Posts Tagged ‘ racing blog ’

The Indianapolis 500 is a very, very long race event for us. It’s two weeks of content. And for the new media group, it’s overseeing both indycar.com and indianapolismotorspeedway.com. Most of our race events run from Thursday-Sunday, with indycar.com being the focus. Two weeks of racing is exciting, exhausting and a challenge. I love content, good storytelling and beautiful photography. Our May provided all of that. Some highlights.

Opening weekend brought the announcement of The Greatest 33. It was an honor working on this site and it was amazing to see how many fans voted, shared with friends and revealed their own personal memories.

The Greatest 33

The Greatest 33

4,028. That’s how many photographs were uploaded. It’s how our department sees what our photographers capture. We then title, caption and tag these images for our websites, media site, Flickr and so on. That’s a lot of images and it’s tedious work. BUT – it allows us to bring some really stunning moments to you (and shows what a great group of photographers we work with). A few of my favorite below. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Simona De Silvestro signs an autograph

One of the most compelling stories of the month

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Earlier this week we rolled out 25 QR Codes around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as well as introduced a new version of the Verizon IndyCar Mobile Application. We’re thinking digitally, while we celebrate the Centennial running of the Indianapolis 500. History meets technology.

If you don’t have the app on your Verizon phone, check it out here (as well as for compatible devices).

If you’re at IMS for Carb day or through the weekend, you can access 25 of our QR Codes around the Pagoda, Yard of Bricks and Gasoline Alley. These codes will bring you closer to the racing action, drivers from the IZOD IndyCar Series and reveal some of the behind-the-scenes information of our Series. All you need is a Verizon phone with QR Code reading software and you’ll have instant access to exclusive videos – and even a chance to win a trip to the IndyCar World Championships in Las Vegas. Cool.

QR Code Will

QR code Will

Both the app and QR Codes provide a closer connection to our sport and features content that highlights the diversity of IndyCar. We hope you enjoy and would love to hear what you think.

The month of May is known to be the most hectic month for the IZOD IndyCar stars, but it’s just as crazy for the helmet painters, in particular at the ArtRotondo.com shop, when you paint for many of the Indycar drivers. The month of May is an incredibly hectic month but that all comes to one big reward on that historical race day. This year being the centennial year, it is a tremendous honor for us to be part of this great race, alongside so many of this Series finest drivers. We’re truly living a childhood dream by being involved in this great race and hope that one of our drivers will be the first to cross the finish line on this coming May 29th, 2011.

This year’s Indy 500 will not only mark the 100th anniversary of the great American race, but it will also mark the heroic return of IndyCar star Mike Conway. He will return on board his Andretti Autosport IndyCar to face the track which prematurely took him out of his 2010 season. For this tremendous event we had no choice but to make a special Indy 500 themed helmet for his triumphant return, we put the complete focus on the speedway’s landmark tower and hope it will bring him that extra edge in this grueling 500 mile dash.

DSC04263

Mike Conway's new helmet

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Car Town!

Alex Tagliani tweeted that the first person to win his Big Rig gets the gloves he’ll use in the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500.

Huh? It all makes sense if you’re playing Car Town on Facebook.

The game that features the IZOD IndyCar Series now includes actual races on 17 different tracks, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that is playing host to the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500, for players to compete.

Lead your favorite driver to first place on each track to unlock the team’s Big Rig.

Cars are available for multiple drivers plus the 2011 Indianapolis 500 Event Car, which honors the 100th anniversary of the first running of the race.

In the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Garage, users can select a car driven by top IZOD IndyCar Series drivers and complete the Indy 500 Challenge with the help of a pit crew they select from among their Facebook friends or by spending in-game points. Players can even race against the clock and compete against other Car Town pit crews, striving to top the Indy Pit Stop Challenge leaderboard.

Race now in Car Town. CLICK HERE

Ho-Pin Tung: History in the Making

Posted on: May 16, 2011 | Comments(2) | Drivers | By: Cassie

Ho-Pin Tung has raced numerous cars in numerous countries, but he has finally made his way to IndyCar. What’s more, he’s on his way to making history. He has become the first Chinese racer to enter the Indy 500, and is hoping to be the first Chinese driver to qualify for the race.

Tung is driving for Schmidt Dragon Racing for this year’s Indy 500 and sees this race as a huge learning experience.  Drivers such as Arie Luyendyk and Al Unser Jr have inspired and motivated Tung to meet his Indy goals this May. So come out to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and cheer Ho-Pin Tung to his goal of being the first Chinese man to qualify for the Indy 500.

Watch the interview below and listen to everything Ho-Pin Tung has to say about his racing career, IndyCar, and the experience of racing in the Indy 500.

What is your prediction for Ho-Pin Tung’s performance in the Indy 500 this season?

Hunter-Reay revels in Indy history

Posted on: May 16, 2011 | Comments (1) | Drivers | By: Arni

Ryan Hunter-Reay hopes to race in his fourth Indianapolis 500 later this month, but he took advantage of the rainout of practice May 15 to visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum for the first time.

Ryan Hunter-Reay with gallery of winners.

“I can’t believe I hadn’t been there,” said Hunter-Reay, the 2008 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year. “It was amazing. The place is what Indy car racing is all about, and that’s what makes Indy car racing special. To go there as a current Indy car driver made it even more special. To see the cars that were driven by owners of team’s I’ve driven for and the ones driven by my heroes and know they all went to Victory Lane here at Indy made for a very special day.”

The one car that that the Andretti Autosport driver wanted to see was Rick Mears’ 1984-winning Pennzoil Z-7 Special. Hunter-Reay’s first go-kart was modeled after Mears’ race car and seeing the real car for the first time brought back childhood memories for the IZOD IndyCar Series standout.

“The No. 6 Pennzoil car, in smaller form, was my first ride,” he said. “That’s what I got into a lot of trouble in. It was my neighborhood wheels and I did my first right front wing damage in that car when I hit a stop sign.

“It was really cool to see the actual car. I’ve never seen it before, but to see the evolution of the Indy car was really neat to see. To see where the sport actually started and how the cars have developed over the years, and see what made these cars go faster and faster. Indianapolis has always been a proving ground as much as it is a huge race.”

Hunter-Reay was far from the only driver in the Museum. 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones and Dreyer & Reinbold’s  Justin Wilson were visitors to the exhibit of 67-winning Indianapolis 500 winning cars.

And while Hunter-Reay told all the well-wishers in the Museum his plan was to have his Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car join the winning cars in the Museum next year, he hopes to get another visit to see the cars on display again.

“I’m going to go back again before I leave this month,” Hunter-Reay said.

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.

Drivers pay tribute to Senna

Posted on: April 28, 2011 | Comments(15) | Drivers | By: Arni

Ayrton Senna's gravesite

SÃO PAULO –Racing drivers tend to avoid hospitals and graveyards because those places can remind them of the dangers of the sport.

Those reminders, however, didn’t stop two-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon from paying his respects to Ayrton Senna, the legendary Brazilian racing champion, who is buried in São Paulo’s Morumbi Cemetery.

“Popped out to see Senna’s grave,” Dixon wrote on Twitter. “Very quiet in a busy city. What a legend!”

Senna remains a hero to many drivers from around the world but no place more than in his home country. The fact that the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle occurs on the 17th anniversary of his passing (May 1) provides extra motivation to the five Brazilian drivers in the field.

“It would be an extremely important win to me because he was a hero not only to me, but for all of Brazil,” said three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves. “(Winning on Sunday) would be a memorable day for me not only to win here in Brazil, but on a very special day to many Brazilians. I am going to do everything I can to make sure that can happen.”

Like Castroneves, Ana Beatriz considers Senna her hero, even though she had only begun to race go-karts a few months before his death.

“Senna means a lot to me,” said Beatriz, who like Senna is a native of São Paulo. “He is still a big reference when I think about the sport. We can still watch his races on video and we can see his determination and focus when he raced. He’s still a big hero in Brazil and everyone remembers the anniversary of his death and his birthday.  Racing on May 1 and maybe winning the race in Brazil will be the perfect way to say thank you to him for all he did for us. “

Vitor Meira will carry a very personal tribute to Senna during the race weekend. Meira had his helmet painter Art Rotondo paint a mural of Senna’s racing accomplishments on the back of the helmet he will use in the race.

“I remember May 1, 1994, when he unfortunately passed away,” Meira said. “It’s just a way to say he’s still in our minds. I put him on my helmet and wanted to do something individually out of respect to what he meant to me.”

You’re watching the streets

Posted on: April 16, 2011 | Comments(15) | Flickr, Race Tracks | By: Daniel

Sunrise in Long Beach

Sunrise at Long Beach

My favorite type of track happens to be street circuits. You may disagree and I hope you let me know why. I like urban environments. I like that our drivers are racing around concrete, surrounded by walls, speeding by hotels, restaurants and parking garages. I love that street circuits are unforgiving. And I love that street circuits are usually in pretty cool locations (St. Pete, Long Beach, Sao Paolo, Toronto, Baltimore on this year’s schedule) – not to mention circuits from other Series’ like Monaco, Singapore, Macau, Surfer’s Paradise, Trois Rivieres and more. That atmosphere at these events always feels intense – it must have something to do with the heat, the concrete, the number of fans, the coming together of an event that is defined as temporary. Temporary street circuit.

Circuit Singapore Grand Prix, F1 night race, Formula 1 (www.yoursingapore.com)

F1 in Singapore (from Flickr user YourSingapore)

I also happen to love photography from these events. Where else can you capture palm trees with high speed cars? Drivers using the curbs to bounce into a corner. The colors of the chassis’ illuminated by the reflection of the light. And the sun causing unique shadows. In theory street circuits are unconventional. Photography serves to reveal that. It’s what we’re doing this weekend at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Simona de Silvestro

Wasn't kidding about the shadows

Part of my job this weekend is to sift through hundreds of images. We look for pictures to post to indycar.com, our Flickr page, INDYCAR Nation and our media site. It’s one of my favorite parts the job.

Morning practice

Cars stream through an actual street

Some of the images make me think about the photographic process. What settings did they use? Why did they chose that location? How did they get even get to that location? Photographers definitely think outside the box.

Takuma Sato with speed

Takuma Sato and the streets

The shots from above on a street circuit are cool. Everyday buildings or hotels provide perfect platforms for photographers to capture a unique vantage point. And honestly, who doesn’t love a good palm tree.

Danica Patrick with the shadows

Danica Patrick passing through palm tree shadows

So when you watch the race on Sunday (4:30pm ET on Versus) consider the different views you experience. This entire track came together this week. On Monday after the race, barriers, fences, curbs and signage will start coming down. Honda powered IndyCar’s will be replaced with Honda Accord’s and other street cars. That’s what I love about street circuits. They’re unconventional and temporary.

But we at least have the photos to show that it all came together, temporarily for the weekend.

A beautiful morning in Long Beach, California

Temporary street circuit

Blog Girl

Posted on: April 15, 2011 | Comments(25) | Random | By: Beccy

Hi All.  Some of you may know me from twitter (@BeccyGordon), others from the track and now you will know me as the girl who blogs on IndyCar.com

Here’s my story, so you know where I’m coming from for future blogs…

I’m a girl who literally grew up racing.  My great-grandfather raced IndyCars back in the early 1900s, his name was Huntly Gordon. He raced in several Vanderbilt Cup races and practiced for the Indianapolis 500.  Back in the day, each car entered in the race would have a few drivers practice the car. The official driver was established on race morning.  I assume that’s why, they always say the car is entered in the race, not the driver (ie- the Junquiera & Tagliani situation last May).  It would have been awesome if he could have raced in the Indy 500.  I’m obsessed with the history of IMS and that would have made the story too perfect.

Huntly Gordon

Huntly Gordon

My dad races off-road cars. My mom pre-ran the Baja 500 when she was seven months pregnant with me.   I’ve asked her why, and she looks at me like… “Why? Why not?”  Maybe that’s where I get my spunk.  My parents were young and that’s what they did, they loved the desert.  My mom wasn’t letting a pregnancy keep her down.  Here’s the picture, my parents in my dad’s 1970s buggy, shocks with 2 inches of travel going across the Baja Peninsula, my brother, Robby, ratchet strapped to the gas tank, my sister on my mom’s lap and me in her belly.  It’s a hilarious sight if you can picture it and probably defines our family well.

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