Archive for May 26, 2013

TONY KANAAN WINS THE INDIANAPOLIS 500 IN RECORD PACE

2013 Indy 500 Logo

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

SPEEDWAY, Ind. – It will go down as one of the most exciting Indianapolis 500 mile races in its illustrious 97-year history. With rain on the radar, fan favorite Tony Kanaan crossed the famed yard of bricks under a crash-induced yellow flag to claim his first Borg Warner Trophy.

“I don’t know what to say; that was the longest lap of my life,” said Kanaan from the winner’s circle. “This is it; I made it!”

The final 12 laps are why the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the most famous racetrack in the world.

Defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay took the race lead on lap 188, but was passed by Kanaan the next time around. Hunter-Reay regained the lead on turn three only to see Kanaan steak past him on lap 191. HRH roared to the front in turn one of lap 192 and the two battled until Graham Rahal hit the inside wall after spinning in turn two on lap 194 to bring out the caution.

On the lap 197 restart, Hunter-Reay and Kanaan were joined by Carlos Munoz three-wide down the front stretch, with Kanaan edging the field into the first turn. But behind the threesome, defending Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti, a three-time champ, lost control in turn one and hit the inside wall in the short chute, giving Kanaan the win.

“I got a little bit of luck today,” said Kanaan. “I couldn’t believe it. Two laps to go. That last lap was the longest ever. I wanted the pace car to hurry up.”

Kanaan has long been a favorite of Indianapolis fans due to his out-going personality – and hard luck. This was his first win in 12 starts, and he did it with torn ligaments in his right thumb.

“This one was for the fans,” said Kanaan. “It’s for my dad that’s not here. But mainly it is (for the fans). I was looking at the stands, and it was unbelievable. I’m speechless.”

Rookie Carlos Munoz finished second after starting from the middle of the front row. Despite the runner-up finish, he was not happy.

“I should be happy, but I thought I should win this thing,” said Munoz. “The car was so great from the first lap to the last. I was more sad because I had a shot to overtake and fight for the win.”

Hunter-Reay finished third, Andretti fourth and Justin Wilson fifth. HRH agreed with the race winner that luck played into the finish.

“That was bad luck,” said Hunter-Reay. “That’s just the way it works out. I was leading on the last restart and I knew I was a sitting duck. I wasn’t too bummed out about it because I knew we had enough laps to get it going again. Then there was a crash in turn one, and the race ended,. It’s unfortunate. Big congratulations to Tony Kanaan.”

Three-time winner Helio Castroneves took home a sixth place finish, rookie A.J. Allmendinger finished seventh, Simon Pagenaud eighth, Charlie Kimball ninth and pole sitter Ed Carpenter rounded out the top 10.

“We finished in the top six, which is great championship-wise for points and that is what we are looking for,” said Castroneves. “When you don’t win, you have to look on the positive side, and that is the championship.”

Despite wrecks to start and end the race – J.R. Hildenbrand on lap three and Franchitti on lap 198 – it was a blistering, record-setting Greatest Spectacle in Racing. The Field of 33 thrilled fans with 68 lead changes and an average speed of 187.433 miles per hour, both are Indy 500 records. For reference, the previous lead change record was 34 set in 2012 and the previous fastest race was set in 1990 by Arie Luyendyk at 185.981.

Carpenter led the most laps with 37, followed by Kanaan with 34 and Andretti with 31. Wilson clocked the fastest lap of the race, topping out at 226.940. The fastest leader lap was driven by rookie Munoz at 223.651.

But in the end, it was Kanaan who everyone was talking about.

EASTERN COMETS SWEEP BOYS AND GIRLS TRACK SECTIONALS

For just the second time in school history, the Eastern boys track and field team won an IHSAA sectional. (SJ Photo: William Gibson)

For just the second time in school history, the Eastern boys track and field team won an IHSAA sectional. (SJ Photo: William Gibson)

 

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

KOKOMO, Ind. – For the first time in school history, the Eastern Comets completed a clean sweep of the annual IHSAA track and field sectionals. The girls squad defended its title at Madison-Grant, beating Kokomo by 40 points (125-85). For the boys, every point counted – and when they were added together the Comets edged the three-time defending sectional champion Kokomo Wildkats 124.5-121. It was the second title for each program, with the boys coming in 1998.

On the girls side, new meet records were the order of the day as seven record-breaking performances thrilled the teams and spectators. As usual, the Neeley twins from Eastern were in the thick of the wins and records. Both Brittany and Bethany entered four events – and they won four events while also breaking four records between them. Bethany broke the 300 meter hurdles record and Brittany now owns the 800 record. They teamed with Jessica Sprinkles and Sarah Wagner to set a 3,200 meter relay mark and ran with Avery Ewing and Sprinkles to win the 1,600 meter relay in record pace.

Wagner was a triple winner as she also won the high jump. Bethany earned her fourth victory in the 1,600 meter run and Brittany won the 400 meter dash.

Kaitlyn Daanen was a double winner for Northwestern, winning the 100 meter dash and setting a new record in the 200 meter dash. Kokomo’s Anh Phan defended her title while setting a new mark in the pole vault. And Summer Blackamore continued to show her dominance as she set a new record in the discus and also won the shot put. Blackamore was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Performer by the Sports Journal staff.

Grant Cole led the Eastern Comets to victory as he won the long hump, 110 meter hurdles and the 300 meter hurdles. Cole overcame an injury that forced him to sit out of the Howard County track meet two weeks ago. Cole’s performance earned him Sports Journal Most Outstanding Performer honors.

Cameron Oden was double winner for Northwestern as he claimed the 100 and 200 meter dashes. Long distance specialist Matt Grider won the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs for the Western Panthers. And Kokomo dominated the field activities, winning four of the five events. Waylon Coulter won the pole vault and high jump while Darrion McAllister took top honors in the shot put and discus.

Dozens of Howard County student-athletes qualified for this week’s regional’s as the top four finishers in each of the 16 events automatically advance. For complete results, visit the IHSAA website at www.ihsaa.org.

HOOSIER ED CARPENTER CLAIMS THE POLE FOR THE 97TH INDIANAPOLIS 500

(Courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

INDIANAPOLIS – After a Indianapolis 500 pole day filled with drama for teams Ed Carpenter found himself celebrating with the Verizon P1 Award

The lone team owner/driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series recorded a blistering four-lap average speed of 228.762 mph (best lap of 229.347 mph; 39.2418 seconds) in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet. The one-car team bested the best of Team Penske and Andretti Autosport in the shootout to claim a $100,000 bonus and 15 precious IZOD IndyCar Series championship points.

Carpenter’s previous best start at the Speedway was eighth in 2010 and ’11; his best finish is fifth after starting 10th in 2008.  His pole speed was the fastest since Sam Hornish Jr. (228.985 mph) in 2006 for Team Penske. Hornish, the last American to win the Indianapolis 500 pole, went on to win the race.

Rookie Carlos Munoz earned a front-row start and $50,000 of the Verizon Front Row Awards for second (228.342) — .2892 of a second off Carpenter’s aggregate four-lap time — and Marco Andretti was awarded a $40,000 bonus for qualifying third (228.261). It’s Andretti’s best start in eight attempts at the Speedway.

Munoz, 21, is seeking to match Juan Pablo Montoya as an Indianapolis 500 winner from Colombia. Montoya also started second – as a rookie — in his 2000 victory. He was the last first-year front-row starter.

E.J. Viso (228.150), first-year Indy 500 competitor AJ Allmendinger (228.099) and Team Penske teammate Will Power (228.087) will start on Row 2 for the 200-lap race May 26. Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay (227.904) will join three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves (227.762) and James Hinchcliffe (227.070) on Row 3.

Positions 25-33 will be set through four-lap qualifications May 19 on Old National Armed Forces Bump Day.

There will be at least one bump in determining the 33-car field as Schmidt Peterson Pelfrey entered the No. 81 Angie’s List Honda-powered car to be driven by Katherine Legge. She’s expected to participate in the 9-10 a.m. (ET) practice session and make at least one qualifying attempt later in the day. Each entrant is allowed three qualifying attempts as time permits.

In addition to Legge, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing teammates Graham Rahal and Michel Jourdain Jr., rookies Tristan Vautier and Conor Daly, Ana Beatriz, Buddy Lazier, Pippa Mann, Josef Newgarden and Sebastian Saavedra will attempt to qualify.