News for the Week of August 25 – August 31, 2014

Power wins the Verizon IndyCar Series Championship as TK wins in Fontana – Tony Kanaan finished off his late season surge with a victory in the MAVTV 500 but the story of the night was Will Power bringing home his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship. An emotionally drained Power celebrated with a sense of relief rather than outright excitement but his happiness was undoubted. Helio Castroneves was taken out of championship contention by a late penalty for a violation of pit entry. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (8/30/14)

Aleshin listed in stable condition with multiple injuries – “Mikhail Aleshin, who was involved in a multi-car incident in the final practice session Aug. 29 for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway, was evaluated at Loma Linda University Medical Center and diagnosed with a concussion, fractured ribs, a broken right clavicle and chest injuries, according to INDYCAR medical consultant Dr. Terry Trammell.” – INDYCAR – (8/29/14)

Massive crash ends final Fontana practice session early – A huge accident between Mikhail Aleshin and Charlie Kimball brought an early end to the final practice before Saturday night’s MAVTV 500. The incident left a massive hold in the fence between Turns 3 & 4 and sent Aleshin to the hospital in an ambulance immediately upon being removed from his car by the Halmatro Safety Team. Aleshin was conscious and complaining of pain in his right shoulder and foot. Ryan Briscoe was fastest at the time with a speed of 218.660mph. – INDYCAR – (8/29/14)

Helio wins the pole at Fontana, Power starts 21st – MAVTV 500 qualifying gave Helio Castroneves a huge boost in his championship aspirations by taking the pole while Will Power qualified 21st. Juan Pablo Montoya and Josef Newgarden will start on the front row alongside Castroneves. Carlos Huertas was 10-15mph off the pace of the field. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (8/29/14)

INDYCAR will not return to Houston in 2015 – INDYCAR announced today that the series will not return to Houston in 2015. Officials from both sides were unable to come to an agreeable date. – INDYCAR – (8/29/14)

Mosport confirms possibility of hosting ’15 IndyCar race – “Green Savoree Racing Promotions and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park management have discussed the option of a Verizon IndyCar Series date at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2015. A Verizon IndyCar track inspector has completed a full track inspection at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and has provided recommendations. Understandably, the Toronto 2015 Pan Am & Parapan American Games have forced us to consider alternative dates and venues for next year’s race. We have worked tirelessly to explore all options and are close to making an announcement regarding when and where we’ll be racing in 2015,” said Charlie Johnstone, president, Honda Indy Toronto. Kim Green and Kevin Savoree are friends within the motorsports industry and we will do whatever we can to help maintain an IndyCar date in 2015 here in Canada, given the challenges of the 2015 Pan-Am Games,” said Myles Brandt, president and general manager at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. “We’d be happy to help.” – Canadian Tire Motorsports Park – (8/29/14)

Power fastest in first practice at Fontana – Championship leader Will Power got his weekend off to a nice start by topping the charts at 221.389mph. Castroneves, Carpenter, Dixon, and Kanaan made up the rest of the Top 5. Newgarden’s 46 laps were the most of the session. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (8/29/14)

Engine and radiator adjustments ready for Fontana – RACER reports that teams will be running engine temperatures up to 45 degrees cooler this weekend along with new radiators from Mezzo Technologies that will allow for more cooling. – RACER – (8/29/14)

Helio hoping to put an end to “the best driver to have never won a championship” – Helio Castroneves is determined heading into Fontana to bring home an elusive championship. “We are not giving up,” said Castroneves. “We will keep on it and give everything we have to try and reach our goal. We are still in it and we know what we need to do now over the 500 miles. I’m going to do everything I can. We have to keep ourselves in the hunt and push as much as we can. If it happens, it happens.” – Inland Valley Daily Bulletin – (8/29/14)

Dixon fastest in Fontana testing – All 22 cars and drivers of the Verizon IndyCar Series tested at Auto Club Speedway Wednesday afternoon/evening. Scott Dixon led the session at 219.462mph followed by Montoya, Carpenter, Rahal, and Castroneves. Simon Pagenaud crashed exiting the pits in the session but the car isn’t too heavily damaged and he’s been cleared to drive again (picture here). Full results here. – RACER – (8/28/14)

Newgarden breaks down Auto Club Speedway – RACER talks to Josef Newgarden and gets his thoughts on Fontana before the Verizon IndyCar Series races there this weekend. Highlight – On the debris covering the ACS track: “Great question. I heard it’s not dust or sand but minuscule metal particles because there are so many metal works around the area. I know Honda’s been working hard to figure out the best solution. We’ve had two years there now, we know what the issue is, and HPD has done everything they’re allowed to do to limit the overheating problems. But just to give you an idea of what it’s like in the cockpit, it feels like you’re following a salt truck. I’m aware that not all people in Southern California will be aware what that’s like, but in the Midwest, believe me, when you’re stuck behind one of those trucks, you feel like your car is being destroyed around you!” – RACER – (8/28/14)

INDYCAR heading to NOLA Motorsports Park in 2015 – “IndyCar officially announced on Wednesday the addition of NOLA Motorsports Park and the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana to the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule in 2015. The event will be held April 10-12 and organized by Andretti Sports Marketing on a newly configured 13-turn, 2.67-mile permanent road course layout.” Full details at the link. – RACER – (8/27/14)

Miller’s Mailbag 8/27/14 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is excellent as always. Plenty to talk about this time of year! – RACER – (8/27/14)

Texas Motor Speedway confirms 2015 IndyCar date – The Verizon IndyCar Series will race the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6th, 2015 on NBCSN. Full details at the link. – Texas Motor Speedway – (8/27/14)

NASCAR announces 2015 schedule – NASCAR has announced their 2015 Sprint Cup and Nationwide schedule which has increased ramifications for the Verizon IndyCar Series with NBC and NBCSN televising races in the second half of the NASCAR season. There are plenty of conflicts based on the 2014 INDYCAR schedule so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. – NBC Sports Group – (8/27/14)

IndyCar Open Test at Fontana Wednesday open to the public – The Verizon IndyCar Series Open Test at Auto Club Speedway on Wednesday will be open to the public. The test will take place from 4:30PM – 10:30PM PT. Full details at the link. – Auto Club Speedway – (8/26/14)

Harvey appreciates first year racing in the US – Indy Lights runner-up Jack Harvey enjoyed his first season racing in the US even after losing the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship on the second tiebreaker. “I like it here; people are friends with each other. In Europe, if you’re friends with the guys you race against, it’s frowned upon. You don’t even talk to the other teams. People here are professional and they want to win, but they enjoy themselves as well.” – AUTOSPORT – (8/26/14)

Still confusion over possibilities for Toronto in 2015 – An update from The Toronto Star breaks down the confusion situation regarding the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series race in Toronto. After suggesting they could have the June 4-7th date in 2015 Toronto organizers were forced to scramble when INDYCAR asked them to look for other date options. July is ruled out due to Toronto hosting The Pan Am Games. One possibility would be moving the race to Canadian Tire Motor Sports Park for a year. Organizers are hopeful the race will stay in Toronto. – The Toronto Star – (8/26/14)

Fontana spotter guide is out – The spotter guide for this weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series season finale is out and the only new livery is a MAVTV sponsorship for Simon Pagenaud. Noteworthy liveries for the weekend are the following: Montoya-Verizon, Castroneves-AAA, Briscoe-Blue NTT Data, Kanaan-Target, Bourdais-Hydroxycut, Rahal-Camo National Guard, Hawksworth-Castrol EDGE. – Fontana Spotter Guide – (8/26/14)

Labor Day weekend date not ideal for Fontana – “It’s about the fans, and this is not the best date for the fans,” said ACS president Gillian Zucker. The track would like the date moved to earlier in the summer or to October if INDYCAR will allow the season to run longer. “We are doing everything we can to make it successful. You have to look at one difference; It’s not the marketing, not the promotion, just the different between a fall date and Labor Day.” – Inland Valley Daily Bulletin – (8/26/14)

INDYCAR modifies testing schedule for 2015 – INDYCAR announced 2015 testing regulations Monday afternoon and including the elimination of in-season on-track testing. However, there will be Open Tests at Barber (3/16-17/2015), the IMS road course, Mid-Ohio, and Sonoma. Additional provisions have been made for Firestone testing, new teams, and new drivers. – RACER – (8/26/14)

NBCSN scores a 0.29 TV Rating for Sonoma – The NBCSN broadcast of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma grabbed a 0.29 TV rating on NBCSN. That’s a small decrease from 0.31 last year. – ShowBuzzDaily – (8/25/14)

Cavin Q&A 8/25/14 – Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A covers Sam Hornish Jr.’s debut in the NBCSN broadcast booth, VIR, his earthquake experience, the ECR/SFHR merger, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (8/25/14)

Schedule for the weekend at Fontana – INDYCAR has posted the on-track schedule for the Verizon IndyCar Series’ race at Auto Club Speedway this weekend. There will be two sessions of practice as well as qualifying on Friday with a 10:15PM ET start to the race on Saturday night. – INDYCAR – (8/25/14)

Dixon takes the win in crazy finish at Sonoma – After Graham Rahal was forced to pit from the lead late to make it on fuel Scott Dixon seized the lead with a spectacular pass on Mike Conway and never looked back. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Simon Pagenaud grabbed the spots on the podium as points leader Will Power had to settle for a mid-pack finish due to a spin. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (8/24/14)

Harvey wins Sunday’s Lights race but Chaves claims the championship – Jack Harvey dominated from pole for the second time of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires weekend at Sonoma but Gabby Chaves finished in second place and won the series championship. Harvey’s 18 second lead was enough to equal Chaves on points but Gabby won on via the second tiebreaker (2nd place finishes). Zach Veach took the final spot on the podium and ends the year third in points. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (8/24/14)

CFH Racing signs Newgarden for 2015 – Josef Newgarden will race for CFH Racing, the combined team of ECR and SFHR, in 2015 on a one year deal. “I decided to stay here because I believe in our group and everything that we’ve built and where we are going,” said Newgarden. “It’s a very strong situation that’s on the rise, and I think next year is the year to capitalize on it.” – ECR – (8/24/14)

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