Archive for the ‘ Drivers ’ Category

Exposed: The Bachelor and Body issues

Posted on: October 5, 2011 | Comments (1) | Drivers | By: Dave

Helio Castroneves and Graham Rahal are featured in general interest magazines out later this week. One (Rahal in Cosmopolitan Magazine) displays a designer watch prominent in the photo. The other (Castroneves in ESPN The Magazine’s “Bodies We Want” issue) shows a whole lot more, but not a designer watch.

“First of all, I’m honored to be in the magazine,” says Castroneves, who joins more than 20 other athletes who were captured all natural in poses related to their sport. “There are so many amazing athletes. I was just so surprised because I’m not the type of guy — 6 foot tall, broad shoulders – that I thought they would want.”

The three-time Indianapolis 500 champion, who’s 5-7 and about 145 pounds, laughs at what was proposed by photographer Luis Sanchis on the set that included a tire swing. The tire, of course, is the link to the IZOD IndyCar Series, but producers at least could have used a Firestone Racing tire instead of a passenger car tire.

“I thought they’d do something like you wear underwear and they would air brush it out,” he says. “But when I got there it was a big surprise. I would be completely naked. It was done in an artistic way. I’m comfortable with the group that was there.

“It was a unique experience. Hopefully, the fans will enjoy it.”

Rahal’s image, captured during the Toronto race weekend in July, accompanies the online piece for readers to select the “Bachelor of the Year.” He represents Indiana, where the Ohio native has resided since December. Rahal also is featured in the magazine’s November print issue (on newsstands Oct. 11).

Vote for Rahal through Oct. 16 at The top 10 vote-getters will be the semifinalists, and Cosmo editors will select the “Bachelor of the Year,” which will be announced Oct. 18 when all the  state (plus the District of Columbia) representatives will gather in New York for the annual Cosmo Bachelor of the Year party hosted by editor-in-chief Kate White.

Though the 22-year-old Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing driver isn’t a reader Cosmopolitan (maybe thumbing through it once or twice?), he appreciates the attention it brings to the team, the IZOD IndyCar Series and, yes, himself. Much like Castroneves’ pages in ESPN The Magazine, though Rahal says he wouldn’t agree. “It’s just not my thing to be running around with my shirt off.”

What magazine would he like to be the cover story? “Any sort of sports or golf magazine; that’s what interests me.”

De Silvestro at home in Switzerland County

Posted on: September 30, 2011 | Comments(5) | Drivers | By: Kate

It hasn’t been too long since Simona de Silvestro visited her home country of Switzerland, and on Sept. 29 a little taste of home was a nice treat for the IZOD IndyCar Series driver who has been nicknamed the “Swiss Missile.”

Simona de Silvestro visits Switzerland

Simona de Silvestro visits Switzerland

De Silvestro visited Vevay, Ind., a small town in Switzerland County. She visited a Swiss bed and breakfast, investigated the downtown history and went to Ogle Haus Inn, a landmark in town. Some of the locals who showed up shared their heritage with de Silvestro.

Not all was familiar to her, however. De Silvestro had the opportunity to blow into an alphorn, the national instrument of Switzerland.

“I had never tried one, so that was pretty fun,” de Silvestro said. “It took me a while to figure out how to do it. But then when I figured it out it was fun. But it was pretty funny, I made some funny faces while trying.”

Gifts from the heart at Motegi

Posted on: September 16, 2011 | Comments(9) | Drivers | By: Arni

The autograph session at Twin Ring Motegi is unlike any other on the IZOD IndyCar Series circuit.

Danica Patrick receives gifts from Japanese fans

Danica Patrick receives gifts from Japanese fans

In exchange for a photograph and a signature, some fans present gifts to their favorite drivers. Most gifts consist of photos, books, cookies and other sweets, and traditional Japanese items such as chopsticks or fans. But some fans go above and beyond the call in an effort to show respect.

EJ Viso showing some Japanese spirit

EJ Viso shows off one of his new gifts

One fan gave Marco Andretti a hand-made model of a HondaJet, complete with Honda logos, while Tony Kanaan received a 1/4-scale statue of Brazilian racing legend Ayrton Senna from one of his biggest fans in Japan. Another fan dressed his infant son -– whose middle name is Teekay in honor of Kanaan -– in a KV Racing Technology-Lotus onesie just like his namesake.

Danica Patrick received one of the biggest gifts -– a pair of daruma, Japanese good luck dolls, one painted to match her racing helmet and the other in the colors of primary sponsor and signed with well-wishes from a number of Japanese fans.

“These are great,” Patrick said after receiving the traditional Buddhist good luck items. “I am going to put these in the house back in the U.S.”

Daruma dolls, also known as Dharma dolls, are a Japanese traditional Buddhist toy used in goal-setting and wishing for good luck in achieving that goal. They are painted with only one eye with the other eye filled in once the goal has been achieved.

“I hope they aren’t Cyclops for long,” Patrick said.

Three days in the basement

Posted on: September 15, 2011 | Comments(7) | Drivers | By: Arni

Some IZOD IndyCar drivers will go to any length to get a competitive advantage over their fellow competitors.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender James Hinchcliffe used the Playstation 3 game Gran Turismo to get his first look at Twin Ring Motegi’s road course.

Of course, he didn’t plan on spending three days to take his first lap around the track.

“Maybe not one of my proudest moments,” said Hinchcliffe, who not only purchased the game and a memory card but borrow a Sony PlayStation 3 before he turned a lap. “Fortunately, I had a couple of teammates – my roommates – who did much of the grunt work. You try and learn a new track any way you can and video games these days are shockingly accurate. You’ll learn more in the first two laps in the actual car, but at least it gave me a little bit of a sense of where to go.”

Hinchcliffe and his roommates “spent three days in the basement” unlocking cars and tracks before finally getting to turn laps on the 14-turn, 2.983-mile road course. But because IndyCars are not in the game, he had to choose a car that is similar in speed.

“Part of the reason it took so long, was a) we had to unlock the tracks and b) I wanted to drive a car that would give me a feel of an IndyCar. I ended up driving the Konica Minolta Nissan Group C sports car. It was worth it.”

As I head into the last race of the season at the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix, I reflect back to the start of this season and the whirlwind it’s been.

In addition to the close of the season, I have the opportunity to reflect on the recent end of the Seventeen magazine “Pretty Amazing” contest, which has been one of the coolest experiences of my life. This contest was different than anything I’ve ever done. It is a huge accomplishment to be one of the top-five finalists (out of 35,000 who entered) in the competition where one of us would be on the cover of Seventeen, a magazine that reaches 13 million monthly readers!

At the beginning of the season, everything was extremely hectic and I was fully focused on the start of my first full season since 2006 in a new series, learning a new craft. It was March and we were entering our second race of the season when my management group, BRANDed, came to me with yet another opportunity! Some of you may remember the video contest we did a year ago encouraging YOU to turn OFF your cell phones and “Don’t text and drive”. In all honesty, I wasn’t super enthusiastic about it because I was focused on the start of my season and my performance on the track. However, I went ahead and came up with a short essay and we went ahead and submitted an entry. Here’s what I wrote:

At age five, my family and I entered a world that would later shape my life, character, personality and future forever. The industry was racing and I would start driving racecars the same year I began Kindergarten in Miamisburg, Ohio. I was the kid at the front of the line, the kid who won the fundraising competitions, participated in Student Government, was involved in my school, graduated in the top ¼ of my class, was elected for homecoming court and a two year National Honors Society member. But I was different than everyone – always have been, always will be and that is something that has stuck with me, defined me and given me confidence.  At age five, I won my first race and never looked back. At the age of fourteen, I started realizing I could pursue racing professionally. Between now and then, I’ve been through nonstop ups and downs giving it my all to find sponsorships, connections and the means to be a professional racecar driver. Today, I am a fully funded and paid racecar driver continuing the pursuit of being a professional driver in the Indianapolis 500. My dreams have fueled me and will continue to be the seed beneath my life motto, never ever ever give up.

Soon thereafter, we got a call back from Seventeen asking for a 20-minute video answering questions about myself, my family, my background and what I do. They also wanted to see my bedroom and a little bit more about my personality. The funny thing was, I had just gotten to Indianapolis for the month of May and was living in a short-term lease, white walled, and generally furnished apartment that would show none of my personality! So, I sat on the bed with a comforter that I’d never choose, bare white walls and explained to Seventeen about my crazy life, why I was where I was, and what I was doing. 

USF2000 Driver Shannon McIntosh

After a string of a few more calls and videos, Ann Shoket, the magazine’s editor-in-chief “skyped” me and told me the great news. I was one of the five finalists and would be making the trip to NYC for a week where I’d do a top of the line cover photo-shoot, meet the other finalists and experience all kinds of awesome stuff.

Between the trip to New York City and the time that I found out, I was really too flat out with racing and concentrating on that to really think about what the trip would entail. MTV came to Milwaukee to do some filming prior to the race weekend and I also kept myself busy with other racing related “activities”.

Finally, the time came to go to NY and I finally spent some time “offline” and enjoying being a girl. From the time I arrived at one of the swankiest hotels in SoHo until the time that I departed, cameras followed close behind. The first night, us girls got to meet each other and have a surprise dinner together. The following day was the beginning of nonstop activities that Seventeen and Neutrogena would keep the five of us busy with.

The day started off with a trip to Hearst Corporation where we met Seventeen Editor-in-Chief, Ann Shoket, who told us we were going to be giving a short speech to an auditorium full of girls about our age, in thirty minutes! We all had a bit of time to come up with thoughts and most of the girls wrote their speeches on note cards. I wrote a few bullet points down but chose to speak from my heart and ditch the note cards. It was truly an inspiring moment for me to be able to tell my story to hundreds of girls who I’d never met but would possibly be able to make an impact on. After our speeches, we got to “meet & mingle” with all of the audience and then were told we’d be getting full-on makeovers. Seventeen created individual “looks” for each girl and mine was “Edgy Sweet.”

We went to a top-of-the line salon in the city and each of us got our trial looks in preparation for the following day; the photo-shoot! I got my hair colored a bit darker and trimmed. They also gave me some layers. It wasn’t a whole lot different but I definitely liked it.

Shannon McIntosh at Seventeen Magazine Photoshoot

The next day was day one of the photo-shoot and most definitely the best part of the trip. I don’t think I realized how big of a deal the whole thing was until I walked into the set and saw the professionalism and amount of people it took to put this thing together: a photographer with two assistants, a celebrity stylist and his two assistants, celebrity hair stylist and Herbal Essences spokesperson and his assistant, make-up artist and his assistant, nail artist, television crew, media, Seventeen executives, MTV executives, Neutrogena executives and tons of other random people which I had know idea who they were.

The process began and I started with make-up, went on to hair, then nails and stylists. They had the music up loud and the fans blowing (haha!). A few of the girls were super nervous but I was seriously excited and felt awesome, or should I say “Pretty Amazing”? The rest is hard to put into words so here are a few “behind the scene” photos.

Shannon McIntosh at Seventeen Magazine Photoshoot

Shannon McIntosh at Seventeen Magazine Photoshoot

That evening we met one of the judges, Jared Eng (founder of Just Jared—much like Perez Hilton’s celebrity gossip site) and had a dinner with him. We then had a somewhat early night to get rest for the second day of the shoot. The girls who hadn’t gone the first day went at the beginning of day two and in the afternoon we were surprised with the challenge of coming up with our own photo-shoot for all of the girls together. It was pretty fun and within an hour we had to make a set and come up with outfits. Check it out.

The final day was a red carpet luncheon and we started the day off with hair and make-up again. I got used to not having to do anything to get ready and after I returned from the trip wasn’t sure what to do without the pampering!! Speaking in front of a huge group of Seventeen and Neutrogena Executives about the amazing experiences of the week. We walked the red carpet, posed for the paparazzi individually and with actress and singer Miranda Cosgrove who was one of the contest judges. She was truly a sweetheart and really genuine. My speech went very well and it was a bittersweet ending to a great trip.

Of course all week, everyone was speculating who would win and wondering when they would tell us, but we heard that we wouldn’t find out until the “Pretty Amazing” special on MTV, which aired on August 30th at 8pm.

We were all asked who we’d want to win if we didn’t and without a blink of an eye I chose Zoe. We really hit it off and connected having similar stories of overcoming adversity. I am extremely happy and proud for Zoe because she is a very inspirational girl who has gone after her dreams and will do great things in her life.

Although I didn’t walk away with the cover, I walked away with a truly amazing experience and am proud to have been one of five out of 35,000 who applied.

I can’t thank all of the IndyCar community enough for all of your votes and encouragement throughout the whole thing. It’s been very humbling and an honor.

See you this weekend at Baltimore!


The Driver Behind the Tweet

Posted on: June 30, 2011 | Comments(12) | Drivers, New Media | By: Cassie

Twitter allows drivers to better interact with their fans and a way to share a small piece of themselves and their teams. When a driver tweets, it gives us all a closer look at their personality. Some drivers tweet about things that keep followers up-to-date on their racing life, some tweet about their personal lives, some tweet mobile pictures (remember planking??), but no matter their intentions, some drivers make us LOL every time they tweet.

Danica Tweeting?

Danica Patrick Tweeting Away!

We’ve pulled together some of the funniest Tweets from the IndyCar world and listed them below. Each Tweet shows a bit of the Tweeters personality. Gather all of your IndyCar knowledge and take a guess at who the Tweeter might have been.

Guess away! Get your friends to play, and see who can correctly guess which drivers are behind these tweets:

1. Last night, one of our crew guys pulled me aside & said, “Stop being an a**hole.” That’s all the motivation I needed.

2. Anything better than putting on boxers fresh out of the dryer? I think not. #lovethelittlethings

3. I am at bucksstar ;) had to whisper 1 frappo no whipped cream to cashier make sure no one heard me.

4. “that’s the most passes 4 the lead that I can remember. Much better than just watching Dario go round & round.” SNAP

5. @dariofranchitti the pleasure was all mine! I was always told to be nice and polite to your elders!

6. For me boxing is the closest trainning for racing outside the race car…sometimes the punch feels like the wall.hehehe

7. Not entirely sure new yoga instructor tonight was overly impressed with a certain someone’s non existent levels of “bendyness”…!!!

8. My tomtom has @dariofranchitti voice…not sexy. Hahahaha

Hint: Not all of the Tweets are technically from drivers. Think of some of the most vocal INDYCAR tweeps out there and you might recognize 1 or 2 of their personalities as well. Leave a comment with your guesses below and we’ll keep you posted when the answers are revealed.  #goodluck

With You Japan At Iowa Speedway

Posted on: June 25, 2011 | Comments (0) | Drivers | By: Admin

Takuma Sato is one of those drivers that somehow manages to fly just under the radar. Quiet, calm and patient he’s been out there racing his sophomore IndyCar season for KV Racing-Technology Lotus and gradually picking up speed, currently sitting 9th in the points standings.

At Indianapolis, arguably his biggest story came from his support of With You Japan, rather than his performance on track. Partnering with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and INDYCAR to support t-shirt sales promoting Japanese tsunami relief efforts (see the shirt here).

Yesterday, everything changed as Takuma thrust himself into the spotlight by picking up his first PEAK Performance Pole Award of the season.

Takuma proudly holds the Japan flag

Takuma waves the Japanese Flag proudly

The best part of his Pole Award came behind the scenes though, so I am taking a moment to share with fans my very favorite photo from the entire weekend. Regardless of race results, the true emotion of this race weekend at Iowa comes from the foreign press.

How exciting to watch the Japanese media celebrate with Takuma as if he had just won the entire Iowa Indy Corn 250, not only P1. They ran, they high-fived, they snapped photos right and left and, by some sort of magic, happened to be captured in the picture below:

Takuma Sato celebrates with his entourage of photographers

A driver worth traveling to see

So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the video highlights from Qualifications complete with an interview with Takuma has garnered hit after hit on the IndyCar YouTube page. 32,000 views and counting, enjoy:

11 in ‘11 with Ana Beatriz

Posted on: June 23, 2011 | Comments(6) | Drivers | By: Cassie

2011 marks the second season of IndyCar racing for Ana Beatriz. She is a regular driver for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and her Brazilian sponsor, Ipiranga, hasn’t let her down.

Ana was kind enough to answer 11 fan questions during this 2011 season and, ironically enough, following her 11th IZOD IndyCar Series start.  Ana wanted to send a little shout out to the fans and thank them for cheering her on:

“Thanks, fans for all of your support this season – keep those tweets and messages of support coming. Enjoy my 11 in ’11 video and thanks for submitting fan questions for this video series, it’s been fun learning about all the other drivers through these videos.”

Continue to support Ana by following her on Twitter, @BiaRacing, and check out her driver history on See her 11 in ‘11 video below.

USF2000 driver Zach Veach has brought together his team, Andretti Autosport, The Michael Andretti Foundation and Racing for Kids to partner with FocusDriven to bring awareness and support to a family who was tragically affected by a distracted driving incident.

The Andretti Autosport fleet is carrying special car decals at the Milwaukee Mile to spread awareness and help raise funds for the family of Xzavier Davis-Bilbo. Six-year-old Xzavier was paralyzed in October 2010 when a driver, who was texting while driving, struck him while he and his sister crossed the street.

USF2000 driver Zach Veach affixes his new decal for Milwaukee

Fans can help Zach ( Twitter @ZachVeach ) and Andretti Autosport (Twitter @FollowAndretti ) raise awareness too. Click here to download an image of the same decal on Zach’s car and share with your family and friends on Facebook and Twitter using hashtag #DriveForFans.

Comment below to leave your messages of support for Zach’s efforts to stop distracted driving and you could win a USF2000 tire autographed by Andretti Autosport drivers. Zach will share your words of support with Xzavier’s family and help select the best comment in support of stopping distracted driving to win this very cool prize.


11 in ‘11 with Graham Rahal

Posted on: June 16, 2011 | Comments (0) | Drivers | By: Cassie

This season has been an exciting one for Graham Rahal. He is now a part of a new team, Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing. He is also currently 7th in the point standings and recently finished third in the Indianapolis 500.

Graham loves his social media. He’s an avid tweeter and has even been spotted at racetracks with his iPad. He is also the latest driver to be featured in our 11 in ‘11 video blog series on YouTube.

Rahal and an iPad
Graham took the time to answer 11 fan submitted questions during the 2011 IndyCar season. Get it? 11 in ‘11? Graham answers questions involving his race experiences, the 100th anniversary Indy 500, and even cartoon characters.

Check out the video below and continue to look for 11 in ‘11 videos for the rest of the 2011 season.