IRL: Behind the Barriers - Indy 500 Day Nine

John Andretti was confirmed today as the driver of the third car at Panther Racing. Andretti's No. 33 will be sponsored by Camping World and RVs.com. After passing technical inspection the No. 33 was taken to pit lane where Vitor Meira climbed ...

John Andretti was confirmed today as the driver of the third car at Panther Racing. Andretti's No. 33 will be sponsored by Camping World and RVs.com. After passing technical inspection the No. 33 was taken to pit lane where Vitor Meira climbed aboard. Meira spent the afternoon in the No. 33 turning 38 laps. Andretti is expected to complete the last two phases of the refresher/orientation program when the track opens for practice on Thursday.

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Roger Yasukawa will drive the No. 24 Wellman Corbier/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing entry. The car had been entered as Sarah Fisher's backup car.

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Second week competitors spent their first day on the track, with three drivers turning laps for the first time. Roger Yasukawa was the fastest of those drivers after recording a lap at 216.503 mph. Yasukawa turned 8 laps as did P.J. Jones. Jimmy Kite completed 15.

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Jimmy Kite has been tabbed as the driver of the No. 18 PDM Racing entry. In his first appearance on track, Kite turned 15 laps before hitting the Turn 1 wall. "I'm fine," said Kite. "I wasn't going fast enough to hit anything that hard. We were just shaking the car down." Kite was checked and released from the Clarian Emergency Medical Center. He is cleared to drive.

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The No. 40 driven by P.J. Jones was rolled onto pit lane for the first time this month. Entered by Team Leader Motorsports, the No. 40 Dallara will carry the same number and color scheme as the historic Pratt and Whitney Turbine driven by Parnelli Jones 40 years ago. Team Leader Motorsports is structured around several Motorsports veterans including Chris Paulsen of C & R Racing, a manufacturer of racing radiators, engineer and renowned car designer Bruce Ashmore and chief mechanic Tony Van Dongen.

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Parnelli Jones has the honorary starter today, waving the green flag to begin practice.

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Gas prices in Indianapolis rose above the national average on Tuesday but on Wednesday, May 23 the GasAmerica located at 5179 Lafayette Road will be selling E10 fuel for $2.25 (the pole speed) a gallon. E10 is a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline. The promotion is scheduled to take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and will feature appearances by IndyCar Series drivers Sarah Fisher, Jeff Simmons, Scott Sharp and Buddy Lazier.

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Get to the track early and enjoy breakfast with stars from the world of IndyCar racing. On Saturday, May 19 the 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard will feature breakfast with the Unsers. Bobby, Al Sr. and Al Jr. are all scheduled to be a part of the festivities starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Indianapolis Plaza Pavilion. Tickets are $60 per person. Call (317) 614-6400 or visit 500festival.com for more information.

All five Andretti Green Racing drivers are scheduled to attend a breakfast benefiting the Michael Andretti Foundation on May 23 in the team's hospitality area at the Speedway. In addition to spending time with Michael and Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan, Dario Franchitti and Danica Patrick, attendees will be able to tour the Andretti Green Racing garage area. Tickets are $100 and can be obtained by calling (610) 365-0500.

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After being injured in a May 8 accident at the Milwaukee Mile, Tom Wood announced his retirement as a driver from the Indy Pro Series. Jonathan Klein will fill the seat at Team Moore Racing vacated by Wood, adding the six remaining oval races to his schedule. Klein was slated to drive the road course events for the team, which is co-owned by Wood.

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Danica Patrick is scheduled to make an appearance at the Meijer store on Southport Road from 6-7:00 p.m. on May 23. Michael and Marco Andretti will appear at the Pike Plaza Road store from 6-7:00 p.m. on May 24.

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A total of 42 cars are now at the Speedway with 40 passing technical inspection. Vitor Meira has turned 408 laps this month, the most of any driver. Three drivers turned one hundred or more laps today (A.J. Foyt IV 105, Marco Andretti 102, Ryan Briscoe 100)

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers John Andretti , Sarah Fisher , Buddy Lazier , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Kite , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Parnelli Jones , Roger Yasukawa , P.J. Jones , Ryan Briscoe , Marco Andretti , Bruce Ashmore , Tom Wood , Jeff Simmons , A.J. Foyt , Danica Patrick , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing