PENSKE ENTERTAINMENT, NBC SPORTS ANNOUNCE ‘PENNZOIL PRESENTS THE CLUB’

Image from Penske Entertainment

From IMS and Penske Entertainment:

March 17, 2022 | By Indianapolis Motor Speedway

A Conversation 110 Years in the Making: Foyt, Unser, Mears Welcome Castroneves to Most Exclusive Club in Motorsports

Television coverage of the Month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will shift into high gear Saturday, May 14 when NBC debuts “Pennzoil presents The Club,” a documentary featuring an exclusive conversation among one of the most elite groups in global motorsports — the four drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 four times.

Airing at 2 p.m. (ET), “Pennzoil presents The Club” will lead into live coverage at 3 p.m. that afternoon of the GMR Grand Prix NTT INDYCAR SERIES race on the IMS road course.

A trailer, released just this morning, is at this link:

youtube.com/watch?v=m2MVwrkX8LU

Helio Castroneves became the fourth member of the most exclusive club in motorsports last May 30. Castroneves will aim for his record-breaking fifth “500” victory in the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 29, also live starting at 11 a.m. (ET) on NBC.

“This is a truly once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch and discuss sports history,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “For fans around the globe, it’s an epic way to start the Month of May on NBC before tuning in to the GMR Grand Prix and Helio’s historic ‘drive for five’ on Indy 500 Race Day.”

Shortly after Castroneves’ emotional victory for Meyer Shank Racing in the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, Boles called for a secret meeting of Castroneves and his fellow four-time winners, A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

On July 21, 2021, the four legendary INDYCAR SERIES drivers gathered to commemorate one of the most significant accomplishments in motorsports history. Penske Entertainment was on hand to capture and document the moment, recording a conversation 110 years in the making.

“Pennzoil presents The Club” is a documentary celebrating that conversation and what it means to win “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” four times. The show features a sit-down conversation in downtown Indianapolis, historic race footage and a four-time winner’s meeting at the world-famous Yard of Bricks with the Borg-Warner Trophy.

Featuring additional interviews with Mario Andretti, Tony Stewart, Scott Dixon, Roger Penske and veteran motorsports writer Curt Cavin, “Pennzoil presents The Club” is the only recorded conversation among Foyt, Unser, Mears and Castroneves. Unser passed away Dec. 9, making this conversation even more poignant. The documentary includes a dedication to his memory.

“It’s still hard for me to believe that I am a part of this group of drivers – these are drivers that I have looked up to and watched all my life and to now be standing on the same level as them is incredible. My best memories have come from winning the Indianapolis 500, there is no other race in history that has that same feeling; the feeling of a month’s long hard work all coming to an end in the best way possible,” said Castroneves. “I will forever be grateful for the people who have helped me achieve such a monumental accomplishment because it was not just me, it was a team effort each of those four years.”

Castroneves Unveils Historic Image on Borg-Warner Trophy at Indiana Statehouse

From IMS

INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, March 3, 2022) – 2021 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Helio Castroneves unveiled his likeness on the Borg-Warner Trophy for the fourth time Thursday, March 3 at the Indiana Statehouse.
Castroneves, a native of Brazil, became the fourth four-time “500” winner when he captured the 105th edition of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” last May 30. He etched his name alongside this race’s greatest names in A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears by joining their exclusive club of four-time winners.
“I’m beyond lucky to get to have another face added to the Borg-Warner Trophy,” Castroneves said. “It’s an exciting time to get to celebrate this special moment at the Indiana Statehouse, as well. It’s been such a great experience making my full-time return to INDYCAR with Meyer Shank Racing. Last year was just the start of a really great partnership together, and now we begin the drive for five.”
Among the guests present at the trophy unveiling were Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb, Penske Entertainment President and CEO Mark Miles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles and BorgWarner Inc. Global Director of Marketing and Public Relations Michelle Collins.
“This is one of the most historic unveilings of a likeness on the Borg-Warner Trophy we’ve ever had as Helio’s image now appears for the fourth time on this beautiful trophy,” Boles said. “It’s exciting to get to celebrate something that only A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears have done and place Helio alongside those iconic names. While Helio isn’t from Indiana, he definitely knows what it means to be a Hoosier, and we are proud to stand in the Indiana Statehouse today for this very special occasion.”
Said Collins: “Today is a special day for everyone involved as we get to finally unveil the winning driver’s image on the Borg-Warner Trophy. BorgWarner is proud to be able to reward Helio Castroneves’ hard work on the track, winning his record tying fourth Indianapolis 500, with this beautiful sterling silver likeness created by sculptor William Behrends.
The unveiling of the winning driver’s image is a fun and memorable annual event that showcases the winner’s likeness, along with all the other past winners of the Indianapolis 500 dating back to 1911 when Ray Harroun drove to victory.
“Helio and everyone at Meyer Shank Racing performed flawlessly on Race Day last May to put their names atop the record book. Helio is a wonderful ambassador for the sport, and everyone at BorgWarner is proud to be associated with him. We recognize his greatness and never-ending smile on and off the track.”
As part of the unveiling ceremony, Holcomb presented Castroneves with the flag flown at the Indiana Statehouse on the day of his historic win. Castroneves reciprocated by giving Holcomb an iconic bottle of milk, the drink enjoyed by all Indy 500 winners in Victory Lane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Castroneves’s image on the world-famous trophy was created once again by sculptor William Behrends, who has crafted the sterling silver, bas relief images of all winners for the trophy since 1990.Commissioned by BorgWarner in 1935, the sterling silver trophy stands more than 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs approximately 110 pounds, honoring every winner since 1911 with their sculpted faces affixed to the iconic trophy.
Through a multi-phase process, Behrends begins creating the likeness of the drivers. Castroneves visited Behrends at his studio in Tryon, North Carolina, for an in-person session to produce a full-scale clay model of his face. While Behrends has sculpted Castroneves’ face three previous times for his wins in 2001, ’02 and ’09, this was the first time Castroneves visited Behrends’ studio. Until 2015, Behrends created the faces on the Borg-Warner Trophy from 360-degree, black and white photos taken the morning after the race.
The life-size clay image is used as a reference when Behrends works on the smaller model, which is created out of a mixture of oil-based clays. The clay model is eventually turned into a mold and then cast in wax, which is sent out to a jeweler to be transformed into sterling silver. Behrends ends his process by polishing and buffing the image before attaching it to the Borg-Warner Trophy.
Later this year, Castroneves will receive his fourth BorgWarner Championship Driver’s Trophy, also known as a “Baby Borg,” which is a miniature replica of the Borg-Warner Trophy that will feature a duplicate of his sterling silver image. Meyer Shank Racing also will receive a memento commemorating the victory: its first the BorgWarner Championship Team Owner’s Trophy. Castroneves’ Indy win also was the first in NTT INDYCAR SERIES competition for the team.
Tickets for the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, the GMR Grand Prix and all Month of May events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway are on sale at IMS.com
 
 

Castroneves To Reveal Historic Borg-Warner Trophy Image on March 3

From IMS

Helio Castroneves, who earned his record-tying fourth Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge victory last May, will unveil his likeness on the Borg-Warner Trophy at 11:30 a.m. (ET) Thursday, March 3 at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.
Castroneves won the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, tying A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears as four-time winners of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” The victory also was the first in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES for Meyer Shank Racing.
The event will take place in the South Atrium of the Indiana Statehouse. Fans can watch a live stream of the event at may.ims.com.
WHO: Helio Castroneves, 2021 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge Winner.
Eric J. Holcomb, Indiana Governor; Mark Miles, Penske Entertainment President and CEO; J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President; Michelle Collins, BorgWarner Inc. Marketing and Public Relations, Global Director
WHAT: Unveiling of Helio Castroneves’s likeness on Borg-Warner Trophy
WHEN: 11:30 a.m. (ET), Thursday, March 3
WHERE: Indiana Statehouse, South Atrium, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis
Media, please RSVP to Lauren Guidotti in IMS Public Relations at lguidotti@brickyard.com
 

Helio and Mike- A New Winning Combination- Quick Thoughts on the Rolex 24

Photo; IMSA, Mike Levitt

When Mike Shank hired Helio Castroneves to run the 105th Indianapolis 500 last year, I just said, “Huh,” and didn’t give it much more thought. Of course Castroneves went on to win his fourth 500. Today Castroneves, along with Indycar teammate Simon Pagenaud, Tom Blomqvist, and Oliver Jarvis win the 60th Rolex 24.

The driver and owner have clicked and the chemistry may make life miserable for other teams.

Shank won the Rolex 10 years ago, which makes today’s victory extra special.

Great Day for Indycar– Seven of the twelve Indycar drivers finished in the top five in their classes. Alexander Rossi was on the second place team in DPi; Colton Herta, Pato O’Ward, and Devlin DeFrancesco won the LMP2 class for Dragonspeed; Rinus VeeKay was second in LMP 2; and Kyle Kirkwood was fourth in GTD Pro.

Speaking of GTD Pro, the battle for the win over the last two laps between winner Mathieu Jaminet and Laurens Vanthoor was the best fight of the day. The drivers exchanged positions had contact with each other in the horseshoe and the bus stop on the final lap with Jaminet going on to win. Vanthoor spun and fell to third.

I’m glad to see Felipe Nasr finally win the Rolex after 10 years of trying.

This was an outstanding 24 hour race. There were compelling stories throughout the race. The DPi class provided a lot of the drama, with the Ganassi Cadillacs both experiencing issues which put them out of contention. Both cars looked strong in the middle of the race.

With six hours remaining, the outcome was in doubt in each class.

Kamui Kobayashi tried to singlehandedly keep the 48 competitive. He had a great first stint, but several issues put the car 22 laps down.

The crowd seemed down a bit, but the fans that did come didn’t seem to let the abnormally cold weather bother them.

From the parts of the Peacock broadcast I saw, NBC did a great job of coverage. James Hinchcliffe, to the surprise of no one was outstanding as a commentator. I enjoyed the times NBC went to break and on Peacock we just heard the sounds of the cars.

Daytona could use a video board and an extra grandstand or two in the International Horseshoe. The track also should figure out a way to get a stand by the Le Mans Chicane.

If a Ticket Sprouts Can Spring be Far Behind?

Ticket unveiling day always brings the promise of May. It serves as a mid winter lift of the spirit. We are just a little more than five months away. The ticket for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 was unveiled tonight by the 2021 winner Helio Castroneves. Castroneves, the fourth four time winner, will drive full time for Meyer Shank Racing in 2022.

The May 29 race will mark the first time in 30 years that a driver will have a chance to win a fifth 500. Rick Mears was the last driver to have that opportunity in 1992.

I think they could have chosen a photo with a more expressive Helio. The posed shot seems very static, especially for the spontaneous Castroneves, whose display of exuberance after winning last May was a joy to watch.

The unveiling capped the opening day of the PRI show, which returned to Indianapolis after a two year COVID induced absence. 62,000 people are attending this year’s show which has displays in the Indianapolis Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium.

Some photos from this evening taken by The Pit Window camera crew (me):

Doug Boles, IMS President, introduces Castroneves
Castroneves gets his first look at the ticket bearing his image.

Indianapolis 500 Ticket; Juncos Hollinger Unveils 2022 Car

This Thursday, December 9, The ticket for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be revealed at the PRI show in downtown Indianapolis. 2021 winner Helio Castroneves will be on hand for the ceremony. The event will be streamed beginning at 5:45 Eastern Time on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Facebook page.

Juncos Hollinger Car Keeps Juncos Green

The livery for Juncos Hollinger for 22 has the familiar look of a car from the Juncos stable. The number 77 car, to be driven by rookie Callum Ilott, has the green and white with black trim we saw when Juncos last had a car in the Indianapolis 500.

Photo from Juncos Hollinger Facebook page

The unveiling may mean the team will not be partnering with Carlin as some thought. Will getting a sponsor change the livery? It is entirely possible, although it seems in the past Ricardo Juncos has been able to keep this color scheme no matter what sponsors he gets.

A Yard of Bricks with Two Feet of Bronze

Photo: The four 4 time winners. Chris Owens, Indycar

  • Marti Uprate. She is at Vanderbilt Hospital and saw numerous doctors today. I had to come home to take care of a problem and will be heading back tomorrow. Her length of stay is unknown, but I might still be there for the race next weekend.

Just Catching Up

It’s the little things Roger Penske thinks of that make him a success. The photo above is an example of one of those little things- getting the four four time Indianapolis 500 winners together for a group photo. There might not be many more opportunities to get this group together. A. J. Foyt, the first four time winner, had a commemorative bronze brick installed in the yard of bricks at the start/finish line. The other three will have their own bricks installed this fall.

It is a fitting tribute to these four drivers who have collectively won 15% of the 105 Indianapolis 500s. Will more of these bricks appear in the future? It will be a long time before that happens, if ever. Only two other drivers in this year’s race, Juan Pablo Montoya and Takuma Sato, have won twice. Whether either of them runs another 500 is uncertain right now.

I will be on the road during tomorrow’s Jimmie Johnson media conference tomorrow, but I will get up to date on it tomorrow night and share what I find out.

Reverse Youth Movement at MSR First Silly Season Volley

Don’t tell me you saw this coming. Buoyed by Helio Castroneves’ fourth win in the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500in his second car, Mike Shank has decided to bump up his usual schedule to becoming a full time two car entry. Meyer Shank Racing announced that 47 year old Castroneves will drive the number 06 car full time next year. If the team had stuck to the plan as they did with Jack Harvey, Castroneves, who is running six races this season, would have entered 10 races next year.

In this season where the younger drivers have had a lot of success, Shank decided to go the other way. It is a bold move, and I am curious to see how it plays out.

A bit of irony in the second part of the announcement is that Jack Harvey will race elsewhere in 2022. Harvey has been with Meyer Shank Racing the Indycar program began. No one knows where harvey will end up next season. My guess is he will replace Ryan Hunter-Reay in the 28 car at Andretti Autosport. The 2021 season for Harvey has been marked by good qualifying and not so great results, partly due to team strategy.

Here is the story from Indycar:

Helio Castroneves will return for a full NTT INDYCAR SERIES season in 2022 with Meyer Shank Racing (MSR), driving the No. 06 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda.

Castroneves’ attempt to become the first five-time Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner will be a highlight of the season for MSR, and the Ohio-based team is using the “Drive for Five” theme in 2022.

Brazilian Castroneves, 46, joined A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears in the exclusive club of four-time “500” winners with his emotional victory for Meyer Shank – the team’s first win in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES – on May 30. He also is racing this season for MSR at Nashville, Tennessee (Aug. 8), the Indianapolis road course (Aug. 15) and in the season-closing West Coast swing at Portland, Oregon (Sept. 12), Monterey, California (Sept. 19) and Long Beach, California (Sept. 26).

“I am thrilled to get the chance to go for a fifth Indianapolis 500 win and so excited to fight for the INDYCAR championship again with a full season of races next year with Meyer Shank Racing,” Castroneves said. “Mike (Shank) and Jim (Meyer) have developed some incredible sponsorships with AutoNation and SiriusXM, and having that support is critical. I have been missing racing in INDYCAR full time so much! So, I cannot wait to get a head start on next year with some strong races to finish this season.”

With the full-time addition of Castroneves, MSR plans to field two full-time entries in 2022. The No. 60 AutoNation/ SiriusXM Honda, which has been driven by Jack Harvey for the past few seasons, has been renewed for two years, with a new driver who will be announced soon.

“We wish Jack much success, and we know he will continue to be a driver to watch,” MSR co-owner Mike Shank said. “MSR is excited to have Helio on the 06 car next season, and we’re looking forward to adding a driver, who will turn heads in the 60 car.”

In just 42 INDYCAR SERIES races, MSR has collected an Indianapolis 500 victory, two podium finishes, two-front row starts and 12 top-10 finishes. In addition to the team’s on-track accomplishments, MSR is also in the final stages of building a brand new 43,000 square-foot shop in Pataskala, Ohio.

“There are so many people around us that have given us the opportunity to expand to two full-season entries for next year,” Shank said. “My partner Jim Meyer and I have done this in a way that makes sense for us. I am very excited to have Helio onboard for the 2022 season, and I think there will be a lot of excitement around our second driver when we make that announcement, as well.”

Notes

  • Castroneves career stats:

31 Indycar victories and 50 poles

Second in the points standings four times- 2002, 2008, 2013, 2014

  • The 2022 full time grid might be as high as 27 cars.
  • Dario Franchitti will be the Grand Marshall for the Music City Grand Prix

Quick Thoughts on the 105th Indianapolis 500

Just a few observations before I fall asleep while attempting to watch the replay of the race. i will have a more detailed post tomorrow.

As if I need more proof that i am old:

I have seen the fourth victory of all four four time winners. Of their 16 total victories I have seen 14 of them.

Today’s race was one of the best I have ever seen. Anywhere. Definitely one of the top three 500s I have witnessed in person.

It was strange seeing the infield empty. I sit across from the turn 2 mounds and seeing any grass at all is unusual.

Either IMS sold too many seats or people sat wherever they wanted to. I did not observe what i would call social distance seating.

Graham Rahal and Conor Daly are two drivers who never seem to catch a break at the speedway.

The track used to smile on Alexander Rossi. I wonder what he did to make her dislike him.

The crowd reaction to Daly taking the lead was great to hear.

That was an exciting, tense duel between Alex Palou and Helio Castroneves.

Will Helio return next year?

Great job by Simon Pagenaud to finish third from 22nd on the grid.

This has to one of Will Power’s most forgettable days at IMS.

Santino Ferrucci has IMS figured out.

Today was one of the best examples of the saying,, ” The race is won or lost in the pits.”15 pit penalties assessed today. It appears Indycar was very consistent in their rulings.

More tomorrow. Thank you all for following this weekend and during the first week at Indy.