INDY NOTES: A New Engine Supplier?

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– An odd-looking individual with a microphone named Ted Crasnick was asking questions and led many curiosity seekers to wonder who it was. The person had a gravely voice and was not afraid to ask some off-the-wall questions to each driver.

Once the gig was up, it proved to be Josef Newgarden, who starts second in Sunday’s race.

“I wanted to do this as a Yellow Shirt several years ago and then ESPN wanted to do something so we turned this into a Media Day thing instead,” Newgarden said. “Will Power was the only one that caught on who it was but I don’t think anyone else knew it was me.

“I tried to ask Graham Rahal if I could take his wife, Courtney, out to lunch. I don’t think he liked that too much. But this was really fun to do.”

– Juan Pablo Montoya is the defending winner of the Indianapolis 500 and would like to win the 100th – or any year for that matter.

“I have no plan,” Montoya said. “If you have a great car and can pass people easy you will get to the front. If not, you have to keep working on your car and get it better throughout the race.”

– Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing is attempting to win his second Indianapolis 500 with his lone win in 2008.

“This race is going to be extremely tough and both manufacturers are very close right now,” Dixon said. “It’s going to be a pretty epic race.

“As long as you have a good race car, you can win from anywhere.”

Indianapolis 500 pole sitter James Hinchcliffe had the largest crowds around him where once again, he had to retell the tale of his crash that nearly took his life on May 18, 2015.

This year, Hinchcliffe’s story is much more positive and he is a serious contender for the win.

“Given the particular story line that unfolded, it has brought even more eyes to this race and it’s phenomenal,” Hinchcliffe said.

– It wouldn’t be an Indy 500 Media Day without an appearance by Mark Martin.

Wait, the same Mark Martin that was just elected tot he NASCAR Hall of Fame on Wednesday? Yes, one and the same.

The NASCAR legend is attending his first Indianapolis 500 as a guest of Jay Frye, who was with Valvoline and worked with Martin during his glory years in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Martin never had any interest in becoming an Indy car driver, but he understands how important the Indianapolis 500 is and he will get to experience it in person for the first time in his life on Sunday.