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.

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


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


2023 IMS Event Tickets On Sale Now
at, 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 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 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
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 and the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.

Frost Sweeps Lights Test

Danial Frost led both test sessions at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today in the Chris Griffis Memorial Test.

The release from IMS:

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, Oct. 21, 2022) – Danial Frost staked his claim as a driver to watch for the 2023 Indy Lights championship by leading the Chris Griffis Memorial Test on Friday, Oct. 21 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Indy Lights veteran Frost, from Singapore, led the 16 drivers participating in the annual test with a top lap of 1 minute, 16.2526 seconds in the No. 68 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing entry. That time came during the morning session on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course, and he also led the afternoon session at 1:16.2794.
SEE: Combined Results
“Today went pretty well,” Frost said. “I’m quite happy with how the progress has gone. We’re looking more to getting the balance right, and being at the top is a nice refresh and helps us make sure we’re making good progress. The team has done an excellent job even though we have nine cars now. We’re still fast.”
Less than one-half second separated the top nine drivers overall in the test, named in memory of Chris Griffis, the team manager of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports who passed away suddenly in September 2011. Griffis led the team to five Indy Lights championships from 2003-2011.
2022 Rookie of the Year Hunter McElrea was second at 1:16.3769 in the No. 27 Andretti Autosport car. Ernie Francis Jr., who has joined the powerful HMD Motorsports team for his second season in 2023, ended up an impressive third at 1:16.4489 in the No. 99 HMD Motorsports with Force Indy car. Francis finished 10th in the series standings as a rookie in 2022.
“Coming into today, expectations are high, being with HMD, a championship-winning team last year,” Francis said. “We know we have the potential to be fast, and today was pretty good. We ended up P3. Really happy with that. That’s the highest we’ve been in the order all season. I think it should be a really competitive (2023) season. The times look really close, and I think we have a top-five car. It will make for a good year.”
Rookie Nolan Siegel was fourth at 1:16.4852 in the No. 39 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne entry, and Kyffin Simpson ensured HMD drivers took four of the top five spots by ending up fifth at 1:16.4858 in the team’s No. 21 car.
There was only one incident in six hours of testing. Three-time W Series champion Jamie Chadwick touched the grass at the entry of Turn 14 and made contact with the SAFER Barrier in the No. 28 Andretti Autosport car. She was unhurt and continued in the afternoon session.
The 16 drivers combined to turn 945 laps during the test.

Palou F1 Debut

Alex Palou finished Practice 1 just 0.3 seconds behind teammate Lando No0rris on the same tire compound. Palou did not run the softer tire. He did a creditable job.

Frost Leads Indy Lights Morning Session at IMS

Danial Frost turned the fastest lap in the morning test session at IMS, as the Indy Lights had its first 2023 preparation test 16 cars are participating in the Chris Griffiths memorial test today. The test is closed to the public. The driver from Singapore had a quick lap of 1:16.2526 in the HMD Motorsports entry.

This morning’s round ended when Jamie Chadwick crashed. The car suffered left rear damage. Chadwick was not injured.


Frost currently leads the afternoon round, followed by Ernie Francis, Jr.

Reminder: Alex Palou makes his F1 test debut this afternoon, driving one of the McLaren cars at COTA in the first USGP practice. The practice begins at 2:55 PM Eastern on ESPN 2.

Indycar Opens Season with Thermal Club Test

Indycar Spring Training returns with an open test at The Thermal Club in California. Two other open tests are scheduled for 2023. The release from Indycar:

at The Thermal Club

 Three Open Tests in 2023 Include Annual Indy 500 Open Test, 
Test at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

INDIANAPOLIS (Monday, Oct. 10, 2022) – INDYCAR will conduct three Open Tests for 2023 in preparation for key moments during the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.
The first Open Test of 2023 will feature the series’ initial trip to The Thermal Club for a season preview Thursday and Friday, Feb. 2-3. The private, world-class facility, located just outside of Palm Springs, California, opened its 470-acre property in 2012 and is known as a premier circuit for club racers and sports car enthusiasts.
INDYCAR will use a combination of the North Palm and South Palm circuits to create a 17-turn, 2.9-mile layout for the 2023 test.
“We liken this to a preseason scrimmage,” INDYCAR President Jay Frye said. “The teams will be doing everything it takes to prepare for a run at the 2023 championship at a new and unique backdrop for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The facility is spectacular, and I know everyone at The Thermal Club cannot wait to welcome our paddock.”
Located at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains and known as the ultimate destination for driving-minded motorsports enthusiasts, The Thermal Club has everything from luxury homes to a motorsports village and gourmet restaurants. The facility was named “Professional Motorsport Facility of the Year” at the 2017 Professional Motorsports World Expo in Germany.
“For us, it means every INDYCAR fan is going to get an inside look at the best cars in the world on what we think is the best track in the world,” said John Rogers, owner, The Thermal Club.
“It’s a wonderful thing, and we’re very happy it’s worked out with INDYCAR and Thermal.”
The Indy 500 Open Test is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, April 20-21 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The annual test on the famed 2.5-mile oval provides crucial preparation for the 107th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, scheduled for Sunday, May 28. The entire field for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” is expected to participate in the test.
The third and final Open Test of the 2023 season comes Thursday, Sept. 7 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, just three days before the Astor Challenge Cup is awarded to the season champion at the same facility after the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.
Drivers at the Laguna Seca test will get an extra day to come to grips with the planned repave of the legendary 2.238-mile facility, which is expected to be completed by June 2023.The 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season opens Sunday, March 5 at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding on the Streets of St. Petersburg. Coverage will be available on NBC, Peacock Premium and the INDYCAR Radio Network.