Archives for A.J. Foyt Racing PR

Race Report: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG—The AJ Foyt Racing team didn’t win the race today but after a really tough 2020 season, putting two cars in the top eight in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg felt as good as a win…and it paid more.

Sebastien Bourdais’s savvy drive to a fourth place finish insured the No. 14 Sexton Companies Chevrolet would be in the 2021 Leaders Circle which guarantees purse money that approaches nearly one million dollars for the top 22 entrants in the final NTT INDYCAR Series standings. Topping it off was Charlie Kimball’s eighth place finish in the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet for his team’s best finish of the season.

“Well, what a race!” exclaimed Bourdais, who was visibly spent due to the incredibly hot weather — temperatures climbed to the high 80s. “I’m super happy for the 14 team, AJ Foyt Racing and Chevrolet. Those guys were on the cusp the whole time and we were fighting for a million dollars today. We had things under control and then it seemed to slip away. Finishing fourth in some pretty incredible situations there at the end with a car that was legitimately fast, I’m really happy that we could finish the season on a high like that. I’m looking forward to 2021.”

Qualifying seventh for the team’s best start of the year, the Lemans, France native found himself in a points battle for 22nd which meant battling the cars in 21st (Conor Daly) and 23rd (Marco Andretti). The team went with an alternate fuel strategy based on Andretti’s strategy.  At one point past halfway, race strategist Scott Harner told Bourdais who was in 15th that “We need two more positions” because Andretti, who started 23rd, had climbed into the top 10. 

Three cautions in the space of 10 laps altered the outcome dramatically as several of the leaders had to pit allowing Bourdais and Kimball to leapfrog into the top 10. Andretti and Takuma Sato came together on a lap 75 restart resulting in Andretti sustaining a cut tire which ended with his contact with the Turn 5 wall. The No. 14’s Leaders Circle spot was secured and Bourdais’s strong finish allowed the team to gain another position to finish 21st in the final entrant standings.

A light rain started falling with 20 laps to go but not enough to halt the race. Then the pace car radioed in to race control that it was short on fuel and had to pit several laps before the final restart. All of which added to the crazy mix of the 100 lapper slowed by six cautions for a total of 26 laps. The No. 14 team also lost a tire changer to overheating in the moments before their final pit stop but they were able to make a substitution and the pit stop went off without a hitch. The crewman received fluids and was back at the transporter helping the team to load up.

“Those races when it’s that hot, honestly, if it had been a full green [flag] race I don’t know how we would have made it,” Bourdais revealed afterwards. “It was just so hot and you had to force yourself to stay focused and not make mistakes in the braking, and mistakes period. It’s one of those races where you’re well-positioned at the end, you’ve got a top-five and everything’s happy, and you expend such an amount of energy to try and stay focused and not make mistakes. It’s not even like it’s enjoyable; you’re just dreading the mistake waiting for you in every braking zone and every corner. Definitely some pretty tense moments during that last race [stint] but just so happy for the guys that everything ended up the way it did.”

Kimball, who went with the leaders’ fuel strategy despite starting deep in the field, made the most of his No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet which improved over the course of the race.

“Well today the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg was a success for AJ Foyt Racing,” said Kimball who also was drained from the high temperatures.” For us the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet coming from a not optimum qualifying in 20th all the way through to eighth, so much credit goes to the guys in pitlane—great pit stops. They’ve had great pit stops all year—they’re in the top 10 as far as the pit stop championship among all the teams in pitlane. So much credit to them, credit to the engineers here and at home working to make the car better and better.”

Kimball talks to race engineer Daniele Cucchiaroni after the race. Mike Pawlowski was home sick this weekend.

“Just had to put the laps in at the end,” Kimball continued. “Got a little tight a couple of times, banged off a few people but that’s street racing in INDYCAR. It’s nice to have a double top-10 to finish out 2020 which has been tough, strange and challenging in so many ways.”

A relieved Larry Foyt congratulated both of his crews for their efforts in keeping the cars in the Leaders Circle. Kimball’s eighth place saw the No. 4 car gain two positions to finish 18th in the standings.  

Team President Larry Foyt calls the race for Kimball with assistance from engineer Cucchiaroni (center) and support engineer Dwight Brown.

“What a great weekend to end a tough season,” said Foyt. “Obviously it was challenging for all the teams but we had a really solid weekend with the 14. Bourdais was pretty fast all weekend – practice, qualifying and the race. We went off strategy as we were in a fight for the Leaders Circle.

“Unfortunately, our fight wasn’t for the race win, so we had to take an alternative strategy to try to protect that situation with the Leaders Circle. It was pretty stressful as we were in it and then we were out and then we were back in it. And then to get a top-five finish in P4, Seb drove a great race. We definitely needed a good run with the 4 car and it was great to get a top 10. Charlie fought hard all day and just kept moving up. To have both cars in the top-10 gives us some great momentum for the offseason.”

 A.J. Foyt, who made just his third appearance at a race this year, was visibly happy after the race.

“When the race started we knew what we had to do,” said Foyt. “Even though we were running seventh at the start of the race, we committed to following Marco’s race strategy which meant pitting early when he pitted because we needed to stay ahead of him. We wanted to be sure we weren’t caught out by a yellow the way some of the leaders were towards the end of the race. It paid off.”

There’s a smile behind that mask! Foyt is on the stand alongside Kurt Westman of K-Air Leasing, a longtime partner of Foyt Racing. 

Speaking of Bourdais, Foyt continued, “Sebastien did a lot for us today and he’s working really well with our engineers and that’s the reason we wanted him in these last couple of races. It’s been a while since we had both cars finish in the top 10 so I’m really proud of my team. They did a great job today.”

Scott Dixon won his sixth NTT IndyCar Series title after finishing third today. His closest challenger was Josef Newgarden who won the race but finished second in the final standings. Pato O’Ward finished second in the race. Following Bourdais across the line was Ryan Hunter-Reay who rounded out the top five.

Bourdais will be testing next week at Barber Motorsports Park as the team starts on its 2021 season.

Race Report: INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR – Race 2

INDIANAPOLIS—Will Power made it a clean sweep for Team Penske winning the pole and Race 2 of the INDYCAR Harvest Grand Prix doubleheader at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course Saturday afternoon. Power never relinquished the lead in the caution less race. 

For AJ Foyt Racing, frustration was the word of the day—make that the weekend.

The team decided to split the fuel strategy among the three teammates. Sebastien Bourdais went with what turned out to be the most popular two pit stop strategy, opting to save fuel from the start of the 75-lap race. 

Bourdais moved from his 21st starting berth into 18th by lap 11 but he was never able to make much headway beyond that position. Problems on both pitstops cost him. However, he had saved enough fuel by his third stint, that he was able to recover a couple of positions he had lost on the last stop. He finished 18th.

“It was a pretty trying weekend,” Bourdais said. “It’s not where we want to be but it’s

just the beginning of the relationship. We’re hoping to build something and prepare as best as possible for next year. In some respects, we achieved that. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us but if it was easy, I may not be here. We have a lot to think about, a lot to go through and analyze and see what may explain what we’ve experienced this weekend. 

“Starting from where we started today makes things very difficult but we were on the right strategy with the two-stopper because everyone who had a halfway decent day was on the two stop strategy. Passing was once again extremely difficult. Just a shame we got caught up in some guys’ messes when they tangled and got back on track like Ericsson running off the track and making us lose a couple of positions. We never could recover from that because passing was so difficult. At the end of the day, live and learn. Everybody tried real hard; the mechanics did a great job throwing all the changes that we wanted to try at the car and that was quite a bit all weekend long. We’ll keep working at it and move forward.”

Dalton Kellett and Charlie Kimball did a three-stop strategy, pitting earlier than the two-stoppers and running full rich on all stints because saving fuel wasn’t a concern. 

Kimball leads Kellett through the esses.

Kellett and Bourdais started on the black primary tires while Kimball started on the used reds or alternate compound tires. 

Starting 24th, Kimball moved up to 17th in the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet by lap nine. However, the switch to blacks on his first stop had him radioing in to strategist Larry Foyt, “Really struggling for grip on the blacks. Foyt told him “Hang in there. Just give us the best you can.”

Kimball did hang in there and one time he was hanging on after an aggressive move by Felix Rosenqvist in Turn 7 saw Kimball taking an escape route on the grass. Kimball went a lap down by the halfway mark, and was never in a position to gain his lap back. He finished 23rd. 

“Honestly, kind of a frustrating day,” Kimball said. “We made the decision

strategically to do something different than the 14 and something different than the 41. We started on used alternate Firestones. The pace just wasn’t great. The second stint on our first set of primes (tires) we just really struggled to find lap time, so from yesterday to today we seemed to have gotten a little outside the window. I don’t know if it was weather conditions, track conditions or just the tires we had left after using a little more on yesterday’s race but going for the three stop we had to make really good lap time and we struggled with a little bit during the second stint of the race. But at the end the lap times weren’t bad on the third and fourth stints. We just need to figure out how to make the car better in qualifying so we don’t have to throw Hail Marys.”

Kellett, who was in his final race for the team in 2020, was hoping his two new sets of the alternate compound tires would give him the speed he needed to employ the three stop strategy successfully. Unfortunately, he struggled on the reds and had issues with his brakes on a couple of occasions entering Turn 1. Kellett finished in 25th a lap down.

“Definitely not the way we wanted to end the season for the No. 41 K Line

Insulators USA crew,” Kellett lamented. “We thought we were looking pretty good going into the race with the two new sets of Firestone alternates (tires). When we went to sticker reds, we didn’t quite have the pace and it just seemed like the car couldn’t quite take the extra little bit of aggression to try to get that next few tenths out of it. Had a couple mistakes in (Turn) 1 trying to push the brakes out a little bit deeper but getting front lock up, so that really hurt us having to take the run off road there. At the end of the day we didn’t quite have the pace or the consistency to pull off the strategy that we were trying to go for which was a bummer for the team. I think we’ve worked really hard all season and we’ve definitely made improvements but obviously today showed there’s some work that we have to do. We have to sit down and think really hard over what’s been good about the changes that we’ve made so far and what hasn’t worked and come up with a plan from there.”

Following Will Power across the line were Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi, Josef Newgarden and Pato O’Ward.

The teams have a couple weekends off before heading to the season finale in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Oct. 23-25. The battle for the NTT INDYCAR Series title will be decided between reigning champion Newgarden and Scott Dixon who is the current point leader. Going into the finale, Dixon has a 32 point lead over Newgarden. However, the points will be doubled in the season finale which will make for some interesting outcomes. The race will be broadcast live on NBC on Sunday, Oct. 25 starting at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Race Report: INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR – Race 1

INDIANAPOLIS – It was quite a day for Roger Penske as he welcomed fans to his track for the first time and witnessed his team win Race 1 of the INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR doubleheader. Josef Newgarden scored a dominant victory over the 25-car field on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

On the AJ Foyt Racing squad, Charlie Kimball made the most gains in the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet with his 13th place finish after starting 23rd. Kimball ‘s savvy driving combined with smart strategy, three flawless pit stops plus some overnight tweaks to the setup earned him the ‘hard charger’ award.

“First and foremost, it’s great to have fans back here watching us race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” Kimball said afterwards. “It seemed like it was a pretty awesome race from where I was sitting in the cockpit, looked like in some of the recaps there was some pretty great racing throughout the field. Big credit, huge credit actually, to the No. 4 team – those guys on pit lane, in all three stops, the strategy from the timing stand. You know at the end it was getting a little dicey, I think the 26 and I were on two different sets of tires coming down to the close, but we were able to hold him off for 13th all the way up from 23rd so felt like it was a really good day for the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet. Big thanks to the AJ Foyt Racing crew for making the car better overnight from yesterday and we get to do it again tomorrow.”

Unfortunately, 4-time INDYCAR champion Sebastien Bourdais did not have as good a day in the No. 14 Sexton Companies Chevrolet. Starting 16th, Bourdais was holding his own in the first stint but he radioed in that his Push to Pass button didn’t work. Then there was a problem on the first pit stop which dropped him to 21st. Midway through the 85-lap race he went a lap down which sealed his fate in the race that went wire to wire without a full course caution. He finished 21st.

Despite the disappointing day in the cockpit for Bourdais, he was quite realistic in

his approach to the weekend because he and the team were still “getting to know” one another. Having to do that in just one 75-minute practice session is a tall order, especially at the end of a season against the strong contingent of competitors in the NTT INDYCAR Series.

“It was a non-race really, tried to do whatever I could,” said Bourdais. “At the start, it was a tough spot because basically I ended up being right behind Dixie [current point leader Scott Dixon] and didn’t feel like I wanted to be there and take any chances [of taking him out] and because of that I just lost a bunch of positions. Then we kind of hung in there for a while but tire degradation for us was quite high. Just not using the tires right, we don’t have the balance – so we’re really struggling. The whole race was a bit of a struggle. It didn’t get any better or worse, it just kind of stayed where it was and I never found anything that seemed to dig us out of there. And it was tough because we didn’t have any push-to-pass, so defending was impossible. The second half of the race we were a lap down and trying to get out of the way of the guys on the lead lap fighting for positions. Our pace wasn’t good enough to challenge for anything. Unfortunately, we’ve got some work to do and we’ve to try to find something to give us a direction for the next time.”

Rookie Dalton Kellett also had a tough day in his No. 41 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet. Starting 25th, Kellett had a relatively good first stint but the two middle stints saw him struggle for speed on the used red (alternate compound) tires. He went down a lap to the leaders by lap 33. Of course, Newgarden set a torrid pace, lapping up to 15th place (including his own teammate Simon Pagenaud).  

The 27-year-old Canadian, who made his INDYCAR debut at this track in July, summarized his race after finishing 24th.  

“The first lesson I learned from the first race here was obviously to make sure to get packed up and ready for the start. I was quite close to Sato in front of us, but it’s

just the way it goes with the accordion effect, everyone’s leaving a big gap so I got kind of hung out to dry off the start but we were there by Turn 4 with the rest of the pack. I was just being smart and sensible, trying to make smart moves. The pace in the first stint seemed relatively good. We were keeping with some guys making passes so I was happy with that. Lost a bit of time as we were merging into traffic and trying to find a spot on track so kind of cycled back there.

“The scuffed reds weren’t really kind to us, we didn’t have a good middle two stints on the black and reds so we lost pace there so that was kind of the story of it. Then as we were pitting out for our last two stints, we were coming out into leader traffic and that always costs you a lot of time as you’re trying not to impede others while being cognizant of your own race, so that was a bit of a bummer. I think we’ve got some good data from today between the three cars and Charlie was obviously much happier with his car so we’ll see what they did and compare notes and see what we can do for tomorrow.”

Newgarden took the checkered 14 seconds ahead of runner-up Alexander Rossi and closed to within forty points of Scott Dixon who has been leading the point standings the entire season. Third through fifth were: rookie Rinus Veekay, Colton Herta and Felix Rosenqvist.

On Saturday morning the drivers qualify for Race 2 which will be 10 laps shorter than Friday’s 85-lapper. The race will be broadcast live on NBC starting at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Qualifying Report: INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR – Race 1

INDIANAPOLIS—Sebastien Bourdais returned to the cockpit of the No. 14 Sexton Companies Chevrolet for the first time since he tested for AJ Foyt Racing in February when the NTT INDYCAR Series returned to Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course for this weekend’s INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR.

The car was sponsored for this weekend’s doubleheader by Indianapolis-based Sexton Companies, a leading privately owned apartment development and management company with communities in Indiana, Ohio, and Louisiana. Sexton Companies has been an associate sponsor of the team since 2015.

Prior to getting into the cockpit, Bourdais said it would be important to manage expectations about the remaining races in 2020 given the challenge of stepping into the cockpit so late in the season. However, he relishes the opportunity to get a jumpstart on the 2021 season. In practice he was 22nd, slightly behind teammates Charlie Kimball and Dalton Kellett, who had his best practice run of the season (17th).

In qualifying, Bourdais’s session was cut short by Takuma Sato spinning into a gravel trap which brought out the red flag with about five minutes remaining. Bourdais was eighth at the time, and had not had a chance to run the quicker Firestone alternate tires — which the team believed would have improved his time. He will start 16th after posting a time of 1 minute, 10.9588 seconds for a speed of 123.739mph. 

“A challenging day just like we expected, maybe a bit harder than I wished it would

 have been,” Bourdais said afterwards. “Happy to be back in the game and getting to work with the AJ Foyt Racing crew. It’s a pretty steep battle. We were trying to do the best we can; the first run on blacks was pretty reasonable. Had a massive lockup with the rear going into Turn 1, which fell a bit on me, but still managed a good fourth lap so that put us in the window in the top group. And then we never got a read on the reds which is good and bad because we just don’t know what the car’s going to feel like on the Firestone red tires. Good because we have two sets of brand new tires to go in the race. We’ll see how it checks out.”

Driving the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet, Charlie Kimball went out in the second group of cars in qualifying as did teammate Dalton Kellett in the No. 41 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet. Their 12 minute session was run under entirely green flag conditions. 

Kimball will start 23rd after posting a lap of 1 minute, 10.7500 seconds at a speed of 124.105mph. Although quicker than the time set by Bourdais, Kimball will start behind him because the times are relative to the group in which they occur. Typically, the second group will post quicker times because the track is “rubbered in” providing more grip.

“It was just a really frustrating session for the No. 4 Tresiba Chevy,” Kimball said. “We had some really good pace, I think, earlier at times in practice, and even in qualifying, in similar laps to the competitors, we were a little more competitive in that fifth-sixth range or so. Overall, for me, on that last lap when everyone seemed to take a big step forward and we got stuck at a lap time, we need to figure out what’s going on with that because it seems to be a bit of a frustration we’ve had all year. I know these guys will be really good in pit lane on the pitstops tomorrow, that’s never a question in my mind. The A.J. Foyt crew works harder than anyone I’ve ever worked with, especially on the pit stops, so we’ll go forward in the race tomorrow and then re-evaluate what we need to do for qualifying on Saturday.”

Kellett will start 25th after posting his time of 1 minute, 11.7237 seconds and a speed of 122.420 mph. 

 “I don’t think we quite hit the nail on the head in qualifying,” said Kellett, adding, “just lacking a bit of rear stability, struggling a little bit and didn’t quite get everything out of the reds (Firestone tires). Unfortunate that we’re not starting further up the grid, but I think we definitely learned some stuff in practice and I think we’ve got a solid race car. We’ve consistently had better race pace than qualifying pace this year so we’ll be looking to make spots on track and in pit lane, make some smart moves, get some passes done early on. The No. 41 crew will be solid in pit lane so hopefully we can jump some spots and move up for the race. For Saturday’s qualifying we’ll be having a look at what Seb and Charlie were doing today and see if we can learn anything and if we can all get better as a team. I think there’s definitely some potential there so looking forward to seeing what we can learn.”

Scoring his first career pole, rookie Rinus Veekay will take the field to green after posting a time of 1 minute, 9.6903 seconds at a speed of 125.992mph. Second through fifth were Josef Newgarden, Colton Herta, Will Power and Marco Andretti.

Race 1 of the Harvest GP doubleheader will air tomorrow on the USA Network starting at 3:30 PM ET. Qualifying for Saturday’s race will be Saturday morning with the race being broadcast on NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday afternoon.

Notes & Quotes: INDYCAR Harvest GP

SCOTT HARNER joined A.J. Foyt Racing in February 2019 after a 25-year tenure with Chip Ganassi Racing. A Hoosier born in Lafayette, Harner earned his Technical Degree at Ivy Tech. As the vice-president of operations, Harner has been charged with streamlining the running of the two shops which are based in Waller, Texas (team headquarters) and the satellite shop in Indianapolis. He is also the race strategist on the No. 14 Chevrolet, working with rookie Dalton Kellett and veterans Tony Kanaan and now Sebastien Bourdais. We asked him a few questions… 

Q: What was the first race you went to? 

SH: “First race was a Super Vee race in Detroit in 1985 which was with F1 cars, and I believe my first Indy car race was at Phoenix the same year. My first year at the Speedway was 1987 with RPM Motorsports and driver Ed Pimm.”

Q: Was your family involved in racing? 

SH: “My family really were not huge fans, we did always listen to the 500 on Memorial Day, either at the lake or cooking out. My best friend in high school was Tim Halsmer, whose older brother Pete drove Indy cars for years, and that was my first introduction to the Speedway in the early 80’s. We would skip school when we could and come down and watch practice. The Super Vee team that Pete drove for before he drove Indy cars, used the Halsmer family airport, just outside Lafayette, as their summer base, renting some hanger space to service the cars between races. Tim would work with them during the summer and I would help when I could after getting off of my normal job. At the end of the summer I was offered a job to move to California and work full time for the team. After racing Super Vee’s for a few seasons with a few different teams on the west coast, I decided I wanted to get back to Indy and had an opportunity to work for John Menard’s Buick IndyCar program and jumped at the chance to get back closer to home.”

Q: Did you think you would have a career in INDYCAR racing? Was it a goal for you?

SH: “In the beginning, when you’re 19 years old, I just knew I wanted to somehow be a part of this but wasn’t sure how it would all work out, so I just stayed with it, met some great people along the way that have helped me learn, grow and been lucky enough to have a great career that I really don’t consider work.”

Harner gives a hug to close friend Tony Kanaan prior to his announced “last race” at Gateway this year.

Q: Why did you want to come to AJ Foyt Racing? Have you achieved the goals you set for yourself when you joined this team?

SH: “When I first had the opportunity to sit down with Larry and see his desire to make the organization better and move things forward, I felt like I could help him do that. We have a ways to go, but I believe we have made some small gains and are working hard to get the pieces in place so A.J. can see his team perform the way I know he wants it to.”

Q: How do you handle having the team operate out of two different locations?

SH: “Operating the organization from two locations makes some things more difficult, but we manage through that working at it from both ends.”

Q: How will the addition of Sebastien Bourdais to the team help as you finish out the season?

SH: “As with everything else in 2020, our plan for the program was derailed at St Pete. When we couldn’t have Seb in the car, with his experience, to help us validate the off season work and see where we truly were with the engineering changes made in the off season. We have shown a few signs of improvement, but have lacked any real consistency to make us feel we are on the right track. Hopefully between the 2 races this weekend and St Pete to finish the season, we will have a good idea where we need to focus this upcoming short off season, so 2021 can be a real turn around for everyone here at AJ Foyt Racing.”

Q: A normal INDYCAR season would have been over by now. What do you expect the differences and challenges with racing in Indianapolis in October? 

SH: “Especially with the forecast, it’s definitely going to be the cooler temps. They are forecasting highs in the 50’s so tire temps will for sure be an issue and make keeping temps up will be a must.”

Q: Back to three teams for this weekend’s doubleheader – what’s involved in hiring a third crew? 

SH: “Deciding to run a third car is always a challenge, especially this year with all of motorsports trying to run every weekend, it makes getting the personnel together that much harder. We have been lucky that a few of the guys from our third Indy 500 group were available and have them back in place. We recruited a few new guys to our program that have worked with people we know and trust, and I believe that they will do a great job for Dalton.”

Q: Some people have asked about a reverse layout for the course to change things up. Your thoughts?? 

SH: “The reverse course idea would take some thought with the safety side depending on run-off areas etc., but anytime you can run at IMS is a good weekend!!”

Q: How do you spend your spare time?

SH: “My wife Christina and I adopt rescue cats. We currently have three: ‘Waylon Jennings’, ‘Dixon’ and our newest addition is a kitten named ‘Cecil’. I also like to ride my Harley.”

Waylon is one of three rescue cats adopted by the Harners. 

Sebastien Bourdais makes his AJ Foyt Racing debut in competition this weekend driving the No. 14 Chevrolet. Bourdais tested for the team in February at the INDYCAR Open Test at Circuit of the Americas and in a private test at Sebring.  

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 14 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “It’s time finally to

get that 2020 INDYCAR season started for us. It’s been a long time coming but really happy to finally get this show on the road and see what we’ve got. Obviously, there was a lot of anticipation at the beginning of the year and many months have gone by and many races, so we’re not taking it the easy way by getting in the seat at the tail end of the season. There’s a lot of things to learn for me with the team, the team to validate a few things that they think they need answers on for this season and, more importantly, the next. I’m very much looking forward to the Indy GP. It’s a track that I’ve had good success on and very much enjoyed the layout, but it’s not going to be easy because we’re jumping straight into the thick of it: one practice, then qualify, race, qualify, race. Hopefully we hit the ground running with a happy setup and can have a good weekend. If that’s not the case, we’ll dig deep and learn a few things and see what we get results-wise.”

DALTON KELLETT (No. 41 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet): “It’s come down

to the last race of the season (for me anyway)! This first year in IndyCar has been fast-paced and full of unknowns, so I am looking forward to returning to a track that I have experience at. Compared to the heat of July, the cooler temps this weekend will be refreshing. Who knows? It might even get a little chilly in the car! We made good strides at Mid-Ohio and the car had better pace than our results showed. If we continue on that path and put everything together, we will have a good shot at a solid finish for the #41 K-Line Insulators USA Chevy. That’s the approach to this event. I’m also looking forward to the chance to work with Sebastien. His experience and insight will be a great asset to the program.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet): “Anytime you get to race at the

Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it’s a good time! And getting both a doubleheader on the Indianapolis road course plus the fall weather that has descended on Indy means that it will live up to its Harvest Grand Prix name. Partnering with both Dalton Kellett and Sebastien Bourdais means we’re all focused on a great result for AJ Foyt Racing this weekend.”

Past Performance: In past Indy Grands Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course, Bourdais’s best start is third (2018) and his best finish is fourth which he did three times (2014, 2015, 2018). Kimball’s best start is second (2016) and his best finish is fifth which he did in three straight races (2014-16). Kellett’s only start in the GP was his first NTT INDYCAR Series start in 2020 when he started 26th and finished 21st.

Last Race: At Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Kellett and Kimball fared slightly better in the second race of the doubleheader. Kimball placed 19th after starting 23rd and Kellett finished 21st after starting 20th.

The Harvest Grand Prix Race 1 will be broadcast live on the USA Network starting at 3:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 2. Race 2 will be broadcast live on NBC starting at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 3. The races will also be available on NBC Sports Gold and INDYCAR Radio.

Sebastien Bourdais Signed to Drive the No. 14 Chevrolet in 2021; He Will Debut in the Harvest Grand Prix Doubleheader

INDIANAPOLIS—Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais has been hired as the sole driver of A.J. Foyt’s No. 14 Indy car in 2021. This year the French native was scheduled to share the driving duties with 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan, who is winding down his career, and rookie Dalton Kellett, a graduate of the Road to Indy ladder series.

Bourdais went from being a part-time driver of Foyt’s No. 14 Chevrolet in 2020 to a full-time driver in 2021 without ever turning a lap in competition in the NTT INDYCAR Series this year. That is about to change.

Bourdais will make his official debut in the No. 14 at Indy’s Harvest Grand Prix.

Originally scheduled to drive for Foyt in the first three races of 2020, Bourdais will now drive in the final three races of the season, beginning with the Harvest Grand Prix doubleheader on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Oct. 2-3.

Currently in LeMans, France prepping for the upcoming 24 Hours of LeMans this

 weekend, Bourdais said, “This is exciting news for all of us. We waited with anticipation for most of 2020 to put together a deal for 2021. I’m really happy that I’m running the last three races of the year — it is great for us to get an early start on next year. 2020 has been a very strange year so far and I can’t wait to finally get behind the wheel of the AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet No. 14.”

Bourdais was scheduled to kick off the 2020 season in March in the No. 14 in St. Petersburg, Fla.  where he lives with his wife Claire and their two children. However, the Covid-19 pandemic pushed that event to October 25, and now becomes the NTT INDYCAR Series’ season finale. 

AJ Foyt Racing President Larry Foyt is elated with the signing of Bourdais for next year.

“I’m happy to have this deal done and welcome Sebastien to AJ Foyt Racing,” Foyt said. “The short time we have been able to work together showed a great deal of promise, and it was a shame that his races with us were derailed by the pandemic. I’m glad we were able to add some of these races back on the schedule, as it will undoubtedly help us kickstart his full-time campaign for 2021. His resume speaks for itself, and there is no denying he is a great addition to our program.” 

Bourdais tested the No. 14 car with the aeroscreen at the INDYCAR Open Test at the Circuit of the Americas and at a private test at Sebring International Raceway in February.

Asked if the car felt much different with the addition of the aeroscreen, Bourdais replied, “Not very much. This year’s car felt heavier, more inertia and the tires felt different but the setups were very different as well from what I was used to (Bourdais drove Honda-powered cars for Dale Coyne Racing from 2017-19). It’s a whole new learning process. I think there were many differences from the last three or four seasons I had that I think you go into the relationship with a clean slate, no preconceived ideas, try to fit in and bring your experience to the table, but also trying to learn as much as you can from what’s there.”

Bourdais was able to test the No. 14 at the COTA open test.

Dalton Kellett was originally scheduled to compete in the Harvest Grand Prix driving the No. 14 but he will now move to the No. 41 K-Line Insulators Chevrolet, the number under which he made his debut in this year’s Indianapolis 500. The team will also field the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet for Charlie Kimball who is driving full-time for Foyt this season. 

Team owner A.J. Foyt plans to attend the doubleheader in Indy. He is happy about

Bourdais joining the team in a full-time capacity and said, “I think he’ll be an asset to the team by far. We tested with him earlier this year and he knew exactly what he wanted and today I think that’s very important in a racecar driver. I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Race 1 of the Harvest Grand Prix doubleheader will be broadcast on Friday, Oct. 2 at 3:30 p.m. ET on the USA Network while the Race 2 will be broadcast Saturday, Oct. 3 on NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Race Report: Race 2 – Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio—The second race of the Honda Indy 200 did not look much different than the first for the AJ Foyt Racing team results-wise but both the veteran and the rookie took away some positives from a challenging weekend at the central Ohio track.

Qualifying this morning was a bit of a struggle for all of the cars at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course due to the rain that preceded the session. Nearly everyone in the first group spun off track including Charlie Kimball. The car stalled which brought out the red flag relegating him to last in his group. In the next group yesterday’s winner Will Power did the same. Moments later Jack Harvey backed it into a tire barrier and then Pato O’Ward brought out another red flag with his spin. When the sessions were finally completed, Kimball would start 22nd and teammate Dalton Kellett, who never went off track in the wet, would start 20th.

The rain moved out by race time and the race got underway. Starting outside pole, Santino Ferrucci dropped a wheel off track as he tried to move past leader Colton Herta heading into Turn 4. Driving through the grass he re-entered in Turn 5 and bounced off several cars like a cue ball knocking out his teammate Alex Palou and Felix Rosenqvist. They were done and Ferrucci was sent to the back of the field, penalized for avoidable contact.

Kellett avoided the melee and moved into 15th while Kimball was in 20th but the team pitted him to take a splash of fuel since it wouldn’t cost him anything. Kellett dropped to 16th with Max Chilton’s pass on lap five. He was holding his own despite being pressured by Takuma Sato but unfortunately, a small mistake going into Turn 1 on lap 15 cost him. He spun off into the gravel pit and the car stalled. A full course caution ensued but It took two laps to be retrieved by the AMR safety crew.

When Kellett made it back to the pits, the team saw that the underwing was damaged but he returned to the race for the experience. The rookie worked on saving fuel and making sure he didn’t interfere with the leaders on track. With the damaged underwing, the car lost quite a bit of downforce making it a long day in the cockpit. He placed 21st.

Kimball wasn’t able to make much headway even though the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet was better from the overnight changes. Aside from the two early cautions, the rest of the race went nonstop. He placed 19th.

Kimball in post-race discussion with Larry Foyt.

“I definitely think we made the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet better overnight from race one to race two,” said Kimball. This morning obviously was unfortunate with the spin in the wet so we started last and around here at Mid-Ohio it’s so hard to pass. The guys did a great job in pit lane. We were able to hit the fuel number we needed to get to the end of the race, so on that side of things I think we checked some boxes, learned some things, learned a little bit about the car as we head to the doubleheader at the Harvest Grand Prix back on the Indy road course. We’ll take what we learned from there in July, what we learned from here, put it together and hopefully come up with a good package off the truck.”

Kellett was philosophical about his race in the No. 14 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet.

Kellett listens to race engineer Daniele Cucchiaroni (right) as driver coach Darren Manning looks on.

“The only thing you can do on a day like today is take the positives and learn from what went wrong,” the young Canadian said afterwards. “The team made some good changes from qualifying to the race. For the first half of the first stint, the car felt really good, we were on pace with the guys around us. Our speed was pretty competitive on the alternate Firestones. Just a little mistake on my part on the downshift, it got loose into [Turn] 1 and I couldn’t save it. When I backed it into the gravel, we damaged the underwing pretty bad so it was a big loss in downforce. The rest of the race was more of an exercise in keeping the car on the track and trying not to get in the way of the leaders and the cars that weren’t damaged and kind of chugging along. It’s one we’ll have to file away and come back stronger for the Harvest GP.”

Herta scored the third victory of his career and led his teammates to a podium sweep with Alexander Rossi finishing second and Ryan Hunter-Reay third. Graham Rahal and Marcus Ericsson rounded out the top-five.

The NTT INDYCAR Series takes a two week break before returning to action in Indianapolis for the Harvest Grand Prix doubleheader on Oct. 2-3. 

Race Report: Race 1 – Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio—Teams put a premium on qualifying at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course because the tight, twisty road course doesn’t allow for much passing. That was good news for Will Power who won from the pole (his 60th) to score his first victory at the 2.258-mile circuit.

For AJ Foyt Racing drivers Charlie Kimball and Dalton Kellett, qualifying did not go well as they started 22nd and 23rd respectively. 

Kimball was not happy with his car after this morning’s 75-minute practice which was shortened by 10-15 minutes due to Pato O’Ward’s off track excursion into a tire barrier (he wasn’t injured). The shortened practice didn’t make it any easier for Kellett, a rookie in the NTT INDYCAR Series. The team made further changes to both cars after this afternoon’s qualifying session. 

In the race, Kellett found the changes to his car worked but Kimball was still unhappy with his car. 

“It was a really tough day honestly,” Kimball said after finishing 21st in the 75-lap race. “We missed it a little bit in qualifying and I feel like we missed it a lot in the race. The 14 car looked a little more competitive in the race so we’ll look at what they did and come up with some ideas. The nice thing is that we get to do it all again tomorrow, so I have a lot of faith in the No. 4 AJ Foyt Racing crew. We just have to sit down, put all our heads together and come up with something to start tomorrow.”

Running his fifth race of a partial season in the K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet, Kellett, who finished 22nd, said, “Not the overall finishing position we’d like, but I think we found some easy time to gain in qualifying for tomorrow, so hopefully we should be able to qualify a little further up the grid.”  

Always analytical, the Queens University engineering graduate explained the challenge of starting in the rear of the field, saying, “That will definitely make it a little easier because when you’re starting at the back there, by the end of the first lap you’re already a significant chunk behind the leaders and it’s a short lap, so then with the pit cycles you end up kind of risking going a lap down and getting caught in a pack that’s at a different speed than you so that can be a bit difficult. So really the goal for tomorrow is qualifying further up, that will make our lives easier and keep working on the car. 

Although he was lapped, he was able to run wheel to wheel with cars which resulted in some valuable experience in an unusual season that is short on track time. “I think we’ve made the car better from practice to qualifying to the race and definitely learned some good lessons today that we can take into tomorrow.”

One bright note from today’s action were the flawless pit stops by both the Tresiba crew on the No. 4 Chevy and the K-Line Insulators USA crew on the No. 14 Chevy.

Today’s race went caution free which didn’t allow for any respite for the drivers over the 90-minute race. It was the third race in a row to run caution-free at this track, the most physical on the INDYCAR circuit. One of the challenges all of the drivers will face is running another very physical 75-lap race around the 13-turn circuit within 19 hours of the finish of today’s race.

Following Power across the line were Josef Newgarden, Alexander Rossi, Graham Rahal and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Tomorrow’s qualifying session for race 2 starts at 10:15 a.m. ET and will be available on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold. The race will be broadcast on NBC starting at 1 p.m.

Notes & Quotes: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

Race Engineer Mike Colliver has worked with AJ Foyt Racing on and off since 2008 when Darren Manning drove the No. 14 and registered his career-best finish of second at Watkins Glen. Colliver came on board this year as race engineer for Tony Kanaan and Sebastien Bourdais and to assist Dalton Kellett’s race engineer Daniele Cucchiaroni. Colliver has worked both sides of the pit wall, first working as a mechanic and tire changer before utilizing his engineering background. Before entering racing fulltime, he received some patents from his previous career as a bio-medical engineer. We asked him a few questions…

Q: How did you get involved in motorsports as a career?

MC: “I was always a big fan of IndyCar racing.  I started racing Formula Fords w/ Skip Barber Racing series and some SCCA Formula continentals after college.  Realizing I didn’t have the money to “make it” (and probably not the talent) as a driver, I quit my “real” job and went to work as an entry level mechanic at the Skip Barber racing school. Pay was horrible, hours long, but I got some free “seat time” in the cars and got my foot in the racing door.”

Q: What is your educational background?

MC: “Graduated from Purdue with a degree in Bio-medical engineering.  Worked for six years in the medical engineering field, mostly in the cardiovascular area (angioplasty

and stent development).  Received a few patents along the way and moved into mid-level management before making the leap to racing. I went from a 6-figure job in the spring of 1994 to $12K as a mechanic. Was single and put my belongings in a storage locker and moved to Lime Rock, Conn. Then to Sebring, Fla. that winter. Worked as a mechanic for four years before Treadway Racing gave me a shot as a junior engineer in 1999 under ‘Dr. Who’ (Tim Wardrop who was Luyendyk’s engineer on his 237 Indy record lap). Parents were very supportive even though they thought I was crazy….but it was my childhood dream! So to have worked and met guys who were my heroes like Al Jr, Arie, Pancho, Sneva, Big Al, and obviously A.J. is just very cool.”

Colliver eventually did get married in 2007. He is pictured here with his family: wife Angela and their son Taylor and daughter Thessaly.

Q: What was the first race you attended in person?

MC: “Probably a sprint car race at Eldora or Winchester in the mid-sixties before I can remember. I do remember being at many short tracks watching USAC sprints and the Hoosier Hundred (including seeing AJ) and Indy Qualifying at ages 4-5ish.”

Q: What was the first Indy 500 you attended in person?  

MC: “I remember listening to 500s in the early seventies, then the first year I attended was ’73.  It was the crazy/tragic year that saw several drivers killed [Art Pollard, Swede Savage] or injured [Salt Walther] along with a few days of rain that was eventually finished on a Wednesday–which our family stayed for (my Dad let me play hooky).”

Q: Where have you worked in IndyCar/Indy Lights?

MC: “Since I’m a “consultant/contract engineer” I’ve been fortunate to work with many teams and learn from some of the great engineers and mechanics over the years.  Started in 1995 in Indy Lights and also working on Davey Hamilton’s car at Indy that same year….although we missed the race.”

Q: Most memorable moment in racing so far?

MC: “Winning the 1996 Indy 500 w/ith Buddy Lazier and Hemelgarn Racing.  I was 2nd mechanic on that car and changed the left rear tire during the race.  Pretty nervous on the last stop knowing we had a shot at winning!”

 Colliver pictured with Buddy Lazier after winning the 1996 Indy 500.

Q: Focusing on this season, what has been the biggest challenge for you as an engineer this season?

MC: “Adminstratively: coming back to the team and re-learning the tools we use to engineer the cars. At the track: it always takes time for drivers and engineers to get on the same page–terminology, hand/body language, what they want out of the car, how they “feel” its balance etc., then having multiple drivers. Mechanically: figuring out what the car wants with the new aeroscreen.  Weighing 60 lbs. and being forward and high, it has significantly changed the weight distribution and center of gravity height of the car.”

Q: What the tools you referred to above?

MC: “All the teams have different software that the engineers use to analyze the data, different setups, shocks etc. Some of the software is commercially available so all teams use the same, and some is developed in house so it’s different for each team. Also all the channel names in the data acquisition software is team specific so it’s re-learning what names Foyt uses compared to Shank or AA etc. Also, the engine manufacturers provide analysis tools for aero, etc. so the stuff we use with a Honda team is different than a Chevy team along with all the naming conventions being different and driver assist items like fuel mix, soft limiter methods, etc.”

Q: Has the aeroscreen had more of an impact on the ovals or the road courses and why?

MC: “Probably a slightly bigger effect on the ovals as the higher the Lateral G force the more affect it has on the handling.”

Q: Has the reduced amount of practice and testing made the playing field more level or less so this year?

MC: “If you have a “good” car to start the weekend it levels the field. But, the doubleheader weekends give the larger teams a bit of an advantage as they can pool the “limited” info quicker and get sorted out for the second race. I think this was evident at Gateway in the second race, as I think every car was running within 0.2s lap times of each other for the majority of the race so, for the most part, cars finished about where they started.”

 Q: With the race shortened to 75 laps at Mid-Ohio, how will that affect the race strategy?

MC: “With 90 laps some cars were on 2 stop and some were on 3 stoppers, with 75 laps everyone will be on 2 stop strategy…it’ll just be a matter of whether you come early or late on your first stop.  So, it’s a simpler strategy.”

Q: How tough are the doubleheaders on the engineering staff? Is it different for the road courses vs the ovals or does that matter?

MC: “Doubleheaders and impound races are definitely tough on EVERYONE, not just the engineers. Very long days that are “non-stop” from the minute we get to the track until we leave.  Both physically and mentally grueling. The engineers then have to go back to the hotel and sift thru the data to make final decisions on setup changes to give to the mechanics the next morning for the second race.

Impound races force the engineer to sometimes come up w/ a “hybrid” setup that is good for both Qualy (short-run) and the race (log-run), or bias in one direction (Q or Race) and basically choose your poison. The shorter weekends are nice however, so its a trade-off.  Ovals and road-course are basically the same.”

Q: You (and Daniele) worked with the most experienced driver in the field

and now a rookie. Is your approach to each driver different? 

MC: “Approach is always a bit more conservative with Dalton (or any Rookie) and we are likely to make smaller changes to his car.  With Tony’s experience we can throw larger changes at him, especially on the ovals where a wrong or bad change might catch a rookie out, but a veteran like Tony can (hopefully) feel it before he knocks the fence down. Normally with a younger driver I like to go back through the changes with them after the session, so they can begin building a mental library of what change “x” normally does or feels like.  Then they can help guide the engineer to certain feels they desire in the car in the future.” 

Q: What would you consider a successful weekend at Mid-Ohio?

MC:  “This series is so tight these days….a few tenths of a second in qualifying is 10 spots…..that’s 12 turns at M-O so your talking less than .02/.03s per corner difference. It would be great to qualify both cars in the top 12 for both races and finish both cars in the top ten. If we can get one in the top five for either race that would be fantastic.”

Q: Heard you enrolled in a sprint car school last fall for fun?

MC: “Actually that was the second one I’ve done. I did the Kenny Wallace one also. It’s a total blast. Gives you HUGE appreciation for what those guys do and did (A.J. etc.). You can really feel the Horsepower and stagger. The Wallace school car had bigger stagger so the car turned when you lifted and when you put the power back on. The Kruseman school car had less stagger and you had to turn the car by jabbing the brake hard on entry (only the left front corner has a brake) so the car would rotate on braking, then when pointed around the corner you’d apply throttle and go. Really have to be careful with throttle application as the cars have 700HP and the rear tires will spin very easily. Very physical working the wheel….my arms got tired and I only ran two 20-lap sessions–by myself! I had raced on pavement road courses before, but dirt is a totally different deal. Car control with throttle……crazy stuff! I had signed up to drive a Rusty Wallace Stock Car School this fall at Salem, Ind. (one of my favorite tracks as a kid – and probably A.J.’s), but it got canceled due to COVID.”  [Ed. Note: A.J. credits his running well at Salem as the break that got him into the championship car in 1957.]

CHARLIE KIMBALL returns to Mid-Ohio this season after missing last year due to running a partial season with Carlin Racing. He won in 2013 with Chip Ganassi Racing after starting fifth which is his best start at this track (he also started fifth in 2016 and finished eighth). In seven races, he posted three top-10s. He has started in the top-10 four times.

Kimball on Mid-Ohio:  “I’m glad we are able to get the opportunity to race at Mid-Ohio this year, a double header means double the fun around the track which is one of my favorites. I have a lot of confidence in the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet after leaving the last road course at Road America and knowing that will translate into this weekend. Strategically, the 15 lap shorter race adds a wrinkle in the thought process but having won there in 2013 with a healthy dose of strategy the opportunity exists for us to excel.”

Kimball at speed on the last permanent road course he ran – Road America.

DALTON KELLETT will be back in the No. 14 this weekend for the first time since Road America in June. He ran the No. 41 K-Line Insulators USA

 Chevrolet in his Indy 500 debut. This will be his fifth NTT IndyCar Series start at a track where he has eight starts in Indy Lights with a best finish of third in Race 1 in 2018 (pictured here). 

Kellett: “I am very excited for the double-header at Mid-Ohio and thankful for the efforts of INDYCAR, Savoree-Green, and the State for surmounting the challenges of rescheduling the race. It’s one of my favourite tracks, I love the technical and fast-paced nature of the layout. This weekend will be physically and mentally challenging, for both crew and drivers. It shouldn’t be quite as hot as the Indy GP, but you can’t discount the physical nature of this place. There’s not much time to relax. It will be good to jump back in the No. 14 and continue to work on our road course package. Given the condensed schedule, we’re doing more development, during race weekends, than we might on a typical year. That means it will be important for me to give the engineers accurate feedback in practice, so we can get it right for the race. Every session is an opportunity to learn. Be sure to catch updates on the No. 14 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet on social and the NBC broadcasts Saturday and Sunday!”

 Kellett wheels the No. 14 at Road America.

Doubleheader at Mid-Ohio: Although the Indy Lights Series has run doubleheaders at Mid-Ohio, this year is the first time that the NTT INDYCAR Series has as a result the rescheduling due to the pandemic. The races have been shortened from 90-laps to 75 laps each. 

The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will be broadcast live on the NBC family of networks. Saturday’s race will be broadcast on NBCSN with coverage starting at 4:30 p.m. ET. Sunday’s race will be broadcast on NBC starting at 1 p.m. ET.

Race Report: Race 2 – Bommarito Automotive Group 500

August 30, 2020

MADISON, Ill. — “Whatever happens, let’s enjoy this day. Love you guys!” radioed Tony Kanaan to his Big Machine Vodka crew on the parade lap of Race 2 of the Bommarito Automotive Group 500.

This final race of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES for Kanaan did not have a Hollywood ending. Track position at World Wide Technology Raceway was key for most of the field with a few exceptions.

In the first segment of the 200-lapper both Kanaan and his teammate Charlie Kimball in the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet were reporting understeer in their cars. The crews dialed in front wing on the first round of pit stops but the understeer persisted.

Kanaan’s crew posted solid stops all race long.

Passing was tough as Kanaan could not get around Zach Veach and lost half a lap over the course of the next 35 laps before finally pitting on lap 43.  With that loss of track position to the leaders, it wasn’t long before leader Pato O’Ward was on Kanaan’s bumper trying to put him a lap down.  However, Kanaan was able to stave off the leader for over 30 laps before pitting a second time on lap 96.

Appearing to lead the pack, Kanaan staved off leader O’Ward. (INDYCAR Photo)

Kimball was running a slightly different fuel strategy running to the end of his fuel window and his first stop came on lap 56 when he took a whole turn of front wing compared to Kanaan’s half turn. Before his second stop on lap 111, Kimball cycled up as high as fourth on the scoring tower but it was short-lived.

The Tresiba crew executed their pit stops well this weekend.

Interestingly, on the final round of stops, Kimball pitted just four laps later than Kanaan and that combined with his crew sending him off in 6.5 seconds, allowed him to jump ahead of Kanaan. They finished 18th and 19th respectively. On the cool down laps both drivers thanked their crews for great stops all of which were under green. 

Other than starting the first lap under caution to blow off the oil dry for an earlier issue on the track, the sole yellow came out with four laps to go when pole winner Takuma Sato ran high while running seventh and brushed the Turn 2 wall; he was able to continue. 

Josef Newgarden took the checkered flag under caution, as like at Indy, there wasn’t enough time left in the race to sort out the field and restart the race. Second through fifth were O’Ward, Will Power, Rinus Veekay and Scott Dixon.

“Track position was everything,” Kanaan said after climbing out of the No. 14 Chevy. “We had a pretty decent start, moved up a little bit but honestly, I think it was a pretty boring race–but it was a boring race for everyone. Mixed feelings on my last one. I wish I could have given the boys and A.J. and Big Machine a better result but the rest of the day was fun. It was a good way to end it. I want to thank my fans, my team and everyone who has been involved in this journey, my family. It’s been good. I’m done for this year but hopefully not done totally but we’ll see. My fingers are crossed that maybe I could come back for a proper last lap with my fans but for now, drop the mic.”

Kimball offers a fist bump to TK before the start of the race.

Kimball, who started 21st, summed up his race saying, “Well kind of a tough day for the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet car. We started 21st, kind of ran around there, made a couple of passes at the start and then settled into our pace. I think everyone was really struggling with passing. There wasn’t a whole lot of overtaking but I know my guys in pit lane got me at least two spots that I know of, so big ups to them as normal. They did a great job in pit lane and we’ll learn from this and move forward.”

Prior to the start of the race, team president Larry Foyt organized the entire team to pay their respects to Kanaan on the grid and what followed were a parade of emotional hugs as each crew member wished him the best. Kanaan was visibly moved by the gesture.

Foyt hugs TK as Scott Harner awaits to in line prior to the race.

Foyt said of the afternoon, “Race 2 wasn’t what we wanted, but unfortunately it was a true track position race. Starting near the back, it was next to impossible to get toward the front where we wanted to be. Both teams were great in the pits all weekend and the drivers drove hard, but we couldn’t improve as much as race 1. It was emotional near the start as the team thanked Tony and sent him off for what may be his last race in INDYCAR. I hope it isn’t, but we will see. I have enjoyed being a part of his career and whatever his future holds, I wish him all the best and much success.”

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