Indianapolis 500 (2013)

Race Report: Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS May 26, 2013—This Indianapolis 500 set records for the fastest average speed at 187.4 mph with 14 different leaders generating 68 lead changes but it was Tony Kanaan winning under caution that drew the most cheers. It was his first victory in 12 tries.

Takuma Sato drove hard for the entire 500 miles in the ABC Supply Honda. He recovered from a spin and two blistered right rear tires to finish 13th. It was Sato’s best finish in four starts here and the ABC Supply team’s best finish since 2008 when Darren Manning placed ninth.

Sato relinquished his point lead to Marco Andretti who finished fourth today. Sato is second in the IZOD IndyCar Series and currently leads the Road Course series championship. In the overall championship,  Sato trails Andretti by 11 points, while he remains five points ahead of third place Helio Castroneves.

Rookie Conor Daly, who started 31st, drove a solid race in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda to finish 22nd despite losing his rear brakes (which made the pit stops an adventure for his crew) and suffering through two small fires during refueling. He ran the entire race—just the fifth oval track race of his career--and gained valuable experience in the process.

Indianapolis 500

Carb Day – May 24, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS –Takuma Sato and Conor Daly were among the 33 Indy 500 starters who participated in the final practice today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, long known as Carb Day – which does not refer to Bluebell ice cream, home baked cookies or Huddles frozen yogurt that abounds in A.J. Foyt’s garage.

Sato and Daly logged 90 laps between them in their respective ABC Supply Hondas. Sato got off to a slow start in the No. 14 car as the team worked to repair an oil leak –discovered after the car did a systems check at the top of the 11 o’clock hour today.

The repair was quickly made but Team Director Larry Foyt called the IZOD IndyCar point leader to the pits multiple times.

“We had an oil leak which was unfortunate and we wanted to make sure the problem was fixed and that there was no oil that could get on the race track or on other parts of the car,” Foyt explained. “We were just being really careful which is why we kept coming in and out of the pits and taking everything off to make sure everything was clean and dry because there was no reason to risk anything today.”

Sato, who will start 18th in the race, ran 39 laps today and reached a top speed of 223.7mph which was 19th quickest on the speed chart.

Indianapolis 500

May 19 - Bump Day

INDIANAPOLIS May 19, 2013— This past week IndyCar rookie Conor Daly experienced many of the highs and lows that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway offers. After a wreck in practice earlier in the week, and exhaust header problems in a qualifying attempt on Pole Day, Daly could have been expected to be bumpy on Bump Day today.

However, the 21-year-old Indiana native kept his cool and his smile and qualified the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda for the Indianapolis 500. Daly posted four laps in the 223 mph range for a combined average speed of 223.582 mph. He will start 31st, on the inside of row 11 alongside 1996 Indy 500 winner Buddy Lazier who is the oldest driver in the starting field at age 45. Katherine Legge is the final qualifier who will start 33rd.

“I’m very excited to get into the race,” Daly said. “The guys worked awful hard and did an awesome job getting everything put together for today.  It’s an amazing feeling for me because I grew up here and I always watched this race. I was here at 5:30 every Race morning except last year because I was racing in Europe. But now I’m going to be here getting suited up and ready to drive. It’s very, very, very cool.”

Teammate Takuma Sato spent the day pounding around the track logging miles in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda as the engineers worked on the race setup.

Qualifying Report: Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS May 18, 2013—IZOD IndyCar Series point leader Takuma Sato qualified for his fourth Indianapolis 500 driving the AJ Foyt Racing/ABC Supply Honda-powered Indy car. Posting a four-lap average speed of 225.892 mph, Sato will start 18th in the 33-car field.

Morning rain showers delayed the start of time trials by nearly two and a half hours, but once the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway was dried, the first segment of qualifying was underway. It was extended to 6 p.m. to give the 34 drivers ample opportunity to make a qualifying attempt.

Sato who posted a 226.6 mph lap earlier in morning practice (before the rains came), was unable to reach that speed again—his best lap in his qualifying run was his first -- 226.071 mph.

“I think we’ve done a solid job,” said Sato. “Personally I would love to be in the Firestone Fast Nine but now we’re focused on the race. We’ve got more work to do tomorrow and on Carb Day and I look forward to that.”

Unfortunately, 21-year-old rookie Conor Daly experienced heartache at the Speedway when he was unable to complete his qualifying run in the No. 41 because of a broken exhaust header. He brought the car to pit lane after just two laps. The car will be repaired in time for tomorrow’s qualifying.

Indianapolis 500

May 17

Takuma Sato took to the track early in his No. 14 ABC Supply car and quickly demonstrated why the day before Pole Day has been dubbed Fast Friday. It took just 11 laps for him to post his fastest lap of the day—and the month—with his 227.038 mph run. Ranking tenth overall in practice, he was the second quickest Honda-powered car,  just .042/second slower than Dario Franchitti.

Conor Daly’s No. 41 ABC Supply car was scheduled to be back on the track at 4 p.m. as the ABC Supply team worked until midnight and was back in the garage at 6 a.m.  to repair the car following Daly’s mishap yesterday. Unfortunately, thunderstorms cut practice short just after 3 p.m.  Athough Daly didn’t get any laps in today, he will have a chance to practice tomorrow morning before qualifying begins at 11 a.m.

“It's obviously not ideal that it's raining, I just got my suit on to go back out and unfortunately, we can't,” Daly said as torrential downpours soaked the Speedway and surrounding area. “At least we have a bit of practice tomorrow morning to get more comfortable with the car and get back to normal. So, it should be good, I'm confident and we'll just see what happens.”

Sato’s 227 mph  lap is his fastest of the month to date. “Today was quite straightforward,” said the current IZOD IndyCar points leader. “On Fast Friday, we have higher boost and only look for the qualifying set up. After the first run, we made some good progress and the second run was quite satisfying. We were not able to explore more due to the rain but I think we're in quite good shape. We'll review the details tonight and fine-tune the ABC Supply car tomorrow morning to prepare for qualifying. It was short but quite a good day."