UPDATE: Katherine Legge gets a chance for Schmidt at Indy

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UPDATE (10:35 a.m. ET): Katherine Legge will have a chance to qualify for this year’s Indianapolis 500 after all. She’ll take the reins of the third entry under the Sam Schmidt Motorsports stable, the second with the Schmidt Peterson designation along with rookie Tristan Vautier in the No. 55 car. Simon Pagenaud is in the Schmidt Hamilton No. 77 car.

Per a tweet from Indianapolis Star reporter Curt Cavin, Legge will roll out in the renumbered No. 81 car. The attempt will be Legge’s second at the Indianapolis 500, and provide a 34th entry to the field of 33 – which means there will be bumping on Bump Day.

From the “things that make you go hmmm…” department, Katherine Legge might have a last minute chance with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to hop in the currently TBA No. 99 Honda the team has entered for the Indianapolis 500.

Legge is a viable option for a last-minute entry because as a driver who raced the new Dallara DW12 at Indianapolis last year, she would not need to take a refresher course. Buddy Lazier and Pippa Mann have had to do that this week. Dragon Racing dropped Legge on the fortnight before the 2013 season opener for Sebastian Saavedra.

Legge has spent the week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway pounding the pavement with helmet in hand, looking for any opportunity to find a ride for what would be her second 500 start. She sent tweets out Thursday night of a positive degree regarding her Indianapolis prospects.

“I will go to sleep tonight with everything crossed for some good news tomorrow re my 500 chances!…,” she wrote. “I am doing all I can, and I am super grateful for the help and support of some great people I am proud to call friends…”

On Friday morning, it shifted to, “Killed my workout this am and now heading to the track #FastFriday #imready #goodnewsplease

And this Saturday morning, on pole day, Indianapolis Star reporter Curt Cavin tweeted this:

The vacant entry is the only conceivable 34th car, and would be a 17th Honda powerplant to match the 17 Chevrolets. Legge spent last weekend racing the DeltaWing car in the American Le Mans Series in Monterey, Calif. Former Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Rice has been linked to the ride, but has turned it down.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III