Texas Motor Speedway Is A Different Animal

The NTT IndyCar Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway later this month for the XPEL 375, round 2 of the 2022 season, and the first oval race of the year.

The race will be a completely different animal compared to the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix presented by RP Funding on the streets of St Petersburg last weekend according to Meyer Shank Racing’s Simon Pagenaud.

Speaking exclusively to Paddock Eye this week, the Frenchman said that the car set-up is completely different on an oval compared to a road and street course.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Jimmie Johnson will make his oval race debut in Texas in the No.48 Carvana American Legion Honda.

Devlin DeFrancesco, David Malukas and Callum Ilott will also make their oval race debuts.


Hendrickson Expand Rahal Partnership

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced on Friday that they have expanded their existing partnership with Hendrickson.

The expanded partnership will see the suspension component manufacturer serve as primary sponsor to Christian Lundgaard for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio while they will also serve as a season-long associate sponsor to the No.30 Honda.

Speaking about the news, RLL co-owner Mike Lanigan said:

Hendrickson is a leading global manufacturer and supplier of medium and heavy-duty suspensions systems that keep both LANCO’s and RLL’s transportation safely moving forward. “Being aligned with a first-class global transportation industry leader is an honor ad we are proud to be representing the men and women of Hendrickson.”

The relationship dates back to 2020 when Hendrickson provided Rahal with an addition hauler to compliment their race weekend set up.

Jeff Sass, VP of Marketing with Hendrickson said:

Hendrickson is excited to continue its relationship with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing into 2023. “The sharing of ideas and RLL’s advanced engineering process has been a real win for Hendrickson. In addition, the interaction between the RLL team and Hendrickson’s customers is first rate on race day. Hendrickson is proud to be associated with the entire Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team.”

The 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season continues in two weeks with the XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway.


The Aeroscreen Provides A Layer Of Safety I Appreciate And Love

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal has responded to journalist Will Buxton’s tweet regarding the IndyCar Aeroscreen.

Rahal, who ended last weekend’s race in St Pete in seventh place tweeted.

IndyCar News

Zanardi To Be Inducted Into The Long Beach Walk Of Fame

The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach announced on Thursday that former IndyCar driver Alex Zanardi and IMSA all-time race winner Bill Auberlen will be inducted into the Long Beach Grand Prix Walk Of Fame on Friday 7 April.

Zanardi is a 15 time race winner in IndyCar and won the Long Beach Grand Prix in CART back to back in 1997 and 1998 respectively.

Zanardi’s former Ganassi team-mate Jimmy Vasser will accept the honor on the Italian’s behalf at the ceremony which forms part of the build up to the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach next month.

The 16th annual ceremony, open to the public, will take place at 11 a.m. on South Pine Avenue in front of the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center as part of the festivities surrounding the 2022 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia commented saying:

“Alex Zanardi and Bill Auberlen are icons in the auto racing world, and it is a privilege to honor them this way in our Motorsports Walk of Fame,

Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President and CEO Jim Michaelian said:

“With their records here in Long Beach and elsewhere, Alex and Bill are very deserving to be inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame. “Their contributions to the sport of racing around the world are undeniable and we’re pleased to acknowledge their outstanding careers with this honor.”

IndyCar News

New Drivers, A New Base And Fresh Investment Show Meyer Shank Mean Business

The 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season got underway in Florida last weekend with the Firestone Grand Prix presented by RP Funding, while many teams in the series stayed the same in terms of their driver pairings, Meyer Shank Racing did not.

The team, led by Mike Shank and Jim Meyer decided to expand their operation to two full-time entries and brought in series veterans Helio Castroneves, who won the Indianapolis 500 for the team in 2021 and Simon Pagenaud who won the Indy 500 in 2019 with Team Penske.

The team received a boost over the off-season following the opening of their new race shop in Ohio and fresh investment from Liberty Media.

The team had a great pre-season test in Sebring last month as both Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves led the way.

Speaking to Paddock Eye this week following the Firestone Grand Prix presented by RP Funding, Simon Pagenaud said that he is looking forward to his future racing with MSR.

Pagenaud credits former MSR IndyCar driver, Jack Harvey with assisting the team in terms of putting them where they are now competing with Penske and Ganassi.

The team heads to Texas Motor Speedway in two weeks for the XPEL 375 aiming for a strong performance however, Pagenaud told Paddock Eye this week that road course pace doesn’t necessarily translate to ovals.


I Am Lucky

Four-Time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves says he is lucky to have been able to win four Indianapolis 500 races and he is aiming for five in May with Meyer Shank Racing.

The Brazilian who won back to back 500’s in 2001 and 2002 spoke at the unveiling of his likeness on the Borg-Warner trophy.

I’m beyond lucky to get to have another face added to the Borg-Warner Trophy. “It’s an exciting time to get to celebrate this special moment at the Indiana Statehouse, as
well. It’s been such a great experience making my full-time return to INDYCAR with Meyer
Shank Racing. Last year was just the start of a really great partnership together, and now we
begin the drive for five.”

Michelle Collins of Borg-Warner commented saying:

“Today is a special day for everyone involved as we get to finally unveil the winning
driver’s image on the Borg-Warner Trophy. BorgWarner is proud to be able to reward Helio Castroneves’ hard work on the track, winning his record tying fourth Indianapolis 500, with this beautiful sterling silver likeness created by sculptor William Behrends. The unveiling of the winning driver’s image is a fun and memorable annual event that showcases the winner’s likeness, along with all the other past winners of the Indianapolis 500 dating back to 1911 when
Ray Harroun drove to victory. “Helio and everyone at Meyer Shank Racing performed flawlessly on Race Day last May to put
their names atop the record book. Helio is a wonderful ambassador for the sport, and everyone at BorgWarner is proud to be associated with him. We recognize his greatness and never-ending smile on and off the track.”

President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, J Douglas Boles said:

“This is one of the most historic unveilings of a likeness on the Borg-Warner Trophy we’ve ever had as Helio’s image now appears for the fourth time on this beautiful trophy. “It’s
exciting to get to celebrate something that only A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears have done and place Helio alongside those iconic names. While Helio isn’t from Indiana, he definitely knows what it means to be a Hoosier, and we are proud to stand in the Indiana Statehouse today for this very special occasion.”

The 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 takes place on Sunday May 29. For more information visit –

IndyCar News

Carpenter To Race With The No.33 On Ovals Starting In Texas

Ed Carpenter Racing team owner, Ed Carpenter will compete in the oval events during the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season oval races driving the No.33 Chevrolet starting with the XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway on March 20.

Carpenter has three pole positions for the Indianapolis 500 and also compete in the Iowa doubleheader at Iowa Speedway on July 23 250 and the Hy-Vee Salute To Farmers 300.

Carpenter will also compete in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 on August 20.


We Must Not Lose Sight Of Safety In The Pursuit Of Performance

The NTT IndyCar Series has been at the forefront of developing safety systems for motorsport worldwide for many years with the introduction of the HANS device in the early 2000s which is now FIA mandated along with the introduction of the SAFER barrier at circuits.

The series introduced the cock-pit Aeroscreen in 2020 as a safety measure to protect the driver’s head in the event of a collision of flying debris and it was introduced thanks to IndyCar working closely with Red Bull Advanced Technologies in the UK, chassis manufacturer, Dallara, and PPG.

Following months of tests with the drivers, it was introduced and proved to be a great asset to the sport despite a few teething problems.

Drivers in the series have welcomed its introduction however with the introduction of the new hybrid engine in IndyCar delayed until 2024, it has been suggested in some circles that the DW12 chassis be replaced and that the Aeroscreen is replaced by the F1 Halo system.

For one thing, the halo restricts the driver’s line of sight and the halo would also not be practical for use on ovals.

The NTT IndyCar Series has worked tirelessly in the pursuit of making the sport safer and the introduction of the Aeroscreen was the best option available to IndyCar.

The series has spent a lot of time and money testing it and it is a better option for the AMR Safety team too when it comes to extricating a driver from a car compared to the halo.

While the Aeroscreen increases the drag and loading on the car affecting the performance of the cars in traffic it might not be lost on fans or observers of the sport that this is all to do with safety and it is the right answer to what the NTT IndyCar Series was looking for.


IndyCar Delay The Introduction Of Hybrid Engine Until 2024

The NTT IndyCar Series announced on Thursday that they have agreed to delay the introduction of their 2.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine with hybrid technology to the 2024 season following consultation with Chevrolet and Honda.

Speaking following the announcement, President of IndyCar Jay Frye said:

We are pleased with the pace of the technical development of the 2.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 hybrid as we prepare it for competition. We are very encouraged by the progress our team and our partners have made, but an immediate decision needed to be made to ensure we are prepared for the 2023 season utilizing our current 2.2-liter engine package.

“Thanks to our great partners at Honda and Chevrolet for working through this challenging supply chain situation. We are going full speed ahead with the 2.4-liter hybrid engine and cannot wait to have it on track in 2024.”

Mark Stielow, Director of GM Motorsports Competition Engineering commented on today’s announcement saying:

We are proud of the hard work and level of commitment by our engine group, along with our teams and partners, in the development of the Chevrolet 2.4-liter engine for our INDYCAR program. “We were certainly excited to have it on track next season. Chevrolet remains fully committed to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, and we look forward to debuting our future engine package in 2024

Testing of the new engine will begin on March 30 and 31 at Sebring International Raceway.

Speaking about the news, Honda Performance Development President and Technical Director David Salters said:

We are very excited to get the electrified era of INDYCAR SERIES racing underway. “We have finished development and dyno testing of our new internal combustion engine, and once the hybrid system component supply chain issues are sorted, we’ll begin track testing of the new hybrid power unit.”

IndyCar News

Kirkwood Fastest In Rookie Texas Test

AJ Foyt Racing’s Kyle Kirkwood in the No.14 ROKiT Chevrolet was the fastest at the NTT IndyCar Series rookie test at Texas Motor Speedway on Wednesday.

JR Hildebrand was on hand to shakedown the car ahead of Kirkwood’s track debut at TMS.

The Florida native set a fastest speed of 219.78MPH, completing 146 laps ending the session ahead of Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Callum Ilott who completed 130 laps.

Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean who was the fastest in the no tow speed charts was third fastest completing 152 laps ending the day just ahead of Dale Coyne Racing’s David Malukas who completed 210 laps ending the day just ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Devlin DeFrancesco who completed 133 laps.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Christian Lundgaard rounded out the order with 186 laps under his belt.