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DATE News (chronologically)
01/11/12
NASCAR

Pastrana heading for obscurity in NASCAR
Travis Pastrana can pretty much kiss his career goodbye - lost in obscurity in the lowly K&N Pro Series East
Travis Pastrana has gotten back into a race car to test, and while he gets back into shape after suffering a broken ankle last year, his 2012 NASCAR schedule is still taking shape.

The action sports star originally was going to run seven Nationwide Series races in 2011 and then 20 in 2012. But after shattering his right ankle at the X-Games two days before he was scheduled to make his Nationwide debut last July, his 2012 plans have been in flux.

The tentative plan is for Pastrana to race in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, run the entire K&N Pro Series East season and at least seven Nationwide races, Pastrana Waltrip Racing co-owner Michael Waltrip said Wednesday.

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01/11/12
ga

GM, Corvette DP Teams Pleased with Rolex 24 testing
All the Chevy teams were running the fake Corvette bodies on the Daytona Prototype.  At least now they don't look so hideous.
Fourteen Daytona Prototypes showed up for the three-day Roar Before the Rolex 24 test at Daytona International Speedway. The top teams of the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series brought their best machinery: proven second-generation prototypes, sleek third-gen models, and the best performers of the weekend, the Corvette Daytona prototypes.

With the grueling 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona only two weeks away, the teams had to use every moment to find out what worked and needed work, how their cars responded to different fuel loads, different amount of tire wear, and different track temperatures, and how the cars worked over long runs.

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01/11/12
irl
alms

Council president urges Baltimore mayor to end Grand Prix
City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young is urging Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to abandon the troubled Baltimore Grand Prix and focus on "core issues that impact the quality of life for all Baltimoreans."

In an op-ed article submitted to The Baltimore Sun, Young said the city should direct its limited resources to programs that benefit young people and senior citizens, such as public recreation centers and pools, both of which were cut under Rawlings-Blake's budget for the current fiscal year.

"What does it say about our priorities as a city when we move heaven and Earth to continue a street race but will turn our backs on our most vulnerable citizens?" Young wrote.

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01/11/12
irl

New livery for Panther team
As the page turns to 2012 and the dawn of a new season, it’s business as usual for this time of year at Panther Racing. That is, well, except for the fact the racecars the team has been accustomed to using the last nine years are now no more than high-mileage show cars. This year, IZOD IndyCar Series racing will take on an entirely new shape – literally.

With teams across the league quickly attempting to get acclimated to the new DW12 chassis, off-season testing has taken on an entirely new importance. During manufacturer testing with Chevrolet, Panther driver JR Hildebrand had a chance to jump into the car for the first time. Panther will travel to Sebring International Raceway to test on the 16-17th of this month, with as many as five additional tests lined up before the start of the season.

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01/11/12
irl

Video: James Hinchcliffe on being hired by Andretti
James Hinchcliffe has signed on with Andretti Autosport to drive the #27 car for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season.  See interview on our home page, and this video below.

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01/11/12
irl

INDYCAR makes addition to technical staff
Darren Crouser has joined INDYCAR's technical staff as an engine support engineer.

Crouser, of Dallas, has a broad base of motorsports experience from customer support for Cosworth to management at Patrick Racing. He's also been with Blair Racing and Dale Coyne Racing.

Last May, he headed the Conquest Racing effort for Pippa Mann's IZOD IndyCar Series debut in the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500.

Engine manufacturer competition returns to the series this season with 2.2-liter, turbocharged V-6s from Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus. On-track testing resumes Jan. 13.

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01/11/12
nassprint

TAG Heuer Eyewear will sponsor Kurt Busch
TAG Heuer Eyewear announced that it has entered into a multi-race sponsorship agreement with Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch and Phoenix Racing. Busch, who will drive the # 51 Chevy for Phoenix Racing in the entire 2012 Sprint Cup season, has a personal services agreement with the eyewear company. TAG Heuer Eyewear will be featured as the primary sponsor on the # 51 Chevy for the Feb. 18 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway, where Busch is the defending winner. Additionally, TAG Heuer Eyewear will serve as an associate sponsor on the # 51 Chevy during the 54th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 26 and again on March 11 for the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Busch's hometown track. TrueSpeed Communications

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01/11/12
Skip Barber

Skip Barber Racing School announces the 2012 Summer schedule
Skip Barber Racing School is bringing in the New Year with the announcement of the summer schedule for the Skip Barber presents the Mazda Summer Series for Formula Skip Barber and the Summer MAZDASPEED Challenge. Known for racing at the best tracks in North America, the Formula series will consist of 10 double-header race weekends and the MX-5 racers will compete at 8 doubleheader events.

2012 Skip Barber presents the Mazda Summer Series Formula Skip Barber
April 27-29, Virginia International Raceway, VA
May 18-20, Watkins Glen, NY
June 15-17, Mont Tremblant, Canada
June 29- July 1, Road America, WI
July 12-14, Lime Rock Park, CT
August 4-5, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, CA (Condensed)
August  24-26, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, OH
September  7-9, Autobahn Country Club, IL
September 22-23, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, CA (Condensed)
October 4-6, Lime Rock Park, CT

2012 Skip Barber presents the Summer MAZDASPEED Challenge
April 27-29, Virginia International Raceway, VA
May 18-20, Watkins Glen, NY
June 29- July 1, Road America, WI
July 12-14, Lime Rock Park, CT
August 4-5, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, CA (Condensed)
August  24-26, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, OH
September  7-9, Autobahn Country Club, IL
October 4-6, Lime Rock Park, CT

Details regarding a Professional Driver Development Program will be released soon.

Championship Prizes:

Mazda Summer Series Formula Skip Barber

Summer MAZDASPEED Challenge

Series Champion

TAG HEUER Formula 1 Watch, One year RACER magazine subscription, One year iRacing subscription & Two Race Weekends

TAG HEUER Formula 1 Watch, 1 year RACER magazine subscription, One year 1Racing subscription & Full season in the 2013 Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge

Second Place

Two Practice Sessions

Two Practice Sessions

Third Place

Two Computer Car Sessions

Two Computer Car Sessions

Most Improved Driver

$3,000 Skip Barber Racing School Credit

$3,000 Skip Barber Racing School Credit

Rookie of Year

$3,000 Skip Barber Racing School Credit

$3,000 Skip Barber Racing School Credit

Masters Champion

TAG HEUER Formula 1 Watch, 1 year RACER magazine subscription, Mothers Car Care Prize Pack

TAG HEUER Formula 1 Watch, 1 year RACER magazine subscription, Mothers Car Care Prize Pack

The top 10 drivers (age 25 or under) in the championship points for the 2011-2012 Winter Series and 2012 Summer Series will be invited to compete in the 2nd Annual Race Series Champion Shootout at the end of the year. The winner of that shootout will receive funding to compete in a full season of the 2013 Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda.

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01/11/12
f1

Ferrari sets launch date
Ferrari will launch its 2012 Formula 1 car on Feb. 3 at Maranello, team principal Stefano Domenicali has confirmed. Speaking at Ferrari's annual winter media event, Domenicali said that Ferrari also planned to hold an initial shakedown of its 2012 car either on its launch or on the following day.

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01/11/12
Racing News

Recognition of the FIA by the IOC
By letter dated 9th December 2011, the President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, has announced that the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile has been recognized by the IOC.

The FIA strongly shares the Olympic sporting values as expressed by the IOC and aimed at developing a better understanding between communities worldwide. With this is mind the FIA affirms its commitments to respect the Olympic Charter, in particular:

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01/11/12
usf2000

USF2000 Announces 2012 Schedule and Expansion to 14 Races
The Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda today unveiled its 2012 schedule which will see the first step on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system increasing to 14 races at premier venues in support of INDYCAR and American Le Mans Series events. Three permanent road courses, two street circuits and one oval highlight the calendar, as well as the series’ first tripleheader event. One additional doubleheader venue will be announced in the near future.

“I am very pleased with our schedule for this season,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, the series promoter. “The interest in our series is at an all-time high and it is important to provide high-profile events alongside the right blend of circuits to give our drivers the best training ground and exposure. I feel we are accomplishing this. We have added two races to our schedule and, with the six-race Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship in February, we can offer our drivers 20 races in 2012. The concept of a tripleheader weekend of racing was met very favorably by our teams, and we will be pushing to add more of these going forward.”

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01/11/12
irl

Andretti signs multi-year deal with Hinchcliffe
James Hinchcliffe
Andretti Autosport announced today it has signed Canadian James Hinchcliffe to a multi-year IZOD IndyCar Series deal. Hinchcliffe, a young, yet accomplished racer, steps into a big role as driver of the GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for 2012.

In his first year in the IZOD IndyCar Series, Hinchcliffe took three top-five and seven top-10 finishes to earn the series' Rookie of the Year title despite missing the season-opener in St. Petersburg, Fla. Hinchcliffe, a 25-year-old from Toronto with both British and Canadian lineage, finished fourth at the 2011 Long Beach, New Hampshire and Kentucky races.

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01/11/12
f1

Williams F1 Announces New Partnership with Michael Johnson
Williams F1 (“Williams” or the “Group,” Ticker: WGF1) is delighted to announce a new sponsorship agreement between the team and Michael Johnson Performance Inc, a company founded by Olympic gold medalist and world record holder, Michael Johnson. MJP focuses on training top level athletes in all sports, and this new partnership will enable the Williams F1 Team to ensure every aspect of its performance is at the highest level.

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01/11/12
dakar

Robby Gordon wins Stage 9 of the Dakar Rally
American Robby Gordon wins in car category, closes on lead
Tuesday’s stage saw the competitors head further north through Chile from Antofagasta to Iquique. The second half of the stage was separated by a neutralized section on tarmac, prior to taking on the wildly steep descent back down to the Pacific shoreline and the finish at Iquique, as previously used two years ago.

Bikes: Despres Back Infront After Getting Stuck In The Mud

After losing his lead yesterday after getting stuck in exceedingly thick mud that was not shown in the roadbook, Cyril Despres made up the deficit on KTM teammate Marc Coma to regain the overall lead with a stage win. He was only second in the stage rankings at the end of the day though, after KTM had opted to change their engines and incur a 15 minute penalty for each of their factory drivers. The overall gap between Despres and Coma now stands at 2m28s.

“It’s feeling good,” said Despres. “After a difficult day yesterday when you start to doubt, I had to get back to winning ways. It wasn’t easy to psyche myself up for it, but I’m very happy with my day’s work. We came into this looking at a battle for seconds or minutes. It’s very competitive. Like any top level sportsman, if you don’t like confrontation or squeezing the last ounces of strength out of yourself, then you’re not ready for a fight. But, as for me, I’m up for it.”

Coma commented: “We knew that this would be a difficult race. It was long and there was plenty of navigation to deal with. We’re coming to the crunch part of the rally. Cyril is a major rival and we do battle over every single kilometer. But I think it’s interesting, it’s sport. Yesterday, the KTM technicians decided it was time to change our engines because we’d reached the half-way point. It’s a very good idea.”

Taking the engine-change penalties into account, third-placed overall Helder Rodrigues ended up top of the timesheets for the day. Despite gaining 15 minutes on Despres and Coma overall, the Yamaha rider is still the best part of 45 minutes behind, and has the issue of an old engine.

Quads: Patronellis Again

The stage was dominated again by the Patronelli brothers. They rode together through the stage, with rally leader Alejandro taking the win ahead of Marcos, and 44 minutes clear of Tomas Maffei.

“We rode almost all the stage together,” said Marcos. “In the end, over the last 60 kilometers, we were neck and neck. It was a superb stage, quick and a bit tricky on some parts with dunes at the end; I was a bit worried at the beginning of the stage because there were a lot of stones. There was still a long way to go and I was scared of getting a puncture. I’m happy with my machine because the Yamaha is working well. I’m more than an hour behind, so winning the category is out of my reach now, but finishing each day and getting through the stages until Lima is my goal.”

Cars: Gordon Wins, Al-Attiyah Out

It was certainly a mixed day in the Robby Gordon camp. While the American himself triumphed on the stage to take a minute and a half out of rally leader Stephane Peterhansel’s advantage, Nasser Al-Attiyah’s Dakar defense came to an end in the other Hummer. After breaking numerous alternator belts, the Qatari called it a day. He’s working on returning with his new WRC partner Citroen for next year.

“It was a very good special for us again,” said Gordon upon finishing the stage. “On the transfer stage, I think we had [Peterhansel] beat by about a minute and a half. But we need more than a minute and a half, so I pushed very hard on the last section, as hard as I could go the whole time and it will be interesting to see how much time we put on him because we pushed, like qualifying hard, not really knowing where you’re going. We had a couple of big scary moments. For us, we’ve got to make time. We’re in a different position to him. He has to conserve his time and I’ve got to make it. We’ve got four days left, four real days of racing left and the Hummer’s strong. 19 seconds? He made a lot of time up on me, then. I can’t believe he could catch us there, because we were going crazy. So he’s a madman; if he beats us, he’s a madman. Madder than me!”

Trucks: Loprais Crashes Out Of Second

Gerard De Rooy’s chances of victory improved further when nearest rival Ales Loprais had an accident in his Tatra on the neutralized section, putting him out of the rally. After losing hours in the dunes on Saturday, Miki Biasion was victorious on the stage. De Rooy now leads Hans Stacey by 47 minutes.

Dakar Rally results after the 556km ninth stage from Antofagasta to Iquique:

Cars

Stage 9:
1. Robby Gordon/Johnny Campbell (USA/Hummer) 4hr 35min 21sec, 2. Stephane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA/Mini) at 1:38sec, 3. Nani Roma/Michel Perin (ESP/FRA/Mini) 8:37, 4. Krzysztof Holowczyc/Jean-Marc Fortin (POL/BEL/Mini) 10:39, 5. Ricardo Leal Dos Santos/Paulo Fiuza (POR/Mini) 15:23, 6. Giniel de Villiers/Dirk Von Zitzewitz (RSA/GER/Toyota) 18:03, 7. Carlos Sousa/Jean-Pierre Garcin (POR/FRA/Great Wall) 22:36, 8. Duncan Vos/Robert Howie (RSA/Toyota) 22:51, 9. Leonid Novitskiy/Andreas Schulz (RUS/GER/Mini) 23:25, 10. Bernhard Ten Brinke/Matthieu Baumel (NED/Mitsubishi) 27:12.

Overall:
1. Stephane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA/Mini) 24hr 41min 14sec, 2. Robby Gordon/Johnny Campbell (USA/Hummer) at 5min 58sec, 3. Krzysztof Holowczyc/Jean-Marc Fortin (POL/BEL/Mini) 16:49, 4. Nani Roma/Michel Perin (ESP/FRA/Mini) 19:26, 5. Giniel de Villiers/Dirk Von Zitzewitz (RSA/GER/Toyota) 54:10, 6. Leonid Novitskiy/Andreas Schulz (RUS/GER/Mini) 1hr 29:20, 7. Carlos Sousa/Jean-Pierre Garcin (POR/FRA/Great Wall) 1hr 44:27, 8. Lucio Alvarez/Ronnie Graue (ARG/Toyota) 2hr 31:35, 9. Duncan Vos/Robert Howie (RSA/Toyota) 2hr 44:41, 10. Erik Van Loon/Harmen Scholtalbers (NLD/Mitsubishi) 2hr 59:12

Motorbikes

Stage 9
1. Cyril Despres (FRA/KTM) 5hr 04min 33sec, 2. Marc Coma (ESP/KTM) at 3min 54sec, 3. Joan Barreda Bort (ESP/Husqvarna) 8:28, 4. Helder Rodrigues (POR/Yamaha) 11:44, 5. Paulo Goncalvez (POR/Yamaha) 15:12, 6. Pal Ullevalseter (NOR/KTM) 15:43, 7. Stefan Svitko (SVK/KTM) 16:19, 8. Jordi Viladoms (ESP/KTM) 17:42, 9. Frans Verhoeven (NED/Sherco) 18.46, 10. Gerard Farres Guell (ESP/KTM) 18:56.

Overall
1. Cyril Despres (FRA/KTM) 28hr 30min 17sec, 2. Marc Coma (ESP/KTM) at 2min 28sec, 3. Helder Rodrigues (POR/Yamaha) 59:19, 4. Paulo Goncalves (POR/Husqvarna) 1hr 25:57, 5. Jordi Viladoms (ESP/KTM) 1hr 28:43, 6. Gerard Farres Guell (ESP/KTM) 1hr 33:05, 7. Stefan Svitko (SVK/KTM) 1hr 33:33, 8. Pal Ullevalseter (NOR/KTM) 1hr 49:27, 9. Juan Pedrero Garcia (ESP/KTM) 1hr 52:13, 10. Alessandro Botturi (ITA/KTM) 2hr 12:18

Comment
01/11/12
nnw

Busch to race limited slate in Nationwide Series with Phoenix
Exiled driver Kurt Busch paying dues in lowly Nationwide Series
Kurt Busch will run a limited number of Nationwide Series races for Phoenix Racing in addition to his Sprint Cup schedule.

The Spartanburg, S.C.-based team announced on Monday that the 2004 Cup champion will make his debut in the No. 1 Nationwide car in the opener at Daytona International Speedway.

No other races were identified, but the team said Busch will run in all major events with sponsorship still pending.

"Our Nationwide Series team is a proven, winning organization," general manager Steve Barkdol said. "This is a great opportunity for a company to partner with a top-notch program."

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01/11/12
nascar

NASCAR family member sued for $18,000 vet bill
A Port Orange veterinary clinic is suing race car driver J.C. France, grandson of NASCAR's founder, for an $18,000 vet bill they say is owed.........Even though France's dog died.

Phantom was a 2-year-old boxer taken to Ravenswood Veterinary Clinic on Clyde Morris Boulevard on Aug. 17, according to court records.

The dog had eaten "a shish kabob stick," France's lawyer Dave Robinson said.

In spite of surgery and other medical care that ran up a bill of nearly $30,000, Phantom died.

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01/11/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • Ferrari signs Bridgestone's Hamashima
  • Hamilton raises eyebrows with 'garish' outfits
  • Vettel defends constant helmet color changes
  • Spa wants F1 future clarity within 'weeks'
  • Liuzzi unlikely to keep HRT seat - Eeckelaert
  • D'Ambrosio announcement due in ten days - manager
  • Valencia rejected alternating race idea - Barcelona
  • Steve Clark moves from Mercedes to Ferrari - reports

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01/10/12
irl

First Look: Honda Turbo V6 IndyCar engine


Comment
01/10/12
irl

IndyCar 2012 season promo- Spectacle in racing


Comment
01/10/12
nassprint

Smith will take a little "Tebow-Time" out of Daytona test session
Regan Smith
One of the perks of driving for a NASCAR team based in Denver is that your new "hometown hero" is none other than Tim Tebow. Regan Smith is packing his Denver Broncos hat along with his Furniture Row Racing helmet for NASCAR's Preseason Thunder, Thursday-Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.

Smith, who is a Denver-area resident, is among the legion of Tebowmania fans who have been captivated by the Broncos pulsating excitement, which reached a fever pitch after Sunday's overtime playoff win.

"No matter how the Broncos season ends I have a new person who I personally and professionally look up to and that's Tim Tebow," said Smith on his twitter account soon after the Denver quarterback threw the game-winning touchdown pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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01/10/12
nhra

Courtney Force Moves Up To Nitro Funny Car with Traxxas
Force with Traxxas President Mike Jenkins
Traxxas, which successfully created, manufactured and marketed the first RTR (Ready-to-Run) radio-controlled vehicles for the car enthusiast and which today is the world leader in the category, has entered into a marketing partnership with John Force Racing, Inc., that will manifest itself this year in the sponsorship of rookie Courtney Force’s Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car.

Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Plano, Texas, Traxxas pioneered a new breed of car; one that incorporated the hobby-class benefits of replaceable parts, performance enhancements and a high-quality component radio system; with the convenience of a beautifully painted, professional built Ready-To-Race®performance product that could be driven and enjoyed immediately.

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01/10/12
nhra

Ron Douglas to Crew Chief for Courtney Force
Courtney Force with Ron Douglas
Ron Douglas, who helped direct Ashley Force Hood to second and third place finishes and back-to-back Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Funny Car titles in her two most recent seasons in the NHRA’s Full Throttle Series, will try to work the same magic this year with her sister Courtney.

Douglas will serve as lead crew chief on the Traxxas Ford in which 23-year-old Courtney Force, the youngest of John Force’s four daughters, will vie for the Auto Club’s Road to the Future Award which designates the NHRA Rookie of the Year.

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01/10/12
ga

Motors TV Partners With GRAND-AM On European TV Package
Increasingly, the world is coming to GRAND-AM Road Racing.

Today, the sports car sanctioning body announced a groundbreaking television deal that will take GRAND-AM to a large portion of the world while rival series ALMS has no TV broadcasts whatsoever.

As the result of a multi-year deal with Motors TV, fans in 38 European countries will have the opportunity to watch the entire 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season live on television for the first time this season.

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01/10/12
track news

Diana Brennan Promoted to Director of media relations at Infineon
Diana Brennan has been promoted to Director of Media and Community Relations at Infineon Raceway, raceway officials announced.

In her new role, Brennan will help oversee the planning and execution of all media and community relations events at the raceway, including the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and IZOD IndyCar®  Series race weekends.

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01/10/12
nassprint

Carl Edwards Serves As Kelly Ripa's Co-Host On "Live!" Today
The week of sports personalities co-hosting the syndicated “Live! With Kelly” continued today with NASCAR driver Carl Edwards sitting next to Kelly Ripa. After Ripa introducing Edwards, she said, “I should point out to you on the phone with you walking us out was your wife.” Edwards: “That was a big moment for my wife and I. She loves you.”

Edwards told Ripa, “You are a very big deal in Missouri. I have never had more people come up to me and say, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re doing the show?! I’m going to be watching.’ Right now, productivity in Missouri is zero.” Edwards also revealed he watched “The Bachelor” last night instead of the BCS National Championship game. After his wife pointed out the game was on at the same time, Edwards said, “I thought, ‘Who am I? What have I become?’”

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01/10/12
automotive

Hyundai Elantra named North American Car of the Year
The 2012 Hyundai Elantra took top honors in the most exclusive award in North America when it was named 2012 North American Car of the Year today.

A jury of 50 independent North American automotive journalists evaluated each of the new cars introduced last year and chose the 2012 Hyundai Elantra as the winner. The award was announced at a news conference at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which marks Hyundai’s second win. The Hyundai Genesis was named North American Car of the Year in 2009.

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01/10/12
USAC

Video: Sprint Car crash test
Westfield, Ind.-based IMMI crash tests a sprint car at its Center for Advanced Product Evaluation (CAPE)



Comment
01/10/12
racing news

Liz Halliday to make full-time racing return in 2012

Liz Halliday
Professional dual sportswoman Liz Halliday will return to regular motorsport competition in 2012 after sealing a deal to contest the Lotus Cup UK series with John Danby Racing.
The British-based Californian, who combines careers as a professional equestrian and race car driver, has focused much of her energy on 3 Day Eventing in recent years, recording a string of impressive results during 2011 while also developing her burgeoning Chailey Stud Equestrian Centre into South England's premier facility.
Halliday was nevertheless keen to maintain her involvement with four-wheeled as well as four-legged competition, working as a commentator for Eurosport's coverage of the Le Mans 24 Hours and as an expert judge on SPEED TV's GT Academy.

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01/10/12
track news

Safer Barriers going into Rockingham turns
The second phase of work has begun on the installation of SAFER barriers at Rockingham Speedway as the N.C. track prepares for a NASCAR Truck series event in April.

The new barrier work is being done in the north and south ends of the speedway. In the first phase, crews installed SAFER barriers along the inside backstretch wall.

"The SAFER barriers that we had in place on the backstretch held up great to the hits they took during the last two race weekends," track president Andy Hillenburg said. "You hate to see anyone wreck, but it's good to know we've done all that we can to make the track safe.

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01/10/12
ga

Patrick Dempsey puts racing first, 'Grey's Anatomy' second
Patrick Dempsey
Whether or not actor Patrick Dempsey resuscitates his role as Dr. Derek Shepherd for a ninth season of Grey's Anatomy will depend on whether ABC gives him leniency to drive cars really fast.

Grey's Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey and AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson talk racing Sunday at Daytona International Speedway in advance of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29.CAPTIONGrand-Am Road Racing Series Dempsey, whose contract with the medical drama is up in May, was at Daytona International Speedway over the weekend, testing his Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series "Roar Before the Rolex 24" event.

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01/10/12
f1

Drivers fire suits through the years
The protective, fire-resistant garments worn by racing drivers today have come a long way since the simple cotton overalls of the ’50s. Now they’re light, flameproof and breathable. But only thanks to decades of ceaseless development

A racing driver’s work clothes of 60 years ago couldn’t have been more basic. They usually consisted of: lightweight cotton trousers and a T-shirt, and thin skinned leather/suede shoes, often with rubber soles - an outfit topped off by a flimsy fabric skullcap. Compounding this ensemble’s flammable sins were combustible leather gloves, often with perforated or stringed backs, and goggles with aluminum frames that could become branding-iron hot in the blink of an eye. How very different from the clothing worn by today’s so much better protected heroes.

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01/10/12
dakar

Dakar Day 8: Spaniards Coma and Roma reign
Nani Roma completed a great day for Spain at the Dakar Rally when he won the eighth stage of the car division after compatriot Marc Coma claimed the motorcycle section in northern Chile.

Defending Dakar motorcycling champion Coma regained the overall lead in his thrilling duel with France's three-time winner Cyril Despres with Monday's stage win.

Roma claimed his second stage of the race in his Mini though French Dakar legend Stephane Peterhansel retained the overall lead.

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01/10/12
irl

Lotus prepares for initial on-track test
Lotus Team Owners
Half a dozen personnel buzz around the 2012 Lotus test car, confirming internal systems operation and checking body fit, as Olivier Picquenot, the IZOD IndyCar Series manager for Lotus Motorsport, views the proceedings with (external) calmness.

A day earlier, 15 individuals representing HVM, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Bryan Herta Autosport, Xtrac and Engine Developments Ltd. (Judd) gave up a majority of their Sunday to mate the newly-received 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine to the chassis.

It’s a rush order -- the initial on-track test of the Lotus car to be driven by Simona de Silvestro is scheduled for Jan. 13 at Palm Beach International Raceway – but no is rushed with the stakes so high.

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01/10/12
nassprint

NASCAR announces new cooling rules package
NASCAR is back in full gear as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams hit the pavement at Daytona International Speedway this week for three days of preseason testing. The main focus of the test is for teams to work on their final preparations for 2012 Speedweeks - in particular, the 54th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26.

"This is an opportunity we are providing to the competitors to implement and test the new Daytona rules package for 2012," said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition. "It's a chance for them to get comfortable with the cooling package, the smaller spoiler and to practice drafting for next month's Daytona 500." The new rules package is a result of information gathered during recent tests at Talladega last October and at Daytona last November.

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01/10/12
nassprint

Mark Martin testing
Mark Martin
This week's tests at New Smyrna (FL) Speedway and Daytona International Speedway mark the first two tests for Mark Martin and his #55 Aaron's Dream Machine race team. Martin begins his 30th NASCAR Sprint Cup season driving the #55 Aaron's Dream Machine in 25 races for Michael Waltrip Racing. Martin believes the work done this week is an important step toward running well at Daytona and the rest of the 2012 season.

Martin's comments: "These tests aren't incredibly important from the car hardware side. It's more important for us as a new group working together to work through the areas like communication, flow, learning everyone's names, routines and things like that. That's really the critical part of the test. From the hardware side, we do have a number of things we want to run through at these tests, but all teams are doing those kinds of things.

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01/10/12
nassprint

Germain Racing switches to Ford UPDATE The organization has funding for 22-23 Cup races from Geico and hopes to have enough money to avoid having Casey Mears start and park in 2012. Mears put the Cup car solidly in the top 35 (32nd overall) to lock the organization into the first five races of 2012. The team goes to Daytona with Fords instead of Toyotas, with whom it had a long relationship. Germain didn't plan to switch but hoped to change from Triad engines to Toyota Racing Development engines. TRD, which already is building engines for Michael Waltrip Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing and had planned on backing Red Bull Racing, too, wouldn't commit to building engines for the organization until 2013, Germain said.

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01/10/12
irl

New groups vie to run Baltimore Grand Prix in 2012 UPDATE Baltimore officials are conducting a swift and informal search for a new team to manage the city's Grand Prix race — and are declining to explain how or by what criteria they are making decisions.

After severing the contract late last month with the beleaguered company that staged the inaugural race, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's administration has been courting potential successors. City officials declined on Monday to name the groups that are seeking to run the event — or even to say how many have signaled interest.

01/05/12 Several groups appear to be angling to seize control of Baltimore's Grand Prix, as city officials seek a new management team in the wake of the financial collapse of the company that organized the inaugural race. 

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01/10/12
f1

Austin F1 race to be hampered by gridlock
This November fans will come, they will sit in gridlock traffic caused by inadequate roads, and they will never return.  That is what is going to happen with the USGP near Austin, Texas.  So why is everyone wasting their money on an event doomed to fail?

With Austin's inaugural Formula One race back on the schedule for this fall, Travis County and Circuit of the Americas have resumed negotiations over how to split the $5 million to $6 million cost of repairing and expanding about a mile of Elroy Road, a bumpy two-lane county road that leads to one of the track site's two entrances.

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01/10/12
automotive

Nissan to build Mercedes engines in Tenn.
Nissan Motor Co. and Daimler AG said they have agreed to produce four-cylinder Mercedes-Benz gasoline engines at Nissan's Decherd, Tenn., engine factory starting in 2014 to be fitted on Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti models.

Since April 2010, Nissan and its alliance partner Renault SA have an agreement with Daimler to share vehicle and powertrain technologies.

"This is the newest milestone in our pragmatic collaboration and our most significant project outside of Europe so far," Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said in a statement Sunday. "Localized capacity reduces exposure to foreign exchange rates while rapidly enabling a good business development in North America--a win-win for the Alliance and Daimler."

It makes real sense for Mercedes as it provides a direct supply of engines for the Mercedes C-class vehicles produced at Daimler's nearby plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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01/10/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Giedo van der Garde
    Quiet Dutchman still hoping for 2012 seat
  • Bahrain pushes ahead amid 2012 race return controversy
  • Lotus sets early date for Raikkonen's test return
  • Raikkonen in 'good shape' after crash setback - Arnall
  • Now Barcelona's F1 race under Spanish cloud
  • Paul Ricard could host 70,000 spectators for French GP
  • F1 'in trouble' before CVC deal - Mackenzie
  • Pollock's Pure to fire up first V6 engine in July

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01/09/12
nnw

Bobby Hamilton Jr files for chapter 11
Hamilton Jr. and wife Stephanie
Bobby Hamilton Jr. and wife Stephanie filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Tennessee court last week. The petition involves their business, Hamilton Entertainment. The filing said the couple owes $198,000.00 to the IRS, $126,081.00 to Credit Union for Robertson County, and over $30,000.00 to various other creditors.

According to the papers, the couple has four real estate property holdings, two residential properties along with two commercial properties with a total combined value of $523,300.00. Combined with personal property assets, the total assets are listed as $551,825.00, with a liability total of $1,293,543.00. Last year the couple surrendered a motorhome to the Robertson County Credit Union, but has no other repossessions or foreclosures.

The couple claims a combined average monthly income of $11,417.00, with a monthly net income of $9,755.00. Sunday marked five years since Hamilton’s father, Bobby Sr., died of cancer at the age of 49.

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01/09/12
irl

Fort Lauderdale sounds like a winner UPDATE Dear AR1.com, Loved the Ft. Lauderdale article, very informative.  Will the France Family, who owns the oval in nearby Homestead, work the politics behind the scene to kill off this race?  Dale Thomas

Dear Dale, They could. What's more important, however, is that IndyCar and the promoter have their ducks in order to ensure the race is a success.  Mark C.

01/05/12 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I just read your article about the possible IndyCar race in Fort Lauderdale.  All I can say is wow, I hope it happens.  It sounds like a real winner.  It can't happen soon enough for me.  I was at this past year's Las Vegas finale.  As a fan I was embarrassed for IndyCar.  What a kick in the pants when you give away free tickets and still the grandstands looked barren.  Where are all those so-called oval track fans? Oh wait, IndyCar hardly has any.  I'll take a Fort Lauderdale any day.  Nick Deven, San Diego

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01/09/12
automotive

Honda Unveils New NSX Concept at 2012 Detroit Motor Show
Acura NSX Concept
American Honda today unveiled the new NSX Concept, highlighting the design and technology direction for the next-generation supercar.

Badged as an Acura in the US, the new NSX, which is expected to go on sale in the next three years, will be developed by Honda R&D Americas and manufactured in Ohio but is developed for true sports driving enthusiasts throughout the world. The dynamically-styled NSX Concept gives an indication of the next great performance vehicle from Honda. Making use of lightweight materials and a mid-mounted V-6 engine, the NSX Concept employs several new technologies, including an innovative new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® (Super Handling All Wheel Drive™) hybrid system.

Speaking at the Detroit Motor Show (NAIAS), Takanobu Ito, President and CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd, announced that the Acura brand would be expanded to some of the world's growth markets, such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Ukraine.

The demand for large, luxury, performance vehicles in these markets perfectly matches the Acura brand attributes. It is planned to introduce the Acura brand to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia by the end of 2013 and to Russia and Ukraine in 2014. There are no plans to expand the Acura brand into European markets.

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01/09/12
nassprint

Kyle Petty selling SC house
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, now TV analyst, Kyle Petty aims to shift gears on his Isle of Palms, South Carolina property. The former NASCAR driver, who is the son of racing legend Richard Petty and grandson of stock car icon Lee Petty, is asking $4.5 million for the fully-furnished beachfront property. He currently works as a television racing analyst and co-host on the SPEED network's NASCAR RaceDay and NASCAR Smarts, and also as an occasional commentator for TNT.  Realtor.com

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01/09/12
f1

Raikkonen to drive 2010 Renault in two weeks
Kimi Raikkonen
Lotus Renault GP has confirmed to GPUpdate.net that Kimi Raikkonen will make his Formula 1 driving return in Valencia later this month. The Finn, who has been out of the sport since the end of 2009, will run in the team’s 2010 car on 23-24 January.

Although testing is strictly forbidden for the teams’ 2012 race cars, the Lotus run for the returning 2007 World Champion will be possible as the chassis in question is the R30 which was raced by Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov in a luminous yellow livery two years ago.

The outing will be at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo track, which this year is not hosting any official pre-season testing; instead, the action begins in Jerez on Tuesday 7 February before Barcelona plays host to two more four-day meetings at the beginning of March.

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01/09/12
nassprint

Ford Unveils Next Cup Car
Ford Motor Co. has taken the wraps off its 2013 Fusion sedan, the car the automaker will race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next year and for the near future. In 2013, NASCAR will introduce its next-generation Sprint Cup car, which according to series officials and automakers will look much more like a production car than the current ones do. Given that, Ford's 2013 production Fusion will present a much different face for the automaker than the current model, which debuted in 2006. Thus, expect the new Fusion Sprint Cup car to have lines that more closely mimic the new street model. The new Fusion, which is being introduced this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, is a fairly bold departure stylistically from the model it's replacing. SPEED

See more info on the 2013 Ford Fusion at social.ford.com

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01/09/12
ga

Q and A with AJ Allmendinger during Rolex 24 testing
Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger is making his annual trek to Daytona International Speedway. The new Penske Racing NASCAR pilot will once again be driving for Michael Shank Racing in the Rolex 24 At Daytona to kick off the 2012 racing season and is looking to win his first Rolex watch.

You got the opportunity to do the initial shakedown with Michael Shank in December, how different did the car feel the second time out?

I think in December the temperatures were a lot cooler and there wasn't a lot of rubber on the racetrack. At that point we had a lot more downforce in the car so the car had a lot of grip, it was nice and cool and there was no rubber to slide around on. Everything we did felt amazing, it was easy to drive, which scared me because I knew when we came back here it wouldn't be that easy.

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01/09/12
irl

Tagliani Set to Drive for Bryan Herta Autosport in 2012
Alex Tagliani
Bryan Herta Autosport is proud to announce that Alex Tagliani will pilot the team’s entry in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series.

Last year’s Indianapolis 500 winning team sought out the Canadian driver because of his experience, technical ability and overall proficiency in the racecar. In 2011, the veteran driver earned back-to-back pole positions, first during the 95th running of the historic Indy 500 and then at Texas Motor Speedway, adding to the list of his many accomplishments as an open-wheel racer.

Just last week, the team announced a joint venture with Bowen & Bowers Motorsports. Paired with the team’s solid racing operations, Tagliani is the final piece to the puzzle enabling Bryan Herta Autosport to position itself as a top-tier program in 2012 and beyond.

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01/09/12
Racing News

Eurointernational signs Wei Ron Tan
Wei Ron Tan
Eurointernational is pleased to announce to have signed driver Wei Ron Tan for the 2012 Formula JK Racing Asia Series (FJKRAS - formerly known as both Formula BMW Asia and Formula BMW Pacific).

The 17 years old Malaysian Driver from Kuala Lumpur will run the full schedule of the 2012 FJKRAS after an impressive debut with Eurointernational in the Sepang, 2011 season Finale of the Series, finishing  twice fourth at his rookie debut in open wheel cars. Wei Ron Tan, after a winning history in the Asia Karting Championships, has participated in the 2010 PFX Formula BMW School at Sepang, and has won the 2011 Lotus Super Cup Asia and 2011 Renault Megane ES Series in Malaysia.

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01/09/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Dr. Helmut Marko
    Red Bull reserve Buemi 'not a winner' - Marko
  • Red Bull still planning Jerez debut for 2012 car
  • 2012 Force India passes FIA crash tests
  • Ferrari loses key man to Mercedes
  • Toro Rosso trainer dies at 46
  • Sponsor says Senna to race Williams in 2012
  • Gov't confirms French GP plans 'on track'
  • Massa tipped to debut new Ferrari at Jerez

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