News for the Week of September 5, 2016 – September 11, 2016

Jones wins Lights title as Veach dominates in Race 2 win at Laguna Seca – Zach Veach led every green flag lap to win Indy Lights Race 2 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca but Ed Jones did enough to win the championship and earn a scholarship for Verizon IndyCar Series races next year. The rest of the Top 5 was Urrutia, Kaiser, Jones, and Serralles. Carlin teammate Serralles pulled over on the last lap to allow Jones to pass him and that was the move that gave Jones the championship. Had Jones stayed in P5 he and Urrutia would have been tied in points and Urrutia would’ve won the race wins tiebreaker four to two. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (9/11/2016)

Jones starts on pole for Lights Race 2 at Laguna Seca – Carlin’s championship leader Ed Jones will start on the pole for the final race of the Indy Lights season in Race 2 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Fellow championship contender Santiago Urrutia will start in P3 and needs to finish ahead of Jones as he’s seven points behind him. The Top 5 of the starting order is Jones, Kaiser, Urrutia, Veach, and Serralles. Full Race 2 starting grid at the link. – Indy Lights – (9/11/2016)

Kaiser dominates and wins Lights Race 1 at Laguna Seca – Juncos Racing’s Kyle Kaiser led every lap and had the fastest lap in Indy Lights Race 1 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The rest of the Top 5 was Jones, Veach, Rayhall, and Urrutia. That result puts Jones seven points ahead of Urrutia heading into Sunday’s finale and those two are the only championship contenders left. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (9/10/2016)

Kaiser wins Lights Race 1 pole at Laguna Seca – Juncos Racing’s Kyle Kaiser was fastest in Indy Lights qualifying at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a lap of 1:15.2733 and will start on the pole for Race 1. The rest of the Top 6 starting order for Race 1 will be Jones, Urrutia, Veach, Serralles, and Rayhall. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (9/10/2016)

Stoneman leads the way in Lights Practice 2 at Laguna Seca – Andretti Autosport’s Dean Stoneman’s lap of 1:16.0981 topped the charts in Practice 2 for Indy Lights at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The rest of the Top 5 was Rayhall, Blackstock, Jones, and Grist. Championship leader Santiago Urrutia finished in P7. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (9/9/2016)

Jones fastest in Lights Practice 1 at Laguna Seca – Carlin’s Ed Jones turned the fastest lap in Practice 1 for Indy Lights at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a lap of 1:16.5086. The rest of the Top 5 was Stoneman, Rayhall, Serralles, and Kaiser. Championship leader Santiago Urrutia finished in P6. Davey Hamilton Jr. was last in the session in his Indy Lights debut. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (9/9/2016)

TSO Ladder’s Lights Laguna Seca preview – TSO Ladder posted an excellent preview of the Indy Lights “Soul Red Finale” at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend. Check it out at the link. View the weekend schedule here. – TSO Ladder – (9/9/2016)

Sonoma test recap – RACER’s Marshall Pruett posted an excellent update on the Verizon IndyCar Series test at Sonoma Raceway on Thursday. Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay was fastest in each session while Indy Lights drivers Zach Veach (ECR), Santiago Urrutia (SPM No. 7), and Andre Negrao (SPM No. 5) each got some time in the big cars. – RACER – (9/9/2016)

INDYCAR releases ’17 testing details – “INDYCAR announced today testing regulations for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season highlighted by four open tests during the season and an overall reduction in the amount of in-season testing. INDYCAR will conduct the following open tests next year: Feb. 10-11 at Phoenix International Raceway; March 21 at Barber Motorsports Park; May 2 at Gateway Motorsports Park and Sept. 14 at Sonoma Raceway – the same week as the season finale in 2017.” More at the link. – NBC Sports – (9/8/2016)

Sonoma Raceway names Ayesha Curry as grand marshal – “Celebrity chef and popular Bay Area personality Ayesha Curry has been named Grand Marshal of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at Sonoma Raceway, Sept. 16-18.” “This will be my first time going to Sonoma Raceway and a Verizon IndyCar Series event, so I’m very excited,” said Curry. “You can’t beat seeing a sporting event like this in person, and I’m sure it will be an incredible experience. It’s an honor to be named Grand Marshal. I can’t wait to say “Drivers, start your engines!” – Sonoma Raceway – (9/8/2016)

Rahal discusses challenges of two-car team – David Malsher of has posted an excellent interview with Bobby Rahal on the possibility of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing expanding to a two-car full-time effort in the Verizon IndyCar Series in the future. Here’s a small sample of the must-read piece: “If we run a second car – and we do want to – it’s going to be someone who can make the team better, who has the knowledge and experience, rather than a young man that we’re training. This year with Spencer, he was just learning, not contributing. That’s not his fault; he’s at the very start of his IndyCar career. But we’ve learned from that and won’t do it again.” Much more at the link. – – (9/8/2016)

Andretti Autosport signs Kellett for Lights in ’17 – Andretti Autosport announced on Thursday that the team has signed an extension with Dalton Kellett to drive for the team in Indy Lights in 2017. Kellett will continue to drive the No. 28 K-LINE Insulators USA, Inc. Mazda. “Returning to Andretti Autosport for the 2017 Indy Lights season is a great opportunity, ” said Kellett. “This will mark my third season with Andretti and I am happy to continue that relationship.” – Andretti Autosport – (9/8/2016)

IMS produces air race video starring Rossi – Indianapolis Motor Speedway has produced an excellent video promoting the upcoming Red Bull Air Race starring Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner Alexander Rossi and Master Class pilot Kirby Chambliss “racing” around the IMS oval. Check it out at the link. – IMS – (9/8/2016)

Veach ready for ECR chance after Lights win at WGI – Belardi Auto Racing’s Lights winner Zach Veach feels ready to show what he can do in a Verizon IndyCar Series car after his Indy Lights win at the physical Watkins Glen International. Veach will test for Ed Carpenter Racing this week at Sonoma Raceway. “I feel like my size of always been one of the things people looked at, but I’ve always been strong for my size,” Veach told RACER. “I think it speaks to the theory that working with a place like Pit Fit really prepares you for this challenge. We work so hard not just for muscle size but muscle endurance. I think that is what has given me the ability to do what I did [at Watkins Glen]. I felt fine when I got out of the car.” More at the link. – RACER – (9/7/2016)

Lights Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca entry list – The entry list for the Mazda Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey Presented by Cooper Tires is available at the link. There are 15 entries for the Indy Lights doubleheader finale this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. – Indy Lights – (9/7/2016)

Miller’s Mailbag 9/7/16 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (9/7/2016)

Trackside podcast 9/6/16 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee is a great listen as always. The pair recaps an exciting weekend at Watkins Glen International. – 1070 The Fan – (9/7/2016)

Dixon donates WGI winnings to Wilson Children’s Fund – After winning the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen, Scott Dixon donated his winnings to the family of Justin Wilson via the Wilson Children’s Fund. “A huge thanks to everyone who has been giving to the Justin Wilson kids’ fund,” the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet driver said during a post-race television interview. “I’m actually going to donate my winnings here today to their children’s fund. I want to say hi to everybody. Please keep supporting them.” – INDYCAR – (9/7/2016)

Power cleared after Watkins Glen incident – “Verizon IndyCar Series driver Will Power has been cleared to resume driving by Dr. Geoffrey Billows, INDYCAR medical director, after the Team Penske driver successfully passed concussion testing protocol today. Power was assessed today at the University of Miami (Fla.) Concussion Center under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Olvey, retired director of the Neuro-Critical Care Unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami who also served for 25 years as director of medical affairs with Championship Auto Racing Teams. During his examination Power passed both the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) and Vestibular/Ocular-Motor Screening (VOMS) exams.” – INDYCAR – (9/6/2016)

Rayhall back in Lights with Team Pelfrey at Laguna Seca – “Team Pelfrey IL today announced the return of Sean Rayhall to Indy Lights Presented By Cooper Tires at the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend. Even though it will be the first time racing the trademark yellow Pelfrey colors, Rayhall is familiar with most members of the team having raced with 8Star Motorsports in Indy Lights, which was acquired by Pelfrey this past off-season.” – Team Pelfrey – (9/6/2016)

Power slams Kimball after Watkins Glen incident – Will Power and Charlie Kimball made contact that ultimately ended the championship contender’s day at Watkins Glen International and Power didn’t hold back on his opinion of Kimball after the race. “No one in the paddock likes racing him,” Power told RACER. “They all talk about it – he’s the most dangerous guy on the track. I haven’t seen the replay, but he’s just a pain in the ass.” – RACER – (9/5/2016)

Dixon sweeps every session at Watkins Glen with dramatic race win – Chip Ganassi Racing Team’s Scott Dixon won the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen in the Verizon IndyCar Series’ return to Watkins Glen International. Dixon topped every practice session and won the pole but due to the timing of a late caution needed to make incredible fuel mileage to make his dominance count. The rest of the Top 5 was Newgarden, Castroneves, Daly, and Bourdais. Championship leader Simon Pagenaud finished in P7 after his biggest title rival, Will Power, crashed after contact with Kimball and finished in P20. Power was checked and released following his incident but was not immediately cleared to race due to “concussion-like symptoms.” Pagenaud’s lead heading into the final race at Sonoma Raceway is 43 points. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (9/4/2016)

Honda courting Ganassi for ’17 – RACER’s Robin Miller reports that Honda Performance Development is trying hard to get Chip Ganassi Racing Teams to convert to Honda for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. “We would be remiss if we neglected to explore any option which could strengthen our program in either the short or longer term,” said Art St. Cyr, president of HPD. “This is the time of year when we are talking to all the teams in the paddock, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is imminent.” More at the link. – RACER – (9/4/2016)

Andretti Autosport working on Newgarden deal – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti has been working on trying to acquire Josef Newgarden for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. “I think everybody is after him (Newgarden),” Andretti told RACER. “The problem for me and Chip is we have to go raise money. Roger doesn’t have to raise money. I’d love to make him an offer right now and say ‘come on’ but I have to put the budget together to be able to do that. It’s difficult. You can’t put the cart before the horse.” More at the link. – RACER – (9/4/2016)

Dixon obliterates track record and wins pole at Watkins Glen – Chip Ganassi Racing Team’s Scott Dixon set a new Watkins Glen International track record in the Firestone Fast 6 round of qualifying to win the pole for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen with a lap of 1:22.5259. The full Firestone Fast 6 was Dixon, Power, Bourdais, Castroneves, Kanaan, and Chilton. Pagenaud qualified P7. Power had originally missed the Firestone Fast 6 but advanced when Aleshin lost his two fastest laps for interference in Round 2. Full qualifying results here. – INDYCAR – (9/3/2016)

Veach grabs Lights win at Watkins Glen – Belardi Auto Racing’s Zach Veach went from fifth to first on Lap 1 and drove on to win the Indy Lights race at Watkins Glen International on Saturday. The rest of the Top 5 was Jones, Negrao, Kaiser, and Alberico. Championship leader Santiago Urrutia experienced dramatic tire wear and ended up finishing last in P12. Full race results here. – Indy Lights – (9/3/2016)

Samsung to sponsor ECR No. 20 in final two races – “Samsung, a multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Seoul, will support Spencer Pigot and his No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing entry for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen and the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.” Full report at the link. See the livery on our No. 20 livery page here. – Yahoo – (9/2/2016)

News From Last Week