Saturday, May 25, 2019

INDY 500: A Wookie', A Three-times Champion and Journeyman Driver round out this year's Cast of One Offers'

Oriol "Suitcase" Servia's #16 RLLR dallara-Honda IndyCar during the 2017 Indianapolis 500. (The Tomaso Collection)
Although I Don't expect any of these Drivers to Win this year's Indianapolis 500...

And now it's almost showtime Folks! As the field's been filled nearly a week ago, whilst your humble No Fenders scribe finishes his epic 2019 rendition of Indy 500 One Offers' - for those of Y'all still reading, Mates!

103rd Indianapolis 500 Starting line-up

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Engine: Honda
#42. (R) Jordan King, United Kingdom
First Race: 2019
Starts: 1

Anyone who's followed Indy Cars recently will know that Jordan King filled-in at Ed Carpenter Racing, running the Twisties' portion, i.e.; Road Courses & Street Circuits part of the calendar for FAST EDDIE', aka Ed Carpenter last year, before being replaced by Ed Jones this season.

As I'll defer Y'all to my riveting No Fenders IndyCar Rookies tome from last year instead of reinventing thou wheel, regarding Messer King.

And I still don't get Jordan's return to Formula 2, other than apparently he couldn't find a desirable Fulltime ride in Indy Cars? Or his Budget didn't encourage this?

Hmm? May be a Fulltime Drive with Carlin in IndyCar next year? Or even more intriguing, a fulltime Gig with McLaren Racing in Indy Cars for 2020, with some Feller' named Fernando as his Indy 500 team-mate?

As King very Stealthily Stuck Himself into Thee Show, as I'll admit he was one of my three picks to DNQ this year. But acquitted himself nicely with a four-lap Qualie' run of 227.502mph, locking him into the field on Saturday, qualifying on the outside of Row-8 in 26th.

Ironically, King qualified one position ahead of fellow British Rookie Ben Hanley, who very impressively steered the DragonSpeed entry to P27 with a 227.482mph average...

Team Penske
Engine: Chevrolet
#3. (W) Helio Castroneves, Brazil
First Race: 2001
Winner: 2001-02, 2009
Starts: 19

Another year, same 'Ol HULIO' platitudes, Eh? And although he's the only Three Times Winner in the field, and one of only nine men to do so. He's also the only winner now relegated to "One Off" status.

Although I'd say the Brazilian was totally Overshadowed by some former F1 World Champion Spaniard and Juncos Racing and Kyle Kiser's epic qualifying run, Ci!

As we All know of Castroneves burning desires to add another Borg Warner trophy to his collection of three "Baby Borg" trophies.

Yet for Mwah, I still revel in the Delight 'O Helio finishing runner-up three times, most recently during his epic Duel with eventual winner Taku-san', aka Takuma Sato in 2017!

As a member of Team Penske's Four-car Armada, I suppose Y'all cannot ever count out the wily Brazilian from joining a rarefied trio of Four-times Winners, as Helio's either lost a step this year or is flying underneath thou Radar?

But I certainly Hope Castroneves NEVER joins Foyt, Unser, Sr. and Mears as Four-times winners! Although that's a debate for another day...

Team Stange Racing with Arrow SPM
Engine: Honda
#77. Oriol Servia, Spain
First Race: 2008
Starts: 11

Seems that I've seen this entry's nomenclature speeled' two different ways, yet being the very last official Indy 500 confirmation, and in the sake of going alphabetical, hence we'll go with the Team Stange moniker, which I really, really wanna make into Team Strange! Which apparently one nameless reporter did so; Hya!

Oriol "suitcase" Servia made his first start at the Brickyard over a Decade ago now, and has definitely earned the nicknamed bestowed upon him by the past Chump Cars TV Announcer Rick "Insert Sponsor's Name Here" Benjamin, due to his propensity of constantly changing teams...

Although this seems the worst kept secret, especially with Servia seeing limited Seat-time during the April 24th Open Test? Or he was Hanging out with the Arrow SPM Boyz' at the very least then. Since I tuned out for many hours of the rain delayed Webcast.  

nonetheless, Arrow SPM didn't make Oriol's inclusion to this year's Indianapolis 500 official until the day prior to Opening Day, ARSE-Sumedly to garner some media exposure, Eh?

Although Obviously; SNAP! Effectively this is a third car Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry in every guise, even down to running the team's traditional #77 on it...

Although I'll confess that I didn't see this unlikely Team Stange Alliance as Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports third car for the Month of May...

As we All remember Servia leading last year for 16-laps late in the race, albeit on an alternative Fuel strategy aboard the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Racing with RLLR, effectively Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's third entry. Which has apparently become the best way to Fast-track a Start-up IndyCar entry.

As I've got Zero Clue upon this Team Stange Racing concern, other than reportedly it's a RASSCAR' ARCA entity, which doesn't even have a working Website!

(Photo c/o No Fenders ‘Offical Photographer CARPETS')

Friday, May 24, 2019

INDY 500: An International Star plans upon Outshining the rest of the One Offers' this May

Sage Karam's #24 Wix Filters Dallara-Chevrolet in front of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's garage during the 2018 Indy 500 Qualifying weekend. (The Tomaso Collection)
Although Fernando's learning that Mother Speedway calls the Shots...

Not surprisingly, McLaren Racing is learning that competing in the Indianapolis 500 is a whole new Ballgame when you're actually running your own programme, instead of just showing up 'N driving somebody else's racecar...

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
Engine: Chevrolet
#24. Sage Karam, USA
First Race: 2014
Starts: 6

Sage Dangerboy' Karam got his nickname from the Wily PT', nee Thrill from The West Hill, aka "Sugar Ray" (Paul) Tracy before debris from his car rained down upon Justin Wilson at Pocono that fateful day in 2015, which seems to be Sage's Dubious Claim to Fame...

The 2013 Indy Lights Champion made his Indy 500 debut aboard a Dreyer & Reinbold "Satellite Squad" effort for thee Cheepster', nee Chip Ganassi Racing, en route to his career best finish at Indianapolis, (to Date) finishing Ninth, but being out-voted for Rookie Of the Year (ROY) Honours by some Taxicabland Bombers' Driver named Kurt Busch.

Otherwise his last four results have been mostly unforgettable, with a brace 'O 32nd's followed by another lackluster finish of 28th.

While last year, Karam was once again out of the race due to contact, this time finishing an unmentionable P26 after Smacking the Wall on lap 154.

As Karam had a very stressful weekend at Mother Speedway, ultimately "bumping" his way into thee Show on Sunday, during the Last Row shootout for which he was fastest, qualifying 31st at 227.740mph...

#48. J.R. Hildebrand, USA
First Race: 2011
Starts: 9

Unfortunately, this likeable Yank', the 2009 Indy Lights Champion is mostly remembered for his failures, most notably his last lap crash during his inaugural race at the Brickyard. Or his being unceremoniously Fired by Panther Racing Owner John "Fans R Us' Barnes! And losing his ride after a single season at Ed Carpenter Racing, (ECR) as Josef STUD! Newgarden's replacement. Having been subsequently replaced by Spencer Pigot.

Yet the 32yr old Californian, who's a "Brainiac" who graduated High School with a 4.12 GPA, and was accepted to multiple Colleges including M.I.T. - which he let his 3yr Deferral lapse in order to pursue racing. And was chided for letting his "Hair Down" and face grow long during the 2017 season, certainly has the Speedway figured out.

As John Randal ("J.R.") has obviously seen both sides of Mother Speedway, from the near thrill 'O victory to the absolute Agony of Defeat! Since we All know how he came Oh, So tantalizingly close in 2011, finishing a Dejected runner-up to the late Dan Wheldon, before his 33rd place finish for Panther Racing two years later resulted in his immediate Dismissal.

Next, Hildebrand strung together a trio of Top-10 finishes for FAST EDDIE', nee Ed Carpenter between 2014-16, improving each year with finishes of 10th, 8th and 6th before being hired Fulltime at ECR in 2017, when he could only muster a 16th place finish.

For 2018, J.R. returned home to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, (DRR)  who gave him his IndyCar start when running him in a pair of 2010 races at Mid Ohio and Sonoma.

Hildebrand, running the No. 66 DRR Dallara-Chevrolet Rolled off from the outside of Row 9, *P27) and finished a very respectable 11th last year.

As it's hard to believe that it was ten years ago now, when I had the pleasure of "Interviewing" J.R. Hildebrand, then fresh off his Formula 1 Testing Adventure...

McLaren Racing
Engine: Chevrolet
#66. Fernando Alonso, Spain (DNQ)
First Race: 2017
(Last Race: 2017)
Starts: 1

Although I'm guessing Yuhs Don't needs to be a Rocket Scientist to figure this out. Nonetheless, enjoyed Racer's Marshall Pruett's take upon Fernando Alonso, and more importantly McLaren Racing's momentous genesis to gel into a competitive race team in the very compressed Month 'O May.

As I was listening to Pruett's (May 14th) Podcast with Conor Daly, where Marshall correctly eluded to the fact that he's curious to see if their cast of All Stars can conform into a cohesive team effort?

As McLaren Racing is obviously climbing a much steeper mountain this time, versus their first effort two years ago with a Turn Key Andretti Autosport entry, which saw Alonso lead the race before his Hondre' engine Done Blown up!

And it's certainly been a taxing month's outing for the McLaren concern. First dealing with a litany 'O E-E-E' lectrical Gremlins, NO "Prince 'O Darkness" Lucas Lectrics' Jokes here; Hya! Before Fernando became the first driver to Smack the Wall at Mother Speedway!

Although surely thoust Mighty McLaren would rebound and make Thee show, El Correctomundo? As just the Pomp 'N Circumstance of the Glitz surrounding the storied Woking based racing concern would leave Y'all believing this was a foregone conclusion, Ci?

Whilst I'll spare Dissecting what happened, causing McLaren and Fernando Alonso to Fail to Qualify for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, since arguably it'll be the Biggest Story of thou Month 'O May.

Having already scribbled my preliminary thoughts over the wonderful accomplishment of the Minnowesqe Juncos Racing and Kyle Kiser sending Fernando & McLaren back Across thou Puddle in;

For the other One Off Drivers in this year's Indy 500 field racing for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing thru Team Stange Racing with Arrow SPM, see; INDY 500: A Wookie', A Three-times Champion and Journeyman Driver round out this year's Cast of One Offers'

(Photo c/o No Fenders ‘Offical Photographer CARPETS')