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Milwaukee - Sunday - Close

Posted on 8/17  • 

So - the crowd. It was really odd, everything seemed really packed.... except the stands, which seemed half full.

Which is kind of a bummer, as it was an absolutely beautiful day for a race.

Yes, it ended up being a strategy race, and we have seen better races, but this facility needs the fans to come out if Michael Andretti is going to keep investing the energy of his company into the event.

Because, otherwise, they'll look for another market that perhaps makes more sense. Which would be a shame, as there aren't many tracks with 100 years of history.

Chaves, Veach Separated by Seven Points Prior to Double-Header Season Finale

Posted on 8/21  • 

The 2014 season of Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires reaches its climax this weekend with a pair of races comprising the Indy Lights Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway in Northern California. At stake is a $750,000 prize to the winner of the final step on the Mazda Road to Indy development ladder aimed at assisting graduation to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2015.

Colombian-American Gabby Chaves, 21, currently holds the point for Belardi Auto Racing, although 19-year-old Zach Veach (Andretti Autosport), from Stockdale, Ohio, trails by only seven points, 466-459, following an impressive come-from-behind victory on Sunday at the famed Milwaukee Mile oval. This weekend will present an entirely different challenge for the title protagonists who will square off for a 40-minute "sprint" race on Saturday followed by a 60-minute "feature" event on Sunday, August 24, on the demanding 2.385-mile, 12-turn natural terrain road course.

Englishman Jack Harvey, driving for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian, also remains in the title hunt with 443 points to his name. Chaves has won four times this season, Veach three times and Harvey twice as the 21-year-old from Lincoln, England, dominated the two most recent road course events, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, on August 2/3.

A total of 105 points are up for grabs - 50 to the winner of each race, plus one point for the fastest qualifier on Friday afternoon and single bonus points for leading most laps and the fastest lap in each of the two races.

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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.

IndyCar - IndyCar: Barfield explains his calls and non-calls at Long Beach (Apr 15, 2014 16:47)
No penalties were handed down for the contact between Will Power and Simon Pagenaud or Justin Wilson and Scott Dixon, which left some competitors and fans scratching their collective heads. "We said before the season began that we were going to change the way we officiate and take more of a hands-off approach," said Barfield (LEFT). "And I think that's what you saw last Sunday."

Franchitti’s enforced retirement will have hit him hard - The Scotsman (Nov 27, 2013 11:05)
Franchitti’s decision to step away from racing, undoubtedly sad as it is, ensures, thankfully, that he will be around for years to come to talk in his knowledgeable, animated and enthusiastic way about his comprehensive collection of Jim Clark memorabilia. Of more immediate concern for him is whether his beloved Celtic can make it through the group stages in the Champions League. Franchitti has always been quick to play down his achievements in motorsport and has laughed when the word ‘legacy’ has been mentioned. Now the man, who has the most deeply ingrained affinity with motorsport’s heritage of any current racing driver, knows he must reinvent his life. It will take time. Franchitti has committed himself fully to his love of the sport, and this latest development is still way too raw for any new plans to be announced. In the meantime, he can slowly begin to accept how highly his achievements have been recognised by his motorsport peers, and concentrate on making a full recovery.