1. Fantasy football stirs IZOD IndyCar Series drivers' competitive juices
2. Baltimore technical penalty update
3. Firestone Indy Lights Houston broadcast to follow second IZOD IndyCar Series race
1. Fantasy football stirs IZOD IndyCar Series drivers' competitive juices: Sitting in the transporter, Ed Carpenter is intently studying information on his personal computer.
The IZOD IndyCar Series' lone team owner/driver had completed his qualifying runs through the streets of Baltimore and could be studying data that will help him in the 75-lap race. Instead Carpenter is doing research for a fantasy football draft.
Carpenter is one of the many football fans who participate in fantasy football each year. The Indianapolis 500 pole winner takes it seriously. Carpenter studies flow charts, statistics and magazines to develop his fantasy strategy.
"I am pretty into my fantasy team and the league," said Carpenter. "I'm just in one 'keeper' league now. I used to be in several leagues when (wife) Heather and I didn't have all of the kids (three children now). This will be my sixth season with my brother-in-law, Will (Younger). We are co-owners of our team and we keep players from year to year. We make our picks as well as future picks, so it's very cool to study up on it."
Carpenter isn't the only fantasy football owner in the INDYCAR paddock. Ryan Briscoe, who drove for Chip Ganassi Racing and Panther Racing in 2013, owns two teams in two separate leagues.
"There's a lot of pride involved with the fantasy football league," Briscoe said. "It's so much fun. I love it but it's difficult because I still don't know all the players. There's some fierce rivalries, especially with (wife) Nicole. We're actually in two leagues, together, battling against each other. We're a lot like Kevin and Jenny on the (FX) show 'The League.'"
Briscoe, a fan of the Green Bay Packers, only chose wide receiver Randall Cobb for his own teams.
"I didn't have top picks, so I had to make do," he said. "I'm hoping for a lot from (Detroit's) Calvin Johnson this year in one league and I had a draft (Sept) and I got C.J. Spiller, the running back. I only have one Packer, so I guess I'll be cheering for a lot of other teams this year."
Carpenter's draft was scheduled for NFL Opening Night on Sept. 5, but with the rigors of the IZOD IndyCar Series and moving into a new home, Carpenter found himself behind.
"Usually, I'm a little further along with my draft preparation than I am right now," he said. "We do our draft the night of the first regular-season NFL game. We have been in a part of the IndyCar Series schedule where I have longer air flights and I can do some more studying for the draft.
"With the three kids, I haven't had the night time availability to study like I used to. But we had flights to San Francisco and Baltimore recently and I was able to study on the planes. I used to spend a lot of time on the computer at night time when the kids went to bed. Since Cruz was born (on 12/12/12), it is busy at that time now with the three little ones."
An Indianapolis Colts fan, Carpenter acknowledges he doesn't like to draft Colts players for his fantasy team. It takes away from his rooting interests.
"We picked up Reggie (Wayne) late last year (in a trade), but I would rather watch the Colts games and not worry about my fantasy team during the games," he said. "I almost try to avoid the Colts in the draft."
2. Baltimore technical penalty update: There were no technical penalties issued following the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT on the streets of Baltimore on Sept. 1.
3. Firestone Indy Lights Houston broadcast to follow second IZOD IndyCar Series race: The NBC Sports Network broadcast time of the Firestone Indy Lights race in Houston has moved to 4 p.m. (ET) Oct. 6, following live coverage of the second IZOD IndyCar Series race on the street circuit.
NBCSN's broadcast of the Firestone Indy Lights Grand Prix of Baltimore on Sept. 1 delivered the highest viewership in 10 races this season.
The next IZOD IndyCar Series race is the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers doubleheader on Oct. 5 and 6 at Reliant Park. Both races will be televised live by NBC Sports Network (3 p.m. ET on Oct. 5 and 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 6) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, including on Sirius and XM Channels 211, www.indycar.com and the INDYCAR 13 App for most smartphones and tablets. The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Grand Prix of Houston on Oct. 5 at Houston's Reliant Park. The race will be televised by NBC Sports Network at noon on Oct. 6.