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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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!

Speedway Indiana- 5/20/2019

Sad news to report from Indy!

Two-time Indy 500 Champion Al Unser Jr was arrested in the suburb of Indianapolis of Avon, Indiana!

According to Fox 59 in Indianapolis.. 

Avon police arrested two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser, Jr. on an OWI charge.

Unser was booked into the Hendricks County Jail at 3:21 a.m. on Monday.

Unser faced similar legal problems in the past. He made headlines in 2002 when he was arrested after an alcohol-fueled fight with his girlfriend. He also has previous drunk driving arrests in 2007 and 2011.

Unser has been very vocal about his struggles with alcohol. In fact, just a few weeks ago he spoke with Hope Academy students to share his story of addiction as a recovering alcoholic. He said drinking was a demon he faced, and he hopes others will learn from his mistakes.

That years-long challenge has gotten him into trouble with the law before. In 2002, he was arrested for domestic battery against his girlfriend at the time. She blamed his drinking for the incident when she reported it to police. He first denied knowing her, but later said she hit him first. The charges were later dropped the woman stopped cooperating with investigators, but Unser still decided he needed help.

"Nearly every poor choice I've made in my life occurred under the influence of alcohol," he read in a statement at the time

Bobby Unser after the arrest that he'd talked to his nephew about his drinking problem. "It’s been addressed, for sure. He knows about it, but not doing anything is the problem. In other words, knowing is one thing, doing something about it is another thing and he really needs to do something about it."

He found sobriety for a time, but was arrested in 2007 in Las Vegas for driving under the influence. He was arrested again in 2011 in New Mexico, accused of drag racing while drunk.

Al Jr., now 57 years old, won 34 races including two Indianapolis 500s during his time as a driver, and continues working in the racing industry.

Speedway Indiana May 19th, 2019

 

We knew this was a likely going to be the case today. Rain continues to fall here at IMS. This comes on the heels of a big day 1 of qualifying.

Day one was a rough day for some and an incredible day for others!

 

 After spending more than a year working toward an Indy 500 comeback, Hinchcliffe had some difficulties with his No. 5 Honda during his first qualifying attempt Saturday after crashing the race car on the 2.5 mile track, which slid into the backstretch of the track after hitting a wall along the second turn. Thankfully, Hinchcliffe climbed out of the car of his own will, he was also checked, cleared and released from the infield care center. With not getting enough speed in his backup to move his way into the Top 30 starting positions, the 33-year-old Canadian driver’s final shot is Sunday afternoon according to CBS News, when six drivers will vie for three spots in the “Last Row Shootout.”

 Dragon who? No we aren’t talking about the latest Game Of Thrones episode. We are talking about DragonSpeed a low budget unsponsored car. I’m pretty sure most didn’t have much confidence in their 31 year old rookie who had never been on an oval until his rookie test! At IMS just a few days ago. Welcome to Indy Ben Hanley. Hanley qualified with a speed of  227.482 yes that’s only 27th but what a performance from DragonSpeed

Also Fernando Alonso has been struggling for speed in his McLaren car! Fernando Alonso is in danger of failing to make the grid for the Indianapolis 500 after setting the 31st fastest time on the first day of qualifying. The two-time Formula 1 world champion faces a shootout on Sunday with five other drivers for the final three places on the 33-car grid.

If it rains continues, the shootout will be when weather allows next week. Alonso had five attempts at locking in a place in the top 30 on the grid but the McLaren car was not fast enough.

"We didn't have the speed," said Alonso, who managed a fastest average over his four-lap run of 227.224mph.

"We are where we deserve today and hopefully tomorrow we will have another chance. If we do not take it, it is because we do not deserve to be in the race.

"The whole week, the speed is not really there in the car. We will not find it in one night. We will try to do a good clean run and hopefully that will put us in the top three positions."

While there will be dry at times Sunday, I think it is going to be hard to get on the track for Fast 9 #Fast9 and last row shootout .Strong/severe t'storms possible after 2pm. Plus, winds will be gusting 35 mph.

We will continue to monitor the situation but not looking good at the moment.

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Indianapolis, May 10, 2019  A cold brisk day at Indianapolis, Indy Car is back home again in Indiana for the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series We saw action on the track today from Indy Lights and Road to Indy series. 

 

The Andretti Boys and Gang Penski were nowhere to be found today. The top leaders in the NTT indyCar Series point series won't even start the IndyCar Grand Prix leading the field to green. Series point leaders, Josef Newgarden and 2nd place in the standings Alexander Rossi didn't even advance from the first round of qualifying Friday afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Both drivers might as well be in Egypt, as they are in foreign land. A surprise lack of showing from Andretti and Penski. 

 

But some positive news, Robert Wickens, of Aero Schmidt Perterson Racing, was spotted on pit lane today in a wheelchair but in good spirits. As remember, last year in August 2018, Wickens was injured in a horrific crash at Pokono Raceway. We wondered if Wickens would even make it out alive, if he would be in a race car again. He is defying all odds. I asked him, "How does it feel to be back at Indianapolis?" He said, "Wonderful and expects to back racing soon." The young Canadian driver has clearly defied all odds. Our thoughts and prayers as he continues his recovery. 

 

This was Chip's day. Chip Ganassi, that is, as rookie Felix Rosenqvist Swedish driver, gets his first IndyCar pole at his first appearance at Indianapolis and his teammate IndyCar favorite, Scott Dixon will be starting 2nd behind him. This will be a good win for Chip Ganassi Racing and if we have a all green race, Rosenqvist is all but certain his first win in the IndyCar series. Other great storylines to follow: Jack Harvey, a part time team and IndyCar sensation Colton Herta.

 

The top 10 qualify in order for the IndyCar Grand Prix, Saturday May 11, 2019

1. Rosenqvist, Felix (R)

2. Dixon, Scott

3. Harvey, Jack

4. Herta, Colton (R)

5. Jones, Ed

6. Power, Will

7. Rahal, Graham

8. Pagenaud, Sion

9. Ericsson, Marcus (R)

10. Bourdais, Sebastien

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