Posts Tagged ‘ IndyCar ’

Perks of the job

Posted on: July 21, 2011 | Comments(2) | Random | By: Kate

I have to admit, one of the best perks of working for INDYCAR is getting the wardrobe. The day my order came in and I got my shiny variety of IZOD apparel was one of the happiest days of my life (exaggerating, but it was really cool). A few weeks later, I walked into a Macy’s store and saw a large display of the brand in the racks, and didn’t think much of it until I continued to notice IZOD popping up all over the place. Whether it was on TV commercials or around the tracks, IZOD is definitely serious about promoting the IZOD IndyCar Series, and we should send them a little thank you!

Ryan Briscoe's new car

The IZOD look

Lucky for you fans, there is a new, interactive way to do that. Fortune Magazine has a new reader poll out that allows people to vote for what they think is the brand getting the most recognition out of their sponsorship dollars. IZOD is running in third-place behind AON, insurance giant on all Manchester United jerseys in the Champions League Finals in May, and NIKE, sponsor of NBA Finals stars Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade. Give them a boost by clicking here and voting today!

Catching up with Dan Aykroyd

Posted on: July 13, 2011 | Comments (1) | Race Tracks | By: Kate

No, he wasn’t wearing the hat or the shades, and he didn’t have a proton-pack strapped to his back, but Dan Aykroyd could have been wearing pajamas and I still would have been honored to shake his hand. I got the opportunity during the pre-race festivities for the Honda Indy Toronto, when Aykroyd met up with driver and fellow Canadian James Hinchcliffe.

Dan Aykroyd

Chatting with Dan

The experience was one to remember. Firstly, I was so excited for the chance to interview him that I didn’t realize I was standing in the middle of his golf cart’s parking spot. I nearly avoided that disaster when someone yelled, “Look out!” just in time for me to jump out of the way. And yes, if I had gotten hit, I would have bragged that I got hit by a golf cart carrying Dan Aykroyd.

After shuffling my feet for a bit, I mustered up the courage to be the first to interview him. After the glorious hand shake, I asked him about being an INDYCAR fan, what he liked about Hinch and if he was looking forward to his experience as grand marshal. He was a true professional, answering every question with the fervor of an INDYCAR fan and the pride of a Canadian.

As I thanked him and stepped away, indycar.com editorial director Dave Lewandowski congratulated me on my brush with fame. IMS and INDYCAR photographer Chris Jones let me know he snapped a picture of my interview and would email it to me later, officially becoming my hero for the day. I take comfort in the fact that if my computer ever crashes, the photo will forever be memorialized here on the link to this blog.

I’ve been told many times by professors not to use Wikipedia as a valid source when researching, but since we at IndyCar have entered the Wikipedia world I’m not sure why it wouldn’t be the first online stop when researching absolutely anything. There is a huge misunderstanding when it comes to the way Wikipedia gathers its information. Yes, anyone can contribute to it, but there are Wikipedians out there that are watching your every move. Anything added with bad intention will be caught and deleted in a matter of minutes. Every edit must have legitimate sources behind it. Editing Wikipedia is not something to be taken lightly.

Dario Franchitti's Wikipedia Page

Dario Franchitti's Wikipedia Page

In the past couple weeks we have dived right into the world of Wikipedia in hopes of spreading the knowledge we have of open wheel racing. We plan to share our links for external sources so that Wikipedia users can refer to our sites as an additional source of information. By adding in our indycar.com links and YouTube videos we’re hoping to improve the Wikipedia experience for every one. We are also being careful not to violate the Wikipedia Conflict of Interest policy (another reason Wikipedia editing shouldn’t be taken lightly).

Dario Franchitti's IndyCar Driver Page

Dario Franchitti's IndyCar Driver Page

This project will be on-going and we are definitely newbies when it comes to Wikipedia. We have much to learn but have high hopes for the future of open wheel racing knowledge that will be spread due to this project. My entire opinion of Wikipedia has been changed and I plan to refer to it more often in the future for whatever I may need information on.

How often do you use Wikipedia? What do you usually use Wikipedia for?

As a girl, using the phrase “I like to go fast” has a somewhat negative connotation. Get your mind out of the gutter, because when I say “I like to go fast” it’s really about how I drive my Ford Taurus through the streets of Indianapolis. So when the opportunity came up to jump in for a two seater ride here at the Honda Indy Toronto circuit, I of course said “Why yes, please.”

(Just HOW did the opportunity come up? I was working it to score a two seater ride for one lucky IndyCar.com blog reader…. keep reading to find out how you can be that person!)

Ready to go!

A driver with freckles? Nope, it's not Mike Conway....

Admittedly, I was the least excited in the group. It was an experience I was excited for, but had no idea how to display emotion towards. Was I nervous? Maybe. Did I not know what to expect? YES. Since going for the ride, most people have asked “How was it? I’ve always wanted to do it but haven’t had the opportunity.”

Getting into the car

It’s realistic. You get into the firesuit, shoes, gloves, head sock, and helmet and it’s hard not to feel a little bit like a real driver. It’s fast. Too fast even – after waiting most of the morning for my turn, the lap around the Toronto circuit flew by. The biggest challenge was trying to take everything in. One minute you’re accelerating, then breaking, then turning, then…

Off we go towards the Toronto skyline

It took me a minute or two to realize that I should use my body to resist the force knocking me around the seat. But once I did, the ride was comfortably bumpy. It felt like being inside a video game and I grew desperate to be the one behind the wheel. Of course, if my iRacing skills are any indication, it was probably for the best that I stayed in the passenger seat.

Not quite Danica, but wishing I had been the driver!

Not quite Danica, but ready to get behind the wheel next time

Okay, okay, the moment you’ve been waiting for. One lucky fan over the age of 18 will receive their own two-seater ride at Mid-Ohio (no travel or additional opportunities provided) – simply by commenting below with your comments and feedback on what you’ve enjoyed (or not enjoyed) on our Facebook, Twitter, and Blog this season. Give us your best (and worst) but be sure to share what you hope to see more of (we might just do it!).

Have you had the Indy Racing Experience? What was your two seater ride like?

The Driver Behind the Tweet

Posted on: June 30, 2011 | Comments(12) | Drivers, New Media | By: Cassie

Twitter allows drivers to better interact with their fans and a way to share a small piece of themselves and their teams. When a driver tweets, it gives us all a closer look at their personality. Some drivers tweet about things that keep followers up-to-date on their racing life, some tweet about their personal lives, some tweet mobile pictures (remember planking??), but no matter their intentions, some drivers make us LOL every time they tweet.

Danica Tweeting?

Danica Patrick Tweeting Away!

We’ve pulled together some of the funniest Tweets from the IndyCar world and listed them below. Each Tweet shows a bit of the Tweeters personality. Gather all of your IndyCar knowledge and take a guess at who the Tweeter might have been.

Guess away! Get your friends to play, and see who can correctly guess which drivers are behind these tweets:

1. Last night, one of our crew guys pulled me aside & said, “Stop being an a**hole.” That’s all the motivation I needed.

2. Anything better than putting on boxers fresh out of the dryer? I think not. #lovethelittlethings

3. I am at bucksstar ;) had to whisper 1 frappo no whipped cream to cashier make sure no one heard me.

4. “that’s the most passes 4 the lead that I can remember. Much better than just watching Dario go round & round.” SNAP

5. @dariofranchitti the pleasure was all mine! I was always told to be nice and polite to your elders!

6. For me boxing is the closest trainning for racing outside the race car…sometimes the punch feels like the wall.hehehe

7. Not entirely sure new yoga instructor tonight was overly impressed with a certain someone’s non existent levels of “bendyness”…!!!

8. My tomtom has @dariofranchitti voice…not sexy. Hahahaha

Hint: Not all of the Tweets are technically from drivers. Think of some of the most vocal INDYCAR tweeps out there and you might recognize 1 or 2 of their personalities as well. Leave a comment with your guesses below and we’ll keep you posted when the answers are revealed.  #goodluck

With You Japan At Iowa Speedway

Posted on: June 25, 2011 | Comments (0) | Drivers | By: Admin

Takuma Sato is one of those drivers that somehow manages to fly just under the radar. Quiet, calm and patient he’s been out there racing his sophomore IndyCar season for KV Racing-Technology Lotus and gradually picking up speed, currently sitting 9th in the points standings.

At Indianapolis, arguably his biggest story came from his support of With You Japan, rather than his performance on track. Partnering with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and INDYCAR to support t-shirt sales promoting Japanese tsunami relief efforts (see the shirt here).

Yesterday, everything changed as Takuma thrust himself into the spotlight by picking up his first PEAK Performance Pole Award of the season.

Takuma proudly holds the Japan flag

Takuma waves the Japanese Flag proudly

The best part of his Pole Award came behind the scenes though, so I am taking a moment to share with fans my very favorite photo from the entire weekend. Regardless of race results, the true emotion of this race weekend at Iowa comes from the foreign press.

How exciting to watch the Japanese media celebrate with Takuma as if he had just won the entire Iowa Indy Corn 250, not only P1. They ran, they high-fived, they snapped photos right and left and, by some sort of magic, happened to be captured in the picture below:

Takuma Sato celebrates with his entourage of photographers

A driver worth traveling to see

So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the video highlights from Qualifications complete with an interview with Takuma has garnered hit after hit on the IndyCar YouTube page. 32,000 views and counting, enjoy:

This entry is one in a continuing series which discusses images from the IndyCar.com photo gallery.  This entry reviews the story behind a photo taken at the Milwaukee Mile during the Milwaukee 225 on June 19, 2011.

Tony Kanaan wrecks at Milwaukee

Each race weekend, a small army of IndyCar staff descends upon the site of the IZOD IndyCar event.  The IndyCar series has full-time year-round employees in most key positions, but come race weekend, there are a significant number of part-time employees who assist in all aspects of the weekend’s activities to help make sure the race runs smoothly.

The part-time employees occupy a number of important roles.  The most visible of the primarily part-time crews is the Holmatro Safety Team.  Most members of the team are full-time firemen or paramedics.  The IndyCar Series wants to ensure that drivers and team members get the best possible attention when an incident occurs.

Some of the other areas with significant part-time help include timing and scoring, pit techs, observers, and even photographers.  All of the part-time “Weekend Warriors” I have worked with are truly professionals who take their responsibilities seriously.  I often see a strong camaraderie among members of the various support teams.

Many of the part-timers take time away from their primary job and their family to be involved in a sport for which they have a deep passion.  You may be surprised by the diverse occupations of these part-time employees when they are away from the track.  For example, one of the observers is a County Superior Court Judge, and one of the pit techs is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives.

During a typical race weekend, I try to shoot pictures of the various IndyCar personnel as they handle their duties.  I know they are not working for the notoriety, but for many part-timers, the memories of their race weekends are more valuable than the compensation they receive, and sometimes the pictures we take help keep those good memories alive.

Here are a few more photos of some part-time employees at work at the Milwaukee 225.

Milwaukee Pit Lane

Crew Member

Do you have any IndyCar “Weekend Warriors” stories to share?

11 in ‘11 with Ana Beatriz

Posted on: June 23, 2011 | Comments(6) | Drivers | By: Cassie

2011 marks the second season of IndyCar racing for Ana Beatriz. She is a regular driver for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and her Brazilian sponsor, Ipiranga, hasn’t let her down.

Ana was kind enough to answer 11 fan questions during this 2011 season and, ironically enough, following her 11th IZOD IndyCar Series start.  Ana wanted to send a little shout out to the fans and thank them for cheering her on:

“Thanks, fans for all of your support this season – keep those tweets and messages of support coming. Enjoy my 11 in ’11 video and thanks for submitting fan questions for this video series, it’s been fun learning about all the other drivers through these videos.”

Continue to support Ana by following her on Twitter, @BiaRacing, and check out her driver history on IndyCar.com. See her 11 in ‘11 video below.

Flickr, 5000 photographs later

Posted on: June 21, 2011 | Comments(2) | Flickr | By: Daniel

I write from time to time on this blog. And if you follow this blog or my posts, you’ll notice I often write about Flickr. I mean, a lot.

To date we have uploaded 5,264 photographs or graphics. We have created 100 sets. We administer 11 groups. Our most viewed image has over 5,800 views. Will Power’s jump at Barber Motorsports Park this year has been favorited 26 times. And out most commented image, is Guess the Driver, with 16 comments. Oh, and we have 448 Flickr contacts.

Jump!

Great photo of Will Power by Paul Webb, LAT Photo USA

I’ve been thrilled with our experience on Flickr so far (just a season and a half). We think you have too.

[More]

ADMIN NOTE: With Canadian races looming on the INDYCAR schedule, we thought we’d check in some of our favorite helmet designers, Art Rotondo, and how they spent their time at the recent Formula One race in Montreal (I hope they stayed dry). Check it out.

For the first time ever in Grand-Prix history, there was an artistic partner associated with an event. The event was the 2011 edition of the Canadian GP in Montreal, Quebec Canada. ArtRotondo.com was in charge of creating unique hand drawn portraits of each of the 24 drivers on this year’s grid. Each of these portraits were placed on top of each driver’s garage, a unique and innovative concept we brought to life.

There was also official ArtRotondo.com stands located throughout the circuit Gilles-Villeneuve where fans had the chance to meet Art in person, visualize some of his original works and shop his limited edition print line.  This was a tremendous weekend for the ArtRotondo.com group, along with this event were many media appearances on different TV stations which also propelled this truly fantastic moment in motorsport artwork history.

The following pictures depict a few of these works throughout the weekend.

2011-06-09_0146

Narain Karthikeyan

2011-06-10_0002

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel

IMG_8992

Jenson Button

IMG_9007

You can view more posts from ArtRotondo and the creative work they do for our INDYCAR drivers, HERE.

What do you think of bringing more art into the racing experience?