Montoya leads first day of Cup practice at Indy

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Former Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya led the first day of practice for the Sprint Cup Series at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Montoya, who also competed in five Formula One United States Grand Prix at IMS, turned in a hot lap of 185.410 miles per hour in the No. 42 Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

That was well ahead of Kurt Busch in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet, who posted the second-quickest time on Friday with a lap at 184.347 mph. Austin Dillon, fresh off his victory Wednesday night at Eldora in the Camping World Truck Series, hit P3 with a lap at 183.944 mph in the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

Former Brickyard 400 winner Paul Menard was fourth-quickest (183.700 mph) in another RCR Chevy, the No. 27, and Hendrick Motorsports’ Kasey Kahne was fifth on the charts in the No. 5 Chevy (183.640 mph).

Penske Racing’s Joey Logano led the Fords with the sixth-quickest lap (183.337 mph), while Michael Waltrip Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. led the Toyota camp with his lap (182.567 mph), which was good for eighth overall. Defending race winner Jimmie Johnson was 13th on Friday (181.591 mph).

The Cup contingent will have a two-hour final practice tomorrow at 9 a.m. ET. Qualifying for Sunday’s race will begin later that afternoon at 2:10 p.m. ET.

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)