News for the Week of July 27, 2015 – August 2, 2015

Mid-Ohio Information:

Weekend ScheduleEntry ListSpotter GuideCircuit MapPit Lane Assignments

Rahal wins “hometown” race at Mid-Ohio – Graham Rahal narrowed the gap to championship leader Juan Pablo Montoya to just 9 points by winning the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Rahal moved to the front after some late luck due to the timing of a caution in the middle of pit stops but was dominant at the finish. Montoya finished in P10. The rest of the Top 5 was Wilson, Pagenaud, Dixon, and Kanaan. Full results at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/2/2015)

Rayhall earns second win of the season in Lights Race 2 at Mid-Ohio – 8Star Motorsports’s Sean Rayhall won his second race of the season in Indy Lights Race 2 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. It’s Rayhall and the team’s first race weekend since the Freedom 100 at IMS. Championship contenders Ed Jones and Jack Harvey led the first half of the race until they collided sending each to the rear of the Top 10. Spencer Pigot finished P3 and his podium finish puts him great position to catch Harvey at the last race weekend at Mazda Raceway. Full race results at the link. – Indy Lights – (8/2/2015)

Hunter-Reay fastest, but crashes in Mid-Ohio morning warmup – Ryan Hunter-Reay lost control of his car after Turn 1 and smashed into the tire barrier just after setting the fastest time of the morning warmup session on Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. A red flag for Jack Hawksworth making contact with a tire barrier ended the session while Hawksworth was P3. Castroneves finished P2. Full results at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/2/2015)

Big changes coming to INDYCAR calendar in 2016 – RACER reports that INDYCAR is anticipating major changes to the 2016 schedule. “I have three different versions of next year’s calendar and all I can say right now is that we’re going to have more races than we did this year and the spacing will be better,” said Mark Miles, the president and CEO of Hulman & Company. “And it looks like to could have anywhere from two to four new races and that will be exciting.” Road America and Phoenix are favorite to be added in addition to the already announced race in Boston on Labor Day weekend. More at the link. – RACER – (8/2/2015)

Harvey starts on pole for Lights Race 2 at Mid-Ohio – Jack Harvey will start on the pole for Race 2 of the Indy Lights weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He’s joined on the front row by fellow championship contender Ed Jones. Spencer Pigot will start in P7. Full starting lineup at the link. – Indy Lights – (8/1/2015)

Dixon wins the pole with new Mid-Ohio track record – Scott Dixon continued his dominance of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course by winning the pole with a new track record lap of 1:04.5814. The rest of the Firestone Fast 6 finishing order was Power, Bourdais, Castroneves, Newgarden, and Kimball. Ohio native Graham Rahal settled for P13 while championship leader Juan Pablo Montoya will start in P10. Full qualifying results at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/1/2015)

Enerson grabs first Lights win in wild Race 1 at Mid-Ohio – RC Enerson grabbed his first career win in Indy Lights on Saturday in a wild Race 1 of the Lights race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Championship contenders Spencer Pigot and Jack Harvey collided early while Ed Jones was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop. Pigot finished in front of that group but it didn’t matter as Enerson held off a Top 5 of Chilton, Blackstock, Kaiser, and Rayhall. Full race results at the link. – Indy Lights – (8/1/2015)

Dixon sets unofficial track record in Practice 3 at Mid-Ohio – Scott Dixon’s lap of 1:05.1253 topped the speed charts and set an unofficial track record Practice 3 for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. The rest of the Top 5 was Newgarden, Kimball, Bourdais, and Hunter-Reay. Full results at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/1/2015)

Enerson wins the Race 1 Indy Lights pole at Mid-Ohio – RC Enerson’s brilliant lap of 1:12.9582 was fastest in Indy Lights qualifying at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday morning. The championship contenders qualified P2 (Harvey), P3 (Pigot), and P10 (Jones) for Race 1 on Saturday afternoon. – Indy Lights – (8/1/2015)

Ganassi and Vasser open to Zanardi/500 possibility – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports that Verizon IndyCar Series team owners Jimmy Vasser and Chip Ganassi are each at least open to the idea of Alex Zanardi returning to drive in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Vasser: “All the controls are there for him to use the clutch on the steering wheel and he can work the brake and throttle with his prosthetics, so it’s very possible. I read the story, but he’s said this before about doing the race, and I told him we’d be there, but didn’t really hear back, so if he’s serious, we need to hear from him. If he’s serious, get out of the way because when Zanardi sets his mind to something, he gets it done. For now, I’m going to let him stew a little bit and decide if it’s what he really wants.” . Ganassi: “We all know Alex is capable of doing anything, but we’ve also seen how hard it is for any driver to come into the month of May and be competitive. I think he could qualify, but do I think he could challenge up front if he just steps in by showing up at the beginning of May? He’s a hero, and an inspiration to everybody—including me, but his wife would shoot me…well, she’d shoot him first, then shoot me if we went off and did this.” – RACER – (7/31/2015)

Dixon fastest in Practice 2 at Mid-Ohio – Scott Dixon’s lap in 1:05.9645 was enough for P1 in Practice 2 for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. The rest of the Top 5 was Bourdais, Power, Rahal, and Sato. Tristan Vautier lost his rear wing assembly in an off track excursion but was able to get it repaired and did get back on track. Full results at the link. – INDYCAR – (7/31/2015)

Galloway named Honda Indy 200 Grand Marshall – “Former Ohio State Wide Receiver Joey Galloway will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Honda Indy 200, taking place July 31-August 2 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Galloway will perform the standard Grand Marshal duties for the Verizon IndyCar Series race that headlines the weekend, which include giving the famous “drivers, start your engines” command to start the race. “We are thrilled to have Joey join us as Grand Marshal for the Honda Indy 200,” said Craig Rust, President of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. “Ohio State pride runs deep here at Mid-Ohio and our team looks forward to welcoming Joey to the track. We are proud that he will serve in this very special role.”” – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – (7/31/2015)

Serralles leads the way in second Lights practice at Mid-Ohio – Juncos Racing’s Felix Serralles finished the second Indy Lights practice of the Mid-Ohio race weekend in P1 on Friday afternoon with a lap of 1:12.4443. He was joined in the Top 5 by Jones, Kaiser, Pigot, and Harvey. Full results at the link. – Indy Lights – (7/31/2015)

Bourdais tops the charts in Practice 1 at Mid-Ohio – KV Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais grabbed the top spot in Practice 1 for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio with a lap of 1:06.2034. The rest of the Top 5 was Power, Newgarden, Sato, and Hawksworth. Montoya turned only 12 laps after mechanical issues at the start of the session. Full results at the link. – INDYCAR – (7/31/2015)

Pigot goes P1 in first Lights practice at Mid-Ohio – Juncos Racing’s championship contender Spencer Pigot posted the fastest time of the first Indy Lights practice session of the weekend on Friday morning with a lap of 1:12.7008. He was joined in the Top 5 by Enerson, Harvey, Serralles, and Chilton. Ed Jones finished the session in P11. 8Star Motorsports’ Sean Rayhall was P7 in the team’s first event in Lights since Indianapolis. Full results at the link. – Indy Lights – (7/31/2015)

Official INDYCAR Mid-Ohio preview – INDYCAR’s preview of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio is posted and filled with great information. The full Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, weekend rule changes, entry list, and more are available at the link. – INDYCAR – (7/31/2015)

Miller weights in on Walker – RACER’s Robin Miller’s excellent piece gives plenty of background on the Derrick Walker resignation (see below for more). A must read to help understand the situation. – RACER – (7/30/2015)

Walker resigns; will finish duties as of 8/31/15 – “Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, parent of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, announced that INDYCAR president of Competition and Operations Derrick Walker has decided to leave the company effective Aug. 31 in order to pursue other professional opportunities. A search for his replacement is under way. Walker has made several important contributions that advanced INDYCAR as a sanctioning body. During his tenure, he greatly assisted in securing Boston as a new event on the 2016 schedule, successfully introduced the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis in 2014, spearheaded additional investment to improve technology in Race Control and led innovation of the new Indy car aero kits. His focus on continuous safety advancement resulted in changes to the Indy car underwing, making the cars more stable and strengthening sidepods, further protecting drivers. ” More at the link. – INDYCAR – (7/30/2015)

Rahal to wear OSU football-themed helmet at Mid-Ohio – Ohio native and Ohio State Buckeyes fan Graham Rahal will wear a special helmet designed to look like at Ohio State football helmet at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. “I had this concept that, with Ohio State having won the national championship and us being in the championship battle here, it would be fun to come home and do something I haven’t done before,” Rahal said. “This thing, it is very accurate.” Rahal is also wearing special Buckeye themed racing gloves. Pictures at the link. – The Columbus Dispatch – (7/30/2015)

Carlin still working towards moving up – European junior series giants Carlin have fared well in their first year in Indy Lights and are still hoping to move up to the Verizon IndyCar Series someday. “I think next year might be too early for us; we need to establish ourselves with a proper base of our own and add more staff,” team owner Trevor Carlin told RACER. “The one thing I’ve seen is that to be ready for the April-May-June rush we saw this year, it would be a struggle to get prepared for it with the world’s biggest race thrown into the middle of it. It was good to see it firsthand and showed us the type of resources you have to have to push through the peak of the season.” – RACER – (7/29/2015)

Miller’s Mailbag 7/29/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (7/29/2015)

Trackside Podcast 7/28/15 – Indianapolis’ 1070 The Fan’s popular Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 7/28/15 features an interview with Gabby Chaves and a preview of this weekend at Mid-Ohio after the duo talks about the Brickyard 400. Great listen as always. – 1070 The Fan – (7/29/2015)

Entry List and Spotter Guide out for Mid-Ohio – The entry list and spotter guides are available for this weekend’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Rodolfo Gonzalez and Tristan Vautier will drive the Dale Coyne Racing cars. Amidst rumors of being replaced Stefano Coletti remains in the KV Racing Technology No. 4. Livery highlights include Montoya in the red chrome Hawk Performance livery, Bourdais in Hydroxycut colors, Pagenaud in a blue PPG livery, and Marco Andretti back in Merchant First colors. – Entry ListSpotter Guide – (7/28/2015)

Steak ‘n Shake produces special shake to benefit Graham Rahal’s foundation – Steak ‘n Shake is producing special Graham Rahal shakes in their Ohio stores in August with $1 from each shake sold going to Graham Rahal’s foundation. Great promotion for INDYCAR right before Mid-Ohio as Rahal makes a title push. – Curt Cavin – (7/28/2015)

Zanardi still wants to race in the Indy 500 – “I’m not going to be an unsatisfied old man if it doesn’t happen, but I would love to do the Indy 500 if the right opportunity came up,” Alex Zanardi told AUTOSPORT. Zanardi goes on to say that his friend Jimmy Vasser has offered him a ride (though they have never talked details), but he likely wouldn’t pursue the offer to prevent issues with their friendship. Zanardi later says he would only do it if he could drive for Chip Ganassi. – AUTOSPORT – (7/28/2015)

INDYCAR announces Sherwin-Williams as Official Paint and Finishing Partner – “Sherwin-Williams, an industry leader in paint and coatings, will serve as the Official Paint and Finishing Partner of INDYCAR, the Verizon IndyCar Series, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard as part of a multi-year partnership agreement…The company will have branding integrated into IMS during its spotlight events in the Month of May, including the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis; as well as inclusion from a paint and finishing perspective, in Project 100, the collaboration between the Indiana state government and the Indiana Motorsports Commission creating a $100 million bond issue to raise money for improvements to IMS.” – INDYCAR – (7/28/2015)

NBCSN reveals TV broadcast team for Mid-Ohio – The TV broadcast team for this weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course has been revealed. The team for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will be Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell, David Hobbs, Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee, Katie Hargitt, and Robin Miller. This weekend’s race will be shown live on CNBC on Sunday at 1:30PM. – NBCSN – (7/28/2015)

INDYCAR rescinds Jakes’ Iowa infraction – “INDYCAR announced a rescinded infraction from the Iowa Corn 300 on July 18 at Iowa Speedway: Driver James Jakes of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports had his $500 fine rescinded for violating Rule of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook (Personal Safety Equipment, visor up during pit stop fueling) after further review of the incident determined the violation did not occur.” – INDYCAR – (7/27/2015)

Mid-Ohio Lights entry list is out – Rayhall is back – 8Star Motorsports and rookie driver Sean Rayhall will be back in the series for the Indy Lights race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Otherwise the race weekend will feature the same cars and drivers that have usually appeared this season. Rayhall is the only change from what we saw last time out at Iowa. – Indy Lights – (7/27/2015)

New Firestone rain tire to be available at Mid-Ohio – Firestone will have a new rain tire available for Verizon IndyCar Series teams this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course featuring an identifiable silver stripe. “We optimized the tire to better fit wet conditions. We did that virtually through 48 different simulation cases on the front and rear tires and came up with the construction we wanted to use,” said Dale Harrigle, chief engineer for Bridgestone America’s Motorsports and manager of race tire development. “The key features of this new rain tire is it’s a new tread compound optimized for wet grip. A silver stripe was added to the sidewall so it’s easier for the fans and teams to identify who is on rains, who is on primaries and who is on alternates.” – INDYCAR – (7/27/2015)

Chaves does well in midget debut – Gabby Chaves made his midget racing debut at the Indianapolis Speedrome on Saturday night finishing P5. Chaves was P3 with 25 laps to go and decided to move to the back of the field to attempt to win an extra $10,000 should he have won from the back. “I wish it was still like those days when you could race every weekend, because it keeps you sharp and I just love to drive,” said Chaves. “We had the weekend off and I think my girlfriend (also named Gabby) would have liked to do something a little more romantic but she was fine with this and I’m really glad it worked out.” – RACER – (7/27/2015)

LED chassis panels set for Mid-Ohio debut – The new LED position marker panels INDYCAR has been working on this season will make their debut on all Verizon IndyCar Series cars at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio next weekend. “The panels, which are mounted on both sides of the Dallara DW12 roll hoop faring, will display the field’s running order and change to reflect position changes as they happen.” – RACER – (7/23/2015)

INDYCAR announces post-Iowa penalties – “INDYCAR announced the following post-event infractions and manufacturer championship points updates from the Iowa Corn 300, which was held July 18 at Iowa Speedway: Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Jakes of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports was fined $500 for violating Rule (visor not down during pit stop). A crew member from A.J. Foyt Enterprises and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing were each fined $500 for violating Rule (e) (deadman not wearing headsock). The No. 8 Chip Ganassi Racing entry was fined $500 for violating Rule 7.9.6 (unattended equipment – tire). Chevrolet received a deduction of 20 manufacturer points for an engine that did not attain its life cycle during the Iowa Corn 300 race weekend. According to Rule, 20 manufacturer points are deducted for an engine that fails to reach its 2,500-mile life cycle. The Chevrolet engine on the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Teams entry did not reach its life cycle minimum before being changed out. Following the adjustment, Chevrolet has 1,279 manufacturer points for the season and Honda has 1,011. Members may contest the imposition of penalties pursuant to the procedures and timelines detailed in the review and appeal procedures of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook.” – INDYCAR – (7/23/2015)

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