News for the Week of April 17, 2017 – April 23, 2017

Newgarden grabs his first Penske win at Barber – Josef Newgarden grabbed his first win with Team Penske at the 2017 Honda Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park. The rest of the Top 5 was Dixon, Pagenaud, Castroneves, and Rossi. Power led 60 laps before being forced to pit from the lead on Lap 76 due to a tire going down. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/23/2017)

Herta wins Lights Race 2 at Barber – Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta led every lap and won Indy Lights Race 2 at Barber Motorsports Park in dominant fashion. The rest of the Top 5 was Kaiser, Jamin, Alberico, and Telitz. Claman De Melo and O’Ward made contact in Turn 2 on the first lap ending their races early. Urrutia finished in P13 after making contact with Blackstock early in the race. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (4/23/2017)

Barber starting grid posted – The starting grid with tire designations for the 2017 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park is available at the link. – INDYCAR – (4/23/2017)

Andretti fastest in morning warmup at Barber – Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti was fastest in the morning warmup for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park with a lap of 1:14.3711. The rest of the Top 5 was Dixon, Rossi, Pigot, and Hunter-Reay. Hinchcliffe, Aleshin, and Veach didn’t turn any laps in the wet conditions. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/23/2017)

Barber Lights Race 2 qualifying cancelled due to heavy rain – The starting grid for the 400th race in the history of Indy Lights will be set by points after qualifying was cancelled on Sunday morning due to heavy rain at Barber Motorsports Park. Championship leader Colton Herta will start on pole. View the starting grid here. As always, you can find the latest Verizon IndyCar Series and Indy Lights championship standings here. – Indy Lights – (4/23/2017)

Report: Buddy Lazier to drive in Indy 500 effort – RACER’s Robin Miller reports Buddy Lazier will again drive for a team he puts together for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. “I love Indy, that’s the curse, but we want to keep this thing going until Flinn is ready,” Lazier told RACER. “It’s late coming together, but of course that’s our MO, isn’t it? But it’s come a long way in the last 10 days and the bottom line is that it’s looking good for next month.” Full report at the link. – RACER – (4/22/2017)

Power takes the pole at Barber – Team Penske’s Will Power won the pole for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park with a lap of 1:06.9614. The rest of the Firestone Fast Six order was Castroneves, Pagenaud, Dixon, Hunter-Reay, and Hinchcliffe. Full qualifying results here. – INDYCAR – (4/22/2017)

Jamin wins Lights Race 1 at Barber – Andretti Autosport rookie Nico Jamin grabbed his first career Indy Lights win in Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park. The rest of the Top 5 was Kaiser, Alberico, Leist, and Claman De Melo. Championship leader Colton Herta was involved in an incident at the start and finished in P10. 2016 runner-up Santi Urrutia suffered damage after being run into at the start and finished last in P15. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (4/22/2017)

Qualifying groups for Barber – The qualifying groups for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park are available at the link. – INDYCAR – (4/22/2017)

Power fastest in Practice 3 at Barber – Team Penske’s Will Power’s lap of 1:06.9953 was fastest in Practice 3 for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park. The rest of the Top 5 was Newgarden, Castroneves, Aleshin, and Pagenaud. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/22/2017)

Penske unveils Fitzgerald livery for Montoya for Indy 500 – “Team Penske announced today that Fitzgerald Glider Kits, North America’s leading truck glider kit assembler, is building on its partnership with the team in NASCAR to become a primary sponsor for three Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2017, including the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28 with driver Juan Pablo Montoya. Montoya will be pursuing his third Indianapolis 500 victory after winning the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in 2015 while driving for Team Penske.” See the livery on our No. 22 livery page here. – Team Penske – (4/22/2017)

Kaiser wins pole for Lights Race 1 at Barber – Juncos Racing’s Kyle Kaiser won the pole for Indy Lights Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park with a lap of 1:13.2851. The rest of the Top 5 was Herta, Jamin, Urrutia, and Alberico. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (4/22/2017)

Andretti tops the charts in Practice 2 at Barber – Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti’s lap of 1:07.7134 topped the charts in Practice 2 for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park. The rest of the Top 5 was Power, Pagenaud, Castroneves, and Dixon. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/21/2017)

Blackstock leads the way in Lights Practice 1 at Barber – Belardi Auto Racing’s Shelby Blackstock had the fastest time in Indy Lights Practice 1 at Barber Motorsports Park with a lap of 1:15.1498. The rest of the Top 5 was Rickards, Claman De Melo, Kaiser, and Herta. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (4/21/2017)

RHR visor cam from Barber – INDYCAR’s excellent visor cam series continues with Ryan Hunter-Reay at Barber Motorsports Park. Check it out at the link. – INDYCAR – (4/21/2017)

Pagenaud fastest in Practice 1 at Barber – Team Penske led the way in Practice 1 for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama with all four cars in the top four. Simon Pagenaud set the fastest lap with a time of 1:08.110 and the rest of the Top 5 was Newgarden, Power, Castroneves, and Rossi. The Team Penske Chevrolets topped the charts, but Honda had positions 5-10. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/21/2017)

McLaren’s Brown gives RACER conditions for full-time IndyCar return – RACER’s Marshall Pruett has a nice piece with McLaren boss Zak Brown on the team’s possibility of adding a full-time Verizon IndyCar Series team to their program. “We have three criteria: One, we need to make sure we can be competitive; two, that it’s commercially viable, and three, it fits out brand,” Brown told RACER. “I think the Indy 500 ticks all those boxes, and I think IndyCar ultimately ticks all those boxes. We’re a fan of IndyCar; we think it’s a great form of motorsport. We’ve done it before. And if we can tick all three of those boxes, in the future, IndyCar would definitely be something we would consider.” Check out the full report at the link. – RACER – (4/21/2017)

Alonso to test at IMS on 5/3 – “Two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso will begin on-track preparation for his Indianapolis 500 debut with a test session Wednesday, May 3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The test will take place from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) on the 2.5-mile oval. This will be the first career laps on an oval for 2005 and 2006 World Champion Alonso, who drives in Formula One for McLaren Honda…Fans can watch testing for free from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. from the Turn 2 viewing mounds, Museum parking lot and South Terrace Grandstands.” – IMS Press Release – (4/20/2017)

Gateway announces spectators are welcome at 5/2 INDYCAR test – “All Verizon IndyCar Series teams are expected to test at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois on Tuesday, May 2 in preparation for the August 26 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Presented By Valvoline (#Bommarito500). INDYCAR teams will test from noon to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Indy Lights teams will test at 9 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. Spectator gates will open at 11 a.m. Adult spectator grandstand admission is $20. Kids 15 and under are free. Parking is free.” Full release at the link. – Gateway Motorsports Park – (4/20/2017)

SPM officially announces Lights partnership for Belardi No. 5 – “Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) announced today a driver development program partnership with Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires team Belardi Auto Racing. The No. 5 Arrow Electronics Indy Lights car driven by Santi Urrutia will match the No. 5 Arrow Electronics Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda driven by 2017 Grand Prix of Long Beach race winner James Hinchcliffe.” “This new program with Belardi Auto Racing is all about assisting young talented drivers any way we can to get them to the Verizon IndyCar Series,” commented SPM co-owner Sam Schmidt. “Santi did a great job for us in 2016, coming just one point shy of becoming an IndyCar driver this year. Brian Belardi has a great history of doing everything possible with talented drivers, like Gabby Chaves and Zach Veach, so we think this is a great fit. Arrow Electronics and their guests will now have another car to cheer for this season.” Full release at the link. – Indy Lights – (4/20/2017)

The Open Wheel’s Barber preview – The Open Wheel’s Dylan Reynolds’ preview of the INDYCAR weekend at Barber Motorsports Park is available at the link. It features all of the relevant weekend information, historical stats, predictions, fantasy advice, and more. – The Open Wheel – (4/20/2017)

Barber spotter guide posted – The spotter guide for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park has been posted. Check it out at the link. – INDYCAR – (4/20/2017)

Beach Whiskey and Outback Steakhouse to sponsor qualifying day at Phoenix – “Phoenix Raceway will host the Beach Whiskey Outback Steakhouse Qualifying Day on Friday, April 28 to kick off the Verizon IndyCar Series race weekend and set the field for the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix under the lights on Saturday, April 29.” Full release at the link. – PIR – (4/19/2017)

Indy JW Marriott to feature IMS messaging in buildup to Indy 500 – From Indianapolis Motor Speedway: “The Indianapolis skyline will again celebrate the Month of May and the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, with a JW Marriott façade installation greeting residents and visitors from across the globe with a special, larger-than-life message. The 101st Running logo will be presented alongside a message that celebrates the iconic race and the city it calls home: “The Greatest CITY in Racing.” The graphic also will feature the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Verizon IndyCar Series logos.” See a preview of the look at the link. – IMS – (4/19/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 4/19/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (4/19/2017)

Trackside podcast 4/18/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 4/18/17 is a great listen as always. Zak Brown and Michael Shank are guests on the show. – 1070 The Fan – (4/19/2017)

Veach to sub in for injured Hildebrand at Barber – “Ed Carpenter Racing announced today that Zach Veach will fill in for the injured JR Hildebrand in this weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park. Veach will drive Hildebrand’s No. 21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet in the 2017 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama while Hildebrand rests his hand. A bone in Hildebrand’s left hand was broken on Sunday, April 9 in a final-lap incident during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The break in the 29-year-old’s hand required surgery, performed on Tuesday, April 11 at the Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center in Indianapolis.” Full release at the link. – ECR – (4/18/2017)

O’Ward included on Lights entry list for Barber – The entry list for the Mazda Indy Lights Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by Cooper Tires is available at the link. It includes all 15 entries that competed in St. Pete including Pato O’Ward for Team Pelfrey. O’Ward had only been confirmed for the season opener. – Indy Lights – (4/18/2017)

Cornelison To Sing ‘Back Home Again In Indiana’ before Indy 500 – “Jim Cornelison, renowned for his stirring rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Chicago Blackhawks’ home games, will sing “Back Home Again In Indiana” before the start of the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on Sunday, May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.” Full release at the link. – IMS – (4/18/2017)

Michael Andretti says Wilson will race with AA in ’18 Indy 500 – In response to an ignorant column by an AP writer, Michael Andretti Tweeted Stefan Wilson will drive for his team (Andretti Autosport) in the 2018 Indy 500. “He (Alonso) is not missing ROP and it is not a marketing ploy. Stefan will race with us next year at the 500.” – Michael Andretti – (4/18/2017)

400th Lights race takes place this weekend – The 400th race of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series will take place this weekend during the second of two races at Barber Motorsports Park. “It is a great honor to be involved with Indy Lights as organizer/promoter after having fielded a team in the series for a number of years and, prior to that, being a fan of the countless young drivers who took that last important step before moving to IndyCar,” said Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions Dan Andersen. Full story at the link. – Indy Lights – (4/18/2017)

Alonso to attend weekend at Barber – Fernando Alonso will be in attendance at this weekend’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park as he begins preparation for his participation in the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race with Andretti Autosport. “The only one thing that is confirmed is that I will attend to the race next weekend in Alabama,” said Alonso. “Is not an oval, but I will go there to see the race behind the scenes and have the first touch with the team, to have a great atmosphere when Indy comes. Yeah, try to learn as much as possible and maybe have the help from someone or ex-drivers, like a coach or something, you know, to have as many conversations as possible in these couple of weeks.” Full report at the link. – NBC Sports – (4/17/2017)

F1 paddock buzzing about Alonso news – Bruce Martin put together a nice piece for indycar.com about Formula 1 drivers’ reaction to the Alonso Indy 500 news over the weekend in Bahrain. Check it out at the link. Includes quotes from Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez, Stoffel Vandoorne, Joylon Palmer, and Kevin Magnussen. – INDYCAR – (4/17/2017)

IBJ offers insight into new INDYCAR tv deal talks – The Indianapolis Business Journal’s Anthony Schoettle has posted a nice report on the upcoming negotiations for the new Verizon IndyCar Series TV deal. The current deal with NBC and ABC/ESPN expires after the 2018 season and negotiations on the new contracts are expected to begin this month. Full report at the link. – IBJ – (4/13/2017)

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