IndyCars - The Indy 500: The BIG one is finally here for 2018

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It’s time for the greatest spectacle in racing once again as the 102nd Running of the Indy 500 is about to take place at the famed 2.5 mile oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway!

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While most people think of this week as all about the IndyCars, the 3 series that makes up the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system will also be racing on Friday - Carb Day. They are:

  • The Indy Lights, the Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • Pro Mazda, the Feedom 90 at Lucas Oil Raceway
  • USF2000, the Freedom 75 at Lucas Oil Raceway

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Let’s check those support series out

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USF2000 - the first rung on the MRTI ladder system, these cars are the smallest and least powerful, at 175 horsepower from their Mazda 2.0 liter engines - the best way to transition from go-karts and smaller formulas. Last season, a new chassis was introduced - the Tatuus USF-17 - and it has broken records at virtually every track it has raced on. With better aerodynamics, better electronics and better brakes than the old Van Diemen car, it has produced more passing and better racing for more than a year, now. The pilots in this series are often getting their first taste of a formula car with wings and slicks and they come from all points on the globe. The current points leader is American Kyle Kirkwood, the 2017 F4 United States Champion, driving for Cape Motorsports:

Kyle Kirkwood in his Tatuus USF-17

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Support racing…(part 2)…

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Pro Mazda - This is the middle series on the MRTI ladder system that trains IndyCar drivers. This year, the series is blessed with a brand new chassis - the Tatuus PM-18. It uses the same tub as the Tartuus USF-17, but the engine is a much more powerful Mazda 2.0 liter, with 275 horsepower, with much bigger brakes and much more aero downforce, with a bi-element rear wing. Just as with the USF-17 the PM-18 has been a huge success, so far, and its glorious engine rasp is one of the best things about it. The current points leader is rookie Parker Thompson, from Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. Parker drives for Canadian powerhouse Exclusive Autosport. Collectively, they are known as the “eh team” in the paddock.

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Parker Thompson in his new PM-18 for Exclusive Autosport

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Indy Lights - The top step on the ladder is the Lights. Their new car came in 2015 - the Dallara IL-15. It uses another Mazda 2.0 liter engine, but it is also turbo-charged top produce 450 hp in regular trim, but it also has available an additional 50 HP with the push of a button. Known as “push-to-pass” this same system is used on the big cars. The braking and aero on these cars is superb, giving the series drivers a real chance to get close to IndyCar in handling and performance. MOST of the guys driving IndyCars today were once in Indy Lights. The current points leader is Mexico’s Patricio O’Ward, driving for Andretti Autosport, but Pato has a precarious 1 point lead over teammate Colton Herta.

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Pato O’Ward for Andretti Autosport

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The IndyCars have practiced all last week and then qualified for the race on Saturday and Sunday, last. Those stories are in the “Off Season” thread, but we will repeat the grid for the Indy 500 next…

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The IndyCars are qualified for the 102nd Running of the Indy 500…

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Here is the way they will grid for the 2018 Indy 500, with times for the TOP NINE: [R] denotes rookie; speeds are the average of four laps

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Row 1

Pole - Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing - speed of 229.618mph

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P2 - Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske - speed of 228.761mph

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P3 - Will Power, Team Penske - speed of 228.607mph

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Row 2

P4 - Josef Newgarden, Team Penske - speed of 228.405mph

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P5 - Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser/Sullivan - speed of 228.142mph

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P6 - Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter Racing - speed of 228.107mph

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Row 3

P7 - Danica Patrick, Ed Carpenter Racing - speed of 228.090mph

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P8 - Helio Castroneves, Team Penske - speed of 227.859mph

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P9 - Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing - speed of 227.262mph

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Row 4

P10 - Tony Kanaan, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
P11 - Matheus Leist [R], A.J. Foyt Enterprises
P12 - Marco Andretti, Andretti Herta

Row 5

P13 - Zachary Claman DeMelo [R], Dale Coyne Racing
P14 - Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport
P15 - Charlie Kimball, Carlin

Row 6

P16 - Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
P17 - Kyle Kaiser [R], Juncos Racing
P18 - Robert Wickens [R], Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Row 7

P19 - James Davison, Foyt with Byrd / Hollinger / Belardi
P20 - Max Chilton, Carlin
P21 - Carlos Munoz, Andretti Autosport

Row 8

P22 - Gabby Chaves, Harding Racing
P23 - Stefan Wilson, Andretti Autosport
P24 - Sage Karam, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

Row 9

P25 - Zach Veach [R], Andretti Autosport
P26 - Oriol Servia, Scuderia Corsa with RLL
P27 - JR Hildebrand, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

Row 10

P28 - Jay Howard, SPM / AFS
P29 - Ed Jones, Chip Ganassi Racing
P30 - Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Row 11

P31 - Jack Harvey [R], Meyer Shank Racing with SPM
P32 - Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport
P33 - Conor Daly, Dale Coyne Racing dba Thom Burns Racing

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Notable:

This is Ed Carpenter’s 3rd career Indy 500 pole. He was the only guy to crack 230 miles per hour, which he did on lap 1 of the 4 laps.

Two rather big surprises on the day were James Davison, who did a lot better than his Saturday times might show and Alexander Rossi who did a lot worse than his Saturday times might show.

While Team Penske and Ed Carpenter Racing are clearly on it, the Best-of-the-Rest team has to be AJ Foyt Enterprises which posted P10 with Tony Kanaan, P11 with Matheus Leist and Davison’s P19. Matheus - a product of Indy Lights - was the best rookie qualifier.

Brazilian Matheus Leist

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Thursday at Indy - The Indy Lights practiced and qualified for the Freedom 100 today…

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The Lights held two practice sessions in good weather and then qualified for Friday’s Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The COMBINED practice sessions had this order of speed: [R] denotes rookie; the best session for each driver is in ( )

1 - Ryan Norman, Andretti Autosport (1)
2 - Dalton Kellett, Andretti Autosport (1)
3 - Pato O’Ward [R], Andretti Autosport (2)
4 - Santiago Urrutia, Belardi Auto Racing (2)
5 - Davey Hamilton, Jr [R], Team Pelfrey (1)
6 - Victor Franzoni [R], Juncos Racing (1)
7 - Colton Herta, Andretti Steinbrenner (2)
8 - Aaron Telitz, Belardi Auto Racing (2)

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Following the practices, the guys qualified. This was one warm-up lap, followed by two hot laps. The two laps are averaged and the fastest guy is on pole, with everyone lining up in the order of speed.

Here is the way they will grid for the 2018 Freedom 100, with times for all: [R] denotes rookie; the time is for two laps and the speed is the average of the two laps.

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Row 1

Pole - Dalton Kellett, Andretti Autosport - time of 01:32.2947s for a speed of 195.027mph

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P2 - Pato O’Ward [R], Andretti Autosport - time of 01:32.3548s for a speed of 194.901mph

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Row 2

P3 - Ryan Norman, Andretti Autosport - time of 01:32.7499s for a speed of 194.070mph

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P4 - Victor Franzoni [R], Juncos Racing - time of 01:32.7552s for a speed of 194.059mph

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Row 3

P5 - Santiago Urrutia, Belardi Auto Racing - time of 01:32.7659s for a speed of 194.037mph

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P6 - Colton Herta, Andretti Steinbrenner - time of 01:32.8927s for a speed of 193.772mph

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Row 4

P7 - Davey Hamilton, Jr [R], Team Pelfrey - time of 01:33.1183s for a speed of 193.302mph

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P8 - Aaron Telitz, Belardi Auto Racing - time of 01:33.1346s for a speed of 193.269mph

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Notable:

  • Dalton has finished the Freedom 100 in P3 twice before. He knows his way around the big oval. Pato O’Ward, however, is a true rookie at the Speedway.

  • Aaron Telitz was P2 in last year’s Freedom 100, to Matheus Leist’s P1. This slow showing has to be the car - not the driver.

  • Davey Hamilton jumped out of his Indy Lights car and into a helicopter to go and qualify for the Pay Less Little 500 Sprint Car race to be held at the quarter-mile oval at Anderson Speedway in Anderson, Indiana. The Little 500 will be held on Saturday. And, by the way, Davey copped pole!

Dalton Kellett

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The Freedom 100 airs live at 12:30 p.m. EASTERN time Friday on NBCSN.

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Thursday at Lucas Oil Raceway - The Mazda Road to Indy practice and qualify…

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While the Indy Lights will do the Freedom 100 at Indy on Friday - Carb Day - the other two MRTI series, Pro Mazda and USF2000, will be racing Friday night at the .686-mile oval at Lucas Oil Raceway, a few miles from the Speedway. For Pro Mazda it is the Freedom 90 and for USF2000 it is the Freedom 75. Each series held two test sessions and one practice on Thursday and then qualified for their Friday night races. Let’s see how they did, starting with USF2000:

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Here is the way USF2000 will grid for the Freedom 75, with times for the TOP SIX: [R] denotes rookie, time is two laps added together; speed is the average of those two laps

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Row 1

Pole - Kyle Kirkwood [R], Cape Motorsports - time of 00:45.6829s for a speed of 98.505mph

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P2 - Rasmus Lindh [R], Pabst Racing - time of 00:45.7118s for a speed of 98.443mph

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Row 2

P3 - Lucas Kohl, Pabst Racing - time of 00:45.8366s for a speed of 98.175mph

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P4 - Keith Donegan [R], ArmsUp Motorsports - time of 00:46.1183s for a speed of 97.575mph

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Row 3

P5 - Kaylen Frederick, Pabst Racing - time of 00:46.1213s for a speed of 97.569mph

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P6 - Darren Keane, Newman Wachs Racing - time of 00:46.1229s for a speed of 97.565mph

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Row 4

P7 - Igor Fraga [R], Exclusive Autosport
P8 - Alex Baron, Swan / RJB Motorsports

Row 5

P9 - Julian Van der Watt [R], Team Pelfrey
P10 - Jose Sierra [R], DEForce Racing

Row 6

P11 - Kory Enders, DEForce Racing
P12 - Calvin Ming, Pabst Racing

Row 7

P13 - Zach Holden [R], DEForce Racing
P14 - Mathias Soler-Obel [R], Sol. O Racing

Row 8

P15 - Manuel Cabrera [R], Exclusive Autosport
P16 - Colin Kaminsky, DEForce Racing

Row 9

P17 - David Osborne [R], Newman Wachs Racing
P18 - Bruna Tomaselli, Team Pelfrey

Row 10

P19 - Russ McDonough [R], BN Racing
P20 - Oscar DeLuzuriaga [R], Newman Wachs Racing

Row 11

P21 - Kyle Dupell [R], Team Pelfrey

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Notable:

  • Of all these drivers only Lucas Kohl has ever raced at Lucas Oil Raceway before, in 2016. Alex Baron did run in the 2014 Freedom 100, but that was at the Indianapolis motor Speedway. No one else in this field has driven a race on an oval, which shows a lot of talent for rookies Rasmus Lindh and Keith Donegan.

  • Kyle Kirkwood did benefit from a two-day test set up by Cape Motorsport at Memphis International Raceway last week, prepping him for this weekend. He declared that he discovered that he loves oval racing. It showed on Thursday.

  • A number of series drivers have elected not to even participate. Sooner or later they will need this experience, but not this week.

Alex Baron - a Freedom 100 under his belt.

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Next, Pro Mazda test, practice and qualify…

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Thursday at Lucas Oil Raceway - The Mazda Road to Indy practice and qualify…(part 2)…

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Just like the kids from USF2000, the gang from Pro Mazda did their own two tests, followed by a practice and qualifying at Lucas Oil Raceway, for their Freedom 90 on Friday, Carb Night. More of these drivers have at least some oval experience.

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Here is the way that Pro Mazda will grid for the Freedom 90, with times for the TOP SIX: [R] denotes rookie; times are two laps added and speeds are the average of those two laps

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Row 1

Pole - Parker Thompson [R], Exclusive Autosport - time of 00:41.9524s for a speed of 107.264mph

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P2 - Carlos Cunha, Juncos Racing - time of 00:42.1640s for a speed of 106.726mph

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Row 2

P3 - David Malukas [R], BN Racing - time of 00:42.4013s for a speed of 106.129mph

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P4 - Rob Megennis [R], Juncos Racing - time of 00:42.6420s for a speed of 105.530mph

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Row 3

P5 - Rinus VeeKay [R]), Juncos Racing - time of 00:42.7046s for a speed of 105.375mph

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P6 - Harrison Scott [R], RP Motorsport Racing - time of 00:42.7529s for a speed of 105.256mph

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Row 4

P7 - Sting Ray Robb, Team Pelfrey
P8 - Oliver Askew [R], Cape Motorsports

Row 5

P9 - Lodovico Laurini [R], RP Motorsport Racing
P10 - Antonio Serravalle [R], Exclusive Autosport

Row 6

P11 - Nikita Lastochkin, Cape Motorsports
P12 - Charles Finelli, BN Racing / FatBoy Racing!

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Notable:

  • Not surprisingly, the most experienced oval driver here is pole-man Parker Thompson, who has raced at Lucas twice before, with a best finish of P2, and once at Iowa. Rob Megennis has two oval races on his resume, as do Rinus VeeKay and Nikita Lastochkin. Sting Ray Robb has one oval before.

  • Doing surprisingly well is Carlos Cunha who has no previous ovals on his sheet.

  • The only oval race WINNER in the field is Oliver Askew, who WON at Iowa in 2017 - his one and only career oval so far.

Oliver Askew (left) and Parker Thompson

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Both USF2000 and Pro Mazda will race on Friday night in front of what is usually a good crowd that nearly fills the little grandstand at Lucas.

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**Friday at IMS - The final practice for the IndyCars before the race…

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Friday is known as “Carb Day” and on this day the Indy Lights hold the Freedom 100 in front of a huge crowd and the Pit Stop Competition is held, late in the day, but the most significant thing for the Indy 500 itself is the Final Practice held in the morning. This is virtually the last chance for teams to check and adjust their set-ups for the big day on Sunday.

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Here was the order of speed for the Final Practice for the Indy 500, with times for the TOP FIVE: [R] denotes rookie

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1 - Tony Kanaan, A.J. Foyt Enterprises - time of 00:39.5099s for a speed of 227.791mph

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2 - Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing - time of 00:39.8787s for a speed of 225.684mph

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3 - Marco Andretti, Andretti Herta - time of 00:39.9610s for a speed of 225.220mph

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4 - Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser/Sullivan - time of 00:40.0329s for a speed of 224.815mph

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5 - Charlie Kimball, Carlin - time of 00:40.0512s for a speed of 224.712mph

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6 - Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
7 - Will Power, Team Penske
8 - Danica Patrick, Ed Carpenter Racing
9 - Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter Racing
10 - Ed Jones, Chip Ganassi Racing

11 - Oriol Servia, Scuderia Corsa with RLL
12 - Sage Karam, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
13 - James Davison, Foyt with Byrd / Hollinger / Belardi
14 - Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing
15 - Josef Newgarden, Team Penske
16 - Jack Harvey [R], Meyer Shank Racing with SPM
17 - Helio Castroneves, Team Penske
18 - Carlos Munoz, Andretti Autosport
19 - Jay Howard, SPM / AFS
20 - Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske

21 - Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
22 - Kyle Kaiser [R], Juncos Racing
23 - Zach Veach [R], Andretti Autosport
24 - JR Hildebrand, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
25 - Gabby Chaves, Harding Racing
26 - Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport
27 - Robert Wickens [R], Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
28 - Matheus Leist [R], A.J. Foyt Enterprisest
29 - Stefan Wilson, Andretti Autosport
30 - Zachary Claman DeMelo [R], Dale Coyne Racing

31 - Max Chilton, Carlin
32 - Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport
33 - Conor Daly, Dale Coyne Racing dba Thom Burns Racing

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Notable:

  • Becuase each team was working on their own program, with differentg goals, it is impossible to know why the guys near the bottom where near the bottom, but the folks near the top have been the class of the field for many sessions. Look to most of them to be highly competitive on Sunday - especially Tony Kanaan, who wants win this for AJ Foyt BADLY.

Tony Kanaan

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The race will be broadcast on Sunday on ABC, starting with pre-race interviews at 11:00am EASTERN time, with the race itself scheduled to start at 12:00 Noon, EASTERN time.

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Friday at Indianapolis - The Freedom 100…

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After the IndyCars held final practice the huge crowd in attendance was treated to yet another spectacular Freedom 100, as the Indy Lights held yet another slug-fest from wire to wire. The Lights have become famous for giving Indy some of the best wheel-to-wheel racing in the world and the 2018 iteration was no different.

There were FAR more than 100 on-track passes made during the race. Officially, the lead changed 20 times in the 100 laps, but in fact it often changed two or three times in a lap, making that stat collected just at the Start/Finish line way under the truth.

At the end in yet another final lap and final turn dash to the yard of bricks the WINNER was Colton Herta for Andretti Steinbrenner. P2 was Pato O’Ward for Andretti Autosport, just .02 seconds off Colton. Making it an all-Andretti podium, Dalton Kellett collected his 3rd P3 at the Freedom 100 in 3 years.

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Colton Herta sits with his feet in his car, with his team around him

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Dalton Kellett on pole led the field away at the start and briefly held P1 but within a few laps lost it to Victor Franzoni for Juncos Racing - one of 5 drivers who would lead at one point or the other. Colton was also an early leader many times, as were Pato O’Ward and Santi Urrutia for Belardi Auto Racing.

Sprint Car Champion Davey Hamilton, Jr. for Team Pelfrey would set the Fastest Lap of the race, trying to get from the back to the front, but eventually lost the draft and went down a lap. Franzoni also seemed to be sliding around a bit when it became clear he was running on a slowly-deflating rear tire and had to pit for a replacement, putting him down 2 laps at the end.

On the final lap Colton took the lead - often the worst place to be - but he was able to hold off Pato down the front straight by positioning himself in such a way that the Mexican could not pop out soon enough to use the draft, and Colton crossed the bricks a half a car length on Pato, with Dalton sniffing Pato’s gearbox.

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Notable:

  • While breaking the record for most passes for the lead, this race was only the 4th closest finish for a Freedom 100 at Indy.

  • This is Colton’s 3rd WIN at Indy in 2018, as he also won BOTH Lights races at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis in early May. He took over the points lead with this WIN.

P2 Pato O’Ward (left) and P3 Dalton Kellett

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We have the NBC-SN broadcast of the race in its entirety. Take a look!

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With this result, here are the TOP FIVE in points leaving Indy:

1 - Colton Herta 189
2 - Pato O’Ward 183
3 - Santiago Urrutia 168
4 - Victor Franzoni 139
5 - Ryan Norman 128

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.The next outings for the Indy Lights will be Season Rounds 8 & 9 at Road America, June 22-24. Between then and now the Lights will test at Road America June 11-12. Next up, USF2000 race at Lucas Oil Raceway…

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IndyCar has released a highlight reel from Carb Day at the Speedway…

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Friday at Lucas Oil Raceway - USF2000 puts on a barn-burner…

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…on the .686-mile oval, located a few miles from the Indianapolis motor Speedway, as the kids did the Freedom 75. The race was actually time-shortened due to some full-course cautions and ended up being 58 laps instead of 75 laps.

The WINNER at the end in a dominating fashion was points-leader Kyle Kirkwood in the # 8 Tatuus USF-17 for Cape Motorsports, from pole. P2 was 15-year-old sophomore Kaylen Frederick for Pabst Racing while P3 went to Swedish karting champion and rookie Rasmus Lindh, also for the speed-boys at Pabst Racing.

Kyle Kirkwood leads the big field at Lucas Oil Raceway

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From pole, Kirkwood took off at the start with Rasmus hot after him. Starting a disappointing P8, Alexandre Baron for Swan / RJB Motorsports - one of Kirkwood’s title rivals - made up ground quickly on the outside, passing several drivers. The Frenchman was already P3 by the end of lap 1. By lap 25 Kirkwood had a little distance from Lindh, but Baron was getting chased down by Lindh’s teammates, Lucas Kohl and Kaylen Frederick, while in P6 was Ireland’s Keith Donegan, having his best race for ArmsUp Motosports since winning the 2017 Mazda Road to Indy Shootout.

On lap 29 Baron, still in P3, came upon the lapped car of Russell McDonough for BN Racing and the two tangled in Turn 3. Baron ended up in the wall, bringing out the first Full-Course Caution. Just before the yellow flew Kaylen ate up Lucas to take P3. It took several laps to get Baron’s broken machine off the track.

The restart was on lap 40, but shortly afterwards, Julian Van der Watt for Team Pelfrey and Zach Holden for Newman Wachs Racing tangled in Turn 2, bringing out another caution. This one was cleaned up by lap 50. On the final restart Kyle had no problem keeping the lead but Kaylen was able to slingshot past Rasmus in Turns 1 and 2 to take P2. 7 laps later it was over.

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Notable:

  • Kirkwood now has three WINS and four podiums on the season. He hasn’t finished less than P5 yet. In a very talented field, he is nevertheless running away with the title at this point.

  • Part of what made this win possible was the excellent set-up information that 2017 Champion Oliver Askew gave the Cape Brothers from last year, when he too won this race from pole for them.

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Here is your happy podium - that’s Kaylen Frederick in P2 on the left, Kyle Kirkwood in P1 in the middle and Rasmus Lindh in P3 on the right:

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With this result, here are the TOP FIVE in points leaving Indiana:

1 - Kyle Kirkwood 154
2 - Alex Baron 95
3 - Jose Sierra 90
4 - Igor Fraga 76
5 - Rasmus Lindh 74

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The next two rounds - Season Rounds 6 & 7 - will be at Road America in support of the IndyCars, June 22 - 24. Between then and now the series will test at Road America June 11 - 12. Next, Pro Mazda take to the track at Lucas…

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Friday night at Lucas Oil Raceway - Pro Mazda do the Freedom 90…

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The second half of the “Carb Night Classic,” as these two races are known, was played out following the USF2000 race. Though the field was smaller - 12 cars instead of 21 - the Pro Mazda gang put on another great show for the big crowd in attendance.

Using all of his considerable previous oval experience, pole-sitter Parker Thompson for Exclusive Autosport controlled the race from beginning to end, giving him his 3rd WIN and 5th podium of the season. P2 was sophomore Carlos Cunha for Juncos Racing, still seeking his first series win. P3 was New Yorker and rookie Rob Megennis for Juncos Racing.

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Parker Thompson leads the field at Lucas for the “eh team” - Canada’s Exclusive Autosport

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On the opening lap as Parker and Carlos took off from Row 1, Rob Megennis made a bold move on the outside of rookie David Malukas for BN Racing to take the P3 spot in the first few turns. By Lap 25, Thompson had stretched his lead over Cunha to around 2 seconds, with Megennis a similar distance behind in P3. Behind them a battle developed between P4 Malukas and Harrison Scott for RP Motorsport Racing, who had started in P6. By half-distance the two had caught up to Megennis and were involving him in the three-way fight for P3

The English rookie Scott finally passed Dave on lap 44 but Malukas would not give up. He and Harrison ran side-by side for a full lap. As they sped into Turn 3 contact was made and both cars careened heavily into the retaining wall on the exit of Turn 4 - both out and a Full-Course Caution. On the restart Parker again got away clean and after several laps had developed the two-second gap back to Carlos, again.

Near the close of the race the two leaders began to pick off back-markers and that allowed Cunha to close the gap. By the final lap Carlos was only a car-length away from Parker, but he ran out of time and the race ended without change up front.
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Notable:

  • In 7 races this season Parker Thompson has not finished less that P5

  • Rob and Carlos’ teammate, Rinus VeeKay, finished P4, keeping him in the title hunt

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Here is your happy podium - That’s Carlos Cunha in P2 on the left, Parker Thompson in P1 in the middle and Rob Megennis in P3 on the right:

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With this result, here are the TOP FIVE in points leaving Indiana:

1 - Parker Thompson 198
2 - Carlos Cunha 158
3 - Rinus VeeKay 157
4 - Harrison Scott 130
5 - Oliver Askew 125

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The next two rounds of racing for Pro Mazda will be at Road America, June 22-24, in support of the IndyCars. Between now and then they will have a Promoter’s test at Road America, June 11-12.

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Spotter’s Guide - Changes in livery since the Grand Prix of Indianapolis…

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There were a number of cars that ran in the GP of indianapolis that will be changing their livery or their driver for the Indy 500 as well as a number of additional cars that will be running in the 500 only. Let’s see who has changed and who is joining in on the fun:

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It was Jordan King who drive the # 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka car at the GP but it will be Ed Carpenter in the car for Indy. The livery is the same, however.

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Helio Castroneves drove a silver Verizon car for the GP on Indianapolis but is driving the famous Pennzoil Yellow Submarine for Indy:

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Zachary Claman DeMelo is still in the Playsafe Honda for Dale Coyne but the scheme has changed a bit since the Grand Prix. The blue, white and red are shifted around:

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Kyle Kaiser is using the same paint scheme as the car carried at the GP but there is a new logo on the flanks as Kyle picked up insurance brokers NFP as a sponsor for Indy:

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Zach Veach is still driving for Group One Thousand One, but he is sponsored at Indy by their subsidiary, Relay, and the car is completely different, as a result. Gone is the copper and black. The car is yellow and orange:

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Continued…

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Spotter’s Guide - Changes in livery since the Grand Prix of Indianapolis…(part 2)…

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Danica Patrick returns to Indy in a familiar color scheme of GoDaddy green:

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James Davison is returning to Indy for another try in the red Jonathan Byrd’s car:

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Carlos Munoz returns to the Indy 500 in the Ruoff car that is similar to Takuma Sato’s 2017 race-winning car.
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Conor Daly gets his shot at the Indy 500 in the US Airforce car of red, white and blue, looking similar to one of the Thunderbirds aircraft:

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Jay Howard will be in the One Cure car of chrome green and black:

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continued…

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Spotter’s Guide - Changes in livery since the Grand Prix of Indianapolis…(part 3)…

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JR Hildebrand will drives the Sales Force car of orange, blue, light blue and white:

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Oriol Servia joins the battle in the Manitowoc car, mostly white with some red accents:

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Sage Karam comes back to drive at Indy in the Wix Filter car, mostly black with orange accents - strong and pretty:

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Stefan Wilson gets his shot at glory in the Driven2SaveLives car, promoting organ donation. The car is blue and white with a little red accenting:

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Jack Harvey missed the GP on Indianapolis but will be at the Indy 500 in the Autonation / Sirius XM car of chrome pink and black - beautiful:

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The Indy 500 - We will have a NEW WINNER’S FACE on the Borg-Warner trophy…

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…and the face belongs to William Steven Power. The driver for Team Penske has done it all in his long IndyCar career - all except WIN the Indy 500, but strike that off his to-do list. Power led 59 of 200 laps of the race and most importantly, the last 4 of them to cross the finish line 3.1 seconds ahead of P2 Ed Carpenter for Ed Carpenter Racing and P3 Scott Dixon for Chip Ganassi Racing.

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Ed Carpenter was an early leader of the race, as was WIll Power. Also leading at times were Tony Kanaan for AJ Foyt, Oriol Servia for Scuderia Corsa RLL, Graham Rahal for Rahal Letterman Lanigan and Zachary Claman DeMelo for Dale Coyne Racing. Late in the race Stefan Wilson for Andretti Autosport was leading, followed by Jack Harvey for Meyer Shank Racing, but with 4 laps to go, both had to duck in for a splash of fuel and Power was there to inherit the lead from P3 and win the race.

There were 15 changes for the lead, tying the record set last year. Much of the passing happened on restarts following full-course cautions and there were 7 cautions on the day. Many of the biggest names on the track were taken out by spinning themselves on an aggressive restart or a passing attempt.

Danica Patrick for Ed Carpenter spun on her own, as did Sebastien Bourdais for Dale Coyne, Helio Castroneves for Team Penske, Sage Karam for Dreyer & Reinbold and Tony Kanaan The only 2-car shunt was between a slowing James Davison for AJ Foyt and Takuma Sato for RLL. The only mechanical breakdown was Kyle Kaiser for Juncos Racing.

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Said Power, “I feel like collapsing. I want to cry. … I was wondering if I would ever win it. And thoughts went through my mind during the month I guess. My career, I’ve had so many wins, so many poles. that everybody always talks about the 500."

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IndyCar has released the race re-mix of the Indy 500…

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Will Power is interviewed by Racer magazine’s Marshall Pruett and Robin Miller…

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Racer’s Marshall Pruett and Robin Miller interview Roger Penske…

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The post-race press conference with 2018 Indy 500 WINNER Will Power…

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