News for the Week of May 18, 2015 – May 24, 2015

CLICK HERE FOR THE OPEN WHEEL’S LIVE BLOG OF THE 99TH RUNNING OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500 MILE RACE

Juan Pablo Montoya Wins his 2nd Indy 500 – Juan Pablo Montoya started 15th, but fell to 30th at one point during the race fought his way all the way back to win his second Indy 500 victory, with Power, Kimball, Dixon and Rahal rounding out the top 5. This year’s race was as exciting if not more exciting than last year’s battle to the finish. Several crashes may overshadow the great driving by the guys up front that traded the lead numerous times on the way to lap 200. – The Open Wheel – (5/24/2015)

Finish - Indy500

Indy 500 Finish – Photo by Parker Hall

Dempsey named as honorary starter for the 500 – “Renowned actor, passionate racer and TAG Heuer Ambassador Patrick Dempsey will wave the green flag as honorary starter of the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 24. Dempsey is best known for his portrayal of Dr. Derek Shepherd on the hit ABC series “Grey’s Anatomy,” with which he won a Screen Actors Guild Award and multiple People’s Choice Awards. He also appeared in many films including “Made of Honor,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Loverboy.”” – IMS – (5/23/15)

No. 3 crew wins TAG Heuer Pit Stop Challenge – Helio Castroneves’ No. 3 Team Penske crew won the Pit Stop Challenge over the No. 83 Chip Ganassi Racing crew of Charlie Kimball in the final on Coors Light Carb Day. It was the 15th time one of Roger Penske’s pit crews won the illustrious competition. – Indianapolis Star – (5/22/15)

Harvey wins Freedom 100 – Jack Harvey won the Freedom 100 on Friday under yellow after a late Ed Jones crash in Turn 4. He and fellow Schmidt Peterson Motorsport teammate Ethan Ringel had spent most of the race battling for P1 before the late caution decided the order for them. The result sent Harvey to the lead in the championship standings as all of the fellow contenders struggled in the first oval race of the year. – NBC Sports – (5/22/15)

Power fastest in final practice – Will Power set the fastest lap of the 1,195 laps turned in the final Verizon IndyCar Series practice before the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race with a lap at 229.020mph. The much needed clean and safe session featured plenty of practice and racing but most importantly, no accidents. – INDYCAR – (5/22/15)

INDYCAR Confirms Huertas Not Medically Cleared to Drive – Prior to Carb Day festivities the Verizon IndyCar series has sent out an official press release stating that Carlos Huertas has not been medically cleared to drive in this weekend’s Indianapolis 500. Dr. Terry Trammell stated the young IndyCar star has been suffering with an inner ear condition which has caused, what some speculate, headaches and dizziness. The No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda has since announced Tristan Vautier will be replacing Huertas. The starting position of the No. 18, per the IndyCar rulebook, has been moved back to the 32nd starting spot; in the middle of row 11. – INDYCAR PR – (5/22/2015)

Vautier to replace Huertas in DCR No. 18 – Indy ABC affiliate RTV6’s Dave Furst reports that Tristan Vautier will take over the Dale Coyne Racing No. 18 car from Carlos Huertas for Carb Day and race day for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Vautier successfully qualified the No. 19 car for Dale Coyne Racing as race driver James Davison had a previous commitment. – Dave Furst – (5/21/15)

Boston officially confirmed as new venue for Labor Day 2016 – “INDYCAR announced today that it will race in the South Boston Waterfront on Labor Day weekend during the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season. The Grand Prix of Boston will feature an 11-turn, 2.25-mile temporary street course that surrounds the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The event marks the first time INDYCAR has raced in the Boston area, a key northeast market for the Verizon IndyCar Series.” See the official event website at the link. – Grand Prix of Boston – (5/21/15)

Ringel wins pole for the Freedom 100 – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Ethan Ringel won the pole for the Indy Lights Freedom 100 on Thursday with a lap at 197.684mph. He’s joined in the Top 5 by Jack Harvey, Sean Rayhall, Scott Anderson, and RC Enerson. The Carlin duo of Max Chilton and Ed Jones P7 and P8. Spencer Pigot will start 10th. Full qualifying results at the link. – Indy Lights – (5/21/15)

Rayhall leads the way in Lights practice – Impressive 8Star Motorsports rookie Sean Rayhall topped the charts in Thursday practice for the Freedom 100 with a lap at 199.452mph. The rest of the Top 5 were Serralles, Harvey, Piedrahita, and Blackstock. Full results at the link. – Indy Lights – (5/21/15)

Briscoe confirmed as 500 driver in the No. 5 – “Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) has announced that Ryan Briscoe will fill the seat of the No. 5 Arrow Electronics Indy car on Sunday, May 24 for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500…Briscoe commented, “First and foremost, I feel absolutely terrible for Hinch. I wish him the best and a speedy recovery. Under the circumstances, I’m thrilled to have been given the opportunity to be here and fill in for him. I really hope to do a great job for Arrow Electronics, Lucas Oil and the SPM team, and I’m looking forward to being back here in the Indy 500 again.”” – SPM – (5/21/15)

IMS unveils logo and plans for 2016 Indy 500 – “Next year, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will celebrate its greatest milestone with the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, which will take place on Sunday, May 29, 2016. In preparation for this historic event, IMS unveiled the logo that will provide a symbol for the year-long celebration. “Each year we design a new logo for the Indianapolis 500, but this year’s effort has been given special consideration,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co. “The logo for the 100th Indianapolis 500 recognizes both our illustrious past and an even brighter future.”” The logo and a promotional video can be seen at the link. – IMS – (5/21/15)

Trackside podcast 5/20/15 – 1070 The Fan’s popular Trackside radio show with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee continue the buildup to the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and talk to Paul Tracy and Jacob Wilson. – 1070 The Fan – (5/21/15)

Briscoe expected to replace Hinch in the Indy 500 – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports will announce the driver that will replace the injured James Hinchcliffe in their No. 5 car for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Thursday. By most, if not all, accounts Ryan Briscoe will be named as the substitute driver. – Indianapolis Star – (5/20/15)

Hinch out of the ICU; full recovery expected – “Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe, who underwent surgery May 18 for pelvic and upper left thigh injuries suffered in a crash in practice earlier in the day on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, was tranferred May 20 out of the Intensive Care Unit at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Upon further evaluation, it was determined that Hinchcliffe will require no further procedures and is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries.” More at the link. – INDYCAR – (5/20/15)

Source of Hinch crash confirmed – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports that the cause of James Hinchcliffe’s crash on Monday was the failure of the right-front suspension rocker arm on his No. 5 car. INDYCAR sent a document to all the teams regarding the issue: “Based on the initial findings of Mondays incident of the #5 car, we remind teams to inspect the front rockers with the other routinely performed crack checks.” Pruett reports further: “The rocker was from the thinner, lighter, first-generation units produced by Dallara for the DW12. A thicker, more robust second-generation rocker was produced by Dallara, which most teams purchased and installed when they became available. Use of the second-generation rocker, however, has not been universal.” – RACER – (5/20/15)

Miller’s Mailbag 5/20/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is an excellent read as always. – RACER – (5/20/15)

GP of Indy confirmed for 2016 – IMS confirmed today that the 2016 Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis will take place on Saturday, May 14, 2016. – IMS – (5/20/15)

Labor Day race in Boston in ’16 set to be announced soon – According to the Boston Herald the organizers of the long rumored INDYCAR Labor Day finale next year in Boston are set to officially announce the event in the next couple days. “Boston organizers led by Mark Perrone, a former IndyCar executive from Ipswich, plan a temporary, modular street course track. Pre-race practice and IndyCar qualifying runs would be held throughout the weekend, with the main race on Sunday.” – Boston Herald – (5/20/15)

SI profiles Karam – Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Lawrence wrote an excellent piece profiling Sage Karam as part of the magazine’s build up to Sunday’s 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. A long but worthwhile read. Too thorough to highlight. – SI – (5/20/15)

Daly was diagnosed with diabetes in 2007 – An ESPN graphic during qualifying this weekend showed that Conor Daly was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2007 and Conor confirmed on Twitter that it is true. – ESPN/Conor Daly – (5/20/15)

INDYCAR update on Hinchcliffe’s condition (2:48PM 5/19/15) – “Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe is improving as he remains in stable condition following surgery yesterday at IU Health Methodist Hospital for an injury to his pelvic area and upper left thigh. Hinchcliffe is undergoing further evaluations in the Intensive Care Unit and has been ruled out of Verizon IndyCar Series competition for the foreseeable future. “Words can’t describe how thankful I am to the Holmatro Safety Team,” Hinchcliffe said. “Those guys, in addition to the doctors and staff at the hospital, are my heroes. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate the outpouring of support from INDYCAR fans, my family and fellow drivers. We are all one big family and it feels like that today.” Hinchcliffe’s surgery was performed by Dr. Timothy Pohlman, Senior Staff Trauma Surgeon at IU Health Methodist Hospital. “He’s stable and improving,” said Dr. Pohlman. “His condition was critical upon his arrival and I think the INDYCAR system as a whole needs to be commended for how well they can take care of drivers in this situation.” Hinchcliffe was transported by ground to the hospital following a single-car accident during practice for the 99th Indianapolis 500 on May 18. Additional updates to Hinchcliffe’s condition will be released when available.” – INDYCAR – (5/19/15)

Details emerge from Hinch crash – From RACER’s Marshall Pruett and Robin Miller: “In the impact, which flattened the right side of the chassis, one of the suspension wishbones penetrated the Dallara safety cell, and subsequently caused the majority of the physical damage Hinchcliffe received. RACER has confirmed through multiple sources that Hinchcliffe had the steel wishbone enter and exit his right leg, then enter his upper left thigh, and continue into his pelvic region, where it came to a stop. The suspension component pinned the 28-year-old in the car, leading the safety team to cut the wishbone from the chassis to allow Hinchcliffe’s extraction.” “He’s probably not going to race anymore this year but the most important thing is that all those great people saved his life,” said his friend. More at the link. – RACER – (5/19/15)

Jordin Sparks to sing national anthem at the Indy 500 – “Grammy-nominated multi-platinum recording artist and actress Jordin Sparks will sing the national anthem during pre-race ceremonies at the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 24, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.” “We’re looking forward to having Jordin Sparks deliver the national anthem during our pre-race ceremonies,” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. “We know she’ll be warmly welcomed by our race fans and will deliver an outstanding rendition of the anthem moments before our 33 drivers take the green flag.” – IMS – (5/19/15)

Rayhall confirmed at 8Star for Freedom 100 – “Coming off a victory in race two of the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Indianapolis GP, Sean Rayhall returns to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy Lights Freedom 100. After a prolific first weekend in Indianapolis with two podium finishes, Rayhall will participate in his first oval race in the Dallara IL-15.” “I am looking forward to the race and working very hard throughout the week to be ready on Friday. I’m happy that so many people supported us and gave me the opportunity to compete at such a legendary track for the Indy Lights Freedom 100,” the 20-year old Rayhall said. – 8Star Motorsports – (5/19/15)

Karam pranked by Ganassi teammates – Sage Karam’s new black Camaro was wrapped in pink and named a “Karamo” by his Chip Ganassi Racing teammates and there are a lot of pictures to prove it. Scope it out at the link. – Sage Karam – (5/19/15)

Trackside podcast 5/18/15 – 1070 The Fan’s popular Trackside radio show with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee recapped a busy day and weekend at IMS and is a great listen as always. – 1070 The Fan – (5/19/15)

Ringel fastest in Monday Lights testing at IMS – SPM’s Ethan Ringel was fastest in testing for Indy Lights at IMS on Monday as the teams and drivers prepare for Friday’s Freedom 100. Full results of the three sessions here: Session 1Session 2Session 3. – Indy Lights – (5/19/15)

Karam fastest in dramatic Monday 500 practice – Sage Karam was fastest in Monday practice for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race but the story of the day was the crash of SPM’s James Hinchcliffe (see below). Hinch’s teammates Conor Daly and James Jakes did not return to the track on Monday. Jack Hawksworth’s No. 41 blew an engine late in the session. The session did end with an extremely busy final hour featuring a lot of passing. – NBC Sports – (5/18/15)

Hinchcliffe hospitalized after hard hit in Monday 500 practice – James Hinchcliffe was hospitalized on Monday afternoon after a hard hit in Monday practice for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. INDYCAR confirmed Hinchcliffe required surgery for “an upper left thigh injury.” RACER reports that multiple sources have claimed Katherine Legge is a likely stand-in for Hinch if necessary. Video at the link. – RACER – (5/18/15)

Rahal’s Steak ‘n Shake continues to garner attention – Graham Rahal’s sponsorship with Steak ‘N Shake has been a popular hit thus far on the track, on the Letterman show, on social media, and now in the sports journalism business. Check out this great article on why it’s been a great partnership for each side thus far. – SBD – (5/18/15)

Dixon wins the pole for 99th Indy 500 – Scott Dixon won the pole for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. He’ll be joined on the front row by Will Power and Simon Pagenaud. “We’re starting in the right place but it’s still a long race. Hopefully, we can replicate what we did in 2008,” said Dixon, who was presented a $100,000 check. “We’re starting on pole for the Indianapolis 500 and now we just have to finish first.” Buddy Lazier was the lone driver to make an attempt and not make the field. – INDYCAR – (5/17/15)

Carpenter crashes in Sunday morning practice – Ed Carpenter crashed in Group 1 practice on Sunday morning at IMS in his final preparation before qualifying. Carpenter will now have to switch to a backup car that is third in the qualifying order. Carpenter must take his spot in order to be guaranteed an opportunity to qualify should weather play a factor today. The incident necessitated track/fence repairs that lasted well over an hour. Video at the link. – NBC Sports – (5/17/15)

IMS plans $30M renovation – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is planning a new $30 million dollar renovation to the facility after signficant upgrades to the video boards this year. The new renovation will see a new gateway to the track outside of Turn 1, the replacement of the penthouse seats in Stands A, B, E, and Paddock, and a new catch fence. Read more at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (5/17/15)

Weather forces 500 qualifying to wait until Sunday – Rain cancelled what was to be two-day qualifying the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Saturday as only Carlos Huertas and Ryan Hunter-Reay completed qualifying attempts before rain wiped out the rest of the day. All qualifying is now scheduled to take place on Sunday (weather permitting). Gates open Sunday at 7:30. Practice from 8AM-8:40AM. Qualifying for all cars from 10AM-1PM. Firestone Fast 9 qualifying from 1:45PM-2:30PM. Positions 31-33 will be determined between 3PM-3:45PM. – INDYCAR – (5/16/15)

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