News for the Week of August 18 – August 24, 2014

Sonoma Details

Weekend ScheduleSpotter GuideEntry ListCircuit MapPit Lane Assignments

IndyCar Results: P1P2Comb PractQualifyingRace

Lights Results: P1QualifyingRace 1Race 2

Dixon takes the win in crazy finish at Sonoma – After Graham Rahal was forced to pit from the lead late to make it on fuel Scott Dixon seized the lead with a spectacular pass on Mike Conway and never looked back. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Simon Pagenaud grabbed the spots on the podium as points leader Will Power had to settle for a mid-pack finish due to a spin. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (8/24/14)

Harvey wins Sunday’s Lights race but Chaves claims the championship – Jack Harvey dominated from pole for the second time of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires weekend at Sonoma but Gabby Chaves finished in second place and won the series championship. Harvey’s 18 second lead was enough to equal Chaves on points but Gabby won on via the second tiebreaker (2nd place finishes). Zach Veach took the final spot on the podium and ends the year third in points. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (8/24/14)

CFH Racing signs Newgarden for 2015 – Josef Newgarden will race for CFH Racing, the combined team of ECR and SFHR, in 2015 on a one year deal. “I decided to stay here because I believe in our group and everything that we’ve built and where we are going,” said Newgarden. “It’s a very strong situation that’s on the rise, and I think next year is the year to capitalize on it.” – ECR – (8/24/14)

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Sonoma – San Francisco was hit with a 6.1 magnitude earthquake this morning and it was certainly felt throughout the Verizon IndyCar Series paddock. Multiple drivers and teams reported feeling the tremor and reported their experience on twitter. Here’s a tweet from Helio showing the damage in his hotel bathroom. – CNN – (8/24/14)

IndyCar revises car floor design for ’15 – NBC F1 reporter Will Buxton writes in his blog that he can see the new Indy Lights chassis opening the door for the series to become the prominent “stepping stone” for all drivers looking to make the big step in single-seater open wheel cars. Terrific read and brilliant for INDYCAR and the Mazda Road to Indy that such a prominent international figure shares this belief. – Will Buxton – (8/24/14)

Power grabs the pole at Sonoma – Will Power flexed his muscle again Saturday with a tremendous Firestone Fast 6 performance taking the pole over Josef Newgarden by over three tenths of a second. Helio Castroneves will start sixth after taking a penalty and losing his second place lap. Championship contenders Simon Pagenaud and Ryan Hunter-Reay will start 15th and 10th. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (8/23/14)

IndyCar revises car floor design for ’15 – “The Verizon IndyCar Series continues to develop a new floor with reduced surface area, and RACER has learned it will mandate the unit as part of the aero kit package in 2015…Like the existing aero kit plans, the new lower downforce floors will make their debut once IndyCar finishes its international tour and returns home for the domestic season opener at St. Petersburg.” – RACER – (8/23/14)

Castroneves fastest at Sonoma Practice 2 – Helio Castroneves led the way in Practice 2 for the Verizon IndyCar Series at Sonoma Raceway. This is the final practice before qualifying. Fellow championship contenders Ryan Hunter-Reay and Will Power were third and fifth. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (8/23/14)

Harvey takes Lights Race 1 at Sonoma – Jack Harvey won from pole in Race 1 of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires weekend at Sonoma Raceway. Fellow championship contenders Gabby Chaves and Zach Veach finished second and seventh. Full results at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/23/14)

Barracuda back as a sponsor at BHA – Barracuda Networks is a sponsor at Bryan Herta Autosport again. Barracuda is on the sidepods and rear wing of Jack Hawksworth’s No. 98 this machine at Sonoma Raceway. The company sponsored the car in previous years but has been absent this year until this weekend. Picture at the link. – @BHA – (8/23/14)

RHR leads Practice 1 at Sonoma – Ryan Hunter-Reay was fastest in the Verizon IndyCar Series’ first practice at Sonoma Raceway this weekend. The rest of the top 5 were Dixon, Kanaan, Castroneves, and Power. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (8/23/14)

Boston working on bid to host Verizon IndyCar Series race – Boston mayor Martin J. Walsh has put together a Grand Prix committee and has been in contact with Mark Miles in an effort to bring a Verizon IndyCar Series race to Boston. While still in the early stages of discussions Boston is looking at Labor Day weekend 2016 as a potential first race weekend. – Boston Herald – (8/23/14)

Details coming together for SFH Racing – Both current SFHR General Manager Andy O’Gara and ECR General Manager will share shop responsibilities next year when their teams merge into SFHR’s new Speedway shop. The two biggest details yet to be confirmed (publicly at least) are the engine manufacturer for the team and the driver of the No. 67 car. Newgarden has a contract in hand but will evaluate his options at the end of the 2014 season. – Indianapolis Star – (8/23/14)

Harvey takes the pole for Lights Race 1 at Sonoma – Jack Harvey was the fastest qualifier for Race 1 of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Sonoma event. Championship leader Gabby Chaves qualified second while fellow contender Zach Veach had his worst qualifying effort of the year in seventh. Luiz Razia will start third. – INDYCAR – (8/22/14)

Chaves tops the charts in firsts Sonoma Lights practice – Gabby Chaves started his Indy Lights series weekend off right by leading the first practice session with a lap of 1:28.2705. Fellow title challengers Jack Harvey and Zach Veach were 3rd and 6th. – @RoadToIndyTV – (8/22/14)

Razia leads the way in Sonoma Lights testing – Brazilian Luiz Razia was fastest in Thursday testing for the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires over title challengers Jack Harvey, Gabby Chaves, and Zach Veach. The championship will be decided this weekend by those three drivers. – @RoadToIndyTV – (8/21/14)

Wilson breaks down Sonoma – Dale Coyne Racing’s Justin Wilson breaks down how to go fast at Sonoma for RACER Magazine. Good read. “It’s a bumping opportunity as well as a passing opportunity, you mean?! No, seriously, it has been a positive because there are a few different ways you can drive it because it’s so wide plus you’re coming down from high speed to very, very low speed. There are people who will duck underneath you going into Turn 7, but that really compromises their corner exit, and then there are others who are more focused on the exit of the turn so they can get a good run on the car in front through the wiggles of Turn 8 and down to that Turn 9 chicane.” – RACER – (8/21/14)

American Rossi to race in F1 this weekend at Spa – American Alexander Rossi will step in for Max Chilton this weekend for the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps while he settles contract issues at Marussia F1. – SkySports – (8/21/14) – UPDATE 8/22/14 – Chilton’s check for Marussia has cleared and now he’s back in to race this weekend leaving Rossi back on the sidelines.

Phinny to take over the Belardi No. 4 at Sonoma – After impressive showings at Toronto and Mid-Ohio Ryan Phinny will drive the No. 4 Belardi Racing Indy Lights machine at Sonoma. “I’m excited to run the Casamigos car with Belardi this coming weekend at Sonoma,” said Phinny. “They’ve had a great year so far and I’m looking forward to a strong finish for the 2014 season.” – NBC Sports – (8/21/14)

IMS searching for Nabors’ replacement in 2015 – Jim Nabors’ retirement has put Indianapolis 500 organizers in a difficult situation next year as they plan how to handle “Back Home Again in Indiana” without the legendary entertainer. IMS will have someone new sing the song live but there’s no timetable for the selection or announcement of who that will be. The singer won’t necessarily be chosen for an ongoing basis nor will he or she need to have ties to Indiana. – IBJ – (8/20/14)

Newgarden to wait until after season to consider his IndyCar future – SFHR’s Josef Newgarden told AUTOSPORT that he’s planning on being in IndyCar for 2015 and beyond but won’t think about which team until after this season has concluded. “I haven’t really put much thought into it,” Newgarden said. “I work with SFHR and that’s where I put all of my focus right now, and that’s where my focus will be until Fontana. Do I plan to stay in IndyCar? Oh, yeah. I’d love to do sportscars, but only as an extracurricular activity. I love IndyCar.” This is the last year of his contract with SFHR and it remains to be seen which engine the team will have next year after combining with ECR. Newgarden is a favorite of Honda which could be a factor. – AUTOWEEK – (8/20/14)

Miller’s Mailbag 8/20/14 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is great as always. – RACER – (8/20/14)

Hornish in the booth as a commentator at Sonoma – Sam Hornish will be a part of NBCSN’s commentary team this weekend for the Verizon IndyCar Series’ GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. He will be joined in the booth by Brian Till and Paul Tracy. Leigh Diffey is on F1 duty this weekend. – INDYCAR – (8/20/14)

Rahal to wear new helmet for charity this weekend at Sonoma – Graham Rahal’s annual helmet design contest produced a beautiful helmet that Rahal will wear this weekend. Picture at the link. – @BellRacingUSA – (8/20/14)

Spotter Guide out for Sonoma – The spotter guide for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma is out and the only new livery is a dark NTT Group look for Ryan Briscoe. Here are the liveries this weekend for those who rotate: Montoya – Verizon, Castroneves – Hitachi, Kanaan – Target, Bourdais – Hydroxycut, Rahal – Camo National Guard. Newgarden will have new sky blue accents with Hartman Oil on his No. 67 and Hawksworth’s No. 98 will have Charter on the sidepods. – Sonoma Spotter Guide – (8/19/14)

NBCSN gets a 0.24 rating for Milwaukee – The Verizon IndyCar Series race at Milwaukee on Sunday recorded a 0.24 rating on NBCSN. That’s the exact same rating as last year. – ShowBuzzDaily – (8/18/14)

Aero kit rules may be changing – INDYCAR released a picture of the areas the new aero kits for 2015 will affect. RACER reports that the series may allow for changes to the pieces in mid-season for performance upgrades which is a sharp turn from the original ruling. “We understand how powerful an element the aero kit is to the performance of these cars, and with that comes a great deal of responsibility,” said Chevrolet’s IndyCar program manager Chris Berube. “Not only are we delivering the engine, but also a good part of the aerodynamics. “We take that seriously, and we have a team in place that’s very capable, and we’re anxious to see the results. It’s that ‘expectant mother’ kind of feeling, where you’re excited to see the outcome but you’ve still got to get through the process; it’s not done yet.” – RACER – (8/18/14)

Cavin Q&A 8/18/14 – Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A answers questions on IndyCar’s silly season, Milwaukee attendance, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (8/18/14)

IndyCar drivers upset by lapped traffic in Milwaukee – Kanaan: “When you’re two or three laps down, there is no point of you holding people up for position. I just don’t understand that. I know who these guys were. What goes around comes around. I won’t waste my time talking to them. If you haven’t figured that out…that means you’re just stupid.” – Montoya “It’s understandable at the beginning of the race that you want to stay on the lead lap. When you have 20, 30 laps to go, you’re just in the way. You’re about to hit the wall every lap; it’s kind of embarrassing.” – Milwaukee Journal Sentinal – (8/18/14)

Andretti wants 5 cars in 2015 – Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti told Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star that he’d like to have five full-time cars next year. “It’s not on Hinch’s side,” said Andretti. “It’s on the sponsor’s side. The goal is five cars, and we’re still working on it.” A must read article. MA also tells Cavin that he won’t buy the new Lights car without significant sponsor money, Veach and Brabham are NOT candidates for the fifth car, and that Andretti Sports Marketing’s rumored race at NOLA Motorsports Park will have an announcement soon. – Indianapolis Star – (8/17/14)

RHR and DHL to return to AA in 2015 – Andretti Autosport has signed driver Ryan Hunter-Reay to a “multi-year” extension and has confirmed that DHL has signed on for three more years as the sponsor of his car. “I can’t say enough about this partnership and how much we’ve done together,” said Hunter-Reay. “We’ve grown as a team; we’ve grown as a family. Andretti Autosport for me feels like family.” – RACER – (8/17/14)

Power scores dominant win in Milwaukee – Pole sitter Will Power won the 2014 ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest. Power had a little difficulty working his way through traffic in the last 20 laps but fortunately for him second place finisher Juan Pablo Montoya had struggled even more. “I love winning on ovals!” said Power after his first win at Milwaukee. He now has a 39 point advantage over Helio Castroneves. Full results hereINDYCAR – (8/17/14)

Veach wins Lights thriller at Milwaukee – Andretti Autosport’s Zach Veach won from pole in Sunday’s Indy Lights race at Milwaukee holding off teammate Matthew Brabham. The win puts Veach right back in the championship hunt as he’s now just seven points behind Gabby Chaves. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (8/17/14)

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