Will Power

Indy 500 qualifying update (4 p.m. ET)

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Will Power’s four-lap average of 228.844 miles per hour is still on top of the Pole Day charts at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but the Andretti Autosport armada is making its presence felt as well.

In the previous hour, defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and Colombian rookie Carlos Munoz posted averages good enough to slide into the middle and outside of the front row provisionally. Hunter-Reay averaged 228.282 in his No. 1 DHL/Sun Drop Chevrolet, while Munoz put up an average of 228.171 in his No. 26 Unistraw Chevrolet.

The qualifying run of James Jakes was thrown out by INDYCAR after a post-qualifying technical inspection revealed the car to be half a pound under weight. Jakes had posted an average of 225.397 mph, but will now have to re-qualify his No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Honda for Rahal Letterman Racing.

The first 24 positions on the grid have been filled and there is currently bumping going on at the moment. The final nine spots will be locked in tomorrow in Bump Day activities.

Single-car qualifying will go until 6 p.m. ET, with the Fast Nine shootout going off at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Indianapolis 500

Pole Day Results (4 p.m. ET — Top 24)

1. 12-Will Power, 228.844 mph

2. 1-Ryan Hunter-Reay, 228.282

3. 26-Carlos Munoz, 228.171

4. 3- Helio Castroneves, 227.975

5. 20-Ed Carpenter, 227.952

6. 25-Marco Andretti, 227.893

7. 2-A.J. Allmendinger, 227.761

8. 5-E.J. Viso, 227.612

9. 27-James Hinchcliffe, 227.493

10. 4-J.R. Hildebrand, 227.441

11. 98-Alex Tagliani, 227.386

12. 11-Tony Kanaan, 226.949

13. 19-Justin Wilson, 226.370

14. 7-Sebastien Bourdais, 226.196

15. 9-Scott Dixon, 226.158

16. 10-Dario Franchitti, 226.069

17. 14-Takuma Sato, 225.892

18. 83-Charlie Kimball, 225.880

19. 60-Townsend Bell, 225.699

20. 77-Simon Pagenaud, 225.674

21. 78-Simona de Silvestro, 225.400

22. 21-Josef Newgarden, 225.210

23. 15-Graham Rahal, 225.139

24. 8-Ryan Briscoe, 225.043

Report: No Mexico, 16 races expected on 2016 IndyCar schedule

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IndyCar chairman Mark Miles doesn’t expect the 2016 Verizon IndyCar season to begin in Mexico in February next year, according to a report by USA Today.

Though Miles said the Mexico race was “unlikely,” he believes the final schedule will 16 races at 15 venues over the course of seven months.

Miles said the series is waiting for a “highly, highly likely” event to be approved by a board around Oct. 13, going on to say it wasn’t Pocono Raceway.

“If we had to, we probably could put this out, in theory, sooner, but we want to go through the formality and respect the process of a formal approval from one of the promoters,” Miles said.

Miles said the Mexico City race has been put on hold due to concerns for proper promotion for the event, which would be the series’ first outside the United States since racing in Brazil in 2013.

“The process they needed to go through to get everything lined up has not really left a lot of time to be confident that everything can be done to properly promote the first race,” Miles told USA Today. “So I think the conversation is very much about ‘17. We just kind of ran out of time for ‘16.”

This is what is know about the 2016 IndyCar schedule so far.

Either the track, IndyCar, or an IndyCar support series (Pirelli World Challenge) have announced these dates for 2016:

March 13: St. Petersburg, Fla.
April 17: Long Beach, Calif.
April 24: Birmingham, Ala.
May 14: Indianapolis, In. (Indy GP)
May 29: Indianapolis, In. (100th Indy 500)
June 4-5: Detroit, Mich.
June 11: Fort Worth, Texas
June 26: Elkhart Lake, Wis.
July 31: Lexington, Ohio
Sept. 4: Boston, Mass.
Sept. 18: Sonoma, Calif.

These dates are not formal but are highly likely for 2016, per media reports:

April 2: Phoenix, AZ
July 17: Toronto, Ontario

These tracks have been rumored, but are yet to announce the status of IndyCar races for 2016:

Iowa Speedway
Pocono Raceway
The Milwaukee Mile
Gateway International Raceway

Williams hopes to improve on 2014 performance in Russian GP

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At this weekend’s Russian GP, Williams Martini Racing is looking for more of the same from Valtteri Bottas and a little improvement from Felipe Massa.

Last year, Bottas started and finished third while Lewis Hamilton ran away with the win, finishing 13 seconds over Nico Rosberg and 17 over Bottas in the inaugural race at the Sochi Autodrom.

Meanwhile, Massa started 18th after a fuel flow issue knocked him out of the first round of qualifying and managed an 11th-place finish.

Bottas and Massa enter the Sochi race fifth and sixth in the driver standings.

“We had a good result last year in Russia so we’re expecting another strong weekend and a good collection of points,” said Bottas in a release. “We all know the track now and it has a really good flow, with the long straights a good fit for our car.”

Bottas has finished in the top five in each of the last three races, two of which were won by Hamilton.

“Pace-wise we were close to Mercedes in Japan and I think we can be close again in Sochi, just like we were in 2014,” Bottas said, who also noted after Japan the team is set to turn its focus to its 2016 car.

Massa, who has two podium finishes this year, will try to bounce back from a DNF at Marina Bay and a 17th-place finish in Japan.

“I hope to make amends for qualifying last year and I’m confident we can have a competitive race,” Massa said in a team release.

“Russia is a very nice track with a few long straights which makes it interesting for overtaking,” Massa said of the 18-turn track. “The circuit has almost everything, starting with a straight and then moving into high-speed corners and then very slow corners in the middle sector. This makes setting up the car really important and the importance of downforce evident.”

The Russian Grand Prix can been seen on NBCSN on Sunday at 7 am ET.