News for the Week of April 11, 2016 – April 17, 2016

Pagenaud grabs his first win for Penske at Long Beach – Simon Pagenaud grabbed his first win for Team Penske as he won a controversial, caution-free 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Pagenaud moved ahead of Scott Dixon in the last pit stop sequence but appeared to cross the blend line too early but suffered only a warning after a review by Race Control. The rest of the Top 5 was Dixon, Castroneves, Montoya, and Sato. Relive the race with our “live blog” of the event here. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/17/2016)

Rahal fastest in Long Beach morning warmup – Graham Rahal broke up the Team Penske dominance of the weekend as his lap of 1:07.3319 was the fastest of the morning warmup for the 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The rest of the Top 5 was Castroneves, Montoya, Hinchcliffe, and Dixon. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/17/2016)

Uniform aero kit possible for ’17 – USA Today’s Brant James reports that all kinds of potential aero kit changes are on the table for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series. “I don’t think aero kits go away,” Miles said. “We’ve got them. We’ve learned a lot. Both companies have learned a lot. I think the questions are more from conforming them in some way to continuing the competition between them, what’s the right mode to be in. We’re looking at possibilities from continuing with some shaping of the extent of the competition between them to every other possibility.” Much more at the link. – USA Today – (4/17/2016)

Long Beach moves to April 7-9 for 2017 – NBC Sports’ Tony DiZinno reports that next year’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be April 7-9, 2017. That’s moved forward one week from it’s typical weekend due to Easter being the following weekend. – NBC Sports – (4/16/2016)

Report: Green to drive GP of Indy pace car – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin reports that author John Green will be the celebrity pace car driver for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. “I’m thrilled,” he told IndyStar. “This is so cool.” – Indianapolis Star – (4/16/2016)

California Pizza Kitchen and Robert Graham to sponsor Bell’s 500 effort – “California native Townsend Bell will be partnering with a hometown brand for his 2016 Indianapolis 500 effort, as California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), the authority in creative dining with a California vibe, joins to lead the No. 29 car’s sponsorship for May’s historic race…Joining California Pizza Kitchen as a co-primary sponsor on the No. 29 will be Bell’s long-time sponsor and fashion industry leader, Robert Graham. The American Eclectic lifestyle brand will pull from its creative style to combine the influential design and complex patterns of Robert Graham with the globally-recognized branding of California Pizza Kitchen.” – Andretti Autosport – (4/16/2016)

Castroneves wins the pole at Long Beach – Team Penske topped the charts again at Long Beach as Helio Castroneves’ lap of 1:07.1246 won the pole for the 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The rest of the Firestone Fast 6 was Dixon, Pagenaud, Kanaan, Montoya, and Power. The session was filled with drama due to multiple timing & scoring issues causing changes to the order after the end of sessions and where the T&S line was located. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/16/2016)

Michael Shank Racing considering 500 entry – Michael Shank, owner of a Honda-powered IMSA entrants Michael Shank Racing, told RACER he’s been approached by some one-off Indy 500 entry possibilities to assist with their efforts and that it’s under consideration. “Indianapolis and the 500, especially the 100th, is a big deal to me,” said Shank. “With us having won the 50th Rolex 24, the 100th Indianapolis 500 would be another great event to be a part of. With our Le Mans 24 plans, the 500 wasn’t really on our target list as something to go out and try to put together. But when the phone started to ring, I was certainly at least listening to see what kind of programs needed help. Those decisions pretty much all need to be made now, so we will see what happens.” – RACER – (4/16/2016)

Power tops the charts in Practice 3 at Long Beach – Team Penske’s Will Power’s lap of 1:06.8892 was fastest in Practice 3 for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The rest of the Top 5 was Pagenaud, Castroneves, Montoya, and Aleshin. Ryan Hunter-Reay brought out a red flag during the session with this contact with the tire barriers in Turn 9. The session had another red for this incident involving Graham Rahal. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/16/2016)

Power grabs P1 in Practice 2 at Long Beach – Team Penske’s Will Power’s lap of 1:07.5992 was the fastest lap in Practice 2 for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The rest of the Top 5 was Hinchcliffe, Rahal, Pagenaud, and Montoya. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/15/2016)

Andretti visor cam from Long Beach – INDYCAR’s excellent visor cam video feature continues this time with Marco Andretti at Long Beach. Check it out. – INDYCAR – (4/15/2016)

Montoya fastest in Practice 1 at Long Beach – Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya’s lap of 1:08.1290 was good enough for the top spot in Practice 1 for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The rest of the Top 5 was Power, Hawksworth, Newgarden, and Sato. Alexander Rossi brought out a red flag during the session with this foray into the tire barriers in Turn 8. The session ended under a red flag as Charlie Kimball’s car had an issue with its brakes and went up in smoke. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/15/2016)

“TO” hangs out with Ganassi teams at Long Beach on Friday – Former NFL Star Terrell Owens spent his Friday with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams as practice started for the Verizon IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix. Picture at the link. – CGRT – (4/15/2016)

Barber finishing prep for race and expanding museum – As Barber Motorsports Park prepares for next weekend’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama they’re working on an 85,000 square foot expansion of the famous Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. “I think we’re looking at 80-90,000 people for the (race) weekend, which is good,” Barber said. “People from all over the world and all over the United States come for this event.” More at the link. – Alabama NewsCenter – (4/15/2016)

Michael Andretti not happy with Indy 500 aero decisions – AUTOSPORT has a tremendous article with some strong takes by Michael Andretti about the ramifications of the new dome skids at Indy and the future of aero kits. Check out the full article but here’s a sample: “I’m hoping to God we are going to get there and by some miracle the Hondas will be competitive with the Chevrolets but there isn’t a lot of hope because we didn’t get what we needed and are locked in. That’s going to be the story of the month of May and what is disappointing is it didn’t need to be that way…We are trying to fix them but when you start behind the eight ball like last year you are playing catch-up and you will continue to play catch-up until we get rid of these stupid kits.” – AUTOSPORT – (4/15/2016)

Weekend attendance at Long Beach expected to be 180,000 – is reporting that the total weekend attendance at Long Beach is expected to be 180,000 fans and visitors. – – (4/15/2016)

Grace Autosport denies KVSH links – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports that Grace Autosport owner Beth Paretta has dismissed reports that her program has reached a deal with KVSH Racing to team up in an effort for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. “We haven’t made any statements on racing with [KVSH], or any team for that matter,” said Paretta, who is in Long Beach for meetings with potential Indy 500 entrants. “We are busy working to finalize our program, and the interest has been incredible. We are happy to be bringing new partners to the sport who see the value in this incredible platform of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in action. Grace is about tenacity, team work, and education and we look forward to bringing our team to the 500 and more.” – RACER – (4/14/2016)

Report: Penske to drive Indy 500 pace car – Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star reports that Roger Penske will be the celebrity driver of the pace car for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. – Indianapolis Star – (4/14/2016)

RLL teams up with Theodore Racing for Long Beach and Indy races – “Teddy Yip’s Theodore Racing will make its return to the IndyCar Series, America’s premier motor racing category, at Long Beach. Following a 31-year absence, the team will partner Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing to support full-time driver Graham Rahal who will be joined at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Indy 500 by teammate, Spencer Pigot. Theodore Racing’s three-race campaign continues for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 14 before peaking at the Indy 500 on May 29 where Graham Rahal’s No. 15 Honda will be entered under ‘Rahal Letterman Lanigan with Theodore Racing.’” – RLL – (4/14/2016)

GP of Boston signs agreements with City/State government agencies – “Today, the Grand Prix of Boston announced that it has signed and executed License Agreements and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the necessary City of Boston and state agencies, completing another major step for establishing the race to run in the South Boston Waterfront neighborhood this Labor Day weekend…As part of its next steps following the signing of the agreements and MOU, the Grand Prix of Boston will continue to work closely with city and state agencies on other aspects of the race including the road improvement and traffic management plan, a transportation plan as well as the safety and security plan.” – GP of Boston – (4/14/2016)

INDYCAR makes domed skids at Indy official – After the April 6 aero kit test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, INDYCAR has made the use of the new superspeedway “domed skids” official for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. “In confirming the use of the domed skids, IndyCar president Jay Frye said the Indianapolis-based sanctioning body will allow a 9 millimeter modification to optional sidewalls. IndyCar will not allow strakes, which are aero pieces designed to create more downforce.” – Indianapolis Star – (4/13/2016)

TAG Heuer to produce two new Indy 500 watches – “TAG Heuer has been around since 1860, so it knows a thing or two about history. To help commemorate the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil in May, the company will debut two new watches dedicated to the sport…The Carrera Heuer 01 Indy Limited and TAG Heuer Formula 1 Indy Limited will be unveiled during the Time Crafters Exhibition in New York from May 12-15, two weeks before the legendary 100th running, and be available for purchase at that time. The Carrera Heuer 01 Indy Limited is priced at $5,500 while the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Indy Limited retails for $1,600.” Images at the link. – INDYCAR – (4/13/2016)

IndyCar Legends to be streamed at 10:30PM ET 4/13/16 – “The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles welcomes the top five winning drivers in ‪Indy car‬ history for an exclusive #IndyCarLegends Q&A symposium, streamed LIVE on tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET.” Watch the event featuring Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti, Scott Dixon, Al Unser, and AJ Foyt at the link. – INDYCAR – (4/13/2016)

The Open Wheel’s Long Beach preview – Our own Dylan Reynolds’ preview of the 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is packed with all applicable event information for the weekend, previous results, and even some Fantasy INDYCAR advice. Check it out. – The Open Wheel – (4/13/2016)

Miller’s Mailbag 4/13/16 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (4/13/2016)

Trackside podcast 4/12/16 – 1070 The Fan’s popular Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 4/12/16 is a great listen as always. The pair previews the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and discuss all of the latest INDYCAR news. – 1070 The Fan – (4/13/2016)

Long Beach spotter guide is posted – INDYCAR has posted the spotter guide for this weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. New liveries for this season for the No. 3 (AAA), No. 11 (CBU), No. 15 (PennGrade), and No. 22 (PPG). Check it out at the link. – INDYCAR – (4/13/2016)

Report: INDYCAR investigating possibilities of race in OKC – Oklahoma City TV station KFOR reports that the city council of Oklahoma City has allowed INDYCAR to investigate the possibility of hosting an INDYCAR race weekend somewhere in the city. “There are several steps that have to happen before I would call this serious but it’s nice that people are noticing us,” Mayor Mick Cornett said. “This is a promoter that’s already doing a high-profile race in Boston and when they look at Oklahoma City as a potential market, we should feel good about it.” – KFOR – (4/12/2016)

Newgarden throws out first pitch at Tigers game – Josef Newgarden threw out the first pitch at a Detroit Tigers game on Tuesday as part of promotional activity for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix in June. Newgarden’s pitch didn’t make it to the catcher and instead bounced on it’s way in to the plate. “The doubleheader race weekend is going to be great,” said Newgarden. “The Motor City rules. I love this ballpark. It’s one of the great baseball stadiums.” Video of the pitch can be seen here. – Detroit Free Press – (4/12/2016)

New livery for KVSH No. 11 at Long Beach – KVSH Racing’s No. 11 machine for Sebastien Bourdais will have a new livery for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this weekend. California Baptist University is the new sponsor with a beautiful navy, gold, and white livery. Check it out at our No. 11 livery page here. – Sebastien Bourdais – (4/12/2016)

MillerCoors named official beer and cider of INDYCAR – “A longtime partner and sponsor in Indy car racing, MillerCoors has reached a multiyear partnership agreement with INDYCAR that will see the second-largest brewer in the United States become the official beer and cider of INDYCAR and activate its status in many Verizon IndyCar Series race markets.” “We’re delighted to welcome MillerCoors back to INDYCAR and excited to add another commercial partner to the Verizon IndyCar Series,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “The key to this partnership is MillerCoors’ plans to activate in many of our race markets, which we’re confident is an essential component in furthering the momentum of the Verizon IndyCar Series this season.” – INDYCAR – (4/12/2016)

Entry list posted for Long Beach – INDYCAR has posted the entry list for this weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. No major surprises in regards to the car/driver combinations as Filippi stays in the No. 19 but does look like new liveries for the No. 3 (AAA) and No. 22 (PPG) in addition to the new livery for the No. 15 (PennGrade – see below). – INDYCAR – (4/11/2016)

PennGrade livery unveiled for No. 15 at Long Beach – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s No. 15 for Graham Rahal will have a new PennGrade livery at this weekend’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Check it out at our No. 15 livery page here. – PennGrade – (4/11/2016)

Kyle Busch continues to express 500 interest – Kyle Busch once again expressed his legitimate interest in competing in this year’s 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race after his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Texas. Here’s what he had to say: “I don’t know. I’d give it a whirl. But I’ve got to get it approved here first. You know, it would be pretty funny if I can get my Cup sponsors to pay for it. Then it would be pretty easy to convince Joe. So that may be my best strategy. So I’ll work on that. We’ll see.” – NBC Sports – (4/11/2016)

De La Hoya named Long Beach Grand Marshal – “A superstar whose popularity transcends boxing, Oscar De La Hoya has been named Grand Marshal for the 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 17. De La Hoya will be joined by Taya Kyle, wife of Navy SEAL and “American Sniper” Chris Kyle, who will wave the green flag for the Verizon IndyCar Series race on Sunday as the Honorary Starter. In addition, during the pre-race activities, Sgt. Marcus Dangelo of the California Army National Guard 40th Infantry Division Band will sing the national anthem and fans will be treated to a flyover of a Boeing C-17 military transport airplane by the U.S. Air Force out of March Air Reserve Base in Moreno Valley.” – Toyota GP of Long Beach – (4/11/2016)

Daly and Rossi pub INDYCAR at Indy Supercross event – Verizon IndyCar Series rookies Conor Daly and Alexander Rossi spent time at the 2016 AMA Monster EnergySupercross on April 9 at Lucas Oil Stadium to publicize INDYCAR at the largely attended racing event. They had a good time. “It’s was really cool to get a behind the scenes look,” said Daly. “To get to go on the track – I’ve never done that before. It’s amazing to see all that goes into it and all the details behind the scenes with the team. I loved it. I really, really enjoyed it.” – INDYCAR – (4/11/2016)

SNS adds Rahal-themed gift cards – Steak ‘n Shake has added new gift cards with the image of Graham Rahal and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s No. 15 machine. The very cool sponsor activation can be seen at the link courtesy of Rahal’s Twitter. – Graham Rahal – (4/11/2016)

RHR adds IMSA to Long Beach duties – Ryan Hunter-Reay will co-pilot the No. 90 VisitFlorida Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype during the IMSA race at Long Beach next weekend. “The last time I did it a double was with A.J. Foyt at Homestead when I was also driving for Level 5, but that was different because the IndyCar race was on the oval and the ALMS race was on the road course,” Hunter-Reay told RACER. – RACER – (4/7/2016)

Kaufman to team with Indianapolis Children’s Choir for ‘Back Home Again in Indiana’ – “When the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil welcomes race fans with the traditional singing of “Back Home Again in Indiana,” a distinct Indianapolis flavor will mark the occasion. Indianapolis’ own Josh Kaufman, winner of the sixth season of television’s “The Voice,” will perform the beloved song at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with accompaniment by the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, a fixture of the Central Indiana community for 30 years.” – IMS – (4/7/2016)

Schmidt holding off on 500 3rd car plans for dome skid decision – David Malsher reports that Sam Schmidt is still evaluating whether or not he’ll run a third car for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and is leaning towards running a driver with experience. Stefan Wilson, Gabby Chaves, and Oriol Servia are drivers mentioned as possibilities. “The effect dome skids have on the car’s handling would make it very difficult to run a pure rookie at the Speedway,” Schmidt told “I just don’t know how I could take that risk. And I already wrote off two chassis last year.” More at the link. – – (4/7/2016)

IMS re-brands museum – Indianapolis Motor Speedway has re-branded the Hall of Fame Museum with a new logo and name change to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. “The new name and website are just the beginning,” museum board member Robert Dyson said in a statement. “The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is undergoing a revitalization, and we are now focusing on how to make major changes in the museum and visitor experience, including interactive exhibits that tell the stories of the drivers and their cars and immerse visitors in the experience of the Indy500 and the rich history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.” – IBJ – (4/7/2016)

Andretti furious with Chevy “sandbagging” after IMS aero test – RACER’s Robin Miller’s caught up with Marco Andretti after Wednesday’s aero kit open test on the oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and he had no problem calling out the Chevy teams for not performing to the best of their abilities. It’s worth a watch as it’s created quite the debate in the INDYCAR community already. – RACER – (4/7/2016)

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