Posts Tagged ‘ Dario Franchitti ’

This week I figured I’d go a bit of a different direction and put on display five of my favorite IndyCar moments.  This is by no means a definitive list as to the “greatest” moments ever in IndyCar but it’s more of a quick highlight reel of some of my favorite moments.  I hope to write a post of this “type” more often and expose more of my favorite moments from the past couple years as well as the “good ole’ days.”  Feel free to post links or descriptions to your favorite moments in IndyCar.

1.) Helio Castroneves at Indianapolis 2007

How can you not be amazed by that?!  The move he makes in that video is completely insane.  It truly shows the level of bravery some of these guys have.  Taking the the low-side on that pass, coming with in inches of the wall, and never backing off the throttle… THAT is IndyCar racing.  I can’t imagine how much fun it is driving a Team Penske Racing Indycar, he’s off the throttle going into 1 but he’s still passing cars!

2.) Tomas Scheckter at Indianapolis 2004

If you’ve watched IndyCar racing since 2002 you know one thing… Tomas Scheckter loves the outside pass.  In this video from the 2004 Indianapolis 500, Tomas passes seven cars going into turn three.  What the video doesn’t show is how Tomas had to catch the car going into three.  You can hear him come off the throttle but unfortunately can’t see his steering wheel.  If you happen to attend an IndyCar race that Tomas is racing in during the 2011 season be sure to keep your eye on him during the starts and restarts, he won’t disappoint.

3.) Vitor Meira at Indianapolis 2008

While this move was quite risky and could be considered “dirty” (as I’m sure Ed Carpenter thought) it’s pretty incredible.  IndyCar racing is all about taking it to the extreme limit.  Everyone wants to win so badly that coming down to the final laps of a race the “all or nothing” mentality sets in.  Vitor has finished second so many times I’m sure all he was thinking about was “WIN” and he sure as heck went for it.

4.) Tomas Scheckter at Milwaukee 2007

Yep, it’s another Tomas Scheckter highlight.  The guy is mighty exciting to watch.  I have no idea how he does it but he seems to find grip where no one else can find it.  I particularly like this video because you can really see how much work he’s doing in the cockpit making those passes.  He’s definitely using the “pitch and catch” method on the high side.

5.) Dario Franchitti at Sao Paolo 2010

I’m pretty partial to road and street racing and I chose this video for a couple of reasons.  It’s not necessarily a “highlight” but it shows how much skill it takes to muscle one of these beasts into turning left and right.  It also shows that Tony Cotman is the MAN at designing tracks.  This place is amazing…great scenery, bumpy, and super long straights into heavy braking zones.  Personally I didn’t want them to grind the track coming off the last corner because I thought the lack of grip added another element of skill to the race, but then again I don’t own a team so I understand. :D

I look forward to hearing/seeing some of your favorite moments and showing you guys some more of my favorites in the future!

Your Flickr Snaps

Posted on: November 28, 2010 | Comments(3) | Flickr | By: Daniel

Another week is underway and here’s another piece on Flickr. Since the season ended in early October (which seems like a long time ago), we’ve been running a series of Flickr/photo blog posts, covering everything from our most popular images, to most interesting, to what IndyCar teams are doing. This time, it’s all about you. I searched through images from our contacts within Flickr and found some pretty cool shots. Here they are.

Here’s Takuma Sato on the streets of St. Petersburg by James Boone. The blurriness reveals the speed and movement at a street circuit.

2010 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg - IZOD IndyCar Series Practice & Qualify - KV Racing Technology / Lotus - Takuma Sato

A blurry Sato

Gerry Calub grabbed this shot in pit lane at Infineon Raceway. Any ideas on what these are? I always enjoy pictures that show the behind the scenes action at an event.

2010Aug-IndyCar Testing-196

Parts in pit lane

Daniel Riffero grabbed this shot of Tony Kanaan through the corner at Long Beach. Looks like this was a tough one to get.

IndyCar_2010_Long_Beach_Grand_Prix_041

TK at Long Beach

Bo Gray got truly behind the scenes at a video shoot, to grab some really candid shots. Here’s Dario Franchitti, driving in a a drop top.

Dario Drive

Dario - all smiles

Flickr user Track Chic caught this great moment with Helio Castroneves celebrating his win Barber Motorsports Park. Who doesn’t love champagne shots?

Track Chic Presents: The Grand Prix of Alabama: Helio Castroneves Champagne Shower

Helio spraying the champagne

Remember some of the weather issues in Sao Paolo earlier this year? Check out Crystian Cruz’s view of things. It should bring back all the memories.

[indy300] SP 2010 :: 04

The rain heads towards the crowd

Those are some pretty incredible shots. If you’ve taken some and you want us to know, please leave us a comment or share a link. We’d love to see them.

Otherwise, what are your thoughts on some of these images?

HDR and High Speed

Posted on: November 10, 2010 | Comments(8) | Drivers, More than meets the eye | By: Shawn

As the ice slowly begins to crawl across the lakes here in Minnesota, my mind wanders back to the smell of ethanol and warm sunshine. Simultaneously I also begin to plan and think about next year. Winter is always a season of change and experimentation for me. Most of those experiments happen at the local hockey rink, and make their way to the track come spring. An area I would like to explore next year is the world of HDR (high dynamic range) photography.

What HDR allows is the merging of several photographs into one, in order to better exhibit the range of light between the lightest and darkest areas of an image. Typically this is done through bracketing when you have a still subject to work with, or by editing a RAW file of drivers or track action. Essentially you are taking images which are correctly exposed, overexposed, and underexposed into one image! Once the images are merged you can make a number of adjustments, including definition, contrast, and color saturation you desire. There really is no right vs. wrong at this point…The program I use to merge my images is called Photomatix Pro, and is available for about $100.00. There are a variety of other programs available as well, including one for the new iPhone!

The topic has recently caused a little controversy amongst photography purists… Some see this as a new opportunity, while others view it as cheap photography. Below I have included some early experiments. We have included the original image as a basis for comparison. Let us know what you think?

Dario on Pitlane: f 2.8 at 1/8000

I really liked the increased definition in the firesuit and track here! However, where did those clouds come from?

Dario in pit lane

Dario before...

Dario in pit lane and HDR

Dario after...

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Flickr and most comments

Posted on: November 7, 2010 | Comments (0) | Drivers, Flickr | By: Daniel

It’s been four weeks of Flickr related posts and the 2010 IndyCar season – reviewing some of the coolest images, most interesting, viewed, favorited and today, commented. This has been a fun series to write, I  hope you’v enjoyed reading and viewing.

What we learned in reviewing Flickr’s methods of measurement is this -

Most Interesting and views was dominated by our fans – images of your 2012 Chassis Designs.

Most favorited, saw the return of photography.

And most comments? Let’s take a look and start traditionally, with the 99th most commented image.

Sitting front and center

The 99th most commented image - Dario

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Photo Shoot: 33 Indy 500 Winning Cars

Posted on: October 12, 2010 | Comments(53) | Indy 500 | By: Arni

Ellen Bireley had no choice but to make Oct. 12 a free admission day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. That’s because 27 of the Indianapolis 500-winning cars usually found in the museum were being used for a unique photo opportunity on IMS’ front straightaway.

Sitting front and center

Dario Franchitti's #10 Front and Center

“It’s probably been our biggest undertaking,” said Bireley, who has served as the Hall of Fame Museum’s director since 1996. “We’ve never emptied out the museum to my knowledge.”

The photo, which commemorates next May’s 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500, featured 33 winning cars of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” (OK, there were 32 winning cars, because Mario Andretti’s 1969 winner is in the Smithsonian Institution, but the replica was the next best thing).

Set up in the morning...

Setting up the grid at IMS

“It’s pretty amazing to have this many iconic cars here,” said track historian Donald Davidson. “We have 33 cars here and every one of them has won the race at least once. I think it represents 37 victories because there have been four cars to win the 500 in consecutive years and they are all here today.  I could probably do 30 minutes on just one car here and we have 33 of them.”
Davidson and Bireley helped select the field of cars used and helped bring in the six cars from private collections. From there, they invited 16 qualified people, ranging from Hall of Fame Museum staff to veteran Indy Car mechanics, to move the cars from the museum to the track side garages used by Firestone Indy Lights and MotoGP teams during race weekend.

Then, in the early morning hours, the group pushed the cars into the traditional 11 rows of three.
The front row consisted of the 1911-winning Marmon Wasp, Dario Franchitti’s 2010-winning Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda-powered Dallara and A.J. Foyt’s 1961-winning Bowes Seal Fast roadster, but iconic cars from the race’s first 99 years were spread throughout.

Early morning shot of the "front row"

Front Row: Ray Harroun, Dario Franchitti, A.J. Foyt

Cars driven by iconic names of the’ 500’ such as Unser (Al, Bobby and Al Jr.), Andretti, Mears, Meyer, Shaw, Rutherford and Jones were all included.
“They had to convince me (to do this),” Bireley said. “When they first said they wanted to do this product, I said no, but this was a really neat idea and after multiple conversations, we decided to do it and it was worth it.”

The line up

33 Indy 500 Winning Cars

“To see the cars in natural light, the colors really pop. When the cars are inside in the museum, the indoor lighting just doesn’t do them justice. They look spectacular out here.”

Flickr in 2010

Posted on: October 10, 2010 | Comments(5) | Drivers, Flickr, Indy 500, Race Tracks | By: Daniel

You may have noticed we utilized Flickr this season. We used it as a way of reaching a new community and to bring a new perspective to our sport, through imagery. We featured all of the races from the 2010 season, a few Race to the Party’s, the 2012 announcement, the 2012 fan-designed chassis, and much, much more.

Ana Beatriz + Carnival Queen

Image #1 on Flickr - Ana Beatriz

To date, we’ve uploaded 2,876 images – in one season – with over a million views from fans.

Flickr measures the popularity of images in four ways – Interesting, Views, Favorites and Comments. More on that later.

For this post, I wanted to look back on share some of my favorite images from Flickr in 2010 and reveal some of the amazing shots our photographers captured. In the next few weeks, I’ll be revealing the most popular images, according to Flickr. Sit tight.

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What are your off-season plans?

Posted on: October 5, 2010 | Comments(35) | Fans | By: Daniel

What do you do in the off-season? Do you watch re-runs of all the 2010 races? Start planning for the 2011 season? Work on your Fantasy Racing team? We want to know.

Chip Ganassi and team

The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Champions

It’s only been a few days since Dario Franchitti won the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series Championship…but I’ve already noticed some interesting online withdrawal. @IndyCarNation follower @NDcarTwit tweeted: “Think everyone should take a month off, and then let’s go again! Can’t wait till next Spring for more IndyCar racing!”

On our Facebook page, Wendy Gilbert wrote, “I’m in withdrawal already. Can’t wait until March 27th!” And another Facebook IndyCar fan – Leoth Wade, said” I’m ready now for the 2011 Indy 500. I can’t wait for it. Thanks to IZOD for making 2010 a great season.”

You really like your IndyCar racing.

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The conversation flowed as freely as the Bloody Marys as late-Sunday morning regulars at the counter of Jerry’s Famous Deli dissected the previous day in South Florida sports and offered their unsolicited advice for the Dolphins’ Monday Night Football match-up with the New England Patriots.

Even the IZOD IndyCar Series race the previous evening was topic du jour as Jerry, the resident bartender/waiter, handed out condolences to Will Power along with the cheese knishes and bagels (cream cheese on the side please). Holding up the sports front page of the Miami Herald, he shook his head and said, “Tough way to lose a championship, but good for Franchitti.”

A few blocks north on Collins Avenue, the staff of the W Hotel was welcoming guests for the Championship Celebration. A cooling breeze 30 yards off South Beach also was welcome as IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights drivers began to congregate poolside mid-afternoon to soak up some sun, relax and chat at length with each other and extended family members and guests.

Show Car in Front of the W

Soon it will be time to slip into something a bit more fashionable for the informal awards program and party under the stars.

4:00 p.m.
Dario Franchitti also is poolside, but he’s in jeans and working. The now three-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion is answering basically the same questions that have been asked for the past 18 hours on a satellite media tour (SMT).

Dario Looking good

Dario Franchitti ready for his first interview

Nearby, lounging on a rattan recliner with tropical drink in hand is Power and his fiancée, Elizabeth, and Team Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe and his wife, Nicole. At least for the moment, he’s enjoying his runner-up finish.

4:30 p.m.
During a break in the SMT, I ask Franchitti if during one of the post-race parties (that went on till 4 a.m.) team owner Chip Ganassi wrangled his signature on a cocktail napkin (like what happened in September 2008 to return to the series) for a new contract.

“Winning or losing last night I don’t think changed anything,” he says. “Both of us are keen that we continue and I don’t see it not happening. I want to stay with the team and the team wants me to stay, so it’s just a matter of getting it done.”

6:29 p.m.

It’s the quiet before the party. Poolside at the W is transforming in preparation for tonight’s activities. Check back later as we bring you more updates, more images and new video.

The W Hotel

The W Hotel is ready

8:00 p.m.

Firestone Indy Lights driver James Hinchcliffe has arrived to interview guests of the Championship Celebration.

8:15 p.m. on…

James Hinchcliffe interviews fellow competitor and friend Stefan Wilson.

Next up, Hinch caught up with Roger Bailey, Executive Director of the Firestone Indy Lights during the party and talks about the 25 years he has spent associated with racing in the US.

10:09 p.m.

We’re on standby for the time being. Waiting on some images to upload and for some more video. To highlight some of the event (you may know this if you’ve been following on Twitter) – it’s been a blast, the weather is great, food delicious, and everyone is in good spirits. Oh, and by the way – Dario got thrown into the pool by Tony Kanaan.

You're going into the pool!

Tony Kanaan gives Dario Franchitti a gentle nudge

Video time – our gracious host, James Hinchcliffe (not camera shy) grabs a minute with Team Penske’s Will Power, to talk North Carolina, surfing and more.

You can view a bunch of images from tonight on our Flickr account – or you can view them in the slideshow, right below. It’s been a good night so far.

Terry Angstadt – President of the Indy Racing League Commercial Division talks with James Hinchcliffe about the 2010 season, working with IZOD and more.

There’s an after-party at Wall inside the W Hotel, compliments of series sponsor Global Corporate Alliance. This is where we end coverage. In the meantime, enjoy a goodbye from our amazing host Hinchtown.

And – by the way – we will have more videos from tonight, later in the week. Think of it as a treat.

The Championship Trophy Unveiling

Posted on: September 29, 2010 | Comments(7) | Drivers, Race Tracks | By: Dave

A vinyl-wrapped surf board displaying the colors of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car leaned against a railing behind Will Power as the IZOD IndyCar Series championship contender participated in a satellite media tour Sept. 28 at the swank W Hotel on South Beach in Miami.

“The first thing I thought of when I saw that was to take it out for a spin,” the Australia native said, “and with the weather the way it is they even have some surf on South Beach.”

Surfs up

Surfs up

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Title race: Q&A and YOU

Posted on: September 24, 2010 | Comments(43) | Drivers, Fans, Race Tracks | By: Admin

Next week kicks off the countdown to the IZOD IndyCar Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. As you know, competition is tight between championship contenders Dario Franchitti and Will Power, and naturally we want to know what’s on your mind.

So we are reaching out to the fans for questions for these drivers during their media ventures on Tuesday Sept. 28. Let’s get started- what do you want to ask them? All you have to do is leave a question on this blog and we will pick a few to have the drivers answer.

Championship Contenders: Franchitti v.Power

Who will it be?

We are also meeting with Target Chip Ganassi Racing  owner Chip Ganassi on Friday, Oct. 1, so if you have questions for him or the championship contenders this is the place to ask.

Questions that are selected will be included in a video segment that will be featured on indycar.com.