Archive for June, 2015

IndyCar News / Notes …

Posted: June 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

Verizon IndyCar Series Headlines

1. Long Time Coming: Rahal, Andretti Names Share Podium Again
2. Overnight TV Ratings for Fontana Thriller Double
3. Karam Posts Best Finish of Young Career
4. Inside the box score – MAVTV 500

Image by Chris Jones for IndyCar

Image by Chris Jones for IndyCar

— 1 —

Long Time Coming – Rahal, Andretti Names Share Podium Again

Drivers with two of the most recognizable surnames in Indy car racing shared the podium following the exciting MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway on June 27, when Graham Rahal won and Marco Andretti finished third.

Surprisingly, it’s the first time in their Indy car careers that the two – who each now drive for teams owned by their fathers – have celebrated together in Victory Circle. The last meeting on the podium for a Rahal and an Andretti was Sept. 1, 1996, in the Molson Indy Vancouver street-course event. Marco’s father, Michael, won that day and Graham’s dad, Bobby, finished second.

The MAVTV 500 in Fontana, Calif., was the 42nd time in which a Rahal and an Andretti, including Marco’s grandfather, Mario & cousin John, have been on the podium together in an Indy car race. There were 3 occasions when Bobby Rahal and Mario and Michael Andretti swept the podium in their careers.

Graham Rahal’s rebound this season from a frustrating 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season is highlighted by the victory in the 250-lap race. It was his second career Indy car win and first since April 2008 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., when he was 19 years old. It also was Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing‘s first victory since July 2008 by Ryan Hunter-Reay at Watkins Glen.

Rahal, who started 19th in the No. 15 Mi-Jack Honda, moved to fourth in the 2015 championship standings with his fifth top-five finish through 11 races.

“It feels good. I’m most happy for my dad and (team co-owners) Dave (Letterman) and Mike (Lanigan) and all our sponsors that kind of came back and gave us some life this year,” Graham said. “This is a big, big deal for us. There’s a lot of people that made a lot of comments about myself and about our team and about our owners and everything else that weren’t fair, to be quite frank, so to kind of rebound the way we have all season … this feels good to win. I feel like we’re starting to find our form everywhere a little bit, and I think that’s helping us in the big picture.”

Marco Andretti also is experiencing a resurgence of sorts this season. The third place at Auto Club Speedway was his fourth top-10 finish of 2015. Andretti advanced one position to sixth in the standings and remains the only driver to complete every race lap thus far this season (1,307).

“I’m not going to sit here and feel bad for myself. I’m just going to keep working,” said Marco, who qualified third in the No. 27 Snapple Honda for Andretti Autosport. “It’s good that we’re bummed out for third (and not winning).

“I think it’s my 20th podium,” he added. “I wish I had more (career) wins than two. Almost 1,000 laps led. But we just have to keep pushing and hope that I have a long career ahead of me that we can really start racking them up. Our consistency is there, I just wish we were a little bit better.”

— 2 —

Overnight TV Ratings for Fontana Thriller Double

The MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway was heralded by some as one of the most exciting races in the sport’s history, which was reflected by a more than 100% increase in overnight television ratings. The 250-lapper at Fontana, Calif., featured an all-time Indy car-record 80 lead changes among 14 of the field’s 23 entries, drew a 0.37 overnight rating as reported by Nielsen – up from a 0.18 rating in 2014.

“We put on a heck of a show for the fans, that’s for sure,” 3ird-place finisher Marco Andretti said. “It’s definitely crazy. You’ve got guys that just don’t want to back off, guys going forward, guys going backward, inside, outside. I find it quite fun but extremely dangerous, but that’s what we sign up for.”

Ryan Briscoe, whose late-race incident with Ryan Hunter-Reay ended the race under caution, echoed Andretti’s sentiments.

“It was a really exciting race, to say the least,” said the driver of the No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Honda. “We passed a lot of guys out there so it was fun to be up front. Coming through the field a couple times – it was awesome. I was really enjoying myself.”

The race featured a total of 3,173 on-track passes – 2,537 for position – which accounts for 51 percent of the total on-track passes (6,248) in the Verizon IndyCar Series this season.

— 3 —

Karam Posts Best Finish of Young Career

Sage Karam‘s budding career received a shot of confidence with a fifth-place finish in the MAVTV 500. Underneath the best result through nine Verizon IndyCar Series races for the 20-year-old from Nazareth, Pa., was the realization that he could run up front in Chip Ganassi Racing Teams‘ No. 8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chevrolet.

Karam showed it by leading his first career laps (five) early in the 250-lap race.

“I think everyone in the field thought they could win at some point. It was fun running up front,” said Karam, the 2013 Indy Lights champion. “The Comfort Rev/Big Machine car was fast all day and I led my first laps in the Verizon IndyCar Series, got my first top five. After a rough season, that’s what I needed right there and that’s some confidence for me that I’m going to put in my bag and take forward.”

Gabby Chaves, whose car was plagued with radio issues at the start that forced a lengthy pit stop for repairs, finished 20th in the race but maintains the lead in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings with 178 points, ahead of Stefano Coletti of KV Racing Technology (140) and Karam (126).

“Unfortunately, we had a radio issue when the race started and I could not hear anyone,” said Chaves, driver of the No. 98 Bowers & Wilkins/Curb Honda for Bryan Herta Autosport. “By the rules, especially on an oval, you have to have communications working. It took us 16 laps to track down and resolve the problem. We had a strong car, but just did the ‘good sportsman’ thing and stayed out of everyone’s way. So, we just ran all day and got some valuable experience.”

— 4 —

Inside the Box Score

Image by Chris Owens for IndyCar

Numbers to note following the MAVTV 500 at the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway oval – the 11th round of the Verizon Indy Car Series season:

6 – Positions gained by Stefano Coletti in the final 25 laps of the race (18th to 12th) – Podium finishes in his last seven starts at Auto Club Speedway by Tony Kanaan, who was the race runner-up.

7.77 – Average running position of winner Graham Rahal for the 250 laps.

14 – Drivers who led at least one lap, the most to lead a race at Auto Club Speedway since November 2001, when a track-record 19 drivers led.

18 – Positions improved by Rahal (19th to first), most of any of the 23 starters.

21 – Indy car wins for cars owned by Bobby Rahal, who won 24 times as a driver.

74 – Top-three career finishes by Kanaan, tying Rick Mears for 13th on the all-time Indy car list.

76 – Laps in which rookie Sage Karam improved his position, most of any driver.

80 – Race Lead changes, an Indy car record. Previous was 73 at Auto Club Speedway in November 2001.

124 – Starts between Indy car victories for Graham Rahal, the longest streak between wins by an Indy car driver. Previous record was 97 starts between wins held by Johnny Rutherford.

244 – Consecutive starts by Kanaan, extending his all-time record.

2,537 – Total on-track passes for position. Kanaan had 204, most of any driver.

3,173 – Total on-track passes — Of the 6,248 total on-track passes this season, 51 percent occurred in the IndyCar Fontana MAVTV 500.

Data provided by IndyCar

Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar

Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar

Fontana, California (June 27, 2015 — An Indy car record 80 lead changes among 14 drivers culminated in a dramatic victory for American Graham Rahal in the MAVTV 500 at the Auto Club Speedway. The victory was the second of the Rahal’s career and ended a 124-race winless drought dating back to 2008 in St. Petersburg – the longest gap between race wins for a driver in Indy car history.

The 80 lead changes during the 250-lap event surpassed the previous Indy car record of 73 set at Auto Club Speedway in November 2001.

Rahal, driving the No. 15 Mi-Jack Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, won under caution as the cars driven by Ryan Briscoe and Ryan Hunter-Reay made contact battling for position coming to the white flag. The final restart was set up after a red flag was displayed on Lap 245 of 250 on the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway oval after contact between the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet driven by Will Power and the No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda of Takuma Sato on the frontstretch.

All drivers were checked at the infield medical center and cleared.

“Our weakness has been these ovals and I told the guys this morning that the next three races will define our year,” said Rahal, who qualified 19th. “It’s been so long coming. It’s awesome. I think the combination of downforce and tires made for multiple lanes of racing that was nerve-racking but exciting. (With) the width of this place, the guys were able to stay in their lanes. You don’t know how good this feels. Went we went back to 16th, I was definitely a little worried there. I knew my car was really good. It wasn’t the quickest up front. I struggled when I got to the front to be as fast as the Chevys, but those last couple of laps worked. I hung onto the bottom line. I’m just proud of these guys. The fans say, ‘Graham’s just driving different’ but it’s not me. It’s these guys right here that make things happen. I couldn’t be more honored and thankful to have a group like this. I feel like Steak ‘n Shake is kind of our good luck charm because they came on board and things turned around and D-A Lubricant as well. It’s great to bring them this result. I think I was going four wide and thinking, ‘Man I haven’t been four wide in six or seven years.’ It makes you nervous, for sure. You trust the guys. When you’re running up front, you’re hoping you’re with all the best guys. I was racing with (Tony) Kanaan and (Scott) Dixon and (Will) Power, and then (Ryan) Hunter-Reay a lot, so to trust those around you helps a lot. It was a hairy race. I feel like this year we have been knocking on the door a lot. We’ve been so close and I feel like we deserved it before but hadn’t gotten it yet, so to get this one feels unbelievable.”

Rahal was 19 years, 93 days old when he won at St. Petersburg and is still the youngest Indy car winner.

“It feels good, and is a big day for us. It shows that our rebound this season is legit,” said Rahal, who moved into fourth place in the season standings. “The team is why all of this has come together. Hopefully I can move on from here and not make it seven years until I win again.”

Tony Kanaan finished second in the No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Marco Andretti placed third in the No. 27 Snapple Andretti Autosport Honda. 

Juan Pablo Montoya finished fourth to extend his championship points lead to 46 over Power, and rookie Sage Karam earned his highest finish of fifth in his nine-race Verizon IndyCar Series career at the track where he wrapped up the 2013 Indy Lights championship.

Kanaan speaking about his race day:  “That was one of the most nerve-racking races I’ve ever been a part of, but I can’t be too upset with a podium finish. We battled up front all day and the No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet was really quick. I was actually in the middle of a pass when that last yellow came out, so who knows what could’ve happened if we would’ve stayed green until the end.”

Marco Andretti commented: “It’s definitely crazy; pack racing’s always like that. You’ve got guys that just don’t want to back off, guys going forward, guys going backward, inside, outside. I find it quite fun but it is extremely dangerous, but that’s what we sign up for. We put on a heck of a show for the fans, that’s for sure. We were pretty good but sort of shot ourselves in the foot there at the end. I shouldn’t have went low. I should’ve known Graham (Rahal) was going to do that. I had a full head of steam. If I would’ve went high, I think we could’ve won the race.”

The first yellow came out on Lap 136 when the cars driven by Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe made light contact on the backstretch. Five other caution periods followed, including two for debris. 

The final caution occurred with just two laps left when Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ryan Briscoe collided sending Briscoe airborne, end-over-end before landing in the infield grass.

Much discussion following the race involved drivers, owners and crew chiefs lamenting the “pack-racing” that developed during the course of the 500 mile event. There are many contributors to the race scenario that played out in Fontana; new Aero-kits, lack of testing, the wide lanes of the two-mile Auto Club Speedway and some drivers taking extreme risks. Fortunately there were no major injuries, save for pit road injury to a Coyne Racing crewman.

Film Project Focusing on Indy 500 through Parnelli Jones‘ Eyes … 

The Indianapolis 500 Mile Race is heralded as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Seeing it through the eyes of a race legend provides an entirely new perspective and one that makers of the film “Behind the Indianapolis 500 with Parnelli Jones” believe will resonate with race fans everywhere. The film delves into the enduring relationship Jones has enjoyed with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for more than five decades. Jones, along with executive producers Annie and Mike Walker and Travis Knox, held an exclusive screening of the film’s “first rough cut” Friday at Auto Club Speedway. Guests at the screening included a pair of Jones’ peers and friends, Mario Andretti and Johnny Rutherford.

Never one to crave the spotlight, Jones thought “there was a little too much me” in the rough cut that intertwines his days as a driver and car owner with insights from his annual pilgrimage back to IMS each May. Jones’ saga with the Indy 500 began with his rookie season in 1961, included his dominant 1963 “500” victory, the near win in the 1967 Andy Granatelli turbine car and back-to-back triumphs as owner of Al Unser’s car in 1970-71. It brought back a lot of memories and stuff,” Jones said. “I think the whole picture is probably good for racing, anyway. I think people that see it could relate to where we come from. People don’t usually get to see how it all happens.”

Andretti, Bobby Unser and Rick Mears – all fellow Indy winners themselves – are among the many motorsports personalities who spoke to filmmakers about Jones’ legacy and the aura of the Indianapolis 500. Current plans call for a one-hour finished product that will be pitched to television networks for broadcast leading up to the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 next May. “I’m hoping it will give a boost to the 100th and give people a little bit more awareness about how cool the speedway is and how cool the ‘500’ is and how much history is there,” Annie Walker said.

Photo by Richard Dowdy for IndyCar

Photo by Richard Dowdy for IndyCar

Of Note … 

Before the race, Kanaan was inducted into Auto Club Speedway’s Walk of Fame. Kanaan installed a brass plaque with his likeness and signed his name in the concrete. “My championships I won here in ’97 (Indy Lights) and 2004 (Verizon IndyCar Series), so I have good memories of this place and I love this place,” said Kanaan, who won the 2014 MAVTV 500. …

Dale Coyne Racing crewman Oren Trower was transported by ground to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center for further evaluation of lower extremity injuries sustained in a pit lane incident during the race. Trower is the inside-front tire changer on the No. 19 entry driven by Tristan Vautier.

Photo by Chris Owens for IndyCar

Photo by Chris Owens for IndyCar

Today Race — MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California

By Dave Lewandowski Director of Editorial Projects –

• Race 11 of Verizon IndyCar Series season …

• Juan Pablo Montoya leads championship standings by 27 points over Team Penske teammate Will Power.

• Qualifying results: Simon Pagenaud earned his first Verizon P1 Award on a superspeedway and his second pole overall with a two-lap average speed of 218.952 mph in the No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet. It topped Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves’ 2014 pole-winning speed of 218.540 mph. 

MAVTV 500 Qual Results-1

• He said it: “It’s kind of mind over matter,” CFH Racing driver Ed Carpenter said about the 500-mile race with temperature on the racetrack approaching 140 degrees. “There’s only so much you can do to prepare for this kind of race during the day. The track temp is radiating into the car and you can feel it on your feet. We do hydrate as much as we can beforehand and have fluids in the car, but it’s going to be uncomfortable at some point for everyone, whether you’re having a good day or bad day. It’s easier to stay focused when you’re having a good car and running up front. You have to stay mentally tough and focus on each lap and your line and the car. You have to take it lap by lap.” 

• For spectators: A full-field autograph session is from 10-11 a.m. in the INDYCAR Fan Village. Also, an array of activities will be in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Fan Zone, including California Amateur Skateboard League exhibition; Lucas Oil Products Slick Mist Summer Shine car show; Ronny North concert (10 a.m.) on main stage; Metal Mulisha Motorcycle stunt show; Lucha Libre wrestling exhibition; Lefty’s Driver Story Time with Gabby Chaves; Walk of Fame ceremony with Tony Kanaan (11 a.m.; Gate C); Mark Mackay concert (11:30 a.m.) on main stage.

• Twitter: @ACSupdates #MAVTV500; @IndyCar, #IndyCar

TV: NBCSN telecasts the race live at 1 pm (Pacific) — 3pm Central — Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer, alongside analysts Steve Matchett and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee, Kelli Stavast and Robin Miller.

• Web: Real-time Timing & Scoring and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts is available on

• Radio: All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 212, XM 209,, and on the INDYCAR 15 app. Paul Page is the lead announcer with Jaques Lazier the analyst.

• Race laps: 250 on the 2-mile, D-shaped oval with 14 degrees of banking in turns
• Pit box dimensions: 40 x 14 feet
• Fuel: 130 U.S. gallons of Sunoco E85
• Tires: 15 sets of Firestone Firehawks for the race weekend

• 2014 race: Tony Kanaan, who started seventh, led Chip Ganassi Racing Teams teammate Dixon across the start-finish line by 3.6750 seconds to win the 500-mile race. Ed Carpenter, who won the race in 2012 and was runner-up in 2013, placed third.

• Of note: Motorsports journalist Dave Despain is the grand marshal. His weekly TV series “The Dave Despain Show” will return to the MAVTV network July 12. … Monster Jam World Finals champion Todd LeDuc is the honorary starter. … Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power of Team Penske has finished in the top five in 45.6 percent of his 149 Indy car starts. … Paul Tracy, driver analyst for the NBCSN telecast of the MAVTV  500, turned the first practice lap on the Auto Club Speedway oval in 1997. The MAVTV 500 will be the 14th Indy car race at Auto Club Speedway. Mark Blundell won the first Indy car race in 1997. … Verizon IndyCar Series team co-owner Jimmy Vasser, Adrian Fernandez and Sam Hornish Jr. are the only drivers to win at Auto Club Speedway more than once. Carpenter (2012), Will Power (2013) and Kanaan (2014) are past winners entered. … Kanaan has finished on the podium in five of his past six races at Auto Club Speedway. Carpenter has finished on the podium in his past three races at the track.

Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar

Simon Pagenaud earned his second career Indy car pole and first on an oval in leading a Team Penske sweep of the front row for the MAVTV 500 with a two-lap average speed of 218.952 mph at the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway here in Fontana, California.

Pagenaud, driving the No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet, topped teammate Helio Castroneves’ 2014 pole-winning average speed of 218.540 mph and will start on the front row for the third consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series race.

Castroneves qualified second with a two-lap average speed of 218.734 mph in the No. 3 Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet.

It is the fifth consecutive race that Team Penske entries have occupied the front row.

“Thanks to my crew for the preparations and it’s exciting to get a superspeedway pole,” said Pagenaud, who is in his first season with Team Penske. “Qualifying is one thing. It’s a reward for performance. We have a 500-mile race and hopefully I can reward the team for its hard work. It’s a brand new team that is gelling really well. It’s good. We’ve been working really hard on the No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet Team. It’s an amazing feeling.

“This (pole) is nice, but frankly you can win from the back in a 500-mile race like (Juan Pablo) Montoya did (in the Indianapolis 500). Lots of traffic tomorrow and it’s going to be important to keep your tires underneath you. Being able to run in different lanes and being smart in traffic is going to be key. And obviously there is going to be a lot of pit stops, too – so there’s a lot for tomorrow, but I’m just going to take this tonight and enjoy it.”

Pagenaud won his first Verizon P1 Award on June 28, 2014, at Houston. He has qualified in the top five in 10 of the 11 Verizon IndyCar Series races this season. Pagenaud also qualified on the front row for the 99th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.

MAVTV 500 Qual Results-1Marco Andretti, whose two-lap average speed of 217.797 mph in the No. 27 Snapple Andretti Autosport Honda was third best of the 22 qualifiers, posted his highest qualifying result since securing the pole for the July 2013 race at Pocono Raceway. “We’ll have a pretty clean view for the start here. I’m pretty excited about the race car; I’m thrilled with where we ended up in quals – but I think my race car is really solid, and thankfully we won’t have to come from the back. Just really proud of everybody, we’re really maximizing everything.”

CFH Racing co-owner/driver Ed Carpenter, who has finished first, second and third in the past three races at Auto Club Speedway, qualified on the outside of Row 2 (217.666 mph) in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet.

Montoya, the Verizon IndyCar Series championship points leader who is seeking to complete a career Triple Crown of 500-mile race victories at Pocono Raceway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway, qualified fifth at 217.250 mph in the No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet.

Montoya will share Row 3 with defending race winner Tony Kanaan, who posted a two-lap average of 217.184 mph. Scott Dixon, runner-up to teammate Kanaan in the MAVTV 500 last August, matched his teammate’s qualification speed average 217.184 mph and will start seventh.

Dixon’s Car Livery Inspiring People to Get Moving …

Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar

Dixon is carrying a special orange and black livery on his No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet this weekend to promote Unilever’s Degree brand and the Degree Get Moving Challenge. The #GetMoving program challenges consumers for six weeks starting July 1 with fitness activities ranging from cardio kickboxing to full-sprint workouts. Participants can earn prizes including VISA gift cards, Men’s Health and Women’s Health magazine subscriptions, workout attire and a destination trip for a one-on-one workout session with celebrity trainer and transformation pro Chris Powell. For more information, visit

Two INDYCAR Events Voted among Top 10 in Motorsports …

The Indianapolis 500 and Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach are among the world’s 10 best motorsports races, according to an online poll conducted by USA TODAY and Results of the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award for Best Motorsports Race were released today, with the Indy 500 finishing second and the Long Beach street race ninth among 20 nominees.

Andretti Technologies

Andretti Technologies to Power Season Two of Formula E Competition
for Andretti Formula E

TE Connectivity to Serve as Lead Technology Partner
in Andretti Technologies’ Formula E Development Program

JUNE 26, 2015 (LONDON) – With the inaugural season of the FIA Formula E Championship coming to a close in the heart of London this weekend, U.S.-based Andretti Formula E has unveiled a first look at manufacturing technology plans for Season Two with the formation of Andretti Technologies, an independent company within the racing empire of Andretti Autosport Holding Company.

“I am happy to announce the creation of Andretti Technologies,” said Michael Andretti. “As a racer, the automotive and motorsport industries as a whole have always been of great interest and a passion of mine. Having the opportunity to build on my racing background and provide an outlet for developing dynamic and sustainable clean-energy solutions not only exciting, but something I’m very proud of.”

With a primary focus on developing the new powertrain technology that Andretti Formula E will begin utilizing in the second season of Formula E competition and carry to future seasons, Andretti Technologies will also lead various innovation and advanced engineering projects for the family of Andretti race teams while striving to meet the future transportation needs of an ever-evolving world both within and outside of motorsport.

As the advanced engineering arm of the Michael Andretti-led company, Andretti Technologies has partnered with TE Connectivity – who most recently joined Andretti’s IndyCar partnership portfolio for the 2015 Indianapolis 500® – for a customized Formula E testing and trackside support program. Integration and collaboration between the two companies will utilize TE Connectivity technology and engineering support within the Andretti Technologies Formula E powertrain development program. Through the technical partnership, the Formula E test car and trackside support program will prominently feature TE Connectivity brand integration across all test program assets.

“We are very excited about the new partnership between Andretti Technologies and TE,” said Roger Griffiths, Director of Motorsport Development, Andretti Technologies. “We believe we have found a company that not only matches our passion for innovation and engineering in the arena of electrified vehicles but also shares our competitive spirit on the track too. A relationship that originally started on the racetrack in Indianapolis and has grown ever since, we are very proud to have TE continue to be part of the Andretti family.”

Added Rob Shaddock, executive vice president and Chief Technology Officer, TE Connectivity, “TE’s connectivity and sensor products are critical to unleash advancements in technology that improve electric vehicle distance and performance. We are proud to work in close collaboration with Andretti Technologies to develop the next generation of electric vehicle technology.”

In addition to TE Connectivity serving as the official technology partner, Andretti Technologies has identified leading companies within other technology and advanced engineering industries to serve as key partners in the endeavor; these include Houston Mechatronics Inc, an advanced robotics, automation and intelligent systems engineering company and Purdue University, Indiana, one of the leading Electrical Engineering universities in the United States

In January, Andretti Technologies was successfully granted manufacturing status by the FIA to develop powertrain solutions for Season Two and beyond of the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship; Andretti Technologies will serve as one of eight manufacturers to enter Formula E next season as constructors. Formula E Season Two opens up development to the powertrain with specific focus on the e-motor, inverter and transmission.

This weekend’s Championship finale doubleheader will see the pair of Andretti Formula E cars in the TE Connectivity orange livery that will also adorn the team’s test car through the developmental testing program.


The advanced technology arm of racing enterprise Andretti Autosport, Andretti Technologies was founded in early 2015 with the primary focus of developing dynamic and sustainable clean-energy solutions. Building on the foundation of racing heritage and intense competition, the Michael Andretti-led outfit is dedicated to using the experiences of yesterday to help shape a better tomorrow. Andretti Technologies strives to meet the future transportation needs of an ever evolving and more complex world. For updates and developments in the “Technologies” world, follow via Twitter with @AndrettiTech.

TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL) is a $14 billion global technology leader. Our connectivity and sensor solutions are essential in today’s increasingly connected world. We collaborate with engineers to transform their concepts into creations – redefining what’s possible using intelligent, efficient and high-performing TE products and solutions proven in harsh environments. Our 80,000 people, including 7,500 design engineers, partner with customers in over 150 countries across a wide range of industries. We believe EVERY CONNECTION COUNTS –


Date: Saturday, June 27, 2015

Track: Auto Club Speedway, a 2-mile, D-shaped oval in Fontana, Calif.  

Race distance: 250 laps / 500 miles

Firestone tire allotment: Fifteen sets for use through the weekend

Twitter: @ACSupdates @IndyCar, #MAVTV500, #IndyCar

Event website:

INDYCAR website:

2014 race winner: Tony Kanaan

2014 Verizon P1 Award winner: Helio Castroneves, 1:05.8918, 218.540 mph (two laps)

One-lap qualifying record: Gil de Ferran, 30.255 seconds, 241.428 mph, Oct. 28, 2000

Two-lap qualifying record: Will Power, 1:05.2247, 220.775 mph, Oct. 18, 2013

Auto Club entry list 6-23-page1
NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, midnight ET Saturday, June 27 (tape delay); Race, 4 p.m. ET Saturday, June 27 (live). Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer, alongside analysts Steve Matchett and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee, Kelli Stavast and Robin Miller.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Paul Page is chief announcer with analyst Jaques Lazier. Pit reporters are Dan Rusanowsky, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young, with Mark Jaynes and Jake Query in the turns. Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying and races air live on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209,, and the INDYCAR 15 app. Practice sessions are available on, and the INDYCAR 15 app.

Video streaming: All practice sessions for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season and this weekend’s qualifying session are available live on

INDYCAR 15 app: The Verizon INDYCAR 15 app has exclusive features for Verizon Wireless customers, including interactive 3D Live View with real-time leaderboard and car telemetry to see where drivers are positioned, a leaderboard with enhanced 2D “marching ants” and car telemetry, in-car camera video streams from cameras that move 360 degrees and driver-pit crew chatter during the race.

At-track schedule (all times local):

Friday, June 26
8:30-9:30 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series rookie practice
9:30-10:15 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice
12:45-2 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice
4:45-6 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying (single-car format, two laps each)

Saturday, June 27
9:30-9:35 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series systems check (one time around track)
1 p.m. – NBCSN on air
1:36 p.m. – MAVTV 500 (250 laps/500 miles), NBCSN (live)

Race notes:    

* There have been seven different winners in 10 Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2015: Juan Pablo Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg and Indianapolis 500), James Hinchcliffe (NOLA Motorsports Park), Scott Dixon (Streets of Long Beach and Texas Motor Speedway), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park and Streets of Toronto), Will Power (Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Carlos Munoz (Raceway at Belle Isle-1) and Sebastien Bourdais (Raceway at Belle Isle-2). In 2014, there were a record-tying 11 different race winners.

* The MAVTV 500 will be the 14th Indy car race at Auto Club Speedway. Tony Kanaan won the race in 2014 when it was the season finale. Mark Blundell won the first Indy car race at the track in 1997.

* This is the third of six oval races on the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. Montoya won the Indianapolis 500 on May 24, while Dixon won the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6.

* Jimmy Vasser, Adrian Fernandez and Sam Hornish Jr. are the only drivers to win at Auto Club Speedway more than once. Vasser won in 1998 and 2002 (CART), Fernandez in 1999 and 2004, and Hornish won back-to-back races under INDYCAR sanction in 2002 and 2003. Ed Carpenter (2012), Power (2013) and Kanaan (2014) are past winners entered in this year’s race.

* Drivers who have won poles at Auto Club Speedway entered in this year’s race are: Kanaan (2002, CART), Helio Castroneves (2003, 2004 and 2014), Marco Andretti (2012) and Power (2013). Dario Franchitti (2005) and Power (2013) are the only drivers to win at Auto Club Speedway from the pole position.

* Twenty drivers entered in this year’s event have competed in past Indy car races at Auto Club Speedway. Castroneves and Kanaan (11) have the most starts among the entered drivers. Fourteen of those drivers have led laps at the track (Castroneves 310, Kanaan 180, Montoya 130, Power 111, Ryan Hunter-Reay 71, Carpenter 66, Dixon 48, Sebastien Bourdais 35, Charlie Kimball 22, James Jakes 11, Andretti 7, Takuma Sato 6, Ryan Briscoe 2 and Newgarden 1).

* After winning the Indianapolis 500 in May, Montoya chases the second leg of the Triple Crown for Verizon IndyCar Series 500-mile races this weekend. The last Indy car driver to capture the Triple Crown was Al Unser in 1978 (with wins at Indianapolis, Pocono Raceway and Ontario Motor Speedway). Because he also won the 2014 Pocono 500-mile race, Montoya would hold the “virtual” Triple Crown if he wins this weekend at Auto Club Speedway since he would be the reigning champion at all three tracks.

* Kanaan has finished on the podium in five of his last six races at Auto Club Speedway, including his win in 2014. Carpenter has finished on the podium in his last three Auto Club Speedway races (first in 2012, second in 2013 and third in 2014). Dixon has finished in the top 10 in seven of his eight previous races at Auto Club Speedway.

* Kanaan seeks to start his 244th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car-record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Dixon looks to make his 186th consecutive start this weekend.

* Chip Ganassi Racing, with wins by Vasser (1998) and Kanaan (2014), is the only current Verizon IndyCar Series team with more than one victory at Auto Club Speedway.

* Team Penske has one win at the track (Power in 2013), which was built and previously operated by team owner Roger Penske. Team Penske has five pole positions at the track: Gil de Ferran (2000), Castroneves (2003, 2004 and 2014) and Power (2013).

* The 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season marked the competition debut of aerodynamic bodywork kits designed, manufactured and supplied by Chevrolet and Honda that attach to the Dallara IR-12 chassis used by all entrants. Cars are differentiated by their shape as the manufacturers have designed a separate aero kit specification for road and street course/short ovals and another for superspeedways. References to the cars incorporate the name of the corresponding kit manufacturer. The superspeedway aero kit versions made their competition debut at the Indianapolis 500 and will be used again this weekend at Auto Club Speedway.

* The No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske crew of Castroneves claimed the Firestone Pit Stop Performance Award at the Honda Indy Toronto on June 14 with a total pit-lane time of 1 minute, 26.278 seconds. This is the crew’s second Pit Stop Performance win in the last four races (Chevrolet Dual in Detroit, Race 1). The crew will receive its $10,000 award during pre-race festivities for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway.

Photo courtesy of IndyCar

Josef Newgarden and Luca Filippi sweep the top two positions in the Honda Indy Toronto -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar

Josef Newgarden and Luca Filippi sweep the top two positions in the Honda Indy Toronto — Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar

Toronto (June 14, 2015) American Josef Newgarden led Luca Filippi across the start-finish line by 1.4485 seconds to give CFH Racing a 1-2 finish in the Honda Indy Toronto. It was the second victory this season and the second of Newgarden’s four-year Verizon IndyCar Series career.

Car owner Sarah Fisher looks on as race winner and CFH driver Josef Newgarden is being interviews - Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar

Car owner Sarah Fisher looks on as race winner and CFH driver Josef Newgarden is being interviewed in the Winner’s Circle – Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar

“I’m so happy we were able to get a win, but a 1-2 is just amazing because Luca is such a star,” said Newgarden, who also won at Barber Motorsports Park in April in the No. 67 Hartman Oil Chevrolet. “Just an amazing team effort. I’m definitely excited because this is Toronto and this is an INDYCAR town.”

Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Will Power, the pole sitter, finished third and fourth, respectively, and 2014 Toronto race winner Sebastien Bourdais placed fifth in the No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet.

Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya finished seventh for his best result in five starts in Toronto and holds a 27-point championship lead over Power through 10 of 16 races. Three consecutive oval races, starting with the MAVTV 500 on June 27 at Auto Club Speedway, are ahead on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.

There were seven lead changes among six drivers in the race that began on wet tires following rain earlier in the day. It was slowed by two short cautions and it was the second race in a row for a team 1-2 finish. Scott Dixon won the Firestone 600 on June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams’ Tony Kanaan the runner-up.

Luca Filippi, Joseph Newgarden and Helio Castroneves oin the podium at Toronto - Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar.

Luca Filippi, Joseph Newgarden and Helio Castroneves oin the podium at Toronto – Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar.

Newgarden pitted for tires and Sunoco E85 fuel on Lap 28 just before the first yellow flag flew for contact by the No. 7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda of James Jakes into the tire barrier in Turn 5. Newgarden remained in the top five through his final stop on Lap 58, and reclaimed the lead on Lap 72 when Rodolfo Gonzalez pitted in the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda.

“It was close racing, for sure, and I got a little lucky on that yellow,” said Newgarden, who joined Ryan Hunter-Reay, A.J. Allmendinger, Al Unser Jr., Bobby Rahal and seven-time winner Michael Andretti as American winners in Toronto. “It was a great call, though, and it was an amazing effort by this team and the crew who gave me amazing pit stops.”

Filippi, driving the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, recorded his best finish in 16 Verizon IndyCar Series races dating to 2013.

“We had a goal to be on the podium and we both achieved it with both cars. It’s nice when you set the goal and you achieve it and the team did everything perfectly to give us the opportunity to be up front. But we had a fast car and we knew we needed to be kind of in the clean air up in front and this is what we did — just kept pushing. We were faster and we ended up in front. I’m very happy. Very happy. The team did a great job. I thank the Fuzzy’s Vodka team because they believe in me and they gave me the opportunity to race INDYCAR properly and my first podium. Many more to come.”


INDYCAR Drivers Show Well in 24 Hours of Le Mans …

The 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car endurance race completed this morning in France featured a number of INDYCAR-related drivers with notable finishes.

Mike Conway, who won the second half of the 2014 Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader for the Verizon IndyCar Series, finished sixth overall provisionally and in the LMP1 class as part of the Toyota Racing team, one spot behind the No. 18 Porsche LMP1 team that included former Indy car driver Neel Jani.

Actor Patrick Dempsey, a former Verizon IndyCar Series team co-owner and honorary starter for this year’s Indianapolis 500, was co-driver of the Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 that finished second in the LMGTE Am category. That was one position ahead of the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 co-driven by Townsend Bell, the 14th-place finisher at this year’s Indy 500 and an NBCSN analyst on Verizon IndyCar Series broadcasts when he’s not racing.

Other current/former Indy car drivers who competed at Le Mans included Mikhail Aleshin, Ryan Dalziel, Tristan Gommendy, Niclas Jonsson, Nicolas Minassian, Tiago Monteiro, Ho-Pin Tung and Scott Sharp. Ryan Briscoe and Jan Magnussen were scheduled to compete, but their LMGTE Pro car was withdrawn following a crash in qualifying.

Former Indy Lights driver Gustavo Yacaman was part of the G-Drive Racing team that finished fourth in LMP2. Current Indy Lights driver Max Chilton also competed with the Nissan Motorsports LMP1 team.

Mazda Road to Indy Race 2 Winners …

The three rungs of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series completed Toronto doubleheader weekends with the second race in each category. Season points leader Nico Jamin won the rain-shortened Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda race, his fifth victory in 11 races this season. In the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, Garrett Grist waited for the perfect time to collect his first win of the season, taking the checkered flag in his home country. Spencer Pigot (Juncos Racing) completed a weekend sweep of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires races in treacherous wet conditions. Saturday’s first race was highlighted by a spectacular crash that saw RC Enerson (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) walk away uninjured after his car went airborne and flipped over the tire barrier in the Turn 3 runoff.