Practice under way for Indy 500; Reinbold boasts promising rookie
Mom and team co-owner Sarah Fisher with daughter Zoey, 2, waved the green flag Sunday to begin practice on Mother’s Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fisher is expecting to give birth to a boy in mid-June.
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti (right) chats with local TV sportscaster Dave Furst Sunday at the Speedway on the opening day of practice for the 500. Franchitti suffered a career-ending concussion in a late-season race last year and serves as driver consultant for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Southsider Voice correspondent
Mom-to-be Sarah Fisher spent most of Mother’s Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Fisher, who recorded the most Indy 500 starts for a female driver, waved the green flag Sunday to launch preparations for the 98th Indianapolis 500. Daughter Zoey joined her for the festivities, as did Sarah’s mom, Reba, who waved the green flag to begin practice in 2004.
“It’s nice that the track recognizes the importance of Mother’s Day,” Fisher said. “My mom and dad were very special in my career. I’m real lucky that I have great parents; some kids don’t have that experience.”
Fisher, co-owner of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, is expecting a boy in mid-June, her second child with husband Andy O’Gara, a Beech Grove native and team manager. They live in Franklin Township.
SFHR is seeking its seventh Indy start with third-year driver Josef Newgarden in the No. 67 Dallara/Honda. Newgarden, who hails from Nashville, Tenn., turned a lap of 216.257 mph Sunday, second-slowest among the 24 drivers who practiced. He finished 17th Saturday in the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Dennis Reinbold, who owns Dreyer & Reinbold auto dealerships in Greenwood and on the Northside, is back for his 15th consecutive year as a team co-owner through an arrangement with Target Chip Ganassi Racing just for the Indy 500. Reinbold, whose team did not finish the 2013 IndyCar Series, regrouped and is fielding a Dallara/Chevrolet for rookie Sage Karam.
“We had targeted coming back and running the Speedway all along and had worked on it throughout the year,” Reinbold said. “The program came along rather late. We feel very fortunate to have good resources in place for a rookie.
Reinbold said the team has an engineer from Target Chip Ganassi and that retired three-time 500 winner Dario Franchitti will be advising Karam throughout the month. Karam turned 78 laps with a fast circuit of 217.310.
Practice continues through Friday with qualifications from 11 a.m.-5:50 p.m. Saturday and at 10:15 a.m. Sunday for positions 10-30, 12:45 p.m. for 31-33 and 2 p.m. for 1-9.
Greenwood native and former Formula BMW USA driver Tim Hollowell raced for the first time in the USF2000 series Friday and Saturday on the 2.4-mile course at IMS.
Hollowell finished 18th, three laps behind the leader, Friday but improved to 16th Saturday among 18 drivers to complete the full 18-lap distance. He drives for the new Indiana-based team of GBI Racing.
The Ball State graduate raced on the old road course at the Speedway eight years ago in the BMW series.
“I kind of liked the old Turn 1 setup (north end),” said Hollowell, son of Tim and Amy Hollowell of northwestern Johnson County. “I like the new complex below the south chute because the run onto the main straightaway is unique. And the s-curves are pretty cool, too.”
Southport’s Larry Hahn captured the sixth annual Brian Luttrell Memorial 62-lap figure-8 Saturday for stocks at the Indianapolis Speedrome. Greenwood’s Casey White won the 35-lap figure-8.
Racing resumes Saturday at 7 p.m. with Late Models on the oval, figure-8s, stocks, Hornets, Roadrunners and Junior Faskarts and Hornets.
The Speedrome is located at Kitley Avenue and Brookville Road.