INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing is looking to keep their winning streak going as the team heads into this weekend’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES doubleheader at Iowa Speedway.
CGR has won the first four races of the season. Scott Dixon parked the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda in Victory Lane at Texas, the Indianapolis GP and race one at Road America. Felix Rosenqvist parked the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda in Victory Lane in race two at Road America.
“Winning the first four races (as a team) was nice, but now our focus turns to winning this weekend at Iowa,” said Dixon, a 5-time series Champion.
“It’s obviously nice to have the win, as well, in the bank from Elkhart (Lake),” said Rosenqvist. “It definitely gives some confidence for me and the NTT DATA crew coming forward in the season here, after having done a couple of good races now.”
The winning streak is not unprecedented. Sebastian Bourdais won the first four races of the season in 2006 for Newman Haas Racing.
Al Unser Sr won five in-a-row for Retzloff in 1968 and he did it again two years later in the Johnny Lightning car for Vel Meletich.
AJ Foyt won the first seven races of the 1964 season driving for Anstead-Thompson Racing. Team Penske won 7 in-a-row in 1994 between Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser Jr and Paul Tracy.
CGR won 7-in-a-row back in the 1998 season with Jimmy Vasser and Alex Zanardi.
It won’t be easy to keep the streak going at Iowa. The 7/8-mile oval is a fast track and because of its length teams cannot afford to make mistakes.
“You need to be prepared, unload fast and work quick because everything is happening so quickly with two races in two days,” said Dixon, who leads the series Championship standing by 54-points over Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta. “There is no room for mistakes. I know the PNC Bank No. 9 team will be up for it.”
“I had a really good weekend there last year with a strong qualifying and was running well in the race,” said Marcus Ericsson, driver of the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Honda for CGR. “I was going for a podium even until I had a late pit entry violation that caused me a penalty. So, I feel like I have some unfinished business.”
“It’s cool to be back in Iowa,” said Rosenqvist “It’s definitely one of my favorite ovals from last year. It’s a really good track for racing, and there’s always fun side-by-side racing there.”
At-track schedule (all times Eastern):
FRIDAY, JULY 17
2-3:30 p.m.: NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice, NBC Sports Gold (Live)
5:30 p.m.: Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (Single car, Two laps (Lap 1/Race; Lap 2/Race 2), NBC Sports Gold (Live)
8:30 p.m.: NBCSN on air
9:10 p.m.: “Drivers, start your engines”
9:15 p.m.: Iowa INDYCAR 250s Race 1 (250 laps/218.75 miles), NBCSN (Live)
SATURDAY, JULY 18
3:30-4:30 p.m.: NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice, NBC Sports Gold
8:30 p.m.: NBCSN on air
8:40 p.m.: “Drivers, start your engines”
8:45 p.m.: Iowa INDYCAR 250s Race 1 (250 laps/218.75 miles), NBCSN (Live)
INDYCAR Community Reacts To No Fans At Indy 500
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The INDYCAR community is reacting to the news that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has decided to run the Indy 500 on August 23 without fans in attendance. The decision is a reversal of a plan set forth a few weeks ago where the event would be run in front of 25-percent of the capacity of the Speedway.
Speedway President J. Douglas Boles, who has been a guest on The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast, is appreciative of his team and the fans:
Heartbroken for my fellow fans. Proud of the @IMS team that has worked thousands of hours to make the race happen with spectators. Even through end of yesterday we were working on setting up to open the gates. Thankful for Roger’s passion, commitment & leadership in these times. https://t.co/I7TadsP2sd
— J. Douglas Boles (@jdouglas4) August 4, 2020
Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Graham Rahal took to social media to make some great points:
Today’s news brought lots of mixed emotions, but we’ve got to do what is necessary for our fans & community’s health & safety now in order to keep this sport & race alive for generations to come. It won’t be the same without you all on 8/23, but we’ll be back strong in 2021.(2/2) pic.twitter.com/hL2ITFB27W
— Graham Rahal (@GrahamRahal) August 4, 2020
Spencer Pigot who drives for Steelers minority owner Rob Citrone and Robbie Buhl’s team Citrone Buhl Autosport with RLL also took to Twitter to express his feelings:
It's going to look and feel a lot different this year but it's still the Indy 500 and we will be giving it our all to entertain the fans watching from home! Looking forward to seeing you all back at the track next year. #Indy500 https://t.co/MPy4X1RsSK
— Spencer Pigot (@SpencerPigot) August 4, 2020
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson also weighed in:
Regarding the #Indy500 news, it’s a shame we cannot race in front of all you amazing fans! But I trust and believe @IndyCar have made the right call, safety always comes first. We will do everything to make it a great show for you all watching on the TVs back home #INDYCAR #ME8
— Marcus Ericsson (@Ericsson_Marcus) August 4, 2020
Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Real and Alexander Rossi, two former 500 winners had this to say:
This is disappointing to say the least. Our sport, especially the Indy 500, is based on our fans. No doubt these are unprecedented times. With that said, Roger Penske & his team @IndyCar are simply doing what is necessary for the well being of our fans. https://t.co/o55xeCvVqy
— Ryan Hunter-Reay (@RyanHunterReay) August 4, 2020
— Alexander Rossi (@AlexanderRossi) August 4, 2020
Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden, who’s boss owns the Speedway has a great idea:
Can’t imagine how tough this decision must have been. It won’t be the same without everyone at @IMS , but it’s still the Greatest Spectacle In Racing. Tell your friends to tune in, post on social & tell the world to tune in. Let’s make this the most watched race ever. #Indy500 pic.twitter.com/a0ZadLYyuP
— Josef Newgarden (@josefnewgarden) August 4, 2020
Not the news we all wanted to hear and can’t imagine how tough it was to make. Gutted for every single fan. Now, let’s all work together and get EVERYONE tuned into this race on August 23rd! #Indy500 pic.twitter.com/kChEZMMO82
— Jack Harvey (@jack_harvey42) August 4, 2020
Super bummed to hear we won’t be seeing all of the amazing fans in these seats this year. Hoping to make you all proud on the big screen on Aug. 23rd at the greatest spectacle in racing. Let’s make this one to remember. #WIXIndy #INDYCAR @DRRIndyCar @WIXFilters @JusticeBrosInc pic.twitter.com/6ywkkz85Ag
— Sage Karam (@SageKaram) August 4, 2020
— Ed Carpenter (@edcarpenter20) August 4, 2020
Stay tuned to Pittsburgh Racing Now for updated comments from the INDYCAR Community
No Fans At Indianapolis 500 in 2020
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is cancelling plans to have fans at the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 mile race.
“It is with great regret that we announce the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place on Aug. 23 without fans. This tough decision was made following careful consideration and extensive consultation with state and city leadership” the Speedway said in a statement.
“As dedicated as we were to running the race this year with 25 percent attendance at our large outdoor facility, even with meaningful and careful precautions implemented by the city and state, the COVID-19 trends in Marion County and Indiana have worsened. Since our June 26 announcement, the number of cases in Marion County has tripled while the positivity rate has doubled. We said from the beginning of the pandemic we would put the health and safety of our community first, and while hosting spectators at a limited capacity with our robust plan in place was appropriate in late June, it is not the right path forward based on the current environment.”
The Speedway is closing all on-track activity to the general public, including practice and qualifications. Ticket holders will be credited for the 2021 Indianapolis 500 and will retain their seniority and their originally assigned seats.
News from #IMS:
It is with great regret that we announce the Indianapolis 500 will take place on August 23 without fans. This tough decision was made following careful consideration and extensive consultation with state and city leadership.
— Indianapolis Motor Speedway (@IMS) August 4, 2020
The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast – Episode 15 – Aaron Reutzel, Matthew Dillner, Chip Ganassi and more!
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast features the 2-time and defending Champion of the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 Aaron Reutzel. We also talk to Matthew Dillner of Dirty Mo Media about the new show he co-hosts with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chip Ganassi takes his own trip down memory lane and we hear from Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials about safety protocols in place at this year’s Indy 500.