Chaves Confirmed To '500' Ride With New Team

The worst kept secret in INDYCAR was finally announced...

Napa Returns With Rossi

A.J. Foyt Racing announced...

Carpenter Signs Pigot

Ed Carpenter Racing announced...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

NHL's #06 Changes To #40202

Yea, that right! Alex "Pink" Lloyd will pilot the #40202 HER Energy Dallara in the upcoming Season Finale October 10th.

Why #40202 may you ask? By simply texting "stand" to 40202 you can donate $5 to cancer awareness and research.

This will mark just Alex's 3rd Indycar Series event in his 2 years since winning the 2007 Indy Lights Championship. After competing in the '08 and '09 Indianapolis 500's with Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Lloyd left the team for greener pastures including a possible full season ride in 2010.

"HER is ecstatic to work with Pink Lloyd again. He's a great sport wearing pink, and we had a great experience in May. I couldn't have been more excited to find another opportunity to work with him. Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing has such an impressive legacy, and my experience working with all of them the past few weeks only confirms the great things I've heard. And their engineers and crew are remarkable. And we want to thank the IRL for allowing us to enter the #40202 number – and their getting behind such an amazing cause and call to action.” -Brett Jacobson CEO of HER Enterprises Inc.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Q&A With J.R. Hildebrand

(Photos courtesy of Indycar.com)
16th And Georgetown: After wrapping up the Firestone Indy Lights tittle in Chicagoland you said: "My strategy was not to crash". How hard is it heading into a race, an oval at that, with just one thing in mind, don't put it into the wall?

J.R. Hildebrand: Well, I guess I would say that my strategy going INTO the race was more like, "Get to the front and work with Seb," but that quickly TURNED INTO "try not to crash" once the race got going, mainly as a result of all the mayhem up at the front. I knew that discretion was going to be the better part of valor in that race if it came down to it, and that mentality quite honestly saved me from being involved in a few of the the big accidents on track. It's frustrating to start at the back and not be able to put your head down and drive to the front, but I have to say that I think it was going to be hard to do in that race at Chicago regardless because of how much contact and rough driving was going on. Needless to say, I was quite relieved just to have finished the race!

16th And Georgetown: With the Lights title locked up and your teammate Sebastian Saavedra slipping to 3rd in points, will you have any "team orders" heading into Miami, or will you be flat out for the win?

J.R. Hildebrand: I'll definitely try to help Sebastian if I can, team orders or not. I tried to do it at Chicago but we both ended up getting mixed up in the jumble of cars at the front and it became nearly impossible to orchestrate anything at that point, so hopefully Homestead will be different. Having said that, we've had really poor luck on the big ovals this year besides Indy where we finished a strong second, so it would be a great way to end the year if we could pick up the win. When it comes down to it, we'll just have to see how the points look like they're going to shake out for Seb as we get through qualifying and into the race, and go from there.

16th And Georgetown: Now that you've won the Indy Lights title, what's your outlook for 2010? Would you be interested in a return to the Lights or are you fully committed to finding an Indycar ride?

J.R. Hildebrand: I'm working very hard to get myself in an Indycar next year. I think the Lights Series is a great proving ground for Indycar, and I feel like I've learned a lot in the last two years that will serve me well going forward, but returning as a champion would be hard to improve upon. I hope to use the season that I've had, the knowledge that I've gained, and the skills that I've developed in Indy Lights to get into the big cars for next year.

16th And Georgetown: On your website you say that your racing goal is to first win an Indycar Championship, then move over to Formula 1. What are your thoughts on the newly formed USF1 team, and have you been contacted regarding a possible ride?

J.R. Hildebrand: Well first off I'd just like to note that I don't really rate Indycar or Formula One higher or lower than the other. Formula One obviously has a higher global level of prestige and backing, but I think you will agree that there's nothing else out there like the Indianapolis 500. Nothing. I think that the USF1 team is a great idea and will hopefully give deserving Americans an opportunity to try their craft overseas, but I think it remains to be seen if they'll be competitively up and running for next year, so it's a little hard to say. I have not personally been contacted in regarding a ride with the team for next year.

16th And Georgetown: After Graduating from High School with a 4.12 GPA you accepted a 2-year deferral to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. So far the whole Racing thing has turned about pretty well, any regrets?

J.R. Hildebrand: Yes, racing has turned out extremely well since making the decision to put off going to school, and I have no regrets whatsoever about deferring. When I was still in high school (2005) I decided that I was going to graduate a semester early so that I could move away from California in the Spring of 2006 if I needed to. I was taking a full course load in my final semester to get all my requirements sorted, including arguably the hardest class that the school offered which was BC Calculus. Then I was picked for the Team USA Scholarship Program and missed three of the four weeks before my final exams. I think I'm probably the only racecar driver that's been stuck in a pitlane doing differential equations so that they can keep up with their math homework because of that! I knew then that I couldn't commit enough to either racing or to school to do both of them effectively at the same time, and haven't questioned that since. I do intend to get a higher education, but I will wait until the time is right to make sure that I get the most out of it.

16th And Georgetown: Your website says that your a fan of "24", is there anything Jack can't do?

J.R. Hildebrand: No. Jack Bauer is the new Chuck Norris. I bought a T-shirt for my dad that said, "If you woke up this morning, its because Jack Bauer spared your life..." and I believe that to be true. Nuclear bomb? Cake. Biological contaminants? No problem. He's the man.

16th And Georgetown: A few weeks ago when in Sonoma, the Indycar.com cameras fallowed you "back to school", lets see what you learned, Sin^2 x + Cos^2 x =????

J.R. Hildebrand: Uh, one? That was unfair. I was never particularly good at quick math, I was much more of a problem solver. What you didn't see in that clip is that I had accurately solved some numerical derivatives, but of course they don't show any of THAT! I was sitting there thinking, "Really? you really think I'm going to just bust out trigonometry identities off the top of my head after three years? Come on now." Oh well.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Foyt On Wind Tunnel

It's been said that Wind Tunnel host Dave Despain has been trying to get A.J. Foyt on for years, but he's always declined. Some say A.J.'s "ticked" at Despain, but Dave doesn't know why and others say A.J. is confused and thinks Despain is someone else. Finally Big Tex has agreed to appear on the SPEEDtv talk show, just withouth Dave.

Miller and Foyt will discuss the 'good ol days' while showing vintage footage of highlights from Foyt's record-setting career. Foyt will be in his raceshop in Texas while Miller will be hosting from the Wind Tunnel studio in North Carolina so Miller will be free to ask any question without fear of getting throttled by Foyt...immediately. -A.J. Foyt Enterprises
This Sunday the normally stock car oriented show will be hosted by Open Wheel minded Robin Miller. The show can be seen LIVE Sunday night at 9 est. on SPEEDtv.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Danica Staying + IRL Close W/ Tittle Sponsor

According to the always reliable Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star, Danica Patrick signed another 3 year deal to remain with AGR in the Indycar Series. Although Danica could still run races in the stock car world in 2010, that 3 year deal really leads me to believe that the IRL is her future.

In other news from Cavin (end of the Danica article), the IRL's President of the Commercial Division, Terry Angstadt mentioned on Thursday that they were once again close to signing a Tittle Sponsor for 2010.

P.S. Sorry for the lack of updates recently but I've been in the hospital to get my appendix taken out, or at least what was left of it after it blew. I should be back home either Friday or Saturday, and hope to update the site more regularly there after. By the way, if your stomach hurts don't wait 2 days to go to the hospital, big mistake.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Motegi Preview

By: Tony Donohue

Twin Ring Motegi is where you can find the Indy Car Series this weekend. The 1.5 mile oval lies in the middle of the road course on the grounds that are owned by Honda. Moto GP runs the road course that connects into the oval. Motegi is a town in the Haga District, Tochigi, Japan. Its population of 16,500 live in a small area of 107.3 square miles.

The Indy Car Series has been taking this annual trip across the pond to Japan since 2003. That year, Scott Sharp took the win. Up until this year, the race was ran in April, gearing up for the Indy 500. This year, Motegi gears us for the championship finale in Miami. Some of the series top stars have taken the checkered flag at Motegi. Dan Wheldon, Danica Patrick and Tony Kanaan have all won there. Danica last year stole the show, winning her first Indy Car race by rolling the dice on fuel strategy. The 300 mile event will play huge in the championship implications.

With two races left, Ryan Briscoe leads the points over Dario Franchitti by 25 points. Scott Dixon sits third in the standings, thirty three points back. Ryan Briscoe is the hottest driver in the series right now. He won last time out at Chicagoland, over the past seven races, Ryans lowest finish is 4th. This includes victories at Kentucky and Chicagoland, and second place finishes at Watkins Glen, Toronto, Infineon and Mid-Ohio. The fourth place finished came at Edmonton. He has finished every race and 12 out of the 15 finishes where in the Top 5.

The Target boys look to mount a charge in the points this weekend to set up a shootout at Homestead next month. Out of the four red cars, well, three red cars and Dario’s yellow Life Lock livery, I will take Dario Franchitti to take the checkers, which will set up a one race shootout for the title. My darkhorse’s are Hideki Mutoh and Mario Moraes. Moraes has been rolling of late, finishing third at Chicagoland and looks to make it three straight top fives. Additions to the grid this weekend are Roger Yasukawa for Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, Kosuke Matsuura with Conquest Racing, and Stanton Barrett will pilot the 98 for Team 3G this weekend. You can catch a recorded version of qualifying at 6:00 and the race live Friday at 10:30 est. on VERSUS.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Q&A With Robert Doornbos

16th And Georgetown: With 2 races left your just 17 points behind Raphael Matos in the chase for Rookie of the Year. What would it mean to you to become 2010 Indycar Series ROY?

Robert Doornbos: To be honest I’ve had such a bad season on and off track that winning the rookie title would definitely be a highlight from the season for me and it is something that still motivates me going to Motegi and Miami. But I need to have a faster car to be able and challenge Matos at the moment. So hopefully the car will be better and have a good fight and fun in Japan and Miami

16th And Georgetown: You've raced many formulas in your career, where does the Indycar Series rank?

Robert Doornbos: It’s definitely up there with the best. Of course, racing in F1 was a dream come true and I’m sure many drivers in IndyCar can agree with me, but IndyCar is the best thing outside F1 and it’s very competitive with great teams and drivers.

16th And Georgetown: With the mid-season move to HVM, you signed a deal to drive through 2010. Has your Rookie year been what you expected and what are your goals for next season?

Robert Doornbos: No, I’m not happy with my rookie season because the results haven’t been there, and it’s never good to do a mid-season swap of teams. But for me it was necessary because at NHLR I had too many problems and did not enjoy my working relationship in the team. I know HVM couldn’t give me a winning car straight away, but we have had success together in ChampCar in 2007, fighting for the championship and winning races. I look forward to finishing the season as best as we can do with the car we have and have a very strong winter development program and to come back strong next year and have Bobby D up front fighting for success!

16th And Georgetown: Being an IndyCar rookie, your receiving coaching from fellow Dutchman Arie Luyendyk. How has it been working with a 2 time Indy 500 Champion?

Robert Doornbos: Arie is a legend in the USA and winning Indy two times is very special! He helps me on and off the track with great advice about the skill of oval racing which is something completely different than I’m used to in Europe. Hopefully one day I can challenge his record at Indy but I’ll be happy with one win also…

16th And Georgetown: According to your bio, your first love was Tennis and you competed at a semi-pro level. If you wouldn't of made the switch to motorsports, how far could you of made it as a tennis player?

Robert Doornbos: I’ll never know but I don’t think I would have won Wimbledon or the US Open…. I have a much bigger hunger from the beginning when I started racing cars than I did playing tennis and that was the sign for me to focus on my career racing cars.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Team 3G Adds Sponsor For Motegi

As Stanton Barrett returns to pilot the #98 Team 3G ride this weekend in Motegi, they'll add a unique sponsor to the car.

The new novel written by Caprice Crane, Family Affair, will be an associate sponsor on the Dallara with the primary sponsorship going to Interush. Crane, doughter of Tina Louise (Ginger on Gilligan's Island) also writes for the recently re-launched Melrose Place.

“I am excited to have this opportunity with publisher Bantam Books having Family Affair as one of our sponsors. It is very exciting to share three things I love and have a passion for – the movie business, great creative novels and auto racing. For the first time in my career, I have the opportunity to run a sponsorship from someone who is part of the film industry, which I have worked in for over 22 years.

I am also thrilled to be back in IndyCar for the Japan race and plan on coming back strong.” -Stanton Barrett

“When Stanton told me he was a race car driver, I mentioned a humorous scene in Family Affair where the female lead character literally chases her husband and his parents, IndyCar-style, down the highway, forcing them to pull over – also catching the attention of a nearby police car.” -Caprice Crane

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rutherford Back On Track

As tickets for the 2010 Indianapolis 500 went on sale today (available here), 3 time Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford took a few laps in his 1980 winning Chapparal to mark the 30th anniversary of the win.

Coming from someone who wasn't even born in 1980 and who's parents were in High School at the time, I gotta say, it was pretty sweet seeing the #4 Pennzoil Chapparel turning laps at IMS.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fernandez Not Jumping To IRL

After rumors that Fernandez racing could be one of 3 teams to make the jump from ALMS to Indycars in 2010, it doesn't look like they'll be racing anywhere next season. According to SPEEDS Robin Milller, unless a sponsor steps up soon Fernandez Racing will close by the end of October.

Miller also reports that Adrian Fernandez could of possible kept Lowe's, his ALMS sponsor, if he were to pilot a Dallara in the Indycar Series. However Adrian turned down the offer saying "I've got a wife, two kids and my health and I'm too old for Indy cars."

Of the other 2 ALMS teams that were rumored to make the jump, Gil de Ferran Motorsports has already announced there commitment for a 2 car IRL team in 2010. Highcroft Racing has also shown interest, but it's more likely that there driver Scott Sharp will make the leap along with sponsor Patron to an already established IRL team.

"It's been a good run but we're between a rock and a hard place and our poker hand didn't come up so good this time. I told our guys that we didn't have anything that's even close so they all needed to go look for jobs. Go look now and go look hard. We only have 17 employees but there's a lot of good ones and most of them have been very loyal so that makes this deal even tougher."

"I don't know what I'm going to do but I want to stay in racing. If you know anybody who wants to buy a good sports car,
two haulers, pit equipment and our shop machinery, tell 'em they can have it all for $1 million."

Adrian has always found his own sponsors but we've both turned over every stone looking for something and we even hired a guy with some connections down south to try and find us sponsorship. Ideally, the cheapest deal would have been to stay in sports cars because we've got our car, we could lease an engine from Acura and probably do the season for $3-3.5 million. After that, we thought Indy cars made the most sense but it's really tough right now to find anything" -Tom Anderson, Fernandez Racing Co-Owner

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ask Rutherford

UPDATE: As IsItMayYet? reported yesterday, J.R. will also pilot his 1980 Indy 500 winning car on Monday. IMS has now confirmed the laps will begin at 2:30pm Monday afternoon

Have a question for 3 time Indianapolis 500 Champion Johnny Rutherford? Now you can ask it. Just slide on over to Indy500.com/askjr.

This Monday from 3:30-4pm Rutherford and host Bob Jenkins will be live from the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway Pagoda to answer the fan submitted questions. The broadcast can be seen live on Indy500.com

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Danica To Stock Cars In '10

Well, kinda. According to stock car reporter Ed Hinton, Danica is close to signing a deal with Stewart-Haas Racing to run multiple Nationbusch, Truck, and ARCA races in 2010 all while competing in the full Indycar Series schedule.

Currently Stewart doesn't have Nationbusch, Truck, or ARCA equipment, so she would probably be farmed out to either Dale Earnheart Jr. or Kevin Harvick's teams.

This could be the best possible situation if your an Indycar fan when it comes to Danica's 2010 plans. She'll still be running Indycar where shes the face of the Series, and she'll be gaining new fans in stock car land. Will a stock car fan flip over to an IRL race to see "one of there own" run, I don't know, but it can't hurt.

I still expect Patrick to sign with AGR in the near future, but I think we've found the reason DP's not signing with Ganassi....

(P.S. I apologize for all the Stock car terminology...I'll never do it again...promise)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Grand-Am IMS Test Photos

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Alex Lloyd Confirmed For Homestead

UPDATE: It looks like Servia will be in the car for Motegi

Nearly a week after it was rumored that the '07 Indy Lights champ would soon be in a car, it's finally official. Alex Lloyd will run the #06 Dallara for Newman/Haas/Lanigan in the season finale at Homestead-Miami.

It's still unclear as to who, if anyone, will pilot the #06 in Motegi, but if not Lloyd I would assume the ride will go to Oriol Servia.

Although not confirmed, look for him to be with Newman/Haas/Lanigan next year as well.

IMS Grand-Am Test Info

UPDATE: It appears Ed Carpenter will be runnning some laps in the Spirit of Daytona DP car tomorrow.

If you find yourself in Indianapolis tomorrow and feel the need for speed, the Grand-Am Series will be holding it's first ever test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In total 9 cars will be on track consisting of 5 Daytona Prototypes and 4 GT's.

Starting at 10am the teams will test on the 2.534 mile F1 circuit and will conclude at noon for a 1 hour lunch break. Then at 1pm they'll get back on track, but on the 2.621-mile MotoGP circuit and conclude testing at 3pm. The test is open to the public, but with restrictive access. You must enter gate 2 off of 16th street and park in the museum parking lot (blue). The red represent all the places that I believe you can spectate from. I would recommend either down in the twisties off of the T2 oval or to the left near the MotoGP turns during the afternoon.

  • #90 Spirit of Daytona Buddy Rice
  • #01 Chip Ganassi Racing Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas
  • #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Jon Fogarty
  • #10 SunTrust Racing Wayne Taylor, Ricky Taylor
  • #6 Shank Racing Michael Valiante, John Pew, Michael Shank
  • #87 Farnbacher Racing Leh Keen, Dirk Werner
  • #67 TRG Spencer Pumpelly, Kevin Buckler
  • #57 Stevenson Motorsports Andrew Davis, Robin Liddell
  • #70 Speedsource Sylvain Tremblay

"This is going to be very cool and exciting, because this is a very historical place. Every time I go underneath the tunnel at 16th Street it gives me the chills. It's an awesome place to be able to drive on." -Buddy Rice

"It's a dream come true to come back to Indianapolis. This is a magical place, and going back there will give me goose bumps." -Scott Pruett

"I can't wait to drive across those bricks at top speed. We're very honored to participate. As a sports car racer, I never thought that I could get to actually go out and test at Indy." -Sylvain Tremblay

"This is one of those boxes I can't wait to check off. Every team owner and driver would love to get behind the wheel at Indianapolis. This is a big deal for everyone with the series, to be testing at one of racing's hallowed grounds." -Kevin Buckler