A grueling month of May for rookie driver Conor Daly got better on Sunday as he was able to make the field for next weekend’s Indianapolis 500, sticking his No. 41 A.J. Foyt Racing Honda on the inside of Row 11. Daly put up a four-lap average of 223.582 miles per hour in the opening stages of second-day qualifying this afternoon.
“We are IN the big show. The 97th running of the Indianapolis 500. It wasn’t pretty how we got it done, but LETS GO RACING! Dream come true,” the Indiana youngster tweeted on Sunday evening.
Getting into the “500” had to be a moment of relief for Daly, who nearly flipped over during a frightening crash in practice last Thursday (the first of the month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway) and then was unable to complete a qualifying run on Pole Day because of a broken exhaust header on his car.
“I have to thank the crew for all they’ve done,” he said. “I think they had the car apart at least 15 times after the crash and the problems we had [Saturday]. We got the engine back about 8:30 last night, and they worked late getting it back in.”
Daly will have the biggest climb ahead of him on Race Day out of this year’s rookie class at Indy. Andretti Autosport’s Carlos Munoz (second) and Team Penske’s A.J. Allmendinger (fifth) are up toward the front of the field for the start of the “500,” while Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Tristan Vautier (28th) will join Daly (31st) in beginning from the rear.
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).
However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.
However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.
Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.
In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth.
On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).
Check out the above video.
Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.
Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).