Archive for April, 2018

Tony Kanaan in the A.J. Foyt Racing / ABC Supply No. 14 streaks down the frontstretch during the open test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway — IndyCar Image by Chris Owens

INDIANAPOLIS (Monday, April 30, 2018) – A new Indy car tested at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but it was the old guard leading the way.

Tony Kanaan, at 43 the elder statesman in the Verizon IndyCar Series this season, was fastest in Monday’s open test at the 2.5-mile oval for drivers with previous Indianapolis 500 experience. The 2013 Indy 500 winner and driver of the No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet posted a top lap of 226.181 mph to lead the 21-car field following six hours of on-track activity.

“Every year we come back (to Indianapolis) the first day, everybody has a huge smile on their faces,” Kanaan said. “I love it, I love this place. I mean, it’s magical. I wish we could do this every race.

“It was a beautiful day out there. Got a lot of laps in, a lot of learning to do.”

Simon Pagenaud was second fastest in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet, at 225.910 mph, with Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian’s Marco Andretti third at 225.637. While all the drivers’ best laps were aided by aero tows from cars in front of them, Kanaan also racked up the fastest non-tow lap of 223.240 mph.

“Always such a pleasure to drive here,” said Pagenaud, looking to add to his two INDYCAR Grand Prix wins on the IMS road course with an Indianapolis 500 victory on the iconic oval. “Having the opportunity to be one of those drivers to hit the track 240 miles an hour, it’s pretty cool. We did a lot of work today. It was really a good day of testing. Great day, great conditions for testing as well.”

The open test allowed drivers and teams to become acclimated with the 2018 Indy car and its universal aero kit in superspeedway trim, in advance of the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on Sunday, May 27 (11 a.m. ET, ABC and Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network).

More than 1,800 laps were turned as teams ran alone and in small groups to better understand the nuances of the new package.

“I think it was pretty smooth,” Kanaan said. “You saw everybody came up to speed pretty fast, which is pretty remarkable, in my opinion. To me, it was a lot quicker down the straightaways, which was quite fun. It was like back in the day.

“You definitely feel the speed going down the straightaway. You have to hang on into the corners. A little bit different, to be honest, but fun.”

The test day also featured the return to IMS of Helio Castroneves. The three-time Indy 500 winner has shifted gears to racing full time this season for Team Penske’s sports-car operation, but team owner Roger Penske promised Castroneves the opportunity to return to INDYCAR this May and bid again to join A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears as the only four-time champions of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Castroneves placed 10th on the test speed chart with a lap of 224.673 mph in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet, but was giddy to be back in the surroundings that have treated him so well in his two-decade Indy car career.

“It’s great to be back … awesome,” said Castroneves, who will join Kanaan as a 43-year-old on May 10.

“It’s like you’re playing with your old toy that (you) miss so bad,” he said. “It’s really great to be back in INDYCAR. Twenty years I’ve been doing it, so the details, I’m like, ‘Hey, I remember this.'”

Four other past Indy 500 winners participated in the open test. Scott Dixon, the 2008 winner who competed late Sunday night in the city qualifier for NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” held in downtown Indianapolis, was fifth in testing in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda (225.448 mph); defending race winner Takuma Sato was 15th in the No. 30 Mi-Jack/Panasonic Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (223.510), 2016 winner Alexander Rossi was 18th in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda (222.732) and Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay 19th in the No. 28 DHL Honda (222.727).

IMS testing continues Tuesday with the rookie orientation program for newcomers Pietro Fittipaldi, Kyle Kaiser, Matheus “Matt” Leist and Robert Wickens set for 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET. Danica Patrick makes her return to Indy car racing official during a veteran refresher session from 2-5 p.m. that also includes Jay Howard and Sage Karam.

The entire day will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and the INDYCAR YouTube Channel

A Chevrolet and Honda manufacturer test day is scheduled from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday and will feature 11 drivers.

The experimental windscreen on the No. 1 Hitachi Chevrolet of Josef Newgarden during the windscreen test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway — IndyCar Image by Chris Jones

Newgarden Tests INDYCAR Windscreen Prototype at IMS

Following the open test, Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Josef Newgarden ran laps in his No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet with INDYCAR’s windscreen prototype attached. It was the second on-track test of the prototype, following one in February by Dixon on the ISM Raceway mile oval outside Phoenix.

“It was fascinating,” Newgarden said. “It was totally different for an open-wheel car. You’re not used to having a windscreen that big in front of you, but it was interesting to try it out.

“The most interesting thing to me was the visor changes (on his helmet). Going from a fully smoke visor to a clear visor was better. It helped with the visibility and the clarity.

“There’s small improvements to be made, especially with the clarity with the visors and the perception to see through it,” Newgarden added. “It was easy to make it work, I didn’t have any major issues with it, and I think INDYCAR did a nice job.”

Additional testing of the prototype is planned. INDYCAR has not issued a timetable for implementation of the windscreen on cars in competition.

Josef Newgarden slides into his No. 1 Hitachi Chevrolet on pit lane equipped with the experimental windscreen prior to testing it at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway — IndyCar Image by Chris Jones

Indianapolis, Ind. (April 30, 2018) – Team Pelfrey announced today Davey Hamilton Jr. will compete with Team Pelfrey Indy Lights at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Freedom 100, on May 25.

The 21-year-old Idaho-resident returns to Indy Lights after he made his debut in 2016 for the final two races at Laguna Seca. Hamilton’s racing as of late includes the Robby Gordon Stadium Super Truck series, Sprint Cars and USAC Silver Crown series.

“I am extremely happy to join Team Pelfrey and be part of a great operation in my preparation for my first Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said the oval rookie. “We have a rookie test at Kentucky on Monday and I am looking forward toacquaint myself with the car and crew. Huge thank you everyone that is helping me along this journey. “

“We are really pleased to welcome Davey to the Team Pelfrey Family,” said Gary Neal, team manager of Team Pelfrey Indy Lights. “We have been talking for a couple of years and I am happy that we finally put this program together to run the 2018 Freedom 100. We are working on securing more races for 2018 and also the full 2019 campaign.”

Hamilton Jr. will turn his first laps in the Team Pelfrey Mazda this morning at Kentucky Speedway before the series open test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday, May 21. The Freedom 100 takes place on Friday, May 25 at 12:30 p.m. ET live on NBC Sports Network.

About Team Pelfrey

Team Pelfrey’s winning heritage dates back to 2011, initially fielding cars in the ultra-competitive Pro Mazda Championship on the Mazda Road to Indy. Since then, Team Pelfrey has won Pro Mazda Championship titles in 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The team’s winning pedigree has since expanded to the F1600 Championship, USF2000 Championship and Indy Lights series, becoming the first team to compete on all rungs of the Mazda Road to Indy Ladder.

To date, the team has achieved 96 race wins, 206 podium finishes and nine championships.

April 26, 2018 | By Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway starts with the sweetest sound in motorsports – Indy cars at full song on the oval – when Verizon IndyCar Series drivers continue preparation for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil with testing April 30-May 2.

More than 20 veteran drivers are expected to participate in open testing from 10 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. (ET) Monday, April 30. The focus will shift to the Rookie Orientation Program and veteran refresher tests from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, including the highly anticipated return to the “500” by 2005 Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Danica Patrick.

Testing concludes with a private manufacturer session for Chevrolet and Honda on Wednesday, May 2.

Among the drivers testing besides Patrick will be 2017 Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil champion Takuma Sato, former “500” winners Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi, and 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series points leader and reigning series champion Josef Newgarden.

While Patrick will attract attention with her first laps in an Indy car at IMS since 2011, three-time Indy 500 winner Castroneves also will be in the spotlight with his first drive in the sleek, new Indy car on the IMS oval as he begins his quest to become just the 4th four-time winner in the history of the race.

Fans can watch all 3 days of testing from the Turn 2 viewing mounds, IMS Museum parking lot and South Terrace grandstands. These areas are open from 10am-5pm April 30 and May 1 and from 9am-5pm May 2.

Testing on April 30-May 1 also will be streamed live on the INDYCAR YouTube channel and RaceControl.IndyCar.com

The Fifth Annual INDYCAR Grand Prix is scheduled for Saturday, May 12 on the IMS road course.

The 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil is scheduled for Sunday, May 27.

Visit IMS.com to buy tickets or for more information about both races and all Month of May happenings.

Month of May Tickets can be purchased from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 30 at the IMS Ticket trailer located on the east edge of the IMS Museum parking lot, toward Turn 2.

A look at each day of testing

MONDAY, April 30

Test: INDYCAR Open Test on IMS Oval

Time: 10 a.m.-noon, 1-5 p.m.

Participating Drivers (21): Marco Andretti, Sebastien Bourdais, Ed Carpenter, Helio Castroneves, Gabby Chaves, Max Chilton, Scott Dixon, Jack Harvey, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Ed Jones, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Spencer Pigot, Will Power, Graham Rahal, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato, Zach Veach

Fan Access: Fans can watch testing for free from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. from the Turn 2 viewing mounds, IMS Museum parking lot and South Terrace Grandstands.

Month of May Tickets can be purchased from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 30 at a trailer located on the east edge of the IMS Museum parking lot, toward Turn 2.

Live streaming: INDYCAR YouTube channel and RaceControl.IndyCar.com

TUESDAY, May 1

Test: Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program/Refresher Tests on IMS oval

Time: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (Rookie Orientation Program), 2-5 p.m. (Refresher tests)

Participating Drivers (7): Pietro Fittipaldi (ROP), Jay Howard (refresher), Kyle Kaiser (ROP), Sage Karam (refresher), Matheus Leist (ROP), Danica Patrick (refresher), Robert Wickens (ROP)

Fan Access: Fans can watch testing for free from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. from the Turn 2 viewing mounds, IMS Museum parking lot and South Terrace Grandstands.

Live streaming: INDYCAR YouTube channel and RaceControl.IndyCar.com

WEDNESDAY, May 2

Test: Chevrolet and Honda Manufacturer Test on IMS Oval

Participating Drivers: Determined by manufacturers. Expected participants: Ed Carpenter, Gabby Chaves, Max Chilton, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe, Ed Jones, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, Matheus Leist, Danica Patrick, Spencer Pigot, Robert Wickens

Fan Access: Fans can watch testing for free from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. from the Turn 2 viewing mounds, IMS Museum parking lot and South Terrace Grandstands.

Deal Affirms Commitment to Growth of Stock Car Racing in the US

Daytona Beach, Fla. (April 27, 2018) – In a move designed to strengthen a relationship that dates back more than 60 years, NASCAR announced today the acquisition of the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA).

Both NASCAR and ARCA, a Midwest-based sanctioning body for stock car auto racing, share a long history: ARCA founder John Marcum raced against Bill France Sr. and worked as a NASCAR official. More recently, the series has provided a valuable platform for talented drivers looking to make it to NASCAR’s national series.

“Our NASCAR family has long had a special connection with our friends at ARCA, and this is a logical step in demonstrating our commitment to the next generation of racers,” said Jim France, NASCAR vice chairman, executive vice president and member of the sport’s founding family. “This continues the legacy our sport was built upon and will deliver the great racing our fans expect.”

France was the driving force behind the merger of GRAND-AM and the American Le Mans Series in 2012, creating the modernized International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) in 2014.

ARCA began racing at Daytona International Speedway in 1964 at the behest of Bill France Sr. It kicked off its 66th season with 20-year-old Natalie Decker becoming the third female in the series to win a pole at Daytona and NASCAR Next alumnus Michael Self winning.

The ARCA Racing Series will continue to operate under its current structure through the 2019 season. This year’s schedule of 20 races includes nine events at NASCAR national series venues, and three others at NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks – illustrating the bond between the two sanctioning bodies.

“We’re proud of the history and tradition of the ARCA Racing Series and the relationship we’ve built over 6 decades with NASCAR,” said Ron Drager, ARCA president and grandson of John Marcum. “We look forward to the opportunity to be more fully integrated with NASCAR and help shape the future of our sport.”

About NASCAR

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of 3 national series (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR XFINITY Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), 4 regional series, one local grassroots series and 3 international series. The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).

About ARCA

The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading and most versatile auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers nearly 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways.

04-25-GMA-Flyer-IMS

ABC’s “Good Morning America” will broadcast a portion of its show live from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday, May 2nd.

Fans are encouraged to attend.

GMA’s “Deals & Steals on Wheels with Tory Johnson” segment will air live from IMS and include Verizon IndyCar Series drivers.

Audience members should arrive by 6 a.m. ET on May 2 and enter through the Indiana Motor Speedway Gate 2 entrance on 16th Street.

To confirm attendance, email Amy Hayden at gma.indy.2018@gmail.com or call (747) 272-9110.

 

 

Bourdais to cohost Game Show Network‘s “Daily Draw

Sebastien Bourdais hasn’t traded in his firesuit for a suit and tie to become a game show host.

In fact, the Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan driver will be wearing his Team SealMaster driving uniform next week when he co-hosts “Daily Draw” on the Game Show Network (GSN) with co-host Trish Suhr. The episodes air at 7 p.m. ET each night from April 30-May 4.

Viewers can win cash prizes on “Daily Draw” by watching for code words displayed during evening programming on GSN. Bourdais will help Suhr select the daily winners.

For contest rules, click here.

For a sneak peek of Bourdais and Suhr preparing for next week, click here.