Posts Tagged ‘ Indianapolis Motor Speedway ’

IZOD IndyCar Series drivers, Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball welcomed members of the INDYCAR staff to Brownsburg, Indiana for an inside look at the new Service Central-Norvo Nordisk Ganassi Shop. Read more about the visit and discover what their teams are doing to prepare for the 2011 season. There’s also a complete Flickr set available for fans with a photo tour of the shop.

A birds eye view of the new headquarters

Birds-eye view of the new Service Central-Norvo Nordisk Ganassi Shop in Brownsburg, IN.

It was a busy week for tracks with Iowa Speedway asking fans what they hope to see at this year’s Iowa Corn Indy 250, the series saying “Sayonara” to Twin Ring Motegi and drivers reacting to the newly unveiled Edmonton Indy circuit layout. Following the announcement, IZOD IndyCar Series driver Ryan Briscoe (@RyanBriscoe6) tweeted that the new layout looked great for passing opportunities.

Ryan Briscoe on Twitter

Are you on Twitter? Add us @IndyCar for more exclusive updates through the week!

Justin Wilson (@JustinWilson22) replied to agree with Ryan and add that the new layout will have some brake zones and looks like fun.

Justin Wilson on Twitter

Are you on Twitter? Add us @IndyCar for more exclusive updates through the week!

The online IndyCar fan community jumped on this week’s Photo Caption contest. Fans were asked to provide a caption to a unique Sarah Fisher Racing photo. Over 213 Facebook submissions were received and fans even saw Sarah Fisher Racing leave a message saying the contest was funny! The field was then narrowed down to the top 5 captions and fans voted for their winner (click here to see the final votes). Congratulations to Colleen Ney McGuire for her winning submission “I don’t care if you say ‘pretty please.’ You’re not driving the car!” Colleen will receive an IndyCar prize pack in plenty of time for the 2011 season.

The online community stayed busy with activity when news broke that Barber Motorsports Park was offering a special Groupon discount for fans of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Fans could save $110 on two, Sunday General Admission tickets when buying into the exclusive deal. The Groupon deal brought a subtle reminder that just 53 days remain until the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

Honda Grand Prix of Alabama Groupon

Fans could save $110 when purchasing Two, Sunday General Admission tickets for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

The racing community was rocked this week by the passing of long-time Indianapolis Motor Speedway public address announcer, Tom Carnegie (read more here).

“Tom Carnegie was a true gentleman and a legend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and throughout the state of Indiana.  For so many years his unmistakable voice signified the beginning of the month of May and the Indianapolis 500. We will certainly miss Tom and his spirit, his unique style of announcing and his passion for racing.” -Roger Penske

Click here to see more of what the IndyCar community has had to say about the track legend this week. There’s simply no more-fitting way, so I will close this week’s recap with a video tribute to Tom Carnegie:

Race fans in Indianapolis had plenty to cheer about today– despite being weeks away from the new season. As part of Macy’s Santa Tour, the official Macy’s Santa visited the track to receive letters from children. For each letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Fans were rewarded with free admission to the Hall of Fame museum, cookies and hot chocolate, as well as a special holiday story from the big guy himself.

Santa stops by to visit the children of Indianapolis

Macy's Santa visits the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

As one IndyCar fan recently mentioned via Facebook: “I love to see the Indy(Car) drivers do good things for people. They need PR and more in the news. I really dont think that they get the mentions they deserve!”

The visit to Indianapolis Motor Speedway marks yet another charitable initiative supported by race fans this off-season. From children’s hospital visits to food drives and community donations, IndyCar fans, teams and drivers have all been decidedly, extra good this year.

Bitter cold and heavy snow covered the IMS grounds, but many fans came out, undaunted, to represent the racing community and support the charitable initiative. After visits to the Pagoda and Yard of Bricks, Santa headed inside to greet the crowd and tour the Museum. Upon closer examination of the Marmon Wasp, Santa declared that it might even be time to trade his sleigh in for an IndyCar.

Santa and his elves debate trading in his sleigh for a nicer ride

Santa Decides it might be time to trade in his Sleigh

Unable to make it out today or not from the Indianapolis-area? Check out a video from the event here.

This weekend marks the second annual Winter Indy Tweetup– a grassroots, IndyCar fan event co-hosted by Monica Hilton and Elizabeth Lenzi. Today’s blog talks about the creation of the Winter Indy Tweetup and what these ladies are planning to make the second Winter Indy Tweetup a success. Interested in getting involved? Find a full schedule of events and find out more by visiting their website.

The season’s over…now what?

Like many IndyCar fans, the two of us found ourselves wondering exactly that as we headed home from the season finale at Homestead in October 2009. Without any races for five months, we would be forced to focus on the less exciting things in our lives like work, family, and friends. We knew something had to be done.

Throughout the season, each of us had attended tweetups organized by Pat Caporali, who was then at Vision Racing. We’d had a lot of fun meeting with other race fans and hearing from the special guests at each event, but now we’d be missing out on the good times until next season. Maybe it was the extreme heat in Miami or spending too long around ethanol fumes, but we started to wonder if we could try to organize our own off-season event to get us, and race fans like us, through that bleak time in our lives.

Two months and a lot of hard work later, smack dab in the middle of winter, a ray of sunshine shone down upon the Racing Capital of the World as 50+ race fans from all across the United States and Canada gathered for the first annual weekend-long Winter Indy Tweetup. We made new friends, exchanged race stories, rented out an indoor go-karting facility for the afternoon and, oh yeah, toured the legendary basement of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We were even featured on local news station WRTV 6’s sports segment that night. One of us even met her future husband there. In short, it was completely epic. Before the weekend was over, we knew the Winter Indy Tweetup would be back again next year.

Once October rolled around again, we barely had time to mourn the end of another season. We hit the ground running and we’ve been going ever since, pulling out all the stops to make this year’s Winter Indy Tweetup even better than before.

The party starts on Friday night at McGilvery’s Pub and Eatery, where Autosport Radio with Don Kay is broadcast. Don himself will be there with videos of vintage Indy 500s, and IMS’s own historian Donald Davidson will be hosting a special trivia contest.

On Saturday, we have some great surprises planned for our own unique version of an IMS tour (and you’ve heard how we do IMS tours). After that, it’s on to the Greatest Spectacle in Go-Kart Racing – our wildly popular Grand Prix at Fastimes Indoor Karting sponsored by Fanimation. We’ll round out the night with the Main Event Party, where WIT attendees can mingle and have a shot at winning something from our long list of giveaways that have been donated by many IndyCar shops in the area.

Finally, on Sunday morning, WIT attendees can recover from the weekend and say goodbye to friends new and old at the classic and delicious Charlie Brown’s Pancake and Steakhouse in Speedway.

Needless to say, we’re beyond excited for this weekend. It combines our love for IndyCar with truly wonderful, dedicated race fans that we’re proud to call friends. Hope to see you there!

The co-founders of Winter Indy Tweetup, Elizabeth Lenzi and Monica Hilton, can be found on Twitter @happyfish103 and @the_race_gIRL. Follow the Winter Indy Tweetup on Twitter with the hashtag #WinterIndyTweetup– be sure to keep an eye out for updates from the IndyCar Twitter page @IndyCarNation.

Flickr and most favorited

Posted on: October 31, 2010 | Comments(4) | Drivers, Flickr | By: Daniel

In continuing the IndyCar Flickr Series, we’re looking at the images most “favorited” by you over this year. Flickr offers the option of “favoriting” an image – this will simply place the image into a permanent gallery. You can access it anytime. Kind of cool. You favorite our images a lot. Thank you for that.

In continuing the IndyCar Flickr Series, we’re looking at the images most “favorited” by YOU this year. Unlike the previous two measurements – Interestingness and Views – this category places the emphasis back on photography and the people behind the lens (sorry helmet and 2012 chassis designers).

And continuing this blog series tradition – what’s our 99th most favorited image?

Power Leads

Turn one at St. Pete - 2 favorites

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IndyCar & Baseball

Posted on: October 22, 2010 | Comments(7) | Random | By: Dave

The IZOD IndyCar Series’ 2011 schedule basically runs concurrently with the Major League Baseball regular season and League Championship Series playoff schedule. And because IndyCar visits many markets with major league and Triple-A teams, this is a public service for potential vacation planning.

IZOD Tool Boxes

IZOD on the Road- Tool Boxes

Dates on which there’s a baseball homestand or individual game near an IndyCar event venue:

March 27 – Streets of St. Petersburg (Fla.). The Tampa Bay Rays open the season at Tropicana Field with an April 1-3 homestand against Minnesota. Extend your spring break stay from the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

April 10 – Barber Motorsports Park (Ala.). The Atlanta Braves’ home opening stand is April 8-10 against Philadelphia.

April 17 – Streets of Long Beach (Calif.). St. Louis visits the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 14-17.

May 29 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Triple-A Indianapolis Indians have a homestand in which they play host to Columbus (May 13-16) and Buffalo (May 17-20). Opening Day at the Speedway is May 14, with Pole Day on May 21.

June 11 – Texas Motor Speedway. The Texas Rangers are home to Detroit on June 6-8 if you want to come early and watch a game or two before the racing doubleheader under the lights.

June 19 – The Milwaukee Mile. The Brewers kick off a homestand June 20 against Tampa Bay.

June 25 – Iowa Speedway. The Triple-A Iowa Cubs play host to Memphis (June 21-24) and Albuquerque (June 25-28). June 24 is Fireworks Night.

Aug. 28 – Infineon Raceway (Calif.). The San Francisco Giants play host to Houston (Aug. 25-28).

Sept. 4 – Streets of Baltimore. The Orioles’ homestand against Toronto ends Sept. 1. The Washington Nationals are home to the New York Mets on Sept. 2-4 and continue their homestands Sept. 5 against Los Angeles.

Photo Shoot: 33 Indy 500 Winning Cars

Posted on: October 12, 2010 | Comments(38) | 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(4) | 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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Fans get closer at ‘500′

Posted on: September 22, 2010 | Comments (0) | Drivers | By: Dave

Not feeling the effects of jetlag from Tokyo to Indianapolis, reigning Indianapolis 500 and IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti on Sept. 21 had the opportunity to drive two special cars at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

He presented the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS Pace Car replica to a sweepstakes winner – giving Bruce Barhydt of North Carolina and his wife a high-speed ride around the track – and got behind the wheel of the Lotus that his racing hero, fellow Scotsman Jim Clark, drive to victory in the 1965 Indianapolis 500. The car was restored last year in Indianapolis.

The Barhydts & Dario Franchitti

Franchitti with the Sweepstakes Winners

“I never thought I get to drive that car,” he said.Formula One, Indy 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IMS, Indianapolis 500,  “I got to stand next to it one day and that was pretty intense. “It was a lifetime dream to drive that car, and to drive it here at the Speedway was incredible.”

Earlier this month, Franchitti attended the Formula One race weekend at Monza, Italy, and compared the electricity to the Indy 500.

“As a kid I went to Monza when I was about 6 years old,” he said. “My dad was doing some practice in a Formula 3 car. It’s kind of like going to the Speedway when it’s quiet. It’s kind of like being in an empty church.

“Then you go there for the Grand Prix and it’s like going to Indy for the 500. The place was mad and obviously the Ferrari fans were going nuts with (Fernando) Alonso winning. It’s a different atmosphere than IndyCar because the fans don’t get near the paddock. You have this madness and go through these barriers and then it’s quiet all of a sudden. That was quite interesting.”

The iconic Lotus yellow stripes atop the helmet worn by Takuma Sato in the Indianapolis 500 accentuated the side panel images of his No. 5 Lotus-KV Racing Technology car and the ’65 Indy-winning Lotus 38 driven by Jim Clark.

Jason Fowler of England devoted 45 hours to creating the one-off piece with the aid of a computer and steady hand with an air brush. Obviously, as the corresponding video details, there’s a lot more that goes into it.

“I was really pleased with how the helmet looked as it was a challenge fitting the detailed airbrush pictures into such a small area,” Fowler said in a phone interview from his London headquarters. “We were also working against the clock as the helmet was only commissioned a few weeks before the race so there were quite a few late nights worked to make sure it was finished in time.”

“The helmet seemed to work well from both angles; the airbrushed pictures gave it the ‘Wow!’ factor and the classic Lotus stripes were still visible from a distance.”

Fowler, who used to customize his helmets with stickers and paint while racing motorcross in the early ‘80s and paint helmets for friends, left his day job to start his own business customizing helmets. Dan Wheldon, E.J. Viso and Lewis Hamilton are among his longtime clients.

“I had wanted to go to the Indy 500 for many years and finally got to go this year,” he said. “It was the best motor racing experience I have ever had, and I was amazed at the scale of the event. More than anything, I was impressed with the atmosphere and the accessibility of the whole event and the way the fans were encouraged to be integral to the race.”

“I had three drivers wearing our helmets in the race (Wheldon, Viso and Sato) and it was a really proud feeling to be just a small part of such an iconic race. I’m definitely coming back next year.”

The Road to Indy continues this weekend at Iowa Speedway for the final combined show of the 2010 season with the IZOD IndyCar Series.  It’s also the final oval on the schedule for both Star Mazda and USF2000.  More on this weekend’s event in just a few sentences…

When we last checked in, we were getting set for Indianapolis.  By now you probably know that Wade Cunningham (Firestone Indy Lights), Conor Daly (Star Mazda) and Patrick McKenna (USF2000) won their respective series’ events in Indianapolis.  Nice work, boys.

Indy Lights Drivers #77 Wade Cunningham & #26 Charlie Kimball at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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