by Brian Carroccio Ok, I've had enough. If you read AutoRacing1.com you know a recurring theme of late, has been our call to Hulman and Company, the parent corporation of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and INDYCAR to run the Izod IndyCar Series as a professional business, in a professional business manner or sell the series to someone who will. Presuming Hulman intends to keep the series, one specific plea, of course, has been to remove NASCAR from the Indianapolis market, and the Holy Grail of IndyCar racing, by eliminating the Brickyard 400 weekend.
An objective look at Graham Rahal's IndyCar career
by Brian Carroccio On a wet, dreary day in early April of 2008, a then-recently unified IndyCar Series was running its second race of the season in St. Petersburg, FL. Displaying talent and maturity beyond his years, a then 19-year old Graham Rahal captured an impressive first victory in only his 15th Indy car start. And as young Rahal celebrated the momentous occasion with his father Bobby, a three-time CART champion, the future seemed bright. After all, young Rahal certainly had the bloodlines, and seemingly the talent and savvy to become one of the sport’s next great stars.
by Stephen Cox For weeks I’ve been listening to every media pundit and armchair racer debate what IndyCar should do next. Their TV ratings are in the tank, they just fired a semi-popular CEO without cause, they literally can’t give away tickets to a short oval race and they’re hemorrhaging cash at an appalling rate. Everyone is offering an idea. The ideas vary, of course, but they all have one thing in common: everybody wants IndyCar to “do” something.
Ten things IndyCar needs to do to get on the right track
by Brian Carroccio The IndyCar world is a pretty grim place these days. What could have been an optimistic off-season after a compelling 2012, has instead deteriorated into the all too familiar apocalyptic bemoaning of the sport's sad state. And whether the subject is minuscule television ratings, a lack of corporate interest, the amateurish bungling of former CEO Randy Bernard's dismissal, or a host of other less than uplifting subjects, even the most diehard IndyCar fans have had trouble finding silver lining during these forgettable final months of 2012
IndyCar Eleven weeks after winning his first IZOD IndyCar Series championship, Ryan Hunter-Reay got his chance to celebrate. Hunter-Reay and Firestone Indy Lights champion Tristan Vautier - along with other drivers, and teams- were recognized during the INDYCAR Championship Celebration presented by Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Starke Taylor, representing series sponsor IZOD, and INDYCAR CEO Jeff Belskus presented Hunter-Reay and team owner Michael Andretti with a $1 million championship bonus check and replicas of Astor Challenge Cup.
by Brian Carroccio “Kick him out,” were the words Indianapolis Motor Speedway chief steward Harry McQuinn told one of his underlings on May 13, 1954. McQuinn, of course, had become alerted to the fact Bill France, the legendary founder and president of NASCAR was spotted snooping around Gasoline Alley. Within minutes France was informed that his presence was no longer welcome at the Mecca of open-wheel racing, and as Indy 500 historian Donald Davidson, once said, “he was given the old heave-ho."
Part 2: A look at IndyCar's revolving door of CEOs
by Brian Carroccio In Part 1 of "Indy car Leaders," we examined the tenures of eight IndyCar leaders, starting with U.E. "Pat" Patrick, the first President of CART, and ending with the tenure of Anton "Tony" Hulman George. Today, we will continue our examination, with Part II of "Indy car Leaders." And there you have it: an in-depth look at the 15 men to have held prominent positions within the world of Indy car over the past three decades. While some had more success than others, none were able to unite the numerous factions in the sport in a coherent manner. Can Mark Miles, Jeff Belskus and their respective staffs buck the trend? Time will tell.
Mark Miles to head Hulman group Finally someone in charge who understands the global marketplace? Hulman & Co.'s appointment of Mark Miles as its new CEO looks like a smart move on a number of levels. In short, Miles has credibility locally, nationally and internationally. That could be of vital importance moving forward. "I think the IndyCar Series is vitally important. It's important as an economic question financially, and for the board, I think we believe that the destinies of IMS and the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race and the IndyCar Series are inextricably welded, woven together. So we are determined to grow the IndyCar Series as a sport, and that will help the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race in the process."
Part 1: A look at IndyCar's revolving door of CEOs
by Brian Carroccio One was a former Playboy executive. One blew threw $83 million in a year. Two were labor attorneys. Two were previous sports marketing executives. Two others had previously been in charge of the SCCA. Three had previously owned Indy car teams. Three weeks ago, Randy Bernard added former bull riding executive to this list. And with Bernard's firing/forced resignation/whatever, Jeff Belskus, both Bernard's predecessor and successor, became the only man to serve multiple tenures.
by Brian Carroccio The fallout continues, ten days after the resignation of INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard. The latest installment took place Wednesday morning, as Robin Miller of SPEED took IndyCar owner Chip Ganassi to task. Ganassi, of course, expressed his dissatisfaction with the continued focus on Bernard's dismissal, was quoted Monday by Gordon Kirby as saying "all anyone wants to talk about is Randy Bernard."
IndyCar IndyCar.com published the following "open letter" to fans on Thursday in response to the ongoing controversy following the departure of Randy Bernard as the series CEO on Sunday night. It is reproduced here in its entirety. -- Without a doubt, the last few days have been challenging for the INDYCAR community. We have received and heard many passionate opinions from caring fans of this sport, and we appreciate the communication. While much of the conversation has been difficult, we must take this opportunity to harness the energy and emotion of this time for the good of the sport we all love.
by Brian Carroccio A welcome change came to the world of IndyCar on March 1, 2010. That day, former PBR (that's Professional Bull Riders) Tour CEO Randy Bernard assumed a similar position with the IndyCar Series. Known as a marketing savant, Bernard had overseen an era of explosive growth for bull riding from 1995-2010. For IndyCar, his arrival came at a time many believed the sport was at its most desperate hour.
Keith Ori The late, great Carroll Smith once said something to the effect that ‘Nobody should pursue a career as a race car driver unless they simply cannot be happy doing anything else” and those words have perhaps never been more true than today. I’m 43 years old and I’ve been following, racing, writing about, and just being a fan of racing for 30 years. You don’t know my name, so I didn’t make it to the bigs. But I went for it and I was prepared to risk everything once upon a time. A lot of us were. The ones who made it did risk everything to get there. And some of them died doing it. Jovy, Gonzo, Greg, Krosnoff, Brayton, Renna, Dana, and Dan.
Trying to make sense out of the IndyCar buyout rumor
by Brian Carroccio What on earth is Tony George up to? While Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Jeff Belskus has repeatedly insisted the Izod IndyCar Series is not for sale, every time you look up, it seems old TG wants to buy the thing. Sure, I understand George is less than thrilled with INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard, and has supporters particularly amongst fellow Chevrolet car owners (remember, George is a not so silent partner in Ed Carpenter Racing).
by Brian Carroccio As you probably know, today is the one-year anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. Below, is an updated version of an article written by Brian Carroccio, which appeared on AutoRacing1, a few days after Wheldon's passing. Its been nearly 72 hours since INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard announced the death of Dan Wheldon. Wheldon's car, of course, became airborne during Sunday's series finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during a horrific 15-car pileup.
by Brian Carroccio An IndyCar race at Mugello? One week after the Italian Grand Prix? FIA rules say the race has to be at least 30 days after the Italian GP. In a country with little to no history of Indy car racing? What on earth is INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard thinking? To be honest, I don't know. On the surface, at least, an IndyCar race at Mugello makes almost zero sense. After all, Italy is a Formula One (F1) mad country, and there is no Italian driver or Italian manufacturer (unless you count the Dallara chassis) currently competing in IndyCar.
by Brian Carroccio The France family can put an end to this. They can put an end to the silly rumors, constant questions, cursory denials, and endless speculation. They can once and for all, put the final touches on something that has been inevitable for almost two decades. Yes, the Frances, the founding and still governing family of NASCAR, can move one step closer to what has long been one of their goals: making NASCAR the undisputed premier racing organization in America. And while it pains me to say, the France family should just get it over with already, and buy the freaking Izod IndyCar Series.
by Pete McCole Friday marked the passing a true legend in the motorsports community and a great ambassador to the sport of auto racing with the death of longtime journalist Chris Economaki, known around the racing community as the “Dean of Motorsports”. Economaki, whose voice was familiar to motorsports fans around the world through his insightful and diligent commentary during television coverage of the Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500, passed away at the age of 91.
by Brian Carroccio No race for the next six months. INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard is away on retreat in Wyoming. Silly Season has apparently gone static. Sure, there has been some discussion this week about the future of Firestone in the Izod IndyCar Series, but overall, IndyCar has gone rather quiet. But fear not. With little happening in the world of IndyCar, the time is perfect for AutoRacing1.com's 2012 Report Card.
As he prepares for Dancing with the Stars return Earlier today, IZOD IndyCar Series driver Helio Castroneves participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss his participation in the new season of "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars." Castroneves, who won Season 5 of ABC's celebrity ballroom dancing competition with professional dance partner Julianne Hough, will be paired with Chelsie Hightower this season. Castroneves and Hightower will compete for the first time Monday, Sept. 24, on ABC. Check local listings for the time in your area.
AJ: Did Penske know or did he force NASCAR's hand?
by Brian Carroccio Here I was, racking my brain; reading quotes forwards, backwards, and probably sideways; consulting racing people I knew and respected; ignoring tasks around the house; not making time to return phone calls and tend to other business at hand, all trying to make sense of it. Still, my efforts were seemingly in vain, the answers I sought, elusive, unclear. That was of course, until about a half hour ago. As I was battling the notoriously awful Washington, D.C. afternoon rush hour traffic, trying to get home on a miserable rainy day, a report came across the local sports talk radio airwaves.
IndyCar star on dancing with the stars: All-Stars "Keep the frame," Helio Castroneves laughs as he prepares for an afternoon of "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars" rehearsal with his professional dance partner, Chelsie Hightower, in a utilitarian studio out of the public eye in Hollywood, Calif. The phrase is one of the few - but certainly among the most important - the IZOD IndyCar Series driver remembers from his autumn 2007 run as the show's champion with partner Julianne Hough.
by Stephen Cox I have figured out what is wrong with America’s youth and their disconnect with racing. They don’t race slot cars anymore. In addition to being overly tattooed, body pierced and not pulling their pants up, most of them couldn’t define “HO scale” if you held a gun to their iPad. Racing HO scale Aurora AFX slot cars with the greatest man I’ve ever known – my dad – in our garage in the summer of 1969 taught me pretty much everything I needed to get through life. After slot car racing, formal education was anticlimactic.
Ryan Hunter-Reay title proves never give up attitude
IndyCar The searing, edge-of-your-seat, teeth-rattling 500-mile season finale was a microcosm of Ryan Hunter-Reay's 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season. Nothing risked; nothing gained. "Really, it's a lot like my career," Hunter-Reay adds two hours after snuggling up to the Astor Cup by earning his first series title in most astonishing fashion. Hunter-Reay - albeit in the throes of surprise championship celebration syndrome - is reflective as the final TV lights of his long day are turned off.
An All-American night at Fontana as Hunter-Reay champ
by Tim Wohlford A controversial decision to throw a red flag for a spin with 8 laps to go didn’t spoil a solid run for Ed Carpenter, nor a solid season for Ryan Hunter-Reay. Carpenter led the most laps to win the race, Hunter-Reay won the championship by 3 points. American Ed Carpenter outdueled Dario Franchitti to win the race followed by Scott Dixon in third. After Will Power crashed out early and finished 24th, Hunter-Reay needed a 5th place or better finish to win the title and he drove his heart out with an ill-handling car to finish 4th.
by Tim Wohlford AutoRacing1 sat down with Auto Club Speedway staffers Matt Payne (Sr. Director of Consumer Marketing & Promotions) and David Talley (Director of Communications) as IndyCar practice began for the MAVTV 500, and talked about trying to sell IndyCar in the second largest market in the USA. Bottom line -- IF the grandstands aren't full for this weekend's race, you can't blame International Speedway Corporation (ISC or IndyCar -- 'cause both have given this race a ton of effort.
MavTV 500 IndyCar qualifying Ryan Hunter-Reay, whose No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car was the second of 25 qualifiers on the scorching (141 degrees track temp) 2-mile oval, will have his work cut out for him in the 250-lap race Sept. 15 to claim the series title. He qualified 17th with a two-lap average of 212.773 mph during qualifications for the MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships at Auto Club Speedway and also will incur a grid penalty for adding a fresh Chevrolet engine (the entrant's sixth; in violation of IZOD IndyCar Series rules). His teammate Marco Andretti won the pole.
by Brian Carroccio Good, not great. He can definitely score the occasional, opportunistic win. Yes, he’s popular with sponsors and fans, but often has weekends in which he seems to totally disappear. Also, he doesn’t qualify well enough to compete for championships. Overall, he is a good driver, but rates a clear level below the elite drivers in the Izod IndyCar Series such as Will Power, Scott Dixon, and Dario Franchitti. And in fairness, six months ago, a cold, unbiased study of Ryan Hunter-Reay’s resume, would reasonably have rendered such a conclusion.
IndyCar For the seventh straight season the IZOD IndyCar Series will be decided in the final race of the season. Will Power leads the points standings by 17 points over Ryan Hunter-Reay. It's more than the $1 million carrot that drives IZOD IndyCar Series heavyweights Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay entering the Sept. 15 MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships at Auto Club Speedway. Today they answered these questions relating to their battle.
IndyCar Amid the weeklong distractions of the MAV TV 500 INDYCAR World Championships at Auto Club Speedway - the media questions, photo sessions, public and sponsor events - which IZOD IndyCar Series championship contender is the best mentally prepared? Both Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay are physically primed for the grueling 250-lap race on the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway oval Sept. 15. How they mentally approach the title-deciding test will play a key role in their on-track performance, which likely will decide who will raise the Astor Cup in Victory Circle.
IndyCar Earlier today IZOD IndyCar Series team owner Michael Andretti participated in an INDYCAR conference call to discuss his team's role in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship. Andretti is the owner of Andretti Autosport, which fields cars for drivers Ryan Hunter‑Reay, Marco Andretti and James Hinchcliffe. In the IZOD IndyCar Series, Andretti Autosport has won three championships: In 2004 with Tony Kanaan, 2005 with the late Dan Wheldon and 2007 with Dario Franchitti. Andretti Autosport has four wins in 2012 all by Ryan Hunter-Reay. Andretti is also the race strategist for Hunter‑Reay who enters the final race of the 2012 season 17 points behind Will Power.
by Brian Carroccio This weekend’s 2nd Grand Prix of Baltimore Presented by SRT was quite a memorable one for the Izod IndyCar Series. Whether it was Michael Andretti’s gutsy call to keep Ryan Hunter-Reay on track with slick tires in the rain; the madhouse that was victory lane after Hunter-Reay pulled off a fabulous win; or that after a year of uncertainty, Baltimore did, in fact, race on, the Izod IndyCar Series clearly had a memorable weekend in Charm City. And while I could focus on any one of those subjects, or others, I’m going to opine about another lasting memory we will take from Baltimore 2012: Silly Season.
by Adriano Manocchia Ryan Hunter-Reay drove the race of his life to win the 2nd annual Baltimore Grand Prix for Andretti Autosports over Ryan Briscoe and Simon Pagenaud. More importantly he kept his championship hopes alive and closed to within 17 points of leader Will Power. Adriano Manocchia captured all the action in these captioned photos.
Hunter-Reay in sensational drive to win GP of Baltimore
by Tim Wohlford Ryan Hunter-Reay needed a win to keep championship hopes alive. With the restart of the century he grabbed the lead – and the win – in the 2012 Grand Prix of Baltimore. Ryan Briscoe finished second, followed by Simon Pagenaud, Scott Dixon and Rubens Barrichello. The championship will conclude in 2 weeks at Fontana, with Hunter-Reay 17 points behind Will Power.
by Adriano Manocchia Saturday on the streets of Baltimore ALMS ran their race late in the day and finished just before the rains hit. Level 5 finished 1-2 with their LMP2 cars. The IndyCars qualified with Will Power taking pole comfortably and support series saw Indy Lights and USF2000 in action. Adriano Manocchia was there and captured all the action with these captioned photos.
Tim Wohlford and Mark Cipolloni In absolutely no surprise to anyone, Will Power grabbed the pole for the 2012 Grand Prix of Baltimore, over half a second faster than the second place car. In something of a surprise, Mike Conway grabbed that second spot, followed by Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais, Dario Franchitti and James Hinchcliffe. At the very end of the session, Conway nailed the wall at the railroad chicane, severely damaging his car (Conway appears to be okay).
by Adriano Manocchia Due to cars launching over railroad tracks on the front straight in Baltimore Friday track time for the ALMS and IndyCars was shortened. Lucas Luhr put his Muscle Milk car on pole for the ALMS race and points leader Will Power was the fastest IndyCar in afternoon practice. Even though track management didn't bother to cut any photo holes for the photographers, Adriano Manocchia was there and did his best to capture all the action.
Scenes from 2012 Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction
by Mark Scheuern A strong and energetic contingent of friends, family, fellow legends and motorsports and automotive industry insiders converged in downtown Detroit Wednesday night to usher an illustrious group of seven motorsports icons representing the Class of 2012 into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America at the organization’s 24th Annual Induction Ceremony at the historic Fillmore Theater.
by Brian Carroccio On Labor Day weekend one year ago, we witnessed a sparkling debut from an unlikely pairing, as the City of Baltimore hosted its first Izod IndyCar Series race. Sure, there were some grumblings about noise, traffic congestion, and the inevitable, yet unforeseen costs a start-up event. But at the end of the day, a city with almost no racing heritage attracted more than 100,000 spectators to its beautiful Inner Harbor for the three day festival of speed.
IndyCar IZOD IndyCar Series driver Alex Tagliani participated in an INDYCAR conference call to preview the Grand Prix of Baltimore. Tagliani, driver of the No. 98 Barracuda Racing Honda, is 17th in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings despite missing a race earlier this year. Tagliani has advanced to all but one of the Firestone Fast Six qualifying sessions since his team moved to Honda, and has recorded seven top-10 finishes in the past eight races. Tagliani will be looking to get his first podium finish of 2012 at the Grand Prix of Baltimore, where he was seventh a year ago.
by Bob Heathcote Ryan Briscoe took the lead from teammate Will Power with 20 laps left in Sunday’s GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma and went on to score Team Penske’s fourth victory at Sonoma Raceway in the last five years. The win was Briscoe’s first since Texas Motor Speedway in 2010 and it marked the third time since 2005 that Team Penske has claimed the top two finishing positions at the Northern California track.
by Stephen Cox Sunday's IndyCar race at Sonoma was enjoyable to watch and the series is still making forward strides. It was nice to see Rubens Barrichello get a top five finish (you're not in Kansas anymore, Rubens). It's good to have the series revisiting some legendary venues. The battle between Sebastian Bourdais and Joseph Newgarden was fantastic.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Polesitter Will Power dominated most of the race but got held up when a caution flew just when he was pitting and his Penske Chevy teammate Ryan Briscoe grabbed the lead and went on to win the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma IndyCar race before a sun drenched northern California crowd. Dario Franchitti was third in his Ganassi Honda.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Will Power continued his domination of Sonoma Raceway. Power led a Chevy 1-2-3-4 in qualifying Saturday for the GoPro IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma. Power, turning the fastest lap of the weekend in his Verizon Chevy of 1m17.2709s was just fast enough to beat his Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe by 0.1638s. Dragon Racing's Sebastien Bourdais was third with a lap of 1m17.7497s.
Fast Six Drivers Will Power, Team Penske - Polesitter Ryan Briscoe, Team Penske – Second Sebastien Bourdais, Dragon Racing – Third Helio Castroneves, Team Penske – Fourth Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing – Fifth Dario Franchitti, Target Chip Ganassi Racing – Sixth
IndyCar Wednesday, IZOD IndyCar Series driver Simon Pagenaud participated in an INDYCAR conference call to preview the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. Pagenaud is currently sixth in points as a rookie in the IZOD IndyCar Series and one of 15 drivers still eligible to win the IZOD IndyCar Series title. He can clinch the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title this weekend with a finish of 8th or better at Sonoma.
by Stephen Cox I'd like you to conduct an experiment. Go to your local racetrack this weekend. Makes no difference if it's a drag strip, oval or road course, big or small. Just go. Look around, estimate the average age of the fans and let me know what you find. Did you see a lot of kids there? Not likely. Racing fans are aging and there aren't enough new, young fans to take their place. Which begs an interesting question...At the Mecum Monterey auction last weekend, someone coughed up 5.5 million dollars to purchase the L&M Porsche 917/10 that won the Can Am championship more than forty years ago.
With three races remaining Graham Rahal doesn't have to think hard to answer why the IZOD IndyCar Series has been so competitive in 2012. All he has to do is look back to the series' last race - the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio and he has the answer. With three races to go entering this weekend's GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, there are 15 drivers, including Rahal, still mathematically eligible for the IZOD IndyCar Series championship. It's the most since 2000 when 24 drivers were still mathematically eligible to win the title with three races remaining in a nine-race season.
by Brian Carroccio Saturday, looked as though a long, painful Odyssey for Jacques Villeneuve was going to end. Leading the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Montreal, when the white flag waved, the 1997 Formula One (F1) world looked poised to capture the win. However, with about a half lap remaining, Justin Allgaier made contact with Villeneuve and drove off to the victory. Villeneuve finished third. Villeneuve, who had such a promising start to his career, has at 41, become a dislikable, arrogant, petulant shadow of his former self.
by Brian Carroccio KV Racing Technology driver Rubens Barrichello has been pretty chatty of late. Whether its his desire to have a "competitive car," his distaste for "being 15th," or his belief that his old Formula One (F1) team Williams would have been better off with him this season, Rubens has been more than willing to share his opinion.
by Stephen Cox One way or another, everyone buys their ride. It is a universal truth. The exceptions are so few and far between as to be irrelevant. This applies to IndyCar, NASCAR and Formula 1. It applies to your local quarter-mile dirt track. It applies to the 24 Hours of LeMans and ALMS and everything in between.
Brian Carroccio on NASCAR's monopoly According to TMZ, "the son of NASCAR legend Roger Penske,", was arrested Wednesday evening. "The son," TMZ references is of course, Jay Penske, owner of the Dragon Racing IndyCar team. Jay, 33 and his brother Mark, 35, allegedly broke into an apartment to avoid authorities after Jay allegedly urinated on a woman outside the Nantucket Yacht Club. Both Penske brothers were held overnight, released Thursday morning, and are scheduled to be arraigned next Friday August 20th
IndyCar IZOD IndyCar Series driver Katherine Legge participated in an INDYCAR conference call to discuss her return to the IZOD IndyCar Series at Sonoma. Legge, driver of the No. 6 TrueCar Dragon Racing Chevrolet, has made eight starts in her rookie season in the IZOD IndyCar Series with a best finish of 15th at Texas and Iowa. She will be making her first start at Sonoma later this month and joins Simona de Silvestro as female drivers entered in the race.
Dixon moves into elite company with IndyCar legends
by Brian Brian Carroccio Sunday Scott Dixon recorded an impressive win at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Trailing Team Penske's Will Power when both made their final pit stop, Dixon’s Target Chip Ganassi team provided their man with flawless service. On the heels of the quicker stop, Dixon opportunistically moved ahead and pulled away from Power, and went on to score his fourth career win at the venerable natural terrain road course. The victory was also the 29th of Dixon's career, tying him with Indy Car legend Rick Mears for tenth on the all-time list.
by Adriano Manocchia Scott Dixon took the lead for good by passing Will Power in pit row on the 60th lap and then held on Sunday to capture his fourth IndyCar title in the last six years at Mid-Ohio. Power got a consolation prize despite finishing second: He took over the points lead from Ryan Hunter-Reay, who finished 24th.
by Mark J. Cipolloni On their final pitstop Scott Dixon had a better angle into his pit stall than race leader Will Power and allowed his Ganassi team to get the fuel probe in a split second sooner than Power's Penske Team and that allowed Dixon to get out ahead of Power on alp 60 of 85. From there he controlled the gap to Power at around 3 seconds all the way to the flag. Simon Pagenaud came home third.
by Adriano Manocchia The Izod IndyCar Series' best road-course racer finally returned to the top of the qualifying chart Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, ending a drought of seven sessions. Power ran a lap of 1 minute, 5.6474 seconds to win the Firestone Fast Six portion of qualifying. Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr won the American Le Mans Series race Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Graf, from Germany, and Luhr, from Monaco, drove the Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing entry.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Will Power turned the fastest lap of the weekend when it counted to win the pole position for the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car course in his Penske Chevy. Power's lap of 1m05.6474s beat four Honda powered machines headed by Dario Franchitti. Simon Pagenaud was third followed by Alex Tagliani and Scott Dixon. Ryan Briscoe was the slowest of the final Fast Six qualifying session.
by Adriano Manocchia The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge & The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio doubleheader on August 3-5 highlight the summer schedule at Mid-Ohio. On Friday Team Penske driver Will Power, turned the fastest lap in opening practice for The Honda Indy 200. American Le Mans Series drivers Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr won the pole position for the ALMS race to be run Saturday. Adriano Manocchia captured these photos.
by Stephen Cox A car was more than transportation when I was a kid. Your car represented who you were. Everyone knew what a car meant... freedom! The liberty to go where you want, to be with your friends and to get into mischief. An automobile was true, genuine freedom and every one of us wanted it. Not so anymore. The average high school kid is far more concerned with grabbing the latest iPad or the coolest cell phone than driving the right automobile.
Brian Carroccio Friday's inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was one of the stranger races I remember watching. Whether it was the seemingly empty IMS grandstands, the rare Friday afternoon start, the cars going backwards down the straightaway (something I've yet to get used to) the constantly changing weather, or all of those things combined, I cannot exactly pinpoint. However, I can definitively pinpoint one thing I found odd yesterday: I was rooting for Sebastien Bourdais.
IndyCar Earlier today, IZOD IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal participated in an INDYCAR conference call to preview next weekend's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Rahal, driver of the No. 38 Service Central Honda, is 10th in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings after scoring a fourth-place finish at Edmonton. He will join several IZOD IndyCar Series drivers for a one-day test at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 26.
Will Power is third Helio Castroneves earned a bit of redemption at Edmonton's City Centre Airport. The Team Penske driver held off Takuma Sato by 0.8367 of a second to win the caution-free Edmonton Indy on the 13-turn, 2.224-mile temporary airport circuit. With both drivers trading push-to-pass presses, Helio Castroneves used the power in his Chevy to hold off the Honda of Takuma Sato to win.
by Mark J. Cipolloni IndyCar Point leader Ryan Hunter-Reay from the USA won the pole for Sunday's Edmonton IndyCar race with a time of 1m17.2338s in the final Fast-Six Shootout driving his Andretti Autosport Chevy. Dario Franchitti will start second in his Target Chip Ganassi Honda. He tried to beat Hunter-Reay's time but went off course on his final lap. Ryan Briscoe will start third in his Penske Chevy while Takuma Sato and Alex Tagliani round out the top-5.
IndyCar Helio Castroneves has been the Edmonton Indy runner-up three of the past four years. So almost nothing would give him more satisfaction than winning the race July 22 on the 2.224-mile, 13-turn City Centre Airport circuit in the No. 3 Penske Truck Rental car. He started strongly by topping the 25-driver field with a lap of 1 minute, 16.4920 seconds in the second practice session.
Michael Andretti - the real hero of IndyCar Racing
by Brian Carroccio Readers of this space are probably somewhat familiar with the on-track accomplishments of Michael Andretti's He's the third winningest driver in the history of Indy Car style racing behind only A.J. Foyt and his father Mario. He's the winningest driver under CART sanction, in which he won 42 races, the 1991 series championship, and finished second in the series standing 5 times. But unlike Penske and Ganassi, Andretti has made significant investments in the long-term health of IndyCar.
IndyCar IZOD IndyCar Series driver Will Power participated in an INDYCAR conference call to preview this weekend's Edmonton Indy. Power, driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, is second in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings, 34 points behind Ryan Hunter-Reay. Power, who leads the Mario Andretti Trophy standings for the road/street course championship, has won two of the last three races at Edmonton.
In IZOD IndyCar Series No pressure, Ryan, but of the 21 drivers to win three races in a row prior to 2012, only Paul Tracy 1997, A.J. Allmendinger 2006 and Scott Dixon 2007 failed to win an Indy car title in the same year.Ryan Hunter-Reay enters the Edmonton Indy on July 22 with a three-race winning streak on a variety pack of racetracks (the flat Milwaukee Mile, the .875-mile Iowa Speedway with compound banking and the 1.75-mile, 11-turn canyon of a Toronto street course). He's the 23rd to accomplish the feat since 1979.
by Brian Carroccio Are those Americans we've been seeing on the victory rostrums at IndyCar races? Of course, Ryan Hunter-Reay has won the series last 3 races, vaulting into the series points lead. Clearly, the Florida native has found a home at Andretti Autosport and emerged as the man to beat for the series title. However, Hunter-Reay isn't the only one flying the Stars and Stripes during the victory celebrations.
by Stephen Cox After rediscovering authentic competition via deregulation at Iowa Speedway last month, the Honda Indy Toronto event showed just how far Indycar's vastly over-regulated series has yet to go. Every new effort to regulate away their problems only leads to more. Extreme grip from whopping big tires and wing-induced downforce guarantees that the racing groove will be very narrow, which limits passing.
by Adriano Manocchia Ryan Hunter-Reay extended his winning streak from the ovals of Milwaukee and Iowa by taking the victory in the Honda Indy Toronto on the Streets of Toronto. Behind the wheel of the No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, Hunter-Reay scored the eighth win of his career leading a race-high 36 laps of the 85-lap race. Adriano Manocchia captured all the action in these photos.
by Mark J. Cipolloni American Ryan Hunter-Reay made a statement on Sunday on the streets of Toronto by dominating the Honda Indy Toronto in his Chevy. Hunter-Reay took the lead past the halfway mark and then pulled out a lead at will to give the American star his third win of the year, his previous two wins coming on the short ovals at Milwaukee and Iowa. It was Hunter-Reay's third straight win for Andretti Autosports.
by Adriano Manocchia Dario Franchitti earned his first Indy car pole start on the streets of Toronto in 1997. He claimed No. 29 on the 1.75-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place street circuit for the Honda Indy Toronto. Franchitti posted a lap of 59.3510 seconds on the last of his five laps in the Firestone Fast Six to wrest the pole from Will Power, the 2011 pole sitter, in the final 20 seconds of the 10-minute session. Adriano Manocchia was there and captured all the action in these photos.
IndyCar at Exhibition Place Target Chip Ganassi driver Dario Franchitti (Honda) has won the pole position for the Honda Indy Toronto just beating Will Power (Chevy) and Justin Wilson (Honda). Wilson set a new track record for IndyCar in Q2 qualifying, but was unable to equal that time in Q3. It still is 2 seconds slower than the record set by Gil de Ferran in a CART Champ Car, so let no one think for a minute it is as good as it was. Sebastien Bourdais (Chevy) was 4th four for Jay Penske followed by Scott Dixon and Alex Tagliani.
by Adriano Manocchia Dario Franchitti had a positive start to the Honda Indy Toronto race weekend at Exhibition Place. The three-time defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion and defending Toronto race winner topped the first day of practice with a lap of 1:00.2786 (104.813 mph) in his No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Adriano Manocchia was there and captured all the action in these photos.
by Stephen Cox Twelve years ago, Dr. Jack Miller and I sat down for lunch at a crowded restaurant on the west side of Indianapolis, just minutes from the world famous 2½ mile oval. Jack seemed to be in a good mood. Although we had spoken several times at the Speedway, we were really just passing acquaintances. I had suggested we have lunch so I could ask about his business deals and get a fresh perspective on how an ordinary guy gets to the Indy 500. There was no marketing agency, personal assistant or PR rep involved. I just called him up and asked. His response was cheerful and positive.
Talks about IndyCar race in Toronto this weekend IZOD IndyCar Series driver Dario Franchitti participated in an INDYCAR conference call to preview the Honda Indy Toronto. Franchitti, driver of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, is eighth in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings and has won two of the last three races held at Toronto's Exhibition Place, including last year's race.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Ryan Hunter-Reay won the Iowa Corn 250 IndyCar race over his Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti Saturday night, his second win in two weeks. Ironically both races were on a Saturday and the start of both were delayed by rain. In another action packed IndyCar race, Hunter-Reay passed Andretti and leader Scott Dixon in the closing laps and then cruised home when the race ended under caution after Katherine Legge spun with two laps to go. Tony Kanaan was third for KV Racing.
IndyCar Heat Race Qualifying Format Dario Franchitti, who leaped into the top eight on the time chart in the final seconds of practice to qualify for the heat race, passed Marco Andretti on Lap 8 of 30 and went on the claim the pole for the 250-lap race under the lights June 23. It was the second consecutive week that Franchitti has started on pole, and was the 28th of his Indy car career (passing Al Unser for seventh on the all-time list). It was the second consecutive week that Franchitti has started on pole, and was the 28th of his Indy car career (passing Al Unser for seventh on the all-time list).
Q&A with Oriol Servia IZOD IndyCar Series driver Oriol Servia participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to preview the Iowa Corn Indy 250. Servia, driver of the No. 22 Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Chevrolet, is 10th in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings entering the Iowa Corn Indy 250 after scoring a top-five finish at Milwaukee -- his third top-five finish in the last four races.
by Stephen Cox Did you ever wonder why so many racecars were called “Specials?” Louis Meyer, for instance, drove the Bowes Seal Fast Special. Mauri Rose won the Indy 500 in the Blue Crown Spark Plug Special. The term “special” is an earmark for many classic American racecars. Here’s how the term originated: In the early 20th century, racecars were simply passenger cars. Manufacturers frequently raced their products with no alterations whatsoever.
by Mark J. Cipolloni It's common knowledge now that IndyCar was forced to cancel its upcoming Qingdao, China race. What's not known is why it was really cancelled and how very important it is for IndyCar to not give up on China. In this article we give you the 'Paul Harvey Now that's the rest of the story' inside facts into what went into cancelling what was to be IndyCar's most important new race since its inception.
by Mark J. Cipolloni American Ryan Hunter-Reay, driving for Michael Andretti, the same Michael Andretti who came in to rescue this historic race, drove to a dominating victory Saturday in the Milwaukee Indyfest 225. Hunter-Reay won over five other Chevy drivers to give Chevy a sweep of the first six positions after getting beaten by Honda teams the past three races. Tony Kanaan was 2nd for KV Racing ahead of James Hinchcliffe, Oriol Servia and EJ Visio.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti bumped fellow Honda driver Justin Wilson off the pole for the Milwaukee Indyfest 225 with a run late in the session that saw Wilson on top after setting a fast time early. It appeared no one was going to be able to bump Wilson from the top spot until Franchitti did it with a spectacular last lap of over 169 mph that brought his average speed up to 168.737 mph. However, even if Wilson did win the pole, he was going to have to start 10 positions back due to an early engine change penalty.
by Dave Grayson Somewhere in the dark, hard to see, area of your dad's closet is a wire coat hanger filled with the world's ugliest ties. The type of neckline fashion accessories that should not be worn even on Halloween night. Then there's the Inertia Nut Cracker, that dad keeps stored in a box, which broke its rubber band the first time he tried to crack a walnut with it. Let's not even talk about the solar powered jogging shorts. What exactly are these items?
Texas Offers a Glimpse of What IndyCar Was, Should Be
by Stephen Cox “That's the best racing I've ever had on an oval.” - Will Power. The Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway should go down in history as the most important IndyCar race in the last 30 years. For the first time since Parnelli Jones retired, we saw racecars sliding in the turns on an oval track. We have a long way to go, but thankfully, someone at IndyCar is finally doing what I've been harping about for many years... taking the downforce out of the racecars and letting them slide all over the track.
by Tim Wohlford Well, THAT is more like it! IndyCar figured out the high-banked formula, and the best drivers were in the front all night. Justin Wilson won his third IndyCar race, passing Graham Rahal when Rahal brushed the wall with 2 laps to go but he hung on to finish 2nd giving Honda a 1-2 finish. Ryan Briscoe finished third. James Hinchcliffe was fourth and JR Hildebrand rounded out the top-5 with Chevy powered cars finishing 3-4-5.
IndyCar Alex Tagliani won pole position for Saturday night's IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway leading a Honda onslaught 1-2-3-4. The Canadian averaged 215.691mph over his two qualifying laps at the wheel of the Bryan Herta Autosport Honda to beat Ganassi's Dario Franchitti by just 0.0102 sec. Franchitti had topped the practice session. Graham Rahal was third-fastest in a Ganassi Honda ahead of Ganassi Honda driver Scott Dixon.
by Tim Wohlford At Detroit, there were two big stories in the IndyCar paddock, both left over from Indy: The fate of the Lotus motors, and the happiness of team owners. I got the chance to sit down with the one man who would know a lot about both – HVM’s Keith Wiggins. To say that Keith has a full resume is an understatement – former racer, race engineer, F1 principal twice, rescuer of Lola when it previously was on the brink, owner in CART, CCWS and finally IndyCar. Keith made time for a brief conversation at Detroit shortly before the race, and I was anxious to hear Keith's take on both Lotus and the much-reported team owner unhappiness.
by Adriano Manocchia Potholes are a pain in the butt, not to mention the tires and the undercarriages of expensive racing machines. Problems with the 2.1-mile track at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle, including large gashes and potholes, caused a crash, sent asphalt flying and delayed the nationally broadcast race on Lap 45. Our Adriano Manocchia was there to capture these photographs.
by Mark Scheuern On Saturday Scott Dixon won his first IndyCar pole of the year and snapped Penske Racing's streak of having the fastest car in IndyCar qualifying this season. On Sunday Scott Dixon led every lap and dominated the race. His Ganassi teammate, Dario Franchitti, backed that up with a 2nd place. Our Mark Scheuern was there to capture these photographs.
by Tim Wohlford A stranger race probably has been run, but I can’t remember when. In the end, the mean streets of Detroit were the winner in the 2012 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Island Grand Prix, with potholes, causing the race to be called after 60 laps. Scott Dixon lead all 60 laps. Dario Franchitti finished second, followed by Simon Pagenaud. The Honda 1-2-3 sweep ruins Chevy’s party, whose cars finished 4, 5, 6 and 7.
by Adriano Manocchia The weather was better on Saturday on Belle Isle for the Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle which saw Grand-Am, SCCA World Challenge, and Firestone Indy Lights race, while the IZOD IndyCar series qualified. Scott Dixon won the pole for the IndyCar race while Action Motorsports finished 1-2 in the Grand-AM race. Adriano Manocchia was on hand and captured these captioned photos.
by Mark Scheuern On Saturday Scott Dixon won his first IndyCar pole of the year and snapped Penske Racing's streak of having the fastest car in IndyCar qualifying this season. Dixon set a track record of 1 minute, 10.3162 seconds Saturday on the Detroit Grand Prix's slick and tight 2-mile course. Penske's Will Power, the points leader, will start Sunday's race second followed by Alex Tagliani and Simon Pagenaud.
IndyCar Scott Dixon recorded a lap of 1 minute, 10.3162 seconds -- a qualifying record for the 2.07-mile, 14-turn street circuit layout -- in the final 30 seconds of the Firestone Fast Six to earn the pole award for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. He pipped Will Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, by 0.0044 of a second.
by Adriano Manocchia The Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle is back this year after a couple of years hiatus with IndyCar, as well as for the first time - Grand-Am. Friday was practice day for Grand-Am, SCCA World Challenge, Firestone Indy Lights and the IZOD IndyCar series. Adriano Manocchia was on hand and braved the wet and damp conditions to capture all the actions for us in these captioned photos.
on Belle Isle Will Power topped the second IndyCar practice session for this weekend's IndyCar race on the Belle Island street circuit in Detroit. The Penske driver posted a best time of 1m12.8355s, just 0.09 seconds clear of Dale Coyne Racing's Justin Wilson. Power's teammate Ryan Briscoe was third-fastest, with Schmidt Hamilton's Simon Pagenaud and KV Racing's Tony Kanaan rounding out the top five.
by Stephen Cox If there was ever any doubt that the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race is still the Mt. Everest of motorsports, it is gone after today's record-breaking event. Yes, I have a few gripes about the DW-12 chassis and the lame, new re-start procedures. We'll get to those in a moment. But the race itself was a sight to behold. Here are my random thoughts on this year's Greatest Spectacle in Racing: I really thought that Marco Andretti was going to run off with this race........
by Mark J. Cipolloni On my way out of the track after today's Indy 500 to catch my flight back home to enjoy the remainder of the Memorial Day holiday with family, I heard fans saying that this was the greatest Indy 500 of all time, and there have been many great ones through the years. Not one fan, I am talking about hundreds of fans all gushing the same - they could not believe what a fantastic race they just saw.
by Tim Wohlford With the fans on their feet in the most exciting Indy 500 ever run, Dario Franchitti won the 96th running of American classic over Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan. The finish was a 6-lap sprint to the end after Marco Andretti, who was passing cars and heading toward the front, lost control and hit the Turn 1 wall with 13 laps to go. Takuma Sato from Japan passed Scott Dixon with one lap to go and then tried to pass Dario Franchitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but Franchitti squeezed him low and Sato spun and hit the wall.
by Stephen Cox On Friday night at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, several thousand die-hard race fans got a glimpse of what real auto racing is supposed to look like. The 59th running of the Hoosier Hundred was held on the appropriately named “Track of Champions,” the historic one-mile dirt oval where Barney Oldfield drove a mile in less than a minute for the first time in history on June 19, 1903.
Interview with Randy Bernard IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard met with the IndyCar media this morning here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and covered a lot of ground from Marco Andretti and James Hinchcliffe, to Chevy, Honda and Lotus, to returning to Road America, Phoenix, Australia and MIS, to the return of Milwaukee, Baltimore and Detroit, to the silence on China. It's a must read interview for any IndyCar fan.
by Mark J. Cipolloni They have not run carburetors at the Indy 500 in years but they still call the final warm-up before the Indy 500 'Carb Day' referring back to the era when mechanics would make final carburetor adjustments before the big Indy 500 mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Before the biggest 'Carb Day crowd that we have seen in many years, the Honda powered Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon were the only drivers to break 222 mph.
IndyCar IZOD IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to preview the Indianapolis 500. The fastest of the Andretti Autosport drivers, Hinchliffe missed winning the pole position for the 96th Indy 500 by the slimmest of margins. Hinchcliffe, who has a great personality to match his driving talent, has raised the game of the entire Andretti team. The rising Canadian superstar, who replaced GoDaddy model Danica Patrick, talks about his team and the upcoming Indy 500.
Hoosier Hundred Still Reigns Supreme for Short Tracks
by Stephen Cox I would like to invite you to attend an auto race with me this weekend. But first, let me tell you a quick story. It was 11 o’clock on a Saturday morning and I was tired of job hunting. Since graduating from college the previous spring my time was consumed with courting my lovely bride-to-be and finding a job. But thank goodness, this particular Saturday was set aside for fun. The date was September 13, 1986. I was looking forward to spending the day with the greatest man I’d ever known – my father.
Chevy IndyCar Engine Offers Promise for Street Cars
IndyCar The unbeaten track performance of the new Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 engine is bringing acclaim to the engineers who created it and hope for its significant technology to find its way into passenger cars. Engineers Mark Kent and Matt Wiles, along with Steve Miller and Steve O'Connor from Ilmor Engineering, took home the 46th annual BorgWarner Louis Schwitzer Award on Monday for their work on the Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 engine.
Pippa Mann’s Courageous Effort to Return to IndyCar
by Stephen Cox The death of Dan Wheldon has justifiably become the overriding memory of last fall's tragic IndyCar race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. But lost in the shuffle were several other serious injuries that left both physical and emotional scars on the drivers. While the media quite naturally focuses on the loss of Dan Wheldon, other drivers who suffered serious injuries are unintentionally passed over. One of those injured parties was Pippa Mann. Rather than re-hash an accident that few of us want to recall, suffice to say that Pippa escaped with her life but her extremities were in lousy condition.
Wants to see DeltaWing race on after LeMans The upcoming race debut of the Nissan powered DeltaWing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans completes a remarkable year of hard work and dedication by the team at DeltaWing Racing Cars. But according to Managing Partner, Don Panoz, the assault on this year’s famous French enduro is not the finish line for 12 months of remarkable effort by the manufacturer and its partners including Nissan and Michelin, but the start of a unique future for the car’s design.
by Bob Heathcote Marc Gene drove in the Ferrari Driving Days held at Laguna Seca in California this past weekend. The Ferrari reserve driver 'allegedly' unofficially beat the track record with a lap of 1m05.78s driving a Ferrari F2003-GA. The official record is currently held by Sebastien Bourdais who had a time of 1m05.88s in 2007 while driving a Panoz DP01 Champ Car. Our Bob Heathcote was there to capture this and all the action in these captioned photos.
All 33 cars make the field Three Honda-powered entries, Four Chevrolet-powered entries and two Lotus Dallaras made successful qualifying runs on Sunday to complete the 33-car starting field. The 2012 Indianapolis 500, the first with engine manufacturer competition since 2005, includes 15 Honda-powered drivers, 16 from Chevrolet and the remaining two using Lotus engines. Sebastien Bourdais was fastest of all nine qualifiers on Sunday with a 4 Lap Average: 223.760 mph. There were no bumping attempts.
by Stephen Cox The 25th edition of Mecum's Spring Classic was held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds last week, producing high-dollar sales on some of the most desirable automobiles in the world. The real news to come from this auction was the announcement that a pair of historic racecars will sell at Mecum's Monterey event in August. The first car is a massive blockbuster.
Briscoe, Hinchcliffe, Hunter-Reay, Power, Castroneves, Kanaan Q. In many ways, winning the pole for the Indy 500 is going to be a lot more exposure than winning another IndyCar Series race. Talk about what you have coming up ahead of you. You're going to be the face of the race leading into next Sunday? RYAN BRISCOE: I think this extra boost has certainly favored the Chevrolet cars and we took advantage of it.
IndyCar Ryan Briscoe had two hours to mentally prepare himself to qualify for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 after crashing in practice on Pole Day 2011. "That was very difficult to get back in the car and go out to qualify," related the Team Penske driver, who started 26th. On May 27, he'll have a decidedly better view of the first turn.
IndyCar Marco Andretti believes he has a car capable of winning the 96th Indianapolis 500 no matter where he qualifies for the race. But winning the pole for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" could go a long way to making the goal a reality. The third-generation driver from one of racing's most famous families topped the timesheets on Fast Friday with a lap of 39.5535 seconds (227.540 mph) mph, the fastest lap of the Month of May.
IndyCar Many of the IndyCar teams were paraded into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway media center on Friday to answer questions from the media. Chip Ganassi Racing, Team Penske, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Andretti Autosport, and KV Racing all participated. Presented are all the transcripts in one document.
IndyCar Following six days of practice totaling 35 sun-splashed hours on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it's time for teams to literally switch gears. INDYCAR, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series, approved an increase in the turbocharger boost level for "Fast Friday" on May 18 and the May 19-20 time trials for the Indianapolis 500 from 130 kPa (kilopascals) to 140 kPa. The increase will add 40-50 horsepower to the 2.2-lter, turbocharged V-6 engines supplied by Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus, resulting in an increase of 4-5 mph per lap. The boost level will be returned to 130 kPa for the 200-lap race May 27.
Practice Report from the Indy 500 - Car underpowered
by Stephen Cox The opening weekend of practice for the 2012 Indianapolis 500 is behind us and things just get weirder and weirder. Rather than dwell on headlines that are already well covered in mainstream news releases, let me dive into a few behind-the-scenes observations and some educated guesswork. My personal, unofficial opinion (which I reserve the right to deny later) is that the new Dallara/Firestone combination simply provides more grip than this engine package is capable of surpassing.
IndyCar/LAT USA The next generation of IZOD IndyCar Series 'ugly duckling' cars claimed the spotlight Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, led by Honda-powered rookie Josef Newgarden, who claimed overall honors at Opening Day practice for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. Rookie Josef Newgarden turned the fast lap.
IndyCar Six drivers completed the three required speed phases during Rookie Orientation Program activities May 10 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Josef Newgarden and Bryan Clauson of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, James Jakes of Dale Coyne Racing, Simon Pagenaud of Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports and Rubens Barrichello of KV Racing Technology completed the 40-lap test, clearing the way for them to compete in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 27. Michel Jourdain Jr., who last raced at Indianapolis in 1996, also completed the speed phases.
Previewing Indy 500 IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Ed Carpenter, JR Hildebrand and Oriol Servia Panther Racing CEO and co-owner John Barnes Dreyer & Reinbold co-owners Dennis Reinbold and Robbie Buhl participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to preview the Month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and discuss the strategic alliance between Panther Racing and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.
INDYCAR/LAT USA IndyCar teams arrived at Texas Motor Speedway for the first IZOD IndyCar Series Open Test on a 1.5-mile oval with the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series chassis powered by the 2.2-liter, turbocharged engine supplied by Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus. The 6½ hours of available track time provided teams with gigabytes of information to take into the June 8-9 Firestone 550.
IndyCar Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing co-owner Sarah Fisher and Bryan Clauson, one of the drivers her team will field in the Indianapolis 500, participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to preview the Month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Bryan will drive the No. 39 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing RW Honda at the Indianapolis 500 after competing in Firestone Indy Lights in 2011, alongside his USAC short-track racing. Bryan is a two-time defending USAC National Drivers Champion which earned him a scholarship to compete in last year's Firestone Indy Lights and this year's Indianapolis 500.
by Stephen Cox The Super Cup Performance Fiberglass 100 at Columbus Motor Speedway was rained out last weekend, so I have no story to share with you about my own race. Once the event was officially called, I instead submit to thee... random thoughts on the Sao Paulo Indy 300 while wondering whatever happened to the claim that IndyCar would vanish from Earth the moment Danica Patrick left. The crowd was huge.
by Mark J. Cipolloni The forecasted rain stayed away and Will Power got the jump on Ryan Hunter-Reay on the final restart of the Sao Paulo Indy 300 with five laps to go and held on to win by 0.9 sec. before a big Brazilian crowd. Hunter-Reay was second to give Chevy a 1-2 finish and Takuma Sato brought his Honda home a close third. It was the third straight win in Brazil for Will Power who has now won three straight IndyCar races dating back to Barber Motorsports Park.
IndyCar Ryan Hunter-Reay: Well, first of all, it's great to be in Brazil. We love coming down here to race. It makes for a fantastic event, some of the best racing that we have all year. Thank you for welcoming us to your country. As a team, we absolutely love this track. We've been very good here every time we come. It's been a strong event for us, and once again, we were pretty strong today. But we're not really happy enough unless we win.
by Mark J. Cipolloni IndyCar street and road course ace Will Power has done it again, taking pole position for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil in his Chevy. Power set a new track record of 1m21.2718s in round 2 qualifying and although he could only muster a 1m21.4045s lap in the final Fast Six round, it was enough to secure pole position over Dario Franchitti's Honda.
IndyCar WILL POWER: It was a good run. I knew about Dario and the competition. I think those guys were a little quicker down the straight because they were running less downforce and we were trying to make it up in the corner. So, yeah, it was just that last lap six, they were telling me it was going to be close, and I started another lap, made a mistake, but, yeah. It's satisfying when you get pole by such a small margin because you have to rag it so much to do that.
IndyCar Rahal Letterman Racing co-owner Bobby Rahal and driver Michel Jourdain Jr. participated in a media conference call to discuss the announcement that Jourdain will drive for the team in the Indianapolis 500. IZOD IndyCar Series driver Helio Castroneves also participated to preview this weekend's Sao Paulo Indy 300.
by Mark J. Cipolloni While in Long Beach this past weekend we had the chance to catch-up with IndyCar driver Katherine Legge. Legge came up through the Champ Car ranks, first winning three Atlantic Series races and then moving up to race two years in Champ Car. When that series merged with IndyCar she found herself without a ride, so she raced in the German DTM series for a few years. Now, with backing from TrueCar, she is back in open wheel racing. We talk about the obstacles she faces, the touchy topic of whether woman can beat men in motorsports, and what her goals are for 2012 and beyond.
by Bob Heathcote Maximizing a two-pit stop race strategy called by race strategist Tim Cindric, Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, took the lead on lap 70 of the 85-lap Grand Prix of Long Beach Indy and never looked back. It was the second IZOD IndyCar Series victory for Power in as many weeks. Our Bob Heathcote captured these photographs.
by Stephen Cox Okay, let's cut through the official press releases and other bovine excrement and talk about the real stories from IndyCar’s Long Beach Grand Prix. Ready... set...Chevy scored four of the top five quickest times in qualifying at Long Beach. If you think Chevy is dominant now, wait till the Indy 500. You ain't seen nothing yet. Chevy's long-time affiliation with Ilmor Engineering (the real brains behind the Chevy IndyCar engine) and their early signing with Penske Racing virtually guaranteed success.
by Mark J. Cipolloni In one of the more entertaining races here in a long time, Will Power came from 12th starting position in his Chevy to win the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach by less than 1-second, holding off a fast closing Simon Pagenaud in a Honda. James Hinchcliffe came home in third after Ryan Hunter-Reay was penalized 30 seconds for avoidable contact with Takuma Sato's Honda who was in 3rd with one lap to go.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Much ado has been made about Honda being told to remove the turbochargers from their cars here in Long Beach and revert to the turbocharger they used in the first two IndyCar races of 2012 in Florida and Alabama. There had been reports that the Honda drivers were suffering from more turbo lag than the Chevy and Lotus powered drivers. So I decided to get to the bottom of this story.
by Bob Heathcote The weather returned to a normal day in Long Beach California - sunny and nice as the IZOD IndyCars qualified, the Indy Lights drivers qualified, ALMS ran their Saturday feature event and the Toyota Pro/Celebrity drivers bumped and banged their way around the 1.97-mile street circuit. Our Bob Heathcote captured these photographs.
by Mark J. Cipolloni We had the chance to catch up with IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard on Saturday in Long Beach to get an update on several issues confronting the series, including the engine issues with Honda and Chevy, The Lotus behind the 8-ball, TV ratings, and other interesting topics.
Briscoe fastest, but Franchitti wins Long Beach pole
by Mark J. Cipolloni Dario Franchitti did not even have to turn a lap in the final round Fast Six of qualifying on Saturday for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Franchitti was the only Honda powered car to make it into the Fast Six, and since all the rest were Chevy powered who were getting a ten grid penalty for changing engines before Long Beach, by default Franchitti would start on pole regardless of where he finished in the Fast Six. He ended up 4th behind Ryan Briscoe, Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, but it will be Franchitti who will start from pole on Sunday.
by Bob Heathcote On an unusual (for southern California) wet, windy and cold day in Long Beach California the IZOD IndyCars practiced, the Indy Lights drivers practiced, ALMS practiced and qualified and the Toyota Pro/Celebrity drivers practiced but their qualifying was rained out. Our Bob Heathcote captured these photographs.
by Bob Heathcote A number of IndyCar teams diverted north to Sonoma, California on their way to the Long Beach, Grand Prix to test one day at the Infineon Raceway. Our Bob Heathcote was there and captured these captioned photographs. Pictured right is EJ Viso in his red and white CITGO livery.
IndyCar IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Scott Dixon and JR Hildebrand participated in a media conference call to discuss the upcoming Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and the IZOD IndyCar Series team test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Scott is the driver of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda and is a two-time IndyCar Series champion and the 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner. JR is the 2011 Indianapolis 500 Rookie-of-the-Year.
by Stephen Cox INDYCAR’s visit to Barber Motorsports Park was chock full of revealing incidents. Here are a few of them: Half the field complained of severe understeer, with many teams switching to used “red” tires to compensate. That tells us a lot of things. First, these tires aren't wearing out. I can tell you from experience that racing tires generally last much longer than fans think.
by Scott Morris The IndyCar series raced at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL and Will Power won over Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves. Our Scott Morris was there to capture all the action in these nearly 90 photos. Barber is a great track for the IndyCars and the passing today was fantastic and happening all around the circuit.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Starting ninth, Will Power drove his Chevy to victory in the Honda Alabama Grand Prix Sunday at beautiful Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham. Scott Dixon had nothing for Power at the end and settled for second in his Honda after he cooked his soft red tires trying to stay with Power. Helio Castroneves held off Graham Rahal for third and Simon Pagenaud was all over both of them in 5th. James Hinchcliffe, Mike Conway, Rubens Barrichello, Sebastien Bourdais and Dario Franchitti rounded out the top 10.
by Scott Morris, Firestone and IndyCar The IndyCar series qualified at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL and Helio Castroneves won the pole. Grand-Am held their feature race Saturday afternoon and the pole winning No. 90 Corvette DP went on to win. The weekend to date has been hindered by rain and fog, thereby limiting running time on the track.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Helio Castroneves said it best after qualifying, "I would rather be lucky than good," referring to the pole position he won for Sunday's Honda GP of Alabama IndyCar race at Barber Motorsports Park. Will Power was easily the fastest driver on track and the only driver in the 1m09sec range, but a crash by Ryan Hunter-Reay saw him and other drivers get caught out and unable to complete their fastest lap in round 2 qualifying.
Barber Day 1: Power fastest in changing conditions
Sets fastest time on dry track in morning Will Power took advantage of limited track time at Barber Motorsports Park. The defending race winner led the opening day of practice for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at the picturesque 2.38-mile road course with a lap of 1 minute 11.2886 seconds in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Power's Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves, was second with a lap of 1:11.5010.
Simona de Silvestro is gaining her confidence back
by Tim Wohlford After the 2011 St. Petersburg IndyCar race, I thought I recognized the driving style of a new driver -- bold, brash, and talented, fearlessly going against the big name veterans. This is Paul Tracy's driving style, I thought, only perhaps with bigger balls. Ironic, since I was watching Simona de Silvestro. As the year went by, Simona impressed the IndyCar world in quite another way with her bravery, when her year went from good to bad, and at times, to disastrous. Bravery, after all, isn't the absence of fear, but rather the ability to function when one is scared witless.
IndyCar IZOD IndyCar Series driver Simon Pagenaud participated in a media conference call to preview Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Pagenaud is the driver of the No. 77 Schmidt‑Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda in the IZOD IndyCar Series, and in his season debut with the team overcame a ten‑grid spot penalty and finished sixth at St. Petersburg.
by Tim Wohlford When you talk to Pippa Mann, you just have to ask her about her hand, badly burned in the Vegas crash last year. It’s not all of her life, but for now, it’s still an important part of her life. “It’s doing really good” she tells me as she shows scars from skin and tendon grafts. “It still looks a little bit bulky, but as you can see, it makes a pretty good fist! I’ve been working it in the gym, and it holds onto stuff pretty good.... I’m expecting it to hold onto a steering wheel just fine.”
IndyCar Bob Jenkins was struck by the perceived speed of the new IZOD IndyCar Series cars as they navigated the 1.67-mile Sebring International Raceway short course during testing earlier this month, and turned to relay the observation to a colleague on pit lane. That was his second notification that the next-generation car-turbocharged engine package is certainly different from 2011.
by Scott Morris The IndyCar series took to the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida Sunday for their season opening race. Helio Castroneves captured his third win on the 1.8-mile 14-turn picturesque waterfront circuit. USF2000 also ran their 2nd race of the weekend and Spencer Pigot was again victorious. Recall it was Pigot and other AR1.com staff that won the St. Pete go-kart media challenge 2-weeks earlier. Our Scott Morris was there to capture these images.
Castroneves wins IndyCar season opener in St. Pete
by Tim Wohlford Helio Castroneves checked out on the field in the last quarter of the race, cruising to a 5+ second win over Scott Dixon in the 2012 Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg at the St Petersburg Street Circuit. Ryan Hunter-Reay was third. For Chevy it was a triumphant return to IndyCar racing and they took four of the top five positions - some early bragging rights in this Honda sponsored event. It was Helio's third win at St. Petersburg and his first win since 2010.
by Scott Morris The IndyCar series took to the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida Saturday for practice and qualifying, which saw Will Power capture his third straight pole on the 1.8-mile 14-turn picturesque waterfront circuit. Our Scott Morris was there to capture these images. The Indy Lights series later raced and Tristan Vautier was victorious.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Will Power set a new track record in qualifications for the 2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Ryan Briscoe qualified second, with Ryan Hunter-Reay qualifying third. Chevy spoiled the Honda weekend, taking 5 of the top 6 spots. Only Simon Pagenaud’s 6th place run in his Honda prevented a Chevy sweep of the top 6 spots.
IndyCar at St. Petersburg Picking up where he left off last year on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, Penske driver Will Power turned the fastest lap on opening day of practice. Power's No. 12 Verizon car led a Chevy 1-2 as his teammate Ryan Briscoe was 2nd fastest. Power's time of 1m02.0077s was over 1-second fastest than the 1m03.3759s he turned last year to lead Friday's action and 0.0854 of a second quicker than Ryan Briscoe in the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet.
Q and A with Ryan Briscoe, Will Power and Will Phillips
Prior to IndyCar season opener Today, IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Ryan Briscoe and Will Power and INDYCAR Vice President of Technology Will Phillips participated in a IndyCar media conference call to preview the 2012 season and the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
On the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida If the times from the preseason Open Test at Sebring International Raceway are any indication of what's to come, then 2012 is shaping up to be another competitive IZOD IndyCar Series season. The top 16 cars of the 26 that participated in the test were separated by a second. Last season produced another competitive championship, with Dario Franchitti winning his third straight title. Will 2012 produce another close title chase?
Q and A with Andretti and Newgarden on St. Pete GP
IndyCar IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Marco Andretti and Josef Newgarden participated in a media conference call to preview the 2012 season and the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Andretti of Andretti Auto Sports, will make his 100th IZOD IndyCar Series start St. Pete. 2011 Firestone Indy Lights champion, Josef Newgarden, will make his first IndyCar Series start with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.
Graham Rahal on the new IndyCar and racing in Texas
Texas Motor Speedway media day Q: About the new INDYCAR chassis...
A: It's a good chassis. I think that when the car first came out there were a lot of people thinking 'Is it that good? Is it a lemon?' and they were a little worried about it, but it's a really good car. The street course/road course performance is very impressive and the oval car is good. They tested here not too long ago and the speeds were very similar to what we ran before, which I think says a lot because it's the first time it's really been run on a superspeedway. So we've got a long way to go, but it has a lot of potential.
Chevy cars dominate Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Briscoe topped the timesheets as 10 IZOD IndyCar Series drivers and teams concluded a two-day Open Test at Sebring International Raceway. Castroneves set a lap of 52.1413 seconds in the No. 3 Shell V-Power/Pennzoil Ultra Chevrolet, just a shade quicker than Power in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.
Open test at Sebring in his Chevy powered Dallara Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay led the opening day of the IZOD IndyCar Series' Open Test at Sebring International Raceway. Hunter-Reay, driving the Chevrolet-powered No. 28 DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car for Andretti Autosport, recorded the quickest time during the seven hours of track time with a lap of 52.5826 seconds. Helio Castroneves in the No. 3 Team Penske car was second (52.7092) and Simon Pagenaud in the Schmidt/Hamilton Motorsports car (52.7311) was third.
INDY Welcome, everybody, to today's IZOD IndyCar Series conference call. Earlier today KV Racing Technology announced that Brazilian race car drivers Tony Kanaan and Rubens Barrichello will drive for the team this season in the IZOD IndyCar Series. We're pleased to be joined by Rubens Barrichello, driver of the No. 8 BMC Embrase KV Racing Technology Chevrolet; Tony Kanaan, driver of the No. 11 GEICO Mouser Electronics KV Racing Technology Chevrolet; KV Racing Technology co‑owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser; and KV Racing Technology general manager Mark Johnson.
by Mark J. Cipolloni AutoRacing1.com (AR1.com) sent four staff members to participate in Tuesday's Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete media kart race with IndyCar and other pro drivers and members of the media, in a lead-up to the March 24-26 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The event was held at the impressive Andersen Racing Park in Palmetto, FL just minutes away from the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (GPSP) location, on their state-of-the-art kart racing course, in equally prepared Honda powered go-karts.
by E.J. Viso Hi to all my friends at AutoRacing1, we are starting the IndyCar season with many new things to come both on the technical and sporting side with changes that will surely provide more excitement to the series. We will premiere the new Dallara chassis, which bear the initials of our unforgettable and irreplaceable friend and colleague, Dan Wheldon. He was a special person on and off the track, a true champion and we all will miss him.
by Scott Morris A large number of IndyCar teams were testing the 2012 IndyCar at Barber Motorsports Park Tuesday and our Scott Morris was on hand to take these photos and offer up these observations -Watching the cars turn in to 7-7a, and having sat there many times and watch other cars at this track, I noticed a few things. Just from this observers view, it seems to me like most all of the cars would turn in crisp initially, but then would understeer into the turn from there.
No push to pass for now Tuesday morning in Indianapolis, IndyCar's new Race Director, Beaux Barfield, reviewed the changes he has planned for the 2012 season. Besides introducing his new Race Stewards, Barfield reviewed some of the changes that include qualifying heat races for some ovals (instead of boring single car qualifying), better communications between race control and the teams, the elimination of double file restarts on some of the ovals, and the plan for trying standing starts later in the year.
Bernard hosts IndyCar State of the Series Presentation
At Hilbert Theater in Indianapolis IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard the introduction to the 2012 American open-wheel season at the Hilbert Theater in Indianapolis on Monday night, stating at the presentation’s conclusion his personal commitment to staying with IndyCar until the Hulman George family asks him to leave and his commitment to making IndyCar a success.
Highlights from Day 1 of IndyCar State of the Union
Being Held in Indianapolis IndyCar is holding a two day State of the Series event in Indianapolis with all teams, drivers, media in attendance. Here are some of the highlights: IndyCar will have an additional network-television race, officials announced on Monday, from 5 the last few years to 6. IndyCar's season will start on ABC on March 25, on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. The other ABC races will be the Indianapolis 500 (May 27), the Belle Isle race in Detroit (June 3), the revived race in Milwaukee (June 16), the Toronto street race (July 8) and the Aug. 5 race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
On Sato's signing with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Rahal Letterman Lanigan co-owner Bobby Rahal and IZOD IndyCar Series driver Takuma Sato were guests on an INDYCAR conference call today to discuss Sato's signing with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. RAHAL: I had a chance to see Taku not when he first started racing but when he was Europe in England in Formula 3 in 2001 when I was over there with Jaguar Formula One. I managed to watch Takuma win a lot of Formula 3 races.
INDYCAR Conference Call Transcript Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti and IZOD IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe were guests on an INDYCAR conference call today to discuss Hinchcliffe's signing with Andretti Autosport. Andretti Autosport announced today it has signed Canadian Hinchcliffe to a multi-year IZOD IndyCar Series deal. Hinchcliffe, a young, yet accomplished racer, steps into a big role as driver of the GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for 2012.
Ft. Lauderdale is destined to be IndyCar's season finale
by Mark J. Cipolloni Hat's off to IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard for trying. Las Vegas as a season finale was a nice idea but the fans didn't turn out and it failed. But sometimes things happen for a reason and I think there's a better place for IndyCar to hold their season finale - Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Ft. Lauderdale fits the bill as the perfect venue for IndyCar to end their season on a high note. In this article I will examine why it makes perfect sense on many levels. You will understand why IndyCar driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, the founder of the Ft. Lauderdale Grand Prix, is working hard to make this race a reality for IndyCar.
Nick Neri Might Just Be the Fastest Kid in America
by Keith Ori There’s that video image of the fast Brazilian kid (there’s always a fast Brazilian kid in these stories)- the one that won one of the Big Deal scholarships and competed in the National Championship last year. Road Atlanta, last lap, hair on fire, chin strap between his teeth, trying an outside pass at 10A. Next frame he’s bouncing across the sand and grass like a damn dune buggy. With that, Nick Neri, a then-15 year-old from Palmetto, FL, won the first car race he’d ever entered. In the entire history of auto racing, I can’t even name another driver that won their first race against legitimate competition in equal cars.
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