7.19.14 (via Motorsport.com) - In just one short week, Red Bull Global Rallycross returns to The Dirt Track at Charlotte, July 25-26, and Scott Speed, the defending champion of the event, is looking to pick up where he left off, with another victory.
The Mt. Holly, N.C., resident captured the win last year in front of a hometown crowd after tackling what was considered one of the toughest courses on the circuit.
“It’s a great course because you get to go out of the race track and back into the track again, so it’s quite fun to drive,” said Speed. “Overall it was one of the best events we had last year so definitely looking forward to coming back. Obviously the track is something that worked out well for us and we expect to still be able to be fast again this year.”
While Speed seems like a seasoned rallycross pro, he is still somewhat new to the fast-growing sport. Coming from a diverse racing background, including Formula 1 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Speed was looking to master a new style in 2013 and set his sights on rallycross. His career jumpstarted after he took home a gold medal at the X Games in Brazil during his very first race.
“It all started with an invite to the X Games in Brazil as sort of like a star car. It was supposed to be switched between a lot of different guys throughout the year,” said Speed. “That was my first race in rallycross. When we ended up winning the X Games we were able to put together a program throughout the whole year.”
Speed ran the entire Global Rallycross season, racking up two wins in nine starts, including his victory at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. The successful season landed him a 2014 ride with Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross, a prestigious team that also fields a car for Tanner Foust.
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.”
Thursday, July 17
Scott Speed & Tanner Foust
Global Rallycross Filming – Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10023
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET
Scott Speed & Tanner Foust
Jalopnik Twitter Chat
Make sure to send your questions to @ScottSpeed & @TannerFoust!
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET
Friday, July 18
Scott Speed & Tanner Foust
Volkswagen Dealership Appearance – Platinum Volkswagen
340 W. Old Country Rd.
Hicksville, NY 11801
3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, July 19
Scott Speed & Tanner Foust
Global Rallycross Autograph Session
Starting Grid – Volkswagen Rallycross NY track
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. ET
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.
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.
7.7.14 (via NBCSports.com) – While the rest of his Andretti Autosport teammates hit issues in Sunday’s Pocono INDYCAR 500 fueled by Sunoco, Carlos Munoz bagged his third podium finish of his first full season in the Verizon IndyCar Series. The Colombian ended third after a solid all-around weekend in Pocono.
Additionally, the driver of the No. 34 Cinsay/AndrettiTV.com Honda kept up with Team Penske teammates Juan Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves as the only two driver to score top-five finishes in both 500-mile races this season (Munoz was fourth at the Indianapolis 500).
This Sunday was actually a fairly straightforward drive for Munoz, who started and finished third on a day when he didn’t need to perform any of his usual heroics and crazy corner lines to keep in podium contention. Case in point, Munoz never led, but he never ran worse than sixth at any point in the 200-lap race.
“This track, it’s really hard to pass, to be behind the cars,” said Munoz. “I think third place is a great result for the championship, especially with the double points. I’m really happy with a podium. It was a long race, and I think that this time, I raced like a veteran. My Cinsay crew guys did such a great job, great pit stops, and I’m happy with another podium.”