Series news and notes 2009-04-30

Today's IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines 1. Firestone Indy Lights Open Test slated for May 5 at Indianapolis 2. Indy Racing League penalizes Jim Guthrie, Sean Guthrie for actions at Kansas Speedway 3. Conway, Power to run in...

Today's IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines
1. Firestone Indy Lights Open Test slated for May 5 at Indianapolis
2. Indy Racing League penalizes Jim Guthrie, Sean Guthrie for actions at Kansas Speedway
3. Conway, Power to run in Indy's mini-marathon
4. Patrick on TIME 100
5. IndyCar Mobile nominated for Webby

1. Firestone Indy Lights Open Test slated for May 5 at Indianapolis: Charlie Kimball has competed on some of the most famed circuits in the world as he worked his way up the racing ladder. Soon he'll run his first laps on the world's most famous oval - the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"It's hallowed ground," Kimball said. "It's just like the Monaco Grand Prix or Le Mans. It's definitely one of the most famous and important racetracks in the world. It's a very special place. I grew up watching the Indy 500 on TV, and my family has a heritage there with my dad (Gordon Kimball) winning the race a few times as an engineer. I'm excited to drive there."

Though the Firestone Freedom 100 won't take place until May 22, teams will get their first look at the Speedway during an Open Test from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. May 5 on the famed 2.5-mile oval.

"The test day is going to be more important to us than the others because we're a new team," said Vision Racing's James Davison, who made his Firestone Freedom 100 debut last year. "We really need the test to get a base setup and find out what will work on the car and what won't. It's very important to us to develop our package if we want to fight for the championship."

For a newcomer, the test is equally important. It will be the first time they will drive around the track in a car that is second only in speed to the cars that will contest the Indianapolis 500.

"Indy is much bigger than Homestead, where we tested, or Kansas, but I think we should have a competitive car there," said Mario Romancini, who will be racing his second-ever oval race at Indianapolis. "It's the most important race of the season, and I'm looking forward to it."

Added Kimball: "Having a test there is good because it's a pretty daunting place if you're not prepared for it. I learned a lot in my first oval race, and I got a lot of information that I can take forward. I can't wait for the next ovals, and I can't wait to take my sponsors to the Indy 500."

For some, though, turning laps around Indianapolis isn't a new experience. In fact, series points leader Jonathan Summerton and Richard Phiippe won Formula BMW races on the road course. The test will be their first laps on the oval.

"I am very excited heading into Indy leading the championship and I am really excited to do the oval this time as I have won on the road course," Summerton said. "I want to win on the oval. I feel this will be one of the biggest races for me. For me, it's a great chance to be on the same track that the Indy 500 is run on. All I can say is bring on May 22."

***

2. Indy Racing League penalizes Jim Guthrie, Sean Guthrie for actions at Kansas Speedway: The Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body for Firestone Indy Lights, indefinitely suspended driver Sean Guthrie and Guthrie Meyer Racing co-owner Jim Guthrie for their actions during the Kansas Lottery 100 on April 26.

Sean Guthrie, driver of the No. 4 Guthrie Meyer Racing Firestone Indy Lights entry, was penalized for failing to follow the direction of Officials, failing to slow down under yellow conditions and failing to follow the direction of safety personnel in an accident scene.

His actions were in violation of multiple rules regarding safety of participants and caution periods as listed in the Firestone Indy Lights Rule Book.

Jim Guthrie was penalized for failing to follow the direction of Officials and for conduct detrimental to the sport.

"Race officials are there to ensure the safety of all participants in Firestone Indy Lights events, including drivers, mechanics and safety workers," said Tony Cotman, vice president of competition of the Indy Racing League and race director for Firestone Indy Lights. "Safety is a priority at all events, and failing to obey race officials puts everyone at risk."

The penalized parties may appeal their penalty as prescribed in the Firestone Indy Lights Rule Book. An appeal may result in an increase, decrease or no change to the penalty.

***

3. Conway, Power to run in Indy's mini-marathon: Mike Conway's first trip around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be hundreds of miles slower than the IndyCar Series rookie will travel May 5.

The 25-year-old British racer and Will Power of Penske Racing will be among the 35,000 runners in the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon through the streets of Indianapolis and on the Speedway oval May 2.

"I think it's great that I get to run the circuit before racing on it, because you are really able to appreciate the size of it once you get to run a lap around it," said Conway, who will drive the No. 24 Dad's Root Beer car for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. "I'm really looking forward to the whole experience. This will just be a case of pacing myself and keeping track of how quick I'm going each mile and hopefully by doing that I will finish with a good result."

Conway and Power have been training together in recent months in preparation for the mini-marathon as well as conditioning for their racing.

"When I normally train, I do a lot of endurance exercises like running, biking and swimming," Conway said. "Ever since I signed up to do the mini-marathon, I've changed my training a little bit by doing a lot more sprint work and stuff like that. I haven't changed my routine too much. My main goal has been to keep the mileage up. This will be my first mini-marathon. I have done a lot of 10k runs, but never anything like this. Hopefully, after this I will do a full marathon."

***

4. Patrick on TIME 100: IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick checks in at No. 93 on the list of the TIME 100: The world's most influential people.

There were 208 nominees in the online poll.

Patrick received more votes than Oprah Winfrey, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, TV talk show host Bill O'Reilly, New York Yankees infielder Alex Rodriguez, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and CBS News anchor Katie Couric, among others.

"I'm humbled and honored to be on the list with so many other amazing people," Patrick said. "I'm grateful to have wonderful people around me that keep me grounded and in the moment. I know I don't say it often enough, but thank you for helping me achieve my goals and dreams while allowing me to be myself in the fast-paced lifestyle I lead."

The top vote-getter was moot -- the 21-year-old college student and founder of the online community 4chan.org, whose real name is Christopher Poole. He received 16,794,368 votes and an average influence rating of 90 (of 100). Note: Everyone moot beat out has a job.

Patrick, who will begin practice for the Indianapolis 500 on May 6, will make a stop in Louisville, Ky., May 1 for the Barnstable Brown Gala, an annual event on the eve of the Kentucky Derby that benefits Barnstable Brown Pediatric Diabetes Research Laboratories at the University of Kentucky.

***

5. IndyCar Mobile nominated for Webby: IndyCar Mobile, which was activated in 2008, has been nominated for a Webby award in the Best Mobile Program in a Sports Category as well as the Webby People's Voice Award.

IndyCar Mobile 2.0, which launched last month in conjunction with the revamped indycar.com, allows users to take advantage of the new MiBox Technology that gives users the ability to personalize the messages they receive, so they get the information about specific drivers, teams, events, etc. Along with the MiBox technology, users can now receive real-time race, qualification and event alerts as part of the IndyCar Mobile service.

IndyCar Mobile - a free service - can be accessed by texting INDYCAR to 234500 or by visiting m.indycar.com.

***

The 2009 IndyCar Series season continues May 24 with the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 1 p.m. (EDT) by ABC. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The radio broadcast also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season continues May 22 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast May 22 by VERSUS as part of its Carb Day coverage from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. (EDT).

-credit: irl

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Jim Guthrie , Charlie Kimball , Mike Conway , Will Power , James Davison , Sean Guthrie , Jonathan Summerton , Mario Romancini , Danica Patrick
Teams Dreyer & Reinbold Racing , Team Penske