Posts Tagged ‘ izod indycar series ’

The 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 has been touted at The Most Important Race in History. Okay, okay, marketing pitches aside – everyone is upping their game to create the very best fan experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this month.

Enter Verizon. Specifically, Verizon with an extensive, interactive QR code experience placed at locations all around the Speedway and guiding fans through exclusive content for the Indianapolis 500. But here’s the big question that fans have got to be asking: why bother checking this out?

This blog post is all about taking a step back and sharing what a QR code is, what application you’ll need on your mobile device to access a code, and an explanation of what “lives behind” the code itself. Think about exciting videos, driver commentary, track history, crew interviews, special information and offers… just like anything incredibly special and worth seeing, it’s always more fun when you know that others don’t have the same opportunity as you to see it. You’ve made it to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 100th Anniversary Race. You’ve managed to scrape together your pennies and  own a pretty decent Verizon mobile phone (Warning: will not work on Zack Morris-style cellular devices). Consider the Verizon QR Code Experience your reward this May.

What Is A QR Code? According to the top Digital Media resource Mashable, a QR code (short for Quick Response) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

What Do I Need to Do to Access a QR Code? To access the Verizon QR Code Experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you’ll need a Verizon Mobile Device. You’ll also need an application on your mobile device that will read QR Codes. And I’ve been there — the hesitation, the lack of interest in seeking out a scanner, downloading it, and figuring out how to use it. But- I’ve also gone through it and can assure you that the process is painstakingly simple and only takes a few minutes. I can also share that it’s worth your while to download a QR Code application prior to heading out to the track (it can be harder to view your phone’s screen outdoors, especially when sunny and, as we all know, every day in May is a perfect 80 degrees, clear skies and sunshine). Once you have it downloaded, you open the application and, similar to taking a picture, scan the image. Once you’ve obtained a QR code reader, go ahead and try this one.

How does it work? Picture a package sent in the mail with a barcode sticker slapped on the outside of the box and scanned in at each facility so that you can track its delivery online. In theory, it’s a similar concept — scan the QR code and useful information is delivered.

Where Do I Get Started? Visit Verizon in the INDYCAR Fan Village and find out more about accessing QR code content or look for specific QR code signage around the IMS campus.

What’s In It For Me? Verizon’s calling it Scan. Watch. Win. Every code you scan is another opportunity to win great INDYCAR prizes, including a trip to the IZOD IndyCar World Championships.

So get started now by browsing through a smartphone applications marketplace and downloading a QR code reader to your mobile device. Come prepared to see more of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway than even some of the other fans around you — it’s going to be an incredibly special experience and a unique way to commemorate the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500.

Still mildly confused? Shoot us a Tweet @INDYCAR and we’ll make sure you’re good to go.

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 IndyCar Garage 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!

IndyCar Garage | Website | Twitter | Facebook “The Place for all IndyCar fans.”

IndyCar Garage provides a unique opportunity in social media for INDYCAR fans to interact with other INDYCAR fans. Started just after unification in 2008, IndyCar Garage has grown into a destination for fans to become members and enjoy the sport of INDYCAR racing. Memberships at IndyCar Garage are free with an email address.  Included in the many features of IndyCar Garage  are the IndyCar Garage featured blog and forum discussion page where all the latest INDYCAR topics are posted and debated, members receive notification of new forum topics and blogs by moderator Tyler Carmichael.  Check out some of the major forum topics below:

IndyCar Triple Crown coming back?

The Aero Kit delay? Good or  bad?

IndyCar Garage Weekly is a 30 minute radio show streamed live, among the guests featured on IndyCar Garage Weekly include INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard, John Andretti, Lindy Thackston, IMS PR Director Doug Boles, Wade Cunningham, Bryan Clauson, Katherine Legge, Shannon McIntosh, Zach Veach, Spencer Pigot, and Sage Karam.

As a member at the IndyCar Garage, you can upload photos, customize your own garage page, and become friends with other members of IndyCar Garage. With over 800 members of IndyCar Garage, there are several INDYCAR fans to engage with.  Some of the featured members on IndyCar Garage are VERSUS Pit Reporter and TV personality Lindy Thackston, Andretti Autosport Star Mazda driver Sage Karam, and some of the most passionate INDYCAR fans on the planet.

IndyCar Garage also has partnership with OpenPaddock.net, where they have guest blogged, and also have content featured on the forum page. If you don’t vote for IndyCar Garage for the virtual Indy500 , we encourage you to vote for our partners over at OpenPaddock.

To conclude, IndyCar Garage would love to have your vote for the Virtual Indy500 , and we encourage you to check out our site at www.IndyCarGarage.com.  The topics and opinions on IndyCar Garage are very constructive and positive about INDYCAR and we strive to enjoy the best sport in the world, INDYCAR Racing.

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.

This entry is one in a continuing series which discusses the images from the IndyCar.com photo gallery.  This entry reviews the story behind a photo taken at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 16, 2011.

MLB Legend Randy Johnson shooting some photos of the on-track action

At each IZOD IndyCar event, it is not unusual for us to shoot photos of celebrities.  On some occasions, the celebrities are there are to promote their latest television show, movie or album.  Other times, it may be a local celebrity or sports star who is there to cross-promote another event in the area.  Some examples this season include Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Player Vincent Lecavalier, who exchanged jerseys with Alex Tagliani at St. Petersburg, 2003 American Idol Winner Ruben Studdard who sang the National Anthem at Barber, and Chef/TV Host Gordon Ramsay who was the Grand Marshall at Long Beach.

During IndyCar Qualifying at Long Beach, I went out to an area we refer to as the “peninsula.”  From this area, you can see the cars after they exit turn 9, work through turn 10, and take the final hairpin corner as they head down the main straight.  As I walked towards the hairpin, I noticed a photographer was on one knee shooting through one of the photo holes.  Some people have to lean over a little to shoot through the photo holes, but I have never seen a photographer so tall that they had to get down on one knee to shoot.

As I got a closer, I realized who it was.  It was retired Major League Baseball pitcher Randy Johnson whose nickname is “The Big Unit.”  For those of you not familiar with Randy, he was in the Major Leagues for 22 seasons.  He was a 10 time all-star and a 5 time Cy Young award winner (awarded to the top pitcher in his League).  During his career, he threw 2 no-hitters including a perfect game, and he was co-winner of the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 2001.  Also, he stands 6 feet 10 inches, thus the need to get down on a knee to shoot through the photo hole.

I had the opportunity to talk to Randy during a break in qualifying.  He wasn’t there to promote anything; he was simply there to be one of us – a credentialed event photographer.  Randy took photo journalism classes while he was at USC, and since his retirement from baseball after the 2009 season, he re-discovered his passion for photography.  I learned this was his first time to shoot an IndyCar event, but he has shot a NASCAR race and an NHRA event.  We talked a little about his minor league days with the Indianapolis Indians, and he said while he was with the Indians he attended an Indy 500 practice session.

Randy, if you happen to read this, we are glad you joined us at Long Beach, and we hope you enjoyed the weekend. Leave a message below if you’re interested in sharing some of the photos you shot over Long Beach weekend with our fans on IndyCar.com.

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.

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 Auto Racing News 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!

AUTORACINGNEWS.ORG | WebsiteFacebook Twitter “Off-the-beaten path features, analysis and storytelling of lesser-known or hidden aspects of the IZOD IndyCar Series.”

Auto Racing News is a multidimensional media outlet committed to not simply informing IndyCar fans about Series developments, in the way that traditional sports journalists do, but going beyond race results and driver statistics by engaging fans on an emotional level through provocative and unique content.

Partnered with The Big Lead, an edgy sports blog (think Sports Illustrated meets The Huffington Post) that attracts more than 15 million unique visitors a month, Auto Racing News pads race coverage with off-the-beaten path features, analysis and storytelling (consider:  “What IndyCar Drivers Can Learn From Tommy Lasorda”, “Did IndyCar Break Up Motley Crue?”) of lesser-known or hidden aspects of the IZOD IndyCar Series.

New for 2011 is the loosely defined “Racing Reads” section that highlights books (old and new) that tell compelling stories about earlier days of racing or that bring to light cultural icons whose lives have intersected with open-wheel racing.  The “Behind the Scenes” pieces shed insight into unconsidered sides of the sport such as potential career paths for fans interested in combining their passion for IndyCar with employment opportunities.

IndyCar coverage on Auto Racing News is written by Robyn Lynne Schechter, a motorsports attorney and freelance writer, who lives in Los Angeles, California.  Unlike the well-established elements of IndyCar’s press corp, she enjoys complete creative freedom from Auto Racing New’s owner and editor-in-chief Dale Ford, and is not obliged to write six paragraphs each race about Danica Patrick regardless of where she places. With no political agenda to adhere to, a passion for storytelling and knowledge of the sport, Schechter is able to connect readers to the sport on diverse levels.

Auto Racing News readers can also feel good about this:  each time they read a story on autoracingnews.org, a child fighting cancer benefits.

All advertising revenue generated by Auto Racing News in 2011 will be donated to Racing For Cancer.  Racing For Cancer is a non-profit organization whose global ambassador is IZOD IndyCar Series driver, and recently appointed LIVESTRONG Global Envoy, Ryan Hunter-Reay.  Some of Racing For Cancer proceeds will be used to finance its “Children’s Cancer Fighter of the Race” program.  Through this program, one young child who is battling cancer is given an invitation to an IZOD IndyCar Series race and VIP treatment throughout the weekend at some of the races throughout the season. Other programs under development will be supported as Racing for Cancer expands its support to the cancer community going forward.

Know everything there is to know about racing? Run a website dedicated to motorsports? Think you could race head-to-head with IZOD IndyCar Series drivers and survive to share the story with your fans? Here’s your chance:

Journalists know that sometimes to get the story you have to be part of it. Tell us why you deserve the chance to compete against nine of your fellow motorsports writers in a virtual Indy 500 race on Carb Day – May 27th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The winner of the Carb Day race will receive the opportunity to compete in the A.J. Foyt Day Shootout on Saturday, May 28th against up to 3 Indy 500 drivers.

We’ve lined up some great swag for participants and winners of the event including an enhanced Indy 500 Race Day experience. Plus, we’ll work with the top ten motorsports writers to identify promotional opportunities online to support your coverage of the month of May. Want your chance to jump in the driver’s seat? Find out how below.

Not  a motorsports writer and/or unable to be in the Indianapolis-area this May? Keep an eye out on the IndyCar.com blog to learn how you’ll decide which motorsports writers will represent fans best at this year’s Virtual Indy 500!

Requirements:

  • Shoot a DM to @INDYCAR on Twitter (or leave a comment on this post) telling us why you should rep for motorsports writers at this year’s Indianapolis 500. We’ll hit you back with details on how to “officially” stake your claim.
  • Be available and in Indianapolis for Carb Day (Friday – May 27th) and A.J. Foyt Day (Saturday – May 28th).
  • Register on iRacing.com when requested.

What is the Virtual Indy 500?

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and iRacing.com have partnered up to conduct a worldwide competition celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.  The race will be held in 3 parts: online qualifier, local contesting, and the Virtual Indy 500 Event. The online qualifier series will consist of a 2 week long online time-trial qualification on iRacing.com. All current iRacing members are invited to participate.  Non-iRacing members are encouraged to “Race it before you watch it” and join with a discounted special offering.

Find out more information on the event, discover what prizes are in store for participants /winners, and catch video highlights from last year on IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com.

This is the second entry in a series which discusses the making of an image from the IndyCar.com photo gallery. This entry discusses a photo that was taken at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 27, 2011.

Inside Shot: Honda GP of St. Pete

Keep reading to find out more about this shot

Each race weekend, we have a number of photo assignments.  The list includes such items as press conferences, driver autograph sessions, the Peak Pole Award, pre-race activities and victory lane.  We also shoot a lot of on-track action, the crews at work in the pits, and scenes from the Paddock.  One of the other items on our list each week is the start of the race.

Since we had several IndyCar photographers at St. Petersburg, we each went to different locations for the start of the race.  I was shooting through a photo-hole in the fence at the end of the long front straight that leads to Turn 1.  We knew this would be a good place to get shots of the cars just after they took the green.  Also, based on past races at St. Pete, Turn 1 has been the site of a number of “racing incidents” (last year, James Hinchcliffe was taken out in a first lap incident during the Firestone Indy Lights race).

If you watched the race or saw any of the highlights, you know Marco Andretti was involved in a big accident in Turn 1 on the first lap.  Knowing there was a possibility of an incident, I had the shutter speed turned up higher than normal.  Generally we shoot action shots at a speed of less than 1/1000 of a second so you don’t stop the motion of the tires, but for the start, I was shooting at 1/1400 of a second since we like to stop the action when there is an incident.

As the incident ensued, the primary cars involved moved out of range from my photo hole. We never like to see accidents, but if there is one, we hope no one is injured, and we hope we catch the action so we can share it with the fans who visit IndyCar.com.

Next up, an image from the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

It was late on a cold winter day as I was working on livery designs for the ever popular INDYCAR.com “Design It” program that I got a phone call from a strange number. “Hello — This is Mike”, I said… “Mike, I’ve seen your designs on INDYCAR.com and wanted you to design a car for me,” said the caller. “Certainly, who’s this?” I replied. “This is Jay Penske.”

Understandably, I was shocked and honored. Here was the son of the greatest car owner in motorsports, calling me to design the car they’d race in the 2008 INDYCAR season, the popular Symantec #12 Dallara for Luczo Dragon Racing. He’d been a big fan of my designs on INDYCAR.com and gotten in touch with me. I got to work immediately!

Fast forward a few years, a few new friendships, and several years of designs for Luczo Dragon/ DeFerran Dragon Racing, to February 2011. The news had recently broken that DeFerran Dragon racing was ceasing operations. Soon after, the phone rang with another opportunity from Jay and team manager John “JC” Cummiskey. Jay, JC and a skeleton crew were working hard to put together a program to keep Dragon Racing alive and needed my help in designing liveries for sponsorship proposals. One of those designs, came to life this past weekend when INDYCAR star Paul Tracy took the reigns of the Ralph’s Supermarkets / Pepsi / Frito Lay / Rockstar Energy Drink / Berringer Vineyards Dallara at Long Beach Grand Prix for Dragon Racing.

Paul Tracy at Long Beach

Paul Tracy at Long Beach

Dragon Racing has always been wonderful when it comes to my creative freedom. I’m generally given a sponsor or two and am free to “go for it” to come up with an eye-catching design. This makes the design process much simpler, as there is no “box” to stay within. The design process for this particular car was quite simple once I got started. Ralph’s has such an iconic, clean, and classic logo that I wanted to make sure the paint scheme fit along with it. I also wanted to incorporate the Red/Black/White colors synonymous with the Dragon Racing logo. We also wanted to be sure to cleanly blend the logos of PT’s wonderful sponsor, Motegi Wheels into the mix.

The best way to accomplish this, was a white base. After sorting logo placements for Ralph’s, Motegi, and other partners I went to work sketching different line schemes on the model until I ended up with the design that will be raced on Sunday.

One of the benefits to working in 3D as I do is the ability to “rotate” the car at any angle needed. I was able to design this car, along with all others in the past, by sketching directly on a virtual INDYCAR, just like it were sitting in front of me. This is a benefit over working in 2D, for me, because I’m able to better visualize the final product at a multitude of viewing angles without redrawing the design multiple times at multiple angles. Until the next time, happy designing!

Earlier this week, on our Facebook page we posted a photo of Will Power and asked fans to provide captions for the image. We’ve selected the top five submissions (from a total of 200 comments) and are now asking fans to vote for their favorite. The winner with the highest number of votes by 11:59PM EST on Thursday, April 14 will receive an IndyCar Prize Pack. Fans can Tweet @IndyCar their favorite caption or leave their choice below!

Jump!

Fans, you decide what the caption on this Will Power photo should say!

1. Jarod Chown “After winning at Barber, Will Power auditioned for Dancing with the Stars.”

2. Chad Hayes – “I know you can hear me, but can you SEE ME NOW?!”

3. Eric Jones – “Stick the landing!”

4. Shelly Lynn Rees – “I didn’t know that was an eject button.”

5. Kyle Crass – “I have to go now. My planet needs me.”