News for the Week of April 10, 2017 – April 16, 2017

IBJ offers insight into new INDYCAR tv deal talks – The Indianapolis Business Journal’s Anthony Schoettle has posted a nice report on the upcoming negotiations for the new Verizon IndyCar Series TV deal. The current deal with NBC and ABC/ESPN expires after the 2018 season and negotiations on the new contracts are expected to begin this month. Full report at the link. – IBJ – (4/13/2017)

Report: O’Ward expects to be back with Team Pelfrey at Barber – Motorsports Tribune’s Christopher DeHarde reports Indy Lights rookie Pato O’Ward expects to return with Team Pelfrey at Barber Motorsports Park next weekend. O’Ward made his debut with the team in the season opener at St. Pete but his deal was only publicly confirmed for the opening weekend. “As everyone knows, it’s a long championship so anything can happen here in a couple of months, but I’m pretty sure you’ll see me at Barber,” O’Ward said. “It’s not official, (but) it’s a bad idea to not be there.” Full report at the link. – Motorsports Tribune – (4/13/2017)

Dixon fastest again in second session of Texas testing – Chip Ganassi Racing Team’s Scott Dixon was fastest in the second session of the Verizon IndyCar Series open test at Texas Motor Speedway with a lap at 221.974mph. The rest of the Top 5 was Rahal, Pagenaud, Castroneves, and Andretti. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/13/2017)

Michael Andretti to call strategy for Alonso –’s David Malsher reports Michael Andretti will call the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race for Fernando Alonso. “One good thing is about this is that we know how to deal with rookies, and we’ll have to consider Fernando a rookie,” said Andretti. “But we know what a talent he is, too, and he’ll be up to speed very quick, running right there with his teammates. Full report at the link. – – (4/12/2017)

ASIMO named Grand Marshal at Barber – “Barber Motorsports Park and ZOOM Motorsports announced today that a humanoid robot -­‐ ASIMO -­‐ will serve as this year’s Grand Marshal for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by America’s First, held April 21 – 23 in Birmingham, Ala.” Full release at the link. – Barber Motorsports Park – (4/12/2017)

Dixon fastest in first session of Texas testing – Chip Ganassi Racing Team’s Scott Dixon was fastest in the first session of the Verizon IndyCar Series open test at Texas Motor Speedway with a lap at 219.362mph. The rest of the Top 5 was Power, Pagenaud, Castroneves, and Rahal. Full results at the link. – The Open Wheel – (4/12/2017)

Michael Shank Racing partners with Andretti for Harvey Indy 500 entry – “Michael Shank Racing will team with Andretti Autosport to campaign the No. 50 Michael Shank Racing with Andretti Autosport Honda/Dallara with driver Jack Harvey for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500. The collaboration marks the newest chapter for Columbus, Ohio-based Mike Shank, who competed as a driver in the open wheel ranks and made one IndyCar start in 1997 before moving to focus on team ownership.” Full release at the link. – Michael Shank Racing – (4/12/2017)

INDYCAR to stream Texas test on 4/12 – INDYCAR announced they will live stream the Verizon IndyCar Series open test on Wednesday April 12th. Sessions will run from 11AM-2PM and 4PM-7PM ET. Only seven of the Honda car/driver combinations will test: Aleshin, Chilton, Dixon, Kanaan, Bourdais, Jones, and Hunter-Reay. – INDYCAR – (4/12/2017)

Stefan Wilson key to Alonso/Andretti deal – RACER’s Robin Miller reports Stefan Wilson was key to the deal that allowed Andretti Autosport to have a car for Fernando Alonso. Wilson had a deal connected with Andretti Autosport to run in the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race but Mark Miles spoke with Wilson to negotiate him out of that deal to free up the car with the promise of more IMS backing for ’18. The full must-read story is at the link. – RACER – (4/12/2017)

Alonso to race at Indy 500 with Andretti/McLaren/Honda partnership – “On May 28th 2017 McLaren will enter a single car in the 101st Indianapolis 500, powered by Honda. The car will be run by the Andretti Autosport team, headed by founder, owner and Chief Executive Officer Michael Andretti.” “I’m immensely excited that I’ll be racing in this year’s Indy 500, with McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport,” said Alonso. Full release at the link. – McLaren – (4/12/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 4/12/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (4/12/2017)

Trackside podcast 4/11/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 4/11/17 is a great listen as always. “The guys are joined by Indy Lights drivers Nico Jamin and Juan Piedrahita, Chris Denari of the Pacers and IMS Radio Network, Dalton Kellett from the Mazda Road to Indy, Katie Hargitt, Terry Linger, and Taylor Rollins of NBC Sports, and Super Trucks driver Matt Brabham, and Kyle Kaiser of Juncos Racing.” – 1070 The Fan – (4/12/2017)

Daly throws out first pitch at Tigers game – Conor Daly threw out the first pitch at the Detroit Tigers game on Monday, 4/11. See his perfect strike at the link. – Detroit Tigers – (4/11/2017)

NBCSN gets 0.21 TV rating for Long Beach – The NBCSN broadcast of the 43rd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach drew a 0.21 TV rating. That is substantially less than other motorsports broadcasts on network television over the weekend. FOX broadcasts earned 0.58 (IMSA), 1.12 (Xfinity), and 2.74 (Monster Energy Cup) on Saturday and Sunday. – ShowBuzzDaily – (4/11/2017)

Hildebrand suffered broken bone in left hand in Long Beach incident – From INDYCAR: “@JRHildebrand suffered a broken bone in his left hand during an incident at the #TGPLB. He will be re-evaluated this week.” – INDYCAR – (4/11/2017)

Chaves named Indy 500 driver for newly formed Harding Racing – “Two Indianapolis businessmen, Mike Harding of Harding Group and Dennis Reinbold of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, have formed a technical alliance for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil and will field an entry for driver Gabby Chaves…Chaves will drive the No. 88 Harding Racing Chevrolet.” “I’m extremely delighted to have the opportunity to get to challenge for my third Indy 500,” Chaves said. “I am very excited to be joining a new team with our new owner, Mike Harding, and everyone involved, including Larry Curry, who has been instrumental in getting the team together and guiding it.” Check out the livery on our No. 88 livery page here. Full release at the link. – The Open Wheel – (4/10/2017)

Arrow Electronics livery for Urrutia for the rest of the season – Belardi Auto Racing’s car for Santiago Urrutia in Indy Lights will have an Arrow Electronics livery similar to James Hinchcliffe for the rest of 2017 according to a tweet from Urrutia. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has a partnership with Belardi for this entry. Check out the livery on our Lights No. 5 livery page here. – Santiago Urrutia – (4/10/2017)

Hinchcliffe wins at Long Beach – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe pulled away on a couple late restarts to win the 43rd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The rest of the Top 5 was Bourdais, Newgarden, Dixon, and Pagenaud. Relive the race with our live blog here. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/9/2017)

Harvey confirmed for Indy 500 ride with Andretti – “Freedom 100 Champion to Pilot No. 50 Honda for 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500. In the midst of Verizon IndyCar Series competition in Long Beach, California, reigning Indianapolis 500 champions Andretti Autosport have confirmed that Englishman Jack Harvey will drive the No. 50 Honda for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500.” “The Indy 500 is easily the biggest race I have entered in my career so far,” said Harvey. “It is one of the most iconic races in the world and I feel extremely privileged to be taking part in it. To have the opportunity to do this with one of the best teams on the grid – a team that has won two of the last three races there – is more than I could have dreamed of.” Full release at the link. – Andretti Autosport – (4/9/2017)

Castroneves wins the pole at Long Beach – Team Penske and Helio Castroneves won the pole for the 43rd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach with a lap of 1:06.2254 in the Firestone Fast 6. The rest of the Firestone Fast 6 order was Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Rossi, and Rahal. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/8/2017)

Schmidt and Mario Andretti to race at IMS – “Former INDYCAR drivers Sam Schmidt and Mario Andretti announced today they will go head to head in a race next month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports co-owner and Indianapolis 500 legend will race semi-autonomous cars on the circuit’s 2.439-mile permanent road course on May 13 ahead of the INDYCAR Grand Prix…A sip-and-puff device that Schmidt breathes into enables him to accelerate and brake. Voice commands enable Sam to switch gears and turn the SAM Car on and off. Andretti will use the same technology to drive an Arrow-modified Stingray SAM Car.” Full release at the link. – SPM – (4/8/2017)

Veach announced for Indy 500 entry with Foyt – “The Indy Women in Tech Championship presented by Guggenheim announced it will be the primary sponsor for AJ Foyt Racing’s No. 40 Chevrolet to be driven by Zach Veach at this year’s 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500.” “To compete in the Indianapolis 500 is a dream I’ve had since I was four years old, so when the opportunity came about to join AJ Foyt Racing with the support of the IWiT Championship and Guggenheim, I was ecstatic,” said Veach. Full release at the link. – AJ Foyt Racing – (4/7/2017)

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