While helping unveil the ticket for the 2018 Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles revealed some other interesting news: Ticket sales for May's "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" are booming.
The track president said not only are sales ahead of where they were at this time last year, but they're ahead by a considerable margin.
NASCAR's most valuable teams and highest paid drivers
Miller Lite is cutting back from 24 races to just 11 races. It's the TV ratings stupid. Not social media followers or hits. Only one thing still matters, The TV Ratings. As NASCAR's TV ratings fall, sponsors will continue to walk out of the paddock. IndyCar can attest to that with it's pathetic TV deal
An increasingly worrying lack of TV viewership coupled with a general investment pullback from sponsors and team owners has put NASCAR in a tight spot. The top eight NASCAR teams are now worth an average $158 million, down 2% from last year.
Perhaps the most worrying indicator is that some of NASCAR's biggest sponsors, the very lifeblood of the sport, have been scaling back their investments. Miller Lite, which has been a partner of Team Penske for nearly three decades, recently renewed its sponsorship agreement but dropped its seasonal commitment from 24 races to just 11 races.
And a significant number of sponsors have even walked away from the sport entirely: Target, Subway, Dollar General and Cheerios have all jumped ship in the last two years. Things aren't any better at the league level. Last year the series saw a significant drop in revenue from its title sponsorship after Monster took over for Sprint, and a few months ago Coors Light ended its partnership as NASCAR's official beer; that deal has yet to be replaced.
Autotrader enters its fifth season with Team Penske as a primary racing sponsor for four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races during the 2018 season. The Autotrader brand will be featured on both the No. 2 and No. 22 Ford Fusion cars driven by Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, respectively.
Mazda Road To Indy Season Kicks Off With Spring Training
A new season of competition in the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires is almost set to commence.
All three rungs on the world’s premier open-wheel development ladder – the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires – will be in action beginning Friday, February 23, for the annual Spring Training open test which will take place over four days at Homestead-Miami Speedway in South Florida.
Colton Herta named test and reserve driver for BMW Team RLL
This week’s test at Sebring International Raceway saw a new face behind the steering wheel of the BMW M8 GTE as 17-year old Californian Colton Herta drove the No. 24 machine in his very first laps in a GT car as BMW Team RLL prepared for the 66th 12 Hours of Sebring. Herta has been named as a BMW Team RLL test and reserve driver for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
Herta, son of IndyCar Series driver Bryan Herta, was recently signed to the BMW Motorsport Junior program where he will participate in many of the program’s disciplines that will support his growth as a young racing driver. Beginning in 1977, the BMW Junior program has proved foundational for many young American drivers; among them Eddie Cheever (1977); Tommy Milner, Graham Rahal, Jonathan Summerton (2004); and Trent Hindman (2015).
Ferrari has unveiled its latest grand prix racing car, the SF71H, ahead of the 2018 Formula 1 season and its design is a lot like the new Mercedes - a longer wheelbase this year, like the Mercedes and a much narrower car, especially at the back.
First Look! 2018 Mercedes F1 Onboard with Halo! What's it like driving a 2018 Mercedes Formula One car with the new Halo fitted? Valtteri Bottas was the first man to find out...Our verdict of the Halo - it sucks. Comment
Esteban Ocon on the offseason and getting ready for 2018 with Sky Sports News. Force India driver Esteban Ocon chats with Sky Sports' Rachel Brookes ahead of the start of testing for the 2018 season and his prospects for 2019. Comment
Nikon Metrology Partners With Roush Yates Engines Roush Yates Engines and Nikon Metrology have announced a multi-year partnership program, demonstrating Roush Yates Engines’ commitment to partnering with the best-in-class companies.
With over a 100 years of experience Nikon provides world-class precision equipment and metrology solutions to the manufacturing, aerospace, automotive and medical fields.
Anthoine Hubert set an overall fastest time in the first 2018 GP3 test in the morning of the second day in a 1:48.674, as ART Grand Prix teammate Callum Ilott topped a truncated afternoon session at Le Castellet, France with a 1:49.144.
Although overcast, dry weather conditions meant that the teams could start their morning running immediately on slick Pirelli tires. Trident was the first team to hit the track, sending out all four cars as soon as the light went green – Ryan Tveter leading the quartet onto the circuit.
Following reports in local French newspaper La Maine Libre this week that the Le Mans 24 Hours start line is set to move, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest has officially confirmed the change.
The only difference from the original La Maine Libre article is the distance of the move. The start line will be 145 meters further up the circuit (the paper suggested 130), allowing “all the cars to line up on the pit straight when the start is about to be given thus avoiding the situation of having cars in the Ford chicanes when the pack is finally unleashed.”
Victor Franzoni Returns to Juncos Racing for 2018 Indy Lights Championship
Indianapolis, IN – Juncos Racing announced today that the 2017 Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tires Champion Victor Franzoni would return to the team for the 2018 Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. Franzoni is the first driver to commit to the reigning 2017 Indy Lights Champion team.
Question: Lewis, today you’ll get to take the new F1 W09 EQ Power+ on the track. Last week you visited Brackley. How did it feel to be back?
Lewis Hamilton: It felt great to be back. It’s always such a great working environment in the factory. The first time back in the year is always exciting because there’s great anticipation of the car being built. It’s very humbling to see everything coming together. People have worked so hard on this car, committed for such a long period of time. I’m just keen to get out there and take it to its limits. I’m one of only two people who get to drive it and there’s this proud feeling because I know how much work has gone into getting the car ready.
UPDATE Conor Daly tweets: That was brutal. About 24 hrs after our elimination I found out I was being replaced in Indycar as well. Through it all @AlexanderRossi was an incredibly supportive teammate an as always I have my family behind me. That’s all that matters in the end. Thank you all #AmazingRace.
02/21/18 Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly finished 4th of the four remaining teams in The Amazing Race on CBS and hence were eliminated with just one leg to go. In leg 11 one of the tasks was to find clues in Hong Kong to uncover the combination of a briefcase to get the final clue inside but they were unable to get the briefcase open and lost.
Road America Extends Partnerships With Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch and Torke Coffee ELKHART LAKE, Wis., - Road America announced today an extended five-year partnership with Lakeside Pepsi Cola as the exclusive provider of carbonated beverages and select non-carbonated beverages served at Road America. Lakeside Pepsi Cola has been an official partner since 2013. In addition, Road America extended its partnership with Anheuser-Busch and Larry's Distributing of Sheboygan for three years and Torke Coffee of Sheboygan for one year. Road America's relationship with Anheuser-Busch, Larry's Distributing and Budweiser serving as the official beer of America's National Park of Speed spans more than 15 years. Torke Coffee has partnered with Road America for several years prior to this recent extension.
"We are very pleased to be extending our partnerships with Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch and Torke Coffee," said Road America president and general manager George Bruggenthies. "We've been very fortunate that we have what we feel are some of the greatest sponsors in the sport and continuing our relationships is a perfect fit for where we are and where we intend to go. We look forward to long and rewarding partnerships with these respected companies."Read more & Comment...
Channing Tatum to be grand marshal for Barber IndyCar race
Channing Tatum and his wife Jenna
Actor, producer and Alabama native Channing Tatum will serve as the grand marshal for the fourth round of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series, held at Barber Motorsports Park.
Tatum, who made his movie debut in basketball drama “Coach Carter” and has gone on to star in such movies as “Magic Mike,” “21 Jump Street” and “White House Down” will wave the green flag for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, which is the first road course race in IndyCar’s schedule.
Despite a sold out crowd, almost 2 million less fans tuned in on TV
UPDATENote: this press release doesn't really change a thing, TV viewership and the final rating was still a 5.3 and down horribly. The social media numbers are minuscule and.....can you see the car sponsor name on your small iPhone screen? Probably not, hence it is irrelevant to a sponsor and those views should be heavily discounted from any rating number in our opinion.
With today’s inclusion of Nielsen Media Research out-of-home viewing data, Sunday’s Daytona 500 on FOX averaged 9,781,000 across all platforms, peaking at more than 11.5 million viewers. According to Nielsen, more than 18.1 million viewers watched all or part of the Great American Race, but that means only half the people watched the whole race, the other half changed the channel.
WC Vision, producers of the Pirelli World Challenge, today announced a season-long partnership with CrowdStrike, Inc., the leader in cloud-delivered endpoint cybersecurity protection.
CrowdStrike, Inc., headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., will be an official series sponsor and Cybersecurity Provider for the 10-weekend Pirelli World Challenge Championships, North America’s top GT production-based road racing series.
Although the 2018 Toro Rosso STR13, was set to be revealed to the public next Monday on the first morning of pre-season testing, Toro Rosso has revealed the first image of the Honda-powered car when it made its track debut at a very wet Misano circuit in the hands of Brendon Hartley.
Jake Hughes was fastest overall in the first GP3 test session of 2018, setting a best lap of 1:49.456 to beat ART Grand Prix teammate Nikita Mazepin and Niko Kari of MP Motorsport to the top of the timesheets.
The day was greeted with a mixture of early snowfall and drizzle, and the teams spent the first hour of the session completing their customary installation laps in the wet. New team MP Motorsport were quickest out of the blocks, as Kari took to the circuit first and was shortly followed out by team-mates Dorian Boccolacci and Leonard Hoogenboom.
Frontier Communications Joins as New Partner of Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Frontier Communications has joined as the Official Entertainment Partner of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The March 9-11th event will be Frontier's first year partnering with the annual motorsports festival.
"It is exhilarating to watch the drivers take to the course with such determination and speed," said Melanie Williams, Frontier's Senior Vice President for Operations. "It really resonates with us at Frontier. We are determined to provide our customers with the best speed and service for connecting with the things that matter most to them."
Audi launches first vehicle-integrated toll technology for the US
Universal Transponder is located in mirror
Beginning later this year, Audi of America will expand its vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology offering with the launch of a vehicle-integrated toll payment technology on select vehicles. The Integrated Toll Module, or ITM, is a toll transponder built into the vehicle's rearview mirror, allowing drivers to access toll roads in the U.S. and in parts of Canada and Mexico.
ITM is yet another Audi first in vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology, allowing the car to communicate and interact with its environment.
IndyCar CEO Mark Miles has been talking about international expansion for years, but NASCAR is actually doing it.
According to an article in Sports Business Journal by Adam Stern, NASCAR is stepping up its international expansion efforts, including starting a development series in China and Brazil.
NASCAR distributes programming in more than 185 countries and territories. And since the early 2000s, NASCAR has launched developmental series in Mexico, Canada and Europe, all of which are growing fan bases and starting to contribute drivers to NASCAR’s national series in the U.S.
NASCAR is making several moves that indicate the global push is an increasingly important initiative.
Daimler and HERE to bring HD Live Map for autonomous cars
Live Map and Mercedes
Amsterdam/Stuttgart – Daimler and HERE Technologies have teamed up to make HERE HD Live Map an integral part of Daimler’s autonomous driving technology. With these efforts both companies are laying the groundwork for upcoming generations of highly automated and autonomous Mercedes‑Benz vehicles* to come to market with the benefits of HD Live Map on board. For Daimler this is a logical step as the current E- and S‑Class models and the new A‑C lass are already using maps from HERE.
A year ago at this time, Fred Poordad was in the early stages of recovery after he was injured in a crash at the Bathurst 12-hour race in Australia.
“I ran a Nissan GT-R at Bathurst in the 12-hour last year, and really didn’t have much time to get into the car before the event,” Poordad recalled on Tuesday at Sebring International Raceway, where he was testing the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup machine. “In fact, not at all before the event, just the practice there. So, it was a new car, new track and I’d never been there before.
Harvick, Blickensderfer, Petty and McReynolds on FS1's NASCAR Race Hub
Bubba Wallace Jr.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Just hours following the DAYTONA 500, FOX NASCAR analyst Larry McReynolds and driver analyst Kevin Harvick joined FS1’s NASCAR RACE HUB co-hosts Adam Alexander and Shannon Spake on Monday to break down the race, won by Austin Dillon in the No. 3 Chevrolet, and its significance. Then on Tuesday, Richard Petty and Drew Blickensderfer, regular Race Hub analyst and Bubba Wallace’s crew chief, joined the Hub gang to share their thoughts on their driver’s monumental second-place finish. Below are quotes from Monday and Tuesday’s NASCAR RACE HUB episodes:
The tradition of competition between vintage Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Camaros and other pony cars is set to continue during this year’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Plans to bring pony cars to the shoreline street race is a new development for the race, set to take place for the 44th time, on the weekend of April 13-15. Billed as the Historic Trans Am Challenge, the race is a successor event to last year’s Can-Am Challenge, another showcase for vintage machines that took the place of the long-held Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced today that Fleet Cost & Care, maker of comprehensive fleet management software solutions NexGen and Atom, will debut as a primary sponsor on a Verizon IndyCar Series car with driver Graham Rahal for the Texas Indy 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 9.
Fleet Cost & Care, whose software enables companies to improve internal operations by providing a centralized system that speeds up invoicing, streamlines payroll and ensures safety and success, has been an associate sponsor for RLL since 2016. It will continue in that role for the entire 17-race Verizon IndyCar Series season in 2018, in addition to serving as primary sponsor on Rahal’s No. 15 Honda at Texas.
BMW’s new M8 GTE has received power adjustments ahead of this week’s Sebring Test. The turbocharged V8 will have less power at the 2500, 3000 and 4000 RPM levels although will benefit from from increased output at 5000-7500 RPM.
While the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts is slightly less than a month away, Sebring International Raceway will host a plethora of IMSA competitors this week with a four-day test that begins Tuesday.
Tuesday and Wednesday will feature race cars from the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama. The cars and stars of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be on track Thursday and Friday.
A total of 18 cars have been entered for Continental Tire Challenge testing – 16 from the Grand Sport (GS) class and two TCR machines. There are six Mercedes-AMG race cars on the GS entry list, four Ford Mustang GT4s, three McLaren GT4s and one each from Porsche, BMW and Aston Martin. In TCR, there is one Volkswagen and one Audi. There will be a total of three Continental Tire Challenge sessions this week, two on Tuesday and one on Wednesday afternoon.
Jay Leno's Garage: Does This Track Match It's Virtual Counterpart? Nissan GT Academy winner Ricardo Sanchez has virtually driven the Willow Springs Racetrack hundreds of times. He meets up with Jay Leno at the racetrack to compare reality and virtual reality. Will his virtual skills transfer over to real world driving? All New Jay Leno's Garage Thursdays 10P ET/PT. Comment
Holmatro agrees to five-year extension with IndyCar
Holmatro has supported INDYCAR's renowned safety team for decades, supplying rescue tools to assist in the quick and safe extrication of race drivers following an on-track incident.
That reliable and valuable relationship continues with today's announcement that INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway have renewed the agreement that keeps Holmatro as the Official Rescue Tool Provider. As such, Holmatro will provide cutting-edge technology tools and training to support every Verizon IndyCar Series and Mazda Road to Indy event for the next five years.
Sam Hunt To Headline Firestone Legends Day Concert
Grammy Award nominee and multi-platinum superstar Sam Hunt will headline the Firestone Legends Day Concert on Saturday, May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during Race Weekend for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Canaan Smith and Filmore will serve as opening acts for the concert, which starts at 3:30 p.m. on the Firestone Stage inside Turn 4 of the IMS oval.
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