Lonely Starter Stand

All dressed up and no place to go. That could have been the Verizon IndyCar Series starter midday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first day of practice for the Indianapolis 500 race. There was only one car in Pit Lane and no cars on track.

Sage Karam
Sage Karam

Finally, at 12:35pm, Rookie SAGE KARAM/No.22 Dreyer and Reinbold-Kingdom Racing Honda took to the track for a lap – first car out. He ran 20 laps, completing his Rookie Orientation Program, and was cleared to run the Indy 500 program.

Karam was followed by HELIO CASTRONEVES/No.3 Team Penske Racing Chevrolet, who ran a lap. Both cars are easy to spot. Karam’s is a variation of neon yellow, and Castroneves’ is the iconic Yellow Submarine already introduced earlier in the week.

At midday, it was mid seventies in temperature with a strong breeze and a mixture of blue skies and white clouds.

Andretti Autosport has updated the Entry List. E.J.VISO of Colombia will drive No.27 Andretti Autosport Honda.

At the end of the day the top two drivers, plus KURT BUSCH/No.26 Andretti Autosport Honda will be in the Chris Economaki Interview Room. Busch didn’t have such a great Saturday night at the 5-hour Energy 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Kansas Speedway. While he started sixth in the Haas Automation Chevrolet he drives for Stewart-Haas Racing and ran as high as fourth, he fought an ill-handling car all race and finished a disappointed 29th.

The Indy 500 Entry List has 33 entries, plus 31 T (alternate) cars. Those with no alternates are Rookie JAMES DAVISON/No.33 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet and BUDDY LAZIER/No.91 BHA/BBM with Curb Agajanian Honda.

In the former case, the deal just came together within the last seven days, although Davison had been working with the team for the past fortnight. IndyCar assisted with sponsorship – TBA. Davison will be on the ‘short’ program, meaning he won’t start running the car until Thursday, for budgetary reasons. He said the engine and tires alone run $120,000. Davison said he has help from the late ROGER ROTAS in a little way. Davison was on the radar of his friend, Rotas, before he was killed in an unfortunate auto accident. Rotas’ partners have continued on with Davison.

Davison also said that even if there were sponsorship enough to run the full program, the car wouldn’t be ready. The team just picked it up a few days ago in Chicago. It’s the 2013 Panther Racing Indy 500 car, and it is being ‘built’ Tuesday and Wednesday.

James Davison
James Davison

Davison expects to complete his Rookie Orientation Program Thursday morning at 9am, when the track is closed to competitors. He thinks he can do it in the three allotted hours. Davison’s engineer is KYLE BRANNAN, and the Team Manager is SIMON HODGSON, with BUDDY RICE as his spotter; and having three teammates will help and will help him capitalize on the team’s resources. Davison said teammate Townsend Bell told him “it’s like an airplane.” Pushing is to be done … in time. But first, there’s speed, precision, respect, edge, concentration and focus.” His plan is to have six days on track before Qualifying. Davison doesn’t plan to “stretch his legs” in qualifying – there are only 33 cars in the field, so I’m going to use my head and run the race with a level head.”

Davison ran two IndyCar races last year, and ran two Indy Lights races at IMS in 2008 and 2009. His racing career has most, of late, been spent in the United States. The last time he raced in Australia, it was the Porsche Carerra Cup race at the 2012 Australian GP F1 race in Melbourne – from whence came Davison.

Davison said his goals are to finish the race, finish in the top fifteen, and a finish in the top ten would be fantastic. A longterm goal would be to build sufficient primary sponsorship for a full IndyCar season.

At the present time, Davison is contracted to run a TRG Aston Martin in a full GT Daytona program with the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series. He currently is twenty-third in the standings, just one position ahead of IndyCar Rookie, MIKHAIL ALESHIN/No.7 SMP Racing Honda. The Russian ran the Daytona 24 hour endurance race.

Townsend Bell
Townsend Bell

Another full season TUDOR GTD contracted driver is TOWNSEND BELL, who is running his annual one-off race, also with KV Racing Technology. Bell will be driving No.6 Chevrolet with sponsorship (again) from Robert Graham. He had a full splash unveiling Saturday in Gasoline Alley. Not one to be understated, the livery for the car and driver are again eye-catching. And even the tool boxes are quite colorful.

In the Tudor Championship Series, Bell and teammate BILL SWEEDLER are leading the GTD standings with 87 points.

No.6 Tool Box

Last Modified on May 11, 2014
This entry was posted in IndyCar
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