Archive for the ‘ Race Tracks ’ Category

Perfect weather here in Edmonton today for a race of any kind, especially an IndyCar race. The weather is perfect for race fans as well. Mentioning the fans, Edmonton has some enthusiastic and supportive ones. They have shown up everyday ready for some IndyCar action and sporting their favorite driver’s colors. Being a newbie here at City Centre Raceway I decided to get some insight from the fans. I wanted to know the best places to be, the favored drivers in Edmonton, and how the fans spend their City Centre race day.

Woo hoo, Qualifications!

Fans in Edmonton!

When I asked the fans the way they spent their time at the track most responded with the Paddock. In the Paddock area fans can be up close and personal with the teams, the cars, and even the drivers. It’s a great place to get pictures of your favorite drivers and racing legends like A.J. Foyt and Rick Mears. What fan wouldn’t want to spend time in the Paddock area?

The best place to be at the Edmonton race track? The answer was unanimous, Turn 1 of course. However, this year the stands in Turn 1 have been removed. Most of the fans said Turn 1 holds some of their favorite racing memories and they are sad to see the stands go.

I then put the fans on the spot by asking them if they could have a ride with one driver who would it be and why? The answers varied. Will Power was one answer, simply because he is fast was the reasoning for one fan. Dario Franchitti was another answer, who wouldn’t want to ride with an Indy 500 champion? The answer for most was Danica Patrick. Answering Danica came as no surprise, especially if you were to walk around the City Centre track today. Danica Patrick shirts are every where you turn!

Then a special pair of people caught my eye. The two were sitting in the stands watching the Firestone Indy Lights warm up and looked as if they were great fans. Father and daughter Ben and Kristina were shaded from the sun in their IZOD IndyCar hats that had been autographed by their favorite drivers. I decided to ask their opinion on Edmonton.

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Father and Daughter Enjoy Race Day

Favorite part of the Edmonton experience?

The race, of course. Ben and Kristina are big fans of the Indy Lights series too. Turn 1 was always a favorite aspect for the two, and they too were sad to see the stands go.

What driver would you like to see win?

For the Indy Lights Edmonton 100 Kristina and Ben would like to see Dan Clarke take the victory. As for IndyCar, Justin Wilson is who they would like to see in the winner’s circle.

If you could ride with one driver who would it be? Why?

Ben’s answer was Paul Tracy. “Tracy is an aggressive driver,” said Ben. For Kristina it would be Graham Rahal. She has always enjoyed watching him.

The fans were great in Edmonton and they all seemed to be dedicated fans. Every one of them had a reason for coming to Edmonton and returning year after year. My first time in Edmonton was made that much better by the willingness of the fans and I’ll be sure to check out Turn 1.  Edmonton is a great stop on the IndyCar schedule, eh?

A Memorable Day

Posted on: July 23, 2010 | Comments (0) | Drivers, Race Tracks | By: Cassie

Thursday in Edmonton consisted of crew and driver preparations, Setup Day in other words. As crews worked to set up shop, drivers took part in other activities. Kevin Martin of Edmonton, an Olympic gold medalist in curling, visited and was shown around by a few of the drivers, including Will Power. Earlier in the day, Power took part in a different event along with Firestone Indy Lights driver Philip Major. A Racing For Kids event landed Power and Major at Edmonton’s Stollery Children’s Hospital, where they spent memorable time with the patients.

A Memorable Visit

Will Power at Stollery Children's Hospital

Eighty children were excitedly waiting to meet the drivers and for the chance to sit in a real IndyCar. Hats with the Racing For Kids logo were passed out to the patients. Autographs, photos and laughs were exchanged between the drivers and children. Power and Major helped children in and out of the car.

Phil Major and a Patient

Phil Major with a Stollery Patient

Power and Major made sure to visit as many patients as possible, traveling from room to room. The event provided memories and once-in-a-lifetime experiences for the children. It was a touching day for all involved.

Sunday 4:48 p.m.- Thanks for keeping up with the live blog this weekend. Can’t wait for Edmonton! Here are some victory lane photos for you, see the rest here.

The Winner

Will Power #1 at Hondy Indy Toronto

Tons of confetti

Top 3 with lots of confetti!

Sunday 3:25 p.m.- After going through the predictions on both Facebook and Twitter we have two winners from the “Pick the Top Three Trifecta Contest.” Congratulations to both Michael Hannowsky and @ACDonahue for guessing the top three drivers in the right order: Will Power, Dario Franchitti and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Sunday 2:47p.m.- WE HAVE A WINNER- Will Power to Victory Lane! Highlight video and tons of pictures from throughout the race to come!

Ready for racing

Will Power wins at Honda Indy Toronto

Sunday 2:34 p.m.- Sixth full course yellow of the race- Last year there were only 5! Alex Tagliani and Tomas Scheckter connect in the corner. Justin Wilson spins out and Scott Dixon loses his front suspension. All in one lap!

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A Brazilian World Cup Party

Posted on: July 2, 2010 | Comments(3) | Drivers, Race Tracks | By: Dave

The gusto with which Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Mario Moraes and Vitor Meira blew into their vuvuzelas following Robinho’s early strike in the Brazil vs. Netherlands quarterfinal match compensated for the sound that emanated.

“I need some lessons,” laughed Castroneves, wearing the green and yellow of his homeland.

Gooooooaaaaaallll!

Gooooaaaalll!

Apex-Brasil hosted a mid-morning World Cup watch party at Watkins Glen International and most of the Brazilian IZOD IndyCar Series drivers – plus a few World Cup followers from Australia and Great Britain – were wrapped up in the tight match from Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

“Right now, nobody (in Brazil) is working,” Kanaan said during the first half. “As a culture, that’s what we grew up watching – soccer and racing – so it’s a big deal. We’ve been home for a couple of weeks (since racing June 20 at Iowa Speedway) so I’ve been watching a lot.”

In the second half, when the Dutch scored two goals to move ahead and time became the enemy, the vuvuzelas were the closest item to pick up and pound on the picnic table.

Dejected from being knocked out of the tournament, the drivers nonetheless turned their attention to the business at hand (the first track activity of the weekend later in the afternoon). Drivers signed one of the vuvuzelas, which will turn up soon as a IndyCar New Media prize.

Brazil will play host to the 2014 World Cup.

“We have a huge responsibility hosting this thing in four years,” Kanaan said. “We had the IndyCar race there and put on a good show and hopefully we’ll be able to keep it up and have a great World Cup.”

If you’re thinking there could be more patriotic ways to spend Independence Day weekend than watching twenty-two foreign born drivers battle against each other and three Americans at Watkins Glen – think again. From the rich history the track holds to the exciting events being held there this weekend, there’s no better place for a race fan to spend the 4th of July.

Long front straight

The Glen

Watkins Glen International, or “The Glen”, has been home to a variety of open-wheel road racing events for more than six decades. Known for it’s plethora of twists and turns, The Glen is truly the one of the best road racing facilities in the country. In fact, its one of my personal favorites (that could also have something to do with the local wineries  but more about that later). For more than twenty years, The Glen served as home to the United States Grand Prix, seducing drivers from all over the world with its seductive curves, including Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi, and Stirling Moss (how can you not love that name?). If you’re eager to learn more, the Watkins Glen International website features an informative video timeline. My expertise lies in there here and now.

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IndyCar Fans Unite

Posted on: July 1, 2010 | Comments(2) | New Media, Race Tracks | By: Admin

What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than with an IndyCar race? Red, white and blue, New York and a blur of IndyCars racing around Watkins Glen– Sign me up! And what better way to celebrate our fans than by giving away cool IndyCar stuff?

Happy Fourth of July Race Fans

What you may already know (especially if you are reading this blog) is that the new media department has been trying to keep our fans online experience nothing short of legendary.

What you may not know is that we have amped up our social media interaction by running give-away contests. That means, every week for the past month we have given away an exclusive race fan prize pack via our Twitter ReTweet (RT) contest.

Past winner's comment!

Past winner's comment!

We want you to win something! Just RT the special contest tweet posted by @IndyCarNation and if you happen to be the 50th RT then you win! Simple, easy, FANtastic. I’ll even give you a hint: we usually run the contest on Wednesdays so keep your tweepers peeled for the special contest tweet.

More things you may not know: Did you know NASCAR has more fans than IndyCar on Facebook? They also have more followers on Twitter! Not knocking on NASCAR but I’d like to think the IndyCar Series has a similarly large, if not larger fan base! We want all of your fans to be represented so check us out on Facebook here and follow us on Twitter here.

Patriotic Fans

These social sites enable us to give you brand spanking new photos, videos, blogs, driver /team information, news and most importantly feedback! Ask us a question or tell us what is on your mind.  Look forward to interacting with you! Shout out to @jscott_grtv for winning the RT contest yesterday- Congrats!

Live Blog from NH

Posted on: June 27, 2010 | Comments(2) | Race Tracks | By: Jarrod

Today we are going to give you a special semi-Live Blog of today’s announcement.  Follow along all day for updates, photos, videos and more as indycar.com invades New England.

1:23pm: That’s a wrap. IZOD IndyCar is packing up and heading to the plane. See you next week at Watkins Glen

1:15pm: Dario Franchitti takes over the track before the start of the Lenox 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

12:15pm: Chip Ganassi answers questions about IZOD IndyCar’s return to New Hampshire.  His driver Juan Montoya sits on the pole for today’s event.

10:39am: Flash from the past.  Check out the last time IZOD IndyCar raced at New Hampshire

10:21am: Randy Bernard-”Our Fans like Short Ovals”

10:15am: IZOD IndyCar Series announces a return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  IRL CEO Randy Bernard is joined by 2-time Indy 500 and IZOD IndyCar Series Champion Dario Franchitti, SMI CEO Bruton Smith, New Hampshire GM Jerry Gappens and New Hampshire Gov. Lynch.

9:56am: Target Chip Ganassi team members unload Dario Franchitti’s #10 Honda/Dallara IndyCar from the IZOD IndyCar Series transporter

What's going on here?

9:30am: IZOD IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard chats with “the morning buzz”  in the media center at New Hampshire  Motor Speedway.

9am: Flying in.  Name that track?   I had not removed the film off the back of my iPhone, so the image is a little hazy.

6am: Wheels up from Indianapolis Airport and heading to New England.

Through the Looking Glass (Car in Garage)

Sneak Peek

A view into the garage

Set-up day at the track s always an open invitation to wander and try new things as a photographer. Generally there is a more relaxed feel for both cast and crew, I never feel rushed, and am free to make as many mistakes as I’d like.  There are so many times I see something I like, only to go back and find a fault when blown up on my monitor. No problem, the only thing to do is walk back… I love to take my fisheye with me on these days to take in the scene. Initially I had not centered the car in this composition, but returned later, and in the end a “peephole” effect ensued. I never have considered myself a “garage spy,” but here that just may be the case.

Photo Info: f 2.8 at 1/250 with a 50 mm. fisheye

Through the Looking Glass (White Bodywork)

What is this?

Hard to tell what this i

Set-up day at the track  is always an open invitation to wander and try new things as a photographer. Generally there is a more relaxed feel for both cast and crew, I never feel rushed, and am free to make as many mistakes as I’d like.  There are so many times I see something I like, only to go back and find a fault when blown up on my monitor. No problem, the only thing to do is walk back…  There is also time for me to try my hand at  abstractions. The garages are a place where you sometimes ask yourself if you are looking at a lunar lander or an IndyCar?  The technology is ever present and beautiful.

Photo info: f/4 at 1/2000 with a 70-200 mm. zoom.

This weekend’s stop on the IZOD IndyCar Series circuit in Iowa is jammed packed with action. For the first time in Indy Racing League history all 4 series, leagues will be competing on the same weekend in the same city on the same oval…The IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights Series, Star Mazda Championship and the USF2000 Series. This completes the progression for up and coming drivers who are aspiring to be IZOD IndyCar Series drivers.

I’ve been to Iowa, many a times in my day…but that is a different topic. I’ve only been to Iowa Speedway once, in 2009 and I was impressed. I personally think its cool to see IndyCars on short ovals, and Iowa Speedway is short. I have a certain appreciation for people like Tomas Scheckter and Tony Kanaan who seem to be able to pass anyone at anywhere on restarts especially on tracks as tight as Iowa.

Brian Herta and Daniel Herrington Grill their Meat (2009)

But there is another reason that Iowa is so cool. I wish I could name the restaurant but I can’t. More important than the name is the style! Last year I ventured over to this unnamed restaurant with a few co-workers from IMS Productions and the IRL. We walked in the doors and behind the hostess was a large meat locker. That’s right a MEAT LOCKER. I immediately started to drool.

Then I looked around and saw 2 enormous grills. Yep, I got to grill my own dinner. Not only did I get to hand pick my meat out of a locker, but I got to grill it along side a freshly garlic buttered slice of texas toast.

So this weekend, I am watching from Indy. I’ll be on Race Control and I’ll also switch over to Star Mazda and USF2000.com for LIVE streaming of their events on Saturday evening.

If you are in Iowa, seek out the place where you can grill your own meat. Its fun and tasty!

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The Versatile Veggie

Posted on: June 18, 2010 | Comments(2) | Race Tracks | By: Dave

 As Americans’ favorite vegetable, corn ranks second to the potato (mashed is the top choice) in a recent survey.

Iowans will concede that honor to their neighbors from Idaho, but they claim boasting rights regarding corn as the grain of choice for biofuel. Corn grown in Iowa is driving the alternative fuel industry that produced a record 10.75 billion gallons of biofuel last year, reducing demand for imported oil by 364 million barrels. So far, no viable fuel has been developed utilizing the potato.

Corn is the most abundant U.S. crop, valued at $47.6 billion in 2009, and the U.S. is the largest producer and exporter in the world. U.S. farmers will produce a record 13.37 billion bushels in the autumn harvest.  The amount of corn used for ethanol production in 2010 will total a record 4.55 billion bushels, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Iowa Corn Indy 250

The Official Logo

Of course, this all ties in to the IZOD IndyCar Series, which is the only form of motorsports to use a renewable and environmentally-friendly fuel (100 percent fuel-grade ethanol) to power its Honda Indy V-8 engines. Corn ethanol (the fermentation of plant sugars) is the fuel source for the fourth Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer.

And here’s one parting stat to share on Father’s Day: Farmers grow five times as much corn as they did in the 1930s on 20 percent less land and produce 70 percent more corn per pound of fertilizer than they did 35 years ago.