Daly Will Compete in Road and Street Course Events in No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet; Finalizes ECR’s Indianapolis 500 Lineup in Third Entry

(INDIANAPOLIS) December 9, 2019 – Ed Carpenter Racing announced today the addition of Conor Daly and the U.S. Air Force to the team’s 2020 NTT IndyCar Series program. Daly will race the U.S. Air Force Chevrolet at the road and street course events, finalizing the lineup of the No. 20 alongside team owner and oval driver Ed Carpenter. Additionally, Daly will compete in the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 as ECR will expand to a three-car effort. Daly and ECR will work alongside the U.S. Air Force to use Indy car racing to inspire young adults, communicate the service’s mission and build awareness about career opportunities.

“I am so thankful for the loyalty the U.S. Air Force has demonstrated along with the faith in me to get the job done,” stated Daly. “This has been an incredible relationship to see grow and get stronger as we continue to add races to our program. I couldn’t be happier to be getting one more step closer to full time Indy car competition.

“As an Indiana kid, it just feels right to be getting a chance with Ed Carpenter Racing,” continued ECR’s newest driver. “This team has done such an incredible job over the years and I have a tremendous amount of respect for Ed and this group. I look forward to entering a season feeling fully prepared with simulator time and testing for the first time in several years.”

Daly climbed into a kart for the first time at the age of 10. Within five years, he was competing in both United States and international open-wheel ladder systems. He found success in each series, earning the Skip Barber National Championship, an Indy Pro 2000 championship and wins in FIA Formula 3. He reached Indy Lights in the U.S. and Formula 2 in Europe before deciding to concentrate solely on American motorsports in 2015. Full-time NTT IndyCar Series seasons followed in 2016 and 2017. He supplemented his 2018 and 2019 Indianapolis 500 appearances by becoming one of the most trusted reserve drivers in the NTT IndyCar Series. In the past two seasons, five different teams have called upon Daly for 11 different race weekends.

The U.S. Air Force will continue a partnership with Daly that originated three years ago. Beginning with the Indianapolis 500 in 2018, the program expanded to include this year’s “500” and the season finale. Daly will now race a U.S. Air Force Chevrolet in 13 of 17 NTT IndyCar Series races in 2020. For the 12 road and street course events, Daly’s No. 20 will continue to pay tribute to fighter jets throughout America’s Air Force history. Similar to his striking 2019 livery, the car will showcase the iconic shark teeth war paint often carried into battle by the A-10 Thunderbolt, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35 Lightning. As Carpenter will race the No. 20 in the 2020 Indianapolis 500, Daly’s entry for Memorial Day weekend will feature a new number and a special edition livery.

“The U.S. Air Force is fortunate to have some incredible partners and ambassadors for our brand and Conor is certainly one of them,” said Major Ross McKnight, Chief of Events Marketing for Air Force Recruiting. “We are proud of the effort and appreciative of the supportive partners that have made the Air Force Indy car program so successful. The results and direct correlation between STEM principles, speed, teamwork, risk, and precision skill drive our continued investment.” Maj McKnight continued, “We are excited for the 2020 season with Ed Carpenter Racing and Conor Daly.”

The success of Air Force recruiting relies on a multi-layered marketing campaign at the local, regional and national level. Involvement in the NTT IndyCar Series reflects the Air Force’s core values and has a positive impact on generating public awareness about the organization, its people and mission. The strategic partnership enables the Air Force to leverage and establish STEM correlations with Indy car racing, including teamwork, speed, technology, engineering, math and excellence in competition. Daly and ECR will support the U.S. Air Force in its mission to inspire the nation’s brightest, most competitive young men and women for service.

Carpenter is thrilled with the new additions to his team’s 2020 program. “I am extremely proud and excited to welcome Conor Daly and the U.S. Air Force to Ed Carpenter Racing! I have seen Conor grow and mature over the course of his career and am confident that his best years are yet to come,” stated ECR’s team owner. “It is a huge honor to represent the men and women who serve in the U.S. Air Force and we hope to make them proud this season.”

Daly used 2019 to continuously sharpen his skills by racing in three different disciplines. The 27-year-old became a three-time race winner in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America and earned a third-place finish in the Super Trofeo World Finals in Spain. After competing in a USAC Midget for the first time last year, Daly added more dirt track experience in 2019 with the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals, Driven2SaveLives BC39 at The Dirt Track at IMS and the Western World Championships. In the NTT IndyCar Series, Daly competed in seven races with three teams, recording a best finish of 6th at WWT Raceway. He had his most successful Month of May to date, setting the fastest lap all practice sessions and parlaying that speed into a career-best Indianapolis 500 finish of 10th.

Since its inception in 2012, ECR has raced exclusively in the NTT IndyCar Series. The Indianapolis-based team has shown versatility by earning seven wins across each style of track the series competes on – street and road courses, short ovals and speedways. ECR currently boasts 28 Top 5 finishes, 20 of which have been podiums. Daly is now a part of the only multi-car team to have their entire lineup make a run for the coveted pole position at the 2019 Indianapolis 500 with cars ultimately starting second, third and fourth. At least one ECR Chevrolet has qualified on the front row of the “500” six of the past seven years, including Carpenter’s three pole positions.

The No. 20 will feature an all-Hoosier lineup in 2020 as both Carpenter and Daly are from Indiana. Carpenter, an Indianapolis native, will be driving in his 18th season of Indy car competition. Daly, from Noblesville, has 50 races of experience spanning six years. ECR recently announced that Dutch teenager and rookie Rinus VeeKay will race the full season in the team’s No. 21 Chevrolet. Carpenter, Daly and VeeKay will make up the team’s three-car effort for the 2020 Indianapolis 500. The upcoming NTT IndyCar Series season will open March 15, 2020 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Conor Daly will serve as Ed Carpenter Racing’s road and street course driver during the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, competing in the No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet. The 27-year-old finalizes the lineup of the No. 20 alongside team owner and oval driver Ed Carpenter. Additionally, Daly will compete in the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 as ECR will expand to a three-car effort.

For the road and street course events, Conor Daly’s No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet will continue to pay tribute to historic American fighter jets. Similar to his striking 2019 livery, Daly’s car will showcase the iconic shark teeth war paint often carried into battle by the A-10 Thunderbolt, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35 Lightning. As team owner Ed Carpenter will race the No. 20 in the 2020 Indianapolis 500, Daly’s entry for Memorial Day weekend will feature a new number and a special edition livery.

About Ed Carpenter Racing

Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) first entered the NTT IndyCar Series in 2012. The Indianapolis-based race team has proven its versatility by collecting seven wins across each type of track the series competes on – street and road courses, short ovals and speedways. ECR is led by IndyCar’s only team owner/driver, Ed Carpenter, three-time pole winner for the Indianapolis 500 (2013, 2014 and 2018). The 2020 season will see Indiana natives Carpenter and Conor Daly in the No. 20 Chevrolet as Carpenter will drive the ovals and Daly will take over for the road and street course events. Both will be entered in the Indianapolis 500 alongside Dutch teenager Rinus VeeKay, who will compete for the Rookie of the Year title as he races the No. 21 Chevrolet for the full season. More information on Ed Carpenter Racing may be found at http://www.edcarpenterracing.com/.

About the U.S. Air Force

The mission of the U.S. Air Force is to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace. For 2020, Air Force Recruiting Service is hiring over 30,500 new Airmen. An emphasis is on recruiting people with no prior military service into one of about 140 enlisted career opportunities. The Air Force recruits the brightest candidates possible, then provides them with tough, highly technical training that gives them the right skills to sustain the combat capability of America’s Air Force. For more information about Air Force benefits and opportunities, go to http://www.airforce.com.

HOUSTON Nov. 27—A.J. Foyt does not eat turkey at Thanksgiving or any other time of year. However, in the 1960s, he spent nearly every Thanksgiving trying to win the turkey as in the Turkey Night Grand Prix at  Ascot Park, the now-defunct half-mile dirt track in Gardena, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles.

Foyt is a three-time winner (’60, ’61 and ’66) of the Turkey Night Grand Prix but the triumph that stood out for him was the first victory in 1960 which he won in Jack London’s No. 5 midget.

“It was nothing to have over a hundred midgets there and I think they started just 18 or 20 cars,” Foyt recalled. His midget ride came about through Foyt’s chief mechanic George Bignotti, who in addition to fielding the Bowes Seal Fast Indy car in which Foyt won his first national championship in 1960, also worked on the midget owned by London.

“I was running up high coming from the back,” said Foyt, who had qualified 17th for the 150-lap race. “I was running up against the fence and coming off Turn 4, I thought my goggles were sweating up and I thought ‘What the hell is going on?’ I pulled them down a little bit and everything cleared up and then I come off Turn 4 again and I couldn’t see anything! And it got worse and worse and finally, they red-flagged it. I was thinking to myself, what the hell is wrong with my goggles because it was kind of warm and I was sweating and I thought my goggles were just fogging over. I was glad to see them stop it because you were coming off 4 and you were just blind for maybe half a second but you were running real fast up against the fence. They must have let it run like that for 10 or 15 laps—it was dangerous. Finally, the fog just came down really thick and you couldn’t see nothing. That was a spooky night.”

The race was called after 122 laps with Foyt taking home the honors. As much as he enjoyed racing out there, he admitted to feeling the pressure of qualifying at the track which was one of the fastest half-miles in the country.

“Everybody wanted to run the Turkey Night race—there were a lot of great drivers and great cars that would miss that race. You were always worried about the number you drew for qualifying because the track would change a little bit before they would get down to you. It would get dry slick and then you couldn’t get the traction. It was kind of nerve-wracking.”

A.J. in the No. 5 Jack London midget as the action gets underway at Ascot Park in 1960.

The race was called after 122 laps with Foyt taking home the honors. As much as he enjoyed racing out there, he admitted to feeling the pressure of qualifying at the track which was one of the fastest half-miles in the country.

“Everybody wanted to run the Turkey Night race—there were a lot of great drivers and great cars that would miss that race. You were always worried about the number you drew for qualifying because the track would change a little bit before they would get down to you. It would get dry slick and then you couldn’t get the traction. It was kind of nerve-wracking.”

When asked what made racing at Ascot so challenging, Foyt said, “It was a tricky race track. Don Branson and Jud Larson were probably the greatest dirt drivers that ever were and neither one of them could get around that race track good. I couldn’t believe that. It was just a tricky race track you had to really be on your toes and watch what you were doing.

“The track would change up on you so quick,” he continued. “You’d be good for ten laps and then the tires you started the race with maybe would quit working, and that’s what made it tricky because you never knew which way the dirt was going to go. I always used to run high against the fence, not around the pole—but a lot of people would run down low. When the top groove would fade out, it really would hurt me. That was the only way I could really get around it was to run up high.”

Foyt, who raced in the Turkey Night Grand Prix from 1959 through 1968 qualified in the top-5 five times, including winning the pole in 1966. He finished in the top-5 five times as well, three of them victories.

This year’s Turkey Night Grand Prix will be the 79th running of the venerable midget race which has since moved to Ventura (Calif.) Raceway. Open-wheel and NASCAR star Kyle Larson will try to make it three straight midget race wins in a row tomorrow night, a feat he accomplished in 2012. Billy Boat is the only other driver to achieve that goal which he did in 1995 en route to winning the USAC Western States Midget title. Two years later he was driving an Indy car for A.J. Foyt in the Indy Racing League.

As for Thanksgiving Dinner back in the ‘60s? Foyt, Bignotti and the team would go to the casino afterwards where Foyt ordered steak.

“I didn’t want turkey on Thanksgiving, I just wanted to win the Turkey!”

By:   Anne Fornoro — A.J. Foyt Racing
        November 27, 2019

The tie between auto manufacturing and auto racing here in the states go hand-in-hand …

Here is a look back at one of the world’s automobile manufacturing cornerstones:  Ford Motor Company’s River Rouge complex in Dearborn, Michigan

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 – John Martin, a veteran of five Indianapolis 500 starts and the eighth-place finisher in the rain-shortened 1973 event, died Nov. 20. He was 80.

A gifted mechanic and engineer, who performed much of the work on cars he drove, Martin was active in racing until his death. His most-recent role was working near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at Billy Throckmorton’s Grant King racing shop, restoring and preparing a variety of racing engines for vintage car meets, including normally aspirated Offenhausers, turbocharged Drake Offys, Volkswagen midget car engines and an abundance of vintage sprint car powerplants.

Last summer, he drove in Vintage Race of Champions (VROC) Charity Pro-Am race during the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational at IMS, a race he competed in every year since the inaugural in 2014.

The Cushing, Oklahoma-born Martin, who lived in Missouri, Wisconsin, California and in the Indianapolis area, made a total of 52 starts in the United States Auto Club National Championship series and under the Championship Auto Racing Teams banner, placing within the top 10 on 17 occasions in Indy car events. His highest showing was a pair of fifth-place finishes, scored in the Ontario 500-mile races of 1973 and 1975.

He attempted to qualify for every Indianapolis 500 between 1971 and 1982 and was successful for five consecutive events between 1972 and 1976. Driving an ex-Peter Revson McLaren fielded by himself, Martin placed eighth in 1973, when the car was called the Unsponsored Special, and 11th in 1974 when it ran as the delightfully named Sea Snack Shrimp Cocktail Special.

Long after he was no longer driving, Martin continued to work on teams in a variety of capacities, including engineer, fabricator and spotter. Far into the night prior to an event, Martin could be seen dressed in an apron and engrossed in a mechanical exercise of some kind.

His early days of driving were as an amateur road racer with the Sports Car Club of America. While living in Wisconsin, he converted a 1963 Corvette Stingray into an A-production racer and won a national title with it in 1965. He also took part in several United States Auto Club stock car races between 1966 and 1969, and contested SCCA’s Trans-Am series in 1968 with an AMC Javelin. In 1970, he drove a Surtees in the SCCA Continental series for stock block-powered Formula 5000 cars and placed within the top 10 in eight out of 11 starts.

A great storyteller, the laid-back Martin was blessed with a rich baritone voice that the professionals would describe as a “radio” voice.

He is survived by his wife, Linda, and a married daughter, Kristen De Muth.

Services are pending, but a celebration of life is being planned for some time in December at the Grant King racing shop.

Plainfield, IL (November 22, 2019) – Dale Coyne Racing announced today that it has parted ways with driver Sebastien Bourdais, who has spent four years with the Plainfield, Illinois-based team since his return to North American open-wheel racing in 2011.

“I want to thank Sebastien for having the confidence to come back from his Formula 1 tour and join our team in 2011, and again for his commitment to the team during the past three years,” commented Team Owner Dale Coyne. “It is not a decision we take lightly, but due to the ever-changing landscape of Indy car racing, we have no choice but to make a change for 2020. We wish Sebastien all the best with his future racing endeavors.”

Bourdais competed under the Dale Coyne Racing banner in 2011 and 2017 and Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan for the 2018 and 2019 IndyCar seasons. In that time, Bourdais has won back to back races at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, his home town event, and scored three other podium finishes. He returned from a horrific crash in qualifying for the 2017 Indianapolis 500 to win his second season opener at St. Petersburg in 2018. Bourdais has been one of the, if not the quickest Honda in Indianapolis 500 qualifying in each of the past three years.

“I want to thank Dale, Jimmy and Sulli for giving me this opportunity to continue racing in the NTT IndyCar Series over the past few years,” remarked Bourdais, “I look forward to pursuing new opportunities in racing in the years ahead.”

Vasser-Sullivan Racing Co-Owners, Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan, said: “We both want to thank Sebastien for the outstanding job he did driving for our teams KVSH Racing and Dale Coyne Racing Vasser-Sullivan. Looking back Seb has driven 84 races for us. In that time, we captured poles and won a lot of races. Sebastien is a great friend, a great driver, a true champion and a fantastic ambassador for our partners and Indy car racing. We wish him the best of luck in the next phase of his career where we hope there will be an opportunity for us to race together again.”

The team is exploring several options in order to complete its driver lineup for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series and an announcement will be made in the near future.

About Dale Coyne Racing:

Dale Coyne Racing (DCR) is an NTT IndyCar Series team based in Plainfield, IL, 40 miles southwest of downtown Chicago. The team has participated in every season of the INDYCAR/Champ Car World Series since 1984. DCR earned its first IndyCar win in 2009 with the late, great Justin Wilson at Watkins Glen and picked up its most recent one after becoming back to back winners on the Streets of St. Petersburg with driver Sebastien Bourdais in 2018. Team owner Dale Coyne is a true racer with a long history in racing. As an Indy car driver for five years, and a team owner for more than 30 years, he is among the most experienced team owners in the Series paddock and highly respected by his peers. Coyne is a Midwestern entrepreneur who designed and built Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, IL. He and Tony George, along with International Speedway Corporation (ISC), expanded the facility by forming a partnership and building Chicagoland Speedway. Coyne served as president of the facility through its construction and opening season and served on its management committee until its eventual buyout by ISC in 2007. The DCR Team Owner has several other investments, including being the largest Sonny’s BBQ franchisee in the country.

About Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan:

Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan is owned by veteran driver, team owner and successful businessman Dale Coyne (Owner of Dale Coyne Racing), and partners with Vasser-Sullivan owned by 1996 IndyCar champion Jimmy Vasser and sports marketer James “Sulli” Sullivan (co-owners of Vasser-Sullivan). Vasser-Sullivan also co-own AIM VASSER SULLIVAN competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaigning two Lexus RC F GT3s. Dale Coyne Racing w/Vasser-Sullivan is based in Plainfield, IL, located about 40 miles southwest of downtown Chicago.

Image  —  Posted: November 18, 2019 in Uncategorized