Posts Tagged ‘ Martin Plowman ’

Two whirlwind months were capped for Nicole Pollard when Miss Indiana Audra Casterline was crowned June 21 in Zionsville.

The reason: Pollard, who served as Miss Indiana 2009 operates Next Level Pageantry, a consulting business for pageant contestants. She gives help with everything from tips on how to gracefully handle the interview portion of competition to how to walk across a stage confidently in a swimsuit. At the same time, she’s Verizon IndyCar Series driver Martin Plowman’s fiancée.

Miss Indiana 2009 Nicole Pollard, IndyCar driver Martin Plowman's fiancee, spent a lot of time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. When she wasn't talking racing, she was talking pageant preparations with this year's Miss Indiana contestants.


The two roles kept her busy during Spring 2014 as Plowman prepared for his first Indianapolis 500 in May while would-be pageant royals turned to Pollard for her expertise.

That meant that after the Indianapolis 500 Victory Banquet on May 26, when most of the IndyCar community was taking a breather, Pollard switched gears from racing to pageant preparations. She didn’t stop until pageant season was over.

Pollard and Plowman were in the audience for the Miss Indiana finals .

She learned about racing through her romance with the English driver and Plowman learned about pageants.

“I started dating Martin after I was crowned Miss Indiana but before I went on to Miss America so I was full-fledged in preparing. It was a weird way to invite (a person) into your life,” said Pollard. “One of my best friends, Rachel (Vogle, of Indianapolis) pulled him aside and said, ‘you need to understand how important this is to Nicole.’ She said, ‘it’s like if you could only compete in the Indy 500 once in your life.’”

That’s when Plowman seemed to really understand Pollard’s Miss America bid – she didn’t win but she placed in the top 15.

“He was very supportive once he grasped the concept of it being that one shot and you’re done,” Pollard said. “He flew out to Las Vegas to watch me compete. The first pageant he had ever gone to and he got to see the biggest pageant in the nation.”

The perfect wedding gift for royals

Posted on: April 26, 2011 | Comments(2) | Drivers | By: Dave

Above gas prices and overspending for the 2012 Summer Games in London, the talk of the town in the United Kingdom is the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29 at Westminster Abbey.

There’s a thriving business of commemorative items for sale — mugs with the mugs of the happy couple, thimbles, plates and T-shirts, etc. – and more than 4,500 street parties have been licensed.

So if IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights drivers who are subjects of the Crown were invited to the nuptials, what would they present as a gift? A sampling:

James Hinchcliffe (Canada): A gourmet bottle of maple syrup.

Alex Lloyd (UK): I would give the couple a pair of Indy 500 tickets. They can pay their own expenses, and get the opportunity to mingle with Mr. Trump. The Donald and Kate could enjoy a nice discussion about hair pieces.

Martin Plowman (UK): After thinking for a long time about what I would take as a wedding gift, I was torn between a toaster and a blender, as I’m unsure which one they needed more. On second thought, (girlfriend) Nicole is telling me that she would gladly be their ‘gift’ as she could fill in for Kate in all Princess roles.

Mike Conway (UK): Since they probably have everything, I’d take a certificate for a two-seater ride with me as the driver.

Paul Tracy (Canada): I’d bring a hockey stick for “Kate the Commoner” to whip out when William steps out of line.

James Winslow (UK): I’d probably take them a sponsorship package proposal … there are quite a few Brits here in Firestone Indy Lights and IndyCar, so it only makes sense for them to sponsor a team.

Stefan Wilson (UK): They’ll get plenty of nice china sets; I’d give them one of those souvenir Royal Wedding tea sets with their faces on it.

Justin Wilson (UK): I have no idea what I would get them.  (Wife) Julia is the gift buyer in the family.  I’m a guy; we’re lucky if we remember the day, so when it comes to the gift for the Royal Wedding I don’t have a clue what I would get.

As members of the media, Brant James and Tony Fabrizio are used to getting interviews from winning race drivers.

On March 8, the reporters were giving interviews after winning the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg  Media Go-Kart Enduro at Andersen Race Park in Palmetto, Fla.

James, who covers motorsports for SI.com, and Fabrizio, the motorsports reporter for the Tampa Tribune, teamed with Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg VP/GM Tim Ramsberger and IZOD IndyCar Series driver Alex Tagliani to win the 50-minute go-kart race.

“I’m not going to say it was fixed, but look at our team,” James joked as he pointed to Ramsberger on the podium following the event.

Hail to the victors.

Media and VIPs were allocated to nine teams of three and joined by professional racing drivers who will compete in the five series that will race on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., later this month.

The Mazda Road to Indy was well-represented with Shannon McIntosh, Zach Veach and Spencer Pigot attending for the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda, Nick Andries and Joao Horto representing the Star Mazda Championship and Martin Plowman and Tagliani representing the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Andries, a St. Petersburg-area native who will race on the streets of St. Petersburg for the first time, topped the field to take the fastest lap award.

“I have a little unfair advantage over the others because I’ve been here so many times,” said Andries, who nearly ran down Veach’s Team Rocket kart for second place. “ I think if Veach or Plowman had more time here, they would have been closer.”

The star of the day, though, may have been Veach, who finished second though Tagliani accused of having an unfair advantage because of his small stature.

“I’m glad Zach is here because I’m not the shortest,” said Tagliani, who carried the teenage racer over his shoulder and lifted him over his head. “But how much weight do we get to add to his kart?”

Veach’s weight advantage, though, helped Tagliani in the race as the pair used a stock car-style bump draft to gain on their competitors.

“You saw the Daytona 500,” Tagliani told Veach. “Some people are pushers, and some get pushed. You my friend are definitely a pusher.”

Turns out Tagliani didn’t need the push.

Similar to other Midwestern cities this week, Indianapolis was slammed with ice and snow storms causing team shops and even the INDYCAR offices to take a snow day. Despite the weather (and a newly formed ice rink in the INDYCAR parking lot) nothing can stop the momentum towards an exciting 2011 season.

Fans can now follow Verizon Team Penske driver, Will Power, on Twitter @12WillPower

Fans can now follow Verizon Team Penske driver, Will Power, on Twitter @12WillPower

Let’s start with Social Media (I might be partial) this week Verizon Team Penske driver, Will Power joined Twitter as @12WillPower. I know, I know, this is not the biggest news in racing per-say. BUT, it is a big deal when you consider the fact that now IZOD IndyCar Series fans can get live updates directly from Will. There’s nothing cooler at the track than an all-access pass, right? Well consider this piece of news to be your year-round all-access pass to learning more about one of your favorite drivers. This week, Will Power could also be found blogging on SpeedTV.com (check it out here). In the blog, Power shares what he’s been doing in the off-season to physically and mentally prepare for the 2011 season.

Will Power was not the only driver caught blogging this week. Ryan Briscoe shared his Super Bowl plans with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Australian ‘Cheesehead’ had plenty to say about the Packers and why he’s a fan. (Check out Ryan’s first post here and second post here). Read more about how Briscoe and his fellow Penske drivers, Helio Castroneves and Will Power, will be spending Super Bowl Sunday here.

Penske also announced new sponsors for their 2011 rides in Guidepoint and PPG. Check out two new schemes that will be on track this season:

Team Penske Guidepoint No. 6 car

No. 6 Guidepoint Team Penske IndyCar

Team Penske PPG No. 6 car

No. 6 PPG Team Penske IndyCar

From Social Media let’s jump over to this week’s announcement that Takuma Sato and E.J. Viso will return as anchors for the 2011 season at KV Racing Technology-Lotus (read more here). In the article, Viso shares the positive steps taken in 2010 that have the teamed poised for success in 2011. Lotus’ motorsport director, Claudio Berro wants fans to know that “last year was all about learning. This year, we would really like to achieve some podium finishes.”

Fans were excited to hear that Sebastien Bourdais spent this past week testing with Dale Coyne Racing along with Martin Plowman (full article here). Andretti Autosport unveiled that Mike Conway will be their fourth man in a 2011 line-up that already includes Marco Andretti, Danica Patrick and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Find out more about what Conway’s done to rehab from last season’s Indianapolis 500 injuries here.

Edmonton Indy promoters plan to unveil the race’s new circuit layout and ticket plans this Tuesday, February 8 (read more here). So far, they have only shared that the new layout places a few grandstands incredibly close to racing action — something that should get fans excited for Edmonton. Keep an eye on IndyCar.com for the new circuit layout as soon as it’s announced.

Today the Super Bowl takes place in Dallas, Texas, so I will close with a little humor from nearby Texas Motor Speedway which found itself covered in snow just a few days ago. Check out their Facebook page for a photo of the track.

We’re officially seven (7) weeks away from the start of the 2011 IndyCar season, what in the news this week has you most excited?

Sarah Fisher Reflects on the Troops Tour

Posted on: January 25, 2011 | Comments (1) | Drivers | By: Admin

The Indy 500 centennial Tour was a 10-day goodwill trip to Europe and the Middle East with the goal of boosting the morale of more than 10,000 service men and women the group will meet.The team, which included Indianapolis 500 winners Mario Andretti, Johnny Rutherford and Al Unser Jr. plus Indy 500 veterans Sarah Fisher, Davey Hamilton, Larry Foyt and Firestone Indy Lights race winner Martin Plowman, gave motivational talks and participated in autograph and Q & A sessions, meet and greets and photo opportunities. Below, Sarah Fisher reflects upon the tour:

They told me at the beginning, that I would be sad to go home even though I would miss my spouse, family and friends, they were right. The past ten days have been the most incredible experience I have been a part of. To say the least, I will be forever grateful for our military and their dedication to keeping us safe. Three troops were in the hallway at the airport as I was making my way to the Indianapolis gate, and I couldn’t help notice the difference in my gratefulness towards them just seeing them on their way. Yes, this trip has changed my life.

Mario Andretti said the whole tour that being in the military was the noblest profession. I couldn’t agree more.

The impact of being a part of the Indianapolis 500 Centinneal Tour in the Middle East, has made a massive difference in the respect and thankfulness for the men and women who serve on behalf of our country. You really think you get it, know what lies ahead for them, but when you see it up close and personal it delivers a new dimension of understanding.

Mario Andretti with Sarah Fisher

Mario Andretti and Sarah Fisher

I have been asked to identify my most favorite memory from the trip and after thinking intensively about what that would be, I am left with a much broader perspective. The memory I have is landing in Balad, my heart racing, not knowing what it was going to be like as we donned our body armor and helmet. What was it going to look like when they lowered the rear door on the C130. Everyone on the tour was quiet. Surely I am not the only one who was a bit nervous. Knowing that we were going to be in pretty good hands, and still having my heart race, what do our troops feel like? It has to be a level of apprehension beyond the starting grid of the Indy 500.

Every hand I shook this week, had shaken all on its own at some point during their own tour. The Indy 500 can be scary, intimidating, but not compared to the environment our soldiers voluntarily commit themselves to.

Sarah Fisher with the Indy 500 Centennial Tour themed IZOD IndyCar Series two-seater

Sarah Fisher with the Indy 500 Centennial Tour themed IZOD IndyCar Series two-seater

The confidence in their teams was also another wide spread perspective. At 230 mph, I trust whole heartedly that my teammates will have my car 100%. The same applies to each soldier standing side by side in their mission. Learning about the F16 crew and what it takes to run that squadron rin Balad, I was introduced to one of their “crew chiefs.” His duties resembled our own crew chief identically. Although his name was on the aircraft, maybe we can make room on ours somewhere from here on out… Seeing the Joint Base of Balad, brought home the reality and seriousness of their surroundings.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank our airmen, soldiers, for taking the vow to protect our country, to protect our freedom and give me the hope that knows they will come home safe.

Sarah Fisher poses with a C17 Pilot

Sarah Fisher poses with a C17 Pilot

See more of what Sarah Fisher had to say on the Indianapolis 500 Centennial Troops Tour by visiting SarahFisherRacing.com.

Indy 500 Centennial Tour Fast Facts:

  • Total air mileage traveled on this tour was 16,600 miles
  • 2-seat car was driven at four locations: Bahrain, Incirlik Turkey, RAF Mildenhall and RAF Honington (British Base) in the UK
  • Total rides given to troops on entire tour were 254
  • People traveling on the tour included 27 people with Morale Entertainment group and 10 Air Force crew members on the KC-135 for a total of 37
  • The tour visited troops at 7 bases in Germany, Bahrain, Joint Base Balad – Iraq, Turkey and the United Kingdom and visited the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier (that has 4,900 total personnel sailing aboard)
  • Members of the tour also supported a US State Department request at Cukurova University in Adana, Turkey.

Want more on the Indianapolis 500 Centennial Troops Tour?

Review the IndyCar.com running update from the tour here.

See more photos from the Troops Tour here.

Review videos of the tour on YouTube including Send-off, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3Day 4Day 5 and Day 6.

Read an ESPN recap by Mario Andretti and Sarah Fisher by clicking here.

When I was a kid, Christmas used to be easy. I’d write my letter to Santa, asking him for the latest slot car set or hot wheels track so my brother and I could live our dreams of the Indy 500.Nowadays, it’s not so easy.

We still make lists in my family, but gifts are so much more practical. I take gift giving seriously, so if you’re like me and you’ve stumped your family on what they should get their favorite INDYCAR fan for Christmas? Here are a few suggestions from my lists of Christmases past. (Note to my family, I already have most of this so, don’t bother).

JIM SWINTAL PRINTS

You may know Jim Swintal as the longtime starter of CART or the current voice of INDYCAR’s race control, but he’s also an accomplished motorsports artist. Two of his latest prints involve the Firestone Indy Lights and both are available on his website.

LEARNING CURVE

“In regard to “Learning Curve,” the title of the JK Vernay Champion’s painting, it’s the most recent of fourteen paintings commissioned by Firestone since they entered the series as title sponsor. The first piece I did was for Eric Bachelart’ s championship back in 1991. When Firestone rejoined the ’second era’ of the series in 2008, we picked it right back up again. I always select an important moment to portray in the champion’s painting and JK made a decisive pass on James Hinchcliffe for the lead at the Watkins Glen ‘bus stop’ chicane. I knew it was big as soon as I saw it on the monitors from race control, so at the end of the day I went out there with a camera while everything was being packed up and recorded the reference photos and angles of the background that I needed.

Vernay

JK Vernay painting

25 YEARS of Champions

“The “25 Years of Champions” painting honoring Roger Bailey was a thrill because I’ve been involved with the series for so long. It was my first officiating gig as the Starter for the first Indy Lights Series in the early Nineties, and Roger played a large part in the decision to let me up there! Tony George Jr. and Arni Sribhen with the series deserve the credit for coming up with the painting idea and I just filled in with the ‘ 25 Champion’s’ bit as I had already created images of 13 of the cars. I created smaller versions of those same car images from the champion’s paintings over again and found suitable angles for the rest, back to 1986. The only one I needed help on was Jon Beekhuis’ 1988 winner. I remembered a red, white and blue paint scheme but I only had a black and white reference photo. Jon helped out by showing me a video that was made of his ‘88 Mid-Ohio victory, which he ran for me in the broadcast booth in Sonoma.”

Bailey

Roger Bailey "25 Years of Champions"

IRACING SUBSCRIPTION

You may never run 225 mph down the Frontstretch at Indianapolis in a real IZOD IndyCar Series machine, but with iRacing.com’s simulator, you can in a virtual replica of the Dallara/Honda/Firestone that races every May.  An added surprise is that you may end up racing against IZOD IndyCar Series drivers as Justin Wilson, Will Power and Martin Plowman are avid users of the game. For just $24.00, get a three month iRacing.com membership, and the Dallara IndyCar for FREE!

INDY 500: A CENTURY OF EXCITEMENT BOOK

Officially licensed in cooperation with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis 500: A Century of Excitement celebrates the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 and is a must-have for any fan of the 500. Ralph Kramer’s book features beautiful photos and an eloquent foreword by David Letterman, which are the highlights of the book for me. I’ve heard that even Randy Bernard is giving these as gifts this holiday season.

RETRO IZOD T-SHIRTS

Classic liveries of winning Indianapolis 500-winning cars inspired IZOD to create a line of t-shirts that make a great gift for race fans. Drivers such as Bobby Unser , Mark Donohue, Bill Vukovich and Ray Harroun are honored by the 100-percent cotton shirts.

While it may be too late to grab these items for the holidays, keep in mind that birthdays are a good time to gift these items as well. What did you buy for your favorite INDYCAR fan this Christmas?

[ADMIN NOTE: Indy Lights drivers Martin Plowman and James Hinchcliffe were in Kansas this past weekend, performing their duties as Pace Car drivers. Check out what they got into, or their blog first post, here.]

Windy Kansas

The weekend got off to a windy start

Martin Plowman

Kansas marked the first weekend that James and I travelled to a non-Firestone Indy Lights race weekend together as part of the Pace Car Team, and it didn’t disappoint. “Hinch and Plowey” sounds like a circus sideshow; we are more like a circus freak show! But less talk about Hinch and more talk about our weekend.

First off, we flew out to sunny Kansas (ironic comment), bright and early Friday morning. We were flying out in style on the IRL’s private jet out of Indianapolis International Airport. We rocked into the INDYCAR aviation hanger, walked inside, no check in lines, no security lines, nothing. “This is the life,” I thought. That was until we boarded the plane, sat down in the second row behind IRL CEO Randy Bernard, and prepared to taxi to the runway.

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[Admin Note - This is the first blog post from IndyCar's Pace Car Team featuring Indy Lights drivers Martin Plowman, Stefan Wilson, James Hinchcliffe and Charlie Kimball (Stefan took this post off). They'll be blogging throughout the season bringing you their own perspective on the Indy Lights season, life and driving the pace car. IndyCar.com wrote about them earlier this season. Enjoy.]

Nice Accords

The Honda Accord Pace Cars

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