Archive for March 10th, 2017

Dixon Sets Pace in St. Petersburg Practice

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Friday, March 10, 2017) – The promise of a new Verizon IndyCar Series season gave 21 drivers a fresh start today in two practice sessions for the 14th Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

At the conclusion of the day, four-time series champion Scott Dixon set the pace on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street course that encompasses St. Petersburg downtown streets and a runway of Albert Whitted Airport. Dixon’s best lap of 1 minute, 2.5591 seconds (103.582 mph) came in the second practice and was tops for the day.

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg practice results: Practice 1; Practice 2; Combined results

“I think it started generally well,” said Dixon, driving the No. 9 GE LED Lighting Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing. “This weekend, the car, we’ve done some good homework in the offseason for ourselves, how the competition stacks up. I think tomorrow will be interesting once the other competitors turn it up. We’ll have to see where it goes.

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“What They’re Saying” from Friday practice at Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet): “I feel good about the PPG Chevrolet. I think we made good progress throughout the sessions and collected a lot of good data. There is more speed to find and I feel we’ll be able to do that and be ready for the qualifying session. It’s important to qualify well to make race day a little easier. It’s awesome to be at the track again for an actual event. The atmosphere here is tremendous.”
 
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “It was a good day for the Verizon Chevy team overall. We learned this morning that we had some work to do and I think we improved in the second session. The track behaves a little different in spots, so that was something to get used to. We’ll go back to work tomorrow and get into a good place for qualifying.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “It felt really great to get into the Hitachi Chevrolet today. The day went well. We had some learning to do with the track, but that got all worked out. I’m just excited to get the season underway.”
 
CONOR DALY (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “It wasn’t an ideal first day. We had some issues in the first session. We got running in the second session and we’re still a little bit behind. We tried some things with the red tires. We don’t have the pace we need yet but that’s why we work together and figure out the best set up for the ABC Chevy tomorrow.”

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INDYCAR aligns all major manufacturers with Chevrolet, Honda extensions

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Friday, March 10, 2017) – INDYCAR continues building momentum and solidifying its future by today announcing that manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda have signed multiyear contract extensions to supply engines for the Verizon IndyCar Series.

The announcement follows those earlier this year that chassis maker Dallara and tire supplier Firestone have also signed multiyear extensions, meaning all four major manufacturers have committed to the sport.

“This is a unique moment in the recent history of the Verizon IndyCar Series,” said Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations. “To have all of our major manufacturers locked in with us for the foreseeable future points to the fact that they all have bought into the vision for the Verizon IndyCar Series. It’s another sign of the positive momentum we continue to build as we grow this sport into the next decade.”

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“Geezer” Fanelli Moving into NASCAR 358 Modified Stock Car Racing at Grandview Speedway

BECHTELSVILLE, PA March 10, 2017 . . . When the 2017 NASCAR stock car racing season kicks off at Grandview Speedway Joe “Geezer” Fanelli will be moving from the BRC Late Models to the primary class of competition, the NASCAR T.P.Trailers 358 Modifieds.

The veteran racer will be fielding his own race car as he challenges some of the best in the business when the battle for the track and NASCAR titles gets underway on Saturday, April 1st at 7 p.m. Again this year the Saturday night action on the one-third-mile, banked clay over will feature the 358 Modifieds, BRC Late Models, and Sportsman stock cars.

Fanelli, a veteran racer who has performed in many divisions of racing competition, will be making his first start in the T.P.Trailers 358 Modifieds. During his colorful auto racing career, he has performed with Late Models, Sportsman, Legends, 600 Modifieds and more. He has three feature wins to his credit in the 600 Modifieds and was the winner of the 2010 Northeast Small Car Nationals.
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Schatz Slips by to Win at Vegas

Rico Abreu battles his way from the back to finish on the podium

LAS VEGAS – March 9, 2017 – As the sun sank below The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Thursday night, a cool breeze drifted through a near-capacity crowd. Specifically, on the half-mile course, the intense crosswinds from the track were the product of 42 World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series winged-sprints. The No. 15 Tony Stewart-Curb/Agajanian Racing car of Donny Schatz was the fastest in the field, taking the first night of the FVP Outlaw Showdown. 

Schatz earned his 10th career series win at the track, which has hosted the tour for 20 years sporadically. The stop marks the series’ fifth consecutive multi-day event at the track, which is an extension of its 36 total appearances since 1996. Schatz’s first victory came in 1999.
 
“If it wasn’t for this Stewart-Curb Racing team, we wouldn’t be up here so hats off to them,” said Schatz with his team looking-on in victory lane. “They worked their tails off all winter long and it’s getting better.” 

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Turn 3 of Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Circuit Reconfigured

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Friday, March 10, 2017) – Turn 3 of the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit for the 2017 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg has been reconfigured, INDYCAR announced today.

The corner has been a fast, sweeping right-hand turn in recent years, but INDYCAR officials, in conjunction with Green Savoree Racing Promotions, decided to make modifications after several cars competing in Thursday’s support series practices crested a bump and lost control in the ensuing depression.

Approximately 180 feet of wall on the drivers’ left side has been moved back almost 40 feet. On the right side, curbing has been installed, which changes the apex and makes the corner a slower, traditional braking area.

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