IndyCar Series press release
Today's IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines:
1. If you missed it: Daly-Scheckter teleconference
2. Conway seeks advantage on Streets of Baltimore
3. Kanaan hosts screening of movie about his 'idol'
4. Charities benefit from events
5. Panther Racing adds engineer Cannon
6. Of note
1. If you missed it: Daly-Scheckter teleconference: IZOD IndyCar Series driver Tomas Scheckter and Firestone Indy Lights driver Conor Daly participated in an INDYCAR teleconference to preview the Baltimore Grand Prix.
Q. Conor, just talk a little bit about coming back to Baltimore and racing for the final time in the 77 car.
CONOR DALY: I'm really looking forward to it. I think my year in Europe has kind of ‑‑ it's been a struggle and it's been difficult. We keep improving every weekend, but it's been nice to ‑‑ it's been really nice actually to come back and jump in the Indy Lights car because it's gone well for us. To me it's a lot of fun car ‑‑ quite a fun car to drive, and yeah, I mean, the Sam Schmidt team gives me a great car, and I'm just really looking forward to the weekend. I love street courses, and I hear this one is pretty good.
I think we'll have a good car, as always, and I'm just ready to get to the track.
Q. You mentioned it's another street course and that you like street courses a lot. What do you know about the Baltimore circuit and what do you do to prepare for a course that you've never been on?
CONOR DALY: Well, I had a good meeting with my engineer yesterday. We went over the track map and all the kind of geographical data that we could get. It looks pretty interesting. I think there's a few spots where we have to jump some railroad tracks, and yeah, I mean, it looks good, though. I hope it'll be friendly to overtaking. It looks like with the bit of a bus stop chicane on the main straight, that might make it difficult for overtaking.
But I think overall it'll be a fun drivers' track, but we'll know a lot more as soon as we get there tomorrow and start walking it.
Q. I know that you're not in the championship hunt, but two of your teammates are battling for the championship. I know when we last saw you at Paul Revere you had a car that was capable of winning, actually went for the win there in the wet and had a little mistake. Do you take that same mentality into this weekend, that you're just there to try to win the race?
CONOR DALY: Absolutely. Paul Revere was going great for us, the car was fantastic. Esteban, my teammate, is very, very good in qualifying. He seems to really be able to pull a good lap out when he really needs to, and I just didn't quite pull the best lap out of it and ended up second, and I think that really determined the race because it was almost impossible to pass. But you know, it was great to run up there with him and be nose to tail the whole race and just went for it there in the end and just didn't really have enough experience in the car to really understand how much torque it had in the wet or how much grip it had in the wet at all.
You know, it was my mistake for sure, but I learned a lot from that. I'm just ready to go again. I think those guys are getting quite ‑‑ not necessarily conservative, but they definitely know a championship is on the line, so for me it's go big or go home. I'm going for the win.
Q. I know you had the race at New Hampshire, but you had to have been looking forward to getting back in the car, especially at Baltimore.
TOMAS SCHECKTER: Yeah, it is, and from what I've heard it's going to be a great event, and I've heard they've sold a lot of tickets. It's always fun to race through the streets. I love street tracks. It really gets the city involved, and for me to be back on a street track after a year, I'm looking forward to it.
Q. Same question I asked Conor a little earlier. It's a new course for everybody. How do you prepare for the street circuit in Baltimore without having ever driven on it?
TOMAS SCHECKTER: Well, for me, a lot of it is just not being on a road course for a year, so I do a lot of ‑‑ some work. I spend a lot of time on a simulator. There's one here at MK1 Cruden here in town in Indianapolis. Obviously we can't get on the Baltimore track, but physically it's very good for me. It's on hydraulics, it's pretty cool, and I was joined by Conor today, we had a bunch of fun on it. And then you've got iRacing, as well, which has got the IndyCar on it, and those are two things that sort of helped me out for road courses. And again, you've got to train a lot.
But getting to know the track ‑‑ and that's one thing with street tracks, that no one can test on them. Everybody really has to start fresh except for these guys that have been doing road courses the whole year. So I'm at a little bit of a disadvantage, but again, looking forward to getting back on the road course again.
Q. Talk a little bit about your partnership with team Redline Xtreme and working with Dreyer & Reinbold after running Indy with KV Racing Technology.
TOMAS SCHECKTER: Yeah, it's good. Everybody at Dreyer & Reinbold I know, Larry (Curry), Matt (Curry), and all the engineers, working with Len (Paskus) this weekend. They're a good group of people. Robbie (Buhl) and Dennis (Reinbold) have been very good to me. So it's a good team, they're growing, they've got good people.
Subbing for Justin (Wilson) at Loudon, unfortunately as horrible as it was to see Justin get hurt, it was good to be back in with the team again, and again, Justin, a lot of credit on how the Dreyer & Reinbold cars have been going on some of these road tracks. At Sonoma you saw the cars perform very well because of all the hard work Justin has been doing.
Looking forward to this weekend. We've got Redline back on board, so great sponsor. It's an energy drink. It's an extreme energy drink, as well; I'm going to get you guys some. But it'll keep you awake for a couple days, that's for sure. I'll probably need one after the first session, though.
2. Conway seeks advantage on Streets of Baltimore: Mike Conway figures he has a small advantage over the other 27 drivers who he will compete against at the Baltimore Grand Prix this weekend.
Conway and Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing are the only IZOD IndyCar Series drivers to get an advance look at the track (on foot and passenger car tour) that abuts the Inner Harbor and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
On his visit a couple of weeks ago to unveil his No. 27 Team Buffalo Wild Wings livery and sponsor program, race organizers even made up a faux street sign for the driver whose surname is the same as the short section of the course coming out of a hard left-hand turn that leads to pit lane/Turn 6.
"I like my chances on that particular stretch, but maybe that's just me," Conway said.
It's a slower segment, which will require -- among other things -- patience from the drivers. The street course, which received an asphalt makeover in the past six months, gets positive reviews from Conway.
"There are quick corners with long straights leading up to them, which is always difficult but fun," Conway said. "Those are 90-degree corners in third gear, which are going to be quite fast. We go around the baseball stadium and the main straight (Pratt Street) is four lanes wide that leads into a right-hander (Turn 1), so that will be a passing zone.
"A new circuit is always fun, and I think it's going to be a lot like the Long Beach atmosphere."
3. Kanaan hosts screening of movie about his 'idol': Tony Kanaan of KV Racing Technology-Lotus is hosting a screening of the movie "Senna" on Sept. 1 in Baltimore.
"Ayrton is one of my heroes and an idol for all Brazilians," Kanaan said. "It's a special feeling to have known Senna in person and I can say for a fact that he caused a huge impact in my racing career. A lot of people here in America know that Senna was an outstanding driver, great sport ambassador and that he meant a great deal to Brazil, but watching the film will make them understand why."
4. Charities benefit from events: The Hard Rock Café plays host to two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. and IZOD IndyCar Series drivers for a meet and greet from 6-8p.m. Sept. 2 (601 E. Pratt Street). A silent auction of racing memorabilia and music-related item swill benefit the Al Unser Jr. Children's Charitable Foundation.
Olivia Newton-John and Terrell Owens co-host Pink and Blue for Two at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3 at Rams Head Live (20 Market Place). Auctions benefit the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Center and the Baltimore Cool Kids Foundation. Newton-John and the Kelly Bell Band perform, plus food and beverages. CLICK HERE for details and tickets.
Almost $10,000 was raised for the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities at the INDYCAR Charity Auction held Aug. 28 at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma.
Funds will benefit qualified youth groups in Sonoma County. Speedway Children's Charities, the charitable arm of Infineon Raceway, has distributed more than $3.7 million to qualified youth groups in Sonoma County since 2002.
5. Panther Racing adds engineer Cannon: Panther Racing announced that it has added engineer Michael Cannon, who formerly this season was with KV Racing Technology-Lotus and HVM Racing.
"He will join technical director David Cripps to help strengthen our entire staff," the team said.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year points leader JR Hildebrand drives the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car. The team had a second car in the Indianapolis 500, driven by 2004 500 Mile Race winner Buddy Rice.
6. Of note: An IZOD IndyCar Series championship preview, featuring team owners Roger Penske (Team Penske) and Chip Ganassi (Target Chip Ganassi Racing), will be streamed live at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Sept. 3 on INDYCAR Mobile. Text INDYCAR to 3406 to download the Verizon Wireless app. ... Newman/Haas Racing senior engineer Craig Hampson, a graduate of the University of Maryland, will host engineering students from the school for a behind-the-scenes look at the IZOD IndyCar Series during the race weekend. … Hildebrand will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Orioles-Toronto Blue Jays afternoon game Sept. 1. … The Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards is hosting a special exhibit celebrating on the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 (cars, helmets, and memorabilia).
The next IZOD IndyCar Series event is the Baltimore Grand Prix on Sept. 4 at Streets of Baltimore. The race will be televised live at 2 p.m. (ET) by VERSUS and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network. The next Firestone Indy Lights race is Baltimore 100 on Sept. 4 at the Streets of Baltimore. The race will be televise