Simon Pagenaud/No.1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet somewhat made up for Saturday’s Qualifying problems by topping the charts Sunday morning for the Verizon IndyCar Series warm-up at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. His time of 1:06.6497 was his personal best of the weekend. Runner-up was Takuma Sato/No.26 Andretti Autosport Honda, whose time also was his best of the weekend. Third was Alexander Rossi/No.98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb -Agajanian Honda.
Fourth and fifth were NTT Chip Ganassi Racing Honda teammates, Scott Dixon/No.9 and Tony Kanaan/No.10. Those two cars have identical livery, which must make it difficult for the corner marshals to differentiate.
Conor Daly/No.4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet was the only other driver in the morning session to have his personal best time during the half-hour warm-up. Spencer Pigot/No.20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet was the only morning driver to have his fastest time from Practice Three. All the other drivers were fastest this weekend in Qualifying.
Warm-Up isn’t about the speed, it’s about setups, practicing pit stops and scuffing in tires, and getting bugs tweaked out before the race.
The Starting Lineup shows that the top eight cars will start on the Alternate tires, as will Rookie Ed Jones/No.19 Boy Scouts of America Dale Coyne Racing Honda in thirteenth position, and Pagenaud, who is starting last due to his Qualifying interference penalty. All the rest of the drivers will start on the Primary tires.
Outside the Convention Center, where used to be the Toyota Celebrity Paddock, is now a wide open Welcome Plaza. It is a welcome change. The whole area used to be confined, blocked off and and fenced in. Now it’s open, inviting, full of comfortable lounges, tables & chairs, a big screen, beer garden, DJ and all kinds of reasons to sit and enjoy the Street Scene. What’s not to like!
Andretti Autosport announced Sunday morning the addition of Jack Harvey to its roster of drivers for the 2017 Indianapolis 500 race, with sponsorship from AutoNation. Harvey comes from the Indy Lights Series with six victories. He said “It’s a dream come true to race at this spectacle of racing with Andretti. Everyone knows what a great team it is. For a single team entry into the race one can’t do better than Andretti.” Andretti said “We always plan on bringing five cars to the Speedway. It’s not just an add-on entry. It contributes to the entire program and the last few years show that. We’re really happy to get Jack nailed down. He’s won the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race (at IMS). We’re confident he will contribute to the other four cars. It’s important to have a Rookie in the fifth car. I think he has at least a chance at Rookie of the Year, and last year it was a Rookie winner.” Harvey said it’s just a strong situation’ having Sato and Rossi on the team is excellent. The team has had great success because they do such a good job. We are still working on staffing and Chief Engineer.” Jack’s first time in the race car will be Monday for Rookie Orientation. Harvey said “The Lights is a good learning car. I’m going to try to absorb as much as I can between now and then. Andretti has access to the HPD simulator. Indy Lights feels pure. The people are friendly.” Andretti said he has no problem starting Rookies on the oval, because at Indy, you can take your time building up to things, things like that. I think it’s a much better environment for a rookie. I never have a problem starting a guy at Indy on the oval because of that, because of all the track time you get.”
VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES STARTING LINEUP
SP Car Driver Name C/A/E/T Tire
1 3 Castroneves, Helio D/C/C/F Alternate
2 9 Dixon, Scott D/H/H/F Alternate
3 28 Hunter-Reay, Ryan D/H/H/F Alternate
4 5 Hinchcliffe, James D/H/H/F Alternate
5 98 Rossi, Alexander D/H/H/F Alternate
6 15 Rahal, Graham D/H/H/F Alternate
7 83 Kimball, Charlie D/H/H/F Alternate
8 2 Newgarden, Josef D/C/C/F Alternate
9 12 Power, Will D/C/C/F Primary
10 27 Andretti, Marco D/H/H/F Primary
11 10 Kanaan, Tony D/H/H/F Primary
12 18 Bourdais, Sebastien D/H/H/F Primary
13 19 Jones, Ed (R) D/H/H/F Alternate
14 14 Munoz, Carlos D/C/C/F Primary
15 21 Hildebrand, JR D/C/C/F Primary
16 7 Aleshin, Mikhail D/H/H/F Primary
17 4 Daly, Conor D/C/C/F Primary
18 26 Sato, Takuma D/H/H/F Primary
19 20 Pigot, Spencer D/C/C/F Primary
20 8 Chilton, Max D/H/H/F Primary
21 1 Pagenaud, Simon D/C/C/F Alternate
(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (A)erokit: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)ire: F=Firestone