Archive for October, 2019

Greg Moore at 20 …

Posted: October 30, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Arrow McLaren SP today announced its driver line-up for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season. 2018 Indy Lights Champion Pato O’Ward and 2019 Indy Lights Champion Oliver Askew will both compete in the full 2020 season for the newly announced entity.

“It’s a dream come true to be joining Arrow McLaren SP for my first year in IndyCar,” commented Oliver Askew, who won seven races en route to the 2019 Indy Lights title. “The new team brings together three great partners and it’s an honor to be representing them in this new chapter for the team and for my career. This is an exciting new challenge for me and the next natural step after winning the Indy Lights title this year. I can’t wait to get started.”

Arrow McLaren SP are no strangers to developing young talent into championship winners. The team, formerly known as Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, are the winningest Indy Lights team in history with seven championships and have given IndyCar opportunities to rising stars such as Simon Pagenaud and Robert Wickens in recent years.

“I couldn’t be happier to be with Arrow McLaren SP for my first full season in IndyCar,” said Pato O’Ward, who clinched the 2018 Indy Lights title with nine wins to his name. “I’ve had some great opportunities over the last year, but this is by far the greatest thing that could possibly happen for my career. I had a taste of IndyCar earlier this year and cannot wait to represent Arrow McLaren SP in the best way possible for a full season in 2020.”

With both Askew and O’Ward winning the Indy Lights titles in their rookie seasons, the duo has shown a great ability at adapting to new machinery and competition as they’ve climbed the ladder.

“With our background in Indy Lights, I’ve followed Oliver and Pato closely over the last few years on the Road to Indy,” said Arrow McLaren SP co-owner, Sam Schmidt. “I couldn’t think of a better pairing as we write the first chapter in Arrow McLaren SP’s story. They’ve proven their skills on the Road to Indy and with an Indy Lights championship each, they are ready and deserving of full-time seats in IndyCar. I have no doubt that Oliver and Pato are the right drivers to move Arrow McLaren SP forward.”

“As we look to establish Arrow McLaren SP and re-establish McLaren in the world of IndyCar, I’m delighted to be welcoming these two young, homegrown talents to the team,” said Gil De Ferran, Sporting Director of McLaren Racing. “Oliver and Pato represent the new generation of IndyCar drivers. Proven winners and exciting prospects, I have no doubt that they will form an excellent pairing as we take on the 2020 season.

“Both drivers were super-impressive in Indy Lights, racking up 16 wins between them over the last two seasons. We have taken time and care to make a driver selection that we believe is in the best long-term interests of Arrow McLaren SP.”

Arrow McLaren SP announced today that James Hinchcliffe has concluded his IndyCar racing duties with the team. The Canadian joined the team ahead of the 2015 season and scored three wins throughout his tenure with the team, while admirably leading the team through moments of huge adversity.

While James will cease racing for the team in 2020, he remains under contract with Arrow McLaren SP but is free to seek and secure alternative options.

“James has been a great ambassador for our team, and for the sport, over the last five years,” commented Arrow McLaren SP co-owner, Sam Schmidt. “Our history dates back to his early days in Indy Lights and we’ve been on a tremendous journey together. Most impressive was James’s determination to come back after his accident in 2015. I have the utmost respect for James and would like to thank him for his hard work and accomplishments during that period and wish him well in his future endeavors.

“We recognize that James is a fiercely motivated and determined competitor, and we won’t hesitate to release him unconditionally to secure another drive, whether in IndyCar or another series.”

“James’ passion for the team has been crucial in our development since he joined us in 2015,” noted Arrow McLaren SP co-owner, Ric Peterson. “His perseverance and teamwork led us to three wins and an Indianapolis 500 pole position. James has been a big part of our growth over the last five years and I’d like to personally thank him for everything. On behalf of the entire team, we wish him all the best moving forward.”

Arrow McLaren SP will reveal its 2020 driver lineup shortly.

— Unique Platform Emphasizes Hospitality/Networking Opportunities —

PALMETTO, Fla. – Andersen Promotions, which oversees and operates all three levels of the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, today announced a unique program to introduce companies in the construction industry to its motorsports platforms and associated entertainment and networking opportunities. The Construction Contractors Club (CCC) is an event and networking organization which will launch in conjunction with the 2020 racing season and will allow its members to entertain and network at Road to Indy events alongside the NTT IndyCar Series courtesy of The Andersen Companies.

The Andersen Companies, founded in 1986 by Dan Andersen, Owner, and CEO of Andersen Promotions, consists of Andersen Interior Contracting, Corporate Woodworking – with a focus on high-end architectural woodworking – and a recently launched metal production facility. Its client base includes the new Statue of Liberty museum, Newark’s Prudential Center Lofts, New York Life, Wyndham Worldwide Headquarters, Novo Nordisk and the Orlando City Stadium among many others.

The Andersen Companies will provide the CCC platform membership opportunity to its numerous contacts in the construction and contracting industry offering memorable experiences in a unique environment as well as business opportunities that deliver value. All CCC members will be treated to VIP trackside hospitality at race venues teamed with special experiences for clients and employees such as pace car and two-seater rides, green flag opportunities, private dinners with Road to Indy competitors, race event entitlements, race car primary branding and more.

As importantly, networking opportunities with other CCC members will be available at each venue to create working relationships and build a broader customer base.

One of The Andersen Companies’ affiliates – Allied Building Products, a division of Beacon Roofing Supply – will be an integral part of the CCC. A longtime partner of Andersen Promotions and the Road to Indy, Allied has entertained hundreds of employees, customers and guests over the years in addition to headlining race events for the three ladder series – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship – and will further expand its efforts with the opportunities offered by the CCC.

“Andersen Promotions has been one of the best marketing tools for our company since we got together in 2007,” said Clint Valleau, Vice President of Supply Chain, Allied Interiors. “Every detail is planned out with their exceptional team at each event from meeting celebrities and drivers in pit row to watching the races from the best vantage points. We’ve experienced everything from customers waving the starting flag to customers kissing the bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Start/Finish line. During the great recession years when all season tickets and most travel and entertainment were all but eliminated, the  IndyCar races were still a big part of our customer entertainment.”

Additional interest in becoming a member of the CCC has also come from within the racing paddock with several companies operating in or with ties to the construction industry including ABEL Construction, which also operates a race-winning Indy Pro 2000 team under the Abel Motorsports banner and is currently expanding to a new facility in Speedway, Ind., to house both its construction business and racing operations.

“The idea for the Construction Contractors Club really was bred from my relationship with Allied – which has used our racing programs as an entertainment vessel for many years – and from conversations with my associates in the construction industry,” said Dan Andersen. “It’s really a win-win situation in providing a unique entertainment platform alongside the business-to-business opportunities to network on site each race weekend with the common goal of expanding one another’s business. And it is not limited to construction companies. We are happy to extend this program to those who are looking to do business with the construction industry.

“From an Andersen Promotions standpoint, CCC will bring some new eyes to our sport and hopefully that will result in new fans and, who knows, maybe some future partnerships within the series and with our teams and drivers.”

More information on the Construction Contractors Club can be found on each of the Road to Indy series websites – indylights.com, indypro2000.com, and usf2000.com – under the About section.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Oct. 25, 2019) – Today, we are excited to formally unveil the Arrow McLaren SP brand. The name Arrow McLaren SP marks a new chapter for our team, as two determined racing entities – McLaren Racing and Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – join forces with the combined goal to challenge for IndyCar success. That ambition is shared and supported by title partner, Arrow Electronics.

Sam Schmidt set up a race team just 14 months after suffering serious injuries in a testing accident. As Sam Schmidt Motorsports, we started out in 2001 with the aim of fighting for wins and championships. There were no shortcuts to success but step-by-step we achieved multiple victories and seven titles at the Indy Lights level.

Following the arrival of Ric Peterson as co-owner in 2013, our development continued at IndyCar level, with seven victories and a further 28 podiums registered since then.

Now we enter the next stage of our journey, as Arrow SPM joins forces with McLaren Racing to form Arrow McLaren SP.

What ties us together is a racer’s spirit and a fierce determination and will to overcome adversity in pursuit of achievement, typified by Sam’s journey and the example of a young Bruce McLaren. In the 1960s, the young New Zealander fearlessly moved from his humble home surroundings to Europe in search of racing success, and duly became the youngest grand prix winner at the age of 22.

At the heart of Arrow McLaren SP is a shared ambition: to race, and to win. For our people, our partners, our fans, and for our sport.

That common goal provides the perfect platform for our future as Arrow McLaren SP: the combination of Arrow SPM’s experience and knowledge of modern-day IndyCar racing, strengthened by McLaren Racing’s resources and drive to always move fearlessly forward with Arrow’s technology solutions.

It’s a blend that we have to have in order to achieve our common goals of wins and titles. We come with ambition and humility in equal measure, fully aware of the strength of our opposition, and with total respect for the test the IndyCar Series provides.

And while our people want to overcome those challenges on the track, we also aim to benefit our partners and the whole sport off it. It’s a journey we will embark on with our fans, bringing new ones to the series as we strive to grow not only a racing team but motorsport globally.

Talladega …

It has been 50 years since racing began on the high banks of the Alabama International Motor Superspeedway.

Though many historians and fans have continually brought up the union organizing activity led by auto racing Superstar Richard Petty as a central issue, there were many more problems than a failure in communication between Bill France and the Professional Driver Association’s members.

The newly constructed and paved track was fast, too fast some say. The grip at the start of any car’s run seemingly catapulted the uniquely designed stock cars to greater and greater speeds.

Charlie Glotzbach in a Nichels Engineering entered Test Car snapped off a lap at 199.466 miles per hour, subsequently almost losing his job because he violated Ronney Householder’s orders to keep the new Dodge Daytona Charger on a short lease.

With the terrifically high speeds, what was really learned was the track was terribly rough and tires couldn’t last more than 10 laps before failing. Firestone and Goodyear both suffered the same fate. So much so, that safety became the central issue, that eventually forced a lengthy list of drivers to boycott the race. Dave Despain shares the whole story below …


By: Stan Kalwasinski

— Remembering Meadowdale International Raceways —

— Road racing course was located on Route 31 in Carpentersville, two miles north of the I-90 Tollway —

The track had been described in various sizes ranging from 4.2 mile, 3.5 mile, 3.27 mile, and 2.25 mile.

The track opened on September 14, 1958, with Chuck Daigh of Long Beach, Calif., winning a 115.5-mile sports car event on the 12-turn, 3.3 mile course. Daigh, in a Scarab, defeated Lance Reventlow in a “sister” car to Daigh’s. Chuck Rickert in a Porsche 550 finished third, followed by John Haas and John Stover. Daigh averaged 85.55 mph to the checkered flag. Driver Robert Walker of Little Rock, Ark., died from injuries when his Ferrari flipped over in a hairpin turn during the race. The Chicago Region of the Sports Cars Club of America hosted the event with an entry list of some 130 cars on hand as a windy day caused dust problems at the new facility.

The raceway featured an intimidating 45-degree banked “Monza Wall.” The “Monza Wall” was torn down before the 1968 racing season. Leonard Besinger Sr. of Polk Brothers home appliance/electronics store fame was the builder of the track. Early officers included Ralph Banghart, President, Ben Bentley, Vice President, and Robert Sherwood, Secretary.

Over the years, racers such as Jim Jeffords, Augie Pabst, Roger Penske, Harry Heuer, Lloyd Ruby, Ken Miles, Jim Hall, and Mark Donohue scored sports car victories on the Meadowdale course. Donohue, in his Roger Penske-owned Chevrolet Camaro, scored the final major event victory held at the speedway as Donohue won a Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Trans-Am race on July 7, 1968. In September 1959, Rodger Ward, who in May had one his first Indianapolis 500 race, competed in a sports car race, driving his Leader Card midget.

Used primarily as a sports car racing venue, Meadowdale hosted six major stock car races during its existence with the likes of Fred Lorenzen, Gene Marmor, Nelson Stacy, Rick Kleich, Curtis Turner, and Elmer Musgrave scoring victories. Lorenzen’s win came in a 222-mile, USAC-sanctioned “new car” race on Sunday afternoon, October 19, 1958, with Lorenzen and his 1958 Ford defeating ’58 Indy 500 winner Jimmy Bryan and fastest qualifier Chuck Daigh.

Never catching on like investors and management envisioned, Meadowdale fell on hard times with go-kart, drag racing, and even snowmobile racing taking place at the track. USAC-sanctioned Indy Car and stock car races were planned for 1970 with the events never taking place.

The track sat for many years with the property now part of about 122 acres owned in roughly equal portions by Dundee Township, the Dundee Township Park District and the Kane County Forest Preserve and known as Raceway Wood. Parts of the original track remain with visitors able to walk the course where Ferrari, Maserati, Porsches, and Scarab sports cars once reigned.