Posts Tagged ‘ izod indycar series ’

IZOD IndyCars. What do you think of when you see one? High speeds? Handling? Indianapolis? Ethanol? Iowa?

What about G-forces? If you go far enough down your list you might think of it.

We all have heard this line before: “All they do is turn left; it can’t be that hard.” IndyCar drivers who currently race at Iowa Speedway will argue it’s much harder than just turning left.

During the 2010 Indianapolis 500, the pole sitter Helio Castroneves had a four-lap average of 227.9710 mph. His teammate from Penske Racing, Will Power won the pole here in Iowa with a four-lap average of 181.337 or about 17.5 seconds.

Kelby Krauss, Senior Manager of PR at Target Chip Ganassi Racing, consented to help out with this month’s blog. He contacted engineers on the team who provided the information you’re about to read.

Forces at Indianapolis, a 2.5-mile oval, for when a driver completes a lap under a 40 seconds will peak right at about 4 G’s, and the time spent feeling over 1 G of force(1 G is the force you feel sitting at your desk chair) is 21 seconds or 50% of the lap.

Iowa Corn Indy 250

Catch the Iowa Corn Indy 250 on June 25

At Texas, a 1.5-mile high banked oval (24 degrees), the lap time is about 24.5 seconds; max G’s are 4.5 and drivers will feel more than 1 G for 18.5 seconds or 76% of the lap.

For drivers that compete in the Iowa Corn Indy 250, which takes place on a .875-mile oval with compound banking in the turns of 12-13-14, the forces are much different. Though drivers ‘only’ feel forces greater than 1 G for 75% of the lap, drivers will consistently hit G-forces over 5. A driver weighing 155 will feel like they’re 775 pounds at 5 G’s. Quick note: If you feel 5 G’s for more than a couple seconds you will start to lose consciousness.

Iowa Corn Indy 250

Catch the Iowa Corn Indy 250 on June 25

With long straight-aways at Texas and Indianapolis, IndyCar drivers can rest, check gauges, think of how they’ll setup a pass and breath in-between turns. Typically about seven seconds between turns. At Iowa, however, drivers only get a break from these forces for about two seconds — if you can call that a break.

Plus, being a short track, drivers are much busier turning the wheel, watching out for traffic, getting back to the gas, etc., as everything is more compact.

These numbers are pretty mind blowing. So — just because Indy cars are slower in Iowa than other ovals, do not think for one second that it is easier!

Catch the G’s and excitement during this year’s Iowa Corn Indy 250 on June 25th. Thanks for reading. Please keep your comments and suggestions coming. We’re listening – and thanks again for the support!

Dario Franchitti sits down and tells CNN why he’s sticking with IndyCar. View video interview below. Full story available here.

“There are a lot of drivers that talk about wanting to race in INDYCAR. We believe that the skill set it takes and just the toughness and willpower to get behind the wheel of these cars is pretty amazing.” -Randy Bernard (Read more about the $5 Million Dollar Challenge at the IZOD IndyCar World Championships)

It’s your turn: tell us what skills a driver needs to be successful in multiple series. Are you a fan of drivers that compete in multiple series such as Danica Patrick, or do you prefer to see drivers stick to their “roots?” Which drivers do you think have what it takes to compete for the $5 Million Dollar purse at the IZOD IndyCar World Championships this October?

This is the first of a blog series which will discuss the making of an image from the photo gallery.  This entry discusses a photo that was taken at the Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park on March 15, 2011.

Barber Open Test

The Barber Open Test was “Spring Training” for the drivers, the teams, the officials, and the photographers.  Just like the teams need to get the rust out of their system, so do the photographers.  Even though we shoot various assignments during the off-season, we haven’t shot cars racing at over 200 mph since early October.  We also had an opportunity to get accustomed to the driver and sponsor changes.

Our goals for the Open Test included getting lots of images of each driver, each car on the track, and each team in action.  These photos will be used for, race programs, team PR, and other media uses.  Also, since it was my first visit to Barber, it gave me a chance to learn the track layout and find good shooting locations for our return in April for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

One of the locations I liked best was between turns 8 and 9 where I shot with a 500 mm lens.  The 500 mm lens is a fixed focal length lens that is the biggest and most expensive lens we regularly use (it weighs nearly 10 pounds).  With the 500 mm lens at this location, I could look up the track and shoot the cars coming towards me after they took the downhill right-hand turn at turn 8.  Between turns 8 and 9, there is a slight left hand turn where many of the cars were running over the curbing and getting their front tires in the air.  From that turn they continued downhill past me and went through a sweeping right-hand turn.

During one of the sessions I was at that location, after Helio Castroneves passed the point I was shooting, he lost control and started spinning through the gravel sand trap.  When his spin started, he was right across from me.  Since the 500 mm lens has such a strong magnification, the initial shots I took of his spin show just the front quarter of his car and gravel shooting up in the air.  As he continued to spin down the hill, he moved farther from me as he slid out of the sand and back on the track.  He eventually got on the gas to do a partial “donut” to turn his car around.  As he started the donut and lit up his tires, he was pointed right at me, and I was able to get the shot above.  The picture you see has been cropped since he perfectly filled the frame.

Next up, an image from the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Earlier this week, on our Facebook page we posted a photo and asked fans to provide captions for the image. We’ve selected the top five submissions (from a whopping total of 404 comments — and yep, we read and enjoyed every single one of them) and are now asking fans to vote for their favorite. The winner with the highest number of votes by 11:59PM EST on Sunday, April 3 will receive an IndyCar Prize Pack. Fans can Tweet @IndyCar their favorite caption or leave their choice below!

Congratulations to our winner Bob McBride for captioning this photo of Simona de Silvestro:


“Anyone know if Mike Cannon took something with him when he left this week?!?!”

1. Bob McBride- “Anyone know if Mike Cannon took something with him when he left this week?!?!”

2. Brian Lekander- “Visualization exercise of the new 2012 chassis…”

3. John Greenup- “I said change the TIRES!”

4. Chris Johnson- “Wonder woman, aint got nothing on me!”

5. Bill McAllister- “I’ve heard of “Indy Lights” but this is ridiculous!”

To start, I have a confession to make. I test drive cars with no intention of buying them. If it’s a sunny and warm Sunday afternoon and I have nothing better to do, I will haul myself up to a car dealership part of town (yep, you know the areas I’m talking about, where you can hit up six dealerships on the same road) and I will happily park my 2005 Ford Taurus (it’s the ugliest shade of green) and locate a salesperson.

I’ve driven BMW’s, Jeeps, Nissans, Honda Pilots (my secret first choice for when I’m a full-fledged soccer mom), and a variety of Cadillacs (always with the windows rolled down and rap music blasting). Yet for six years now, I’ve driven the very same Ford Taurus and have no immediate intentions of selling my “whip” and to much chagrin, I’m sure, from the many salespersons I’ve encountered on my Sunday drives.

My confession having been made, when I heard that Chip Ganassi drivers Scott Dixon and Jamie McMurray were about to swap rides for the day at Barber Motorsports Park I thought, wow, I get it. (Not sure what I’m talking about, read more on the swap here and check out video of the swap here.)

Scott Dixon and Jamie McMurray

Scott Dixon gives Jamie McMurray pointers on handling an IndyCar

What do I get? It’s that secret thrill of sliding into the driver’s seat of a car that isn’t yours and attempting to get comfortable in an awkward and different environment. How do the brakes feel? Can I go from zero to sixty (well, okay, in their case a bit faster) in under a minute? How do I shift? Do I need to adjust the mirrors?

Scott Dixon climbs into a Stock Car

Scott Dixon climbs into McMurray's stock car

These questions and more run through your mind when testing a different car but so does the important question, “Is this the kind of car I can see myself in for years to come.” For Dixon and McMurray, it’s no different. The question, which they may joke about after getting out of the cars, still surfaces in a far corner of their mind. In racing, it does happen. Drivers go from open-wheel racing to stock cars and back again. In even some cases, such as Danica Patrick, both.

Jamie McMurray and Scott Dixon at Talladega

Jamie McMurrary and Scott Dixon pose together at Barber

Perhaps the drivers emerged the same way I did when I test drove a Subaru. It was great, handled well but I could not picture myself taking on the lifestyle decision that a Subaru driver must make. It’s a stigma. One that says I kayak on the weekends and always have a bag of granola and my Five Finger running shoes in the trunk. Which, scary enough is true, but was I willing to let the world know? I stuck with my Taurus that day and have yet to look back. However, there’s always that thought in my mind saying someday…. someday I’ll be ready for a change.

You may find this hard to believe, but there are actually people who don’t care for racing – I’ll pause here while you gasp in horror. When I come across these rare creatures, I generally recommend they go to a race to see what the hoopla is all about and if they don’t care about the cars to at least go for the party. What better place to combining racing and partying than at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg? (Okay, turn three of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is some stiff competition but work with me here.)


2010 Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete

Kicking off the 2011 IndyCar Season, the Honda Grand Prix or the ‘World’s Fastest Spring Break Party’ as it’s been dubbed, is one of the most well-attended events on the IndyCar Series schedule. From the Friday night festival to the post-race events on Sunday night, this is a weekend full of non-stop action both on and off of the track.

Dario and Fans

Dario Franchitti greets fans at the 2010 Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete

New to the event this year is the Trackside Club in Turn 10 where individual race goers and private groups can pay a fee to sit in the luxury of air conditioned club or adjacent grandstands; a more economical version of the Pit Lane Suite’s VIP Club. It’s the perfect place to introduce a racing newbie to the sport, entertain clients, or keep your high-maintenance girlfriend happy.

However, any real race fan knows the best way to watch a race is to be right near the track – or in this case the lovely streets of St. Petersburg. If your race guest remains unconvinced after that, you should really reconsider your company. Where ever you decide to stand or sit for this spectacular weekend of racing have fun and party safe. That means remember to hydrate, wear your sun block, and please – just don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

Local Flair

Driver banners at the 2010 Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete

When race fans think of the Iowa Corn Indy 250, they think of Father’s Day weekend and a Sunday afternoon treat. But if you were to ask race goers in Iowa — and short track fans across the country — when a race should take place, a vast majority will tell you “At night, under the lights.”

We at Iowa Speedway agree.

At night, under the lights at Iowa Speedway

At night, under the lights at Iowa Speedway

So the only race on the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule featuring cars fueled by 100 percent corn ethanol has been shifted to the weekend following Father’s Day, June 24th and 25th.

Wait! I said the 24th and 25th. Not just the night where the fastest and most versatile drivers in the world ascend the stage for the June 25th Iowa Corn Indy 250.

Friday, June 24th will also produce high speeds, if not world records, when USAC’s best start their engines and power around the Rusty Wallace-designed 7/8-mile tri-oval. It’s the first time ever USAC’s best join the multi-talented stars of IndyCar on the same weekend at Iowa Speedway. Both sanctioning bodies have been making an annual stop at the super speedway (to USAC) or short track (to IndyCar), since the first full racing season in 2007. USAC also raced in the inaugural fall race weekend in 2006.

Iowa Speedway

Iowa Speedway - The 2010 Iowa Corn Indy 225

Needless to say, we’re excited about bringing together USAC, The Mazda Road to Indy and IZOD IndyCar Series drivers for one thrill-packed weekend – and think you will be, too.

Seeing dirt Midgets and Silver Crown cars take to the track Friday night, and Star Mazda, Firestone Indy Lights and IZOD IndyCar drivers battle it out all day Saturday will truly be something an action junkie won’t want to miss.

Casey's General Stores USAC Triple Crown race in Newton, IA.

Casey's General Stores USAC Triple Crown race at Iowa Speedway

Heads or Tails? Why not both? Come out to Iowa Speedway and enjoy the 48-hour open wheel racing extravaganza. It’s also the second and last night race of 2011 for the IZOD IndyCar Series, providing the perfect cap to a best of both worlds weekend!

If you can’t tell, we’re stoked. Thanks for reading. Please keep your comments and suggestions coming. We’re listening – and thanks again for the support!

Here we go, this week in INDYCAR and we’re off to the races (well, almost). Starting with the BIG, no HUGE, announcement that Las Vegas Motor Speedway will play host to the races that will crown the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Lights champions– the IZOD IndyCar World Championship. INDYCAR will even up the ante of the IZOD IndyCar Series race by welcoming challengers to a high-stakes shootout on the high-banked oval. Read more about the $5 Million Challenge, which driver do you hope to see bid for their chance to win the IZOD IndyCar World Championship this year?

A better view of the strip.

IZOD IndyCar Series drivers prepared to take on Vegas

For fans, the announcements get even better. Purchase a ticket to any IZOD IndyCar Series race this season and you’re eligible to redeem a ticket to the season finale. Full details will be announced March 1 on “This is a time when INDYCAR can tell our fans that we thank them for their support,” said Randy Bernard earlier this week (read more about the ticket offer here). All that remains to be asked is, who’s up for a Vegas Vacation this fall?

IndyCar fans in Milwaukee got a treat on Saturday when driver, Justin Wilson, made an appearance along with the Milwaukee Bucks at the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show and then later in the day joined the NBA franchise for their game against the Chicago Bulls. The appearance is part of a series of other planned community appearances counting down the 110 days remaining until the 2011 Milwaukee Mile.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced that fans ages 9-17 will be able to visit the Gasoline Alley garage area this May 14-28 with the purchase of a Junior Garage Credential. Can’t wait for the Indianapolis 500 in May? Check out in the meantime where fans can sign up for early admission to the interactive (i.e. very cool) Indianapolis 500 website. This year’s race will also feature a noon ET start time (read about it). This week, Sam Schmidt Motorsports announced that  Jay Howard will join them in an attempt to qualify for the 100th anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500. Read more here about Howard’s first attempts to qualify for the Indy 500 in 2010 and what his goals are for the 2011 running. Are you making plans to be at this year’s race too?

Gasoline Alley

Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Fans on Twitter may have caught this week’s big announcement that this spring’s the May Indy Tweetup will present the #BeatCancer Bash in support of Racing for Cancer. New to the May Indy Tweetup? Find out what two IndyCar fans with a seemingly endless phone battery life (it’s not easy to tweet as often as you eat) and a huge passion for racing launched in 2010 and have planned for 2011.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, an ambassador for Racing for Cancer, lent his support this past week for a cross-country bike ride to raise funds and awareness for cancer. Read more about the driver’s efforts here. It’s always cool to keep tabs on what drivers are doing outside of the track, but, speaking of racing…

We’re a month away from St. Pete (a month? No, no, 25 days to be precise) and plans are underway for the party (read more here). And the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach announced this week at on April 16, a star-studded field will race over 10 laps on the Long Beach street circuit in identically prepared, race-ready Scion tCs. Get a look at the celeb line-up here.


The overhead view of the temporary street circuit in St. Petersburg for the 2010 Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete.

But first comes testing (Testing? What? Why? Read more here). It’s close, oh so close and we’re ready to watch. Team Penske’s Will Power, Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves, along with KV Racing Technology-Lotus drivers E.J. Viso and Takuma Sato, will join Chip Ganassi’s Charlie Kimball and Vitor Meira for testing on March 1 (as in, only 2 more days). Other drivers will be testing March 9-10 at Sebring International Raceway. All leading up to the March 14-15 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park. Which driver will you have your eyes on during testing?

The week started with a celebration of life service for long-time Indianapolis Motor Speedway public address announcer Tom Carnegie. Fans could view Livestream coverage of the event, which included eulogies by Sarah Fisher and Ed Carpenter, online and archived footage of the event can still be viewed here. Fan memories and tributes from Teams, Drivers, former drivers and notable members of the racing community continue to pour in. Carnegie truly was a legend.

On Tuesday, fans were given the second photo in our series of photo caption contests. This time, Helio Castroneves could be found talking race strategy. While that’s what was really happening, fans submitted some clever, funny, and, at times, off-beat captions for what Helio could possibly be saying. From over 200 comments, tweets, and messages, the field of captions was narrowed to five. Congratulations to our week 2 winner, Jeff Chiszar who wins an IndyCar prize pack and, most importantly, bragging rights. Keep on submitting those captions, we have a good photo in store for you this week.

This weekend the IZOD IndyCar Premier Series kicked off. Read more here about this INDYCAR sanctioned, 16-race, 36-week series contested online on oval road courses on alternating weekends.

In case you missed it, Chip Ganassi Racing followed up last week’s race shop  (Read about it) visit with an updated Twitter handle this week. They can now be tagged @CGRTeams. Follow them for updates on @INDYCAR and drivers Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal, Charlie Kimball, and Dario Franchitti.

Speaking of Dario, the reigning IZOD IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500 champion was inducted into the Motor Sport Magazine Hall of Fame during ceremonies this past week in London. Read more about the honor and find out which of your favorite drivers are also in the Hall of Fame by clicking here.

Franchitti is not the only driver picking up accolades this past week. Verizon Team Penske driver Will Power was voted Road Racer of the Year by the readers of RACER Magazine (Read more).

More signs of the season have emerged as work on the circuit layout  for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Read more here) and New Hampshire Motor Speedway announced plans to enhance the fan experience with more race footage and replays on a new, $1.2 million Panasonic scoreboard and video system in the middle of the infield (Full story here).

Conor Daly, Shannon McIntosh, and Bryan Clauson all found their way across the web this week. Shannon will join the Mazda Road to Indy in 2011 as part of the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda. She’ll drive the No. 2 Mazda for the 12 events for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing (More here). Bryan Clauson continued to catch fans up with an inside look at his experiences on the Mazda Road to Indy. Find out more about what he’s already doing to prepare for the season by reading BC’s Blog here. 2010 Star Mazda champion Conor Daly  (Twitter @ConorDaly22) is moving up to Firestone Indy Lights in 2011. Find out more about what the 2011 season looks like for the son of former Indianapolis 500 starter Derek Daly here. All three, Daly, Clauson, and McIntosh are drivers to keep an eye on.

Late in the week, we let it leak that this Tuesday, will give fans a chance to win something cool. Hundreds of messages poured in to say what the ideal prize for an IndyCar fan would be. Imagine our surprise when, yep, someone guessed exactly what we’re giving away. Glad to see we’ve nailed it and came up with a great prize, so stay tuned to and our Facebook and Twitter pages this Tuesday to find out how you can win.

Racing is right around the corner — 32 days until the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg!

Earlier this week, on our Facebook page we posted a photo and asked fans to provide captions for the image. We’ve selected the top five submissions (from a total of 140 comments) and are now asking fans to vote for their favorite. The winner with the highest number of votes by 11:59PM EST will receive an IndyCar Prize Pack. Fans can Tweet @IndyCar their favorite caption or leave their choice below. Congratulations to last week’s winner, Colleen Ney McGuire! Watch for another photo caption contest and your chance to win a prize from IndyCar next week!

Helio Fan Caption Contest 2-15-2011

Fans, tell us what Helio Castroneves is saying. Leave your caption below!

1. Kayle Sutton- “Look, Jack- I won Dancing with the Stars AND three Indy 500’s. I think I can handle this.”

2. Jeff Chiszar- “No, Jack… I will not pull your finger!”

3. Teri Polzin- “And then you get to do the Samba and they let us wear feathers…”

4. Tim Piper- “La, La, La, you can talk all you want, Jack, I still can’t hear a word you’re saying!”

5. Daniel Fouchey- “Yes, I know it’s a tire. We have them in Brazil too!”