Karam, Daly out before first lap complete after separate problems in Indy 500


INDIANAPOLIS – Sage Karam and Ryan Briscoe crashed on the first lap of the 99th Indianapolis 500, which got off to a choppy start after an inauspicious month marked by wrecks.

The incident began when Takuma Sato attempted to complete an optimistic pass off the first turn on the outside of Karam. Briscoe got collected in the wreck.

“I knew going into Turn 1 he had a run, but I didn’t think he was dumb enough to go on the outside,” Karam said of Sato, to ABC’s Jon Beekhuis. “You can two-wide, race each other clean. Sato is a veteran he should be better than that. Three-wide, he ruined a lot of guys races. He needs to clean up his act.”

Meanwhile, Karam’s dad Jody Karam chimed in on Sato, on Twitter:

Sage did not too long afterwards, himself.

The crash made for a rough start to the 2015 Indianapolis Motor Speedway experience for Briscoe, who was substituting for injured James Hinchcliffe. Briscoe had made his first laps at the track Thursday after Hinchcliffe sustained critical injuries when he was speared by a suspension part in a Monday wreck.

Hinchcliffe’s wreck was the last of four significant wrecks in which cars got airborne to varying degrees during the 10 days leading up to the race, prompting series officials to make rules changes to temper speeds.

Prior to that two drivers had issues. Alex Tagliani’s car failed to start off the grid but was engaged via a push start, and Conor Daly’s race ended even before it began. The young American’s Honda suffered an apparent exhaust failure – it got too hot, per ABC – and he ground to a halt in Turn 3 before the race even started.

Adding to the glitch-filled start even before the green flag, there were a few botched handoffs during the prerace ceremonies (including the failure of a transmission from the International Space Station introducing the national anthem).

Under the yellow flag, the restart was waved off after apparent contact between Simona de Silvestro and Juan Pablo Montoya, which left Montoya’s car with a broken and flapping rear wheel guard.

None of the drivers in the first-lap crash Sunday appeared injured. Karam was seen and release from the track’s medical center.

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

Petit Le Mans lineup

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 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.



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