Will Power IndyCar Champion 2014

Will Power earned his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship with a ninth-place finish in the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway.

Power, who entered the 18th race of the season with a 51-point lead over Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves, had been the championship runner-up in 2010, 2011 and 2012. It was the ninth consecutive year that the series champion was determined in the season finale.

“It’s 15 years of hard work. I was crying as I crossed the (finish) line,” said Power, who finished 62 points ahead of Castroneves. “It’s surreal. It’s just a fantastic way to finish the season.”

Power provided Team Penske its 13th Indy car championship and the first since 2006 with Sam Hornish Jr.

“Tonight showed everyone the strength of our team,” said team owner Roger Penske, who has won the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race 15 times.

Tony Kanaan, the 2004 series champion, won the 250-lap by 3.6750 seconds over Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate and 2013 champion Scott Dixon.

Kanaan was the 11th different winner of the season, which tied the Indy car single-season record set in 2000 and matched in 2001. Ed Carpenter, who won at Auto Club Speedway in 2012 and was runner-up in 2013, placed third and Juan Pablo Montoya finished fourth.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Kanaan, who claimed his first victory since the 2013 Indianapolis 500. “We had a team meeting this afternoon and (team owner) Chip Ganassi said if you win you can brag about it for seven months.”

Castroneves, who started from the pole and led 41 laps, was assessed a drive-through penalty for a pit lane entry violation on Lap 218 that put him a lap down. He finished 14th in the race and second in the championship for the fourth time in his career.

“It’s another second, but well done to Will,” said Castroneves, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner. “It stings a little bit, but it motivates me to come back stronger next year and win a championship.”

Source: IndyCar PR
Photo: Chris Owens, IndyCar Media

September 1, 2014 IndyCar

Mikhail Aleshin

Mikhail Aleshin suffered a big crash in practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. After losing the control of the car in turn 3, Aleshin was impacted by Charlie Kimball and lifted to the catchfence. Fortunately, according to IndyCar he is in serious but stable condition.

Medical update from Dr. Terry Trammell, INDYCAR Medical Consultant:

Verizon IndyCar Series driver Mikhail Aleshin was evaluated at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, Calif., on Aug. 29 and diagnosed with fractured ribs, a broken right clavicle, a concussion and chest injuries. He was admitted to the hospital and listed in serious but stable condition.

Aleshin was airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center after he was involved in a multi-car accident during final practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Charlie Kimball, the other driver involved in the incident, was checked and released from the infield care center and was cleared to drive.

August 30, 2014 IndyCar

Helio Castroneves IndyCar

Helio Castroneves earned the Verizon P1 Award for the Verizon IndyCar Series championship-deciding MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway. The pole was the 41st of Castroneves’ career, breaking a tie with four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears for fourth all-time in Indy car history.

Castroneves, the last of 22 qualifiers, recorded a two-lap average of 218.540 mph in the No. 3 AAA Southern California Team Penske car on the 2-mile oval as the track temperature reached 134 degrees.

Castroneves earned one bonus point for the pole and trails championship front-runner and teammate Will Power by 50 points entering the 250-lap season finale. The final leg of the Triple Crown series is worth double points.

Teammate Juan Pablo Montoya recorded a two-lap average of 217.621 mph in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske car to qualify second. Josef Newgarden, driving the No. 67 Hartman Oil/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car, also qualified on the front row (217.600 mph) for the three-wide start.

“It ain’t over; it’s just beginning,” said Castroneves, who earned his third pole of the season and third since 2003 at Auto Club Speedway. “Our job is to be aggressive over the 500 miles and finish where we started.”

Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, qualified a season-low 21st with a two-lap average of 212.604 mph. Simon Pagenaud of Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports, the third driver eligible for the championship, qualified 13th at 215.752 mph.

“With the starting position, I’d rather start at the very front or the very back to stay out of trouble early on,” Power said. “It’s obviously all about the race; it’s very long and we’ll be racing in different conditions.”

Power earned the pole for the October 2013 race at Auto Club Speedway with an average speed of 220.775 mph – a two-lap track record – and went on to win for the first time on a superspeedway.

Team owner Roger Penske is aiming for his 13th Indy car championship since 1977 with Tom Sneva and the first since 2006 with Sam Hornish Jr.

“I always tell our guys if one driver wins the team wins,” Penske said. “We got here because it was a team effort.”

Photo: IndyCar Media

August 30, 2014 IndyCar

Scott Dixon Sonoma IndyCar

Scott Dixon overtook race leader Mike Conway on Lap 83 of 85 en route to a dramatic victory Sunday in the GoPro Grand Prix at Sonoma Raceway. The win was the 35th of Dixon’s Indy car career, putting him in a tie for fifth place on the all-time Indy car victory list with three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Unser.

Dixon, who started third in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, led Ryan Hunter-Reay across the finish line by 1.1359 seconds. Simon Pagenaud finished third after overtaking Conway, whose No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing car ran out of fuel and coasted across the finish line for a 14th-place finish.

Pagenaud, who started 15th in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports car, joins Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves as drivers eligible for the Verizon IndyCar Series championship. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dixon remain championship eligible, but will be eliminated if Power participates in Friday practice at Auto Club Speedway, which would assure the Team Penske driver half points for the weekend.

Power takes a lead of 51 points over Castroneves and 81 points over Pagenaud to the two-mile Auto Club Speedway oval for the season-closing MAVTV 500 on Aug. 30. A total of 104 points are available in the final round of the Triple Crown series.

Power, who started on the pole and led a field-high 33 laps in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, was scored 10th after rebounding from a spin on Lap 40 that cost him eight positions to 20th.

“It took me by surprise when I spun. That’s just racing,” Power said. “I would have liked to have had a better finish, but the Verizon Chevy team will look to Fontana working towards the championship.”

Castroneves, whose No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske car was involved in contact on Laps 1 and 36, finished 18th. He entered the race 40 points behind Power.

“This is just big for our team,” said Dixon. “It was tough because there were so many fuel strategies going on and they were just slightly off. I didn’t know who could make it and who couldn’t.”

Takuma Sato, who started 20th in the No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing car, finished a season-high fourth and Juan Pablo Montoya was fifth in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske entry.

Twenty cars finished on the lead lap, tying a season high set in the Indianapolis 500. The 10 lead changes were the most for a Verizon IndyCar Series race at Sonoma Raceway.

Results

1. (3) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Chevy, 85, Running
2. (10) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
3. (15) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
4. (20) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
5. (19) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dallara-Chevy, 85, Running
6. (2) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
7. (12) Mikhail Aleshin, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
8. (13) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
9. (16) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
10. (1) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 85, Running
11. (7) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 85, Running
12. (4) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
13. (8) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 85, Running
14. (17) Mike Conway, Dallara-Chevy, 85, Running
15. (18) Jack Hawksworth, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
16. (22) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 85, Running
17. (5) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 85, Running
18. (6) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 85, Running
19. (9) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
20. (14) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
21. (11) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Chevy, 84, Running
22. (21) Carlos Huertas, Dallara-Honda, 28, Mechanical

Source: IndyCar PR
Photo: Chris Jones, IndyCar Media

August 25, 2014 IndyCar

Pure Michigan 400

Just one day after Jeff Gordon grabbed the checkered flag in the Pure Michigan 400, NASCAR and teams were back testing on the two-mile Michigan International Speedway, gathering crucial data for the development of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rules package.

Six different configurations were evaluated throughout the test.

“Our main goal is to harvest data today to help refine the 2015 package,” said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development. “We are listening to our fans, they have said they like a lot of passing, side-by-side racing and lead changes. That is what we are aiming to accomplish with these tests.”

Throughout today’s test, focus was on aerodynamics and power optimization.

“We learned a lot today and were able to test a lot of our ideas,” Stefanyshyn said. “The race teams have shared their goals of having the new rules package in September, so that is one of the reasons we are here during the season at Michigan International Speedway working on our 2015 package.”

Ten teams were onsite throughout the day running through all six configurations.

“We are looking at all the different options today and I am glad we are doing it,” said Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. “It is neat that NASCAR has stepped up and is trying to find ways to improve.

More than 160 laps were turned at Michigan by each team. Data will be taken back to the Research and Development Center in Concord, North Carolina to be analyzed and modeled as NASCAR finalizes its 2015 rules package for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

 

Photo: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images

Source: NASCAR PR

August 19, 2014 NASCAR

Carlos Contreras 2

Mexican driver Carlos Contreras remained close to finish in the  top 10 at the Children’s Hospital 200, race No. 22 of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season and final competition on road courses this season, circled 90 laps (326,981 Km / 203.22 miles) on the circuit of 3,633 km / 2,258 miles of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Contreras climbed as high as the fifth position, but a contact on the final restart complicated things, to finish  at position 21.

“We arrived at Mid-Ohio, had never raced here. Truth is one, amazing, beautiful track I loved the track! I think all the tracks I’ve driven in my life, was the most beautiful. Actually, from Turn 4 through 9 Curve is a very technical track, much handling, a lot of patience with ups and downs and the fans are very dedicated, really was amazing the environment. ” said Contreras.

“We were rolling pretty good. We made an early stop, we separated from the rest according to the strategy, which is quite noticed and were among the top 15 throughout the race. In fact, we were rolling in fifth with 25 laps to go. The car was fine, with some brake problems, but used a different strategy, “said the first Hispanic driver in NASCAR national series.

“In the last restart, missing 15 laps got us to change tires, was a very good team decision and went with new tires in position 12. Told the team ‘we are all in’. The Top-10 finish / Top-5 was really easy, because they had old tires at the front and we had new ones. Unfortunately on the restart they all stopped and as always, everyone was respected. However, the 40 car (Matt DiBenedetto) almost stopped me, did not even touch the brake. It hit me very hard, I destroyed the back, the whole rear bumper. With this, I hit the (auto) 43 (Dakoda Armstrong) and in the process the entire front of my car and bent the radiator was damaged, ” said Contreras.

“This took us to lose the race, we had to pit because I saw nothing, we had to fix the hood. We went out again with a lap down and the temperature began to climb, the engine began to warm horrible.It was 330 degrees engine temperature and oil temperature! So we had to go again. Spoiled the race with two laps left behind, “said Contreras, upset.

“These are sad races. The effort we left it on the track. The Top-10 finish we left it on the track. We have a Top-10 finish in the heart, but not in the actual result. The truth is that we are angry and sad, but also glad we could demonstrate our performance” concluded Contreras.

August 18, 2014 NASCAR

Will Power Milwaukee IndyCar

Will Power led 229 laps to dominate the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest and take command of the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings with two races left.

Power, the pole sitter in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske entry, turned away challenges by Tony Kanaan and teammate Juan Pablo Montoya to win by 2.7949 seconds over Montoya on the historic Milwaukee Mile. Kanaan finished third for his fourth podium in the past five races and Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon placed fourth. Josef Newgarden, who was running third when he had to pit for fuel on Lap 237, rebounded for his second consecutive top-five finish on an oval.

It was the first victory at Milwaukee, the first on a short oval and the first on an oval since Auto Club Speedway last October for Power, whose 24th career win matched Bobby Rahal and Ralph DePalma for 16th on the all-time list.

“The handling was awesome; we hardly made any adjustments over the whole race,” Power said. “I give full credit to the team for giving me such a great car. These are my favorite tracks these days. I really enjoy the ovals – it’s great fun. I hope we put a good show on for the fans.”

Power came into the 16th of 18 races with a four-point lead over Helio Castroneves and heads to the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 24 with a 39-point advantage (602-563) over his teammate, who finished 11th.

There are six contenders who remain eligible for the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship, which will be decided for the ninth consecutive year in the MAVTV 500 finale Aug. 30 at Auto Club Speedway. Simon Pagenaud (510 points) finished seventh to move to third in the standings ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay (494), whose No. 28 DHL Andretti Autosport car developed a mechanical issue on Lap 167 and finished 21st. Montoya (488) and Dixon (472) also remain in the hunt.

“It’s a perfect way to start this three-race chase,” Power said. “If we have a couple more days like this – this course it’s going to be a great finish. We’re going to keep our head down, don’t think of points, and execute.”

 

Results

1. (1) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running
2. (3) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running
3. (2) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running
4. (11) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running
5. (5) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
6. (4) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running
7. (16) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
8. (15) Mikhail Aleshin, Dallara-Honda, 249, Running
9. (7) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 249, Running
10. (17) Jack Hawksworth, Dallara-Honda, 249, Running
11. (8) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 249, Running
12. (18) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 249, Running
13. (9) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 249, Running
14. (14) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 249, Running
15. (10) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 248, Running
16. (6) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Chevy, 248, Running
17. (12) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 248, Running
18. (21) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 246, Running
19. (13) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 244, Running
20. (22) Carlos Huertas, Dallara-Honda, 243, Running
21. (19) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 168, Mechanical
22. (20) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Honda, 130, Contact

 

Photo: Chris Jones, IndyCar Media

Source: IndyCar PR

August 17, 2014 IndyCar

Marco Wittmann BMW DTM

Marco Wittmann (DE) took full advantage of his pole position at the Nürburgring (DE), producing an outstanding performance over 49 laps to secure his fourth win of the current DTM season. Wittmann held onto the lead at the start, and gradually pulled away from his rivals over the following laps. After the mandatory pit stop, during which he switched from prime to option tyres, the young German re-joined the race at the head of the field in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM. Wittmann went on to claim the 63rd DTM win for BMW Motorsport and the manufacturer’s 15th since returning to the DTM in 2012. The 24-year-old also clocked the fastest lap time of 1:23.175 minutes en route to presenting BMW Team RMG with its fifth win in the seventh race of the year – and at the team’s home race in the Eifel Mountains.

In the Drivers’ Championship, Wittmann has now pulled 64 points clear of his closest rivals with 120 points to his name. BMW Team RMG has now amassed 159 points, thanks to Wittmann’s win and seventh place for Maxime Martin (BE, SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM), and now leads the team competition by 67 points. BMW also tops the standings in the Manufacturers’ Championship with 302 points.

As well as the two BMW Team RMG drivers, Martin Tomczyk (DE) also finished in the points in the BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM. Unlike Wittmann and Martin, the BMW Team Schnitzer driver started on option tyres and then worked his way through the field into eighth place in the second half of the race. The same tactic did not quite come off for Bruno Spengler (CA, BMW Bank M4 DTM), António Félix da Costa (PT, Red Bull BMW M4 DTM) and Joey Hand (US, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M4 DTM). They narrowly missed out on a top-ten finish, coming home 12th, 13th and 14th.

Timo Glock (DE) fell well down the field after an early collision with Gary Paffett (GB, Mercedes), leaving him no chance of a points finish in the DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM. He eventually had to settle for 17th. Augusto Farfus (BR, Castrol EDGE BMW M4 DTM) lost valuable ground through a collision with Jamie Green (GB, Audi) and ultimately retired after 36 laps.

Comments from Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“That was another sensational race from Marco Wittmann. He once again produced a flawless display at the wheel of the heaviest car in the field. The fourth pole position of the season yesterday, followed by win number four today: Marco and the BMW M4 DTM are the perfect package at the moment. I am very proud of him. After the disappointing qualifying result on Saturday, a couple of our other drivers also picked up points. We witnessed fantastic, exciting fightbacks from Maxime Martin and Martin Tomczyk. Although it is looking very good for Marco in the Drivers’ Championship, we will remain fully focussed. There are still three races to come, with 75 points up for grabs. In the name of the BMW Motorsport family, I would like to dedicate this victory on this special weekend to Dieter Lamm.”

August 17, 2014 DTM

GoBowling.com 400

In its continued efforts to evolve the safety of its sport, NASCAR announced Friday that it will add a rule that addresses on-track incidents as part of its race procedures. The rule, listed as Section 9-16, will be an addendum to the NASCAR rule book and will apply to all of its racing series, effective immediately.

Section 9-16 On-Track Incident Procedure

During an Event, if a racecar is involved in an on-track incident and/or is stopped on or near the racing surface and unable to continue to make forward progress, unless extenuating emergency conditions exist with the racecar (i.e. fire, smoke in cockpit, etc.) the driver should take the following steps:
· Shut off electrical power and, if driver is uninjured, lower window net
· Do not loosen, disconnect or remove any driver personal safety equipment until directed to do so by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
· After being directed to exit the racecar, the driver should proceed to either the ambulance, other vehicle, or as otherwise directed by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
· At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach any portion of the racing surface or apron
· At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach another moving vehicle

All vehicles not involved in the incident or that are able to continue afterwards should slow down to a cautious speed as outlined in Section 10-4 (Yellow Flag), use extreme care as they approach an incident scene, and follow any directions given by safety personnel or NASCAR/Track Officials. Cars in line behind the safety car should not weave or otherwise stray from the line in the vicinity of the incident.

Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition and racing development, says the rule is “part of the evolution of NASCAR’s rules and regulations.”

“Throughout the history of our sport, NASCAR has reviewed and analyzed situations and occurrences that take place not just in NASCAR racing but also throughout all motorsports and other sports,” said Pemberton. “When we believe we can do something to make our sport safer and better for the competitors and others involved in the competition environment, we react quickly. Safety always has been priority number one at NASCAR.”

As with other behavioral infractions, NASCAR will handle each instance separately when assessing potential penalties

 

Photo: Getty Images via NASCAR

August 15, 2014 NASCAR

Carlos Contreras

Mexican driver Carlos Contreras wants to recover from a disappointing performance at Watkins Glen, where he had to retire due to mechanical problems. For Contreras it will be his third NASCAR Nationwide Series start of the year, now at Mid-Ohio. It will be his 97th start in a NASCAR sanctioned race. Contreras aims for a Top 10 finish in a race that will only count with Nationwide regulars, as Cup drivers who usually race in the series are at Michigan for the Cup race.

“Well, no, we have never been to Mid-Ohio (to compete). It is the first time I am going to run on that track. Once I accompanied my brother Enrique there, when he ran in Indy Lights, but I don’t know the course. I know that NASCAR began last year with the first race of the Nationwide Series there so many drivers already know the track. It looks to be a fun track, a track not as fast as Watkins Glen, a driver over car track. So I have faith that we will get a good result and I really want to make it longer weekend to be there and get us rolling the thorn that is hurting us after Watkins Glen,” said the driver of the No. 44 Camry 38 Special / Ingersoll Rand / Voli / Global Aircraft Solutions.

August 15, 2014 NASCAR

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