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Reutimann gets Daytona 500 ride  David Reutimann will drive the #93 Toyota for BK Racing in the Daytona 500. Todd Anderson, the former car chief at the No 71 TRG Motorsports entry, will serve as crew chief for the team. Travis Kvapil will take over the driving duties in the #93 Toyota at Phoenix for the March 4 Sprint Cup race. BK Racing also announced last week that Landon Cassill will drive the #83 Toyota, starting in Daytona. FoxSports
2012 Budweiser Shootout just another NASCAR race  At one time you made the Budweiser Shootout field if you won a pole the previous season.  Now it appears almost everybody is qualified so it is not special anymore, just another NASCAR race.  They may as well just add it to the schedule so it counts for points.

Entry List for the 2012 Budweiser Shootout

# Car# Driver Manu Sponsor Owner
1 1 Jamie McMurray Chevy Bass Pro Shops Teresa Earnhardt
2 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite Roger Penske
3 5 Kasey Kahne Chevy Farmers Insurance Linda Hendrick
4 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Stanley Richard Petty
5 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express J D Gibbs
6 14 Tony Stewart Chevy Mobil 1 Margaret Haas
7 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-Hour Energy Rob Kauffman
8 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M Jack Roush
9 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Best Buy John Henry
10 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's Joe Gibbs
11 20 Joey Logano Toyota Home Depot Joe Gibbs
12 22 A.J. Allmendinger Dodge Shell / Pennzoil Walter Czarnecki
13 24 Jeff Gordon Chevy Drive to End Hunger Rick Hendrick
14 27 Paul Menard Chevy Menards / Peak Richard Childress
15 29 Kevin Harvick Chevy Budweiser Richard Childress
16 31 Jeff Burton Chevy Caterpillar Richard Childress
17 34 David Ragan Ford MHP-Power Pak Pudding Bob Jenkins
18 39 Ryan Newman Chevy U.S. Army Tony Stewart
19 42 Juan PabloMontoya Chevy Target Chip Ganassi
20 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevy Lowe's Jeff Gordon
21 51 Kurt Busch Chevy Tag Heuer Avante-Garde James Finch
22 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine Bill Jenkins
23 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts Michael Waltrip
24 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevy National Guard / Diet Mountain Dew Rick Hendrick
25 99 Carl Edwards Ford Fastenal Jack Roush
- -


- Eligible but not entered -
x 55 Mark Martin Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine Bill Jenkins
x 21 Trevor Bayne Ford Motorcraft Wood Brothers
x ? Brian Vickers x xl x
x ? Bill Elliott x x x
x ? Geoff Bodine x x x
x ? Derrike Cope x x x
x 32 Terry Labonte x Frank Stoddard x
x 32 Ken Schrader Federated Auto Parts Frank Stoddard x

Final news bits from IndyCar State of the Series Meeting  See our Home Page articles, but going through out notes we compiled some news bits from the 2-day meeting in Indianapolis:
  • 80 percent of suites sold out for Detroit race already
  • The China beer festival will be going on the same weekend as the IndyCar race in Qingdao, hence a large attendance is expected.  Look for an announcement about the race in China (which has not happened yet in China) to be around the 2nd week in March where the circuit layout will finally be announced.
  • Randy Bernard tells us that the hoped for Las Vegas street race did not happen due to money, but he still hopes to bring that event to fruition in about two years.  He thinks the event would draw 150,000 to 200,000 people for the weekend.
  • Even though it did not look like it, the attendance for last year's season finale on the Vegas oval was 24,800 and even though ticket holders from other races could have attended for free, only 7,800 took advantage of that offer.
  • Randy Bernard is still confident that the Ft. Lauderdale race will happen in 2013.  They just need to find the correct race promoter.
  • Randy is looking at the possibility of holding the season ending awards banquet in Indianapolis this year, in conjunction with the IMIS show.
  • ESPN International will again take care of international TV distribution for all IndyCar races.  This year a lot more countries are picking up IndyCar broadcasts
  • The series will use 38 inches of turbo boost for Speedways (HP around 550), 41 inches for short ovals and 46 inches for Road Courses (HP around 700)
  • Although previously advertised, the series will not use push to pass until maybe later in the year if the races become to processional.
  • All the cars get a new McLaren ECU, boost sensors and some cars (random) will also carry torque sensors so the series can gauge the power each manufacturer has and to also see if anyone figures out a way to circumvent the boost sensors thereby getting more HP.  If detected the torque sensors will alert the ECU and engine power will be cut.
  • There will be no KERS - too expensive and it does not improve the show
  • There will be 1,850 miles between engine replacements.  Five engine changes will be allowed per year.  6 or more and the driver will be given a grid penalty.  Engines will be sealed and no tampering will be allowed.
  • So far the teams have put 13,500 testing miles collectively
BorgWarner Q4 earnings surge on turbocharging craze  Auto supplier BorgWarner Inc. boosted fourth-quarter profits as the company benefited from its automaking customers striving to increase fuel efficiency.

Fourth-quarter net income was $127.5 million, or $1.00 per share, up from $116.9 million or 89 cents, a year earlier.

Sales in the quarter totaled $1.77 billion, up 16 percent from a year earlier, the company said in a statement today.

Excluding nonrecurring items, BorgWarner posted earnings of $1.19 per share, beating Wall Street analysts' forecast of $1.17 per share, according to Thomson Reuters. More ...

Happy faces at Lotus and Renault  After four days of pounding around Jerez de la Frontera, during the first pre-season test of the 2012 Formula 1 season, the Lotus E20 emerged as one of the better packages out the box. The teams trackside operations director, Alan Permane, talks about the test in southern Spain and the days ahead for Kimi Raikkonen’s team.

With the first test at Jerez now behind us and Barcelona coming up next week, what’s happening here at Enstone during the break?

This week we’ll be building our second car up. So it’s chassis two that will be going to Barcelona, while chassis one will be rebuilt and taken to the seven post rig in our research and development facility for suspension development work. More ...

The Cartoon Network teams with NASCAR for a very special evening  The "Dance Machine?" The "Gnarliest Newb?" That could easily become the new nicknames for NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Carl Edwards and Trevor Bayne if everything goes according to plan next Monday night on "The Cartoon Network." The pair of drivers are nominees for the television network's second annual "Hall Of Game Awards."

The "Hall Of Game Awards" has been described as a high energy, off the wall, multi-platform experience that allows the network's viewers to vote for, and honor, their favorite sports stars, and sports moments, of the year. The show, hosted by NBA basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, will air on Monday, February 20th, at 7 pm eastern time. More ...
ALMS names Skuza as Business Development Manager  The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron announced today that Brian Skuza joined its staff as Manager, Business Development. The Dacula, Ga., resident returns the Panoz Motor Sports Group family, having formerly held the position of Road Atlanta General Manager from 2004-2007. In the newly created position with the Braselton, Ga.,-based organization, Skuza will be responsible for the sale of official marketing partnerships including entitlements, major category partnerships, product/service partnerships and contingency partnerships.
track news
Kentucky Speedway to start installing tunnel  On Tuesday, February 14th, construction crews will begin installing sections of a 42-foot-wide tunnel beneath Kentucky Highway 35 that will connect new Kentucky Speedway parking fields to the facility's original property. A crane will install the tunnel in 25 sections that are 42-feet wide and approximately 11 feet high. The tunnel and parking fields are elements of ongoing projects that will ultimately expand parking while improving automotive and pedestrian traffic flows during Kentucky Speedway events. Additional elements include widening the I-71 ramp at Exit 57 and widening Ky. 35. More ...
Watkins Glen / Michigan lose Sprint Cup sponsor  Watkins Glen International is without a title sponsor for its NASCAR Sprint Cup event after Heluva Good! ended contract negotiations earlier this week. WGI President Michael Printup said last week he was optimistic the food manufacturer known largely for its sour cream dips would come back for its fourth year as the race's primary sponsor, but he learned Tuesday that Heluva Good! decided not to renew its contract. "We were a percent away from signing the deal and they turned around and walked away," Printup said Friday.

"We loved Heluva Good! but of course every company takes changes of direction." With its Sprint Cup event seven months away, the news has left Watkins Glen's marketing team and its corporate owner, International Speedway Corp., a small window to find another headliner. "At this point, it's all hands on deck," said Printup, who expects to have a new sponsor in place within 90 days. Heluva Good! also decided not to return as sponsor of the Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway, which is another ISC-owned track. Printup said Sprint Cup title sponsors generally provide tracks between $500,000 and $2,000,000. Elmira Star Gazette
2012 IndyCar Engine Tally  According to our almost final 2012 IndyCar Silly Season page, this is the Engine Count totals we come up with for this season.  We count 27 to 29 cars on the grid for most races this year, with of course 33 for the Indy 500 and only 26 for the two flyaway races:

Chevrolet (11 to 12)
Andretti Autosport 3 (4th possible)
KV Racing 3 (4th Possible)
Team Penske 3
Panther Racing 1
Ed Carpenter 1

Honda (10 to 12)
Ganassi Racing 4
Rahal Letterman Lanigan 2 (3 possible)
Dale Coyne Racing 2
A.J. Foyt Racing 1
Sam Schmidt Motorsports 1 (2 possible)

Lotus (6)
Bryan Herta Autosport 1
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 1
HVM Racing 1
Dragon Racing 2
Michael Shank Racing 1

Octane revs up for 2012 Edmonton Indy  
Sato leads from pole at last year's race
The day that race series CEO Randy Bernard held his State of IndyCar event in Indianapolis seemed as good a time as any to check in on the state of the 2012 Edmonton Indy race.

It was just under one year ago, after all, when Francois Dumontier, president of race promoter Octane Motorsports Events, met the Edmonton media to outline how the Montreal-based group would succeed with the open-wheel race where Northlands and the City of Edmonton had become drenched in red ink.

“Trust me, it’s a whole different game this year than it was at the same time last year,” Dumontier said in a telephone interview. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday  
  • Dani Clos
    Friday driver Clos completes 2012 HRT lineup
  • New violence casts doubt on 2012 Bahrain GP return
  • Raikkonen's bad reputation not right - Lopez
  • 'Why not Webber' for 2012 title - Mateschitz
  • Di Resta cousin Franchitti has no F1 regrets
  • Vergne vows to keep 'tension' low with Ricciardo
  • Doubts remain about Red Bull 'cooling' inlet More ...
Tim Allen to serve as grand marshal  Popular television star Tim Allen will serve as grand marshal for the Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 11.

Allen, who currently stars in the "Last Man Standing" sitcom on ABC-TV on Tuesday nights, will give the command to start engines for the annual race. Allen is a NASCAR fan and will have 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart as his guest on the show tomorrow.

"I love the track, the crowds, the cars - I'm thrilled to be the grand marshal for this NASCAR race in Vegas.  To have all those engines roar to life at my command?  That's a powerful thing.  Hell yes, I'm excited!  It's going to be a great day," Allen said. More ...

Hendrickcars.com to sponsor three NASCAR teams  HendrickCars.com will sponsor three NASCAR teams in select races in early 2012. The sponsorships will promote the new-look retail automotive website, which re-launched Feb. 1, and coincide with the HendrickCars.com "2012 Indy Dream Weekend" sweepstakes. The program will kick off during Speedweeks in Daytona Beach, Fla., with primary sponsorship of #51 Phoenix Racing and 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch in the Feb. 25 Nationwide Series race and Feb. 26 Daytona 500. More ...
Team Viso Venezuela enters Star Mazda with Juncos Racing  UPDATE We hear that the team may add a third car for a driver from Chili and possibly a fourth car for a Brazilian driver to make a 4-car assault on the Star Mazda Series.  We also hear that the team is close to putting a 2-car Indy Lights team together.

02/13/12 Juncos Racing has signed Venezuelan racing pair Bruno Palli, 20, and Diego Ferreira, 18, to compete in the 2012 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.  Both accomplished racers in their home country and Europe, Palli and Ferreira will migrate their careers to the U.S.A. this season as representatives of "Team Viso Venezuela", an initiative founded by the duo's Venezuelan manager and IZOD IndyCar Series driver E.J. Viso.  "Team Viso Venezuela" is a program that promotes bringing young talents from the South American country to compete in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder with the help of Venezuelan supporters.  The hope is that these racers can then climb through the ranks until they reach the peak of American open-wheel racing, the IZOD IndyCar Series (Juncos Racing currently runs teams in the top two steps of the ladder, the Star Mazda Championship and the Firestone Indy Lights Series). More ...
INDYCAR takes off its hat to LIDS Sports Group  If they are good enough for the NY Yankees, they must be good enough for IndyCar.  IndyCar announced today that it has entered into a multi-year agreement with Indianapolis-based LIDS Sports Group, in which their LIDS Clubhouse division will manage the online and trackside merchandising efforts of the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights beginning with the 2012 season. 

The partnership will increase INDYCAR's retail presence at-track at North American events, giving fans more opportunities and easier access to INDYCAR merchandise each race weekend. LIDS also will offer fans an opportunity to purchase the same merchandise online. LIDS' in-house production capabilities will help ensure that inventory levels are maintained and that products accurately reflect the current landscape of team rosters and driver sponsors. More ...

Firestone Brand to Remain IZOD IndyCar Series Official Tire Through 2014  
Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) and INDYCAR are pleased to announce that the Firestone brand will remain the IZOD IndyCar Series' Official Tire through at least 2014, and the Firestone brand will also serve as Title Sponsor and Official Tire to Firestone Indy Lights through the 2012 season.  As part of this agreement, negotiations are already underway to extend the IZOD IndyCar Series sponsorship and supply contract beyond 2014.

The Firestone brand has competed in every IZOD IndyCar Series race since the series' inception in 1996, and it has been the Official Tire and sole supplier since 2000. In March, 2011, BATO and INDYCAR agreed on a two-year extension that secured Firestone's Official Tire status for the 2012 and 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series seasons. The Firestone Indy Lights contract was set to expire at the end of 2011, but included in the new agreement is a provision for Firestone to continue as the Official Tire of the development series for an additional year. More ...

Points swap gives Mark Martin Daytona 500 start  
Mark Martin
More points swapping and acquisition between race teams has landed veteran Mark Martin with a guaranteed starting position in this year's Daytona 500.

Michael Waltrip Racing has worked out an agreement to transfer points from the FasLane Racing team to the No. 55 Toyota that Martin will pilot in 25 races this season.

FasLane wound up inside the Top 35 of owner points last year and thus was guaranteed a starting spot in the first five events of the new year including the season-opening Daytona 500. More ...

Waltrip to attempt Daytona 500  
Michael Waltrip
Hillman Racing and Aaron's Inc. announced that two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip will drive the #40 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota in the 2012 Daytona 500 on Feb. 26. The race will mark Waltrip's 75th start at Daytona in one of NASCAR's top three touring series (Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World trucks) - the most of any driver. "Aaron's really does make your dreams come true," said Waltrip.

"When I was a kid thinking about racing in Daytona I never dreamed I would start more NASCAR races there than anyone. That's amazing." He said it takes many factors for success. "You have to have a great sponsor to race and Aaron's has been a great sponsor for a long time." Waltrip said. "I appreciate what the folks at Hillman Racing including Joe Falk are putting together. Hopefully my experience at Daytona will help them get out of the gate strong with their new team." More ...
Chevy to power Ed Carpenter's IndyCar  UPDATE
Ed Carpenter
Ed Carpenter made his IZOD IndyCar Series debut in 2003 with PDM Racing at Chicagoland Speedway in a car with Chevy power. He'll make his series debut March 25 at St. Petersburg, Fla., as a series owner/driver in a car with Chevy power.

Ed Carpenter Racing announced today that the first-year IZOD IndyCar Series team's No. 20 entry will be powered by Chevrolet's 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine.

Carpenter, 30, announced the new team on Nov. 4, 2011, along with Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka as the primary sponsor. Carpenter, co-owner of the team with INDYCAR founder Tony George, will drive the new Dallara chassis throughout the 16-race season. Carpenter, who has made 113 IZOD IndyCar Series starts, also competed in a Chevy-powered car for Red Bull Cheever Racing in 2004 following his three races for PDM in '03. More ...
INDYCAR Race Control team introduced  
Arie Luyendyk
INDYCAR President of Competition and Race Director Beaux Barfield has welcomed two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Arie Luyendyk, former Indy car competitor Johnny Unser and longtime CART/Champ Car senior manager of competition Gary Barnard as race stewards for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season.

Barfield said most Race Control personnel relating to operations roles in 2011 will return, with the functions of the stewards to be altered.

"It takes a group of eight or nine people to do specific jobs, whether that's communicating with corner workers or dispatching the safety team," Barfield said. "All are necessary to provide a good officiating system. The stewards will really take a step back from being so involved in what the Race Director does. More ...
INDYCAR, Discover, First Bankcard, and Segmint Join Forces to Reward Fans  INDYCAR announced today it has entered into multi-year agreements with Discover Network and First Bankcard, a division of the First National Bank of Omaha, to offer a credit card program designed to provide rewards to fans of the sport. INDYCAR has also entered into an agreement with Segmint, Inc. to deliver the digital analytics for the INDYCAR Discover credit card program.

INDYCAR Discover credit card cardmembers can redeem accumulated reward points for exclusive experiences, including VIP access to Victory Lane at the Indianapolis 500 and breakfast with legends of the sport. Other rewards include race tickets, driver meet & greets, suite passes, and INDYCAR merchandise. More ...
Fuzzy's to be official Vodka of IndyCar  INDYCAR announced today that Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka will be the Official Vodka of the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights. Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka will activate in all domestic race markets and develop the signature cocktail of INDYCAR, which will be featured at all INDYCAR events.

“This new partnership with Fuzzy’s is a great cross-promotional opportunity to introduce our sport to a new demographic,” said Randy Bernard, CEO of INDYCAR. “We look forward to working with the team at Fuzzy’s Vodka on these activation opportunities to drive attendance at our events and grow our sport.” More ...
INDYCAR: 2012 TV Schedule Revealed  
2012 IndyCar TV Schedule

Date Track Venue Broadcast
March 25 Streets of St. Petersburg 1.8-mile street course ABC
April 1 Barber Motorsports Park 2.3-mile road course NBCSN
April 15 Streets of Long Beach 1.968-mile street course NBCSN
April 29 Streets of Sao Paulo 2.536-mile street course NBCSN
May 27 Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5-mile oval ABC
June 3 Raceway at Belle Isle Park 2.1-mile street course ABC
June 9 Texas Motor Speedway* 1.5-mile oval NBCSN
June 16 The Milwaukee Mile 1-mile oval ABC
June 23 Iowa Speedway* .875-mile oval NBCSN
July 8 Streets of Toronto 1.755-mile street course ABC
July 22 Edmonton City Centre Airport 1.973-mile airport course NBCSN
Aug. 5 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 2.258-mile road course ABC
Aug. 19 Streets of Qingdao, China 3.87-mile street course NBCSN
Aug. 26 Infineon Raceway 2.303-mile road course NBCSN
Sept. 2 Streets of Baltimore 2-mile street course NBCSN
Sept. 15 Auto Club Speedway* 2-mile oval NBCSN
NASCAR starts new program for minorities  Minorities and NASCAR aren't two names usually associated with each other, but NASCAR is looking to change that.

They’ve started new outreach programs that are getting Latino drivers and companies involved.

"For me racing, it was my dream," said Jorge Arteaga.  He gets to drive race cars in NASCAR's K&N Pro Series East.  More ...

track news
Three tracks to be repaved in 2012  Three tracks that host NASCAR race weekends are on schedule with repaving projects that will all be completed in time to run events on the new surfaces this season, according to Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition and racing development.

"We have three repaves coming up this year," Pemberton said. "Michigan is done. It was completed before the end of the [2011] season. Pocono will be finished in the spring, depending on the weather. And Kansas will be repaved in between the two races. Kansas is the only one that, on paper, will change the bank angle [slightly]."

Pemberton said the next issue to be determined regarding the tracks once the new surfaces are completed is when and how to hold tests there before actual events are run on them again. More ...

Sam Schmidt Motorsports Retains Comcast-Spectacor  Sam Schmidt Motorsports (SSM), one of the most-respected and well-known brands in INDYCAR, announced today that it has retained Front Row Marketing Services (FRMS) to market and sell the team’s commercial rights.  FRMS, a subsidiary of the sports and entertainment firm Comcast-Spectacor, evaluates and develops incremental revenue streams for sport and entertainment properties internationally.  The partnership with SSM marks the first racing team client for FRMS and extends its reach into motorsports.

“We are very pleased to begin working immediately with Front Row Marketing Services, a company that shares our vision to not only be the best brand in racing, but also the best brand in the business of sports” said Sam Schmidt, team owner. “INDYCAR has made solid strides in the last few years and we know that our brand is positioned to grow well beyond our past success.  The assistance and expertise FRMS can provide us will be essential to make that next step.” More ...

TV News
Racing this week on ESPN  
Coverage of NASCAR Media Day Airs on ESPNEWS

With the NASCAR season only days away, ESPNEWS will air a three-hour special from NASCAR Media Day at the Daytona 500 on Thursday, Feb. 16, at noon. Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Daytona 500 rookie Danica Patrick are among those scheduled to appear during the program. The telecast will be co-hosted by Mike Massaro and Nicole Briscoe with analyst Ricky Craven. More ...

Tracy says Michael Shank gives IndyCar CEO an earful  
Paul Tracy
Michael Shank was disappointed to hear last week that his operation will not be part of IndyCar's Leader's Circle program.

"I told Mike to not count on the Leader's Circle money," veteran Paul Tracy said last week. "But he was pretty disappointed and he gave Randy Bernard a piece of his mind. He's pretty unhappy about the lack of communication from IndyCar.

"I'm waiting on Shank to see if he's going to throw the dice or not. I've got some sponsorship and there's a contract ready to be signed if he decides to dive into the pool headfirst." More ...

Starworks signs Stephane Sarrazin  
Stephane Sarrazin
Starworks Motorsport has been given a massive boost by clinching the signing of French superstar Stephane Sarrazin. The former Peugeot works driver will complete the line-up for the Fort Lauderdale-based team’s FIA World Endurance Championship campaign in the Honda Performance Development LMP2 car.

Vastly-experienced Stephane will join Orlando-based Ryan Dalziel, who is originally from Lanarkshire in Scotland, and Venezuelan Enzo Potolicchio for the new series which kicks off at Sebring in Florida on March 16. The move is a major coup for the Starworks team as they set their sights on the LMP2 world title. Stephane won the Le Mans Series in 2007 and 2010 and was Intercontinental Le Mans Cup champ in 2010 and 2011. He has twice been runner up in the Le Mans 24 Hour race as well as taking pole position three times. He has raced Formula One for Minardi and also taken part in World Rally Championship and Intercontinental Rally Challenge rounds in a long and successful career. Now he is ready for a new chapter.  More ...
IndyCar State of the Union tonight  The first race kicks off in St. Petersburg, Florida in just 40 days, then on May 27th, the 101st Indianapolis 500 will take place at IMS, but before all this happening Monday is the annual State of IndyCar.

There is heightened interest this year following the tragedy in Las Vegas last season that killed driver Dan Wheldon.

The meeting at the Hilbert Circle Theatre in downtown Indianapolis will address the direction IndyCar is heading, discuss the new engines, the chassis designed to make the sport safer, the new scaled down rule book from new race director, Beaux Barfield and about some of the exciting things happening this year-- including 4 races that will take the series out of the U.S. to Canada, Brazil and China. More ...

VW to decide on North American Audi plant this summer  Volkswagen AG expects to choose a site for Audi's North American plant by the summer, and locations in Mexico and the United States are in the running, according to Michael Macht, VW's head of manufacturing.

After picking a site it will take about 2½ years to begin production, Macht said in an interview with Automotive News Europe.

VW has yet to determine which Audi model it will assemble there, he added. But the decision on where to locate the factory is closely linked with the company's desire to bring another Volkswagen SUV, larger than the Tiguan, to the United States, he said. More ...

Parthiva Sureshwaren secures F2 return for 2012  
Parthiva Sureshwaren
India’s Parthiva Sureshwaren will return to the 2012 FIA Formula Two Championship after renewing his sponsorship partnership with mobile network provider Lycamobile.

The Chennai-born driver joined F2 in 2010, and after a solid start at Silverstone and Marrakech he scored his best result of the year at Monza, finishing 10th in race two to earn his maiden points finish.  He went on to challenge for the points on several other occasions, notably finishing 12th at Zolder and 11th at Portimão.

Last season he became a regular top 15 finisher with impressive drives at the final two rounds of Monza and Barcelona, as well as narrowly missing out on a points finish at Brands Hatch after working his way through the field. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday  
  • Daniel Ricciardo
    Webber insists no tension with countryman Ricciardo
  • New Ferrari '20pc ready' after Jerez test - Alonso
  • Sauber not 'reading tea leaves' after Jerez test
  • McLaren stops Hamilton answering 'pathetic' insult
  • New Lotus 'definitely better' than 2011 car - Grosjean
  • No 'revolution' seen on 2012 grid yet - Sauber
  • Experts slam 'ugly' field of 2012
  • Clos announced as HRT test driver
  • Senna documentary wins two BAFTAs More ...
racing news
Pigot Clinches Cooper Tires Winterfest Title with Clean Sweep at PBIR  
Spencer Pigot
Rising American star Spencer Pigot swept all three races this weekend at Palm Beach International Raceway to emerge a clear winner of the Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship. The 18-year-old from Orlando, Fla., won Round Five this morning in style, taking the checkered flag 5.116 seconds clear of Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing teammate Trent Hindman, but had a much tougher time in this afternoon’s final race as he was forced to fend off a determined challenge from the third Cape Motorsports entry, driven by Matthew Brabham.

Pigot had a helping hand this morning when Neil Alberico (JDC Motorsports) snuck past Hindman into Turn One to claim second place. After a full-course caution to remove the stalled car of Michael Johnson (#54 Universal Coating/Coloplast/FlatOutNation.com/Red Line Oil), Pigot, who had started from the pole, took off at the restart and was never seriously threatened. More ...

Stewart to appear on Tim Allen show  NASCAR's 2011 Sprint Cup Champ, #14-Tony Stewart got together with actor and car guy Tim Allen to film an episode of Allen's ABC comedy "Last Man Standing." Allen, who grew up in Detroit, is the star of the show, and surely had no problem gearing up for recording an episode with a stock-car legend. Stewart brings that famous #14 Chevy into the episode titled 'Adrenaline', and the three-time champion's deadpan humor was on full effect in the clip on USA Today. The full episode will air Tuesday Feb 14th at 8:00pm/et on ABC. USA Today
Racing News
Stewart wins dirt race  Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion #14-Tony Stewart got down and dirty Saturday night, winning the All Star Circuit of Champions sprint car portion of the Winter Freeze at Screven Motor Speedway. Stewart held off Jason Sides to take the $5,000 victory at the three-eighths-mile dirt track, while Cody Darrah, Terry McCarl and Fred Rahmer rounded out the top five. NSSN
New NASCAR team claims Red Bull points  A group of investors has reportedly acquired the owner points of the defunct Red Bull Racing in order to provide a Sprint Cup ride for Landon Cassill and another driver yet to be named.

Cassill’s Toyota will carry No. 83, which was Brian Vickers’ number last year with Red Bull. The second entry will carry No. 93. Kasey Kahne drove the former team’s No. 4, winning the 2011 season’s next-to-last race in Avondale, Ariz. (Phoenix).

Travis Kvapil has been mentioned as a potential driver of the second car, as has Vickers. Kahne, of course, is now at Hendrick Motorsports.

Former Roush Fenway executive Harry McMullen will be the new team’s general manager. Doug Richert has been hired as Cassill’s crew chief. Investors include Ron Devine and Wayne Press, both of whom were previously involved with TRG Motorsports.

Webber let's his performance do the talking  
Mark Webber testing at Jerez this past week
Mark Webber is refusing to let rumors of others replacing him at Red Bull put a damper on his start to the new season.

At 35 years of age and having fallen well behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel last season, questions are being asked about Webber's F1 career and whether it will continue beyond this year's Championship.

And although he has never publicly put down a timeframe for when he will retire, Australia's The Sunday Age is reporting that Webber is 'not contemplating retirement' at the end of this season. More ...

Track News
Palm Beach International Raceway Hosting the Palm Beach Grand Prix  
Ford GT40
The Palm Beach Grand Prix returns for its second year with three full days of racing at Palm Beach International Raceway the weekend of February 17 through 19. At the facility-wide motorsports event spectators can enjoy up-close action at various events from racing to car shows throughout the weekend. 

The Palm Beach Grand Prix is an event where the roar of vintage and modern race cars collide featuring the racing action of the Historic Sports car Racing (HSR) Series, the Historic Moto Gran Prix Motorcycles, The Louis Chevrolet Endurance Series, and the Nordic Camaro US Race. Of these several classes racing during the weekend fans can see everything from historic sports racing cars to fifth generation Camaros in the Camaro only racing series.  More ...

Door fires in Toyota Camry, RAV4 models  U.S. safety regulators have opened a preliminary investigation into consumer complaints of driver's side door fires in 2007 model year Toyota Camry sedans and RAV4 crossover SUVs.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said an estimated 830,000 vehicles may be affected. This probe is short of a recall but may lead to one.

Six consumers have complained, NHTSA said in a filing that shows the investigation was opened this week. More ...

Miller, Maassen and Bell To Share No. 48 Chopard Porsche in longer races  
The new, Dunlop-shod No. 48 Chopard Porsche in action at the ALMS Winter Test at Sebring
Porsche AG
The brand new No. 48 Chopard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR from Paul Miller Racing will be in capable hands during the 2012 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n, as Bryce Miller and Sascha Maassen will once again team up for the full season and will be joined by Rob Bell for the two endurance races on the schedule.

The three drivers began to acquaint themselves with their Dunlop-shod Porsche for the first time during the two-day ALMS Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway on February 8-9. And while there's still plenty of work to be done between now and the season-opening 60th Anniversary Twelve Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh From Florida on Saturday, March 17, the two days in Central Florida were certainly well spent. More ...
Video: Muscle Milk Debuts HPD ARX-03a  Muscle Milk Pickett Racing makes the worldwide debut of the new HPD ARX-03a at Sebring and drivers Klaus Graf, Lucas Luhr and Simon Pagenaud talk to SPEED.com about the experience.

Track news
Iowa Speedway dispute  
Iowa Speedway
Last summer’s ownership change at Iowa Speedway in Newton has sparked a still-escalating court battle between two Iowa families, with charges in each direction involving unpaid bills and contractual breaches.

Jasper County court papers allege that Manaco Corp. and Manatt’s Inc., corporate arms of the family that built Newton’s racetrack, stiffed the new buyers for more than $1.8 million in unpaid bills when the speedway changed hands last June. More ...

The NASCAR Foundation To Establish Headquarters In Daytona Beach  The NASCAR Foundation, "The Heart of NASCAR," is moving to the birthplace of the stock car sanctioning body. NASCAR President Mike Helton announced that NASCAR's charitable arm will relocate to Daytona Beach, Fla., in the later part of the 2012 race season. The NASCAR Foundation's new location will be the International Motorsports Center, the corporate headquarters for NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation and GRAND-AM Road Racing. The move will include the relocation of some of the foundation's current employees based in Charlotte, N.C., as well as a nationwide search for a new executive director. Sandy Marshall, the foundation's current executive director, will remain with the organization until a new leader is secured.

The foundation will continue to maintain a strong presence in Charlotte to serve teams, drivers and industry members in their charitable endeavors. The NASCAR Foundation, organized in 2006, embodies the compassion of the NASCAR Family and its commitment to serving communities. The NASCAR Foundation seeks to raise funds and increase volunteerism to support nonprofit charities and charitable causes throughout the nation with an emphasis placed on initiatives that affect the ability of children to live, learn and play.

Since 2006, The NASCAR Foundation has donated more than $13 million to charitable organizations and helped provide medical treatment for more than 24,000 children annually at Speediatrics children's care units at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach and Homestead (Fla.) Hospital. In addition, the foundation has fulfilled more than 600 "NASCAR Dreams," sent more than 1,100 kids to Victory Junction Gang Camp, recruited 12,000 fans to become part of a Volunteer Network and created educational opportunities for school-aged students that help to engage them in science and engineering programs. NASCAR
Sandvik Coromant Extends Partnership With Stewart-Haas Racing  Sandvik Coromant, the market-leading producer of tools for the metal-cutting industry, is pleased to announce the renewal of its longtime partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing for the 2012 season. This is the fourth consecutive year that Sandvik Coromant has served as the official technical sponsor for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team.
Alonso goes on the offensive  UPDATE #2
Xenia Tschumitschewa and Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso has gone on the offensive regarding reports and gossip of a new love interest in his life, since he announced his divorce from Spanish pop star Raquel de Rosario in December.

Alonso has reportedly been romancing 24 year old model Tschumitschewa Xenia, who is Swiss of Russian origin, and had posted a photo of herself on Twitter showing her in the inner sanctum of the Ferrari pit garage, where access is only for VIPs.

Furthermore, photos of the double Formula 1 world champion and Xenia at a concert and at a Ferrari function have been doing the rounds on the web. More ...

NASCAR driver John Wes Townley Charged With DUI  UPDATE
A still drunk looking John Townley is shown with blood on his face in this police mug shot, which probably happened when the airbag smacked him in the face
John Wes Townley, who is hoping to revive his NASCAR career this year by racing a truck for RAB Racing, was suspended by the team Friday as he faces DUI charges in Georgia.

According to a statement on the Oconee County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, the 22-year-old Townley was arrested following a crash that occurred at about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday.

"Obviously, this is an unfortunate situation," team owner Robby Benton said in a statement. "However, we have to react to the severity of the incident accordingly. His actions do not reflect those of RAB Racing, nor the sponsors associated with the team. More ...

Vitor Meira bids farewell to US racing  
Vitor Meira
Vitor Meira has decided to end his ten-year career in the IZOD IndyCar Series in the United States in favor of a return to his native Brazil and a seat in the Campeonato Brasileiro de Stock Car, the major motor sports series in the country.

Meira announced this week that he is joining the Officer ProGP Chevrolet-powered team, partnering with Duda Pamplona. The first round of the national touring car championship takes place at Interlagos on March 25.

"Everything has a beginning and an end," he told Brazilian media this week, clearly sad to be calling time on his IndyCar career. "I just have to thank all teams in Indy for the whole fantastic experience I have acquired over the past ten years," he said.  More ...

New Ferrari as slow as it is ugly?  UPDATE #3
Was Alonso's time a fluke? Mika Salo says car has problems in every corner
(GMM)  Ferrari's worrying start to the 2012 pre-season got a boost on Friday when Fernando Alonso topped the times in the famous team's new car.

Earlier, when Red Bull's Dietrich Mateschitz was in the paddock, he wondered to Blick newspaper: "What's up with Ferrari?"

Former Ferrari driver Mika Salo answered: "They're having problems at every corner."

But although not as quick as the impressive Lotus earlier this week, Spaniard Alonso was faster than all comers on the last of the four-day session at Jerez, including Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel who had technical problems.

Typically, Alonso was giving nothing away. More ...

Andretti Sports Marketing Wisconsin Brings "IndyFest" to Milwaukee  UPDATE The event will be held June 15-16, with the race’s green flag scheduled to fly at 12:30 p.m. Eastern on that Saturday afternoon. Andretti, who co-owns Andretti Sports Marketing as well as IndyCar team Andretti Autosport, said the starting time was dictated by the television window that is available; the date was selected so IndyCar could avoid racing on Father’s Day the next day.

Michael Andretti swoops in to save Milwaukee
Andretti Sports Marketing Wisconsin, led by IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti, will promote the Milwaukee IndyFest at the Milwaukee Mile, June 15 and 16. The Father's Day weekend festival will be headlined Saturday afternoon by an internationally televised IZOD IndyCar race and will also include many other events designed to create a memorable family holiday weekend at the Wisconsin State Fair Grounds.

"Andretti Sports Marketing is excited about promoting IndyFest at the Milwaukee Mile," said Michael Andretti, CEO of Andretti Sports Marketing, LLC, and a racer who visited Milwaukee's victory lane five times as a driver and three more times as a team owner. "It's a historic track in a great city, and it's a place that has always been a favorite for my family. But, more importantly, it's an ideal track for Indy cars and always produces exciting racing for the fans." More ...

BMW agrees to pay $3 million fine  BMW North America will pay a $3 million fine to settle U.S. government allegations it failed to promptly notify regulators about potential safety defects.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Friday that BMW agreed to the civil penalty stemming from 16 recall investigations in 2010 that found a number of violations.

"NHTSA expects all manufacturers to address automotive safety issues quickly and in a forthright manner," NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said in a statement. More ...

Combined lap times from Jerez F1 test  
Romain Grosjean
Below are the combined test times after the first four days of F1 testing at Jerez.  You can throw out the times of Rosberg and Schumacher as they were in last year's Mercedes.  So the two fastest times set in the new cars were by Romain Grosjean in the Lotus Renault and Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari, followed by Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel in the new Red Bull Renault.

Combined Times


Driver Team Best time Behind Total laps
1. Rosberg Mercedes 1m17.613s +0.000s 174
2. Grosjean Lotus 1m18.419s +0.806 212
3. Schumacher Mercedes 1m18.561s +0.948 174
4. Alonso Ferrari 1m18.877s +1.264 106
5. Webber Red Bull 1m19.184s +1.571 151
6. Vettel Red Bull 1m19.297s +1.684 146
7. Hamilton McLaren 1m19.464s +1.851 166
8. Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m19.587s +1.974 157
9. Vergne Toro Rosso 1m19.597s +1.984 159
10. Raikkonen Lotus 1m19.670s +2.057 192
11. Perez Sauber 1m19.770s +2.157 116
12. Di Resta Force India 1m19.772s +2.159 170
13. Kobayashi Sauber 1m19.834s +2.221 182
14. Hulkenberg Force India 1m19.977s +2.364 90
15. Senna Williams 1m20.132s +2.519 250
16. Bianchi Force India 1m20.221s +2.608 46
17. Massa Ferrari 1m20.454s +2.841 164
18. Button McLaren 1m20.688s +3.075 147
19. Maldonado Williams 1m21.197s +3.584 122
20. Kovalainen Caterham 1m21.518s +3.905 167
21. De la Rosa HRT 1m22.128s +4.515 108
22. Trulli Caterham 1m22.198s +4.585 117
23. Van der Garde Caterham 1m23.324s +5.711 74

New IndyCar makes debut in Canada  
The new DW12 IndyCar made its Canadian Debut at the Canadian Motorsports Expo (taking place at the International Centre) in the company of representatives from the Honda Indy Toronto and Trevor Knowles, Director of Engine Development at INDYCAR, who led attendees through a new car ‘101 briefing’.

The car will be on display all weekend long at the Honda Indy Toronto booth at the Expo.

Hulkenberg happy with single day in new Force India car  
Nico Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg was finally able to get behind the wheel of the Force India VJM05 Friday after a day spent waiting in the sidelines on Thursday, while the team attempted to fix the car following Jules Bianchi's early morning shunt.

“A busy first day in the car and good to get so many laps under my belt. It was my first time in the new car so I concentrated on getting comfortable and up to speed," stated the German. "The long runs were useful for that and it also allowed me to start understanding the new tires."

"There is still a massive amount to learn and lots of data to look at, but it feels like we have a good baseline to develop from and I’m pleased with how the day went.”

Hulkenberg will participate in the opening two days of testing at Barcelona in just over a week's time.

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