News for the Week of June 22, 2015 – June 28, 2015

MAVTV 500 Info:

Weekend ScheduleCircuit MapEntry ListSpotter GuidePit Lane Assignments

Rahal wins at Fontana – Graham Rahal won the 2015 MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday in a wild race. Rahal held off Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti until a scary Ryan Briscoe crash with one lap to go brought out a race ending caution. “It’s been so long coming; it’s awesome,” said Rahal. Full results at the link. Check out our live blog of the race here. – INDYCAR – (6/27/2015)

Pagenaud wins the Fontana pole – Simon Pagenaud won the pole for Saturday’s Verizon IndyCar Series MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway with a two lap average of 218.952mph. The rest of the Top 5 was Castroneves, Andretti, Carpenter, and Montoya. Full results at the link. – INDYCAR – (6/26/2015)

INDYCAR extends aero kit specs through 2017 – INDYCAR has extended the current aero specifications through 2017 according to this report from the Indianapolis Star. Honda is pleased by this decision. “We’ve been waiting to see where the aero kits are going, to see what IndyCar’s vision is,” Steve Eriksen, HPD’s vice president and chief operating officer told The Star today at Auto Club Speedway. “This gives us something to look at.” – Indianapolis Star – (6/26/2015)

Briscoe to drive the No. 5 the rest of the year – Per this tweet from Curt Cavin Ryan Briscoe will the the substitute driver for the injured James Hinchcliffe in the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports No. 5 for the rest of the season. – Curt Cavin – (6/26/2015)

Dixon fastest in second practice at Fontana – Scott Dixon’s fastest lap of 217.629mph was good enough for P1 during Practice 2 for the Verizon IndyCar Series in preparation for the MAVTV 500. The rest of the Top 5 was Pagenaud, Carpenter, Sato, and Montoya. Full results at the link. – INDYCAR – (6/26/2015)

Walker visits Road America – INDYCAR president Derrick Walker visited Road America in the last week to meet with the track’s staff as INDYCAR continues to work on future schedules. The popular track last hosted CART in 2007. – Indianapolis Star – (6/26/2015)

Briscoe fastest in first practice at Fontana – Ryan Briscoe’s lap at 217.451mph topped the charts during Practice 1 for the Verizon IndyCar Series MAVTV 500 race weekend at Fontana. Four Honda’s finished the session in the Top 10 including Briscoe and Marco Andretti in P2. Pagenaud, Kimball, and Kanaan made up the rest of the Top 5. Full results at the link. – INDYCAR – (6/26/2015)

Lazier keen to return for 2016 Indy 500 – Buddy Lazier plans on making another attempt at the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 2016 with his Lazier Partners Racing team. “Everybody and anybody who’s ever touched IndyCar wants to be a part of it because it’s a marquee event, a special event,” Lazier said this week. “I have yet to see all the promotions (IMS officials are) projecting, but I think it’s going to a significant event.” – Indianapolis Star – (6/25/2015)

Malsher on Ted Horn and series championships – RACER’s David Malsher wrote a great piece on the notoriety of winning the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race versus a series championship well illustrated by the largely unknown 3-time AAA champion Ted Horn (1946-48). Horn never won at Indy but consistently won series titles and finished in the Top 4 at IMS for nine consecutive years but never managed to win the race before he passed away after a crash in Illinois. An insightful piece on the need to place more importance on recognizing the champion of the Verizon IndyCar Series. – RACER – (6/25/2015)

Cavin Q&A 6/25/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A covers ESPN nominations, Bourdais’ glasses, IMS renovations, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (6/25/2015)

Honda likely to return for 2016 – The IBJ reports that though negotiations are still tenuous Honda is likely to remain and return to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2016. “The characterization that our return to the series is 50-50 I think exaggerates the drama,” said Honda spokesman T.E. McHale. “We do have a few concerns, but IndyCar has been open to discuss those concerns. If I was going to handicap the possibility that Honda will return to IndyCar next season I’d say it’s more like 70-30 or 80-20.” – IBJ – (6/24/2015)

Cavin Q&A 6/24/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A covers favorites at Fontana, the possibility of adding Phoenix to the calendar, burgers in Milwaukee, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (6/24/2015)

Miller’s Mailbag 6/24/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is an excellent read as always. – RACER – (6/24/2015)

Trackside podcast 6/23/15 – Indianapolis’ 1070 The Fan’s weekly Trackside show with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee recaps the latest INDYCAR news and previews this weekend’s race at Fontana. – 1070 The Fan – (6/24/2015)

INDYCAR releases Spotter Guide and Entry List for Fontana – Both the entry list and spotter guide have been released for this weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. There are plenty of new liveries this weekend. Check it out at the link. – Entry ListSpotter Guide – (6/23/2015)

Vautier and Mann to drive for DCR at Fontana – Tristan Vautier and Pippa Mann will drive for Dale Coyne Racing this weekend at Auto Club Speedway for the MAVTV 500. This is the same pair that drove for the team at Texas. – Dale Coyne Racing – (6/23/2015)

Vettel or Alonso considering 100th Indy 500? – MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno breaks down the possibilities of Formula 1 stars such as Sebastian Vettel actually racing in next year’s Indianapolis 500 Mile Race after the pair each expressed interest in interviews before the Austrian GP last weekend. There is a lot of talk that the Grand Prix of Monaco will either be the week before or after it’s usual date opening up the possibility for Formula 1 drivers to give it a shot. An interesting, albeit unlikely, story to follow. – NBC Sports – (6/22/2015)

SVRA added to Pocono INDYCAR weekend – “Pocono Raceway will host the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) “Pocono Vintage Festival with IndyCar” at ‘The Tricky Triangle’ from Aug. 20-23. This festival, being held as a companion event to the “ABC Supply 500” Verizon IndyCar Series race weekend, will include multiple vintage car exhibition races on the oval and road course, a car show and the 40th Annual Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC) Convention. Additionally, Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees, The Guess Who, will perform a live concert at the Pocono Raceway Infield Block Party the evening of Saturday, August 22.” – RACER – (6/22/2015)

SI hails Newgarden’s 2015 season – Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Lawrence highlights Josef Newgarden’s excellent 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season thus far. “If Newgarden keeps his nosecone clean, he could very well be running for a championship at year’s end. “Oh 100 percent I think that’s very possible,” he says. “The thing is we’ve got a lot of improvement that we need to do on our oval kit right now. We’ve got three big ovals coming up, right in a row. We’ve got a lot of smart people. If we do a great job with that, we turn the thing around a little bit, I think for sure, without a doubt we can fight with the top three.”” Always good to see INDYCAR get this kind of national coverage. – SI – (6/19/2015)

Mario calls for return to Dallara aero kit – Mario Andretti had no problems letting his feelings be known about the current state of INDYCAR in an interview with Racing North. “I’m criticizing the series, the management of the series, and I’ve been criticizing because they need to be criticized,” Andretti said. “The so-called aero kit was ill-advised in the way it was implemented in my opinion. There wasn’t enough testing, especially going to Indianapolis, a race where you have a lot of time to prepare yet you don’t in so many ways because you’re restricted by the rules.” Andretti would also like to see the series return to more of the legendary American road courses such as Laguna Seca and Road America: “These are traditional venues that need to continue to be cultivated,” Andretti said. “Let’s face it: I know (IndyCar is) interested in a lot of temporary circuits — which like St. Petersburg or whatever have been successful — but temporary is temporary. I think we need to probably go to Laguna Seca as well.” – Racing North – (6/19/2015)

SB Nation longform on A.J. Foyt back at IMS – SB Nation’s Allison Copenbarger Vance wrote a terrific longform piece on A.J. Foyt’s return to racing for the Month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after a long absence after his triple bypass heart surgery. One highlight is A.J. coming close to punching Sage Karam after Karam came to visit the Foyt pits after he and Takuma Sato crashed out of the Indy 500 on the first lap. A terrific read. – SB Nation – (6/18/2015)

Subsidiary of Andretti Sports Marketing sues NOLA Motorsports Park – The New Orleans Advocate reports that a subsidiary of Andretti Sports Marketing, the promoter for the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana, has sued NOLA Motorsports Park for what the promoter believes is a lack of compensation. It remains to be seen what this means for the future of the race. – The New Orleans Advocate – (6/18/2015)

News From Last Week