I know I am a little behind but hey I took on three days and three different motorsports all by myself! It was rough, but fun. By now you probably already know that Takuma Sato made history by winning the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach and becoming the first Japanese driver to win an Indy Car event as well as the first Japanese driver to win at Long Beach. However, despite what he said in his post race interview, it did not come easy.
Long Beach is known for being a dangerous narrow street course and the walls ate up plenty of drivers this year, including defending champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. Sato was able to navigate his way through all of the random carnage unscathed and his team managed a top notch pit stop to keep their driver up front which allowed him to go on and get the victory. Graham Rahal came second behind Sato and Justin Wilson got his first podium of the season with a third place finish.
If you want to see all the action for yourself check out the highlight reel below. If you want to see the fruit of my three days of labor hit the red text for the full gallery on our facebook page.
Over the weekend Indy Car made a stop at the famous Barber Motorsports Park for round 2 of the 2013 season for the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama. Bo Jackson was the grand marshal! But enough about celebs. Here are the quick cliff notes…
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Things started off in typical Barber fashion with a hectic dash towards turn one. Everyone made it out clean but soon after there was an incident with Graham Rahal and Oriol Servia which also involved last race’s winner James Hinchcliffe. Both Servia and Rahal were able to return to the race but Hinchtown had to literally sit on the sidelines for most of the race until track workers could get to him.
Once the mess was cleaned up, all attention was up front as Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves, and Scott Dixon battled for the lead. Once the smoke settled it was the defending champ Ryan Hunter-Reay who captured the race win. He was followed by Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves, who took second and third place respectively. Helio’s second consecutive podium finish has put him on top of the points standings.
The next round is my favorite: the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach! Look forward to a ton of content from me throughout the race weekend! For now, if you want to check out the race highlights from the weekend just scroll down for the video.
Imagine, if you will the team behind movies such as Ice Age, Madagascar, and Kung Fu Panda decided to make a film about Indy Car. Now, imagine that film stars…a snail! If “oh god” was your reaction then I ask you to withhold judgment for a moment. Despite the silly premise, I think after you watch the trailers you may change your mind about what DreamWorks has cooked up with their movie “Turbo“.
The film centers around a snail named Turbo (get it?) who loves speed and daydreams of racing. The only problem is that well, he’s a freaking snail! His speedy dreams seem pretty far out of reach until a freak accident turns him into the fastest gastropod on the planet. With his new found ability Turbo sets his sights on the Indy 500 and hilarity ensues.
To DreamWorks’ credit they have actually worked with the Indy Car series to make Turbo and even brought on Dario Franchitti as an advisor. There are even current Indy Car chassis in the movie. I also wouldn’t be surprised if a few Indy Car drivers make cameos in the flick as well. However, to the non-race fans out there the selling point is the voice cast that includes names like Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Snoop Dogg, and Ken Jeong. Personally, I think Turbo has some real potential but you can come to your own conclusion by watching the two trailers below.
Just as Formula 1 was wrapping up across the pond the Indy Cars were getting warmed up in the land of hockey, maple syrup, and teen drama/rap artist crossovers AKA Canada. Toronto to be more exact. The Honda Indy Toronto race was the official 2/3rds mark of the season and the points race heated up significantly thanks to Will Power’s previous fumbles and Ryan Hunter-Reay’s back-to-back wins. This was the time for the likes of Will Power, Dario Franchitti, and Scott Dixon to not F-up and re-establish some dominance in the battle for the 2012 championship. Unfortunately, each one of them F’d up! Dixon suffered a crash that put him out of the race, Dario had contact which took him out of the race just long enough to lose all hope before he rejoined to try and earn some points, and Will Power had a fight with the wall which screwed his suspension up and put him down a lap over the rest of the field.
At this point you might be asking yourself “who took advantage of all of that misfortune?” The same guy who did the last two times, that’s who! Yes, Ryan Hunter-Reay took his third win in a row after the best laid plans of the top two teams fell apart once again. Charlie Kimball scored a career best second place and Mike Conway nabbed a third place finish. With his win in Toronto Ryan has officially taken over the points lead (34 points over Will Power to be exact) and with 5 races left is looking to be a serious threat for the 2012 championship; which would be the first championship for Andretti Racing since Dario won it for them right before leaving the team to try his hand at NASCAR.
For all the race highlights check out the video below.
Just after Formula Drift finished their skirmish in New Jersey, the Indy Car series was getting ready for a night time shootout in Iowa for the Iowa Corn 250. Although, things got off to a late start due to mother nature litterally raining on the parade. After about an hour or so of rainfall the skies over Iowa cleared up and the race was underway as well as the action. Before the green flag had a chance to drop, Dario Franchitti suffered a major engine failure taking him out of the race which severely hurt his shot at the title. Later on around lap 68, points leader Will Power made a mistake and clipped E.J. Viso taking them both out and opening up the points even more for the likes of James Hinchcliffe who was second place in the points due to his consistancy all year.
Marco Andretti made a run for the lead but problems with his car combined with the agressive tactics of his teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe kept him from making a solid run at the front. When it was all said and done Ryan Hunter-Reay stayed ahead of Marco Andretti and a hard charnging Tony Kanaan to take his second victory in a row. Ryan’s win rockets him to second place in the overall points putting him just 3 points behind Will Power. While James Hinchcliffe falls all the way to fifth in points after suffering an incident which ended his race in 17th place.
With Iowa in the books it marks the last oval race Indy Car will see until September when they return to California Speedway. With a slew of road courses ahead look for Dario Frachitti, Scott Dixon, and Helio Castroneves to put a serious dent in the points battle! In the meantime check out the video below of all the race highlights.
Barely recovered from their stop at Texas, the Indy Car grid came back to the Milwaukee mile after a brief absence for “Indy Fest”. Not sure where the new name comes from but I supposed it does not matter much. What does matter is that Milwaukee is just the same as it has always been: short, flat, fast, and unpredictable! If you walked away from the race after the first half you would swear that Dario Franchitti or Scott Dixon would take the victory. However it certainly did not play out that way! Franchitti actually had his day ended early when he had an unfortunate meeting with the wall and Scott Dixon was penalized for jumping a re-start (that decision was later ruled to be “wrong” but it wont change his finish result much). This may leave you asking who was at the front? Why none other than Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport. Ryan was being chased down by Tony Kannan and James Hinchcliffe respectively. While he faced some tough contention from TK he managed to hold off the Brazilian and take the win which actually brings things full circle for Ryan. Back in 2004 he scored his first win at the Milwaukee mile when he raced for Jimmy Vassar in the Champ Car series. To see all the highlights from the race scroll down for video from Indy Car.
There was a ton of racing over the Memorial Day weekend but the biggest event was easily the 96th annual Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. This year’s Indy 500 was a year of firsts. It was the first year with the new DW12 Dallara chassis on the famous oval, the first year in a long time that we had multiple engine manufacturers battling it out, and unfortunately the first Indy 500 without Dan Wheldon who won last year’s race before his tragic death. Really the entire event was a massive tribute to Mr. Wheldon and more so than the thrill of victory, the history, and the glory many of the top drivers wanted to win the event just so they could have the honor of their likeness on the Borg Warner trophy next to Dan’s. The new chassis and their freshly tested oval set up provided for tons of excitement as there were 35 total lead changes, smashing the previous record of 29. There were many who were looking like a good bet to take it all. Rookie James “Hinchtown” Hinchcliffe qualified 2nd and held the lead for a significant amount of time. Marco Andretti also looked very strong and lead more laps than most.
Although, in the end it was the familiar sight of the Target Chip Ganassi team taking control of the race. Teammates Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon took turns swapping the lead several times during the last 20 laps although they had serious contention from Tony Kanaan and Takuma Sato. It was Dario who had the lead at the end of the race and despite what can only be described as the ballsy-est oval pass attempt in history by Takuma Sato, Dario managed to hang on to the lead and earned his third Indy 500 victory (under caution). According to Indy Car Dario earned just over 2.4 million dollars for his victory as well as a place in the history books as being among the few drivers to have 3 Indy 500 victories under their belts. To see some of the best race action from the event, scroll down to check out the highlights video.
I just saw a tweet from Indy Car Champion Dario Franchitti, actually he re-tweeteda user “@MontrealPR” which said that Formula One’s eldest driver Rubens Barrichello AKA “The Brazilian Kelsey Grammer” will be testing Indy Car’s new DW12 chassis at Sebring next week. A little digging found that the @MontrealPR account belongs to a PR professional named Stuart Morrison who seems to have a watch company as his main client. That does not make his account un-credible but it is not exactly straight from Rubens’ mouth either. However, what gives his claim a little more juice is the fact that Dario Franchitti re-tweeted him. That means the champ not only follows this guy on twitter but knows him well enough to re-tweet him (see the tweet in the thumbnail below).
Still, with no official confirmation of this I can still only chalk this up as rumor at this time but I am hoping that it is true! While it would be sad to see Rubens leave Formula One it would be awesome to see him in Indy Car instead of hanging up his nomex for good.
It has been almost a week now since the tragic loss of Indy Car driver, father, and husband Dan Wheldon in a horiffic crash at the Las Vegas Indy Car finale. Since then Graham Rahal, Tony Kanaan and other Indy Car drivers and supporters have been hard at work putting together a memorial site and an awesome list of cool items that will be up for bid in a memorial Auction for Dan Wheldon’s family. What are some of the items up for bid? Check out this list:
-Graham Rahal’s Las Vegas Helmet, gloves, and shoes
-Bobby Rahal race-worn helmet
-Race worn items from INDYCAR drivers such as Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, Simona De Silvestro, Oriol Servia, James Hinchcliffe and Charlie Kimball; NASCAR drivers such as Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Max Papis; Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello and NHRA stars Brandon Bernstein, Cory McLenathan, Antron Brown and Ron Capps.
-#77 Dan Wheldon jersey signed by the Indinapolis Colts
-Signed Indiana Pacers jersey from Larry Bird and Clark Kellogg
-Ritmo Mundo INDYCAR Rose Gold timepieces
-Memorabilia from Tour de France winning cyclist Lance Armstrong, MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden, NBA star Dwight Howard, tennis legend Billie Jean King, actors Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett and professional surfer Kelly Slater
-VIP package for any of the Barrett Jackson Auctions
-INDYCAR experience two-seater ride around Indianapolis Motor Speedway
-Two-seat Grand-Am prototype ride around Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course
-NFL helmet signed by Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and Deion Sanders
-NFL New York Giants Helmet signed by Eli Manning
-NFL jersey signed by Roger Staubach, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Warren Moon, and Harry Carson.
-Limited-edition Colt handgun with serial number “98INDY500” and two custom Colt Indianapolis 500 rifles.
What a F’ing list huh?! If you are interested in any of the above listed items the official Dan Wheldon Auction begins on October 24th (Monday) and 100% of all the proceeds will go to the Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund. If you want more info on the auction follow @DWheldonAuction on twitter for live updates.
In a pleasant surprise, there was actually a surprise in the past weekend’s Kentucky Indy 300 Indy Car race. It was not a Ganassi car, Penske car, or even an Andretti car that won the race. So who captured the checkered flag you ask? How about Ed Carpenter who was driving for new mommy Sarah Fisher in the Sarah Fisher/Dollar General car! Wow! Not only did we get a fresh face in the winner’s circle but it could not go to a more deserving team. Sarah has worked her butt off to put together a program with nearly no money and has been faced with unfortunate circumstances out of her control ever since. It is great to see that after all her experience with Indy Car and everything that she has put in, it is finally starting to pay off for her.
In other news Scott Dixon’s third place finish clinched the oval championship for him, Will Power lost his 12 point lead over Dario Franchitti when he had a collision with Ana Beatriz in pit lane and could only nab a 16th place finish, and due to finishing in second place Dario Franchitti is now back on top of the points standing with an 18 point lead over Will Power with only one more race left in the season at Las Vegas.
At this point Will needs something catastrophic to happen to Dario in order to stop him from capturing another championship. Judging by how the season has gone so far, I would not rule out such a thing. For video highlights of the race scroll down.