Monday, May 9, 2016

Preview Month Of May In The Verizon IndyCar Series With Farmer, Santoroski Jr., & The EDJE

Verizon IndyCar Series championship points leader, Simon Pagenaud as he takes Turn 5 in the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach. The Penske Racing driver went on to win his first race after joining this team last year. Pagenaud went on to win the next race at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2016)

Preview Month Of May In The Verizon IndyCar Series With Farmer, Santoroski Jr., & The EDJE

Four races into a planned 16 race season with having two temporary street, one road, and one odd shaped oval courses in the books, Simon Pagenaud finds himself owning back-to-back wins and the championship points lead entering the famed "Month Of May" in the schedule.

Just this weekend, it was announced that the season of 16 races may be in jeopardy because the negotiations to bring a temporary street race event to the city of Boston have come to a halt and an end for 2016 (and possibly beyond) leaving everyone to say to themselves - Oh no, not again.

In this episode of Championship Racing Radio, Road To Indy contributor Josh Farmer has invited Frank Santoroski Jr. (Drafting The Circuits), and Edmund Jenks (... notes from The EDJE, Motorsports Journal), with the Month Of May - featuring the two race Grand Prix Of Indianapolis road course, and the hallmark 100th INDY 500 oval of oval courses at Indianapolis Motor Speedway  - augmented with losing Boston off of the schedule as a backdrop ... to discuss all things IndyCar.

After the Boston heave (ho) party, the lead speculation for a replacement race has the venerable road course at Watkins Glen becoming a Labor Day event shared with a Ferrari weekend in order to keep the Northeast market schedule option viable.

If this were not enough, a rumor has started circulating about a post season October 2016 international exhibition non-points paying race in China ... yes, no points and China.

We have the Angie's List Grand Prix Of Indianapolis coming up in just a few days - here is what Simon Pagenaud had to say about the third time this road race is to be run:

Excerpted and edited from Simon Pagenaud Conference Call TRANSCRIPT - 5/4/2016 -

THE MODERATOR: You mentioned you won the first race on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2014. What do you like about the road course, and what kind of race do you expect?

SIMON PAGENAUD: I love the road course. It's a beautiful layout. The surface is really smooth so we can really be aggressive with the setup on the IndyCar.

I just love the fact that we kick off the month of May with a road course. The fans can see the cars in that configuration. Then we switch over the Indy mode after that.

I think it's great. It's what IndyCar is all about: diversity. We're showing what we can do. Different kind of tracks, different configurations, the aerodynamics. I find that very exciting.

The track itself, it's quite flat, which I like that better than blind corners. You can really maximize your vision and your driving.
Q. One thing that occurred over the weekend was the Boston news, a bit unfortunate. Were you surprised by that? Is there anyplace in particular that sticks out you'd like to go for a replacement round?

SIMON PAGENAUD: Yeah, I'm very disappointed. That was going to be a great event, perfect position in the city. I managed to see the excitement of I guess half of the population in Boston because I know some of the population was not excited about it. There were a lot of people that were pulling for the race. I saw the excitement.

The racetrack itself looked like it was going to be a beautiful layout. We were going to go through a tunnel, which would have been really cool.

It is what it is. It's beyond my reach. I hope we can replace the race. For sure, I'm thinking of Watkins Glen. I've never been there, but it looks like a beautiful track. It's been repaved, as well, recently. That would be a good market and really cool track to go to.

There's plenty of tracks in America that could be exciting to go to. I'd like to go back to Fontana personally. I love that oval. But I don't know what's going to happen.

Q. Maybe you could bug John Menard to get Milwaukee back on the schedule.

SIMON PAGENAUD: There you go (laughter).

Then, of course, the 100th INDY 500, and the potential list of new drivers added to the field ... some of which will compete in both races during the Month Of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Excerpted and edited from Wikipedia -

Competing in both races during the Month Of May - Angie's List Grand Prix Of Indianapolis & 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil:

Matthew Brabham, son of Geoff Brabham, and grandson of Sir Jack Brabham will enter with KV Racing Technology.[4] Brabham will attempt to become the third, third-generation driver to qualify in Indy 500 history. The previous two were Billy Vukovich III and Marco Andretti. The car will carry No. 61.

Spencer Pigot will drive for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

J.R. Hildebrand will drive car No. 6 for Ed Carpenter Racing.

Alex Tagliani will drive for A.J. Foyt Enterprises. Tagliani will drive car No. 35 in honor of Foyt's record of 35 consecutive starts in the race as a driver.

Competing in the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil:

Sage Karam will drive for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing-Kingdom Racing in the No. 24 Gas Monkey Energy/Havoline Chevy.

Bryan Clauson will drive for Dale Coyne Racing-Jonathan Byrd's Racing in the No. 88.

Pippa Mann will drive for Dale Coyne Racing.

Buddy Lazier will drive for Lazier Partners Racing. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Lazier's Indy 500 victory.

Townsend Bell will drive car No. 29 for Andretti Autosport.

Oriol Servià will drive a third entry for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. The Honda-powered car will feature No.77 and will be in conjunction with Marotti Racing.

Stefan Wilson will drive for KVSH Racing. Stefan is the younger brother of Justin Wilson, who was killed in a racing incident last August at the ABC Supply 500. The car will carry No. 25, a tribute to the number Justin drove in the 2015 season.

Katherine Legge will join Grace Autosport for the 2016 race [still pending]. This will be her first attempt since the 2013 Indianapolis 500. Grace Autosport is the first ever all-female racing team to compete at Indianapolis.

Editor's Note: Do not count out Gabby Chaves and a hook-up with Dale Coyne ... the door, at the time of this publishing ... is still open!

Listen in as Josh, Ed and Frank Santoroski, Jr. of Drafting the Circuits enjoy discussing IndyCar open wheel racing, drivers, teams, and the Month Of May.

Angie's List Grand Prix Of Indianapolis Schedule >>>

100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil Schedule >>>

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Verizon IndyCar Series, 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, Angie's List Grand Prix Of Indianapolis, IMS, 100th INDY 500, Grand Prix Of Indianapolis, @AngiesList, #IndyCar, @IMS, #Indy500, #MonthofMay, #INDYRIVALS, #ALGPI, The EDJE

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