INDIANAPOLIS -- Team Penske and driver Helio Castroneves won the TAG Heuer Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge, earning a $50,000 prize. Castroneves celebrated his eighth win in the contest by climbing the fence in front of the Tower Terrance grandstand.
Castroneves beat Mikhail Aleshin of Schmidt Peterson with Team Pelfrey in the final round. This is the 17th win for Team Penske in the annual competition for Indy 500 pit crews. The winner of the competition has gone on to win the Indianapolis 500 six times, most recently with Castroneves in 2009.
“I went for it. I was able to stop really deep,” Castroneves said. “I was able to slide in just perfect. The Pennzoil boys, the Team Penske boys, really. … they are the fastest. All the credit to those guys. Very happy to be part of this organization.”
The crew for Castroneves in the contest was made up of members from the cars of Castroneves and teammate Simon Pagenaud.
“This team has been outstanding in the pit stop competition,” team owner Roger Penske said. “They work every day at the shop. We took our best guys and put them together on the two cars. … This gives us momentum for Sunday.”
Snapchat will host ‘Live Story’ on race day for users
Snapchat, the ephemeral, mobile storytelling platform embraced by 100 million daily active users, is partnering with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to cover the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on Sunday via a “Live Story.”
Live Stories allow Snapchatters at the same event to contribute their unique, personal perspectives by submitting their photo and video Snaps to one collective story. On race day, a team at Snapchat will curate the thousands of Snaps submitted from fans at IMS into a brief Live Story that can be broadcast nationwide to millions of users right on their phone.
For fans attending the race and using Snapchat, it’s easy to submit Snaps to the Live Story – simply take a photo or video Snap, tap "send" and choose to submit to the Indianapolis 500 Live Story. After taking the Snap, swipe left to find cool event-themed geofilters.
Snaps selected by the team at Snapchat will be included in the Live Story and available for all Snapchatters to see for 24 hours.
“Thousands of race fans use Snapchat to share moments from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Live Story capturing many of their experiences from the 100th running should be epic,” said C.J. O’Donnell, chief marketing officer for Hulman Motorsports. “We can’t wait for race day and this is yet another part of the day to look forward to.”
Fans can also follow the action from IMS at “the_brickyard” and the Verizon IndyCar Series at “indycar” on Snapchat.
Indy 500 teams salute legend Rutherford on final weekend as pace car driver
Johnny Rutherford, the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and longtime driver of the pace car in the Verizon IndyCar Series, was honored prior to Miller Lite Carb Day practice by drivers and crew members on a ceremonial lap along pit road.
Rutherford is turning over pace car duties following Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 to Sarah Fisher. He also received a special award from Firestone Racing commemorating “54 great years at Indy – 500 winner, driver coach and Pace Car driver” and a banner signed by all 33 drivers in the 100th running.
“(It was) a total surprise to me,” Rutherford said of the honorary lap around IMS. “I thought we were just going to go out and to do a radio check with the pace car. We did accomplish that, but when I pulled her out and saw all the crews and all the people (on pit road), it was fantastic. I was in total shock.
“When I retired (as an Indy car driver), I had the opportunity to start driving the pace car. It meant a lot to me because I can stay up close and personal and I get to lead the field. This year’s race will be something; it will be a dandy.”
Honda’s McHale and Layton share Jim Chapman Award
T.E. McHale and Dan Layton, longtime representatives for Honda’s racing programs including the Verizon IndyCar Series, are co-recipients of the 2016 Jim Chapman Award for excellence in motorsports public relations. McHale and Layton were presented plaques for the honor this morning in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s media center, where a new permanent trophy was unveiled and will remain.
The Chapman Award honors the legendary PR executive and innovator who worked with Babe Ruth and was named Indy car racing’s “most influential man” of the 1980s.
McHale has been American Honda’s motorsports communications manager since 2003. He also reported on motorsports for the Mansfield (Ohio) News Journal from 1978-95 and worked on the public relations staff for CART through 2001.
Layton is in his 22nd year representing Honda in Indy car racing. He has also handled public relations duties in sports car racing and Formula Atlantics, among other series.
Tim Whiting, chief mechanic of the No. 63 Susan G. Komen Honda driven by Pippa Mann, was named recipient of the Clint Brawner Mechanical Excellence Award. The honor goes annually to the Indianapolis 500 chief mechanic who exemplifies the mechanical excellence, ingenuity and perseverance similar to that of legendary mechanic Clint Brawner. The award, sponsored by Firestone Racing, includes a $5,000 prize and the winner’s name inscribed on a trophy that permanently resides in the IMS Museum. … Kody Swanson of Kingsburg, California, became a three-time winner of the Hoosier Hundred U.S. Auto Club Silver Crown race at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, claiming Thursday’s race for the third consecutive year. Bryan Clauson, who will compete in the Indianapolis 500 for Dale Coyne/Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, finished fourth. … The Tatuus USF-17 chassis that will debut in 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda competition was unveiled today at IMS. It will be the series chassis for at least five years, following testing and development this summer.