News for the Week of August 3, 2015 – August 9, 2015

INDYCAR officially announces return to Road America in 2016 – “Road America, which was acclaimed by drivers and revered by fans when it hosted Indy car racing from 1982-2007, is on the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. The event is set for June 24-26 on the 14-turn, 4.048-mile circuit. Road America, established in 1955…In addition to the Verizon IndyCar Series, all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy will compete on the race weekend. Road America officials have been overwhelmed with fan requests for Indy car racing to return to the venerable track, and worked hard with INDYCAR to make it happen.” More at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/9/2015)

Marco races against Dani Pedrosa’s bike at IMS – As part of IMS’ promotion of this weekend’s MotoGP Red Bull Indianapolis GP Marco Andretti raced his No. 27 Snapple machine against the bike of MotoGP legend Dani Pedrosa. “I have a Repsol CVR (Honda motorcycle), it’s pretty cool – but nowhere near like these guys,’” said Andretti. “It was fun, definitely a fun lap.” – INDYCAR – (8/9/2015)

St. Pete confirmed for March 2016 – “Organizers of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg announced today that the 12th edition of the annual event will be held March 11-13, 2016 with the Verizon IndyCar Series headlining the weekend. The event is scheduled to run two weeks earlier than the late March weekend it typically occupies due to the Easter holiday. “We are pleased to confirm our 2016 event dates,” said Kim Green, Owner, Chairman and CEO of Green Savoree Racing Promotions, organizers of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. “While our place on the calendar is a little bit different, we look forward to bringing another great weekend of racing to St. Petersburg.”” – GP of St. Pete – (8/6/2015)

Cavin Q&A 8/6/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A answers questions on Road America (with the penciled in race date), Mark Miles, and Simona. – Indianapolis Star – (8/6/2015)

INDYCAR announces post-Honda Indy 200 infractions – INDYCAR announced their post-Honda Indy 200 infractions and as expected there was no mention of the late Sage Karam spin that many in the paddock were unhappy about. The most significant infractions were to Chevy for early engine changes but they still have a nearly insurmountable lead in the manufacturers championship. – INDYCAR – (8/5/2015)

P&G agrees to deal with CGRT to promote Crest – “A new Procter & Gamble Co. sponsorship deal with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams will promote the Crest brand, which includes toothpaste and Sensi-Stop Strips…In subsequent years, P&G will be part of both the NASCAR and IndyCar programs of Chip Ganassi Racing.” More at the link. – Cincinnati Business Enquirer – (8/5/2015)

NBCSN’s tape-delayed M-O broadcast most viewed NBCSN INDYCAR race ever – NBCSN’s tape-delayed broadcast of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio was the network’s most viewed INDYCAR broadcast of all time with 666,000 viewers. More at the link. – SMW – (8/5/2015)

Jones excited for RLL test – Carlin Indy Lights driver Ed Jones is excited to test with Rahal Letterman Lanigan racing next week at Sonoma Raceway. “I’m really looking forward to the opportunity,” said Jones. “One of my childhood dreams was to at least drive a racecar at the pinnacle of the sport, and I am now well on my way to doing that, which is amazing. Of course, when an opportunity like this comes up you have to grab it with both hands and I am working extremely hard to prepare myself for the test.” – 7DAYS UAE – (8/5/2015)

Miller’s Mailbag 8/5/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always after an exciting weekend at Mid-Ohio. – RACER – (8/5/2015)

Aleshin to test and race with SPM at Sonoma – Mikhail Aleshin will race in a third car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at Sonoma Raceway later this month. He will have a refresher test before hand to familiarize himself with the new Honda aero kit. Aleshin tweeted this in his excitement on Wednesday morning: “Friends! Officially! I’m coming back to Indycar!!!Will participate in Sonoma tests & race!!” – NBC Sports – (8/5/2015)

INDYCAR to test at Road America in September – Per Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star: “Another sign #IndyCar going to @roadamerica in 2016: Teams testing there late September” – Curt Cavin – (8/5/2015)

Trackside podcast 8/4/15 – 1070 The Fan’s popular Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee show from 8/4/15 recaps the Mid-Ohio race weekend and the latest INDYCAR news. – 1070 The Fan – (8/5/2015)

IBJ reports 3 names as replacement targets for Walker – From the Indianapolis Business Journal: “Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar parent Hulman & Co., is said to have interest in Ganassi Racing Managing Director Mike Hull and former Honda Performance Development boss Robert Clarke as possible replacements for Walker. Two-time Champ Car champion and 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran has also surfaced as a candidate, said sources close to the series.” More at the link. – IBJ – (8/4/2015)

Cavin Q&A 8/4/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A answers questions on Sage Karam, Derrick Walker’s replacement, the 2016 schedule, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (8/4/2015)

Hull unlikely to step into Walker’s position – CGRT’s Mike Hull was flattered by the speculation linking him as a potential replacement for the outgoing Derrick Walker but is unlikely to be interested in the job. Hull: “You would have to move heaven and earth for me to leave Chip Ganassi Racing. I was very, very saddened when I read the press release. It was the first inkling I had that this was going to happen. Derrick has enormous passion for IndyCar racing.” – Jalopnik – (8/3/2015)

Miller on “Sage Gate” – Robin Miller summarizes yesterday’s drama resulting from the late Sage Karam spin that moved Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya to midpack and seemingly gave Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan a chance for the win at the time. Miller: “We’ll have to wait until IndyCar makes the call on Karam’s spin and if any funny business took place. Here’s one thing we know for sure: After pissing off most of the field at Fontana and sending Ed Carpenter into a rage at Iowa, the talented kid from Pennsylvania makes headlines wherever he goes.” – RACER – (8/3/2015)

R&T’s Sam Smith impressed by INDYCAR/oval racing in first trip to IMS – Great article by Road & Track’s Sam Smith on his first oval racing experience on his visit to IMS for Indy 500 qualifying with Marshall Pruett. Great description of the awe everyone feels their first time at the Speedway. “TV removes the violence. After five minutes on the wall, you hate the cameras. If a driver’s fighting understeer, the nose hop-scotching at the apex, he can get eerily close. The air is more violent with every mile per hour and inch; three laps in, you can ID the fast guys solely by sound and pressure. You keep your eyes up even when you don’t have to, mesmerized. Trying, all the while, to remember the last time you met a road course and thought, This is the ballsiest thing I’ve ever seen.” More at the link. – Road & Track – (8/3/2015)

Mid-Ohio TV broadcast draws 0.15 live and 0.42 on delay – CNBC’s live broadcast of the Verizon IndyCar Series Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio drew a 0.15 tv rating while the tape-delayed NBCSN broadcast later in the evening earned a 0.42. – ShowBuzzDaily – (8/3/2015)

Lights drivers to test with big Verizon IndyCar Series teams at Sonoma – From RACER: “Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Andretti Autosport, and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports will make use the single-day test to prepare for the double points championship closer by employing Rule 6.2.3., which allows teams two additional test days if they place Indy Lights drivers in their cars for 50 percent of the available track time…Indy Lights drivers Spencer Pigot and Nelson Piquet Jr. (Penske), Sean Rayhall (Ganassi), Ed Jones (Rahal), Matty Brabham (Andretti), and Jack Harvey (SPM) have been added to the test date which was originally scheduled as a Honda Manufacturers’ test.” More at the link. – RACER – (8/3/2015)

Rahal wins “hometown” race at Mid-Ohio – Graham Rahal narrowed the gap to championship leader Juan Pablo Montoya to just 9 points by winning the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Rahal moved to the front after some late luck due to the timing of a caution in the middle of pit stops but was dominant at the finish. Montoya finished in P10. The rest of the Top 5 was Wilson, Pagenaud, Dixon, and Kanaan. Full results at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/2/2015)

Rayhall earns second win of the season in Lights Race 2 at Mid-Ohio – 8Star Motorsports’s Sean Rayhall won his second race of the season in Indy Lights Race 2 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. It’s Rayhall and the team’s first race weekend since the Freedom 100 at IMS. Championship contenders Ed Jones and Jack Harvey led the first half of the race until they collided sending each to the rear of the Top 10. Spencer Pigot finished P3 and his podium finish puts him great position to catch Harvey at the last race weekend at Mazda Raceway. Full race results at the link. – Indy Lights – (8/2/2015)

Big changes coming to INDYCAR calendar in 2016 – RACER reports that INDYCAR is anticipating major changes to the 2016 schedule. “I have three different versions of next year’s calendar and all I can say right now is that we’re going to have more races than we did this year and the spacing will be better,” said Mark Miles, the president and CEO of Hulman & Company. “And it looks like to could have anywhere from two to four new races and that will be exciting.” Road America and Phoenix are favorite to be added in addition to the already announced race in Boston on Labor Day weekend. More at the link. – RACER – (8/2/2015)

Dixon wins the pole with new Mid-Ohio track record – Scott Dixon continued his dominance of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course by winning the pole with a new track record lap of 1:04.5814. The rest of the Firestone Fast 6 finishing order was Power, Bourdais, Castroneves, Newgarden, and Kimball. Ohio native Graham Rahal settled for P13 while championship leader Juan Pablo Montoya will start in P10. Full qualifying results at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/1/2015)

Enerson grabs first Lights win in wild Race 1 at Mid-Ohio – RC Enerson grabbed his first career win in Indy Lights on Saturday in a wild Race 1 of the Lights race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Championship contenders Spencer Pigot and Jack Harvey collided early while Ed Jones was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop. Pigot finished in front of that group but it didn’t matter as Enerson held off a Top 5 of Chilton, Blackstock, Kaiser, and Rayhall. Full race results at the link. – Indy Lights – (8/1/2015)

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