Grand Prix of Indianapolis set for May 10, 2014 on revised course

Show car and revised course (IndyCar photo)
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IndyCar’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis will occur May 10, 2014, on a revised version of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The course will be adjusted to 2.434 miles and feature several alterations from the version raced by Formula One and more recently, GRAND-AM. The race will also feature a standing start.

The IndyCars will run the clockwise direction with the right-handed, sharp Turn 1 to lead from before oval Turn 4 onto the road course. Turns 2, 3, 4 remain the same before an adjusted chicane that will be Turns 5 and 6, and lead onto the Hulman Blvd. straight. Turn 7 will be a tight, 90-degree left-hander following the flow through Turns 8 and 9, leading back onto the oval Turn 2, road course Turns 10 and 11, and then through the MotoGP section of course to bypass oval Turn 1 and create road course Turns 12, 13 and 14 leading back onto the front straight.

Spectator mounds will be increased and heightened to enhance viewing opportunities. Track officials hope to have a resurfacing complete by December 1 and testing held in the spring.

Tickets go on sale starting on Oct. 14, with the goal outlined by IMS President Doug Boles and Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles to create a family-friendly weekend. Miles outlined a weekend family package for $50. Race Day reserved seat prices will range from $40-75. Existing ticket customers to any 2014 IMS event will receive a $10 discount on reserved seats ($30-65). Race Day general admission tickets are $25 for all customers. A separate website, gpofindianapolis.com, has been created for further information.

The race will be televised live on ABC, including in the Indianapolis market (it’s blacked out locally for the Indianapolis 500).  Thursday and Friday will serve as practice and qualifying days. All rungs of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder will also race at the track that weekend.

A title sponsor for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis was not announced, but potentially will be at a later date.

Miles said he wanted to “elevate the month of May” as part of a grander plan to increase attendance and the Speedway, and therefore INDYCAR’s, bottom line over the next five years through 2018.

Boles hopes for a crowd in the 40 to 50,000 range, if not greater, and said the Speedway will “resize the stadium” to give a feel of a big event and give spectators the best viewing access.

Justin Grant prevails over Kyle Larson in the Turkey Night Grand Prix

Grant Larson Turkey Night
USACRacing.com / DB3 Inc.
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On the heels of his Hangtown 100 victory, Justin Grant worked his way from 13th in the Turkey Night Grand Prix to beat three-time event winner Kyle Larson by 1.367 seconds. The 81st annual event was run at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway for the sixth time.

“My dad used to take me to Irwindale Speedway, and we’d watch Turkey Night there every year,” Grant said in a series press release. “This is one of the races I fell in love with. I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to run in it, never thought I’d make a show and certainly never thought I’d be able to win one.”

With its genesis in 1934 at Gilmore Stadium, a quarter-mile dirt track in Los Angeles, the race is steeped in history with winners that include AJ Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Gary Bettenhausen and Johnnie Parsons. Tony Stewart won it in 2000. Kyle Larson won his first of three Turkey Night Grands Prix in 2012. Christopher Bell earned his first of three in 2014, so Grant’s enthusiasm was well deserved.

So was the skepticism that he would win. He failed to crack the top five in three previous attempts, although he came close last year with a sixth-place result. When he lined up for the feature 13th in the crowded 28-car field, winning seemed like a longshot.

Grant watched as serious challengers fell by the wayside. Mitchel Moles flipped on Lap 10 of the feature. Michael “Buddy” Kofoid took a tumble on Lap 68 and World of Outlaws Sprint car driver Carson Macedo flipped on Lap 79. Grant saw the carnage ahead of him and held a steady wheel as he passed Tanner Thorson for the lead with 15 laps remaining and stayed out of trouble for the remainder of the event.

“It’s a dream come true to win the Turkey Night Grand Prix,” Grant said.


Kyle Larson follows Justin Grant to the front on Turkey Night

The 2012, 2016 and 2019 winner, Larson was not scheduled to run the event. His wife Katelyn is expecting their third child shortly, but after a couple of glasses of wine with Thanksgiving dinner and while watching some replays of the event, Larson texted car owner Chad Boat to see if he had a spare car lying around. He did.

“We weren’t great but just hung around and it seemed like anybody who got to the lead crashed and collected some people,” Larson said. “We made some passes throughout; in the mid-portion, we weren’t very good but then we got better at the end.

“I just ran really, really hard there, and knew I was running out of time, so I had to go. I made some pretty crazy and dumb moves, but I got to second and was hoping we could get a caution to get racing with Justin there. He was sliding himself at both ends and thought that maybe we could get a run and just out-angle him into [Turn] 1 and get clear off [Turn] 2 if we got a caution, but it just didn’t work out.”

Larson padded one of the most impressive stats in the history of this race, however. In 10 starts, he’s won three times, finished second four times, was third once and fourth twice.

Bryant Wiedeman took the final spot on the podium.

As Grant and Larson began to pick their way through the field, Kofoid took the lead early from the outside of the front row and led the first 44 laps of the race before handing it over to Cannon McIntosh, who bicycled on Lap 71 before landing on all fours. While Macedo and Thorson tussled for the lead with McIntosh, Grant closed in.

Thorson finished 19th with McIntosh 20th. Macedo recovered from his incident to finish ninth. Kofoid’s hard tumble relegated him to 23rd.

Jake Andreotti in fourth and Kevin Thomas, Jr. rounded out the top five.

1. Justin Grant (started 13)
2. Kyle Larson (22)
3. Bryant Wiedeman (4)
4. Jake Andreotti (9)
5. Kevin Thomas Jr. (1)
6. Logan Seavey (8)
7. Alex Bright (27)
8. Emerson Axsom (24)
9. Carson Macedo (7)
10. Jason McDougal (18)
11. Jake Swanson (16)
12. Chase Johnson (6)
13. Jacob Denney (26)
14. Ryan Timms (23)
15. Chance Crum (28)
16. Brenham Crouch (17)
17. Jonathan Beason (19)
18. Cade Lewis (14)
19. Tanner Thorson (11)
20. Cannon McIntosh (3)
21. Thomas Meseraull (15)
22. Tyler Courtney (21)
23. Buddy Kofoid (2)
24. Brody Fuson (5)
25. Mitchel Moles (20)
26. Daniel Whitley (10)
27. Kaylee Bryson (12)
28. Spencer Bayston (25)