News for the Week of September 25 – October 1, 2017

Watch “2017 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship Reflection” – INDYCAR has posted the “2017 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship Reflection” show that aired on NBCSN on Thursday night to their YouTube channel. Check it out at the link. – INDYCAR – (9/29/2017)

INDYCAR announces 2018 testing parameters – “INDYCAR is providing ample time for manufacturers and teams to learn the new universal aero kit during offseason testing, with the sanctioning body for the Verizon IndyCar Series announcing testing guidelines for the 2018 season.” Check out the full details at the link. – NBC Sports – (9/29/2017)

Penske adds Petit Le Mans entry featuring Montoya, Castroneves, and Pagenaud – “Team Penske will enter an ORECA 07-Gibson in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar season finale – the 20th Anniversary Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on Saturday, October 7th the team announced today. Veteran Team Penske drivers Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud will share driving duties in the 10-hour endurance event. The Petit entry gives the team a chance to have a full-race weekend under its belt prior to making their debut with the recently announced Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International (DPi) program, which will make its maiden competition voyage at the 2018 season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona in late January.” Full release at the link. – Team Penske – (9/28/2017)

Pocono announces IndyCar date of 8/19/18 – “Pocono Raceway will host the 2018 ABC Supply 500 race weekend from August 18-19. It will mark the 25th INDYCAR race held ‘The Tricky Triangle’ and the sixth-consecutive year in which the Verizon IndyCar Series has competed there since 2013.” Full release at the link. – Pocono Raceway – (9/28/2017)

NBCSN special to honor Newgarden on Thursday – “Relive the excitement of (Josef) Newgarden’s drive to the title – and the 2017 season as a whole – when NBCSN airs “Verizon IndyCar 2017 Championship Reflection” at 7 p.m. ET Thursday. The one-hour special will recap the thrills and excitement of the entire campaign and go in-depth with Newgarden on what it meant to become the champion at age 26 – in his sixth Verizon IndyCar Series season and first with vaunted Team Penske.” – INDYCAR – (9/27/2017)

IndyCar schedule announcement delayed by Mexico earthquake – The Indianapolis Star’s Jim Ayello reports the release of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule is currently delayed due to the earthquake that hit Mexico City last week. INDYCAR is trying to finalize a potential deal to race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City and recovery efforts in Mexico have rightfully taken priority over negotiations since the earthquake. Full story at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (9/27/2017)

SPM engineer McDonald departs the team – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports James Hinchcliffe’s race engineer at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Allen McDonald, has left the team. From Pruett: “Although it’s unclear where McDonald will land, a number of IndyCar teams closed the season with a need to strengthen their engineering programs, which could move him to the top of the shopping list.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (9/27/2017)

Three IndyCar drivers to race in Petit Le Mans – Sebastien Bourdais, Scott Dixon, and Ryan Hunter-Reay will drive in the Motul Petit Le Mans IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event next weekend at Road Atlanta. Full story at the link. – NBC Sports – (9/27/2017)

RACER recap of Sebring test – RACER’s Marshall Pruett has posted an excellent recap of the four team test of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series aero kit at Sebring International Raceway on Tuesday. James Hinchcliffe and Josef Newgarden joined the previously mentioned Juan Pablo Montoya, Oriol Servia, Scott Dixon, and Spencer Pigot on track during the test. Check it out at the link. – RACER – (9/27/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 9/27/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (9/27/2017)

Trackside podcast 9/26/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 9/26/17 is a great listen as always. Doug Boles is a guest on the show. – 1070 The Fan – (9/27/2017)

Video emerges of ’18 aero kit test at Sebring – YouTube user “Lanky Turtle” has posted an excellent video from testing of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series aero kit at Sebring International Raceway on Tuesday. Team Penske, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, and Ed Carpenter Racing were the four teams at the test. Check out the video at the link. – YouTube – (9/26/2017)

PIR to be known as ISM Raceway starting in ’18 – “Phoenix Raceway and ISM Connect, a pioneer in smart venue technology, today announced a multi-year partnership that includes naming rights for the Raceway’s modernized venue as well as the installation of a groundbreaking digital fan engagement experience. Beginning in 2018, the venue will be known as ISM Raceway. ISM’s 360° Connect network will provide the modernized venue with advanced, robust technology and data capabilities to create meaningful connections between fans, partners and the venue itself. This will be done through the use of digital display screens, interactive experiences, social media integrations and a mobile app that will give fans access to unique content, in-seat ordering, and more.” Full release at the link. – Phoenix International Raceway – (9/26/2017)

Four cars set for final ’18 aero kit test – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports that in addition to Team Penske (Juan Pablo Montoya) and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (Oriol Servia), Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (Scott Dixon) and Ed Carpenter Racing (Spencer Pigot) will each take part in the final test of the new universal aero kit and related updates before equipment is handed over to all Verizon IndyCar Series teams. The test takes place on the short course at Sebring International Raceway on Tuesday. Full story at the link. – RACER – (9/26/2017)

Carlin closer to making step up to IndyCar for ’18 – Joey Barnes writes for that the timing might be right for all parties for Carlin to join the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018. “I’m not going to stand here now and say it’s a done deal, but I would say that the odds on us being on the grid next year are the highest they’ve ever been,” Carlin owner Trevor Carlin told “It’s just a case of putting the package together now.” Full story at the link. – INDYCAR – (9/25/2017)

New aero kit to require only slightly different tire plan for ’18 – David Malsher of reports that while the current Firestone tires work well on most tracks the Verizon IndyCar Series will head to in 2018 with the new universal aero kit, certain tracks will require changes. “The new aero package gives us the opportunity to look at new types of tire,” Firestone Racing chief engineer and manager of race tire development Cara Adams told “Maybe we’ll need a new shape of front tire or a new construction altogether, perhaps stiffer or less stiff. They’re all things we’re looking at because the forward weight distribution will affect the front tires a lot. Full story at the link. – – (9/25/2017)

Juncos aiming for full-time in ’18 – Joey Barnes has a good story on about Juncos Racing’s intentions to expand to full-time in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018. “I want to be a full-time two-car (Verizon IndyCar Series) team, but that will depend on many factors,” says owner Ricardo Juncos. “At the moment, we are focused on the marketing side and trying to finalize sponsors, so then we will see if we can run two cars or only one.” Full story at the link. – INDYCAR – (9/22/2017)

Former Boston GP CEO sues City for $15.5M – Adam Reilly reports former Boston Grand Prix CEO John Casey has filed a complaint in Suffolk Superior Court asking for $15.5 million in damages from the City of Boston. “He claims that Austin Blackmon, Boston’s Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space, waited six months to reveal changes to a Federal Emergency Management Association flood map that affected the race circuit — thereby creating permitting problems that Casey says caused the proposed event to fail.” Full story at the link. – WGBH – (9/21/2017)

Future of Belle Isle race still in jeopardy – INDYCAR has a contract to race at Belle Isle through 2018 but the future of the event continues to be in doubt. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will consider the future of the event as opponents question the environmental impact of the event. Full story at the link. – AP – (9/21/2017)

INDYCAR up 3% on NBCSN versus ’16 – “The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series on NBCSN delivered the network’s second most-watched IndyCar season ever and was up 3% vs. 2016, producing a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 507,000 viewers across 12 races, according to data provided by The Nielsen Company and Adobe Analytics. This season’s viewership on NBCSN, and the NBC Sports app exceeded the 2016 TAD of 492,000 viewers by 3%*, and was just 1% shy of NBCSN’s record TAD in 2015 (510,000). TAD measures consumption across multiple platforms, combining the average minute audience (AMA) for television and digital. More than half of this season’s races on NBCSN (seven) produced a TAD of at least 500,000 average viewers, the most ever since NBCSN acquired IndyCar rights prior to the 2009 season. This year’s race at Pocono on Sunday, Aug. 20, averaged a TAD of 624,000 viewers to rank as the most-watched race of the season.” Full release at the link. – NBC Sports Group – (9/21/2017)

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