Archive for the 'Phoenix' Category

Testing guidelines set for 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season

• Manufacturers, teams receive sufficient time to test new universal aero kit
• Open tests scheduled for Phoenix Raceway, Barber Motorsports Park, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017) – INDYCAR is providing ample time for manufacturers and teams to learn the new universal aero kit during offseason testing, with the sanctioning body for the Verizon IndyCar Series announcing testing guidelines for the 2018 season.

The testing regulations, developed in cooperation with series teams and manufacturers, have been distributed to INDYCAR stakeholders and are split into offseason and in-season testing categories.

The offseason testing window began Monday and runs through March 29, 2018. The in-season testing window runs from March 30-Sept. 16, 2018.

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‘What They’re Saying’ from the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “I can’t explain how excited I am. Ovals are not my specialty. I grew up in Europe racing go-karts. I learned about ovals when I was 26 years old, so I had to learn the skill and the technique that I didn’t know. Man, this is incredible. What a win. The car was phenomenal and thanks to the Menards Chevrolet crew. On the pit stops these guys never make any mistakes – I can completely rely on them and the car was just incredible from the beginning to the end. The car was so strong at the beginning of the race; we were able to save fuel in traffic. And it paid off with that lucky yellow but we’ve had our fair share of bad luck too this year so it doesn’t hurt sometimes to have a little break.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “Tonight’s a tough blow. It’s tough when you have a podium car, potentially a winner car if everything goes right, and you finish ninth. We can’t be too displeased over ninth, but I don’t think we’re super happy. I think the Hum by Verizon Chevrolet team is going to truck forward. We think we have fast cars, we’ve had fast cars all year, so hopefully that bodes well for the month of May and we can try to get some more victories.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 REV Group Team Penske Chevrolet): “A lot of battles out there, with teammates even. I’m proud of my REV Group Chevy team. They stayed with it all night. That’s what happens when you have three other amazing drivers. Someday it’s going to be somebody’s day. It was amazing to see. It was a big break for Simon (Pagenaud) on the yellow, but he also was very good. At the end of the day it was a tough battle with some of the guys laps down, which wasn’t really necessary to be honest, but that’s racing. We have another top five in a race, collecting points. We’re going to get our break sooner or later.”

Continue reading ‘‘What They’re Saying’ from the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix’

‘What They’re Saying’ from the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “I can’t explain how excited I am. Ovals are not my specialty. I grew up in Europe racing go-karts. I learned about ovals when I was 26 years old, so I had to learn the skill and the technique that I didn’t know. Man, this is incredible. What a win. The car was phenomenal and thanks to the Menards Chevrolet crew. On the pit stops, these guys never make any mistakes – I can completely rely on them and the car was just incredible from the beginning to the end. The car was so strong at the beginning of the race; we were able to save fuel in traffic. And it paid off with that lucky yellow but we’ve had our fair share of bad luck too this year so it doesn’t hurt sometimes to have a little break.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “Tonight’s a tough blow. It’s tough when you have a podium car, potentially a winner car if everything goes right, and you finish ninth. We can’t be too displeased over ninth, but I don’t think we’re super happy. I think the Hum by Verizon Chevrolet team is going to truck forward. We think we have fast cars, we’ve had fast cars all year, so hopefully, that bodes well for the month of May and we can try to get some more victories.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 REV Group Team Penske Chevrolet): “A lot of battles out there, with teammates even. I’m proud of my REV Group Chevy team. They stayed with it all night. That’s what happens when you have three other amazing drivers. Someday it’s going to be somebody’s day. It was amazing to see. It was a big break for Simon (Pagenaud) on the yellow, but he also was very good. At the end of the day, it was a tough battle with some of the guys laps down, which wasn’t really necessary, to be honest, but that’s racing. We have another top five in a race, collecting points. We’re going to get our break sooner or later.”

Continue reading ‘‘What They’re Saying’ from the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix’

Pagenaud Races Away to First Oval Victory, Takes Points Lead

AVONDALE, Arizona (Saturday, April 29, 2017) – Simon Pagenaud picked one of the Verizon IndyCar Series tracks richest in open-wheel history to earn his first oval victory.

The reigning series champion drove away from the field in the final half of the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix at Phoenix Raceway, winning by 9.1028 seconds over teammate Will Power and assuming the points lead after four races of the 2017 season.

DESERT DIAMOND WEST VALLEY PHOENIX GRAND PRIX: Box score

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Santos Savors Victory in Silver Crown Return to Phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona………It had been eight years since the United States Auto Club competed at Phoenix Raceway. Since then, the track has been slightly reconfigured, repaved and renovated.

On Saturday, to Bobby Santos, it was still the same Phoenix Raceway he knew and loved back in 2009 when he raced to a USAC National Midget victory at the one-mile tri-oval.

In his return, Santos used his experience and bravado to outduel David Byrne in a wild west shootout, racing past Byrne using a massive run off turn four, then fending off his comeback attempt off turn two a lap later to capture his seventh career USAC Silver Crown presented by TRAXXAS victory at the “Phoenix Copper Cup.”

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Phoenix USAC Silver Crown (Presented by Traxxas) Race Results

USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP (presented by TRAXXAS) RACE RESULTS: April 28-29, 2017 – Phoenix, Arizona – Phoenix Raceway – “Phoenix Copper Cup”

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: (April 28) 1. Bobby Santos, 22, DJ Racing-25.362; 2. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-25.499; 3. Davey Hamilton, 99, RPM/Gormly-25.607; 4. Justin Grant, 91, Hemelgarn/Carli-25.609; 5. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-25.666; 6. Tanner Swanson, 201, Nolen-25.682; 7. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-25.768; 8. Damion Gardner, 6, Klatt-26.078; 9. Henry Clarke, 75, Rose-26.342; 10. Davey Hamilton Jr., 98, RPM/Gormly-26.656; 11. Joe Axsom, 120, Nolen-26.906; 12. A.J. Russell, 3, Finkenbinder-27,390; 13. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-27.416; 14. Toni Breidinger, 80, Breidinger-28.067; 15. Shane Butler, 15, Thompson-30.978; 16. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-NT; 17. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps – April 29) 1. Bobby Santos, 2. Kody Swanson, 3. David Byrne, 4. Davey Hamilton, 5. Jerry Coons Jr., 6. Shane Butler, 7. Aaron Pierce, 8. Toni Breidinger, 9. A.J. Russell, 10. Henry Clarke, 11. Joe Axsom, 12. Damion Gardner, 13. Chris Windom (#2 Lawson), 14. Justin Grant, 15. Tanner Swanson, 16. Davey Hamilton Jr. NT

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Castroneves Keeps Phoenix Speed King Crown with Record Qualifying Run

AVONDALE, Arizona (Friday, April 28, 2017) – There’s a new speed king at Phoenix Raceway, but it’s the same old speed king who keeps climbing the Indy car record books.

Helio Castroneves shattered the lap record he set a year ago on the 1.022-mile oval in tonight’s qualifying for the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix. It earned the 41-year-old Castroneves his second pole position in four races this season and the 49th of his 20-year Indy car career – tying the Team Penske driver with another legend, Bobby Unser, for third on the all-time list.

DESERT DIAMOND WEST VALLEY PHOENIX GRAND PRIX: Qualifying results

Driving the No. 3 REV Group Team Penske Chevrolet in windy conditions under the lights, Castroneves averaged 194.905 mph (37.7538 seconds) for his two laps, including a record-setting circuit of 18.8701 seconds (194.975 mph). Castroneves will lead the 21-car field to the green flag in Saturday’s 250-lap race (9 p.m. ET, NBCSN and Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network).

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‘What They’re Saying’ from Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix Qualifying

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 REV Group Team Penske Chevrolet): “People don’t realize that qualifying is extremely difficult. I took it to the limit – I had one eye closed and one eye open. Experience is a big part of this and today was real, really good. The conditions were really difficult today in practice – the gusting winds were horrendous. We worked mostly on the race setup (in practice). My engineer did a phenomenal job and obviously everybody at Team Penske – the REV Group car was really fast. Qualifying is one thing – the race is another – but I’m really confident going into tomorrow.”

CONOR DALY (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Chevrolet): “We were pretty stuck – we had way too much downforce. It was very comfortable-still had too much understeer. But it was just too much downforce-I was flat as soon as I got into Turn 1. It was easy-too easy. It’s a shame.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “A pretty solid run for us, based on how practice was, especially after the conditions, so we weren’t sure what to expect. Big credit to the Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports guys – we’ve been rolling off the truck with a good car all year. For us, we had a little too much understeer on that run; we were flat both laps, pretty secure. I tried adjusting the car a little bit, but 20-second laps around here, you don’t have a whole lot of time to make a difference in cockpit control. We’ll see where that stacks us up, and if it brings us a top 10 (starting position), that puts us in a decent place.”

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Bobby Santos Wins Pole for Saturday’s “Phoenix Copper Cup”

Phoenix, Arizona………Bobby Santos picked up right where he left off in his last trip to Phoenix Raceway eight years ago, posting the fastest time in USAC Silver Crown presented by TRAXXAS ProSource Qualifying to win the pole for Saturday’s “Phoenix Copper Cup.”

Franklin, Massachusetts’ Santos, the 2009 winner of the USAC National Midget portion of the “Copper World Classic,” set the mark at 25.362 seconds, just a tick under 142mph and narrowly missing Dave Steele’s 2004 mark of 25.317.

“We cut a pretty good lap,” Santos said.  “On the first lap, the car was tight and I anticipated it to be tight again on the second lap.  But it came in a little better on that second lap. I wasn’t anticipating that.  Overall, we had a great run.  I’m really excited to be back here at Phoenix.  I really love coming here.”

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Phoenix USAC Silver Crown (presented by Traxxas) Qualifying Results

USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP (presented by TRAXXAS) RACE RESULTS: April 28-29, 2017 – Phoenix, Arizona – Phoenix Raceway – “Phoenix Copper Cup”

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: (April 28) 1. Bobby Santos, 22, DJ Racing-25.362; 2. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-25.499; 3. Davey Hamilton, 99, RPM/Gormly-25.607; 4. Justin Grant, 91, Hemelgarn/Carli-25.609; 5. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-25.666; 6. Tanner Swanson, 201, Nolen-25.682; 7. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-25.768; 8. Damion Gardner, 6, Klatt-26.078; 9. Henry Clarke, 75, Rose-26.342; 10. Davey Hamilton Jr., 98, RPM/Gormly-26.656; 11. Joe Axsom, 120, Nolen-26.906; 12. A.J. Russell, 3, Finkenbinder-27,390; 13. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-27.416; 14. Toni Breidinger, 80, Breidinger-28.067; 15. Shane Butler, 15, Thompson-30.978; 16. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-NT; 17. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-NT.
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Not Your Average Racer; Tanner Swanson Embraces His Racing Role

In Major League baseball, a player who steps up to the plate and gets a base hit one out of every three at-bats year-after-year is celebrated as one of the top players in the game and a potential hall-of-famer.

What would you say, then, about a driver who straps himself into a USAC Silver Crown car maybe three or four times per year and wins more than half of those starts, on average?

Then again, Tanner Swanson isn’t your average racer.

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Phoenix Copper Cup Field Showcases Veterans and First-timers All Capable of Winning

An eight-year gap since the most recent appearance for the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series at Phoenix Raceway provides an intriguing array of experience differential between each of the competitors.
Among the varying degrees of experience for each of the 18 competitors at the one-mile tri-oval, a past Phoenix Silver Crown winner is not among the lineup. On one end, there are National champions and Phoenix race winners. On the other end of the spectrum, there are drivers making their first ever Phoenix start and even a few making their debut in a Silver Crown car for the event this Friday and Saturday, April 28-29
With that said, there are real threats to win regardless of the category they are pigeonholed into. When Saturday arrives, it all comes to down to how a driver and team performs in those 100 laps that will tell the final chapter of the 2017 “Phoenix Copper Cup.”

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Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, April 28 – Saturday, April 29, 2017

Track: Phoenix International Raceway, a 1.022-mile oval

Race distance: 250 laps / 255.5 miles

Entry List:  Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix (PDF)

Firestone tire allotment: Nine sets primary

Twitter: @PhoenixRaceway, @IndyCar, #DesertDiamondPGP, #IndyCar

Event website: www.phoenixraceway.com

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

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8 Years in the Making, USAC Silver Crown is Back at Phoenix Raceway this Fri.-Sat.

The journey to Phoenix Raceway is a trail that has been journeyed numerous times throughout USAC’s illustrious history. A.J. Foyt christened the new mile track back in 1964 and, from there on, visits by USAC’s premier series to Phoenix became an annual can’t-miss-event in which fans and teams from all over annually migrated to the southwest for a weekend of speed.

From 1987 through 2009, the USAC Silver Crown series put on race after memorable race, many of which are still remembered fondly to this day, in the traditional “Copper World Classic” which provided an open-wheel heaven for race fans and drivers alike to kick off the season.

In recent years, that trail to Phoenix has fallen silent. But, this coming Friday and Saturday, April 28th and 29th, the tumbleweeds have vanished into the desert horizon and the trail gets dusted off once again as the stars of USAC Silver Crown racing make their triumphant return to the Valley of the Sun.

Continue reading ‘8 Years in the Making, USAC Silver Crown is Back at Phoenix Raceway this Fri.-Sat.’

Discount Tickets Available for Phoenix Silver Crown Return

A special discounted offer for the return of Silver Crown racing to Phoenix Raceway on Saturday, April 29, is now available to all USAC fans.

USAC fans have the opportunity to purchase adult tickets for seats located in the Jimmy Bryan Grandstand near the start/finish line for a fraction of the cost of a regular-priced ticket.

The special deal, which can be found at http://bit.ly/2p5WGI5, gives USAC fans a $10 discount on each adult ticket. Each ticket provides you a seat for Saturday’s open wheel feast: the “Phoenix Copper Cup” USAC Silver Crown 100-lap event, the “Vintage Desert Classic” and the “Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix” featuring the Verizon IndyCar Series.

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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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NASCAR National Series News & Notes — Auto Club

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Larson Leads Points Standings Following Third Straight Runner-Up Finish

There’s a new sheriff in town as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series closes out its West Coast swing with Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club (Calif.) Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX).

Kyle Larson has ascended to the top of the points standings following his third consecutive runner-up showing last Sunday at Phoenix. It’s the latest in the season a Chip Ganassi Racing car has led the standings since Sterling Marlin’s Coors Light Silver Bullet led the field in 2002.

Larson is the first NASCAR Drive for Diversity alumnus to lead the points standings.

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NASCAR National Series News & Notes – Phoenix

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Sweep’n Row: Furniture Row Racing’s Truex First to Win All 3 Stages

Martin Truex Jr. became the first driver to win all three stages under NASCAR’s race enhancements when he took the checkered flag in last Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The No. 78 Toyota driver, who won a career-high four races last season, led 150 total laps on his way to his first victory of 2017. Through three races, Truex sits fourth in the points standings (five points below leader Brad Keselowski, but leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with seven playoff points.

Truex will attempt to notch another win in Sunday’s Camping World 500 at Phoenix Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) – a track where he’s logged only one top-five finish (fifth in 2009) in 22 starts.

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Haas Automation/Monster Energy Racing: Kurt Busch Phoenix Advance and Team Report

KURT BUSCH Another ‘Home Game’ in the Desert Southwest

KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (March 13, 2017) – Growing up in Las Vegas, Kurt Busch spent the early years of his career competing at tracks along the West Coast.

And when he wasn’t behind the wheel of his racecar, the driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) traveled to area tracks to take in races as a spectator. Throughout the 1990s, Busch regularly made the trek to Phoenix International Raceway just to have the chance to watch NASCAR superstars like Dale Earnhardt and Davey Allison compete.

Getting the opportunity to race at the mile oval in the desert west of Phoenix – the same track where he had cheered for many of his racing heroes – was a dream come true for Busch. Racing at the track was like a home game for Busch, who also attended college for several semesters at the University of Arizona down the road in Tucson before making it in NASCAR’s big leagues.

In addition to the Advance below, please click here for Kurt Busch’s Track Performance History.

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NASCAR Drivers, Social Media Stars Lead Return of NASCAR Goes West

Driver Adventures Off the Track to Highlight Three-week Trek to Las Vegas, Phoenix and L.A. Races

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Mar. 8, 2017) –- NASCAR® drivers are packing a sense of adventure for their 2,000-mile journey west as NASCAR Goes West celebrates the sport’s annual stretch of races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Phoenix Raceway, and Auto Club Speedway.

Following an exciting season launch at Daytona and Atlanta, drivers will take in the sights and sounds of the West Coast in conjunction with Whistle Sports and popular social influencers, including Frisbee trick shot artist Brodie Smith, the Harlem Globetrotters and acrobatic fitness couple Austin and Julian.

In preparation for race days, NASCAR fans can follow the drivers along their off-track adventures on Snapchat and Instagram, and across all social media platforms using #NASCARGoesWest.

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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 – 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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NASCAR to Surpass 10 Million Miles on Sunoco Green E15

American-Made Ethanol from American-Grown Corn Has Helped Fuel Sport Since 2011; 10 Million Miles Equivalent to 400 Laps Around the Earth

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 11, 2016) – NASCAR announced today that it will surpass 10 million competition miles on Sunoco Green E15, a biofuel blended with 15 percent American-made ethanol, by the end of the 2016 season. The achievement will be celebrated during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ race at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. The 10 million miles will have been accumulated across  practice, qualifying and racing laps since the biofuel was adopted by the sport.

Six years ago, NASCAR entered into a groundbreaking partnership with Sunoco and American Ethanol, launching its long-term biofuels program to reduce emissions across its three national series. After an exhaustive analysis, Sunoco formulated Sunoco Green E15 to allow for a seamless transition, and the biofuel made its debut at Daytona International Speedway in 2011. All the ethanol for Green E15 is produced from American-grown corn at Sunoco’s ethanol manufacturing facility in Fulton, N.Y.

“As we approach 10 million miles on Sunoco Green E15 across our three national series, it’s evident that the renewable, higher ethanol blended fuel performs flawlessly against our rigorous racing conditions,” said Brent Dewar, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer. “This remarkable milestone is the result of an industry-wide commitment to demonstrate high-performance racing with reduced emissions, while educating our fans about the benefits of sustainable and renewable American ethanol.” 

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NASCAR National Series News & Notes — Phoenix

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Rise Of The Phoenix: Harvick In Need Of Another Win At Arizona Track

Positioned 18 points below the cutoff line and below two other drivers for the final berth in the Championship 4 race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Kevin Harvick essentially needs a win in Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway (2 p.m. ET on NBC).

Fortunately for Harvick, all he does is win at Phoenix. In the last eight races at the one-mile track he’s visited Victory Lane six times and recorded a runner-up showing. Overall, Harvick boasts eight wins, 12 top fives, 16 top 10s and a 10.3 average finish in 27 starts at Phoenix.

The Bakersfield, California native has made the Championship 4 race in each of its two years of existence. He won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title in 2014 and finished runner-up to Kyle Busch last season.

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Testing regulations announced for 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season

INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016) – INDYCAR announced today testing regulations for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season highlighted by four open tests during the season and an overall reduction in the amount of in-season testing.

INDYCAR will conduct the following open tests next year: Feb. 10-11 at Phoenix International Raceway; March 21 at Barber Motorsports Park; May 2 at Gateway Motorsports Park and Sept. 14 at Sonoma Raceway – the same week as the season finale in 2017.

“We collaborated with all of our teams on the 2017 testing regulations with the goal of minimizing the amount of in-season testing,” said Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations. “The majority of testing will take place at a series of open tests, which have been strategically routed to coincide with our race schedule. As we finalized our regulations, the focus was on making our test schedule more efficient and minimizing the overall demands on the crews during the year. We’re confident that this is a positive step forward for the Verizon IndyCar Series.”

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. to miss remainder of 2016 season

CONCORD, N.C. – Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports, has not been medically cleared to compete for the remainder of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season as he continues to recover from a concussion.

Earnhardt has missed the last six Sprint Cup races while undergoing treatment. He has been regularly evaluated at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program under the direction of Dr. Micky Collins and with Charlotte neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty.

“I wish I could return to the No. 88 team this season,” Earnhardt said. “To say I’m disappointed doesn’t begin to describe how I feel, but I know this is the right thing for my long-term health and career. I’m 100 percent focused on my recovery, and I will continue to follow everything the doctors tell me. They’re seeing good progress in my test results, and I’m feeling that progress physically. I plan to be healthy and ready to compete at Daytona in February. I’m working toward that.
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What They’re Saying – Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, Race

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “This was more of an attrition race. We had the fastest cars but you get hit with yellows and cut tires so it’s not a true sense of what our cars were capable of. Simon and Will showed through, but with Helio and myself we got caught up with a cut tire. So it would have been a totally different race. Phoenix is a short oval and the speeds kept up, but everybody was on alert and everybody was pretty close. I thought there would be a lot more gaps, but everyone was pretty much in the same zone. The car kept getting a vibration and then it would settle and then would go from a three-car gap to a 15- to 20-car gap. Overall, the Verizon Chevy was pushing pretty hard and was still able to stay in the top 10. Not the finish we wanted, but we’ll look ahead to Long Beach and go from there.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 REV Group Team Penske Chevrolet): “First of all, it was great to start on pole and to get the track record for our new sponsor, REV. I wish we could’ve done the same in the race. Unfortunately, we cut a tire. There was never an indication there was any problem with the tire so by the time we realized it was going flat, it was too late. Everything was going so smooth, it was too good to be true. Once you go slow on a one-mile oval like that, it’s like an eternity to get back to pit lane. We lost a lot with that. Really, to finish on the lead lap and in the top 11 shows just how good the REV Chevy car was this weekend.”

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “I have mixed feelings after this race. I think the No. 7 SMP car was good. The car was very good, actually. I was fighting like – as we say in Russia – like on the last day. Then we got unlucky with a set of tires, that’s why we needed to do the extra pit stop. Then we got a bit unlucky with yellow flags. Then I made a mistake coming off the banking into the pits. I lost the car on the way in. I’m happy that we showed the potential of the car but it was really hard to fight with Chevy. It’s something to think about for the next races and I’m happy to finish my first oval race since the crash in 2014.”

Continue reading ‘What They’re Saying – Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, Race’

Dixon wins at Phoenix to tie Al Unser for fourth on all-time list

AVONDALE, Ariz. — In the heat of the desert, the “Ice Man” lived up to his nickname by remaining cool all the way to Victory Lane. In the process, he attached his name to another Indy car legend.

Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon won the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix in the series’ return to Phoenix International Raceway following an 11-year absence. It is the 39th career win for the New Zealander, tying him with four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser for fourth on the all-time Indy car victories list.

It also gives Dixon, a four-time series champ, a race win in 12 consecutive seasons to set a record all his own. The 35-year-old was previously tied with wins in 11 straight seasons with Bobby Unser, Emerson Fittipaldi and Helio Castroneves.

Continue reading ‘Dixon wins at Phoenix to tie Al Unser for fourth on all-time list’




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