By Amy Konrath
Today’s IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines:
1. Briscoe’s escape from racing – the racetrack
2. New Hampshire date moved to August 2011
1. Briscoe’s escape from racing – the racetrack: The racetrack is the last place you’d expect to find an IZOD IndyCar Series driver on a day off, but that’s exactly where Team Penske’s Ryan Briscoe spent parts of this week.
Briscoe visited Charlotte Motor Speedway on Aug. 10 to watch Austin Cindric compete in final round of the Summer Shootout Series’ Bandolero Bandit division before heading to Kentucky Speedway on Aug. 11 to watch his teammate Will Power test in advance of the Kentucky Indy 300.
“I went to Charlotte Motor Speedway partly because (I am a race fan) and partly because the people that are involved,” said Briscoe, who lives on Lake Norman not far from Team Penske . “I went last night because it was Austin (Cindric) racing. I’ve followed him since he started racing a year and half ago. Obviously, I’m close to his family, and we’re friends.”
Cindric is the son of Penske Racing president Tim Cindric and Briscoe says he watches the 10-year-old race whenever IZOD IndyCar Series standout has the chance.
“I talk to him about racing and he’s showing big improvement and becoming a great race driver,” Briscoe said. “It’s fun to watch his progress. He’s really into it. It reminds me of when I started racing go-karts. He’s doing it for the fun of it. He wants to win, but he’s learning and he’s having a good time with it and that’s the most important thing.”
But while watching a Bandolero run around a quarter-mile oval won’t help Briscoe defend his wins at Chicagoland Speedway and Kentucky Speedway, his time watching Power will be of great use – even if he isn’t driving the car.
“I want to be involved,” Briscoe said. “I want to see what goes on today and get a read on Will’s feedback and how’s the track has changed from last year. It’s been so long since we’ve gone oval racing, that when we get back to Chicago I don’t want to forget about the oval program. We tried to test here earlier this year and the test was cancelled, so this is an important test. I just want to be out here and get a read first hand on how things are going.”
2. New Hampshire date moved to August 2011: The IZOD IndyCar Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2011 has been moved to Aug. 14, speedway executive vice president and general manager Jerry Gappens said.
The race will be the first at the 1-mile oval in 13 years for IndyCars.
“Because of the date changes with our NASCAR weekends, we had to move this much-anticipated event from its originally announced July 31 date to Aug. 14,” Gappens said. “With this change, it gives fans from New England, Canada and across the country three consecutive months of major racing events. This will be a tremendous boost to the economic benefit the speedway provides and increase in tourism to our great state.
“In addition, I really appreciate Randy Bernard and all of the officials of the IZOD Indy Cars Series for working with us to make this change. It creates some travel and logistical challenges for their group, but it further demonstrates their commitment to bringing open-wheel racing back to New England.”
Tickets for the IZOD Indy Car Series race are priced from $35 to $75 and can be ordered at www.nhms.com or by calling 603-783-4931.
The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues Aug. 22 with the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 5 p.m. (ET) by VERSUS. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 212. The race also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Carneros 100 on Aug. 22 at Infineon Raceway.