News for the Week of April 18, 2016 – April 24, 2016

Pagenaud wins two in a row with Barber victory – Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud followed up his win at Long Beach last week with a victory in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Pagenaud passed Rahal in tight battle late in the race to further extend his championship lead. The rest of the Top 5 was Rahal, Newgarden, Power, and Montoya. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/24/2016)

Urrutia grabs first career win in Lights Race 2 at Barber – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Santiago Urrutia won his first career race in Indy Lights in Race 2 of the Legacy 100 at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday. He was joined in the Top 5 by Jones, Stoneman, Enerson, and Blackstock. Championship leader Felix Serralles spun on Lap 2 and finished P15. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (4/24/2016)

KV to announce third Indy 500 entry/drive on Tuesday – “KV Racing Technology to announce third Indy 500 entry on Tuesday, April 26. KV Racing Technology is adding a third driver to its team for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. This announcement will also be streamed live on IndyCar.com.” – IMS Press Release – (4/24/2016)

Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Starting Lineup – INDYCAR has posted the starting lineup with tire choices for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Sebastien Bourdais will be the first car on primary tires as he starts from P5. Check it out at the link. – INDYCAR – (4/24/2016)

Pagenaud leads final warmup at Barber – Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud had the fastest lap of a relatively wild final practice for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on Sunday morning at Barber Motorsports Park. The session was red flagged twice for a mechanical issue for the car of Carlos Munoz and a spin and stall by Mikhail Aleshin. The rest of the Top 5 was Rahal, Dixon, Power, and Bourdais. Full results here. – NBC Sports – (4/24/2016)

Pagenaud takes the pole at Barber – Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud won the pole for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama with a lap of 1:06.7262. Sebastien Bourdais set a new track record in Round 2 of qualifying with a lap of 1:06.6001. The rest of the Firestone Fast 6 was Power, Newgarden, Dixon, Bourdais, and Rahal. Juan Pablo Montoya was last in his Round 1 group and will start last in P21. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/23/2016)

Jones wins pole for Race 2 at Barber – Carlin’s Ed Jones will start from the pole again for Indy Lights Race 2 at Barber Motorsports Park. The rest of the Top 5 will be Stoneman, Urrutia, Enerson, and Blackstock. New championship leader Felix Serralles will start way back in P14. Full lineup at the link. – Indy Lights – (4/23/2016)

Jones grabs first win of ’16 in Lights Race 1 at Barber – Carlin’s Ed Jones won Indy Lights Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park from pole and led every lap. He was joined on the podium by teammate Felix Serralles and Zach Veach. Shelby Blackstock and Zachary Claman De Melo joined the trio in the Top 5. Championship leader Kyle Kaiser suffered a mechanical issue and finished in P15. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (4/23/2016)

Power fastest in Practice 3 at Barber – Team Penske’s Will Power paced the field in Practice 3 at Barber Motorsports Park with a lap of 1:07.0198. The rest of the Top 5 was Dixon, Hinchcliffe, Munoz, and Pagenaud. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/23/2016)

Servia officially named as driver for SPM/Marotti No. 77 at 500 – “Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) announced today that Oriol Servia will pilot the team’s third entry for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in the Schmidt Peterson with Marotti Racing No. 77 entry.” – SPM – (4/23/2016)

Jones wins the pole for Lights Race #1 at Barber – Carlin’s Ed Jones won the pole for Race #1 of the Indy Lights weekend at Barber Motorsports Park with a lap of 1:12.6738. The session was marred by penalties and even a disqualification. The rest of the Top 5 was Stoneman, Enerson, Blackstock, and Urrutia. Full qualifying results at the link and view the starting grid here. – Indy Lights – (4/23/2016)

Servia expected to be named third SPM driver for 500 – From Robin Miller and RACER: “One of the best seats remaining for the 100th Indianapolis 500 is likely going to be filled by veteran Oriol Servia. RACER.com has learned the 41-year-old Spaniard is expected to be introduced Saturday as the third driver for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.” Full report at the link. – RACER – (4/22/2016)

INDYCAR’s visor cam series continues with Newgarden at Barber – INDYCAR’s excellent visor cam series continues with a great video of Josef Newgarden lapping around beautiful Barber Motorsports Park. Check it out at the link. – INDYCAR – (4/22/2016)

Jones P1 in second Lights practice at Barber – Ed Jones of Carlin’s lap of 1:13.9608 was the fastest lap of the second Indy Lights practice of the weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. The rest of the Top 5 was Serralles, Veach, Alberico, and Rosenqvist. Full results at the link. – Indy Lights – (4/22/2016)

Sato leads Foyt 1-2 in Practice 2 at Barber – AJ Foyt Racing duo Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth topped the charts in the Practice 2 for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park. The rest of the Top 5 was Hinchcliffe, Power, and Rahal. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/22/2016)

NBC Sports’ rolling updates from Friday at Barber – NBC Sports’ Tony DiZinno has a nice post constantly updating with updates from all of the action from Friday at Barber Motorsports Park. Check it out at the link. – NBC Sports – (4/22/2016)

Bourdais tops the charts in Practice 1 at Barber – KVSH Racing’s Sebasiten Bourdais’ lap of 1:07.3399 was the fastest lap of the first practice for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park. The rest of the Top 5 was Hawksworth, Munoz, Hunter-Reay, and Sato. Full results at the link. – INDYCAR – (4/22/2016)

Enerson fastest in first Lights practice at Barber – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ RC Enerson’s lap of 1:14.4437 was the fastest lap of the first Indy Lights practice of the weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. The rest of the Top 5 was Kaiser, Urrutia, Stoneman, and Claman De Melo. Full results at the link. – Indy Lights – (4/22/2016)

Boston race encounters another issue – “The 4-1 vote by the city’s Conservation Commission is the latest unexpected roadblock to the race, which has faced tough scrutiny from residents and a monthslong review from the city and state that put the Labor Day event in jeopardy. The race promoters, Boston Grand Prix, claimed that getting a new permit could cause more delays that force them to scrap the race, but the commission Wednesday rejected that argument, blaming the Grand Prix for not trying for a permit sooner. A Grand Prix spokesman last night indicated race organizers will appeal the Conservation Commission ruling to the state Department of Environmental Protection. That would put the race’s strongest supporter, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, in the awkward position of having to defend his city agency’s decision against the Grand Prix.” – Boston Herald – (4/22/2016)

1070 The Fan INDYCAR interviews 4/20/16 – 1070 The Fan’s The Ride with JMV radio show had great interviews with both Max Chilton and Robin Miller on Wednesday. Listen to them at the links. – 1070 The Fan – Chilton / 1070 The Fan – R Miller – (4/21/2016)

The Open Wheel’s Barber preview – Our own Dylan Reynolds’ preview of the INDYCAR weekend at Barber Motorsports Park is filled with all the event information, Indy Lights and Verizon IndyCar Series stats and predictions, as well as fantasy advice. – The Open Wheel – (4/21/2016)

Local Barber preview – AL.com posted a nice, concise preview of the weekend schedule, ticket options/pricing, parking information, and more and it’s available at the link. Good link for anyone planning on going to the race. – AL.com – (4/21/2016)

Pruett spells out 500 entry possibilities – RACER’s Marshall Pruett has posted an excellent rundown of where things stand both now and how they could play out for car/driver entries for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Check it out. – RACER – (4/20/2016)

R&T tests vintage 500 cars – Road & Track’s Sam Smith wrote an excellent piece after his opportunity to drive five vintage Indy 500 cars from different eras at IMS last fall. It’s a great read if you have the time. – Road & Track – (4/20/2016)

New Coca-Cola livery for Dixon/No. 9 this weekend at Barber – Just as it was last year, the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 9 for Scott Dixon will carry a Coca-Cola livery this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. This year it’s a new music-themed livery. See it at our No. 9 livery page here. – Adam Stern – (4/20/2016)

Mario responds to Ecclestone comments on women in F1 – TMZ contacted Mario Andretti for his thoughts on F1 czar Bernie Ecclestone’s latest comments on the feasibility of women racing in Formula 1 and his responses were interesting. “”The bottom line is you can make assertions until the cows come home. Saying women can do it. Bottom line, they have to prove it. You can’t just come out of the woodwork and say ‘I want to be a F1 driver.’ You need to earn your way there…If women take issue because of the statements Bernie made, then go out and prove him wrong. So far no woman has even come close.” – TMZ – (4/20/2016)

Miller’s Mailbag 4/20/16 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (4/20/2016)

Gordon Piper’s big plans for 100th Indy 500 – The iconic Indianapolis 500 Gordon Pipers are gearing up for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and have some cool plans for this year. “This year for the 100th running we plan on fielding 100 performers on the track race day. Which will be a pretty awesome sight if you’ve never seen 100 bagpipes and drummers come down the main straightaway,” said member Doug Hardwick. – WISHTV – (4/20/2016)

Trackside podcast 4/19/16 – 1070 The Fan’s popular Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 4/19/16 is a great listen as always. The pair recap the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and late in the show Cavin talks to Townsend Bell. – 1070 The Fan – (4/20/2016)

Barber spotter guide is posted – The spotter guide for this weekend’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is posted and available at the link. New liveries this weekend for the No. 9 (Coca-Cola) and No. 27 (hhgregg). – INDYCAR – (4/19/2016)

Barber entry list is posted – The entry list for this weekend’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is posted and available at the link. No major surprises as Luca Filippi remains in the Dale Coyne Racing No. 19. – INDYCAR – (4/19/2016)

Art St. Cyr talks dome skids – NBC Sports’ Tony DiZinno has posted an excellent Q&A with Honda Performance Development President Art St. Cyr. Too good to shorten and a fair and honest assessment from Honda on how they feel about some aero kit decisions and progressions. – NBC Sports – (4/19/2016)

New engineer for No. 41/Hawksworth – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports “Foyt support engineer Daniele Cucchiaroni is expected to be promoted to the race engineer role starting this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.” He replaces Dan Hobbs, who came from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in the offseason. – RACER – (4/19/2016)

KVSH third car at Indy “better than 50/50” – KVSH Racing are still evaluating their options for a third entry for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in addition to Sebastien Bourdais’ No. 11 and the Team Murray-assisted No. 61 for Matthew Brabham. Team owner Jimmy Vasser thinks they’re likely to run a third car at the moment. “We’re definitely working on it, and it’s better than 50/50, for sure,” Jimmy Vasser told RACER. “The sooner we get it figured out, the better. We’re running out of time. There’s a good chance in the next 10 days we’ll have something together.” – RACER – (4/19/2016)

SPM still undecided on third car at Indy – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports owner Sam Schmidt is still trying to find the right deal for a potential third entry for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race beyond current deals for James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin. “It’s a half-million-dollar car, and since I wrote off two of those last year, I’m not looking to do it just for giggles this year,” Schmidt said. “If we’re going to do it, it has to be the right package all the way around, and we haven’t found that yet.” – RACER – (4/19/2016)

Barber Lights entry list – The entry list for the Indy Lights series at Barber Motorsports Park this weekend is at the link. No surprises outside of Scott Anderson being in the No. 77 SPM car that looks likely to rotate between he and Heamin Choi. – Indy Lights – (4/19/2016)

Pagenaud makes TMZ for Cohen comparison frustrations – TMZ has posted a video of an interview they did with Simon Pagenaud at Long Beach this past weekend asking him about his similarities to Sacha Baron Cohen’s character in Talladega Nights. You can tell Pagenaud wasn’t thrilled to be asked about it again but he handled it pretty well. “Yeah, I’m about over it,” said a relatively jovial Pagenaud. “I’ve had enough of it” Still cool to see INDYCAR on a site like this for good reasons even if it’s a little silly. – TMZ – (4/19/2016)

IMS officially names Penske Indy 500 pace car driver – “A unique version of the new, 2017 Camaro SS 50th Anniversary Edition will lead the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 next month, driven by motorsports legend Roger Penske, who is marking 50 years as a race team owner.” “Chevrolet and Roger Penske are inextricably linked to the heritage of the Indianapolis 500,” said J. Douglas Boles, president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “When he leads the pack on May 29, behind the wheel of the Camaro SS, he will drive the race into its next 100 years and strengthen the bond Chevrolet and Indianapolis forged a century ago.” – IMS – (4/19/2016)

Harvey still working for IndyCar Series opportunity – Recent Indy Lights star Jack Harvey was in Long Beach this past weekend and is still pushing hard for an opportunity to drive in or after the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. “This weekend was a case of showing people I’m back, I’m here, I’m living in Indy all year, I’ll be going to all the races I can, and I’m trying to remind everyone that I’m ready to be in IndyCar,” Harvey told RACER. – RACER – (4/18/2016)

Numerous drivers call for longer Long Beach race to promote better racing – David Malsher has put together a nice piece summarizing most drivers’ desire for a longer race after Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Too good to shorten but here’s a snippet from Will Power: “I guarantee that if they had made this race longer so we had to stop three times, but just a bit longer – 10 laps, I’d say – so we had plenty of fuel, we’d have been charging along, there’d have been more flat-out driving, more racing between cars and more mistakes and then some caution periods.” – Motorsport.com – (4/18/2016)

NBCSN Long Beach telecast garners 0.37 TV rating – NBCSN’s broadcast of the 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach drew a 0.37 TV rating. Per Adam Stern the NBCSN Long Beach broadcast last year had a 0.32 rating. – ShowBuzzDaily – (4/18/2016)

Indy 500 graphics to adorn Indy JW Marriott – “Visitors looking to the sky will be greeted by a massive rendering of the iconic Borg-Warner Trophy throughout this epic Month of May. The 100th Running Host Committee has commissioned a 74,538 sq. ft. graphic celebrating the 100th Running of the Indy 500 Presented by PennGrade Motor Oil will adorn the exterior of downtown’s JW Marriott Indianapolis, greeting guests from across the globe traveling to Indianapolis for this year’s race.” Picture at the link. – NBC Sports – (4/18/2016)

Dixon continues to lead 52 week rankings after Long Beach – Scott Dixon continues to lead our tennis-style last 52-week rankings after his podium finish at the 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Simon Pagenaud’s win has him on the verge of the Top 5. Check it out at the link. – The Open Wheel – (4/18/2016)

Pagenaud grabs his first win for Penske at Long Beach – Simon Pagenaud grabbed his first win for Team Penske as he won a controversial, caution-free 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Pagenaud moved ahead of Scott Dixon in the last pit stop sequence but appeared to cross the blend line too early but suffered only a warning after a review by Race Control. The rest of the Top 5 was Dixon, Castroneves, Montoya, and Sato. Relive the race with our “live blog” of the event here. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/17/2016)

Uniform aero kit possible for ’17 – USA Today’s Brant James reports that all kinds of potential aero kit changes are on the table for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series. “I don’t think aero kits go away,” Miles said. “We’ve got them. We’ve learned a lot. Both companies have learned a lot. I think the questions are more from conforming them in some way to continuing the competition between them, what’s the right mode to be in. We’re looking at possibilities from continuing with some shaping of the extent of the competition between them to every other possibility.” Much more at the link. – USA Today – (4/17/2016)

Long Beach moves to April 7-9 for 2017 – NBC Sports’ Tony DiZinno reports that next year’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be April 7-9, 2017. That’s moved forward one week from it’s typical weekend due to Easter being the following weekend. – NBC Sports – (4/16/2016)

Report: Green to drive GP of Indy pace car – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin reports that author John Green will be the celebrity pace car driver for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. “I’m thrilled,” he told IndyStar. “This is so cool.” – Indianapolis Star – (4/16/2016)

California Pizza Kitchen and Robert Graham to sponsor Bell’s 500 effort – “California native Townsend Bell will be partnering with a hometown brand for his 2016 Indianapolis 500 effort, as California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), the authority in creative dining with a California vibe, joins to lead the No. 29 car’s sponsorship for May’s historic race…Joining California Pizza Kitchen as a co-primary sponsor on the No. 29 will be Bell’s long-time sponsor and fashion industry leader, Robert Graham. The American Eclectic lifestyle brand will pull from its creative style to combine the influential design and complex patterns of Robert Graham with the globally-recognized branding of California Pizza Kitchen.” – Andretti Autosport – (4/16/2016)

Castroneves wins the pole at Long Beach – Team Penske topped the charts again at Long Beach as Helio Castroneves’ lap of 1:07.1246 won the pole for the 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The rest of the Firestone Fast 6 was Dixon, Pagenaud, Kanaan, Montoya, and Power. The session was filled with drama due to multiple timing & scoring issues causing changes to the order after the end of sessions and where the T&S line was located. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/16/2016)

Michael Shank Racing considering 500 entry – Michael Shank, owner of a Honda-powered IMSA entrants Michael Shank Racing, told RACER he’s been approached by some one-off Indy 500 entry possibilities to assist with their efforts and that it’s under consideration. “Indianapolis and the 500, especially the 100th, is a big deal to me,” said Shank. “With us having won the 50th Rolex 24, the 100th Indianapolis 500 would be another great event to be a part of. With our Le Mans 24 plans, the 500 wasn’t really on our target list as something to go out and try to put together. But when the phone started to ring, I was certainly at least listening to see what kind of programs needed help. Those decisions pretty much all need to be made now, so we will see what happens.” – RACER – (4/16/2016)

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