News for the Week of September 10 – September 16, 2018

The Open Wheel’s Sunday Sonoma photo gallery – The Open Wheel’s photo gallery from Sunday at the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (9/16/2018)

Hunter-Reay wins at Sonoma, Dixon earns fifth IndyCar Championship – Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay won the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway from pole on Sunday while Chip Ganassi Racing Teams’ Scott Dixon finished second to claim his fifth Verizon IndyCar Series championship. The full Top 5 was Hunter-Reay, Dixon, Power, Pagenaud, and Andretti. Fellow championship contenders Rossi and Newgarden finished P7 and P8. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (9/16/2018)

Wickens gives update on his status – Robert Wickens has posted a video update on his status and recovery on Sunday afternoon before the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Sonoma Raceway. Check it out at the link. – Robert Wickens – (9/16/2018)

Sonoma starting lineup with tire designations – The official INDYCAR starting lineup with Firestone tire designations for the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway is available at the link. – INDYCAR – (9/16/2018)

RLL announces Sato return for ’19 – “Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that Takuma Sato will return to the team in 2019. Sato is the most recent winner in the IndyCar Series after having led 25 laps at the Grand Prix of Portland en route to his third series victory and first on a road course. It will be his third season with the team after having driven for RLL in 2012 and 2018.” Full release at the link. – RLL – (9/16/2018)

The Open Wheel’s Saturday Sonoma photo gallery – The Open Wheel’s photo gallery from Saturday at the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (9/15/2018)

RHR takes surprise pole at Sonoma – Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay took pole for the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway with a lap of 1:17.6277. The rest of the Firestone Fast Six order was Dixon, Newgarden, Andretti, O’Ward, and Rossi. The fourth championship contender, Power, qualified in P7. Rossi did not use a fresh set of Firestone Red tires in the final “Fast Six” so that he would have an extra set in Sunday’s race. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (9/15/2018)

Dixon finishes strong, leads Practice 3 at Sonoma – Scott Dixon turned the fastest lap of Practice 3 for the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway with a 1:17.9697. Power was hot on his tail with a lap time just 1/100 of a second slower. The Top 5 was Dixon, Power, RHR, Rossi, and Newgarden. Full results here. Combined results here. – INDYCAR – (9/15/2018)

MC Hammer named Grand Marshal of INDYCAR GP of Sonoma – “Legendary hip-hop artist and Bay Area native MC Hammer has been named Grand Marshal of the Grand Prix of Sonoma Verizon IndyCar Series season finale this Sunday at Sonoma Raceway. In addition to his Grand Marshal duties, which include giving the command, “Drivers, start your engines!,” Hammer will ride along with racing legend Mario Andretti in Honda’s Fastest Seat in Sports. As Andretti’s passenger in the two-seat INDYCAR, Hammer will lead the field to the green flag.” Full release at the link. – Sonoma Raceway – (9/15/2018)

Newgarden leads Practice 2 at Sonoma – Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden turned the fastest lap of Practice 2 for the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway with a 1:17.8156. The rest of the Top 5 was Dixon, O’Ward, Power, and Hinchcliffe. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (9/14/2018)

Hunter-Reay tops Practice 1 at Sonoma – Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay’s lap of 1:17.5742 was fastest in Practice 1 for the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. The rest of the Top 5 was Dixon, Power, Pagenaud, and Andretti. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (9/14/2018)

The Open Wheel’s Sonoma preview – The Open Wheel’s Dylan Reynolds’ preview of the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (9/13/2018)

Report: Dixon tops Thursday Sonoma test – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports Scott Dixon unofficially topped a partial field Verizon IndyCar Series test at Sonoma Raceway on Thursday. Full report at the link. – RACER – (9/13/2018)

ECR announces Pigot full-time in No. 21 and Carpenter in No. 20 on ovals in ’19 – “Spencer Pigot will remain behind the wheel of the No. 21 Chevrolet for the 2019 Verizon IndyCar Series season, Ed Carpenter Racing announced today. Pigot’s return to the No. 21 will mark his fourth year with the team and fourth season as a Verizon IndyCar Series driver…Carpenter will continue to drive the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet on ovals in 2019…The road and street course driver for the No. 20 will be announced at a later date.” Full release at the link. – ECR – (9/13/2018)

Report: COTA to host INDYCAR spring training test – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports INDYCAR has chosen Circuit of the Americas for its annual spring training test after the departure of ISM Raceway off the schedule. The test is planned for early February. Full report at the link. – RACER – (9/13/2018)

Report: Steinbrenner Racing to announce ’19 deal for Herta/Harding as soon as next week – The usually reliable Adam Stern reports Steinbrenner Racing is set to announce a deal for Colton Herta to move to the IndyCar Series in 2019 in a partnership with Harding Racing. – Adam Stern – (9/13/2018)

Local background on end of INDYCAR and Sonoma deal – The Press Democrat’s Phil Barber has a well-detailed story on the end of the end of the deal between INDYCAR and Sonoma Raceway. Full story at the link. – The Press Democrat – (9/13/2018)

Miller’s Mailbag 9/12/18 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (9/12/2018)

Trackside podcast 9/11/18 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 9/10/18 is a great listen as always. Jeremy Milless is a guest on the show. – 1070 The Fan – (9/12/2018)

Sonoma spotter guide – The official INDYCAR spotter guide for the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway is available at the link. – INDYCAR – (9/11/2018)

Sonoma entry list – The official INDYCAR entry list for the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway is available at the link. – INDYCAR – (9/11/2018)

Team Pelfrey relocates Lights program to Indy – “Team Pelfrey is excited to announce that its Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires team will be relocating to its Indianapolis headquarters effective immediately. Having had recent success with its Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires team out of Indianapolis, Team Pelfrey is now focused on re-launching its Indy Lights outfit for the 2019 season, beginning with the Chris Griffis test, September 22-23.” Full release at the link. – Team Pelfrey – (9/7/2018)

Harding officially announces Herta and O’Ward for Sonoma – “Harding Racing will add a second Chevrolet-powered IndyCar to their lineup for the Grand Prix of Sonoma next weekend at Sonoma Raceway. Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires 2018 Champion Patricio O’Ward will pilot the #8, and 2018 Freedom 100 winner and Indy Lights Runner-Up Colton Herta will pilot the #88 in their Verizon IndyCar Series debut. Herta and O’Ward are recent Mazda Road to Indy graduates. In Herta’s two years of competing in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship, Herta earned six wins, ten pole positions and 20 podium finishes. O’Ward finished his tenure of Indy Lights with nine wins, nine pole positions and 14 podiums.” Full release at the link. – Harding Racing – (9/7/2018)

Wickens update from SPM 9/6/18 4:01PM – From Schmidt Peterson Motorsports: “Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens underwent surgeries this week at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis to repair fractures to both of his legs and hands from injuries sustained in a crash during the INDYCAR event at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 19. The surgeries were completed without complication. Wickens is expected to be transferred to a rehabilitation center in the coming days to begin the recovery process. The severity of the spinal cord injury he sustained in the incident remains indeterminate and under evaluation. Physicians stress it could take weeks or months for the full effects of the injury to be known.” Full release at the link. – SPM – (9/6/2018)

Alonso enjoys Barber IndyCar test – Fernando Alonso tested with Andretti Autosport at Barber Motorsports Park on Wednesday and based on his comments he enjoyed the experience. “It was a good day, a fun day,” said Alonso. “I love to test new cars and to test the Indy car on a road course is something special. I’ve been lucky enough to test it in wet conditions, in intermediate conditions and in dry conditions, so overall I had a good feeling on every type of track. The weather was good for us today – a little bit of wind in the afternoon but overall a positive day.” Full story at the link. – INDYCAR – (9/6/2018)

Wickens wins ROY – “He made his presence known from his first Verizon IndyCar Series race in March and quickly became a fan favorite. Robert Wickens now carries the honor of Sunoco Rookie of the Year for the 2018 season. Despite being forced to miss the final three races of the year while recuperating from injuries sustained in a crash at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 19, the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver has clinched the top rookie award prior to the season finale at Sonoma Raceway on Sept. 16. Wickens leads Zach Veach by 110 points in the rookie standings with a maximum of 104 available at the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma.” Full story at the link. – SPM – (9/6/2018)

BN Racing to enter Indy Lights in ’19 – “Andersen Promotions is pleased to announce that a new team, BN Racing, will enter the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires fray in 2019. The Chicago, IL-based squad today confirmed plans to enter at least one Dallara-Mazda IL-15, in addition to its existing commitments in both the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda… BN Racing is led by Englishman Bryn Nuttall, who has an extensive background in many areas of motorsports globally, from the engineering side to management and coaching aspects of the sport, with success all around the world.” Full release at the link. – Indy Lights – (9/5/2018)

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