News & Multimedia

Indianapolis Student Fulfills Dream At Indy Lights Test

Kyle O’Gara is a senior at Roncalli High School in Indianapolis, but he missed class Thursday, May 2 to get an education in another area.

O’Gara, from the Indianapolis suburb of Beech Grove, Ind., fulfilled a lifelong dream by turning laps Thursday, May 2 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a Firestone Indy Lights test. O’Gara, 18, will make his Firestone Indy Lights debut in the Firestone Freedom 100 on Friday, May 24 in a car fielded by Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing in partnership with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian.

“It feels great,” O’Gara said. “It’s something we’ve been working toward my whole career. It’s something I’ve been dreaming about since I was running around about 2 years old out here, so it feels great to finally get on track.

“Everything’s going really well so far. The Schmidt Peterson boys have prepared a great car for me today. I’ve gained a lot of respect for the track. I’ve always had that respect for the track, but getting out on it I’ve gained even more.”

O’Gara’s learning curve was accelerated by his sister-in-law, Indianapolis 500 veteran Sarah Fisher, who offered guidance during the test.

“It’s incredible,” O’Gara said. “She’s been there, she’s been in your shoes, and she can always help. Today she’s been helping me on entry into the corner, exit out of the corner, smoothness, she’s been there and is an incredible help.”

O’Gara’s fastest lap in the morning session was 186.981 mph. It’s big jump in speed from his prior experience in USAC open-wheel cars and karts, but he proved to be a quick study.
“He’s young, so he has time,” Fisher said. “He has a tendency to adapt really quickly to different cars, and he’s run USAC cars, sprint cars and go-karts, and he learns very quickly, and that’s very encouraging in bringing him here for his first race.”

Said O’Gara: “I think I’m adjusting pretty well. I race USAC Midgets normally, so it’s only my second time in an Indy Lights car. I’m trying to work on feedback a little bit with my engineer, Mike, but everything is going really well.”

Racing in the Firestone Freedom 100 will start a memorable weekend for O’Gara. He will race at IMS in front of 600 Roncalli classmates courtesy of sponsor SportEvents.com. The next morning, O’Gara will join his classmates to receive his Roncalli diploma at graduation. A few hours later, he will race in the Night Before the 500 USAC Mopar National Midget Championship race at Lucas Oil Raceway.

O’Gara hopes a strong run in the Firestone Freedom 100 could lead to more Firestone Indy Lights starts this season.

“Right now it’s just a one-shot deal,” O’Gara said. “We’re going to have the Freedom 100 and we’ll see how that goes, and if that goes well, hopefully we’ll see if we can convince a couple more sponsors to jump on and continue the season.”

Ten other drivers tested Thursday at IMS, including points leader Carlos Munoz.

Munoz is attempting a “double” at IMS, racing for Andretti Autosport in the Firestone Freedom 100 on Friday, May 24 and the 97th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 26. He finished second in the Firestone Freedom 100 last year and is making his IZOD IndyCar Series debut in the “500.”

“The only reason I did that (double) is that more or less it’s a different weekend,” Munoz said.

“Qualifying for the Indy 500 is one week before, and the races are not on the same day. I’ve been in an IndyCar and I know the track, so that’s why I did it. Now it’s going to be tough for sure to go from one car to another, but I think I am comfortable and I have confidence that I can be really quick in each car.”

That confidence is boosted by winning the last two Firestone Indy Lights races, at Barber Motorsports Park and the Streets of Long Beach. Munoz’s fastest lap this morning was 188.544 mph.

“So far so good, but we have a long, long way to go,” Munoz said. “Now we have to change our minds to the ovals because we have four straight oval races, and I’m quite confident.”

Munoz, from Bogota, Colombia, also looks to fellow countryman Juan Pablo Montoya for inspiration in the Indianapolis 500. Formula One, CART and NASCAR race winner Montoya won his only Indy 500 start, in 2000.

“I saw the race of Juan Pablo Montoya when he won the Indy 500 in his first year, so there’s more pressure on me because he won in his first year and is a Colombian,” Munoz said.  “So for me to run in the Indianapolis 500, it’s a dream come true to run in the biggest race in the world. It’s really special to me, and I have to give 100 percent because not a lot of drivers have this opportunity.”


***


2013 Indianapolis 500 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 97th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 26 at IMS.

Race Day ticket prices start at just $30. Fans can buy tickets online at www.ims.com/tickets, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or by visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Children 12 and under will be receive free general admission to any IMS event in 2013 when accompanied by an adult general admission ticket holder.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Indianapolis Student Fulfills Dream At Indy Lights Test
 
Indianapolis Student Fulfills Dream At Indy Lights Test
Kyle O’Gara is a senior at Roncalli High School in Indianapolis, but he missed class Thursday, May 2 to get an education in another area.
Read More
Related Media
Juan Pablo Montoya
 
Pruett's Preview: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio
Juan Montoya has been chasing his second win at Mid-Ohio since he was an IndyCar rookie in 1999. The assortment of numbers involved with the 40-year-old Colombian’s chase for a follow-up victory at the awesome 2.3-mile road course make for an interesting open-wheel time capsule:
Read More
Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational
 
SVRA Schedules "Open Wheel World Challenge" at IMS in 2017
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) today announced an expansion of its events with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway through the “The SVRA Open Wheel World Challenge,” for June 8-11, 2017. The event, planned to occur one week prior to the 2017 Brickyard Invitational, is expected to showcase as many as 500 cars. SVRA officials describe it as an homage to the 50th anniversary of Formula Ford racing. In addition to Formula Ford, any open wheel car, including Formula One, Formula 5000, Indy cars, Indy Lights, Formula Vee, and Formula Junior will be invited. Specific race groups will be established that combine cars of similar speed and will focus on rules for Monoposto, FIA, and SCCA race cars.
Read More
Kyle Busch
 
No Catching Dominant Busch at Prolonged Brickyard
Never before had a driver in this NASCAR race been so dominant, but the defending Sprint Cup Series and Brickyard 400 champion had to endure a series of four restarts beginning on Lap 153 that prolonged a 160-lap race 10 additional laps at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart
 
Two Hoosiers, One Final Memorable Moment at The Brickyard
Tony Stewart couldn’t imagine a better farewell, aside from winning, than to invite Jeff Gordon for one more 2.5-mile drive at the track that has meant so much to both NASCAR rivals. Sunday was supposed to be Stewart’s final Brickyard 400. Last year was supposed to be Gordon’s swan song.
Read More
Kyle Busch
 
Kyle Busch Wins 2016 Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver dominated Sunday’s Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard, leading 149 of 170 laps from the pole and surviving four restarts late in his No. 18 Skittles Toyota. He joined Jimmie Johnson (2008-09) as the only driver to repeat in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,289
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 Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
RT @FamilyFeudABC: In case you're wondering how the @IndyCar men drive for so long! #CelebrityFamilyFeud https://t.co/F1z6FaStQd
about 1 hour ago