Beaux Barfield leaves IndyCar for IMSA; Hodgson also named for IMSA

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Verizon IndyCar Series race director Beaux Barfield will leave his post after a three-year stint, in order to take on a full-time role as IMSA race director, per sources to MotorSportsTalk. Further news from IMSA has followed later Friday afternoon.

Barfield took over the role in 2012, coming in after prior race director Brian Barnhart’s stint ended at the conclusion of the 2011 season. He had previously served as race director of the IMSA-sanctioned American Le Mans Series from 2008 through 2011, and had prior stewarding experience in Champ Car, Atlantic, Trans-Am and USF2000.

Upon Derrick Walker’s appointment as INDYCAR’s president of competition and operations in June 2013, Barfield was no longer the primary voice for IndyCar race control and officiating. Instead, Walker has served as the voice for any questions related to these topics.

A statement from INDYCAR supplied to its teams reads as follows:

INDYCAR would like to thank Beaux Barfield for his contributions to the Verizon IndyCar Series during the past three seasons and we wish him all the best as he assumes his new position with IMSA. INDYCAR’s on-track product showcases extremely competitive and compelling racing and we look forward to identifying a race director that will take the Verizon IndyCar Series to an even higher level starting in 2015.

While Barfield moved to IndyCar, Paul Walter took over the role of ALMS race director in 2012, did both ALMS and the GRAND-AM Rolex Series in 2013 and has been race director of IMSA’s unified TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014.

Barfield replaces Walter in the role for the last two TUDOR Championship races of 2014 and into 2015.

Where IndyCar goes from here remains to be seen. Barnhart is still on staff; he filled in for Barfield at the 2013 Toronto doubleheader race weekend.

On the IMSA side, here is the release issued Friday afternoon. Barfield isn’t the lone appointment here:

As the 2014 inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship prepares for its two final races and plans for the 2015 season take shape, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) today announced a number of enhancements to its competition department. IMSA adds motorsports veterans Simon Hodgson and Beaux Barfield to key leadership positions while establishing key new roles for existing IMSA competition officials Scot Elkins, Paul Walter and Mark Raffauf.

source:
Simon Hodgson. Photo: Wayne Taylor Racing

Hodgson, a native of the United Kingdom, brings more than 25 years of experience in motorsports to his new position as IMSA’s Managing Director, Racing Operations. Hodgson’s experience includes positions in Formula 1, IndyCar and IMSA / GRAND-AM, where he most recently served as general manager of Wayne Taylor Racing’s championship-winning Prototype team.

Hodgson will oversee all racing operations functions, such as race directors, series platforms, competition administration, member services, track services and logistics. He will report to IMSA President and COO, Scott Atherton.

Elkins, who has served in an executive role with IMSA since 2008, becomes Managing Director, Technical Regulations. He will oversee the technical aspects of all IMSA-sanctioned series, with a primary focus on the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and Cooper Tires Prototype Lites powered by Mazda. Those aspects include Adjustment of Performance (AoP), technical regulations, homologation, technical staff and technical inspection.

He also will continue to represent IMSA for all international technical meetings with groups such as the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the Automobile Club l’Ouest (ACO), and will continue to lead IMSA’s development in collaboration with the ACO and FIA of all aspects of the new TUDOR Championship Prototype (P) class car set to debut in 2017. Elkins will continue to report to Atherton.

“The addition of Simon to our senior leadership team and the redefinition of Scot’s responsibilities put IMSA in a very strong position domestically and abroad,” Atherton said. “Simon comes in with a wealth of relevant industry experience and has earned the respect of virtually everyone with whom he has come in contact throughout his very successful and diverse career.

“Likewise, Scot maintains a strong voice in defining technical regulations that shape the future of our sport here in the U.S., Europe and around the world. He has developed solid relationships with his international counterparts, which are vital to the long-term success of the technical rules that will govern and unify professional endurance sports car racing.”

Hodgson joins the company at its Daytona Beach headquarters on Monday, Sept. 8 and both he and Elkins assume their new responsibilities immediately.

Barfield tapped as new IMSA Race Director

Beginning with upcoming 2014 events at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on Sept. 19-20 and the season finale Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, veteran official Beaux Barfield will become Race Director for the TUDOR Championship and Continental Tire Challenge. Barfield served in the Race Director role of the IMSA-sanctioned American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón from 2008 through 2011. He most recently was Race Director for the IndyCar Series from 2012 to 2014.

Barfield will be responsible for race direction and race control staff for all TUDOR Championship and Continental Tire Challenge events.

With the addition of Barfield, Paul Walter moves into the role of Director, Racing Operations. His responsibilities will continue to include the development of all event schedules and supplementary regulations, as well as the IMSA Rule Books and related updates. Walter also will serve as the Clerk of the Course and have an active role in competition-related matters.

Long-time IMSA and GRAND-AM competition leader Mark Raffauf has been named IMSA Director, Series Platforms. He will have day-to-day oversight of all IMSA series platforms, including the TUDOR Championship, Continental Tire Challenge, Cooper Tires Prototype Lites powered by Mazda, Ferrari Challenge, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin and Lamborghini Super Trofeo.

Barfield, Walter and Raffauf will report to Hodgson.

“These enhancements to our leadership structure will enable us to maximize the strengths of each of these individuals and our entire IMSA competition team,” said IMSA CEO Ed Bennett. “I am pleased to add Simon to our team, welcome Beaux back into the IMSA family and congratulate Scot, Paul and Mark on their new positions. All of them are proven professionals who will play important roles in the continued growth and development of IMSA now and into our bright future.”

IndyCar champion Will Power completes ‘Victory Lap’ at ceremony in Indianapolis

Will Power Victory Lap
Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment
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INDIANAPOLIS – Will Power went on his “Victory Lap” last week to celebrate his second career championship as the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series champion.

It began with several media interviews in Monterey, California, the day after he won the championship with a third-place finish in the Sept. 11 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.

From there, it was off to Los Angeles for more interviews and personal appearances that included a VIP Tour at the Petersen Automotive Museum, several appearances on SiriusXM and lunch at The Ivy, where the Team Penske IndyCar Series driver was treated to Wagyu Beef.

“It was one of the best steaks I’ve ever had in my life,” Power told NBCSports.com.

From L.A. back to Power’s North Carolina home, near Team Penske’s home base of Mooresville, there was one stop left on Sept. 17 — the Victory Lap Celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, an invitation-only banquet where Power and his No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet crew at Team Penske were honored for the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series championship.

They didn’t even have to check into a hotel and spend another night on the road. Power and his team left on a Team Penske plane from the Statesville, N.C., airport at 4 p.m. ET Saturday to fly to Indianapolis. On arrival an hour later, a limo bus took the team to IMS.

Power led the 2022 season with five NTT P1 Awards for pole, earning the NTT P1 Award as the best qualifier of the season for the fifth time in his career. Power also made history with his 68th career pole, breaking the all-time mark held by the legendary Mario Andretti.

Power and Scott Dixon also became just two of only five drivers to complete every lap of every race in IndyCar Series history.

“What a year,” Power said as he was awarded his personal Astor Cup trophy (the second in his collection after the 2014 championship. “What a phenomenal year coming off one of my worst seasons personally. We came back with a vengeance.

“I want to thank Roger and Kathy Penske for everything they have done for me over the years. I wouldn’t be standing here and have the numbers I have without what Roger has done for me. I’m given a car every week that is capable of winning the pole, races, championships, and Indianapolis 500s. I’m so grateful for that.

“Also, to Greg Penske, you are there every week now at every event and I know we will be in good hands moving forward with the Penske Family.”

There are many on Power’s team and at home, that helped support Power throughout his career. None is bigger than Power’s wife, Liz, who told Power before the season that he would win the championship and break Andretti’s record.

“I must thank my wife. I’m so lucky to have a wife with that crystal ball that can tell me what is going to happen,” Power said. “I can’t think you enough, babe. I love you so much and you have been a big support to me my whole career. We’ve been together 17 years, and I’ve been in the series 17 years. She has been such a huge support to me. The mother of our child and she is a fantastic mother.

“She can’t tell the future. She just had faith in me.”

Liz Power’s premonition came true and that allowed Power and his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet team to celebrate Penske’s 17th IndyCar championship and 42nd title in the racing team’s history.

“The 12 crew this year, I’ve never had such a great group of guys,” Power said. “Trevor Lacasse (chief mechanic) is such a calm guy, but he does such a meticulous job on the preparation of the car. He is very, very good at keeping the whole crew happy. It feels as if there is no pressure on us. That’s a huge part in getting the most out of people. It was our first year together with you as a crew chief. What a great year to start our relationship.

“Dave Faustino (Power’s longtime engineer), we’ve worked together for 15 years. He’s almost like a wife to me, a partner … apart from sleeping together. We have a very good working relationship. Sorry Dave, I’m an awkward person and you are not.

“The things we have been through in our years together, it’s crazy that we continually improve and get better. We are standing on the podium after winning the championship and we are talking about the car, the race, and the tires. We weren’t talking about the championship.

“We never stop. The other boys were laughing at us, but I’m already thinking about next year.

“Ron Ruzewski (Team Penske IndyCar Managing Director and strategist) on the radio, always calm. He has actually made me a calm person. I rarely get upset on the radio anymore.”

Power also recognized the fans who helped boost attendance at many venues on the schedule this season as NBC Sports enjoyed its largest IndyCar audience yet.

“This series is growing,” Power said. “With open wheel racing now so popular because of Formula One, it’s really our time to push and put money behind it and go now and take IndyCar to another level because we have the best racing product in the world.

“I have to thank my teammates and (Team Penske president) Tim Cindric. I can’t tell you how hard we push each other. We are ultracompetitive and love each other and push each other hard, so thank you.”


Power won the championship by 16 points over hard-charging teammate Josef Newgarden, who finished second in the standings for the third year in a row.

“Overall, I’m filled with a lot of pride for our team and what we were able to do this year,” Newgarden said in his banquet address. “Any year that you step in the championship, you can easily see the challenges it presents everybody.

“It’s a very difficult challenge for the teams and drivers. To be a part of it, make it through it and for us at Team Penske, to topple it, is a very big deal. We’re all competitive.

“The tough thing about being in a championship fight, especially with teammates is we all want to be the best. That’s how it should be. We are competitive people and want to be the best. But it’s a team sport.

“Will, tremendous season, great, great job. I think the world of everybody on our team. It’s a big group. I’m so happy for all of you on the 12-car crew. There is so much we can take into next year.”

Six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon was unable to attend the banquet because of the Goodwood Festival in England but sent congratulations to Power via a video message.

“I really want to congratulate Will Power,” Dixon said. “You drove a tremendous season this year. Even with some of the lows that you had, some of the mistakes with qualifying, you bounced back tremendously. I know how tough these championships are and to see you do it in the style that you did it in the last race of the season, massive congratulations.”

Power’s championship formula included one victory, nine podiums and 12 top-five finishes. Teammate Josef Newgarden was second in the championship with five wins but only six podiums.

Cindric saluted Power’s season in accepting the championship team owner award.

“Will, you took it to another level this year,” Cindric said. “You are the complete package. You completed every lap, had nine podiums, finished out of the top 10 just four times, broke Mario Andretti’s record, and you did it all without cussing at the officials on national TV.

“One complaint I do has is while most of us think you might be from another planet, you never told us your wife was a fortune teller.”

Cindric also honored the seasons of Penske drivers Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin, who won three times in his second full season (“You are one of only two full-time IndyCar drivers that has driven for us in the past 23 years that hasn’t won an Indy 500 or an IndyCar championship. Your time is coming.”).

Kyle Moyer was named team manager of the year (his fifth time and Penske’s sixth). Pennzoil presented Lacasse with the chief mechanic of the year for the first time, the sixth time for Team Penske. The No. 12 crew also won the Firestone Pit Performance Award for the most pit stop performance award points in 2022.

Power, Newgarden and McLaughlin delivered nine of Chevrolet’s series-leading 11 victories this season, helping Chevy win the Manufacturer Award for the seventh time since it returned to the series in 2012 and the first time since 2017. Jim Danahy, U.S. vice president, Competition Motorsports Engineering for Chevrolet, accepted the award on behalf of his team.


Christian Lundgaard was honored as the 2022 NTT IndyCar rookie of the year. Lundgaard, from Denmark, scored one podium, two top-five finishes and seven top-10s in the No. 30 Honda fielded by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. He edged David Malukas of Dale Coyne Racing with HMD by 18 points in the standings for first-year series drivers.

Christian Lundgaard (Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment)

“It’s been a tough season and looking at how it panned out, we struggled so much at the beginning of the season and how we were able to turn it around means so much to me and the team,” Lundgaard said. “It’s the one thing that you only get one shot at. I’m happy to have it.

“Being the first Dane at the Indy 500 certainly helps. Competing here for me is quite important and also special. To win this award and to be here in future years means so much to me. I have a chance to compete for wins and championships.

“This team gave me this opportunity at this track one year ago. We came back and got redemption. We got our first podium here. This year was 40 years ago that Bobby Rahal won the same award. It’s pretty special to keep it among the team.”

Sweden’s Linus Lundqvist was honored as Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion after a dominant season for HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing. Lundqvist won a series-high five races in the No. 26 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing entry and clinched the Lights championship with a race to spare, ending with a 92-point advantage over Sting Ray Robb. HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing owners Henry and Daiva Malukas accepted the team championship.

“I’m very proud of that,” Lundqvist said. “It’s cool to see. We are starting to look to the future, and this might not be doing too bad. It’s been great. As most of you can guess with Henry and Daiva Malukas (team owners), it’s been an incredible journey. So much fun that we’ve had. To be on the grid this year was so much of a struggle for us. I didn’t even know I would be doing this until January.

“To be able to pull out the season that we had, I cannot thank this team enough. We will celebrate this for a long time. I’m so happy and proud about that.”

Outgoing IndyCar Director of Medical Affairs Dr. Geoffrey Billows also was honored as he is leaving that role while battling cancer.

“When I think of Dr. Billows, I think of two words,” IndyCar president Jay Frye said. “One is selfless and the other is tough. He’s gone through a lot these last couple of years, and he didn’t want anybody to know. He’s an amazing man, and we are very grateful for what you have done.”

Dr. Geoffrey Billows with IndyCar president Jay Frye (Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment)

Billows was presented with a framed checkered flag signed by all drivers in the series as well as other IndyCar officials and dignitaries.

“I was not expecting this at all,” Billows said. “This means so much for me to be part of this family for the past 30 years. I’ve been presented with opportunities I never thought I would ever have. I can’t tell you how much I love all of you guys and care for all of you guys.

“Thank you so much. I want to also thank my wife, Tammy, who has been a pillar of strength as I continue on this journey with cancer for the past two years as well. You will still see me as a consultant because I love this too much to quit altogether.”

When the evening concluded, Team Penske boarded a bus to the airport for the short return flight to Statesville. They were home by midnight.

Power’s Victory Lap was complete.

“The best thing about this is I get to sleep in my own bed tonight,” Power said.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500