Series news and notes 2009-06-11

Today's IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines * Points lead gave Castroneves advantage in the pits * IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights add new sponsors 1. Points lead gave Castroneves advantage in the pits: Helio ...

Today's IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines
* Points lead gave Castroneves advantage in the pits
* IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights add new sponsors

1. Points lead gave Castroneves advantage in the pits: Helio Castroneves owes Will Power big time.

Power, substituting for Castroneves in the No. 3 Team Penske car in the season-opening race on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. in April, picked up 28 entrant points for a sixth-place finish.

Heading into the Bombardier Learjet 550k at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6, those entrant points - combined with the 136 earned for the four races Castroneves competed in - provided the No. 3 entry the No. 1 pit stall (closest to "pit out").

According to the Indy Racing League rulebook, pit assignments are based on entrant points entering each event (aside from the Indianapolis 500) beginning with the points leader at pit out and continuing in order of decreasing points to pit in.

Multi-car teams are allowed to average or split entrant points, with their decision provided to the sanctioning body before the season. If a team averages its entrant points, it is permitted to position the cars in any order.

The first pit stall is preferred because there isn't a car and its personnel in front of you to weave around, and it's just a few yards to the pit out timing line so you're not affected by the 60 mph pit lane limit. Hit that line first - as Castroneves did during a caution on a Lap 175 service stop that took all of 6 seconds - and you're in business.

"A tight pit area like this is key because you don't need to worry about how you stop the car, you just need to worry about leaving as fast as you can," Castroneves said. "Because of those pits, when you're in the front, obviously it's a great advantage."

Ryan Briscoe, who dominated during the midsection of the race -- and led 160 laps overall -- was second to the timing line and remained second for the remainder of the race. Briscoe's No. 6 Team Penske car was third in entrant points (the third pit stall from pit out, with Scott Dixon immediately in front).

"The guys in the pits did an awesome job all night long. The pit out there has such an advantage. That's what killed us," Briscoe said.

Though he's the IndyCar Series points leader heading into the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer at Iowa Speedway on June 21, Briscoe will occupy the No. 2 pit stall. Castroneves' No. 3 entry holds a 15-point margin.

***

2. IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights add new sponsors: The IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights recently signed new sponsors for the 2009 season and beyond. DB Schenker is the official freight logistics sponsor of the IndyCar Series, and KYMCO USA is the official scooter and off-road utility vehicle of the IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights.

DB Schenker is a worldwide logistics company with operations in approximately 2,000 locations and 130 countries. The IndyCar Series will coordinate logistics via DB Schenker's American operation based in Freeport, N.Y., and the company's Sports Event Group. Overall, the company will arrange transportation logistics for the series' four Honda Accord safety cars at events across the United States and Canada in a specially designed and branded transporter.

The safety cars include the car driven by three-time Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford that paces all IndyCar series events. The other safety cars are used for VIP and special guest hot laps at all events as well as being on display in the IndyCar Series paddock.

In addition to coordinating logistics for the league's safety car program, DB Schenker will assist in logistics for the series annual visit to Japan and other potential international venues in the future.

KYMCO USA, a longtime leader in quality, fuel-efficient scooters, motorcycles and ATVs has teamed up with the IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights in a multi-year partnership. Throughout 2009, IndyCar Series personnel will use KYMCO Super 8 150cc scooters and UXV 500 4x4 utility vehicles at race venues as well as at its headquarters in Indianapolis. The Super 8 150 features a fuel-efficient 150cc, SOHC air-cooled engine, front disc brakes, and KYMCO's popular CVT transmission. KYMCO 4x4 UXV 500s side-by-side utility ATVs provide a comfortable ride for driver and passenger, as well as a 420-pound capacity cargo bed.

***

The 2009 IndyCar Series season continues June 21 with the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa 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 with the Iowa 100 on June 20 at Iowa Speedway. The race will be telecast at 4 p.m. on June 22 by VERSUS.

-credit: irl

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Ryan Briscoe , Will Power , Johnny Rutherford
Teams Team Penske