Posts Tagged ‘ Indy 500 ’

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.”

Fans get closer at ‘500′

Posted on: September 22, 2010 | Comments (1) | 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.”

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.

3DRG1196

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?

Click here to see all the designs.

Its great to see the designs pouring in from the fans.  Each artist so far has concept-ed different designs which is what the new concept is all about.  As many of the readers have noticed, inspiration for designs are coming from all types of racing vehicles; Formula 1, past IndyCars…as well as new ideas which will shape the future of IndyCar racing.  My next challenge for all of the contributers would be to consider the different wing packages which will be necessary for oval, road, street and short oval circuits.

Our next design comes from Tyler Tucker.  Here’s Tyler’s comments about his designs.

“This design is a mix of old and new.  The rear wing has the F1 look to it to where it is tall and skinny.  The side pods are more traditional aside from the winglets designed to create an extra bit of downforce.”

If you’ve missed the other designs click here.

{Admin Note} With all of the excitement——and questions around the Future IndyCar Concept Announcement. We at IndyCar.com thought we’d enlist our users to have fun with the open design concept that the 2012 IndyCarchassis will endorse.  For more information please visit the www.indycar.com/2012 page for interviews, car information and of course…the details on how you can design your own concept.

Drum roll please………………

We’d like to introduce you to the  dansanfy 13!  Our second submission comes from Daniele Sanfilippo in Italy.  What are you thoughts?  Would you like to see more?

dansanfy 13

dansanfy 13

{Admin Note} With all of the excitement——and questions around the Future IndyCar Concept Announcement. We at IndyCar.com thought we’d enlist our users to have fun with the open design concept that the 2012 IndyCar chassis will endorse.  For more information please visit the www.indycar.com/2012 page for interviews, car information and of course…the details on how you can design your own concept.

HOW RACE SEASON MAKES YOU CRAZY

Posted on: June 8, 2010 | Comments(5) | (L)IZOD | By: Admin

You sleep with your phones.

THIS...is customer service.

 You neglect your mail.

My mailbox after the month of May.

You leave your Indy 500 parking stickers on so long that the sun fries them to the glass. (Check with me in July. See if they’re still there.)

Need some Goo Gone and a razor.

That little thing called MAY

Posted on: June 8, 2010 | Comments (0) | (L)IZOD | By: Admin

My may might have ended with some ridiculous tan lines on my feet, but it started at the Meijer store across from my apartment. On a quest for blueberries, I walk in and see a cardboard Marco staring back at me.  Goodness, I adore Indy’s passion for the 500. Candied tires and checkered everything. 

Meijer Marco

Meijer Marco

The planning process for May is definitely stressful, especially whilst trying to fit in a race every other weekend. But on 5.14, we kicked it off with the first-ever all-driver autograph session at the Macy’s in Castleton Square Mall. Mind you, I have a soft spot for this mall. Many-a-day shopping for shoes and cruising for boys. Does ANYONE remember the Units store? Mix-n-match cotton sashes? No?

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Victory Celebration

Posted on: June 4, 2010 | Comments(6) | Indy 500 | By: Leslie

Dario at the Awards Banquet

Dario Franchitti at the Victory Celebration

Year after year, Indianapolis 500 drivers gather with racing big wigs, celebrities, and even a few lucky people like me, to join together in celebrating the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. On Monday night, we all braved the rain to honor Dario Franchitti in his second win and the 32 other drivers on their efforts. Now, I could tell you about the $13,592,815 in purse money given away that evening or the highlights of Franchitti’s spot on performance on Sunday. But there are other places you can read about that.  I’d like to share with you a few other highlights, from the perspective of a lucky girl.

This was not the IMS Event Planning Teams’ first rodeo – err, race. Per usual, yellow shirts galore guided us to the speedway pavilion where we were greeted at our cars by golf carts to get us into the banquet, and out of the rain. Upon entering the tent was a bar offering The “Caipirindy”, based off of Brazil’s “National Cocktail” the Caipirinha, or what driver E.J. Viso tells me – a headache. There was another signature drink available called The “Finish Line” but quite honestly I passed because it looked like a cross between a Bloody Mary and a berry smoothie. Then again, maybe that was just Sunday’s festivities haunting me.

After a bit of mingling (for me this consisted of smiling and waving as I hunted down something other than a Caipirinha) we were seated to a meal of standard banquet food, and the show began. Side note on the subject of seating here: this year the members of the board, the Hulman-George Family, the drivers, and guests were seated at long banquet tables, rather than the usual round tables. Good for TV, bad for me as I quite enjoy secretly observing the expressions of the guests throughout the evening…annnnnd I think I just discovered one of the reasons that’s changed.

The introduction “short film” was incredibly well done and I would say the best opening of the Victory Celebration I’ve seen in the five years I’ve been attending. In fact, I meant to ask Terry Angsted and John Lewis, with whom we were seated if they’ve looked into their SAG cards yet. Move over, Brad Pitt.

Borg Warner Trophy

Borg Warner Trophy

The evening was full of jokes and thank you’s, tears and even a little prescription drug use – ahem, Ryan Hunter Ray. In all honesty, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t catch myself doodling once or twice (no offense Dave Calabro) but at the end of every Victory Celebration there comes a moment. You see the winner and their team on stage, applauded by their peers and admirers. And you see the look in their eyes when they look at the Borg Warner Trophy and know that their face will be forever etched in history as a winner of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” And in that moment that you know it’s not about the purse money, or the cocktails, or the high end production television.

It’s about the love of racing.

Five from the 500

This year’s 500 will be remembered for many things. It will be remembered not only as the hottest race on record and for Dario’s second win, but also for Danica’s charge to 6th after starting 23rd, and Alex Lloyd’s heroic battle to 4th.

See you next year

The winner's stuff

Bottles Photo info: f/2.8 at 1/1000 with 50 mm. lensbaby

Working in the pits on race day allows me to watch these stories unfold firsthand. Shooting Dale Coyne eagerly watching  his crew at work, and Danica climbing from her car after an exhausting day, are among the shots I cherish  most. These are the moments you feel fortunate to capture. I’ve been told… “If you see it through the viewfinder you’ve missed it.” Fortunately, for both these moments, my shutter got in the way and I did not miss the shot.

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The Best Fans in the World

Posted on: June 1, 2010 | Comments(5) | Indy 500 | By: Admin

Indy 2010
Indy 500 or Bust

 

This weekend we strived to cover the race in its entirety. This obviously meant getting fans up-close and personal with their favorite drivers and teams. In addition to the obvious, it meant live blogging exclusive race weekend coverage from all pre-race, race and post-race activities. Truthfully, I felt privileged to be working with the new media department who was working overtime to roll out innovative web content that focused on you, the race fan. 

In fact, my personal highlights from race weekend were getting to know the fans better. What can I say?-Race fans…you rule! Every day at the track, I looked forward to finding the next super fan that would claim the title “Fan-of-the-Day.” Featured here

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