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...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Rice Signs With Panther For '500'

Yet another TBA can be replaced on the 42-car Indianapolis 500 entry list announced earlier this month. Panther Racing announced late last night that 2004 Indianapolis 500 Champion Buddy Rice will join the team for Indianapolis.

"I’m pumped to be at Panther, and the intention is that we’ll be able to run more than Indy, but this is the first step, and I’m here to help JR and help the team,” Rice said. “The whole key for me coming back is that I wanted to be in competitive equipment and have a chance to win. I didn’t want to come back to Indy just to pound out laps, and given how competitive the series has become that’s how it has to be. I’ve had offers in the past that didn’t work out for different reasons, and I wasn’t coming back and driving unless I had the chance to run up front – that’s always been my goal. Panther is a team that can win the race so when I had the opportunity, I couldn’t say no.”

Not in an Indy Car since 2008, Rice will run the #44 Panther entry with sponsorship to be announced on a later date.

“Buddy and I have talked for years about him joining the team and never had an opportunity that aligned itself, so when this came about to run a second car at the Speedway, he was high on our list and he was excited about being a part of Panther,” Panther Managing Partner and CEO John Barnes said. “He’s going to make a huge impact on JR and his development, and from the time we decided Hildebrand was the future of our team we wanted to bring along a mentor and somebody that could help our entire team, and when the opportunity came along with Buddy, it was a no-brainer for us. We hope this isn’t a one-and-done thing; we want Buddy for more races this season, and we feel this opportunity is a win-win for all of us.”

Rice's announcement bumps the confirmed car/driver car count at Indianapolis to 37 entries.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mann Lands '500' Ride

After testing with the team over the off-season, Firestone Indy Lights veteran Pippa Mann has signed with Conquest Racing to run in next Month's Indianapolis 500.

“Having the chance to compete in the Indy 500 is something that we have been working extremely hard to bring to fruition over the winter," said Mann. "I tested with Conquest Racing earlier this year and given how well that test went, we have since been working tirelessly to put this deal together. The past few months have been a rollercoaster ride for me, and I’m just thrilled that we’re now able to tie things up."

The British rookie, who will run the #36 alongside teammate Sebastian Saavedra, started from the pole in last year's Freedom 100 Firestone Indy Lights race before being taken out by a spinning Jeff Simmons.

“I am delighted to confirm Pippa alongside Sebastian for the Centennial edition of the Indy 500," Conquest Racing Owner Eric Bachelart said. "Pippa is a natural on ovals and we could judge how good she is when we tested her about six weeks ago in Texas. She has been part of the team since then and we are all looking forward to working with her at the Speedway this year.”

Pippa marks the 36th confirmed car/driver combination entered into next month's Indianapolis 500, with 6 TBA entries still to unfold.

Be sure to check out the Q&A with Pippa just before her first IZOD IndyCar Series test back in February.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

BHA Announces '500' Sponsorship

Just two weeks after making official their driver for the 2011 Indianapolis 500 in Dan Wheldon, Bryan Herta Autosport announced today their sponsorship package for the historic race.

For their 2nd consecutive year with BHA, William Rast has returned as the primary sponsor for Wheldon in his attempt to add a 2nd mini Borg to his collection. 2011 will mark William Rast's 4th straight year sponsoring an Indy 500 entry as they were behind Townsend Bell in 2008, Ryan Hunter-Reay in '09, and Sebastian Saavedra last season.

Running the #29 in last year's '500' and similar numbers full-time in the Firestone Indy Lights Series the past 3 seasons, the Herta entry was way down the Indy 500 entry list, sporting the #98, when announced earlier this week. The #98 will find itself on the rear wings of Wheldon's car while long-time sponsor Curb Records will have a spot on the engine cowling. Mike Curb and the Agajanian name will be returning to the sport for the first time since 2009.

Friday, April 15, 2011

'500' Victory Banquet Tickets Available

The annual black-tie celebration normally reserved for drivers, teams, and VIPs following the Indianapolis 500 will be open to the public in 2011.

The revamped awards ceremony for the 100th Anniversary race will be presented by Ice Miller LLP, an Indianapolis law firm, on Monday, May 30 at the JW Marriott's Grand Ballroom in Indianapolis. With the doors opening at 5 p.m., dinner at 6 and awards at 7, tickets for the event vary at $125, $150 or $200 per person, depending on the location.

Joining Ice Miller LLP in 1929, Harry Ice represented Anton Hulman when purchasing the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1945.

You can order tickets by calling (800) 822-4639 (317) 492-6700.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

2011 Indy 500 Entry List

UPDATED: April, 19th 12:39pm est
42 entries with 83 cars including 4 former winners (Castroneves, Wheldon, Franchitti, Dixon) have entered the 95th running of the Indianapolis 500. 5 Rookies are also attempting to make the field including JR Hildebrand, James Hinchcliffe, James Jakes, Charlie Kimball, Pippa Mann and Jay Howard who's entering the month of May with a ride for the the 3rd time.

36 of the 42 entries have a confirmed driver leaving 6 TBA entries. Those yet to be announced rides are:

#8 - Dragon Racing
#16 - TBA
#19 - Dale Coyne Racing
#44 - Panther Racing
#57 - Sarah Fisher Racing
#89 - China Racing

The full entry list for the 100th Anniversary '500'...

#2/2T - Oriol Servia - Pals, Spain - Newman Haas
#3/3T - Helio Castroneves - Sao Paulo, Brazil - Team Penske
#4/4T - JR Hildebrand (R) - Sausalito, California -  Panther Racing
#5/5T - Takuma Sato - Tokyo, Japan - KVRT - Lotus
#6/6T - Ryan Briscoe - Sydney, Australia - Team Penske
#7/7T - Danica Patrick - Roscoe, Ill. -Andretti Autosport
#8/8T - TBA - Dragon Racing
#9/9T - Scott Dixon - Auckland, New Zealand - Target Chip Ganassi Racing
#10/10T - Dario Franchitti - Edinburgh, Scotland - Target Chip Ganassi Racing
#11/11T - Davey Hamilton - Nampa, Idaho - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
#12/12T - Will Power - Toowoomba, Australia - Team Penske
#14/14T - Vitor Meira - Brasilia, Brazil - A.J. Foyt Racing
#16/16T - TBA - TBA
#17/17T - Raphael Matos - Belo Horizonte, Brazil - AFS Racing
#18/18T - James Jakes (R) - Leeds, England - Acorn Stairlifts - Dale Coyne Racing
#19/19T - TBA - Dale Coyne Racing
#22/22T - Justin Wilson - Sheffield, England - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
#23/23T - Paul Tracy - Scarborough, Ontario - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
#24/24T - Ana Beatriz (R) - Sao Paulo, Brazil - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
#26/26T - Marco Andretti - Nazareth, Pa. - Andretti Autosport
#27/27T - Mike Conway - Bromley, England - Andretti Autosport
#28/28T - Ryan Hunter-Reay - Boca Raton, Fla - Andretti Autosport
#30/30T - Bertrand Baguette - Verviers, Belgium - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
#34/34T - Sebastian Saavedra - Conquest Racing
#36/36T - Pippa Mann - Conquest Racing
#38/38T - Graham Rahal - New Albany, Ohio - Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing
#43/43T - John Andretti - Indianapolis, Indiana - Richard Petty/Andretti Autosport
#44/44T - TBA - Panther Racing
#57 - TBA - Sarah Fisher Racing
#59/59T - EJ Viso - Carcas, Venezuela - KVRT - Lotus
#67/67T - Ed Carpenter - Indianapolis, Indiana - Sarah Fisher Racing
#77/77T - Alex Tagliani - Lachenaie, Canada - Sam Schmidt Motorsports
#78/78T - Simona De Silvestro - Thun, Switzerland - HVM Racing
#82/82T - Tony Kanaan - Salvador, Brazil - GEICO – KVRT – Lotus
#83/83T - Charlie Kimball (R) - Camarillo, Calif. - Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing
#88/88T - Jay Howard - Basildon, England - Sam Schmidt - RLLR
#89/89T - TBA - China Racing
#98/98T - Dan Wheldon - Emberton, England - Bryan Herta Autosport
#99/99T - Townsend Bell - San Luis Obispo, California - Sam Schmidt Motorsports
#06/06T - James Hinchcliffe - Toronto - Newman Haas Racing
#07/07T - Tomas Scheckter - Cape Town, South Africa - KVRT - SH Racing
#TBA/TBAT (#84 or #41) - Bruno Junqueira - AJ Foyt Racing

Legends To Run Historic Cars Before '500'

UPDATE: April 19th, 4:27 pm est.
Just a day after announcing the planned world-record jump of more than a football field on the morning of the Indianapolis 500 next month, today the Indianapolis Motor Speedway released more details of pre-race festivities.

Eleven Indianapolis 500 winners representing 20 victories will pilot historic cars around the 2.5 mile track during pre-race ceremonies for the 100th Anniversary '500' mile race.

The legend pilot along with the car they'll drive:
  • Parnelli Jones - Ray Harroun's 1911 winning #32 Marmon Wasp
  • Kenny Brack - Juan Pablo Montoya's 2000 #9 Target sponsored G Force
  • Gil de Ferran - The #66 McLaren Mark Donohue drove to a victory in 1972
  • Tom Sneva - Sam Hanks' and Jimmy Bryan's 1957 and '58 winning Belond Salih Offy
  • Mario Andretti - 1939 & '40 Boyle Maserati winner driven by Wilbur Shaw
  • Arie Luyendyk - 1990 Lola Chevrolet #30 Arie drove to his first victory.
  • Bobby Rahal - 1928 #14 Louis Meyer winning Miller
  • Johnny Rutherford - #4 Pennzoil Chaparral JR drove to his 3rd win in 1980
  • Al Unser Sr. - Jim Clark's 1965 famous #82 Lotus powered by Ford.
  • Al Unser Jr. - 1947 & '48 Blue Crown Spark Plug Diedt/Offy winner driven by Mauri Rose.
  • Bobby Unser - Joe Dawson's #8  1912 winner with Bobby's wife Lisa in the riding mechanic's position.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hot Wheels Indy 500 Stunt Announced

Teased during the winter meetings held in Indianapolis in January, the plans for a Hot Wheels stunt were officially announced today.

Designed to simulate the popular Hot Wheels V-Drop toy set, a 100ft wall, designed to look like a bedroom door, will be erected supporting a 90ft ramp on the inside of turn four at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. On race morning a masked stunt driver will pilot a car down the 16ft wide track attempting to jump 302ft, breaking the world-record.

Special ticket packages for the event can be purchased at IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bia Out, Pagenaud In At Barber

Following concact with Graham Rahal on lap five in the opening race at St. Petersburg, Dreyer and Reinbold Racing's Ana Beatriz fractured her wrist requiring surgery last Tusday. Unable to go this weekend, Champ Car and ALMS veteran Simon Pagenaud has signed on to fill-in piloting the #24 at Barber.

"We wanted to put Bia in the car for this race, but it's more important that she heals properly and has a quick recovery," said team co-owner Dennis Reinbold.  "She's working hard and headed down the right track so that she can be ready for Long Beach.  While she recovers we are happy that Simon can fill in for her this weekend"

Beatriz's teammate, Justin Wilson, suffered a small fractur in his wrist as well in the race. Unlike Bia however, Justin's injury did not require surgery and he's been fitted with a cast and is expected to race in Barber.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Trump To Pace '500' Field

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced today at Trump Tower in New York City that Donald Trump has signed on to pace the 2011 Indianapolis 500.

"Probably I'll wear a hat," said Trump who will follow in the footsteps of Robin Roberts, Josh Duhamel, Patrick Dempsey, Lance Armstrong, Morgan Freeman, and Jay Leno who've all led the 33 starting cars on their pace laps in recent years.

Hinch In At NHR

Just five days before the 2nd round of the IZOD IndyCar Series is slated to take the green flag at Barber Motorsports Park, Newman Haas announced the signing of 2010 Firestone Indy Lights runner-up James Hinchcliffe.

An asset managing company based out of Toronto, Hinch's hometown, the 24-year-old will run with Sprott Inc. primary sponsorship for the remainder of the season, sans the two overseas events in Brazil and Japan.

“I used to think that driving for Newman/Haas Racing at some point in my career would be amazing, but to get to do it in my rookie season is beyond words,” said Hinchcliffe.  “I am only the third true rookie to drive for the team and I think that says a lot about the relationship we have forged over the last few months"

Testing with Newman Haas during the off-season, Hinchcliffe will team alongside Oriol Servia in his first IZOD Indycar Series race this weekend.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Junqueira Signs With Foyt

A year after his deal nearly fell apart with FAZZT Race Team before finally being put back together at the last second for the 2010 Indy 500, Bruno Junqueira has signed with A.J. Foyt Racing for next Month's 'Most Important Race in History'.

“I am very happy,” said Junqueira.  “First, because I love the race; second, because the biggest champion in that race is A.J. Foyt – he won as a driver, he won as a team owner, and third, I’m going to have Vitor as my teammate who is a good friend and a good driver so I think it’s a perfect combination.”

Piloting the #84 ABC Supply entry, the 34-year old will team with fellow Brazilian and full-time Foyt driver Vitor Meira.

“Bruno certainly knows his way around Indy—every time he’s run there, he’s been fast,” said Foyt. “Plus he and Vitor get along well—they’re both from Brazil.  I may have to start learning Portuguese.  Not really, but I think it’ll be great and it will make us a stronger team for Indy.

Due to sponsorship woes, Junqueira wasn't able to jump into his original ride at FAZZT as scheduled. So, earlier in the week, with rookie pilot Sebastian Saavedra and rookie team Bryan Herta Autosport struggling, Bruno got behind the wheel of the #29 BHA entry. Turning just14 laps on the Thursday before Pole Day, Junqueira ran 32nd of 37 drivers with a 222.274 average, besting Saavedra's time in the same session by .4mph.

Finally getting the go-ahead on Pole Day morning, the #33 FAZZT entry finally took to the track on Bump Day. Quickly getting up to speed, the veteran pilot qualified his entry with just 51 laps under his belt to a 25th place starting position. With an average speed of 225.662 mph, the attempt would have been good enough for the inside of row three, if performed on Pole Day.

2011 VERSUS Promo