News for the Month of October 2017

Trackside podcast 10/30/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 10/30/17 is a great listen as always. Ed Jones, Jim Leo, and Donald Davidson are guests on the show. – 1070 The Fan – (10/31/2017)

Pruett silly season update 10/30/17 – RACER’s Marshall Pruett has posted an interesting silly season update as of 10/30/17. Check it out at the link. – RACER – (10/31/2017)

Marco interested in driving in an Xfinity race – Marco Andretti has admitted he’s interested in driving in a NASCAR Xfinity Series race and has talked to Dale Earnhardt Jr. about racing with his team. Full story at the link. – NBC Sports – (10/28/2017)

Harvey closing in on six-race deal for ’18 – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports Jack Harvey has the continued support of Auto Nation and Sirius/XM and is closing in on a six-race deal to race in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series. “I was very fortunate to end the season with Auto Nation and Sirius/XM wanting to expand with me next year,” Harvey told RACER. “My goal, knowing they were going to increase their support, was to find a home where I could do, within a round or two, half a season.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (10/27/2017)

Ganassi names Jones as driver of No. 10 for ’18 – “Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) announced today that 22-year-old British driver Ed Jones has joined the team’s Verizon IndyCar Series program in the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda beginning in 2018, teaming up with four-time INDYCAR Champion, Indianapolis 500 Winner and 41-time race winner Scott Dixon. The 2017 INDYCAR Rookie of the Year scored a best finish of third at the Indianapolis 500 this season after taking the Indy Lights Championship in 2016 on the strength of two wins and nine podium finishes.” Full release at the link. – CGRT – (10/25/2017)

Cornelison to perform again before 102nd Indy 500 – “His voice thrilled hundreds of thousands of fans at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and millions more across the globe on Race Day in May 2017, and now he’s back for more. Jim Cornelison will return to sing “Back Home Again in Indiana” before the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 27, 2018. Cornelison is known to sports fans everywhere as the powerful and exclusive voice behind “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Chicago Blackhawks’ home games. He took the “Back Home Again in Indiana” mantle last May, generating widespread praise and social media buzz from fans in Indianapolis and beyond.” Full release at the link. – IMS – (10/25/2017)

Report: Daly out, Leist in at Foyt – RACER’s Robin Miller and Marshall Pruett are reporting Conor Daly will not return to AJ Foyt Racing in 2018 and 2017 Indy Lights rookie Matheus Leist is the favorite for the seat opposite Tony Kanaan. “I’m grateful for the opportunity Larry and A.J. gave me and I respect any and all decisions because they were the first ones to give me a chance,” Daly told RACER. “But I wasn’t prepared for this outcome.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (10/25/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 10/25/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (10/25/2017)

Trackside podcast 10/23/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 10/23/17 is a great listen as always. Anders Krohn is a guest on the show. – 1070 The Fan – (10/24/2017)

Dixon and Hinch happy with Texas test – Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe each tested the 2018 universal aero kit at Texas Motor Speedway on Monday and were happy with the car. “The biggest thing of all of us is that they’ve done it in a way to make the car perform better – it should be better in traffic,” said Dixon. “It does all the things a racecar should do and not a whole lot of what a racecar shouldn’t do,” said Hinchcliffe. “Unfortunately, it has been something we’ve dealt with in the past couple of years with the aero kit. I’m excited to finally get some miles on it and keep learning.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (10/24/2017)

Vollstedt passes away at 99 – “Longtime Indianapolis 500 car entrant Rolla Vollstedt, who is perhaps best remembered for bringing Janet Guthrie to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1976 as the first female to be entered for the Indianapolis 500, passed away Sunday, Oct. 22 in Portland, Oregon. He was 99. Passionate, articulate, outspoken and persuasive, Vollstedt was a high-profile member of the board of directors for the United States Auto Club who served as USAC’s car entrant representative from the late 1960s until the 1980s.” Full release at the link. – IMS – (10/23/2017)

Newgarden pleased INDYCAR isn’t going halo direction – David Malsher reports for Motorsport.com that Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden is happy INDYCAR will be testing an aeroscreen-style design over a halo as the push for increased driver cockpit protection continues. “We’re a little bit different in IndyCar because we have ovals involved and I think the Halo’s not right in IndyCar,” Newgarden told Motorsport.com. “I think if you asked the drivers, the majority will tell you they don’t want it.” Full story at the link. – Motorsport.com – (10/23/2017)

Herta tops charts in Day 2 of Lights Griffis test, Jamin fastest overall – Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta set the fastest time in Day 2 of Indy Lights testing at the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a lap of 1:15.7808 but Nico Jamin’s time of 1:15.7173 was the fastest of the weekend. The final Top 5 was Nico Jamin (Belardi Auto Racing), Colton Herta (Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing), Victor Franzoni (Juncos Racing), Pato O’Ward (Team Pelfrey), and Rinus Veekay (Belardi Auto Racing). Full combined session results here. – Indy Lights – (10/23/2017)

Jamin fastest in Day 1 of Lights Griffis test – Nico Jamin set the fastest time in Day 1 of Indy Lights testing at the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a lap of 1:15.7173 with Belardi Auto Racing. The rest of the Top 5 was Herta (Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing), Victor Franzoni (Juncos Racing), Rinus Veekay (Belardi Auto Racing), and Nico Dapero (Juncos Racing). Full results at the link. – Indy Lights – (10/21/2017)

Verizon confirms it won’t renew title sponsorship after ’18 – SportsBusiness Journal’s Adam Stern reports Verizon has confirmed it will not renew its title sponsorship of the IndyCar Series after the 2018 season. Full story at the link. RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports Verizon will continue as a partner at Team Penske. – SBJ – (10/20/2017)

Munoz does not expect to be back at Foyt in ’18 – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports Carlos Munoz does not expect to be back at AJ Foyt Racing in 2018. “Right now, I’m looking at what’s available, and there isn’t a lot, but most teams want money, a lot of money, so my main goal is to be in the Indy 500 with a really good team so we can go win it,” Munoz told RACER. “I think that’s the more achievable thing. I don’t see many chances to be full-time in IndyCar, and I don’t think it will be with Foyt because they have taken a different direction.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (10/20/2017)

Alonso confirms he won’t run ’18 Indy 500 but vows to come back – NBC Sports’ Luke Smith has a great write-up on Fernando Alonso’s comments on his future at the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race from his press conference at the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. “With the new McLaren deal for next year, I can confirm that I will not be in the Indy 500 next year, because there is Monaco Grand Prix at the same weekend and the priority next year will be to perform well in Formula 1,” Alonso said. “But at the same time, I can confirm that I will be in the Indy 500 in the future.” Full story at the link. – NBC Sports – (10/20/2017)

INDYCAR still planning on testing cockpit protection by end of the year – Motorsport.com’s David Malsher reports INDYCAR will test a driver cockpit protection device on the new 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series car by the end of the calendar year. “Plans are still moving forward, and we’ve been doing a lot of things behind the scenes,” INDYCAR president of competition Jay Frye told Motorsport.com. “You can do a lot of initial testing without actually having the device on a car on track, but we’re hoping to have something on track this fall.” Full story at the link. – Motorsport.com – (10/20/2017)

Juncos confirms Kaiser for 4 IndyCar races in ’18 – “Juncos Racing announced today that American Kyle Kaiser will join the team for a partial-season run in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series. Kaiser moves up to the Verizon IndyCar Series after claiming this year’s Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship with Juncos Racing. Kaiser (Los Gatos, CA) will run four races in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season, including the INDYCAR Grand Prix and the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil – both in May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Two additional events are to be determined.” Full release at the link. – Juncos Racing – (10/19/2017)

Lights entry list released for Griffis Test at IMS – The Indy Lights entry list for the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test this weekend on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is available at the link. – Indy Lights – (10/18/2017)

SPM names Hinch and Wickens as ’18 drivers – “Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced today its lineup for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Oakville, Ontario native James Hinchcliffe has renewed his contract with the Indianapolis-based team in a multi-year extension, and the 2011 IndyCar Rookie of the Year’s teammate will be countryman and friend Robert Wickens, a native of Guelph. The duo marks the first all-Canadian lineup in North American open-wheel racing since 2004 (Champ Car; Forsythe Racing: Paul Tracy, Patrick Carpentier).” Full release at the link. – SPM – (10/18/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 10/18/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (10/18/2017)

Trackside podcast 10/17/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 10/17/17 is a great listen as always. EC Mueller, John Cummiskey, and Jeremy Shaw are guests on the show. – 1070 The Fan – (10/18/2017)

McDonald signs with ECR – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports former SPM engineer Allen McDonald has signed with Ed Carpenter Racing. “As soon as I spoke to them, I was super excited and felt it would be a great fit,” McDonald told RACER. “I have admired them from afar, and it’s a super outfit to join.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (10/18/2017)

Sato’s likeness unveiled on Borg-Warner Trophy – Indianapolis Motor Speedway unveiled the likeness of 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner Takuma Sato on the Borg-Warner Trophy on Tuesday evening. Check it out at the link. – IMS – (10/17/2017)

’18 Indy Lights scheduled announced – The 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires schedule has been announced and the biggest change from 2017 is a doubleheader finale at Portland International Raceway with Watkins Glen International off the calendar. Check it out at the link. – Indy Lights – (10/17/2017)

IMS to unveil Sato’s Borg-Warner Trophy likeness on Tuesday – From the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum’s Twitter account: “Join us tomorrow (Tuesday) at the @IMSMuseum for the unveiling of @TakumaSatoRacer’s likeness on the @BorgWarner Trophy! Doors open for event at 4:30!” – IMS Museum – (10/16/2017)

Trackside podcast 10/12/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 10/12/17 is a great listen as always. – 1070 The Fan – (10/13/2017)

INDYCAR releases ’18 schedule – The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule has been replaced. Portland International Raceway replaces Watkins Glen International on Labor Day weekend. See the full schedule here. Full story at the link. – The Open Wheel – (10/12/2017)

WGI confirms it won’t be on ’18 schedule – “After two years of partnership, Watkins Glen International and IndyCar have agreed to separate for the 2018 season. This is a decision based purely on an inability to find a date that works for the fans, the series, and the track. Watkins Glen International and IndyCar will continue to maintain a positive working relationship and will keep the lines of communication open should opportunities become available in the future that work for everyone.” Full statement at the link. – WGI – (10/12/2017)

Report: Portland to replace WGI on ’18 schedule – Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star reports Portland International Raceway will replace Watkins Glen International on the 2018 INDYCAR schedule when it comes out at 2PM ET on Thursday. Full report at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (10/12/2017)

INDYCAR to announce ’18 schedule on Thursday – INDYCAR will announce their 2018 schedule on Thursday, October 11th. – INDYCAR – (10/11/2017)

Penske adds Taylor, Rahal, and Pagenaud to IMSA lineup – “IMSA Prototype Champion Ricky Taylor will race in the Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International (DPi) program beginning in 2018. Taylor will team up with Helio Castroneves in one of the team’s two full-time entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next season. They will join the previously-announced pairing of Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron. In addition, Graham Rahal and 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion Simon Pagenaud will join the program as endurance drivers when the team makes its competition debut with the new Acura prototype sports cars at IMSA’s 2018 season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona in January and the 12 Hours of Sebring in March.” An interesting development as Rahal gets a chance to drive for Team Penske and Ricky Taylor tested a Verizon IndyCar Series car for Team Penske in 2017. Full release at the link. – Team Penske – (10/11/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 10/11/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (10/11/2017)

Pigot visor cam in ’18 aero kit at Road America – INDYCAR’s excellent visor cam series continues with Spencer Pigot driving the 2018 aero kit at Road America on Tuesday. Check it out at the link. – INDYCAR – (10/11/2017)

Sonoma Raceway opens campground to fire evacuees – “Sonoma Raceway will open its 50 Acres campground to evacuees seeking temporary refuge from the Northern California fires. The raceway, which is equipped to handle up to 2,000 campers during its major event weekends, will open its largest campground to evacuees beginning this afternoon. The 50 Acres campground is located directly across from the raceway on Highway 121 and has not been affected by the fires.” Full details and release at the link. – Sonoma Raceway – (10/10/2017)

Hinch wins “Texas Motor Speedway Sportsmanship Award” – “(James) Hinchcliffe’s handling of a heart-breaking defeat in the 2016 Firestone 600 earned him the Texas Motor Speedway Sportsmanship Award. Graham Rahal made a dramatic last-lap pass of Hinchcliffe to win by 0.0080 of a second, the closest finish in Texas Motor Speedway history. Hinchcliffe exemplified the ideals of sportsmanship following the race, handling the loss with class and dignity following a difficult defeat.” Full release at the link. – Texas Motor Speedway – (10/10/2017)

Report: Portland may replace Watkins Glen on ’18 INDYCAR calendar – RACER’s Robin Miller reports that Portland International Raceway could be on the 2018 INDYCAR calendar if INDYCAR and Watkins Glen International can’t agree on a date for next year. Full story at the link. – RACER – (10/9/2017)

Still possible for Andretti/McLaren partnership to continue at 2018 Indy 500 – Motorsport.com’s David Malsher reports the partnership between Andretti Autosport and McLaren could continue at the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 2018. “There’s still a good chance that McLaren can be at Indy with us next year, so we’ll see,” Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti told Motorsport.com. “Zak is trying to get his house in order a little bit, but the plan is to do things together in the future, hopefully at Indy.” Full story at the link. – Motorsport.com – (10/9/2017)

Report: INDYCAR’s intimidate future in jeopardy at WGI – SportsBusiness Journal’s Adam Stern reports the contracted INDYCAR event at Watkins Glen International for 2018 is in limbo as the sides are “unable to find a date that works for the event”. Definitely a big story to follow as the wait continues for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. – Adam Stern – (10/6/2017)

Andretti V8 Supercars partnership means their drivers might race in Australia – AUTOSPORT’s Andrew van Leeuwen reports that after Andretti Autosport’s recently announced partnership with Walkinshaw Racing in Australian V8 Supercars it’s very likely that the team’s Verizon IndyCar Series drivers could race in Australia in the endurance rounds. “I think there’s a very, very good chance that a couple of our drivers will be coming down here and trying it out for the long distance races,” owner Michael Andretti told AUTOSPORT. “It’s perfect. Our series is done at that time of the year.” Full story at the link. – AUTOSPORT – (10/6/2017)

Karam announces modelling deal – Sage Karam has announced a modelling deal with agency Wilhelmina Models. – Sage Karam – (10/6/2017)

Montoya to consider options for 2018 Indy 500 – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports Juan Pablo Montoya has permission from Team Penske to consider any offers to drive in the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race for other Verizon IndyCar Series teams. “I would ask,” Montoya told RACER. “If they don’t want to use me here, and I could have a shot at winning somewhere else, and they were OK with it, I would ask.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (10/6/2017)

TK officially named driver of Foyt No. 14 – AJ Foyt Racing has officially announced Tony Kanaan will drive their No. 14 car for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. The team also announced Eric Cowdin as Technical Director and Kanaan’s engineer. Watch the announcement here. – AJ Foyt Racing – (10/5/2017)

Foyt to name No. 14 driver for ’18 at 11AM Thursday – AJ Foyt Racing is expected to name the driver of their No. 14 car for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season in an announcement broadcast live on INDYCAR’s YouTube channel at 11AM ET on Thursday. Watch the announcement at the link. – INDYCAR – (10/5/2017)

Team Penske officially announces Castroneves as full-time IMSA driver in ’18 – “Team Penske today announced that longtime winning INDYCAR driver Helio Castroneves will join the team’s new Acura Team Penske program that will begin racing in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Castroneves will join previously-announced drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron in racing one of two Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International (DPi) entries next season. Acura Team Penske’s final full-time and endurance drivers will be announced at a later date. Castroneves will officially return to sport car competition, joining fellow Team Penske drivers Montoya and Simon Pagenaud, at this weekend’s 20th Anniversary Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta driving an ORECA-07. The team will make its competition debut with the new Acura prototype sports cars at IMSA’s 2018 season-opening Rolex 24 race at Daytona in January. In addition to his sport car duties, Castroneves is expected to continue to compete for Team Penske in next May’s Indianapolis 500 as the popular Brazilian driver continues his quest to become a four-time winner of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”” Full release at the link. – Team Penske – (10/4/2017)

Andretti officially announces Wilson as fifth driver for 2018 Indy 500 – “Stefan Wilson is set to return to the iconic field of 33 in May as the British-native will take the wheel of the No. 25 Driven2SaveLives Andretti Honda for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. As the fifth entry for Andretti Autosport, Wilson will join teammates Alexander Rossi, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Zach Veach.” Full release at the link. – Andretti Autosport – (10/4/2017)

ESPN to take over F1 TV rights in 2018 – SportsBusiness Journal’s John Ourand and Adam Stern report ESPN will take over Formula 1 television broadcast rights from NBC Sports for 2018 and beyond in a multi-year deal. NBC Sports Group had previously announced that 2017 will be their last year earlier Wednesday morning (see story below). Full story at the link. – SBJ – (10/4/2017)

2017 to be final year of Formula 1 on NBC Sports Group – NBC Sports Group will not have the broadcast rights to Formula 1 after the 2017 season. That’s big news as INDYCAR works on their TV broadcast rights for after the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. From NBC: “Although we take great pride in having grown Formula One’s visibility and viewership since we became its exclusive U.S. media rights holder in 2013, this will be our last season with the series. In this case, we chose not to enter into a new agreement in which the rights holder itself competes with us and our distribution partners. We wish the new owners of F1 well.”. – NBC Sports Group – (10/4/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 10/4/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (10/4/2017)

Trackside podcast 10/2/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 10/2/17 is a great listen as always. Robin Miller is a guest on the show. – 1070 The Fan – (10/3/2017)

Daly and Rossi linked to “The Amazing Race” – NBC Sports’ Tony DiZinno has an excellent summary of rumors surrounding the possibility of Verizon IndyCar Series Conor Daly and Alexander Rossi being on the cast of the CBS show “The Amazing Race” this season. Full story at the link. – NBC Sports – (10/2/2017)

Watch “2017 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship Reflection” – INDYCAR has posted the “2017 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship Reflection” show that aired on NBCSN on Thursday night to their YouTube channel. Check it out at the link. – INDYCAR – (9/29/2017)

INDYCAR announces 2018 testing parameters – “INDYCAR is providing ample time for manufacturers and teams to learn the new universal aero kit during offseason testing, with the sanctioning body for the Verizon IndyCar Series announcing testing guidelines for the 2018 season.” Check out the full details at the link. – NBC Sports – (9/29/2017)

Penske adds Petit Le Mans entry featuring Montoya, Castroneves, and Pagenaud – “Team Penske will enter an ORECA 07-Gibson in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar season finale – the 20th Anniversary Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on Saturday, October 7th the team announced today. Veteran Team Penske drivers Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud will share driving duties in the 10-hour endurance event. The Petit entry gives the team a chance to have a full-race weekend under its belt prior to making their debut with the recently announced Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International (DPi) program, which will make its maiden competition voyage at the 2018 season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona in late January.” Full release at the link. – Team Penske – (9/28/2017)

Pocono announces IndyCar date of 8/19/18 – “Pocono Raceway will host the 2018 ABC Supply 500 race weekend from August 18-19. It will mark the 25th INDYCAR race held ‘The Tricky Triangle’ and the sixth-consecutive year in which the Verizon IndyCar Series has competed there since 2013.” Full release at the link. – Pocono Raceway – (9/28/2017)

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