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January 2015

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The Team

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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for
  • Wil Vincent
    Contributing writer

    Wil is a 25 year old student, town planner, and sim racing commentator, most well known for his work as the lead commentator for GlacierTV. Wil got into commentating through his college student radio, where he also worked as a journalist and interviewer, covering gigs and festivals within the UK, and joined GlacierTV in February 2012, becoming lead commentator a month later. His work culminated in him commentating on the 2013 World Championship Grand Prix Series, iRacing Indy 500, and iRacing All Star Race. When he gets in the virtual cockpit, you'll normally see will taking on the thrill of IndyCar Oval racing, or trying his hand in GT action

    Outside of iRacing, Wil's an avid IndyCar fan, having watched the sport since the late 1990s, and always looks forward to the Month of May. He also enjoys watching NASCAR, Formula 1, and V8 Supercars.

  • Brooks Westfall
    Silver Crown Writer

    I've been sim racing since 2011 when I joined iRacing. I've jumped to many different sims, including rFactor, Richard Burns Rally, and the famous NASCAR Racing 2003. I picked up a copy of NR2003 with my birthday money when I was only 9, but was limited to a keyboard and a controller. After reciving a G25 for Christmas in '11, I've loved sim racing and the community iRacing has. I hope to end up writing for a car magazine or website in the near future, and intend on attending university to accomplish that.
    Aside from my career in sim racing and the real world, I hope to have my own small, yet functional race team soon with the purchace of a go kart. Since I'm currently residing in Maryland, I don't have a wide range of racing to choose from. My only options on a small budget are drag racing or kart racing. After the completion of my senior year in high school next year, I hope that inRacing News and other affiliates will help my dreams of writing for Road & Track become a reality!

  • Jeff Jacobs

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Cam Stark
    contributing writer

    I began taking sim racing seriously about a year ago, but have loved motorsports from a young age. I began following Formula One first, then realized there are a huge variety of motorsports to watch. iRacing has opened my eyes even more to the diversity and volume of “real world” motorsports, let alone on the sim itself. With the huge varieties of series to choose from, you're spoiled for choice!

    Ever since I began iRacing, I wanted to improve on my ability, be it road or oval. Having not really heard about oval racing prior to November last year (blame the UK press), my mentality towards it has totally changed from what it would have initially been - it's awesome! I recently began road racing again - in the Star Mazda - and have been having a blast ever since. On top of racing the series I have the privilege of writing the articles for iRacing News.

    In all honesty I have surprised myself on iRacing. From being a fairly casual gamer/racer, it's been a world of difference, but it has far exceeded my expectations. I had a very brief stint driving in rFactor leagues, but I found my place of sim racing on this service, and I can't see myself stopping anytime soon.

  • Justin Sutton
    series contributor

    Justin is 29 and lives in Texas with his girlfriend and three dogs. Although always a fan of road racing growing up, Sutton never got the chance to participate in Sim-Racing until 2012 and didn't join iRacing until 2013. The son of a writer, and former resident of Connecticut and Philadelphia, his interests vary. Currently Sutton is a co-owner of YouTube channel focused on racing games and simulators and more specifically Formula One along with his partner Mikko from Finland (BoxBoxBoxGaming). Currently Sutton writes the Skip Barber F2000 and Lotus 49 articles (and the occasional F1 article) for iRacing News, and doesn't get nearly enough time to race the cars he writes about.

    Gaming is a big part of Sutton's life as well as he is both viewer and broadcaster on Twitch along with his girlfriend of seven years. In addition to being an aspiring writer he is a skilled speaker with a focus on commentary of races and hopes one day to do commentary for road racing of some kind.

  • Matt Holden

    Matt Holden began his involvement in motorsports at an early age, moving to Charlotte, NC when he was 6 months old. Growing up next door to a NASCAR TV personality, racing has always been a major part of his life. Currently studying Mechanical Engineering at UNC Charlotte, Matt works for US Legend Cars International as a technical inspector and race official at local tracks such as Charlotte Motor Speedway and Concord Speedway. Within iRacing, Matt is the Crew Chief for Gale Force Racing's #05 car in the NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series, as well as Chassis Engineer for the team's R&D program.

  • Paul Slavonik
    iRacingNews Series Writer

    For all intents and purposes, Paul Slavonik was a late-bloomer to racing. Growing up watching NASCAR drivers such as Davey Allison and Earnhardt Sr. was the furthest extent of Paul’s racing aspirations at the time. Fast forwarding 20 years, Paul began watching the UK show Top Gear and thus ensued a fascination with all things fast. Soon after, Paul stumbled upon and has been hooked on racing ever since.
    A United States Army Veteran, Certified Audio Engineer and aspiring author, Paul spends his time hanging out with his wife and working on his first book. Currently residing in Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), TX, his favorite racing series is the Australian V8 Supercars (go FPR!) and he has recently joined a local ChumpCar racing team. Paul began writing news stories for iRacingNews in January of 2014 and currently covers the GT3 Challenge Series and the V8 Supercars Series.

  • Thiago Izequiel

    Born in 1985 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Thiago Izequiel is a graphic and web designer, go kart racer, aiming to get a career in motorsports. He started racing in 2007 and joined iRacing in 2010. Thiago lives in Maricá, a little town located in Rio de Janeiro state, around 60km far away from Rio de Janeiro city. In 2014 he started to write for iRacing News and also started to design layouts for racing cars.

    Working as a freelancer today, he started working as a designer in 2006. After a few years working in web design agencies, Thiago decided to follow his dreams and quit his job to work with a racing driver named Suzane Carvalho in 2011, on her driver's school. Things didn't worked out as expected and Thiago, after getting jobs as a front-end developer and social media content developer, went back to the dream path as a freelancer so he could have more time to focus on his driving career.

  • Tom O'Leary

    Tom is an 18-year old student from London, UK. Tom started sim-racing quite recently, although his passion for motorsport started at an early age, watching BTCC since the late 90s. Tom has since then expanded his interests in motorsport, watching Le Mans 24hr (and endurance racing as a whole) as well as the DTM, F1, and since starting to write about the NASCAR iRacing Series - NASCAR!

    Tom appeared on the sim-racing scene by trying out rFactor, rFactor 2 and then iRacing - where he spends most of his time racing in the Star Mazda Series where he has claimed third and then second overall in the two full seasons he has competed. On the oval side, Tom has completed a few races in the NASCAR Class C (Fixed) although he most enjoys the road side. Tom is an active member of Friction Racing, a team which focuses on the Star Mazda and the Williams-Toyota FW31, with the aim of reaching the Pro Series - and the iRacing World Championship Grand Prix Series.

    In his personal life, Tom spend time with his girlfriend (they have been together for two years) and likes a variety of games and has started to livestream his races/gameplay on Twitch, to give an insight to his approach to racing and gaming.

  • Jack Davidson
    Staff Videographer

    Jack is a recent grad from Boston University with a passion for filmmaking as well as racing. He grew up playing games such as the Need For Speed series, Gran Turismo, and more recently, the GRID and DIRT franchises.

  • Jason Lofing Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

Aleshin in huge final practice crash

August 30th, 2014

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Final practice for Saturday’s IndyCar season-finale at Fontana was cut short by a massive accident involving Mikhail Aleshin at Turn 4. The Russian was travelling at speed behind the car of Scott Dixon, who was slowing to enter the pits, when he spun. His Schmidt Peterson Dallara was flicked up the track into that of Charlie Kimball, who was also at full speed on the high line and had nowhere to go. Aleshin’s car launched off Kimball’s and flew into the fence, where it tore away a large section of mesh – leaving its right-front wheel tangled among the wires – before spinning violently back down onto the track and coming to rest. Both the SPM car and Kimball’s Ganassi machine sustained substantial damage, while several other drivers including Marco [...]

Mosport in line for IndyCar return

August 30th, 2014

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IndyCar technical advisor Tony Cotman has carried out a track inspection at Mosport in anticipation of the likely need for a back-up venue for Toronto due to 2015 scheduling conflicts. Toronto’s place on the 2015 calendar has been in doubt for some time due to the Pan-Am Games, which are scheduled for July 10-26, and which will use the same Exhibition Place venue that serves as the staging ground for the IndyCar street circuit, currently Canada’s only venue in the series. Other alternative dates are also proving unviable: the June 6 weekend, which had been mooted as an option for Toronto next year, has been awarded to Texas Motor Speedway. A joint statement from Mosport management and Green Savoree Racing Promotions, which runs the Toronto race, confirmed that the historic [...]

Castroneves on pole, Power struggles

August 29th, 2014

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Helio Castroneves boosted his title hopes by securing pole for Fontana’s IndyCar finale, while a catastrophic session for Will Power leaves the points leader at the rear of the field. Castroneves was the last driver to make his qualifying run and delivered a 218.540mph two-lap average to give himself the top starting spot for Saturday night’s title-deciding race. Juan Pablo Montoya’s early run of 217.621mph was enough to secure a Team Penske 1-2 on the grid. “This certainly helps,” Castroneves said. “But it’s not everything. Will and JP [Juan Pablo Montoya] went out ahead of me and I was able to see their data and make a final adjustment. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to get pole. “But tomorrow is a 500 mile race. Our job is to [...]

Houston loses IndyCar date for 2015

August 29th, 2014

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IndyCar has confirmed that Houston will not be on the series’ schedule in 2015 due to difficulties in securing a workable date. Promoter Mike Lanigan spoke earlier this year about the difficulties in securing a date that was not compromised by other events in the Reliant Stadium complex or the high temperatures of southern Texas in mid-summer. “IndyCar is thankful to Mike Lanigan and his team for all their hard work and for the tremendous support of the Grand Prix of Houston that we received from Shell, Pennzoil and Honda,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent of IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “We look forward to a continued relationship with Mi-Jack Promotions and will always keep our options open when it comes to an important [...]

Power leads Castroneves in practice

August 29th, 2014

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Championship rivals Will Power and Helio Castroneves opened this weekend’s IndyCar season-finale with a Team Penske 1-2 in opening practice at Fontana. The pair shot to the top right at the beginning of the session, with Power unloading a 221.389mph in a qualifying simulation run on just his second lap, and Castroneves following suit a few moments later at 221.354mph. With the field having got a head-start on its race preparation work during the open test on Wednesday evening, neither driver completed more than nine laps during the morning. It was a busier session for everyone else, with Ed Carpenter covering 31 laps on his way to going third-fastest, although his speed of 219.413mph was almost two miles per hour slower than the lead Penske drivers. Ganassi’s Scott Dixon, Tony [...]

IndyCar adds New Orleans track

August 27th, 2014

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IndyCar has confirmed that NOLA Motorsports Park will join its schedule in 2015, marking the first time that the series has raced in New Orleans. The series will visit the 13-turn, 2.67-mile road course on April 10-12, two weeks after the first scheduled United States race of the season in St Petersburg. “We’re delighted about the opportunity to showcase the IndyCar Series at NOLA Motorsports Park and to IndyCar fans in the greater New Orleans area,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co, the parent of IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “The commitment from track owner Laney Chouest and his associates, combined with the support we received from the state of Louisiana, was the catalyst in making this come to fruition. “New Orleans has a history of hosting [...]

Ganassi team was distracted – Dixon

August 27th, 2014

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Outgoing IndyCar champion Scott Dixon believes that internal distractions over the winter played a role in his Chip Ganassi team’s slow start to the 2014 IndyCar season. Dixon has recovered from a poor start to the year to win two of the last three races, backing up his victory at Mid-Ohio with another win at Sonoma last weekend. However, the reigning champion heads into this weekend’s Fontana finale 103 points adrift of Will Power, and the New Zealander admitted that the team had not developed as fast as it needed to during the winter. “I think we started the season a little light in development,” Dixon said. “We had a lot of other projects as a team going on with the switch in engine manufacturer, but the switch to Chevy [...]

Chaves certain of Indy 500 deal

August 27th, 2014

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Newly-crowned Indy Lights champion Gabby Chaves is optimistic that he can capitalise on his title success with an IndyCar programme next season. Chaves beat Jack Harvey to the Lights title on a countback of second places following last weekend’s finale at Sonoma. While the Lights championship has long been accompanied by a substantial scholarship toward an IndyCar deal, Chaves is the first driver to benefit from a relaxation in restrictions over how that money can be used. Previously, a driver was only granted their prize if it formed part of a budget for a full IndyCar season; a rule that prevented 2010 series champion Jean-Karl Vernay from ever making an IndyCar start. The payout for winning the Lights title is now smaller but it can be used toward a part-programme [...]

Hildebrand in talks for 2015 CFH seat

August 26th, 2014

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JR Hildebrand is in the frame to join Josef Newgarden at the newly-merged CFH Racing team in next year’s IndyCar season. The team, which will be created from a merger between Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing and Ed Carpenter Racing, confirmed over the weekend that current SFHR driver Newgarden has signed a deal to remain on board, although question marks remain over the ECR side of the equation. Carpenter currently shares his entry with Mike Conway, the Brit having made his final appearance of the season at Sonoma before handing the car back to oval specialist Carpenter for this weekend’s finale at Fontana. But with Toyota thought to be keen on making Conway a more regular member of its World Endurance Championship team, it is uncertain whether that would leave room [...]

IndyCar announces new testing limits

August 25th, 2014

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IndyCar teams will be limited to 14 test days and no in-season, on-track team testing under new regulations for 2015, although open tests prior to selected races will be reintroduced. Under the regulations, which will apply from August 31 this year through to September 20, 2015, teams will be permitted a total of 14 test days including engine manufacturer tests, open tests, and full-size windtunnel testing. Full-season entrants will be capped at a maximum of 10,000 miles for all on-track activity from the first race or open test of 2015 through to the end of the season. There will be provisions made for tyre tests, new teams and first-year drivers. Derrick Walker, IndyCar’s president of competition, said that the aim of the new regulations was to limit costs and accommodate [...]

Dixon wins puzzling Sonoma race

August 24th, 2014

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Scott Dixon emerged victorious from a bizarre Sonoma IndyCar race, while Will Power recovered from a mishap to salvage 10th and maintain the points lead into next weekend’s Fontana finale. On an afternoon riddled with incidents and intrigue, Dixon moved into the lead for the first time just three laps from the end as Mike Conway, who was one of several drivers on alternate strategies, began to struggle on fuel mileage. “There were so many strategies going on and they were just slightly off, and I didn’t know who could make it and who couldn’t,” said Ganassi driver Dixon. “We’ve have a pretty rats year this year and I’m so happy to end on this note.” The extent of Conway’s plight became apparent as he ran dry midway through the [...]

Newgarden stays with merged CFH

August 24th, 2014

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Josef Newgarden will remain in the #67 IndyCar next year after signing with the newly-merged CFH Racing team. Newgarden is in his third consecutive season with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, which announced last week that it will merge with Ed Carpenter Racing to form a multi-car team during the off-season. His deal is for one year, with a further one-year option. “I decided to stay here because I believe in our group and everything that we’ve built and where we are going,” said Newgarden, who will start Sunday’s IndyCar race at Sonoma from the front row. “It’s a very strong situation that’s on the rise, and I think next year is the year to capitalise on it. “Ed [Carpenter] has been one of the biggest guys who has helped me [...]

Power flies to Sonoma pole

August 24th, 2014

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Will Power will start the IndyCar race at Sonoma from pole position for Penske after a dramatic qualifying session late on Saturday afternoon. Power secured the top spot with a fastest lap of 1m17.4126s, although he actually went faster during the opening qualifying phase, resetting the track record with a 1m17.2393s. “I didn’t think the first flying lap would be pole,” said Power. “We thought we could go quicker with the newer tyres, but it was the same as Barber – the older tyres turned out to be the ones that did it.” It could have been an all-Penske front row were it not for a couple of mistakes from Power’s team-mate and title rival Helio Castroneves, who tumbled from second to sixth in the final couple of minutes via [...]

Castroneves tops second practice

August 23rd, 2014

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Helio Castroneves was quickest in a busy second IndyCar practice session at Sonoma on Saturday. Several drivers took turns at the top of the timesheets before Penske’s Castroneves made it his own with a fastest lap of 1m18.6582s, although his time was very nearly beaten right at the end by Ryan Briscoe, whose best effort fell just 0.0338 seconds short. Briscoe’s late run knocked first practice pacesetter Ryan Hunter-Reay back to third, with Scott Dixon and Will Power rounding out the top five. Several of the earlier session leaders faded back as others around them put on new tyres, including Juan Pablo Montoya, who was quickest with 20 minutes to go and finished up eighth-fastest, and Marco Andretti, who ended the afternoon in 10th. The session was the final chance [...]

Newgarden yet to consider 2015 plans

August 20th, 2014

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Josef Newgarden claims that he will not start considering his 2015 IndyCar plans until his current deal with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing ends after this month’s Fontana season finale. The American is nearing the end of his third season with Fisher’s team and has been on a recent run of strong results including a top five finish at Milwaukee last weekend. SFHR confirmed over the weekend that it will merge with fellow single-car outfit Ed Carpenter Racing over the winter, meaning that if Newgarden stays on, he will have a team-mate for the first time in his IndyCar career. The 23-year-old insists that he is not yet thinking that far ahead, although he is adamant that he will remain in IndyCar. “I haven’t really put much thought into it,” he [...]

Power wins and surges clear in points

August 17th, 2014

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Will Power gave his championship hopes a lift with a commanding win in Sunday’s IndyCar race at Milwaukee, while Juan Pablo Montoya finished second to complete a Penske one-two. Power started from pole and led 228 of 250 laps, but the numbers disguise how hard the Australian was made to work for his first short oval victory. He was pushed hard by Tony Kanaan immediately after the first stops, and was leapfrogged by the Brazilian later when he stayed out longer on his second stint. It took until the next round of stops for Power to get his lead back, but then he had to endure a final stint of navigating traffic while being hunted down by Montoya. Fortunately for him, Montoya was having traffic problems of his own, and [...]

Hunter-Reay extends Andretti deal

August 17th, 2014

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Ryan Hunter-Reay will remain an Andretti Autosport driver into the 2015 IndyCar season and beyond after signing a multi-year contact extension with the team at Milwaukee. Hunter-Reay has been with Michael Andretti’s team since 2010. “I can’t say enough about this partnership and how much we’ve done together,” said Hunter-Reay, who won the Indianapolis 500 this year and was IndyCar Series champion in 2012. “We’ve grown as a team; we’ve grown as a family. Andretti Autosport for me feels like family. “I’m really happy to have the stability of continuing with the #28 team and the entire Andretti Autosport crew. “I know with that continuity and that security we can come up with many more successes in the future.” The team also confirmed that DHL has signed a three-year deal [...]

Power denies Kanaan in pole battle

August 16th, 2014

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Will Power held off Tony Kanaan to secure pole position for this weekend’s IndyCar race at Milwaukee. The current championship leader was the ninth driver to head out for his run, unloading laps of 168.719mph and 169.811mph to earn a two-lap average of 169.292mph; considerably faster than the speeds seen in practice earlier in the day. “Definitely wasn’t expecting those sorts of speeds,” Power admitted. “But the car was very solid, and I had the information from the two team-mates before me about how the balance was changing. “I wasn’t expecting to be on pole but it’s good to be at the front.” Kanaan’s two-lap average was 168.662mph, and while he lost some time trying to go flat through Turn 1 on his second lap (“I’d seen Will’s time and [...]

Power In Hot Pursuit Of First Championship

August 16th, 2014

Power In Hot Pursuit Of First Championship

Will Power is in position to claim his first IndyCar title. (Al Steinberg photo) WEST ALLIS, Wis. – Will Power believes he is in the strongest position of his career to win his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship. “I want it, absolutely,” Power said. “I’m focused. I really want to get it right. You know, it’s IndyCar racing, anything can happen.” That’s just the thing. Anything can and has happened, especially to Power. “I’ve just got to be smart,” Power said. It won’t be easy with a lot to think about in the closing weeks of the season. One obstacle he has is clinging to just a four-point lead heading into the final three races of the season in consecutive weekends, starting Sunday with the ABC Supply Company Wisconsin 250 [...]

Carpenter and Fisher teams to merge

August 16th, 2014

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Two of IndyCar’s single-car teams have confirmed plans to merge at the end of 2014, with Ed Carpenter Racing and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing set to become a multi-car entity. The new team, which will be called CFH Racing, will be based in the current SFHR headquarters in Indianapolis. Many major details regarding staffing and technical partners are yet to be finalised, including the engines – ECR currently uses Chevrolet power, while SFHR is aligned with Honda. Carpenter earned his first IndyCar win at Kentucky in 2011 while driving for Fisher before setting up his own team the following season to become the series’ only owner-driver. His decision to share his seat with Mike Conway this year has so far delivered three victories for ECR, and Carpenter said that the [...]