News for the Week of September 18 – 24, 2017

Juncos aiming for full-time in ’18 – Joey Barnes has a good story on INDYCAR.com about Juncos Racing’s intentions to expand to full-time in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018. “I want to be a full-time two-car (Verizon IndyCar Series) team, but that will depend on many factors,” says owner Ricardo Juncos. “At the moment, we are focused on the marketing side and trying to finalize sponsors, so then we will see if we can run two cars or only one.” Full story at the link. – INDYCAR – (9/22/2017)

Former Boston GP CEO sues City for $15.5M – Adam Reilly reports former Boston Grand Prix CEO John Casey has filed a complaint in Suffolk Superior Court asking for $15.5 million in damages from the City of Boston. “He claims that Austin Blackmon, Boston’s Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space, waited six months to reveal changes to a Federal Emergency Management Association flood map that affected the race circuit — thereby creating permitting problems that Casey says caused the proposed event to fail.” Full story at the link. – WGBH – (9/21/2017)

Future of Belle Isle race still in jeopardy – INDYCAR has a contract to race at Belle Isle through 2018 but the future of the event continues to be in doubt. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will consider the future of the event as opponents question the environmental impact of the event. Full story at the link. – AP – (9/21/2017)

INDYCAR up 3% on NBCSN versus ’16 – “The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series on NBCSN delivered the network’s second most-watched IndyCar season ever and was up 3% vs. 2016, producing a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 507,000 viewers across 12 races, according to data provided by The Nielsen Company and Adobe Analytics. This season’s viewership on NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app exceeded the 2016 TAD of 492,000 viewers by 3%*, and was just 1% shy of NBCSN’s record TAD in 2015 (510,000). TAD measures consumption across multiple platforms, combining the average minute audience (AMA) for television and digital. More than half of this season’s races on NBCSN (seven) produced a TAD of at least 500,000 average viewers, the most ever since NBCSN acquired IndyCar rights prior to the 2009 season. This year’s race at Pocono on Sunday, Aug. 20, averaged a TAD of 624,000 viewers to rank as the most-watched race of the season.” Full release at the link. – NBC Sports Group – (9/21/2017)

CGRT confirms reduction to 2 cars for ’18 – “We will be returning to a two-car team beginning in 2018 with Scott Dixon in the No. 9 and a yet to be determined second driver in the No. 10,” Chip Ganassi Racing Teams owner Chip Ganassi said in a statement released by the team. “This decision was based on the fact that we felt we needed to get back to our core business of running TWO championship caliber teams. It was a tough decision to make as it affects a lot of people.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (9/20/2017)

RLL officially adds Sato to ’18 lineup – “Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato will return to their Verizon IndyCar Series team in 2018. Sato drove for the team in 2012 where he famously dueled eventual winner Dario Franchitti on the final lap.” Full release as the link. – RLL – (9/20/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 9/20/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (9/20/2017)

Trackside podcast 9/19/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 9/19/17 is a great listen as always. – 1070 The Fan – (9/20/2017)

NBCSN earns 0.33 TV rating for Sonoma – NBCSN’s television broadcast of the Verizon IndyCar Series finale at Sonoma Raceway earned a 0.33 TV rating. That compares to 0.34 for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma last year. – ShowBuzz Daily – (9/19/2017)

Report: Verizon unlikely to continue as title sponsor after ’18 – Adam Stern of the SportsBusiness Journal reports Verizon is unlikely to continue as the title sponsor of the IndyCar Series when the current deal expires after the 2018 season. “It’s likely that the relationship will change, but we’re hopeful that (the relationship) will continue,” Miles told the SBJ. Full story at the link. – SBJ – (9/19/2017)

Monday Musings: Sonoma – The Open Wheel’s Dylan Reynolds’ Monday Musings piece following the Verizon IndyCar Series finale at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (9/18/2017)

The Open Wheel’s Sunday Sonoma photo gallery – The Open Wheel’s Christy Reynolds’ photo gallery of Sunday activity for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (9/17/2017)

Pagenaud wins race at Sonoma but Newgarden takes the championship – Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud won the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway but Josef Newgarden finished second to seal the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series championship. Newgarden is an IndyCar Champion in his first year with Team Penske. The full Top 5 was Pagenaud, Newgarden, Power, Dixon, and Castroneves. Full race results here. – INDYCAR – (9/17/2017)

The Open Wheel’s Saturday Sonoma photo gallery – The Open Wheel’s Christy Reynolds’ photo gallery of Saturday activity for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (9/16/2017)

Newgarden wins first pole of ’17 and sets new track record at Sonoma – Team Penske’s championship leader Josef Newgarden won his first Verizon P1 award of 2017 as he won pole for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway with a new track record lap of 1:15.5205. The rest of the Firestone Fast Six qualifying order was Power, Pagenaud, Castroneves, Sato, and Dixon. Full qualifying results here. – INDYCAR – (9/16/2017)

Chevy named manufacturer championship winner with race to spare – Chevrolet was awarded its sixth consecutive manufacturer championship on Saturday. Chevy has clenched the title regardless of what happens in the series finale at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday. “Although we were outnumbered on the track in quantity, we had the quality needed to win the races and poles required to win the championship,” said Mark Kent, Chevrolet’s director of motorsports competition. “It’s an accomplishment we’re very proud of.” Full story and picture at the link. – INDYCAR – (9/16/2017)

The Open Wheel’s Friday Sonoma photo gallery – The Open Wheel’s Christy Reynolds’ photo gallery of Friday activity for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (9/15/2017)

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