Harding Racing and Steinbrenner Racing announce IndyCar team merger
Harding Racing and Steinbrenner Racing formally announced a partnership Wednesday that will see the newly formed Harding Steinbrenner Racing field entries in the 2019 IndyCar Series season for rookies Colton Herta and Patricio O’Ward.
The duo, fresh off competing in the 2018 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires season, made their Verizon IndyCar Series debuts for Harding Racing on Sunday at the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma. O’Ward, the new Indy Lights champion, qualified fifth and finished ninth in the race. Herta, runner-up to O’Ward in the Indy Lights standings, qualified 19th and finished 20th in the season-ending race.
First-Day Sales Of Super Sebring Tickets, Parking Crush Records
First-day sales of tickets and parking for what is being dubbed the 2019 “Super Sebring” doubleheader of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts and the WEC 1000 Miles of Sebring rose more than 314 percent over opening-day sales for the 2018 event.
A large percentage of reserved track-side parking spaces and Sebring’s premium ticket – Club Sebring – were sold on day one.
A Drive To Succeed - Meet Corvette Racing's Team Manager, Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson is an integral part of Corvette Racing, ensuring that – in his role as Team Manager – the operation execute their plans and meets their targets on track.
Mobil 1 The Grid spent time with Johnson to learn more about his duties, while also gathering the thoughts of Program Manager Doug Fehan, as well as drivers Oliver Gavin and Jan Magnussen on the key role he plays.
Their first order of business has to be the lethal catch-fences. A simple proposed solution.
When it comes to racing safety, drivers, sanctioning bodies, safety organizations, clubs, series, track owners, circuit designers, safety personnel, equipment manufacturers, coaches/HPDE groups, insurance companies, journalists and every other motorsport constituent play an important role. Stakeholders may perform different jobs, but they all converge on a race course. That’s why a diverse group of safety advocates has united to form a cohesive, collective and more impactful voice for the greater good of everyone in motorsports.
Racing’s history is studded with shining moments, but is also fraught with terrible tragedies. There have always been heroes on the track, yet there have also been many others behind the scenes. Over the years, a handful of brave souls have championed for safety improvements and saved many lives, but progress has been painfully slow.
Katherine Legge to make NASCAR oval debut at Richmond
Katherine Legge, 38, will be back behind the wheel of the No. 15 JD Motorsports Chevrolet for her first NASCAR start on an oval.
She tweeted the news on Monday:
Woohooooo!... guess who gets to drive a stock car for JD Motorsports again. Yup. Me. Thanks to the team for this incredible opportunity... My first oval at Richmond 😎 @ Richmond, Virginia https://t.co/FF0Tty7vF8
On Monday, Sept. 17, in San Francisco, Audi unveiled the fully electric Audi e-tron, a five-passenger SUV aimed at the heart of the premium market. Now, Bay Area residents can be among the first to check out the all-new e-tron at a four-day experience called ‘Charging Station Unleashed,’ located near the Embarcadero at 90 Broadway, San Francisco.
‘Charging Station Unleashed'
In celebration of the global launch of the e-tron, Audi has reinvented the charging station for the electric era. Visitors to this interactive pop-up experience will have a glimpse into the future of electric mobility and be the first in America to see the 2019 e-tron in person and place their reservations. Other electric Audi vehicles on display include the championship winning Formula E racecar and the 764-horsepower, PB18 concept car, which debuted at Monterey Car Week in August (on display until Sept. 20).
IndyCar pulled in 14.2 million viewers for 2018, down 2 million from 2017. By comparison F1 averages around 50 million per race globally.
Hopefully the rumors are true that Liberty wants to buy the series and the speedway. If they use their international TV contacts and can significantly increase IndyCar's global viewership, IndyCar sponsor deals will sky rocket and the series will be on solid footing again.
Check out highlights from the final round of the 2018 IndyCar series in Sonoma, California where Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Will Power and Josef Newgarden went head to head to battle it out for the championship.
Rossi had a fast car and passed every driver in the field at least once, but when Marco Andretti lifted in turn 1 on lap 1 and Rossi hit the back of him, his chances were over.
But it was exciting to watch him pass every driver in the field, and he probably would have won, Hunter-Reay 2nd, Dixon third, and Rossi would not be IndyCar champion.
Sonoma's Split From IndyCar Mostly Due To Financial Losses
The sparse crowd led to Sonoma's demise
The Verizon IndyCar Series held its final event at Sonoma Raceway yesterday, and track President & GM Steve Page said the decision was made because the venue loses "between $200,000-$250,000 every time IndyCar comes here," according to Bob Padecky of the Santa Rosa PRESS DEMOCRAT.
Page said, "We have a good fan base and my staff loves IndyCar. ... [But] the last four years we have not broken even. In the 14 years we've made money only a handful of times. I majored in political science in college but even I can do simple arithmetic. We are not a nonprofit operation."
Sebring 2019 Endurance Doubleheader Tickets Now on Sale
One of the greatest weekends of SportsCar racing ever in the United States will take place March 13-16, 2019 with the doubleheader of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts and the FIA WEC 1000 Miles of Sebring.
Tickets are available online HERE or by phone at 800.626.7223. Advance-purchase prices will be in effect through Feb. 13, after which gate prices will apply to all ticket sales. An early-bird special on the four-day Superticket will be offered until Nov. 12. Gates will open at Sebring at 6 a.m. Wednesday, March 16, and will remain open 24 hours a day through Saturday’s 12-hour endurance classic.
Goodyear would be wise to put bold letters on each tire: Caution: May Explode Without Warning
Kevin Harvick didn’t hold back about how he felt about NASCAR’s tire supplier following a right front puncture and crash on lap 147 of the South Point Casino 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
NASCAR's Goodyear tires have been exploding for years.
"Well, there was something wrong from the time we put the tires on," Harvick said on NBCSN television. "It was like Russian roulette every time you put these piece of crap tires on and try to drive around the race track. One time it is tight, one time it is loose, one time they are blistered. We had a great car and then you put a set of tires on it and you can’t hardly make it through the field. I just hate it for everyone on our Mobil 1 Ford."
Shields Joins Juncos Racing Pro Mazda Line-Up for Chris Griffis Test
Australian Cameron Shields
Juncos Racing announced today Cameron Shields will join the reigning 2018 Pro Mazda Champions for the Eighth Annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Shields is the first driver to be announced to the Juncos Racing Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tires driver line-up.
Australian native Cameron Shields will make his first appearance in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series on the 2.439 mile, 14-Turn road course located at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 17-year-old currently competes in three disciplines the Australian Formula 3, CAMS Payce Australian Formula 4 and Australian Formula Ford, where he has recorded 14 wins and 42 podiums, 6 pole positions and 15 fastest race laps over 57 races.
IndyCar will always get the royal screwing from NBCSN when it comes to NASCAR
NBC Sports received some scrutiny and criticism from IndyCar fans yesterday after the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race from Las Vegas ran long, causing NBCSN to both push back the start of the IndyCar season finale from Sonoma and eventually miss part of the first lap of the race.
NBCSN initially pushed the IndyCar race back by a few minutes and IndyCar’s official Twitter account tweeted that the race “was on standby while we wait for @NBCSN’s current broadcast to wrap up.”
NASCAR’s crash-filled race was red-flagged for a wreck right around the time the IndyCar race finally started, and NBCSN switched to IndyCar coverage only after missing several turns of the first lap of the race. NBC Sports did start simulcasting the race on CNBC until the NASCAR race wrapped up, but several commenters on Twitter complained that move was not announced early enough, causing some to miss the first seconds from Sonoma.
NASCAR Vegas race exposes real issues for the series
Despite 60% of the LVMS seats being removed, this was the crowd Sunday for the Cup race. Who was the mental midget who though Las Vegas could support two Cup races in the 99-degree heat of September
Late in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race, an executive from the South Point, title sponsor of Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, showed concern over the mostly empty grandstands at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
It was much better on Sunday. Not great. But better.
A media-estimated 45,000 watched Brad Keselowski win the inaugural South Point 400, marking the first time that NASCAR had visited LVMS twice in the same year.
Not many people saw IndyCar's grand finale because it was on NBCSN
NBCSN earned a 0.40 overnight rating for yesterday's Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Sonoma, up a slight 3% from a 0.39 for last year's race but that is only because the NASCAR race ran late and the NASCAR viewers were still tuned in for the first 30 min, otherwise it would be down.
The final rating will likely be lower, but we shall see tomorrow. Regardless, IndyCar puts its grand finale on NBCSN with a championship on the line to ensure the number of viewers will be at their absolute minimum. The grand finale. The big hoopla, and almost no one saw it.
IndyCar Sonoma GP Honda qualifying highlights The Honda IndyCar drivers dominated qualifying for the Sonoma GP with Ryan Hunter-Reay on pole and points leader Scott Dixon 2nd, Marco Andretti 4th and Alexander Rossi 6th Comment
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that Takuma Sato will return to the team in 2019. Sato is the most recent winner in the IndyCar Series after having led 25 laps at the Grand Prix of Portland en route to his third series victory and first on a road course. It will be his third season with the team after having driven for RLL in 2012 and 2018.
Good morning from Sonoma International Raceway. It is a warm, sunny morning with temperatures in the mid 60's. We expect temperatures to be 75 degrees by race time. The final race of the season should prove interesting with all the different team strategies.
Ryan Newman Will Not Return To Richard Childress Racing In 2019 (Update)
Richard Childress in search for a ride-buyer
UPDATENo. 31 Team Update - Statement from Richard Childress Racing:
As announced yesterday, Ryan Newman will not return to RCR in 2019. He was released from his contract last month.
We want to thank Ryan for his talent and dedication over the past five years, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors. The No. 31 Chevrolet has been an important part of RCR for many years. We have outstanding partners in Chevrolet, Caterpillar, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela's, Grainger, Liberty National Life Insurance Co., Coca-Cola, Okuma and eBay Motors, and will continue to deliver value for them as we move forward.
NBCSN Announcers all pick Dixon to win the IndyCar title
Dixon was pretty much assured of the title in Portland when he lucked out on all counts, and IndyCar's inferior caution flag methodology put the screws to race leader Rossi
It’s unanimous: Scott Dixon will win the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series championship.
That’s how NBCSN announcers Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell, Paul Tracy, Robin Miller, Katie Hargitt, Jon Beekhuis and Kevin Lee all predict how Sunday’s season-ending and more importantly the championship-deciding Grand Prix of Sonoma will play out.
Admittedly, there is some sentiment to see Alexander Rossi win the title, but when all is said and done, Dixon is the man.
MotorSportsTalk polled all seven announcers – make sure you tune in to the live broadcast Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT – and they had some very interesting insights:
Whincup leads Triple Eight to historic 1-2-3 at Sandown 500
Seven-time Supercars Champion Jamie Whincup has scored his fourth Sandown 500 win in one of the most dominant displays in recent history, as his team became the first to score a trifecta in the Melbourne race steeped in tradition.
Whincup now equals the great Peter Brock in all-time wins at Sandown with seven, as he and co-driver Paul Dumbrell dominated the RABBLE.club Sandown 500 from start to finish. It was their third Sandown 500 win together.
Engineer's Lowdown with Tom Stallard - Singapore GP
Stoffel Vandoorne's McLaren F1 Race Engineer Tom Stallard explains how the bumpy Marina Bay Circuit is one of the most unique and demanding tracks on the Formula 1 calendar.
Last year’s race was the longest, eclipsing the two-hour mark by three minutes and 23 seconds, beating the previous record from the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix, which ended 1 minute and 22 seconds past the two-hour limit.
No one complains, however, as Singapore is a destination venue on the Formula One calendar. Its cutting-edge culture and incredible modernization have turned the tropical island located only one degree north of the equator into a global hub for business and tourism, with Formula One’s visit to the world’s only island city-state combining both in glorious fashion.
Inside INDYCAR: The Contenders Get prepared for the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma and the battle for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series championship by watching this episode of "Inside INDYCAR" that focuses on the four contenders. Comment
Video Highlights: INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma Saturday Qualifying With a lap time of 1:17.628 seconds, Ryan Hunter -Reay edged Scott Dixon by 0.132s to win pole position for tomorrow’s IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma. It was the seventh career pole for the driver of the No. DHL Honda and first since Long Beach in 2014. Josef Newgarden was the fastest Chevrolet in third position with Marco Andretti fourth.
A group of former IndyCar team owners have taken over control of the oldest kart track in the country. Sarah Fisher, Andy O'Gara, and Wink Hartman are the new owners of Whiteland Raceway Park and say they plan to undergo a revitalization effort to bring new life to the track.
The trio, who previously owned Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing in Speedway, acquired the nine-turn road course track from former owner Mike Swails, though financial terms of the sale are not being disclosed. The new owners say they are working through the details of the renovation effort, but the planning and cleanup process has begun.
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