Helio, Danica Move On; Hinchcliffe Is Bumped From Indy 500


A superstar seeking his fourth victory and racing’s darling moved on to the next round of the Indianapolis 500. It came at the expense of one of IndyCar’s Hollywood crossovers and the only other woman in the field.

Helio Castroneves posted the fastest speed in weathered-disrupted qualifying Saturday and Danica Patrick went 227.610 mph around Indianapolis Motor Speedway to snag the ninth and final spot in the Fast Nine. But this was a full field for the first time in years, and it meant two drivers weren’t making next Sunday’s “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Never did the renewed bumping expect to be a threat to James Hinchcliffe, one of IndyCar’s top drivers and a celebrity from his stint as runner-up on “Dancing With The Stars.” Same goes for Pippa Mann, a perennial presence in the Indy 500. But she was bumped, now one of racing’s crown jewels will have just one female in it: Patrick, and this is her farewell. The only woman to lead laps in the Indy 500 and Daytona 500 is calling it a career after this race, her first at Indy since 2011.

Castroneves posted the best four-lap average of 228.919 mph to make a statement in the Penske Racing “Yellow Submarine.” Castroneves is a wildly popular driver seeking a record-tying fourth victory and after being sidelined to sports cars this season he’s back home again in a car as bright and familiar at Indy as Castroneves’ yellow suit from his winning stint on “Dancing With The Stars.”

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