News for the Week of April 28 – May 4, 2014

Indy Lights Open Test at IMS Oval – Indy Lights Drivers took to the IMS oval for an open test. During the first session Mathew Brabham topped the time sheets at 186.845 mph, which was just faster than the current Indy Lights leader Zach Veach at 186.610 mph. In the second session Gabby Chaves topped the charts at an impressive 187.819 mph, with Jack Harvey second at 187.006 mph. You can check out the official results by enlarging the photos below. – INDYCAR – (5/4/14)

Session 1                                             Session 2

Session 1            Session 2

SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks added to Carb Day – Per this tweet and the series’ schedule page Carb Day will feature a new event this year.   Robby Gordon’s  SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks will race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during Coors Light Carb Day on 5/23/14 at 2:00PM. – Stadium Super Trucks Website – (5/2/14)

Andretti-HVM fined for violation at Barber – INDYCAR officials have fined Andretti-HVM $2,000 for actions during the April 27 Verizon IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park. Andretti-HVM, which fields the No. 34 Verizon IndyCar Series entry, driven by Carlos Munoz, was found to have violated Rule 7.10.1.7 (Pit personnel not wearing proper attire) and Rule 7.10.1.8 (More than six crew members over the wall) of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook. The member may contest the imposition of the penalty pursuant to the procedures and timelines detailed in the review and appeal procedures of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook. – INDYCAR Press Release – (5/2/14)

Kyle O’Gara to race in the Freedom 100 – Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) Development driver Kyle O’Gara will race in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Freedom 100 on Friday, May 23 at the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway. O’Gara, 19, will drive for Fan Force United (FFU) through a partnership with SFHR’s development program and support from Indy Trading Post and RW Motorsports. His car will be the No. 27 SFHRD/RW/Indy Trading Post/FFU entry. – SFHR – (5/2/14)

Rahal blogs on “up and down” start to season – RLL driver Graham Rahal gives his take on his start to the season.  His race by race recap and thoughts on his great relationship with Oriol Servia are certainly interesting.  And he’s really looking forward to this month in Indy:  “For me, I’m more excited than ever, the road race is going to be a lot of fun — and we need this as a team. We need to get to Indy and be competitive, and Bill Pappas, my engineer, has always had great cars on ovals. So I feel very confident going in there that we’re going to put ourselves in a great position.” – AUTOWEEK – (5/2/14)

4/30/14 Open Test at IMS Road Course Results and Commentary – April 30, 2014 marked the first open test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s newly renovated road course. A total of 25 drivers partook in the test with Scott Dixon being the quickest. This post contains all the Official Results and Driver quotes. – (5/1/14) – Blog Page

Mann officially lands a 500 ride – Pippa Mann will drive the No. 63 Dale Coyne Racing Honda in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. The livery and team uniforms will be heavily influenced by a partnership with Susan G. Komen making the eye-catching pink car easy to spot. As part of the partnership, a special website has been created to accept donations to help with the fight to cure breast cancer. – racewithpippa.com – (5/1/14)

Veach’s blog from Barber – The Indy Lights points leader recaps his strong performance at Barber Motorsports Park last weekend where he won a pole and the first race.  Zach provides good insight into his mindset in both qualifying and the race.  “Starting on the pole, I made sure I had a good run onto the front straight to give me what advantage I could take being the pole sitter into Turn 1, but it wasn’t much. As we approached the brake zone, we were almost three wide again – Gabby (Chaves) looking to the inside and (Alex) Baron still hanging on the outside. After Gabby took the pole away from me at Long Beach, I wasn’t going to let it happen again here. I broke later than I ever had into Turn 1 that just let me slip ahead.” – RACER – (5/1/14)

Karam to skip his prom for the 500 – 19 year-old Sage Karam will have to skip taking girlfriend Anna de Ferran to his high school prom because of his new plans to race in the Indianapolis 500.  “I always said when I was younger, I wanted to race in the 500 my senior year,” Karam said. “Some kids kind of laughed at that idea. Even adults. I always stuck by it. That’s what I always was going to do. Now, it’s turned into a reality. It’s a cool feeling to be 19 and know you’re going to race in the biggest race in the world.” – Sports Illustrated – (5/1/14)

INDYCAR In-Car Theatre: Element of Surprise – In addition to the many blind corners that Barber offers, the adverse weather conditions are highlighted in this edition of In-Car Theatre. – INDYCAR – (4/30/14)

New Indy Road Course Gets Initial High Marks – After Tony Kanaan took the first ceremonial lap, 24 other drivers participated in an open test at IMS today. Traversing the track in the opposite direction didn’t phase anyone, but Ryan Briscoe had this to say: “Driving the car it doesn’t feel strange because you’re focused on hitting your marks. But every time I’m on pit lane and looking at the cars going out it just doesn’t look right.” Five precious hours of track time was provided to teams today with Scott Dixon leading the speed charts. INDYCAR In-Car Theatre captured a few laps on-board with Sebastien Bourdais today, and you can see the video below. – INDYCAR – (4/30/14)

Record TV ratings for NBCSN at Barber – NBC Sports announced today that the 400,000 viewers was the highest ever for an NBCSN telecast at Barber and the most viewers for an NBCSN INDYCAR race since Long Beach in 2012.  It’s an increase of 58% compared to the same race last year. – NBC Sports – (4/30/14)

Montoya to compete in 2 NASCAR races in 2014 – Juan Pablo Montoya will drive for Team Penske in NASCAR Sprint Cup events at Michigan and Indianapolis this summer.  The current Verizon IndyCar Series driver will pilot the No. 12 Ford Fusion. – AP – (4/30/14)

NASCAR Now’s Kurt Busch Interview from Indy – A good interview from NASCAR Now. – (4/29/14)

IndyCar’s Marco Andretti sets stage for Indianapolis Races – Andretti’s runner-up finish sends him to the new road course in Indianapolis on a good note after a rough start to the season. “I actually think it was huge for him,” said Michael Andretti, the team owner and Marco’s father. “We had a little bit of a talk before the start of the race. He drove really well. I was proud of him. “He was very aggressive when he needed to be aggressive, then he paced himself really well when he got in front of Will (Power). Will never was able to challenge him. He was under a lot of pressure from Dixon. Didn’t put a wheel wrong. In the end you could tell Dixon tried everything to get by him and he fell back because he used his tires to try. He did a really good job.” Marco Andretti wound up with his first podium finish since taking third in Sao Paulo early in the 2013 season. It was pretty good timing, too. Andretti headed to Indianapolis on Monday to begin preparations for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis ahead of Wednesday’s testing. “I haven’t done a lot yet on the circuit,” Andretti said. “I won the (2005 Indy) Lights race there, but I think it’s quite different.” Continue reading this article at Sports Illustrated. – (4/29/14)

April 29th Trackside Episode – Check out tonight’s episode of Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee on 1070 The Fan’s Podcast page. Tonight, Kevin and Curt recapped last weekend’s race in Alabama. They previewed the busy month of May. They were also joined by Marco Andretti and also a special unscheduled appearance by Ed Carpenter. They will be back at it tomorrow night! –1070 The Fan – (4/29/14)

Busch quick to pass 500 ROP – Kurt Busch turned a fast lap at 220.844mph in 66 laps on the IMS oval today while passing his Rookie Orientation Program.  “This attempt is something serious,” said Busch. “It’s an amazing challenge.” – INDYCAR – (4/29/14)

Villeneuve gets through 500 refresher course – Jacques Villeneuve completed 83 laps while completing his Indy 500 refresher course with a top lap of 217.742mph.  The 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner is now cleared for practice when the oval opens on May 18th. – INDYCAR – (4/29/14)

Karam lands a 500 deal – Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced today an agreement with reigning Indy Lights Champion Sage Karam on a multi-year deal as a development driver which will begin with contesting the 2014 Indianapolis 500 through an alliance with Dreyer & Reinbold Kingdom Racing to drive in the No. 22 Chevrolet.  Sage Karam: “I couldn’t be happier to join Chip Ganassi Racing’s Verizon IndyCar Series program. It is honestly a dream come true for me and my racing career. I’ve been very fortunate to participate in a few IMSA races for Chip with the team, and I can’t wait for my first experience in the Indianapolis 500. Chip has created a fantastic organization that judges success by just one thing – WINNING, both races and championships. This is a very big day for me.”Chip Ganassi Racing – (4/29/14)

Klipsch to sponsor Newgarden in GP of Indy – Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) announced Tuesday, April 29 that Klipsch Audio will be its primary sponsor on the No. 67 entry for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Saturday, May 10. – SFHR – (4/29/14)

2014 car 67 klipsch gp indy

Cavin Q&A 4/29/14 – Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A has answers on Tony Kanaan’s road course qualifying, the G/W/C debate, his Carb Night Burger Bash, and more.  No breaking news in this one but always an interesting read. – Indianapolis Star – (4/29/14)

IMS “Rookie” Orientation begins today  – Kurt Busch and Jacques Villeneuve will be on the oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway today to begin their rookie orientation and refresher programs in preparation for the Indy 500. – NBC Sports – (4/29/14)

Suretone Records to sponsor Busch at the 500 – “It’s an exciting day,” Busch said. “Reality is setting in that this is real and it’s go time. For me, it’s a dream come true, but the kid in a candy store moment is all behind me. Now it’s the focus of practice time and settling in with Andretti Autosport. Just to have Andretti Autosport and to have Michael (Andretti) himself involved, this is the right way to do things. Their team experience will help lead my inexperience.” – Andretti Autosport – (4/29/14)

IMS Grand Prix course work wrapping up – The road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is almost ready for the Verizon IndyCar Series test on Wednesday.  “The closer we get, the more excited I get about it,” IMS President Doug Boles said. “To watch all of the work and effort that’s gone into basically rebuilding the entire racetrack that’s inside the oval, there’s not a piece of it that hasn’t been rebuilt or reconstructed.” – RACER – (4/28/14)

NBC’s Tony DiZinno recaps his Barber weekend – Good perspective on the race weekend from a first-time the reporter’s first Barber visit for a race weekend.  “From a fan perspective, despite the lack of permanent grandstands there are no shortage of outstanding places to watch. The tree-covered grassy knoll on the outside of the track looking past Turns 10 and 11 probably offered the best view after doing a track walk on Thursday. You can see the front straight and start/finish line, the run into Turn 5 (the best passing opportunity on the circuit) and the snaking of the cars through the back section of the course. Additionally, walking the track, you see how ridiculous the elevation changes are and how skilled these drivers are since most corner apexes are blind.” – NBC Sports – (4/28/14)

Aleshin’s sponsor lands on US Treasury’s latest sanctions list – SPM Bank was specifically named on the US Treasury Department’s SDN list as part of the Ukraine conflict. It’s yet to be determined what this means for the Russian rookie and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. – U.S. Department of the Treasury – (4/28/14)

Kurt Busch’s 500 livery is unveiled – Here it is! – Andretti TV – (4/28/14)

2014 car 26 unveil

Kurt Busch’s 500 livery to be unveiled today – Head to AndrettiTV.com at 11:00AM ET today to see the unveiling.  Remember our previous image earlier this month taken from a screenshot of their shop cameras for a preview. – Andretti TV – (4/28/14)

2014 car 26 shop 041714

Barber attendance almost 75k – Local coverage of the race at Barber says the announced attendance for the race weekend was 74,910. – AL.com – (4/28/14)

Hunter-Reay wins the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama – Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay took advantage of an early Will Power mistake to cruise to victory at Barber Motorsports Park. The race was delayed over two hours due to torrential rain and storms and ended up being a 1 hour and 40 minute timed event. “I’ve been anxious (to compete) since we left Long Beach,” said Hunter-Reay. “With the rain and the wet conditions on how we started out there, it was tough. Then we went to the Firestone reds, and man – on wet surface that was just really tough to keep the car on track. Once we got out front though, we started checking out and it was a dream to drive the DHL car.” Teammate Marco Andretti grabbed an impressive second place after starting ninth. “The Snapple car didn’t have much for the DHL car so we definitely need to hit the drawing board and see how he kicked my butt today. I didn’t have a radio, so the only way I knew when to pit, I saw, out of the corner of my eye, Ryan stop and thought ‘I guess I’m coming in the next lap.’ It was definitely a blind race, but I just had my head down and tried to hit my marks,” said Andretti. Scott Dixon finished third. Full box score here. – INDYCAR – (4/27/14)

Chaves Earns his second victory of season – Champagne that Gabby Chaves poured over his head in Victory Circle was quickly washed away by rain increasing in intensity at Barber Motorsports Park. While Belardi Auto Racing crew members scrambled to move the No. 5 car back to the transporter, the sophomore Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires driver was wrapped up in the celebratory moment of his second victory of the season. Chaves, who started from the pole position in the back end of the doubleheader weekend on the 2.8-mile, 17-turn road course, won by 1.5904 seconds over teammate Alex Baron in the No. 4 entry. Zach Veach, who won the first race a day earlier, was 3.5136 seconds back in third in the No. 26 Andretti Autosport car. – INDYCAR – (4/27/14)

Veach Wins Legacy 100; First of Two at Barber – Zach Veach earned his second Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race of the season and stretched his championship points margin to 26 over Long Beach race winner Gabby Chaves in the Legacy 100 at Barber Motorsports Park — the first of two races on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course. The Andretti Autosport driver, who started from the pole, led Luiz Razia across the finish line by 3.844 seconds in the 30-lap contest. Jack Harvey, Razia’s Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian teammate, finished a season-best third and is third in the championship standings. – INDYCAR – (4/26/14)

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