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Valvoline to sponsor JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series  Valvoline, a leading marketer, distributor and producer of quality branded automotive and industrial products and services, today announced that it has entered into a multi-year sponsorship agreement with JR Motorsports. The sponsorship will kick off at the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway.

The Official Lubricants Supplier of JR Motorsports beginning in 2014, the Valvoline brand will be featured as an associate sponsor of the team’s Chevrolet Camaro race cars. The company will utilize Nationwide Series drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Regan Smith and Chase Elliott to promote Valvoline premium motor oil products. In addition, JR Motorsports will use a specially designed Valvoline racing formulation in its Chevrolet racing engines. More ...

Indy fans encouraged to share memories  The Indianapolis Motor Speedway became the Racing Capital of the World from more than a century of unparalleled racing history, but it's the remarkable one-of-a-kind stories from racing participants and fans alike that bind everyone who has experienced an event at the world's greatest racecourse. 

As anticipation builds for the 2014 IMS racing season beginning with the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Saturday, May 10, and the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 25, IMS introduces a unique opportunity for everyone to tell their stories and share their unforgettable IMS experiences at IMS.com/WeAllHaveAStory. More ...

Garcia Joins SPM Indy Lights Program  Mexican driver Juan Pablo Garcia will join Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for his third full-time season in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series in 2014 after posting three top-five finishes during the 2013 season. Juan Pablo Garcia

"Juan Pablo (Garcia) has been in Indy Lights for several seasons, and I think now is the ideal time for him to join SPM," said Sam Schmidt, co-owner of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. "I have known and watched Juan Pablo ever since his first race with Michael Crawford, but those were only a few races at a time with no momentum to build on. Last season was the second year with a full program, and he made tremendous progress, but he still didn't have the benefit of a full-time teammate. More ...

IndyCar announces its 2014 welfare program  [Editor's Note: IndyCar has to have this welfare program because TV ratings are so low on NBCSN the teams cannot land any significant sponsors to pay all their bills.  So in order to keep the series going, they have this welfare program to ensure they have enough cars for the Indy 500.  They would be better off spending the money to put all the races on ABC so the teams can land their own sponsors.  Welfare handouts just make you weak.  Why land a sponsor when the teams can collect welfare.]

INDYCAR announced today enhancements to the bonus structure and the 21 entrants that will be part of its Leaders Circle program for the 2014 IndyCar Series season.

The Leaders Circle program was established in 2002 to provide incentives to teams that participate full time in the IndyCar Series. Each Leaders Circle member is assured a minimum of $1 million for the 18-race season if the entrant successfully qualifies for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. More ...

Another problem ends Red Bull's day early  
So far the new Red Bull is a $200 million lemon
Red Bull has cut another day of testing short after discovering a mechanical issue on the RB10 midway through day three in Bahrain.

The car has been plagued with faults since it was launched in Jerez at the end of last month and the team has stopped several test days short as a result. In light of the most recent problem, Red Bull opted to cut its losses after 28 laps on Friday to fix the car in time for the final day of the second test on Saturday.

"We were focused on short runs for Daniel, as the car feels very different to the one we had in Jerez and we wanted to build things up gradually for him. We made more changes over lunch and in doing so we came across a mechanical issue that we hadn't encountered before and because of its nature it means we have to take the car apart.

"As everyone in the pit lane is finding out this is a long process, so we decided to suspend running in the afternoon so that we can be ready for the final day. These issues are of course frustrating but this was unrelated to the others so it's just a case of tackling each issue as it appears. A tough night in prospect but we hope to get a good day in tomorrow."

The problem follows 59 laps at the wheel for Sebastian Vettel on Thursday and Daniel Ricciardo, who was driving on Friday, is hoping he will get similar mileage on the final day.

"I did some good laps and those came off the back of the more than 50 laps Seb did yesterday, so we're getting there," Ricciardo said. "Obviously, I would have liked to do more this afternoon but we still have tomorrow ahead of us and it's important to be ready for that. The car is definitely making progress though. It's coming together bit by bit.

"We'd love a big chunk all at once but obviously that's not the way these things work, so we have to be a bit patient for now. However, it is coming and we're heading in the right direction. Tomorrow it would be nice to get more laps in and then roll on next week." ESPNF1

Massa upbeat over Schumacher  Felipe Massa feels "very positive" about Michael Schumacher's condition following a recent visit to see the seven-time Formula One champion in hospital. It is now approaching eight weeks since Schumacher was placed in an induced coma following a skiing accident in late December that led to the 45-year-old requiring two operations to remove blood clots from his brain.

Schumacher is currently in a "waking-up process", as described last week by manager Sabine Kehm when delivering the latest update on the German's condition. More ...
It’s all go for Bahrain’s first night race  Manama: A new permanent floodlighting system has been launched at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), opening the way for the Middle East’s first Formula One night race to be held in Bahrain in April.

The lights, which were officially activated by Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa in a ceremony on Thursday evening as part of ongoing F1 pre-season testing, were first unveiled in November 2013 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the sport in Bahrain. More ...
NASCAR, Snack Brand Mondelez Announce Three-Year Extension  NASCAR and snack company Mondelez today announced a three-year extension of their sponsorship deal. The extension will designate Mondelez brands Oreo, Nilla Wafers and Nutter Butter as the sanctioning body's official cookies and Ritz and Wheat Thins as its official crackers. Mondelez will continue to create NASCAR-themed Oreo and Ritz packaging for a Nabisco “Snack & Go” consumer sweepstakes. During the '14 Sprint Cup Series season, fans can enter to win a VIP race experience. Mondelez is made up of brands of the former Kraft Foods, whose NASCAR deal began in '00.
Chevrolet SS to Pace 56th Daytona 500  
Chevy SS built in Australia
Chevrolet unveiled today the trio of vehicles that will pace NASCAR’s opening round of events at Daytona International Speedway this weekend.
  • 2014 Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500
  • 2014 Camaro SS 1LE in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive4COPD 300
  • 2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy 250

All three vehicles sport vibrant red paint schemes designed for this weekend’s events.

“Chevrolet is proud to be a part of NASCAR’s season-opening events by pacing all of the races at Daytona International Speedway,” said Jeff Chew, Marketing Manager for Chevrolet Racing. “This will mark Chevrolet’s 11th time pacing the Daytona 500, and we are privileged to continue this heritage and our partnership with Daytona International Speedway again this year.” More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday (Update)  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

  • The Mercedes powered cars remain fastest in F1 testing.....for now
    Red Bull 'has lots of problems' - Vettel
  • 'New' F1 already catching up with V8 era speed
  • F1 protest threat hangs over Melbourne opener
  • Williams to show Martini livery on March 6
  • Clouds still gathering over Ecclestone's reign
  • Pic 'expects' Friday work with Lotus in 2014
  • Boullier says he is McLaren 'team principal'
  • Ecclestone: I answered truthfully New
  • Horner: Energy recovery behind Red Bull testing woes New More ...
Hamilton sets new benchmark on Friday morning in Bahrain  
Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton set the pace on the third morning of testing in Bahrain, lowering the benchmark for the new generation of F1 cars by lapping the Sakhir circuit in 1:34.263.

It was another show of strength from the works Mercedes team as it shifts its focus from debugging problems to chasing performance. Nico Rosberg managed a race simulation on Thursday, but Hamilton's time was clearly an attempt to explore the potential of the W05 and was over 0.6s quicker than Kevin Magnussen's fastest lap the previous day.

Priorities are clearly starting to shift from pure reliability testing for some teams, with Williams leading the lap count after a whole morning of pit stop practice. Valtteri Bottas completed 55 laps by 1:00 but did not set a single lap time as he came back into the pits on each tour to give the Williams crew a full workout on the hottest day of the test so far. More ...

Video: Chevy SS Pace Car Catches Fire in Daytona at Sprint Unlimited (Update)  UPDATE Chevrolet believes a pinched wire caused a pace car fire during last week's Sprint Unlimited exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway.

Jeff Chow, marketing manager for Chevrolet Racing, says preliminary reports indicate the pinched wire started the fire in the trunk of the Chevrolet SS pace car. Chow says "it appears we had a pinched wire in one of the strobe systems."

02/16/14 NASCAR's season-opening race was so wild and bizarre Saturday night that even the pace car caught on fire.

And that's no joke.

Pace car driver Brett Bodine, a former NASCAR Cup driver, was leading the field under caution on Lap 55 when he suddenly veered off the track with the car smoking. The rear of the Chevrolet pace car then caught on fire, forcing Bodine and another NASCAR official to bail out.

NASCAR officials had no comment about what caused the embarrassing incident. More ...

Nissan PlayStation GT Academy winner Mardenborough to race at Sebring  
Nissan PlayStation GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough received the biggest news of his career earlier this week with the announcement that he will contest Formula One feeder series, GP3 in 2014; but now the young star is also set to make his North American race debut.

The 22-year-old Mardenborough will join forces with back-to-back American Le Mans Series P1 championship-winning team, Muscle Milk Pickett Racing for the famous 12 Hours of Sebring in March.

The opportunity to race in the US for the first time comes through the Nismo Global Driver Exchange which places members of Nissan’s international driving squads into other championships and teams to gain experience on the world stage. More ...
Harvick's car fails inspection  Kevin Harvick's second-place finish in the first Budweiser Duel qualifying race was thrown out Thursday night after his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet failed a post-race inspection.

NASCAR officials said Harvick's car exceeded the maximum split on the track bar. Instead of starting Sunday's 56th running of the Daytona 500 in fifth place, he'll now line up according to either qualifying speed or a provisional berth based on car owner points. More ...

Plowman Returns to the IndyCar Cockpit at Sebring Test (Update)  UPDATE Photos of Halliday added below.

Plowman (L) talks to engineer Don Halliday (C)
After a full day of testing the ABC Supply Honda IndyCar, rookie driver Martin Plowman commented, “It was just like riding a bike.”

In context, Plowman was referring to the comfort level he felt in the cockpit after a two year, five month absence from open wheel racing. “It was a special moment pulling away from the pits for the first time,” the 26-year-old Englishman said. “Before today I was a little bit nervous about getting back up to speed, you have these self-doubts sometimes and they all disappeared by lap one. It was just like riding a bike. By the end of lap eight I was already up to speed and on the pace so it was a great boost of confidence to know that I can just jump in and get straight to work.”

Team owner A.J. Foyt flew in from Houston to meet the rookie and watch him adapt to the Dallara DW12 chassis which Plowman drove for the first time today. More ...

Sebring Thursday practice times  Afternoon

Sebastien Bourdais and Action Express Racing picked up right where they left off after winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona by setting the fastest lap Thursday on the opening day of TUDOR United SportsCar Championship testing at Sebring International Raceway.

Bourdais drove the No. 5 Corvette DP around Sebring’s historic 3.74-mile road course in 1:52.480 (119.701 mph), topping Gustavo Yacaman’s No. 42 OAK Racing Morgan/Nissan by 0.724 seconds in the final minutes of the afternoon session. The two-day winter test is preparation for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida on Saturday, March 15, the second round of the Tequila Patr¢n North American Endurance Cup.

“We’re still trying to sort through the balance and the new aero configuration,” Bourdais said, “but we just kind of nailed it and were able to put down a really good lap at the end of the session.  Hopefully, we can keep the momentum going.”

If Action Express Racing can indeed build off that momentum and win next month at Sebring, the victory would put the team in elite company.

Only four teams have won overall with the same car at both Daytona and Sebring in the same season, the last coming in 1998 when Moretti Racing won both events with a Ferrari 333SP. The merger between the GRAND-AM Rolex Series and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n has resulted in the two events being on the same schedule for the first time since 1997. More ...

Dave Blaney has to withdraw from Daytona 500 after big crash  Dave Blaney will not attempt to make the Daytona 500 as his Randy Humphrey Racing team had to withdraw after the Sprint Cup veteran got collected in the big crash Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway.

The team did not have a backup car and could not secure one for the event. His withdrawal leaves 48 drivers vying for 43 spots in the Daytona 500 field, which will be set Thursday night through the 150-mile qualifying races. More ...

Rahal releases 3D renderings of National Guard livery  
Tesla Q4 net loss narrows to $16 million  Tesla Motors Inc. said fourth-quarter net losses narrowed to $16 million from $90 million as the electric-vehicle maker benefited from higher deliveries, strong transaction prices and manufacturing efficiencies.

Fourth quarter revenues were $615 million, up 43 percent from last quarter, while non-GAAP revenues during the period were $761 million, up 26 percent from the third quarter.

The electric-vehicle maker said it earned a $46 million profit based on non-GAAP accounting standards during the fourth quarter. That's compared with a loss of $75 million during the same quarter last year using the non-GAAP measurement. More ...

Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves, Will Power, Juan Pablo Montoya practice at Barber Motorsports Park  Will Power grew up looking up to Juan Pablo Montoya.

"Juan was in Formula One when I was coming up through the ranks so obviously you look up to those guys," Power said. "And he was fast in Formula One, too. He was a guy I'd look up to."

Now he's looking over at him as a teammate.

A former NASCAR, Formula One and CART driver is moved over to IndyCar, Montoya has moved over to IndyCar, joining Team Penske. His addition brings that team to three full-time drivers, who are in Birmingham today for test runs at Barber Motorsports Park. More ...

Q and A Matt Kenseth, No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing  
Matt Kenseth
What is your outlook for Daytona after a successful 2013 season?

“The season last year ended better than our week started down here.  It hasn’t been a particularly good start to the week for us in the 20.  Looking forward to getting in the race tonight, hopefully found some more speed in our car from where it was yesterday.  We can learn some things tonight that will hopefully apply to Sunday.  Get a decent finish and get a good spot to start.  That’s kind of what we’re looking at today -- looking forward to getting back in the Nationwide car today with kind of the rules changed up a little bit and kind of a different team over there.  I’m looking forward to getting rolling on here this morning as well.” More ...

Q  and A with Lotus' Nick Chester  With the Lotus E22 now properly running after missing the first test, Lotus' technical director Nick Chester has a look at his new car and how well it should do through the upcoming season.

How would you describe the E22?
I would say that it’s an elegant solution for the 2014 regulations. These regulations are a big challenge meaning we had to create a car very different from designs we’ve created before. Despite all these new challenges, we’re very happy with our interpretation and the car we’ve created.

What about the nose – is that a two fingered approach to the regulations?
The nose certainly is quite interesting! It has generated a lot of talk. We think it’s a nice solution and it’s quite innovative. Naturally, as with any interpretation of new regulations, we’ve talked with the FIA to ensure that they are happy with the design. It’s nice to have something a little bit different and we’re happy with our path having seen what everyone else is doing with their cars in this area. More ...

HPD Unveils 3.5 Liter Prototype Engine  
Honda HR35TT
Honda Performance Development Thursday announced a new, 3.5-liter racing application for the versatile, production- based Honda V6 engine found in a wide range of Honda/Acura passenger cars and light trucks and now raced in multiple categories worldwide.

The Honda HR35TT twin-turbocharged V6 is expected to make its TUDOR United SportsCar Championship debut at the 2014 Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring, mounted in a Riley Gen3 prototype chassis campaigned by Starworks Motorsport.

Previously, Starworks partnered with HPD to win the LMP2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and World Endurance Championship in 2012, using HPD's ARX-03b chassis and Honda HR28TT twin-turbocharged V6, which also is derived from Honda's J35 series of engines. More ...

Ecclestone Questioned by U.K. Tax Authority on $5 Billion Trusts  Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One’s billionaire chief executive, said he’s been questioned by the U.K. tax authority over whether he interfered with a family trust set up to avoid inheritance tax.

The fund, Bambino Holdings Ltd., was established in 1997 after Ecclestone had heart-bypass surgery and it’s managed out of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Ecclestone’s biographer Tom Bower said by phone. The fund’s trustees could be liable to pay as much as half of its assets to the U.K. if he’s found to have been involved with its management, Bower said.

London-based Ecclestone denies any involvement, saying he has “had nothing to do with” the fund. Bambino holds assets worth $5 billion, based on its 8.5 percent stake in the motor racing series and cash flows since 1997, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

“We’re having a chat with” the Inland Revenue, Ecclestone, 83, said by phone. “They’re looking at things, they’re doing their job.” He declined to give any further information about the discussions. More ...

Kobayashi says Renault currently behind F1 rivals Mercedes and Ferrari  Renault is not currently in a position to compete with rival engine manufacturers Mercedes and Ferrari, according to Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi.

"This is what we have in our hand right now so we have to help them to be able to fight with the other engine manufacturers," said Kobayashi when asked by AUTOSPORT about the engine situation.

"At the moment, we are definitely too weak pace-wise, so we give the maximum chance to them [to work] and thereafter we have to work on our car.

"So we are waiting for the engine system. More ...

Ecclestone 'completely agrees' with Putin over homosexuality  Ecclestone met with Putin to conclude a deal for the Russian Grand Prix, which will see Winter Olympics host city Sochi stage a Formula 1 race for the very first time this October.

And in an interview with CNN Ecclestone stated that he felt Putin’s policies on gay rights had been misrepresented.

"He hasn't said he doesn't agree [with homosexuality] just that he doesn't want these things publicized to an audience under the age of 18," Ecclestone told CNN. More ...

Vettel hails 'better' day  Putting in more laps on Thursday than Red Bull had covered over the previous five days of testing, Sebastian Vettel says he is encouraged.

The four-time World Champion was in action at the Sakhir circuit for the second day running and managed 59 laps.

That was a marked improvement on the RB10's previous running as in Jerez Red Bull managed just 21 laps over four days before Vettel added another 14 laps on Day One at Bahrain. More ...

Pic joins Lotus as reserve driver  
Charles Pic has joined the Lotus F1 team.
Frenchman Charles Pic has joined Lotus F1 for the 2014 season as the team's official reserve driver. The former Caterham man will conduct simulator work, and serve as a substitute for race drivers Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean, if needed.

"I am very excited to join a top team and Lotus F1 Team have certainly shown that they are a top team in this sport," said the former Caterham driver.

"It's a great honour for me and I will be working hard to give my best to the team throughout 2014. Obviously, the big change is that I won't be racing in Formula One, but I will be at the races and working in meetings which will help me develop and progress as a driver.

"In terms of resources Lotus F1 Team have a fantastic facility at Enstone and the people there have experience of winning Championships. I will be spending a lot of time with the squad and I expect to learn a lot from them."

Magnussen puts McLaren on top on day two in Bahrain  Kevin Magnussen topped the second day of Bahrain Formula 1 testing for McLaren, as Mercedes-engined cars led the way again.

Magnussen produced his fast lap using Pirelli's supersoft tire to knock Force India's Nico Hulkenberg from the top spot by a whopping 1.5 seconds and set the fastest time of the week so far.

Fernando Alonso continued Ferrari's solid start to the test with the third fastest time, racking up nearly 100 laps in the F14T and splitting the Mercedes-engined cars. More ...

Marquez breaks leg  MotoGP World Champion, Marc Marquez, has broken his fibula during a dirt-track training session in Lleida, west of Barcelona, yesterday afternoon.

Marc was immediately taken to the Universitario Quir¢n Dexeus Hospital where Dr. Xavier Mir treated the spiral fracture of the distal third of his right fibula. After carrying out a CT scan and X-ray, Dr. Mir confirmed, “The results showed no ligament damage or dislocation and no need to proceed with surgery. I expect he will need 3-4 weeks to fully recover” More ...

Video: Wednesday NASCAR wreck at Daytona  Parker Kligerman, Paul Menard, Joey Logano and more crash on the frontstretch at Daytona. Matt Kenseth gets loose at the exit of Turn 4 after getting tapped by Joey Logano, triggering a huge wreck with Parker Kligerman going upside down past the start-finish line. Paul Menard, Dave Blaney and Ryan Truex also saw their cars torn up and like Logano and Kligerman, will have to go to backups. More ...
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday (Update)  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

  • Hamilton in the fast Mercedes in Bahrain
    No 'quick fix' to Red Bull crisis - Vettel
  • Vettel opposed to double points despite Red Bull crisis
  • Formula E to make 'few quid' then collapse - Ecclestone
  • Even small teams driving up F1 costs - Louis
  • Berger 'not surprised' by Mercedes' fast start
  • No Martini livery launch for Williams in Bahrain
  • Massa hid Williams talks from manager
  • Lopez tips new Lotus to 'go like hell'
  • Verdict expected in Ecclestone case
  • Lotus finally confirms 2014 Renault deal
  • Ecclestone wins Formula 1 sale case, but judge calls deal corrupt New More ...
Fernando Alonso fastest on second morning in Bahrain  Fernando Alonso set the fastest time on the second morning of testing in Bahrain, although his best effort was still nearly a second shy of Nico Hulkenberg's soft tire hot lap from Day One.

The second day got underway at 9:00 but was red flagged after five minutes when Nico Rosberg's Mercedes came to a halt with a faulty sensor displaying a warning. Rosberg had another problem as he attempted a race simulation later in the day, causing a second red flag, but Mercedes still racked up a respectable morning mileage with 34 laps in total.

Rivals Red Bull spent the first hour of the session in the garage as the team fitted new parts that had arrived from the factory overnight. The opening day of the test saw the team solve some of the problems it had experienced at Jerez, but also discover new ones as it completed just 14 laps and ended the day by grinding to a halt on track. A total of 26 laps on the morning of Day Two showed some signs of progress, but Vettel was still a long way off the pace as the team continued to focus on reliability over performance. More ...

Judge says Ecclestone paid bribe; Red Bull on track  (GMM)  A London court verdict on Thursday was both good and bad news for F1's embattled chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

Constantin Medien's $140 million damages claim was dismissed by the judge, but Justice Guy Newey announced in his verdict that 83-year-old Briton Ecclestone had been "corrupt".

It is a major blow to Ecclestone, who later this year will face jail, and certainly the end of his long reign over the sport, if found similarly guilty of paying a bribe by German prosecutors during a criminal trial. More ...

Andretti Autosport Mazda Road to Indy drivers preview Winterfest  
The Mazda Road to Indy boys will be back in action starting this weekend at Cooper Tires Winterfest.
Below, our quotes from Andretti Autosport drives Zach Veach, Matthew Brabham, Garett Grist, and Shelby Blackstock, ahead of Cooper Tires Winterfest, which begins this weekend at New Orleans Motorsports Park.


Zach Veach, No. 26 RePLAY XD

As Zach Veach begins his fifth season with Andretti Autosport, and second in Indy Lights, the 19-year-old looks forward to four days of testing against the rest of the field before the season begins next month.

"With each day, we are quickly approaching the start of the 2014 season, and I can't wait! Before we start thinking about St. Pete though, we have a lot of work to do over this weekend and next week getting to test the RePLAY XD car at NOLA and Barber! So far the Andretti Autosport Indy Lights team has been very quick in preseason testing, and we are working extremely hard to carry that into race time!" More ...

Kvapil to announce Sprint Cup plans soon  
Travis Kvapil
Travis Kvapil, whose career had seemed stalled, will race Friday night in the Camping World Truck Series opener and plans to announce a Sprint Cup deal within the week. The Janesville native will drive for tiny MAKE Motorsports at Daytona, "run the first three, four, five races with them, whatever; just kind of take it from there," he said before practice Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway. "They're just a really small team, they've got a small shop, a couple of guys working on it, a couple of decent trucks," Kvapil said. "It'll be fun for me. Truck racing is always fun. Daytona anything can happen." Even if Kvapil can't qualify on speed, his status as a past champion guarantees the team a spot in the field.

Kvapil, 37, had driven for upstart BK Racing in Sprint Cup the past two years, finishing 27th in points in 2012 and 31st last season. Neither he nor veteran teammate David Reutimann was retained. His new "nearly full-time" Cup program -- to begin next weekend in Phoenix -- is of a similar level to BK and Front Row Motorsports, his previous home. "It's a small team over there," Kvapil said, "but they made some moves in the offseason in some personnel and some other things and they're trying to grow their program and get stronger so I'm happy to be a part of that as well, and I think I can bring a value to their team as well."(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), calculated guesses would be the #87 Identity Ventures Racing, #33 Circle Sport Chevy or the #52 HScott Motorsports team.
Against Olympics, Sprint Unlimited TV Ratings plummet  Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Unlimited earned a 2.0 U.S. rating and 3.5 million viewers on Fox Sports 1, the largest audience on FS1 since the network rebranded last August. Despite the record, Saturday's telecast declined by 43% in ratings and 38% in viewership from last year on FOX (3.5, 5.7M), and by 52% and 53%, respectively, from 2012 (4.2, 7.5M). It ranks as the lowest rated and least-viewed edition of the race (previously the Budweiser Shootout) since at least 2001. Sports Media Watch
Can Danica beat 77-year old Richard Petty?  
With one foot in the grave, can 77-year old Petty beat NASCAR star Danica Patrick?
During the first of two PRN Fast Talk Shows at Outback Steakhouse in Daytona with Doug Rice and Mark Garrow, Tony Stewart made it very clear how he feels about the negative remarks Richard Petty made recently about Danica Patrick. "I told her she should challenge Richard to a heads up race," said Stewart. "I think that would pretty much settle it once and for all, maybe get him to shut up a little bit too. He drove in an era when he had cars that were superior to what everybody else was running a lot. I think he forgets that, that NASCAR has changed a lot since he was a driver and how hard it really is now."

Stewart added, "I will supply the cars, I don't care. If he wants to race her I'll make sure they have exactly the same set-up in the car and give him a chance. He can drive one of my 14 cars I don't care." It was then suggested if Danica ever won a race that she should ask Petty to autograph the checkered flag. Stewart, however, had another suggestion. "If I were her I'd take it over and cram it up his (bleep)...If it were me, that's just me." The second and final PRN Fast Talk show from the Daytona Outback Steakhouse will take place Thursday from 12-1 with Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick the special guests. Both shows can be heard at goprn.com. PRN

Practice Crash pierces hole in Daytona fence  
NASCAR's lying taxicabs take down the Daytona catch fence again
A seven-car accident in Sprint Cup practice pierced a hole in the grandstand fence at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday. During Wednesday's first practice session, #20-Matt Kenseth appeared to spark a wreck that sent Parker Kligerman's #30 Toyota on top of Paul Menard's #27 Chevy and then along the SAFER barrier, where it tore a hole in the fence that forced the cancellation of the rest of the practice. A Daytona spokesman said the fence "performed the way it was designed to," but one steel cable and some mesh fencing would be replaced. The track has received no reports of injuries. Joey Logano blamed Kenseth for drifting up the track into the nose of his #22 Ford on Wednesday as he tried to exploit a gap. "Maybe I shouldn't have been racing as hard as I was there in practice, but everybody was in a big pack there trying to make things happen," Logano said. More ...
Goodyear shifts branding for Camping World Truck Series  After 10 years of branding its NASCAR Camping World Truck Series tires with the "Wrangler" name, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has made a switch for the 2014 season. Responding to the changing tide of its passenger truck tire buyers, the Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker will now brand its truck series tires as "Eagle" to match how it identifies its products in NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series.

"What we've found, as a company, is that more of our customers who buy tires for their street trucks are now buying 'Eagles,'" said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tire sales. "While our 'Wrangler' line is still an extremely popular choice for those consumers that need a more rugged tire, the 'Eagle' brand is a performance tire, which goes along with today's changing demands. Since we have branded our Sprint Cup and Nationwide tires as 'Eagle' since 1980, race fans also identify that as our racing brand."

The move is effective as of Daytona Speedweeks 2014, marking the first time Camping World Truck Series teams will have run Goodyear Eagles since the season ending race of 2003 (Nov. 14) at Homestead Miami Speedway. Goodyear Racing PR

Ecclestone wins Constantin Medien case  A High Court judge in London has ruled in favor of Bernie Ecclestone in the legal case involving Constantin Medien.

The German media group was demanding £85m ($140.4m) in damages claiming that Ecclestone conspired to undervalue F1 when selling the business because if it had not been sold to CVC a higher bidder would have bought it.

Constantin Medien had accused Ecclestone of entering into a "corrupt agreement" with German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky to facilitate the sale to CVC, its lawyers arguing that the sale had been agreed "without the normal and proper process" and for an undervalued price.

Ecclestone, who always insisted that the claim lacked "any merit", also maintained that payments made to Gribkowsky had nothing to do with the sale of F1 but were instead a bribe to prevent the German causing the 83-year-old problems with the tax authorities in the UK.

Lotus motorcycle ready to roar  
Lotus C-01
Following two years of careful planning and intense development, Kodewa is delighted to announce that the prototype of the world’s first motorcycle to bear the legendary Lotus marque is now road registered and ready for action.

Kodewa has been granted a license to produce the motorcycle by Group Lotus plc, the world renowned sportscar manufacturer and engineering consultancy.

The C-01 combines ample power via a V-twin engine with a distinctive body designed by Daniel Simon integrating carbon fiber, titanium and aerospace quality steel.

The C-01 motorcycle is not designed, engineered or produced by Group Lotus plc but is the result of a collaboration between motorsport veterans under the leadership of Kodewa, lead by Dr Colin Kolles. The development on the C-01 was carried out with the support of Holzer Group (co-owners of Kalex) and design guru Daniel Simon. Drawing on their wealth of motorsport experience, the team of engineers has designed a unique high performance superbike. More ...

Kurt Busch: IndyCars not real race cars  
Busch: A spec IndyCar not a real race car
Taxicab boys? Puppies? Real race cars? IndyCar president of competition Derrick Walker used all of those phrases Tuesday while talking about NASCAR regular Kurt Busch possibly driving in the Indianapolis 500 in May.

Busch got a chance to react Wednesday, saying "the real cars are over in Europe and they've got F1 tagged to them," not IndyCars 'spec' series.  Spec cars are meant for development series, which makes IndyCar a glorified development series like Indy Lights, GP3, GP2, etc to F1 and NASCAR.

Busch's car owner, Gene Haas, is looking to potentially enter the Formula One series.

Walker created a stir at IndyCar media day in nearby Orlando when asked about helping Busch make the transition. "We have to help those little taxicab boys come out and race real cars." Walker was joking, but he didn't stop there. "We'll take those little puppies anytime they want to come up [to Indy]. Probably give them a thrill. They might not want to go back. [They'd say], 'Oh, this is what a real car feels like.'" More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday (Update)  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

  • Vettel might dominate again if they can ever get the Red Bull running
    2014 cars 'perfect' for Vettel - Webber
  • Red Bull rivals 'back in the game' - Montezemolo
  • Nasr, Banco do Brasil set to join resurgent Williams
  • Mood 'completely different' at Williams in 2014 - Bottas
  • Camera not to blame for Schumacher injury - report
  • Lotus have become the final F1 team to formally unveil their 2014 chassis New
  • How CVC has secured the future of Formula One New
  • More delays for Red Bull in Bahrain New More ...
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