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Day 1 of Indy Qualifying

VeeKay Fastest at 233.655 mph;
Chevy, Ganassi Flex on Day 1 of Indy Qualifying

DIANAPOLIS (Saturday, May 21, 2022) – It was a very good time either to be powered by a Chevrolet engine or drive for Chip Ganassi Racing on the first day of PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying for the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Chevrolets propelled the three fastest qualifiers, led by Rinus VeeKay’s four-lap average speed of 233.655 mph in the No. 21 Bitcoin Racing Team with BitNile Chevrolet, while all five of Ganassi’s Honda-powered drivers ended up in the top 12 and will advance to the final two rounds of qualifying Sunday, including the Firestone Fast Six that determines the winner of the NTT P1 Award for pole.

“It’s a good start,” VeeKay said. “It shows we have a good car and confidence for tomorrow. We can definitely challenge for pole. I think Ganassi is definitely our biggest rival out there for challenging for pole.”

SEE: Saturday Qualifying Results | Qualifying Format

Positions 13 through 33 in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” were set during today’s qualifying, which was interrupted twice by rain and lightning for a total of two hours, 14 minutes and cut short by 60 minutes.

The second round of qualifying, for the 12 fastest drivers today, starts at 4 p.m. (ET) Sunday. The six fastest drivers from that round will advance to the Firestone Fast Six, which starts at 5:10 p.m., and turn another four-lap qualifying run for the NTT P1 Award and its $100,000 prize.

Live coverage of the last two rounds of qualifying starts at 4 p.m. (ET) on NBC, with the INDYCAR Radio Network also providing coverage.

Just under VeeKay on the Scoring Pylon were Arrow McLaren SP teammates Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist. O’Ward was second at 233.037 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, followed by Rosenqvist at 232.775 in the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.

Reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Alex Palou led a trio of Honda-powered Ganassi drivers in the next three spots. Palou ended up fourth at 232.774 in the No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, with 2013 “500” winner Tony Kanaan fifth at 232.625 in the No. 1 The American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and Indy 500 rookie Jimmie Johnson was sixth at 232.398 in the No. 48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

“It’s pretty awesome, and I’m just so thankful to be part of the group,” Johnson said about the Ganassi team performance. “Watching them prepare literally since they left here last year and continually thinking of this race, and it being a motto to win here before the championship. To be a part of it, to live it, to now be here experiencing it is really cool.”

Three-time Indy 500 pole sitter Ed Carpenter was seventh with a four-lap average at 232.397 in the No. 33 Alzamend Neuro Chevrolet after topping the morning practice with a single lap of 234.410, the fastest trip around the 2.5-mile IMS oval since 1996. Marcus Ericsson of Chip Ganassi Racing was eighth at 232.275 in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, with “500” rookie Romain Grosjean leading Andretti Autosport in ninth at 232.201 in the No. 28 DHL Honda.

A trio of Indianapolis 500 winners rounded out the drivers to advance to the Round of 12 qualifying.

Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion and 2008 “500” winner Scott Dixon was 10th at 232.151 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, followed by 2018 “500” winner and current NTT INDYCAR SERIES points leader Will Power in 11th at 231.842 in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.

Two-time Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato ended up 12th at 231.708 in the No. 51 Nurtec ODT Honda. Sato was forced to make a second attempt after his first run of 232.196 was disallowed after INDYCAR officials penalized Sato for qualifying interference and failure to follow instructions, affecting another competitor. While slowing on his cooldown lap after his first attempt, Sato was judged to have impeded the qualifying attempt of the next driver, Marco Andretti.

Rookie David Malukas just missed the cut to advance to Sunday, ending up 13th and just behind Dale Coyne Racing teammate Sato at 231.607 in the No. 18 HMD Honda.

While Chevy powered the first three drivers on the speed chart after qualifying, Honda struck back with a 7-5 edge among the top 12.

There was a common thread between VeeKay, O’Ward and Rosenqvist besides Bowtie engines. All three drew low numbers in the qualifying order Friday night and made their attempts in the first 15 minutes of qualifying, when the track temperature was just 85 degrees.

The air and track temperature continued to climb until the first rain arrived, dropping grip and speeds. By 12:30 p.m., 90 minutes into qualifying, the oval’s asphalt was 107 degrees.

A practice for the 12 remaining qualifiers will take place from 12:30-2 p.m. Sunday, with live coverage on Peacock Premium.

Sato Stays Out Front during Tricky Fast Friday at Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, May 20, 2022) – Takuma Sato continued his domination of the speed chart this week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, completing a sweep of all three practices by setting the pace once again in tricky conditions on Fast Friday for the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.

But on the eve of PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying, the oldest and youngest drivers in the field also are contenders Saturday to lead the group of 12 drivers advancing to the second and third rounds of qualifying Sunday, with a possible shot at the NTT P1 Award for pole.

SEE: Practice Results | Qualifying Format | Qualifying Order

Sato led with a lap of 232.789 mph in the No. 51 Nurtec ODT Honda during a four-lap qualifying simulation run in the last hour of the six-hour session, which took place in challenging conditions of air temperatures in the high 80s and steady winds of 20 mph, with gusts reaching 41 mph. It appeared Sato was headed to the fastest qualifying sim of the day, but he was forced to lift on his third lap. He still ended up fifth on the qualifying sim speed chart at 229.680.

“We were lacking downforce on Lap 3 and dropped off on Lap 4,” Sato said. “Lap 3 and Lap 4 are the key. We carried too little downforce.”

The speediest driver in a four-lap qualifying sim was 2013 “500” winner Tony Kanaan, at 47 the oldest driver in the field. Kanaan averaged 230.517 in the No. 1 The American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda in the final hour of practice, toppling Sato’s Dale Coyne Racing teammate, rookie David Malukas, from the top of qualifying sim chart.

Malukas, 20, the youngest driver in the field, ended up second on the qualifying sim chart at 230.287 in the No. 18 HMD Honda. Malukas could become the first “500” rookie to win the pole for the Indianapolis 500 since Teo Fabi in 1983.

“We divided the program so David had more downforce,” Sato said. “It’s good to have at both ends, and we’ll just combine it tomorrow.”

Speeds climbed Friday due to additional boost provided to the Chevrolet and Honda engines that power the field, with approximately 90 more horsepower. But all 33 drivers chose quality over quantity in the gusty, shifting winds and searing track temperatures, with just 473 total laps turned.

2016 “500” winner Alexander Rossi was second fastest overall at 231.883 in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS/AutoNation Honda. Pato O’Ward was third at 231.798 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet and fourth on the qualifying sim list with a four-lap average of 230.111.

O’Ward will be at the head of the line at 11 a.m. (ET) Saturday (live on Peacock Premium and the INDYCAR Radio Network), when the first round of qualifications starts, as Arrow McLaren SP pulled the No. 1 coin in the qualifying draw Friday evening. Positions 13-33 will be set Saturday, with the top 12 advancing to two rounds of qualifying Sunday to set the first four rows and determine the NTT P1 Award winner.

Marcus Ericsson was fourth overall Friday at 231.782 in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, with 2008 “500” winner and six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon rounding out the top five at 231.530 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

Indy 500 rookie Jimmie Johnson became the first driver to make wall contact this week, grazing his No. 48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda against the SAFER Barrier in Turn 2 at 1:25 p.m. But the team repaired the car, and Johnson rallied later in the day to produce a qualifying sim with a four-lap average speed of 229.094, good for sixth on that chart.

“I’ve hit plenty of things during my career in racing,” Johnson said. “Luckily it wasn’t a full yard sale; it was just crossing the line a little bit. I was able to download with my teammates and get a better feel for positions with the tools inside the car. I was too cautious with my settings and had a lot of understeer in the car, and I just didn’t get on top of it quick enough.”

Sato, Dixon Flex More Muscle To Top Speed Chart again at Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, May 19, 2022) – There’s a pattern forming after two full days of practice for the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge: Takuma Sato and Scott Dixon are really fast.

Sato and Dixon were 1-2 on the speed chart Thursday for the second consecutive practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Two-time Indy 500 winner Sato led at 227.519 mph in the No. 51 Nurtec ODT Honda, with six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion and 2008 “500” winner Dixon second at 227.335 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

“We’re working on it,” Sato said. “The car’s not entirely happy in a big pack. Still there’s work to be done. The boys are doing such a meticulous job, with great engineering. I’m happy with the progress, step by step, and here we are. Hopefully we have more to come.”

SEE: Practice Results

Rookie David Malukas, Sato’s teammate at Dale Coyne Racing, was third at 226.869 in the No. 18 HMD Honda. 2011 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year JR Hildebrand clocked in fourth at 226.846 in the No. 11 Homes For Our Troops/AJ FOYT RACING Chevrolet.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson continued his impressive preparation for his first start in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” by ending up fifth at 226.409 in the No. 48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Johnson was third fastest overall on opening day Tuesday. Practice was rained out Wednesday.

Weather may be top of mind for teams and drivers during practice from noon-6 p.m. Friday (live on Peacock Premium), as air temperatures in the mid- to high-80s and sustained winds of 15 to 25 mph will create tricky conditions on the 2.5-mile oval. Speeds also will climb on “Fast Friday” – the last full day of practice before PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying on Saturday and Sunday — because turbocharger boost levels are increased, adding an estimated 90 horsepower to the Chevrolet and Honda engines.

Teams will work on qualifying simulations Friday, trying to stay out of the aerodynamic tow that has produced the big speeds for the first two days of practice.

2018 Indy 500 winner Will Power was the fastest driver Thursday without a tow, reaching 224.325 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Rinus VeeKay and his team boss, Ed Carpenter, continued to show strength while running solo, ending up second and third on the no-tow list after they were 1-2 without aerodynamic help Tuesday. VeeKay produced a solo lap of 224.047 in the No. 21 Bitcoin Racing Team with BitNile Chevrolet, followed by Carpenter at 223.858 in the No. 33 Alzamend Neuro Chevrolet.

Thirty-three drivers combined to turn 3,114 incident-free laps under overcast skies. Johnson turned 153 laps, more than any other driver.

Sato Surges to Top of Opening Day at 228; Ganassi Cars Dialed In

Takuma Sato

Racing Legend Johnson Third in First Day of Practice for Indy 500 Debut

INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, May 17, 2022) – Takuma Sato ripped off a lap of 228.939 mph in the final five minutes Tuesday to lead the opening day of practice for the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Sato used the benefit of an aerodynamic tow on the 2.5-mile oval to lead the speed charts by more than 1 mph in the No. 51 Nurtec ODT Honda. Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon was second at 227.768 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, leading four Chip Ganassi Racing drivers in the top six.

“We had a big tow,” Sato said. “In Happy Hour, if you have new tires, I think you can do that. I’m pretty happy today.

“To be honest, this morning wasn’t as smooth as we wished. We had to go back to the garage and check up on lots of things because there was something we were not very happy with. But in the end, in the afternoon we quickly turned on good speed. I’m very happy with the 51 car. Dale Coyne Racing did a good job.”

SEE: Afternoon Results | Morning Results

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson opened preparations for his first start in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” by ending up third at 227.722 in the No. 48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Johnson was an NTT INDYCAR SERIES rookie last season but only competed on road and street courses. He made his INDYCAR oval debut March 20 at Texas Motor Speedway.

“We have a really good race car,” Johnson said. “It’s just trying to work through extremes for me. What is a low trim setting? What’s a high trim setting? What’s mechanically tight? What’s mechanically free? Just trying to work through some of those big-picture things.

“All in all, a really good day. I feel like where we ended in this session gives me a lot of confidence for working forward.”

Marcus Ericsson was fourth at 227.094 in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing, with Rinus VeeKay rounding out the top five at 226.995 in the No. 21 Bitcoin Racing Team with BitNile Chevrolet.

Reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Alex Palou completed the Chip Ganassi Racing domination of the top of the speed chart, ending up sixth at 226.973 in the No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

Veteran practice was divided into two sessions, with two hours of running in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. Dixon was fastest this morning at 227.119.

VeeKay was the fastest driver without an aerodynamic tow, with a top solo lap of 221.551 mph. Ed Carpenter was second on the no-tow list at 220.869 in the No. 33 Alzamend Neuro Chevrolet, with Johnson third at 220.724.

Thirty-three drivers combined to turn 3,229 incident-free laps under sunny skies during the two veteran practice sessions today. Veteran Stefan Wilson completed his refresher test during a midday session in the No. 25 DragonSpeed/Cusick Motorsports Chevrolet and then participated briefly in the afternoon open practice session.

Dalton Kellett turned 149 laps in the No. 4 K-LINE AJ FOYT RACING Chevrolet, more than any other driver.

Practice resumes from noon-6 p.m. (ET) Wednesday (live on Peacock Premium), with PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying this Saturday and Sunday. The 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge is scheduled for Sunday, May 29.

GMR Grand Prix

Herta Controls Chaos To Win Wild, Treacherous GMR Grand Prix

INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, May 14, 2022) – Colton Herta won one of the wildest races in recent NTT INDYCAR SERIES history, controlling the chaos of changing weather conditions, ever-evolving tire strategies and numerous incidents to take the checkered flag for the GMR Grand Prix on Saturday on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Herta, from Valencia, California, earned his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES victory of the season and his seventh career win in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda after starting 14th. The win was the first of the season for a Honda-powered driver.

SEE: Race Results

The race, originally scheduled for 85 laps but slowed by numerous incidents and the arrival of rain near the midway point, reached its two-hour time limit during a caution period.

“This is the hardest race I think I’ve ever done,” Herta said. “Wet to dry, dry back to wet. Thank you so much for the Hoosiers for sticking around. I know you’re used to this weather, so thank you very much. Love you guys.”

Simon Pagenaud climbed from the 20th starting position to finish a season-best second in the No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda. NTT P1 Award winner Will Power placed third in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, tying his season best and climbing into the series points lead.

Marcus Ericsson drove from 18th at the start to end up fourth in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, with Indianapolis native Conor Daly finishing a season-best fifth in the No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet.

“I’ve never been in a race like that in my life,” Daly said. “That was the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced.”

The box score indicated there were 10 lead changes among six drivers and eight caution periods for 31 laps, but that doesn’t begin to describe what unfolded on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. This was a test of speed, strategy and survival that will live in the memory for a long time.

Rain sprinkles caused the race start to be declared wet, with all drivers on Firestone grooved tires. But it took Herta and Takuma Sato only two laps to realize there was enough traction to switch to the slick, grippy Firestone alternate “red” tires. The rest of the field quickly followed suit, with all 27 drivers changing to alternate slicks by Lap 5.

For the next 30 laps, this appeared to be a highly competitive but conventional NTT INDYCAR SERIES road course race, with three incidents triggering caution periods and mixing up the running order. But the strategic mind games began when Dalton Kellett spun off course in Turn 6 on Lap 36 in the No. 4 K-LINE/AJ FOYT RACING Chevrolet.

Leaden, threatening clouds approached IMS from the west, with the airwaves between pit boxes and drivers crackling with strategic chatter.

Rookie Devlin DeFrancesco, Alexander Rossi and reigning series champion Alex Palou decided to pit for Firestone rain tires during that caution as light rain began to fall to varying degrees in different locations of the massive facility, with a handful of others following suit to switch to rain tires during another caution that started on Lap 42.

This dice roll came up snake eyes because the rain began to let up on Lap 45, when Herta passed Ericsson for the lead in Turn 4.

By Lap 52, the rain began to fall again at varying levels around the track, creating more head games for teams and drivers. During a caution period on Lap 60 with intermittent rain falling, all the contending cars came to the pits for Firestone alternate slick tires.

Two laps later, those plans became a soggy mess when hard rain began to fall. All the contenders tiptoed back to the pits for Firestone rain tires except for Pato O’Ward, Scott McLaughlin and Romain Grosjean, who stayed out on alternate slicks.

The race restarted at the end of Lap 66, and Herta – on rain tires – easily devoured the slick-shod O’Ward to take the lead for good with an inside pass into Turn 1 after the field took the green.

Later that lap, the daring strategy of staying on slicks unraveled for McLaughlin. Struggling for grip, he spun in his No. 3 Snap-on Tools Chevrolet. O’Ward also spun out of second place on Lap 69 in his No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP.

Herta gradually pulled away from Pagenaud over the closing laps, as teams kept their eyes on the race clock and the skies. Herta led Pagenaud by 3.8256 seconds on Lap 72, and the race effectively ended when Juan Pablo Montoya went off course after making contact with the wall in his No. 6 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.

“It was treacherous at the end,” Pagenaud said. “You’ve got to say congrats to Colton because it was really tough to finish the race. We made the right calls on the tires. It was tricky. It was really tricky to decide.”

GMR Grand Prix Qualifying Report

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, May 13, 2022) – Will Power won the NTT P1 Award for the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, earning his 64th career INDYCAR SERIES pole on his final qualifying lap Friday afternoon.

Power’s best lap was 1 minute, 9.7664 seconds in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. Australian Power is just three poles shy of tying the all-time INDYCAR SERIES pole record of 67 set by Mario Andretti.

SEE: Qualifying Results

“This series, it’s so tight,” Power said. “So, to get a pole these days, you know you’ve done a really good job. And the team has done a great job. I’m super-stoked. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a pole on a road course. I worked hard on that one.

“I feel so privileged to be so close to him (Andretti). To be up there with names like Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt is something I wouldn’t have imagined when I started my career.”

This was Power’s first road or street course pole since the 2020 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida, and he became the fifth different pole winner in five NTT INDYCAR SERIES races this season.

Live coverage of the 85-lap GMR Grand Prix starts at 3 p.m. (ET) Saturday on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

Reigning series champion and current points leader Alex Palou will share the front row with Power after his best lap of 1:09.8090 in the No. 10 The American Legion Honda.

Power’s teammate, two-time series champion Josef Newgarden, will start third after a lap of 1:09.8343 in the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet. Conor Daly earned his best starting spot of the season by qualifying fourth at 1:09.9063 in the No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet.

Pato O’Ward, who led the afternoon practice, will start fifth after a best lap of 1:10.0546 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, with his teammate Felix Rosenqvist rounding out the Firestone Fast Six at 1:10.0605 in the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.

Callum Ilott continued his impressive season with the one-car Juncos Hollinger Racing, qualifying seventh in the team’s No. 77 Chevrolet as the top rookie in the field.

The list of drivers who failed to advance from the first round of qualifying could form a wing of an INDYCAR SERIES Hall of Fame as some teams and drivers were flummoxed by air temperatures in the high 80s and track temperatures tickling 130 degrees.

Indianapolis 500 winners Takuma Sato (13th), Alexander Rossi (16th), Helio Castroneves (19th), Simon Pagenaud (20th), Scott Dixon (21st) and Juan Pablo Montoya (23rd) all didn’t make the second round. NTT INDYCAR SERIES race winners Colton Herta (14th), Rinus VeeKay (15th) and Marcus Ericsson (18th) also didn’t advance from Round One.


GMR Grand Prix Qualifying Results

Click HERE to view and download the official qualifying results of the GMR Grand Prix.

INDIANAPOLIS – Qualifying Friday for the GMR Grand Prix NTT INDYCAR SERIES event on the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, engine, time and speed in parentheses:

1. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 01:09.7664 (125.854 mph)
2. (10) Alex Palou, Honda, 01:09.8090 (125.777)
3. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 01:09.8343 (125.732)
4. (20) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 01:09.9063 (125.602)
5. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 01:10.0546 (125.337)
6. (7) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 01:10.0605 (125.326)
7. (77) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 01:09.6530 (126.059)
8. (30) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 01:09.6594 (126.048)
9. (45) Jack Harvey, Honda, 01:09.6899 (125.992)
10. (28) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 01:09.7100 (125.956)
11. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 01:09.7847 (125.821)
12. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 01:10.2950 (124.908)
13. (51) Takuma Sato, Honda, 01:09.8239 (125.751)
14. (26) Colton Herta, Honda, 01:09.8527 (125.699)
15. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 01:09.9550 (125.515)
16. (27) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 01:09.9178 (125.582)
17. (29) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 01:10.1306 (125.201)
18. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 01:09.9294 (125.561)
19. (06) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 01:10.1417 (125.181)
20. (60) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 01:09.9717 (125.485)
21. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 01:10.1694 (125.131)
22. (14) Kyle Kirkwood, Chevrolet, 01:10.1954 (125.085)
23. (6) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 01:10.7610 (124.085)
24. (18) David Malukas, Honda, 01:10.4755 (124.588)
25. (11) Tatiana Calderon, Chevrolet, 01:11.0020 (123.664)
26. (4) Dalton Kellett, Chevrolet, 01:10.7187 (124.160)
27. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Honda, 01:11.4599 (122.872)

GMR Grand Prix Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, May 13 – Saturday, May 14

Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course (clockwise)

Race distance: NTT INDYCAR SERIES 85 laps / 207.3 miles | Indy Lights: 35 laps/55 minutes

Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time, with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

Firestone tire allotment: Six sets primary, four sets alternate (Note: A seventh set of primary tires is available to any car fielding a rookie driver.)

Twitter: @IMS @INDYCAR, #ThisIsMay, #IndyCar

Event website: www.ims.com

NTT INDYCAR SERIES website: www.indycar.com | Indy Lights website:www.indylights.com

2021 race winners: NTT INDYCAR SERIES: Rinus VeeKay (No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet) Indy Lights: Linus Lundqvist and David Malukas

2021 NTT P1 Award winner: Romain Grosjean (No. 51 Nurtec ODT Honda), 1:09.4396, 126.447 mph.

Qualifying lap record: Will Power, 1:07.7044, 129.687 mph, May 12, 2017 (Set in Round 3 of knockout qualifying)

NBC Sports race telecast: 3 p.m. (ET) Saturday, May 14, NBC (live). Leigh Diffey is the play-by-play announcer for NBC’s coverage of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, alongside analysts Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe.

Peacock Premium Live Streaming: All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on Peacock Premium, NBC’s direct-to-consumer livestreaming product, and NBC’s GMR Grand Prix race telecast will be simulcast on the streaming service, while Peacock Premium’s exclusive post-race show – featuring driver interviews, podium ceremonies and post-race analysis – will be streamed following the race. The Indy Lights Grand Prix of Indianapolis doubleheader will be streamed on Peacock Premium with practice and qualifying being shown on INDYCAR Live!

INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young are the turn announcers. Ryan Myrehn and Rob Blackman are the pit reporters. The GMR Grand Prix race (3 p.m. ET), Indy Lights Grand Prix of Indianapolis doubleheader (5:25 p.m. ET Friday and 1:10 p.m. ET Saturday) and all NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires practices and qualifying sessions air live on network affiliates, SiriusXM 160, racecontrol.indycar.com and the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.

At-track schedule (all times local):


FRIDAY, MAY 13 (All times are local)

9:30-10:30 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice (45 minutes), Peacock Premium

10:45-11:30 a.m. – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires practice, INDYCAR LIVE!

12:45-1:45 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice, (45 minutes) Peacock Premium

2-2:30 p.m. – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires qualifying (Sets lineup for Race 1 and Race 2), INDYCAR LIVE!

4 p.m. – Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (three rounds of NTT INDYCAR SERIES knockout qualifications), Peacock Premium

(Live)

5:30 p.m. – Indy Lights Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race 1 “Drivers, start your engines”

5:35 p.m. – Indy Lights Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race 1 (35 laps/55 minutes), Peacock Premium

SATURDAY, MAY 14

10:30-11 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES warmup, Peacock Premium

1:15 p.m. – Indy Lights Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race 2 “Drivers, start your engines”

1:20 p.m. – Indy Lights Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race 2 (35 laps/55 minutes), Peacock Premium

3 p.m. – NBC on air

3:39 p.m. – “Drivers, start your engines”

3:45 p.m. – GMR Grand Prix (85 laps/207.3 miles), NBC (Live)

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Notes:

  • Pato O’Ward broke Team Penske’s three-race win streak by winning the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on May 1. Alex Palou’s third podium finish of 2022 gave him the series points lead for the first time this season. Palou, the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion, leads Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin by three points and the top four drivers in the standings are separated by just 10 points heading into the critical Month of May, which has more than 250 points to offer with races on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course, PPG Armed Forces Qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 and the double points-paying Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge in the next three weekends.
  • The GMR Grand Prix will be the 12th INDYCAR SERIES event conducted on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course. Active race winners who are expected to compete are: Rinus VeeKayScott DixonJosef NewgardenSimon Pagenaud and Will Power.
ACTIVE RACE WINNERWINSSEASONS
Will Power52015, 2017, 2018 (GMR Grand Prix); 2020 (Harvest Grand Prix-2); 2021 (Gallagher Grand Prix)
Simon Pagenaud32014, 2016, 2019 (GMR Grand Prix)
Scott Dixon12020 (GMR Grand Prix)
Josef Newgarden12020 (Harvest Grand Prix-1)
Rinus VeeKay12021 (GMR Grand Prix)
  • Four NTT P1 Award winners have won the GMR Grand Prix from the pole: Will Power in 2015, 2017 and 2018 and Simon Pagenaud in 2016. Power also won the second Harvest GP race from pole in 2020.
ACTIVE POLE WINNERPOLESSEASONS
Will Power52015, 2017, 2018, 2020 (GMR Grand Prix and Harvest Grand Prix-2)
Pato O’Ward12021 (Gallagher Grand Prix)
Romain Grosjean12021 (GMR Grand Prix)
Rinus VeeKay12020 (Harvest Grand Prix-1)
Felix Rosenqvist12019
Simon Pagenaud12016
Sebastian Saavedra12014
  • Eight drivers have competed in every INDYCAR SERIES race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course – Scott DixonJames HinchcliffeRyan Hunter-ReayJosef NewgardenSimon PagenaudWill PowerGraham Rahal and Takuma Sato. All but Hinchcliffe and Hunter-Reay are entered this year.
  • Scott Dixon has finished first or second in four of the last five GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis. Dixon won his first race on the IMS road course in July 2020.
  • Josef Newgarden can clinch the PeopleReady Force For Good Challenge’s $1 million prize by winning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course – where he won in 2020 in the Harvest Grand Prix. Newgarden has won on an oval (Texas Motor Speedway) and street circuit (Streets of Long Beach). A win on a road course would earn him a $500,000 bonus and a matching $500,000 donation for his charities, Wags and Walk Nashville and SeriousFun Children’s Network.
  • Team Penske has eight wins on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020-Race 2, 2020-Race 3, 2021-Race 2). Ed Carpenter Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing and Arrow McLaren SP are the only other teams to win at the track. Ed Carpenter Racing won in 2021-Race 1 with Rinus VeeKay. Chip Ganassi Racing won with Scott Dixon in 2020-Race 1, and Arrow McLaren SP won the inaugural race in 2014 with Simon Pagenaud when it was known as Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
  • Six NTT INDYCAR SERIES Rookie of the Year contenders – Tatiana CalderonDevlin DeFrancescoCallum IlottKyle KirkwoodChristian Lundgaard and David Malukas – are entered. All but Lundgaard will race an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car at IMS for the first time. Lundgaard made his series debut at the track last summer in the Gallagher Grand Prix.
  • Twenty-two of the drivers entered in the event have competed in INDYCAR SERIES races on the IMS road course. Twelve entered drivers have led laps in the GMR Grand Prix: Will Power 210, Scott Dixon 69, Simon Pagenaud 68, Romain Grosjean 44, Graham Rahal 36, Rinus VeeKay 33, Josef Newgarden 25, Felix Rosenqvist 15, Alexander Rossi 2, Marcus Ericsson 1, Jack Harvey 1 and Alex Palou 1.
  • Milestones: Felix Rosenqvist will attempt to make his 50th NTT INDYCAR SERIES start … Scott Dixon will attempt to make his 293rd consecutive start, the second-longest streak in INDYCAR SERIES history.

Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Notes:

  • Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires will conduct the first of three doubleheader weekends with a pair of 35 lap races on Friday and Saturday. Linus Lundqvist, who won one of the two races at Indianapolis in 2021, took the series points lead with his win at Barber Motorsports Park on May 1. The field for the weekend’s doubleheader races will be set by a single qualifying session on Friday.
  • The two drivers who have won Indy Lights races this season – Matthew Brabham of Andretti Autosport and Linus Lundqvist of HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing – are also the only entered drivers to have won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Brabham won Race 1 of a doubleheader at IMS in May 2014 while Lundqvist won Race 1 of last season’s doubleheader.

Race Report: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

O’Ward Tunes Out Distractions, Powers to Barber Victory

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Sunday, May 1, 2022) – With a clear mind and a fast car, Pato O’Ward returned to his winning ways Sunday by capturing the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by AmFirst at Barber Motorsports Park.

O’Ward, from Mexico, earned his first victory of the season in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, beating reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion and 2021 Barber winner Alex Palou to the checkered flag by .9800 of a second. NTT P1 Award winner Rinus VeeKay finished third in the No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet.

SEE: Race Results

The third career win came after O’Ward admitted he was distracted by contract talks with Arrow McLaren SP at the first two races of the season, at St. Petersburg and Texas, where he finished 12th and 15th, respectively. O’Ward rebounded by placing fifth last month at Long Beach and returned this weekend to the form that helped him finish third in the 2021 championship standings.

“It sucks to be at war within your own team, right?” O’Ward said. “I’m glad there have been very positive talks for the future. I wanted to do it for these guys, for Arrow, for McLaren SP, Team Chevy. I was tired of being 10th and 11th and fifth, so I said, ‘Let’s get a win under our belts so we can claw our way back into the championship fight.”

O’Ward climbed from ninth to fifth in the standings with his first victory since winning Belle Isle-2 last June.

There was also movement at the top of the championship, as Palou took the lead with his third podium finish in four starts this season in the No. 10 The American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. The Spaniard leads Scott McLaughlin, 144-141, as just 10 points separate the top four drivers in the standings.

Two-time series champion Josef Newgarden, who led the points entering this race, dropped to third after finishing 14th in the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet.

The race, which took place in dry, sunny conditions after morning thunderstorms, unfolded as a strategic duel between drivers who chose a three-stop strategy and those who opted for two stops. Newgarden, Colton Herta, Romain Grosjean and Marcus Ericsson were among the contenders who elected for three stops, hoping they could lean harder on their Firestone tires during shorter stints.

But that strategy unraveled when rookie Callum Ilott spun his No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet into the gravel trap adjacent to Turn 9 on Lap 32. That incident triggered the only full-course caution of the race and essentially returned the entire 26-car field to the same tire strategy.

Nearly every driver pitted either just before or after Ilott’s incident, with VeeKay leading O’Ward, McLaughlin, Palou and Alexander Rossi as the top five on the restart on Lap 35.

Dutch driver VeeKay built a lead of 2.0875 seconds over O’Ward by Lap 60. VeeKay, O’Ward and McLaughlin pulled into the pits for their final stops in lockstep on Lap 62, with VeeKay and O’Ward taking new primary Firestone tires, while McLaughlin opted for used primary tires on his No. 3 Sonsio Team Penske Chevrolet.

VeeKay won the race off pit lane, but O’Ward pounced on the out lap. He passed VeeKay with a brave outside move in the hairpin Turn 5 and never trailed thereafter.

“(Team president Taylor Kiel) told me we were fighting for the win,” O’Ward said. “We almost got him in the pit stops. I said, ‘Man, this is the chance.’ It was so tough to follow because it’s such a fast and flowing circuit. I knew if I had the opportunity, it would have been right then and there. I knew if we got into clean air, we could kind of control the thing. Once we did that, it was cruise to Victory Lane.”

Palou made his final pit stop on Lap 64, producing sizzling in and out laps and re-entering the racetrack behind O’Ward but ahead of VeeKay. Palou kept O’Ward on his toes until the checkered flag, pulling to within .8951 of a second on Lap 73 of the 90-lap race.

But O’Ward kept his cool, managed his tire wear and eased away for victory.

“He was running second at that time,” Palou said of O’Ward on the restart. “I think we’re running fourth and just that track difference, that’s what what got us. I think I did a mistake on a restart and the 27 (Rossi) got us there. So, I think that was all the difference.

“The No. 5 (O’Ward) was really fast today. But yeah, so we’re happy with the No. 10 American Legion Honda car was super-fast this weekend and another podium, so we were fighting until the end. We couldn’t make it today, but we’ll try to win at the next one.”

Up next for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES are two races at the hallowed ground of the sport, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The GMR Grand Prix is set for Saturday, May 14 on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile IMS road course, while the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge will run Sunday, May 29 on the historic 2.5-mile oval. Both races will be televised live by NBC, with live coverage also from the INDYCAR Radio Network. Tickets for both races are available at IMS.com.

NTT P1 Award Qualifying from Barber Motorsports Park

VeeKay Barber Pole – INDYCAR Photo

VeeKay Delivers on Speedy Prediction with NTT P1 Award at Barber

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Saturday, April 30, 2022) – Rinus VeeKay entered Barber Motorsports Park this weekend with a hunch he would be fast.

Turns out he was right.

VeeKay earned his second career NTT P1 Award, winning the top spot Saturday for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by AmFirst with a top lap of 1 minute, 6.2507 seconds in the No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet fielded by Ed Carpenter Racing. His previous pole came in October 2020 for Race 1 of the Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

SEE: Qualifying Results

“I thought we had potential,” VeeKay said. “It was a chaotic session. We knew we were in a good position, but to actually put it on pole was an accomplishment. I think the whole team maximized everything. We made the right decisions with tires, setup, everything.

“Confidence is high. I think from here we can have a great race and fight for the win, definitely.”

The 90-lap race starts at 1:15 p.m. (ET) Sunday, with live coverage from NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network. Team Penske drivers have won the first three races of the season, with Scott McLaughlin capturing the season opener at St. Petersburg and Josef Newgarden winning at Texas and Long Beach.

VeeKay became the fourth different NTT P1 Award winner in as many races this season. Pato O’Ward will join him on the front row after a best lap of 1:06.4003 during the Firestone Fast Six in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. O’Ward’s previous best starting spot this season was 10th on the oval at Texas.

Reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion and 2021 Barber winner Alex Palou will start third after a quick lap of 1:06.4415 in the No. 10 The American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. McLaughlin will join him in the second row after a best lap of 1:06.4967 in the No. 3 Sonsio Team Penske Chevrolet.

Alexander Rossi qualified fifth, tying a season best, with a lap of 1:06.5549 in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS/AutoNation Honda. But this effort probably was far more satisfying for Andretti Autosport and Rossi than his fifth-place starting spot earlier this month at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, as crews from all four Andretti teams hustled to repair or replace the entire back half of Rossi’s car in two hours, 45 minutes after he crashed during morning practice.

Felix Rosenqvist will start sixth after his best lap of 1:06.6410 in the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. Arrow McLaren SP was the only team with more than one car in the Firestone Fast Six.

Series points leader Newgarden will start seventh in the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet after falling less than two-hundredths of a second short of earning a spot in the Firestone Fast Six.

Callum Ilott was the top rookie qualifier, grabbing a career-best 11th spot in the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet. Ilott and a handful of other drivers were on quicker final laps at the end of the second round of qualifying when Marcus Ericsson drove into the gravel in his No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, triggering a red flag and ending the session.

Three former series champions will need to work overtime to get to the front Sunday on the tight, 17-turn, 2.3-mile circuit after disappointing qualifying results.

Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon qualified 13th in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, while 2014 series champ Will Power will start 19th in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. 2016 title winner Simon Pagenaud endured a tough Saturday, qualifying 24th in the No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda.

Herta Sets Pace as Andretti Autosport Hurries to Head of Barber Practice

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Friday, April 29, 2022) – Andretti Autosport was on the pace Friday at Barber Motorsports Park as Colton Herta led opening practice for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by AmFirst with a best lap of 1 minute, 6.5149 seconds in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda.

Defending race winner and reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Alex Palou followed closely behind in second at 1:06.5657 in the No. 10 The American Legion Honda, just .05 of a second behind Herta’s quick lap.

SEE: Practice Results

“I was really happy with how the car was,” Herta said. “We were one of the lucky ones that got to test here (recently), so we did a lot of stuff on that day to help us prepare for this weekend, and it showed. We came in here and rolled off the truck, and the car was really nice right away.”

Herta’s Andretti Autosport teammates followed closely behind as Alexander Rossi placed his No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS/AutoNation Honda third at 1:06.6657 and Romain Grosjean put the No. 28 Enevate/DHL Honda fourth with a best lap of 1:06.7046.

The Andretti Autosport trio’s rookie teammate also proved strong on the 17-turn, 2.3-mile road course. Devlin DeFrancesco spent time fastest in the practice session before ending the session in a solid 14th at 1:07.3817 in the No. 29 PowerTap Honda.

Scott McLaughlin, who won the season opener at St. Petersburg, rounded out the top five as the fastest Chevrolet driver in the No. 3 Sonsio Team Penske Chevrolet with a best lap of 1:06.8705. Callum Ilott was the fastest rookie of the day, putting down a best lap of 1:07.0861 in the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet early in the session, good for eighth overall.

Less than a second separated the top 17 drivers in the 26-competitor field.

Missing from the top half of the practice sheets were former Barber Motorsports Park winners Josef Newgarden (2015, ’17, ’18), Simon Pagenaud (2016) and Takuma Sato (2019). Newgarden was 18th quickest at 1:07.5505 in the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, while Pagenaud was 21st at 1:07.6916 in the No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda and Sato was 22nd at 1:07.7473 in the No. 51 Nurtec ODT Honda.

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES is back in action Saturday with practice at 10 a.m. (ET), followed by NTT P1 Award qualifying at 1 p.m. and final practice at 5:20 p.m. All sessions will be live on Peacock Premium and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

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