Dixon leads a fleet of Monday birthdays

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Scott Dixon won everything but birthday cake during his Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader weekend sweep more than a week ago.

He’ll probably have some of that today. The IZOD IndyCar Series driver for Target Chip Ganassi Racing turns 33 on Monday. He’s been with Ganassi since he was age 21, signed as a third driver to Ganassi’s CART team midway through the 2002 season.

Additional birthday wishes go out to top sports car analyst and reporter Calvin Fish, and both of Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s ALMS drivers Lucas Luhr (today) and Klaus Graf (Sunday).  Luhr and Graf completed a weekend birthday sweep at Mosport for the third year in a row.

Meanwhile one of NASCAR’s most memorable names, Buckshot Jones, turns 43 on Tuesday. Jones, better known for driving the No. 00 Aquafresh Pontiac for a family team, recorded just one top-10 finish (eighth place at Dover in 1998) in 56 career Cup series starts.

Sage Karam, Tony Kanaan fastest in Monday’s practice for Indy 500

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In the second-to-last practice session of the week, Sage Karam paced the 33 drivers qualified for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 on Monday.

Karam had a field-best speed of 226.461 mph, followed by Tony Kanan (225.123 mph), Ryan Hunter-Reay (224.820), Charlie Kimball (224.582) and Alexander Rossi (224.507).

Sixth through 10th fastest were Will Power (224.445), Helio Castroneves (224.368), Marco Andretti (224.148) and rookie Zachary Claman Demelo (224.91) and Scott Dixon (223.966).

Power and Castroneves ran the most laps of all drivers at 120 and 118, respectively.

Two other Team Penske drivers struggled to get speed out of their cars. Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden was 28th-fastest (221.982 mph) and Simon Pagenaud, who was the slowest (220.902 mph) of the 33 cars on-track.

Pole sitter Ed Carpenter was 14th-fastest with a best speed of 223.573 mph in a 100-lap effort.

Most drivers were in race trim or were testing things for Sunday’s Greatest Spectacle In Racing such as fuel mileage, chassis setup and more.

Rookie Matheus Leist missed most of the session with an apparent electrical problem that kept him to just 19 laps.

There was one incident of note during the 3 ½ hour session: IndyCar rookie Robert Wickens crashed coming out of Turn 2 during the first hour of practice.

Wickens appeared to skim the outside SAFER Barrier, went left and then violently turned hard back into the outside retaining wall.

MORE: Wickens wrecks during Indy 500 practice

The Honda-powered machine for the Canadian driver suffered heavy damage to the right side, particularly the right front tire and the right side of the front end.

There will be no further on-track activity for the Indy cars until Friday’s final practice to fine tune things for Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

We’ll have the full practice speed chart, as well as What Drivers Said, shortly. Please check back soon.

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