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Daily Trackside Report - Saturday May 10

DAY 3 – SATURDAY, May 10, 2014
Page 1

Welcome to the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the fourth race of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

***

TODAY’S SCHEDULE (all times local):
10:30 a.m.    Verizon IndyCar Series systems check
2:35 p.m.    Push Out
2:50 p.m.    All Cars to The Grid
3:05 p.m.    Driver Introductions
3:26 p.m.    Invocation, Mark Vroegop – Lead Pastor, College Park Church
3:27 p.m.    National Anthem, Indianapolis Children’s Choir
3:29 p.m.    Flyover – Lima Lima Flight Team
3:40 p.m.    “Drivers to Your Cars”
3:46 p.m.    “Drivers, Start Your Engines” and Formation Laps
3:53 p.m.    Standing Start for Grand Prix of Indianapolis (82 laps/200 miles), ABC (Live).

***
Andy O’Gara, the team manager of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing detailed the process the team will go through to transition from the road course setup used by Verizon IndyCar Series teams today for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the superspeedway setup that will be used for the Indianapolis 500.

ANDY O’GARA: “No. 1, we will take the motor out of the road course cars and into the 500 cars, and then on the aero side, getting all the Speedway rear wheel pods on and the front wing into Speedway trim. We’re prepared; the cars are close to being ready. I look at it as not too big of a deal to change over. We should be ready to run mid-afternoon Sunday. This is a challenge because INDYCAR has done an incredible job of leveling the playing field, and the field is very deep. There are no sluffs out there. We come in with two top 10’s (on road courses).” (About team’s early season success): “We’ve had OK numbers. We still made mistakes that we need to work on. We had misfortune at Long Beach; otherwise we’d be in the top three in points. We were destined for a podium but things happened that were outside of our control. Our group here is high caliber, we keep things tidy. We’re not pigeon-holed to one thing and we keep working outside the box.”

***

Kevin Olson, a member of the National Midget Hall of Fame, is at Indianapolis Motor Speedway today for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

KEVIN OLSON: “Any time I come through the gates and drive through the tunnel I get goose bumps and I don't care what time of the year it is, even if there is nothing going on because this place is such hallowed ground for all of us racers. We grew up dreaming of the 500, listening to it on the radio, and coming to the race so if you come here you are just in total awe every time.” (How close did you ever come to getting a ride): “There were a few years where I had a lot of success then I kind of had a couple of deals set up, of course it was all contingent on money, but I had a test set up and I broke my neck. The next year on the same day I broke my back, and the year after that I got ran over by a car, but I finally did get to do a text a Phoenix but it all came down to dollars and cents. I was never good and finding money I was much at spending it losing it.  But I just loved midgets and sprint cars so I thought maybe when I get to 60 I could get in the show.  I had a chance to work on the IMS radio network and really had a ball but the bottom line is anytime there is a race I want to be here.”

DAY 3 – SATURDAY, May 10, 2014

Eddie Sachs Jr., the son of former Indianapolis 500 pole winner Eddie Sachs, was visiting the track today for Celebration of Automobiles.

EDDIE SACHS JR: “You know this is really neat. Someone just asked me if I had any collector cars and I said no but everybody has a passion and this is just as bad as racing I think. Right now I own a USAC Silver Crown team and I have a really good driver with me this year Davey Ray  who comes out of the midgets. I think we are going to have a really good season.  We will race on both  the dirt and the pavement so we will be racing a couple of times this month.” (About his own career): “It's funny you mention that but the fact is racing is in your blood. I can actually say it had to be in my blood because my mother really didn't want me involved at all and as I got into my teens and got very interested in driving I really knew nothing about it. I have a lot of people ask me if I miss being in the cockpit and the answer is yes and no. You get to the point where you do a reality check on yourself and the kids today and are much more competitive  and they're fearless and trained at a younger age. So between the teens and up to the early 30’s is a prime time to be a driver.”

***

Bruno Couprie will be strategist for Oriol Servia for Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Indianapolis 500. The native of Dijon, France engineered Servia’s front row qualifying effort and fifth-place finish at Indy for Newman/Haas Racing in 2011.

Couprie is engineering Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s class leading GTLM  BMW in the United SportsCar Series for  Bill Auberlen and Andy Priaulx.

***

The following cars: #3 Castroneves, #14 Sato, #18 Huertas, #19 Wilson, #83 Kimball and #7 Aleshin will start on the primary black tires. All cars must use a new set of alternate red tires for two green flag laps in today’s race, unless rain tires are used due to weather.

***

Eddie Cheever Jr., the 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner, will call today’s race for ESPN on ABC alongside Allen Bestwick and Scott Goodyear.

EDDIE CHEEVER: “It’s a historical day – one  this race is at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and two, this is a road course race event. It’s going to be very cool and a lot of fun to see. It will be a clean race and a very safe race. It will be very technical and exciting to see who wins. You’ll see something special, that’s for sure.”

ALLEN BESTWICK:  (On his first year broadcasting the Verizon IndyCar Series on ABC after years of broadcasting the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series): “Good people; good racing and so far a lot of fun. It’s just a different way of going about the same thing. The object is still to be the first one to get to get to the checkered flag, and it’s not easy to do. I’m having a lot of fun. The people have been great to me – very open, very well-received. A lot of people have spent a lot of time helping me get up to speed on the sport and I’m very appreciative.” (What has been your favorite thing about the series so far?): “I‘m a big fan of the cars. I love the technology of the cars. I love the closeness of the competition. I like the depth of the field. You can look around and it’s hard to figure who’s going to win. There are some favorites like any sport, but it’s hard to figure out who’s going to win. And my first two races are St. Petersburg (FL) and a sun-splashed day here in Indianapolis for the first road course race here. What’s not to like? (On being at the Speedway for the Month of May): “Obviously, I’ve come here for a long time for the NASCAR races and to be here and see the difference in the atmosphere for the IndyCar weekend and just get a feel for what it’s going to be like in the next couple of weeks has been a lot of fun. Being here for the ‘500,’ I’ve always had to be in Charlotte for about my entire adult life on Memorial Day weekend. This has been a bucket list item for me that I’ve wanted to do for years. And not just to come here and see it but to be here to work it is going to be a real big hoot for me.”

DAY 3 – SATURDAY, May 10, 2014

1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal will field cars for his son Graham Rahal and Oriol Servia on today’s race.

BOBBY RAHAL: “I think it's great, a great way to kick off the month of May. It's a fabulous track. they really did a great job with it. The previous (road course) probably wasn't the best, but they've really worked their magic on this one. It's very exciting for us to be here. We have beautiful weather and it looks like a big crowd. It's all good. If it had been a few years earlier I would have been right out there with them.”

***

Late Show host David Letterman, the co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing is at the Speedway to support his team today.

DAVID LETTERMAN: “What's it like to be back? It is always great to be here, particularly today, this is how I remember spring in Indiana, and how can you beat that?” (You come back as a former winner of the 500): “That's right. I wish I had more to do with that victory but I will never forget it, and it is something I always tell people and you were nice enough to bring it up. So it stays with you, that's the best part.” (After television will you devote more time to racing?) “I will do what I can, and I would like to go to more races, but of course I will always come here.”

***

Brad Marvel, a former USAC sprint car driver who was not allowed to race at first because he suffers from diabetes is at the Speedway today. He supports Charlie Kimball, the first licensed INDYCAR driver with diabetes.

BRAD MARVEL: “I think it is awesome, and he seems like a real good driver. Of course I would have liked to have done it in a point and time and obviously I think I could have. He (Charlie) is doing a good job and I'm happy for him. I didn't have  any trouble running with USAC what I had trouble with is them letting me. I road raced motorcycles for 8 years without any problems so obviously there wasn't a problem.  The only issue I would have had is the money issues. I was going that speed on motorcycle at Daytona and Charlotte and places like that - so it wouldn't have been a problem for me here.  I think God must not have wanted me in that situation or I would have ended up there. But I am thankful that I have had the life I have had and the pancreas transplant has been an awesome blessing. It's all good.”

***

Adrian Starrantino of Jay Motorsports captured today’s second race of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda doubleheader at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. It was the first win for the 19-year-old native Santa Paula, Calif..

ADRIAN STARRANTINO : “I really wanted to work with the tires early and make sure I didn’t burn them out too quickly. Once I saw P1 (Victor Franzoni) was having a bit of a hard time up front, I decided to make my move and let him get in the clutches of P3 (Florian latoree) and run away. As soon as I got by him, I put my head down and focused on getting to the finish. Then he gave me a 9.8 on the pressure scale to keep the lead. He was quick but I knew I had to get the job done for the team. I can’t even explain the feeling (first win). This course is unlike any other. I’m happy we can race here.  It’s an honor and a blessing. It made for a lot of fun. I’m glad we could come away with a win here. I’m a piece of history now.


KV Racing Technology, the defending Indianapolis 500 champion team, announced today it will field a car for rookie driver James Davison in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. Davison will drive the No. 33 Always Evolving Racing/KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, bringing the total to four cars competing under the KVRT umbrella at the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

Davison, joins Sebastien Bourdais, who'll drive the No. 11 Hydoxycut/Mistic E-Cigs / KVSH Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone, Sebastian Saavedra, in the No. 17 KV AFS Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone, and Townsend Bell, driving the No. 6 Robert Graham KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone, on the team.

Davison, 27 and a native of Melbourne, Australia, hails from a true racing legacy. His grandfather, Lex Davison, won the Australian Grand Prix four times and his father, Jon Davison, was a driver and long-time racing promoter. James came up through the Australian open-wheel ranks before moving to the United States and competing in Formula BMW USA, Star Mazda and Champ Car Atlantic. He raced two seasons in Indy Lights, winning two races and finishing second in the 2009 championship.


JAMES DAVISON: “I have been working on this since late last year, but really started to push hard in the last two months. I had potential deals lined up with three potential teams and I will be honest with you I had not chatted with KV just because well, I didn't turn the stone over with them because they were committed to three cars, and in hindsight I could have started negotiations earlier with them. That said, it wouldn't have made a difference to my program because it is budget restricted. More so, or jointly, with time. We are a half program so we will start on Thursday so all the work with the Bourdais, the Saavedra and Townsend Bell cars we will be able to capitalize on that engineering, bolt it on and go from there so we don't tear up a bunch of the budget on engine time, and tires getting the car set up. Let's face it. For a 33rd entry and a 4th car, and a half program, we are with the reigning champions and our equipment is Panther's. We have certainly very good chances to do well although it is a very limited program.” (Have you been able to celebrate that the deal has been accomplished?): “To be honest, no. It is just one project after another. I have had to put every bit of sponsorship together, ensure that the sponsors are happy with their logo placement on the car, uniform and helmet and make sure they all have their credentials. I have had to do it all myself.  The days of a team having a sponsor and just hiring a driver, that is far more limited than it used to be. Racing will in some ways will be stress relief although it is stressful enough driving an Indy car here at some point.  It's happening and we are out to do well, to build up to doing well. The only time that matters is the end of the race.

***

Scott Hargrove of Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing completed a sweep of the Pro Mazda Championship Allied Building Products Grand Prix of Indianapolis doubleheader today. The Canadian won Friday’s first race for his first victory in the series.

SCOTT HARGROVE, Vancouver, BC, double winner of the Pro Mazda races:  Yesterday wasn't quite enough. We really worked on the championship gap this weekend and closed it up significantly. That's what we had to do, there was no other option coming into this weekend and the team did a phenomenal job. The car was on rails today. I just had to manage every restart and had a huge gap before  the second caution came out. I just stayed calm and was able to pull the gap again.

Our problem had been putting a whole weekend together. We didn't get it done in qualifying this weekend, but the racing around this circuit was so great, it didn't seem to matter. This place is so much fun. I'd like to come back and run it every weekend. I don't think I've ever had this much fun racing.
 

Lyn St. James, a former Rookie of the Year of the Indianapolis 500, is at the Speedway today. St. James was the second female driver to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and helps promote female involvement in the sport through the “Women in the Winner’s Circle” program.

LYN ST. JAMES: “I’m a road racer first; that’s how I came up through racing. The Indianapolis 500 was my first oval race. It’s fabulous to see it (road race) here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It shows the diversity of these teams. Also the 500 may be the only race fans go to and they maybe don’t understand what they see when they watch a road race on TV. To see it here is phenomenal. As a driver I will be running on this road course during the Vintage car races here in June. I haven’t been around the track yet but listening to drivers’ comments, all the drivers are loving it. For drivers who have the diversity to do the road races and the ovals, this is sweet because it’s the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The track is making a huge investment into this facility to show how capable and versatile the drivers can be. Having all the activity (community), really makes the month of May packed. It’s great and the fans I’ve seen here seem to like it. I will be in two Vintage car races; I’m running in the ProAm but I don’t know what car because we are going to draw for the cars. I’m also racing in Group 9 in a 1977 Chevron B39 Car No. 11, so I’ll be in one of the actual races. I’m very pumped about that. (women into racing) during the 17 years that I had the foundation I worked with Danica (Patrick) when she was 14 and Sarah (Fisher0 when she was 15. I knew they (women) were out there, but if no one extends a hand to help them, they will never make it. I am also happy and proud about our history of women exhibit as part of the Henry Ford Museum, a traveling exhibit. It is on tour at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. It tells the story of women in racing; it honors those women and helps to grow the young talent of women in racing. And that can only help the sport grow. I’m pleased and proud that I’m able to do that with a lot of help from a lot of people. It’s a mission that carries on. We have a scholarship fund through the Women’s Sports Foundation that I helped set up with funds from our foundation. Drivers can apply to get a grant just like they could do if they wanted to become an Olympic athlete. It isn’t a lot of money but without more support it could become a lot of money. If we want to change the picture we have to make it happen. It won’t happen by itself.”

GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS RACE SPECIFICS:

The race is 82 laps, 200 miles on the 14-turn, 2.38 -mile road course course.
The race will become a timed race of two hours if there are wet conditions.
The pit road speed limit is 50 mph.
Pole sitter Sebastian Saavedra will grid drivers’ right.
The standing start will after one parade and a formation lap.
A stalled car will result in an aborted start. Two aborted start will result in a rolling start.
Cars causing an aborted start will be moved to the back.
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford will drive the Chevrolet Corvette Safety Car.
The race leader will accelerate for single-file restarts exiting Turn 14.


Brazil’s Luiz Razia won today’s Indy Lights Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race #2. It was the first win in the series for the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver.

LUIZ RAZIA: “It was really difficult. Today was one of those wins that you really dig, dig, dig deep to get. I’m just really pleased that I got it. It was a difficult condition. It was not perfect - but I did it, so that is what matters. We changed the setup (from yesterday). It was not bad. We had some problems with the gear box, for sure. We were not right. But it was good. We won. That’s it. I just focused on myself. I try to win every race. At the end of the day, if I am the champion, I am happy.”

***

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard are attending today’s inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

MIKE PENCE (Governor, State of Indiana): “It is extraordinary (the diversity of the field). Look, Hoosier have been reaching the world throughout our state's history, but the reputation of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is truly global and as you see this new Grand Prix of Indianapolis, and this inaugural event, were just seeing an all new energy here at the track and it is going to expand our ability to attract more people from around the country and around the world to the Hoosier state and see all the great things that are happening here.  You have a beautiful day for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis, and crowd here, I have to tell you, this feels like Carb day to me. This is a big and exciting day out here. I think the renewed commitment of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to improving the fan experience, offering a diverse number of events at the track is going to mean great fun for race fans like me, but it is going to be great news for the business of racing in Indiana.”

MAYOR GREG BALLARD: (waved green flag to begin opening day): It’s amazing that I get to do this – ride in the Pace Car and wave the green flag to open practice. It’s so much fun. I came out here as a little kid and I never dreamed of doing this. Mario Andretti drove me around the track in a Pace Car a few years ago. This is a tremendous day that opens up a lot of activity for everybody at this race track that means so much to Indiana and the motorsports industry. Activities are going on as we speak. It started last night (Friday) on the newly refurbished Main Street in Speedway. I was there last night and there were a lot of people there even in bad (rainy) weather. That is going to be a real big hit in future years. We did the Mini-Marathon last weekend and have more 500 Festival events coming up and that is big for the City of Indianapolis. Every year it is so much fun.  This is the event that told everybody that the City of Indianapolis could come together and run a big event, year after year. People have a lot of confidence that we can do that around the country and around the world. They know if they come to Indianapolis to put on an event or attend an event that it will get done. We have a history of cooperation and collaboration. This event is the one that started it all – still the largest attended sporting event in the world.

GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS PRE-RACE:

At 3:30 p.m., the ambient temperature was 77 degrees with a relative humidity of 33 percent and winds from west at 1 mph. Skies with mostly cloudy. The track temperature was 115 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.

3:46 p.m. – Mari Hulman George, Chairman of the Board of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, gave the command, “Gentlemen, Start Your Engines.” All 25 cars have started and are rolling on the grid for the formation laps.

GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS RACE RUNNING:
Lap 1: GREEN. Lights go out and the Grand Prix of Indianapolis is underway. Polesitter #17 Saavedra and #2 Montoya stall on the grid. Car is struck by #34 Munoz on the left rear and then is struck by #7 Aleshin from behind. #34 Munoz continues across the track and hits the outside wall on the frontstretch. There is heavy damage to all cars. The three drivers all climb from their cars without assistance. FULL COURSE YELLOW.  Leader under caution are: #28 Hunter-Reay, #98 Hawksworth, #77 Pagenaud, #12 Power and #9 Dixon. #20 Conway is on course with damage after hitting the inside pit wall. #2 Montoya rejoins the race after being restarted.
Lap 9: GREEN. #28 Hunter-Reay leads the field down the frontstretch into Turn 1.
Lap 10: #98 Hawksworth passes #28 Hunter-Reay for the lead in Turn 1. #77 Pagenaud also get past Hunter-Reay for second. #14 Sato and #67 Newgarden on pit lane for four tires and fuel. #67 Newgarden also changing the nosecone due to damage. Crew for #14 Sato reports car was hit on left-rear.

***

Verizon IndyCar Series officials have penalized #26 Montagny with a drive-through penalty for jumping the Lap 9 restart.

***

Lap 13: #98 Hawksworth leads #77 Pagenaud by 2.1654 seconds.
Lap 16: #98 Hawksworth leads #77 Pagenaud by 2.4349 seconds.
Lap 19: #98 Hawksworth leads #77 Pagenaud by 2.6788 seconds. #3 Castroneves on pit lane for four red tires and fuel. #20 Conway has rejoined the race, 18 laps behind the leader.
Lap 20: #83 Kimball on pit road for four red tires and fuel.
Lap 21: #2 Montoya on pit road for four red tires and fuel.
Lap 22: #98 Hawksworth leads #77 Pagenaud by 2.6816 seconds.
Lap 23: #10 Kanaan on pit lane for four red tires and fuel.
Lap 24: #8 Briscoe on pit lane for four tires and fuel.

***

Medical update from Dr. Michael Olinger, INDYCAR Medical Director: Sebastian Saavedra, Carlos Munoz and Mikhail Aleshin have been checked and released from the Medical Car. All are cleared to drive.

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 17 AFS KV AFS Racing Chevrolet): “I don’t know. We just followed protocol of the start. I don’t know if it was …or what.  As soon as I released the clutch you went from 11,000 RPMs to 0, you know.  Very sad because we did an amazing job. Everybody did, the team had very high expectations um really very disappointed. We have to see what happened. This should not have happened.”

***
    Verizon IndyCar Series officials have penalized #8 Briscoe with a drive-through penalty for pit lane safety violation – Hitting Equipment (Rule 7.10.1.4).
***
    Lap 26: #77 Pagenaud, #9 Dixon and  #11 Bourdais on pit lane for four tires and fuel.
    Lap 27: Leader #98 Hawksworth on pit lane for four red tires and fuel. #28 Hunter-Reay, #12 Power and #27 Hinchcliffe also pit for black tires and fuel. New leader is #19 Wilson.
    Lap 29: #19 Wilson leads #18 Huertas by  2.0404 seconds.
    Lap 31: Leaders, #19 Wilson and #18 Huertas, on pit lane for four red tires and fuel. #19 Wilson also made wing and air pressure adjustments. New leader is #98 Hawksworth.
    Lap 33: Green flag stops complete, #98 Hawksworth leads #77 Pagenaud by 3.3190 seconds.


    CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 34 Cinsay AndrettiTV.com HVM Honda): “I don’t know. Everything happened really fast, you know…I was really in the back. I was already in 5th gear. I was really close to the car in front of me.  I just saw him go to the right. I had to go to the left but was not fast enough. I wasn’t okay to go a little to the left side and not to crash him just in front and just to crash him with my rear front…Everything went wrong. When you’re qualifying so bad in the rear you can expect these kind of things. Not to forget tomorrow starts another race so we’ll just concentrate on tomorrow and move on. I feel sorry for my guys. They work hard all the time really hard.”
***
    Lap 36: #98 Hawksworth leads #77 Pagenaud by 4.4782 seconds.
    Lap 39: #98 Hawksworth leads #77 Pagenaud by 3.9029 seconds
    Lap 41: Halfway: #98 Hawksworth leads #77 Pagenaud by 3.7736 seconds. #2 Montoya  and #3 Castroneves, #41 Plowman and #25 Andretti on pit lane for four tires and fuel
    Lap 42: FULL COURSE YELLOW. #9 Dixon spins off course in Turn 3 battling #12 Power for position. Car is stuck in the gravel trap. Car is assisted by the Holmatro Safety Team and rejoins the race. Leaders are: #98 Hawksworth, #77 Pagenaud, #12 Power and #28 Hunter-Reay
    Lap 44: Pits are open. Leaders are on pit road for four tires and fuel. #28 Hunter-Reay does not pit and assumes the lead of the race. #77 Pagenaud beats #98 Hawksworth off pit road.
    Lap 47: GREEN. #28 Hunter-Reay leads the field down the frontstretch.
***
    Verizon IndyCar Series officials have penalized #12 Power with a drive-through penalty for pit lane safety violation – Hitting Equipment (Rule 7.10.1.4).
***
    Lap 48: FULL COURSE YELLOW. #41 Plowman and #26 Montagny make contact in Turn 7, #41 Plowman got airborne after running over the curbing in Turn 7 and collected the car of #26 Montagny. Leaders under caution is #28 Hunter-Reay #19 Wilson, #18 Huertas and #27 Hinchcliffe.
    Lap 51:GREEN. #28 Hunter-Reay leads the field down the frontstretch. Behind there is contact between multiple cars. #15 Rahal makes contact with the frontstretch wall after contact with Montoya. #19 Wilson passes #28 Hunter-Reay for the lead in Turn 7. FULL COURSE YELLOW. Leaders under yellow are: #19 Wilson, #28 Hunter-Reay and. #18 Huertas.
    Lap 54: Pits are open. Leaders on pit road for four tires and fuel. #3 Castroneves doesn’t pit and assumes the lead of the race. #19 Wilson wins race off pit road followed by #28 Hunter-Reay.
    Lap 57: GREEN. #3 Castroneves leads the field down the frontstretch into Turn 1. #27 Hinchcliffe is off course in Turn 7.
***
    Verizon IndyCar Series officials have penalized #2 Montoya with a drive-through penalty Jumping Restart (Rules 7.5.1.4 and 7.5.1.6).
***
    Lap 60: #3 Castroneves leads #83 Kimball leads by .7164 of a second.
    Lap 61: #98 Hawksworth on pit road for four red tires and fuel from third place.
    Lap 63: #3 Castroneves leads #83 Kimball leads by .8585 of a second.
    Lap 66: #3 Castroneves leads #83 Kimball leads by .6054 of a second.
    Lap 69: #3 Castroneves leads #11 Bourdais leads by 2.9711 of a second. #83 Kimball on pit road for four tires and fuel from second place.
    Lap 70: #3 Castroneves on pit road for four tires and fuel. New leader is #11 Bourdais.


    GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 National Guard Honda): “I just got punted. I mean Montoya’s a lap down and he almost hit me actually the restart before he tried to dive bomb me into seven. I mean, the guy’s a lap down. I don’t know what he’s trying to do playing with the leaders but it just ruined our day. The National Guard car was really good and we were looking to be third at that point because by the time the pit sequence cycled through we were in the hunt for a win there and there’s nothing you can do…I feel bad for the National Guard guys cause this car was good. It was good today.”     
***
    Lap 71: Leader #11 Bourdais and #8 Briscoe on pit lane for four tires and fuel. New leader is #16 Servia.
    Lap 73: #16 Servia leads #77 Pagenaud by 7.3675 seconds.
    Lap 76: #16 Servia leads #77 Pagenaud by 9.2520 seconds.
`    Lap 78: Leader, #16 Servia, on pit lane for fuel only. New leader is #77 Pagenaud. #16 Servia stalled on exit.
    Lap 79: #77 Pagenaud leads #28 Hunter-Reay by 2.2772 seconds.#3 Castroneves is third 5.2817 seconds behind the leader.
    Lap 80: #77 Pagenaud leads #28 Hunter-Reay by 2.8621 seconds. #3 Castroneves is third 4.2795 seconds behind the leader.
    Lap 81: WHITE: #77 Pagenaud leads #28 Hunter-Reay by 2.6216 seconds. #3 Castroneves is third 3.4023 seconds behind the leader.
    Lap 82: CHECKERED. #77 Simon Pagenaud wins the Grand Prix of Indianapolis by .8906 of second over #28 Hunter-Reay. #3 Castroneves was third, 1.8244 behind.

GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS POST-RACE NOTES:
•    This is Simon Pagenaud’s first win of 2014 and the third win of his Verizon IndyCar Series career. His last win came at Baltimore in 2013. Pagenaud has finished in top-5 in all four races this season
•    This is Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports’ third win in the Verizon IndyCar Series. All have come with Simon Pagenaud.
•    Ryan Hunter-Reay finished second, it is his third podium finish in four starts this season.
•    Helio Castroneves finished third on his 39th birthday. It is second podium of the season after also finishing third at St. Petersburg.
•    Sebastien Bourdais finished a season-best fourth place.
•    Charlie Kimball finished a second-best fifth place.
•    Jack Hawksworth led his first 31 laps in the Verizon IndyCar Series which was most laps led in race.

UNOFFICIAL VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES POINT STANDINGS
1    Will Power        149
2    Ryan Hunter-Reay    148
3    Simon Pagenaud    143
4    Helio Castroneves    102
5    Scott Dixon        102
6    Mike Conway        93
7    Marco Andretti        89
8    Justin Wilson        87
9    Tony Kanaan        82
10    Sebastien Bourdais    80


SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda): “This car was unbelievable. The engine. The fuel we’re saving is amazing. With the pace it was nerve-wracking. I’ve got to tell you, I was worried about Helio (Castroneves) coming back and I didn’t know what (Ryan) Hunter- Reay was doing either, so I just kept working. My lap time was saving fuel, being off throttle. I don’t like racing off throttle. But it worked out, thanks to the whole (Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports) team.  I think it’s amazing. The car that they provided me this weekend was definitely the fastest, and we got the win, so thanks to everybody” (About becoming the first Grand Prix of Indianapolis winner): “It’s pretty cool. It’s awesome. Obviously we work for this every weekend and… this year we’re in the hunt for the Championship. But here looking at the the Pagoda, it’s very emotional. Very happy. My dad’s here and he never comes here so it’s amazing.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “That was a really close call (at the start of the race). That was such a close call and we made it through that. The rhythm got kind of strange there. Everybody doing different strategies, but it was a lot of fun. Would rather not have saved fuel at the end. But the team put us on the right strategy, so thanks to them. I thought maybe we had a shot that time but hopefully we’re saving that last step of the podium for the big race at the end of the month, The 500… Thanks to all the fans that came out and made the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis a success. We really appreciate it. We’ll see you tomorrow going the other way.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Verizon Team Penske): “Sometimes you’re just there and you’re going for it. I guess you just didn’t want to take a chance with the fuel. But at the end of the day, I’m happy with the result. I’m ready for practice tomorrow and I’m ready for the Penzoil car, too.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet): “This is a great day for Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing.  My engineer, Brad Goldberg, and my team manager, Tom Wurtz, gave me the right pit stops at the right times and just let me go race the car. There were so many different strategies going on and all of those yellows made it challenging for our strategy because we had to run hard towards the end just to get back up into the top five after that last stop. I think without that last yellow at the end we might not have had to fight as hard to get back into the top five and could’ve possibly finished even higher.  Overall, I’m just really happy with the guys. We needed this result, especially with the Indianapolis 500 coming up.” 

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Mistic KVSH Racing):  “I knew this race was going to be a bit of a crash fest and sure enough it turned into one, but I am sure it was exciting to watch. It was one of those days when you feel you have the pace, if you can just keep your front wing on and not get hit you can usually have a good day, a good result and earn strong points and that is what we did. I am really proud of the Mistic E-Cigs crew. They did awesome pit stops and the car was strong. We faded a bit at the end on new tires, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a strong finish and that was what we were shooting for this weekend.”  

CARLOS HUERTAS (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): "The race went pretty well for me until we had a slow pit stop and we lost a couple of places. The fuel didn't go it, the total amount that we needed, and we had to make another stop otherwise we would have finished easily top four, maybe second or third."


JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 98 Charter/Castrol Edge Honda): “It was a shame. We had the race under such good control in the beginning. The car was perfect. We got lost in that yellow and then we got shuffled back. It cost us some points. It’s disappointing because we could have won the race. It was and IndyCar race and anything can happen. We just have to move on to the next race. The car was okay late,  I pushed so hard on the rights. We did our best. I feel good about the oval; it will be a different challenge. We will be back with a good car as usual.”

MIKE CONWAY (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet):  “We had a good start and I started picking my way through some guys. I went to the right and I heard on the radio that (Sebastian) Saavedra had stalled. I stayed inside and I could see that the car was stopped. I went for the spot that was open along the wall. (Carlos) Munoz was in front of me and he misjudged the space and clipped Saavedra. That moved Saavedra’s car out just enough that there was no enough for me and it caught me. That put me into the inside wall and we broke the right side suspension, front and rear. The ECR/Fuzzy’s boys did a great job fixing it. And all I could do was go back out and salvage his points. We tried to learn something with couple of setup changes. Still need to pick up some speed but it was good to get some points and I think we are in 6th now.” 

MARTIN PLOWMAN (No. 41 Alfe/ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): "That was a very eventful day for the #41 Alfe Heat Treating Car. The start of the race I had a very good first stint and I managed to pass three or four cars on track. We had a really good pace on the reds. [The engineers] were telling me I was keeping up with the leaders times. Then we pitted for black tires and that was not as good. We a had a bit of oversteer but were still doing okay. Then we just caught the yellow which helped us so we were looking really good on the strategy. But then on that restart we got bottled up behind Marco and then got a run on him into turn 7. A car went on my outside to make it three-wide which pushed me further to the inside. Then under braking I got caught out on the debris on the inside, which locked the rears up instantly, and then I was just a passenger. That was a tough break there. I was just flying through the air thinking, 'This is going to hurt really bad.' Luckily we came out of it unscathed. The car was in relatively one piece. We got it started again on the lead lap and were still running in the top 15. We had a chance to come back with a gamble at the end. We decided to pit and go onto red tires early. Normally a stint is 22 laps, but with 28 laps to go we decided to gamble and save fuel. So the last 28 laps were in heavy fuel save mode. A couple of guys, the leaders, pitted and they came back to pass me but we were having to stick to our plan of saving fuel. Then at 5 laps to go, we were almost clear to race until the end when the rear suspension broke. It was a shame. I think we definitely had a chance to be a top 10 car at the end, but we learned a lot and we handled a lot of different situations well. I'm not happy with the result, but it was a fun race and the boss is happy. And if he's happy, I'm happy."

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 8 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Chevrolet): :   “It’s a really exciting result for us.  I wasn’t confident after we got the penalty in pit lane early on in the race, but we had a couple of really strong restarts and the car just came to us as the rubber went down on the track. The No. 8 NTT DATA Chevrolet just got better and better as we went through the race.  I’m really happy with the result from today and it’s just a great way for the NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing crew to roll into the month of May.”


TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): “What an eventful race. The initial start was tough because we’ve been having a small issue with the clutch since yesterday. Last night we had a good look at it and tried to solve the problem but there still seems to be an issue so I couldn’t get off the start and I was delayed massively. Maybe that’s why I could avoid the accident on the initial start but some debris knocked out our telemetry and we had to replace the nose because debris lodged in it. On the second start I could see a big black chunk flying towards me and I couldn’t move over because there was a car next to me and a wall on the other side. But I could see it coming and I tried to move my head but it brushed my helmet and then there was a big hole in my headrest. Very close but very fortunate that I missed that debris. We damaged the right mirror and head protector. Then I had what I thought was a puncture but because we lost the telemetry at the start, we couldn’t tell if the pressure was going down. So we had to pit and change the tires and we lost a lot of places. But after that we kept on pushing and were able to make up some positions on the restarts. There were many accidents that happened in front of me but I was able to avoid them. We got our lap back in the end and we got a top 10. It was a tough race but it was really good. A big thanks to the whole ABC Supply team—they did a great job.”

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): “The start was crazy and we had bad luck, but in a way good luck. A tire flew in the air and landed in front of my wing. And actually for half of the straight I was pushing the whole tire in front of me and I was afraid to jump over it and break more stuff. Luckily it only broke the front wing. Then we changed the wing but I think something else got bent because the whole race I was very, very loose to the right hand corner. I almost stopped early on but then we changed the front wing angle to balance it and the car was reasonable. We were not super quick but at the end we knew that we either had to save a lot of fuel like some of the guys which meant we couldn’t attack and finish seventh or eighth or try to win. If there was just one more yellow, we could easily get to the end. We only needed one yellow. It was a chance to win and when we were leading, that’s all we needed was one yellow but it didn’t happen but it was definitely fun. From starting where we started, I think we came back really strong. We’re ready to attack the month of May very aggressively.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet): “It was a tough day for the Target car. We had good pace and got a good start to the inaugural road race here for the Indy cars. The turning point of the race for us was really battling with Power. We had a moment right before I spun where he didn’t give me room, and then the next time he opened the door, closed it, and I locked up the tires and spun. Not the day we wanted obviously but we need to focus on tomorrow and prepare for the 500.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet): “Not the day we wanted today but the restarts were really tough and people needed to pay more attention.  I think our cars are improving but now it’s time to turn the page with the Lexar car here for the grand prix and starts having some fun getting ready for the 500.”

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): "The race went pretty well for me until we had a slow pit stop and we lost a couple of places. The fuel didn't go it, the total amount that we needed, and we had to make another stop otherwise we would have finished easily top four, maybe second or third."

DAY 3 – SATURDAY, May 10, 2014
Page 13

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “We had a winning Verizon Chevrolet today, to be honest. It was very frustrating to have all the problems we had. Got off on the wrong foot at the start. We did what we normally do on a standing start; I dropped the clutch and it just stopped. From there we were behind, but even then we were catching everyone. The lead pack knew we were coming. I really thought we were going to win the race. Then we had the problem in the right rear and lost a lap. That was it. We had a good run but just weren’t able to finish were we should.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I am disappointed for the No. 12 Verizon guys, as they did a good job in preparing us for the race and we were reasonably fast  in the Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.  We thought we were in pretty good shape to win before the penalty.  It's hard to predict what's going to happen after restarts.  But we will move forward and look ahead for a better finish at Indy 500.”
***
SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE YEAR STANDINGS
Jack Hawksworth    71
Carlos Huertas         63
Carlos Munoz         61
Mikhail Aleshin     49
Martin Plowman    12
***
The next Verizon IndyCar Series race is the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 25 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast live at 11 a.m. (ET) by ABC. The IMS Radio Network will also carry the race live on its affiliates, including Sirius 213 and XM 209.

 

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