The Sprint Cup Series invades Indianapolis, where Jeff Gordon will be going for win No. 5, while Jimmie Johnson shoots for No. 4 and No. 3 in a row. Stick right here for all the news of the day, which is a full one. Here are a few notes to get us started:
• Press conferences begin at 11 a.m. ET.
• There are two practices on Friday (2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.) and two Saturday (2 and 3:30)
• Qualifying is Saturday at 10 a.m. ET
11:07 a.m. ET: Jacques Villeneuve is back in Indianapolis. The 1995 Indy 500 winner will be in the No. 32 Braun Racing car for Sunday's race.
11:11: Villeneuve wants a full-time gig in NASCAR, but is also looking at an opportunity in F1. He doesn't have anything solidified in either, and said that when something solid does arise, he will focus on that racing series. But, he said, his primary focus right now is NASCAR.
1:13 p.m.: A rush of press conferences are underway here at IMS. Here are some highlights:
• Denny Hamlin finally met with NASCAR to discuss potential changes to the Chase. He said they mentioned possibly installing an elimination format (which he's against) and resetting the points heading into the finale, with five drivers battling for the championship (which he's also against)
Hamlin indicated that NASCAR may have been waiting to meet with him and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates before announcing any changes. Read into that what you will.
• Temperatures in Indianapolis are supposed to be hotter than they have in two years. It's 91, but feels like 102 - or hot enough for Tony Stewart to be drinking water, and he's "not a water guy."
• Jimmie Johnson said Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards will eventually figure out that doing and saying certain things isn't worth the headache of having to talk about it for two months, adding that this is something it took Tony Stewart 10 years to figure out.
• Interesting thought from Jeff Gordon: Talking about the pairing of Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus, he wonders if, as they continue to check things off their to-do list, they won't eventually come to a point where the next thing on the list is to win without each other.
Gordon said he often wonders what would have happened if he and Ray Evernham "could have worked some things out."
• Carl Edwards said if last weekend's incident had been with another driver besides Brad Keselowski, the outcome would have been different. He's convinced Keselowski purposefully nudged him on the white-flag lap.
Edwards said he won't appeal NASCAR's penalty - he was docked 60 points and put on probation for the remainder of the season - and is glad NASCAR penalized Keselowski, too.
• If you had to choose to talk to Carl Edwards or Dale Earnhardt Jr, who would you choose?
Here's Carl Edwards' press gaggle:
And here's Junior's about 20 feet way:
• First practice is underway. Quickest in the early going is ... Jimmie Johnson.
• 3:00: The first practice is over and Juan Pablo Montoya (176.876) has vaulted to the top of the speed chart. He was followed by Jimmie Johnson, Max Papis, Robby Gordon, Bill Elliott, Jeff Burton, Todd Bodine. Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart.
If you're wondering about some of those names, like Max Papis, they were likely in qualifying trim which is quicker than race trim.
• 4:30: The second practice of the day is over and Juan Pablo Montoya again topped the speed chart. He was followed by Jamie McMurray, Mark Martin, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch, Bill Elliott and Martin Truex Jr.