RSS
TEAM ANDRETTI
Ryan Hunter-Reay
DHL
Fan Alerts

Email Type:  

NEWS

ROOM

News

Colombian rookie Carlos Munoz’s driving set to earn more headlines

March 21st, 2014

3.21.14 (via MotorSportsTalk) – Carlos Munoz’s two 2013 starts for Andretti Autosport in an IndyCar produced audible gasps more often than not.

There was no way he was going to make some of the moves and entry lines he did work. At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, his line of arcing in so high and then diving so low below the white line in the turns should not have ended without him in the wall. But it did, in second place in his Indianapolis 500 debut.

Then at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana in October, Munoz was moving high or low with ease in an action-packed 100 laps. Then, just past the century-mark, it finally bit him.

The 22-year-old Colombian is a seriously impressive star in the making, and with a full offseason to prepare for his first full season in the championship, he’s the early favorite for rookie-of-the-year honors in the team’s No. 34 Cinsay Honda.

Don’t tell him that, though. Munoz is a quiet, introspective student appreciative of the teammates around him and his countryman, Juan Pablo Montoya, who he’ll have the chance to race this year.

“Yeah, I’m a really quiet guy. I’m really shy,” Munoz admitted during IndyCar media day in Orlando. “That doesn’t mean I’m – how you say – bad person. I’m quiet and shy compared to James (Hinchcliffe). He’s always talking, making jokes, completely different mind.

“But they treat me as one of them. They treat me really well. After Indy they treat me really well!  But it’s great to have this combination of drivers, no?”

Munoz didn’t need to produce a star turn in the ‘500 to earn his place on the grid, but it didn’t hurt. He showed enough aggression, poise and pace in his two full seasons in Indy Lights that he was projected to move up this year, despite not winning the championship a year ago.

“That race just gave me the opportunity to be here in a full season,” he said. “I have another chance to go get that race. I’m focused on this year. But now I have my chance and I have to think and work for it.”

At least initially, he may have a slight pace edge on his two countrymen, Montoya and Sebastian Saavedra. Montoya will need to shake the rust off after his extended open-wheel hiatus, while Saavedra acclimates to a new team at KV/AFS Racing.

Munoz said Montoya wasn’t so much his idol, as much as a symbol of what could be achieved when Munoz was growing up. But he plans to consider him just “one of the guys” once on track.

“I don’t like the word ‘idolized,’ but he was a symbol for me when I was a kid, an example for me and many Colombian drivers, to follow him,” Munoz said.

 

 

Read more…

 

 

 

 

Kurt Busch making plans to run — and win — Indy 500

March 14th, 2014

3.14.14 (via SportingNews.com) – Kurt Busch, the first driver in 10 years to attempt the Memorial Day double of running both major auto races on the same day, thinks he could win the Indianapolis 500 and still get to Charlotte in time for the Coca-Cola 600 that night.

Some might say, “in your dreams” as Busch would want to soak up the atmosphere and fulfill all the postrace commitments of an Indy 500 winner before making the 90-minute trip between Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 25.

But even Busch knows the “dreams” are more about winning the Indianapolis 500 in his first IndyCar Series race.

“I have zero experience in an Indy car and this will be the toughest challenge, especially when they drop the green flag,” Busch said Saturday during a news conference in Las Vegas. “Single-car runs when I’m coming up to speed and doing qualifying runs, all that should handle itself.

“But when they drop the green at Indianapolis and 33 cars barrel down into turn one and all that dirty air and the movements of the cars and being able to digest closing rates at 220 (miles per hour) versus our stocks cars that average around 185, everything is different.”

Busch tried to find a way to race at an IndyCar event last year to be prepared, but never could make the logistics work where he would also have enough time to focus on his NASCAR ride.

“Sometimes you get that young dumb luck,” Busch said. “Maybe we’ll bump into that and that will help us, being naive and not having bad patterns. But those are some of those things that will bite you very quickly and that is the amount of respect you have to have for an Indy car.

“Those cars have all that rear weight with the engine in the back, that’s very different than our Cup cars that have the engine in the front with the weight distribution.”

In doing his rookie orientation at Indianapolis last year, Busch learned about throttle position and steering input, getting advice from team owner Michael Andretti, who will field a car for Busch this year.

 

Read more…

 

 

 

 

Matthew Brabham selected to receive 20th Gorsline Scholarship

March 13th, 2014

3.13.14 (via Motorsport.com) – Matthew Brabham, of Indianapolis and Gold Coast Australia, was presented the 20th Gorsline Scholarship by John Gorsline today at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh From Florida.

Brabham, 20, is part of the Brabham Family dynasty as grandson of three-time Formula One champion Jack Brabham, son of four-time IMSA GTP champion Geoff Brabham and nephew of two-time ALMS LMP champion David Brabham. With this scholarship he will work with Dr. Jacques Dallaire, Director of Performance Prime, on an individually-designed performance-enhancement program, and will benefit from a unique training program at Jim Leo's PitFit Training – all courtesy of Gorsline Company.

The Gorsline Scholarship is presented by Gorsline Company, of Rochester, N.Y., the leader in high-risk motorsports insurance. It recognizes aspiring drivers by providing programs with tools that will assist them in developing skills on and off the track to help attain their professional goals.

Two other young drivers were also considered for the Scholarship: Sean Rayhall, 19, of Winston, Ga., and Madison Snow, 18, of Lehi, Utah.

"At such a young age, Matthew is already an accomplished racer," said Gorsline, principal of Gorsline Company. "All three of the candidates for the 20th Gorsline Scholarship are worthy recipients. It was a tough decision, but we selected Matthew. We're confident he'll benefit from the performance-enhancement and fitness training programs that Dallaire and Leo will provide as he progresses in his racing career."

"I'm absolutely honored and it really means a lot to me, for sure," said Matthew, who will begin his 2014 racing season at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Fla.) on March 28-30, driving for Andretti Autsport in Indy Lights. "I've known John Gorsline for a while now, through my father, and to have my name on the list with previous recipients with such outstanding pedigrees is really, really cool and special. I've worked with Jim Leo and Jacques Dallaire before and they are such massive influences, especially in American motorsports. So, to be on board with them helping me through this really, really important time of my career is going to be huge. I'm really looking forward to meeting with them and working with these programs to help me succeed in my racing career."

 

Read more…

 

 

 

Luck, qualifying gains could fuel a Marco Andretti title challenge

March 12th, 2014

3.12.14 (via MotorSportsTalk) – Like Graham Rahal, Marco Andretti is nearly a decade into his top-level open-wheel career, yet has not entered the prime of it.

To chronicle Andretti’s, now 27, career arc, it goes a little something like this:

A breakout rookie campaign at 19 in 2006 features the near-win on debut at the Indianapolis 500 and his first actual win at Sonoma. In 2007, it was a pair of flips (Indy and Mid-Ohio), occasional highlights but frequent frustration. In 2008, 2009, and 2010, same story, but he axed the flips.

The 2011 season was a comeback, with an authoritative drive to his second career win in Iowa. But in 2012 it was a trying, forgettable campaign featuring only three top-10 finishes from 15 starts, and a career-low 16th in points.

In 2013, the comeback, part two. A career-high fifth in points, best of Andretti Autosport’s four cars, with results consistency and a renewed focus after an offseason soul search that saw him transform his game following work with a driver coach.

So which Marco Andretti shows up in 2014? It stands a good chance of being the close-to-finished article.

Save for the last two years, Andretti finished seventh or eighth in points five of his first six seasons. He knows how bad the low can be, after the disaster of 2012. And while there were highs in 2013, the misses – the losses at Milwaukee and Pocono – stick out like a sore thumb.

Andretti made huge gains in 2013, and is primed to make even more in 2014.

“I think ’13 was a good start to the direction I wanted to go,” he said during IndyCar media day in Orlando. “We confirmed a lot of my work is in the right direction anyway. We just need to keep plugging away with that, and we have.

“I think I made gains since. I’m more confident going into ’14 than I was ’13. I was pleased with my consistency. But some of my best results of last year were on the street courses, which is where I was struggling.

“But I think this year the goal has to be to capitalize where we’re dominant, because I think that’s what really took us out of the championship the second half of the year last year.

“I think the races we know we can win we just have to win.  If we’re able to do that, string a few together, I think we can be champions.”

These are perhaps bold words from a driver who, as mentioned above, has only two career wins. But here’s why they’re not as far-fetched as you think.

Andretti is coming into 2014 with the team consistency needed to make an impression. He’s into his second year with engineer Blair Perschbacher, while teammate James Hinchcliffe has a new engineer in Nathan O’Rourke, and rookie Carlos Munoz is just new to a full-season ride.

Andretti has the confidence from his near-breakout 2013 to know he can in fact mix it in a deep field that has so many talented drivers.

 

 

Read more…

 

 

 

Kurt Busch to Attempt the “Double” with 2014 Indianapolis 500 Entry

March 4th, 2014

3.4.14 – It has been over a decade since it was last completed, but this May NASCAR Champion Kurt Busch will endeavor to become only the fourth driver in history to contest the “Double” – competing in IndyCar’s historic Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s 600-mile race in the same day. Busch will make his first career Indianapolis 500 qualifying attempt behind the wheel of an Andretti Autosport Indy car. His entry will complete a stable of five (5) for Michael Andretti’s championship winning IndyCar team. It is not the first pairing of Busch and Andretti Autosport, however, as in 2013 Busch completed a test day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the team and in the process passed the mandated Rookie Orientation program effectively setting the possibility of the “Double” into motion.

 

What lies in front of Busch is a grueling challenge, not only on the race day itself – scheduled for Sunday, May 25th when Busch will race 1,100 miles in two races, in two cities, in two totally different cars, but in practicing and qualifying his Andretti Autosport Indy car in addition to competing in three (3) NASCAR race weekends around Indianapolis 500 activities. The 35-year old American will start the two week Indy 500 stretch in Indianapolis May 11th, fresh from the NASCAR race in Kansas. After spending the week testing the Honda-powered Indy car, Busch will log some serious air miles traveling between Indianapolis and Charlotte so he can qualify for the 500-mile race and practice and qualify for the NASCAR All-Star race and that Series’ 600-mile race. In total Busch will likely make more than ten (10) trips between the cities – the most important and time sensitive being race day. Race day will place Busch in Indianapolis in the morning for the noon ET start time of the Indianapolis 500 before he makes the trip to Charlotte for the 6 p.m. ET green flag.

 

While the “Double” will be a new experience for Busch, it will actually be Andretti Autosport’s second time participating in the feat. Robby Gordon (who along with John Andretti and Tony Stewart are the three previous drivers to contest the “Double”) competed in both races in 2003, filling in at Indianapolis for an injured Dario Franchitti who at the time drove for Andretti Autosport.

 

Busch, an advocate for and representative of The Armed Forces Foundation, will be dedicating his Memorial Day mission to those who continue to inspire him each day – the men and women serving around the world in the United States Military. Fans can show their support by texting AFF to 50555 to pledge $10 to the cause.

 

Fans will have the opportunity to follow Busch through his action-packed month of May on AndrettiTV.com, with details coming soon.

 

For more information visit AndrettiAutosport.com or KurtBuschDouble.com.

 

KURT BUSCH:

            “This is really to challenge myself within motorsports. Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throw-back 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 on ‘what if?’ and now it’s all 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.

            “It’s great having Tony (Stewart) as the co-owner of my NASCAR team as, in the weeks leading up to the month of May, it gives me a chance to talk with him about his personal experiences with the “Double” – to anticipate what’s next and have things checked off the list so that I’m mentally and physically prepared for the challenge. I owe a big thanks to Tony, Gene Haas, and the partners at Stewart-Haas – including General Motors – for allowing me to fulfill this dream, to challenge myself in motorsports and to do something special in this day and age.”

 

On his 2013 IndyCar test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

            “That was a whole kid in a candy store moment of experiencing an open-wheel car at 220 mph.  You can definitely get a different appreciation for the track and its heritage with an open-wheel car versus a stock car that I’ve done the last 15 years. It got my mind going and the juices flowing on ‘I want to do this.’ The adrenaline and excitement was there, and it fueled the passion to work on the details and turn the dream into a reality. And now here we are.”

 

MICHAEL ANDRETTI, TEAM OWNER, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT:

            “I’m really excited to have Kurt come onboard for the Indy 500. He did a great job for us when he tested last year. He’s obviously a natural talent and we feel he is going to take to the Indy car quickly and have a competitive month with us.”

 

Brabham paces field during Cooper Tires Winterfest in Alabama

February 28th, 2014

2.28.14 (via RACER.com) – The rivalry that is developing between Matthew Brabham and Gabby Chaves continued to gain momentum when the Cooper Tires Winterfest Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series test concluded with two more days of testing at Barber Motorsports Park. As was the case last Friday and Saturday at NOLA Motorsports Park in Louisiana, the two protagonists were rarely separated by more than a few tenths of a second during four sessions yesterday and today on the scenic and challenging 2.3-mile road course. On this occasion it was Brabham who emerged with the fastest time for Andretti Autosport.

 

Brabham, who is seeking to become the first driver ever to win all three steps on the Mazda Road to Indy in consecutive seasons after claiming the 2012 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda championship and last year's Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires title, posted a best of 1:15.160 in bitterly cold conditions this afternoon.

 

"I'm coming out of this test a lot more confident than I was going in, that's for sure. I think we proved that we definitely have the pace to run up front. We were in the top two, fighting for the first few positions time-wise, in every single session, so I'm really, really confident and very happy with how the team's working. They're doing an awesome job. I can't thank the guys enough and I'm really looking forward to the first race in St. Petersburg. It's going to be interesting to see where everybody ends up when testing finishes and we get to the first race, but so far so good for us."

 

Chaves, who paced this morning's session for Belardi Auto Racing, ended up second overall with a time of 1:15.461 set this afternoon.

Brazilian Luiz Razia completed the test third fastest for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports at 1:15.522. The veteran of GP2 in Europe headed Andretti Autosport's Zach Veach (1:15.728), from Stockdale, Ohio, who was feeling much better after being hit by a nasty throat infection last weekend, and Englishman Jack Harvey in a second Schmidt Peterson car on 1:15.806.

 

 

Read more…

 

 

 

Veach spends his Friday with local students

February 28th, 2014

2.28.14 – Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires sophomore Zach Veach spent his Friday visiting with eighth-grade students at Riverside Jr. High in nearby Fishers, IN. Veach spoke to six classes totaling about 180 students at the Northside school.

The high school graduate related the technology of Indy cars to what the students in Mr. Brad Bill’s students are about to begin discussing in his Technology Education classes. Zach spoke about aerodynamics, each part of the car, technology within the steering wheel and the journey that has brought him to where he is as an Indy Lights driver today.

“I am very privileged to be here today at Riverside (Jr. High) speaking to Mr. Bill’s eighth-grade classes about my passion and hopefully getting more youth involved in our sport,” the 19-year-old said. “A lot of the kids seem very interested in what we’re showing them. I’m hoping to see a lot of them make it out to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May!”

This is the fifth year Andretti Autosport has participated in a school visit with Riverside Jr. High bringing along a show car to reference to during the visit for Mr. Bill’s class.

Veach and Indy Lights teammate Matthew Brabham will next head to Milwaukee, WI this weekend for a series of appearances on behalf of the ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest Presented by Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers. Fans can meet the American Andretti Autosport duo at the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show in front of the Milwaukee IndyFest show car on Saturday from 3 – 4 p.m. CT and 11a.m. – 12p.m.  on Sunday. They will also be bowling at JB’s on 41 Sunday at 7p.m. for anyone who would like to join.

 

 

 

Three candidates named for 20th Gorsline Scholarship

February 27th, 2014

2.27.14 (via RACER.com) – Three of auto racing's rising stars under the age of 21 who have already demonstrated their talents on North American racetracks for at least a dozen years are candidates for the 20th Gorsline Scholarship in 2014.

The Gorsline Scholarship is presented by Gorsline Company of Rochester, N.Y., the leader in high-risk motorsports insurance. It recognizes aspiring drivers and presents a program that provides tools that will assist these drivers in developing skills on and off the track to attain their professional goals.
 
The scholarship winner will be named on Thursday, March 13, during the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (Fla.) fueled by Fresh From Florida, and will work with Dr. Jacques Dallaire, Director of Performance Prime, to create an individually-designed performance-enhancement program, courtesy of Gorsline Company.
 
"Each of these drivers is an outstanding competitor who started at a very young age. They've already shown how far their talents can take them in this sport," said John Gorsline, principal of Gorsline Company. "We at Gorsline Company are excited to recognize the achievements of them all. They are true rising stars."
 
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the most recent recipient of the Gorsline Scholarship, in 2012. No scholarship was awarded in 2013.
 
The candidates for the 2014 Gorsline Scholarship are:
 
Matthew Brabham - (Indianapolis and Gold Coast Australia) – Part of the Brabham family dynasty as grandson of Jack Brabham and son of Geoff Brabham. Will turn 20 on Feb. 25. Began racing karts at age 7, winning 46 races as well as the Yamaha and SE QLD rookie titles through 2007, before moving up to the Jr National Light class. In 2008 he won both the NSW and QLD State Jr National Light titles and in 2009 the Jr Rotax Young Guns title. He then switched to Formula Ford, finishing second once and third once in the Victorian State series and was selected to join the CAMS Rising Star program for 2010. Competed in the Victorian Formula Ford State Series in 2011 and in the Australian National Championship, winning eight State races and two National races. The following two years saw him become the 2012 USF2000 Series Champion and Rookie of the Year, with four wins, three track records and six poles, and the 2013 Pro Mazda Series Champion and Rookie of the Year, with 13 wins and 10 poles. Was awarded BRDC Rising Star membership and was nominated for a Team USA scholarship. Will race for Andretti Autosport in Indy Lights in 2014.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Cinsay Ramps Up Live Streaming Race Network AndrettiTV.com and Branded Apparel Merchandise Site ShopAndretti.com

February 27th, 2014

2.27.14 – CINSAY, the leader in social video e-commerce technology and Andretti Autosport, the championship race team, has announced an exclusive deal to create what is already being described as the racing fan’s ultimate dream come true. The new venture launched in beta a little over a month ago is becoming a large-scale global racing network of live, archived and exciting video footage with exclusive apparel and limited edition items available worldwide on AndrettiTV.com and ShopAndretti.com. Fans will have access to free, live-streaming video of the race facilities, special upcoming online pay-per-view events offering unique behind the scenes content and limited-edition merchandise.. 
 
Exclusive Video and Limited Edition Race Merchandise
 
Fans around the world will have access to the online race network via AndrettiTV.com  which will include views of the Andretti facilities and operations on a multi-patented video commerce platform. In addition, there  will be featuring broadcast-quality HD videos, 24/7 live video feeds, eCommerce and collectible, branded on-demand apparel and merchandise via Cinsay’s personalized merchandise division, Cinsay On Demand. 
 
Now with the ability to peek behind the curtain, fans will, for the first time, receive a behind-the-scenes video experience from the garage area at race events and from Andretti Autosport’s very own racing headquarters. The site will feature all INDYCAR race schedules and will stream 24-hours and 7-days each week via the online racing portal with featured video embedded on the AndrettiTV.com and ShopAndretti.com websites. Making the racing experience even more personal, fans can engage various race personnel during normal hours via their upcoming personalized profile pages.
 
Race fans around the world will also be able to share their favorite AndrettiTV video with friends via social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn via Cinsay’s Video Smart Store™ Technology (VSS) globally. Not only is the video syndicatable via social media and email, but is also embeddable into sites like Facebook and WordPress. The related merchandise offered within the video has full ecommerce capabilities and can be shared all over the world, with anyone, anytime and anywhere. AndrettiTV visitors will even be able to watch on mobile devices from their homes or the grandstands for up-close views, and will be able to purchase merchandise right from their smartphones for a Watch, Shop, and Share™ experience.
 
Cinsay On Demand services will provide branded and unique merchandise, manufactured in the USA along with global fulfillment services for merchandise sales under the licensed Andretti Autosport brand.
 
Cinsay’s video production group will assist in producing media content for Andretti Autosport pay-per-views and race fan subscriptions to live views, archived materials and searchable video.   
 
“The ability to incorporate media, eCommerce, and advanced analytics all under one technology solution is huge for us,” said Starke Taylor, Partner with Andretti Sports Marketing. “The ability to create new content and merchandise takes Andretti to a whole new level in racing and fan engagement via CINSAY’s social commerce platform,” Taylor added. 
 
A World-class Racing Dynasty 
 
Voted, “Driver of the Century”, Mario Andretti holds the top spot in motorsports. Spanning four decades and driving virtually every type of race car, he has won over 100 races in major championship categories. His son, Michael Andretti has won over 40 Indy car races and grandson, Marco Andretti is now the most followed IndyCar driver in the USA, Canada and Brazil. 
 
81.5% of American males are familiar with the Andretti name. Mario Andretti is #1 on the N-Score list of top athletes in motorsports and #24 on the N-Score list of top all-time athletes across all sports.  Michael Andretti is #21 on the N-Score list of top athletes in motorsports. Millions of race fans worldwide passionately follow the three generations of Andretti. 
 
“We are thrilled to be joining forces with the Cinsay team. The excellence in teamwork and technology they bring to Andretti Autosport will propel us into the forefront of worldwide fan engagement from the pits to the paddock, to inside our race facility located in Indianapolis, in a way the fans have not seen before,” said Michael Andretti. “We looked at many options using video players and ecommerce, but the choice was clear as only Cinsay had the complete package of social video ecommerce technology that has been delivering results for others. Their deep analytics ensures that both the fans and our advertisers are provided the best possible online experience,” Andretti added.
 
“This three-generation racing family stands out front in racing history. In terms of winnings, branding, promotion and longevity, the Andretti Autosport team makes a perfect fit for Cinsay’s technology,” said Christian Briggs, CEO and Founder of Cinsay.  “Andretti is known for winning, using innovation and deploying technology in pursuit of victory – and those attributes are synonymous with the Cinsay brand,” he added.
 
“Joining the Andretti team and having Cinsay as a sponsor and technology partner is very thrilling,” said, Carlos Munoz, driver for Andretti’s #34 Honda Indy car.  “My fans from all over the world can now watch online, shop inside the CINSAY Video Smart Store and share everywhere. I can even check in on my guys as they prepare the car for each race live via AndrettiTV.com!” Munoz added.
 
The new AndrettiTV.com powered by Cinsay will officially launch April 2014 with Cinsay serving as the title sponsor for the #34 Indy car driven by rookie sensation Carlos Munoz. To learn more about Cinsay and Andretti Autosport, visit www.AndrettiAutosport.com.
 

Hinchcliffe Kicks Off St. Pete Track Build

February 24th, 2014

2.24.14 (via IndyCar) – James Hinchcliffe began defense of his win of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Feb. 24 by helping with the ceremonial start of the track build for the season-opening IndyCar Series race on March 30. 

More than 20,000 feet of steel-reinforced concrete block will line the picturesque but challenging 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit that incorporates a runway of Albert Whitted Airport.

 

"St. Pete has been a special race for as long as I've been going," said Hinchcliffe as he looked over the yacht club on Tampa Bay. "Being out there on the water, it's a cool atmosphere. It's a cool backdrop for the race. I'm pretty sure (teammate Ryan) Hunter-Reay parks his mega yacht out there for race week."

Hinchcliffe, who drives the No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda for Andretti Autosport, was the seventh different winner in the nine years of the race. He went on to win twice more during the 19-race season and finish eighth in the championship standings.

 

"Obviously, with what happened last year, it holds a special place in my heart," the Toronto native said. "It was a very emotional day last year on race day for all the right reasons. That's nice because in racing you normally have very emotional days for the wrong reasons more often than you do for all the right ones. For me, personally, on track it made a big difference because when I was then in situations later in the year where a win was on the line I felt a lot less pressure because I think there was a big amount of pressure to get that first win.

 

"I think it really does free your mind up a little bit when you're in those circumstances, again knowing that, 'Hey, I've been here, I know I can do it, let's focus and get the job done,' rather than make yourself over-analyze and make a mistake."

 

It is the first year for Firestone as the entitlement sponsor of the 110-lap "Fastest Spring Break Party," though it has been the Turn 1 grandstand sponsor since the first race in 2005 — the IndyCar Series' inaugural non-oval race. Firestone is the Official Tire Supplier of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500.

 

"On behalf of Firestone, we couldn't be more proud to be the title sponsor," Bridgestone Americas director of motorsports Lisa Boggs said. "Racing is part of our company's heritage dating to the days of Harvey Firestone, who used racing to test the performance of our tires. That history continues today as the title sponsor of this great event."



Firestone Tires Firestone Tires
Andretti Autosports 4 Time IndyCar Champions