INDY 500 News and Notes

Re: INDY 500 News and Notes

Ganassi’s stoked by Indy 500 panache

Likely winning teams: Ganassi, Penske, Andretti Green Racing.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Nothing jacks up Chip Ganassi more than walking into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – unless it’s winning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Sure, much of that is due to the prestige that comes with the Indy 500’s “greatest spectacle in racing” billing. Pack a couple of hundred thousand people into the stands, add a national television audience from 200 countries involving nearly half a billion households and Ganassi, one of the most successful auto racing team owners on the planet, sounds almost giddy.

“This is what racing is all about,” he says. “Nothing does it to me like showing up here in May. When you come through the tunnel between (turns) 1 and 2, something comes over you. I don’t know what it is.”

Try an adrenaline rush. You hear about it all the time from drivers, who put their lives on the line every time they jam the gas pedal to the floor. But owners feel it too, none more than Ganassi. He runs one of only three teams likely to win on Sunday. The others are Penske Racing and Andretti Green Racing.

Ganassi is a competitive guy, which is no surprise to those who saw him race in the 1980s. He never won an Indy car race as a driver, but everything changed when he became an owner. He won the Indy 500 in 2000 with driver Juan Pablo Montoya. He won CART titles from 1996 to ’99 with Jimmy Vasser, Alex Zanardi and Montoya as drivers. He won the 2003 IRL driving title with Scott Dixon. He’s won the last two 24 Hours of Daytona.

Ganassi is winning nearly everything in sight this season behind Dan Wheldon and Dixon. They rank 1-2 in the IRL driver’s standings. They are in the second row for Sunday’s Indy 500, not what they wanted, but good enough to give them a chance at victory.

A victory would be especially sweet for Ganassi. He hasn’t won the Indy 500 since archrival Penske Racing returned to the Speedway in 2001 after a five-year absence because of the IRL’s split with CART. You’d better believe he’d like to return the favor.

Still, nobody owns the Speedway like Roger Penske. He’s won 15 poles (Helio Castroneves added to that total two weeks ago) and 14 races. Both are the most in history.

Of course, nothing lasts forever. Would Penske consider retiring if he wins another Indy 500?

The answer is no. He’s been coming to the Speedway every year since 1951 except for that CART-IRL spat, and if he can keep returning until 2051, he’ll do it.

“I would love to win a 15th,” he says, “and if I do, I guarantee I’ll be back. I’m going to come here as long as I can.

“Coming to Indianapolis to is the most motivating thing we do. The success we’ve had here is because of the people we’ve put together.”

Those people have been some of the best in the business, drivers such as Castroneves, Sam Hornish, Rick Mears, Mark Donohue, Bobby Unser, Danny Sullivan, Al Unser, Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser Jr. and Gil de Ferran.

Sunday’s prospects depend on Castroneves (a two-time Indy 500 winner) and Hornish (the defending race champion).

Beyond that, Penske’s Indy 500 success stems from strict attention to detail. Take, for instance, this year’s smaller fuel tanks, which will mean more and faster pit stops. Penske Racing uses an electric Indy car for pit training, and trains once or twice a week.

That’s important because teams can now fuel a car as fast as they can change tires. With teams already using the same chassis (mostly Dallara), engines (Honda) and tires (Firestone), you exploit every edge you can.

“The real execution,” Penske says, “will have to be in and out of the pits. If you can’t pass on the track, then many times the advantage of getting in and out of the pits quicker is the difference.

“That’s a real focus for us. It’s going to make it more interesting with more stops.”

Adding to Sunday’s interest is Andretti Green Racing, which looks to dominate with quantity (five drivers) as well as quality.

Dario Franchitti is the team’s fastest qualifier (third), with Tony Kanaan, Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti and Michael Andretti also contending.

Andretti Green set the pace in 2004 and 2005, winning IRL titles with Kanaan and Wheldon. Wheldon won the 2005 Indy 500 for the team before switching to Ganassi.

Last year’s struggles (no driver finished better than sixth in the IRL standings) were a big blow.

“I think we got kind of complacent at the end of ’05 with the success we had enjoyed,” Franchitti says, “and we got caught last year. We were surprised by the pace of everybody else. So the owners came up with the money to allow the engineers to do their jobs. That’s what really helped us.”

In the end, Michael Andretti says, money only helps so much.

“We’ve been able to compliment the team with more good people,” he says. “We made a lot of mistakes, but we’ve learned from them.”

When it comes to the Indy 500, you can never learn enough.

www.fortwayne.com

mvbski
useravatar
Offline
43759 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: INDY 500 News and Notes

Andretti Green Racing Carb Day report

Danica Patrick, #7 Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"We ran a lot better in practice today with the Motorola car than we did at the end of the week last week. We were able to catch some cars and pass them. Overall, I think we've got a strong car. There is a little bit more that I'm looking for, but I think we'll find it."

"It was a good session overall for AGR and that comes from working together all month and helping each other out."

Tony Kanaan, #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"When you're the fastest guy on the track, you can't say that your car isn't that good, but I got a good draft. I was trying to run in traffic as much as I could. I'm happy because I think the balance of the Team 7-Eleven car is what I want it to be. It was a good day but Carb Day doesn't mean anything. No one will remember it on race day."

Marco Andretti, #26 NYSE Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"I'm really happy with the NYSE car. I feel like we've got a strong race car capable of winning on Sunday. It's a long race and anything can happen. It's been a long month and we're ready to race."

Dario Franchitti, #27 Canadian Club Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"Today was good. The track conditions were a little bit different than what we have experienced this month, but the Canadian Club car was still good. We are leaving Carb Day happy and I am excited for the race to start."

Michael Andretti, #39 Motorola/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"Things are pretty good for the Motorola/Jim Beam team. We still feel like we've got a good race car and feel like we have a good starting point for how we need to be on Sunday."

Jaime Camara, #11 oso*fresh Dallara/Firestone "I was hoping for two more laps. I think I had a chance, but we can't control the weather. We had a great car, and the team did a great job today. I'm really happy after starting 18th after the problem we had in qualifying and now finishing third."

www.motorsport.com

mvbski
useravatar
Offline
43759 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: INDY 500 News and Notes

Rahal Letterman Racing Carb Day report

INDIANAPOLIS - Tom Petty taught us long ago that 'the waiting is the hardest part' but for Rahal Letterman Racing drivers Scott Sharp (#8 Patron Dallara/Honda/Firestone) and Jeff Simmons (#17 Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone) waiting is all they have left after today's Carb Day practice marked the final time they will be in their IndyCar Series machines until the start of Sunday's Indianapolis 500.

Today's final hour of practice gave teams their last opportunity to work on their machines prior to Sunday's 500-mile event and both outfits took advantage, running in humid and warm conditions at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Simmons turned the quickest RLR lap of the day with a best time of 40.5289 seconds (222.064 mph), while Sharp's best effort was a 40.8848-second trip (220.131 mph) around the 2.5-mile oval. Sharp turned 33 laps on the day to 25 for Simmons.

"The car is good. We're just a little off here and there but I am very confident in the car and the team," Simmons said. "We have a very competitive car. We have gotten it more consistent and it is responding to our changes the way we that it should. Now it's something that I can fine-tune with what's available to me in the car and that's what you want."

Sharp's 33 passes around the IMS layout today boosted his total for the month to 290 laps, equaling 725 miles, while Simmons raised his month's lap total to 222 (555 miles).

"I'm pretty pleased with the pace of our race car on our own compared to our T car," Sharp reported. "We'll check our data and see what we need to do in order to make it a little better for the race. I know our guys are going to work hard on it and give me the best car they can for race day."

Sharp put in some extra sprints at the end of the day as well, driving the Patron-sponsored car in the Rally's/Checkers Pit Stop Competition. The side-by-side battle involved a standing start dash into the pit box, where the crew performed a four-tire change, leading to a final sprint to the finish line.

The #8 team advanced to the semifinals of the event, turning an 8.1-second stop to retire the #7 Andretti Green machine of Danica Patrick in the first round and then dropping the #9 Target Chip Ganassi squad of Scott Dixon. The team ended its run in the semis against Team Penske and Helio Castroneves, who went on to win the final.

"Our guys gave it a great run and we were very close to taking the whole thing," said RLR General Manager Scott Roembke. "To be the best, you have to beat the best and our guys gave it their best shot at it and nearly did it."

Sharp will start 12th in Sunday's race, while Simmons grids 13th.

"I think we can run right with the top-10 cars," Simmons said of his race-day chances. "And as long as you are running with the lead pack, you make smart decisions, have good stops and get a little racing luck, you can get a top-five or even win this thing."

www.motorsport.com

mvbski
useravatar
Offline
43759 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: INDY 500 News and Notes

70 percent chance of rain at Indy 500  :-
May 26, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -It looks like rain for Sunday's Indianapolis 500.

An approaching cold front from the northwest should collide with a warmer and more humid mass of air, bringing a 70 percent chance of rain on race day, a National Weather Service forecaster said Saturday.

``It's already starting,'' Ed Terrell of the agency's Indianapolis office said. ``That's why we've had the scattered showers last night and yesterday afternoon and this morning.''

The race is scheduled to begin shortly after 1 p.m. EDT Sunday. If it is rained out or halted before 101 of the 200 laps are completed, it would be rescheduled for Monday, when the chance of rain is currently forecast at 40 percent.

The last complete washout was in 1997, when the race was postponed to Monday, then stopped after 15 laps and completed Tuesday.

In 2000, the race was delayed three hours by rain. The next year, the race was stopped after 155 laps, then restarted after a rain delay of more than 16 minutes. In 2004, the race started two hours late, stopped after 27 laps, restarted after a delay of 1 hour, 47 minutes, and stopped for good after 450 miles.

mvbski
useravatar
Offline
43759 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: INDY 500 News and Notes

Indy 500 news and notes
By Brian Gabrielle

"Gentlemen and ladies, start your engines" will be the call at the Indianapolis 500 this year, as a pair of female drivers are featured in its 33-car lineup -- one a second-tier hopeful and legitimate contender, the other a true long shot.

Odds on popular pinup girl Danica Patrick range from a low of 15/1 at the Las Vegas Hilton to 30/1 at Bodog.com., with various stops between the two.

She's 20/1 at Sportsbook.com and VIP.com and plus $25.00 at BetCRIS.

Sarah Fisher, another Indy veteran, generally is 200/1 at sportsbooks that include her in their lineups -- some list prices on 20 drivers and lump the rest into a field bet -- and 250/1 at Bodog.

BetCRIS' roster includes 14 drivers and a 20/1 field wager.

The United Kingdom's Dan Wheldon, the 2005 champion, widely is a favorite to wheel into victory lane in the event's 91st running.

Bodog has Wheldon at 9/4, followed by Scott Dixon at 5/2, Tony Kanaan at 4/1 and defending champion Sam Hornish Jr. and two-time Indy champ Helio Castroneves at 5/1.

Bodog is one of the few books that offer odds-to-win on all drivers.

Its lineup includes a number of former champions at long odds, including two-time champ Al Unser Jr. (250/1), Buddy Lazier (150/1) and Buddy Rice (100/1).

Also in the field are members of several prominent racing families, including A.J. Foyt IV (150/1), Michael Andretti (16/1) and Marco Andretti (12/1).

Wheldon is a 5/2 choice at Sportsbook.com, with Castroneves 4/1, Hornish 9/2 and Kanaan and Dixon 5/1.

VIP.com and the Hilton have Wheldon at 3/1 and the next four the same as Sportsbook.com.

Las Vegas bookmaker Micah Roberts of Station Casinos lists his finish order as (1) Hornish, (2) Kanaan, (3) Wheldon, (4) Castroneves and (5) Dario Franchetti.

Franchetti's odds at various bet shops range from 8/1 to 12/1.

Patrick is the focus of one Bodog prop that asks where she will finish.

First through third is 7/2, fourth through eighth is 2/1, ninth through 16th is 3/1, 17th through 22nd is 9/1, 29th through 33rd is 12/1 and will not finish is 2/1.

There is no price on a 23rd through 28th place showing.

In driver matchups, Patrick is a minus $1.35 choice over Thomas Sheckler (plus $1.05) and minus $1.10 dog versus Marco Andretti (minus $1.20) at Bodog and a minus $1.35 pick over Victor Meira (plus $1.15) at the Hilton.

Bodog has Wheldon at minus $1.40 over Hornish (plus $1.10) and minus $1,25 over Castroneves (minus $1.05).

Once considered among sports' greatest annual spectacles, the Indy 500 no longer is a shoe in even as the Memorial Day Weekend's biggest auto race.

That honor well may fall to NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600, where Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson are vying for the favorite's role.

Both events will be contested on Sunday, with the Indy at Indianapolis Motor Speedway running first, followed almost immediately by the Coca-Cola at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.

Several drivers have attempted to run in both races, but current NASCAR star Tony Stewart is the only one to have completed both.

Established starting times now makes it impossible for drivers to even ponder doing double duty.

www.spreadexperts.com

mvbski
useravatar
Offline
43759 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: INDY 500 News and Notes

Franchitti wins Indy 500; Andrettis denied again
May 27, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -Another bittersweet day for the Andretti family at the Indy 500 ended with Dario Franchitti driving slowly and carefully to the checkered flag in a downpour as Marco Andretti's battered car was carried alongside down the final straightaway on a wrecker.

The race was interrupted by rain for three hours and then, after a restart, was stopped after 166 of the scheduled 200 laps.

Franchitti, one of five Andretti Green Racing drivers, won it with pit strategy.

The Scotsman inherited the lead after staying on track when the two drivers ahead of him, teammate Tony Kanaan and defending champion Sam Hornish Jr., pitted during a caution just 10 laps before.

Kanaan appeared to have the race won when rain poured down the first time on lap 112, just four laps after he took the lead with a pass on Andretti.

mvbski
useravatar
Offline
43759 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: INDY 500 News and Notes

Franchitti wins Indy 500; Andrettis denied again
May 27, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -Dario Franchitti prayed for rain as the dark clouds gathered above and fast cars filled his mirrors.

``It was going to come down to a dogfight, and there's a lot of strong cars,'' the Scotsman said. ``Whatever happened, if it came down to that dogfight, it was going to be hard, so I was hoping for the rain.''

He got it, winning an abbreviated Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, another bittersweet day for the Andretti family at America's richest race.

Franchitti inherited the lead when the leaders pitted one last time for fuel despite darkening skies, and then drove slowly to the checkered flag in a downpour when the race was stopped after 166 laps, or 415 of the scheduled 500 miles.

``Our roll of the dice proved to be the lucky one,'' a jubilant Franchitti said. ``I made a couple of good restarts and the rain came.''

None too soon by Franchitti's reckoning.

As the dark clouds drew ever closer, crew chief John Anderson told him on the radio, ``The rain's eight blocks away.''

``Come on!'' Franchitti said. ``I was just hoping it would start soon.''

The race had already been interrupted by rain for three hours shortly after the midway point, and Franchitti won it under a caution light brought out when teammate Marco Andretti crashed three laps from the abbreviated end.

It was a confusing and difficult day for nearly everyone.

``Restart after restart,'' said runner-up Scott Dixon. ``It's just one of those days where you feel like you haven't even raced. It's sort of being on the freeway and watching lots of people smash into each other. It's just a frustrating day in general.''

Not for the 34-year-old Franchitti, who got the biggest win of his life and gave his team its second Indy victory in three years.

Once Franchitti got out of his car, he was mobbed, hugged and kissed by teammates Tony Kanaan, Danica Patrick and Michael Andretti.

``I can't believe it. It's the Indy 500!'' Franchitti said. ``To be a member of this club is fantastic. I kind of have half of an idea of what it means to win this race. I'm so happy.''

Two-time winner Helio Castroneves said Franchitti's win proves it's ``not the young guy, not the fast guy, but the smart guy, and you have to put yourself in the right place at the right time.''

Franchitti, who is expected to collect at least $1.5 million from a total purse of more than $10.5 million when the checks are handed out at the victory dinner Monday night, averaged 151.744 mph, far off the record 185.81 mph by Arie Luyendyk in 1990.

Castroneves finished third, and Sam Hornish Jr. was fourth. The rest of the top 10 were Ryan Briscoe, Scott Sharp, Tomas Scheckter, Patrick, Davey Hamilton and Vitor Meira.

Patrick was the only one of the three women in the field to have an impact. Sarah Fisher finished 18th, two laps behind. Rookie Milka Duno ran no higher than 22nd before crashing after 65 laps and ended up 31st.

It was some consolation for the Andretti family, which has seen little but bad luck since patriarch Mario Andretti won in 1969. Andretti Green Racing had five cars in the field and at one point was running 1-2-3 with Kanaan, Marco Andretti and Patrick.

Kanaan, Franchitti's best friend, had appeared in control when rain poured down the first time after 113 laps, just four laps after he took the lead with a pass of Andretti on a restart.

Franchitti was fifth when the race resumed and fell all the way to 14th after a pit stop to replace a tire. After that, Franchitti had a very fast car indeed. He moved through traffic under the green flag, getting to seventh on lap 131, just before the leaders began making green flag pit stops.

Kanaan still appeared to be the guy to beat after the first rainstorm, fighting off Marco Andretti after the long delay and holding the top spot. But after Marty Roth crashed on lap 151, bringing out another yellow flag - and even knowing rain was moving closer - Kanaan, Hornish and several other contenders chose to pit for fuel and tires on lap 155. Franchitti, who led three times in the race and had moved up to third place, stayed out and led the rest of the way.

``That's the Indianapolis 500,'' Castroneves said. ``You bet it all. Dario took a gamble. He'll be happy with the result and the paycheck.''

Andretti, who lost this race last year as a 19-year-old rookie when Hornish passed him on the final straightaway, slipped into the pack after the rain delay and was trying hard to move back into contention late in the race when he tried to make a pass in traffic. He came together on the backstretch with Dan Wheldon, who gave Andretti Green its first Indy victory in 2005.

Andretti's car veered hard into the outside wall, slid back across the track in traffic and flipped on its top after it hit the infield grass. It finally came to rest on its wheels, and Andretti climbed out uninjured.

``My mirror was broke, so I had no idea who was outside of me. I apologize. I was upside down for a long time,'' Marco said. ``I'm one lucky guy.

``I'm going to be bruised, but to come out of that bruised, I'm going to be happy. What's making me overcome the bruises right now is I'm so proud of Dario Franchitti.''

The two team wins have been about all the good luck the Andrettis have had at Indy for the last four decades, but Michael Andretti, who finished 13th on Sunday, wasn't complaining.

``It's still all about winning, isn't it?'' said the man who has led more laps at Indy than any other non-winner. ``That's why we have five cars out there. At the end, we want one of them winning. I'm so very happy for Dario personally. He's been such a big part of AGR since day one.''

Any chance Kanaan had to win evaporated on lap 156 when Jaques Lazier crashed in front of him. Kanaan spun, barely avoiding the inside barrier near the pit entrance. He rolled into the pits with a flat tire and was later penalized when his crew changed all four tires in a closed pit, instead of just the one that was flat. He wound up 12th, just ahead of team co-owner Michael Andretti.

``It's one of those sort of bittersweet moments,'' Franchitti said, referring to the red flag. ``I'm looking at it and I'm seeing Tony leading the thing and looking like he's going to win it. I'm thinking, 'Well, I think my car is good enough here, but at the same time, my best friend's leading this race, my other two teammates (Marco Andretti and Patrick) are second and third. It was looking like a pretty good day for us.

``The selfish side of me's thinking, 'I hope we go back racing because I think we can do something.' I wouldn't be anywhere near as happy as I am now (if Kanaan had won), but it probably would have been the second best result of the day.''

mvbski
useravatar
Offline
43759 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: INDY 500 News and Notes

Call this one the Wacky 500
May 28, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -The winner crossed the famed strip of bricks in a downpour, his high-powered machine poking along at about 40 mph. Heck, Dario Franchitti barely beat the tow truck that was lugging a teammate's battered car.

What an appropriate way to take the checkered flag in this wackiest of races.

Actually, the Indianapolis 500 seemed like two races Sunday, with a three-hour break in between and not enough daylight to get in the final 85 miles. It was confusing and difficult and dreary, finally going to the team with its eyes on the skies.

``Restart after restart,'' said runner-up Scott Dixon, who couldn't do a thing as Franchitti crept to the finish line under a yellow flag. ``It's just one of those days where you feel like you haven't even raced. It's sort of being on the freeway and watching lots of people smash into each other. It's just a frustrating day in general.''

Franchitti's crew relied on the weather radar as much as the speedometer, which turned out to be the best move on a long day. When the lead pack made its last round of pit stops under caution, the Scotsman remained on the track.

Eleven laps later, it was over. Another line of storms moved in, soaking a track that had been dried twice already.

Franchitti coasted across the line for the biggest win of his career, while actress wife Ashley Judd - drenched in her summer dress - ran barefooted to congratulate him.

When Franchitti pulled in to take the traditional sip of milk, he looked around in a daze, as if he couldn't believe it, either. Like everyone else, he probably wanted to say, ``What just happened out there?''

Although the last two 500s were defined by seminal events - Danica Patrick becoming the first woman to lead and Marco Andretti nearly winning as a 19-year-old rookie - this one will be remembered for all the things that didn't go right.

Start with the weather.

The 2 1/2-mile oval was drenched by morning showers but dried in time for the race to get started on time. Another storm moved in, halting the cars after 113 of their scheduled 200 laps. At that point, Tony Kanaan was leading, and there were enough laps on the books to call it an official race.

But the rain stopped, there was another frenzied drying job and the cars went back to racing with a couple of hours of daylight remaining. They didn't get to use all of it, finished off by yet another line of showers.

Only after the winner and most of the crowd had cleared out of Indianapolis Motor Speedway did the sun finally break through for the first time all day.

It didn't matter at that point.

``The tough thing about running up front is you pit with the lead group. You're part of the same strategy,'' said Patrick, who got as high as second before settling for an eighth-place finish - same as a year ago.

``When you're behind, that's sometimes when you can make a little magic happen. You're not going with the flow. It paid off for them.''

There was some racing, of course, but much of it was run at less than full speed. About a third of the laps were slowed by cautions as one crash after another brought out 11 yellow flags, covering 55 laps in all.

Franchitti led 34 laps, averaging 151.744 mph, far off the record 185.81 mph by Arie Luyendyk in 1990.

Rookie Milka Duno, one of three in the largest field of women ever to take part in a major American race, crashed out after 65 laps. But the most spectacular wreck struck a family that has endured nearly four decades of misfortune at this place.

Marco Andretti, who lost a year ago when Sam Hornish Jr. passed him coming down the final straightaway, didn't make it to the end this time. Three laps from the premature finish, the youngster clipped 2005 winner Dan Wheldon, swerved into the outer wall and flipped upside-down before turning upright in the infield grass.

Bruised but not seriously hurt, Andretti staggered away from his battered car.

``My mirror was broke, so I had no idea who was outside of me,'' he said. ``I'm one lucky guy.''

A wrecker picked up Andretti's car, which still had chunks of grass wedged in the right-side tires. It was being hauled down the front straightaway as Franchitti passed by, pumping his fists when he saw the checkered flag up ahead.

``Our roll of the dice proved to be the lucky one,'' Franchitti said. ``I made a couple of good restarts, and the rain came.''

None too soon by Franchitti's reckoning.

As the dark clouds drew ever closer, crew chief John Anderson told him on the radio, ``The rain's eight blocks away.''

``Come on!'' Franchitti said. ``I was just hoping it would start soon.''

He's expected to collect at least $1.5 million from a total purse of more than $10.5 million when the checks are handed out at the victory dinner Monday night.

Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Hornish finished third and fourth. The rest of the top 10 were Ryan Briscoe, Scott Sharp, Tomas Scheckter, Patrick, Davey Hamilton and Vitor Meira.

Patrick was the only woman to have an impact. Sarah Fisher finished 18th, two laps behind. Duno's crash left her in 31st.

There was some consolation for the Andretti family, which has been through little but bad luck since patriarch Mario Andretti won in 1969. Andretti Green Racing had five cars in the field and at one point was running 1-2-3 with Kanaan, Marco Andretti and Patrick.

It was another teammate out front when it mattered, giving Andretti Green its second Indy win in three years. That was just fine with owner and driver Michael Andretti, who finished 13th.

``It's still all about winning, isn't it?'' said the man who has led more laps at Indy than any other non-winner. ``That's why we have five cars out there. At the end, we want one of them winning.''

No way he could have envisioned the circumstances, though.

mvbski
useravatar
Offline
43759 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: INDY 500 News and Notes

Miscues hurt Penske effort
May 27, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -Team Penske played catch-up all day.

Sunday, the team that seems to do everything right at the Indy 500 suddenly had to contend with bad luck and obstacles usually reserved for other teams - even before the race began. An engine wouldn't start; a fuel hose stuck; a tire went flat.

Although two-time winner Helio Castroneves and defending Indy 500 champ Sam Hornish Jr. finished third and fifth, respectively, they couldn't overcome the mistakes.

``If the rain held off, the leaders would have had to pit, and we didn't need to, so we had a bit of bad luck,'' Hornish said.

That's not typical talk from a driver employed by Roger Penske, the master of strategy.

Penske's team has built its reputation on flawless execution. After winning the pole and the pit-crew competition, Penske couldn't add to his record 14 Indy wins Sunday.

It first went wrong just after the traditional starting command when pole-sitter Castroneves' engine wouldn't start.

By lap 40, Castroneves had another problem. Entering pit lane as the race leader, he left in 29th after a fuel-hose problem. It was reminiscent of last year's race when teammate Hornish was penalized for leaving with the hose attached. Castroneves lost more time on the next lap, when he had to return to the pits to check the fuel.

``We were able to recuperate, be patient, pass big and put ourselves in a very good position,'' said Castroneves, who moved up to sixth before the rain delay.

Teammate Hornish Jr. also had to work his way through the field.

A year after finishing the race for the first time, a flat left rear tire nearly took the defending champ out of contention.

On lap 84, he made an unscheduled pit stop after South Africa's Tomas Scheckter tapped Hornish's tire with his front wing. Both cars pitted, and Hornish, running second, dropped back to 27th.

That was small comfort for Scheckter.

``I hope I damaged his car when he hit my front wing,'' Scheckter said. ``We are lucky that he had just a flat tire, and I've got a broken wing. ``Next time he does that to me, I'm definitely not going to lift and will ram him straight into the front wall.''

The biggest miscue was when both pitted on lap 155, 11 laps before rain stopped the race for good. Winner Dario Franchitti and second-place finisher Scott Dixon opted to stay on the track.

``If I would have stayed out, I don't think I would have had enough for those guys,'' Castroneves said. ``But after we made some changes, definitely, definitely we were ready. It was awesome. It's just a shame we couldn't get one more restart.''


TRIUMPHANT COMEBACK: Davey Hamilton didn't expect to win Sunday's race. All he really wanted to do was prove he could still finish one.

Mission accomplished.

Hamilton returned from a six-year break after a 2001 horrific crash to complete all 166 laps, finishing ninth in his seventh career Indy start.

``It was all strategy really,'' he said. ``Our cars was OK. That last restart, I actually had a good one, but the two Penske cars got by me. But, man, it was a great day.''

Hamilton, who started 20th, was one of the race's feel-good stories after undergoing 21 surgeries and years of rehab after his feet were shattered in the wreck. He raced Sunday with his left ankle fused and a right foot that's an inch shorter.


STRANGE START:
The start of Sunday's race had an unusual look, because the 33 cars were running single file rather than in the traditional three-car rows when the green flag dropped.

Some thought it might be the fault of the honorary starter, Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning. Track officials, however, insisted it was not Manning.

Speedway spokesman Eric Powell said IndyCar series president Brian Barnhart issued instructions during Saturday's drivers meeting to make sure each driver left enough room to avoid an accident-marred start.


ACCIDENTS: It took only 150 laps to produce six crashes, one more than last year's total over 200 laps. The race ended with eight crashes involving 12 cars and still 34 laps short of a full race.

The scariest involved Marco Andretti, whose car flipped over. He was not seriously injured.

The most serious were the first two - Roberto Moreno's crash on lap 37 and a pit row accident involving an Al Unser Jr. crew member. Both Moreno, who hit the wall, and right rear-tire changer Dan Brown were taken to Methodist Hospital.

Brown sustained multiple fractures in his left foot after Unser's teammate Darren Manning drove over his foot.

X-rays on Moreno's sore upper back were negative.

``The car had a bad wiggle all over the place,'' Moreno said. ``It was very tough. When I got to turn one, we just went straight. I couldn't do anything.''


FOYT'S 50TH: A.J. Foyt's 50th Indianapolis 500 came with a special prerace moment when he took a lap with IRL founder Tony George, to mark his 50th trip to Indy as a driver or owner.

Thirty years ago, Foyt took a victory lap around the track with then speedway owner Tony Hulman to celebrate his fourth Indy win. George is Hulman's grandson.

Foyt won four races as a driver and another as a team owner in 1999 with Kenny Brack.


ROOKIE REPORT: Both rookies hit the wall in practice. Worse, they did it again Sunday.

Milka Duno's day ended at lap 66 when she got too high in turn one and slammed into the wall. Nearly 100 miles later, Phil Giebler did the same thing, crashing on lap 107 after getting too high in turn one.

But they weren't the only ones to wreck. Jon Herb, John Andretti and Marty Roth all got too high in the turns and slid into the outside walls.


PIT STOPS: It's the second straight year Honda has not had an engine failure in the Indy 500. ... Tony Kanaan tied Rick Mears' record for most consecutive races led at Indy with six. Mears, a four-time winner, led each race from 1979 to 1984. ... The eight lead changes in the first 50 laps was more than usual but nowhere near the record of 17, set in 1923. ... The Andretti family now has held the lead on more than 1,000 laps in Indy history.

mvbski
useravatar
Offline
43759 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: INDY 500 News and Notes

IndyCar-Indianapolis 500 Results
May 27, 2007


1. (3) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 166 laps, 151.774 mph.

2. (4) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 166, running.

3. (1) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 166, running.

4. (5) Sam Hornish Jr., Dallara-Honda, 166, running.

5. (7) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 166, running.

6. (12) Scott Sharp, Dallara-Honda, 166, running.

7. (10) Tomas Scheckter, Dallara-Honda, 166, running.

8. (8) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 166, running.

9. (20) Davey Hamilton, Dallara-Honda, 166, running.

10. (19) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 166, running.

11. (13) Jeff Simmons, Dallara-Honda, 166, running.

12. (2) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 166, running.

13. (11) Michael Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 166, running.

14. (18) A.J. Foyt IV, Dallara-Honda, 165, running.

15. (26) Alex Barron, Dallara-Honda, 165, running.

16. (17) Kosuke Matsuura, Dallara-Honda, 165, running.

17. (14) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 164, contact.

18. (21) Sarah Fisher, Dallara-Honda, 164, running.

19. (22) Buddy Lazier, Dallara-Honda, 164, running.

20. (15) Darren Manning, Dallara-Honda, 164, running.

21. (23) Roger Yasukawa, Dallara-Honda, 164, running.

22. (6) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 163, contact.

23. (32) Richie Hearn, Dallara-Honda, 163, running.

24. (9) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 162, contact.

25. (16) Buddy Rice, Dallara-Honda, 162, contact.

26. (25) Al Unser Jr., Dallara-Honda, 161, running.

27. (28) Jaques Lazier, Panoz-Honda, 155, contact.

28. (30) Marty Roth, Dallara-Honda, 148, contact.

29. (33) Phil Giebler, Panoz-Honda, 106, contact.

30. (24) John Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 95, contact.

31. (29) Milka Duno, Dallara-Honda, 65, contact.

32. (27) Jon Herb, Dallara-Honda, 51, contact.

33. (31) Roberto Moreno, Panoz-Honda, 36, contact.


Time of Race: 2 hours, 44 minutes, 03.5608 seconds.

Margin of Victory: Under caution.

Caution Flags: 11 for 55 laps.

Lead Changes: 23 among nine drivers.

mvbski
useravatar
Offline
43759 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Board Info

Board Stats:
 
Total Topics:
44599
Total Polls:
2
Total Posts:
278196
Average Posts Per Hour:
4.7
User Info:
 
Total Users:
3503
Newest User:
mathewdavis
Members Online:
0
Guests Online:
2183

Online: 
There are no members online

Forum Legend:

 Topic
 New
 Locked
 Sticky
 Active
 New/Locked
 Sticky/Locked

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com