Posts Tagged ‘ Race Blogs ’

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 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.

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.

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.

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.)

Scenic

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!

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!