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DATE News (chronologically)
02/19/13
f1
Villeneuve remains in serious condition  Snowmobile racer Jacques Villeneuve, the uncle of the race car driver with the same name, remains in intensive care at the Sherbrooke Hospital after suffering serious injuries while snowmobile racing on Saturday.

Villeneuve, 59, sustained several fractures and reportedly has a punctured lung. He was injured during a qualifying round at the Valcourt ski-doo Grand Prix.

Villeneuve's snowmobile collided with Michael Soucy's while the two were entering a curve. More ...

02/19/13
nassprint
Daytona 500 to be Johnson's 400th start  
Jimmie Johnson, beaten by a girl in qualifying
The Daytona 500 will mark #48-Jimmie Johnson's 400th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start, his 23rd career points-paying Sprint Cup start at Daytona and his 118th career points-paying start in a restrictor-plate race. In his first full Sprint Cup season in 2002, Johnson earned the pole in his very first race, the Daytona 500. Johnson has one win, six top-five finishes and nine top-10s in 22 starts. His only win came in the 2006 Daytona 500 with Darian Grubb as crew chief. Johnson's last top-five finish in the Daytona 500 was his win in 2006. His average start is 9.6 and average finish is 19.0. Johnson has completed 3,536 of 3,865 laps (91.5%) and led 60 laps in 22 starts.
02/19/13
f1
Ferrari Signs Multi-Year Sponsorship Deal With Logistics Company UPS  
Note UPS decal next to Alonso's left leg
Logistics company UPS expanded its sponsorship in motorsports by entering F1 racing through a multi-year sponsorship deal of Scuderia Ferrari. As part of the sponsorship, UPS will have significant visibility as the team competes in the F1 world championship across the globe. The UPS shield will be visible on the Ferrari F138 cars driven by Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, on their racing overalls, as well as the team's fleet of transporters and trackside equipment.

UPS will also implement a comprehensive activation program across the organization on a global scale. UPS will become the official logistics and shipping sponsor for Ferrari and be fully integrated into the company's daily operations by providing delivery and transportation services (UPS). The multi-year agreement will also extend to the racing activities of Ferrari Corse Clienti, including participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship and an involvement in the European series of Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli championship. Scuderia Ferrari
02/19/13
track news
Senate approves money for IMS  Senate OKs Indianapolis Motor Speedway funding plan providing up to $100 million in state funding toward improvements at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has won approval from the Indiana Senate.

Senators voted 37-12 Tuesday in favor of the proposal, sending it to the House for consideration.

The bill would create a motorsports investment district to collect existing state sales and income taxes generated from the track. The plan would tap up to $5 million a year in taxes to pay off bonds over a 20-year period, with the speedway paying about $2 million a year. More ...

02/19/13
nastruck
nnw
nassprint
Simpson Still NASCAR contingency sponsor in 2013  Simpson Performance Products announced today that they are continuing as a major contingency sponsor in 2013 for the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series.

Simpson, headquartered in Texas, is the only full service safety gear manufacturer inside the garage at NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series races.

“We are excited to continue the strong, long-time relationship we have built with NASCAR. We enjoy working closely with NASCAR to make the sport of racing safer,” said Debbie Bishop, Vice President of Marketing for Simpson.

“Simpson is a valued contingency partner of NASCAR and we are proud to have them service our teams with “at-track support” each week,” said Nick Gallo, Senior Manager Business Development, Automotive & Contingency.

02/19/13
ga
Ford Bringing Turbo EcoBoosts, Custom Bodies To DP  GRAND-AM has distinguished itself in the sports car marketplace for more than a decade by taking a low-tech, racing-first approach to its cars. But with the unification between its Rolex Series and the American Le Mans Series less than a year away, GRAND-AM's top class is set for a change to its core identity.

Currently regarded as a bastion for 5.0-liter V8 powerplants, SPEED.com has learned GRAND-AM will allow turbocharged engines into the Daytona Prototype class starting in 2014, with Ford at the forefront of the new high-tech initiative.

The production-based 3.5-liter, twin-turbo, direct-injection V6 was recently displayed at January's Roar Before The 24 test by Michael Shank Racing, and as I was told by Ford Racing director Jamie Allison on Friday, the Blue Oval is working directly with GRAND-AM and MSR to help map a more relevant, tech-friendly way forward in DP. More ...

02/19/13
track news
Long Beach track construction starts  
With Scion FR-S Pro/Celebrity car and Scion tC Drifting car, from left to right: Grand Prix President & CEO Jim Michaelian, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, Formula DRIFT President & Co-Founder Jim Liaw and Drifting Team Owner Stephan Papadakis
The green flag signaling the start of construction for the 39th  Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which will run April 19-21, fell this morning on Shoreline Drive, the famed racing circuit’s front straightaway.

The honorary construction foremen were Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, Papadakis Racing owner Stephan Papadakis, Formula DRIFT President & Co-Founder Jim Liaw and Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President & CEO Jim Michaelian. Also on-hand were the Papadakis Racing Scion tC, which will be driven in 2013 by top Drifting driver Frederic Aasbo, and, courtesy of Toyota Motorsports, an all-new, race-prepared Scion FR-S that will be driven in the 2013 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.

“Our race circuit will feature something extra this year as we will be hosting the first-ever night racing in the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge on Friday and Saturday,” said Michaelian. “Along with the six other racing events here in April, this should make for one of the most entertaining weekends in our history.” More ...

02/19/13
nassprint
Danica Makes History and so Pocono Gives Tickets Away  Danica Patrick’s qualifying effort on Sunday, becoming the first female driver in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history to earn a pole award, has seen much attention worldwide in the media. But, we want to know what YOU, the fans, think. So…we came up with a ticket giveaway!

Simply click the question below and complete the form provided. This will automatically enter you into a random drawing where one fan will win (4) Terrace Club Tickets, including Pre-Race Pit/Paddock Passes, to one of Pocono Raceway’s two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events! More ...

02/19/13
irl
Dragon teammates click in first test  Less than a week after being named to complete the two-car Dragon Racing entry for the 19-race IZOD IndyCar Series season, Sebastian Saavedra was on the Sebring International Raceway short course during the team's first on-track session of the new year. He'll also join Sebastien Bourdais in testing Feb. 27 at Sonoma Raceway.

"It's the first contact with the team - the mechanics, the engineers and Seb as well - so it was very important to create a relationship as they'll become your family during the season. From that aspect that was great," Saavedra said. "(Team owner) Jay (Penske) has been great and I'm grateful for this opportunity. More ...

02/19/13
f1
Barcelona Day 1: Select driver quotes  The driver quotes on the first day of running at the second F1 winter test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Mercedes

Nico Rosberg: "We had a mixed day today with some laps lost this morning. However we were able to work through a good program this afternoon and, of course, it's always nice to be quickest at the end of the day. In general, I feel happy and comfortable in the car and it feels better than the last time we were here at this track. There is still some work to be done on tire degradation and our program this afternoon was helpful in understanding that." More ...

02/19/13
f1
Barcelona: Rosberg tops Day 1 final test times  UPDATE Alonso must have turned more laps after 5 PM and improved his time to third fastest.

1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:22.616, 54 laps
2. Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, 1:22.623, 44 laps
3. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 1:22.952, 110 laps
4. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:22.965, 66 laps
5. Pastor Maldonado, Williams, 1:23.733, 86 laps
6. Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, 1:23.884, 73 laps
7. Sergio Perez, McLaren, 1:24.124, 77 laps
8. Paul di Resta, Force India, 1:24.144, 82 laps
9. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, 1:25.124, 68 laps
10. Max Chilton, Marussia, 1:26.747, 65 laps
11. Charles Pic, Caterham, 1:27.534, 49 laps More ...

02/19/13
track news
irl
Indianapolis Motor Speedway May Consider Naming Rights For Track, Indianapolis 500  

IMS potentially could make $10-15M from a naming-rights deal
Under new Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway "appears poised to part with long-held traditions -- including refusing to sell naming rights -- to achieve state-of-the-art status," according to sports business execs cited by Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. Sources said that Miles is "prepared to make other departures with tradition to pull the outdated venue into the modern era." Schoettle notes IMS will "need far more money than it will get from a proposed tax subsidy if it hopes to be in the top tier of U.S. racing venues." More ...
02/19/13
f1
Alonso happy with new car, not new tires  
Fernando Alonso stoops in front of his new Ferrari
Fernando Alonso  described his feeling with Ferrari's new car as "OK" after completing his first day driving the F138.

Felipe Massa drove on the opening three days of the first test in Jerez before Pedro de la Rosa took over on the final day as Alonso opted to skip the test in return for more track time in Barcelona. Having finished the day third quickest at the Circuit de Catalunya, Alonso was eager not to make any early judgments of the car. More ...

02/19/13
nassprint
NASCAR Legends On Danica  Thanks to modern technology and a place called the Spy Store, Robin Miller of speed.com was able to do an unauthorized wiretap of a few NASCAR legends following Sunday’s qualifying for the Daytona 500.

Here it is, uncut, unedited and uncouth.

Richard Petty dials up David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison and Junior Johnson on Sunday night for a conference call.

RP: “Hey I gotta talk to you guys because I’m having trouble with this Danica thing.”

CY: “What happened?”

RP: “She won the pole position.”

BA: “Where?”

RP: “Daytona.” More ...

02/19/13
f1
Williams races into 'grey areas' with 2013 car  UPDATE Williams and Caterham have been told by Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, that it considers the exhaust designs on their cars to be illegal.

02/19/13
Williams FW35
(GMM)  Williams on Tuesday completed the 2013 grid by finally launching its new FW35.

Every other team got their cars up and running recently at Jerez, triggering many rumors and whispers about the reason for the Oxfordshire team's delay.

Technical boss Mike Coughlan insists Williams simply wanted to spend more time developing the new car at the Grove base. More ...

02/19/13
irl
2013 IndyCars to feature two new components  Two new components designed and provided by Dallara will be incorporated on the IZOD IndyCar Series car for the 19-race season that commences March 24 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.

The chassis manufacturer has designed structural pieces for the sides of the monocoque with the goal of further reducing the risk of cars potentially rotating on side impact. To improve durability, brake disc guards will be mandatory for oval races and optional for road and street course events.

"It is important that we continue to evolve the chassis based on the data gathered to further enhance performance and safety," said Will Phillips, vice president of technology, INDYCAR.  "We were extremely pleased with the performance of the new car last season and continue to study data and feedback to improve the car." More ...

02/19/13
wec
Toyota Racing reveals updated TS030 Hybrid for 2013  
Toyota Racing today unveiled the revised TS030 HYBRID car which will spearhead the team's quest for victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) this season.

Following a successful roll-out earlier this month, TOYOTA Racing begins the first full test of the 2013-specification TS030 HYBRID at Paul Ricard in southern France tomorrow.

After an impressive debut in the WEC in 2012, which included three victories in just six races, the team returns with an ambition to win both the Le Mans 24 Hours and the WEC title. More ...
02/19/13
F3
F1
FIA Formula 3 European Championship winner to get Ferrari test  With new names joining the line-up for the 2013 FIA F3 European Championship on an almost daily basis, the combined efforts of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and the Ferrari Driver Academy will give the 2013 champion the opportunity to test drive a Formula 1 car at the end of the season.

The first race of the FIA F3 European Championship will be at Monza, in Italy, on March 22nd. The FIA's aim is to re-launch the championship as a stand-alone series so as to place Formula 3 at the very core of the training process of up-and-coming young drivers. Entries close on 28th February 2013 and it looks like many rising stars of motor racing will be part of the field. More ...

02/19/13
nassprint
Danica Patrick's pole win revving up interest in Daytona 500  
Danica Patrick - NASCAR biggest star and greatest driver of all-time (based on popularity).  A true NASCAR legend in the making
Seventeen-year-old race car driver Annabeth Barnes won't forget when Danica Patrick became the first woman to win the pole in NASCAR's marquee league.

"One day I want to shake her hand and thank her for what she has done for the sport," said Barnes, who grew up in a racing family and watched Sunday as Patrick broke a gender barrier.

The racing milestone, which will give Patrick the lead starting position in the Daytona 500, has set off an explosion of interest. More ...

02/19/13
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

02/19/13
  • (L to R) Bernie Ecclestone with his ex-wife Slavica and daughters Petra and Tamara
    Fry plays down reports of new flawed Ferrari
  • Senna left F1 to pursue 'wins and podiums'
  • Sutil 'happy and grateful' for Force India chance
  • Lotus liked for being 'natural team' - Lopez
  • Bottas 'tingling' before 2013 car debut
  • Old flame 'tried to blackmail Tamara Ecclestone' over love secrets'
  • Bahrain hoping for near-record turnout at F1 race
  • 'Russia will be ready for F1'
  • Second test for Ferrari, first for Alonso
  • Randstad and the Williams F1 Team Renew Partnership New
  • Ferrari signs UPS as logistics partner New
  • Williams FW35 launch video New
  • Pastor Maldonado targets more consistency New More ...
02/19/13
nassprint
Daytona 500 Qualifying TV Ratings  Danica Patrick becoming the first woman to capture the pole position for the Daytona 500 will obviously draw more viewer attention to an event that could use some extra hype. The 500 in 2012 was the fourth consecutive year that the race drew less than a 10 rating; the race had exceeded a 10 rating in seven of the eight previous years. But Patrick's performance in qualifying Sunday gave Fox just a small ratings pop: That coverage drew a 2.0 overnight rating, translating to 2% of households in the 56 urban markets measured for overnights -- up 11% from last year. USA Today
02/19/13
NASCAR
Video: In true NASCAR style, Larson spins opponent in order to win  Kyle Larson found a new (dirty) way to win a race Monday night at Daytona Int’l Speedway.

The open-wheel standout turned stock car racer drove a battered and bruised late model to victory in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series portion of the inaugural UNOH Battle of the Beach.

Larson was running second with the checkered flag in the air when, in true NASCAR style,  he punted leader C.E. Falk out of the way and drove to the $15,000 triumph. More ...

02/19/13
f1
Barcelona: Rosberg tops Tuesday morning test times  Full lap times, as of 11am local time, on the opening day of the F1 group test at the Catalunya circuit near Barcelona

1. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1min 24.520secs
2. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1min 26.606secs
3. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1min 26.890secs
4. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 1min 27.974secs
5. Charles Pic France Caterham-Renault 1min 28.209secs
6. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault 1min 30.196secs
7. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Cosworth 1min 30.820secs
8. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 37.504secs
9. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1min 38.452secs
10. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari No time
11. Sergio Perez Mexico McLaren-Mercedes No time
02/18/13
nassprint
What? Danica not favored to win the 500?  While Danica Patrick may be on pole for the Daytona 500, she is not exactly the darling of the sports bettors and no one, i.e. not a soul thinks, she will win the 500.

The day after shocking many in the racing world by winning the pole for the Daytona 500 in what many conspiracy theorists believe was preordained in the NASCAR Timing and Scoring computer software, Patrick was listed as an 18-1 long shot to win the race.

Thirteen drivers, headed by betting favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. at 17-2, are listed with better odds, according to the sports information and betting site Bovada. More ...

02/18/13
irl
Sebastien Bourdais & Sebastian SaavedraNew Dragon teammates 'click' during first outing  
Sebastian Saavedra relinquished the steering wheel of the Chevrolet-powered Dallara to new teammate Sebastien Bourdais as the sun began to sink below the treetops Feb. 18 at Sebring International Raceway.

“Now that was fun,” exclaimed Saavedra of his initial outing in the Dragon Racing car. “It’s not something new but every time you get into the car after a long time off it’s like the first time you drive it. It’s a good feeling.”

Less than a week after being named to complete the two-car Dragon Racing entry for the 19-race IZOD IndyCar Series season, Saavedra was on the short course during the team’s first on-track session of the new year. He’ll also join Bourdais in testing Feb. 27 at Sonoma Raceway. More ...

02/18/13
skip barber
Skip Barber Racing School Announces 2013 INDYCAR Academy Shootout  Skip Barber Racing School continues the 38-year tradition of finding, training and developing the best young drivers in the world with the 2nd annual Skip Barber Racing School INDYCAR Academy at Sebring International Raceway on November, 6-8.

Eligibility for the Skip Barber Racing School INDYCAR Academy is simple: graduate from one Skip Barber 3-Day Formula Car Racing School and 2-Day Advanced Racing School. Individuals must be nominated for the Academy by a Skip Barber Racing School Instructor and meet the following criteria:  More ...

02/18/13
nassprint
Richard Petty special to air tonight  Richard Petty: A Racer's Life: Richard "The King" Petty shares the real truths behind this "simple man" and his family's impact on NASCAR as reported by Steve Byrnes. The Richard Petty Stories delivers the vanguard family of Nascar in a remarkably open manner that has never been documented before. At his request, The King, Richard Petty sat down with Steve Byrnes to share the real truths behind this "simple man" and his family's impact on NASCAR. The premiere is scheduled for Monday, February 18th at 8:30pm/et on SPEED with re-airs scheduled. SPEED
02/18/13
f1
This week's F1 testing lineup at Barcelona  The penultimate pre-season gathering of the year gets underway at the Circuit de Catalunya on Tuesday, with all 11 teams using their 2013 contenders.

Barcelona's timetable is as follows:

Tuesday: 9am - 5pm
Wednesday: 9am - 5pm
Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Friday: 9am - 5pm More ...

02/18/13
irl
Article feedback  A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Regarding his most recent article on politician returning money taken from IMS, and his other article, I like this guy Stephen Cox....He and Robin Miller rule in my book! Roger Smith

Another reader writes, Dear AR1.com, You guys rocks.  Between Brian Carroccio, Stephen Cox, Pete McCole and Dave Grayson, AR1.com has the best group of motorsports writers going right now.  Worth every penny I pay you guys.  Danny Romanowski  P.S.  I miss Mark Cipolloni's articles, where has he been hiding?

Dear Danny, I do all the editing and Hot News and Rumors these days. Thanks for the kind words.  Mark C.

02/18/13
track news
IRL
IMS names Mario Andretti judge  
Mario Andretti
Mike Young
1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti will serve as the honorary head judge for the third annual Celebration of Automobiles on Saturday, May 11 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

As part of his role at the event, Andretti will determine which classic/vintage car will win the prestigious Driver's Choice Award.

The Celebration of Automobiles, scheduled for May 9-11 at IMS, pays tribute to the rich heritage of automobile development at IMS for more than 100 years. More ...
02/18/13
track news
Motegi Racing to sponsor Long Beach drifting race  LONG BEACH, Calif. - Motegi Racing will be the title sponsor of the Super Drift Challenge, the first night race in the 39-year history of the world-famous Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 19-21, race officials announced today.

The Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge, an invitational Formula DRIFT event, will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights on the eastern end of the race circuit – turns nine, 10 and 11 – and is expected to feature 16 of the sport’s top cars and drivers including 2012 Formula DRIFT champion Daigo Saito, 2011 champ Daijiro Yoshihara, plus Frederic Aasbo, Aurimas Bakchis, Michael Essa, Conrad Grunewald, Ken Gushi, Tyler McQuarrie, Robbie Nishida, Justin Pawlak, Matt Powers and others to be announced. Friday’s action will include practice and qualifying runs, while Saturday will see the teams compete for a $25,000 prize pool. On Sunday, the Super Drift Challenge cars will drift the entire race circuit after the featured IZOD IndyCar Series race. More ...
02/18/13
nassprint
Daytona 500 2013: Ford drivers wish they had a Chevy  DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — If there is one word to describe the new Fords at Daytona International Speedway, it is this — slow.

Greg Biffle said his Roush Fenway Racing Ford was too slow to make a bid for the win in Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited, and then only two Ford drivers qualified in the top 10 during Daytona 500 qualifying Sunday.

Greg Biffle (16) said he didn't have enough speed in the Sprint Unlimited. (AP Photo) MORE: Danica's pole-winning run | Qualifying speeds | Duel lineups | Stenhouse happy — for Danica

While Chevys swept the front row in qualifying, Ford had just four drivers in the top 15 and just seven in the top 25. More ...
02/18/13
racing news
Stoffel Vandoorne becomes member of McLaren Young Driver Program  We are delighted to announce that 20-year-old Belgian racing driver Stoffel Vandoorne, the reigning Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Champion, has become an official member of McLaren’s Young Driver Program.

Having won the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship in 2012, he will step up to compete in the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship this year, driving for the successful Fortec motorsports team. More ...
02/18/13
nastruck
Harvick's New Role with Expanded NCWTS Team  
Harvick
That didn’t take long …

Kevin Harvick, as it turns out, must miss owning a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team after all.

After 10 years of ownership, Harvick and wife DeLana disbanded Kevin Harvick, Inc. at the conclusion of the 2011 season, saying then the time had come to step away.  Harvick, however, inches his toes back into that pool in 2013 with NTS Motorsports, a new joint venture between NTS Motorsports owner Bob Newberry and Joe Denette Motorsports that now occupies the former KHI race shop in Kernersville, N.C. More ...

02/18/13
usf2000
ZSports/Team E Racing Adds Forgeois to USF2000 Championship Line-up  ZSports/Team E Racing's chase for Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda supremacy will be a two-car affair in 2013, with Luca Forgeois being added to the squad. The New York native joins the Florida-based team focused on challenging for wins and a series title, having previous captured the National class championship crown.

After an impressive run in the National class last season - four wins and nine top-three finishes - ZSports/Team E Racing is poised to build on that success in 2013, when it makes the transition to the Championship class of the USF2000 Championship. With the signing of Forgeois, the Florida-based team is well on the way to doing just that via a highly-talented two-driver line-up. The addition of the second-generation driver , who joins fellow USF2000 returnee and National class graduate RC Enerson under the ZSports/Team E Racing awning, gives the team two drivers with proven winning records in the Mazda Road to Indy series. Piloting the  Cafe Noir/Nova Aviation/Splashlight Studios/GEAR UP-backed  entry, Forgeois enters the 2012 season having captured the 2011 National class in impressive fashion, with six wins in 12 races. Given the 17 year-old Forgeois ran a partial Championship class campaign last year, both he and ZSports/Team E Racing are poised to be battling for positions among the front-runners right from the waving of the first green flag in March. More ...

02/18/13
irl
Allmendinger Talks This Week's IndyCar Series Test with Penske Racing  
AJ Allmendinger
AJ Allmendinger joined Adam Alexander on SPEED Center Sunday evening to discuss his upcoming IndyCar Series test with Penske Racing and his future in racing. Below are excerpts from the interview:

Alexander:  You’re turning your eyes to IndyCar now.  Roger Penske is giving you an opportunity to test an Indy car this week at Sebring.  What’s the anticipation like?

Allmendinger:  “I’m so excited for it -- to be back with Mr. Penske and the whole Penske organization. I’m so grateful to have this chance to get in one of his Indy cars.  I’m also nervous.  It’s been seven years – 2006 was the last time I was in an open-wheel race car.  The cars have changed a lot but I know I’ll have the best team to learn from.” More ...

02/18/13
nassprint
Danica's weight advantage  UPDATE
Danica Patrick is very small and rumored to weigh under 100 pounds soaking wet
Getty Images for NASCAR
A reader writes, Dear AR1.com,  I’m still absolutely astounded that people believe that the laws of physics do not apply to some racing organizations when it comes to weight and performance.

From the most basic levels of racing in karting to the pinnacle of motorsports, weight is a major factor in terms of lap times. Every kart class uses a minimum weight limit and drivers must cross scales at the end of every race. Just recently at the latest F1 test was Christian Horner (team principal of Red Bull) saying how difficult it was to determine the relevance of the lap times because a mere 20lbs is equal to 3.5 tenths per lap at the Jerez circuit. More ...

02/18/13
nassprint
Cajun Industries Takes a Ride with Wise  Cajun Industries will join Front Row Motorsports and Josh Wise as an associate sponsor on the No. 35 Ford Fusion for the 55th annual Daytona 500. The Baton Rouge, La.-based company provides services in all aspects of the construction industry and has earned elite honors for its post-Hurricane Katrina work in New Orleans.

Cajun has worked with Wise in the past and recognizes the value of partnering with Front Row Motorsports for NASCAR's biggest event. More ...

02/18/13
tv news
Motorsports This Week on ESPN  
NASCAR Nationwide Series Season Opener on ESPN
Live, flag-to-flag coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season-opening 300-mile race from Daytona International Speedway will air on ESPN on Saturday, Feb. 23. NASCAR Countdown begins at noon ET with the green flag at 1:34 p.m. The race telecast is presented by Royal Purple. ESPN2 will air NASCAR Nationwide Series practice on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 10 a.m. and qualifying on Friday, Feb. 22, at 3:30 p.m.

Also this week, ESPN2 will preview the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season in a special program airing Friday, Feb. 22, at 2 a.m. A NASCAR Nationwide Series season preview program will air Thursday, Feb. 21, at 2:30 a.m. All NASCAR programming on ESPN and ESPN2 is also available on computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox via WatchESPN, accessible to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider. More ...

02/18/13
automotive
Fastest Speeding Ticket Ever: 242mph in a 75mph Zone.  (Only 167 mph over the limit)
From Wikipedia

During its review of the CCR's successor, the CCX, BBC television program Top Gear reported that the Koenigsegg CCR holds the fastest speeding ticket in the United States allegedly occurred in May 2003 in Texas. It was supposedly 242mph (389 km/h) in a 75mph zone. The car was involved in the San Francisco to Miami Gumball 3000 Rally. More ...

02/18/13
f1
Tom Cruise hits 181 mph at Willow Springs  Tom Cruise, F1 Champ David Coulthard, and The Formula One Team Hit 181 Miles Per Hour At Willow Springs Raceway. Tom was invited to test-drive a Formula One car last year!

Tom took a break in his Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol post-production work to meet up with the team, 13-time Grand Prix winner David Coulthard, and the stunning 2011 F1 Formula One car at the Willow Springs racetrack in Rosamond, California.

F1 legend David Coulthard, also known as 'DC' who was awarded the MBE by the Queen in 2010, served as Tom's instructor for the day. The duo were joined by a 12-person team who were flown in from their UK base to provide crew support. More ...
02/18/13
f1
Formula One TV audiences fall in 2012  UPDATE #2 In the U.S., figures failed to meet targets despite the return of a U.S. Grand Prix after a five-year hiatus. The United States Grand Prix took place in Texas in November to great acclaim within the industry, but viewers of F1 in the U.S. fell from 10 million to 9.7 million.

02/17/13
F1 global TV audience fell last year, driven down by a 34% drop -- 25 million viewers -- in China "where several Asian races clashed with other local sports events," according to Christian Sylt of the London GUARDIAN. Several F1 races in Asia and the Middle East took place during the evening "so that they are broadcast in the morning in the sport's traditional heartland of Europe."

However, this puts them in competition with local sports events and it "fuelled the fall in viewer numbers in China" from 74.5 million in '11 to 48.9 million last year. F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone said that "a small handful of territories didn't meet expectations in terms of reach, with the Chinese market suffering a decrease, which could not be absorbed by a significant number of increases elsewhere."

F1's largest market is Brazil where viewing figures "accelerated 8.9% year on year" to 85.6 million in '12. Improvements were also seen in Spain and Italy, where respective increases of 11.5% and 15% compared to '11 were "fuelled by the strong performance" of Spanish Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso. U.K. coverage was split for the first time between the BBC and pay-TV broadcaster BSkyB in '12, "which led to viewing figures falling by 3.8 million to 28.6 million." Guardian More ...
02/18/13
gp3
Atech Grand Prix becomes Bamboo Engineering  GP3 Series organizers are pleased to announce that Atech Grand Prix and Bamboo Engineering have joined forces and will compete in GP3 for the 2013-2015 seasons under the name of the Silverstone Technology Park-based team. Founded in 2009, Bamboo Engineering have competed in the prestigious World Touring Car Championship. The newly-named team will run their GP3/13 cars for the first time on February 20-22 for the first official pre-season testing of year. More ...
02/18/13
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Monday  
  • Vettel locked at Red Bull?
    'Risk taker' Hamilton beats Vettel on Top Gear
  • Barcelona Sutil's 'last chance' for return - manager
  • Vettel's Red Bull contract 'long term' - Lauda
  • Ecclestone sure F1 to race in Bahrain
  • GP2 champ hopes 2013 role leads to F1 race seat
  • 'Works' teams look to seize 2014 opportunity
  • Mercedes rejects push for F1 withdrawal
  • 2013: Massa's Last Chance?
  • Ferrari voted as #1 "most powerful" brand  More ...
02/17/13
irl
IndyCar trivia for Saturday  UPDATE Answer: Simon Pagenaud--4.  Just one reader got it correct - Bill Dolph

02/16/13 What active driver has the most career podium finishes without recording a win?

Answer will be posted later.

02/17/13
nhra
irl
Video: Canopy saves NHRA driver from possible death  
Antron Brown - saved by his new canopy
Antron Brown's Toyota engine exploded and his car landed upside down in the sand at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California.  Thankfully this year Brown went with a Canopy over his head that teammate Tony Schumacher debuted last year.  AR1.com's pleads with IndyCar to add a canopy to its cars have fallen on deaf ears, at least until the next big star succumbs to head injuries.  Their lame excuse - how does a driver get out in the event of an accident or fire.  Answer - the same way an NHRA driver gets out.

Brown's car exploded off the line during his second-round race with David Grubnic. Brown escaped serious injury, but was unable to continue at NHRA season-opening O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals. More ...
02/17/13
nassprint
Starting lineups for Budweiser Duel qualifying races  Danica Patrick and Jeff Gordon will lead the fields to the green flag Thursday for two Budweiser Duel qualifying races.

While Patrick and Gordon are locked into the front-row starting spots for the Feb. 24 Daytona 500, the 150-mile qualifying races will help set the rest of the field for NASCAR’s biggest race.

Here are the starting lineups for the Budweiser Duels on Thursday:  More ...

02/17/13
f1
Puma To Terminate Sponsorship Deals With Sailing, F1 As Part Of Restructuring Effort  Horizont's Jessica Mulch reported Puma "will terminate its sponsorship deal with F1 team Red Bull Racing." A Puma spokesperson said the decision is based on "marketing-strategic reasons." Puma has been Red Bull's official outfitter since '07. However, Puma "will keep F1 in its sponsorship portfolio as it is also the official outfitter of F1 team Scuderia Ferrari." Horizont
02/17/13
f1
Whitmarsh Says Seven Out Of 11 F1 Teams Struggle Financially  
Ecclestone: The teams have more money than God
There "have been whispers" in recent years in F1 that "all was not well financially with some of the teams," according to Andrew Benson of the BBC. One of the most senior figures in the sport has finally "put a public voice to them." McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh said "of the 11 teams, seven of them are in survival strategy."

Whitmarsh "is not just shooting from the hip." As F1 Teams' Association chairman, he "is well-placed to know what he is talking about." The evidence is out there, despite F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone's claim last week that teams "all have more money than God." More ...
02/17/13
nassprint
Qualifying order for today's Daytona 500 time trials  Qualifying for the Feb. 24th Daytona 500 is set for 1 p.m. today.

Drivers will run two laps, with the two fastest drivers earning starting spots on the front row. The other speeds will be used to set the field for the Feb. 21 qualifying races and to help fill out the Daytona 500 field.

Here is the qualifying order for Sunday’s time trials at Daytona International Speedway: More ...

02/17/13
ARCA
Hoosier & ARCA Extend Pact Through 2015  
Hoosier Tires
Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. and the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards have extended their contract, which calls for Hoosier to be the official tire of the series, through 2015.

The agreement provides for the continued exclusive use of Hoosier Racing Tires in the ARCA Racing Series for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 racing seasons and continues an established awards program and cost containment initiative for series teams. Hoosier has recently developed and introduced a short track radial tire and a road course wet radial tire to complement its long established superspeedway radial tire and dirt track bias tire programs in the series. More ...

02/17/13
f1
Alguersuari decries F1 seat 'auction'  UPDATE
Jaime Alguersuari decries F1 ride-buyers
(GMM)  As the F1 world looks set to race on without him, Jaime Alguersuari has decried a sport whose seats are now sold to the highest bidder.

Accepting that his hopes of returning in 2013 are dashed, the former Toro Rosso driver revealed that he had talks with a team this year that ultimately decided to sign a different driver.

In a statement issued by his management, Alguersuari indicated he will keep working with Pirelli instead.

"I have been convinced most of the 2012 season that my seat was secured in a team that usually scores," said the Spaniard.  "They did tell me and I believed it to be true." More ...

02/17/13
f1
Second test for Ferrari, first test for Alonso  
Massa was fastest in Jerez.  Can Alonso keep Ferrari on top in Barcelona
Formula 1 continues its winter residency in Spain, when the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona, hosts the second pre-season test session starting on Tuesday. The four day test, from 19th to 22nd February, will give Scuderia Ferrari the opportunity to confirm its findings from the week spent in Jerez and hopefully, move forward in terms of understanding and performance: pretty much the same goals as the ten other teams, albeit with one added element, the first on-track appearance of 2013 for Fernando Alonso. The Spanish double world champion will have a direct effect on the week’s events, as the crowds will flock to the circuit to see their hero in action, creating a noisy buzz that’s unusual for testing. More ...
02/17/13
f1
Axed drivers had their chance  
Bruno Senna's check just wasn't big enough this year
Martin Brundle says those who failed to secure seats for this season have no one else to blame as they "had their chances to shine." [Or write a bigger check]

At the end of last season, Formula One bid farewell to Kamui Kobayashi who failed to secure a new Sauber contract or a deal with another team.

The same fate awaited Caterham drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov while Williams said goodbye to Bruno Senna.

And although the axing of Kobayashi and Kovalainen raised a few eyebrows, Brundle reckons they had their chances. More ...

02/17/13
nassprint
With attendance plummeting NASCAR will no longer provide attendance estimates  NASCAR will end its policy of providing estimated attendance figures in its race reports this season.

Spokesman Kerry Tharp said tracks still will have the option of providing crowd estimates, but it will be their prerogative.

"NASCAR's race reports generally becomes a box score for the media, and box scores from sporting events do not generally provide estimates," Tharp said. More ...

02/17/13
nassprint
Travel Channel Seeking NASCAR fans for new show  Are you a die-hard fan of NASCAR and attending the Daytona 500? Travel Channel will be filming at this year's Daytona 500 and is seeking NASCAR superfans for a new series. More information on the Daytona International Speedway Facebook page
02/17/13
nassprint
How To Qualify For The Daytona 500 - 2013  Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is unlike any other auto racing qualifying procedure. Drivers have multiple opportunities to qualify for the season-opening race, as opposed to the usual format of one qualifying session per event. The first chance comes via Daytona 500 Coors Light Pole Qualifying, which will be held Sunday, Feb. 17 on FOX. The other chance is the Duel at Daytona, two 150-mile qualifying races held on Thursday, Feb. 21 on SPEED. Below is a breakdown of the Daytona 500 qualifying procedure: More ...
02/17/13
nassprint
Chevrolet Will Set the Pace at Daytona  The 2014 Chevrolet SS will be very busy during its Speedweeks debut, pacing all four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races - The Sprint Unlimited, both Budweiser Duels and the Daytona 500. And, it will be one of Chevrolet's three newest models to pace NASCAR's races at Daytona International Speedway next weekend:

· 2014 Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
· 2013 Camaro ZL1 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive4COPD 300
· 2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy 250 More ...
02/17/13
nassprint
Lowe's to return to the #48 in 2014  At the Chevy unveiling, Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick was quick to scotch rumors that Lowe's, sponsor of five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, might not renew its sponsorship after the 2013 season. "Lowe's will be back," Hendrick said emphatically. "I don't know where that came from, but they'll be back. Wishful thinking, maybe, by some of the other folks, but they'll be back." Lowe's and Hendrick haven't signed a deal yet, but the car owner is confident he has a commitment from the home improvement retailer. "We've got a verbal," Hendrick said. "We'll button it up, but it's early." NASCAR Wire Service
02/16/13
nassprint
New Fox camera's to debut at Daytona  As Speedweeks coverage begins this weekend, FOX Sports and SPEED announced plans to showcase exciting, never-before-seen looks of racing at Daytona International Speedway and the Great American Race, courtesy of newly deployed technologies. Coverage this year includes a collection of new cameras and graphics that are expected to add a dynamic new dimension to the viewing experience, including in-car Gyro-Cams, the FOX Super Zoom 4K camera, virtual 3D graphics and the return of a suspended cable camera over the length of pit road.

Gyro-Cam: Gyro-Cam is a gyro stabilized, in-car camera mounted in the center of the cockpit that rotates as cars enter DIS's extreme 31-degree banked turns, keeping its view level with the horizon at all times. The resulting look demonstrates to viewers just how dramatic Daytona's turn angles are at race speed. Click here to see a simulation of Gyro-Cam in action. More ...
02/16/13
IRL
Sebastien Bourdais says Katherine Legge has to earn the job  UPDATE #2 Bourdais just tweeted saying he was misquoted and really said Sonoma, not Fontana.

02/16/13
Legge says Bourdais is lying
Katherine Legge on Saturday disputed former teammate Sebastien Bourdais' version of her termination from Dragon Racing, saying Bourdais' claim that she tested poorly at Fontana is a "complete and utter fabrication."

Legge told The Associated Press she has not been in a race car since the IndyCar season finale at Fontana in September - a direct contradiction of what Bourdais contends.

Bourdais told ESPN.com on Friday that Legge was "just weak" in a December test, and her showing played a part in Dragon and sponsor TrueCar's decision to part with the English driver. More ...

02/16/13
nassprint
Danica set to win Daytona 500 pole  

Danica Patrick - NASCAR's biggest star
Danica Patrick and Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Tony Stewart grabbed the top two spots in the day’s second NASCAR Sprint Cup practice session at Daytona Saturday after the driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet notched third in the opening session.

Patrick, who finished 38th in her Daytona 500 debut last season and finished 10th in Nationwide Series points, only ran two laps in the initial practice but made the second one count, running a lap of 46.069 seconds with a top speed of 195.359 mph.

“That was a really good, clean cold car run that we feel good about,” said Patrick after her first session. More ...
02/16/13
nassprint
Race is on for NASCAR TV rights  The race is on to see which network fills the broadcast gaps of the next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series television deal.

Successfully fighting through a period of declining ratings, NASCAR finds itself in a catbird position, since the stock-car racing league extended its deal with Fox in September at a premium level.

Fox Sports got the jump on its broadcast rivals by inking an eight-year extension, including the rights to the prestigious Daytona 500, worth $2.4 billion. The package includes rights to the first 13 Cup Series races of the season.

It breaks down to approximately $300 million per season, up from the current $220 million a year deal. The current TV deal with all broadcast partners is worth $2.8 billion. More ...

02/16/13
nassprint
Wreck mars opening Sprint Cup practice  
Matt Kenseth takes blame
As far as Matt Kenseth was concerned, blame it on driver error.

The first NASCAR practice session of these Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway looked a lot like the last testing session here a month ago, with several cars suffering damage in a drafting accident on the 2.5-mile facility. But unlike that crash in January, which was sparked by unfamiliarity with one aspect of the Generation-6 Sprint Cup cars, this one had a much more conventional cause.

“That was 100 percent driver error -- my driver error,” said Kenseth, who started the accident when he came down on Kurt Busch just nine laps into Friday’s opening practice for The Sprint Unlimited exhibition race, which will kick off the NASCAR season. Five cars were involved, and three of those went to backups for Saturday night’s event. More ...
02/16/13
nhra
Schumacher, Beckman, Edwards take over Pomona leads  Tony Schumacher raced to the qualifying lead in dramatic fashion Friday at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries.

Jack Beckman (Funny Car) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) were also qualifying leaders at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona during the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season opener.

Schumacher drove his U.S. Army dragster to the provisional No. 1 spot with a 3.758-second run at 328.14 mph to lead the Top Fuel class. If the performance holds through two more rounds of qualifying, it will be his 72nd No. 1 of his career. During his run, Schumacher’s parachutes failed to deploy properly, and his 8,000-horsepower machine came to a stop in the sand trap at the end of the track. He was not injured. More ...

02/16/13
nassprint
Stenhouse happy with his 'hot' new girlfriend  
Patrick and Stenhouse
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. just smiled and had a two-word answer when asked what he likes about girlfriend Danica Patrick.

"She's hot," he said.

And with that, Stenhouse addressed his new romantic relationship — a relationship with a fellow Sprint Cup driver — much like any 25-year-old talking about a budding romance as he addressed the media during NASCAR Media Day Thursday. More ...

02/16/13
nassprint
NASCAR drivers encouraged to take ImPACT test  
Dale Jr.  His father Dale Sr. was killed because NASCAR was slow to mandate the HANS Device.  History repeats itself as NASCAR is slow to mandate the ImPACT test.
NASCAR has told drivers that they should consider taking a baseline neurological test this year in case NASCAR makes it mandatory in 2014.

At least one driver, Jeff Gordon, has taken them up on that suggestion.

Gordon underwent an ImPACT test —Immediate Postconcussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing— earlier this week. The 20-minute test measures a range of neurocognitive functions, including memory, reaction time, attention span, and other cognitive abilities, according to the IndyCar Series, which requires one for its drivers every two years.

NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Thursday that drivers were encouraged to take the test with the chance that it would be mandatory in 2014.

If a driver suffers a head injury, doctors perform the test again to determine the severity. More ...

02/16/13
nassprint
Jeff Gordon Harlem Shake Pepsi commercial  
02/16/13
irl
Video: IndyCar The Offseason: Episode 9  Look at what happens when drivers get out of their cars and step into The Offseason, a mini-series starring Will Power, James Hinchcliffe, Charlie Kimball and Josef Newgarden. This week, "Cultural Sensitivity Training" in the break room.

02/16/13
irl
IndyCar rules change intent on changing pitstop strategy  Implementation of two rules for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season will provide teams additional race strategy options.

• Entrants will choose the amount of E85 in their 18.5-gallon fuel cell to start each of the 19 races from corresponding allotments based on 2012 fuel mileage. Previously, each entrant’s fuel cell was at capacity when it was moved to the starting grid.
• Tire usage during the three segments of road/street qualifying is limited only by an entrant’s allocation. For road/street course qualifying in 2012, only one set of tires was allowed during each of the three segments.

Officials of INDYCAR, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series, made the rulebook alteration for fuel election to encourage entrants to race every lap and provide options for the start of the races. More ...

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