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By Kevin Van Valkenburg, The Baltimore Sun | September 4, 2011
When he was growing up in Towson, JF Thormann could not, in his wildest fantasies, have imagined a day when downtown Baltimore would be turned into a IndyCar racetrack. He did, however, frequently spend his afternoons and evenings pretending there was a Grand Prix racetrack in the parking lot of Goucher College, where his father was a professor. "I'm not sure my father knows that," Thormann said with a sheepish chuckle. "But I used to practice there a lot. I also burned up a lot of road around the Loch Raven Reservoir.
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By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | August 31, 2013
Just a rookie on the Firestone Indy Lights Series, Jack Hawksworth has already won twice this year. But the happiness he felt over those victories did not compare to the elation of winning the pole for Sunday's Indys Lights race at the Grand Prix of Baltimore. Hawksworth, a 22-year-old native of Bradford, England, posted the fastest time in Saturday's qualifying session, finishing a lap of the 2.02-mile course in 1 minute, 24.8128 seconds. That time was more than a half-second better than Carlos Munoz (1:25.3152)
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By Ryan Hunter-Reay | June 16, 2012
Welcome to my first blog for The Baltimore Sun. I'll be writing regularly leading up to the Grand Prix of Baltimore in September, and I'm excited to be able to share my IndyCar experiences with you. First, a quick introduction. I'm Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Andretti Autosport Chevrolet/Dallara. I'm from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and I'm a down-to-earth guy who grew up dreaming about IndyCar racing. I've idolized the American heroes of open-wheel racing since I was a kid. Guys like Michael Andretti, Rick Mears and Bobby Rahal were my heroes. Now Michael is my team owner, I drove for Bobby for two years, and I see Rick at every race. Racing is my passion in life, and I'm fortunate to be living the American dream.
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By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun | August 31, 2013
Robby Gordon was on his way to winning the 1999 Indianapolis 500. His pit crew kept telling him to keep driving, but as Gordon was less than two laps from getting the checkered flag, he encountered a problem to which many can relate whether they're in a $1 million race car or a rusted clunker. Gordon's car ran out of gas. "I want to sit and cry," Gordon said that day. While one of the universal goals of racing is what race team strategists like Target Chip Ganassi's Mike Hull, whose driver, Scott Dixon, won the pole for today's race, call "full to finish" - having just enough gas left in the tank to get to the end - decisions about when to pit and when to pass often makes the difference between winning and losing.
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By Don Markus and The Baltimore Sun | August 30, 2013
Ryan Hunter-Reay's racing career might have been summed up in last year's Grand Prix of Baltimore. Starting in the middle of the pack, Hunter-Reay took a number of chances to get into contention and then used a late restart to surge to the front. His victory helped the 31-year old Floridian clinch his first IZOD IndyCar Series championship a week later in California. Reflecting recently on how things unfolded in Baltimore, Hunter-Reay said he had come into the week "being down" after crashing in the previous race in Sonoma when he was hit from behind while running third with three laps to go. "I thought the championship was lost at that point," Hunter-Reay said.
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By Jonas Shaffer, Special to The Baltimore Sun | September 2, 2012
Rain tires are meant for wet racetracks. Slick tires drive best on a dry course. It doesn't take a Firestone engineer to figure that out. What had Ryan Hunter-Reay muttering a prayer to Mother Nature early in Sunday's IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Baltimore, though, was the fact that only one tire type is equipped to safely handle both surfaces. And they weren't the ones zipping his Andretti Autosport car around a wet Baltimore course at nearly 90 mph. "These cars are very stiffly sprung and they're 700 horsepower, and to put that down on a city street when it's wet is one of the tougher things in racing, I think," Hunter-Reay said minutes after a controversial first-place finish.
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By Jim Tomlin, St. Petersburg Times | March 26, 2011
IndyCar launches its 17-race schedule at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Sunday. The teams owned by Chip Ganassi and Roger Penske are expected to dominate the series once again. Drivers to watch Dario Franchitti: Going for his third championship in a row and fourth overall, Ganassi's Franchitti won the title last year by five points over Penske's Will Power and by 55 points over third-place Scott Dixon, Franchitti's teammate. Franchitti won three races last season, including the Indianapolis 500. Power is the defending champion in St. Pete.
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By Don Markus and Sandra McKee, The Baltimore Sun | September 4, 2011
Willy T. Ribbs is going back into retirement. Ribbs, who became the first African-American to race in the Indianapolis 500 in 1991 and hadn't raced in an Indy car in 17 years, finished 13th out of 16 drivers in the Firestone Indy Lights event Sunday. Ribbs quit after 28 laps. "I physically ran out of gas," said Ribbs, 56. Ribbs said that he lost radio contact with his Willy T. Ribbs/Starting Grid, Inc. team after two laps. Had he known he only had seven laps left, "I would have found a way to push the car across the finish line," he said a few hours later.
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By Mike Conway and Special to The Baltimore Sun | September 4, 2011
It didn't turn out the way we expected, but the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix was still a hit as far as I'm concerned. As you probably saw, we had some mechanical issues during the race, and the No. 27 Buffalo Wild Wings Dallara/Honda finished 23rd. The problem was a shock absorber on the front that began to unwind from the beating it was taking. When that happens, the car starts to bottom out. That's what you saw when a succession of cars started passing me fairly early in the race.
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By Ryan Hunter-Reay | July 21, 2012
[ Editor's note: This is IndyCar driver Ryan Hunter-Reay's second blog for The Baltimore Sun. It was written before he won the pole for Sunday's race in Edmonton. To see his introductory post, click here. ]   Welcome back, everyone. It's been a great run lately, three consecutive wins and going for four this weekend in Edmonton. I think the reason behind it is that our team is reaching its potential, to be honest. Early in the season, we knew we were a threat to win races, but we just didn't quite get it done.
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By Don Markus and The Baltimore Sun | August 30, 2013
Ryan Hunter-Reay's racing career might have been summed up in last year's Grand Prix of Baltimore. Starting in the middle of the pack, Hunter-Reay took a number of chances to get into contention and then used a late restart to surge to the front. His victory helped the 31-year old Floridian clinch his first IZOD IndyCar Series championship a week later in California. Reflecting recently on how things unfolded in Baltimore, Hunter-Reay said he had come into the week "being down" after crashing in the previous race in Sonoma when he was hit from behind while running third with three laps to go. "I thought the championship was lost at that point," Hunter-Reay said.
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By Don Markus and The Baltimore Sun | August 28, 2013
The skeptics have followed Marco Andretti ever since he was old enough to drive a go-kart. Just as the offspring and siblings of stars in other sports often struggle to live up to the family name, Andretti's accomplishments in his eight-year IndyCar Series career have paled in comparison to his father, Michael, whose own career fell in the shadow of legendary family patriarch Mario Andretti. Initially, Marco quieted the whispers when he finished a close second in his Indianapolis 500 debut in 2006 and three months later won his first IndyCar race as a 19-year-old rookie.
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By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun | May 20, 2013
For as long as Ryan Hunter-Reay can remember, the Indianapolis 500 was a huge deal. As a small child growing up in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Hunter-Reay used to plop down a plastic race track and line up his miniature race cars in front of the television set on the Sunday morning of Memorial Day weekend. For the next few hours, he was mesmerized. "My dad was a gearhead - he loved cars. I grew up loving cars as well," Hunter-Reay recalled Monday. "He took me to a few races as a fan, and that's where it started.
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By Jonas Shaffer, Special to The Baltimore Sun | September 2, 2012
Rain tires are meant for wet racetracks. Slick tires drive best on a dry course. It doesn't take a Firestone engineer to figure that out. What had Ryan Hunter-Reay muttering a prayer to Mother Nature early in Sunday's IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Baltimore, though, was the fact that only one tire type is equipped to safely handle both surfaces. And they weren't the ones zipping his Andretti Autosport car around a wet Baltimore course at nearly 90 mph. "These cars are very stiffly sprung and they're 700 horsepower, and to put that down on a city street when it's wet is one of the tougher things in racing, I think," Hunter-Reay said minutes after a controversial first-place finish.
SPORTS
By Ryan Hunter-Reay | July 21, 2012
[ Editor's note: This is IndyCar driver Ryan Hunter-Reay's second blog for The Baltimore Sun. It was written before he won the pole for Sunday's race in Edmonton. To see his introductory post, click here. ]   Welcome back, everyone. It's been a great run lately, three consecutive wins and going for four this weekend in Edmonton. I think the reason behind it is that our team is reaching its potential, to be honest. Early in the season, we knew we were a threat to win races, but we just didn't quite get it done.
SPORTS
By Ryan Hunter-Reay | June 16, 2012
Welcome to my first blog for The Baltimore Sun. I'll be writing regularly leading up to the Grand Prix of Baltimore in September, and I'm excited to be able to share my IndyCar experiences with you. First, a quick introduction. I'm Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Andretti Autosport Chevrolet/Dallara. I'm from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and I'm a down-to-earth guy who grew up dreaming about IndyCar racing. I've idolized the American heroes of open-wheel racing since I was a kid. Guys like Michael Andretti, Rick Mears and Bobby Rahal were my heroes. Now Michael is my team owner, I drove for Bobby for two years, and I see Rick at every race. Racing is my passion in life, and I'm fortunate to be living the American dream.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | August 31, 2013
Just a rookie on the Firestone Indy Lights Series, Jack Hawksworth has already won twice this year. But the happiness he felt over those victories did not compare to the elation of winning the pole for Sunday's Indys Lights race at the Grand Prix of Baltimore. Hawksworth, a 22-year-old native of Bradford, England, posted the fastest time in Saturday's qualifying session, finishing a lap of the 2.02-mile course in 1 minute, 24.8128 seconds. That time was more than a half-second better than Carlos Munoz (1:25.3152)
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By Jim Peltz, Tribune newspapers | May 30, 2010
INDIANAPOLIS — They were boos heard 'round the world, a stinging rebuke aimed at Danica Patrick at the same spot that five years earlier was the stage for making her among the most recognized women in sports. Moments after a dreary qualifying run for Sunday's Indianapolis 500, the driver was speaking on the public address system at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when she blamed the problem on an "absolutely awful" race car and said "it's not my fault." It was a flash point for many sitting in the grandstands.
SPORTS
By Mike Conway and Special to The Baltimore Sun | September 4, 2011
It didn't turn out the way we expected, but the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix was still a hit as far as I'm concerned. As you probably saw, we had some mechanical issues during the race, and the No. 27 Buffalo Wild Wings Dallara/Honda finished 23rd. The problem was a shock absorber on the front that began to unwind from the beating it was taking. When that happens, the car starts to bottom out. That's what you saw when a succession of cars started passing me fairly early in the race.
SPORTS
By Don Markus and Sandra McKee, The Baltimore Sun | September 4, 2011
Willy T. Ribbs is going back into retirement. Ribbs, who became the first African-American to race in the Indianapolis 500 in 1991 and hadn't raced in an Indy car in 17 years, finished 13th out of 16 drivers in the Firestone Indy Lights event Sunday. Ribbs quit after 28 laps. "I physically ran out of gas," said Ribbs, 56. Ribbs said that he lost radio contact with his Willy T. Ribbs/Starting Grid, Inc. team after two laps. Had he known he only had seven laps left, "I would have found a way to push the car across the finish line," he said a few hours later.
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