July 2017 News
Brickyard 400 Pace Car

July 1 - Jeff Gordon, who won the first Brickyard
400 back in 1994, will drive the pace car to lead
the field in this month's Brickyard 400.

The pace car will be the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
This car is powered by a supercharged LT4 6.2L
V-8.  It runs 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds and can
corner at 1.02g.
RACE NEWS & VIEWS
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New Cockpit Protection Tested for Formula 1

July 14 - The FIA has been experimenting with different devices to protect drivers in the open cockpit cars from flying
debris.  These are freak accidents that don't happen often, but when they do, they can be life threatening.

For instance:  In 2009, while qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, a spring came loose from
Ruben Barrichello's Brawn
car.  It flew through the air and hit
Felipe Massa in the face as he reached 175 mph.  The spring pierced his helmet and his
skull, almost taking out his eye.  Knocked out, his car ran into a tire barrier.  Fortunately for him, he lived, was not blinded,
and miraculously returned to Formula 1 a year later.  A few weeks earlier, 18 y/o
Henry Surtees was not so fortunate.  He
was killed during a Formula 2 race at Brands Hatch after an errant tire struck him in the head.    

IndyCar has also discussed adding protection for their cockpits. In 2015 at the IndyCar race at Pocono, parts blew off of Sage
Karam's car after he slammed into the wall, and the nosecone flew and hit Justin Wilson in the head, seeming to knock him
out.  His car veered nearly straight into the SAFER barrier.  He later died at the hospital.

Last year, Redbull Racing tested the following windshield while Formula 1 was in Russia:
Sebastien Vettel and Ferrari tested a new polycarbonate
windscreen at the Silverstone circuit in Britian today.  
(see photo right)

The four-time world champion ran just one lap with the device
fitted to his car before abandoning it.

"I got a bit dizzy. The forward vision is not very good. I think it
is because of the curvature," Vettel said.

"You get distortion plus a bit of downwash on the back of the
helmet on the straights pushing my head forward."

He added: "We had a run planned with it, but I didn't like it so I
took it off."
Ferrari  tested this 'halo' concept last year as well as in April of this year.
Indy 500 Radio Broadcast

Overall U.S. radio listenership of the Indianapolis 500 this
year grew 43 percent from 2016 on the IndyCar Radio
Network, according to a recent research study.

The study showed 20.5 million radio listeners in America
tuned into all or part of the 101st Indianapolis 500.

Wally Leavitt, IMS Radio Network general manager said,  
"Our numbers were strong for the landmark 100th race in
May 2016, and it's very gratifying to see even higher figures
this year.

The average quarter-hour rating of the 2017 Race Day
broadcast was 2.71, growth of 75 percent over the 100th
edition of the race in 2016. That quarter-hour rating
represents more than 8.8 million listeners during any point of
the broadcast.

More than 350 terrestrial radio stations in the United States
and Canada carried the 101st edition of "The Greatest
Spectacle in Racing" on May 28, an increase of 5 percent
over 2016.
IndyCar Radio Announcers
Mark Jaynes
Jake Query
Nick Yeoman
Michael Young
Davey Hamilton
Rob Howden
<<< DAY 1 - Friday - NASCAR XFINITY PRACTICE >>>
BRICKYARD 400 NEWS
July 21 - NASCAR XFINITY Series teams hit the track here
at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday for two practice
sessions with a new rules package that included a taller rear
spoiler, restrictor plates and aero ducts (openings) on the front
of the cars.

Restrictor plates reduce air flow to engines, which curtails
horsepower and speeds and bunches the field.

The additions, tested here last October, were expected to
enhance passing on a 2.5-mile track that had previously
provided relatively few lead changes and limited movement
throughout the field in five previous races.

Friday was dress rehearsal. Drivers mixed it up a bit, but high
track temperatures and the uncertainty of the new pieces kept
most teams in check.

Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 (3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) will
be the ultimate test.

“The temperature was a lot cooler in October and much more
pleasant,” noted Blake Koch, one of the three drivers who
took part in the test. “With that said (the track) had a lot more
grip. With (that package), I was confident enough coming here
thinking that we could run them wide open, side-by-side.

“We get here and the track’s quite a bit slicker and there’s
less grip than we had in the test and the cars are a little more
unstable than I had back then.”

Sadler led the first practice with a fast lap of 166.420 mph.
JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier led the final session
at 166.485 mph. Koch (Kaulig Racing) was 11th in the final
session.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES PRACTICE #1
88 degrees, with southeast winds at 1 mph. The
relative humidity was 65 percent.
1 p.m. – 1:55 p.m.

FASTEST OF PRACTICE #1
Car #   Name               Car             Speed
1         Elliott Sadler    Chevrolet     166.420
7         Justin Allgaier   Chevrolet     166.211
18       Kyle Busch      Toyota         165.810
20       Erik Jones        Toyota         165.508
2         Paul Menard    Chevrolet      165.466
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES PRACTICE #2
Temperature was 90 degrees, with calm winds. The
relative humidity was 60 percent.
3 p.m. – 3:55 p.m.

FASTEST OF PRACTICE #2
Car #   Name               Car              Speed
7         Justin Allgaier    Chevrolet     166.485
19       Matt Tifft          Toyota        166.291
18       Kyle Busch        Toyota        166.162
1         Elliott Sadler      Chevrolet     165.883
9         William Byron    Chevrolet    165.874
William Byron
Xfinity Series feature Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers and ...
Camrys?  
We know who would be losing on the street!
Mike Harmon driving the sole Dodge Challenger R/T
Morgan Shepherd, driving the #89 Camaro, is 75 y/o!
<<< DAY 2 - Saturday - Xfinity Qualifying & Race + Cup Qualifying >>>
Lilly 250 Race

Xfinity Lilly 250 Qualifying Results

19 y/o William Byron held off veterans Paul Menard
and Joey Logano over tense final laps to become the
youngest winner of a major race on the Indy Speedway
oval, to win the Lilly 250!

Byron started third and won the first stage. He and
Logano marched in lockstep around the famed 2.5-mile
oval as the top two cars late in the final stage after
leader
Kyle Busch and second place Erik Jones pitted
on Lap 82 of the 100-lap race.

Busch and Jones figured the other leading cars would pit
later for fresh tires. They were wrong.

"We could make it on fuel, but we were worried about
tires," Jones said. "We were cording tires every run after
15 laps, so we made the conservative call, came in and
put tires on. Unfortunately, it was the wrong call."

Logano stalked Byron over the closing laps in his No. 22
Ford, never falling more than half of a second behind the
leader from Lap 85 to Lap 97. But Menard powered his
No. 2  Chevrolet past Logano on Lap 98 and set sail for
Byron.

"Yeah, I was nervous," Byron said about the closing laps.
"I definitely thought he (Menard) and the 22 (Logano)
were really strong. Looks like Joey faded at the end.
Over the last 15 or 20 laps, I thought the tire was going to
go. But it hung on."

2011 Brickyard 400 winner Menard pulled to within
.119 of a second of Byron after Lap 98 and .112 of a
second as the white flag flew to signal the final lap. But
Byron drove an inch-perfect final trip around the 2.5-
mile oval to earn his third win in just 18 starts in his
rookie season, marking him as one of the brightest
future stars of the sport.
2017 SCCA Championship Runoffs at IMS

July 21 - Competitor registration opened July 19 for the
Sports Car Club of America 2017 National Championship
Runoffs being held this year for the very first time at
Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sept. 29-Oct. 1.

In just 24 hours, 763 driver entries were registered --
breaking the record easily for the previous 53 Runoffs.

The winner-take-all SCCA National Championship
Runoffs will consist of 19-lap or 40-minute races on the
15-turn, 2.6-mile road course at the Speedway.

National Champions will be crowned in all 28 eligible
SCCA car classes. Each class will have a 20-minute
qualifying session each day -- Monday through Thursday --
to set starting grids.

Four-day admission passes, providing access Thursday
through Sunday, can be purchased for $60 per person.
Single-day admission for Thursday is $15, and single-day
passes are $25 for Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
Logano ended up third. Pole sitter Elliott Sadler, who
won the second stage, finished fourth overall in the No. 1
Chevrolet. Cole Custer placed fifth in the No. 00 Ford.

Busch, looking to win this race for the third straight year,
ended up 12th in the No. 18 Toyota after his tire-change
gamble failed.

Three event records were set in the sixth edition of this
race:

- Lead changes: 16. The previous record was nine.
- Leaders: Eight. The previous record was six.
- Margin of victory: .108 of a second. The previous
record was .411 of a second.
William Byron
Brickyard 400 Qualifying

Kyle Busch drove to a dominant second consecutive
pole for the Brickyard 400 after a top lap of 187.301
mph in the No. 18 Toyota during the third round of
qualifying. Busch is trying to become the first driver to
win this event three consecutive years.

2003 Brickyard 400 winner
Kevin Harvick will start
alongside Busch on the front row after a top lap of
186.332 in the No. 4 Ford.

Former Brickyard winners
Jamie McMurray and
Jimmie Johnson occupy the second row. 2010 winner
McMurray qualified third at 186.274 in the No. 1
Chevrolet, while four-time winner Johnson was fourth
at 185.851 in the No. 48 Chevrolet.

Earnhardt, making his final Brickyard start, qualified 13th
in the No. 88 Chevrolet.
Speedway President Doug Boles presented Dale
Earnhardt Jr.
with a framed No. 8 from the old
Scoring Pylon at IMS in a ceremony this afternoon.

Earnhardt is retiring from the Monster Energy
NASCAR Cup Series after this season.

Earnhardt drove car No. 8 in his first Brickyard start in
2000, the year of his father’s final start at IMS.

Dale Earnhardt qualified eighth and finished eighth in
the 2000 Brickyard 400.
<<< DAY 3 - Sunday - NASCAR BRICKYARD 400 RACE >>>
Big Machine Records is the Title Sponsor of the
Brickyard 400 this year.  The president of the company
will be the honorary starter for the race.  The singer of
the national anthem,
Carly Pearce, is on their label, as
is
Brantley Gilbert, who's name is part of the full official
name of the race - "The Brantley Gilbert Big Machine
Brickyard 400."

In 2012, the title sponsor of the race at the time, Crown
Royal, decided to find a "hero" and insert their name into
the title of the race.  The first guy was a fire fighter.  In the
following years they began choosing American war heroes.
After Crown Royal quit their sponsorship for 2017, the
hero thing has ended, but inserting a name continues.  
The person so honored gets to participate at the race as a
VIP.  People thus honored:
2012 -
Curtiss Shaver
2013 - Samuel Deeds
2014 - John Wayne Walding
2015 - Jeff Kyle
2016 - Jason Redman - however instead of using his
name, he asked that they use his charity "Combat
Wounded Coaltion"

       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Some teams had to make changes to their cars after
qualifying, which sends them to the back for starting the
race:  
Jimmie Johnson, Cole Whitt and Joey Gase.
Live Play-by-Pay of Race by Dan

2:45 pm - Race begins.

Corey LaJoie crashed out in T3 bringing out first caution
on Lap 9

3 pm. A storm approaches and the Red Flag is thrown on
Lap 12.  
Kyle Busch, who started from pole, remains in
the lead.  Lightning forces all the fans to seek shelter,
which includes to the stands that have a roof.  The race
cars are parked in pit lane and covered up.

It's raining.  That will probably wash some of the rubber
off the track, changing things for the drivers.

3:30 - Rain has stopped, but now we'll have to wait about
two hours for them to dry the track.

4:30 pm Temperature has dropped from 85 to 71
degrees F.  Drivers have been called to their cars.

Competition yellow has been moved from Lap 20 to Lap
30.

4:59 pm - Green Flag!  Lap 17 of 160,  Stage 1 34 to go

Lap 23 -
Chase Elliott reports he's down in power.  Then
announces smoke in cockpit.  He's falling back.  Now in
33rd.  Competition Caution comes out, that will help him.  
He got back out but his engine soon blew.  He's out.

Lap 31 - Jimmie Johnson has moved from 38th to 9th
place!

5:31pm -
Kyle Busch led all 50 laps of Stage 1, followed
by
Martin Truex Jr.

5:40 pm - Green Flag! Lap 56.

Lap 57
- Caution - JJ Yeley and Jeff Earnhardt has
wrecked with big damage for
David Ragan, who is now
out.

Dale Earnhardt Jr got delayed in the pits earlier due to a
problem with the lugnut wrench.  He lost 10 positions.

5:55pm - Lap 64 - Green Flag!

6:02 pm  - Lap 71 -  Caution.  
JJ Yeley's right front tire
went down, he made contact with wall. He's making it
back to the pits.  Some cars staying out, most leaders are
pitting.

6:10 pm - Lap 76 - Green Flag! Then Caution
Dale Earnhardt Jr. hits car in front during jam-up on
resstart.  He'll have to go to garage to change radiator - his
day is over.

6:20 - Lap 81 - Green Flag!  
Ryan Blaney leads.  Kyle
Busch
in 4th.

Toyota drivers have led all but 6 laps so far.

Lap 89 - Kyle Busch back in the lead with 2-seconds
over Truex.

6:37 pm - Stage 2 finish with Busch still in lead.

6:40pm - Cars pit.  Truex beats Busch out of pits.

Lap 107  - Green Flag!  Caution -
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
crashes into inside wall.

6:54p  - Lap 111 - Green Flag! Caution - Wow! The
Martin Truex car goes to pass Kyle Busch for lead, both
spin out and wreck!  Martin Truex Jr's car explodes into
flames!  Truex takes the blame for the wreck.

7:12 pm - Lap 120 - Green Flag!

New Leaders:
Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick

Lap 127 - green flag pits stops begin
Lap 133 - Kenseth pits
Brad Keselowski leading.
Ryan Newman trying to unlap himself.
Trevor Bayne, in 4th, may not have to pit and may end
up in lead when leaders have to pit.
Lap 143 - Kenseth up to 8th.

7:39 pm - Lap 150 - CAUTION!  Wreck involving
Kurt
Busch, Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones

Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson were hoping for a
caution before they ran out of gas.

Red Flag -They stopped the cars on track so they could
clean up the mess.

8:03 - Cars are coming in to pits now.  9 Laps to Go.
2 cars stayed on track -
Kasey Kahne and
Ryan Newman

Brad Keselowski, Trevor Bayne
and Jimmie Johnson
are the first out of the pits, to be in 3rd, 4th and 5th behind
the guys that stayed out.

Lap 153 - Green Flag!

Lap 154 - 11th Caution!  #42 Kyle Larson into the wall -
Flames!  He was in 11th spot.  He got into the #21 Ryan
Blaney car a bit.

8:17 pm -  2 laps to go!  
Jimmie Johnson leading 3 wide on the inside of Kasey
Kahne and Keselowski in T3, but loses it in corner and
crashes.  Caution!

We are now into OVERTIME.  
2 Laps to go.  Leaders: Kahne, Keseslowski and Bayne

Green flag! - Instant Crash in 2nd row brings out another
Yellow.  Ryan Blaney #21, Gray Gauling #55 and
Trevor Bayne #6 are out.
Red Flag!

Sunset is at 9:05 pm.  This will be the latest end of a
Brickyard 400 race.

Leaders:  #2 Brad Keselowski and Kasey Kahne #5

8:49 pm - Cars are now moving.  Half the field are out.

8:54 pm - 3 Laps to Go - Green Flag! -

Kasey Kahne has taken the lead in to T1!
Denny Hamlin #11 crashes.
Caution is out!  
Kahne got to the overtime line before the Caution came on.
White Flag!

KASEY KAHNE WINS!  He started from 19th place.
This is his first win this year.
In victory lane, his crew sprayed him with Mountain
Dew!  He was obviously exhausted.  He took off hot suit
and sat on the ground by his car.
Kahne drives for the Hendricks team.

There were 3 Red Flags, the first for rain.
There were 14 Yellow Flags.
Corey LaJoie's damaged car
Leader Kyle Busch (above) taken out by
Martin Truex Jr. (below)
Dale Earnhardt's last race at Indy came to an end early.
New IndyCar Debuts

July 26 - Meet the 2018 Dallara IR-12, the new IndyCar
chassis for next season.  

The Italian company will also be making the aero-kits for
the new car.  IndyCar hopes that relieving the engine
manufacturers of this responsibility will encourage a few
more brand to compete in the series.
The car had it's first test yesterday at IMS.  Juan
Montoya drove a Team Penske-prepared car, Oriol
Servia a  Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports-prepared car.

Both drivers liked the handling of the car right out of the
gate.  

More test will follow this year at Mid-Ohio, Iowa
Speedway and Sebring.
           Update!

7/28 - The FIA has decided to
use the Halo concept and not
go with either screen-type.  

They will be mandatory on all
2018 Formula 1 cars!
Hungarian Grand Prix

July 30 - Ferraris started on front row, then Mercedes, then
Red Bull, a Renault and then McLaren 8&9!

1st lap of Hungary GP.  
Max Verstappen locked up into a
corner, slid and knocked out his teammate
Daniel
Ricciardo
in the first lap.  Full course yellow (safety car).  
They give Max a 10-sec penalty for causing a collision.

Lap 6 - Restart, Verstappen passed
Lewis Hamilton for
4th.  
Sebastian Vettel leading.  Fernando Alonso in 7th.  
Sergio Perez has gone from 14 to 8th.

Lap 15 –
Carlos Sainz ran Alonso off track at turn 1,
Alonso furious.

Lap 22 –
Romain Grosjean had a wheel problem after
pitting for a flat tire, that knocked him out of race.

Lap 24 -
Paul di Resta in 16th – he’s filling in for a sick
Massa.

Lap 27 – Vettel reports his steering wanting to go left on
the straight.

Lap 37 – After pitting Alonso got ahead of Sainz.  Alonso
in 6th behind Verstappen.
Lap 58 -  Order hasn’t changed much this whole race
except Hamilton moving past
Vallteri Bottas.
1 Vettel
2 Raikkonen
3 Hamilton
4 Bottas
5 Verstappen
6 Alonso
7 Sainz
8 Perez
9 Ocon

They think Kimi Raikkonen is being held back to 2nd, to
protect Vettel from being forced to 4th by the Mercedes.

Lap 62 -
Kevin Magnussen pushed Nico Hulkenburg off
track at T2.  Williams is retiring di Resta with car problem.

Lap 64 – Leaders coming up on a lot of traffic.
Lap 68 – Hulkenburg is out with 2 laps to go. Magnussen
gets a 5-second penalty.  
Vettel gets his 4th win.
Alonso gets fastest lap of the race on last lap.
Pretty boring race.
Now off a month for summer break.

Note: Sauber has decided not to switch to Honda engines
next year and to stay with Ferrari.
Mid-Ohio Race

July 26 - The race at Mid-Ohio is often held during
extreme heat, but today’s race the temperature is just 80°
and mostly sunny.

Mikhail Aleshin is back after his team replaced him last
race for all his wrecking.  He wrecked this weekend
already.  However, he did well in the race, finishing 11th.

PLAY-BY-PLAY:

Will Power keeps lead starting from pole

Lap 4 –
Marco Andretti moved from 14th – 10th
Takuma Sato almost took out Rahal.

Lap 6 -
Scott Dixon has all 4 Penskes in front of him.  
He is 5-seconds back.  Carlos Munoz pit.

Lap 13 –
Josef Newgarden passed Power for lead with
a slick over/under pass, then ran off into the distance.

Lap 18 –
Alex Rossi turned in on Ryan Hunter-Reay
and spun him.  Graham Rahal exits pits in between
Power and Newgarden, but Power quickly puts him back
to 3rd.

Lap 24 –
Simon Pagenaud has moved up from 7th to
4th.  
Helio Castroneves has dropped from 5th to 7th

Lap 34 - LEADERS: Newgrden, Power, Rahal, Pagenaud
& Rossi.  Dixon was running 6th, but pitted, back now in
17th.  By lap 55 he had moved up to 9th.
Lap 42 – As most leaders pit, Rahal stayed out another
lap.  He enters in 3rd, behind Newgarden and Power, but
in front of Rossi, Pagenaud and Castroneves in 6th.

Lap 55 – Pagenaud got around Rossi for 4th.  Rossi was
on reds and his pace has fallen off.

Lap 66 of 90 – Newgarden made final pit stop.

Lap 67 – First caution –
Ed Jones is off.  Half the drivers
took red tires and half black.  Field is now bunched up,
with lapped Esteban Gutierez between Newgarden and
Power.

Restart – Lap 70 –
Leaders Newgarden, Power, Rahal, Pagenaud,
Castroneves, Rossi, Hinchcliffe, Sato, Hunter-Reay,
Dixon.

Team owner
Dale Coyne reportedly told Gutierez to fight
for it instead of letting the leaders by.  That may screw up
the fight for the win.  Newgarden pulled out a great lead
before Gutierez finally got out of the way.

Lap 86 -
James Hinchcliffe has fell back from 7th to
11th.

Newgarden won easily.  
This win puts him into the Points lead by 7 points.  
He’s the first 3-time winner this year in IndyCar.  
This is his first time winning Mid-Ohio.  
This is the first time an American has held the points lead
since Ryan Hunter-Reay back in 2014.

Note:
Sebastien Bourdais, who has sat out of racing
since the Indy 500 due to severe injuries,  is going to
practice tomorrow at Mid-Ohio.
After a few years of complete McLaren failings, Fernando Alonso has to smile after qualifying 7th and finishing 6th.
Will Power leading the field
through turns 5 & 6 on this
fair weather day at Mid-Ohio.