News for the Week of May 11, 2015 – May 17, 2015

Dixon wins the pole for 99th Indy 500 – Scott Dixon won the pole for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. He’ll be joined on the front row by Will Power and Simon Pagenaud. “We’re starting in the right place but it’s still a long race. Hopefully, we can replicate what we did in 2008,” said Dixon, who was presented a $100,000 check. “We’re starting on pole for the Indianapolis 500 and now we just have to finish first.” Buddy Lazier was the lone driver to make an attempt and not make the field. – INDYCAR – (5/17/15)

Carpenter crashes in Sunday morning practice – Ed Carpenter crashed in Group 1 practice on Sunday morning at IMS in his final preparation before qualifying. Carpenter will now have to switch to a backup car that is third in the qualifying order. Carpenter must take his spot in order to be guaranteed an opportunity to qualify should weather play a factor today. The incident necessitated track/fence repairs that lasted well over an hour. Video at the link. – NBC Sports – (5/17/15)

IMS plans $30M renovation – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is planning a new $30 million dollar renovation to the facility after signficant upgrades to the video boards this year. The new renovation will see a new gateway to the track outside of Turn 1, the replacement of the penthouse seats in Stands A, B, E, and Paddock, and a new catch fence. Read more at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (5/17/15)

Weather forces 500 qualifying to wait until Sunday – Rain cancelled what was to be two-day qualifying the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Saturday as only Carlos Huertas and Ryan Hunter-Reay completed qualifying attempts before rain wiped out the rest of the day. All qualifying is now scheduled to take place on Sunday (weather permitting). Gates open Sunday at 7:30. Practice from 8AM-8:40AM. Qualifying for all cars from 10AM-1PM. Firestone Fast 9 qualifying from 1:45PM-2:30PM. Positions 31-33 will be determined between 3PM-3:45PM. – INDYCAR – (5/16/15)

500 qualifying order set – The qualification order draw occurred last night and the results have been posted at indycar.com. Check it out at the link. Huertas, Hunter-Reay, and Dixon are likely to be the first three to make a qualification attempt. – INDYCAR – (5/16/15)

500 qualifying procedures explained – At the link is a graphic that breaks down how qualifications will work for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (weather permitting). – INDYCAR – (5/15/15)

Pagenaud tops the charts on Fast Friday – Simon Pagenaud’s lap at 230.698mph was fast enough for P1 at Fast Friday practice for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. The rest of the Top 5 were Dixon, Kanaan, Andretti, and Power. Dixon’s lap at 230.655mph was the fastest without a tow. – NBC Sports – (5/15/15)

Grace Autosport launches plan for all-female 2016 Indy 500 effort – “Veteran automotive executive and motorsports director Beth Paretta has announced an ambitious new Verizon IndyCar Series program comprised of an all-female staff for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016. The brand-new Grace Autosport team will field accomplished IndyCar and sports car Katherine Legge, and surround the Briton with women in every discipline required to forge a competitive motor racing program. In addition to taking on the likes of Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing, Paretta’s vision for Grace Autosport is heavily rooted in an education initiative. “It is more than just a team running a race, it is really going to be a long-term plan to get more women involved in racing and, ultimately, involved and interested in a STEM career: science, technology, engineering, and math,” Paretta told RACER.” More at the link. – RACER – (5/15/15)

Trackside Podcast 5/14/15 – Indianapolis radio station 1070 The Fan’s popular Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee show from 5/14/15 is a great listen as always. The pair discusses practice for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, including a big crash by Newgarden, and interviews Townsend Bell, driver of the No. 24 Robert Graham Special. – 1070 The Fan – (5/15/15)

Pagenaud fastest in Thursday 500 practice – Simon Pagenaud topped the charts in Thursday practice for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race with a lap at a speed of 228.793mph. Josef Newgarden had a big crash late in the session (see more below). The rest of the Top 5 were Munoz, Karam, Dixon, and Kanaan. – INDYCAR – (5/14/15)

Newgarden crashes in 500 practice on Thursday – Josef Newgarden suffered a big crash on Thursday in practice for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Newgarden lost control in Turn 1, hit the wall, and the rear of his car lifted off the ground and landed upside down on a sidepod and skidded down to the bottom of the track. Newgarden crawled out of his car and was later checked, released, and cleared from the medical center. – RTV6 – (5/14/15)

Chevy teams told to remove center wicker after Castroneves crash – Chevrolet teams were asked by INDYCAR to remove the new center wicker on the front of their cars due to the liftoff during Helio Castroneves’ crash on Wednesday. “As team co-owner Dennis Reinbold (No. 24 Chevrolet driven by Townsend Bell) explained to me, when the car initially gets sideways, the wicker might cause the Robert Graham Special to lift at the rear, thereby causing the machine to get airborne, just as Castroneves did.” – Motorsport.com – (5/14/15)

DCR confirms 500 plans for No. 19 – Dale Coyne Racing has confirmed that James Davison will pilot their No. 19 car in the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race though Tristan Vautier will qualify the car this weekend. Davison has a prior commitment to his team in the Pirelli World Challenge. – NBC Sports – (5/14/15)

Pruett breaks down Castroneves crash – RACER’s Marshall Pruett wrote an excellent piece breaking down what happened in Helio Castroneves’ scary crash in Wednesday practice for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. A must read and too important to highlight. – RACER – (5/14/15)

Trackside Podcast 5/13/15 – Indianapolis radio station 1070 The Fan’s popular Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee show from 5/13/15 is a great listen as always. The pair discusses practice for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, including big crashes by Castroneves and Mann, and interviews the fastest driver on Wednesday, Carlos Munoz. – 1070 The Fan – (5/14/15)

Munoz fastest in Wednesday 500 practice – Carlos Munoz had the fastest lap of Wednesday practice for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race with a speed of 230.121mph. Pippa Mann and Helio Castroneves were each involved in scary incidents in the practice (see links below). The rest of the Top 5 was Bell, Kanaan, Davison, and Karam. Full results at the link. – INDYCAR – (5/13/15)

Dario writes reflection on his career since the Houston incident – Dario Franchitti wrote a great piece on the end of his driving career continued involvement in racing for The Players’ Tribune. An absolute must read for all fans of INDYCAR. – The Players’ Tribune – (5/13/15)

Pippa crashes in Wednesday 500 practice – Pippa Mann crashed coming out of Turn 4 in Wednesday practice for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. She did get out and walk to the medical vehicle under her own power. Pippa was checked, released, and cleared to drive from the medical center. – NBC Sports – (5/13/15)

Castroneves cleared after big wreck in Wednesday 500 practice – Helio Castroneves was has been checked and cleared from the medical center after a crash during practice for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Wednesday. Picture and video of the incident at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (5/13/15)

Castroneves penalized for GP of Indy Turn 1 incident – Helio Castroneves was docked 8 championship points on Wednesday as INDYCAR announced his penalty for avoidable contact with Scott Dixon on the first turn of the first lap at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. The decision can be appealed. – Indianapolis Star – (5/13/15)

Castroneves debuts different Chevy superspeedway sidepod – Helio Castroneves was using a different sidepod aero piece than any Chevy we’ve seen thus far on Tuesday and it’s well documented at the link. It sounds like this is an option available to all Chevy teams and will be a popular piece for qualifying. – NBC Sports – (5/13/15)

Miller’s Mailbag 5/13/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is an entertaining read as always. – RACER – (5/13/15)

Lawsuit filed due to St. Pete spectator injury – The fan injured by a piece of debris during the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg has filed a lawsuit according to RACER and the Tampa Bay Times. “The Tampa Bay Times reports that the 16-page suit filed by attorneys Justin C Johnson and Christopher M Rotunda on behalf of the fan, Brigitte Hoffstetter, seeks damages in excess of $15,000 from event promoter Green Savoree, IndyCar and Smith Fence.” – RACER – (5/13/15)

Michael Andretti will call Marco’s race for the 500 – Bruce Martin of FOX Sports reports that Michael Andretti will be Marco Andretti’s race strategist for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Michael called Ryan Hunter-Reay’s winning effort last year. “It’s fine; it’s fun – I never really wanted him off the radio. I’m glad to have him back,” Marco told FOXSports.com. “Having a driver mentality he really knows what I want to hear during the races at certain times so I don’t have to really ask. The Indy road course went great because right when I thought about asking for something he told me exactly what I was thinking. The driving mentality is good.” – FOX Sports – (5/13/15)

Trackside Podcast 5/12/15 – Indianapolis radio station 1070 The Fan’s popular Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee show from 5/12/15 is a great listen as always. The pair discusses practice for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and interviews the latest winner in Indy Lights, Sean Rayhall. – 1070 The Fan – (5/13/15)

Tuesday 500 practice notes: Helio fastest, Davison drives No. 19, Simona fire & more – Helio Castroneves was fastest in Tuesday practice for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race with a lap at 227.514mph. James Davison drove the Dale Coyne Racing No. 19 but has not been officially confirmed for the race. Simona de Silvestro suffered a fire in her car (read more below). James Jakes and Justin Wilson each had engine failure in their Honda powered cars. Full results at the link. – NBC Sports – (5/12/15)

Simona’s car suffers fire during 500 practice – Simona de Silvestro’s No. 29 Andretti Autosport machine suffered a fire while on track during practice for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Monday. de Silvestro was not injured in the incident but the car was severely damaged. Quotes and video at the link. – FOX Sports – (5/12/15)

Hinch’s No. 5 goes gold for the 500 – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ No. 5 car to be driven by James Hinchcliffe at the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race will have a gold metallic look for the rest of the month. Check it out at the link or on our No. 5 livery page. – NBC Sports – (5/12/15)

Lights winner Rayhall uses crowdfunding in attempt to secure Freedom 100 ride – Sean Rayhall, the American Indy Lights rookie who won Race 2 on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last weekend, has started a crowdfunding page in an attempt to secure the funding he needs to be able to race in the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race at IMS on Carb Day. Check it out at the link. – Sean Rayhall – (5/12/15)

Trackside Podcast 5/11/15 – Indianapolis radio station 1070 The Fan’s popular Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee show from 5/11/15 is a great listen as always. The pair recaps the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Monday’s practice for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. – 1070 The Fan – (5/12/15)

Karam tops the charts at Monday’s Indy 500 practice – Sage Karam led a Ganassi 1-2-3 at the top of the speed charts in practice for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Monday. Dixon, Kanaan, Andretti, and Hildebrand completed the Top 5. The Penske cars of Montoya, Castroneves, and Power completed only five laps between them. – NBC Sports – (5/11/15)

ABC gets 0.7 TV rating for GP of Indy – The Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis drew a 0.7 TV rating on ABC on Saturday. – ShowBuzzDaily – (5/11/15)

Miles searching for 500 presenting sponsor and continuing international plan – MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno reports that Mark Miles is searching for a presenting sponsor for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race next year in 2016 and links to a story reporting that plans are being discussed for Verizon IndyCar Series races in South Africa, Colombia, and the UAE. “I think we’ll have a presenting sponsor of the Indianapolis 500 Race by next year’s race,” Miles told MotorSportsTalk. “There’s a few prospects. But it could very well be a new company to come in as a partner, and there’s more out there.” – NBC Sports – (5/11/15)

Cavin Q&A 5/10/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A covers the start of the GP of Indy, aero kits, Buddy Lazier, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (5/11/15)

Entry list is out for the Indy 500 – INDYCAR has posted the entry list for The 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. The entry list does include an entry for Buddy Lazier driving for his team’s No. 91 car, Carlos Huertas in the Dale Coyne Racing No. 18, and TBA in DCR’s No. 19. Practice starts on Monday. – INDYCAR – (5/11/15)

Power wins the GP of Indy – Team Penske’s Will Power won the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Saturday in a dominant performance. Graham Rahal finished P2 in an equally impressive effort but couldn’t track down last year’s champion. Montoya, Bourdais, and Kimball completed the Top 5. Scott Dixon came back from being spun by Castroneves early to grab P10 on the last lap. Check out our live blog of race day here. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (5/9/15)

Rookie Rayhall wins Lights Race 2 at IMS – 8Star Motorsports scored their first ever Indy Lights win as rookie Sean Rayhall turned in a dominant performance in just the second Indy Lights weekend of his career. Championship leaders Ed Jones and Spencer Pigot each suffered early spins. Pigot finished P12 as he couldn’t continue but Ed Jones did fight his way back to finish P4. Jack Harvey had a second place finish wrapped until falling back to P5 on the last lap. Full results at the link. – Indy Lights – (5/9/15)

Harvey wins Lights Race 1 at IMS – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Jack Harvey won Race 1 of the Indy Lights weekend on the road course at IMS in a dominant performance. 8Star Motorsports rookie Sean Rayhall finished P2 in just his second Lights weekend. Carlin’s Ed Jones and Max Chilton finished in P3 and P4. RC Enerson rounded out the Top 5 while the championship leader heading into the weekend, Spencer Pigot, finished in P7. Full results at the link. – Indy Lights – (5/8/15)

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