Kyle Larson Enters 2024 500 with McLaren

When you sit down to write a news story and a bigger one pops up- that’s what just happened. The driver fans have clamored for will finallyt get his shot at the Indianapolis 5009. I will have more to sya on this later, but for now here is the press release from Arrow McLaren.

KYLE LARSON TO JOIN McLAREN RACING FOR THE 2024 INDIANAPOLIS 500

Partnership between McLaren and Rick Hendrick to field the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion

Champion driver Kyle Larson will join McLaren Racing for the 2024 Indianapolis 500, adding to Arrow McLaren’s star-studded lineup for the “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”  

Kyle’s Chevrolet will be co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rick Hendrick and carry title partnership from HendrickCars.com. Rick is the chairman and CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group and the owner of 14-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports, which Kyle has driven for since 2021.  

Additional details, including car number and livery for the HendrickCars.com Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, will be announced at a later date.  

Kyle, 30, has proven success at the elite NASCAR Cup Series level where he won the 2021 series title, 19 points-paying races, the 2019 and 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race, and the 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year award. In his 2021 championship campaign, the Elk Grove, California, native won 10 points races and led more laps in a single season (2,581) than any driver since 1995.  

In partnership with McLaren Racing, the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 will mark the first event as an NTT INDYCAR SERIES owner for Rick, whose stock-car teams have won an all-time record 291 points-paying Cup Series races. He is also NASCAR’s winningest owner at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with 10 Cup victories on the storied 2.5-mile oval.  

Entering his 12th season in the NASCAR Cup Series and third with Hendrick Motorsports in the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Kyle has consistently expressed interest to race the Indy 500 with Team Chevy. Arrow McLaren, with an opening in its 2024 lineup, seeks to have him at the front of the grid.  

Pending additional 2023 entries, Kyle would become just the fifth driver to run “The Double” on Memorial Day weekend by racing in the Indy 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. His double would be the first since Kurt Busch raced in both events in 2014.  

Widely regarded as a world-class talent, Kyle has a broad resume of auto racing success with more than 400 career wins in a variety of disciplines and types of vehicles on dirt and pavement. His versatility and experience complements McLaren Racing’s investment, strategy and competition in different racing series.   

Kyle joins a list of other notable names to run for Arrow McLaren in the Indy 500, including two-time race winner Juan Pablo Montoya, two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso and 2013 race winner Tony Kanaan, who joins the team of Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist and Alexander Rossi (2016 winner) for the Indy 500 for the 2023 season.

Kyle Larson, Driver, said:

“I’m super excited. Competing at the Indianapolis 500 is a dream of mine and something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time – since I was a child before I ever began competing in sprint cars. To do it with McLaren Racing and Mr. Hendrick especially is a dream come true. I’m grateful for the opportunity and am really looking forward to it even though it’s still about a year-and-a-half away. I’m really looking forward to competing in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 and maybe even get a win or two that day.”

Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, said:

“Adding Kyle Larson with a HendrickCars.com partnership to the Indy 500 lineup in 2024 is exciting for our Arrow McLaren team as well as for race fans. He’s a complete driver, known for racing anything on wheels, so I’m looking forward to seeing what Kyle can do in an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car. It’s been great working with Rick Hendrick and (Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman) Jeff Gordon to pull this together, so a big thank you to them for what’s to come in May 2024.”  

Rick Hendrick, Chairman/CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group and owner of Hendrick Motorsports, said:

“Having the opportunity to support Kyle, partner with an elite team like Arrow McLaren and promote HendrickCars.com in one of the world’s great auto racing events is truly unique. All of us are competitors. Putting Kyle in top-level equipment and allowing ample time for him to prepare for such a difficult challenge was important. It’s going to be very, very special to field a Chevrolet in the Indy 500 as a car owner. A collaboration like this was what we needed to make it happen, and fortunately the stars aligned. We’re 100% committed to doing it right and look forward to working with Zak and his organization.” 

Gavin Ward, Racing Director, Arrow McLaren, said:

“Kyle’s ability and desire to compete across so many disciplines of motor racing is as rare today as it is refreshing. He’s one of the best dirt track racers on the planet. He’s a NASCAR Cup champion. He’s won a Rolex 24 at Daytona. He’s an incredibly talented driver and has shown his ability to win no matter what he’s racing. I can’t think of a more exciting addition to Arrow McLaren’s 2024 Indy 500 lineup. We’re all racers on this team, and we’re going to give it everything to make sure this endeavour is as successful as possible.” Previous

‘100 Days to Indy’ Coming to The CW Network in Spring 2023

Penske Entertainment announced this morning plans to significantly increase their marketing budget. This news which just broke may be the first sign of the new budget

From IMS:

Penske Entertainment, NTT INDYCAR SERIES Partner
with VICE Media Group for New Documentary Series


INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022) – Penske Entertainment and The CW Network announced Dec. 8 they are joining forces with VICE Media Group for “100 Days to Indy,” a first-of-its-kind broadcast series about the road to the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, the world’s premier motorsports competition.
Produced by Penske Entertainment and VICE Media Group, the six-part series will take fans behind the scenes to chronicle the bold and brash personalities of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES as they begin the 2023 season and start their epic quest for racing’s greatest prize. “100 Days to Indy” will air on The CW Network in spring 2023.
“The Indy 500 is the most unique, exhilarating and engaging event on the planet,” Penske Entertainment President and CEO Mark Miles said. “It’s an unrivaled spectacle fueled by ambitious, fearless and captivating personalities. This series will give viewers an unprecedented front row seat as the racing season begins and the countdown to Indy accelerates. Ultimately, through the compelling creative lens and massive reach of both VICE and The CW, we will bring the world-class competition and drama of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES to a newer and more youthful audience.
”The 100-day window is benchmarked by drama, intrigue and fierce competition from the very first race of the season all the way to the checkered flag at the Indianapolis 500. For the winner, it is a life-changing experience, etching his or her name into the history books. This year, four-time Indy 500 winner and former “Dancing with the Stars” champion Helio Castroneves is eyeing a record fifth win but will face stiff competition from a rising generation of young talent all eyeing “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and its multimillion-dollar purse.
“100 Days to Indy” will showcase what it takes to compete at the highest levels and at the height of danger, while providing a window into the on- and off-track lives of some of the sport’s most engaging drivers.“
‘100 Days to Indy’ is a high-octane adventure grounded in emotional sports storytelling,” said Brad Schwartz, president, Entertainment, The CW Network. “Alongside our partners at VICE Media Group, Penske Entertainment and NTT INDYCAR SERIES, we have come together to deliver a series that will follow these champions of the racetrack and keep viewers on the edge of their seats.”
The compelling docuseries will be produced by multiple award-winning VICE World News, with Emmy Award-winning Patrick Dimon directing and Bryan Terry executive producing for VICE. The series will have a fast re-air on VICE TV and be supported across VICE’s global social media channels.
“VICE is honored to produce the first sports project with Nexstar and The CW since the acquisition and to bring this series through the checkered flag with everyone at the network,” said Morgan Hertzan, president, Global TV at VICE Media Group. “The team at the NTT INDYCAR SERIES has an incredible journey for the world to join, and VICE is looking forward to being in the driver’s seat with them.”
About VICE Media Group
VICE Media Group is a global multiplatform media company. Launched in 1994, VICE has offices in 25 countries across the globe with a focus on five key businesses: VICE.com, an award-winning international network of digital content; VICE STUDIOS, a feature film and television production studio; VICE TV, an Emmy-winning international television network; a Peabody award-winning NEWS division with the most Emmy-awarded nightly news broadcast; and VIRTUE, a global, full-service creative agency. VICE Media Group’s portfolio includes Refinery29, the leading global media and entertainment company focused on women; Pulse Films, a London-based next-generation production studio with outposts in Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Berlin; and i-D, a global digital and quarterly style bible defining fashion and contemporary culture and design.
About VICE World News
Building off the success of VICE News in the U.S, VICE World News is VICE Media Group international news network, producing hundreds of hours of television, digital and audio news programming for a global audience. The premium documentaries, docuseries and original podcasts will focus on the core issues that so define VICE’s content: extremism, climate, drugs, privacy, politics, inequality and race.
About The CW Network
The CW Network, LLC is America’s fifth major broadcast network, offering 14 hours of primetime programming, Monday through Sunday. The CW is 75%-owned by Nexstar Media Group, Inc. For more information about the network and its programming, visit www.cwtv.com.

Seconds from SECOND

A few moe photos from the IMS Museum’s new exhibit, SECOND

Bill Vukovich II was chasing Gordon Johncock in 1973 when rain halted the race. Could he have caught Johncock?
Dan Gurney finished second in 1968 and 1969. His Eagle chassis would win the 500.
Jimmy Jackson drove to second place in 1946. Had he won, Jackson would have been the last Indian born driver to win the 500. Wilbur Shaw still holds that honor.
Ted Horn ran second in 1936, starting a string of nine straight top 4 finishes. It was his only second place finish.
The story about second place finishers is complete without Harry Hartz. Hartz has the most second place finishes without ever winning the 500. He did get to Victory lane as a car owner.

SECOND- Drivers Who Almost Drank the Milk

Photo-Sam Hornish edges Marco Andretti for the win in 2006

“No one remembers who finished second except the guy who finished second.” Bobby Unser

Twists of fate kept several drivers from winning the Indianapolis 500. Some went on to win later on, but for many, second place was their best finish at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Some had many more chances, while some never returned to the race.

Second place at Indianapolis mostly goes unnoticed Unlike other races on the schedule, there is no podium; only the winner receives recognition.

The IMS Museum gives the spotlight to these drivers, many of whom I believe are remembered for finishing second. While the display focuses on runners-up who never won, tribute is paid to those who eventually drank the milk or owned the winning car.

Here are some of the stories on display.

Whether due to controversial scoring, rain, car damage, or a late yellow, fans and drivers have to wonder what might have been. Controversy reigned in the first 500 in 1911. Ray Harroun was awarded the victory, and Ralph Mulford finished second. Or is that really how the race ended. Mulford maintained for a long time that he won he first 500.

Is this the actual winner of the first 500? Car on display is a replica

Perhaps the most controversial finish since 1911 occurred in 2002. Paul Tracy pulled ahead of leader Helio Castroneves on lap 198 just as the yellow flag came out. Did Tracy pass Castroneves before or after the flag was thrown? Officials ruled that the yellow was out when the pass was made. Castroneves got first place back and won his second straight 500,

Oh, So Close!

While most races ended with the winner easily ahead, there have been some very close finishes since 1982. When Gordon Johncock beat Ric Mears to the line that year, the two drivers broke a record that had stood since 1937. Wilbur Shaw beat Ralph Hepburn by 2.16 seconds in winning his first of three 500s.

Scott Goodyear nearly went from last to first in1 992

Al Unser, Jr. nipped Scott Goodyear in 1992 by 0.43 seconds. Sam Hornish edged Marco Andretti in 2006 by 0.635 seconds.

Late Trouble

Roberto Guerrero looked to have the 1987 race in habd when he tangled with tony bettenhausen between turns 3 and 4. A tire from bettenhausen’s car flew into the stands, fatally injuring a spectator. Guerrero continued, but there was internal damage. On his last pit stop, the car stalled with a clutch problem, and Al Unser, Sr. took the lead and held on for his fourth win.

Eddies Sachs had the 1961 race in his grasp.

In 1961 Eddie Sachs appeared to have the upper after a spirited duel with A. J. Foyt, who had to make an extra stop for fuel. But with just three laps left, Sachs suddenly pulled into the pits, concerned that his right front tire wouldn’t last. Foyt took the lead and his first of four checkered flags at the speedway.

J. R. Hildebrand couldn’t complete the 800th turn in 2011

In 2011 J. R. Hildebrand ended up leading after a furious flurry of late fuel stops. He went wide to avoid a lapped car at the exit to turn 4 on the final lap and hit the wall. Dan Wheldon went past for his second Indianapolis 500.

Andretti Heartbreak

Rick Mears passed Michael Andretti on a late restart in 1991 to join the four-time winners club. Andretti had dominated the race, but once Mears took the lead, Andretti could not catch him. It was Andretti’s only second place finish among his five top five finishes.

Winners as Owners

Harry Hartz finished second three times, in 1922, 1923, and 1926, but won twice as a car owner in 1930 and 1932. Hartz holds the dubious honor of having the most second place finishes without winning the race.

The 1941 winning car owned by Lou Moore

Lou Moore, second place finisher in 1928, owned five winning cars- 1938, 1941, and 1947-49. His five wins as a car owner stood as the record until Roger Penske began fielding winning cars in 1972.

Michael Andretti’s team has also had success, with 500 wins in 2005,2007, 2016, and 2017.

There are fascinating stories in this display- heartbreaking, poignant tales of lost opportunities, sometimes with no second chances. I hope you can get out to see this exhibit. It is one of the best the IMS Musuem has offered.

I will have some more photos up tomorrow.

Cusick, Wilson Return to Indy, Teamed with Dreyer & Reinbold

Photo from team press release

In an announcement that is going to be popular with many fans, Stefan Wilson will attempt to make his fifth Indianapolis 500 mile race next May, driving for Cusick Motorsports in association with Dreyer& Reinbold. Wilson takes over car 24, which was driven by Sage Karam in 2022. The car will have Chevrolet power.

“As soon as the checkered flag fell on the Indy 500 this year, we set out to find the best possible partner for the future,” said Don Cusick, Founder and CEO of Cusick Motorsports. “We have immense respect for what Dreyer & Reinbold Racing have done both on and off track over the years and quickly identified them as our ideal partner for this endeavor. We couldn’t be happier to partner with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, along with several long-standing and new partners in CareKeepers, Sierra Pacific Windows, Jay Paul Company’s 181 Fremont, Gnarly Jerky, LOHLA SPORT, Romak Iron Works, Mosaic Animal Care, The Thermal Club and Mr. and Mrs. James Lowes. We’ve created a special relationship with our partners and Stefan Wilson over the last two years – joining forces with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will have a significant impact as we move forward.”

Stefan Wilson is excited to drive for a team his late brother, Justin, also drove for.

“I’ve been very impressed with how hard Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has worked at and focused on the Indy 500,” said Wilson. “It’s such an honor for me to join them in partnership with Cusick Motorsports and work on our collective goal of trying to win the Indy 500. There’s a great opportunity here for us to all grow together. I hope this leads to more 500’s, and maybe even more races together. There’s history here with this team. Justin [Wilson, Stefan’s late older brother] spent two years with DRR back in 2010-2011 and secured podiums. I got to know Dennis (Reinbold), Brett De Bord and Chase Selman really well back then, so it just feels great to be rejoining them in a sense. I also have to say a big thank you to Don Cusick, who has put more faith in me than anybody else in my career. I’m honored to represent Cusick Motorsports and all our partners and will do my utmost to make the most of this fantastic opportunity.”

This announcement accounts for one of two Dreyer & Reinbold cars I assume will enter the 500. No word on the second car as of now.

Rahal and AMSP 500 Additions Put Field at 33

Rahal Letterman Lanigan racing announced a fourth car for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 yesterday but did not name a driver. This morning Arrow McLaren SP introduced their fourth car and driver combination for Memorial Day weekend, with 2013 winner Tony Kanaan joining the team.

AMSP will field the drivers who finished second, third, fourth, and fifth in the 2022 500.

The two additional cars add to the growing list of entries for the race. The field for the Indianapolis 500 as it stands now:

Team Penske- 3

Chip Ganassi Racing- 3 (+1?)

Andretti Autosport- 5

AMSP-4

Rahal letterman Lanigan Racing- 4

Ed Carpenter Racing-3

Meyer Shank Racing-2

A. J. Foyt Racing-2

Juncos Racing-2

Dale Coyne-2

Dreyer and Reinbold-2

With the fourth car at Ganassi presumed to come into being, the entry list is at 33. There are 16 Chevy engines and 17 Honda engines. How much more will each manufacturer run? I think no more than one each. The sad part is a couple of one off teams will not be able to come to the Speedway in May. The one off teams are part of the allure of the race. It’s nice to see the little guy fighting for a spot. Those days may be coming to an end.

Marcus Ericsson Joins Speedway Legends 0n The Borg Warner Trophy

The image of 2022 Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson is now on the Borg warner trophy, fixing his place oi Speedway history. The unveiling took place this morning at Union 50 in downtown Indianapolis. Through 2018, the winner’s image unveiling was a small public affair at the IMS Museum. In 2019 Simon Pagenaud first saw his face on the trophy in France. Helio Castroneves’ mage for 2021 occurred at the PRI show.

Following a short clip of the end of the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500, a brief video message from Kenny Brack,, the 1999 winner, and a fellow Swede of Ericsson, played.

IMS resident Doug Boles and Borg Warner representative Michelle Collins introduced Ericsson, who removed the covering from the trophy bas and had his first look of his face on the trophy.

Today’s affair was an elegant event that the Penske footprint all over it. A luncheon followed the invitation only ceremony.

Indycar photo

The likeness is one of the more authentic ones in the last few years. I have felt many of the recent image son the trophy looked pretty much the same. Ericsson’s image is very true to life.

Doug Boles introduces Ericsson

The crew of the number 8 Huski Chocolate car

IMS Event Tickets Now on Sale

FRom IMNS:

2023 IMS Event Tickets On Sale Now
at IMS.com, Ticket Office
 
 INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022) – Tickets for marquee events in 2023 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – including the 107th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge and the Brickyard Weekend NASCAR / INDYCAR tripleheader – are on sale online at IMS.com and at the IMS Ticket Office.
The IMS Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the IMS Administration Building at 4790 W. 16th St. in Indianapolis. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET. Tickets also can be purchased by calling 317-492-6700 or 800-822-4639.
“The 2023 lineup offers both old favorites and new experiences for our fans as we welcome them to The Racing Capital of the World,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “With tickets for the best available seats at the lowest remaining prices now available, our fans can plan for another great season of events at IMS.”
Tickets for the following 2023 events are on sale at IMS.com/tickets and the Ticket Office:
NTT INDYCAR SERIES GMR Grand Prix: Saturday, May 13
Miller Lite Carb Day: Friday, May 26
107th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge: Sunday, May 28
Indy 500 Snake Pit presented by Coors Light: Sunday, May 28
Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational: Saturday, June 17 and Sunday, June 18
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Gallagher Grand Prix: Saturday, Aug. 12
NASCAR Xfinity Series Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard: Saturday, Aug. 12
NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard: Sunday, Aug. 13
Intercontinental GT Indianapolis 8-Hour: Friday, Oct. 6-Sunday, Oct. 8
Customers also can purchase admission to practice, qualifications and the public drivers’ meeting, as well as parking, camping, hospitality and public credentials (Bronze Badge, Silver Badge, garage passes, pit passes) for these events at IMS.com.
All products are on sale at their lowest remaining prices, with increases coming in 2023. The $4 per-ticket service fee will be waived on items purchased before Jan. 1. Kids 15 and under will continue to be admitted free in general admission locations to all 2023 racing events at IMS when accompanied by an adult general admission ticket holder.
Miller Lite Carb Day and Snake Pit presented by Coors Light concert lineups will be announced soon. The Firestone Legends Day concert will once again be held at the TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park. Performers and ticket sale information will be announced later.
Ticket applications are open for the 2023 Driven2SaveLives BC39 presented by WeatherTech. Fans can sign up to receive ticket information for the IMSA Battle on the Bricks to be held Sept. 15-17.

Ericsson’s Image Added to Borg Warner Thursday

From IMS- Invitation only, but streaming available.

Ericsson To Unveil Image on Borg-Warner Trophy
Thursday in Indianapolis
 
 Marcus Ericsson will unveil his likeness on the Borg-Warner Trophy as the winner of the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge at 11:30 a.m. ET Thursday, Oct. 27 at Union 50 in downtown Indianapolis.
Ericsson, from Sweden, won “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” for the first time May 29 in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
Ericsson and other special guests will be available for interviews following the ceremony at Union 50, a restaurant located on 620 N. East St. in the popular Mass Ave section of Indianapolis.
Fans can watch the invitation-only event live on IMS.com and the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.