by Mark J. Cipolloni Motorsports has a major dilemma it soon must address, or it will be faced with almost certain extinction. Increasingly manufacturers are using motorsports for R&D for its road cars. We hear all the time that manufacturers want the series they participate in to be relevant to the road cars they will sell either now, or in the future. I will be the first to admit that the manufacturers are the lifeblood of motorsports. They bring huge sums of money into the sport to try and develop better engines, better cars and better engineers.
With the retirement of Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch's improbable championship, and a variety of on-track fisticuffs, it was certainly a memorable season for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Last week, AR1's Pete McCole did a fine job reviewing those stories and more. So, for all things NASCAR 2015, I'll refer you to Pete, as I've been tasked with putting a wrap on the year that was in the world of single-seater racing.
I am Michai Stephens, a new and proudly signed racing driver for RJB Motorsports sponsored by Metalloid Corporation competing in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in 2016. Hip hip hooray! The past two and a half years have been the most influential of my life. It has been a relentless learning experience about the world and my place within it.
Titles in IndyCar, NASCAR, NHRA, IMSA and PWC Chevrolet completed another successful year in motorsports in 2015, earning six manufacturer and five driver championships in NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA, United SportsCar Championship and Pirelli World Challenge series. In addition, Chevrolet drivers won several noteworthy races in 2015, including the Indianapolis 500, IndyCar Dual in Detroit, NHRA U.S. Nationals, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, and the manufacturer’s first overall victory in 50 years at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Inside look at drivers involved in the Mazda Road to Indy Ask any successful race car driver what is the key to success, and most will tell you that perseverance ranks above all others. It is a trait put to good use in 2015 by young Zach Veach, who made the most of a season spent out of the racing cockpit. Driving the Verizon IndyCar Series two-seater and providing commentary for the IndyCar Radio Network, Veach kept himself on the radar until fortune came around again - this time in the form of an Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires ride with 2014 champions Belardi Auto Racing.
by Brian Carroccio If you look around, the signs are everywhere. Not that this is anything new, mind you. If you follow racing you are aware of the trends over the better part of the last decade, which have seen the sport decline in relevance and interest. Whether it's empty seats at races, declining television viewership, diminished sponsor support, or further dilution of the sport, racing is struggling. That trend continued in 2015, and there are signs the bottom has yet to be found. Worse, those in leadership positions either fail to see this or have chosen to focus their energies on non-essential matters.
by Stephen Cox Jack Hawksworth is a nice kid and a good Indycar driver. Some will take this column as a knock on Hawksworth, which is a complete misunderstanding of every word. It is no such thing. Ultimately, this is really not about Hawksworth at all. But his meteoric rise through the ranks exposes Indycar's gravest weakness and tells us a great deal about the inner workings of the series. In the miraculous span of just 36 months, Hawksworth rose from another teenage kid in go karts to the highest level of open wheel racing in North America. This is a kid who had driven a grand total of thirty-eight races in full sized automobiles in his life prior to his Indycar debut.
Can the Boston GP succeed where others have failed?
by Brian Carroccio You've likely seen some of the numerous reports questioning the viability of the Grand Prix of Boston Verizon IndyCar Series race scheduled for Labor Day Weekend 2016. While Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles and race organizers Grand Prix of Boston (GPB) have stated their expectation that the Grand Prix will proceed as planned, important matters such as the use of convention center and approval of the local port authority have yet to be resolved. Further, concerns about disruptions to the city and the possible cost to the city have been expressed in various outlets (although GPB has repeatedly stated the race will be conducted without public expenditure).
by Lucille Dust Recently, AutoRacing1 IndyCar Correspondent caught up with former CART safety team director Steve Edwards. The Indianapolis native joined the nascent organization at its founding in 1979 and became one of the driving forces behind the group widely considered to have been a pioneering force in motorsports safety.
Addresses current issues facing series MARK MILES: Thank you, all, for dialing in. This call is really a reflection of our belief that we should be accessible and do our best to stay in touch with you all on a regular basis. I don't know if this will end up being a monthly thing or exactly what the pace will be, but it is something we think is important to do more regularly to make sure the lines of communication are really open and our friends in the media have access to us. I have a list of a few things I was going to make a few comments on and then take any questions.
Organizers confident they can overcome Boston politics
by Brian Carroccio Announced this past May and re-confirmed last week, the inaugural Grand Prix of Boston is scheduled for September 2-4 2016, Labor Day Weekend. As a major East Coast Market, Boston has obvious appeal for the series. Throw in a racy 2.5-mile layout amidst the picturesque South Boston Waterfront backdrop, and a host of local sponsors already signed on to support the event, it would appear on the surface at least, Boston has the potential to be a long-term success for the IndyCar Series.
Mark Miles and Scott Dixon on 2016 IndyCar schedule
Media Teleconference INDYCAR officials announced the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule today. Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman Motorsports, the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing participated in an INDYCAR media teleconference.
No sane individual can look objectively at IndyCar racing today and not see that it has lost its way. It's lost the majority of its fan base, the majority of its sponsors, the majority of its traditional races, and the majority of its grassroots media support. With so many forms of motorsports in the world today competing for fans, competing for sponsors and competing for manufacturer support, how can IndyCar avoid what appears to be the inevitable - extinction.
by Brian Carroccio Today is the four-year anniversary of IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon’s passing. Below, is an article written by Brian Carroccio, which appeared on AutoRacing1, a few days after Wheldon succumbed to injuries from a horrific accident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It’s been nearly 72 hours since INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard announced the death of Dan Wheldon.
by Brian Carroccio If you've read AutoRacing1 for any length of time, you know we've dedicated called attention to the phenomenon of 'pay' drivers or 'ride buying' - particularly in the junior open-wheel ranks. This is the phenomenon of drivers securing race seats based on their ability to bring the desperately needed funding to the team, often in lieu of drivers with more talent. Now, it should be noted that the subject is not necessarily a black and white one. For example, there are World Champions, all-time great drivers whose rise to the sport's top-levels launched via significant financial support.
by Lucille Dust The greatest era in the history of IndyCar Racing was the CART/Champ Car era from 1979 until 2007. IndyCar racing was before, and has been ever since, a series trying to find its direction. As the 2nd evening of the CART reunion was winding down, Paul Leyton, President & Treasurer of CART Reunions, sat down with me to review the inaugural gathering of former officials and key members.
by Lucille Dust It may be the offseason for the Verizon IndyCar Series teams, but don't think for a minute they're taking it easy. Quite the contrary, in fact. One such example would be on Saturday, Oct. 10th when The Fuller Center and the Pit Crew, a group of IndyCar team members established to assist veterans, dedicated a newly rebuilt home at 1928 Allison in Speedway, Indiana to disabled veteran Frank Gazvoda.
by Brian Carroccio Recently, AutoRacing1 caught up with former IndyCar, stock car and motorcycle racer Brian Bonner. Bonner has of course remained involved in the racing industry since his days behind the wheel. He currently serves as President and CEO at Bonner Race Marketing and assists young drivers looking to climb their way to the top of the sport. Amongst BRM's clients are two-time IndyCar winner Josef Newgarden, 2015 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion Spencer Pigot and 2015 Pro Mazda runner-up Neil Alberico.
Lucille Dust & Brian Carroccio It’s been nearly six weeks since the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season concluded at Sonoma Raceway. In dramatic fashion, Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon earned his fourth series title edging out Team Penske's Juan Pablo Montoya. Of course, there was drama throughout 2015, and today with the benefit of a little perspective, AR1 IndyCar Correspondent Lucille Dust and Senior Columnist Brian Carroccio look back on the 2015 season in the latest installment of AR1 Head to Head. Enjoy!
by Lucille Dust In a proper and fitting ceremony on Tuesday afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the IndyCar family joined together for "Celebrating the Life of Justin Wilson." Wilson, a native of Sheffield, England passed away this past August 24th from a head injury sustained in a crash during the ABC Supply Pocono 500 the day before. The popular and beloved driver of the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda had scored 7 wins in 174 starts spanning 13 Indy car seasons.
by Ethan Bregman Justin Wilson, my friend, my colleague, the man with whom I first stood on top of an IndyCar podium, is dead. His death last month was preventable. We in the racing industry had the technology and ability to prevent his death and we chose not to. In the 1950s, our engineering capabilities were such that racing cars would destruct on impact. They became cages of flaming death. The cars had no seatbelts and open cockpits, since a driver’s best hope for survival in a crash was a prayer to be thrown clear of the wreckage.
by Brian Carroccio No doubt, racing is a bottom-line, cutthroat, what have you done for me lately business. That said, I think one would be hard-pressed to come up with a nastier, more drawn out, more it-really-didn’t-have-to-end-this-way divorce than what we’ve witnessed between Red Bull and Renault over the last 8 months. And while the general belief is that the Adrian Newey-designed RB chassis from 2010-2013 were the primary driving force behind the team’s four consecutive Constructor and Driver championships, Renault’s contributions to that historic run cannot be disputed.
Still slower than a 9 year old Champ Car Scott Dixon joked that driving an Indy car at Road America was like riding a bicycle – just a completely different bicycle than the last one he rode. Dixon, the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion, was back at work a few weeks after wrapping up his fourth series title at Sonoma Raceway. He joined nine other drivers for a team test Sept. 22 in preparation for the Verizon IndyCar Series race June 23-26 at the famed road course. Road America, which held its first race in 1955, hosted Indy car races from 1982-2007.
by Lucille Dust On the Saturday morning of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, AutoRacing1 IndyCar Correspondent Lucille Dust spent a few minutes with Chris Simmons, chief engineer for the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet driven by Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon. Amongst the subjects we covered with Chris were in this installment of AR1: Faces in the Paddock, were how he got into racing, the disappointment of a tough weekend, and what it's like to work for Chip Ganassi. Enjoy.
by Brian Carroccio NASCAR could have used an exciting race Saturday evening at Richmond as a lead-in to The Chase for the Sprint Cup. They sure as heck didn’t get it. For one, other than a non-2015 winner taking the checkered flag in Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400, there was really no drama entering the evening. Also, while you can’t criticize Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota for cleaning everyone’s clock, their dominance did make the evening something of a formality.
by Brian Carroccio Juncos Racing's Spencer Pigot won the 2015 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship today by capturing victory in Race 2 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Starting out the outside of the front row, Pigot overtook polesitter Max Chilton for the lead heading into turn 1. Meanwhile his closest championship contender Jack Harvey, who started fourth was penalized for jumping the start. The Brit would never recover and finish 9th, while Pigot led flag-to-flag to score his sixth victory of 2015.
by Stephen Cox "After the latest tragedy in Indycar... it's time to shut down this ridiculously dangerous form of racing," says Associated Press writer Paul Newberry in the wake of the tragic death of Indycar driver Justin Wilson. In making his demand, Newberry is typical of the paternalistic, safety-at-gunpoint class of pundits who seem to have taken over the Land of the Formerly Free. Newberry's rant, which appeared on ABC News on August 28th, goes on to say, "It's time to end a sport that has destroyed too many lives."
Harvey, Pigot, Jones and Enerson Jack Harvey, Spencer Pigot, Ed Jones and RC Enerson are the four drivers in contention for the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship title heading into the double-header series finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 11-13. The champion is awarded a $1 million scholarship toward the Verizon IndyCar Series with three guaranteed races, including the historic 100th Indianapolis 500, in 2016.
by Brian Carroccio Of all the possible scenarios I envisioned prior to Sunday's GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, Chip Ganassi crowd-surfing was not amongst them. And while Ganassi doing his Eddie Vedder imitation would have been implausible under most any scenario, part of my disbelief was of course, the fact his driver Scott Dixon emerged from Sunday's race as the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion.
by Mark J. Cipolloni About a month ago we rumored that a group was going to make a proposal to buy the IndyCar Series from the Hulman-George family. That rumor of course was met with immediate denials from IndyCar because the group we had been talking to had not yet met with anyone from IndyCar or the Hulman-George family. I sat on this story until the time was right. The time is now right for this AutoRacing1.com exclusive.
for Winning Fourth Verizon IndyCar Series Title Less than 24 hours after claiming the fourth Verizon IndyCar Series championship of his career, Scott Dixon was officially minted as the 2015 series champion. Dixon, who won the 2015 crown with a come-from-behind win at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 30, was honored along with other drivers, teams and manufacturers during the Verizon IndyCar Series Championship Celebration at the Nob Hill Masonic Center in downtown San Francisco.
by Brian Carroccio Needing a victory to capture his fourth Verizon IndyCar Series championship, Scott Dixon did just that in winning today's GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. It was Dixon's second consecutive win at Sonoma, 38th career win, and the fourth series championship for the driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
Power takes pole for IndyCar season finale in Sonoma
by Mark J. Cipolloni While other drivers trashed around the undulating Sonoma Raceway road course on the soft red Firestone tires, Will Power shocked the paddock by going out on the harder and slower black tires and put his Penske Chevy on pole for the IndyCar Season finale. Power reset his year-old track record on the blacks. He is that good. Americans Josef Newgarden will start 2nd ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay. Simon Pagenaud and points leader Juan Montoya round out the top-5.
Six drivers still have mathematical chance An interview with Juan Pablo Montoya, Graham Rahal, Scott Dixon, Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Josef Newgarden. The interview was with the six championship contenders for the Verizon IndyCar Series title which will be decided on Sunday.
by Lucille Dust Tragedy struck the Verizon IndyCar Series on Monday, when driver Justin Wilson succumbed to injuries sustained in Sunday's ABC Supply Co. 500 at Pocono Raceway. The popular Wilson's passing has shocked and stunned a community that heads to Sonoma Raceway this weekend with very heavy hearts. However, there is a traveling support network the IndyCar family can turn to in such times: IndyCar Ministry.
Justin Wilson - a great racer, father and man to the end
by Brian Carroccio As you surely know, Verizon IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson passed away Monday evening after succumbing to injuries sustained in a crash during Sunday’s ABC Supply Co. 500 at Pocono Raceway. The pilot of the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda had qualified seventh and spent much of the day running near the front of the field. A lap 144 pit road speed limit violation moved him outside the top-10, and he was running 13th on lap 179 when rookie leader Sage Karam spun and hit the wall exiting turn 1. Although we don't yet know the specific metrics of the impact, debris from Karam's car bounced onto the track before, gruesomely, striking an oncoming and still at speed Wilson in the helmet.
by Brian Carroccio Ryan Hunter-Reay's won today's ABC Supply Co. 500 at Pocono Raceway. It was the second win of 2015 for the driver of the #28 DHL Honda, and 16th of his career. All thoughts however are with Hunter-Reay's teammate Justin Wilson. A broken bumper piece from Sage Karam's car on lap 179 seemed to make contact with Wilson's head at speed. The Sheffield, England native was extracted from the car and airlifted to a local hospital.
by Brian Carroccio With an average speed of 220.530 miles per hour, Helio Castroneves led a Team Penske one-two-three in winning pole position for tomorrow's ABC Supply Co. 500 at Pocono Raceway. It was the 45th career pole for the driver of the #3 Shell V-Power Team Penske Chevrolet. Simon Pagenaud was second a mere .01s behind Castroneves with Will Power third. Josef Newgarden made it a Chevrolet sweep of the top-4, with Graham Rahal the quickest Honda in fifth.
Andretti Autosport, No. 27 Snapple Honda THE MODERATOR: We’re pleased to be joined by Marco Andretti from Andretti Autosport. Marco has been gracious enough to join us after a snafu at the media dinner last night that didn't come off as scheduled. He's agreed to give us a few minutes to bring us up to speed, so to speak, as to what he's looking forward to this weekend. Marco, your home track, great family history here. Your grandfather won here, your dad placed third here, all three generations of Andrettis have sat on the pole. Does this race bring a little extra excitement for you going into this race weekend?
by Brian Carroccio It's been something of a slow period in racing lately. Yes, NASCAR has continued its weekly approach towards The Chase. However, for those inclined towards racing of the single-seater variety, Formula One and IndyCar have been off the past couple of weeks. Still, that doesn't mean there hasn't been news to chew on, and we'll get to some of the news from IndyCar and F1 soon.
America's Greatest Speedway & Why It Was Never Built
by Stephen Cox In the summer of 1912, it seemed that anything was possible. Land was cheap and plentiful. Gold was money. The motor car was the wonder of the world. Two investors from Alabama were convinced that an affluent suburb could be built just five miles south of downtown in what is now the village of Homewood. The new development would attract home buyers and businesses by tapping into the public's enthusiasm for the latest rage - the motor car.
by Brian Carroccio A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak with 16-year-old race car driver Bruno Carneiro. The Brazilian-born Riverton, Utah native has made a very successful transition from karting to cars this past year with aspirations of climbing the single-seater racing ladder and ultimately competing at the top-level. Already, Carneiro has gained the attention of local media in the Salt Lake City area...
by Brian Carroccio If there was a career breakout for Graham Rahal this year, it was undoubtedly his fantastic drive to second at Barber, which sparked the current 6 podium/11 race stretch. Fast forward to this past weekend’s annual Verizon IndyCar Series visit to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and the narrative on young Rahal has undergone a huge metamorphosis. If one were to grade on a curve so to speak, the best driver in the IndyCar Series in 2015, week-in and week-out has been Rahal.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Ohio's Graham Rahal did what he had to do, win at his home track (Mid-Ohio) to keep his championship hopes alive, and he did it in classic style. Taking advantage of a timely pitstop just as the caution flag flew, Rahal won the Honda GP of Mid-Ohio to close the gap to points leader Juan Montoya to 9 points who could do no better than 11th.
by Brian Carroccio With a blistering lap time of 1:04.581 seconds, five-time Mid-Ohio winner Scott Dixon put the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet on pole position for tomorrow's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Dixon's new Mid-Ohio track record was 0.096 seconds quicker than Will Power in the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Last year's pole winner Sebastien Bourdais was third, with Helio Castroneves and Josef Newgarden rounding out the top-five.
President, Honda Performance Development T.E. McHALE: Good afternoon. Thank you for joining us for the latest in a series of Honda media briefings that we've conducted periodically throughout the 2015 season. Our guest today is the president of Honda Performance Development, Art St. Cyr. Art, thanks for making the time for us today. ART ST. CYR: Thanks for having me, everybody. T.E. McHALE: I want to start by talking about how the season has turned a little bit more pleasantly for Honda of late with victories in two of the past three races, kind of get your thoughts on any ideas you have related to the reason for that success.
by Brian Carroccio Recently between the Milwaukee and Iowa IndyCar events, I had the pleasure of visiting Chip Ganassi Racing in Indianapolis. CGR of course also has facilities in North Carolina and Brownsburg, IN for its NASCAR, sports car and rallycross operations, with Indianapolis home to the organization’s four-car Verizon IndyCar Series team. Now, if you had any question as to why CGR has achieved the success it has over the past two decades plus, I can tell you that question is answered the moment you walk through the doors at the Indianapolis shop. Immediately, you are taken aback by the countless trophies, banners and race cars displayed celebrating the team’s glorious history across many racing disciplines.
IndyCar's hottest American Verizon IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal was on the INDYCAR media teleconference today. Rahal, driver of the No. 15 Steak 'n Shake Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, is enjoying his finest season in the Verizon IndyCar Series. He is currently second in the series point standings and won earlier this season at Auto Club Speedway.
by Lucille Dust The fans that attend the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix got something no other race goers did in 2015: two Verizon IndyCar Series championship races in the same weekend. Sure, the weekend was plagued by foul weather, which caused session delays, and certainly added to the challenges that comes with attending a race. However, since the doubleheader format was implemented in 2013, there have been seven race weekends features two events. And all indications are they have been a hit with fans.
by Brian Carroccio Granted, it doesn't happen often. But as they did in Saturday's Iowa Corn 300, when Americans drivers swept the top-4 positions and 6 of the top-7, the Verizon IndyCar Series will every now and again, and often when you least expect it, make the spine tingle with absolute delight. But it's never exactly long lasting. As we saw with yesterday's bungled, poorly-worded and ill-timed announcement that the series was cracking down on disparaging remarks, we were reminded there is perhaps no entity with such an uncanny ability to piss on its own parade as INDYCAR.
I would not change a thing Karam says Verizon IndyCar Series rookie Sage Karam is the driver of the No. 8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Record Chevrolet Ganassi Racing entry and is second in the season-long Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings. He scored his first podium in the Verizon IndyCar Series at the Iowa Corn 300 on Saturday night and he did it with some fairly aggressive driving that ruffled the feathers of a few veteran drivers.
by Stephen Cox Every motorsports enthusiast is painfully aware that racing, in general, is experiencing tough times. Fewer fans are in the stands, and those fans are aging. The question is, what to do about it? Perhaps the most immediate and pragmatic idea for reviving American motorsports comes from racing journalist Mark Cipolloni of www.AutoRacing1.com, who shared his amazing concept with me on the phone a few weeks ago.
Americans 1-2-3-4 Ryan Hunter-Reay won this evening’s Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway. It was the first win of 2015 for the driver of the #28 DHL Honda, 15th of his Indy car career, and third victory at Iowa in 4 years. CFH Racing’s Josef Newgarden was second, with Sage Karam scoring his career best finish bringing home the #8 Comfort Revolution Chevrolet in third. Graham Rahal made it an American 1-2-3-4, with Carlos Munoz rounding out the top-five.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan will start from the front row in the Iowa Corn 300 tonight leading a Chevy sweep of the top-7 positions. Castroneves posted a two-lap average speed of 183.480 mph (35.0817 seconds) on the 0.894-mile oval to earn the 44th pole of his career. Kanaan posted a two-lap average of 183.125 mph (35.1497 seconds) for his first front-row start of the season.
by Brian Carroccio Sebastien Bourdais scored his 34th career Indy car win in Sunday's ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee Indyfest presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers. Taking advantage of the decision to stay out when those ahead of him pit on lap 117, Bourdais utilized the clean air to build a lap advantage over the field by his final pit stop on lap 212. He was able to make that final stop without surrendering the lead, and held on for victory in what was as impressive a performance as we've seen on an oval in years.
IndyCar KV Racing's Sebastien Bourdais held off a charging Helio Castroneves to win the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 IndyCar race at the Milwaukee Mile Sunday. Helio Castroneves was 2nd for Penske Racing and Graham Rahal, who won in Fontana two weeks ago, was third. Juan Montoya and polesitter Josef Newgarden rounded out the top-5.
by Mark J. Cipolloni American Josef Newgarden has won the pole for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 on the historic Milwaukee Mile oval. It was Newgarden's first career IndyCar pole and he got it with a lap of 170.223 mph, just enough to beat veteran Ryan Briscoe. Those two were the only drivers over 170 mph. American rookie Sage Karam was third quick ahead of Ganassi teammate Tony Kanaan. James Jakes rounded out the top-5.
Medical update An interview with: James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with today's Verizon IndyCar Series media availability. We are pleased to be joined by Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver James Hinchcliffe. JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: Don't lie.
Q and A at the Milwaukee Mile An interview with: HELIO CASTRONEVES and JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, Team Penske THE MODERATOR: Juan, what are your thoughts heading into the final stretch of races? JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: To be honest with you, nothing at the moment. I think there's too many races to go. You know, the point lead can vanish in one week. You have one bad race, all the work for the year goes out of the window.
Mark Cipolloni & Brian Carroccio With ten days having passed since the MAVTV 500, the Verizon IndyCar Series' recent visit to Auto Club Speedway remains a subject of conversation in the racing world. Today, AR1 senior columnist Brian Carroccio and President Mark Cipolloni give their take on the rather historic race in the latest edition of AR1’s Burning Questions.
Media Conference after exciting MAVTV 500 IndyCar boss Mark Miles answered question Wednesday for about one hour on a whole host of topics around the IndyCar series after putting on the most exciting race in the history of motorsports last Sunday - the MAVTV500 at Fontana that featured over 3,500 on-track passes. It was wild and and exciting, put some of the drivers complained it was too dangerous. Miles talks about the Fontana race as well as next year's IndyCar schedule
by Brian Carroccio Saturday, a young American with charisma, prodigious bloodlines scored a breakthrough win after years of frustration and heavy criticism in an, frenzied, edge-of-your-seat shootout. He was joined on the podium by another young American with prodigious bloodlines for the first time in their careers. Yet everyone is arguing over what the race should have been, with absolutely zero focus on what it actually was. That more than anything seems to be problem in a nutshell. That and the fact INDYCAR can’t seem to win, even when it does.
by Lucille Dust Graham Rahal won his 2nd career IndyCar race at Auto Club Speedway Saturday in the MAVTV 500 over Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti in perhaps the best IndyCar race ever run. A record 83 lead changes saw drivers running up to 5-wide touching wheels that had fans on the edge of their seat for all 250 laps. Juan Montoya and Sage Karam rounded out the top-5.
by Lucille Dust Simon Pagenaud led a Team Penske sweep of the front row in earning his second career Indy car pole and first on an oval for the MAVTV 500 with a two-lap average speed of 218.952 mph on the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway oval. Pagenaud, driving the No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet, topped teammate Helio Castroneves' who qualified second. Marco Andretti will start 3rd with a speed of 217.797 mph and Ed Carpenter will start on the outside of Row 2 with a speed of 217.666 mph.
by Brian Carroccio We saw one fine motor race Sunday afternoon at Exhibition Place in Toronto. Variable weather conditions, mostly-clean yet still aggressive driving in said conditions, and a popular young American scoring an impressive second career victory are but a few of the topics we'll get to from this weekend's Honda Indy Toronto. But we begin with a less-than-uplifting subject for about half the Verizon IndyCar Series teams.
by Mark J. Cipolloni In perhaps the best IndyCar race ever run on the wet-to-dry streets of Toronto, American Josef Newgarden held off his CFH Racing teammate Luca Filippi from Italy by just over 1 second for his 2nd IndyCar victory. More importantly they beat Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Will Power who finished 3rd and 4th. Sebastien Bourdais rounded out the top-5.
As Chevys again dominate Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power earned his second consecutive Verizon P1 Award and fifth of the season by recording the quickest lap of the Firestone Fast Six during qualifications for the Honda Indy Toronto. Power, driving the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, passed Rick Mears for fifth on the all-time Indy car list with his 41st pole. Teammate Helio Castroneves is the active leader with 43.
by Brian Carroccio We’ve seen this movie before. Call it The Dixon Supremacy, The Dixon Ultimatum, The Dixon Double-Re-loaded Matrix or whatever. But for seemingly the umpteenth thousandth time, Scott Dixon eviscerated the Verizon IndyCar Series field with his trademark surgical precision in winning Saturday’s Firestone 600.
Motorsports Marketing must change to remain relevant
by Brian C. Mackey In recent years, the commercial "edge" for Motorsports Marketing, that has long been a trademark of the sport's effectiveness, has seemed to dull and become what others might phrase as "dated." The clues are abundant. Motor racing attendance is down. Television ratings are in general decline. Change, perhaps even radical change, has become a pivotal element in the reconfigured look at the strengths and benefits of motorsport marketing.
by Brian Carroccio Scott Dixon drove the #9 Chip Ganassi Racing Energizer Chevrolet to victory lane in this evening's Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway. It was Dixon's 2nd Verizon IndyCar Series victory of 2015, 2nd at Texas, and 37th of his career. Dixon's teammate Tony Kanaan was second 7.8 seconds behind Dixon with Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya making it a Chevrolet sweep of the top-4. Andretti Autosport's Marco Andretti was the lead Honda in fifth.
by Brian Carroccio With a two-lap average of 218.441 mph, Team Penske's Will Power edged out teammate Simon Pagenaud to win pole position for tomorrow's Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway. It was the Australian's fortieth career pole position and fourth of 2015. Four-time TMS winner Helio Castroneves made it a Penske sweep of the top-3, with only Colombian Carlos Munoz edging out countryman Juan Pablo Montoya for fourth preventing a Penske sweep of the top-4 spots.
by Tim Wohlford Three weeks ago, INDYCAR president of competition and operations Derrick Walker and Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles ordered a rules changes hours before qualifying for the 99th Indianapolis 500. Banning the qualification aero kits, the mandate required teams to qualify in race trim with limited horsepower. While debate broke out as to whether Miles and Walker made the right decision, let the record show: given recent history of flying Indy Cars, it was the only decision.
by Brian Carroccio As there is much to discuss regarding this past weekend’s Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans, let’s get started with the subject that dominated the events on the Belle Isle. After a lovely Friday, rain moved in for Saturday’s race. Of course, we here at AutoRacing1 have made note over the past few seasons that wet weather and INDYCAR are something of an awkward pair.
In wet-drying conditions beats 8 Hondas KV Racing's Sebastien Bourdais drove his Chevy to victory in the 2nd half of the Detroit IndyCar race doubleheader outrunning a contingent of 8 Hondas on a day that started out wet but ended dry on Belle Isle. The race was red-flagged with 6 laps to go when Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves got together. When the race went green Bourdais pulled away from Takuma Sato to win by 1.7644 sec. and in the process set the fastest lap of the race.
IndyCar Carlos Munoz took his first Verizon IndyCar Series victory while on pit lane at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park. Severe weather prompted a red flag with 47 of 70 scheduled laps of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans on the 2.35-mile, 14-turn street course completed, and the race was called after a 20-minute wait.
IndyCar Will Powers record-setting pole run at Belle Isle on Friday may be one of the most important of his career. Overnight forecasts are calling for thunderstorms in the Detroit area Saturday afternoon and could make life treacherous for drivers in Race 1 of the "Chevy Dual in Detroit," the seventh race of the Verizon IndyCar Series. Particularly those down the grid, where incidents are prone to happen when the field takes the green.
Chevys again dominate Will Power set the qualifying lap track record on the way to earning the Verizon P1 Award for the pole position for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicker Loans. Power, who also set the track record in the season opener at St. Petersburg with the new Chevrolet road/street aerodynamic bodywork package, recorded a lap of 1 minute, 16.0941 seconds on the 2.35-mile, 14-turn street circuit in the 10-minute Firestone Fast Six session.
by Brian Carroccio I doubt this was by design. However, if there was ever a better example of foreshadowing what lay immediately ahead than IMS chairman Mari Hulman George rather awkwardly rebuffing her daughter Nancy's assist to help complete another of her customary prolonged commands to start engines, I certainly don't remember it.
by Mark J. Cipolloni IndyCar put on another great show last Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Like last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, IndyCar had almost 300,000 fans screaming on the top of their lungs as the top drivers in the world put on a race to remember. For practically the entire distance, at least three cars dueled for the lead. They looked like earthbound fighter jets engaging in spectacular dogfights. They made NASCAR look bad. For most of the year IndyCar gets beaten up in the media for low attendance, low car counts, low TV ratings, ride-buying and the like, and a lot of it is deserved. But every Sunday on Memorial Day weekend that’s all forgotten as IndyCar puts on the best racing on the planet. Period.
Juan Montoya Juan Pablo Montoya, No 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, Winner Of 99th Running Of The Indianapolis 500 met with media Monday and discussed his second victory in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and get started with our availability with the winner of the 99th Indianapolis 500, Juan Pablo Montoya. A little less than 24 hours since you took the checkered flag there. Has it sunk in yet that you've won the Indy 500 for a second time?
IndyCar Jeff Gordon has set the pace plenty of times in his incredible NASCAR career, but the former Pittsboro, Ind., resident couldn't wait to lead the Indianapolis 500 field to the green flag as driver of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 pace car. "What a thrill it is to be here on race day," Gordon said shortly before climbing into the car. "I certainly had plenty of opportunities to make laps around this track before, but never have I had the experience like I'm having here today, to be honored as being the pace car driver, to get the chance to drive that amazing Corvette Z06."
by Tim Wohlford In another exciting Indy 500 finish, Penske drivers Juan Montoya and Will Power swapped the lead back and forth several times over the final laps before Montoya got in front for good with two laps to go and held off Power to win the 99th running the biggest race in the world by just 1/10th of a second. American Charlie Kimball came home third with Scott Dixon and Graham Rahal rounding out the top-5.
by Brian Carroccio Tomorrow's 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 will add another chapter to the rich history of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. It will also the 300th career start for driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Tony Kanaan. After edging out Helio Castro-Neves (as he was then known) for the 1997 Indy Lights championship, the Brazilian moved up to then-CART FedEx Championship Series in 1998 with Tasman Racing. Making his debut in the Marlboro Grand Prix Presented by Toyota...
Brian Carroccio & Keith Ori For the second consecutive year, racing insider Keith Ori guest stars with AR1 senior motorsport columnist Brian Carroccio for a round of AR1 Head to Head: Indianapolis 500. And in the interests of full disclosure, last year's showdown went to Ori, who told all of you that Ryan Hunter-Reay would etch his likeness to the Borg-Warner Trophy. Who will win this year? Who are the potential sleepers? What teams and manufacturers have the edge? Brian and Keith are here to tackle those questions and more. Enjoy.
by Rob Chinn After a Saturday washout Sunday saw 33 cars make qualifying attempts for the 99th running of the Indy 500, but Sunday was not without drama as yet another Chevy got airborne, this time Ed Carpenter. Scott Dixon won the pole and will lineup inside Simon Pagenaud and Will Power. Our Rob Chinn was there to capture all the action.
Dixon, Pagenaud and Power Chevy power returned to the top of the scoring pylon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the fourth consecutive year as Chevrolet V-6 powered driver Scott Dixon in his No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing machine earned the Verizon P1 award for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500. Dixon became only the 11th driver in Verizon IndyCar Series history to have two poles to his credit for the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing’.
by Tim Wohlford Scott Dixon laid down an early lap that was impossible to beat in deteriorating weather conditions to with the 2015 Indy 500 Pole Award. Will Power will start in the middle of the first row, and Simon Pagenaud in the outside of the first row. In the fast nine there are three Penske cars, two Ganassi cars, and two Andretti entries.
by Rob Chinn Heavy rain has forced Saturday's Indianapolis 500 Qualifications to be cancelled, which means the entire 33-car starting lineup will have one day to post a qualification attempt on Sunday. Only two cars were able to post qualification attempts on Sunday before rain started to fall. Defending Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay posted a four-lap average of 229.845 miles per hour in a Honda and Carlos Huertas rain a four-lap average of 228.235 mph. Rob Chinn was there to capture these scenes from Saturday.
in qualifying for 99th Indianapolis 500 The pole at the Indianapolis 500 is one of the most coveted starting positions in motorsports. For Ed Carpenter and Helio Castroneves, history will also be on the line this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in two days of qualifying for the 99th Running of the 500 Mile Race. Eleven drivers have won back-to-back pole positions but none has won three in a row. Carpenter, in his No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka CFH Racing entry, has an opportunity for that after winning the pole in each of the past two years.
Katherine Legge Named as the Driver for Historic Brickyard Run Grace Autosport, the first all-female IndyCar Series racing team, announced their plans today to compete in 100th the running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. From team owner to race engineers to aerodynamicists to the driver to marketing and public relations directors, the women of Grace Autosport will be on the grid for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on May 29, 2016
by Brian Carroccio The 2nd Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis was by no means a classic. A clumsy start, which was nearly missed by the series’ television partner, culminated in a first lap accident that shuffled the field, and relegated a few would-be-contenders to the back of the field. From there, pole sitter Will Power took firm control of the proceedings only to be briefly threatened by a charging Graham Rahal in the closing laps, before ultimately cruising to his 25th career Indy car victory.
by Rob Chinn Rob Chinn is on-site this weekend for AR1.com and filed these race action photos from the 2nd annual Grand Prix of Indianapolis won by Penske Chevrolet driver Will Power. The real story of the race was the performance of American Graham Rahal who is driving better this year than he ever has and manhandled his sib-par Honda to a 2nd place finish ahead of the likes of Montoya, Bourdais and Pagenaud.
by Tim Wohlford Leading 65 of 82 laps, Will Power put on a clinic Saturday on the road course at Indianapolis to win the Grand Prix of Indianapolis over Graham Rahal and Juan Montoya by 1.5 sec. before an estimated 50,000 fans. Sebastien Bourdais and Charlie Kimball rounded out the top-5.
by Tim Wohlford It's a NEWWWW TRAAACKKKK RECORDDDD! Will Power set a new track record in Session 2, then broke it in Session 3 to take the Pole for the 2015 Grand Prix of Indianapolis. The record is now 1:09:4886 for the road course. It was a sweep of the Fast Six for the Penske and Ganassi teams, with Scott Dixon qualifying second. Helio Castroneves, and Juan Pablo Montoya will start in the second row, and Simon Pagenaud and Tony Kanaan in the third row.
IndyCar and Road-to-Indy Series Scott Dixon led a contingent of six Chevy drivers in the 2nd practice session for the 2nd annual GP of Indianapolis to be run this Saturday. Sebastien Bourdais and Helio Castroneves rounded out the top-5. Check out the wild flip in the Pro Mazda Series race.
by Brian Carroccio Look, I really don't care who drives the pace car at an automobile race. Granted, I get the whole to-do about having a celebrity like Donald Trump or Morgan Freeman being part of your event. But at the end of the day I doubt anyone ever bought a ticket to see Trump, Freeman, or the Easter Bunny - granted, that would be something - drive the pace car. That said, I find the selection of Jeff Gordon to drive the pace car for this year's Indianapolis 500 puzzling on numerous levels. Not that I have any problem with Gordon, who is of course retiring from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing at the end of this season, and boasts a resume worthy of our celebration. Still, wouldn't the Brickyard weekend be more appropriate for said adulation?
Helio Castroneves, Justin Wilson and Bryan Clauson Helio Castroneves, Justin Wilson and Bryan Clauson met with the media lunchtime today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as teams test the new speedway aero package for the first time. Wilson: It's great to be back and great to be part of Andretti Autosport and looking forward to the month. It's been a long off-season, a lot of time thinking about getting back in the car and what it takes and how it's all going to work. Just pleased to get it started, and so far it seems good. We just got to take it one step at a time. There's a lot of work to be done, new body kits, everyone is trying to work them out and get a feel for them and go from there.
Chevy Indycar At Grand Prix Of Indianapolis Ed Carpenter, Co-Owner Of Cfh Racing With Sarah Fisher And Wink Hartman, And Co-Driver Of The No. 20 Fuzzy’s Premium Vodka Chevrolet, was the guest on the Verizon IndyCar Series weekly teleconference following the first career Series’ victory for CFH driver Josef Newgarden at Barber Motorsports Park. Ed is the driver who has won the pole position for the Indianapolis 500 the last two years and will be one of the drivers participating in the Verizon IndyCar Series promoter test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 3rd.
by Brian Carroccio I wouldn't go so far as to say it was a foregone conclusion. But if you asked me prior to the start of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season, and even after the first three races I'd have told you Josef Newgarden scoring his IndyCar win in 2015 was a pretty safe bet. Still, don't confuse the perceived inevitability the CFH Racing driver would find victory lane with the fact Newgarden won Sunday's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Because when one goes beyond the mushy, feel good headlines of a popular young all-American, dimple-faced kid from Tennessee scoring a much-awaited first win, one soon realizes there was absolutely nothing inevitable about the sublime drive turned in by the 24-year-old Sunday.
Race recap A beautiful spring afternoon in the hills outside of Birmingham became the perfect backdrop for the celebration of Josef Newgarden's first Verizon IndyCar Series win. The 24-year-old from Hendersonville, Tenn. drove his Chevrolet to the front of the field in Sunday's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama to claim first victory of his career.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Anyone who says IndyCar can't put on a heck of a show wasn't watching Sunday. 24-year old American Josef Newgarden won his first IndyCar Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park in the Grand Prix of Alabama IndyCar race, and he did it in style. With his fuel running out Newgarden held off a charging Graham Rahal as Americans finished 1-2 ahead of Scott Dixon from New Zealand.
by Brian Carroccio For a second consecutive day, Juncos Racing's Spencer Pigot started from pole and led every lap of the Legacy Indy Lights 100 at Barber Motorsports Park. The win moved Pigot to the top of the championship standings in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series championship, as Carlin's Ed Jones had contact in the early going which relegated him to an 11th place finish.
by Brian Carroccio Helio Castroneves led a Team Penske sweep of the top-3 in Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying today at Barber Motorsports Park, capturing pole position for tomorrow's Honda Grand Prix of Alabama. The pole is the 43rd of Castroneves' career, and his second in a row after winning pole last week at Long Beach. Will Power was second 0.198 seconds behind the Brazilian with Simon Pagenaud third.
by Brian Carroccio Juncos Racing's Spencer Pigot scored a dominant win in Race 1 of the Legacy Indy Lights 100 today at Barber Motorsports Park. Starting from pole, the Orlando native quickly established a gap over second-place Jack Harvey, went on to lead every lap, and ultimately scored his first Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series victory by a 6.7 second margin over Harvey.
by Lucille Dust Coming into the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season everyone was anxious to see how the new Chevrolet and Honda aero kits would do perform. Fans, media and even drivers were unsure of what exactly we would see in the opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Heck, when I asked James Hinchcliffe how his car would react when passing another car, the friendly Canadian "I will find out when I make the first pass."
by Mark J. Cipolloni I'm sorry, I may be old school; however I have been around long enough to recognize what works in motorsports and what does not. When it comes to the world's foremost open wheel racing series - IndyCar and Formula One - both have witnessed steady measurable declines in recent seasons. And it's time for a major shake-up. In particular F1 and IndyCar need a major revamp of the technical regulations in time for the 2017 season.
INDY Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport was the 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner, and is one of only three drivers to win at Barber Motorsports Park, site of this weekend's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Ryan looks to become the first driver to win three consecutive races at Barber, and he would be the first driver to do that feat since Will Power won three straight races at Sao Paulo from 2010 through 2012.
by Brian Carroccio By now you probably know what happened in Sunday’s 41st running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. However, to briefly repeat, pole sitter Helio Castroneves jumped to the lead after a rather ragged start (more on that later) with third-place starter Dixon getting ahead of second-place starter Juan Pablo Montoya into turn one. Scott Dixon scored his 36th career win at the relatively young age of 34. Dixon surpassed the win total of Bobby Unser with his 36th career Indy car race to move into fifth place on the all-time list. Now, I ran out of superlatives to describe the accomplishments of Dixon long ago. However, I’ll briefly something I’ve elaborated on in further detail in the past.
by Brian Carroccio Scott Dixon moved to the lead after a slow first pit stop by pole sitter Helio Castroneves. From there, the driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet cruised to victory in the 41st Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Castroneves was second, with Team Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya third. Simon Pagenaud made it three Penskes in the top-4, while Tony Kanaan completed a Penske-Ganassi sweep of the top-5.
Brit now 3-for-3 Carlin's Ed Jones held off Juncos Racing's Spencer Pigot by 6-tenths of a second to score victory in the Grand Prix of Long Beach Presented by Allied Building Products. It was the third win in as many Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires races for the driver of the #11 Toys for Boys Miami/United Rivers Carlin entry. Felix Serralles of Belardi Auto Racing was third. with R.C. Enerson and Max Chilton rounding out the top-five.
Castroneves runs record qualifying lap in Long Beach
by Brian Carroccio Helio Castroneves led a Team Penske sweep of the front row for the 41st running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, posting a new track record of 1:06.629 in Verizon Pole Qualifying. It was the 43rd career pole for the Brazilian, who was a mere 0.0293 seconds faster than teammate Juan Pablo Montoya who will start 2nd. Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon was 3rd giving Chevy a 1-2-3 start.
by Brian Carroccio Suffice to say, the Verizon IndyCar Series made a less than glorious debut in The Big Easy this weekend. Sure, the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana was hampered by less-than-optimal weather, and some of the teething problems you might expect with a first-time event. But at the end of the day the display we saw from INDYCAR at NOLA Motorsports Park was about as embarrassing and unprofessional as it gets for a series that fancies itself a top-level racing category.
by Brian Carroccio With shrewd pit strategy James Hinchcliffe took advantage of numerous caution periods to win today's Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana. It was the Canadian's fourth career victory and first since Iowa 2013. Helio Castroneves was second, with Hinchcliffe's Schmidt Peterson teammate James Jakes third. Simona de Silvestro and Juan Pablo Montoya rounded out the top-five.
by Jon Noggle [Editor's Note: All information from OldRacingCar.com ] Since the split of IndyCar racing in 1996 by Tony George there has been almost zero bumping for the Indy 500. 33 was just a number we were told by the Hulman George family in case less than 33 drivers can be drummed up. Today everyone makes the race. There are hundreds that have entered the Indianapolis 500 but for whatever reason were not able to qualify in a given year.
by Brian Carroccio The world's first all-electric racing series debuting on the historic streets of Long Beach, highlighted an otherwise empty slate of major circuit racing during this past Easter weekend. Today, we'll look at the Long Beach ePrix, and a host of other subjects making news in the world of motorsports starting with the world of Formula One.
by Brian C. Mackey Mad Men is my favorite television show. Its final season kicks off this weekend and I'm eager to learn the outcome of my all-time favorite TV character, Don Draper. As one who has been in the marketing trenches for many years, I, and many others like me who share similar career paths, cannot help but wish we sported some small dose of Don's legendary fictional advertising brilliance. I'm envious of his skill sets, at least in the professional sense of boardroom theatrics.
by Brian Carroccio Saturday, the very formidable four-car Team Penske armada swept the top-4 positions in qualifying for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Defending series champion Will Power taking pole, with Simon Pagenaud second, Helio Castroneves third and Juan Pablo Montoya fourth. Then, in Sunday’s race Montoya would emerge ahead of Power during the final round of pit stops to hold on for the victory, with Power second, Castroneves fourth and Pagenaud fifth. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Tony Kanaan broke up a Penske race sweep finishing third.
New car to debut in 2017 Strapped with sagging TV ratings and a shrinking fan base all precipitated by the launch of one of the most hideous looking racing cars in the history of mankind; and realizing that the recent aero kits added to the existing Dallara, amounted to nothing more than putting 'lipstick on a pig,' and with the lipstick (sorry aero pieces) flying off into the grandstand injuring fans, IndyCar was faced with being put out of business by the insurance companies. Something drastic had to be done, and done fast.
by Brian Carroccio Juan Montoya beat Penske teammate Will Power out of the pits on the last stop and held him off to win the 12th Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Chevy powered drivers finished 1-2-3-4-5-6 for a complete romp over the Honda teams. Tony Kanaan was third followed by Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud.
by Mark J. Cipolloni The Team Penske Chevy juggernaut continued unabated in St. Petersburg Saturday by qualifying 1-2-3-4 on Saturday for Sunday's Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Team Penske was the Chevy aero package test team and it certainly is showing at the first race of 2015. It was Power's 37th pole and 5th at St. Petersburg. New Penske driver Simon Pagenaud will start 2nd and Helio Castroneves and Juan Montoya 3rd and 4th.
by Mark Cipolloni and Brian Carroccio Last season, columnist Brian Carroccio and AutoRacing1 President Mark Cipolloni squared off in an epic clash AR1 IndyCar Head-to-Head previewing the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series. Predicting which drivers would win their theoretical head-to-head matchups, the age and experience of Cipolloni (7-5) prevailed over the good looks of Carroccio (6-6). Today, these two Titans of IndyCar prognostication go at it again, in AR1 IndyCar Head-to Head 2015.
by Stephen Cox Indycars will be faster this year. Recent testing at Barber Motorsports Park demonstrated that the new "aero body kits" generate far more downforce, which resulted nearly every car in the field beating last year's pole time. Eventually, IndyCar is going to run out of Band-Aids. But the immediate future is not difficult to predict. In 2015, fans will hear exuberant praise about new track records and amazing new speeds while the product on the pavement does not improve, and may actually offer less passing than ever before.
By: Wayde Alfarone On Thursday Team AR1 took the number two spot on the podium at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Fifth Annual Driver & Media Karting Competition - where professional drivers are teamed up with media staff for all-out bragging rights as a lead up to the IndyCar season opener in St. Petersburg, FL. If you have been following the adventures of Team AR1 over the years, you know that we have been victorious every year since our first race in 2011.
Just over two weeks remain before the start of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Between now and the opener in St. Petersburg the IndyCar teams will be busy testing the new Chevrolet and Honda aero kits. For today, AR1 reporter Lucille Dust and columnist Brian Carroccio will get you ready for the season by tackling a series of "Burning Questions". What team/driver changes will have the biggest impact? Who has the best looking aero kit? What drivers might surprise? Lucille are but a few of the questions Lucille and Brian will answer. Enjoy!
by Stephen Cox Brian Vickers is back. Again. After being forced out of NASCAR racing for the third time with a major medical issue, Vickers has returned to Michael Waltrip Racing after a successful heart surgery. I remember Brian well from his days in the Hooters ProCup Stock Car Series, where I was SPEED's pit reporter for nine years. We all knew he would make it to Cup. Not only was he talented, but even more importantly, he was well funded. I hope his latest comeback is successful. He was personable, spoke well on camera and left behind many friends in the ProCup series.
Totally different than Chevy's design The much-anticipated unveiling of the Honda aero kit took place Monday evening at a reception attended by principals from Honda Performance Development, American Honda and INDYCAR. Defending Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, who drove for a bulk of the on-track development, joined Honda executives in showcasing the base road/street course and short oval aero kit.
by Brian Carroccio Was it just me, or did anyone else find it ironic that the loudest complaints about the rules came from those unable to follow them? I speak, of course, about the rather bizarre qualifying session this past Friday for the Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race, in which 13 of 47 would-be qualifiers were unable to get through inspection in time to make a first round qualifying attempt. Thus, those 13 drivers were eliminated from qualifying. Amongst those who failed to make it through inspection were star drivers Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart. And why were these drivers and others unable to get through inspection?
by Mark J. Cipolloni Mario Andretti turns 75 on Saturday - born in Montona, Italy, on February 28, 1940. I can't believe time has gone by so fast. As a young kid he won the first race my late father ever took me to see (Trenton 1966) and he became my childhood hero from that day forward. He went on to take his 2nd consecutive IndyCar title that year and stopped AJ Foyt's IndyCar dominance in its tracks. Then in 1967 he won NASCAR's Daytona 500, a race Foyt had tried to win for years. In those days you were either an AJ Foyt fan or a Mario Andretti fan, and if you weren't you were eventually going to be. It was a magical time.
INDYCAR Media Day "Last year was exciting, really cool. Hear so many people saying about what a great race. Yes, the end was terrible, but the race was really cool. To be in that challenge, fighting for the win, have that opportunity, it was just awesome. Hopefully we don't need to be 6/100ths behind. But I think with the aero kit, it's going to differentiate a lot for the fans trying to see. I think it's going to be fast. It's going to be cool. I can't wait to start 2015, to be honest."
INDYCAR Media Day "It's more than Luca, too. It's Ed on the ovals, which I'm excited about. But Luca, the greatest attribute he'll bring to the group is his raw speed and talent. He is one of the most talented drivers I have ever seen. When you're teammates with someone, that is the greatest opportunity to see what that driver is truly like. You can examine from the outside, everyone can. You can observe what you think someone is good at, what they're not good at. When you're someone's teammate, you see what their strengths and weaknesses are. He is very skilled. He's a very fast driver." --Josef Newgarden
INDYCAR Media Day It's a tremendous accomplishment for the team and for myself personally to be an Indy 500 winner. We feel like we're hopefully getting started now. We've got a lot of work to do. We've been busy in the whole off-season preparing for this race. It's going to be a big hill to climb with the new car, with the aero kit and everything else. It's going to be new problems. We're going to effectively come at it from a different angle. The drivers are going to have to be open-minded about it.
INDYCAR Media Day We obviously work very hard as a team. At Chip Ganassi Racing, it's open book, and we try to push the envelope to advance all the cars. Some days you have to understand maybe it's not your day. But when it comes down to the wire, you're going to fight your teammates as hard as anybody else. The last thing we get told is to make sure you don't crash each other out of the race by Chip. That's something we focus on. In the past we've done a pretty good job of that and hopefully that continues.
INDYCAR Media Day It's an honor to have everybody here today. I must say that the Speedway looks much different than what we're traditionally used to seeing during the month of May. One word I continuously heard this morning in some of our conversations was how special this facility is. We all know that it's hosted so many special moments of automotive history. We are honored to have a number of our key partners with us, distinguished guests from Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing, CFH Racing, and KV Racing Technology.
INDYCAR Media Day We begin a new season of competition. Mark Miles is CEO of Hulman & Company. Derrick Walker who has seen this sport from so many different vantage points. Always exciting to begin a new year. We thought we'd throw it right open to questions that you have for these two gentlemen. Talk about the new rules that are going to be in effect. Are there any? Who is going to rule on them?
INDYCAR "Obviously as a team you want the right people in the right places to help push the team forward. As Graham can attest, being a single-car operation, it's that much more difficult because everything falls on one car, all the development, especially in a year that's going to be a big development year. We have the drivers sorted, a guy with experience, that's fast. We worked together well at the test we did last week. We like similar things in the car. That's huge."
It was always going to be a long off-season for IndyCar
by Brian Carroccio This was always going to be a long offseason for the Verizon IndyCar Series. With Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles' controversial and, in my opinion, ill-advised decision to end the season Labor Day weekend and not resume until early-March, this 2014-2015 offseason was always going to be a challenging one for the series and its diehard fan base, sure to result in a certain degree of frustration and apathy.
by Lucille Dust AutoRacing1 had the pleasure of meeting Audi Sport ABT Formula E driver Daniel Abt this past August during the MAVTV 500 IndyCar weekend at Auto Club Speedway. The 22-year-old German came to Southern California with his friend Conor Daly, and spoke to many IndyCar teams about possibly joining the series in 2015. Recently, AR1's Lucille Dust caught up with the GP2/Formula E driver to find out how he got started in racing, what his impressions were of IndyCar, his prospects for joining the series and a host of other subjects. Enjoy.
by Brian Carroccio Around 12:50 p.m. ET Wednesday, in the midst of one of those proverbial run around like a chicken-with-your--head-cut-off type of days, I received a message from a friend, someone very clued in to the latest happenings in the world of racing.
Brian's Friend: "IndyCar announcement at 3 (p.m.) today. Any idea what it's about?" Me: "No clue. Been super-busy, will let you know if I hear anything." Brian's Friend: "(Brian) Barnhart returning as Race Director." Me: "No way. Even they (INDYCAR/IMS) know better than that.
by Brian Carroccio Earlier today, 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner and 2004 Verizon IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan took a few minutes to speak with AutoRacing1's Brian Carroccio. Normally, the pilot of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, Kanaan will once moonlight this weekend the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Along with Scott Dixon, Kyle Larson, and Jamie McMurray, Kanaan will co-drive the #02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Target Ford EcoBoost Riley DP.
by Brian Carroccio It's not entirely a wasteland. There was that 50-minute Formula E race from Buenos Aires, Argentina last Saturday. If you so happen to be in or around Tulsa, Oklahoma this weekend or get MAVTV (I'm not entirely sure which is more likely), you can watch the world's most prominent indoor midget race, with the 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. And of course, next weekend there will be what has become the unofficial start of the racing season in recent years, The Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
Then read this AR1.com has published many articles over the years on how to market auto racing to fans and most recently Brian Mackey has raised our game to a new level with some excellent articles on the marketing of motorsports. We have also criticized NASCAR and IndyCar for its aging fan population and the fact that they appear to have lost the youth of this country who do not have the same love for motorsports as us Baby Boomers. This article will help you better understand how teenagers use social media with the hope that the marketing people in USA motorsports find ways to connect with the next generation of potential motorsports fans
by Brian C. Mackey It happened last week. Alabama vs. Ohio State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. In my mind, this game will go down as one of the epics, one of the transformational games of the past several years. And I'm not talking about the Ohio State upset. Many may not have noticed, and those that did, may not have understood the significance of what transpired during the game. But if we're looking for creative ways to benefit from a commercial sponsorship, look no further.
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