by Brian Carroccio My colleague Pete McCole will be handling the NASCAR side of things for 2016. So, what follows is the AutoRacing1 2016 Year in Review for open wheel/formula car racing with some sports cars and rallycross sprinkled in. In this article we cover some lessons from 2016, Driver of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Race of the Year, Best Return of the year, Best Car of the Year, Worst Career Trajectory, Most Bizarre Race of the Year, Most Disappointing Title Defense, PR Move of the Year, The Craziest Finish, The Biggest S***show, The Feel Good Comeback Story of the Year, and Goodbyes.
Advantage cemented in for 2017 AutoRacing1.com experts believe the IndyCar aero kit freeze for 2017 will give Team Penske and the rest of the Chevy teams a guaranteed advantage for 2017. The edge came from aero kit supplier Chevrolet's superiority over rival Honda, and with no changes allowed for 2017, that advantage is locked in for another whole year with no chance Honda can try and catch up. What a gift to Chevy that was from IndyCar.
Q&A session with media Participants Michael Andretti - Team Owner Hank Steinbrenner - Chairman of NY Yankees George Steinbrenner IV - principal Steinbrenner Racing Colton Herta - #98 Indy Lights driver
INDY Earlier today Chip Ganassi Racing announced that Max Chilton will return to the team and will again race the No. 8 IndyCar with sponsorship from Arthur J. Gallagher - returning to Chip Ganassi Racing for a second season in the Verizon IndyCar Series. He will again team with Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball.
Heartbreak loss in final round of Dancing with the Stars Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver James Hinchcliffe finished runner-up on season 23 of Dancing with the Stars, the hit celebrity dance competition show that airs on INDYCAR’ S partner network ABC. James finished second from 13 original celebrity competitors, with Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez taking home the prize as the champion.
IndyCar media conference Two young drivers, Carlos Munoz and Conor Daly, have been hired to drive the No. 14 and No. 4 (not 41) ABC Supply Dallaras in the Verizon IndyCar Series. The No. 4 team will be based in A.J. Foyt's Speedway, Indiana race shop. One aspect that isn't changing is the team's red, white and blue colors because sponsor ABC Supply has renewed its contract with the Texas-based team for another two years.
by Lucille Dust In our Part 2 of our 2-part series, today we are going to explore the expanding world of Dallara's Headquarters in Italy. Driving into the facility, you can see half of the buildings are obstructed by construction equipment moving earth and a few small trees. There is a new building being constructed in front of the current buildings that will be used for various uses. Much to our disappointment, we were not even allowed to peek at the secret wind tunnel.
Hildebrand hired to replace Newgarden On today's IndyCar media teleconference were Team owner/driver Ed Carpenter and JR Hildebrand. Last Friday, Ed Carpentier Racing announced it would welcome back driver JR Hildebrand as the full-time driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet beginning in 2017. JR Hildebrand and team owner Ed Carpenter, who will drive the No. 20 entry on the oval courses in 2017 were available to answer questions from the media.
by Lucille Dust Hello from Italy! It is not unusual for me to report from a race track or a race event. But this time it was off to Italy and a tour of the Dallara factory in Varano de Melegari near Parma, Italy where IndyCars are designed and manufactured. My goal is to give you an inside look about what is happening at Dallara and how things works within their company. We arrived early for our appointment. As we were sitting in the reception area, a familiar gentleman walked by us and stopped as he recognized us from the IndyCar series.
After serving as an integral part of the Ed Carpenter Racing organization over the past three years during the Month of May, JR Hildebrand will return to full-time Indy car competition in 2017. The 28-year-old has joined ECR as the driver of the No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet for the entirety of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. "Honestly, I just couldn't be more ready to get started!" stated Hildebrand. "I've been close to, but still outside of, this role for long enough to really understand and embrace the opportunity to be back in the Verizon IndyCar Series full-time."
From Las Vegas The SEMA Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. It draws the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products to one place, the Las Vegas Convention Center. As part of the AAIW, the SEMA Show attracts more than 100,000 industry leaders from more than 100 countries for unlimited profit opportunities in the automotive, truck and SUV, powersports, and RV markets. The 2015 SEMA Show drew more than 60,000 domestic and international buyer.
The First Indy 500 Winner The Marmon Wasp, one of America's most historic automobiles that was driven to victory in the first Indianapolis 500 race in 1911, makes its first visit to Las Vegas to appear at the 2016 SEMA Show. The car is part of a special public display at the Shell Pioneering Performance exhibition that features other significant race and performance cars. The Marmon Wasp is owned by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. The public display is part of a broad national program developed by the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) to foster appreciation of America's automotive heritage.
Firestone test Following the exciting running of the Verizon IndyCar Series Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix in April, the return to the desert has become an important stop on the INDYCAR schedule. In preparation for the first oval race of the 2017 season, scheduled for April 29 in Phoenix, five Verizon IndyCar Series drivers and teams, including two Indianapolis 500 winners, participated in a one-day Firestone tire and aero testing session at Phoenix Raceway on Oct. 18.
Today is the five-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.
IndyCar returns to an old CART venue The Verizon IndyCar Series made its return to Gateway Motorsports Park on Thursday, with a number of new combinations in action among the drivers and teams testing in a Firestone test day at the 1.25-mile egg-shaped oval. These 39 photos provided by IndyCar capture the days action.
IndyCar must incorporate electric into its next engine
by Mark J. Cipolloni The automotive world is going 100% electric - it's just a matter of time – and our environment will be far better because of it. However, that poses a real dilemma for motorsports. Silent electric motors are downright boring and battery technology won't store enough energy to enable a car to run 500 miles at over 200 mph for well over a decade or more. So what's the solution? How can a sanctioning body like IndyCar, NASCAR or F1 maintain some level of excitement, enable cars to run over 200 mph for 500 miles, and still remain relevant to the automotive industry and the charge toward 100% electrification?
An Interview with Sebastien Bourdais and Dale Coyne
After announcement for 2017 Dale Coyne Racing announced that four-time IndyCar champion Sebastien Bourdais will return to the team to compete in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. The two joined an IndyCar media conference to discuss the deal and answer questions. The team is putting together some great people with bringing back Craig Hampson, his engineer from Newman/Haas, and Olivier, his engineer from KVSH.
CART reunion honors Gurney, Penske and 'Pat' Patrick
by Lucille Dust The CART reunion committee put together a great program to honor the men who founded the CART organization. The ballroom was full of years of stories about the wonderful things that CART created and how great the open wheel series became. Robin Miller addressed the group and explained that Penske, Gurney and Patrick put their money where their mouth was and started CART in 1979.
Josef Newgarden with Tim Cindric Today's IndyCar media teleconference introduced Josef Newgarden as Team Penske's newest Verizon IndyCar Series driver. He was joined by Team Penske president Tim Cindric. Earlier this morning the team announced that Josef Newgarden was joining Team Penske as the driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet beginning in 2017. This obviously comes on the heels of one of our most successful seasons ever in IndyCar where the team earned 10 wins, 11 poles, their 14th IndyCar championship with Simon Pagenaud and a 1-2-3 sweep in the points standings, something they had not done since 1994.
At Awards Banquet An epic season deserves an equally impressive champion. That's what INDYCAR has in Simon Pagenaud, who was honored this evening at the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship Celebration. Pagenaud, 32, was saluted at Hilbert Circle Theater on Indianapolis' Monument Circle for capturing the season championship on the strength of a series-best five race wins and seven Verizon P1 Award pole positions over the course of the 16-race campaign.
Re-Signs with Andretti-Herta for 2017 Andretti-Herta Autosport announced that Indianapolis 500 winner, Alexander Rossi, will return to the team to compete in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series. We're happy to be joined this afternoon by Alexander Rossi. Alex, welcome to the call.
Or will they do the right thing this time? IndyCar's current TV deals with ABC and NBC Sports Network run through the 2018 season. NBC Sports said it is very interested in continuing the relationship. Will IndyCar do the right thing this time to ensure series growth by putting all races on network TV, or will it do another money grab from NBC Sports Network where the majority of races are on cable and invisible to the American public?
2016 IndyCar Champion With a dominating drive from the pole position, Simon Pagenaud won the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and earned his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship. Pagenaud led 76 of the 85 laps in the No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet) to score his fifth win of the season and wrap up the title. It secured Team Penske’s 14th Indy car championship in its 50th year of operation.
An Interview with Mark Kent, Paul Ray and Michael Stouffer Chevrolet has won the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series (VISC) Manufacturer Championship. It is the fifth consecutive year the Bowtie Brand has captured the title since returning to IndyCar racing in 2012. The Chevrolet 2.2 liter turbocharged V6 IndyCar engine program combined with the Chevrolet Aero Kit to produce 13 poles and 14 wins in the 16-race season.
Pagenaud wins in Sonoma to seal first IndyCar title
by Mark J. Cipolloni In only his second year driving for the captain, Roger Penske, Frenchman Simon Pagenaud won his first IndyCar title by dominating the Go-Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma from his pole position. His championship rival, Will Power had clutch problems and finished 8 laps down. Graham Rahal was second ahead of Juan Montoya. Andretti teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi rounded out the top-5.
4-Year Extension Andretti Autosport and DHL Express announced today the extension of their partnership which began in 2011. The world's leading express services provider will remain the primary sponsor on the No. 28 Andretti Autosport IndyCar through 2020. In addition to this partnership extension, the Indianapolis-based, four-time Indy 500 and IndyCar Series Champions confirmed that series veteran Ryan Hunter-Reay will pilot the DHL-sponsored machine for four years beyond this weekend's 2016 season finale.
Pagenaud leads Penske top-4 sweep in Sonoma qualifying
by Brian Carroccio
Simon Pagenaud led a Team Penske sweep of the top-4 in winning pole position for tomorrow's GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. It was the ninth career pole position for the driver of the No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet and seventh of 2016. Helio Castroneves was second, less than two-tenths behind Pagenaud. Juan Pablo Montoya was third, with Pagenaud's closest championship rival Will Power fourth.
Lucille Dust This is Team Penske's 50th Anniversary of racing excellence. The most successful team in racing history has 28 national championships, 16 Indianapolis 500 wins, two Daytona 500 championships and more than 430 major wins across open-wheel, stock are and sports car competition. It began in 1966 as Roger Penske Racing, five years after Penske was named by Sports Illustrated as driver of the year in the Sports Car Club of America. Fifty years later, Team Penske is recognized as the most powerful enterprise in American motorsports, having 13 IndyCar championships, five NASCAR titles, over 100 NASCAR Sprint Cup victories and even a Formula 1 victory to its credits.
Pagenaud, Power braced for epic IndyCar finale Team Penske drivers Simon Pagenaud and Will Power are set to battle it out in another title showdown for the IndyCar Series at Sonoma this weekend. The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will be the 11th road/street course race of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule with five drivers winning the previous 10 races. The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will be the 13th Indy car race at Sonoma Raceway. Scott Dixon is the two-time defending race winner. This will be the fifth race on the 12-turn, 2.385-mile layout. The Verizon IndyCar Series competed on a 12-turn, 2.303-mile layout from 2005-2011.
Dubai's Ed Jones steals cool $1M from IndyCar's coffers
Wins Indy Lights when teammate moves over for him Today Dubai's Ed Jones won the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship when his Carlin teammate Felix Serralles let his pass on the last lap to move him ahead of Santiago Urrutia (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian) unofficially by two points (363 to 361) and secure the $1 million Mazda advancement scholarship to advance into the Verizon IndyCar Series for a guaranteed three-race program. Nice!
by Brian Carroccio I have to admit: I had it wrong. Entering this weekend's race at Watkins Glen, it was my general belief that the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series ‘Silly Season' wasn't shaping up to be all that well, silly. With teams not having the budget for the free agent shopping sprees we see in other sports and some stubborn veterans not ready to call it a day, it was my sense that the status quo would largely remain. But like the volcano, which has sat dormant for centuries, the mere slightest of fissures can cause enormous eruptions.
by Stephen Cox (Read Part 1 by clicking here) Ken Wallis was running out of time. Both of Carroll Shelby's turbine-powered cars were now at Indianapolis but they were nowhere near race-ready condition. His drivers, McLaren and Hulme, had only a six-day window before they returned to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix. In a desperate bid to make the cars competitive, Wallis used a liberal interpretation of USAC's rules to design a new annulus (the engine opening that fed air to the turbine). When measured by technical inspectors, the annulus was under the legal 16-inch limit. But at full throttle on the race track, a variable valve system opened to permit greater air flow into the turbine.
Scott Dixon scored a dominant victory in today's INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen. It was the fourth victory at Watkins Glen International for the driver of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, who came 16.5 seconds ahead of Josef Newgarden. Helio Castroneves was third with Conor Daly and Sebastien Bourdais rounding out the top-five.
Dixon wins pole for IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen
by Brian Carroccio
With a new track record of 1:22.5259, Scott Dixon edged Will Power by 0.05 seconds for pole position in tomorrow's IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen. It was the 25th career IndyCar pole position for the driver of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. Sebastien Bourdais will start third with Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan rounding out the top-five. Rookie Max Chilton will start a career best sixth tomorrow. Championship leader Simon Pagenaud failed to make the Firestone Fast Six for the first time in 2016 and will start seventh.
by Brian Carroccio I'm going to do something a little different today. Typically, in these postscripts I elaborate on a number of the subjects du jour in the Verizon IndyCar Series. However, given that I covered some of those in last week's Pocono Postscript, IndyCar's return to Texas was such an abbreviated affair, and I'll have a postscript after Watkins Glen, I figured this might be a good time to do something different. Furthermore, Saturday evening's restart/conclusion of the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway brought a topic to the fore that has been hotly-debated in recent years: the style of racing IndyCar should pursue on high speed banked ovals.
by Stephen Cox He wasn't the first to try, nor was he the last. Armed with a huge budget, a massive turbine engine and two of the finest drivers on the planet, in the spring of 1968 Carroll Shelby was ready to steal the Indianapolis 500. The plan was straightforward. Ken Wallis, a 38-year-old British aircraft engineer, had designed the famed Granatelli-Lotus Turbine with which Parnelli Jones had nearly won the race in 1967. Wallis had left Granatelli's team and was now looking for work. Shelby hired Wallis to build the team's racecars, and then hired reigning Formula 1 champion Dennis Hulme and defending Can-Am champion Bruce McLaren to drive them.
Newly paved track set for new lap record There have been eight different winners in the 14 previous Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2016: Juan Pablo Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg), Scott Dixon (Phoenix International Raceway), Simon Pagenaud (Streets of Long Beach, Barber Motorsports Park, Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course), Alexander Rossi (Indianapolis 500), Sebastien Bourdais (Raceway at Belle Isle-1), Will Power (Raceway at Belle Isle-2, Road America, Toronto and Pocono), Josef Newgarden (Iowa Speedway) and Graham Rahal (Texas Motor Speedway). Who will win at The Glen?
Top-3 drivers Winner of the Firestone 600, Graham Rahal, driver of the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda led only one lap tonight -- the last lap and that's all he needed to. He became the 14th driver in IndyCar history to lead only the last lap of the race and win. There was some action there at the end, cautions, so to speak, but the drivers put on a great show for the fans, and I think anybody that watched that race, they can come back next year and understand that when they come to an IndyCar race they're going to get the best racing possible.
Ya had to wait for it. 77 days in fact, then another 100 laps as one car put a hurting on the rest of the field. But in that last 8 laps, racing addicts got their fix as cars went 4-wide to decide the race by 8/1000th of a second, the fifth-closest in IndyCar history. But yes, you had to wait for it.
by Brian Carroccio In early June, it had all the makings of a runaway snooze fest. By mid-July there was some faint hope someone might be able to mount a late-season charge. Fast-forward to Monday afternoon after Will Power won the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway, and make no mistake: the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series championship battle is on. And it’s layered with more drama and intrigue than it seems many suspect. Today, AutoRacing1 will discuss those stories and more in our Pocono Postscript, starting with the man who clings to a slim lead in the series standings.
Will Power held off pole winner Mikhail Aleshin by 1.1459s to win today's ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. It was the 29th career and fourth victory of 2016 for the driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. And as an added bonus for Power, the win moved the 2014 series champion to within 20 points of series leader Simon Pagenaud. The Frenchman finished 18th after a lap 157 crash.
by Mark J. Cipolloni It was a day of firsts at Pocono International Raceway Saturday where the IndyCar Series was qualifying for the ABC Supply 500. It was the first IndyCar pole for Mikhail Aleshin and it was the first time a Russian driver will sit on the pole for an IndyCar race. Aleshin trimmed the car out and had a couple of moments in Turn 1 but it was the fastest speed and pole for the #7 Schmidt Peterson SMP Honda. Josef Newgarden will start 2nd for Ed Carpenter Racing ahead of Takuma Sato in AJ Foyt's Honda.
by Pete McCole Three-time USAC champion driver Bryan Clauson passed away Sunday night as a result of injuries suffered in a crash during the 39th-annual Belleville (Kansas) Midget Nationals USAC midget race Saturday night at the Belleville High Banks. He was 27 years old.
by Brian Carroccio Two weeks ago after Toronto, I mentioned how we were entering the stretch run of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. And to me, the three players to keep an eye on were championship leader Simon Pagenaud, the suddenly hot Will Power, and reigning series champion Scott Dixon. Dixon, of course, endured a frustrating race in Toronto. Having dominated from pole, the Kiwi was 'caught out' on a yellow flag and forced to pit. Power cycled to the front, while Dixon came home 8th. Although the championship gap between Dixon and Pagenaud was sizable, I wrote that you couldn't discount the Kiwi.
Beats Penske teammate Will Power Points leader Simon Pagenaud extended his Verizon IndyCar point lead with victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sunday by 4.162 sec.over teammate Will Power and Andretti Autosport's Carlos Munoz who started 15th. Graham Rahal came home 4th for Honda with James Hinchcliffe rounding out the top-5.
IndyCar Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio Simon Pagenaud set a new track record in winning pole for the Honda 200 IndyCar race at Mid-Ohio with a lap of 1m03.870s to beat his Penske teammate Will Power by just 0.0681s. Josef Newgarden will start 3rd 1/4 sec. behind Pagenaud with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Charlie Kimball rounding out the top-5. Local favorite Graham Rahal will lineup 6th.
Ohio driver is defending champion THE MODERATOR: We will go ahead and get started with our Verizon IndyCar Series post practice press conference. Joined by Graham Rahal, hometown hero here in Columbus. Graham, you just finished first practice. How did things go, what is your take on the track? GRAHAM RAHAL: The track I think is really good. But obviously it feels like a lot of grip. You have a ton of cars running around here. This place is action packed, which is fun. But it's tough for us. We have to find a way to keep up with that a little bit, I would say modify the setup of the car a little bit to keep up.
by Brian Carroccio There was intrigue aplenty oozing out of the concrete canyons and reconfigured circuit at Exhibition Place. Today, in AutoRacing1’s Honda Indy Toronto Postscript, I will use a topic/statement elaboration format to break down some of the key stories from the Verizon IndyCar Series’ annual pilgrimage to The Great White North.
Perfectly timed pitstop was winning move Will Power used a perfectly timed final pitstop before a caution flag that got him in 2nd position when the green flew and when Tony Kanaan had to stop under green Power was in the lead and held it to the finish. Helio Castroneves gave Team Penske a 1-2 finish and local favorite James Hinchcliffe gave the crowd something to cheer about with a podium finish in 3rd. Tony Kanaan and Takuma Sato rounded out the top-5.
Chevy 1-2-3-4-5 Ganassi driver Scott Dixon turned the fastest lap in the final seconds of Fast Six shootout qualifying to lead a 1-2-3-4-5 Chevy sweep in qualifying for the Toronto Grand Prix IndyCar race. Dixon's time of 59.907s was just enough to nip Helio Castroneves who was on pole up until then at 59.943s. Points leader Simon Pagenaud will roll off third ahead of Will Power and Sebastien Bourdais.
by Brian Carroccio The Verizon IndyCar Series made its 10th annual pilgrimage to picturesque Iowa Speedway this past weekend. With its progressive banking and multiple grooves, the unique bullring nestled in the heart of America's Corn Belt has long produced very entertaining Indy car races. And while the 2016 edition of the Iowa Corn 300 did feature a number of entertaining scraps, such battles were not to be found at the front of the field. Simply put, Josef Newgarden had other plans.
At Exhibition Place The Honda Indy Toronto will be the 32nd Indy car race on the streets of Exhibition Place. Newgarden won the race in 2015. The Honda Indy Toronto will be the eighth race on a road/street course in 2016. The first six races were won by Montoya (St. Petersburg), Pagenaud (Long Beach, Barber and Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Bourdais (Belle Isle-1) and Power (Belle Isle-2 and Road America).
INDY Despite a broken hand and clavicle, Josef Newgarden put on a clinic in Iowa Sunday afternoon before about 10,000 fans to win the Iowa Corn 300. Newgarden led 282 of 300 laps and no one threatened him all day long. Will Power was 2nd 4.28 sec. behind but it wasn't really that close. Scott Dixon was 3rd with Simon Pagenaud and Mikhail Aleshin coming home third.
Chevy powered cars 1 thru 8 Penske Racing's Simon Pagenaud has won the pole for the 10th running of the Iowa Corn 300 on the 7/8ths-mile Iowa Speedway with a speed of 185.939 mph. Josef Newgarden came closest to beating Pagenaud with a speed of 185.698 mph despite a broken hand and broken clavicle. Helio Castroneves will start 3rd in the second Penske Chevy. The fastest 8 speeds in qualifying were Chevy powered with the Chevy bodykit.
by Brian Carroccio Having reached midpoint of the 2016 calendar year, we’ve also reached the heart of the season for many major racing series. Formula One, for example, will conclude a four race-five weekend stretch with the British Grand Prix Sunday. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will conduct its 18 of 36 races Saturday evening in Kentucky, while the Verizon IndyCar Series will run its 10th of 16 races Sunday afternoon in Iowa. With many racing series at or at least around their midpoint, AutoRacing1 will take a look back on the best and worst of the 2016 season in our Midseason Racing Review. Enjoy.
INDY The Iowa Corn 300 will be the fourth of five oval races on the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. Andretti Autosport owns Iowa. they have won seven of the nine previous races at Iowa Speedway, including the last six in a row (Dario Franchitti 2007, Kanaan 2010, Andretti 2011, Hunter-Reay 2012, 2014 and 2015 and Hinchcliffe 2013). Chip Ganassi Racing has two wins (Dan Wheldon 2008 and Franchitti 2009). Ryan Hunter-Reay is the only active driver to win at Iowa Speedway more than once. Hunter-Reay has three wins (2012, 2014 and 2015).
Roger Penske receives Cameron R. Argetsinger Award
IMRRC event A capacity crowd at the Corning Museum of Glass was treated to a celebratory evening of tributes, shout-outs, slide shows and interviews on Thursday as the International Motor Racing Research Center presented the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award to racing icon Roger Penske. The presenting sponsors of the evening and award were NASCAR, IMSA, International Speedway Corp. and Watkins Glen International. The sell-out event was supported by Sahlen's.
I don’t really have a ton to add to what has already been said about this Indy Car racing’s return to Road America this past weekend. I’ll just note that having made my first visit to the racing cathedral in Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine country, Road America is absolutely everything it is cracked up to be and more. And judging from the reaction of a very happy paddock, the Road America track staff, the thousands of fans that packed the hills and grandstands and the overall atmosphere at North America’s finest road racing circuit, the Verizon IndyCar Series added another much-needed cornerstone event to its schedule this past weekend.
by Stephen Cox "When I was doing it, I got paid to drive. You were judged on your merit as a driver... not the check that you brought," Darren Manning said while sipping an after-hours beer and relaxing in the lobby of his company's new facility on the west side of Indianapolis. "I got chosen to drive by Ganassi, Foyt and Walker. It was a very fun time. There was a great camaraderie between all the drivers because the drivers up and down the field were getting paid. The sport has changed a lot."
IndyCar's return to Road America a Smashing Success
by Mark J. Cipolloni Indy cars had raced annually at Road America from 1982 to 2003 under CART sanction with great success, but struggled under Champ Car off and on through 2007 as Tony George took his hammer to work every day in a campaign to destroy CART. The crowds stayed away and with Champ Car going out of business early in 2008, and IndyCar and Michael Andretti trying to rebuild Milwaukee, Road America was left off the IndyCar schedule for years.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Penske Chevy driver Will Power held off a closing Tony Kanaan by 0.74 sec. to win an exciting Kohler Grand Prix of Road America before a sun drenched crowd of over 50,000. Graham Rahal passed points leader Simon Pagenaud for third late in his Honda as Pagenaud fell back with a misfire in his Chevy. Ryan Hunter-Reay brought his Honda home 4th with Helio Castroneves rounding out the top-5.
by Brian Carroccio Will Power edged Scott Dixon by 0.16 seconds in the Firestone Fast Six to win pole position for tomorrow's Kohler Grand Prix at Road America. It was the 44th career pole position and first of 2016 for the driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Tony Kanaan will start third with Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves completing a Chevrolet sweep of the top-five. Graham Rahal was the lead Honda in sixth position.
AJ Allmendinger will start 2nd Carl Edwards earned his third pole position of the season during Saturday's Coors Light Pole qualifying at Sonoma Raceway. The wheelman of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota topped the speed charts at a blistering 95.777 mph. California native AJ Allmendinger was second-quickest during the two-round session in his No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet (95.676 mph).
By Richard RJ Valentine In my 40 years as a pro-racer, there have been memorable highlights and multiple finishes, but there have also been serious injuries. Same can be said for many other drivers but, in some cases, they lost their racing career and in others, their life. I have always contended that it's impossible to understand how critical track safety is, unless you've personally been behind the wheel, racing at 100+ miles per hour, knowing you could hit a wall that might maim or kill you. The bottom line is track operators aren't the ones risking their lives in the driver's seat.
KOHLER Grand Prix Road America is one of the flagship tracks not only in America, but globally, and everyone is excited that the Verizon IndyCar Series is returning this year.The KOHLER Grand Prix will be the first Indy car event conducted at Road America since 2007 and the 26th Indy car race at the track since it hosted its first Indy car event in 1982. Can the qualifying record set by Dario Franchitti, 1:39.866, 145.924 mph, Aug. 19, 2000 in a CART IndyCar be beaten or are the current IndyCars too lame? We are about to find out.
INDY With a two-lap average of 217.137 miles per hour, Carlos Munoz earned pole position in qualifying for tomorrow's Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway. The driver of the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda narrowly edged last year's race winner Scott Dixon to earn his first career Verizon IndyCar Series pole position. Four-time Texas winner Helio Castroneves was third, with Takuma Sato and Josef Newgarden rounding out the top-5.
Prior to Texas Firestone 600 Today's IndyCar media teleconference guest was the leading Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate through eight Verizon IndyCar Series races and who recently won the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 - Alexander Rossi of Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian. Alexander.
by Brian Carroccio After a rather festive month reveling in the pomp and circumstance of the 100th installment of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, a sense of normalcy returned to the Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend in Detroit. And while I wouldn't say we learned anything particularly new, the Chevrolet Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Quicken Loans did provide some important reminders.
Leads Penske 1-2 After getting outsmarted yesterday, Team Penske got their act together and scored a 1-2 finish in the 2nd Detroit GP IndyCar race Sunday on Belle Isle. It was a dogfight but Will Power brought his Chevy home first, 0.92 sec. ahead of teammate Simon Pagenaud's Chevy and the Honda of Ryan Hunter-Reay. Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon rounded out the top-5 to give Chevy 4 of the top-5 positions.
Simon Pagenaud will start from pole position for a second straight today in this afternoon's Chevrolet in Detroit Dual 2. The driver of the No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet posted a lap time of 1:14.038s in the first of two qualifying groups to earn his fourth pole of 2016. Joining the Verizon IndyCar Series championship leader on pole will be Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Utilizing clever pit strategy, Sebastien Bourdais drove the No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet to victory in today's Dual 1 of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. It was Bourdais' 35th career Indy Car victory and second at Detroit, as the Le Mans, France native won Dual 2 last year. Noblesville, IN native Conor Daly recorded his first career podium finishing 2nd 2.040s behind Bourdais. Juan Pablo Montoya was third with Graham Rahal and Helio Castroneves rounding out the top-five.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Roger Penske owns this race, literally and figuratively. Penske is the race promoter and of course his Chevy powered cars will start 1-2-3 for Race 1 of the Detroit GP doubleheader on Saturday. Simon Pagenaud was the fastest at 1m14.9166s to narrowly beat his teammates Helio Castroneves and Juan Montoya in the Fast Six Shootout round. The Hondas of James Hinchcliffe and Carlos Munoz rounded out the top-5.
by Brian Carroccio "No chance." Having started this article with the questionable tactic of quoting myself, that was my reply to the suggestion from a prominent media member that Alexander Rossi was a dark horse candidate to win before Sunday's 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Yes, I conceded Rossi had enjoyed a fine month, regularly posting times near the top of the time charts during practice. Yes, I agreed that he had generally exceeded expectations, and was the clear favorite for Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year. But winning? No chance.
Q&A with Alexander Rossi the day after the Indy 500
INDY Good morning, everyone. Let's welcome the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, Alexander Rossi, back here in the Economaki Press Conference Room. I'm sure since you were last here it's been kind of a whirlwind 18 hours or so. Tell us what's been going on. ALEXANDER ROSSI: A lot of pictures. It was the most pictures I've ever taken in my entire life. No, I think when I pulled into victory lane, I was blown away with the fact that I had won, but I had no idea, even remotely, what was then around the corner from that. It's just been -- this entire month has been something that I'm blown away every single day, and that hasn't ceased to stop. I'm enjoying it and just trying to embrace it as much as I can, all the while appreciate what happened yesterday.
In the best Indy 500 ever, Alexander Rossi turned the fastest race lap (225.288 mph) and then nursed his car to the start-finish line on fumes to win the 2016 Indy 500. His car didn’t even make it back to pit road, having run out of gas before he crossed the Yard of Bricks. Teammate Carlos Munoz finished second, and Josef Newgarden finished third. But the big story was Rossi who started his career with an eye on F1, ran out of money, and switched to IndyCar only to win the biggest race in the world on his first try.
It’s all quiet now at the greatest sports venue in America, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The crews are done tinkering with the cars, the drivers off to bed early and the maintenance crews are doing their final touches – cleaning up the trash from the past two weeks, and putting a shine on the place before the 350,000 adrenaline junkies come flowing through the gates for the 100th time to witness the greatest spectacle in racing, the Indy 500.
Winningest team owner in Indy history Like the Indy 500, Mr. Penske, too, is celebrating a milestone this year. This is his 50th year as a team owner in motorsports. And his list of accomplishments, I could be here all morning, but I think the most pertinent one for this day is that his teams have won this race a record 16 times including a year ago with Juan Pablo Montoya. To pace this year's Indy 500, Mr. Penske will be driving a 2017 Camaro SS, 50th Anniversary Edition. It's the ninth time the a Camaro has paced the field, 27th time for Chevrolet since 1948.
Today's guest won his first Verizon IndyCar Series pole position and did it for the biggest race of the season, the 100th Indianapolis 500. We welcome to the call James Hinchcliffe of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. James is the driver of the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, and sits provisionally fifth in points after winning 42 points for winning the pole for Sunday's Indy 500.
by Brian Carroccio We all know this coming weekend is an important one for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Verizon IndyCar Series. The week got off to a good start with a heartwarming run to pole position by James Hinchcliffe Sunday. And you know the story. The beloved Mayor of Hinchtown of course nearly died last year in practice for the Indianapolis 500, when his legs were shish-kebabed together by a metal rod after a vicious accident. However, Hinchcliffe will lead the field of 33 to the green flag this coming Sunday.
100th Indy 500 Continues ABC Memorial Day Tradition
ESPN’s Production Includes 100 Cameras, ESPN3 Second-Screen Experience With a record 100 cameras in use, ABC will televise the historic 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29 at 11 a.m. ET. Annually one of ESPN’s largest and most complex television productions, the Indianapolis 500 telecast is even larger this year with the milestone of the 100th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Airing on ABC for the 52nd consecutive year, and streaming live on WatchESPN for the first time, the telecast begins with a pre-race show at 11 a.m. and then polesitter James Hinchcliffe will lead the field of 33 to the green flag at 12:17 p.m.
by Tim Wohlford "The worst four laps of the month" is one of the more charitable things said about qualifying at Indy. A few years ago, Dario quipped that he "talked to Jesus", to which Helio replied that he thought he saw Jesus during his run. By all accounts, it's the toughest thing you can do in auto sports. And this year, everyone had to do this at least twice. When the dust settled, the crowd was treated to a thrilling shootout for the top 9 places, with James Hinchcliffe narrowly beating Josef Newgarden for the Pole. Joining them on the top row will be Ryan Hunter-Reay.
by Tim Wohlford Okay, who predicted that the Hondas would be fastest in qualification (5 of the top 9), that the fastest drive of the day would be by James Hinchcliffe, and that all five of the Andretti cars would be among the top 11? And that the fastest Ganassi efforts would be Dixon in 13th? And that the last hour of this contrived “meaningless” day of qualification would actually be a ton of fun? YOU LIE!
Chevy 1-2 followed by 9 Hondas Chevy drivers Will Power and Josef Newgarden topped the Fast Friday practice times at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ahead of Saturday qualifications for the 100th running of the Indy 500. Power's speed of 232.672 mph was the fastest lap of the week so far but was with a tow. James Hinchcliffe was 3rd at 231.972 mph in his Honda and he was followed by 8 other Hondas.
by Mark J. Cipolloni I was at Las Vegas Motor Speedway the day IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon lost his life. There wasn't a dry eye in the paddock and media center. It was a day I will, sadly, never forget. To say Dan was a 'character' would be an understatement. When he was in the vicinity you knew it. Dan touched a lot of people. But first and foremost Dan was a great race car driver. Lionheart - Remembering Dan Wheldon is a book about the life of Dan Wheldon, a life that ended way too early on that October, 2011 afternoon in Las Vegas.
Hunter-Reay, Power and Chaves Hunter-Reay: Coming off the year we had here last year where I couldn't get the car to do anything I needed it to, it's nice to have the 28 DHL Honda up towards the front, especially here at Indy. This is what we wait for all year, to get back on track here, start working with the car, feel the energy of the biggest race in the world. We're working through things, working through setup, some qualifying stuff, some race stuff, just getting in the mix, getting in traffic, and it's been a pretty -- it's been a fun day, a challenging one at times.
by Brian Carroccio After his victory three weeks ago in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, we took an in-depth look at Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud’s 2016 performance. Coming off consecutive wins at Long Beach and Barber, which followed second-place finishes at St, Pete and Phoenix to open the season, that theme continued this past weekend at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
by Tim Wohlford Simon Pagenaud earned his third consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series race today, with a dominant drive today in the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Starting from pole, the driver of the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet led 58 of the 82 laps en route to scoring his seventh career win and second on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Pagenaud's teammate Helio Castroneves turned in an impressive drive from the 13th grid position to come home second, making for a Team Penske 1-2.
by Tim Wohlford Simon Pagenaud set a New Track Record en route to P1 for tomorrow’s Angie List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. However, the surprising news might just be that positions 3, 4 and 6 went to Honda teams... and none were Andretti. Going into May, the multi-million dollar question is whether Honda would have another bad month of May at Indy. Last year was dismal, painful, and some people wondered if Honda would pull the plug on the effort. Well, if today’s results are any indication, the answer is that Honda might be a force to contend.
by Brian Carroccio When the Grand Prix of Boston Powered by LogMeIn was announced last May, I’ll admit I was as intrigued as anyone. With a population of nearly five million in its metro area, the coveted Northeast market, a scenic backdrop, what looked to be a racy layout and a chance to benefit off the traditional 'move-in' weekend for America’s most famous college town, Boston certainly boasted more than its fair share of promise. Of course, that promise never materialized.
Simon Pagenaud continued his hot start to 2016, claiming his second win of the season at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 24. Pagenaud, who won the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 17, increased his points lead over four-time series champion Scott Dixon to 48 heading into this weekend's race. * The Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis will be the third Indy car event conducted on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's road course.
Pagenaud disappointed by Boston drop; would love Watkins Glen option Simon Pagenaud will drive the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet in both the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 14th and the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29th. He leads the 2016 points standings by 48 over Scott Dixon after wins at Long Beach and Barber Motorsports Park. It's been a dream start to the season so far for him - two wins, a pole, two second-place finishes. Pagenaud was today's guest on this week's IndyCar media conference.
by Brian Carroccio Well, it's Simon Pagenaud's world right now. A week after scoring a somewhat controversial victory at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the Frenchman left little doubt in Sunday's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Starting from pole the driver of the No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet led all but 6 laps, survived a late challenge from Graham Rahal and ultimately scored a 13.747 second victory. It was Pagenaud's sixth career win, and his fourth top-2 finish in four 2016 races.
My Mazda Road to Indy As the only owner operating teams on all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy, Dale Pelfrey has earned a reputation for spotting talent. In a combined 13 races so far this season, Team Pelfrey’s stable of four drivers in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, three drivers in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and two drivers in the Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires have earned four victories and a total of 13 podiums – and that’s not even counting his F1600 Championship Series squad.
Before an announced weekend crowd of 83,000, Simon Pagenaud emerged from a late race scrap with Graham to score his second consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series victory in today's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. The Frenchman dominated the majority of the race from pole position before a hard charging Rahal closed the gap during the final stint. With 9 laps remaining Rahal made an inside move heading into turn 8 when the American's left front made contact with Pagenaud's right rear.
From Barber Motorsports Park Drivers 1. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet 2. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet 3. (21) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet 4. (9) Scott Dixon, Chevrolet 5. (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet 6. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda
Verizon IndyCar Series championship leader Simon Pagenaud edged Team Penske teammate Will Power to win pole for tomorrow's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Ed Carpenter Racing's Josef Newgarden, the defending race winner was third with Scott Dixon and Sebastien Bourdais rounding out a Chevrolet sweep of the top-five. Graham Rahal was the lead Honda in sixth.
From Alabama Grand Prix IndyCar points leader and race winner last week in Long Beach, Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Ppg Automotive Finishes Team Penske Chevrolet, and last year's Alabama Grad Prix winner Josef Newgarden, No. 21 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet met with media at Barber Motorsports Park.
by Brian Carroccio On the one hand it was your typical fare. The glorious cacophony of California sunshine tempered by the soothing Pacific breeze glistening off palm trees and art deco buildings once again provided an idyllic backdrop for exotic machines powering down Shoreline Drive. And as they have for more than four decades, the crowds packed the house for the latest installment of North America's longest running and most iconic urban festival of speed. Yes, from all indications the 42nd annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (the event) was absolutely everything it's always been and everything you'd expect it to be. As for the 42nd annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (the race) well, let's talk about that.
by Mark J. Cipolloni As you know, we here at AR1.com have called for the removal wings from IndyCars for quite some time. They have ruined the racing. The constant pursuit of speed has led to aerodynamic R&D in the pursuit of more downforce and less drag. But the time has come to stop. Do we care more about breaking lap records or good close racing that puts a premium on driving skill?
Pagenaud holds off Dixon in closest ever race at LB
by Mark J. Cipolloni IndyCar point leader Simon Pagenaud beat Scott Dixon out of the pits on a questionable pit exit violation and held off the defending champion for a nose-to-tail finish in the 42nd running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. It was the closest finish in the 42-year history of the race in a race run all the way without a caution. Polesitter Helio Castroneves was third ahead of Juan Montoya and Takuma Sato.
Alfonso Ribeiro Wins 40th Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race!
Wins race of previous winners Alfonso Ribeiro won the 2016 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, triumphing over the most accomplished field the annual charity racing event has ever seen. The roaring crowd witnessed the stunning performance by Ribeiro, who started the race in the 8th position and successfully avoided any collisions or walls to take the checkered flag. Ribeiro, now a four-time Toyota Pro/Celebrity winner (1994, 1995 & 2015), is best-known for his role as 'Carlton' on "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." Ribeiro, who is the new host of "America's Funniest Home Videos," had the fastest lap of the day with a time of 1:42.102.
With a lap time of 1:07.1246s, Helio Castroneves placed the No. 3 Auto Club of Southern California on pole position for tomorrow's 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. It was the Brazilian's 48th career pole, second of 2016, and third at Long Beach. Defending Long Beach winner Scott Dixon was second, three-tenths slower than Castroneves, with series championship leader Simon Pagenaud third.
a Highlight of Long Beach Grand Prix On April 14, in front of a capacity crowd of auto racing dignitaries, corporate executives and champion race-car drivers, Can-Am, USRRC and Trans-Am champion George Follmer was honored by the Road Racing Drivers Club at the "RRDC Evening with George Follmer presented by Firestone," prior to the running of the 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
by Brian Carroccio I’m usually a stay the course guy. You know, decide on a plan, implement said plan, stick with it even when times get tough and ultimately see it to fruition. As for what exactly that has to do with automobile racing, let’s just say it’s not like me to argue for pressing the eject button 18 races into a major engineering project which an eight-figure investment was needed to bring about.
Racing on the Mazda Road to Indy gave me an opportunity to move up Jack Hawksworth was well on his way down the standard European open-wheel route, with a junior karting championship victory at age 15 and two years in the formula car ranks. But the young Yorkshireman was searching for a more direct path toward his goal of reaching the top levels of the sport. Focused on a career in the Verizon IndyCar Series, Hawksworth decided on the Mazda Road to Indy. Hawksworth's decision to join the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires changed the direction of his career.
A guide to the race action this weekend at the 42nd Toyota GP of LB Six races are on the schedule for this weekend's 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, America's greatest motor sports street party on a 'racy' street course that promises wheel-to-wheel competition. Drivers will carve their way through the 1.9-mile, 11-turn track where a mistake often means contact with the unforgiving walls lining the course and dramatic changes in position.
by Brian Carroccio From an entertainment standpoint, it won’t go down as a classic. By virtue of some trademark pit work from the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing squad and the misfortune of Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya, both of whom sustained flat right front tires while leading, Scott Dixon took the lead on lap 96 of Saturday evening’s Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix. From there, no one was able to mount a serious challenge to the four-time and reigning series champion, who would go on to earn his 39th career Indy Car victory in the Verizon IndyCar Series’ much-anticipated return to Phoenix International Raceway.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Scott Dixon led 155 of 250 laps and held off Simon Pagenaud by 0.68s to win the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix race Saturday night under the lights. Will Power came home third the last car on the lead lap. Tony Kanaan was one lap down in 4th to give Chevy a 1-2-3-4 sweep in IndyCar's return to the 1-mile bullring before a crowd estimated to be just under 15,000. Graham Rahal rounded out the top-5 for Honda.
With a new track record of 192.324 mph, Helio Castroneves won pole for tomorrow's Desert Diamond West Valley Grand Prix. The pole position was the 46th of Castroneves' career. Tony Kanaan was second two-tenths slower than Castroneves, with Juan Pablo Montoya third. Charlie Kimball and Ed Carpenter rounded out the top-five as Chevrolet powered cars swept the top-10 spots. Marco Andretti was the lead Honda in 11th.
by Brian Carroccio With Easter this past weekend, it was a rare weekend without any major racing series on track. However, this coming weekend a full slate awaits motor racing fans as NASCAR, Formula One, IndyCar, Formula E, the NHRA and a host of others will return to action. And for me there is no question which series has the biggest weekend ahead of it: the Verizon IndyCar Series. Yes, this weekend’s much-anticipated return to Phoenix International Raceway, is in my opinion is the series’ most important non-Indy 500 race in years.
Foyt-Rahal-Coyne teams The 2016 Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) will mark the eighth Indy car race for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR), first since 2005 and first for Graham Rahal. In only the second race for the team, then named Rahal Hogan Racing, Bobby Rahal led all 200 laps en route to victory with a margin of 22.35-seconds over Eddie Cheever and third place Emerson Fittipaldi in 1992.
Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix Date: Saturday, April 2, 2016Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix Fast Facts Track: Phoenix International Raceway, a 1.022-mile oval Race distance: 250 laps / 255.5 miles 2005 race winner: Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota) 2005 pole winner: Bryan Herta (No. 7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda), 20.3837 seconds (176.612 mph) Qualifying lap record: Arie Luyendyk (19.608 seconds; 183.599 mph) set on March 23, 1996
AutoRacing1 recently caught up with longtime IndyCar team principal and mechanic John Cummiskey. Cummiskey has been part of some very successful Indy Car teams over the past quarter century boasting resume includes stints at championship teams s8ch as Team Penske (1988-1999) and Newman Haas (2004-2006). Dragon Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing, and Team Kool Green are amongst Cummiskey’s other stops.
by Brian Carroccio Well, the first race of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series is in the books. As they did in 2015, Team Penske swept the top-four qualifying positions. And as he did in 2015, Juan Pablo Montoya edged a Penske teammate to secure victory. Of course, the biggest story from St. Pete was not Montoya or the sterling form of Team Penske. No, the story of St. Pete centers on a Penske driver that didn't race. And it is here where we will begin our St. Pete Postscript.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Juan Montoya won the opening IndyCar race in St. Petersburg last year and he repeated the feat again in 2016, winning the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg by 2.3-seconds over his Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud. The win gave Chevy a 1-2 in the opening salvo against rival Honda. American Ryan Hunter-Reay came home 3rd - the highest finishing Honda. Hunter-Reay pressured Helio Castroneves right to the finish and made a daring pass with 2 laps to go.
by Mark J. Cipolloni The more things change, the more they stay the same. Will Power, Team Penske and Chevy resumed their position at the front of the IndyCar field. Qualifying maestro Power set a new track record of 1m00.066s to take pole for Sunday's opening race of the 2016 season. Power's record lap was actually set in the Fast 12 round, but he was also fastest in the Fast Six round to take the pole. Penske teammates Simon Pagenaud, Helio Castroneves and Juan Montoya followed in 2nd through 4th with Scott Dixon 5th also in a Chevy.
At St. Petersburg GP American Graham Rahal and his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing rookie teammate Spencer Pigot answer questions from the media on Friday at the St. Petersburg GP. Both drivers are happy to get the 2016 season underway.
Castroneves sets pace in IndyCar testing at Phoenix
Chevy 1-2-3-4 overall The Valley of the Sun welcomed the Verizon IndyCar Series back to Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. The teams and drivers responded with a very rapid thank you. Competing en masse for the first time at the historic 1.022-mile oval since 2005, 21 drivers participated in the two-day promoter test that served as a preview for the upcoming Phoenix Grand Prix on April 2nd. More than 5,300 laps were completed, with 18 drivers clocking times faster than the official track record set two decades ago by Arie Luyendyk.
IndyCar The Honda and Chevy IndyCar teams rolled into Phoenix International Raceway Friday for the start of two days of official IndyCar testing at the 1-mile oval in preparation for the return of the series to the desert mile on April 2nd. It turned out the new aero package is generating so much downforce the cars are easy-flat.
Phoenix IndyCar Test The Test in the West is already bringing out the best in Team Penske. Record best. Helio Castroneves led four Team Penske drivers in the top six after the first session of the Phoenix International Raceway promoter test Feb. 26, with a lap time that unofficially eclipsed the track record on the 1.022-mile short oval.
by Lucille Dust It was a beautiful day in Scottsdale, Arizona, where a few of the IndyCar drivers met up at TOP Golf to take a few swings at some golf balls in the 'winter golf capital'. After seeing a few of them take some strokes, I think they should keep driving race cars and give up the golf clubs. Juan Pablo Montoya was by far the best golfer in the group. He attempted to teach his countryman, Carlos Munoz the perfect swing.
Welcome, everyone, to today's INDYCAR media conference call. We are joined today by Mark Miles, the CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; Jay Frye, the president of competition and operations for INDYCAR; and Bill Pappas, the vice president of competition, race engineering for INDYCAR. Each of the gentlemen will have an opening statement and then we'll open it for questions. Mark, we'll start with you.
by Mark J. Cipolloni For years the complaint has been that there are not enough Americans in IndyCar racing. Recent rumors published on our rumors page indicate the Bryan Herta and Michael Andretti are talking to several drivers for the seat, including Pastor Maldonado and American Alexander Rossi
Weekly Series Growing up in Evanston, Ill., as the oldest of three boys, Michai Stephens never told his family of his desire to be a race car driver. But a Skip Barber shootout victory and two stints as a Team USA Scholarship winner put the 24-year-old on the fast track to a racing career. As a newcomer in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda driving for rookie team RJB Motorsports, Stephens is on his way to realizing his dream with the help of the Mazda Road to Indy.
Driver of the No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Max Chilton, driver of the No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, was the guest on this week's IndyCar media teleconference. He believes that more drivers will follow him from F1 into IndyCar in coming years but said that he believes that perceptions about oval track safety will stop them. IndyCar has done nothing to protect the drivers head and the majority of fatalities in IndyCar is blunt force trauma to the head.
In what is typically a time of dryness and despair for motor racing fans, there was a bit of a respite this weekend in the form of an entertaining Rolex 24 at Daytona. While there were many enjoyable parts of the famous enduro, particularly the race to the finish in the GTLM class, for my money, the story of this weekend’s race was the breakout performance of Pipo Derani. There have, of course, been other stories in the world of racing of late.
Q&A from IndyCar Media Day Drivers: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske Matthew Brabham, KVSH Racing Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing Sage Karam, Dreyer & Reinbold Carlos Munoz, Andretti Autosport
At IndyCar Media Day Juan Pablo Montoya, Team Penske Will Power, Team Penske Reliving the finish of the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500. Going back and watching the last 10 laps of that race, it almost seemed like Will you were exactly where you wanted to be. You held everybody at bay until Juan got you in the end. What's going through your mind in the last 10 laps?
At IndyCar Media Day Mark Miles, CEO, Hulman & Company, gave his assessment of the state of IndyCar at today's IndyCar pre-season media day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He talks about the new races for 2017, the increase in TV ratings from minuscule to minuscule +50%, the increase in leader circle team payouts, the increase in attendance at the Speedway, technical enhancements made to the cars, and the challenge of TV time slots to increase ratings.
Q & A: Honda resigns with IndyCar for 2 more years
Mark Miles and Art St. Cyr Art St. Cyr, President, Honda Performance Development, and Mark Miles, CEO, Hulman and Company address the IndyCar media members in attendance on Honda's announcement that they have resigned with IndyCar for the 2016 and 2017 season. St. Cyr was still on a high after Honda trounced Ford and Chevy last weekend to win the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Upgrades being made to IMS ahead of 100th Indy 500 Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles updated the media Tuesday on the status of $50 million in changes and upgrades that the are being made to the facility ahead of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May. Another $42 million is slated to be spent in the next two years.
NASCAR Hall of Fame Exhibit Will Launch Exciting Year in January Team Penske unveiled its plans today for the year-long celebration of its 50th Anniversary in motorsports during 2016. The team will wave the green flag on the commemorative activities by displaying an exhibit at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC in January. “Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Team Penske” will be a multi-faceted program that will reach into retail and merchandise, media and fan engagement, sponsor partnerships and special events
by Mark J. Cipolloni I don't know when it's going to happen. It could be within the next 10 years. Maybe 15 years. For certain within 20 years. All the experts say that the future of automobiles is all-electric and self-driving. So what becomes of auto racing when cars are silent and driving is no longer a thing people do? Will there be any fans left to sustain the sport? Will people pay to sit in the grandstands watching a race in silence? Will people pay to watch silent race cars running around a track with no drivers in them?
by Brian Carroccio It's a slow time for the world of major auto racing. Sure, you had the Roar Before the Rolex 24 this past weekend, with practice for this upcoming weekend’s Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals Presented by General Tire having started. However, generally speaking, this is a slow period for racing. That said, there has been some news of late in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
by Lucille Dust The AR1 Faces in the Paddock series shares the stories of the men and women behind the scenes working in the racing industry. In our latest installment, AutoRacing1 IndyCar Correspondent Lucille Dust spends a few minutes with racing lifer Wayne Selman. A former crewman and current transporter driver for CFH Racing, Selman shares some of his experience from two-plus decades working in Indy Car racing. Enjoy!
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