Montoya Carries Iconic Number and Colors on 500 Ride

Photos from ArrowMcLarenSP Twitter page

Juan Pablo Montoya will drive car number 86 in the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 in a car trimmed with the famous McLaren papaya orange. The 86 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1971 pole winning McLaren of Peter Revson, who stunned the crowd with his average time of 178.696, which beat out Mark Donohue for the pole. Revson finished second in the race to Al Unser.

Peter Revson prepares for his qualifying run in 1971
Top view

Montoya, 500 winner in 2000 and 2015, will also drive in the May 15 race on the IMS road course.

Arrow McLaren SP is the third team Montoya will have driven for in the 500. He won the 500 while driving for Chip Ganassi in 2000 and for Team Penske in 2015.

The three car AMSP effort at Indy, with full time drivers Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist, should be a strong contender in May.

IMS Test Signals Unofficial Start of Season

Photo: The Festival Camaros lined up in front of the yard of bricks

It is now less than two weeks until the 2021 NTT Indycar Series begins. The season unofficially begins Thursday with a two day test for all Indianapolis 500 participants at IMS. All full time teams are expected to take part, as well as the new Paretta Autosport team with Simona de Silvestro driving. and the Dale Coyne/Rick Ware number 52. More on the Coyne car later. The test is open to fans in the turn 2 mounds.

The four drivers who took part in the hybrid simulation test qa week and a half ago, felt that passing should be improved. Indycar frilled in the hole in the floor and added strakes. This week will be a better test of the improvements with a larger number of cars.

Notes

Cody Ware tested at Texas last week and will take his rookie test at IMS this week. Ware was rumored to drive the 52 at the Indianapolis 500 when the team was announced, but those rumors cooled. Now it appears Ware will be the driver for the 500..

Doug Boles was the weekly guest on the Marshall Pruett Podcast last Wednesday. Boles said that an attendance decision is about 15-20 days away, which is right around the time of the season opener at Barber. Numbers in Indiana and Marion County are ticking upward at the moment. We will just have to wait and see.

As far as support events for the race, Boles said there is a plan for some music piece, but the race is the priority. he also said that no matter the COVID situation, masks will probably be required.

The entire podcast is at this link:

I was disappointed to learn from the Texas test that the upper groove still has the NASCAR traction compound on it and that the drivers still consider it a “no-go zone”. Last year’s race in June featured very little passing because the track had just one groove. Texas is now another track where great Indycar racing has been ruined by NASCAR modifications.

Later this week, watch for my season previews.

Paretta Autosport Gets Rocket Pro TPO Sponsorship; Some Notes of Fan Interest

Paretta Autosport, the all female team which began last July as part of Indycar’s Race for Equality and Change, today announced Rocket Pro TPO as the main sponsor for their one off Indianapolis 500 entry. 500 veteran Simona De Silvestro will drive the car. The team is expected to participate in the open test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway April 8 and 9.

“Having Rocket Pro TPO come onboard as our primary sponsor for this year’s Indy 500 is a perfect partnership,” said Beth Paretta, CEO/team principal of Paretta Autosport. “We are both huge proponents of highlighting the power of women, while also using technology and speed to be the best at what we do. I cannot wait for what we will be able to accomplish as a team – both on and off the track.”

Rocket Pro is a division of Rocket Mortgage. The press release also noted,

“Together, Rocket Pro TPO, Paretta and De Silvestro will partner on the ‘Rocket Accelerator’ multimedia campaign. The group will use unique and innovative ways to amplify women in the mortgage lending and racing spaces by showcasing female leaders who are thriving in these industries.”

Paretta Autosport has a technical partnership with Team Penske.

Notes

Single day tickets for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg went on sale today.

Fans will be allowed to view next week’s open test at IMS from the turn 2 mounds.

The Road to Indy has Spring Training at barber motorsports today. Good news for the return of Indy Lights- 13 cars are entered for the tes.

500 Parade Cancelled; ‘Reverse Parade’ Takes Its Place

The 500 festival Parade will not take place in downtown in Indianapolis the day before the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. The parade has been a traditional pre-race event since 1958. The COVID pandemic cancelled the parade last year as well. More information can be found at 500 festival.com and IMS.com. Here announcements from the 500 festival and IMS about revised plans for May 29:

AES 500 Festival Parade | May 29 – The traditional in-person parade will NOT take place. Current ticket-holders will be contacted by the 500 Festival this week with more information. In collaboration with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, there will be a new community celebration event called “500 Spectacle of Homes,” in place of the traditional AES 500 Festival Parade. The 500 Spectacle of Homes will activate in neighborhoods across Indianapolis throughout the Month of May leading into Indy 500 Race Weekend and it will culminate with a “reverse parade” on Saturday, May 29. This will include a caravan of the 33 Indy 500 drivers who will make their way from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, throughout surrounding neighborhoods and downtown Indianapolis. Details for ways to participate will be shared soon.

‘500 Spectacle of Homes’ To Celebrate Month of May throughout Indianapolis

March 30, 2021 | By Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Special ‘Reverse Parade’ Planned for Saturday, May 29

Fans of the 105th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge are encouraged to show their anticipation and excitement for the Sunday, May 30 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by participating in a new, month-long activation showcasing civic pride and engagement: “500 Spectacle of Homes.”

The “500 Spectacle of Homes” will provide a focal point for celebrating this year’s “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” building on the tradition of community porch parties and reimagining the traditional AES 500 Festival Parade, which will not be held in 2021. Indianapolis-area fans are encouraged to participate in the city-wide celebration by decorating their yards and homes in race-themed fashion, similar to many of the floats featured in the traditional parade.

The celebration will culminate Saturday, May 29 – the day before the 105th Running – with all 33 starting drivers using event-themed 500 Festival event cars to complete a “reverse parade” through Indianapolis neighborhoods. The caravan will proceed from the Town of Speedway to downtown Indianapolis before the drivers and other dignitaries spread out through the city’s diverse neighborhoods to thank fans and recognize them for their inventive efforts to create the “500 Spectacle of Homes.”

Participating residents may submit their addresses to be included in a digital map for fellow race fans to drive by throughout the Month of May, similar to neighborhood holiday lights displays in December. Fans with home submissions will have the opportunity to win Month of May prizes.

In April, IMS.com will offer a hub filled with tips and inspiration, with IMS landmarks such as the Pagoda and the Yard of Bricks woven into the potential imagery. Residents are also encouraged to use their imagination regarding all things Month of May to create unique designs.

“This is a terrific way for fans to celebrate the Month of May and the Indy 500,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “Porch parties have become popular in recent years and are an example of the intense community spirit we have for IMS and its events. Decorating yards and homes for this neighborhood celebration will amp up the excitement even more. I look forward to seeing the creativity of our residents inspire our city throughout the Month of May and provide a fitting sendoff for our drivers ahead of the world’s greatest race.”

Said 500 Festival President and CEO Bob Bryant: “The spirit of the AES 500 Festival Parade continues in a new way. We are excited to work with IMS, the Harrison Center and community participants to once again showcase all 33 drivers in the 2021 Indy 500. We look forward to the return of our traditional community events next year and are appreciative of the flexibility from our stakeholders and IMS to find new ways to celebrate the Month of May.”

Décor items – such as yard signs and flags – will be distributed to several neighborhoods ahead of May 29 to encourage as much participation as possible. IMS will amplify the social posts of fans, using the imagery on IMS big screens and feeding NBC for its Race Day broadcast.

The activation is being planned by IMS, the Harrison Center and the 500 Festival. For more information, visit IMS.com. https://www.facebook.com/v2.0/plugins/comments.php?app_id=1570557269837095&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fx%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter%2F%3Fversion%3D46%23cb%3Df29364df5139abe%26domain%3Dwww.indianapolismotorspeedway.com%26origin%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.indianapolismotorspeedway.com%252Ff301093e63e56cc%26relation%3Dparent.parent&color_scheme=light&container_width=0&height=100&href=https%3A%2F%2Fdev.ims.com%2Fnews-multimedia%2Fnews%2F2021%2F03%2F30%2F500-spectacle-of-homes-to-celebrate-month-of-may-throughout-indianapolis&locale=en_US&numposts=5&sdk=joey&skin=light&version=v2.0&width=751

Mclaughlin in Pennzoil Car for 500

Scott Mclaughlin will drive the number 3 Pennzoil Car in the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500. He will use the paint scheme which Helio Castroneves used in his last race with Team Penske.

The three time Australian Supercars champion revealed the car in this video this morning.

I think.its time to retire the term yellow submarine. Just because the car is yellow and sponsored by Pennzoil doesn’t make it the yellow submarine. That was a special car driven by Johnny Rutherford. The chassis was unique. This is a spec Dallara.

IMS Mass Vaccination Clinics Resume Tomorrow

Thursday is the first day of three April weekends of mass COVID vaccination clinics at IMS. THE first clinic was a resounding success with more than 16,000 shots dispensed. The goal for the April clinics iss 96,000 vaccinations. Ad of today, Indiana residents age 16 and older are eligible for the vaccine.

Push to Pass Test at IMS Tomorrow

Indycar just released the following information. To my knowledge this is not open for public viewing.

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Drivers To Test Friday
at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Dixon, Newgarden, O’Ward, Rossi To Use Push-to-Pass System in Choreographed Session
As part of preparations for the introduction of a new engine package in 2023, the 2.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 with hybrid technology, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES will host a four-car test Friday, March 26 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. Drivers will use the series’ Push-to-Pass system, which delivers increased power to the current 2.2-liter engine. In 2023, the new engine with hybrid technology will feature the ability of a 100-horsepower boost for use on ovals, as well as street and road courses. INDYCAR will help guide the hybrid Push-to-Pass simulation starting at 10 a.m., with choreographed group sessions lasting from 1-4 p.m. Drivers testing include six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing, two-time series champion Josef Newgarden of Team Penske, 2016 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport, and 2020 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Pato O’Ward of Arrow McLaren SP.

Second Mass Vaccination Clinic at IMS; 36 Cars for 500?

Photo: Indystar

Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have another mass vaccination clinic in April. The on e in early March lasted four days and administered more than 16,000 doses of the COVID vaccine. In April the speedway will have clinics on 16 days and hopes to vaccinate 96,000 people. Clinic hours are 9 am -7 pm. Clinic dates are April 1-3, 13-18, and 24-30.

Indiana residents age 16 and up become eligible on March 31. The current eligible age range is 40 years and over. Registration for the speedway clinics is open, but those under 40 cannot register until March 31.

April will be busy at IMS. An open test for Indianapolis 500 entrants is scheduled for April 8 and 9. No word yet if spectators will be permitted.

500 Car Count: Bumping Returns

The car count for the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be more than 33 cars, assuring the return of bumping. Cars currently confirmed:

Chevrolet

Team Penske (4)-Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud, Scott McLaughlin

A. J. Foyt Racing (3)- Sebastien Bourdais, Dalton Kellett, Charlie Kimball

Carlin Racing (1)- Max Chilton

Arrow McLaren SP (3)- Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist, Juan Pablo Montoya

Ed Carpenter Racing (3) – Ed Carpenter, Rinus VeeKay, Conor Daly

Paretta Autosport (1)- Simona De Silvestro

Honda

Andretti Autosport (5)-Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti

Chip Ganassi Racing(4)- Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson, Alex Palou, Tony Kanaan

Dale Coyne Racing (2)- Ed Jones, Pietro Fittipaldi, 1 TBD, possibly James Davison

Meyer Shank Racing (2)- Jack Harvey, Helio Castroneves

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (2)- Takuma Sato, Graham Rahal

Other possible entries- Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, Top Gun Racing, additional cars cars from Foyt, Raha, and possibly Andretti.

I anticipate 35-36 cars. In 2019 there was drama as two cars had to go home. What there wasn’t was the fastest 33 starting the race. I of course have a fix for that which I will discuss closer to qualifying day.

Penske Plays a Numbers Game; Another Clinic at IMS ?

As always, Roger Penske is aiming high. He is aiming for 250,00 in fact. In a zoom conference today, the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indycar said that 170,000 tickets for the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 have “been accounted for.” Whether more tickets, including general admission, go on sale depends on the situation with COVId-19. Numbers in Indiana have been moving ina positive trend. Penske hopes to have a full house of 250,000 on race day.

Penske would not commit to a number because he does not have the final say on it.

“Our goal is to have 250,000,” Penske said. “That’s what we want to have. It’s outside. We’ve got the biggest stadium in the world here, and it’s a matter of where we’re going to be with the CDC and the governor and the mayor, so I don’t have any number that I’d want to hang my hat on.

“We’re not making any predictions at all, because anything I would say today could be completely wrong.”

Last year before the decision was made to hold the race without fans in August, the Speedway had planned to have 50% of capacity, which would be around the 170,000 fans that now have tickets.

A lot depends on the aftermath of the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament which Indianapolis is hosting. If the city doesn’t see a spike in COVID cases over the next few weeks, it is possible that the race could have a large crowd with COVID protocols in place.

Penske did say the race will run May 30 with however many fans that are allowed.

A Second Mass Clinic at IMS?

Penske also said that he is working out details with state and local governments to conduct a second mass vaccination clinic. The Speedway had a four day clinic march 5-8 and more than 16,000 people received the one shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Indiana is approaching 1 million fully vaccinated residents.

Foyt Announcement Tomorrow

A. J. Foyt Racing will have announcement billed as an “update on their 2021 plans.” I am hearing it is a major sponsor announcement. I will have a report on the Foyt news after 2 pm Eastern tomorrow. As usual, the news will break during my writing class. If you’re a regular reader, you need I need the class.

Money Lion First Sponsor for Paretta Autosport

Money Lion is the first associate sponsor for Paretta Autosport, the number 16 car in the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 to be driven by Simona DeSilvestro. The announcement comes on International Women’s day. Sponsorship activation will include several initiatives under Money Lion’s “Women Who Roar” campaign.

The news release:

MoneyLion Launches Its “Women Who Roar” Campaign in Partnership with Paretta Autosport Focused on Leveling the Playing Field for Women Across Finance, Science and Technology

Indianapolis, Ind. (March 8, 2021) -Paretta Autosport and MoneyLion announced today that the financial platform, where hardworking Americans can bank, borrow, save and invest – all within one app, will become the first team sponsor of the No. 16 Chevy-powered INDYCAR at this year’s Indianapolis 500. Paretta is the first female owned, female driven, and female forward race team in the sport.

Paretta Autosport began earlier this year as part of Indycar’s Race for Equality and Change. The team has a technical partnership with Team Penske.

To further the INDYCAR’s “Race for Equality and Change” initiative announced last year, and in honor of International Women’s Day, MoneyLion and Paretta Autosport are also partnering to launch MoneyLion’s “Women Who Roar” campaign to advance financial empowerment, support women’s careers and level the playing field for women across a number of areas in finance, science and technology.

Paretta Autosport will enter the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 30, with 2010 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Simona De Silvestro.

MoneyLion’s “Women Who Roar” campaign features:

  • Play Like a Girl Mentorship Program: MoneyLion and Paretta Autosport have committed to creating a unique Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) mentorship program for nonprofit, Play Like a Girl. This program will connect middle and high school girls with female leaders in the fintech and motorsports industries. It will also include a new “Here Women Roar” female executive leadership chapter of the organization focused on mentoring teenage girls about technology through customized fintech challenges. Not only will the partnership offer students career guidance, but it will bring them on-site to see their mentors in action, broadening their horizons on potential future careers. MoneyLion mentors will also participate in Play Like a Girl’s Women’s Leadership Summit on March 19.
  • “Women Who Roar” LinkedIn Group: Launching on March 16, MoneyLion is creating a space where women in the workforce can have candid conversations about issues such as financial wellness, mentorship and the wage gap.
  • “Women Who Roar” Conversation Series: MoneyLion is also launching a special conversation series, which includes in-depth interviews with eight influential female leaders, starting with Beth Paretta, CEO and Team Principal of Paretta Autosport, and Simona De Silvestro. The “Women Who Roar” series will air on Cheddar.com beginning on March 16 and explores women trailblazers’ career paths and advice for the next generation of female leaders.

“MoneyLion is committed to providing the financial products, educational resources and mentorship that’s much needed to level the playing field for today’s workforce and future generations of female leaders,” said Samantha Roady, MoneyLion Chief Operating Officer. “Beth Paretta has built an incredible, inspiring team with Simona as the driver. We’re proud to support a female-owned and operated business and to shine a light on inspiring women’s professional achievements through our sponsorship. We look forward to working closely with the team to bring ‘Women Who Roar’ to life.”

After decades of progress, COVID-19 lockdowns have forced many working women to stay home, fundamentally challenging their responsibilities as professionals and primary caregivers. For the first time in modern history, women are losing more jobs and have higher unemployment than men – exacerbating the existing wage gap.

“MoneyLion can contribute to the recovery from this she-cession by standing for ‘Women Who Roar,’” said Roady. “This partnership with Paretta is a first step in that wider campaign.”

“We’re thrilled to align with MoneyLion because of our shared ideals,” said Beth Paretta, CEO/team principal of Paretta Autosport. “MoneyLion’s focus on empowering women through improved financial access and literacy is a direct parallel to our mission of helping women advance their careers. We’re pleased that MoneyLion sees the value of our women-forward racing program and greatly look forward to being a part of their ‘Women Who Roar’ campaign.”

Automotive and motorsport executive Beth Paretta has a long history in leadership roles with some of the most respected automotive and performance brands, including FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), Aston Martin and Volkswagen Group. She led successful racing programs and earned three national championships during her tenure at FCA. She is also aboard member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

“We welcome the support of finance and technology giants like MoneyLion to help us advance our mission to drive diversity and meaningful change for girls and women,” says Dr. Kimberly Clay, founder & CEO, Play Like a Girl. “Building a diverse pipeline of young women in STEM is a major priority for us. We’re thrilled to partner with MoneyLion and Paretta Autosport to support this work and our community.”

To learn more, please visit www.MoneyLion.com, www.ParettaAutosport.com and www.iplaylikeagirl.org.

Media Contacts:
MoneyLion: Iris Leung at pr@moneylion.com; 917.623.5919
Paretta Autosport: Barbara J. Burns at media@parettaautosport.com; 770.329.7134
Play Like a Girl: D. Channing Muller at channing@dcmcommunications.com; 202.744.5228

About MoneyLion
MoneyLion is a mobile banking and financial membership platform that empowers people to take control of their finances. Since its launch in 2013, MoneyLion has engaged with 7.5 million hard-working Americans and has earned its members’ trust by building a full-service digital platform to deliver mobile banking, lending, and investment solutions. From a single app, members can get a 360-degree snapshot of their financial lives and have access to personalized tips and tools to build and improve their credit and achieve everyday savings. MoneyLion is headquartered in New York City, with offices in San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Sioux Falls, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. MoneyLion has achieved various awards of recognition including the 2020 Forbes FinTech 50, Aite group best digital Wealth Management Multi product offering, Finovate Award for Best DigitalBank 2019, Benzinga FinTech Awards winner for Innovation in Personal Finance 2019 and the Webby Awards 2019 People’s Voice Award. For more information, please visit www.moneylion.com or download the app.

About Paretta Autosport
Paretta Autosport is a new team competing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. With a technical alliance with Team Penske, they will attempt to qualify and compete in the 2021 Indy 500 and beyond. More than racing, Paretta Auto sport is an initiative to encourage and mentor young girls and women to pursue careers in STEM-related fields. The team will incorporate women in key roles: mechanics, engineers, marketing, business operations, and more. Created by female automotive and motorsports executive Beth Paretta, the team is part of the INDYCAR series’ “Race for Equality & Change” initiative.

At Paretta Autosport, the competitive spirit drives us. We work hard and always strive for better: for ourselves, for our team, and for others. For more information, go to www.parettaautosport.com.

About Play Like a Girl
Play Like a Girl!® is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded on the belief that girls provided with the opportunity to play on a team become women with the confidence to stand on their own. We envision a world where the playing field is level and every girl reaches her full potential and are creating programs to leverage the skills girls gain from sport to propel them into competitive, male-dominated careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). We collaborate with schools, corporations and other partner organizations to deliver a coordinated, multi-year program model through which middle school girls experience practical lessons in leadership and engage in hands-on STEM education through the lens of a confidence-building curriculum, while being exposed to inspiring women coaches, mentors and role models. Since its founding in 2004, Play Like a Girl has benefited more than 50,000 girls and women across the world. Learn how you can get involved with this Nashville-based organization at iplaylikeagirl.org, and connect with us on Insta