Wednesday, April 3, 2019

DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four Wide Nationals April 5-7 2019

Photo Credit Dicken Wear

Photo Credit Dicken Wear

·       RON CAPPS
Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

  • Five-time Las Vegas event winner:
    • Spring: 2009 
    • Fall: 2001, 2006, 2011, 2012

"These past few weeks off have been much-needed for a lot of teams. A year ago, as we were headed to the inaugural Vegas Four-Wide race, we were all excited because we were going to a brand-new race track. We found out once we got there just how good of a job they did building four fantastic lanes. This year, leaving Gainesville, we’ve had an uncharacteristically slow start to the season for our NAPA AUTO PARTS team. We’re ninth in points, but I really feel like we’re on the verge of a win at any given time. We’ve fought some bugs here and there the first three races, and we’re still really trying to get a feel for these new DSR chassis. We’ve run both cars with our new Dodge Hellcat body and it’s showing us it’s got a lot more downforce with less drag. I feel like we left Gainesville with a lot of really good information that (crew chief Rahn Tobler is going to put to good use.
"The best part about this upcoming weekend is the weather. We’ve had cold weather the first three races, much colder than we’ve ever had before. I think a lot of the teams are really pumped to see high 70s, low 80s for the first time this season. This event starts a string of a lot of back-to-back races over the next few months, and I think we’re going to see our NAPA team make a run up in the points. Couldn’t think of a better place to start that run than one of my favorite tracks that we go to, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway."

Photo Credit DSR Racing PR.

Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
  • Jack Owns the Las Vegas Funny Car E.T. and speed records
    • E.T.: 3.854-secs, Las Vegas II, 2017 
    • Speed: 335.57-mph, Las Vegas II, 2017
      • Career-best 
  • Raced to his first professional victory (Funny Car) at the 2006 Fall event
“I’m really looking forward to Vegas. Twice a year we get a shot at a totally unique format. I’ve won a four-wide event a couple of times and I enjoy being taken out of our element and getting thrown a little bit of a curve-ball. Plus, I just love Vegas. My first-ever nitro win was there and I haven’t been back to the Vegas winner’s circle since then. It’s been over 12 years so I’d like to end that drought this time at Vegas."
(Story copy courtesy DSR Racing PR)

(Photo Credit Gary Nastase, Courtesy JFR-PR.)


LAS VEGAS (April 3, 2019) — The 2017 Top Fuel World Champion Brittany Force and her Advance Auto Parts team are heading to the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals ready for their first Wally of the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season.

After starting the season with two first round exits at the Winternationals and Arizona Nationals, Force and the Advance Auto Parts team put their struggles behind them at the recent 50th anniversary Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. They put together four stellar passes over two days of qualifying including a 3.680-second pass which earned her the No. 1 qualifier and held up as the quickest of the weekend in the Top Fuel category. Force and the Advance Auto team’s efforts also earned them a spot in the history books, when she became the first woman in 40 years to snag the No. 1 qualifier position in Top Fuel at the Gatornationals.

“We qualified No. 1, made six solid passes getting down the race track all weekend and got to the second round. We definitely picked up our pace in Gainesville and we’re starting to figure this race car out,” said Force. “My entire Advance Auto Parts team and I, we’re all really excited to get to the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals and go some rounds on race day.”

At last year’s inaugural four-wide event at The Strip, Force qualified third but had a first-round exit after smoking the tires and pedaling her dragster to the finish line. Even though she has yet to get a win at the facility, Force came close in 2017 when she finished runner-up at the fall event and eventually went on to win the season championship just two weeks later. She’s also the first woman in her category to win the four-wide format, she picked up the victory at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte in 2016. Heading into the Las Vegas event Force could pick up another first, the first woman to win in the four-wide format at two different tracks.

“I’m super pumped to get to Las Vegas. Its an exciting race and the second time The Strip has hosted the four-wide so its still new. It gives the West Coast fans a chance to come out and get a taste of what four-wide is all about,” said Force. “We had a decent run last year but we’re hoping to make it to the final quad this time and ultimately get the Advance Auto Parts dragster in the winner’s circle.”

Qualifying at the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals starts Friday and Saturday with sessions at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. both days. Eliminations are scheduled to begin Sunday at 12 p.m. NHRA coverage will be on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET and Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. ET. Tickets can be bought through (DSR and JFR Driver info Courtesy their respected Race Teams. Re-Posted as a courtesy of Dicken Wear and The Motorsports Report.)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Auto Club 400 NASCAR Qualifications Format Renders A Stubbed Toe To Series

He was undefeated in each round of qualifying - @austindillon3 wins the #BuschPole! Image Credit: @ACSupdates (2019)

Auto Club 400 NASCAR Qualifications Format Renders A Stubbed Toe To Series

NASCAR fans who took Friday off from work were treated to a bone-headed display of over-reaching gamesmanship by all of the teams fielding the 38 cars (especially the top 12) set to participate in the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Southern California's only NASCAR race of the 2019 season.

NASCAR reset the template of what propels these custom made representations of stock cars that adhere to a formula designed to equalise the competition in the field and reduce the overall costs associated with the equipment needed to participate in a 41 race 2019 season. This 2019 reset effectively reduced the horsepower while increasing the downforce which has the effect of keeping the cars glued to the track at lower speeds. The other effect that, at some tracks has missed the prediction, effects competition is some felt this would increase "pack racing" where the lead car punches through the air having the cars behind the lead car work less hard to achieve full speed until a group of cars pull out and around the lead car, passing at a greater speed overall thus having an advantage of having ones car squarely in the pack for a higher average speed.

With this background knowledge, and having the qualifications for NASCAR be the fastest speed achieved by the top 12 previous fast times during the third qualification round/session shootout to set the field (as opposed to having each car take to the track for a singular three lap try at a top speed as how it is done in IndyCar at oval track races), all of the teams waited until the last minute or so to attempt to put in a lap to be scored.

Consequently, no team was able to actually register a lap time at a race speed before the time of Qualification 3 round ran out causing the race director staff at NASCAR to make the call that the order would be set from the fastest lap times set during Qualification 2 round.

Fans were never treated to the race off by the 38 drivers - and the top 12 who will compete in the Auto Club 400 to see who will start at the most coveted positions at the head of the "PACK" ... which is exactly why many who follow motorsports competition would never become an embedded fan of NASCAR, ever.

This type of tepid race management and competition thinking is a blight on what it means to actually be in competition as a professional pursuit. If this were the only time this type of strategy (lay in wait and reduce the damage) were employed, then Friday's odd call to use the times achieved in Qualification 2 round in order to fill the top 12 of the field would amount to a stubbed toe in the landscape of professional stock car racing ... but this points to a much larger problem - over regulated over management of a racing template placed on formula racing.

Here's what others are observing from this somewhat unusual NASCAR Race Control call to set the top 12 of the field on Qualification 2 round track times achieved.


Penske Racing #22 AAA Southern California Ford Mustang of Joey Logano being pushed from Tech with the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains including Mt. Baldy in the background during Qualifications at Auto Club Speedway. Image Credit: Tom Stahler (2019)

This excerpted and edited from -

Austin Dillon claims ACS pole after no one makes a time
By Josh Farmer

Austin Dillon takes pole in wacky qualifying session

Austin Dillon proved that you have to be lucky and good in qualifying for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at the Auto Club Speedway.

The driver of the No. 3 Dow Chemical Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing led the first two 10-minute qualifying session on his way to his fourth career Busch Pole award. NASCAR reverted to the Q2 times when no driver posted an official time in the five-minute pole shootout.

With drafting key to a fast lap at the 2.0-mile superspeedway, drivers hesitated to make runs in all three sessions. The final group was the most extreme with no one taking off until less than a minute to go, which was too late for anyone to cross the start/finish line in time to turn a lap.

Every session featured a last-minute dash with nearly all drivers waiting until just over a minute to go to attempt their qualifying lap. Kurt Busch was the only driver to break the trend in Q2 and logged a lap of 40.644 seconds by himself.

The rest of the field took their laps with just over a minute and 15 seconds to go. When it was all said and done, Dillon was the man on top being the only driver in the 39-second bracket (39.982s).

Dillon, who also won the pole at ACS in 2016, noted that finding an open hole in the pack made all the difference in session two.

“That goes back to round two with Andy Houston (Dillon’s spotter), getting us a hole,” said Dillon. “Our Dow car has been good the whole day, I felt that it was the fastest car here. It feels good to get that pole.

The pole is Dillon's the fourth of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.
[Reference Here]

As the Monster Energy Cup cars of NASCAR line up at the pit end line waiting for a good time to take the track and set a time for Qualifying, it looks like the traffic on the I-10 during rush hour. Image Credit: Image Credit: @ACSupdates (2019)

This excerpted and edited from Racer -

Boos send a message about the current state of NASCAR qualifying
By Kelly Crandall

NASCAR will look to have “something different in the queue” by the time Monster Energy Cup Series drivers show up to qualify at Texas Motor Speedway in two weeks.

After all 12 drivers advancing to the third and final round of qualifying at Auto Club Speedway on Friday failed to post even a single qualifying lap, Scott Miller, NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition, suggested tweaks would have to be made.

Ultimately, the top 12 for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 were determined based on second-round speeds, giving RCR’s Austin Dillon the pole.

“I saw obviously what our fans don’t want,” said Miller outside the NASCAR hauler after an all but silent final qualifying session. “Having the fastest 12 cars wait until they couldn’t get a time posted on the board, making kind of a mockery out of qualifying, is not what our fans expect.

“It’s a little bit on us in that we hoped things would go better than that. It’s an exciting show when they’re all out there on the race track, but obviously, there’s work to do [with the format] on our part so things like that don’t happen. We want to provide our fans with what they deserve, and we and the teams didn’t do a very good job of that today. We’re all really disappointed.”

In both the first and second rounds of qualifying, drivers sat at the end of pit road until late in the session. Then, charging onto the track, drivers tried to position themselves where they felt would be best in line to get a draft.

No one wanted to be the driver pulling the line and in the final round, no one was willing to leave the pits first.

Texas will be the next time the series qualifies at a track where a draft could come into play. Next weekend, the series visits the Martinsville short track.

“We will definitely make some tweaks to [qualifying], not quite sure what,” said Miller. “We don’t want to go back to single-car qualifying. There may not be another way, but we want to exhaust every possibility before we [go back] because that’s not as much fun, not as much of a show as the group situation.

“We’ll try to figure out a way to adjust the group qualifying thing and not go back to single car; but we got some work to do on that.”

Chase Elliott acknowledged no one wanted to be first out on the big Fontana track today. The Hendrick Motorsports driver doesn’t know what the fix should be, but said it was certainly entertaining to see drivers drafting and battling to set up the right gap to benefit from in the first two rounds.

Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer, who will start second and ninth respectively, said the fans in the grandstands clearly voiced their displeasure.

“We got booed,” said Bowyer. “It’s disappointing for everybody involved. I don’t know — I saw this coming three weeks ago. I think we all did. Unfortunately, we are going to have to be reactive instead of proactive.

“It’s a learning process, the whole package is. Everybody knew that going in, and everybody has been patient, but I am a little bit out of patience now with Fridays.

“There is so much hard work and dedication by so many teams to go out there and build the fastest car known to mankind inside the walls of their organization, and it just doesn’t matter. That is not racing.

“I feel like we are capable, as an industry, of putting on a better show than this. I know [NASCAR] will take the right [steps] to correct things, but unfortunately, it took something like today to [force] adjustment.”

“I think the crowd booing tells the story,” said Harvick, who deferred to NASCAR about whether a change in the format is necessary. “We do the best that we can, though, to try to put ourselves in the best position; and it was just a handful today.”

Fifth-place qualifier Joey Logano said his No. 22 Team Penske team blew it in the final round, but so did everyone else.

“That’s the game,” he said.

Ryan Newman qualified seventh but was another driver unhappy about how qualifying has played out recently.

“I don’t think that was a very successful use of TV time for our sponsors,” he said. “I told you all back in Vegas that I am still a big fan of single-car qualifying. That is all I need to say, really. That is the way qualifying should be.

“The gamesmanship that goes on now, the lack of giving it 100 percent — that’s not what qualifying is all about.

“But that is the program that NASCAR set forth, the rules they laid down and the box they put us in. Shame on us for not getting a lap in today.”
[Reference Here]

BOOS, Shame, and a less than satisfying Fan Experience was what NASCAR treated the crowd gathered for the only race scheduled for one of the largest concentration of humans a series could have and engage with - at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

Toe stubbed in exactly the wrong place at the wrong time - thanks for nuttin', NASCAR.

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: @ACSUpdates, Austin Dillon, Auto Club 400, Auto Club Speedway, Monster Energy Cup, NASCAR, No. 3 Dow Chemical Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing, The EDJE, Tom Stahler,

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

As Official Artist, Randy Owens Named Poster Artist For 45th Acura Grand Prix Of Long Beach

As Official Artist, Randy Owens Named Poster Artist For 45th Acura Grand Prix Of Long Beach

Prolific American racing artist Randy Owens has been named Official Race Artist for the 2019 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

As Official Race Artist, Owens has created the poster artwork for the 45th annual event, which will also grace the covers of the event program, Fan Guide, T-shirts and other race-related materials.

Owens has established himself in the American racing art scene, having produced over 300 handmade serigraph editions in his realistic style -- modern and evolutionary, with color and motion as the central theme.

He has created poster art for Long Beach races eight times, including the Grand Prix’s 40th anniversary edition in 2014, as well as posters for the Miami Grand Prix, US Grand Prix at Indianapolis, Road America Historic Races and the Bahrain International Circuit.  And, since 1991, he has also produced an annual motor racing calendar for Bridgestone. ​

Randy Owens poster of the 40th Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach. Image Credit: GPALB

Born in Baltimore, Md., Owens grew up in Virginia and majored in fine art at Northern Virginia Community College. He was drawn to the vibrant colors, clean form and crisp edges of serigraphy (silkscreen printmaking), and after being introduced to auto racing in 1978 began making serigraphs of motor racing subjects in his own unique style.

Over the years, Owens has staged over 200 exhibitions of his work in five countries, including the Axis Galleries in Tokyo and 10-year retrospective shows at the famous l’art et l’automobile Gallery in New York City and the National Automobile Museum in Reno, NV.

Owens will have a display booth at the 2019 Acura Grand Prix and will be available to sign posters for race fans throughout the weekend. Official posters will sell for $10 at the event, as well as in the weeks prior to the event at

The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be headlined by the fourth round of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series, as well as the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix, featuring the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. In addition, the weekend will include the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge under the lights on Friday and Saturday nights; SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks, the powerful sports cars of the Pirelli GT4 America and the new-for-2019 Historic IMSA GTO Challenge. There will also be concerts, free to race ticket holders, on Friday and Saturday nights.

Fans can select and pay for their Grand Prix seats, parking and paddock passes online at Ticket orders can also be placed by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 827-7333.  Also featured on is the latest Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach news and racetrack information, photos and ongoing announcements of special race week activities.

Ticket prices range from $33 for a Friday General Admission ticket to $147 for a three-day ticket that includes Sat./Sun. reserved seating in grandstand upper levels.  Pre-paid parking packages are also available, along with handicapped seating, NTT IndyCar Series Paddock passes, Super Photo tickets and a wide variety of hospitality packages.

Fans can also follow the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook (GrandPrixLB), Twitter @GPLongBeach (#AGPLB) and Instagram @GPLongBeach.
[ht: AGPLB]

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Randy Owens, Acura Grand Prix Of Long Beach, 45th, AGPLB, Race Artist, Acura, The EDJE

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

COTA NTT IndyCar Series Spring Training Has Everyone Anxious For 2019 Season To Begin

Last year's NTT IndyCar Series champion, and now 5-time champion, Scott Dixon. gets ready to take to the track in testing for the 2019 IndyCar Series season. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2019)

COTA NTT IndyCar Series Spring Training Has Everyone Anxious For 2019 Season To Begin

If 11 hours and more than 8,000 miles of on-track testing over two days showed anything, it's that the NTT IndyCar Series fits in marvelously at the sparkling Circuit of The Americas and the competition will be deep and intense in the 2019 season.

Twenty-five drivers completed 2,367 laps at INDYCAR Spring Training, the only officially mandated testing prior to the NTT IndyCar Series season opener, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 10. Rookie driver Colton Herta surprised many by turning the fastest lap on the 3.41-mile permanent road course and topping the timesheet in three of the four sessions in the No. 88 Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda.

Savvy veterans were close on Herta's heels, however, with Alexander Rossi, who led Wednesday's final session, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power and Simon Pagenaud rounding out the top five on the combined-session speed chart. It left drivers and fans alike itching for the season to begin and the return next month for the INDYCAR Classic on March 24, the first Indy car race hosted by COTA.

"The track is phenomenal," said Power, the 2014 series champion and reigning Indianapolis 500 winner driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. "I love it, love it, love it! Very technical, obviously a lot of complexes. ... Great facilities, all the drivers are stoked to be here."

Herta, the 2018 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires runner-up who made his NTT IndyCar Series debut for Harding Steinbrenner Racing in last year's season finale at Sonoma Raceway, set the overall best lap of 1 minute, 46.6258 seconds (115.132 mph) in Tuesday's afternoon session. The 18-year-old Californian backed it up by leading Wednesday's practices and running second to Rossi in the afternoon session.

Runner-up in the 2018 Cooper Tires Indy Lights series championship Colton Herta confers with the Harding Steinbrenner Racing team between test sessions. Colton had to have made his father Bryan Herta very happy with his P1 showing overall. Image Credit: John Cote via NTT IndyCar (2019)

"This track just suits my driving style a lot," Herta said. "The team has been working really hard to get the car where it needs to be. Obviously, they've made really big gains in the winter time compared to last year, and we're kind of seeing that. Really stout job by the boys."

Herta and fellow NTT IndyCar Series rookies the likes of Felix Rosenqvist (sixth on the combined speed chart), Marcus Ericsson and Santino Ferrucci have only added depth to a full-season field of drivers already considered the deepest in motorsports.

"Every year it just gets better and better, which is a testament obviously to the series and the value that drivers are placing on it," said Rossi, the 2016 Indy 500 winner and 2018 NTT IndyCar Series championship runner-up. "We've seen guys come over from Europe, which is a super positive thing. I would completely agree that 2019 will be the most competitive season that I've been a part of.

Alexander Rossi on course during the Open Test at Circuit of The Americas. He was second fastest overall and about 14 seconds from the fastest laps set by Formula 1, 2 seconds slower than a fastest Porsche 919 lap, .and about 1.5 seconds slower than the 2013 Audi R18 lap time. Image By: John Cote via NTT IndyCar (2019)

"If you look at the top 15, top 20, in reality there are a lot of really good guys. That's pretty much unlike any other series when you look at it, and I fully expect there to be 10 to 12 guys every single weekend to beat in the race."

The 2019 NTT IndyCar Series calendar features 17 races, all airing live on NBC or NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. Opening with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 10 (1 p.m. ET, NBCSN) and followed by the INDYCAR Classic at COTA on March 24 (1 p.m., NBCSN), the schedule is highlighted by the 103rd Indianapolis 500 on May 26 (11 a.m., NBC) and closes with the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey from WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (2:30 p.m., NBC).


COLTON HERTA (No. 88 Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda): "Another good day of testing at COTA. We were quickest this morning and P2 by a tenth (of a second) this afternoon. And there's still more to find. We are still working on getting the balance as it gets colder. When it was warmer, we were really good, so I think we'll be fine for the race as it should be warmer. Overall the team had a great test. I'm really happy with how everyone is working so hard and putting in so much effort to get everything done. I can't wait for next month when this No. 88 Honda-powered car hits the Streets of St. Pete."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): "We made good strides today. Generally, the whole day we just kept chipping away at it, moving in the right direction. In the end, it went red (red flag condition] during our sticker tire run so we had to finish the day off on used Firestone tires and we did our fastest lap of the day. I think it's a good point to come back with - we're quick on used rubber. Hopefully, we can turn that into a good race weekend here in late March."

Swedish Rookie Felix Rosenqvist begins to debrief with his Chip Ganassi Racing team on pit lane during the Open Test (P6) at Circuit of The Americas. Image By: Shawn Gritzmacher via NTT IndyCar (2019)

FELIX ROSENQVIST (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "It's been positive. Yesterday we had a big gap to the front guys, so I had to do a bit of homework last night. My NTT DATA car has seemed to be quick in every session this year. I think we can really fight in the top five, but there are still things we have to learn and work on. For me, I kind of learn every time I'm out. But after two days here, it feels like we're done and it's time to move on to Sebring."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): "Two great days of testing here at COTA. We ended up fifth and there is a lot for us to be happy about. We found a lot over the past two days. Starting where we did yesterday morning, for us to be fifth is a great accomplishment. I think we learned a lot. When we go back to Laguna Seca, when we go to a lot of other tracks there is a lot that we can take from here. I'm really proud of my guys. They really worked hard. This United Rentals car looks awesome. I'm really happy with how things went and looking forward to coming back."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "We had a big break before the last 45 minutes (of the afternoon test session). We tried a few different things, but I don't feel like we really got - it kind of just feels really disconnected for me in some portions of the track, quite good in others. I don't think I did a really good job in piecing together a lap either. It seems like there is something wrong with the suspensions too. That is what we were kind of chasing before. The steering wheel is kinked to the left and then also when it brakes, it brakes funny. We're trying to figure that as well."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): "Another productive day. Obviously, we closed the gap to the guys in front, and it's even closer than it looks on the timesheets because we kind of got hosed by that red flag at the end on our last set of tires when everyone was getting quicker and quicker. I'm really happy with the progress that we made, the direction that we found, and we'll keep chipping away at it. Hopefully, by qualifying day here on the race weekend, the Arrow Electronics cars will be right up there."

American Santino Ferrucci pulls into his pit stall during the Open Test at Circuit of The Americas (P10). Ferrucci drove in four races with Dale Coyne Racing last year and this will be his first full rookie year.
Image By: Chris Jones via NTT IndyCar (2019)

SANTINO FERRUCCI (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): "It was another really good day for us at Circuit of The Americas. A lot of learning to be done. In the morning session, realistically we were P4, but a red flag came out right before we crossed the line. Luckily, we have the lap on data but it didn't show on the time sheets. At the end of the last session, right when we thought we were kind of getting lost a little, we went back in the right direction. It feels good to end up P9 and to have a good lap time to end the test before heading into the race weekend next month. It was a great job by all the guys, it was a busy two days and we're looking forward to the season opener in St. Petersburg."

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): "We had a productive day today. We made big changes and we tried to separate the changes between the cars so at least we are learning as a team now. Matheus (Leist) is helping quite a bit, so a happy day for us. We came here trying to learn what we did over the winter on the shaker and on the simulator and things were pretty close, so we'll take it from here and try to improve it until the first race. This is our first test and we have three more before St. Pete, so I'm excited."

MATHEUS "MATT" LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): "We just finished here for the second day at COTA. We had a lot of fun at this beautiful track. A lot of progress made with the team. I think we still need to keep working hard, still need to figure out new stuff, but I'm pretty happy with these two days of testing here. I think we made some good progress compared to last year and now we're looking forward to the next test and also to the first race of the year."
[ht: NTT IndyCar Series]

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: NTT IndyCar Series, COTA, Spring Training, Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi, Will Power, Circuit of The Americas, twenty-five drivers, 2,367 laps, over 8,000 miles, Anxious, The EDJE

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Rookie Herta Sets Pace On Day One Of NTT IndyCar Series Spring Training

Colton Herta sets his earpieces along pit lane during the Open Test at Circuit of The Americas. Image Credit: Chris Jones - NICS (2019)

Rookie Herta Sets Pace On Day One Of NTT IndyCar Series Spring Training

Colton Herta wasted no time making his presence felt in the NTT IndyCar Series. The Harding Steinbrenner Racing rookie was quickest in both on-track sessions on opening day of INDYCAR Spring Training at Circuit of The Americas.

Herta, driving the No. 88 Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda, logged the best lap of anyone among the 25 drivers participating Tuesday in the official series open test on the 3.41-mile permanent road course. The 18-year-old son of retired Indy car driver Bryan Herta, who's now an NTT IndyCar Series team co-owner, navigated the COTA course in 1 minute, 46.6258 seconds (115.132 mph).

"I'm super happy with how the day went," said Colton Herta, the 2018 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires runner-up who made his NTT IndyCar Series debut in last September's season finale at Sonoma Raceway and is slated to run the full season this year.

"We did some great things to the car and I'm very happy with how the boys got everything together in time for this test," he added. "Everyone did a fantastic job and there were no issues with the car; it was perfect. We kept chipping away and kept finding time. By the end of the day, we were quickest by quite a margin. I can't wait for tomorrow now."

A second day of testing is set for Wednesday, with six more hours of on-track time. The NTT IndyCar Series will return to COTA from March 22-24 to conduct its first race on the spectacular road course, the INDYCAR Classic.

A total of 1,034 laps were turned by the drivers on Tuesday. Following Herta on the combined timesheet were Team Penske drivers Will Power and Helio Castroneves. Power, the reigning Indianapolis 500 winner, ran a lap of 1:47.1044 (114.617 mph) in the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet. Castroneves, who will try for a record-tying fourth Indy 500 title in May, was clocked at 1:47.6949 (113.989 mph) in the No. 3 Pennzoil Chevrolet.

"We were trying to get it into a good (setup) window where you can make small adjustments on the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet," Power said. "We took some big swings at it today and (were) trying to understand when the tire comes in and how long it lasts, and what package we want to run. We wound up with a lot of big changes.

Will Power on course during the Open Test at Circuit of The Americas. Image By: John Cote - NICS (2019)

"I think the track is phenomenal," the 2014 NTT IndyCar Series champion added. "It's got every sort of corner you can dream of. I think all the drivers are going to love to keep coming here."

Chip Ganassi Racing teammates came in next on the speed chart, with rookie Felix Rosenqvist fourth at 1:48.0451 (113.619 mph) in the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda. Scott Dixon, the reigning and five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion, was fifth in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda (1:48.0474, 113.617 mph).

Test sessions are scheduled for 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2 p.m.-6 p.m. ET Wednesday. Live timing and scoring is available at
[ht: IndyCar]

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: NTT IndyCar Series, COTA, Circuit of The Americas, Day One, Spring Training, Colton Herta, No. 88, Harding Steinbrenner Racing, Honda, Will Power, Helio Castroneves, NICS, The EDJE

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Bugatti Type 32 - 1923 GP Automobile Club de France Racecars

Bugatti Type 32 - 1923 GP Automobile Club de France Racecars

From left to right - #16 Pierre Marco & #18 Prince de Cystria

A quick look into the digital window of the web netted the searcher this gem from pinterest showing a third Bugatti Type 32 of #11 Pierre de Vizcaya.

Image Credit: Pinterest

This excerpted and edited from Jalopnic -

The Short-Lived 1923 Bugatti Type 32 is the Fastest Baby Shoe You'll Ever See 

Open up a dictionary, and under the definition for ‘class’ you’ll probably find a picture of a Bugatti. These are cars that generally radiate elegant beauty through their sleek curves and undeniable speed. But… not everyone can always be perfect all the time.

Case in point: the 1923 Bugatti Type 32. Aka, The Tank.

I think you can see why.

It’s not the most visually appealing car in the world, but it was something of an engineering marvel of its day. Think of other cars from the early 1920s. They tended to be clumsy-looking and boxy, or plain ol’ cigar-shaped; they were big, angry, heavy machines. This was an era before we knew all those fancy aerodynamic terms. Back then, people weren’t as inclined to think “downforce” as they were “well it’s top-heavy but it goes fast”.

Unless, of course, you were Ettore Bugatti.

Bugatti Type 32 `Tank de Tours` - Image Credit:

According to Hemmings, the Tank was an early experiment in aero. If the shape of an airplane’s wing provides an upward force, then why don’t we reverse that shape on our race car body? A streamlined car won’t have those extra bits that catch in the wind, and it’ll be nice and stuck to the ground.
The Tank was originally designed with the specific intention of winning the 1923 French Grand Prix. A French marque competing against the likes of Fiats, Sunbeams, Voisins and Delages, Bugatti was fiercely determined to create a car that was going to steal the show and cement his brand as being the most competitive in the world.

Bugatti drew on the Type 30 road car for some of the Tank’s basic components. The chassis and inline-eight engine with a two liter capacity were the same across the board between the two. It provided a solid starting point for a little extra experimentation.

Almost more interesting than the shape itself were the front brakes. They featured a hydraulic assist, which was pretty much a first in the world of motorsport. The only problem was, there was no brake pedal. Drivers had to use a lever in an already-cramped cockpit.

Grand Prix de France 1923 - Image Credit: Wikipedia

The race, though, was fruitless. Bugatti hadn’t done much with the engine, and using an outdated model in competition against the supercharged Fiats was never going to work. It was only through the retirement of all three of their entries and a last lap spin by the driver of the third place Sunbeam that the last remaining Bugatti on the circuit - #6 Ernest Friderich - was able to steal a [P3] podium position.

In addition to the underpowered engines, the Tank just wasn’t low enough to the ground. The fact that a significant amount of air could still get underneath the car meant that as soon as a driver started cruising at a high speed, he started generating lift. Not exactly a comforting feeling when you’re trying to push the limits of speed.

Despite the car’s failure in its task, the Type 32 started to kick off some changing times in racing. Now, manufacturers were wondering what they could do with that odd, curving shape or that fancy braking system. Ettore Bugatti simply used the basis of his design to craft the Type 35—a car so successful it finally earned the man behind the marque the renown he’d been seeking.
[Reference Here]

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Bugatti, Ettore Bugatti, Type 32, #6, #11, #16, #18, Ernest Friderich, Pierre Marco, Prince de Cystria, Automobile Club de France, The Tank, Grand Prix de France 1923, Will Ellingham, The EDJE

Monday, January 28, 2019

A Key To Evolutionary Design - Variations On A Theme

BMW’s 2020 7 Series has a slew of new additions for the sixth-generation, including an enlarged kidney grille. Image Credit: BMW via Robb Report (2019)

A Key To Evolutionary Design - Variations On A Theme

Ever wonder what makes an artist a great automotive designer?

It comes down to the discipline one achieves through years of training, experiment, understanding materials, the balance of form & function, the creation of trash bin failures to grand acceptance and market success.

Just ask Art Center College of Design standout graduate, Frank Stephenson, who actually designed for, and penned the rebirth of the MINI Cooper and the first SUV platform produced by the famed German automobile manufacturer, the X5.

Frank Stephenson said in a 2017 interview published at The Drive "I'm flat-out not fond of modern-day cars," he told R&T. "They're going to where ugly cars are the new beautiful. Everybody loves the '50s and '60s in terms of what those cars were like. And we've kind of lost that romance of the design from that period, where the goal was to design a beautiful car, and people would love it at first sight. Nobody had to 'get used to' the design." ... 'nuff said.

Then there's this, from Andres Bastidas ...

So, it's "GET USED TO IT!"

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Kidney Bean Grill, BMW, Frank Stephenson, Art Center College of Design, Andres Bastidas, MINI, X5, SUV, Facebook Timeline, The EDJE