Fun with dogs, Mario Kart battle highlight Indy practice rainout

Photo: Tony DiZInno

INDIANAPOLIS – Verizon IndyCar Series drivers are always trying to find new ways to beat each other.

It becomes more difficult on days when they’re not on track, but still, today’s washout at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway provided a good opportunity for drivers to one-up each other in competition outside the car.

Let’s get paws-itive first and talk about man’s – or woman’s – best friend: dogs.

Bryan Clauson, driver of the No. 88 Cancer Treatment Centers of America Honda, has a ridiculously cute Jack Russell Terrier named Chevy.

There’s a slight problem for May, though.

In INDYCAR, this year, drivers aren’t allowed to mention the name of the other manufacturer by name, and instead have to call them “competitor.” So a Honda driver can’t say a Chevrolet driver is driving a Chevrolet, and vice versa.

I don’t believe there is a provision in the 2016 INDYCAR Rulebook where a dog is named one engine manufacturer and said dog’s dad drives for another one.

So, thusly, for the next couple weeks, she’ll answer only to “Honda Clauson.” I also came up with another cool alternative.

Beyond the Dale Coyne Racing garage, another of Coyne’s drivers – Conor Daly – engaged in a race with several of his fellow young guns.

Daly, who drives the No. 18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality Honda but will have a new primary sponsor for the Indianapolis 500, posted this pic on Twitter of a Mario Kart race, along with Spencer Pigot, Alexander Rossi and Marco Andretti.

Pigot wouldn’t be pressed on who he was competing as when I bumped into him. “Yoshi, I think,” said the driver of the No. 16 RLL/Mi-Jack/Manitowoc Honda.

Here’s another fun rain delay story… the defending Indianapolis 500 champion, Juan Pablo Montoya, stopped by the creator of this year’s ticket design.

From Borg-Warner Trophy PR:


Mandy Walsh, Senior Graphic Designer in the IMS Creative Services Department who designed the 2016 Indianapolis 500 ticket was paid a surprise visit by defending race winner Juan Pablo Montoya on a rained out Tuesday afternoon. Walsh has worked at IMS for 15 years and has designed five “500” tickets – 2004, 2006, 2012, 2015 and 2016.

Juan Pablo Montoya – “Mandy did a really good job designing the “500” ticket. I think the ticket looks really cool and is unique – something for the fans to keep for years. I just want her to create the 2017 ticket with my face on it from winning this year, let’s make that happen, okay?”

Mandy Walsh – “It was a complete surprise to see Juan walk thru the door of our offices – really cool. He signed my oversized ticket that will go on a wall in my house and my race day ticket – he’s so nice. Juan was so happy and relaxed – it was fun to chat with him and see what he’s like when he’s not focused on racing. It was a great way to brighten up my rainy afternoon at IMS!”

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points


Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

More SuperMotocross coverage

How to Watch Seattle Supercross
Dylan Ferrandis may return before SX finale
SMX develops “Leader Lights”
Power Rankings after Detroit
Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan
Results and points after Detroit
Chase Sexton wins in Detroit, penalized seven points