News for the Month of October 2016

Report: Sato signs with Andretti for ’17 –’s David Malsher reports Takuma Sato has signed with Andretti Autosport to race in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2017. Here’s what Sato’s manager Steve Fusek told “We’re excited to put Takuma in as competitive a place as we can put him in and it’s an exciting prospect. We’ve had to scratch and claw for everything we’ve had before, so to join a team with the resources of Andretti Autosport is a special feeling.” More at the link. – – (10/31/2016)

Hinch’s DWTS partner out with injury – James Hinchcliffe’s Dancing With The Stars partner Sharna Burgess has been ruled out of the rest of the show with a knee injury suffered in training. Hinch will now be partnered with dance pro Jenna Johnson. – TMZ – (10/31/2016)

Pagenaud open to NASCAR “try” – Simon Pagenaud was at Martinsville Speedway over the weekend for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and told the assembled NASCAR media he’s open to an attempt in NASCAR somewhere down the road. “I’m obviously pretty open-minded as a driver,” said Pagenaud. “I’ve raced sportscars, I’ve raced in IndyCar, obviously. I’ve raced rally in Europe and I’m very open-minded to any kind of racing. I think there’s always something good in any sort of racing – advantage, disadvantage, different-size cars, different engine, different tires, and that makes it interesting for a driver to taste all those different things. So someday, yeah, I’d love to have the opportunity someday. Everybody asks me if I would want to drive a road course but I’d actually enjoy it more to try it on an oval.” – RACER – (10/31/2016)

INDYCAR to sanction MX-5 Cup – From RACER: “Mazda Motorsports and Andersen Promotions have reached an agreement for INDYCAR to sanction the Mazda MX-5 Cup series, the signature spec series for the Mazda Road to 24 sports car counterpart to the Mazda Road to Indy, beginning with the 2017 season.” Much more at the link. – RACER – (10/31/2016)

TK announces birth of his third son – Tony and Lauren Kanaan announced the birth of their third son, Max, on Thursday. A picture is included in TK’s tweet at the link. – Tony Kanaan – (10/27/2016)

Miller’s Mailbag 10/26/16 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (10/26/2016)

Trackside podcast 10/25/16 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 10/25/16 is a great listen as always. The pair are joined by Cara Adams and Anthony Martin. – 1070 The Fan – (10/26/2016)

DW12 likely to last through 2020 – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports that INDYCAR is likely to keep the DW12 in service through the 2020 Verizon IndyCar Series season before introducing a new chassis. “If you look at it in years, in 2017 the kits are frozen, and then there will be another program in 2018, 2019, and 2020 with the universal kit, so in 2021, you could do something drastically different with the chassis,” INDYCAR president of competition Jay Frye told RACER. More at the link. – RACER – (10/26/2016)

Schmidt quote confirms Aleshin back at SPM – A quote from Sam Schmidt in an INDYCAR piece on Mikhail Aleshin confirms the Russian will be back at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. “The guy has got true raw talent,” said Schmidt. “In 2010 in Formula Renault 3.5, he beat Daniel Ricciardo, who is a very highly respected F1 guy now. So you know the talent is there. We’ve just got to give him a car and when he’s making his way around these tracks for a third time next year, he’ll be a week-in and week-out force to be reckoned with and somebody that can push James (Hinchcliffe, his teammate) to that next level as well.” More at the link. – INDYCAR – (10/24/2016)

Serralles to test IndyCar with Andretti at Sebring – Indy Lights star Felix Serralles will test a Verizon IndyCar Series car with Andretti Autosport at Sebring International Raceway on November 10th and 11th. “I’m beyond excited to finally get a chance to drive an IndyCar and it’s great to be having that chance with Andretti Autosport,” said Serralles. “This is something I have been dreaming about since I can remember. I’m so grateful to DCM for making this happen. – NBC Sports – (10/20/2016)

Ganassi switch limits SPM chances of third entry – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports the switch from Chevy to Honda by Chip Ganassi Racing Teams likely has a knock-on effect of preventing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports running three full-time entries in 2017. “Yeah, it probably does,” SPM owner Sam Schmidt told RACER. “I don’t think we have too much of a shot at a proper third full-time effort.” – RACER – (10/20/2016)

Miller’s Mailbag 10/19/16 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (10/19/2016)

Trackside podcast 10/18/16 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 10/18/16 is a great listen as always. The pair recaps and speculates on all of the latest Verizon IndyCar Series news. – 1070 The Fan – (10/19/2016)

ARC bids to design/build ’18 common aero kit – Auto Research Center, Adrian Reynard’s company, has confirmed it has made an official bid to INDYCAR “to design and manufacture the #2018IndycarCommonBodykit”. – Auto Research Center – (10/18/2016)

Magnussen in play at Andretti – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports that Formula 1 driver Kevin Magnussen is a “top candidate” to join the Andretti Autosport stable for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Full report at the link. However, Magnussen himself has denied the “rumor”. – RACER – (10/17/2016)

Andretti confirms four cars for ’17 – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports that Andretti Autosport will have a four car Verizon IndyCar Series effort again in 2017. “We will certainly be four cars,” Rob Edwards, Andretti’s director of race operations and engineering, told RACER. Full report at the link. – RACER – (10/17/2016)

Report: Foyt to switch to Chevy for ’17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s reports that AJ Foyt Racing will switch to Chevrolet for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. “Yeah, I think we’re going back with ’em,” A.J. Foyt told RACER on Thursday. “I’ve had a lot of good memories with Chevrolet.” – RACER – (10/14/2016)

DCR confirms Bourdais for ’17 – “Dale Coyne Racing (DCR) is excited to announce the return of four-time open-wheel champion Sebastien Bourdais to the team starting with the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season and the arrival of engineers Craig Hampson and Olivier Boisson.” Full release at the link. – Dale Coyne Racing – (10/12/2016)

Miller’s Mailbag 10/12/16 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (10/12/2016)

Trackside podcast 10/11/16 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 10/11/16 is a great listen as always. The pair recaps all of the latest Verizon IndyCar Series news. – 1070 The Fan – (10/12/2016)

Ganassi announces TK will return to team in multi-year deal – “Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced today that NTT DATA will return as the primary sponsor on the No. 10 Indy car in the Verizon IndyCar Series as part of a multi-year deal. Driver Tony Kanaan will also return to the program for his fourth season with CGRT to pilot the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda.” Full release at the link. – CGRT – (10/11/2016)

Report: Ganassi Honda switch doesn’t necessarily mean changes elsewhere – David Malsher reports for that Chip Ganassi Racing Team’s switch to Honda for 2017 doesn’t guarantee another team switching from Honda to Chevy. Malsher reports Foyt is the only team considering a switch while SPM could be a possibility if Honda doesn’t allow the team a one-year extension to keep their options open for the spec aero kit in 2018. Much more at the link. – – (10/11/2016)

Miller’s silly season update 10/10/16 – RACER’s Robin Miller has an excellent video recap of all of the latest Verizon IndyCar Series news. Check it out at the link. – RACER – (10/10/2016)

Piquet Jr hoping for part-time INDYCAR chance with KVSH – KVSH Racing co-owner James Sullivan has a Red Bull Global Rallycross team and NBC Sports’ Luke Smith reports that Nelson Piquet Jr. is interested especially if it means he could get a part-time chance in the Verizon IndyCar Series. “The team that I race for in rallycross, KVSH, they have IndyCar, so I’ve been pushing them to get something done because they want me to go back to do rallycross,” Piquet told NBC Sports. “I said ‘well look, try to sneak in a bit of IndyCar for me and the deal will happen even easier.’ Not a full season, because there are clashes, but for sure to do a race here, a race there, Indy 500 – I’m gonna try and do some stuff.” – NBC Sports – (10/10/2016)

Grist posts fastest time of Lights’ Chris Griffis Memorial Test – Garrett Grist’s lap of 1:14.7396 in the final session of the Indy Lights Chris Griffis Memorial Test on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the fastest time of the weekend test. Grist turned the lap for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports on Sunday while Aaron Telitz drove the same car on Saturday. Nico Jamin had the fastest lap on Saturday with a 1:15.0702 with Andretti Autosport. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (10/10/2016)

Cavin named INDYCAR VP of communications – “Long-time IndyStar Indy Car Insider Curt Cavin has been hired by IndyCar as vice-president of communications. He will begin his new position Oct. 24.” More at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (10/7/2016)

Ganassi switching to Honda for ’17 – “Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced that its Verizon IndyCar Series program will be powered by Honda beginning with the 2017 season as part of a multi-year deal.” “We’ve had a long and successful relationship with Honda over the years and we look forward to getting it back on track,” said owner Chip Ganassi. “I feel a little like I am going home after having previously spent 12 years with them. Much of our organization’s success has been with Honda power in our cars so we are all very excited.” Full release at the link. – CGRT – (10/7/2016)

Trackside podcast 10/5/16 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 10/5/16 is a great listen as always. The pair recaps all of the latest INDYCAR news including updates on the championship celebration and the Newgarden to Penske announcement. – 1070 The Fan – (10/6/2016)

Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires Test entry list – The entry list for the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires Test is available at the link. – Indy Lights – (10/5/2016)

Claman de Melo to GP2 in ’17 – Rob Howden reports that Zachary Claman de Melo, the Indy Lights rookie for Juncos Racing, will drive for Carlin’s GP2 program in 2017. He will test for the team’s Indy Lights program this offseason to stay sharp. – Rob Howden – (10/5/2016)

Penske offers JPM 500 ride and potential sports car seat – Team Penske’s Tim Cindric confirmed in a teleconference on Wednesday that while Josef Newgarden is taking over the No. 2 seat, the team still wants Juan Pablo Montoya in their stable. “When we sat down with Juan at Toronto, we weren’t prepared to do what we did until the end of the season,” Cindric told reporters in a media teleconference. “We were up front with him about the whole situation. We’d like him to be part of the team… it just doesn’t mean the 2 car full-time. We have a seat for Indy if he wants one. If we do a sports car program, we want him to be involved.” – NBC Sports – (10/5/2016)

Team Penske announces Newgarden as new driver for No. 2 – “Team Penske announced today that American open-wheel driver Josef Newgarden will join the organization in 2017 to pilot the No. 2 Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet in the Verizon IndyCar Series.” “When you look at the top talent in the series, both from a driving and commercial perspective, Josef is near the top of the list,” said team owner Roger Penske. “We are always looking to build toward the future and when we had the opportunity to talk with Josef, we knew that he would be a great fit with our program.” Full release at the link. – Team Penske – (10/5/2016)

Clauson named INDYCAR Nation Fan Favorite Driver – Bryan Clauson was named the 2016 INDYCAR Nation Fan Favorite Driver at the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship Celebration on Tuesday night. “He would say he’s not really an IndyCar driver, and he would have been honored that you think of him as one,” his fiancee, Lauren Stewart, said. More from the celebration at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (10/5/2016)

Miller’s Mailbag 10/5/16 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (10/5/2016)

2016 INDYCAR Championship Celebration – The 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship Celebration was held in Indianapolis on Tuesday night. Watch the replay at the link. – INDYCAR – (10/5/2016)

Jeremy Milless heading to Andretti – TrackSide Online reports that Jeremy Milless, Josef Newgarden’s engineer at Ed Carpenter Racing, is heading to Andretti Autosport to work in Alexander Rossi and the team’s No. 98 entry. – TrackSide Online – (10/5/2016)

Montoya and Kanaan to compete in ROC in January – “Indianapolis 500 winners Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Kanaan have joined the field of driving greats who will take part in the first Race Of Champions on American soil – inside Miami’s Marlins Park on January 21-22, 2017.” Ryan Hunter-Reay was previously confirmed and will be racing as well. – Race of Champions – (10/4/2016)

Carpenter talks options for ECR No. 21 – RACER’s Robin Miller has a nice piece with Ed Carpenter on the driver options he’s considering to replace Josef Newgarden in the Ed Carpenter Racing No. 21 entry. Newgarden mentions Kanaan, Montoya, Hildebrand, Karam, and Daly. Check it out at the link. – RACER – (10/3/2016)

New engine spec could come as soon as ’19 – INDYCAR president of competition and operations Jay Frye shared with’s David Malsher that engine spec changes could be coming to the Verizon IndyCar Series as soon as 2019. “There are certain deadlines and dates we’re targeting that, once they are set in stone, would allow everyone to know what is happening next. The engine formula won’t change in 2017 or ’18 but maybe the first opportunity for change would be 2019 or ’20. And obviously part of the reason we will set dates for that kind of engine change is to be of interest to a new OEM to give them an idea what the next iteration will be.” Much more at the link. – – (10/3/2016)

Andretti Autosport announces Rossi extension for No. 98 entry – “Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion and 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year Alexander Rossi will remain in the American open-wheel series with Andretti-Herta Autosport…The Andretti-Herta collaboration – a result of a merger between Andretti Autosport and Bryan Herta Autosport – which fielded the No. 98 entry of Rossi for the 2016 campaign formed just weeks prior to the season start and will remain intact for the 2017 season.” Full release at the link. – Andretti Autosport – (10/3/2016)

Road America announces special ticket for ’17 INDYCAR weekend – “Building on the success of this year’s Verizon IndyCar Series KOHLER Grand Prix, officials from Road America and announced today a special 4-day ticket package available until December 31 for $120 that includes garage access, free parking, a pace car ride sweepstakes and a special collectable can koolie. The KOHLER Grand Prix returns to Road America on June 25, 2017.” Full details at the link. – Road America – (10/3/2016)

Report: Rossi signs with Andretti Autosport – RACER reports that Alexander Rossi has signed with Andretti Autosport. “On on the heels of the official news that Bryan Herta will again be part of Andretti Autosport, RACER can report that Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi has signed a multi-year deal to continue in IndyCar with the team that brought him into the Verizon IndyCar Series.” More at the link. – RACER – (10/1/2016)

AA & BHA extend partnership through ’17 – “Andretti Autosport announced today that the team has extended its Indianapolis 500 race-winning partnership with Bryan Herta Autosport through the 2017 season.” “We’re happy to have Bryan back with the team for 2017,” expressed owner of Andretti Autosport, Michael Andretti. “His team fits well into our family and we are excited to see continued growth and success with the partnership. Bryan is a long time friend and a true asset to our organization. We are eager to see what next season has in store.” A driver announcement has not been made at this time. – Andretti Autosport – (9/30/2016)

ECR confirms Newgarden departure – Ed Carpenter Racing confirmed in a release that Josef Newgarden will not return to the team’s Verizon IndyCar Series program in 2017. “While it’s disappointing that Josef will not be returning, it’s also not a total surprise after all of the speculation the past few weeks,” said team owner Ed Carpenter. “I wish Josef the best in his future endeavors, but also remain focused on ECR’s continued success. We are positioned well moving into 2017 and I have total confidence that we will continue to deliver the high level of performance we expect as a team.” Newgarden is expected to join Team Penske. – NBC Sports – (9/29/2016)

Tickets available for 10/4 INDYCAR Championship Celebration – “Drivers, team owners and fans will gather Oct. 4 at Hilbert Circle Theatre in downtown Indianapolis to commemorate the 2016 campaign at the annual INDYCAR Championship Celebration. The awards event to honor Pagenaud and his championship-winning Team Penske organization and others has been held in San Francisco and Los Angeles the past three years. It last took place in Indianapolis in 2012. Through INDYCAR Nation, the official fan community of the Verizon IndyCar Series, tickets to the Championship Celebration are being provided to INDYCAR Nation members at no cost. To sign up for INDYCAR Nation and reserve your free tickets, visit” – INDYCAR – (9/26/2016)

Malsher breaks down silly season rumors –’s David Malsher has posted an excellent analysis of all of the latest Verizon IndyCar Series silly season rumors. Updates on Newgarden/Team Penske, Kanaan, Montoya, Ganassi/Honda, and more. Check it out at the link. – – (9/26/2016)

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