News for the Week of April 27, 2015 – May 3, 2015

Montoya fastest at IMS Promoter Test – Juan Pablo Montoya was fastest on Sunday on the oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the debut of the new superspeedway aero kits at a Promoters Test. Montoya topped the charts with a lap with an average speed of 226.772 mph. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (5/3/15)

Smithfield to sponsor SPM/Daly No. 43 – “Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) proudly announced today that Smithfield Foods will be the primary sponsor of the No. 43 Verizon IndyCar driven by Conor Daly in the 2015 Indianapolis 500. Smithfield Foods’ iconic flagship brand, Smithfield, will adorn the third Honda-powered SPM entry on opening day of the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500. Founded in Smithfield, Virginia in 1936, this global food company is the world’s largest provider of high-quality pork products.” Conor Daly: “I am ecstatic to partner with Smithfield and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500. I have had a great relationship with Sam Schmidt since driving for him in Indy Lights and I’ve always wanted a shot with his Verizon IndyCar Series team. It’s an honor to make my second attempt at running the Indy 500 representing a company like Smithfield who have a great passion for motorsports. I can’t thank everyone enough who have put in the hours to pull this program together. I am confident we will all benefit from this relationship going forward and I can’t wait to get to work on track!” – SPM – (5/3/15)

Chevy unveils superspeedway aero kit – The design of Chevy’s superspeedway aero kit to be used for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race this May was unveiled on Saturday. Check it out at the link. – INDYCAR – (5/2/15)

Ivy Tech partners with Ganassi/Karam – “Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced today that Indiana-based Ivy Tech Community College has partnered on the No. 8 COMFORT REVOLUTION/Big Machine Records Chevrolet with driver Sage Karam in May for the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Karam will be the centerpiece of a social/digital media campaign during the month of May in Indianapolis leading up to the “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”. The partnership with Karam, 20, provides Ivy Tech a direct connection to the demographic of their student body, and specifically to their automotive tech students with a look to the future of potential careers in motorsports.” – CGRT – (5/1/15)

Much more signage at IMS this year – Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star reports on the additional corporate signage that will be obvious to all spectators at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this month. New signage for Sunoco, Allison Transmission, Angie’s List, Panasonic, and Verizon has been added all over the famous track. IMS President Doug Boles talked to Cavin about the new look. “It is hard to balance it, but at the same time we have to figure out how we move the sport forward a little bit,” Boles said. “Still, when people come to the speedway, we want them to feel like they’re coming to that 106-year-old facility that we all love so much.” – Indianapolis Star – (5/1/15)

Avaya to sponsor Penske No. 22 at both IMS races – Team Penske announced on Friday that Avaya will sponsor the Team Penske No. 22, driven by Simon Pagenaud, at both the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Great new livery at the link or here on our No. 22 livery page. – Team Penske – (5/1/15)

Angie’s List to sponsor BHA No. 98 at GP of Indy – Angie’s List announced on Friday that they will sponsor the Bryan Herta Autosport No. 98, driven by Gabby Chaves, at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9th. Great new livery at the link or here on our No. 98 livery page. – Angie’s List – (5/1/15)

Pippa Mann launches “Get Involved” campaign – Pippa Mann has launched a terrific fundraising campaign for the Susan G. Komen foundation as part of her Indy 500 Program. Visit the link to make a donation and/or buy cool IndyCar memorabilia. – Pippa Mann – (5/1/15)

Curt Cavin’s Carb Night Burger Bash details posted – Fantastic event for all fans of racing: “For the eighth consecutive year, the Carb Night Burger Bash will be held – you guessed it – on Carb Night, which this month is Friday, May 22. The free, family-oriented event co-hosted by Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee will again be held at 96th Street Steakburgers, 4715 E. 96th Street, Indianapolis. It begins promptly at 6:30 p.m. and continues until no gas is left in the tank, which usually is after 10 p.m.” – Indianapolis Star – (5/1/15)

Honda unveils superspeedweay aero kit – “Honda today debuted the “Super Speedway” aero kit of aerodynamic upgrades and components its teams will use at this year’s 99th running of the Indianapolis 500. The Honda Super Speedway Aero Kit, produced by Honda Performance Development, Honda’s racing arm in North America, includes a variety of individual aerodynamic components fitted to the existing Honda-powered Dallara Indy car chassis. All are intended to give Honda’s six Indy car teams – encompassing a potential 17 ‘500’ entrants – the ability to maximize performance at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval and other large ovals ( over one mile in length) on the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.” Images at the link. – Honda – (4/30/15)

Sarah Fisher announces plans for Speedway karting facility – “Indianapolis 500 veteran Sarah Fisher is continuing her tradition of entrepreneurship, announcing today plans for Speedway Indoor Karting (SIK), a 60,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art indoor karting facility that will open to the public in April 2016. The facility will be located at 1067 Main St., in the heart of Speedway, Indiana. The multi-level karting facility is a privately owned investment by Fisher and her husband, Andy O’Gara. SIK will include a 14-turn road course with multiple elevation changes and a banked oval that will be sunk into the floor to enable viewing for spectators on both floors of the facility. A restaurant featuring American cuisine also will be included in the facility. Speedway Indoor Karting is set to open in April 2016, just in time to celebrate the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, and is expected to bring 35 to 40 new jobs to Speedway.” – SIK – (4/30/15)

USA Today Q&A w/James Jakes – USA Today’s Chris Jenkins has a great Q&A with SPM’s James Jakes. It’s a very entertaining read, as evidenced by his response to being asked about his new nickname, “Buckshot”: “It was just a name that was brought up in engineering meetings just to separate James from James. But the ‘Jakesy’ title is still there because of my name, and the ‘Jakesy nation’ is a big part of my fan base. It’s kind of a side nickname to my nickname. My engineer has a big NASCAR background.” – USA Today – (4/30/15)

Devilbiss to sponsor Pagenaud at GP of Indy – “Team Penske has announced DeVilbiss Automotive Refinishing will sponsor driver Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Dallara/Chevrolet at the upcoming Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. In his first year with Team Penske, Pagenaud is the defending race winner of the event—which takes place Saturday, May 9.” “This race will always be special to me, so to have a new sponsor come on board with us for the event is a great opportunity,” says Pagenaud. “I was honoured to be the first INDYCAR winner on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course last year, so hopefully there will be a lot of eyes on the No. 22 DeVillbiss Team Penske Chevy. This is a big weekend as the race begins what we hope is a memorable month of May for Team Penske at Indianapolis.” – Collision Repair – (4/30/15)

In-Car Theater: Barber – RACER/INDYCAR’s popular “IndyCar In-Car Theater” feature for last weekend’s race at Barber Motorsports Park is now posted and a fantastic watch. Check it out at the link. – RACER – (4/30/15)

IMS Promoter Test entry list is out – 30 cars are on the entry list for Sunday’s Promoter Test on the oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The No. 18 and No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing cars have the drivers listed as “TBA” as does the No. 24 to be driven by Townsend Bell as he’ll be racing elsewhere but Davey Hamilton is supposed to shake down that car. Of the confirmed entries, neither JR Hildebrand’s CFH Racing No. 6 or Sebastian Saavedra’s Chip Ganassi Racing No. 17 is on the entry list. – INDYCAR – (4/30/15)

INDYCAR announces post-Barber penalties – “INDYCAR announced the following post-event infractions from the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, which was held April 25-26 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.:
• Chevrolet received a deduction of 20 manufacturer championship points per Verizon IndyCar Series regulations. According to Rule, 20 points will be deducted for a non-minor engine repair to the Chevrolet engine in the No. 8 entry. Chevrolet notified INDYCAR and completed the repair within the scope of the rules.
• INDYCAR officials fined crew members of Team Penske a total of $1,500 for violating Rule 7.9.6 (failure to attend equipment during pit stop).
• INDYCAR officials fined KV Racing Technology $500 for violating Rule (passing over own airhose).
• INDYCAR officials fined a crew member of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams $500 for violating Rule 7.9.6 (failure to attend equipment during pit stop).
• INDYCAR officials withdrew the $500 penalty imposed against a crew member of KV Racing Technology on April 22 for violating Rule (fueling without visor down) after a further internal review.
Members may contest the imposition of the penalties pursuant to the procedures and timelines detailed in the review and appeal procedures of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook.” – INDYCAR – (4/30/15)

Engine manufacturers at 100% reliability so far – RACER’s Marshall Pruett points out that through four entire race weekends thus far this Verizon IndyCar Series season there has been 100% engine reliability from Chevy and Honda. That’s a record since the series moved to the current engine regulations in 2012. Of course, part of that was because of Chevy swapping out a bad batch of valve springs in their engines (resulting in a manufacturers points penalty) but it’s still impressive nonetheless. Many teams will hit the engine mileage floor necessary to swap out an engine after this weekend’s open test at IMS which excites Honda Performance Development VP Steve Eriksen. “We’re now looking at drivers who are getting ready for change-outs and will be getting their second engines,” said Eriksen. “We’re looking forward to getting those points in the Manufacturers’ championship, and to be able to go to the next approved engine specification.” – RACER – (4/29/15)

Jeff Gordon to drive the Indy 500 pace car – Jeff Gordon is the driver of the pace car for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. “Five-time Brickyard 400 winner and four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon will drive a Corvette Z06 pace car for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 mile race, May 24 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is the 13th time a Corvette has served as the official pace car, dating to 1978, and the 26th time a Chevrolet has led the pack for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Corvette has served as the pace car more than any other vehicle in the race’s history.” More at the link. – Jeff Gordon – (4/29/15)

FOX Sports Report: “Honda ‘agrees in principle’ to remain in IndyCar” – Bruce Martin of reports that Derrick Walker told the website that Honda has agreed “in principle” to return to the Verizon IndyCar Series beyond this year. Honda’s current contract expires at the end of this season. “Both manufacturers – Honda and Chevrolet – have been very positive about coming back and we are currently working flat-out putting together a contract to give them to make that happen,” Walker told “As soon as we can get that done. It’s in our legal department. It’s an agreement in principle but the devil is in the details so until we have a written contract, it’s not finalized. I’ve been working on this since I arrived at INDYCAR in 2013. One of the first projects I worked with was on Aero Kits and getting a contract renewal with our partners.” Much more at the link. – FOX Sports – (4/29/15)

IMS revises Promoter Test schedule – A revised schedule for the Verizon IndyCar Series Promoter Test at IMS on Sunday has been posted. Now the veterans of the series will be on track from 9:30AM-10:45AM, ROP will be from 10:45AM-12:00PM, and everyone will be able to practice from 1:00PM-5:00PM. The schedule still says that gates open at 9:30AM. – IMS – (4/29/15)

Servia to drive No. 32 for RLL – Oriol Servia’s car number for his Indy 500 entry with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will be No. 32. The number has special meaning to Servia for multiple reasons. “It’s because I’ve wanted No. 32 since 1999 because I won the Indy Lights championship that year with No. 32,” Servia told “Every team I’ve been with always has had a reason to not have No. 32, so finally I was happy that Bobby (Rahal) said, ‘OK, let’s do it.’ Plus, the first car that won the Indy 500 was No. 32.” – NBC Sports – (4/29/15)

Miller’s Mailbag 4/29/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. Certainly much “happier” than it usually is after a great race weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. – RACER – (4/29/15)

Trackside Podcast 4/28/15 – Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee’s popular “Trackside” radio show was fantastic on Tuesday night with Barber-winning guest Josef Newgarden and a comprehensive discussion on the upcoming activities at IMS. Great listen. – 1070thefan – (4/29/15)

Dixon confirms he’ll drive a Target livery at IMS – Scott Dixon tweeted Tuesday morning that he’ll be driving cars in a Target livery for both races at IMS in May. – Scott Dixon – (4/28/15)

Cavin Q&A 4/28/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A today covers the new Sunoco advertising at IMS, TV broadcasts, Marco Andretti, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (4/28/15)

INDYCAR confirms live streaming of IMS Promoter Test Sunday – INDYCAR tweeted Tuesday morning that there will be live streaming of Sunday’s IMS Promoter Test as the new superspeedway aero kits are tested publicly for the first time. – INDYCAR – (4/28/15)

Honda superspeedway aero kit to be unveiled on Thursday – From an INDYCAR media release: “INDYCAR will host an unveiling of the Honda superspeedway aero kit package at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday, April 30 at 2 p.m. (ET).” – NBC Sports – (4/27/15)

Barber gets a 0.25 TV rating – NBCSN’s telecast of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama drew a 0.25 TV rating on Sunday. – ShowBuzzDaily – (4/27/15)

IMS considering Formula E event – The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Formula E officials have had “introductory conversations” about the possibility of a Formula E race at IMS. IMS President Doug Boles mentioned the possibility of a Formula E event teaming with a sports car weekend at IMS. “The Formula E model is to have stand-alone events, and I don’t think it could be a stand-alone race at [IMS] in the near future,” Boles said. – IBJ – (4/27/15)

IMS oval test set for Sunday – The debut of the Chevy and Honda superspeedway aero kits will be on Sunday, May 3rd at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Rookie Orientation will run from 10AM-12PM and the rest of the field will be on track from 1PM-5PM. – IMS – (4/27/15)

Newgarden wins at Barber – Josef Newgarden grabbed his first career Verizon IndyCar Series win on Sunday at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Graham Rahal used a plethora of late moves to grab P2 and was joined on the podium by Scott Dixon. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/26/15)

Miller’s IMS driver/car scoop – RACER’s Robin Miller updates on what he’s hearing for the missing driver spots for the two races at IMS. He calls for Daly/Davison as the DCR combo for the GP of Indy and for Coyne’s drivers in the 500 to be Davison/Legge. Interesting note here: “Eric Bachelart had originally hoped to run Tagliani in a KVSH spin-off but said he could not get an aero kit confirmation in time, so Tag had to look elsewhere.” – RACER – (4/26/15)

Pigot sweeps at Barber in Race 2 Lights win – Spencer Pigot won Race 2 of the Indy Lights weekend at Barber in a dominant performance just a day after his first Lights win. Former championship leader Ed Jones suffered an early flat tire (due to contact from Kaiser) and could only finish P11. Pigot now leads the championship by seven points. Full results here. – NBC Sports – (4/26/15)

Hamilton, Jr. set for Lights debut? – TrackSide Online reports that Davey Hamilton, Jr., son of Davey Hamilton, will test McCormack Racing’s IL-15 at Putnam Park next week. Hamilton, Jr. is 18 and has tested the old Lights car before. One to watch. – TrackSide Online – (4/26/15)

Davey Hamilton to drive during IMS oval test – Due to 500 driver Townsend Bell being unavailable because of another racing commitment, Davey Hamilton will drive the DRR/Kingdom Racing No. 24 Chevy Dallara entry in next week’s IMS oval open test. “We have the car and we have the test day to use,” Hamilton told MotorSportsTalk Saturday afternoon. “It’ll be my first time in the DW12. It’s my first time in the car since 2011. We figure we should be out there.” – NBC Sports – (4/25/15)

Pigot grabs first Lights win in Race 1 at Barber – Juncos Racing’s rookie Spencer Pigot grabbed his first Indy Lights win in Race 1 of the Indy Lights weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. Pigot quickly ran away from second place finisher Jack Harvey. RC Enerson did well to hold off championship leader Ed Jones for P3. Max Chilton settled for P5. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (4/25/15)

Daly to compete in the Indy 500 with SPM – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has officially announced American Conor Daly as the driver for the team’s third entry in the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Conor will drive the No. 43 Honda powered Dallara. “I am ecstatic to partner with Schmidt Peterson Motorsport for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500,” said Daly. “I have had a great relationship with Sam Schmidt since driving for him in Indy Lights and I’ve always wanted a shot with his Verizon IndyCar Series team. It’s an honor to make my second attempt at running the Indy 500.” – SPM – (4/25/15)

News From Last Week