News for the Week of May 26 – June 1, 2014

Helio grabs a dominant win in Belle Isle – Helio Castroneves won Race #2 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit on Sunday in Belle Isle. Our photo gallery is now in the bottom of the story. Full results here. – OW33 – (6/1/14)

Sato claims shock pole for race #2 in Belle Isle – Takuma Sato finished with a brilliant lap in Group 2 of qualifying to set a new track record and take the pole for Race #2 in Belle Isle this weekend. It looked like Helio Castroneves had the pole wrapped up until Sato surprised everyone with his late run. James Hinchcliffe set a temporary new track record in Group 1 and will start on the outside of row 1 later today. Full results here. – OW33 – (6/1/14)

Power wins wild race #1 at Belle Isle – Will Power wins the 1st of two races in Detroit. Graham Rahal finishes 2nd and Tony Kanaan finishes 3rd. Official results, race recap, and gallery to follow. – OW33 – (5/31/14)

Castroneves wins the pole for Race 1 at Belle Isle – James Hinchcliffe and Jack Hawksworth will start 2nd and 3rd. Simon Pagenaud will start 17th after suffering a penalty in phase 1 of qualifying. Indy 500 champ Ryan Hunter-Reay made contact in Turn 11 and will start 21st. Full results here. – OW33 – (5/31/14)

Munoz calls Belle Isle “bumpiest” on the circuit – “The track is the bumpiest so far here … in America,” said Munoz. “For me, for the rookies in general, it took some time to get up to speed (at Belle Isle) because it’s totally different from what you are used to driving, so it took a little while to get used to the bumps to the corners.” – Detroit Free Press – (5/31/14)

Pagenaud fastest in practice 2 at Belle Isle – Defending Belle Isle Race #2 winner Simon Pagenaud led the way in practice number two on Friday for the Verizon IndyCar Series with a time of 1:17.6502. Mike Conway, who won Race #1 last year, was second fastest. Full results at the link. – Firestone – (5/30/14)

RHR tops the charts in practice 1 at Belle Isle – Indy 500 Champ Ryan-Hunter Reay led the way with a lap of 1:18.8595. A late lap from Simon Pagenaud took him from the bottom of the pack to P4. Last year’s fastest driver in Belle Isle had to settle for P6 after leading most of practice. Full results at the link. – INDYCAR – (5/30/14)

Chaves training for the DW12 on iRacing – Cool article from iRacing on their newest car, the DW12, and Indy Lights star Gabby Chaves getting used to it. “I’m so excited about getting to use iRacing more often,” says Chaves. “The DW12 is now out, a lot of the tracks we’re racing on are in the sim, so I want to use it as a tool not only for practicing but as a tool for visualizing what I’m going to be racing next year. Not saying that I WILL (be racing the DW12 in 2015) and that’s why I’m using it. But I get to see myself in that position and it helps bring that along.” – iRacing – (5/30/14)

All the details for the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit – INDYCAR’s one page with the schedule and other pertinent information for the weekend. Each race will be 70 laps with a 2-wide rolling start and single-file restarts. – INDYCAR – (5/30/14)

Pagenaud previews Belle Isle – Last year’s Race #2 winner Simon Pagenaud previews the Belle Isle weekend with RACER Magazine. Pagenaud:  “Yeah, it’s frustrating thinking that the car should be good – we won last year and had a good car in Long Beach this year – but not knowing, because we haven’t had a chance to keep improving the details, you know? I guess it’s a case of whatever you developed during the winter is what you’re going to have in the race, and you have to deal with it.” – RACER – (5/30/14)

Conway ready for return to Belle Isle – Race #1 winner last year Mike Conway talks to the Detroit Free Press ahead of this weekend’s action. “I love the challenge of the street circuit and being able to hustle the car a bit more than the car will let you sometimes, which is good,” Conway said. “We had a dream of a car here last year with Dale Coyne Racing and I’ll soon see after a couple laps what we have here this time. I really want to get a good result again.” – Detroit Free Press – (5/30/14)

Hunter-Reay family’s wedding invite RSVP proves prophetic – Jalopnik obtained an RSVP card sent by the Hunter-Reay family declining their attendance to a wedding on the day of the Indy 500 because “Hopefully Ryan will be winning the Indy 500 @ the same time as your wedding!” A picture of the card is included. – Jalopnik – (5/29/14)

Mark Miles talks to RACER – Mark Miles says attendance for the Grand Prix of Indy was over 60,000 and that the Jason Aldean concert Saturday night had over 45,000 people. Miles talks about new TV deal prospects and the emphasis on promoting the Verizon IndyCar Series brand in addition to IMS and the Indy 500. The real excitement is when Miles talks about the possibility of the often talked about international races and specifically mentions a Dubai street race as an option. – RACER – (5/29/14)

Belle Isle track repaired after a water main break this week – “We woke here the other morning and a water main had burst and caused the track to buckle between Turns 13 and 14,” said promoter Roger Penske. “The last couple days, we had to dig about 80 feet (of track out) between 13 and 14 and repave it. I thought we were done with the track, but Mother Nature jumps in and gives us a load of water…It was on the racing line, but we poured in asphalt and sealed it. We finished up yesterday and today. We have enough time for it to cure.” – USA Today – (5/29/14)

Nashville Superspeedway sells for $27M – NeXovation, Inc., a Nashville-based company, bought the track for $27 million dollars.  The IndyCar Series raced there from the track’s opening in 2001 through 2008 and hasn’t been back since.  NASCAR’s Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series last raced there in 2011. – – (5/29/14)

RACER goes inside Ganassi – Scott Dixon talks to RACER Magazine about the success behind Chip Ganassi Racing. Too good to abbreviate but here’s a highlight:  “I like Chip’s attitude as a racer. As you go through categories, you sometimes encounter team owners who don’t seem to have enough fight in them or the determination. But Chip cares; one bad practice session and he wants an explanation! ” – RACER – (5/29/14)

Cavin Q&A 5/29/14 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A covers the chances of Karam returning for Fontana (Cavin thinks he will), the possibility of Busch returning for the 500 next year (Cavin thinks he might now that he’s seen he could win), IMS seating, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (5/29/14)

Pruett’s Indy 500 Rewind – RACER Magazine’s Marshall Pruett recaps the 500 with all sorts of “awards” and anecdotes. Terrific as usual. – RACER – (5/29/14)

RHR’s Team Wins Firestone Pit Stop Award at GP of Indy – Ryan Hunter-Reay’s DHL Andretti Autosport Team has won the Firestone Pit Stop Performance Award at the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis. The achievement marks the first time this season that neither a Ganassi or Penske team has won the award. – OW33 – (5/28/14)

More Indy 500 engine change penalties announced – INDYCAR announced today that Chevrolet and Honda both have been penalized 10 Engine Manufacturer Championship points per Verizon IndyCar Series rules for violation of Rule 16.5.1 (engine change under mileage). The engines were changed in the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing car and the No. 25 Andretti Autosport car. – OW33 – (5/28/14)

Marco not pleased with RHR’s driving in last laps of 500 – “Congrats to Ryan, he almost took me out in Turn 3 — I almost crashed,” Marco Andretti said after the race. “I think if it wasn’t for the Indy 500, I was going to be pretty mad at Ryan, but it is for the Indy 500 and he’s up there and I’m not.” RHR’s response: “It wasn’t a block at all,” said Hunter-Reay. “He didn’t have the position. His front wing got to my left rear. If he wanted the position, he needed to be higher up there. We always talk about going for the win at the end of the race.” – FOX Sports – (5/28/14)

Texas race to air on NBCSN – The Firestone 600 will air on NBCSN on 6/7/14. It was tentatively scheduled to air on CNBC until the official Stanley Cup Finals schedule was released today. – Arni Sribhen – (5/28/14)

Indy 500 engine change penalties announced – Honda engines were changed out in the Nos. 14, 15, 19, 27 and 34 entries. Each occurrence is a 10-point penalty incurred by the manufacturer. Also, engine changes in the No. 5 (Jacques Villeneuve/Schmidt Peterson Motorsports), No. 16 (Oriol Servia/Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing), No. 41 (Martin Plowman/A.J. Foyt Racing) and No. 68 (Alex Tagliani/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing) cars violated Rule 16.5.1 (entrant initiated engine change under mileage). Each entrant and driver has been assessed a 10-point penalty, according to Verizon IndyCar Series rules. – OW33 – (5/28/14)

Miller’s Mailbag 5/28/14 – RACER Magazine’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A covers all sorts of 500 questions. A great read as always. – RACER – (5/28/14)

Cavin Q&A 5/28/14 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A covers the Busch/Karam 500 ROY debate, ABC’s 500 coverage, GP attendance numbers, car counts, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (5/28/14)

IMS sees attendance increase for Month of May – Indianapolis Motor Speedway had a lot more people come through the gates in May with the addition a new race, more concerts, and an extra day of practice. And it wasn’t just the new events, attendance was up for race weekend as well. “We’ve had more people on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Friday, Saturday and Sunday this past weekend than we’ve ever had,” IMS President Doug Boles said. – WTHR – (5/28/14)

Detroit newspaper’s weekend preview – The Detroit Free Press has a solid preview of the racing activity coming this weekend. The article highlights everything that is going on for the Detroit Grand Prix including what’s new for 2014 such as the Stadium Super Truck Series, new chalets, and a new Chevy pedestrian bridge. The article also gives a tentative schedule for all the events of the weekend. – Detroit Free Press – (5/27/14)

This Day in Racing History 5/27/14 – On this day in history, Dario Franchitti won the Indianapolis 500 in 2012, with an average speed of 167.734 mph. The win marked Dario’s 3rd Indianapolis 500 victory. Check out the full telecast on the IMS website HERE. – (5/27/14)

On-board shot from Austin’s scary Lights crash – The terrifying on-board camera video from Chase Austin’s scary crash in the Indy Lights Freedom 100 last Friday. – @RoadToIndyTV – (5/27/14)

ESPN explains how Schmidt’s Corvette works – ESPN’s Sport Science breaks down how Sam Schmidt is able to drive his semi-autonomous motorcar (S.A.M.) Corvette. A must watch video! – ESPN – (5/27/14)

Busch named 2014 Sunoco Indy 500 Rookie of the Year – Kurt Busch was named the 2014 Sunoco Indy 500 Rookie of the Year at the 500 Awards Banquet on Monday night over Sage Karam. Busch was the highest rookie finisher at P6 and was consistently fast all month long. – IMS – (5/27/14)

Indy 500 Victory Banquet – You can watch the Indianapolis 500 Victory Banquet in full with the video below. The highlight of the event has to be the Hinchcliffe/Carpenter interaction which starts at 43:30. A story on the event can be found at the link. – WTHR – (5/27/14)

Cavin Q&A 5/27/14 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A covers ABC’s obsession with drivers’ WAGS at the end, Busch’s finish and position ABOVE Rahal in the standings, the flowers in the turns for the 500, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (5/27/14)

Indy 500 payouts announced at Victory Banquet – Ryan Hunter-Reay’s victory in the 500 earned his team a paycheck of $2,491,194 and the total purse for the event was $14,321,760. The official box score has been updated with the money earned by each car and can be found here. – INDYCAR – (5/27/14)

Jonathan Byrd’s Racing to partner with KVSH for 2015 500 effort – Jonathan Byrd’s Racing announced their plans to return to the 2015 Indy 500 with Bryan Clauson earlier this month but details are still emerging. Today they announced that they will partner with KVSH in a move that certainly legitimizes their intentions. – Jonathan Byrd’s Racing – (5/26/14)

Many fans upset by ABC’s coverage of the last laps of the 500 – Deadspin highlights why so many IndyCar fans are upset about how ABC handled the end of the Indy 500 with their coverage. As you’ll see in the video, ABC split-screened most of the end with video of Hunter-Reay and Castroneves’ significant others while the international feed focused only on the racing. – Deadspin – (5/26/14)

The Open Wheel’s Freedom 100 Photo Gallery – Click the link for our photo gallery from the Indy Lights Freedom 100 on Carb Day. – Freedom 100 Gallery – (5/26/14)

Busch’s full-distance double dream ends with blown engine – Kurt Busch was following up his 6th place finish at the Indy 500 with a solid drive at the Coca-Cola 600 before a blown engine ended his night at 907 miles for the day. “I can’t let what happened here dampen the mood on what happened up in Indianapolis,” Busch said. – AP – (5/26/14)

Indy 500 Highlights – INDYCAR-produced highlights from yesterday’s amazing race. – INDYCAR – (5/26/14)

Hunter-Reay Prevails in Second-Closest Finish in Indy 500 History – Hunter-Reay, driving the No. 28 DHL car for Andretti Autosport, held off three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves by a hair-raising .0600 of a second — the second-closest margin of victory in the event — in a six-lap shootout to claim his first Indy 500 victory. Marco Andretti finished .3171 of a second back for his third third-place finish in nine starts. “It’s a dream come true,” said Hunter-Reay, who is the first American winner since Sam Hornish Jr. in 2006. “This (race) is American history; this is better than a championship. I hope the fans loved it because I was on the edge of my seat.” Hunter-Reay started 19th. There were 32 lead changes among 11 drivers. – INDYCAR – (5/25/14)

Freedom 100 Race Results – Gabby Chaves pulled out another amazing last lap pass to win this years 2014 Freedom 100. Chaves was third going into turn 4, but as they went 4 wide coming down the front stretch he waited until just the right moment to make his move to pass for the lead. The winning differential to second place, Matthew Brabham, was just 0.005 seconds. Check out the full results HERE. – Indy Lights – (5/23/14)

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