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Bump Day Bumped As 33 Enter The 500

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, May 15 2017

Alexander Rossi will be chasing a second straight milk shower at this year’s Indianapolis 500.

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Scratch “Bump Day” and its inherent drama from this weekend’s qualifying schedule at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

For the second consecutive Month of May, a field of 33 drivers has been named for 33 cars entered in the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race Presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. That’s just enough to fill the traditional 33-car field on May 28 and eliminate the bumping process of the slowest car during the final day of time trials around the 2.5-mile oval.

On-track activity is scheduled to begin today at noon (ET) with the Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program, followed by open practice from 2-6 p.m. Qualifying is set for Saturday and Sunday.

Seven drivers whose images are immortalized on the famed Borg-Warner Trophy for winning “The Greatest Spectacl e in Racing” are among those named to entries. The former winners include reigning champion Alexander Rossi, who scored an underdog victory as a rookie. The others are Buddy Lazier (1996), Juan Pablo Montoya (2000 and 2015), Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002 and 2009), Scott Dixon (2008), Tony Kanaan (2013) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (2014).

Rossi finished eighth in Saturday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix on the 2.439-mile/14-turn IMS road-course, while Andretti Autosport teammate Hunter-Reay placed third to winner Will Power of Team Penske.

“It’s great for the team that Ryan is on the podium and that the NAPA team was able to score another top-10,” said Rossi, driver of the No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda. “Now we shift our focus to defending our title at the 500.”

Power, driver of the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet, is aiming to give car-owner Roger Penske

Helio Castroneves will be chasing a fourth 500 victory this year.

his record-extending 17th Indy 500 victory. “Yeah, it’s definitely a different deal, different animal to drive,” said Power, referring to the IMS oval. “But you get in the groove _ you’ve got plenty of time to get in the groove and you get into it pretty quick. You’ve done so many miles around this place; you know it so well, but you should never feel too comfortable.”

Power will head into practice after scoring his 30th career Indy car victory Saturday. The milestone victory pushed the 36-year-old Power ahead of Castroneves and retired Team Penske legend Rick Mears for sole possession of 11th place on the all-time list.

Castroneves, meanwhile, will try for the eighth time to join one of the most exclusive clubs in worldwide motorsports as a four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. Castroneves is attempting to become the fourth four-time winner of the race, joining A.J. Foyt Jr. (1961, 1964, 1967, 1977), Al Unser (1970, 1971, 1978, 1987) and Mears (1979, 1984, 1988, 1991).

Nineteen drivers entered have won at least one Verizon IndyCar Series race, including Simon Pagenaud, who holds a 10-point advantage over Dixon in the series point standings after five events. Dixon finished second Saturday while Pagenaud placed  fourth.

“We’re still in the lead for the championship, which is what I want,” said Pagenaud, driver of the No. 1 Team Penske Chevrolet. “I’m just super excited next is the Indy 500. It’s my No. 1 goal this year and I know Roger is really excited about it. My team is really excited and I want to bring the Menards car to the top step.” 

Eight entered drivers have won Indy car season championships. That list includes four-

Simon Pagenaud is the defending Indycar Series champion. (File photo courtesy of the INDYCAR)

time Verizon IndyCar Series champion Dixon (2003, 2008, 2013 and 2015), four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais (2004-2007), 1999 CART champion Montoya and Verizon IndyCar Series title-winners Lazier (2000), Kanaan (2004), Hunter-Reay (2012), Power (2014) and Pagenaud (2016).

The entry list features 18 Honda-powered cars/aero kits and 15 using Chevrolet’s twin-turbocharged V-6 engine/aero kit.

Four rookies have been assigned to cars, most notably two-time Formula One World Driving Champion Fernando Alonso of Spain and Mclaren Honda F1. Other first-timers are Mazda Road to Indy graduates Jack Harvey, Ed Jones and Zach Veach.

###

Official entry list for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28th at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway. List includes car number in parenthesis, driver, hometown and country, car name and aero kit/engine and team entrant:

  1. (1) Simon Pagenaud, Montmorillon, France, Menards Team Penske Chevrolet/Team Penske
  2. (2) Josef Newgarden, Nashville, Tenn., hum by Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet/ Team Penske
  3. (3) Helio Castroneves (W), Sao Paulo, Brazil, Shell Fuel Rewards Team Penske Chevrolet/Team Penske
  4. (4) Conor Daly, Noblesville, Ind., ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet/A.J. Foyt Enterprises
  5. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda/ Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
  6. (7) Mikhail Aleshin, Moscow, Russia, SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda/ Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
  7. (8) Max Chilton, Reigate, England, Gallagher Honda/Chip Ganassi Racing Team
  8. (9) Scott Dixon (W),  Auckland, New Zealand, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda/Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
  9. (10) Tony Kanaan (W), Salvador, Brazil, NTT Data Honda/Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
  10. (11) Spencer Pigot, Orlando, Fla., Juncos Racing Chevrolet/Juncos Racing
  11. (12) Will Power, Toowoomba, Australia, Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet/Team Penske
  12. (14) Carlos Munoz, Bogota, Colombia, ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet/A.J. Foyt Enterprises
  13. (15) Graham Rahal, New Albany, Ohio, Steak ‘n Shake Honda/Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
  14. (16) Oriol Servia, Pals, Spain, Manitowoc Honda/Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
  15. (17) Sebastian Saavedra, Bogota, Colombia, AFS Chevrolet/Juncos Racing
  16. (18) Sebastien Bourdais, Le Mans, France, Sonny’s BBQ Honda/Dale Coyne Racing
  17. (19) Ed Jones (R), Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Boy Scouts of America Honda/Dale Coyne Racing
  18. (20) Ed Carpenter, Indianapolis, Ind., Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet/Ed Carpenter Racing
  19. (21) JR Hildebrand, Sausalito, Calif., Preferred Freezer Service Chevrolet/Ed Carpenter Racing
  20. (22) Juan Pablo Montoya (W), Bogota, Colombia, Fitzgerald Glider Kits Team Penske Chevrolet/Team Penske
  21. (24) Sage Karam Nazareth, Pa., DRR Mecum Auctions Chevrolet/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  22. (26) Takuma Sato, Tokyo, Japan, Andretti Autosport Honda/Andretti Autosport
  23. (27) Marco Andretti, Nazareth, Pa., United Fiber & Data Honda/Andretti Autosport with Yarrow
  24. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay (W), Fort Lauderdale, Fla., DHL Honda/Andretti Autosport
  25. (29) Fernando Alonso (R), Oviedo, Spain, McLaren-Honda-Andretti Honda/McLaren-Honda-Andretti Autosport
  26. (40) Zach Veach (R), Stockdale, Ohio, Indy Women in Tech Championship Chevrolet/A.J. Foyt Enterprises
  27. (49) Buddy Lazier (W), Vail, Colo., Lazier Racing-Stalk It-Tivoli Lodge Chevrolet/Lazier Racing Partners
  28. (50) Jack Harvey (R), Bassingham, England, Michael Shank Racing w/Andretti Autosport Honda/ Michael Shank Racing with Andretti Autosport
  29. (63) Pippa Mann, Ipswich, England, Dale Coyne Racing Honda/Dale Coyne Racing
  30. (77) Jay Howard, Basildon, England, Lucas Oil/Team One Cure Honda/Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
  31. (83) Charlie Kimball, Camarillo, Calif., Tresiba Honda/Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
  32. (88) Gabby Chaves, Bogota, Colombia, Harding Racing Chevrolet/Harding Racing
  33. (98) Alexander Rossi (W), Nevada City, Calif., NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda/Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian

Note _ All cars use fourth-generation Verizon IndyCar Series chassis (Dallara IR12) with Chevrolet or Honda aerodynamic bodywork kits, Chevrolet or Honda engines and Firestone tires.

(R) _ Denotes Sunoco Indy 500 Rookie of the Year candidate; (W) _ Denotes Indianapolis 500 Winner.

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, May 15 2017
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