Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin in the No.40 Pitek Chevrolet will start Saturday’s NTT IndyCar Series iRacing Challenge season finale First Responder 175 presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from pole position after setting a fastest time of 39.432s.
McLaughlin is joined on the front row by Arrow McLaren SP’s Lando Norris in 04 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet who set a fastest speed of 39.439s while Scott Speed in the No.39 Oberto Honda for Andretti Autosport. Speaking following the session, McLaughlin said:
It’s always been a dream of mine to race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and I hope to get the chance to do it one time. But I’m stoked to take a shot at the virtual IMS this weekend. I’ve been lucky enough to be at the track during the Month of May to root for my Team Penske teammates and its cool, so I’m ready to rip around there on the sim. I hope some of my oval experience from the series so far helps, but this will be a challenge and I am really looking forward to it. I’m also excited to have PIRTEK on my Dallara, which is also a big team sponsor for us in Australia. We’ve also changed our number this weekend to be No. 40, which honors their 40th anniversary. So pretty cool to say I’ll be in the No. 40 PIRTEK car for Indianapolis.”
It was a great session for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal in the No.15 United Rentals Honda as he starts the race from fourth place just ahead of Ed Carpenter in the No.20 Riley Children’s Foundation Chevrolet who set a fastest time of 39.449s and James Davison in the No.33 Byrd/America’s Best Value Inn/Tilson/E&K/OilFire Honda.
Graham Rahal commented saying:
The iRace at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be a blast. I expect there to be plenty of carnage, fun, laughs and good racing. There will be big drafts, and the leader will always be a sitting duck — good times! I think the fans will like this one the best. I feel the oval races have been great. Humorous, which we all needed, but also much better racing than the road courses. I think everyone has had fun with this and will continue to do it well past the end of the INDYCAR Challenge in a more fun and less-focused manner. Overall, it has been a great experience. Difficult for some – those who aren’t regulars at this stuff – but overall it has been a huge hit for all of us and more importantly our fans and partners. We want to keep this growing and help build into the start of our real INDYCAR calendar, which we all hope is coming soon. We have certainly enjoyed the laughter and communication between teammates and our engineering core during this time on iRacing. It has allowed us to get some of our usual on-track communication back to normal and give us a little leg up as we go into the season. The best part has been to raise some money for Turns for Troops thanks to United Rentals. I am just ready to go racing. Being in my home gym constantly, watching old race tapes, it’s time to go racing, and I hope it really is close for all of us.”
Speaking following the session, Ed Carpenter said:
It’s always great to drive at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I am pumped that they chose this for our final iRacing INDYCAR Challenge event, and it just makes me wish that it were August. Plus, I will have a special Riley Children’s Foundation car raising awareness for the Riley Relief Fund. I can’t wait for Saturday.”
Team Penske’s Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet starts the race from seventh with a time of 39.453s and speaking following the action he said:
“I guess I have one more shot to win one of these, man. We’ve been so, so close all year long. I don’t know if anyone else has run up front as much as the Verizon Chevrolet. I’m pumped that we’re going to end it at the virtual Indianapolis for the last race of the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge. I just love that place and am proud of our success there. We work our tails off every year to be our best, and a race at the virtual IMS is no exception. My team and I have been preparing for this one in a different way because it’s one we all want to win. We’re really planning on throwing we can at it and taking everything we have learned in the real world to apply to this race in the virtual one. I can’t wait to get back on track and be a part of this awesome iRacing event with all of the other INDYCAR guys one more time.”
It was a great session for Dale Coyne with Team Goh’s Alex Palou who set a time of 39.454s and speaking following the action he said:
It’s been two tough weekends for us, so I’m looking forward to this weekend’s race and hoping for a good result to end the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge. Last week, I was running well up until I spun. On the sim, it’s very easy to go a little bit over the limit without knowing. In the real car, you feel more what the car is doing. You can drive at 95 percent without spinning, and on the sim you think you’re 90 percent but you’re actually at 110 percent, which is why I spun. I was running in the top three, so it was a shame. This weekend we head to virtual Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I didn’t think that the first time I’d race at Indianapolis would be on iRacing, but it should be an interesting race. I’ve been practicing this week with some of the other drivers, and it’s going to be close and exciting. It will probably come down to the last corner. I have a new computer and new pedals for this weekend, so hopefully that will help me be a little bit faster.”
Sage Karam in the No.24 Wix Filters Chevrolet for Dreyer and Reinbold Racing who climed victory in the season opening race in Watkins Glen set a fastest time of 39.454s for ninth place on the grid and speaking following the action he said:
“I think a lot of the drivers are excited to race the IMS oval. I know that it will be very high intensity. That’s because it’s Indy and it’s the final INDYCAR Challenge event. With only 70 laps rather than 200, the drivers will want to qualify well and get to the front pretty quickly. We had a good oval car at MIS and Motegi, but things didn’t go our way. Hopefully, we’ll have another strong car this Saturday. It should be a great race.
Defending Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud in the No.22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet rounded out the top ten with a time of 39.457s and speaking following the action the Frenchman said:
It really all comes down to this, and I just can’t wait. Indianapolis has always been special to me, but after the success the team had there in 2019 during the Month of May, it’s even more so. It all feels so full circle to be racing there again, at least virtually, back in my Menards Chevy that brought us so much luck last year. It was so great to bring home another couple of wins for Roger (Penske) and also really great to bring John Menard his first Indy 500 win. We won’t be able to have another go at winning the Indy 500 until August, and this is an excellent way to prepare for that. I know all the INDYCAR fans out there just can’t wait for us to go back to racing – especially at Indianapolis – as much as the rest of us drivers can’t wait. I’m really thankful to NBCSN for showing a number of our iRacing events to all the fans out there. I’ve been training extra hard for this weekend because I know myself and the rest of our team would love another win at Indy – especially a virtual one.
Stefan Wilson starts the race from eleventh place with a time of 39.458s while on their debut RC Enerson put Top Gun Racing in 12th place just ahead of defending NTT IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden in the No.1 Shell V Power Team Penske Chevrolet who set a time of 39.463s and speaking following the session the Tennessee native said:
I’m excited for the final race of the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge to be at Indianapolis. All of us INDYCAR drivers love that place for so many reasons – the history, the pageantry, the chance to win at one of the hallowed places in all of sports. It’s just such a special place. I’m thankful to INDYCAR, iRacing and NBCSN to give us one more way to race that beautiful track now in the virtual world. The whole iRacing series of races has been such a great learning experience. I’ve been able to spend time with my team in a new way to prepare for whenever we can go back to racing in real life. I’ve been training a lot for this one and can’t wait to race.
Marcus Ericsson in the No.8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda starts the race from 14th with a time of 39.467s and speaking following the action the Swede said:
Last race of the iRacing Challenge – I’m looking forward to it. I think we have been on a good run lately. The last couple of events have been pretty good, pretty solid. I’m getting more and more comfortable, so I want a top result to end this INDYCAR iRacing Challenge. I think we can run the No. 8 Huski Honda car right up the front and actually fight for the win this weekend, so that’s what we’re targeting. We’ve got the tools to do it, and I’m eager to try to get to Victory Lane. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s nice to finish off at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; I think it’s a perfect way to finish off this iRacing Challenge. Let’s see what we can do,
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato in the No.30 Panasonic/MiJack Honda starts the race from 15th place with a time of 39.473s and speaking following the session the 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner said:
Each race is a new experience for me, and I am enjoying both the oval and road course. The close racing never stops on the oval way, which is great fun. The road course is much more challenging in terms of driving at the moment for me, but I guess once you are totally comfortable, it’s going to be a lot of fun just like real racing. You just need to have a really good amount of practice and experience for this. A lot of the feelings are missing, just some force feedback though the steering wheel and visual from the display. You miss the sensation of G-forces and pitching, rolling and particularly the yaw moment – all the senses you use for driving. But I am starting to understand more and more, and it feels like I’m actually driving, so that is a very interesting phase now. Having great drivers from all over the world over different series is just fantastic. It’s great for us to be able to race against them, and it’s fantastic entertainment for fans. Certainly the relationship with the engineers and keeping us sharp for non-racing time by the sim world is beneficial since it’s very competitive here, too. And, of course, connecting with fans for the sport and entertainment is a great thing, especially in times like today. We hope we will get over this challenging time together, and we will be all very happy to go back a real racing. It’s going to be very unpredictable in an exciting way. It will be close racing through all the way to the finish, and that gives fun and great entertainment.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda starts the race from 16th place with a time of 39.477s and speaking following the session he said:
It’s the final race of this new generation of racing for us this year. There will probably be a lot more races after this I bet, but it feels good to get a closure to iRacing Challenge with ending at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It’s been quite a lot of hours for a lot of us on this, and it’s been great fun. But I think everyone is now ready to start focusing on the real deal. Hopefully we can get going here soon in a couple of weeks. Indy is always going to be the big one, even in iRacing. So, we better get prepared for it. We’re hoping to get the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda car up to the front for this last one.
Andretti Autosport’s Zach Veach in the No.26 Gainbridge Honda starts the race from 17th place with a time of 39.478s ending the day just ahead of Arrow McLaren SP’s Patricio O’Ward and AJ Foyt Racing’s Dalton Kellett in the No.41 K Line Insulators Chevrolet who set a time of 39.485s and speaking following the session the Canadian said:
“I am very excited to be among the 33 drivers taking the green flag for the final race of the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge, and I can’t think of a better place to cap it off than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The oval races have been very exciting, and I know we can bring the fans a great show. With fixed setups, the field will be tight. It will be very important to get everything out of qualifying and make smart decisions in the pack during the race. I will be working with these goals in mind and going for a strong finish with the No. 41 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet eCar.
Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi in the No.27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda starts the race from 20th with a time of 39.485s.
Santino Ferrucci in the No.18 Team SealMaster Honda for Dale Coyne with Vasser Sullivan Racing starts the race from 21st place with a time of 39.489s starting the race just ahead of Carlin Racing’s Conor Daly in the No.31 US Air Force Chevrolet with a time of 39.494s.
Speaking following the session Daly said:
I definitely want to thank Carlin for giving me the opportunity to have a locked-in spot in this weekend’s virtual Indy 500. It’s a cool little piece of teamwork between the two teams to make sure we’re locked in and ready for the race on Saturday, which is awesome. I’ll still be in the U.S. Air Force Chevrolet; it’ll just have a 31 on it. I’m starting the real NTT INDYCAR SERIES season in Texas with Carlin, so it’ll be good to get a head start on working the Carlin guys and have some fun this weekend together. We’ll see what happens in the virtual racing world this weekend at IMS in the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge finale.
Oliver Askew starts the race from 23rd place in the No.7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet with a time of 39.494s starting just ahead of Colton Herta in the No.88 Capstone Honda for Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport.
Tony Kanaan in the No.14 ABC Supply Chevrolet for AJ Foyt Racing starts the race from 25th place with a time of 39.497s and speaking following the session the Brazilian commented saying:
Excited that we’re in Indianapolis this weekend. Even more excited that it’s the last one out of this series of virtual races, which means we are going back to reality races pretty soon. Really excited about that. I hope the fans enjoyed it. There’s not a better place to finish the series than Indy, but I want to go to the real one.
Marco Andretti in the No.98 US Concrete Honda starts the race from 26th with a time of 39.521s. Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey in the No.60 AutoNation Sirius XM Honda ended the session with exactly the same time and speed as Marco Andretti.
Five time series champion Scott Dixon in the No.9 PNC Bank Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing starts the race from 28th with a time of 39.522s.
Four time Champ Car title winner Sebastien Bourdais in the No.4 ripKurrent AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet starts the race in 29th place ending the day with exactly the same time and speed as Scott Dixon and speaking following the action the Frenchman said:
The last event will be a big challenge at IMS. It is a very unforgiving place in real life, and it is similar on iRacing. I hope luck will be on our side to finish on a high.”
Rinus VeeKay in the No.21 Sonax Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing starts the race from 30th place with a time of 39.529s and speaking following the day’s action the Dutchman said:
I’ve always looked forward to the first time driving an Indy car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Even though it’s going to be virtual, I’m very excited to get going and I’m looking forward to all great battles coming during Saturday’s race.
The final row is made up of Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda for Andretti Autosport who set a fastest time of 39.541s. Carlin Racing’s Max Chilton in the No.59 Gallagher Chevrolet starts the race from 32nd with a time of 39.557s and speaking following the session he said:
I think ending the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a great way to round out the NTT INDYCAR SERIES adventure into the world of iRacing. We haven’t had the best results during the last few rounds, but it’s been a lot of fun learning the game and keeping fans engaged during these strange times. Hopefully we can come away from this INDYCAR iRacing Challenge with a solid result for the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet this weekend.
Three time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves in the No.911 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet rolls off 33rd following a speed of 39.614s and speaking following the session the Brazilian said:
It’s time to go back to Indy, baby – at least on the computer for now. It’s been so great to be involved with a couple of races, and it’s been so much fun racing against my INDYCAR competitors in the virtual world until we can race in the real one. The cherry on top is that all of the drivers selected Indianapolis for the final race. Everyone knows I love that place. There’s just something about it that has jelled so well with the way I race, and I’ve had some truly incredible success there. I don’t know if that translates on the computer, but I can tell you I will give it the same effort. It will also be a little weird to see the Yellow Submarine without the No. 3, but thanks to our friends at GMR/AMR, we are going to run the 911 this week to help honor all of our first responders. I know I can speak for everyone in the INDYCAR community when I say I am so thankful for all the first responders and everyone who is doing everything they can to keep all of us around the world safe. That’s why I’m so honored to have a special number for this race for my Pennzoil Chevy. It’s our way of saying thank you to all of those folks for everything they are doing during this crisis. I am going to do my best to give this race my all and hopefully come away with a win.
The First Responder 175 presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is live on NBCSN at 2.30PM ET with commentary from Lee Diffey, Townsend Bell and Paul Tracey. The race will also be broadcast on Sky Sports F1HD from 7.30PM.