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 Kanaan and Pagenaud, Fontana, 2014

Auto Club - Saturday - Close

Posted on 8/31  • 

After the race, Tony Kanaan said it was very rewarding to finally get a race win for Chip Ganassi. He'd felt the pressure of getting Chip Ganassi a win, and also the pressure of replacing Dario Franchitti.

Kanaan told Dario afterwards that he hoped that Franchitti felt part of the joy of winning the race; due to all the help and support he'd given Tony at Chip Ganassi Racing.

And while he joked he's got seven months to brag about winning the last race of the season, Tony knows he and the team have a lot of work to do in the off season with the introduction of aero kits.

And - yes - Lauren Kanaan is expecting a baby in late January. Had wondered about that possibility the last few weeks, but it wasn't until Tony kissed Lauren's belly that it became obvious something might be afoot.

Verizon IndyCar Series champion Power collects million dollar bonus at L.A.'s Club Nokia

Posted on 9/01  • 

Less than 24 hours after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series championship, Will Power got his chance to celebrate.

Power - along with other drivers, teams and manufacturers - were recognized during the INDYCAR Championship Celebration at Club Nokia at the LA Live entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles.

Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR, presented Power and team owner Roger Penske with a $1 million championship bonus check and replicas of the Astor Challenge Cup, the Verizon IndyCar Series championship trophy.

"It's still sinking in really," said Power, a first-time series champion. "When you want something so bad for so long, it's such a relief when you finally get it. It's exactly that - a culmination of 15 years of hard work to get to this point."

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INDYCAR News from around the Internet:

ALEXANDER: Fontana's corporate marketing suffered on holiday weekend: (Sep 1, 2014 22:00)
"We lost our entire corporate backing," track president Gillian Zucker said. "... I mean, corporate sales are a huge part of sports marketing, any sport you look at. It's not just the suites. It's hospitality. People end up sitting in the grandstand after having gone to a (hospitality) tent or heard part of a meeting or a presentation. A lot of companies support team building that they do at sporting events, or (use tickets as) prizes for sales people, so there's a pretty healthy corporate market out there that sporting events rely on. And so to do it on a weekend like this and have it completely eliminated, it makes it difficult."

Marty Walsh looks to bring Grand Prix to Boston | Boston Herald (Aug 28, 2014 18:04)
Grand Prix race cars could be roaring down the streets of Boston — Monaco-style — if Mayor Martin J. Walsh can convince organizers the city can transform the Seaport District into a speedway. The mayor, who has assembled a Boston Grand Prix committee, is in contact with the CEO of Verizon IndyCar Series in a bid to land a high-octane street race, according to a letter from Walsh obtained by the Herald. Top administration brass — including police, fire and transportation officials — have also met recently with Mark Perrone, president of the nascent Grand Prix Boston, who is spearheading the drive to bring the open-wheel championship race to town.

National Guard ends team-up with Earnhardt Jr. | Military Times | militarytimes.com (Aug 6, 2014 20:49)
The Army National Guard is ending its sponsorship of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Indy Racing League driver Graham Rahal, the component announced Wednesday. The decisions follow an “intensive internal review,” according to the announcement. “Significantly constrained resources and the likelihood of further reductions in the future call for more innovative and cost-effective ways of doing business,” said Maj. Gen. Judd Lyons, acting director of the Army Guard, in the announcement.

IndyCar - IndyCar: Vasser says KV "dynamics" hampered de Silvestro (Jul 10, 2014 11:48)
"The dynamic we had last year wasn't the best for the team or for Simona," said Vasser. "She is a fantastic driver and we'd hoped that things would have been better last year. "In a sense this year has been a rebuilding exercise in trying to bring the two sides together better as one team. And it's still difficult. I can sit here and tell you what happened at Ganassi in those years, and I felt like I was a part of making that happen. But it's so difficult to make happen. I can't wave my wand and say, 'Boys, this is what you've gotta do.' "It's so hard to do that, especially from outside the car. It's got to come from the pilots, and they set the example for the whole team."

IndyCar returns to Pocono with practice for Saturday's IndyLights race - themorningcall.com (Jul 5, 2014 09:31)
Brandon said his comments "may have come across harsher than I anticipated, but it got the point across. People want me to be honest, well, I was honest. I am a race fan. I want a race in the Northeast. "Pennsylvania has more race tracks than any other state in the country, except California. New York, New Jersey … they have huge race fan populations. And the Poconos are the No. 2 destination in the state behind Philadelphia. So, the people are here. We just need them to come out." Nick Igdalsky, Pocono's executive vice president and chief operating officer, reminded that while their family features race fans, they're still running a business. "We're a family business when it comes down to it," he said. "We have people to answer to and it's got to work out for everybody. We don't want to hold IndyCar back either. We know it's an important market for them. We're doing everything we can to make it work."

IndyCar - IndyCar: Hulman Motorsports CMO, C.J. O’Donnell on marketing the Verizon IndyCar Series (Jun 26, 2014 09:50)
Q: One of the criticisms regularly aimed at IndyCar’s marketing people in the past – and this was also aimed at marketing departments of IRL, Champ Car and CART, I guess because at some point we all hurt the ones we love – was that there was too much focus on the short term and not enough forethought shown for 12, 18 or 24 months down the road. How do you improve that? A: Well let’s talk on a philosophical level first. We need to be faster, more innovative and daring in the way we conduct our business. And it’s appropriate because those are the words we attribute to the brand itself. As a company and a culture, we need to continue to push the envelope and take the same kind of risks we took by re-inventing May. So that’s definitely what’s required to restart this sport and re-engage our fans. From the marketing and communication standpoint, all our brand studies and research results point to the fact that we need to 1) thrill our fans and 2) champion our heroes. Our entire business plan for the next year or two really surrounds defining the IndyCar brand for everything that it is – an absolutely first-grade form of motorsport, the most innovative in the U.S. today. Every time we engage a fan, we need to have the hair stand up on the back of their neck, get their hearts racing, get the adrenaline flowing. And then we need to elevate the personalities, the celebrity level, of our driver athletes. There’s probably little future for IndyCar if we can’t promote the drivers to the fans and then the broader public. People will not tune in each weekend to track our progress if they don’t emotionally engage with the driver behind the wheel. So that’s central to our thinking, that’s what drives our team each day. Now there are 100 little things that make those aims become reality but those are our twin pillars.

Compressed schedule coming to Mid-Ohio in 2014 | Mansfield News Journal (Jun 16, 2014 11:07)
Mid-Ohio’s two largest spectator eventsboth happen in August with just a weekend between the two. The Verizon IndyCar Series comes to town Aug. 1 to 3 for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio with the NASCAR Nationwide Series returning for the second time two weeks later. “They are our two biggest. They draw the most fans. It’s hard to say come out the first weekend and the third weekend of August,” Rust said. “Fortunately the two fan bases are different, but it’s still two big events two weeks apart. “Logistically it makes it difficult. The staff does a great job of preparing so we can execute.”

IndyCar team co-owner pays $35,000 for Jacques Villenueve's Indianapolis 500 helmet - Autoweek (Jun 4, 2014 15:15)
This is a rare piece of motorsports memorabilia, as Villeneuve only five times previously in his career gave away one of his helmets -- and never did so after a major race, according to Peterson. Of course, it's a bit strange to see a co-owner of the team who put Villeneuve into the race having to bid on the helmet, but Peterson enjoyed the process. “He doesn't typically give away his helmets, but this was a great cause and made sense,” Peterson said.

Why proper aerodynamic package is key to exciting race at TMS | Dallas Morning News (Jun 4, 2014 15:14)
“If they put it back in the drivers’ hands and the good drivers are up at the front where they should be and the poseurs are at the back, it’s fine,’’ Power said during tire testing at TMS in April. “Don’t put it back into a big pack of people, and you get some poseur beside you who doesn’t want to race.’’ The series has given teams the option of adding about 300 pounds of downforce over last year’s maximum. That puts the field closer to the 2012 specifications, which produced a high-quality race.

How Kurt Busch got around Chevy conflict while driving a Honda - NASCAR - Sporting News (May 30, 2014 08:34)
Typically, Busch has a Haas Automation logo on the front of his firesuit. But the team looked for some way to thank Chevrolet for allowing Busch to drive a Honda at Indy, and this was it. This wasn’t a negotiated part of the deal, team officials say, just a way to thank a longtime partner.