Chicagoland Day 1 IndyCar notebook
Honda overtake assist
Overtake assist was introduced to the series in August 2009 and will make be used for the second time at Chicagoland Speedway in the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma.
The system employed by Honda Performance Development is an ECU software alteration. It is activated by the driver via a button on the steering wheel and provides an extra 200 RPM (about 10 horsepower) to the Honda Indy V-8 engine. Parameters are updated before each race weekend to meet the circuit layout.
For the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway
12 seconds duration each use
10-second recharge period between uses
Firestone Firehawk tires
Each car receives eight sets (32 tires) of tires.
The primary tire specification for Chicagoland Speedway was developed from testing at the track in June. It places new, higher-grip tread compounds for the right-side tires onto the same right-side tire constructions used this season at Kansas and Texas, and pairs that with the identical left-side tire construction/compound specs used at Kansas.
AL SPEYER (Executive Director of Firestone Racing): "These 1.5-mile ovals are always demanding on tires because of the constant high speeds and loads generated, so our engineers and chemists are constantly working to develop the best possible tires for these elite athletes to rely on. We're also pleased to see 29 cars entered for this weekend's IZOD IndyCar Series race, another sign of the series' continuing momentum."
Here comes the judge: Tony Kanaan steps out of the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven car at the 1.5-mile oval of Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 4 to a 220-yard street course in Coconut Grove, Fla., the next morning to be the grand marshal of the 411 Pain Great Grove Bed Race.
"I've raced IndyCar, I've raced go-karts and I've raced to bed, but I've never raced a bed," said Kanaan, a Miami resident. "Why do I feel like I'm going to be a part of these races and then feel safer driving an IndyCar at 230 miles per hour?"
Coconut Grove residents, merchants and community groups take part in the hilarious event to benefit the University of Miami Sleep Program and Alonzo Mourning Charities. While speed earns the ultimate checkered flag, awards also will be provided for theme, creativity and décor. Kanaan, District 2 Commissioner Marc Sarnoff and Homestead-Miami Speedway president Matthew Becherer are the judges.
Kanaan will compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series Championship Weekend on Oct. 1-2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he earned his first pole position in 2003.
"We're lucky to have Tony here in South Florida," Becherer said. "He has contributed so much to the success of the IndyCar Series, and his involvement with the bed race shows his commitment to the local community."
Look for Mr. Peanut on the track: Planters, Kraft Foods' longtime leader in the salted snacks category, will take its place alongside 7-Eleven this weekend as the primary sponsor of the No. 11 car driven by Tony Kanaan.
The car will sport a blue-and-white livery as part of a larger Planters marketing activation.
Fisher supports "Carey's Hope": Sarah Fisher, driver/owner of Sarah Fisher Racing, also will have a new look on the rear wing of her No. 67 Dollar General car the next two races.
In January 2010, Carey Hall, owner of Hall's Motorsports Refinishing and painter for Fisher's team and fueler for SFR since its inception in 2008, was diagnosed with ALS. Fisher hopes that by displaying the Carey's Hope logo she will raise awareness of the disease and raise funds to help Hall and his family.
"Dollar General and SFR are one big team that works together and supports each other during times of need," said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General's chairman and CEO. "We stand behind Carey and his family during this challenging time and are committed to helping him win his battle with this disease."
Visit www.careyshope.com to make a donation or to purchase a Carey's Hope decal, T-shirt or an ALS wristband.
Lloyd leads tight rookie points race: Alex Lloyd advanced 12 positions in the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America entry for Dale Coyne Racing to finish 10th in the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 22. He earned the Firestone Tire-ific Move of the Race via voting on www.indycar.com.
Lloyd takes an 11-point margin over Simona de Silvestro into the race at Chicagoland Speedway, where he won the pole position in 2007 during his Firestone Indy Lights championship season.
"It's great to have a top 10 with all the BSA officials here for the first time since Indy," he said. "We look forward to getting back to the ovals and continuing this success."
Chicago White Sox infielder Omar Vizquel visited the track today as a guest of KV Racing Technology driver E.J. Viso. Viso introduced Vizquel to three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves following practice. Viso and Vizquel are both from Caracas, Venezuela and became friends after meeting at a race at Infineon Raceway two years ago.
OMAR VIZQUEL (Chicago White Sox third baseman): "He's a big baseball fan and came to one of my games when I was with the Giants and I went to (Sonoma) to watch him race. It's a different track than the last time I saw (Viso) race. I'm glad I have a chance to come out here and say hi. It's really exciting to see a different type of track. I can't be here for the race, but I am supporting him this weekend." (What position could E.J. play?): "I think he'd make a good second baseman."