Posts Tagged ‘indianapolis motor speedway’

INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, March 3, 2022) – Due to ongoing global supply chain challenges with some hybrid system components, INDYCAR announced it has adjusted the debut of the 2.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine with hybrid technology to the 2024 season.

In consultation with engine partners Chevrolet and Honda, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES will continue to use the current 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 powerplant for the 2023 season.

“We are pleased with the pace of the technical development of the 2.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 hybrid as we prepare it for competition,” said INDYCAR President Jay Frye. “We are very encouraged by the progress our team and our partners have made, but an immediate decision needed to be made to ensure we are prepared for the 2023 season utilizing our current 2.2-liter engine package.

“Thanks to our great partners at Honda and Chevrolet for working through this challenging supply chain situation. We are going full speed ahead with the 2.4-liter hybrid engine and cannot wait to have it on track in 2024.”

The development of the 2.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine with hybrid technology involves cutting-edge innovations unique to INDYCAR. The new engine will give the most exciting and competitive racing series in the world a roaring and powerful 800 horsepower as a baseline. The addition of the hybrid system will provide an additional boost of 100 horsepower to ultimately produce 900.

“We are proud of the hard work and level of commitment by our engine group, along with our teams and partners, in the development of the Chevrolet 2.4-liter engine for our INDYCAR program,” said Mark Stielow, director, GM Motorsports Competition Engineering. “We were certainly excited to have it on track next season. Chevrolet remains fully committed to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, and we look forward to debuting our future engine package in 2024.”

“We are very excited to get the electrified era of INDYCAR SERIES racing underway,” said David Salters, president, and technical director, Honda Performance Development. “We have finished development and dyno testing of our new internal combustion engine. Once the hybrid system component supply chain issues are sorted, we’ll begin track testing of the new hybrid power unit.”

INDIANAPOLIS (Monday, Dec. 17, 2018) – Jay Frye will become President of INDYCAR as part of Hulman & Company organizational changes announced today by Mark Miles, President and CEO of the parent company.

Frye, who has led INDYCAR’s Competition and Operations departments since November 2015, will add Marketing and Communications to his responsibilities, effective Jan. 1. Miles will continue as CEO of INDYCAR.

Frye joined Hulman & Company, which owns INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in 2013 as Chief Revenue Officer, leading the combined team of INDYCAR and IMS in sponsorship sales, licensing and account services. In 2014, the team secured a title sponsorship agreement with Verizon as well as the addition and expansion of several other corporate partners, including TAG Heuer and Panasonic.

Mark Sibla, INDYCAR Chief of Staff, Competition and Operations, will similarly expand his role with the Indianapolis-based sanctioning body, becoming Chief of Staff of all INDYCAR departments.

The reorganization is a result of C.J. O’Donnell’s resignation at year’s end. O’Donnell has been Chief Marketing Officer at INDYCAR and IMS since November 2013.

Curt Cavin, INDYCAR Vice President, Communications, and a new role to be filled of INDYCAR Vice President, Marketing, will report to Frye.

Additional organizational changes have been made at IMS, including:

   • Jarrod Krisiloff will have his responsibilities expanded at IMS, becoming Vice President, Facilities and Events. He has been Executive Director, Events, for the past two years.
   • Dan Skiver will become Director, Operations, and responsible for the many functions related to IMS events. Pat Garlock will be promoted to Assistant Manager, Facilities and Events.
   • Alex Damron will be promoted to Senior Director, Communications, for IMS and Hulman & Company, and corporate communications will be added to his responsibilities.  

The “Region Racers” Series – Rudy Nichels

By: Wm. LaDow

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In 1908, a 10-year-old boy crossed the Atlantic Ocean. He and his father journeyed from Austria to settle in America.

Though his last name was Puja when he entered Ellis Island, it was soon changed. It’s unclear whether in his pocket rested a few coins or perhaps he was cared for by a kind immigration worker who gave him some change to get a meal, but from that day forward, his last name was Nichels.

After establishing their residency in Chicago, a teenage Rudy could often be found at the corner pool hall or participating in a local “game of chance.” But a few years later, Nichels settled down in the Calumet Region’s Griffith, Indiana, got married, and eventually started a family — a daughter and three sons.

Nichels was a born entrepreneur and quickly sensed that the American automobile was becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. He made it a point to get involved in any auto-related businesses he could find.

FTIn time he was able to parlay his savings into purchasing a small Fisk Tire store on Ewing Avenue in South Chicago. So small was the shop that an automobile couldn’t be parked entirely under the roof while having its tires changed. Using the slim profits from this business, Nichels in 1930 purchased a restaurant located at the intersection of Fifth Street and Highway Avenue in Highland.

With his wife, Gladys, doing the restaurant cooking, Nichels turned his efforts toward another business, a gasoline service station and auto repair shop.

q_in_highland_nichel_471942In 1936, he purchased a second restaurant and tavern just two miles east, on the corner of Ridge Road & Cline Avenue. Soon, he had a service station, an auto repair garage, a restaurant, and a tavern all on the northwest corner of the intersection, which he christened “Rudy’s Place.” With his early investment in restaurants and auto repair shops paying off, he began a search for another moneymaking opportunity and uncovered midget car auto racing.

The more Nichels heard about midget car racing, the more he thought it might be a good fit with his other businesses. On Oct. 10, 1937, Nichels decided to take a look at this potential business venture. With his oldest son, 14-year-old Ray visited the newly constructed Hammond Raceway located at Sheffield & Calumet Avenues. With 7,000 fans in attendance, Nichels witnessed his first midget car race. It would not be his last. A few weeks later, Nichels purchased his first race car.

At the Hammond, Indiana Speedway 5/8th’s mile track are two Nichels midgets. The car on the left is the #25 driven by Mike O’Halloran and on the right is Teddy Duncan in the #2. Both drivers would eventually be elected to the National Midget Racing Hall of Fame. Kneeling between the Nichels cars are from left: Dale “Tiny’ Worley, Ray Nichels and Rudy Nichels – Nichels Engineering Archives

At the Hammond, Indiana Speedway 5/8th’s mile track is two Nichels Service midgets. The car on the left is the #25 driven by Mike O’Halloran, and on the right is Teddy Duncan in the #2. Both drivers would eventually be elected to the National Midget Racing Hall of Fame. Kneeling between the Nichels cars are from left: Dale “Tiny’ Worley, Ray Nichels and Rudy Nichels – Nichels Engineering Archives.

From that day on, Rudy threw himself whole-heartedly into auto racing, owning several cars from 1938 through the late 1940s, giving drivers such as Ted Duncan, Tony Bettenhausen, Johnnie Parsons, Paul Russo, Ray Richards, and Mike O’Halloran some of the finest midget race cars in the business. All of these drivers eventually became members of the Midget Racing Hall of Fame after capturing a series of track championships driving for Nichels Service. Johnnie Parsons used his 1948 Midwest Championship driving for Nichels as a springboard toward winning the 1950 Indianapolis 500.

Nichels established the “Nichels Service” shop at the corner of Cline and Ridge Road as the cornerstone of Midwest auto racing. Working with racing equipment suppliers from across the country, he built a superb reputation for racing expertise. Nationally known drivers such as Ronney Householder anchored their race teams and equipment at Rudy’s Place when barnstorming across America.

Rudy Nichels shop at the corner of Cline Avenue and Ridge Road in Highland, Indiana in 1947. Working on the two Nichels owned midgets in the front of the garage is 24 year old Ray Nichels. In the back on the right in the white tee shirt is Ronney Householder, who at the time was one of the most respected drivers in racing. He went on to manage Chrysler Corporation’s racing operations from 1955 thru 1972 – Nichels Engineering Archives

Rudy Nichels shop at the corner of Cline Avenue and Ridge Road in Highland, Indiana, in 1947. Working on the two Nichels owned midgets in the front of the garage is 24-year-old Ray Nichels. In the back on the right in the white tee shirt is Ronney Householder, who at the time was one of the most respected drivers in racing. He went on to manage Chrysler Corporation’s racing operations from 1955 thru 1972 – Nichels Engineering Archives.

Nichels began promoting and sanctioning races at tracks throughout Illinois and Indiana, the racing business became so profitable.

During this time, his son, Ray, went out on his own and entered IndyCar racing, eventually competing in 15 Indianapolis 500s and building a Hall of Fame career as one of the nation’s finest mechanics and race car builders.

Rudy Nichels died in April of 1955, leaving a lasting legacy of being one of the first in a long line of Region Racers.

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Carpenter, Newgarden Will Race Under ECR Banner in 2016

(SPEEDWAY, Ind.) January 28, 2016 – A familiar name will be part of Verizon IndyCar Series in 2016 as Ed Carpenter Racing returns to competition. Team officials announced today that the organization that operated as CFH Racing in 2015 will be known as Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR), effective immediately. The team will remain headquartered in its current location at 1255 Main Street in Speedway, Ind. Ed Carpenter, Tony George and Stuart Reed are the owners of ECR.

“After competing for a year as CFH Racing, we will be returning to ECR for 2016 and beyond,” stated Ed Carpenter. “While we had a great year as CFH Racing, we have had some partnership changes within the organization and it makes the most sense to return to ECR. I am proud of what we have accomplished as a team since we started in 2012 and look forward to building upon that success for another exciting Verizon IndyCar Series season.”

ECR and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) combined their single-car teams in August of 2014 to create CFH Racing. During their 2015 campaign, CFH won two races with Josef Newgarden, collected an additional three podium finishes and a earned a pole position.

Moving forward, SFHR’s Wink Hartman will return his focus to his company, Wichita, Kan.-based Hartman Oil. Sarah Fisher will concentrate on her new business venture, Speedway Indoor Karting, set to open on April 1. Fisher and her husband Andy O’Gara are finalizing construction on their new 60,000-square-foot facility, also located on Main Street.

Fisher will continue to assist ECR with sponsorship development and work with existing team partners. “It’s important for IndyCar to have strong entries on grid and this team needs to be two of them, so I will do what I can to help them with business developments and continue with solutions for our current partners,” said Fisher. “I am lucky to have been an owner in this series for eight years, having incredible memories along the way. Lastly, I am extremely thankful to Wink and Libba Hartman for everything they’ve done to help us get to where we are today.”

Newgarden will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet for ECR in 2016, featuring a special Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka scheme for the first four events. Carpenter will remain the driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet during the five oval events. ECR is continuing to work toward filling the seat of the No. 20 for the road and street course events, but at this time has plans to compete on only the ovals. “ECR is in a great position as we head into 2016 and have support from great partners like Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka and Direct Supply. We have been a Chevrolet team from the beginning, so we’re excited to continue that relationship and help them win another championship.” Carpenter continued. “We have had a very productive off-season and our plans are well underway for a successful year.”

The same year ECR began, Newgarden was hired to drive for SFHR after winning the 2011 Indy Lights championship. “I may never have had the chance to race an Indy car if it was not for Wink Hartman, Libba Hartman, Sarah Fisher and Andy O’Gara. They really were a huge turning point in my career and helped me break into the professional level. Their support was everything and more that a young driver could ask for,” commented Newgarden. “Moving forward, I’m extremely excited about 2016 with Ed Carpenter Racing. I enjoy working with Ed Carpenter so much, as both a teammate and a team owner. I look forward to putting 100 percent into the season and trying to achieve greater and bigger results. With the entire ECR team and the Chevy partnership we have, I feel there is absolutely nothing that can stand in our way from topping our very promising season in 2015.”

Ed Carpenter Racing will return to the track at Phoenix International Raceway on February 8 for their first test of the year. The 2016 season Verizon IndyCar Series season will open on Sunday, March 13 in St. Petersburg, Fla.

 

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INDIANAPOLIS (December 21, 2015) – Refinements to the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook, distributed to teams and suppliers December 19, clarify procedures established by INDYCAR in the past two seasons and highlight ongoing efforts to improve the overall fan experience in the upcoming season. Areas of interest in the rulebook include the following:

Aero Kits

• INDYCAR has established in the rulebook the aerodynamic bodywork parameters for each of the five ovals on the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. The aero specifications for each oval include:

Phoenix International Raceway, which will see a 2016 return of Indy car racing for the first time in 11 years, will run the same aero configuration as used at Iowa Speedway in 2015.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway will run the same aero configuration as in 2015, with the addition of rear wheel guard infills that were implemented at Texas Motor Speedway in 2015, as well as a domed skid plate underneath the car and rear wing beam flaps. The skid plate and beam flaps were announced Nov. 24 as part of INDYCAR’s continuously evolving safety enhancements.

Texas Motor Speedway‘s aero configuration, which included the rear wheel guard infills in 2015, will add the domed skid plate and rear wing beam flaps in 2016, plus see a slight increase in available downforce.
Iowa Speedway will see a slight reduction in available downforce due to a reduction in rear wing angle.

Indianapolis 500 Qualifying

• Under the updated regulations, the provisional field of 33 cars for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 will be set on the first day of qualifications at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval on May 21, 2016. This means that any traditional “bumping” of cars from the field of 33 will take place on the first day of qualifying.

• Procedures for the second day of 2016 qualifying, scheduled for May 22, will see race starting positions among the 33 provisional qualifiers finalized.

Awarded Points

• Race finish points awarded for the 2016 Indianapolis 500 and the season finale at Sonoma Raceway will again be worth double the normal race finish points, with first place at Indianapolis and Sonoma netting 100 driver and entrant championship points, second place 80 points and down to 10 points for 33rd finishing position.

• Allocation of championship points for Indianapolis 500 qualifying will be awarded based on final-day qualifying, with the Verizon P1 Award pole winner receiving 42 points, second fastest earning 40 and descending to the 33rd-fastest qualifier getting one point.

Other Updates

• The Indianapolis 500 rookie orientation test has changed its three phases for new drivers to be approved for competition. The phases for 2016 are: 10 laps at 210-215 mph, followed by 15 laps at 215-220 mph and 15 laps at 220-plus mph. Each phase sees an increase of 5 mph from 2015.

• Turbocharger boost pressure for the Chevrolet and Honda twin-turbocharged, 2.2-liter V-6 engines when push-to-pass overtake assist is engaged on road and street courses will increase from 160 to 165 kilopascals (kPa), yielding approximately 20 added horsepower. INDYCAR announced this change Dec. 15.

• Both engine manufacturers will use a uniform Sunoco E85R fuel in 2016, with the removal of an additive (HiTEC 6590) previously allowed for Chevrolet.

• The minimum car weight has been increased to accommodate for safety enhancements including the Suspension Wheel/Wing Energy Management System (SWEMS) additional bodywork component tethers announced Nov. 24. The car weights will increase 10 pounds to 1,610 pounds on road and street courses and short ovals, and to 1,580 pounds on superspeedways.

• The pit speed limit at all ovals will be 50 mph, another safety initiative. In 2015, the limit on superspeedways was 60 mph.

• A rules clarification stipulates that all cars using the Honda aero kit must include the chassis center line wicker. Cars using the Chevrolet or stock Dallara aero kit may not include the chassis center line wicker.

• During race weekends that include a promoter test day, teams are permitted to carry over one used set of tires from the promoter day to the next practice session of the weekend, but must return the set after that session.

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INDIANAPOLIS – Central Indiana based Jonathan Byrd’s and long time Verizon IndyCar Series team Dale Coyne Racing have partnered to bring a pair of young, American drivers to the 2016 Verizon IndyCar schedule.

Conor Daly will pilot the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing entry for the full 2016 season.  Sponsorship for the car will be provided by Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality & Restaurant Group with the exception of the Indianapolis 500 where it will appear on Clauson’s entry.  Coyne is exploring a number of options for primary sponsorship of Daly’s car for the 500.No18DalyCarBryan Clauson will drive the No. 88 Dale Coyne Racing/Jonathan Byrd’s Racing Honda as a one-off entry for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.  This attempt to make the 33 car field will be Clauson’s third, having qualified and raced in the 2012 and 2015 races.

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“All of us at Dale Coyne Racing are excited about the relationship with Jonathan Byrd’s.  Their continued support of Bryan and expanded support of Conor is unique in racing today,”  said team owner Dale Coyne.  “Conor stepped in for us at Long Beach last season and impressed everyone very much.  Bryan has a storied oval racing history at a very young age and together we look for a very competitive Indy 500 in 2016.”

Jonathan Byrd II, team principal of Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, added, “over the years, our family has entrusted many great names in racing to be our partner for our IndyCar efforts and being able to add Dale Coyne’s name to that list, with his successes within and passion for the sport, means a lot to us.”

The partnership to bring these talented American drivers back to the Verizon IndyCar series was assisted by John Lopes, CEO of LST Marketing.  Without the help of Lopes and his team at LST Marketing, the early start to the 2016 season would not have been possible.  All parties involved were quick to agree this partnership would be beneficial.

“When my son, David, came to me about this potential arrangement with Dale Coyne and related the story about how much Dale thought of their father, how he respected what he did in racing, and his love for racing in the Indianapolis 500, I was very pleased to give my blessing on teaming with Dale,” said Ginny Byrd, owner of Jonathan Byrd’s.

BryanBryan Clauson may be attempting to make only his third Indianapolis 500 field, but he is no stranger to racing.  The 26 year old has been one of the most prolific drivers to come through USAC by racking up 72 career USAC wins and four championships. Clauson has captured over 160 total career feature wins in the Sprint Car, Midget, and Silver Crown ranks.

Clauson could barely contain his enthusiasm for the partnership between Coyne and Jonathan Byrd’s.  “I’m excited to be returning to the Speedway in 2016 with the support of the Byrd family, the Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality & Restaurant Group, and Cancer Treatment Centers of America.  I hope this is the start of a long and successful relationship between two groups of passionate supporters of open wheel racing.”  Clauson continued, “the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 is the centerpiece of what is a very busy schedule for me in 2016 and I’m eager to get on track and build on the things that we learned this year.”

ConorConor Daly has participated in a variety of open wheel racing series in preparation of his debut Verizon IndyCar Series season.  Daly began karting at age 10 and quickly moved into car racing full time.  He completed two seasons in the Star Mazda Championship before moving up to Indy Lights. In 2011, Daly competed in five Firestone Indy Lights races and scored a sensational win at Grand Prix of Long Beach which vaulted him to the lead of the championship. He then made the difficult decision to leave the Indy Lights championship and move to Europe.  Daly spent the next four season racing in GP3, GP2, and acting as an F1 test driver for Sahara Force India.

2015 provided Daly his first chance to prove himself as an IndyCar driver.  With only 45 minutes notice, Daly strapped into the No. 18 entry for Dale Coyne Racing at Long Beach.  With limited practice and without having any experience in the current car, Daly drove to what some described as the most impressive 17th place finish in memory.  Daly went on to make several other starts in place of James Hinchcliffe during the 2015 season and earned a career best sixth place finish in Detroit.  Despite these unexpected opportunities, a full season in the Verizon IndyCar Series was always the goal.

“This is truly the most meaningful announcement of my career,” said Conor Daly.  “After experiencing what I have in my career, especially the last three years, it is an incredible honor and opportunity to work with Dale Coyne Racing for a full season.  To be able to go head to head and take the fight to other drivers every weekend is very exciting.  I cannot thank Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality & Restaurant Group and all of Jonathan Byrd’s Racing’s partners enough for their effort in putting this program together.  I am ready to get to work and try my best to outwork everyone else in the field every weekend to get results for this team.”

“At one point in time, I specifically remember saying to Conor’s father, Derek, that if we ever had a chance to make it work, I would want Conor full time in an IndyCar and now here we are with it coming to pass,” said Jonathan Byrd II.  “What Conor did in Europe with his incredible talent has always impressed me and his dogged determination to work hard to get a ride in the series makes me know he will do incredible work in the Jonathan Byrd’s machine!

When festivities kick off at Indy, Bryan Clauson will be about a quarter of the way through his unprecedented 200 race 2016 schedule before shifting his focus to the Indianapolis 500.  The team and Jonathan Byrd’s Racing will begin preparations to have the car and team in top form for opening day on May 16th.  Conor Daly will begin to acclimate to the updated Honda HPD aero kit on December 14th and 15th as the Dale Coyne Racing team will take part in their second test of the offseason at Sebring International Raceway.

# # #

The Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality & Restaurant Group has been feeding central Indiana residents for over 63 years. Jonathan Byrd’s flagship location in Greenwood has served millions of meals since its inception in 1988, while also delivering its experience to dozens of partner locations throughout the Indianapolis Metropolitan area through its extensive catering operation. Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality & Restaurant Group also manages the 502 East Event Centre, located in Carmel, and is Hamilton County’s largest event space. Jonathan Byrd’s will also have a large presence inside of Westfield’s Grand Park, as it lends in name to the newly opening Jonathan Byrd’s Fieldhouse, as well as the currently under construction indoor complex at Grand Park, where it will have restaurant and exclusive concessions operations in place. Jonathan Byrd’s is also the foodservice provider at Camp Atterbury in southern Johnson County, is the Official Catering Company of the Indianapolis Colts, and has recently launched the Jonathan Byrd’s Event & Entertainment Group.

Jonathan Byrd’s Racing was founded by the late Jonathan Byrd in 1982, and traces its roots to the Indianapolis Speedrome, where it found immediate championship-winning success. From there, the Jonathan Byrd’s team spread its wings to begin competing on short tracks across the country. While continuing its winning ways on the short tracks of America, Jonathan Byrd’s Racing made the leap to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In its various forms, Jonathan Byrd’s Racing has successfully fielded 18 entries in the Indianapolis 500 beginning in 1985, scoring 6 top ten finishes, with a best finish of 5th in 2005. The roster of Jonathan Byrd’s Racing Indy 500 drivers includes Rich Vogler (‘85,’86,’87,’88,’89), Stan Fox (‘91,’92), Gordon Johncock (‘91), Buddy Lazier (‘91,’05), Scott Brayton (‘93), John Andretti (‘94), Davy Jones (‘95), Arie Luyendyk (‘96), Mike Groff (‘97,’98), Jaques Lazier (‘01) and Bryan Clauson (2015). A Jonathan Byrd’s Racing car currently holds the all-time Indianapolis 500 1 and 4 lap qualifying records (Luyendyk ’96). Jonathan Byrd’s Racing has won 2 IndyCar races (Luyendyk – Phoenix ’96, Paul Jr – Texas ’98), along with 2 United States Auto Club National Midget Championships (’86,’87), and numerous regional and short-track championships in both midget racing and late model stock cars. Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, along with its partner teams, was responsible for the first ever “double” in 1994, when John Andretti raced in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the same day.  Jonathan Byrd’s Racing is also headlining Bryan Clauson’s “Chasing 200 Tour: Circular Insanity”, featuring Clauson’s unprecedented racing fete of attempting 200 race features in a single calendar year. 

Jonathon Byrd’s Racing: www.jonathanbyrdsracing.com 

Twitter: @ByrdRacing 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jonathanbyrdsracing 

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Car Owner Chapman Root, Chief Mechanic Ray Nichels and Driver Pat O’Connor after capturing the Pole for the 1957 Indianapolis 500. O’Connor would run the same car in 1958 …

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An odds on favorite to win the the Indianapolis 500 in 1958 Pat O’Connor tragically died in the multi-car, first lap crash.

He remains as one of the most popular drivers ever and will be honored with an IRMA historical marker on August 15th, in the North Vernon Indiana, beginning at 10:30am.

A big day is planned by Mayor Campbell of North Vernon, IRMA and the Pat O’Connor family. The event will be hosted by one of the legendary voices of the Speedway, Howdy Bell, with IMS Historian, Donald Davidson the featured speaker.

The event will take place in the North Vernon City Park, 604 N State St, North Vernon, IN 47265. That’s located right along Indiana State Highway 7.

In conjunction with the event, there will be a car show, with proceeds going to disabled veterans. A meal will be available for those interested. Tenderloin with the trimmings for $10.

Steve Perkins will have his Pat O’Connor tribute sprint car there, Dr. Robert Dicks will bring his Parnelli Jones roadster, and Larry Wheat will display his beautiful SUMAR tow car and hauler. A lot to see and do!

Please join us in honoring one of the Indy 500’s finest gentlemen.

For more on the career of Pat O’Connor — please visit this link

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Jennings County Driver to be Memorialized at Ceremony

A memorial to Jennings County racer Pat O’Connor will be unveiled and dedicated in North Vernon’s City Park on Saturday.

Pat O’Connor’s family, representatives from the world of auto racing and others will be present at the public ceremony, which starts at 10:30 a.m. at the north entrance to the park.

Born in North Vernon, O’Connor began his racing career at age 19. His first race was in a roadster in Columbus in 1948, and he drove cheap jalopies at a track in North Vernon called “The Hole.”

He honed his driving skills and scored wins in roadster, sprint and midget races. O’Connor become a well-known Sprint Car driver and was eventually inducted into the Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1995. O’Connor won the first of three Midwest Sprint Car championships in 1953. He also claimed the title in ’54 and ’56.

His racing abilities, charm and good looks brought him national and international recognition.

He became a test driver for the Firestone Co. and a member of Sumar Racing team in Italy.

O’Connor’s success in racing brought him financial profits which he invested in businesses and a home in North Vernon.

His fame grew with his participation in the legendary Indianapolis 500 race.

O’Connor first tried to qualify for the Indy 500 in 1953 but fell short.

He participated in the race in 1954, starting 12th and finishing 21st. O’Connor placed eighth in ’55.

He led 39 laps of the ‘56 race but finished 18th after starting third. O’Connor won the pole for the ’57 race and led seven laps but finished eighth.

O’Connor was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in May of 1958, just days losing his life in that year’s Indy 500. He was one of the favorites, but he lost his life on the first lap.

Two drivers collided and started a 16-car wreck. O’Connor’s roadster flipped and slid down the track, and he was killed instantly.

Local racing enthusiast Ron Clark remembered O’Connor fondly from his days in North Vernon.

“It didn’t matter how famous he got, he was always a good guy. You would see him coming and going around the garages. I was just a kid, and we’d all watch his every move, and he was always a good guy,” Clark said.

“O’Connor’s (second) wife Anne and sons Jeff and Rob stayed in North Vernon. Anne remarried a great guy, and they will all be at the ceremony,” said North Vernon Mayor Harold “Soup” Campbell.

Classic Car Show

Mike and Cindy Corya will present a classic car, truck and motorcycle show in the North Vernon City Park adjacent to the Pat O’Connor Memorial from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. It’s open to the public and food will be available for purchase.

A $15 registration fee is required for cars, trucks and motorcycles participating in the show. Awards will be presented for best vehicles in several categories at 3 p.m. All profits from the car show will be donated to disabled veterans of the VFW Post 2021. Rain date for the car show will be Aug 22.

Assistant Managing Editor Kirk Johannesen contributed to this story.

Twenty-two year old Marc Marques capturing the pole position for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP -- Image by Walter Kuhn for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Twenty-two year old Marc Marquez capturing pole position for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP — Image by Walter Kuhn for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015 – Two-time defending MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez posted a time of 1 minute 31.884 seconds on his No. 93 Repsol Honda on Saturday while capturing the pole position for Sunday’s Red Bull Indianapolis GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Marc Marquez wins pole position for the 2015 Red Bull Indianapolis GP - Image by Shawn Gritzmacher

Marc Marquez wins pole position for the 2015 Red Bull Indianapolis GP – Image by Shawn Gritzmacher

Marquez, who won from the pole during the last two MotoGP races at IMS, scored his fifth pole in 10 races this season. He has 27 poles in 46 starts in his MotoGP career.

The 27-lap MotoGP race starts at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

“Yesterday, I saw that Jorge (Lorenzo) was really strong, but today we got closer and we had a similar pace,” Marquez said. “Happy to be on the pole and we will see tomorrow because the tire degradation, it’s an important thing here. We will be there. The key of the race, I think, on the last laps everybody will be struggling with rear grip. But we will try to do our best and try to be there, ready for a fight.”

Marquez is the first to win three consecutive poles at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP. He was tied with Dani Pedrosa for the most poles (two) overall in the event.

The winner of a remarkable 21 races since entering MotoGP competition in 2013, Marquez will look to win his fifth race at IMS following triumphs in Moto2 in 2011 and 2012 and MotoGP wins the last two years. Marquez is in fourth place in the MotoGP standings and will be looking for his third win of the season on Sunday.

Image by Mike Harding for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Image by Mike Harding for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Starting next to Marquez on the grid will be his Spanish countryman and Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, who posted a lap of 1:32.055. A two-time race winner (2010 and 2012) at Indianapolis, Pedrosa failed to make the podium at IMS for the first time since 2009 when he finished fourth last year.

The all-Spanish front row of the grid was assured when two-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo posted a lap of 1:32.186 on his No. 99 Movistar Yamaha. Lorenzo will be looking for his fifth win of the season to go along with victories at Jerez, Le Mans, Mugello and Barcelona.

The legendary Valentino Rossi of Italy, a seven-time MotoGP world champion and winner of the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP in 2008, will begin Sunday’s race in the middle of the third row after posting a time of 1:32.511 on his No. 46 Movistar Yamaha. The ageless Rossi sits atop the MotoGP standings, 13 points clear of his Yamaha teammate Lorenzo. Rossi has wins this year in Qatar, Argentina and Assen.

“For me, from the third row, it’s always difficult,” Rossi said. “But mainly the problem for tomorrow, I’m a little bit worried, especially because also Pedrosa is very strong. He’s a little bit stronger than me. So Jorge, Marc and Pedrosa, to stay with them, we have to make another step.”

Nicky Hayden of Owensboro, Kentucky, who won the 2006 MotoGP World Championship, qualified 20th on his No. 69 Aspar Honda in 1:34.030.

“Well, we thought we had found a little bit of a direction yesterday afternoon,” Hayden said. “This morning we probably went backwards a little bit and qualifying obviously didn’t go very good. We just tried a few things that probably didn’t bring as good a result as we’d hoped.”

During a MotoGP practice session, Andrea Iannone posted a record trap speed of 217.0 mph (349.3 km/h) for a motorcycle at the Indianapolis Speedway, topping the 216.9 mph (349.0 km/h) recorded last year by Pedrosa.

Alex Rins of Spain won his second pole position of the season in Moto2 qualifying with a time of 1:36.549 on his Kalex bike. The 25-lap Moto2 race will start on Sunday at 12:20 p.m.

Current points leader Danny Kent of Great Britain captured the sixth Moto3 pole position of his career and fourth of the season with a lap of 1:40.703 on his No. 52 Leopard Racing Honda. Kent will look to post his sixth victory of the season during the 23-lap Moto3 race Sunday at 11 a.m.

Moto3 qualifying – Image by Walter Kuhn for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The first MotoAmerica race contested at IMS was won today by Garrett Gerloff on his No. 31 Yamaha in the Supersport class. Bobby Fong finished as the runner-up on the No. 50 Triumph bike, and with his third-place finish, JD Beach captured the 2015 Supersport title with two races remaining on the schedule.

The first of two MotoAmerica Superbike / Superstock 1000 races this weekend ended with polesitter Cameron Beaubier winning the Superbike race – his seventh win of the season — on his No. 6 Yamaha. Finishing a close second on his No. 95 Suzuki was Roger Hayden, the brother of MotoGP star Nicky Hayden. Josh Hayes, who entered today’s race tied for the series points lead with his teammate Beaubier, finished third on his No. 1 Yamaha. Hayes is a four-time AMA Superbike champion.

Also contested during the Superbike race was the first of two MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 races won by 2014 AMA Pro Daytona Superbike champion Jake Gagne on his No. 32 Yamaha. This was Gagne’s 10th win in Superstock 1000 competition this season. MotoAmerica racing action will conclude Sunday with the second MotoAmerica Superbike / Superstock 1000 race beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Public gates open Sunday at 7am and warm-ups in the various classes begin at 7:30am.

Jorge Lorenzo at speed -- Image by Bret Kelley for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Jorge Lorenzo at speed — Image by Bret Kelley for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Two-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo of Spain paced the field during the first day of MotoGP practice for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Friday, Aug. 7, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 2009 Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner, Lorenzo posted the fastest lap time of the day of 1 minute, 32.860 seconds in the second of two MotoGP practice sessions on the IMS 16-turn, 2.591 miles (4.170 km) road course. Lorenzo also led the best riders in the world during the first MotoGP practice session with a fastest lap of 1:33.654 on his No. 99 Movistar Yamaha bike.

Jorge Lorenzo was fastest of the day at IMS for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix practice -- Image by Shawn Gritzmacher

Jorge Lorenzo was fastest of the day at IMS for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix practice — Image by Shawn Gritzmacher

“I’m very positive; very happy with the start of the weekend,” Lorenzo said. “Normally, it’s very important after the long holiday, after a lot of days without riding; it’s very important to feel fast and comfortable on the bike. That’s the way I feel today. Because we didn’t put on the new tire at the end like some of the riders, I think we have half a second or even more and we can improve the bike and get closer to the lap record from last year or even better.”

Not surprisingly, two-time defending world champion Marc Marquez posted the second-fastest times of the day in both MotoGP practice sessions. Marquez rode his famed No. 93 Repsol Honda to a time of 1:33.747 in the first session, and improved to 1:32.863 during the second practice.

Marquez will look to add to his four-year run of perfection at IMS. The Spanish superstar was victorious at IMS in Moto2 in 2011 and 2012, and also posted MotoGP wins at the Racing Capital of the World in 2013 and 2014.

Andrea Dovizioso was third-fastest in both sessions (1:33.871 and 1:33.155) on his Ducati. Italian legend Valentino Rossi, the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP champion who enters this weekend’s action as the MotoGP points leader, had the 10th-fastest lap in the afternoon session.

Owensboro, Kentucky, native and 2006 MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden, who was unable to compete on the reconfigured IMS road course last year due to injury, posted the 16th fastest time of 1:34.397 on his No. 69 Aspar Honda during the second practice session.

“It was the first time I rode the new track, so it definitely has a little bit more flow to it; really nice,” Hayden said. “But it’s just getting some rubber down, because this track hasn’t been used a lot. But the grip for the first day is definitely the best I’ve probably ever seen at Indy.

“The grip level is just more consistent all over the track, which is really nice for the riders. Also the curbs; the curbs are really smooth and got good grip and good feedback. They’ve done a great job.”

Tito Rabat of Spain led Moto2 practice at 1:36.967 on his Kalex, and Danny Kent of Great Britain paced Moto3 practice at 1:41.437 on his Honda.

In MotoAmerica qualifying, Cameron Beaubier took the pole in Superbike with a lap of 1:37.247 on his No. 6 Yamaha, Bobby Fong won the pole in Supersport on his No. 50 Triumph with a lap of 1:39.848 and Jake Gagne was the fastest qualifier in Superstock 1000 on his No. 32 Yamaha in 1:38.421.

Qualifying will begin tomorrow with Moto3 from 12:35-1:15 p.m., followed by the first MotoGP qualifying session from 2:10-2:25 p.m. and the second session from 2:35-2:50 p.m. Moto2 qualifying will be held from 3:05-3:50 p.m. The MotoAmerica Superbike/Stock 1000 Race 1 will take the green flag at 4:15 p.m., followed by the MotoAmerica Supersport Race at 5pm.

2015 Ticket Information: Fans can buy tickets for the 2015 Red Bull Indianapolis GP and apply for tickets to the 2016 Indianapolis 500, Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the Lilly Diabetes 250 and the Crown Royal Presents the “Your Heroes Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard.

Fans have three quick, convenient methods to buy tickets:
Online: Visit http://www.ims.com/tickets. Tickets are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
Phone: Call 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.
In Person: Visit the IMS Ticket Office in the IMS Administration Building located at 4790 West 16th Street, Indianapolis, just east of the roundabout at Crawfordsville Road and 16th Street, between 8am-5pm (ET) Monday through Friday.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at 866-221-8775 for more information.

Information on parking and camping at IMS events is available at http://www.ims.com/tickets.

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The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) today announced it will honor one of auto racing’s all-time greatest champions with a display of his Indianapolis 500 cars at its June 11-14 Brickyard Invitational at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). Jimmy Clark, nicknamed by fans and press “The Flying Scot,” will be honored for his many accomplishments in the 50th anniversary year of his 1965 Indianapolis 500 triumph.

Regarded by many of his generation as the greatest race driver that ever lived the Hall of Famer and Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) racked up an impressive list of achievements to earn such recognition. His Indianapolis career alone would have made him a legend but the two-time Formula 1 World Champion (1963 & ’65) was one of those versatile drivers who not only won but dominated in numerous branches of the sport from Formula One to Indy cars to saloon cars, stock cars and sports cars. He tackled NASCAR once and scored a third-place overall very early in his career at Le Mans in a private entry Aston-Martin behind two factory-backed Ferraris.

In just five Indianapolis 500s Clark not only won once but also came home second twice, both in controversial finishes that bench racers continue to debate today. He could easily have been a multiple winner. Victory was within sight in 1964 when tire chunking triggered suspension failure on his pole-winning car. On the Formula One front Clark established the all-time record for race victories when he won his final Grand Prix outing at South Africa in 1968. While that record has been surpassed by several drivers Clark’s mark was set in just seven full seasons during an era that conducted about half as many events as are presented today. He still ranks at the top in winning percentage at nearly 35 percent. His record of F1 pole positions (33) even now ranks fifth in the history books.

imsc5578“We just could not come to IMS on the 50th Anniversary of Jim Clark’s victory and not do justice to this great champion,” said SVRA President & CEO Tony Parella. “I also thought it appropriate to announce this decision to remember him on April 7, the anniversary of the very sad day of his passing.”

For Parella and all of SVRA a connection to Jim Clark holds a special and personal meaning. Sally Swart, the former Sally Stokes, who was Clark’s close companion during his most triumphant years from 1963 through ’65, is the wife of West Coast SVRA executive Ed Swart.

“I have nothing but golden memories of Jimmy,” says Sally. “His mastery in the car made him a true artist. I am so pleased Tony and the SVRA have chosen to honor Jimmy in this way.”

While the tribute to Clark has yet to be fully defined it will involve an array of his Indianapolis 500 cars, all Lotus, including the entry he won Rookie-of-the-Year with in 1963, his ’65 winner and the Lotus Turbine he took his very last laps around the Brickyard in just before his fatal accident weeks later in Germany on April 7, 1968.

The SVRA today also announced two more additions to its second annual “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am field that has now grown to 12 drivers. Indianapolis 500 veterans John Martin and Scott Harrington, who competed last year, have filed entries.

Harrington began his motorsports career on two wheels earning success in both AMA Motocross and Supercross. He transitioned to four wheels racing in Formula Atlantic and SCCA Can-Am, where he won the 1992 series championship. He earned a starting spot in the 1996 Indianapolis 500 and later won the Rookie-of-the-Year award for the series in 1999, his first year running the full season.

John Martin is a five-time starter in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing but also boasts outstanding credentials in road race competition. Martin, who was featured last year on the cover of Vintage Motorsport magazine, launched his career in sports car racing. An excellent mechanic he converted his 1963 Corvette Sting Ray into an A-Production race car and entered Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) competition. He was national champion in 1964 and went professional in 1966. He drove an AMC Javelin in the classic days of Trans-Am and tackled the Indianapolis 500 in 1972. He is one of those amazing competitors who wore several hats as driver, mechanic, engineer and owner.

Like last year, the SVRA, America’s premier vintage racing organization, is presenting the “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am as a return to competition for veterans of the Indianapolis 500. The event is a 40-minute race of American muscle cars on the Speedway’s 2.43-mile Grand Prix road course on Saturday, June 13. The SVRA expects to attract a field of 33 Indianapolis 500 veterans. All the veterans will be in 1963 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs of “Group 6,” with an engine displacement limit of 355 cubic inches. Professionals will be paired with amateur drivers, splitting stints at the wheel at their discretion.

The Indy Legends Pro-Am is the crowning event of the Brickyard Invitational but there is literally a festival of other activities. Like last year, the storied 2.5-mile oval will be utilized with exhibition runs by a wide variety of cars including several of the crowd-favorite 1950’s Indianapolis 500 “roadsters.” The 2015 weekend not only promises a huge gathering of race cars but also some of the finest collector cars. Motostalgia, with offices in Austin, Mexico City and Monaco will stage a June 12 auction of select automobiles from around the world. The Brickyard Invitational will also expand out onto the world-famous infield IMS golf course with car corrals for organizations and clubs united by special marques and vintages.

The SVRA has 11 groups of race cars spanning 100 years of vintage machines and all will be at IMS. The array of entries include select pre-war machines, classic sports cars, Formula One and Le Mans prototypes as current as 2009. Race fans can enjoy every minute of the action with overnight camping inside IMS. Pro-Am cars and drivers will also participate in a Fan Walk through the starting grid prior to the opening ceremonies allowing fans to see the cars up close, take photos and chat with the drivers. All entry fees will be donated to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum Foundation.

Brickyard Invitational ticket information: Fans can order Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational tickets for all or any one of the four days of the event online through the Speedway or by calling 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday. Fans can also visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at 4790 West 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday. Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information. Children 12 and under are admitted free each day when accompanied by an adult. Tent camping passes in the IMS infield start at $30 and are available all four days.

Photos courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Data courtesy of SVRA

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Your 2015 Indianapolis 500 tickets have been mailed via the U.S. Postal Service.

Do open the envelope upon receipt to ensure that your order has been processed correctly.

If you have any questions or if we can be of additional assistance please call the IMS Ticket Office Monday through Friday (8 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET) at 317-492-6700 or 800-822-4639.

Indianapolis 500 Schedule
Sun. May 3 Opening Day
Mon. May 11 Practice
Tues. May 12 Practice
Wed. May 13 Practice
Thurs. May 14 Practice
Fri. May 15 Fast Friday
Sat. May 16 Qualifications
Sun. May 17 Old National Armed Forces Pole Day
Mon. May 18 Practice
Wed. May 20 Fan Experiences
Thurs. May 21 Indy Lights Practice & Qualifying
Fri. May 22 Coors Light Carb Day
Sat. May 23 Legends Day presented by Firestone
Sun. May 24 Race Day
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INDYCAR Up Close & Personal
Complete your Month of May with tickets to the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis Saturday, May 9. See the stars of the Verizon IndyCar Series as they battle on the IMS Road Course. Purchase Tickets
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Jane’s Addiction, O.A.R and 38 Special are going to rock IMS on Friday, May 22, for Coors Light Carb Day! Purchase Tickets Florida Georgia Line headlines the Legends Day concert presented by Firestone Saturday, May 23 Purchase Tickets The biggest party on race day is inside the Indy 500 Snake Pit presented by Miller Lite. Purchase Tickets
Parking & Camping
Make sure you have your parking or camping spot reserved at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Reserve Your Spot Today
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Be sure you know what you can and cannot take into the gates at IMS on Race Day. From cooler restrictions to food and beverages we cover it all. Learn More
Directions to IMS
There have been some improvements outside of IMS that could affect how you arrive. Make sure you plan your trip to find the fastest routes around the Indianapolis area to IMS. View Directions
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