Field For 96th Indianapolis 500 Set After Final Nine Cars Qualify

INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, May 20, 2012) - Bryan Clauson, Ed Carpenter and Oriol Servia were back in the qualification line less than 24 hours after aspirations of reaching the top-nine shootout were scattered across the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Their crews put in multiple hours rebuilding their cars and, in Carpenter's case, preparing the backup after crashes on Pole Day. Servia's No. 22 Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car was quickest (223.752 mph) of the nine non-qualified cars in the morning practice session, while Carpenter tested the No. 20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka car after the track opened for time trials.

Servia, the fourth to make a qualifying attempt on Bump Day, recorded a four-lap average speed of 222.393 mph. Clauson's No. 39 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car posted an average of 214.455 mph, while Carpenter was the final qualifier at 2 p.m. and turned a 222.324 mph average.

All three allowed themselves a few moments to decompress before returning to the 2.5-mile oval to apply their race set-ups on a humid afternoon that is forecast to be matched on Race Day May 27.

Sebastien Bourdais, who was bumped from the top 24 set on Pole Day, was the fastest qualifier on Bump Day with a four-lap average time of 223.760 mph. He'll be joined on Row 9 by Indy 500 rookie Wade Cunningham (223.258) and Servia (222.393).

Carpenter is on the inside of Row 10, alongside Mike Conway (222.319) and Katherine Legge (221.624). On Row 11 are Clauson (214.455), Simona de Silvestro (213.393) and Indy 500 rookie Jean Alesi (210.094).


The Ed Carpenter Racing team moved quickly to action to prepare the backup No. 20T Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone after Carpenter crashed at 3:30 p.m. Saturday during Pole Day qualifying.

Construction of the backup car began around 4 p.m. A timeline of activity Saturday and Sunday:

7:30 p.m.: Team wired the car and adds parts.

10 p.m.: Team worked on rear-end assembly and gearbox.

11:17 p.m.: Chevrolet engine bolted to chassis.

11:25 p.m.: Decals added to car.

11:31 p.m.: Gearbox added to engine.

12:10 a.m.: Car prepared to go on setup pad.

12:30 a.m.: Team left garage for some sleep, returned at 6 a.m.

6:10 a.m.: Team returned to garage, preparing car for setup pad.

8:21 a.m.: Car on setup pad, ready for morning practice.


Indianapolis 500 veteran Jay Howard will serve as a social media correspondent for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Race Day, interacting with fans through his Twitter account, @JayHowardRacing.


A Band-Aid decal was placed across a seam between body parts on the #39 car of Bryan Clauson as a symbol of the work Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing completed to rebuild the car after Clauson crashed Saturday in qualifying.


Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing co-owner Sarah Fisher and general manager Andy O'Gara - husband and wife - described the work the team completed to rebuild the No. 39 Sarah Fisher Hartman/Curb Agajanian Honda that was damaged Saturday when rookie Bryan Clauson crashed in qualifying.

SARAH FISHER (Co-owner, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing): "I think it's another testament as to how great our group is. They're all very talented; they think outside the box, and they have the ability to contribute in more ways than their job titles. They are a very passionate group. They want to see Bryan have a very successful month of May. Some of the guys just went home, took showers and came back. It was a very long night."

ANDY O'GARA (General Manager, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing): "We just got it on the high stand as soon as we could (Saturday afternoon) and tried to assess the race car to the best of our ability. We got some parts from Dallara and from Honda and went back to the race shop to get the necessary parts to put it back together. We went from the middle of the afternoon until the middle of the night, probably 3 to 4 a.m. We got most of it done here. I'm really happy with the effort that the team has put forth here. I couldn't be more proud to be associated with SFHR and the Honda family. I'm excited to get this car in the field nice and safe today, but it's definitely going to be a stressful 24 hours. We made several trips back and forth to the shop to get some parts off our third car." (When were those trips?): "You name it: We were doing that all day long and up through the middle of the night. We had some parts here, but most of the big stuff came off the third car. We were fortunate that Dallara is here, very close to the shop and the track. We went to Dallara to get parts - new side pods, new underwing, new engine cowling, and other body pieces and mechanical bits. We went through tech around 9 o'clock this morning. The car was damaged pretty badly; it's a $200,000 hit. It was a big hit - left-side body work, left-side suspension, front and rear wings, engine, gear box, side covers, drive line, radiators, exhaust - big hit."


Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing co-owner Robbie Buhl described the work the team completed to rebuild the No. 22 Panther Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet that was damaged Saturday when Oriol Servia crashed in qualifying.

ROBBIE BUHL: "It's just proof that you never take this place for granted. It looked a lot worse than it was, probably, but we didn't get into the side pods of the car. The undertray wasn't too bad. The guys had the car back together by 11 last night, and we were out of here. I would say we were pretty lucky, all things considered." (Was working through this situation any different with this particular car compared to the previous Dallara?): "The fact that we were able to get the car back together in a real timely manner I think; the gearbox held up, it's the same gearbox. All is pretty good. But this is a new car, and we haven't seen many crashes with them, so you've just got to learn where the strengths and weaknesses are with them. From what we had yesterday, we were lucky, and everything held up very well. We had to make up some parts last night at our shop. We had to do something on our Hurco CNC. But all in all, we gathered up all the parts."


Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) performed the traditional Armed Forces military swearing-in ceremony this morning, as he has done at IMS for more than 30 years. This will be Lugar's last swearing-in ceremony as a U.S. Senator at IMS, as he lost a Republican primary May 8. He has served as U.S. Senator since January 1977, the longest-serving Senator in Indiana history.

SEN. RICHARD LUGAR: "We started this with Tony Hulman's blessing 35 years ago, but he died before we had our first swearing-in ceremony. The first two were without the Armed Services breakfasts. They were small gatherings. For the last 30 years, we've had breakfast with all the Armed Services, all the recruiters, the American Legion, the veterans' groups and the Hulman family. It has become a tradition that has become so very important, and as we saw with 75 new recruits today, it has taken hold in a very patriotic day. I have looked forward to it every year, first of all, to congratulate all those who are serving. Only one out of every 10 Americans has served in the Armed Forces, and as I mentioned here today, only one in every 100 are volunteering to do so now. Only 25 members of Congress have served in the Armed Forces. This is something we all celebrate, to encourage people to think about such a career, to think about the needs of our nation." (About his future attendance at IMS): "I feel like I'm a plank-owner in this event, and I hope we will have an opportunity to participate for many years to come. We won't be able to be here on Race Day, but we've had some great experiences here on Race Day. We'll be watching it on television this time and keeping track of all the excitement."

Charlie Kimball talked about his accident today in the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda.

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda): "It's really disappointing to go out today and crash the car. Fortunately, the chassis is OK, and the guys have plenty of time and are well into fixing it already. I just feel bad for the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew because we have been having a very good month. We still have a really good race car, and I just made a mistake. I learned my lesson, and we'll go out and have a really good race next weekend."


Indianapolis 500 veteran John Andretti was in Gasoline Alley today.

JOHN ANDRETTI (About whether he'll continue to pursue future opportunities for the "500"): "I'd love to. It's tough being here this month, because, really, I've got the time, I've got the energy, and I've got the desire to be here, but unfortunately that didn't happen. But I'm really happy for Andretti Autosport and that group, because they've bounced back nicely qualifying right at the front. I think they're really competitive. Who knows, we may see another Andretti in victory lane here. It's been a long time since my uncle (Mario won, in 1969). I'm just really excited about that. I have good reasons to still cheer people on and be here, but again, it's not the same as getting to drive one of the cars around the Speedway and being in the Indianapolis 500. Next year, who knows? Hopefully I get a chance to pull out the boxing gloves and fight my way back in."


Third-generation racer Jarett Andretti is visiting the Andretti Autosport team today with his dad, John, today. Andretti, 19, aspires to follow in his family's tire tracks. He and his dad were teammates in the 50th Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona this year.

JARETT ANDRETTI: "I'm disappointed that I don't have a ride for next weekend's Night Before the 500, but maybe next year my dad can run the '500' and I can run the Night Before. That would be cool. Right now I'm racing a 410 non-winged sprint car and hopefully will be running some super-modifieds and pavement midgets this year, too. I would really like to be here in July to run the GRAND-AM Rolex Series race with my dad. I think there's a good chance for us in a Mazda RX-8 again. Obviously, Indianapolis is where you want to race, and I think there's support for us to do that." (Do you want to race the Indianapolis 500?): "Absolutely. Every young driver dreams of racing here, especially in an Indy car. Doing it in a stock car would be great, but to be here in an Indy car, that's what I aspire to. I want to be out there running like these guys on track now in a couple of years."


Today is Armed Forces Day at IMS, saluting America's military. The military swearing-in ceremony and military displays around the grounds at IMS are part of the festivities.


JOHN FERBER (First Lieutenant, Indiana Army National Guard - Aviation): "It's exciting to be here. There's a great crowd. The people are really excited to see our aircraft. The kids get to ask a bunch of questions. It really gets the community involved with the local guys that are out there every day overseas. I've lived in Indiana most of my life. This is my first trip out here, and I love it. These new cars are great. Even though I haven't gotten out here before now, I follow the sport pretty well. The cars look they're moving really well out there. It's a great time. A couple of drivers are going to come out and check out our aircraft. We're going to give them the tour of what we do because they already showed us some of the things around their garages. It's going to be exciting to build up some camaraderie."


Gary Rovazzini, facilities manager at Target Chip Ganassi Racing, was presented the IMIS/C&R Racing "True Grit" Award today in Gasoline Alley by officials from C&R Racing Inc., and the International Motorsports Industry Show (IMIS).

The $5,000 award is annually given to a veteran INDYCAR team member who has achieved success, overcome adversity, excelled in preparation and has exemplified dedication to the highly skilled trade of building and maintaining IZOD IndyCar Series cars.

During Ganassi's driving career in the early 1980's, Rovazzini worked as a mechanic on many of his cars and was then one of the first people employed with Target Chip Ganassi Racing when it was formed in 1990.

Past Indianapolis 500 "True Grit" Award winners include: Kyle Moyer (Andretti Green Racing), Mitch Davis (Target Chip Ganassi Racing), Rick Long (Speedway Engines), Clive Howell (Penske Racing), Rick Rinaman (Penske Racing), Owen Snyder Jr., (Eddie Cheever Racing), Dennis Lacava (Hemelgarn Racing), John O'Gara (A.J. Foyt Enterprises), Craig Baranouski (A.J. Foyt Enterprises), John King (A.J. Foyt Enterprises) Tim Coffeen (Newman/Haas/Lanigan), Tim Homberg (Newman/Haas/Lanigan), John Tzouanakis (Newman/Haas/Lanigan), Paul "Ziggy" Harcus (Andretti Autosport) and the late Davey Evans (Newman/Haas/Lanigan).

GARY ROVAZZINI: "I'd like to thank my peers. I appreciate it very much. If it wasn't for my wife, I probably wouldn't be here today. She said, 'Let's go to the racetrack.' I thought, 'Why?' She said, 'We've got to see what's going on.' I wanted to come, but I didn't think she did. I'm glad she brought me. I didn't realize this at all until about five minutes ago. I just want to thank all of my peers, C&R. Thank you very much."


At noon, the ambient temperature was 85 degrees with variable winds at 5 mph. Skies were partly cloudy. The track temperature was 118 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.

Each qualifying attempt will start on the second time past the flag stand.

12:06 p.m. #78 SIMONA DE SILVESTRO/Thun, Switzerland  Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing Lotus           QA-1  1 - 41.9530 - 214.526 Q - 41  2 - 41.9743 - 214.417  3 - 41.9855 - 214.360  4 - 42.0034 - 214.268  T 2:47.9162 - 214.39312:13 p.m. #14 MIKE CONWAY/Bromley, England  ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing HondaQA-1(QE-3)  1 - 40.4456 - 222.521 Q - 42  2 - 40.5542 - 221.925  3 - 40.4863 - 222.297  4 - 40.4432 - 222.534  T 2:41.9293 - 222.31912:19 p.m. #7 SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS/Le Mans, France  Dragon Racing ChevroletQA-1(QE-3)  1 - 40.1469 - 224.177 Q - 43  2 - 40.2109 - 223.820  3 - 40.2574 - 223.561  4 - 40.2714 - 223.484  T 2:40.8866 - 223.760


DAY 9 - SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2012 - BUMP DAY

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12:27 p.m. #6 KATHERINE LEGGE/Guildford, England  TrueCar-Dragon Racing Chevrolet           QA-1  1 - 40.5287 - 222.065 Q - 44  2 - 40.6125 - 221.607  3 - 40.6579 - 221.359  4 - 40.6383 - 221.466  T 2:42.4374 - 221.62412:35 p.m. #22 ORIOL SERVIA/Pals, Spain  Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet           QA-1  1 - 40.4302 - 222.606 Q - 45  2 - 40.4578 - 222.454  3 - 40.4878 - 222.289  4 - 40.4996 - 222.224  T 2:41.8754 - 222.39312:42 p.m. #41 WADE CUNNINGHAM/Auckland, New Zealand  ECat/ABC Supply HondaQA-1(QE-3)  1 - 40.3273 - 223.174 Q - 46  2 - 40.3219 - 223.204  3 - 40.2825 - 223.422  4 - 40.3167 - 223.233  T 2:41.2484 - 223.25812:49 p.m. #64 JEAN ALESI/Avignon, France  Lotus - FP Journe - Fan Force United Lotus           QA-1  1 - 42.9097 - 209.743 Q - 47  2 - 42.8349 - 210.109  3 - 42.8298 - 210.134  4 - 42.7772 - 210.392  T 2:51.3516 - 210.094


12:56 p.m. #39 BRYAN CLAUSON/Noblesville, Ind.  Sarah Fisher Hartman/Curb Agajanian Honda

#39 Clauson pulls into deceleration lane in Turn 4 on first warm-up lap, pulls into pit lane due to mechanical problem.

1:15 p.m. #39 BRYAN CLAUSON/Noblesville, Ind.  Sarah Fisher Hartman/Curb Agajanian HondaQA-1(QE-2)  1 - 41.8191 - 215.213 Q - 48  2 - 41.8716 - 214.943  3 - 41.8821 - 214.889  4 - 42.2943 - 212.795  T 2:47.8671 - 214.455

At 2 p.m., the ambient temperature was 87 degrees with calm winds. Skies were partly cloudy. The track temperature was 119 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.

2:04 p.m. #20T ED CARPENTER/Indianapolis  Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing ChevroletQA-1(QE-3)  1 - 40.4099 - 222.718 Q - 49  2 - 40.4586 - 222.450  3 - 40.5515 - 221.940  4 - 40.5062 - 222.188  T 2:41.9262 - 222.324



•There are three former Indianapolis 500 winners in the starting field: Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009), Scott Dixon (2008) and Dario Franchitti (2007, 2010). Between them they have six victories. The record for most former winners in the field is 10, in 1992. The fewest, other than the inaugural race in 1911, is zero in 1912.

•There are eight rookies in the field. This year's rookies are Jean Alesi, Rubens Barrichello, Bryan Clauson, Wade Cunningham, James Jakes, Katherine Legge, Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud. Last year there were five rookies.

•Helio Castroneves is the most experienced driver in the field, with 11 previous Indianapolis 500 starts. The record is 35, set in consecutive years from 1958-92 by A.J. Foyt.

•Dario Franchitti has led 306 career laps in the Indianapolis 500, more than any other driver in this year's field. Other drivers in the field who have led more than 200 laps are Scott Dixon (293), Helio Castroneves (231) and Tony Kanaan (214).

•Thirteen different drivers in this year's field have led a total of 1,156 laps in previous Indianapolis 500 Mile Races.

•There is a combined 103 previous Indianapolis 500 starts among the 33 drivers in this year's field. The record is 260 years of experience, set in 1987 and 1992. There were 142 years of combined experience in last year's field.

•The oldest driver in the starting field is Jean Alesi, 47. The youngest qualifier is Josef Newgarden, 21. Alesi is the oldest rookie to start in the Indianapolis 500. He will be 47 years, 351 days old on Race Day. The previous oldest rookie to start in the Indianapolis 500 was Jack Hewitt at 46 years, 320 days in 1998.

•There are 11 veterans of INDYCAR-sanctioned Firestone Indy Lights competition in the field. They are Marco Andretti, Ana Beatriz, Ed Carpenter, Bryan Clauson, Wade Cunningham, JR Hildebrand, James Hinchcliffe, Charlie Kimball, Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal and Sebastian Saavedra. Townsend Bell, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Oriol Servia competed in Indy Lights before INDYCAR sanction.

•In addition to the eight rookies in the race, there are four drivers - Sebastien Bourdais, Mike Conway, Michel Jourdain Jr. and Sebastian Saavedra - who did not start in last year's race.

•Sixteen of the 33 drivers in this year's field earned their career-best Indianapolis 500 starting spot: Ryan Briscoe (1st), James Hinchcliffe (2nd), Ryan Hunter-Reay (3rd), Marco Andretti (4th), Josef Newgarden (7th), E.J. Viso (9th), Rubens Barrichello (10th), Ana Beatriz (13th), Charlie Kimball (14th), James Jakes (17th), Simon Pagenaud (23rd), Sebastian Saavedra (24th), Wade Cunningham (26th), Katherine Legge (30th), Bryan Clauson (31st), Jean Alesi (33rd).

•All five Andretti Autosport drivers - James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Ana Beatriz and Sebastian Saavedra - achieved career-best Indianapolis 500 starting spots this year.


The next day of on-track activity is Thursday, May 24, when practice and qualifying for the Firestone Freedom 100 takes place. Practice is scheduled from 9 a.m.-noon, with qualifying at 1:15 p.m.


The next IZOD IndyCar Series race is the Indianapolis 500 Mile on May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be televised by ABC at 11a.m. (ET) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network on SiriusXM (XM 94 and Sirius 212). The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Firestone Freedom 100 on May 25 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be televised live by NBC Sports Network at Noon (ET) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network.