Posts Tagged ‘ Rick Mears ’

A Second Glance at May

Posted on: June 3, 2011 | Comments(7) | Indy 500 | By: Cassie

This May was my second with IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I am an intern for the media department where we handle Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and blog posts. I spent a lot of the month captioning the many photos that are taken each day. I decided to choose some of my favorites from the month and pay a personal tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500.

Dan Wheldon takes the win

The only thing this photo is missing are the dropped jaws, the wide eyes and the shocked gasps coming from the crowd at the end of this year’s Indy 500 when rookie J.R. Hildebrand crashed while leading the final lap. The photo definitely depicts the controversy that came from the ending. The checkered and yellow flag are out as Dan Wheldon crosses the finish line, but Dan played fair and successfully grabbed his second Indy 500 title. Definitely a twist of fate that made for a memorable ending to a historical race.

Simona De Silvestro signs an autograph

How could I not choose a picture of Simona de Silvestro? Tough is the only word you can use to describe her. There is no way you could have watched the horrifying wreck she was involved in, watch her successfully qualify, and watch her finish the race and not have the most respect in the world for her. I’m not sure we even heard a complaint come from her lips. Being sure not to let down her fans, she continued to sign autographs throughout the rest of the month. Simona, you’re my girl!

Sam Schmidt and Alex Tagliani

There is no way to look at the picture above and not feel the emotion Sam Schmidt and Alex Tagliani must have experienced in this moment. After Tagliani grabbed the pole, he couldn’t thank Schmidt enough. You have to love and respect Sam Schmidt for all he’s overcome, and congratulate him because this was his first Indy 500 pole. It was great to see their effort and teamwork pay off.

Dario shakes the hand of Roger Penske

Any picture that includes a member of Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske is a great one to me. It’s so easy to create the thought that there is a rivalry there, but this picture goes to show that isn’t quite the case. If you ask me, every IndyCar fan is either a Ganassi fan or a Penske fan. You can’t like both, but you can probably hate both out of jealousy for the numerous success stories both teams have. Dario shaking Roger Penske’s hand in this picture shows the camaraderie that exists between Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske. One of my all time favorites for sure!

A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears, Mario Andretti

I chose this picture and put it last in order for a reason. This year was the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500. This picture includes IndyCar legends and embodies the whole history of the race and the series. A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears, Mario Andretti, and Johnny Rutherford – all legends of the Indy 500 and the IndyCar sport. This picture is everything that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway wanted to accomplish during the 100th anniversary – a celebration of the history of those who have made the Indy 500 the “greatest spectacle in racing” and kept it there for 100 years and counting.

To see more pictures from May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway check out IndyCar Flickr.

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.

Perfect weather here in Edmonton today for a race of any kind, especially an IndyCar race. The weather is perfect for race fans as well. Mentioning the fans, Edmonton has some enthusiastic and supportive ones. They have shown up everyday ready for some IndyCar action and sporting their favorite driver’s colors. Being a newbie here at City Centre Raceway I decided to get some insight from the fans. I wanted to know the best places to be, the favored drivers in Edmonton, and how the fans spend their City Centre race day.

Woo hoo, Qualifications!

Fans in Edmonton!

When I asked the fans the way they spent their time at the track most responded with the Paddock. In the Paddock area fans can be up close and personal with the teams, the cars, and even the drivers. It’s a great place to get pictures of your favorite drivers and racing legends like A.J. Foyt and Rick Mears. What fan wouldn’t want to spend time in the Paddock area?

The best place to be at the Edmonton race track? The answer was unanimous, Turn 1 of course. However, this year the stands in Turn 1 have been removed. Most of the fans said Turn 1 holds some of their favorite racing memories and they are sad to see the stands go.

I then put the fans on the spot by asking them if they could have a ride with one driver who would it be and why? The answers varied. Will Power was one answer, simply because he is fast was the reasoning for one fan. Dario Franchitti was another answer, who wouldn’t want to ride with an Indy 500 champion? The answer for most was Danica Patrick. Answering Danica came as no surprise, especially if you were to walk around the City Centre track today. Danica Patrick shirts are every where you turn!

Then a special pair of people caught my eye. The two were sitting in the stands watching the Firestone Indy Lights warm up and looked as if they were great fans. Father and daughter Ben and Kristina were shaded from the sun in their IZOD IndyCar hats that had been autographed by their favorite drivers. I decided to ask their opinion on Edmonton.

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Father and Daughter Enjoy Race Day

Favorite part of the Edmonton experience?

The race, of course. Ben and Kristina are big fans of the Indy Lights series too. Turn 1 was always a favorite aspect for the two, and they too were sad to see the stands go.

What driver would you like to see win?

For the Indy Lights Edmonton 100 Kristina and Ben would like to see Dan Clarke take the victory. As for IndyCar, Justin Wilson is who they would like to see in the winner’s circle.

If you could ride with one driver who would it be? Why?

Ben’s answer was Paul Tracy. “Tracy is an aggressive driver,” said Ben. For Kristina it would be Graham Rahal. She has always enjoyed watching him.

The fans were great in Edmonton and they all seemed to be dedicated fans. Every one of them had a reason for coming to Edmonton and returning year after year. My first time in Edmonton was made that much better by the willingness of the fans and I’ll be sure to check out Turn 1.  Edmonton is a great stop on the IndyCar schedule, eh?

The Road to Indy continues this weekend at Iowa Speedway for the final combined show of the 2010 season with the IZOD IndyCar Series.  It’s also the final oval on the schedule for both Star Mazda and USF2000.  More on this weekend’s event in just a few sentences…

When we last checked in, we were getting set for Indianapolis.  By now you probably know that Wade Cunningham (Firestone Indy Lights), Conor Daly (Star Mazda) and Patrick McKenna (USF2000) won their respective series’ events in Indianapolis.  Nice work, boys.

Indy Lights Drivers #77 Wade Cunningham & #26 Charlie Kimball at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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What better way to kick off past Indianapolis 500 broadcasts on ESPN Classic than one of the most talked-about races in the history of the event – the 1985 “spin and win” by Danny Sullivan.

The race, to be broadcast at 3 p.m. (ET) May 3, is among the dozen to air on the network in May – all leading up to the Indianapolis 500 on the 30th. A marathon – tailor-made for your DVR – showing is scheduled for May 29.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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