GANASSI FRONT ROW

Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson/No.42 Target Chevrolet continued his NASCAR dominance Saturday with his second straight pole position in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Sonoma Raceway. His best lap was 1:15.177 at 95.295 mph. This is his fourth start at Sonoma, and his fourth career pole in 127 Cup races.

Larson’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Jamie McMurray/No.1 Cessna Chevrolet will start next to him, with a qualifying lap of 1:15.249/95.204 mph.

Jamie McMurray

Jamie McMurray

Third through fifth were Martin Truex, Jr/No.78 Furniture Row Toyota; Kyle Busch/No.18 M&M’s Carmel Toyota; and AJ Allmendinger/No.47 Kroger ClickList Chevrolet.

Kyle Larson No.42 Chevrolet

Kyle Larson No.42 Chevrolet

Larson was stoked, winning the pole at his ‘home’ track with lots of family and friends. His idea of celebrating is going to nearby Calistoga Speedway to watch Saturday night short-track racing. “It feels good. This is my home track, I grew up about an hour and a half from here. So, always love coming to Sonoma. It’s a fun place and our race cars are always fast. I felt like I’ve had a shot at the pole every time I’ve qualified here and just haven’t gotten the job done. Focused on hitting my marks today and messed up a little bit there on that run. Honestly, didn’t think it was that good of a run. I felt like I had less grip there, but we were able to probably make up some time in the braking zones and stuff like that and run a good enough lap for the pole, so it was pretty cool.”

Jamie McMurray No.1 Chevrolet

Jamie McMurray No.1 Chevrolet

McMurray said “It was a really good lap. The team is on a roll and it’s awesome. On my sticker run I missed Turn 7, so I knew that I had given up a couple of tenths probably in that corner. But on my last run, I did everything I thought really well. The No. 42 just put together a really good lap and was able to have enough of a cushion, he messed up Turn 11, but he had enough of a cushion there that he was able to overcome it. It was a good day though for our organization. Our cars have been so good this year and both teams have run so well and it has just continued this weekend. Congratulations to Mike Hull at Road America (IndyCar race),) who has been with Chip for 25 years.”

Daniel Suarez

Daniel Suarez

Daniel Suarez of Mexico was the top Rookie, qualifying eleventh in No.19 Stanley Toyota. This is his first time at Sonoma Raceway, his first Cup road race.

Suarez is one of four Cup drivers who are also running Saturday afternoon’s Carneros 250 NASCAR K&N Race. The others are Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney and Kevin O’Connell – who withdrew at the last moment. Harvick won the race in another very exciting, fun-filled race in one of NASCAR’s exciting Home Track Series.. Harvick said he ran it to have fun and to shine attention on the young up and coming drivers. And that he did – he raced hard against pole sitter, Rookie Will Rodgers of Solvang CA, who led much of the race and finished second.

Danica Patrick No.10 Ford

Danica Patrick No.10 Ford

Danica Patrick/No.10 Code 3 Associates Ford will start sixth, making it her third-best starting position in the Cup Series and the best start by a female at Sonoma Raceway. The previous best was her eleventh position last year and in 2014.

One of the long-time ‘Road Racing Ringers,’ Boris Said/No.33 Circle Sport Chevrolet may be the oldest driver, at the admitted age of 55. While he’s grateful to be running Cup still, at his age, he is pleased with all the young guns and said it’s time for a changing of the guard. This weekend’s crop has five drivers age 25 or younger, with the youngest two being 21, months apart – Chase Elliott and Erik Jones. Josh Bilicki/No.51 Marriott Chevrolet is 22, Ryan Blaney/No.21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford is 23, and Larson is 24. Ty Dillon/No.13 GEICO Chevrolet is 25.

Thirty-seven of the 38 entries qualified. Matt Kenseth/No.20 DeWalt Flexvolt Toyota eschewed making the run as he already was going to be starting at the back due to an engine change.

Sunday’s 110-lap race will start at noon local time/3pm ET and air live in FOX Sports 1 TV, the last of the FOX TV broadcasts for the season.

Goodyear Tires

SUNDAY SUNRISE SOUNDS AND SIGHTS

Pagoda

Sunday morning at 4am it was dry with a 20 percent chance of rain, 74 percent humidity and wind at 3mph. It was already starting to bustle and the queue outside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 16th Avenue Gates was two blocks long. Fans were seen on the street walking to the track in the dark. Inside the track, the Pagoda was all lit and Media Center was filling up. Everyone who was awake was waiting for the 6am cannon to go off. It would be a wakeup call for the Verizon INDYCAR drivers who mostly stayed at the track in motorhomes. Welcome to The Brickyard, Fernando!

Cannon fired!

Cannon fired!

>

Fox TV Crew

Local TV Crew

Broadcast crews from the various local TV, radio stations, and networks were already setting up their vantage points to begin live broadcasting. While the locals may not get to see the race live, their local TV stations will have plenty of color and pre-race coverage. The anticipated attendance estimates for Sunday predict upward of 300,000.

Sunday Schedule

Sunday’s schedule is all about history, pomp and circumstance and tradition. There will be lots of marching bands and parade laps for Festival Princesses, drivers, Historic Cars and Military Silverado as well as the Red Carpet. By 9:30am the race cars will be moving to Pit Lane and then for at least half an hour they will be gridded. Getting around the Pagoda Plaza, Gasoline Alley or Pit Lane will become very problematic. Good luck in getting around. The congestion will be mega!

Sunrise!

Sunrise!

Friday night some lucky folks were treated to the American premiere of the new documentary, ‘McLaren.’ The producer, Matthew Metcalfe is at IMS this weekend starting his latest project, a feature-length documentary on INDYCAR driver, Scott Dixon. The movie, yet to be named, will be co-produced by GFC Films and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Group (UPHE). It will be shot in the US, New Zealand and France, directed by Bryn Evans. The expected worldwide release date is scheduled for 2018.

Matthew Metcalfe

Matthew Metcalfe

Scott Dixon

Scott Dixon

Metcalfe description of the project: “A powerful and inspirational story of dedication, fear and one athlete’s will to defy personal limitations, the documentary will blend cutting-edge race footage, intimate observational filming and unparalleled access to Scott, Chip Ganassi Racing and those who know the driver best to present a seminal study of one of the greatest race teams in the United States.”

Pagoda

Photo by Pablo Matamoros

SATURDAY COLLAGE

Autograph Mob

Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a day of several disparate events, strung together throughout the day. They included the on-track laps by the Indy Legends, autograph session for the Verizon INDYCAR Series drivers followed by their the open Drivers’ Meeting, two autograph sessions for the Indianapolis 500 Legends, Chevrolet Corral Laps, and three concerts: Clayton Anderson, Dustin Lynch, and Keith Urban.

Chevrolet had a fan session with six Indianapolis 500 Legends: Four-time Indianapolis 500 winners A.J. Foyt and Rick Mears, three-time winner Helio Castroneves, two-time winners Juan Pablo Montoya and Al Unser Jr., and 1996 winner Buddy Lazier. They had to have a police escort back from the downtown Indy 500 Float Parade in order to make the mid-afternoon session. The drivers were the celebs, riding in cars.

Some fans sat basking in the grandstands despite a distinct lack of on-track activity. Others wandered through Gasoline Alley as the teams do their final race preparations.

The hour-long INDYCAR drivers’ autograph session was an organized mob scene. Everyone was queued up nice and orderly according to driver preference. It was heavily monitored by IMS Yellow Shirts, IMS staff, and all the team/driver reps and handlers. Mingled in, especially in the vicinity of Fernando Alonso, were gendarmes of various ilks.

Autograph mob scene

This line is closed

Autograph queues

Tony Kanaan

Scott Goodyear & Alan Bestwick

Fernando Alonso

Brian Barnhart

Brian Barnhart. Photo by Pablo Matamoros

Curt Brunz/Jostens & Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Curt Brunz/Jostens & Jeffrey Dean Morgan

The Open Drivers’ Meeting was held in Pit Lane in front of the Grand Stands. There were awards presentations, giving of Starter Rings to all 33 Indy 500 Drivers, and the Race information given by Brian Barnhart.

Among the guests at the Drivers’ Meeting was this year’s Pace Car Driver, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, of TV fame. The heart throb is best known to some as Denny Duquette from Grey’s Anatomy, others remember Jason Crouse on “The Good Wife.” Others know him as the villain on The Walking Dead. He looked anything but at the meeting, in his spiffy leather Pace Car jacket. He’ll be driving the three Parade Laps and one Pace Lap in a 2017 Corvette Grand Sport. Each lap will increase by 10 mph. That should warm up cold tires.

Bryan Herta & Michael Andretti

Alexander Rossi & Milk Award

Michael Andretti & Alexander Rossi

Scott Dixon

JAR Hildebrand & Fernando Alonso

James Davison

Left to Right: Bryan Herta & Michael Andretti with Baby Borgs; Michael Rossi with ‘Milk’ Award; Michael Andretti & Alexander Rossi with Baby Borgs.

Left to Right: Pole Sitter Scott Dixon; JR Hildebrand & Fernando Alonso; and James Davison.
Photos by Pablo Matamoros.

James Hinchcliffe's No.5 Honda

James Hinchcliffe’s No.5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda made it through Tech Saturday morning after an overnight engine change. He’d lost his engine in Carb Day practice Friday afternoon.

This is the 14th time Corvette has paced the Indy 500, more than any other marque, and 28th time for a Chevrolet. Several previous Corvettes are on display in the Chevrolet display area across from The Pagoda. And I’m told that all the Pace Cars are stored in a vault below the Speedway Museum, along with a whole lot more of the Museum’s vast treasure trove of memorabilia. It takes special permission to see those exhibits.

Saturday afternoon Chevrolet hosted a fan-driven Q&A with six Indianapolis Legends: Four-time Indianapolis 500 winners A.J. Foyt and Rick Mears, three-time winner Helio Castroneves; two-time winners Juan Pablo Montoya and Al Unser Jr., and 1996 winner Buddy Lazier. It was a lively exchange of barbs, one-liners and war stories among the six.

AJ Foyt

Buddy Lazier

Juan Pablo Montoya

Rick Mears

Al Unser Jr

Helio Castroneves

Left to Right: AJ Foyt, Buddy Lazier, and Juan Pablo Montoya
Left to Right: Rick Mears, Al Unser, Jr., and Helio Castroneves
Photos by Pablo Matamoros

Friday night had been another mixed bag of weather – warm and nice, then cooling leading up to mid-evening. Friday night, while I was blissfully enjoying the American movie premiere of the ‘McLaren’ documentary, a big thunder and lightning storm occurred. It blew away and was nice again by movie’s end. Word was a bigger storm is due to hit Saturday night. Gotta love Indianapolis weather in the month of May. Not boring.

Shameless plug here for the McLaren movie. It is wonderful and well worth a watch, so be sure and catch it when it becomes available. An added treat at the premiere was having an introduction by the film producer, Matthew Metcalfe, and then a Q&A afterwords with Metcalfe and McLaren’s daughter, Amanda. A good time was had by all.

And word comes now that Metcalfe will now make a documentary on Scott Dixon.

McLaren road car

JR Rutherford's Indy 500 car

And in the foyer of the Indiana State Museum, where the movie was shown on the really big screen – two original McLarens were on display: the very first McLaren road car, and the indycar in which JR Rutherford won the 1974 Indianapolis 500. And outside the museum were two current McLaren road cars. And how sweet they sounded when they drove off.

Security has been tightened and awareness heightened since the announcement was made that Vice President Mike Pence will attend Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. Changes have been made in some entrances and traffic patterns. Pence, formerly Governor of Indiana, has no official role in the weekend.

Mark Miles

Mark Miles

Mark Miles, INDYCAR President, announced Saturday the addition of China to a list of broadcast partners. Three outlets will air The Indianapolis 500, and in some cases, other INDYCAR races, and otherwise promote the series. The agreements were aided by Mitime Group, a sports organization and subsidiary of Geely, a Chinese auto manufacturer.

Miles said “Someday we hope to race internationally, and possibly in China, which is very important to us. The signing of this partnership is a terrific first step in presenting INDYCAR racing to the Chinese people.”

Stephen Starks, INDYCAR vice president of promoter relations said “It’s a big step toward the development of the sport in China, of which we have for a long time wanted to play an important part.”

INTERNATIONAL BROADCAST LIST – live/on delay
Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands – ESPN
Austria – Sport 1
Belgium – BeTV
Brazil – BAND
Canada – Sportsnet and TVA Sports
Caribbean – ESPN
Czech Republic – Nova Sport
Finland – Elisa Viihde Sport
France – Canal +
Germany – Sport 1
Greece – Nova Sports
Hungary – Digi Sports
Israel – One Sports
Italy – Sky Sports
Japan – Gaora
Latin America (excluding Brazil) – ESPN
Netherlands – Ziggo Sports
Middle East and North Africa – OSN
Romania – Digi Sports
Portugal – Sport TV
Russia and CIS – Viasat Sport
Serbia & ex-Yugoslavia – Arena Sports
Slovakia – Nova Sport
South Africa – Supersport
Spain – Movistar
Switzerland – Sport 1
Sub-Saharan Africa – Kwese Sports
United Kingdom – BT Sport

ABC OF INDY 500 – CARPENTER, BOURDAIS & ALONSO

Indy 500 Victory Podium

To quote a famous line in a Victorian novel, It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. That’s what it seemed like Saturday for Pole Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Ed Carpenter

Ed Carpenter

Hometown Hero – Ed Carpenter of Indianapolis drove his No.20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet to the number one position Saturday. Carpenter’s four-lap average speed was 230.468 mph, set in the waning moments of what was certainly one of the more interesting Pole Days. Carpenter is now part of the Fast Nine Shootout taking place Sunday for the Verizon P1 Award and pole position. All the 24 other drivers will be going for tenth… unless Qualifying is rained out, at which point Saturday’s times will hold.

Sebastien Bourdais

Sebastien Bourdais

Sebastien Bourdais/No.18 Sonny’s BBQ/GEICO Dale Coyne Racing was on his third of his four qualifying laps and had just hit 231.534 mph, good enough to be on top when he crashed hard into the SAFER wall. He was taken by ambulance to Indiana University Methodist Hospital for further evaluation. The latest word is that the popular Frenchman will undergo surgery tonight.

The top Rookie qualifier was Fernando Alonso/No.29 McLaren-Honda-Andretti Honda, who made The Fast Nine by qualifying seventh overall with an aggregate speed of 230.034 mph. “Definitely, very happy. Obviously, now, we just finished the run. I’m really hopeful we’ll be in the Fast Nine, and tomorrow I think we will be much quicker than today.”

Carpenter was all smiles, and gave the credit to his 7-year old son, Ryder.”I think my seven-year-old son Friday when we were drawing for numbers, he was drawing. I was like, If you could pull, I told him five. Someone drew five. I was like, Let’s shoot for six. He drew 60. I was trying to be positive. Good job, son, you got one number right. He was the first person I thanked when I got out of the car because the conditions helped us there.”

Carpenter was the 27th driver of 32 to qualify, at 6:35pm, when the track was cooler. “The track temps were coming down. It was pretty ideal for us. But we’re running in the cool tomorrow night, too, so we’ll see what happens.

“It was exciting, a little surprising. I felt like we had a good car all week. I felt like JR (Hildebrand), myself and Will Power had the most speed in the Chevy camp. Last night when we did our qual sim, I was falling off a little bit. I thought I could run a 230 (mph) lap or two, but I wasn’t sure if I could run four.”

Carpenter was amazingly steady, with all four laps consistently above 230 mph. For those who understand such things, you’ll want to know that Carpenter’s rear wing assembly had no winglets. That’s how he trimmed out.

Bourdais was the nineteenth driver to make a qualifying run, and was on track to have the fastest time, until it appeared that something snapped on the car.. Bourdais bobbled and corrected, nosed in hard and fireballed it, flipping over and down the track, landing upright.

At 5:30pm the Red Flag for Bourdais’ Turn Two crash halted the session so the Holmatro Safety Crew could properly supervise and orchestrate his extraction, while the track maintenance crews worked on repairing the SAFER foam wall. He was put on the backboard, and taken by ambulance to hospital for proper tests. He was awake, alert and never lost consciousness. One journo reported that the INDYCAR T&S app showed that Bourdais had reached a peak speed of 239 mph in a speed trap.

Team Owner Dale Coyne said “Sebastien is in good hands here at IU Methodist Hospital with the staff and now we just wait for him to recover.”

ED UPDATE: Bourdais suffered multiple pelvic fractures and a fractured right hip. He underwent successful surgery Saturday night. The surgery went well. INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Geoffrey Bellows met with Bourdais Sunday morning “and he was doing even better than I expected.”

Sebastien Bourdais' No.18 Honda - before

Sebastien Bourdais’ No.18 Honda – before

Bourdais had just added a ‘new’ sponsor Saturday – GEICO. It’s been with the team before, for the past four years. The crew said they used stickers over the paint to make the last minute graphics change before Qualifying.

Alonso did make the Fast Nine Shootout. “The last lap, in Turn 1 and 2, it was lifting, shaking on the throttle. This is the hardest qualifying I’ve ever done at this place. It was very hairy on the last lap. We got in line at the right time. I think the conditions were really good. I’m sure we’re getting in the Fast Nine, so that’s really good. It was nerve racking, sitting there and wondering if we had the speed and all that. We’d been knocked out of the nine, so I am just happy to be there, honestly. I felt like we had a good car yesterday and I was kind of disappointed with that first run. It was just conditions.”

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso

The Formula One driver was asked to compare Indy qualifying to others he’s done. “I think similar. All qualifyings are tricky, you know. I go to my go-kart place, when I have put new tires. I have 15 kids watching me with a timer on the hand. Is very tough, you know. So every qualifying you do, you go against the physics of the car and the physics of the circuit in that particular moment.

“It gets stressful. It gets difficult, tricky. But at the same time, you know, huge adrenaline when you cross the line.”

The Fast Nine Shootout contenders are: Carpenter, Takuma Sato/No.26 Andretti Autosport Honda; Scott Dixon/No.9 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda; Carpenter’s teammate, JR Hildebrand/No.21 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet; last year’s Indy 500 winner, Alexander Rossi/No.98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Honda; Will Power/No.12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet; Alonso; Tony Kanaan/No.10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda; and Marco Andretti/No.27 United Cable & Fiber Andretti Autosport Honda.

Takuma Sato

Scott Dixon

JR Hildebrand

Will Power's Pit Cart

Tony Kanaan No.10

Marco Andretti's No.27 Honda

The sun came out, and the fleet of drying vehicles took to the track – all 16 pickups and three jet dryers. They turned more laps than any Verizon IndyCar, or so it seemed.

Drying Posse

RHR No.28 Honda going to Tech

No.15 & No.29 in Tech Bay

No.11 Chevrolet going to Tech

Down in Gasoline Alley, it was busier than a beehive. Fans everywhere trying for autographs or photos of the drivers, cars, or anything else. Most drivers were not to be seen. The poor teams trying to move about weren’t having the best of luck. There was a steady stream of packed up tire carts, supply vehicles and of course, the race cars once they’d cleared Tech. Those further back in the Qualifying draw were lined up along the fence, and the luckier ones were trying to slowly thread their way to the Scrutineering Bays for their mandated Technical Inspections.

Graham Rahal No.15 Nose stickers

Fernando Alonso No.29 Honda with nose stickers

Once the nose, which had been removed for Tech scrutiny and measuring, was re-affixed, the crews used Heliotape to cover the screws, and seams. Helicopter tape is strong enough to hold a rotor. It’s allowed to let the teams cover any possibilities of air … and they do. The stickers are either color-matched or clear. It’s all about the aerodynamics.

Zach Veach's No.40 Chevrolet & CrewINDYCAR had guaranteed all drivers would get one shot at qualifying. Rookie Zach Veach was the only driver not to queue, as his No.40 Indiana Women in Tech Championship AJ Foyt Racing Enterprises Chevrolet was still being repaired.

Sunday’s schedule has practice starting at noon, and the Group One racers qualifying starting at 2:45pm. The Fast Nine Shootout is at 5:45pm, for fifteen minutes, to determine pole position.

You’ve heard of Rain Delay. Well, what we have here is a Failure to Communicate – I’ve been on my own personal Connectivity Delay. Sorry for the delays

PERFECTING POWER

Will Power

Will Power. Photo by Nico Matamoros

Another hot, sunny and breezy day for the Verizon INDYCAR drivers at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the second day of practice. The afternoon track session was run in mid-eighties heat, 12 mph winds, and 124 degrees F for track temperature..

The first fifteen minutes were set aside for the two Rookies who have yet to be cleared to run the Indianapolis 500, before the track was opened for all 32 drivers. Thursday, and not before, is when Buddy Lazier will be on track in No.44 Lazier Racing-In Stalk-Tivoli Lodge Lazier Racing Partners Chevrolet.

Will Power

Will Power/No.12 Verizon Team Penske led much of the afternoon, with a lap of 224.656 mph – nearly two seconds off the lap of 226.338 mph set Monday by Marco Andretti/No.27 United Data & Fiber Andretti Autosport Honda. Power’s No Tow Speed was 220.902 mph. He’s well on his way to a perfect month of May, as he wistfully discussed after his ‘perfect’ weekend at the Indianapolis Grand Prix – fastest in every session, and winning the race from the pole position.

Power agreed that the heat has definitely made the track greasy. Regarding the wind or heat contributing to top and lap speeds being down from fan’s expectations, he said “It all has to do with wether people want to practice qualifying. That’s when you start to see some bigger speeds, and we don’t get the boost until Friday that we’re running qualifying and probably not practice qualifying until Thursday. So these first three days – which being hot, yeah, it will make it slower. But we’re not in the configuration that’s going to put up a big speed anyway.”

Helio Castroneves

Second was Power’s Penske teammate, Helio Castroneves/No.3 Shell Fuel Rewards Team Penske Chevrolet – jumping into that slot during the winding down of Happy Hour. When asked, he was coy about his having any thoughts about Honda basically sandbagging. “Not right now, and understanding – it sounds like they have issues in the past. We can only speculate. I can only speculate that they don’t want to keep blowing up engines now. They’ve got to wait until Saturday so that they can finish the qualifying and then put the race engine in, otherwise they’re going to have to do something like that.

“Right now it’s the name of the game. We’ve just got to focus on our work. We’re just trying to make sure that we feel as comfortable as possible, which whatever happens on race day, we’ll prepare as much as we can.”

Regarding Team Owner, Roger Penske, who also ‘calls’ the race for Castroneves: he said “Roger definitely just puts everything into this race. Obviously Roger is my strategy, for him to leave his day job, which is a pretty busy schedule. He’s here on Tuesday and actually staying here all week, which shows the commitment that he has and it shows what he wants. Roger would love to get No.17 (500 win) and I would absolutely love to do it for him.”

Gabby Chaves

Jumping into third position late in the day was Gabby Chaves/No.88 Harding Racing Chevrolet, who had struggled earlier with few laps. He ran a lot in the afternoon, ending up with 87 laps. He displaced Ryan Hunter-Reay/No.28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda, who had led and then sat in second spot for hours. He credits Larry Curry and Al Unser Jr. “Larry has really been more of a guidance to the team rather than to me so much. He’s been really just instrumental in getting together a brand-new team, two brand-new cars. He’s kind of taken the lead on who’s going to be my engineer, my mechanics, and who’s going to be involved in the team. And I think really he’s put a kickass team for me, so I’m very happy with that.”

Al Unser, Jr.

“We’re also working with Al Unser, Jr., who’s kind of taken more of that role to work with me and give me his experience, his learning and everything that he’s learned here, try to give as much as he can of that to me so I an expedite my learning curve, go out there and get right to it.

Fifth was Sage Karam/No.24 DRR Mecum Auctions Dreyer & Reinbold Chevrolet.

All 32 drivers were on track, eventually, although James Hinchcliffe/No.5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda didn’t go on track until mid-afternoon due to adjusting electrical faults. The six-hour session was punctuated with eleven cautions, all for track inspections/debris, lasting 1:00.55 minutes. The track was empty during some of the green sessions, so not every caution was depriving drivers. There were no incidents and the session was drama-free.

The top Rookie was Ed Jones/No.19 Boy Scouts of America Dale Coyne Racing Honda, in fifteenth position. He ran 85 laps.

Rookie Zach Veach/No.40 Indy Women in Tech Championships AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet all three ROP Phases by 1:03pm ET. “Just really happy with the progress we made today. We got a lot of laps in, which has been nice. Toward the end, we even got to run in traffic.” He ran 68 laps Tuesday, turned a 221.629 mph on Lap 43, and was twenty-second overall.

Fernando Alonso/No.29 McLaren-Honda-Andretti Honda upped his ante Tuesday afternoon. He turned more laps than did any other driver – 117, to finish 24th for the day. Alonso had run as high as eleventh at one point. He ran in traffic, with his Andretti teammates mostly, although he mixed it up with some others. His growing confidence was evidenced.

Two other drivers ran 100 laps or more: Takuma Sato/No.26 Andretti Autosport Honda with 106, and Graham Rahal/No.15 Steak N’Shake Honda with 100 laps.

Pippa Mann/No.63 Dale Coyne Racing Honda turned the fewest laps – 47. Tony Kanaan/No.10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda ran 49 laps.

Andretti got into the No.50 Michael Shank Racing w/Andretti Autosport Honda to shake it down. Harvey’s fastest lap was 215.716 mph, in last place, and he needed to ramp it up to complete his ROP. Andretti ran six laps, but the best he could do was 214.828 mph. Back to the drawing board. Then Harvey got back into the car and ran a whole lot of laps – 82, finishing thirty-first of 33 drivers. Harvey passed is third and final ROP phase at 5:18pm ET. Andretti, who had been fastest on Monday, was twenty-fifth Tuesday.

James Hinchcliffe

James Hinchcliffe's shoes

In his downtime, the comic Canadian spent his time, all suited up, signing autographs, posing for photos, and engaging the fans who were in Gasoline Alley. One of his trademarks is his infamous Sparco driving shoes. For years he used a Sharpie to write Stop and Go in Red and Green ink on the toes. Sparco took offense at its shoes being defaced and made to look bad, so it made special shoes for Hinch, with Stop and Go embroidered on the toes.

The eye-catching gold livery on Hinchcliffe’s car is so bright it can be seen glinting in the sun from one end of the garage to the other. It is a wrap, rather than paint job. His teammate, Mikhail Aleshin/No.7 has a similar style livery in red. Their new teammate for the month of May, Jay Howard/No.77 has a bright, glittery blue highlighted on his car.

James Hinchcliffe's Gold

Mikhail Aleshin's No.7

Jay Howard's No.77

And no, you’re not going mad. Lazier did change the number on his car, from 49 as of yesterday to 44 as of Tuesday. No reason learned so far.

HOT TRACK!

Start waving Yellow Flag

Opening Day for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 at The Brickyard. It was sunny and hot Monday, and eager fans were in the garages aka Gasoline Alley. It was busy with the teams setting up their cars for Monday afternoon’s practice session. At noon local/ET time, all the drivers were allowed five minutes for installation laps to check out their cars and the track. Then all but a selected few parked their cars until 2pm when the track was open for all. The starter waved the Yellow Flag for the start of the Installation Laps.

The famed race track has had a full conversion, from the 2.439-mile, 14 turn road course circuit to the 2.5-mile, four-turn oval speedway. The work started with a crew of 25 immediately after the Indianapolis Grand Prix Saturday afternoon, and went until 10pm. It started up again Sunday at 8am and went until 4pm, with temperatures in the mid-eighties, and little wind for respite. It took 18 hours over the two days.The barriers, tire walls and fencing has to be removed and replaced, the track cleaned up and swept, and painting done. Lots of equipment was utilized to do the heavy lifting. Job well done!

Start waving Yellow Flag

Firestone color-coded tires

Firestone tires issues three extra sets of the Indianapolis 500 race tires to the Rookies, and two sets to the Refreshers. There is only the one tire for this race, and it has the same compound as last year, with a new rear construction. There are no rain tires for oval racing. The tires are color-coded: Left side tires have a silver rim with a white Firestone F logo; the right side tires have a bright blue rim with a red F logo.

There are but a few taking the ROP – Rookie Orientation Program, required of all rookies who haven’t previously run the Indy 500. It is also a Refresher session for those who haven’t run in a while, which could include the one-off drivers. The three Rookies who went out late were Jack Harvey/No.50 Michael Shank Racing with Andretti Autosport Honda; Ed Jones/No.19 Boy Scouts of America Dale Coyne Racing Honda; and Zach Veach/No.40 Indy Women in Tech Championship AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet. Those in the Refresher category include Rookie Fernando Alonso/No.29 McLaren-Honda-Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda, who passed his ROP in a private test Monday week; Jay Howard/No.77 Lucas Oil/Team One Cure Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda; Sage Karam/No.24 DRR Mecum Auctions Dreyer & Reinbold Chevrolet; Pippa Mann/No.63 Dale Coyne Racing Honda; Sebastian Saavedra/No.17 AFS Juncos Racing Chevrolet; and Oriol Servia/No.16 Manitowoc Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda. Mann indicated she wouldn’t participate in the Refresher session.

Fernando Alonso's No.29 Honda

Fernando Alonso in Pit Lane

Alonzo's Car towed back to Garage

Alonso is garnering a fair share of attention and he’s paying back. He was seen at the airport signing autographs when he landed from Sunday’s Formula One race, after flying in with Zak Brown of McLaren, in a private jet. And he stuck around after his F1 race in Spain to do the obligatory bull pen interviews, smiling and grateful to have finished a race. In the Gasoline Alley Monday morning, Alonso was again seen signing autographs.

Alonso was fastest in the Rookie/Refresher Session, at 221.634 mph, on Lap 26 of 35 laps. Then the car went back to the garage for a couple of hours.

Second through seventh during the Rookie/Refresher session were: Servia, Rookie Jones, Howard, Saavedra, Rookie Harvey, and Rookie Veach. Others on the Installation Lap were Takuma Sato/No.26 Andretti Autosport Honda; Ed Carpenter/No.20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet; JR Hildebrand/No.21 Preferred Freezer Service Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet; Carlos Munoz/No.14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet; Graham Rahal/No.15 Steak N’Shake Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda; and Spencer Pigot/No.11 Juncos Racing Chevrolet.

Mikhail Aleshin's car in Tech

James Hinchcliffe's No.5 Honda in Tech

Buddy Lazier's Car

All but one Verizon INDYCAR field have been through Scrutineering, at least the Safety Check portion. Drivers are allowed to have just the Safety Check portion, and waive going through the Technical Inspection until after they’ve been on track. That portion must be completed before the driver can compete.

The only driver yet to appear is Buddy Lazier/No.49 Lazier Racing-Stalk It-Tivoli Lodge Lazier Racing Partners Chevrolet. He is on a ‘short-short program’ and won’t be on track until Thursday. Lazier is in stealth mode, with no garage sign installed yet.

Graham Rahal

Speedway Middle School Students

Lots of school children were on field trips Monday, ostensibly with a STEM focus. There are small groups of elementary school children with chaperones, and a huge mob of Indiana middle-school students from Speedway, practically the whole student body – 200. They and other middle school students were here with the Perdue University MSTEM3 Initiative. Verizon INDYCAR Driver Rahal spoke to the group before the track opened. Monday and Tuesday Honda’s STEM Connections Tour to promote STEAM – Science, Technology, the arts, and math behind motorsports. On Tuesday 2016 Indy 500 winner, Alexander Rossi/No.98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Honda will speak to high school students. After the talks the students were free to roam.

Alonso's Garage Sign

Oriol Servia's Garage Sign

Sebastian Saavedra's Garage Sign

Pippa Mann's Garage Sign

Jay Howard's Garage Sign

Jack Harvey's Garage Sign
Spencer Pigot's Garage Sign

Gaby Chaves Garage Sign

Buddy Lazier's Garage Sign

PROSAIC POWER

Trylon

Trylon. Photo by Pablo Matamoros

Day One of the Merry Month of May continued at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the Autonomous to the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500. The theme is “The Greatest Legends in Racing!” The weather Friday was deceptively sunny, with a frigid wind chill factor, which kept all the Gasoline Alley garage doors shut. Not so much for privacy, but warmth. There wasn’t much to see as the teams were beavering away behind closed doors.

Juncos Racing

A couple of teams had just enough car parts outside their garage to pique one’s curiosity about the so-called ‘one-off’ cars which will be running the Indy 500. Examples were the bright greens and orange of the Juncos team entry for Sebastian Saavedra. Nearby blue and white livery on Harding Racing’s No.88 Chevrolet for Gabby Chaves was being set up. And one can’t miss the Pippa pink pieces outside Dale Coyne Racing.

Carlos Munoz

Carlos Munoz. Photo by Pablo Matamoros

Practice Two for the Verizon INDYCAR Series was early afternoon, 61 degrees F and a biting cold 12 mph wind. All cars went on course and for a brief while Max Chilton/No.8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Honda led the field. It wasn’t long before another new track record was set by Will Power/No.12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet – 1:07.7684. As the session progressed, only one driver was faster in the morning session – Carlos Munoz/No.14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet. Perhaps it was because he spun out sideways and coasted at speed into the grass, stopping short of the tire wall.

Alexander Rossi

Alexander Rossi. Photo by Nico Matamoros

The 45-minute session was interrupted for a Red Flag when Ryan Hunter-Reay/No.28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda ran out of fuel on the back stretch. Other than that, there was almost no drama in the session. To illustrate how prosaic it was, one of only a couple of talking points seemed to be the brief wheel touch by Simon Pagenaud/No.1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet Alexander Rossi/No.98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Honda. Both cars continued, and Rossi moved up to fourth position at that point. Afterwards, Rossi said “He was leaving the pits, and we were on our first lap on reds (the alternate Firestone compound tires). He stayed on my end in Turn Seven. Fortunately, it’s practice. It doesn’t matter. We always try and give each other space, but it was practice, so it doesn’t matter.”

Will Power

Will Power. Photo by Pablo Matamoros

Power’s fast time held, so he was again on top. Second and third were teammates Josef Newgarden/No.2 hum by Verizon and Juan Pablo Montoya/No.22 Fitzgerald Gilder Kits. Fourth and fifth were Rossi and another Penske teammate, Helio Castroneves/No.3 Verizon.

Conor Daly/No.14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Chevrolet moved up to tenth in P2, after finishing last in P1.

Sam Schmidt, Mario Andretti & Doug Boles

Sam Schmidt, Mario Andretti & Doug Boles

There was a verbal preview of Saturday’s Challenge Race between Sam Schmidt and Mario Andretti were the two, who engaged in verbal jousting in the Media Center. At previous Indy 500 weekends, Schmidt, a disabled race driver/team owner, has driven his specially modified Arrow Electronics Corvette Stingray in exhibition laps. This year he will race SAM (Semi-Autonomous Motorcar) on the IMS road course. Schmidt’s Driver Assistant the past two years has been Robby Unser. Not sure who might be with Andretti. Andretti and Schmidt have yet to clarify just what is on the line in their own personal bet – maybe has something to do with a ride in the 2018 Indy 500?

At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum there is “A.J. Foyt A Legendary Exhibition,” celebrating his 60-year involvement in the Greatest Spectacle in Motor Racing. The four-time Indy 500 winner, who has been involved in one form or another in every Indy 500 for the past sixty years, personifies American racing. He is perhaps the only driver who ever has or ever will start 35 consecutive Indy 500’s as a driver. He’s fielded an Indy 500 team for the past 35 years. Foyt is the only driver who has won the Indy 500, the Daytona 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans (with Dan Gurney.) In his 21-year IndyCar racing history, he won 67 races. The exhibit includes 35 of his race cars and much, much more.

I continue to have major connectivity issues which plague my posting. Sorry.

POWERFUL PENSKE

INDYCARS headed to Pit Lane

Friday morning the Verizon INDYCAR Series race cars queued up and paraded out through Gasoline Alley to Pit Lane at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first session of the month – practice for the INDYCAR Grand Prix. This is the fourth year for the road course race, utilizing various infield portions of the Speedway, making it a 14-turn, 2.439-mile circuit. The weather was mostly cloudy for the 9:15am session, chilly, breezy, a wind chill factor of 55 degrees F. The session got off to an inauspicious start with a very early red flag for debris. The field has 13 Hondas and nine Chevrolets.

Will Power

Will Power. Photo by Nico Matamoros

Will Power/No.12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet led the field Friday in the first practice. He turned his fastest lap of 1:09.3172 / 126.670 mph on his last lap as the checkered flag about to fly, rising to the top for the first time in the 45-minute session. Power edged past Joseph Newgarden/No.2 hum by Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who had been leading and led two other times; and Scott Dixon/No.9 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, who was running third and had led twice earlier.

Simon Pagenaud

Simon Pagenaud. Photo by Pablo Matamoros

The qualifying track record is 1:08.6746 / 127.855 mph set last year by Power in the first round of knockout qualifying. Last year’s pole was 1:08.7696/127.832 mph, set by Simon Pagenaud, who went on to win the race. He also won the inaugural GP in 2014, with Will Power the 2015 winner.

Juan Pablo Montoya

Juan Pablo Montoya. Photo by Nico Matamoros.

Juan Pablo Montoya/No.22 Fitzgerald Kits Team Penske was seventh fastest, in his first INDYCAR race of the season, since he left Penske after the end of last season. “I got an idea this morning of what we needed out of the car, and I think it helps. Even though we screwed up in the first session.” Later, JPM joked that he had to come back and lighten things up for the team, as they were getting too serious.

Helio Castroneves

Helio Castroneves. Photo by Nico Matamoros

Helio Castroneves/No.3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet was twelfth. This weekend he is running the silver Verizon livery on the road course chassis. For the Indianapolis 500 he will run a new gold livery for Shell Fuel Rewards on the Speedway chassis. Travis Law, the Chief Mechanic for Castroneves’ car said that livery changes are labor intensive. The No.3 car has six different primary sponsors, which means six complete graphics changes for the driver, crew, and all equipment as well as the car. Everything changes. The Verizon car is a wrap, which takes about eight hours. Four of the guys in the Paint Shop help out with some specialized outside hired help. The special gold livery for the Indy 500 is painted on, with PPG help. PPG is one of the team’s sponsor and has been a great help with the technology as well as color design. It takes days to complete.

This weekend there also are three support races from the Mazda Road to Indy Grand Prix Presented by Royal Purple Supporting Lupus Foundation of America Series: Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda; Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tires; and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires.

Indy Lights has a field of 14 drivers, from six countries and the US. Half the drivers are Rookies.

The Pro Mazda field is 15, with three countries and mostly US drivers represented. Ten are Rookies, and four are in the National Class – which means the driver either has an older spec car, or is older than a kid.

The largest support race group is the USF2000 field, with 23 drivers, including two women – the only group with female drivers. Ten countries are represented, plus the US, and 17 are Rookies. What fun! Five of those foreign drivers commute from home or another country, while the others have more local addresses.

Thursday was a test day for the Mazda Road to Indy Series, the three support races this weekend. Their sessions were run under cool, heavily-overcast skies. The track was wet from the Wednesday late night rain, but it dried quickly.

Friday’s schedule called for practice and qualifying for all four groups and races for the three support groups.

Mega delay in posting due to WiFi problems. So sorry. Universal Frustration.

CRUSIN’ CACTUS … CONCUSSION EVOLUTION … AND IT’S NOT OVER … UNTIL IT’S OVER

Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway for Race Day in the Desert. The sun is shining with a few picturesque clouds, the weather is hot with a nice breeze and all’s well at the track.

It’s a beautiful day to be out and about, taking it all in, cruisin’ in the desert. People are everywhere in the garages of the Verizon IndyCar Series, as well as checking out the IndyCar legends and USAC Silver Crown Cars. Tour guides are leading groups of people everywhere, showing the sights, explaining the intricacies of motorsports, and people watching. Here and there a driver, owner or celebrity might be sighted.

Bryan Sperber & Bill Patterson

Bryan Herta

Dale Coyne

Sam Schmidt

Derek Daly

Lyn St. James

Mikhail Aleshin

Graham Rahal Crew

Carlos Munoz

Dr. Terry Trammell

Dr. Terry Trammell

Dr. Terry Trammell is the IndyCar Drivers Medical Advocate and longtime member of the Indycar medical staff. He’s been providing trackside medical care since 1973 including orthopedic consultant to Indianapolis Motor Speedway and director of medical services for CART. He and Dr. Steve Olvey co-founded the CART Safety Team, and they are credited, among other things, with saving the life of Alex Zanardi when he suffered his horrific race crash. Trammell is a founding member of the International Council of Motorsports Science, and is a founding fellow of the FIA Institute for Motorsport Safety. He lectures on spinal injuries and conditions, and has written numerous articles in professional journals.

IndyCar was the first professional race series to institute baseline testing for concussions. This season Dr. Trammell, along with Dr. Geoffrey Billows, director of medical services at IMS and member of IndyCar medical team, and Dr. Michael Olinger, director of Indycar medical services, are working with and doing research on the latest iteration of this process. The three have been working with Dr. James Hoffer at the University of Miami on the VOMS test, which utilizes iPortalPAS goggles – somewhat similar to virtual reality. An interesting feature of the VOMS test is that it can’t be ‘gamed.’

The team started in January this year, collecting data from all the full-season IndyCar drivers, as part of their physicals. And the equipment, such as it is, now goes to all the IndyCar races so tests can be conducted on new or untested drivers by Trammell or Billows. Soon Olinger will be also conducting tests.

The collected information is compared, current symptoms to SCAT3. The test takes about 15 minutes and can be done on the sidelines. This test uses the goggles, and is not Operator-based, i.e. it is objective data on a computer, rather than subjective operator-based information. It is an extremely sensitive test in looking for prior problems. The results are sent to Dr. Hoffer in Miami for interpretation. It’s a system in evolution. The software and hardware are evolving, and the medical team is helping. Their hope is to integrate it into concussion protocol.

Chris Windom

Chris Windom's No.92

The breaking news of the moment is that the USAC Silver Crown points leader, Chris Windom who withdrew his No.92 Beast Ford car after it failed during Friday morning practice, found another ride. As predicted by outside pole sitter, Kody Swanson/No.62 Beast/Hampshire. Santos’ words were “Just because Chris doesn’t have a car, don’t count him out. He’s done this before.” Windom will start from the back in No.2 Patrick Lawson/Mittler Brothers Machine & Tool-Rebel Smokers/Beast/Wesmar. Lawson had qualified the car in thirteenth position Friday, and Windom will start from the back. The Copper Cup Race is a 100-mile race, starting at 3pm local time/6pm EDT. Stay tuned!

Being geared up

For a fortunate few, Saturday morning was the chance for a hot lap in a 2017 Chevy SS with Jeff Sinden, who runs the IndyCar two-seater drive around program. New this year is the requirement that all passengers be outfitted with a helmet and a HANS device. Who knew! It was quite the experience. Thanks, Chevrolet!

The helmet was tight, so snug that I couldn’t fit my fragile curved metal glasses bow into the helmet. I needed my special, prescription motorcycle glasses. The HANS device was lighter and more comfortable than was the helmet. It attached at the back, and was not a problem sitting in the cushy car seat. I felt no discomfort or constraints from the HANS device.

IMG_9559

Something new this weekend, added for the fan’s enjoyment, is Verizon IndyCar Pit Stop Practice for at 5pm local time, an hour or so before the IndyCar race. The Green Flag is at 6:30pm local time/9:30pm EDT.

The Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix race will be televised live on NBCSN, starting at 6pm/9pm. It also can be followed live on Advance Auto PartsINDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 212, XM209, Indycar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.

MORNING MEANDERINGS

Simon Pagenaud No.1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet

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.

No.10 Pit Stop

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.

RHR Crew ready for Pit Stop

No.20 Pit Stop

No.19 pulled into paddock

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!

Jack Harvey

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
(R) Rookie
(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (A)erokit: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)ire: F=Firestone