Believe it or not, we’re heading toward the end of September and the conclusion of the IZOD IndyCar Series’ “fall break” before it returns to action on October 5 and 6 at the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston (whose twin races you can see live on NBCSN).
Chip Ganassi Racing driver Charlie Kimball recently made a stop in Space City to visit Comcast SportsNet Houston’s “Sports Talk Live” and discuss the upcoming doubleheader.
Kimball, who broke through for his inaugural IndyCar victory this summer at Mid-Ohio, told CSN Houston that he’s looking forward to the challenge of Reliant Park’s compact, 10-turn layout.
“It’s going to be a heck of a racetrack,” Kimball said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. I know it was successful a few years back when [Champ Car] raced there.
“To race around the history of the Astrodome and [Reliant Stadium] – and so much of the racing is going to be so good because it’s going to be technical, it’s going to be rough. It’s probably going to be hot, maybe wet. It’s the perfect storm for a great race weekend.”
You can check out more of Kimball’s visit to CSN Houston in the clip above.
Marco Andretti wanted to do something really special to honor the 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario Andretti’s final Indy car win in 1993 at Phoenix International Raceway (now known as ISM Raceway).
So the third-generation Andretti, along with his team, Andretti-Herta Autosport, came up with a plan and design that will take longtime race fans back in time when it appears early next month for the Phoenix Grand Prix.
Marco Andretti’s No. 98 Oberto Beef Jerky Circle K/Curb Honda will be decked out in the colors of the car his grandfather won his last race on the one-mile short track 25 years ago.
“When the idea of a throwback livery celebrating my grandfather’s final win was thrown around, Oberto was ready to get to the drawing board,” Marco Andretti said in a media release. “The black, white and red car resembles many of my family’s race cars and was a big part of my life growing up.
“It’s really cool to be able to add one of my cars to that family legacy.”
The car is a virtual double of the legendary Newman-Haas Racing and Texaco/Havoline-sponsored car Mario drove on that celebratory day in the Valley of the Sun 2 ½ decades ago.
Various events and ceremonies during the April 6-7 race weekend will honor the senior Andretti. That includes several of his former competitors who will be on hand to celebrate with Mario, including Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Arie Luyendyk, and of course, son Michael Andretti and grandson Marco Andretti.
Check out what happened on that day 25 years ago: