All photos courtesy Cora Veltman

Photo gallery of the month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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NBCSN production assistant and @IndyCarOnNBC social media manager Cora Veltman spent the entire month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, chronicling all the action and getting some great photos.

That included practice days, qualifying, the INDYCAR Grand Prix, Carb Day, Legends Day and, of course, the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500, the Greatest Spectacle In Racing.

We’ve created a photo gallery featuring some of the best work during the month from Veltman. We hope you enjoy it:

 

1. Fans flock from all over the world to come to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. You’ll meet people that have been coming to the race every year of their life and fans that are experiencing it for the first time.

 

2. Andretti Autosport’s No. 25 Driven to Save Lives entry piloted by Stefan Wilson rolls out of the garages for Indy 500 practice. Surrendering his seat in last year’s 500 to Fernando Alonso, Wilson had a lot of anticipation for this year’s race. In the closing laps, Wilson was within striking distance for the win, but the gamble on fuel strategy did not pay off. Pulling into the pits with 4 laps to go, Wilson and crew would finish 15th.

 

3. U.S. Vice President and former Governor of Indiana Mike Pence stopped by the Speedway to check out practice in the weeks leading up to the 500.

 

4. A big talking point for this year’s qualifying weekend, IndyCar series regular James Hinchcliffe failed to make the field for the 102nd running of the Indy500. After conferring with his sponsors and team members, it was decided that Hinchcliffe would sit this year out instead of buying out another competitor’s ride.

 

5. Albeit disappointed, Hinchcliffe (center) spent the remainder of the month trackside supporting his fellow drivers. Mario Andretti (left) and Alexander Rossi (right) chat on the pit lane during Pole Day.

 

6. Indianapolis native Ed Carpenter and team had been quick all month leading up to qualifications. After making the fast nine on Bump Day, many Hoosiers were rooting for the hometown hero to clinch his third career pole at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the following day – and they were not disappointed.

 

7. An exciting shootout for the front row came down to the last few qualifiers. Team owner/ driver Ed Carpenter brought the fans to their feet with a 229.618 mph four-lap average and won the pole. He was joined by Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud in the middle of the front row and eventual 500 winner Will Power to the outside.

 

8. A team to watch this month was A.J. Foyt Racing. IndyCar veteran and fan favorite Tony Kanaan gives rookie teammate Matteus Leist a warm hug before getting in the car. They would qualify 10th (Kanaan) and 11th (Leist).

 

9. Carb day is always a party in Indianapolis. Part of the Speedway’s ‘Fashion Friday’ fans are encouraged to sport their best checkerboard attire.

 

10. Going into this month, Andretti Autosport driver Patricio O’Ward was the points leader for the Indy Lights series. After a frustrating finish early in the month on the IMS road course, he was eager to make up ground for the Carb Day Freedom 100.

 

11. After an exciting Freedom 100, Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta found himself in Victory Lane. “I am just so happy to win here in Indy,” he said.

 

12. The first act of the Carb night concert, Blues Traveler, jammed on stage after the racing was done for the day.

 

13. Headliner Train rocked out for thousands of fans on Carb Night. No matter the heat or the humidity, thousands came to party.

 

14. In the days leading up to the 500, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team co-owner Sam Schmidt flew the colors of another team close to his heart, the NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights.

 

15. An added attraction during 500 weekend, the Historic Racing Exhibition hosted by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, allows fans to see notable cars of yesteryear turn laps around the track. This time 76 cars from every era participated.

 

16. A tradition after driver introductions, the Indy500 class of 2018 gathers on the start/finish line.

 

17. In her last professional race, Danica Patrick was one of several drivers involved in incidents, ending her 500 bid to win with a wreck in the exit of Turn 2. “Today was real disappointing,” a disappointed Patrick said. “It is not what you want for your last race. … I am very grateful to everyone that let me try to finish this up like I wanted.”

 

18. The first Australian to win the Indianapolis 500, Will Power, let out a scream over the radio after crossing the Yard of Bricks for the last time. “I was wondering if I would ever win it,” he said afterward.

 

19. ‘The Capitan,’ Roger Penske, looks on from the pits in the closing laps of the 500. His win with Will Power marks a record-extending 17th for Team Penske.

 

20. A gracious champion, Will Power sits in Victory Lane during the post-race pageantry. “Man, I just can’t believe it,” he said, “I can not describe it. I feel like collapsing and I want to cry.”

Supercross points leader Eli Tomac finds silver linings in interruption

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Though his Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship charge was put on hold, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a silver lining for Eli Tomac.

Off the road while the season was postponed for nearly three months, the points leader was able to be present as his girlfriend, Jessica, gave birth to their daughter, Lev, on April 26

“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.

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“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”

But there also could be more good fortune for Tomac as the series resumes Sunday at Salt Lake City, Utah (3-4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, 4-6 p.m. on NBC).

The final seven events will be held over 22 days in Rice-Eccles Stadium, which sits at just over 4,000 feet.

The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).

COVID-19 TESTING REQUIRED: Supercross outlines protocols for last seven races

“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.

“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”

Supercross will race Sunday and Wednesday for the next three weeks, capping the season with the June 21 finale, which also will be shown on NBCSN from 3-4:30 p.m. ET and NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. ET.

Tomac, who holds a three-point lead over Ken Roczen (who also recently visited “Lunch Talk Live”), told Tirico he had been riding for 90 minutes Thursday morning on a track outside Salt Lake City.

“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”

Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:

  • Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
  • Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).
Eli Tomac rides his No. 3 Kawasaki in the Feb. 29 race at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia (Charles Mitchell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).