News for the Week of May 19 – May 25, 2014

Hunter-Reay Prevails in Second-Closest Finish in Indy 500 History – Hunter-Reay, driving the No. 28 DHL car for Andretti Autosport, held off three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves by a hair-raising .0600 of a second — the second-closest margin of victory in the event — in a six-lap shootout to claim his first Indy 500 victory. Marco Andretti finished .3171 of a second back for his third third-place finish in nine starts. “It’s a dream come true,” said Hunter-Reay, who is the first American winner since Sam Hornish Jr. in 2006. “This (race) is American history; this is better than a championship. I hope the fans loved it because I was on the edge of my seat.” Hunter-Reay started 19th. There were 32 lead changes among 11 drivers. – INDYCAR – (5/25/14)

5/25/14 Indianapolis 500 Race Day – Be sure to follow us on twitter @openwh33l for live race updates throughout the day!

Freedom 100 Race Results – Gabby Chaves pulled out another amazing last lap pass to win this years 2014 Freedom 100. Chaves was third going into turn 4, but as they went 4 wide coming down the front stretch he waited until just the right moment to make his move to pass for the lead. The winning differential to second place, Matthew Brabham, was just 0.005 seconds. Check out the full results HERE. – Indy Lights – (5/23/14)

Ganassi Duo Tops Chart in Indianapolis 500 Tuneup – In what seems to be like clockwork, Team Ganassi has begun to get all of their stuff together and rising the speed charts after a poor qualifying year. Tony Kanaan led the way with Scott Dixon in second position. Townsend Bell, Helio Castroneves, and  Mikhail Aleshin round out the top five. Check out full results HERE and combined results HERE. – INDYCAR – (5/23/14)

Dixon’s Crew Prevails in Accuracy, Speed – Scott Dixon and crew won the 2014 Tag Heuer Indy 500 Pit Stop Competition. An Interesting fact about the Competition is that the winner has gone on to win the Indy 500 six times, the most recent being Helio Castroneves in 2009. Scott said: “It’s actually one of my most stressful days apart from Race Day because you don’t want to mess it up.” – INDYCAR – (5/23/14)

This Day in Racing History (5/22/14) – On this day back in 1977, Janet Guthrie became the first woman to qualify for the Indy 500 with a four-lap average of 188.403 mph. – ESPN – (5/22/14)

2015 Indy Lights Chassis unveiled – The 2015 chassis for the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires will be the Dallara IL-15. The car was unveiled today in a ceremony at IMS. Conor Daly will give the chassis its “maiden U.S. test” at Mid-Ohio on August 4th. Equally exciting was the announcement that the 2015 Lights champion would be given an guaranteed three-race program for the IndyCar Series in 2016, including the Indianapolis 500. – INDYCAR – (5/22/14)

2015 IL15

Colts QB Luck to make first trip to 500 – Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck will make his first trip to the Indianapolis 500 this weekend but with some special guests. He will be arriving in a helicopter with two kids from Indianapolis’ Riley Hospital for Children. – Indianapolis Star – (5/22/14)

IMS charges drivers to park their motorhomes – RACER Magazine’s Robin Miller reports in this editorial that Indianapolis Motor Speedway charges Verizon IndyCar Series drivers $4,500 to park their motorhomes right behind Gasoline Alley. – RACER – (5/22/14)

Razia wins the pole for the Freedom 100 – Luiz Razia won the pole on Thursday for the Indy Lights Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a 187.710mph average. That’s over a full MPH faster than 2nd place starter Jack Harvey. Matthew Brabham will start 3rd. Other championship contenders Zach Veach and Gabby Chaves will start 4th and 5th. – @RoadToIndyTV – (5/22/14)

Pruett’s “Month of May” Observations – RACER Magazine’s Marshall Pruett recaps the month’s activities at May with his own perspectives. A long read but absolutely worth it. Too good to summarize. – RACER – (5/22/14)

Lights field down to 11 after 2 entries fail to hit the track – Two cars on the Freedom 100 list failed to hit the track today. Those are the cars for Emerson Newton-John and Kyle O’Gara. You can find the official entry list at the link. – E.J. Viso – (5/22/14)

DRR throws Karam a prom – Much has been made of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s rookie driver Sage Karam missing his high school prom due to track activities so the team threw him a “prom” of his own for he and girlfriend Anna de Ferran. “I missed my senior prom last Friday to qualify for the Indy 500, so this was awesome,” said Karam. “I got to dance. I took pictures. And I got to see my girlfriend so I couldn’t ask for a better prom.” – INDYCAR – (5/22/14)

Viso no longer to race Stadium SUPER Trucks – Per Viso’s tweet: “Won’t be racing @SSuperTrucks this weekend due to a last minute cancelation from a new sponsor. On to the next one.” – E.J. Viso – (5/22/14)

Cavin Q&A 5/22/14 – Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A answers questions on qualifying attendance, signage at IMS, Busch being allowed to keep his starting position in a backup car, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (5/22/14)

Newgarden starts #TodayIHelped campaign with his own good deed – On Wednesday Josef Newgarden treated a person in need with a meal and spent some time with him. He took to social media not to brag about his deed but to mention his experience and encourage others to do the same with the hashtag #TodayIHelped on social media. It’s just another example of what an amazing person the young American driver has shown to be. – Newgarden Instagram – (5/22/14)

This Day in Racing History (5/21/14) – It has been 42 years since the great “Beer-Case Caper.” On this day back in 1972 bump day was underway at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Late in the day, nearing the 6 pm gun, Jim Hurtubise wheeled his front engined Miller High Life Special down the pits to put it in line for hopes of making the 500. 6 pm came, the gun went off, but Jim didn’t even make it out for an attempt. At that point Jim removed the engine cowling to reveal 5 coolers of beer, at which point he shared with the teams and officials. – SI Vault – (5/21/14)

The OW Carb Day Preview – Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway should be absolutely fantastic this year. A near perfect weather forecast (high of 73 and sunny), the final practice before the 500, an incredibly entertaining Lights race, the pit stop challenge, and a brand new race with the addition of Robby Gordon’s Stadium SUPER Trucks should make for a remarkable day of on-track action. The Open Wheel’s Dylan Reynolds previews it here. – OW Carb Day Preview – (5/21/14)

Belardi Racing confirms Chase Austin’s Freedom 100 ride – “I am extremely happy being back in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires series, and to race in the Freedom 100 with the defending champions, Belardi Auto Racing, is a great opportunity.” said Austin. “Obviously I am with a team that has the ability to run up front, and considering our new partnership supporting the UNAIDS ‘Protect the Goal’ campaign, and me becoming a global sporting ambassador for the program – I definitely want to do well for them, American Honda, Starting Grid and everybody who continues to believe in me.” – Indy Lights – (5/21/14)

Indy Lights’ site previews Freedom 100 – Solid preview of the 12th running of the Lights race on the IMS oval. Highlights last year’s exciting finish and the close battle for the championship, now really tight between 3 drivers after Luiz Razia’s big weekend on the IMS road course. – Indy Lights – (5/21/14)

Great 500 preview story on Hinchcliffe – Fantastic story by Indianapolis Monthly’s Daniel McFadin on Andretti Autosport driver James Hinchcliffe’s rise to IndyCar stardom and some behind-the-scenes stuff from his GP of Indy crash. A must read. – Indianapolis Monthly – (5/21/14)

Viso to return to IMS – Former IndyCar Series driver E.J. Viso will compete in Robby Gordon’s Stadium SUPER Series truck race on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The full entry list, including Robby Gordon himself, can be seen at the link. – Stadium SUPER Trucks – (5/20/14)

Honda believes Ford should reconsider INDYCAR stance – A Ford family member was recently quoted saying that Ford won’t be returning to INDYCAR because the series’ fan support is too small. Honda’s Mark Crawford disagrees with their position. “To Ford specifically, they’re welcome to come out here and take a look. I trust that they have, and that’s the reason they have the opinion that they do. But look a bit deeper, because I think that the IndyCar Series is a great value. It’s great exposure. It’s the only place where you can come to run the Indy 500, the biggest race in the world,” Crawford said. – AUTOSPORT – (5/20/14)

NBC to create a documentary on Busch’s double – NBC Sports announced today that they will be producing “KURT BUSCH: 36”, a documentary that will chronicle Busch’s monumental Memorial Day Weekend double. The “:36” series has been highly successful for NBC Sports in the past for various sporting events. A 30 minute version will air on Sunday, June 8th, at 4:30pm ET on NBC with a 60 minute “director’s cut” to follow the next night night at 11pm on NBCSN. – NBC Sports – (5/20/14)

Hinchcliffe impersonates Derek Daly – Andretti Autosport driver James Hinchcliffe leads off his interview with Indianapolis’ ABC affiliate with an entertaining impersonation of Derek Daly. A must watch. – RTV6 – (5/20/14)

Busch to use Marco’s backup in the 500 – Kurt Busch wrecked at Monday’s final full-day practice for the 500. He will now use Marco Andretti’s backup car but still start 12th on the grid. Here’s what Busch said about the incident: “I was starting to feel comfortable. That’s when I made the mistake of just letting my guard down or settling into that long run-type mentality whereas with an Indy car you have to be on edge. You have to keep track of where you are at all times and the adjustments in the car.” – AP – (5/20/14)

Drivers’ wives and girlfriends “glam it up” for a photo shoot – Presented without comment. Click the link and enjoy. – Indianapolis Monthly – (5/20/14)

Part Time role won’t affect Carpenter at Indy – When Carpenter stood down as ECR’s full time driver for the 2014 season there was some speculation on whether the absence from the race car would affect his results on the ovals. Well, Ed says it best: “no one has raced an oval since Fontana last year, I don’t feel like I’m missing much.” He continued, “I don’t feel unprepared. I prepare the same now as I did when I was racing full time.” Judging by his results this May it’s tough to doubt him. – AUTOSPORT – (5/19/14)

This Day in Racing History (5/19/14) – On this day in 1973, the 2014 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car driver, Dario Franchitti, was born. Dario was born in Bathgate, Scotland. Dario had a prolific IndyCar/CART career with 31 wins, 91 podiums, and 33 poles in 265 races. – – (5/19/14)

Newgarden fastest at Monday’s 500 practice – Josef Newgarden led the way on Monday at 227.105mph. Kurt Busch crashed hard in Turn 2 was was cleared to return soon after. However, his No. 26 machine was damaged heavily making him unable to return to the track today. The Ganassi cars continued their improvement with three of the four placing in the top ten (Kanaan, Dixon, and Kimball). Full results here. – INDYCAR – (5/19/14)

Busch’s crash won’t affect his 500 starting position – INDYCAR Rule allows for a crashed “Qualified Car” to be replaced with a backup into its original starting position. UPDATE: Andretti Autosport intends to use Busch’s backup car and he will still start 12th in the Indy 500. – Mike Kitchel – (5/19/14)

Kurt Busch crashes in Monday Indy 500 practice – Busch walked away from the hard hit in Turn 2 and was cleared to return soon after. – INDYCAR – (5/19/14)

Cuban named honorary starter at the 500 – Mark Cuban will serve as the honorary starter at the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 this Sunday. – INDYCAR – (5/19/14)

New Indy Lights chassis to be unveiled Thursday – The 2015 Indy Lights chassis will be unveiled by Dallara on Thursday, 5/22, at 5:00PM at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. – Cooper Tires – (5/19/14)

Sunday 500 qualifying earns a 1.2 TV rating – ABC’s telecast of Fast 9 Indianapolis 500 qualifying on Sunday earned a 1.2 TV rating. That’s more than most Verizon IndyCar Series races. – Jenna Fryer – (5/19/14)

New Carb Day event is official – Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks will race at IMS on Carb Day at 4:40ET on the front stretch and a portion of the infield road course. The race will be called Menards At The Brickyard Formula Off-Road Presented By Traxxas. – IMS – (5/19/14)

Cavin Q&A 5/19/14 – Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A tackles many topics today including the highlights of the month at IMS thus far, Marco being allowed to get back in the qualifying line so quickly, GP of Indy complaints, and more. Great read. – Indianapolis Star – (5/19/14)

Target Chip Ganassi cars found their speed again Sunday – After a rough qualifying effort for Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan on Saturday, each failing to make the top 9, the two IndyCar stars rallied for a much better effort on Sunday. Dixon will be starting 11th (from 16th on Saturday) and Kanaan will be 16th (from 23rd on Saturday). “We’re a big team and we should be better than what we showed (Saturday),” said Mike Hull. “There’s no excuse for what we did (Saturday).” – Indianapolis Star – (5/19/14)

Carpenter wins 2nd straight pole for the Indy 500 – Ed Carpenter wins the pole again at 231.067mph beating James Hinchcliffe’s time on the last run of the day. Once again all drivers and cars went through their qualifying attempts without an incident. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (5/18/14)

Newton-John to run Freedom 100 again – Emerson Newton-John will run the No. 22 Team Moore Racing machine in the Indy Lights Freedom 100 at IMS on Carb Day. “Getting back to Indy has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs to put it mildly. It’s been almost 2 years since I have been in a racecar, and missing the open test on May 3rd isn’t ideal, but knowing that I’m going to be with a team as experienced and successful at IMS as Team Moore Racing, makes the task at hand that much more manageable,” said Newton-John. – – (5/18/14)

Schmidt returns to the race track on 500 qualifications weekend – Good work from the Indianapolis Star on the quadriplegic former IndyCar Series driver and now team owner Sam Schmidt’s ceremonial laps around IMS this morning in a semi-autonomous Corvette. – Indianapolis Star – (5/18/14)

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