Carpenter leads Opening Day of Indy 500 practice

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The importance of leading the opening day of Indianapolis 500 practice can be debated, but nonetheless, Ed Carpenter came away with bragging rights after topping the charts with a lap of 220.970 miles per hour in the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet.

“I felt like we were going to be strong coming in because we’ve learned a lot since we were here last year and the team’s worked really hard,” Carpenter said.

“You always have confidence when you win races so it was good to finish last year with a win [at Auto Club Speedway]. It did a lot for the team, giving the whole team motivation to keep pushing over the off-season. Hopefully, we can continue having a good month and be there when it counts.”

“…From where we were last May to where we were last September, we learned a whole lot about this new car, so you kind of apply the little we did right last year [at Indy] with a lot of the things that we learned over the course of the rest of last season and the off-season. You just try to come in with what you think will be best, whether that’s what you had here last year or if it’s something new altogether.”

Josef Newgarden was second-quickest in his backup No. 21T Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda at 220.920 miles per hour. After passing his Rookie Orientation Program, Andretti Autosport’s Carlos Munoz managed to climb to P3 with a lap of 220.720 miles per hour. In fourth was Charlie Kimball in his No. 83T (220.633 mph), and Alex Tagliani rounded out the Top 5 speeds in his No. 98 (220.248 mph).

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)