Sunday, 26 July 2011, the 2011 edition of the Edmonton Indy was held, and Will Power took on this event from second pole position, with Takuma Sato in pole position. It was a wonderful day for Power, who gained his fourth victory of the season and has slowly begun to narrow the gap between himself and Dario Franchitti, who is the points leader. The race consisted of eighty laps and was hosted at the City Center Airport. It was not an easy victory for Will Power, as teammate Helio Castroneves along with Dario Franchitti kept the pressure on.
Takuma Sato led the field for a quarter of the race, and was then overtaken by Will Power. While the double file restart was being led by Mike Conway, the green flag was waved and Conway did not accelerate, as he did not see the flag, and Franchitti mistook the green flag, thinking he was only allowed to accelerate at the straight’s end. This lost him great track position, and he found himself in tenth position. He commented that he was very disappointed in himself, and knew that his error cost him valuable time and position. Franchitti called on his experience, and began to make his way back up towards the leaders, but unfortunately catching up to Helio Castroneves and Will Power did not help much as he was not able to find a gap to pass, and was forced to follow the race leaders to the finish line. Power commented that the victory was exactly what they needed.
Power has now increased his championship points to three hundred and fifty, but remains in second position to Dario Franchitti, even though the lead has now been reduced from fifty-five points to thirty-eight points. Power took the victory over Franchitti by 1.2 seconds. Even though there seems to have been some friction between the two drivers, it looks like they have managed to put it aside, especially while on the track. Will Power delivered a spectacular performance and won a fantastic racing event, boosting his running for the championship title and giving his team the victory they so richly deserve.
View our various guides to auto racing, where we explore different types of motor sport that aren’t in the spotlight as often as NASCAR or Formula One.
The Indy Racing League, or IRL, is a sanctioning body for open-wheel auto racing in America. Best known for the popular Indianapolis 500, the IRL endorses the IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights and, as of 2010, the U.S. F2000 National Championship.
Tony George was responsible for the establishment of the IRL back in 1994, with racing beginning in 1996. George’s goal was to found a lower-cost alternative to CART, which was only accessible to wealthy teams who could afford the expensive technology. As of 2008 Champ Car racing (previously CART) was merged into the IRL.
IndyCar vehicles look similar to open-wheeled formula racing cars, featuring wings and large airboxes. The cars have strict specifications, with all cars using the same parts. Every three years, the chassis and engine manufacturers are reviewed. Originally built just for oval racing, the new generation of IndyCar machines are made to deal with road racing too.
The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, or Indy 500, takes place each Memorial Day weekend at America’s Indianapolis Motor Speedway. One of the oldest motorsport races, the Indy 500 draws large crowds each year. It is an event avid racing fans would not want to miss. Winners of the Indianapolis 500 have included Dario Franchitti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Rick Mears, Helio Castroneves, Dan Wheldon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Sam Hornish, Jr. Scott Dixon, and others.
Though there had been plans to build a superspeedway in Chicago for years, nothing much was actually done about it until 1995 when Tony George, the president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Bill France met informally to discuss the project. The two men, along with John Menard, later formed the Motorsports Alliance in 1996 and immediately began looking for suitable sites for the project. The challenge was to find an affordable piece of land that would not be too far from Chicago and which would be big enough to enable them to build a facility which would be able to host NASCAR and Indy Racing League events. Just as it seemed that they’d found the right spot, Illinois annexation laws prohibited the project from going ahead. Not long afterwards Menard withdrew from the Alliance.
By then it seemed that a Chicago would never have its own NASCAR track, but enthusiasm for the sport was increasing in the area. Fortunately Dale Coyne, who had successfully managed to build the Route 66 Raceway for drag racing in 1997-98, called and suggested that he meet with the Motorsports Alliance. He suggested that they discuss the possibility of building a 1.5-mile speedway right next to the Route 66 Raceway. In 1999, Coyne relinquished his position at the Route 66 Raceway to become partners with George and France in the newly formed Raceway Associates. The aim of the new alliance was to build a state-of-the-art, multipurpose motor sports complex. Finally everything was ready and earthmoving equipment arrived on site in August 1999. One year later, the public learned that this massive new construction would be called the Chicagoland Speedway. By 2001, the complex enjoyed an immensely successful opening season.
The Chicagoland Speedway is situated in Joliet, Illinois, not far from the great city. It features a 1.5 mile (2.414 km) track that takes the form of a D-Shaped tri-oval. The track is capable of seating 75 000 people and it currently hosts major events such as the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, the NASCAR Busch Series and the Indy Racing League, amongst others. The Chicagoland Speedway has proved to be such a great draw-card that major races are often sold-out months in advance. The track is currently owned by the Raceway Associates, LLC.