News for the Week of July 7 – July 13, 2014

Iowa Corn Indy 300 Details

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Montoya doesn’t hold back in post-incident TV interview – Juan Pablo Montoya may get into a little bit of trouble for this post-incident interview on NBCSN after a late collision with Ed Carpenter knocked him out of the race. – openwh33l YouTube – (7/12/14)

Hunter-Reay keeps the Andretti Iowa win streak alive – Ryan Hunter-Reay took advantage of fresh tires after a late caution to overtake a dominant Tony Kanaan and hold off a surging Josef Newgarden. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (7/12/14)

Target cars back on top as Dixon takes the pole at Iowa – Scott Dixon took P1 away from Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Tony Kanaan halfway through qualifying on Friday night and won the pole for the Iowa Corn Indy 300. Dixon broke the single lap (186.256mph) and 2-lap average (185.891 mph) on his qualifying run. Fellow Ganassi teammates Ryan Briscoe and Charlie Kimball will start 4th and 7th. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (7/11/14)

Montoya P1 in practice 2 at Iowa – Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya kept his hot streak alive on in practice on Friday at Iowa speedway by topping in the charts in the 2nd practice of the day. Power, Hinchcliffe, Sato, and Dixon finished in the top 5. Combined practice results at the link. – INDYCAR – (7/11/14)

Rahal to use same car as Pocono at Iowa – Graham Rahal told the Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin that the team still isn’t sure what caused his accident at Pocono but he is using that same car this weekend at Iowa. – Curt Cavin – (7/11/14)

Pagnaud’s championship run to be determined by ovals – RACER’s Marshall Pruett profiles Simon Pagenaud as he makes his championship push. There’s no doubt that he’s strong on road and street courses but he’ll need strong performances on the ovals to close the gap. “I think it is a really good point to make,” Pagenaud told RACER. “At this point, I think I’ve got to a level on the street and road course where the car and the team is probably the best right now. With my experience, it’s paying off. I feel like anywhere we go, street course or road course, we can win. Now, on the ovals, it’s certainly has been a big improvement this year, even though it doesn’t always show.” – RACER – (7/11/14)

Hinchcliffe fastest in brief practice 1 at Iowa – Andretti Autosport’s James Hinchcliffe topped the charts in a brief, rain-shortened first practice at Iowa Speedway on Friday. Ryan Hunter-Reay’s bad luck continued after his rear wing end plate came off in a turn. Full results at the link. – INDYCAR – (7/11/14)

INDYCAR’s Iowa details – INDYCAR’s Iowa preview contains all of the schedules and tech news for this weekend’s Iowa Corn Indy 300. – INDYCAR – (7/11/14)

Chaves hopes for IndyCar ride in 2015 – Indy Lights points leader Gabby Chaves hopes his strong performance in the series this year will lead him to a Verizon IndyCar Series ride next year. “For myself as a driver, I think next year is the year I have to move up,” Chaves said. “I think I’ve done my two years of preparation, and I believe I’m ready. There is obviously a big learning curve ahead of me, but when the time comes I’ll be ready to make the move.” – RACER – (7/11/14)

Rahal breaks down Iowa Speedway – Graham Rahal gives his thoughts on the challenges of Iowa Speedway. Good read. “The thing is, it’s hard to get the car good at both ends of the circuit, and also get the car handling good in both lanes…and at up at Turns 1 through 2, there’s a third lane. How well your car’s dealing with the bumps can decide which lane you want your car handling best in. Sometimes down low, beside the white line, will work best; other times, you want to be near the top. It’s just a difficult place to get it right.” – RACER – (7/11/14)

Rahal to receive Force’s “Funny Car 101” lessons – Graham Rahal and funny car driver-girlfriend Courtney Force have talked in the past about exchanging cars. John Force told the Indianapolis Star he’s ready to give Rahal his first experience. “I told him he’s going to go through what we call ‘Funny Car 101,” said Force. “I’m going to tow him around the parking lot like I did with (my) girls. ‘Here’s a chassis, get in it.’ No firesuit, no helmet.” – Indianapolis Star – (7/10/14)

Walker says “zero tolerance” tech enforcement isn’t feasible – After coming under criticism for a seemingly mild penalty for infractions on Carlos Huertas’ race winning-car at Houston, INDYCAR President of Operations and Competition told Autosport/RACER that it isn’t realistic for there to be some wiggle room in the enforcement of the rules. “If you had zero tolerance with the dimensions and the weights and the fuel level, there are a lot of cars that wouldn’t get out of Dodge,” Walker said. “People need to be careful what they wish for. If you want zero tolerance, we can do that. It would make our job really easy. We’d have tech done in no time at all, and we’d make a lot of money.” Plenty of great quotes at the link. – RACER – (7/10/14)

Wichita State University to sponsor Newgarden at Iowa – Logos of Wichita State University will be on the sidepods of SFHR’s No. 67 driven by Josef Newgarden this weekend at Iowa. Car owner Wink Hartman says, “What we’re going to be doing that’s so exciting to me is bringing 6,7, maybe 8 engineering students from the college to the actual race. And they’ll be able to be in the garage, touch the car and talk to the mechanics.” – KSNW – (7/10/14)

Gossage doesn’t expect schedule changes at TMS – Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage doesn’t believe NASCAR’s potential schedule changes will affect his track. “We keep hearing rumors of possible seismic changes next year, but I’m not aware of anything that would affect Texas Motor Speedway,” said Gossage. On wrapping up another deal for a Verizon IndyCar Series race for next year with Mark Miles, Gossage said: “It’s a pleasure doing business with him.” – Dallas Morning News – (7/10/14)

Vasser opens up on de Silvestro struggles – KV Racing Technology part-owner Jimmy Vasser explained that the KV team dynamic wasn’t the best last year and that affected largely popular Simona de Silverstro’s chances for success. “The dynamic we had last year wasn’t the best for the team or for Simona,” said Vasser. “She is a fantastic driver and we’d hoped that things would have been better last year. In a sense this year has been a rebuilding exercise in trying to bring the two sides together better as one team. And it’s still difficult. I can sit here and tell you what happened at Ganassi in those years, and I felt like I was a part of making that happen. But it’s so difficult to make happen. I can’t wave my wand and say, ‘Boys, this is what you’ve gotta do.’ It’s so hard to do that, especially from outside the car. It’s got to come from the pilots, and they set the example for the whole team.” – RACER – (7/9/14)

Miller’s Mailbag 7/9/14 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is great as always. Obviously there are quite a few questions on Will Power’s moves at Pocono. – RACER – (7/9/14)

Trackside podcast 7/8/14 – Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee’s weekly radio show on Indy’s 1070 the Fan was aired on Tuesday and can be listened to at the link. – 1070 the Fan – (7/9/14)

Hawksworth cleared to drive at Iowa – “INDYCAR announced today that Verizon IndyCar Series driver Jack Hawksworth has been cleared by INDYCAR medical director Dr. Michael Olinger to compete July 11-12 in the Iowa Corn Indy 300 presented by DEKALB at Iowa Speedway.” – INDYCAR – (7/8/14)

Cavin Q&A 7/8/14 – Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A covers questions on TK’s Pocono fuel strategy, Will Power, Pocono attendance, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (7/8/14)

Changes coming to INDYCAR’s penalty system – Derrick Walker says changes to INDYCAR’s penalty system are coming after the Texas incident that resulted in Sebastien Bourdais being charged with and then cleared of a penalty. Asked if changes are coming Walker told AUTOSPORT “I hope so, definitely,” he said. “That was the worst-case scenario, if I have to overrule the stewards, because it means that the system I put in place went wrong. It’s not about my judgment. But at the same time if I’m an appeal court, and I have the option to be able to give clemency or waive a penalty because I think it’s the right thing, or we’ve not looked at it well enough, that’s something that should still be there.” – RACER – (7/8/14)

Carpenter blogs for Iowa newspaper – ECR owner/driver Ed Carpenter’s blog for the Des Moines Register is a good one. “My background is sprints and midgets, and that’s where my IndyCar oval skills come from. I appreciate the enthusiasm and background of Iowa racers and race fans. It’s a lot like Indiana. You can go anywhere in Iowa and you won’t be far from a racetrack. That’s what I’m used to and where I came from.” – Des Moines Register – (7/8/14)

Graham Rahal Foundation 2014 Helmet Design Contest – The Graham Rahal Foundation will host its third annual helmet design contest to support the charity Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Graham Rahal will choose between 5 “finalist designs” resulting in Rahal wearing the helmet design in a race later this season. After that the designer will be given a signed replica helmet and the race-worn helmet will be auctioned off to support the charity. – GR Foundation – (7/8/14)

Local view of INDYCAR returning to Pocono – The local newspaper summarizes the Pocono race weekend with an eye on whether or not it will be good enough to return next year. The estimated attendance was 20,000. Mario Andretti and Graham Rahal each suggested that a non-holiday weekend date would probably be better for the track. Track President Brandon Igdalsky said, “We had a nice crowd at [Sunday’s] race. Concerning the future of IndyCar racing at Pocono, we will be talking to our fans and stakeholders as well as looking at all the final data and numbers from the weekend. We want to make IndyCar a part of Pocono’s exciting future and growth strategy. The competition was great yesterday and we are excited about the direction that IndyCar’s leadership is moving.” – The Morning Call – (7/8/14)

Miller hails the official return of Montoya – RACER’s Robin Miller writes an excellent piece on Juan Pablo Montoya’s steady improvement in his return to the Verizon IndyCar Series. It’s a great read. “He retains that devilish smile and sarcasm but it truly seems like returning to IndyCar for Penske has been a rebirth of sorts. He’s more patient on and off the track, yet showed that ol’ Montoya flair with his outside pass of Power for the lead – with a broken front wing.” – RACER – (7/7/14)

Pressdog’s guide to Iowa – An excellent guide to what to do and where to stay for this weekend’s upcoming race at Iowa Speedway. A must read for any attendee of the race weekend. – Pressdog – (7/7/14)

Montoya wins at Pocono – Juan Pablo Montoya completed the “comeback” portion of his first season back in the Verizon IndyCar Series with a win at the 2014 Pocono INDYCAR 500. The race had only one caution for a Graham Rahal spin and was officially the fastest 500 mile race in the history of the Verizon IndyCar Series. Will Power and Helio Castroneves are now tied for the championship lead after Helio finished 2nd and Power had to settle for 10th after a drive through penalty for a block on Helio. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (7/6/14)

Chaves takes the Lights win at Pocono – Belardi Racing’s Gabby Chaves won the Indy Lights Pocono 100 on Saturday in a dominant performance. Zach Veach and Jack Harvey completed the podium. Title challenger Luiz Razia did not finish after an early crash. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (7/5/14)

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