Rahal Back In The 500; Will Replace Injured Wilson on Sunday

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, May 23 2023

Graham Rahal, center, was able to smile again on Tuesday after it was announced he would compete in the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500. During a news conference at the speedway, he was flanked by team owners Dennis Reinbold, left, and Don Cusick. (Photo courtesy of INDYCAR)

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer

Graham Rahal’s favorite golf clubs will remain untouched through the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend, after the second generation INDYCAR driver was introduced Tuesday morning as super-sub for the injured Stefan Wilson in the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Rahal will wheel the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Cusick Motorsports Chevrolet Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, one week after he was bumped out of the traditional 33-car field by full-time Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing teammate Jack Harvey.

Rahal sat between Dennis Reinbold, owner of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, and Don Cusick, founder/CEO of Cusick Motorsports, during a news conference in the Fourth Floor Media Center at IMS.

The 34-year-old son of 1986 Indy 500 champion and RLLR co-owner Bobby Rahal, Graham will compete in his 16th Indianapolis 500 after being offered the ride in a phone call on Monday from Reinbold, an Indianapolis-based Chevrolet dealer.

Reinbold and Cusick spent Monday shopping to replace Wilson, who was injured during Monday’s post-qualifying practice when his car was struck from behind, ironically, by the No. 44 RLLR entry driven by Katherine Legge. 

Graham was the first choice,” Reinbold said. “A lot of it was it just was so sudden that there wasn’t a lot of time to think. Don and I sat down pretty much immediately and started thinking once we found out Stefan couldn’t be cleared to run.

“There’s a short list because not a lot of guys are approved. And to be able to come out and just run without refreshers and things like that. Graham obviously doesn’t need a refresher. But my whole goal is to win this race, and Don and I talked about it, and we both agreed immediately that if we could somehow pull it off…I don’t know that we were optimistic we could, but we thought we would go down the path and explore the possibility of putting Graham in the car, so that’s how that evolved.”

Cusick added, “I’d just like to say that for us, we replace one really class act with another one. That makes a difference, too.”

Sunday was not a happy day for the Rahal family after father Graham was bumped from the Indy 500 field.

Wilson, who suffered a fracture of the 12th thoracic vertebrae, was ruled out of the race by INDYCAR medical personnel on Monday. The 33-year-old Brit qualified for Sunday’s 200-lap event on Saturday afternoon in the 25th position with a four-lap/10-mile average speed of 231.648 mph.

“First off, I certainly feel for Stef,” Rahal said. “I know how much he puts into this, year-in and year-out, to get the opportunity to be here and to see what happened to him is never good. I know emotionally the rollercoaster he’s on right now, unfortunately. I’ve just lived it, as well, and I know that he’ll be back really strong and better than ever.

“Everything in life happens for a reason. Sometimes it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but when I got the call from Dennis yesterday afternoon, right away I felt compelled that this was, for some reason, my calling was to be here, to be able to help as best I could and to fill in. Clearly this is Stef’s ride. It’s his seat. He’s done a great job to get it to the point that it is. It was an honor for me to receive the call.”

Harvey, driver of RLLR’s No. 30  Honda, started his final qualifying attempt Sunday with approximately 80 seconds remaining in the Last Chance session. The 30-year-old native of Bassingham, England, will start his seventh Indy 500 after qualifying at 229.166 mph.

Rahal remained strapped in the cockpit of his No. 15 Honda during Harvey’s final attempt. As Harvey and his team began a muted celebration, Rahal exited his car for a brief, emotion-filled TV interview before excusing himself. Rahal returned to his car, sat on the right side pod and dropped his head into his hands before being consoled by wife Courtney Force, a former NHRA Funny Car driver, and 2-year-old daughter Harlan Ann.

Rahal, who finished third at IMS in 2011 and 2020 and fifth in 2015, acknowledged the political hurdles the three team-owners needed to quickly overcome in order for him to move from his career-long association with Honda Performance Development and Honda horsepower to OEM rival Team Chevy, along with sponsors Fifth Third Bank and United Rentals.

“To everybody that made that happen, I certainly am very grateful,” Graham said. “I must say, Dennis mentioned Chevy, and equally so Honda, for allowing me to do this. I think I told Dennis when he called me, I said, ‘I’m not really sure I want to waste your time. I’ve spent my entire career in a Honda. I’ve never driven anything other than that. I’m not really sure that we’ll be able to get the releases in place to be able to make this happen.’

They really came together, two manufacturers, to allow this to take place, to allow us to go race on Sunday and hopefully get this car moving towards the front and have a really, really strong run.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Bobby Rahal, who acknowledged Wilson for his workmanlike approach to practice and qualifying during the Month of May. “I feel bad for Stefan that he is hurt,” the elder Rahal said. “It’s a real shame that this happened. I wish him the best and hope he has a speedy recovery. I’m sure we will see him again.

Bobby and Graham Rahal at Indy on a bad Saturday.

“I have to say this (deal) came out of the blue. I’ve known Dennis for years personally. I’ve always liked and respected him as a fellow-racer and also a car dealer. When Dennis called, we went to work to make this happen. The most amazing thing is how all these different groups, out of respect for the sport and the Indy 500, agreed to agree and go forward even though it may have been somewhat of a difficult decision.

“The fact that everyone pulled together to make this happen for Dennis, and also for Graham, makes us very thankful. I’m also thankful that Dennis asked Graham to join him and his team and appreciate the commitment and excitement from Mike, Dave, United Rentals and Fifth Third Bank to see this happen. We wish them the best in the race.”

Graham Rahal drove to a ninth-place finish for Dreyer & Reinbold at Iowa Speedway in 2010. Graham is a six-time IndyCar Series race-winner who also captured the 2011 Rolex 24 Sports Car Classic at Daytona International Speedway.

Reinbold said Wilson was scheduled for another round of X-rays today to determine a path to full recovery. “It’s been a whirlwind,” Reinbold said. “It was a tough deal, we had the month going really well with Stefan. We had to do a lot of work yesterday afterwards to get things put together with Graham, and there were a lot of hurdles involved.

“I want to touch on just how much the INDYCAR community really, in a situation like this, rallies around each other and all the help that we got from everyone in the paddock and elsewhere. It just goes all the way through the paddock, and it’s really a touching feeling that so many competitors can come together and work together. A lot of credit to the Chevy guys who we talked with.

“There’s just so many conflicts and things that we had to work through to put this together that _ it’s the Indy 500, and people come together to make this event special and make it great like it is. It’s really been a moving experience, a lot of emotions through the last 24 hours, and just really touched by all the support that we’ve had.”

Rahal will be teamed with longtime friend Ryan Hunter-Reay for the remainder of the week. Recall that “Captain America” won the 2014 Indy 500 and the 2012 series championship during his tenure with Andretti Autosport. RHR qualified the No. 23 DreyerReinbold.com Chevy 18th Saturday at an average speed of 232.133 mph.

“I texted Ryan last Wednesday night,” Rahal said, “and I was like, ‘Damn, dude, you’re going to win this thing!’ It was the best car I thought I saw all day. Make no mistake, I’ve made it clear, this is certainly Stef’s ride, and I’m fortunate to be able to be in the position to be able to help and fill in.”

Wilson’s participation in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” ended at 2:11 p.m. on Monday, when his car was struck from behind by Legge’s and forced into the outside SAFER Barrier in Turn 1. Transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital for tests, it was disclosed that Wilson suffered a fracture of the 12th thoracic vertebrae. Wilson spent Monday night in hospital for further tests and observation.

On-track activity was halted 71 minutes into the session by the all-Brit shunt. Legge’s No. 44 Honda fielded by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Wilson’s car both made contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 1. Legge’s car continued down the track and made secondary contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 2.

Legge climbed from the cockpit without assistance and was evaluated and released from the IU Health Emergency Medical Center. Wilson was conscious and alert when removed from his car by the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team before being transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital for further evaluation. Wilson, a native of Sheffield, England, is the younger brother of the late Formula One and INDYCAR driver Justin Wilson.

Monday’s incident put a damper on Legge’s otherwise historic weekend at IMS.

“The cars in front were all checking-up,” said Legge, a 42-year-old native of Guildford, United Kingdom. “I lifted as much as I could and did two downshifts and started to hit the brakes but it wasn’t enough, so I unfortunately got into the back of Stef and we both ended up in the wall. I know this is another blow to the (RLLR) team after (Sunday’s qualifications) and those guys just don’t deserve it. I’m fine and happy to know that Stefan is, too.”

Legge secured a spot in her third Indy 500 and first since 2013 on Saturday, turning the fastest single qualifying lap and four-lap averages by a female driver in event history. Legge’s single flying lap of 231.627 mph broke the record of 230.201 mph set by Simona de Silvestro of Switzerland in 2021; Legge’s four-lap average of 231.070 mph eclipsed the mark of 229.439 mph set by Sarah Fisher in 2002 and secured the final Day 1 locked-in position at 30th. Legge finished 22nd as an Indy 500 rookie in 2012 and placed 26th in 2013.

Legge drove the current generation Indy car for the first time since 2013 on April 3 during a test on Texas Motor Speedway’s high-banked/1.5-mile oval in Fort Worth, site of the previous day’s PPG 375 won by Newgarden.

Cusick said he spoke with Wilson earlier Tuesday morning about the Rahal hire. “Obviously, he’s fairly crushed emotionally but supportive of what we’re doing here, and we can’t wait to get him better and get him back out here,” Cusick said. “He really appreciates all the outpouring and concern, and yeah, hopefully get him back here on Sunday and walk down the track with him.

“As far as all of this craziness goes, definitely a first for us. Definitely a first for me. Didn’t really expect to be sitting here having this conversation. But here we are. We’re excited for Sunday. It’s going to be a little bittersweet, obviously, but glad we can go forward and do it, and super-appreciative of INDYCAR, the racing family and the individual (Rahal) sitting over here to my right.”

The DRR/Cusick team is preparing a backup Dallara chassis, which will make its debut during Friday’s traditional two-hour Miller Lite Carb Day practice at 11 a.m. (EDT).

“Going to jump in, be a little bit of a quick learning experience, but it’s nothing that we haven’t done before,” said Rahal, referring to his work-load. “Just got to settle in here over the next couple of days and really make sure that we’re comfortable with all the switches and all the (engine) mapping and all of the things that are going to be of high importance.

“Clearly when it comes to feeling the car out for the first time, that’s going to be Carb Day, and there’s not a lot of time to do that. But luckily on Sunday, there’s 500 miles for us to _ if the car is not in the window _ get the car closer. I feel like Stef and Ryan have been very, very strong all (last) week, so I don’t anticipate any major challenges there.

“I wish my team at RLL the best, for sure. I certainly want to see them succeed. But I also wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t want to go win with Don and Dennis and this entire organization. That’s my job. So that’s what we’re going to try to go do.”

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing was founded in 1999 by Reinbold and Chicago businessman Eric De Bord. The legacy of the Dreyer and Reinbold family dates to the 1920s with Reinbold’s grandfather, the legendary Floyd “Pop” Dreyer, a former factory motorcycle racer. Dreyer served as a crewman and mechanic on the famed Duesenberg team. Dreyer went on to build Indy 500 cars in the 1930s, many of which started on the front row. In addition, Dreyer constructed championship-winning Sprint Cars and Midgets.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing captured its first win in 2000 with driver Robbie Buhl at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla. The team’s roster of drivers includes Al Unser Jr., Buddy Rice, Buddy Lazier, Sarah Fisher, Sage Karam and J.R. Hildebrand. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has successfully qualified 46 drivers for the Indy 500.

Entrepreneur Don Cusick founded Cusick Motorsports in 2021 to create bespoke programs for business-to-business partners across a variety of racing series. 

After a relatively low-key Month of May, Team Penske’s Will Power came out to play at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during Monday’s post-qualifying practice for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500.

The two-time/reigning NTT IndyCar Series champion, Power paced the two-hour, 10-minute session around the 2.5-mile oval with a hot lap of 39.2633-seconds/229.222 mph as the starting field of 33 drivers and teams switched from qualifying to race-day setups.

Power, the 2018 Indy 500 champion, will start 12th in Sunday’s race _ highest of a three-car Team Penske juggernaut including New Zealander Scott McLaughlin (starting 14th) and two-time series champion Josef Newgarden (17th).

“We’ve been having vibration problems,” said Power, a 42-year-old native of Australia and driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. “I think we got somewhat on top of that. Ran at the front, ran at the middle, ran at the back and I think the car’s pretty good. We have good horsepower. I think we’re in good shape.”

Six-time series champion Scott Dixon of New Zealand, the 2008 Indy 500 champ, was second-fast overall Monday at 229.184 mph in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Two-time 500 winner Takuma Sato of Japan placed third at 228.382 mph in the No. 11 Deloitte Honda as CGR continued its stay atop the speed chart.

NTT P1 Award-winner Alex Palou _ who emerged as leader of the fastest Indy 500 field in history Sunday _ was fourth Monday at 227.392 mph in the No. 10 The American Legion Honda. The Chip Ganassi Racing ace from Spain secured his first 500 pole _ and first in the 500 for a Spaniard _ via a four-lap/10-mile average of 234.217 mph/2-minutes, 33.7037-seconds during a dramatic Firestone Fast Six session.

Palou will lead the field to the green flag on Sunday, May 28. Average speed for the 33-car lineup is 232.184 mph, shattering the record of 231.023 mph set last year. Palou also is positioned to sweep INDYCAR’s two-race schedule this month at IMS. Palou won the GMR Grand Prix on the IMS Road-Course on May 13 after starting third in the season’s fifth event.

Fan-favorite and 2013 Indy 500 champion Tony Kanaan of Brazil, making his final NTT IndyCar Series start in this race, completed the top-five at 227.094 mph in the No. 66 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet. All 33 drivers combined to turn 2,005 laps/5,012.5 miles.

Next on-track session is Friday’s aforementioned Carb Day practice. Pre-event coverage on Race Day will begin at 11 a.m. (EDT) on NBC, Peacock, Telemundo Deportes on Universo and the INDYCAR Radio Network. Green flag for the traditional flying start is set to wave at 12:45 p.m.


Firestone Fast Six qualifying results Sunday for the 107th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge NTT IndyCar Series event on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with rank, car number in parentheses, driver, engine, time and speed in parentheses:

1.(10) Alex Palou, Honda, 02:33.7037 (234.217 mph)
2. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 02:33.7077 (234.211)
3. (6) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 02:33.7713 (234.114)
4. (14) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 02:34.0695 (233.661)
5. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 02:34.4015 (233.158)
6. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 02:34.4066 (233.151)
7. (7) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 02:34.4332 (233.110)
8. (11) Takuma Sato, Honda, 02:34.4416 (233.098)
9. (66) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 02:34.4558 (233.076)
10. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 02:34.5801 (232.889)
11. (55) Benjamin Pedersen, Chevrolet, 02:34.7246 (232.671)
12. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 02:34.7488 (232.635)
13. (33) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 02:34.7128 (232.689)
14. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 02:34.7206 (232.677)
15. (27) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 02:34.7311 (232.662)
16. (20) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 02:34.8833 (232.433)
17. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 02:34.9039 (232.402)
18. (23) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Chevrolet, 02:35.0837 (232.133)
19. (28) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 02:35.1744 (231.997)
20. (06) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 02:35.2032 (231.954)
21. (26) Colton Herta, Honda, 02:35.2055 (231.951)
22. (60) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 02:35.2539 (231.878)
23. (18) David Malukas, Honda, 02:35.3270 (231.769)
24. (98) Marco Andretti, Honda, 02:35.3857 (231.682)
25. (24) Stefan Wilson, Chevrolet, 02:35.4083 (231.648)
26. (29) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 02:35.6061 (231.353)
27. (78) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 02:35.6287 (231.320)
28. (77) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 02:35.7212 (231.182)
29. (50) R.C. Enerson, Chevrolet, 02:35.7574 (231.129)
30. (44) Katherine Legge, Honda, 02:35.7971 (231.070)
31. (45) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 02:36.7607 (229.649)
32. (51) Sting Ray Robb, Honda, 02:36.8293 (229.549)
33. (30) Jack Harvey, Honda, 02:37.0916 (229.166)


Winners (9) _ Helio Castroneves, Takuma Sato, Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Alexander Rossi.

Rookies (4) _ Agustín Canapino, R.C. Enerson, Benjamin Pedersen, Sting Ray Robb.

U.S. drivers (13) _ Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter, Conor Daly, R.C. Enerson, Santino Ferrucci, Colton Herta, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Kyle Kirkwood, David Malukas, Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, Sting Ray Robb, Alexander Rossi.

International drivers (20 from 14 countries) _ Agustín Canapino, Helio Castroneves, Devlin DeFrancesco, Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson, Romain Grosjean, Jack Harvey, Callum Ilott, Tony Kanaan, Katherine Legge, Christian Lundgaard, Scott McLaughlin, Pato O’Ward, Simon Pagenaud, Alex Palou, Benjamin Pedersen, Will Power, Felix Rosenqvist, Takuma Sato, Rinus VeeKay.

Engines (33) _ Honda 16, Chevrolet 17 (all cars use Dallara chassis and Firestone Firehawk tires).

Point Standings (top-15): 1, Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing, 174; 2, Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren, 168; 3, Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing, 155; 4, Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport, 134; 5, Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske, 133; 6, Josef Newgarden, Team Penske, 131; 7, Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing, 127; 8, Will Power, Team Penske, 122; 9, Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, 111; 10, Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren and Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport, 108; 12, Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport with Curb/Agajanian, 107; 13, Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren, 97; 14, Callum Ilott, Juncos Hollinger Racing, 92; 15, Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, 86.

Official NTT IndyCar Series entry list for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 28, with car number in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car name with engine supplier and team entrant:

  1. (2) Josef Newgarden, Nashville, Tenn., Shell Powering Progress Team Penske Chevrolet/Team Penske
  2. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Christchurch, New Zealand, Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet/Team Penske
  3. (5) Pato O’Ward, Monterrey, Mexico, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet/Arrow McLaren
  4. (06) Helio Castroneves-(W), Sao Paulo, Brazil, AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda/Meyer Shank Racing
  5. (6) Felix Rosenqvist, Varnamo, Sweden, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet/Arrow McLaren
  6. (7) Alexander Rossi-(W), Nevada City, Calif., Arrow McLaren Chevrolet/Arrow McLaren
  7. (8) Marcus Ericsson-(W), Kumla, Sweden, Huski Ice Spritz Chip Ganassi Racing Honda/Chip Ganassi Racing
  8. (9) Scott Dixon-(W), Auckland, New Zealand, PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda/Chip Ganassi Racing
  9. (10) Alex Palou, Barcelona, Spain, The American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda/Chip Ganassi Racing
  10. (11) Takuma Sato-(W), Tokyo, Japan, Deloitte Honda/Chip Ganassi Racing
  11. (12) Will Power-(W), Toowoomba, Australia, Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet/Team Penske
  12. (14) Santino Ferrucci, Woodbury, Conn., Homes For Our Troops Chevrolet/A.J. Foyt Enterprises
  13. (15) Graham Rahal, New Albany, Ohio, United Rentals Honda/Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
  14. (18) David Malukas, Chicago, Ill., HMD Trucking Honda/Dale Coyne Racing with HMD
  15. (20) Conor Daly, Noblesville, Ind., Bitnile.com Chevrolet/Ed Carpenter Racing
  16. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands, Bitnile.com Chevrolet/Ed Carpenter Racing
  17. (23) Ryan Hunter-Reay-(W), Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  18. (24) Stefan Wilson, Sheffield, England, DRR Cusick CareKeepers Chevrolet/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  19. (26) Colton Herta, Valencia, Calif., Gainbridge Honda/Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian
  20. (14) Kyle Kirkwood, Jupiter, Fla., AutoNation Honda/Andretti Autosport
  21. (28) Romain Grosjean, Geneva, Switzerland, DHL Honda/Andretti Autosport
  22. (29) Devlin DeFrancesco, Toronto, Canada, Sodexo Honda/Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport
  23. (30) Jack Harvey, Bassingham, England, Kustom Entertainment Honda/Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
  24. (33) Ed Carpenter, Indianapolis, Ind., Bitnile.com Chevrolet/Ed Carpenter Racing
  25. (44) Katherine Legge, Guildford, England, Hendrickson Honda/Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
  26. (30) Christian Lundgaard, Hedensted, Denmark, Hy-Vee Honda/Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
  27. (50) R.C. Enerson-(R), New Port Richey, Fla., Abel Motorsports Chevrolet, Abel Motorsports
  28. (51) Sting Ray Robb-(R), Payette, Idaho, biohaven Honda/Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing
  29. (55) Benjamin Pedersen-(R), Copenhagen, Denmark, A.J. Foyt Racing/Sexton Properties Chevrolet/A.J. Foyt Enterprises
  30. (60) Simon Pagenaud-(W), Montmorillon, France, AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda/Meyer Shank Racing
  31. (66) Tony Kanaan-(W), Salvador, Brazil, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet/Arrow McLaren
  32. (77) Callum Ilott, Cambridge, England, Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet/Juncos Hollinger Racing
  33. (78) Agustin Canapino-(R), Arrecifes, Argentina, Juncos Hollinger Chevrolet/Juncos Hollinger Racing
  34. (98) Marco Andretti, Nazareth, Pa., KULR/Curb Honda/Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian

Note _ All cars use the fourth generation NTT IndyCar Series chassis (Dallara IR-12) with universal IR-18 aerodynamic bodywork, Chevrolet or Honda twin-turbocharged V-6 engines and Firestone Firehawk tires.

(W) _Denotes Indianapolis 500 winner

(R) _ Denotes Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year candidate


Sunday, March 5 _ Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.: Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing

Sunday, April 2 _ Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth: Josef Newgarden, Team Penske

Sunday, April 16 _ Streets of Long Beach: Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport

Sunday, April 30 _ Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Ala.: Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske

Saturday, May 13 _ Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road-Course: Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing

Sunday, May 28 _ Indianapolis Motor Speedway Oval, NBC/Peacock

Sunday, June 4 _ Streets of Detroit, NBC/Peacock

Sunday, June 18 _ Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis., USA Network/Peacock

Sunday, July 2 _ Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio. USA Network/Peacock

Sunday, July 16 _ Streets of Toronto, Peacock

Saturday, July 22 _ Iowa Speedway, Newton, NBC/Peacock

Sunday, July 23 _ Iowa Speedway, Newton, NBC/Peacock

Sunday, Aug. 6 _ Streets of Nashville, NBC/Peacock

Saturday, Aug. 12 _ Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road-Course, USA Network/Peacock

Sunday, Aug. 27 _World Wide Technology Raceway, Madison, Ill., NBC/Peacock

Sunday, Sept. 3 _ Portland (Ore.) International Raceway, NBC/Peacock

Sunday, Sept. 10 _ WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, Calif., NBC/Peacock

(Editor’s Note: John Sturbin is a Texas-based journalist specializing in motorsports. During a near 30-year career with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he won the Bloys Britt Award for top motorsports story of the year (1991) as judged by The Associated Press; received the National Hot Rod Association’s Media Award (1995) and several in-house Star-Telegram honors. He also was inaugural recipient of the Texas Motor Speedway Excellence in Journalism Award (2009). His list of freelance clients includes Texas Motor Speedway, the Dallas Morning News, New York Newsday, Rome (N.Y.) Daily Sentinel, Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller Times, NASCAR Wire Service, Ford Racing and Used Car Dealer magazine).


| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, May 23 2023
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