RaceSchool.com Video Blog/Podcast Ed Carpenter Interview

Ed Carpenter has enjoyed a lot of success at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He’s earned the pole position three times, had five front row starts in seven years, and his team placed three cars in the Firestone Fast 9 in 2019. He won the Indy Lights race at the Brickyard in 2003. Carpenter also has three wins at other tracks in the NTT IndyCar Series. He’s also led a race in 14 of the last 15 years. Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) always seems to have their cars dialed in to go fast at Indianapolis. Ed took time out of his busy schedule and joined us on a Zoom call interview to talk about what the April open test would mean to their team and how they approach the Speedway for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Without getting into trade secret details, he opens up about aerodynamics and other ways they prepare their cars for the challenge of going fast reliably at Indianapolis. Enjoy!

 

NOTE: It was announced soon after this interview was completed that Paretta Autosport with driver Simona de Silvestro have formed a technical alliance with Ed Carpenter Racing. ECR will supply a car and several crew members to augment Beth Paretta’s team from last year’s Indy 500. They tentatively have three races planned for this year starting in June. Additionally, ECR driver Rinus VeeKay, won the pole at Barber Motorsports Park and finished third. ECR driver Conor Daly qualified in the Firestone Fast Six at the Indianapolis road course two weeks before the “500” and finished fifth – good momentum leading into the “500.”

By Larry Mason

Copyright © 2022 Larry Mason

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Ed Carpenter Racing, Photo credit

Ed Carpenter shows off his new race suit before this year’s Indianapolis 500.

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Ed Carpenter Racing, Photo credit

Carpenter’s Dallara Chevy is prepped and ready to go – fast!

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Ed Carpenter Racing, Photo credit

Ed Carpenter Racing will be fielding three cars for the Indy 500 in 2022. Could this be the year that one of them visits Victory Circle?

 

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RaceSchool.com Podcast Pato O’Ward Interview

Pato O’Ward came into last year’s 2021 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach with an outside chance to clinch the championship. After contact early that ultimately led to his car’s retirement; that put a sour note on the ending of an otherwise strong, two-race winning season. In fact, his race wins earned him a McLaren Formula One Team test during the off-season.  Leading into this year’s race, O’Ward had disappointing finishes on the street circuit in St. Pete and on the oval at Texas (where he had a fast car). He was hoping to have better luck here on this picturesque seaside street circuit where he receives a lot of fan support around the track (especially the Mexican fans). We spoke before the race weekend and he shared his thoughts on a number of subjects leading into this race (where he would end up finishing in fifth place). That was good momentum for him going into the remainder of the season. Enjoy!

 

NOTE: In the next race at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, O’Ward would go on to make a decisive pass late in the race and take the victory. He’s now won on a street course, permanent road course and an oval. Keep your eyes on this young lion.

By Larry Mason

Copyright © 2022 Larry Mason

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Pato O’Ward waves to the crowd just minutes before the start of the 2022 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach where he qualified 11th and would go on to earn a top five finish.

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Pato O’Ward is on a mission this year to earn his first NTT IndyCar Series championship. After a rocky start to the season, things picked up in the right direction at Long Beach.

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Pato O’Ward rockets down Shoreline Drive early in the race. Notice how pristine and clean the car is. Later in the race the massive amount of rubber “marbles” on the track would take its toll on that clean car.

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O’Ward pushed hard in the race to earn his first top five finish of the year. Notice the rubber build up not only on the track but even on the body ramps in front of the rear tires.

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Late in the race, O’Ward’s still pushing hard to gain every position he can. Rubber tire marks makes for a filthy car, yet it always looks better when you have a strong finish.

 Interview and photos Copyright © by Larry Mason

 

 

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RaceSchool.com Podcast Christian Lundgaard Interview

Christian Lundgaard made a very positive impression in the NTT IndyCar Series when he was hired to pilot the Rahal Letterman Lannigan entry at the Indianapolis road course in August 2021 by qualifying fourth quick in his series debut. That drive made a strong enough impression that he was brought on full-time by the RLL team for 2022. At the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, he endured a tough weekend in practice, qualifying, warm-up and the race. We spoke with him on the way from pit lane back to the paddock immediately after the warm-up session and he was frustrated with his qualifying position and pace in the warm-up session. After winning multiple karting championships in Europe, he went on to race cars winning a championship in F4 and winning races in F3, F2 and became an Alpine F1 junior racer. Any driver who’s had that kind of success is certainly not going to be happy when they’re not up front. It’s interesting to hear what he has to say about it. 

NOTE: In the race, he ran out of fuel at pit entry which ultimately put him two laps down at the finish. It was a truly tough weekend.

By Larry Mason

Copyright © 2022 Larry Mason

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Christian Lundgaard ponders with his crew what it’s going to take to find some missing speed.

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Christian Lundgaard waves to the crowd just minutes before the start of the 2022 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

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Christian Lundgaard shares a fist/wing bump with the Firestone Firehawk. It was a nice positive moment for an otherwise tough weekend.

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Although he was pushing hard in Friday afternoon’s practice session with temps near 100 degrees, Lundgaard could only manage the 21st quickest time.

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Lundgaard’s RLL team was one of many Honda powered teams to run a memorial TE sticker (just under the aeroscreen) as a tribute to long time Honda manager of motorsports public relations, T.E. McHale who was instrumental in numerous Indy car driver’s careers and sadly passed away after an illness.

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Christian Lundgaard leads his teammate Jack Harvey at the start of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. Harvey would go on to have a mildly better day finishing in 15th compared to Lundgaard’s 19th.

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It wasn’t for a lack of pushing hard that kept Lundgaard down in the race results. Here he’s using the curbs and in a four-wheel drift as you can see that his the wheels are mostly pointed straight at the apex of the corner.

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Rubber tire marks pelted Lundgaard’s car as he worked hard to finish better than where he started.

Interview and photos by Larry Mason

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Road Trip – Penske Racing Museum

The outside of the Penske Racing Museum fits right in with the local desert scenery. The outside of the Penske Racing Museum fits right in with the local desert scenery.

There are many famous names associated with the Indianapolis 500 – Foyt, Unser, Mears, Andretti and now Castroneves as the latest driver to join the four-time winner’s club. However, one name stands above the rest and that is Penske. Roger Penske and his Penske Racing teams over the years have amassed 18 (as of March 2022) Indy 500 wins. Many of those coming from Unser, Mears and Castroneves. The Penske Racing Museum in Phoenix is a worthwhile stop if you happen to be in the area. Some of the racing car history highlights include: Al Unser’s yellow Cummins/Holset/Miller March 86C that was being used as a show car in the lobby of the Sheraton hotel, when Unser got a late call to race in 1987. The Ford Cosworth powered car earned Unser his fourth Victory and he became the second driver behind Foyt to win that many. Right next to that is the famous red and white Miller American “Spin and Win” 1985 March Cosworth that propelled Danny Sullivan into the record books. In another area is not only the Sunoco McLaren M16B that Mark Donohue drove to victory in 1972 for Penske, but also the Hurst/Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible that was given to Donohue for winning the race. Only 130 Hurst/Olds Cutlass convertibles from 1972 were built! Will Power’s 2018 Indy 500 winning Dallara/Chevrolet (and Corvette Pace Car) join some of the newer additions along with Josef Newgarden’s 2017 championship winning car. Mark Donohue got his first start at Indianapolis in the 1969 “500” and his four-wheel drive Lola T-152 is there with a plaque stating that he finished seventh that year and earned Rookie of the Year honors. There’s even a 1974 Penske PC-1 Formula One car that Donohue raced. This is a significant car in that it was the first car designed and manufactured by Penske Racing in Poole, England. Of the cars with fenders showcased, Donohue’s 1973 Porsche RSR IROC car that he won the inaugural International Race of Champions event at Riverside International Raceway (RIR) is there. He won three of the four events that year to become the first IROC champion. Roger Penske himself was a driver before becoming a team owner. In fact he won at RIR in a 1963 Pontiac Catalina that was owned by Nichels Engineering. That car is showcased there next to Brad Kesolowski’s Brickyard 400 winner and Joey Logano’s Daytona 500 winning NASCAR stock cars. Multiple engines (including the “Beast” – 1994 Indy 500 winning pushrod Mercedes), and scale models (some of which are actually wind tunnel models) are also on display. If you’re a racing fan and can appreciate the “Penske Perfect” way, then this is definitely a must visit place for you. It’s the best bargain in town – Free! BTW, his Ferrari and Maserati dealerships are adjacent so that there is plenty more to see, and buy! For more information visit: www.PenskeRacingMuseum.com.

By Larry Mason

Copyright © 2022 Larry Mason

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The outside of the Penske Racing Museum fits right in with the local desert scenery.

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1985 (#5) and 1987 (#25) Indy 500 winners are just two of the special Indy cars on display.

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The one that got it all started winning for Penske at Indianapolis is the 1972 Sunoco McLaren driven by Mark Donohue along with the Hurst/Olds Cutlass convertible pace car.

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Two of the race winning Ford Fusion NASCAR stock cars will grab the “doors and fenders” race fan’s attention.

Photos by Larry Mason

 

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Spencer Bayston – World of Outlaws Sprint Car Driver

On a recent road trip, Larry Mason happened to meet Spencer Bayston, a young driver in the super challenging World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series (WoO). Bayston was gracious enough to give us time for a quick interview that sheds light on his type of racing. This interview was done on March 21, 2022. He’ll be racing in Bakersfield, CA on Friday the 25th and in Perris, CA on Saturday the 26th. If you’re able to make it out to either track, we think you’ll be impressed by the spectacle of flat-out sprint car racing. To follow his career please visit: www.SpencerBayston.com. For the full WoO schedule, please go to: www.WorldofOutlaws.com.

Enjoy!

By Larry Mason

Copyright © 2022 Larry Mason

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Spencer Bayston is focused on winning the Rookie of the Year in the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series in 2022. Photos by Trent Gower Photography

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In this photo of the left side of the car, Bayston works hard to place his WoO 410 sprint car on the best line around the Tulare, California track. The challenge is that the track is always evolving along with the best line to take. Photos by Trent Gower Photography

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In this three quarter front shot from Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida, you can see Bayston trying to put 900 hp to the ground while sliding just enough to maximize his speed around the track. Photos by Trent Gower Photography

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© Copyright © 2022 Larry Mason

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Blast From the Past – Fast Lane Racing School Graduate Wins Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race

04-20-2013-tpcr-win1-2 Adam Carolla 2013 Pro Race

A fan favorite at the Grand Prix of Long Beach over the years was the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. Fast Lane was the official school to get all of the celebrities up to speed for their first time racing. In 2012 Adam Carolla won the event as a celebrity. He returned the following year as a Pro and won the event back-to-back! After his second race win I had a chance to talk to him about how it went and found out that a very unusual thing happened to him during the race that he had to overcome. Listen to his story and enjoy!

By Larry Mason

Copyright © 2022 Larry Mason

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Indy Car Technology – One-on-One with Cara Adams, Chief Engineer for Bridgestone Americas Motorsports Part 2

Cara Adams is the chief engineer for Bridgestone Americas Motorsports. She and her team play a key role in the reliability and performance of the cars in the NTT IndyCar Series. In Part 1, Adams gives you her background and intro into racing and delves into some of the details about race tire construction including the mechanical and chemical aspects and how that changes depending upon tracks and car configuration. In Part 2, she discusses how Firestone communicates with teams during race weekends to maximize performance and what happens to the tires once they come off the cars and more. Enjoy!

By Larry Mason

Copyright © 2022 Larry Mason

 

Cara Adams

Cara Adams is in her element on pit lane taking copious notes and communicating with the teams and media during race weekends.

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The numbers on this Firestone tire indicate durometer readings (hardness) and depth measurements.

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Here a team member heats and scrapes a worn tire clean to enable him to get a more accurate tire depth measurement.

Photos by Larry Mason

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Indy Car Technology – One-on-One with Cara Adams, Chief Engineer for Bridgestone Americas Motorsports Part 1

Indy Car Technology – One-on-One with Cara Adams, Chief Engineer for Bridgestone Americas Motorsports
Part 1

Cara Adams is the chief engineer for Bridgestone Americas Motorsports. Her mechanical engineering degree is key in her understanding of how to build reliable, performance-oriented tires that supply the entire field of the NTT IndyCar Series. In Part 1, Adams gives you her background and intro into racing and delves into some of the details about race tire construction including the mechanical and chemical aspects and how that changes depending upon tracks and car configuration. 

 

By Larry Mason

Copyright © 2022 Larry Mason

Cara Adams is not only well spoken, but has the knowledge and experience to help keep all the drivers in the NTT IndyCar Series focusing on driving fast and always having a consistent tire to race on.

Cara Adams is not only well spoken, but has the knowledge and experience to help keep all the drivers in the NTT IndyCar Series focusing on driving fast and always having a consistent tire to race on.

The Firestone “Reds” are the softer alternate compound that can give the driver extra confidence to push just a little bit harder around the track when trying to win the pole position in the Firestone Fast Six qualifying sessions. The Firestone “Blacks” are the primary compound and both types must be used during the race.

The Firestone “Reds” are the softer alternate compound that can give the driver extra confidence to push just a little bit harder around the track when trying to win the pole position in the Firestone Fast Six qualifying sessions. The Firestone “Blacks” are the primary compound and both types must be used during the race.

Photos by Larry Mason

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RaceSchool.com Podcast Oriol Servia Interview

Servia pace car Oriol Servia kept busy after leading the pack of 28 cars down Shoreline Drive in the pace car for the start of the race by leading four-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves during one of the multiple full-course cautions during the Grand Prix.

Oriol Servia was inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame just prior to the 2021 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. His resume of work includes being an Indy Lights Champion and race winner in the Champ Car World Series. He’s raced for some of the best Indy car teams in the sport including Newman/Haas and Team Penske. Servia has also raced in Formula E and prototype sports cars. Besides being inducted into the LBMWoF, he was also in Long Beach to drive the Acura NSX pace car for the Grand Prix. Servia has a reputation as a driver who is quick and can also be counted on to bring the car home in one piece. He’s been called in at the last minute to substitute for injured drivers multiple times and has delivered strong results. He’s also been very competitive at the Indianapolis 500 and feels that he can still win it. Servia talks about this and his preparation including simulators. He also shares his prediction for who would win the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series Championship. Enjoy!

By Larry Mason

Copyright © 2021 Larry Mason

Oriol Servia LBMWoF crop Oriol Servia gives a thumbs up to his LBMWoF plaque on Pine Avenue just in front of the Long Beach Convention Center while friend and former car owner Jimmy Vasser looks on from behind.

Oriol Servia gives a thumbs up to his LBMWoF plaque on Pine Avenue just in front of the Long Beach Convention Center while friend and former car owner Jimmy Vasser looks on from behind.

Servia pace car crop Oriol Servia kept busy after leading the pack of 28 cars down Shoreline Drive in the pace car for the start of the race by leading four-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves during one of the multiple full-course cautions during the Grand Prix.

Oriol Servia kept busy after leading the pack of 28 cars down Shoreline Drive in the pace car for the start of the race by leading four-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves during one of the multiple full-course cautions during the Grand Prix.

Interview and photos by Larry Mason

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RaceSchool.com Podcast Katherine Legge Interview

photo by Brad Bernstein Katherine Legge enjoys a light moment with Larry Mason during their podcast for raceschool.com.

Katherine Legge (of England) is one of the fastest race car drivers around. She is also female (which is not the novelty that it used to be in the world of auto racing). We caught up with her in the morning before her IMSA WeatherTech GTD race at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach – a place where she earned her first North American win in her Toyota Atlantic Championship debut! She has competed worldwide in an extremely diverse range of racing cars including Indy cars, Formula E, NASCAR, DTM, the Delta Wing and many, many more. She has an extremely pleasant and humble personality outside the car which by no means diminishes her fierce determination to wring every last bit of performance out of any race car she steps into. Enjoy!

By Larry Mason

Copyright © 2021 Larry Mason

Interview and photos by Larry Mason except as noted below:

photo by Brad Bernstein

photo by Brad Bernstein

Katherine Legge enjoys a light moment with Larry Mason during their podcast for raceschool.com.

Katherine Legge shares the driving duties with Hardpoint Team owner/driver Rob Ferriol in their Porsche GT3R IMSA GTD car.

Katherine Legge shares the driving duties with Hardpoint Team owner/driver Rob Ferriol in their Porsche GT3R IMSA GTD car.

Katherine Legge not only has to fight for position within the GTD class, but has to watch her mirrors for DPi prototypes. She’s shown here as the meat in a multi-class sandwich!

Katherine Legge not only has to fight for position within the GTD class, but has to watch her mirrors for DPi prototypes. She’s shown here as the meat in a multi-class sandwich!

This carbon fiber rear diffuser and tail section show off the hi-tech nature of the current IMSA GTD class.

This carbon fiber rear diffuser and tail section show off the hi-tech nature of the current IMSA GTD class.

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