News & Multimedia

Wave That Flag

It was a USA 1-2-3 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Opening Day.

Sarah Fisher Racing, a team as homegrown as they come, took two of the top three speeds on the initial day of practice for the 2012 Indianapolis 500 with a pair of rookie drivers.

Josef Newgarden, SFR’s full-time driver, paced the first day action with a 220.250 mph lap in the Dollar General DW-12 Honda, while USAC star Bryan Clauson was close behind at 219.632 mph.

Sandwiched in between was last year’s Indy runner-up JR Hildebrand, the old man of the group at 24. The combined age of Sarturday’s top three is just 67 years.

“There are so many young Americans in the pipeline doing a great job, winning races and leading championships,” said Newgarden, the Nashville native who won the 2011 Indy Lights championship. “I don’t know how I got here because it’s tough, but our job is to help nurture that talent and get it here to the top level.”

Although the results haven’t always showed it, Newgarden has attracted plenty of attention so far this year in his rookie IndyCar Series campaign. He’s showed plenty of speed on several occasions and showed he wasn’t afraid to mix it up with the likes of four-time series champion Dario Franchitti.

Newgarden and Clauson often ran together throughout the opening day, combining for 87 laps.

“I think it speaks volumes for the team,” said Newgarden. “They’ve been doing a great job all year. They’ve built good, reliable, comfortable race cars for me, and now they’re doing that for Bryan too. That’s what makes days like this possible.”

Meanwhile, Hildebrand showed that he’s determined to put last year’s disappointment at Indianapolis behind him.

“It’s definitely important to get off to a good start,” he said. “We didn’t know what to expect; there are a lot more variables this year, and we’re pleased to be up front with a Chevy after all the talk about turbos recently.

“With everything new, teams are losing the advantages they had developed for the last car,” he added. We didn’t know how we were going to roll out, and it’s good for our confidence to roll out the way we did.”

Hildebrand said he was glad to see the DW12 crach the 220-mph barrier but added that he pines for even more speed.

“Growing up watching Arie Luyendyk run 236 mph, I’d be kind of bummed if I never got to experience that kind of speed, now being 15 years later,” he said. “That’s just my personal feeling. My hope is the speed starts to come back sooner than later.”

Charlie Kimball made it four Americans in the top six, pacing the four-car Ganassi Racing attack. Scott Dixon was 10th, Graham Rahal 13th, and two-time 500 winner Franchitti 18th after running just 19 laps.

Helio Castroneves, who is trying to become a four-time Indianapolis winner, led Penske Racing’s effort by running seventh fastest at 217.517 mph. Will Power was 14th and Ryan Briscoe 16th.

Among the other rookies, Rubens Barrichello was P20 at 215.340 mph, while Jean Alesi notched 32 laps and improved to the 209 mph bracket.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Wave That Flag
 
Wave That Flag
Josef Newgarden, SFR’s full-time driver, paced the first day action with a 220.250 mph lap in the Dollar General DW-12 Honda, while USAC star Bryan Clauson was close behind at 219.632 mph.
Read More
Related Media
Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
Hunter-Reay Prepares For The Race of Champions
Hunter-Reay and Busch, Andretti Autosport teammates for the Indy 500 in May, will represent the U.S. in the Nations Cup competition.
Read More
Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
The Man Behind The Faces on Borg-Warner Trophy
So many winners have kept him company in his North Carolina studio because Behrends morphs one race champion to another from the same clay he’s been using since the beginning of the project.
Read More
Ryan Hunter-Reay with his son Ryden Hunter-Reay
 
Hunter-Reay's Likeness Unveiled on Borg-Warner Trophy
Ryan Hunter-Reay experienced one of the greatest spoils of victory for winning the 2014 Indianapolis 500 by seeing his likeness on the famed Borg-Warner Trophy during an unveiling ceremony today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.
Read More
Alexander Rossi
 
Rossi Shifts Focus To America
With F1 becoming a difficult place to secure a full-time ride, Rossi began actively pursuing IndyCar opportunities a few months ago and has been proactive throughout the process.
Read More
Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
Double Points On Tap Again For 2015 Indianapolis 500
Double points for the 99th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and an elimination of the standing start for the 2015 Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis are among the sporting and technical regulations that comprise the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook issued to teams.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 870
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Phil Sparks at (317) 492-6463 or email at psparks@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
It was up to Forrest “Bud” Tucker to fix the SAFER barrier during the red flag at the 2014 #Indy500. His story: http://t.co/Gm6NscAduC
about 13 hours ago