Pro Mazda Stars of the Race – Toronto

Juncos Racing's Jake Parson showed impressive mental toughness in finishing third in Saturday's Pro Mazda race in Toronto
(Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

  07.22.2016 - If you were to have asked me after the Carb Night Classic at Lucas Oil Raceway in May to predict how the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires would have played out, I would have handed the title over to Team Pelfrey’s Pato O’Ward and told you we would likely see him break the single-season victory record. Pato had won six of the first seven races and he looked dominant and unbeatable. Who would have thought any different? But, when we arrived at Road America, things took an abrupt about-face. Aaron Telitz owned the weekend in Wisconsin and turned the wave of momentum in his direction. This continued on the streets of Toronto as Telitz stretched his win-streak to four, pulling into a tie for the point lead with five races to go. All bets are off….the season starts now with just a handful of battles still to be waged. As for the #Insider Star of the Race for the Continue Reading

USF2000 Stars of the Race – Toronto

Team Pelfrey's Robert Megennis put on a show in the opening race in Toronto, driving from 18th to fifth
(Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

  07.21.2016 - From the second I first viewed photos of the new complex of corners at the Toronto Indy layout at Exhibition Place, I knew the young drivers of the Mazda Road to Indy would be challenged during the opening on-track sessions. The new segment of the track from the exit of Turn 8 through to the start of the frontstretch (Turn 11) was narrow and the asphalt was anything but smooth and level. Understanding what the corners required would take some time, and while I hoped that they’d approach this slowly, many didn’t, and we had huge wrecks at the start of both of the initial practice sessions for USF2000 and Pro Mazda. To the credit of the drivers, this was certainly a wake-up call and by the time the main events rolled around, they had all figured out how to power through 9-10-11 unscathed. My ‘Star’ of the opening USF2000 race in Toronto was, undoubtedly, Robert Megennis. Continue Reading

Indy Lights Star of the Race – Iowa

Belardi Auto Racing's Zach Veach showed immense patience and poise in overtaking Dean Stoneman en route to second in the Indy Lights Iowa Challenge
(Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

  07.12.2016 - I’m a huge fan of Iowa Speedway and the action that it fuels in both the IndyCar and Indy Lights races. The track rolls out the red carpet for the IndyCar and Mazda Road to Indy communities and I think the 7/8-mile track length is perfect for both programs. I may be a ‘bull ring’ for the IndyCars, but it’s a ‘superspeedway’ for the developing Indy Lights pilots. The competitors on the top rung of the MRTI put on a great show on Sunday afternoon, taking to a track that had been washed off rubber thanks to the storm that hit Newton in the morning. The Indy Lights Iowa Challenge was a thrilling 100-lap race that featured battles for position throughout the field. Yes, there was a bit of a lull in excitement mid-race, as was to be expected, but the final 25 laps were ridiculously fun to watch. From the very green flag, I had my eye on my eventual Insider ‘Star of the Race’ Continue Reading

Indy Lights Stars of the Race – Road America

Canadian Zach Claman DeMelo starred in his first trip to Road America, posting a pair of top-five finishes
(Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC, Photography)

  07.08.2016 - As the Mazda Road to Indy staff and their Indy Lights drivers and teams load into Iowa Speedway for this weekend’s events, I want to take one look back at Road America to complete my picks for the #Insider Stars of the Races. As a venue, an experience and a destination, Road America provided everything we were hoping for and more, adding our seventh different winner of the year and some truly tremendous racing. I’m having fun with this new segment of my blog, highlighting some great performances with my ‘Star’ selections, so let’s get right to it. For the opening race of the Road America doubleheader, I’m naming Juncos Racing rookie Zach Claman DeMelo as my #Insider Star of the Race. At the beginning of the season, many in the sport asked me about Zach, looking for insight, and many believed that he entered the Indy Lights program just a little light on open wheel Continue Reading