IndyCar notes: Next Road America test lineup set and more

1 Comment

A handful of quick news and notes items from the Verizon IndyCar Series heading into the weekend:

  • Hinch and more at Road America test. INDYCAR has confirmed the other drivers and teams testing on Monday at Road America besides James Hinchcliffe of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Andretti Autosport will have Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay, KVSH Racing with Sebastien Bourdais and Dale Coyne Racing with Tristan Vautier. Andretti and RHR will also test at Mid-Ohio on October 5.
  • Hinch’s delayed starters ring. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will put a ring on it… James Hinchcliffe, that is. “Hinch,” who did qualify for this year’s Indianapolis 500 but was not able to start after his accident in practice that left him seriously injured, will be presented with his 2015 Indianapolis 500 Starters Ring on Wednesday at the SPM team headquarters.
  • Awaiting management, schedule news. The target was end of September for the 2016 schedule to be released and per Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles, who has quietly, at least temporarily, assumed the duties left by former INDYCAR president of competition and operations Derrick Walker, it still is. Per the Indianapolis Star, Miles is still awaiting a couple signed contracts to dot the i’s and cross the t’s (Pocono, Phoenix, Mexico City and now potentially Gateway is an option). Miles also told The Star’s Curt Cavin to expect at least one additional hire from an operational side.
  • IndyCar on the silver screen. “Indianapolis,” a short film from part-time Verizon IndyCar Series photographer and full-time visual arts teacher at White Bear Lake Area High School in Minnesota, Shawn “Gritzy” Gritzmacher, will be screened Saturday at the Jalopnik Film Festival in Los Angeles. A trailer to the cool stop-motion video is linked here.
  • Damien Power’s video series debuts. We’re hoping it’s as irreverent as the trailer looks, but Will Power’s brother Damien’s video series debuts on Saturday. Here’s the preview piece we posted after Sonoma.
  • Pro Mazda/USF2000 air time set. Watch highlights of the fourth quarter of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda seasons at midnight ET, the night of Oct. 1/Oct. 2, on NBCSN. So it’ll be Friday, Oct. 2 for those on ET time and Thursday, Oct. 1 for those in earlier time zones.

Ryan Hunter-Reay hired as replacement for Conor Daly at Ed Carpenter Racing

Ryan Hunter-Reay Carpenter
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ryan Hunter-Reay was named to replace Conor Daly in Ed Carpenter Racing’s No. 20 Dallara-Chevrolet, starting in the NTT IndyCar Series event next week at Road America.

Hunter-Reay is the 2012 series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner. He finished 11th for Dreyer & Reinbold last month in the 107th Indy 500, his first start since the 2021 season finale. He drove full time for Andretti Autosport from 2010-21.

“We need to improve our competitiveness and I wanted to add a fresh perspective from a driver like Ryan who has a massive amount of experience and success as well as a reputation as a team leader. I am excited to welcome Ryan to the team,” team owner Ed Carpenter said in a team release. “We have worked together in the past as teammates and he tested for ECR at Barber Motorsports Park in October 2021, where he made an immediate impact as we were able to qualify one of our cars on the pole following that test. I am confident that his experience and technical abilities will be an asset to ECR as we move forward toward our goals as a team.”

Hunter-Reay has 18 IndyCar victories, most recently in 2018. He also is a winner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, having been a part of winning entries in the 2020 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 2018 Petit Le Mans. Last year, he was an endurance driver for Cadillac Racing while being on standby for Chip Ganassi Racing.

He replaces Daly, whose departure was announced a day earlier in what the driver and team said was a mutual decision.

“I was surprised when I got the call from Ed,” Hunter-Reay said in a team release. “He described how frustrated he was that his team has not been able to realize its potential despite their efforts, investments, as well as technical and personnel changes over the past few years and asked for my help. Ed and I are very close friends and have been for a long time. I’ve worked with the team in the past and they are a very talented group with high expectations and a committed partner in BITNILE.COM.

“This will certainly be a challenge for me as well. It’s a tough situation jumping in a car in the middle of the season without any testing in what I believe to be the most competitive series in the world. Certainly, part of my motivation in saying ‘yes’ to Ed is the great challenge ahead. The last time I turned right driving an NTT IndyCar Series car was in October of 2021 with this team at Barber. However, I remain very confident in both my driving and technical abilities and believe by working with the talented people at ECR and Team Chevy, while representing BITNILE.COM, we will make progress. I am going to do everything I can do to help the team achieve its long-term objectives.”

Said Milton “Todd” Ault, the chairman of sponsor “It is great for to be aligned with an Indy 500 Winner and an NTT IndyCar Series champion. I have followed Ryan’s career for years and I am confident he will challenge the entire ECR team to perform at higher levels. I wish everyone luck at Road America.”