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Gene Haas downplays irony of Ford vs. Ferrari in his NASCAR, F1 teams

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Wednesday’s news that Stewart-Haas Racing will shift from Chevrolet to Ford in its Sprint Cup cars in 2017 brought back recollections by some of the fierce battles Ford once had with Ferrari in sports cars, and to a point, even Formula 1.

SHR co-owner Gene Haas has delved into F1 this season with the first American team in years – and his power units are from Ferrari (chassis is from Dallara).

Haas was asked during Wednesday’s announcement of SHR’s shift to Ford if there may be some increased notoriety for both his F1 team and Sprint Cup teams because of the old Ford vs. Ferrari rivalry.

“That was a long, long time ago,” Haas said. “You’re talking about something back in the (1960s). I think over the years I feel that that animosity is probably gone because Ford and Ferrari really compete at the dealership level anymore.”

Haas continued, telling the reporter that posed the question, “It’s kind of humorous you say that, but I don’t think Ferrari is going to say anything about it. I can tell you that the conversations I had with Ford that was never brought up, so that’s really a unique question. It will all be good, I’m sure of that.”

Raj Nair, executive vice president of Global Product Development and Chief Technical Officer for Ford, concurred with Haas’ comments.

“(The old Ford vs. Ferrari rivalry) really never came up,” Nair said. “We respect all of our competitors, whether it’s Ferrari or Chevy or whoever, and that rivalry is probably going to heat up a little bit when we get to Le Mans with the GT this year, but that really has never come up.

“We have other relationships, whether it’s Roger Penske, who has a Chevy in IndyCar, or Chip Ganassi, who races Chevy in NASCAR. We really treat those deals as separate.”

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Indy 500 qualifying: Today’s schedule, TV times, how the 33-car field is set

Indy 500 qualifying schedule
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The 33-car field of the 104th Indianapolis 500 will be set through the two-day Indy 500 qualifying schedule Saturday and Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Today’s session will determine the nine cars that will compete for the pole position and starting positions 10-30.

On Sunday, the pole position then will be determined in a Fast Nine Shootout (the top nine qualifiers also received NTT IndyCar Series points).

All on-track activity will be on NBC Sports Gold’s IndyCar pass (click here for streaming Saturday and here for Sunday), and Indy 500 qualifying will be on NBC from 3-5 p.m. ET Saturday and Indy 500 pole qualifying from 1-3 p.m. ET on NBC.

Last year, Simon Pagenaud captured the pole position on the way to winning last year’s Indy 500.

Qualifying speeds at Indianapolis Motor Speedway are determined by a four-lap average around the 2.5-mile track.

Here is the Indy 500 qualifying schedule and how to watch on TV:

Saturday, Aug. 15

5:30 a.m. – Garage opens

6 a.m. – Tech inspection

8:30-9:30 a.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice (NBC Sports Gold)

11 a.m.-5 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 qualifying (NBC Sports Gold; NBC coverage from 3-5 p.m.; NBCSN 5-6 p.m.)

7:30 p.m. – Garage closes

Sunday, Aug. 16

8 a.m. – Garage opens

9 a.m. — Tech inspection

11-11:30 a.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice (NBC Sports Gold)

1:15-2:15 p.m. – Fast Nine pole qualifying (NBC begins at 1 p.m., NBC Sports Gold)

3:30-6 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice (NBCSN, NBC Sports Gold)