Camping World set to feature on Scott Dixon’s car at Indy 500

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INDIANAPOLIS – The topic of Scott Dixon’s primary sponsor has been a story line since Target’s withdrawal from the Chip Ganassi Racing Verizon IndyCar Series program at the end of 2016.

A big name will be on board as its primary sponsor for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, in the form of Camping World.

Camping World chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis revealed the announcement late Friday night on Twitter, that the company would take over primary sponsorship of Dixon’s No. 9 Honda for this race.

If history is a guide, Andretti-Herta Autosport completed a late deal with NAPA Auto Parts the Friday before qualifying last year and Alexander Rossi promptly won last year’s 100th running just over a week later.

Dixon’s car has featured NTT Data primary signage since Long Beach, while running GE LED primary signage at the St. Petersburg season-opening race.

The car has been in NTT Data colors this week, as has the garage signs above Dixon’s entry in Gasoline Alley.

Speaking at a press conference today, Ganassi said Dixon is so good that if he’s not winning, it’s always down to the car.

“A lot of you know I’m friends with Leonard Wood down at the Wood Brothers and you obviously know the Wood Brothers’ history here in Indianapolis,” he said.

“I think Leonard gave Scott the greatest compliment. He said that Scott reminds him of David Pearson. He said, ‘When you have David Pearson driving your car, if you didn’t win, you knew you had to work on your car a bit.’ So I thought that was the ultimate compliment.

“He said: “That’s what Dixon is. If you win with him in your car, you know you’ve got to work on your car.” That’s pretty good.”

Dixon last won this race in 2008, but enters this year second in points on the strength of five top-five finishes in as many races to start the season.

Qualifying takes place this weekend, and Carb Day coverage runs on NBCSN from 11 a.m. ET on Friday, May 26.

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


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