Posts Tagged ‘ Indianapolis Motor Speedway ’

Having the Indianapolis Fire Department represented on the car of Jay Howard will only make this year’s race more personal to the people of Indy. To show his support in an even deeper way, Howard took time out of his busy May schedule to visit with patients at the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Wishard Hospital yesterday morning. He was joined by members of the IFC including Fire Chief Brian Sanford and Chris Major the president of the Indianapolis Professional Firefighters Local 416. Howard took some time to visit with the firefighters before making his way into the burn center. “The Indianapolis Motor Speedway makes Indy what it is and we are very lucky to get the chance to be associated with IMS, ” said Sanford.

Chris Major talked about the positive affects of the crest being placed on Jay’s car. “It’s a great way to make people aware of the efforts we make,” said Major. Stanford addressed Simona de Silvestro’s crash earlier this May. “It shows how far of a reach a burn center can make. It doesn’t only deal with house fires and accidental burns.”

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Once inside, Howard took time to visit with patients of the Wishard Burn Center. He signed autographs, took pictures, and chatted with some very excited patients. One lady kept telling Jay that he had made her day. She was given one of the Jay Howard/Indianapolis Fire Department shirts and Jay signed it for her.

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Howard was then given a tour of the burn unit. He learned that around 550 patients are treated at the burn center every year. Also, there are 7 other burn units in the U.S. modeled around the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Wishard Hospital. It was also shared with Jay that the staff of the burn center makes regular trips to Central America for mission trips. They have built the only burn center in Central America. Each trip costs around $30,000-50,000 and the burn center staff raises all the funds themselves. They are currently preparing for their 5th trip to El Salvador with a staff of 22 people.

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Howard is driving in this year’s Indy 500 to support burn victims. If you would like to show your support you can purchase the shirt Jay is wearing in the pictures above. For more information on the t-shirts and helping out the Wishard Burn Center follow this link: http://www.n-depthfiregraphics.com/jayhoin500sh.html

The month of May is known to be the most hectic month for the IZOD IndyCar stars, but it’s just as crazy for the helmet painters, in particular at the ArtRotondo.com shop, when you paint for many of the Indycar drivers. The month of May is an incredibly hectic month but that all comes to one big reward on that historical race day. This year being the centennial year, it is a tremendous honor for us to be part of this great race, alongside so many of this Series finest drivers. We’re truly living a childhood dream by being involved in this great race and hope that one of our drivers will be the first to cross the finish line on this coming May 29th, 2011.

This year’s Indy 500 will not only mark the 100th anniversary of the great American race, but it will also mark the heroic return of IndyCar star Mike Conway. He will return on board his Andretti Autosport IndyCar to face the track which prematurely took him out of his 2010 season. For this tremendous event we had no choice but to make a special Indy 500 themed helmet for his triumphant return, we put the complete focus on the speedway’s landmark tower and hope it will bring him that extra edge in this grueling 500 mile dash.

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Mike Conway's new helmet

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Ho-Pin Tung: History in the Making

Posted on: May 16, 2011 | Comments(2) | Drivers | By: Cassie

Ho-Pin Tung has raced numerous cars in numerous countries, but he has finally made his way to IndyCar. What’s more, he’s on his way to making history. He has become the first Chinese racer to enter the Indy 500, and is hoping to be the first Chinese driver to qualify for the race.

Tung is driving for Schmidt Dragon Racing for this year’s Indy 500 and sees this race as a huge learning experience.  Drivers such as Arie Luyendyk and Al Unser Jr have inspired and motivated Tung to meet his Indy goals this May. So come out to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and cheer Ho-Pin Tung to his goal of being the first Chinese man to qualify for the Indy 500.

Watch the interview below and listen to everything Ho-Pin Tung has to say about his racing career, IndyCar, and the experience of racing in the Indy 500.

What is your prediction for Ho-Pin Tung’s performance in the Indy 500 this season?

Hunter-Reay revels in Indy history

Posted on: May 16, 2011 | Comments (1) | Drivers | By: Arni

Ryan Hunter-Reay hopes to race in his fourth Indianapolis 500 later this month, but he took advantage of the rainout of practice May 15 to visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum for the first time.

Ryan Hunter-Reay with gallery of winners.

“I can’t believe I hadn’t been there,” said Hunter-Reay, the 2008 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year. “It was amazing. The place is what Indy car racing is all about, and that’s what makes Indy car racing special. To go there as a current Indy car driver made it even more special. To see the cars that were driven by owners of team’s I’ve driven for and the ones driven by my heroes and know they all went to Victory Lane here at Indy made for a very special day.”

The one car that that the Andretti Autosport driver wanted to see was Rick Mears’ 1984-winning Pennzoil Z-7 Special. Hunter-Reay’s first go-kart was modeled after Mears’ race car and seeing the real car for the first time brought back childhood memories for the IZOD IndyCar Series standout.

“The No. 6 Pennzoil car, in smaller form, was my first ride,” he said. “That’s what I got into a lot of trouble in. It was my neighborhood wheels and I did my first right front wing damage in that car when I hit a stop sign.

“It was really cool to see the actual car. I’ve never seen it before, but to see the evolution of the Indy car was really neat to see. To see where the sport actually started and how the cars have developed over the years, and see what made these cars go faster and faster. Indianapolis has always been a proving ground as much as it is a huge race.”

Hunter-Reay was far from the only driver in the Museum. 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones and Dreyer & Reinbold’s  Justin Wilson were visitors to the exhibit of 67-winning Indianapolis 500 winning cars.

And while Hunter-Reay told all the well-wishers in the Museum his plan was to have his Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car join the winning cars in the Museum next year, he hopes to get another visit to see the cars on display again.

“I’m going to go back again before I leave this month,” Hunter-Reay said.

@, #hashtag, RT, FF

Posted on: May 14, 2011 | Comments (1) | Drivers, Fans, New Media | By: Daniel

It’s an odd post title, but it’s a fitting one for a discussion on Twitter. Twitter has hit it’s stride this season with more and more teams, drivers, journalists and sponsors joining the online dialogue. The most pleasant surprise are the amount of driver’s genuinely using Twitter to reveal their personalities. A video interview in pit lane isn’t always the best way to know someone. 140 characters in a tweet on the other hand…

TK Tweet

TK ready for Indy

Twitter is obviously on the rise. It’s a social tool that people are finally understanding and utilizing. IndyCar blogger, @pressdog wrote a four-part series earlier this year, illustrating it’s growing importance within the sport. Followers of @IndyCar have grown over 300% in just over a year. It’s become a more accepted method of communication and we use it to share race updates, official results, news stories, videos, Flickr images, blog posts and lots more.  There are now multiple voices around the INDYCAR experience. We are listening.

Yesterday, we interviewed James Hinchcliffe (video below). It got me thinking about driver’s that are web savvy. I remember watching Hinch last season and being impressed by his personal online strategy. His site, videos, and use of Twitter were exceptional. He was ahead of the game. And now, the game has caught up with him and embraced the web community. In my opinion, it’s the most important way we (and I mean ‘we’) can help grow the INDYCAR brand. We all have a voice to help grow this sport.

There have been lots of memorable Twitter moments recently. These are bringing the online world into the at-track world. They are bringing together the personalities of the sport into a new environment. They are giving our faithful, loyal fans new ways of connecting to the speed and racing action. Twitter is removing traditional walls. Some quick examples -

Tomas Scheckter’s blog post last December got some real chatter online and then on Twitter.

Most races are followed by some interesting driver banter – all before our Twitter eyes.

Today, Scott Dixon gave away a watch to one lucky fan. All of this was done through Twitter!

Scott Dixon & a deserving fan

Tweet with drivers and you could win!

And a current contest from Ryan Briscoe: “Who wants to win a trip and be my guest at this years Indy500? Guess my qual speed to win! Go to www.ryanbriscoe.com for details”.

For fans, I can’t think of a better way to follow the sport or a favorite driver. You can tweet directly at them and there will be a lot of chatter this month of May. What are you waiting for?

So – we’ve created a full listing of IZOD IndyCar Series drivers on Twitter for you HERE.

Check them out, follow their tweets, join the conversation and as always, let us know what you think.

You can follow @IndyCar, here.

We’re asking fans to help decide which web writers will rep best at this year’s Virtual Indy 500 competition (Read more about the competition here). Any web writer ready to stake their claim will be put in front of our esteemed panel of sharp, clever, witty and good-looking judges (A.K.A. – you!).

So take a look at this entrant and leave your comments and likes here or hit us @INDYCAR with a tweet if you think Jeff Olson will provide fans with the best Virtual Indy 500 coverage this May and keep your eyes peeled for information on how fans can win a seat to race against up to three INDYCAR drivers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next month!

Jeff Olson | Twitter “Providing coverage of the IZOD IndyCar Series for RACER, Autosport and IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com

In case you haven’t heard, the journalists who cover IndyCar racing have been asked to provide reasons why they should be included in a virtual Indy 500 – an iracing.com simulation of the race – against  fellow journalists on Carb Day. Since I can’t resist the opportunity to slam a blogger into a cartoon wall, I’ve decided to go for it. So here, written in crayon while wearing pajamas, are the top 10 reasons I should be included in the virtual 500:

10) I once rode a shopping cart into shrubbery. On purpose.

9) I once flipped a golf cart. Not on purpose.

8.) I’ll quit early to continue my never-ending search for free buffets.

7) I got so good at Grand Theft Auto that my ex-wife banned me from playing it. Notice I said “ex.”

6) Yellow shirts know me as “HEYSLOWDOWNYOUIDIOT!”

5) My sitting skills are pretty much perfected.

4) I am fully insured.

3) I promise to take out more cars on starts and restarts than Helio could ever imagine. I am a virtual bowling ball, my friend.

2) Among the many odd jobs I’ve held are cab driver and armored truck driver. Seriously. That’s gotta count for something.

And finally, the No. 1 reason to invite me:

1) I can out-swear Danica any day of the week.

We’re asking fans to help decide which web writers will rep best at this year’s Virtual Indy 500 competition (Read more about the competition here). Any web writer ready to stake their claim will be put in front of our esteemed panel of sharp, clever, witty and good-looking judges (A.K.A. – you!).

So take a look at this entrant and leave your comments and likes here or hit us @INDYCAR with a tweet if you think OpenPaddock will provide fans with the best Virtual Indy 500 coverage this May and keep your eyes peeled for information on how fans can win a seat to race against up to three INDYCAR drivers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next month!

OpenPaddock | WebsiteFacebook Twitter | Flickr “Motorsports Commentary for Fans, by Fans.”

OpenPaddock.net is a website built by fans for fans of motorsports. What makes our site unique is the coverage we give to each facet of racing. So whether you are a fan of INDYCAR, rally, formula or sports car racing, you can get your fill and meet great fans just like you who have a genuine passion for racing. Who knows, you may begin watching a new series and learning even more about one that you currently follow!

Created by Shaun Pechin and Mike Whitesell in February of 2009, the site has expanded in the couple years since its inception. Shaun focuses his efforts on the IZOD IndyCar Series, Rally America and the World Rally Championship. Mike also focuses on the IZOD IndyCar series while also writing on Formula 1. The third addition to the crew was our chief photographer Doug Patterson. While away from the track, he also gives full coverage to the Mazda Road to Indy program and the Firestone Indy Lights series. Ken Poe is the man behind Le Mans and the American Lemans Series coverage. A passionate sports car fan, Ken brings unique insight into the world of class endurance racing. Spike Rogan offers a weekly INDYCAR column and fantasy racing insights, while Kristi Welch serves as our fan ambassador providing fan guides to each IZOD IndyCar Series race event.

OpenPaddock is also partnered with IndyCar Garage, and works extensively with INDYCAR’s official fan club, INDYCAR Nation. Both avenues allow OpenPaddock to connect with fans of the series and allows for the open exchange of ideas and opinion. OpenPaddock also allows for fans to submit their own opinion-driven editorials to be published on the site for the world to read. Have an opinion on a hot topic? Submit an OP-ed segment for the world to read!

There are many awesome plans coming together for OpenPaddock.net and we want you to be here for the evolution of this site and us as fans. We want to genuinely thank you for stopping by and hope you will tell your friends about us. The only thing we ask here at this site is that you keep the posts clean of derogatory language and treat everybody as a person. There are a number of sites on the web today that belittle those with an opinion and we want to be a safe haven where all can participate in an online community populated by sound, reasoned, passionate and courteous motorsports fans.

Know everything there is to know about racing? Run a website dedicated to motorsports? Think you could race head-to-head with IZOD IndyCar Series drivers and survive to share the story with your fans? Here’s your chance:

Journalists know that sometimes to get the story you have to be part of it. Tell us why you deserve the chance to compete against nine of your fellow motorsports writers in a virtual Indy 500 race on Carb Day – May 27th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The winner of the Carb Day race will receive the opportunity to compete in the A.J. Foyt Day Shootout on Saturday, May 28th against up to 3 Indy 500 drivers.

We’ve lined up some great swag for participants and winners of the event including an enhanced Indy 500 Race Day experience. Plus, we’ll work with the top ten motorsports writers to identify promotional opportunities online to support your coverage of the month of May. Want your chance to jump in the driver’s seat? Find out how below.

Not  a motorsports writer and/or unable to be in the Indianapolis-area this May? Keep an eye out on the IndyCar.com blog to learn how you’ll decide which motorsports writers will represent fans best at this year’s Virtual Indy 500!

Requirements:

  • Shoot a DM to @INDYCAR on Twitter (or leave a comment on this post) telling us why you should rep for motorsports writers at this year’s Indianapolis 500. We’ll hit you back with details on how to “officially” stake your claim.
  • Be available and in Indianapolis for Carb Day (Friday – May 27th) and A.J. Foyt Day (Saturday – May 28th).
  • Register on iRacing.com when requested.

What is the Virtual Indy 500?

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and iRacing.com have partnered up to conduct a worldwide competition celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.  The race will be held in 3 parts: online qualifier, local contesting, and the Virtual Indy 500 Event. The online qualifier series will consist of a 2 week long online time-trial qualification on iRacing.com. All current iRacing members are invited to participate.  Non-iRacing members are encouraged to “Race it before you watch it” and join with a discounted special offering.

Find out more information on the event, discover what prizes are in store for participants /winners, and catch video highlights from last year on IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com.

Blog Girl

Posted on: April 15, 2011 | Comments(25) | Random | By: Beccy

Hi All.  Some of you may know me from twitter (@BeccyGordon), others from the track and now you will know me as the girl who blogs on IndyCar.com

Here’s my story, so you know where I’m coming from for future blogs…

I’m a girl who literally grew up racing.  My great-grandfather raced IndyCars back in the early 1900s, his name was Huntly Gordon. He raced in several Vanderbilt Cup races and practiced for the Indianapolis 500.  Back in the day, each car entered in the race would have a few drivers practice the car. The official driver was established on race morning.  I assume that’s why, they always say the car is entered in the race, not the driver (ie- the Junquiera & Tagliani situation last May).  It would have been awesome if he could have raced in the Indy 500.  I’m obsessed with the history of IMS and that would have made the story too perfect.

Huntly Gordon

Huntly Gordon

My dad races off-road cars. My mom pre-ran the Baja 500 when she was seven months pregnant with me.   I’ve asked her why, and she looks at me like… “Why? Why not?”  Maybe that’s where I get my spunk.  My parents were young and that’s what they did, they loved the desert.  My mom wasn’t letting a pregnancy keep her down.  Here’s the picture, my parents in my dad’s 1970s buggy, shocks with 2 inches of travel going across the Baja Peninsula, my brother, Robby, ratchet strapped to the gas tank, my sister on my mom’s lap and me in her belly.  It’s a hilarious sight if you can picture it and probably defines our family well.

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Here we go, this week in INDYCAR and we’re off to the races (well, almost). Starting with the BIG, no HUGE, announcement that Las Vegas Motor Speedway will play host to the races that will crown the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Lights champions– the IZOD IndyCar World Championship. INDYCAR will even up the ante of the IZOD IndyCar Series race by welcoming challengers to a high-stakes shootout on the high-banked oval. Read more about the $5 Million Challenge, which driver do you hope to see bid for their chance to win the IZOD IndyCar World Championship this year?

A better view of the strip.

IZOD IndyCar Series drivers prepared to take on Vegas

For fans, the announcements get even better. Purchase a ticket to any IZOD IndyCar Series race this season and you’re eligible to redeem a ticket to the season finale. Full details will be announced March 1 on IndyCar.com. “This is a time when INDYCAR can tell our fans that we thank them for their support,” said Randy Bernard earlier this week (read more about the ticket offer here). All that remains to be asked is, who’s up for a Vegas Vacation this fall?

IndyCar fans in Milwaukee got a treat on Saturday when driver, Justin Wilson, made an appearance along with the Milwaukee Bucks at the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show and then later in the day joined the NBA franchise for their game against the Chicago Bulls. The appearance is part of a series of other planned community appearances counting down the 110 days remaining until the 2011 Milwaukee Mile.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced that fans ages 9-17 will be able to visit the Gasoline Alley garage area this May 14-28 with the purchase of a Junior Garage Credential. Can’t wait for the Indianapolis 500 in May? Check out TheGreatest33.com in the meantime where fans can sign up for early admission to the interactive (i.e. very cool) Indianapolis 500 website. This year’s race will also feature a noon ET start time (read about it). This week, Sam Schmidt Motorsports announced that  Jay Howard will join them in an attempt to qualify for the 100th anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500. Read more here about Howard’s first attempts to qualify for the Indy 500 in 2010 and what his goals are for the 2011 running. Are you making plans to be at this year’s race too?

Gasoline Alley

Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Fans on Twitter may have caught this week’s big announcement that this spring’s the May Indy Tweetup will present the #BeatCancer Bash in support of Racing for Cancer. New to the May Indy Tweetup? Find out what two IndyCar fans with a seemingly endless phone battery life (it’s not easy to tweet as often as you eat) and a huge passion for racing launched in 2010 and have planned for 2011.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, an ambassador for Racing for Cancer, lent his support this past week for a cross-country bike ride to raise funds and awareness for cancer. Read more about the driver’s efforts here. It’s always cool to keep tabs on what drivers are doing outside of the track, but, speaking of racing…

We’re a month away from St. Pete (a month? No, no, 25 days to be precise) and plans are underway for the party (read more here). And the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach announced this week at on April 16, a star-studded field will race over 10 laps on the Long Beach street circuit in identically prepared, race-ready Scion tCs. Get a look at the celeb line-up here.

Scenic

The overhead view of the temporary street circuit in St. Petersburg for the 2010 Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete.

But first comes testing (Testing? What? Why? Read more here). It’s close, oh so close and we’re ready to watch. Team Penske’s Will Power, Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves, along with KV Racing Technology-Lotus drivers E.J. Viso and Takuma Sato, will join Chip Ganassi’s Charlie Kimball and Vitor Meira for testing on March 1 (as in, only 2 more days). Other drivers will be testing March 9-10 at Sebring International Raceway. All leading up to the March 14-15 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park. Which driver will you have your eyes on during testing?