(IndyCar.com is providing daily “Indy 500 Live” reports from practice for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Follow along here with updates throughout each day.)
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – The second day of practice for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil starts at noon ET today. The first 15 minutes are set aside for rookies Jack Harvey and Zach Veach to complete their rookie orientation programs on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.
Harvey and Veach each completed the first of three phases on Monday. The remaining phases for them to complete are: 15 laps at 210-215 mph and then 15 laps at 215-plus mph. The laps do not need to be completed in a single run.
At 12:15 p.m., the track will be open to all competitors. Thirty-two of the 33 entrants turned laps Monday. The exception was the Lazier Racing-Stalk It-Tivoli Lodge Chevrolet for 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier. The car’s number was changed today from No. 49 to No. 44. It remains to be seen if the car will make it onto the track today.
Ricoh USA, Ray Morgan Company sponsoring Pigot’s No. 11 entry
Juncos Racing announced today that Ricoh USA and Ray Morgan Company will be associate sponsors of the team’s No. 11 Chevrolet driven by Spencer Pigot in the Indianapolis 500. Ricoh USA and Ray Morgan Company join primary sponsors Oceanfront Recovery through Rising Star Racing and P1 Management.
“I am proud to have the support of Ricoh USA and Ray Morgan Company as we make our debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said Juncos Racing owner Ricardo Juncos. “Racing is a very competitive sport and I really appreciate having such highly respected companies standing with us. It is an honor and a privilege to represent them.”
John Steward, regional vice president of Ricoh USA, said the company is inspired by team owner Juncos, who immigrated to the United States from Argentina in 2002 and has built a winning race program.
“Ricardo Juncos is a true American success story,” Steward said. “As we celebrate America this Memorial Day, we celebrate the drive, passion and determination of Ricardo, Spencer and the entire Juncos team to make it to the pinnacle of open-wheel racing in America.”
Pigot is attempting to qualify for his second Indy 500. The 23-year-old Floridian finished 25th in last year’s race for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Pigot is driving on all the Verizon IndyCar Series road- and street-course races this season for Ed Carpenter Racing.
“The opportunity to partner with Ricoh USA to support Spencer in the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 is quite extraordinary,” said Sam Pulino, chief operation officer for Ray Morgan Company. “I have followed Spencer from his early days in karting where he raced for Ricardo Juncos. I watched through the years as they both progressed in racing, ultimately teaming to win two championships on the Mazda Road to Indy. Those victories propelled Spencer into the Verizon Indy Car Series. Both have amazing stories.”
Veach completes rookie orientation, Harvey completes Phase 2
Harvey and Veach were quick to dispatch of Phase 2 of their rookie orientation programs, with the former completing his second phase at 12:12 p.m. and Harvey at 12:17 p.m. Neither was able to complete the final phase before the track was opened to all competitors.
At 1:03 p.m., Veach became the third rookie to complete his rookie orientation program. The driver of the No. 40 Indy Women in Tech Championship Chevrolet for AJ Foyt Racing is now clear to practice at speed the remainder of the month.
Allmendinger returns to Indy
Former Indy car driver AJ Allmendinger stopped by Indianapolis Motor Speedway today to check out the practice action and connect with an old friend. Allmendinger, who last raced an Indy car at Auto Club Speedway in 2013 and led that year’s Indianapolis 500, spent the day in Harvey’s pit, where he visited with Mike Shank, co-owner of the No. 50 Honda entry for Harvey. Allmendinger raced for Shank’s sports car program 11 times in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, taking the win in 2012 with Justin Wilson, Ozz Negri and John Pew.
Electrical gremlins continue for Hinchcliffe
Electrical issues that ended James Hinchcliffe’s day early Monday resurfaced in the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda today. Hinchcliffe’s car shut off on his out lap early and coasted back to pit lane. The car was towed to Gasoline Alley further efforts to rectify the issue.
With open track throughout the early afternoon, 2014 Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda) led at the 2:30 p.m. mark with a fast lap of 223.960 mph. Team owner/driver Ed Carpenter (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Chevrolet) and Ed Carpenter Racing teammate JR Hildebrand (No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet) led the no-tow speed chart at 222.842 mph and 221.015 mph, respectively.
Bebe Rexha to perform Indy 500 national anthem
Chart-topping singer/songwriter Bebe Rexha was announced today as this year’s singer of the national anthem for next the Indianapolis 500 on May 28. Rexha is known for her No. 1 Billboard hit “Me, Myself & I” with G-Eazy, as well as for writing “Monster,” the worldwide hit for Eminem and Rihanna.
Rexha has more than 10 million overall single sales. Her music videos boast a combined viewing audience of well over 1 billion.
Day remains issue-free heading into Happy Hour
Today’s practice has featured a handful of cautions for debris and track inspection, but through five hours of practice, there have been no incidents. The field now enters the final hour of practice for the day, Happy Hour, before the checkered flag at 6 p.m.
The fastest lap entering the final hour belongs to Will Power in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, at 224.656 mph. Carpenter still holds the best no-tow lap.
More updates to come …