IndyCar

IndyCar Preview: Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix

*What’s News?* Honestly most of the news this week centers around the Indy 500, with the awards, checks, and media blitz being the focus. But wait-leave it to the ongoing engine saga to generate at least one story. Jay Penske’s Dragon Racing put together a deal with Chevrolet for an engine lease after being dropped from the Lotus program and while the manufacturer provided two engines to power the team’s entries for Sebastien Bourdais and Katherine Legge at Indy, the deal is for a single engine lease going forward.

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IndyCar Preview: The 2012 Indianapolis 500

*What’s News?* This time last year I watched the 2011 Indy 500 with my great friend Laz, a fellow petrol-head, racing enthusiast, and attendee of some seven Indy 500’s. As the laps ticked down and the leader, JR Hildenbrand, took the white flag a voice crackled over the TV broadcast, clearly the Sausalito, Ca. native’s in-car audio: “Come on baby, bring it home”. And at that moment, with the way JR had driven, there seemed no reason why he wouldn’t negotiate the last lap with a good lead; no reason he wouldn’t bring it home for a victory for the ages. Laz and I got to our feet to applaud the clean-cut, well-spoken American rookie appropriately piloting the National Guard car, on Memorial Day Weekend. JR safely negotiated the first three corners and most of the fourth corner of the final lap before disaster struck. Instead, Dan Wheldon celebrated an improbable, and still a year on, unbelievable victory – his second at the track he so loved.

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IndyCar Race Recap: Sao Paulo Indy 300

*In a nutshell:* Will Power spanked the field for a third straight year in the Sao Paulo Indy 300, delivering yet another dominant performance at the 2.536 mile Brazilian street course. Power started on pole and he never looked back, pacing the field for 63 out of the scheduled 75 laps. Five cautions interrupted the action on the day, including a yellow for an eight car accident late in the event. Power cruised home on the restart and finished the day with a 0.9 second win over Ryan Hunter-Reay. Takuma Sato finished third and earned his first ever IndyCar podium, while Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti rounded out the top 5. Rain threatened throughout the day, but ultimately the weather held off and allowed the race to be completed in dry conditions.

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IndyCar Preview: Sao Paolo Indy 300

*What's News?* The IZOD IndyCar Series rolls into the Streets of Sao Paolo, Brazil this Sunday for the Sao Paolo Indy 300. There are a couple of major storylines as we head into the last race weekend before the Indianapolis 500, chief among them coming out of the Lotus camp. The struggling engine supplier announced this week that it has officially released Bryan Herta Autosport and Dreyer and Reinbold Racing from its stable of teams as a means of freeing up resources for the other two organizations that Lotus still has under contract (HVM Racing and Dragon Racing).

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Is NASCAR Ready For The Fire And Flesh That Danica Patrick Would Bring?

If the rumors are to be believed, and there is no reason to believe that they should not, Danica Patrick, the darling of the IndyCar Series, is ready to test the waters in NASCAR. The questions that remain at this point are simply when, where, and with whom the only female in history to win an IndyCar event will land for her apprenticeship in stock car racing. But there's a second, more pertinent question, as well that no one is talking about: Is NASCAR itself ready for “Danica-mania?”

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NASCAR: A Tough Decision For Danica Patrick

Despite speculation that IndyCar Series darling Danica Patrick would reveal her plans for next season this week, it seems any such announcement is now on hold until October. Patrick, who is in the final year of her contract with Andretti Green Racing (AGR), has been rumored to be looking in three different directions in deciding which career path is in her best interest moving forward. Most believe a jump to Formula 1 or even signing with a top-notch IndyCar team is the most likely scenario. However, she has made herself visible around NASCAR garages and has signed a management firm with close ties to the organization -- a sure sign a transition to stock cars is still very much a possibility. Of course, it's not the first time that the rumor mill has worked overtime on whether Patrick really would consider leaving the open-wheel ranks for the radically different world of NASCAR racing. In 2006, as the 27-year-old Patrick neared the end of her contract with Rahal Letterman Racing, similar assumptions regarding her future surfaced as free agency loomed. And while Patrick didn't fuel the rumors of a switch, she was at least willing to fan the flames before her ultimate decision to sign with AGR.

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2009 Indy 500 Breakdown: From Zero to Hero for Helio Castroneves

*In a Nutshell:* Helio Castroneves, just recently returned to the track after acquittal on tax evasion charges, probably gave the IRL the feel good story of the year at Indianapolis. Taking the lead away from Scott Dixon with just under 60 laps to go, he never gave it up in coasting to his third Indy 500 win. An emotional Castroneves, who started from the pole, also scored a record 15th victory in the big race for team owner Roger Penske. Dan Wheldon finished second, followed by Danica Patrick in third, Townsend Bell fourth, and Will Power rounding out the top 5. *Who Should Have Won:* Anyone who was driving for Penske or Chip Ganassi, the two reigning super teams in the IndyCar Series. Just look at the leaderboard for proof. Four guys led this race: two of them drove for Roger Penske, and two of them for Chip Ganassi. There were some great runs from other teams, and the big four didn’t sweep the top 5 after some problems on pit road for several of them; but when it comes right down to it, they still have a firm hold on things in this series while everyone else is just playing catch up.

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Full Throttle – The Greatest to Never Win Indy Has Gone to a Higher Victory Lane

There have been many hard luck stories from the Indianapolis 500 over the years, but the face of those hard luck stories was very frequently Lloyd Ruby back in the day. Michael Andretti and his father Mario were notorious for hard luck at Indy, although Mario did take the checkered …

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Frontstretch Breakdown: 2008 Indianapolis 500

In A Nutshell: Scott Dixon took the pole for this race, his latest assertion that he is the driver to beat this year; and heading into the Indy 500, he gave no one any reason to think differently. Several drivers took turns at the front of the biggest event in open-wheel racing -- including teammate Dan Wheldon, Tony Kanaan, and Marco Andretti -- but Dixon always lurked right behind them. His No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew did their job and put him out in front on the final stop of the day; and while second-place Vitor Meira tried to mount a challenge, ultimately the speed Dixon showed all month carried him to the win. Meira held onto second, followed by Andretti, Helio Castroneves, and Ed Carpenter to round out the top five.

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