News for the Week of August 29, 2016 – September 4, 2016

Dixon sweeps every session at Watkins Glen with dramatic race win – Chip Ganassi Racing Team’s Scott Dixon won the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen in the Verizon IndyCar Series’ return to Watkins Glen International. Dixon topped every practice session and won the pole but due to the timing of a late caution needed to make incredible fuel mileage to make his dominance count. The rest of the Top 5 was Newgarden, Castroneves, Daly, and Bourdais. Championship leader Simon Pagenaud finished in P7 after his biggest title rival, Will Power, crashed after contact with Kimball and finished in P20. Power was checked and released following his incident but was not immediately cleared to race due to “concussion-like symptoms.” Pagenaud’s lead heading into the final race at Sonoma Raceway is 43 points. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (9/4/2016)

Honda courting Ganassi for ’17 – RACER’s Robin Miller reports that Honda Performance Development is trying hard to get Chip Ganassi Racing Teams to convert to Honda for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. “We would be remiss if we neglected to explore any option which could strengthen our program in either the short or longer term,” said Art St. Cyr, president of HPD. “This is the time of year when we are talking to all the teams in the paddock, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is imminent.” More at the link. – RACER – (9/4/2016)

INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen starting lineup – The starting lineup with tire designation for the Verizon IndyCar Series INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen is available at the link. The first 14 starters will begin on the Firestone alternate tires. – INDYCAR – (9/4/2016)

Andretti Autosport working on Newgarden deal – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti has been working on trying to acquire Josef Newgarden for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. “I think everybody is after him (Newgarden),” Andretti told RACER. “The problem for me and Chip is we have to go raise money. Roger doesn’t have to raise money. I’d love to make him an offer right now and say ‘come on’ but I have to put the budget together to be able to do that. It’s difficult. You can’t put the cart before the horse.” More at the link. – RACER – (9/4/2016)

Dixon continues sweep of Watkins Glen by topping morning warmup – Chip Ganassi Racing Team’s Scott Dixon led the morning warmup session for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen with a lap of 1:23.7172. The rest of the Top 5 was Enerson, Newgarden, Daly, and Rahal. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (9/4/2016)

Dixon obliterates track record and wins pole at Watkins Glen – Chip Ganassi Racing Team’s Scott Dixon set a new Watkins Glen International track record in the Firestone Fast 6 round of qualifying to win the pole for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen with a lap of 1:22.5259. The full Firestone Fast 6 was Dixon, Power, Bourdais, Castroneves, Kanaan, and Chilton. Pagenaud qualified P7. Power had originally missed the Firestone Fast 6 but advanced when Aleshin lost his two fastest laps for interference in Round 2. Full qualifying results here. – INDYCAR – (9/3/2016)

Veach grabs Lights win at Watkins Glen – Belardi Auto Racing’s Zach Veach went from fifth to first on Lap 1 and drove on to win the Indy Lights race at Watkins Glen International on Saturday. The rest of the Top 5 was Jones, Negrao, Kaiser, and Alberico. Championship leader Santiago Urrutia experienced dramatic tire wear and ended up finishing last in P12. Full race results here. – Indy Lights – (9/3/2016)

Dixon and Power headline the two qualifying groups at Watkins Glen – The qualifying groups for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen are available at the link. – INDYCAR – (9/3/2016)

Dixon fastest for third straight practice at Watkins Glen – Chip Ganassi Racing Team’s Scott Dixon turned the fastest lap of Practice 3 for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen at Watkins Glen International with a lap of 1:22.8008. The rest of the Top 5 was Power, Bourdais, Hinchcliffe, and Hawksworth. Josef Newgarden had a hard crash in the session but is fine. Sato and Aleshin each had minor incidents. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (9/3/2016)

Urrutia wins Lights pole at Watkins Glen – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ championship leader Santiago Urrutia won the pole for the Indy Lights race at Watkins Glen International with a lap of 1:32.4144. Urrutia had his best lap thrown out for qualifying interference but was still fastest. The rest of the Top 5 was Negrao, Jones, Kaiser, and Veach. Full qualifying results here. – Indy Lights – (9/3/2016)

Performance Friction to be exclusive brake supplier as of 2017 – “IndyCar has announced a multi-year partnership agreement with Performance Friction Corporation that will make the company the official brake supplier of the Verizon IndyCar Series. The deal makes PFC the exclusive supplier of brake system components to each entry competing in the series, beginning in 2017.” Full details at the link. – RACER – (9/3/2016)

Pigot visor cam from Watkins Glen – INDYCAR’s excellent visor cam series continues with Spencer Pigot at Watkins Glen International. Check it out at the link. – INDYCAR – (9/3/2016)

Dixon fastest again in Practice 2 at Watkins Glen – Chip Ganassi Racing Team’s Scott Dixon was fastest again in Practice 2 for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen with a lap of 1:22.8740. Dixon’s lap was more than five seconds faster that Ryan Briscoe’s track record of 1:28.1332 in 2009. The rest of the Top 5 was Castroneves, Power, Kanaan, and Montoya. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (9/2/2016)

Kaiser leads the way in Lights Practice 2 at Watkins Glen – Juncos Racing’s Kyle Kaiser led Indy Lights Practice 2 at Watkins Glen International with a lap of 1:33.4343. The rest of the Top 5 was Urrutia, Negrao, Claman de Melo, and Veach. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (9/2/2016)

Dixon takes P1 in Practice 1 at Watkins Glen – Chip Ganassi Racing Team’s Scott Dixon’s lap of 1:23.8921 was fastest in Practice 1 for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen at Watkins Glen International. The rest of the Top 5 was Bourdais, Power, Kanaan, and Rahal. Conor Daly had a hard crash in the session and had this to say: “We tested here and you could use that curb every time,” said Daly, who was uninjured, “and the test went really well here for us. As soon as I touched, it was like literally the whole rear just snapped quicker than I’ve felt before in my life.” Full results here. – INDYCAR – (9/2/2016)

Jones turns fastest lap in Lights Practice 1 at Watkins Glen – Carlin’s Ed Jones’ lap of 1:33.9594 was the fastest lap of Indy Lights Practice 1 at Watkins Glen International. The rest of the Top 5 was Veach, Stoneman, Serralles, and Claman de Melo. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (9/2/2016)

Samsung to sponsor ECR No. 20 in final two races – “Samsung, a multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Seoul, will support Spencer Pigot and his No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing entry for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen and the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.” Full report at the link. See the livery on our No. 20 livery page here. – Yahoo – (9/2/2016)

Chilton to wear James Hunt-themed helmet at WGI – Briton Max Chilton will wear honor his countryman James Hunt with a beautiful new helmet livery this weekend at Watkins Glen. Hunt won the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen 40 years ago in 1976. See the helmet at the link. – Max Chilton – (9/1/2016)

The Open Wheel’s Watkins Glen preview – The Open Wheel’s Dylan Reynolds’ preview of the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen features all of the relevant weekend information, Verizon IndyCar Series and Indy Lights stats and predictions, fantasy advice, and more. Check it out at the link. – The Open Wheel – (9/1/2016)

SPM No. 5/Hinch docked 25 points for Texas infractions – “INDYCAR announced (Wednesday) that the No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry for driver James Hinchcliffe was penalized for a post-event infraction after the conclusion of the Firestone 600, which was completed Aug. 27 at Texas Motor Speedway. The team was fined $20,000 and penalized 25 entrant and driver points after the No. 5 Honda was found in violation of Rule 14.6.8.2.2 of the Verizon IndyCar Series rule book (domed skid wear) in post-race inspection.” “In our post-race analysis this week it was determined the skid plate on the No. 5 entry was worn and in violation of our rules,” said Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations. “This was both a performance advantage and a safety concern, as the domed portion of the skid had been ground down to the point it would have been ineffective.” – INDYCAR – (9/1/2016)

Rossi “entertaining” idea of INDYCAR return – Marshall Pruett has a nice piece on RACER on Alexander Rossi’s future after an interview with the winner of The 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. “Oh yeah, I am entertaining it, definitely,” Rossi told RACER. “We have been considering it as an option, really, for a good couple of months now. And we’re working to try to put something together. This time of the year is always tough. You think things are going to go one way and most of the time it doesn’t. But we are putting our best foot forward and definitely looking at IndyCar for next year and in the future.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (9/1/2016)

INDYCAR Championship Celebration to be held in Indy on 10/4 – “Drivers, team owners and fans will gather Oct. 4 at Hilbert Circle Theatre in downtown Indianapolis for the annual INDYCAR Championship Celebration. The awards event to honor the Verizon IndyCar Series champion driver and team has been held in San Francisco and Los Angeles the past three years. It last took place in Indianapolis in 2012…Indy cars and their transporter trucks will be parked on the south side of Monument Circle on the day of the event. Drivers, motorsports celebrities and awards presenters will make red carpet entries before the festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. ET on Oct. 4. Fans are invited, too.” More at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/31/2016)

Miller’s Mailbag 8/31/16 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (8/31/2016)

Trackside podcast 8/30/16 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee is a great listen as always. The pair recaps the exciting race at Texas, talk about James Hinchcliffe being named as a DWTS contestant, and previews the INDYCAR weekend at Watkins Glen. – 1070 The Fan – (8/31/2016)

Spotter guide for Watkins Glen – The spotter guide for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen at Watkins Glen International is available at the link. It looks like hhgregg will be on the sidepods of the Andretti Autosport machine for Carlos Munoz. – INDYCAR – (8/30/2016)

Entry list for Watkins Glen – The entry list for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen at Watkins Glen International is available at the link. There are 22 entries this weekend highlighted by RC Enerson in the Dale Coyne Racing No. 19. – INDYCAR – (8/30/2016)

Lights entry list for Watkins Glen – The entry list for the Mazda Indy Lights Grand Prix of Watkins Glen Presented by Cooper Tires is available at the link. There are 12 entries this weekend. – Indy Lights – (8/30/2016)

Lights drivers to test big cars at Sonoma on 9/8 – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports many Indy Lights drivers will be taking part in a Verizon IndyCar Series test at Sonoma Raceway on September 8th. “Belardi Racing Indy lights veteran Zach Veach will share Josef Newgarden’s Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy (pictured above) for a half-day, and the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Indy Lights duo of Andre Negrao and Santi Urrutia will split the day in the SPM Honda Indy cars of Mikhail Aleshin (Negrao) and James Hinchcliffe (Urrutia).” Driver quotes and more at the link. – RACER – (8/30/2016)

Hamilton Jr. and McCormack Racing to make Lights debut at Laguna Seca – National Speed Sport News reports Davey Hamilton Jr. will drive for McCormack Racing in Indy Lights at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the Lights series finale. “I’m glad to have the opportunity to compete in the Indy Lights with Jack McCormack and to make my debut on the road course,” Hamilton said. “I’m looking forward to getting some laps under my belt to have a solid weekend.” – NSSN – (8/30/2016)

Hinch announced as contestant on DWTS – “The Mayor is going dancing. Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe was named today as a member of the Season 23 cast for “Dancing with the Stars,” the hit ABC dance competition partnering celebrities with professional dancers that begins Sept. 12. Hinchcliffe, the sixth-year Verizon IndyCar Series driver racing for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, will be paired with professional dancer Sharna Burgess.” – SPM – (8/30/2016)

Hawksworth “fine” after Texas crash – Larry Foyt told the Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin that Jack Hawksworth will drive the No. 41 car this weekend at Watkins Glen International after his hard crash at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday. “He’s fine,” Foyt told IndyStar. “It was like a stinger. Once he got walking around he said it was fine.” – Indianapolis Star – (8/29/2016)

Buffalo Sabres anthem singer to perform both anthems at WGI – “The in-house singer for the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, Doug Allen, will perform the Canadian and American anthems during the pre-race of Saturday’s Indy Lights race and Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix at The Glen.” – WGI – (8/29/2016)

Enerson to drive DCR No. 19 at WGI & Sonoma – NBC Sports’ Tony DiZinno reports RC Enerson will drive the Dale Coyne Racing No. 19 entry in the final two 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series races at Watkins Glen International and Sonoma Raceway. Enerson made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in the same car at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. – NBC Sports – (8/29/2016)

Miller’s Texas recap – Robin Miller posted an excellent recap of the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on RACER. Check it out at the link. – RACER – (8/29/2016)

Hinch and Rossi possibilities for Dancing with the Stars – Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star reports that both James Hinchcliffe and Alexander Rossi confirmed interest from ABC’s popular television show “Dancing with the Stars”. The full cast will be revealed on Good Morning America on Tuesday, August 30th. – Indianapolis Star – (8/29/2016)

Rahal wins wild finish at Texas – Graham Rahal and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing won the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway over James Hinchcliffe by 0.0080 seconds after a dramatic final lap move. The full Top 5 was Rahal, Hinchcliffe, Kanaan, Pagenaud, and Castroneves. Hinchcliffe led 188 laps. Championship contenders Dixon and Newgarden finished P19 and P22. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (8/27/2016)

2017 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule released – “INDYCAR announced the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule today, a 17-race season that provides continuity, adds a new event at Gateway Motorsports Park and confirms a multi-year agreement with Watkins Glen International. The series calendar features the return of all venues on the 2016 schedule and consists of a total of six events on ovals, six on permanent road courses and five on temporary street circuits.” – INDYCAR – (8/25/2016)

Rosenqvist done with Lights as he continues with DTM – Belardi Auto Racing Indy Lights driver Felix Rosenqvist will continue to drive for the Mercedes DTM team and will thus miss the rest of the Indy Lights season. “I’ve had a fantastic time in the US this year, and it’s been a really great and interesting experience,” said Rosenqvist. “It’s a shame not to see out the season, but it’s just a logistic impossibility…I would like to thank Belardi Auto Racing for all their efforts this year; it’s a great team, and I hope we will find a way to work together again in the future. In the meantime I wish them continued success.” – Motorsport.com – (8/24/2016)

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