Hy-Vee Names Race Sponsors for Iowa Weekend

Hy-Vee and Iowa Speedway have named race title and presenting sponsors for the Indycar double header at Iowa Speedway July 22 and 23.

Both races will be 250 laps. I’m disappointed. In 2022, Saturday’s race was 250 laps and Sunday’s race was 300 laps. I like the different distances. It caused teams to take a different approach the second day. Now we will see basically the same race two days in a row.

Here is the official announcement from Indycar:

Hy-Vee, Inc. and INDYCAR announced March 22 that the two NTT INDYCAR SERIES 250-lap races during the Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend at Iowa Speedway will be focused on honoring America’s heroes and fighting hunger across the United States. Hy-Vee partners Instacart and Gatorade will support the weekend efforts with each industry-leading company serving as a presenting sponsor of the Saturday and Sunday races.

Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend will be held July 21-23 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Saturday, July 22 will be an all-day salute to United States veterans and military service men and women, culminating with the Hy-Vee Homefront 250 presented by Instacart. The race is named for the company’s longtime initiative that supports veterans and military members. Hy-Vee‘s commitment to veterans and military, and their families, dates back to the early years of Hy-Vee‘s history.

Throughout the day on Saturday at Iowa Speedway, special events, displays and even the music and entertainment featured throughout the venue will honor veterans and pay tribute to military members for their service to our country.

The focus of Sunday will be combating hunger across the country with the running of the Hy-Vee One Step 250 presented by Gatorade. The race is named for Hy-Vee’s One Step program, which has funded initiatives to support clean water initiatives, packaged meals and reforestation efforts across the Midwest and all over the world.

In February, Hy-Vee announced its 100 Million Meals Challenge, bringing together Feeding America partner food banks, manufacturers and suppliers, as well as Hy-Vee customers, to help support people across the Midwest who are experiencing food insecurity. The initiative continues throughout the year across all Hy-Vee, Dollar Fresh Market and Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh locations. To support the Challenge, Hy-Vee customers can round up their purchases to the nearest dollar during checkout to donate to the cause. All funds collected at stores will go directly to partner food banks serving their local community. Customers can also donate online by going to www.feedingamerica.org/hy-vee.

Hy-Vee is also working with national food manufacturers and suppliers to provide food and funds to benefit the 18 Feeding America partner food banks that operate in its eight-state region. Each of these food banks will be featured on Sunday of Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend, along with representatives from Feeding America. Fans in attendance at the track will be able to scan a code and donate to Feeding America.

“We are proud to help support Hy-Vee’s commitment and dedication to helping people and communities across our country during Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend,” said Bud Denker, president of Penske Corporation, which owns INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “We look forward to honoring our service men and women on Saturday of race weekend and helping to fight hunger through Hy-Vee’s 100 Million Meals Challenge with Feeding America on Sunday at Iowa Speedway. We also want to thank both Instacart and Gatorade for their support and partnership as we host an amazing weekend of racing and entertainment, July 21st through the 23rd.”

To purchase tickets and learn more about Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend, visit www.hyveeindycarweekend.com.

Lundqvist Gets Test with RLL as Harvey Cleared to Race; Series Going South?

Indycar fans got their exercise by jumping to a conclusion about Rahal Letterman Lanigan racing this week. First Jack Harvey, injured in a lap 42 accident at St. Pete, was finally cleared to drive again.

A few days later, the team announced that2022 Indy Lights champion Linus Lundqvist will get an oval test April3 at Texas, the day after the Indycar race there. Lundqvist was caught in a lowering of the champion award money which didn’t give him enough funding to secure an Indycar ride. Rahal said that they will see about entering him in a few races later in the year.

It would be easy to conclude that RLL is preparing a replacement for Jack Harvey at the end of the year. I’m not ready to make that leap yet, but Harvey’s inauspicious start to a make-or-break season certainly adds fuel to that suspicion. The next race at Texas is the one Harvey sat out in 2022 after suffering a concussion in a practice crash.

We will see how this plays out, but I look for a fourth Rahal entry at some races after May. I’m excited to see what Lundqvist can do. meanwhile, Let’s see if Harvey can turn his fortunes around.

Argentina Calling?

Mark Miles went to Argentina to check out a track for a possible Indycar race. Ricardo Juncos has been pushing for the series to race in his home country. In November Juncos held demonstration runs with Augustin Canapino which drew large crowds.

Track designer Tony Cotman accompanied Miles on the trip.

A race in South America needs to make perfect financial sense for the teams, the series, and the schedule. The gap between St. Pete and Texas would be the ideal spot for this race. There is plenty of time for transport back and forth, and it wouldn’t interfere with the rest of the schedule.

While I am not against an Argentina event, I’d rather the series focus on bringing back Milwaukee and adding other tracks in the United States. Indycar badly needs a race in the Northeast.

Sebring in Photos

Some photos I took which I think capture the essence of the weekend. I will post more on The Pit Window facebook page over the next few days.

Sebring’s history-race cars and airplanes
Toyota Gazoo-1,2 aWEC traditon
Turn 7 at night- Glowing rotors and loud turbo popping
I love the front of the BMW GTP
Twilight time

Off Road Excursions

From earlier:

Sebring weekend wrap up

Sebring Weekend- Late Drama in a Caution -Filled Race

Sebring Weekend- Late Drama in a Caution -Filled Race

It’s always great to return to civilizationafter a weekend at the 12 Hours of Sebring. A usual, the race didn’t disappoint with late drama, problems for the strongest car, huge crowds, and warm weather.

I was fortunate to connect with my friend George Butz, who graciously allowed me to share hus campsite. George is a seasoned Sebring veteran. This was my sixth Sebrinbg, but first since 2019. I felt that this year I really learned the track with George’s guidance. I discovered several new vantage points.

When I return next year, I will have a better idea of how and from where to watch the race.

The drivers probably don’t want to see me at a corner, as I witnessed htree cautions, including the big obe at the end, and several other spins. The three car crash near the end of the race was probably the worst IMSA crash i have ever seen. It looked a lot worse than it turned out to be.

The number 6 Penske Porsche is lifted onto a flatbed truck. Jaminet walked to the ambulance under his own power.

The race was very disjointed with the frequent yellows. In some ways it was like a longer version of Indycar at St. Pete. Like St. Pete, the race produced a dramatic ending.

Cadillac Domination

The winning number 31 Cadillac won the pole, but the Ganassi Cadillac dominated the middle part of the race. Scott Dixon ran the 01 out to a big lead. Mis fortune struck just before the nine hour mark when an engine fire ended thier day.

Indycar Drivers Have Mixed Results

The Indycar drivers running this weekend had a mix3d bag of reseults.

Scott McLaughlin was part of the winning tream in LMP2 with Tower Motorsports. The team also finished third overall. Indy NXT driver Kyffibn Simpson was also a co driver .

Kyle Kirkwood’s Vasser Sulivan Lexus team came home second in GTD Pro. Former Indycar driver Jack Hawksworth is a full time driver for the car.

The Meyer Shank entry which included Helio Castroneves ened the day 24th oiverall and sixth ib class. The car lost a wheel just after sunset and finished 21 laps behind.

As I mentioned, Scott Dixon and the Ganassi Cadillac was not running at the finish, They were credited with seventh in class, 47th overall.

Devlin Defrancesco, drivibng for Rick Ware in LMP2, was 7th in class, 41st overall.

Katherine Legge ended 12th in class in GTD, 36th overall.

Final Thoughts

Attendance had to be an all time high. I don’t think one more vehicle could have beemn shoehorned into the facility. I don’t recall seeing the track as crowded on Tursday as it was this weekend. My frieb=nd George, and one of his friends who attended his 25th coinsecutvee race, agreed with me.

The food court waqs greatly improved since 2019, boith in c=variety and quality of choices. Prices were not out of line with wha other tracks charge.

Sebring is IMSA’s Indianapolis 500. I will take no discussion on this. The Rolex is fun, but the atmosphere can’t compete with Sebring.

I enjoyed the WEC race. Between that and the 12 hour I got a preview of LeMans. I hope to go to France for that race next year. Sponsors welcome.

I will post some photos ina separate story ib a few minutes. If you’ve read this far, thanks.

Sebring Schedules and Notes

I am preparing to head to Sebring in a bit. I have not been able to attend this race for three years due to COVID and some other circumstances so I am very excited to get back to the race that has fascinated me since I was in 5th grade.

Rain chances for Saturday have diminished significantly, although there is still a chance near the end of the race,

The fun thing about Sebring weekend is that with the WEC 1,000 mile race on Friday, we get a decent preview of LeMans. I am anxious to see the WEC hypercars and see how they compare to the GTP cars of IMSA.

I will provide updates when possible. here is the weekend schedule. The full race is on Peacock Saturday beginning at 10:05 am Eastern USA will have coverage from 4:30 pm Eastern until the end.

The Schedule

Thursday, March 16

  9:15-9:55 a.m. — Race No. 1 – Porsche Carrera Cup

  10:10-11:40 a.m. — Practice No. 1 – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

  11-11:30 a.m. — Autograph Session – Michelin Pilot Challenge – Michelin Village on the Midway

  11:55 Am-12:55 p.m. — Free Practice No. 3 – FIA WEC

  1:20-3:20 p.m. — Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge

  3:25-3:45 p.m. — Corvette Car Corral Parade Laps – First 100 Cars

  3:50-5:05 p.m. — Practice No. 2 – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (GTD/LMP2/LMP3)

  4:05-5:20 p.m. — Practice No. 2 – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (GTP/GTD Pro)

  5:35-6:15 p.m. — Race No. 2 – Porsche Carrera Cup

  6:30-6:45 p.m. — Qualifying – FIA WEC (GTE Am)

  6:55-7:10 p.m. — Qualifying – FIA WEC (LMP2)

  7:20-7:35 p.m. — Qualifying – FIA WEC (Hypercar)

  7:45-9:15 p.m. — Practice No. 3 – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

  Friday, March 17

  8:55-9:05 a.m. — Practice No. 4 – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

  9:15-9:30 a.m. — Qualifying – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (GTD/GTD Pro)

  9:30-10 a.m. — Autograph Session – FIA WEC – FIA WEC Paddock

  9:40-9:55 a.m. — Qualifying – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (LMP2/LMP3)

  10:05-10:25 a.m. — Qualifying – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (GTP)

  10:30-10:55 a.m. — Lexus Car Corral Parade Laps

  10:45-11:45 a.m. — Autograph Session – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – IMSA Paddock

  11:10-11:30 a.m. — Grid Walk Opening – FIA WEC VIP By Invitation Only

  12-8 p.m. — 1000 Miles of Sebring (or 8 Hours) for the FIA World Endurance Championship

  Saturday, March 18

  8-8:20 a.m. — Warm Up – WeatherTech SporsCar Championship

  8:25-8:45 a.m. — Porscheplatz Car Corral Parade Laps – First 100 Cars

  9-9:50 a.m. — Grid Walk and Driver Introductions – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

  10:10 a.m.-10:10 p.m. — 71st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Fans Can Get Sneak Peek of ‘100 DAYS TO INDY’ No

  INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, March 15, 2023) – The first look at “100 DAYS TO INDY” was unveiled March 15, providing a sneak peek at never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews that will feature in the thrilling new docuseries that premieres from 9-10 p.m. ET/PT Thursday, April 27 on The CW Network

The link:


The footage was first shown this week at the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas, during a panel discussion with NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers Alexander Rossi and Pato O’Ward and “100 DAYS TO INDY” director Patrick Dimon.

Produced by Penske Entertainment and VICE Media Group, the six-part series will take fans behind the scenes to chronicle the bold and brash personalities of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES as they begin the 2023 season and start their quest for racing’s greatest prize: the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 28.From the balmy high-speed turns of St. Petersburg, Florida, to the demanding banked oval in Fort Worth, Texas, and the sun-swept streets of Long Beach, California, every mile is an epic moment as “100 DAYS TO INDY” takes viewers into the driver’s seat for unprecedented access to top NTT INDYCAR SERIES stars.

The series will showcase all the intense preparation, relentless competition, a few pranks and plenty of speed before the green flag drops and more than 300,000 fans roar at the world’s largest single-day sporting event.

Produced by multiple award-winning VICE World News, “100 DAYS TO INDY” is directed and co-executive produced by Emmy Award-winner Dimon and executive produced by Bryan Terry for VICE. Adam Marinelli serves as showrunner and co-executive producer, and Falguni Lakhani Adams is executive producer for VICE TV. “100 DAYS TO INDY” is distributed globally by Vice Content Distribution. 

Hunter-Reay Returns to 500

Dreyer and Reinbold Racing announced this afternoon that 014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay will return to the Indianapolis 500, driving the team’s car 23. Hunter=Reay, the 2012 series champion, returns after not driving in the race in 2022.

There are now 33 confirmed entries with drivers.

The team announcement from rom Ryan Hunter-Reay via Twitter:

Indianapolis 500 Pole Winner Carpenter To Unveil Bronze Badge March 16  

From IMS:

  To celebrate the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, three-time “500” pole winner Ed Carpenter will unveil the 2023 Bronze Badge at 11:30 a.m. (ET) Thursday, March 16 at Stout Field in Indianapolis, the Joint Forces Headquarters of the Indiana National Guard.

This year’s design features iconic scenes from the Indy 500’s pre-race traditions.

Fans can purchase a Bronze Badge, which allows them access to Gasoline Alley on selected dates during the Month of May. Bronze Badges will be honored for gate admission and garage access May 12, May 16-22 and May 26-27 during public gate hours and as directed by IMS personnel (Race Day tickets are required on May 13 and May 28.).

Bronze Badges are available now at IMS.com.

WHO: Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing, Owner/Driver

WHAT: Unveiling of 2023 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge Bronze Badge

WHEN: 11:30 a.m. ET, Thursday, March 16

WHERE: Stout Field, 2002 S. Holt Road, Indianapolis, IN 46241  

Harvey Not Cleared to Drive; Some Other Notes

Jack Harvey, injured in a crash during the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg March 5, has still not been medically cleared to drive. The driver of the number 30 car for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will miss today’s team test at Barber Motorsports Park.

The nature of the injury is not known, but I believe it has something to do with his wrists.

Juri Vips, a former F2 driver, will fill in today. Harvey will be reevaluated before the Texas race. In 2022 he missed the Texas race after suffering a concussion in the final practice.

Harvey was rumored to be in a make or break year, and the injury and missing time in the car is not helping his cause. Vips also tested with the team last October.

Albert Whitted Airport Getting Another Look

The airport in St. Petersburg is getting another look by the mayor’s office for a possible conversion to another use. When Ken Welch became mayor two years ago, surveys were conducted to see if the city could make better use of thland. Now, the process is beginning again. One of the runways serves as the front stretch and pits for the Grand Prix.

Photo from Tampa Bay Times

The race has just extended its agreement with Indycar for two more years. It will take at least that long for any plans to surface, so I wouldn’t be concerned just yet.

The front stretch (R) is a runway at Albert Whitted Airport the rest of the year

I remember the first time this subject came up, something was mentioned about the FAA having a say in the matter. Stay tuned, but for now, we’re still racing in St. Pete.

Indycar Drivers at Sebring

This weekend’s Mobil 12 Hours of Sebring will feature five full time Indycar drivers and a driver entered in the Indianapolis 500. Three of the drivers are from Andretti Autosport- Devlin DeFrancesco in the number 51 LMP 2 car, Kyle Kirkwood in the Vasser-Sullivan Lexus number 14 GTD Pro, and Romain Grosjean in the number 3 Lamborghini, also in GTD Pro.

Scott Dixon will drive the 01 Cadillac GTP for Ganassi, and Helio Castroneves will drive for his Indycar boss, Mike Shank, in the number 60 GTP Acura.

Katherine Legge will drive car 66, an Acura NSX, in the GTD class.

I will have more Sebring coverage later this week.