Posts Tagged ‘ 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 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.

This entry is one in a continuing series which discusses the images from the IndyCar.com photo gallery.  This entry reviews the story behind a photo taken at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 16, 2011.

MLB Legend Randy Johnson shooting some photos of the on-track action

At each IZOD IndyCar event, it is not unusual for us to shoot photos of celebrities.  On some occasions, the celebrities are there are to promote their latest television show, movie or album.  Other times, it may be a local celebrity or sports star who is there to cross-promote another event in the area.  Some examples this season include Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Player Vincent Lecavalier, who exchanged jerseys with Alex Tagliani at St. Petersburg, 2003 American Idol Winner Ruben Studdard who sang the National Anthem at Barber, and Chef/TV Host Gordon Ramsay who was the Grand Marshall at Long Beach.

During IndyCar Qualifying at Long Beach, I went out to an area we refer to as the “peninsula.”  From this area, you can see the cars after they exit turn 9, work through turn 10, and take the final hairpin corner as they head down the main straight.  As I walked towards the hairpin, I noticed a photographer was on one knee shooting through one of the photo holes.  Some people have to lean over a little to shoot through the photo holes, but I have never seen a photographer so tall that they had to get down on one knee to shoot.

As I got a closer, I realized who it was.  It was retired Major League Baseball pitcher Randy Johnson whose nickname is “The Big Unit.”  For those of you not familiar with Randy, he was in the Major Leagues for 22 seasons.  He was a 10 time all-star and a 5 time Cy Young award winner (awarded to the top pitcher in his League).  During his career, he threw 2 no-hitters including a perfect game, and he was co-winner of the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 2001.  Also, he stands 6 feet 10 inches, thus the need to get down on a knee to shoot through the photo hole.

I had the opportunity to talk to Randy during a break in qualifying.  He wasn’t there to promote anything; he was simply there to be one of us – a credentialed event photographer.  Randy took photo journalism classes while he was at USC, and since his retirement from baseball after the 2009 season, he re-discovered his passion for photography.  I learned this was his first time to shoot an IndyCar event, but he has shot a NASCAR race and an NHRA event.  We talked a little about his minor league days with the Indianapolis Indians, and he said while he was with the Indians he attended an Indy 500 practice session.

Randy, if you happen to read this, we are glad you joined us at Long Beach, and we hope you enjoyed the weekend. Leave a message below if you’re interested in sharing some of the photos you shot over Long Beach weekend with our fans on IndyCar.com.

It’s evident when driving through the streets of Sao Paulo that Brazilians are extremely passionate about motorsport.   Ayrton Senna murals are painted on building sides and under bridges all over this massive city.  As a result this South American country has not only produced the world’s most legendary driver (Senna) but also some great racing circuits and outstanding INDYCAR drivers.

One of my favorite racetracks is here in Brazil.  Without a doubt, it was one of the most unique ovals ever built (the exception being Trenton, NJ). The Circuito de Jacarepaguá in Rio was quite a site to be seen in the mid-90’s when INDYCAR came to town.

Rio, in every definition of the word, was a Roval.  Turn 1 was a sharp corner, requiring the drivers to get on the brakes, downshift once (maybe twice) and jump back on the throttle. Turn 2 was wide open all the way to turn 3 which was full throttle for some drivers and then back on to the brakes for turn 4.  The layout produced great passing and promoted aggressive driving.

Rio was also the site of one of the most spectacular shunts in INDYCAR history.  Mark Blundell essentially tore down the outside wall in Turn 1 when his brakes failed going down the front stretch.  He made an attempt to collect his teammate to help soften the impact but he just  barely missed.  The resulting impact is terrifying and miraculously Blundell emerged from the car unscathed.  Fast forward in the above video to the 10:40 mark for video of the incident.

The list of Brazilian drivers who have driven in INDYCAR is long and prestigious.  With names like Fittipaldi, Kanaan, and Castroneves, Brazilian drivers have proved that they are and will continue to be a force to be reckoned with.

Emerson Fittipaldi, one of the greatest drivers in any car, was one of my favorite drivers growing up. “Emmo” was fast, brave, and exciting to watch.  Below is video from one of Emerson’s hard fought battles with Nigel Mansell.

For many people when they think of the IZOD IndyCar Series they think of Helio Castroneves.  The personable, excitable, and energetic Brazilian 3-time Indianapolis 500 winner has been a staple of the IZOD IndyCar Series for many years now.  His personality, passion for racing, and on camera antics have been great for the sport.  What some seem to miss, especially lately, is how impressive Helio is behind the wheel.

Tony Kanaan is without a doubt one of the fiercest competitors in the IZOD IndyCar Series.  The tough driver from Salvador, Brazil has proved this year that just because he’s changed teams it doesn’t mean he can be ignored.  Taking KV Racing Technologies to some of their best finishes in recent memory TK has proudly positioned himself in 3rd position in the overall points standings.  If you watched the Indianapolis 500 last year and didn’t pay attention to Kanaan’s drive you missed one of the most exciting and entirely legendary performances a the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Starting 33rd and passing 22 cars to finish in 11th position was nothing short of miraculous.  TK showed once again that he’s not lost a step and certainly hasn’t lost any of his nerve, the man is still a master of the outside pass.

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.”

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.

2011 intro from ArtRotondo

Posted on: April 25, 2011 | Comments(2) | Helmet Designs | By: mrotondo

After a few races into the exhilarating 2011 IndyCar season, the helmets keep on coming out of the ArtRotondo.com shop. For the first time the ArtRotondo.com company is painting the helmets for IndyCar fan favorite Vitor Meira. For the occasion we came up with a few new designs for the Brazilian. We jazzed up his old design by giving it more life and to more suit Vitor’s personality. These are the first of many helmets of Vitor’s to come.

New look for Vitor Meira

New look for Vitor

May 1st 2011 will be the IndyCar’s series stop in Sao Paolo, Brasil for the 4th round of the 2011 season. Sadly this day also marks the celebration of life of undoubtedly the finest  racing driver ever to have lived on this earth, Ayrton Senna. For the occasion both Vitor Meira and the ArtRotondo.com group came up with the idea to mark this grandiose occasion by paying tribute to him. With that in mind, we made Vitor’s usual design but modified with the Brazilian flag stars and most importantly the back of the helmet is a montage of some of Ayrton’s most memorable racing moments.  Each one of these moments was entirely hand painted by Art Rotondo himself. After growing up in an Ayrton Senna influenced household all of our lives, due to our father’s Brasilian origin, it was truly inspiring for us here at ArtRotondo.com to pay tribute to Ayrton but as well to our passed father. We hope the fans in Brasil will enjoy this tribute to a champion and the immense emotions involved with this piece of art the ArtRotondo.com company created and that the IndyCar fans here in North America will do the same and take a minute of remembrance for the greatest racer of all time.

Meira's helmet

Inspired by Senna

IndyCar rookie Sebastian Saavedra will be in his very 1st full time Indycar season and for the occasion we spiced up his 2011 helmets by putting more clean cut emphasis on his native Colombian flag at the back of the helmet to give the overall more mature look to better suit his current Conquest Racing ride.

Sebastian Saavedra

Saavedra with a new look

Keep checking back Indycar.com’s blog for our special Indy 500 themed blog which will capture all of our drivers special Indy 500 themed helmets.

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.

11 in 11 featuring Ryan Hunter-Reay

Posted on: April 15, 2011 | Comments (0) | Drivers | By: Admin

We’re following up on the fan generated video series, 11 in 11. This weekend, we’re featuring reigning Long Beach Grand Prix champion Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Marco Andretti, Michael Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay

RHR with the Andretti's

Find out what race he wants to win. His opinion on neck pillows, yes neck pillows. The Indianapolis 500. Winning at Long Beach, and more.

IZOD IndyCars. What do you think of when you see one? High speeds? Handling? Indianapolis? Ethanol? Iowa?

What about G-forces? If you go far enough down your list you might think of it.

We all have heard this line before: “All they do is turn left; it can’t be that hard.” IndyCar drivers who currently race at Iowa Speedway will argue it’s much harder than just turning left.

During the 2010 Indianapolis 500, the pole sitter Helio Castroneves had a four-lap average of 227.9710 mph. His teammate from Penske Racing, Will Power won the pole here in Iowa with a four-lap average of 181.337 or about 17.5 seconds.

Kelby Krauss, Senior Manager of PR at Target Chip Ganassi Racing, consented to help out with this month’s blog. He contacted engineers on the team who provided the information you’re about to read.

Forces at Indianapolis, a 2.5-mile oval, for when a driver completes a lap under a 40 seconds will peak right at about 4 G’s, and the time spent feeling over 1 G of force(1 G is the force you feel sitting at your desk chair) is 21 seconds or 50% of the lap.

Iowa Corn Indy 250

Catch the Iowa Corn Indy 250 on June 25

At Texas, a 1.5-mile high banked oval (24 degrees), the lap time is about 24.5 seconds; max G’s are 4.5 and drivers will feel more than 1 G for 18.5 seconds or 76% of the lap.

For drivers that compete in the Iowa Corn Indy 250, which takes place on a .875-mile oval with compound banking in the turns of 12-13-14, the forces are much different. Though drivers ‘only’ feel forces greater than 1 G for 75% of the lap, drivers will consistently hit G-forces over 5. A driver weighing 155 will feel like they’re 775 pounds at 5 G’s. Quick note: If you feel 5 G’s for more than a couple seconds you will start to lose consciousness.

Iowa Corn Indy 250

Catch the Iowa Corn Indy 250 on June 25

With long straight-aways at Texas and Indianapolis, IndyCar drivers can rest, check gauges, think of how they’ll setup a pass and breath in-between turns. Typically about seven seconds between turns. At Iowa, however, drivers only get a break from these forces for about two seconds — if you can call that a break.

Plus, being a short track, drivers are much busier turning the wheel, watching out for traffic, getting back to the gas, etc., as everything is more compact.

These numbers are pretty mind blowing. So — just because Indy cars are slower in Iowa than other ovals, do not think for one second that it is easier!

Catch the G’s and excitement during this year’s Iowa Corn Indy 250 on June 25th. Thanks for reading. Please keep your comments and suggestions coming. We’re listening – and thanks again for the support!