News for the Week of August 28, 2017 – September 3, 2017

Rossi wins at The Glen – Andretti Herta Autosport’s Alexander Rossi won from pole in the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen at Watkins Glen International in a dominant performance. The rest of Top 5 was Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Castroneves, and Rahal. Championship leader Newgarden finished P18 after this incident exiting pit lane. Newgarden’s championship lead heading to Sonoma is 3 points over Dixon, 22 points over Castroneves, 34 points over Pagenaud, and 68 points over Power. Full race results here. – INDYCAR – (9/3/2017)

Telitz wins in Lights at rainy WGI, Kaiser seals title – Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz dominated and won the Indy Lights finale at a rainy Watkins Glen International. The rest of the Top 5 was Urrutia, Herta, Leist, and Jamin. Kaiser finished P7 and won the Indy Lights championship and subsequent Mazda scholarship for three races in the Verizon IndyCar Series for 2018. Full race results here. – Indy Lights – (9/3/2017)

Bourdais fastest in wet morning warmup at WGI – Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais was fastest in a wet morning warmup session for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen at Watkins Glen International with a lap of 1:45.9510. The rest of Top 5 was Rossi, Castroneves, Munoz, and Pagenaud. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (9/3/2017)

Franzoni sweeps races to win Pro Mazda title and Lights scholarship at WGI – Juncos Racing’s Victor Franzoni won both Pro Mazda races this weekend at Watkins Glen International to win the title and Mazda scholarship to race in Indy Lights in 2018. Full story at the link. – NBC Sports – (9/3/2017)

Rossi wins first pole at WGI – Andretti Herta Autosport’s Alexander Rossi won his first career Verizon IndyCar Series pole for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen at Watkins Glen International with a lap of 1:22.4639. The rest of the Firestone Fast 6 was Dixon, Newgarden, Sato, Kimball, and Castroneves. Full qualifying results here. – INDYCAR – (9/2/2017)

Herta wins Lights pole at WGI – Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta won the Indy Lights pole at Watkins Glen International with a lap of 1:32.4394. The rest of the Top 5 was Urrutia, Telitz, Jamin, and Claman De Melo. Championship leader Kaiser was P10. Full qualifying results here. – Indy Lights – (9/2/2017)

Dixon fastest again Practice 3 at WGI – Chip Ganassi Racing Teams’ Scott Dixon was fastest for the second straight session in Practice 3 for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen at Watkins Glen International with a lap of 1:22.6441. The rest of the Top 5 was Rossi, Hunter-Reay, Castroneves, and Bourdais. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (9/2/2017)

Telitz fastest in Lights Practice 2 at WGI – Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz’s lap of 1:33.2365 was fastest in Indy Lights Practice 2 at Watkins Glen International. The rest of the Top 5 was Herta, Jamin, Blackstock, and Alberico. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (9/2/2017)

Blackstock tops the charts in Lights Practice 1 at WGI – Belardi Auto Racing’s Shelby Blackstock topped the charts in Indy Lights Practice 1 at Watkins Glen International with a lap of 1:32.7903. The rest of the Top 5 was Herta, Leist, Telitz, and Alberico. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (9/1/2017)

Dixon quickest in Practice 2 at WGI – Chip Ganassi Racing Teams’ Scott Dixon’s lap of 1:22.6187 was fastest in Practice 2 for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen at Watkins Glen International. The rest of the Top 5 was Power, Rahal, Pagenaud, and Rossi. Chilton brought out a red flag for contact in the session. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (9/1/2017)

Nasr in attendance at WGI – NBC Sports’ Tony DiZinno reports former F1 driver Felipe Nasr is in attendance at Watkins Glen International as a guest of fellow Brazilian Helio Castroneves. Nasr is interested in racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series. “This is my first weekend here,” Nasr told NBC Sports. “It’s good to have a look around. It’s a series that always caught my attention. I wanted to stay closely by. Helio will show me around. It’s interesting.” Full story at the link. – NBC Sports – (9/1/2017)

Rahal fastest in Practice 1 at WGI – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal was fastest in the first practice session of the weekend for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen at Watkins Glen International with a lap of 1:23.2603. The rest of the Top 5 was Rossi, Chilton, Dixon, and Hinchcliffe. Harvey was P20 in his first road course session in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (9/1/2017)

Andretti announces extension with Rossi and NAPA for ’18 and beyond – “A partnership renewal between five-time Indianapolis 500 champions Andretti Autosport and NAPA AUTO PARTS will see Alexander Rossi return to the cockpit of an Andretti Autosport machine as part of a multi-year agreement starting in 2018.” “It’s great to have NAPA AUTO PARTS return in support of Alexander and the team. NAPA has been a fantastic partner, and we look forward to building on the success of the relationship,” said Andretti Autosport CEO Michael Andretti. “Alexander has been a great ambassador both on and off the track and, with only two years of IndyCar experience, he’s proven that he is a true competitor as well.” Full release at the link. – Andretti Autosport – (9/1/2017)

The Open Wheel’s Watkins Glen preview – The Open Wheel’s Dylan Reynolds’ preview of the INDYCAR weekend at Watkins Glen International is available at the link. It features all relevant Verizon IndyCar Series and Indy Lights weekend information, stats, predictions, fantasy advice, and more. – The Open Wheel – (8/31/2017)

INDYCAR & Foyt team up to raise money for Houston – “A.J. Foyt has a lifelong tie to the Houston area, so it’s no wonder that his race team is partnering with INDYCAR to raise funds to assist those affected by the devastation caused from Hurricane Harvey. AJ Foyt Racing and INDYCAR announced today an initiative for fans to purchase a limited-edition run of “Race4Houston” T-shirts with all proceeds benefiting the Great Houston Community Foundation (ghcf.org). The GHCF, a 501(c)(3) charity, was established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to accept tax-deductible flood relief donations for victims.” The t-shirts can be purchased at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/31/2017)

Report: Claman De Melo could race IndyCar at Sonoma – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports Indy Lights driver Zachary Claman De Melo is discussions to make his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in the finale at Sonoma Raceway. Pruett mentions interested teams are Andretti Autosport, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Full story at the link. – RACER – (8/31/2017)

Juncos prepping for ’18 Verizon IndyCar Series – RACER’s Marshall Pruett has a great report on Juncos Racing as they weight their options for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series. “For IndyCar, we’re sending the three tubs to get the updates for the new aero kits,” owner Ricardo Juncos told RACER. “We have everything ready to go for that. We have important meetings in the next month or two with sponsors and then we will know what we can do next year.” Juncos wants to take his likely Indy Lights championship winner Kyle Kaiser to the series full-time but thy have a lot of work to do to put the funding in place. Full story at the link. – RACER – (8/31/2017)

Andretti confirms Honda extension – From Andretti Autosport: “Five-time Indy 500 champions extend partnership with Honda Performance Development for IndyCar competition The partnership that has claimed five Indianapolis 500 victories will remain intact as Andretti Autosport announced today that the team will return to Verizon IndyCar Series competition in 2018 with Honda-powered machines as part of a multi-year agreement.” Full release at the link. – Andretti Autosport – (8/31/2017)

Report: Andretti to stick with Honda in two-year deal – The Indianapolis Star’s Jim Ayello reports Andretti Autosport has chosen to remain with Honda in a two-year deal starting with the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. “It’s such a relief having decisions on this side of things out of the way,” owner Michael Andretti told the Indianapolis Star. “Now we can start focusing on performance things, going faster — you know, the fun part. The racing.” Full story at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (8/31/2017)

Andretti confirms Sato to RLL deal is done – Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star reports the deal for Takuma Sato to join Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in 2018 is done per Michael Andretti. Andretti isn’t thrilled about the way it went down. “His management basically had made up their minds that they were leaving (for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing),” Andretti told the Indianapolis Star. “To this moment, I don’t understand the move. They never even gave me a chance to come back and figure out what I could do to keep Takuma here. The whole thing was a little unfair.” Full story at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (8/31/2017)

Veach “really positive” on 2018 opportunities – RACER’s Marshall Pruett has a great piece on Zach Veach’s progress on a deal to drive in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018. “I’m feeling really positive I’ll have something to offer to be in a seat for 2018,” Veach told RACER. “We aren’t all the way there yet and don’t want to go to a team until we do, so we’re just working trying to put the puzzle pieces in the right places…But I can say we’ve never been this close before.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (8/30/2017)

Watkins Glen Lights entry list – The entry list for the Mazda Indy Lights Watkins Glen Grand Prix Presented by Cooper Tires at Watkins Glen International is available at the link. – Indy Lights – (8/30/2017)

Penske announces Menards will continue INDYCAR sponsorship for “2018 and beyond” – As part of their announcement for Menards coming on board for their NASCAR program, Team Penske has confirmed Menards will remain a sponsor of their Verizon IndyCar Series teams. “Menards plans to continue its sponsorship of Penske’s INDYCAR program into 2018 and beyond as well.” Full release at the link. – Team Penske – (8/30/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 8/30/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (8/30/2017)

Trackside podcast 8/29/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 8/29/17 is a great listen as always. – 1070 The Fan – (8/30/2017)

Watkins Glen spotter guide – The spotter guide for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen at Watkins Glen International is available at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/30/2017)

Watkins Glen entry list – The entry list for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen at Watkins Glen International is available at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/30/2017)

Jones hopes to stay at DCR for ’18 – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports rookie Ed Jones wants to return to Dale Coyne Racing for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. “As it stands, I think staying with Coyne is the only option I have, but that’s said in a positive way because it’s my first choice,” Jones told RACER. “We’re struggling to put all the funding together, but the team wants me back, as do I, so that’s what we’re working on.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (8/29/2017)

Lights to remain at St. Pete, Toronto, and Mid-Ohio through ’20 – “All three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires – the world’s most effective open-wheel development ladder – will continue to enjoy competition at three high profile venues as Andersen Promotions and Green Savoree Racing Promotions today announced a new multi-year contract. Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda will all be in action on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, through 2020. All three events respectively known as the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Honda Indy Toronto and Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will be highlighted by rounds of the Verizon IndyCar Series.” Full release at the link. – Indy Lights – (8/29/2017)

RHR to join Wayne Taylor Racing at Petit Le Mans – “IndyCar Series veteran Ryan Hunter-Reay returns to the team with which he co-drove to a runner-up finish at the 2013 Rolex 24 At Daytona when he joins brothers and full-time drivers Ricky and Jordan Taylor behind the wheel of the championship-leading No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R at the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.” Full release at the link. – Wayne Taylor Racing – (8/29/2017)

Report: Rossi to stay at Andretti – RACER’s Robin Miller and Marshall Pruett are reporting that not only will Andretti Autosport stay with Honda for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season, but Alexander Rossi will return to the team as well. They also mention that Zach Veach is in play for the fourth seat with the team as Takuma Sato is expected to move on to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing as they expand to a two-car team for 2018. Full story at the link. – RACER – (8/29/2017)

Monday Musings: Gateway – The Open Wheel’s Dylan Reynolds’ collection of random thoughts following the INDYCAR weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (8/28/2017)

Report: Andretti “leaning toward sticking with Honda” – Bruce Martin reports for Autoweek that Andretti Autosport is now leaning towards sticking with Honda rather than switching to Chevrolet for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season based on his conversations in the INDYCAR paddock over the weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park. Full story at the link. – Autoweek – (8/28/2017)

Urrutia edging closer to IndyCar move – NBC Sports’ Tony DiZinno has a nice story on Santi Urrutia’s significant progress on putting a financial package together to make the step up to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018. Urrutia has used a late-season surge to move to P2 in the Indy Lights championship standings but is unlikely to win the title and subsequent scholarship money as Kyle Kaiser only needs to start the race at Watkins Glen International this weekend to win the championship. “Fans at home and fans here in America want to see me in IndyCar next year and we’re working hard toward it,” said Urrutia. “I know it won’t be easy, especially if we don’t win the scholarship, but it’s not impossible.” Full story at the link. – NBC Sports – (8/28/2017)

Optimism surrounds Steinbrenner’s INDYCAR prospects – Jim Ayello has a great piece for the Indianapolis Star on the optimism surrounding the INDYCAR paddock on the prospect of George Michael Steinbrenner IV’s future in INDYCAR. Steinbrenner plans to take his Indy Lights driver Colton Herta to the Verizon IndyCar Series some day but just how soon that will be is yet to be determined. “We’re still looking for that point where we can comfortably make the leap,” Steinbrenner told the Indianapolis Star. “We need all the pieces to fit together. We need to make sure we’re secure financially, and I want to be extra comfortable before I make the leap. I want to make sure every single financial piece is where it should be.” Full story at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (8/28/2017)

Roger Penske content with Newgarden’s Gateway pass – While Simon Pagenaud was very upset with Josef Newgarden’s aggressive pass for the win at Gateway, Bruce Martin reports for Autoweek that Roger Penske was okay with the move. “That was either Brad Keselowski or Dale Earnhardt or something, but that was some real racing,” Penske told Autoweek. “These guys are racing hard and at the end of the day you have to get through. It was a good pass. They touched a little bit but hey, we’ll work it out, I’m sure.” Full story at the link. – Autoweek – (8/28/2017)

The Open Wheel’s Saturday Gateway photo gallery – The Open Wheel’s Parker Hall’s photo gallery from Saturday at the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (8/26/2017)

Newgarden wins at Gateway – Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden used a brilliant late pass on teammate Simon Pagenaud to win the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park. The rest of the Top 5 was Dixon, Pagenaud, Castroneves, and Daly. Power pass from pole at the start of the race. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (8/26/2017)

Report: Sato to join RLL two-car effort for ’18 – RACER’s Robin Miller and Marshall Pruett are reporting Takuma Sato is expected to join Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season in a two-car effort. Full report at the link. – RACER – (8/26/2017)

Urrutia wins Lights race at Gateway, Kaiser all but seals title – Belardi Auto Racing’s Santi Urrutia won an exciting Indy Lights race at Gateway Motorsports Park. The rest of the Top 5 was Piedrahita, Herta, Kaiser, and Dapero. With his P4 finish, Kaiser only needs to start the Lights finale at Watkins Glen International next weekend to clinch the series title and the three race scholarship for the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018. Full race results here. – Indy Lights – (8/26/2017)

The Open Wheel’s Friday Gateway photo gallery – The Open Wheel’s Christy Reynolds’ photo gallery from Friday at the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (8/26/2017)

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