Friday, May 31, 2024

IMS: Up in Smoke

Will Power being escorted to Ambulance by AMR Safety workers. (The Tomaso Collection)


Geez! What am I gonna tell Roger now? Especially since it was one of Ganassi’s rookie’s I was trying to pass! That Damn crazy Danish kid…


Photo C/O No Fenders Offical’ Photographer CARPETS’ 

IMS: Keep your Eyes on the Road

Team Penske’s Will Power exiting racecar after Turn-1 crash. (The Tomaso Collection)


Guess I shouldn’t have been Dreamin’ of having my face on the Borg Warner trophy. Or that larger than life-size cutout one of my countless Fans was carrying the other day…


Photo C/O No Fenders Offical’ Photographer CARPETS’ 

IMS: Mor like 5 minutes!

Pietro Fittipaldi’s RLLR entry after first lap crash. (The Tomaso Collection)


Oh sure! I spend the whole weekend Hydrating with my Sponsor’s Energy Drik. Preparing for 500 miles and over four Hours with rain delay. And some British “Clown” takes me out on the first lap!


Photo C/O No Fenders Offical’ Photographer CARPETS’ 

Thursday, May 30, 2024

IMS: Conjunction-Junction?

Fan favouret Santino Ferrucci during Qualifying. (The Tomaso Collection)


The Great Saintini’, ergo Santino Ferrucci discusses on the radio. Perhaps we shouldn’t have given Penske access to my Buddy Michael Cannon after all!


Photo C/O No Fenders Offical’ Photographer CARPETS’ 

IMS: Choosing Lanes’

Pato O’Ward on Qualifying run crossing Yard ‘O Bricks. (The Tomaso Collection)


Damn! It was much easier choosing what “lane” to use during Qualifying. Before that G-Damn Newgarden had to ruin my party!


Photo C/O No Fenders Offical’ Photographer CARPETS’ 

IMS: How many Life’s now?

Felix Rosenqvist on Pitlane. (The Tomaso Collection)


Did Felix-the-Cat’ (Rosenqvist) just use up another one of His Nine Life’s on Sunday? As you should Always respect the V!


Photo C/O No Fenders Offical’ Photographer CARPETS’ 

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

IMS: Pacers mania

Apparently they’ll let anybody in on Car Day to wave the Flag! (The Tomaso Collection)


Even showing up to “promote” the Hometown Basketball team at Mother Speedway brought them any Good Mojo!


Photo C/O No Fenders Offical’ Photographer CARPETS’ 

IMS: “Larger than Life”

What’s that saying about everything’s bigger in Indianapolis? (The Tomaso Collection)


Even this outpouring of love for will Power couldn’t keep Him from crashing Sunday!


Photo C/O No Fenders Offical’ Photographer CARPETS’ 

IMS: “Rocket rick” to the Rescue!

Four-times Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears in Golf cart. (The Tomaso Collection)


Geez! Roger never told me that part of our Technical alliance with Foyt included Helping Dry out the track! But if Foyt’s gonna do it, I suppose I’d better join in…


Photo C/O No Fenders Offical’ Photographer CARPETS’ 

Sunday, May 26, 2024

IMS: The King’ waits Impatiently!

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Gawd Damn It! I left my umbreller’ in the Garage! And that Boy who drives for me is gonna get His Hairdo All Mussed-up in this Storm! (The Tomaso Collection)


“Reputedly” ‘Ol SuperTex’, aka Anthony Joseph Foyt Jr. is itchin’ to help in Track Drying operations later today! And says His Golf cart’s Faster than Tom Sneva’s…


Photo C/O No Fenders Offical’ Photographer CARPETS’ 

Another Zany Indy 500 Race Prediction

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Will Pato O’Ward be exchanging His latest Energy Drink for Milk on Sunday? (The Tomaso Collection)


As who will Mother Speedway choose this time? And will Mother Nature also get in upon “the Show?”


Blogging from the wilds of Nofendersville, where the Intrawoods’ connection is purdy G-Damn slow! Y’all really shouldn’t take too much below for granted, Hya! Especially due to the time delay…


Following Fast Friday’s conclusion, I initially came up with my Top-11 Contendahs’ for this year’s 108th running of the Indianapolis 500. As I’ll let Y’all figure out my “11” connection. And Nah, it doesn’t have anything to do with the Indy 11 Soccer team, Hya!


Thus alphabetically Team-wise: Andretti Global: Colton Herta and Marcus Ericsson; Arrow McLaren: Pato O’Ward and Alexander Rossi; Chip Ganassi Racing: Scott Dixon and Alex Palou; Meyer Shank Racing: Helio Castroneves; Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: Takuma Sato, and Team Penske: Josef Newgarden, Scott McLaughlin and Will Power.


Whilst at the beginning of May, prior to the annual Indy GP, I made the Bold prediction with zero thought or scrutineering. That Alex Palou would be the winner of this year’s Indy 500…


Naturally after qualifying weekend, I’m not sure what to think about Cheep’s top two drivers, i.e.; Palou and Scott Dixon. Although both drivers are methodical at getting to the front. And if Chevy continues having it’s plenum Fires on race day, who knows? Although now that the Boost has been turned back down, this may no longer be an issue…


Naturally on the surface, the race initially seems likely to go one of two ways, albeit weather depending! As Team Penske has simply dominated thru Qualifying, enroute to locking out the Front row for only the second time in History. With 1988’s Indy 500 winner “Rocket rick” Mears starting from Pole in the “Yellow Submarine”. “Spin ‘n win” 1985 Indy 500 winner Danny Sullivan in the middle, and defending Indy 500 winner Big Al’ (Unser) on the outside of Row-1.


Thus Team Penske could be in for another repeat of History, if ScottyMac’, aka Scott McLaughlin can win His debutante Indianapolis 500 from Pole aboard the vaunted (Penzoil) Yellow Submarine. Although I still think odds are against the Kiwi’, who hasn’t won on an Oval yet.


Although I believe the last driver to win from Pole was also a Team Penske driver from France in 2019, when Symone’, nee Pageantry’, aka Simon Pagenaud was victorious.


As how Cool is it that Pagenaud will make His long awaited return to the cockpit when driving Gil de Feran’s 2003 Indianapolis 500 winning racecar as part of the Pre-race festivities…


The Odds are also stacked against Josef Newgarden going back-2-back, as No P2P Jokes here! As repeat winners have only occurred five times in the race’s history, with the last being Helio Castroneves in 2001-02.


And according to the Indianapolis Star’s 33 Things to know about the 500 article. Whilst 45 of the previous 107 winners have come from the Front row, only three of the last twelve have started there.


And that’s before we even get into the scuttlebutt suggesting the Penske trio work together to stay at the front of the pack until the end of the race.


Ok, I can come up with my own scuttlebutt. As what keeps Andretti global from sending Marcus Ericsson, whose had a brutal month as a sacrificial Rabbit at the head of the field, Oh Never Mind!


Leading me to think that Mother Speedway will lend Her Hand in picking a deserving winner as always. Although will it turn into being only Half distance due to weather? Since I cannot remember the last year with rain delays…


As right now I’m torn between two different drivers drinking milk on the victory podium. Torn between Alexander Rossi whom somebody called Luke Skywalker not being able to destroy the Team Penske Death Star – and has been mocking Penske’s Chirpiness All Qualie’ weekend! Along with Colton Herta whom just seems to be exuding quiet confidence.


Obviously as previously mentioned, Alex Palou is certainly a Contendah’, along with Scott Dixon. Although the Kiwi’s making His worst Indy 500 start ever in P21 and will have to come from way deep to pull off the upset. Hmm, another Dixon Master class Fuel saving run in the cards?


Other drivers I’d be happy seeing in the winner’s circle include thee Great Santini’, ergo Santino Ferrucci. As this would be a super popular victory since Ferrucci drives for A.J. foyt. Whom I still remember last year’s In-car radio replay saying Shall we go lead this Boys? Before rocketing to the lead, with thunderous, vocal approval from the Stands!


Whilst I’d also be happy with DJ WillyP’, aka Will Power winning His second Borg Warner trophy. As this would give the Aussie’ His 42nd win, tying Him for fourth All-time with Michael Andretti for career IndyCar wins.


Interestingly, I also learned via the Indianapolis Star that Power’s fifth Front row Start without winning the Pole ties Him with Harry Hartz and Wilbur Shaw.


Yet certainly you’re thinking what about my Numero Uno IndyCar driver Pato O’Ward, Eh? As I haven’t even mentioned Him yet. As this could be the break-thru year like always. But Pato’s already been complaining about His Chevy’ being slow, and He just seems to mercurial!


As I even pondered over qualifying weekend if He was feeling rattled over not being the No. 1 McLaren driver He’s used to? As I’ll begrudgingly admit that Kyle Larson has suitably impressed me both On and Offtrack. Although I still don’t think Larson will win. He’ll lead laps, but will get Outfoxed for the win…


Although somehow I missed another “Memo”. As I was totally unaware that Larson’s deal with McLaren is a two year contract for racing at Mother Speedway, i.e.; 2024-25.


Other outside chances are Felix-the-Cat’, aka Felix Rosenqvist who was the quickest Honda runner. Yet unfortunately the Swede’ has a record of qualifying better than finishing. While obviously the spotlight will be upon His elder teammate Hulio’. But Castroneves won’t win again!


And ditto for Fast Eddie’, nee Ed Carpenter who seems His best days are behind Him. Along with The Dude! Aka Ryan Hunter-Reay.


Otay, Y’all are probably sayin’ Quit stalling and tell us your prediction, Eh?


Yes, I feel that Will Power’s laser focused and has to be a serious threat. While Alexander Rossi seems to have a massive Chip upon His shoulder, not to mention being in a contract year.


But I’ll stick with my Gut feeling and go for the not so obvious pick and select Colton Herta as this year’s winner! As Herta just seems to be exuding confidence along with sounding “loose” and not overtly serious. Kind of making me think of The Gasman, aka Tom Sneva…


But if it becomes a rain shortened race, then All “bets” are Off! And I’ll predict that Dixon wins His second Indianapolis 500.


As Y’all can compare ‘n contrast this year’s predictions vs. last year’s riveting No Fenders post below… 

Friday, May 24, 2024

INDY 500: Searchin’ Far and Wide

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Now if I could only find me a decent Tenderloin sandwich to go with my Chips, and something to Drink! (The Tomaso Collection)


As the yearly Hunt for the perfect, Classic Jumbo Tenderloin Rolls On…


Every May, the Media likes to Salt ‘N Pepper us with stories of People’s yearly Indianapolis 500 traditions, since after all it’s the Gurr-Reatest’ Something Ruther…


And although I can No longer recall if I’ve ever Had one? Since I only remember paying $9.00 for a Steak Sandwich during the 2006 USGP Formula 1 race instead, but I digress…


Thus for over a Decade Now, I’ve lived vicariously thru the written and spoken word  of one such person with the tradition of Hunting for the elusive, perfect Classic Jumbo Tenderloin Sandwich at Mother Speedway every May! For which this ‘lil Ditty’s in regards to and Good Hunting!


Testing Testing, 1-2, 1-2, Is this Thingy’ On?


“The Searcher”

I looked Under Stand J

I looked Behind the Museum

I Asked around the Pagoda

But They couldn’t Help Me either


They Call Me The Searcher

I’ve been Searchin’ Far and Wide

I Won’t Get to Taste what I Came For

Until I’m Trackside


I Asked Doug Boles

I Asked Mark Miles

I Asked Jay Frye

But He Couldn’t  Help Me either


They Call Me The Searcher

I’ve been Searchin’ Far and Wide

I Won’t Get to Taste what I Came For

Until I’m Trackside


People ten to Scoff at Me

They Think I’m Crazy lookin’ for the perfect Tenderloin

Always interrupting Me to Say Hi George

When I’m putting Mustard on my Bun


Finding A Classic Tenderloin

I’ve been Searchin’ for Miles


Because I’m The Searcher

And I want A Real Tenderloin


And I Won’t Get to Get What I’m After

Until I’m trackside


I’ve learned Not to Stop at the First concession Stand

But Yeah look at My Face, Ain’t that A Smile


I’m Happy when I’ve found My Classic Tenderloin

Cause I’ve Got Values and I Won’t be Denied


I’m lookin’ for Mine

You’re lookin’ for Yours

We’re Both lookin’ together, But we don’t Know where to Turn!


They Call Me The Searcher

I’ve been Searchin’ Far and Wide

I Won’t Get to Taste what I Came For

Even if they’re now Twelve Dollars and 50 cents Trackside!


This Lyrical Prose was Shamelessly inspired by The Who’s The Seeker song, which Y’all can listen to in the Youtube link below…


(Originally written by Tomaso on May 15, 2022. Updated on May 16, 2024) 

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Ganassi Stacks the Indy 500 Rookies Deck

But which of these three will come out on top?


Not only does thee Cheepster’, nee Chip Ganassi have the most entries at Mother Speedway with five. But also has the most IndyCar rookies on His squad.…


Marcus Armstrong

#11 Chip Ganassi Racing

Engine: Honda

Country: New Zealand

DOB: 7/29/00, Age: 23

IndyCar Starts: 16

2023 IndyCar Rookie Of the Year


After winning Karting titles in His native New Zealand, Marcus made the jump up to single seaters in 2014. Armstrong steadily advanced and in 2017, driving for the Prema Powerteam had His breakout year. Winning the Italian Formula 4 Championship and finishing runner-up in the ADAC F4 Championship to Juri Vips. Armstrong also became a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy that year.


Next Armstrong graduated to the FIA European Formula 3 Championship, where His teammates were Robert Shwartzman and future Formula 1 driver Guanyu Zhou, finishing fifth overall. Before finishing runner-up in the 2019 FIA F3 Championship.


Marcus contested three seasons of FIA Formula 2, scoring a total of four wins before moving to Indy Cars. Where He contested the Twisties’ Only portion of the 2023 IndyCar calendar driving for Chip Ganassi Racing, with Takuma Sato driving All of the Ovals.


Marcus scored five Top-10 finishes with a best result of seventh at Toronto enroute to winning Rookie Of the Year (ROY) Honors, before being inked to a Full season campaign this year for Ganassi. Having just scored His first IndyCar Top-5 finish in the Indy GP. Nipping at team leader Scott Dixon’s heals at race’s end. Armstrong now prepares to race in His first ever Oval event, and rolls off 16th, the second highest Ganassi starter…


Linus Lundqvist

#8 Chip Ganassi Racing

Engine: Honda

Country: Sweden

DOB: 3/26/99, Age: 25

IndyCar Starts: 7

2022 Indy NXT Champion


After considerable success Karting, Linus Lundqvist made His single seater debut in 2015, before gravitating to Europe where He spent a few seasons driving for Double R Racing. A race team owned by some Cool Cat known as The Iceman’, aka Kimi Raikkonen and Steve Robertson, Kimi’s manager. As Robertson is one of only three Indy Lights Champions to have never raced in IndyCar…


Linus won the 2018 British BRDC F3 title before moving Across thoust Bloody Puddle’ to contest the 2020 (Formula Regional) FR Americas Championship, which He totally dominated. Winning the title, scoring victory in 16 of 18 races!


After a positive rookie Indy Lights campaign, claiming three wins. Linus claimed the title the following year driving for HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing. Yet despite His title, Lundqvist sat sidelined due to Penske Entertainment slashing His championship Advancement Prize…


Lundqvist’s IndyCar break came late in 2023. Contrary to popular belief, Linus made His IndyCar debut on Nashville’s City streets as Simon Pagenaud’s substitute at Meyer Shank Racing, (MSR) where He qualified 11th. Ultimately running three races for MSR, i.e.; Nashville, Indy GP and Gateway. Before eventual 2024 MSR replacement Tom Blomqvist ran the season’s final two events…


Yet Linus suitably impressed during His three races and was signed to a multi-year contract with Chip Ganassi Racing for 2024. Where the Swede’ scored His first IndyCar podium in His sixth race at Barber Motorsports Park. Starting P19 and finishing third, vaulting Him up to eighth in the points standings.


Yet the next time out at Mother Speedway’s permanent road course during the Indy GP. Lundqvist ran out of fuel entering the Pits, taking forever to restart His engine! And painfully finished P24 after flirting with another Top-10 finish! And dropped to 13th in the points standings…


Then Linus made the “smallest” of mistakes during Thursday’s practice at IMS, clipping the Turn-2 curb which sent the No. 8 into a spin. First impacting the rear end and then snapping round, hitting the car’s right side in a long slide before coming to a halt! As you never want to be the first driver to crash during the Month of May. But obviously, Lundqvist will bounce back since He’s drives for one of the preeminent IndyCar teams. Dually qualifying P27 for His debutante Indy 500.


Kyffin Simpson

#4 Chip Ganassi Racing

Engine: Honda

Country: Cayman Islands/USA

DOB: 10/9/04, Age: 19

IndyCar Starts: 4


While I’ve got very little to say about Kyffin Simpson, whose Indy Lights/NXT results really don’t say much. Nonetheless, you’d have to admit that Kyffin’s rise thru the ranks to becoming an IndyCar driver was quite rapid.


Simpson only made His single seater debut four years ago, when contesting the U.S. Formula 4 Championship for Velocity Racing Development. Along with contesting His maiden FR Americas season driving for HMD Motorsports.


For 2021, Kyffin won the FR Americas title driving for TJ Speed Motorsports whilst notching seven wins. Before contesting that year’s Indy Pro 2000 Championship for Juncos Hollinger Racing, finishing eighth overall.


For 2022, Simpson graduated to Indy Lights with TJ Speed Motorsports, before jumping to HMD Motorsports for the latter half of the season. As Kyffin would spend two seasons in the IndyCar training ground with a best finish of ninth overall in 2022. The same year He was inked to a multi-ear IndyCar development role with Chip Ganassi Racing.


Simpson has also spent considerable time racing in Sports Cars, most notably winning the 2023 European Le Mans Series (ELMS) LMP2 Class for Algarve Pro Racing in 2023. Along with contesting the Rolex 24 and other major Sports Car races…


Kyffin made His IndyCar debut this year at Saint Petersburg, where He finished a very respectable 12th. Followed by P19 at Long Beach and 14th at Alabama. And then P15 in the Indy GP, netting Kyffin 18th overall in the points standings.


And who would have predicted that Kyffin would qualify three places ahead of Scott Dixon in His maiden Indianapolis 500? As Simpson will roll off 18th… 

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Introducing Chevy’s two Indy 500 Rookies

Or the only rookie the Media’s talking about…


As previously noted, this year’s Indianapolis 500 Rookie Class features seven diverse drivers. )5 Honda; 2 Chevrolet) With one unfortunately Hogging the limelight! As I’m afraid it’ll be nonstop Kyle mania this May, Urgh!


Kyle Larson

#17 Arrow McLaren

Engine: Chevrolet

Country: USA

DOB: 7/31/92, Age: 31

IndyCar Starts: 0

2021 NASCAR Cup Champion


Otay, let’s get this one out of the way, shall we! Since I fear that IMS has already gifted Kyle Larson the 2024 Indy 500 rookie Of the Year (ROY) trophy, SPEW! A la their skewed choice of ‘Ol JJ’, nee Jimmie Johnson in 2022, but I digress…


Yes, Larson’s an amazingly gifted racing driver, arguably one of Sprint Car and Midgets best. Yes, He won the 2021 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Championship driving for Hendrick Motorsports. As Rick Hendrick is the co-entrant for the fourth Arrow McLaren racecar this year.


But unfortunately for me, whenever I hear Kyle’s name, I immediately flash back to that Horrendous decision to use the You-know-What word during a Gaming session in April, 2020. With then NASCAR employer chip Ganassi rightly, immediately terminating His contract!


Although I absolutely do not expect this to happen, and for Kyle to “safely” qualify for this year’s race. How ironic would it be if one of Cheeps’ (Ganassi) trio of Indy 500 rookies Bumped Larson out of the Show…


But I also do look forward to Kyle completing “the double” this May. Becoming only the fifth driver to contest the Indianapolis 500 and Charlotte 600 on the same day.


Whilst I’ll begrudgingly admit that Larson’s seemed exptremely Humble and willing to talk to the Media whenever requested. Hasn’t put a wheel wrong and is Bloody Fast! Being the Quickest Rookie, qualifying fifth!


Christian Rasmussen

#33 Ed Carpenter Racing

Engine: Chevrolet

Country: Denmark

DOB: 6/29/00, Age: 23

IndyCar Starts: 4

2023 Indy NXT Champion


This is one of the crop of several new IndyCar drivers I really like. As the only flaw to date is that it seems Christian Rasmussen is pressing too hard? Although who am I to critique Rasmussen’s driving prowess, Eh?


Yet it seems like every race at season’s beginning, His name is mentioned in either a collision, crash or spinning out on His own! With P19 at St Pete being His best finish to date; followed by 27-24-20 place finishes thru the Indy GP. Amassing two Top-20 finishes enroute to currently sitting 25th overall.


After two excellent seasons in His Home Danish Formula 4 Feeder Series, the Dane’ made the trip across thoust Bloody Puddle’, Hya! And began climbing the Road to Indy ranks.


Driving for Jay Howard’s Driver Development squad in 2019, Rasmussen finished third in the 2019 U.S. F2000 National Championship with three wins. Then claimed the title the following year with a dominating nine wins before graduating to Indy Pro 2000.


Staying with Jay Howard, Rasmussen went back-to-back by claiming the 2021 Indy Pro 2000 Championship, scoring seven more wins enroute to the title.


For 2022, Christian joined Andretti Autosport’s Indy NXT programme, notching two wins enroute to sixth overall. Then for 2023 He joined HMD Motorsports and scored a further five wins while winning the Championship.


Rasmussen is driving a Twisties’ Only programme for Ed Carpenter Racing. Plus a third “One-off” entry at Mother Speedway, where it’ll be interesting to see if the boss and Rinus VeeKay’s Oval prowess at the Brickyard help the Dane have a successful Indy 500 debut… 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Presenting two of Honda’s Indy 500 Rookies

As Honda spreads the love with three rival teams. Although sadly, One of these Doesn’t look like the others…


This year’s Indianapolis 500 Rookie Class features seven diverse drivers. With five Honda runners and two Chevrolets. For which one of these Bowtie Boyz’ will most definitely be Hogging the limelight Ad Nausea ! Hmm, who could that be, Eh?


Tom Blomqvist

#66 Meyer Shank Racing

Engine: Honda

Country: New Zealand

DOB: 11/30/93, Age: 30

IndyCar Starts: 7

2022 IMSA Prototypes Champion


The son of Rallying legend Stig Blomqvist, the 1984 World Rally Champion. (WRC) As forty years seems a lifetime ago, Yikes! I’ve long been a Fan of whom I call tom “the bomb!” Blomqvist. Although I’m embarrassed to admit how little I know about Him…


Thus learning that Tom was a multi-times Karting Champion in New Zealand before progressing up the European single seater ladder. Discovering that He suffered a broken back during a German Formula 3 race in 2011 at the notorious EuroSpeedway Lausitz racetrack, Youch!


Or that ironically, future IndyCar teammate Felix-the-Cat’ (Rosenqvist) won the 2014 Macau Grand Prix, while Blomqvist was punted off-track by future Formula 1 driver Esteban Ocon!


Tom raced in the DTM, nee Deutch Tourenwagen Masters between 2015-17, claiming one win. Then spent the next several years in Formula E, along with a stint in the FIA World Endurance championship before joining Meyer shank Racing’s IMSA Sports Car team fulltime in 2022.


Blomqvist and teammate Oliver Jarvis won that year’s Prototype Championship, along with the first of Tom’s two back-to-back Rolex 24 victories. As it was Blomqvist’s amazing, raw speed that made me a fan of His…


Blomqvist first tested an IndyCar at an Sebring test session in October, 2022. Then at the 2023 Toronto IndyCar race, Tom made His IndyCar debut as a substitute for the injured Simon Pagenaud, before running athe season’s final two races at Portland and Laguna Seca.


Confirmed as the Fulltime driver of Meyer Shank Racing’s No. 66 entry as Helio Castroneves successor. Tom has scored two Top-20 finishes to date, with His season best result being P15 at St Pete’s season opener. Whilst currently languishing in 23rd overall, one place below the “Cut” line for Leaders Circle prize find…


As Blomqvist, who’s never driven on an Oval before, prepares to make His Roundy-round’ debut on the world’s biggest stage!


Nolan Siegel

#18 Dale Coyne Racing

Engine: Honda

Country: USA

DOB: 11/9/04, Age: 19

IndyCar Starts: 1


As previously noted, 19yr old Palo Alto, California native Nolan Siegel plans to contest four races this season at the ever revolving Dale Coyne & company’s cockpits. Having made His IndyCar debut at this year’s Thermal Club event, driving the No. 18 entry He’s primarily “sharing” with Jack Harvey.


Nolan then made His official IndyCar debut at “the Beach!” One of Nolan’s Home track’s, ergo Long Beach, where He drove the No. 51 Coyne Ware Racing entry with local “eatery” King Tacos sponsorship.


Siegel will also contest the Toronto race this July, along with attempting to qualify for this year’s Indianapolis 500, both in the No. 18 entry. Running just a maximum of four IndyCar races in order to preserve His rookie IndyCar status for 2025.


Nolan made His single seater debut in the 2019 U.S. f2000 National Championship driving for Newman Wachs Racing, finishing 15th overall.


The following year, Siegel switched to Jay Howard Driver Development for His sophomore U.S. F2000 campaign, finishing P13 overall.


Then for His third and final U.S. F2000 season, Nolan switched to DEForce Racing, finishing eighth overall while claiming His maiden victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park.


Siegel made His Indy Pro 2000 series debut at the 2021 Gateway Oval race. Then graduated to the Indy Pro 2000 championship for a full season drive with DEForce Racing.


Nolan won first time out at St Pete, before dominating the next round at Barber Motorsports Park. Yet that would be the last of Siegel’s victories, ultimately finishing fourth overall in the title fight.


Siegel also contested the final Indy Lights race at Laguna Seca driving for HMD Motorsports before joining Indy NXT fulltime in 2023, remaining with HMD Motorsports. Impressing as a rookie by winning two races and finishing third overall, also claiming Indy NXT’s rookie Of the Year (ROY) Honours.


Siegel’s “Day Job”, the 2024 Indy NXT Championship is off to a blazing start! Having won Round-1, leading wire-to-wire from Pole at St Pete. Followed by a second place finish at Alabama. Entereing the IMS Road Course Double Header weekend tied for the points lead with Jacob Abel.


But the Indy GP Double Header weekend wasn’t what Nolan hoped for, with finishes of second and fifth, seeing Him fall 25 “markers” behind Points leader Abel.


 As it’ll be interesting to “see” how Nolan fares on His first Super Speedway Oval. While having landed a ride with United Autosports for this year’s 24 Heurs du Mans. As talk about your veritable driver’s “bucket list” as a teenager! As All that’s missing is Monaco…


Yet Siegel’s Fast Friday was definitely not what He needed. Having apparently “wiggled” coming out of Turn-2 and ultimately over-correcting. Nolan’s front-left tyre Hit the wall after spinning, shearing the wheel assembly off! With the car getting airbourne momentarily before flipping upside down and grinding down the track before finally coming to a stop!


The good news being that Nolan was medically cleared and was Ok. But the team was scrambling to assemble a backup chassis for Him. Being Jack Harvey’s Indy GP road course racecar. Which sadly the team never recovered from!


Since it’s odd hearing that 229mph is Slow! But this is the Indy 500 where ultimately, you needed to be at 230mph or above to “safely” qualify for the race!


Alas, Nolan gave it a brave effort, but the teenager simply was never able to wrastle’ the necessary speed out of this backup chassis. And at the end of the One hour Last Row Shootout, Nolan was the slowest of four cars. And trying to throw a Hail Mary, Siegel’s wickedly loose trimmed out racecar was too much to handle – with Nolan losing the back end entering Turn-1 on lap-2 and crashing into the wall! Seeing the No. 18 Failing to make the Show. 

Monday, May 20, 2024

INDY 500: And now, the Field’s Set

ScottyMac’ and the fabled “Yellow Submarine” certainly weren’t Hiding from Anybody on Pole Day! (The Tomaso Collection)


As Y’all cannot say there was any lack of Drama this year!


While you’d have to say it was a very entertaining two days of Qualifying. Making it apropos that while I listened to almost All seven hours of Day One’s qualifying. Outside I was continuously serranaded by countless Harleys and Fast Cars romping around town during our Rhody Days weekend…


Team Penske flexed Thar Muscle, securing the top three positions, led by Will Power’s 233.758mph four lap average followed by Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden.


As I can no longer remember when it was, i.e.; Fast Friday or Saturday? I know I heard on IndyCar Radio claiming that Power had Hit a maximum velocity of 243mph at the Turn-3 Speed trap!


During the initial first guaranteed qualifying attempt for All 34 entries, Arrow McLaren seemed to be out of sorts!


As rookie Kyle Larson “waived” His first run after the third lap. As Larson said His engine switched off. Callum Ilott qualified next for the team. But then His time was disallowed due to technical violation of the left rear wheel Offset being out of position


Then first Pato O’Ward pulled His car from the Qualie’ line, along with Alexander Rossi did likewise. So initially none of the four McLaren’s were qualified.


Rookie Nolan Siegel had slowest time at 226mph, as the Dale Coyne Racing driver was struggling almighty to put His backup chassis in the Show…


Ryan Hunter-Reay and Scott Dixon also pulled their cars from first attempt. As Dixon’s crew was busy installing a new Honda engine


Rinus VeeKay, the day’s fourth qualifier, crashed heavily in Turn-3 during His Qualie’ run.


And Katherine Legge “White-walled” Her tyres on lap-4 during one of Her multiple qualifying attempts. As the Coyne entries were the two slowest cars initially.


And while speculation suggested that Larson suffered from having plenum fire during His first qualifying attempt. The NASCAR Star ended the day sixth overall, handidly advancing to Sunday’s Fast-12 Shootout. Bested only by teammate Rossi in fourth.


As reputedly six Bowtie’ runners including Larson suffered from Plenum fires during their qualifying attempts! With the most distraught being Augustin Canapino!


And whilst myself and others in Ye Blogosphere had predicted Sting Ray Robb to be the slowest qualifier. Robb suitably impressed with a late run, jumping seven places up to P20, before ultimately ending up 23rd overall. So good for Him!


While another rookie who quietly went about His job was Tom Blomqvist, in His first ever Oval track race. With the Kiwi’ saying He was enjoying sliding the rear of the car during his latter Qualie’ run that ultimately netted Him P25.


The other rookies, i.e.; Cristian Rasmussen wound up 24th, one place ahead of Blomqvist. Whilst Marcus Armstong was 16th, Kyffin Simpson 18th and Linus Lundqvist P27.


As the biggest disappointment of the day had to be Chip Ganassi Racing having zero entries in the Top-12! With Alex Palou 14th and Dixon a very uncharacteristic P21!


Yet the most impressive drive of the Day has to go to Rinus VeeKay. As the Dutchman bumped His way into the Fast-12 with just some three-plus minutes remaining in qualifying! Knocking Colton Herta out of P12.


Whilst I suppose you’d have to Arse-sumed that half of the Last Row Shootout cars would belong to Dale Coyne. While Graham Rahal makes it two years in-a-row. But the biggest surprise has to be 2022 Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson simply never being able to find the necessary speed aboard His backup chassis. As Ericsson’s and Siegel’s plights underscore how important your primary Speedway car is. Afterall, being massaged for much of the year prior to competing at Mother Speedway…

Fast-12 Day One results

The Top-12 drivers from Saturday will each make one qualifying attempt Sunday in reverse starting order, i.e.; Slowest to Fastest. As Saturday’s order was Will Power, Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden claiming the first three positions.


Alexander Rossi was fourth, with Kyle Kirkwood being the fastest Honda in fifth. And the Outside of Row-2 was Kyle Larson.


Felix Rosenqvist, Santino Ferrucci and Takuma Sato make up row-3. With Pato O’Ward, Rinus VeeKay and Ryan Hunter-Reay being the “slowest” three of the Top-12. Seeing nine Chevy’s vs. three Honda’s fighting for Pole Sunday.


As starting positions 7-12 will be locked-in following the first qualifying run.


Thus Row-3 positions 7-9 were ultimately filled by VeeKay, O’Ward and Rosenqvist. While Row-4 (positions 10-12) features Sato, Kirkwood and Hunter-Reay.  


Last Row Shootout

Due to circumstances, prior to the Last Chance Qualifier’, you’d naturally have to Arse-sume that rookie Nolan Siegel wouldn’t make the Show. Having been slowest ever since crashing His primary chassis.


Yet the two names that shouldn’t be here obviously are Graham Rahal and Marcus Ericsson!


And after Sunday afternoon’s One hour warm-up session, it appeared to be a slugfest between Graham Rahal and rookie Nolan Siegel for who’d make the field, which ultimately played out.


But it was Ericsson giving us Drama we weren’t expecting! When the Swede’ thought He’d completed the run on lap-3 and slowed down. With a final lap at a “pedestrian” 194mph giving Him an four lap average speed of 220mph! As what just happened?


Yet Ericsson went back out for a final qualie’ run with some seven minutes remaining and “bumped” His way into the middle of row-11, knocking Siegel out again. With the brash 19yr old Californian giving it one last shot with just 2:24 remaining on the clock.


Siegel’s first lap wasn’t quick enough and the Californian Kid knew He had to go big, or Go Home! And with the car trimmed out to the ragged edge. Siegel got loose in turn-1, the back end snapped and Siegel Hit the Wall! Ending any remote hope of making this year’s race.


Credit once again to Graham Rahal being gracious in “victory”, and lavishing praise upon Nolan Siegel and Dale coyne’s moxie in qualifying and their attempts to make the race after Siegel crashed during Fast Friday…


Meanwhile, Siegel’s teammate Katherine Legge starts P31. With IndyCar Radio Driver Analyst Davey Hamilton saying that Legge had used up every inch of the track and run no two lines the same during Her run with a loose racecar that almost Hit the wall. But Kudo’s to Legge’s gutsy qualie’ run.


Fast Six Shootout

Once again, the shootout for Pole position felt fairly anti-climatic to Mwah. Especially with the Top-4 positions remaining the same from the day’s earlier Fast-12 Shootout. Seeing Team Penske lock out the Front row for only the second time in History.


As Team Penske swept the Front row in 1988 with “Rocket Rick” Mears, Danny Sullivan and Al Unser.


As ScottyMac’, who I’m totally Hip’ upon, not only claimed His first Indianapolis 500 Pole position, but now holds the current All-time Pole lap average speed record at 234.220mph! Will Power was second and Josef Newgarden third.


Row-2 sees Alexander Rossi in fourth, with rookie Kyle Larson in the middle, flanked on the outside by Santino Ferrucci.


As congrats to Scott McLaughlin, but Thars’ still 500 miles to go…