IndyCar’s offseason may be long, but still should feature a ton of news


In the week since the checkered flag flew last Saturday night at the MAVTV 500, I’ve read a lot of kvetching both from IndyCar media and fans lamenting the long offseason and questioning what IndyCar could do to stay relevant between now and when its 2015 season opens up.

However, there’s still going to be plenty to talk about this offseason.

So, with that in mind, here’s what you need to look for and keep your eyes on from an IndyCar perspective this fall, winter and into spring:

  • The schedule. It’s the biggest item on the to-do list and should be out mid-September, INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations Derrick Walker told me at Fontana. Many of the pieces are set but trying to find dates for races given the planned Labor Day end time is proving the biggest hang-up at the moment. If the planned international races come to fruition – which so far have only been spoken about publicly by DHL, which could serve as a logical, logistical partner – you should see the first two races from mid-February to early March before the domestic season opener at St. Petersburg March 29.
  • Champion promotion. Will Power made the rounds in New York last week and is set to go home to Australia before testing resumes, likely in October. Will this be the only major round of promotion for champ? I hope not.
  • Verizon promotion and activation. Guess what IndyCar has this offseason that it didn’t this time last year: a willing and able entitlement sponsor able to hash out a game plan for the offseason and further promotion/activation for the new year. Last year IZOD bailed just before the end of the 2013 season, which was in late September. Now, in early September, Verizon is on board and can work with IndyCar to get the word out. The Verizon deal wasn’t done until late March last year, just before the St.Petersburg opener. Perhaps it’s a fanciful thought, but with Verizon also a key partner for the NFL, could we see some IndyCar ads and signage during this NFL season? We shall see.
  • Silly season. Roughly half the 2015 field is set as of this writing; a fuller “where we stand” post on the grid will come either this week or next week to MotorSportsTalk. Simon Pagenaud is the key domino to the silly season, with drivers like James Hinchcliffe and Justin Wilson potentially on the move if Pagenaud leaves Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, and with other youngsters trying to break in. Pagenaud expects to reveal his decision later this month.
  • Aero kits. Between October 6 and January 18, the two manufacturers, Chevrolet and Honda, will each have six total days of on-track testing. It’s not much to work with, as HPD’s Steve Eriksen told assembled media at Fontana. But they will be the most interesting six days of the offseason.
  • Cosworth’s decision. MotorSportsTalk has reported extensively on whether Cosworth, led by CEO Hal Reisiger and Kevin Kalkhoven, will be able to re-enter North American open-wheel racing as a third engine manufacturer, if paired with an OEM and an aero kit partner. Reisiger told me heading into Fontana to expect a decision shortly; to plan for 2016, news of a yes/no would realistically need to be reached within the next month.
  • Indy Lights’ new car, and direction. Initial reviews of the new Dallara IL15 Indy Lights chassis, so far tested by Conor Daly, Tristan Vautier, 2014 champion Gabby Chaves and IndyCar stars Scott Dixon and Hinchcliffe, have been positive. But while words and reviews are one thing, action is another. There need to be orders placed on chassis so that the new car isn’t part of an 8-10 car grid, but ideally a 14-16 car grid. Anything above that mid-level target would be outstanding for 2015. Testing continues next weekend with Josef Newgarden behind the wheel of the IL15 at the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • The kids are alright. Seeing where champions Chaves (Indy Lights), Spencer Pigot (Pro Mazda) and Florian Latorre (USF2000) land on the next step of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder is one thing to watch. Additionally, with the Team USA Scholarship shootout on Monday and Team Canada Scholarship also upcoming, there’s a host of young drivers looking for their next big break.
  • Racing! Just because IndyCar isn’t racing doesn’t mean that its drivers aren’t. Look out for the Dan Wheldon Memorial go-kart race at the RoboPong 200 at New Castle Motorsports Park Sept. 19-21 (event schedule here) as a race where both current and affiliated IndyCar drivers will be in action. Expect a handful of IndyCar drivers in action at Petit Le Mans Oct. 4, reprising their roles as third or fourth drivers from the Rolex 24 at Daytona and/or Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. And there’s also drivers with past IndyCar experience (Oriol Servia, Katherine Legge among others) racing in the new FIA Formula E Championship, which premieres this upcoming weekend in China.
  • Race director replacement. This ideally shouldn’t be news, but due to the departure of Beaux Barfield Friday afternoon for IMSA, IndyCar now has a void to fill in Race Control. While initially, past race director Brian Barnhart would be a logical candidate, it could behoove the series to put in a fresh face with competition experience. Either way, it’s the among the most thankless jobs in racing, so good luck to whoever has to take on this role.
  • TBA. Anything else that could or potentially pop that I’m overlooking. Or, simply, the identity of Dale Coyne’s second car.

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Seattle


The final results from the Monster Energy Supercross race in Seattle suggests the season is turning into a two-rider battle as Eli Tomac scored his sixth win of the season to tie Cooper Webb for the points’ lead and Chase Sexton crashed in yet another race.

Tomac downplayed the neck strain that caused him to lose the red plate for two weeks, but without that holding him back, it would appear it might have been a bigger problem than he admitted. Despite finishing on the podium in Detroit, Tomac has not shown the late-race strength everyone has come to expect. He was in a slump after scoring a season-worst in Indianapolis and described his sixth win as a “bounce back”.

With this win, Tomac tied James Stewart for second on the all-time list with 50 career Supercross victories. Six rounds remain and there is no sign that Tomac is slowing down. Jeremy McGrath’s 72 wins remains untouchable, for the moment at least.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Overall Results; Click here for 250 Overall Results

Cooper Webb was disappointed with second-place, but he recognized the Supercross results at Seattle could have been much worse. He rode in fifth for the first nine laps of the race, behind Tomac and Sexton. When Sexton crashed from the lead and Tomac took the top spot, Webb knew he could not afford to give up that many points and so he dug deep and found enough points to share the red plate when the series returns in two weeks in Glendale, Arizona for a Triple Crown event.

Justin Barcia scored his third podium of the season, breaking out of a threeway tie of riders who have not been the presumed favorites to win the championship. Barcia scored the podium without drama or controversy. It was his fourth consecutive top-five and his 10th straight finish of eighth or better.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Jason Anderson kept his perfect record of top-10s alive with a fourth-place finish. Tied for fourth in the standings and 49 out of the lead, his season has been like a death of a thousand cuts. He’s ridden exceptionally well, but the Big Three have simply been better.

Sexton rebounded from his fall to finish fifth. He entered the race 17 points out of the lead and lost another five in Seattle. Mistakes have cost Sexton 22 points in the last three races and that is precisely how far he is behind Tomac and Webb. Unless those two riders bobble, this deficit cannot overcome.

The rider who ties Anderson for fourth in the points, Ken Roczen finished just outside the top five in sixth after he battled for a podium position early in the race.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

The 250 West riders got back in action after four rounds of sitting on the sideline and Jett Lawrence picked up where he left of: in Victory Lane. Lawrence now has four wins and a second-place finish in five rounds. One simply doesn’t get close to perfection than that.

Between them, the Lawrence brothers have won all but two races though 11 rounds. Jett failed to win the Anaheim Triple Crown and Hunter Lawrence failed to win the Arlington Triple Crown format in the 250 East division. In two weeks, the series has their final Triple Crown race in Glendale. When he was reminded of this from the top of the Seattle podium, Jett replied, “oof”.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

RJ Hampshire finished second in the race and is second in the points. This is fourth time in five rounds that Hampshire finished second to Lawrence. If not for a crash-induced 11th-place finish in the Arlington Triple Crown, he would be much closer in the points standings. With that poor showing, he is 23 points behind Lawrence.

Cameron McAdoo made a lot of noise in his heat. Riding aggressively beside Larwence, the two crashed in the preliminary. McAdoo could never seem to get away from Hampshire in the Main and as the two battled, the leader got away. It would have been interesting to see how they would have raced head-to-head when points were on the line.

Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 West Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points

The Supercross results in Seattle were kind to a couple of riders on the cusp of the top five. Enzo Lopes scored his second top-five and fourth top-10 of the season after crossing the finish line fourth in Seattle.

Tying his best finish of the season for the third time, Max Vohland kept his perfect record of top-10s alive. Vohland is seventh in the points.

2023 Results

Round 11: Eli Tomac bounces back with sixth win
Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Tomac, H Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, J Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 10: Chase Sexton leads with consistency
Week 8: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Cooper Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s