2012 Indianapolis 500

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96th Indianapolis 500
2012indianapolis500logo.png
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis 500
Sanctioning body IndyCar
Season 2012 IndyCar season
Date May 27, 2012
Winner United Kingdom Dario Franchitti[1]
Winning team Chip Ganassi Racing
Average speed 167.734 mph (269.942 km/h)
Pole position Australia Ryan Briscoe
Pole speed 226.484 mph (364.491 km/h)
Fastest qualifier Australia Ryan Briscoe
Rookie of the Year Brazil Rubens Barrichello
Most laps led United States Marco Andretti (59)
Pre-race ceremonies
National anthem Martina McBride[2]
"Back Home Again in Indiana" Jim Nabors (video)[3]
Starting Command Mari Hulman George
Pace car Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Pace car driver Guy Fieri[4]
Honorary starter Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels[5]
Attendance 300,000 + (est.)
TV in the United States
Network ABC
Announcers Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, and Eddie Cheever
Nielsen Ratings 4.34[6]
Chronology
Previous Next
2011 2013

The 96th Indianapolis 500 was run on Sunday, May 27, 2012, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the main race starting at noon EDT.[7][dated info] It was the premier event of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season.

For the first time since 1996 all entries featured turbocharged engines,[8][9] and all entries were brand new model-year chassis,[10] as part of the ICONIC Project. This was the first time since 2003, and only the fourth time since 1985, that all cars were a new model-year chassis.

The track opened for practice on Saturday May 12. Time trials were held May 19–20. Ryan Briscoe of Penske Racing qualified for the pole position. The final practice, traditionally dubbed "Carb Day," was held Friday May 25.

Dario Franchitti, who previously won the race in 2007 and 2010, won the event, becoming a three-time Indy 500 champion.[11] On the final lap, second place Takuma Sato challenged Franchitti for the lead in turn one, but pinched the car down too low, and lost control.[12] As the two cars were side by side, Sato spun and crashed into the outside wall. Franchitti slipped by unscathed to take the victory.[13] Franchitti's teammate Scott Dixon finished second, sweeping a 1-2 finish for Chip Ganassi Racing. The race set an all-time record with 34 lead changes.[14] Franchitti's win represented the ninth consecutive Indy victory for Honda, despite the presence of multiple engine manufacturers for the first time since 2005.

Event background[edit]

For the first time since 1947, the previous year's race winner had been killed in a racing crash in the time between races. The 2011 winner, Dan Wheldon,[15] was killed in a crash during the 2011 season finale, the IZOD IndyCar World Championships at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Several winners have missed the following year due to either retirements, injuries, or racing in a different series. The last time the defending champion did not participate in the race due to injury was 2004 winner Buddy Rice, who suffered a concussion during practice, and sat out the 2005 race. The last time a defending Indianapolis 500 champion did not participate in the race under any circumstances was 2007 winner Dario Franchitti, who was injured in a NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway in April 2008 and had a full-time racing schedule in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2008.

Due to safety concerns, IndyCar officials announced in the 2012 State of IndyCar address that restarts would revert to single-file for the two ovals whose distance is at least two miles or greater.

Jim Nabors, who has traditionally sung "Back Home Again in Indiana" in most years since 1972 during the pre-race ceremonies, was not able to attend the race due to health reasons.[16] The Speedway sent a film crew to record him performing the song at his home in Hawaiʻi, and aired it on race morning.[3]

Going into the month, there was growing concern about filling the field to the traditional 33 cars. This was due in part to the struggles of Lotus, and lease issues in the first year of the new engine package, namely involving Dragon Racing. However, on Bump Day, the field was filled to exactly 33 cars, with no cars bumped, a similar situation to 2003.

Schedule[edit]

Race schedule — May 2012
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
29
São Paulo
30
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
Mini-Marathon
6
 
7
Oval test
8
 
9
 
10
ROP
11
Indy Lights
12
Practice
13
Practice
14
Practice
15
Practice
16
Practice
17
Practice
18
Practice
19
Pole Day
20
Bump Day
21
 
22
 
23
Comm. Day
24
Indy Lights
25
Carb Day
26
Legends Day
27
Indy 500
28
Memorial Day
29
 
30
 
31
 
   
Color Notes
Green Practice
Dark Blue Time trials
Silver Race day
Red Rained out
Blank No track activity

* Includes days where track activity
was significantly limited due to rain

ROP — denotes Rookie Orientation Program

Comm. Day — denotes 500 Festival Community Day

Other scheduled events included:[17]

  • May 11 – Freedom 100 testing
  • May 12–13 – Second Annual Celebration of Automobiles / Emerging Technologies Day
  • May 24 – Freedom 100 practice and time trials
  • May 25 – Freedom 100 race, Carb Day concert featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • May 26 – Legends Day featuring Roger Penske: Public Drivers Meeting, Autograph sessions

Entry list[edit]

See Team and driver chart for more information

On April 18, 2012, the Official Entry List was released. As of April 18, thirty-four car/driver combinations had been announced. Former winners entered include Dario Franchitti, Hélio Castroneves and Scott Dixon.

In an unusual move, Chip Ganassi Racing sponsor Target changed Franchitti's car number for the month. While Franchitti is legally entitled to using #1, the team decided instead to keep the team's #10 identity for the season, but to celebrate Target's fifty years in business, the car carried #50 for the race meet. The stylised #50 utilised the Target logo.

Former Formula One driver Jean Alesi[18] was listed as an entry for Newman Haas Racing, but the car was later withdrawn. Lotus continued to find a team for Alesi, and struck a deal with Indy Lights team Fan Force United[19] to run a car. Rubens Barrichello,[20] winner of the 2002 U.S. Grand Prix at Indy should be the first former winner of that event to attempt to qualify for the Indy 500.

Michel Jourdain, Jr., who last raced at Indy sixteen years ago in 1996, was named to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Jourdain would be the only driver in the field from the 1990s. With John Andretti not entered, not a single driver from the 1980s was in the field.

Testing and rookie orientation[edit]

With the introduction of the new chassis and engine package, testing was conducted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the offseason. The first phase of testing involved Dan Wheldon, and testing was conducted on the USGP road course at Indianapolis on September 1,[21] and on the oval in late September.[22][23] Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan tested at Indianapolis in early November for Honda and Chevrolet.[24] Test results were mixed at the Speedway,[24][25] with drivers complaining of weight imbalance issues,[24][25] and speeds (208–216 mph[24][25]) were down from what was expected.

Open test — Wednesday, April 4[edit]

Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Engine Speed
1 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 218.625
2 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 218.439
3 10 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 218.094
OFFICIAL REPORT

Texas Motor Speedway Test — Monday, May 7[edit]

For the second year in a row, IndyCar held an official pre-Indy oval test. Since the Indy 500 will be the first oval race of the 2012 season, the league hosted a test for rookies to assimilate with ovals, and to test out an updated aero kit package for Texas Motor Speedway, which is a 1.5-mile 24-degree banked oval, which has been a type of circuit that was questionable in light of the Las Vegas tragedy. The aero kit package at Texas will not be used for Indianapolis or Fontana. Indianapolis and Fontana, home of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar World Championship, will use the same superspeedway aero and rules package. The test also saw Rubens Barrichello take his first competitive laps on an oval on Monday May 7.

Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Engine Speed
1 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 212.371
2 83 United States Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 211.330
3 10 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 210.525
OFFICIAL REPORT

Rookie orientation program — Thursday, May 10[edit]

  • Weather: 63 °F (17 °C), partly cloudy
  • Practice summary: On the first day of track activity in the month of May, eight rookies took to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track. Of these eight driver, seven of them passed the mandatory Rookie Orientation Program with James Jakes leading the speed charts during the day with a top lap at 218.266 mph. Bryan Clauson, Josef Newgarden, Rubens Barrichello, Simon Pagenaud, Michel Jourdain Jr., and Wade Cunningham were all able to break 210 mph during the practice.[28] Jean Alesi was the only driver not to pass the first two phases the program, running his best lap at 186.387 mph, however he was given permission to return the following day for more practice.[29] On Friday May 11, Alesi completed the first two phases.[30]
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Engine Speed
1 19 United Kingdom James Jakes (R) Dale Coyne Racing Honda 218.268
2 39 United States Bryan Clauson (R) Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda 217.046
3 67 United States Josef Newgarden (R) Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda 216.573
OFFICIAL REPORT

Practice[edit]

Opening Day — Saturday, May 12[edit]

  • Weather: 74 °F (23 °C), partly cloudy
  • Practice summary: Rookie Josef Newgarden led the way, while J.R. Hildebrand led the tow chart.[31] Townsend Bell was not at the track, as he was competing in an American Le Mans race at Laguna Seca. Among the other drivers not making laps were Katherine Legge and Sebastien Bourdais, who are currently without an engine deal. The first cars on the track were the three Penske Racing cars, who completed a parade lap with all three cars alongside. Marco Andretti did not spend any time in his own car, but shook down the 17 and 25 cars for a couple laps.
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Engine Speed
1 67 United States Josef Newgarden (R) Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda 220.250
2 4 United States J.R. Hildebrand Panther Racing Chevrolet 219.693
3 39 United States Bryan Clauson (R) Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda 219.632
OFFICIAL REPORT

Open practice — Sunday, May 13[edit]

  • Weather: 75 °F (24 °C), partly cloudy
  • Practice summary: A total of 33 cars completed 1,138 practice laps without incident. Wade Cunningham completed the third phase of the rookie test, early in the day's practice session. Six drivers completed laps over 220 mph.
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Engine Speed
1 17 Colombia Sebastián Saavedra AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 221.526
2 39 United States Bryan Clauson (R) Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda 221.173
3 67 United States Josef Newgarden (R) Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda 221.158
OFFICIAL REPORT

Open practice — Monday, May 14[edit]

  • Weather: 78 °F (26 °C), partly cloudy
  • Practice summary: After days of struggles, Jean Alesi finally completed the third phase of rookie orientation. This was accomplished with the approved use of the qualifying boost, which gave them an extra 5–6 mph.[32] Graham Rahal's car suffered engine woes, the first of the month at Indianapolis. A total of 1,199 laps were completed without incident.
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Engine Speed
1 67 United States Josef Newgarden (R) Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda 222.486
2 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 221.639
3 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 221.519
OFFICIAL REPORT

Open practice — Tuesday, May 15[edit]

  • Weather: 79 °F (26 °C), partly cloudy
  • Practice summary: The busiest day of practice thus far saw Marco Andretti set the fastest lap of the month at 223.676 mph. Thirty car/driver combinations completed 1,602 laps without incident. Most of the day focused on race setups and drafting practice. Dragon Racing drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Katherine Legge have yet to turn a lap all month, as the team is trying to get out of their contract with Lotus.[33]
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Engine Speed
1 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 223.676
2 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet 222.025
3 27 Canada James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 221.864
OFFICIAL REPORT

Open practice — Wednesday, May 16[edit]

  • Weather: 76 °F (24 °C), partly cloudy
  • Practice summary: Rookie Josef Newgarden led the speed chart with a lap of 222.785 mph, but also became the first car to suffer an incident on the track. With 16 minutes left in the day, Newgarden lost the back end at the exit of turn four, did two 360° spins, and tapped the inside wall on the mainstretch. Newgarden was not injured, and the car suffered only minor damage to the front wing and rear wheel assembly. A total of 30 cars completed 1,632 laps, the busiest day thus far during the month. Off the track, Dragon Racing, acquired a Chevrolet engine and began installing it in one of their cars, in preparations for Katherine Legge and Sebastien Bourdais to pass their rookie and refresher test, respectively, Thursday morning.
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Engine Speed
1 67 United States Josef Newgarden (R) Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda 222.785
2 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 222.108
3 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 221.763
OFFICIAL REPORT

Open practice — Thursday, May 17[edit]

  • Weather: 74 °F (23 °C), partly cloudy
  • Practice summary: The track opened early to give extra track time for Dragon Racing drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Katherine Legge. Bourdais completed his refresher course in the morning, and Legge completed ROP phase one, both in the Dragon #6 car. The track opened for all drivers at 1 p.m. Thursday was the final day of practice with race day turbocharger boost settings of 130 kPa. A total of 29 drivers took laps, with no incidents reported. Legge was granted additional time in the evening til 6:40 p.m., during which she completed the second phase of rookie orientation.
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Engine Speed
1 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 223.088
2 67 United States Josef Newgarden (R) Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda 222.709
3 38 United States Graham Rahal Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 222.080
OFFICIAL REPORT

Fast Friday practice — Friday, May 18[edit]

  • Weather: 81 °F (27 °C), sunny
  • Practice summary: "Fast Friday" practice was the final full day of practice prior to time trials. Turbocharger boost settings were elevated to 140 kPa for this session, as well as for time trials. Marco Andretti (227.540 mph) set the fastest lap of the day and of the month on a sunny, hot afternoon. All cars took laps except for Oriol Servià, who experienced engine trouble. No wall contact was reported, but Michel Jourdain, Jr. suffered a blown engine and a subsequent oil fire on his car early in the session. For the first time since 1998, the entire first week of practice was conducted without any time lost due to rain.
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Engine Speed
1 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 227.540
2 2 Australia Ryan Briscoe Team Penske Chevrolet 226.835
3 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet 226.716
OFFICIAL REPORT

Time Trials[edit]

Saturday May 19 – Pole Day[edit]

  • Weather:

Practice[edit]

  • Practice summary:
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Engine Speed
1 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet 227.744
2 25 Brazil Ana Beatriz Andretti Autosport/Conquest Racing Chevrolet 226.187
3 2 Australia Ryan Briscoe Team Penske Chevrolet 226.027
OFFICIAL REPORT

Qualifying[edit]

Ryan Briscoe makes his pole-winning qualification run.
Front-row qualifiers (L to R): James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Briscoe, and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
  • Fast Nine Shootout summary: Viso and Kanaan waved off their runs, and neither returned to the track for the session. Newgarden pulled his car from the line shortly afterward; he returned later and, in light of his team-mate's crash, set a conservative run of 224.037 mph. Ryan Briscoe set down an early quick time of 226.484 mph, as the second driver to complete a full qualifying run. Only James Hinchcliffe came close to topping his time on their first run, falling short by a scant .003 miles per hour. Castroneves made an attempt at a second run, but it was much slower and was waved off after the first lap. Power also made a second attempt, but waved it off after three laps. Hinchcliffe's second run was waved off by race control after it became clear he would not go faster on his second run. Ryan Hunter-Reay was the only car that picked up speed on a second run, but did not gain any positions. Ryan Briscoe held on to take the pole position, by the closest margin in Indianapolis 500 history.
Pole Day – Saturday, May 19, 2012
Pos No. Driver Team Engine Speed Pts
Fast Nine Shootout (positions 1–9)
1 2 Australia Ryan Briscoe Team Penske Chevrolet 226.484 15
2 27 Canada James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 226.481 13
3 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 226.240 12
4 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 225.456 11
5 12 Australia Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 225.422 10
6 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet 225.172 9
7 67 United States Josef Newgarden (R) Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda 224.037 8
8 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 224.751 Q1 7
9 5 Venezuela E.J. Viso KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 224.422 Q1 6
Positions 10–24
10 8 Brazil Rubens Barrichello (R) KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 224.264 4
11 98 Canada Alex Tagliani Team Barracuda – BHA Honda 224.000 4
12 38 United States Graham Rahal Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 223.959 4
13 25 Brazil Ana Beatriz Andretti Autosport/Conquest Racing Chevrolet 223.920 4
14 83 United States Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 223.868 4
15 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 223.684 4
16 50 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 223.582 4
17 19 United Kingdom James Jakes (R) Dale Coyne Racing Honda 223.482 4
18 4 United States J.R. Hildebrand Panther Racing Chevrolet 223.422 4
19 15 Japan Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda 223.392 4
20 99 United States Townsend Bell Schmidt–Hamilton Motorsports Honda 223.134 4
21 18 United Kingdom Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing Honda 222.929 4
22 30 Mexico Michel Jourdain, Jr. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda 222.893 4
23 77 France Simon Pagenaud (R) Schmidt–Hamilton Motorsports Honda 222.891 4
24 17 Colombia Sebastián Saavedra Andretti Autosport/AFS Racing Chevrolet 222.811 4
Other Attempts
41 New Zealand Wade Cunningham (R) A. J. Foyt Enterprises Honda 222.689
14 United Kingdom Mike Conway A. J. Foyt Enterprises Honda 222.434
7 France Sébastien Bourdais Dragon Racing Chevrolet 222.415
39 United States Bryan Clauson (R) Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda Crashed
20 United States Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet Crashed
6 United Kingdom Katherine Legge (R) Dragon Racing Chevrolet Waved Off
22 Spain Oriol Servià Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet Crashed
78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro HVM Racing Lotus N/A
64 France Jean Alesi (R) Fan Force United Lotus N/A
OFFICIAL REPORT

Q1 The driver waved off and did not make an attempt during Q2. Per INDYCAR rules, Q1 times determine positions after the drivers who completed Q2.

Sunday May 20 – Bump Day[edit]

  • Weather:

Practice[edit]

  • Practice summary:
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Engine Speed
1 22 Spain Oriol Servià Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet 223.752
2 7 France Sébastien Bourdais Dragon Racing Chevrolet 223.479
3 20T United States Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 222.886
OFFICIAL REPORT

Qualifying[edit]

  • Bump Day summary: Before the opening of the track, Jay Howard[34] and Pippa Mann[35] announced they would not make attempts to qualify for the field, with Howard citing an engine deal that had fallen apart. There had been some rumors that IndyCar had stopped last minute deals from coming together, with Mann and Howard's deals falling apart at the last moments, though Randy Bernard stated on his Twitter account that this was not the case.[36]
Bump Day – Sunday, May 20, 2012
Pos No. Driver Team Engine Speed Pts
25 7 France Sébastien Bourdais Dragon Racing Chevrolet 223.760 3
26 41 New Zealand Wade Cunningham (R) A. J. Foyt Enterprises Honda 223.258 3
27 22 Spain Oriol Servià Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet 222.393 3
28 20T United States Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 222.324 3
29 14 United Kingdom Mike Conway A. J. Foyt Enterprises Honda 222.319 3
30 6 United Kingdom Katherine Legge (R) Dragon Racing Chevrolet 221.624 3
31 39 United States Bryan Clauson (R) Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda 214.455 3
32 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro HVM Racing Lotus 214.393 3
33 64 France Jean Alesi (R) Fan Force United Lotus 210.094 3
OFFICIAL REPORT

Carb Day[edit]

Final practice — Friday, May 25[edit]

  • Weather: TBA
  • Practice summary: TBA
Top Practice Speeds
Pos No. Driver Team Engine Speed
1 50 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 222.360
2 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 222.274
3 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 221.702
OFFICIAL REPORT

Pit Stop Challenge[edit]

The annual Pit Stop Competition featured twelve participants in a single-elimination bracket-style match-up. Four teams received byes, while eight teams competed in the first round. A total purse of $100,000 was at stake, with $50,000 going to the winning team. The format has two cars competing in a layout that resembles a drag race. The cars race from a standing start and drive into the pit box, change four tires, simulate a refueling, and race to a finish line a few hundred feet down the pit lane.

Chip Ganassi Racing won the pit stop competition for the first time, with driver Scott Dixon.


  First Round Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
                                     
        
  9  Scott Dixon 13.941  
    38  Graham Rahal 17.166  
27  James Hinchcliffe
38  Graham Rahal  
  9  Scott Dixon 13.385  
  12  Will Power 13.695  
        
        
  2  Ryan Briscoe
    12  Will Power  
4  J. R. Hildebrand
12  Will Power  
  9  Scott Dixon 13.769
  22  Oriol Servia 17.194
        
        
  3  Helio Castroneves
    22  Oriol Servia  
14  Mike Conway
22  Oriol Servia  
  50  Dario Franchitti
  22  Oriol Servia  
        
        
  50  Dario Franchitti
    28  Ryan Hunter-Reay  
26  Marco Andretti
28  Ryan Hunter-Reay  

Source: Daily Trackside Report

Starting grid[edit]

(W) = Former Indianapolis 500 winner; (R) = Indianapolis 500 rookie

Row Inside Middle Outside
1 2 Australia Ryan Briscoe 27 Canada James Hinchcliffe 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
2 26 United States Marco Andretti 12 Australia Will Power 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves (W)
3 67 United States Josef Newgarden (R) 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan 5 Venezuela E.J. Viso
4 8 Brazil Rubens Barrichello (R) 98 Canada Alex Tagliani 38 United States Graham Rahal
5 25 Brazil Ana Beatriz 83 United States Charlie Kimball 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon (W)
6 50 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti (W) 19 United Kingdom James Jakes (R) 4 United States J.R. Hildebrand
7 15 Japan Takuma Sato 99 United States Townsend Bell 18 United Kingdom Justin Wilson
8 30 Mexico Michel Jourdain, Jr. 77 France Simon Pagenaud (R) 17 Colombia Sebastian Saavedra
9 7 France Sebastien Bourdais 41 New Zealand Wade Cunningham (R) 22 Spain Oriol Servià
10 20 United States Ed Carpenter 14 United Kingdom Mike Conway 6 United Kingdom Katherine Legge (R)
11 39 United States Bryan Clauson (R) 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro 64 France Jean Alesi (R)

Race summary[edit]

Start[edit]

Ryan Briscoe led from the start, was drafted and overtaken by James Hinchcliffe, who led at the end of the first lap. The pair swapped the lead again by the end of lap two. There were no accidents at the start and the green flag was given at the first attempt to start the race.[37]

First half[edit]

Ryan Hunter-Reay overtook Marco Andretti before Bryan Clauson spun exiting turn one, akin to Danny Sullivan's spin in 1985, and brought out a caution period.[37] Under caution many drivers chose to enter pit lane. Josef Newgarden stalled in the pits, was restarted and rejoined the race. 2007 and 2010 winner Dario Franchitti spun at his pit box, due to being hit from behind by E.J. Viso, but like Newgarden lost less time as the safety car was deployed.[37] Jean Alesi and Simona de Silvestro were black flagged for failing to run within 105% of the front pace and duly retired. Upon the restart, which was intended to be single file, cars were seen on the pit straight before entering turn one as many as five abreast. At 32 laps Marco Andretti led from James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Briscoe.[37] On lap 33 the stewards declared that Viso would not be penalised for the pit lane incident. No driver was able to pull away a substantial lead over the driver behind and cars behind appeared to face an aerodynamic advantage over those ahead. Takuma Sato then started to set fastest laps by lap 37 and Marco Andretti had led most laps with 15.[37]

At the end of lap 46 the pitstops occurred for fuel and tires with Hinchcliffe and Castroneves pitting.[37] Castroneves' pitstop was delayed due to a tire fitting problem. Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti stopped a lap later. Josef Newgarden stalled again at his second stop, unable to put the car in gear. The Ganassis of Dixon and Franchitti had been setting the fastest pace. By lap 50, one quarter distance, and after the first full pits, Marco Andretti led. There had been six leaders and twelve changes of lead.[37]

At the end of lap 75 James Hinchcliffe pitted, then all three Penske cars pitted simultaneously, and Castroneves almost stalled, making it his second flawed pitstop.[37] Pit stops left Dixon leading with Franchitti second some 11 second behind.[37] On lap 79 Mike Conway was given a drive through penalty for hitting a crew member in the pits and breaking his front wing.[37] Conway collided with Will Power and caused a caution, the second of the race, on lap 81.[37] Conway was driving slower than Power, having just left the pits, and slid. The rear of the car lost grip and Conway slid backwards into the wall, and Power hit Conway's spinning car with nowhere left to go as he caught Conway's car on the exit of the turn. The safety car remained out until the end of lap 88.[37] Ana Beatriz spun on the exit of turn one and hit the wall, bringing out another full course caution with her car stopping in the middle of the track. Cars pitted under caution including Hinchcliffe. Dixon and Franchitti led.[37]

Second half[edit]

At the half distance point the leaderboard was Dixon, Franchitti, Hunter-Reay, Rahal, Wilson, Sato, Kimball, Hildebrand, Bell.[37] On lap 110 Briscoe had a gearbox issue and ran more slowly for a lap and put the car into an emergency gearbox setting whilst running seventeenth.[37] Hunter-Reay stopped for fuel and tires on lap 113. This left all of the top six runners being Honda powered, in contrast to pre-race predictions on relative engine performance and economy. On lap 115 Hildebrand pitted from sixteenth. Rahal pitted afterwards.[37] On lap 119 Franchitti pit stopped from second place with no adjustments made to the car and the following lap Dixon pitted from the lead having led for a total of 37 laps by that stage. This left Sato leading, the eighteenth leader of the day. Andretti ran second.[37] Sato pitted from the lead on lap 124.[37] On lap 125 Hinchcliffe pitted and Barrichello who had led for one lap pitted.[37] On lap 126 Sato lead, with  Franchitti behind.[37] On lap 128 Ryan Hunter-Reay retired with a failure of an upright on the car's suspension. On lap 134 the  leaderboard stood as Sato, Franchitti, Andretti, Dixon, Rahal. On lap 145 Andretti pitted having complained about a vibration on the car and replaced the tires. Rahal also pitted just before.[37] The caution was issued on lap 146 when Saavedra stopped on the exit of the pitlane.[37] Starting lap 147 under caution the majority of the lead drivers stopped including Sato, Franchitti, Dixon, Rahal, Hinchcliffe and more. Following such pitstops, by lap 150 Sato led followed by Franchitti, Dixon, Hinchcliffe, Wilson, Kimball, Briscoe, Kanaan and Castroneves. On lap 153 the restart occurred and Franchiti passed Sato on the backstraight of the circuit and at the start of lap 154 Dixon passed Sato for second into turn one.[37] On lap 160 Dixon started to pressure Franchitti and had come under pressure from Sato behind. Dixon passed for the lead but starting lap 161 Dario Franchitti retook the lead at turn one. On lap 163 Josef Newgarden stopped due to engine problems, pulling over to the left hand area of grass on the inside of the track on the backstraight between turns two and three, bringing out the safety car and another full course caution. Sato, Franchitti and Dixon pitted under caution, along with Hinchcliffe and others. Hinchcliffe stopped for a longer period than the others and appeared to run over some pit equipment upon exiting. Prior to the restart Dixon led from Franchiti and Sato. On lap 171 the race restarted. Wilson passed Sato upon the restart. Franchitti repassed Dixon.[37] Starting lap 173 Wilson was repassed by Sato and soon was passed by Carpenter, Kanaan and Kimball having run high on the exit of the turn when passed by Sato and lost speed. By lap 176, 28 lead changes had taken place, one fewer than the 1960 record of 29 changes in one Indianapolis 500 race. Starting lap 178 when Franchitti overtook Dixon this broke the record.[37] The leading Ganassi pair of Franchitti and Dixon appeared to express concern over fuel consumption and speed. On lap 180 Carpenter spun but did not hit the wall, spinning across the track and coming to a halt, then gesticulating at marshals to help turn the car around. This caused a full course caution and seemingly eliminated the need for the leaders to need to refuel. Carpenter then continued.[37] On lap 187 Andretti overcalculated and drove into the wall, sliding across the track and coming to a halt.[37]

Finish[edit]

Tony Kanaan led the race during the caution, but when the green flag waved he soon fell to fourth behind Franchitti, Dixon and Sato.[37] Teammates Franchitti and Dixon traded the lead several times until the start of lap 199, when Franchitti took the lead from Dixon and Sato followed him through into second place. On the final lap, Sato attempted a pass on Franchitti in turn one but spun out and hit the turn 1 wall. Franchitti won the race, with Dixon second and Kanaan third. Under the final caution flag of the day, the three friends lined up to cross the finish line side by side.[37]

In Victory Lane, Franchitti dedicated his win to the memory of 2005 and 2011 champion Dan Wheldon. When asked about the final-lap incident, he said that he had moved up the track to give Sato room on the inside. Sato had a different view, claiming that Franchitti had forced him nearly into the grass and caused him to lose control. Race officials ruled it a racing incident and confirmed Franchitti as the winner.[37]

Race results[edit]

Pos No. Driver Team Engine Laps Time/Retired Grid Laps Led Points1
1 50 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti (W) Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 200 2:58:51.2532 16 23 54
2 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon (W) Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 200 + 0.0295 15 53 44
3 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 200 + 0.0677 8 7 42
4 22 Spain Oriol Servià Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet 200 + 2.9166 27 0 38
5 2 Australia Ryan Briscoe Team Penske Chevrolet 200 + 3.6721 1 15 45
6 27 Canada James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 200 + 4.0962 2 5 41
7 18 United Kingdom Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing Honda 200 + 4.2430 21 0 30
8 83 United States Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 200 + 4.6056 14 3 28
9 99 United States Townsend Bell Schmidt–Hamilton Motorsports Honda 200 + 5.6168 20 0 26
10 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves (W) Team Penske Chevrolet 200 + 7.6352 6 0 29
11 8 Brazil Rubens Barrichello (R) KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 200 + 7.9240 10 2 23
12 98 Canada Alex Tagliani Team Barracuda – BHA Honda 200 + 8.2543 11 2 22
13 38 United States Graham Rahal Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 200 + 8.7539 12 0 21
14 4 United States J.R. Hildebrand Panther Racing Chevrolet 200 + 11.3423 18 0 20
15 19 United Kingdom James Jakes (R) Dale Coyne Racing Honda 200 + 13.4494 17 0 19
16 77 France Simon Pagenaud (R) Schmidt–Hamilton Motorsports Honda 200 + 14.1382 23 0 18
17 15 Japan Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda 199 Crash T1 19 31 17
18 5 Venezuela E.J. Viso KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 199 + 1 lap 9 0 18
19 30 Mexico Michel Jourdain, Jr. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda 199 + 1 lap 22 0 16
20 7 France Sébastien Bourdais Dragon Racing Chevrolet 199 + 1 lap 25 0 15
21 20 United States Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 199 + 1 lap 28 0 15
22 6 United Kingdom Katherine Legge (R) Dragon Racing Chevrolet 199 + 1 lap 30 0 15
23 25 Brazil Ana Beatriz Andretti Autosport/Conquest Racing Chevrolet 190 + 10 laps 13 0 16
24 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 187 Contact 4 59 23
25 67 United States Josef Newgarden (R) Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda 161 Mechanical 7 0 18
26 17 Colombia Sebastián Saavedra Andretti Autosport/AFS Racing Chevrolet 143 Electrical 24 0 14
27 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 123 Suspension 3 0 22
28 12 Australia Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 79 Contact 5 0 20
29 14 United Kingdom Mike Conway A. J. Foyt Enterprises Honda 78 Contact 29 0 13
30 39 United States Bryan Clauson (R) Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda 46 Mechanical 31 0 13
31 41 New Zealand Wade Cunningham (R) A. J. Foyt Enterprises Honda 42 Electrical 26 0 13
32 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro HVM Racing Lotus 10 Black Flagged 32 0 13
33 64 France Jean Alesi (R) Fan Force United Lotus 9 Black Flagged2 33 0 13
Under caution
OFFICIAL BOX SCORE[dead link]
Notes

1 Points include qualification points from Time Trials and 2 points for most laps led.

2 Jean Alesi was penalized 2 laps for ignoring the black flag, which dropped him to last as he had been in front of Simona de Silvestro when they were both black flagged under the 105% rule.

Broadcasting[edit]

Television[edit]

Time trials and Carb Day were covered live in the United States on NBC Sports Network.[38] The on-air crew consisted of Bob Jenkins, Jon Beekhuis, and Wally Dallenbach, Jr. Pit reporters included Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Derek Daly, and Townsend Bell (who also qualified for the race). Robin Miller served as a reporter and "insider."

The 2012 Indianapolis 500 (race day) was broadcast live in high definition in the United States on ABC.[38] ESPN3 simulcast the race with an alternate feed of twelve in-car cameras. The overnight television rating for the race was 4.1, and 1.9 for the pre-race. The Fast National rating of 4.34[6] and 6.9 million viewers marked the highest ratings since 2008.

ABC Television
Booth Announcers Pit/garage reporters

Host: Brent Musburger
Announcer: Marty Reid
Color: Scott Goodyear
Color: Eddie Cheever

Jerry Punch
Vince Welch
Jamie Little
Rick DeBruhl

Radio[edit]

The IMS Radio Network broadcast the race live on approximately 400 affiliates, as well as AFN, the LeSEA broadcasting network, and World Harvest Radio. The broadcast was carried on XM channel 94 and Sirius channel 212. Mike King served as chief announcer for the 14th year (18th year overall with the crew). Davey Hamilton, who did not secure a ride for the race (the first time since 2006), returned to the booth and served as "driver expert."

For 2012, the commercial out-cues used were both renditions by the former "Voices of the 500" and those recited by drivers in the starting field.

1070 The Fan broadcast nightly with Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee, followed by Donald Davidson's The Talk of Gasoline Alley.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network
Booth Announcers Turn Reporters Pit/garage reporters

Chief Announcer: Mike King
Driver expert: Davey Hamilton
Color: Paul Page
Historian: Donald Davidson

Turn 1: Jerry Baker
Turn 2: Jake Query
Turn 3: Mark Jaynes
Turn 4: Chris Denari

Kevin Lee (north/center pits)
Michael Young (center pits)
Nick Yeoman (south pits)
Dave Wilson (garages)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dario Franchitti (Scotland) is the second foreign driver to win the Indianapolis 500 three times.". Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Indianapolis: IMS LLC. Retrieved May 28, 2012. 
  2. ^ Kightlinger, Cathy (2012-05-00). "Martina McBride to sing national anthem at Indy 500". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 2012-05-00. 
  3. ^ a b Kelly, Paul (2012-05-02). "Nabors Will Sing 'Indiana' Despite Missing 2012 Indianapolis 500". IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  4. ^ "Celebrity Chef Tapped To Drive Indy 500 Pace Car". rtv6. 2012-05-03. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  5. ^ "Daniels To Serve As Honorary Starter For 500". rtv6. 2012-05-23. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  6. ^ a b "TV ratings increase for Indianapolis 500". Fox News. 2012-05-29. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  7. ^ "Event Information: Indianapolis 500 – May Schedule". IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  8. ^ Pruett, Marshall (January 12, 2011). "INDYCAR: Greater Relevance with Smaller 2012 Engines". SpeedTV.com. Retrieved April 8, 2011. 
  9. ^ "INDYCAR: 2012 Engine Rules Announced". SPEED. 2010-06-02. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  10. ^ "2012 car strategy embraces innovation". IndyCar.com. 2010-07-14. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  11. ^ "Indy win puts fifth championship within Franchitti's reach". USA Today. May 27, 2012. Retrieved May 29, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Scotland’s Dario Franchitti dedicates record third win to memory of Dan Wheldon". Daily Telegraph. May 27, 2012. Retrieved May 29, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Rival’s Gamble Ends in Crash, and Third Win for Franchitti". New York Times. May 27, 2012. Retrieved May 29, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Dario Franchitti earns third Indy 500 win". Washington Post. May 27, 2012. Retrieved May 29, 2012. 
  15. ^ Lewandowski, Dave (2011-05-29). "Wheldon Edges Hildebrand In Unforgettable Indianapolis 500 Finish". IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  16. ^ Calabro, Dave (2012-05-01). "Jim Nabors will miss Indianapolis 500 after surgery". WTHR. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  17. ^ "Event Information – Schedule". IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com. Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  18. ^ "Jean Alesi, 47, to compete in Indy 500". ESPN. 2011-09-23. Retrieved 2012-03-02. 
  19. ^ "INDYCAR: Alesi Unites With Fan Force United For Indy". SPEED. 2012-05-05. Retrieved 2012-05-09. 
  20. ^ "Rubens Barrichello joins IndyCar field". ESPN. 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2012-03-02. 
  21. ^ Lewandowski, Dave (September 3, 2011). "Notes: New car passes biggest test yet". IndyCar.com. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  22. ^ Lewandowski, Dave (September 27, 2011). "Indy test will complete validation Phase". IndyCar.com. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  23. ^ Lewandowski, Dave (2011-09-27). "Smooth Sailing For Wheldon With 2012 Car At IMS Oval Test". Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Retrieved 2012-04-02. 
  24. ^ a b c d "Rumors Page". AutoRacing1. 2010-11-090. Retrieved 2012-04-02. 
  25. ^ a b c d e Cavin, Curt (2012-04-02). "IndyCar hopes new DW12 car is ready for Indianapolis 500". IndyStar.com. Retrieved 2012-04-02. 
  26. ^ Pruett, Marshall (2012-03-28). "Series Sets Indianapolis Test Date". Speed. Retrieved 2012-04-02. 
  27. ^ Lewandowski, Dave (2012-04-04). "Test of Speedway aero kit lays foundation for May". IndyCar.com. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  28. ^ Miller, Robin (2012-05-10). "INDYCAR: Barrichello Among Five Drivers To Pass Indy ROP". Speed. Retrieved 2012-05-14. 
  29. ^ Cavin, Curt (2012-05-10). "Indy 500: Jakes's speed leads rookies at track orientation". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 2012-05-14. 
  30. ^ Cavin, Curt (2012-05-12). "Pit Pass: Auto 'icon' Carroll Shelby dies". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 2012-05-14. 
  31. ^ https://twitter.com/#!/curtcavin/status/201709635047141376
  32. ^ Marot, Michael (2012-05-17). "Alesi Says He Feels 'Unsafe' in Slow IndyCar". Associated Press. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  33. ^ http://www.indystar.com/article/20120516/SPORTS0101/205160321/Indy-500-Penske-surges-up-speed-chart-after-slow-start?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CSports
  34. ^ "Jay Howard's facebook page". 
  35. ^ "Pippa Mann's Official Site". 
  36. ^ Houghton, Zachary. "24 Thoughts After Pole Day". 
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad "Dario Franchitti Wins 96th Running of the Indianapolis 500". IMS Public Relations. Retrieved May 29, 2012. 
  38. ^ a b "ABC, IMS Extend Indianapolis 500 Partnership Through 2012". IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com. 2008-08-07. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 

External links[edit]


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