News for the Week of August 14, 2017 – August 20, 2017

Power wins again at Pocono – Team Penske’s Will Power won the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway for the second straight year. Power went a lap down early in the race to replace a front wing assembly, had his rear wing assembly replaced in the middle portion of the race after getting his lap back, and dominated the final portion of the race. The rest of the Top 5 was Newgarden, Rossi, Pagenaud, and Kanaan. There were a track-record 42 lead changes. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (8/20/2017)

Report: Harvey to drive SPM No. 7 at WGI and Sonoma – The Indianapolis Star’s Jim Ayello reports Jack Harvey will drive the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports No. 7 car at Watkins Glen International and Sonoma Raceway. Full report at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (8/20/2017)

RHR cleared to race at Pocono following qualifying incident – “Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay has been cleared to drive in today’s ABC Supply 500 following a crash Saturday during qualifying for the race. Dr. Geoffrey Billows, INDYCAR Medical Director, re-evaluated Hunter-Reay this morning after the driver of the No. 28 DHL Honda sustained injuries to his left knee and hip in the Turn 3 crash on his warmup lap prior to making a qualifying attempt Saturday at Pocono Raceway. Hunter-Reay was transported by ground to Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest in Allentown, Pennsylvania, after the incident for further evaluation. He was checked and released but not cleared to drive at that time, pending the follow-up evaluation by Dr. Billows today. Hunter-Reay will start 21st in today’s 500-mile race in the No. 28 DHL Honda. The team has prepared a backup car for him to race.” Full story at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/20/2017)

Medical update on RHR – “Verizon IndyCar Series driver Ryan Hunter-Reay was evaluated at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest in Allentown, Pennsylvania, today for injuries to his left hip and knee sustained in a crash in qualifying for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. Hunter-Reay was treated and released but has not been cleared to drive, pending a re-evaluation Sunday morning.” Full story at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/19/2017)

Power tops the charts in Final Practice at Pocono – Team Penske’s Will Power was fastest in Final Practice for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway with a lap at 216.294mph. The rest of the Top 5 was Pagenaud, Chilton, Kanaan, and Castroneves. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (8/19/2017)

Sato wins the pole at Pocono – Andretti Autosport’s Takuma Sato won the pole for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway with a two-lap average of 219.235mph. The rest of the Top 5 in qualifying was Pagenaud, Kimball, Kanaan, and Power. There were two incidents in the session involving Castroneves and Hunter-Reay. Hunter-Reay complained about his hip after his incident and needed assistance to the safety vehicle. Carpenter was unable to make a qualifying attempt due to his car not being ready in time for tech inspection following his crash in Practice 1. Full qualifying results here. – INDYCAR – (8/19/2017)

Pocono qualifying order – The order in which qualifying attempts will be made for the Verizon IndyCar Series ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway is available at the link. Qualifying will be live on NBCSN at 1PM ET on Saturday. – INDYCAR – (8/19/2017)

RHR fastest in Practice 1 at Pocono – Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay was fastest in Practice 1 for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway with a lap at 219.268mph. The rest of the Top 5 was Pagenaud, Kanaan, Andretti, and Dixon. There were two incidents in the session involving Carpenter and Jones. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (8/19/2017)

Harding Racing “100%” full-time for 2018 – RACER’s Robin Miller reports Harding Racing will have at least one full-time car in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018. “It’s 100 percent we’re going to run one car full-time with Gabby [Chaves] for 2018 and we’re working on sponsorship for a second car and it looks good,” owner Mike Harding told RACER. Harding reports he’s secured one Leader’s Circle entry for next year to help with funding. Full story at the link. – RACER – (8/19/2017)

Wilson unsettled by lack of completed ’18 Indy 500 deal with Andretti – The Indianapolis Star’s Jim Ayello reports Stefan Wilson is unsettled by the fact that his 2018 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race deal with Andretti Autosport hasn’t been completed after he stepped aside for Fernando Alonso earlier this year. Ayello has quotes from both Wilson and team officials from Andretti Autosport. Wilson is still optimistic a deal will be done but has been in communication with other teams in case it doesn’t. Andretti Autosport wasn’t aware of that but they’re confident in the progress of their plans for Wilson and have assured Wilson his car will be equal to the others within the team. Full story at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (8/18/2017)

Malsher: INDYCAR needs more from hardcore fans – David Malsher has an interesting piece on Motorsport.com headlined “Why IndyCar needs proactive fans to revive its mass appeal”. It’s an interesting read as he says INDYCAR’s hardcore fans need to do more to create a better race day atmosphere, especially at ovals. “I’d urge you to go the extra mile (or 200) and attend one of the four remaining rounds of the 2017 championship, and also look out for the 2018 IndyCar schedule coming soon, in order to keep your preferred race weekends free. Remember that as well as having fun and enjoying your favorite sport, by going to these races you’re also going to help create a buzz and build an atmosphere that can prove alluring to others.” Full commentary piece at the link. – Motorsport.com – (8/18/2017)

The Open Wheel’s Pocono preview – The Open Wheel’s Dylan Reynolds’ preview of the Verizon IndyCar Series weekend at Pocono Raceway for the ABC Supply 500 is available at the link. It features all relevant weekend information, historical stats, predictions, fantasy advice, and more. – The Open Wheel – (8/17/2017)

INDYCAR announces broadcast agreement with three Chinese outlets – “Surging global interest in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and the Verizon IndyCar Series was exemplified by the announcement Thursday in Beijing that INDYCAR has signed three Chinese outlets to broadcast races and otherwise promote the series starting with Sunday’s 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.” Full story at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/17/2017)

Pocono spotter guide is posted – The spotter guide for the Verizon IndyCar Series ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway is available at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/17/2017)

INDYCAR announces Bourdais is officially cleared to race – “Verizon IndyCar Series driver Sebastien Bourdais has been cleared to resume driving by Dr. Geoffrey Billows, INDYCAR medical director, following his recovery from injuries sustained in a crash during Indianapolis 500 qualifications. Billows said the 38-year-old Frenchman was evaluated by INDYCAR orthopedic consultant Dr. Kevin Scheid on Tuesday and was given clearance to fully return to racing activities.” Full story at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/17/2017)

Gateway names Jackie Joyner-Kersee as grand marshal – “An Olympic champion has been selected to give the command to start engines for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline comes to Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois on August 26. Jackie Joyner-Kersee, considered to be one of the greatest athletes of all time, will serve as the grand marshal for the Verizon IndyCar Series event.” Full release at the link. – Gateway Motorsports Park – (8/16/2017)

Photographer tells story behind amazing photos of Dixon’s Indy 500 crash – Photographer Michael C Johnson has a great piece on Motorsport.com detailing how he was able to capture his amazing images of Scott Dixon’s incredible crash at the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Full story and pictures at the link. – Motorsport.com – (8/16/2017)

SPM names Saavedra as driver of No. 7 for Pocono and Gateway – “Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) has announced Sebastian Saavedra as the driver of the No. 7 Honda for the next two Verizon IndyCar Series races. The Colombian will join teammate James Hinchcliffe at Pocono Raceway and Gateway Motorsports Park.” Full release at the link. – SPM – (8/16/2017)

Bourdais cleared to resume racing – Sebastien Bourdais tweeted on Tuesday night that he’s been cleared to resume racing by his doctor. “Some of you might wonder why I was in Indy today… Well, I had the final appointment with Doc and guess what? All clear, let’s go racing!” Bourdais is expected to return to the Verizon IndyCar Series at one of the remaining road course events at Watkins Glen International and/or Sonoma Raceway. – Sebastien Bourdais – (8/16/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 8/16/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (8/16/2017)

Trackside podcast 8/15/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 8/15/17 is a great listen as always. Nick Igdalsky and Oriol Servia are guests on the show. – 1070 The Fan – (8/16/2017)

Pocono entry list is posted – The entry list for the Verizon IndyCar Series ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway is available at the link. The driver of the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports No. 7 entry will be announced at a later date. – INDYCAR – (8/15/2017)

Penske confirms Montoya as driver for ’18 IMSA Program – “Team Penske announced today two of the four drivers that will compete full time for the team in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, racing the cars of the recently-announced Acura Daytona Prototype International (DPi) program. Legendary Verizon IndyCar Series driver Juan Pablo Montoya will team up with sports car champion Dane Cameron to pilot one of the team’s two ARX-05 entries. Team Penske and Acura Motorsports will announce its other two full-time drivers, as well as additional drivers for the endurance races, at a later date.” The obvious INDYCAR connections here are that Montoya remains in the Team Penske fold if they choose to field extra cars for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and that the drivers for the other IMSA entry will be named at a later date. Helio Castroneves is heavily-rumored to be one of the drivers for that entry. Full release at the link. – Team Penske – (8/15/2017)

Wickens’ tweet insinuates he could race at WGI & Sonoma – On Tuesday afternoon, Robert Wickens tweeted “I’ve never been to Watkins Glen or Sonoma.. But I hear they’re really nice…” along with a picture of himself driving the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports No. 7 car earlier this season. SPM announced that Mikhail Aleshin will miss the rest of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season so they do have a driving spot to fill in the No. 7 car for remaining races at Pocono Raceway, Gateway Motorsports Park, Watkins Glen International, and Sonoma Raceway. Wickens was used by SPM to fill in for Friday practice at Road America while Aleshin was dealing with passport issues so he would be a logical replacement to fill in for the road courses this season. – Robert Wickens – (8/15/2017)

Lower downforce/drag levels for ’18 could lead to road course speeds of over 200mph – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports speeds of over 200mph could be reached at road courses with long straightaways next year with the lower downforce and drag levels in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series universal aero kit. Full story at the link. – RACER – (8/15/2017)

Andretti unveils Expedite Home Loans livery for No. 26 car at Pocono – “Continuing their partnership with Andretti Autosport, Expedite Home Loans, an online division of Ruoff Home Mortgage, will embellish the No. 26 Honda of Takuma Sato. Expedite Home Loans will join the team for this weekend’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway, chasing the checkered flag with the reigning Indy 500 champion.” See the livery on our No. 26 livery page here. Full release at the link. – Andretti Autosport – (8/14/2017)

Chilton gets married over the weekend – Max Chilton married his childhood sweetheart Chloe Roberts over the weekend in Surrey, England. Pictures and full story at the link. – Daily Mail – (8/14/2017)

SPM announces Aleshin is out of the No. 7 car for rest of the year – “Mikhail Aleshin, the Russian SMP Racing program driver, will not be returning to the No. 7 Honda for the remainder of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and SMP Racing have mutually agreed that the Russian driver will focus on the design and development of the new BR1 LMP1 car.” Full release at the link. – SPM – (8/12/2017)

INDYCAR completes another successful ’18 test at Iowa Speedway – Another successful test of the 2018 universal aero kit took place at Iowa Speedway on Thursday. Both Juan Pablo Montoya and Oriol Servia were happy with the test. “It was very consistent, especially if we end up going on the lower downforce package,” said Servia. “You have to drive it, which is fun. You have to lift and you’re still doing the same lap speed (as with more downforce), which is interesting. Exact same lap speed.” Full story at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/11/2017)

INDYCAR hoping to test aeroscreen later this year – RACER’s Marshall Pruett has an excellent story with IndyCar aerodynamic director Tino Belli on the future of head protection in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Kelli said INDYCAR is developing an aeroscreen prototype to test moving forward. “Step one’s going to be to try what we would call our final prototype design in the simulator,” Belli told RACER. “If everything goes well and we don’t get negative feedback in the simulator, we’re probably looking to the fall to winter to test it on a car. Everything would have to go really, really well with no hiccups for it to be on a car for next year.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (8/9/2017)

Long Beach City Council votes to continue with INDYCAR organizers – The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach that organizes the INDYCAR weekend on the Streets of Long Beach released a statement confirming the Long Beach City Council officially voted to continue with them over a group investigating the possibility of bringing back Formula 1. Full statement at the link. – TGPLB – (8/9/2017)

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