March 2019 News
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Indy 500 Qualifying Changed

Mar 1 - In a move hailed as enhancing the drama of
making The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the 103rd
Indianapolis 500 will determine the field of 33 and pole
position consecutively.

IndyCar announced Thursday that 30 positions will be
locked in during nearly seven hours of qualifying May 18,
which won’t be a traditional “Bump Day” (as the
Saturday of qualifying weekend was last year).

On May 19, the 2.5-mile track will feature an hour of
practice for the fastest nine cars and the cars that haven’t
secured a top 30 speed. In an hour-long session
beginning at 12:15 p.m., each unqualified car will get one
attempt at filling one of the final three spots in the field.

Because more than 33 cars are expected to qualify, the
session should feature the bumping of cars from the field
that has made it a tension-filled exercise. (Last year, fan
favorite and 2016 pole-sitter James Hinchcliffe failed to
make the race).

After the last row of three cars is set, the Fast Nine
shootout for the pole will begin at 1:15 p.m. The order
will be based on Saturday times from slowest to fastest
with each car having one attempt.

NBC will televise qualifying for the pole position and the
last row from noon-3 p.m. May 19. The coverage then
will move to NBCSN for a three-hour practice session
that is expected to feature cars in race setup and running
in packs as an Indy 500 preview.
     Saturday, May 18
*  Each entry is guaranteed one attempt and
multiple four-lap runs may be made as time
*  The fastest 30 drivers will have a guaranteed
spot in the race.  
*  The fastest nine drivers will have to compete
on the next day to determine starting order.
*  Grid Positions 10-30 will be locked in for the
race.  These drivers will not have to re-qualify

      Sunday, May 19

* The drivers slower than yesterday's top 30 will
compete to make the last row, positions 31-33.
Bumping may occur.
*  The Fast Nine Shootout will determine the
pole position and starting position for the first
3 rows.
“With this schedule, fans will get a phenomenal weekend
of action, with two days of qualifying, bumping, the run
for the pole and this incredible practice that effectively is
the race before the race – all in a two-day span,” IndyCar
President Jay Frye said in a release.

NBC will televise the Indianapolis 500 for the first time
on May 26, the centerpiece of its first full season of
NTT IndyCar Series coverage.
Indy 500 Ticket Mailing Begins

March 4 - It's that time of year again where tickets are
mailed out in the blue envelopes to all those who have

Federal postal inspectors come to IMS with a large truck
for the first mailing, and many IMS employees pitch in to
help load the truck. IndyCar driver
Zach Veach also
helped load tickets for mailing today.

It takes approximately nine to 10 weeks to package all
pre-ordered tickets for mailing, from orders the day after
the previous year's race up to current orders. Hard work
from employees in the Ticket Office and a computerized
system administered by the IMS Information Services
department ensure the ticketing process runs smoothly
and on schedule.
In the 70s a brown envelope was used to mail the tickets.  
In the 80s, a gray envelope.  Why are the envelopes now

When the Brickyard 400 began to be held in 1994, IMS
needed a way to distinguish the tickets in case they were
returned undeliverable.  Blue was chosen for the the 500
ticket envelopes and purple for the 400.  As other events
were added, other colors have been used including red,
cream and green.

There was an increase in ticket sales this year from Spain
and Sweden.  The reasons are the return of Spaniard
Fernando Alonso to the 500 and the arrival of new
Swedish IndyCar drivers
Marcus Ericsson and Felix

Photos of Indy 500 Tickets
Camaro Pace Car Homecoming at IMS

Mar 5 -  All of the Indy 500 Camaro pace cars from the
speedway museum will be on display May 17-19,
qualifying weekend.

Years the Camaro was Pace Car:  1967, 1969, 1982,
1993, 2009-2011, 2014, 2016

In addition, the museum is inviting all owners of authentic
500 pace and event cars to attend.  They will register the
first 150 cars for the event.  

$130 entry fee gets registrants two tickets for “Fast
Friday” practice and two tickets for Indianapolis 500
qualifying, plus a lap around the 2.5-mile IMS oval, an
option to buy an exclusive event license plate (only 150
available) and other hospitality.

Headquarters for the Homecoming will be the south lot
of the IMS Museum, located just inside the Gate 2 tunnel
off 16th Street.

Registration form is available for download
Registration deadline is midnight (ET) Friday, March 22.

For additional information please contact Dianna Crain at
(317) 492-6746 or
The 50th Annivesary Camaro SS served as pace car
for the 100th Running of the Indy 500.
Roger Penske was the driver.
1967, 1969, 1982 & 2003
Pato O'Ward Lands IndyCar Ride

March 8 - Pato O’Ward was introduced Thursday as the
newest driver at Carlin Racing.

O’Ward will compete in 12 of the 17 races on the 2019
NTT IndyCar Series schedule.

O’Ward will drive Carlin’s second entry for 12 events of
the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season and will also run the
103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 in a third Carlin entry
alongside teammates
Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball.

O’Ward will race at:
Circuit of the Americas, Barber Motorsports Park, Streets
of Long Beach, IMS road course, Indianapolis 500, Belle
Isle, Road America, Streets of Toronto, Iowa Speedway,
Mid-Ohio, Gateway Motorsports Park and Portland
International Raceway.
The 19-year-old O’Ward began his racing career in karts
at the age of 6 and quickly worked his way up through the
karting ranks before breaking into open-wheel racing in
2013. He joined the Road to Indy in 2015 and moved into
Indy Lights in a full-time capacity in 2018. He won the
2018 Indy Lights championship with nine wins, a new
series record of nine poles and 13 podium finishes in 17
races. O’Ward also won the Prototype Challenge class of
the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona to become the youngest
ever winner at the event at only 17 years old.

Carlin made its move into the IndyCar Series in a full-
time capacity in 2018 after three successful seasons in
Indy Lights and will be starting its second full-time season
in 2019.
St Pete - Race To Indy Results

Mar 10 - In the first lap of the first race ran at St Pete this
weekend, USF2000 driver
Alex Baron went airborn and
did a corkscrew-barrelroll, landing on his wheels.  His race
was over, but it was a cool wreck that I have never seen
before.  Here is a short video of the incident
By the way, Alex Baron is no relation to the IndyCar
driver who raced in the series from 1997-2007.  
That Alex spells his last name "Barron".
Braden Eves (Cape Motorsports) won both USF2000 races.

Zachary Claman DeMelo won the first Indy Lights race upon his
return to the series, having ran IndyCar last year.  He now races for
Belardi Auto Racing.

During the 2nd Indy Lights race, pole sitter
Oliver Askew (Andretti
Autosport) was put into the wall by
Rinus VeeKay (Junkos Racing) at
the 2nd turn of the first lap.  VK went on to win the race.  He has now
won in all 3 rungs on the ladder to IndyCar.

Parker Thompson (Abel Motorsports) won both Indy Pro 2000 races.
Alex Baron goes upside down!
F1 Race Director Dies

Mar 14 - Charlie Whiting, who sadly passed away in
Melbourne on the eve of the Australian Grand Prix, was a
constant presence in the Formula 1 paddock for over 40

Hugely respected by several generations of drivers and
team personnel, Whiting grew from humble beginnings as
a club racing mechanic to play a significant role in the
development of modern F1 through the multiple functions
he filled with the FIA over the decades.

Whiting's first job in motor sport was preparing rally cars.
In 1976, he and his brother were running a Surtees in the
1976 British F5000 series for race driver
Divina Galica.
For the 1977 season Whiting joined Hesketh Racing.
Following the demise of the team, he joined
's Brabham team, where he would stay for the
following decade, becoming chief mechanic for the World
Drivers' Championship successes of
Nelson Piquet in
1981 and 1983 and later rising to chief mechanic.

In 1988, Whiting became Technical Delegate to Formula
One of the sport's governing body, the FIA, and in 1997
he was appointed FIA Director and Safety Delegate.

Whiting would run race control for over two decades.  

As well as writing the regulations, Whiting was responsible
for policing them, and inevitably his interpretation of
technical developments or on-track incidents was often
challenged, leading to many stressful situations over the

And yet Whiting, who had a calm and analytical approach
to any situation, always maintained his cool, and dealt
even-handedly with everyone. He was the perfect man for
the difficult role of referee.

Along with
Sid Watkins he played a key role in the FIA’s
push for safety that began after
Ayrton Senna and
Roland Ratzenberger were killed during race weekend
at Imola in 1994.
Charlie Whiting (1952 – 2019)
Whiting was responsible for introducing the headrest,
safety survival cell, front and side impact structures, high
cockpit sides, and the halo.

Another part of Whiting's job was to try to keep the FIA
a step ahead of the engineers whose job was to find
loopholes in the regulations he’d written.

Ferrari team principal
Mattia Binotto praised Whiting's
diplomatic presence in the high-speed sport.

"Charlie was a true professional and extremely
knowledgeable, but more than that, he was a wonderful
person who always treated everyone with respect,"
Binotto said. "A tireless and enlightened motorsport
expert, he helped make F1 safer and better. He was a pillar
of Formula 1. Our sport is diminished by his passing."
Pippa Mann's Return to Indy

Mar 20 - Pippa Mann, a six-time Indianapolis 500 starter
and the first female pole winner at the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway when she won qualified first for the Indy Lights
Freedom 100 in 2010, Mann formed a friendship with
Bryan Clauson when they were teammates at Dale Coyne
Racing in 2016.

As the team’s Indianapolis 500-only drivers, they were
often paired for engineering debriefs and events for the
team. They understood what each other was going through
and had hoped to be teammates in future Indianapolis 500s.

But when Bryan sustained fatal injuries in a midget racing
accident a few months later, he gave the gift of life by
donating his organs.

The next year, Mann still became Bryan’s teammate,
honoring her friend by becoming an ambassador for the
Driven2SaveLives campaign, which honors Bryan
Clauson’s choice to be a life-saving organ donor. She
finished 17th in the race, her best result to date at “The
Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

“The ability to become a donor hero,” Mann said, choking
back some emotions. “It’s such an important message for
everyone to understand. When you choose to become a
donor hero, if something does go wrong as it did for
Bryan, you are saving the lives of other people.

“It’s such an incredibly important decision for people to
make and there are so many people waiting for a life-
saving organ transplant.”

Tim Clauson, Bryan's father, said Mann was the only
choice for his team’s first effort at Indianapolis, especially
after seeing how she handled herself in wake of missing
the race last year.

“When she didn’t qualify last year and we saw the way
she carried through the two or three days after of fulfilling
every commitment she had, and fulfilling every obligation
she felt she had to us as a family, I decided that if I ever
did (enter a car for the Indy 500), she would be one I
wanted to do it with,” Clauson said.
With the spark of hope, Mann and Clauson started
working on a plan to put the program together. Several
sponsors who backed Mann in 2018 opted to return when
she told them of the chance to race with Clauson-
Marshall Racing.

Suddenly, the opening chapter of the comeback story that
Mann hopes to author this May was already written.

“It’s not so much (me) being back in a car this year,”
Mann said. “It’s coming back to the Indianapolis 500 for
Clauson-Marshall Racing, driving the Driven2SaveLives
Chevy and driving the (No.) 39, which is Bryan’s number.
It’s not simply the car. It’s what the car is and who I’m
driving for.”

And how does Mann picture the story ending? Simple.

“I am out for redemption,” she said. “I want not only to
be in the field, but I also want it to be my best run ever.
The cause, the car and the team I’m driving for are so
incredibly important, but I’m a racing driver, too. I really
want to make Tim (Clauson), (co-owner) Richard
(Marshall) and Stanley Ross proud of me as a racer and a
representative of their cause.”
Pippa Mann
Anti-Balloon Group Targets Indy 500

May 22 - Thousands of balloons have been released
before the Memorial Day classic since 1947.

A new billboard on the west side of Indianapolis called for
the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to retire that tradition.  

The billboard was commissioned by some environmental
activism group out of Florida, i.e. some cat woman with
too much time on her hands.

The Indy 500 is one of two events that still do large-scale
balloon releases, according to cat woman. The University of
Nebraska-Lincoln, where she had a billboard installed last
summer, has released balloons at Husker football games for
50 years.
The Indianapolis billboard was erased the next day by the
billboard owner Outlook Media.

Alex Damron, the Speedway's director of communications,
told the IndyStar in 2018 that the balloons were made of
an organic, biodegradable rubber.
Penske Wants Changes to Bump Day

Mar 23 -  Last year, to the shock of many, full-time Indy
Car driver
James Hinchcliffe, driving for SPM, failed to
qualify for the Indy 500.

Roger Penske and Team Penske President Tim Cindric
told members of the media Friday that what happened to
Hinchcliffe and SPM last May should never happen to a
full-time team/driver again.

They know the pain of failing to make the race, maybe
more than anyone else.  In '95, neither Marlboro Team
Penske cars qualified even though they had defending
Al Unser, Jr. and Emmerson Fittipaldi.

It boils down to what’s best for the sport, economically
and commercially, they said. Teams that carry the series-
year round shouldn’t be subject to a punishment as harsh
as not having a spot in the biggest race of the season –
the one they count on to make their budgets work for the
rest of the year.

It is important for the driver, team and sponsors.  Also if
you have run all the races up to that point and you're in
the Leaders Circle, you should be in the Indy 500 if the
Leaders Circle is to mean anything.

“This isn’t up to the teams,” Penske said. “I think it’s up
to the people who run the series. They have to understand
the impact. The same people they’re calling on to support
the TV package and everything, to race the next week – if
their car doesn’t make the Indy 500, it’s a ricochet that
affects the whole season. I hope they understand that."
Colton Herta Youngest IndyCar Winner

Mar 24 - IndyCar raced at the Circuit of the Americas for
the first time.  Unlike Formula 1, IndyCar has decided that
there would be no track limits at this track i.e. racers can
run wide, ignoring the curbing and lines.

Will Power started on the pole and led the whole race
until lap 46 of 60.

On lap 44, rookie
Colton Herta was running in 2nd, when
he made his final pit stop.  He and
Alex Rossi had been
fighting over the position.

As Herta pitted, a caution came out.  
James Hinchcliffe
and rookie Felix Rosenqvist had collided.

Rosenqvist had hit a wall pretty hard and had to go get
checked out at the infield hospital.  He had been having a
good day, other than a spin on lap 36.

On lap 46, Power and Rossi pitted.  Herta inherited the lead.
The #12 Penske Chevrolet suffered mechanical failure and
Power could not get out of the pits! His day was done.
Massively disappointed, Power pointed out that if the
input shaft had not got him, the yellow flag would have.

"I hate the way this series does this 'Pits Closed' b.s.," Power
said. "You can be the best guy out there and lead all day and
the yellow can fall and some guy can fall into the lottery.  It’s
the only series that does it this way and it needs to change."

The race restarted with 10 laps to go.  
Josef Newgarden,
winner at St Pete two weeks ago, was now in 2nd and had
127-seconds of push-to-pass left while Herta only had 43
seconds left.  However Herta made a great start and pulled
out a 3-4 second lead over Newgarden.  He held it to the
end, winning his first IndyCar race at the age of 18!  
Previously, the youngest winner of a IndyCar race was
Graham Rahal, who won in St. Pete in 2008 at the age
of 19 years and 3 months.  Herta turns 19 next Saturday.

Ryan Hunter-Reay had some luck today and finished in
3rd, followed by Rahal.
Marco Andretti had an amazing finish.  He started in the
back and spent most of the race there.  But by the restart,
he had moved up to 7th.  He passed rookie
Pato O'Ward
with two laps to go to take 6th.

Rossi was in 13th at the restart and finished in 9th.

It was a surprising race with 3 rookies in the top ten,
Jack Harvey being the other, who drives for Michael
Shank Racing.

Zach Veach had a somewhat reckless day.  On the first
lap, he hit Rahal.  Veach damaged his toe-rod and had to
pit, which put him a lap down.  Then on the 9th lap, he
tangled with
Sebastien Bourdais and ran into Spencer
.  During the restart, he cut a tire when he tangled
Scott Dixon.  The defending champion finished in
13th and Veach finished 22nd.  Bourdais finished in 5th!
Will Power Stuck In Pits ...
,,, and Out of the Race
Colton Herta
Harding Steinbrenner Racing
After a perfect weekend, Will Power's luck ran out on lap 46.