Verizon signs multi-year deal as title sponsor for INDYCAR Series.
posted by Mike Neff
Friday March 14, 2014
It was announced today that Verizon has inked a contract for multiple years to be the entitlement sponsor for the INDYCAR Series. The company will be utilizing their technical expertise to activate multiple programs that will benefit the series, the race teams, race tracks, business partners and especially the fans. In addition to the series sponsorship the company will also continue their involvement with the Verizon P1 award for series pole winners and their relationship with Penske Motorsports.
“Verizon is delighted to become the title sponsor of the Verizon IndyCar Series and to bring even more of our innovative technology to the fans, to the teams and to the entire motorsports community,” said Dan Mead, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless. “The intersection of racing and technology has never been more relevant, and our expanded partnership with INDYCAR provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate that synergy, integrate new services like LTE Multicast and help propel the sport forward.”
“Verizon is the perfect partner for us to showcase the high level of innovation and technology that is inherent in our sport,” said Mark Miles, CEO, Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “INDYCAR will provide a large audience of tech-savvy consumers who are eager for the latest technology to further enhance their experience.”
Among the initiatives that will be undertaken as part of this agreement will be a significant network coverage upgrade at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There will also be enhancements to INDYCAR race control, the addition of pit road monitors and enhanced connectivity for fans at all of the race venues. Verizon is also going to roll out its LTE Multicast solution in the future. The technology will deliver multi-faceted multi-media content to multiple devices simultaneously instead of streaming it separately to each end user.
Verizon’s sponsorship with Penske Motorsports will be increased to at least an eight race primary sponsorship of Juan Pablo Montoya.
The INDYCAR season will include 18 races with 12 of them being contested on street and road courses and the remaining six taking place on ovals. Over the last eight seasons the championship of the series has not been decided until the final race of the season.
NASCAR, IMSA and AMA Pro announce Fanschoice.TV
posted by Mike Neff
Wednesday March 12, 2014
Free live streaming of events will allow fans to view previously unavailable live events online
AMA Pro, NASCAR and IMSA announced the launch of Fanschoice.tv today. The free service will stream motorcycle races, sports car races and regional touring and local short track events. The first event will be the AMA Pro flat track 200 from the 1/4 mile dirt track at Daytona International Speedway.
Fans will have access to multiple camera angles, live timing and scoring and a feed from the track’s PA system. In addition to the touring events from IMSA, AMA and NASCAR, three NASCAR Home Tracks have already signed on to be part of the release. Langley Speedway in Hampton, VA., Lake County Speedway in Painesville, OH., and Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA. will have all of their races available for viewing on the new service.
NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series, Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen Southern Modified Tour will all be shown on Fanschoice.tv. The awards banquets for both the Whelen All-American Series and the Touring Series will also be streamed.
IMSA coverage will include streaming of its developmental and single-make series, as well as selected practice and qualifying sessions for the two IMSA national sports car series, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge that are part of the recently-announced five-year agreement with Fox Sports.
NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
As a bright eyed young thing back in the late 70s and early 80s looking up at the giant that my dad seemed to be as he took me through the gates of Brands Hatch or Silverstone, I distinctly remember looking at the tickets to the races and feeling a bit scared by one of the most prominent sentences written:
Motor racing is dangerous.
It used to terrify me, that sentence. Despite my dad being there and keeping me safe, it was loaded. They weren’t just talking about the possibility of danger for the drivers, they meant us, too. The crowd. There’s been a couple of occasions where I’ve felt the hot sting of gravel flung up against my cheek as an errant F1 car has come off track. It’s an eye-closing eye-opener, a distinct reminder that yes, you could get hurt here. Moreover of course, there’s the more immediate threat of danger that hangs over the drivers every single time they get into a car.
One of the traditions that my father and I had when it came to motor sport was our year-on-year attendance at the Easter Weekend meetings at the Thruxton circuit. I’d seen crashes live in front of me before, of course, in particular Jacques Laffite’s leg-breaker at Brands Hatch in 1986. A horrid crash, but not deadly. In 1992 though, that was to change as we took our seats at the entrance to the start-finish straight, on the exit of the Club chicane. Marcel Albers, a genuine talent in the Formula 3 series, was catching his teammate Elton Julian and tried to take him going into the chicane. As is always the risk (and so well known by IndyCar fans) and forever the greatest fear is when a following car hits the open rear wheel and is launched into the air. Such was the case for Albers on this occasion, and his machine cartwheeled to a sickening thud upside down, directly in front of me. The most horrific silence hangs amongst the crowd at moments like this. A creeping certainty that right in front of your eyes a young life has been snuffed out.
Fortunately incidences like this have become rarer and rarer in modern motor sport, but once again last weekend at the Le Mans 24 Hours we were so horrifically reminded of the sagacity of those words that so frightened me as a child. If you have been unaware, the highly experienced Danish driver, Allan Simonsen, sadly lost his life on the fourth lap of the race as he lost control of his Aston Martin on the wet kerbs and careened into the barriers at the exit of the Tetre Rouge corner. A tragedy indeed, and a particularly personal one for the victor of the race, nine-time winner and fellow Dane Tom Kristensen. A special mention to Simonsen’s family, who, when asked by the other Aston Martin teams whether they would like them to withdraw from the race, responded, “no, go out there and win it for Allan”.
On the subject of Le Mans, it was announced on Thursday that Mark Webber would be taking his widely anticipated leave of Formula One at the end of the season, swapping his Red Bull for a new career racing sportscars for Porsche. Much though the spikey, competitive Aussie and his forthright manner will be missed amongst the Formula One paddock, it feels like the right time for Mark to make this move. With his relationship with Vettel and some of the Red Bull hierarchy becoming more and more fractious, Webber will surely find a more peaceful existence within a series he flirted with for a while with Mercedes. Of course, though, this move opens up a plum seat at the all-conquering Red Bull team and odds-on favorite to replace the straight talking Aussie is the even more straight talking Finn, Kimi Raikkonen. It seems like a golden opportunity for Kimi to move into what will, with the genius of Adrian Newey behind the design, be a fantastically competitive car. Would it actually be the right move for him, though? Red Bull have always liked to portray themselves as soaked in ‘joie de vivre’, but that rebellious spirit that they began with has been gradually eroded at an exponential level to their success rate. Kimi would now walk into what is a highly politicized team, and a team centered around, and dominated by, Sebastien Vettel. Of all the drivers on the grid, Raikkonen is the least likely to be effected or bothered by this, but the reality is there’s a chance he could spend his time there following the exhaust pipes of the super-quick German. Kimi’s in a good place at Lotus – a competitive team that doesn’t place too many pressures on him, loves him, and allows him just to ‘get in and drive’ (a fairly dreadful TV advertisement for Renault not withstanding). My personal opinion? I’d think he should stay at Lotus and let RBR promote one of their junior team, Vergne or Ricciardo, to play second fiddle to Vettel. What would I like to see in a perfect world? Kimi to get in the Red Bull, get into Seb’s head, and add to his title he won at Ferrari.
It feels like an age since the last Grand Prix, so I’m delighted to see the circus head up to Northampton’s Silverstone circuit, and my home Grand Prix, this weekend. I can assure you, the weather here in England is a long way from sunny and settled, so there’s every chance of one of those chaotic, mixed up races we all so love. Lewis Hamilton has a track record of genuine pace around Silverstone, so will be one to watch. For the sake of the title, we need Vettel to have a poor weekend to allow Alonso and Raikkonen to make ground on him. He’s very, very quick in the wet though is young Seb, so if it looks as if I’m hedging my bets, that’s because I am. I have absolutely no idea who’s going to win this one. Just the way I like it…..
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I like your “perfect world” scenario for Kimi. It would be fun to see Vettel constantly looking over his shoulder.
As to your comments about danger in motorsports, I’ve been involved in one way or another for more than fifty years and have seen my share of tragedies but Ill never forget the one I saw when I was maybe ten years old at the old West Haven, CT track during a midget race. A horrific accident had one car up and over and down hard. Minimal roll bars in those days. Wasn’t hard to figure out the driver was dead. I never forgot it.