Morning update from IMS (2nd Update) UPDATE Tim Whiting, Dale Coyne Racing chief mechanic of the No. 63 Susan G. Komen Honda driven by Pippa Mann, was named recipient of the Clint Brawner Mechanical Excellence Award. The honor goes annually to the Indianapolis 500 chief mechanic who exemplifies the mechanical excellence, ingenuity and perseverance similar to that of legendary mechanic Clint Brawner. The award, sponsored by Firestone Racing, includes a $5,000 prize and the winner's name inscribed on a trophy that permanently resides in the IMS Museum.
KOHLER Co. Named Title Sponsor for Verizon IndyCar Series Event at Road America
Will Power and Paul Tracy battle in the wet at Road America in 2006
Kohler Co. has signed on to be the title sponsor for the Verizon IndyCar Series event at Road America, and the race will be known as the KOHLER Grand Prix. The green-flag will fly on the event at approximately 12:15 pm CST on June 26.
"Kohler Co. is pleased to serve as the title sponsor for the KOHLER Grand Prix for the Verizon IndyCar Series at historic Road America. Verizon IndyCar events are among the most exciting in motorsports today as evidenced by the recent sell out of the 100th Indianapolis 500," said David Kohler, President and CEO of Kohler Co. "Kohler shares this passion and enthusiasm and we are excited to welcome Verizon IndyCar fans to our home to take part in the return of IndyCar racing at Road America, one of the most beautiful and unique tracks in the world."
Ex-IndyCar driver Sarah Fisher took too many hits to the head
SPEEDWAY, Ind. – From time to time, Sarah Fisher’s father would ask her about a particular moment from her childhood, one of the racing memories he considers unforgettable.
He thought she was being difficult when she said she couldn’t remember. But the truth is, some of those memories simply have vanished.
“I just kind of forgot some of the short track stories and things that I have from growing up,” Fisher says. “And he’s like, ‘Why don’t you remember that? That was a big event.’ It’s starting to come back a little bit to me as I look back at books and things. And I’m like, ‘Dad, I’m not being rude. I just can’t remember" Fisher told Chris Jenkins of USA Today
Fans should come early, watch ESPN 'SportsCenter' live at IMS May 28-29
Carb Day concert Friday
ESPN's signature news program, "SportsCenter," will originate live from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway May 28-29 and fans are encouraged to arrive early - particularly on the Indianapolis 500 Race Day, May 29 - to witness the exciting broadcast.
ESPN "SportsCenter on the Road" anchors Matt Barrie and Sara Walsh will be live in the Pagoda Plaza, behind the Panasonic Pagoda, on Race Day from 8-9 a.m. and 10-11 a.m. when ABC's live coverage of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil begins.
Honda's McHale and Layton share Jim Chapman Award T.E. McHale and Dan Layton, longtime representatives for Honda's racing programs including the Verizon IndyCar Series, are co-recipients of the 2016 Jim Chapman Award for excellence in motorsports public relations. McHale and Layton were presented plaques for the honor this morning in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's media center, where a new permanent trophy was unveiled and will remain.
Unlike last year, Honda has a fighting chance on Sunday
With cars running up front all month in preparations for the 100th Indianapolis 500 and eight of the top 12 starters in Sunday's race, Honda officials are feeling confident. Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development, said today it has been a yearlong process involving engine development and improving its superspeedway aero kit under off-season rules that permitted changes in up to three "volume boxes."
"We really worked hard, for 12 months really, on this particular race," St. Cyr said. "We used two of our three allocated boxes for an aerodynamic standpoint on the race. We have a pretty major upgrade in our engine specification for this race.
Castroneves' crew wins pit stop challenge record eighth time
Helio Castroneves and his crew won for the 8th time.
Team Penske and driver Helio Castroneves won the TAG Heuer Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge, earning a $50,000 prize. Castroneves celebrated his eighth win in the contest by climbing the fence in front of the Tower Terrance grandstand.
Castroneves beat Mikhail Aleshin of Schmidt Peterson with Team Pelfrey in the final round. This is the 17th win for Team Penske in the annual competition for Indy 500 pit crews that started in 1977. The winner of the competition has gone on to win the Indianapolis 500 six times, most recently with Castroneves in 2009.
Kanaan tops Carb Day speeds at Indy UPDATE This story was updated.
He may be starting 18th in Sunday's 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, but Tony Kanaan believes he has a car that can win the historic race.
Kanaan, who will start on the outside of Row 6 in the No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing, was fastest in today's Miller Lite Carb Day practice with a best lap of 226.280 mph on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.
Quotes from IndyCar Carb Day BUDDY LAZIER (No. 4 Lazier/Burns Racing Chevrolet): "We're glad that this was Carb Day, because we certainly wouldn't want this to have happened on race day. After rebuilding the car, running here today we had a front wing issue. An adjuster on the front wings failed. Whatever angle was set in the pits, out on the racetrack the wing wouldn't hold. So, we have zero data from this run. It's frustrating, but I have a lot of faith in my guys, and we'll have this problem solved by race day. We're going to race them hard on Sunday, and I'm confident that we're going to be very competitive."
Video: 2016 NASCAR Charlotte Pole Winners Q&A Coors Light Pole Award Winner Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota); Second place qualifier Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford); Third place qualifier Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Fastenal Ford) Comment
Video: 2016 NASCAR Charlotte Diversity Pit Crew Q&A Carl Edwards (No. 19 Subway Toyota); NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew National Combine press conference; Jim Cassidy (NASCAR Senior Vice President, Racing Operations), Phil Horton (Rev Racing Director of Athletic Performance), Brehanna Daniels and Joshua Tate (Perspective D4D Students) Comment
Video: Q&A With Honda's Art St Cyr Honda HPD boss Art St. Cyr answers questions from the media on Honda's focus for the Indy 500, which areas they made improvements, and how the IndyCar engine specs are written to encourage participation from additional manufacturers, and more.
T.E. McHALE: Thanks for joining us for our pre Indianapolis 500 media briefing. Our guest this morning is HPD president, Art St. Cyr.
Art, thanks for making time to spend with us this morning.
ART ST. CYR: Thanks for having me.
T.E. McHALE: Pretty good days in Hondaland so far during the month of May. Basically just want to get your evaluation of the month to date, kind of explain to us what has happened in terms of preparation for the superspeedways.
ART ST. CYR: Well, as I told many of you, the Indy 500 is a major focus for Honda. Actually, it's a major focus for most people in IndyCar. We really worked hard for 12 months on this particular race.
We used two of our three allocated boxes from an aerodynamic standpoint on this race. We have a pretty major upgrade of our engine specification for this race.
As you've seen, it's fairly competitive at this point. Really our whole goal is to get all of our teams with a package that is capable of winning this race.
T.E. McHALE: Certainly we've seen a nice mix of teams over the course of the month taking their turns at the top of the speed charts. Andretti Autosport came out of the gate really, really strong, has continued that momentum throughout the month. The Schmidt team won the pole, placed three cars in the top 10. Various times Graham had a strong run. Even Dale Coyne Racing has been heard from in being on top of the speed charts. That bears out the point you just made.
ART ST. CYR: It's really all you can hope for, right, as a manufacturer, is to have all of your teams have a really good package for this race. Once Monaco is done, the eyes of the world will be on this race on Sunday.
It's pretty great. The Andretti guys, the whole Andretti team, all five of their cars, have been fast. They unloaded fast. They typically do really well here. We expect good things out of them.
The Schmidt Peterson Racing group, all three of them have just had stellar months. You want to give some shouts out to Dale Coyne and those guys who have shown pretty good speed, with people that don't have a lot of experience running around this track.
A.J. Foyt and Takuma Sato showed something at the end of qualifying. They qualified third in the last group, right? Graham, we expect him to have a real good race, as well. All of our teams have legitimate contenders to win this race, so we're actually really thrilled about that.
T.E. McHALE: Just for some informational purposes, how much support is HPD providing? Talk to the specifics of HPD's support at the 500 in terms of personnel, on staff, those kinds of things.
ART ST. CYR: Boy, I don't know where to start. As I said, we do put a lot of focus on this particular race. Of course we want to win every race. But if you're looking at the one specific race you want to win during the IndyCar season, it's this race right here.
So we have our typical staff that we have supporting the engines. We have one engineer per engine, and then we have a supervising engineer over the teams, and then we have one I guess lead engineer that is supervising all of the teams, as well.
In addition to that, we've had our vehicle dynamics people here. We've had our aerodynamics people here. We've had our chassis group, both manager and senior manager, here helping, working with the teams, helping them dial in their setups to run the car the way they want to run.
As you know, adding the dome skid this year and raising the ride height of the car has thrown a little bit of the setups into turmoil. I think a lot of the credit goes to the teams and also the HPD staff to really work to get this thing dialed in to really be fast going around this track.
T.E. McHALE: Trackside support aside, talk a little bit about, if you would, about what's going on back in Santa Clarita while we're all here during the month of May.
ART ST. CYR: We were joking at a dinner the other night. Well, maybe that's a different story now that I think about it (laughter).
This race is so important that we focus on this race. We have a daily, and have had a daily meetings with HPD, and that includes Saturday and Sunday. So seven days a week we've been having daily meetings with HPD back in Santa Clarita to talk about engine, to talk about aero, to talk about any issues we may have, what we can do to dial things up.
We do some testing on the track. We take that information, send it back to HPD. They run stuff on the dyno to try to just dial it in, dial it in, polish it a little bit more, a little bit more, a little bit more, to make sure when the race comes on Sunday that it is the optimum setup we're capable of giving the teams.
T.E. McHALE: Let's set the 500 aside for just a moment, look another week ahead to Detroit, where there's a doubleheader race on Belle Isle next weekend, back on a temporary street circuit. Certainly building a lot of momentum here this month, based on the performance of the engines, give us a little bit of an outlook as we go back to street races next week on Belle Isle.
ART ST. CYR: As most people know, concerning the aerodynamic kit, we basically had a whole new aerodynamic kit this year for the road courses. It's taken us a little bit of time to dial in that kit for our teams, to understand that new kit, going against a team that's had over a year. The other side has had a whole year to dial in their kit. It's taken us a little while to get our traction.
But I think the people and the teams are starting to understand how that kit works, how it works on street and road courses. Combine that with the upgrade in the engine we have here, my belief is we're going to be much more competitive moving forward than we have been in the beginning part of the season.
We're looking forward to continuing on after the Indy 500 as well. But right now, as I mentioned before, our focus as a company and as a group of Honda teams, we're focused on this event on Sunday.
T.E. McHALE: With that we'll open it to questions for Art.
Q: (No microphone.)
ART ST. CYR: So the question, as I understand it, is it more the fact that we're focusing on the Indy 500 that we're better, or the fact that we actually made hardware changes that we attribute most of our improvement to.
The answer is, yes (laughter).
I mean, obviously by focusing on it, we spent a lot of time in the wind tunnel focusing specifically on this event, on superspeedways. This is our first superspeedway. Over the last month or two, we've probably spent a disproportionate amount of time at the wind tunnel trying to dial in our aerodynamic setup, our chassis setup on this.
But as I mentioned, we do have two boxes that we used specifically for this race, two of our three allocated boxes, under the aerodynamic rules, our 9.2 boxes are used for this race. We do have an upgrade in our engine spec, as well.
I would say 58% (laughter).
No, honestly it's everything. You don't win a race by just improving one thing. You have to improve everything. The teams are doing a great job. The setups that the teams put on the cars are looking really strong. Our aerodynamic package is looking really strong. Our engine is looking really strong. Our drivers are performing great.
So all of those things are contributing to it. It's a little bit of each of those things is the way I would say it.
Q: Is the year going according to plan?
ART ST. CYR: We weren't expecting the outcome of the first few races that we got this year. We thought we were going to be okay. But obviously when we first came out at St. Pete, especially Phoenix, we had to focus on those, as well.
I wouldn't say the beginning part of the season went according to plan. But we kind of know what we have right now and where we're going with this one. We're working and the other side is working as well to try to improve as much as you can.
Q: (No microphone.)
ART ST. CYR: So the question was, you know, what are we allowed to change as we move forward, and how are we managing the engine spec for this race and moving forward until we mileage it out.
From an engine spec standpoint, this year, to simplify it, the way that the IndyCar rules are, each year you're allowed to change certain parts of the engines. So some years there's bigger changes, some years there's smaller changes allowed.
This year, this off‑season, we were allowed to make a few bigger changes than normal. Our expectations were that the power jump would be bigger this year. There are always areas that are allowed to be upgraded, like pistons and valves. Anytime you introduce a new spec of an engine, you're allowed to change those.
This is really our second engine of the year. It's actually our third, because you're allowed to do a change for the race. Basically it's the second spec of the engine.
In that, we're allowed to make those changes. Like I said, this was a pretty big year to make changes. We were allowed to introduce some of those things a little bit later than we did at the first part of the season.
I know I'm being very kind of general on that one, but our improvement at this point was actually a decent step up.
To finish the second part of your question, the way the rules are, the engine has to go 2500 miles. Whatever the 2500 miles we don't use here, we're going to continue on until it mileages out. No changes.
Q: Have you sacrificed any fuel mileage for the added horsepower?
ART ST. CYR: I'm not sure what you mean by 'sacrificed' per se.
I mean, all Hondas get better gas mileage, whether it's a passenger car... Sorry, maybe I shouldn't have said all of them. That's a little bit of a misnomer.
One of the strong points at Honda is making sure we have good fuel economy. There is no reason to expect any different with this specification. We believe we're going to be okay when it comes to fuel mileage.
Q: There have been a couple of engine issues in practice the last two weeks. Do you have a handle on those? Was it the same failure on both cars? If so, do you know what the problem was? Has it been fixed?
ART ST. CYR: We actually had three engine failures.
T.E. McHALE: Don't tell that fact.
ART ST. CYR: They know we had three (laughter). That's not a secret.
But those engines were shipped back to HPD. We did some analysis and made some changes because of that. So we think we have a handle on what's going on and we don't expect any problems moving forward.
Again, the other side has had failures as well, right? One of the things about this event is you're always running your engine on the edge of explosion at any given time, trying to get the maximum power out of the thing. There's always some unknown when you get into a 500‑mile race.
Q: The Honda always gets better fuel mileage part, and the explosion. How far up to the edge are you going to go for the 500?
ART ST. CYR: It's a hard question to answer at this point. It really depends on how the race goes as to what we're going to do with our engines.
Our expectation is that we'll run this 500‑mile race, including all the practices we have leading up to it, mileage it out in Detroit. What's after Detroit, Texas? We'll mileage it out accordingly.
We don't expect to short live this engine because of the 500. How is that?
Q: From an engineering standpoint, how much do you feel you are learning that you can convert to the passenger side?
ART ST. CYR: It's a little bit different when you're talking about peak performance here because we don't really run passenger car engines at the redline limit that much.
More in terms of the overall technology and developing the technology for robustness and that type of stuff, that's the thing that you learn in racing, versus how to operate the engine in these conditions. It's a pretty unique environment here that's very different from passenger cars.
Q: After all you've been through the last couple years, all the hits Honda has taken, how redemptive would it be to win on Sunday?
ART ST. CYR: I'm hesitating on that because I'm afraid of what the quote is going to be on this one.
The question is after the struggles that Honda has had over the last season or so, how redemptive would it be to win?
Part of Honda's existence is to win at races. It's always our goal and always our challenge, whether we're behind or whether we're ahead, to really work forward to try to win these races.
Obviously this is a big race for us, so we would be very happy. I'm not sure if I'd call it redemption because I don't think we need necessarily redemption on that because it's what we do. We're a racing organization. If we're behind, we just work that much harder to catch up and then get ahead. It's our expectation to be at this point.
Now, to win the hundredth 500, whether it's this one or last year or next year, we're going to be just as happy winning all of those things. It's more about winning the race than anything else.
Q: IndyCar has been trying for years to get other manufacturers in the series. Mark Miles mentioned yesterday he's going to be talking to a third one. They've been unsuccessful so far in getting anybody new to come in. Can you give us any idea as to what the financial commitment is over five years or three years? Is it that big of a commitment that they can't get another manufacturer?
ART ST. CYR: Well, I can't go into specifics about what that is. I know how much we spend. I don't know how much the other side would spend or a third manufacturer would spend.
One thing I will say, in part of our negotiations, in extending our contract, part of when we were making the rules package for the engine that exists right now, we were the sole supplier at the time we were making that rules package, is that we developed the rules package to incorporate enough flexibility to allow for another manufacturer to come in at what we consider a reasonable price.
Now, obviously it's difficult to come in if you're a third manufacturer at a time when both the competition and Honda has been developing its engine for five years. To get another manufacturer in, we want to kind of have a break where we can have a different specification, so we can start kind of on level ground, as well.
That's part of not just Honda's intention, but also what IndyCar is working on. As I said in our contract negotiations, try to allow for that break to allow a third manufacturer to come in and have a reasonable chance of being successful.
Q: (No microphone.)
ART ST. CYR: Where is Kurt? He's standing right there. Kurt Antonius is here. We have a whole dealer group coming in. Kurt told me we have 80 dealers. Specifically from a Honda dealer standpoint, we have a bunch of them from across the country. We don't specifically have a group of some of our grassroots stuff, our SECA, but there are a lot of Honda Racing Line members here. We do say hi to them as we see them and try to give them the support, to tie in what we do here.
T.E. McHALE: With that, we'll wrap it up. Art, thanks for making the time to be with us today. Thank you all for joining us. Enjoy the 100th running.
Q&A with Tony Kanaan and Carlos Munoz after Carb Day practice
MODERATOR: Tony, I know that it's an unusual situation, I just asked Carlos this, particularly with all your laps and years here. I came in Monday thinking it would be sort of a slow day and all of a sudden I look out and people are three wide in four.
TONYKANAAN: You should have asked me, I would have told you different.
MODERATOR: Why, what do you think is the biggest difference was in that?
Video: Racing Performance meets Modern Luxury The two drivers from the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 Team, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, met during the run-up to the Monaco Grand Prix on 29 May 2016 for a sensational event off the racetrack. Hamilton put his driving ability to the test on the water with a Cigarette Racing speedboat. Rosberg showed what a relaxed lifestyle cruising off the coast of Monaco looks like on the Mercedes-Benz Style luxury motor yacht.
Dean Stoneman, driving for Michael Andretti’s Andretti Autosport team, this afternoon thrilled a massive and enthusiastic Carb Day crowd at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by edging fellow Englishman Ed Jones to the yard of bricks and the checkered flag to win a gripping Mazda Freedom 100 Presented by Cooper Tires. Stoneman’s victory was the closest in the history of the hallowed Brickyard – just 0.0024 of a second – besting the previous mark set in 2013 when Ireland’s Peter Dempsey shaded three others in a four-wide finish to the Freedom 100.
New Rules Package Q&A with Chevrolet's NASCAR Group Manager Pat Suhy PAT SUHY, CHEVROLET RACING NASCAR GROUP MANAGER, ANSWERS QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NEW RULES CHANGES IN THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES:
HOW DID THE NEW TWEAKS TO THE RULES PACKAGE COME ABOUT? “I really think it started in discussions between the teams and NASCAR about where the teams are spending their resources; and wondering if this is really an area they want to race in? NASCAR knows that over time, teams have gained aero performance, whether it’s increased downforce or reduced drag, as they spend more and more time in the Wind Tunnel and as they have worked on the tires to have more grip and more give-up. Gaining back more of the downforce they lost by whatever means, jeopardizes all the work that has been done and fans could see racing return to what it was like last year. I think as a problem to solve it was the question of, ‘Well, where are you guys gaining downforce? How come the cars have all this skew in them?’
INDYCAR and IMS Partner With SnapChat for 100th Indianapolis 500 "Live Story" Snapchat, the ephemeral, mobile storytelling platform embraced by 100 million daily active users, is partnering with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to cover the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 29 via a “Live Story.”
Live Stories allow Snapchatters at the same event to contribute their unique, personal perspectives by submitting their photo and video Snaps to one collective story. On Race Day, a team at Snapchat will curate the thousands of Snaps submitted from fans at IMS into a brief Live Story that can be broadcast nationwide to millions of users right on their phone.
EJ gets the party started with new single 'Ignition', supported by Thomas Gold and Oliver Heldens It’s a great moment for any up-and-coming producer when one of the world’s biggest DJs supports their tune. And for EJ the story is no different. Support from world-class selectors including R3hab, Arno Cost and Sam Feldt hinted that EJ is racing ahead. But co-signs for new track ‘Ignition’, from superstars Thomas Gold and Oliver Heldens ahead of the BMW i Berlin ePrix, show that EJ is a serious contender.
NASCAR is cutting downforce once again Encouraged by positive results so far this year, NASCAR will continue to experiment with reduced downforce aerodynamic packages at upcoming races at Michigan International Speedway and Kentucky Speedway.
NASCAR reduced downforce prior to the start of the season, and it has produced much improved racing in 2016.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 27, 2016) – Chip Ganassi, one of racing’s most-successful car owners, will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) at the 28th Annual MSHFA Induction Ceremony Presented by Bridgestone on Wednesday, June 29 at The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach.
Ganassi is the only car owner to have won the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400, the DAYTONA 500 and the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Between February 2010 and January 2011, his drivers swept those four events, giving him an unprecedented “Grand Slam” of America’s major auto races.
New-for-2017 Tatuus USF-17 Unveiled at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
New USF2000 car unveiled
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The latest generation of chassis that will form the basis for the first two steps on the acclaimed Mazda Road to Indy open-wheel racing development ladder – which offers Mazda scholarships to allow racers to progress all the way from the grassroots of the sport to the Verizon IndyCar Series – was unveiled this morning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the lead up to the historic 100th Indianapolis 500.
RUSSIAN TIME’s Artem Markelov has come out victorious from a dramatic feature race in Monaco after having started P15 on the grid. The Russian who was last to pit on lap 38 sustained huge pressure from Norman Nato in the final laps to take his first GP2 win ahead of the Frenchman. Oliver Rowland completed the podium.
At the start, all eyes were on another Russian as poleman Sergey Sirotkin made a slow gateway. Nato had a much better start from the front row to get into the lead at the first chicane ahead of the ART man and teammate Jordan King. Although under constant pressure from Sirotkin, Nato remained cool-headed and in control of the race managing a small gap which was good enough to keep his rival at bay.
(Reuters) - The Andrettis, Rahals, Unsers and Foyts; different generations from these same families have enjoyed glittering success in IndyCar racing that very few other sports, if any, can match.
Fathers, sons and even grandsons have raced one another on the track while chasing podium success and Sunday's 100th edition of the Indianapolis 500 serves as a timely reminder of this family tradition which is like no other.
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