INDYCAR: Fast Facts for Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500

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Here’s all you need to know about Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (courtesy INDYCAR Media Relations):

Race weekend: Friday, May 25 – Sunday, May 27

Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a 2.5-mile oval

Starting lineup: 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil

Race distance: 200 laps / 500 miles

Firestone tire allotment: Thirty-six sets for use throughout the event.

Twitter: @IMS @IndyCar, #Indy500 #ThisIsMay, #IndyCar

Event website: www.ims.com

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

2017 race winner: Takuma Sato (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda)

2018 Verizon P1 Award winner: Ed Carpenter (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet), 2:36.7818, 229.618 mph (four laps)

NBCSN Miller Lite Carb Day broadcast: Friday, May 25 (11 a.m. ET)

Kevin Lee will anchor NBCSN’s coverage of Indianapolis 500 final practice, the Indy Lights Freedom 100 race and TAG Heuer Pit Stop Competition. Robin Miller, Paul Tracy and Townsend Bell will serve as analysts with Katie Hargitt, Jon Beekhuis and Marty Snider as pit reporters.

ABC race broadcast: Sunday, May 28 (11 a.m. ET)

Allen Bestwick is the lead announcer for ESPN on ABC broadcasts for the third consecutive year alongside analysts Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever Jr. Rick DeBruhl, Dr. Jerry Punch and Jon Beekhuis are the pit reporters.

Radio broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Anders Krohn and Donald Davidson. Nick Yeoman (Turn 2), Jake Query (Turn 3) and Chris Denari (Turn 4) are the turn announcers with Dave Furst, Rob Howden, Ryan Myreh and Michael Young on pit lane. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 219, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app. The Verizon IndyCar Series final practice session on May 25 is available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.

At-track schedule (all times local):

Friday, May 25

11 a.m.-noon – Indianapolis 500 final practice

1:30 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 Pit Stop Competition

Sunday, May 27

11:38 a.m. – Driver Introductions

12:14 p.m. – Command to Start Engines

12:21 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (200 laps/500 miles), ABC (live at 11 a.m.)

Race notes:

* The Indianapolis 500 will be the 102nd 500-mile Indy car race conducted on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s oval. Ray Harroun won the inaugural race in 1911. Takuma Sato won the race in 2017 to become the first Japanese winner.

* Six drivers entered have won the Indianapolis 500. Helio Castroneves has won the race three times (2001, 2002 and 2009) while Scott Dixon (2008), Tony Kanaan (2013), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2014), Alexander Rossi (2016) and Takuma Sato (2017) are the other former winners entered.

* There have been four different winners in five Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2018. Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (ISM Raceway and Barber Motorsports Park) and Will Power (IMS road course) have won races in 2018.

* Ed Carpenter became the sixth difference pole winner of 2018 by winning the Verizon P1 Award for the Indianapolis 500. Carpenter won his third Indianapolis 500 pole, all since 2013.

* Tony Kanaan has finished in the top four in four of the last seven Indianapolis 500s, including his win in 2013.

* Four drivers will race Verizon IndyCar Series cars on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval for the first time: Zachary Claman De Melo, Kyle Kaiser, Matheus Leist and Robert Wickens.

* Twenty drivers have won the race from the pole – most recently Castroneves in 2009.

* Team Penske has 16 wins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the most of any team. Andretti Autosport has five wins while Chip Ganassi Racing has won four times. A.J. Foyt Enterprises has won twice.

* Two drivers have a chance to become the first to win on both the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the famed 2.5-mile oval: Simon Pagenaud and Will Power have road course wins.

* Danica Patrick is the only female driver in the field. It marks the 19th consecutive Indy 500 that a woman has qualified for the race.

* Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 289th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Former teammate Scott Dixon has made 229 consecutive starts heading into the weekend which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing.

AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
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Benjamin Pedersen is the first driver to land a promotion from Indy Lights into IndyCar for next season as AJ Foyt Racing confirmed Wednesday he’ll be part of its 2023 lineup.

Pedersen, a 23-year-old dual citizen of Denmark and the United States, spent last season running the full Indy Lights schedule for HMD Motorsports. Linus Lundqvist, his teammate, won the Lights title, and Pedersen finished fifth in the final standings. Pedersen earned his only win earlier this month when he led every lap from the pole at Portland.

Pedersen also ran four races for HMD in 2021 with back-to-back runner-up finishes in his debut. Pedersen landed on AJ Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt’s radar through a “trusted colleague” and Pedersen spent most of last season shadowing the IndyCar team.

His promotion to IndyCar comes ahead of all four drivers who finished ahead of him in the Indy Lights standings, including champion Lundqvist.

“We are really looking forward to having Benjamin as part of the team,” Larry Foyt said. “His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is 100 percent committed to IndyCar, AJ Foyt Racing, and doing the best he can to win races.

“It’s been great to have him embedded with the team this past season, and everyone is excited to hit the ground running when testing begins. It is also great to have a multi-year program in place, which will help him and the team grow together.”

Foyt did not announce a car number for Pedersen. Kyle Kirkwood spent his rookie season driving AJ Foyt’s flagship No. 14 but Kirkwood is moving to Andretti Autosport. The team has not yet announced if Dalton Kellett will return for a fourth season, and a third car for Tatiana Calderon was pulled from competition after seven races because of sponsorship non-payment. Shutting down Calderon’s team removed the only semi-regular female driver from the IndyCar field.

Pedersen, however, was signed to an agreement Foyt said “spans multiple seasons as the team plans to develop the young rookie and is aligned to a longer-term plan for AJ Foyt Racing.”

Pedersen was born in Copenhagen but raised in Seattle and currently lives in Indianapolis. He said his time shadowing the IndyCar team has given him a jump on his rookie preparations.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this season with AJ Foyt Racing learning the ins and outs of making the jump to IndyCar and it’s been really nice to do that in conjunction with my Indy Lights season,” Pedersen said. “IndyCar has been my target goal since I started open wheel racing in 2016. The racing, atmosphere, fans, events, tracks, etc. are all awesome.”