‘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.

Corvette Grand Sport To Pace 101st Indianapolis 500

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Track-honed model advances legacy and is 14th Corvette to pace iconic race

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 5, 2017 – The Corvette Grand Sport is the official Pace Car for the 2017 Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil and will lead drivers to the green flag Sunday, May 28 for the 101st Running of the legendary race.

It marks the 14th time a Corvette has served as the official Pace Car, starting in 1978, and the 28th time a Chevrolet has led the field, dating back to 1948, when a 1948 Fleetmaster Six convertible paced the race. No other vehicle has served as the Pace Car more than the Corvette.

“Chevrolet is proud to once again pace the Indianapolis 500,” said Steve Majoros, marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “The Corvette Grand Sport’s performance capability and motorsports heritage make it the perfect choice to pace ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.'”

The 2017 Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car features:

460-hp (343 kW) LT1 direct-injected V-8 engine with dry-sump oiling and active exhaust
Eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission
Equipped with the available carbon-fiber ground effects package
Specific Grand Sport wheel design: 19 x 10-inch (front) and 20 x 12-inch (rear)
Standard magnetic ride control, specific stabilizer bars and unique springs
Standard electronic limited-slip differential
Includes the available Z07 package, with carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors and 285/30ZR19 (front) and 335/25ZR20 (rear) high-performance tires
Brembo Carbon Ceramic brake system with 15.5-inch (394 mm) rotors with six-piston calipers in front and 15.3-inch (380 mm) rotors with four-piston calipers in rear
Unique Indy 500 graphics package
The Grand Sport Pace Car equipped with the Z07 package can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, cover the quarter mile in 11.8 seconds and achieve 1.2 g cornering capability.

Chevrolet has a storied history with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Chevrolet was founded in 1911, the year of the inaugural 500-Mile Race, and company cofounder Louis Chevrolet, along with brothers Arthur and Gaston, competed in early Indy 500 races. Arthur Chevrolet competed in the 1911 race, and Gaston Chevrolet won it in 1920.

“Chevrolet and Indianapolis are inextricably linked, sharing one of the longest racing heritages in all of motorsports,” said J. Douglas Boles, president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “We are proud of the longstanding relationship between Chevrolet and the Speedway, and we love having the Corvette Grand Sport lead the ‘500’ field to the green flag.”

Chevrolet is pursuing its sixth consecutive IndyCar manufacturer championship this year, building on a successful 2016 season that saw 14 wins out of 16 races.

Visit IMS.com to purchase tickets for 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.

The race also will be televised live on ABC, with the pre-race show starting at 11 a.m. (ET). Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio will provide live coverage of the race to its affiliates and on Sirius 212, XM 209 and SXM 970.

Fernando Alonso is in Indy!

Photo Credit McLarenHondaAndretti‏ @McLarenIndy
Photo Credit McLarenHondaAndretti‏ @McLarenIndy

Indianapolis- So here we are on a cold morning in Indianapolis and all eyes of the world are ascending upon the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The day has finally arrived The two-time F1 world champ Fernando Alonso will test in preparation his 1st appearance in Indy Car at 101st running of the Indianapolis 500. Fernando Alonso will race for Andretti Autosport.

So whats all the buzz about? Who is Fernando Alonso? Seems like a “DUH” question of course for people like me. Perhaps your a novice race fan not familiar with different series, and watch Indy Car once a year. Well to put it simply this is a reminder of what the Indy 500 means to the world.Fernando Alonso is excited to to be competitive and has stated this is more than just an experience he is here to win it. He is like a little kid…Fernando Alonso is so stoked to be at Indy.

He has conquered F1 so will Indy Car be the next conquest for Alonso, and who better to give him that opportunity than Andretti after all Mario “Been there done that”

Marco Andretti gave the car a good “shake down” before handing the car over to Alonso. Its very possible in coming years Fernando Alonso will become a fixture in the Indy car scene. He could be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Indy car series. 1st couple of laps were text book laps, With speeds in the 206-208 range. Alonso’s quickest of 7 laps is 209.883 (42.881 seconds). Weather is definitely an issue in Indy today for testing. So a rush for as much track time as possible.

This is Indy and its a different beast. You must respect the track. So this is the best place to have your 1st Indy car race. When its all said and done Fernando Alonso will have over 30 hours of practicing. He has the best resources at his disposal.

Fernando Alonso does his rookie training at IMS? Huh Rookie this guy is no Rookie. The 1st time you race at Indy your a rookie and have to go thru the rookie training cycle or “R.O.P”. Its one of the most respected traditions of the Indianapolis 500.

Alonso must complete 15 laps in the 210-215 mph range to complete phase 2 Phase 3 is 15 laps at 215+
which he completed in approximately 50 laps. As rookie tests go it looked pretty smooth. One of his best speed of 219.654 for Alonso was on his 42nd lap

There is no better team than Andretti Autosport to prepare him for the Indy 500 after all they have won 4 out of the last 12 Indy 500’s. I will say that he looked very comfortable in the car at Indy.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown says “the idea of Fernando Alonso driving this year’s Indy 500 started as a joke” Well indeed it was not a joke rather a thrilling deal for the 101st edition of the race. Zak is overwhelmed in being a part of bringing another legend to IMS. Brown says it will be a success with a good quality race running at the front.

Certainly Fernando Alonso is one of the best things to happen to Indy Car in decades

Fernando Alonso is the man who finished Michael Schumacher’s Formula One reign, and became the then-youngest champion in F1 history. A second consecutive crown was verification of his brilliance, and with Schumacher retiring, Alonso seemed certain to replace him as the sport’s dominant superstar. However no such titles have followed in the intervening years.

Born on July 29, 1981, in the Spanish city of Oviedo, Fernando Alonso’s racing career started when he was just three years-old, when he was the lucky recipient of a kart made by his father, originally for a less than enthusiastic older sister. Alonso took to racing like the proverbial duck to water. After four years spent ‘playing’ with the homemade kart, local and then national competitions swiftly followed. Alonso’s talents knew no bounds and in 92 he clinched the first of five Spanish karting championships, a tally only overshadowed by a world crown in 96… Fast forward to 2007 he moved to McLaren, giving him the chance to become the first man since Juan Manuel Fangio to score successive championships with different teams. But while the car was quick, so was his team mate Lewis Hamilton, and an intense rivalry saw the pair finish level on points, beaten to the crown by a single point by outsider Kimi Raikkonen. It was a disappointing end to a frustrating year for Alonso, whose relationship with McLaren grew increasingly strained, particularly after his evidence helped condemn the team in the Ferrari ‘spy scandal’ affair. It was hence no surprise when news came that he would be returning to Renault for 2008. Alonso’s early 2013 season was blighted by inconsistency, but fine wins in China and Spain plus seven further podiums meant he finished a clear, albeit distant, second overall to Red Bull’s all-conquering Vettel, despite his Ferrari F138 being not even the second-best car.

2014 followed the now all-too familiar feeling of frustration. Ferrari’s F14 T proved uncompetitive, and while Alonso’s heroics rescued two podiums, the team failed to win for the first time 1993. Needing new energy, Alonso opted to part ways with the Scuderia and return to ‘unfinished business’ at McLaren.

Once more, Alonso’ choice of timing for a team move was not fortuitous. While a rejuvenated Ferrari took the fight to Mercedes, McLaren dropped to the back of the grid, their revived partnership with Honda getting off to a highly difficult start. The team’s MP4-30 machine was painfully slow and unreliable, and in it Alonso scored in just two races, ending the 2015 season with a meager 11 points.

His 2016 campaign started in spectacular fashion as he walked away from a huge crash at Melbourne’s Albert Park. It forced him to sit out the following round, but he went on make the very most of his somewhat improved McLaren machinery, with some feisty drives – including a superb fifth place in Monaco – earning him 54 points, more than twice that of team mate Jenson Button.

So will 2017 bring another The Borg-Warner Trophy to the Andretti Autosport trophy case and the 1st to one Fernando Alonso. You can bet the world will be watching to find out!

The month of May is here in Indy. We are just getting started

Indianapolis 500 Pole Sitter, Two-Time USAC Champion Leonard Dies at 84

Indy 500 pole dies

Indianapolis 500 Pole Sitter, Two-Time USAC Champion Leonard Dies at 84

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, May 1, 2017 – Auto Racing Hall of Fame member Joe Leonard, the 1968 Indianapolis 500 pole sitter, a two-time USAC National Champion and one of the great motorcycle racers of all time, passed away Thursday, April 27. He was 84.

The longtime San Jose, California, resident, who had been in ill health for some time, had nine consecutive starts in the Indianapolis 500 between 1965 and 1973, leading the field for 52 laps and finishing third in both 1967 and 1972.

Leonard won six USAC National Championship races during his career, including three at Milwaukee and one at Michigan International Speedway, plus the second running of the Ontario (California) 500 in 1971 and the second running of the Pocono (Pennsylvania) 500 in 1972.

After suffering crippling leg and ankle injuries at Ontario in the spring of 1974 and being unable to pass the physical for a planned comeback the following year, he hung up his helmet for good.

Before ever turning to four wheels, Leonard was one of the most successful riders ever in AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) competition, winning 27 “national” events, including the Daytona 200 on two occasions when it was still conducted over the old “beach” course.

For the first several decades of its existence, AMA would declare a variety of different champions each year, typically based on the outcome of certain one-day events in a variety of different classifications. The coveted “Number One” plate was assigned for the following season to whomever won the prestigious classic over the 1-mile dirt track at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

For the first time in 1954, a series of widely diversified events awarded points toward a seasonal Grand National Championship and not only was Leonard the inaugural titlist under those circumstances, but he won it again in 1956 and 1957, in addition to placing second in three other years up through 1961.

Runner-up in points to Leonard that first year was none other than his Harley-Davidson “factory” teammate, Paul Goldsmith, a mentor of sorts who helped Leonard numerous times throughout his career and who remained a very close friend until the very end, talking with him by phone just days before Leonard’s passing. Goldsmith lobbied for Leonard to drive a Nichels Engineering Dodge on the USAC Stock Car circuit in 1964, with Leonard ending up fifth in points and winning the 100-miler on the dirt track at Du Quoin, Illinois.

Leonard once revealed that driving in the Indianapolis 500 had been an ambition of his since boyhood, as many of his heroes were “500” drivers who took part in the West Coast midget car races he watched from the grandstands in San Diego as a teenager. “I never started out to race bikes,” he once said, “but I couldn’t seem to get into midgets and since I didn’t have much money, it ended up that bikes were how I got started and how I got to Indianapolis.”

Despite finishing third in the “500” on two occasions, the overall results fail to illustrate just how much of a contender Leonard was for victory year after year. In 1968, for instance, the year after his third-place finish as a teammate to race winner A.J. Foyt, Leonard was recruited to assist the Granatelli STP team, which had just suffered through a devastating series of major driver injuries and other setbacks. Assigned to a rear-engined Pratt & Whitney gas turbine-powered four-wheel-drive Lotus “wedge,” Leonard, and one of his teammates, British Formula One World Champion Graham Hill, quickly stabilized the still-reeling team by qualifying one-two.

Although he led only 31 laps of the 1968 race, Leonard appeared headed for victory and was in front when a late-race caution was about to end on Lap 192. Out came the green and Leonard promptly slowed, heading for the Turn 1 infield grass, a failed fuel pump shaft forcing him out within sight of victory.

In 1969, Leonard ran second for many laps with a Smokey Yunick-entered turbocharged Ford-powered Eagle until turbocharger problems resulted in a couple of lengthy pit stops. He managed to salvage sixth at the finish but was still several laps behind when he could well have been strongly challenging his good friend Mario Andretti for the win.

In 1970, Leonard ran second again for several laps, this time behind teammate Al Unser in one of the Vel’s Parnelli Jones Johnny Lightning Specials. A faulty ignition eliminated Leonard after 73 laps, but just days later, he trounced the entire field at Milwaukee.

In 1971, still Unser’s teammate, but now sporting yellow Samsonite livery instead of Johnny Lightning blue, Leonard waged a great back-and-forth battle over several laps with Unser, including as late as Lap 117, shortly before turbocharger problems sent him to the sidelines.

There was certainly consolation from a third-place Indianapolis 500 finish the following year behind Mark Donohue and Unser. But very likely because Leonard always led a less flamboyant existence than some of his colleagues, his name tends to be overlooked when fans and historians discuss the most deserving “500” drivers who never won.

Speedway Digest…. Clint Bowyer Restrictor Plate Racing Isn’t Chess

The following in courtesy of Speedway Digest. Speedway Digest owns the entire content of this Article

Clint Bowyer Restrictor Plate Racing Isn’t Chess

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series tackles the high banks of Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway Sunday for what is normally one of the sport’s most exciting races of the season. By now, everyone knows Talladega racing often leads to nearly 40 cars racing four-abreast, 10 rows deep at 200 mph for more than three hours.

Talladega is about crashes and near crashes with short tempers among stressed-out drivers. Tune in to the radio or television broadcast of the race and the commentators are sure to call the action a “high-speed game of chess.”

But Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), isn’t buying that cliché.

“Chess is sitting there, bored out of your mind, thinking of all the other things that you would rather be doing,” Bowyer said. “There’s a guy across from you, you’re trying to figure out if he’s actually into it or doing the same thing, bored out of his mind, thinking about all the things he would rather be doing.”

Bowyer said NASCAR restrictor-plate racing is so much more than any cerebral pursuit.

“You’re literally freaking out, making knee-jerk-reaction decisions the whole race,” he said. “You’re reacting to things that you don’t even remember. You’ll get out of the car at the end of the race, and somebody’ll be like, ‘Man, that was an awesome move that won you the race!’ And you’re like, ‘What the hell are you talking about?’ There were at least 4,000 instances of what won that race or didn’t win that race.”

Don’t let Bowyer kid you; he knows what he is doing on restrictor-plate tracks, especially at Talladega, where he’s won twice and posted six top-five finishes in his 22 career starts at the 2.66-mile track. Bowyer has scored the most points of any driver in the last 10 Talladega races but, even after successful days like he has enjoyed there, he says he’s mentally and physically weary after each race from all the exertion.

“There’s so much going on inside the car, whether you’re listening to the spotter, or you’re looking at – as you’re listening to him, you’re following along to – that story in the mirror, right?” he said. “You’re living it through the windshield. I mean, there are so many things that are going on, you just – you flat out – don’t take it all in. I mean, your brain is registering so many things that, at the end of the race, you don’t even remember half of it.”

Bowyer rides a wave of success to Talladega with top-15 finishes in all nine of the 2017 races except for the season-opening Daytona 500, where a midrace accident ended his day. He’s earned two top-five finishes and four top-10s this season. The No. 14 team led by crew chief Mike Bugarewicz has climbed to ninth in the standings.

“Everybody is working really hard and we are just having fun,” Bowyer said. “SHR is a fun organization and Ford is a fun manufacturer to work with. We still haven’t put everything together and been the best we can be, but Sunday will be our 10th race working together and we expect things will continue to improve.”

Bowyer’s racing fortunes have improved since arriving at SHR this season to replace three-time champion Tony Stewart, who retired from NASCAR competition. Bowyer would like to go down in the history books as the first driver to bring SHR a Talladega victory. The organization’s 37 victories in 864 Cup Series races since its 2009 inception have come at every track except Talladega and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

Whether or not Bowyer makes history for SHR Sunday afternoon in the normally unpredictable Talladega race, it will be more entertaining than, say, a game of chess.

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Clint Bowyer Restrictor Plate Racing Isn’t Chess

Goodyear-shod cars win three times at zMAX

Goodyear – CONCORD, N.C. (April 30, 2017) – Shawn Cowie outlasted a Top Alcohol Dragster field loaded with Goodyear-equipped cars to win the TAD final at the NHRA 4 Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway. Cowie was one of eight drivers using Goodyears to advance to the second round of TAD racing at zMAX. No other tiremaker had a car in the second round.
The TAD category is a part of the NHRA’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series for sportsman racers. Other Goodyear-shod sportsman winners included Bruno Massel (in Competition Eliminator) and Peter Biondo (Super Stock). Added to Goodyear’s winning cars in the professional categories, the sportsman action brought Goodyear’s win total to six. No other tiremaker matched that total.
The TAD class is for the fastest and most powerful cars in sportsman drag racing. Cowie raced on Goodyear’s D3122 drive tire and said, “They stick and hook me up and get me down the race track.” The D3122 measures 34.5 inches tall and 17 inches across the tread face. It mounts on a 16-inch wheel.
Massel, the NHRA on Fox reporter, is a former world champion in Comp Eliminator and he won his titles on Goodyear tires. That experience came in handy, he said.
“We have the old Goodyear Pro Stock tire on the back, the D2200, Old Faithful, as I call it,” Massel said. “It gets us down the track every time.” The D2200 has the same dimensions as the current tires Goodyear produces for the Pro Stock class and has a 105-inch rollout.
Massel collected his 11th national event victory.
Biondo won his 51st national event. Every one of those wins have come on Goodyear tires. He used Goodyear’s D2070 drive tire on his car. The D2070 stands 33 inches tall, is 14.5 inches wide and mounts on a 15-inch rim.
Goodyear employs about 66,000 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.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Press Release

IMS Seating To Be Smoke-Free Beginning in October 2017

Non-Smoking Family Stands Expanding this May and Brickyard 400 Race Day

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, April 26, 2017 – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced today that its grandstands will be entirely smoke-free beginning with the 2017 Red Bull Air Race. In addition, leading up to the Air Race, the track will provide limited smoke-free family grandstands at select Month of May events and at the Brickyard 400.

“Our fans should be able to sit in their seats while enjoying a smoke-free experience,” Hulman & Company President and CEO Mark Miles said. “Starting in the fall, we’ll be able to provide this opportunity to all of our customers.”

Said IMS President J. Douglas Boles: “In recent years, our fans have consistently asked us to provide a smoke-free experience in the grandstands. This is especially true among families bringing younger children to the track. I’m pleased we’re making this move and look forward to working with our operational team, fans and partners to implement these changes.”

Both the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana and the Indiana State Department of Health applauded today’s decision.

“The Alliance for a Healthier Indiana lauds IMS for moving the needle on Hoosier public health outcomes,” said Bryan Mills, CEO of Community Health Network and founding member of the Alliance. “Indiana has worked hard to become an attractive place to live, work and do business. However, consistently poor health rankings undermine our progress. Today’s announcement from IMS proves they are not only the world’s premier racing venue but a premier partner in creating a health climate for the next generation of racing fans. Future generations will be the ones to gain from the health and economic benefits of a smoke-free environment.”

Said Indiana State Health Commissioner Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H.: “The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the premier attractions in Indiana, and it’s exciting to see it taking a public stand for smoke-free environments. I can’t think of a more visible endorsement of better health for Hoosiers and those who visit our state.”

IMS offered its first smoke-free family grandstands on Miller Lite Carb Day in 2016. This year, they will be available to customers at the INDYCAR Grand Prix on May 12-13, on Miller Lite Carb Day on Friday, May 26 and at the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 23. To learn more about the family grandstands and purchase tickets, visit IMS.com.

Beginning with the 2017 Red Bull Air Race on Oct. 14-15, 2017 and continuing throughout the entire 2018 season and beyond, smoking will not be permitted in any IMS grandstands. Fans wishing to smoke will be asked to do so 20 feet away from buildings and reserved seating entrances. Smoking will continue to be allowed in the IMS infield.

“This is good news we’re sharing today,” Miles said. “And I’d like to thank the Alliance and ISDH for their support and assistance in reaching this decision.”

In the coming months and as the 2018 season approaches, IMS will provide additional guidance to fans on the implementation of these new policies.

Indiana Tobacco Quitline

The Indiana Tobacco Quitline is a free, phone-based counseling service provided by the State Department of Health that helps Indiana smokers quit. Support is available seven days a week. IMS encourages anyone looking to stop smoking to take advantage of this resource and many others available. For assistance today, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8869).

About the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana

The Alliance is a group of health care professionals, advocates, and community and business leaders from across Indiana who are committed to improving the health of our state. Its first priority is to substantially reduce tobacco usage, which is the leading cause of preventable death in Indiana. Founding members include the Indiana Hospital Association, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Indiana State Medical Association, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana and the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health.unnamed

Goodyear, Runoffs at Mid-Ohio

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One fast Feller: Provisional H Production pole still belongs to Michigan driver

LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 21, 2016) – Tom Feller backed up Tuesday’s performance by going faster and holding on to the provisional pole for H Production at the 2016 Sports Car Club of America’s National Championship Runoffs at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Feller, from Holland, Mich., has won the pole in H Production the last two years. He improved upon Tuesday’s effort by nearly a mile an hour as he toured the 2.258 Mid-Ohio venue at an average speed of 80.956 mph.
Feller races on Goodyear tires. Competitors in H Production are free to select their brand of tires.
This year, the SCCA has scheduled each qualifying session at about the same time of day the classes will race on the weekend, giving each team a feel for the possible ambient racing conditions on race day. Feller and his fellow H Production drivers have practiced in the afternoons all week in preparation for their expected 3:30 p.m. start Saturday.
Goodyear, Corinth, Texas, remains on the provisional pole in Formula Mazda but Jarret Voorhies was fastest on Wednesday. Voorhies averaged 91.157 mph on his best lap Wednesday. Voorhies lives in Cresson, Texas. Goodyear is the exclusive tire provider for Formula Mazda.
Cliff Ebben held on to the top spot in GT1 without turning a lap Wednesday. Ryan McManus, Westfield Center, Ohio, posted the fastest lap in Wednesday’s session but his 96.780 mph lap fell just short of the track record Ebben set Tuesday at 99.220 mph. Ebben, Freedom, Wisc., and several other GT1 drivers, stayed off the track Wednesday.
Goodyear employs about 66,000 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.

Racing World Mourns Death of Bryan Clauson August 08, 2016 | By IMS

PHOTO IMS.com
PHOTO IMS.com

The following is courtesy of The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and should receive all credit for the following article! Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Racing World Mourns Death of Bryan Clauson
August 08, 2016 | By IMS
Bryan Clauson was happiest when he was behind the wheel of a race car. In fact, the happiest day of his life may have been earlier this year on May 29, when he had his best Indianapolis 500 finish in the afternoon and drove a sprint car to the feature victory at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway that night.

Clauson, 27, died Sunday evening from injuries sustained in a crash the night before at the Belleville (Kan.) Nationals midget race on the half-mile dirt oval. Clauson was airlifted to Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, Neb., but did not survive.

“This is certainly a sad day for the racing community as a whole, and on behalf of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we send our deepest condolences to the family of Bryan Clauson,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Anybody who witnessed Bryan behind the wheel of a race car can attest to his elite ability, relentlessness and unbridled willingness to race anything on wheels. While he’ll be remembered most as a legend of short-track racing, his participation in the Indianapolis 500 exemplifies his fearlessness, true versatility as a competitor and the pure depth of his talent as a driver.”

Clauson, a resident of Noblesville, Ind., was considered the nation’s top short-track dirt-car driver with four U.S. Auto Club national championships – two in sprint cars and two in midgets – as well as wins in prestigious events the likes of the Chili Bowl, Turkey Night Grand Prix and Belleville Nationals.

In the mold of old-school racers like A.J. Foyt, Gary Bettenhausen and Tony Stewart, eager and willing to race anything anywhere, Clauson set a goal in 2016 of competing in 200 races, including the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Driving the No. 88 Cancer Treatment Centers of America Honda for Dale Coyne/Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, Clauson finished a career-best 23rd in this year’s Indy 500 and led his first laps in the historic race.

Saturday’s race at the Belleville Nationals, where Clauson was the defending champion, was the 116th on his trek toward 200. He picked up his 27th feature win this season in the midget race Wednesday night at Beloit, Kan.

PHOTO IMS.com
PHOTO IMS.com

has always been the heart and soul of auto racing in America,” said Doug Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. “Bryan Clauson combined his passion and enthusiasm for grassroots racing with a God-given talent that made him the favorite to win every time he got in a midget or sprint car. And he proved on the world’s largest racing stage – by leading three laps in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 – that he could use that talent in just about anything with wheels.

“More importantly, he possessed a humility and character out of the race car that made him a person that fellow competitors and fans alike enjoyed being around,” Boles added. “His spirit, his positive outlook and his thrilling talent will be missed by the entire racing community. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are with the Clauson family in this difficult time.”

The native Californian earned a USAC-INDYCAR scholarship for winning the 2010 USAC national driver’s title. The scholarship earned Clauson six Indy Lights starts in 2011 in a car shared with current Verizon IndyCar Series rookie Conor Daly at Sam Schmidt Motorsports while Clauson continued to race in USAC’s national series. His best finish in eight career Indy Lights was third at Iowa Speedway in 2011.

Clauson won the scholarship award again in 2012, allowing him to make his Indianapolis 500 debut in 2012 with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, qualifying 31st and finishing 30th. Clauson returned to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2015, finishing 31st in the Indy 500 for KVSH/Jonathan Byrd’s Racing.

Clauson also served as a development driver for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2007-08, winning an ARCA race in 2007. He made 21 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts in 2008, finishing second in rookie points where he teamed occasionally with three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti.

Clauson is survived by his parents, Tim and Di, his sister Taylor and fiancée Lauren Stewart. Funeral arrangements are pending. A memorial service in his honor will take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at a date soon to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, or to make a donation, people may direct their contributions to the USAC Benevolent Fund website at http://usacbf.org/cash-donation/ or checks should be made out to the USAC Benevolent Foundation in the name of Bryan Clauson. The address is 124 E Northfield Drive, Suite F #129, Brownsburg, IN 46112.