Posts Tagged ‘ Indy 500 ’

Car Town!

Alex Tagliani tweeted that the first person to win his Big Rig gets the gloves he’ll use in the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500.

Huh? It all makes sense if you’re playing Car Town on Facebook.

The game that features the IZOD IndyCar Series now includes actual races on 17 different tracks, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that is playing host to the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500, for players to compete.

Lead your favorite driver to first place on each track to unlock the team’s Big Rig.

Cars are available for multiple drivers plus the 2011 Indianapolis 500 Event Car, which honors the 100th anniversary of the first running of the race.

In the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Garage, users can select a car driven by top IZOD IndyCar Series drivers and complete the Indy 500 Challenge with the help of a pit crew they select from among their Facebook friends or by spending in-game points. Players can even race against the clock and compete against other Car Town pit crews, striving to top the Indy Pit Stop Challenge leaderboard.

Race now in Car Town. CLICK HERE

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.

Sarah Fisher Reflects on the Troops Tour

Posted on: January 25, 2011 | Comments (1) | Drivers | By: Admin

The Indy 500 centennial Tour was a 10-day goodwill trip to Europe and the Middle East with the goal of boosting the morale of more than 10,000 service men and women the group will meet.The team, which included Indianapolis 500 winners Mario Andretti, Johnny Rutherford and Al Unser Jr. plus Indy 500 veterans Sarah Fisher, Davey Hamilton, Larry Foyt and Firestone Indy Lights race winner Martin Plowman, gave motivational talks and participated in autograph and Q & A sessions, meet and greets and photo opportunities. Below, Sarah Fisher reflects upon the tour:

They told me at the beginning, that I would be sad to go home even though I would miss my spouse, family and friends, they were right. The past ten days have been the most incredible experience I have been a part of. To say the least, I will be forever grateful for our military and their dedication to keeping us safe. Three troops were in the hallway at the airport as I was making my way to the Indianapolis gate, and I couldn’t help notice the difference in my gratefulness towards them just seeing them on their way. Yes, this trip has changed my life.

Mario Andretti said the whole tour that being in the military was the noblest profession. I couldn’t agree more.

The impact of being a part of the Indianapolis 500 Centinneal Tour in the Middle East, has made a massive difference in the respect and thankfulness for the men and women who serve on behalf of our country. You really think you get it, know what lies ahead for them, but when you see it up close and personal it delivers a new dimension of understanding.

Mario Andretti with Sarah Fisher

Mario Andretti and Sarah Fisher

I have been asked to identify my most favorite memory from the trip and after thinking intensively about what that would be, I am left with a much broader perspective. The memory I have is landing in Balad, my heart racing, not knowing what it was going to be like as we donned our body armor and helmet. What was it going to look like when they lowered the rear door on the C130. Everyone on the tour was quiet. Surely I am not the only one who was a bit nervous. Knowing that we were going to be in pretty good hands, and still having my heart race, what do our troops feel like? It has to be a level of apprehension beyond the starting grid of the Indy 500.

Every hand I shook this week, had shaken all on its own at some point during their own tour. The Indy 500 can be scary, intimidating, but not compared to the environment our soldiers voluntarily commit themselves to.

Sarah Fisher with the Indy 500 Centennial Tour themed IZOD IndyCar Series two-seater

Sarah Fisher with the Indy 500 Centennial Tour themed IZOD IndyCar Series two-seater

The confidence in their teams was also another wide spread perspective. At 230 mph, I trust whole heartedly that my teammates will have my car 100%. The same applies to each soldier standing side by side in their mission. Learning about the F16 crew and what it takes to run that squadron rin Balad, I was introduced to one of their “crew chiefs.” His duties resembled our own crew chief identically. Although his name was on the aircraft, maybe we can make room on ours somewhere from here on out… Seeing the Joint Base of Balad, brought home the reality and seriousness of their surroundings.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank our airmen, soldiers, for taking the vow to protect our country, to protect our freedom and give me the hope that knows they will come home safe.

Sarah Fisher poses with a C17 Pilot

Sarah Fisher poses with a C17 Pilot

See more of what Sarah Fisher had to say on the Indianapolis 500 Centennial Troops Tour by visiting SarahFisherRacing.com.

Indy 500 Centennial Tour Fast Facts:

  • Total air mileage traveled on this tour was 16,600 miles
  • 2-seat car was driven at four locations: Bahrain, Incirlik Turkey, RAF Mildenhall and RAF Honington (British Base) in the UK
  • Total rides given to troops on entire tour were 254
  • People traveling on the tour included 27 people with Morale Entertainment group and 10 Air Force crew members on the KC-135 for a total of 37
  • The tour visited troops at 7 bases in Germany, Bahrain, Joint Base Balad – Iraq, Turkey and the United Kingdom and visited the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier (that has 4,900 total personnel sailing aboard)
  • Members of the tour also supported a US State Department request at Cukurova University in Adana, Turkey.

Want more on the Indianapolis 500 Centennial Troops Tour?

Review the IndyCar.com running update from the tour here.

See more photos from the Troops Tour here.

Review videos of the tour on YouTube including Send-off, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3Day 4Day 5 and Day 6.

Read an ESPN recap by Mario Andretti and Sarah Fisher by clicking here.

Every season in the 16th Street Racing League we finish at the greatest race track in the world, The Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  I decided to make this our championship round because Indy is without a doubt the most difficult track we race around.  Turns 1 and 3 are completely different from each other.  Passing is difficult and at times a bit scary in the corners.  The closing speed here can really catch you off guard.  Speaking of speed, that’s what it’s all about here.  Drivers spend months working on setups for Indy, not just for the 16th Street Racing League, but for general Indy races on iRacing as well.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway on iRacing

IMS on iRacing

For whatever reason, Indy is a point of pride for almost each and every sim racer.  It’s extremely difficult to pull off a win here (much like in real life).  There’s so many things that can happen to make it impossible to cross the line in first position.  You’re virtually always in traffic and it’s extremely easy to misjudge a corner entry and bounce it off the wall on exit.  Pit entry is tough, pit exit is tough, and 100 laps around here (which is how far we run in 16STRL) is tough.  I’ve been lucky enough to have some decent results at Indy but no wins.  I’ve been able to pull off a 2nd, a 5th and a 17th.  I’m very excited for this season’s Indy.  I’ve been practicing more than usual and I have a setup I feel supremely confident in.

This race should be quite interesting in terms of how our championship is shaping up.  It’s come down to two drivers who are both mega fast on ovals.  Yang Ou and Tim Doyle.   Tim has been racing with us from the start of our league and has had some very nice results at the speedway.  A 3rd in his first outing was followed up by a 2nd and an unfortunate 25th.  Yang has only run one Indy 250 with us but he finished a strong 2nd place in his debut.  Two-time winner Niles Anders will be in attendance tonight to make an attempt at becoming our first three time winner at IMS.

I’ve been hinting at the fact that we’d be broadcasting some of our events this year and I’m proud to let you know that TONIGHT we will be broadcasting our Indianapolis 250 presented by ThinkGeek.com live via the Web Racing Network!  This is going to be huge (literally, we run a larger grid than 33 at the speedway)!  We’re expecting a lot of our professional drivers to turn out and give it a whirl.  I encourage you to tune in and get an taste of what iRacing is all about.  If you’re not familiar with us (how could that be possible?) check out the video below so you can get an idea of how we operate (and what’s made us popular).

I’ve also embedded the player in here so that you can watch our race live tonight.  The broadcast starts at 9pm EST and you can view it here as well as 16thStreetRacing.com and WebRacingNetwork.com.  Enjoy and wish me luck!

As we get started on 2011, a lot of things have happened over the last 12 months at JLF Designs. The helmet painting industry has been moving at an amazing pace and lots of new styles have emerged and even though I’ve been painting for 20 years, I have enjoyed my work more than ever thanks to some great projects with drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Dan Wheldon and E.J. Viso who always brings us designs that are a challenge – and I love a challenge!

Back of E.J. Viso's Helmet

One of Viso's many designs

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Hello my name is INDYCAR

Posted on: January 11, 2011 | Comments(6) | Random | By: Admin

Hello, my name is...

INDYCAR nametag

Remember the fat kid in junior high that wore sweat pants all the time? The one that carried a Trapper Keeper stuffed full of very organized (and totally awesome) abstract art folders? Imagine if that kid’s name was really unique and rhymed with an orifice located at the very end of the digestive system. Hi. I’m Amos. I’m that kid.

Names are important. In some cases, names are exchanged before a hand is shaken. Fair or not, sometimes lacking all context, a name can be the first impression.

Imagine we just met (which we did). Your friend knows my wife whose cousin played soccer with your college roommate and we’ve gotten together at your favorite local establishment for a beverage.

“Hi, I’m Amos.”

“Hello. I’m John. Synthia mentioned you work in racing.”

“I do. I work for the Indy Racing League.”

“The what league?”

“The Indy Racing League. You know…INDYCAR.”

“Oh! Yeah, yeah. Like the Indy 500?”

“Exactly.”

Why not get straight to the point? Why not just call this operation INDYCAR? Why go with a first, middle and last name when you can go with just your first name? Mario. Coco. Prince. Oprah. They all worked it out. So — INDYCAR it shall be.

Do not fret Indy Racing League fans of yesteryear. It’s still us. We’re just a bit more fit (likely from turning left AND right now) and more prone to carrying iPads now. Yet still the fastest, most versatile athletes and race cars in the world!