Archive for the ‘Verizon Indycar Series’ Category

Ryan Hunter-Reay voted second quarter Driver of the Year

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

7.23.14 (via Driver of the Year Foundation) – Indy 500 winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay, was named winner of the second quarter Driver of the Year Award 2014.
 
The 2012 Verizon IndyCar series champion won the voting by an elite panel of American broadcasters and journalists. 
 
Hunter-Reay, 33, won the iconic race in his seventh attempt. The Florida resident also won the Honda Indy Grand Prix in Alabama and was runner-up in the inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix in the second quarter which ended at the at Pocono IndyCar 500 on July 6th.
 
“Seems like the good news keeps rolling in after winning the Indy 500,” said a delighted Hunter-Reay just a few days after winning his second-straight ESPY.  “It is a tremendous honor to be named the 2nd quarter Driver Of The Year.  I want to thank the panel members made up of the top journalists in motorsports who voted for me.  I believe this is a testament to IndyCar’s continued growth and momentum.  This also speaks volumes as to what a phenomenal race this year’s Indy 500 really was.  It is being called one of the best finishes in history, and from the driver’s seat, I couldn’t agree more.”
 
Barry Schmoyer, President of the DRIVER OF THE YEAR Foundation, said “Ryan’s story of a driver who never gives up is the prototypical American success story. Watching his career and his triumphs makes him a great role model.”
 
In the voting, Hunter-Reay, who drives the No. 28 DHL Dallara-Honda for Andretti Autosport, had eight first-place ballots and totaled 102 points according to the DRIVER OF THE YEAR points system.  Jimmie Johnson, who drives the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS in NASCAR, garnered six first-place votes and totaled 84 points.  Antron Brown, who drives the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster in the NHRA, was third in the balloting with 45 points.
 
NASCAR’s Brad Keselowski, who finished fourth in the voting, also received one first place vote.
 
Coincidentally, Hunter-Reay’s team owner, Michael Andretti, won the overall DRIVER OF THE YEAR title in 1991 in an Indy car. Michael’s father, Mario, was the inaugural DRIVER OF THE YEAR in 1967 (and in 1978 and 1984).
 
A total of 20 drivers scored points in the second quarter voting. 
 
In its’ 48th year, the DRIVER OF THE YEAR title is unique. A panel of 17 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determines the winner.  Two panelists didn’t vote this time. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Hunter-Reay will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented later. 
 
President of the DRIVER OF THE YEAR Foundation is Barry Schmoyer, businessman and sportsman of Sarasota, Florida.
 
 

Carlos Munoz credits teammates, mental approach to success

Friday, July 18th, 2014

7.18.14 (via OpenWheelNow.com) – Given his quick success in the Verizon IndyCar Series, it is somewhat hard to believe that Carlos Munoz is still a rookie. The Andretti Autosport youth burst onto the scene with a runner-up finish in the 2013 Indianapolis 500 and has followed it up with three podiums and is sixth in the championship standings in just his first full-time season.

Munoz says his mental approach to racing and helpful teammates at Andretti are the reasons behind his seemingly flawless transition from Indy Lights to the IndyCar Series. He places no expectations on himself and acknowledges mistakes as simply part of the learning process.

“I just want to go race-by-race and do my best,” Munoz told Open Wheel Now over the weekend at Iowa. “I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot this season. Sure I’ve made a few mistakes like at Houston or whatever or Barber. But it’s a learning process and it’s a part of the job to make mistakes and learn from them.

“Overall, I feel like I’ve made good decisions and we’re doing well in the points and I have three podiums already. So I think I just have to push harder and keep learning to get to Victory Lane.”

Munoz says he rarely gets frustrated over something that happens on the track because in doing so, he would prevent himself from learning and therefore be at risk of repeating his initial offense. He specifically cited the second race at Houston, where he slammed into the wall one day after scoring a podium in the first race.

The 22-year-old said that he was mad at himself in the moment but Munoz explained that his methodical approach took over almost immediately afterwards.

“The second race pissed me off because I was doing so well and I was going so fast and I hit the wall,” Munoz said. “But after the race you have to move past it because you have to realize that all the guys here have so much more experience that you have. You can’t expect to beat them every time when you first get here. That’s really the biggest thing.”

Munoz attributes that mentality to his teammates and car owner at Andretti Autosport.

Team owner Michael Andretti has 42 Indy car wins and is the 1991 CART champion. Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay is the defending Indianapolis 500 winner and 2012 IndyCar Series champion. Marco Andretti and James Hinchcliffe also bring victories and perspective to the table, all shortening the Colombian’s learning curve tremendously.

 

Read more here… 

 

 

 

Don’t Miss Out: Driver Appearances for Honda Indy Toronto

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

7.17.14 - Don't miss out on your opportunity to visit with our IndyCar drivers! Check out the list of appearances for our weekend in Toronto! 

 

 

Sunday, July 20

Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, Carlos Munoz and Marco Andretti

Verizon IndyCar Series Autograph Session

Team Transporters 

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

 

James Hinchcliffe

Hinchtown After Party

Tickets: $10 at Williams Landing

120 Lynn Williams Street, Liberty Village, Toronto

10:00 p.m. – 4:00 a.m.

 

Ryan Hunter-Reay wins second consecutive ESPY

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

7.17.14 (via IndyCar.com) - Verizon IndyCar Series driver Ryan Hunter-Reay now has a matching set of ESPY Awards.

Hunter-Reay, who won the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in a thrilling dash to the finish over Helio Castroneves, received the ESPY Award as Best Driver for the second consecutive year July 16 during the awards show telecast on ESPN from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. He became the first Indy car driver to repeat as the award’s winner.

Pass along your congratulations @IndyCar, #ESPYS 

Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, NHRA champion John Force, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. also were nominees in the category that was determined by online voting.

“It’s a tremendous honor to win the ESPY,” said Hunter-Reay, who won in his second nomination. “The Indianapolis 500 is a tremendous race and this year was such a hard-fought and intense battle at the end. I think the fans really showed their support for the show they got from the Verizon IndyCar Series in May.”

 

 

Read more here…

 

 

Ryan Hunter-Reay wins in wild dash to finish at Iowa

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

7.13.14 (via MotorSportsTalk) – A late gamble gave Ryan Hunter-Reay and Andretti Autosport yet another jackpot at Iowa Speedway.

The reigning Indianapolis 500 winner took fresh tires under the last caution of tonight’s Iowa Corn Indy 300, and he was able to get everything he could out of them after the final restart with nine laps to go.

Picking off positions one-by-one, Hunter-Reay finally surged past Tony Kanaan for the lead with two laps left and went on to earn his third Verizon IndyCar Series win of the year – and the fifth consecutive IndyCar triumph at Iowa for the Andretti team.

“We took the tires as a big gamble,” Hunter-Reay told NBCSN in Victory Lane. “Our tires were shot before that, so we took ‘em – and, credit to [engineer] Ray Gosselin and [team owner] Michael Andretti for making that call because I didn’t think we’d have enough time.

“…That was really great. Man, that was fun. That was like a video game at the end, it was just shredding through it. The DHL Honda was just on fire at the end.”

The win also boosts Hunter-Reay’s championship hopes with six races remaining in the season. He now moves to third in the standings at 32 points behind new leader Helio Castroneves, who finished eighth to take a nine-point lead over Will Power heading into next weekend’s doubleheader at Toronto.

 

Read more here… 

 

 

 

Andretti Autosport’s domination at Iowa to continue?

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

7.9.14 – Andretti Autosport has been known to dominate on a particular Midwest oval on the Verizon IndyCar Series circuit. You’re thinking Indianapolis Motor Speedway, right? The reigning Indy 500 champions have had wonderful memories on the 2.5-mile oval, but no one dominates IMS. No, we’re talking about the 0.875-mile oval in the little town of Newton, Iowa – Iowa Speedway.

The four-time IndyCar Series champs are FIVE-time Iowa Speedway winners. That’s just out of the last seven years the Verizon IndyCar Series has competed there, Andretti Autosport (formerly Andretti Green Racing) has dominated.

During his final year with Andretti in which he won the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series championship, Dario Franchitti captured the inaugural Iowa race win in 2007. The following two years saw a not-to-be-named red and white rival to have captured the beloved Iowa Corn trophy. However, since 2010, Andretti Autosport has won every IndyCar Series event at the Newton, IA facility.

In 2010, Tony Kanaan’s final year with the team, the Brazilian made Iowa his only win of the season leading 51 of the 250 laps. Third-generation racer Marco Andretti brought home his second career win at the superspeedway in 2011. 2014 Indianapolis 500 Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay’s victory there in 2012 was part of three consecutive wins during his championship-winning year. To top off the five years of victory, Canadian James Hinchcliffe captured his third career win, and only oval win, last year in 2013.

This year will see a change to the Iowa Corn sponsored race; the usual 250-lap event is being bumped up to 300 for 2014 – a total of 262.5 miles as opposed to the previous 218.75 miles. With three previous winners on the squad and three-time podium visitor (this season!) and rookie Carlos Munoz, the event is Andretti Autosport’s for the taking. With the Colombian, there could be a seventh new winner at the speedway. For Hunter-Reay, Andretti or Hinchcliffe, each is eligible to tie for the driver with the most wins (two, Dario Franchitti).

Who will be victorious on July 12, 2014 under the lights? Time will tell. Just be sure to keep your eye on the four-car squad of Andretti Autosport who will be looking to make 2014 their sixth win and fifth consecutive victory at the Newton, IA speedway.

 

 

Don’t Miss Out: Driver Appearances for Iowa Corn Indy 300

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

7.8.14 - Don't miss out on your opportunity to visit with our drivers from the Verizon IndyCar Series! Check out the list of appearances for our weekend at the Iowa Corn Indy 300!

 

 

 

Thursday, July 10

 

Marco Andretti
Signing at Casey's
5550 E. University Ave, Pleasant Hill, IA 50327
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

 

 

Friday, July 11

 

Carlos Munoz, Marco Andretti, 
James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay
Verizon IndyCar Series Autograph Session
INDYCAR Fan Village
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 

 

 

Munoz finishes third to complete Colombian podium sweep in Houston

Monday, June 30th, 2014

 

6.28.14 (via chron.com) — Moments after Colombia wrapped up its victory over Uruguay in the World Cup, a trio of Colombian drivers headed to the rain-soaked podium at the Grand Prix of Houston.

One by one, Carlos Huertas, Juan Pablo Montoya and Carlos Munoz unfurled their yellow, blue and red flags in a celebratory Saturday for their country. It was the first all-Colombian podium in IndyCar history.

Huertas, a 23-year-old rookie, used strategy to grab his first career victory. He was followed by Montoya, in his highest finish in this year's return to IndyCar, and then Munoz, who was moved to third-place when Graham Rahal wrecked Tony Kanaan on an aborted final restart.

It put Montoya, a former champion who also raced in Formula One and NASCAR, on the far right of the podium next to a pair of young drivers who grew up idolizing him.

"Look, it's just like beating any other driver," Huertas said. "You guys, the fans, they know what he has done. They keep reminding us. It just shows the level of the series, if I do a good job, I can beat guys like that. My objective is to beat all the drivers and I treat them all the same."

Stoic and unemotional, Huertas insisted he was thrilled with the victory and the footnote he and his countrymen had on the big day for Colombia.

But Montoya and Munoz were adamant the day was historic.

"I think today is the first day in motor racing in the world that three Colombians are on the podium, it's unbelievable and it's exciting and, in my opinion, they've got a good shot in World Cup as well," Montoya said.

Munoz preferred to be sticking in Houston for Sunday's second race of the doubleheader weekend.

"We are really lucky to be here in America and not in Colombia, because right now Colombia should be really crazy to go out in the streets," Munoz said. "Everybody celebrating. This is a big deal. This is terrific for Colombia, first time 1-2-3 on a podium in a motorsports race, and first time we go to quarterfinals. We showed what Colombians are made of, and showed the bad image people have of Colombia, it's not about one thing."

 

Read more here…

 

 

 

Don’t Miss Out: Appearances for the Grand Prix of Houston

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
6.24.14 – Don't miss out on these opportunities to meet your favorite Andretti Autosport driver! We'll see you in Houston! (All times below are CENTRAL.)
 
 
 
 
 
Thursday, June 26
 
Marco Andretti
Kroger
5150 Buffalo Speedway
Houston, TX 77005
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
 
Ryan Hunter-Reay
The Yellow Party
AutoNation Mercedes-Benz
3900 Southeast Fwy
Houston, TX 77027
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
 
 
Friday, June 27
 
Carlos Munoz
Honda Latino appearance
INDYCAR Fan Village
3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
 
Carlos Munoz, James Hinchcliffe,
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti
Verizon IndyCar Series Autograph Session
INDYCAR Fan Village
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
 
 
Saturday, June 28
 
Garett Grist & Shelby Blackstock
Pro Mazda Autograph Session
INDYCAR Fan Village
11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
 
 
 

Catching up with Munoz: Rookie on the rise

Monday, June 16th, 2014

6.16.14 (via IndyCar.com) – Carlos Munoz caught worldwide attention with a runner-up finish in his maiden Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 2013, and the 22-year-old Verizon IndyCar Series rookie has continued on the fast track in the first half of this season.
 
He is sixth in the championship and leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings through eight races. Munoz’s four top-10 finishes have been punctuated by third place at Long Beach, where he advanced eight positions relative to his qualifying. Sixth for Dual 2 at Belle Isle on June 1 is his best qualifying effort.
 
Catching up with Munoz, 22, a Miami resident and driver of the No. 34 Cinsay AndrettiTV.com HVM car, heading into the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers:
 
Q: How would you assess your overall performance in the first half of the season?
 
A: It’s been an OK year apart from the mistakes I’ve made at Barber (bouncing off tire barrier) and Texas (spin on pit lane). I’m improving a lot on road and street courses and proving a lot. In Detroit we were really fast but the strategy just wasn’t the correct one (finished seventh and eighth). Next is Houston, which will be really tough with the doubleheader. My goal was to start improving a lot right from the start and that’s why we put all the testing in this part of the year because we knew in the beginning it would be tough for me.
 
My goal is to stay there in the championship and win the rookie award, and my main goal is to learn as much as I can this year and a make it a big year next year.
 
Q: What, if anything, has been a surprise in your first full season?
 
A: The car, mainly. You can have the perfect car and then make little changes and have a bad car in the next session. In IndyCar, you have to have everything together to be in the (Firestone) Fast Six for qualifying – the good car, the good lap, the good temperatures. Everything is sensitive and you have to have everything in the right moment to get the most out of it.
 
Q: What have been a few keys you’ve learned about IndyCar racing so far this season?
 
A: Indy Lights is a great school for drivers because it gives you the basis for the racing and the ovals. It’s hard to race on ovals because you have to be aware of the others around you all the time, the strategy, tire management — all this counts. Each race I have learned a lot. I feel like I did during my first Indy Lights year. I learned step by step and toward the end of the season I won and the second year I challenged for the championship. Next year is the big year.
 
Q: There are distinct personalities at Andretti Autosport with Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe. How do you feel you’ve fit in?
 
A: We work as a team, which is the mentality (team owner) Michael (Andretti) wants. We have a great relationship and work well together. A lot of drivers will say that, but in this case it’s true. The first day I stepped into the team, whether it was in Indy Lights or this year in IndyCar, I felt welcome.