NASCAR Daytona Truck TV Rating After recording its most-watched season ever in 2011, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on SPEED kicked off the 2012 season in strong fashion, increasing Household ratings by 9 percent (1.63 vs. 1.49) from a year ago according to Nielsen Media Research. The Friday night race had an average viewing audience of more than 1.8 million people, with the strongest growth among Men 18-49, which enjoyed a 41-percent increase from 2011.
The next NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race is scheduled for March 31 at 1 p.m. ET live from Martinsville. The popular pre-race show, NCWTS Setup with Krista Voda, begins at 12:30 p.m. ET.
The Audi R8 LMS remains "King of the Mountain" at Bathurst. On Australia’s most challenging race track the successful GT3 sports car from Audi Sport customer racing defended its title at the 12-hour race. Christer Jons (D), Christopher Mies (D) and Darryl O’Young (HK) won the endurance classic at Mount Panorama in extremely difficult conditions. Rain, fog, several lead changes and numerous safety car periods repeatedly interrupted the young trio’s race rhythm. But in the end they won with a 1m 13s advantage.
Toyota president takes laps around Daytona in 2013 Toyota On Saturday morning, Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation and grandson of the company's founder (they changed the "d" to a "t" in the title for the sake of better sales), did some hot laps with Kyle Busch in an early version of what will become the overhauled 2013 Camry stock car. First he rode while Busch drove. Then they swapped spots.
Over the next year Toyota is expected to roll out as many as a dozen new designs, as Toyoda says, "something we can get excited about, with some emotional value to it."
The flagship of that fleet will be a revamped Camry, conveniently coinciding with the rollout of the new NASCAR Sprint Cup cars in 2013, cars much more akin to their street inspirations. "Although we didn't show it today," he explained through an interpreter, "our styling, we really want to make it look like a Camry. I really hope that the fans of NASCAR will love it." ESPN.com
NASCAR plans no changes for Daytona 500 As expected Thursday, ambient temperatures in the low 80s created challenges for Sprint Cup teams competing in the pair of Gatorade Duel 150-mile qualifying races for the Daytona 500. The aftermath led to widespread whining about the effects of hotter engine temperatures and its effect on performance. It also led to potential suggestions from engine companies to help the overall cooling package.
But on Friday morning NASCAR said it anticipated no additional changes to the Cup cars' cooling systems prior to Sunday's Daytona 500. Temperature projections for Sunday are below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms.
"We continue to monitor things and work with the teams," Sprint Cup Series director John Darby said on Friday morning. "We remind ourselves that the water temperatures are managed by the drivers themselves. Currently, we don't anticipate making any changes." NASCAR.com
During Happy Hour, Kurt Busch's Daytona 500 possibilities were impacted when his #51 Phoenix Racing Chevy hit a bird. "We hit a bird and I think we cooked the engine," owner James Finch said as he watched his men examine the engine and repair the tear in the car's nose. "We're having so much trouble keeping the engine cool I don't think I want to risk [not changing it]." A Phoenix crewmember confirmed the bird strike tore a small hole in the bottom of the radiator, which unbeknownst to Busch drained the water and necessitated the change. Thus, Busch will be one of five cars that must drop to the back of the grid on the pace laps before the start of the Daytona 500. #38-David Gilliland, #10-Danica Patrick, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #27-Paul Menard all went to backup cars after their Gatorade Duel qualifying races so must drop back. NASCAR.com
Video: Daytona Leaders Crash and James Buescher Wins An absolutely ridiculous finish to the end of the 2012 COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona, the leaders wreck in turn 4, and James Buescher, who was 11th, goes on to win the race!
Former Roush Drivers Announce Return To Trans Am Mike Miller, owner and versatile racer, is proud to announce the formation of his new SCCA Trans Am Pro-Racing team, Miller Racing.
Mike Miller is no stranger to the racing world or the SCCA. He has raced various cars over the past 35 years. In 1982, after making his way through several different racing categories, he debuted in SCCA Super-Vee open-wheel racing with the guidance of legendary racer, Dan Gurney.
Veteran Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello tackles the twists and turns at Infineon Raceway on Saturday
Ryan Briscoe led the field on Saturday as five IZOD IndyCar® Series drivers completed a full day of pre-season testing at Infineon Raceway. Veteran Formula One driver, Rubens Barrichello, also took park in the test session on behalf of KV Racing Technology.
Team Penske’s Briscoe posted a time of 1 minute, 17.49 seconds over the 12-turn, 2.303-mile road course, which was attended by nearly 1,500 fans. It was the highest-attended test session in raceway history.
Briscoe was followed by teammate Will Power (1:17.83); Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport, 1:18.43); EJ Viso (KV Racing Technology, 1:18.50); JR Hildebrand (Panther Racing, 1:18.73) and Barrichello (1:18.91).
Teenage rider killed at Phillip Island Saturday's opening Superpole session of the World Superbikes season at Phillip Island was cancelled after a fatal accident in the preceding Supersport/Superstock race.
Australian Superstock 600 rider Oscar McIntyre, 17, was killed in a crash early in the support race, leading to Superpole initially being postponed by an hour before being cancelled altogether.
A statement on the World Superbikes website read: "Infront Motor Sports and the entire SBK paddock offer their condolences to the McIntyre family and all those affected by his loss."
Jaguar pulls plug on ALMS program Jaguar and RSR Racing on Friday announced that their American Le Mans Series GT-class campaign will not continue in 2012, “as Jaguar focuses all of its efforts on its ambitious global product-growth plan. Every aspect of Jaguar Cars is committed to its global growth plan—meaning prudent and frequently difficult business decisions are being made along the way in order to ensure that every available resource is channeled towards its future.”
Paul Gentilozzi’s Michigan-based Rocketsports Racing was behind the Jaguar XKR GT program since its inception in 2009, but the effort never quite lived up to expectations and hopes. The XKR GT recorded several top-10 finishes during its competition history, but it never finished a race in a position better than sixth after struggling to find speed to match the ALMS front-runners.
Dale Dillon - will he make the Baltimore GP a big success or fail because he's a contractor and not really a race promoter? Time is not on his side.
The men behind Downforce Racing have convinced city officials they have the skills to run the Baltimore Grand Prix, have secured the blessing of IndyCar executives and have sweated through months of contract negotiations.
But those efforts pale in the face of the challenge that now lies before them: pulling together an expensive and elaborate racing festival in just six months. "This group needs to get moving now and not wait," said Lisa Delpy Neirotti, a professor of sports marketing at George Washington University. "They have plenty of time, but they just need to spring into action now."
The city canceled its contract with the organizers of last year's race after they ran up $12 million in debt and left creditors unpaid. Downforce Racing — Indianapolis-based contractor Dale Dillon and former Constellation Energy Group executives Felix J. Dawson and Daniel Reck — formally won a contract with the city this week, after a 3-2 Board of Estimates vote.
Starting Lineup for Daytona 500 The starting lineup for Sunday’s race:
1. Carl Edwards, Roush Fenway Racing No. 99 Ford 2. Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing No. 16 Ford 3. Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14 Chevrolet 4. Matt Kenseth, Roush Fenway Racing No. 17 Ford 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet 6. Regan Smith, Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Chevrolet 7. Marcos Ambrose, Richard Petty Motorsports No. 9 Ford 8. Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet 9. Jeff Burton, Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet 10. Elliott Sadler, Richard Childress Racing No. 33 Chevrolet
Pre-season testing resumed for Lotus HVM Racing and the Lotus test team in Sebring, FL this Thursday and Friday. Lotus HVM Racing had their first independent test alongside the Lotus manufacturer test team.
After two full days of testing, Lotus HVM team feels confident that they are making good progress in their preparations for the season-opener in St. Petersburg, FL on March 25,2012.
Video: 267 MPH street legal Bugatti Veyron Super Sport James May attempts to break his personal speed record in a brand new, even more powerful version of the amazing Bugatti Veyron. Fantastic high definition clip from the award-winning motoring show.
Video: Five NASCAR Truck race wrecks Credit goes to NASCAR.com & FOX (SPEED) for providing these videos that were merged together to put together this video.
Timeline ======== 00:00 - "Leffler out early at DIS" 00:43 - "Skinner hit by a Gale force wind" 01:19 - "Paludo walks away from a scary crash" 02:19 - "Dillon weaves through chaos" 02:48 - "Sauter gets turned coming to the white" 03:32 - "King wins, Coulter flips in wild finish at DIS"
Budweiser Shootout now the Budweiser DuelUPDATE The conflicting beer sponsorships led to some awkward eligibility rules over the past few years. Chitwood says he is pursuing several leads for potential title sponsors for the Shootout, but Coors Light is not one of them. Budweiser's exclusivity with the Speedway precludes a rival beer maker from naming the season-opening exhibition race. NASCAR News Service
02/24/12 Budweiser and Daytona International Speedway announced the beer brand will take on an enhanced role in NASCAR's season opening festivities. Beginning with the 2013 season, Budweiser will become the official title sponsor of Speedweeks - the ten-day stretch of stock-car races from the Shootout to the Daytona 500. Budweiser also will secure entitlement of the Budweiser Duel at Daytona, two 150-mile qualifying races that determine the starting lineup for the Daytona 500. These enhancements to Budweiser's partnership with DIS will replace the brand's existing entitlement of the season-opening, non-points Shootout.
Polesitter Mies (center) with his running mates, Jons (left) and O'Young (right)
Phoenix Racing managed to score an excellent result in qualifying for the Bathurst 12 Hours in unusual conditions. The six racers had to lap the challenging circuit in Australia fast but not too fast as those who stay below a specified minimum time at Mount Panorama in qualifying have to compete in the race with ballast. Heavy traffic on the circuit and two kangaroos that crossed the track in the first qualifying session made the task even more difficult.
Kangaroo meets kangaroo: The first encounter of the black number "1" Audi R8 LMS sporting a kangaroo design with a real pouched mammal occurred right at the beginning of the first qualifying session. Christopher Mies (D) was on his warm-up lap when two of the Australian marsupials were hobbling across the track in front of him. Unfazed, the 22-year-old professional racer managed to set a lap time of 2m 09.1254s on lap three of an unusual qualifying session: The best time set by each of the three drivers of a vehicle is aggregated for the starting grid. The other special feature of this format: Those who require less than 2m 08s per lap have to run with 50 kilograms of ballast in the race. In addition, this best time is cancelled.
Pastrana announces Nationwide and K&N Pro Series East schedule
Getty Images for NASCAR
Travis Pastrana will make a long-awaited NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in the No. 99 Boost Mobile Toyota at Richmond International Raceway on April 27.
The 11-time X-Games gold medalist and action sports star plans to run seven Nationwide Series races as well as 11 K&N Pro Series races in 2012. He’ll make his K&N debut in the season-opening race at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 17.
Sato completes 2-day Sebring test Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing concluded four days of testing with Takuma Sato this week at Barber Motorsports Park on Monday and Tuesday and two additional days at Sebring International Raceway on Thursday and Friday of this week. Sato completed 130 laps today at the 1.67-mile Sebring International Raceway course under warm conditions that reached 87 degrees for a total of 195 laps (325 miles) over the two days.
“We had another very productive day,” said Sato. “We ran more mileage than yesterday and made good progress through the whole day. We carried on with the test plan from yesterday and learned many things. I feel we really moved forward over the course of the testing. It was little windy but the track stayed very consistent which helped a lot. The team did a really great job and we had a solid four days of testing with no major issue. I am very pleased with our start; the testing has gone smoothly so far.”
Setting the record straight on Irwindale There have been numerous rumors regarding Irwindale Speedway. Please permit this statement to provide clarification:
1) THE PERMANENT TRACK GRANDSTANDS ARE NOT (NOR ARE THEY IN ANY DANGER OF) BEING TORN DOWN. There was a report that the portable, temporary bleachers outside the first turn were being dismantled. That is correct. Those temporary stands were rented and the company that owned them was simply removing their property.
2012 IndyCar schedule set, Fontana finale under lightsUPDATE As if having the prestigious IZOD IndyCar Series return to Auto Club Speedway for the first time in seven years wasn’t enough good news for Southern California open-wheel race fans, here’s something else to celebrate. The September 15, 2012 under the lights extravaganza will be the finale of the series’ 16-race season.
“We already have record speeds, world-class drivers and the history and tradition of open-wheel racing at Auto Club Speedway,” said track president Gillian Zucker. “Now add ‘season finale’ to our resume. All those ingredients make this track, which has arguably hosted some of the most exciting races in INDYCAR history, the place to be in September.”
Speed Center adds Hornish as analyst Three-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr., signed with SPEED this week to be an analyst on the popular weekend motor sports news program, SPEED Center. Hornish, who is competing this season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for Penske Racing, won the Indianapolis 500 in 2006 and recently became a Nationwide Series winner at Phoenix International Raceway this past November.
“A driver with Sam’s resume is a perfect fit for SPEED Center,” said SPEED President Scott Ackerson. “He adds a knowledgeable and credible voice across multiple racing disciplines, giving support to the show’s position as a motor sports authority.”
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing and rookie sensation Josef Newgarden will compete in the entire 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season with Honda power.
SFHR and Newgarden will be on the grid for the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 25 with the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, as the team’s engine program with Honda came to fruition for all 16 races in 2012.
“Everyone at SFHR is ecstatic about competing in the entire 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season with Josef behind the wheel and with Honda engines,” team co-owner Sarah Fisher said. “We couldn’t have done it without the support of our loyal fans, who mobilized on our behalf through email, social media, texting and phone calls. Their voices were heard. We had been in discussions with Honda since last season, and I'm delighted that it finally came together. My heart has been in IndyCar for several years, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to enter a season as a full-time owner. Honda saw an opportunity and has given our team a chance to be on the grid in St. Petersburg. I’m really proud of the hard work by so many to pull this package together.
Marussia joins GP2 series The Marussia F1 Team has strengthened its Young Driver Program with the announcement today that it will contend the GP2 Series in 2012 with Carlin. The team will be entered as the Marussia Carlin GP2 Team.
The addition of this formula to the Program means the Marussia F1 Team is now represented across the full spectrum of the junior racing categories, including Formula Renault, GP3 Series and GP2 Series.
The GP2 Series, which embarks on its seventh season of competition, is the strongest Formula One feeder category where the best emerging talent in motor racing vie for the attentions of the Formula One teams they run alongside, hoping to one day follow in the footsteps of their forebears. Some 50 drivers have so far received the opportunity to drive an F1 car as a result of their time in GP2 since it began, including the Marussia F1 Team’s 2012 driver line-up of Timo Glock and Charles Pic.
ALMS Entries Set for Historic 60th Sebring Challenge The best sports car drivers, teams and manufacturers from North America take on the best from Europe in the opening round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n. A field of 64 cars - 34 from the ALMS along with 30 entries from the FIA World Endurance Championship – is set for America’s greatest sports car race – the 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida.
The start of the 14th ALMS season also marks the start of the fourth MICHELIN GREEN X® Challenge season. The 2012 grid at Sebring will be powered by a collection of four different alternative fuels: sulfur-free diesel, E10, E85 and isobutanol.
Four of last year’s American Le Mans Series class championship-winning teams will begin t title defenses in 2012 – Dyson Racing in LMP1, Level 5 Motorsports in LMP2, BMW Team RLL in GT and CORE autosport in LMP Challenge. Black Swan Racing, last year’s GT Challenge champion, moves up to LMP2 for 2012.
Risi Competizione To Skip 12 Hours Of Sebring Risi Competizione has elected not to enter the 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the first round of the 2012 American Le Mans Series.
Team Principal, Giuseppe Risi, spoke of the difficult decision: “Unfortunately the current economic climate has not allowed us to approach the 2012 season as we would have wished. None of us want to go into an event such as Sebring feeling less than 100% ready and prepared, and we aren’t at that point.
“Risi Competizione, racing with Ferrari, has been a stalwart of the Series for the last decade and we fully recognize the extremely high level of competition it supports. To race a Ferrari is to enter into a partnership with history and legend. The standards are so high that commitment must be total and complete. Risi Competizione knows better than many what it takes to win the 12 Hours of Sebring, and I feel that, right now, we wouldn’t be representative of our best.”
Several NASCAR Sponsors Will Debut New Ads At This Weekend's Daytona 500 Several NASCAR advertisers are planning to debut new creatives that will air during Fox' broadcast of the Daytona 500 Sunday. While some mark the beginning of a season-long campaign, others are scheduled to air only during the Great American Race.
Edwards, Glazer star in Subway's latest "Famous Fans" campaign
SUBWAY: Subway will continue its “Famous Fans” campaign with a new 30-second spot featuring Carl Edwards and Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer.
DIET MOUNTAIN DEW: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will debut the No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevy this weekend, and Mountain Dew will complement the launch with a 30-second spot for its diet soda. The spot also introduces the brand’s new tagline: “Yeah, it tastes good.”
SPRINT: The title sponsor of NASCAR's top series will debut a new ad for its Sprint Cup Mobile app featuring Clint Bowyer.
5-HOUR ENERGY: Bowyer will also appear in an ad for the primary sponsor on his No. 15 Toyota.
2013 Daytona 500 is Feb 24th The 2013 Daytona 500 will remain the last Sunday in February at Daytona International Speedway. Track president Joie Chitwood confirmed Friday that "The Great American Race" would start on Feb. 24 of next year. The race was moved from its traditional second or third week of February this year for the first time since 1971 as NASCAR eliminated its weekend off in early March. ESPN
Goodyear Proves They're 'More Driven' for Start of the 2012 NASCAR Season
Goodyear NASCAR tires
As February Daytona Speedweeks marks the "official" beginning of the 2012 NASCAR season, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company also celebrates being chosen as the exclusive tire supplier to the top three NASCAR racing series through 2017 while also reaching the 58th year of uninterrupted commitment to the sport, making it one of the longest-running supply program participants in sport history.
As the official tire supplier to the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series, Goodyear sets out in 2012 on a 'More Driven' mission to continue to build on the Company's more than 100-year racing history by learning, driving innovation and enhancing performance and quality in the sport...and beyond.
Barcelona Friday: Kobayashi on topUPDATE Pos Driver Car Time Laps 1. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:22.312 144 2. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:22.561 134 3. Paul Di Resta Force India 1:23.119 101 4. Jenson Button McLaren 1:23.200 115 5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:23.563 103 6. Mark Webber Red Bull 1:23.774 85 7. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:23.792 92 8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Petronas 1:23.843 139 9. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:26.968 70
Kamui Kobayashi: “I’m quite happy. We achieved a very good mileage today. The set up changes we did in the morning meant an improvement in lap times, which, of course, is very positive. There is still a lot of work to do in terms of understanding the car and the different tire compounds at different fuel levels, but we are working in the right direction. I think it was a good test for us.”
02/24/12 Lap times as of 11am local time, on day four of the four-day F1 group test in Barcelona, Spain.
1. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 23.200s 2. Kamui Kobayashi Japan Sauber-Ferrari 1m 23.921s 3. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 23.998s 4. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 1m 24.327s 5. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 25.176s 6. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1m 26.209s 7. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1m 26.959s 8. Heikki Kovalainen Finland Caterham-Renault 1m 27.047s 9. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 27.880s 10. Charles Pic France Marussia-Cosworth No time * *2011 car
Plowman and Heinemeier to drive for the Conquest LMP2 team
Martin Plowman and David Heinemeier Hansson will form a strong driving duo for the new Conquest Endurance team during its first season of LMP2 prototype competition in the 2012 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron.
IZOD IndyCar Series veteran Plowman and sports-car veteran Heinemeier Hansson will drive the No. 37 Conquest Endurance Morgan-Judd LMP2 beginning with the prestigious 60th Anniversary of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on Saturday, March 17 at Sebring, Fla.
A third driver will join the team next month for Sebring and the 15th running of the Petit Le Mans in October at Road Atlanta.
Inaugural U.S. Grand Prix to be 56 laps, 191 miles, FIA says The FIA, the world governing body of motorsports, this morning set official race times and distances for all 2012 Formula One races, including the U.S. Grand Prix near Austin.
The U.S. race, scheduled for a circuit under construction in southeastern Travis County, will be 56 laps for a distance of 191.9 miles (308.9 kilometers), the FIA said.
The length of a Formula One race is the number of completed laps that equal 305 kilometers (189.5 miles) or two hours. The Circuit of the Americas is 3.4 miles (5.5 kilometers) long.
Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg to feature 10 races Fans attending the Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg, March 23-25, will see a lot of green and checkered flags. Event organizers announce today that the weekend race will feature 10 races – a record for the event that is only in its eighth year. The on-track schedule for the Honda Grand Prix includes the much-anticipated season starter of the IZOD IndyCar Series and will add a new race to this year’s line-up: the Ferrari Challenge.
The event will also feature the Mazda Road to Indy, INDYCAR’s official developmental ladder system for drivers and teams seeking to compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series, which allows fans to see the future leaders of the sport along with the current champions Dario Franchitti, Will Power, Tony Kanaan and former St. Pete winners Helio Castroneves, Graham Rahal and Ryan Briscoe. The ladder system includes Firestone Indy Lights, Star Mazda Championship and the USF2000 National Championship. The Pirelli World Challenge rounds out the competition with a double-header weekend featuring the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg and three returning classes of racing, GT, GTS and Touring Car, along with the introduction of the new Touring Car B-Spec class.
Briscoe pleased with IndyCar test at Texas Motor Speedway
IndyCar driver Ryan Briscoe was pleased with the progress of the new car following a test this week at Texas Motor Speedway.
Briscoe worked with fellow Chevrolet driver Tony Kanaan during the session to help IndyCar set the rules package for an upcoming open test at the speedway. The series scheduled the March 13 test to give teams an opportunity to drive the new Dallara DW12 on the high-banked oval — a concern following the death last October of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon at Las Vegas.
“What we are trying to avoid is a pack race situation like we had in Las Vegas,” Briscoe said. “We feel like this car is safer, but we still want to make sure we avoid pack racing, and we've got a couple of different options that are going to make the car more difficult to drive.”
Kurt Busch apologizes to Jerry Punch Kurt Busch publicly apologized Thursday to the ESPN reporter he berated during last season's finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Busch began an on-camera interview with ESPN's Jerry Punch by hugging him and saying he was "so sorry with the way last year ended."
"I feel horrible," Busch added. A fan videotaped Busch verbally abusing Punch as he waited to be interviewed. Busch also was caught on his in-car camera making an obscene gesture as he drove into the garage at Homestead. NASCAR later fined Busch $50,000. Busch and Penske Racing parted ways a few weeks later in what both called a mutual agreement, but many believe he was fired in the fallout of yet another embarrassing incident for the race team. Busch, who has been working with a sports psychologist, is now driving the #51 Chevy for Phoenix Racing and owner James Finch. ESPN/AP
Cape Motorsports makes strong entrance To say that Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing had a successful Cooper Tires USF2000 Winterfest Championship is an understatement. The team and its drivers won every race in the six-race championship series, Feb. 6-7 at Sebring International Raceway and Feb. 11-12 at Palm Beach International Raceway.
Spencer Pigot won the Winterfest Driver Championship with his five wins, including all three races at PBIR.
“The Winterfest couldn't have gone much better,” Pigot said. “Winning five races and the championship is a great way to start of the season. I'm really enjoying working with the guys at Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing as well as my teammates. “We've gotten off to a pretty perfect start, and I think the more time we spend together the stronger we'll become as a team. We've accomplished the first goal of the season and now we have to go out and do it again in the main series. It's going to be a tough year but the goal is to win the championship as a driver and the team championship.”
2012 Palm Beach GP concludes Jupiter, Fla. To say the Second Annual Palm Beach Grand Prix at Palm Beach International Raceway was a diverse event would be an understatement. With over one hundred national and international participants, we had the distinct pleasure of hosting vintage and modern race cars alike spanning a time period of over fifty years. Competing in six different series throughout the weekend, the event was a whirlwind of non-stop racing action.
However, a commonality amongst the drivers’ was their shared passion for the thrill of the race. Camaraderie existed between the competitors that fueled the roar of the engines to make for an exhilarating weekend as drivers took to the track.
The Grand Prix was a Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) sanctioned event for its 2012 season opener featuring all HSR Dash Series races, the Louis Chevrolet Endurance Series, and the Klub Sport Porsche Challenge. These races brought history and talent to Palm Beach International Raceway’s two-mile eleven-turn road course.
About 90 days to the beginning of the 2012 season of the World Series By Renault-WSR, one of the most important formula championships in the world, pilots and teams move a lot behind the scenes. In a year in which the category will debut the new car and, also, with the arrival of new teams and competitors, the expectation is too large.
With the experience of two seasons in the F-3 British Championship, as well as having competed in the Ultimate Masters of Zandvoort, Macau GP and F-3 Brazil Open the Brazilian pilot Lucas Foresti (RADIEX | BREDA | PIRACICABANA CARGAS) is ready to face this important step in his career.
Aleshin and Nebylitskiy in FR 3.5 with Russian team RFR
Russian drivers Mikhail Aleshin and Anton Nebylitskiy have signed full season contracts to fill the seats in Team RFR for the 2012 season of the World Series by Renault. The full Russian line up reinforces the patriotism from the only Russian team in the Series.
“This year we’ve decided to select only Russian drivers on our team,” says co-owner of the team Dmitry Sapgir. “Unfortunately, this doesn’t as yet apply to all members working in the team, but we hope this will develop in future to also have Russian technicians. Both drivers are very fast racers, we’ve worked with Anton for several years already, and we also had a chance to work with Mikhail during the 2011 season, when he competed for us at Hungaroring.”
Former GP3 driver and race winner, Nick Yelloly, is confirmed as Comtec Racing’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series driver for 2012.
After entering the last three World Series by Renault 2011 meetings, and finishing on the rookie podium every time, he concluded his campaign with a second place on the podium proper in the last round at Barcelona. Finishing 14 overall – the highest a British driver has ever finished – Nick was a natural choice and clearly responds well to the higher performance cars.
Lotus LMP2 driver lineup for the FIA World Endurance Championship Lotus LMP2 is delighted to confirm the driver lineup for the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship. Thomas Holzer, Mirco Schultis and Luca Moro will join the team and will share a Lotus-powered Lola B12/80 Coupe.
German Thomas Holzer was racing in different Formula 3 series and was competing in the ADAC GT Masters recently. His fellow countryman Mirco Schultis, 2011 LMS LMPC Champion, gained a lot of experience in different endurance races like the 24 Hours of Daytona, Dubai and Nurburgring. Italian Luca Moro can look back on racing many years in FIA GT Championships but also in sports cars series like Formula Le Mans and American Le Mans Series.
The team is happy to have Thomas, Mirco and Luca on board for the first season in FIA WEC and is eager to become a real challenger in this exciting and competitive new series.
The season kicks off with the race in Sebring on 17th March.
At Audi, the current DTM Champion, the "title defense" project is running at full stretch. A week before the homologation of the new Audi A5 DTM on March 1 the drivers and their assignment to the total of three Audi factory teams have been confirmed.
New car, new technology, new rules - particularly because the season opener at the Hockenheimring on April 29 is bringing a lot of changes to the most popular international touring car racing series and ringing in a completely new era in the DTM, Audi, the 1990, 1991, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 DTM Champion, is banking on continuity. The long-standing partner teams, ABT Sportsline, Phoenix Racing and Team Rosberg, are fielding the seven Audi A5 DTM cars and the drivers taking the wheel of the seven Audi A5 DTM vehicles at the Hockenheim season opener on April 29 are well-known quantities too.
Wind Tunnel Sunday Sunday will mark the beginning to Wind Tunnel’s 10th season on the air. Much of the show will focus on the 54th running of the Daytona 500 with post-race analysis from Darrell Waltrip and a conversation with the winning car owner.
In addition, Robin Miller will drop by with the latest news and notes from the world of IndyCar and as the weekend progresses, we may yet add another guest or two to the line-up below.
Starr to be Grand Marshall at Barber Pro Football Hall of Famer and Alabama native Bart Starr will be the grand marshal of the third Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 1 at Barber Motorsports Park.
Among Starr's engagements throughout the race weekend, he'll give the command to start the Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus engines and wave the green flag for the 90-lap race on the challenging 2.38-mile road course.
"Bart is a great ambassador for our city and we are excited to have him be part of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy weekend," said Rick Humphrey, Vice President of ZOOM Motorsports, the exclusive event promoter of Barber Motorsports Park.
Good first day for RLL at Sebring Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing resumed their pre-season IndyCar Series test program today with Takuma Sato at the 1.67-mile Sebring International Raceway course. Sato completed 65 laps under warm conditions that reached 87 degrees and was happy with the progress.
“It was a good day,” said Sato. “I was here in December for the manufacturer day with Honda but it was winter and today it was like summer. It was really warm here which made the track conditions very different. Everyone went really fast because of the temperature and the track was fast due to the rubber that was already down. We were able to do a lot of miles and quite a few various test items today. I am very pleased with the amount of different things we tried; it was a productive day. We will go through the data tonight and we have a few more things to try tomorrow. Testing here is very important for our street course set up. Before we come back here for the open test we wanted to do some other variations as well.”
The team tested with Sato on Monday and Tuesday of this week at Barber Motorsports Park and worked on the road course setup for the all new DW12 Dallara chassis for the first time. This was the first test day working on the street course setup.
IndyCar news bits Michael Andretti will be inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame on April 21. He counts seven Indy car victories on the streets of Toronto among his 42 CART/Champ Car wins in his 20-year racing career. ... A.J. Foyt, who is recovering at home from a staph infection he contracted following knee surgery last month, received encouraging news from his physicians that he should be cleared to attend the race weekend in St. Petersburg. ... ABC will be on the air with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg at 12:30 p.m. (ET). ... Marco Andretti and Simon Pagenaud will participate in the second Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Media Karting Competition on Feb. 28 at Andersen RacePark in Florida. ... Ryan Hunter-Reay is featured in the March edition of Gold Coast Magazine…Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing recently came to an agreement with 15-year-old Henrik Furuseth to compete in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda. Furuseth will compete in the National Class after impressing his new team in a test that took place last September.
Honda will not sponsor Baltimore race Honda America Motorsports PR Manager T.E. McHale said that the company "won't be the top sponsor of the 2012 Baltimore Grand Prix," as Honda "reached its capacity on title sponsorship deals" for '12. Downforce Racing Partner Dale Dillon, whose group now promotes the race, "has strong ties to Honda" and had "reached out to the automotive giant regarding the title sponsorship" BIZJOURNALS.com
Video: Danica Patrick's big Daytona crash Danica Patrick’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup race ended with a vicious crash Thursday, a wreck that ironically helped her teammate and boss, Tony Stewart, win in the first Gatorade Duel at Daytona International Speedway.
Stewart was leading Dale Earnhardt Jr. when the caution flag waved on the final lap, sealing the win in the first of two qualifying races for Sundays’ Daytona 500. See story on our Home page.
Andretti and Hildebrand endorse Phoenix oval for IndyCar Just for the record, JR Hildebrand and Marco Andretti aren't lobbying INDYCAR and Phoenix International Raceway officials. But if a few encouraging words can help the IZOD IndyCar Series return to the 1-mile oval in 2013, then they'll talk all day about their recent test sessions.
Andretti, driving the No. 26 Venom Energy Drink car for Andretti Autosport, was on the track Feb. 21-22, while Hildebrand piled up 114 laps in the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car Feb. 22. Both entries are powered by Chevrolet.
Hildebrand, whose Panther Racing evaluation session was conducted at PIR in December 2010, agreed with lead engineer David Cripps and team manager Chris Mower that the recent addition of variable banking would allow for a second racing groove that would produce more passing.
"They've done a great job with the facility at Phoenix, and for IndyCars it could really lend itself to good racing," said the 2011 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, who will return home to the Bay Area this weekend to test at Infineon Raceway. "The track is much smoother; the repaving was really well done. If INDYCAR wants to come back and race here, I'd put my stamp on it.
Chevrolet Volt Cleared for California’s Carpool Lanes
A low emission model of the 2012 Chevrolet Volt electric car are on their way to California, where customers will qualify for a $1,500 state rebate and be allowed to drive solo in the state’s carpool lanes.
Volts with the Low Emissions Package, which is standard for California, began shipping from the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck plant this week and should begin arriving at the more than 140 participating Chevrolet dealerships in California before the end of the month.
(L to R) Jim France, Bill France Jr.’s widow, Brian France and Lesa Kennedy France
Getty Images for NASCAR
From the classic look of determination on his face to the tips of his beloved tasseled loafers, friends and family agree a sculpture of the late Bill France Jr. unveiled Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway perfectly captured the racing icon.
When family members whisked away a white cloth to reveal the sculpture of the man who built NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation into a racing dynasty, emotion rippled across the crowd that included family, friends and former associates.
It was Jim France's first look at the sculpture of his brother. It took his breath away.
The sculptor, John Lajba, captured his brother's expression perfectly, France said. "I've seen that expression a thousand times."
Ed Carpenter Racing, which is entering its initial IZOD IndyCar Series season, has added mechanics and engineering personnel to the Indianapolis-based team.
Carpenter, who will be the driver of the Chevrolet-powered No. 20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka car in addition to a team co-owner, announced the team's formation in November. Michael Cannon was announced as the lead engineer.
“We are extremely excited with the quality of our Fuzzy’s racing team,” Carpenter said. “Our staff brings a large amount of IndyCar experience and background."
Tim Broyles, with more than 20 years of Indy car racing experience, has been named team manager. Bret Schmitt, who worked closely with Carpenter for five years, has been named chief mechanic. Mechanics added are Jimmie Johnson, Albert Gray, Steve Krock, Paul Hicks and Jeremy Burtner.
Additional engineering department hires include Matt Barnes (Andretti Autosport, Penske Racing and Rahal Letterman Racing), Brent Harvey (longtime team member at Panther Racing), Ed Delporte (18-year Indy car engineer) and Joe Howard (Andretti Autosport). IndyCar.com
Board of Estimates approves Grand Prix deal in narrow 3-2 voteUPDATE A contract to run a second year of the Baltimore Grand Prix under new management passed a divided Board of Estimates on Wednesday by a 3-2 vote.
City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young and Comptroller Joan M. Pratt opposed the deal. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and her two appointees on the board voted in favor.
Pratt argued that she hadn't been provided enough time to review the contract and that race officials hadn't properly answered her questions.
"Given the past experience of this event and looking forward, I am more in tune that this event be successful for the city and that the citizens not be burdened with additional expenses. Therefore, I am opposed to this item," Pratt said.
Allmendinger on FOX and Friends Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver AJ Allmendinger will be a featured guest on Sunday's edition of "FOX and Friends" on the FOX News Channel. The program starts at 6:00 am/et. Sunday morning [February 16th], with Dinger scheduled to join hosts Alisyn Camerota, Dave Briggs, and Clayton Morris at 8:30 am/et. TRPR
BK Racing plans to run full races all season Tomato grower Wayne Press and his partners had originally planned to start their own team with the equipment from #71 TRG Motorsports, which was managed by Kevin Buckler. But they couldn't get access to that equipment, so Press, Scott Gunderson and others bought equipment and assumed the owner points from Red Bull Racing, which went out of business after last season. Their two-car BK Racing organization will make its debut Sunday in the Daytona 500.
The team has signed Landon Cassill to drive a full season in the #83 car while David Reutimann and Travis Kvapil will drive the #93. Reutimann is in the car at Daytona and Kvapil will drive at Phoenix. Kvapil likely will run more races, and the team hopes that Reutimann drives in the 10 races when he isn't in the #10 Tommy Baldwin Racing car he will share with Danica Patrick. Because they have the owner points from Red Bull, the team will start the season with guaranteed starting spots in the first five races. They plan to stay in the top 35 to keep those guaranteed spots, something that TRG Motorsports wasn't always able to accomplish.
Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus talk in the Daytona Garage Wednesday. Look for NASCAR to lower the boom on the No. 48 team, who regularly make our weekly NASCAR cheaters report
Getty Images for NASCAR
I expect that there will be a whopper of a penalty imposed against Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet and crew chief Chad Knaus.
Why? NASCAR never forgets a rules infraction.
That's why I expect the penalty for failing Friday's pre-Daytona 500 qualifying inspection to be very punitive.
For many years the sanctioning body's policy of penalties seemed virtually ineffective, as a $5,000 fine against a multimillion-dollar driver, crew chief or owner was like trying to shovel waves back into the surf.
Hendrick Motorsports crew members push Kasey Kahne's damaged car back to his garage
Getty Images for NASCAR
Representatives of his sponsor might not consider it totaled, but the damage was enough to send Kasey Kahne into a backup car for Thursday's Gatorade Duels.
Kahne, in the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, was spun by Juan Pablo Montoya in the middle of a small pack of cars. It tore up the front end and did some engine damage.
"I was right behind the No. 24 (Jeff Gordon) and we were going pretty good," Kahne said. "(Montoya) got a big run and came up and just barely touched me from behind and just instantly I was just spinning."
To prevent runaway costs, parts of the Honda, Lotus and Chevy IndyCar engine are locked down (homologated) for a predetermined number of years
Trevor Knowles and Darren Crouser hold the keys of the three manufacturers supplying the 2.2-liter, turbocharged V-6 engines for 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series competition. Well, actually they’ll be applying seals to crates at Honda Performance Development, Ilmor Engineering and Engine Developments Ltd. to fulfill the INDYCAR homologation requirement.
Homologation? The etymology is Greek; "homologate" is derived from homologeo (to agree). Basically, it’s granting approval or confirming the meeting of standards, and – as it refers to the series – the sealing of mandated components.
Roush Fenway Racing kept its perfect streak alive, once again leading all speeds at Daytona International Speedway as the Sprint Cup Series concluded practice for tomorrow’s Gatorade Duel qualifying races. Matt Kenseth turned a lap of 44.809 during the first practice session (200.853 mph) to lead all speeds during the day’s two practice sessions. Trevor Bayne, in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford, was second fastest and Roush Fenway’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was third. Greg Biffle had the best 10-lap average at 196.259 mph.
The performance continued Roush Fenway’s stellar effort at the 2012 Speedweeks, that has included RFR cars leading speeds in all three days of practice, Biffle leading a race-high 17 laps in the Budweiser Shootout and Roush Fenway sweeping the front row in Sunday’s qualifying session.
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Barcelona Wednesday: Hulkenberg ends up on top Pos Driver Car Time Laps 1. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:22.608 112 2. Sergio Perez Sauber 1:22.648 85 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:22.891 104 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:23.180 87 5. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:23.639 49 6. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:23.806 121 7. Nico Rosberg MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS 1:24.555 82 8. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:25.738 117 9. Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:26.605 69 10. Charles Pic Marussia 1:27.343 109
Star Mazda announces extended 2012 TV deal The best race in the world is hearsay unless people see it. Some of the best racing in the world is not the headline race, but the support races featuring the stars of tomorrow. Mazda has supported more road racers over the past decade than any other automaker, and for 2012 is stepping up that support to include extended TV coverage on the new Velocity network.
"Hardcore fans know that some of the most intense action can be found in the Playboy MX-5 Cup, Star Mazda and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. But if you weren't at the race, you are left to take our word for it. Now, thanks to a partnership with Velocity, and Carolinas Production Group, fans can enjoy the action on a regular basis from their living room," noted Jim Jordan, Alternative Marketing Manager, Mazda North America.
Barcelona Wednesday: Hulkenberg leads at mid-day As of 1 PM Wednesday in Barcelona, Nico Hulkenberg was fastest in the new Mercedes powered Force India car where F1 teams are gathered for a full week of testing.
Defending World Champion Sebastian Vettel said that his Red Bull team encountered difficulties in the form of faulty electrics at the opening pre-season test of 2012 in Jerez. Having begun the first Barcelona program on Tuesday, now continuing on Wednesday, the German is confident that the new RB8 is giving off positive signals.
“What we are doing right now is eliminating any teething problems and focusing on reliability,” Vettel explained to the official F1 website.
“If you ask me what teething problems, then I can tell you that at Jerez we had some electronic issues. We have identified that problem and now we are working to solve it.
Test procures high-speed oval aero baseline As Ryan Briscoe waited on Texas Motor Speedway's pit lane for the morning track safety inspection to be completed, he glimpsed in the rearview mirror Tony Kanaan snapping photos of the newly-minted bright green and yellow livery of the No. 11 KV Racing Technology machine.
"He'll tweet that in no time," Briscoe noted, which indeed it was disseminated on social media.
Fat Tuesday at Texas Motor Speedway, while laid back, was conducted with a sense of purpose as teams, drivers and the sanctioning body attempted to define the aerodynamic package for the new IZOD IndyCar Series car on high-speed ovals in advance of a scheduled March 13 Open Test at the 1.5-mile facility.
F1 investments approaching $200 million mark Funding for the Circuit of the Americas has now reached almost $200 million. A recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Circuit of the Americas LLC has received $90 million from 17 lenders.
"The proceeds from the offering will be used for general capital working purposes," the filing said.
No money from the loan will be used to pay the circuit's executive officers, directors or promoters, according to an estimate on the form. The filing did not list the lenders, say whether they were individuals or financial institutions or whether any were based in the United States.
F1 'may regret' FOTA split - Brawn (GMM) Mercedes is committed to the crumbling teams association FOTA, team boss Ross Brawn insists. The Geneva based alliance has lost the support of top teams Red Bull and Ferrari, and also smaller outfits Sauber, Toro Rosso and HRT. It is rumoured Lotus could be the next to go.
But McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh remains the chairman, and media outlets on Wednesday quoted Mercedes' Brawn as saying the German marque remains "very committed" to FOTA. "We believe it's a great shame that we've lost some of the members from FOTA because I think we may live ultimately to regret that," he is quoted by Sky Sports.
Contemplating the reasons for the FOTA split, Brawn explained: "When there is outside pressure it pushed FOTA together. Now, there is not so much, the natural competitiveness of the teams is pushing it apart a bit. "I hope we don't regret it ... because one of the objectives was to find the right solutions for F1, not just for individual teams."
Rates for many Austin hotels skyrocket on F1 weekend The downtown-area Super 8 still has rooms available for Austin's Formula One race weekend in November - if you're willing to shell out more than $500 a night.
The budget hotel at 1201 N. Interstate 35 is just one of many motels regionwide that have dramatically hiked prices on race day, Nov. 18.
Other examples: A Best Western in Lockhart would run you at least $450 a night. And the Hampton Inn in Buda has rooms available - starting at $407.
Rates are, for the most part, higher just before and after the event, as well.
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