The 2017 INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen

Scott Dixon rolls through the exit of Turn 1 during practice for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen — Photo by: Chris Jones

INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday Sept. 1 – Sunday, Sept. 3

Track: Watkins Glen International, an 11-turn, 3.37-mile road course in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Race distance: 60 laps / 202.2 miles

Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate. Teams must use one set of primary and one new set of alternate tires in the race.

Twitter: @WGI @IndyCar, #INDYCARGP, #IndyCar

Event website: http://www.theglen.com/

INDYCAR website: http://www.IndyCar.com

2016 race winner: Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet)

2016 Verizon P1 Award winner: Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet), 1 minute, 22.5259 seconds, 147.008 mph

Qualifying record: Scott Dixon, 1:22.5259, 147.008 mph, Sept. 3, 2016

Tony Kanaan and Simon Pagenaud roar through Turn 7 in The Boot during practice for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen from Watkins Glen International — Photo by: Bret Kelley

NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, 7 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 2 (same-day delay); Race, 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 3, NBCSN (live); Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for the NBCSN broadcasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Katie Hargitt, Kevin Lee and Robin Miller.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query (Esses), Nick Yeoman (Inner Loop) and Michael Young (The Boot) are the turn announcers with Dave Furst, Rob Howden and Jim Murphy reporting from the pits. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 214, XM 209,
IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.

Video streaming: All practice sessions and qualifying for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar)

INDYCAR Mobile app: Verizon’s INDYCAR Mobile app is available across all carriers. Exclusive features for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and include enhanced realtime leaderboard and car telemetry; live in-car camera video streaming for select drivers during Verizon IndyCar Series races; live driver and pit crew radio transmissions during races and live Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network audio streaming during all track activities.

James Hinchcliffe sails through the Bus Stop Chicane during practice for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen from Watkins Glen International — Photo by: Chris Owens

At-track schedule (all times local):

Saturday, Sept. 2
10:30 – 11:15 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #3, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
3 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (three rounds of knockout qualifying), RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live); TV: NBCSN (Taped, 7 p.m.)

Sunday, Sept. 3
9 – 9:30 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series warmup, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
1:07 p.m. – Driver introductions
1:40 p.m. – Command to start engines
1:47 p.m. – INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen (60 laps/202.2 miles), NBCSN (Live)

Championship facts:
• Josef Newgarden leads the Verizon IndyCar Series championship with two races to go for the first time in his career. Newgarden took the championship lead for the first time in his career following his win at Mid-Ohio on July 30.

• Josef Newgarden leads Scott Dixon by 31 points with Helio Castroneves (-42) and Simon Pagenaud (-43) just behind. With 54 maximum points available at Watkins Glen, the points lead could change for the fifth time in 2017.

• There are eight drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series championship: Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Graham Rahal, Alexander Rossi and Takuma Sato. Any driver who trails the points leader by 104 points or more following the race will be eliminated from contention.

• Since the first Indy car race at Watkins Glen in 1979, the winning driver has won the championship once – Rick Mears in 1981.

Key championship point statistic: Since 2008, the driver who has led the championship with two races to go has failed to win the championship in five of the last nine seasons. Scott Dixon in 2008, Dario Franchitti in 2011, Will Power in 2014 and Simon Pagenaud in 2016 are the exceptions.

Point differential: The 31 points which separate Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon is the fourth-largest margin with two races remaining since 2010. Ryan Hunter-Reay, who trailed Power by 36 points with two races remaining in 2012, and Scott Dixon, who was 34 points behind Juan Pablo Montoya in 2015, have overcome a larger deficit. The average deficit with two races to go since 2007 is 20.67 points.

Championship-eligible drivers’ results at Watkins Glen: All eight championship-eligible drivers have raced an Indy car at Watkins Glen International at least once. Scott Dixon and Will Power are former race winners at the Glen with Dixon winning three in a row from 2005-2007 and again in 2016, while Power won in 2010. Newgarden finished second last year in his first start at the Glen while
Pagenaud finished seventh in his first race. Castroneves has won three pole positions at the track, but has never finished better than third in seven starts.

Race notes:
• There have been nine different winners in the 14 previous Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2017: Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), James Hinchcliffe (Streets of Long Beach), Josef
Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park, Streets of Toronto, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Gateway Motorsports Park), Simon Pagenaud (Phoenix Raceway), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix, Texas Motor
Speedway and Pocono Raceway), Takuma Sato (Indianapolis 500), Graham Rahal (Raceway at Belle Isle-1 and Raceway at Belle Isle-2), Scott Dixon (Road America) and Helio Castroneves (Iowa Speedway).
Bourdais’ win at St. Pete on March 12 gave him sole possession of sixth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 36 wins. Dixon’s win at Road America on June 25 was his 41st career victory and he
will tie Michael Andretti for third all time with his next win. Castroneves’ win at Iowa on July 9 ended a 54-race winless streak and gave him sole possession of 12th all time with 30 wins. Power’s
win at Pocono on Aug. 20 gave him sole possession of ninth on the all-time list with 32 wins.

• The INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen will be the 11th Indy car race at Watkins Glen International. Scott Dixon won the Verizon IndyCar Series’ return to the track in 2016. Bobby Unser won the first Indy car race at The Glen in 1979.

• Scott Dixon is the winningest Indy car driver at Watkins Glen with four victories (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2016). Bobby Unser won at Watkins Glen twice. Past winners Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008) and Will Power (2010) are entered this year.

• Will Power (2010) and Scott Dixon (2016) the only drivers to win the race from the pole.

• Team Penske has won four times at Watkins Glen. Penske’s winning drivers are: Bobby Unser (1979 and 1980), Rick Mears (1981) and Will Power (2010).

• Chip Ganassi Racing has four wins at Watkins Glen, all by Scott Dixon in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2016.

• Scott Dixon has finished on the podium in five of his seven starts at Watkins Glen, including his four wins. Tony Kanaan has a pair of podium finishes in his seven starts, including a second-place finish in 2005. Marco Andretti has finished in the top five in three of six starts.

• Eighteen drivers entered in the event have competed in past Indy car races at Watkins Glen. Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan each have seven starts, most among the entered drivers. Six of those drivers have led laps at the track (Dixon 118, Castroneves 52, Will Power 47, Marco Andretti 11, Kanaan 11, Ryan Hunter-Reay 9, Carlos Munoz 3 and James Hinchcliffe 2). Dixon has led in six of his seven previous starts. Castroneves has led in five of his seven previous starts.

• Two rookies – Jack Harvey and Ed Jones – are entered. Jones has already clinched the season-long Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award.

• Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 281st consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Scott Dixon has made 222 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing. Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti has made 198 consecutive starts, which is the fourth-longest
streak in Indy car racing.

• Helio Castroneves will attempt to make his 343rd career Indy car start, which ranks third on the all-time list. Tony Kanaan is fourth all-time with 341 starts.

Dixon finds familiar place atop Watkins Glen practice chart

WATKINS GLEN, New York (Friday, Sept. 1, 2017) – Scott Dixon continued his mastery of Watkins Glen International, leading this afternoon’s second practice for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen with the fastest lap of the day.

A year after pacing every practice session, winning the pole position and leading 50 of 60 laps on his way to victory, Dixon topped the end-of-day speed chart on the iconic road course. The driver of the No. 9 NTT Data Honda sped around the 11-turn, 3.37-mile circuit in 1 minute, 22.6187 seconds (146.843 mph) – less than a tenth of a second off the track record he set in capturing the Verizon P1 Award in qualifying in 2016.

“Just really enjoy it,” Dixon said of Watkins Glen. “It’s a fun place, man. It’s extremely fast. It’s definitely some pretty high-risk situations.

“For me, the tracks of current day are nothing like these. It’s a lot of fun to come here. I think (we’re) very fortunate for all INDYCAR and the competitors to come back to a circuit like this.”

Dixon’s win at the Glen last year was his fourth in seven Verizon IndyCar Series races during the current era of competition that began in 2005 at the track in upstate New York. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver is hoping to use today’s results as a springboard toward his fifth season championship. He trails Josef Newgarden – who was 11th overall in practice – by 31 points with two races remaining.

“For us, the biggest thing we’ve got to do is just focus on our race, go out there, try and win,” Dixon said. “If we can win, that takes care of a lot of situations.”

Will Power, the 2010 Watkins Glen race winner, was second fastest in the afternoon session with a lap of 1:22.7129 (146.676 mph) in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.

“We learned a lot today,” Power said. “The Verizon Chevy was pretty good. It was good to get a feel of the (Firestone alternate) red tires versus the (primary) black tires. I feel like the course has changed a little over the last year, but it’s still super-fast.”

Rounding out the top five were: Graham Rahal in the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda (1:22.9716, 146.219 mph), Simon Pagenaud in the No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet (1:23.0915, 146.008 mph) and Alexander Rossi in the No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda (1:23.1124, 145.971 mph). Earlier today, Andretti Autosport announced it had signed Rossi and sponsor NAPA Auto Parts to a multiyear extension for 2018 and beyond.

Eight drivers – Newgarden, Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Pagenaud, Power, Rahal, Rossi and Takuma Sato – remain mathematically eligible to win the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series championship. Of those, only Dixon (four times), Pagenaud (2016) and Power (2014) are past champions.

A third practice is set for 10:30 a.m. ET Saturday, ahead of Verizon P1 Award knockout qualifying at 3 p.m. Both sessions will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com, with NBCSN airing a delayed qualifying telecast at 7 p.m.

The 60-lap INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen, the 16th of 17 races on the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, kicks off with live coverage at 1 p.m. Sunday on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

Andretti humbled to receive Argetsinger lifetime contributions award

Mario Andretti has been honored in so many ways over the years, but he said Thursday night’s International Motor Racing Research Center’s awards dinner at the Corning (New York) Museum of Glass was unique.

Andretti received the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for lifetime contributions to motorsports. Argetsinger was the founder of racing in nearby Watkins Glen.

The International Motor Racing Research Center houses one of the finest collections of historical motorsports documents. It is located within four miles of Watkins Glen International, site of Andretti’s first Formula One race – he won the pole for that 1968 event – and where the Verizon IndyCar Series is racing this weekend in the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen.

The list of people honoring Andretti on Thursday included Rick Mears, Chip Ganassi, Bobby Rahal and Dario Franchitti. Sending video tributes were Roger Penske, Dan Gurney, Bobby Unser, Richard Petty, Danny Sullivan, George Follmer and Don “The Snake” Prudhomme. Ganassi, Petty and Penske are past recipients of the Argetsinger award.

“I just told (Rahal) this is the greatest thing in my life,” said Andretti. “I have never, ever, ever experienced something like this. I could not have imagined an event like this.”

Franchitti told the crowd estimated at 300 that his parents discussed naming him after the 1978 world champion, four-time Indy car champion and 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner. Ganassi spoke of being 11 years old when he first got Andretti’s autograph.

Andretti is the only driver to have won the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500 and an F1 title, a feat Ganassi said will never be matched.

“He is simply the greatest of all time – it’s that simple,” Ganassi said.

“All of it means I’ve lived the dream,” Andretti said. “I’m still living it.”

Asked how he’d like to be remembered, Andretti said: “Just a racer.”

“What They’re Saying” from INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen practice

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “We made a few changes to the Menards Chevy and we made some gains in the second session today. I think we are getting closer. But it looks like weather is going to play a factor this weekend so we have to keep an eye on that and figure out the best way to adjust. I feel good about the direction we are going.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 DeVilbiss Team Penske Chevrolet): “It was a good day for the DeVilbiss Chevrolet team. I think there are still some things to find and some room to grow. The pace of the car is good, but the differences are so small in the Verizon IndyCar Series. You can’t leave a stone unturned. If you do, then you’re behind. We’ll continue to look at the data and collect all of the information from my teammates. It’s important to have it ready for qualifying tomorrow, so that’s what we’ll do.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “We were really happy with the Hitachi Chevy in the second practice session. We made a lot of improvements from the morning. We ran into a little traffic and we had a little incident where we went off track briefly, but after we came in and looked at the car we actually went faster so it was all good. I’m really looking forward to
qualifying tomorrow.”

CONOR DALY (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “I think today was a good day for us. We missed out on running a second set of black tires in the first session which is a shame. But we made a good improvement in the second session. It’s close again as usual. I think we have a good direction to go and we’re not far out of that top 12 so that’s what we have to aim for tomorrow.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Honda): “It all happened very quickly. I’m not sure if something failed or what it was. This morning the Gallagher car was quick, and then this afternoon we’ve been battling a balance problem and we really didn’t change anything. I went through the bus stop and caught it once, and then when I went back to the throttle it came back around. I’m not sure if something broke in the rear but it’s very unusual. This is a track that really works for me and for something to happen like that when I wasn’t pushing that hard is very bizarre.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 NTT Data Honda): “The NTT Data car was really fast out there. We still have a little bit of work to do out there, but the team brought some really good race cars to Watkins Glen this weekend. The team is very strong here – these high-speed road courses like Mid-Ohio are where we seem to excel. I think this place really suits my driving style and I’m looking forward to
tomorrow’s qualifying.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Honda): “We struggled a little bit today, especially in that first practice. We found a problem with the car during the first session, but with it being a shorter session, we couldn’t fix it until after that practice ended and we got back to the garage. Because of that, we spent this afternoon playing catch up, but I think we have a pretty good idea on a direction to go. Out of the four cars on our team, I was the only one who didn’t come here to test earlier in the season because I was in Le Mans and then Dixon came here by himself. It’s a momentum track, so it takes you a little bit to really get going. I would say we have a high possibility to be in the Firestone Fast Six tomorrow, but it’s going to be really hard to beat Dixon out there especially after having a start like that.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “We learned a lot today. The Verizon Chevy was pretty good. It was good to get a feel of the red tires (Firestone alternate) versus the black tires (Firestone primary). I feel like the course has changed a little over the last year, but it’s still super fast. Qualifying is important as ever. It’s not easy to pass here and I don’t think the weather will affect it that much should it be wet on Sunday. Maybe before everyone is able to get their braking zones figured out. Overall, though, it was a good day and we look forward to some fine tuning tomorrow in practice before qualifying.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “First my mechanic Pat (Jordan) is good. Hopefully he will have a quick recovery. I feel sorry for him – it was my mistake. It was an okay day as far as practice goes. We did some changes for Practice 2, but it didn’t work as we planned. We thought we’d go quicker but we didn’t. We have to think about tomorrow and make a good prep.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): “Overall, it was a very good day. I feel like we made really good gains on the setup. The car rolled off the trailer extremely competitive and that’s what you need because you don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel during the weekend. The guys have done a great job. The car is close. Do we want to be a little bit better? Yes, but overall we are pretty close. This is a phenomenal place. There is a lot of grip, and the track is very smooth just as we left it last year. It should be a great race this weekend.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 UNIFIN Honda): “We’re a bit lost with the set up. I thought the car was pretty close this morning and that the car just needed a couple of tweaks. We found what we thought was going to be the solution to our issue and applied it for the afternoon session, but we ended up going backwards. We’re fighting the car in the quick corners and understeer in the slow corners. It’s not a happy recipe right now, just very difficult. We’ll keep at it and see what we can do. That said, it feels good to be out there, for sure, but we’re all competitors and being in the car just doesn’t do it. You want to be in the car and feel good and be fighting at the front.”

ED JONES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): “We had a decent morning and then we made some changes to try and improve the car for the afternoon, but it didn’t work at all. So we struggled a lot in the second session. We have a lot of work to do for tomorrow. Nothing felt right, but we’ll work on it and hopefully tomorrow will be much better.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “We had a pretty good session this morning, but seemed to struggle a little bit this afternoon. I thought we made some improvements in the first session and while we tried a couple of different things this afternoon, it didn’t work out the way we had planned. Hopefully we can go back and get the same kind of feeling we had from the car this morning.”

JR HILDEBRAND (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “I really enjoy Watkins Glen. I’m definitely hopeful we can be quick here because I like the place a lot. It was a weird couple of sessions for us today. We’ve got a couple of things going on with the car that we’re having a hard time explaining right now. We’re going to work to get to the bottom of it and get a better feel for what we need to be doing and address how to go quicker tomorrow. That’s pretty much our main goal. We’ll do a little bit of problem solving tonight and we’ll see where we can pick up some time.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda): “It was a productive day. We had a good test here about a month ago, but the conditions today were quite different – I guess that is due to the change in wind direction. I was quite surprised at how different (the car) acted and we had to catch a lot of balance to correct it. In the end, the car was better, not the best though. We still have a
lot of work to do before tomorrow to find the speed, but it was a positive direction. Hopefully tomorrow morning is better.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda): “We had a pretty decent start to the day and showed some competitive speeds in the first practice. Everything was going good in Practice 2, then about midway through we lost balance in the rear in a big way. Not having rear grip really hurt my pace. We went from running decent to running bad. We need to get the rear grip back and hopefully it will help.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “Following a really good test here, we’re scratching our heads in a few areas because I was really happy with the DHL car a few weeks ago. Hopefully we’ll find it tonight when we put our heads together and hopefully roll out with a better car tomorrow. With all that said, we’re not that far off – we’re within in reach, we just need to make the necessary
changes.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Tresiba Honda): “This afternoon was a nice recovery after the morning session. We had an electrical issue that kept us from running during the first practice, but the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing guys did a great job getting it all fixed up and tuned up. We were able to get a few good laps in this afternoon. I’m pretty happy to be inside the top 10, but obviously tomorrow we’ll be aiming higher for the Firestone Fast Six. We need to make the car a little bit better, handling-wise and setup-wise, but I think we’ve got a good direction heading into tomorrow’s sessions.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda): “It was a pretty good Friday. I think we’re pretty competitive up to third, but the top two guys are a bit ahead of us. It’s the normal culprits on high-commitment road courses, so we’ll work overnight. There’s a bit of room in the car that I think we know where it is to improve. Overall, we’re feeling confident in the NAPA Auto Parts car
this weekend.”

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