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Field full — but not set — for 97th Indy 500

May 19, 2013, 1:08 PM EDT

Josef Newgarden AP

The Indianapolis 500 has its traditional field of 33 cars, but the starting grid will not be completely set until the gun goes off at 6 p.m. ET at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Going into today’s Bump Day action, ten drivers were set to battle for the nine remaining starting spots on the grid. So far, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing’s Josef Newgarden (pictured) is the fastest second-day qualifier after putting down a four-lap average of 225.731 miles per hour in his No. 21 Century 21 Honda. The Tennessee native was bumped out of the Top 24 with minutes to go in yesterday’s Pole Day, but should nonetheless feel encouraged by his efforts this afternoon.

“Today, it’s one of those days [where you] have to keep your chin up,” Newgarden told NBC Sports Network’s Marty Snider. “What happened yesterday happened, let’s move on to the race. Hopefully, we can get some race [trim] running in today. I’d love to work on the car and I really think we’re going to be strong when it counts.”

Another driver that was left frustrated on Pole Day was Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal, but he too has put up a strong run today. Rahal posted a four-lap average of 225.007 miles per hour in the No. 15 Midas/Big O Tires Honda, which made him visibly more pleased than he was yesterday.

“We went out there [in practice] this morning and the car right away was back up into the 226s, so I just knew that the car had plenty of speed in it,” Rahal told NBCSN’s Will Buxton. “We just needed to get four laps in and move on.”

Here’s the current speeds for today’s Bump Day qualifiers, who are going for Positions 25-33 on the grid. As of 1 p.m. ET, Michel Jourdain Jr. in the No. 17 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda is the only second-day qualifier that has yet to post an attempt.

Indianapolis 500

Second Day Qualifiers (as of 1 p.m. ET)

25. 21-Josef Newgarden, 225.731 mph

26. 15-Graham Rahal, 225.007

27. 6-Sebastian Saavedra, 224.929

28. 55-Tristan Vautier, 224.873

29. 18-Ana Beatriz, 224.184

30. 63-Pippa Mann, 224.005

31. 41-Conor Daly, 223.582

32. 91-Buddy Lazier, 223.442

33. 81-Katherine Legge, 223.176

  1. indyatl - May 19, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    NBCSports preempted the Indianapolis 500 qualification shootout for 15 minutes of Preakness post-race content that was the exact same content ALREADY being broadcast on NBC, followed by another 15 minutes of Preakness post-race rehashing. By the time Indy 500 coverage is resumed, two-thirds of the shootout is over and the pole winning run is over, but the NBCSports announcers repeatedly emphasize how exciting the shootout has been. Too bad it wasn’t deemed to be exciting enough to be covered or even broadcast on delay by NBCSports.

  2. garysoucie - May 19, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Amen, indyatl, amen! NBC hasn’t yet figured out how to use its two channels on sports-heavy days.

  3. purplesectornet - May 19, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    I’ve been watching the coverage of bump day – lots of good Op Ed stuff…great interview with Walker and Jones…but as I watch this and begin to get excited for the Monaco GP, the race that matters to me the most now (used to be the 500) I just can’t help but hear the Indy faithfuls at TF telling us all to get over it…be reminded of how many times comments have been sensored because they didn’t tow the “IndyCar is just fine” propaganda agenda…and look at yet another year since 1996 that this race is still not back…the tragedy continues…and the greatest race in the world continues to be perceived as the greatest by a handful of fans…while Daytona, Monaco, and Le Mans roll on untainted, their legacy and tradition fully in tact. Because until this race is restored to the place that it should be, 1996 is not over. The wound still festers.

    The drivers, owners and of course race broadcasters; put on a brave face and talk up the series and the race; as they should, but in listening to Walker talking about making decisions by committee yet again, and with no definitive statements about where he wants to take the series, I start to wonder if NASCAR as the premiere American series isn’t now a permanent thing, and begin to realize that IndyCar will never again compete on the level of Formula One, like it did back in the days of Bobby Rahal, the Unsers, Mario, Danny Sullivan, etc. It saddens me to look back, and realize that 1995 may forever be the zenith…

    I personally believe the window for restoring the prestige of this event is rapidly closing.

    I know I’m supposed to “get over it”, that is the mantra…but I’m still not seeing the commitment to change…the series is still too content to run spec cars and then tell everyone how great the racing is…while the amount of fans still does not increase…its a zero sum game…

    Derrick Walker may be the last hope…

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