Full schedule for the Month of May at Indianapolis

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A “mega” month of May is about to begin at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as the Verizon IndyCar Series readies itself for two events at the Racing Capitol of the World.

The Grand Prix of Indianapolis will take over the IMS road course from May 8-10, while preparations for the 98th Indianapolis 500 begin the day after on May 11.

If you intend to follow everything at the Speedway, be sure to bookmark and save this post so you’ll know what to expect each day.

Keep in mind that ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN and subject to change.

Thursday, May 8 – GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS PRACTICE
10 a.m-5:30 p.m., Verizon IndyCar Series & Mazda Road to Indy Practice
10 a.m.-10:45 a.m., Verizon IndyCar Series Practice
11 a.m.-11:45 a.m., USF2000 Practice
Noon-12:45 p.m., Pro Mazda Practice
1 p.m.-1:45 p.m., Indy Lights Practice
2 p.m.-2:45 p.m., Verizon IndyCar Series Practice
3 p.m.-3:30 p.m., USF2000 Practice
3:45 p.m.-4:15 p.m., Pro Mazda Practice
4:30 p.m.-5:15 p.m., Indy Lights Practice
5:30 p.m., Celebration of Automobiles Track Laps Begin

Friday, May 9 – GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS QUALIFYING / MAZDA ROAD TO INDY
10 a.m.-10:45, Verizon IndyCar Series Practice
11 a.m.-11:45 a.m., USF2000 Qualifying
Noon-12:45 p.m., Pro Mazda Qualifying
1 p.m.-1:45 p.m., Indy Lights Qualifying
2:00 p.m.-3:10 p.m., Verizon IndyCar Series Qualifying
3:30 p.m.-4:10 p.m., USF2000 Race #1
4:30 p.m.-5:10 p.m., Pro Mazda Race #1
5:30 p.m.-6:10 p.m., Indy Lights Race #1

Saturday, May 10 – GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS RACE DAY
7 a.m.-4 p.m., Celebration of Automobiles
11:00 a.m.-11:50, USF2000 Race #2
12:10 p.m.-1 p.m., Pro Mazda Race #2
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m., Indy Lights Race #2
3:50 p.m., Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race Begins

Sunday, May 11-Thursday, May 15 – INDIANAPOLIS 500 PRACTICE
Noon-6 p.m.

Friday, May 16 – INDIANAPOLIS 500 “FAST FRIDAY” PRACTICE
Noon-6 p.m.

Saturday, May 17 – INDIANAPOLIS 500 QUALIFYING DAY 1
8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m., Verizon IndyCar Series Group 1 Practice
8:30 a.m.-9 a.m., Verizon IndyCar Series Group 2 Practice
9 a.m.-10 a.m., Verizon IndyCar Series (All) Practice
11:00 a.m.-5:50 p.m., Verizon IndyCar Series Qualifying

Sunday, May 18 – ARMED FORCES POLE DAY
8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., Verizon IndyCar Series Practice
10:15 a.m., Verizon IndyCar Series Group 1 Qualifying Begins (Positions 10 – 30)
12:45 p.m.-1:30 p.m., Verizon IndyCar Series Group 2 Qualifying Begins (Positions 31 – 33)
2:00 p.m.-2:45 p.m., Verizon IndyCar Series Fast Nine Qualifying

Monday, May 19 – INDIANAPOLIS 500 PRACTICE
Noon-5 p.m.

Tuesday, May 20 – NO TRACK ACTIVITY

Wednesday, May 21 – COMMUNITY DAY (No Track Activity)

Thursday, May 22 – INDY LIGHTS PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING
9:00 a.m.-Noon, Indy Lights Practice
1:15 p.m.-2:15 p.m., Indy Lights Qualifying

Friday, May 23 – INDIANAPOLIS 500 CARB DAY
11:00 a.m.-Noon, Verizon IndyCar Series Practice Begins (Coverage on NBCSN)
12:30 p.m.-1:20 p.m., Indy Lights Race Begins
1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., Pit Stop Competition Begins

Saturday, May 24 – LEGENDS DAY HONORING MARIO ANDRETTI (No Track Activity)
10:30 a.m., Public Drivers Meeting, Tower Terrace

Sunday, May 25 – 98th INDIANAPOLIS 500 RACE DAY
5:30 a.m., Public Gates Open
11:33 a.m., Driver Introductions
Noon, Start of 98th Indianapolis 500 (200 laps)

Takuma Sato captures 101st Indianapolis 500

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INDIANAPOLIS – Similar to last year, an Andretti Autosport driver that wasn’t the most discussed or fastest has won the Indianapolis 500.

But after his best month yet at Indianapolis, bravery and tenacity has won Takuma Sato the 2017 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

And for Helio Castroneves, finishing second leaves him again, one spot short of his elusive fourth victory.

Rookie Ed Jones was third ahead of Max Chilton, with Tony Kanaan completing the top five.

Meanwhile Fernando Alonso had an engine issue that took him out from a star drive, and Scott Dixon survived a crazy accident early on despite going airborne.

This was a crazy race because it had 11 yellow flag periods, plus a red flag, and 15 different leaders, a record.

Unofficial results are below. More to follow.

Big wreck late in Indy 500 takes out Power, Hinchcliffe, two others

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A major wreck with 17 laps left in the Indianapolis 500 has occurred, involving five cars.

Oriol Servia, James Hinchcliffe, James Davison, Will Power and Josef Newgarden were involved in the incident, as they exited Turn 1 into the short chute to Turn 2.

All but Newgarden saw their day come to an end in the wreck. Newgarden wasn’t directly involved in the wreck, but spun avoiding the other cars, tapped the inside retaining wall, and spun back onto the racetrack.

Max Chilton is leading the race, with Takuma Sato second, followed by Ed Jones, Helio Castroneves and JR Hildebrand.

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Alonso’s Indy 500 dream ends in all-too-familar Honda engine failure

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From a story that started six weeks ago when he shocked the racing world by announcing his entry to the 101st Indianapolis 500, Fernando Alonso’s dream of winning the Greatest Spectacle in Racing came to an all-too-familiar end when he was sidelined by an engine failure late on.

Two-time Formula 1 champion Alonso had been a force at the front of the pack throughout the first half of the race and even looked capable of taking a famous victory at the Brickyard, only for his engine to give up on the main straight and his hopes to go up in smoke.

Given his Indy 500 entry was put into motion as a way to ease his gripes with McLaren’s F1 struggles with ailing engine partner Honda, for it to end in such fashion weighs heavy with irony and, for Alonso, disappointment.

Thrown into a rolling IndyCar race start for the first, Alonso made a slow getaway on the opening lap to lose four positions and sit ninth, only to then pick his way back through the order with some fine overtakes on the likes of Will Power and JR Hildebrand.

A swift first pit stop of 8.2 seconds from the McLaren-Honda-Andretti crew lifted Alonso to third after the opening cycle, with the Spaniard then putting down the hammer to take the lead of the race from Alexander Rossi on Lap 37.

Alonso and Rossi spent the next 15 laps drafting, swapping the lead back and forth in a bid to save fuel, with the McLaren man sitting as race leader when the red flag was thrown for the crash between Scott Dixon and Jay Howard on Lap 52.

Alonso shuffled back to fourth before the next caution was shown following Conor Daly’s crash, and the Spaniard continued to sit in the top five despite being frustrated by former F1 colleague Max Chilton’s bold defense at one point.

Running second behind Andretti teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Rossi, Alonso was able to battle his way back through to the lead on the restart with 70 laps to go following Buddy Lazier’s shunt.

Honda’s engine concerns were justified when smoke began to seep from the rear of Hunter-Reay’s car, sparking another caution on Lap 138. While it did rule out one of Alonso’s win rivals, it was one less bullet in the gun for Andretti at the front.

Alonso made his penultimate stop under the caution, dropping him to ninth behind the drivers that opted to stay out. Just a single lap followed when Ed Carpenter’s front wing broke, leaving debris on track, but there was enough time for Alonso to fall back to 12th ahead of the sixth caution.

The loss of position also cost Alonso his net advantage over the field. Now on the same strategy as Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and Oriol Servia – all of whom ran ahead – Alonso had ground to make up heading towards the final round of pit stops.

Alonso’s final visit to pit road was sparked by another caution called for a Honda engine failure, this time leaving Charlie Kimball on the sidelines. The majority of the pack came in, leaving the field with a straight sprint to the flag. Sat ninth for the restart, Alonso had to mount a charge with 30 laps to go on the restart.

Having passed James Davison early on the restart, Alonso picked up another spot with a brave move around the outside of Kanaan with 24 laps to go, giving him P7.

As Alonso continued to push, he became the third Honda driver to suffer an engine failure as he came towards the start/finish with around 20 laps remaining, his car grinding to a halt.

First Honda engine issue strikes Hunter-Reay on Lap 137

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INDIANAPOLIS – Reliability was expected to be a major story line in the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil but it has taken until Lap 137 before the first Honda engine issue has hit, which came from pre-race concerns in that camp.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, who led seven times for 28 laps in the No. 28 DHL Honda for Andretti Autosport, had his engine drop out on the backstraight as he went onto the apron into Turn 3.

It is the second straight year the 2014 winner has been sidelined short of a possible second win.

Hunter-Reay has diced with teammates Fernando Alonso and Alexander Rossi this race. At the time of his motor dropping out, he was running second to Alonso.

There were eight Honda engine failures this month prior to today, between the INDYCAR Grand Prix race, and Indianapolis 500 practice and qualifying.