Unofficial starting grid for the 99th Indianapolis 500

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Qualifying is in the books for the 99th Indianapolis 500, with Scott Dixon on the pole position (Verizon P1 Award) for the 2015 edition of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Beyond Dixon’s joy and the relief of the last row of drivers making the field lie 29 other stories to comprise this year’s field of 33.

Here’s the unofficial starting grid, with row, car number, driver, car name and speed.

Note the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda, which was qualified in the 21st position by Tristan Vautier, will move to 33rd and last place with a driver change coming and James Davison replacing Vautier.

Other spots could change based on if backup cars are required following Monday’s final full day of practice.

Otherwise, here’s how you can expect the grid to look next Sunday:

ROW 1
1. 9-Scott Dixon-W, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, 226.760
2. 1-Will Power, Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, 226.350
3. 22-Simon Pagenaud, Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet, 226.145

ROW 2
4. 10-Tony Kanaan-W, NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, 225.503
5. 3-Helio Castroneves-W, Shell V-Power Nitro+ Team Penske Chevrolet, 225.502
6. 25-Justin Wilson, Andretti Autosport Honda, 225.279

ROW 3
7. 11-Sebastien Bourdais, Hydroxycut-HAUS Vaporizer KVSH Racing Chevrolet, 225.193
8. 27-Marco Andretti, Snapple Honda, 225.189
9. 21-Josef Newgarden, Century 21 CFH Racing Chevrolet, 225.187

ROW 4
10. 6-JR Hildebrand, Preferred Freezer/CFH Racing Chevrolet, 225.099
11. 26-Carlos Munoz, AndrettiTV Cinsay Honda, 225.042
12. 20T-Ed Carpenter, Fuzzy’s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet, 224.883

ROW 5
13. 32-Oriol Servia, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, 224.777
14. 83-Charlie Kimball, Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, 224.743
15. 2-Juan Pablo Montoya-W, Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, 224.657

ROW 6
16. 28-Ryan Hunter-Reay-W, DHL Honda, 224.573
17. 15-Graham Rahal, Steak ‘n Shake Honda, 224.290
18. 18-Carlos Huertas, Dale Coyne Racing Honda, 224.233

ROW 7
19. 29-Simona de Silvestro, TE Connectivity Honda, 223.838
20. 7-James Jakes, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, 223.790
21. 48-Alex Tagliani, Alfe Heat Treating Special Honda, 223.722

ROW 8
22. 8-Sage Karam, Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chevrolet, 223.595
23. 5-James Hinchcliffe, Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Honda, 223.519
24. 43-Conor Daly, FUELED by BACON Special Honda, 223.482

ROW 9
25. 24-Townsend Bell, The Robert Graham Special Chevrolet, 223.447
26. 14-Takuma Sato, ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda, 223.226
27. 63-Pippa Mann, Susan G. Komen Dale Coyne Racing Honda, 223.104

ROW 10
28. 98-Gabby Chaves-R, Bowers & Wilkins/Curb Honda, 222.916
29. 17-Sebastian Saavedra, AFS Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, 222.898
30. 41-Jack Hawksworth, ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda, 223.738

ROW 11
31. 4-Stefano Coletti-R, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, 222.001
32. 88-Bryan Clauson, KVSH/Jonathan Byrd’s/Cancer Treatment Centers of America Chevrolet, 221.358
33. 19-James Davison, Always Evolving/Dale Coyne Racing Honda, 223.747

DID NOT QUALIFY
34. 91-Buddy Lazier-W, Wynn Iowa Vision Research Lazier Racing Chevrolet, 220.153

The road to the 2023 Daytona 500 is not paved for Travis Pastrana, he’ll attempt the DIRTcar Nationals

Pastrana DIRTcar Nationals
Jacy Norgaard / World of Outlaws
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Travis Pastrana will attempt to make his first NASCAR Cup series race on February 19 with the grandaddy of them all, the Daytona 500, but his road to get there will not be paved and his car will have only two fenders as he tackles Florida Speedweeks and the DIRTcar Nationals.

In mid-January, it was announced Pastrana will attempt to qualify a third car from 23XI Racing that fields fulltime entries for Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick. Sponsorship will come from Black Rifle Coffee, who approached him during the offseason to ask what kind of “really cool stuff” he would like to do. Pastrana replied, “the Daytona 500” with a characteristic laugh in his voice.

“It’s good,” Pastrana said in a press release. “We’re going to go down, we’re going to go hangout with [NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion] Matt Crafton, one of [Black Rifle’s] drivers, we’ll go to Modified races and watch all the Late Models. We’ll watch the racing, and we’ll bring [United States military] veterans down and hangout with [Steve] Arpin.”

But there is a saying among dirt track fans that goes, ‘asphalt is for getting to the track; dirt is for racing’ – and Pastrana is taking that to heart.

After racing on the snow in Nitro Rallycross February 4-5 in Calgary, Alberta, the original plan was to head to Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida to watch the modified and late model races. Until Crafton called him out for not racing.

Pastrana relayed the conversation: “I told Crafton [I was coming to watch] and he goes, ‘Ah, too much of a sissy to drive?’ I called Arpin, and said, ‘So, Longhorn, I heard you guys have vehicles that can kick the crap out of Crafton’s vehicle.’ [Arpin] said, ‘Yeah, if you don’t suck, you can beat him.’ I said, ‘Alright, I’m in.’”

The DIRTcar Nationals run from February 6-18. The first week features six UMP Modified Mains each night they run, on Monday (Feb. 6), Friday (Feb. 10), and then the prestigious Gator Championship race on Saturday (Feb. 11). Pastrana hopes to run every night in one of Arpin’s cars, also with sponsorship from Black Riffle Coffee.

And this is not just for bragging rights; there is money on the line. Pastrana and Crafton have a $1 bet on who has the best finish.

While Pastrana is accustomed pitching his car sideways on a combination of left and right turns in a rally car – he won the Nitro Rallycross race at ERX Motorsports Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota last October and became the first two-time winner in the 2022/23 season at Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix, Arizona in November – the DIRTcar Nationals will be an entirely different proposition.

It took a day for Pastrana to get comfortable in the modified. And it took a little coaching from Arpin, who has experience in both dirt modifieds and rally cars to make him fast.

“[Arpin] showed up the second day after hearing how bad the first day was,” Pastrana said, which is confirmed in the Instagram post embedded above. “But he just told me, until you commit, it’s not going to work. Once I committed, it started making a lot of sense. But coming in, if you’re lifting off the gas while trying to turn, it just doesn’t turn and all your natural instincts say, ‘Don’t get on the gas.’ So, yeah, I feel like it should suit my driving style because I’m more of an aggressive sideways type of driver, but it was very difficult. Turning and sliding, I’m fine. Getting it there is not the easiest.”

Pastrana has one previous start in a dirt late model that came in the 2010 Prelude to the Dream. He finished 23rd in the 27-car field and was three laps off the pace. He wasn’t the only driver having difficulty getting a feel for the car that night; Jeff Gordon finished on the same lap, only one position ahead of him.

Travis Pastrana will race one of Steve Arpin’s dirt modifieds during Florida Speedweeks as he prepares for the 2023 Daytona 500. – Jacy Norgaard, World Racing Group

The price of the weekend could well exceed the dollar he may lose to Crafton.

“It’s going to be an expensive weekend,” Pastrana said. “Not everything is covered. If I crash anything, it is going to be all on me. This is one of those things where I want to come down and have fun. I want to hang out with the crowd, I want to sign autographs and give high fives. Especially for the Modified crew, that’s the grassroots racing that I love and some of my friends are involved with. We’ll be camping down there with Arpin and all the Longhorn guys, just hanging out. I feel like that’s a great opportunity for us to bring a lot of [US] veterans and bring people that are into racing and aren’t into racing, friends and family, and just have an awesome time.”

And it’s not out of the question that Pastrana could add another top-10 to his record book in the DIRTcar Nationals. After the rocky first day, Pastrana gained speed. Enough so that Arpin’s confidence was raised.

“We’re pretty confident Crafton is going to have to run hard to keep his dollar,” Arpin said.