- Jacques Villeneuve will attempt to make Indianapolis 500 starts 19 years apart, bettering Cy Marshall & Roland Free's 17-year gap set in 1947.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Championship Trophy Unveiled

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At an event in Miami, today the IZOD IndyCar Series unveiled a new, 3-foot-tall, 45-pound Championship Trophy.  Designed by sculptor Ted Gall, the stainless steel sculpture atop an African Pedauk hardwood base of man with outstretched arms balanced on a single wheel, is meant to 'convey the intertwined nature of man and machine in the 21st century'.

The 2nd and 3rd place finishers in the Championship chase will also be presented with similar trophies at Sunday's Championship banquet.  At 26 inches tall, the two runner up trophies will have only one outstretched arm.

"We're not just a human form; we're what we use all the time. It used to be if you were a cowboy you'd ride a horse. Now we're really attached to wheels our whole lives. The arms are imploring; they're reaching out for that golden ring, for that big win.

The drivers were really tired of getting bowling trophies. They're bowls or something that doesn't relate to what they're doing. IZOD has gone beyond other sports. Rather than give out the run-of-the-mill trophy, they're giving artwork to the drivers about what they are.

The combination of stainless steel and the dark wood is wonderful. The steel is very strong and very industrial and very gutsy and the wood is very warm and beautiful. It's a nice combination of strength and richness." - Ted Gall

"What better way to end our first year as the title sponsor of the IZOD IndyCar Series, than to collaborate on the design of a Championship trophy that will lead us into a new era of IndyCar racing. We wanted to create something that would truly represent the speed, excitement and innovation that is the IZOD IndyCar Series and we feel that Ted Gall, with his compelling aesthetic and thought-provoking vision, was the perfect artist for the project.

The final result, with its outstretched arms reaching into the future, is a stunning statement that pays tribute to the amazing athletic champion that will win it." - VP of Marketing for Phillips Van-Heusen, Mike Kelly


(Photo: courtesy of the IZOD IndyCar Series)

Make Your Pick: Homestead-Miami

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With 8 Indy Racing Experience Fantasy League players still in contention entering the season finale, the Homestead-Miami selections are now open.

The 8 that are still mathematically in the race to win the 2010 Indy Racing Experience fantasy league title, and a 2-seater ride at either the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or Walt Disney World Speedway are:


1) Eric K - 80
2) Mike K - 81
3) Ray B - 88
4) Tonya F - 92
5) Matt A - 96
T6) Lee D - 102
T6) Joshua J - 102
8) Michael M - 104

Best of luck to all participants!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

IMS To Hold 'Fan Appreciation Day'

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Just a few days after handing the keys to the No. 1 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS Indianapolis 500 Pace Car over to Bruce Barhydt, an Indy 500 ticket holder, IMS is once again giving back to the fans.  Scheduled for this Saturday, September 25th, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IMS will be holding a 'Fan Appreciation Day', complete with sales, autograph sessions, freebies and giveaways, and even an IndyCar Series simulator.  Fastest times on the simulator will receive prizes as well.  The event will kick off at 9am, and run until 5pm, with the Donald Davidson autograph signing scheduled from Noon-1pm.

Additional details will be provided when available.

UPDATE 9/25 8:am est: IZOD IndyCar Series pilot Tomas Scheckter, Firestone Indy Lights drivers Pippa Mann and Philip Major and Indianapolis veterans Bob Harkey, Steve Chassey, Paul Goldsmith and Eldon Rasmussen will join Donald Davidson at tomorrow's autograph signing.  Davidson is scheduled from Noon-1pm, however the others will sign between 11am-2pm.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What Dario Needs At Homestead....

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With 16 events down and just 1 to go, the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series Championship is coming down to the final race once again this year.  After leading the great majority of the season, Penske Racing's Will Power has struggled a bit on the last stretch of ovals to end 2010, leaving open the door for the reigning champ, Dario Franchitti, to snag his 3rd IndyCar Series Championship.

Australian pilot, Will Power, has a lead heading into Homestead-Miami, although at just 12-points, it's not a comfortable one.  Judging by where Power finishes (left side of graph), here is how 2007 and 2009 Series Champion, Dario Franchitti, needs to cross the finish line at South Beach to come home with the crown.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Make Your Pick: Motegi

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With 15 rounds down and just two ovals to go, the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Season and Indy Racing Experience fantasy league, are quickly winding down.  The picks for this weekends Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi are now open.

Following the event at Kentucky, the top 20 are as follows:

1) Matt A - 71
2) Eric K - 73
3) Mike K - 77
4) Ray B - 87
5) Tonya F - 91
6) Lee D - 92
7) Joshua J - 93
8) Michael M - 99
9) Tom M - 100
10) Clay C - 107
T11) Paul W - 111
T11) Dustin K - 111
T13) Megan B - 114
T13) Shannon K - 114
15) Andrew D - 115
16) Mike B - 117
17) Adam P - 118
18) Craig S - 122
19) Michael H - 125
20) Rick H - 128

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

'500' 3D Film In The Making

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The Stephen Low Company announced today the development of an Indianapolis 500 IMAX 3D film, with an expected release in October 2011.  Directed by Stephen Low, who also produced and directed the 1997 IMAX film 'Super Speedway', it will be distributed by The Stephen Low Company in association with Ralph Hansen of Pegasus Marketing Group.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has signed on to not only endorse the independent documentary and allow access to the world famous facility, but they'll also consult on the content and develop an 'education outreach program' for the film.

The motion picture will be filmed at the Speedway and related story locations and plans to be released at IMAX theatres (3D, 2D and Dome) worldwide.

“This project will reach and attract new audiences to IMS and to motorsports, and create an important link to museums, science centers and schools by providing a meaningful science and technology learning experience. The film will create a memorable and lasting tribute to ‘The Racing Capital of the World’ and its many contributions to society. The planned timing of its release will provide a fitting conclusion to our 100th anniversary celebrations.” - IMS President & CEO, Jeff Belskus

Friday, September 10, 2010

2011 Schedule Official - IRL Dead

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At a Friday morning press conference, IZOD IndyCar Series CEO, Randy Bernard, made official 16 of the 17 race weekends in 2011.
  1. March 27 Streets of St. Petersburg 1.8-mile street course
  2. April 10 Barber Motorsports Park 2.3-mile road course
  3. April 17 Streets of Long Beach 1.968-mile street course
  4. May 1 Streets of Sao Paulo 2.536-mile street course
  5. May 29 Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5-mile oval
  6. June 11 Texas Motor Speedway 1.5-mile oval (NIGHT)
  7. June 19 The Milwaukee Mile 1-mile oval
  8. June 25 Iowa Speedway .875-mile oval (NIGHT)
  9. July 10 Streets of Toronto 1.755-mile street course
  10. July 24 Edmonton City Centre Airport 1.973-mile airport course
  11. Aug. 7 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 2.258-mile road course
  12. Aug. 14 New Hampshire Motor Speedway 1-mile oval
  13. Aug. 28 Infineon Raceway 2.303-mile road course
  14. Sept. 4 Streets of Baltimore 2-mile street course
  15. Sept. 18 Twin Ring Motegi 1.5-mile oval
  16. Oct. 2 Kentucky Speedway 1.5-mile oval
  17. Oct 16 TBA Oval
With the removal of Watkins Glen, Chicagoland, Homestead-Miami and Kansas, all ISC tracks, and the addition of Baltimore, New Hampshire, Milwaukee and a yet-to-be-determined oval to round out the season (Likely Las Vegas or California), the 2011 schedule will have the same ratio of road/street courses to ovals as it did in 2010, at 9 to 8.

Speaking on the IZOD IndyCar Series and ISC separation, Bernard said that each track was on a case by case basis and that they "Don't want to shut doors with ISC, we have to go with the places that we think are best for the Series and it's very important for us right now to be looking at the promoters that want to be aggressive marketing and activating IndyCar".

When asked if he was concerned holding the 2010 season finale at Homestead-Miami, a track not returning in 2011, Bernard commented "If I looked at the crowd last year, I don't think there will be much of a difference from last year, I don't know. But I have to look for whats in the best interest of the sport moving forward and I think it was important we announce the schedule and get it out to our team owners, our partners, our sponsors, everyone needs to know about it, so that's why we chose to do it."

Although they held a fantastic event just two weeks ago, Chicagoland won't be returning in 2011, but that doesn't mean IZOD IndyCar Series teams won't be heading back North on I65 in the future. "John Saunders [Chicagoland CEO] and I met at Chicagoland, and John and I said next year that he and I would get together with the track on trying to determine if there was any interest on going forward."

The return of Milwaukee to the 2011 schedule will also bring a new promoter and lower ticket prices.  Avocado Motorsports and BMG Event Productions have teamed up to create AB Promotions, LLC, who's only event is the IICS Fathers day race.  AB Promotions signed on to a  3-year deal with a 1-year option and will utilize a 3-tier ticket price system.  They're also in negotiations with the Road to Indy ladder system in hopes of landing a 4 race schedule stretched over just 2 days.

For tickets or to sign-up for a newsletter, visit MilwaukeeMile2011.com

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Founded in 1994 by the then Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO, Tony George, and after 200 races under the banner, the Indy Racing League (IRL) moniker is coming to an end. 'IRL has a negative connotation since the Divorce" Bernard Said. Announced today at the Milwaukee Mile by the IZOD IndyCar Series CEO, Randy Bernard, the 'IRL' sanctioning body title will be replaced with 'Indycar' affective at the beginning of 2011.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saavedra Out At BHA

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Sebastian Saavedra, currently 5th in the Firestone Indy Lights standings appears to be out at Bryan Herta Autosport.  After finishing practice in Sparta, Kentucky for today's Buckle Up Kentucky 100 12th among 14 entries and failing to attempt a qualification run, it was announced that he'll be replaced by former BHA pilot Daniel Herrington.  Speaking on the switch, team owner Bryan Herta said:

“Sebastian Saavedra’s father informed me last night that Sebastian has decided not to participate in today’s race. This turn of events has come to me, our sponsor and our entire race team as quite a surprise. Needless to say I am deeply disappointed. We greatly appreciate and admire Daniel’s willingness to step into our #29 William Rast Indy Lights entry on extremely short notice.”
Just after the announcement Saavedra posted the following via his Twitter account:



"As many will ask. Yes I will not be racing for the rest of the season with Bryan Herta Autosport. Was a tough decision but it's made. After last races things haven't gone the way they should. And at last my managers and main sponsor made the decision to stop to not continue harming my racing career and name. I'm frustrated and sad to break up the news but that's it. I'm very thankful to all my Mechanics, and engineers. Unfortunately things did not work contract wise but I will still be working hard to bring my countries name high!" 
With Herrington running at Kentucky, it's unclear who will pilot the #29 William Rast Dallara for BHA in the season finale at Homestead-Miami. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rahal Back With SFR

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21-year-old Graham Rahal is switching rides again this season. After kicking off the season for a couple races with Sarah Fisher Racing, Rahal ran for Rahal Letterman Racing at Indianapolis before a one-off deal with Dreyer and Reinbold Racing at Iowa. The young American than signed back on with his former team, Newman/Haas Racing for the remaining events, sans Kentucky. But, with SFR running a two-car effort at the the Sparta, Kentucky oval, Sarah decided that it was best to replace the struggling Jay Howard with the up and coming Rahal in the #66 Service Central entry.
"SFR is ecstatic to welcome Graham back to our program with the Service Central No. 66 team for the Kentucky Race. The excitement in the shop has been contagious and we will work as hard as we can to give this program the merit it deserves for Service Central. We are very appreciative that Newman Haas Racing (NHR) gave us the go ahead to bring Graham on board for this race. He should be in a car as often as he can, and with the support of our partners, we were able to pull that off for him this weekend. Graham works very hard outside the car to be in the car, and he always takes that next step to make sure he is as prepared as anyone out there. The whole team believes in Graham's abilities, and I am truly looking forward to working with Graham as a teammate on track. If you think I had fun in Chicago last weekend, I expect this weekend to be even better!" - Sarah Fisher
"I'm thrilled to be back in the car with SFR at Kentucky this weekend, especially with NTB and Service Central who supported me at Mid Ohio. I'm extremely grateful for this opportunity, and I'm hoping we can give Service Central a great result in the No. 66 machine." - Graham Rahal
"Graham is a talented young driver who executes aggressive strategies that move him up the field. It is a win-win for Service Central. IRL fans understand the importance of maintenance and service. Service Central provides just that - exceptional service at affordable prices. Fans can rest easy knowing Service Central provides motorists with a nationwide warranty at nearly 1300 locations in more than 40 states." - CEO TBC Retail Group, Orland Wolford

 
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