Photo Courtesy Brian Cleary, IndyCar.com

IndyCar improves LED panels for 2019 season

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An improved system of LED displays will be used in every IndyCar session this year to assist fans with understanding how each car is performing and to aid the safety team in attending disabled cars, it was announced Tuesday.

IndyCar has contracted with a new manufacturer named MoTeC for 2019 to create a version of the system used in IMSA.

“We know that fans at racetracks and watching from home appreciate the LED system that helps them keep track of how their favorite cars and drivers are performing,” IndyCar President Jay Frye said at IndyCar.com. “That’s why we worked hard in the offseason to develop a more reliable system that will have even brighter displays that make them more visible to everyone. Our thanks go to MoTeC and Jon Koskey, IndyCar’s senior director of technology, who led the effort on this important project.”

One feature of the new displays is that they are lighter, which will insure that there are no performance issues. They were tested in simulated race conditions during the offseason and will be mounted on the chassis’ roll hoop in time for the season opener in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The system receives data from IndyCar’s timing and scoring system. Continuously updated at the timing loops embedded in the track, the displays show a car’s running position on the leaderboard during each session.

When a driver presses the push-to-pass button, the display will alight a flashing green “PP”.

During pit stops, the displays will transform into a counter showing the length of service in tenths of a second.

One safety feature is that the display can also show when a car has lost power – assisting in the determination of when to deploy the safety team.

The lights will debut with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg’s practice session beginning on March 8. All practice session will air live on IndyCar Pass – NBC’s streaming service from NBC Sports Gold. More than 200 hours of broadcast qualify programming can be seen on this service, which is currently available at the IndyCar Pass on NBC Sports Gold site.

Karam, Daly get IndyCar rides with Carlin for Iowa

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NEWTON, Iowa – Sage Karam returns for the second-straight race and Conor Daly is back for another race with Carlin Racing at this weekend’s Iowa 300 NTT IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway.

For Karam, it’s his third start of the 2019 season and his second straight with Carlin. In his five starts at Iowa Speedway dating back to 2010, Karam has never finished outside of the top three, recording four wins (USF2000 – 2010, Indy Pro 2000 – 2011 and 2012, Indy Lights – 2013) and scoring his first NTT IndyCar Series podium in 2015 with a third-place finish.

“I’m really excited to be back again this weekend with Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for the Iowa 300. Iowa Speedway has always been a good track for me in the past, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to work there,” Karam said. “Coming off of a very productive weekend in Toronto, I’m looking forward to applying everything I’ve learned and continuing to work with the team to get the best results possible. A huge thank you to everyone at Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for a great opportunity to race at one of my favorite tracks.”

Daly is back in a second Carlin entry. Earlier this year, the popular driver finished 11th for Carlin in the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8. At Iowa, he will drive the team’s No. 23 Gallagher Chevrolet.

Daly finished 10th in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge for Andretti Autosport.

Daly raced at Iowa in 2016 for Dale Coyne Racing (finishing 21st) and in 2017 for A.J. Foyt Racing (finishing 19th).

The combination gives Carlin two more drivers to gather additional feedback on the car. Max Chilton remains the team’s primary driver but announced recently that he will forego all oval races to concentrate on street and road courses.

That created opportunities for Karam and Daly.

“We were very impressed with Sage’s steady progression throughout the Toronto race weekend and his willingness to learn and adapt,” said Carlin Team Principal Trevor Carlin. “The fact that he hadn’t been on a street course since 2015 and was still able to come right out of the gate confident and constantly improving every session was extremely impressive.

“The SmartStop Self Storage Chevrolet looked great out on track and their group has been a pleasure to work with, so we couldn’t be more pleased to have them back this weekend in Iowa. Sage has done really well in Iowa in the past, so hopefully we can use his experience and our past success at Iowa Speedway to come away with a good result for the team and our partners at SmartStop Self Storage.”

The Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway will take place on Saturday, July 20th at 7:15 pm ET and will be televised on NBCSN.