud wins the GP last weekend and this week he wins the pole. Today Simon leads in practice 1 for the Indy 500 this weekend!

This is the tightest grid in 500 history! With just a little over a second between 1st and 33rd positions.

Todays practice results

 Pagenaud, Simon 228.441

Newgarden, Josef 228.273

Hinchcliffe, James 227.994

Dixon, Scott 227.951

Rossi, Alexander 227.660

Kimball, Charlie 227.645

Castroneves, Helio 227.614

Power, Will 227.480  

Rosenqvist, Felix (R) 227.414

Davison, James 227.393

Practice one results

 

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Indianapolis—

Let’s do this again the NASCAR Marathon continues at the Indianapolis motor Speedway.

Coming off what is likely the most exciting Xfinty race of the season.

A very emotional Justin Allgaier has won the Xfinity Series race that kicked off a NASCAR doubleheader at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

We are finally able to start the 25th running of the Brickyard 400.

Twitter action from stage 1  

Early in 400 L10: @KyleLarsonRacin says the biggest issue so far is Turn 4. "I think I hit the wall a little on the short chute between 1 and 2."

#Brickyard400 L22: "That's all I got. I'm trying. Loose off ... but overall not too bad." - Brad @keselowski

#Brickyard400 L26: @keselowski told to follow the leaders to pit road if they stop before the Lap 30 caution.

#Lap32 Elliott goes for "right side only" on tires, gains significant track position.

#Brickyard400 L30: 2nd competition caution. Larson: 5th Kez: 9th Logano: 18th Harvick: 33rd (made his way back to 19th before pitting)

Green flag back out on lap 34. #Brickyard400 #NASCAR

Martin Truex JR lost a brake rotor his day at IMS ended early

Clint Bowyer wins Stage 1 of the Brickyard 400 followed by Kurt Busch

In Stage 2 big crash between David Starr and Bubba Wallace followed by another crash between Alex Bowman and AJ Allmendinger. This huge for Bowman with a playoff spot on the line. Heavy repairs were made to the RF and RR it cost Bowman 3 laps

Next caution JJ Yeley goes for a spin. Teammates Clint Boyer and Kevin Harvick lead field on the restart.

Stage 2 Twitter action

Through 80 (halfway): - Chase Elliott at 7th - Ryan Blaney at 3rd - Austin Dillon 23rd #Brickyard400

Heavy impact between @BubbaWallace and @starr_racing. #Brickyard400

#Brickyard400 L86: @KevinHarvick reporting a vibration. Spotter continues to tell him his gap to 2nd


@WilliamByron is told he's got a penalty for an uncontrolled tire. He will restart at the tail end of the field. Was running top 10 prior. Lap 78. #NASCAR #Brickyard400

#Brickyard400 L92: @KyleLarsonRacin picks up a spot that lap and moves up to P4 with 8 to go in Stage 2.

@dariangrubb to @WilliamByron: "Really really REALLY slow blue 66 car coming up." Lap 90. #NASCAR #Brickyard400

 

Matt Kenseth WINS STAGE 2 followed by Chase Elliot.

Final Stage 3...a ton strategies are going to come into play to finish this race

Penalty for Kyle Busch and the Number 18 team hit with a commitment line Violation at the close of stage 2

1 more pit stop for most teams

To start Stage 3: @WilliamByron, @ClintBowyer, @dennyhamlin, @KevinHarvick, and @KyleLarsonRacin are the top 5. #NASCAR #Brickyard400 Lap 104.

Ryan Blayneywas running in top three but disaster on pit road will likely end his of a #BrickYard400 win.

#Brickyard400 L137: Leader @keselowski reports he just hit debris and wants crew to check splitter.

#Brickyard400 L140: @keselowski radio now speaking strategy code: "Page No. 3." He leads Johnson by 2.4 seconds

#Brickyard400 L141: @keselowski pitting this time

Debris on the Front Stretch brings out caution

@KurtBusch reports an ill-handling car. Asks how many cars are on the lead lap. When told 23 cars are on the lead lap, Kurt replies in the only way Kurt can, "expletive". #NASCAR #Brickyard400 Lap 145

1 to go at the line. Restart with 12 to go. Top 5: @dennyhamlin, @ClintBowyer, @jamiemcmurray, @KevinHarvick, and @erik_jones #NASCAR #Brickyard400

#Brickyard400: Hamlin already out to a nearly 1 second lead

Clint Bowyer and Jamie McMurray make contact, but Bowyer hangs on! #Brickyard400

Caution is out for @JEarnhardt1 and @landoncassill with 7 laps to go!

 

CHECKERED FLAG GOES TO BRAD KESELOWSKI AND THE FIRST BRICKYARD WIN FOR THE CAPTAIN!

Kyle Busch captured the regular-season points title. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver, in the No. 18 Toyota, finished eighth.

The other drivers competing for the Cup title will be: Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson, Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Jones, Aric Almirola and Ryan Newman.

Saturday's qualifying was rained out, so the starting grid was determined by points. Sunday's scheduled race also was washed out, forcing the race to be moved to a rare Monday start.

 

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Indianapolis ---

The rain has cleared out and we have an all-day NASCAR event at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I can’t think of a better way to start the week! 650 miles of racing in one day!

Wow what an exciting Lilly Diabetes 250. Holy cow we saw stage 1 end in 4 wide won by John Hunter Nemechek

Stage 2 Strategy and fight for second place won by Christopher Bell, Stage 2 won by Daniel Hemric .

One of the most exciting Xfinity races of the season unfolded right here in Indy.

Unfortunately the day ended badly for Ty Dillion, Austin Cindric , and Elliot Sadler. Sadler recently announcing his retirement. This not the way he wanted to end his last race at Indy.

Elliott Sadler hit Dillon's No. 3 car and both went hard into the third turn wall. Sadler started his final Indy race fourth in points. Then one-lap shootout that John Hunter Nemechek barely won as the cars went four wide.

Stage 3 wasn’t without calamity Brandon Jones made contact with Cole Custer causing heavy contact with the inside wall before sliding down the back stretch. Cole was evaluated and released from the infield Care center

#18 Ryan Preece got loose and slammed into Tire barrier. Creating red Flag conditions for cleanup in turn 2. Preece was evaluated and released from the infield Care center

In the final laps the battle for the lead go 3 wide!  With 10 to go Ryan Truex hits wall and is forced to pit.

Conragts to Justin Allgaier gets his first win at Indy. Congrats also to JR Motorsports!

After a long wait…we finally have a checkered flag wave at Indy! What smoke show here at Indy.  Justin Allgaier “This is one is for my dad…This all about family” Tears flowing this was clearing an emotional win for Justin Allgaier

  1. Justin Allgaier
  2. Tyler Reddick
  3. Ryan Blaney
  4. Chase Elliott
  5. Daniel Hemric
  6. Matt Tifft
  7. Christopher Bell
  8. Austin Dillon
  9. Chase Briscoe
  10. Brandon jones
  11. Ryan Reed
  12. Ross Chastain
  13. Ryan Sieg
  14. Jeremy Clements
  15. Joey Gase
  16. BJ McLeod
  17. Vinnie Miller
  18. David Starr
  19. Alex Labbe
  20. Garrett Smithley
  21. Chad Finchum
  22. Ryan Truex
  23. Caesar Bacarella
  24. Josh Williams
  25. John Hunter Nemechek
  26. Mike Harmon
  27. Tommy Joe Martins
  28. Ryan Preece
  29. Cole Custer
  30. JJ Yeley
  31. Michael Annett
  32. Morgan Shepherd
  33. Ty Dillon
  34. Austin Cindric
  35. Elliott Sadler
  36. Spencer Boyd
  37. Brandon Hightower
  38. Josh Bilicki
  39. Bayley Currey
  40. Jeff Green

In other news as we get ready for the 25th running of the Brickyard 400

Jamie McMurray may be headed into the final Brickyard 400 of his career with Chip Ganassi Racing. McMurray won the race in 2010.

Ganassi says he's offered McMurray a contract to drive the Daytona 500 next season, then move into a leadership role with the organization similar to the one Dario Franchitti holds. Ganassi says McMurray has not decided if he will stay with the team or seek a full-time driving job elsewhere.

The contract confirms the No. 1 Chevrolet will be open at the end of this season, but Ganassi declined to comment on signing free agent Kurt Busch.

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@TBalance

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