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
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In the new qualifying format for the 2019 Indianapolis 500, the bottom six drivers after Saturday’s qualifying session were to duke for the final three positions on Sunday, with only one attempt.
Fernando Alonso’s final 4-lap average was 227.353mph, putting him third out of the five drivers to take time. Alonso was in. Provisionally, but in. After all, the only driver left to qualify was the unsponsored Juncos Racing No. 32, which nearly flipped two days prior with California’s Kyle Kaiser behind the wheel. Alonso is a two-time F1 Champ, defending 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, defending 24 Hours of Daytona winner, 32-time F1 winner, and current FIA WEC Point Leader. No way Juncos’ backup car could bump the McLaren-Carlin Chevrolet, right?
Kyle Kaiser set the world on fire. Not everyone knew his name Sunday morning. The world was either cursing or singing his name Sunday evening. Kaiser’s four-lap average was 227.372mph. Just .019mph quicker than Alonso’s speed. The unsponsored, white, green and orange Chevrolet was in. When the Juncos Racing team began celebrating, Alonso walked past the cameras, media, fans, straight to a golf cart. He hopped on the cart, and was driven out of sight. No talk to the media for the Spaniard. He had failed to qualify for his second Indianapolis 500.
The excitement of bump day is high every year, and unfortunately for the McLaren team, they had lived it. And even more unfortunate for Zak Brown, they had lived the wrong end.
Will McLaren buy a ride from a qualified car? Will Alonso return to the brickyard next year? Only time will tell. And that’s why we love motorsports. The unpredictable. The drama. The excitement. And ofcourse, the speed.
Thank you, IMS. Until next week.
Roush Fenway Racing will host its annual spring fan day at its headquarters in Concord, N.C. on Thursday, May 23. The event is open to the public and will feature autograph sessions with drivers Ryan Newman and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. as well as NASCAR Hall of Fame owner Jack Roush.
The event will feature various partner displays, with partners handing out samples and other items. , The famous Oscar Mayer Weiner Mobile will be on display and team personal will serve Oscar Mayer Hotdogs to fans in attendance.
In addition team members will be on hand providing fans with first hand pit crew demonstrations and a behind the scenes peek of how race car paint schemes are prepared for the track.
SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will again broadcast from the event, featuring visits with the Roush Fenway drivers, Jack Roush and Roush Fenway President Steve Newmark.
Roush Fenway encourages fans to take part in the event through social media using the hashtag #RFRFanDay, while the team will give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the event throughout the day on all of its social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. In addition, fans that are in attendance at #RFRFanDay will have the unique opportunity to use a special Snapchat filter at the event.
Autograph sessions will kick off at 9 a.m. with Jack Roush, Ryan Newman and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. signing for fans in the team’s museum. Autograph session tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning at 8 a.m.
The team will host a raffle giveaway in its theater at 12 noon, where fans in attendance can win great prizes.
What: Roush Fenway Racing Spring ‘Fan Appreciation Day’
Where: Roush Fenway Racing Campus – 4600 Roush Place, Concord N.C. 28027
When: Thursday, May 23, 2019. Autograph Ticket distribution begins at 8:00 a.m. with autographs starting at 9:00 a.m. Fan Appreciation Day runs until 1:00 p.m.
Meridian Speedway honored the men and women of the United States Armed Forces Saturday, May 18, as the quarter-mile asphalt oval hosted Military Appreciation Night featuring the Project Filter Twin 25’s. The PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds, Coors Super Stocks, Teleperformance Street Stocks, Project Filter Pro-4s, High School Tuners, and Junior Stingers all contested double dashes to claim the Boise Boys Transportation Feature Flag.
Eight Teleperformance Street Stocks rolled to the green on their second 25 lap main event. After an early exit in the first feature, Nampa, Idaho’s Kendra Occhipinti roared to the early lead with Josh Fanopoulos and Jesse James Lawson in her tire tracks. Lawson was first to challenge Occhipinti and on lap eight piloted his Dillon Plumbing, Jump Time of Idaho machine to the top of the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. This left Occhipinti in the clutches of Fanopoulos and her younger brother Taylor Occhipinti.
Fanopoulos drove his Certified Services, Signature Concrete Counter Tops racer to second on lap ten, followed by Taylor Occhipinti. The younger Occhipinti piloted his Marv’s Tire Service, Dillon Performance Engines mount to third and worked to close the gap on Fanopoulos while Fanopoulos closed on Lawson. Though they could keep pace with Lawson, neither Fanopoulos nor Occhipinti were able to mount a challenge as the newcomer from Caldwell, Idaho roared to the Project Filter Twin 25 sweep.
With his two victories Saturday, Lawson extended his win streak to four features. The Junior Stingers followed John Clever and Jody Moen to green for their final fifteen lap feature. On the break Moen, her earlier mechanical issues resolved, shot to the lead while first feature winner Dylan Wardle carved his way through the field to the top three on lap two.
Wardle’s Padgett Pest Control, Beauty from Ashes racer was quick, and the Meridian, Idaho racer hooked the inside line and blasted past Moen to take the lead at the race’s halfway point.
This dropped Moen’s Fast Lane Automotive, D.L. Evans machine into the clutches of Star, Idaho’s Delany Grace, who piloted her CP Express Vinyl, Splash and Dash machine around Moen to take second on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. Though faster than the leader, Grace struggled to erase Wardle’s full straightaway lead until a caution bunched the field with three circuits left.
The green flag waved and Grace stormed past Wardle for the lead. Wardle, his eyes on the Military Appreciation Night sweep, wouldn’t settle for second and he raced back to Grace’s bumper on the white flag lap. But Wardle’s hard charge fell short as Grace raced across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first to take home the night’s second Boise Boys Transportation Feature Flag.
The High School Tuners were next onto the quarter-mile asphalt oval for their second fifteen lap sprint race. Outside pole sitter Hannah Scott sped to the early lead, but Jett Nelson was fast and the Boise, Idaho driver took over the top spot on lap three. Behind Nelson’s YMC Mechanical machine, Cody Castricone and James Strikwerda wound their way through the field until the pair sat second and third on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.
Strikwerda got the best of the second place battle in his PBT Auto Sales entry, then with five laps left overtook Nelson for the lead. This left Nelson in the clutches of Castricone, who piloted his Fast Glass racer around the outside to the runner up spot. But Castricone ran out of time to mount a challenge and Strikwerda claimed his second Boise Boys Transportation Feature Flag of Military Appreciation Night.
Fresh off his High School Tuner sweep, James Strikwerda hopped into his Coors Super Stock and lined up on the outside pole position for one final 25 lap feature. Strikwerda made the high line the place to be on the break as he raced his way to the lead. But the youngster soon faced fast company as Jamo Stephenson and Melissa Weaver made their way to second and third on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.
A lap eight restart lined Stephenson’s Big Al’s, The Ranch racer up outside of Strikwerda’s PBT Auto Sales machine for the green. Stephenson got the better of the restart and motored past Strikwerda while Weaver and first feature winner Daytona Wurtz worked to find their own way past Strikwerda.
Once clear of Strikwerda, an eight-lap battle ensued as Weaver pushed her way past Stephenson while simultaneously under attack from Wurtz. With nine laps left Weaver and Wurtz cleared Stephenson and the fight for first was on. Lapped traffic slowed Weaver’s Marv’s Tire Service, Dillon Performance Engines entry with six circuits left, which allowed Wurtz to issue a warning shot to the division dominator’s rear bumper. Wurtz wheeled her All Makes Auto Salvage, United Metals machine hard to keep pace with the leader, and with three laps to go the young Boise, Idaho racer slammed the front stretch wall. It was all Wurtz could to do to limp her stricken racer home, which left Weaver to cruise across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe and capture the Boise Boys Transportation Feature Flag.
After a rough and tumble afternoon for the Project Filter Pro-4s, seven machines zipped to green for their second 25 lap tilt. On the green Ben Harris, his Kim’s Kars, H&H Auto racer newly rebuilt after a hard practice crash, edged to an early lead. But it was Eagle, Idaho racer Alex Duda, fresh off of two massive crashes in separate afternoon practice sessions who took control of the evening’s final feature on lap two.
Duda set the pace for five laps in his Boise Boys Transportation, Carbon Designs entry before Kenny Chandler found the handle on his Project Filter, Fairly Reliable Bob’s racer and motored to the lead. But Chandler wasn’t alone up front as first feature winner Jordan Harris went to work on his teammate and car owner for the top spot. Lap after lap Harris tried the inside line, and lap after lap Chandler held station in the lead.
With the white flag in the air Harris drove his Kim’s Kars, Challenger Auto machine deep into turn three, but Chandler would not be denied and the veteran campaigner from Kuna, Idaho took the Boise Boys Transportation Feature Flag.
Sixteen PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds shook the ground as they took the green for the final Project Filter Twin 25 of Military Appreciation Night. Meridian, Idaho’s Tim Wallace took advantage of his pole starting position and put his Westside Machine, Lucas Oil racer out front. Behind Wallace, Casey Tillman, victim of a first feature tangle with early-season rival Shelby Stroebel, worked his Ready Made Plastic Trays, Holly Company racer forward in his quest for a feature win.
Tillman took to the high line and marched to the lead after a lap five caution flag, with Star, Idaho’s Tony Ackerland and first main winner Wyatt King of Kuna, Idaho in tow. King worked his Major Tire and Hitch, machine past Ackerland on the high side and set to work reeling Tillman in. With seven laps left the leaders sped into a knot of lapped traffic and after two white knuckle laps a caution flag mercifully slowed and sorted the field.
The green flag waved again and King dove under Tillman, but Tillman kept his racer wound up and shot back to the lead. This would prove to be King’s last chance to make a pass as Tillman sprinted into the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.
The Meridian Speedway season continues Monday, May 27 with Whelen Night at the Races. The NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Models, PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modifieds, Winged Pepsi Crate Cars, Project Filter Pro-4s, Domino’s Legends, and Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets close the Memorial Day Weekend in pursuit of the Racing for Smiles Feature Flags. General admission is just $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 60+ and military members, and $7 for kids 7-11.
Gates open at 4:45 p.m. with racing at 6:45 p.m. Kids, bring a bike and a helmet for the Hungry Onion Bike Races held right after qualifying. Log on to www.meridianspeedway.com for the latest news from around the quarter-mile, and text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 to receive exclusive updates. We’ll see you Monday, May 27, under the big yellow water tower for Whelen Night at the Races at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.
Meridian Speedway PR
On the brink. Oh, so close.
Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman has heard the words and lived the sentiment.
The 26-year old driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has finished runner-up in the last three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular season races and is “ready” to win doesn’t even begin to describe the emotion he brings to Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Bowman is the first driver in NASCAR’s Modern Era (1972-Present) to finish second in three consecutive Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races before having earned his first career series win.
And what’s especially impressive about Bowman’s feat is that he has done it at three widely-different venues – from the Talladega Superspeedway 2.66-mile high banks, to the challenging Dover International Speedway’s one-mile concrete oval to the Kansas Speedway 1.5-miler just before last week’s All-Star break. And the Margin of Victory in each? Equally as different – from a caution flag finish at Talladega to a 9.5-second Martin Truex Jr. runaway win at Dover to a scant 0.205-second near-miss at Kansas.
“I’m really proud of everybody at Hendrick Motorsports, our race cars are so much better than what we started the year with," Bowman said, after his Kansas Speedway thriller. “I’m really appreciative.
“I wish we were standing here with three wins in a row and things had gone differently and that be the case, but we’ll keep digging."
In the Modern Era (1972-Present) drivers have finished runner-up in three consecutive races before – 14 times. The last was Kyle Larson in 2017 when he was second at Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix. NASCAR Hall of Famers Darrell Waltrip (1978 and 1983) and Jeff Gordon (1998 and 1999) are the only to accomplish the mark in multiple seasons.
Waltrip (1983), Mark Martin (1998) along with Harry Gant (1985) scored four consecutive runner-up finishes.
Waltrip’s string of seconds in 1983 happened at Nashville, Tenn., Pocono, Pa., Talladega, Ala., and Michigan and then he put an exclamation mark on the run with a win the next week at Bristol, Tenn.
Gant was second place four times (at Dover, Charlotte, Riverside and Pocono) and Martin was runner-up in four straight races in 1998 (at New Hampshire, Pocono, Indianapolis, and Watkins Glen). As with Bowman, Martin’s mark was especially impressive considering the variety of venues – from the New Hampshire one-miler to 2.5-mile tracks in Pocono and Indy and then the Watkins Glen road course.
NASCAR’s all-time winningest driver Richard Petty’s work in the 1975 season was especially impressive too. He bookended his three straight second-place finishes with wins. … and more second-place finishes. He won the summer race at Daytona, had three straight second-place showings at Nashville, Pocono, Talladega and then won at Michigan, was a runner-up at Darlington and won back-to-back events at Dover and North Wilkesboro - eight races in a row where he finished first or second.
That’s the high end of some positive precedent for Bowman.
Three of the 12 drivers to previously score three straight runner-up finishes – earned victories in the next race. Along with Petty, Jeff Gordon capped his second place showings with a trophy. He was runner-up at Dover, Michigan and Pocono then went on to win the next race on the Sonoma road course from the pole position.
Kyle Larson similarly capped a three-race runner-up streak with a win from the pole position. Larson finished runner-up at Atlanta, Las Vegas and ISM Raceway then closed out the 2017 Western Swing with a victory at Auto Club Speedway. In all Larson scored eight runner-up finishes and four wins that season.
Although understandably disappointed – even frustrated – to be so close to that career-defining first victory, Bowman has handled the situation well. He’s 12th in the championship standings and his 86 laps out front have all come in the last three races. Plus, he was a career-best ninth in the Coca-Cola 600 last year.
“It’s absolutely a good day for everyone at Hendrick Motorsports," Bowman said after climbing out of the car in Kansas. “We all had really competitive cars and we really appreciate everyone’s hard work to continue to build our cars and continue to get better like we have.
“It was a really good day. My family is from here, so it would have been pretty cool. Probably the two closest times I have been to winning was my hometown and my dad’s hometown, so it’s just frustrating.
“We will get one soon.”
Headed to the 103rd running of the greatest spectacle in racing?
This here is the track schedule for the week!
Monday May 20,
- Noon-6 pm…Public Gates Open
- 10:00-11:30 Indy Lights Test
- Noon-2:00 pm Indy 500 open practice
- 2:30-4 pm Indy Lights Test
Tuesday May 21st-Wednesday May 22nd
No Track Activity
Thursday May 23rd
- No Public access
- 10-10:45 Indy Lights Practice
- 1:30-2:30 Indy Lights Qualifying
Friday May 24- MILLER LIGHT CARB DAY!
- 8:00 am-6 pm Public Gates open
- 11:00 AM -12:30 Indy 500 Final Practice
- 1:00 Pm 17th Freedom 100 (Indy Lights Race)
- 2-3:30 Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge
- 3:30 Miller Lite Carb Day Concert, Turn 4 infield
Saturday May 25th- Legions Day
- Parade, Downtown Indianapolis... (Non Track Sponsored Event)
- 9 AM-10:00 Driver Autograph Session Pagoda Plaza
- 10:25: Public Drivers Meeting- Tower Terrace
- 3:30 Firestone Legends Day Concert Turn 4 Infield
Sunday May 26- RACE DAY
- 6:00 AM Public Gates Open
- 7:00 AM Indy 500 Snake Pit presented by Coors Light begins, Turn 3 Infield
- 12:30 PM 103rd running of The Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge
Have fun, stay safe and hydrated. SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING!
JD Motorsports with Gary Keller (JDM) is proud to welcome back the Flex Seal Family of Products as well as the Florida Watermelon Association on board as primary partners on all four Chevrolet Camaros.
Florida Watermelon Association will once again team up with Ross Chastain and the No. 4 team, a partnership that dates back to 2014 in his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Charlotte. This will be the first race of the season for the FWA aboard Chastain’s Chevrolet.
Flex Seal will join forces with BJ McLeod and the No. 15 team, marking it as the first time that he has been sponsored by the longtime JDM supporter. In two sponsored races this season, Flex Seal was able to earn an 11th place finish at Richmond with Chastain, and a 9th place finish at Talladega with Landon Cassill, both driving the No. 4 Chevrolet.
Flex Tape will hop on board the No. 0 Camaro with Garrett Smithley for the third time this season. In Talladega just a few weeks ago, the Flex Tape backing helped push Smithley to his season-best finish in 12th place.
And lastly, but certainly not least, Flex Glue will reunite with Stephen Leicht and the No. 01 Chevrolet for the second time this season. In their only other race aboard Leicht’s Camaro, they walked away with a 24th place finish after getting caught up in “The Big One”.
This weekend’s race in Charlotte marks the third time this season where all four JDM cars have been fully sponsored, and the team is very pleased. Team owner Johnny Davis was quoted saying “We here at JD Motorsports truly appreciate all of the fantastic support we have had this season. Our cars have been running as good as ever, and I take pride in knowing that more and more companies are starting to take notice. We are going to give it our all this Saturday in Charlotte to represent them well!”
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the running of the Alsco 300 on Saturday, May 25th. With this being a race close to home for many NXS teams and drivers, there is always an extra sense of pride and desire to perform. Be sure to watch FS1 for live coverage at 1:00 PM ET, or listen along on the radio on PRN. For all things JD Motorsports with Gary Keller, be sure to follow along on our social media pages @JDMotorsports01. #TeamJDM
In what has become another Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge tradition, the 33 participating drivers in this year's race will fan out across North America on Tuesday to spread the word about the upcoming running of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."
This year, the 103rd Indianapolis 500 field is scheduled to visit 18 cities in less than 24 hours. Drivers will meet with local media in each location to discuss the race and partake in activities to increase the already-surging interest in the Indianapolis 500, the world's largest single-day sporting event set for Sunday, May 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Defending Indianapolis 500 champion Will Power, who will start the race from the second row, will visit Washington, D.C., and attend the Ambassador's Event at White Oaks, the official residence of the Australian Ambassador to the United States, the honorable Joe Hockey. Power is a native of Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia.
Simon Pagenaud, the 2016 NTT IndyCar Series champion who captured the pole position for this year's Indy 500 with a qualifying speed of 229.992 mph in the Fast Nine Shootout on Sunday, will visit St. Louis. The Midwest city is home of the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline, the NTT IndyCar Series race Aug. 24 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Joining Pagenaud will be Andretti Autosport driver Zach Veach, who is set to appear on NBCSN's pregame coverage of the NHL Western Conference Game 6 playoff between the San Jose Sharks and host St. Louis Blues.
A trio of Indianapolis 500 champions will visit New York: Helio Castroneves, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi. Castroneves is chasing a history-tying fourth victory at the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing," which would extend Team Penske's record wins count to 18. Andretti Autosport teammates Hunter-Reay and Rossi have each won the race once.
Three-time Indianapolis 500 pole sitter Ed Carpenter, who qualified second on Sunday, and Carlin's Charlie Kimball will visit Dallas/Fort Worth ahead of the DXC Technology 600 under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8. The pair will give Golf Channel's "The Morning Drive" host Gary Williams an escort in a TMS pace car and INDYCAR Experience street-legal two-seater to the Colonial Country Club ahead of its annual PGA Tour event.
Ed Carpenter Racing teammates Spencer Pigot and Ed Jones, who complete the 2-3-4 qualifying effort for ECR along with Carpenter, will visit Pigot's hometown of Orlando and challenge fans to a social media scavenger hunt at the Universal Orlando resort and theme park.
Toronto native James Hinchcliffe will visit with hometown media following Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports' remarkable effort to qualify him in 32nd position for the race, after Hinchcliffe crashed on the first day of qualifying Saturday. The Honda Indy Toronto is the 11th race of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season on July 14.
Hinchcliffe's fellow last-row qualifiers, Kyle Kaiser of Juncos Racing and Sage Karam of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, will visit Cincinnati and Fort Wayne, respectively.
The full list of markets to be visited and drivers attending is below:
Chicago: Marco Andretti, Oriol Servia
Cincinnati: Kyle Kaiser, Pippa Mann
Columbus: Takuma Sato
Dallas-Fort Worth: Ed Carpenter, Charlie Kimball
Dayton: Conor Daly, Marcus Ericsson, Jordan King
Detroit: Graham Rahal
Fort Wayne: Santino Ferrucci, Ben Hanley, Sage Karam, Felix Rosenqvist
Indianapolis: Colton Herta
Louisville: JR Hildebrand
Nashville: Josef Newgarden
New York: Helio Castroneves, Jack Harvey, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi
Orlando: Ed Jones, Spencer Pigot
Philadelphia: Tony Kanaan, Matheus Leist
Pittsburgh: Scott Dixon
St. Louis: Simon Pagenaud, Zach Veach
Tampa-St. Petersburg: Sebastien Bourdais, James Davison
Toronto: James Hinchcliffe
Washington: Will Power
Coverage of the 103rd Indianapolis 500 begins at 11 a.m. ET Sunday on NBC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. Tickets are available at IMS.com.
NTT IndyCar Series Pr
The U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway will air at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 27, on NBCSN.