April 2016 News
Indy 500 Festival Car Announced

April 1 - Festival cars are given to the 33 directors
of the 500 Festival to drive around town in lead up
to the Indy 500.  

This tradition began in the 1960s.  As they are seen
around town, it reminds citizens of the upcoming
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This year's 500 Festival cars are based off the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible and are
powered by the LT1 6.2L V-8, which offers 455 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque - making it
the most powerful Camaro SS ever.

The 2016 Camaro is the only convertible in the segment to offer all of the following:
*  Fully automatic operation with latches that automatically release and secure the top
*  Capability of opening or closing at speeds up to 30 mph
*  Remote opening with the key fob
*  A hard tonneau cover that deploys automatically, providing a more refined, finished
appearance when the top is lowered and stowed.

Like the Camaro coupe, the convertible benefits from a stiffer, lighter structure that helps reduce
total vehicle weight by at least 200 pounds compared to the model it replaces. Consequently, the
Camaro convertible retains the coupe's sharp chassis tuning and nimble reflexes.

The Festival cars feature a Hyper Blue exterior and an Abalone white stripe accent with a black
convertible top and black leather interior. The 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 graphic is
featured prominently on the doors and includes the iconic IMS wing and wheel on the quarter
Chip Ganassi's Winning Car Driven By Scott Dixon
Phoenix IndyCar Race

Apr 2 - IndyCar returned to Phoenix Raceway after a ten-
year hiatus.  The race was run under the lights, the first of
two Saturday night races on the schedule.

Scott Dixon won after leading the last 155 laps.  
This was Dixon's 39th win, tying him with Al Unser for
fourth in all-time victories.  “It was tough, definitely one
of the toughest races on these short ovals,” said Dixon.

Simon Pagenaud was second.  Will Power, who was
unable to race in the first race of the year due to illness,
was happy to finish in third.

Only two Honda-powered cars finished in the top-12.

Max Chilton finished an impressive 7th-place  in
his first IndyCar oval race..

A couple early front-runners had issues in the first half of
the race. Team Penske pilots
Helio Castroneves and
Juan Montoya both cut right-front tires that forced them
to pit from the lead. Castroneves led the first 39 laps from
the pole and Montoya, who won the St. Pete season
opener, led the next 56 laps. Dixon was the third and last
race leader.

The race saw five caution periods for a total of 56 laps.
Bahrain Grand Prix

April 3 - Like the IndyCar race from Phoenix last night,
this F1 race was held at night under the lights.

Despite talk of changing the new Qualifying procedures,
the same rules were in place as they were at Australia.  
Once again,
Lewis Hamilton qualified on Pole with his
Mercedes race car.

Due to injuries sustained at the Australian Grand Prix,
Fernando Alonso had to sit out the race and was
replaced by McLaren's test driver
Stoffel Vandoorne.  
He finished in 10th spot, two ahead of his veteran
Jenson Button.  Vandoorne scored the first
point of the year for McLaren.

The Ferrari engine of
Sebastian Vettel blew before the
start and he missed the entire race.  Meanwhile his
Kimi Raikkonen, raced his was to 2nd place.

Hamilton was passed by his teammate Nico Rosberg at
the start.  Hamilton was then hit by  Valtteri Bottas,
damaging his car.  Rosberg won the race and Hamilton
worked his way up to third place.

Romain Grojean again finished in the points for the new  
American team of Haas Racing, finishing in 5th!
Indy Speedway Tickets Mailed

April 6 - Indy 500 Tickets have shipped!
The Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis tickets shipped
last week.

Picture of the Tickets
"Back Home Again In Indiana"

April 7 - Indianapolis' own Josh Kaufman, winner of the
sixth season of television's "The Voice," will perform the
beloved song at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with
accompaniment by the Indianapolis Children's Choir, a
fixture of the Central Indiana community for 30 years.

"The singing of 'Back Home Again in Indiana' is a
signature of the Indianapolis 500 and one that our fans
cherish as a distinctly 'Hoosier' moment," said
J. Douglas
, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. "Since
Jim Nabors' final performance in 2014, our goal is to
select performers who have an understanding of the
song's meaning and significant importance to the
Indianapolis 500 experience and the race's fans. Josh
Kaufman's impressive voice and local ties, along with
support from the Indianapolis Children's Choir, will
deliver just that."
Written in 1917
Words by Ballard MacDonald, Music by James Hanley

[verse 1]
I have always been a wand'rer, over land and sea.
Yet a moonbeam on the water, casts a spell o'er me.
A vision fair I see, again I seem to be.

Back Home again in Indiana
And it seems that I can see
The gleaming candlelight still shining bright
Thro' the sycamores for me
The new mown hay sends all its fragrance
From the fields I used to roam
When I dream about the moonlight on the Wabash
Then I long for my Indiana home.
[verse 2]
Fancy paints on mem'ry's canvas,
Scenes that we hold dear
We recall them in days after,
Clearly they appear.
And often times I see, a scene that's dear to me.

Josh Kaufman
Indianapolis Childrens Choir
Will Domed Skids Wreck Indy 500?

Apr 9 - Last year the IndyCar teams finally received the
promised aero-kits for the the car chassis from Honda and
Chevrolet.  During practice for last year's Indy 500, three
cars that began to spin got airborn; a very serious situation.

Some adjustments were made and it did not happen again.  
Once again, the Indy 500 had incredible racing.

But things were not left there.  It was felt that something
else had to be done to prevent the airborn situation.  Both
manufacturer's resurrected an idea that was used
temporarily on the previous generation car - Domed Skids.

Currently the bottom of the car is flat.  Domed skids are
added to the bottom of the car.  They bulge downward and
their purpose is to slow down the rotation of the car once it
gets into a spin.  At super speedway velocities, the wind
can create lift on the flat tray, but with a domed skid, as the
air comes in, it speeds up as it gets constricted undre the
dome creating a low pressure area which effectively sucks
the car to the track via hugely increased downforce, thus
reducing the chance of lift and rapidly slowing the rate of

IndyCar went with the idea and made a rule that the domed
skids be added to the cars in 2016 for the three super
speedways - Indy, Pocono and Texas.

Using Domed skids means that the cars must be raised
around 10mm.  Raised ride height, however, may cause
instability problems for drivers.  Some think that it will
prevent the cars from running together and the great racing
that has been occuring at the Indy Speedway will be
spoiled.  No one wants that, especially for the 100th event.

Also, titanium rub blocks will be used to prevent teams
from purposely grinding the domes off while the cars are
on track.

Testing of the domes was held Tuesday at the track.  It
appeared that
Scott Dixon and Juan Montoya felt the
device was workable.  But they were driving Chevys and
the Honda drivers -
James Hinchcliffe and Graham
- were not as confident of the new change.  
Rendering of the domed skid.
There are three domed skids along with three
Titanium rub blocks. No additional fixings or
inserts required. Titanium rub blocks are etched
to help Tech Inspection check their wear.

The domed skids have a “tongue and groove”
system to help support the leading edge of the

The domed skids come with 13.5” x 3” pockets
for ballast plates.

The highlighted pockets are the only pockets
approved to carry ballast.
Green pockets = 0.125” thick ballast;
Purple pockets = 0.250” thick ballast.
The additional pocketing is for lightening
purposes only.
Ryan Hunter-Reay Double-Duty at Long

Apr 11 - IndyCar races at Long Beach in April and the
Weathertech Sportscar series races there the same weekend.

Indycar driver
Ryan Hunter-Reay will be racing in both
series that weekend.

Hunter-Reay will be rushing between paddocks on
Friday, when he'll take part in the first IMSA practic
session from 7:40-9:40 a.m., then switch gears for the
first IndyCar practice from 10-10:45 a.m. A second
IndyCar practice from 2-2:45 p.m. is followed by IMSA
qualifying from 5-6:30 p.m. where RHR's co-driver
Marc Goossens is expected to wheel the No. 90
Corvette DP.

Saturday is slightly more relaxed, although once he's done
qualifying the No. 28 DHL Honda at 3:15 p.m., Hunter-
Reay will need to change suits once again and get ready
for the IMSA race that kicks off at 4:05 p.m. Once the
100-minute WeatherTech Championship race concludes,
he'll get to come back Sunday morning for an IndyCar
warmup session and then take part in the headlining show
on Shoreline Drive.

While Hunter-Reay races for Honda in Indycar, he'll be
driving a Corvette Daytona Prototype in Sportscars.  
"To be able to do a weekend like this," said Hunter-
Reay, "it takes the bosses at Honda Performance
Art St. Cyr and Steve Eriksen—and
Jim Campbell and Mark Kent at GM to give it their
blessing. I think it's incredibly cool that they recognize
how much I love to race and will let me go drive my
heart out."  He also thanked
Michael Andretti, team
owner, for allowing him to run the other race.
Note: Taya Kyle, widow of “American Sniper” Chris
Kyle  has been named honorary starter for the 42nd
annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 17.

Boxing great Oscar De La Hoya was named grand
marshal for the Long Beach race. De La Hoya was a
10-time world champion in six divisions and is now one
of the top promoters in the sport.
The Arts Celebrate the 100th Running

Apr 13 - A collaborative project of the Arts Council of
Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway pays
tribute to the annual tradition of "Welcome Race Fans"
signs that are seen around the city in May.

In reference to the 33 drivers who race in the Indy 500,
33 Indiana artists have been commissioned to create their
own version of the beloved Welcome Race Fans signs,
using their own unique style and materials. The result is
an infusion of different artistic voices and imagery to
welcome the world to Indianapolis and celebrate the
month of May.

The artworks will travel to places throughout central
Indiana including the Indianapolis International Airport,
the Indianapolis Artsgarden, community and cultural
organizations, hotels, galleries, businesses, and, of course,
the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

To see all 33 pictures, visit
Welcome Race Fans
Roger Penske Will Drive Indy 500 Pace Car

April 18 - A unique version of the new, 2017 Camaro SS
50th Anniversary Edition will lead the 100th running of
the Indianapolis 500 next month, driven by motorsports
Roger Penske, who is marking 50 years as a race
team owner.

With 455 horsepower on tap, the Camaro SS pace cars
require no performance modifications to lead the racing

No other racing team has recorded more wins at the
Brickyard, and it started with driver Mark Donohue’s
victory in 1972. Penske and Donohue established their
relationship five years earlier, when Penske transitioned
from driver to team owner. They quickly found success
in SCCA’s Trans-Am Series, with Donohue piloting an
early Camaro Z/28 racecar, winning three of 12 races in
1967 and 10 of 13 in 1968.
Penske tackled the Indy 500 for the first time in 1969,
while still campaigning a Camaro in Trans-Am. Donohue
was his driver for both series. Later, racers including
Mario Andretti, Al Unser and Rick Mears and drove for
Penske, with Mears winning four Indianapolis 500 races
and helping solidify Team Penske as an Indy powerhouse
in the 1980s. That legacy advances this year, as Roger
Penske seeks his 17th Indy 500 title as a team owner.
Indy 500 Trophy to rise over Downtown

Apr 21 - The JW Marriott hotel in downtown Indianapolis is the
largest hotel in the city.  It is only several years old.

To celebrate the Indy 500, a giant display will be erected on the
outside of the hotel over the next two weeks.

The sign is being made by Sport Graphics and will measure 246'
wide by 303' tall!

Sport Graphics CEO Frank Hancock said the JW Marriott, a 34-story
blue glass monolith with a concave surface on its Downtown side,
provides a fine backdrop for imagery.

"There's not a facility in the United States that's any better suited to
put up a graphic," Hancock said. "If you're flying in from the east, it
stands out. Boy, there it is."
Artists Rendering
Darius Rucker to Sing National Anthem

April 27 -  "Hootie and the Blowfish" was a pop band
that had some fame in the 90s.  Their singer,
went on to build a country music career.  

He will be singing the National Anthem at the Indy 500
this year.