by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, May 26th, 2018
FORT WORTH, Texas (May 24, 2017) – Ed Carpenter earned his third career Indianapolis 500 pole and will lead the Verizon IndyCar Series’ 33-car field to the green flag for Sunday’s 102nd running of “The Greatest Spectacle In Racing” at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Here are “5 Things You Need To Know” with the Verizon IndyCar Series preparing for two of its marquee races of the season in the next three weeks, the other coming Saturday, June 9 at Texas Motor Speedway with the DXC Technology 600 (7:45 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Network).
The Indy 500 will be broadcast live on ABC-TV at Noon ET/11 a.m. CT as well as the INDYCAR Radio Network and SiriusXM Radio (XM Channel 209 and SIRIUS Channel 214). The pre-race show on ABC will begin at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT.

1. “Danica Double” – Danica Patrick will start seventh in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 in what will be the final race of her well-documented motorsports career. Patrick announced that she would be retiring from full-time racing and close out her career in 2018 with the “Danica Double.”
The plan was for her to compete in the marquee event of the two major racing series – NASCAR and INDYCAR – she competed in during her career.
She finished 35th in NASCAR’s season-opening Daytona 500 in February, but the outlook looks much more promising for the Indy 500. Despite her absence from Indy-car racing for the jump to NASCAR in 2012, she impressed by qualifying seventh at 228.090 miles per hour in the 33-car field. Patrick will be driving the No. 13 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing and don’t discount her. The entire ECR organization has shown it has plenty of speed with her owner on the pole and other teammate Spencer Pigot qualifying sixth.
2. “Fourth Time Is Really The Charm” Another extremely popular driver will return for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500.
Three-time Indy 500 championHelio Castroneves, who is running full-time in IMSA sports cars for Team Penske, will be running a fourth entry for the organization.
He joins Team Penske full-time entrants Josef Newgarden,Simon Pagenaud and Will Power.
The colorful Brazilian will be easy to spot as he returns to his trademark No. 3 and will be in the Pennzoil Chevrolet that is nicknamed the “Yellow Submarine.”

Castroneves, who starts eighth, will be looking to join A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears andAl Unser as the only four-time champions of this prestigious race.

3. “Hinch Not A Cinch” While fans celebrate the return of one Dancing With The Stars competitor in Castroneves, he unfortunately will be the only one in the field.
Ever-popular Canadian James Hinchcliffe, who was runner-up on the show in 2016, was a casualty of last Saturday’s Indy 500 qualifying and failed to make the field in the No. 5 Arrow Electronics Honda for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
He and Pippa Mann were the two among the 35 entrants that did not make the 33-car field.

“Nobody failed us, the system didn’t fail us. We failed us,” Hinchcliffe said afterward. “At the end of the day, everybody got a run, which is the rule. Our run wasn’t good enough, so blame the weather, blame other cars in line, you can blame whatever you want, but it just didn’t happen today. You’ve got to take your lumps here sometimes.”

4. “American Made”Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden enters the Indianapolis 500 as the championship leader through five races.
On the strength of two wins, Newgarden leads fellow American Alexander Rossi by two points and the native Tennessean would love to pad that lead by winning his first Indy 500.
Only four Americans have won the race this century, but it has been more attainable to U.S.-born drivers in recent years Americans have won the Indianapolis 500 two of the past four years, with Ryan Hunter-Reay winning in 2014 and his Andretti Autosport teammate Rossi in ’16.
They won in even years, so will 2018 be Newgarden’s turn?

His career-best Indy 500 finish came in 2016 when he finished third behind the winner Rossi and runner-up Carlos Munoz while competing for Ed Carpenter Racing.

5. “America’s Team” – Just 72 hours after being crowned the Indianapolis 500 champion, the winner’s Victory Tour will take him to Dallas/Fort Worth on Wednesday for a visit with the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys will be participating in Organized Team Activities at The Star in Frisco, where the Indy 500 champ will get a private tour of the facilities, meet players and coaches, and give them autographed Indy 500 commemorative milk bottles. He will be available to the media immediately afterward.
Last year, Indy 500 champion Takuma Sato of Andretti Autosport visited with the team.
Tickets for the DXC Technology 600 are available by visitingwww.texasmotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 817.215.8500.

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