Sarah Fisher is 2022 Indy 500 pace car driver

Indy pace car Fisher
James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
0 Comments

Sarah Fisher, who remains the fastest woman in Indy 500 history, will drive the pace for for the race’s 106th running May 29 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The former NTT IndyCar Series driver and team owner will be behind the wheel of a 2023 Corvette Z06 70th anniversary edition pace car to lead the field to the green flag for the race (whose broadcast begins at 11 a.m. ET on NBC).

The Ohio native made nine starts between 2000-10, a record for women. Her fastest four-lap qualifying average of 229.439 mph in 2002 also remains an event record for a female driver.

MAY IS HERE AT IMS: Details, schedules for watching the Indy 500 and prelims on NBC Sports

BUDDING RIVALRY? Graham Rahal on what’s ahead with Romain Grosjean

Fisher became the first woman to win the pole position for an IndyCar race in 2002 at Kentucky Speedway and was the first female driver to earn a podium finish in IndyCar at Kentucky (third in 2000). She finished a career-best second in 2001 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“Every time I’ve had the opportunity to drive at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it’s been special, from IndyCar cars to two-seaters to vintage cars,” Fisher said in a release. “Driving the pace car is just as special of an honor. And to have served in that role for the NTT IndyCar Series since Johnny Rutherford retired, I’ve had many great memories to add to my career.

“I am humbled and proud to become the official pace car driver for the 106th Indianapolis 500 and to represent the hard work and development that Chevrolet puts into these fantastic pieces of automobile advancement and technology.”

After driving, Fisher became a full-time team owner, providing two-time series champion Josef Newgarden with his first ride in IndyCar. Since leaving that role, she has driven the pace car at multiple race.

With her husband, Andy O’Gara, Fisher co-owns Speedway Indoor Karting facilities in Speedway, Indiana, and Daytona Beach, Florida, and is the mother of two children.

The 2023 Corvette Z06 is powered by the all-new 5.5L LT6 with 670 horsepower, making it the highest-horsepower naturally aspirated V-8 ever to hit the market in any production car.

Chevrolet and Corvette have led the Indy 500 starting field more than any other manufacturer and nameplate. The 2022 race will mark the 33rd time for a Chevrolet  pace car since 1948, and the 19th time since 1978.

“Sarah Fisher is an Indianapolis 500 icon who always takes the time to appreciate her fans and represent the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ with class and humility,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “She is such a fitting person for this honor, and it will be such a thrill and privilege to see her lead the field of 33 cars to the green flag before a huge crowd at the track and a global television audience.

“I’m sure Sarah will enjoy driving the 2023 Corvette Z06 70th Anniversary Edition, which is an incredible car with the performance to match its great looks.”

For the first time in three years, the Indy 500 will be at full capacity with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions having been lifted. A crowd of roughly 300,00 is expected for this year’s race after there were 135,000 fans permitted last year in the 230,000-seat grandstands.

The infield also has been reopened to fans.

For tickets to the Snake Pit festival, the Indy 500, the Carb Day Miller Lite concert or any practices and qualifying, click here to reserve a seat.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
0 Comments

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 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


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