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Indy Lights Race Preview: Iowa Speedway

Posted June 17, 2010 at 6:26 pm Indy Lights, Preview Comments

Firestone Indy Lights Race Preview: Iowa Speedway

The Indy Lights’ competitors will be traveling to Iowa Speedway this weekend for Round 5 of the 2010 season. The drivers will have the opportunity to run in front of several key Indy Car team owners as part of the ‘Road to Indy’ feeder system.  This will be the second and final time this year that all levels of the Road to Indy program will be running at one venue; the race series included in this ladder system are the USF2000 National Championship, Star Mazda, and Indy Lights — with the final rung being IndyCar.

Race Location

The drivers will be competing at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Ia.  The speedway, which is a tri-oval, is 0.875 miles in length and features 12-14 degree banking.  The race is scheduled to begin at 8:30 pm (local time) Saturday, June 19.  Race length will be 115 laps.  The event will be streamed live by IMS Productions, available on IndyCar.com, StarMazda.com and USF2000.com.  As noted below, I will be trackside this weekend so make sure to check back for live updates throughout the weekend.  Following this weekend’s race, the drivers will run five-consecutive road and street course events prior to their next oval race – which is scheduled to take place August 28 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.

Entry List

No. 2- James Hinchcliffe (Team Moore Racing)
No. 4- Carmen Jorda (Andersen Racing)
No. 7- J.K. Vernay (Sam Schmidt Motorsports)
No. 10- Gustavo Yacaman (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing)
No. 11- Pippa Mann (Sam Schmidt Motorsports)
No. 18- Rodrigo Barbosa (PDM Racing)
No. 22- Adrian Campos Jr. (Team Moore Racing)
No. 26- Charlie Kimball (AFS/Andretti Autosport)
No. 27- Martin Plowman (AFS/Andretti Autosport)
No. 28- Stefan Wilson (Bryan Herta Autosport)
No. 29- Sebastian Saavedra (Bryan Herta Autosport)
No. 32- Brandon Wagner (Davey Hamilton Racing)
No. 40- Dan Clarke (Walker Racing)
No. 49- Philip Major (Sam Schmidt Motorsports)

Pre-Race Driver Quotes:

Charlie Kimball: “I’m really excited to race in Iowa coming off of three consecutive second-place finishes. We’re looking to take it one step better and go for the race win. I’m confident the #26 Levemir® FlexPen® car will be quick from the moment we roll off the trailer. Hopefully we’ll be able to tune it to my liking and get a solid qualifying run in for a good starting position. From there, we’ll try to leverage that into a race win; if not a win, definitely another podium. We’re looking to close the gap for the championship.”

James Hinchcliffe: “I’ve been looking forward to this race all year long! Last year was a ton of fun. Racing an open wheel car on a high banked, short track was like being in a dog fight in an F16! Really close, really intense, but great racing. We got a podium in 2009 and we have good momentum right now, so we are really gunning for the win.  Last year we had problems with rain and with track weepers.  This weekend’s forecast doesn’t look great… The only good news if it rains is I’ve been practicing my T-shirt gun aim in case the Firehawk let’s me have another go!”

Martin Plowman: “I’m looking forward to the race at Iowa. Iowa is a challenging oval, where traffic usually plays a huge part in the race’s outcome. Being a night race will make it something to look forward to as the atmosphere is usually that little bit more special.”

J.K. Vernay: “We had a fantastic car at the Freedom 100 and, considering the record of Sam Schmidt Motorsports at Iowa Speedway, I would expect nothing less this weekend.  Although we were 6 laps down, we were able to pass everyone in the field at IMS and I felt extremely comfortable even though it was my first oval ever.  I am very much looking forward to the event this weekend at Iowa Speedway.”

Current Point Standings (Top-10)– heading into Iowa Speedway.

  1. J.K. Vernay- 157 points
  2. Charlie Kimball- 152 points
  3. James Hinchcliffe- 134 points
  4. Martin Plowman- 120 points
  5. Sebastian Saavedra- 107 points
  6. Stefan Wilson- 102 points
  7. Philip Major- 90 points
  8. Gustavo Yacaman- 87 points
  9. Dan Clarke- 75 points
  10. Pippa Mann- 74 points

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Stay tuned for live event coverage right here at Junior Open Wheel Talent this weekend and/or follow along via Twitter.

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Star Mazda Race Preview: Iowa Speedway

Posted June 17, 2010 at 11:17 am Preview, Star Mazda Comments

Intro- Star Mazda Race Preview: Iowa Speedway

The Star Mazda Championship heads to Iowa Speedway this weekend for Round 5 of the 2010 season. The drivers will have the opportunity to run in front of several key team owners as part of the ‘Road to Indy’ feeder system.  This will be the second and final time this year that all levels of the Road to Indy program will be running at one venue; the race series included in the ladder are USF2000, Star Mazda, Indy Lights, and IndyCar.

Race Location

The drivers will be competing at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Ia.  It is the final oval race of the season for the Star Mazda competitors.  The speedway, which is a tri-oval, is 0.875 miles in length and features 12-14 degree banking.  The race is scheduled to begin at 7:15pm Saturday, June 19.  Race length will be 100-laps or 45 minutes.  The event will be streamed live by IMS Productions, available on IndyCar.com, StarMazda.com and USF2000.com.  As noted below, I will be trackside this weekend so make sure to check back for live updates throughout the weekend. 

Entry List:

No. 9-Jorge Goncalvez (Team Apex)
No. 11-Connor De Phillippi (JDC Motorsports)
No. 16-David Ostella (AIM Autosport)
No. 17- Mikael Grenier (Andersen Racing)
No. 18-Joao Victor Horto (Team Apex)
No. 19-Caio Lara (JDC Motorsports)
No. 20-Carlos Linares (Linares Racing)
No. 22-Conor Daly (Juncos Racing)
No. 25- Tatiana Calderon (Juncos Racing)
No. 38-Tristan Vautier (Andersen Racing)
No. 47- Anders Krohn (Andersen Racing)
No. 66-Rusty Mitchell (Juncos Racing)
No. 81- Nick Andries (Andersen Racing)
No. 85- Chris Miller (JDC Motorsports)

Drivers to Watch

The list of drivers to watch this weekend is pretty long.  The outright favorite for the weekend has to be Conor Daly.  The 18-year-old Indiana resident has won the last three Star Mazda events and he finished second at Iowa Speedway last season.  His team, Juncos Racing, won the event in 2009 with Peter Dempsey behind-the-wheel. Daly has the chance to become one of only four drivers (in the modern Star Mazda Championship) to have won four-consecutive events.  His new teammate at Juncos, Rusty Mitchell, should be extremely quick as well. Mitchell has done well on ovals in the past (he finished 4th at Iowa last year) and with the ability to work with Juncos Racing and share data, he should be marked as a front runner.  All four of the Andersen Racing drivers should be pretty quick.  Mikael Grenier put the No. 17 car on pole at O’Reilly Raceway Park — his first-ever oval race — and finished second.  JDC Motorsport’s Connor De Phillippi will likely be fast at Iowa.  The 17-year-old California native has some previous oval experience driving Legends cars.  He qualified fourth at ORP – his first oval in Star Mazda competition.  Joao Horto, who will be driving for Team Apex, can’t be counted out.  The Brazilian driver has had a break-out year thus far into the 2010 season.  Horto, 19, qualified and finished third at ORP in his first career oval race.  The list of drivers to watch is long and lap-traffic can play a significant role in the outcome of the race at Iowa.

Current Point Standings (Top-10)– heading to Iowa Speedway.

  1. Conor Daly 171
  2. Mikael Grenier 142
  3. Anders Krohn 139
  4. Joao Horto 128
  5. Tristan Vautier 124
  6. Connor De Phillippi 124
  7. Caio Lara 120
  8. Rusty Mitchell 113
  9. Jorge Goncalvez 110
  10. David Ostella 100

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Stay tuned for live event coverage right here at Junior Open Wheel Talent this weekend and/or follow along via Twitter.

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USF2000 National Championship Race Preview: Iowa Speedway

The USF2000 National Championship heads to Iowa Speedway this weekend for Round 4 of the 2010 Championship. The drivers will have the opportunity to run in front of several key team owners as part of the ‘Road to Indy’ feeder system.  This will be the second and final time this year that all levels of the Road to Indy program will be running at one venue; the race series included in the ladder are USF2000, Star Mazda, Indy Lights, and IndyCar.

Race Location

The drivers will be competing at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Ia.  It is the final oval race of the season for the USF2000 National Championship.  The speedway, which is a tri-oval, is 0.875 miles in length and features 12-14 degree banking.

Entry List

No. 2- Patrick McKenna (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing)
No. 7- Zach Veach (Andretti Autosport)
No. 8- Sage Karam (Andretti Autosport)
No. 9- J.R. Smart (Pabst Racing Services)
No. 10- Mikhail Goikhberg (JDC Motorsports)
No. 11- Raphael Abbate (JDC Motorsports)
No. 14- Terrick Mansur (Liberty Motorsports)
No. 18- Javier Barrales (Fuerza Chile Motorsports)
No. 28- Ardie Greenamyer (AcceleRace Motorsports)
No. 41- Brian Belardi (Liberty Motorsports)
No. 99- Martin Scuncio (Fuerza Chile Motorsports)

The Point Standings

Sage Karam leads the drivers’ championship through three rounds with 92 points (two wins and a second place finish).  Ireland’s Patrick McKenna is second with 78 points – after recently winning Round 3 at O’Reilly Raceway Park.  Aruba’s Terrick Mansur is third in the championship with 56 points. Mikhail Goikhberg is fourth, just 6 points shy of Mansur, with 50.  Josh Fielding, who decided against competing this weekend due to sponsorship woes, sits fifth overall with 40 points.  Click here for the full standings.

Pre-Race Driver Quotes

Sage Karam: “I look forward to the banking at Iowa and how it affects the car.  Michael [Andretti] told me it will be a much different experience than ORP.  My goal is to come out of Iowa with an increased points lead in the championship and to have Andretti Autosport leading the team championship too.  I’ve never been shy of close racing, so I am really looking forward to standing on it and letting it all fly.”

Zach Veach: “I’m really excited to be racing at Iowa this weekend.  Iowa is right in the thick of grass-roots racing and I’m told the race weekend has been a sell-out every year that open-wheel racing has been there.  We had a lot of work to do after the race at ORP last month, but I think we’ve improved in the areas we were lacking.  It will be great to be back in the race car, as I’ve been training on my racing sim and now that school is out, this summer will be all about racing. “

Patrick McKenna: “I’m really looking forward to this weekend!  So far, my experience on ovals has been really rewarding and I cant wait to drive a new oval with different challenges.  By all accounts… Iowa should be a lot of fun in the USF2000 cars.  I hope to continue on with the momentum I had leaving ORP, but I know it’s going to be a hard fought weekend.”

Terrick Mansur: “After completing my first oval race at O’Reilly Raceway Park,  I’m looking forward to Iowa.  We [Liberty Motorsports] have switched my car to a Mazda engine, so I’m curious to see what effect that will have on our performance.”

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2010 Season Previews

Posted April 6, 2010 at 1:33 pm Preview Comments

Over the last two weeks I wrote season previews for the Skip Barber National Championship, the USF2000 National Championship, the F2000 Championship, the Star Mazda Championship and the Indy Lights Championship.

The posting schedule was a bit spread out, so I figured I’d link to each of them in one location.  Enjoy.

2010 Junior Formula Season Previews

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The F2000 Championship Series released a tentative 33-car entry list for 2010.  The season will kick off next weekend- April 9, 2010- at Virginia International Raceway.  Series’ officials have put together a nice 14-race schedule for competitors that will span over 7-weekends.  Drivers will have the opportunity to race at VIR, Road Atlanta, Mosport International Raceway, Watkins Glen, Lime Rock Park, Road America and Mid-Ohio during their 2010 campaign.

Make the jump to read the full season preview and see my 2010 championship picks.

[Continue Reading…]

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Season Preview: Indy Lights

Posted March 24, 2010 at 8:02 pm Indy Lights, Preview Comments

The Firestone Indy Lights 2010 season is set to get underway this weekend on the Streets of St. Petersburg.  This season will consist of 13 races with 12 returning venues and the addition of Barber Motorsports Park.  The schedule is split between road courses, street circuits and ovals.  The actual breakdown looks something like this:

  • 23.0%- street circuits
  • 38.5%- road courses (counting Edmonton)
  • 38.5%- ovals

I’ll post my thoughts on this year’s incoming drivers and make some championship picks after the jump.

[Continue Reading…]

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Season Preview: Star Mazda Championship

Posted March 24, 2010 at 8:38 am Preview, Star Mazda Comments

The Star Mazda Championship is currently in its 20th year of competition, solidifying its reputation as one of the top developmental series in North America.  The 2010 season got underway last weekend at Sebring International Raceway and will continue this weekend on the Streets of St. Petersburg.

Make the jump to read the full 2010 Star Mazda Championship season preview.

[Continue Reading…]

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The USF2000 National Championship will make its debut this weekend as part of the “Road to Indy” development program when it takes to the Streets of St. Petersburg for the opening round of the 2010 season.

I should probably clarify the above statement by noting that the series will, in fact, be re-emerging in 2010 as it was initially created in 1991 by Mike Foschi and Dan Andersen.  The duo ran the series for a little over 10 years.   For a lot more detail on the history behind F2000 racing, make sure to read my Junior Formula 101- F2000 article.

This gets pretty long, so I’ll post the rest of the preview after the jump.

[Continue Reading…]

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Season Preview: Skip Barber National

Posted March 22, 2010 at 1:17 pm Preview, Skip Barber Comments

I’m a little late on posting this… but, I suppose late is better than never and let’s be honest, during these economic times, it’s nice to know for sure who plans to stick around for more than a couple races before writing a detailed— or semi-detailed in this case— report.

The Skip Barber National championship just completed Round 4 of the 2010 championship so this piece could easily be titled “early season preview“.  Regardless of the title, there is still a lot of racing to be had and the overall championship remains wide open.

Please make the jump to read the full preview.

[Continue Reading…]

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Preview: RoboPong 200

Posted September 24, 2008 at 10:39 pm Karting, Preview Comments

This weekend (September 26-28) professional drivers from the karting and car ranks will gather in New Castle, Indiana for the 200 lap endurance race known as the RoboPong 200. The drivers will be racing karts equipped with TAG USA engines, each team is required to have at least two drivers/with a maximum of four. A lap around New Castle Motorsports Park in a TAG kart, assuming the track is dry, should take about 1:07.00(one minute and seven seconds).

The entry list is phenomenal, check it out here.

The current entry list includes names such as Scott Goodyear, Mark Dismore Jr., Dan Wheldon, Jay Howard, Cyndie Allemann, Kyle Wiegand, Logan Gomez, Joe Janowski, Josef Newgarden, Conor Daly, Travis Firing, Bryan Herta, Ed Carpenter, Vitor Meira, Phil Giebler, Will Power, Brett Buckwalter, Tomas Scheckter, Caleb Loniewski, Brandon Adkins, Robbie Pecorari, CR Crews, Pablo Donoso, Brandon Wagner, Michele Bumgarner…. the list goes on and on; this just lists a few. If you are in the area, I strongly recommend you make the trip.

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