Rank Driver Points
1 Josef Newgarden 434
2 Alexander Rossi 430
3 Simon Pagenaud 395
4 Scott Dixon 348
5 Will Power 306
6 Takuma Sato 301
7 Ryan Hunter-Reay 285
8 Graham Rahal 266
9 James Hinchcliffe 244
10 Felix Rosenqvist 239
11 Sebastien Bourdais 232
12 Santino Ferrucci 223
13 Colton Herta 209
14 Spencer Pigot 209
15 Marco Andretti 194
16 Marcus Ericsson 193
17 Zach Veach 171
18 Ed Jones 170
19 Tony Kanaan 169
20 Matheus Leist 156
21 Jack Harvey 133
22 Max Chilton 117
23 Patricio O'Ward 115
24 Ed Carpenter 82
25 Conor Daly 59
26 James Davison 36
27 Helio Castroneves 33
28 Charlie Kimball 32
29 Ben Hanley 31
30 Sage Karam 31
31 Pippa Mann 28
32 Kyle Kaiser 22
33 JR Hildebrand 20
34 Oriol Servia 16
35 Jordan King 12
Rookie of Year Standings
1 Rosenqvist, Felix 239
2 Ferrucci, Santino 223
3 Herta, Colton 209
4 Ericsson, Marcus 193
5 O'Ward, Patricio 115
6 Hanley, Ben 31
7 Kaiser, Kyle 22
8 King, Jordan 12
1. Honda 901
2. Chevy 842
Latest IndyCar News and Commentary
An interview with Jens Marquardt and Michael Andretti
BMW to join the FIA Formula E as an official manufacturer
The course has been set for BMW to join the FIA Formula E Championship as an official manufacturer with a works team in Season 5. In an interview, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt and MS&AD Andretti Formula E CEO Michael Andretti talk about the close partnership and their expectations for the future of Formula E. In a relaxed discussion, they also chat about their personal interests away from motor racing.
With one of the greatest British racing drivers, Nigel Mansell CBE, confirmed for Autosport International, it’s fitting to take a look back at his illustrious career. Ahead of the 1992 F1 World Champion and 1993 IndyCar Champion’s attendance at the show, F1 Racing editor-in-chief Anthony Rowlinson shares his ten most memorable Mansell Moments, illustrated through pictures from LAT Images.
I’m happy to say that what follows is my fifth Racing Year in Review for AutoRacing1. In previous installments, I’ve attempted to come up with a theme for that year’s racing season. For 2016, I noted that it was a year of lessons. You may remember the Verizon IndyCar Series learned about the costly experiment of aero kits, and the folly of allowing engineering people to make decisions marketing people should make. Formula One took it on the chin in the court of public opinion after installing a hokey qualifying format. The clear lesson was that short-sighted quick fixes were not the solution to jazz up an on-track product that has been harshly criticized in recent years.
A familiar face will make its way back to the Andretti Autosport stable for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race as Carlos Munoz returns to the team, vying for his chance to kiss the bricks. Munoz made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut with Andretti Autosport at the 2013 Indianapolis 500, where he finished second, earning himself Indy 500 Rookie of the Year honors. The Colombian-native went on to compete full time with the team the following year. In 2016, Munoz once again finished runner-up when his rookie teammate, Alexander Rossi, crossed the Yard of Bricks on a fuel-saving strategy to win the 100th Indy 500.
Photos from the Roger Penske Museum in Scottsdale, Arizona. Roger Penske is one of the greats of motorsports as an owner in IndyCar, NASCAR and IMSA. These are his cars. It includes many Indy 500 winning cars. A lot of history in this place. For free.
$1 million for driver Kyle Kaiser to run 3 IndyCar races
Kyle Kaiser and Juncos Racing will see a dream realized next year when they graduate together from the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires to the top rung of the sport, the Verizon IndyCar Series. It is a testament to both the team’s expertise and Kaiser’s progression, which culminated in this year’s Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires title and the Mazda scholarship, that helps to make their dream a reality.
Castroneves, Montoya adapting as Full-Time IMSA drivers
Their IndyCar careers are over
Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya have accomplished many great things during their racing career. Castroneves is a three-time Indy 500 champion, 30-time IndyCar race winner and is a previous winner of Motul Petit Le Mans. Montoya owns two Indy 500 winner’s rings, an IndyCar championship, victories in Formula 1 and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and three Rolex 24 At Daytona wins. But the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be a new experience for both, as full-time sports car racers for Acura Team Penske
Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) announced that 22-year-old British driver Ed Jones has joined the team’s Verizon IndyCar Series program in the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda beginning in 2018, teaming up with four-time INDYCAR Champion, Indianapolis 500 Winner and 41-time race winner Scott Dixon. The 2017 INDYCAR Rookie of the Year scored a best finish of third at the Indianapolis 500 this season after taking the Indy Lights Championship in 2016 on the strength of two wins and nine podium finishes.
America was once in love with the car and racing boomed
by Stephen Cox
The past few years have brought every gimmick imaginable to auto racing. NASCAR holds races that three people can win. The ever-changing playoff system (a gimmick in itself) functions like an automotive version of musical chairs. Indycar's gimmicks are even worse.
Consistency and stability, plus the return of a favored track in the Pacific Northwest, highlight INDYCAR’s announcement of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule that again contains 17 races. Sixteen of the 17 races from this year’s exciting and momentum-building season return in 2018, with most falling in the same spot on the calendar to further capitalize on their date equity. The newcomer to next year’s schedule is Portland International Raceway, which hosted Indy car races under CART and Champ Car sanction from 1984-2007, including what is still the closest race finish in Indy car history on a road or street course. The Portland event is set for Labor Day weekend in 2018.
2nd place for Newgarden gives young American title
Simon Pagenaud used a 4 pitstop strategy to get out ahead of then race leader Josef Newgarden after the final pitstop to win the Sonoma Go-Pro Grand Prix, but it was not enough to overtake Newgarden for the 2017 IndyCar title. Will Power was right behind Newgarden at the end to give Team Penske a 1-2-3 finish and a 1-2-3 in the championship. Scott Dixon came home 4th while Helio Castroneves rounded out the top-5 in what might be his last IndyCar race.
Newgarden leads Penske 1-2-3-4 in Sonoma qualifying
Penske shock package unbeatable
Josef Newgarden led a Team Penske sweep of the top-4 qualifying positions in winning pole for tomorrow's GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. It was the second career pole for the driver of the No. 2 hum by Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet and first of 2016. Will Power was second, three-hundredths behind Newgarden with Simon Pagenaud, Helio Castroneves and Takuma Sato rounding out the top-five
Today’s Honda Racing Media Availability at Sonoma Raceway with Art St. Cyr, president , Honda Performance Development. Seven victories so far in 2017, at least one from each Honda‑powered team, and a chance at the championship going into the final event underscores the strength of the Honda team and driver lineup, unlike Chevy which has Team Penske and the rest of the Chevys are backmarkers.
We are out in the beautiful hills of Napa Valley and Sonoma for the championship deciding final race for IndyCar series. Nearly 90 percent of American wines come out of California, four percent of which can claim roots in the fertile hills of Napa Valley. There are several hundred wineries in this area just an hour outside of San Francisco. AR1 visited the V12 Winery in Napa and was quite surprised to see the owner, Jimmy Vasser, on property.
Race weekend for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma is almost here. Four IndyCar drivers have a chance to claim the championship in a race that features double points awarded to finishers - and with the current point standings’ top two spots separated by just three points. The race will go 85 laps on the 12-turn, 2.385-mile road course and will be broadcast on NBCSN. The green flag is scheduled to drop at 3:30 p.m. PT
When Josef Newgarden won at Mid-Ohio last month in dominant fashion, and took over the series championship lead, I wrote that the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season became at that moment about the 26-year-old Hendersonville, TN native. A product of the Skip Barber junior program, who took a detour to Europe, before returning to win the 2011 Indy Lights Series championship, and then paying his dues with smaller teams, Newgarden joined the almighty Team Penske for the 2017 season.
Alexander Rossi completed a dream weekend with a win in the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen. Josef Newgarden endured a nightmare incident in the race that leaves the Verizon IndyCar Series championship battle wide open for the 12th straight year heading to the season finale. Adriano Manocchia was there to capture all the action with these photos.
Young Andretti Autosport American Alexander Rossi started from pole and dominated the race to win his first IndyCar road course race. But it was not easy as he had to outrun Scott Dixon in the Ganassi Honda and his teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay. Rossi led 32 of 60 laps in a dominating performance. Dixon's 2nd place while Josef Newgarden choked, sliding into the pit road guide rail on pit exit and, puts Dixon now just 3 points behind with one race to go. Helio Castroneves and Graham Rahal rounded out the top-5.
Alexander Rossi sped to the first pole position of his Verizon IndyCar Series career, claiming the Verizon P1 Award in qualifying today for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen. Rossi negotiated Watkins Glen International’s 3.37-mile, 11-turn permanent road course in 1 minute, 22.4639 seconds (147.119 mph) to earn the top starting position for Sunday’s 60-lap race. Adriano Manocchia caught all the action with these photos.
Andretti Autosport Honda driver Alexander Rossi turned a lap of 1m22.464s to win his first-ever IndyCar pole position. Saving his best for last, Rossi nipped Ganassi Honda driver Scott Dixon by just 0.05 sec. on his final circuit of the 3.3-mile historic Watkins Glen circuit. Points leader Josef Newgarden was a close third in his Penske Chevy while Takuma Sato and Charlie Kimball rounded out the top-5 in their Hondas.
Everyone in the Verizon IndyCar Series continues to chase Scott Dixon heading into qualifying this afternoon at the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen. Dixon, driving the No. 9 NTT Data Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing, led this morning’s third practice at Watkins Glen International with a lap of 1 minute, 22.6441 seconds (146.798 mph) around the 11-turn, 3.37-mile permanent road course.
Scott Dixon continued his mastery of Watkins Glen International, leading this afternoon's second practice for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen with the fastest lap of the day. A year after pacing every practice session, winning the pole position and leading 50 of 60 laps on his way to victory, Dixon topped the end-of-day speed chart on the iconic road course.
Well, there’s only one place to start with Saturday evening’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park: the lap 218 contact between Team Penske teammates Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud. So, let’s get to it. To briefly recap, following a lap-206 pit stop, Pagenaud was able to jump Newgarden and take over the race lead. The Frenchman would stay at the front until lap-218 when the Hendersonville, TN native pulled off an aggressive inside move in turn 1, which resulted in contact between the teammates. Newgarden took over the lead where he would remain for the final 30 laps.
Gateway in the Rear View Mirror -- and Windshield Too!
by Tim Wohlford
One can be forgiven for losing track of the Gateway Motorsports Park (born Gateway International Speedway) saga. Born in 1996, with its first race in 1997, the facility has been star-struck with the worst of the high level motor sports world ever since. Given up for dead in 2010, it appears hard work and talent have overcome the bad luck -- and IndyCar racing is back in St. Louis.
The INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen will be the 11th Indy car race at Watkins Glen International. Scott Dixon won the Verizon IndyCar Series' return to the track in 2016. Bobby Unser won the first Indy car race at The Glen in 1979. Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet) is the defending champion at Watkins Glen.
By virtue of an aggressive pass on teammate Simon Pagenaud with 29 laps remaining, Josef Newgarden drove the No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske to victory lane in this evening's Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park. It was the fourth victory of 2017 for Newgarden, and 8th of his career. The win stretched Newgarden's championship lead to 31 points over second-place finisher Scott Dixon. Pagenaud, who was none too happy with his Team Penske teammate after the two made contact on Newgarden's aggressive move, came home third with Helio Castroneves fourth. Conor Daly scored his best result of 2017, finishing fifth.
Turning a lap record speed of 189.709 mph Will Power won his 50th career IndyCar pole for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500K IndyCar race at Gateway Motorsports Park in his #12 Penske Chevy. Penske teammate Josef Newgarden, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud made it a Penske 1-2-3-4. Ed Carpenter rounded out the top-5 and gave Chevy powered cars a clean sweep of the top-5.
Sebastien Bourdais returns to the cockpit at Gateway
The first media conference for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline was with Dale Coyne Racing driver Sebastien Bourdais. Sebastien. It will be 14 weeks tomorrow since he had the crash at Indianapolis in qualifying, and we know immediately he set out a goal of coming back to race again by Sonoma, which is several weeks away, but he is back a few weeks earlier.
I know this is supposed to be a look back at Sunday's ABC Supply Co. 500 at Pocono Raceway, and we’ll get there. However, during Sunday’s race, I couldn’t help but thinking of the journey Pocono Raceway and Indy car racing had in getting there. And I think to fully appreciate the fine show the Verizon IndyCar Series put on this weekend at The Tricky Triangle, a look back at how Pocono and IndyCar got to Sunday’s race is in order.
The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline will be the eighth Indy car race at Gateway Motorsports Park. Helio Castroneves won the last race at the track in 2003. Paul Tracy won the first Indy car race at Gateway in 1997. Castroneves is the only former winner entered in this year's race. It's three fun weeks for the drivers. They're racing every week now. It's crunch time for the championship. This is what racing is all about when you have to bring your 'A' game in tough situations. Gateway is like a new track for everyone. It's a fast, short oval.
Power holds off Newgarden and Rossi to win Pocono 500
Record 42 lead changes in best race in the history at Pocono
Will Power won his 2nd straight Pocono 500 by holding off Penske Chevy teammate Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi's Andretti Honda in a nose-to-tail finish. Power broke the draft of Newgarden by diving low on the straights and breaking the draft of those following every lap. Simon Pagenaud and Tony Kanaan rounded out the top-5.
With a two-lap average of 220.045 mph, Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato edged Simon Pagenaud to win pole position for tomorrow's ABC Supply Co. 500 at Pocono. It was the 7th career pole for the driver of the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda and second of 2017.The Chip Ganassi Racing pair of Charlie Kimball and Tony Kanaan was third and fourth with defending Pocono winner Will Power rounding out the top-five.
You may or may not be familiar with Indianapolis-based driver representation firm Rising Star Racing. Founded four years ago by longtime Indianapolis consulting actuary Art Wilmes, RSR currently counts amongst its clients IndyCar drivers Josef Newgarden and Spencer Pigot, and Mazda Road to Indy drivers Neil Alberico and Oliver Askew. During the recent IndyCar race weekend at Mid-Ohio, AutoRacing1 had the pleasure of spending some time with Wilmes and talking about the unique mission he has embarked on with RSR.
The Verizon IndyCar Series point leader who is shooting for his third consecutive win at this weekend's ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway, Josef Newgarden of Team Penske, will be driving the No. 2 Fitzgerald Glider Kit Chevrolet this weekend and holds a seven-point lead over Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves, with four-time champion Scott Dixon, defending series champion Simon Pagenaud, 2014 champion Will Power, and Graham Rahal all within 58 points of Newgarden's lead.
Oliver Askew of Cape Motorsports and Rinus VeeKay of Pabst Racing are separated by 13 points in the battle for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda crown entering the season finale at Watkins Glen International to be held September 2.
After a short summer break the IndyCar series is back in action at Pocono Speedway this coming weekend for the ABC Pocono 500 mile race. Chevy driver Josef Newgarden leads the Verizon IndyCar Series championship with four races to go for the first time in his career. Newgarden took the championship lead for the first time in his career following his win at Mid-Ohio on July 20. However, the Hondas have been strong on the Superspeedways and the Andretti and Ganassi teams look for a win on the 2.5-mile 'Tricky Triangle' track.
Rinus VeeKay of Pabst Racing and championship leader Oliver Askew of Cape Motorsports are separated by 13 points in the battle for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda crown entering the season finale at Watkins Glen International to be held September 2.
A look at the rise of U.S. F2000 driver Oliver Askew
by Brian Carroccio
On the heels of a series high 7 race wins, 20-year-old Jupiter, Florida native Oliver Askew sits atop the Cooper Tires U.S. F2000 Championship Powered by Mazda championship by 13 points headed into next month’s final round at Watkins Glen. During the recent IndyCar race weekend at Mid-Ohio, I sat down with Askew to talk about his season, and goals for climbing the Mazda Road to Indy Ladder. To begin, I met with Askew on Saturday morning, about two hours before he was scheduled to take the green flag in the second of two races during the weekend.
Is it ultimately better for IndyCar to wean off OEMs?
IndyCar, like F1, has some hard decisions to make
It is becoming increasingly evident that IndyCar has some very hard decisions to make with regard to its future engine formula. In the early days of the sport the engines had little relevance to passenger car engines, but the Offenhauser and Cosworth engines were the last of a dying breed. For the past 20 to 30 years car manufacturers (OEMs) have become involved with the sport in a big way.
IndyCar, along with the FIA and ICMS, have been looking at the issue of drivers head protection for years. Well-publicized tragedies, most notably the death of Justin Wilson, along with the interest in sports head injuries in general have placed the issue on front burner attention lately. Much ado - both in the media as well as the not-so-social media - has been made lately about head protection for open cockpit race car drivers. Much of what has been said is wrong. And quite frankly, there is a good chance that the latest idea by the FIA for F1 is wrong too, at least for IndyCar.
Sunday morning, when I saw the media availability schedule at Watkins Glen, to my complete and total surprise was the name Alexander Rossi. The 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner was at the track promoting the upcoming INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen on Labor Day Weekend and visiting with fellow NAPA-sponsored driver Chase Elliott. As regular readers know, we've referenced on these pages Rossi's emergence in 2017, my Mid - Ohio Postscript being one such example. While the four Penske cars, Scott Dixon and Graham Rahal seem to be a notch above Andretti Autosport at the moment, we have noted how Rossi has quietly begun to vie with longtime Andretti Autosport ace Ryan Hunter - Reay for preeminence within the team.
Recently, Autoracing1.com published an article outlining why upcoming critically important television negotiations commenced by Indy Car management will likely dictate the future commercial success or failure of the Indy Car series. In my opinion, the most apropos response to this discussion is yes, no and maybe. The basic gist of the article outlines the underlying principle that without the strength of the commercial network audience reach, the ratings attributed to Indy Car will continue their dismal performance and essentially forever eliminate the possibility of bountiful commercial and sponsorship support for both the series itself and the teams/drivers that participate in it. That’s a definite "maybe."
On the one hand, I can sit here and wax poetic about Newgarden’s very impressive drive to victory in Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. The pass on teammate Will Power, pulling away from the field, not overdriving the car when it wasn’t necessary, and the outstanding work by the No. 2 team on pit road (which stands in sharp contrast to some of the shoddy pit service Newgarden has received in prior years), there was no question: Newgarden and Team Penske were aces Sunday.
First road course test of 2018 IndyCar gets rave reviews
Including 30 photos
One thing is certain following another successful test of the new Verizon IndyCar Series universal aero kit: Any misconception of drivers not earning their keep in the cockpit will be put to rest in 2018. The new aero kit - developed by chassis supplier Dallara and set to be used by all competitors next season following three years of manufacturer aero kit competition between Chevrolet and Honda - was put through the paces in the road course/street course/short oval configuration for the first time today at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Oriol Servia (Honda) and Juan Montoya (Chevy) are testing the 2018 IndyCar Tuesday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course where the car ran for the first time with the completely new and modernized look and short oval and road course aerodynamics. Here are the first photos from IndyCar.
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course doesn’t seem like it allows racers to pass. But actually, it does. It's just that if you have to either be noticeably better, or the guy ahead of you has to make a mistake. In the end, the course tends to reward the best car/driver. And today, there was no doubt.
Taking advantage of the superior Penske shock package, Penske Chevy driver Will Power was fastest when it counted and won the pole for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio over teammate Josef Newgarden. Honda drivers Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal will start on row 2 while Helio Castroneves rounded out the top-5.
Oriol Servia (Honda) and Juan Montoya (Chevy) tested the 2018 IndyCar Tuesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where the car ran for the first time with the completely new and modernized look and super speedway aerodynamics. Here are the first photos from AR1.com's Lucille Dust and IndyCar.
Earlier today, IndyCar revealed photographs of its new look for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series. The 2018 aero kit project is a collaboration of IndyCar, Dallara, and design experts in the United Kingdom with input from drivers, teams and fans alike. The new core will come in two specifications, one for superspeedway ovals and the other for use on short ovals, permanent road courses and temporary street circuits. The public reveal comes Tuesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, when superspeedway cars powered by Chevrolet and Honda take to the track for testing.
INDYCAR is primed for a new look, inspired by old favorites but clearly pointing toward what's "NEXT" for the Verizon IndyCar Series. Your new Indy car: Bolder. Safer. Even more thrilling. Debuting today in preparation for the 2018 season, cars again powered by Chevrolet and Honda engines will represent a collaboration of several key constituents - INDYCAR, Dallara and design experts in the United Kingdom - paired with input from drivers, teams and fans alike.
Series cannot survive another TV deal like the current one
The current IndyCar TV deal that delivers small TV ratings for 2/3rds of its races has made the series economically unsustainable. While it's not time to order the flowers and plan the funeral just yet, that day is in the foreseeable future if something isn't done soon. Mark Miles is in the midst of negotiating a new TV deal for IndyCar because the current one expires at the end of 2018. Nothing will be more important during his reign as IndyCar CEO than this deal. It will define his legacy.
Whenever watching a motor race, I almost always keep a notepad handy. And the item at the top of the page earmarked for this weekend's Honda Indy Toronto was a simple "It’s Helio's World.” This I imagine was transcribed the moment Helio Castroneves pulled off a breathtaking pass from the third starting spot on teammate and pole sitter Simon Pagenaud at the drop of the green flag.
Josef Newgarden, using great pitstop strategy, led the most laps to win the Honda Indy Toronto race in his Penske Chevy. Once in the lead, Newgarden controlled the race at the front to Alexander Rossi who came home 2nd in his Andretti Honda, his highest finish since winning the 2017 Indy 500. Local favorite James Hinchcliffe was third for the final podium position. Marco Andretti and Simon Pagenaud rounded out the top-5.
Penske Chevy driver Simon Pagenaud set a new track record of 58.912s to win the pole position for Sunday's Honda Indy Toronto. It was the 10th career IndyCar pole for Pagenaud. Graham Rahal drove what he called the greatest lap of his life on used red Firestone tires to break up the Team Penske domination of the weekend with a lap of 59.224s for the outside pole position in his Honda. Helio Castroneves was third fastest for Team Penske and Will Power gave the Penske team 3 of the top-4 starting positions.
Toyota takes hard fought pole Toyota took a closely fought pole position for tomorrow’s 6 Hours of Nurburgring , the fourth round in this season's FIA World Endurance Championship. Jose-Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi combined to set an average lap time of 1m38.118s to take a third pole position of the season for the No.7 Toyota TS050 HYBRID. A look on the key moments of the qualifying session on the Nürburgring circuit.
Helio Castroneves dominated the Iowa Corn 300 Sunday for his 30th IndyCar career win over JR Hildebrand and Ryan Hunter-Reay. After passing polesitter Will Power in the early laps, Castroneves led 217 of 300 laps in his Penske Chevy. Will Power came home 4th and Graham Rahal rounded out the top-5.
Will Power went last and made the most of the better track conditions to win his 48th career IndyCar pole for Sunday's Iowa Corn 300 on the 7/8ths mile Iowa Raceway at over 185 mph over two laps. Power's Penske Chevy led a Chevy 1-2-3-4 in qualifying. JR Hildebrand was 2nd quick at 183.811 mph over the two laps in his Ed Carpenter Chevy. Helio Castroneves will start 3rd at 183.712 mph.
Other commitments and responsibilities of late have left little time for thinking and writing about the world of motorsport. Thus, I missed among other things my usual postscripts for the last two IndyCar races at Texas Motor Speedway and Road America. For today, my plan is for a Mid-Season IndyCar Year in Review. However, before we get to that I will give my brief thoughts on both Texas and Road America.
Iowa Speedway, a 7/8-mile (0.894-mile) oval in Newton, Iowa
The Iowa Corn 300 Sunday will be the fourth of six oval races on the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. The previous three races were won by Simon Pagenaud (Phoenix Raceway), Takuma Sato (Indianapolis 500) and Will Power (Texas Motor Speedway). The remaining two races will take place at Pocono Raceway (Aug. 20) and Gateway Motorsports Park (Aug. 26). 2016 race winner Josef Newgarden drove the No. 21 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet to victory in 2016 and looks to repeat in 2017 driving for Team Penske.
How Takuma Sato & Andretti Autosport won the Indy 500
Teamwork - Mobil 1 The Grid
Sealing victory in the closing moments of the race, Japan's Takuma Sato inevitably stole the headlines at the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500. But it was to be a win that spoke volumes of the growing success of Andretti Autosport, whose drivers led a combined 98 laps at this year's race and also laid claim to last year's winner, Alexander Rossi. Mobil 1 The Grid spoke to drivers Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Sato and Rossi, as well as team owner Michael Andretti, to find out how a strong team ethic has played its part in the success of the team.
Scott Dixon didn't know if his car would run today, but run it did -- and he upset the Penske team mates to win his 41st IndyCar race, his first at Road America. Team Penske drivers -- widely expected to dominate -- followed, with Josef Newgarden in second, Helio Castroneves in third, Simon Pagenaud in forth, and Will Power in 5th. MORE TO FOLLOW....
Helio Castroneves led a Team Penske sweep of qualifying for the Kohler GP IndyCar race at Road America Saturday with a lap time of 1 minute, 41.3007 seconds. Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud followed and the Penske cars were so much faster than everyone else IndyCar really is a 2-class series. The fastest non-Penske car was 1.63 seconds slower than Castroneves - i.e. the rest of the field has zero chance on Sunday.
Art: As most of you know, we had a couple of engine failures over the last month or so. We have done a lot of analysis, it was actually pretty deep in our engine. And the part that failed is one that we have been using for quite a while. Ultimately it came down to a parts processing issue for that. We have been able to identify the part that is failing. We have some fixes in place for the rest of this year.
Robert Wickens will be driving today for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in the No. 7 car, as Russian Mikhail Aleshin works to get back racing here in the Verizon IndyCar Series after encountering visa problems returning to the USA from the 24 Hours of LeMans. It's not going to be his first time in an Indy car. He has some experience in this vehicle, swapping rides with your friend James Hinchcliffe earlier this season. Robert Wickens spoke with the media on Friday morning before Kohler GP practice.
WILL POWER (2016 KOHLER Grand Prix winner): "I'm really looking forward to racing at Road America after the race at Texas. It was a crazy race but the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet team worked hard together to pull off a win. I'm confident that the momentum we've built off of that win can definitely be a huge benefit for us as we head to Elkhart Lake and get into the championship hunt. It's a fun, energetic
Pack racing returned to the Verizon IndyCar Series Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway, where Will Power survived a massive battle of attrition to win the Rainguard Water Sealers 600. Power, of Team Penske, won under caution following a yellow flag on Lap 243 of the schedule 248 for a four-car wreck initiated by reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato.
Charlie Kimball drove to the first pole position in his Verizon IndyCar Series career, winning the Verizon P1 Award in record fashion for the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway. Kimball, set to make his 109th career start, set one- and two-lap INDYCAR qualifying records to earn the first starting position for the 248-lap race on Saturday. Driving the No. 83 Tresiba Honda, Kimball’s two-lap time of 46.5861 seconds (222.556 mph) broke the standard by more than a second held by Will Power since 2013 (47.7960) on the 1.5-mile oval that was repaved and reconfigured in the offseason.
We've seen impressive drives before from Graham Rahal. One that comes to mind for me actually is not one of the 4 wins he recorded prior to this weekend, but a heat race at Iowa in 2013. I was standing in turn 1 on that muggy late-spring Iowa evening as young Rahal started the race 7th and immediately began picking off cars in front of him. The 50-lap heat ran caution free and ran a mere 15 minutes. However, by lap 46, Rahal had moved around Ed Carpenter for the lead and would go on to win the heat.
The Rainguard Water Sealers 600 will be the 29th Indy car event conducted at Texas Motor Speedway since the track opened in 1997. TMS hosted two races a year from 1998-2004 and featured a doubleheader event in 2011. The defending champion is Graham Rahal (No. 15 Honda). Will Power has won the pole for three of the past four Texas Motor Speedway races.
Dallara selected to provide IndyCar new 2018 bodykits
INDYCAR announced today that longtime partner Dallara Automobili will manufacture the universal bodywork kit that will fit the current Dallara IR-12 chassis for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. The universal kit to be used by all teams next season was a collaboration between INDYCAR and Dallara with the style design support of Chris Beatty, a concept design and 3D animation consultant based in the United Kingdom. The goal was to make the car resemble past Indy car favorites with a sleek, bold look while incorporating the latest technological and safety advancements.
In a race that ran caution free for most of the race, a late red flag for 2 blown engines provided fans with a 2-lap dash for cash. But the results were the same as if the race would've ended in caution -- Graham Rahal dominated the second round of the 2017 Detroit Grand Prix. However, unlike yesterday, Penske showed their road course strength as Josef Newgarden and Will Power finished second and third respectively, and Simon Pagenaud in fifth. Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato finished 4th. Esteban Gutierrez finished 14th.
Sato wins pole for Detroit GP Race 2 with record lap
2nd Group Takes advantage of better track conditions
Takuma Sato kept the momentum from his Indianapolis 500 win going this morning, winning the Verizon P1 Award and pole position for this afternoon’s second race of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear in record fashion. The driver of the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda ran a sizzling lap of 1 minute, 13.6732 seconds (114.831 mph) on the 2.35-mile, 14-turn Raceway at Belle Isle temporary street course to secure the first starting position for the 70-lap race.
Graham Rahal dominated the first race of the 2017 Detroit Grand Prix. Scott Dixon proved naysayers wrong coming in a (somewhat distant second). James Hinchcliffe shook off a first-lap spin to finish third.
Driver of the No. 15 Soldier Strong / TurnsForTroops.com Honda, Graham Rahal, met with the media after winning the pole for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Detroit GP presented by Lear IndyCar race. Rahal set a track record of 1.13.9681 seconds. This is the third pole of Graham's career and also his first since 2009.
Castroneves takes pole for Detroit GP Race 1 then loses it
Rahal awarded pole
Helio Castroneves lost his fastest lap for not slowing down for a yellow flag, and will now start on the outside of the front row beside polesitter Graham Rahal. They were the only two drivers to break into the 1m13sec bracket. Castroneves' 2nd fastest lap was good enough to still give him the 2nd quickest time. Indy 500 winners Takuma Sato and Alexander Rossi will start 3rd and 4th with James Hinchcliffe rounding out the top-5.
The driver of the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda now sponsored by Unison, driven by Esteban Gutierrez met with the assembled media in Detroit this morning. ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ: "It's a big pleasure to be here in IndyCar with this family. I've been following you guys from a very long time. I'm from Mexico, so we are close by some Mexican races, as well, that you've had, so it represents something very special......"
"No attack, no chance," has long been Takuma Sato’s mantra. And while the friendly, diminutive 40-year-old Japanese driver has always been fast, let’s be honest: "no attack, no chance" has for the longest been synonymous wrecked race cars on the tow truck, and overtime jokes at the Dallara factory more than it has racing glory. Well, Takuma Sato changed all of that Sunday. Driving more like Rick Mears and less like well, himself, the driver of the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda scored a shocking, career-defining win in Sunday’s 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit will be the 22nd and 23rd Indy car races conducted at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and the 25th and 26th Indy car races held in Detroit. A 2.5-mile street circuit in downtown Detroit hosted CART events from 1989-1991. The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will be the fifth and sixth races on a road/street course in 2017. The first four such races were won by Sebastien Bourdais (St. Petersburg), James Hinchcliffe (Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber) and Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix).
Despite one scary accident and several smaller ones, the 2017 Indy 500 ended on a positive note with Japanese driver Takuma Sato outdueling Helio Castroneves for the race win as a crowd estimated at 300,000 stood and cheered. However, the IndyCar series was inches from being faced with the death of two drivers in a single accident, all because they are not smart enough to engineer a canopy solution to the cockpits to protect the drivers heads.
THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with our Indianapolis 500 winner's morning-after press conference. We are pleased to be joined by the champion of the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, Takuma Sato. Congratulations. We've been together for most of the evening and this morning, but it's been a complete whirlwind experience for you, and I heard on SportsCenter this morning that you were actually out until 2:00 a.m.
Participants Takuma Sato (Winner - Andretti Autosport Honda) Paul Harcus (Race Strategist for Andretti Autosport) Michael Andretti (Team owner Andretti Autosport) Fernando Alonso (McLaren Andretti Autosport driver) Helio Castroneves (2nd Team Penske Chevy) Ed Jones (3rd Dale Coyne Racing Honda)
Sato denies 4th win for Castroneves; wins 101st Indy500
by Tim Wohlford
Some races go to the swift, others to the strong; but once in a while, it goes to the bold. No one ever accused Takuma Sato of not being bold when it comes to winning the Indy 500 – witness his dog fight in 2012 with Dario Franchitti. Today, that boldness paid off.
Indy 500 Field Starts Final Countdown at Drivers Meeting
Zedd to ride with racing legend Mario Andretti
Drivers participating in the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil received final instructions and awards Saturday in the public drivers' meeting, the final race activity at the track before "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi and Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian co-owners Michael Andretti and Bryan Herta each accepted a "Baby Borg" trophy from Scott Gallett, vice president of marketing for BorgWarner, for being the winning driver and car owner at the 100th Indianapolis 500.
The drivers had a busy day yesterday meeting with the media before the greatest spectacle in racing. This is part of their job and the media is heavier than normal this year with the Formula One two time champion, Fernando Alonso, driving for his first time in the 500 this weekend. Alonso is confident about his upcoming rookie drive and commented on the changes he has been experiencing in IndyCar. "In F1, it is only the mechanics and the race car on the grid. No journalists. Here there are a lot of people on the grid. Having the support from the fans that close before starting the race is a unique thing."
Brown: Alonso confident, likes his chances for the 500
Also likes the idea of an F1/IndyCar doubleheader
Zak Brown took questions from the media today ahead of this weekend's Indy 500. AR1.com asked him what he felt Fernando Alonso's chances were to win the Indy 500, what McLaren F1 talent was brought over for the IndyCar effort, and what he thought about F1 returning to the Speedway in an IndyCar doubleheader weekend on the road course - IndyCar on Saturday and F1 on Sunday.
Scott Dixon laid down the fastest qualification attempt -- and fastest 1-lap speed during qualification -- since Arie Luyendyk's 1996 record, and will start from the Pole position in the 2017 Indy 500. Ed Carpenter will start in the middle of the first row, and last year’s winner Alexander Rossi will start on the outside of row 1. Fernando Alonso will start a very respectable 5th.
Carpenter fastest in first Indy 500 qualifying session
Sato and Dixon 2nd and 3rd
Ed Carpenter took advantage of the cooler track temperatures after qualifying was delayed first by rain and then by Sebastien Bourdais' accident, and turned the fastest lap on Day 1 of qualifying for the 101st running of the Indy 500. Takuma Sato was 2nd quick for Andretti Autosport and Scott Dixon rounded out the top-3. The nine fastest qualifiers today now advance to pole qualifying shootout on Sunday.
As expected, "Fast Friday" lived up to its billing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Speeds crested in the final practice day prior to weekend qualifications for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, despite 2.5 hours of track time lost to midday rain. When the checkered flag waved to conclude practice, Sebastien Bourdais had the fastest lap of the day and week, at 233.116 mph.
Two-time driving champion, one of our favorite people, one of the classiest drivers to ever compete here, Gil de Ferran. It's nice to have you back at Indianapolis. Tell us how you've been. GIL de FERRAN: Thank you. It's a great pleasure to be here. I'm sorry for everyone that it's raining a little bit. But, yeah, I wanted to be here, so I planned it all (laughter). Joking aside, it's very nice to be back in Indy.
If you take pleasure in the triumph of the little guy then you surely enjoyed the opening two rounds of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series. While I wouldn’t exactly refer to Sebastien Bourdais and James Hinchcliffe as little guys, their teams had not won in more than 2 seasons before St. Pete and Long Beach respectively.
His new teammate may be grabbing worldwide attention for his appearance in the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, but it was Marco Andretti who snatched speed honors on the opening day of practice for the 101st running of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." Andretti set the pace in the No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda with a lap of 226.338 mph as 32 cars turned 1,306 laps on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval in preparation for the world's largest single-day sporting event May 28. It is the second straight year that Andretti has been fastest on the first day of Indy 500 practice.
In a caution-free race purist’s dream (or a snoozefest) Will Power dominated the 2017 Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Scott Dixon finished 5 seconds back, followed by Ryan Hunter-Reay, Simon Pagenaud, and Helio Castroneves. Team Penske drivers lead every lap. The win, Power’s 30th , moves Power to 11th place all-time in IndyCar history.
Talks about supplying engines for Alonso for the 500
Honda has a lot of cars to supply engines to for the Indy 500, including F1 star Fernando Alonso, and a last minute addition for Jack Harvey. Honda HPD boss Art. St. Cyr talked to the media about the month of May and the challenges that lie ahead to supply 18 cars.
Will Power wins pole for IndyCar GP with record lap
Leads Penske Chevy 1-2-3 At Indy
Is Chevy that strong because of Penske, or is Penske that strong 'cause of Chevy? Whatever the answer, the result is that Will Power will start from the Pole for tomorrow's 2017 IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis present by PennGrade Motor Oil (whew). Joining him on the front row will be Helio Castroneves, with Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon splitting the second row. In the third row will be Juan Pablo Montoya and Sebastien Bourdais. The lone Penske car not to make the Fast Six, Simon Pagenaud, will start 7th.
Simon Pagenaud finds himself in a familiar position heading to the INDYCAR Grand Prix. The defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion claimed his first career oval win at the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix on April 29. Pagenaud, who has won two of the three previous races on Indianapolis Motor Speedway's road course, took the points lead with the win and leads four-time series champion Scott Dixon by 18 heading into this weekend's race.
Q&A with Fernando Alonso after his first Indy test
He passed his rookie test as well today
Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso needed about an hour of track time today to pass the Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program, clearing the way for him to compete in the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Read what he had to say afterward
Two-time Formula One World Champion, Fernando Alonso, took to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval for the first time today after announcing in April he would take his shot at completing his dream and earning triple-crown honors. The McLaren Honda Andretti driver traded in his veteran status for rookie, completing all three phases of the required Rookie Orientation Program before the clock struck noon. Alonso ended his day at IMS with 110 laps completed, turning a top lap speed of 222.548 mph.
Chevy 1-2-3-4 In front of about 3,000 fans, Simon Pagenaud won his first oval track race Saturday night on the 1.022-mile oval in the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix. Pagenaud's teammate Will Power was 2nd and JR Hildebrand, driving with a broken hand rounded out the top-3. Helio Castroneves was 4th giving Chevys a 1-2-3-4 results.
Castroneves runs almost 195-mph to win pole at Phoenix
Leads Chevy 1-2-3-4-5
Turning a lap of 195 mph on a short 1-mile oval would be a monumental achievement. Think about that for a moment. The pole for the Daytona 500 - a 2.5-mile superspeedway - was 192.8 mph. Well Helio Castroneves did just that, turning a lap a tick under 195 mph to win the pole for the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix GP IndyCar race at the 1-mile Phoenix International Raceway in his Penske Chevy. His teammate Will Power will start on the outside of row 1.
With F1 star Fernando Alonso looking on, Josef Newgarden held off Ganassi Honda driver Scott Dixon by 1-second to win his first IndyCar race for the Penske Chevy team in the 2017 GP of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park. It was Newgarden's 2nd win at Barber. 4th was Helio Castroneves with Alexander Rossi rounding out the top-5.
Will Power leads Penske sweep in GP of Alabama quals
Tops Castroneves and Pagenaud
Except for a couple of Ryan Hunter-Reay wins, Team Penske has owned Barber Motorsports Park and Saturday was no different. Team Penske's Will Power was the only driver to crack the 1m06s bracket to win pole for the Grand Prix of Alabama. Helio Castroneves will start 2nd and Simon Pagenaud 3rd to make it a Penske 1-2-3 sweep of qualifying.
Differences between an IndyCar and an F1 car explained
In this video special AR1.com compares the cars
Fernando Alonso will drive an IndyCar for the first time on May 3rd and then of course the Indy 500. Ever wonder what the main differences are between a current F1 and IndyCar? AutoRacing1.com explains the main differences in this video filmed at the 2017 GP of Alabama.
What does he think about Fernando Alonso running the Indy 500
"I think, for Alonso, I think he's going to have a ball. He's going to come over here. He's going to be in a damned good car. You guys know that, and he's going to have fun. He's going to get passed and pass more cars in one month than he will in his entire Formula 1 career combined, but he's going to have a complete blast, and I think it's great for our sport that he has the interest that he has in it, and I hope that other guys want to come do it, too." Graham Rahal
Can David continues to slay the Goliaths of IndyCar?
Perennial underdog Dale Coyne Racing, working with a fraction of the budget of the bigger teams, has been shooting above their waist all year and are on a roll entering the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama after registering its best start to a season. The team is looking to maintain and extend its Championship points lead with Sebastien Bourdais while keeping rookie Ed Jones’ top-10 finishing streak alive at this weekend’s third round of the Verizon IndyCar Series season.
The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be the eighth Verizon IndyCar Series event conducted at Barber Motorsports Park. The 2016 winner at Barber says, "Barber is very unique in many ways. The layout is beautiful with lots of elevation changes, it's a very challenging track both physically and technically. The site is an actual racing park with the most incredible vintage museum of motorbike and racing cars. We tested there in March and we found answers to a lot of our technical questions."
Top Tier of Mazda Road to Indy Ladder Will Reach New Milestone
Now in its 32nd season and firmly established as the final stepping stone for drivers who aspire to compete in the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500, Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires will celebrate its 400th race on April 23 at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Ala. The major milestone will occur on Sunday in the second of two races at the challenging, 2.3-mile road course which will comprise the Mazda Indy Lights Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by Cooper Tires.
Heartwarming is not a word I would immediately associate with American Championship Racing. However, following two 2017 races, which have produced two feel good winners, a recent stretch of positive developments such as a new car, and a TOTALLY OUT OF LEFT FIELD BOMB announcement Wednesday for this year’s Indianapolis 500, the Verizon IndyCar Series has of late, like the combination of warm California sunshine and the gentle Pacific winds on a glorious Long Beach day, provided a rather healthy dose of nourishment for the soul. Today, in our 2017 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Postscript, AutoRacing1 will cover those stories and more.
Alonso running the Indy 500 teaches IndyCar a valuable lesson
Bernie Ecclestone knew the secret to making F1 a true global sport - Proper TV deals in almost every country. Painstaking work to negotiate those deals, country-by-country, year-in and year-out. But it worked, the number of eyeballs watching every F1 race around the globe is estimated to be over 50 million. IndyCar on the other hand does not think global. It's almost total focus is the Indy 500, the bread and butter for the Hulman George family. The rest of the races on the schedule are there only to ensure there is a series and at least 33 cars each year for the 500. Only the Indy 500 gets proper global TV focus - the rest of the races on the schedule are relegated to invisible status on NBCSN.
Alonso to skip Monaco, run 6th Andretti car in Indy 500
In conjunction with McLaren
After an absence of 38 years, McLaren is to return to the Indianapolis 500 next month, using Honda engines. On May 28 2017, McLaren will enter a single car in the 101st Indianapolis 500, powered by Honda. The car will be run by the Andretti Autosport team, headed by founder, owner and Chief Executive Officer Michael Andretti, a former IndyCar champion who raced in Formula 1 for McLaren alongside the legendary Ayrton Senna for a single season (1993) and is the son of three-time IndyCar champion and one-time Formula 1 champion Mario Andretti.
The design of the car to be used in Verizon IndyCar Series competition in 2018 is coming more into focus. INDYCAR, sanctioning body for the premier North American open-wheel racing series, released new images today of the universal aerodynamic bodywork kit that will be used by all competitors in 2018. 2nd UPDATE: News on the aeroscreen being part of the new design
Hinchcliffe holds on to win Toyota GP of Long Beach
Bourdais and Newgarden follow
It's his first win since cheating death in an Indy 500 accident in 2015, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver James Hinchcliffe won the 43rd running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, holding off Sebastien Bourdais and Josef Newgarden in a 3 lap sprint to the finish. It was a long day for Andretti Autosport who looked set to win but suffered engine failures in all four of its cars.
A transcript of Saturday’s Honda Media Availability with Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development talking about the three various series American Honda is involved in including IMSA, PWC and IndyCar. Honda has come out strong in IndyCar this year after a lot of work by its teams and Honda HPD in the off-season.
Castroneves wins third straight pole in Long Beach
Beats five Hondas with his Chevy
There was only one Chevy that made it into the Fast Six final qualifying round for the 43rd running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The rest were Honda powered cars. But when the final round was over it was Castroneves and Chevy that claimed the pole with a lap of 1m06.2254s. The Hondas of Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, Alexander Rossi and Graham Rahal followed.
Q&A from today’s AJ Foyt Indy 500 team announcement with Zach Veach, Larry Foyt and A.J. Foyt. Veach has been announced to drive the No. 40 Chevrolet in this year's 101st running of the Indianapolis 500, presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. His primary sponsor will be the Indy Women in Tech Championship presented by Guggenheim, which is also the sponsor of the LPGA event that will be happening at Indianapolis Motor Speedway September 4th through the 10th.
This weekend's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will mark the 34th Indy car event on the historic street circuit. Mario Andretti won the first Indy car race there in 1984. Simon Pagenaud was the 2016 race winner, claiming his first win as a member of Team Penske. Bourdais (2005-2007) was the last repeat winner at Long Beach. Al Unser Jr. has won the most times at Long Beach (six), while Bourdais and Will Power are the only entered drivers with multiple wins. Bourdais won three straight races from 2005-2007. Power won in 2008 and 2012. Other former race winners scheduled to compete are: Helio Castroneves (2001), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2010), Takuma Sato (2013), Scott Dixon (2015) and Pagenaud (2016)
Allow me to briefly go back in time. It was nearly two years on the final weekend of March that the Verizon IndyCar Series rolled into St. Petersburg for the 2015 season opener. You might remember that year’s race as being a long time coming as the 2014-2015 off-season was the first and thankfully the second-to-last of Mark Miles’ MUST END THE SEASON BY LABOR DAY EDICT. That year’s race also saw the debut of the long awaited on-again, off-again, and finally back on-again body kits. And it’s safe to say: it was a less than glorious debut.
Starting dead last, Sebastien Bourdais benefited from smart pit strategy from team owner Dale Coyne, then drove the wheels off his Honda to pull away from Penske Chevy driver Simon Pagenaud to win the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in front of a big sun drenched Florida crowd. It was a day when David (Dale Coyne Racing) slayed Goliath (Mighty Penske Team). Scott Dixon came home third for Ganassi Racing with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Takuma Sato giving Honda 4 of the top 5 positions.
We now know the Chevys were sandbagging during practice. Practice was dominated by Honda cars but when it came to qualifying Chevy driver Will Power won the pole for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Power has won the pole here 7 out of the last 8 years earning him the King of St. Pete. Scott Dixon led 2 of the 3 practice sessions on Friday and Saturday morning, and then in qualifying he led two qualifying sessions he was in - Round 1, Round 2 but in the Fast Six Will Power nipped him for fast time.
"It's back to business now. I'm quite excited about it. I'm very, very enthused about what's about to happen in St. Petersburg and the rest of the year. The team, the No. 1 car now, is the exact same team as last year. We expect to unlock even more potential, which gets me very excited. I'm excited to run No. 1. It's a testament to a great previous year. It's also a testament and a thank you to our partners at Team Penske. They've followed us into this adventure. They've wanted to be our partners. We won the championship together. It's a way to say thanks to them. Here we are the defending champions."
Pagenaud Ready to Defend title starting at St. Pete
Champion will carry No. 1 on his Team Penske IndyCar Chevrolet
Simon Pagenaud raises his wine glass to toast the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series championship crew, and his brief remarks during a recent gathering at a favorite French restaurant connect cohesion, commonality, and consistency. Pagenaud, who was undaunted in racing to his maiden open-wheel championship, is thankful for the efforts, of course, in addition to prospects of further corporate accomplishments during the 2017 season that kicks off March 12 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
We've suspected this for many years and now it's official. The Indianapolis 500 is no longer a reasonable aspiration for most racing drivers. Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) president Doug Boles was kind enough to talk with me briefly at the annual PRI trade show in Indy. I asked him what his plan was to increase the number of entries at the Indianapolis 500. His answer took me by surprise.
No vacation of mine is complete without visiting a race track or two, even in the gorgeous countryside of Auckland, New Zealand. And there are many tracks outside Auckland that have had many racing legends race on them. The youngest of those legendary drivers, IndyCars' own Scott Dixon, started his racing career at the tender age of 13 in this area. While there his Mother, Glenys Dixon, took me to the local race tracks to show me where Scott started his open wheel career.
Welcome to the INDYCAR media teleconference. Today's guests are Ricardo Juncos, the founder and team principal of Juncos Racing, and Jay Frye, the president of competition and operations for INDYCAR. Juncos Racing is a championship-winning team in the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires, which is the developmental ladder system sanctioned by INDYCAR. On Tuesday, the team announced it would enter the 101st running of the Indy 500, Presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, which will make its first venture into the Verizon IndyCar Series.
With the Advance Auto Parts Clash this weekend, the Daytona 500 the following weekend, and a host of other series starting in the coming weeks, the 2017 racing season is upon us. Below, I tackle a few of the major topics in the world of racing, as the new season approaches. Enjoy!
Newgarden leads first day of Phoenix Raceway open test
Andretti leads cooler night session
The roar of 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines filled the air with sweet sounds at Phoenix Raceway, day and night, as 21 Verizon IndyCar Series entries turned laps for the first time together in 2017. The first of a two-day open test for all full-season teams saw Team Penske newcomer Josef Newgarden record the fastest of 2,638 total laps turned on the 1.022-mile oval over the course of two three-hour practice sessions. The second practice came under the lights during the same time period that the Phoenix Grand Prix will take place April 29 on the short oval steeped in Indy car history.
1. Phoenix open test gets 2017 season rolling 2. Tony Stewart Foundation sponsoring Indy 500 entry 3. Franchitti, Cheever, McLaren newest Hall of Fame nominees 4. Schmidt Peterson adds Copper Moon as official coffee provider 5. Green Savoree names PPG Industries official paint sponsor 6. Drivers added to Mazda Road to Indy levels
IndyCar driver and 2015 Indy 500 winner Juan Montoya gave the locals something to cheer about by winning the 2017 Race of Champions in Miami. Montoya is from Miami and he narrowly beat Tom Kristensen in the best out of three races in the finals. But to get to the finals both drivers had to defeat the best drivers in the world.
1. Kanaan excited for Rolex 24 opportunity 2. Texas Motor Speedway undergoing repave, reconfiguring of Turns 1-2 3. Daly looks to win vote to join Hinchcliffe at Race Of Champions 4. Racing legend Jones auctioning unique autographed helmets 5. Rahal enjoys cool fun at Bridgestone Winter Classic 6. Rickards joins Carlin for 2017 Indy Lights season
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