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!