Notes & Quotes: First Responder 175 presented by GMR
INDIANAPOLIS--The 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 has been moved to August but race fans can catch the final and sixth race of the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge Series this weekend. The First Responders 175 presented by GMR at the virtual Indianapolis Motor Speedway kicks off the virtual Month of May.
This weekend's event will be a fraction of the traditional 500 miles as it will be 70 laps around the 2.5 mile oval–or 175 miles. However, the iRace will be broadcast live on NBCSN Saturday afternoon starting at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Qualifying for the First Responder 175 presented by GMR took place today with these results for the AJ Foyt Racing drivers: Dalton Kellett will start 19th, inside of row seven, in the No. 41 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet. Tony Kanaan will start 25th, inside row nine, in the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet and Sebastien Bourdais will start 29th, the middle of row 10, in the No. 4 rIpKurrent Chevrolet. Scott McLaughlin won the pole in the best of four laps qualifying session.
To date, Kellett is the top performer amongst the AJ Foyt Racing drivers with two 11th place finishes in the past five races. He is currently 13th in the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge Series standings. For the second week in a row, his NTT INDYCAR Series debut will be taking place on virtual tracks instead of the actual track where he was scheduled to compete.
“I am very excited to be among the 33 drivers taking the green flag for the final race of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge,” said Kellett. “I can't think of a better place to cap it off than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The oval races have been very exciting, and I know we can bring the fans a great show. With fixed setups, the field will be tight. It will be very important to get everything out of qualifying and make smart decisions in the pack, during the race. I will be working with these goals in mind and going for a strong finish with the #41 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet eCar!"
Kanaan’s best finish in the series is 16th so far, but he is excited about this weekend’s race at the track that holds some of his fondest memories and hails him as an Indy 500 champion.
“Excited that we’re in Indianapolis this weekend,” said Kanaan. “Even more excited that it’s the last one out of this series of virtual races which means we are going back to reality races pretty soon! Really excited about that. I hope the fans enjoyed it. There’s not a better place to finish the series than Indy but I want to go to the real one.”
Four-time CART IndyCar champion Sebastien Bourdais, who has been filling in for Charlie Kimball in the virtual series, will be in the No. 4 ripKurrent Chevrolet this weekend.
“The last event will be a big challenge at IMS,” said Bourdais, who was seriously injured in his 2017 Indy 500 qualifying run at the Speedway. “It is a very unforgiving place in real life and it is similar on iRacing. I hope luck will be on our side to finish on a high!”
Charlie Kimball, who has not participated in the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge Series, has been busy putting together the virtual
“Hambone’s 500 Trivia” game which will be held this Saturday night, May 2nd at 8:30 pm ET. Kimball is co-hosting the game with Matt Hammond, founder of Hambone’s Trivia. Questions were sourced through famed Indianapolis 500 historian Donald Davidson. Cost per team is $33, and teams can be unlimited in size. To sign up, visit: www.hambonestrivia.com/weeklytrivia. The proceeds will benefit the IU Health Foundation.