Archive for the 'Verizon IndyCar Series' Category

INDYCAR Unveils New Images of 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series Design

INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, March 29, 2017) – The design of the car to be used in Verizon IndyCar Series competition in 2018 is coming more into focus.

INDYCAR, sanctioning body for the premier North American open-wheel racing series, released new images today of the universal aerodynamic bodywork kit that will be used by all competitors in 2018. Following along with this year’s INDYCAR theme of “NEXT,” the computer-generated images are the next evolution of the car’s development process and provide more detail than concept sketches released in January.

“While this remains a work in progress, we are encouraged with where the development of the 2018 car stands,” said Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations. “The look of the car is bold, the performance data from simulations is meeting targeted goals and safety enhancements built into the design will be substantial.”

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Dave Steele, Two-time USAC Silver Crown Champ, Passes Away After Florida Sprint Crash

Dave Steele, a two-time USAC Silver Crown champion and one of the United States Auto Club’s most accomplished drivers during the 1990s and 2000s, died Saturday night, March 25 after a crash on the opening lap of a Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series-sanctioned event at Bradenton, Florida’s Desoto Speedway. He was 42 years old.

Steele ranks 14th on USAC’s national win list with 60 victories between 1996 and 2007. The Tampa, Florida native was dominant on the pavement tracks, which accounted for all 60 of his USAC National wins. Despite only competing in half the races, or less, on the schedule throughout most of his career, Steele’s win totals rank in the top echelon of USAC’s record book. His 16 Silver Crown wins are the third most all-time while his 26 Sprint Car victories rank 15th and his 18 Midget wins put him 35th on the list.

“It’s hard to put the loss of Dave Steele into words,” USAC series director Levi Jones stated. “He was a once-in-a-lifetime talent on the track, but even more impressive was the man, the dad, and husband he was. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

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Daly to Compete on NBC’s ‘American Ninja Warrior’

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, March 24, 2017) – Conor Daly is the latest Verizon IndyCar Series driver attempting to become an “American Ninja Warrior.”

Following in the athletic footsteps of fellow drivers Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and Josef Newgarden, Daly will venture to San Antonio this weekend to participate in a regional qualifier for the Emmy-nominated NBC obstacle course challenge show that will air its ninth season this summer.

Daly, 25, will make his bid to complete the challenge course sometime after dark Sundaynight. The AJ Foyt Racing driver got a taste of the task ahead when the show held a regional competition last April in Indianapolis that included Castroneves, Kanaan and Newgarden as participants. Daly was permitted to try one of the obstacles, the Circuit Board, for an online segment of “American Ninja Warrior: Crashing the Course.”

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Power Sets Pace at Highly Competitive Barber Motorsports Park Open Test

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Tuesday, March 21, 2017) – A full day of testing at Barber Motorsports Park pointed to the conclusion that the intense competition that the Verizon IndyCar Series has witnessed in recent seasons is going to be even closer and more unpredictable for the remainder of the 2017 season.

Twenty-two cars turned a total of 1,147 laps on the 2.3-mile, 17-turn scenic permanent road course today, in advance of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama – the third of 17 races on this year’s schedule, set for the weekend of April 21-23.

BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK OPEN TEST: Practice 1; Practice 2; Combined practice results

And while two-time Barber race winner and three-time pole sitter Will Power wound up fastest after six hours of on-track action, it was by no means decisive. The top 14 drivers on the combined speed chart were separated by less than a half-second.

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“What They’re Saying” from the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet, 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series champion): “It’s definitely a champion team for regrouping like they did, understanding the issue we had in qualifying. This morning in the warmup, I was back home in my car. It was great to get that feeling back. The race, the car was fantastic. We got very lucky at the start, I would say. We went through the chaos. I think God had something to play with it actually, because he put the car back where it needed to go. Very lucky. Then after that, we were a bit lucky with strategy. But that was actually the plan. So thanks to (strategist) Kyle Moyer and (engineer) Ben Bretzman for their work on that. They gave me some clean air. We had to save quite a bit of fuel to manage till the end. (Sebastien) Bourdais was untouchable today. It’s 1-2 French. Sorry for the French Revolution, guys. I’m very happy for him. It’s been his hometown actually. He’s been here since he moved to America. With Dale Coyne and Honda, they’ve shown a lot of strength. Fantastic for them. I wish it was P1 for me, P2 for him. Next time maybe. But very happy for him. Very happy for second. We started second last year as well. Hopefully, it’s our good luck charm.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “It was a good day for the Team Penske Verizon Chevrolet.  We were a top-five car – maybe even a podium car. The yellows just didn’t fall our way and we found ourselves caught out during that first stint. Tim (Cindric, race strategist) was going to bring me in, but we had just passed pit lane as the caution came out. I’ve been caught out by those type of yellows before and I’ve been the beneficiary of those type of yellows. That is the risk in this type of racing and sometimes it’s just the way it all plays outs. A top 10 is not ideal, but it could have been worse. We finished the race and learned a lot. I feel like it’s a good starting points for our team. It’s nice to get this first race under our belt and out of the way. It’s been a great first weekend with the team. We got what we needed out of it.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “For someone who started 16th and finished sixth, it’s pretty darn good. The No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet boys did an excellent job. We had a little bit of luck and no luck. There was an accident that could have helped us out to finish on the podium, but we, unfortunately, got a piece in our nose so we had to take it off and stop again. Great job for everyone Team Penske and Hitachi Group, especially on the pit stop when we were able to beat Marco (Andretti) in the end so that we could finish in the sixth position. Well done. Now, we move on to the next.”

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Bourdais drives from last to first in St. Petersburg win

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Sunday, March 12, 2017) – Sebastien Bourdais went for a Sunday drive in his adopted American hometown, but it was far from leisurely. The Frenchman charged from last to first to win today’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the opening race on the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.

Bourdais piloted his No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda to a 10.3508-second victory over countryman Simon Pagenaud in the 110-lap race on the 1.8-mile temporary street circuit to secure the 36th victory of his illustrious Indy car career. It moved the 38-year-old Bourdais past Bobby Unser into sole possession of sixth place on the all-time win list.

“It’s probably the hardest race to recover, the (pit) windows are really narrow and it’s really hard to pass,” said Bourdais, whose Indy car career began 14 years ago at the inaugural St. Petersburg race.

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg box score

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Power Continues St. Petersburg Qualifying Dominance

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Saturday, March 11, 2017) – Will Power continued his mastery of Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg qualifying, winning the pole position today for the seventh time in the last eight years for the opening race

to

the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

Driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, Power navigated the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street course in 1 minute, 1.0640 seconds (106.118 mph) on his final lap in the climactic Firestone Fast Six – the third and final round of knockout qualifying. The 2014 series champion’s lap was 0.1579 of a second better than Scott Dixon in the No. 9 GE LED Lighting Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“I saved a good set of tires for the end there,” said Power, a two-time St. Pete race winner (2010 and ’14). “They had one (fast) lap on them.

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“What They’re Saying” from Firestone Fast Six qualifying at Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet): “Well, we’re certainly disappointed, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to pack up and go home. The PPG Chevrolet team and I will go to work and figure out how we can improve. They are the best in the business. We have our work cut out for us, but once the race starts, all sorts of things can happen.”
 
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I have been told numerous times that this car has been victorious twice in the last two years here. So no pressure, right? Hopefully, go get it done. But I think we have a good start. Fourth place, it’s the best that I’ve started around St. Pete here, so I think our guys did a great job. I feel like I didn’t maximize that final Firestone Fast Six as much as I could have, but I also don’t think I would have gotten Will (Power). I think Will put a really good lap together. He did an awesome job. We’ve had good cars. I think our race cars off the truck have actually been pretty good, and we haven’t had to do much. We’ve been able to stay inside of our window, for the most part, this weekend. I’m excited. You know, the next thing for us now and certainly for me is to learn the race car, how it’s going to perform over a tire stint. We haven’t done much of that, at least I haven’t, with the team here at Team Penske, so I’m excited to figure out that portion. As you said, they’ve had luck with this car in the past, so hopefully, it’s going to be a strong race car, and I think we can do a good job with the Verizon No. 2 car this weekend, and hopefully we can seal it up for tomorrow.”
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “We didn’t miss by much, but that’s how close it is in this series. Fortunately, I have the Hitachi Chevy guys behind me and I have all the confidence in the world that they can give me a car to go to the front. You just want to get to the next round. Anything can happen. We came up a little short, but I think we have a great race car.”

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Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Qualifying Results

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg qualifying results

Click HERE to view and download the official qualifying results of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – Qualifying Saturday for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 1.8 mile(s) St. Petersburg street circuit, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine, time and speed in parentheses:

1. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 01:01.0640 (106.118)
2. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 01:01.2219 (105.844)
3. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 01:01.3039 (105.703)
4. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 01:01.7229 (104.985)
5. (26) Takuma Sato, Honda, 01:01.9851 (104.541)
6. (10) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 01:02.0824 (104.377)
7. (8) Max Chilton, Honda, 01:01.3516 (105.621)
8. (98) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 01:01.5198 (105.332)
9. (83) Charlie Kimball, Honda, 01:01.6066 (105.184)
10. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 01:01.6181 (105.164)

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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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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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INDYCAR, Andretti Autosport and Disney Junior’s ‘Mickey and the Roadster Racers’ team up to deliver youth and family entertainment for the 2017 season

Michael Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay to lead Andretti Autosport participation in special “Mickey and the Roadster Racers” events at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil

INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, March 8, 2017) – INDYCAR announced today that it will team up with Disney Junior’s newest hit series “Mickey and the Roadster Racers” to deliver youth and family entertainment for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. As part of the program, Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay will lead the team’s participation as teammates Marco Andretti, Alexander Rossi and Takuma Sato help share the racing excitement by participating in special “Mickey and the Roadster Racers Pit Stop” events at three INDYCAR races this season: the series’ kickoff at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 12, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 9 and the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 28.

The collaboration will include at-track family activations in the Disney Junior Kids’ Zone at all INDYCAR racing events, special surprise appearances at key races, and unique digital content and social experiences for fans, bringing an entirely new level of family fun to the INDYCAR experience.

“We are excited to bring Disney Junior’s ‘Mickey and the Roadster Racers’ to the Verizon IndyCar Series,” said CJ O’Donnell, Chief Marketing Officer, Hulman Motorsports. “The collaboration increases our appeal to a younger audience and adds new excitement as we kick off our 2017 season.”

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Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, March 10 – Sunday, March 12

Track: Streets of St. Petersburg, 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit (clockwise) through downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.

Race distance: 110 laps / 198 miles

Entry List:  Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (PDF)

Push-to-pass parameters: 150 seconds of total time with a max time of 15 seconds.

Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate

Twitter: @GPSTPETE, @IndyCar, #FirestoneGP, #IndyCar

Event website: www.gpstpete.com

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

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INDYCAR News and Notes – March 2, 2017

1. Al-Fe Heat Treating returns as Foyt team sponsor: Al-Fe Heat Treating marks its seventh year in motorsports with the announcement today of its return as a major associate sponsor of AJ Foyt Racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series. The Al-Fe Heat Treating logo will be on the ABC Supply Chevrolets driven by Conor Daly and Carlos Munoz.

“The 2017 season looks to be an exciting and challenging one for Foyt Racing and we at Al-Fe Heat Treating wouldn’t miss it for anything,” said Kurt Westman, founder and president of Al-Fe Heat Treating, the largest commercial aluminum heat treating operation in the United States, based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. “New drivers, new cars, the best crews in INDYCAR and the best team owners – we continue to be privileged to be part of the most historical race team in auto sports. A.J. (Foyt, team owner), Larry (Foyt, team president) and the entire team have made the Al-Fe team friends, made us feel welcome and a part of the INDYCAR experience. They have my many thanks.”

Al-Fe Heat Treating’s foray into motorsports began in 2011 at the Indianapolis 500 and quickly grew to a full-season association with the team. Starting in 2014, Al-Fe Heat Treating sponsored a Foyt entry in the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. In 2015, the company’s entry competed in the Indianapolis 500. Last year, Al-Fe sponsored the car driven by Alex Tagliani in both the INDYCAR Grand Prix and 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

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INDYCAR News and Notes – Feb. 23, 2017

1. Sports car star Taylor tests Pagenaud’s Indy car: As Indy car test sessions go, it was considered a thank you from a manufacturer. Judging from Ricky Taylor’s smile after climbing out of Simon Pagenaud’s car, he was quite welcome.

Taylor spent today testing the Team Penske No. 1 Chevrolet – the same car Pagenaud will drive in two weeks when the Verizon IndyCar Series season opens at St. Petersburg, Florida – around the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course in Homestead, Florida.

The test was considered a courtesy by Chevrolet and General Motors to Taylor for his seven wins in four years in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – most notably his victory last month in a Cadillac prototype with Jeff Gordon, Max Angelelli and brother Jordan Taylor in the Rolex 24 At Daytona endurance race.

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James Hinchcliffe, Robert Wickens plan for ride swap of INDYCAR, DTM race cars

INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017) – Two of Canada’s most successful active racing drivers will travel from Florida to Italy for a first-hand experience of how the other half lives. After years of discussing the possibility, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver James Hinchcliffe – the pole sitter for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil – and current DTM touring car driver Robert Wickens will swap rides in separate test sessions in the coming weeks.

Click HERE to view a video with Hinchcliffe and Wickens talking about their ride swap.

Wickens will get the first turn behind the wheel of Hinchcliffe’s No. 5 Arrow Electronics Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda during a private team test at Sebring International Raceway in Florida on Feb. 28. Hinchcliffe is scheduled to drive the HWA Team’s factory Mercedes AMG at the Vallelunga Circuit outside of Rome on March 17. The two Canadians are excited to see the opportunity finally come to fruition.

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INDYCAR News and Notes — Feb. 15, 2017

1. Ed Carpenter Racing hits road course at Sonoma: Ed Carpenter Racing tested Tuesday on a road course for the first time in 2017, as teammates JR Hildebrand and Spencer Pigot completed a one-day session at Sonoma Raceway, home to the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma that will conclude the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season in September.

It marked Pigot’s first time in an Indy car this year. The 23-year-old Floridian is driving ECR’s No. 20 Chevrolet at road- and street-course events this season, with team owner Ed Carpenter in the car for the six oval races. Hildebrand is driving the entire season in the No. 21 Chevy and tested Feb. 10-11 on the oval at Phoenix Raceway.

The Sonoma test also served as a homecoming for Hildebrand, a native of Sausalito, California, who got his start at Sonoma Raceway driving karts and formula cars before making the jump to professional racing in 2010.

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Competition Runs Strong and Deep at Phoenix Raceway Open Test

AVONDALE, Ariz. (Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017) – Two days of on-track testing for 21 Verizon IndyCar Series drivers and teams were literally like day and night.

Cars carrying Chevrolet engines and aero kits dominated the day sessions of the Phoenix Raceway open test, while those with Honda equipment filled the top of the leaderboard for the night practices. So, following 12 on-track hours and more than 5,000 laps run on the 1.022-mile oval, the competition for the upcoming 17-race season may be as tight as ever. That’s saying something since the last 11 season championships have been decided at the final race.

PHOENIX RACEWAY OPEN TEST RESULTS: Practice 3; Practice 4; Combined results

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“What They’re Saying” from the INDYCAR Open Test at Phoenix Raceway

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet): “It was great to be back in the PPG Chevrolet. We’ve had a great test so far. We’ve been able to work on a lot of different things and compile some good data. It was a long offseason but that was good for me, but now I’m ready to go.”
 
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “We’ve accomplished a lot with the Verizon Chevy. The car was good early on yesterday, so that was definitely nice. The transition is going very well, actually. [Engineer] Brian (Campe) is getting used to my terminology and my sensitivities and the other way around. This has been great. We’ve been able to log a lot of track time and work through a ton of things.”
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “The Hitachi Chevy felt great. I just love driving that thing. I think we got a lot done so far. Everyone gets caught up in the speeds but testing isn’t always about that which is why I feel really good about the work we’ve got in. Earlier today was really special in being a part of the groundbreaking ceremony for the track renovation. I was honored that they asked me to be involved. It sounds like it will add a lot to the experience here when they’re done.”

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Newgarden Leads First Day of Phoenix Raceway Open Test

AVONDALE, Ariz. (Friday, Feb. 10, 2017) – The roar of 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines filled the air with sweet sounds at Phoenix Raceway, day and night, as 21 Verizon IndyCar Series entries turned laps for the first time together in 2017.

The first of a two-day open test for all full-season teams saw Team Penske newcomer Josef Newgarden record the fastest of 2,638 total laps turned on the 1.022-mile oval over the course of two three-hour practice sessions. The second practice came under the lights during the same time period that the Phoenix Grand Prix will take place April 29 on the short oval steeped in Indy car history.

Newgarden, who joins the 14-time Indy car champion Team Penske following five years as a rising star with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing and most recently Ed Carpenter Racing, clocked the fastest lap of the day near the end of the afternoon practice at 190.129 mph (19.3511 seconds) in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Teams focused on race setups and running in packs in the night session, which was led by Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti in the No. 27 hhgregg Honda at 189.122 mph (19.4541 seconds).

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INDYCAR News and Notes – Feb. 8, 2017

1. Phoenix open test gets 2017 season rolling: For the first time in 2017, all of the full-season entries in the Verizon IndyCar Series gather this week for the open test at Phoenix Raceway.

Twenty-one cars are entered for the two-day test Friday and Saturday on the 1-mile oval in Avondale, Arizona, steeped in Indy car history. From 1964-2005, 61 races were contested on the track, with legendary names the likes of A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al and Bobby Unser, Johnny Rutherford and Rick Mears among the winners.

For the Phoenix Raceway open test entry list, click here.

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Weekend Schedule Changes, Rules Updates to Add to Racing Excitement in 2017 Season

INDIANAPOLIS (Monday, Feb. 6, 2017) – In a continuing effort to deliver the most effective and entertaining on-track action for fans, the Verizon IndyCar Series has modified the race weekend schedule at some events for the 2017 season.

INDYCAR, the sanctioning body for the Verizon IndyCar Series and Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires developmental ladder, announced the modifications today, as well as updates included in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series Official Rule Book.

Among the race-weekend schedule modifications are:

• Phoenix and Gateway qualifications: Qualifying at two oval tracks – Phoenix Raceway and Gateway Motorsports Park – will be held on the same day as those Saturday night races. The first day of those two-day event weekends will focus on a pair of practice sessions, the latter falling within the same evening time slot as the race.

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INDYCAR News and Notes – Feb. 1, 2017

1. Aleshin rejoins Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for 2017: It’s official: Mikhail Aleshin is returning to drive for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

Speculated since the conclusion of the 2016 season, Aleshin’s return was confirmed today. The announcement was made in Aleshin’s native Russia that the 29-year-old from Moscow will drive the No. 7 Honda with sponsorship once again from SMP Racing, Russia’s largest and most successful motorsports program.

Aleshin drove full seasons for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2014 and 2016, as well as the 2015 season finale. For the second year in a row, he will team with James Hinchcliffe, who is driving the No. 5 Honda.

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INDYCAR News and Notes – Jan. 20, 2017

1. Gateway Motorsports Park race gains title sponsor: The Bommarito Automotive Group, the leading retailer of new and used vehicles in the St. Louis region, has been named title sponsor of the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Gateway Motorsports Park scheduled for Aug. 26.

The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will mark the return of Verizon IndyCar Series racing to the 1.25-mile oval in nearby Madison, Illinois, for the first time in 14 years. The event under the lights is the 15th of 17 races on this year’s schedule.

“We are pleased to announce that Bommarito Automotive Group will join Gateway Motorsports Park in the production of our inaugural INDYCAR event as the title sponsor,” said Curtis Francois, owner and CEO of Gateway Motorsports Park. “This is a tremendous event for the St. Louis region and no one knows our town better than the folks at Bommarito. They are a progressive group, known for a high standard of quality and excellence. It’s the same standard of on-track action and family-friendly experience that we look forward to delivering with our landmark event.”

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INDYCAR News and Notes – Jan. 17, 2017

1. Pigot returns to Ed Carpenter Racing for 2017 road/street races: Spencer Pigot gave a glimpse of the possibilities during his Verizon IndyCar Series rookie season in 2016. Team owner Ed Carpenter liked what he saw and announced today that Ed Carpenter Racing is bringing back the 23-year-old Floridian to drive the No. 20 Chevrolet at all road- and street-course events this year.

Pigot, the 2015 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires champion and winner of more Mazda Road to Indy developmental series races than anyone (24), competed in 10 Verizon IndyCar Series races last season, split between Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and ECR. He drove in the season’s final seven road/street races for ECR, posting best finishes of seventh at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and ninth at Road America.

This year, Pigot will be behind the wheel of the No. 20 Chevy for the 11 road/street events on the calendar. Team owner Carpenter returns to pilot the car in the six oval races.

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INDYCAR Announces Multiyear Contract Extension with Firestone

INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017) – INDYCAR announced a multiyear contract extension today with Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC (BATO), continuing its longtime partnership with Firestone as the official tire supplier of the Verizon IndyCar Series. The announcement extends the tire brand’s involvement in open-wheel racing that dates to Ray Harroun’s Firestone-equipped Marmon Wasp winning the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911.

“Firestone is part of the fabric of INDYCAR and its commitment to evolving performance, innovation and safety in the Verizon IndyCar Series has been remarkable,” said Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations. “The Firestone brand has been part of our sport for more than 100 years and continues to be an integral partner in the growth of INDYCAR on and off the racetrack.”

Firestone has been involved in racing competitions since the early days of the automobile, particularly at the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Alexander Rossi’s win at the 100th Running of the Indy 500 last May was the 67th for Firestone – more than all other tire manufacturers combined – in the iconic race. Firestone, which returned to Indy car racing in 1995 following a 20-year hiatus, has been the sole supplier of Verizon IndyCar Series tires since 2000 and provides teams with a known, stable and reliable platform for the future of INDYCAR.

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INDYCAR News and Notes – Jan. 13, 2017

1. New Indy car aerodynamics will get to ‘bottom’ of downforce issue: Of course, a pretty face is important. Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations, is the first to admit that. But looks aren’t everything.

That’s why work began long ago on bodywork that will cover the Dallara IR-12 chassis in 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series competition. That body and universal aero kit will serve through 2020. To get it wrong is not an option.

During a media roundtable Thursday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which also included Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi, winner of the 100th Indianapolis 500, Frye offered the first glimpse, both in words and concept illustrations, of the 2018 car’s look. To say it was well-received is an understatement.

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INDYCAR announces multiyear contract extension with chassis manufacturer Dallara

DETROIT (Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017) – The first step in revealing INDYCAR’s next equipment generation comes in the form of signing Dallara, the sport’s longtime chassis manufacturer, to a contract extension, officials announced today at the North American International Auto Show.

The multiyear agreement calls for Dallara, an Italian company with a U.S. base in Speedway, Ind., to continue providing driver safety cells to the Verizon IndyCar Series through the 2020 season. The 2017 season marks Dallara’s 20th anniversary in U.S.-based open-wheel racing.

“Dallara’s continued participation in our sport provides INDYCAR and our competitors a tremendous amount of confidence,” said Jay Frye, INDYCAR president, competition and operations. “Dallara has been an instrumental partner in the Verizon IndyCar Series for 20 years and we are excited to extend our relationship with them.”

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