Indy In The Month Of May

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – Drivers and crews are preparing for this weekend’s IndyCar Grand Prix being held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course. The full points race is often overshadowed by the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indianapolis 500, held two weeks later each year.

“There is always a big anticipation for the Grand Prix because it is the race just before the (Indianapolis) 500,” said Tony Kanaan. “You’re at the Speedway, so it’s always a cool race.”

The 85 lap, 207.3 mile event is fiercely competed as much as the senior oval, if without the notoriety. Will Power, the 2017 race winner, can’t wait to get onto the track.

Will Power, Team Penske.Photo by Chris Owens.

Will Power, Team Penske.
Photo by Chris Owens.

“After a couple weeks off, I’m ready to get back at it,” Power said. “The month of May is such a special time in Indianapolis and I’m really excited to go back there. Historically, it’s been one of our better tracks as a team, and I think we will be really strong and I know we’re going to have a good shot at winning there again.”

Power, who started from the pole position last year, also holds the qualifying lap record of 129.687mph. In the four previous races held on the road course, Power and Simon Pagenaud are the only drivers to take the checkered flag, alternating wins.

Pagenaud won the inaugural race in 2014 and again in 2016 while Power won the race in 2015 and 2017.

“The IndyCar GP is always a lot of fun and it’s a race myself and the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet team are really comfortable with,” said Pagenaud. “We won that race a few years ago and are ready to do it again. I really just can’t wait to get back on track in Indiana.”

On Friday, drivers will participate in two practice sessions as well as a late afternoon qualifying. Engines start at 3:43pm Saturday with the race start flagged seven minutes later.

IndyCar points leader, Josef Newgarden, can’t be discounted after accumulating two wins this season and four top-ten finishes, so far.

“It’s been really great to have some time off before Indianapolis, but we’ve definitely been hard at work still,” Newgarden said. “My team put together a really strong car at our last road course event at Barber, which won us the race. Now, we’re headed to the IndyCar GP and the guys have put together what I’m sure will be another super-fast No. 1 Verizon Chevrolet.”

The IndyCar GP will also mark Kanaan’s 287th consecutive start. He will attempt to make his 347th total IndyCar start, which ranks him third behind only Mario Andretti, at 407, and AJ Foyt, with 369.

IndyCar Standings After 4 Races

  • Josef Newgarden 158 points
  • Alexander Rossi 145
  • Sebastian Bourdais 119
  • Graham Rahal 119
  • James Hinchcliffe 118
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay 113
  • Scott Dixon 107
  • Robert Wickens 97
  • Marco Andretti 88
  • Will Power 81
  • Ed Jones 79
  • Tony Kanaan 79
  • Zach Veach 77
  • Takuma Sato 70
  • Simon Pagenaud 66
  • Spencer Pigot 61
  • Gabby Chaves 55
  • Matheus Leist 51
  • Charlie Kimball 50
  • Max Chilton 44
  • Jordan King 38
  • Zachary Claman De Melo 31
  • Ed Carpenter 26
  • Jack Harvey 25
  • Kyle Kaiser 23
  • Rene Binder 22
  • Pietro Fittipaldi 7
  • Helio Castroneves 0
  • Conor Daly 0
  • James Davison 0
  • JR Hildebrand 0
  • Jay Howard 0
  • Sage Karam 0
  • Pippa Mann 0
  • Carlos Munoz 0
  • Danica Patrick 0
  • Oriol Servia 0
  • Stefan Wilson 0

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata