Archive for June 28, 2016

Sam Schmidt, who was paralyzed from the neck down in a crash during an IndyCar practice lap in 2000, is able to steer, accelerate and brake the modified 2016 Corvette Z06 SAM car using only his head. Sensors mounted on an Arrow-designed high-tech headset that Schmidt wears connect to infrared cameras mounted on the dashboard and detect his head-tilt motions to steer. A sip-and-puff device that Smith breathes into enables him to accelerate and brake.

To watch Sam drive the SAM Car up the mountain at the end of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb – using only his head! – was a breathtaking moment.

It would take most people around 30 minutes to drive to the summit of Pikes Peak, earlier this month Sam Schmidt did it in about 15 minutes – using his head!

Last month, Sam Schmidt hit a top speed of 152 mph at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The sky really is the limit.

#‎ArrowDriven‬ — #RacetotheClouds#ArrowDriven

IowaIndyCar
NEWTON, Iowa – The stars of the Verizon IndyCar Series will conduct a team test at Iowa Speedway on June 29 as they continue to prepare for the upcoming Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 on July 10. At least 19 drivers representing eight INDYCAR organizations will participate in the test. “With the drivers scheduled to test next week, this session will undoubtedly have a raceday feel and heightened sense of urgency,” Iowa Speedway President Jimmy Small said. “Timing and scoring is not used during team tests but the drivers will push the cars to the limit, giving fans a preview of what’s to come on July 10.”

The drivers will be on hand to gather data in preparation for the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300, scheduled for July 10 at “The Fastest Short Track on the Planet”. Iowa Corn is entering its 10th year of sponsorship for the annual INDYCAR race. The renewed partnership continues to be the second longest entitlement sponsorship in INDYCAR racing.RV Hill, along the backstretch, will be open and free to those fans wishing to watch from 9am to 5 pm CT. Fans are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, food and drinks as the concourse and grandstands will not be opened for the test.

Testing dates, track schedule and drivers/teams are subject to change due to weather and/or other circumstances.

This year, the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 will be paired with the ARCA Racing Series 150 presented by Casey’s General Stores, taking place on Saturday, July 9.

The excitement of the Verizon IndyCar Series storms into the “Fastest Short Track On The Planet”, Iowa Speedway and the Iowa Corn 300! 17-second laps at 180 MPH are sure to leave you breathless, not to mention a little dizzy. The action is under the lights on Sunday, July 10 at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Iowa Speedway, “The Fastest Short Track on the Planet”, is a state-of-the-art 7/8-mile asphalt paved tri-oval race track and motorsports facility located in Newton, Iowa. Our 2016 schedule includes three exciting race weekends: June 18-19 (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Speediatrics 200 and NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen), July 9-10 (ARCA Racing Series 150 presented by Casey’s General Stores and Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300) and July 29-30 (NASCAR K&N Pro Series Casey’s General Stores 150 presented by Vatterott College and NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250). For tickets, call 1-866-787-8946. To learn more, visit www.IowaSpeedway.com, “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @IowaSpeedway.

Among the 19 drivers scheduled to test are:

A.J. Foyt Racing — Takuma Sato, Jack Hawksworth

Dale Coyne Racing — Conor Daly, Gabby Chaves

Andretti Autosport — Carlos Munoz, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi

Schmidt/Peterson Motorsports — James Hinchcliffe, Mikhail Aleshin

Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing — Graham Rahal

Team Penske — Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud

Ed Carpenter Racing — Ed Carpenter, Josef Newgarden/J.R. Hildebrand

Chip Ganassi Racing — Max Chilton

KVSH Racing — Sebastien Bourdais

Will Power, Tony Kanaan, and Graham Rahal hoist their trophies in Victory Lane following the KOHLER Grand Prix of Road America - Image by Chris Jones

Will Power, Tony Kanaan, and Graham Rahal hoist their trophies in Victory Lane following the KOHLER Grand Prix of Road America – Image by Chris Jones

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sunday, June 26, 2016) – Verizon IndyCar Series fans clamored for a return to Road America. Their wish was granted in spades today, with Will Power winning an intense and exciting KOHLER Grand Prix on the iconic permanent road course.

Power led 46 of 50 laps around the 4.014-mile circuit in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, but was hounded late by a charging Tony Kanaan in the No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams.

Tony Kanaan apexes Turn 5 during the KOHLER Grand Prix of Road America -- Photo by Shawn Gritzmacher

Tony Kanaan apexes Turn 5 during the KOHLER Grand Prix of Road America – Image by Shawn Gritzmacher

Power held off Kanaan at the finish by 0.7429 of a second following a Lap 44 restart to win his second straight race in the 2016 season and the 27th of his 11-year Indy car career, tying the Australian with Johnny Rutherford for 13th place on the career victories list.

“You always dread that late restart, but I thought, ‘I’m going to make the absolute most of it and do the best I can and try to get a jump.'” Power said. “I knew I had push-to-pass in hand, which I thought before the race is going to be the key here, to keep that for the end, and that’s what I did.

“Very satisfying race. Very satisfying because I felt like I’m back where I was, that’s a good feeling for me.”

Today’s race was the 26th at Road America but the first since 2007 on the track steeped in Indy car history with past winners bearing names the likes of Andretti, Fittipaldi, Sullivan, Franchitti and Zanardi. The Verizon IndyCar Series was welcomed back by what Road America president and general manager George Bruggenthies called a record crowd for any event in the venue’s history.

“Will (Power) did a really good job of saving his push-to-passes until the last lap,” said Kanaan, the 2004 series champion and 15-time race winner. “We had the red (alternate) tires (in the closing laps), which was a little quicker and we were just chasing Will down. Towards the end, we had one push-to-pass which gave us extra power, but he had three so he had an advantage on us. But what a great race.”

Empty champagne bottle of Graham Rahal following the Victory Lane celebration at Road America - Image by Shawn Gritzmacher

Graham Rahal’s empty champagne bottle from Victory Lane – Image by Shawn Gritzmacher

By finishing second, Kanaan notched his best result in six Road America races and best finish of 2016. He battled Graham Rahal much of the day before pulling away from Rahal’s No. 15 Gehl/D-A Lubricant Honda at the end.

Rahal earned his second third-place finish in as many races at Road America. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver led two laps during an early pit stop sequence, but suffered the consequences of a different tire strategy by not saving his one new set of Firestone alternates until the end of the race.

“It’s great to get a good result,” Rahal said. “I’m pleased with what we did today and accomplished for the Gehl team. We just made the wrong tire call and it definitely hurt. It is what it is and we still came out of here third.”

Championship leader Simon Pagenaud also led two laps in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet and was in second place with five laps to go until an engine issue dropped him to a 13th-place finish. Pagenaud’s lead after nine completed races is 74 points over teammate Helio Castroneves. Reigning series champion Scott Dixon dropped from second to fourth in the championship after a mechanical issue ended the No. 9 Clorox Chevrolet driver’s day in 22nd place.

“We had a really good race going in this wonderful setting at Road America,” Pagenaud said. “The atmosphere was perfect, the race strategy was perfect. It’s tough when you have an opportunity and you can’t maximize it in the championship. It’s a tough day today, but we’ll bounce back.”

Power, who sat out the season opener at St. Petersburg with an inner-ear infection, jumped four spots in the standings to third, 81 points behind Pagenaud. With seven races remaining, Power still has his sights on a second Verizon IndyCar Series championship.

“I was talking championship even before this race,” he said. “There are seven races to go and we’re still in it. There could be a 100-point swing in the last race. We have to go for it.”

Ed Carpenter Racing teammates Josef Newgarden and Spencer Pigot had impressive performances to finish eighth and ninth, respectively. Newgarden, driving with a fractured right clavicle and fracture in his right hand sustained June 12 in a crash at Texas Motor Speedway, improved more positions than any driver from start to finish (12).

“We got good points, we gained points on the guys we needed to in the championship,” Newgarden said. “I’ll try and heal up a little better for Iowa since that will be harder than this one.”

Pigot, the 2015 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires champion in his sixth Verizon IndyCar Series race, posted his best career finish and first top 10. He was the highest finisher among the four rookies in the race.

The next event on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule is the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway on July 9-10. Race coverage begins at 5 p.m. ET July 10 on NBCSN.

Road America, INDYCAR laud successful return to track

Road America and INDYCAR officials were ecstatic about the fan turnout and excitement shown throughout the KOHLER Grand Prix weekend. George Bruggenthies, the track president and general manager, didn’t have final attendance figures but was certain the race drew the largest attendance in track history.

“The crowds really came out,” Bruggenthies said. “I have to congratulate the Road America staff and the whole team that does all the operations here. They worked very hard preparing. I think we delivered. The crowd came out and they had a great time. Beautiful race, I think they’ll be back.”

Bruggenthies announced that the 2017 race will be run on June 25 in the second of a three-year contract with INDYCAR. Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations, said the sanctioning body was pleased with the entire weekend.

“We had a tremendous event weekend here at Road America and we’re certainly looking forward to the Verizon IndyCar Series returning next year on June 25,” Frye said. “The fan support and hospitality since we arrived has been phenomenal and we can’t thank George Bruggenthies and his entire staff at Road America enough for making this such a special event for INDYCAR. We can’t wait to come back next year and do it again.”

Urrutia Wins Indy Lights Race in changing conditions

slide6_002Santiago Urrutia led a 1-2 finish for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian in the second race of the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires weekend doubleheader at Road America. The race started on a wet track from morning rain but dried throughout the 20-lap event. Andre Negrao, Urrutia’s teammate, finished second.

Championship leader Ed Jones (Carlin) finished 13th after being involved in contact early in the race, seeing his points lead drop to 19 over Dean Stoneman (Andretti Autosport), who finished ninth.