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Tough, Frustrating Indianapolis 500 for Chip Ganassi Racing

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Penske Entertainment: Walt Kuhn

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Marcus Ericsson was in position to win his second straight Indianapolis 500 but a late-race caution and red flag spoiled that opportunity.

Ericsson and the No. 8 Huski Ice Spritz Honda took the lead of the race on a Lap 196 restart when a caution flag came out immediately after due to an crash in the back of the field.  Ericsson and the rest of the field circled the Speedway behind the Corvette pace for a complete lap.  That’s when NTT INDYCAR SERIES officials decided to Red Flag the race for the third time.

Race Control restarted the race with two laps left and told drivers it would be one-to-go and the green flag when they came off Turn 4.  Ericsson was able to get the jump on the green and led the field through Turn One and off Turn Two.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden got a tremendous run down the backstrech and passed Ericsson going into Turn Three.  Ericsson couldn’t catch Newgarden coming to the yard of bricks, the fourth-narrowest margin of victory in the history of the race.

“I don’t think it’s a fair way to end the race,” said Ericsson. “I don’t think it’s a right way to end the race. I think it wasn’t enough laps to go to do what we did. I don’t think it’s safe to go out of the pits on cold tires for a restart when half the field is sort of still trying to get out on track when we go green.”

Ericsson questioned why Race Control decided to let the field circle the 2.5-mile oval for a complete lap and bringing the race cars through the accident scene instead of down pit road.

“They (INDYCAR) should have called it earlier,” explained Ericsson. “If they wanted red they should have called red earlier. I think when they kept it going, then I think they should have called it. But I’m sure Josef (Newgarden) doesn’t agree with that and thinks that way, but that’s just the way I thought. I thought it was too tight to do the last red.”

Pole Sitter Alex Palou appeared to be one of the cars to beat early, leading 36-laps in the No. 10 American Legion Honda.  Palou was on pit road during a caution flag when Rinus Veekay lost it coming out of his pits, pinching Palou into the inside wall exiting his pits.

The Ricky Davis led crew sprinted down to the car and rolled Palou back into the pit box, changed the front wing and sent the 2021 Champion back into the fight.

The No. 10 American Legion crew changes the nose cone after the car was struck on pit road. (Photo: Penske Entertainment – Chris Jones)

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“There’s nothing that we could have done differently there on pit lane,” said Palou. “Starting from 30th again and we had to start the race from scratch. But, we went from 30th to fourth and still could have done a bit more. It was a tough day.”

Palou wasn’t the only Chip Ganassi Racing driver to rally on this day.

Scott Dixon started the race from the sixth position and was quickly into the Top 5 after the start of the race.  Midway through the first run the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda developed a bad vibration that sent Dixon to pit road way earlier than planned.

“It was kind of a frustrating day,” said Dixon, the Six-time Series Champion. “We had that first set of tires that just went out of balance so badly. The car got massively loose, and we adjusted for that, but it also made the car a bit weird with a clutch alarm that we had to figure out. We worked on the balance to regroup after that, but it was just a very tough day.”

Scott Dixon lights-up the rear tires on the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda following a pit stop in the 107th Indianapolis 500. (Photo: Penske Entertainment – Chris Jones)

Dixon went to work following that pit stop and spent the rest of the day trying to get back the lost track position eventually finishing sixth.

Takuma Sato and the No. 11 Deloitte Honda home in seventh spot and said he was fighting track position all day.

“It was a tough race,” said Sato. “We had to fight back in the middle stages there where we couldn’t get up into the front group. We fought hard and I’m really proud of the entire No. 11 team.”

Palou leaves Indy INDYCAR Series Championship standing with 219 points.  Ericsson sits second with 199 points and Dixon is lurking back in fifth with 162 points.

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES returns to Downtown Detroit next weekend with the Chevrolet Grand Prix of Detroit on June 4, 2023 at 3:00 p.m.

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Chip Ganassi Racing unveils Alex Palou’s No. 10 DHL Honda

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Photo: Chip Ganassi Racing

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing unveiled the livery for two-time and reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion Alex Palou’s DHL Honda on Tuesday.  DHL signed on as the primary sponsor this off-season in a multi-year partnership with the team.

The No. 10 car will carry the familiar yellow of DHL’s branding but adds a splash of red that has been synonymous with the Ganassi team for decades.

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“As everybody can see, this is quite the amazing livery,” said Palou. “The No. 10 DHL Honda looks very aggressive, and it will certainly stand out on the track, which is great. I can’t wait to start the season with a run in this livery at Sebring before we kick things off in St. Pete. It’s looking like the perfect livery to try to defend our title in 2024 and I cannot wait to deliver on-track here soon.”

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding takes place March 8-10 on the streets of St. Pete.

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DHL joining Chip Ganassi Racing as primary sponsor for No. 10 Honda and Alex Palou

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN and PLANTATION, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing and DHL Express are teaming up in a new multi-year partnership that will see DHL become the official logistics partner of the 15-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champions and the primary sponsor of two-time and reigning Series Champion Alex Palou and the No. 10 Honda team.

“I am extremely proud to welcome DHL to the Chip Ganassi Racing family,” said Chip Ganassi. “It is an honor to partner with an organization that shares our fundamental values of teamwork, growth, responsibility, and the pursuit of excellence. Together, we are committed to embodying those values both on and off the racetrack. I am looking forward to Alex and the No. 10 team defending their 2023 title with DHL on board. The road ahead holds great promise and potential, and I can’t wait to get started.”

DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics industry and one of the most international companies, with about 395,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.

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“We’re thrilled to partner with Chip Ganassi Racing, an organization that has a rich history of success, deeply rooted in principles shared by DHL, such as a commitment to supporting the communities we call home, and the relentless pursuit of excellence by investing in our people who embody speed, passion, and dedication,” said Mike Parra, CEO of DHL Express Americas and Head of Global Sponsorships. “As we sponsor this winning motorsports team with Alex Palou behind the wheel, we look forward to many winning moments both on and off the track in the months and years to come.”

“It’s super exciting to announce our new partnership with DHL, a global leader in logistics. Representing such a successful and widely recognized brand is a true honor,” said Palou. “Their iconic yellow and red colors not only stand out, but they also remind me of my native Spain’s colors. As our team looks back at our remarkable success last year, we are eager to carry that momentum forward and aim for a third title with the support of DHL. I am especially thrilled to hit the ground running alongside the dedicated men and women of our 10-car crew in 2024.”

Palou, the No. 10 team will kick-off the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season March 10th at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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Racing Notebook: DHL partners with Ganassi; Hunt Bros partners with Penske and more

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(Pittsburgh, PA) – 2024 partnership programs a coming together as two of the biggest names in racing, Ganassi and Penske, each announce new deals plus PPMS announces their plans for the new year and Henessey Performance packs some punch for GM fans in today’s Racing Notebook.

DHL Partners with Ganassi and Palou

  • DHL and Chip Ganassi Racing are teaming up for a new partnership.  DHL becomes the primary sponsor of the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda and two-time NTT IndyCar Champion Alex Palou.  DHL express also becomes the Official Logistics Partner of the 15-time Championship team. “I am extremely proud to welcome DHL to the Chip Ganassi Racing family,” said Chip Ganassi. “It is an honor to partner with an organization that shares our fundamental values of teamwork, growth, responsibility, and the pursuit of excellence.”
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Hunt Brothers Pizza Partners with Penske, Logano, Blaney

  • Team Penske and Hunt Brothers Pizza are teaming up in multi-year deal that will feature the convenience store pizza brand on the No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang driven by two-time NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) Champion Joey Logano for select races beginning in 2024. Hunt Brothers Pizza will also be an associate sponsor on defending NASCAR Cup Series Champion Ryan Blaney’s No. 12 Ford Mustang for the 2024 season.

PPMS Announces 2024 Schedule

  • Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway is planning a 29-race schedule for 2024 with an opening day St. Patrick’s Day Weekend.  The highlight of the schedule is the expansion of the Pittsburgher weekend to a 2-day event for the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series battling for almost $200,000!
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