Archive for July, 2013

IMS Front Gate

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, July 22, 2013 – An extensive study that included consultation with some of the world’s leading experts in the field has produced a new gate entry plan that will allow fans attending events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to enter the facility with greater ease and efficiency.

The plan, which will include more points of entry, more personnel working the gates and greater supervision of all procedures, will be implemented for the first time during the 2013 Kroger Super Weekend, July 25-28, that will climax with the 20th Running of the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com on Sunday, July 28.

“We know that many of our fans experienced a slow entry into IMS on Indianapolis 500 Race Day in May,” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. “We’re very sorry that this happened on such an important day of the year for all of us.

“We have spent a significant amount of time and effort developing a new gate entry plan that takes the necessary and important steps to ensure smoother entry to the facility – while still focusing on the safety of our fans. We are hopeful that this enhanced gate plan improves the overall fan experience at the Speedway, which is of the utmost importance to us.”

The new plan includes an increase in entry gates from 11 to 18 by converting exit-only gates to entrance gates in strategic locations. In addition, 16th Street will feature a new entrance gate that will allow fans to enter the facility with greater ease.

The total number of entrance lanes for fans attending the race on Sunday will more than double, increasing from approximately 70 to more than 160.

By using the expertise of Populous, a company renowned for innovative stadium strategies, IMS will experiment with new entry procedures at Gate 9, at the intersection of 25th Street and Georgetown Road that will be similar to line queuing used at amusement parks. Most gates along Georgetown Road will use “funnel” entering, which will help address cooler and backpack checks before reaching the actual gate.

Additional elements that will expedite fan entry into IMS include the hiring of more staff with crowd-flow experience, better signage directing fans to gates and express lanes (for fans without bags or coolers), “air traffic control” on the roof of the Paddock Penthouse to help direct pedestrian traffic to less crowded gates via real-time audio communication to fans and the separation of will call, general admission and reserved seat purchasing locations on the north end of the facility. Improvements in print-at-home ticket scanning at IMS also will assist in smoother traffic flow at all future events.

IMS will enforce a new one cooler-per-person rule, and the size of each cooler can be no larger than 18 inches by 14 inches by 14 inches. Coolers may be hard- or soft-sided. Fans will be allowed to bring one cooler and one standard backpack or book bag per person.

IMS is also encouraging fans to plan to arrive early to ensure that increased traffic at the gates as race time draws near does not delay their ability to get to a seat in a timely manner.

“We are offering a free Brickfest Music Festival country music concert beginning on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. on the stage behind the Museum as an additional reason to arrive early to IMS,” Boles said. “In addition we will have several other free-with-a race ticket activities near the stage, including a zipline, volleyball, giant slide, pool table and other games.”

More information regarding the Brickfest can be found at www.ims.com/brickfest.

In addition to Populous, IMS consulted with its gate teams, fans, experts from Purdue University and multiple law enforcement agencies in devising the new and improved gate entry plan.

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2013 Kroger Super Weekend tickets: Ticket orders for the 2013 Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard can be made at www.ims.com/tickets and through the IMS Ticket Office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or by visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

General admission tickets will cost $10 for Thursday, July 25, $30 for Friday, July 26, $25 for Saturday, July 27 and $30 for Sunday, July 28. A four-day Kroger Super Weekend general admission ticket is $80, a great value for the ultimate race weekend. A three-day general admission ticket (Thursday-Saturday) is $65.

Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free any of the four days of the Super Weekend at the Brickyard when accompanied by an adult with a general admission ticket.

Reserved tickets for the Saturday and Sunday action also will be available at various price ranges.

Brickyard 400

Hello Everyone, thank you very much for visiting this page.

As many of you may know, our friend Martin Plowman, a recent winner in the 24 Hours of LeMans,  has been involved with a charity called Snowball Express for the past 3 years.

Snowball Express is a charity for children of our fallen military heroes since September 11th, 2001.  

Snowball’s mission is to create hope and new memories for children whose hero has paid the ultimate sacrifice.

You can see the full story by …. CLICKING HERE

To learn more about these wonderful Children …. CLICK HERE

Here are Martin’s comments about his efforts on behalf of these children …

“Through my racing career, I’m in a very fortunate and privileged position of being able to offer experiences to these families and share in the excitement of a sport that I am only afforded, due to the freedom paid for by these families.”

“In past seasons in the American Le Mans series and in the Indycar Series I have hosted two to three families at each of my races as VIP’s, as well as making surprise appearances with my race car at schools containing Snowball Express children.”

This year, as I am racing in the World Endurance Championship I only get to compete in America once, so my team and I vowed to make this one event extra special for my Snowball Express family.

My goal is to be able to accommodate up to ten families VIP style at the Austin round of the FIA WEC Championship in September.

“I have enjoyed some charitable donations in the past to help fund these events and even my family and friends choose to make this their chosen charity to help make a difference and to give back to these families who have gone through so much.”

“The costs involved in bringing these families to the events include Pit & Garage entry tickets, hospitality passes, travel and accommodation vouchers. After help from sponsors and friends within the paddock, the average cost per VIP will reach $200. An average Snowball family consists of one adult and two children. Based on my rule of thumb formula, we need to raise $6000 to make this years event a success and help impact as many children as possible. All surplus money from this event will be donated directly to Snowball Express 501(c)(3).

“Any donation, however big or small will travel a long way !!! — So Please Contribute

“Below you will see some donation rewards in various levels. From having your name or username on a ‘donors’ sign in the teams pit, to a signed replica of this years winning Le Mans car, to personal behind the scene pit/garage tours at the Austin round of the WEC.”

On behalf of Martin and all those who dedicate their time to bringing a smile to these children’s faces …

THANK YOU for your donation !!!

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Any donation, however big or small will travel a long way !!! — So Please Contribute

BRONZE — $5

Your name / Username will be listed on the donor’s hall of fame board in hospitality / pitlane for photo-opportunities.

SILVER — $20

Same as bronze, but includes a signed exclusive personal Le Mans hero card.

PHOTO ON HELMET — $40

Get your face (or photo of your choice) on my helmet for the Austin race!  Photo dimension is 1inch x 1inch. You will receive evidence of your face in action! — 46 of 50 left

GOLD — $100

Same as Silver, but includes an exclusive behind the scenes garage tour of Oak Racing at the Austin round of the FIA WEC.

SIGNED VISOR — $150

Get my Austin race-worn visor, signed by all three drivers of the number 35 OAK Racing team for your man cave. — 0 of 1 left

PLATINUM — $300

Same as Gold, but includes a limited edition 1:43 die cast of the 2013 winning Le Mans LMP2 car signed by all 3 drivers!

TITLE SPONSOR — $5,000

Presenting sponsor of Day at the races. Your name / logo will appear next to Snowball Express on the race car and VIP T-shirts. Includes 2 VIP hospitality passes. — 1 of 1 left 

Any donation, however big or small will travel a long way !!! — So Please Contribute

Terrific in Toronto …

Posted: July 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

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For the full story … Click Here

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By indycar.com staff 
 
NBC Sports Network will broadcast both rounds of the Honda Indy Toronto — the second of three doubleheader events during the IZOD IndyCar Series season. It’s on the air at 3 p.m. (ET) today, with the Firestone Indy Lights race airing right before at 2 p.m. The second IZOD IndyCar Series race begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 14.Click it: Qualifying results || Race 1 starting grid

Radio broadcast: IMS Radio Network affiliates, Sirius and XM 211, American Forces Network, INDYCAR 13 app, indycar.com … Chief announcer: Mike King

Timing & Scoring: INDYCAR 13 app, Race Control on indycar.com

Twitter: @IndyCar (#indyCar), @hondaindy (#2inTO)

Track layout: 1.75-mile, 11-turn temporary street course.

Length: 85 lapsStart: Standing start for Race 1 … Restarts: Double file

Verizon P1 Award winner: Dario Franchitti, No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car (59.6756 seconds in the Firestone Fast Six)

What to watch: The cars will begin a formation lap from pit lane before taking their grid positions on the fronttretch. After a countdown, the race begins from a standing starting position.

“It’s been such a long time since we’ve done a standing start,” Franchitti said. “That should be very interesting. If I stall it I’m pretty much screwed because I’ll have 23 other cars go by before I get rejoin the field.”

Another area to watch is the different track surfaces on this race course, including a newly resurfaced Turn 1, which many drivers believe is quite slippery. The back-to-back races should be another unique physical challenge to the drivers.

“It’s not as bumpy as Detroit, which is where we did our last doubleheader,” Franchitti said. “Detroit was like a rally track. But this course, it will be an equal physical challenge to Detroit.”

Did you know: The first Indy car race at Toronto was on July 20, 1986. Bobby Rahal was the winner. The IZOD IndyCar Series returned to Toronto in 2009 with Franchitti the winner.

1005879_10151650489087071_1540147541_nThe story below is authored by my good friend, David Reininger. It originally appeared on one of the most informative IndyCar media platforms in the sport —  TrackSide Online

As TSO published; “Dave covers a few races for TSO when he’s not at the races doing his other job, spotting for Tony Kanaan in IndyCar and Gabby Chaves in Firestone Indy Lights.  

Dave was kind enough to write about his experience on Race Day at the  Indianapolis 500 and TSO thought that now, as Tony Kanaan continues to compete in the 2013 IndyCar season, it would be a good time to share Dave’s story.”  

Knowing David, I was thrilled to see his story documented and fortunately for me, the people at TSO have allowed me to share it with the readers of  SpeedwaySightings

IndyCar Racing is not an occupation for David, but a vocation. Since becoming active in IndyCar Racing in the very late 1990s, David has not only been a member of several IndyCar and IndyCar Lights Championship winning teams, but given the opportunity, he writes periodically as one of the Trackside Online team of reporters.  If you want the inside story of what’s going on during the IndyCar season, you can’t go wrong by subscribing to Trackside Online — I have been a paying subscriber for several years and it’s minimal cost has paid for itself many, many times over.  If you are so inclined to sign up for some terrific IndyCar Racing content, tell them Billy from Philly sent you …

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Winning the Indianapolis 500: A Spotter’s Story …

By Dave Reininger

With 30 laps to go in the 97th Indianapolis 500, I stopped spotting for Tony Kanaan. While that is not 100% accurate, it’s pretty close. TK had his hands full during those last laps as his opponents made their challenging bids for the lead, but it was almost as if he knew what they were going to do. He obviously knew where they were and didn’t he need that information from his spotter. I shut up.

Keeping the 11 car out of trouble was still my responsibility and despite the urge to watch the race, I had to concentrate to ensure the track was clear from Turn 4 to Turn 2. When the leaders disappeared from view halfway through Turn 2, I focused my binoculars on Turn 4 and awaited their return to my area of responsibility. The Turn 3 spotter covers from Turn 2 to Turn 4. Like any other race fan, I just wanted to watch the race unfold beneath my perch located high atop the roof of E Stand. More than once I had to tell myself, ‘just do your job, do your job.” I knew TK would do his job, just as the crew had done their job in the pits.

Ryan Hunter-Reay’s spotter was standing near me and he saw the wasn’t saying about what his driver was doing. I think he shut up too.

It was an epic dogfight and obviously, I’m glad my dog won.

On Saturday night before the 500, I was sitting in the stands at Anderson (IN) Speedway waiting for the start of the Little 500. It would be my first Little 500 (I’ve always gone to the Night Before the 500 at IRP) and I would be spotting for five time Indianapolis 500 starter Jimmy Kite. When the start of the race was delayed due to weather, I was thinking, ‘what have I got myself into?’ I needed to be at the Speedway early the next morning for the most important race of the year. It was a 30 minute delay before Jimmy lined up in his starting position on Row 10. I called “green, green, green,” looked to Turn 1 for the inevitable first turn crash (which didn’t happen) only to look back to Turn 4 to see Jimmy hitting the car on his outside. The guy on the outside flipped, Jimmy tore a corner off his car, and the guy who hit Jimmy, sending him into the flipping driver on the outside, sailed away unscathed. Jimmy’s night was done and when the rain returned, so was everyone else.

I was home by 9:30 on the night before the 500. Within an hour the phone rang and the crew wanted to know if I would be available to spot on Sunday night. I agreed to return to Anderson on Sunday night and the crew member added, “unless you win the 500.”

I said, “Yeah, right.”

The crew was able to repair Jimmy’s car, and the Little 500 was completed on Sunday night. Jimmy finished 14th with former Indy Lights driver Geoff Dodge in his ear. Although he lives in Speedway, Geoff is racing the regular weekly Saturday night program at Knoxville, Iowa.

About 7 years ago I bought a house at 21st and Auburn in Speedway, Indiana. I share a property line with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (we back up to Lot 2). On race day I got up around 7 am. My first duty is to check on the yard to see how the parking is going. Based on years past, I know there are folks parked in the yard as early as 5:30 am. My daughter is my “property manager,” selling reserved spaces on Craigslist for 30 bucks a pop. She even purchases spots from the neighbors for 20, sells them on Craigslist for 30, and makes 8 bucks after PayPal takes their 2 dollar cut. Is this a great country or what? The neighbors are happy to sell their spaces, the parkers are happy with having a reserved space and we’ve no complaints. The system works well.

(Save those virtual rotten tomatoes for her, I have nothing to do with it except that I am glad to see the kid make a few extra bucks.)

I was in the garage by 9:30 or so and immediately checked on my two radios, one for communication with the driver and one for listening to race control and communicating with the crew. My crew radio was acting up and we changed some cables which made it better. It still wasn’t great. As it turned out, I never once had to communicate with the pits.

When the green flag dropped TK, who started 12th, passed 7 cars on the first lap. Hildebrand crashed on the third lap and on the restart, TK passed two more cars. He was running third when he decided to make a run for the lead. The car was awesome from the first day of practice. TK was happy with his car on May 10. There was one day mid-week when I saw some long faces around the garage but he was happy on the final day of practice too. On Carb Day he ran for 20 minutes and said, “Put it away.” The crew wanted to try one more thing and he ran two more laps before coming on the radio saying, “I’m telling you, put it away.”

They put it away. 

TK ran out front for much of the first stint but that cost the team as he was one of the first to pit. The penalty for leading was at least one lap per stint.

It was better to run second or third in another driver’s draft, saving fuel to stretch that stint an extra lap or two.

During the first few stints drivers were seeing what they had, checking their cars and allowing their competitors into the lead in order to save fuel. The last two stints were flat out racing.

When Dario crashed with two laps to go, the other spotters came over to congratulate me. At that point I had not assessed the situation and had not determined how long it would take to clean up the mess. Besides, the car had not crossed the finish line and we ALL know ANYTHING can happen. I high-fived and shook hands and while I can’t say it was surreal, it certainly was out of place. We hadn’t won anything yet.

He crossed the finish line and it was official. I have been told if the tears don’t run down your cheeks, it’s not crying. I’d be lying if I told you my eyes didn’t well up.

The photo session for the winning team is scheduled for 9 am Monday. The lines of photographers were in place well before the car arrived at the yard of bricks around 9:15. The sponsors went first, taking group photos, followed by team owners, family members and finally the entire KV Racing team. Group shots of the 11 crew were followed by individual shots of each crew member with TK and the Borg Warner Trophy. It is truly a memorable event.

The photo session is important to me because of my love for the Speedway, its history and traditions. That’s why I missed the post race celebration at Sensu in downtown Indy. Sensu opens at 10 pm and I understand the birds were chirping when some made it home Monday morning. I didn’t realize Sensu opened at 10 until I tried to get in around 8:30. Instead I treated my sister, who was all dressed up for the occasion, to a shrimp cocktail at St. Elmos. My wife opted to stay home as my sister was pretty psyched to see her big brother win the Indy 500. Sensu was still closed when we returned a few minutes after 10 and we headed back to Auburn Street.

When I left Virginia on May 9 I contemplated taking my clothes. You know, the clothes; the sport jacket, the tie, the nice trousers. But wouldn’t that be too presumptuous of me? Wouldn’t that jinx the team?

I didn’t want to jinx the team.

My wife took almost two hours. Despite the time, she went easy on the wallet, finding an outfit at the Kohls in Speedway. She even got new shoes. I had a pair of dress shoes at the Speedway house from an American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) banquet, so I was set in that department. Finding a 52 long at Kohls wasn’t going to happen so we were off to the big and tall shop at Castleton Corner. I took one hour to shop but the dent in the wallet was bigger.

Walking the red carpet took place at 5, followed by a dinner and then the awards presentation. After the banquet a quick return to reality was in order. I loaded my van for the long 10 hour drive back to Virginia. Done my midnight, I was on the road by 9:30 and back in Northern Virginia by 8:30 Tuesday evening, one day later than originally anticipated.

During the awards presentation, Josef Newgarden talked about how hard he worked for nothing. He finished 28th on Sunday. The driver faces the most adversity when the car’s handling is off a bit. Struggling through a 500 mile race, or any race for that matter, makes for a long day. It’s the same for the crew. If the driver is mired in traffic the spotter’s job is more difficult. The pit crew struggles to find the right changes to make the car better and it’s a long day for everyone.

The opposite is true. When everything is right, and it was for Tony Kanaan on that Sunday, the day is a breeze when compared to slogging around laps down to the leader. I’m not saying it’s easy to win the Indianapolis 500, far from it. The fact that the car was good from day one is a testament to the crew and their level of preparation for the race. KV Racing got it right. The pit stops were flawless. Everyone remained calm throughout the race and the entire event. With Tony running in the top five for most of the race my job as a spotter was made much easier.

You have to pay your dues when you first start spotting. You don’t start with one of the top teams. I’ve spotted for drivers when their car was absolutely diabolical. When the leaders come to lap your driver you want to scream, “Duck, here they come again!”

With Tony Kanaan, during the last 30 laps of the Indianapolis 500, the only thing I said was, “Way to go, Champ.”

 

Copyright 2013 TrackSide Online — www.TrackSideOnline.com — All Rights Reserved.

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For the Weekend Racing Schedule … Click Here

For Ticket information … Click Here

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Additional race information at www.IndyCar.com

Ticket information at  www.HondaIndyToronto.com