Posts Tagged ‘ Race Blogs ’

Iowa Speedway – the IndyCar Series’ shortest circuit – emerged, literally, from a corn field.

Small wonder, then, the Iowa Corn Growers Association has been the title sponsor of the Iowa Corn Indy 250 – which will again bring the established stars and hungry upstarts of the IZOD IndyCar Series to Newton’s fast 7/8-mile tri-oval on June 25.

We’re proud of our agricultural roots, from the rich soil beneath the facility to the high-performance fuel powering the car engines.

Iowa Speedway

A fan demonstrates their pride for Iowa Speedway's agricultural roots

Extreme excitement – from the grandstands to the garage – has rippled through the first four renditions of the popular event and the spirited crowd has topped the 35,000 mark each time.

Drivers hail the 7/8-mile Rusty Wallace-designed track as racy, ultra-demanding, and a pleasure to navigate.

“I love the track and I love the fans at Iowa,” Tony Kanaan, who won the 2010 Iowa Corn Indy 250 after three hard-luck runs/DNFs at Newton. The place is always packed – beyond packed – with people everywhere.  It is a track that races both like a short track and a super-speedway, so it is a lot of fun to drive.”

Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves at Iowa Speedway

Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves jokingly celebrate at Iowa Speedway

And despite being carved out of prime farmland, there’s plenty of fun - racing and otherwise – to be found in Newton and within a half hour or so from here. The venerable “Sprint Car Capital of the World,” Knoxville Raceway, surrounds a hallowed half-mile ring of dirt a mere 30 miles from Iowa Speedway. Iowa’s capital city, Des Moines, is about the same distance away and a straight shot on Interstate 80. We draw from central Iowa and beyond – with fans from 26 states enjoying the speedway.

And rest assured, if there’s a race, Iowans line up to attend.

They tailgate enthusiastically. They get involved – cheering, discussing, dissecting the day’s (or night’s) action. They’re knowledgeable, but not snobbish about it. They’ll say, ‘Hi,’ and ask how you’re doing with a genuine interest in your answer. You’ll feel right at home here, on IndyCar’s only short track of less than a mile in length – nestled in small town Iowa, but criss-crossed by well-traveled, coast-spanning interstate highways.

Yes, there’s that corn, both around the track and fueling the car’s engines. And that’s a good thing – for the economy, for the environment, and for performance.

We think when you come see us, you’ll heartily agree. We look forward to seeing you all at our facility, and are determined to help make the 2011 Iowa Corn Indy 250 the best one to date. So tell us your ideas below– Have you attended a race at Iowa Speedway? Tell your fellow fans what sets Iowa Speedway apart!

Fans of NASCAR spent years preparing for the “Car of Tomorrow.” During the 2007 season, as NASCAR worked to integrate the “COT” and teams tested the new design, analysts would remind the viewers watching at home what changes were coming with the Car of Tomorrow. The supposed improvements did little to instill confidence in viewers as it was always in reference to whichever car was in last place, struggling to keep up with the field, or out of commission before the final lap.

In February 2008, the Pittsburgh Tribune recorded video of the Car of Tomorrow chassis as presented by a NASCAR tech inspector. The inspector listed the benefits of the new chassis as safety and less costly. Safety meaning that the wider, taller design was created to make it easier to pull drivers out of the car in the case of a severe accident and keeping costs down not just from less-costly frame rails, but by requiring the rails to stay within 1/4 inch of NASCAR’s regulations. In other words, keeping teams on a level playing field.

NASCAR’s intention was to improve performance and competition with the Car of Tomorrow, but fan reviews state otherwise. So in July, when Randy Bernard announced new engine regulations and a new chassis design, who could blame race fans for airing concern that the changes would have the opposite effect intended? Fortunately, the impact was crystal clear- that rather than move the IZOD IndyCar Series closer to a spec series, we were moving even further away. The changes emphasize the value of competition and collaboration as the direct sources of innovation. Similar to NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow, the new chassis, produced by Dallara, will reduce costs for teams. It is also designed to be lighter and safer than the current chassis.

Mayor Greg Ballard, Randy Bernard, Graham Rahal and others

Dallara breaks ground in Speedway, Indiana

But then came the engine manufacturers. Helping to fuel the competition and joining Honda in 2012 will be Lotus and Chevrolet. Most exciting? Each of these engine suppliers not only represent a different continent, but they also bring unique memories from racing history along with their names.

Green and yellow, a beautiful sight

Lotus Display at the LA Auto Show

And don’t forget about the aero kits. Teams will be able to personalize the product they place on the track with custom aero kits produced by Lotus, Chevrolet, and Dallara. The diversity in these kits will help avoid a situation similar to NASCAR’s announcement in early 2010 that spoilers would be reintroduced to their cars to help improve races and, admittedly, return to a more-comfortable look on the cars.

In the coming year, keep an eye on IndyCar.com/2012 for updates and announcements on what changes are coming to the IZOD IndyCar Series and voice your opinion on how these changes will affect the quality of racing for the fans. Submit your own design for the Future IndyCar or connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter and tell us what you think of the IZOD IndyCar Series efforts to increase competition and improve the quality of racing on the track, you might even see your comment right back here on the IndyCar blog. What other announcements are you hoping to hear during the 2011 season to make for a better 2012 season?

Another fan design

Future IndyCar Design Submitted by Rick Jones

Race fans in Indianapolis had plenty to cheer about today– despite being weeks away from the new season. As part of Macy’s Santa Tour, the official Macy’s Santa visited the track to receive letters from children. For each letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Fans were rewarded with free admission to the Hall of Fame museum, cookies and hot chocolate, as well as a special holiday story from the big guy himself.

Santa stops by to visit the children of Indianapolis

Macy's Santa visits the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

As one IndyCar fan recently mentioned via Facebook: “I love to see the Indy(Car) drivers do good things for people. They need PR and more in the news. I really dont think that they get the mentions they deserve!”

The visit to Indianapolis Motor Speedway marks yet another charitable initiative supported by race fans this off-season. From children’s hospital visits to food drives and community donations, IndyCar fans, teams and drivers have all been decidedly, extra good this year.

Bitter cold and heavy snow covered the IMS grounds, but many fans came out, undaunted, to represent the racing community and support the charitable initiative. After visits to the Pagoda and Yard of Bricks, Santa headed inside to greet the crowd and tour the Museum. Upon closer examination of the Marmon Wasp, Santa declared that it might even be time to trade his sleigh in for an IndyCar.

Santa and his elves debate trading in his sleigh for a nicer ride

Santa Decides it might be time to trade in his Sleigh

Unable to make it out today or not from the Indianapolis-area? Check out a video from the event here.

Friday is finally here and rather than work all day long, we thought fans would rather talk about racing. Fortunately for us, so did our friends over at Just Pop In! The Official Gourmet Popcorn of the IZOD IndyCar Series.

In time for the quickly-approaching holidays, Just Pop In! decided to give away a prize pack to the fan with the best post comment below that shares a favorite moment from the 2010 season IZOD IndyCar Series season.

To makes things more interesting, the folks from Just Pop In! and the IZOD IndyCar Series will be monitoring your comments all day to share some of the best and most entertaining moments of the 2010 season on Twitter @IndyCar and @JustPopInOnline and at Facebook.com/IndyCarSeries and Facebook.com/justpopin.

CONTEST OVER– Congratulations to our winner, Sean, who will receive a holiday prize pack from Just Pop In! The Official Gourmet Popcorn of the IZOD IndyCar Series. Check out his comment below on the 2010 St. Pete race…

Just Pop In! The Official Gourmet Popcorn of the IZOD IndyCar Series

Just Pop In! The Official Gourmet Popcorn of the IZOD IndyCar Series