Rookie Josef Newgarden learned a valuable lesson about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as practice for the 96th Indianapolis 500 continued.
The 21-year-old Tennessee native's respect for the racetrack grew with 16 minutes left in the six-hour practice session May 16 when his car bobbled in Turn 4, did two complete spins and struck a glancing blow on the pit lane retaining wall. It was the first incident of contact of the month.
Other than a scare, it was a positive day for Newgarden, who topped the time chart for the third time this month.
Newgarden's best lap of 40.3977 seconds (222.785 mph) led Andretti Autosport teammates Marco Andretti (222.108 mph), Ryan Hunter-Reay (221.763) and James Hinchcliffe (221.638) as teams continued working on race set-ups with the new Dallara chassis.
There's one more day of practice before teams receive the added turbocharger boost for "Fast Friday" - reflecting a 40-50 horsepower gain and 4-5 mph per lap. The increase in the boost will be available for that session and the weekend time trials.
Thirty drivers recorded 1,632 laps. Two-time Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti (221.623) was fifth overall in the No. 50 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car and Justin Wilson was sixth (221.420) in the No. 18 Sonny's BBQ car for Dale Coyne Racing.
DAY 5 NOTEBOOK:
Five entrants earned spots in the Indianapolis 500 Pit Stop Competition on Miller Lite Carb Day on Friday, May 25 during time trials this morning at IMS. Six teams changed tires and simulated fueling during the trials.
The five qualifiers, and their times this morning:
1. No. 38 Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (Graham Rahal) 9.157 seconds2. No. 4 Panther Racing (JR Hildebrand) 9.2983. No. 22 Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (Oriol Servia) 9.3224. No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing (Mike Conway) 9.8155. No. 28 Andretti Autosport (Ryan Hunter-Reay) 9.939
Those five entrants will join the seven entrants that previously qualified through their performance at 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series races after the Indianapolis 500:
No. 2 Team Penske with Ryan Briscoe
No. 3 Team Penske with Helio Castroneves
No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Scott Dixon
No. 12 Team Penske with Will Power
No. 26 Andretti Autosport with Marco Andretti
No. 27 Andretti Autosport with James Hinchcliffe
No. 50 Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Dario Franchitti
The Nos. 2, 3 and 50 will receive byes into the quarterfinals, along with either the Nos. 9 or 12 that are tied for position. A blind draw will determine the qualifier.
A $100,000 purse will be awarded at the Indianapolis 500 Pit Stop Competition, which consists of four rounds of head-to-head competition in which teams change four tires and simulate fueling.
Unlike past years, the winning team in each round will advance by having the quickest time from drop of the green flag until the car reaches the finish line. The winning team will receive $50,000, with the remainder of the purse being distributed based on finish.
Indianapolis orthodontist Dr. Charles Pritchett was the honorary starter today. He has attended every racing event at IMS since 1957 - Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400, United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis and Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
Local and national recording artists and special guests will entertain the attendees at the Indy 500 Soiree presented by Lucas Oil on Friday, May 25 at the Lucas Estate in Carmel, Ind.
The event will raise money for a Garth Brooks' Teammates for Kids Foundation's Child Life Zone at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health.
The evening will begin with a VIP reception from 6-7 p.m. on an exclusive, poolside section of the Lucas estate. Attendees will be able to mingle with special guests, Garth Brooks, Indy 500 winners Arie Luyendyk and Kenny Brack, and the field for the 96th Indianapolis 500, as well as other celebrities and Indianapolis notables.
Indianapolis's own "Sizzlin' Gregg Bacon" will perform during the reception. With his signature jazz styling, the saxophonist has accompanied B.B. King in concert and opened for Aretha Franklin, The O'Jays and John Mellencamp.
At 7 p.m., fans are invited to join the event via a Live & Global webcast Q&A powered by Ortsbo, a leader in real-time email, online chat and social media language translation, and hosted by three-time Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves and IZOD IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe. This event will include interviews with celebrity guests, including INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard and Brooks, streamed live for fans watching around the world at www.Liveandglobal.com/indycar.
Nashville recording artists Cook & Belle and dance band Jakarta will entertain guests on outdoor and indoor stages, while inside the main estate, Jeanette Lee, "the Black Widow," will amaze everyone with her billiards trick-shooting prowess. The Trisha Yearwood Dessert Room will offer dessert delights, and the INDYCAR Legends room will host the A.J. Foyt wine bar.
A cigar bar, the opportunity for pictures with the Borg-Warner Trophy and a silent auction also will take place.
For opportunities to support the Indy 500 Soiree presented by Lucas Oil through sponsorship or donations, or for more information, visit www.lucasoil.com/indy500soiree or call Detail & Design at (317) 423-3590.
The Indiana Section SAE International announced six candidates today for the 46th annual Louis Schwitzer Award sponsored by BorgWarner, which will be presented at 11 a.m. Friday, May 18 in the Economaki Press Conference Room on the first floor of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Media Center.
The award, presented to engineers by engineers, recognizes individuals with the courage and conviction to explore and develop new concepts in motorsports technology for use in the Indianapolis 500. The candidates are individuals responsible for:
•Chevrolet IndyCar V6 engine
•Honda HI12R engine
•Lotus Indy V6 engine
•Dallara DW12 chassis
The Louis Schwitzer Award has been presented annually since 1967 by the Indiana Section SAE International in honor of early racing pioneer and past Indiana Section Chairman Louis Schwitzer. Award sponsor BorgWarner provides a $10,000 cash prize to the winner, and the winner's name is added to the permanent trophy on display at the IMS Hall of Fame Museum.
Last year's recipients were James Goodloe, Roger Griffiths, Marcelo Martinelli and Robert Bell from Honda Performance Development for the Honda Refueling Safety Interlock System. Past winners have included Colin Chapman, Bruce McLaren, Smokey Yunick, A.J. Foyt and Gian Paolo Dallara.
The last year without any rain delays or interruptions during Indianapolis 500 practice was 1998.
Media are invited to attend a sled crash test, focusing on advancements in decreasing driver injuries in INDYCAR racing, from 1-2 p.m. Saturday, May 26 at the Center for Advanced Product Evaluation in North Westfield, Ind.
Experts available for interviews at the test include Kirk Russell, Director of International Motorsports Industry Show Safety and Technical Conference; Dr. Terry Trammell, OrthoIndy; Jeff Horton, INDYCAR director of engineering; Thomas J. Chezem, Center for Advanced Product Evaluation and Chris Paulsen, co-owner of the International Motorsports Industry Show (IMIS).
Bus transportation will be provided for media from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Media Center, departing at noon and returning at approximately 3 p.m.
Space is limited. Media are required to RSVP to both Joe Crowley of True Speed Communication at firstname.lastname@example.org and Jamie Harding Hancock of IMIS at
The life of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon will be honored through a variety of activities during the 2012 edition of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Wheldon earned his second "500" victory in dramatic fashion in 2011, taking the lead for the first and only time on the final straightaway of the race. He also won the race in 2005. Wheldon suffered a non-survivable injury in a racing accident in October 2011 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The salute to charismatic fan favorite Wheldon starts Wednesday, May 16 when the No. 98 William Rast-Curb/Big Machine Dallara/Honda/Firestone car that he drove to the improbable victory last May will be placed on display at the IMS Hall of Fame Museum until Sunday, May 20.
That car also will be displayed Saturday, May 26 in the Pagoda Plaza during Legends Day Honoring Roger Penske presented by Shell.
A variety of tributes to Wheldon are planned for 96th Indianapolis 500 Race Day, Sunday, May 27.
•All fans entering the track on Race Day will receive a pair of white cardboard sunglasses - white sunglasses were a favorite of the fashionable Wheldon - to wear in tribute to Wheldon on the parade lap, Lap 26 and Lap 98, recognizing the numbers of his winning cars. Fans also are encouraged to wear their own white sunglasses during those laps.
•Bryan Herta, co-owner of the team for which Wheldon drove last year at Indianapolis, will drive Wheldon's winning 2011 car for a lap of honor during pre-race ceremonies shortly before the command to start engines. Sam Schmidt Motorsports, which had a technical alliance last year with Bryan Herta Autosport at Indianapolis, has restored the car.
•Wheldon will be featured on the Race Day technical inspection stickers affixed to all cars in the field.
Other Race Week tributes include Wheldon's wife, Susie, participating in the Public Drivers Meeting on Saturday, May 26 at IMS and receiving her husband's Champion of Champions ring for his 2011 Indianapolis 500 victory when she arrives in Indianapolis.
JEFF BELSKUS (President and CEO, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation): "Dan embodied the spirit of the Indianapolis 500 and Indianapolis Motor Speedway like few who have ever raced here. He loved this race and this special place so much, and his fans and everyone associated with 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing' returned that affection with equal passion. We're honored to pay tribute to Dan - an incredible father, husband, friend and driver - through these activities this year. But rest assured, he will be remembered forever at IMS."
Medical update from Dr. Michael Olinger, INDYCAR medical director: Josef Newgarden was evaluated and released without injury from the IU Health Emergency Medical Center at IMS. He is cleared to drive.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: "You don't get many lucky breaks around this place, and I think I just got one. The guys have done a great job putting together such a good car, and I don't want to hurt the thing. I'll try to learn what happened and why the thing got around on me. Everyone's trying to figure out the race car around this place, and obviously I have a little more work to do. We were old on our tire run and trying to run as far as possible to see how the car reacts, and I think it's just difficult to run in the tow, and today I got bit by it a little."