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Munoz making waves as top rookie

July 30th, 2014

7.30.14 (via RACER.com) – Andretti Autosport's Carlos Munoz has been shot out of a cannon since making his debut at the 2013 Indy 500. Qualifying and finishing second at the Speedway, Munoz has gone on to score three podiums this year and holds seventh in the championship.
 
And now, as he looks to close his first full season of Verizon IndyCar Series competition, the young Colombian is trying to match the best rookie season in recent history as he jockeys for position with open-wheel champions Juan M​ontoya, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan for a top-5 finish in the standings.
 
The 23-year-old will need to place fifth if he wants to equal Simon Pagenaud's impressive rookie campaign in 2012, and among his Andretti teammates, Marco Andretti's run to seventh in the championship as a rookie in 2006 ranks as the best in-house goal to pursue, but it won't be easy to achieve fifth or seventh.
 
The drivers he needs to get in front of have been gaining momentum, and with Kanaan, Andretti and Sebastien Bourdais breathing down his neck, Munoz will need to drive like a veteran over the final four rounds if he wants to hold onto his current position.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Don’t Miss Out: Driver Appearances for Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

July 29th, 2014

7.29.14 - Don't miss out on your opportunity to visit with all our Pro Mazda, Indy Lights and IndyCar drivers! Check out the list of appearances for our weekend at Mid-Ohio! 

 

 

Thursday, July 31

Marco Andretti

Wal-Mart

2485 Possum Run Rd. Mansfield, OH 44903 

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

 

 

Friday, August 1

Shelby Blackstock & Garett Grist

Pro Mazda Autograph Session

INDYCAR Fan Village 

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

 

 

Saturday, August 2

Zach Veach & Matthew Brabham

Indy Lights Autograph Session

INDYCAR Fan Village 

11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

 

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

Verizon IndyCar Series Autograph Session

INDYCAR Fan Village

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 a.m.

 

 

Third-generation racer visits with Andretti Formula E

July 25th, 2014

7.25.14 – While Andretti Formula E continues to evaluate candidates for its second full-time driver in the new global FIA, all-electric racing series, the American team recently called up one of its own from its stateside outfit. Reigning Pro Mazda champion and Indy Lights rookie Matthew Brabham made his way across the pond to visit with the team at its headquarters in the UK where the 20-year-old took a tour of the brand spanking new facilities at Donington Park, met with team members and had the opportunity to have a look at the innovative electric cars up close and personal, including an opportunity to take the Spark Renault SRT-01E for a few test laps.
 
“It’s an amazing opportunity for me, and I’m very grateful to Andretti Autosport; they have a fantastic operation going here in the UK,” the third-generation racer said. “The Formula E car is very interesting and complex and I think it has a great future ahead. I believe we got some valuable data from my time in the car, and it was a lot of fun, so a big thank you to the team. The series is also littered with accomplished engineers and drivers, and in meeting them, I think it’s great for building my experience as well.”
 
Brabham, son of four-time IMSA Champion Geoff Brabham and grandson to the late three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jack Brabham, is no stranger to the UK. The Indianapolis resident’s cousin, Sam Brabham, currently competes in British Formula Ford and is based north of London, while uncle David Brabham will be competing at Road Atlanta for Petit Le Mans in October. Matthew’s trip to the Andretti Formula E headquarters is a testament to the confidence team owner Michael Andretti has in the rising star.
 
“Matty has a bright racing future ahead of him,” said Andretti. “He’s done a great job for us in Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. As one of our drivers, we were happy to have him visit Donington and learn more about Formula E. We’re very much enjoying having him as a part of the Andretti team and look forward to being a part of his developing career. ”
 
Next up for the United Fiber & Data/MAZDASPEED driver, who currently lies fourth in the Indy Lights championship points fight, is a doubleheader race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course the final week of July. Fans can watch the race on NBC Sports Network at 6:00 p.m. ET on 3 August.
 
 
 

Tanner Foust wins New York Rallycross

July 24th, 2014

7.24.14 (via Motorsport.com) – Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust scored his first Global Rallycross win of the season on Sunday at Volkswagen Rallycross New York.
 
It was all about the starts for the two-time champion, who blazed off the line to use the sub- two-second 0-60 launches of the Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Polo to maximum effect.
 
"The starts were the critical factor for me here," said Foust. "It can be very difficult to make a pass on a tight rallycross course and getting out front early and staying out of trouble is key to winning."
 
Foust also credits the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team with nailing the car set-up to handle the New York course. The six-turn, half-mile track layout featured five right-handers and only one left. Foust and Volkswagen teammate Scott Speed were fast and confident while many other drivers struggled to get the most out of their competition cars as uneven tire wear became a factor.
 
"We were fastest in opening practices and stayed up front all weekend long," said Foust. "Having a car that was ready to win from the moment we hit the ground here in New York shows the advantage of working with a team like Andretti."
 
Foust opened the weekend as one of only four drivers to break through the 30-second mark in qualifying and achieve a lap time in the 20s. In heat racing, he found his stride in the second round, blazing off the line to lead wire-to-wire in his Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Polo. He took another lights-to-flag victory in the Semifinal round to earn a front-row starting position in the 10-car Final. 
 
Starting from the middle of the front row, Foust kept his cool through two red-flag restarts as other drivers tangled on the course. When the abbreviated six-lap Final got underway, he was off the line first and never looked back as drivers jostled for position behind him. Although teammate Speed passed nearly half the field on the way to a second-place finish, he was demoted to ninth on a penalty assessed during the first red-flagged race. Nelson Piquet Jr. and Ken Block claimed second and third.
 
A regular top finisher, Foust has earned a podium in more than half of his Global Rallycross Championship starts since the series began in 2011. 
 
"This year, the speed has been there but the results haven't," said Foust. "It's nice to get this monkey off my back this season and earn a win in GRC. It feels like I'm headed in the right direction now."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ryan Hunter-Reay voted second quarter Driver of the Year

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.
 
 

Speed looking for success at the Dirt Track at Charlotte when Global Rallycross returns

July 19th, 2014

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.

 

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Carlos Munoz credits teammates, mental approach to success

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

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

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…

 

 

Don’t Miss Out: Driver Appearances for Volkswagen Rallycross NY

July 16th, 2014

7.16.14Don't miss out on your opportunity to visit with our drivers from the Global Rallycross Series! Check out the list of appearances for our weekend at the Volkswagen Rallycross NY event! 

 

 

Thursday,  July 17

Scott Speed & Tanner Foust

Global Rallycross Filming – Columbus Circle

1849 Broadway

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

 



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