Posts Tagged ‘ IndyCar ’

USF2000 driver Zach Veach has brought together his team, Andretti Autosport, The Michael Andretti Foundation and Racing for Kids to partner with FocusDriven to bring awareness and support to a family who was tragically affected by a distracted driving incident.

The Andretti Autosport fleet is carrying special car decals at the Milwaukee Mile to spread awareness and help raise funds for the family of Xzavier Davis-Bilbo. Six-year-old Xzavier was paralyzed in October 2010 when a driver, who was texting while driving, struck him while he and his sister crossed the street.

USF2000 driver Zach Veach affixes his new decal for Milwaukee

Fans can help Zach ( Twitter @ZachVeach ) and Andretti Autosport (Twitter @FollowAndretti ) raise awareness too. Click here to download an image of the same decal on Zach’s car and share with your family and friends on Facebook and Twitter using hashtag #DriveForFans.

Comment below to leave your messages of support for Zach’s efforts to stop distracted driving and you could win a USF2000 tire autographed by Andretti Autosport drivers. Zach will share your words of support with Xzavier’s family and help select the best comment in support of stopping distracted driving to win this very cool prize.

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ROYGBIV at INDYCAR

Posted on: June 18, 2011 | Comments(11) | Flickr | By: Admin

Think about it for a second and the acronym will set in. Remember in elementary school when you learned the colors of the rainbow? It’s ROYGBIV – Red, Orange, Green, Yellow, Blue, Indigo, Violet, and it’s the spectrum of colors that one can expect to find emerging after a rain shower, imprinted across the sky as well as an INDYCAR race weekend.

Here at Milwaukee, I can’t help but think in shades of color as I watch photos roll in from our talented photographers. With blue, cloud-filled skies, perhaps the colors that have popped the most can be found on Dario’s car:

Bright color scheme for the weekend on Dario Franchitti's car

A very beautiful, cloud-filled Practice day brings out the green, teal, blue, red, white, and black in this photo

Dario Franchitti on track in his new Downy colors

Brilliant colors help Downy stand out on the Target car

From what I understand, the history of car colors dates back to the early 1900’s when cars were assigned colors at the Gordon Bennett Cup based on their country of origin.  Blue was France, yellow was Belgium, white was Germany, red was the USA, and green was for the UK.  Through the years from there, auto manufacturers used different colors to signify their presence in the sport.

When you look at a list of traditional country livery colors, Switzerland’s colors are red and white and Canada’s are white and green. However, in the IZOD IndyCar Series, Swiss driver Simona de Silverstro takes on Canada’s coloring while throwing in traditional colors with a Swiss flag decal. James Hinchcliffe goes in a different direction altogether by coupling the silver and blue of his Sprott car colors with the red and white of a Canadian Maple Leaf.

Regardless of nationality or sponsors, in a race weekend our photographers will work with shadows to bring to light the many different colors of each driver.

Simona de Silvestro

Blue, White, Green, and Red couple with the Swiss flag

James Hinchcliffe

James Hinchcliffe's Maple Leaf stands out on the Sprott-sponsored car

In 1968, sponsorship liveries became allowed in international racing. With sponsorships in play, colors go beyond the cars and extend to a driver’s firesuit. Perhaps the most interesting and unique colors emerge now in the intense and intricate designs found on the helmets of drivers. Helmets, as we’ve seen in the Art Rotundo blog series,  take on the personalities of their owners and say much, much more about a driver than the cars do.

Helmets give our photographers exciting, colorful objects to shoot and they do an incredible job of using a driver’s helmet to share a bit of each driver’s personality.

Mike Conway secures the visor on his helmet

Mike Conway's blue and white helmet stands out against his Sun Drop sponsored red and yellow

Helmet designs are a great way to see a driver's personality

Tony Kanaan's helmet features his son's handprint

Danica Patrick focuses in practice

The red, blue, green, and white surrounding Danica bring out the intensity in her eyes during practice.

I’ve been told that the diversity in paint schemes is a sign of a healthy series. Does this mean that, the more colors we see, the better times are for INDYCAR? If so, it’s ROYGBIV at INDYCAR, let the good times roll.

11 in ‘11 with Graham Rahal

Posted on: June 16, 2011 | Comments (0) | Drivers | By: Cassie

This season has been an exciting one for Graham Rahal. He is now a part of a new team, Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing. He is also currently 7th in the point standings and recently finished third in the Indianapolis 500.

Graham loves his social media. He’s an avid tweeter and has even been spotted at racetracks with his iPad. He is also the latest driver to be featured in our 11 in ‘11 video blog series on YouTube.

Rahal and an iPad
Graham took the time to answer 11 fan submitted questions during the 2011 IndyCar season. Get it? 11 in ‘11? Graham answers questions involving his race experiences, the 100th anniversary Indy 500, and even cartoon characters.

Check out the video below and continue to look for 11 in ‘11 videos for the rest of the 2011 season.

This entry is one in a continuing series which typically discusses images from the IndyCar.com photo gallery.  This entry reviews the story behind a photo taken at the Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway on June 11, 2011.

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Different drivers celebrate a victory in the IZOD IndyCar series in different ways.  We all know that Helio Castroneves is famous for his fence climbing when he wins an IndyCar race.  Coming into the season, I was not aware of his teammate Will Power having any special “trademark” victory celebration rituals.

After Will Power won his first race of the season at Barber Motorsports Park, he exited his car in victory lane and stood on the side-pod to celebrate.  He then jumped off the side of the car and kicked his legs back.  Paul Webb, a photographer from LAT Photo, captured Power from a low angle with a wide-angle lens that made it look like Power had leapt to great heights.  Paul Webb’s image was featured on IndyCar.com and many other websites and publications.

When Power won at Sao Paulo, we were all hoping he would repeat his leap.  He didn’t disappoint us.  If you look at the leap on video, he didn’t jump that high, but with a low angle and kicked back legs, it makes his jump appear higher than it actually is.

When Power won the second Firestone Twin 275 race at Texas Motor Speedway, we all knew what to expect.  When he rolled into Victory Lane he delivered his soon to be trademark leap from the side-pod.  I couldn’t get a real low angle for the shot, but I think this image captures his leap in his first IndyCar oval track win.

What would you do to celebrate if you won an IZOD IndyCar race?

While I’m en route to a little relaxation at my parents’ lake abode to cool off for the weekend, things in Texas will just be heating up. I’ll be floating around the lake in the pontoon while final adjustments and preparations are being made on pit lane around the Texas Motor Speedway. By the time I’m back to shore, it’ll be just about time for the Firestone Twin 275s to start and my family and I will tune in just as we always have.

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The television will be set to Versus and, because we will most likely be outside, our SiriusXM radio dock will be blaring the race broadcast on the deck. Home or the lake, indoors or outdoors, day or night,  if it’s race day you can be sure we’ll be listening to the race through some medium.

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Everyone has their race day rituals or traditions. Whether you throw big parties, have small family get-togethers, or lounge on the couch in a t-shirt featuring your favorite driver, we love the way you tune into IndyCar. We’d love to hear more about your favorite ways to spend race day.

Brag about the way you celebrate by leaving a comment below.

  • Throwing a party?
  • Grilling out?
  • Hanging out with your family?
  • Not moving from the couch all day?
  • IndyCar drinking games?

We want to know why your way is cooler than any other!

Maybe it was the countless hours put in during the month of May and the Indianapolis 500, or maybe it comes down to arriving at Texas and realizing we’re at the seventh race of the season but I’m ready for a change and am sure fans are too.

A change of what, you ask?

Our Facebook profile picture.

I love our IZOD IndyCar Series logo but, and stick with me on this one, the INDYCAR Facebook page is really a page for our fans, not us. Sure, we share information, stories, pictures, and videos, but what keeps Facebook.com/IndyCar going are great fan comments, fans answering other fan questions, and so many “likes” I’ve stopped counting at this point.

Enter the INDYCAR Facebook Fan of the Week for the June races at Texas, Milwaukee, and Iowa. Each race weekend, fans can share photos of themselves at an INDYCAR race or with their favorite INDYCAR drivers, and a quick sentence or two about why they deserve to be the Fan of the Week to other fans.

We’ll grab the photos, create a special fan photo gallery on our Facebook page, and then ask all of our Facebook fans to check out the photos and help determine the Fan of the Week on the Monday following each of the next three races.

What’s in it for you?

Your picture becomes the INDYCAR Facebook profile picture for the week following the race, identifying you as the INDYCAR Fan of the Week, and immediately spicing up our Facebook page with the real face of our page: our fans.

So get started now, head over to our Facebook page and start sharing your very best fan photos and why you think you should be our Facebook Fan of the Week!

The Final Laps

Posted on: June 7, 2011 | Comments(2) | Race Tracks | By: Iowa Speedway

Thanks for stopping back to the Iowa Speedway blog here on Indycar.com! Like the drivers who will be thanking their sponsors before and after racing in the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer on June 25th, we too need to thank some people first before we get into this months topic – our readers. Without you we wouldn’t even be writing this story so thank you!

Watching this year’s Indy 500, which by the way was amazing, and seeing the final pass for the win an idea popped into my head – this month’s topic.

JR took the lead with three laps to go; I thought for sure the race would be over in the neighborhood of 120 seconds since drivers completed laps at just over 40 seconds when running at full speed. Could I have been more wrong?! Maybe. When JR took reins of this year’s 500 and until the winner, Dan Weldon, crossed the finish line there was an elapse time of 128 seconds. Eight seconds is a big deal in the world of motorsports!

A combination of Weldon being behind JR and not running at full speed to conserve fuel makes up that eight second difference. In my opinion, that final eight seconds is and probably will always be the longest of JR’s racing career, sadly.

Shall we compare the last 128 seconds of the Indy 500 to what might be the last 128 seconds here at Iowa Speedway so you can see how vastly different things can be from track to track? Lets!

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Tony Kanaan leading at the Iowa Speedway in 2010

In the time they turned those three laps at Indianapolis they would’ve completed over seven laps at Iowa Speedway. Circuits around this 7/8 or .875 mile oval are 17.5 seconds long at full speed in an IZOD IndyCar. That is a total of 28 turns here compared to only 12 they completed at Indianapolis, plus the lap traffic.

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Kanaan and Castroneves after the 2010 Iowa Corn Indy 250

Look back to 2010 when TK took the lead with 10 laps to go, about 175 seconds left in the race, and you can really see there was a greater chance of something going wrong. He had 40 turns to get through while dealing with several lap down cars. The winner is never known until the car crosses the finish line, and never has that been more true following this year’s 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.

Be sure to come out to Iowa Speedway on June 25th to see if we have that same excitement during the final seconds/laps of this year’s Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer. Thanks for reading. Please keep your comments and suggestions coming. We’re listening – and thanks again for the support!

Inside Shot – Indy 500

Posted on: June 6, 2011 | Comments (1) | Flickr, Indy 500 | By: Chris Jones

In previous Inside Shot entries I have discussed one image from an IndyCar race that was featured in the indycar.com galleries or the IndyCar Flickr site.  For the Indy 500, it is difficult to single out one image.

For most IndyCar race weekends, the activities take place over 2 or 3 days.  For the Indy 500, activities started on May 7 with the Mini-Marathon and weather-postponed Balloon Race, and ended on the evening of May 30th at the Victory Celebration banquet.  During that period, I shot at the track 20 days and took over 9,600 images.  For comparison, at Long Beach where both IndyCar and Indy Lights were in action, I shot around 2,300 images.

You may wonder why we spent so much time at the track given there were only 10 practice and qualifying days.  At Indy, there are so many other activities we covered including the Celebration of Automobiles, the American Dairy Association Rookie Luncheon, celebrity two-seater rides, Emerging Tech day, the unveiling of the Marmon Wasp postage stamp, Community Day, and Rookie Orientation.

My favorite images are those that tell a story.  Although these may not qualify as the “best” photos during the month, they are photos that help tell my favorite stories from the month.

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One of the top stories of the month was the hardship that Simona de Silvestro faced after her accident.  It was obvious her hands were still hurting watching her get in the car after her incident.  She didn’t let the pain stop her from signing autographs even though everyone would have understood if she said she needed to let her hands rest.

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J.R. Hildebrand had a great month – fastest Rookie in the field, first day qualifier, race runner-up and Chase Rookie of the Year.  Unfortunately for him, he would have been the race winner if not for his final lap incident in turn 4.  Similar to Simona, the way he reacted to his adversity showed his class and character.

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To me, one of the big stories that got overlooked throughout the month was the success of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team, especially Bertrand Baguette.  Here was a team that hadn’t raced this season, with two drivers that hadn’t raced in IndyCar this season either, and only one previous Indy 500 start between the two drivers.  Both Baguette and Jay Howard were first-day qualifiers, and Baguette was one late caution period away from winning the race.

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Of course, the big story was Dan Wheldon’s win in a one-off ride with Bryan Herta Autosport.  According to Indianapolis Motor Speedway Historian Donald Davidson, Wheldon is the first winning driver at the Indy 500 to lead only one lap, and he probably led less than a quarter of a mile.  It was great to see the pure emotion he expressed after his win.  He should continue to be a great ambassador for the Indy 500.

Next up is Texas Motor Speedway.

A Second Glance at May

Posted on: June 3, 2011 | Comments(6) | Indy 500 | By: Cassie

This May was my second with IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I am an intern for the media department where we handle Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and blog posts. I spent a lot of the month captioning the many photos that are taken each day. I decided to choose some of my favorites from the month and pay a personal tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500.

Dan Wheldon takes the win

The only thing this photo is missing are the dropped jaws, the wide eyes and the shocked gasps coming from the crowd at the end of this year’s Indy 500 when rookie J.R. Hildebrand crashed while leading the final lap. The photo definitely depicts the controversy that came from the ending. The checkered and yellow flag are out as Dan Wheldon crosses the finish line, but Dan played fair and successfully grabbed his second Indy 500 title. Definitely a twist of fate that made for a memorable ending to a historical race.

Simona De Silvestro signs an autograph

How could I not choose a picture of Simona de Silvestro? Tough is the only word you can use to describe her. There is no way you could have watched the horrifying wreck she was involved in, watch her successfully qualify, and watch her finish the race and not have the most respect in the world for her. I’m not sure we even heard a complaint come from her lips. Being sure not to let down her fans, she continued to sign autographs throughout the rest of the month. Simona, you’re my girl!

Sam Schmidt and Alex Tagliani

There is no way to look at the picture above and not feel the emotion Sam Schmidt and Alex Tagliani must have experienced in this moment. After Tagliani grabbed the pole, he couldn’t thank Schmidt enough. You have to love and respect Sam Schmidt for all he’s overcome, and congratulate him because this was his first Indy 500 pole. It was great to see their effort and teamwork pay off.

Dario shakes the hand of Roger Penske

Any picture that includes a member of Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske is a great one to me. It’s so easy to create the thought that there is a rivalry there, but this picture goes to show that isn’t quite the case. If you ask me, every IndyCar fan is either a Ganassi fan or a Penske fan. You can’t like both, but you can probably hate both out of jealousy for the numerous success stories both teams have. Dario shaking Roger Penske’s hand in this picture shows the camaraderie that exists between Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske. One of my all time favorites for sure!

A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears, Mario Andretti

I chose this picture and put it last in order for a reason. This year was the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500. This picture includes IndyCar legends and embodies the whole history of the race and the series. A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears, Mario Andretti, and Johnny Rutherford – all legends of the Indy 500 and the IndyCar sport. This picture is everything that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway wanted to accomplish during the 100th anniversary – a celebration of the history of those who have made the Indy 500 the “greatest spectacle in racing” and kept it there for 100 years and counting.

To see more pictures from May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway check out IndyCar Flickr.

The Indianapolis 500 is a very, very long race event for us. It’s two weeks of content. And for the new media group, it’s overseeing both indycar.com and indianapolismotorspeedway.com. Most of our race events run from Thursday-Sunday, with indycar.com being the focus. Two weeks of racing is exciting, exhausting and a challenge. I love content, good storytelling and beautiful photography. Our May provided all of that. Some highlights.

Opening weekend brought the announcement of The Greatest 33. It was an honor working on this site and it was amazing to see how many fans voted, shared with friends and revealed their own personal memories.

The Greatest 33

The Greatest 33

4,028. That’s how many photographs were uploaded. It’s how our department sees what our photographers capture. We then title, caption and tag these images for our websites, media site, Flickr and so on. That’s a lot of images and it’s tedious work. BUT – it allows us to bring some really stunning moments to you (and shows what a great group of photographers we work with). A few of my favorite below. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Simona De Silvestro signs an autograph

One of the most compelling stories of the month

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