by Scott Morris Female racing drivers certainly seem to have no problem getting exposure, which covers the financial challenges of becoming a professional racer. But what is keeping them from winning? Some would say it is physical. Others would say it is mental, or cite other factors. We delve into this, and give our perspective on why we do not think we will see a female champion driver in NASCAR Sprint Cup, IndyCar or F1 in our lifetime...but that doesn't mean we would not like to.
Highlights of the Motorsports Business Forum - Day 2
Highlighted by Lesa France Kennedy The second and final day of the inaugural Motor Sport Business Forum North America (MSBF-NA) featured a Wednesday Keynote luncheon address by Lesa France Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer of International Speedway Corporation (ISC), that proved to be one of the highlights of a packed schedule at the Orlando Hilton for the first ever MSBF-NA. France Kennedy joined Conference Chairman Zak Brown, Just Marketing International (JMI) Founder and CEO, on stage for an hour-long “coffee talk” exchange that was informal in setting but highly impactful in its delivery.
Highlights of the Motorsports Business Forum at PRI
by Scott Morris The motorsports industry leaders all converged this morning to speak about the state of the industry at the inaugural Motorsports Business Forum presented by IM2 Events and hosted by Just Marketing International, with some interesting statements made about various arms of motorsports. Terry Angstadt from the IRL. Terry appeared at this conference in the wake of their recent announcement of Izod as the new IndyCar title sponsor. However, he mentioned their partnership with Apex Brazil as having more than meets the eye.
On their new IndyCar deal Andretti Autosport team owner Michael Andretti and IZOD IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick participated in a Q&A session following the announcement that Patrick had re-signed with the team and will race in the IZOD IndyCar Series in the No. 7 Go Daddy Dallara/Honda.
On Power becoming Penske's third driver Penske Racing President Tim Cindric and IZOD IndyCar Series driver Will Power participated in a Q&A session following the announcement that Power will race in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2010 for Penske Racing's No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dallara/Honda. Below is the full transcript from their interview.
IndyCar's TV Deal - beneath the surface of ratings
by Scott Morris The Versus Network deal for coverage of IRL races for the next 9 years at a rumored 4 Million per year, has been criticized endlessly by fans and media for horrible Nielsen ratings. I was one of them...until now. I recently have a changed opinion of the deal that I want to share with our AR1 readers. I am not making any predictions on the future of the deal, but I can say that it seems to be coming from something we haven't seen in the sport for a long time (if ever) and that can't be anything but good.
Indy Racing League Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation (NYSE: PVH) announced today a multi-year agreement in principle with the Indy Racing League (IRL), the sanctioning body for the IndyCar Series, for its IZOD brand to become the title sponsor of the newly renamed IZOD IndyCar Series. The IZOD IndyCar Series, which will mark the League's first title sponsorship since 2001, introduced its new logo and key partnership details today, with additional activation, promotional plans and marketing initiatives to be revealed in the coming months, prior to the start of the 2010 season.
Barbosa, Haywood win race; Gurney, Fogarty Win DP title
Grand-Am While Joao Barbosa and Hurley Haywood won Saturday's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 season-ending Grand Prix of Miami, Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney finished fourth to capture their second Daytona Prototype championship. Barbosa passed Scott Pruett on the back straight with 28 minutes - or Lap 84 of 100 - remaining in the two-and-half hour race to score his first Daytona Prototype triumph,
IndyCar season finale Under hot and very humid conditions that tested both man and machine, the first caution-free race in IndyCar Series history played into the late-race strategy of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, helping Dario Franchitti claim the series championship for the second time. Briscoe, who had the title in the bag with seven laps left in the 200-lap race on the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway, had to pit for a splash of ethanol because of the blistering race pace (201.420 mph average; second-fastest in series history).
By David Phillips For the second time in a remarkably diverse and successful career, Gil de Ferran will retire as a race driver at the conclusion of Saturday’s Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by Patr¢n at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. In contrast to his first farewell, announced after he won the 2003 IndyCar Series season finale at Texas World Speedway, de Ferran gave everyone plenty of warning about his Swan Song II in August.
Indy Car Dario Franchitti won the PEAK Performance Pole Award for the Firestone Indy 300 on Oct. 9 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, leading a front-row sweep by Target Chip Ganassi Racing. The three contenders for the IndyCar Series championship - Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe - and occupy the top three spots in the starting grid for the season-ending race, which starts at 5 p.m. (ET) Saturday. Dixon leads Franchitti by five points and Briscoe by eight.
IndyCar The genesis of Ryan Briscoe's IndyCar Series championship drive can be traced to June 2008 at The Milwaukee Mile, where he celebrated in an IndyCar Series victory circle for the first time. More importantly, the win provided the source of renewed self-confidence, which is crucial to any race driver's continued success. "Milwaukee was the most special win of my entire career, let alone of that season," said Briscoe, who turned 28 on Sept. 24.
Ganassi and Penske Indycar team bosses Target Chip Ganassi Racing Managing Director Mike Hull and Penske Racing President Tim Cindric participated in a Q&A session and the final race of the IndyCar Series schedule. Under Tim Cindric's leadership, Team Penske has scored three open‑wheel titles. Hull is the managing director Target Chip Ganassi Racing and has overseen six open‑wheel titles, four in CART and two in the IndyCar Series.
Briscoe chokes sending title fight to season finale Polesitter Scott Dixon beat his Target Chip Ganassi teammate Dario Franchitti by 1.4475 sec. to win today's Honda Indy 200 IndyCar race held at Honda's 1.5-mile Motegi track. Two other teammates finished 3-4 proving once again ovals are all about the car. Graham Rahal finished 3rd ahead of NHLR teammate Oriol Servia. Post-Race Press Conference
INDY THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with our post race briefing. We're joined by Ryan Briscoe, who is now third in the championship points with one race left. Ryan, if you would, talk about your day out there, in particular your incident.
IndyCar Two-time IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon earned the PEAK Performance Pole Award with a dramatic qualifying run to win his first pole of the season at the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi. Dixon, the 23rd and final driver to qualify, recorded a four-lap average of 202.031 mph to knock Mario Moraes from the top spot.
IndyCar Ryan Briscoe beat Scott Dixon to the checkered flag by 0.0077 of a second -- the fourth-closest margin in IndyCar Series history -- to win at Chicagoland Speedway Saturday night. We have seen this story play out over and over again in IndyCar. Mario Moraes drove a great race to finish third, beating Dario Franchitti at the line by a nose.
IndyCar Qualifying Ryan Briscoe earned the PEAK Performance Pole Award with a four-lap average of 215.364 mph at Chicagoland Speedway. Teammate Helio Castroneves starts second. The pole start also gave Briscoe a bonus point to increase his lead over Dario Franchitti to five and Dixon to 21 entering the 200-lap race - the 15th of 17 on the schedule. Franchitti (214.973 mph, also improving each lap) in the No. 10 Lifelock car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing will share Row 2 with Andretti Green Racing's Tony Kanaan (214.661), driving the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven/Oscar Meyer Big Bite car.
IndyCar Series drivers Mario Moraes and Robert Doornbos participated in a Q&A session this week and discussed the most recent IndyCar Series race at Infineon Raceway and the final three races of the IndyCar Series schedule. Mario is in his second season in Indy Car Series competition and his first for KV Racing Technology. Robert began the season with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and moved to HVM Racing this month.
by Mark J. Cipolloni With Ryan Briscoe never more than a second from his rear wing, Dario Franchitti kept his cool under the California sunshine to win Sunday's Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma before the biggest IndyCar crowd in history at Infineon Raceway. After being 5th with 5-laps to go, Mike Conway moved up to 3rd at the finish, with KV Racing's Mario Moraes coming home 4th and Hideki Mutoh 5th. Press Conference
Dario Franchitti beats Penske team for IndyCar pole
by Mark J. Cipolloni Ganassi Racing's Dario Franchitti overcame a spin in the final Fast-Six qualifying segment to win the pole position for Sunday's IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway. Franchitti's late lap of 1m16.7987s was just fast enough to beat Penske teammates Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves who led most of the session. Andretti Racing's Marco Andretti was 4th, his teammate Hideki Mutoh 5th and Graham Rahal rounded out the top-6 for NHLR.
IndyCar Target Chip Ganassi Racing Managing Director Mike Hull participated in a Q&A session this week and discussed Scott Dixon's IndyCar Series-record 20 wins, the championship race and the final four races of the IndyCar Series schedule.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon saved fuel on his red tires and then bolted on the harder black tires and took off to an easy win in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. It was Dixon's 4th win of the year and gives him a 3 point lead in the championship standings. Ryan Briscoe held off Dario Franchitti for 2nd and Ryan Hunter-Reay drove an excellent race for AJ Foyt to finish 4th ahead of Heideki Mutoh. Press Conference
by Mark J. Cipolloni No. 6 Penske Racing's Ryan Briscoe turned a lap of 1m06.614s Saturday to win the pole position for the Honda Indy 200 IndyCar race at Mid-Ohio. Justin Wilson, driving the Dale Coyne Racing No. 18 was the only other driver to break into the 1m06 sec. bracket but his time of 1m06.707s came up just 0.0193 sec. short. Scott Dixon (Ganassi) will start 3rd ahead of Graham Rahal (NHLR). Press Conference
After exciting Kentucky finish IndyCar Series drivers Ed Carpenter, Ryan Briscoe and Indy Racing League President of Competition and Racing Operations Brian Barnhart participated in teleconference today, discussing last weekend's race at Kentucky Speedway and the upcoming event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Penske Racing's Ryan Briscoe used the high line to just beat Vision Racing's Ed Carpenter in a side-by-side Indy Car finish at Kentucky Speedway Saturday night. For most of the race Briscoe ran neck and neck with Scott Dixon, but Dixon faded to 7th at the finish and it was Carpenter, who was looking for the first win for both he and his team owner Tony George, that took up the charge.
IndyCar First-time events in Brazil and Birmingham, Ala., highlight the 2010 IndyCar® Series schedule announced today. In its continuing effort to offer competitors the most diverse and challenging championship in motorsports, the 2010 IndyCar Series schedule features eight oval races, four permanent road courses and five temporary circuits.
IndyCar north of the border Early on, the Rexall Edmonton Indy was reminiscent of the October race in Australia -- Will Power leading Ryan Briscoe. Nine months later, different race, different result … and some might say a different driver. Power recorded his first IndyCar Series victory, holding off a quick and competitive field for 90 of the 95-lap race to win.
by Tony George on the Vision Racing website After having a week off from racing I have had a chance to relax and reflect on the events that have taken place over the last few weeks. I have decided to use the Vision Racing website, in a therapeutic way, to help clear my mind and clear the air by sharing some of my thoughts. Settling into a different routine after 20 years has been quite an adjustment.
IndyCar in Edmonton Will Power earned the second PEAK Performance Pole Award of the season by posting the quickest lap in the Firestone Fast Six qualifying session for the Rexall Edmonton Indy. Power, driving the No. 12 Penske Truck Rental car, lapped the 1.973-mile, 14-turn Edmonton City Centre Airport circuit in 1 minute, 1.0133 seconds (116.414 mph) - the quickest lap of the weekend - in the final minute of the 10-minute shootout that sets the first three rows on road/street courses.
IndyCar Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe and Will Power were 1-2-3 on the time chart after the first day of practice for the Rexall Edmonton Indy. Castroneves posted a quick lap of 1 minute, 1.5467 seconds (115.405 mph) on his 13th - and final - lap of the afternoon session. Briscoe, the polesitter in the inaugural IndyCar Series race last year on the 1.9773-mile, 14-turn Edmonton City Centre Airport circuit, had posted the quickest lap of the day (1:01.9820; 114.595) six minutes earlier.
IndyCar Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and COO Joie Chitwood and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation CEO and new president Jeff Belskus met the media today at the Indy Speedway. They discussed Joie's announcement yesterday of his resignation and heading back to his home state of Florida to work for ISC. It was also an opportunity for Jeff Belskus to meet the media. He was recently named to his new position. The main question on everyone's mind was what Chitwood's resignation would mean to the Speedway.
by Tim Wohlford Dario Franchitti kept his nose clean and despite a late caution that bunched the field up behind him, won the 23rd running of the Honda Indy Toronto on the shores of Lake Ontario with room to spare. Penske driver Ryan Briscoe finished 2nd ahead of his teammate Will Power. Scott Dixon and Justin Wilson rounded out the top-5.
by Mark J. Cipolloni 1999 Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti has won the pole for the 23rd running of the Honda Grand Prix of Toronto. Franchitti's lap of 1m01.0249s in his Target Chip Ganassi entry was enough to beat Penske Trucking driver Will Power, NHLR's Graham Rahal, Justin Wilson, Alex Tagliani and Mike Conway. Press Conference
IndyCar An interview with Dario Franchitti, Will Power, Graham Rahal, Justin Wilson, Alex Tagliani and Mike Conway
THE MODERATOR: We'll get started. We're pleased to welcome Dario Franchitti with his third pole of the year, all in the past five events. Dario, you have two previous poles here in the past from your previous life here in Toronto. Tell us about your runs out there today.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Rookie sensation Raphael Matos turned the fastest lap Friday in practice for the 23rd running of the Honda Grand Prix of Toronto IndyCar race, then promptly crashed to bring out the final caution in an incident filled afternoon practice session. Justin Wilson, winner last week at Watkins Glen for Dale Coyne stayed hot by slotting in 2nd quick just 0.2888s back. Will Power was third.
Crossed Flags: Look at halfway point of the 2009 season
IndyCar Series Round up 20-plus IndyCar Series drivers for an informal and anonymous survey at the midpoint of the season and naturally you'll receive nearly as many responses to each question. There was a sole exception: Will the championship chase go down to the wire? The answer was a unanimous and resounding "Yes," which only makes sense. With a tight points race through nine of the 17 events and the past three driver titles being decided in the season finale, all indications point to a showdown Oct. 10 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
by Mark J. Cipolloni On a day when David slayed two Goliaths, Justin Wilson and the underdog Dale Coyne Racing team beat Ryan Briscoe (Team Penske) and Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) Sunday to win the Camping World Grand Prix IndyCar race at the famous Watkins Glen International Raceway. Wilson passed polesitter Briscoe on lap 5 and controlled the pace of the race much of the way. It was the first IndyCar win for Dale Coyne.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Brian Barnhart (Competition), Terry Angstadt (Commercial) and Charlie Morgan (TV) from the Indy Racing League (IRL) met with the media Saturday evening at Watkins Glen to give a State of the Union address of sorts following the big news this week that Tony George had been removed as President and CEO of the Indy Motor Speedway and subsequently he resigned as CEO of the Indy Racing League. What follows are some pretty interesting stories.
by Tim Wohlford Helio Castroneves and Will Power have a lot in common -- they are both friendly, talkative guys, for instance, and would make great guests at a dinner party. They are both very fast drivers. And, they both want to drive the same car. In an exclusive AutoRacing1.com interview, Will talked about getting "the call" that every driver dreams of, about making the most of a good opportunity, and about handling uncertainty when you're so close to getting one of the best jobs in all of motor sports.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Ryan Briscoe put his Penske Dallara Honda on pole for the Camping World Grand Prix IndyCar race at Watkins Glen while his teammate Helio Castroneves was too slow to even make it out of the first round of qualifying. Justin Wilson manhandled his Dale Coyne entry to 2nd on the grid ahead of Scott Dixon, Mario Moraes and Graham Rahal (who later failed inspection).
by Tim Wohlford In perhaps the most boring race in IRL history, Scott Dixon cruised to a win in the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway. Teammate Dario Franchitti came in second, followed by Graham Rahal. Those were the only three of five cars on the lead lap at the end of the race due to caution flags flying during green flag pit stops, in a race remarkable for its lack of passing.
IndyCar Dario Franchitti continued his winning ways on the IRL short tracks when he won the PEAK Performance Pole Award presented by Advance Auto Parts Friday. Driving the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, he recorded a four-lap average of 167.315 mph on the 0.75-mile Richmond International Raceway. Scott Dixon (166.638 mph) will join his teammate on the front row. It's Dixon's best start of the season.
IndyCar IndyCar Series driver Ed Carpenter participated in a Q&A session this week, discussing the upcoming races at Richmond, Watkins Glen and Toronto. Ed ranks 12th in points as the series prepares to visit Richmond International Raceway, and he's coming off top‑10 finishes in four of his last five faces. Ranking 12th in points, which if you can maintain or improve upon that, that would mark your highest finish in the season standing.
IndyCar Ganassi Racing's Dario Franchitti won the Iowa Corn Indy 250 Sunday by 5 seconds over Penske Racing's Ryan Briscoe before a record crowd of 42,000. AGR's Hideki Mutoh was third a full lap down. Qualifying was cancelled due to water seeping through the track from saturated soil, and overnight and early morning heavy rains. The sun began to shine just in time for the track to dry and the race ran under ideal conditions. Press Conference
IndyCar Danica Patrick is in her fifth season in the IndyCar Series, and her third driving the No. 7 Boost Mobile/Motorola entry for Andretti Green Racing. She ranks fifth in points as the IndyCar Series prepares for racing on four consecutive weekends. And she's one of three drivers with four top-five finishes in the season's first six races. Her contract is up with Andretti Green Racing after this season and all the talk is that she may be moving to NASCAR.
IndyCar IndyCar Series driver Raphael Matos participated in a IndyCar Q&A session this week, discussing the upcoming races at Iowa, Richmond and Watkins Glen. Matos is the driver of the No. 2 Luczo Dragon car in 2009. Rafa won the 2008 Firestone Indy Lights championship and is currently the leader in the season-long chase for Rookie-of-the-Year. Rafa debuted with Luczo Dragon Racing earlier this year at St. Petersburg and has a season best finish of sixth at Milwaukee.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Ryan Briscoe dominated the race but his Penske teammate Helio Castroneves had the advantage of the pit out pit box and he got the lead on the final pitstop. Because the IndyCars run 100% throttle at Texas Motor Speedway, Helio was able to hold off Briscoe all the way to the finish to win Saturday night's IndyCar race by 0.3924 sec. Ganassi teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti came in 3rd and 4th.
IndyCar Dario Franchitti earned his first PEAK Performance Pole Award of the season and the seventh of his IndyCar Series career with a four-lap average of 214.513 mph on the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway. Ryan Briscoe will start alongside Franchitti in the Bombardier Learjet 550k after a four-lap average of 214.413 mph. Points leader and defending race winner Scott Dixon (214.296) and Helio Castroneves (214.228) will be on Row 2
IndyCar IndyCar Series driver Ryan Hunter-Reay participated in a Q&A session this week, discussing the upcoming races at Texas, Iowa, Richmond and Watkins Glen. Ryan ranks 10th in points as the IndyCar Series prepares to visit Texas Motor Speedway. He started the season with a second-place finish at St. Petersburg, and was 11th at Long Beach. And last week he moved up from 18th to 12th at Milwaukee.
IndyCar Using lapped traffic to perfection, Scott Dixon, driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, passed Ryan Briscoe's No. 6 Team Penske car on the backstretch of Lap 201 and went on to win the ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 at The Milwaukee Mile by 2.1257 seconds. Dario Franchitti finished third and Graham Rahal was fourth.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Ryan Briscoe, who won the ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 last year, will start from the pole this year after a record breaking qualifying run in one of the all-conquering Penske Dallara-Hondas. Briscoe, driving the No. 6 car, set a four-lap qualifying track record of 1 minute, 26.7966 seconds (168.394 mph) at The Milwaukee Mile. Graham Rahal will start 2nd in the No. 02 McDonald's car for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing after posting an average of 168.117 mph (1:26.9392).
Two colorful characters, on and off the track Paul Tracy and A.J. Foyt were the guests on today's Indy Racing League teleconference. Tracy and Foyt discussed their pairing for this weekend's ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt 225 at the Milwaukee Mile. Tracy will drive the famed No. 14 for A.J. Foyt Racing in place of the injured Vitor Meira (pictured right talking to AJ before Indy 500).
by Mark J. Cipolloni On display in the Indy Speedway media center this past weekend was a concept model car of the next generation IndyCar. The concept was developed by Dave Marek who heads up the Acura design studio in Pasadena, California. He was involved with the design competition with the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA that the league engaged but took it one step further. On Sunday we spoke with Honda HPD's Erik Berkman about the concept car.
by Tim Wohlford Helio Castroneves completed a storybook month after beating a tax evasion charge from the IRS. He won the pole position two weeks ago, won the pit stop competition Friday and on Sunday won his third Indy 500. Dan Wheldon drove a good race for Panther Racing to come home 2nd and Danica Patrick drove a steady race to finish 3rd. Townsend Bell came home 4th for KV Racing Technology and Will Power rounded out the top-5. Team Penske Interview
IndyCar ROGER PENSKE: We talked with Helio about the win of his life a couple of weeks ago and he comes back do show you. Outside he has that personality, he climbs the fence, but inside he's as tough of nails. He had to be to go through what he went through the last six months. It's really a credit to the team. Great to see how Briscoe ran. Will Power was up there. Sorry to see my son Jay's car have the problem. But you look up to that podium, that's the one thing during this race, you look up at the podium for two reasons; where are you and how many laps to go. And I think about 85 or 90 laps, that 9 and 10 car were out there doing a pretty good job, and I said it's going to be a long day. But we stayed on our game plan, the pit stops were sharp. For some reason Ryan thought he had a tire go down and we got a lap down and able to get him back into second, but unfortunately we were probably four or five laps short and we had to come in. So it was just one of those things, but it was a great day.
Tony and Laura George's youngest child Vision Racing co-owners, Tony and Laura George are pleased to announce that their daughter, Lauren George, has officially joined the ranks of team ownership. The younger George assumed the role of team owner on May 7, 2009, her 18th birthday, and will oversee the team's Firestone Indy Lights operation that includes the No. 21 Vision Racing Dallara/Firestone entry driven by James Davison.
by Tim Wohlford Ryan Hunter-Reay and John Andretti are in; Alex Tagliani is out for the 2009 Indy 500. Nearly perfect weather conditions Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway led to a thrilling "Bump Day" of final qualifying for the 2009 Indianapolis 500. In dramatic last-minute runs, John's crew laid the rear wing back about as far as it would go in order for John to qualify. When he qualified, he bumped Hunter-Reay from the field, who promptly re-qualified as the 6:00 p.m. gun went off, bumping Alex Tagliani.
Doornbos fastest on Day 3 Robert Doornbos turned the fastest speed on a weather-disrupted third day of qualifying to qualify for his first Indy 500 in 23rd. Having missed the first qualifying weekend after a pair of practice crashes, the Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing driver beat KV Racing Technology's Townsend Bell by 0.4 seconds over 4 laps. Doornbos, Bell, Oriol Servia, Tomas Scheckter, EJ Viso, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Nelson Philippe, John Andretti, and Milka Duno all made successful qualifying runs on a windy day.
Rutherford remembers a "hitchhiker" named Tim Richmond Twenty-nine years later, Johnny Rutherford still smiles when talking about one of the happiest moments of his 1980 Indianapolis 500 win. In celebrating his third Indy 500 victory, he shared his ride to victory lane with a “hitchhiker” named Tim Richmond. The 1980 Indy 500 was a meeting of what motorsports writer Dave Argabright refers to as the “Greatest Generation” of open wheel drivers. Rutherford was making his 221st Champ Car start and his 17th in the Indy 500. Richmond was making his eighth.
Will Moraes and KV Racing pull an upset in Indy 500?
by Mark J. Cipolloni When you first meet him he strikes you as quiet, polite and mild mannered, but when he gets behind the wheel of an IndyCar, he's as ferocious as they get. Not much has been written about the 7th place starting spot for KV Racing Technology's Mario Moraes in this year's Indy 500. This unknown kid, twenty years old from a second year team, split the Penske cars and Andretti cars in qualifying for the biggest race in the world.
by Tim Wohlford Qualifying continues at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With the recent qualification of Ed Carpenter, 21 spots are now full. Justin Wilson set today's fastest speed at 223.903. Other notables to qualify are Paul Tracy, John Andretti, and Davey Hamilton. A qualification attempt for Vitor Meira was disallowed after a post-race inspection. The #14 car's rear suspension measurement failed to meet measurements.
Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe, Dario Franchitti This morning at Indy the annual front row press conference took place. The birthday man, Helio Castroneves is on the pole position, Ryan Briscoe 2nd, and then Dario Franchitti in 3rd. Castroneves said, "this is all credit for Team Penske. Ryan and Will, the preseason testing, those guys did a hell of a job preparing those cars. Today is two cars in the front row, it just prove that we're going to have a lot of fun the whole season."
IndyCar ROGER PENSKE: Well, we're excited, and I think to have Helio after his time off to come back and show everybody how good he really is, and it was a thrill for me and obviously for him and all the people who stood behind him over the last five or six months, especially, you know, to his family. I just want to personally congratulate him for a fantastic job. Obviously, we've got a competitive team because Ryan wanted to have a go, which was obviously a tough call. But he wanted to go and Ryan wanted to go, so we had to give each of them a chance, and we didn't want to lose those top two spots, but it worked out fantastic for the team.
Castroneves leads Penske 1-2 in Indy 500 qualifying
by Tim Wohlford Helio Castroneves, who beat a two month long tax evasion charge from the U.S. Government, and who will celebrate his 34th birthday May 10, earned his third pole position for the Indy 500-Mile Race with a four-lap average speed of 224.864 mph (2 minutes, 40.0967 seconds cumulative time) on the 2.5-mile oval. It's the 15th Indy 500 pole for Team Penske and the most recent since 2006, when Sam Hornish Jr. and Castroneves started 1-2.
At the Indy Speedway ROGER PENSKE: Thank you. I think when you look back each race has its own difficulties and opportunities and thrills and, I guess, wins, but we put that behind us and we focus each year, you know, on winning this race. We know what it takes. We understand the type of preparation; we understand the reliability...We probably have 6- or 700 years of experience at this racetrack with this team.
IndyCar "I made the decision in August or September of '07 not to come back because of all the reasons I've talked about before about looking for new challenges, so it was my decision not to do that. Didn't make it any easier, and I tried to kid myself I wasn't missing it. But I did find myself every day in May sitting in front of the computer watching the track feed, watching the lap times, watching -- you know, speaking to Scott (Dixon), speaking to Tony (Kanaan) on the phone what was going on and keeping abreast of what was happening. It was tough." Dario Franchitti
IndyCar Ryan Briscoe, driver of the No. 6 Team Penske entry, won the 2009 season-opening race at St. Petersburg and finished fourth at Kansas, putting him second in the point standings as the month of May at Indy begins. This will be Ryan's fourth Indianapolis 500. He finished 10th in 2005 and fifth in 2007. Last year, he qualified on the front row and finished 23rd.
IndyCar With practice opening today at Indy for the rookies and rusty veterans, 27-year old IndyCar sensation Danica Patrick was a guest on today's IndyCar media teleconference. She was asked about the kinder, gentler Danica Patrick. St. Petersburg was the first race she was not trying to be mad all weekend, then (Raphael) Matos took her into the boards, and she didn't smack him like we thought she might. Is Danica mellowing in her old age? To which she responded, "Is it OK, do you think? I hope I'm not boring anybody (laughter)."
Practice starts Tuesday Experienced open-wheel driver Alex Tagliani will attempt to race in the Indianapolis 500 for the first time in the No. 34 Conquest Racing entry, team officials announced May 4. Tagliani, 36, from Lachenaie, Quebec, will attempt to qualify for "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on Sunday, May 24. He will participate in the Rookie Orientation Program on May 5-6 at IMS. "It's every driver's dream to be at the Indianapolis 500," Tagliani said.
IndyCar Helio Castroneves charged from the rear of the field to challenge Scott Dixon for the victory in the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway, but Dixon prevailed. The Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver, 17th in the championship standings after two rounds, won his 17th IndyCar Series race (11th on an oval) by 0.7104 of a second over the hard-charging Castroneves on a blustery day in the heartland. Press Conference
INDY HELIO CASTRONEVES: Well, the bad news, the wind is very strong and upsets the car in Turns 3 and 4. The good news is it's same for everyone. Everyone was having the same problem. You can see they have to lift when they're inside. Even on the outside you are sometimes a little bit loose. It's kind of difficult to find a good line and a good setup for both corners.
Newman/Haas/Lanigan team locks up Kansas front row
IndyCar Graham Rahal waited until the end of qualifying to score pole for tomorrow's Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas giving NHLR a lock on Sunday's front row. The 20-year-old Ohio qualified at 211.311 mph. Rahal now has a pole on the series' first oval event of the season to go along with the one he captured at the season opener in St. Petersburg on a street course. "I think this one is even sweeter for the McDonald's boys," Rahal said.
IndyCar IndyCar Series driver Sarah Fisher participated in a Q&A session this week, discussing the upcoming races at Kansas, Indianapolis and more. Sarah has competed in parts of nine seasons in the IndyCar Series, recording a pole, three top‑five finishes and nine top-10s. Sarah makes her 2009 debut this weekend at Kansas Speedway followed by her eighth Indianapolis 500.
by Mark J. Cipolloni On a typical bright sunny day in Southern California, Dario Franchitti used timely pitstops and a fast race car from his Target Chip Ganassi team to win the 35th running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. It was the best gift Franchitti could have given his jubilant wife Ashley Judd, who was celebrating her birthday today. Polesitter Will Power led early in Team Penske's 3rd car and then fell back, but recovered to finish 2nd. Press Conference
IndyCar THE MODERATOR: I eavesdropped on your conversation coming in here, and I heard you say, I could have won this race.
DANICA PATRICK: Well, Dario clearly won, but still I wasn't aware of really what could have been and what could have happened with being able to win the race. Michael said when I came into the pit that if the yellow would have come out at a slightly different time that we'd have had the lead. So I don't really know how that all would have shaken out exactly.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Penske Racing driver Will Power, who was displaced in the No. 3 Penske car by Helio Castroneves just this morning, showed boss Roger Penske why he deserves a full-time IndyCar ride by winning the pole for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in the No. 12 Penske car that he had never turned a lap in until this morning. Dario Franchitti qualified 2nd, followed by rookie Raphael Matos, EJ Viso, Justin Wilson and Scott Dixon.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Last year's Long Beach race winner Will Power turned the fastest overall lap Friday afternoon on the streets of Long Beach. The Penske driver Power won the last Champ Car race ever a year ago and established himself as one of the favorites going into Sunday's race despite finding out this morning that he has lost a possible full-time ride at Penske Racing to a returning Helio Castroneves. Penske Racing will expand to a third car this weekend to make room for Castroneves.
Porsche understands significance of Long Beach race
Porsche Preview of Long Beach Ever since the Formula 5000 race cars proved that the Long Beach Grand Prix street circuit could handle world-class road racing in 1975, the history of Formula 1 and IndyCar racing in the U.S. has been impacted by this Southern California venue – and now sports car racing is making its mark as well. The Indy cars, which have been running as the feature race since 1984, were joined by the sports cars in the American Le Mans Series three years ago, and the results have been spectacular, including the 2007 race where the LMP2 Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyders took the top three overall positions, even though they were short 200 horsepower to the LMP1 prototypes.
IndyCar In the past three years, popular American racer Ryan Hunter-Reay has won in Indy Car, Champ Car, CART and Sports Cars. He’s won on road courses, street courses and ovals. The last three years have also been the most challenging of his career, having faced more than his fair share of ‘challenges’ to stay at the top level of motorsports in the United States. However, “RHR,” as his fans affectionately call him, is a professional, who never gives less than 100% in anything he does.
IndyCar Patr¢n Highcroft Racing's Scott Sharp will return to the Indianapolis 500 this year aboard a Patr¢n-sponsored entry run by Panther Racing. The winner of the most of recent round of the American Le Mans Series with David Brabham at St Petersburg, Sharp will combine his ALMS and Indy duties during the month of May - aiming to qualify during the first weekend, race for Patr¢n Highcroft Racing in Salt Lake City at Miller Motorsports Park the following week, then contest the 500 on the Memorial Day weekend.
IndyCar We're joined today by Dan Wheldon, who's driving the No. 4 Panther Racing car in 2009. Dan debuted with the team in 2002, went to Andretti Green Racing for three years, where he won the IndyCar Series championship and the Indianapolis 500 in 2005, and then went to Target Chip Ganassi Racing for the last three years.
No. 43 in IndyCar NASCAR legend Richard Petty will field an entry for the Indianapolis 500 for the first time, with John Andretti driving the Window World-sponsored car in the 2009 edition of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on Sunday, May 24. Seven-time NASCAR champion Petty unveiled the No. 43 Window World Dallara/Honda/Firestone for Andretti. Transcript
by Mark J. Cipolloni Penske Racing's Ryan Briscoe passed Justin Wilson with less than 20 laps to go by outbraking him into the first corner and then survived two restarts himself to hold off Wilson on one and Ryan Hunter-Reay on the other to win the opening race of the 2009 Indy Car World Series on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. Vision Racing's Hunter-Reay came home second less than 1/2-second behind, the best finish ever for Tony George's team. Press Conference
by Mark J. Cipolloni Using the harder black Firestone tires Graham Rahal nipped his NHLR teammate from a year ago, Justin Wilson, now driving for Dale Coyne Racing, by just 0.0494s to win the pole for Sunday's Honda GP of St. Petersburg. The two ex-Champ Car drivers were also fastest on Friday and go into Sunday's race as the two favorites. AGR's Tony Kanaan will start 3rd. Press Conference
IndyCar We're now joined by our front row. For many of you in the room I noted earlier that Graham being our pole winner, he is the youngest pole winner in IndyCar Series history at 20 years, 90 days. Obviously most of you will remember that Graham made history here last year, becoming the youngest race car winner in major open wheel history.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Defending St. Petersburg Grand Prix winner Graham Rahal turned the fastest lap Friday on the street/airport combination circuit to top the timesheets for the IndyCars in his NHLR Dallara Honda. In fact the entire top of the grid was dominated by ex-Champ Car drivers as Justin Wilson, Dario Franchitti, EJ Viso, and Tony Kanaan, followed Rahal, all having come from CART/Champ Car to IndyCar. Ryan Briscoe was 6th for Team Penske.
Hunter-Reay hopes to bring T. George long overdue win
IndyCar boss finally has a real driver Tony George finally has a driver in Ryan Hunter-Reay that is capable of bringing him his first win as a team owner. Vision Racing announced Tuesday the addition of race winning IndyCar Series driver, Hunter-Reay to the team's 2009 driver lineup that includes returning pilot and fellow American, Ed Carpenter. Terry Angstadt, President of the IRL’s commercial division said on the IRL’s April 1st teleconference; “…RHR is one of the most talented drivers and one of the most marketable…”
NHL Racing's newest addition The moment Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) driver Robert Doornbos has been waiting for has finally arrived. This weekend’s Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg IndyCar Series 2009 season opener marks the Dutchman’s much anticipated return to open wheel racing in the United States since he finished third in the 2007 Champ Car World Series standings and won Rookie of the Year.
Unser Jr. analyzes current crop of IndyCar drivers
IndyCar Al Unser Jr. weighs in on IndyCar Series drivers: Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr., a consultant and driver coach for the Indy Racing League, shared his insights about IndyCar Series drivers for 2009.
An interview with Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe
IndyCar and Indy Lights This week's Indy Racing League teleconference featured reigning IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, and Firestone Indy Lights rookie James Hinchcliffe. James recently signed to drive the No. 7 Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry for 2009. Scott is returning for his seventh season in the IndyCar Series and is also the defending Indy 500 champion.
IndyCar testing in Alabama Will Power paced the final day of an IndyCar Series Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park. The Team Penske driver lapped the 15-turn, 2.38-mile circuit in 1 minute, 09.4557 seconds, 119.213 mph. Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dario Franchitti had the second-quickest lap at 1:09.7776. Team Penske and Target Chip Ganassi Racing also filled the third and fourth positions, respectively, with Ryan Briscoe turning a best lap of 1:09.8401 and Scott Dixon at 1:09.8904.
Day 2 tomorrow Reigning IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon paced the first day of an IndyCar Series Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park. Dixon recorded a best lap of 1 minute, 10.5005 seconds, 117.446 mph, on the 15-turn, 2.38-mile circuit. Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing rookie Robert Doornbos was second with a lap of 1:10.6341 while Andretti Green Racing’s Tony Kanaan was third (1:10.66.21). Dixon’s Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Dario Franchitti, was fourth and Team Penske’s Ryan Briscoe was fifth.
ALMS IndyCar champion Scott Dixon shocked Sebring International Raceway on Thursday with the overall pole position for the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida, upsetting the factory diesel powers from Audi and Peugeot in the first round of qualifying for the 2009 American Le Mans Series.
Q&A with Michael Andretti, Marco Andretti & Kanaan
IndyCar Three members of Andretti Green Racing were guests on this week's IndyCar media conference. Team co‑owner Michael Andretti and drivers Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti. Andretti Green is the winningest team in IndyCar Series history with 34 victories and three championships. The only team that fields four cars in the series, AGR returns all four of its drivers in 2009 for the first time since 2005.
by William Tucker In a follow-up to a series of articles on AutoRacing1.com about how the way to pollution-free energy independence is through electric cars that derive their battery recharge from power supplied by nuclear power plants, comes an article titled "There is no such thing as nuclear waste" by William Tucker, who is also the author of "Terrestrial Energy: How Nuclear Power Will Lead the Green Revolution and End America's Long Energy Odyssey." As Mr. Tucker explains, almost 100% of nuclear waste is reusable, as the French have proved.
Scott Dixon after famous 12-Hour race win Reigning IndyCar champion, Scott Dixon, has already won two of North America’s greatest races: the Indianapolis 500 in 2008 and 24 Hours of Daytona in 2006. Now the 28-year-old New Zealander is targeting victory in the annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. On Saturday 21 March, Dixon will drive the new no.66 XM Radio de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a contesting this year’s running of the annual day-night classic in Florida.
Dept. of Justice Release Helio Castroneves tax case
IndyCar driver in hot water Helio Castroneves, a U.S. resident and two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, was indicted by a grand jury today on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States of income taxes and with six separate counts of income tax evasion for tax years 1999 through 2004, announced the Justice Department, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida R. Alexander Acosta and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Special Agent-in-Charge Michael E. Yasofsky Jr.
Indy gears up for 100-year celebration Nineteen of the 27 living Indianapolis 500 winners attended the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Centennial Era Gala on Friday, Feb. 27 at the Indiana Convention Center: Mario Andretti, Kenny Brack, Eddie Cheever Jr., Gil de Ferran, Scott Dixon, A.J. Foyt, Dario Franchitti, Gordon Johncock, Parnelli Jones, Buddy Lazier, Arie Luyendyk, Rick Mears, Bobby Rahal, Jim Rathmann, Johnny Rutherford, Tom Sneva, Al Unser, Al Unser Jr. and Bobby Unser.
IndyCar Justin Wilson met with members of the media at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Below is a transcript of his interview followed by “Five Questions with Justin Wilson.” Wilson is testing with Dale Coyne Racing after completing his rookie season in the IndyCar Series in 2008 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, earning a victory at Belle Isle.
IndyCar interview with Angstadt, Bachelart and Rahal
IndyCar Media Teleconference Terry Angstadt, Eric Bachelart and Graham Rahal were guests on today’s Indy Racing League teleconference, discussing the one-year anniversary of unification. The IndyCar Series and Champ Car World Series signed an agreement Feb. 22, 2008 to unify North American open-wheel racing under the IndyCar Series banner. Five days later, team, driver and league representatives formally announced the agreement at a press conference at Homestead-Miami Speedway in conjunction with the first Open Test of the season.
IndyCar looks back after first year of unification
INDY “We are unified.” Those three words were uttered on Feb. 22, 2008 and changed the landscape of open-wheel racing in the United States. While positives would be far-reaching, a multitude of tasks were immediate and imperative. Between the signing of the agreement Feb. 22 and the official news conference five days later during an Open Test at Homestead-Miami Speedway, mobilization of materials and paperwork necessary for former Champ Car teams to compete in the 2008 IndyCar Series campaign began in earnest.
Status of new IndyCar engine Thank you for joining us for today's Indy Racing League teleconference. The roundtables for the new IndyCar engine continue to include five automotive manufacturers and six special race engine design companies. Joining us are Brian Barnhart, the president of competition and racing operations for the Indy Racing League, Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division of the Indy Racing League, and Erik Berkman, president of Honda Performance Development.
A 2nd manufacturer appears likely Indy Racing League officials confirmed today that five engine manufacturers -- Honda Performance Development, Audi, Fiat Powertrain Technologies, Porsche and Volkswagen -- continue to participate in the IndyCar Series Automotive Manufacturers Roundtables. The progressive and industry groundbreaking engine specification planning process was introduced in May 2008 to bring about expanded engine manufacturers participation in the IndyCar Series beginning as early as the 2011 season (but probably 2012).
by Jason Peters Brazil, England, Japan, Canada, Australia, Italy, South Africa. Most reading this would attribute that to the nationality of current Indy Car drivers. Many complain that because these drivers are not American, they are not marketable. The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) was last years fastest growing sports. It is ranked 6th in the country and is now considered a mainstream sport.
Team Penske Press Conference Team Penske announced today that Will Power will be stepping into the No. 3 car for at least the first part of the 2009 testing while Helio's court case for tax evasion is being settled. Here is the Q&A from the press conference with principals of Team Penske including Ryan Briscoe, Will Power, Helio Castroneves, and Tim Cindric.
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