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DATE News (chronologically)
02/19/06
f1
Ferrari resumes testing in Bahrain Ferrari resumes testing in BahrainSixth day of testing this week for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, working once again today at the Sakhir circuit, in Bahrain. Today, Michael was joined once again by team-mate Felipe Massa. The German driver continued with development of the 248F1, also carrying out tire and aerodynamics testing. He covered a total of 93 laps, the quickest in a time of 1'32"007. Felipe's work program centered on Bridgestone tire development and electronics: 65 laps completed, the quickest in 1'32"307. Testing continues at this circuit tomorrow, with Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa still doing the driving. Ferrari
02/19/06
f1
Mosley again defends spending cuts Mosley again defends spending cutsMotor racing chief Max Mosley has once again called on Formula One's super-rich teams to curb their spending.  Mosley, president of motor sport's governing body the FIA, is concerned at the £1.5billion costs incurred in just one season and is planning to tighten restrictions on design and manufacturing he introduced in 2003 to further reduce teams' scope for investment.

"The FIA can't stop F1 people spending money - we know that - but we can reduce their need to spend," Mosley told F1 Racing magazine. "The new engine regulations do just that," he added.  "Indeed, they make it possible for independent commercial suppliers such as Cosworth and or Mechachrome to remain fully competitive while spending a mere fraction of the manufacturers' budget.  In the end, we at the FIA are trying to save the teams, but particularly the manufacturers, from themselves."

02/19/06
alms
Patrick Long to chat online Patrick Long to chat onlineKicking off its “Chats with the Champions”, the American Le Mans Series will welcome Patrick Long, 2005 GT2 co-champion for an online chat at 4 p.m. EDT Monday at www.americanlemans.com.

Long teamed with Jorg Bergmeister in the Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RSR last season. The duo won five times, including the last four in a row to win their first class championship. This season, Long will partner with Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas in the Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder in LMP2 at Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

Monday’s chat will be held in The Grid on the official Web site of the American Le Mans Series. All fans are encouraged to drop by and participate. We will have announcements about future “Chats with the Champions” in the coming days.

02/19/06
nascar
Mears calls Stewart's comments a joke Mears calls Stewart's comments a jokeCasey Mears considers the notion that bump drafting puts drivers' lives in danger "ridiculous," and said if NASCAR over-polices it the Daytona 500 will be flat boring.

Following the Budweiser Shootout, Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart said if NASCAR didn't temper bump drafting the drivers were "probably going to kill somebody."

Mears, watching on television, was amused.

"It was ridiculous. I laughed when he said it," Mears said. "I like Tony, but he's known for overreacting. I think [Dale Earnhardt Jr.] summed it up perfectly when he said we get paid a lot of money to do this.

"It made me laugh that Junior got out of his car laughing, talking about how much fun it was, and Tony reacts that way. He needs to pay attention to what he says. He's a champion. People are going to react to what he says." NASCAR.com

02/19/06
nascar
Engine fire sends Nemechek to back Engine fire sends Nemechek to backAn engine fire this morning in the No. 01 car of Joe Nemechek in the garage of Daytona International Speedway means that Nemechek will start at the back of the field due to an engine change in today's Daytona 500.
02/19/06
ga
nascar
Cheever to run laps before Daytona 500 Cheever to run laps before Daytona 500Eddie Cheever, owner and co-driver of the No. 39 Crown Royal Special Reserve Crawford for Cheever Racing, will play a major role in the pre-race festivities this Sunday for the 44th Daytona 500. Cheever will run a demonstration lap in his Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve Daytona Prototype just minutes before the green flag waves.

The No. 39 machine will be on track in front of the sellout crowd of more than 175,000 people right after the playing of the "National Anthem" and just before the "Start Your Engines" command.

Cheever and co-drivers Christian Fittipaldi and Patrick Carpentier led a total of 74 laps at Daytona International Speedway in last month's Rolex 24 At Daytona in the debut Rolex Series race for Cheever Racing. After the demonstration laps, Cheever and the team will travel to Homestead-Miami Speedway, where they will test on Monday and Tuesday, in preparation for the Grand Prix of Miami on the weekend of March 23-25. Grand-Am

02/19/06
track news
ISC posts 4th Qtr. and Year-end results ISC posts 4th Qtr. and Year-end resultsInternational Speedway Corporation (NASDAQ:ISCA) (BULLETIN BOARD: ISCB) ("ISC") today reported record results for the fiscal fourth quarter and full year ended November 30, 2005.

"This past year was highlighted by significant Company and industry developments, as well as increased revenue in all our major categories," commented Lesa France Kennedy, President of ISC. "Television and media contributed to full year revenue growth, led by the 17 percent average increase in contracted industry broadcast rights fees for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch series. In addition, double-digit growth in corporate partner spending as well as higher admissions-related revenue contributed to the increase. During the year we completed major facility enhancements at Daytona, Michigan and Homestead-Miami that are designed to enhance the fan experience and create incremental revenue opportunities for the Company. Finally, we are excited about the future prospects of Motorsports Authentics, our merchandising joint venture with Speedway Motorsports." zzzz

Fourth Quarter Comparison

Total revenues for the fourth quarter increased to $236.7 million, compared to revenues of $231.3 million in the prior-year period. Operating income was $90.5 million during the period compared to $92.6 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004. Net income was $55.0 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, compared to net income of $54.4 million, or $1.02 per diluted share, in the prior year.

The realignment of Darlington Raceway's NEXTEL Cup and Busch weekend, held in the fourth quarter of 2004, to Phoenix International Raceway in the second quarter of 2005 significantly impacted year-over-year results. In addition, 2005 fourth-quarter results include the IRL IndyCar event at Watkins Glen International, which was realigned from Nazareth Speedway after the 2004 race season. The long-lived assets of Nazareth are held for sale as of November 30, 2005. Therefore, its results are recorded as discontinued operations, net of tax, for all periods presented.

Full Year Comparison

For the twelve months ended November 30, 2005, total revenues increased to $740.1 million from $647.8 million in 2004. Operating income for the twelve- month period was $265.3 million compared to $228.4 million in the prior year. Net income for the twelve months ended November 30, 2005, was $159.4 million, or $2.99 per diluted share, and impacted by the following:

* The July 2004 acquisition of Martinsville Speedway resulted in an incremental NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Craftsman Truck weekend in the second quarter of 2005.

* The inclusion of the NASCAR Busch Series and aforementioned IRL event weekends at Watkins Glen in the 2005 third and fourth quarters, respectively, which were realigned from Nazareth.

* The 2005 second quarter recovery of approximately $1.8 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, associated with ISC's allowable claim in the CART bankruptcy. The claim was based on the failure to return ISC's sanction fee paid to CART, less allowable expenses, for the 2003 event scheduled at California Speedway, which CART canceled because of the state of emergency due to wildfires in Southern California at the time.

Net income for the twelve months ended November 30, 2004 was $156.3 million, or $2.94 per diluted share, and included the following:

* A combined pre-tax charge included in the 2004 second quarter of $6.6 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, associated with refinancing the Company's Senior Notes.

* An after-tax gain of $36.3 million, or $0.68 per diluted share, on the sale of North Carolina Speedway's assets.

* A combined pre-tax non-cash charge of $1.0 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, related to the Daytona International Speedway infield and Michigan International Speedway frontstretch renovation projects.

02/19/06
TV News
SPEED adds yet another NASCAR show SPEED adds yet another NASCAR showUPDATE Reminder that this show debuts Monday night. 02/17/06 SPEED will launch a new weekly series during Daytona Speedweeks, as 7 Days debuts Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. ET. Each week, SPEED cameras will follow a different person as they prepare for the NASCAR race weekend. Drivers, crew members, team owners, track officials, even fans – no one is off limits as 7 Days takes viewers behind the scenes from a new perspective every Monday night.

“There are a lot of stories to tell leading up to the green flag each week,” said Hunter Nickell, SPEED Executive VP & General Manager. “How does Humpy Wheeler prepare for two weeks of racing in May? How does a member of Tony Stewart’s crew make sure he’s ready to perform on Sunday? Why would a fan travel cross-country just to see a race? What’s it like to be Dale Jr.’s PR person? We think there are some great stories to be told and 7 Days will look to capture some of the best and most interesting behind-the-scenes stories of the week.”

The first show will focus on Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs. The Feb. 27 episode will feature Roush Racing’s Doug Richert, crew chief for Greg Biffle’s No. 16 National Guard Ford.

02/19/06
dtm
Daughter of Jacky Ickx is new Audi works driver Daughter of Jacky Ickx is new Audi works driverFor the first time since 1995, a woman starts in the world’s most popular touring car race series: Vanina Ickx (pictured right) contests the 2006 DTM with an Audi A4 DTM in the new DTM team run by Dr Colin Kolles.

The Belgian would not be the first female Audi works driver to show the men what’s what: Driving the Audi quattro, Michèle Mouton was the first, and to date, the only woman to win a World Rally Championship round. In 1982, the French lady narrowly missed winning the World Championship title. In the 1990s, the Italian Tamara Vidali created quite a stir with the Audi A4 quattro in Super Touring Car racing.

"Michèle Mouton and Tamara Vidali clearly demonstrated that a woman can come out on top very well in a sport dominated by men,” explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "We are convinced that Vanina Ickx possesses all the skills to be just as successful.”

The daughter of former Formula 1 driver and six-time Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx only started her career at the age of 21 in 1996.

(Pictured right: Jacky Ickx, Tom Kristensen and Vanina Ickx 2005 at the DTM race at Norisring)

After her success in touring cars, she caught the attention of the public by clinching a class win and a podium position at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. She has already competed several times at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the Dakar Rally. At the wheel of an LM P1 sports car she narrowly missed winning the Le Mans Endurance Series (LMES) title last year. zzzz
 
"I’m absolutely delighted about the prospect of starting for Audi in the DTM,” says Vanina Ickx, who was born on 16 February 1975 in Brussels (Belgium) and lives together with her partner Fabien in Wiesbaden (Germany) since the end of last year. "Alongside Formula 1, DTM is the most popular international racing series – and without doubt the hardest. I know that things won’t be easy for me in DTM.”
 
Despite her petite figure, the qualified biologist weighs in at a little over 55 kilograms and stands 1.55 meters tall, she is anything but timid. Vanina Ickx thrives on speed and the taste of competition. She parachutes, was the first woman to cross the English Channel in an Ultra-Light plane and holds, at 136 kph, the speed record on skis down a ski jump.
 
A new team also joins Vanina Ickx in the DTM: Dr Colin Kolles, Managing Director of the Midland Formula 1 squad, has acquired two 2004 Audi A4 DTM and enters these as an Audi customer team. The level of potential in the "used” cars was clearly demonstrated last year by Audi Sport Team Joest: Christian Abt was second at the Norisring and finished the season as best driver of a year old car in ninth position overall. The second cockpit in Dr Kolles’ team, located in Greding only a few kilometres north of Ingolstadt, is still available.

02/19/06
Racing News
Bill Simpson back making an impact Bill Simpson back making an impactDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The depression that had Bill Simpson contemplating suicide in 2001 has been replaced by exuberance for life.

You can hear it in his voice.

You can see it in his body language.
 
Five years after NASCAR claimed a faulty safety restraint produced by Simpson Performance Products contributed to the death of Dale Earnhardt on the last lap of the Daytona 500, Simpson is back doing what he does best.

His new company, Impact Racing, is producing the kind of safety equipment that made Simpson a pioneer in the world of motorsports. Twenty-six Nextel Cup drivers, including Jimmie Johnson and Casey Mears, wear either his helmet or suit.

Twenty-four Busch Series drivers are fitted in his equipment.

Simpson's new head and neck restraint has just been certified for competition and he's developed a new fire suit material that he believes will be revolutionary.

"Four or five years ago I was contemplating taking my own life,'' Simpson said from his Indianapolis office. "I was pretty depressed about my pal getting killed.

"Now I feel revitalized. I've still got a lot of stuff left that I still haven't had time to do.'' 

Simpson, 66, said any hard feelings he may have had toward NASCAR officials who said his equipment contributed to Earnhardt's death ended when he dropped the $8.5 million defamation suit against the sanctioning body in 2003.

He chooses to look at the positives that have come from the tragedy, such as the advances NASCAR has made in safety.

"Sure it was a tough period in my life, but the changes that have been made have been phenomenal,'' said Simpson, a former drag racer. "It really surprised me how quickly it all came down. Now NASCAR is probably safer than NHRA, which I always felt was the safest.

"I don't see those guys letting up. They're putting their money where their mouth is. It also gives me an opportunity to continue to do what I do best.''  More at NASCAR.com

02/19/06
nascar
Labonte to run Intrepid at Calif Labonte to run Intrepid at CalifBobby Labonte will drive the 2004 Dodge Intrepid instead of the Charger in next week's Nextel Cup race at California. "Bobby came straight out of the Chevy into the Dodge camp,'' said Labonte's teammate/owner Kyle Petty. "He's not run a downforce Dodge car. So he's going to give us an honest assessment of where the Intrepid is compared to where the Monte Carlo is. For us, we feel it's a great opportunity for us to be able to use a driver of his caliber and say this is what it is.'' All of the Dodge teams are gathering data on the Charger for a test at Kentucky Speedway next month. The first test earlier this month was canceled due to weather, putting the teams further behind. If no solution is found, Dodge owners hope NASCAR will grant them some concessions on the spoiler to create more downforce. #12-Ryan Newman will race the Intrepid in the next five races. NASCAR.com
02/19/06
nascar
TV News
NBC to use 76 cameras for Daytona 500 NBC to use 76 cameras for Daytona 500The 2006 Daytona 500 on NBC, broadcast in high definition, will deploy 76 cameras (including 10 cars with 3-camera in-car rigs) around the 2.5-mile speedway. NBC will feature a "Crew-Cam" - a helmet-cam worn by a jack-man in Dale Earnhardt Jr's crew while performing pit stops. In addition, NBC will have "Squash-Cam," a lipstick-sized camera buried in the grass in the tri-oval that gives viewers the effect of being "squashed" by the cars speeding by. The NASCAR on NBC coverage is anchored by play-by-play announcer and pre-race host Bill Weber, joined by analysts Benny Parsons and Wally Dallenbach. Pit reporters Allen Bestwick, Dave Burns, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum complete the team. The "Bank of America Countdown to Green" pre-race show will feature NBC's "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno driving the pace car; Fergie, the best-selling group The Black Eyed Peas, singing the National Anthem; and a performance by legendary rock band Bon Jovi; and also will include a feature on "The Big One," major wrecks at Daytona. Daytona International Speedway holds the record for most cars crashed at once, 38, on February 13, 1960, on the second lap in a 73-car Sportsman 250-mile race. NBC PR
02/19/06
Racing News
Ford Focus going racing in China Ford Focus going racing in ChinaChangan Ford (CAF) announces today that it plans to set up “Changan Ford Racing” and the Ford Focus will be participating in the 2000cc race series of 2006 China Circuit Championship (CCC). Changan Ford is committed to carrying on Ford’s world-renowned sport spirit in China by striding into China ’s motor sports competition. CAF’s participation in the CCC marks another milestone of the company’s expansion in China market.

Ford Focus has a strong motor sports heritage and has achieved outstanding results in worldwide auto sports competition. In the recent 2006 World Rally Championship, Marcus Grönholm and Timo Rautiainen, drivers of the Ford rally car, took first place in the first two events of the season while driving the newly introduced Focus RS. Continuing this successful racing tradition, Changan Ford will capitalize on the growing interest in motor racing to demonstrate its superior technical capability and dynamic nature of the Ford Focus in China. The new team will be named “Changan Ford Racing” and the Ford Focus 2000cc will be the race car, showcasing CAF’s newly launched Focus series.

As the top auto racing event of its kind, CCC will raise the curtain for the 2006 season at Shanghai International Circuit on March 10, 2006. Scheduled events include Formula 2000cc, 1600cc, and Campus races for vehicles made in China. Changan Ford Racing will compete in the 2000cc series with rivals for the championship at events to be held at the Shanghai International Circuit, Beijing Goldenport Circuit and Zhuhai International Circuit this year. zzzz

The 2000cc series of CCC is designed as a demonstration of power, speed, handling and performance. Two 2000cc Ford Focus production vehicles will be modified by FRD who will also manage the team operation of Changan Ford Racing. The two cars are expected to be radiating with brilliance in CCC season with their outstanding performance and penetrating outlook. Champion drivers Ma Hanhua and Li Wanqi will steer for Changan Ford Racing.

“The speed and passion embodied in motor sports is the best interpretation of Ford’s new tagline of ‘Make Every Day Exciting’,” said Phil Spender, president and CEO of Changan Ford. “This time, Focus will offer an exciting experience to the Chinese fans of motor sports by means of its outstanding performance. We believe that, starting from CCC this year, Focus alongside the Changan Ford Racing will be the highlight in the competition. Our participation in CCC demonstrated CAF’s commitment to motor sports in China.”

About Changan Ford

In 2001, Changan Automotive, one of China ’s biggest automotive companies and the world’s leading automotive company, Ford Motor Company, jointly established Changan Ford Automobile Corporation, Ltd (CAF). A strong combination as such endows Changan Ford with abundant advantages in technology, products, marketing, sales, service, management, human resources, social responsibility and environmental initiatives. Changan Ford has introduced to China products of long-standing fame in the international markets: Fiesta, Mondeo and Focus. Further more, Changan Ford, by virtue of the Ford-branded sales network all over China, provides the Chinese consumers with world-class service, leading technology and quality care. Ford

02/18/06
nascar
Hendrick wants to sign cheater Knaus to long-term deal Hendrick wants to sign cheater Knaus to long-term dealRun-ins between crew chief Chad Knaus and NASCAR, including his ejection from Sunday's Daytona 500, haven't interrupted plans to renegotiate a long-term deal with Hendrick Motorsports.  Team owner Rick Hendrick said he hopes to have a new deal with Knaus, who has two years left on his current contract, before the end of the season. "We want him. He wants us. Lowe's is happy. Life is good,'' Hendrick said. "He's been a big influence in our whole organization. This has been a little bump in the road, but we're putting it behind us and moving on.'' NASCAR ejected Knaus from Speedweeks on Monday for illegally rigging a device to create an aerodynamic advantage in the rear window of Jimmie Johnson's car during qualifying. Officials told NASCAR.COM that Knaus likely will be suspended for one or two more races. "This hasn't influenced either one of us,'' Hendrick said. "We're right where we were. This has been a hiccup, but we haven't lost our focus and we're ready to move on.'' NASCAR.com
02/18/06
nascar
Schrader tops final Daytona 500 practice Schrader tops final Daytona 500 practice
Pos Car # Driver Team Time Speed
1 21 Ken Schrader Little Debbie/Motorcraft Ford 46.708 192.686
2 1 Martin Truex Jr. # Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet 46.752 192.505
3 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Budweiser Chevrolet 46.877 191.992
4 66 Jeff Green Best Buy Chevrolet 46.945 191.714
5 61 Kevin Lepage AMP Energy Drink Ford 46.948 191.701
6 88 Dale Jarrett UPS Ford 46.996 191.506
7 14 Sterling Marlin Waste Management Chevrolet 47.001 191.485
8 45 Kyle Petty Wells Fargo Dodge 47.027 191.379
9 31 Jeff Burton Cingular Wireless Chevrolet 47.087 191.136
10 49 Brent Sherman # Serta Dodge 47.101 191.079
11 19 Jeremy Mayfield Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge 47.136 190.937
12 41 Reed Sorenson # Target Dodge 47.145 190.900
13 43 Bobby Labonte Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge 47.165 190.819
14 11 Denny Hamlin # FedEx Express Chevrolet 47.189 190.722
15 16 Greg Biffle National Guard Ford 47.191 190.714
16 18 J.J. Yeley # Interstate Batteries Chevrolet 47.201 190.674
17 25 Brian Vickers GMAC Chevrolet 47.201 190.674
18 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevrolet 47.202 190.670
19 20 Tony Stewart The Home Depot Chevrolet 47.214 190.621
20 01 Joe Nemechek U.S. Army Chevrolet 47.254 190.460 zzzz
21 36 Bill Elliott Ginn Clubs & Resorts Chevrolet 47.263 190.424
22 6 Mark Martin AAA Ford 47.280 190.355
23 07 Clint Bowyer # Jack Daniel's Chevrolet 47.314 190.219
24 26 Jamie McMurray Crown Royal Ford 47.377 189.966
25 2 Kurt Busch Miller Lite Dodge 47.403 189.861
26 12 Ryan Newman Alltel Dodge 47.406 189.849
27 38 Elliott Sadler M&M's Ford 47.413 189.821
28 17 Matt Kenseth DeWalt Power Tools Ford 47.420 189.793
29 7 Robby Gordon Jim Beam Chevrolet 47.461 189.629
30 99 Carl Edwards Office Depot Ford 47.509 189.438
31 55 Michael Waltrip NAPA Dodge 47.549 189.278
32 40 David Stremme # Lonestar Steakhouse Dodge 47.701 188.675
33 32 Travis Kvapil Tide Chevrolet 47.727 188.573
34 29 Kevin Harvick GM Goodwrench Chevrolet 47.728 188.569
35 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge 47.754 188.466
36 22 Dave Blaney Caterpillar Dodge 47.783 188.352
37 96 Terry Labonte DLP® HDTV/Tweeter Chevrolet 47.815 188.225
38 5 Kyle Busch Kellogg's Chevrolet 47.858 188.056
39 42 Casey Mears Texaco/Havoline Dodge 47.880 187.970
40 27 Kirk Shelmerdine Apex Electric Chevrolet 48.019 187.426
41 09 Mike Wallace Miccosukee Resort Dodge 48.394 185.973
42 24 Jeff Gordon DuPont Chevrolet No Time
43 00 Hermie Sadler Aaron's Dream Machine Ford No Time
02/18/06
nascar
Kurt Busch has an ear-job Kurt Busch has an ear-jobKurt Busch has a new team, new cars and a new pit crew. He also has a new look. Busch saw a cosmetic surgeon in the off-season, and came out with his once-prominent ears pinned back closer to his head.

"Yeah, a little slicker," Busch said Friday, grinning. "I've got it working in the draft now."

 
(L) Before and (R) After

02/18/06
alms
lmes
Crunching Numbers: Audi R10 vs. R8 Crunching Numbers: Audi R10 vs. R8Recently, Audi revealed their new generation prototype, the R10, to replace their world-beating R8. Highlands Today sports reporter Steve Wilson contacted Mike Fuller, a wind tunnel model technician at Panoz/G-Force and race car design expert, to get his views on the new machine.

Fuller is better known as “Mulsanne Mike” and he runs a webpage, Mulsanne’s Corner, devoted to the design and technology of modern prototypes. Mulsanne is a reference to the infamous Mulsanne Straight on the Circuit De Sarthe, the network of roads where the 24 Hours of LeMans is run. Race cars on the 3.5-mile straightaway could reach over 230 mph, as Vic Elford did in a Porsche 917, roaring to a 240 mph speed on the stretch. A series of chicanes has slowed down the straight, but straight-line speed is still a huge part of a run at LeMans. More....

02/18/06
nascar
Tony Stewart wins 2nd straight at Daytona Tony Stewart wins 2nd straight at DaytonaNextel Cup Champion Tony Stewart won his 2nd straight Hershey's Kissables 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Daytona Speedway over Clint Bowyer and rookie Bernie Lamar. The exciting finish was interrupted by a huge multi-car crash as the cars came to the finish line. Up to that point it was a 3-wide pack of cars that were bumping and banging on each other. The inevitable happened. With a multi-car accident breaking out behind him, Tony Stewart earned his seventh career victory at “The World Center of Racing” with KHI teammate Burney Lamar nipping Clint Bowyer for second place.

Stewart led the final 13 laps of the 120-lap, 300-mile event and survived some furious three-wide battles for the lead and the wreck behind him that froze the field as he took the checkered flag.

“We were really bad to start with,” Stewart said. “We got it good at the end of the race. If you had seen the changes we made, it would have made you scared to drive it. I was going to stay with (Dale) Jr. there, but I got such a good run there was no way I could stop. If I had stopped we both would have gotten blown by, so I just had to take it.”

(Right) Elliott Sadler (90) ,Denny Hamlin (20) and others wreck on the last lap.  CIA Stock Photo.

Lamar, a Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate, was so excited about his runner-up finish, he made a visit to Gatorade Victory Lane to celebrate with Stewart and owners Kevin and DeLana Harvick.

“It was just a matter of me figuring out what I wanted,” Lamar said. “This is my first real plate race in the Busch Series. I got some ARCA starts but it definitely was nothing like that. After I started relaying back to Gene Nead what I wanted, he loosened the thing up and that’s exactly how I got back forward.”

Harvick came home fifth while other notable finishers included Michael Waltrip (15th) and Dale Earnhardt (17th).

Stewart will try to become the fifth driver to win both the Hershey’s Kissables 300 and the Daytona 500 in the same year. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the most recent driver to pull off that feat in 2004.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. led the most laps (48) but finished 17th.

Results
Fin Str Car Driver Laps Status
1 16 33 Tony Stewart 120 Running
2 21 77 Burney Lamar # 120 Running
3 3 2 Clint Bowyer 120 Running
4 34 47 Jon Wood 120 Running
5 17 29 Kevin Harvick 120 Running
6 24 32 Jason Leffler 120 Running
7 19 06 Todd Kluever # 120 Running
8 1 18 J.J. Yeley 120 Running
9 13 41 Reed Sorenson 120 Running
10 41 4 Mark Green 120 Running
11 27 1 Jason Keller 120 Running
12 35 25 Ashton Lewis Jr. 120 Running
13 30 22 Kenny Wallace 120 Running
14 18 20 Denny Hamlin 120 Running
15 42 99 Michael Waltrip 120 Running
16 36 64 Jamie McMurray 120 Running
17 20 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr 120 Running
18 8 50 Danny O'Quinn Jr # 120 Running
19 22 36 Tim Sauter 120 Running
20 39 14 Tracy Hines 120 Running
21 43 49 Steve Grissom 120 Running
22 25 88 Mark McFarland # 120 Running
23 40 58 Donnie Neuenberger 120 Running
24 37 34 Paul Tracy 120 Running
25 9 5 Kyle Busch 120 Running
26 32 35 Regan Smith 120 Running
27 31 59 Stacy Compton 119 Running
28 6 90 Elliott Sadler 119 Running
29 38 12 David Reutimann 111 Accident
30 15 21 Jeff Burton 101 Engine
31 10 16 Greg Biffle 94 Accident
32 26 57 Brian Vickers 93 Accident
33 12 9 Kasey Kahne 93 Accident
34 5 10 John Andretti # 92 Running
35 4 00 Johnny Sauter 89 Running
36 29 66 Ken Schrader 89 Running
37 23 27 David Green 81 Running
38 14 11 Paul Menard 78 Running
39 11 60 Carl Edwards 65 Running
40 7 87 Joe Nemechek 51 Accident
41 28 95 Steadman Marlin 49 Accident
42 33 38 Anthony Foyt IV # 39 Accident
43 2 43 Aaron Fike 28 Accident.

02/18/06
cca
Teams and drivers witness on-track testing of new car Teams and drivers witness on-track testing of new carMost of the teams and drivers of the Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda got to witness the new 2006 Atlantic car at its official unveiling on February 14, but on Friday all competitors were invited to see the car in action as the first test session with new Swift 016.a/Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama concluded.

Many of the teams that will compete in the ’06 Atlantic Championship were present on the third and final day of testing for the new generation Atlantic machine at Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix. Joining the throng of series manufacturer support personnel and Swift Engineering and Champ Car officials, the teams witnessed another flawless day of on-track performance.

Despite sharing the 1.25-mile Firebird East test track with the Newman/Haas Racing Champ Car team testing Sebastien Bourdais throughout the course of the day on Friday, the new Atlantic logged more than 100 miles again on Friday. With former series champion Jon Fogarty behind the wheel providing all the feedback and getting the most out of the new steed, officials were happy to post nearly 450 test miles on the car over the three-day period with no problems and a solid level of performance and reliability. zzzz

“Overall the test was great. The car ran all three days with no real problems,” said Fogarty, the 2002 and 2004 series title-winner. “The car’s pretty much ready to go racing and once we got to the point of making set-up changes, the car responded the way a race car should.”

The team members who were in attendance at the test came away feeling good about the performance of the car and started looking ahead to the March 8 delivery date when Swift will make its delivery of 40 cars to series teams.

“I’m impressed. The car ran pretty flawlessly,” said Jim Griffith, co-owner of Polestar Racing Group, entering its fourth season in Atlantics this year. “Whenever they made changes to the car, it seemed to respond and respond well. Since this is the first time we’re seeing the car in action, we’re kind of looking at the ease of maintenance on the car and when you do make adjustments in the car how easy it is to do. Overall, it’s been pretty impressive.”

“Visually it’s a very impressive car,” said Richard Raeder, team manager for Sierra Sierra Enterprises, which is re-entering Atlantics in 2006 after finishing as series runners-up in both 2003 and ’04. “I think the car is a big step forward from the (previously-run) 014 model and that will be nice to see for the next few years. I’d like to commend everyone at Swift for pulling this off in such a short time frame. The car’s run well straight out of the box.”

The next time the ‘06 Atlantic will be on track with the be the only test session with the new car scheduled for all series teams before the first race of the upcoming season – the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 7-9. All Atlantic teams are welcome to participate in a two-day open-test on March 21 and 22 at the California Speedway road circuit. Champ Car, Photos by Dan Streck, USA LAT Photographic

02/18/06
nascar
track news
3M to sponsor MIS Cup race 3M to sponsor MIS Cup race3M Company and Michigan International Speedway (MIS) announced today that 3M will be the title sponsor of the June 18 “3M Performance 400” NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at MIS.  This year will mark the first of three years of 3M sponsorship of NEXTEL Cup races at MIS.

“We’re excited and proud to associate 3M with NASCAR and Michigan International Speedway,” said Bob MacDonald, 3M Senior Vice President of Marketing. “Over the years, 3M innovation has led to hundreds of products used in automobile production, maintenance and racing, and we view our MIS title sponsorship as another commitment to advancing the industry.”

In addition to its title sponsorship of the 3M Performance 400, 3M is the primary sponsor of NASCAR Busch Series driver Todd Kluever who will pilot the No. 06 3M Ford Fusion throughout the 2006 season for Roush Racing. Kluever will replace Mark Martin in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 2007. zzzz

3M’s title sponsorship will complement the 3M Car Care Auto Fair to be held on the MIS grounds during the August 18-20, 2006, race weekend.  The fair will showcase more than 250 collector cars and host thousands of NASCAR fans during the GFS Marketplace 400 weekend at MIS.

“We are thrilled to partner with one of America’s great companies for the 3M Performance 400,” said MIS President Brett Shelton. “We are fortunate enough to celebrate the auto industry each NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event weekend. Now with 3M as our partner for the 3M Performance 400 and sponsor of the 3M Car Care Auto Fair, it will only further enhance the fan experience for racing and car enthusiasts in the home of the automobile.”

Tickets are available now for the both NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series weekends, the June 18 3M Performance 400 and the August 20 GFS Marketplace 400 by calling the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010 or by logging on to www.MISpeedway.com. The 3M Performance 400 will also be televised live on Fox.

02/18/06
Industry News
Wachovia Corp. drops bid for GMAC Wachovia Corp. drops bid for GMACWachovia Corp. dropped out of bidding for a 51% stake in General Motors Corp.'s finance unit, Bloomberg reported. The decision is a setback to GM's effort to regain an investment-grade rating for General Motors Acceptance Corp. Three credit rating companies said this month that their assessment of GMAC could hinge on the participation of a bank in the group that acquires and runs the company. Wachovia was the only bank bidding for GMAC. Investment firm Cerberus Capital Management LP and the buyout unit of Citigroup Inc. have submitted a competing bid, according to people who spoke anonymously because the offers aren't public. GM is now negotiating mainly with the Cerberus group, one person said.
02/18/06
Industry News
European automakers report strong '05 European automakers report strong '05Germany -- European automakers are reporting stronger profits and keeping their aspirations focused on flashier models and new markets, even as U.S. car companies are slashing benefits and jobs amid sagging results and spiraling gas prices.

For carmakers from Italy's Fiat SpA to German-American DaimlerChrysler AG, profits are improving and sales solid -- a stark contrast to the United States, where Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. have made major job cuts and are scaling back health care and pension plans.

Analysts said European automakers are performing well because they're beginning to exploit markets in Eastern Europe such as Russia and have done better fending off competition from Asian rivals such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co.  More at Detroit Free Press

02/18/06
cc
Ford and Molson bring Champ Car to Toronto Ford and Molson bring Champ Car to TorontoAs the doors opened this morning on the 2006 Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, the public was treated to their first chance to get up close and personal with the new Molson Grand Prix of Toronto (GPT) and the Champ Car.

Champ Car World Series and GPT sponsor Ford are hosting a Champ Car section within their extensive Auto Show display area. The interactive area features the Champ Car show car, Champ Car cutaway car, a Ford Cosworth racing engine, racing simulators and chance for visitors to have their photo taken with the powerful Ford GT. Visitors can also enter the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto contest for a chance to win 1 of 10 pairs of Gold Grandstand tickets to the event July 7, 8 and 9 at Exhibition Place, Toronto. People who don't win tickets can still benefit from the special show visitor $50 bonus value ticket offer being offered on site to fans who visit the Ford display area.

In conjunction with the auto show promotion, GPT has also relaunched its website with many interactive features for our grand prix fans. They can now log http://www.grandprixtoronto.com/ and take the GPT Street Racer Challenge, sign up for the GPT newsletter and buy tickets to this year's Molson Grand Prix of Toronto. Visitors to http://www.grandprixtoronto.com/ can also get more information on the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto's involvement at the 2006 Canadian International Auto Show. Champ Car
02/18/06
nascar
Why Tracy was slow in Qualifying Why Tracy was slow in Qualifying"What I am here to do is learn how to race," Paul Tracy said Friday during a break in Busch Series action.  "I just talked with Michael Waltrip and he told me I'm not going to qualify well, I'm just going top sit at the back and watch everybody go crazy."

Tracy said he just wants to finish.  "I feel that if I can bring this car home in the top 20 that will be like a win for me."

"I want to see what this is all about," Tracy said Friday. "I just don't know. I have to go out there and try to race and see what its all about. We'll see - I can go out there and love it or hate it."

"I've been afforded the opportunity to do this from Forsythe," Tracy said. "He said to me to `If you want to go NASCAR, you better go try it first before you commit to a 38-race schedule.' So here I am."

"I wouldn't say that driving the car is any different," he said. "Once you get out there and start racing, your mentality, your thought process of what you do is the same as its always been. Its no different in terms of what I feel I have to do inside car."

First he'll have to make it through his Daytona debut. He wasn't too concerned with his qualifying effort because his car was prepared for racing conditions - not the solitary two laps around the speedway. His team does not have qualifying motors like some others do.

"I think I just to finish the race," Tracy said. "I think if we don't get involved in any crashes that happen and don't have any problems and our stops go OK, then maybe we can finish inside the top 20. That would be great."

02/18/06
nascar
The battle of the beers The battle of the beersMILWAUKEE -- Miller Brewing Company is kicking off a new era in its 35-year history of motorsports sponsorship by boldly declaring its confidence in Kurt Busch's ability to drive the #2 Miller Lite Dodge to victory lane.

Miller's chief marketing officer Tom Long today sent a letter to Anheuser-Busch vice president of brand management Marlene Coulis, betting the beer-market leader that Miller Lite driver Kurt Busch will finish ahead of Budweiser driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the final 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season standings. The terms of the friendly wager: The losing sponsor must change the paint scheme on its car to match the winning brand's car for one Nextel Cup Series points-paying race next year. Budweiser has until the start of Sunday's season-opening race to accept the Miller challenge.

Of course, Miller looks forward to seeing Earnhardt Jr. driving a blue #8 Miller Lite Chevy alongside Kurt's #2 Miller Lite Dodge for one race in 2007.

"We chose Kurt to drive the Miller Lite car because he thrives on competition and has an unrelenting will to win," Long said. "Healthy, fun-spirited competition is the essence of sport and of business; and the Miller versus Bud battle is one great example of this. We both have a great tradition in the sport, and a little added public competition will be fun for everyone, especially the winner." zzzz 

The winner of NASCAR's inaugural "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" championship in 2004, Kurt is looking forward to taking the checkered flag early and often in his first season behind the wheel of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge.

"This challenge is great for our sport because it will create even more excitement throughout the season for fans of both teams, and I know it will give me and my team added incentive to win," Kurt said. "I hope the guys in St. Louis accept the challenge because everybody loves a spirited rivalry. Whether it's Miller and A-B, or Junior and me, we're going to give the fans something to holler about this season."

Earlier this week, Miller Lite announced that legal-drinking-age consumers can register to win its "When Kurt Wins, You Could Win" sweepstakes online at www.millerbeer.com until 11:59 a.m. (Eastern) Sunday, Feb. 19. If Busch takes the checkered flag in Daytona Beach, then 500 randomly selected registered fans will win a year's supply of Miller Lite. (See the official contest rules online.) Miller Brewing

02/18/06
nascar
2006 competition Busch Series changes 2006 competition Busch Series changesNew manufacturer models, the Ford Fusion and the Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS, are new in both the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. The weight of the car remains at a minimum of 3,400 pounds without a driver. However, this season, the weight will be redistributed with 25 pounds to the right side of the car. Another new element for 2006 is the testing policy. NASCAR has scheduled dates and sites for testing at tracks that host NASCAR-sanctioned events. The five tracks that host NASCAR Busch Series tests are Daytona International Speedway, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Martinsville Speedway (during the race weekend).  Additionally, NASCAR Busch Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidates or rookie drivers at that track will be given an additional 30 minute “rookie only” practice at each track the series visits. … A new tire leasing program is in effect for all three national series in 2006. Teams will lease their tires instead of purchasing them as they have done in the past. Goodyear will distribute tires prior to the start of each NASCAR test session and NASCAR-sanctioned events, and all tires must be returned to Goodyear at the end of the test or event.
02/18/06
nascar
Timely caution cements truck win for Martin Timely caution cements truck win for MartinNASCAR NEXTEL Cup veteran Mark Martin (pictured right by CIA Stock Photo) won Friday night’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series GM FlexFuel 250 as the beneficiary of a late caution that foiled a last-lap challenge by Germain Motor Company Toyota teammates Todd Bodine and Ted Musgrave.

Martin, driving the Scotts Ford, led 42 of the race’s 102 laps to capture his first NASCAR points-paying race in his 53rd career start at Daytona International Speedway.

The victory was the second at Daytona by Roush Racing and a record-extending 38th for the organization in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

Martin became just the second driver in six Daytona races to win from the Bud Pole. His winning average speed of 146.629 mph is the fastest by the series at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Martin’s second series victory – and first since 1996 - was worth a Daytona series record $88,850.

“It feels pretty good, a good way to start the weekend,” said Martin, who will be competing in his final Daytona 500 on Sunday. “You know, it played out (finishing under caution) fortunate for me.” zzzz

Bodine came up just a few feet short of a record fourth consecutive victory when a pair of lapped trucks deep in the pack tangled on the final restart to end the race under caution.

“Yeah, I think we had him,” said the runner-up, who figured to double-team the leader with Musgrave. “I would have won and he would have been second.”

Musgrave, hoping to become the first series champion to fashion back-to-back titles, collected his third top-five finish at Daytona. Mike Skinner was fourth in his Toyota Tundra Toyota after leading six times for 34 laps. Jack Sprague finished fifth in the Con-Way Toyota.

Sixth went to Martin’s teammate and Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Erik Darnell, followed by Bobby Hamilton Jr., 2003 race winner Rick Crawford, David Reutimann and Terry Cook.

Twenty of 27 finishers completed all 102 laps – a Daytona series record.

Nine drivers swapped the lead 21 times as five cautions consumed 17 laps. Seven drivers were involved in a Turn 2 accident on lap 73 but none suffered serious injury.

The series – and Martin - move west to California Speedway for Friday’s Racetickets.com 200.

Unofficial Race Results for the GM FlexFuel 250
Total Race Length - 102 Laps - 255.000 Miles

Fin Str Trk Driver Team Laps Pts Bns Award Status Ti. Led Lps. Led
1 1 6 Mark Martin Scotts Ford 102 190 10 $ Running 6 42
2 8 30 Todd Bodine iRacing.com Motorsports Simulation Toyota 102 175 5 $ Running 2 6
3 17 9 Ted Musgrave ASE/Germain Motors Toyota 102 170 5 $ Running 1 6
4 5 5 Mike Skinner Toyota Tundra Toyota 102 165 5 $ Running 6 34
5 7 60 Jack Sprague Con-Way Toyota 102 160 5 $ Running 1 1
6 15 99 Erik Darnell # Roush Racing Ford 102 150  $ Running 
7 18 08 Bobby Hamilton Jr. TECH-NET Law Enforcement Torch Run Dodge 102 151 5 $ Running 1 1
8 12 14 Rick Crawford Circle Bar Racing Ford 102 147 5 $ Running 2 8
9 13 17 David Reutimann Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Toyota 102 138  $ Running 
10 31 10 Terry Cook Ford PowerStroke Diesel by Int'l Ford 102 134  $ Running 
11 29 04 Kevin Hamlin Dodge Hemi Dodge 102 135 5 $ Running 1 1
12 28 4 Timothy Peters Dodge Motorsports Dodge 102 127  $ Running 
13 25 85 Dennis Setzer Flex Fuel 85  Silverado Chevrolet 102 124  $ Running 
14 6 11 David Starr Red Horse Racing Toyota 102 121  $ Running 
15 10 23 Johnny Benson Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota 102 118  $ Running 
16 4 20 Jon Wood U.S. Air Force Ford 102 115  $ Running 
17 35 1 Robert Richardson # winyourmortgage.com Dodge 102 112  $ Running 
18 21 13 Kerry Earnhardt # ThorSport Chevrolet 102 109  $ Running 
19 34 8 Chase Montgomery Curry Racing Dodge 102 106  $ Running 
20 30 07 Sean Murphy # Garden Fresh Gourmet Salsa & Chips Chevro 102 103  $ Running 
21 26 18 Bobby Hamilton Fastenal Dodge 101 100  $ Running 
22 19 16 Mike Bliss Xpress Motorsports Chevrolet 101 97  $ Running 
23 20 33 Ron Hornaday Jr. Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet 101 94  $ Running 
24 32 77 Brendan Gaughan Orleans Casino Dodge 101 91  $ Running 
25 3 21 Stacy Compton Edy's Ice Cream/State Fair Corn Dogs Ford 100 88  $ Running 
26 22 88 Matt Crafton Menards/Energizer Chevrolet 100 85  $ Running 
27 24 98 Erin Crocker # Cheerios Betty Crocker Dodge 100 82  $ Running 
28 23 15 Kyle Krisiloff # ditech.com/Natl Land Lqdtrs/Krud Kutter C 98 79  $ Accident 
29 36 02 Kelly Sutton Team Copaxone Chevrolet 88 76  $ Engine 
30 11 47 Kraig Kinser # Centrix Auto Finance Chevrolet 73 73  $ Accident 
31 16 59 Mike Wallace Melling Eng. Parts/M-Select/Harris Tru Do 72 70  $ Accident 
32 33 75 Aric Almirola # Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet 72 67  $ Accident 
33 9 12 Joey Miller # Curb Records Toyota 72 64  $ Accident 
34 14 29 Brad Keselowski M-Select by Melling Engine Parts Ford 72 61  $ Accident 
35 2 22 Bill Lester Checkers/Rally's Toyota 43 63 5 $ Accident 1 3
36 27 25 Boston Reid #  Woodard & Sharp Racing Dodge 41 55  $ Accident 

Time of Race 1 hour, 44 minutes, 21 seconds Average Speed 146.622 mph Margin of Victory Under Caution

Top 10 Driver Points (1) M. Martin 190; (2) T. Bodine 175; (3) T. Musgrave 170; (4) M. Skinner 165; (5) J. Sprague 160; (6) B. Hamilton Jr. 151; (7) E. Darnell 150; (8) R. Crawford 147; (9) D. Reutimann 138; (10) K. Hamlin 135. NASCAR

02/18/06
alms
lmes
AUDI announces Sebring and LeMans lineup - No Champion Racing AUDI announces Sebring and LeMans lineup - No Champion RacingAUDI AG wants to achieve its ambitious goal, to be the first automobile manufacturer to win the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans with a diesel engine, with a high-caliber driver line-up: The two Audi R10 prototypes will be driven by Frank Biela (D), Dindo Capello (I), Tom Kristensen (DK), Allan McNish (GB), Emanuele Pirro (I) and Marco Werner (D) – all seasoned campaigners who have proven their driving skills at the wheel of the Audi R8 over the course of the last few years.
 
The R10 is powered by a newly developed V12 TDI engine producing almost 650 hp and 1100 Newton meters of torque. "The R10 project is the greatest challenge ever to face Audi Sport,” explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "It goes without saying that we needed drivers with experience in depth for this project, who also play an important roll during the development. I’m delighted that we have managed to form such a strong driving squad for Le Mans and for the test race at Sebring.”
 
Each of the six Audi drivers has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 12-hour race at Sebring at least once, as a group they have recorded 17 Le Mans and twelve Sebring wins. Heading the list is the Dane Tom Kristensen (38) who has already won seven times at Le Mans and three times at Sebring. zzzz
 
The six contest their first race with the R10 at the 12 Hours of Sebring (USA) on 18 March which is seen as a test race for Le Mans. With the exception of Tom Kristensen all the Audi drivers have already tested the new Audi R10 extensively. Kristensen was at the wheel of the R10 during the presentation in Paris in December and will get ample opportunity during the test and practice days before the Sebring race to familiarize himself with the new diesel sportscar.
 
The two Audi R10 prototypes will be entered in Sebring and Le Mans by Reinhold Joest’s team, which previously supported the Audi Sport Development Team during the successful R8 project years. Both Audi R10 prototypes will race under the Audi Sport North America banner in Sebring. Audi AG
02/18/06
f1
Toyota evaluates aero package at Vallelunga Toyota evaluates aero package at VallelungaPanasonic Toyota Racing today completed its week of testing at the Autodromo di Vallelunga, just north of Rome, Italy.

The main aim of the week's work was to take a first look at the brand new aerodynamic package with which the team will start the season. Unfortunately the weather didn't quite match up to hopes and both rain and low temperatures interrupted the program on two of the days.

Still, Jarno Trulli (pictured right) was able to have his first runs with the new package before the weather changed. Ralf Schumacher is now scheduled to do so next week in Barcelona. Both drivers were running on an amended Vallelunga layout, with a chicane added at the end of the start-finish straight. Jarno is scheduled to return tomorrow for a wet weather test.

Jarno Trulli was positive after becoming the first driver to try the TF106's new aerodynamic package, putting in over 100 laps around the twisty Vallelunga circuit.

Jarno Trulli
"It was a pity that so much of this week was cold and wet, but we still put in the best part of two days of testing with the new aero package before the weather set in. My first impressions are really positive. The car felt good and it shows promise, enabling us to carry out a tire test on the second day. Next week we will go to Barcelona, which will be a better guide to this car's true potential. There we will be able to compare our performance with other teams so we will start to find out where we really stand. So far so good." zzzz

Ralf Schumacher was also making his first visit to the Vallelunga circuit, situated just north of the Italian capital.

Ralf Schumacher
"This was our first test at Vallelunga and generally it's a nice track and facility. The circuit is similar to Valencia and I think that it would be worth having some tests here during the summertime. Unfortunately the weather has been very cold this week and as a result I have not had a chance to test with the new aerodynamic package yet. We only started work on it two days ago and Jarno has been at the wheel. But the first reports are positive and the expected targets have been reached. Now we hope to have a final evaluation of the package in the next couple of weeks. Although the low temperature played against us because it has made it difficult to get heat into all the tires, we still managed some successful running in the rain."

Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director Chassis
"This is our first time testing here at Vallelunga and it was reasonably productive. Other teams have tested here in the past, but we were the only team running with a chicane in the first corner so you can't make comparisons. With both drivers having to first of all get to know the circuit and then experiencing rather cold temperatures, it has been fairly difficult conditions for meaningful running. But from the work we've been able to do, it's clear that the new package is working very reliably and we can see the performance gain that we expected. In parallel with running the new car, we have also continued running tire evaluations for Bridgestone. Although our mileage has been limited due to the track conditions, we've actually managed to do most of the test items that were planned for the two days. Overall, the test has been positive and it was good to get the final Bahrain configuration up and running."

Toyota test summary

Dates: February 14-16, 2006
Location: Autodromo di Vallelunga, Italy
Track length: 4.095km

Jarno Trulli
Chassis TF106/03
Best lap time: 1m15.900s
Total laps: 107
Total distance: 438.165km

Ralf Schumacher
Chassis TF106/02
Best lap time: 1m16.530s
Total laps: 142
Total distance: 581.49km Toyota
02/18/06
f1
McLaren completes positive week of testing McLaren completes positive week of testingTeam McLaren Mercedes have completed a four day session at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo today.

Kimi Raikkonen (pictured right) and Pedro de la Rosa today continued the week's program of set-up work and component evaluation, which covered overall car development and specific work for the first three races.

Kimi, who set the fastest time of the day and week with a 1m09.987, completed over 320km, whilst Pedro racked up 450km over 113 laps. The Spaniard set the fifth quickest time of the day. Today's running took the total for MP4-21 to approx 5100km since its first shakedown on Monday 23rd January.

The test began on Tuesday with Juan Pablo Montoya and Pedro shaking down the second and third MP4-21 chassis, which arrived in Valencia from the McLaren Technology Centre over the weekend.

The two MP4-21s were debuting the new Team McLaren Mercedes chrome livery on track.

The shakedown saw Juan Pablo and Pedro complete the required systems checks for the new cars, and then during the course of the afternoon both drivers began to complete longer runs. By the end of the day Juan Pablo and Pedro had covered around 600km in total. zzzz
 
Wednesday saw Kimi arrive in Spain to join Juan Pablo. The Colombian's focus for the day was completing a race distance, which included pit stop practice with the new cars. Kimi's program saw him work on set-up programs for the opening races over shorter runs, and the Finn set the second fastest time of the day. Juan Pablo and Kimi continued testing together on Thursday, and they covered a total of 485km.

The test program will switch to the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona next week for a three day session with Kimi and Juan Pablo again driving two MP4-21s.

Kimi Raikkonen
"It has been an encouraging week at the test; I have covered good mileage in the MP4-21 in dry track conditions and worked through a number of development programs with the team. Next week I will be in Barcelona for my final test before going to Bahrain, I have three days in the car there and I am looking forward to carrying on with the work from this week."

Juan Pablo Montoya
"We have made some progress with our testing program in Valencia. I have now reached a total of nearly 750km in the MP4-21 there this week, which included a race simulation on Wednesday. The car is constantly developing, but there is still a lot of work to do. Everyone in the team is working really hard at the moment and I feel we are moving in the right direction."

Pedro de la Rosa
"I would say that the MP4-21 is definitely improving at the moment, we made a step forward this week and are looking to carry this momentum forward into the next test in Barcelona. I had two days in the car, including the shakedown on Tuesday, and covered over 860km." Press release McLaren Mercedes

02/17/06
f2000
2006 Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 Championship Schedule 2006 Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 Championship Schedule
Date - Venue - Headline Event
May 11-13 - Road Atlanta, Braselton, Ga. - Formula D Drifting
May 19-21 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio - American Le Mans Series
June 16-18 - Portland International Raceway, Ore. - Champ Car World Series
June 23-25 - Burke Lakefront Airport, Cleveland, Ohio - Champ Car World Series
July 7-9 - Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ont., Canada - Champ Car World Series
September 1-3 - Mosport International Raceway, Bowmanville, Ont., Canada - American Le Mans Series
September 22-24 - Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis. - Champ Car World Series
02/17/06
cc
Legge meets the press in San Jose Legge meets the press in San JoseUPDATE The local (SF) ABC, CBS, NBC and Telemundo networks all covered the event, with ABC doing a excellent job as they used Legge's interview and race footage as a lead-in to their sports segment. 02/17/06 The newest Champ Car driver, rookie Katherine Legge, made a PR appearance in San Jose Thursday in support of the San Jose Grand Prix and AutoRacing1.com was there to capture the moment.

    

    
Photos by Bob Heathcote/AutoRacing1.com

02/17/06
alms
Autocon completes flawless test of new Lola Autocon completes flawless test of new LolaBakersfield, CA – It’s not often a scheduled test ends a day early because things run so smoothly and the pre-test goals are accomplished ahead of plan. That was the pleasant outcome, however, for San Diego-based Autocon Motorsports in its first outing of the 2006 season earlier this week at Buttonwillow Raceway. The team turned nearly 150 laps in the Autocon Lola EX257-AER at the 1.43-mile, 12-turn track.

“This was very much a familiarity test, as much as anything,” said team owner Michael Lewis. “The Lola is new to everybody on the team, from the crew to the drivers. The two days went about as perfectly as one could imagine.”

Butch Leitzinger, who drove the Lola for Dyson Racing during the last three years, was on hand to assist in the assimilation. “I was impressed with how effortlessly everything went and how quickly Autocon has adapted,” he said. “There’s a difference between the older generation Riley & Scott the team campaigned last year and the Lola, and the team looks ready to make the change successfully.”

Leitzinger turned in the top time, a 57.8-second lap that was near the unofficial east loop record. Showing how quickly it had adapted to the car, the best time from the Autocon trio of Lewis, Chris McMurry and Bryan Willman was 58.3 seconds. The only glitch during the two days was a broken shift linkage that took only a few minutes to change. zzzz

“Hearing Butch’s insights on what the car likes and wants was super-beneficial,” said McMurry, who’s moving up to P1 after finishing second in P2 last year for Miracle Motorsports. “We all picked up some useful pointers we’ll use all season. As everyone knows, he’s a great personality and consummate pro.

“The jump from the Courage C65 to the Lola felt natural,” McMurry added. “Both have the AER turbo and many similar characteristics. But as a driver you always want more, and the most rewarding differences were the better acceleration and braking of the lighter car, and the less physical experience of the paddle-shifting and power steering. The car is a pleasure to drive, and we all feel really good about what we’ll accomplish this season.”

Both soft and hard compound Dunlop tires were used during the test, and the team was happy with the results of both. “We had a little difficulty getting heat in the fronts, but that was more of a track issue than having anything to do with tires,” Lewis said about the short, twisty circuit.

Now the team turns its sights to the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in mid-March to start the 2006 American Le Mans Series. “After chasing (and sometimes beating) the Lola my entire sports car career, it's a great pleasure to actually drive it, at least after learning how to control the fire-breathing turbo,” said Willman. “We'll have one of the most completely sorted cars in the P1 field going into a 12-hour race on the roughest permanent course in North America. If ever there was a time to catch the rest of the P1 field out, this will be it. I am very hopeful.”

The American Le Mans Series begins its 2006 season with the 54th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The 12-hour endurance classic is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. EST on March 18 at Sebring International Raceway. It will be televised live on SPEED Channel in North America and MotorsTV in Europe. In addition, Greenlight-Television will distribute the race worldwide to more than 510 million households. American Le Mans Series Radio will have flag-to-flag coverage available at www.americanlemans.com, along with IMSA Live Timing & Scoring.

02/17/06
Racing News
Racing sponsorship increases Racing sponsorship increasesThe IEG Sponsorship Report, a Chicago-based trade magazine, says that US corporations have increased their sponsorship in motorsports by 5% in the last year with a total of $2.9bn being spent in the sport in 2006. The publication says that most of this increase is due to new companies becoming involved rather than increased spending by the existing players. These are mainly financial services companies which have finally concluded that motorsport is a better idea for their business rather than golf or tennis. This is mainly due to the fact that NASCAR is growing in the United States but the report did point out that AMD and Intel are both moving into the sport as they fight it out to show that their technology is better than that of their rivals. Formula 1 has picked up some of the money coming into the business but not very much as the sport's penetration in the North American market remains weak. 

The report says that Intel is in negotiations with Champ Car after AMD did a deal with NASCAR.  The primary reason Champ Car and IRL teams are having a hard time landing new sponsorship is because they remain split.  In part from Grandprix.com

02/17/06
cca
More photos from Atlantic Car introduction More photos from Atlantic Car introductionHere are some more photos from Tuesday night's Champ Car Atlantic introduction at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.  These photos were contributed by DECHUSA Motorsport Marketing & Consulting in Los Angeles, California.
02/17/06
nascar
Lawsuit won't put Bill Davis out of business Lawsuit won't put Bill Davis out of businessBill Davis said a recent $6.5 million judgment against his Bill Davis Racing team will not force him out of business.

Dodge sued BDR for breach of contract and the jury awarded the judgment Feb. 9 in U.S. District Court in Michigan. The jury decided that BDR had given confidential Dodge information to Toyota while the team was developing a truck for Toyota. Dodge terminated its Cup contract with BDR in May 2003 after it discovered BDR's building of Toyota trucks and promptly filed suit.

Davis plans to appeal the verdict, but said Feb. 17 that if it stands, his race team will not fold. He fields three full-time trucks for Toyota and one full-time and one part-time team in Cup. He plans to run two full-time Cup teams for Toyota in 2007.

"Nothing [there] is going to put us out of business" Davis said.

When asked if he had enough sponsorship from Caterpillar or if that means that Toyota would need to help him, Davis replied: "Toyota is not involved. Dodge didn't sue Toyota. They sued Bill Davis."

02/17/06
iroc
Crown Royal IROC post-race press conference Crown Royal IROC post-race press conference
Frank Kimmel, third-place finisher

“That’s the (wildest) thing I’ve been involved with for a while. It’s really hard racing. I tried to be nice and smooth. At the start there I was going to stay with Mark Martin. I had pretty much planned that all day and I thought ‘Well, I’ll just stay with the king of IROC racing, Mark, and that’d be a good place to be.’ When I was back there, on about the third lap, I got hit so hard I either had to go on the outside of him or go over him and I figured that wouldn’t be a good deal. I had a great car. (IROC President) Jay Signore and all the guys, what a wonderful job they do with those cars. I guess the fans like that -- that’s pretty exciting stuff.” 

ON HOW THIS RACE COMPARES TO HIS EXPERIENCE AS A SEVEN-TIME ARCA CHAMPION

“It looks like there’s about 40 of those ARCA drivers out there tonight. It’s just different. It’s quite an honor to be there. I’ve very humble about the experience and all these guys are great racers. There were potential wrecks every single lap and we’re knocking the cars up in the air and rear-wheels are coming off the ground and it’s just amazing that we’re able to continue like that.”

ON THE FINAL LAPS

“On the last lap they got a great run. I think Sam Hornish was up on the outside of Matt.  As you go through the turn, how bad (Matt) wants to win and how bad I wanted to either get second or push him to the win or push him out of the way and I could win, or whatever it took, but he’s (waving his hand), in the middle of the turn, with one hand on the wheel, like he’s wanting me to hit him in the middle of the turn and I obliged. I drove him up off the turn there pretty hard.”  zzzz

Matt Kenseth, winner, Round 1, Crown Royal IROC

 “We started in the back and I got lucky. This race, for some reason, gets real mixed up in the beginning; at least it did last year. When someone stays on the bottom it seems like it’s hard to get by them. We got some good pushes in the beginning. Ted Musgrave pushed me all the way to the lead and I got up there in front of Mark (Martin) somehow and was lucky enough to stay there. I had Frank (Kimmel) push me for a long, long time and keep us up there. It was hard to get the outside to roll. It seemed they could get a little bit of a run and then they’d just fall back for whatever reason -- it was like that last year too. Last year we led most of the race and then broke a transmission on the last restart and it was kinda the same way (this year), we ran around the yellow line and nobody could get too much of a run. The last lap was definitely exciting. There was a lot of exciting stuff going on behind us, but luckily we weren’t involved in most of it.” 

ON HIS RUN AGAINST MARTIN TRUEX JR.

“The outside would get a run and it would come back and Martin is really smart and he’s really good at this type of racing too. He got enough of a run that he knew the only chance to win was to get down in front of me. I still had about three feet on him, but he hung left trying to get to the bottom, which is the same thing I would have done on the last lap to try to get in front of the leader and get him slowed up. It was pretty exciting because neither of us lifted all the way through there and there was smoke flying and we were going pretty slow but there was no where for anyone else to go either so I think everybody started pushing us and I think Sam (Hornish, Jr.) pushed me first and then got a little run on the outside of the last corner. It was pretty exciting. Martin was pretty sideways and like I said, neither of us was going to let off on the last lap in that situation.” 

Sam Hornish, Jr., second-place finisher

ON WHAT ROGER PENSKE HAD TO SAY TO HIM AFTER THE RACE

“He told me ‘good job’ because it was a tough race. Just look at the rear bumper of all the cars out there and you’ll understand that. It’s tough racing and everybody’s pushing real hard and want to do good and it’s only 40 laps. So as soon as you get up to the front, that’s the best place to be. Matt got right where he needed to be and kept it right at the bottom and that’s what you have to do here. You just have to get somebody to work with you on the outside and not only would it take one or two cars, but you have to have three or four. Overall, I felt pretty good about the race and I just think it’s all close racing and if these guys hit this hard for 500 miles, I don’t know how they can handle that.”

02/17/06
iroc
IROC post-race quotes IROC post-race quotes
Steve Kinser, seventh-place finisher

“I’m alright. It knocked the top down and I got trapped in the car, that’s about it. It took awhile to get out. I don’t know what they’re going to do. I was clear against the car in front of me, getting beat on from behind, turning me sideways, it was bang, bang, bang, right down through there. That’s about all I can say. Maybe Tony (Stewart) knows what they’re talking about, too much pounding around on the back ends of them. That’s just about all I can say. That’s part of it, I guess. I was getting hammered for the last three laps, hard.”

Scott Sharp, ninth-place finisher

“All of a sudden, something happened in front of me. I saw a couple guys get together by the wall, and a green car went up in the air big time. I darted to the left and tried to miss all that – which I did – but I was sort of on the apron to do that. When I came back on the racetrack, I guess Stewart was coming out of that mess and nailed my right rear. That just turned me, and I slammed the wall pretty hard with my right-front. At the start, Hornish hung me out to dry, basically. I don’t 100-percent blame him. There was a hole on the inside, and he took it. I knew when I drew No. 2 that might happen. I going down the back straightaway and there was no one to help me. We got back to fourth or fifth, but I didn’t seem to have a car that could run at the front. It was a matter of getting as much as I could.”

Max Papis, fourth-place finisher

“It was an awesome race. I enjoyed it a lot. I drove really hard, and I was pushing and shoving, but I felt that I did my best IROC race. I was challenging for the lead, and it was awesome to battle with Matt Kenseth. I felt really proud. I gave a push to Sam Hornish to finish second. So, NASCAR won, second open-wheel guy, fourth for another open-wheel guy (Papis).”

On the Kinser incident

“I felt a massive push in the back, and I looked up and saw a guy upside down. I saw him walking away, so I felt alright. It’s a part of racing, unfortunately. Sometimes you finish upside down.

“On the last restart I knew I didn’t have anything to lose. Kenseth took off way before the green, I think. It’s OK, he’s a champion. I think we’ll have it for the next time.” zzzz

Frank Kimmel, third-place finisher

“I was in the middle of the mess all night, it seemed. It seemed everybody was. I’m glad everybody is OK. Wow! That was pretty exciting – there was a lot of stuff going on. I was glad we got back up front. We had a lot better car than fifth or sixth, where I thought we were going to end up. I got to thank Jay Signore and all the guys. These cars are too good, that’s why we run like a bunch of idiots and run into each other all the time. But, it’s a lot of fun.”

On the Kinser incident

“I’m sure that I hit him, and on the last hit turned him up into Tony a little bit – I think that was Tony on the outside. The only thing bad about these cars is you can’t see through to the next car. I’m riding the brake, trying to keep from getting run over, but when I hit Steve, I think he went up and hit the next guy, and that kind of turned him a little bit and got him up into Tony. They said ‘five to go’ a couple laps before that. I thought, ‘They shouldn’t have said that,’ because I knew it was going to get wild.”

Wayne Taylor, sixth-place finisher

“It was a great, great experience. It was just so much fun. Having never driven one of these cars and tested on a speedway only three days, you’re not going to learn what all these other guys know. I’ll make my real statement at the end of the IROC series, because I don’t want to say anything now that could challenge me in the next races. It was really great. My car was just outstanding. Unfortunately, I got into that shunt and ripped the right corner off for the finish. Parts where flying around everywhere and I was trying to find a way through, and someone was coming down off the wall.”

Sam Hornish, second-place finisher

“I couldn’t get it timed right, and I had to go when I did, I was getting hit so hard from behind, so I just wanted to make it work out. It just didn’t happen quite when I needed it.”

(He made a bid for the lead moments before the Kinser incident) “I saw the outside lane coming up, so I tried to move up and have them push me along. I thought that was my best chance, because Max was hugging the inside and I couldn’t get down there. I knew I had to push it real hard and see what I could do. It was a good thing I moved up there, because I think I might have been the one spinning if I didn’t.”

“Everybody was getting into everybody through the whole race. 

Everybody wants to win, but a couple of us open-wheel guys are a little bit more content a top three than those guys are, because they do it every day. I was hoping I could get it worked out to where I could win, but another second. Maybe I’ll get one before the year’s over.”

02/17/06
IROC
Kenseth wins thrilling IROC race Kenseth wins thrilling IROC raceMatt Kenseth, driving the No. 17 car, captured a thrilling victory at historic Daytona International Speedway in Round 1 of Crown Royal IROC XXX.

Kenseth, a former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion, survived an exciting three-lap shootout after the red-flag was waved for a multi-car accident on lap 37. 

“Ted Musgrave pushed me all the way to the lead,” Kenseth said. “I got up there in front of Mark (Martin) somehow and was lucky enough to stay there. The last lap was definitely exciting. There was a lot of exciting stuff going on behind us, but luckily we weren’t involved in most of it.”

Kenseth, the 2004 Crown Royal IROC champion, started last in the 12-car field and dominated the race by leading 35 of the 40 laps. zzzz

Rounding out the top five were IRL IndyCar star Sam Hornish, seven-time ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran Frank Kimmel, Grand American Road Racing Series’ Max Papis and two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex, Jr.

Ryan Newman and Mark Martin crash, right. Photos by CIA Stock Photo

Steve Kinser took a wild ride after making contact with Kimmel and Papis, moving up the track into the part of Tony Stewart, Kinser flipped and ended up on his roof and slid a few hundred feet on his roof.  The race was red flagged as it took a while to get Kinser out of the car, but he walked away ok.

The Crown Royal IROC Series will return to DIS for a second time in 2006 during the Pepsi 400 Weekend with Round 3 on the 3.56-mile road course on Thursday night, June 29.

Results

1. Matt Kenseth, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, 40 laps
2. Sam Hornish, IRL IndyCar Series, 40
3. Frank Kimmel, ARCA RE/MAX Series, 40
4. Max Papis, Grand American, 40
5. Martin Truex Jr., NASCAR Busch, 40
6. Wayne Taylor, Grand American, 40
7. Steve Kinser, World of Outlaws, 37
8. Tony Stewart, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, 37
9. Scott Sharp, IRL IndyCar Series, 37
10. Ted Musgrave, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, 37
11. Ryan Newman, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, 25
12. Mark Martin, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, 10

Average Speed: 143.655 mph
Time of Race: 41:45 (Red 52.22)
Margin of Victory: .168
Lead changes: 2 among 3 drivers
Lap Leaders: 1-2 Martin, 3-5, 6-40 Kenseth

02/17/06
cc
Bourdais tests at Firebird Bourdais tests at FirebirdTwo-time Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais got back behind the wheel of his No. 1 McDonald’s Ford-Lola-Bridgestone race car for the first time in three months for a two day test at the 1.25-mile Firebird East race track which concluded today.  Bourdais was happy to officially end his off-season and begin preparation to attempt to be the first to earn a third consecutive open-wheel racing title since Ted Horn accomplished the feat almost 60 years ago from 1946-1948.

“It felt good to get back behind the wheel and dust off the cobwebs,” said Bourdais, who shares a birth date, among other things, with former NHR driver Mario Andretti later this month on February 28.  “I have quite a few sore spots on my body and they are a little painful but it’s a good pain.  It was more like a wake-up test but we were surprised by how many interesting things we discovered to pursue with the race car.”

The test began yesterday but the team ran less than 50 miles therefore the day does not count against their total of three allowable test days per driver.  Bourdais got back behind the wheel today and completed 186 laps (232.5 miles) with a best lap time of 46.52 sec.  zzzz

“We came here to get both Sebastien and the McDonald’s team reacclimated and the test was trouble-free,” said Kenny Siwieck, assistant team manager of Newman/Haas Racing.  “We went through a list of items to test and we also practiced hot pit stops.  The favorable conditions on track and with the weather helped deem this test a success.”

Newman/Haas Racing will resume testing in mid-March when both Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira will test at Sebring International Raceway before concluding their pre-season testing on the road course at The California Speedway March 29-30.  The Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season-opening Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will take place April 7-9, 2006.  Bourdais won the event in 2005 while Junqueira finished third. Newman/Haas Racing

02/17/06
nascar
Yates wants NASCAR cheaters banned for life Yates wants NASCAR cheaters banned for lifeVeteran NASCAR car owner Robert Yates said Friday that if Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief Chad Knaus was found guilty of deliberate and flagrant cheating by NASCAR that he should be banished from the sport for life.

If Knaus merely skirted the rules, Yates added, than probation would be the appropriate punishment.

“If what he did, there was language in the rules about not doing that particular thing, then he ought to go race the Talladega Short Track the rest of his life,” Yates said of Knaus. “If the (NASCAR rule book) language covered that area … gone. Just gone forever, because that’s just stealing.”

“If (what Knaus was caught with) was a hydraulic system, or a little winch that pulls a cable so the rear-end housing … pulls his body down, outta here, outta from now on. That’s a device. That’s clear,” Yates said. “If it was a creation that was not covered by the language or intent, then I think he needs to be on probation for a while.” SPEEDTV.com

[Editor's Note: Banned for life?  Never happen.  NASCAR's cheaters is free PR for the series.  The fines amount to nothing but a slap on the wrist.  Never have we seen a race series where cheating is so widespread.  It's in the culture.  Cheating has been a way of life since NASCAR was formed.  In fact entire books have been written on it.] 

02/17/06
nascar
Yeley wins Busch pole Yeley wins Busch poleJ.J. Yeley, driver of the No. 18 Vigoro-The Home Depot Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing, captured the pole for the Hershey's Kissables 300 NASCAR Busch Series race.

Yeley toured the historic 2.5-mile tri-oval at 183.094 mph to earn his first career Busch Series pole. On the outside pole will be Aaron Fike, who posted a speed of 182.934 mph in the No. 43 Cay Clubs Resorts & Marinas Dodge.

“These Busch cars are so easy to drive here (at Daytona) it’s not very hard for me to do,” Yeley said. “All the credit should go to the team.”

Clint Bowyer, Johnny Sauter and John Andretti, who is classified as a rookie, rounded out the top five.

Notable NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series regulars that qualified strong for the Hershey’s Kissables 300 include Elliott Sadler (sixth), Joe Nemechek (seventh), Kyle Busch (ninth), Greg Biffle (10th), Carl Edwards 11th), Kasey Kahne (12th) and Reed Sorenson (13th).

Defending Hershey’s Kissables 300 champion Tony Stewart qualified 16th.

Lineup

Pos. Car Driver Make Sponsor Speed Time Behind
1 18 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Vigoro/The Home Depot 183.094 49.155 Leader
2 43 Aaron Fike Dodge CayClub.com/CA Perf. Grp 182.934 49.198 -0.043
3 2 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet ACDelco 182.930 49.199 -0.044
4 00 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet Yellow Transportation 182.775 49.241 -0.086
5 10 John Andretti* Ford Freedom Roads/Camping World 182.767 49.243 -0.088
6 90 Elliott Sadler Ford CitiFinancial 182.608 49.286 -0.131
7 87 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet VFW 182.548 49.302 -0.147
8 50 Danny O'Quinn Jr.* Ford World Financial Group 182.548 49.302 -0.147
9 5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet Lowe's/Shop-Vac 182.534 49.306 -0.151
10 16 Greg Biffle Ford Ameriquest Mortgage 182.500 49.315 -0.160
11 60 Carl Edwards Ford Ameriquest Mortgage 182.434 49.333 -0.178
12 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Ragu 182.323 49.363 -0.208
13 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Discount Tire 182.230 49.388 -0.233
14 11 Paul Menard Chevrolet Menards 182.175 49.403 -0.248
15 21 Jeff Burton Chevrolet U.S. Coast Guard 182.054 49.436 -0.281
16 33 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Old Spice 182.009 49.448 -0.293
17 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Hershey's Kissables 182.006 49.449 -0.294
18 20 Denny Hamlin Chevrolet Rockwell Automation 181.928 49.470 -0.315
19 06 Todd Kluever* Ford 3M 181.921 49.472 -0.317
20 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Kraft Foods 181.818 49.500 -0.345 zzzz 
21 77 Burney Lamar* Chevrolet Dollar General 181.807 49.503 -0.348
22 36 Tim Sauter Chevrolet Lester Building Systems 181.664 49.542 -0.387
23 27 David Green Ford Kleenex/Walgreen's 181.499 49.587 -0.432
24 32 Jason Leffler Chevrolet Lucas Oil Products 181.463 49.597 -0.442
25 88 Mark McFarland* Chevrolet U.S. Navy 181.335 49.632 -0.477
26 157 Brian Vickers Chevrolet Ore-Ida 181.305 49.640 -0.485
27 1 Jason Keller Dodge Miccosukee Gaming & Resorts 181.247 49.656 -0.501
28 195 Steadman Marlin Dodge Sadler Bros. Trucking 181.141 49.685 -0.530
29 66 Ken Schrader Ford Duraflame 181.010 49.721 -0.566
31 22 Kenny Wallace Ford AutoZone 180.861 49.762 -0.607
32 59 Stacy Compton Ford Kingsford/Bush's Beans 180.759 49.790 -0.635
32 35 Regan Smith Ford McDonald's 178.678 50.370 -1.215
33 38 A.J. Foyt IV* Dodge Great Clips 180.433 49.880 -0.725
34 47 Jon Wood Ford Clorox/American Red Cross 180.379 49.895 -0.740
35 25 Ashton Lewis Ford U.S. Marines 180.072 49.980 -0.825
36 64 Jamie McMurray Dodge Top-Flite Golf 180.014 49.996 -0.841
37 34 Paul Tracy Chevrolet SportClips 179.946 50.015 -0.860
38 12 David Reutimann Dodge Supercuts 179.914 50.024 -0.869
39 14 Tracy Hines+* Dodge Blue Green 179.662 50.094 -0.939
40 58 Donnie Neuenberger+ Chevrolet Cayman Islands 179.197 50.224 -1.069
41 4 Mark Green+ Dodge GEICO 179.058 50.263 -1.108
42 99 Michael Waltrip+ Dodge Aaron's 178.299 50.477 -1.322
43 49 Steve Grissom Ford Advil Liqui-Gels Champion's Provisional 
 
Did not Qualify
44 0 Kertus Davis Chevrolet RaceGirl International 180.915 49.747 -0.592
45 01 Jay Sauter Chevrolet Western Union 180.697 49.807 -0.652
46 156 Kevin Lepage Chevrolet MacHill Motorsports 180.632 49.825 -0.670
47 05 Chad Chaffin Chevrolet CertainTeed/FMI Fireplaces 179.910 50.025 -0.870
48 162 Larry Hollenbeck Chevrolet Lexington Hotels 179.079 50.257 -1.102
49 23 Chris Wimmer* Chevrolet Keith Coleman Racing 178.207 50.503 -1.348

02/17/06
f1
Politician says Hockenheim race will run Politician says Hockenheim race will runHerbert Recht, Economy Minister of the German Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg, has assured German Formula One fans that the Grand Prix in Hockenheim will be carried out as planned on 30 July. The politician stated that the race will not be cancelled, even though the financial problems the circuit's management has faced recently. The crisis met a new climax when the management's corporate meeting had ousted chairman Hans-Jürgen von Glasenapp ten days ago. Von Glasenapp had reportedly sent documents to the public prosecution department in Mannheim without informing the circuit's shareholders. The documents are said to include information on irregularities concerning the circuit's reconstruction in 2002 and the company's ticket sales.
02/17/06
Racing News
Malaysia to set up body to govern motorsports Malaysia to set up body to govern motorsportsMalaysia will set up a commission to regulate all motorsports activities in the country, a senior official said on Thursday. The Cabinet Committee for Sports has made a decision to establish the Malaysian Motorsports Commission, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said after chairing a Cabinet Committee meeting at Putrajaya, administrative center of the Malaysian Federal Government.

The establishment of such a commission is aimed at turning Malaysia to a hub for motorsports as there is a big following in the country and globally, especially the Formula One GrandPrix, MotoGP and the A1 Grand Prix, said Najib, who is also the chairman of the Cabinet Committee for Sports.

The hosting of major motorsport events in the country would also help churn out revenue to boost the country's economy, he added.  The Cabinet Committee for Sports was formed in October 2004 to provide impetus to sports in the country and offer the government funding to high performance sports.

02/17/06
Racing News
Mario Andretti to attend Olympic Presidential Delegation Mario Andretti to attend Olympic Presidential DelegationUPDATE Mario Andretti’s legendary status as a world-wide racing icon knows no political boundaries.  The four-time Champ Car champion, Formula 1 World Champion, Daytona 500 and 24 Hours of Daytona winner is just as revered in his native Italy as he is in the United States, and will this week find himself representing fans in both countries after being named as part of the official U.S. Presidential Delegation to attend the Closing Ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy.

The Hall of Fame driver will be joined by the former Mayor of New York City Rudolph Giuliani, U.S. Ambassador to Italy, Ronald Spogli and Dr. A. Kenneth Ciongoli, Chairman and CEO of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF).

“It’s a great honor and I was proud to be named as part of the delegation,” Andretti said. “I have never been to a Winter Olympics and while I do get back to Italy often, I am excited about this opportunity.”

The delegation will depart next Friday from Andrews Air Force Base and will attend a number of the Olympic events, including short-track speedskating as well as the gold-medal game in men’s ice hockey. Champ Car

02/14/06 President George W. Bush today announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to attend the Closing Ceremonies of the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, Italy.

The Honorable Rudolph W. Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York City, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Giuliani Partners LLC, and Name Partner of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP will lead the delegation.

Members of the Presidential Delegation are:

The Honorable Ronald P. Spogli, U.S. Ambassador to Italy

Mr. Mario Andretti, World Champion Race Driver

Dr. A. Kenneth Ciongoli, Chairman and CEO, National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)

02/17/06
f1
Ferrari has good day in Bahrain Ferrari has good day in BahrainFifth day of testing this week for Scuderia Ferrari, working once again today at the Sakhir circuit, in Bahrain. The day's programme was centered on development of the 248 F1 and the Bridgestone tires with Michael Schumacher at the wheel. The German driver completed a total of 92 laps, the quickest in a time of 1'32"702. Testing at this circuit will resume on Sunday 19th February: on track will be Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa. Source Ferrari
02/17/06
f1
Kimi shows McLaren may be car to beat Kimi shows McLaren may be car to beatKimi Raikkonen (pictured right, courtesy of Mercedes) posted  the quickest time of the year in the fourth and final day of testing at the Valencia circuit in his new McLaren. His fastest lap of 1:09.983 was the best by a V8-engined car this year.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:09.983 81
 2. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:10.912 83
 3. Kovalainen Renault (M) 1:11.071 161
 4. Coulthard Red Bull-Ferrari (M) 1:11.076 34
 5. de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:11.245 113
 6. Sutil MF1-Toyota (B) 1:13.027 73
 7. Albers MF1-Toyota (B) 1:13.520 55
 8. Monteiro MF1-Toyota (B) 1:13.815 93

All Timing Unofficial

02/17/06
A1 Grand Prix
Swiss team confirms Mondini Swiss team confirms MondiniA1 Team Switzerland has confirmed that 25-year-old Giorgio Mondini will take over from Neel Jani for the final two rounds of the A1 Grand Prix season. Jani will take up his driving responsibilities with Formula One team Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Mondini will be at the wheel of A1 Team Switzerland's car for USA and Chinese rounds of the championship on 12 March and 2 April respectively.

"The team is in a strong position in the championship and we are working hard to close the gap to A1 Team France," comments Max Welti, team principal, A1 Team Switzerland. "I'm confident Giorgio Mondini will settle into the team quickly and will be the perfect driver to continue building our challenge for the title."

A1 Team Switzerland is second in the championship with 104 points after the last round of the season in Sentul (Indonesia). The team has closed to within 28 points of championship leaders A1 Team France. zzzz

Giorgio Mondini biography

Born in Genova on 19 July 1980, Giorgio Mondini grew up in Switzerland and now lives in Vandoeuvres near Geneva. Mondini's first major successes came in 2001 when he won the CN2 Sport Prototype Italian Championship race at Monza and competed in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2000 championship.
In 2002 he continued building his single-seater experience in 2002 in Formula Renault 2000 before moving into the Eurocup Formula V6 championship in 2003 where he finished seventh in the championship. That year he also finished fifth in the Fran-Am FR 2000 winter series.

In 2004 Mondini won the Formula Renault V6 championship taking three race wins and three pole positions on the way. Mondini's success was rewarded in 2005 as he signed for DPR in the GP2 championship. He also competed in the World Series by Renault championship and got noticed by the Renault Formula One team which gave him a test session in its F1 car at Barcelona.

Giorgio Mondini will continue his involvement in F1 in 2006 as third driver

02/17/06
nascar
NASCAR highlights available on iTunes NASCAR highlights available on iTunesThe National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) today announced that highlights and exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage from NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races throughout the 2006 season will be available for purchase and download from the iTunes Music Store (www.itunes.com). The coverage, provided by NASCAR Images, the exclusive content provider for NASCAR, will be available beginning with the Daytona 500, which begins the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season on Sunday, February 19 (NBC, 1:30 p.m.) Racing fans can download a free preview of the Daytona 500 now, and in the week following each race, will be able to purchase a race review and other exclusive coverage for $1.99.

NASCAR, which is the second highest-rated regular season sport on television and has seen TV audience growth of nearly 80% over the past 15 years, will produce the itunes previews and reviews with unique content designed to drive fans to the race telecasts and complement those telecasts. In the U.S., there are 75 million NASCAR fans, including 30 million women.

"For the past several years, NASCAR has been developing content for race fans at the track, in their homes and on the go," said Dick Glover, Vice President of Broadcasting and New Media at NASCAR. "iTunes provides an innovative way for us to reach NASCAR fans, and puts NASCAR fans 'inside the helmet', providing unparalleled access to the sport and its competitors." zzzz

NASCAR has won several Emmy awards for its new media applications and was judged in 2004 by media executives as having made the best media enhancements during TV broadcasts of all major sports, according to the Turnkey Sports Poll. NASCAR is also a pioneer in using podcasts to provide information to media to help them cover the sport.

With Apple's legendary ease of use, pioneering features such as integrated video and Podcasting support, iMix playlist sharing, seamless integration with iPod and groundbreaking personal use rights, the iTunes Music Store is the best way for Mac and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music and videos online. The iTunes Music Store features a selection of over 3,000 music videos, Pixar and Disney short films, a variety of hit TV shows, and more than two million songs from the major music companies and over 1,000 independent labels.

Pricing & Availability

iTunes 6 for Mac and Windows includes the iTunes Music Store and is available as a free download from www.apple.com/itunes (www.itunes.com). Purchase and download of songs and videos from the iTunes Music Store requires a valid credit card with a billing address in the country of purchase. Television shows are available in the US only, and video availability varies by country. Television shows are $1.99 (US) per episode, and music videos and short films are $1.99 (US) each.

02/17/06
Industry News
Sirius also hemorrhaging cash Sirius also hemorrhaging cashSirius Satellite Radio Inc., which added shock jock Howard Stern to its lineup in early January, reported Friday that its losses widened to $311.4 million in the final quarter of 2005 on higher costs for acquiring subscribers. 

The loss was equivalent to 23 cents per share, a penny worse than analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had been expecting. In the same period a year ago, Sirius lost $261.9 million or 21 cents per share.

Revenues more than tripled to $80 million in the fourth quarter from $25.2 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

Both Sirius and its larger rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. are spending heavily to expand their emerging businesses, which charge about $13 a month for dozens of channels of commercial-free music, as well as talk, news and sports. zzzz 

Sirius reported Friday that its costs for acquiring new subscribers more than doubled to $145.2 million from $64.9 million in the same period a year ago. Its average cost for adding each subscriber, however, fell to $113 from $124 in the same period a year ago.

The New York-based Sirius said it added a total of 1.27 million subscribers in the fourth quarter, the leadup period before it added the hugely popular Stern to its lineup in early January.

02/17/06
nascar
NASCAR announces major management changes NASCAR announces major management changesNational Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) today announced multiple management changes, effective immediately, that will position NASCAR to continue its strong growth and more efficiently manage business decisions and communications throughout the company and the industry. (Total staff size - 886 employees - compare that to other sanctioning bodies which have under 50 full-time employees and you can understand why NASCAR is eating everyone’s lunch.  This is one of the reasons why we say the other series must merge and combine their forces if they are going to have a prayer against the NASCAR juggernaut.  United we stand, divided we fall.)

“Mike Helton and I have restructured NASCAR’s executive leadership to reflect the broad and deep talent developed over many years,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “I am proud of the leaders that we have developed and I believe this team is as strong as any in sports,” said France.

Paul Brooks will be taking on additional responsibilities as senior vice president and will continue his role as president of NASCAR Broadcasting and NASCAR Digital Entertainment. Brooks will now oversee all broadcasting, new media, entertainment, corporate administration, corporate communications, diversity, international business and business affairs. Brooks, who is based in Daytona Beach, Fla., has worked in the sport for 16 years and with NASCAR for 13 years. Named a Sports Business Journal “Forty under 40” recipient for 3 years, Brooks entered the Sports Business Journal “Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame” in 2005. Brooks will continue to report to Brian France. zzzz

Steve Phelps is promoted to chief marketing officer (CMO) and will oversee all NASCAR corporate marketing, industry marketing, brand and consumer marketing, multi-media, sales, licensing, business development and The NASCAR Foundation. Phelps will relocate to Daytona Beach, Fla. from New York City. Phelps will report to Brian France.

Phelps joined NASCAR as vice president of corporate marketing last July following a 15-year career with the National Football League (NFL) and most recently, the top sales executive for Wasserman Media Group. Over the past six months, he restructured NASCAR’s corporate marketing team based in New York and instituted a new approach for the office to better serve and benefit NASCAR’s teams, drivers, track operators and other business partners. Phelps has twice been named to Sports Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” list. “Paul and Steve are seasoned executives who are well-qualified for their new responsibilities at NASCAR. Their track records and experience put them in the perfect positions to continue making significant contributions within our industry,” said France.

Taking over for Phelps in New York will be former NFL and Viacom executive Jim O’Connell. O’Connell will serve as vice president of corporate marketing and will manage NASCAR’s New York office and all corporate marketing initiatives. O’Connell will report to Phelps. At Viacom, O’Connell served as senior vice president and was responsible for partnerships and brand building for Infinity Broadcasting’s advertising clients. At the NFL, O’Connell served in several roles over ten years including vice president for commercial development – NFL Europe and senior director for corporate sponsorship marketing.

“We welcome Jim to the company and look forward to his leadership in our New York office,” said France. “Jim’s experience will benefit the entire industry as we look to attract the best corporate sponsors to the sport and help them receive maximum value for their investment.”

NASCAR President Mike Helton will continue to interface with all NASCAR departments with direct management of all areas of competition, research and development, events and operations, and the touring and weekly series. Helton continues to report to Brian France and serve on NASCAR’s Board of Directors. NASCAR Chief Financial Officer Todd Wilson and General Counsel Gary Crotty will continue their current duties and report to Brian France.

These changes will help NASCAR meet the challenges and expectations that come along with the sport’s global growth over the past ten years. That growth has seen the fan base expand from 63 million fans to 75 million fans nationwide. The schedule of race events have been realigned and now includes 36 points races in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, up from 31 events in 1995.

NASCAR and its affiliated companies currently employ 886 people. The company is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla. and has key offices throughout the country. NASCAR offices are located in the following markets: New York City, Corporate Marketing; Los Angeles, Calif., Broadcasting and NASCAR Digital Entertainment; Charlotte, N.C., and Bentonville, Ark., Licensing; and Concord, N.C., home to NASCAR’s Research and Development Center. NASCAR PR

02/17/06
Industry News
XM Radio hemorrhaging cash XM Radio hemorrhaging cashXM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. posted a much wider loss in the fourth quarter on higher costs for marketing and acquiring subscribers. At the same time, a key director quit over disagreements about the company's direction, warning of a looming "crisis."

Its shares sank $2.16, or 8.6 percent, to $23.09 in morning trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market, after briefly trading as low as $22.94. Their previous 52-week low was $23.01.

XM, the larger of the country's two satellite radio operators, reported Thursday a loss of $270.4 million, or $1.22 per share, after dividends for preferred stockholders, for the October-December period. In the same period a year earlier, the loss was $190.4 million, or 93 cents per share.

The company said in a statement accompanying the letter that its management and other directors disagreed with Roberts over how to balance growth versus cash flow, believing that it was important for the long term to keep up its rapid growth rate.

XM and its smaller rival, Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., are locked in a vicious, expensive battle to line up listeners and programming for their pay radio services, which currently cost about $13 a month and require a special receiver. Both offer dozens of channels of talk and news as well as commercial-free music.

Both have also racked up significant financial losses as they build their businesses, signing big-ticket contracts for programming with shock jock Howard Stern, Major League Baseball, talk show host Oprah Winfrey and others.  Newsmax

02/17/06
f1
McLaren gets back at Red Bull team McLaren gets back at Red Bull teamMcLaren has scotched speculation that it is facing a ‘brain drain’ of senior technical staff by securing the services of Red Bull Racing’s chief designer Rob Taylor.

The signing proves that there is some two-way traffic between the two teams after RBR scored a double whammy by poaching McLaren’s design genius Adrian Newey and head of aerodynamics Peter Prodromou earlier in the winter.

Taylor has worked for several leading Formula 1 teams including Benetton and Ferrari, where he concentrated on suspension and gearbox design.

The 46-year-old will reunite with former Benetton and Arrows colleague Mike Coughlan.

“We can confirm that McLaren has further strengthened its technical team by employing Rob Taylor as senior design team leader,” a McLaren spokeswoman confirmed to ITV-F1.  “Rob will report to chief designer Mike Coughlan. ITV-F1

02/17/06
nascar
Free Miller beer if Busch wins Free Miller beer if Busch winsMiller Brewing Company announced today that it will kick off Kurt Busch's inaugural season at the wheel of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge by giving legal-drinking-age fans a chance to win a year's supply of Miller Lite when Busch and his team pull into victory lane after Sunday's 500-miler in Daytona Beach, Fla. Legal-drinking-age consumers can register to win the "When Kurt Wins, You Could Win" sweepstakes online at http://www.millerbeer.com/ until 11:59 a.m. EST Sunday, Feb. 19. If Busch takes the checkered flag in Daytona Beach, then 500 randomly selected registered fans will win the equivalent of a year's supply of Miller Lite.
02/17/06
nascar
TV News
Two New TV Spots Featuring Jeff Burton to Debut Two New TV Spots Featuring Jeff Burton to DebutBloomington, Ill., State Farm Insurance Companies today announced that it has signed marketing agreements with NASCAR drivers Jeff Burton of Richard Childress Racing and Reed Sorenson of Chip Ganassi Racing.

Major elements included in the sponsorships are drivers’ appearances in State Farm commercials and endorsements of State Farm insurance; the State Farm logo on the driver uniforms and the uniforms of the pit crew during Nextel Cup and Busch Series races, as well as personal appearances on behalf of State Farm.

“There is a natural link between auto insurance and auto racing,” said Mark Gibson, assistant vice president, advertising for State Farm. “With these sponsorships, State Farm is leveraging the power of NASCAR while at the same time reinforcing its auto safety message.” zzzz

State Farm will advertise in nearly every 2006 NASCAR race on FOX, NBC, TNT and Speed Channel.  State Farm commercials featuring Jeff Burton will begin running during televised coverage of the Daytona 500 on February 19, 2006.  Commercials featuring Reed Sorenson will run later this year. 

Jeff Burton drives the #31 car and was selected because he is known throughout the sport as a strong advocate of auto and driver safety.  As an outspoken voice in the area of auto safety, Burton encourages responsible driving.  Burton is a State Farm policyholder.  Richard Childress Racing has earned more than 130 victories and nine NASCAR championships, including six in the Nextel Series. 

“State Farm has a great reputation for being a champion of auto safety, which is something I’m very passionate about,” said Burton. “Working with State Farm provides an excellent opportunity to deliver our auto safety message to racing fans, as well as the larger consumer audience.”

State Farm Burton and Sorenson Announcement/Add One

“State Farm is the No. 1 insurer of automobiles and homes in the United States and it’s our goal at RCR to make them No. 1 on the race track,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “RCR has been around only about half as long as State Farm but both companies have long histories of success and share the same goal of being the best in our respective industries.”

Reed Sorenson races the #41 car and is a rookie driver whose family has several policies with State Farm.   Last year, Reed finished fourth in the point standings in the NASCAR Busch Series, and in 2006 will drive in both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series events.

“The number one thing that my father taught me as I was learning to race was the importance of safety,” said Sorenson. “Whether it’s on a race track or a city street, my number one concern is safety for myself and other drivers.  That’s why I’m excited to be working with State Farm.” 

“Running Late” (:30)
“Running Late” features Jeff Burton driving two children to school, while they play “backseat driver” to Burton’s cautious driving style.  Burton’s State Farm agent Annette Burkhard praises Burton for his safe driving and says State Farm is proud to insure his car – his personal car. 
“Safe Driver” (:30)
“Safe Driver” features Burton and his State Farm agent Annette Burkhard as she asks him all the tough questions about his driving history while completing his application for personal auto insurance.

02/17/06
TV News
Cool images from Daytona Beach Cool images from Daytona BeachUPDATE A reminder that this show airs Sunday. 01/27/06 Cool images from this week’s shoot of “Dave Despain on Assignment: Daytona Beach” …. The historical one-hour special will look at racing in Daytona prior to the formation of NASCAR and air on the morning of the Daytona 500 (Feb. 19 at 10 a.m. ET).

 

02/17/06
TV News
USA TV reminders for Sunday USA TV reminders for Sunday
NASCAR Live!
Daytona International Speedway
8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m ET (L) SPEED
DAVE DESPAIN ON ASSIGNMENT
History of Stock Car Racing (Details)
10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. ET SPEED
NASCAR RaceDay
Daytona International Speedway
11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET (L) SPEED
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP
Daytona 500
1:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET (Live) NBC
A1 GRAND PRIX
Sentul, Indonesia (2/12/06)
5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. ET (R) OLN
SPEED NEWS
7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. ET (L) SPEED
NASCAR VICTORY LANE
Daytona 500
8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. ET (L) SPEED
MOVIE
'3: The Dale Earnhardt Story' (2004)
8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. ET ESPN Classic
WIND TUNNEL with Dave Despain
Guest Co-host: Robin Miller, SPEED Analyst
Featured Interview: Jim Aust, CEO of TRD, USA
9:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. ET (L) SPEED
DAKAR RALLY
Portugal to Dakar
11:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. (R) ET OLN

For a complete listing of Sunday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com and Race Fan TV.

02/17/06
MotoGP
GAS to sponsor British GP GAS to sponsor British GPInternational fashion wear company, GAS, will sponsor the British round of the MotoGP World Championship. The company, recognized by its double rainbow logo, signed the deal with the sport’s commercial rights holders, Dorna Sports, yesterday. It is the first time that the fashion brand has taken on title sponsorship of a MotoGP event - the ninth round of the MotoGP World Championship 2006 will be named the ‘GAS British Grand Prix’. The race takes place at the Donington Park circuit on July 2.
02/17/06
nascar
Henkel gears up for NASCAR season Henkel gears up for NASCAR seasonProduct and technology supplier, Henkel of America Inc., has extended its NASCAR sponsorship.  For the NASCAR Busch Series in 2006, it has signed a deal with Roush Racing, one of the most successful teams in NASCAR history, and driver Carl Edwards, who finished third in the points standings last year.

As an Official Partner of Roush Racing, Henkel will collaborate with the Michigan-based racing team on assembly and maintenance applications for the Edwards’ Ford Fusion, providing them with Loctite® brand products.

Several Henkel brands will participate in the sponsorship of Edwards’ No. 60 Ford Fusion. The company is also a primary sponsor for 14 races and a major associate sponsor for 21 races in the 2006 season.

Said Ernst Primosch, vice president and head of corporate communications, Henkel Group: “This sponsorship gives us the opportunity to connect with the millions of NASCAR fans who use our products every day, linking the Henkel name to our well-known product brands.   “It also serves as one of the most extreme proving grounds for the endurance and reliability of Henkel products such as Loctite.”  The company is also an Official Supplier to Formula One’s Team McLaren Mercedes.

02/17/06
irl
Panther hires Bill Pappas Panther hires Bill PappasPanther Racing has hired Bill Pappas (last with Ganassi Racing) as its IRL engineer for Vitor Meira's yellow No. 4 car. Former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh will remain part of the Panther ownership group; car dealer Gary Pedigo has not decided. Doug Boles will remain an owner, too, although he is no longer the chief operating officer. Boles has joined an Atlanta-based marketing company, which has opened an office in Indianapolis. Indy Star
02/17/06
nascar
Subway increases NASCAR sponsorship Subway increases NASCAR sponsorshipSubway Restaurants will heighten sponsorship efforts with #16-Greg Biffle of Roush Racing in its third year of team sponsorship. Subway restaurants made its first Nextel Cup Series appearance as a team sponsor in 2001. Today, Subway restaurants are set to be the primary sponsor of the #16 National Guard/Subway Ford Fusion at 11 Nextel Cup Series races in 2006, including two entitlement races. The Subway Fresh 500 will take place at Phoenix International Raceway on April 22 and the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 22. For more information about the Subway restaurant chain, visit subway.com. PR Newswire
02/17/06
nascar
Orange No Bump Drafting Lines Orange No Bump Drafting LinesThe Gatorade Duel at Daytona International Speedway provided the first test of NASCAR’s hastily devised rules for “bump drafting.” Bright orange lines were painted to define areas where bump drafting was to be allowed. It was open season on the back straight, but the only other area where cars were allowed to “bump freely” were relatively short strips exiting turn four and entering turn one. Bump drafting in the curved areas of the track — including the tri-oval area and the start-finish line — was supposedly taboo. Gaston Gazette
02/17/06
f1
Weather slows Toyota test, not Honda Weather slows Toyota test, not HondaPanasonic Toyota Racing Thursday completed its week of testing at the Autodromo di Vallelunga, just north of Rome, Italy.

The main aim of the week's work was to take a first look at the brand new aerodynamic package with which the team will start the season.
Unfortunately the weather didn't quite match up to hopes and both rain and low temperatures interrupted the program on two of the days. Still, Jarno Trulli was able to have his first runs with the new package before the weather changed.

Ralf Schumacher is now scheduled to do so next week in Barcelona. Both drivers were running on an amended Vallelunga layout, with a chicane added at the end of the start-finish straight. Jarno is scheduled to return tomorrow for a wet weather test. Toyota F1

Meanwhile Honda was pounding out the mileage at the Bahrain International Circuit this week. And with harsh conditions, it may have been the perfect environment to get a good handle on the new V8s real capabilities. zzzz

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development was very pleased with the results.

"The Bahrain circuit is quite hard on the engine and we have had a couple of problems as we seek to run the engines for longer at higher revs," said Nakamoto. "On the other hand, two engines have run over 1000kms without any problems, so we are heading in the right direction."

And just in case, dominating the leaderboard with Ferrari at the same track in the same conditions isn't enough, the Honda man promised, "We have more improvements to come for next week in Barcelona."

Honda may be on their way to a very strong season. Honda F1

02/17/06
nascar
Allstate 400 schedule Allstate 400 scheduleThe 2006 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard weekend, Aug. 4-6, will provide more on-track action for fans of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series racing, as an additional 30 minutes of practice time have been added to the 2006 schedule.

2006 ALLSTATE 400 AT THE BRICKYARD SCHEDULE
(All times local, subject to change)

Friday, Aug. 4 Chevy Day at the Brickyard
1:30-2:30 p.m. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup practice
3:30-4:30 p.m. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup final practice
TBA Chevy Day at the Brickyard activities

Saturday, Aug. 5
10:10 a.m. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup qualifying
(two laps, all positions)
1:30-2:30 p.m. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup practice
3:30-4:30 p.m. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup final practice

Sunday, Aug. 6
2:10 p.m. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver introductions
2:30 p.m. 13th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard (160 laps/400 miles)

02/17/06
f1
PPG renews with Williams PPG renews with WilliamsWilliamsF1 today announced that PPG Industries, the global supplier of coatings, glass, fiber glass and paint, has extended its European contract with the team until 2008.

The partnership with WilliamsF1 was originally established two years ago when PPG entered Formula One in 2003 as the official supplier of the team’s automotive paint re-finishes. The PPG identity has appeared on the team’s trucks and garage wallboards and will remain as such with the announcement of the extension. zzzz

Founded in 1883, PPG Industries is a global manufacturer of coatings, glass products, and industrial chemicals. PPG technology and know-how is used on two out of every three cars made in Europe and North America. PPG Automotive Refinish produces a full range of products for use in both car, and commercial transport vehicles, new build and refurbishment markets, and offers the re-finish customer a comprehensive range of easy to use, versatile products and business tools that enhance body shop growth and profitability through its three world-class brands, Nexa Autocolor, PPG and MaxMeyer.

With its headquarters in Pittsburgh, PPG has 108 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates across Europe, the Americas and the Far East. Employing more than 33,000 people, PPG is renowned for its commitment to technological leadership and ensuring cost-effective and efficient production in all its major markets. Having pioneered numerous product and process innovations within the industry, PPG has remained committed to its company blueprint of “Getting things right the first time, every time.”

PPG’s European Brand Proposition Manager, Emma Golding, “We’re delighted our premium products will continue to be used on the new generation of WilliamsF1 cars, the team’s transporters and on support vehicles throughout the 2006 race season and beyond. PPG is looking forward to the continuation of our successful partnership long into the future. This is an exciting time for WilliamsF1, with many new technical developments, which are fully complimented by the modern, impactful livery. We feel sure we will see WilliamsF1 in its rightful position back on the podium this season.”

WilliamsF1’s Team Principal, Frank Williams, confirmed, “PPG have made an important contribution to the team over the past two years and I’m thrilled that they have decided to continue their relationship with us into the future.” WilliamsF1

02/17/06
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Spa won't be replaced - FIA
Hockenheim asks Bernie for help
Honda clock most winter laps
JB could lose 'edge' - Mansell
Mosley defends Red Bull 'betrayal'
Ralf - I want to win
Mansell reignites old Piquet rivalry
Six favorites for '06 crown - Alonso
Renault still leads test race
Alonso uses Rossi for F1 mind game
Scott Speed - 'I'm arrogant'
Massa urges Ferrari to improve
Ralf fit after back injury
02/16/06
nascar
Tire leasing scheme isn't working Tire leasing scheme isn't workingNASCAR's new tire-leasing rules could be doomed for early failure, judging from teams' reactions. Car owners aren't happy at getting only a 25 percent billing credit on any unused $400-plus tires, so some are scuffing every set they have, leaving Goodyear with only used tires at the end of a weekend. The tire-leasing rules were designed to limit testing, but Robert Yates' team said it has enough tires stockpiled for at least 20 tests this season. Winston Salem Journal
02/16/06
TV News
NASCAR TV Ratings up on SPEED NASCAR TV Ratings up on SPEEDSPEED’s Feb. 13 edition of NASCAR Live! From Daytona scored a Nielsen Rating of 2.0, making it only the second show in network history to break the 2-mark. The only other SPEED program to average a 2-plus Nielsen Rating was the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race from Daytona (2.1).

Nielsen Rating highlights from the first few days of SPEED’s coverage from Daytona Speedweeks, listing top-rated show from each day to date:

Feb. 10 Bud Shootout Practice -- Averaged a 0.91 (592,000 households); peaked at 1.03 (672,000 HH); up 48 percent from 2005

Feb. 11 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series practice – Averaged a 1.16 (755,000 HH); peaked at a 1.38 (896,000 HH); up 15 percent from 2005

Feb. 12 NASCAR Live! – Averaged a 2.0 (1,300,000 HH); peaked at a 2.11 (1,372,000 HH); weekend NASCAR Live! segments are averaging 0.88 (570,000 HH), up 61 percent from 2005

Feb. 13 Inside NEXTEL Cup season premiere – Averaged a .60 (388,000 HH); peaked at 0.61 (400,000 HH); up 46 percent from 2005

Feb. 14 NASCAR Five Years Later – Averaged a 0.62 (405,000 HH); peaked at 0.74 (480,000 HH)

Remaining Speedweeks on SPEED schedule: zzzz

Friday, Feb. 17
1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Speedweeks on SPEED
1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. – NASCAR Nextel Cup practice
2:45 p.m. to 3 p.m. – NASCAR Live!
3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. – NASCAR Busch Series qualifying
5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Speedweeks on SPEED
6 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Crown Royal IROC Series race
7 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Trackside Live @ Daytona
8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series pre-race
8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race

Saturday, Feb. 18
9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. – Speedweeks on SPEED
10:30 to 11:45 a.m. – NASCAR Nextel Cup Series final practice
Noon to 1 p.m. – NASCAR Live!
5 p.m. to 6 p.m. – NASCAR Live!
7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – SPEED News updates
7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. – NASCAR Performance
8 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Inside Nextel Cup

Sunday, Feb. 19
8 a.m. to 10 a.m. – Speedweeks on SPEED
10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Dave Despain on Assignment: Daytona
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – NASCAR RaceDay
5:30 to 6 p.m. – NASCAR Live!
6 p.m. to 7 p.m. – NASCAR Victory Lane
7 p.m. to 8 p.m. – SPEED News updates
8 p.m. to 9 p.m. – NASCAR Victory Lane II
9 p.m. to 10 p.m. – Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Featured Interview :  Jim Aust -- The CEO of Toyota Racing Development USA will be a featured interview on the season premiere of Wind Tunnel. Just a couple of weeks ago, Toyota announced that they will enter NASCAR’s Nextel CUP Series in 2007. We’ll talk to Jim about that exciting new venture as well as get his thoughts on leaving the IRL.
 
Monday, Feb. 20
7 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Inside NEXTEL Cup from Daytona
(Updated 2/15/06; all times Eastern and subject to change)

02/16/06
nascar
Mark Martin wins Daytona truck pole Mark Martin wins Daytona truck poleMark Martin, a late substitute for Roush Racing regular David Ragan, made the most of the opportunity Thursday in winning the Bud Pole for the GM FlexFuel 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Martin, a Daytona Beach resident, drove his Scotts Ford around the 2.5-mile superspeedway at an average speed of 178.628 to grab the No. 1 starting spot for Friday night’s 100-lap, 250-mile event – the kickoff of the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series campaign.

Martin, who tested the truck briefly in January, hadn’t planned on making this week’s race one of his seven 2005 starts but stepped into the cockpit at the request of sponsor Scotts, which also agreed to back Roush’s No. 6 F-150 for the full season. zzzz

His fast lap was 0.173-second quicker than Bill Lester’s qualifying effort which landed his Checkers/Rally’s Toyota on the outside front row at 178.017.

Third quickest was Stacy Compton’s Edy’s Ice Cream/State Fair Corndogs Ford at 177.715 with Wood Brothers-JTG teammate alongside in the U.S. Air Force Ford with a speed of 177.480.

Former series champion and Daytona Beach resident Mike Skinner completed the top five qualifiers in his Toyota Tundra Toyota at 177.473.

David Starr, Jack Sprague, Todd Bodine, Raybestos Rookie Joey Miller and Johnny Benson completed the top 10 qualifiers in a field of 36.

Defending race winner Bobby Hamilton will start 26th in his Fastenal Dodge.

Friday night’s field includes six former series champions, 12 rookie competitors and two female drivers, Kelly Sutton and Erin Crocker.

Eleven drivers failed to qualify for Friday night’s race which begins at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live by SPEED, MRN Radio and XM Satellite Radio.

02/16/06
gp2
Adam Carroll joins Racing Engineering Adam Carroll joins Racing EngineeringOne of the stars of GP2's 2005 Championship, Adam Carroll, is teaming up with legendary F1 designer and engineer, Gary Anderson, as he joins Spanish outfit Racing Engineering. Team principal, Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon announced Carroll's addition to the Racing Engineering team Thursday February 16th.

"What can I say, I think that with Adam and Gary we will have one of the strongest driver-engineer pairings in the championship. Adam has been a driver whom we have always wanted to work with, while Gary is a great addition to our engineering team. I would also like to thank Repsol and Telefonica for allowing all this to come together and make us the team we are today. They have a firm belief that we will be doing a good job." Stated Team principal Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon.

Adam enjoyed a very successful first season in GP2 in 2005, winning three races in Imola, Monaco and Spa Francorchamps, with a further three podium finishes. In addition to competing in GP2, Adam also tested for the BAR Honda F1 team in 2005. zzzz

Gary Anderson's illustrious career in motorsport spans over 30 years, starting out at the age of 20 at the Motor Racing Stables in Brands Hatch. A mechanic, engineer and then technical director of Jordan, Stewart and Jaguar shows the ambition he had for his career. Anderson designed the first Jordan F1 car Michael Schumacher ever drove. Recently Anderson has been sharing his technical insight with F1 fans as part of the Setanta Sports commentary team and will continue to do this during 2006.

"It's really great to join Racing Engineering, they are a very professional outfit and to work with Adam will be a great pleasure. He is a driver I have watched over the past few years and his ability and natural talent is second to none. Hopefully some of my 30 years experience will help him achieve his goal as a race driver in a top F1 team." stated Anderson.

Adam will drive for Racing Engineering alongside the 18 year-old Spaniard, Javier Villa, who is embarking on his first season in GP2.

"I am extremely happy with joining Racing Engineering. I feel very confident about the 2006 season and I am very comfortable straight away with everyone in the team. Gary and I will be a strong pairing already adding to a strong technical team. I would like to thank Alfonso, Repsol, Telefonica and John Sweeney for giving me this chance. I will not let them down." Adam Carroll added. Racing Engineering

02/16/06
nascar
Marlin forced to backup car for 500 Marlin forced to backup car for 500What looked to be a very successful run at Daytona International Speedway for Sterling Marlin turned into a nightmare when an incident under caution damaged the No. 14 Waste Management Chevrolet, forcing the team to a backup car for Sunday’s Daytona 500.

Pictured right, Dale Jarrett is spun on the front stretch. Sterlin Marlin in the Waste Management #14 is also involved. Photo by CIA Stock Photo 

Marlin showed a strong performance in Thursday’s first of two Gatorade Duel 150-mile qualifying races, starting eighth and running as high as fourth several times. Then on Lap 58 of 60, the caution flag waved, setting up a green-white-checkered restart.

As Marlin followed the field across the start-finish line for the final caution lap, he was caught off guard as several other racecars slowed to avoid debris and the result was a wrecked racecar. By going to a backup car he will be forced to start the Daytona 500 from the rear of the field.

“I don’t know what happened,” said Marlin, who was credited with a 26th-place finish. “I reached down to look at my oil temperature and when I looked back up everyone was dead stopped. I didn’t get any warning so I turned the wheel to avoid the people in front of me and made contact with another car. The way the brakes are here you can’t stop, you just slide the tires.” zzzz
 
Marlin drove his Waste Management Chevy down pit road where the team accessed the damage before pulling it into the garage and calling it a day.

“We didn’t really have time to work on anything on pit road since there were only two laps left,” said Marlin. “Doug (Randolph- crew chief) and the team looked at the car after the race and decided it’d be best to go to the backup. The only silver lining is that our backup car should be as good as our primary was. We came down here testing last month and had a tough time deciding which car to bring back so that’s a good sign for Sunday."

“We could really slice and dice through there and were able to run down the field when we needed to," added Marlin. "Hopefully this backup Waste Management Chevy will be able to do the same thing. We’ll get some good practice time in during the next couple of days and then make our way up front Sunday.”

02/16/06
cca
New Atlantic Car strong In second day of testing New Atlantic Car strong In second day of testingCHANDLER, Arizona – While Tuesday night’s unveiling of the new Champ Car Atlantic Championship car and Wednesday’s on-track debut of the Swift 016.a/Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama were all about smiles, Thursday’s focus on the second test day of the 2006 Atlantic was all about miles.

After making its debut in front of a packed house at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles earlier this week, the new machine of the Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda traveled to Firebird International Raceway just outside of Phoenix for its first road test (Photo right by Dan Streck/LAT). Jon Fogarty, the 2002 and 2004 Atlantic series champion, shook down the car on Wednesday. And while Fogarty and the throng of series and manufacturer support personnel on hand were happy to see the new car in action on day one, the concentration shifted Thursday to the durability and reliability of the ’06 Atlantic.

Simulating two full-race, long-distance runs, the car ran over 230 miles under the hot Arizona sun throughout the course of the day bringing the two-day test total to 320 miles on the 1.25-mile Firebird East test track. From all accounts, the new generation car has surpassed all expectations.  zzzz

“Today we really hit our stride getting done what we needed to do,” said Fogarty. “We did two race-distance runs with no problems. The car was consistent and it has good balance. This car rewards hard driving. It’s a little more forgiving than the previous Atlantic car and it affords more opportunity to slide the car around a little bit.”

“As tests go, so far this one has gone as well as we possibly hope for,” said Chris Norris, Chief Design Engineer for Swift Engineering, which has designed and manufactured the next generation of Atlantic cars. “Any issues that we’ve encountered have been very minor and the car seems to be performing as we hoped it would.”

Representatives from all major series major manufacturers were trackside as Atlantic and Swift officials continued to perform various system tests on the car and all components including engine, electronics, brakes, tires and shock absorbers passed the rigorous tests with flying colors.

“Today we’ve really been able to make progress verifying functionality of all the car’s operating systems,” said Steve Sewell, Atlantic Series Technical Director. “The continued focus of the test is reliability and the putting miles on the car and we’ve found no limits so far. This car right now is the Energizer Bunny of race cars.”

An unprecedented level of support is attending the three-day test to make sure the new generation Atlantic performs to its optimum level in its on-track debut. In addition to Swift personnel, Cosworth engineers are monitoring the performance of the new Mazda-Cosworth 2.3-liter, 300-horsepower engine while a full compliment of Yokohama and Trackside Performance workers are on hand to provide tires for the test. Pi Research is supervising the wiring, electronics and data collection. Dynamic Suspension is providing shock absorber support while Hewland Engineering is overseeing the gearbox performance at the test.

Another full day of testing is planned on Friday and officials hope to continue to see increased levels of reliability while focusing on different aspects of the car. “We plan to take what we’ve learned today and make sure that all systems are running properly and if they are we’ll start down the path of taking some driver input and apply that to the setup of the car,” said Sewell. Champ Car

02/16/06
nascar
Sadler wins first Daytona Qualifier in Ford Sadler wins first Daytona Qualifier in FordFinishing Order
1 3 #38 Elliott Sadler Ford M&M's PE 64 Running
2 14 #99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot PE 64 Running
3 20 #8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Budweiser PE 64 Running
4 29 #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's PE 64 Running
5 28 #17 Matt Kenseth Ford DeWalt Power Tools PE 64 Running
6 6 #2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite PE 64 Running
7 1 #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Cingular Wireless PE 64 Running
8 10 #20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet The Home Depot PE 64 Running
9 7 #11 Denny Hamlin Chevrolet FedEx Express PE 64 Running
10 18 #1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops/Tracker PE 64 Running
11 12 #66 Jeff Green Chevrolet Best Buy PE 64 Running
12 16 #21 Ken Schrader Ford Little Debbie PE 64 Running
13 2 #88 Dale Jarrett Ford UPS PE 64 Running
14 13 #9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Dodge Dealers/UAW PE 64 Running
15 24 #49 Brent Sherman Dodge Serta PE 64 Running
16 15 #61 Kevin Lepage Ford Amp Energy Drink PE 64 Running
17 5 #136 Bill Elliott Chevrolet Ginn Clubs & Resorts PE 64 Running
18 23 #23 Mike Skinner Dodge Bad Boy Mowers PE 64 Running
19 22 #74 Derrike Cope Dodge MyGuardian911/Sundance Vacations PE 64 Running
20 9 #25 Brian Vickers Chevrolet GMAC PE 64 Running  zzzz
21 4 #07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel's PE 64 Running
22 26 #152 Larry Gunselman Dodge Pro30.com/Race2WA.com PE 64 Running
23 19 #50 Larry Foyt Dodge Arnold Development Companies PE 64 Running
24 27 #159 Andy Belmont Chevrolet YearOne.com PE 63 Running
25 21 #34 Randy LaJoie Chevrolet Front Row Motorsports PE 62 Running
26 8 #14 Sterling Marlin Chevrolet Waste Management PE 60 Running
27 25 #92 Chad Chaffin Chevrolet Oak Glove Co. PE 58 Out of Race
28 17 #15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Menards/Pittsburgh Paints PE 26 Out of Race
29 11 #00 Hermie Sadler Ford Aaron's PE 12 Out of Race
* Denotes Rookie
02/16/06
nascar
Rain delays Daytona qualifiers Rain delays Daytona qualifiersRain has delayed the first Daytona Gatorade Duel race but it is now underway.
02/16/06
cc
Champ Car Testing in April in Portland Champ Car Testing in April in PortlandLots of exciting news to share surrounding Portland and Champ Car.  Champ Car has opened up some great opportunities for our fans in Portland and the surrounding area to meet and get to know our athletes better.  Here is a small taste to keep everyone “up to speed.”

CC Turbo Tour March 13th – Champ Car Flies into Town!  First stop Portland!  Champ Car will be launching its season with a stop in Portland Monday March 13th.  Champ Car President Steve Johnson will be joined by superstars Sebastien Bourdais, Paul Tracy, rising star Katherine Legge and many others.  The night of March 13th the Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland presented by G.I. Joe’s will be hosting a Fan Forum.  This will be an open invite for all Champ Car fans.  We encourage you on this evening to bring your neighbor, colleagues and your family.  Exact time and location will follow in the coming days.  PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THE EVENING OF MARCH 13TH!

Reminder - Portland Rod & Custom Show February 17-19:  AJ Allmendinger will be the feature driver at up coming Portland Rod & Custom Show, this weekend February 18th at the Portland Expo Center.  He will be signing autographs and chatting with fans from 10:30 – 11:30am and 2-3pm

Reminder - Champ Car Testing April 12-13 PIR  Please save the dates April 12-13 for Champ Car Testing at Portland Int. Raceway.  Promotions surrounding the testing will be extensive this year and we will get a full schedule of activities out to everyone within a month. 

Champ Car Tickets Tickets are available at any GI Joe’s Ticketmaster Outlet, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling the promoters office at 503.821.4344 PIR

02/16/06
IMSA
New IMSA Lites car price announced New IMSA Lites car price announcedThe all-new-for-2006 IMSA Lites sports car race series received a major boost today when Indy-winning racecar manufacturer Elan Motorsports Technologies announced that their own IMSA Lites contender has moved into volume customer production.

There has already been strong customer interest in the Elan Van Diemen DP02 model, (so named after Panoz Motorsports Group and ALMS founder Dr. Don Panoz), as up-and-coming pro race drivers have recognized that IMSA Lites is the best way to showcase their talent in front of American Le Mans Series team bosses, and so grab hold of a rung on the international racing career ladder.

In response to such customer demand, Elan has announced that volume production is now rolling from the company's main factory in Braselton, GA.

And if the new IMSA Lites race series itself has great potential, then the logic of these new Elan customers has been that the Racecar they choose must be the very best package available, at the right price. And that is exactly where the DP02 Sports Racer has caused some highly favorable comment. zzzz

The DP02 car - designed and built by the same EMT group which has won 3 Indy 500's with the Panoz G Force, and countless ALMS races in the much loved Panoz 'Batmobile', and which has designed and built over 120 of the ultra successful Star Mazda formula cars - combines a carbon composite tub, with a 6 speed sequential gearbox and the Elan Power Products developed Ford Duratec 2.3 liter race engine. That is a lot of race car for Elan's now-announced price of just $73,000, for a fully assembled ready-to-drive race car.*

David Bowes, CEO of Elan Motorsport Technologies Inc., which builds all the cars produced under the Elan, Panoz and Van Diemen brand names, said:- "The DP02 has been a revelation in testing at our nearby Road Atlanta facility - quick, reliable and 'excellent to drive'. Given the amount of the very latest motorsports technology that is packed into this Racecar, and given its strong prospects in IMSA Lites as a winner - plus its nation wide customer base as a sensational SCCA C-SR division contender - I know we are going to be selling a lot of these cars!"

Apart from the super competitive price, the key technical attractions of the DP02 are:
. An immensely strong carbon composite chassis
. Race engine from market leaders Elan Power Products, with a 2500 mile service life
. 6 speed sequential Hewland gearbox
. Cockpit safety features include anti-intrusion panels, F.3 spec head restraint
. High spec electrics, harness, instrumentation and engine management systems
. Brakes are 4 pot calipers; steering is by race-winning Van Diemen system

(Full technical specification and an information pack is now available from Jeff Stancoff at Elan Motorsports Technologies on 706 658 2672, or jstancoff@elanmotorsports.com)

Says David Bowes: "Where we really score with teams embarking on the IMSA Lites Series trail is in customer service and at-track engineering capability. Some of our best engineers have been involved in the design and build of these new cars, and they will be at every race with a full support package, along with a full spares service direct from the factory. So whatever the race weekend brings, Elan's engineers and spare parts experts are there to get you back out racing".

There is no doubt that everyone at Elan is fired up about this new car and the new IMSA Lites series. The IMSA Lites DP02 delivers the best value - world class engineering and design experience, delivering a race-winning car for America's quickest stars of the future!

02/16/06
irl
IRL rookies complete Homestead test IRL rookies complete Homestead testRookies complete test at Homestead: Bombardier Rookie of the Year candidates Marco Andretti and Paul Dana completed a successful two-day test at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Feb. 15.  IRL officials conducted the test in order to evaluate each rookie driver in traffic. Veteran driver Michael Andretti also participated in the test.

"It was a fun two days," Marco Andretti said. "The purpose of our test was to give me some time running the No. 26 ArcaEx car in traffic, and we accomplished that. I got to run wheel-to-wheel with dad and then we ran some laps with Paul Dana, as well."
The test marked the younger Andretti's first laps in a multiple-car draft, but Michael Andretti said his son adapted very well.  "It was good to run with Marco and give him the experience of running side-by-side with another car, and he did a nice job in that situation," Michael Andretti said. "It was good for me as well. I'm continuing to knock the rust off, but I'm very happy with my acclimation to the No. 1 Jim Beam/Vonage car. If we were to race tomorrow, I'd be ready to go."

Marco Andretti said the experience will help him as he prepares for  his rookie season in the IndyCar Series. He'll return to the car March 2-6 for an IRL Open Test at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  "I'm telling you, when you run with a third car it's an entirely different ballgame," he said. "Running in someone's draft is one thing, but the third car really makes a difference regarding how your setup works. I definitely learned a lot." IRL

02/16/06
Racing News
Mansell, others inducted Mansell, others inductedChamp Car and Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell, NASCAR West Coast icon Hershel McGriff and drag racing fan favorite Chris Karamesines will lead a class of seven racing greats into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America when the organization stages its annual induction ceremony on Thursday, August 17, 2006 at the State Theatre in Detroit.

These three, along with versatile sports car driver Elliott Forbes-Robinson, 7-time Motocross champion Jeff Ward, NASCAR pioneer Curtis Turner and Tom Carnegie, the legendary voice of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will join the 153 honorees already enshrined in the Motorsports Hall of Fame.

“Diversity and versatility are the hallmarks of the class of 2006.  A simultaneous world and U.S. champion, NASCAR and drag racing winners from both coasts and Mid-America, a winning driver of all varieties of sports cars, a 7-time motorcycle champion turned Indy driver and the “voice of God” from the Indy Speedway – this class has it all,” says Ron Watson, president of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

Although Nigel Mansell won the 1992 Formula 1 world championship, he became eligible for America’s Motorsports Hall of Fame the following year when he crossed the Atlantic to join the Champ Car World Series. In two years on the Champ Car circuit, Mansell won five races, 10 poles and the 1993 title, becoming the only driver in history to hold both the F1 world and Champ Car titles at the same time. zzzz

Hershel McGriff won the inaugural Mexican Road Race in 1950 and won four Grand National (now Nextel Cup) races in 1954 before taking a 17-year respite from the sport. He returned in 1971, won NASCAR’s Winston West championship in 1986 and is tied for third on the all-time NASCAR West win list with 35.

Popular Chris Karamesines was called the Golden Greek and was Chicago’s first professional drag racer. He has won a half dozen AHRA, one IHRA national event, five World Series of Drag Racing titles along with innumerable match races during his crowd pleasing career.

Elliott Forbes-Robinson won races and championships in many types of cars and series. He won his first race in a Shelby Cobra and won championships in Bob Sharp Racing Nissans. He won races and titles in Super Vee, Trans-Am, Can-Am, IMSA GTU, the World Challenge Championship, the American LeMans Series and the 24 Hours of Daytona.

Jeff Ward was a dominant Motocross and Supercross racer in the 1980s. He won AMA season titles for Supercross in 1985 and 1987 and Motocross in 1984, 1985, 1988, 1989 and 1990. He was the AMA Athlete of the Year in 1989.  After a successful stint in Indy cars, he returned to bikes and won the 2004 SuperMoto championship on a Honda.

Colorful Curtis Turner, the only deceased member of the class of 2006, won 17 Grand National races in 180 starts from 1949 to 1968. He led the NASCAR Convertible Division during its four-year run (1956-1959) with 38 wins and 30 poles.

Tom Carnegie became the distinctive voice of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as its public address announcer in 1946. For three generations of fans, his baritone descriptions of track activities are synonymous with the “500.”

Also on August 17th, the Motorsports Hall of Fame will honor Benny Parsons, who was elected into the Hall last year but could not attend the induction ceremonies due to the untimely death of his father. Currently an award-winning NASCAR analyst on NBC and TNT, Parsons won the 1975 Daytona 500 and the 1980 Coca-Cola 600, as well as 19 other Winston Cup races. He won the 1973 Winston Cup title and was the ARCA champion in 1968 and 1969. At Talladega in 1982, Parsons was the first NASCAR driver to qualify a car at more than 200 mph.

Tickets for the induction ceremony can be purchased by calling 1-800-250-RACE (7223).

The Motorsports Museum & Hall of Fame is operated by the Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame of America Foundation Inc. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is a museum housing more than 40 racing and high performance vehicles. The constantly changing collection features racers from the world of Indy cars, stock cars, Can Am, TransAm, sprint cars, powerboats, truck racing, drag racing, motorcycles, air racing and even snowmobiles. Among the highlights are Art Arfons’ Green Monster jet car and championship NASCAR stock cars driven by Darrell Waltrip and Dale Jarrett.

02/16/06
nascar
 Track News
TV News
Chicagoland TV ad to air during 500 Chicagoland TV ad to air during 500In Chicago, Lewis Lazare reported the Chicagoland Speedway is teaming with actor Will Ferrell in a new TV ad campaign set to break during the Daytona 500. The 30-second spot, “Trophy,” features Ferrell “waxing histrionic about the reason man and auto come together and race” — to win a trophy. But an off-camera voice reminds Ferrell he will be grand marshal, not a racer. That “prompts Ferrell to inquire whether he’ll get the trophy anyway.” Lazare wrote, “The humor’s a bit forced, to be sure, but Ferrell is making the effort to get into a NASCAR frame of mind, because he stars in a new movie, ‘Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,’” scheduled for release August 4. Chicagoland Speedway hosts NASCAR events July 8-9 and on September 9-10, and will use the spot to sell ticket packages for both weekends. Ferrell will be grand marshal of the USG Sheetrock 400 on July 9. “Trophy” was developed in-house in conjunction with Deep Alliance Marketing and Tower Productions/Chicago. Chicago Sun-Times

Ferrell will serve as the official spokesman for NASCAR Day ’06 on May 19, and he will appear in a new ad campaign promoting NASCAR Day for the newly-formed NASCAR Foundation. The commercial will break during the Daytona 500 and will continue to air during NASCAR race telecasts through NASCAR Day. NASCAR

02/16/06
nascar
TV News
NASCAR gets it - The drivers matter NASCAR gets it - The drivers matterAlmost 20 drivers will be featured in new NASCAR-themed commercials breaking Sunday. These ads will be available on NASCAR.com starting Sunday for fans to vote on their favorite. NASCAR will announce the winner of the “DayTony” award next week on XM Satellite Radio. Here is a sampling: The Home Depot will debut a 60-second spot featuring driver Tony Stewart giving crew chief Greg Zipadelli a tour of his home, highlighting various home improvement projects he completed and showing Zipadelli how each project relates back to a specific race during their championship ’05 season. Additional 15- and 30-second spots featuring Stewart, Zipadelli and other members of The Home Depot Racing team will debut throughout the season. UPS ads will show Dale Jarrett racing the UPS truck. During the Daytona 500, the truck will appear in two new spots. Other commercials will break throughout the season. The Daily

In Atlanta, Dave Hirschman reports that in the UPS spots, Jarrett will “finally yield to pleas from the Muppets, George Thorogood, his father, Ned, and others” to race the truck Atlanta Constitution

02/16/06
nascar
TV News
TV ads top $425K for Daytona 500 TV ads top $425K for Daytona 500A media buyer indicated that advertisers are paying “around $425,000 for a 30-second spot” in NBC’s broadcast of the Daytona 500 this year, “compared with the $385,000 average price last year” when the race was on Fox, according to Brian Steinberg of the Wall Street Journal. Coca-Cola, UPS, Ford, Gillette, Sprint Nextel and Hershey’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups all will launch new ads on NBC’s broadcast. State Farm, which will advertise on the race for the first time, has spots from Omnicom’s DDB Chicago that feature drivers Jeff Burton and rookie Reed Sorenson. An ad for Gillette, via Omnicom’s BBDO, will show driver Ryan Newman “shaving the number 12 — his racecar number — into the stubble of several sleeping drivers with Gillette’s new Fusion razor.” Coca-Cola ads, via Wieden & Kennedy, will show NASCAR drivers “chugging the company’s soda in settings far from the racetrack” Wall Street Journal

USA TODAY reports the $425,000 figure per 30-second spot is a record for a NASCAR race. Competitors across several product categories will run ads including Coca-Cola and Pepsi; Lowe’s and The Home Depot; Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford; and UPS and FedEx. Meanwhile, Sprint, which bought Nextel last year, will begin “phasing out the Nextel name” on NASCAR’s top series. In “humorous ads” to air during the race, Sprint “ties its name with Nextel’s popular walkie-talkie capability” USA Today

02/16/06
f1
Kovalainen nips Montoya in Valencia Kovalainen nips Montoya in Valencia"This was one of our best days of the winter," said chief Renault test engineer Christian Silk. "We did more than 1000 km with only minor problems on both cars, and the R26 seems very competitive.

"Heikki completed his program of tire and brake testing without any problems, and we found some very interesting directions with the Michelin tires.

"As for Giancarlo, his race distance was interrupted by a minor hydraulic problem, but he ran trouble-free this afternoon as he worked on set-up and tire development."
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1. Kovalainen Renault (M) 1:10.618 140
 2. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:10.657 50
 3. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:10.938 118
 4. Rosberg Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:11.139 78
 5. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:11.174 66
 6. Coulthard Red Bull-Ferrari (M) 1:11.217 73
 7. Wurz Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:12.233 119
 8. Albers MF1-Toyota (B) 1:12.778 46
 9. Sutil MF1-Toyota (B) 1:17.912 27

All Timing Unofficial

02/16/06
f1
Massa again fastest in Bahrain Massa again fastest in Bahrain
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:30.578 90
 2. Button Honda (M) 1:31.261 133
 3. Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Cosworth (M) 1:31.385 56
 4. Barrichello Honda (M) 1:31.590 97
 5. Speed Toro Rosso-Cosworth (M) 1:32.623 62
 6. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:32.909 23
02/16/06
iroc
IROC season opener lineup IROC season opener lineupThe following is the Crown Royal IROC starting lineup for Friday’s 40-lap, 100-mile race. The start time is 6:00 p.m. Eastern
Starting Driver Car #/Color Representing
1 Mark Martin* 6 Purple NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
2 Scott Sharp 08 Gold IRL IndyCar Series
3 Frank Kimmel 46 Magenta ARCA RE/MAX Series
4 Sam Hornish 06 Day-Glo IRL IndyCar Series
5 Ryan Newman 12 Red NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
6 Max Papis 16 Burgundy Grand American Road Racing
7 Ted Musgrave 1 Lt. Blue NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
8 Steve Kinser 11 Green World of Outlaws Series
9 Wayne Taylor 10 Drk. Blue Grand American Road Racing
10 Tony Stewart 20 Orange NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
11 Martin Truex Jr. 8 Black NASCAR Busch Series
12 Matt Kenseth* 17 Yellow NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
*Series’ champions: 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005 Mark Martin, 2004 Matt Kenseth
Broadcast: SPEED Channel – Live, Friday, Feb. 17, 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time
02/16/06
TV News
USA TV reminders for Saturday USA TV reminders for Saturday
NASCAR Live!
Daytona International Speedway
9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. ET (L) SPEED
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP - FINAL PRACTICE
Daytona 500
10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET (L) SPEED
NASCAR Live!
Daytona International Speedway
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. ET (L) SPEED
NASCAR BUSCH SERIES
Hershey's Kissables 300
Daytona International Speedway
1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. ET (L) TNT
ROUSH RACING - DRIVER X
2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET (R) Discovery HD Theater
NASCAR Live!
Daytona International Speedway
5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET (L) SPEED
A1 GRAND PRIX
Sentul, Indonesia
6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. ET OLN
SPORTS CENTURY - DALE EARNHARDT
6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. ET ESPN Classic
10:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. ET (R) ESPN Classic
SPEED NEWS
7:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. ET (L) SPEED
3 NATION: THE LIFE & LEGACY OF DALE EARNHARDT
7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. ET ESPN Classic
NASCAR PERFORMANCE
7:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. ET SPEED
NASCAR INSIDE NEXTEL CUP
Special Edition: Daytona 500 Preview
8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. ET SPEED
NASCAR FIVE YEARS LATER
9:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. ET (R) SPEED
CHAMPIONS QUEST - ROLEX 24
Daytona International Speedway
10:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. ET SPEED
A TOUGH GAME: CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES
    TOYOTA TRUCKS 2005
11:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. ET (R) SPEED

For a complete listing of Saturday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com and Race Fan TV.

02/16/06
nascar
Green statement on Busch accident with Sadler Green statement on Busch accident with SadlerHere is a statement from David Green, driver of the No. 27 Huggies® CleanTeam Ford Fusion, on the accident during the first NASCAR Busch Series practice session (February 15) at Daytona International Speedway:

“We rolled out and made our first run as a mock qualifying run. I completed my second lap (49.60) and we were six-tenths of a second faster than our best lap testing. (Crew Chief) Stewart (Cooper) and the Brewco Motorsports team had really massaged this new Ford Fusion and the Robert Yates Racing engine was awesome.

“We quickly adjusted our car into drafting trim and were set to run a 20 lap run to check our tire wear. The car was very fast and even though it was a bit tight on exit, it really did what I needed it to do in the draft.

“The No. 90 car driven by Elliott Sadler was ahead of me going into turn one and cut a left rear tire. Elliott spun right up the track in front of me, collecting us as he went.

“Our back-up car was tested back in January and will be equally as good as our primary car. It’s a tough way to start the first practice for our first race of the 2006 season, but I’m very happy and proud of my team for what they have given me to race this weekend.”

02/16/06
nascar
Q and A With Chevy Drivers Hamlin, Gordon and Burton Q and A With Chevy Drivers Hamlin, Gordon and Burton
02/16/06
f1
ATT logo debuts on MP4-21 livery ATT logo debuts on MP4-21 liveryAT&T Inc., McLaren’s exclusive corporate partner for fixed-line voice and data networking services, unveiled its newly introduced corporate logo on the Team McLaren Mercedes MP4-21 during the car’s first run in its new livery in Valencia on Feb. 14, 2006.

Team McLaren Mercedes' new livery has an innovative surface coating, which achieves a high level of reflectivity. The technology used was perfected by McLaren during the past six months and is completely new to Formula One.

The new AT&T logo is the symbol of the recent merger of AT&T Corp. and SBC Communications Inc., and its appearance on Team McLaren Mercedes' 2006 livery is testimony to the company’s ongoing commitment to, and partnership with, the team. It is also part of AT&T’s global marketing efforts in the wake of the merger. The brand transition to the new AT&T is being supported by the largest multimedia advertising and marketing campaign in either SBC’s or legacy AT&T’s history.

“Both AT&T and Team McLaren Mercedes focus on ensuring their respective businesses perform at the highest standard globally,” said Mark A. Keiffer, chief marketing officer - business, AT&T Operations, Inc. “The brand attributes that McLaren embodies — innovation, quality, reliability, technological excellence and unsurpassed performance, delivered anywhere in the world — match the new AT&T's values and commitment delivered to our customers every day. I can’t think of a better brand platform for the new AT&T.”

“Involvement with Team McLaren Mercedes in Formula One provides a powerful global tool for our corporate partners to showcase their brand and services in front of the massive worldwide audience that the sport attracts,” says Jonathan Neale, managing director of McLaren Racing. “But our relationship is more than just a mobile billboard. Our team depends on utilizing and optimizing the latest technology, and working with AT&T means we get the advantage of cutting-edge fixed-line communications services supporting us wherever we are in the world. It gives Team McLaren Mercedes a powerful advantage, as we strive for excellence and success.”

As part of its relationship with Team McLaren Mercedes, AT&T has deployed its technology, services, and networking solutions to ensure that the vast amount of data generated during racing, practice, and test sessions can be accessed by the team's technical and research and development staff in real time from anywhere in the world. This allows McLaren to optimize performance and to ensure the team’s competitiveness.

02/16/06
gp2
Durango signs Lucas Di Grassi for GP2 Series 2006 Durango signs Lucas Di Grassi for GP2 Series 2006Ivone Pinton is proud to confirm the Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi as his first driver for the coming GP2 season. The gifted driver, hope of the Renault Driver Development Program, is the recent winner of the 52nd Macao F3 GP.

Lucas Di Grassi: I'm really happy to be part of a Team with so much potential and motivation. I really believe that awesome results will come this season in GP2.

Ivone Pinton: I believe that Lucas is a front runner, he deserves to race in highly competitive championships like GP2; for sure we will see his worth with Durango. Source: Durango

02/16/06
f1
Massa can't predict Ferrari's performance Massa can't predict Ferrari's performanceFelipe Massa is confident some new developments for their car will help them be more competitive before the 2006 F1 season begins.

"We have to improve a lot," Massa told Gazzetta dello Sport. "At the moment I'm not worried about the lap times because we have many new components to install in the 2006 car.

"The important thing here is to find and maintain reliability, which during these days is the most important aspect.

"Lap times count, but we still have many kilometres at our disposal. From now on we'll install new components on the car. We'll bring to the 248 the synthesis of the solutions which have brought the best results in testing from November until now. At that point, I'm sure, lap times will improve."

Massa believes it's too early to make predictions about Ferrari's competitiveness in the 2006 championship.

"Let's wait, we are preparing suitable material. The basis of the car is good, but needs to be developed. Only at the end of this work I'll be able to be more precise. It's early now," he added.

02/16/06
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Massa defends Bahrain testers
Schu and his dog
MF1 trio charge for super licenses
Another Finn joins McLaren
Mosley to write F1 column
Loophole says 'STR01' is legal
Mosley's radical engine plan
Honda pack more power - Alonso
02/16/06
TV News
USA TV reminders for Friday USA TV reminders for Friday
NASCAR Live!
Daytona International Speedway
1:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. ET (L) SPEED
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP - PRACTICE
Daytona 500
1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET (L) SPEED
NASCAR BUSCH SERIES - QUALIFYING
Hershey's Kissables 300
Daytona International Speedway
3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. ET (L) SPEED
NASCAR Live!
Daytona International Speedway
5:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET (L) SPEED
IROC
Daytona International Speedway
6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. ET (L) SPEED
TRACKSIDE AT DAYTONA
Daytona International Speedway
7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. ET (L) SPEED
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES
GM Flex Fuel 250
Daytona International Speedway
8:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m. ET (L) SPEED
60 MINUTES ON CLASSIC
Richard Petty
9:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. ET ESPN Classic
NASCAR PAST CHAMPIONS
Tony Stewart
10:30 p.m.-11:00 p.m. (R) SPEED

For a complete listing of Friday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com and Race Fan TV.

02/16/06
nascar
Gatorade Duel race 2 lineup Gatorade Duel race 2 lineupThursday race 2:
1 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont
2 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios/Betty Crocker
3 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal
4 5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet Kellogg's
5 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet GM Goodwrench
6 01 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet U.S. Army
7 18 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Interstate Batteries
8 32 Travis Kvapil Chevrolet Tide
9 19 Jeremy Mayfield Dodge Dodge Dealers/UAW
10 7 Robby Gordon Chevrolet Jim Beam
11 16 Greg Biffle Ford National Guard
12 6 Mark Martin Ford AAA
13 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target
14 42 Casey Mears Dodge Texaco/Havoline
15 12 Ryan Newman Dodge ALLTEL
16 27 Kirk Shelmerdine Chevrolet Apex Electric
17 195 Stanton Barrett Chevrolet Yippeenet.com
18 4 Scott Wimmer Chevrolet AERO Exhaust
19 45 Kyle Petty Dodge Wells Fargo Financial
20 22 Dave Blaney Dodge Caterpillar
21 40 David Stremme Dodge Lone Star Steakhouse/Saloon
22 89 Morgan Shepherd Dodge Victory in Jesus/Dutch Quality Stone
23 55 Michael Waltrip Dodge NAPA Auto Parts
24 109 Mike Wallace Dodge Miccosukee Gaming & Resorts
25 37 Chad Blount Dodge R&J Racing
26 178 Kenny Wallace Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing
27 10 Scott Riggs Dodge Valvoline/Stanley Tools
28 180 Carl Long Ford RoadLoans.com
29 96 Terry Labonte Chevrolet DLP HDTV/Tweeter
02/16/06
nascar
Gatorade Duel Race 1 lineup Gatorade Duel Race 1 lineupThursday Race 1:
1 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Cingular Wireless
2 88 Dale Jarrett Ford UPS
3 38 Elliott Sadler Ford M&M's
4 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel's
5 136 Bill Elliott Chevrolet Ginn Clubs & Resorts
6 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite
7 11 Denny Hamlin Chevrolet FedEx Express
8 14 Sterling Marlin Chevrolet Waste Management
9 25 Brian Vickers Chevrolet GMAC
10 20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet The Home Depot
11 00 Hermie Sadler Ford Aaron's
12 66 Jeff Green Chevrolet Best Buy
13 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Dodge Dealers/UAW
14 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot
15 61 Kevin Lepage Ford Amp Energy Drink
16 21 Ken Schrader Ford Little Debbie
17 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Menards/Pittsburgh Paints
18 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops/Tracker
19 50 Larry Foyt Dodge Arnold Development Companies
20 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Budweiser
21 34 Randy LaJoie Chevrolet Front Row Motorsports
22 74 Derrike Cope Dodge MyGuardian911/Sundance Vacations
23 23 Mike Skinner Dodge Bad Boy Mowers
24 49 Brent Sherman Dodge Serta
25 92 Chad Chaffin Chevrolet Oak Glove Co.
26 152 Larry Gunselman Dodge Pro30.com/Race2WA.com
27 159 Andy Belmont Chevrolet YearOne.com
28 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DeWalt Power Tools
29 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's
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