News for the Week of April 4, 2016 – April 10, 2016

INDYCAR enhances INDYCAR Mobile app features – “At the heart of the 2016 version of the INDYCAR Mobile app is Verizon’s LTE Multicast technology, which is broadcasting content over a dedicated long-term evolution (LTE) bandwidth. This one-to-many streaming method provides a unique live video experience with no buffering or lag time. The INDYCAR Mobile app contains two unique on-track and TV linear multicast video streams only available at the race venue and to Verizon customers.” “The extra value we create every race season is how we introduce new technologies like LTE Multicast,” said Arvind Basra, manager of new product technology for Verizon. “Multicast could enable potential future services such as virtual reality.” Much more at the link. – INDYCAR – (4/8/2016)

RHR adds IMSA to Long Beach duties – Ryan Hunter-Reay will co-pilot the No. 90 VisitFlorida Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype during the IMSA race at Long Beach next weekend. “The last time I did it a double was with A.J. Foyt at Homestead when I was also driving for Level 5, but that was different because the IndyCar race was on the oval and the ALMS race was on the road course,” Hunter-Reay told RACER. – RACER – (4/7/2016)

Kaufman to team with Indianapolis Children’s Choir for ‘Back Home Again in Indiana’ – “When the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil welcomes race fans with the traditional singing of “Back Home Again in Indiana,” a distinct Indianapolis flavor will mark the occasion. Indianapolis’ own Josh Kaufman, winner of the sixth season of television’s “The Voice,” will perform the beloved song at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with accompaniment by the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, a fixture of the Central Indiana community for 30 years.” – IMS – (4/7/2016)

Schmidt holding off on 500 3rd car plans for dome skid decision – David Malsher reports that Sam Schmidt is still evaluating whether or not he’ll run a third car for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and is leaning towards running a driver with experience. Stefan Wilson, Gabby Chaves, and Oriol Servia are drivers mentioned as possibilities. “The effect dome skids have on the car’s handling would make it very difficult to run a pure rookie at the Speedway,” Schmidt told Motorsport.com. “I just don’t know how I could take that risk. And I already wrote off two chassis last year.” More at the link. – Motorsport.com – (4/7/2016)

IMS re-brands museum – Indianapolis Motor Speedway has re-branded the Hall of Fame Museum with a new logo and name change to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. “The new name and website are just the beginning,” museum board member Robert Dyson said in a statement. “The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is undergoing a revitalization, and we are now focusing on how to make major changes in the museum and visitor experience, including interactive exhibits that tell the stories of the drivers and their cars and immerse visitors in the experience of the Indy500 and the rich history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.” – IBJ – (4/7/2016)

Andretti furious with Chevy “sandbagging” after IMS aero test – RACER’s Robin Miller’s caught up with Marco Andretti after Wednesday’s aero kit open test on the oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and he had no problem calling out the Chevy teams for not performing to the best of their abilities. It’s worth a watch as it’s created quite the debate in the INDYCAR community already. – RACER – (4/7/2016)

Marco tops the charts at IMS aero test – Marco Andretti’s lap at 223.427mph was the fastest lap of the day in the aero kit open test on the oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday but on a day where testing new parts was of the highest order it’s tough to evaluate what the speeds truly mean. The rest of the Top 5 was Hunter-Reay, Pagenaud, Newgarden, and Munoz. Even Andretti quipped that his speed likely didn’t mean much with this tweet: “Fun day @IMS besides the Chevys sand bagging.” – NBC Sports – (4/6/2016)

Coca-Cola crafts special glass six pack and case for 100th Indy 500 – “In honor of this historic milestone, Coca-Cola is unveiling special 8-ounce commemorative bottles, emblazoned with the Indianapolis 500 logo. The limited-edition six-packs salute the 100th Running of this world-renowned race, the Indianapolis 500. The 100th Running will be a once-in-a-generation celebration of speed, progress and the iconic quest for glory. This May, expect to see the past, present and future of IndyCar racing on display as Indianapolis prepares for an unforgettable celebration and a legendary race. Mark your calendar as the eyes of the world turn to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 29.” Picture at the link. – IMS – (4/6/2016)

Brazilian authorities seize property of Emerson Fittipaldi – From USA Today: “Two-time Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi is facing serious financial difficulties in Brazil, with authorities seizing trophies and racing cars from his personal museum. Among the cars seized was the one he used to win the 1993 Indy 500, as well as one driven by the Brazilian in Formula One. Fittipaldi’s press office released a statement saying that the difficulties are “the result of an unstable financial and political scenario” in Brazil, which is in political turmoil and facing its worst recession in decades.” – USA Today – (4/6/2016)

Aero kit safety test set for Wednesday at IMS – Most full-time Verizon IndyCar Series car/driver combinations will test on the oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday, April 6th as Honda and Chevy test new pieces on their superspeedway aero kits. More specifically, they need to test low downforce combinations intended to be used for qualifying. “The reason they’re calling it a safety test is new parts kept coming out last year during the month that hadn’t been run before, and the mandate from IndyCar was that any part that will be run in May needs to be run at the test,” Andretti Autosport team manager Rob Edwards told RACER. Much more at the link. – RACER – (4/6/2016)

Miller’s Mailbag 4/6/16 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s fan Q&A from 4/6/16 is a great read as always. – RACER – (4/6/2016)

Trackside podcast 4/5/16 – 1070 The Fan’s popular Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 4/5/16 is a great listen as always. The pair recaps the race weekend at Phoenix and talks about the future of aero kits. – 1070 The Fan – (4/6/2016)

NBCSN feature on Hinch’s recovery – NBCSN has posted their amazing video feature on James Hinchcliffe’s practice crash and dramatic recovery that first aired on their broadcast of the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix at Phoenix International Raceway last weekend. It’s a must watch. – NBC Sports – (4/5/2016)

Hinch voices displeasure of domed skids at Indy – As David Malsher of Motorsport.com reports, James Hinchcliffe is not happy about the mandated introduction of “dome skids” for superspeedways (including IMS) this year. “The fact domed skids are even being considered is asinine,” said Hinchcliffe. “They’re arguing safety, which is very bold considering we haven’t had a 90-degree rollover since the DW12 came out. If you put this car in a windtunnel at 90 degrees, you have to be going 300mph for it to blow over. So to my mind, they’re trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist and creating a new one by making the cars less stable in dirty air and therefore less raceable.” So much more at the link. – Motorsport.com – (4/5/2016)

Brown named engineer for Team Murray – “The next piece of the PIRTEK Team Murray puzzle for this year’s 100th Indianapolis 500 was put into place today when it was announced that legendary engineer Andy Brown will be working with rookie Matt Brabham as he prepares for his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in May. Brown, one of the most experienced engineers in the business, has been part of multiple Indy 500 and IndyCar Series winning programs.” More from the official release at the link. – NBC Sports – (4/5/2016)

Rahal dismisses Chilton’s Phoenix concerns – Graham Rahal doesn’t believe rookie Max Chilton’s concerns about “stupidity” of fellow competitors at Phoenix are well-founded and as usual the American has no problem making his opinion known (see two links below). “I think he should listen to himself,” Rahal told RACER. “He had the fastest car around, but he was constantly sticking his [right-front wing] endplate into everybody’s left-rear corner on corner entry. That is not a safe move on a road course, let alone an oval at 200 miles an hour. That’s the definition of stupidity.” Much more at the link. – RACER – (4/4/2016)

Sarah Evans named Barber Grand Marshall and anthem performer – “Barber Motorsports Park and ZOOM Motorsports announced today that country music star Sara Evans will be this year’s Grand Marshal and National Anthem singer for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, held April 22 – 24 in Birmingham, Ala.” – RACER – (4/4/2016)

Chilton reflects on oval debut – Chip Ganassi Racing Team rookie Max Chilton got his first taste of Verizon IndyCar Series oval racing and did well despite a conservative effort to make it to the finish. However, he was less than impressed by the driving style of some of his fellow competitors. “I can’t say what I learned because it’s rude,” Chilton said. “It favors the stupidity of certain people. I’m new to taking and learning those risks. I will have to build up to it but to me it’s a bit too fast. I lost out a couple times on restarts because some drivers didn’t seem to give a damn.” – RACER – (4/4/2016)

NBCSN gets 0.29 TV rating for Phoenix broadcast – NBCSN’s broadcast of the Verizon IndyCar Series Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix drew a 0.29 TV rating. While the number itself is low, the broadcast was in direct competition with the NCAA Final Four and was still 7% higher than the opening broadcast for NBCSN last year (NOLA) according to Brant James. – ShowBuzzDaily – (4/4/2016)

Optimism for future at Phoenix after solid turnout in INDYCAR return – Michael Knight reports for the Arizona Republic that the estimated crowd of 20,000 and entertaining Verizon IndyCar Series race resulted Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan Sperber saying he was on “cloud 9” at the end of the night. “This whole weekend was incredible,” Sperber said as he watched Scott Dixon celebrate in victory lane. “To be part of something like this is an amazing experience for Phoenix Raceway and I hope the fans had fun watching this amazing racing.” More at the link. – Arizona Republic – (4/3/2016)

Dixon wins in Verizon IndyCar Series return to Phoenix – Scott Dixon dominated the latter half of the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix and grabbed his first win of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season. The rest of the Top 5 was Pagenaud, Power, Kanaan, and Rahal. Castroneves and Montoya each had front right tire failures while leading in the first half of the race. Check out our live blog of the event here. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/2/2016)

Grace Autosport set to partner with KVSH for 500 – David Malsher of Motorsport.com reports “Katherine Legge is rumored to be returning to IndyCar competition for the first time in three years when the Grace Autosport program forms KVSH Racing’s third entry in this year’s Indianapolis 500.” Of course Grace Autosport’s intentions have been announced and clear for some time but the team does need a partner to make the plan a reality. – Motorsport.com – (4/2/2016)

Kaiser takes Lights win at Phoenix – Juncos Racing’s Kyle Kaiser led all 90 laps and won the Indy Lights race at Phoenix International Raceway in dominant fashion. The rest of the Top 5 was Jones, Enerson, Urrutia, and Stoneman. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (4/2/2016)

AA confirms Bell as fifth and final Indy 500 driver – “Andretti Autosport has confirmed its final entry for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. American Townsend Bell will complete the team’s five-car line up behind the wheel of the No. 29 Honda.” “Driving in the 100th Running of the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport is a great opportunity,” said Bell. “I think I’ll benefit from being part of a strong multi-car team with a winning pedigree at Indy. This is my ninth-consecutive start and I’m glad it’s all come together the way it has – I’m looking forward to working with Honda again and having the chance to race for one of the best teams in the sport.” – Andretti Autosport – (4/1/2016)

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