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

More races, more friction in the future for F1

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) The new owners of Formula One are planning to have more races and a greater presence in North America, and wouldn’t mind revving up the ratings with some extra friction among drivers.

Sean Bratches, the managing director of commercial operations for the Formula One Group – formerly Liberty Media – which took over the running of the sport in January, is already fielding offers from promotors wanting to buy in.

Lewis Hamilton has suggested Miami and Daniel Ricciardo picked Las Vegas as places they’d like to see new races, and Bratches told a news conference Friday that “there’s no dearth of interest in bringing Formula One to circuits, both track and street, around the world.”

Bratches said he’d had a “number of inquiries from cities, states, municipalities and countries around the world that are interested.”

There are 20 races on the 2017 calendar, starting with the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, and concluding with Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November. The debate over the number and location of races has been frequent over the last decade.

F1 racing returned in 2012 to the United States, where it is held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, in October. While the bulk of the races remain in Europe and Asia, there are also GPs in Canada, Mexico and Brazil.

“Our interest is in expanding the number of circuits in that marketplace, leveraging Austin – our incumbent and the benchmark in terms of what we’re doing in the States,” said Bratches, adding there was clear demand for it in North America. “We’re excited about all markets around the world, but the United States is going to be a focus.”

Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and Ricciardo, an Australian who finished third on the season standings last year, are among the drivers who’d like to see more than 20 races in the F1 series. Veteran Fernando Alonso also doesn’t mind the idea of expansion, although maybe not for a few years.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, who has won four world drivers’ titles, thinks 16 to 20 would be enough. All agreed that expansion was pointless unless it increases the level of competition. Hamilton and Mercedes dominated the last three seasons, and Red Bull was dominant for the four seasons before that.

There’s always been driver tension in F1, usually between teams but also involving teammates vying for championships. Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who edged Hamilton for the title last year and then retired, had an openly strained rivalry at Mercedes since 2013.

That’s something former ESPN executive Bratches doesn’t mind.

Responding to a question about the drivers being overly-managed by public relations people, Bratches said: “There’s a number of sports where there’s big personalities that allow sports to punch above their respective pay grades.”

He said the drivers were a big part of the fan engagement.

“Candidly, I would love it if more of the drivers had big personalities, there was more controversy among the drivers – and you kind of unleash them a little bit,” he said. “I think that’s good for all of us.”

Jolyon Palmer on the back foot in Australia after F1 practice crash

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Renault’s Jolyon Palmer has admitted that he is “on the back foot” heading into the remainder of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix after completing just 10 laps in Friday’s Formula 1 practice sessions.

F1 sophomore Palmer arrived in Australia looking to impress after enjoying a bold drive on debut at Albert Park 12 months ago, narrowly missing out on a points finish.

The Briton was the first driver to fall victim of F1’s more challenging cars in an official 2017 race weekend session, losing control through the final corner and slamming into the wall to bring his FP2 running to an early end.

This followed a problem earlier in the day that had limited his FP1 mileage, leaving Palmer with just 10 laps to his name from three hours of Friday running.

“Sadly it was a pretty short day for me in terms of time in the car. We had a minor technical issue in the first session then I had an off in FP2, which unlike FP1 required more than one part replacing,” Palmer explained.

“I’m not sure exactly what happened and we’ll be having a close look at the data. I feel for my crew as they have a decent amount of work to do.

“I’m hopeful of more track time tomorrow, but we’ll be on the back foot heading into qualifying after only 10 laps today.”

Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports App from 2am ET on Saturday morning.

Indy 500 champ Rossi takes his shot with the Blackhawks (PHOTOS)

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There are many cool things you get to do after winning the Indianapolis 500. Visiting the grounds of one of the NHL’s most successful, Stanley Cup-winning teams is one of them.

Andretti-Herta Autosport’s Alexander Rossi visited Chicago this week to meet up with the Chicago Blackhawks, trading in his usual No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts Honda for a No. 98 jersey.

Usually it’s the ‘Hawks that are one of the top teams in the NHL and a usual Stanley Cup trophy winner – they’ve won in 2013 and 2015, recently – but it’s the Cubs that right now host a championship trophy having won the World Series for the first time in 108 years.

Anyway, here’s a few photos and videos from Rossi’s trip to Chitown, which also included his own chance to shoot a puck.

Rossi took a photo with iconic Blackhawks singer Jim Cornelison:

Here’s Rossi with Marian Hossa:

Here’s a quick photo before practicing, then video of Rossi practicing:

Rossi paid a visit to WGN Radio:

And all told, Rossi was a fan:

FIA WEC reveals restructured TV commentary team

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One of Audi’s flagship drivers, Allan McNish and veteran TV hosts Martin Haven and Toby Moody join Louise Beckett and Graham Goodwin as part of the restructured television commentary team for the FIA World Endurance Championship, ahead of its 2017 season.

McNish retired from active driving at the end of the 2013 season and the two-time Le Mans winner and 2013 WEC LMP1 champion with Tom Kristensen and Loic Duval has remained an ambassador for Audi in the years since. He’ll be at six of the eight WEC rounds this season (Le Mans considered separately, although under the WEC umbrella).

Moody has been a familiar voice for his bike coverage and in the U.S., for Red Bull Global Rallycross broadcasts on NBC Sports. He’ll be on for the 6 Hours of Silverstone, the 6 Hours of Nürburgring and the 6 Hours of Bahrain.

Haven is well known to sports car fans and will be on for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, 6 Hours of Mexico, 6 Hours of COTA, 6 Hours of Fuji and 6 Hours of Shanghai.

Beckett continues in the pits and paddock with DailySportscar editor Goodwin also back as part of the team; he’s been the lead analyst alongside John Hindhaugh the last couple years.

Hindhaugh won’t be on the TV side, instead having announced earlier this week on his own he’d be focusing on Radio Show Limited’s audio productions for WEC shows. Le Mans is treated as a separate entity from a broadcast and production side compared to the rest of the WEC season.

Renowned for his radio calls, Hindhaugh will be in his true area of passion throughout this season, as he also is Stateside for IMSA Radio’s coverage of IMSA championships. RSL has also recently announced it will broadcast VLN coverage this season (more here via DailySportscar).

“Thankfully the busy endurance racing schedule has only a couple of clashes so that means that for most of the WEC events I will be joining the established team providing live commentary for RSL radio,” Hindhaugh said in a release.

“For the WEC events I’m covering for the RSL radio service, we’ll be adding live audio coverage of qualifying to the regular full race broadcast.”

In the WEC release, series CEO Gerard Neveu thanked Hindhaugh for what he’s brought to the TV side the last couple years while also looking forward to the new arrivals to this year’s broadcast team.

“We believe that one of the reasons for the WEC’s current success in today’s motorsport world is that we try not to rest on our laurels; we are always looking to innovate and re-energize the championship in every area.

“John Hindhaugh, who has been our lead commentator until now, has decided to return to his first love of radio commentary, and we want to thank him for the great job he has done, and for his contribution to the championship. We are sure we will have an opportunity to work together again in the future but, for this year, we are very enthusiastic about our new broadcast team and the season ahead.”

The WEC season kicks off with the Prologue test next week in Monza before the season itself starts April 16 at Silverstone.