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.”

Will Power, Roger Penske collect Indy 500 trophies

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images
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DETROIT (AP) Last year, Will Power finally broke through and won the Indianapolis 500, so he can cross that accomplishment off the list.

Now 37, Power is reaching an age when it’s fair to wonder how much longer he’ll keep at it.

“I’m really enjoying my racing. I’ve never been so motivated. I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, mentally on the game,” Power said. “I think once you get to this part of your career, you realize that you’re not going to be doing this forever. So you’ve got to enjoy it and you’ve got to go for it when you’ve got it, because, you know, probably only another five years at maximum, and you’re retired.”

Whenever Power’s career does wind down, his 2018 Indy 500 win will remain a moment to remember. He was in Detroit on Wednesday night with team owner Roger Penske for a ceremony in which they received their “Baby Borg” trophies for winning last year’s race. The Baby Borgs are replicas of the Borg-Warner Trophy that honors the Indy 500 winner.

Power finished second at Indy in 2015, and his victory last year made him the race’s first Australian winner. It was Penske’s 17th Indy 500 win as an owner, part of a banner year for him. Penske also won a NASCAR Cup title with driver Joey Logano.

“When you think about 2018, we had 32 race wins, 35 poles. I think we led almost 5,400 laps, with all the series,” Penske said.

On Wednesday, Penske collected another significant trophy, and he’ll be celebrated again in a couple weeks. He’s being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Feb. 1.

“It’s amazing that a guy from the north can get into the Hall of Fame in the south,” Penske joked. “No, it’s special. … NASCAR has helped us build our brand over the years, certainly, with the reputation it has, and the notoriety we get, being a NASCAR team owner.”

Penske’s most recent Indy 500 title came courtesy of Power, who long preferred road courses to ovals but certainly looked comfortable at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year.

“The 500 was one record that he didn’t have, and I think you saw the excitement he and his wife, and the whole team, when he was able to win the race,” Penske said. “He’s probably the best qualifier we’ve ever had, as a road racer, and no question his expertise. He didn’t like ovals to start with, but I think today, he loves racing on ovals.”

Power seems content with all aspects of his racing life at the moment. The aftermath of an Indy 500 victory can be a whirlwind, and it would be understandable for a driver to be weary of it eight months later, but for Power, it’s a new experience.

“I’ve been looking forward to this event for a few months now, to actually get the Baby Borg. You have the face on it – I didn’t realize that, you actually get your own face on it,” Power said. “It makes you realize the significance of the event, when you think about all the things that come with winning the 500.”

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