Archive for September, 2019

The 1985 Indianapolis 500 took place on Sunday, May 26, 1985 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 69th Running of the Indianapolis 500 was host to one of the most famous wins in Indy history.

Spin and Win: 1:16:48

As Danny Sullivan went to pass racing-legend Mario Andretti for the lead on lap 120, Sullivan’s car went below the white line and subsequently spun coming out of the turn. Sullivan managed to save the car with no damage and go on to pass Andretti for the lead and ultimately win the race.

The 1985 Indianapolis 500 became known as the “Spin and Win” and is considered as one of the Indianapolis 500’s most famous racing moments.

Race Finish: 2:12:40

Courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Former Penske Racing President and LongTime Team Executive Honored in North Carolina

Don Miller, Roger Penske, and Dan Luginbuhl — Photo courtesy of LAT

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (September 9, 2019) –Team Penske inducted two long-time team leaders and executives into the Team Penske Hall of Fame this morning, as former Penske Racing South President Don Miller and Dan Luginbuhl, one of the pioneers of motorsports marketing and public relations, were honored in a special ceremony at the team’s Mooresville, North Carolina facility.

Miller met team owner Roger Penske in the early 1970s during his time as a sales manager for National Engines and Parts, Co. in St. Louis. Miller joined Penske Racing in 1972, working on the team’s stock car and IndyCar programs. A former racer himself, Miller brought a wide range of experience to the team and he worked in many capacities on his way to becoming Vice President of Penske Products.

Miller was instrumental in bringing Penske Racing back into full-time NASCAR competition in 1991 with driver and fellow Team Penske Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace. Miller then became President of Penske Racing South, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the team’s stock car program. Under Miller’s leadership, Penske stock car teams produced a total of 69 victories in NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series andARCA competition until his retirement in 2007. The Chicago native was also an innovator in the sport, helping to design and develop several car safety advancements in NASCAR while leading the Penske team.

“When I first started at Team Penske there were 29 of us,” said Miller. “The population’s grown significantly since, but there is no place I’d rather be. I always tried to do the very best, not only for this team, but for Mr. Penske. When you’re a member of this team, he will always have your back. I really appreciate this award. I’m honored to be a part of this organization and Team Penske Hall of Fame.”

When Luginbuhl joined Penske Racing in 1969, he helped chart the course for the team’s innovative and successful partnership model. He also helped pioneer modern motorsports public relations and marketing.  Early in his tenure with Penske Racing, Luginbuhl cultivated the relationship with key team sponsor Sunoco, before he helped foster partnerships with some of the other top brands in motorsports including Pennzoil, Marlboro, Miller, Goodyear, Mobil, Mercedes-Benz and many other Fortune 500 companies.

Under his guiding hand, Team Penske became the industry leader in American motorsports media relations, sponsorship and hospitality – a standard that continues today. Over his 35-year career with Team Penske, Luginbuhl distinguished himself in numerous roles within the organization as he helped define and refine the Penske brand. He served as Vice President of Communications when he retired in 2002 and he continues to be a valued resource for Team Penske.

“I am very honored to receive this special honor. And I am humbled to be in the company of some amazing people,” said Luginbuhl. “It’s been my privilege to work with many a great people over the years.  We have come a long way since 1969 and our team of 10 working at the four-bay truck garage in Pennsylvania. But the mission today is still the same – work together, get the job done, keep building the Penske brand worldwide and of course, ‘effort equals results.’”

Inductions into the Team Penske Hall of Fame occur annually. Each year, two inductees are chosen from current and former drivers, employees and partners that have made a significant impact on the team and its history. The Hall of Fame class members are honored both at an event and within the walls of the Team Penske facility in Mooresville, NC.

Miller and Luginbuhl join past Team Penske Hall of Fame inductees: Roger Penske (2016), Mark Donohue (2016), Rick Mears (2017), Karl Kainhofer (2017), Rusty Wallace (2018) and Walter Czarnecki (2018).

Team Penske is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Cars owned and prepared by Team Penske have produced more than 540 major race wins, over 600 pole positions and 34 Championships across open-wheel, stock car and sports car racing competition. Over the course of its 53-year history, the team has also earned 18 Indianapolis 500 victories, two Daytona 500 Championships, a Formula 1 win and overall victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Team Penske currently competes in the IndyCar Series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team also races in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, in a partnership with Dick Johnson Racing, as DJR Team Penske. For more information about Team Penske, please visit 

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Image by James Black

INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019 – Kevin Harvick joined an exclusive club of multi-time winners at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by dominating an electric Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line from the pole Sunday, Sept. 8.

Harvick led a race-high 118 out of 160 laps in the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford on his way to his second win at the Brickyard. He tied Kyle Busch, Dale Jarrett and his co-owner, Indiana native Tony Stewart, for third third-most NASCAR Cup Series wins at Indy. Harvick last won the race in 2003. The 16-year gap is the largest between NASCAR winners at Indianapolis.

“I can’t tell you how much coming to Indianapolis means to me,” Harvick said. “As a kid, I watched Rick Mears win Indy 500s and got to be around him as a kid, and he was my hero. So, coming here and winning here is pretty awesome.”

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Image by Joe Skibinski

Harvick beat defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano in the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford to the Yard of Bricks start-finish line by 6.118 seconds, a race record. Following Logano were Bubba Wallace in the No. 43 World Wide Technology Chevrolet, William Byron in the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet and Clint Bowyer in the No. 14 Rush/Cummins Ford, who secured one of two remaining NASCAR Playoffs spots available.

While 2014 Cup Series champion Harvick was up front all day, the win didn’t come easy and had a deceptively wide margin of victory. The race’s nine cautions for 48 laps forced Harvick to play defense against the field all day on restarts.

Harvick’s most epic defense came on the final restart with nine laps to go after Matt Tifft hit the Turn 1 SAFER Barrier in the No. 36 Southeastern Equipment & Supply/Meijer Ford. Harvick lined up on the outside lane for the late-race restart, with Logano to his inside.

Wallace, who lined up behind Logano, gave Logano a big push entering Turn 1 on the restart. From there, Harvick and Logano raced side-by-side through Turns 1 and 2 and down the backstretch, with Logano racing inches from the backstretch grass.

Entering Turn 3, Logano had the edge on Harvick on the inside line. But Harvick had the preferred line and cleared Logano exiting Turn 3 as the crowd roared.

“We were so close to winning here,” Logano said after scoring another second-place finish at Indy, with his first in 2015. “It means so much to win at Indy and gosh, I wish we could have gotten it, but I’m proud of the effort of our team. We had a solid run.”

While the Brickyard treated one of its former winners well, it was tough on other former winners in the field. Most notably, four-time Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard winner Jimmie Johnson was battling to keep his championship hopes alive in the final race of the regular season. Johnson needed a win to lock himself into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

Drivers headed to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. — Indianapolis Motor Speedway Image by Joe Skibinski

The field took the green flag on Lap 105 to start Stage 3. While battling for sixth position with teammate Byron on the restart, Johnson found himself in a tough spot on the inside line. Johnson’s No. 48 Ally Chevrolet got loose under Byron with Kurt Busch on his rear bumper in the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet.

Johnson did a 360-degree spin and backed into the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier, triggering an eight-car wreck. Involved were Busch, Byron, Tifft, Daniel Hemric in the No. 8 Liberty National Chevrolet, Paul Menard in the No. 21 Menards/Dutch Boy Ford, Chris Buescher in the No. 37 Kroger Fast Lane to Flavor Chevrolet and Parker Kligerman in the No. 96 TRD 40th Anniversary Toyota. All drivers were unhurt in the wreck.

The crash ended Johnson’s day in Indy, but more importantly his postseason hopes. For the first time since NASCAR started using a playoff system in 2004, Johnson will not race for a championship. “It’s pretty impressive the run we’ve been on, to be in the Playoffs for this many consecutive years,” Johnson said. “I’m not sure who’s close, but I don’t think they’re very close. So, we have that to be proud of.”

Defending Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard winner Brad Keselowski was unable to challenge for a repeat victory due to an early-race wreck.

On Lap 50, Keselowski and Erik Jones raced side-by-side into Turn 2. Jones drove his No. 20 STANLEY Wish For Our Heroes Toyota low into the corner under Keselowski’s No. 2 Discount Tire Ford. The two made contact, and Jones hit the SAFER Barrier with the rear of his car, while Keselowski made contact with the inside tire barrier. Both drivers were evaluated and released from the infield care center.

Two-time Big Machine Vodka 400 winner Kyle Busch was not able to sweep the weekend in Indianapolis after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Indiana 250 on Saturday. Busch’s car suffered engine failure on Lap 90 on the backstretch.

Denny Hamlin drove his No. 11 FedEx Toyota to a 6th-place finish after starting at the rear in a backup car. He wrecked his primary car in practice Saturday. Following Hamlin was Ryan Blaney, who led the second-most laps of the day at 19 in his No. 12 Wabash National Ford. 2013 Big Machine Vodka 400 winner and Indiana native Ryan Newman clinched a spot in the Playoffs with an 8th-place finish in the No. 6 Acorns Ford. Chase Elliott rebounded from a pit road spin under caution on Lap 13 to finish 9th in the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, and 2011 Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard winner Menard rebounded from the Lap 106 wreck to round out the top 10.

Harvick’s win marked the 19th time he has been running at the finish of the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard in 19 starts. He was previously tied with Stewart at 18 races.

Car Owner Tony Stewart, Brickyard 400 Winner Kevin Harvick, and Crew Chief Rodney Childers, along with Harvick’s children; son, Keelan, and daughter, Piper — Indianapolis Motor Speedway Image by Chris Jones

Harvick celebrated his win by kissing the bricks with his family. He was joined on the frontstretch by wife, DeLana, son, Keelan, and daughter, Piper.

“I kept telling myself, ‘Get the baby girl a trophy,'” Harvick said of 21-month-old Piper. “A good weekend for her to come. She doesn’t quite know what’s going on, just a lot of noise. It’s pretty special.”

The 27th annual NASCAR event weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will take place July 3-5, 2020 on the 2.5-mile oval, with the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, July 5.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Image by John Cote

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 – Kyle Busch continued his dominating ways in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by winning the Indiana 250 from the pole on an action-filled day of NASCAR racing on Saturday, Sept. 7.

Busch’s fourth Xfinity Series win at Indy and his fifth pole in seven starts at the historic 2.5-mile oval came on a day filled with Xfinity Series racing and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practices.

“It was really tough to pass, even when you had a run on guys,” said Busch, who led a race-high 46 of the 100 laps. “You could pass some of the guys that were built more for long-run longevity, the No. 7 (Justin Allgaier) was. You could pass them on the straightaways.”

Busch held onto the lead during a four-lap dash to the finish in his No. 18 Combos Toyota. He restarted as the leader while defending Indiana 250 winner Justin Allgaier was second. Allgaier’s No. 7 Suave Men Chevrolet was on Busch’s rear bumper for the final four laps, but he couldn’t overcome Busch’s short-run speed and his horsepower on the long straightaways. Busch beat Allgaier by .132 of a second.

“Kyle’s great, especially on late race restarts,” said Allgaier, who won Stage 2 and led 24 laps overall. “That’s what sets him apart in the Cup side and here in the Xfinity Series. Hats off to our guys. Our Suave Men Camaro was unreal, especially on the long run. We were able to really push those guys. I knew Kyle’s weakness was the long run, and I kind of exploited those. We had a couple late-race restarts that just didn’t go our way and put us a little bit behind.”

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Image by Walt Kuhn

Allgaier beat his two JR Motorsports teammates as Noah Gragson finished third in the No. 9 Switch Chevrolet and Jeb Burton finished fourth in the No. 8 State Water Heaters Chevrolet. Indiana native Justin Haley rounded out the top five in the No. 11 LeafFilter Chevrolet.

The end of the Indiana 250 was filled with dramatic action. Contact between Austin Cindric’s No. 22 Menards/Richmond Ford and Busch’s teammate Brandon Jones in the No. 19 First Foundation Toyota in Turn 3 prompted a caution on Lap 89.

On the restart with eight laps to go, Xfinity Series championship contenders Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick crashed while battling for the lead in Turn 2 on Lap 93. Bell held the inside line, while Reddick was on the outside. The two drove through Turn 1 side-by-side, and then Bell’s No. 20 Rheem/Parker Hannifin Toyota got loose entering Turn 2 and slid into Reddick’s No. 2 Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevrolet.

The cars went nose-first into the outside SAFER Barrier. Both drivers climbed from their cars without assistance and were unhurt. The race featured eight cautions for 31 laps, and there were 14 lead changes among seven different drivers.

2011 Brickyard Winner Menard Leads Cup Series Practice

Paul Menard was the fastest driver over two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Practice sessions Saturday for the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line.

Menard, the 2011 Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard winner, topped the charts in the final practice session at 185.079 mph in the No. 21 Menards/Dutch Boy Ford fielded by the legendary Wood Brothers Racing. He was 23rd fastest in the first session at 180.473.

Kyle Larson was second fastest overall at 185.025 in the No. 42 McDonald’s Chevrolet, followed by Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Kurt Busch at 184.763 in the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, defending Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard winner Brad Keselowski at 184.600 in the No. 2 Discount Tire Ford and Chase Elliott at 184.305 in the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet.

As time expired in final practice, Denny Hamlin crashed in the No. 11 FedEx Toyota. Hamlin slid above the groove in Turn 4 and made contact with the SAFER Barrier. Hamlin stopped at the entrance to pit road and exited the car without assistance. His Joe Gibbs Racing team will go to a backup car, and he will start at the rear of the field for Sunday’s race.

The 26th Annual Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line will take the green flag at 2pm Sunday after drivers qualify for the race at 10:35am. Visit to purchase tickets for the race, and visit to review parking, gate regulations and more information.

Richmond Raceway is proud to welcome INDYCAR back to America’s Premier Short Track for the 2020 race season,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “Richmond’s history in motorsports dates back to 1946 when the track hosted two AAA Championship Car events. After an eleven-year absence, we look forward to the return of the NTT IndyCar Series to Richmond as part of a weekend festival built around speed.”

Richmond has a storied history with INDYCAR having hosted nine events between 2001-2009. On June 29, 2001, Richmond became the first track that was less than one-mile that INDYCAR held a race. The NTT IndyCar Series completed its 10,000th lap in series history at America’s Premier Short Track in that first race won by Buddy Lazier.

The 2020 two-day race weekend will fall on the same weekend utilized for the previous NTT IndyCar Series races at Richmond dating back to 2001.

“We are pleased to return to the Mid-Atlantic region, one we know to be full of INDYCAR fans,” said INDYCAR CEO Mark Miles. “We’re also excited to return to historic Richmond Raceway, which was recently reimagined with a $30 million redevelopment project that modernized the infield for a better fan experience.”

Scott Dixon (2003, 2009) and Sam Hornish Jr. (2002, 2006) are tied for the most wins in INDYCAR history at Richmond. Dixon is a five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion (2003, 2008, 2013, 2015, 2018) and the retired Hornish Jr. is a three-time champion (2001, 2002, and 2006).

“I’ve always been a big fan of Indy cars on short ovals. It’s some of the most exciting racing out there in my opinion,” said Scott Dixon, driver of the No. 9 for Chip Ganassi Racing. “I think everyone is looking forward to returning to Richmond Raceway. It’s a great city and a fantastic track. Our sponsor PNC Bank also has a presence in Richmond, so I think you’re going to see a lot of Chip Ganassi Racing No. 9 supporters in orange and blue come race weekend.”

Helio Castroneves (2004, 2006) and Dario Franchitti (2007, 2009) are tied for the most INDYCAR pole positions in track history. In 2005, Castroneves won the closest race in track history besting Franchitti by .056 of a second. He also set the INDYCAR qualifying record at Richmond at 176.244 miles per hour (mph) in 2003.

Tony Kanaan (2008), 2004 NTT IndyCar Series champion, joins Castroneves and Dixon as the only active NTT IndyCar Series drivers who have won races previously at Richmond.

“I couldn’t be more excited about this news. I love racing in Richmond and I believe that it’s a track that suits INDYCAR very well, creating very good races,” said Tony Kanaan, driver of the No. 14 for A.J. Foyt Enterprises. “I was fortunate to win there in the past and I’m looking forward to do it again.”

The weekend festival will be built around speed in numerous forms headlined by the NTT IndyCar Series to unite the Mid-Atlantic region at America’s Premier Short Track. More details about the festival will be announced in the near future.

Tickets for the NTT IndyCar Series race at America’s Premier Short Track start at $25 with special youth 16-and-under pricing at $10. RICHMOND NATION Season Ticket Holders, who have renewed for the 2020 season, have the opportunity for a special ticket offer for INDYCAR. Tickets are available for purchase in-person at the Richmond Ticket Office, via phone at 866-455-7223, or online at

For more on INDYCAR and the NTT IndyCar Series, visit

INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, Sept. 1) – The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series schedule is highlighted by a return to Richmond Raceway and eight of the 17 races featured on NBC, INDYCAR officials announced today.

Richmond Raceway will return to the NTT IndyCar Series schedule for the first time since 2009 and will be the only new addition on the 2020 schedule. The three-quarter-mile Virginia oval will play host under the lights on Saturday, June 27, and be the 11th race on the season.

“We are pleased to return to the Mid-Atlantic region, one we know to be full of INDYCAR fans,” INDYCAR CEO Mark Miles said. “We’re also excited to return to historic Richmond Raceway, which was recently reimagined with a $30 million redevelopment project that modernized the infield for a better fan experience.”

The two-day race weekend will fall on the same weekend utilized for the previous nine NTT IndyCar Series races at Richmond dating back to 2001.

“Richmond Raceway’s history in motorsports dates back to 1946 when the track hosted two AAA Championship Car events,” Richmond Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier said. “After hosting INDYCAR from 2001-2009, we now look forward to the return of the NTT IndyCar Series for our fans at America’s Premier Short Track as part of a Mid-Atlantic festival of speed on June 26-27, 2020.”

The 2020 season marks the second full season with the NBC Sports Group, which will air the races live on NBC and NBCSN in addition to programming on NBC Sports Gold. The coverage will feature eight races on NBC, including a crescendo to the finish and NTT P1 Award qualifying for the Indianapolis 500. The remaining nine races will air on NBCSN.

For the 10th consecutive year, the NTT IndyCar Series season will kick off on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, on Sunday, March 15. The opener on the scenic waterfront 1.8-mile temporary street circuit in the Gulf Coast city first hosted Indy cars in 2003 and has continuously since 2005.

The season will conclude for the second consecutive year at the historic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca road course, where the championship-deciding race will be held Sunday, Sept. 20 – again on NBC.

Other nuances to the schedule:

  • The Circuit of The American’s race, which was the second race of this season, will move to the fourth slot and be held Sunday, April 26.
  • After running the oval race at Iowa Speedway (Saturday, July 18), the series will have a three-week break as NBC and NBCSN focus on televising the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
  • The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course returns to one of its traditional weekends, moving from Sunday, July 28, this season to Sunday, Aug. 16, next year. This will begin NBC’s crescendo to the finale, with three of the final four races on network television (Mid-Ohio, Portland and Laguna Seca).
  • The break between the final two races of the season will be reduced from two weeks to one. The Grand Prix of Portland will be held Sunday, Sept. 6, while the Monterey race is set for Sunday, Sept. 20. Both will air on NBC.

The NTT IndyCar Series showcases a diversity of tracks with a schedule comprised of seven held on permanent road courses, five on temporary street circuits and five on oval tracks.

  • The centerpiece of the schedule will be the Month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, featuring the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 24. The month will open with the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the speedway’s 2.439-mile road course on Saturday, May 9. Qualifying for the 500 is Saturday, May 16, & Sunday, May 17.
  • The street race in Long Beach (Sunday, April 19) returns in April for a 37th consecutive year, which is second only to the Indianapolis 500 for most years in succession of Indy car races on the current schedule. Toronto’s Exhibition Place, another tenured event on the schedule, returns for a 36th year with its race on Sunday, July 12.
  • After celebrating its 10th INDYCAR race earlier this year, Barber Motorsports Park will host the NTT IndyCar Series on Sunday, April 5.
  • The Raceway at Belle Isle Park will host a doubleheader for the eighth consecutive year (Saturday-Sunday, May 30-31), both of which will be televised on NBC.
  • Texas Motor Speedway continues its tradition dating to 1997 of hosting a Saturday night summer race (June 6). In addition to Richmond, the NTT IndyCar Series will race Saturday night at Iowa Speedway (July 18) and World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (Aug. 22).
  • Road America again offers the season’s largest track at 4.048 miles, with the race set for Sunday, June 21, on NBC.

Broadcast times will be announced at a later date, but all track activity and additional exclusive content will be available on NBC Sports Gold, the direct-to-consumer product that brings subscribers closer to the NTT IndyCar Series than ever before.