Posts Tagged ‘indycar series’

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

Rudys Place 1.jpg

In 1908, a 10-year-old boy crossed the Atlantic Ocean. He and his father journeyed from Austria with the intent of settling 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 fast 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 the purchase of a small Fisk Tire store on Ewing Avenue in South Chicago. So small was the shop that an automobile couldn’t be completely parked 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 and Cline Avenue. Soon, he had a service station, an auto repair garage, a restaurant and a tavern all on the northwest corner of that intersection, which he christened “Rudy’s Place.”

With his early investment in restaurants and auto repair shops starting to pay 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, and with his oldest son, 14-year-old Ray visited the newly constructed Hammond Raceway located at the junction of Sheffield and Calumet avenues. With another 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 are 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 “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

The racing business was so profitable that Nichels began promoting and sanctioning races at tracks throughout Illinois and Indiana.

It was during this time that 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.

Leigh Spargur 1

Simon Pagenaud has watched his teammates since he joined Team Penske at the beginning of the season, but the frenchman stole the spotlight in the fifth practice session heading up into the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 mile race.

Driving the No. 22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet, Pagenaud logged the best of nearly 2,000 laps turned on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5-mile oval, at 228.793 mph. Carlos Munoz, who eclipsed 230 mph in practice Wednesday, was second fastest today in the No. 26 AndrettiTV Cinsay Honda, at 228.126.

“Today was a really good day for the Avaya car,” Pagenaud said. “We’ve been focusing on understanding what the car does in qualifying runs. Very happy to see the preparation from Penske and how fast the 22 car is. So far, so good.”

Pagenaud is teamed with a pair of Indianapolis 500 winners – Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya – and reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power in the Penske armada. Montoya and Power have each won a race this season, while Castroneves has won two Verizon P1 Awards for taking the pole position.

“We’re happy but we can be happier,” Pagenaud said. “At the end of the day we did some pack running and once again we’re very happy so far. What’s difficult is it’s really cold right now, so you get more downforce because the air is so thick. We know it’s going to be warmer in the race, that’s what makes it tricky. You’re trying to understand what the car’s going to do in the race. It’s definitely going to be warmer.”

Following Pagenaud and Munoz on the speed chart were Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Sage Karam (227.683), Scott Dixon (227.634) and Tony Kanaan (227.527). Friday marks the final day of practice prior to two days of qualifications that will set the lineup for the 500-mile race on May 24.

The lone incident of the day came in the last of the six-hour practice session. Josef Newgarden was uninjured when his No. 21 Century 21 CFH Racing Chevrolet spun and hit the SAFER Barrier exiting Turn 1 in nearly the same spot where Castroneves’ car hit a day earlier. Newgarden’s car slid on its top before coming to rest in the short chute between Turns 1 and 2.

“I got around pretty quick in Turn 1; it definitely surprised me,” Newgarden said. “I knew it happened when it did, so I’m just lucky that everything’s good. The Dallara tub held up pretty well. I just want to get back to my guys and see what the damage is. I’m sure it’s bad but we’ll see what we can do going forward. It was a hard bit, (but) I feel fine.”

Chris Jones SDSAndretti Autosport driver Simona de Silvestro returned to practice today, two days after her No. 29 TE Connectivity Honda sustained heavy damage from a fire sparked by a fuel leak. De Silvestro was uninjured in the on-track incident and the team rebuilt the car at its Indianapolis shop. “Today we ran mostly in traffic … we learned a lot,” de Silvestro said. “I have a little bit of work to do, and I’m looking forward to going back out there tomorrow and working on it.”

Meanwhile, Pippa Mann spent the day recuperating and watching her No. 63 Dale Coyne Racing Honda being repaired after a crash Wednesday that saw her car hit three different walls. She hopes to be back on track Friday afternoon to log important laps prior to qualifying this weekend.

MWY_3145“I can’t overstate how horrible I feel for these guys,” Mann said of her hard-at-work crew, “but at the same time, unfortunately it is a part of racing. … It’s a tough pill to swallow, but we’re going to work hard. That’s the biggest thing, the amount of work it’s created for these guys.”

Tristan Vautier will drive the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda in Indianapolis 500 qualifications this weekend in place of James Davison, who will be competing in a sports car race in Canada. Davison, who finished 16th in his first “500” start a year ago, is expected back in the car for the final two practice sessions, on Monday and May 22, before the race on May 24.

Vautier, meanwhile, is scheduled to compete in the Blancpain Endurance GT Series event on the same day as the “500.”

“It is an interesting tradeoff,” said Vautier, the 2011 Pro Mazda and 2012 Indy Lights champion who earned Verizon IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2013 with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. “Obviously, we’re not going to get out there trying to break records but work toward the qualifying. It’s an interesting task to be in an Indy car and qualifying it for another driver, but I’m approaching it like I would any other race.”

Vautier completed his refresher program on the 2.5-mile oval today and logged 93 laps with a top speed of 225.406. Davison recorded the fourth-fastest lap (228.043 mph) in practice Wednesday before departing for Canada.

“It all came together last minute, but we have been talking about it for quite a while: that if James’ deal would come through I would qualify the car,” Vautier said. “So, yeah, it was not really a surprise for me but more of a long wait to see that everything was confirmed. But it’s really cool. I was happy to get back in an Indy car – it’s been a year and a half now. The first two or three laps were kind of weird, but it came back pretty quickly, so really cool. It was cool to have Simon (Pagenaud, his former teammate) on the track with me for quite a while. It reminded me of the Schmidt (Peterson Motorsports) days, so it was fun.

IMS to Honor World War II Vets at Race

In observance of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, 11 WWII veterans will be honored before the national anthem at the Indianapolis 500. Among those honored will be U.S. Army Air Corps Capt. Jerry Yellin, 91, of Fairfield, Iowa, who flew the final combat mission of the war on Aug. 14, 1945, the day the war ended.

The veterans recently took a trip to Washington, D.C., on an Indy Honor Flight, a program that offers free-round trip travel to veterans so they may visit the memorials in our nation’s capital that stand in their honor.

MWY_3143The No. 91 Wynn Iowa Vision Research Chevrolet driven by 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier became the 34th entry to take to the track this week. Larry Curry is team manager for the Lazier Racing Partners entry, with David Cripps the engineer. … All entries will receive an additional 10 kPa of engine turbocharger boost beginning in practice Friday, which should equate to approximately 40 additional horsepower. The engine boost bump will continue through qualifying weekend, with the original limit of 130 kPa reinstated for next week’s final two practice sessions and the race. … INDYCAR announced that the chassis centerline wickers, added to all cars prior to the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9, are optional for the Indianapolis 500.

INDY indycar-results-p4 5-14

Photos courtesy of IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Images created by Leigh Spargur, Chris Jones and Mike Young

Josef_Newgarden_Barber

By: Jeff Majeske

Special Correspondent for Speedway Sightings

An IndyCar season that seemed destined to be littered with shredded pieces and broken promises pulled itself out of the marbles just in time as the month of May looms.

Josef Newgarden’s thrilling victory at Barber – his first – gives the series a much-needed boost as it ramps up for its marquee event, the Indianapolis 500.

A few things about Newgarden and his win:

  • He’s American, not German or Austrian as a casual observer might have guessed. Moreover, the fourth-year driver hails from NASCAR country, specifically Hendersonville, Tennessee.  Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star ran a nice piece about how Newgarden and his dad logged thousands of miles driving to New Castle, Indiana, to the karting track of former Indy driver Mark Dismore to begin learning his craft.
  • Newgarden may be the first driver from the Volunteer State to ever win an IndyCar race. I sent an email to the IndyCar Series asking if this were the case, but did not get a response. Certainly no driver with a birthplace in Tennessee – or Mississippi, Alabama or Georgia, for that matter – has won the Indianapolis 500.
  • Given how many drivers with Indiana connections who gravitated to NASCAR because they weren’t interested in Indy cars (Ryan Newman, South Bend), didn’t get a chance (Jeff Gordon, Pittsboro after leaving California) or sought greener pastures (Tony Stewart, Columbus), it’s nice to see the tables turned a bit.
  •  Newgarden drives for the newly formed CFH Racing team, an easy-to-root-for outfit. The “C” is Ed Carpenter, and the “F” is Sarah Fisher. After a rough start, Carpenter, stepson of Tony George, is a solid competitor on ovals with three victories. He’ll be aiming for an unprecedented third straight Indianapolis 500 pole this year. Fisher was one of the most popular drivers and now, despite many challenges, fields a solid and winning team.

Anyway, it’s nice to watch (and talk and write about) good racing.

That momentum needs to continue with the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9 and the Indianapolis 500 on May 24. These two races, plus the doubleheader at Detroit the weekend after the 500, are the last ones on network television this year (ABC).

With the rest of the races on NBC Sports Network, that means May is the last, best opportunity to grab the attention of casual viewers.

Photo credit: Joe Skibinski/Verizon IndyCar Series

Originally Posted on Jeff’s Indy Talk

JR-CFH

CFH Racing announced that Preferred Freezer Services will be partnering with the team to field a third entry in both Verizon IndyCar Series events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for JR Hildebrand. Hildebrand will drive the No. 6 Preferred Freezer Services CFH Racing Chevrolet for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9 and the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 24.

Preferred Freezer Services offers the most modern, state-of-the-art, full service temperature-controlled warehouses in the United States. The company partnered with what was previously Ed Carpenter Racing to field a car for Hildebrand in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. With corporate headquarters in New Jersey, the company operates in 35 facilities in nine regions nationwide and has an international presence with cold storage warehouses in China and Vietnam.

“We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with CFH Racing during the Month of May,” stated Trut Edwards, President of Central Security & Communications. “Ed has been a good friend for over 15 years and delivers great value in our partnership. Last year was fantastic; we feel that we can build on it with two races at IMS and JR behind the wheel. It is overwhelming to realize we are partnering with three American drivers on Memorial Day for the greatest race in the world.”

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Hildebrand, 27, will be making his fifth Indianapolis 500 start and his first in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. He was named the 2011 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year after finishing second to Dan Wheldon and captured the 2009 Indy Lights Championship. In his four races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Hildebrand has two Top 10 starts and two Top 10 finishes.

“We are definitely looking forward to having Preferred Freezer Services back on the car,” commented Hildebrand. “We had a lot of fun with them in 2014 and we be rolling the polar bear back out into the garage area this year! Even though we were a one-off entry last year, we were very fast and had a really easy month. Preferred Freezer Services was a big part of that, they are a great group to work with and it’s going to make this year that much more exciting.”

Sausalito, Calif. native Hildebrand rounds out CFH Racing’s all-American driver line-up for the Indianapolis 500. CFH Racing’s roster also includes Josef Newgarden of Nashville, Tenn. in the No. 21 Century 21 Chevrolet and team co-owner Ed Carpenter of Indianapolis, Ind., driving the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet. All three were part of the Fast Nine Shootout during qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 in 2014, where the nine quickest drivers of the 33-car field compete for the pole position. Carpenter ultimately earned the coveted first starting spot for the second consecutive year; Hildebrand started ninth and finished tenth, the highest-finishing position of the three CFH Racing drivers.

“It was really great working with Ed last year at the 500 and I did a little bit of testing in the offseason with Josef, we got along really well,” Hildebrand said. “I expect the relationship that the three of us have to be potent and for us to have great communication. That’s such a huge piece, particularly at the 500, where there is so much practice, qualifying is so intense and we’ll have the new aero kits. You need every last ounce of speed you can get out of the cars for both qualifying and race day and we can all work together to reach that goal.”

Hildebrand will be making his first start around the 2.434-mile, 14-turn IMS road course. “To have the Grand Prix added onto the 500 program is great,” Hildebrand continued. “Having a race under our belts going into the 500 is a huge difference from a one-off scenario. It can be tough sometimes when you have guys who haven’t done pit stops as a group during a race and you don’t have that chemistry yet. It will be great for my team of guys to have a warm-up heading into the oval race and great for me to get back in a car on a road course.”

CFH Racing’s three-car effort for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis includes Hildebrand, Newgarden and Luca Filippi of Italy, driver of the No. 20 on all road and street course events.

“Preferred Freezer Systems is leading the way in their industry and we hope to set the pace for the Month of May,” said Ed Carpenter, who balances his responsibilities of being a team owner with being a driver. “JR is a driver that we want to work with and it’s great to be able to team up with both JR and Preferred Freezer Services again for the Indy 500 and now the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.”

On-track activity at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will kick off on May 3 for Opening Day with the debut of the oval configuration aero kits. The Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis will take place on Saturday, May 9 at 3:30 p.m. ET. The Indianapolis 500 will follow at the end of the month at noon ET on Sunday, May 24. Both events will be broadcast live on ABC.

Data and Photos provided by CFH Racing

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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
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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
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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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