News for the Week of June 23 – June 29, 2014

Shell & Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Summary

Weekend ScheduleEntry ListSpotter GuideCircuit MapPit Lane Assignments
Practice Results: 12Combined
Qualifying Results: Race 1Race 2
Race Results: Race 1Race 2

Pagenaud dominant in Race 2 win at Houston – Simon Pagenaud made up for his problems during the first race on Saturday with a brilliant drive in Race 2 for what ending up being an easy victory for him over his rookie Russian teammate Mikhail Aleshin. Helio Castroneves controlled the first half of the race until his race ended via contact with Bourdais shortly after Pagenaud to away the lead. BHA’s Jack Hawksworth made it two days in a row with two rookies on the podium with an incredible drive to hold off a hungry pack behind him to finish third. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (6/29/14)

Weather shouldn’t be as big of an issue in today’s race – Rain shouldn’t be a factor for today’s race, but the hot, muggy temperatures are here to stay. The forecast looks like it will be partly cloudy with temperatures remaining stable around 90 deg. F, but with 55% humidity it will feel more like 97. – Weather.com – (6/29/14)

Helio grabs the pole for Race 2 in Houston – Helio Castroneves gave his a championship aspirations a huge boost with a top spot in qualifying this morning while Will Power qualified 18th. Mikhail Aleshin was fastest in Group 1 and will start along side Helio in 2nd. Full starting grid here. – INDYCAR – (6/29/14)

Andretti fined and placed on probation for ignoring blue flag – INDYCAR has fined Andretti $2,500 and has placed him on probation for three races, beginning with Race 2 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston on June 29, for violating Rule 7.2.5.2 (failure to heed the blue flag) of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook. . – INDYCAR – (6/29/14)

RACER’s Saturday Trackside Reports – RACER reporters Robin Miller and Marshall Pruett interview several drivers after Saturday’s race. Check out the race winner, Carlos Huertas’s interview below and head on over to RACER to see interviews of Juan Pablo Montoya, Carlos Munoz, and Dale Coyne. – RACER – (6/29/14)

Vegas says odds not as bad for Huertas to win again – Bovada lists the betting line on Huertas today at a meager 28/1, as opposed yesterday to his 100+/1 lines that were across the board.  Interestingly they also have Will Power at a 7/2 odds. Check out all the odds for todays race at Bovada.lv – (6/29/14)

Huertas wins a WILD Race 1 in Houston – Carlos Huertas took advantage of fuel strategy and a late Graham Rahal-induced aborted restart to hold off fellow Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya for win. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (6/28/14)

Pagenaud takes the pole at Houston – Simon Pagenaud moved to P1 with his last lap of Firestone Fast 6 qualifying to earn the pole for Race 1 at Houston. RLL’s Luca Filippi was P1 late in the session in his first race of the season and will start 4th. Will Power didn’t make it past the first round. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (6/28/14)

Pagenaud fastest in P2, Filippi impresses with third fastest lap– Simon Pagenaud was fastest in P2 today in Houston. “Houston is a track where you don’t really have any time to breathe,” he said. “There’s no straight line. You just go from corner to corner, and the bumps put a beating on you. I’m expecting some surprises and lots of action during both races.” – Practice 2 ResultsCombined Results – (6/27/14)

Power fastest in first practice at Houston – Will Power was fastest in practice at Houston this morning with a time of 1:00.4427. Pagenaud, Bourdais, Sato, and Kanaan finished out the top 5. There was a red flag to repair a strip of the track that was coming up after something came out behind Marco Andretti’s car when he went over it. Rahal and Dixon made contact in a corner and Power got airborne over a curb (he came down fine on all four wheels) in an eventful first practice session. Full results at the link. – Practice 1 Results – (6/27/14)

FFU officially announces 2015 entry with Stefan Wilson – Fan Force United will join the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2015 with Stefan Wilson as their driver. A partnership with Xclusive Marketing Agency made it possible. The team also mentions in the release that they’re hoping to compete in the series later this year. – Fan Force United – (6/27/14)

INDYCAR’s Houston preview – INDYCAR’s official Houston preview contains all the dates, times, and radio/TV information you’ll need for the weekend. Check the link. – INDYCAR – (6/27/14)

Legge earns a Formula E ride – Former IndyCar Series driver Katherine Legge will race for Amlin Aguri in the FIA’s new Formula E series later this year. “For me this is a really exciting opportunity,” said Legge. “The car is fantastic, it looks amazing and it will be very quick.” – Formula E – (6/27/14)

INDYCAR to stage standing start practice on the track surface – “The 23 entries for Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers will be split into three groups for a standing start practice following the second Verizon IndyCar Series practice session June 27. The groups, based on pit lane position for the twin 90-lap races June 28 and 29, will utilize the standing start boxes on the frontstretch of the 1.634-mile, 10-turn temporary street circuit at NRG Park.” – INDYCAR – (6/26/14)

Fan Force United hopes to race full-time in 2015 – The current Indy Lights team has intentions to be full-time in the Verizon IndyCar Series next year with Stefan Wilson. – RACER – (6/26/14)

Dallara/INDYCAR will allow cooling modifications in Houston – IndyCar authorized a modification that will allow air to flow into the footbox through an opening in the nosebox cap. Dallara in turn built two trimming templates that teams can pick up at the temporary street course on Thursday. – AP – (6/26/14)

INDYCAR site to stream video of all practice sessions – INDYCAR announced that it will live stream all Verizon IndyCar Series practice activity for the remainder of the 2014 season on IndyCar.com, the official website of the sanctioning body. The package also includes the IMS Radio Network broadcasts, anchored by legendary motorsports announcer Paul Page, and real-time Timing & Scoring. – INDYCAR – (6/26/14)

Ed Carpenter and Robin Miller call into The Ride with JMV – The Ride with JMV on 1070theFan has been providing a significant amount of IndyCar content this summer. Both Robin Miller and Ed Carpenter called in today. Ed discussed what he and his team has been doing on his 2 weeks “off.” He also talked about how he and Scott Dixon will be judges for the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Robin Miller called in and discussed the upcoming Houston race, ECR’s wins, and much more non-IndyCar related content. Audio via 1070theFan.com. – 1070theFan – (6/25/14)

Podcast with Robin Miller

Podcast with Ed Carpenter

Ed Carpenter and Scott Dixon to judge eating contest – Ed Carpenter mentioned today on The Ride with JMV that he and Scott Dixon will be participating as judges in the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Ed said that he doesn’t quite know what the judging will entail, but he is excited to partake in such a famous American Fourth of July event. The eating contest will be on ESPN 2, July 4th at 12pm eastern; Joey Chestnut currently holds the Nathan’s record of 68 Hot Dogs and Buns in 12 minutes. – Nathan’s Famous – (6/25/14)

INDYCAR withdraws penalty against Bourdais – INDYCAR announced today that following an internal review it has withdrawn penalties issued against Sebastien Bourdais following the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway. Bourdais had been penalized for violation of Rule 9.3.1 of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook during an incident with Justin Wilson on Lap 121 of the event. The KVSH Racing driver had been fined $10,000 and placed him on probation for the remainder of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Both the fine and probation issued to Bourdais have been rescinded. – INDYCAR Press Release – (6/25/14)

Hawksworth admits he almost quit racing last year – “I didn’t want to wait three of four years, going through one-off rides and one-off seats and wasting my life if I wasn’t going to get a proper shot…So at the end of last year, when it looked like there wasn’t going to be an opportunity, I decided that I was going to have to look at other things. I didn’t want to sit at home doing nothing.” – Open Wheel Now – (6/25/14)

Miller’s Mailbag 6/25/14 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is loaded as always. – RACER – (6/25/14)

Bourdais concerned Houston heat will put drivers in the hospital – Sebastien Bourdais: “For us, Houston isn’t going to be a challenge, it’s going to be unbearable. We might all end up at the hospital on Sunday afternoon (because of dehydration).” – Wheels.ca – (6/25/14)

Kimball to debut new livery in Houston – Charlie Kimball will have a new look this weekend in Houston. You can see the livery below and see the full spotter guide at the link. – GP of Houston Spotter Guide – (6/25/14)

2014 car 83 levemir spotter

Trackside Podcast 6/24/14 – Curt and Kevin are joined by drivers Davey Hamilton and Alex Tagliani, as well as Kristen Rooney of Verizon as they preview this weekend’s double-header in Houston. They also discuss the implications of the IMS apron project. Audio via 1070theFan.com. – 1070theFan – 6/24/14

IMS apron delayed to 2015 – Curt Cavin reports that the long-rumored return of the apron at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be next year, not in time for this year’s Brickyard 400. NASCAR asked for the delay. “They asked if we could postpone (the project) so they could test it,” said IMS president Doug Boles. “We said, ‘That makes sense; we understand that.’ ” – Indianapolis Star – (6/24/14)

Hildebrand promoting science education through INDYCAR applications – Tremendous article about J.R. Hildebrand’s efforts to generate excitement about science through knowledge of INDYCAR and other motorsports. “While winning the Indy 500 is his obvious professional goal, Hildebrand’s main goal off the track is clear, too: “I want to use motorsports to change the culture around math and science.” He makes the point that “the problem isn’t the subject matter” but rather “the larger level of interest and understanding of what can be done with an engineering or tech-based college degree.”” – Businessweek – (6/24/14)

Verizon IndyCar Series drivers have been prepping for Houston heat for a long time – “It starts months before getting your body used to holding water, and if you’re training in hot temperatures you have to keep hydrating,” said ECR’s Mike Conway. “Over the years you try different things. You make sure you get your food at right time and the right foods…If you start getting hot in the car it’s very hard to cool down even though you take water in the car. If you get a bit too hot, putting up your visor is not enough. Just the heat off the car in front of you makes a difference. Being caught in traffic can make your race about 20 percent harder.” – INDYCAR – (6/24/14)

GP of Houston Entry List notes – Here we’ll highlight significant sponsors of the weekend. Montoya – Verizon, Castroneves – Pennzoil Ultra, Dixon/Kanaan – Target, Bourdais – Mistic, Filippi – RLL listed (no sponsor on entry list), Newgarden – Strike, Pagenaud – Team listed (no specific sponsor). – Houston Entry List – (6/24/14)

Cavin Q&A 6/24/14 – Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A answers questions on penalties assessed and not assessed, restart cones, schedule additions, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (6/24/14)

Cavin Q&A 6/23/14 – Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A answers questions on IndyCar Series drivers’ fitness levels over different eras, the reason for scheduling Houston in June, and NBCSN’s NASCAR deal. – Indianapolis Star – (6/23/14)

Robin Miller’s Mid Season Report Card – A surprise to no one…Ed Carpenter Racing got an A. “Eddie Boy’s decision to split the driving with Mike Conway has proved to be the smartest move in the paddock…Engineer Matt Barnes, team manager Tim Broyles and the Fuzzy’s Vodka crew have done an excellent job of playing musical chairs and proved a one-car operation with marginal funding can be formidable with the right people.” – RACER – (6/23/14)

Road America a rumored possibility for NASCAR Sprint Cup – After another well-received Nationwide Series race at Road America this weekend, speculation has increased that the track may be in line for a Sprint Cup series race in 2015. Not sure what this would do to any possibility of a Verizon IndyCar Series return but the inevitable track quality and safety improvements couldn’t hurt in that regard. – AP – (6/23/14)

INDYCAR Houston Race 1 info – Here is the event page for Race 1 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. Includes a full schedule for the weekend, past winners, highlights from last year, and an easy link to the same thing for Race 2. – INDYCAR – (6/23/14)

Houston event organizers fix dip in Turn 1 – A bump/dip in Turn 1 of the track at Houston may have cost Helio Castroneves the championship last year. Needless to say, he’s pleased it’s since been fixed. “I’m very pleased that they made some changes,” said Castroneves. “We didn’t finish last year because of an issue that was outside of our control. Hopefully we’ll continue what we’re doing and continuing on to the championship.” – INDYCAR – (6/23/14)

Doubleheader in Houston this week – The Verizon IndyCar Series will have a Saturday and Sunday doubleheader this week at the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston in Reliant Park this weekend. The official website of the event can be found at the link. – grandprixofhouston.com – (6/23/14)

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