1. Champion's New York tour: Face time with Astor Cup
2. Pappas joins Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
3. Dallara to build next Indy Lights chassis
1. Champion's New York tour: Face time with Astor Cup: Could one fit an 18-pack (with ice) in the Astor Cup? How good are you at blindfolded darts? What's your favorite '80s group?
IZOD IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon addressed those questions and many more during a two-day media tour of New York that included TV show appearances and magazine interviews.
Dixon, who earned his third series title Oct. 19 at Auto Club Speedway, said this one is probably the sweetest considering that he was seventh in the championship standings through 10 races. The 33-year-old New Zealander won four of the final nine races and finished fifth in the season finale to edge Helio Castroneves by 27 points.
"This year was just really bizarre with the ups and downs, but it made it feel so sweet the fact that you never knew you had it until the last part. You're kind of holding on by your teeth and then after the last race to actually know you won it was pretty sweet," recounted Dixon, who is the active leader with 33 Indy car victories (one behind Al Unser Jr. for sixth) for an upcoming episode of "60 Minutes New Zealand."
On Oct. 30, he was a guest on "Crowd Goes Wild" hosted by Regis Philbin on FOX Sports 1. The Astor Cup -- the series' championship trophy -- also joined Dixon on the set of CNN International's "World Sport," ABC News1 and Sports News Television.
Dixon conducted interviews with ESPN the Magazine and Men's Fitness magazine.
A day earlier, Dixon was a guest on "The Late Show with David Letterman," and before arriving at the Ed Sullivan Theater to greet Letterman -- co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing -- he was a guest DJ on '80s on 8 at Sirius/XM, was a guest on Bloomberg News and SI Live, and sat down for interviews with Men's Journal, Complex Magazine, Athlete's Quarterly and The New York Times.
2. Pappas joins Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: Veteran race engineer Bill Pappas will join Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing to work with driver Graham Rahal for the 2014 IndyCar Series season.
Pappas, who has worked in racing since his graduation from Purdue University in 1983, most recently was the race engineer for Justin Wilson at Dale Coyne Racing for the 2012 and '13 seasons. Wilson was fourth in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings entering the season finale Oct. 19 before being involved in a race incident and falling to sixth.
The team has booked its first offseason test for Nov. 18 at Sebring International Raceway.
"I'm very pleased that Bill is joining us," said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of the team with David Letterman and Mike Lanigan. "His track record and experience is really second to none and I feel that he can provide a big benefit to the team and Graham."
Rahal, the youngest winner of an IZOD IndyCar Series race, completed his first season with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with five top-10 finishes (high of second at Long Beach) but was 18th in the standings.
"He brings not only a wealth of experience and Indy 500 wins as well as others, he can really help take our team and engineering staff to the next level," said Rahal, 24. "I've known Bill a long time. We have had opportunities to work together before but it just didn't fall into place until now."
Following a stint at Patrick Racing from 1988-1992, Pappas has worked at Hall Racing (1993-96), Walker Racing (1997-99), Chip Ganassi Racing (2000-05), Panther Racing (2006-07), Michael Waltrip Racing (2008), Dale Coyne Racing (2009), KV Racing Technology (2010-11) and Dale Coyne Racing (2012-13).
Pappas was race engineer for Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000, during which the driver won the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and three CART-sanctioned races.
"I'm very honored to be offered an opportunity to be a part of Rahal Letterman Lanigan, working for Bobby and helping Graham reach his potential," he said.
3. Dallara to build next Indy Lights chassis: Dallara Automobili has been selected to develop and manufacture the next generation chassis for Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires.
The chassis will make its debut for the 2015 season, with an updated current Dallara car being used for the 14-race 2014 season.
Dallara, manufacturer of the current IndyCar Series chassis, exceeded expectations in its presentation and commitment, according to Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions that holds the license to operate the series.
Andersen, a former Indy Lights team owner, placed emphasis on the cost of the new car and spares. The goal was to present a car that is contemporary in design and technically advanced, able to reach 200 mph, and meet safety and reliability requirements. Key points of the deal include a reduction in the pricing of a new chassis for teams competing in 2014 and all teams placing orders by March 15. Additionally, Dallara will offer an annual "January Sale" during which teams stocking up on spares will receive even lower pricing.
The manufacturer also is offering to spread costs over a three-year period to defer initial ownership expenditures.
"The new Dallara IL-15 Indy Lights race car will offer great style, current technologies and, of course, Dallara's well-earned reputation for building safe, reliable race cars," Andersen said. "We are pleased with the final pricing structure and the various discounts provided by Dallara, and believe our teams and drivers will get excellent value and a terrific race car."
Dallara also will provide a $25,000 award to the Indy Lights champion.
"Dallara is a proven chassis manufacturer with an equally impressive winning record," said Tony Cotman, president of NZR Consulting who was head of the committee to select a chassis manufacturer. "They dominate the world market for many reasons, particularly with a strong record in safety and reliability.
"I fully support Dan's decision and look forward to moving ahead with the next phases of the project, particularly details surrounding a new engine. As Indy Lights continues to evolve under the guidance of Andersen Promotions, I'm sure this is the first of many exciting announcements over the coming weeks."
The chassis will be developed and manufactured at Dallara's facility in Speedway, Ind. Prototype testing will commence in August. Renderings of the new chassis will be available in the coming weeks.
"Based on our worldwide experience with single-seater race cars and with IndyCar in particular, we are confident and committed to providing the Indy Lights drivers with a safe race car as the appropriate training foundation for their future IndyCar competition," said Gian Paolo Dallara, founder of Dallara Automobili. "Following the same strategy which we have set in place for the Ind