One of the most dominant and iconic personalities in history He was, without doubt, one of the most dominant and iconic personalities in the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. An innovator, tireless promoter and public relations genius, the flamboyant, larger-than-life Andy Granatelli succumbed to congestive heart failure Sunday, Dec. 29 in a Santa Barbara, Calif., hospital. He was 90. Granatelli's lifelong passion for motor racing was unquestioned.
by Brian Carroccio Ten drivers representing eight nations and six different teams found victory lane. Four of those drivers were first time winners. Ten additional drivers would join the race winners as podium finishers, as what was known as the Izod IndyCar Series in 2013 featured as compelling and competitive an on-track product as ever. Of course, it's never simple in the world of IndyCar.
Comes to grip with retirement IndyCar veteran Dario Franchitti met with the media today to talk about his accident and his decision to retire. "Looking forward to the future. Rather than being kind of bummed about not getting to drive the No. 10 Target car again and other things after that, I'm just very thankful for the career - I don't even like that word 'career' - for the racing I was able to do, the fun I was able to have, all the things that went along with that."
IndyCar With a child who's almost 1 year old in the house, it's sure to be a busy time for Ryan Hunter-Reay and his wife Beccy. It will get a little crazier next week with the holidays. Today, Hunter-Reay marks his 33rd birthday and Dec. 18 he'll be in the Honda-powered Andretti Autosport car at Sebring International Raceway for an end-of-year test. This past weekend, he was the co-grand marshal of the 42nd Winterfest boat parade in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He slowed down enough for the latest installment of "Catching up with..."
by Brian Carroccio Do you find it frustrating to read articles that bounce from subject to subject, without anything resembling a central theme or coherent thesis? Well, sorry. Contrived. Arbitrary. A pathetic appeal to society's ever-growing appetite for entertainment in lieu of what is sporting and fair. Formula One’s decision to award double points in next season’s finale at Abu Dhabi is all those things. And for the record, count this writer amongst the very large and very vocal chorus of naysayers lambasting the idea for the reasons mentioned above, and more.
Indy lays groundwork for $140 million of enhancements
Some to help #1 IndyCar enemy NASCAR The Indiana Motorsports Commission approved preliminary plans by Hulman & Company to invest state funds on infrastructure upgrades at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, targeted at improvements that enhance the quality of motorsport events and the fan experience at the facility. The commission approved a resolution to adopt the IMS improvement plan.
by Brian Carroccio So, Hulman and Co., CEO Mark Miles apparently won't pick up the phone to call Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan Sperber about a potential IndyCar race at PIR. But he is considering a race in the Middle East. Miles, speaking yesterday at the Motorsports Marketing Forum in Las Vegas told assembled media that IndyCar fans could “think about the Middle East and South Africa, India and other places in South America” as potential venues for IndyCar events as early as 2015.
Only 3 Tracks on ABC The 2014 IndyCar Series television schedule will feature three weekends of ABC coverage at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including the network's 50th consecutive telecast of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 25. NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will televise 13 races, including 11 in a row that culminates with the season finale on Labor Day weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
Indy 500 Borg-Warner Trophy Throughout his racing career, Tony Kanaan has hungered to see his face on the Borg-Warner Trophy as one of the spoils of victory for winning the Indianapolis 500. That long-sought achievement was finally realized Dec. 2 during an unveiling ceremony at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. Kanaan earned his first Indianapolis 500 victory on May 26. "I love it," Kanaan said in seeing his likeness for the first time on the Borg-Warner Trophy. "It actually looks better than myself right now. They did a good job, and it's staying there forever, so it's a good thing."
At Sebring It didn't take Juan Pablo Montoya long to get the hang of an IZOD IndyCar Series car. Team Penske's newest driver sampled his Chevrolet-powered Indy car for the first time on Nov. 25 during the first day of a two-day test at Sebring International Raceway. The goal was to get the former Indianapolis 500, Formula One and NASCAR race winner comfortable in the car he'll race in 2014.
by Brian Carroccio Its been a while since we could say this. However, late last week, a legendary Indy Car career came to a sudden and abrupt end when Dario Franchitti announced his retirement. Franchitti, 40, suffered a broken back, concussion and broken ankle in a horrific crash six weeks ago on the final lap in Race 2 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. However, late last week, a legendary Indy Car career came to a sudden and abrupt end when Dario Franchitti announced his retirement. With that, one of the great careers of this or any IndyCar era came to a close.
by Brian Carroccio In the coming days, AutoRacing1.com will be putting the impressive career of recently retired IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti into historical perspective. Franchitti, of course, suffered multiple injuries in a wicked accident last month on the final lap of the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. While many believed Franchitti would do the necessary rehabilitation to his broken back and return in time for next year’s IndyCar opener, apparently the lingering effects of the concussion he also suffered caused greater concern.
by Stephen Cox The trouble with IndyCar is not that there's no one available to take Dario Franchitti's place. The trouble with IndyCar is that no one cares who takes Dario Franchitti's place. The series is fast running out of heroes and reinforcements aren't arriving quick enough. This is bad business. With only one Indy 500 per year, there aren't enough Borg Warner faces to continually re-stock IndyCar's depleted corps of superstars. And the new guys coming into the sport have no real support from American auto enthusiasts. We don't know these guys. They climbed the racing ladder overseas and arrived in the US carrying a bucket of cash.
IndyCar Everybody knows by now that yesterday we had some unfortunate news that Dario Franchitti is going to be unable to continue his driving career. Chip Ganassi, owner of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, talks about what is it going to be like in 2014 to have the No. 10 Target car without Dario in it.
IndyCar Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) announced today that three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner and four-time IndyCar Series Champion Dario Franchitti will be unable to continue his auto racing career. The IndyCar Series legend ends his career with 31 Indy car wins (tied for eighth on the all-time list) and 33 poles (sixth on the all-time list).
by Brian Carroccio Hulman and Co., CEO Mark Miles has a point. Something needs to be done about Indianapolis 500 qualifying weekend. While there has been the occasional compelling storyline in recent years (i.e. Andretti Autosport’s struggles to qualify in 2011), the process of gaining entry to The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, has been much more routine than drama in recent years. And nothing illustrates that better than the events of the last two years.
Racing Past 40: Slower Reaction Times, and Other Lies
by Stephen Cox By age 40, most racing drivers are considered past their prime. Age 50 is considered “old,” and anyone racing into their late 50's or 60's is borderline insane. This claim is founded in the premise that physical and mental reaction times slow down as a person ages. This increase in reaction time means that the driver is less competitive, potentially unfit to drive in professional auto races, and will be unable to react at high speeds as quickly as younger drivers.
This is How You Get There by Keith Ori Part two of my quest to win the 2013 Skip Barber IndyCar Academy takes me to Sebring International Raceway for the qualifiers- the Skip Barber 3-Day Racing School and the 2-Day Advanced Racing School. You can find part one here. I’d like to say I entered Sebring International Raceway for the Skip Barber 3-Day Racing School with the anticipation of a kid on Christmas morning, but that isn’t strictly true. I’ve never woken up on Christmas wondering if I’d forgotten how to drive fast, and if so, how much discovering this fact might cost me.
by Stephen Cox I have figured out what is wrong with America’s youth. 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.
The disease that is killing open wheel racing worldwide
by Brian Carroccio The President of a rather prominent motorsports publication calls it a “disease that is killing open-wheel racing worldwide at all levels.” Ride-buying exists, but is much less prevalent in other forms of motorsports such as sports car racing and stock car racing. It is a disease open-wheel racing is inflicted with, that by all accounts will lead to its ultimate demise as a sport. Ride-buying is unprofessional and degrades open wheel racing as a sport.
Taking Care of Business: NASCAR Sprint Cup Edition
by Dave Grayson Michael Waltrip Racing announced that Elliott Sadler will drive the #55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota in the 2013 season's final four NASCAR Sprint Cup races. Sadler replaces Brian Vickers who informed MWR on Oct. 14 that he would be unavailable for the remainder of the season due to anti-coagulation medications he will be taking to treat a small blood clot in his right leg. Meanwhile GoDaddy recently announced that they would not be returning to the IndyCar series next season as the primary sponsor for driver James Hinchcliffe and his Andretti Autosport team. They even went so far as to say that his company remaining in Indy Car racing no longer made fiscal sense.
by Brian Carroccio He's 21 going on 40. He’s won races on multiple continents in numerous junior formulae such as Indy Lights, Star Mazda (now Pro Mazda), GP3 and MRF Challenge Formula 2000. He's won championships in Star Mazda and MRF Challenge. He comes from good bloodlines as his father raced in both Formula One and Indy Car, and was a longtime racing broadcaster. Heck, his mother once raced jet skis. His stepfather is currently the president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
by Brian Carroccio We’ll get to the IndyCar finale at Fontana shortly. To begin, however, we received a fair amount of response to last week’s article on Dario Franchitti’s at Houston, some of which was positive, some of which took exception. Whereas one longtime IndyCar journalist, who professes to be an “expert,” responded to fence poles flying at spectators by saying “the fence did its job,” AR1 either directly or indirectly brought attention to the following pertinent questions:
by Mark J. Cipolloni We here at AR1.com have harped on the fact that the low TV ratings are killing IndyCar. How it would be far better for IndyCar to put all 18 races on ABC as the best investment they could possibly do for the series. I figured it was time to better explain why we say what we say about the recent losses of sponsors Go Daddy, HP, IZOD, and the impact of IndyCar’s TV on this. My fear is that until this situation is resolved, more brands will continue to leave the sport and the knowledgeable companies will stay away from IndyCar sponsorship.
The Miracle in Phoenix: An Interview with Jim Guthrie
by Stephen Cox One of the biggest miracles ever performed on four wheels took place on March 23, 1997 at Phoenix International Raceway. I remember sitting in my living room and watching the entire Indy Racing League Phoenix 200 on ABC, stunned into silence. It was an upset so staggering that it transcended the petty IRL-versus-CART arguments. I bet you remember this race, too. So I called up Jim Guthrie's New Mexico office last week and asked him to re-live the moment for us. The story goes like this...
Third IndyCar title for Dixon Polesitter Will Power won a wild and crazy IndyCar season finale at Fontana Saturday night by 1.4883 seconds over Ed Carpenter, Tony Kanaan, and James Hinchcliffe in the race that had 28 lead changes among 11 drivers. But it was fifth place finisher Scott Dixon who won the IndyCar championship, his third title and first in five years for the 33 year-old from New Zealand by 27 points over Helio Castroneves.
IndyCar at Fontana Team Penske swept the front row for the MAVTV 500 on Oct. 19 at Auto Club Speedway, though the bonus point for earning the Verizon P1 Award was swept away from championship contender Helio Castroneves by Will Power. Castroneves, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, enters the IZOD IndyCar Series finale 25 points behind Scott Dixon as he aims for his first series championship. Dixon, driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, posted a two-lap average of 217.979 mph to qualify seventh.
By Brian C. Mackey I’m a marketing guy. So when I look at 2014’s INDYCAR schedule, perhaps I see it a bit differently than other colleagues. I don’t want to be considered a kool-aid drinker because sometimes it can go down with a more bitter taste than sweet but the schedule as I see it has elements to be pleased about. Perfect? No. Better? I’m not sure. But a sensible plan of action? Mmmmm, yes. Despite what I see as missed opportunities, it’s headed forward and that is important. Here’s why.
MAV TV 500 at Fontana to crown 2013 IndyCar champion
by Dave Grayson The IZOD Indy Car Series, for the second consecutive year, will be wrapping up their racing season at the very beautiful, but very challenging, Auto Club Speedway in Fontana-California this Saturday night, October 19th. 25 cars will take the green flag to start the MAV TV-American Real 500. Only one of those cars will be parked in victory lane after successfully running 250 laps around the Auto Club Speedway's two mile, D shaped, oval.
by Brian Carroccio Today (Wednesday) marks the two-year anniversary of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and 2005 IRL champion Dan Wheldon’s passing. Below, is an article by AutoRacing1.com’s Brian Carroccio, first published on October 19, 2011, reflecting on Wheldon’s life, career and passing.
Sage Karam and Gabby Chaves Firestone Indy Lights drivers and championship contenders Sage Karam and Gabby Chaves participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the Lefty's Kids Club 100 at Fontana. Gabby is second in Firestone Indy Lights points heading into this weekend's Lefty's Kids Club 100 at Auto Club Speedway. He trails Sage Karam by 16 points heading into the race.
IndyCar media conference call Tuesday INDYCAR held a media Conference Call with Target Chip Ganassi Racing managing director Mike Hull and Penske Racing president Tim Cindric to discuss the MAVTV 500. Under Tim Cindric's leadership, Team Penske has scored three IndyCar titles, the 2000 and 2001 Champ Car titles with Gil de Ferran and the 2006 IZOD IndyCar Series with Sam Hornish Jr. The team has five Indy 500 race wins. Since Mike became the team manager in 1996, Target Chip Ganassi Racing has won nine open‑wheel titles, four in CART, five in the IndyCar Series, and he serves as the race strategist for Scott Dixon.
Standard? Standard? Does anyone have the standard?
by Brian Carroccio Very few people are talking. The few who are, aren't offering much of substance, choosing instead to speak in broad generalities, and overwhelmingly expressing relief that the outcome was not worse. And who could disagree. When Dario Franchitti made contact with Takuma Sato on the final lap in Race 2 of The Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston, and was launched airborne into the catch fence his impact with the catch fence shattered his Dallara DW 12 Honda to pieces.
IndyCar Press Conference with Dixon and Castroneves
Title contenders IZOD IndyCar Series championship contenders Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the MAVTV 500. For the eighth straight season the IZOD IndyCar Series championship will be decided in the final race of the season. Scott Dixon leads the series points standings by 25 points over Helio Castroneves.
by Brian Carroccio It was not IndyCar’s finest moment. Sure, it was encouraging to see a corporate heavyweight get behind The Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. And when the track actually was green, the quality of racing was on par with what we’ve come to expect from the racy DW 12. Still, whether it was the litany of caution periods throughout the weekend, the problems with the racing surface which caused delays both Friday and Saturday, three fumbled standing starts, the confusion regarding the starting order of Sunday’s race, or the horrific final lap accident, the Izod IndyCar Series had something of a forgettable weekend in Houston.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Will Power (Chevy) and Scott Dixon (Honda) were in a class of their own Sunday in Houston and they ran off and hid from everyone else as they battled head-to-head for the win. At the end of the day Power passed Dixon for the lead at the half-way mark and held off Dixon by 0.8286 sec. to win the Shell Oil Grand Prix of Houston as a horrific wreck involving Takuma Sato, Dario Franchitti and EJ Viso unfolded in Turn 5 that saw Franchitti get airborne and into the debris fencing.
Dixon wins race 1 in Houston, closes on point leader
by Mark J. Cipolloni Scott Dixon needed two things to win the 2014 IndyCar championship. He needed to win in Houston and he needed point leader Helio Castroneves to have trouble. He got both on Saturday in Houston. Dixon dominated the caution-filled race to take maximum points and Castroneves had early transmission issues and finished 18th. As a result Dixon is now only 8 points back 513 to 505 points.
by Mark J. Cipolloni One of the most successful race teams in IndyCar Series history will be powered by Chevrolet starting in 2014. Chevrolet has entered into an agreement with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams to compete in IndyCar Series competition beginning next season. Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced today an agreement with reigning Indianapolis 500 Winner, 2004 Series Champion and 16-time race winner Tony Kanaan on a multi-year deal to pilot a fourth entry for the full 2014 IndyCar Series season with sponsorship from NTT DATA, a leading global IT services provider
by Brian Carroccio We're pretty good about expressing our discontent if we believe IndyCar's powers-to-be have screwed up. But let's give them some credit here. Coming into this recent break between the Baltimore race on September 1st, and this weekend's doubleheader at Houston's Reliant Stadium, there was grave concern that with five weeks between races, the start of football, and IndyCar's lack of media presence to begin with, the sport would just disappear from the media coverage map. That didn't happen.
by Stephen Cox I love the idea of adding a road race for Indycars at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. What worries me are the reasons for doing it. In this afternoon's press conference at IMS introducing the new Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles asked, “What if we could jump start May? Ignite May in a way that brings more people out here?” Tracing the chronology of the problem is easy. When we had interesting cars, big fields and bump days with bumping, people showed up. Now they don't. What to do?
Execs hope to Elevate Month Of May Action The Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the new IndyCar Series event May 8-10, 2014 on the reconfigured Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, will jump-start Month of May activities at IMS and build toward the 98th Indianapolis 500 later in the month. Many officials and dignitaries unveiled details about the first IndyCar Series road race at IMS during a media conference Oct. 1 at the Speedway.
He was the best ever Mechanic, Owner George Bignotti, the most successful chief mechanic in the history of what is now known as IndyCar racing, died Friday, Sept. 27 at his home in Las Vegas. He was 97. From an era when legendary chief mechanics like A.J. Watson, Clay Smith and Clint Brawner were as well known as just about any of the drivers, the name of George Bignotti would rank right at the top. Winner of the Indianapolis 500 a record seven times, his total number of wins as a chief mechanic in IndyCar racing totaled an astounding 85, also a record.
by AJ Foyt Auto racing lost one of the all-time great mechanics today when George Bignotti passed away at his home in Las Vegas. He was 97. “I’d say he was one of the greatest mechanics that was ever at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We had such a close relationship and even though I went on my merry way, we were still close up to his death,” said A.J. Foyt. Bignotti, whose record shows 85 IndyCar victories including seven Indianapolis 500 wins with five different drivers, including Foyt, Indy’s first four-time winner.
A.J. Foyt likely to keep Honda, Sato for 2014 Racing legend and IZOD IndyCar Series team owner A.J. Foyt participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. "You always like to run in your hometown. I wish I was still young and still driving, because before we came back here I was fortunate enough to win right here in my hometown. But I'm not driving anymore. I wish I wasn't so damn old that I could run myself. But time passes on. There comes a time when you have to quit. I felt like it was there the day I quit it at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That was it. I crawled out and I haven't crawled back in one since."
Baltimore latest in a long line of failed IndyCar events
by Brian Carroccio The Grand Prix of Baltimore will be remembered as a prolonged three-year drama that saw more promoters than races, and was seemingly constantly plagued by petty political squabbles, complicated lawsuits and who knows how much red ink. Predictably, many have offered the thesis that the Baltimore event was destined to fail because it was well, a street race. And according to many, street races are simply destined to fail. However, this article presents the hard facts - all types of IndyCar races fail.
Penske steals Montoya back for IndyCar NASCAR stole one of racing's best talents, Juan Montoya, from IndyCar a number of years ago and today Roger Penske stole him back. Juan Montoya and Penske's Tim Cindric answered questions today from the media on Montoya's move back to where he belongs, where he grew up, where he learned to drive - in open wheel racing.
by Brian Carroccio Sure, IndyCar doesn't let themselves get played as the throw-in of a NASCAR ticket deal any longer. Aside from a few events, IndyCar has wisely distanced itself from NASCAR-aligned race track entities ISC and SMI. Sadly, however, the tradition of pandering to NASCAR seems to be as ingrained in Speedway as sipping the milk. But as we know, they aren't exactly quick learners at the corner of 16th and Georgetown. IMS and IndyCar continue to be a prop in NASCAR sideshows, that have no tangible benefit, and inflict further damage on a once proud sport.
as Part of Clark Tribute at 2013 Goodwood Revival Three years after an emotional run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar Series star Dario Franchitti has been selected by The Henry Ford to once again drive one of Jim Clark’s most famous race vehicles in the 2013 edition of the Goodwood Revival in England, September 13-15. The popular Scottish driver and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, was previously chosen to drive this historic car in 2010 when it returned to the Indy track for the first time since Clark drove the car to victory there in 1965.
by Brian Carroccio During the recent Baltimore race weekend, IndyCar team owner Dale Coyne took some time out of his busy schedule to meet with AutoRacing1.com’s Brian Carroccio. Here is the text of their sit down conversation, where the longtime team owner talks about everything from what got him started in racing to playing “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida” on the bass guitar. Enjoy!
by Stephen Cox Race series could prevent so many of their own problems if they would simply allow the pole sitter to do his job. Every driver's meeting across the country is plagued with endless speeches dictating what the drivers must do at the start of the race. Here are a few of the pre-race instructions I've been given just over my past twenty races or so...
Drivers, officials enthusiastic after road course test
IMS to decide on road course event IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Graham Rahal and Ryan Briscoe participated in a test organized by Indianapolis Motor Speedway and INDYCAR to gather information about the current road course layouts as IMS considers changes and upgrades. Speedway officials plan to invest nearly $100 million in the facility as part of a long-term master plan that could include modifications to the road course to allow it to accommodate INDYCAR testing or racing in the future.
by Brian Carroccio Clearly, it wasn't a clinic in professionalism and sporting courtesy. Understandably, the racing purists have stated their aversions to the better part of a half hour behind the pace car and the sheer volume of carbon fiber littering the Inner Harbor. However, let me just offer this. Before the green flag fell Sunday, I was wondering what on earth we were going to do with the upcoming five week break before the series gets back to racing at Houston.
10 Great Race Tracks Part III: Winchester Speedway
by Stephen Cox In the spring of 1914, Indiana farmer Frank Funk had an idea. This whole newfangled automobile thing seemed to be catching on. Lots of folks were racing them. Carl Fisher had recently built a big oval near Indianapolis and scads of people were paying to see his 500-mile race every year. Funk had made good money in farming. He had plenty of acreage, and his fields just west of the small town of Winchester didn't grow enough corn to affect his bottom line either way. So why not try his hand in the auto racing industry?
by Brian Carroccio Simon Pagenaud drove the #77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda victory in today's action-filled Grand Prix of Baltimore Presented by SRT. It was the second career Izod IndyCar Series victory for the Frenchman, and second of 2013 as Pagenaud won race 2 at this year's Detroit round. American Josef Newgarden scored a career best finish coming home second in the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Scott Dixon saved his best for last as he grabbed the pole position for Sunday's Baltimore Grand Prix IndyCar race on his last lap with a time of 1m18.0838s on the 2.04-mile street circuit in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. Will Power appeared to have pole with a lap of 1m18.1171s but Dixon beat his lap and set up a front row battle for Sunday between the two drivers engulfed in controversy from weekend's Sonoma, CA race.
IndyCar Conference Call Earlier today, IZOD IndyCar Series driver and 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan and KV Racing Technology co-owner Jimmy Vasser participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the Grand Prix of Baltimore, which will be Kanaan's record-breaking 212th consecutive start. Kanaan is also without a contract for 2014 but no questions came up about that.
by Brian Carroccio I’ll start with this. If Roger Penske inciting a heated discussion is a secondary story, it had to be a crazy weekend. Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon hit the tire being carried by Travis Law, a crewman for Will Power while exiting pit lane on his final stop. The unfortunate collision, which thankfully saw only three Penske crewmen sustain minor injuries, and subsequent penalty on Dixon, created a firestorm of controversy at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
by Stephen Cox Number Five - “Wanna win? You need a trailer like that.” So said a racing friend in the summer of 1986 at Bloomington Speedway. We were walking past a huge semi tractor-trailer loaded with two spare chassis, half a dozen engines and a crew of ten mechanics. It belonged to some teenager named Jeff Gordon who was supposed to be the next big thing in racing. We all know how that turned out.
Breaks winless streak Will Power finally broke his winless streak with a victory Sunday in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. In a race that saw numerous caution flags, Power drove his No. 12 Penske Chevy to a 1.19 sec. over Justin Wilson and Dario Franchitti. Marco Andretti and Simon Pagenaud rounded out the top-5. For Power it was his 19th IndyCar series victory.
Ganassi Hondas 1-2 in IndyCar qualifying The Honda teams started the year off slow but HPD has turned up the wick and now Honda powered cars are dominating every IndyCar event. The Target Chip Ganassi duo of Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon will start 1-2 for Sunday's GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma using their superior Honda power. Will Power will start for Team Penske and Ryan Hunter-Reay will start 4th for Andretti Autosport. Charlie Kimball rounds out the Top-5 in the third Ganassi Honda.
At Sonoma Raceway Scott Dixon and Honda power continue to dominate the IndyCar series of late and Friday was no different. Dixon, who has won three of the past four races in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car and is 31 points behind the front-running Castroneves, topped the time chart with a best lap of 1 minute, 18.3145 seconds in the 45-minute afternoon session. Castroneves was 0.3549 of a second behind in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske car. Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, who is third in the standings, was third overall with a lap of 1:18.6814 in the 45-minute morning session.
by Brian Carroccio Bear with me. This is complicated. We’ll begin with last week’s report from Robin Miller of Racer.com that Hulman and Co., CEO Mark Miles was seriously considering a road course race to kick off the festivities next may at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Detractors of such a concept, and while I’m not sure there are many, they are very vocal, claim that Indy should be about the famed oval during the month of May, and insist they have no desire to see Indy cars droning around what they deem a “Mickey Mouse,” track.
INDY Earlier today, IZOD IndyCar Series driver Will Power participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. Will drives the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet for Team Penske and enters this weekend's race Sonoma Raceway coming off a fourth‑place finish at Mid‑Ohio earlier this month. Will is the only IndyCar driver to win multiple times at Sonoma Raceway and has won the last three pole positions at the track.
by Brian Carroccio I had the pleasure of attending today's media luncheon for The Grand Prix of Baltimore Presented by SRT. The luncheon was held at Kona Grill on Pratt Street, the main straightaway, and hosted by Dave Curley and Harry Hammel of Sandy Hillman Communications, the public relations firm of The Grand Prix. The guest of honor was driver of the #25 RC Cola Chevrolet Marco Andretti. Andretti, who currently sits fourth in the 2013 Izod IndyCar Series championship standings, drove down for a noon lunch from his home in Nazareth, PA.
by Brian Carroccio Round the clock programming devoted exclusively to man's fascination with motoring endeavors was a revolutionary concept 17 years ago. I would argue it still is. However, at midnight on January 1, 1996, the stars aligned to bring the first round the clock motorsports channel in world history to 3.2 million American homes. A brainchild of the entrepreneurial spirit and conceived in an climate drastically different than the one in which it will disappear, Speedvision offered a bountiful buffet of never before seen programming devoted to the motoring enthusiast.
by Stephen Cox Perhaps I'm the lone voice in the wilderness on this, but I was very impressed with Luca Filippi's IndyCar debut at Mid-Ohio last week. He was fantastic in qualifying. Had he not been penalized, Filippi could have earned a starting spot in the first three rows and been a genuine threat on race day. He ran a conservative, nearly mistake-free race and moved from dead last to as high as 11th during the event. Nearly all of his passes were in anger since only one car retired from the race and there were no caution periods.
by Brian Carroccio I had the pleasure this morning of speaking with two-time IndyCar Series Champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon via phone. The driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda is currently in England visiting wife Emma’s family. Nevertheless, Dixon who sits second in the Izod IndyCar Series standings, trailing Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves by 33 points took a few minutes to share his views on a variety of topics.
by Brian Carroccio I'll admit, I never got a straight answer. I asked crew members of the #83 NovoLog FlexPen team, and even asked the driver Charlie Kimball himself after Sunday's race. And while the length of their answers differed (the loquacious Kimball was as you might expect more chatty than some of the crew members), the general consensus was "it was close." Yes, after Kimball wrecked his Dallara-Honda during that morning's warm-up session the rush was on to get him ready for that afternoon's 2 p.m. qualifying session.
by Brian Carroccio Charlie Kimball drove the #83 NovoLog Flex Pen Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to victory lane in today's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. It was Kimball's first career Izod IndyCar Series victory, the fourth in a row for the Ganassi team in 2013, and the team's fifth consecutive win at Mid-Ohio. Simon Pagenaud came second in the #77 Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports HP Honda, while Dario Franchitti rounded out the podium in the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
Hunter-Reay nabs pole for Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio
by Brian Carroccio With a lap of 1:05.35 Ryan Hunter-Reay has won the pole for tomorrow's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio by saving a set of soft red tires for the Fast Six session. It was the fifth career pole for the driver of the #1 DHL Chevrolet, and third of the season. Scott Dixon and Marco Andretti will share the second row. Charlie Kimball and Dario Franchitti will share row three putting all three of the Ganassi team cars in the top-6.
IndyCar Honda 200 Will Power's lap of 1 minute, 05.4332 seconds on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was the fastest among 24 drivers participating in practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Aug. 4. Power's lap in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car was more than two-tenths of a second faster than his 2012 pole-winning lap time.
Grandfather of IndyCar driver James Davison Tony Gaze has died in Geelong, Victoria, at the age of 93. he was Australia’s first Grand Prix driver and a man with an extraordinary life. Below is an article about him in GP+, earlier this year. It is interesting to add that Tony is the step-grandfather of Will and Alex Davison, Australian V8 Supercar Drivers as well as James Davison, who is making his INDYCAR debut at Mid-Ohio this weekend.
by Stephen Cox Okay, I'm bending the rules on this one. Most of you have seen the Milwaukee Mile on TV, even if you haven't been there in person. But The Mile deserves a spot on this list because there's just something special about driving on a racetrack that has hosted every great American driver in history. The Milwaukee Mile is virtually alone in staking that claim. Indy can't make that claim.
by Brian Carroccio To be fair, Brian France did not actually walk through Gasoline Alley with both middle fingers raised to the sky. Nor did the CEO and Chairman of NASCAR go on record in saying he might one day consider allowing everyone at the corner of 16th and Georgetown the privilege of kissing his royal behind. But let's not beat around the bush here: he may as well have. Of course, everyone knows that from a commercial and marketing standpoint the top-level NASCAR Sprint Cup Series left Indy car racing in the dust long ago.
Naive to think NASCAR's NBC deal is good for IndyCar
by Brian Carroccio I don't want to be overly dramatic. But with just over 24 hours after news broke that NBC Sports and NASCAR have finalized a ten-year deal worth over $4 billion (yes with a b), I am shocked by the reaction of those within IndyCar articulating the deal's merits for the series. Now, I should admit I do have some biases that may influence my thinking. For one, I've long been of the belief that IndyCar should differentiate itself as much as possible from NASCAR.
by Brian C. Mackey Once again, reluctantly, I seem to be on opposite sides of a debate that is of some importance to the sport as a whole and INDYCAR in particular. That is to say, the recent announcement that NASCAR has signed a deal with NBC Sports to broadcast races on the network. To me, this announcement is, for the most part, wait for it….good news. Many in the pundit world are already subscribing to the idea that this development means a tighter noose around Indy Cars’ neck and further fuel for the continuing decline of Indy Car popularity and audience clout.
To capitalize on 'Turbo', the heavy lifting has just begun
by Brian Carroccio It's finally here. After months of build-up and energetic promotion, the long-awaited debut of Turbo has finally arrived. The DreamWorks Animations film, which tells the story of a garden snail, who dreams of winning the Indianapolis 500 debuted in theaters across the country Wednesday. Generally speaking, it seems Turbo, which former INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard was instrumental in bringing about, has been well received.
by Brian Carroccio Last Sunday after winning the Pocono IndyCar 400 Fueled by Sunoco, Scott Dixon told team owner Chip Ganassi he didn't think there was any chance they'd be sitting in victory lane. The unassuming Kiwi had good reason to think that. The season had to that point been a forgettable one by the lofty standards of Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Dixon had accounted for the team's lone podium finish (2nd, Barber).
by Brian Carroccio In Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto, Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon started from pole, jumped to the lead, and survived two late race restarts in scoring a thoroughly dominant victory in the 28th Indy car race at Exhibition Place. The win was the 32nd of Dixon's career, moving the Kiwi into sole possession of 7th place on the all time IndyCar/Championship racing wins list. Also, sweeping the doubleheader earned Dixon the $100,000 Sonax Perfect Finish Award.
INDY A former Canadian racing champion from Richmond Hill, Ontario, Bentham currently operates his own race driver development business and assists the Ed Carpenter Racing team…. A past karting champion, Lee began in the Toyota Atlantic series in 1995 with a successful partial-season program including two podiums and finished 8th in points….The following year Bentham captured seven podiums and was the series runner-up and fifth in 1997. In 1998, it was Bentham's breakout year as he captured two wins on his way to the Toyota Atlantic championship for Forsythe Championship Racing.
Second IndyCar race win in a row Scott Dixon passed a struggling Sebastien Bourdais, who was on wearing soft Firestone tires, with 8 laps to go and then had to survive a restart with one lap to go to win race #1 of the Toronto Indy Honda. After winning on the superspeedway last weekend at Pocono, Dixon took his second straight win, his first ever in Toronto. Dario Franchitti came home third and Marco Andretti 4th.
IndyCar Scott Dixon led a Ganassi Racing 1-2 in qualifying for Race #2 of the Honda Indy Toronto with a record lap (for the current car) of 58.9665s. His teammate Dario Franchitti will start 2nd with a lap of 59.1905s. Franchitti is on pole for today's first half of the double header so the Ganassi team has found its way after struggling all year.. Helio Castroneves was close to Franchitti with a time of 59.1953 to lineup third. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Will Power rounded out the top-5.
by Mark J. Cipolloni He crashed in morning practice but he came back to win the pole. Dario Franchitti and Sebastien Bourdais were the only drivers to qualify under the 1-minute mark with Franchitti's Honda just beating Bourdais' Chevy in the Fast Six final qualifying session for Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto. They will start on the front row for the first standing start the IndyCar series has ever done on Saturday. Will Power will start third. Tony Kanaan, James Jakes and Scott Dixon round out the first three rows.
Starting in 2014 INDYCAR, the sanctioning body of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system, announced today that it has entered into an agreement for Andersen Promotions to license and operate Firestone Indy Lights beginning in 2014. The multi-year agreement provides strategic and operational synergies for Firestone Indy Lights, an essential training ground for drivers and teams that seek to compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500.
INDY Scott Dixon's triumph Sunday at Pocono Raceway was a milestone event for American Honda and its Honda Performance Development racing arm: the 200th Indy car race win for the manufacturer since entering the sport in 1994. "I'd like to congratulate all of our associates at HPD, who have worked incredibly hard and made personal sacrifices to make the success of our racing programs their top priority," said Art St. Cyr, President of Honda Performance Development.
IndyCar Firestone Indy Lights driver Carlos Munoz and IZOD IndyCar Series driver Helio Castroneves participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the Honda Indy Toronto 2 in T.O. doubleheader and the Firestone Indy Lights Toronto 100 on the streets of Toronto's Exhibition Place this weekend.
by Brian Carroccio Dario Franchitti must read AutoRacing1.com. After recording his first podium finish of 2013, and completing a 1-2-3 sweep the victory rostrum for Chip Ganassi Racing, Franchitti began to extol the virtues of teammate and race winner Scott Dixon. The win was Dixon's 30th career IndyCar style victory, which moved the Kiwi into tenth place on the all-time wins list, one behind Paul Tracy, Sebastien Bourdais, and Franchitti. Franchitti pointed out that the ceiling for Dixon at 33 is very high. “I think Scott, with his age, with how good he is, he can put up some really stout numbers going forward,” said Franchitti about his teammate. And while Franchitti is 100% correct, I must say: Dario, we beat you to it.
It's 2013 and IndyCar needs to start thinking that way
by Brian Mackey
This is a "re-publication" of the article AR1 originally published in 2011, made timely again due to the article in the "Harvard Business Review." I believe that NBC Sports Network is not the problem with IndyCar. In fact, their coverage of Indy Car racing is quite commendable. Maybe it could be better, but that is not the debate here. 20th century thinking is.
IndyCar This was Scott Dixon's 30th IndyCar win, which gives him with sole ownership of 10th an the all time win list. This is the 100th win for Target and 200th for Honda. Dixon led a monster day for Chip Ganassi Racing, leading a podium sweep for the team with a win Sunday at the IndyCar Series event at Pocono Raceway. He was followed by Ganassi teammates Charlie Kimball and Dario Franchitti in IndyCar’s first race at Pocono since 1989.
by Brian Carroccio Scott Dixon led a 1-2-3 finish for Chip Ganassi Racing in winning today's Pocono IndyCar 400 Fueled by Sunoco. It was Dixon's first win of 2013, and the thirtieth of his career and the 100th win for sponsor Target. Teammate Charlie Kimball matched his career best finish, coming home second, while Dario Franchitti scored his first podium of the season finishing third. And believe it or not, it was the first time the Ganassi team ever finished 1-2-3 in any form of racing.
Andretti team fills entire front row Marco Andretti led an Andretti Autosport assault in IndyCar qualifying for the Pocono 400 IndyCar race presented by Sonoco. Pocono is the home track for the Andrettis and Marco destroyed the track record with a lap of 221.377 MPH to beat his teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe. And EJ Viso may have made it an Andretti 1-2-3-4 if he had not crashed on his second lap.
IndyCar Firestone Indy Lights driver Gabby Chaves, Pocono Raceway president and CEO Brandon Igdalsky and IZOD IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the Pocono INDYCAR 400 Fueled by Sunoco and the Firestone Indy Lights Pocono 100 at Pocono Raceway this weekend.
by Stephen Cox Stephen Cox is on vacation; this week's article is a re-release of a popular article from 2012. 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.
by Brian Carroccio I was unaware that sour cream was its own food group. Likewise, at this time last week, I could not have told you why corn peaks in July. Nor would I have been able to recall the last time I saw a sign cautioning drivers to watch out for "horse drawn vehicles." Also, being something of a "city," kid, I admittedly was the first to roll my eyes about 7-8 years ago, when the "Corn Indy," was first announced.
by Brian Carroccio James Hinchcliffe took the lead from Will Power in turn 4 on the opening lap of the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Dekalb. From there, the Canadian would briefly surrender the lead during pit stops, but otherwise dominated the race, leading all but 24 laps in scoring his first career oval victory at Iowa Speedway. And with Ryan Hunter-Reay finishing second 1.509 seconds behind Hinchcliffe, it was Andretti Autosport's second consecutive one-two at Iowa.
by Brian Carroccio Helio Castroneves earned the number one starting position for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 by turning the fastest time in single-lap qualifying, which put him on the pole of Qualifying Heat Race No. 3. The driver of the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet led from green flag to checkered flag in the final of the three 50-lap “Heat”, races which set the field for tomorrow’s race at Iowa Speedway. Will Power brought the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet to the checkered in second behind his teammate in Race No. 3. However, the result of an unapproved engine change for Castroneves’ car, Power will slide over to the pole position for the start of the race.
INDYCAR Conference Call Firestone Indy Lights driver Sage Karam and IZOD IndyCar Series team owner/driver Ed Carpenter participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by DEKALB and the Firestone Indy Lights Sukup 100 at Iowa Speedway this weekend. Sage is currently second in the Firestone Indy Lights in points after getting his first win last Saturday. IZOD IndyCar Series team owner and driver Ed Carpenter was the 2013 Indianapolis 500 pole sitter.
America's dying love affair with the automobile - Part 2 by Brian Carroccio The solution is always more difficult. However, if you read Part 1 of our series outlining the declining interest in the automobile amongst today's youth you are aware there is a problem. To briefly repeat, we laid out evidence, statistical and otherwise, indicating Generation-Y (those born between 1980-1995) are not forming the same identification with cars as prior generations. In fact, an increased percentage of people between the ages of 18 and 34 are not even driving. In this article we explore ways for IndyCar to become relevant again.
Wins IndyCar race for 2nd year in row His team owner Michael Andretti was a master of the Milwaukee 1-mile oval and Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay is quickly becoming this era's Milwaukee-meister. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., resident earned his second consecutive victory in the Milwaukee IndyFest, passing race leader Takuma Sato on Lap 198 of 250 and going on to win by 4.809 seconds over Helio Castroneves. Will Power finished third. E.J. Viso and James Hinchcliffe -- Andretti Autosport teammates to Hunter-Reay -- also were in the top five.
Indycar Marco Andretti, who is 21 points arrears of front-runner Helio Castroneves in the championship standings, had a good start to the Milwaukee Indyfest weekend by earning the Verizon P1 Award for the 250-lap race June 15. Driving the No. 25 RC Cola car, he buried the track two-lap qualifying record set in 2012 by Dario Franchitti (168.737 mph average) with an average of 170.515 mph. James Hinchcliffe will start next to his teammate on the front row in the No. 27 GoDaddy.com car. Hinchcliffe recorded the fastest lap of the weekend (170.868 mph) on Lap 1 of qualifying, but the 2-lap average is what counted.
IndyCar teleconference Firestone Indy Lights driver Peter Dempsey, 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and Andretti Autosport team owner Michael Andretti participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the Milwaukee IndyFest on June 15 at the Milwaukee Mile. Dempsey drives the No. 5 Belardi Auto Racing car in Firestone Indy Lights and is currently second in the point standings. He was joined by Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series Champion, and team owner, Michael Andretti.
And its impact on racing, by Brian Carroccio I cannot effectively articulate why I keep it. It occupies precious space, drains valuable income, and serves little practical purpose. Sure, I’ll break it out for the occasional car show, or take it for a spin on a gorgeous spring day. However, when it comes to everyday life the elegant, diminutive 1978 MG Midget 1500 that sits in my garage about fifty feet away from where I type, has little value aside from the sentimental.
By Brian C. Mackey I've read numerous articles over the past few days/weeks/months/years (pick one) about how INDYCAR needs to better promote their drivers in hopes of retrieving and reviving lost fans. That is to say, I’ve read articles about who INDYCAR should promote, RHR, Americans, new faces, 3x Indy 500 winners, etc. I’ve read plenty about why INDYCAR needs to improve promoting drivers. But I’ve read precious little, if anything on how INDYCAR should do it.
by Stephen Cox I have wonderful news. Being twenty-one years old doesn't really make you good at anything. It just makes you twenty-one. Sprint car driver Steve Kinser is living proof. He remains a consistent front-runner in his late fifties, despite the fact that sprint cars are a young man's game. Steve Christmann is a winner in ARCA Trucks at age 62. Mario Andretti won his last IndyCar race at the age of 53. And it's not just racing drivers.
by Tim Wohlford Helio Castroneves, driving the No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske car, passed Marco Andretti's No. 25 RC Cola car for Andretti Autosport on Lap 97 and dominated the remaining 131 laps with a 4.6919-second victory over reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay in the drama-filled prime time race on ABC.
by Tim Wohlford Will Power captured the Pole for the 2013 Texas Firestone 550 with a two lap average speed of 219.1mph—over two miles per hour quicker than his practice speed. Marco Andretti will start alongside him in second position. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dario Franchitti will start in the second row, and EJ Viso and Helio Castroneves in the third row. Chevy took 5 of the top 6 positions, Andretti Autosport took 3 of the top 5 spots.
by Tim Wohlford Ah yes, it’s time for Texas again. And once again, Texas is a case study in all that is good in IndyCar – and all that can go wrong. Bluntly stated, I came to Texas last year fully prepared to write about bad news. After all, it was the first high-banked super speedway race with the new Dallara chassis, and the first high-banked track race after the Vegas event the previous fall had taken the life of Dan Wheldon. And as CART fans remember, in 2001 drivers suffered vertigo due to the speed of the cars – which was, arguably, the beginning of the end for that series.
IndyCar IZOD IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season and preview the Firestone 550 on June 8 while Tony Kanaan and Cynthia Archer from Sunoco made a team announcement. First up we're pleased to be joined today by Dale Coyne Racing driver Justin Wilson, and KV Racing Technology to make a sponsor announcement.
Ex-F1 driver Joining A.J. Foyt’s ABC Supply Racing team this year, Takuma Sato’s first sponsor ‘obligation’ was a seven-day cruise in the Caribbean aboard Holland-America’s ‘Eurodam’ which ABC Supply chartered in January. While at sea, the ex-Formula 1 driver sat down for an interview that covered a wide range of topics. We found his thoughts on oval track racing insightful and appropriate to share now as we head to Texas Motor Speedway, the only 1.5-mile banked superspeedway on the IZOD IndyCar schedule.
by Derek Daly The top of the tree in American motor sports before 1996 (the split) was – IndyCar racing. However, the split was not when the current problem of lack of significant interest really started. From 2012 onwards, with new engines, chassis and locations, many wait and hope that IndyCar racing can regain its position of prominence in the US motor sports culture – there is however one vital missing ingredient, local and national pride.
by Brian Carroccio So, you want the cars to look different? Well, according to new INDYCAR president of competition and operations Derrick Walker, IndyCar fans who "are crying out for differentiation," will get just that. It just might be a little longer wait than some would like. Yes, technical development to certain parts of the car, more familiarly known as "aero-kits," will be introduced in IndyCar, but not until 2015.
by Stephen Cox If I had to choose between sitting through a driver's meeting or having my tonsils removed with a shovel, I'd have to think about it. Yet here I was at the driver's meeting the night before the Silver State 300 off-road race in Alamo, Nevada. It was a little after 7 o'clock on Friday night, April 23, 2010 and the meeting had been droning on for nearly an hour. Several hundred team members were packed into the hotel's banquet room listening to series president Casey Folks threaten anyone who ran over various protected species of toads and tortoises, as if any of us could see a freaking frog while driving a hundred miles an hour across the open desert.
Pagenaud captures first win in Detroit GP wreckfest
by Brian Carroccio Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports' Simon Pagenaud scored his first career Izod IndyCar Series victory today in race 2 of the Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix of Detroit on the 2.3-mile temporary street circuit, and leading a Honda first-through-fifth sweep. Following the fast Frenchman was James Jakes, who finished a career best second. Mike Conway, who started from pole and won Saturday's first race, was unable to find the speed in the final stint to mount a challenge for victory. The race was marred by numerous cautions due to accidents.
by Brian Carroccio INDYCAR president of competition and operations Derrick Walker just concluded a press conference here in Detroit regarding the technical specifications for the coming years. The main component of Walker's conference was a timeline outlining the broad goals of the series with regard to technical innovation through 2021. Walker alluded to numerous reasons behind this initiative, one of them being that "our fans are crying out for innovation."
by Brian Carroccio Mike Conway earned his second career victory today in the first leg of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans. In a thoroughly dominant performance, Conway beat second-place Ryan Hunter-Reay by nearly 13 seconds. Conway's Dale Coyne Racing teammate Justin Wilson rounded out the podium in third place.
by Brian Carroccio Mike Conway, in a one-off driving the No. 18 Sonny's car, earned his first IZOD IndyCar Series pole and gave Dale Coyne Racing its maiden series pole start in qualifications for the 70-lap race June 2. It's a pair of firsts for the second race of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans. How good was Conway's lap? Will Power mentioned during the press conference that he was quite impressed with Conway's lap, and does not believe he could have turned a similar time with more laps.
by Mark Scheuern Dario Franchitti has tools in the cockpit to control numerous things on the racetrack. But the four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion doesn't control management of the Honda engine in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car. Franchitti earned his 31st Indy car pole, setting the pace in the Firestone Fast Six qualifying for the first race of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans with a lap of 1 minute, 19.3311 seconds on the 2.346-mile, 13-turn street circuit.
Franchitti fastest but Viso to start 1st in Detroit
by Brian Carroccio Dario Franchitti won pole for tomorrow's IndyCar race in Detroit. Franchitti turned a fast lap of 1:19.33 beating E.J. Viso by two tenths of a second. Viso, however, will start tomorrow's race on pole as Franchitti has to serve a ten grid spot penalty for an engine change. Rounding out the top six were Mike Conway, James, Jakes, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alex Tagliani. Of note is Honda took 7 of the top-10 spots, with only Viso and Hunter-Reay representing Chevrolet's Bowtie Brigade in their home race.
INDYCAR Conference Cal IZOD IndyCar Series driver Simon Pagenaud participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season and preview the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans on June 1 and 2. "When you go racing, you go and expect to win. So the goal for Detroit is to show up there and be as competitive as we were last year, hopefully qualify in the (Firestone) Fast Six, try to contend for the win in both races."
by Brian Carroccio With three laps remaining Sunday I was absolutely, 100% sure how the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 would end. Second-place Tony Kanaan would make easy work of leader Ryan Hunter-Reay on the impending restart. Kanaan, of course, is famous for his proficiency on restarts, plus Hunter-Reay was in the unenviable position of leading, and restart leaders had been sitting ducks all day.
IndyCar THE MODERATOR: Thank you for joining us today. We have Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan. It hasn't been 24 hours since you were in this room. Has it sunk in yet? Have you been able to realize what's happened in the past 24 hours? TONY KANAAN: This morning probably, yes. I was afraid to go to bed yesterday and wake up this morning and it would be race day again. I think slowly it's getting in. I haven't had much sleep yet, but I guess that's the price when you win such a big race. THE MODERATOR: You're the only eligible contender for the Triple Crown sweep. Have you thought about that yet? TONY KANAAN: I haven't had time to eat, so I'm not thinking about that yet. For sure, that's a good position to be in. It's going to be a tough task to win those three races, so I think I'm okay with it.
by Stephen Cox The 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 was widely lauded as a tremendously entertaining event. The grandstands were nearly full, every fourth lap or so produced a new leader, and Tony Kanaan became the most popular winner in years. So I'm sitting high in Turn 3 with my two sons, enjoying the cool refreshment of an adult beverage that had just been dumped down my back by the profusely apologizing brunette behind me, and I'm wondering why something still doesn't feel right about this otherwise great race. There were several reasons why.
by Tim Wohlford With a good luck charm in his pocket he had given to a fan years ago and sixty-eight lead changes later, Tony Kanaan drove to victory lane to the sounds of the loudest cheers in recent Indy history - the first Indy 500 win for him, and owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser. Rookie Carlos Munoz drove a sensational race to finish second for Andretti Autosport ahead of his teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti.
AJ Foyt waxes poetic about good 'ol days of IndyCar
IndyCar Indy 500 Q and A A.J. Foyt is back at the Indianapolis 500 this weekend with Takuma Sato behind the wheel and perhaps his best chance to win the fabled race as an owner in more than a decade. Still, he can't help but reminisce about the good old days. The four-time champion was asked Thursday whether there will ever be a time when there's true innovation in the IndyCar Series—where there are multiple chassis builders, for example, like there was before Dallara became the sole provider in 2006.
by Brian Carroccio Pistons failed, spark plugs went bad, tires suddenly came loose, and valves suddenly lost pressure. There was a very noteworthy instance of USAC incompetence, a never before or since seen “Spin and Win,” the first last lap pass in Indianapolis 500 history, and the curious yet still unsolved case of “That Damn Coogin." And more often than not, you were bound to find a calculating Unser, Roger Penske and sometimes an unholy alliance of the two behind the dirty deed. Combined, it all adds up to Indy car racing's most famous and mysterious tale: the Andretti Curse.
Five Minutes With former IRL Driver John Hollansworth
by Stephen Cox It was May 30, 1999 and John Hollansworth, Jr. had his hands full. Early in the 83rd running of the Indianapolis 500, his Oldsmobile-powered Dallara picked up a massive understeer condition. A car passed him on the inside. Caught up in the dirty air, Hollansworth's mishandling car brushed the wall hard in Turn 3. He rejoined the race after a quick pit stop. Sam Schmidt spun in front of him and Hollansworth barely missed the wreck. The field slowed under caution. Coming up through the gears on the backstretch as the race went green again, the shifter froze in fourth gear.
by Tim Wohlford Underdog car owner/driver Ed Carpenter from Indianapolis driving a single car entry won a surprise pole position for the Indy 500. Carpenter was the big winner in the 2013 Fast Nine shootout for the Indy 500 Pole, moving up from the provisional 5th position. Joining him on the front row is rookie sensation Carlos Munoz and Marco Andretti. Second row features EJ Viso, AJ Allmendinger and Will Power. Power fell from a provisional pole, and Castroneves fell from the 4th spot to middle of the third row.
Dallara DW12: The 'Ugly Duckling' sure does race well
by Brian Carroccio She's beautiful on the inside. I presume you've all heard the expression, which immediately brings to mind a woman, who for whatever sterling qualities she happens to boast, aesthetically speaking, doesn't exactly impress. And when someone notes the fact said woman is "beautiful on the inside," they are telling us to look beyond the immediate, the superficial; to find some greater quality that maybe isn't apparent to the naked eye.
by Stephen Cox Imagine you’re in a McDonald’s restaurant. You order a Big Mac. The cashier plops your sandwich on the counter and says, “That’ll be six hundred and twelve dollars, sir. Uh… excuse me. Did you actually say six hundred and twelve dollars? Yes, sir. Our Big Macs come with special sauce, lettuce and cheese. They’re really good. You would probably respond, “They’re not that good!” and walk out of the restaurant.
Entering the Indy 500 For the past 50 years at the Indianapolis 500, there has been little dispute that A.J. Foyt was “The Man” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He was the hero of heroes and the definition of a legend. As the first four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, Foyt had established himself as the “grand champion” of the Indianapolis 500 and was the measuring stick by which all future legends would be compared.
IndyCar Check off one more motorsports' bucket list for Kurt Busch. The 2004 NASCAR champion and driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet SS in the Sprint Cup Series drove an Andretti Autosport Indy car Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) where he completed 83 laps on the famed 2.5-mile oval and reached a top speed of 218.210 mph.
by Brian Carroccio Once upon a time, I may have gotten on board with the tradition thing. But I'll be honest: glorified taxi-cabs running at the Holy Grail of IndyCar, 33 becoming "just a number," and the great Indianapolis 500 used as a political pawn in a sickening power struggle for control of Indy car racing, sort of soured me on tradition. Jaded, skeptical, and no longer dreaming about the moonlight on the water, I've moved on to a cold reality.
5-Minutes with Hoosier Hundred Promoter Bob Sargent
by Stephen Cox The 60th running of the most prestigious dirt track race in the world is slated for Thursday, May 23rd at the Indiana State Fairgrounds where the USAC Silver Crown cars will compete in the 2013 Hoosier Hundred. Yup, I am openly promoting this race and nope, they don't pay me. I grew up attending the Hoosier Hundred with the greatest man I ever knew – my Dad – in the 70's and 80's, back when it was a September event. It was among our favorite events each summer.
IndyCar Street race Before an enthusiastic Brazilian crowd on the streets of Sao Paolo, Brazil, James Hinchcliffe drove his Andretti Autosport Chevy to victory over Takuma Sato. Hinchcliffe passed Sato, who was fighting to hang on with worn tires, in the final turn of the final lap to win by 0.343 sec. Marco Andretti completed the podium much to the delight of his Andretti Autosport crew. Oriol Servia and Josef Newgarden rounded out the top-5.
IndyCar Defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay has won the pole position for the Grand Prix of Sao Paolo, Brazil IndyCar race posting a track-record lap of 1 minute, 20.4312 seconds in the Firestone Fast Six. Hunter-Reay won the pole by a rather comfortable 0.3 sec over his Andretti Autosport teammate EJ Viso. Dario Franchitti will start 3rd. Tony Kanaan, James Hinchcliffe and Scott Dixon rounded out the top-6.
IndyCar IZOD IndyCar Series driver Marco Andretti participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season and preview the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle on May 5th. Marco is the driver of the No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet and is currently fourth in the IZOD IndyCar Series points standings after posting three top-10 finishes to start the season, including a season-best third at St. Petersburg in the season opener. He'll make his fourth start on the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, this weekend
by Brian Carroccio I suppose, anything is possible. After all, an A.J. Foyt owned car was driven to victory lane on a street course, last week. Still, the thought of executives at a board meeting in Ingolstadt, Bavaria giddy over the prospect of competing in the Iowa Corn 250? While I'm as intrigued as anyone about the possibility of the legendary racing marque Audi coming to IndyCar, I'm having a lot of trouble wrapping my head around this one.
by Brian Carroccio We just couldn't contain ourselves. Whether it was jokes about A.J. Foyt eating sushi, wisecrack questions over Speedway's Dallara factory being adequately staffed, or simple amusement at the potentially unlimited supply of comedic ammunition, we laughed hard and laughed often. Heck, we never even got around to asking whether Takuma Sato cut his teeth racing sprint cars and midgets like Kenny Brack, Airton Dare, Vitor Meira, and Eliseo Salazar.
INDY While his legendary team owner AJ Foyt watching from home as he prepares for surgery this week, Takuma Sato drove the greatest race of his career to win the 39th running of the Toyota GP of Long Beach before a huge sun-drenched crowd. It was the first big-time open wheel win for the Japanese driver who came from F1 and the win came in his 52nd start. Graham Rahal was 2nd ahead of Justin Wilson and Dario Franchitti to give Honda a 1-2-3-4 sweep.
Franchitti nips Hunter-Reay for pole in Long Beach
by Mark J. Cipolloni Dario Franchitti was the last driver to record a fast lap and he made it count by winning the pole position for Sunday's 39th running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach IndyCar race. Franchitti's lap of 1m07.2379s in his Ganassi Honda nipped defending race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay's Andretti Chevy by just 0.06s. Will Power will start in his Penske Chevy ahead of Takuma Sato and Mike Conway.
INDYCAR Conference Call IZOD IndyCar Series driver Charlie Kimball participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season and preview the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 21. Charlie drives the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda and is ranked sixth in IZOD IndyCar Series points after finishing a season-best fourth at Barber Motorsports Park on April 7. He'll make his third start on the streets of Long Beach this weekend, which is essentially a home race for Charlie as he's from Camarillo, California.
by Brian Carroccio Although quite long, the list is not terribly impressive. It includes events previously run on airport circuits, casino and football stadium parking lots, numerous layouts winding through downtown business districts, countless stories of failed promotional efforts, and quite a few checks that didn't clear. Often marketed as three-day "festivals of speed," the viability and wisdom of "street races," is often debated.
When it comes to RHR, IndyCar missing the boat again
by Mark J. Cipolloni Ryan Hunter-Reay (RHR) has won five of the last ten IndyCar races (50%) and Andretti Autosport has won six of the last ten IndyCar races (60%). The reversal of fortune for Andretti Autosport since Ryan joined the team has been nothing short of stunning as they had not won a race since June of 2008 (Tony Kanaan Richmond) before Michael signed Hunter-Reay. How the IndyCar series is not promoting and heralding this American champion at the height of his career as he fights to retain his championship, the first time an American has won the championship in a unified series since Al Unser Jr. in 1994, is as bewildering as it is maddening to many supporters of IndyCar.
by Brian Carroccio AutoRacing1.com caused something of a stir last week with an "exclusive" April Fools' Day column advocating a "university tie-in," concept for IndyCar and Indy Lights. While the column was of course, a joke, the idea presented was a rather intriguing one, which garnered a fair amount of discussion. Predictably, some loved the concept, whereas others dismissed it as preposterous. In short, AR1's proposal to connect IndyCar to universities, offers countless, immeasurable ways to broaden IndyCar's scope and reach.
INDYCAR Conference Call IZOD IndyCar Series driver AJ Allmendinger participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call. The last time Allmendinger raced in open-wheel racing, Champ Car in 2006, it and the IndyCar Series were two fragmented factions. Allmendinger won five races but admitted although some competitors from that year are still in the 2013 IndyCar field, it’s a much tougher mountain to climb this time around. “It’s been tough, and especially in the IZOD IndyCar Series, there’s no hacks out there,” Allmendinger said Tuesday in a conference call. "The two series were split, so you had some of the best drivers split amongst two series, and now that it’s one series and everybody in the series is so fast, it’s competitive."
by Scott Morris Andretti Autosport remained perfect on the year Sunday when defending IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay snapped Penske Racing’s winning streak at Barber Motorsports Park. Hunter-Reay proved to be a credible threat for the victory when he beat both Power and Castroneves for the pole, raced both hard for the lead during a middle portion of the race, then held off Scott Dixon.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Polesitter Ryan Hunter-Reay driving for Andretti Autosport used his Chevy power and held off Scott Dixon's Ganassi Honda to win the Honda GP of Alabama at the 17-turn, 2.38-mile permanent road course east of Birmingham called Barber Motorsports Park. Hunter-Reay pulled away from the field at the start but fell behind Helio Castroneves in the middle portion of the race. But he bid his time and with 15 laps to go passed Castroneves under braking in Turn 5.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Jimmie Johnson pulled away on a late-race restart to continue his Martinsville Speedway mastery Sunday afternoon, prevailing in the STP Gas Booster 500 for his second victory of the season. The victory was Johnson's eighth at the 0.526-mile track and 62nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He led 346 of 500 laps and regained the lead in the series standings from teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was 24th, two laps down.
IndyCar and Grand-Am scenes from Barber - Saturday
by Scott Morris Ryan Hunter-Reay earned his first Verizon P1 Award of the 2013 season by capturing the pole position for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 7. The reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion recorded a lap of 1:07.0871 in the No. 1 DHL Chevrolet to earn his third pole of his Indy car career. In Grand-Am Max Angelelli drove the No. Corvette to victory over the No. 99 Gainsco Corvette.
by Scott Morris Andretti Autosport ace Ryan Hunter-Reay set a new track record to win the pole position for the Honda GP of Alabama Saturday. Hunter-Reay's sensational lap of 1m7.0871s lap around the undulating Barber Motorsports Park beat Penske's Will Power to give Chevy a 1-2 start for tomorrow's race. Rookie sensation Tristan Vautier will start third in his No. 55 Honda.
by Scott Morris Helio Castroneves won the inaugural Honda Grand Prix of Alabama in 2010 but has been shut out of victory lane at Birmingham ever since by teammate Will Power. Castroneves topped the charts in both practice sessions on Friday afternoon at Barber Motorsports Park with a fast time of 01:08.5540 at 120.781 mph.
Racing Royalty - Maybe, the problem isn’t them, but us
by Brian Carroccio Maybe, the problem isn’t them, but us. Who is the “them,” I speak of, you may ask? Second and third generation racing drivers; currently men such as Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. See, with such individuals we seem to be constantly waiting for them to "break out.” We forecast when they are finally going to justify their supreme genetic composition, and “live up” to the family name. If said break out doesn’t occur, we willing label them "underachievers," or suggest they are products of nepotism. And understandably, we’re not inclined to sympathize with those we believe to be products of privilege and nepotism.
IndyCar IZOD IndyCar Series driver Scott Dixon participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the start of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series and preview the April 7 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Scott is a two-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion and drives the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. He's coming off a fifth-place finish in the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and will be making his fourth start at Barber Motorsports Park this weekend for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
Universities to design IndyCar Body Kits, Race in Lights
by Mark J. Cipolloni In an AR1.com exclusive, IndyCar will make two major announcements today: 1) Each IndyCar team will team up with a university to design its body kit starting in 2014 and, 2) IndyCar has received commitments from four of the nation’s most prominent universities to serve as the first-year competitors in a class of competition within the Indy Lights Championship with team run by the universities and staffed by students, including the driver.
by Stephen Cox I had just ordered a Bison Burger with bacon and cheese and frankly, I was concerned. We were at Ted’s Montana Grill just outside of Colorado Springs. It was said to be the best burger joint within shouting distance of Pike’s Peak International Speedway. This was important to me because I take food seriously. It was late 1999. Our broadcast crew was in Colorado to televise the USAC midget race that would serve as the opening event for the brand new Pike’s Peak facility.
IndyCar Conference Call Earlier today, IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Tony Kanaan and Simona de Silvestro participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the start of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series and preview the April 7 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Simona finished sixth in her debut race with the team at St. Petersburg after running as high as third in the late stages of the race. Tony finished fourth.
by Brian Carroccio After what can best be described as a trying off-season, the Izod IndyCar Series got back to racing this weekend in St. Petersburg, Florida. In an action-packed, thrilling race, popular 26 year-old Canadian James Hinchcliffe held off three-time St. Petersburg winner Helio Castroneves in the closing laps to score his first career win. Of course, the self-appointed Mayor of Hinchtown, famous for his marketing savvy, seemingly endless reservoir of self-confidence and spot-on Kimi Raikkonen impersonations, was far from the only story.
by Stephen Cox What a great way to kick off the IndyCar season. So I’m sitting here browsing articles and I run across a piece that attempts to name the “worst drivers in IndyCar history,” as if such a determination was possible. It figured it was a waste of time, so I passed. I continue browsing. Surely, I thought, there is no cosmic miracle sufficient to cause two or more equally disturbed authors to write on such a topic. I was wrong.
Hinchcliffe gets first IndyCar win in St. Petersburg
by Brian Carroccio Taking advantage of a lap 85 restart mistake by Helio Castroneves, Canadian James Hinchcliffe moved into the lead of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. From there, the popular 26-year-old Hinchcliffe, driver of the #27 Go-Daddy Chevrolet, would hold off an ambitious charge by the Brazilian to score his first IndyCar victory in 32 career starts. Three-time St. Petersburg winner, Castroneves, piloting the #3 Team Penske Hitachi Chevrolet finished second.
de Silvestro to start in first start for KV Racing It was a day of surprises in St. Pete. The fact that Will Power won the pole in his Verizon sponsored Penske Chevy was no surprise on Saturday for the Honda IndyCar GP of St. Petersburg. What was a surprise, however, were others in the top-6. Takuma Sato was 2nd in an AJ Foyt Honda (yes, you read that right) and Simona de Silvestro was third in her first race with KV Racing.
by Mark J. Cipolloni IMS CEO and IndyCar acting CEO Mark Miles met with the media gathered in St. Petersburg, Florida Saturday morning to answer questions about future direction of the sport. It was the first opportunity AR1.com had to meet Mark Miles in person, but it's clear he is very smart and asking all the right questions. Our initial impression was excellent and in Miles IndyCar may finally have a leader that can indeed move the needle up.
IndyCar season starts this weekend Chevrolet’s return to the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012 was extremely successful: the Bowtie Brand captured the Manufacturers' Championship on the strength of 11 wins in 15 races; Ryan Hunter-Reay crowned the Overall Driver Champion as well as the Oval Track Champion and Will Power named the Road Course Champion. But, that was last year. The focus quickly turned to the 19-race 2013 schedule beginning with the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Fla.) March 24, 2013.
INDYCAR Conference Call IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Will Power participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season opener, the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Hunter-Reay will drive the No. 1 DHL Chevrolet in 2013, using the No. 1 as the defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion. He has two podium finishes in six starts at St. Petersburg, including a third-place finish last year, and will be looking to give Andretti Autosport its second win on the streets of St. Petersburg.
IndyCar Seven teams and a dozen full-time entries will lead the Honda effort as the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series opens Sunday with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The manufacturer and its Honda Performance Development racing arm are seeking their seventh competitive manufacturers' championship and 10th consecutive Indianapolis 500 victory.
by Brian Carroccio Last week, AutoRacing1.com previewed the 2013 Izod IndyCar Series season. Using Vegas-style odds, we handicapped the 2013 field, looking at the contenders for the Astor Cup, drivers with the potential to surprise, and those who will struggle to find their way to the front. Although the 2013 field is a strong one, and the action on track expected to be close, we all know news in the world of IndyCar is rarely, if ever, confined to the track.
IndyCar Team Penske's Helio Castroneves participated in the conference call to discuss next week's Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and the 2013 season. Castroneves is the defending champion of the event and has won on the streets of St. Petersburg three times (2006, 2007 and 2012). Helio is driver of the No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet for Team Penske. It's the 14th season he has driven an Indy car for Roger Penske and his team. Helio finished fourth last year in the IZOD IndyCar Series with two wins, one of them coming at St. Petersburg.
by Scott Morris For the second consecutive day, Will Power behind the wheel of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet topped the leaderboard at the end of the second day of the Barber Open Test for the IZOD IndyCar Series at Barber Motorsports Park. Power, who has won two of the three races, held to-date at the road course, just outside Birmingham, Alabama, set the fastest lap with a time of 01:07.1329, and a speed of 123.337 m.p.h. Giving Chevrolet V6 IndyCar the top-two in the final order was James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy.com Andretti Autosport Chevrolet with a lap time of 01:07.3839 at 122.878 m.p.h.
IndyCar Will Power set the record of 1 minute, 9.8524 seconds in Round 1 of qualifications last April. Driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, he was quickest in the chilly morning session with a lap of 1:08.4984 and lowered it to 1:07.8625 in the afternoon -- 2 seconds quicker than his record. Teammate Helio Castroneves was second (1:07.9388) in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske car, while James Hinchcliffe was third (1:07.9869) in the No. 27 GoDaddy.com car for Andretti Autosport.
They're going to run an IndyCar race in less than two weeks. That might be hard to imagine. After all, it's been six long, seemingly interminable months since American Ryan Hunter-Reay was crowned Izod IndyCar Series Champion at Fontana. Further, since that dramatic 2012 finale, we've seen little if any promotion of the charismatic, good-looking Hunter-Reay. We've heard little to nothing about Hunter-Reay's unique journey of perseverance in elevating to the top of the sport. Nor have we heard much about any of the other drivers in the series.
INDYCAR Conference Call Earlier today, IZOD IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal, who joins the team co-owned by his father for the 2013 season, participated in the conference call to preview the 2013 season. Graham will drive the No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in 2013 after spending the last two seasons with Chip Ganassi Racing. He made one start for Rahal Letterman Lanigan, which is co‑owned by his father Bobby Rahal, but this will be his first full season working with his dad and his dad's team.
IndyCar Earlier today, IZOD IndyCar Series drivers James Hinchcliffe and Firestone Indy Lights driver Zach Veach participated in the conference call to preview the 2013 season. James will drive the No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet and is entering his third season in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Zach will move up to Firestone Indy Lights in 2013 with Andretti Autosport, and driver of the No. 12 K12 for the team. A full transcript follows.
by Brian Carroccio I’m curious. The prevailing wisdom within IndyCar regarding the series racing overseas seems to be less than favorable. Many prominent figures within IndyCar, such as Roger Penske have long spoken out against the idea, citing a host of reasons. And to be clear, I don’t necessarily dispute their validity. For one, we are told by those who attempt to lure corporate support, that races overseas (outside North America) are of little interest to North American based sponsors. Also, for a sport desperate to increase its television audience, overseas races often take place at less than favorable television times in North America, and inevitably drag down the already lagging TV numbers.
by Brian Carroccio Danica Patrick winning pole for the Daytona 500 yesterday, is clearly dominating headlines today in the world of motorsport. However, last week another female driver, Katherine Legge, made news in the world of IndyCar with her less than cordial split with Dragon Racing. As you probably know, Legge was dropped from Jay Penske's team last month in favor of Colombian Sebastian Saavedra with news of this decision became public last Tuesday. Of course, the likable 32 year-old Brit, was instrumental in bringing TrueCar sponsorship to Penske's team before the start of last season.
by Stephen Cox National Football League teams have a long-standing tradition. Whenever a franchise wants a new stadium, they simply threaten to move to another town. City officials, terrified at the thought of losing the bread and circuses they promised to Doofus Joe Sixpack, duly pass a new tax on millions of victims who don't give a rat's rump about football and force them to fund a new stadium. Presto. Works every time.
by Brian C. Mackey Everyone has an opinion. This is my version taken from numerous ideas I've heard and added to over the past several seasons. I don't claim to resolve all that is wrong with Indy car, but it is intended to move the needle a bit forward toward finding better solutions to very complicated and long simmering problems.
by Brian Carroccio Let us begin by taking a brief look at two extremes. On May 24, 1992 ten former winners of the Indianapolis 500 took the green flag. Three of these ten men, Rick Mears, Al Unser, and A.J Foyt so happened to be the only four-time winners in the history of the race. They would be joined by Bobby Rahal, Mario Andretti, Arie Luyendyk, Gordon Johncock, Tom Sneva, and Danny Sullivan. Sadly, that iconic class of 1992 would quickly fade from the scene.
by All-American Racers All American Racers is sad to announce that Phil Remington passed away in his sleep Saturday morning, February 9th, just 2 weeks after his 92nd birthday. "Rem” joined AAR in the fall of 1968 after an already stellar career in the motor racing world. He was universally admired and recognized as the greatest fabricator of his time. Until his health started failing last summer Phil never missed a day of work, he was an example both professionally and personally to legions of young people who studied under him and who worked by his side.
by Brian Carroccio “Look, we’re all paying our way somehow,” were the words of an Izod IndyCar Series driver a few years ago during the Mid-Ohio IndyCar weekend. Generally speaking, we don't like "ride-buying." Certainly, on the surface, the practice seems a rather unsavory one. However, "Ride-buying" is a reality of racing; a complicated reality that exists at all levels; a complicated reality that likely will not change until the sport's economics change.
by Brian Carroccio "We need a face," were the words uttered by 2004 Izod IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan about two weeks ago. The outgoing Brazilian was of course, referring to the current leadership vacancy in the world of IndyCar, and the uncertainty it is creating for the sport. To say the sport has reached new lows is an understatement, backed up by the facts. To turn the sport around, the next leader of IndyCar will need a track record of success in not only racing and business, but arguably more. Remember, this person will have to do business with not just those within the IndyCar paddock, but manufacturers, promoters, racetrack operators, sponsors, and a variety of other constituents.
by Stephen Cox Here's what you're supposed to believe: Franchitti, Kanaan and Castroneves enjoy a special Divine Blessing. They are qualified to drive Indycars. Milka Duno, Hiro Matsushita and Dennis Vitolo were not. Neither was Danica, but she gets a free pass because she's hot and brought lots of money. That's what you're told to believe by the motorsports press. Legions of impressionable armchair fans have jumped on the same bandwagon and now anyone who doesn't buy into the propaganda is considered a looney.
by Brian Carroccio As we've outlined the prior two weeks, there aren't too many people watching IndyCar races these days. TV ratings are king and if anyone tells you otherwise, they're just making excuses. Amongst the issues facing IndyCar are the sport's lack of brand awareness, the poor production on ABC/ESPN, and the limited reach of NBC Sports Network. However, there is something IndyCar can do to raise its television audience. To start, I'm going to take you back three days to this past Saturday.
IndyCar INDYCAR and its television partners today announced IZOD IndyCar Series television windows for consistent blocks of network coverage and new race distances at selected events. Live coverage of all 19 IZOD IndyCar Series events - including ABC's first prime-time race and three doubleheaders (one on ABC and two on NBC Sports Network) - highlight the 2013 ABC and NBC Sports Network programming schedule. Race distances were changed at four events to discourage fuel-mileage racing.
Q and A with Michael Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay
IndyCar Earlier today, Andretti Autosport team owner Michael Andretti and 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss a variety of topics heading into the 2013 season.
by Brian Carroccio Judging from your reaction, Part 1 of our article discussing IndyCar's television deal, fulfilled its intended goal. In what undoubtedly elicited the most voluminous response of any article I have written for AR1, many of you expressed shock at the extent of the problem facing the Izod IndyCar Series. And to be clear, let the record show our intent was not to shock, or sensationalize for the mere sake of shocking or sensationalizing. Simply put, we believed the facts spoke for themselves, and if you happened to come away shocked, then so be it. Now, if Part 2 serves its purpose, you will probably come away slightly more upbeat than you did after Part 1.
The failed Barrichello experiment and what it means
by Stephen Cox The most experienced driver in the history of Formula 1 has been sent packing after just one mediocre year in IndyCar. Instead of returning to dominate America's most prestigious open wheel series, Barrichello will spend next year driving in the Brazilian Stock Car Series. Yes, there is such a thing. I've seen their web site. There are two big lessons to take away from the Barrichello story, and in a bizarre sort of way, they both bear wonderful tidings for every aspiring race car driver on the continent. Lesson Number One – the car makes the driver, not the other way around. Lesson Number Two – If Rubens Freaking Barrichello needs money to get a ride, so do you.
by Brian Carroccio With apologies to Mark Miles, I'm going to talk about the past. Ironically, an idea I initially dismissed, has resulted in this two-part piece, which I believe, is the most important article I have written for AR1. Sadly, the following will reveal a sobering reality regarding IndyCar's television package. The most worrisome concern is not simply IndyCar's putrid television ratings. No, television ratings are merely a symptom of a much larger problem: the possibility that IndyCar is maximizing its potential on the fledgling network. Yes, the evidence suggests there is more room to the downside regarding IndyCar's performance on NBCSN than the upside.
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