Indy 500 entry list released Tuesday with 33 cars, 32 drivers


The 97th Indianapolis 500 entry list was officially released Tuesday, in a departure from previous years when it has been announced in April. There may be revisions for the field to hit the 33-car number for the race.

Prior to the release, there were 32 confirmed car/driver combinations: the 25 drivers who have raced in all four IndyCar events this year, and previously announced part-time/one-off entries for AJ Allmendinger (Team Penske), Ryan Briscoe (Chip Ganassi Racing), Carlos Munoz (Andretti Autosport), Conor Daly (A.J. Foyt Racing), Michel Jourdain Jr. (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing), Pippa Mann (Dale Coyne Racing) and Townsend Bell (Panther Racing).

The only new arrival to the list was a second Ed Carpenter Racing entry, with no driver listed.

Buddy Rice, the 2004 Indianapolis 500 champion who had been linked to a third Schmidt car, was not listed. Expected or anticipated announcements for several other rumored drivers – Bryan Clauson, the Lazier brothers (Buddy and Jaques), Jay Howard and/or Katherine Legge – have also failed to materialize at this point.

In total, the list includes three former 500 winners (three-timers Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti, and 2008 champion Scott Dixon), and four 500 rookies (AJ Allmendinger, Carlos Munoz, Conor Daly and Tristan Vautier).

The entry list breakdown by team and engine manufacturer is below. All 33 cars also have a “T” car, a spare, listed.

Entry Car Driver             Team                C/E/T 

1.     1    Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti               D/C/F 
2.     2    AJ Allmendinger (R)  Penske                 D/C/F
3.     3    Helio Castroneves (W)Penske                 D/C/F
4.     4    JR Hildebrand        Panther                D/C/F
5.     5    EJ Viso              Venezuela/Andretti/HVM D/C/F 
6.     6    Sebastian Saavedra   Dragon                 D/C/F 
7.     7    Sebastien Bourdais   Dragon                 D/C/F 
8.     8    Ryan Briscoe         NTT Chip Ganassi       D/H/F
9.     9    Scott Dixon (W)      Target Chip Ganassi    D/H/F
10.    10   Dario Franchitti (W) Target Chip Ganassi    D/H/F
11.    11   Tony Kanaan          KV                     D/C/F 
12.    12   Will Power           Penske                 D/C/F
13.    14   Takuma Sato          Foyt                   D/H/F
14.    15   Graham Rahal         RLL                    D/H/F
15.    16   James Jakes          RLL                    D/H/F
16.    17   Michel Jourdain Jr.RLL                   D/H/F 
17.    18   Ana Beatriz          Coyne                  D/H/F 
18.    19   Justin Wilson        Coyne                  D/H/F
19.    20   Ed Carpenter         Carpenter              D/C/F
20.    21   Josef Newgarden      Fisher Hartman         D/H/F 
21.    22   Oriol Servia         Panther DRR            D/C/F 
22.    25   Marco Andretti       Andretti               D/C/F
23.    26   Carlos Munoz (R)     Andretti               D/C/F
24.    27   James Hinchcliffe    Andretti               D/C/F
25.    40   TBA                  Carpenter              D/C/F
26.    41   Conor Daly (R)       Foyt                   D/H/F
27.    55   Tristan Vautier (R)  Schmidt Peterson       D/H/F 
28.    60   Townsend Bell        Panther                D/C/F
29.    77   Simon Pagenaud       Schmidt Hamilton       D/H/F
30.    78   Simona de Silvestro  KV                     D/C/F 
31.    83   Charlie Kimball      Novo Nordisk Ganassi   D/H/F
32.    98   Alex Tagliani      Barracuda/BHA          D/H/F 
33.   TBA   Pippa Mann           Coyne                  D/H/F

NHRA: John Force-like motor explosions get contagious during Sunday’s Gatornationals

Photo and video courtesy NHRA
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John Force is rubbing off on others – but probably not the way they or he would like.

The 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion has had spectacular motor explosions in each of the first three races of the new NHRA season, including during Friday’s qualifying for this weekend’s Gatornationals.

During Sunday’s quarterfinals of eliminations, Force’s teammate (and son-in-law and president of John Force Racing) Robert Hight squared off with fellow Funny Car driver Matt Hagan.

As the duo closed in on the finish line, both cars experienced spectacular motor explosions of their own – virtually side-by-side and nearly at the same time.

Hight’s car was the first to explode, tossing its body high in the air. A split-second later, Hagan’s car exploded, also sending the body flying.

Check out the NHRA video:

Hight wound up losing the race.

Hagan, meanwhile, and his crack pit crew rolled their backup car off the hauler, put in a new motor and went on to race through the semifinals and into the finals, losing to race winner “Fast Jack” Beckman.

“We had a pretty great race day, to be honest,” Hagan said. “I’ve never been to the finals in Gainesville.

“We obviously had a huge blow up in the second round, then to watch these guys pull the other car back out and put it together in the amount of time they had, then turn a win light on against Capps (Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps in the semifinals), then to be able to go to a final, it was huge and it speaks for itself.”

As for Hight, here’s his take on what happened with the motor explosion:

“I couldn’t see (Hagan) over there and it wasn’t like it was hazing the tires or anything else. As it turns out it wasn’t spinning at all. It kicked two rods out when it blacked the bearings in the crank then it hit the valves and blew up.

“The thing gave me no indication at all before that. What really scared me was once I got it under control and I look over and see his body is off his car. I am thinking ‘Oh man, he got gathered up in me.’ Then I stood up and looked and his injector was sideways so I realized he had an explosion as well. We are just lucky we didn’t get into each other.”

As for the guy who has had so much trouble in the motor department, John Force, he lost in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations to daughter Courtney Force.

John Force planned on shutting the motor off on his car at around the 700-foot mark of the 1,000-foot dragstrip, not wanting to risk another motor explosion – even though it meant a likely loss to his daughter.

Now John Force and his entire four-car team, including Courtney Force, Robert Hight and daughter and Top Fuel driver Brittany Force, will be off for extensive testing to try and determine what’s been causing the motor explosions.

“We have to evaluate it and go test,” Force said. “We’ll figure it out.”

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