Napa Returns With Rossi

Andretti Autosport announced Wednesday...

Carpenter Signs Pigot

Ed Carpenter Racing announced...

Dallara Extended Through 2020

INDYCAR, the sanctioning body of the Verizon...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

FIL's Ana Beatriz Ride Troubles

After reading over the rather small Firestone Indy Lights entry list for the Milwaukee Mile, I noticed that Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver Ana Beatriz was notably absent. The first thing that went through my mind was her health. A few weeks ago Ana had a horrible crash in A1GP, followed by a scary incident last week in Indianapolis.

So, when you have FIL question who do you ask? Kevin Lee of course.

According to Kevin, Sam Schmidt Motorsports says that Ana is Healthy and is still with the team, but will not be competing in Milwaukee. Kevin then fallowed up saying that "she's out of funding, but hopes to return soon".

Thanks to Kevin Lee for the info. You really should check him out on 1070 The Fan and follow him on twitter.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Video: Sarah Fisher On The Price Is Right

Scheckter To Pilot #23

In a somewhat of a surprise move, today Dreyer & Reinbold Racing confirmed Tomas Scheckter to pilot the #23 Dallara.

The 2nd D&R ride was driven by Darren Manning for the first couple races of the season, fallowed my Milka Duno for the last two. With just 13 races left on the 09' schedule, Milka supposedly has 10 more races under contract with D&R. Roger Yasukawa is slated to pilot the #23 in Japan, leaving just one more race on the schedule without a confirmed driver.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vitor Meira Released From Hospital Video Interview


(Courtesy of WTHR)

Tony George Video Interview


(Courtesy of WISHtv)

Both Mari Hulman-George & Tony George Deny Reports

After earlier reports that Tony George has been ousted by the IMS board of directors, TG denies the reports saying:

"I am still CEO and still president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation, Hulman and Company and CEO of the Indy Racing League" -Tony George

"There haven't been any changes. We just discussed things like we usually do and how to make things better." -Mari Hulman-George

Quotes courtesy of WTHR



REPORT: Tony George Fired

According to Robin Miller of SPEEDtv, the IMS board of directors has voted Tony George down as CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Miller reports that the board consisting of Mari Hulman-George, Josie George, Nancy George, Kathy George-Conforti and a few others met in Indianapolis while making the decision.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Matos' New Marines Paint Scheme

If you thought the old one was sweet, check out the new one!!
(Photo thanks to Kirk Reynolds/Luczo Dragon Racing)

Paul Tracy To Pilot #14 In Milwaukee

Paul Tracy who just made his return to the Indianapolis 500 this past weekend will now jump into the A.J. Foyt Enterprises #14 Dallara this weekend in Milwaukee. Tracy will be taking over for Vitor Meira who was injured in a horrible incident in Sundays 93rd Indy 500.

Ironically, just after the mergification in February of 2008, Tracy went on the record saying that he would only compete with one of the "big 3". But now A.J. Foyt Enterprises marks the 3rd team in the last year that PT will have driven for in the Indy Racing League, after piloting a 3rd Vision ride in Edmonton and a 2nd KV ride for the 500.

Don't get me wrong, I'm as big of a Vitor fan as your going to find, but it'll be interesting to see what a top notch driver can do in a Foyt car. Although I'm stunned that this is the way that Foyt went, other than maybe Bell who put on a great show last year at the mile, PT is probably the most capable driver out there.

My best guess is that PT will drive in Milwaukee with Quatro taking over for the season.

"I'm excited to get an opportunity to drive albeit as a fill-in for Vitor as I know it's a short-term thing. When I started my career, I competed against A.J. He was one of my idols growing up. I haven't told too many people this but he was one of the guys I modeled myself after. I'm a little rough around the edges like him and I say what I feel, and that's one of the things I've always admired about him."

"I think the team is competing at a much higher level these days. I had a long conversation with Larry and they're working hard. That's all I expect from people is to do their best. I think I'm the kind of driver who could make the difference at Milwaukee, being a four-time winner there, and teaming up with A.J., a guy who's won as many times as he has at the historic Mile is not only a great story but a winning recipe."

"There's no challenge for me, I'm a grizzly old veteran like A.J., I'll be up to speed real quick. I jumped in the car at Indianapolis and I hadn't driven at Indy in seven years and never drove a Dallara on the speedway and did 220 mph on my third lap. I don't anticipate any trouble getting up to speed because I spent the last month in the car. If the team can deliver me a good car, I think I can win the race for them." -Paul Tracy

"Paul Tracy is a hard charger and our type of driver, much like Vitor. I believe we can put the right equipment under Paul, and we've both had success there, so I think we can put our heads together and have a good race. It's a very important race for us because it's sponsored by our team sponsor ABC Supply, which is based in Wisconsin and Milwaukee is their home track."-A.J. Foyt

Monday, May 25, 2009

Fisher Receives Scott Brayton Award

"I was really happy for all the guys on the team and to bring the Dollar General No. 67 home with four wheels, was huge for our small team. Most people probably thought we wouldn't be back after last year, but I hope we've given people that extra hope in their own lives to keep moving forward regardless of the obstacles they encounter. I'm honored to follow in the footsteps of those that have came before me" -Sarah Fisher

Past Winners
  • 1997 John Paul Jr.
  • 1998 Roberto Guerrero
  • 1999 Eliseo Salazar
  • 2000 Eddie Cheever Jr.
  • 2001 Davey Hamilton
  • 2002 Arie Luyendyk
  • 2003 Buddy Lazier
  • 2004 Helio Castroneves
  • 2005 Kenny Brack
  • 2006 Sam Hornish Jr.
  • 2007 Tony Kanaan
  • 2008 Vitor Meira

2009 Indy 500 ROY

Alex Tagliani has been confirmed for the 2009 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year.

After jumping in the Bruno Junqueira #36 qualified entry, Alex drove through the field starting 33rd and finishing 11th.

Matos: Meira Out For Season

According to Raphael Matos' blog, Vitor Meira is out for the season. Saying:

  • "You've probably all seen the crash we had yesterday at the Indy 500. Vitor and I crashed on the entry into turn 1. I'm very disappointed and feel very bad that we didn't finish. I also feel bad that Vitor got hurt. He's my friend and I respect him a lot. I talked to him and his wife last night. My family didn't tell me that he had been taken to the hospital because they knew I would be upset. I called his phone later and his wife answered. She was on her way to the hospital and told me he was out for the year. That really hurt me. All the preparation we do and he's so dedicated, it's just very unfortunate. When I talked to Vitor he asked how I was feeling, I told him my knees hurt and I had a headache. We talked a little about what happened. I would never try to pass on outside of turn 1, not with less than 30 laps and with all the marbles. I'd never do that. He said he knew we were faster than him. I had passed him on the inside of turn 1 a little earlier so this time he wanted to hold the inside. I had a good run on him and was setting him up to pass him on the back straightaway. By the time we crashed I was off throttle, setting up the car for the back straight. It was really disappointing. We had done everything right up to the point of the second to last pit stop. I was trying to make up time and over shot my pit. That was probably my only mistake. The team had worked so hard all month and that is a tough way to end. Right now I'm bummed, but I hope in a couple days I will be able to put it all behind me and get ready for Milwaukee." -Raphael Matos

If it is indeed true that Vitor is out for the season, who will replace him for the remainder of the schedule?

  • A.J. Foyt IV-Quatro makes the most since. He raced for them in Indy and after all he is A.J.'s grandson.
  • Darren Manning-Raced for A.J. last year, but I'm not sure they left on the best of terms.
  • Tomas Scheckter-Very talented and without a ride. There were rumors of Tomas piloting a 3rd Foyt entry at Indy
  • Buddy Rice-He's talented and American, and that's what A.J. likes.

500 Takes Toll On Drivers

According to the twitter savy Curt Cavin, after catching fire than flipping sideways and backwards Vitor Meira has suffered a broken L1 & L2 vertebrae, with plans are to skip surgery and to go with a back brace. Quatro could slide into the #14 Foyt Racing Dallara Milwaukee and possibly beyond.

Also in the Meira accident was rookie Raphael Matos. After gingerly climbing out of his Luczo Dragon ride and walking with help from the Delphi safety crew to the ambulance he was interviewed and seemed to be ok.

Tony Kanaan than twitted this morning:
"Rugh morning guys very,very sore. Just for back from the hospital need some
more X Rais tomorrow morning. I think I have some broken ribs"

It'll be interesting to see who's in what cars in Milwaukee. Best of luck to Vitor, Tony and all other drivers for a quick recovery.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

93rd Indianapolis 500 Wrap-Up

  • Helio becomes the 9th 3+ time Indy 500 winner
  • Finishing 3rd, Danica broke her 05' mark of 4th for the best finishing position for a woman
  • Bell & Power both with great runs, could they run more races this season??
  • Paul Tracy has solid run finishing 9th
  • Tagliani, probably the 09' Indy 500 ROY
  • Fisher has her best finish of 17th
  • Meira catches fire than flips, sent to hospital with back pain
  • TK, more bad luck for the veteran
  • Graham has 2 starts with an average finish of 32nd
  • Hunter-Reay hit the wall ending a horrible month
  • Moraes hit the wall ending what was a great month

370 days and 19 hours until the 94th Indianapolis 500

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Burger Bash Fun

Yesterday marked the 2nd annual Carb Night Burger Bash. It was my first year attending after reluctantly missing last years due to a little thing called High School graduation, but I don't plan on missing another one anytime soon.

Panther Racing's Daniel Wheldon attended and was actually pretty funny. After making a funny or two at PT's expense he took photos with fans and signed a few autographs.

One of the best moments of the night was when a black helmet signed by 20 or so drivers was auctioned off. A little 5 or 6 year old boy was the first to stake claims to the helmet with a $1 bid, but that was quickly declined after he openly admitted to Cavin that his parents had no idea he was bidding. After slowly creeping up to a bid of $900, the guy who ultimately won the helmet quickly handed it down and giving it to the little kid, making his day. Hat's off to the guy.

One of the big draws to the event other than driver appearances, fun and the fact that its for charity, were these great milkshakes Cavin has been talking about. I've had a shake or two in my life and I'm not going to lie, they were pretty amazing.

Although it was fun, the real reason for the event was to help support 4 local charities. Over 2,000 (delicious) sandwiches were purchased by the 1,000 in attendance. The auction consisted of a pair of Tony Kanaan Indy qualifying gloves, the signed helmet and 3 foam board signed photos of Servia, Dixon and and Wheldon. I'm also proud to say that the program signed by 19 drivers + Jack Arute I donated contributed $100 to the $5,600 that was ultimately raised. Thanks to all the bidders.

Be sure to mark May 21st 2009 on your calender, I'll see you there.
____________________

This has nothing to do with the Burger Bash, but check out the Cave man that was in attendance with Paul Tracy this morning at the autograph session/Public drivers meeting.

Friday, May 22, 2009

7th And Final Charge Dropped In Helio Case

In the wake of winning the Pole for the 93rd Indy 500 and just now victorious in the pit stop competition, prosecutors have dropped the 7th and final charge against Helio Castroneves. Helio was cleared on 6 of the 7 counts just over a month ago in a Miami courtroom allowing the 34 year old to compete in Long Beach and beyond.

Jimmie Johnson Speaks On Danica To Stock Cars

From forums to blogs countless people have given there opinion on the whole Danica to Stock Car situation but now Jimmie Johnson, who is supposedly big in the Stock Car world, is giving his opinion:

“If she’s serious about doing it, she needs to spend a year or two, while racing IRL, running ARCA, running trucks, running Nationwide and really understanding the difference in the vehicles. For our sport, I’d love to see it. This is where I make a living; this is the sport I love and whatever we can do to make our sport stronger I’m in favor of.”

"They just need time. They have worked their entire lives to learn an open-wheel vehicle, the characteristics of that, the adjustments. It’s just two totally different worlds. In a lot of respects, it would be easier to go from stock cars to IRL. The vehicle is the limit in our cars. In a lot of respects, in open-wheel cars, it’s the bravery of the driver. The car has so much grip, it sticks, you just have to keep pushing yourself. You take that mentality and then put it in a stock car that has 60 percent less grip and down force – it’s like going from driving a sports car to a Suburban. It just takes awhile to get that.”

"Granted it would be a money-making opportunity,but it’s just tough to roll the dice on someone that has no experience in stock car racing. Now, if she was serious about it and ran two years in Nationwide program and she showed promise, then a team would then buy in and say, ‘You know, she’s going to be a rookie, we’re going to tear up some cars, but our eggs are in this basket for the long haul and this is going to work." -Jimmie Johnson

Now for my opinion, after the Dario disaster, and with the struggles of Sam, I don't see it happening. Danica and the people around her are smart and it would be stupid to walk away from a position where she can run competitively week in and week out and become a back marker in any other series.

Another key aspect to the move would be a loss of off time. The six month off season she has now would turn into about 2 months of downtime in stock cars, and she's gone on the record before saying that she like time off.

There's no doubt she can make more money in stock cars, no one will disagree with that, but money isn't everything.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pink Car, Pink Suits, Pink Hair??

Over the last month Ganassi/Sam Schmidt driver Alex Lloyd has been put through a lot. I've noticed on more than one occasion other teams whistling at the #99 driver and crew while walking Gasoline Alley. Even his PR guy got in on the jostling.

The team doesn't seem to mind, infact there even taking it to another level. For every $10,000 that is pledged to the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation one crew member will dye there hair pink for raceday.

“Well, we have pink suits and a pink car, so we may as well go all the way and dye our hair pink. We’ve gotten a lot of attention with our program this month, and we felt we should center some of that positive attention towards a good cause.” -Sam Schmidt

“Running the pink HER car, I think it’d be great to have crew with pink hair as well. The donations would go towards a great cause, and the benefits would be huge. Plus, it’ll be a lot of fun for everyone involved.” -Alex Lloyd

To pledge you can contact Zach Wenzel by phone at (815) 541-6540 or by e-mail at
zachwenzel@hotmail.com

Monday, May 18, 2009

This Week In VERSUS Programming

Tagliani Replacing Junqueira In #36

According to Wish-TV, Alex Tagliani will replace Bruno Junqueira in the #36 Conquest Dallara.

After walking the garages for 2 weeks, 02' pole sitter Bruno Junqueira got a phone call from Conquest giving him the vacant 36 seat. After running his first laps on Bump Day, he qualified safely into the 33 car field. But after Conquest regular Alex Tagliani failed to qualify for the greatest spectacle, the team decided to replace Bruno with Alex.

  • "I want to first of all say thank you to Bruno for being so understanding and to the team for taking this decision. We have been building this long-term relationship for a while now and I'm more than thrilled to be able to pursue that by taking part in my first Indy 500. Obviously, it would have been much sweeter if we would have had both cars in the show because Bruno and I had fast and identical cars. It's pretty much a fluke that I didn't make the field. We just got caught out.
  • You never want to second-guess yourself but if we had to redo things we probably would do it differently, but now that is in the past. At the end of the day, I'm just really happy right now to be realizing my dream of running in the Indy 500. The team has worked so hard all month and they deserve to be here." -Alex Tagliani
Does this remind anybody else of 92'?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bump Day Wrap-Up

After an incredibly exciting last 45 minutes to the 4th and final day of qualifications Buddy Lazier, Stanton Barrett and Alex Tagliani failed to qualify for the 93rd Indianapolis 500.

Props to the #43 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing crew who slowly but surely inched there way into the field.

It's got to be tough for the conquest guys. 48 hours ago 2002 Indy pole sitter Bruno Junqueira was without a ride, but now he's sitting in a full field without teammate Alex Tagliani.

The #98 3G crew struggled all month, but they were finally put out of there misery when the six o'clock gun went out. The question now rises, will Stanton Barrett and the 3G team ever run another Indycar race?

2009 snapped Buddy Lazier's 14 strait Indy Starts, and the only driver to race in every IRL sanctioned Indianapolis 500.

"Exciting" Paul Tracy News

During the 3+ hours rain delay at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway yesterday, "IRL Guy" Michael Young interviewed KV Racing co-owner Jimmy Vasser.

When asked about Paul Tracy, Jimmy said to expect exciting news next week regarding Paul Tracy running races in the summer. I'm assuming the announcement will be the addition of Edmonton and Toronto to PT's 09' schedule, but I suppose another road course or two wouldn't be a huge surprise.

Friday, May 15, 2009

REPORT: Junqueira Signs With Conquest


According to the Indy CBS affiliate WISH-TV, Bruno Junqueira will pilot the #36 for Conquest Racing.
UPDATE: Big Red soda and All Sport will sponsor Bruno

Spots 23-33, Who Won't Make It???

Now that spots 1-22 are taken, the remaining grid positions will begin getting filled tommorrow. As of now there are 13 car/driver combinations vying for 11 spots, leaving 2 cars out of the Greatest Spectacle.

Assuming drivers like Rice, Junqueira, J. Lazier, Yasukawa, and Simmons are left without rides, who won't find the speed to qualify for the 93rd Indianapolis 500?


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Scheckter With Coyne, Rice Close To Deal

Sunday he was going to drive for 3G, yesterday Cavin reported that he was likely with Conquest, now it appears he Tomas Sheckter has signed on with Dale Coyne Racing. According to Derek Daly, Tomas will turn his first laps of the month tomorrow in the #19 Dale Coyne Racing Dallara.

Word in the garage is that Buddy Rice either is close or already has sponsorship locked up to run the 500. But it won't matter how much money he has if he's not in Indy soon. Mabey Jeff can give him a lift to the airport.

UPDATE: I've gotten a couple e-mails regarding both topics.

First off I never said Rice had a done deal, but simply that he is working on one and that he is close with sponsorship.

I also recieved 2 messages asking me who Derek Daly was. Here's his bio, but from now on he'll probably be refered to as Connor's dad.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

1995 Bump Day Video

Scheckter To Conquest?

That's what Curt Cavin is reporting could happen this afternoon at the earliest.

I'm sure you know that Sunday I reported that Tomas would be driving the #98 3G ride if Stanton couldn't get it qualified on Sunday. I'm not sure what happened over the last couple day's, but I do know these facts:

Tomas Scheckter's helmet and seat were in the 3G garage sitting behind a curtain on Sunday morning. I was told by a source VERY close to the situation that Tomas was on stand by, and would be in the car this Thursday. What could have blocked the deal? Well Stanton is one of the 3G's and I'm not sure he knew about the Scheckter situation.

As you know anything can happen in the racing world. Stanton could be piloting a second Conquest car, jump in the 3G ride, be without a ride or could be driving for a completely different team come race day. I guess were all just going to have to wait and find out.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Don't Mess With Pink Lloyd

Conway Released From Hospital

Just a day after Indy 500 rookie Mike Conway backed his car into the turn 1 wall, he was released from Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Suffering from a bruised lung, the Dreyer & Reinbold driver will be examined by IMS doctors on Friday and is expected to take back to the track on Saturday at the earliest.

Conway still has to qualify for the 93rd Indianapolis 500, with his last 2 opportunities coming this Saturday and Sunday. It has been rumored that Darren Manning who drove the #23 D&R Dallara in the first 2 races of the season, could fill in for the injured Conway if he's unable to run.

Later in the day, one of Conway's 3 teammates, John Andretti had an eerily similar incident in the same turn. Check them out:



Sunday, May 10, 2009

2nd Day Of Quals Notes & Photos

First off, I think we can all agree, Graham Rahal did and absolute amazing job avoiding what could of been a horrific incident. I was in the first turn when it happened, and I cringed watching Andretti's already tore up car sliding up into the path of Rahal. It could of gotten bad, but luckily it didn't.

Secondly, Scott Sharp really dodged a bullet qualifying for the 93rd Indy 500 today. He has gone on the record saying that plan A was to qualify yesterday and plan B was to qualify today, but if neither happened he would have come back next Saturday splitting his time in both Indy and in Utah for the ALMS race. In the end all of was avoided when Sarah Fisher, Davey Hamilton, and ironically E.J. Viso pulled out of line allowing Sharp to make a final attempt.

Thirdly, it appears that Stanton Barrett has lost his Indy 500 ride. A very reliable source says that because Stanton failed to find the speed to qualify today, he will be replaced by Indycar veteran Tomas Scheckter. It is unclear as to if Stanton will continue to pilot the #98 Dallara for the remainder of the 2009 Indycar season.



Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pole Day 5:30 Photos


Former F1 driver Takuma Sato walking the garage



Kanaans "Hybrid"

Richard Petty in D&R garage

Friday, May 8, 2009

Pole Day Qualifying Order

Click to enlarge
By the way, while checking the live timing & scoring I noticed that it was "brought to you by Verizon Wireless". I also hear that there will be an announcement tomorrow at IMS in regards to Verizon. Stay tuned.

Fast Friday 2pm Update

Yesterday the forecast for today was rain in the morning, dry in the afternoon and rain at night. This morning they said clear in the morning and rain in the afternoon. But other than a few sprinkles it hasn't rained since early this morning. I don't the local forecaster have a clue as to what they are doing.

Quick list of driver I've seen walking the garage without a ride:
  • Bruno Junqueira
  • Tomas Scheckter
  • Roger Yasukawa
  • Jeff Simmons
  • Takuma Sato
  • Mario Dominguez
  • Jaques Lazier

Bobby D's car after contactVERSUS reporter Jon Beekhuis taping a segment in the Hemelgarn garageUp 2 Speed's Lauren Bohlander with 3G's Stanton Barrett

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday IMS Photos

Although rain was in the forecast, today has turned out to be a beautiful day at the greatest race course in the world. A little cloudy, a slight wind and temperatures in the low 70's has led to 32 dallaras taking to the course.

Ryan Hunter-Reay was the first to make contact this Month, after getting loose and hitting the turn 2 wall. As you can tell by the photo, not a ton of damage was done. I would expect his #21 ride to be back on track tomorrow.

As of 4:30, Marco is on top of the time sheet with a lap of 225.478 mph.
Tags jogging to his garage

Bruno in Coyne's garage
Cavin working hard
Manning, Milka and Hamilton

Viso, Taglianai, and Phillipe
Ryan riding back to his garage
TCGR owner Chip Ganassi
John Andretti heading out to practice in his #43
RHR into wall

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wet Wednesday At IMS

A nasty day at IMS. Tomorrow is supposed to be a little better, fingers crossed.
A vacant Pagoda PlazaPenske is ready for everything.

Alex Lloyd pretty in PinkNevada taged, Monstor sponsored Jeep. Who could it be?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

ROP Day 1 Wrap-UP

It was great weather to start off the month of May, Sunny a slight breeze and 74 degrees.

A few notes:
  • Rahal Letterman will field a car, but driver is unknown probably Servia or Scheckter
  • Jaques Lazier says that he's close to a deal
  • Jeff Simmons says "it's gona be tough" referring to finding a ride
  • Foyt unlikely to field 3rd car
The two veterans of Paul Tracy and Scott Sharp led the 9 drivers that took to the track on Opening Day. After just 5 laps Paul Tracy, who is making his return to IMS after a 6 year hiatious, hit 220mph and ended the day with a high speed of 223.089.

Speeds
  1. Paul Tracy223.089
  2. Scott Sharp 221.878
  3. Robert Doornbos 221.735
  4. Raphael Matos 218.613
  5. Alex Tagliani 218.333
  6. Mike Conway 217.063
  7. Nelson Philippe 214.786
  8. Alex Lloyd 213.032
  9. Stanton Barrett 207.522

Dario spent a great deal of time cruis'n the garages
Quatro was getting fitted into his seat, notice the through back helmetBobby D relaxing before ROPPT returning the IMS for the first time since 02'While HVM was working on his car, E.J. worked on his bikeRapha with his game face on before ROPAlex spent much of the day getting laughed at. Atleast he has a ride.Stanton working on his #98 Dallara