Severance wraps third straight TAD title

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Oct. 29, 2017) – Joey Severance swept into his third consecutive NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster world championship by winning the final round of the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Each of the Severance championships have come on Goodyear tires. The TAD category is part of the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series for sportsmen teams and Lucas Oil racing is open to competitors among tiremakers.
“Congratulations to Joey and the entire team,” said Goodyear’s Todd Rogers. “They do a tremendous job all season long.”
Severance beat Sean Cowie in an all-Goodyear final round. Of the 16 cars in the starting field, a dozen raced on Goodyear tires.
Asked what the team would do next year Joe Severance, the driver’s father, said, “I don’t know but it will darn sure be on Goodyear tires.”
Justin Lamb captured both the Super Stock championship and the victory in the final at the Strip. Other Goodyear-shod winners included Troy Coughlin in the J&A Services Pro Mod Series, and, in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series for professional teams, Terry McMillen (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock).
Goodyear employs about 65,000 people at manufacturing plants and facilities in 22 countries. Based in Akron, Ohio, Goodyear is among the largest tiremakers in the world and is the worldwide leader in race tire innovation.

Lamb wins one title, close to another

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Oct. 29, 2017) – Justin Lamb has one 2017 NHRA world championship. Now he wants another.
Lamb, a resident of Henderson, Nev., clinched the Super Stock championship during the Toyota Nationals at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when he advanced through the early rounds of elimination. That title brought his title count to three, having already won the 2015 Super Stock and 2013 Stock Eliminator championships. He has nearly locked away the 2017 Stock title and can win it at the World Finals at Pomona, Calif. in two weeks.
Through it all, Lamb has raced on Goodyear tires. His tire of choice for the Super Stock car was Goodyear’s D2070 rear drive tire. The D2070 measures 33 inches tall and 14.5 across the tread face. The tire mounts on a 15-inch wheel and the construction includes Goodyear’s D6 tread compound.
“It doesn’t spin,” Lamb said of his rear tires. “They last a long time. It’s just a good, forgiving tire and by that I mean that it works in all track conditions.”
Lamb has used Goodyears since he started racing and credited the tiremaker with playing a key role in his success.
“Goodyear is one of my biggest supporters,” he said. “They’ll do whatever it takes to help.”
Lamb said he started the 2017 season wanting to concentrate on his Super Stock effort. Obviously that plan worked. The Stock effort was different, Lamb said. He said he looked up one day and discovered he had a solid chance to win the Stock title. When he started drag racing, Lamb did not envision winning multiple championships.
“I kind of thought that, maybe, one day I might be able to win one championship,” Lamb said. “I never thought about winning three or four.”
Lamb works for the city of Henderson, Nev., as a business analyst. He and his wife Jeanine have two children, Jayce and Jovi. By the end of the season, each of the young Lambs will have a world championship trophy for each hand.
Goodyear employs about 65,000 people at manufacturing plants and facilities in 22 countries. Based in Akron, Ohio, Goodyear is among the largest tiremakers in the world and is the worldwide leader in race tire innovation

Coughlin nabs NHRA Pro Mod title on Goodyears

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Oct. 29. 2017) – Troy Coughlin Jr. won his third NHRA J&A Services Pro Mod championship Sunday, taking the title on Goodyear tires in a class where competition is open among tiremakers.
“The butterflies, the nervousness at the start of the day, it was pretty emotional,” Coughlin said. “Anytime you have a chance to win a championship is pretty amazing.”
Coughlin qualified fifth out of 26 entries and clinched the championship when he advanced to the semi-final round during eliminations Sunday. Shane Molinari, who also races on Goodyear tires, was the top qualifier.
Coughlin said, “This class is getting tougher and tougher,” and Goodyear’s Todd Rogers agreed.
“Congratulations to Troy and his team,” Rogers said. “They have been great partners all season long in a very competitive class.”
Six of the top ten Pro Mod point-getters raced on Goodyear tires in 2017. They were Coughlin, Molinari, Jonathan Gray, Steven Whiteley, Rickie Smith and Khalid alBalooshi.
Goodyear employs about 65,000 people at manufacturing plants and facilities in 22 countries. Based in Akron, Ohio, Goodyear is among the largest tiremakers in the world and is the worldwide leader in race tire innovation.

Lets talk Indy Car

James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced its lineup for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season that will feature an all-Canadian driving duo of James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens.

Hinchcliffe has renewed his contract with the Indianapolis-based team with a multiyear extension. The five-time race winner and 2016 Indianapolis 500 pole sitter will enter his eighth Verizon IndyCar Series season in 2018 and fourth with SPM.

Wickens joins the team following six successful seasons driving for Mercedes-Benz in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) series in Europe. Wickens did fill in for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for a practice day at the KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America in June, when former SPM driver Mikhail Aleshin had visa issues and could not be at the track.

“Not only am I really excited to be able to say I’ll be back with SPM for next year and beyond,” said Hinchcliffe, a native of Oakville, Ontario, “but I am also really looking forward to being teammates with one of my oldest friends. Robbie and I grew up racing against one another, eventually took different paths – me staying in North America in open-wheel cars and him going off to Europe in sports cars – but it’s pretty neat that we both ended up here and we get to live our dream of being professional racing drivers, together on the same team.”

Hinchcliffe, 30, and Wickens, 28, will form the first all-Canadian full-time team in Indy car racing since 2004 when Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier drove for Forsythe Racing in Champ Car.

“This is an entirely new chapter to add to my racing career, and I am really excited for this opportunity that Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has given me,” Wickens said. “I think everyone knows the story by now that James and I grew up racing against one another in go-karts, and to make it to the largest open-wheel racing series in North America together as teammates, it’s crazy to think about.

“I am very thankful for the six years I had with everyone at Mercedes and DTM,” Wickens added. “Those are memories I will cherish forever. I can’t wait to truly see what the Verizon IndyCar Series is all about.”

Wickens won six DTM races in his six seasons, but he cut his teeth in open-wheel racing prior to making the shift to touring cars. The native of Guelph, Ontario, won the Formula BMW USA championship in 2006 and Formula Renault 3.5 title in 2011.

“We’re all very pleased to have Robert on board, and not just because he’s another Canadian,” said Ric Peterson, SPM co-owner and fellow Canadian. “He’s obviously someone who has been on our radar for some time now, and we’re excited about this new chapter in the SPM organization. We’ve been building a lot of momentum within the team and hope this latest addition will be a great next step as we move forward. I’m also really proud that we’ll be able to represent Team Canada and be able to showcase two great Canadian athletes.”

Check out the full schedule right here:

March 11 – Streets of St. Petersburg
April 7 – Phoenix Raceway
April 15 – Streets of Long Beach
April 22 – Barber Motorsports Park
May 12 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course
May 27 – Indianapolis 500
June 2-3 – Raceway at Belle Isle Park
June 9 – Texas Motor Speedway
June 24 – Road America
July 8 – Iowa Speedway
July 15 – Streets of Toronto
July 29 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Aug. 19 – Pocono Raceway
Aug. 25 – Gateway Motorsports Park
Sept. 2 – Portland International Raceway
Sept. 16 – Sonoma Raceway

Sources Indy Car
HINCHCLIFFE, WICKENS FORM ALL-CANADIAN LINEUP FOR SCHMIDT PETERSON
By INDYCAR | Published: Oct 18, 2017

Takuma Sato Immortalized

Takuma Sato out-raced Helio Castroneves to win his first Indianapolis 500.
He has he drove to victory lane, wore the wreath, drank the milk and even kissed the bricks.

However there is still one more task to achieve. After 5 months that last task is completed.

The task of course is being immortalized on the Borg-Warner Trophy. “Today, you look at the face…and it’s just a happy man. As I am,” Sato told a crowd gathered at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. “I’m truly thrilled and very happy.”

Sato says that being an Indy 500 champion is something he never could have imagined:

FROM THE EYES OF A REAL FAN

Gold2017

Indianapolis- So it’s been so much fun covering the month of May here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Its qualifications weekend and and we are under a rain delay. So I thought this was the perfect time for this story.

As you know what we always say over on the Balance Radio Show. “This is the ONE place where fanatics can come together and talk about their favorite teams. The Balance brings you an analytical breakdown of sports from a Fans point of view.”

So often we get caught up in the media side and forget our own slogan. So when I came across a “MEGA” Indy Car Fan, and not only a Indy Car Fan but the biggest Helio Castroneves fan it gave me an awesome opportunity to make slogan a reality… I would like to introduce you to Shelby Bohmer!

I asked Shelby to tell me about being such a huge Helio fan. I wanted her to tell her story in her words…. so here ya go.

Helio&Me2013 (1)

A FAN’S LOVE FOR RACING: HOW ONE PLACE & ONE MAN STARTED IT ALL…

Sports…they’re activities that push athletes physical, mental, & emotional abilities with a competitive spirit and a strong sense of determination. Such mindsets and abilities fuel their senses-a fuel so powerful it leads toward success in climbing the “athletic ladder.” One sport requires 1 man or woman to put their trust in not just man, a team, or themselves, but also in machine, a machine in which they are the “pilot” of…a full on battle of Man VS Machine. It’s a machine designed to make any person see that speed has no limits. These machines rage at over 200+ miles per hour, are open-wheeled, run on pure ethanol, and are ready for people to experience one of the most “thrilling rides” ones eyes can behold. Have I peaked your interest yet? Keep Reading On To Hear My Story…
I, Shelby Bohmer, live in the Hoosier state of Indiana. If you’re a true race fan, one would know that Indiana is home to racing’s “Grand Cathedral, the “World’s Greatest Race Course.” This is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I grew up in a family that through the generations loved racing and the biggest event ever held at that grand 2.5 mile oval of glory, the Greatest Spectacle in Racing…the Indianapolis 500. Being in a race-loving family, I often heard stories of past legends of four-time winners Al Unser Sr., Rick Mears, & A.J. Foyt, among others like Johnny Rutherford, Bobby Unser, and Mario Andretti. On Memorial Day weekend we’d all listen and watch both the radio and T.V. broadcast of the race.
Knowing my family racing background, I found it was time I found out for myself what this place and racing was really all about. I was 16 years old when my step-dad took my mom and I to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a day of practice in May of 2009. Just seeing the place from a distance gave me chills and goose bumps, or should I say “race bumps!” The sights, sounds, and smells of the place made me feel like I was in a whole other universe-which I was; I was at “The Racing Capital of the World.” Race Fans were everywhere getting pictures, autographs, and seeing all the action of those glorious speed demons we call race cars. Now I could see what everyone means by IMS changing you when you visit such a place of immense history, tradition, and legacy. Since I was starting to gain a liking in the sport, it was time to choose who I thought would be my favorite driver. I noticed that the one driver I wanted to know more about happened to be driving my favorite number, 3. 3 has a significance knowing I was born on a “3” on my birthday. Therefore, I asked my mom and step-dad about the man who drove the #3 car. They told me all about how he had back-to-back wins, the 2 years a rising-star and Brazilian won as a Rookie in 2001 (Rookie of the Year) & again in 2002, how he climbs the fence with his victories, and how he overcame adversity to be able to come back and race again when his career and life were on the line that year, this driver being Helio Castroneves. I was inspired by what he had accomplished so far in his career and what he overcame, loved his race number, and saw how good he was to his fans. To add in a little humor, he isn’t too bad to look at either. 😉 In that moment I thought that he might just be “the one”, my favorite driver in my new favorite sport.
It’s race day for the 93rd Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 24th, 2009. I was in my living room ready to cheer Helio on as he raced with 32 other drivers looking for glory-Helio looking for win number 3. The excitement and intensity built as each lap came and went, when in one BIG moment, Helio made a pass around New Zealander Scott Dixon for the lead! I was shouting and jumping up and down like crazy! Each lap winded down until the moment came; the announcer Mike King said, “Open the Door to the 3-Time Winners Club; there’s a brand new member, and his name is Helio Castroneves!” To see his pure joy, passion, and emotions pour out that day made me realize I knew my gut instinct was right. I had chosen the right driver for me. Not only had I chosen a winner but also I had fallen in love with the man and driver who is Helio Castroneves.
The next year following Helio’s 3rd win at IMS, 2010, continued to grow my love for him and the sport. That year I attended IMS Pole Day to witness Helio gain his 4th Indy500 Pole (his previous 3 being in 2003, 2007, & 2009) with an average speed of 227.970mph. I also went to IMS Community Day to attend his book signing (his book entitled: ‘Victory Road: The Ride of My Life’) where I had one of my first up-close and personal moments with Helio. IMS even posted a picture of our meeting on their website. The next year (2011) went by and so did another season now leading into the next season in 2012-the BIG year that changed EVERYTHING.
It was that time of year again, a new race season in 2012. Helio opened up the season in St. Petersburg, Florida with a win and a touching tribute to the late Dan Wheldon. The season rolled on to the the time when racing came to town in Indianapolis for the “Month of May.” That year was my first time to ever have a bronze badge garage pass. Walking into the paddock gave me a behind the scenes look of how the sport fully ran. I couldn’t believe how much it really took with the mechanics feverishly working to make a perfect car set up, drivers out and about signing autographs for fans, cameras clicking for pictures, and interviews galore for the media. Being that up close & personal with the race world got me hooked for life, as we all are a part of one big race family. That was the first year that started a now up to 2017 6 year tradition of getting a picture of Helio and I together at IMS and having him sign each picture. That was also the year I noticed Helio was on social media with Facebook & Twitter, so I decided to “like” his Facebook page as well as give him a follow on Twitter to support him and follow along with the rest of his 2012 season, where him and I did a bit of interacting throughout it.
That season for Helio ended with him in 4th place in the championship. Now, what to do to help the off-season go quicker…any ideas? I had one up my sleeve, as an immediate light bulb came on inside my head. Feeling inspired by Helio’s 3 Indy500 wins, I wanted to make a tribute to commemorate them. After working hard on the video for a good couple weeks or better, the final product was ready to be released for all to see. I put my video up on my Twitter page (@SHELBYB03) and tagged Helio (@h3lio) in hopes he may see the tribute I created for him. Low and behold I got online on October 26th, 2012 to see that my video was highly received by the man himself. Helio cried tears of happiness as he watched the tribute before him unfold and said in his own words: “Thank you, Shelby, for such a great honor of having this beautiful video made for me. This is amazing! This is the reason I admire all the fans, Shelby…this was the best gift ever-THANK YOU.” It was a fair trade…a video tribute for a follow as he followed me back on his Twitter that very day…thus a camaraderie was born.
Throughout the next 4 seasons, 2013-2016, my relationship with Helio and his family, sponsors/marketing partners, race team, & PRs grew. Now they all know me by a name and face basis when I go to IMS each year. In 2013 I created a fan motto for Helio and his team: the motto being #TeamHelio…WeBelieve in October of 2013 for his run for the championship where he placed 2nd and received his 4th Texas win. Going back to sponsors and marketing, I have been asked to help with promoting products from his sponsors and have been able to help grow his fan base in the process of helping with such promotions, one of the biggest milestones being both 100,000 & 150,000 Followers on Twitter. It is often been said by fans that I am the “Walking Helio Catalogue,” as doing this has been an outlet to allow me to connect with the race community on a multitude of levels. Even members of Helio’s family-his sister Kati & girlfriend Adriana, and his team all have expressed their thanks for supporting Helio and how they saw me as his “Number One Fan.”
A major highlight of those seasons was in 2014. I was able to drive around the famed track on Community Day and had the ultimate experience of going to my 1st Indy500 in person on May 25th, 2014, the 98th Running. Helio was in the Yellow Submarine, bringing back a design that was drove by legends past, and now it was Helio’s turn. Boy what a race it was! Him and Ryan Hunter-Reay battled it out to the end where sadly it ended just 6 hundredths of a second shy of win number 4. I almost witnessed history before my eyes to see Helio become the next 4-time winner-gut-wrenching and heart breaking-but still proud of him knowing he gave it his all and more. A week later couldn’t be sweeter as redemption was Helio’s in gaining his 29th career win in Detroit, where years ago in 2000, “Spider-Man” was born knowing this was the race that he first climbed the fence as an act of celebrating victory. 2014 was a solid year with a 2nd place championship finish to his Penske teammate Will Power.
2015 was another solid year with Helio being 5th in the championship. 2015 was also when I joined an Helio fan group on Facebook, Helio Castroneves Fans. I there kept record of the 2015 season, keeping fellow fans in the loop on race season stats and Helio’s appearances and special events throughout the year. It is a place for fans to connect and get to know each other better and to show support with pictures and messages. I still take part in that group and encourage other fans to join. I felt after having a season without a win, it was time to get Helio pumped for the next season…a light bulb idea went off again in my head, the “Cheer On Helio Project.” I proposed after the 2015 season ended in our fan group that I would take up to 100 fans to join in to send Helio messages that I put together in a video to begin his 2016 off right. He saw this video too with much positive feedback: “Oh My Gosh! It’s because of fans like these I feel so pumped for another WE BELIEVE season. Let’s Do This! Thank You! I’m very touched…I’m telling you I will win this season…We together will win this season.” This video was said to be Helio’s favorite one I had made for him.
With 2016 ahead of him and the fans behind him, Helio started it off well with 2 pole positions, one in Long Beach and Phoenix, where in Phoenix, he became the “Speed King” with a new track record! After Phoenix Indy came again. He gained momentum with a 2nd place finish in the GP of INDY race. He started 9th in the field of 33 that year and gained him and his team an 8th pit-stop competition where right before me, I saw his trademark victory celebration as “Spider-Man” climbed for the fans. He did so in knowing he felt the energy of the crowd raving and roaring after the win. What a sight! I know it will be one that stays with me forever. The 500 looked good until he was clipped in the back rear bumper pod of his car, but he took it with dignity and moved forward to finish his 2016 season in 3rd place in his 17th season with Team Penske, it’s 50th year as a Team went 1-2-3, and was named by his fans in a competition Penske held as “Captain’s Finest.” I was able to go to the IndyCar Championship banquet that year, as it was held in Downtown Indianapolis, where I surprised Helio, as he didn’t know I was coming. His reaction…priceless, a huge smile on his face and saying, “Hey! Look who is here…SHELBY!!!” It was an honor to be there to celebrate his season with him and the other IndyCar drivers and to be able to congratulate him on the year. We even discussed and know that in our minds that someday he will become a 4-Time Indy500 Winner and IndyCar Champion he deserves and knows he can be, as Helio told me and I agreed: “We will keep moving forward and now look to next year…one day that door will be open to us. We just have to keep believing.” To cap off the 2016 year, I went to the Penske50 Exhibit at IMS in November to see Helio’s first winning car and many more achievements he earned as a driver for one of the most elite teams in all of sports.
2017…Here we are into what is my 8th year of knowing who Helio is and 6th year of knowing him on a deeper level and supporting his career in a way I never thought imaginable. I feel blessed to know and have him be a part of my life. To put it simply, Helio’s passion, drive, and love for what he does in racing, his fans, family, and in life is inspiring…he helps me strive to do my best in all areas of my own life. We both look forward each year to the Greatest Month in Racing, as IMS is, as Helio likes to say, “magical.” We both make each other’s Mays special, ones to remember, with moments such as pictures together, chats at autograph sessions, giving him gifts I’ve made for him, or him seeing me by his pit stand to watch him do what he loves most preparing for the biggest race. He knows even if I am at home cheering him on, I am ALWAYS along with him for the ride each race. IMS…thank you for being the place that brought me a spark for racing and being a place I can now call my 2nd home, and to Helio…thank you for being the one who made my racing spark grow and become full blaze. I’m your fan for life & my love and support will be with you always! May you continue striving toward achieving your goals and beyond with a 4th 500 and championship. Stay DRIVEN BY PASSION!

From Road to Oval

Indianapolis- A picture perfect day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the IndyCar Grand Prix. This was the “Will Power Show” Power had the most powerful car in every practice session,and setting the Pole and leading 61 of the 85 laps.Rewind 12 months ago to the same track was a huge blunder for Power and qualifying which put him starting outside the top six, and spun in the first lap. Will Power was never able to rebound. It was imperative that Team Penske fix the issues in the off season. Indeed Team Penske did just that. Will Power has had a career that has seen its Highs and Lows. Saturday’s Victory was definitely a high. In the post race presser Will Power said “You cant be consumed by the highs or the lows”,and being a new father has taught him that. It seemed like it was density for Will Power to win at Indy!

Team Penske IndyCar driver Will Power (12) sprays and gets sprayed with champaign as he celebrates his winning the IndyCar Grand Prix Saturday, May 13, 2017, afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Photo: Matt Kryger/IndyStar)
Team Penske IndyCar driver Will Power (12) sprays and gets sprayed with champaign as he celebrates his winning the IndyCar Grand Prix Saturday, May 13, 2017, afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
(Photo: Matt Kryger/IndyStar)

So today we are at different track …same Indianapolis Motor Speedway but different track over the weekend teams here at IMS began the transformation process of converting the road course back to the famed oval. The entire process is about 42 hours. That’s how long Verizon IndyCar Series teams have from the checkered flag of Saturday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix to Monday’s opening practice for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

Teams are accustomed to working late in the garages getting their cars ready. I am sure most of us do not realize just how physically demanding it is to transform an Indy car set up for the 14-turn, stop-and-start, 2.439-mile road course to be ready for the flat-out,2.5-mile oval. Julian Robertson, Chip Ganassi Racing technical director says . “The guys will start on prep Saturday night after the race. The race is quite late in the afternoon, which means it will all go late into the evening to get a head start.” Chip Ganassi Racing is one of the series powerhouse teams, led by four-time series champion Scott Dixon and 2004 series winner Tony Kanaan, each of whom have won the Indy 500. Owner Chip Ganassi has celebrated five Indy 500 victories in addition to 10 Indy car series titles, which means excellence is expected.

“The car looks the same, but it’s pretty different,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

The cars differ in brakes, aero kits, rear wings, suspension, shock absorbers, gearbox setups and dampers, among other things.

Also The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has announced a first-ever opportunity for race fans at the INDYCAR Grand Prix in May. IMS will offer spectator camping for recreational vehicles and tents in the infield.

Another beautiful day in Indy…today Practice 1 for the ROP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway so far we have seen Fernando Alonso hit a speed of 220.805 ,Oriol Servia 220.805,Ed Jones 219.288. Jack Harvey currently on track 220.805 and has completed stage 1 of “ROP”

Later this afternoon all teams will have chance to turn laps.

The 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 is just around the courner

History in Indy!

Indianapolis- We are stationed at the media center at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Lunch has been served and gotta say IMS can put a spread together!

We just witnessed history here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Sam Schmidt who is paralyzed just raced one of the greatest racers in the world 77-year-old Mario Andretti. So yes you read that right paralyzed from the neck down Sam Schmidt is competing in a race. Some may say he has nothing to prove and this may be true. However that didn’t stop the 52 year old Sam Schmidt from the challenge. The drivers drove a 4 lap race around the “Indy Road Course”.

IMS prez Doug Boles thought the idea was pretty nuts himself. To quote Doug Boles “I got a note from Sam sometime last fall, early winter, saying, ‘Hey, I’d like to do a head-to-head race next May against Mario Andretti,’ and I thought he was crazy,” Boles said. “But I thought Mario might be even crazier, and I didn’t know that you could actually convince Mario to do that, but Mario actually agreed.

Photo Credit Indy Car
Photo Credit Indy Car

It was an amazing scene here at IMS. Mario won the race and Sam Schmidt was quick to challenge a rematch. It was clear Sam Schmidt was very emotional about the experience. The “The Mayor of Hinchtown” waved the flag! James Hinchcliff the 2011 Verizon IndyCar series Rookie of the Year. Driver of the #5 Indy car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport. is a driver for Sam Schmidt.

The grid is set for the Indy Car GP with will Power on the “POLE” and setting a new Track record 1 minute, 10.2014 seconds — on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course. Penske claimed the top two spots on the speed chart! Penske looks to dominate today’s race. Even after a disappointing qualification for Simon Pagenaud who will be starting back in 6th position.

Indianapolis Colts star QB Andre Luck will give the “Race Command” and Retired Colts outside line backer Robert Mathis will drive the Pace Car for the Indy Car GP.

I spent some time walking the pits and garages and I can tell you the teams are ready…the fans are here..and so are we!

Grand Prix Weekend at Indy

Photo Credit  http://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com
Photo Credit http://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com

Indianapolis- As we begin the month of May Indy…It’s time for the 1st race in the month of May.

Its a action packed weekend at IMS

If you have never been to the Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. So 1st thing you may notice is cars are going backwards? Ok not literally but the configuration of the road course sends cars down the front stretch in the reverse direction than what you may be used to seeing on the oval.

The 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course incorporates portions of Turns 1 and 2 and the frontstraight of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval and the remainder of the circuit is within the infield, allowing for great spectator viewing.

It’s the dream of every driver to race at the corner of 16th and Georgetown in Speedway Indiana, just to the west of downtown Indianapolis. This weekend the dreams of many drivers of the future will come true. As IMS will feature races from the USF2000,Mazda road to Indy Pro Mazda, and the Indy lights series.

In the USF2000 you see drivers age 15 and up (with 14-year-olds eligible pending review and acceptance of a driving resume by the series and approval by INDYCAR). Can you imagine being 15 years old turning laps here at IMS

Drivers will tell you turn 1 is so tight…this is sure to see some action this weekend…Will we see the what is becoming known as the “1st Turn Curse” in the 3 years of the Grand Prix at Indy cars have never seen lap 1 without a caution. The inaugural race, pole-sitter Sebastian Saavedra —stalled and was hit by Carlos Munoz and Mikhail Aleshin. Last year, Bourdais collided with “TK” in Turn 1, ending Tony Kanaan’s day.

Another big story-line of the weekend will be a race between Sam Schmidt and Mario Andretti yes the same Sam Schmidt that crashed into the wall during a practice round at Orlando’s Walt Disney World Speedway leaving “SAM” paralyzed for life. He will race Indy Car Legend Mario Andretti using semi-autonomous cars. The Corvette Z06s will be their cars which are developed by Arrow Electronics and are controlled by head motions. Steering with head tilt sensors, accelerate and break with a sip-and-puff device. They switch gears using voice commands. The race is at 12:35 p.m. Saturday, preceding the IndyCar Grand Prix at 3:50 p.m. Fans can make a $10 donation and root for their favorite driver by texting either “Sam” or “Mario” to 50555 before or during the race. Proceeds go to Schmidt’s nonprofit Conquer Paralysis Now

This is a great weekend to come out to IMS and see a different race style without the “Indy 500” Crowd. Grand Prix has generally attracted around 40,000 fans. Looks like weather will not be an issue this year. We all remember the bitter cold rainy day last year.Also This month of May has seen it’s share of rain in the Indy area. So we welcome the sunshine.

Pagenaud the favorite to win this year. However he is going to have to earn it.Pole Sitters have won the last 2 road course races at IMS, and if that holds true its looking very good for Penske teammates Power and Castroneves. All of Penskes are a threat to win the the Grand Prix. Newgarden won this season’s only other road-course race, and Juan Pablo Montoya returns to Penske for Indianapolis races.

Scott Dixon leads the charge for Team Honda, yet he has never finished in the top five in the Indy road races, he and Pagenaud are the only drivers who have finished in the top five in all four IndyCar races this season.

Bourdais and the “The Mayor of Hinchtown” James Hinchcliffe will also be in the mix on Saturday

Other noise makers Andretti Autosports’ Ryan Hunter-Reay, who finished second in 2014, and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal, who was the 2015 runner-up!

We are at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway so stick around this is aboout to get good !

‘Victory View’ Places INDYCAR Grand Prix Fans at Heart of Post-Race Celebration

Grand Prix

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 11, 2017 – Verizon IndyCar Series fans can celebrate in the heart of Victory Circle at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after the INDYCAR Grand Prix on Saturday, May 13 through the new “Victory View” fan area.

During the post-race Track Invasion, fans can stand adjacent to Victory Circle as the podium finishers and their cars arrive after a successful race on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile IMS road course. Fans then can watch as the top three finishers celebrate with their teams and stand atop the podium in Victory Circle.

Access to the Victory View is limited and first-come, first-served, so fans interested in participating are encouraged to head toward Victory Lane as soon as possible during the Track Invasion.

Victory View and the post-race Track Invasion are two of the exciting features putting fans closer than ever to The Greatest Drivers in Racing during the INDYCAR Grand Prix. Other fan-friendly attractions include Free Garage Friday on Friday, May 12, when fans can visit the famous Gasoline Alley and IndyCar team garages for free; driver autograph sessions Friday in the INDYCAR Fan Village; and free admission for kids 15 and under Friday and Saturday when accompanied by an adult General Admission ticket holder.

Visit IMS.com to purchase tickets for INDYCAR Grand Prix and the 101st Indianapolis 500 Presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on Sunday, May 28, and for more information on the complete Month or May schedule at IMS.