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.


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 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.”


Mazepin Banned From Competing In Silverstone

The Haas F1 Team’s Nikita Mazepin has been banned from competing in the 2022 British Grand Prix after Motorsport UK announced on Wednesday that all Russian and Belarusian licence holders are to be banned from competing on UK soil.

The news comes despite the FIA confirming on Tuesday that Nikita Mazepin can create in Formula One under a neutral flag should the Haas F1 Team retain him.


A Solid 7th, 11th And 13th Place Finishes For RLL In St Pete

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing had a solid start to the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season in St Petersburg here on Sunday as Graham Rahal in the No.15 United Rentals Honda finished the race in seventh place and speaking following the action he said:

I would say it was a solid day for us in the No. 15 United Rentals Honda. Obviously, we would have liked to get that top five ahead of Romain and get Rinus (VeeKay). I was just struggling with braking bite in the end of the race there and when I came up the inside on Rinus I just couldn’t get it to stop. I thought the boys did a good job in the pits. It was a consistent day. The balance wasn’t great today, but we battled through it. It’s a good place to start, we’ll go onto Texas from here.”

Christian Lundgaard in the No30 Shield Cleansers Honda finished the race in 11th place and speaking following the action he said:

It was a long race. I think we lost quite a few positions in the beginning of the race at the start, which I wish we could’ve kept. I think we covered some ground on the first pit stop cycle which was good. We ran long on the reds which I was quite happy about. I think the pace on the reds was pretty decent, we perhaps could have gone a little quicker if we had some clean air, but we will never know. It was quite physical in the end. When we pulled out the last set of blacks, we tried to hang on. In the end I think the balance of the car was decent today, we just didn’t have the proper pace that the Penske cars had. So, I think to come home with a result like this is pretty good on our first weekend.

Jack Harvey in the No.45 Hy Vee Honda ended the race in 13th place and speaking following the action he said:

I think it was a pretty good day in the end there actually. I think it was a great strategy by the #45 HyVee Honda guys. I kind of made everyone’s life hard with qualifying to start 23rd and finish 13th. With minimal yellows and really tight windows, I thought it was just a great effort by the team. We have good momentum, we will build on it and get to Texas!


A Solid Debut For Calderon

AJ Foyt Racing’s Tatiana Calderon in the No.11 ROKiT Chevrolet had a solid debut NTT IndyCar Series race on the streets of St Petersburg, the Firestone Grand Prix presented by RP Funding.

Starting the race from 25th place, the Columbian made steady progress throughout the race and came home in 24th place just behind Jimmie Johnson and ahead of her team-mate Dalton Kellett who suffered a gearbox problem.

It was also a solid race for her team-mate and fellow rookie, Kyle Kirkwood who finished the race in 18th place.

The next race for Tatiana is the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach which takes place on April 10.


VeeKay Leads After Half Way

Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay currently leads the Firestone Grand Prix presented by RP Funding with Callum iIlott while Scott McLaughlin is currently in third place. Ilott just pitted.


McLaughlin Leads From Power

Scott McLaughlin on the No.3 DEX Chevrolet leads team-mate Will Power by 5.5s with thr top 12 having yet to stop in the race.

Colton Herta is third.