Posts Tagged ‘ Mazda Road to Indy ’

Greetings from Homestead, Fla., where it is NOT in the single digit temperatures like it is in Indianapolis! I arrived yesterday for the first Firestone Indy Lights open test in advance of 2013, and currently have a great view of the road course from race control. I’m usually sitting in the media center in the infield where I don’t have a clear shot of the full track, so our Timing & Scoring staff are giving me a treat this time around.

We have nine awesome drivers out here today. Star Mazda (now Pro Mazda) is really representing, with last year’s champion Jack Hawksworth, 2012 standouts Zach Veach and Gabby Chaves and former competitor Peter Dempsey running in the top five this morning. Carlos Munoz, who’s going into his second season in Firestone Indy Lights, has been fastest all day. Check out this story on him and his quest to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 this year AND earn the Firestone Indy Lights title.

It’s great to see some familiar faces on the INDYCAR tech side and the team side. Chatting with one of them during the lunch break today, I was asked, “So…what is it you actually do here?” It’s funny how much time we spend around each other without asking that, so I didn’t mind.

During a test, I find a good place to camp (qualifiers: wi-fi, a decent view, safe to leave my things behind) with a radio so I can keep posted on what’s going on. I still have to do the things I do on a daily basis, like post to our Facebook and Twitter pages and respond to my email. Also, if we have any media attend, I work with them to make sure they have what they need and get to talk to the drivers they want interviews from. This test, we weren’t able to bring a photographer out, so I went up to the spotter stands to test my artistic abilities so I can have photos to post with web stories I’ll file after the day is over.

After the session is over and I see who’s fastest, or who went notably fast, I hunt them down during the lunch break and conduct interviews. I try not to interrupt debriefs or meal time, but I’ll take an interview with food rolling around in their mouths over no interview any day! We usually haven’t seen each other in a while, so it’s also a great time to catch up for a bit before the afternoon starts up. Today’s lunch break included new photos of Zach Veach’s puppy that he’s about to get.

From there, it’s back to my post to write and prepare stories for the new www.IndyCar.com/RoadtoIndy, where we’ll be posting all of the latest Firestone Indy Lights and Mazda Road to Indy news from now on. Hope you enjoy its new home, our web staff did a great job getting it up and ready, and we’re excited to get more news flowing through it about these great, up-and-coming drivers.

Let me know in the comment section below anything you’d like to see from our time here at Homestead and I’ll do my best to get it to you in the second day of testing tomorrow! We have a gallery of photos up on our Flickr page. — Kate

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!

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 iRacing.com 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 IndyCar.com 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, IndyCar.com 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 IndyCar.com 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!