INDYCAR NEWS AND NOTES - Aug. 21, 2012 Plus Fast Facts and Entry List
Story posted - Aug 22 2012 12:46 AM
INDYCAR NEWS AND NOTES - Aug. 21, 2012
Today's IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights and Mazda Road to Indy headlines:
1. Olympic champion to attend Sonoma race
2. Take Marco out to the old ball game
3. Rock Island Grand Prix winner to earn slot in Skip Barber Karting Shootout
1. Olympic champion to attend Sonoma race: Olympic gold medalist and swimming champion Tyler Clary hopes to be a race car driver after his swimming career is over. He'll get a preview of his prospective profession during the IZOD IndyCar Series event in Sonoma.
The 23-year-old Clary, who claimed the gold medal in the 200-meter backstroke during the 2012 London Olympic Games, will be a guest of INDYCAR during the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma and get an all-access look at the world of Indy car racing. The swimming champion will have an unfettered experience around the INDYCAR paddock and receive driving tips from some of the fastest, most versatile racing drivers in the world.
"I really appreciate the invitation from INDYCAR to attend the race at Sonoma," Clary said. "Not many people get a chance to see what their future could be, and this is a perfect chance for me to get to know the ins and outs of INDYCAR racing."
Clary is no stranger to racing. He's been to several races at Auto Club Speedway near his hometown of Riverside, Calif., and attended the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in April. He plans to participate in the Skip Barber Racing School, which could put him on the Mazda Road to Indy through the Skip Barber INDYCAR Academy. The Mazda Road to Indy is INDYCAR's official development ladder system that rewards series champions with scholarships to advance to the next series, which leads up to the IZOD IndyCar Series.
"My passions are swimming and cars. It's in my blood - I love to swim fast and race cars fast," Clary said. "I've realized that racing is something I really could be good at, and like I said, I want to take a serious shot at it after swimming."
Clary won't be the only Olympic medalist to attend the race weekend.
Erin Cafaro, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in rowing, will be a guest of TrueCar - sponsor of Dragon Racing - at Sonoma.
Cafaro, a seven-time world champion in the bow seat (first one to cross the line) for the USRowing women's 8 boat, won her second-straight gold in London. Her team became the first female team in USRowing history to win back-to-back gold medals.
2. Take Marco out to the old ball game: Marco Andretti, who won his first IZOD IndyCar Series race at Sonoma, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the Aug. 23 game (7:30 p.m. local) between the San Francisco Giants and the Atlanta Braves at AT&T Park.
The Giants are battling the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the National League West.
Earlier in the day, Panther Racing will be at the San Francisco 49ers training facility in Santa Clara, Calif., with the No. 4 National Guard car that will carry the 49ers paint scheme this weekend at Sonoma.
All 49ers players will be presented National Guard crew shirts. The 49ers paint scheme is a tribute to San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh, one of Panther Racing's founding owners.
3. Rock Island Grand Prix winner to earn slot in Skip Barber Karting Shootout: While all four Mazda Road to Indy series are racing in Baltimore on Labor Day weekend, a large group of young drivers will be zooming around the streets of Rock Island, Ill., for the chance to one day join them.
As part of INDYCAR's partnership with Skip Barber Racing School, a winner from the Rock Island Grand Prix will be selected to participate in the Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout on Oct. 15-18 for a chance to begin their journey up the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system.
The Rock Island Grand Prix is known as one of the largest and most prestigious street karting races, bringing drivers from all over the world for a holiday weekend filled with street festivals and great competition.
This year, a winner will be selected by a panel of judges to compete in the Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout at Virginia International Raceway, where if they win, they will receive a fully-funded ride in the Skip Barber Winter or Summer Series presented by Mazda.
"For those with a dream, karting and events like the Rock Island Grand Prix, provide a great first step for those pursuing a career in racing by progressing through the Mazda Road to Indy ladder," said Rock Island Grand Prix president Roger Ruthhart. "Through our partnership with the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Skip Barber Racing School organization, we are honored to be able to present this valuable career and scholarship opportunity to a deserving kart racer."
Before attending the shootout, the winner will first be required to attend a Formula three-day racing program at a Skip Barber Racing School on Sept. 24, which will also be funded by Skip Barber Racing School. Should they win the shootout and move into the Skip Barber Summer or Winter Series presented by Mazda, they will be eligible for the INDYCAR scholarship awarded to the champion of the Skip Barber Championship Shootout which offers a funded ride in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, the first step on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder.
"INDYCAR is very excited to partner with the Rock Island Grand Prix for the second year, and also continue progressing in our new partnership with Skip Barber Racing School," said Jason Penix, director of grassroots initiatives for INDYCAR. "We are focused on bringing in the best talent to the Mazda Road to Indy, and it's evident when looking at the current IZOD IndyCar Series field that these organizations are producing a lot of that talent."
Former Skip Barber Karting Shootout winners include current IZOD IndyCar Series championship contender Ryan Hunter-Reay, who won the event in 1997 and the Skip Barber Racing School championship in 1999.
"The IZOD IndyCar Series is a very strong supporter of grassroots motorsports and they realize that karting is one of the most traveled routes to the Mazda Road to Indy and to professional racing," said Michael Culver, CEO Skip Barber Racing School. "The Rock Island Grand Prix is an essential element of the motorsports fabric. Skip Barber Racing School is proud to support the Rock Island Grand Prix."
The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series race continues with the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 26 at the raceway in Sonoma. The race will be televised by NBC Sports Network at 4 p.m. (ET) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network on SiriusXM (XM 94 and Sirius 212). The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Grand Prix of Baltimore on Sept. 2 on the Streets of Baltimore.
IZOD IndyCarµ Series
GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma
Aug. 26, 2012
Car Driver Hometown Car Name Engine Entrant
2 Ryan Briscoe Sydney, Australia Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet Team Penske
3 Helio Castroneves Sao Paulo, Brazil Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet Team Penske
4 JR Hildebrand Sausalito, Calif. National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet Panther Racing
5 E.J. Viso Caracas, Venezuela CITGO/ PDVSA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet KV Racing Technology
6 Katherine Legge (R) Guildford, England TrueCar Dragon Racing Chevrolet Dragon Racing
7 Sebastien Bourdais Le Mans, France TrueCar Dragon Racing Chevrolet Dragon Racing
8 Rubens Barrichello Sao Paulo, Brazil BMC/Embrase KV Racing Technology Chevrolet KV Racing Technology
9 Scott Dixon Auckland, New Zealand Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Target Chip Ganassi Racing
10 Dario Franchitti Edinburgh, Scotland Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Target Chip Ganassi Racing
11 Tony Kanaan Salvador, Brazil Mouser Electronics/GEICO ¡V KVRT Chevrolet KV Racing Technology w/SH
12 Will Power Toowoomba, Australia Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet Team Penske
14 Mike Conway Bromley, England ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing Honda A.J. Foyt Enterprises
15 Takuma Sato Tokyo Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan
17 Sebastian Saavedra Bogota, Colombia AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport Chevrolet Andretti Autosport
18 Justin Wilson Sheffield, England Sonny's BBQ Honda Dale Coyne Racing
19 James Jakes Leeds, England Boy Scouts of America Honda Dale Coyne Racing
20 Ed Carpenter Indianapolis Fuzzy¡¦s Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet Ed Carpenter Racing
22 Oriol Servia Pals, Spain Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
26 Marco Andretti Nazareth, Pa. Team RC Cola Chevrolet Andretti Autosport
27 James Hinchcliffe Toronto Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Andretti Autosport
28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet Andretti Autosport
38 Graham Rahal New Albany, Ohio Service Central Honda Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing
67 Josef Newgarden (R) Hendersonville, Tenn. Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing
77 Simon Pagenaud (R) Montmorillon, France Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports
78 Simona de Silvestro Thun, Switzerland Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing Lotus Lotus-HVM Racing
83 Charlie Kimball Camarillo, Calif. NovoLog FlexPen Honda Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing
98 Alex Tagliani Lachenaie, Canada Team Barracuda-BHA Honda Bryan Herta Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian
Twenty-seven (27) cars entered. All cars use 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series chassis and Firestone tires.
(R) ¡V Denotes Sunoco Rookie of the Year Candidate
GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma
Saturday, Aug.25 6 p.m. (ET)
NBC Sports Network
Sunday, Aug.26 4 p.m. (ET)
NBC Sports Network (Live)
Track - Raceway in Sonoma (12 turn, 2.31-mile road course)
Distance - 85 laps/196.35 miles
Radio - IMS Radio Network/ XM 94 / Sirius 211
2011 Polesitter Will Power
2011 Winner Will Power
Track Record - 1:16.4792 (108.406) Dario Franchitti, Aug. 2010 (2.303-mile layout)
First IZOD IndyCar Series event: 8/28/2005
Championship quest heads West to Sonoma
The IZOD IndyCar Series championship is anyone¡¦s to win with 15 drivers still with a mathematical chance to win the series title. Will Power took back the championship lead from Ryan Hunter-Reay at Mid-Ohio, but Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon are closing fast on the Aussie¡¦s point lead. Can Power win his third race in a row in Wine Country and pull away from the pack or will the title race tighten up?
Who will win in Wine Country?
The GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma has featured six different winners since the series¡¦ first visit to Sonoma: Tony Kanaan, 2005; Marco Andretti, 2006; Scott Dixon, 2007; Helio Castroneves, 2008; Dario Franchitti, 2009; and Will Power, 2010 and 2011. Can one of these drivers join Power as a repeat winner in Sonoma or will another new face find their way to Wine Country Winners Circle?
New layout for 2012
The raceway at Sonoma unveiled a newly modified track layout, which features changes to Turns 7, 9 and 11 designed to enhance passing. The raceway consulted with IZOD IndyCar Series officials, drivers and team representatives on the changes. With the modifications, the track will be 12 turns and 2.31 miles and race distance will increase from 75 to 85 laps.
Penske looks for Sonoma three-peat
Team Penske looks to add to its dominance at Sonoma. The team has won three of the last four races at the track, including Will Power¡¦s wins from pole in 2010 and 2011, and won the pole position three times. Will Penske¡¦s trio of Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe provide team owner Roger Penske another podium sweep and more hardware this weekend?
Dixon rides momentum back into title race
Coming off his second win of 2012, Scott Dixon gain more ground in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship title picture. Can Dixon, who has four top-five finishes in seven Sonoma starts ¡V including a win in 2007 ¡V get a second straight and strengthen his position in the championship?
Can Briscoe break through?
Ryan Briscoe hopes his past success at Sonoma can lead him to Victory Lane. The Australian won his first IZOD IndyCar Series pole at Infineon Raceway in 2005 and has finished on the podium at the track three of the last four years. Can Briscoe score his first win of 2012 in Sonoma?
Andretti family legacy
The Andretti name has been a major part of auto racing history and the latest generation of the famed family hopes to recapture his success in Sonoma. Marco Andretti, whose grandfather Mario finished second in the first Indy car race at the track, returns to the site his first win. Can Marco, who also won at the track in Firestone Indy Lights, regain his winning form on the Infineon circuit and help his father Michael score his third win at the track as an owner?
Hometown Hero Hildebrand returns
Sausalito native JR Hildebrand will make his third Indy car start at his home track, hoping to return Panther Racing to victory lane. Hildebrand, a former winner at Sonoma in Firestone Indy Lights, began his racing career racing gokarts at Sonoma. Can he score another home win in front of his friends and family?
h The GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma will be the ninth Indy car race at the raceway in Sonoma and the eighth IZOD IndyCar Series event. Will Power is the defending race and pole winner. This will be the first race on the newly modified 12-turn 2.31-mile layout. The IZOD IndyCar Series competed on 12-turn 2.303-mile layout from 2005-2011.
h USAC held an Indy car race in Sonoma in 1970. Dan Gurney won the race.
h Will Power is the only driver to win at Sonoma more than once, winning the races in 2010 and 2011. Past winners Power, Dario Franchitti (2009), Helio Castroneves (2008), Scott Dixon (2007), Marco Andretti (2006) and Tony Kanaan (2005) are entered in the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma.
h There have been five different pole winners in the previous seven races at Sonoma. Ryan Briscoe (2005), Scott Dixon (2006), Dario Franchitti (2007, 2009), Helio Castroneves (2008) and Will Power (2010-11). All are entered at Sonoma this weekend.
h Three drivers have won the race from the pole ¡V Helio Castroneves (2008), Dario Franchitti (2009) and Will Power (2010-11).
h Four drivers have competed in every IZOD IndyCar Series race at Sonoma ¡V Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Danica Patrick. Dixon is the only driver to complete every lap of every race at Sonoma.
h Three drivers entered in the event ¡V Rubens Barrichello, Katherine Legge and Josef Newgarden ¡V will make their first attempt to start an IZOD IndyCar Series race at Sonoma.
h Team Penske has won at Sonoma three times, including the last two races with Will Power. Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport have each won twice at Sonoma.
h Will Power leads the IZOD IndyCar Series championship after 12 races for the second time in his career. He also led at 12 races in 2010.
h Power leads Ryan Hunter-Reay by five points. It¡¦s the fourth time that the lead has been less than 10 points this season. Helio Castroneves led Scott Dixon by eight points after St. Petersburg and two points after Barber.
Power lead Ryan Hunter-Reay by three points after Iowa.
h There are 15 drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series championship: Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe, Simon Pagenaud (R), Tony Kanaan, Dario Franchitti, Ryan Briscoe, Graham Rahal, Oriol Servia, Justin Wilson, Takuma Sato, JR Hildebrand and Marco Andretti. Any driver who trails the leader by 107 points or more following Sonoma will be eliminated from championship contention.
h Sonoma will host its eighth IZOD IndyCar Series event. The winning driver at Sonoma has won the championship once in the prior seven races. (Dario Franchitti, 2009).
h In 16 previous seasons, three drivers have won the 13th event of the season and the IZOD IndyCar Series championship in the same year. Sam Hornish Jr. won at Texas in 2001, Dan Wheldon won at Pikes Peak in 2005 and Scott Dixon won at Edmonton in 2008.
Season to Date:
h Scott Dixon won at Mid-Ohio for the fourth time in six years when he won the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
h Helio Castroneves won at Edmonton City Centre Airport for the first time when he won the Edmonton Indy.
h Ryan Hunter-Reay won three-straight races at Milwaukee Indy Fest at The Milwaukee Mile, the Iowa Corn Indy 250 and Honda Indy Toronto on the streets of Toronto¡¦s Exhibition Place. It was his sixth, seventh and eighth Indy car wins, respectively ¡V most by any active American-born Indy car driver and the first three-peat by an American since Al Unser Jr. in 1990.
h Justin Wilson won the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway ¡V his first oval race and the second Indy car win for Dale Coyne Racing.
h Scott Dixon won the Chevrolet Indy Grand Prix presented by shopautoweek.com at the Raceway at Belle Isle.
h Dario Franchitti won the 96th Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
h Will Power won back-to-back-to-back races at Barber Motorsports Park and the streets of Long Beach, Calif., and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
h Helio Castroneves won the season opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
h Helio Castroneves, Will Power, Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon, Alex Tagliani Dario Franchitti and Ryan Hunter-Reay have won poles this season. Power won the pole at St. Petersburg, Sao Paulo and Mid-Ohio; Castroneves won the pole at Barber; Briscoe won the pole at Long Beach and Indianapolis; Dixon won the pole at Belle Isle; Tagliani won the pole at Texas; Franchitti won three-straight poles at Milwaukee, Iowa and Toronto; Hunter-Reay won the pole at Edmonton.
h Three drivers (Rubens Barrichello, Katherine Legge and Josef Newgarden) started their first career IZOD IndyCar Series race at St. Petersburg.
h James Hinchcliffe has finished in the top-10 in seven of the 10 events of 2012. He failed to finish at Detroit, Iowa and Toronto.
h Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves completed all but three laps in the 2012 season. Pagenaud failed to finish on the lead lap at Brazil, Milwaukee and Edmonton. Castroneves failed to finish on the lead lap at Long Beach, Belle Isle and Texas
h Scott Dixon and Will Power have led eight of 12 races in 2012. Dixon failed to lead at Edmonton, Toronto, Milwaukee and Long Beach. Power failed to lead at Iowa, Milwaukee, Belle Isle and Indianapolis.
h Drivers from six different teams are in the top-10 in points entering Sonoma.
h There were eight race leaders and 10 lead changes at Iowa.
h There were seven race leaders and nine lead changes in the season
opening race at St. Petersburg and in the third race of the season at Long Beach. There were also nine lead changes at Barber Motorsports Park and Texas Motor Speedway.
h There were a season-best 10 race leaders and 34 lead changes at the Indianapolis 500.
Milestones & Records:
h Should Dario Franchitti win the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series championship, he will join Sebastien Bourdais as the only drivers to win four consecutive Indy car titles. Bourdais won four-straight Champ Car titles from 2004-2007.
h Should Dario Franchitti win the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series championship, he will join A.J. Foyt as the only drivers to win five Indy car titles in his career. Franchitti, who won the title in 2007 and again from 2009-2011. Foyt won seven championships in his career.
h With his next victory, Dario Franchitti will pass Paul Tracy and Sebastien Bourdais for sole possession of seventh (7th) on the all-time wins list if neither Bourdais nor Tracy wins before he does. The trio is tied with 31 wins.
h With his victory at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Scott Dixon tied Rick Mears for 10th on the all-time wins list. Dixon has 29 wins.
h With his victory at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, Scott Dixon extended his streak of consecutive seasons with a win to eight.
h Helio Castroneves needs three earned poles to reach 40 career poles in his Indy car career. Castroneves won the pole earlier this year at Barber Motorsports Park.
h Dario Franchitti needs one earned poles to reach 30 in his career.
h Scott Dixon needs two earned poles to reach 20 in his Indy car career.
h With his pole at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, Scott Dixon extended his IZOD IndyCar Series streak to six consecutive seasons.
h Tony Kanaan will attempt to make his 194th consecutive Indy car start, dating to Portland in 2001. Jimmy Vasser holds the all-time record of 211. Scott Dixon with 134 straight starts and Marco Andretti with 110 straight starts are the only other active drivers with a streak of more than 100 consecutive starts.
h Marco Andretti made his 100th IZOD IndyCar Series start at St. Petersburg.
At-Track Schedule (all times local):
Friday, Aug. 24
2:50 ¡V 3:35 p.m. ¡V IZOD IndyCar Series Practice (Rookies and Outside Top-10)
3:35 ¡V 4:05 p.m. ¡V IZOD IndyCar Series Practice (All Cars)
Saturday, Aug 25
10- 10:50 a.m. ¡V IZOD IndyCar Series Practice
2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. ¡V IZOD IndyCar Series Qualifying (Knockout
qualifying/Firestone Fast Six), NBC Sports Network (Taped, 6 p.m. ET).
Sunday, Aug. 26
9- 9:30 a.m. ¡V IZOD IndyCar Series Warm-Up
12:30 p.m. ¡V GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma Pre-Race
1 p.m. ¡V GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma (85 laps), NBC Sports Network (Live)