Rank Driver Points
1 Will Power 671
2 Helio Castroneves 609
3 Scott Dixon 604
4 Juan Pablo Montoya 586
5 Simon Pagenaud 565
6 Ryan Hunter-Reay 563
7 Tony Kanaan 544
8 Carlos Munoz 483
9 Marco Andretti 463
10 Sebastien Bourdais 461
11 Ryan Briscoe 461
12 James Hinchcliffe 456
13 Josef Newgarden 406
14 Charlie Kimball 402
15 Justin Wilson 395
16 Mikhail Aleshin 372
17 Jack Hawksworth 366
18 Takuma Sato 350
19 Graham Rahal 345
20 Carlos Huertas 314
21 Sebastian Saavedra 291
22 Ed Carpenter 262
23 Mike Conway 252
24 Oriol Servia 88
25 Kurt Busch 80
26 J.R. Hildebrand 66
27 Sage Karam 57
28 Luca Filippi 46
29 James Davison 34
30 Jacques Villeneuve 29
31 Alex Tagliani 28
32 Townsend Bell 22
33 Pippa Mann 21
34 Martin Plowman 18
35 Buddy Lazier 11
36 Franck Montagny 8
Latest IndyCar News and Commentary
IndyCar CEO talks about '15 IndyCar sked and beyond
Q and A with Mark Miles and Will Power Welcome to today's IndyCar conference call. Earlier today the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule was released and features many highlights, including 17 race events, two new race venues, a total of six ABC and 13 NBC SN event broadcasts. The diverse calendar of events, which features six ovals, six road courses, and four temporary street circuits, includes a total of 13 markets making a return to the calendar for 2015.
INDY INDYCAR announced the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule today featuring 17 race events, two new race venues and a total of six ABC and 13 NBCSN event broadcasts. The diverse calendar of events - which features six ovals, six road courses and four temporary street circuits - includes a total of 13 markets making a return to the calendar from 2014. "The Verizon IndyCar Series calendar represents another step forward in our strategy to grow the series," said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
by Brian C. Mackey It's that time of year again. You know, the changing fall colors, the cooling air, pumpkins and most of all, we're deep in the sponsor hunting season of the fourth quarter. In reality, the search for sponsors is all year long, but this time of year is reserved for the most concentrated effort. But just like the seasons seem to be a little out of kilter, in recent years so has the sponsorship story. I used to think motorsports was at a crossroads. I don't think that way anymore.
by Brian Carroccio As you probably know, today is the three-year anniversary of Dan Wheldon's death. This, is an updated version of an article written by Brian Carroccio, which appeared on AutoRacing1, a few days after Wheldon's passing. It's been nearly 72 hours since INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard announced the death of Dan Wheldon. Wheldon's car, of course, became airborne during Sunday's series finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during a horrific 15-car pileup. Gruesomely, the 2005 series champion and two time Indianapolis 500 winner hit the catch fence cockpit first, and likely died soon thereafter.
Planning and Construction Underway for Two-Car IndyCar Team With the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series completed, the concentration now for the newly-merged CFH Racing operation is the blending of the Ed Carpenter Racing squad with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing. That process is underway at the state-of-the-art 40,000 square-foot team headquarters (at 1255 Main St. in Speedway).
by Brian Carroccio It's been five weeks since the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series finale at Auto Club Speedway. And the way things look now, it will be another five months until the series returns to action next March in Brasilia. For today, AutoRacing1 will take a look back in recalling some of the highs and lows, the best and worst, with our 2014 IndyCar Year in Review. Enjoy!
by Brian Carroccio During the recent Verizon IndyCar Series finale weekend at Auto Club Speedway, I had the chance to meet the fine people from Classic Competition. The San Marcos, CA-based company owned and operated by Bruce Marquand and Sidney Carr specializes in “the complete restoration of your classic automobile or vintage race car.” Carr, interestingly, was a mechanic for the late Jim Clark. Of course it goes without saying...
by Brian Carroccio A lot has happened in the world of motor racing since the last time I wrote three weeks ago following the Verizon IndyCar Series finale at Auto Club Speedway. While I'll spare you the uninteresting details, an old injury that recently reared its ugly head has left little time for writing about automobile racing. Nevertheless, during that time, I've amassed quite a list of subjects for discussion. So, without further ado let's tackle some the more intriguing storylines from the world of racing over the past few weeks.
Q and A American Conor Daly recently returned to the States from Europe to attend the final IndyCar race in Fontana, California. This has been a tough season in GP2 with many highs and lows. As is often the case in this profession, the future holds many unanswered questions and yet much promise. Conor took some time out of his schedule to address some questions that are on the minds of some of his fans. We hope you take a few moments and enjoy his candid replies.
Dixon, Hinchcliffe give Feedback on new Lights car
Indy Lights Dallara IL-15 testing The development process of the exciting Dallara IL-15 continued today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Verizon IndyCar Series stars Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe each taking a turn behind the wheel of the new car which will make its debut in the 2015 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. Combining for 80 laps on the 2.439-mile road course, Dixon and Hinchcliffe provided their perspectives on the progress to date.
by Brian Carroccio Dull, drama-free, and completely ordinary. That's all Will Power had to be Saturday evening's MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway. That's exactly what he was. And I'll be honest: I wasn't sure he had it in him. That's not to say I didn't think Power could capture his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship. Quite the opposite, actually. If you recall, I actually picked Power to win the championship at the beginning of the year and Chevrolet to win the manufacturer's title due to what I believed to be the superior quality of the Bowtie Brigade stable.
Power collects million dollar bonus at L.A.'s Club Nokia
Verizon IndyCar Series champion Less than 24 hours after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series championship, Will Power got his chance to celebrate. Power - along with other drivers, teams and manufacturers - were recognized during the INDYCAR Championship Celebration at Club Nokia at the LA Live entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles. Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR, presented Power and team owner Roger Penske with a $1 million championship bonus check and replicas of the Astor Challenge Cup, the Verizon IndyCar Series championship trophy.
by Brian Carroccio Before a small crowd of under 10,000 fans, Will Power won the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship Saturday evening, as Tony Kanaan took the checkered flag in Saturday evening's MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway. The victory was Kanaan's first since winning the 2013 Indianapolis 500 and his first since joining Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Kanaan's teammate Scott Dixon was second, with Ed Carpenter completing a Chevrolet sweep of the podium.
IndyCar Good afternoon, everybody. We're going to get started here with our media availability for Roger Penske. We'll have Roger answer a couple of questions and we'll open it up for questions from our audience, as well. I appreciate everyone joining us today as we get ready to go for the IndyCar title at the MAVTV 500 here this weekend. I guess just talk about the season it's been in 2014, obviously a terrific year for Team Penske with Will and Helio battling it out for the championship and a great addition with Juan Pablo Montoya who's running sixth in the series this year.
by Brian Carroccio Helio Castroneves has won pole position for tomorrow evening's MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway. With a lap of 218.540 miles per hour, the driver of the #3 AAA Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet bested teammate Juan Pablo Montoya by a tenth of a second to score his 41 career pole. Sarah Fisher Hartman’s Racing Josef Newgarden completes the front row as the fastest Honda in the field.
by Brian Carroccio The Verizon IndyCar Series will conclude its season for a third consecutive year this Saturday evening at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. The MAVTV 500 will be the 13th American Open Wheel Racing championship event at the 2.0-mile banked D-shape oval about an hour east of Los Angeles. Last year, current series championship leader Will Power scored a convincing win at ACS from pole.
by Brian Carroccio To surpass or equal the achievement of someone named Unser usually constitutes a rather noteworthy accomplishment in the world of Indy car racing. And in winning Sunday’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, Scott Dixon actually managed to do both this past weekend. The Kiwi's 35th career victory broke out of a tie with Al Unser, Jr. for sixth-place on the all-time wins list, and vaulted into a tie with Al Jr.’s uncle Bobby for fifth.
To be decided in final race Even though the Verizon IndyCar Series championship has five eligible drivers, it is essentially a three-man race between Team Penske's Will Power and Helio Castroneves, and Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports' Simon Pagenaud. Power took control of the Verizon IndyCar Series standings at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 3 and carries a 51-point advantage over his Brazilian teammate into the MAVTV 500. The Verizon IndyCar Series championship will be decided in the final race for the ninth year in a row. Which driver will win the title?
by Mark J. Cipolloni Scott Dixon passed a low on fuel Mike Conway with three laps to go to win the GoPro Sonoma Grand Prix IndyCar race. Graham Rahal was leading but burning a lot of fuel with a poor race strategy and had to give up the lead with three laps to go. It was then that Dixon pounced and went from third to first as he passed Conway in Turn 1 while Rahal fumed on pit road. Simon Pagenaud was third ahead of Takuma Sato and Juan Montoya.
At Sonoma Mark Kent, director of racing for Chevrolet, and also Derrick Walker, president of competition and operations for IndyCar met the media in Sonoma to talk about Chevrolet clinching the manufacturer's championship for the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series as well as next year's aero kits.
by Tim Wohlford Verizon IndyCar Series championship points leader Will Power claimed his second consecutive Verizon P1 Award, and fourth of the season, with a lap of 1 minute, 17.4126 seconds in Firestone Fast Six qualifications for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. Josef Newgarden qualified a strong second, followed by Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Briscoe. Points contender Helio Castroneves qualified 6th after an "off" during the Fast Six session.
by Brian Carroccio The Verizon IndyCar Series will make its annual pilgrimage to the Sonoma wine country this coming weekend for the 10th consecutive season with the Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma. It will be the 11th time an American Open Wheel Racing championship event has been held at Sonoma Raceway. Aside from the current stretch of races, which began in 2005, there was the USAC-sanctioned 1970 Golden Gate 150 won by Dan Gurney in an Eagle Ford. Last year...
by Brian Carroccio After what had been a rather whacky stretch of seven races, from the Houston doubleheader weekend in late June to Mid-Ohio two, a little order was restored to the Verizon IndyCar Series this past Sunday in Milwaukee. There were no roll-the-dice fuel strategies, no varying weather conditions, no late race cautions allowing teams to put fresh tires on the car, and no surprise winners from deep in the field.
by Brian Carroccio After Sunday’s ABC Supply Wisconsin 250, the potential championship contenders is down to six drivers mathematically still alive. Realistically? That might be a different story. But if you're looking for someone to breakdown the various scenarios; if you're looking for make sense of double-points, tiebreakers, bonus points, and the whole two races but three races worth of points cluster, AutoRacing1 has you covered.
by Tim Wohlford Will Power drove a dominant race Sunday on the Milwaukee Mile to win the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 IndyCar race over his teammate Juan Montoya and Ganassi's Tony Kanaan. Power now has a 39 point lead over Helio Castroneves with just two races remaining. Scott Dixon was 4th and Josef Newgarden rounded out the top-5
by Tim Wohlford Will Power led a Chevy 1-2-3-4 in qualifying for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the historic 1-mile Milwaukee oval. Power's 2-lap average speed of 169.262 mph on the flat oval was fast enough to hold off Ganassi Racing's Tony Kanaan (168.662 mph) and his Penske teammate Juan Montoya (168.579 mph). Ryan Briscoe and Josef Newgarden rounded out the top-5.
IndyCar A merger was announced today between Ed Carpenter Racing and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing to form a multi-car organization for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series. The team will be known as CFH Racing. The two single-car teams, both based in Indianapolis, will join this offseason to establish a multi-car operation and will be headquartered at the current Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing shop at 1255 Main St. in Speedway, Ind., just a few blocks from the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
by Brian Carroccio Sunday’s ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 will mark the 112th American Open Wheel Racing Championship event at the historic Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. This era’s Master of The Mile is 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, who boast three wins and one 1 pole in 8 Milwaukee starts. Hunter-Reay is also the two-time defending champion and thus only winner of the race in the current Dallara DW12 chassis.
IndyCar Earlier today, Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Will Power participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to preview ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest. Will drives the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet and leads the series points standings by four points over his teammate Helio Castroneves heading into this weekend's ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest.
IndyCar championship continues with short-track battle
At The Milwaukee Mile Will Power took back the lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings from teammate Helio Castroneves at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 3 and carries a four-point advantage over the Brazilian into the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest. Can Power take advantage of Team Penske's knowledge of Milwaukee (seven wins) and maintain his points lead?
by Mark J. Cipolloni The CART IndyCar years have been hailed as the best in the sports history. The races were successful and the TV ratings good. There was more sponsorship in the IndyCar paddock than even NASCAR had. It was the premier form of motorsports in America. So what's different now compared to back then? This article examines the key differences on what made races more successful in the CART era.
by Brian Carroccio I'll admit: I'm having a little trouble effectively articulating what we saw Sunday at Mid-Ohio. From one certain perspective, the 2014 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio was simply the latest installment in IndyCar's longest running, drama free travelling show. But let the record show: the 2014 edition of Death, Taxes and Scott Dixon Wins at Mid-Ohio, will go down as the most memorable clinic Dixon and Chip Ganassi Racing annually conduct in Ohio's Amish country. See, Dixon's epic win, and the manner in which it occurred, is inconceivable from anyone but him.
by Tim Wohlford Target Chip Ganassi driver Scott Dixon has owned the Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course for years and on Sunday that domination continued as Dixon got his first win of the season and 5th at Mid-Ohio winning the Honda Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio over polesitter Sebastien Bourdais by 5.39 sec. Andretti Autosport teammates James Hinchcliffe and Carlos Munoz finished 3rd and 4th while local favorite Graham Rahal rounded out the top-5.
by Tim Wohlford KVSH Racing driver Sebastien Bourdais survived a treacherous wet qualification session to take the pole for tomorrow's Honda Indy 200 at Mid Ohio race at Mid-Ohio on a wet but drying track. American Josef Newgarden will start 2nd 1/2-second behind Bourdais' Chevy. Tony Kanaan will lineup 3rd ahead of Carlos Munoz and Ryan Hunter-Reay on Sunday when it's expected to be dry.
Andretti Autosport drivers We'll get started with today's Verizon IndyCar Series media availability. We are joined by James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Ryan is the fastest overall driver from two of three practice sessions so far. Again fastest today in P3. You won pole here last year, Ryan. Conditions are getting trickier by the minute. What is it going to take to repeat pole here at Mid-Ohio?
by Brian Carroccio The Verizon IndyCar Series heads to Ohio’s Kettle-Moraine countryside this weekend for The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. It will be the 30th time the 2.258-mile 13-turn natural terrain road course has hosted an American Open Wheel Racing championship race. Driving a Pennzoil-sponsored Chaparral Cosworth, Johnny Rutherford edged Gordon Johncock to win the first Indy car race at Mid-Ohio en route to the 1980 PPG Indy Car World Series Championship.
IndyCar We're pleased to be joined by the two drivers who share the No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka car for Ed Carpenter Racing. Later we'll be joined by Sebastien Bourdais. First we'll start with Ed Carpenter and Mike Conway. Welcome to the call. Mike, you're the most recent winner in the series at Toronto. Your second win of the season. I know you had a chance to test last week at Mid-Ohio. What do you expect from the No. 20 team for the weekend?
by Steven N. Levinson This story is from our 2002 archives and discusses the loss of short track dirt racing and fanbase from oval track IndyCar racing after Tony George split the sport, which led to its destruction. Indianapolis, Indiana is the home of the Indy 500, the United States Auto Club and is a hot bed of open wheel short track racing week in and week out from April through September. It is also the home of all of many die hard IRL fans. So what has happened to all of the "premier" short track events?
by Brian Carroccio I made mention of this in last week’s Iowa Postscript. However, about midway through the Iowa Corn Indy 300 Presented by DEKALB, I spotted KV Racing Technology co-owner Jimmy Vasser making his way back to the garage area. This, of course, was after both KV cars had fallen retired in quick succession. Of particular disappointment for Vasser and KV was Colombian Sebastian Saavedra had crashed out from third-place after impressively carving his way from the back of the field.
by Brian Carroccio Mike Conway drove the #20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet to victory in today’s Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto. Using a late race call by the Fuzzy’s Vodka team to take slick tires, Conway charged ahead of fellow competitors on rain tires to score the win. It was Conway’s fourth career win and 2nd of 2014. Tony Kanaan was second in the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
by Mark J. Cipolloni No. 11 was key. No. 11 Sebastien Bourdais had not won an IndyCar race since 11/11/2007 in Mexico City and today he was just as untouchable as he was back in Mexico City on the 11th of the 11th month. Bourdais had his way on Sunday morning leading 58 of 65 laps on his way to winning the first race of a doubleheader in the Honda Grand Prix of Toronto by 3.3408 seconds over Verizon IndyCar Series championship front-runner Helio Castroneves on the 1.755-mile Exhibition Place street circuit.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Sebastien Bourdais was the only driver to get into the 58 second bracket in Q3 qualifying for the Honda GP of Toronto to win the pole for Race #1 of the Honda GP of Toronto. His time of 58.948s was enough to beat the Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves. Ryan Hunter-Reay will start 4th while Simon Pagenaud will start 5th but could have been on pole had he not crashed in the final corner. Tony Kanaan was 6th.
by Brian Carroccio Exhibition Place will host the 28th Honda Indy Toronto this weekend. The 11-turn 1.755-mile temporary circuit has hosted 28 previous Indy car races, and for the second straight year will play host to a doubleheader race weekend. Sixteen drivers have won races on the Streets of Toronto. Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti is the all-time leading winner at Toronto with an unprecedented seven victories. In total, Andretti finished on the podium 10 times in 17 starts.
by Brian Carroccio From one perspective, I called it. Yes, as predicted here on AutoRacing1 last week, Ryan Hunter-Reay captured his third victory of 2014 Saturday evening in the Iowa Corn Indy 300 presented by DEKALB. Taking advantage of a late caution to grab fresh tires, Hunter-Reay stormed from 10th to the lead with 9 laps to go, to score his second win at Iowa, 14th of his career, and sixth on a track 1-mile or less in length. Interestingly, RHR has won 4 of the 5 races on short tracks in the DW12 era, with teammate James Hinchcliffe winning the other, giving Andretti Autosport a sweep of that category.
by Brian Carroccio Don't look now. But in 47 days, the Verizon IndyCar Series will conclude its 2014 season at Auto Club Speedway. Granted, there are still 6 races to run in what will no doubt be a grueling stretch run for the drivers and teams. Still, with the end of the 2014 season fast approaching in this condensed season, it's not too early to start talking 2015. Today, AutoRacing1 will take a look at the 2015 IndyCar Silly Season.
by Brian Carroccio Ryan Hunter-Reay won this evening’s Iowa Corn Indy 300 presented by DEKALB. With a late race call to take tires on the #28 DHL Honda after during a caution period, Hunter-Reay charged from outside the top-10 on a restart with 6 laps to go and win by 0.5814sec. Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing’s Josef Newgarden also took tires late and like Hunter-Reay charged from outside the top-10 to finish second. Tony Kanaan, who led the most laps, chose not to take tires and wound up 3rd.
by Brian Carroccio Scott Dixon qualified the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet on pole for tomorrow's Iowa Corn Indy 300. It was the 23rd career pole for the three-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion and first of 2014. Dixon will be joined on the front row by teammate Tony Kanaan driving the #10 TNT Energy Drink Chevrolet this weekend. Helio Castroneves starts third in the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, with Ryan Briscoe making it a top-four sweep for The Bowtie Brigade in the #8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
by Brian Carroccio The Verizon IndyCar Series will make its eighth annual trip to the 7/8-mile banked oval in Newton, Iowa this coming weekend. For this year, the Iowa Corn Indy 300 presented by DeKalb returns to its Saturday night slot after being run Sunday afternoon a year ago. Another change this year is the race will be extended from 250 to 300 laps, a distance of 262.5 miles. The Indy cars will be accompanied by the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
by Brian Carroccio Granted, not everyone at Pocono Raceway did the proverbial load up the Uzi and fire away at whatever chance of good fortune they might have had. Still, there were plenty of silly, self-inflicted wounds this weekend at Pocono Raceway. And the person you have to credit for establishing what would become something of a theme throughout the weekend, would be none other than Pocono Raceway CEO Raceway CEO Brandon Igdalsky. It is with Igdalsky where AutoRacing1 will start its Pocono Postscript.
by Bob Lefsetz You mean I need a bigger engine and a swoopy style to get laid? I just go on Tinder! Welcome to the baby boomer nightmare, wherein everything they’ve held near and dear becomes irrelevant. Like automobiles. Cars are a utility. So long Ferrari. So long Aston Martin. So long the SUV. Do you think kids want to own a big box with terrible mileage just like their parents drive? Just because cars have lasted a century, that does not mean they're here to stay, that does not mean they're not ripe for disruption. Cars are the newspapers of today. Something oldsters can't live without and youngsters can.
Montoya breaks ice, wins record setting Pocono 500
by Mark J. Cipolloni Juan Montoya came back to IndyCar hoping to break back into the win column after many dry years in NASCAR. Sunday at Pocono, with the Colombian fans on their feet cheering, Juan Montoya drove a perfect race to win over his Penske teammate Helio Castroneves running the fastest 500-mile IndyCar race ever over 202 mph. Carlos Munoz was 3rd for Andretti Autosport. Ryan Briscoe came home 4th for Ganassi Racing and Scott Dixon rounded out the top-5.
by Brian Carroccio With a two-lap average of 223.871, Juan Pablo Montoya has won the Verizon P1 Award for tomorrow's Pocono IndyCar 500 Fueled by Sunoco. Taking advantage of a pristine late afternoon conditions, and the last qualifying, Montoya set a new track record at The Tricky Triangle and earned his first Indy car pole position since Surfers Paradise in 2000.
IndyCar Media Conference That's what I'm saying. Let's do that. I like that idea. We've been talking about it. The funny thing is at Andretti Autosport we're talking about it because we've been pretty successful on the short ovals. The short oval is the only discipline of racetrack that we don't pay double points. We pay double points on the road and streets and on the superspeedways. We don't pay double points on the short ovals at all. Short ovals is what IndyCar is all about.
by Brian Carroccio After a 24-year absence, The Verizon IndyCar Series enjoyed a successful return to The Tricky Triangle in 2013. Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon led a 1-2-3 finish for the Ganassi organization, in launching what turned out to be his third series championship campaign. One thing that will be different in 2014, is the race has been extended from 400 to 500 miles. As a 500-mile race, Pocono will like Indianapolis and Fontana, pay double-points.
by Brian Carroccio After a rather regrettable 2013 Grand Prix of Houston, the Verizon IndyCar Series went a long way towards redeeming itself in the 2014 edition of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers. With a higher-than-normal volume of material to cover, let’s get right into the recently concluded bat***t crazy weekend for IndyCar in Houston.
Pagenaud & Aleshin give Schmidt Peterson Honda 1-2
by Mark J. Cipolloni Simon Pagenaud and Russian rookie Mikhail Aleshin used their Honda power and pulled away from Team Penske's Verizon Chevy with 10 laps to go to win the 2nd half of the Shell Pennzoil Houston GP doubleheader. On the last lap Power dropped down the order after tapping the wall and breaking his rear suspension. Jack Hawksworth started last and drove all the way through the field to third place, the best ever result for the British rookie.
INDY Earning the Verizon P1 Award for Race 2 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston set up Helio Castroneves to carve into Team Penske teammate Will Power's championship lead. Driving the No. 3 Pennzoil Ultra Premium Team Penske car, Castroneves recorded a quick lap of 59.1702 seconds in Group 2 of qualifications. Two groups were set based on June 27 combined practice times for 12 minutes of track time for each group.
by Brian Carroccio Carlos Huertas scored a shock win in today's Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers driving the Dale Coyne Honda. It was the first career Verizon IndyCar Series win for the Colombian rookie, who’s previous best finish was 8th place earlier this month at Detroit. Team Penske's Juan Pablo Montoya came home second, with Carlos Munoz completing a Colombian sweep of the podium.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Simon Pagenaud has taken pole for Race 1 of the Shell Pennzoil GP of Houston stealing it on the last lap from the race sponsors car Helio Castroneves, which is painted with the traditional bright yellow Pennzoil colors. Scott Dixon will start third for Ganassi Racing ahead of Luca Filippi who came in off the bench and showed up a lot of the regulars. James Hinchcliffe rounded out the top-5 as Honda dominated with 8 of the top-12 starting positions.
by Brian Carroccio After two weekends off from racing the Verizon IndyCar Series returns to action this weekend in Houston, Texas for the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by The Greater Houston Honda Dealers. The ‘Double Down in H-Town’ will mark the second doubleheader weekend for the series in 2014. Each race on the 1.683-mile MD Anderson Cancer Center Speedway at NRG Park will be 90 laps. There are three previous winners of the event in this year’s field.
by Brian Carroccio Officially, it was known as the Mercedes-Benz 500I. Publicly, there were numerous flattering or unflattering adjectives used depending on one's perspective. At the Ilmor factory in Brixworth, England it was called the "E." To two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi it was very simply, yet very affectionately called "The Beast." And what a "Beast" it was. With a reported 950 horsepower, "The Beast," would make its race debut on an idyllic spring day shortly after 11 a.m. on May 29, 1994.
by Brian C. Mackey OK, here we go again. Once again, I read some motor race marketing materials, I get them all the time. This time from a reasonably high profile drag racing team, talking about "eyeballs." They stressed that motorsport marketing is all about eyeballs, how many eyeballs will see the race car, how many eyeballs will see the sponsor logo, how many eyeballs will watch on TV. Blah blah blah. Eyeballs. Eyeballs. Eyeballs. Well here's what I say to that - eyeballs my foot.
by Brian Carroccio The Verizon IndyCar Series made its annual pilgrimage to Texas Motor Speedway this past weekend for the Firestone 600. Driver-owner Ed Carpenter scored his third career victory and first of 2014. It was the second win of the year for the #20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, which won this past in April in Long Beach with Mike Conway behind the wheel.
by Brian Carroccio Ed Carpenter won the Firestone 600 this evening at Texas Motor Speedway. It was the third career Verizon IndyCar Series victory for the driver of the #20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet. Team Penske teammates Will Power finished second and third to complete a Chevrolet sweep of the top-3 positions. Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports' Simon Pagenaud was the lead Honda-powered car in fourth. Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon rounded out the top-five.
With 218+ mph lap Will Power put his Verizon Chevy powered Penske Dallara on pole for Saturday night's Firestone 600 IndyCar race under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway. His average for two laps of 218.8 mph was enough to beat Josef Newgarden's Dallara Honda which clocked in at 217.8 mph around the high-banked 1.5-mile oval. Tony Kanaan, Juan Montoya and Ed Carpenter rounded out the top-5 giving Chevy powered cars 4 of the top-5.
by Brian Carroccio Saturday evening, the Verizon IndyCar Series will make its annual pilgrimage to Texas Motor Speedway for the Firestone 600 in the 1.455 mile oval. It will be the 26th time the series has run at TMS since 1997. There are six previous winners on the entry list. Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves easily has the most sterling record of anyone at Texas with four victories, two seconds and one pole position. Scott Dixon, Justin Wilson, Ryan Briscoe, Will Power and Tony Kanaan each have once at TMS.
by Brian Carroccio IndyCar and the Detroit GP come from shaky pasts. From one perspective, they can both be construed as cautionary tales; living, gasping-for-air reminders of how greed, internecine political squabbles, and short-sightedness can reduce once thriving kingdoms to rubble. Making matters worse, both are subjected to ubiquitous, constant and painful material reminders of what once was, what could have been, and the sad story of profound human failure they both represent.
The Firestone 600 Preview The Firestone 600 will be the 26th Verizon IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway dating to the track's opening in 1997. Underscoring the competitiveness of the series, there have been 18 different drivers to win the 25 races. With a wide-open field of competitive drivers and teams, will another new winner find his way to take the checkered flag in the race?
by Mark J. Cipolloni Helio Castroneves had the fastest car on Saturday but the yellows did not fall his way while his teammate Will Power drove to victory. On Sunday Castroneves was not to be denied as he went on to win the 2nd race of the Detroit GP doubleheader by pulling away from Power in the closing laps to give team owner and race promoter Roger Penske a 1-2 finish and a clean sweep of the Verizon IndyCar weekend.
by Brian Carroccio Takuma Sato has won pole position for today's Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit race 2. It's the second pole position of 2014 for the driver of #14 ABC Supply Honda. Andretti Autosport's James Hinchcliffe will start on the outside of the front row. The second-place qualifying position, is the fifth such effort for the driver of the #27 United Fiber and Data Honda this season.
by Brian Carroccio Will Power won today's race 1 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans. It was the twenty-third career victory for the driver of #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, and twenty-third of his career. Graham Rahal turned in a solid drive from the ninth starting position to bring the #15 National Guard Honda home second. Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Tony Kanaan was third, with Justin Wilson and pole sitter Helio Castroneves rounding out the top-5.
by Mark J. Cipolloni He finished a close 2nd in the Indy 500, but Helio Castroneves has come out swinging in Detroit -comfortably taking pole position by 0.4426 seconds in his Chevy over the Hondas of James Hinchcliffe and Jack Hawksworth. Pole for this race put a smile back on Roger Penske's face after a bitter defeat at the hands of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Andretti Autosport in Indy.
by Brian Carroccio This weekend The Raceway at Belle Isle Park will host Indy Car races for the 16th and 17th times since 1992, with the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans. The event, held on the 982-acre island park located in the middle of the Detroit River, has had three unique incarnations. The first was as a CART event from 1992-2001. The race returned as an IndyCar Series race in 2007 and 2008, before being reborn again in 2012 after a three-year hiatus.
by Brian Carroccio May 2014 was always going to be somewhat memorable. A controversial IndyCar race on the IMS road course to start the month, somewhat odd changes to the Indy 500 qualifying format were, the appearance of NASCAR star Kurt Busch, and reappearance of former Indy 500 winners Jacques Villeneuve and Juan Pablo Montoya were for better or worse, amongst the headlines that were going to make this May a little different at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Indy 500: The Best Spec Racing a Lot of Money Can Buy
by Stephen Cox Many will assume that the title of this week's column is based in sarcasm. It is not. We can debate whether Sunday's Indy 500 was a “good” race, or if the NASCAR-like red flag ruined an honest end to the event (all we need now is “overtime”), but we cannot challenge the fact that it was entertaining. It was, in a very real sense, the best spec racing that a lot of money can buy.
IndyCar Ryan Hunter-Reay earned $2,491,194 from an overall purse of $14,231,760 for his victory Sunday, May 25 in the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Hunter-Reay held off Helio Castroneves by only 0.0600 of a second - the second-closest margin of victory in the history of the event - in a six-lap duel to claim his first Indy 500 victory. Hunter-Reay is the first American to win "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" since Sam Hornish Jr. in 2006.
At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway An Interview with Ryan Hunter-Reay
MODERATOR: Good morning. We’ll start our Day After the Indianapolis 500 Press Conference with 2014 Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. Ryan, you’ve had a night to sleep on it. I know yesterday was a little overwhelming. Any new thoughts on being an Indianapolis 500 champion?
Hunter-Reay outduels Castroneves to win the Indy 500
by Mark J. Cipolloni Heading into turn 1 on the last lap of the 98th Indianapolis 500 Ryan Hunter-Reay made a sensational outside pass of Helio Castroneves. The Florida native would hold off the Brazilian coming to the checkered flag by a mere 6/100ths of a second in the second closest finish in Indy 500 history. With Castroneves aiming to be the fourth 4-time winner of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing and Hunter-Reay shooting to be the first American winner since 2006, the two traded the lead back and forth over the final laps with the crowd of over 200,000 standing and cheering the whole way.
by Brian Carroccio Twenty Indy Car race winners, seven Indy Car series champions; six previous winners of the Indianapolis 500, two Grand Prix winners and one World Champion are part of the field that will take the green flag Sunday for the 98th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Yes, by any measure the 2014 Indy 500 field is the strongest in years. This strength becomes even more impressive when you consider that 8 of the last 11 Indy 500 winners will not race Sunday.
by Brian Carroccio Belardi Auto Racing’s Gabby Chaves won today's Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Colombian, who last year finished second by 0.0026 seconds, made an outside pass of Andretti Autosport's Matthew Brabham coming to the checkered flag to nip the 2013 Pro Mazda Champion by 0.005 seconds. The win was the second consecutive for Belardi, who won last season with Peter Dempsey behind the wheel.
Last year's winner fastest at 227.838 mph Tony Kanaan would love to make it two Indy 500 wins in a row and if Carb day speeds are any indication, he's ready. Kanaan tuned the fastest lap of 227.838 mph to beat his Target Chip Ganassi teammate Scott Dixon by just 0.0113s. Townsend Bell was third quick and the only other driver over 227 mph, an impressive result considering he only runs this one IndyCar each year. Helio Castroneves and Mikhail Aleshin rounded out the top-5.
Do fans today really care about 'new' track records?
by Tim Wohlford I spent many of my growing up years in Indy, including the bit where ole Tom Carnegie would bellow out, “It’s a new track record.” It was a time of gloriously rowdy large crowds, drivers whose names were (and are) household names, and cars that were as beautiful as they were fast. But the reality is that I can’t go back. My old house on 105th Street still stands, but I’m sure that precious few of the people that I grew up with are around, many probably dead by now.
It's time for a rethink on the month of May at Indy
by Mark J. Cipolloni Now that the failed experiment of the new Month of May at Indy is over, let me comment. Sure the Grand Prix of Indianapolis was nice, and the crowd of 50,000 was decent. However, because the grandstands were mostly empty, it made IndyCar look like a complete loser both on TV and in photos. It's just as bad as IndyCar racing in front of a vast sea of aluminum at NASCAR tracks. Americans like winners. When they see what looks like a loser on TV, they lose interest real fast
by Stephen Cox I grew up in Indianapolis and I live for the Indy 500. I’ve worked on the TV crew during the month of May. I’ve watched IndyCar my whole life. But I have no idea how the pole position will be determined today. The problem is not that the process is too complicated. I’m watching it on TV right now. The real problem is that I don't care anymore. I don't care anymore because the purity of the sport has been sacrificed on the altar of Disney-style entertainment. Everything feels plastic.
by Tim Wohlford Slightly warmer weather had a big impact on speeds for the Fast 9 Pole Award competition, but Ed Carpenter managed to put in the fastest run of the day and win the 2014 Indy 500 Pole. James Hinchliffe will start in the middle of row 1, with Will Power on the outside. If the format would've been different, Juan Pablo Montoya would’ve started second, with Scott Dixon joining him on the front row.
by Tim Wohlford Ed Carpenter posted the top time of the day, as the big horses of IndyCar put on a shootout at the end of the day while contesting the top 9 provisional positions. While the results will be thrown out tomorrow when the *real* qualification happens, these are the 9 that will be allowed to contest for the Pole: Ed Carpenter (230.661), Carlos Munoz, Helio Castroneves, James Hinchcliffe, Will Power, Marco Andretti, Simon Pagenaud, Josef Newgarden and JR Hildebrand.
by Keith Ori and Brian Carroccio Keith Ori and Brian Carroccio go head-to-head once again, this time making predictions for next weekend's Indy 500. Prediction for Pole Position. What are the realistic chances Kurt Busch wins? Who has the edge Honda or Chevy? What is the ideal outcome for IndyCar in the 98th Indy 500? What is the worst conceivable Indy 500 outcome for IndyCar? Find out inside.
by Brian Carrocio and Keith Ori Today AR1 Columnist Brian Carroccio and Contributor Keith Ori field a series of questions regarding the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series in another edition of 'AR1 Head-To-Head.' For:
The GP of Indy and the role of television coverage
by Brian C. Mackey Researchers like to test a theory before advancing it. Last week’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis was a good opportunity to test an opinion before more confidently recommending a solution. For the past several years I have been part of an on-going debate that has often appeared on these pages. It’s the “Indy Car television ratings debate” that has spurred two distinct philosophies. There is the side that believes that the low and dismal television ratings on NBC Sports Channel prohibits Indy Car from achieving better commercial outcomes due to the weak rating numbers.
by Brian Carroccio It won’t be the first lap crash. Nor will it be Frenchman Simon Pagenaud taking the checkered flag. My enduring memory of the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis will not be the controversial circumstances in which it came about, or even the relatively successful way in which it came off. Granted, I will remember such things, as I will the botched pit strategy and disappointment for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Oriol Servia in the final stint, costing the likable Catalonian a more-than-realistic chance of finishing on the podium, if not contending for the victory.
by Tim Wohlford Any more road races like this one, and Indy might become a road racing Mecca. ‘Cause on a track that produced mind-numbingly boring F1 races, the IndyCar guys put on a great show. And it started out with a bang....The carnage started early in this one. Pole sitter Saavedra’s car stalled in front of the field when he dropped the clutch, and was collected first by Carlos Munoz and then heavily by Mikhail Aleshin. Aleshin’s car ended up on top of Saavedra, who fortunately had been able to pull his hands back into the car between the time he signaled a problem and impact.
Hunter-Reay crashes in wet and loses pole to Saavedra
For first ever GP of Indianapolis With rooster tails flying on a very wet Indianapolis track, American Ryan Hunter-Reay turned the fastest lap and appeared to have won the first ever pole for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.....then he overcooked it and backed his Dallara into the outside wall coming onto the front straight resulting in the loss of his two fastest laps and the pole. Colombian Sebastian Saavedra (KV Racing) and rookie Jack Hawksworth will start 1-2 Saturday with Hunter-Reay lining up 3rd.
by Brian Carroccio The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host its 111th American Open Wheel Racing championship race this weekend. Making Saturday’s race unique of course, is the fact the previous 110 have taken place on IMS’ famed 2.5-mile oval. While Grand-AM, Moto GP, Formula 1, Indy Lights and other series have run the IMS road course in various configurations, this weekend’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis will be the inaugural Verizon IndyCar Series race on the 2.439-mile, 14 turn infield road course. Below, is AR1 columnist Brian Carroccio's preview for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Inaugural Race Today starts practice for Saturday's inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the road course built inside the famous 2.5-mile Indy Motor Speedway oval. Who will join the famed names of Harroun, Gordon and Rossi as the first winners of an inaugural race at IMS? This story highlights some of the stories to follow this weekend as well as provide the entry list, and weekend schedule.
by Brian Carroccio Given we've surpassed the 5000 word threshold in the first two parts of AutoRacing1's series, The IndyCar Malaise, let's cut right to the fix. The Mazda Road to Indy system may produce race winners and champions at the top-level, but in theory it should produce stars. Note the very key distinction. And it is the Mazda Road to Indy system -- the platform for training future champions and stars -- that will be the focus of part 3.
IndyCar Malaise Part 2: IndyCar is own worst enemy
by Brian Carroccio If part 1 of The IndyCar Malaise fulfilled its intended goal, you came away with an idea of what makes for a compelling sports entertainment product. Using illustrations of famous Americans athletes such as Michael Phelps and Lance Armstrong we highlighted scenarios in which the public is willing to invest their emotional time and energy. Today, in part 2 we will look at how IndyCar is not only failing to address the problem, but arguably exacerbating it. Yes, the modus operandi within the sport is not propelling it forward, rather serving to perpetuating its downward slide.
IndyCar Malaise Part 1: Why the public is indifferent
by Brian Carroccio We hear it all the time. If only the television package was better; if only there was greater mainstream media coverage; if only people knew how good the racing was; if only we didn’t have spec cars; if only SportsCenter would pay an iota of attention to IndyCar; if only this, if only that, surely, unquestionably more people would attend Verizon IndyCar Series races and watch on television. Yes, "if only."
by Scott Morris Ryan Hunter-Reay bounced back from disappointment two weeks ago at the Grand Prix of Long Beach – when the 2012 crashed out of the race while challenging for the lead – to score a resounding Verizon IndyCar Series victory Sunday at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, leading a 1-2 finish for Honda and Andretti Autosport. Teammate Marco Andretti finished second. Our Scott Morris captured these Photos.
Hunter-Reay superb in the rain, wins GP of Alabama
by Scott Morris After crashing out in spectacular style two weeks ago while leading in Long Beach, Ryan Hunter-Reay put on a clinic on a drying but still wet track to win the Grand Prix of Alabama for the 2nd year in a row. His teammate Marco Andretti came 2nd to give Andretti Autosport a 1-2 finish. Scott Dixon was third for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. "It's too bad it finished under the yellow," said Hunter-Reay, "we were walking it. The car was perfect."
At Barber Motorsports Park Penske Racing's Will Power has won the pole position for the GP of Alabama IndyCar race on the beautiful undulating 2.38-mile Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham Alabama in his Chevy. His time of 1m08.3120s on a track that was getting hotter by the minute was enough to beat Andretti Autosport teammates James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay, both with Honda power. Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon, and Helio Castroneves rounded out the Top-6.
by Brian Carroccio During the 2014 race season, AutoRacing1.com columnist Brian Carroccio will preview all Formula 1 and IndyCar races. Below, is Brian's preview of this weekend's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. The 2014 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be the fifth Verizon IndyCar Series race at the George Barber-built Barber Motorsports Park. The 15 turn, 2.3-mile race course sits on a 740-acre plot of land in Leeds, Alabama, and was designed by world-renowned race course architect Alan Wilson. Other Wilson designs include Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, and NOLA Motorsports Park in Louisiana.
One fast 'Frog' Earlier today, Simon Pagenaud, driver of the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda, participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to preview the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park. Simon is in his fourth season as an INDYCAR competitor in his third full season with Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports.
by Mark J. Cipolloni IndyCar TV ratings are at record lows since Tony George started the IRL, split the sport and nearly killed it. And it has been a struggle to win back the fan base given the monopoly that the family down in Daytona Beach have on USA motorsports. And high TV ratings on weekends when there are so much other sports programming on TV to watch and so many channels that broadcast sports, is a real challenge. IndyCar simply does not have enough hardcore fans like NASCAR that would watch a NASCAR race any day, anytime.
Can Hunter-Reay win again? The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be the fifth Verizon IndyCar Series event conducted at Barber Motorsports Park. Ryan Hunter-Reay broke Team Penske's win streak at Barber Motorsports Park with his win in the 2013 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Can Hunter-Reay repeat in Alabama and join Will Power as the race's only multiple winner?
by Brian Carroccio Another installment of North America’s most successful urban festival of speed is complete. Ed Carpenter Racing’s Mike Conway parlayed the misfortune that befell many of his competitors with an impressive charge through the field to score his third career victory, and 2nd in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. What follows’ is AR1's Long Beach postscript analysis.
by Brian Carroccio Mike Conway drove the #20 Fuzzy's Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet to victory in today's 40th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. It was the third career Verizon IndyCar Series victory for Conway and second at Long Beach. Will Power finished second in the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, 0.9005 seconds behind Conway.
by Brian Carroccio With a lap of 1:07.8219 seconds, Ryan Hunter-Reay won the pole for tomorrow's Verizon IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. It's the sixth career pole for the driver of the #28 DHL Honda, and first at Long Beach. Teammate James Hinchcliffe, driver of the #27 United Fiber & Data Honda was a tenth of a second behind Hunter-Reay and will start second. Sebastien Bourdais was third in the #11 Mistic KVSH Racing Chevrolet.
Including a dazzling video tribute to Andretti written and narrated Sam Posey In front of a capacity crowd of auto racing dignitaries, sanctioning group and series' representatives, corporate executives and champion race-car drivers, Mario Andretti was honored by the Road Racing Drivers Club at the "RRDC Evening with Mario Andretti presented by Firestone" prior to the running of the 40th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
For this upcoming season, AutoRacing1.com columnist Brian Carroccio will preview all Formula 1 and IndyCar races. Below, is Brian's preview of this weekend's 40th running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Enjoy!
Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series race will be the 40th installment of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and 31st running as an Indy car style race. Al Unser, Jr. has the most wins of any driver (6), while both Mario Andretti and Paul Tracy have won the race 4 times. Andretti interestingly has won both the Indy car and F1 versions of the event. Andretti (F1 and CART) Tracy (CART and Champ Car), and Will Power (Champ Car and IndyCar) are the only drivers to have won the race under multiple sanctioning.
By: Brian C. Mackey You've heard the expression the customer is number one? Many in motor racing might think that a similar variation might be that from a marketing standpoint, for the sport of motor racing the sponsor is number 1. It might logically seem to be true, but increasingly, it doesn't tell the whole story. For Indy Car racing, and motorsports as a whole, the lessons learned from this statement could bring sizable improvements in the overall marketing capabilities of this sport. For the above statement to be true, you have to consider the context.
IndyCar on the streets of Long Beach for 40 years With three straight race wins dating back to the penultimate race of the 2013 season, Team Penske's Will Power leads the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings as the series heads to Long Beach. Power won the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in both 2008 and 2012. Can he continue his strong start to the 2014 season by scoring another win at the Beach?
by Brian Carroccio Round 1 of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season is in the books. As predicted by yours truly, Team Penske’s Will Power took victory in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, establishing himself as the early favorite for the 2014 series championship. Today, in our "St. Pete Postscript," AutoRacing1 will cover a myriad of topics from this weekend’s race on the Streets of St. Petersburg, starting with Power.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Will Power driving the #12 Verizon sponsored Penske Chevy gave new IndyCar title sponsor Verizon a big win in the 2014 IndyCar season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. Power took the lead around the 1/3 mark during a pitstop and dominated the remainder of the event. Matching him qualifying lap for qualifying lap, Power held off the Andretti Autosport Honda of Ryan Hunter-Reay and his Penske teammate Helio Castroneves.
On streets of St. Petersburg, Florida Takuma Sato beat Tony Kanaan to win the pole for Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in the Fast Six shootout and he won it in convincing style in the AJ Foyt Honda. After 5 laps it was Sato first and Kanaan 2nd. Kanaan tried to topple Sato but lost control of his Ganassi Chevy in Turn 1 and spun (then continued). Sato then put the pole out of reach with a lap of 1m01.8686s, the only driver to get down into the 1m01s bracket. Ryan Hunter-Reay will start third in the Andretti Autosport Honda.
Driver advisor for Chip Ganassi Racing Dario Franchitti, team and Driver advisor for Chip Ganassi's IndyCar program, Verizon IndyCar Series champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, met with members of the media at this weekend's St. Petersburg GP and discussed his role at Chip Ganassi Racing, driving the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 to pace the 2014 Indianapolis 500, the Chip Ganassi Racing 2014 driver lineup and other topics.
For this upcoming season, AutoRacing1.com columnist Brian Carroccio will preview all Formula 1 and IndyCar races. Below, is Brian's preview of this weekend's Verizon IndyCar Series season opener, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
There have been eight winners in the 10 previous St. Pete races. Five of those winners are scheduled to compete this weekend:
Helio Castroneves (2006, 2007, 2012) Graham Rahal (2008) Ryan Briscoe (2009) Will Power (2010) James Hinchcliffe (2013)
Paul Tracy (2003), Dan Wheldon (2005) and Dario Franchitti (2011) are the three other winners.
Castroneves has two second place finishes and one pole position in addition to his three victories. Power finished second in 2011 and is the all-time leader with four pole positions. Briscoe finished third in 2010. Rahal won pole for the 2009 race.
IndyCar season preview - we rate the drivers for 2014
by Brian Carroccio There have been no rumors of buyouts and hostile takeovers. No CEOs have been amateurishly deposed. Sure, there’s been the occasional grumbling about such matters the upcoming season’s incredibly compact schedule and continued lack of television traction for the series. There’s likewise been disappointment from fans over popular drivers such as J.R. Hildebrand, Simona de Silvestro, and Conor Daly not earning full-time rides.
Ahead of season opener in St. Pete Graham Rahal, driver of the No. 15 National Guard Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to preview the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Graham enters his eighth season as a competitor in IndyCar racing and his second full season with a team co-owned by his father racing legend Bobby Rahal. He'll race the No. 15 National Guard Honda starting with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this weekend.
At a time when both Formula 1 and NASCAR are under fire for implementing hokey, contrived championship formats; at a time when IndyCar could have differentiated itself as a pure, no frills, no gimmicks form of motorsport by keeping a points system that has served the series well for over a decade, what do they do? Make finishing 7th at Fontana and Pocono worth more than winning at Long Beach and St. Petersburg.
Today, AutoRacing1.com columnist Brian Carroccio gives his opinion on the new Verizon IndyCar Series championship format.
Michaelian on why Long Beach is better off w/IndyCar
by Brian Carroccio Following AR1.com's article that laid out Chris Pook's reasons why an F1 event would be better for the City of Long Beach than an IndyCar event, we gave GPALB President and CEO Jim Michaelian an opportunity to present his case of why the event should stay an IndyCar event. My conversation with Mr. Michaelian began with some big-picture acknowledgements. He talked about the history of The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, and how the event, which will be run for the 40th time next month, and 30th time as an Indy car race, has been an enormous success on no uncertain terms.
By Wayde Alfarone After watching the 24 hours of racing in Daytona it hit me. Many drivers are familiar, and some more familiar than others, at least to me. Watching the new breed of young drivers in the Rolex 24 hour race I was amazed at how seasoned they seemed! A mix of experienced older drivers and what appeared to be old souls handling themselves with agility and speed, most within seconds of one another.
Pook makes case why Long Beach will benefit from F1
by Brian Carroccio Last week, AutoRacing1.com columnist Brian Carroccio outlined the situation in Long Beach. With knowledge of the costs associated with other F1 street races, Brian’s article raised significant questions regarding the financial viability of an F1 race. The article elicited a fair amount of response, both positive and negative. One such responder was AR1 reader Chris Pook. While Pook praised the "balance" of the article, he did take strong exception with some of the details noted in the article.
Renamed the Verizon IndyCar Series INDYCAR announced today a multi-year entitlement agreement with Verizon that will see North America's premier open-wheel racing championship named the Verizon IndyCar Series. The partnership aligns INDYCAR - the fastest, most versatile motorsports series with a heritage of innovation - with Verizon, whose technical expertise will be utilized to activate programs that will benefit fans, the series, teams, commercial partners and race venues. Verizon will also continue its sponsorship of the Verizon P1 Award presented to the Verizon IndyCar Series pole winner at each race.
by Mark Cipolloni and Brian Carroccio Three weeks ago, AR1 columnist Brian Carroccio and president Mark Cipolloni made a series of predictions regarding the 2014 IndyCar season. Following up on that theme, the two have come up with hypothetical 'head-to-head' driver matchups for the upcoming season. Today, Brian and Mark will make their selections as to how they believe the following drivers will perform relative to each other in the final series standings.
by Stephen Cox After the release of my column last week asking whether IndyCar was still a viable career goal for American racing drivers, I received a very interesting quote from a member of a site with a quote from Conor Daly. I've since verified it as coming from my old friends at Autoweek magazine, whose television show I hosted for several years. Conor, son of former F1 and IndyCar driver Derek Daly, is among the up and coming drivers in American open wheel racing. But when asked why he had failed to land an IndyCar ride for 2014, Daly's response was painfully sharp:
by Brian Carroccio The car-crazy Southern California market. An incredibly loyal title sponsor. IndyCar’s annual chance to see and be seen amongst the Hollywood glitterati. And one gorgeous, if not perfect backdrop for 800 horsepower machines, are but a few reasons losing the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach would be nothing short of an unmitigated disaster for the IndyCar Series. But all those pale in comparison to this.
By S. Cox: Ten Random Racers Speak Their Minds "It's all about money nowadays. I don't think it matters about how much talent you've got. It seems like if you've got more money, you get the shot. People like Oriol Servia, he's out of a ride and a talented guy. You've got Alex Tagliani... me... people who could do it. It's really difficult to get funding." - Katherine Legge, 2-time Indy 500 starter, to Autoweek magazine
by Brian Carroccio Fully knowing this won’t do me any favors in the popularity department; likewise requesting that you consider the context which follows before rendering a final verdict, allow me to offer the following. I sympathize with John Barnes. Yes, Panther Racing team owner John Barnes. The same John Barnes rumored to have actively poisoned the waters in order to depose immensely popular former IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard. The same John Barnes, who in recent years has reportedly neglected to pay numerous Panther drivers.
by Stephen Cox Auto racing in the United States is a mess. NASCAR has peaked. Their response to dwindling attendance has been new cars and fuel injection. In IndyCar, the barriers to entry eliminate all but the uber-wealthy from competition. Tony George was the only guy willing to take a risk and try to solve open wheel's problems. [Editor's Note: He had the wrong idea at the wrong time and destroyed the sport.] Now it's road racing's turn to try and recapture lost glory. And I wonder if they're the ones who will get it right
Q and A w/Villeneuve, Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson
Villeneuve returning to Indy 500 Earlier today, Schmidt Peterson Motosports co-owners Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson announced that the team will field an Indianapolis 500 entry for 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve. Schmidt, Peterson and Villeneuve participated in an INDYCAR Conference. Q. Jacques, you last raced at Indianapolis in 1995. Now coming back almost 20 years later, what do you look forward to the most?
by Brian Carroccio After a characteristically quiet winter, the world of IndyCar has picked up a little of late. We got news last week that the National Guard saga had finally been resolved in favor of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, with young Graham Rahal becoming the face of the National Guard. Particularly interesting, was the financial details of the bids revealed by Racer.com, where Panther had submitted a bid of $17 million (more on that below) for the sponsorship deal, and all that comes with it. Of course, the deal went to RLL’s bid of around $12 million.
KV Racing picks up Saavedra Earlier today, KV Racing Technology co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser, and AFS Racing owner Gary Peterson, announced a strategic partnership to field an entry for the 2014 IndyCar Series season. The team also announced that talented young driver Sebastian Saavedra will pilot the No. 17 KV AFS Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone machine during the 2014 season. Vasser and Saavedra participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the announcement and the 2014 IndyCar Series season.
by Brian Carroccio After a brief break over The Holidays, IndyCar teams have resumed their off-season testing programs. And while it’s difficult to decipher anything concrete from testing, and the season-opener at St. Petersburg remains two months anyway, it is clear that some teams have progressed more than others since October’s 2013 finale at Fontana. Below, AutoRacing1.com takes a look at the changes within the 12 IndyCar teams to have confirmed at least one full-time entry for the 2014 championship.
by Stephen Cox More than 90% of American race drivers are oval specialists. A brief review of active racetracks indicates that in the United States, ovals outnumber road courses by a margin of a little more than nine to one. Of course, racetracks open and close frequently, car counts vary, and a few competitors race on both types of courses. But generally speaking, the numbers don’t lie. By an overwhelming margin of more than 90%, the average American racer is an oval driver.
Is Indy Lights the best training ground for drivers?
by Brian Carroccio Suffice to say, the IndyCar world has not exactly been a flaming hot bed of news in recent weeks. Throw in frigid temperatures through much of the country, and still more than two months until the track goes green in St. Petersburg, and yes, this is what one might call the peak of the doldrums for an IndyCar fan.
Back with Dale Coyne for 2014 Earlier today, Justin Wilson participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to preview his return to racing at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 2014 IndyCar Series season. It's been a long off-season for most IndyCar drivers but the extra time was just what the doctor ordered for Wilson who suffered injuries at the 2013 season finale in Fontana. "I was back walking five and a half, six weeks after the accident, so I was very fortunate the way my pelvis broke, it healed fast. Didn't need any surgery."
by AR1.com Staff Prior to the 2006 season, IndyCars ran on methanol. With encouragement from the ethanol industry, IndyCar switched to ethanol to bring in much needed sponsorship dollars. Pure methanol had been used in open wheel auto racing since the mid-1960s. The decision to permanently switch to methanol in American IndyCar racing was a result of the devastating crash and explosion at the 1964 Indianapolis 500, which killed drivers Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald.
Miles diligently working to take IndyCar international
by Mark J. Cipolloni Readers of AutoRacing1.com know that for years we published articles on why IndyCar must be more than just a domestic series. But time and time again IndyCar has failed to make a dent in the global market due to either poor due diligence or poor execution that resulted in one failed event after another.. Now with Mark Miles they have a CEO who knows how to take a sport global the right way. Today I had a chance to talk to Miles about his international aspirations for IndyCar.
by Brian Carroccio This is a special AutoRacing1.com editorial written by AR1’s own Brian Carroccio. What you will read is not only the position of the writer, rather that of the publication’s management and ownership. Although we wish this piece had a more positive tone, we cannot deny the compelling truth Brian so eloquently brings to light. And in an age when you have many outlets to choose from in gathering your news, we take seriously, and very much appreciate the fact you choose AutoRacing1.com. For now, we will turn you over to Brian.
by Brian Carroccio Forgive me if this is regurgitating the obvious. However, early January does not exactly mark the zenith of the racing calendar. Like baseball fans, who keep a running count of the days until pitchers and catchers report, race fans spend the early days and weeks of the New Year, yearning for better days ahead. Currently, such sentiment is undoubtedly more pronounced with much of America currently experiencing sub-freezing temperatures. Today, AutoRacing1.com will celebrate the impressive accomplishments of the greatest active American drivers.
by Stephen Cox Doug Strasburg is an easy guy to talk with. His humble, soft-spoken manner belies a lifetime of motorsports experience and wisdom. The Mid-American Stock Car Series has thrived under his leadership despite being on the endangered species list not many years ago. When you disagree with Doug, believe me, you'd better do it on very solid grounds. The man knows auto racing.
by Dave Grayson Hey NASCAR racing fans: are you still feeling with drawls waiting for the 2014 racing season to start? Have you spent mega hours watching and reading the best of 2013 reviews even though you watched them live the first time? Have you burned holes in your DVD copies of Will Ferrell's "Talladega Nights" and Tom Cruise's "Days Of Thunder"? Hang in there race fans, help is on the way. NASCAR's pre season tests at Daytona is just around the corner and with that comes comprehensive live television coverage.
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