By Zorba Rose – Bloomingtonian Motorsports Correspondent
Drama and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are synonyms. When it comes to Saturday’s Qualifying for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge one of the big stories is who will make the race.
There are 34 cars vying for 33 spots – so one team will be left out.
The car that may be the spoiler is the number 50 car driven by R.C. Enerson entered by Abel Motorsports.
Enerson completed the rookie refresher course on Wednesday. During practice he completed 29 laps and had the 33 fastest lap of 224.017.
On Thursday, Enerson improved his speed to reach 225.112, and finished 28 on the time sheets and completed 68 laps.
Enerson’s speed on Thursday has him out of the last row, but a lot can change between then and Saturday, and the more experienced teams trim out their cars.
This is Enerson’s second qualifying attempt at Indy. He was a rookie in 2021 driving for Top Gun Racing, but he did not qualify for the race.
“I can’t thank Bill and John enough for this opportunity to be back at the 500.” Enerson said.
Enerson has additional IndyCar experience. He raced road courses for Dale Coyne Racing in 2016 in the IndyCar Series. His highest finish was 11th at the 2016 IndyCar Grand Prix at the Glen. He also raced at the 2016 Honda Indy 200 and the GoPro Prix of Sonoma.
“I’m honored to carry the banner for the organization during the Month of May,” said Enerson. “I expect we’ll be up to speed quickly at the Speedway. I’m just so looking forward to climbing behind the wheel of an NTT IndyCar Series machine at IMS once again. So cool!”
Abel Motorsports may be Indianapolis 500 rookies, but they are not new to racing.
Abel Motorsports is the racing arm of Abel Construction, a construction company whose headquarters are in Louisville, Ky. Their race team is located in Speedway, Indiana. In the past they fielded cars for the USF200, IndyPro 2000 and Indy Lights series.
“We’ve always envisioned the opportunity to enhance our position in the business world by leveraging the unique intersection that racing has with our brand,” said Bill Abel, CEO of ABEL Construction Company.
Bill Abel might also be gaining experience for running more races in IndyCar next season.
It’s no secret that Bill Abel’s son, Jacob Abel, is looking for a full-time race seat in the IndyCar series. Jacob has been racing in other open wheel series since 2017. He lives in Indianapolis and attends Butler University.
“It’s going to be a thrill watching RC pilot the #50 Chevy around the Speedway and we believe it sets a very positive tone of what’s to come for Abel Motorsports in the future,” said John Brunner, team manager. “As has been speculated, we are evaluating a full-time entry for the 2024 IndyCar season and our group is committed to building the foundation needed for sustainable long-term success in motorsports. A huge thanks to IndyCar and Chevrolet for their efforts in making this happen.”
The oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was intended to be a proving ground for automobiles. This month Abel Motorsports will test the waters and see if they have what it takes to compete with series regulars.