Posts Tagged ‘ izod indycar series ’

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:

ROYGBIV at INDYCAR

Posted on: June 18, 2011 | Comments(13) | 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.

Yes, this post has a somewhat peculiar title. Think about it and you’ll realize it’s a throw back to Limp Bizkit of all artists. Lyrics aside, this post is all about a his and hers perspective on everything that’s happening down here deep in the heart of Texas.

You probably already know him or are familiar with his website already. He’s Tyler Carmichael of IndyCar Garage. Whether you know her or you don’t, Julie can be found behind IndyCar.com or here. First, we’ll talk about each other and then we’ll talk about three photos from today with a his and her’s perspective.

Julie’s Perspective on Tyler: I met Tyler last month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway but we began working together a few weeks prior. Tyler had put his website, IndyCar Garage up for an IndyCar.com contest for motorsports writers to represent fans in an iRacing Virtual 500 Race. Before “allowing” him to stake his claim to fans, I of course had to dig in and read. Just like me, Tyler loves using different types of content and letting everyone else have a voice too. Visit his website and you’ll see videos, forum threads, photos, and more but, most importantly, you’ll feel like you’re there for a chat among fellow fans. In person, he’s every bit as genuine as his website comes across and I hope you enjoy the perspectives he shares below.

Tyler’s Perspective on Julie: I met Julie through the virtual Indy 500 competition that she was promoting for IndyCar writers and bloggers. I participated in the virtual Indy 500 on behalf of IndyCar Garage but with very poor results, I think I finished 8th out of 10 drivers. Julie was kind enough to help www.IndyCarGarage.com get some recognition through IndyCar.com and the promotion of the Virtual 500. Julie seems to be an out of the box type thinker and person that has thousands of IndyCar thoughts coming through her head at any moment. In all reality Julie represents the future of what social media is for IndyCar and motorsports in general.

Photo 1 – Simona de Silvestro

Simona de Silvestro still recovering from burns suffered at Indy

Simona de Silvestro

She Says: When you meet Simona in person, she is warm and friendly. It’s as simple as that. And when Simona gets into a car and starts flying at speeds over 220 mph, I think of her like that badass best friend that skipped class in college to go drink at the bar. When I saw this photo it was like relief to realize she’s recovering from Indy. Everyone should have a badass best friend to laugh about the hangover with later…

He Says: When you see Simona you automatically think of the word HEARTBREAK, Texas last year comes to mind when she was on fire and literally couldn’t find anyone to put her out. Indy for Simona this year makes you think of more fire and ruining her primary car, and driving some thing called porkchop. The girl is still wearing gloves, driving an eight year old car, and doesn’t have much oval experience, but you can’t tell! I also can’t wait to talk with Simona before Saturday’s race (see more below).

Photo #2- James Hinchcliffe

Rookie James Hinchcliffe talks with his engineer during qualifying

James Hinchcliffe

She Says: Sometimes, I notice different things than other people. You see James Hinchcliffe and his silly hand position. I see the water bottle in his hand. Specifically, the Canadian Maple Leaf proudly represented on it. Growing up an hour and a half from the Canadian border (Erie, PA) I happen to be somewhat fluent in Canadian culture. Well, at least, how to order at Tim Hortons: large coffee, black and a box of cherry Timbits please. With Tags on the Pole now, all I can say is, “Go Team Canada.”

He Says: James is actually giving a thumbs up or down to his engineer about how his car felt when he drove it around the streets of Dallas last night for the Mavs/Heat Game. In all reality the young Canadian is probably trying adjust to his first experience at Texas Motor Speedway. Hinch is well spoken, considers himself a Mayor on twitter, and is one of the bright young stars of IndyCar. I think he would be a great guy to see in victory lane.

Photo #3- JR Hildebrand

JR Hildebrand focuses during qualifying

JR Hildebrand

She Says: Fresh from a wreck at the Indy 500 with the 5 o’clock shadow to prove it. I can be a perfectionist and not doing my best can cause me to lose sleep at night too. But here’s the thing, the guy did he best and caught some tough luck. He’s out here today and he’s FAST plus, he’s packing the incredible experience of running the oval at Indy. When I see this shot, I see a young guy that’s hungry. He wants a win and came close enough to taste it two weeks ago. Tomorrow night, my eyes will be on JR.

He Says: JR is thinking, can I catch a freaking break? I am 300 yards from Indy 500 history and I hit the marbles? Then I injury my knee promoting the Texas race? What are the chances I hit the marbles and tear my ACL within two weeks?. They say bad things come in three, well lets hope JR had something bad to him that no one knows about. He is a young American that deserved a ride two  years ago and finally caught one this year with a great sponsor in the National Guard. JR  can’t play the “What If” game or he would drive himself crazy, he is focused, determined, well spoken, and a huge 49ers fan, lets hope he catches some better luck at Texas.

Last things last, He and She have a challenge. We’ve decided to try and get 500 “Likes” on this blog post. Julie is starting with an email to her friends and Tyler is starting by placing a phone call to his mother. Perhaps if you’re an INDYCAR fan you could show us some love with a “like” too. He mentioned it above,  but keep an eye on IndyCar Garage for Tyler’s interview with Simona…. he’ll be talking with her tomorrow about her improving team, new sponsor, and upbeat attitude about how she wants to be an INDYCAR driver, unlike some other female drivers driving Open Wheel.

Danica cheers on Dallas in NBA Finals

Posted on: June 10, 2011 | Comments(3) | Drivers | By: Dave

Danica Patrick appreciated an afternoon practice and qualifying session at Texas Motor Speedway on June 10.

The Andretti Autosport driver attended Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Dallas. It was a late night.

Danica Patrick

“My teammate Marco (Andretti) was very kind in getting tickets for me and my husband (Paul),” she said. “It was a fun game. We were up in an ESPN suite and then down below (in the lower bowl of the arena). I called it like watching in the pits. You’re behind the basket, and everyone gets rowdy and has their balloon-type things beating against each other, and it makes this god-awful noise that I can’t believe they don’t miss free throws when they hear that.

“So it was really exciting. I’m from the Chicago area, so I cheer for the Bulls. But after the Heat beat the Bulls, I’m definitely not a Heat fan. So I’m cheering for the Mavs, and they did a great job last night.”

Dallas took a 3-2 lead in the series, with the potential deciding game scheduled for 8 p.m. (ET) June 12 on ABC. With the Firestone Twin 275s during the evening June 11, she’ll be able to watch from the comfort of her Arizona home.

“This is definitely a lot different than golf,” Kelli Kuehne exclaimed as she stood in the bustling IZOD IndyCar Series garage area at Texas Motor Speedway.

Kuehne, a Dallas native and avid race fan, spent the afternoon learning about the ins and outs of the IZOD IndyCar Series with Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing driver Charlie Kimball.

Minutes later, the LPGA Tour pro suited up to take a high-speed ride on the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval in the Indy Racing Experience two-seater with Mario Andretti as the chaueffer.

Both share having diabetes. Kuehne was diagnosed at age 10 and carries an insulin pump as a means to regulate her blood sugar levels. She credits technology and the input of doctors as her way to stay on top of the disease. Kimball was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2007, and after doctors gave him clearance to keep racing he relies on the technology available through his sponsor to maintain his blood sugar levels.

As a fellow professional athlete, Kuehne identifies with Kimball but also is sympathetic.

“Charlie’s out there going 225 mph. I’m on the green for 5-6 hours,” she said. “I can eat an apple going from the tee to the green or the green to the fairway. Charlie has to drive a car, push buttons, shift gears and worry about getting sugar water or Gatorade in his system. We both are athletes, we both do something very different, but we still have very similar things going on.”

Charlie Kimball hosts LPGA Golfer Kelli Kuehne

Kuehne and Kimball

Both see the responsibility and opportunity to inform and encourage people with diabetes and educate the public about the warning signs. Kimball’s desire is to let people know that diabetes doesn’t have to “slow you down.”

“You can still dream big and follow your dreams, even with diabetes,” he said.

“Getting the word out is my big platform,” said Kuehne. “I’m in the position to reach more people than the average person and I love to take that initiative and impact the lives of people.”

LPGA Golfer Kellie Kuehne goes for a two seater ride with Mario Andretti

Kelli experiences a two seater rider with Mario Andretti

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!

This month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been packed to the brink with IZOD IndyCar Series drivers, Firestone Indy Lights drivers, Mazda Road to Indy drivers, and returning Indy 500 legends. It had us thinking, what advice do the younger drivers ask the returning and former drivers for when preparing to race.

As the first African American to qualify and race in the Indianapolis 500, Willy T. Ribbs has helped paved the way for a diverse crop of younger drivers to reach their dream of racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In his interview, Willy shared which drivers gave him advice back in 1991:

Firestone Indy Lights driver, Chase Austin shares his relationship with Willy T. Ribbs and talks about what it’s like to go from stock cars to Indy cars and still be successful at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Before today, the driver had only slipped in two practice laps at the track. Find out what his game plan is to run well in today’s Firestone Freedom 100:

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 Trackside Online will provide fans with the best Virtual Indy 500 coverage this week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!

Trackside Online | Website | Twitter “Providing INDYCAR Coverage for Over Ten Years.”

TrackSide Online presented by Honda Racing is a news service devoted exclusively to INDYCAR racing.  Commonly referred to as TSO, TrackSideOnline.com has been covering the IZOD IndyCar Series for over 10 years by attending all of the practices, qualifying sessions and races, including the international events.

A highly trusted news source, TSO’s in depth coverage is read by drivers, team owners, officials and race fans that want the inside scoop on what is really happening within INDYCAR.

That’s what we do.  So why does Joe from TSO want to run the virtual Indy 500 against other journalists?

Back before he joined up with TSO, he used to pass the time running racing simulations.  Anyone remember “Indianapolis 500: The Simulation?”

He used to spend hours trying to win in the Lola/Buick using a keyboard.  IndyCar Racing?  Grand Prix Legends?  He spent far more hours on all of these games than he probably should have.

But that was before marriage and two kids.  Why does he want to get back into sim racing against journalists?

Simple – he thinks he can win.  Is he good enough to beat anyone with any actual racing talent (real or sim)?  Of course not.

But based off some go-kart races against other journalists, and if I get some seat time in iRacing, I think I can win.