Colts punter Pat McAfee’s new shirt company to ride Daly’s Freedom Wagon

Photo: Dale Coyne Racing
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INDIANAPOLIS – Four days ago, Conor Daly’s No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda didn’t have a primary sponsor for the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

Three days ago, ShirtsforAmerica.com launched.

And on Wednesday, Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee’s new, burgeoning business was flying aboard a bald eagle on the way to the newly rechristened “Freedom Wagon” that just screams ‘Merica at the top of your lungs.

“Today is a gigantic day in history. Jot this day down in the books,” McAfee started off arguably the funniest press conference in recent memory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which you can view below.

“It’s a business that literally just started three days ago.

“Dale seems really elated. I just gave him a check.”

McAfee and Daly are friends – meanwhile Coyne has the faith and the vehicle to give Daly a shot at this year’s full Verizon IndyCar Series season including the Indianapolis 500.

Here’s more on the ShirtsForAmerica.com idea, below, via a team press release:

Photo: Dale Coyne Racing
Photo: Dale Coyne Racing

McAfee’s recently launched ShirtsForAmerica.com company was born from two ideas. One, to help an Indiana driver at this year’s Indy 500 and the other, to help two military foundations.

For each T-shirt sold, a portion of the proceeds will go to Wish For Our Heroes, which was founded by American veterans to help struggling veterans with every day situations they face off the battlefield and to The Pat McAfee Foundation. Now in its fourth year, the Pat McAfee Foundation has given more than $150 000 in scholarships to children of military families.

“Conor and I have been friends for a while now and I couldn’t wait to hear his thoughts about the 100th running of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing and how magical the Indy 500 is,” shared McAfee who is also a stand-up comedian. “Conor, being a kid from Indiana, started talking about how fantastic it is for Indiana that all of these awesome things are going to happen, how the entire world’s eyes turn to Indiana, and how every year we knock it out of the park.

“While we chatted about how lucky we were to be Hoosiers, he told me that he didn’t have a primary sponsor yet for the race. I didn’t believe him at first but then I saw it as an opportunity not only to help an Indianapolis kid run in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, but also, as a chance to raise some money for a couple of military foundations. So I created ShirtsForAmerica.com and sponsored his car. When we’re chugging milk in Victory Lane Memorial Day weekend, we’ll do it with some true fulfillment knowing that we’re also helping American heroes,” concluded the Colts player.

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

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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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 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

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