INDYCAR Grand Prix Fast Facts

Defending Indy GP winner Will Power/Getty Images
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Here’s what you need to know about this weekend’s INDYCAR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (courtesy INDYCAR PR):

Race weekend: Friday, May 11 – Saturday, May 12

Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course (clockwise)

Race distance: 85 laps / 207.315 miles

Entry List:  INDYCAR Grand Prix (PDF)

Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate (Note: An eighth set of primary tires is available to any car fielding a rookie driver.)

Twitter: @IMS @IndyCar, #INDYCARGP, #IndyCar

Event website: www.ims.com

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

2017 race winner: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet)

2017 Verizon P1 Award winner: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet),1:07.7044, 129.687 mph

Qualifying lap record: Will Power, 1:07.7044, 129.687 mph, May 12, 2017 (Set in Round 3 of knockout qualifying)

ABC race broadcast: Saturday, May 12 (3:30 p.m. ET, live)

Allen Bestwick will be the play-by-play announcer for ABC’s broadcast of the INDYCAR Grand Prix alongside analysts Eddie Cheever and Scott Goodyear. Pit reporters are Rick DeBruhl, Dr. Jerry Punch and Jon Beekhuis.

Radio broadcasts: The Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network is led by chief announcer Mark Jaynes, with analyst Anders Krohn. Turn reporters are Jake Query and Nick Yeoman, with Rob Howden and Michael Young reporting from the pits.

All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 214, XM 209, IndyCar.comindycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app. Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying is broadcast on Sirius 214, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app. Verizon IndyCar Series practices are broadcast on IndyCar.com indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.

Video Streaming: All practice sessions and qualifying for the INDYCAR Grand Prix will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar).

At-track schedule (all times ET): 
Friday, May 11 
9:15-10 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, streaming on RaceControl.IndyCar.com(Live)

12:30-1:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #2, streaming on RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)

4:30 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (three rounds of Verizon IndyCar Series knockout qualifications), streaming on RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)

Saturday, May 12 11:15-11:45 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series warmup, streaming on RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)

3:30 p.m. – ABC on air

3:43 p.m. – “Drivers, start your engines”

3:50 p.m. – INDYCAR Grand Prix (85 laps/207.315 miles), ABC (Live)

Race Notes:

* The INDYCAR Grand Prix will be the fifth Indy car event conducted on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course. Simon Pagenaud and Will Power are the only drivers to win on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Pagenaud won the inaugural race in 2014 and again in 2016, Power won the race in 2015 and 2017.

* Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Sebastian Saavedra are the only drivers to have won the pole position on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Saavedra claimed the pole in 2014, Power in 2015 and 2017 and Pagenaud in 2016.

* Three Verizon P1 Award winners have won the race from the pole: Will Power in 2015 and 2017 and Simon Pagenaud in 2016.

* Helio Castroneves will make his 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season debut at Indianapolis. He is the only driver to finish in the top 10 in every race held on the IMS road course.

* Fifteen drivers have competed in every Indy car race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course – Marco Andretti, Sebastien Bourdais, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, Juan Pablo Montoya, Carlos Munoz, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato. All but Montoya and Munoz are entered this year.

* Rookies Kyle Kaiser, Jordan King, Matheus “Matt” Leist, Zach Veach and Robert Wickens will race Verizon IndyCar Series cars on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course for the first time this weekend. Kaiser, the 2017 Indy Lights champion, won at the circuit in Indy Lights last season, while Wickens won on the IMS road course in Formula BMW USA in 2006 when the circuit had a different configuration.

* Eighteen of the drivers entered in the event have competed in Indy car races on the IMS road course. Nine entered drivers have led laps: Will Power 126, Simon Pagenaud 63, Helio Castroneves 46, Ryan Hunter-Reay 18, Graham Rahal 11, James Hinchcliffe 4, Charlie Kimball 3, Sebastien Bourdais 1 and Scott Dixon 1.

* Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 287th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Kanaan will attempt to make his 347th Indy car start, which ranks third on the all-time list. Only Mario Andretti (407) and A.J. Foyt (369) have made more starts than Kanaan.

* Scott Dixon has made 228 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing. Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti has made 204 consecutive starts, which is the fourth-longest streak in Indy car racing.

* Scott Dixon, the longest-tenured driver for Chip Ganassi Racing, is fourth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 41 wins. St. Petersburg race winner Sebastien Bourdais is sixth on the all-time list with 37 wins and Will Power ranks ninth on the all-time list with 32 wins.

Miguel Oliveira wins MotoGP Thai Grand Prix, Bagnaia closes to two points in championship

MotoGP Thai Grand Prix
Mirco Lazzari / Getty Images
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Miguel Oliveira mastered mixed conditions on the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand to win the MotoGP Thai Grand Prix. Oliveira showed the adaptability as he navigated a race that began in wet conditions and turned dry over the course of the race. Oliveira won the Indonesian GP in similar conditions.

“It was a long race, but I can’t complain,” Oliveira said on CNBC. “Every time we get to ride in the wet, I’m always super-fast. When it started raining, I had flashbacks of Indonesia. I tried to keep my feet on the ground, make a good start and not make mistakes and carry the bike to the end.”

All eyes were on the championship, however. Francesco Bagnaia got a great start to slot into second in Turn 1.

Meanwhile Fabio Quartararo had a disastrous first lap. He lost five positions in the first couple of turns and then rode over the rumble strips and fell back to 17th. At the end of the first lap, Bagnaia had the points’ lead by two. A win would have added to the gain and for a moment, it appeared Bagnaia might assume the lead.

Early leader Marco Bezzecchi was penalized for exceeding track limits, but before that happened, Jack Miller got around Bagnaia and pushed him back to third. Oliveira was not far behind.

After throwing away ninth-place and seven points on the last lap of the Japanese GP last week, Bagnaia did not allow the competition to press him into a mistake. He fell back as far as fourth before retaking the final position on the podium.

“It’s like a win for me, this podium,” Bagnaia. “My first podium in the wet and then there was a mix of conditions, so I’m very happy. I want to thank Jack Miller. Before the race, he gave me a motivational chat.”

Miller led the first half of the Thai Grand Prix before giving up the top spot to Oliveira and then held on to finish second. Coupled with his Japanese GP win, Miller is now fully in the MotoGP championship battle with a 40-point deficit, but he will need a string of results like Bagnaia has put together in recent weeks – and he needs Bagnaia to lose momentum.

Miller’s home Grand Prix in Australia is next up on the calendar in two weeks.

Bagnaia entered the race 18 points behind Quartararo after he failed to score any in Japan. The balance of power has rapidly shifted, however, with Quartararo now failing to earn points in two of the last three rounds. Bagnaia won four consecutive races and finished second in the five races leading up to Japan. His third-place finish in Thailand is now his sixth MotoGP podium in the last seven rounds.

Aleix Espargaro entered the race third in the standings with a 25-point deficit to Quartararo, but was able to close the gap by only five after getting hit with a long-lap penalty for aggressive riding when he pushed Darryn Binder off course during a pass for position. Espargaro finished 11th.

Rain mixed up the Moto2 running order in the MotoGP Thai Grand Prix as well. Starting on a wet track, Somkiat Chantra led the opening lap in his home Grand Prix. He could not hold onto it and crashed one circuit later, but still gave his countrymen a moment of pride by winning the pole.

Half points were awarded as the race went only eight laps before Tony Arbolino crossed under the checkers first with Filip Salac and Aron Canet rounding out the podium.

American Joe Roberts earned another top-10 in eighth with Sean Dylan Kelly finishing just outside the top 10 in 11th.