- Byrd Brothers, with partner team KV Racing Technology, have announced a return to the Indianapolis 500 in 2015 with Bryan Clauson.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Battistini In At Kentucky

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Rookie IZOD IndyCar Series driver and veteran Firestone Indy Lights pilot Dillon Battistini will run the #34 Conquest Racing entry at Kentucky.

"I'm relishing the opportunity to make an impression on the Indycar stage at Kentucky Speedway this weekend, and can't express enough gratitude to my various backers and also to Eric Bachelart at Conquest Racing for doing everything possible to turn my long-held dream of racing an Indycar into a reality," Battistini said.

Following the completion of his successful oval test at Kentucky last week, the four-time Indy Lights race winner will make his first start in an Indy car on the 1.5 mile oval this weekend.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Video: 2012 Indy Car On IMS Oval

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Video courtesy of INDYCAR:



Wheldon will continue to test the 2012 car, barring weather, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway through Thursday.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Scheckter In At Vegas

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Announced today at the Sarah Fisher Racing shop on the west side of Indianapolis, Tomas Scheckter will run the #57 Angie List Special for the team in the season ending race at Las Vegas, upping the projected car count to 34.

Running with teammate Ed Carpenter, SFR becomes the 10th team in which the veteran driver has ran with, competing for KV Racing Technology, Dale Coyne, Dreyer & Reinbold, Conquest, Luczo Dragon, Vision, Panther, Chip Ganassi and Cheever over his 10-year IZOD IndyCar Series career.

Wheldon In The #77 At Kentucky

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2011 Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon will get behind the wheel of a Dallara for the second time this season this weekend in Kentucky.

Wheldon will run the #77 Bowers & Wilkins at Magnolia Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry, replacing veteran Alex Tagliani.

“I can’t thank Alex enough for letting me drive his car in Kentucky and to work with the team in preparation for Las Vegas,” Wheldon said. “I know when I step into the No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins at Magnolia Honda, I’ll be stepping into a fast racecar that’s capable of winning. As a driver, that’s all you can ask for. I’m really excited about this opportunity and look forward to working with everyone at Sam’s team. They were a large part of our winning effort in May, and I’ll do my best to get back to victory lane.”

The only driver running for the $5 Million prize in Vegas, Wheldon will use the 1.5 mile Kentucky Speedway as a warmup for the 1.5 mile Las Vegas event.

“I’m obviously not happy about sitting out Kentucky, but this is a very exciting opportunity,” Tagliani said. “Dan and I are good friends, and I’m very jealous that he gets to run for the $5 million. But, I fully support what INDYCAR has done to generate fan interest and will do everything I can to help the SSM team run Dan in Kentucky and prepare for the Go Daddy Challenge. I’m out to win the Vegas race, as well, and won’t back off one bit, so Dan will be on his own when the green flag drops.”

Friday, September 23, 2011

Andretti Selects Chevy, Bell At DRR & Other Notes

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Andretti Autosport has announced that they'll run Chevrolet engines in 2012.
"I am so excited to work with Chevy once again," said Andretti, "We won 15 races and a championship with Chevy in just three years. The 1991 season was magical. Now, Andretti Autosport™ and our sponsors have the opportunity to win again with Chevrolet. This will prove to be a tremendous association. Chevrolet is committed to motorsports and they are proven winners."
The announcement breaks Andretti's 9-year streak dating back to 2003 of running Honda powered entries.
"All of us want to thank Honda for many good years together, including 39 wins, two wins at the Indy 500, and for working with us to return street racing back to IndyCar in St. Petersburg and then again in Toronto," said Andretti. "Honda is largely responsible for providing a platform for multiple manufacturer competition to return and we are grateful for their contributions to the sport we love."
Dreyer and Reinbold Racing announced that Townsend Bell will return to the team running the final 2 events of the season in the #22 entry, replacing the injured Justin Wilson. Bell will run the Valspar branded entry at Kentucky next weekend, and the Dad's Root Beer livery at Las Vegas.
"We are excited about having Townsend back with us and being able to put him in our car at Kentucky and Las Vegas," said team co-owner, Dennis Reinbold. "We've both grown significantly since we worked together in 2008 and we feel Townsend will represent DRR and our partners very well to close out the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season. We will be testing him at Kentucky on Friday and we are excited to get him acclimated to the car again."
Belardi Auto Racing announced Friday afternoon that Jacob Wilson will run the #19 Firestone Indy Lights entry at Kentucky and Vegas. The 21-year-old took and passed his rookie test at the Kentucky Speedway earlier this week.
“I feel that my rookie test went extremely well,” Wilson said. “Being relatively quick on track by ourselves and not having any problems when we were working with traffic really gave me a confidence boost. Passing the rookie test was crucial for me to join Belardi Auto Racing in the final two races of the year. It’ll be a great opportunity to learn the ropes of Indy Lights and hopefully come away with some impressive results.”
Sarah Fisher Racing has called a press conference for 11am ET Monday Morning to announce a 'Local Indianapolis company and veteran IndyCar star' for the season ending event at Las Vegas.

Panther Racing will run a special pink camouflage livery on JR Hildebrand's #4 Nation Guard Dallara for the final 2 races of the season at Kentucky and Vegas.

INDYCAR has announced Honda as the presenting sponsor of the season ending race as Las Vegas Motor Speedway October, 16th. The 33+ car field will run for the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Presented by Honda trophy.

Rapha Matos will run the #062 entry alongside Jaime Melo and Toni Virlander at Petit Le Mans October, 1st.

Helio Castroneves will appear on the "Nancy Grace Show" at 8pm ET Tonight (9/23).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wheldon All In For $5 Mill

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INDYCAR announced at a Tuesday afternoon press conference held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that Dan Wheldon will run for a $5 million prize in the season finale race in Las Vegas, dubbed the 'Go Daddy IndyCar Challenge'.

Go Daddy sponsored Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti, INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard, Bryan Herta Autosport owner Bryan Herta and Dan Wheldon were present at the announcement.

Wheldon will run the #98 Sam Schmidt Motorsports/Bryan Herta Autosport entry sponsored by Bowers & Wilkins at Magnolia, William Rast and Curb/Big Machine. As part of the deal, the #98 entry will start at the rear of the 32+ car field. If Wheldon is first to cross the finish line the $5 million prize will be split equally among the driver and a lucky fan.

Beginning Wednesday, September 14th fans can visit IndyCarWorldChampionships.com or apply through the INDYCAR Verizon app to be eligible. The chosen winner will be flown out to the season ending race with VIP access and receive prizes valued at over $10,000.
"I am really excited to return in the #98 entry with SSM and BHA to follow-up our success at this year's Indy 500 and go after another race win, especially with this carrot on the end of the stick," said Wheldon. "I actually met Go Daddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons the morning of this year's Indy 500 race, so maybe he's my lucky charm! We had a first-class program for Indy, and I am confident that we will be a strong contender again in Vegas with William Rast and Curb/Big Machine returning and now Bowers & Wilkins at Magnolia joining us, too. I'm ready for the Go Daddy INDYCAR Challenge and, hopefully, myself and one lucky fan will be smiling on October 16."




Monday Notes

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- 21-year-old USF2000 pilot Shannon McIntosh will be featured in the October issue of Seventeen magazine. The publication featuring the Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing driver is due out Tuesday, September 13th.

"I can't wait to see what it actually looks like to be featured on a full page in a national magazine," said McIntosh."Throughout this contest it was easy to forget that we were vying for the cover of Seventeen magazine and that all five of us would be featured [regardless of who got the cover]. The contest was such an amazing experience and a great opportunity from beginning till the end."
- INDYCAR will announce plans for their Las Vegas $5 Million event at 2pm Tuesday afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, dubbed the "Go Daddy IndyCar Challenge".

- Belardi Auto Racing has announced that they'll test Sprint Car driver and Crawfordsville, Indiana native Jacob Wilson at the Kentucky Speedway September 22nd in a Firestone Indy Lights machine.
“We’re very excited to have the opportunity to bring Jacob on board for the test at Kentucky,” team owner Brian Belardi said. “Although he’s never been in a Lights car, the talent he’s showcased on dirt tracks and in sprint cars shows us how successful he could be in the Mazda Road to Indy. We would love to bring more of the sprint car and midget drivers to the program, because I think it’s important to integrate those different types of talent into the development program we have feeding into the IZOD IndyCar series.”
The 21-year-old driver can be found on Twitter at @JacobWilson07.
“Growing up as a kid in Indiana it was all about racing for me,” said Wilson. “My excitement for the opportunity to test a Firestone Indy Lights car with Belardi Auto Racing is indescribable. I have to say thank you to Brian Belardi and John Brunner for the opportunity and all of the people involved for their support.”
- Joao Paulo de Oliveira has signed on to run the #34 Conquest Racing entry in Japan this weekend, sponsored by Ceremony, a wedding and funeral planning company in Japan. Oliveira, a Formula Nippon driver, sat on pole and won on Twin Ring Motegi's road course in the series just a few weeks ago.
"Joining Conquest Racing is an exciting opportunity at this stage in my career," said Oliveira. "I have been following the IZOD Indycar Series over the years and it's a thrill to be making my debut in Japan. Twin Ring Motegi is a very smooth, technical and demanding track. It has lots of hard braking zones followed by long straights, so obviously you need a good car under braking and traction. These are key factors if you want to go fast around there. I have great memories from Motegi winning two out of the last three Formula Nippon races, so I'm looking forward to going back there."
Twin Ring Motegi is a very smooth, technical and demanding track. It has lots of hard braking zones followed by long straights, so obviously you need a good car under braking and traction. These are key factors if you want to go fast around there. I have great memories from Motegi winning two out of the last three Formula Nippon races, so I'm looking forward to going back there."
- Longtime Indianapolis Motor Speedway photographer Ron McQueeney announced his retirement September 9th. Photographing cars on the 2.5 mile oval since 1972, McQueeney has been director of photography since 1977.
"I would say almost every event that I've been to here at the Speedway, I've enjoyed one way or the other," McQueeney said. "For me, this has just been a labor of love."
McQueeney will continue to photograph races and other events at IMS.

- IMS President Jeff Belskus was named President and CEO of Hulman & Company September 9th. Retaining his role at IMS, Belskus will lead Hulman & Company properties including Clabber Girl, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IMS Productions, INDYCAR and various other holdings.

- Andretti Autosport will run Avon, Indiana native Mike Larrison in the Firestone Indy Lights season finale at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway next month in the #26 Calumet Specialty Products Partners entry. Larrison, a Motocross rider turned karting driver will first test with the team at the Kentucky Speedway.
"I'm really excited to run a Firestone Indy Lights car with Andretti Autosport. Growing up 15 minutes away from the Speedway, it has always been my dream to race in the Indianapolis 500," Larrison said. "I'm looking to get my feet wet during testing and get comfortable with the driving style. Hopefully we have a good result in Vegas and the race becomes a stepping stone for next year. Thanks to Michael [Andretti], J-F [Thormann] and my sponsor Calumet for this opportunity."

 
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