Drivers meet with media ahead of 102nd Indy 500


Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden shares memories of the late Dan Wheldon with the two-time Indy 500 winners sons.

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After starting on the pole for two previous Indianapolis 500’s, Ed Carpenter thinks this third time could be a charm.

“I feel like the team has all the tools to go out and win, I feel like I have what it takes,” Carpenter said during Thursday’s media day, “ the hardest part is just executing that efficiently for 500 miles.”

Data pix.

Carpenter's team has three drivers in the fast nine, among them Danica Patrick in her 500 finale.

“I had confidence that I was making the right choice going with Ed Carpenter’s team, but of course I look really smart now,” Patrick said with a laugh.

As with any media day spectacle plenty of funny moments with Colts kicker-turned-media personality Pat McAfee asking reigning 500 winner Takuma Sato about the post-race victory party in Japan, as well as some emotional ones with Josef Newgarden sharing memories of the late Dan Wheldon with  the two-time winner's sons, Sebastain and Oliver, telling them, “you know, I knew your dad and he was my favorite race car driver growing up.”

“I don’t know why I am getting emotional, I didn’t even know Dan that well, I knew him from the go-kart track but we weren’t that close but he was, he was just a great part of the sport and hopefully these kids get to be a part of it one day too, it’s just really special,” the Team Penske driver and defending IndyCar Series champion explained.

The Wheldon boys also offered the suggestion of serving cookies in addition to that milk that the winner enjoys in Victory Circle, and perhaps the team with the best chance of enjoying that milk, and maybe the cookies as well, are the guys from Team Penske.

“That’s the goal is to be in the top three by 40 laps to the end and then go for it, we’ve done our homework now we just have to unleash the beast,” Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud said.

And they’ll unleash those beasts when the green flag drops just after noon on Sunday.

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