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 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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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."
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.
Follow me @TBalance
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
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."
#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
@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
Ryan Blayneywas running in top three but disaster on pit road will likely end his of a #BrickYard400 win.
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
#Brickyard400: Hamlin already out to a nearly 1 second lead
Clint Bowyer and Jamie McMurray make contact, but Bowyer hangs on! #Brickyard400
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.
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
- Justin Allgaier
- Tyler Reddick
- Ryan Blaney
- Chase Elliott
- Daniel Hemric
- Matt Tifft
- Christopher Bell
- Austin Dillon
- Chase Briscoe
- Brandon jones
- Ryan Reed
- Ross Chastain
- Ryan Sieg
- Jeremy Clements
- Joey Gase
- BJ McLeod
- Vinnie Miller
- David Starr
- Alex Labbe
- Garrett Smithley
- Chad Finchum
- Ryan Truex
- Caesar Bacarella
- Josh Williams
- John Hunter Nemechek
- Mike Harmon
- Tommy Joe Martins
- Ryan Preece
- Cole Custer
- JJ Yeley
- Michael Annett
- Morgan Shepherd
- Ty Dillon
- Austin Cindric
- Elliott Sadler
- Spencer Boyd
- Brandon Hightower
- Josh Bilicki
- Bayley Currey
- 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.
It’s been a rough weekend for race fans her in Indy. It has been nonstop rain since Friday.
All track have been cancelled all weekend. However radar is looking better. Looking like we will have a race today keep in mind we only have to get 80 laps in to make the final regular season official
So much on the line for racers. Kyle Busch is starting on the Pole. This is a track he has dominated.
Nobody had any practice time this weekend. Track will be cool, so cars will be fast.
P3-Martin Truex Jr
This is a “Win Your In” Race. Who will be the dark horse who will be throwing a “Hail Mary” Ryan Newman being one of those drivers along with William Bryon.
So here is a recap of what we have seen so far today.
Titan Jet dryers are moving around the 2.5 mile oval
Drivers Meeting Complete
Gates are open fans are entering
Cars for Martin Truex, Junior and Daniel Suarez failed pre-race inspection and will start from the back of the field
With no opportunity to qualify, drivers were assigned starting positions based on NASCAR points.
My official pick is Kyle Busch
Indianapolis … Carb Day has arrived at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!
Another Indy 500 tradition is in full swing today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Next to the actual race Carb Day has the highest track attendance! The final practice session before the race, currently held on the Friday before race day, is called "Carburetion Day" (shortened to "Carb Day" since 2000). The name originally came from the fact that it was the final session where teams could tune their carburetors in conditions similar to those that might be encountered on race day. The name has remained despite the fact that no qualified car has used a carburetor since 1963. The day is now similar to most motorsport weekends, as the final practice is accompanied by the a pit stop contest, a support race, and a concert. The Pit Stop Challenge debuted in 1977, the Indy Lights Freedom 100 moved to Carb Day in 2005, and the concerts have been held since 1998. In 1969–1972, Carb Day was held the Wednesday before the race. From 1973 to 2004, Carb Day was held the Thursday before the race. It was moved to Friday before the race beginning in 2005, at which time the Indy Lights race was moved to that day. Prior to 1969, Carb Day was not on a fixed day of the week, instead it was simply scheduled for a nondescript day midway between the final day of time trials and race day, and was sometimes closed to the public.
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SCHEDULE (All times local):
7 a.m.-6 p.m.: Ticket and Credential Office Open
8 a.m.: Public Gates Open
8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.: IMS Midway Open
8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.: Historic Racing Exhibition, Museum East Parking Lot
8-9 a.m.: Historic Race Car Laps
10-10:30 a.m.: Full-Field Freedom 100 Indy Lights Autograph Session - Fan Village
10:45 a.m.: Clint Brawner Award Ceremony - Victory Podium
11 a.m.-noon: Indianapolis 500 Practice
12:05 p.m.: Indy Lights Driver Introductions - Victory Podium
12:15 p.m.: Invocation delivered by Pastor Rich Winson
12:16 p.m.: National Anthem
12:25 p.m.: Drivers Start Your Engines
12:30 p.m.-1:20 p.m.: Indy Lights Freedom 100 Race
1:45-3 p.m.: Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge
2 p.m.: Miller Lite Carb Day Concert Venue Open
3:30-5 p.m.: Blues Traveler Concert - Miller Lite Carb Day Stage, inside Turn 4
5-6:30 p.m.: Train Concert - Miller Lite Carb Day Stage, inside Turn 4
6 p.m.: Public Gates Close
TICKETS: $35 General Admission. Kids 15 and under are free with adult ticketholder.
PUBLIC GATES OPEN: 1, 1B, 2, 3, 4, 5B Media, 6, 6A, 7 Vehicle, 7 North, 7 South, 9, 9A, 10, 10A, 11A, 12
STANDS OPEN: Mounds: Turn 2, Turn 3, Turn 4, Backstretch, Backstretch Family. Stands: A Stand, B Penthouse (22-25), E Stand, E Penthouse, Gasoline Alley Roof, North Vista Wheelchair (21), Northwest (1-4), Northwest Vista Deck, Paddock (12-20), Paddock Penthouse (16-28), Paddock Press Box, Pit Road Terrace, South Terrace, South Wheelchair Deck, Tower Terrace (37-45), Tower Terrace Wheelchair.
PARKING LOTS OPEN: (Outside Lots: 7 a.m., $20, Infield Lots: SOLD OUT.) Paid Daily: 1B, 2, 3G, Main Gate, Parcel B ($75). Limited Free: North 40. ADA: West Museum (prepaid), Hulman Lot (prepaid), Tower/Pagoda (prepaid), North 40 (limited free), Brickyard Crossing (prepaid), Lot 2 (prepaid/paid daily), Lot 3P (prepaid/paid daily).
IMS MUSEUM HOURS: 8 a.m.-6 p.m., $35 IMS Gate Admission for Indianapolis 500 plus Museum Admission ($10 Adult, $5 Ages 6-15, Free 5 and under). Entrance into the grounds is free of charge on non-event days. However, during events the Indianapolis Motor Speedway charges an admission fee or requires a ticket to enter the grounds. This general admission fee or ticket price does not include admission to the Museum.