Clauson Bounces Back to Score Starting Spot in Indy 500


There’s nothing a band-aid can’t fix, including a failed qualifying attempt on Pole Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that ended in a crashed race car.

Bryan Clauson rallied and dug deep today to earn a spot on Bump Day in the 2012 Indianapolis 500 after his Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing team thrashed all night to repair the No. 39 Angie’s List/Dallara/Honda/Firestone car.

When Clauson returned to the Gasoline Alley garages on Bump Day morning, his team had applied a band-aid decal to the spot where new un-painted carbon fiber met up with the sleek blue his entire car was prior to the crash.

“It was heartbreaking yesterday and I didn’t sleep much last night,” Clauson said.

Multiple teams in the IndyCar paddock came to the aid of SFHR with spare parts after Clauson’s crash.

“Pretty much every team here offered to help us yesterday,” said Mike O’Gara, team manager for SFHR. “We’re all competitive but the minute someone’s in trouble we’re here for each other.”

With his mended car, Clauson posted a four-lap average of 214.445 mph and will start his first Indy 500 from 31st position.

“We had to go out there today and make a conservative run,” Clauson said. “We’ve got a great race car though, and we’ll be ready next weekend.”

The No. 67 car driven by Josef Newgarden, which qualified in seventh position on Pole Day, switched to race-mode and made several race runs on Bump Day.

“We tried to work through our race setup more today and get prepared for Carb Day and the race,” Newgarden said. “I think it will be really interesting to see who has figured out their car best on race day.”

On-track action resumes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 25 for Miller Lite Carb Day, which is the last chance for IZOD IndyCar Series teams to practice for the Indianapolis 500.

Putting on the band-aid

What exactly goes into repairing a crashed race car? Read SFHR Team Manager Mike O’Gara’s step-by-step summary of what the crew did to return Clauson’s No. 39 car to a qualifying-ready state:

Saturday, May 19th

1:15 p.m. Clauson starts his first qualifying attempt

1:18 p.m. Contact with turn 1 SAFER Barrier during his last lap of qualifying

2:00 p.m. Car is returned to the SFHR garage by the INDYCAR’s Holmatro Safety Team; crash assessment and disassembly begins

3:00 p.m. Car is completely disassembled and reassembly begins; parts from Dallara, the SFHR shop, and other teams begin to arrive

7:00 p.m. New Honda engine is installed; new plumbing and wiring is run throughout the car

9:00 p.m. New Xtrac gearbox is installed; plumbing and wiring continues

Sunday, May 20th

12:00 a.m. No. 39 Honda engine is re-started for the first time

1:00 a.m. New undertray and sidepods are installed

2:00 a.m. No. 39 crew leaves IMS for a few hours rest

6:00 a.m. No. 39 crew arrives at IMS; work continues on the car to complete final repairs

8:30 a.m. No. 39 car passes INDYCAR tech to allow it to compete on track

9:15 a.m. Clauson takes his first laps in his repaired car


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