And now - the Big One

And now - the Big One

Postby meteorite » Tue May 20, 2014 9:28 pm

And so we come to the last weekend in May, Memorial Day in the US, and the self-styled Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indianapolis 500. And even if Formula One, NASCAR, and a few other organizations may demur, this year will mark the 101st running of the Speedway Classic, which suggests that it must have something going for it.

The cars have changed, the track surface has changed, the surroundings have changed, but the great 2-1/2 mile banked oval remains. However, one thing that has changed radically is the aqualifying procedure. To bring it more or less into line with the rest of the races in the series, it has been quite radically changed. Since the result is extremely complicated, let's let the official Indycar explanation carry the load:

Indianapolis 500 Qualifying 101


• All entries are guaranteed one attempt to qualify between 11 a.m. and 5:50 p.m.

• The fastest 33 cars will make up the provisional field for the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race based on the fastest four-lap average time.

• Once the qualifying session ends, the top 30 cars are locked in to the field.

• However, all 33 cars must re-qualify on Sunday to determine final starting positions.

• The fastest nine cars advance to a shootout on Sunday to determine the Verizon P1 Award.

Qualifying Lines:

• There will be two qualifying lines at the end of pit lane:

o Line 1: Cars that are unqualified or have withdrawn their previous qualifying times. Priority will be given to this lane.

o Line 2: Cars that have already qualified but want another attempt and have not withdrawn their previous qualifying times.

• Multiple attempts are permitted without withdrawing a time by entering Line 2.

• Teams can withdraw their time and enter Line 1, which will have priority over cars already in the field.

• Teams that make multiple attempts can only improve their times if they have not withdrawn their time to enter Line 2, meaning, even if a driver records a slower four-lap average, that driver's previous (faster) time will stand.

Qualifying Points, Saturday:
1st - 33 points
2nd - 32 points
3rd - 31 points
4th - 30 points
5th - 29 points
6th - 28 points
7th - 27 points
8th - 26 points
9th - 25 points
10th - 24 points
11th - 23 points
12th - 22 points
13th - 21 points
14th - 20 points
15th - 19 points
16th - 18 points
17th - 17 points
18th - 16 points
19th - 15 points
20th - 14 points
21st - 13 points
22nd - 12 points
23rd - 11 points
24th - 10 points
25th - 9 points
26th - 8 points
27th - 7 points
28th - 6 points
29th - 5 points
30th - 4 points
31st - 3 points
32nd - 2 points
33rd - 1 point


Group 1:

• All Saturday times are erased and positions 10-30 will re-qualify to determine starting position.

• Order will be the reverse of Saturday's rankings.

• Lineup will be determined based on fastest four-lap averages.

• In the event that there are only 33 cars entered, this group will determine positions 10-33.

Group 2 (Only used in the event there are more than 33 cars):

• All Saturday times are erased and positions 31-33, and any entry that has yet to make one attempt to qualify, will re-qualify to determine the 11th row of the race.

Group 3:

• The top nine cars will run in reverse order based on Saturday's times.

• All cars will make one attempt.

• At the end of the session, the cars are ranked 1-9 based on their four-lap average during the segment.

Qualifying Points, Sunday:
1st - 9 points
2nd - 8 points
3rd - 7 points
4th - 6 points
5th - 5 points
6th - 4 points
7th - 3 points
8th - 2 points
9th - 1 point

Note: The Indianapolis 500 will award double points for race results, but the qualifying points and any bonus points awarded for leading a lap (1 point) or most laps (2 points) will not be doubled.


So, how did it all shake out? Here's the starting order.

Verizon IndyCar Series

98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race

INDIANAPOLIS - Results of qualifying Sunday for the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with Rank, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, time and four-lap average speed in parentheses:

1. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 02:35.7992 (231.067)
2. (27) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 02:35.9528 (230.839)
3. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 02:36.0488 (230.697)
4. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 02:36.0812 (230.649)
5. (77) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 02:36.1049 (230.614)
6. (25) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 02:36.1526 (230.544)
7. (34) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Honda, 02:36.4224 (230.146)
8. (67) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 02:36.5946 (229.893)
9. (21) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevy, 02:37.3938 (228.726)
10. (2) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dallara-Chevy, 02:35.8396 (231.007)
11. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Chevy, 02:35.8930 (230.928)
12. (26) Kurt Busch, Dallara-Honda, 02:35.9913 (230.782)
13. (98) Jack Hawksworth, Dallara-Honda, 02:36.1779 (230.506)
14. (19) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 02:36.3480 (230.256)
15. (7) Mikhail Aleshin, Dallara-Honda, 02:36.4881 (230.049)
16. (10) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 02:36.5750 (229.922)
17. (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 02:36.6259 (229.847)
18. (16) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 02:36.6905 (229.752)
19. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 02:36.7132 (229.719)
20. (15) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 02:36.7756 (229.628)
21. (18) Carlos Huertas, Dallara-Honda, 02:37.0328 (229.251)
22. (63) Pippa Mann, Dallara-Honda, 02:37.0521 (229.223)
23. (14) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 02:37.0671 (229.201)
24. (68) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 02:37.1038 (229.148)
25. (6) Townsend Bell, Dallara-Chevy, 02:37.1990 (229.009)
26. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Chevy, 02:37.2376 (228.953)
27. (5) Jacques Villeneuve, Dallara-Honda, 02:37.2400 (228.949)
28. (33) James Davison, Dallara-Chevy, 02:37.2977 (228.865
29. (41) Martin Plowman, Dallara-Honda, 02:37.3333 (228.814)
30. (8) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 02:37.4028 (228.713)
31. (22) Sage Karam, Dallara-Chevy, 02:37.5931 (228.436)
32. (17) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 02:37.8335 (228.088)
33. (91) Buddy Lazier, Dallara-Chevy, 02:37.9501 (227.920)
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Re: And now - the Big One

Postby meteorite » Tue May 20, 2014 10:01 pm

Now that we have that all sorted out, :D let's take a look at other aspects. As a clarification, in the very early days the Indy rules were all over the map - so even though the Borg-Warner Trophy will sport the smiling mug of a 101st winner late Sunday afternoon, a couple of the early races were run under rules sufficiently different that this is considered only the 98th running of the "true" Indy 500. Clear? That's OK, I'm confused too.

Worth noting: There are more foreigners than Americans on the grid, including a couple of Brits, an Australian, various Brazilians, a Russian, a Japanese, a couple of Frenchmen and three Canadians, James Hinchcliff, Alex Tagliani, and Jacques Villeneuve. The polesitter is in fact the stepson of the Speedway ownership patriach Tony George, a local boy made good, who took the pole at the family playground last year too. He finally finished tenth.

Notice that between pole and final starting position there is only a trace over two seconds difference in lap times. And how meaningful this is is anyone's guess; tiny details of car setup, track temperature when the actual run was made, which way the wind was blowing and how hard on each of the four laps. The field includes wily old veterans and a passel of former winners; on the other hand a few of the newbies have put on some very impressive showings this season. An awful lot can happen in the course of 500 racing miles, so if you want to place a small wager on any driver make sure you get really good odds.

And before the flag drops, perhaps we should pause for a moment to honour the memory of the late Sir Jack Bradham, who died earlier this week. He as much as anyone and more than almost anyone else brought the rear-engine revolution to Indy racing (and is still the only driver in the history of Formula One to win a race in a car of his own design.) A true gentleman, a fierce competitor, he was an ornament to the sport for many years - a tradition his son and grandson carry on. Let's echo Indycar's salute to one of their greatest competitors:


INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, May 18, 2014 - A statement from Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles about the death of Sir Jack Brabham, who was a four-time Indianapolis 500 starter and patriarch of a racing dynasty that includes 10-time Indianapolis 500 starter, Geoff Brabham and rising open-wheel star Matthew Brabham.

"Every time an Indy car runs at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you can find roots that trace back to Jack Brabham's rear-engined Cooper Climax T54 that he drove to 9th place in the 1961 Indianapolis 500," said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. "In addition to starting the rear-engine revolution at IMS, Brabham competed in four Indianapolis 500 Mile Races and designed race cars that competed in the 500. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Brabham family, especially with his son and former Indianapolis 500 competitor Geoff Brabham and his grandson and current Indy Lights competitor Matthew Brabham."
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Re: And now - the Big One

Postby meteorite » Sun May 25, 2014 11:37 pm

OK, it was a long, hard day, and your first question is, who won. To that end we are publishing the official Indy results below. It was, by the way, the second closest finish in Indy 500 history, and also had the longest run of yellow-free laps (from the start, 149 of them or effectively three-quarters of the race). Almost half the field finished on the lead lap.

The second question, of course, is how did our guys do. Alex Tagliani circulated unremarkably, gaining positions when he could to eventually complete the full distance in 13th place, on the lead lap. Jacques Villeneuve did essentially the same thing, taking the 14th finishing position.

James Hinchcliffe blotted his copybook badly. He led or was in the lead group virtually all the race and had a good shot at the win. But in the last two dozen laps, with repeated cautions, everyone grew a bad case of red haze on the restarts, and in one he stuck his nose where it didn't belong, creating a situation that proved the common knowledge that you can't run three wide through a corner at Indy as he carried an innocent and unoffending Ed Carpenter up into the wall. He had the grace to accept the blame and apologize, at least, which was small consolation to Carpenter.

So here's the summary:

Verizon IndyCar Series

98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race

INDIANAPOLIS - Results Sunday of the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):
1. (19) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
2. (4) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
3. (6) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
4. (7) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
5. (10) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
6. (12) Kurt Busch, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
7. (17) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
8. (3) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
9. (31) Sage Karam, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
10. (9) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
11. (18) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
12. (5) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
13. (24) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
14. (27) Jacques Villeneuve, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
15. (32) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
16. (28) James Davison, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
17. (21) Carlos Huertas, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
18. (30) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running
19. (23) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
20. (13) Jack Hawksworth, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running
21. (15) Mikhail Aleshin, Dallara-Honda, 198, Running
22. (14) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 198, Running
23. (29) Martin Plowman, Dallara-Honda, 196, Running
24. (22) Pippa Mann, Dallara-Honda, 193, Running
25. (25) Townsend Bell, Dallara-Chevy, 190, Contact
26. (16) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 177, Running
27. (1) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 175, Contact
28. (2) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 175, Contact
29. (11) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Chevy, 167, Contact
30. (8) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 156, Contact
31. (26) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Chevy, 149, Contact
32. (33) Buddy Lazier, Dallara-Chevy, 87, Mechanical

33. (20) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 44, Electrical

Race Statistics

Winners average speed: 186.563
Time of Race: 02:40:48.2305
Margin of victory: 0.0600 of a second
Cautions: 5 for 21 laps
Lead changes: 34 among 11 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Hinchcliffe 1-9
Carpenter 10-28
Hinchcliffe 29
Power 30
Kanaan 31
Aleshin 32
Hinchcliffe 3-36
Power 37-57
Andretti 58-61
Castroneves 62
Dixon 63
Montoya 64-66
Castroneves 67-91
Carpenter 92-93
Dixon 94
Montoya 95-99
Hunter-Reay 100-107
Castroneves 108-117
Hunter-Reay 118-123
Dixon 124
Montoya 125-132
Hunter-Reay 133-138
Andretti 139-153
Carpenter 154-157
Hunter-Reay 158-162
Carpenter 163
Hunter-Reay 164-170
Tagliani 171-173
Hunter-Reay 174-181
Andretti 182
Hunter-Reay 183-184
Castroneves 185
Hunter-Reay 186-195
Castroneves 196
Hunter-Reay 197-200

Point Standings: Hunter-Reay 274, Power 234, Castroneves 220, Pagenaud 211, Andretti 192, Munoz 160, Montoya 152, Bourdais 143, Dixon 132, Wilson 123.
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Re: And now - the Big One

Postby meteorite » Sun May 25, 2014 11:40 pm

After a long day I'm running out of writing time, so I'll have to hold my comments till later. However, here is how the Indy PR crew summarized the race:

Hunter-Reay prevails in second-closest finish

INDIANAPOLIS (May 25, 2014)-- Ryan Hunter-Reay was denied a shot at a final-lap victory in the 2013 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race because of a yellow flag for a single-car incident in Turn 1. Third place was his career high in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," but the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., resident wanted more.

A similar situation materialized in the 98th edition, but this time Hunter-Reay was the one drinking the milk in Victory Circle.

Hunter-Reay, driving the No. 28 DHL car for Andretti Autosport, held off three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves by a hair-raising .0600 of a second -- the second-closest margin of victory in the history of the event -- in a six-lap shootout to claim his first Indy 500 victory. Marco Andretti finished .3171 of a second back for his third third-place finish in nine starts.

"It's a dream come true," said Hunter-Reay, who is the first American winner since Sam Hornish Jr. in 2006. "This (race) is American history; this is better than a championship. I hope the fans loved it because I was on the edge of my seat."

Hunter-Reay started 19th. There were 34 lead changes among 11 drivers.

Castroneves overtook Hunter-Reay in Turn 1 on Lap 199 of 200 entering Turn 1, but Hunter-Reay led at the finish line by .0235 of a second.

"I did everything I could do," said Castroneves, driving the No. 3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske car. "What a fight."

Carlos Munoz, who finished second last year as a rookie, finished fourth, and 2000 Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya was fifth. Kurt Busch, who had 600 more miles of racing left in North Carolina, placed sixth in his first Indy car race.

Race officials red-flagged the race on Lap 192 for seven minutes to fix the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier and clean up from the single-car incident involving Townsend Bell's No. 6 Robert Graham KV Racing Technology entry. Bell had been running fifth -- 1.8 seconds behind Hunter-Reay.

The first caution flag flew on Lap 150 when the No. 83 car driven by Charlie Kimball made light contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 2. The record for longest stretch before a first yellow flag had previously been set at 65 laps in 2000. The four yellow flags tied the record for fewest (1990); the Speedway started recording cautions in 1976.

Graham Rahal was the first to retire from the race with an electrical issue in the No. 15 entry. Tony Kanaan, who won the race in 2013, developed an early suspension issue and finished 26th.

Round 6 and 7 of the Verizon IndyCar Series will be telecast live on ABC May 31 and June 1 for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix -- both races at 3:30 p.m. (ET).
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