Alberico Claims Top-10 Finish In Hard-Fought Toyota Racing Series
Feilding, New Zealand – Team USA Scholarship winner Neil Alberico hasn’t enjoyed as much success as he had wished for over the past five weeks in New Zealand, but he kept his head down and emerged with a projected top-10 ranking after the 15 races which comprised an intensely competitive Toyota Racing Series season.
Alberico’s preparations for the 59th New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfeild Autocourse did not begin well. He missed one of the Thursday test sessions due to a broken engine mount and another on Friday due to an alternator failure.
Thankfully, there was some good news when Alberico learned his appeal against a penalty in Race 2 at Timaru had been overturned, resulting in a fifth-place finish. The 21-year-old Californian hoped to carry forward that momentum into qualifying, which was held on a wet track following overnight rain, only for handling difficulties to restrict him to 18th on the grid for Race 1 and 21st for the prestigious Grand Prix headline event.
With race fans having cast nearly 1300 votes at www.fanforceunited.com, choosing the livery for the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires racer that will be piloted by Colorado’s Scott Anderson for the 2014 season, Fan Force United is now asking race fans to return to the website for another crucial vote as part of their year-long series of fan-focused initiatives and crowd-sourced team decisions.
With the winning livery set, it is now up to the public to choose the wheels on which the team will roll into competition. The choice is simple: black or polished.
Talking about what the team is doing with their polls, Scott Anderson commented: “I love the way that the team is taking fan involvement to a whole new level and truly getting them involved with us. When we are asking race fans to assist us with important decisions, it really feels like we are making the fans an integral part of our team, and connecting with them in what seems like a really unique way. I think what the Fan Force guys have come up with is pretty cool, and I think it will mean more people cheering us on this year.”
To participate is as easy as 1-2-3. Simply go to www.fanforceunited.com, scroll to the bottom of the page, and tell the team which wheels you prefer via the choices of “love it” or “hate it”.
Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, N.Y., roared to victory Saturday night in the Battle Of Trenton Three Quarter Midget 40-lap feature race inside the Trenton (NJ) Sun Bank Center.
“The car was hooked up tonight,” exclaimed the race’s victor. “It was a case of reading the track before the race, getting the setup right and having the track stay consistent.” Rudolph led all forty of the race’s circuits.
The win for Rudolph was his first since a three-for-four near sweep of the 2012 Boardwalk Hall feature events.
Despite having two Drivers' Championship titles to his name, Fernando Alonso insists that is "not enough". The Spaniard has fallen short of the mark three times, losing out to Sebastian Vettel in 2010, 2012 and again last year.
"If you ask me this question in 10 years' time I will tell you less, because two Championships are more than I could dream," he told CNN.
"If you ask me right now and I am in a middle of a competition, I am hungry for victories; hungry for success - I will tell you that two Championships are not enough."
Alonso, though, will have more than just Vettel to overcome this season as Ferrari have brought in Kimi Raikkonen to spur on their challenge.
Petra Ecclestone to sue builder over £1.6million which went missing
Petra (Ecclestone) Stunt
Petra Stunt, daughter of Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, is suing the builder, Paul Fleury, who took charge of renovations on her Chelsea home. Fleury, 45, allegedly created invoices for companies which didn't exist. Fleury is accused of transferring the money to accounts controlled by him.
Petra Stunt, 25, bought one of London’s most magnificent townhouses, Sloane House, for £70 million in February 2012 and appointed Paul Fleury, 45, to oversee lavish renovations. She set aside £25million for building work including a pool, gym, and underground car park.
But last year the family discovered that Fleury, a friend who had worked for them for the past seven years and was paid £7,000 a month to manage the renovation work, was allegedly forging invoices from companies that did not exist and paying them into bank accounts controlled by him.
Ecclestone offers huge reward for evidence of F1 Budget-cap breakers Bernie Ecclestone has offered a $1.4 million reward to anyone who provides evidence that teams are breaking the sport’s $200 million a year spending cap.
In December, F1’s governing body, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), announced that budgets will be limited from 2015 to curb the teams’ high-octane splurging and make the sport more financially sustainable.
"We have approved the budget cap. It is going to happen. Everyone agreed to $200 million. What hasn’t been agreed is what is in the $200 million. Unless we include everything, I am sure people will find ways around it. It’s going to be difficult," said Ecclestone.
He added the reward would be paid to anyone who has valid evidence, not just F1 personnel.
ESPN films in Dawsonville, GA Dawsonville [GA] is making national news, once again. An ESPN crew was in town filming at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, the historic Dawsonville Pool Room and other local locations, for a segment on Chase and Bill Elliott.
The piece is scheduled to air during a pre-race show leading up to the NASCAR Nationwide Series on Saturday, Feb. 22, according to Hall of Fame President Gordon Pirkle. "This is the biggest break we could have got," Pirkle said.
"They'll probably go through Bill Elliott's career, then Chase's." ESPN's crew filmed Tuesday at the hall of fame, and spent Wednesday in downtown Dawsonville. The race is being shown at 1:15pm/et on ESPN, and it will be broadcast on a theater-size screen at the hall of fame. There is no fee to enter.
Auto racing returned Friday night to New Jersey’s State Capital for the first time since the last race at the New Jersey State Fairgrounds in 1980 inside Sun Bank Center and in a rousing program of Three Quarter Midget indoor racing action, two immensely popular first time winners took home the victories in 20-lap main events.
Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct., gained the lead after a frenetic 17 laps of non-stop action ended with a tangle that took out the top three leaders, Jonathan Reid, Jimmy Blewett and Andy Jankowiak.
Preece then ran out the last three laps to win over Patrick Emerling, Neal Williams, Shawn Nye and Matt Janisch.
“If anyone had told me I would win the first TQ 20-lap feature I would never have thought it possible,” said Preece, the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Touring Series champion.
Preliminary Daytona 500 entry list Most of the pieces are in place for the field for this year’s Daytona 500. An unofficial list of those confirmed to compete in the race are below, with a handful of other notes to follow. We’ll break it down by manufacturer:
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates: 1-Jamie McMurray, 42-Kyle Larson (R) Richard Childress Racing: 3-Austin Dillon (R), 27-Paul Menard, 31-Ryan Newman, 33-Brian Scott Stewart-Haas Racing: 4-Kevin Harvick, 10-Danica Patrick, 14-Tony Stewart, 41-Kurt Busch Hendrick Motorsports: 5-Kasey Kahne, 24-Jeff Gordon, 48-Jimmie Johnson, 88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. Tommy Baldwin Racing: 7-Michael Annett (R), 36-Reed Sorenson Germain Racing: 13-Casey Mears JTG Daugherty Racing: 47-AJ Allmendinger HScott Motorsports: 51-Justin Allgaier (R), 52-Bobby Labonte Furniture Row Racing: 78-Martin Truex Jr. Phil Parsons Racing: 98-Josh Wise
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 RPM Ford, felt the Richard Petty Motorsports lacked consistency last year, particularly with the introduction of the Generation 6 car. In his three years with Petty, the veteran has witnessed RPM go "from surviving to thriving." Ambrose thinks the front office's commitment to acquiring additional engineering, along with NASCAR's new rules package will benefit RPM greatly in 2014. Ambrose already is feeling the pressure. He admitted that 2013 wasn't his best effort. Traditionally, he has "seen an upward trajectory in performance" each year, but that was missing last year. Starting his fourth season with RPM, the 37-year-old native of Laucheston, Australia, said he has "an awful lot to prove."
There has been talk that Ambrose wants to return Down Under to raise his daughters, but he insisted his results will determine whether he continues to race in NASCAR. "If you make the Chase, you can't go home, can you?" Ambrose said. "You're one of the top 16 drivers in the world in this format, and you'd be mad to give away opportunities like that. So right now my focus is to be in NASCAR and to be winning races. I think with Drew and the team we've got, we've got a great opportunity to do that -- and that's all I'm thinking about. If we have another 2013, I might struggle just to even get renewed if I want to be there. I've got a lot to race for in 2014. I can't wait." FoxSports
Brown, Force, Johnson lead opening-day qualifying in Pomona
John Force raced to a national record time of 3.966 seconds at 324.12 mph in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to lead Funny Car qualifying at the season-opening Circle K NHRA Winternationals Friday at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Antron Brown (Top Fuel) and Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) also were qualifying leaders at the season-opening NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.
Force, the defending Funny Car world champion, opened with a 3.983-second run on his first qualifying attempt and powered to the national record 3.966 effort in the evening session. If the time holds through the end of the race weekend, Force will earn a 20-point bonus for setting the national record.
Bet you it doesn't happen': Ecclestone hopeful bribery case collapses
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone is still expecting his bribery case in Germany to be thrown out before the trial starts.
The 83-year-old Ecclestone is facing charges of bribery and incitement to breach of trust connected with a $45 million payment to a German banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky. And the Munich regional court on Friday announced that the trial will begin on April 24 and is set to run until Sept. 16.
But asked later Friday if he was concerned about the impending trial, Ecclestone responded: "Bet you it doesn't happen ... things happen in life and you have to get on with it."
Now, Bangalore court summons Vijay Mallya Vijay Mallya, chairman of Kingfisher Airlines and the Force India F1 team, may have to make more than one trip to a court in February. In addition to the Delhi High Court’s summons to Mallya this month, a special court for economic offences has summoned him over dues from Kingfisher to the income-tax department.
A spokesperson of United Breweries (UB) Group said the company will follow the law.
Mallya had been summoned to the Karnataka High Court in September in connection with winding-up petitions for Rs 600 crore against UB Holdings, one of the promoters of Kingfisher. However, Mallya skipped the appearance. In October, he was summoned to the Delhi high court with UB Holdings former managing director (MD) Harish Bhat to appear in a similar matter concerning French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR.
This month, Mallya is set to attend a hearing in the Delhi high court after being summoned over a bounced check of Rs 1 crore from Kingfisher drawn in favor of the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), which runs Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.
The latest summons comes as the court in Bangalore hearing a plea by the income-tax department alleging dues of Rs 350 crore collected from employees but not remitted to the government.
“Kingfisher, Bangalore, had deducted tax at source from employees’ salary and other payments for many years but had failed to remit to the government account,” a statement from the Department said. “The department has attached all assets of the company and is in the process of recovering its dues by sale and attachment of assets and properties of the defaulter company.” The company’s office in Mumbai, Kingfisher House, is one of the properties attached by the department.
Mallya had challenged the claim in a higher court but the petition was dismissed last month and the special court for economic offences was allowed to continue with the proceedings in the matter.
Mallya has been summoned earlier in the same case when the department had alleged dues of Rs 100 crore deducted as tax deducted at source in financial year 2010. That summons was in February, last year.
Mallya also owes a consortium of banks Rs 7,400 crore.
Duck Commander Signs On As Title Sponsor Of Texas Sprint Cup Race Texas Motor Speedway took a "creative and controversial path" in '13 when it signed the NRA as the title sponsor of its spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, and this year, a "controversy of a different type is coming," as TMS on Thursday announced a three-year deal with hunting call company Duck Commander, according to Jeff Mosier of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS.
Duck Commander is owned by the Robertson family of A&E's "Duck Dynasty," the TV show that "became part of a national debate late last year when family patriarch Phil Robertson made anti-gay comments" in an interview with GQ. But TMS President Eddie Gossage said that the "dust-up over the GQ interview didn’t factor into this deal, which was two years in the making."
Toyota signs on as first "Daytona Rising" sponsor (Update)UPDATE Added photos below showing what the Toyota entrance might look like.
Daytona International Speedway Toyota entrance
Daytona International Speedway has its first major sponsor for its $400 million “Daytona Rising” project, an exhaustive overhaul of the nearly mile-long front stretch grandstands.
Toyota has signed an 11-year agreement to secure the naming rights for one of five new fan entrances into the Speedway’s 100,000-seat grandstands. Toyota will also take over 20,000 square feet of space around the entry that will span four concourse levels in the newly built grandstands.
The announcement was made Thursday at the Chicago Auto Show, where Toyota revealed plans more than 10 years ago to participate for the first time in NASCAR as part of the Camping World Truck Series.
“When we started drafting the designs of Daytona Rising, we envisioned partnering with equally forward-thinking organizations like Toyota to bring forth the very best experience for our fans and guests,” said International Speedway Corp. Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy. “Toyota has been a great partner for many years, and we will continue to work together to enhance the fan experience at many of our facilities across the country.”
Full Daytona SpeedWeeks Schedule FRIDAY, FEB. 14: ON TRACK -- 5 p.m.-5:45 p.m. ET, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited practice, FOX Sports 1 -- 6:30-7:30 p.m. ET, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final Sprint Unlimited practice, FOX Sports 1
SATURDAY, FEB. 15: ON TRACK -- 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1 -- 1:30-3:20 p.m. ET, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1 -- 8 p.m. ET, The Sprint Unlimited (75 laps, 187.5 miles), FOX Sports 1
IndyCar CEO Mark Miles told AR1.com in this article that he plans to be racing overseas next year this time of year.
If IndyCar is serious about not competing with the NFL then it needs to start racing earlier than the last week of March. The sport also needs an All-Star race, and it seems to me like moving one race, maybe two, could solve both problems.
IndyCar should be racing this weekend. The NFL season just finished, the Daytona 500 isn’t for another two weeks and Formula One doesn’t start until mid-March, and only a few basketball and hockey games are on the schedule. If the logic is IndyCar can’t compete with football there will never be a better time of year to grab casual eyeballs than these next few weekends. By shifting a few races they can have better weather, a better potential audience and an earlier start to the season.
This year’s MavTV 500 is schedule to run August 30, the Sunday before Labor Day when according to accuweather the high was 91 degrees. Considering the temperature reached 98 degrees two weeks later race promoters would be lucky to get a high in the low 90′s. In contrast, the forecast for this Sunday calls for a high of 67, which sounds like great racing weather to me.
Panther Graphics announces partnership with USA Luge
J.R. Hildebrand displaying the work of Panther Graphics last year at Indy
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (February 7, 2014) - As Team USA Olympic athletes prepare for opening ceremonies, and the start of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the Panther Graphics team anxiously awaits the debut of their custom Orafol vinyl wraps on the world's stage. Panther Graphics began working with USA Luge months ago to design and wrap runners to be used in the 2014 winter games. The wraps were designed by USA Luge, then printed and installed at the Panther Racing shop in Indianapolis, Indiana.
"USA Luge is thrilled to have the support of Panther Graphics for our newly-designed runners," said USA Luge Marketing Director and 1998 Olympic silver medalist, Gordy Sheer. "The new composite materials, developed by Dow Chemical, are critical in reducing vibration. The vinyl wrap applied by Panther Graphics helps optimize aerodynamics through a perfectly smooth finish," Sheer added. "Plus, the runners look great. The athletes are thrilled with their quality and stunning appearance."
NASCAR officials explain rule changes ahead of Daytona 500 On Thursday, NASCAR competition officials held their version of "Meet the Press" at the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, N.C. The atmosphere was cordial and conducive to discussion. Some of the more important explanations included the claim that the new Chase points system was more than three years in the making. Bonus points after Richmond count only in the first round of the Chase. Thereafter, pre-Chase bonus points will not be counted after each of the final resets. Awarding more points to winners was considered and discarded because it might create a runaway situation. In other words, NASCAR didn't want the Sprint Cup title to be clinched at any point before the series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Force India creates GP2 team with Hilmer Motorsport
Facu Regalia to drive Force India GP2 car
Force India has created a GP2 team after forming a partnership with Hilmer Motorsport.
The move is designed to expand Force India's driver development program, and will see Daniel Abt and Facu Regalia drive for Hilmer with a Force India livery. Team principal Vijay Mallya said the move was part of a wider desire to give drivers a path from karting right up to F1.
“As a team we've always placed great emphasis on nurturing young drivers so I'm delighted to announce our partnership with a GP2 team,” Mallya said. “It's the logical next step as we look to bring through the next generation of drivers and provide them with the opportunity to showcase their talent. Our presence in GP2 moves us closer to having a holistic development program to school drivers from grassroots karting to the higher echelons of professional motorsport.”
Aston Martin recalls 75% of cars made since 2007 Aston Martin is recalling most of its sports cars built since late 2007 after discovering a Chinese sub-supplier was using counterfeit plastic material in a part supplied to the luxury sports carmaker.
Aston Martin, which is owned by Kuwaiti and private equity investors, is recalling 17,590 cars, including all of its left-hand-drive models built since November 2007 and all right-hand-drive models built since May 2012, affecting about 75 percent of all vehicles built in that period, a spokeswoman said.
NASCAR night on Fox Sports 1 No date for Valentine’s Day this year? Or do you and your significant other share a passion for NASCAR? Either way, FOX Sports 1 has a memorable night planned that is sure to get everyone’s heart racing.
Spend a sweetheart of an evening with your favorite racers as “NASCAR Night on FOX Sports 1” delivers a three-and-a-half-hour block of primetime NASCAR programming right after the network’s live on-track coverage of the opening day of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, Feb. 14.
On Valentine’s Day evening, FOX Sports 1 premieres FOX SPORTS 1-on-1: JIMMIE JOHNSON (7:30-8:00 PM ET), THE DAY: DAYTONA PRIMETIME (8:00-8-9:00 PM ET), RETURN OF THE 3 (9:00-10:00 PM ET) and an encore presentation of THE DAY: REMEMBERING DALE EARNHARDT (10:00-11:00 PM ET).
IndyCar news bits Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team manager Rob Edwards said that Mikhail Aleshin's rookie oval test last week at Homestead-Miami Speedway went off without a hitch. "It was something different to be sure," said Aleshin, who will drive the No. 7 SMP Racing car.
OnX Enterprise Solutions, a leading enterprise data center IT solutions provider, is the official information technology provider and an associate sponsor of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
The 2014 IndyCar Series opens with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 30 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. The race will be televised live by ABC at 3:30 p.m. (ET) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, including Sirius and XM Channels 209 and the INDYCAR app for most smartphones and tablets.
Carlos Munoz arrived early Feb. 4 at Sebring International Raceway. He was eager to "be back on this beast" for his first full day of testing.
Munoz got in a half-day of work in November at Sebring after Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay set up the car in the morning.
"It's good for me to get up to speed and for me to improve my connection with my engineer (Garrett Mothersead) and mechanics," said Munoz, who competed in three IndyCar Series races in 2013 with a best finish of second in the Indianapolis 500.
NASCAR, Sprint Join DOE's Electric Vehicle Charging Station Push NASCAR, Sprint and the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) today jointly announced the racing series and mobile companies' participation in the DOE's Workplace Charging Challenge. The effort, which aims to increase the number of U.S. employers offering workplace charging stations for electric vehicles, includes NASCAR adding five charging stations at its Charlotte offices. The series will now have 20 such charging stations at facilities it owns. More than 55 employers are part of the Workplace Charging Challenge, including NASCAR sponsors 3M, Coca-Cola, Ford and GM.
This comes after NASCAR and the DOE in September began a partnership in support of various green energy initiatives. NASCAR Managing Dir of Green Innovation Mike Lynch said working with the Department allows the sanctioning body to "tap into the amazing resources" the DOE has developed and to help show how "applicable and viable" clean energy is. Lynch: "It's everything from helping us access research for new technologies or statistics and analytics to measure our own performance." Charging stations have been at NASCAR's Daytona facilities since July of last year, and Lynch noted that with execs such as NASCAR President Mike Helton and ISC Chair Lesa France Kennedy owning electric cars, the Daytona stations are "close to their full subscriber level."
IMSA.com, the official website of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), was created with race fans in mind.
The website was designed and built based on feedback from the fans, including the enhanced Race Central feature which made its debut during the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona, the inaugural race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the Tequila Patr¢n North American Endurance Cup.
Race Central is the race-weekend hub on IMSA.com. At the Rolex 24, it included live in-car camera feeds, the live overnight broadcast, live timing and scoring and minute-by-minute Twitter updates. The live stream of the race saw a 360 percent increase over the most-viewed 2013 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n race streamed on ALMS.com.
Panther Racing Statement on National Guard 2014 Sponsorship loss to RLL Panther Racing Managing Partner and CEO John Barnes released the following statement in light of the sponsorship announcement made by the National Guard today.
John Barnes, Panther Racing Managing Partner/CEO: "Panther's partnership with the National Guard since 2008 has been an incredible privilege. We are thankful for their partnership and very proud of the work we have done together, on and off the track. It has been an honor to represent our citizen soldiers, and create friendships that will last a lifetime.
Panther Racing is moving forward with the options in front of us, building on current relationships, and creating new partnerships as we continue to plan for the 2014 IndyCar season."
Trans Am moves to Saturday feature at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Trans Am Series will run Saturday May 17 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Miami, Fla. February 6, 2014-- In an early adjustment to the 2014 Trans Am Championship, the Trans Am Series is moving Round Four at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park up a day to Saturday May 17.
The move will see Trans Am assume the featured spot on Saturday as a part of the annual Victoria Day SpeedFest Weekend at the Canadian track. Now, Trans Am will race mid-afternoon on the 17th as opposed to in the evening on the 18th.
“When event promoters offered us the Saturday feature, we simply could not turn it down,” said John Clagett, President of The Trans Am Race Company. “The new time slot will increase exposure for the Series and allow us to assist Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in putting on a show that truly endures for the whole weekend. Our competitors are excited at the prospect, and we are ready to show off the impact Trans Am can make as a Saturday’s feature event.”
"Duck Dynasty" to sponsor NASCAR spring race at TMS.
Duck Commander, the brand of the best-selling duck calls and name of the thriving family-owned company led by the Robertson clan of A&E's "Duck Dynasty" fame, has signed a multiyear agreement to serve as title sponsor of the annual spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
The largest-attended, single-day sporting event held annually in Texas with estimated average crowds in excess of 150,000 will be known as the Duck Commander 500 with this year's edition scheduled for Sunday, April 6. The two sides agreed to a three-year deal with a renewal option for an additional three years, but no financial terms of the agreement were announced.
Jimmie Johnson Wins the Off-Season Too NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was referenced in more than 6,000 news media stories this off-season. When comparing the size of the audience generated by the news media coverage to the cost of reaching the same audience through traditional advertising, the mentions of Johnson's name drew an estimated exposure value in excess of $10 million.
According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc., which specializes in measuring the scope of sponsorships across all forms of media, Danica Patrick actually was referenced in about 700 more media stories appearing on television, print and the Internet than Johnson this past off season. However, the estimated audience of Patrick's media coverage was smaller than Johnson's, and as a result, she amassed slightly less estimated exposure value ($9.8 million) from her coverage.
Graham Rahal to be the new face of the Army National Guard
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (February 6, 2014) Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that they have signed an agreement with the Army National Guard, the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States, to be the primary sponsor of the No. 15 entry driven by Graham Rahal in the IndyCar Series.
"This is an historic day for all of us at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing," said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. "I can't overstate how proud and how privileged we feel to represent the men and women of the Army National Guard. This is a huge responsibility that each of us feels and we are looking forward to working with the National Guard to achieve their goals.
"And I can't imagine a better ambassador for those men and women than Graham, as an American, driving the National Guard Dallara-Honda IndyCar," added Bobby Rahal.
Daytona Development Gets Local Approval, Help With Funding
The planned 190-acre development across from Daytona Int'l Speedway last night garnered "key approval from city commissioners" in a move that "promises to help cover costs." Commissioners "unanimously approved the formation of a community development district, basically a miniature government" with "authority to collect tax dollars and sell tax-exempt bonds." The new entity is intended to "provide a way to help cover" the estimated $53M bill for "creation of needed infrastructure and pay for maintenance of everything from roads to lighting." Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL
American Nicky Hayden now riding for the 2nd tier Aspar Honda team
Sepang is well known for its hot and humid conditions but the first test of the MotoGP preseason has been particularly torrid, with the riders completing their test schedules today through the pain of blisters on their hands and feet and the exhaustion of three days in the saddle.
Despite that the lap times were once again as hot as the asphalt and no fewer than four riders broke the two-minute barrier today, with Marc Marquez setting the pace for the third day running – his best lap of 1'59.533 almost a tenth inside the circuit record set by Casey Stoner in 2012 (1'59.607). The riders will now have three weeks to recover before their second preseason appointment, starting here in Malaysia on the 26th February.
Foust and Speed to drive for Andretti's VW Rallycross team
Andretti VW Rallycross Beetle
Volkswagen of America, Inc. and Andretti Sports Marketing today announced the details of its 2014 rallycross program at the Chicago Auto Show. Volkswagen will partner with Andretti Autosport to form the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team, running two cars in the series for drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.
The team will initially compete this season with modified Polo rally cars, built on the chassis that won the 2013 World Rally Championship for drivers and manufacturers, and will switch during the season to the fearsome GRC Beetle. This all-wheel-drive rallycross car is the ultimate expression of the third-generation Beetle and will feature more than 600 horsepower from its turbocharged and direct-injection EA888 TSI engine.
Phoenix Racing renamed HScott Motorsports Harry Scott Jr. announced that Phoenix Racing has been renamed HScott Motorsports. The rebranding of the team comes five months after Scott purchased the team from James Finch. As part of this announcement, the company unveiled its new branding, including a new logo, website and social media accounts.
"I am truly looking forward to the 2014 season," said Scott. "We have two great drivers in place with Justin Allgaier and Bobby Labonte, we've partnered with great sponsors and the team is ready and excited for Daytona. Now that we have launched the HScott Motorsports brand, everything is in place. We can't wait for the season to get started and to get back to racing."
To learn more about the newly rebranded team, its drivers and partners, please visitwww.HScottMotorsports.com. You can also keep up with the team via its Facebook page, atFacebook.com/HScottMotorsports, and on Twitter (@TeamHSM51 and @TeamHSM52) and Instagram (TeamHSM51).
Trevor Bayne Headlines Trio Test at Talladega Superspeedway
Trevor Bayne in the famed Wood Brothers Ford heads out onto the high banks of Talladega Superspeedway Wednesday
With the Aaron’s Dream Weekend set for May 2-4 at Talladega Superspeedway, three drivers – led by Trevor Bayne of the famed the Wood Brothers Racing Team – took to the high banks of NASCAR’s Most Competitive Track Wednesday for a test session in hopes of gathering information to help their efforts upon their return.
Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 Champion, was joined by Tommy Baldwin Racing drivers Reed Sorenson and Michael Annett. Veteran crew chief Todd Parrott, who will head Sorenson’s effort, was also on hand after taking over the reins earlier this year. Bayne, behind the wheel of the iconic No. 21 Ford, paced the trio with an unofficial speed of 191.138 mph.
“It’s good to get in the car here at Talladega,” said Bayne, who hopes to give the Wood Brothers their sixth triumph at Talladega in May. “We feel like we have a good shot at winning here and we plan to learn as much as we can with this test. We will be back tomorrow.”
Mateschitz Promises Investments Around Austrian F1 Race
Red Bull Ring near Spielberg, Austria
Red Bull Owner Dietrich Mateschitz "has promised investments in and around Spielberg, Austria," according to KURIER. He also "wants to more closely include the surrounding communities."
The Red Bull Ring, which is located near Spielberg, will host an F1 race for the first time in 11 years in June. On Monday, Mateschitz "hosted the mayor and members of the Murtal region tourism industry for an information evening."
The evening was about "ideas for the development of the region." Several of the more than 50 guests said that Mateschitz "counts on bicycles during the grand prix weekend." He is expected "to buy 1,000 bikes, partially with electric motors for hotels on higher elevations, so visitors can ride the short distance to the track." After the event, the bikes "will be given to the local communities."
MotoGP Announces Telecinco, Movistar TV Will Broadcast 2014 races in Spain Spanish TV station Telecinco will show every MotoGP World Championship race this year, including nine grands prix and 10 delayed broadcasts in Spain. Movistar TV, which is owned by telecom company Telefonica, will broadcast the entire MotoGP World Championship in Spain and will offer up to six additional cameras during races. Movistar TV will offer its race coverage, including practice and qualifying sessions, on a new dedicated channel. The joint broadcast rights agreement combines the strategies of delivering mass interest events to audiences on a free-to-air platform with broadcasting exclusive events on subscription-based channels. MotoGP
In Madrid, Raul Romojaro wrote the agreement is a "cataclysm for MotoGP TV rights." It will be "the first time in history that Spanish fans will have to pay a subscription for a TV channel carrying the MotoGP World Championship." AS
Gidley released from hospital Memo Gidley, driver of the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette Prototype, begins the next chapter in his recovery effort, having been discharged from Halifax Health in Daytona Beach, Fla. tonight.
After undergoing three separate surgeries as a result of an accident in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Gidley is being medically transported this evening via airplane to northern California where he will continue his recovery and begin his rehabilitation.
Gidley underwent his first surgery on Saturday, Jan. 25 to repair a broken left leg and left elbow, and endured a lengthy surgery to repair a compression fracture in his lower back on Monday, Jan. 27. The final surgery was completed on Friday, Jan. 31 to repair a fracture in his left heel. He has spent the days following his final surgery resting and gathering strength for the medical transport across the country.
On Feb. 3rd and 4th Schmidt Peterson Motorsports resumed its pre-season testing at Sebring International Raceway with Simon Pagenaud and Mikhail Aleshin. See what the team’s major players had to say about progress made before the season begins:
“HPD and the whole SPM team were on top of their game. We’ve made major improvements on the engine and it really is a huge plus. I can only congratulate Honda on the job they’ve been doing over the winter. The team has done a great job on the chassis as well so I’m very excited for the season to start. I had a great time driving the car the past two days even though it’s very challenging and I really have to push myself.” Simon Pagenaud
“The team did a great job the past two days testing. We tried many different kinds of set-ups in the car and worked through different problems and situations that we could encounter during the season. We weren’t pushing for the best times but we tested for a ton of different variables. I’m starting to feel really comfortable working with the team.” Mikhail Aleshin
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will honor racing icon Mario Andretti in celebration of the 45th anniversary of his Indianapolis 500 victory during "Legends Day Honoring Mario Andretti" on Saturday, May 24.
Andretti, the 1965 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, will participate in a question-and-answer session with fans May 24 on the IMS Pagoda Plaza Stage. Andretti will also sign autographs for fans.
"I am so honored to be part of Legends Day this year, at a place I truly love, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said Andretti, who drove the STP Oil Treatment Hawk III/Ford to victory from the second-place starting position in the 53rd Indianapolis 500.
"I just can't explain how it feels to be treated so well by the people in Indianapolis even long after retiring from the sport. They certainly love tradition. And I'm proud to have had a part in the Speedway tradition for as long as I have and feel spoiled that the fans treat me and the other drivers like kings. I just can't thank them enough. I'm looking forward to May and to being part of Legends Day."
JR Motorsports Announces Additional Sponsorship for Kevin Harvick JR Motorsports announced today an update to Kevin Harvick’s 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series race schedule, as the addition of five sponsorship partners brings his schedule to 13 races.
Headlining the partner lineup is Morton Buildings, which will sponsor Harvick at two venues – Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 26) and Kansas Speedway (Oct. 4). Based in Morton, Ill., Morton Buildings specializes in constructing high-quality, long-lasting structures ranging from farm shops, equestrian facilities, hobby buildings, garages, churches, municipal buildings, airplane hangars, custom homes, commercial structures and general storage buildings.
“We are thrilled to be expanding our relationship with NASCAR, Kevin Harvick and JR Motorsports,” said Brian Haraf, marketing manager for Morton Buildings Inc. “We are continually impressed with the fan base and the support from the teams and other sponsors.”
Only in easy 100% throttle NASCAR racing can 71-year compete Support Military Foundation announced that Morgan Shepherd will be driving the #93 SMF Toyota at Daytona International Speedway in an attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500. The presenting sponsor will be named at a later date. If Shepherd makes the field he would become the oldest driver ever to compete in the Daytona 500.
Shepherd, 71, most recently partnered with Support Military Foundation to become the oldest driver to compete in the Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire in 2013. The team is a collaboration of BK Racing, Randy MacDonald of MacDonald Motorsports and Dell Hamilton of Support Military Foundation/HMR.
"Whenever you can break a record or make history, it's something special. To have Morgan in the car and the SMF presented on the car we couldn't be happier," said Dell Hamilton. "We are still looking for a presenting sponsor for the race, Support Military Foundation colors will be on the car but we are hoping for a presenting sponsor to come along and help us with this unique initiative." SMF PR
Arie Luyendyk believes IndyCar is squandering an opportunity to generate more sponsorship and coverage by not publishing test times. We think he's right.
Arie Luyendyk must read AR1.
After all, the 1990 and 1997 Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk argues for something we at AR1 have been hammering for years: IndyCar needs to publish testing times.
Think about it. If a driver set a fast time in a given test fans would wonder if the time was set in qualifying or race trim. Maybe, the team took weight off the car? Maybe, this driver has gained two-tenths during the off-season? Maybe, this team has made a significant step forward in their damper program, or found more rear down force?
Of course, no such thing occurs. Yes, teams may protect certain information, but we know for sure, they also prevent the opportunity to gain more coverage, and create more buzz in advance of the season.
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and SMS Audio Join Swan Racing Sprint Cup team Swan Racing (www.swanracingteam.com), a leading professional stock-car racing team, announced today that it has partnered with SMS Audio (www.SMSAudio.com) for an exclusive agreement to be an associate sponsor on the team’s No. 26 and No. 30 Toyota Camrys during the 2014 and 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seasons. SMS Audio is an American consumer electronics manufacturer of headphones and audio products, founded by entertainer and entrepreneur Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.
“Swan Racing is very proud to partner with a growing worldwide brand like SMS Audio and to include an entrepreneur like 50 Cent as part of our team,” said team owner Brandon Davis. “The SMS Audio brand will be featured on both our cars and I know our fans are going to love the product.”
Honda riders 1-2 on 2nd day of Sepang Testing The MotoGP riders were back on track today in Sepang for the second test day of the three days that mark the start of 2014 activity. Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa again on top.
Day Two Test Times
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 59.926s (Lap 38/65) 2. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 2m 0.336s | +0.410s (12/62) 3. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 2m 0.339s | +0.413s (13/52) 4. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 2m 0.464s | +0.538s (18/61) 5. Aleix Espargaro ESP NGM Mobile Forward Racing (FTR-M1) 2m 0.547s | +0.621s (16/42) 6. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 2m 0.573s | +0.647s (27/49) 7. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 0.603s | +0.677s (27/66) 8. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 2m 0.855s | +0.929s (9/49) 9. Alvaro Bautista ESP GoFun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 2m 0.897s | +0.971s (51/55) 10. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 1.061s | +1.135s (4/49)
Dark clouds hover over Indian mogul Mallya’s empire
Force India boss Vijay Mallya
More than a year after one of India’s top airlines, Kingfisher, stopped flying, its flamboyant owner Vijay Mallya is battling against losing control of his $2.2-billion corporate empire.
Mallya, once the self-proclaimed “King of Good Times”, made his fortune in the liquor business and controls a conglomerate spanning beer, airlines, fertilizers and engineering.
But in several firms in his United Breweries Group, 58-year-old Mallya’s ownership has substantially shrunk, while in others, large portions of his holdings are pledged with banks — and in some cases are starting to be sold off.
NASCAR Hopes Drivers' Riding on Daddy's Coattails Will Help Build Audience Legacies and lineage will be an "overarching theme" this year for NASCAR, as it enters the season with "a bevy of cross-generational story lines dotting its three national series," according to Nate Ryan of USA TODAY.
Austin Dillon, the grandson of team owner Richard Childress, will drive the late Dale Earnhardt's No. 3 car in the Sprint Cup Series. Chase Elliott, the son of former Sprint Cup champion Bill Elliott, will drive his father's No. 9 car in the Nationwide Series. In the Camping World Truck Series, Jeb Burton and Ryan Blaney "will be carrying on surnames that are familiar to those who watched their fathers, Ward Burton and Dave Blaney, team at Bill Davis Racing more than a decade ago."
Krisiloff named Indiana Business Journal under 40 honoree INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway Senior Director of Marketing Jarrod Krisiloff has been named one of the 2014 Indianapolis Business Journal's Forty Under 40 business and professional leaders for central Indiana. The Forty Under 40 program recognizes talented individuals that have achieved an extraordinary level of business success at a young age.
The son of 11-time Indianapolis 500 driver Steve Krisiloff and the grandson of Hulman & Co. Chairman Mari Hulman-George, Krisiloff is the eldest of the "next generation" of Hulman family leadership at IMS.
Krisiloff, 31, didn't consider IMS for a career until his freshman year at the University of Southern Indiana when he accepted a year-long IMS marketing internship in 2001. Since then, Krisiloff, who will receive his master's degree in sports administration from Ohio University in April, has worked in marketing and communications for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the IndyCar Series and IMS Productions. He accepted his current position of IMS senior director of marketing in January, 2013.
Critics of Mark Miles urge IndyCar to focus on driver development (Update)UPDATE Reader Derek Daly writes, Dear AR1.com, I think Matt Weaver missed a very important point and has presented this story somewhat out of context. The vital piece of the story is this;
Daly doesn't think any approach will work unless it has the mission of developing "American stars" as a centerpiece. Miles says he's largely happy with the current stable of IndyCar drivers. Daly contends that even successful foreign drivers like Scott Dixon and Will Power won't draw the attention of the masses the way a stable of American hot shots would.
I think that the Indianapolis Business Journal also needed to emphasize that it's not just American drivers that's needed - it's WINNING - SUCCESSFUL - HERO American drivers that need to be developed. A HERO has to do something heroic - something heroic would be winning big races on a consistent basis like our past heroes did. When that happens the media takes notice - and when that happens the sponsors take notice and when that happens the sport can only grow.
Evernham leaves ESPN to focus on Hendrick position Former crew chief Ray Evernham, who created one of NASCAR's most dominant teams in the 1990s with Jeff Gordon, will serve as a consultant to Hendrick Motorsports where he will be involved with the competition department. Evernham made the announcement Tuesday on "SiriusXM Speedway" with hosts Dave Moody and Angie Skinner.
Evernham, who has served as a consultant for Hendrick Companies since 2011, also said that he no longer will be a part of ESPN's NASCAR broadcasts. "Now not doing the ESPN thing will allow me to be involved in some of the management and some of the things that they're doing at (Hendrick) Motorsports,'' Evernham told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Hundreds of vintage cars to compete at Indy For the first time ever, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host more than 500 of the world's finest and most historic racecars as they compete on the recently reconfigured road course as well as running exhibition events on the famed 2.5 miles oval as part of the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association's Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational to be held June 6-8.
The races will showcase a wide variety of cars including cars that competed in past Indianapolis 500s, cars from the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, Formula One, Grand-Am prototypes and Trans-Am. In addition, American racing cars from makes like Chevrolet will compete with historic racecars from Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar, MG and many others in twelve different classes of racing. A special class will also feature open-wheel race cars with Indianapolis 500 or other historic racing background.
Johnson ready for first full-time season in five years
Tommy Johnson Jr.
Tommy Johnson Jr. returns to Funny Car competition behind the wheel of the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T, with sponsor Terry Chandler and the backing of Don Schumacher Racing. Johnson, who has nine national event victories in his career and who is one of 15 drivers to have won events in both Top Fuel and Funny Car, took part in a recent NHRA teleconference to talk about his new ride and the season ahead.
Q; You've been so closely involved with the sport since your last full-time season in 2008, and you were always a constant fixture at the track. But was there ever a worry in your mind that you may not get back to this position being in a championship caliber, full-time ride?
With a total of four world championship titles won in the past three years, the Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand, has plenty of reasons to be excited about the upcoming 2014 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season which will feature 24 national race events and is set to kick-off this coming weekend in Pomona, Ca. at the historic Auto Club Raceway. Adding to the anticipation are Mopar’s plans for a year-long commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the legendary Gen II 426 Race HEMI engine.
First introduced in 1964, a new second generation HEMI engine measuring 426 cubic inches was built specifically to win races. There were two versions– one called the “Circuit” or “Track” engine and the other the “Acceleration” or “Drag” engine.
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