Motorsport News - US
17th August 2012
1. Hot items on Auto Club Speedway menu
2. Pagenaud featured on next "INDYCAR 36"
3. Sonoma test day news conference will be streamed live
4. Cruise in to Southeastern Michigan
5. Of note
1. Hot items on Auto Club Speedway menu: Donning chef hats and aprons, Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti unveiled culinary creations that will be available for purchase at the Drivers Cuisine Cantina during the MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships at Auto Club Speedway.
"Scott's Hot Tater Tots" and "Franchitti's Baked Ziti" will be on the menu, along with "Takuma Sato's Pork Chop Sandwich" and "Charlie Kimball's California Chicken Sandwich."
The drivers, who have a combined six IZOD IndyCar Series championships, interacted with fans during the Aug. 16 event at the racetrack in advance of the Sept. 15 season finale on the 2-mile oval in Fontana, Calif. They also were guests on several TV and radio shows, including "Good Day LA" where Franchitti met Olympic swimming gold medalist Tyler Clary.
Also during the event at Impulse in the DiscoverIE FanZone, Auto Club Speedway president Gillian Zucker and MAVTV president Bob Patison unveiled the logo for the 200-lap IZOD IndyCar Series race that will determine the series champion.
MAVTV is a high-definition entertainment network that was purchased in 2011 by Lucas Oil Products.
"Creating awareness for the all new MAVTV-American Real network is what motivated the decision to become title sponsor of INDYCAR's season finale," Patison said. "The thrill and excitement of an INDYCAR race is the perfect platform to showcase the fresh new look of MAVTV-American Real - a network featuring programming aimed at the active American family."
2. Pagenaud featured on next "INDYCAR 36": Filming the latest "INDYCAR 36" during the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio event earlier this month was a collaborative effort between the featured driver, Simon Pagenaud, and the IMS Productions crew.
"I allowed them to see everything apart from the shower, but they did ask," joked Pagenaud, who put an exclamation point on the race weekend with a third-place finish.
"INDYCAR 36" airs at 7 p.m. (ET) Aug. 25 following NBC Sports Network's coverage of the Brasil IT+ Pole Day qualifying for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. The network will broadcast the 85-lap race on the 2.31-mile, 12-turn road course at 4:30 p.m. (ET) Aug. 26.
"Racing could be a lot more open to people so they could see what it's all about," he said. "It's really a team sport and there's a lot of preparation. It's not jumping in the car and driving it. It's important to have a good team spirit and it takes a lot of time and involvement with the driver.
"This was a great opportunity to show how much mental preparation the driver has to do. Also, I get a massage, my nutrition, how I get ready, the moments of highs and downs because there are a lot of both during the race week.
"I just thought it was a cool way to share in the weekend for the people who were not there. They have the opportunity to see the fun behind the scenes because we actually have a lot of fun as well. At the end of the day you have to enjoy your life even though you have pressure to perform."
Pagenaud, driver of the Honda-powered No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car, can wrap up the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award with an eighth-place finish at Sonoma. He has five top-five finishes, with a best of second at Long Beach, in 12 races.
Also interviewed were co-owners Sam Schmidt and Davey Hamilton, as well as general manager Rob Edwards, engineer Ben Bretzman and Honda Performance Development technical director Roger Griffiths.
"What most surprised me about the team is their combination of top-flight professionalism but also laid-back, open and welcoming nature," producer Sean Belby said. "The team is extremely competitive, but at the same time confident enough in themselves and their ability to be open and honest with our crew about nearly every aspect of their workings.
"Besides the fact that he enjoys sleep and coffee nearly as much as racing, fans will learn that Simon is extremely honest and introspective always with an eye toward self-improvement."
3. Sonoma test day news conference will be streamed live: Twenty IZOD IndyCar Series drivers representing 11 teams will test Aug. 17 at the recently reconfigured Sonoma Raceway in preparation for the Aug. 24-26 GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma.
A news conference featuring select drivers will be available to watch via Ustream at noon (PST). Viewers can connect at www.ustream.tv/channel/racesonoma. Click on the link and click "Check-in & Chat" to join the live feed.
4. Cruise in to Southeastern Michigan: The Woodward Dream Cruise, a celebration of classic car culture that attracts more than 40,000 muscle cars, street rods, custom, collector and special interest vehicles, will be held Aug. 18 along a 16-mile stretch of Woodward Avenue through eight host communities in Southeast Michigan.
Four IZOD IndyCar Series show cars will be included in the display. Chevrolet is the presenting sponsor.
5. Of note: The public is invited to the "Grant a Bucket Wish List" fund-raiser and dinner at 7 p.m. (ET) Aug. 18 at St. Joseph Catholic Church (1375 Mickley Ave., Indianapolis) in honor of Bill Stewart. Stewart, a longtime Indy car engineer, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in June. The evening includes silent and live auctions. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Paul Diatlovich (317-694-6258; email@example.com) or Erin Mullen (317-714-6632; firstname.lastname@example.org). Takuma Sato, Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud are scheduled to test at Auto Club Speedway on Aug. 21.
The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues with the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 26 at the raceway in Sonoma. The race will be televised by NBC Sports Network at 4 p.m. (ET) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network on SiriusXM (XM 94 and Sirius 212). The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Grand Prix of Baltimore on Sept. 2 on the Streets of Baltimore.
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