News for the Week of July 30 – August 5, 2018

Indy 500 voted “Best Motorsports Race” – “The readers of America’s most widely circulated newspaper have spoken: The Indianapolis 500 is the greatest auto race in the world. The Indianapolis 500 was named the Best Motorsports Race in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest conducted this summer at 10Best.com.” Full release at the link. – IMS – (8/3/2018)

Juncos Racing names Celis Jr. as driver for Portland – “Juncos Racing announced today Alfonso Celis Jr. will return to the Verizon IndyCar Series later this month at Portland International Raceway. Mexican native Alfonso Celis Jr. made his official Verizon IndyCar Series debut in the No. 32 Chevrolet / Juncos Racing car this past June on the 4.014 mile, 14-Turn road course located at Road America. Despite finishing 20th, the 21-year-old made an strong impression on the team. Celis Jr. first joined Juncos Racing earlier this year in the Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires before moving up to the Verizon IndyCar Series. Celis Jr. will make his second start in the Verizon IndyCar Series around the 1.964 mile, 12-Turn road course located in Portland, Oregon.” Full release at the link. – Juncos Racing – (8/3/2018)

Belardi hoping for more IndyCar races in ’19 – The Indianapolis Star’s Jim Ayello has published a nice story after an interview with Belardi Auto Racing owner Brian Belardi. Belardi says the team would like to race in more than just the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in the IndyCar Series next year and is considering expanding its Indy Lights efforts as well. “This year, I went in there with my eyes wide open, just observing,” Belardi told the Indianapolis Star. “I really didn’t give a lot of input until I got acclimated with program, just because it was my first time. But I’m a quick learner. … For next year, I’m up to speed 100 percent.” Full story at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (8/3/2018)

INDYCAR announces five-year plan to strengthen Indy Lights – “The future of Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires has been strengthened by a five-year plan released today by INDYCAR and Andersen Promotions. The objective of the plan shown to current and prospective entrants is to increase team and driver participation in the top level of the INDYCAR-sanctioned Mazda Road to Indy development ladder, identify cost efficiencies for competitors and establish guidelines for advancing to the Verizon IndyCar Series.” Full release at the link. – Indy Lights – (8/1/2018)

Miller’s Mailbag 8/1/18 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (8/1/2018)

Trackside podcast 7/31/18 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 7/31/18 is a great listen as always. Jim Ayello and Nick Yeoman are guests on the show. – 1070 The Fan – (8/1/2018)

Mazda ends support for MRTI – Mazda has announced plans to pull its support of the Mazda Road to Indy series after the end of the 2018 season. Their scholarships for the 2018 champions in each division will still be valid for the 2019 season. Full story by the outstanding folks at TSO Ladder at the link. – TSO Ladder – (7/31/2018)

Herta to test for Harding at Portland – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports Indy Lights star Colton Herta will make his Verizon IndyCar Series testing debut with Harding Racing this week at Portland International Raceway. “The next logical step is for Colton to test, and we’re happy to provide that opportunity for him,” Harding team president Brian Barnhart told RACER. “That’s all it is at the moment. We’re fully aware Colton’s under contract to Andretti, so we’re thankful to go test with him, to do another driver evaluation, and we hope to learn more as we work on improving Harding Racing.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (7/31/2018)

TV ratings out for Mid-Ohio – Adam Stern reports CNBC earned a .09 overnight TV rating for its live broadcast of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio and NBCSN’s tape-delayed broadcast garnered a 0.37 rating. Each of those numbers are down slightly from last year. – Adam Stern – (7/31/2018)

INDYCAR confirms Iowa will be Saturday night race in ’19 – “In 2019, Verizon IndyCar Series fans will get what they’ve asked for at Iowa Speedway: the return of a night race. INDYCAR announced today that next year’s race at the Newton, Iowa, oval track will be held under the lights for the first time in four years. The Verizon IndyCar Series race will be held the evening of Saturday, July 20.” Full release at the link. – INDYCAR – (7/30/2018)

The Open Wheel’s Mid-Ohio photo gallery – The Open Wheel’s photo gallery of the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indy Lights action from the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is available at the link. Much more to come over the course of the weekend. – The Open Wheel – (7/29/2018)

Rossi wins from pole at Mid-Ohio – Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi won the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course from pole with a brilliant drive on a two-stop strategy. The rest of the Top 5 was Wickens, Power, Newgarden, and Dixon. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (7/29/2018)

O’Ward sweeps Lights weekend at Mid-Ohio with Race 2 win – Andretti Autosport’s Patricio O’Ward swept the Indy Lights weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with a Race 2 win from pole. The rest of the Top 5 was Herta, Norman, Urrutia, and Kellett. O’Ward leads the championship by 32 points over Herta with three races to go. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (7/29/2018)

The Open Wheel’s Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio livery gallery – The Open Wheel’s gallery of all the Verizon IndyCar Series liveries at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (7/28/2018)

Iowa Speedway lists 2019 IndyCar date as Saturday – Iowa Speedway’s website lists the date of the track’s 2019 “Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300” as Saturday July 20th. – Iowa Speedway – (7/28/2018)

O’Ward wins Lights Race 1 at Mid-Ohio – Andretti Autosport’s Patricio O’Ward Indy Lights Race 1 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after leading start to finish from pole. The rest of the Top 5 was Herta, Kellett, Franzoni, and Norman. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (7/28/2018)

Andretti says Alonso/McLaren deal needs done in “next week or so” – AUTOWEEK’s Bruce Martin has published an excellent story with Michael Andretti giving an update on where things stand with McLaren, Fernando Alonso, and the IndyCar Series in 2019. Andretti rules out a partial season for Alonso as he’s interested in a full season or nothing. Andretti also details how fast this needs to be resolved. “There are still a lot of things in the air; a lot of things still have to happen,” Andretti told AUTOWEEK. “As I told you a couple of weeks ago, we are getting to a critical time and we have to get some things done in the next week or so.” Full story at the link. – AUTOWEEK – (7/28/2018)

Rossi earns pole at Mid-Ohio – Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi won the pole for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with a lap of 1:04.6802. The rest of the Firestone Fast 6 order was Power, Hunter-Reay, Newgarden, Wickens, and Chilton. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (7/28/2018)

Ferrucci on site at Mid-Ohio hoping for IndyCar return – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports Santino Ferrucci has set his sights on racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series after his well publicized fallout in Formula 2. The American driver is in attendance for the race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. “It‘s no surprise that I’m back here and looking,” Ferrucci told RACER. “The atmosphere here is nicer and way more friendly, plus I can drive out to about half the races. The IndyCar is a great car to drive.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (7/27/2018)

Report: Alonso may test an IndyCar this fall – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports Fernando Alonso may have the opportunity to test a Verizon IndyCar Series car this fall. “But he may test [an Indy car] later this fall,” McLaren CEO Zak Brown told RACER. “His calendar is pretty hectic so we’re trying to find a gap. He would be mega in IndyCar and I think he would love IndyCar racing.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (7/26/2018)

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