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Newgarden Fifth, Tagliani 17th on Rainy ‘Fast Friday’

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Wink-HartmanWillis E. “Wink” Hartman was born and raised in Wichita, Kan. As a young boy at 14, he worked in the Kansas oil fields with his dad only to go on and eventually run his family’s oil company – Hartman Oil. Hartman Oil was founded in 1920 by his grandfather, W.L. Hartman. Under Wink’s leadership, the company has increased yearly production of between 300% to 400% through acquisition and drilling. In addition to his professional successes, Hartman has served on the boards of the Kansas Humane Society, Larksfield Place, and on the Wichita Sports Commission. He is also a lifetime member of the NRA and the Wichita Chamber of Commerce. Hartman was named the 2008 “Businessman of the Year” by the Wichita Business Journal. In 2009 he was elected into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame at Butler Community College. Hartman Oil was one of five finalists out of some eighty contestants in the 2010 Wichita Chamber Small Business Award Event. Hartman is no stranger to the sports world, having had interests in indoor football, indoor soccer and now IndyCar racing. Hartman joined what was then Sarah Fisher Racing prior to the 2008 Indianapolis 500. He remained a partner of the team through December 2011, when it was announced he would be a co-owner of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing. Hartman retains his leadership role within the newly formed CFH Racing. Hartman and his wife Elizabeth K. “Libba” Hartman reside on their ranch southeast of Wichita with nearly 200 animals, including camels, llamas, longhorn steers, buffalo, miniature donkeys, horses, and three family dogs. The Hartman’s have five grown children, six grandsons and one granddaughter.

Rain continues to be a major storyline this week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), causing Indianapolis 500 practice time to be significantly cut short for Verizon IndyCar Series teams.

Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) drivers Josef Newgarden and Alex Tagliani ran a combined 10 total laps during “Fast Friday” practice, during which cars were on track for less than 20 minutes due to rain.

Newgarden, driving the No. 67 Dallara/Honda/Firestone entry, finished the day fifth fastest after turning a lap of 229.276 mph. He ran six total laps.

“Today was very short; there was not much to it, to be honest,” Newgarden said. “The weather ruined it, which was a shame because there were a ton of fans that came out to see us go fast. Fortunately we were able to get an install check in for our new engine that we put in last night. We were able to get in one run, so it was better than nothing, but we still have some work to do tomorrow morning before qualifying.”

Josef 500 practice copy

Alex Tagliani, driving the No. 68 Dallara/Honda/Firestone car, finished “Fast Friday” 17th overall at 227.394 mph.

“We only ran a few laps, but I’m fairly happy with where we are,” Tagliani said. “It’s difficult to really evaluate what we can do by ourselves, but I’m confident that we’ll have a good qualifying run.”

Qualifications for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 have been revamped this year, allowing fans to witness two full days of teams fighting for grid position and championship points. The coveted pole will be decided Sunday, May 18.

“With two days of qualifying now, you have to be prepared to qualify on both days,” Newgarden said. “Tomorrow is really important for points, and getting into the Fast 9 is crucial for us points-wise. I think it’s very possible, and that’s our aim tomorrow.”

Said Alex Tagliani: “I think the new qualifying format is going to be good for the fans because there’s so much incentive for the drivers who are competing in the season championship. It makes the risk versus the reward big because the points that you can accumulate with qualifying and the race makes it almost like two events.

“You can make up a lot of points with this particular qualifying format. You can’t underestimate that, and because of that, I think guys are going to go for it and that it’s going to be very intense. It should be a good show.”

Qualifications will be televised on ABC from 4-6 p.m. (ET) May 17 and 1-3 p.m. May 18. To keep up with the latest news from the No. 67 and No. 68 SFHR cars, follow @SFHRindy on Twitter and Instagram and like Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing on Facebook.

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