Indy 500 Will be Coming to You via Instagram

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has entered into a deal with social media management company Venueseen to have photos taken at the venerable brickyard to be used in a marketing campaign. As part of the program Venueseen will open its API for the marketing campaign, a possible sign of things to come.

The marketing program, which centers around a sweepstake called Indy500orBust that asks fans to upload photos to Instagram using the hashtag #Indy500orbust. The sweepstakes have not officially been launched and the rules were not up on the site yet but according to a piece in Ad Age the winner of the contest will receive a VIP race experience.

The uploaded images will be given a geotags so that they can be plotted on an interactive map that can be seen at the site. According to the interview at Ad Age that site will be the only place that the photos will be used.

Move comes at a time when users fearful how their store images will be used

No doubt you have heard about Instagram’s change in its Terms of Use that caused a huge outrage among its users a few weeks ago when users were concerned that the photo sharing site was now declaring that it had the right to use all of your photos. A number of prominent users said that they were pulling their images from the site for fear that they would be used in a manner that they did not approve of or because they did not feel that Instagram had a right to profit from their images.

It only took the company one day to recant that position and go back to its older TOU. However there has been a number of stories since that claim that the site has started to lose appreciable numbers of users due to that misstep, claims that Instagram denies.

Be that as it may, this move could reopen that can of worms. Venueseen claims that its open API will enable other developers to tap into the huge photo catalog and use the images for campaigns, claiming that the images are in the public domain.

It is too bad that this fight has to go on because I like what the Indy 500 is doing and think it will be interesting to track fans and see some of their posts. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few months, with the race slated for late May as usual.

Bonneville Salt Flats Speed Week Nears

Bonneville Salt Flats

Most of the racing fans I know tend to stick to one form of the sports, the NASCAR fans look down on the Formula One fans, and vice versus, although I am not sure where the truck racing fans and super modified people stand on the issue. However there is one area that they all seem to agree and that is that going fast is great, which brings us to Speed Week at the historic Bonneville Salt Flats.

I knew that speed records were often set at the salt flats but I had no idea that it was a regular event that occurred once a year where fans of just about any type of engine driven vehicles from bar stools on up can compete to set records or in many cases just go very, very fast.

So on September 8th and running to the 11th is the World of Speed held by the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association (USFRA). The event has an interesting format in that once you get accepted via registration, you run in a random order.

There is no head to head racing; it is just the driver and the machine against the track and the timer, going all out to set a record, or to achieve set speeds that allow you to say that you have achieved a certain standard at the event such as the 130 MPH and the 150 MPH clubs

Racers seeking to set records run in what is called the Record Run, and they make two runs, one a qualifier and the other is called the Record Run, which are the first races in the morning. The average of the two races is what is used to establish new records.

The Salt Flats have two courses with the short course running four or five miles while the long course running seven miles or longer. For most cars, they must qualify to run the long course by first running the short course at 175 mph, reaching that sped by the 2 ½ mile marker.

While many people are probably familiar with a wide range of vehicles that are raced at the Salt Flats from the famed streamliners to muscle cars, vintage cars and motorcycles there are some oddities as well including bar stools, Volkswagens, go-carts and electric vehicles.

I am not sure if there will be any over the air broadcasting of the events but there are a host of web links to some of the teams that are participating here. If you are attending send us some pics!

Race Day in Dover as NASCAR Readies for FedEx 400

Some very interesting 3-peats last week. I guess technically they were not actual 3-peats but so what? In the Coca-Cola 600 Kasey Kahne won for the third time and it is clear that he really likes this race since on the tour he has only won 13 times. The list of other 3 time winners shows that he is in an impressive group with luminaries such as Dale Earnhardt, David Pearson and Buddy Baker among the six others that have accomplished the feat.

The race was a great day overall for Hendrick Motorsports, which aside from Kahne had an additional 3 cars in the top 11. Filing out the top five was Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle and Brad Keselowski.

This Week
The FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks will be run at the Dover International Speedway’s monster mile, touted as the world’s fastest one mile oval. Good news for fans that have visited the track’s web site, they now have a mobile app that seems to be speedier than the regular one.

June 3 12:30 pm ET on Fox

Sprint Cup Standings
1) Greg Biffle
2) Matt Kenseth -10
3) Denny Hamlin -16
4) Dale Earnhardt Jr. -18
5) Jimmie Johnson -48

Twitter Feeds
@NASCAR-Official NASCAR feed
@NationwideNNS-Nationwide Official Twitter
@NASCAR_NNS-NASCAR Nationwide feed
@NASCARONFOX-Fox Sports feed
@AllWaltrip-3 Time NASCAR Champ and Fox announcer
@PRNLive-Performance Racing Network
@EdHintonESPN-ESPN Columnist Ed Hinton
@nascarnowespn-ESPN2 NASCAR
@siriusxmnascar- Sirius XM:

Nationwide Series
Brad Keselowski skated to a nice win last week in Charlotte, leading the last 67 laps and praying that the gas he got when he fueled up with 73 laps to go would last-it did, making his caution lap decision not to pit pay off.
The top five was filled out by Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Elliott Sadler. Point’s leader Ricky Stenhouse had mechanical issues and finished 26th while one other widely watched driver, Dancia Patrick disappointed by starting 3rd but finishing 13th.

The 5-Hour Energy 200 is this weekend and they will be racing in just a little over 24 hours of posting this. It should be a fun race as speeds will be high and drivers should be raring to go on this interesting track.

June 2, 2 pm ET ESPN & WatchESPN

Nationwide Standings
1) Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2) Elliott Sadler -13
3) Austin Dillon -28
4) Sam Hornish Jr. -57
5) Cole Whitt -94
5) Justin Allgaier -94

Indy 500
Congratulations to Dario Franchitti who won his third Indianapolis 500 in a very intense last lap battle with Takuma Sato, who ended up hitting the wall in a tremendous crash after their tires made contact with each other.

Big Weekend for Racing Fans: Coca-Cola 600 and Indy 500

The two will make for a great week of viewing for fans. With Indy moving its starting time back to noon it once again gives drivers that want to the opportunity to race in both events, all it needs is a helicopter ride in between. I am too lazy to look at this moment but I believe that only one driver has ever finished both races in the same day.

Last week there was the All Star Sprint Cup event. I did not see these races due to other obligations but according to ESPN’s report I did not missed that much as drivers figured out how to game the system. Jimmie Johnson won the $1 million event but complains of sandbagging seem to have arisen. I suspect we will see the rules tweaked a bit next year to try and stop this from occurring once again.

Sprint Cup Standings
1) Greg Biffle
2) Matt Kenseth -2
3) Dale Earnhardt Jr. -14
4)Denny Hamlin -17
5) Jimmy Johnson -39

Twitter Feeds
@NASCAR-Official NASCAR feed
@NationwideNNS-Nationwide Official Twitter
@NASCAR_NNS-NASCAR Nationwide feed
@NASCARONFOX-Fox Sports feed
@AllWaltrip-3 Time NASCAR Champ and Fox announcer
@PRNLive-Performance Racing Network
@EdHintonESPN-ESPN Columnist Ed Hinton
@nascarnowespn-ESPN2 NASCAR
@siriusxmnascar- Sirius XM:

The Coca-Cola 600

May 27 at 5:30 PM ET on Fox
The race will be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway and is the longest race of the season for the drivers, and that is not counting and any additional delays from cautions could drag out the telecast. It looks like the race will be run under hot and humid conditions, although there is also a chance of isolated thunderstorms as well.

With Jimmie Johnson so hot lately he has to be considered the favorite in this race, his having gone two for two over the past two weeks. No asterisk need be applied to last week because I am sure no driver hits the gas in an effort not to take home the prize. However the length of a race also has to impact the chances that some unforeseen mishap can ruin a driver’s day.

Nationwide Series
The Nationwide Series also returns, with the running of the History 300. Somehow I missed the fact that they were running in Iowa last week- sorry. I just looked to see what other race was occurring in Charlotte. O well it happens.

It looks as if Rickey Stenhouse Jr. did not miss me, dominating the race by leading 209 of the 250 laps and winning the checkered flag He apparently likes the track with three wins here in the last year. The win was good for extending his lead in the series. The top five was filled out by Elliott Sadler coming in second followed by Michael McDowell, Austin Dillon and Kurt Busch. For those of you still enthralled by Danica Patrick, she did not finish for the second time this year.

Nationwide Series Standings
1) Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2) Elliott Sadler -34
3) Austin Dillon -43
4) Sam Hornish Jr. -74
5) Cole Whitt -92

History 300
May 26 2:30 ET on ABC

The Indy 500
May 27 12:00 PM ET ABC
The Indy 500 is also this weekend and fans in the infield should be prepared for some hot racing, and hot weather. There are expectations that the race may set a heat record, beating the 92 set in 1937 if it hits the estimated 94 on Sunday.

With qualifying over the top row will feature Ryan Brisco alongside James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay leading off the 33 car field. It looks like it was a pretty busy week for the drivers and fans.

Start Your Browser Windows: Indy 500 Events Already Ramping Up

Memorial Day holiday is just over a week away and that of course means a lot of things to people, honoring the nation’s men and women who died while serving, parades, BBQs and of course the roar of the crowd at the Indianapolis 500.

While there will be more to report next week this is a look at some of the events that will be upcoming next week, and a mention of a few events that already occurred because you can start enjoying the racing now. This race and the Coca Cola 600 will make for a great day of racing next week.

More than 400,000 fans head over to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to watch the race that has been called ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’, yet that is just the end of an eventful week that will start this Saturday or to be more accurate two weeks since the official Opening Day was last Saturday with the Celebration of Automobiles.

While all this week there have been practice rounds available to the public, and the qualification draw is Friday night the event gets to the real beef starting Saturday when qualification begins. It should be noted that it is also Armed Forces Bump Day and there will be an enlistment ceremony in the morning.

There will be qualifying most of the week, not just for the Indy 500 but also for the Firestone Freedom 100 that starts on Thursday. There will be a range of events all week if you are lucky enough to be in town including vintage car races, autograph sessions, pit stop contests and a live concert by Lynyrd Skynyrd on Friday prior to the Freedom 100.

Sunday May 27th is the day that everybody waits for with events starting at 8:30 am and the race beginning at noon for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. However you can start to get your speed fix in now if you wish. The race has a page called Live Timing & Scoring that features live practice and pre-race video so if your sound is off your boss might never know. It also shows the current rank of all of the drivers, lap speeds and engine type.

Get the latest updates by tweeting @IMS. Or try #indy500 #brickyard and #IndyGP.

Here’s the Indy 500 Facebook page.

Verizon Updates IndyCar App

Verizon Wireless announced an update to its exclusive IndyCar Mobile app, which gives Verizon subscribers with Apple iOs devices or Android devices the ability to now watch races live from the driver’s viewpoint, or to see a live view of the track and where racers are, among other features.

The new app has a long list of features, but here are the ones we like best: the ability to “see the real-time position of every car across the track during every race,” and to “watch the race from the driver’s seat and see the intensity first hand.” The driver’s view screen could be a great “second screen” app to fans watching the races live on TV.

Free to Verizon subscribers with qualifying high-end phones or tablets, the IndyCar Mobile 3.0 app is available for download now, in advance of the IndyCar season opening race Sunday in St. Petersburg, Fla. As usual, any data downloads you incur will count against your monthly data package. To see the official press release go here, or you can get more info from the Verizon promotion page. Official download instructions are:

To download the latest version of INDYCAR Mobile, customers with an active data plan on their Android or iOS devices can dial “**INDY (**4639).” Customers with Android tablets such as the Motorola XOOM™, DROID XYBOARD tablets by Motorola or the Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 10.1 or 7.7 can search for “Indycar” in the Google Play Store (formerly known as Android Market™).