Connect with us
Mr. Magic Car Wash

IndyCar

Indy 500 Racing Notebook: Bob Jenkins honored; Mario wins again; Milo Ventimiglia honorary starter; Danica driving and more!

Published

on

Photo: Karl Zemlin

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Indianapolis 500 racing notebook is loaded with news including longtime broadcaster Bob Jenkins being honored at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; Mario Andretti winning again; Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ricky Davis honored; Simon Pagenaud goes to the dogs; ‘This Is Us’ star Milo Ventimiglia waving the green flag and Danica Patrick getting back behind the wheel.

Bob Jenkins wins Robin Miller Award:

  • Veteran broadcaster Bob Jenkins is this year’s winner of the Robin Miller Award, presented annually to a member of the media for their dedication to INDYCAR racing and the Indianapolis 500.  Jenkins is not working the month of May at the Speedway as he is being treated for brain cancer.  Jenkins has done play-by-play for both INDYCAR and NASCAR in addition to decades of radio and television work.  The award is about “honoring an unheralded individual who has dedicated a significant portion of their life to IndyCar racing while bringing unbridled passion and unrelenting work ethic to enrich the sport.”

Mario Andretti and Robin Miller honored:

  • 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti and journalist Robin Miller each received the Bob Russo Founders Award at Indianapolis on Friday.  The award is presented to the individual that demonstrated tireless efforts and dedication to auto racing.  Andretti received the award for 2020 and Miller received the award for 2021.

Ganassi’s Ricky Davis wins Clint Brawner Award:

  • Longtime Chip Ganassi Racing Crew Chief Ricky Davis is this year’s winner of the Clint Brawner Award.  The award is presented every year to the Indianapolis 500 Chief Mechanic who “exemplifies the mechanical and scientific creativity, ingenuity, perseverance, dedication, enthusiasm and expertise” of Brawner, a self-taught mechanical genius.  Davis has been with CGR for 26-years, winning with drivers Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Juan Pablo Montoya and, more recently, Alex Palou and Felix Rosenqvist.
Three Rivers Karting

Pagenaud partners with Julius K-9 and K-9 Comfort Dogs:

  • 2019 Indianapolis 500 Simon Pagenaud and his partner Julius K-9 presented a $5,000 check to Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs, an organization who provides Comfort Dogs for those affected by tragedies. LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were in New York and New Jersey visiting victims of Superstorm Sandy, and in Connecticut after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lutheran Church Charities currently has over 130 LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs serving in more than 27 states.  For more information visit, www.comfortdogs.com.

Milo Ventimiglia named honorary starter:

  • Milo Ventimiglia, one of the stars of NBC’s “This Is Us” will serve as the honorary starter for the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.  Ventimiglia will be waving the green flag and sending the field of 33-drivers into turn one for ‘The Greatest Spectacle In Racing’. Ventimiglia starred in the 2019 adaptation of the best-selling novel “The Art of Racing In The Rain”, which focuses on a family dog who evaluates his live through the lessons learned by his human owner, a professional race car driver played by Ventimiglia.

Danica Patrick to drive Corvette pace car:

  • 2004 Indianapolis 500 ‘Rookie of the Year’ Danica Patrick will pace the field of 33-drivers and cars for this year’s race in a Chevrolet Corvette.  Patrick, who drove for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Andretti Autosport before moving over to NASCAR, was the first woman to lead the race back in 2004 and won a race in Motegi Japan in 2007.  Patrick retired from professional driving and now hosts a podcast and owns a winery.

2022 Indianapolis 500 Logo Unveiled:

  • The Indianapolis Motor Speedway unveiled the logo for the 2022 Indianapolis 500, which will take place on May 29, 2022.  The logo incorporates the Wreath that all winners receive in victory lane.  Speedway President J. Douglas Boles said the logo design uses another of the Speedway’s iconic images.  This year’s logo incorporates the Pagoda and logos the past few years have included the twin checkered flags and the yard of bricks.
Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

IndyCar

Pato O’Ward wins INDYCARs race two in Detroit

Published

on

Joe Skibinski

DETROIT, MI (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward passed Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden with three laps-to-go to win Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Race 2 on the temporary street circuit on Belle Isle.

“I have a lot of faith in myself whenever the car is wiggling around,” said O’Ward. “I know I’m very strong on cold tires, so I took advantage of it, got by people and got her done.”

The 24-hours of the island were certainly a battle for the team, who saw a frightening crash in race one on Saturday that sent teammate Felix Rosenqvist to the hospital Saturday night for observation.

“When you see something like that happen to a race driver, it puts your stomach in your throat,” said Taylor Kiel, President Arrow McLaren SP. “First of all, we’re happy that Felix is okay and he’ll be back with us soon. Certainly bringing home a victory was top of mind in trying to help Felix’s recovery a little bit, but man, what a great effort from everybody, certainly from the men and women on the 7 car to get that thing fixed and ready to compete today. But also the men and women on the 5 car, to make it a race-winning car. We had a great car today. Pato did what he needed to do. The team did what they needed to do. And when you execute like that, we’re tough to beat.”

Newgarden led a race-high 67-laps on Sunday and was obviously not happy.

Three Rivers Karting

“Just kind of was what it was there at the end,” said Newgarden. “Felt like we had a good car and just didn’t work our way strategy-wise and some of the times that we had to pit where we thought we had to pit because a yellow was probably going to come out, I think it all just didn’t play into our favor.”

The win also vaulted O’Ward into the Championship points lead as he is the only repeat winner of 2021.

O’Ward leads Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou by one point, 299-298, and Scott Dixon (263) by 36-points.

The next race is the REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR on Sunday, June 20 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, with live coverage starting at noon (ET) on NBCSN and the INDYCAR Radio Network. On-track action starts with practice at 5:15 p.m. Friday, June 18, streamed live on Peacock.

IndyCar Detroit Results

Continue Reading

IndyCar

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson scores first career INDYCAR series win Saturday in Detroit

Published

on

Chris Owens/INDYCAR

DETROIT, MI (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson has been knocking on the door of victory the past two seasons but even he couldn’t have imagined how his first win would unfold.

Ericsson held off Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay and Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward over a three-lap shootout to win Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit on the temporary street circuit on Belle Isle.

Ericsson was running second in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Honda, chasing Team Penske’s Will Power, when the caution flag flew on lap 65 for Romain Grosjean, who made contact with the wall in Turn 9.  INDYCAR officials decided to red-flag the race and sent the cars to pit road.

Later when officials restarted the race, Power’s car would not re-fire on pit road.  Power’s crew frantically tried to get the No. 15 Verizon 5G Chevrolet restarted and while they worked Ericsson inherited the lead.

“Unfortunately he (Power) had that problem, which I feel bad for him,” said Ericsson. “He did a great job today. But we’ve had some bad luck these last couple years. I felt like it was about time we had some good luck, so I’ll take it.”

Ericsson didn’t hesitate when the green flag waved, taking off with VeeKay and O’Ward giving chase.  Ericsson held off two of the series first-time winners to become the seventh different winner in seven races, tying a record set in 2017.

“Just had to finish it off with clean restart and clean laps,” said Ericsson. “I think I did a really good restart, then just control it till the end.”

Power was livid that the Series decided to red flag the race and the procedure employed when the cars hit pit road.

Three Rivers Karting

O’Ward understood Power’s frustration.

“I understand they want to end on green,” said O’Ward. “I bet you if I was Will, I’d be telling you no. I feel for him, man. The guy, I’m pretty sure he was the one leading. I think he would have walked away with it if it didn’t go red. It really sucks.”

The late red flag was the second of the race.  The first red flag came on lap 24 when Arrow SP’s Felix Rosenqvist had a throttle stick sending the car into the wall at turn 6 full throttle.

Rosenqvist was shaken-up but was awake and alert in the infield care center.  Rosenqvist was sent to the hospital for observation overnight.  The track barrier sustained damage and the red flag lasted one hour, 18-minutes.

Ericsson’s CGR teammates came into the race 1-2 in the season-long Championship standing with Alex Palou leading Scott Dixon by 36-points.

Palou finished 15th in the No. 10 American Legion Honda and Dixon brought home the No. 9 PNC Bank Grow Up Great Honda eighth.

Palou now leads O’Ward by 15-points with Dixon in third place, 26-points back heading in Sunday’s race.

Live coverage of Race 2 of this doubleheader weekend, another 70-lap event, starts at noon (ET) Sunday on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

 

Continue Reading

IndyCar

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou finishes 2nd in the Indianapolis 500

Published

on

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou was in position to win the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 with three laps to go, leading the field across the yard of bricks. One problem, he had a 3-time winner stalking him from behind.

Palou did everything he could to keep Helio Castroneves behind him, but the Castroneves saw an opportunity as Palou encountered traffic on the next to last lap and pounced to make the pass for the lead and ultimately a record-tying 4th 500 victory.

“I tried everything,” explained Palou. “It hurts. But to be honest, it’s good to lose against probably one of the best. It was a close battle until the end. The good thing is that the two cars were Honda powered. That’s good. Congrats to Helio and Honda.”

Castroneves said he couldn’t duplicate the speed out front leading that Palou could.

“He was very good,” said Castroneves. “He was very fast. The Ganassi guys did a great job. They were very, very strong on their own. They really were able to do some amazing laps. I think it was almost 221. I try myself, and I couldn’t do it. I decided just to wait for the right opportunity.”

The right opportunity came with two laps-to-go when several cars, who were trying to make it to the end of the race without stopping for fuel, were up ahead of the pair racing for the win.

Three Rivers Karting

“When I saw the traffic, it was a bunch of it actually,” explained Castroneves. “I’m like, ‘That’s it, I’m not going to wait because I need that traffic to pull me so I can get the same speed’. When I made the move, I said, ‘That’s it’.”

“When he passed me, I was like, ‘Oh, maybe that’s going to be bad for me’ just because we were reaching the traffic,” said Palou. “As soon as you’re on traffic, you’re not P2 any more, you’re like P8. When you are P8 on a pack, it’s not easy to pass.”

Castroneves said after the race that Palou shouldn’t hang his head after finishing second in ‘The Greatest Spectacle In Racing’.

“He has an incredible talent,” said Castroneves. “He won the first race of the season. Nothing to be shamed. I finished second three times. Did I stop because of that? No. He did a great job. He had a great car. He did everything he possibly could. Last year he didn’t finish. This year he finished second. That’s a big improvement. He should think about the positive side, not the negative.”

Palou was trying to find the positives after the race but he was also disappointed he didn’t win.

“I didn’t expect that a second place would hurt that much until I crossed the finish line,” said Palou. “It huts a lot. But I’m super proud, super happy. I think the No. 10 NTT Data car was super fast.”

Continue Reading