IndyCar is a relatively traditional sport -- the unexpected comes during the races, not off the track. This year, however, IndyCar has instituted several significant changes, impacting the sport for drivers, teams and fans.
British driver Katherine Legge describes being an Indy 500 rookie and competing in a male-dominated sport.
Dario Franchitti won the 96th edition of the Indianapolis 500 motor race on Sunday, placing first in the prestigious race for the third time.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Now that the long-awaited IZOD IndyCar Series opener has finally concluded, it's time to move away from the storyline that has cast its shadow over the sport since the tragic death of Dan Wheldon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Beginning with this weekend's Honda Grand Prix, the new season marches forward. Here are three key questions to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
Danica Patrick enters the world of NASCAR and NASCAR is hoping to cash in on a new demographic.
Formula One veteran Rubens Barrichello is to race in the IndyCar series in 2012, the Brazilian announced Thursday.
It's easy to find Danica Patrick at Daytona International Speedway. Just look for the pack of photographers, the whirring of their cameras capturing the every move of NASCAR's newest star.
SEBRING, Fla. -- Helio Castroneves skulked around the Team Penske engineering station, hoping -- fruitlessly -- that he would have a chance to retake control of the DW12 Chevrolet he and his teammates were shaking down at one of the first IndyCar tests of the season at Sebring International Raceway. Tony Kanaan, meanwhile, was turning lap after lap in his KV Racing Technology team car. Just down the ersatz pit wall of concrete dividers, Marco Andretti was eagerly anticipating his first laps of the year.
Dario Franchitti wept not of joy, but of inconsolable despair on the day he won his third consecutive IndyCar championship. For the second time in his 14 years at the highest echelons of North American open-wheel racing, a close friend had died at the same track on which both were racing. This time it was former teammate Dan Wheldon, who died a dozen laps into the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 16, 2011. Twelve years earlier it was Greg Moore.
SEBRING, Fla. -- The angst manifests itself in their hands, in the way Will Power gestures downward with his fist as if pounding on a lectern, in the way Marco Andretti draws his thumb and index finger together to visually punctuate the end of a pointed statement.
CONCORD, N.C. -- With Danica Patrick at Stewart-Haas Racing, three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart knows he'll have to share the spotlight this season.
With Danica Patrick's departure to NASCAR, the IndyCar series is hoping Canada's "Mayor of Hinchtown" can replace "America's Princess of Speed" in the high-profile GoDaddy ride at Andretti Autosport.
MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Each new season brings a new priority list of drivers to watch and 2012 is no different.
1. Dan Wheldon is killed in an IndyCar crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. There is no shortage of sadness surrounding the death of Wheldon, at age 33, only 11 laps into the final race of the IndyCar season. A wife lost a husband, two small boys a father. A community lost a friend, a series lost one of its most charismatic and talented. But ultimately one of the most mournful aspects of Wheldon's death is it may never spark the type of safety evolution that followed the high-profile racing deaths of the likes of Ayrton Senna and Dale Earnhardt. Certainly, IndyCar has professed a desire to make one of the most dangerous forms of motor sports safer, and drivers have profusely supported the series' good intentions, but respected industry veteran and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Terry Trammell said the series missed an opportunity to make the new IndyCar vehicle as safe as possible.
Formula 1 will return from its second multiyear U.S. hiatus with a Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, next November. The first track in the nation that was built specifically to F1 specifications and amenity standards has invested $300 million in the facility and must pay a huge sanctioning fee -- estimated at $25 million -- to put the world's highest priced and most technologically advanced race cars on the track.
MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- On Thursday, IndyCar presented its findings on the Oct. 16 crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that took Dan Wheldon's life. Wheldon, IndyCar officials said, suffered "non-survivable" injuries when his head hit a pole in the fencing. The two-time Indy 500 champion was 33.
IndyCar driver Mike Conway talks about Dan Wheldon, his own IndyCar season and his future.
IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon was killed by a fence pole that sliced through his car, causing fatal injuries, an investigation into his death concluded Friday.
One week from today a gleaming present is scheduled to arrive in race shops around Indianapolis. It will be fawned over for a few moments and then prepared for a much-anticipated, much-needed on-track testing in January. The delivery of the Dallara DW12, the next-generation Izod IndyCar Series race car, to individual teams will mark the next phase in the implementation of a vehicle designed, according to the series, to be innovative, competitive and cost-effective.
IndyCar racers won't return next year to the Las Vegas track where two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died in a fiery, 15-vehicle crash, the racing series said on Thursday.
Physically, mentally and emotionally, all is better Will Power said.
INDIANAPOLIS -- When Scott Dixon met his new teammate at Target/Chip Ganassi Racing after the 2005 season he wasn't quite sure what to expect. After all, Dan Wheldon was a fierce competitor and rival who had dominated the season by winning six races, including the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series championship for what was then Andretti Green Racing.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Now that the celebration of Dan Wheldon's life is over and the respects have been paid to the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner who was killed in a crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 16, the hard work for the series begins. The first step in making necessary corrections came on Monday when IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard and other series officials conducted a three-hour long drivers' meeting at the Pagoda of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
INDIANAPOLIS -- As IndyCar officials spearhead an investigation into the 15-car crash that claimed the life of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon on Oct. 16, industry insiders say they're eager to learn what role the fence and its steel supports may have played in the fatality, particularly given the design of those elements at the Las Vegas track.
INDIANAPOLIS -- It was nearly four hours before "A Celebration of the Life of Dan Wheldon" was scheduled to begin at Conseco Fieldhouse, and the line down Delaware Street led far down the block. Those who came to mourn the loss of the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner who was killed in a horrific crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last week wanted to be a part of this tribute.
The racing sanctioning body IndyCar held a public memorial service, punctuated by laughter and tears, Sunday to celebrate the life of two-time Indianapolis 500 champ Dan Wheldon.
A picture posted by Dan Wheldon's friend shows him and his wife sporting their new tattoos the day before Wheldon died.
Hundreds gathered Saturday in St. Petersburg, Florida, for the funeral of Dan Wheldon, remembering him as a winning personality and family man as much as a star on the race track.
The popular IndyCar driver was killed in a massive crash Sunday. HLN's Carlos Diaz remembers him as a driver and a person.
I first met Dan Wheldon in 2003, when he stepped into the cockpit of the Klein Tools/Jim Beam Indy car at Andretti Green Racing, just before the third race of the season at the Twin Ring Motegi racing track in eastern Japan.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The death of two-time Indianapolis 500-winner Dan Wheldon on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway has, for a multitude of reasons, been especially hard to reconcile for those who knew, worked with or cheered for the popular 33-year-old.
Las Vegas Speedway president Chris Powell insists the track where driver Dan Wheldon was killed met IndyCar regulations.
IndyCar said it has launched an investigation into the 15-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of driver Dan Wheldon and expects to have preliminary findings within weeks.
LAS VEGAS -- What happened at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Sunday's IndyCar World Championships could best be described as a perfect storm of calamity.
Editor's Note: Danica Patrick spoke with SI.com at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday prior to Dan Wheldon's tragic death on Sunday afternoon.
Three-time F1 world champion Jackie Stewart says safety questions will be asked after the death of Dan Wheldon.
The tragic death of English driver Dan Wheldon after a horror race crash in the U.S. should lead to changes in the IndyCar division, according to Formula One legend Jackie Stewart.
Weeks ago, Dan Wheldon was behind the wheel of a new prototype car for the IZOD IndyCar racing series -- one meant to make his sport safer, albeit ideally no less exciting.
CNN's Chad Myers takes a closer look at the fiery crash that killed IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon.
Video of the IndyCar World Championships race that killed Dan Wheldon shows cars spinning out of control.
Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died Sunday of "unsurvivable injuries" sustained during a multi-car wreck at the Las Vegas Indy 300. He was 33.
LAS VEGAS -- It was supposed to be a day of potential glory and fortune for Dan Wheldon as he had a chance to split a $5 million bonus with a fan if he could win Sunday's IndyCar World Championships at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Instead, it became one of the darkest days in the history of the sport as the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner was killed in a horrific crash on Lap 11.
Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon was killed when he was involved in a multi-car pileup at a race in Las Vegas.
Dan Wheldon brought a bit of England with him when he began driving extremely fast cars in the United States.
Race car driver Dan Wheldon spoke to "American Morning" in May, 2011, after winning the Indy 500.
Dan Wheldon brought a bit of England with him when he began driving extremely fast cars in the United States.
Dan Wheldon understands the focused mania of a final dash for an IZOD IndyCar championship. Five years ago he entered the last race of the season at Chicagoland in third place and 19 points behind points leader Helio Castroneves, while Castroneves' Team Penske teammate, Sam Hornish Jr., was in second place, one point out. Wheldon needed a high finish and the type of racing fortune that had eluded him much of the season to capture what would have been consecutive driver titles. Wheldon won the race, tying Hornish Jr. in the final points standings, but ultimately finished second because Hornish Jr. had four wins, Wheldon two.
It was supposed to be Travis Pastrana or Kasey Kahne or Alex Zanardi. Instead, the man racing for $5 million Sunday is Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon.
LAS VEGAS -- Jimmie Johnson, who is attempting to win his sixth straight NASCAR Sprint Cup title, and Dario Franchitti, who is going for his fourth straight IZOD IndyCar Series championship in as many attempts, have much more in common than their outstanding racing ability and impressive championship streaks.
More than 100,000 people are expected to descend on downtown Baltimore this Labor Day weekend to see drivers from around the world -- like Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti and Will Power -- compete in the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix.
Race cars descend on Baltimore and officials hope an economic boost will follow. CNN's Athena Jones reports.
SONOMA, Calif. -- Just one day removed from making the biggest announcement of her career, Danica Patrick was back at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., last Friday to prepare for the IZOD IndyCar Series race over the weekend. The Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma would officially begin Danica's IndyCar farewell tour as the driver closes this phase of her racing career before joining NASCAR next season as a full-time driver in the Nationwide Series and a part-time driver on the Sprint Cup circuit.
STEAM CORNERS, Ohio -- The pursuit of Danica Patrick continues and most signs indicate she will switch from the IZOD IndyCar Series to the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2012, with perhaps seven races in Cup. And while that deal is far from being completed, many in IndyCar are already preparing for life without Danica next season. How would her departure affect the series? Would TV ratings plummet, would ticket sales suffer? Those in the industry have mixed thoughts on those issues as they await official word on whether she's staying or going.
Danica Patrick's departure from the Izod IndyCar Series after seven seasons will leave a vacuum in open-wheel racing.
Before this season, Danica Patrick had to decide if she wanted to again run the ARCA race at Daytona in February as a way to gain more experience in a stock car.
Two-time IZOD IndyCar champion Scott Dixon fell behind in the points race after a bump in Edmonton forced him to pit for long radiator repairs. SI.com discusses the incident, instigated by a double-file restart, and how it will affect his performance this Sunday at the Honda Indy 200 (2 p.m. ET, Versus).
Bryan Clauson could have earned a decent living as a start-and-park specialist. The $6,000 to $8,000 per race he said he'd been offered for qualifying a Sprint Cup car and then relenting after a few laps would have supported he and his sprint car team well enough until something else materialized.
INDIANAPOLIS -- For its first 45 years of existence, NASCAR dreamed of racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The track was the motor sports mecca of the world and the home of the world's most famous race -- the Indianapolis 500 -- which began in 1911.
Devils and championships are in the details and Penske Racing has been a master of both in four decades as one of motor sports' elite organizations.
This Sunday, Dario Franchitti will defend his IndyCar points lead at the Streets of Toronto (2 p.m. ET, Versus). SI.com caught up with him beforehand to talk Toronto, his future in racing and whole milk:
MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Johnny Benson Jr. has had several titles throughout his racing career: Nationwide Series champion, Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year and Camping World Truck Series champion.
The provisions for a racing nomad are as follows: a small, flat screen TV, Xbox, PlayStation and a video game steering wheel.
FORT WORTH, Texas -- So the IndyCar Series went back to the future by holding its first "Twin Race" since 1981 and it created an electrifying atmosphere at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday. There was high-speed racing, fireworks and fast-paced sprints to the finish in each of the 114-lap contests which saw Dario Franchitti drive to victory in the first race and Will Power score his first career oval win in the second.
INDIANAPOLIS -- As the dust continues to settle from Sunday's 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, the future remains uncertain for race winner Dan Wheldon -- though the prospects of seeing him in the cockpit of an IndyCar for a few more races this season have increased dramatically.
Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon talks about the thrill of winning for the second time in his career.
INDIANAPOLIS -- It had all the ingredients to be a historic day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Dan Wheldon scored his second Indianapolis 500 victory in dramatic fashion as race leader J.R. Hildebrand crashed in the fourth turn heading to the checkered flag.
David Foster (16-time Grammy Award-winning composer): Danica Patrick
Rick Mears won his fourth Indianapolis 500 in 1991 in his 14th start. It took A.J. Foyt, the first driver to win four at Indy, 20 starts and Al Unser 22.
Penske Racing's superlative record of 15 victories in the Indianapolis 500 seems unassailable, like John Wooden's 10 NCAA Division I basketball championships. Just as it was with Wooden, it has been a dynasty built with the leadership and vision of one man, Roger Penske, who has surrounded himself with great talent.
INDIANAPOLIS -- When Janet Guthrie became the first female driver to compete in the 1977 Indianapolis 500, she opened the door for future female drivers.
INDIANAPOLIS -- With race day for the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 just around the corner, some of the sport's most notable figures discussed with SI.com the significance of the World's Greatest Race.
You could never forget your first time. Mine was in 2003.
INDIANAPOLIS -- If the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world's largest theater of human emotion, then Danica Patrick and team owner Michael Andretti had all the drama they could take during Sunday's Bump Day for the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.
Indianapolis 500 stories in the SI Vault
INDIANAPOLIS -- To call Alex Tagliani's pole for the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 a surprise might be a bit misleading. The French Canadian was one of the fastest drivers all week in practice.
INDIANAPOLIS -- There are some events that transcend their sport. The Indianapolis 500 is one of those.
This feels like already-trod territory for Scott Speed, even with so much of it unfamiliar.
MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- There is exactly one month to go until the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, which means Danica Patrick is counting down the moments until she gets yet another chance to try to become the first woman to win the historic race.
LONG BEACH, Calif.-- As the IndyCar Series sped into Southern California for the biggest street race in North America, many intriguing elements came out of the Grand Prix of Long Beach.
LEEDS, Alabama -- It was only fitting that when The Masters was the major sporting event of the day, the IZOD IndyCar Series held a race in a setting that could rival Augusta National for scenic beauty -- the picturesque Barber Motorsports Park. With fans lining the plush hillsides around the 17-turn, 2.38-mile road course to watch the high-speed IndyCar machines race around this course, it was a great day to enjoy a sun-splashed 85-degree day in central Alabama.
LEEDS, Ala. -- As the IZOD IndyCar Series prepares for its second race of 2011, the most successful team owner in the sport's history is preparing for the future.
LEEDS, Ala. -- Mr. Barber, said the security guard, "don't like trash."
Three-Time IndyCar Series Champion, Dario Franchitti, tells CNN's Terry Baddoo about life as a motorsport legend.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Marco Andretti tramped across the grass expanse between Turn One and the end of pit road, a fugitive from a track worker who had failed to herd him toward the safety vehicle.
Sam Schmidt surveyed the landscape and decided to take the plunge back into full time ownership in the IZOD IndyCar Series a month ago. It was a calculated investment based upon timing and opportunity, and they had to line up together for his plan to be put into motion.
The good stuff came at the end of the Sprint Cup race and at the start of the IndyCar race. One defending NASCAR champion was denied while a multi-champion open wheel driver had his way. A possible new star was anointed in NASCAR's season-opening Daytona 500, although Trevor Bayne has been more like a meteorite since. A possible new star, if not a crowd favorite, was minted in the IndyCar opener, and it'll be interesting to see how she handles this trial by fire.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- This year's IndyCar Series season was predicted to be action-packed with a deep field of drivers, some new combinations and some new NASCAR-style rules designed to add more drama.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The IZOD IndyCar Series hits the streets for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, and the top drivers seem to think this will be the most competitive season in IndyCar history.
Helio Castroneves will make his 148th start in the IZOD IndyCar Series in the season-opening race Sunday at St. Petersburg, breaking a tie with Scott Sharp for most in the history of the series. The three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 is also the longest tenured full-time driver in IndyCar, entering his 10th season -- all with Team Penske -- and, including his four entire seasons in CART's Champ Car Series, 15th at the top level of American open-wheel racing.
What's better than Danica Patrick in NASCAR? How about her first real feud with another driver?
Ten days before the commencement of the 2011 Izod IndyCar Series season at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, storylines are beginning to crystallize that could meander all the way to the much-anticipated season finale in Las Vegas. There's Danica Patrick, of course. There are those Ganassi drivers again. There's Tony George. Huh?
LEEDS, Ala. -- Randy Bernard has said for months he wants the current Indianapolis Motor Speedway lap records "gone," and as quickly as possible, preferably during the track's Centennial Celebration of the May 29 Indianapolis 500.
LEEDS, Ala. -- With NASCAR taking the past weekend off, it was a great time for the IndyCar Series to stage its annual Media Day before this week's preseason test at Barber Motorsports Park. And, while this small community located east of Birmingham is the home of Charles Barkley, it's also the home of one of the most picturesque road courses in the United States. With the first four IndyCar races of the season on temporary street and road courses, this is the perfect venue for the IndyCar teams to dust off the cobwebs of a five-month offseason and prepare for the 2011 season opener at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 27.
SEBRING, Fla. - Sebastien Bourdais had been here before. The situation was different, yet very much the same.
Danica Patrick made history Saturday. Again. We should be used to it by now, but her fourth place in the Sam's Town 300 Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas caught everybody off guard. It's the highest finish by a woman in a NASCAR national series race. Patrick did it in her 16th start, all in Nationwide.
MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- The date passed without much fanfare; in fact, he had to be reminded that March 1 was the one year anniversary since he took over as CEO of INDYCAR. But Randy Bernard spent that day in Europe, meeting with manufacturers, promoters and even Formula One ruler Bernie Ecclestone.
During introductions for last Saturday's Nationwide race at Daytona, it was no surprise that Dale Earnhardt Jr., voted NASCAR's most popular driver for the last eight years, received thunderous applause.
MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- With a talented collection of young drivers and teams, the IZOD IndyCar Series is hoping that youth won't only be served, it will be showcased in 2011.
The oddest thing happened to Graham Rahal the other day. After willing away the wait in a Starbucks drive-through line, he arrived at the window to find that the customer in front of him had already paid for his coffee.