We're in full Indy 500 Prep Mode - The Hurco Car is in the FRONT ROW

Posted by Maggie Smith on May 26, 2017 4:42:59 PM

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This is the billboard on I-465 between between the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hurco Companies International Headquarters.

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Hurco and the Indianapolis 500

We're pretty pumped here at Hurco since both Hurco cars have great starting positions for Sunday's largest single-day sporting event in the entire world. Owner/driver Ed Carpenter (who is a hometown boy) will start from the front row in the second position in the #20 Hurco car (see the Hurco "o" on the front of the car in the picture above?). ECR's #21 Hurco car, driven by JR Hildebrand, will start from the second row in the sixth position.

We're armed with our Hurco track packs and ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at us this weekend... For those of you who haven't been to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (or "the track" as the locals refer to it), there is a strange weather phenomonen at that place. It can be sunny and 70 one minute and torrential rain the next. Therefore, the track packs are equipped with both sunscreen and a rain poncho! Click here to see video clip of the team packing the Hurco track packs for the crew (modeling the rain poncho, of course!).

Since Indianapolis has been home to Hurco since Ed Humston and Gerry Roch founded the company in 1968, IndyCar is part of our culture here at Hurco. We are fortunate to be a sponsor of Indianapolis-based IndyCar team ECR (Ed Carpenter Racing). ECR has a Hurco machine shop where lead machinist, Robbie Ott, makes parts for ECR’s cars. Not only do we get to see the cool parts they make on Hurco machines, we get behind-the-scenes access to the world of IndyCar and share that access with customers. 

Good luck to the entire ECR team! We're rooting for a safe, competitive race...and good weather. For those of you at home, look for the Hurco cars on Sunday (last year, the Hurco logo got a lot of TV time as the ECR #21 car was battling for the top spot at the end of the race with driver Josef Newgarden wearing his driver-cam...granted, the logo was upside down as the many people texting me during the race pointed out...but it was still fun to see the Hurco logo on TV)! 

If you visited us at IMTS, you might have raced with Ed Carpenter (he visited the "Race to Profitability with Hurco" booth and raced RC cars with the people visiting our booth). 

For more background about Hurco and IndyCar, read last year's post as we prepped for the 100th RUNNING of the Indianapolis 500!

Final thought: The most important part of the Indianapolis 500 is the fact that it is dedicated to those who serve our country in the military, but especially those brave souls who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect and defend our freedom as provided by the Constitution of the United States of America, as the race is held the day before Memorial Day. Some of the activities include the parade of military personnel who march up the main straightaway as part of the opening ceremony; a haunting moment of silence followed by "Taps" that has to be experienced to understand the depth of emotion it evokes as over 300,000 people stand completely silent, remembering and honoring the sacrifice silently. It's beyond "moving." 

People who know I live in Indy, often ask me about the race and my favorite part: by far it is the National Anthem with the military flyover. Gives me chills every time. Check out the videos below and you'll get an idea of what I mean (it's way more intense in person. 

Flyover at Speedway from last year: amateur video

Flyover at Speedway: professional video 

Full performance of the National Anthem and Flyover

Amateur video of last year's flyover at the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500

P.S. Below are the Qualifying Notes from the day ECR secured their spot on the front row.


(SPEEDWAY, Ind.) May 21, 2017 – Qualifying Notes

  • For the third time in five years, the only owner/driver in the Verizon IndyCar Series field will start on the front row for the Indianapolis 500. Ed Carpenter will start 2nd after improving his qualifying speed over one mile per hour from yesterday to today. He has earned a starting position in the middle of the front row for next Sunday’s 101st Running. Teammate JR Hildebrand was the second-fastest Chevrolet today and will start in 6th on the outside of Row 2, the best starting position of his Indy 500 career. 
  • Keeping with the same strategy as yesterday, Ed Carpenter Racing elected to sit out the practice session prior to qualifications as the team felt confident in their qualifying plan. The fastest nine drivers from yesterday’s Day 1 qualifications were locked into the field and advanced to today’s Fast Nine Shootout, including both Carpenter and Hildebrand. Carpenter was the fastest driver yesterday with a four-lap average of 230.468 miles per hour. Hildebrand was 4th with a speed of 230.205 miles per hour.
  • After positions 10-33 were set in an earlier qualification session today, the Fast Nine Shootout began at 5 p.m. ET. Drivers in the Fast Nine had to make one four-lap attempt, in order based on slowest to fastest from yesterday’s qualifying times. Hildebrand was 6th in line and Carpenter would roll out 9th.
  • Hildebrand took to the 2.5-mile oval in the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet. He set down laps of 231.529, 231.010, 230.941 and 230.081, giving him a four-lap average of 230.889 miles per hour. After his run, he was provisionally 3rd with three cars left to go.
  • As the fastest driver from Saturday, Carpenter was awarded the luxury of being the last car to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. The hometown favorite set four laps of 232.180, 231.912, 231.582, and 230.985 with an average speed of 231.664 miles per hour. Though he was over a mile an hour faster than yesterday’s attempt in the No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka Chevrolet, he couldn’t reach Scott Dixon’s pole winning speed of 231.664 miles per hour.
  • Carpenter’s front-row start will be his third in the past five years. He won back-to-back pole positions for the Indianapolis 500 in 2013 and 2014. He will start in the middle of the front row between 2008 Indy 500 winner Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing and defending Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi of Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian.
  • Hildebrand will start the highest he ever has at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as he will roll off 6th in next Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. He will be joined on the second row by Takuma Sato and Fernando Alonso, also from the Andretti Autosport camp.
  • Carpenter and Hildebrand will hit the track again tomorrow for three and a half more hours of practice before embarking on three days of media and promotional activities. Final Indianapolis 500 practice will take place on Friday, May 26 during Carb Day festivities.
  • The 101st Running of the Indianapolis will commence at 11 a.m. ET on ABC with the green flag scheduled to fall at 12:21 p.m.

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet), Qualified 2nd: “It was actually a better run than I thought! We had a little more balance than JR (Hildebrand) going into it. I was flat, that’s all she had! If we trimmed any more, we would have started slowing down. I’m content. It would have been fun to have had a third pole, but at the same time, to be middle of the front row with a pair of 500 champions beside me is good. Hopefully, I can convert the front row to a win come next week. The speeds this year are awesome! Driving cars fast around here is what this place is all about. I’m excited to see what the 2018 car will do. You hear the crowds when you put a big number up, I get just as excited as they do! I think it’s awesome we’re pushing the speeds back up and I hope it continues.”

JR HILDEBRAND (No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet), Qualified 6th: “Our run was good! I felt like we got almost as much out of it as we could. I’m very happy for the ECR guys to be running the Preferred Freezer Services car again this year. It’s our best starting position this year in what has been a challenging couple of days. I’m also excited for the team to be able to put two cars in the top six. Personally, we could have been a spot or two better with a better fourth lap, but we’re starting on the outside of the second row and it’s a place I think we can compete and win the race from. I’m really looking forward to the race –the statistics say today doesn’t really matter, but it’s always nice to be up towards the front.”

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Ed Carpenter will start his 14th Indianapolis 500 from the 2nd position, the third time in the past five years he has qualified on the front row. He previously won the pole position in 2013 and 2014.

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JR Hildebrand earned his highest-career Indianapolis 500 starting position today and will roll off from the outside of Row 2 in next Sunday's race. His 6th-place qualifying effort was higher than his previous best of 9th, set in 2014. 


About Ed Carpenter Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) first entered the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2012. The team is led by IndyCar’s only owner/driver, Ed Carpenter, winner of back-to-back pole positions for the Indianapolis 500 in 2013 and 2014. ECR amassed seven victories and over 20 top five finishes in its first five years. In 2017, Carpenter will compete in all oval events in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet while Spencer Pigot will take over at road and street course races. JR Hildebrand will compete for the Verizon IndyCar Series championship as he races the No. 21 Chevrolet throughout the entire season. More information on Ed Carpenter Racing may be found at www.edcarpenterracing.com. 

Tags: indycar, indy, Indianapolis 500, Hurco, Ed Carpenter

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