League Announcements Coming Soon Guys


This post is informational post about our upcoming leagues for the future. Stay tuned for more information.

https://racingmania101.wordpress.com/xbox-leagues/

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NBC Sports Announces Motorsports Coverage Plans for 2015


The following is a press release from NBC Sports regarding their plans for their motorsports coverage on NBC, NBC Sports Network and CNBC for Formula 1, IndyCar, NASCAR, MECUM Car Auctions, NASCAR K&N Pro Series, Global RallyCross and much more.

(C) Wikipedia

(C) Wikipedia

NBC SPORTS GROUP IS THE HOME OF MOTORSPORTS IN 2015

NEARLY 1,400 HOURS OF COVERAGE, INCLUDING NEARLY 800 HOURS OF LIVE COVERAGE

Coverage Includes NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula One, Mecum Auctions, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and Red Bull Global RallyCross, & Original Programming

800 Hours of Race Coverage Begins This Sunday, March 15 with Formula One Australian Grand Prix on NBCSN

NBCSN Presents Nearly 100 Hours of IndyCar Coverage, Beginning April 12 with Inaugural Grand Prix of Louisiana in New Orleans

NASCAR’s Return to NBC Sports Group Features Nearly 400 Hours of Coverage on NBC and NBCSN; Coverage Begins July 4th Weekend in Daytona

STAMFORD, Conn. – March 10, 2014 – NBC Sports Group is the home of motorsports in 2015, providing nearly 1,400* hours of coverage in 2015, spanning NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula One, Mecum Auctions, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and Red Bull Global RallyCross. The total includes nearly 800 hours of live motorsports content airing across NBC, NBCSN and CNBC, NBCUniversal’s business channel, as well as on NBC Sports Live Extra. It all begins this week with comprehensive coverage of the F1 Australian Grand Prix, which opens the 2015 F1 season on Sunday at 12:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN.

This marks the first time a U.S. sports media company has broadcast NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One in the same year, and all three series championships will be decided on NBC or NBCSN.

NBC Sports Group’s 2015 motorsports coverage is highlighted by nearly 400 hours of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series coverage, beginning July 4th weekend in Daytona; nearly 100 hours of the Verizon IndyCar Series on NBCSN, which begins April 12 in New Orleans with the inaugural Grand Prix of Louisiana; and more than 200 hours of the 2015 Formula One Season, beginning with the Australian Grand Prix this Sunday, March 15, at 12:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN.

2015 NASCAR, INDYCAR AND FORMULA ONE PREMIERES NBC AND NBCSN
Date Series/Race Time Network
Sun., March 15 Formula One Australian Grand Prix 12:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., April 12 IndyCar Grand Prix of Louisiana 3 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., July 4 NASCAR XFINITY Series – Subway Firecracker 200 (Daytona) 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., July 5 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Coke Zero 400 (Daytona) 7 p.m. NBC

NBC Sports Group’s unprecedented motorsports coverage will also feature more than 300 hours of Mecum Auctions programming, as well as season-long coverage of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Red Bull Global RallyCross, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR K&N Pro Series.

In addition, NBC Sports Group will present more than 250 hours of original motorsports programming, including weekday episodes of NASCAR AMERICA on NBCSN, as well as the NBCSN original series Mecum Dealmakers, Off The Grid, and /DRIVE on NBC Sports.

MORE THAN 200 HOURS OF FORMULA ONE COVERAGE BEGINS THIS SUNDAY WITH AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX ON NBCSN

NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive coverage of the 2015 Formula One season will feature more than 200 hours of coverage, and begins this Sunday, March 15, with the Australian Grand Prix at 12:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN.

NBC, NBCSN and CNBC will combine to present all 20 races of the F1 season. NBCSN will present 13 races, NBC four, and CNBC three. NBC’s coverage begins on Sunday, May 24 with the Monaco Grand Prix, and continues Sunday, June 7, with the Canadian Grand Prix. NBC’s coverage returns on Sunday, Oct. 25, with the United States Grand Prix from the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and concludes on Sunday, Nov. 1, with the Mexican Grand Prix.

NBCSN’s coverage will feature iconic Grands Prix, including the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, the Singapore Grand Prix “under the lights” on the streets of Singapore, the return of the Mexican Grand Prix, and the season finale from Abu Dhabi.

In addition, NBC Sports Group will present comprehensive coverage of practice and qualifying of all 20 races across its family of networks and NBC Sports Live Extra.

Formula One is coming off its most-watched season ever for a single cable network, averaging 385,000 viewers for its 12 races on NBCSN, up 86% vs. 2013. For all 19 races, NBC Sports Group’s coverage averaged 477,000 viewers, up 30% vs. 2013 (366,000) and up 15% vs. 2012 (414,000; FOX/SPEED; 20 races). Click here for more information on last year’s record F1 viewership:http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2014/11/26/nbcsn-delivers-best-f1-season-ever-for-a-single-cable-network/

2015 FORMULA ONE SCHEDULE
Date Grand Prix Time Network
Sun., March 15 Australian Grand Prix 12:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., March 29 Malaysian Grand Prix 2:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., April 12 Chinese Grand Prix 1:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., April 19 Bahrain Grand Prix 10:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., May 10 Spanish Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., May 24 Monaco Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. NBC
Sun., June 7 Canadian Grand Prix 2 p.m. NBC
Sun., June 21 Austrian Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., July 5 British Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. CNBC
Sun., July 19 German Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. CNBC
Sun., July 27 Hungarian Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. CNBC
Sun., Aug. 23 Belgian Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., Sept. 6 Italian Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., Sept. 20 Singapore Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., Sept. 27 Japanese Grand Prix 12:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., Oct. 11 Russian Grand Prix 6:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., Oct. 26 United States Grand Prix 2:30 p.m. NBC
Sun., Nov. 1 Mexican Grand Prix 1:30 p.m. NBC
Sun., Nov. 15 Brazilian Grand Prix 10:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., Nov. 29 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. NBCSN

THIS WEEK’S F1 COVERAGE

This week’s coverage of the F1 Australian Grand Prix begins Thursday at 9:30 p.m. ET with Practice 1 on Live Extra, and will continue on Live Extra and NBCSN on Friday and Saturday (see grid below for full practice and qualifying air times). F1 Countdown kicks off race coverage Sunday at 12 a.m. ET, leading into the Australian Grand Prix at 12:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN. An encore presentation of the race will air Sunday at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

NBC Sports Group’s Formula One full announce booth returns for a third season, with lead race announcer Leigh Diffey providing live play-by-play commentary. Diffey is joined by veteran analyst and former racecar driver David Hobbs, and analyst Steve Matchett, a former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team. Rounding out the broadcast team is F1 insider Will Buxton, who will provide live reports on-site for all 20 races this season.

Following is this week’s motorsports schedule:

Date Coverage Time Network
Mon.-Thurs. NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
Thurs., March 12 F1 Australian Grand Prix – Practice 1 9:30 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Fri., March 13 F1 Australian Grand Prix – Practice 1 12:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Australian Grand Prix – Practice 2 1:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Australian Grand Prix – Practice 3 11 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Sat., March 14 F1 Australian Grand Prix – Practice 3 12:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Australian Grand Prix – Qualifying 2 a.m. NBCSN
Mercedes: Race to Repeat (Encore) 11 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., March 15 F1 Countdown 12 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Australian Grand Prix 12:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra 3 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Australian Grand Prix (Encore) 6 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Australian Grand Prix (Encore) 4 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra (Encore) 6:30 p.m. NBCSN

NBCSN PRESENTS NEARLY 100 HOURS OF INDYCAR COVERAGE, BEGINNING APRIL 12 WITH INAUGURAL GRAND PRIX OF LOUISIANA IN NEW ORLEANS

NBCSN will present coverage of 11 races during the upcoming 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season, beginning on Sunday, April 12, with IndyCar’s inaugural race at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, La., for the Grand Prix of Louisiana.

Coverage will also feature the Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 19, and the final eight events of the season, including the Streets of Toronto on June 14; Auto Club Speedway from Fontana on Saturday, June 27; the annual race at the Milwaukee Mile on Sunday, July 12; a visit to Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 23; and the season finale at Sonoma Raceway on August 30.

Lead IndyCar play-by-play commentator Leigh Diffey returns for his third consecutive season calling IndyCar on NBCSN. Former IndyCar, Cart and Champ Car driver Paul Tracy returns for his second season as race analyst, and IndyCar driver Townsend Bell, who has raced eight times at the Indianapolis 500 and won the GT Class at last year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, is back for his third season in the booth.

NBCSN’s team of IndyCar pit reporters will include Marty Snider, Robin Miller, Kelli Stavast, Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee, who all return for the 2015 season. Katie Hargitt joins NBC Sports Group this year for her first season as an IndyCar pit reporter.

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series averaged 378,000 viewers, the second-highest average for a season on NBCSN (formerly VERSUS) since IndyCar rights were acquired in 2009 (402,000 in 2011). NBCSN’s 2014 IndyCar coverage (12 races) was up 34% from the network’s average viewership for the 2013 season (282,000, 13 races), according to data provided by The Nielsen Company. Click here for more information on last year’s IndyCar viewership on NBCSN:http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2014/09/03/2014-verizon-indycar-series-on-nbcsn-delivers-second-best-viewership-since-2009/

Click here for NBCSN’s full IndyCar schedule:http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2014/10/30/nbcsn-to-present-12-races-during-2015-verizon-indycar-season/

NASCAR’S RETURN TO NBC SPORTS GROUP FEATURES NEARLY 400 HOURS OF COVERAGE ON NBC AND NBCSN; COVERAGE BEGINS JULY 4TH WEEKEND IN DAYTONA

NASCAR returns to NBC Sports Group this year with a combined 39 Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series races across NBC and NBCSN, beginning on July 4th weekend from historic Daytona International Speedway. The schedule is highlighted by exclusive coverage of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, including the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 22, on NBC. NBC Sports Group’s 2015 coverage will feature more than 250 hours of Sprint Cup Series action.

Of NBC Sports Group’s 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, seven will be carried on NBC, with 13 airing on NBCSN. Four of NBC Sports Group’s 19 NASCAR XFINITY Series races will air on NBC, with 15 airing on NBCSN. NBC Sports Group’s NASCAR coverage will visit numerous storied tracks across the country, including Daytona, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Michigan International Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, and Talladega Superspeedway.

Rick Allen will serve as the lead race announcer for NBC’s coverage, alongside former driver and analyst Jeff Burton, and former Dale Earnhardt Jr. crew chief Steve Letarte. Marty Snider,Kelli Stavast, Mike Massaro, Dave Burns and Nate Ryan will provide coverage from pit road.Krista Voda will host NBC Sports Group’s pre- and post-race coverage, alongside Hall of Fame driver Dale Jarrett and veteran Kyle Petty. In addition, Rutledge Wood will serve as a reporter and host across NBC Sports Group’s multiplatform motorsports coverage, presenting features on NASCAR, as well as NBC Sports Group’s other motorsports properties.

Click here for more information on NBC Sports Group’s 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series coverage: http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2014/08/26/2015-nbc-sports-group-nascar-sprint-cup-and-nationwide-series-schedules-announced/

NBC SPORTS GROUP PRESENTS MORE THAN 300 HOURS OF MECUM AUCTIONS COVERAGE IN 2015

NBC Sports Group will present more than 300 hours of Mecum Auctions coverage in 2015, providing comprehensive coverage of 12 Mecum auctions Coverage kicked off with 25 hours of Mecum’s Kissimmee auction, the largest car auction in the world, where more than $60 million dollars worth of automobiles were auctioned off.

Highlights on the 2015 Mecum Auctions schedule on NBCSN include the Houston auction from April 9-11, Indianapolis (May 14-19), Monterey (Aug. 13-16), Dallas (Sept. 16-20), Chicago (Oct. 8-11), and the final auction of the season in Anaheim (Dec. 10-17).

NBC Sports Group’s Mecum Auctions telecast team of Scott HokeJohn KramanStephen Cox, and reporter Bill Stephens return for their second season. Rutledge Wood will also contribute to NBC Sports Group’s Mecum Auctions coverage throughout the season.

NBC SPORTS GROUP PRESENTS MORE THAN 100 HOURS OF LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP, RED BULL GLOBAL RALLYCROSS, NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES AND NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR COVERAGE

NBC Sports Group will present more than 100 hours of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Red Bull Global RallyCross, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR K&N Pro Series coverage in 2015.

NBCSN will air more than 50 hours of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Coverage includes all 25 K&N Pro Series races between the top developmental series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. NBCSN will present 14 races from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedules. NBSCN’s K&N Pro Series slate kicked off on Feb. 19, with the season-opener in New Smyrna, Fla.

NBC and NBCSN will combine to air 39 hours of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship coverage, including 11 hours of live coverage. NBC and NBCSN will air comprehensive coverage of the 2015 Red Bull Global RallyCross series, with all events premiering on NBC, and encore presentations airing on NBCSN. The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship season kicks off on NBCSN on Saturday, May 16, at the Hangtown Motocross Classic in Sacramento, Calif. The Red Bull Global RallyCross slate begins Saturday, May 31, on NBC in St. Petersburg, Fla.

NASCAR AMERICA, MECUM DEALMAKERS, OFF THE GRID, AND /DRIVE ON NBC SPORTSHIGHLIGHT ORIGINAL MOTORSPORTS PROGRAMMING

NBC Sports Group will present more than 250 hours of original motorsports programming in 2015, led by comprehensive NASCAR coverage on NASCAR AMERICA, NBCSN’s live daily show that provides viewers with the latest news, highlights and access to NASCAR’s dynamic stars and personalities.

This year’s original motorsports programming will also feature the return of Mecum Dealmakers,Off The Grid, and /DRIVE on NBC Sports, which all made their debuts in 2014.

  • Off The Grid is NBC Sports Group’s original series that takes motorsports fans off the track and into sights and sounds of the culture that surrounds motorsports. Off The Grid will debut on Sunday, April 19, with Off The Grid: Melbourne, taking a look at the F1 Australian Grand Prix with F1 insider Will Buxton. In addition, NBCSN will also debut NASCAR editions of Off The Grid from Daytona and Talladega, featuring Rutledge Wood and Kelli Stavast, which will air later this year.
  • /DRIVE on NBC Sports follows hosts Chris HarrisMatt Farahand Mike Spinelli as they travel the world to drive some of the world’s most iconic cars. The first of six /DRIVE on NBC Sports episodes premieres on Saturday, April 18, with a special from the Middle East, as the crew tours destinations including Dubai in some of the world’s fastest cars.
  • Mecum Dealmakers, which dovetails off of the Mecum Auctions series on NBCSN, tells the story of President and Founder Dana Mecumand his son Frank Mecum, as the father-son tandem works together to manage the high pressure of the auction floor, where buyers and sellers hope to make the deal of a lifetime, often with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line. Mecum Dealmakerswill premiere Thursday nights at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN, beginning on July 30 with Mecum Dealmakers: Kissimmee.

NBC SPORTS RADIO

NBC Sports Radio will provide coverage of this year’s NASCAR season across its more than 425 affiliated stations nationwide. Race recaps and previews will be featured every Monday and Friday as part of “Voices of the Game” with host Newy Scruggs. Numerous NBC NASCAR analysts will appear on the show, including Kyle Petty, Steve Letarte, and Jeff Burton.

NBC SPORTS GROUP STREAMING, DIGITAL AND SOCIAL CONTENT

NBC Sports Group will provide comprehensive streaming and digital coverage surrounding its motorsports properties via NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – and NASCARTalk and MotorSportsTalk, NBC Sports Group’s digital home for the latest motorsports news.

NBC Sports Live Extra will provide season-long live streaming coverage of all Formula One practices, qualifying sessions and Grands Prix, including exclusive coverage of practices that will not air on NBC or NBCSN. Live Extra will stream all live NASCAR and IndyCar content that will air on NBC and NBCSN (race coverage and some practice and qualifying). In addition, Live Extra will provide streaming coverage of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and Red Bull Global RallyCross series.

NASCAR TALK: NBC Sports Digital has added NASCAR Talk to the already established SportsTalkfranchises on NBCSports.com. Fans can visit NASCAR TALK for the most comprehensive and up-to-date NASCAR coverage, including Sprint Cup, XFINITY, and Camping World Truck Series. The site also promotes videos from NBCSN’s NASCAR AMERICA. Fans can follow @NASCARTalkNBC on Twitter.

MOTORSPORTSTALK: MotorSportsTalk (@MotorSportsTalk) on NBCSports.com brings racing fans up-to-the-minute news, video and information on Formula One, the Verizon IndyCar Series, and other open-wheel and off-road racing from around the world. The site also serves as the destination for all news, analysis and video from NBC and NBCSN productions of IndyCar and F1, including contributions from on-air commentators.

Content on NASCAR Talk and MotorSportsTalk is provided by top racing journalists and expert analysts, including:

  • Nate Ryan serves as lead writer on NASCAR Talk and an on-air reporter for NBC and NBCSN’s NASCAR coverage, following nine years with USA Today Sports as an auto racing writer. He will also contribute long-form stories to MotorSportsTalk and NBC SportsWorld. Ryan has covered 12 seasons of the Sprint Cup Series, and more than 300 races, beginning in 1997. Follow him on Twitter at @nateryan.
  • Dustin Long  joins NBC Sports Group as the managing editor and writer for NASCAR Talk, providing content focused on the Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series. Long is a former Motor Racing Network contributor and was named 2011 NMPA Writer of the Year. Prior to joining MRN, he spent 13 seasons covering NASCAR for the Landmark chain of newspapers that includes the Virginian-Pilot, theRoanoke (Va.) Times and the News and Record in Greensboro, N.C. Follow him at on Twitter @DustinLong.
  • Luke Smith is creator and editor at Richland F1, which begins its second season this year. Smith works alongside Tony DiZinno in providing F1 content on MotorSportsTalk He’s on Twitter at @LukeSmithF1, primarily handling the F1 scene from Europe in great detail.
  • Tony DiZinno has most recently served as web editor for RACER Magazine and provides open wheel coverage on MotorSportsTalk. DiZinno has more than seven years of experience in the industry. Follow him on Twitter at @TonyDiZinno.
  • Jerry Bonkowski is a veteran NASCAR reporter with more than 30 years of experience, and works alongside Ryan, Long and Estrada on editorial content for NASCAR Talk. He has contributed toUSA Today, Yahoo! Sports and other websites over the course of his career. Follow him on Twitter @JerryBonkowski.

SOCIAL: NBC Sports Group will continue to provide comprehensive motorsports social coverage across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. On Twitter, fans can follow @MotorsportsTalk for all-encompassing content across NBC Sports Group’s motorsports properties. @NASCARonNBC and@NASCARTalkNBC share the latest NASCAR content, while @F1onNBCSports provides the latest news in Formula One. Prior to the start of the IndyCar season, NBC’s social team will launch @IndyCaronNBC to provide up-to-the-minute IndyCar news and highlights.

In addition, the NASCAR on NBC Facebook page will provide users with videos, interactive content and much more. Fans should also “like” NBC Sports on Facebook for the most up-to-date news, videos and commentary about NBC Sports Group’s motorsports properties.

*To date, NBC Sports Group has aired 150 of its nearly 1,400 hours of scheduled motorsports coverage this year.

Posted in American Open Wheel, Formula 1, Global RallyCross, Indy Car, Indy Lights, International Open Wheel, NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR XFINITY, News | Leave a comment

Introducing the K&N Developmental League on NASCAR 14


K&N logo

We are proud to announce our partnership with Elite Cup Racing in presented a developmental league for guys  on NASCAR 14. Stay Tuned for more information on the “XBOX Leagues” Page. Here are the rules for it

Official Rules for the Racing Mania K&N Developmental League presented by Elite Cup Racing. Ran by myself and Justin S Carr
Setup rules are the same as ECR (default)
Competitors must run the same manufacture as they do in Elite Cup Racing but a different car number.
There will be a 20% race each Thursday night @ 8pm EST if we get 8 people to join the league.
Tires and Fuel will be the same as ECR


Knockout qualifying will be implemented if we have more than 8 competitors. Rooms will be split up accordingly in a 10 minute practice session and the top 8 speeds will make the race. If you don’t qualify you go home.


Manual Cautions will be used. 2 or more cars spin on an oval and more than 3 on a road course. Once the caution comes out the field is frozen and the pits will be open that ensuing lap after the caution. Then the field will bunch up after pit stop for a double file restart. It is the leaders job to pace the field at 65 to 80 mph and the leader has lane choice for the upcoming restart.

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DJR Team Penske Press Conference from Adelaide


Team-Penske-DJR-logo-600x216

This season in the International V8 SuperCars you will see a famous team in Team Penske and Australian racing team Dick Johnson Racing team up to form DJR Team Penske which will field Marcos Ambrose in the 2015 International V8 SuperCar Season.

Practice 1

Below is Roger Penske, Dick Johnson and president of Team Penske, Tim Cindric’s press conference from Friday in Adelaide before the Clipsal 500.

http://www.v8supercars.com.au//view/videos/roger-penske-press-conference

 

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Racing Mania Weekly # 2- SpeedWeeks Recap


Unlike last Sunday night this week’s Racing Mania Weekly will not be in podcast form. You may see this on occasion from us. Justin Carr was unable to make it so what I will be doing is giving my (Kent) race notes from the Budweiser Duels, Trucks, XFINITY and today’s Daytona 500 won by Joey Logano.

Budweiser Duels Race 1

  • Gordon/Kenseth front row
  • Jr, Bowyer, Harvick and Stewart come from back
  • 3 by 3 racing early on.
  • Casey Mears blows up on lap 23
  • Tony Stewart tops off at lap 23 of 60 on fuel
  • Kenseth has car to beat at this point
  • Lap 27- Johnny Sauter collides with Allmendinger and Almiora.
  • Lap 44- Dale Jr makes winning move past Kenseth
  • Lap 51- Larson and Bayne crash
  • Jr Wins Race 1

Budweiser Duels Race 2

  • Josh Wise has fuel pickup issue on pace laps and will miss the Daytona 500
  • Johnson and Kyle Busch on front row
  • Gibbs cars hook up early (Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch)
  • David Ragan goes around in turn 4 on lap 21; goes a lap down making repairs.
  • Lap 37 wreck between Austin Dillon, Sam Hornish Jr, Jeb Burton and Alex Bowman
  • Kurt Busch passing under the yellow line; pass through penalty.
  • Lap 58- Hamlin, Danica, Brian Scott and Bobby Labonte crash.
  • Jimmie Johnson wins race 2 followed by Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards.
  • Denny and Danica talk things out afterwards.

Friday/Saturday (Kurt Busch Suspension)

  • Kent County, (DEL) Family Court Commissioner released a 25 page report saying Kurt Busch allegedly domestically abused ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll.
  • The commissioner also found that Driscoll provided false information on the stand.
  • Busch can’t be within 100 yards of her except at NASCAR races.
  • NASCAR suspends him for the following: Actions detrimental to NASCAR and behavior.
  • Chevrolet suspended their contract with Kurt Busch also
  • Kurt’s appeals have been upheld and he is indefinitely suspended.

Truck Race

  • Ty Dillon on pole.
  • Lap 16- Austin Hill spins, Joe Nemechek involved.
  • Justin Boston #54 Kyle Busch Motorsports truck making repairs
  • Timothy Peters, Matt Crafton and Daniel Suarez all hanging out in the back.
  • RESTART Lap 19: Suarez falls to the back.
  • Erik Jones for Kyle Busch Motorsports looks promising early.
  • James Buescher back in trucks.
  • Brad Keselowski Racing- Austin Theriault and Tyler Reddick look strong
  • Travis Kvapil has loose hood- lap 23.
  • Scott Lagassee look strong early in the #20 truck.
  • Justin Boston is off the pace and sparking- lap 24.
  • Matt Tifft- KBM driver hanging in the top 10 early on.
  • Reddick takes lead and brings him teammate with him past Ty Dillon’s #33 Rheem truck.
  • Boston in the fence on the backstretch on 25- CAUTION
  • RESTART Lap 30
  • Interview w/ Kyle Busch- he has good confidence in Erik Jones.
  • Dillon and Reddick side by side for the lead.
  • Bottom line is favored still side by side
  • Suarez and Crafton still in second pack; about 4.1 seconds back.
  • Matt Tifft is starting to catch the lead pack
  • Peters (32nd to 14th) lap 34.
  • Spencer Gallagher hanging in there in 4th.
  • Dillon leads the outside lane back.
  • Lagassee playing peek a boo with lane switching- Lap 36.
  • Dead even for the lead- Lap 37.
  • 39-100: Dillon to  the lead; single file now.
  • Johnny Sauter is side drafting on the outside by himself.
  • Crafton and Suarez still in the back- Lap 43.
  • John Wes Townley to sixth; Vince Welch is doing excellent job pit reporting.
  • Lap 48: Big one; Townely, Gallagher, Chris Fontaine, Johnny Sauter, Timothy Peters, Daniel Hemric, Jennifer Jo Cobb, and James Buescher involved.
  • Matt Tifft barely avoids.
  • Ty Dillon is out of gas, pitted when pits closed. Restart at the back.
  • Leaders pit on lap 52.
  • 17 trucks are now on the lead lap.
  • RESTART: BKR front row and get single file.
  • David Gilliland leading outside, Matt Crafton & Ty Dillon coming with him
  • Crafton falls back to get Suarez.
  • Tifft spins on lap 65 and stopped.
  • LEADERS PIT under CAUTION.
  • RESTART: Brad Keselowski Racing’s Fords still dominating.
  • Ryan Ellis loose off of 2, inches away from Crafton.
  • 23 to go- BKR still out front with Reddick leading.
  • Bryan Silas off the pace with 20 to go hood is up.
  • Dillon and Crafton building outside.
  • Back to single file.
  • CAUTION- 16 to go for Silas.
  • 12 to go RESTART. BKR restart
  • CAUTION 10 to go: DEBRIS
  • Reddick hangs on for win followed by Jones, Theriault and Lagassee.

XFINITY

PRERACE NUGGETS

  • Kevin Harvick debut in the Fox Sports 1 booth alongside Michael Waltrip and Adam Alexander.
  • Austin Dillon on pole
  • Jr, Kyle and Chase starting in back.
  • Bubba Wallace and Daniel Suarez debuts for new teams.
  • Fox first NXS race since 2006.

RACE

  • Austin Dillon starting on the outside
  • Gaughan and Dillon hookup early; Erik Jones is shuffled out.
  • Ty Dillon starting third line with Jones and Wallace.
  • Jr 40th to 18th in 2 laps.
  • 3 RCR cars hookups.
  • Kyle Busch in lead pack early
  • L4- Bubba, Kyle and Suarez leading the outside lane.
  • 2nd pack starts to take shape.
  • Harvick providing awesome analysis.
  • Chris Buescher has lead but ton of trash on grill.
  • Ty Dillon in the lead, Wallace behind him and drops to the inside.
  • Jr, Chase in 2nd pack, Wallace takes the lead.
  • Dillon (Ty) takes it back.
  • Elliott Sadler is leading the second group.
  • Coming up on slow car- Blake Koch.
  • 22- Wallace and Ty still going after it.
  • Side by side 9 rows deep.
  • 25- Wallace to the lead with help from Ky. Busch.
  • Jr and Chase are still hanging out.
  • 35-120: Ty Dillon in command; green flag stops approaching.
  • L37- Wallace leaves Busch.
  • Green flag stops begin on lap 38.
  • Here comes Jr and Kyle; Larson up to 4th.
  • 6 car breakaway after stops, then a 20 car pack
  • Keselowski wants the 2nd pack to chill out.
  • 52 of 120: COMMERCIAL
  • Chase took 2 tires last stop
  • A. Dillon leading outside lane at halfway mark.
  • Bubba Wallace is drifting back.
  • Busch out front L65
  • Suarez goes down another lap after pit problems on lap 68.
  • Regan Smith takes the point.
  • Jr makes unscheduled stop and has loose wheel and penalty afterwards.
  • Chase Elliott is leading 2nd pack.
  • 43 to go- Bubba Wallace coming back up in draft.
  • 40 to go- FIRST CAUTION (loose wheel in pits).
  • RESTART: Regan Smlith to lead
  • Chase Elliott is good on fuel for 2 green-white-checkered.
  • Larson can’t see out of his mirror.
  • Suarez is leading the 3rd lane even though he is laps down.
  • Big one 93-120! Suarez flips Smith, Gaughan, Lagassee, Chad Boat, John Wes Townley and Chase Elliott are involved
  • RED FLAG.
  • RESTART 21 to go.
  • CAUTION DEBRIS WITH 19 TO GO.
  • 9 to go. Big one. Kyle Busch nails inside wall, Erik Jones, JJ Yeley and Chase are amongst the ones involved.
  • Kyle is grimacing, have him on a gurney.
  •  Larson wrecks after restart on last lap.
  • Keselowski is gaping them down backstretch but Ryan Reed has caught him
  • Reed goes around him and wins.

Kyle Busch Update

  • At Halifax Medical Center- broken right leg (in surgery) and broken left foot. Joe Gibbs Racing announces that Matt Crafton will replace him in the Daytona 500.

Daytona 500

STORYLINES

  • Kurt out- Regan Smith in
  • Kyle out- Matt Crafton in
  • Gordon on pole for his last 500.
  • Tony get his 1st?
  • Dale Jr back to back?
  • Hamlin, Crafton and Kenseth all coming from the back.
  • Hamlin vs Danica.
  • Hendrick vs Gibbs.

RACE

  • Gordon leads first lap form pole
  • Hamlin goes 3 wide early; Danica is behind Denny.
  • Kenseth is moving up early.
  • Smoke (Tony Stewart) holding station in top 10.
  • CAUTION: L21- Cassill engine
  • LEADERS PIT: Jr gets 2 tires and Gordon wins race off of pit road.
  • Brad Keselowski stays in pits for repairs.
  • Lap 25 RESTART: Gordon and Logano front row
  • Gordon, Jr and Edwards are leading bottom lane
  • Edwards shoots to the top
  • Lap 41- Stewart and Kenseth in wall; Stewart done, Kenseth multiple laps down.
  • Leaders PIT.
  • L46&47- Logano out front
  • Gordon to the front L53
  • Johnson is falling back on Lap 55.
  • Kahne is hanging around top 8.
  • Ty Dillon up to 7th on lap 57.
  • Lap 60- Michael Waltrip looses the draft.
  • Lap 63- Truex up to 3rd.
  • Penske drivers leading inside. First 7 guys single file.
  • Ty Dillon feels like it blowing up- L66
  • Newman, Crafton and Bowyer hanging in the back.
  • L70- Gordon still out front; Hendrick 1-2-3
  • L81- Gordon in command of lead.
  • Green Flag Stops begin on lap 87.
  • Receiving penalties were: Edwards, Johnson, Truex and larson.
  • Gordon leader at halfway.
  • L107: CAUTION Debris; Leaders pit.
  • LAP 110: RESTART.
  • Matt Crafton moving up
  • Logano to the point then Jr; Gordon is falling back; Harvick to 2nd
  • Austin Dillon is making moves
  • Hornish in the top 10 on lap 118.
  • Edwards dropping back a lap later.
  • Johnson and Kahne are making middle lane
  • LAP 125: Jr still out front
  • 5 car breakaway
  • Crafton moving up nicely.
  • Logano joins breakaway.
  • Logano goes to lead before Green Flag stops on lap 151.
  • Jimmie to the lead on lap 158.
  • Keselowski blows up two laps later. CAUTION.
  • RESTART LAP 164:
  • Ryan Blaney blows up with 23 to go.
  • Leaders stay out.
  • 3 wide for 20 laps until Allagaier spins out.
  • RED FLAG
  • Logano leader gets shot from Bowyer. Jr from 8th to 3rd with Harvick in 2nd
  • LAST LAP.
  • Austin Dillon spins Jeff Gordon; caution is out! They all pile up and Joey Logano is going to win his first Daytona 500.

If you guys enjoyed this style of Racing Mania Weekly please let us know. Podcast will return next week.

-Kent Mueller

Posted in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR XFINITY, News, Podcasts, Stock Cars | Leave a comment

IndyCar Media Day Recap Part 6: Mark Miles and Derrick Walker


In our final recap piece for IndyCar Media Day we share the Q&A session between the President and CEO of Hulman and Company Mark Miles and IndyCar Competition Director Derrick Walker.

IndyCar

Q. Derrick, talk about the new rules that are going to be in effect. Are there any? Who is going to rule on them?

DERRICK WALKER: That’s a good question. Very thoughtful. Big, long answer.

Obviously the rules are going to change drastically with the aero kit. We’re opening up the formula, so there are going to be a lot of rules associated with that which we’ve not had to deal with in the past.

When you look at our Competition Committee, we have a series of stewards that judge the on track activity and the technical group that are going to look at the aero kit regulations and everybody staying onboard with the rules as they’re written. Quite a number of things new.

MARK MILES: I thought we were going to have a chance to open up, so I’m going to make a few comments if you will indulge me.

As we sit here looking forward to the Verizon IndyCar Series of 2015, I want to just say a word about how we felt about 2014, then a few comments about 2015. Not a speech, but just some highlights.

For ’14, we thought it was a fantastic year, nothing short of a fantastic year. I see some of our friends from ABC, ESPN in the back of the room, so they remind me that a couple years ago when we started, people were very concerned about the television audience in this sport- perhaps for good reason.

While we’re not where we want to be yet, there’s a lot of room for growth, the facts are there was a 25% increase in both the average viewership and average rating for IndyCar over the course of the year.

You can study other sports, other motorsports, and that is not something we take for granted. That is not something that is an Act of God or natural law. A 25% lift is a quality, meaningful increase for us. Took our average audience over a million people for the first time in a while. So that’s important.

The metrics on social media were actually a little higher. Again, we started from a pretty low base. But I think we showed we could move the needle, and fan engagement through digital and social media was much, much improved.

We signed a number of sponsors, principal among them obviously was Verizon. That wasn’t so long ago. They made a terrific impact for the Verizon IndyCar Series, for all our stakeholders, our fans, and will continue to invest. I think they’re a perfect fit. But there were others as well, including TAG Heuer. Angie’s List is how the title of the Grand Prix.

In Indy, here, it was a good May, a great May for us. We took a total paid attendance, not including suites, from 285,000 tickets sold up by 75,000. So from 285,000, plus 75,000, to 360,000. That’s a really meaningful difference here.

I hope many of you would have seen we care about this place and this great race. From our point of view, what happens here is a great opportunity to present IndyCar racing to fans. The platform for the series, for our drivers,our cars, our teams, our sponsors, for the whole series, is really important. We’re doing our best to leverage all the eyeballs that are focused on Indianapolis in May for the benefit of the IndyCar Series.

There’s a 55% increase in the total television audience in May. ABC made the decision to cover three consecutive weekends. They could put their best foot forward, promote from week-to-week to the 500, and it paid off. All that accrues to the benefit of IndyCar.
I want to say a word to save somebody the trouble of asking our strategy about the schedule.

It is misunderstood. That’s on me. It’s my opportunity today to talk a little bit about what we are trying to do.

We’re not trying to shorten the season. We are actually planning to lengthen the season. What we’re trying to do is slide the season earlier.

We’ve shared with the drivers, with the team owners, with the promoters, the vision, the plan, which we’ll get closer to in 2016, where we hope we begin the weekend after the Super Bowl, early February, and go through Labor Day for the championship. That gets us into eight months, a little over seven months of racing.

Our objective is about 20 races.

So, yes, we started by ending earlier. You haven’t yet seen us start earlier. But I want you to understand that’s where we’re going. We want to race in a very full schedule, about 20 races, from the weekend after the Super Bowl in early February through Labor Day. That will feel very different than it did last year and this year. You will see the expansion.

Related to that, there’s the question of international races. We said we think there’s an important market opportunity for us on a limited basis at the very beginning of the championship. The strategy about when weschedule ourselves beginning of February through Labor Day is not dependent upon international races.

We could fill that early part of the series, February, with additional North American races. But, one, there aren’t too many places where we can race climate-wise. Two, we’re determined to find really vibrant new race opportunities. So we’re going to be discerning about that.

We still continue to believe that we’re not going to become Formula 1. We’re not going to be chasing ourselves around the globe week after week after. That is not the strategy. But we can imagine a limited number of international races at the beginning of the calendar in February, then stay in North America.

I would emphasis this is not about shortening the season, and we’re not shunning North American opportunities for international ones. This is about lengthening the season, racing a full seven-month schedule, and perhaps having international races on a limited basis at the beginning of that schedule.

In that regard, because it will be asked, we continue to believe there’s a real opportunity there. There are important international capitals that value IndyCar racing, that provide a great value proposition for IndyCar, not only economically, but also in terms of beginning to expose us to race fans around the world in a way we’re not fully exposed to today that I think over time can pay benefits to our series, our teams, our sponsors.

Just a few thoughts about what’s happening going forward in terms of this year. More of the same in terms of what you’ve seen on the schedule. We’re excited about getting to New Orleans, a new venue for us, which has hosted a number of our teams with their tests. We’re ready to go racing.

Q. Derrick, in the Grand Prix race here (at IMS), are they going to change the starting situation from a standing start to a running start?

DERRICK WALKER: It will be a conventional start for IndyCar. It won’t be a standing start.

Q. Mark, on social media you always read fans bringing up the same things. They want to go to this track, that track. Here is your opportunity to explain why Road America isn’t on the schedule because we don’t want to pay the sanctioning fees, proximity to Milwaukee, et cetera. Detail a lot of the reasons why a lot of these tracks that people advocate are not on the schedule.

MARK MILES: Happy to do that. Maybe generically, generally the scheduling considerations, maybe a little bit of the specifics on Road America.

First of all, we’ve got 16 races. What are the opportunities for growth if we want to get to 20, if that’s the goal over a couple years?

First of all, we are actively engaged in looking for the best place we can be to finish the championship on the Labor Day weekend. For us, the best place we can be ideally would be a major urban market in a time zone that helps us deliver the biggest possible television audience, in a place where we believe we can have a vibrant, successful race.

If you run a count with me. There’s 17, when we find that. That’s probably not the right fit for Road America.

I believe there are some February opportunities. I’ve talked about that already. We think our growth is to add two or three races in February, the beginning of March. I came from snowmobiling last weekend in northern Wisconsin. I’m not sure we want to race at Road America in February.

So basically from a calendar perspective, we add those races at the beginning of the championship, you’re at 20. So the ability to add additional, to us, currently new tracks, really depends on replacing existing races. We want to be very, very careful about that.
That’s not to say it won’t happen, but we’ve got a lot of great partners, the promoters of our races, a lot of them have a lot of history with us. We won’t be cavalier about changing out existing promoters to chase the next opportunity.

There are other considerations we’ve talked about in the past. In a perfect world where you were starting from a blank sheet of paper, we’d have better geographic distribution. We’ve got a lot of midwestern races today. That’s not absolute. That doesn’t mean we might not add one, but it’s a consideration. It’s not just the distribution of races by region of the country, but also in smaller regions. We don’t want races to cannibalize each other.

We’re going to add one to finish the championship Labor Day. We don’t have a race and a promoter today for whom Labor Day is ideal, but we know there are cities out there for whom that will be the case. We’ve got the opportunity to start earlier. You do those things, you’re at about 20 races. I think the consensus with Derrick and the paddock is 20 races, a full season for us.

Q. Any news about Baltimore?

MARK MILES: Baltimore is not on the schedule. We enjoyed the event, they did a great job. East Coast. Labor Day. Everybody says this. It isn’t something you can do overnight. We want to build date equity. We want them to know where we are.

In dealing with Baltimore, again I want to emphasize, they invested, did a great job, as many of you know they were racing around a Major League Baseball park, NFL. They weren’t sure they wouldn’t have to move their date for IndyCar on those years when Major League Baseball or NFL football had to be played in one of those stadia. We needed a partner for the Labor Day weekend that could give us date equity. We want that continuity from year to year.

Q. Specifics on where the schedule should go from here?

MARK MILES: We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. If we’re thinking about February or early March, we’re thinking about climates, February would certainly be a place you wouldn’t rule out like, say, Wisconsin. There’s a lot going on in Phoenix in February. The Super Bowl from time to time, important golf tournament every year. They’ve got other racing. I think for many of us, that’s not a thought that’s lost on us, that possibility.

Q. You mentioned the TV number increases which were sizable. What goes into reaching your next benchmark? Is there a certain demographic you think you need to go after or another series or sport you have to compete against to increase that share?

MARK MILES: Really good question.

As I said, we’re delighted with the progress made last year but not satisfied with the television audience. So what’s next?

Our agreements with our two broadcast partners are in place for a number of additional years. But we’re having conversations with them about things that might happen within the existing agreements in the near term, as early as 2016, which I think could make meaningful additional increases in the audience.

So more continuity like I think we achieved with ABC in May would be a good thing. It isn’t helpful to a national following of fans to be on one broadcaster one week, two weeks later, another. It’s very hard for our television partners to promote the next race if the next race isn’t theirs. So working towards additional continuity would be important. I think we can make some improvements in that regard.

Harder, but something that is worth discussing from our perspective is whether or not it’s possible to change the current exclusivities, where ABC has broadcast exclusivity, and NBC Sports Network was cable exclusivity. If each could have both, you could imagine ESPN, for example, possibly being a player for us, and you can imagine NBC as opposed to just NBC Sports Network taking some races.

That is harder. That is not consistent with our current agreements. There are ideas like that that at some level are being discussed for a next set of improvements.

Q. Mark, regarding date equity, can you address bouncing Milwaukee around? I think the green flag is going to be at 4:35 on a Sunday afternoon in Milwaukee. A lot of our readers are looking at what seems to be a disappearance of ovals, the heritage of IndyCar. Could you address that?

MARK MILES: I’ll take the last one first.

There’s an oval heritage to IndyCar – we’re sitting in this place (IMS). I think the distinctiveness of our racing is the mix, what it says about our drivers, the variety of fan experiences when our guys race on ovals and street courses and road courses. I think we have a balance between those three.

We don’t have a quota. We’ve never sat down in a scheduling committee and said there must be X, Y and Z of those. We continue to have a mix, and I think that’s what our brand’s all about.

The reality is that there are probably more opportunities out there for the other formats than there are on ovals where we can have what we think will be outstanding races.

So we’re not going to abandon our heritage with ovals. Kind of hard to do that sitting in this place, nor do we have any ambition to do it. But we’re happy. It’s almost a third, a third and a third of what I think of of the three formats.

For Milwaukee, I won’t recite all the various things that led to their date changing. There’s sort of a domino series of event when one event has a real issue, and in order to accommodate that event it requires flexibility on the part of others. Milwaukee, as far as I know, was happy to work with us and accommodate us on this occasion.

What I meant to say and I hope I said is the goal is the greatest degree of date equity. If a place like Toronto has a thing like the PanAm games, and the venue simply isn’t available, we don’t think it’s inappropriate to call on our partners to see if we can collectively address a major issue like that.

Q. Moving forward with the possibility of international races after what happened with China in 2010 and Brazil this year, are you going to make sure the introductory year of that race isn’t after an election year where an administration comes in and doesn’t have to abide by agreements made by previous administrations?

MARK MILES: We have a longer checklist than just administrations. As disappointed and angry as we were about the cancellation of the event in Brasilia, we learned a lot about the prior institution of IndyCar. We protected ourselves financially. We scheduled the international race that wasn’t in the middle of the rest of the calendar, although there is an early hole, it starts later than we wanted.

Just a comment on the Brasilia situation. You’re right, it had to do with the changing of elections, politics between a national and regional federal district of Brasilia governments. It wasn’t lost on us they were on schedule and invested an enormous amount of money already in the improvement of that track.

To be clear, I don’t like it happening. I think we kind of protected ourselves.

One of the big takeaways for me, it’s complicated, but it was an endorsement of IndyCar racing in a strange way in Brazil insofar as the sponsorships were at or above where they wanted them to be with a title and a major presenter. All the hospitality was sold. You couldn’t buy another box or suite. Ticket sales were very strong.

All I’m trying to say is I think the uptake among fans in Brazil was very meaningful. It was going to be at lease a 30,000 person, in terms of attendance, and it might have been 45,000 or 50,000, and economically it was going to be a success.

So the politics is unfortunate. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re not having second thoughts about all that right now.

Q. Two weeks ago there were two words on the minds of every IndyCar fan I talked to. Brian Barnhart. Shall I just leave it at that and open up the conversation?

DERRICK WALKER: Well, yeah, there was a fair amount of fan interest in that decision. In reality it was a very simple decision to make.

Having been in race control for about the last year and a half or so, I’ve had a chance to stand there as an observer and be part of the process.

When I looked at the team that we have there, I would see there’s a strong group there. Brian was part of that whole group that ran since 2013 onwards to this day.

When Beaux Barfield, who decided to go to the TUDOR Series, he was part of that process as well. What I think is probably missed sometimes is people don’t maybe always understand, maybe we need to explain it more, is the system we’ve adopted at the end of 2013 where we have a race director who basically is your team manager, crew chief of your team of people in race control, and you have a group of three guys that are stewards. They’re looking at the incidents that happen on track. Their job is to know the rules and deliberate on whether they think that’s an incident or not.

When people refer to Brian in the past tense of what he did, I think there’s a complete misunderstanding of how the system was back then and what it is now. When you look at what Brian does really well, race director is probably one of the best things he does. So it wasn’t a decision I had to think twice about. We made that decision way back when Beaux left.
We wanted to get the drivers, promoters together and announce it in a proper way, our clients, supporters and our teams. So that’s what we did.

I don’t think anything that I’ve read or heard has changed my view on that. I think he’s going to do just fine.

Q. I think you said earlier with the new aero kits, you’re going to be developing the rules for them. I’m not sure what rules exist right now. I know there’s a box, they design a certain part, it’s been frozen, put them on the cars, test them soon. Once the teams get them, the engineers start tweaking whatever they can tweak. If the rules aren’t in place now, a team can go down a certain path of engineering and spend their resources, then have the rug pulled out from under them because the rules suddenly say, “No, you can’t do that.”

Maybe you could elaborate on what kind of rules you think might be coming into play so it’s sort of fair. The whole point of being a team is you find that little extra something that no one else has.

DERRICK WALKER: You covered a couple of points there, and good questions.

Let me assure you the rules are in place. The manufacturers, I want to acknowledge their role in all of this. Our two manufacturers in Chevrolet and Honda have really embraced this aero kit concept. They’ve worked as hard as they can in the aero kit area as they do with their engines. There’s a strong competition going on.

Certainly Dallara has been a part of that process as well. Let me get the thanks out of the way. But they really have helped us a lot. When you talk about the rules, what I mean is there’s different dimensions. The wings and the body parts are a little bit different dimensions so there’s rules that capture what those differences are.

It’s not fundamentally a lot of new rules that are different; it’s just we have different shapes. I think what you’re going to see, and again you’re going to see the first probably of anybody the first public release, Chevrolet is going to talk to you, you’ll get a chance to see some of the ideas they have. You’re going to see the team is going to have a lot more parts to play with, variables, more options to adjust their car.

Of course, the car is going to look a little different than it did last year, quite a lot in some cases. The performance is going to go with it. You can expect to see an increase in performance.

I think it’s going to add a lot more interest. It’s part of where we’re moving with the future of IndyCar, and that is to come out of a very strict standard rule that limits some of the creative sides that the teams want to express and I think the fans want to see, as well.

Q. About the aero kits, there’s not a lot of practice time here at the Speedway where it gets tested. How do you juggle the safety of the program and the engineering of all of that at the same time still trying to improve the entertainment value of doing this? In the same process, as you get through the rest of the season, is there an adjustment that you can make if Chevrolet has trumped Honda in terms of aero performance?

DERRICK WALKER: When you look at the last part of your question first, we have three areas on the car that have been designated as upgrades. They are predominantly there for 2016. But if a manufacturer finds in 2015 that they come out of the gate and they’re obviously behind, then these manufacturers can come, any one of them, to IndyCar and say, Look, here is where we think we are out to lunch, here is what we want to do. We want to exercise one of those areas of the car we can change.

We’ll take a look at it. If it’s a legitimate claim, they will get the opportunity to bring out a modification, put them back in the game.

I think I would caution everybody, we’ve got a lot of different types of racetracks happening. You’ll see a lot of different searching this year for finding out how it’s really going to work, what is the best option. I wouldn’t jump to an immediate conclusion after the first couple races who is ahead and who is behind.

Remember, there’s two kits, a road course and an oval. They are quite different animals. It’s going to be interesting to see how they do that.

But we have a mechanism to allow updates.

Posted in American Open Wheel, Indy Car, News | Leave a comment

IndyCar Media Recap Part 5: Previewing Team Penske


team penske

A New Chapter For Team Penske

An interview with:

WILL POWER
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA
HELIO CASTRONEVES
SIMON PAGENAUD


THE MODERATOR:  Juan, good to have you back in an IndyCar.  Had a pretty good 2014.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  Yeah, it was okay.  At the beginning we sucked, I knew we were going to suck, so that was okay.  At the end of the year I felt I was doing a really good job.  Still felt like we were miles off in qualifying.  I have to really work at that.

I thought our race pace was good.  Just need to put it all together.

THE MODERATOR:  You got the championship.  Had a white-knuckler a couple years in a row.  Had to be a great relief and you claimed the top spot in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

WILL POWER:  Look, I like to make it interesting for people.  The previous three times I just kind of had to keep them interested.  I thought, I better finish it off this time.  You have to keep people guessing, keep it interesting.  You can’t go straight out there and win it.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  I did that.

WILL POWER:  Yeah, and it was boring, nobody liked it.  Then you just left the series (laughter).

Getting back to real life, yeah, super satisfying, something I worked really hard for for the last 15 years.  To finally get it, get the monkey off the back, yeah, it’s given me more motivation this year.  I don’t have to worry about that.  I know I can do it.

Man, just really cool.  Really good feeling.  Hope to back it up this year.

THE MODERATOR:  Helio, is this your 15th 500?

HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Is it?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  Can’t be.  You started in 2001.  Oh, yeah, it will be.

HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Last year was exciting, really cool.  Hear so many people saying about what a great race.  Yes, the end was terrible, but the race was really cool.  To be in that challenge, fighting for the win, have that opportunity, it was just awesome.

Hopefully we don’t need to be 6/100ths behind.  But I think with the aero kit, it’s going to differentiate a lot for the fans trying to see.  I think it’s going to be fast.  It’s going to be cool.  I can’t wait to start 2015, to be honest.

THE MODERATOR:  Let’s open it up to questions.

Q.    Talk a little bit about what it’s like to have a four-driver dynamic.  Has it changed anything?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  I think it’s been exciting.  I think the timing of the body kit and the fourth car is really good.  I think all four of us understand number one is Team Penske, the team winning, working together to get that.  It’s all about developing the car.

It’s just an extra tool, extra information.  At the beginning, I’ll tell you it’s a little bit hard because you have that much more data to look at.  There’s more reference points.  It’s pretty exciting.

Personally, I think it’s a great addition to the team.

WILL POWER:  Yeah, I mean, Simon is very good technically.  He brought some really good stuff with him.  I think the combination of all four of us, we have very different driving styles, so we all learn off each other.  Like Juan said, when the body kit comes in, it just makes it that much easier on a short weekend when you have hour-long practices to try a lot of different stuff.

Yeah, it’s great.  I think it’s going to be a tight inner team battle honestly.  I think the team is going to be the strongest it’s been for a number of years this year.

HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Pretty much the same what they said.  I hope the French side of him doesn’t get in front of us (laughter).  The Pepé Le Pew.  I guess he knows what trouble he’s getting into, the rookie on the team, so now we can play tricks.  I’m excited about that.  I’m really looking forward to play some tricks with this guy.  It will be really fun.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  It’s a good dynamic on the team.

WILL POWER:  What I love is when you hear one of us giving one of these two grief.  Juan’s ears just really perk up.  He really loves it.

HELIO CASTRONEVES:  That’s his goal.

WILL POWER:  He just loves it.

HELIO CASTRONEVES:  He’s like, I want you to hate me.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  Exactly.

HELIO CASTRONEVES:  When he does more of this stuff, we kind of like him more.  That’s why it’s back firing on him.

No, we’re having a great time right now.  I think his engineer, as well, coming to the team, it’s another addition.  It’s another information, more data.  I do feel for 2015 we going to have another great chance here.  Hopefully we’ll be 1-2-3-4.

WILL POWER:  Not you, Juan.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  You heard him.  Not you, Juan (laughter).

WILL POWER:  That’s what I’m trying to say.

I think we’re all fired basically.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  I think we’re really excited.

Q.    Simon, coming into a team that’s so successful and well-established, what do you think you can bring or add to the team for this year?

SIMON PAGENAUD:  That’s a really good question.  I mean, what do I bring?  Fresh blood, I guess.  I’m very motivated.  Like Will said, I’ve personally been working hard to get to this in my career.  I’m here now and the pressure is off.  I want to enjoy it.

Technically, I would say that’s my strength.  If I can bring something there, I would be really happy to help that way.

But, yeah, like Will said also, we have very different driving styles all of us.  It’s very interesting actually to see how much you can see on driving between all four of us.  If you had to pick the perfect driver, the lap time would be a lot quicker, so there’s a lot into us.  That’s very interesting.

Q.    Juan, regarding the aero kits, do you think you enjoy an advantage over your teammates with planes, building and flying them?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  No.  But from Formula One it does.  Formula One, every year you had a new aero kit, new suspension, you had to adapt to that.  I’m really good at adapting.

I think we’re going to have enough testing before the first race that we’ll be all on the same page.

One of the things that’s cool with all four drivers, each one goes its own little way.  Somebody gets it wrong, somebody gets it right.  You can learn a lot from somebody that gets it right.  I think we can develop the car a lot quicker than most people.

Q.    The red flag last year, how do you feel about that?  Do you think it should be used on serious accidents in the future here?

HELIO CASTRONEVES:  We all agree the right thing to do, especially here at Indianapolis.  I don’t think we should agree it has to be all the time.  Depends of the circumstances.  Also last year everything play so nice, the way it supposed to be.  It worked out.

But right now, not only as a driver, but as a series as well, we all agree that it depends of the circumstances.  But if we start putting it as a rule, it probably is not going to work out the way it worked out here last year.

SIMON PAGENAUD:  Personally I’d like to just focus on driving.  There are people in place so they can decide these things.  I just drive the car.  Whatever it is.

Q.    Will, you think of the competition level that you had to battle for the championship.  All you have to do is look to your left and right.  Do you feel you’re surrounded by the guys you’re going to have to battle with for the title this year?

WILL POWER:  Absolutely, I think you’re right.  I mean, the whole series is so competitive.  You just see that in the last two years, how many different race winners there were, how many different polesitters there were.

There’s nothing worse in a series where the same people win over and over and over, there’s no competition.  That’s what is cool about IndyCar.  You can be 22nd one week, then you can be winning a race a next week.  I think that keeps the fans interested.  That’s how a series should be.

Q.    As a team, I’m not sure if all four of you tested the Chevy aero kits, but they change the parts on you when they go to the next track, do you think that’s given you any advantage of trying to work with the new business and pieces?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  I think the aero kit we tested is different than what we’re going to have now.  They changed.  We have an idea of how it might be, but no.

HELIO CASTRONEVES:  We helped develop where they are today.  We kind of gave some output, some areas we felt would be good.  But I don’t think it’s going to create any advantage to us.

Q.    Juan, you have two other Colombians in the series.  Have they come to you for advice?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  Depends what the advice is.

Q.    About racing.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  I mean, I tell people, one of the harder things is, we run these springs, those shocks.  They’re on a different team.  I’m racing with Team Penske.  If it’s something I can help with them, like race lines, I’ll help them.  I’m pretty open about it.

At the end of the day, number one, it’s making sure that we win.  Muñoz, he’s at Andretti.  They’re the number one Honda team.  If you ask Chevy, I don’t think they’d be too happy if we were helping him.  So, no, I can’t.  Helio said no (laughter).

Q.    Simon, you said earlier that you bring fresh blood to the team.  Are you saying these other three guys up here are stale?

WILL POWER:  Are you saying we’re stale because you’re bringing fresh blood?  He’s trying to stir the pot, mate.

SIMON PAGENAUD:  I mean, look at our hair, look at his hair.  I don’t paint mine (laughter).

No, I mean, I don’t know.  I said that because I feel fresh.  I’m happy.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  I think we all feel fresh.  I’m like wine:  it gets better with years.

HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Good, I’m older, so I’m better.

WILL POWER:  That’s true, Helio.  You’ve gotten a lot better.

Q.    This is obviously the most senior team in terms of experience, Champ Car, Formula One, NASCAR.  You can tell there’s a different feel and a different dynamic in this group of guys.  With all due respect to the other guys racing with other teams this season, do you think you’re sitting next to the guys you’re going to be racing for the championship at the end of the year?

HELIO CASTRONEVES:  I think so.  I think we have a very good potential here to do something very nice.  Very strong.  Obviously in racing there is a lot of variables.  At this point Team Penske is prepared as much as they can to do what we did last year.

I do feel we have a strong team here so we can battle each other for the championship.

THE MODERATOR:  We’ll let these guys take that party somewhere else.  Thank you, gentlemen.

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