Race 2- Quick Thoughts

Scott Dixon knows how to correct mistakes.  After his crash yesterday left him in 22nd place, he comes back with a win. His first of the year and 45th career win. He is now fourth in points. Dixon got his first win at Detroit last year as well.  Could this be the start of his run for back to back titles ?

Alexander Rossi was the big gainer in points today. He moves to second place just 15 behind Josef Newgarden.

Nice to see all four Andretti cars in the top 10.

Great to finally see a podium for Arrow Schmidt Peterson.  Good job by Marcus Ericsson.

Ed Carpenter Racing drivers Spencer Pigot and Ed Jones can’t seem to put a complete race together consistently.

Like yesterday, half the elapsed time was under yellow consuming 33% of the laps.

I’m not sure these late red flags are any better than a green white checker.

Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal are the only drivers who had top ten finishes both days.

What a great comeback by Will Power after his early problem.

I hate when television switches to laps to go. They seemed to start with 48 laps left today, Way too early for that.  I can tolerate it with about 10 laps left.

Look for my full race report on Wildfire Sports tomorrow. I will have some photos up later tomorrow. If you like damaged cars, you’ll enjoy them.

 

Servia to Drive Car 77 for Arrow Schmidt Peterson; Juncos Sponsor Isuues

Oriol Servia, a  nine  time Indianapolis starter, will drive car 77 as the thirds entry for the Arrow Schmidt Peterson team. The car was on display late this afternoon outside the ASPM garages at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Servia is the 36th and likely final driver to be named to attempt to qualify for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.

Arrow Schmidt Peterson partners with Team StrangeRacing, LLC with primary sponsor MotoGator, a line of high performance automotive products and lubricants. Their signature product is loose it Up, a super lubricant.

John Stange, Jr., team co-owner, said,

“I am so pleased to announce this great partnership with Arrow SPM today as Team Stange Racing makes its entry into IndyCar racing,” stated John Stange, Jr., Co-Owner, Team Stange Racing, LLC. “We are so blessed to partner with a company like MotoGator who is committed to building a winning IndyCar program with TSR. Once we developed our plan, we knew that we wanted to launch at the world’s greatest race with so much history and it being so special to me personally. The second thing to do was to partner with a quality team that we could align and grow with as we build our team to compete in the NTT IndyCar Series eventually full time in 2021/22”.

Servia has  a best finish of third in 2012 and a best starting spot of 3rd in 2011. This his second 500 driving for Schmidt.

he was in position to win the race last year, but needed a late caution which never came and had to pit in the last five laps for fuel.

This afternoon Servia said, “This will be the best car I’ve ever had.”

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Oriol Servia talks to the media at the unveiling of his car for the Indianapolis 500.

Moto Gator is a do it yourself automotive supply company. their signature product is Losse it Up, a “super lubricant.”  their website is sk

Juncos Loses Sponsors

News today that Juncos Racing has had its second sponsor fall through in a week. The team is still building the car and still plans to run this week.  They hope to make it to the weekend for qualifying.

Ricardo Juncos said he wants the team to continue preparations and he will worry about the funding. Kyle Kaiser is slated to drive the car.

They will probably have to limit track time and hope rain doesn’t take away too much track time.

We will follow this story this week.

First Day of Practice Tomorrow

Tomorrow at 11 am cars take to the track for the first two hour practice session. From 1-3 the track is reserved for rookie and refresher tests. Several drivers did not complete their refreshers laps at the open test. Rookie Ben Hanley and Pato O’Ward will begin their rookie tests.

From 3-6 is open practice.

Watch for an update after each session. I will start the day with a history of the Rookie of the Year Award.

 

Indycar’s Pretty Good Week

I’m kidding. It was one of the best weeks the series has had since 2008 reunification. The announcement of NTT as series sponsor was the week’s biggest news, but three announcements followed, strengthening two events and one team. Friday’s news about the new ASPM team, in my opinion, is just as big as the NTT announcement. It could very well change the dynamic in the paddock.

The Road to the Title Begins and Ends with Firestone

Firestone has sponsored the opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg for the last few years. The tire supplier now will also sponsor the season finale at Weather Tech Raceway at Laguna Seca.

Firestone and Indycar have been together virtually since the beginning of racing in America.  It is a relationship fans almost take for granted.  It’s great to see that they continue to increase their support of the NTT Indycar Series.

REV Group Helps Road America Keep it Local

REV Group has replaced Kohler as title sponsor the race at Road America. REV is a Milwaukee based company that manufactures RVs and emergency vehicles. REV Group plans to have a hospitality area to salute first responders who attend the event.

The new race sponsor replaces Kohler, who held title rights for the first three years of the race. It is one of the most popular events on the  schedule.

The REV Group Grand Prix is June 21-23, and is one the eight races televised on the NBC network.

 

Arrow Steps Up Commitment to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Schmidt Peterson is now Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. In a Friday announcement in Denver, Arrow became a team partner and primary sponsor of both Schmidt Peterson cars.  James Hinchcliffe and Marcus Ericsson will drive in 2019. A third car will be ready for Robert Wickens when he is able to return.

The relationship between Schmidt and Arrow goes back to 2013 with the develoment of the SAM car, a semi- autonomous vehicle which has allowed Sam Schmidt to drive a street car again. That partnership led to Arrow sponsoring Hinchcliffe and ultimately to a stake in the team.

The new team structure brings a huge infusion of resources to Schmidt’s organization, which should see better results from the entire team. It might take a year for them to be really strong, so I’m looking at a great season in 202 for this outfit.

Arrow is one of the classiest sponsors in the paddock. They stood by the team when Hinchcliffe failed to qualify for the 500 this year, and they are supporting Wickens by holding a seat for him.

To me, this announcement is nearly as big as naming the series title sponsor. It is another large company investing heavily in Indycar.

Aero Tweaks Should Improve Racing at Indy, Pocono

In an effort to improve the superspeedway package the NTT Indycar Series is introducing aero options for both Indianapolis and Pocono. The new Universal Aero Kit introduced last year greatly improved the road and street course racing, but the speedway configuration didn’t produce the hoped for results.

Teams will have more aero tuning freedom on both the front and rear wing of the car.

The rear wing will have a 3/8 inch tall Gurney flap. One option is 13.2 inches wide and adds 50 pounds of downforce. The other choice measures 24.5 inches across and adds 100 pounds of downforce. there is a third flap which covers the entire length of the wing and adds 200 pounds. The full wing flap will only be allowed at Texas.

Extra downforce should allow cars to pass easier.

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The top 2 wings will be available at Indianapolis.

The front wing has a 3/8 inch tall flap which is 5.5 inches wide. Teams may use this flap asymmetrically. One problem in the 500 last year was the front end washing out as cars attempted to pass.

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Glen Wood

Sad news today about the death of Glen Wood, of the famous Wood Brothers racing team. Wood, 93, drove until 1964 and began his race team with is brother Leonard.  His team also was Jim Clark’s pit crew in 1965 when he won the Indianapolis 500.  Their pit stop routine became the norm for Indycar.

The Wood Brothers team is the oldest team in NASCAR. They have won 99 races including 5 Daytona 500s