Indianapolis 500 - Practice

The 2013 Indianapolis 500 qualifying order is out

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Here’s your qualifying order for this year’s Indianapolis 500. Note that the No. 40, which leads off, is the second Ed Carpenter Racing entry that won’t turn a wheel, and both primary and “T” cars are entered in the draw. Scott Dixon, the 2008 500 winner, will be the first driver to make a qualifying attempt.  Each driver’s best speed of the month in that car are listed just to the right.

Other notes: Sam Schmidt’s third car (second Schmidt Peterson entry) is the No. 99/99T with driver TBA, and Townsend Bell gets spot “12A” – not 13 – in-between 12 and 14 for the No. 60T backup car at Panther Racing.

Pole Day qualifying will be airing live on the NBC Sports Network at 11 a.m. ET and 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, and also streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra.

Qualifying Order:
1 40 TBA
2 9 Scott Dixon (W) 226.162 17-May
3 14 Takuma Sato 227.038 17-May
4 15 Graham Rahal 226.152 17-May
5 14T Takuma Sato
6 2 AJ Allmendinger (R) 227.199 17-May
7 6T Sebastian Saavedra
8 91 Buddy Lazier (W) 222.464 17-May
9 8T Ryan Briscoe 217.773 12-May
10 78 Simona de Silvestro 225.518 17-May
11 83T Charlie Kimball 220.633 11-May
12 40T TBA
12A 60T Townsend Bell
14 27 James Hinchcliffe 226.983 17-May
15 27T James Hinchcliffe
16 9T Scott Dixon (W) 218.143 11-May
17 41 Conor Daly (R) 220.780 16-May
18 3T Helio Castroneves (W)
19 16T James Jakes 219.191 14-May
20 12T Will Power
21 7 Sebastien Bourdais 226.736 17-May
22 19 Justin Wilson 226.043 17-May
23 3 Helio Castroneves (W) 226.988 17-May
24 11T Tony Kanaan
25 1T Ryan Hunter-Reay
26 78T Simona de Silvestro
27 16 James Jakes 224.632 17-May
28 99T TBA
29 5T E.J. Viso
30 22T Oriol Servia
31 18T Ana Beatriz
32 6 Sebastian Saavedra 222.127 17-May
33 63 Pippa Mann 225.077 17-May
34 60 Townsend Bell 227.160 17-May
35 20T Ed Carpenter
36 5 E.J. Viso 229.537 17-May
37 98 Alex Tagliani 226.812 17-May
38 12 Will Power 228.401 17-May
39 77T Simon Pagenaud
40 25T Marco Andretti
41 8 Ryan Briscoe 225.265 17-May
42 11 Tony Kanaan 226.822 17-May
43 21 Josef Newgarden 226.372 17-May
44 55 Tristan Vautier (R) 223.369 17-May
45 10 Dario Franchitti (W) 227.080 17-May
46 18 Ana Beatriz 224.476 17-May
47 4T JR Hildebrand
48 19T Justin Wilson
49 10T Dario Franchitti (W) 218.842 11-May
50 55T Tristan Vautier (R)
51 83 Charlie Kimball 225.616 17-May
52 20 Ed Carpenter 226.768 17-May
53 1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 226.919 17-May
54 17 Michel Jourdain Jr. 223.266 17-May
55 26T Carlos Munoz (R)
56 26 Carlos Munoz (R) 228.520 17-May
57 2T AJ Allmendinger (R)
58 4 JR Hildebrand 227.549 17-May
59 25 Marco Andretti 228.754 17-May
60 21T Josef Newgarden 222.340 15-May
61 98T Alex Tagliani
62 99 TBA
63 7T Sebastien Bourdais
64 41T Conor Daly (R)
65 77 Simon Pagenaud 225.853 17-May
66 15T Graham Rahal 220.360 13-May
67 63T Pippa Mann
68 22 Oriol Servia 227.237 17-May

NHRA: Leah Pritchett sets new quickest national elapsed time record

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Photo: Don Schumacher Racing
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Pomona Winternationals winner Leah Pritchett added to her incredible start to the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, one she came in with high hopes with anyway, with a slightly bigger accomplishment:

She set a new national elapsed time record for a 1,000-foot distance in NHRA history.

Pritchett, who drives the Don Schumacher Racing-entered, Todd Okuhara-tuned Papa John’s Top Fuel dragster, ran a 3.658-second pass at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park on Friday outside Phoenix during the first day of qualifying for this weekend’s Arizona Nationals. The speed was 329.34 mph.

Incidentally, both Pritchett and Courtney Force set unofficial best times in Top Fuel and Funny Car testing, also at Wild Horse Pass, earlier this month.

You could barely put a piece of cheese between Pritchett’s two times; her time at the test was 3.654 seconds, but because that’s a test it is not an official mark.

The previous official record in competition was a 3.671-second pass, which Steve Torrence set July 31, 2016 at Sonoma.

“To be behind the wheel of this machine that is constantly putting out time and time again fast numbers and quick numbers is, to be honest, a little bit difficult to comprehend,” Pritchett said, via NHRA.com. “It’s everything that dreams are made of. It’s almost too good to be true, but it’s not.”

For good measure, Pritchett’s teammate Tony Schumacher also eclipsed Torrence’s old mark with a side-by-side run to second at 3.667 seconds, and 323 mph and change in the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster.

Force led the Funny Car charts on the first day of qualifying, while Jason Line led Pro Stock. Both drivers drive Chevrolets.

Lest Force’s day be overshadowed, she set a record of her own. Force broke the track’s elapsed time and speed records during the opening session of qualifying for Sunday’s NHRA Arizona Nationals with a pass of 3.838 seconds at 332.67 mph.

Force lost to Matt Hagan in the Pomona finals while Line beat his KB Racing teammate, Greg Anderson, for the Pomona win.

Butterball, Andretti Autosport extension is all gravy

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 27:  Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the #28 Andretti Autosport Honda Dallara, practices during Carb Day ahead of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 27, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Andretti Autosport and Butterball, a U.S.-based provider of turkey and poultry products, announced a new expansion of their partnership. The newly revamped agreement will see Butterball branding on all four Andretti Autosport entries in 2017.

“Butterball has been a great partner since 2014 and I’m really excited to have them on board again this year,” said Ryan Hunter-Reay. “They were with me when I won the Indianapolis 500 which was a really special moment for everyone involved. Hopefully we can bring them back into victory lane this year, not only at Indy, but throughout the season as well.”

The machines of Marco Andretti, Alexander Rossi, and Takuma Sato will feature branding just below the front suspension components. Per the announcement, the placement has created a new nickname for the assembly: “the Butterball Wishbone.”

“Butterball is extremely excited about our sponsorship with Andretti Autosport in 2017,” said Butterball CEO and President Kerry Doughty. “With the addition of the new Butterball Wishbone Sponsorship on all Andretti Autosport Indy cars for the 2017 season, we are expanding the tremendously successful relationship that began with Michael and Ryan in 2014 when we won the Indianapolis 500 in our first season.”

Butterball’s tenure with Andretti Autosport dates back to May 2014, shortly before Ryan Hunter-Reay claimed victory at the Indianapolis 500. Branding has been featured on Hunter-Reay No. 28 entry ever since.

Newgarden completes busy day in Detroit

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Photo: IndyCar
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Josef Newgarden’s media prowess and charisma was again in full display on Thursday during a series promotional efforts for June’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear.

Specifically, Newgarden was in town for Detroit Grand Prix night at that night’s Pistons-Hornets NBA game.

The day began with Newgarden visiting a handful of Detroit news media outlets, where his most notable venture involved duking it out with Pistons mascot Hooper.

The day continued with Newgarden exploring more of the city, and getting in touch with its rock ‘n roll history.

That, Newgarden ventured to The Palace of Auburn Hills to the big promotional event of day, Detroit Grand Prix night. There, Newgarden was greeted with his own Detroit Pistons jersey and even tried a couple of half-court shots at halftime. However, he did not make any, making it less likely he’ll pursue a basketball career when he decides to hang up his helmet.

For an additional recap Detroit Grand Prix night, visit The Chevrolet’s Detroit Grand Prix twitter @detroitgp.

Entry lists revealed for MRTI Spring Training in Miami

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Kyle Kaiser in Miami, 2015. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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The first real good, if not final, looks at the season to come in the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires come with next week’s Spring Training, which sees four total days of action at the Homestead-Miami Speedway for all three rungs of the ladder.

The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires will run February 27 on Homestead-Miami’s 1.5-mile oval and March 2 on the 2.21-mile road course. Meanwhile the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda series will run solely on the road course over two back-to-back days, February 28 and March 1.

Indy Lights’ field seems closest to being finalized from this group, while Pro Mazda and USF2000 still have some gaps to fill.

In one other bit, Mazda will announce the teams of competition for its Soul Red-liveried drivers this year, all of whom won Mazda Motorsports Advancement Scholarships for their next step up this year. That’s why Aaron Telitz (Indy Lights), Anthony Martin (Pro Mazda) and Oliver Askew (USF2000) teams are listed as TBAs.

Anyway, quick notes:

Indy Lights (14 cars

All drivers on the Indy Lights entry list have been officially announced, and as noted, Telitz’s team is the only significant TBA of note. Car numbers are revealed for Zachary Claman De Melo and Matheus Leist at Carlin of 13 and 26 respectively, with the known in advance.

In terms of team breakdown, it’s four each at Carlin and Andretti Autosport (with Colton Herta’s No. 98 car an Andretti Steinbrenner Racing entry), Juncos Racing and Belardi Auto Racing each with two official cars and Team Pelfrey the lone one-car entry.

Of the 14 drivers, the field is split exactly in half between seven veterans and seven rookies.

Questions from here are whether one or two more cars not at this test will join the grid at St. Petersburg and push the number back up. Since the debut of the Dallara IL-15 Mazda in 2015, the St. Pete weekend has had 13 cars in 2015 and 16 cars last year, with this one falling in the middle.

Pro Mazda (6 cars)

In what’s very much a survive-and-advance season for Pro Mazda in the final year with its existing car, a small batch of cars come from Team Pelfrey, World Speed Motorsports and the team TBA for Anthony Martin for this test.

Within a 20-to-30-plus, multiple-class series of racing, six cars for one class wouldn’t necessarily be a problem. But six on their own for an independent series is certainly an issue. The number simply has to grow by St. Petersburg to at least eight at a bare minimum, the low-water mark last year, with 10 a significant step forward at this rate (the series had 12 cars at St. Petersburg last year).

USF2000 (22 cars)

Quite by contrast, the new Tatuus USF-17 premieres in USF2000 with 22 cars at this test and the potential of more cars by St. Petersburg (the series had 26 starters last year with two additional withdrawals).

Six returning drivers join 12 rookies and four TBAs on this list, all split among 10 teams. Dutch driver Rinus VeeKay, initially announced as driving for Benik in 2017, is listed in a third Newman Wachs Racing entry for this test.