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DATE News (chronologically)
03/08/16
nassprint

Can Chevy maintain its dominance at Phoenix?
  • Chevrolet SS going for six consecutive wins at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR)
  • Chevrolet most successful manufacturer at PIR with 21 victories
  • PIR first test of new low downforce package on a short track
  • NASCAR's West Coast swing continues in the Valley of the Sun

    Read more & Comment...
03/08/16
automotive

U.S. changing strategy in VW Emissions Probe
VW called it 'really clean diesel' - too funny
VW called it 'really clean diesel' - too funny
WASHINGTON—The Justice Department is expanding its probe of Volkswagen AG using a far-reaching law against bank fraud to go after the German auto maker over emissions cheating, and eyeing possible violations of tax laws, according to people familiar with the probe.

The Justice Department has issued a subpoena under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act, or Firrea, to pursue possible wrongdoing at Volkswagen, these people said.

That is a novel use of the civil financial fraud law that the Obama administration deployed to extract record-setting multibillion-dollar settlements from big banks in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. It suggests the car maker faces another potential source of penalties after admitting it used illegal software that allowed diesel-powered vehicles to pollute more on the road than during government emissions tests.

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03/08/16
v8 3.5

Formula V8 3.5 calendar updated
The first Season of the Formula V8 3.5 will quick-off in Motorland Aragon next 16th & 17th of April. Due to operational reasons, there will be a switch date between the Circuito de Jerez and Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which becomes the Final meeting the 5th and 6th of November.

Formula V8 3.5 will officially made its debut in Motorland Aragon with the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and the Renault Sport Trophy and continue its European tour in Hungaroring, with the WTCC

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03/08/16
Irl

ABC Kicks Off IndyCar Series Season at St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg
It’s been a long offseason for fans of the Verizon IndyCar Series, but the wait it almost over. The 2016 season will launch Sunday, March 13, with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Fla.) in one of auto racing’s most picturesque settings.

ABC will have a live telecast of the event with pre-race at 12:30 p.m. ET and the green flag at 12:52 p.m. The telecast also will be streaming live on WatchESPN.

Read more & Comment...
03/08/16
automotive

Video: The Fastest Street-Legal Electric Car Is a Chevrolet Corvette
It would be easy to assume the Tesla Model S is the fastest electric car in the world. The P90D can, after all, hit 60 mph in less than 2.8 seconds and is limited to a top speed of 155 mph. But no, it doesn't hold the record as the fastest electric car in the world. That record belongs to an electric Corvette called the Genovation eXtreme Electric.

As shown in this video and verified by the International Mile Racing Association, the GXE was able to hit 186.8 mph.

Could the Tesla Model S P90D--or the potentially upcoming P100D--beat that record if its top speed weren't limited? We're honestly a little surprised that Tesla hasn't tried.

Read more & Comment...
03/08/16
irl

St. Pete entry list
Juan Pablo Montoya will try to repeat his 2015 victory this weekend in St. Pete
Juan Pablo Montoya will try to repeat his 2015 victory this weekend in St. Pete

Below, is the list of 22 entrants for this weekend's 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series opening race, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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03/08/16
nassprint

Furniture Row Racing withdrawals appeal
DENVER, Colo. – Joe Garone, president of Furniture Row Racing, has informed NASCAR it has withdrawn the appeal for a prerace infraction at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
 
Garone, who met with NASCAR officials, said he was satisfied with the clarification of the penalty and was appreciative of the sanctioning body's cooperation on this matter. 
 
Furniture Row Racing crew chief Cole Pearn will serve his one-race suspension at this weekend’s NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series race in Phoenix.

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03/08/16
f1

Pirelli reveals teams' tire choices for Australian GP
Tire choice by driver
Tire choice by driver
Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli has revealed the tire compound selections which drivers have made for next weekend's Australian Grand Prix, under revised 2016 regulations.

For 2016, each driver will receive 13 dry-weather sets per Grand Prix, with Pirelli choosing two sets for the race (only one of which must be used), and a set of the softest compound, only for use in Q3.

Drivers are free to select any combination of the chosen compounds for the other 10 sets.

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03/08/16
nassprint

4 NASCAR teams to test Goodyear tires
Goodyear tires
Goodyear tires
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Jamie McMurray (Chip Ganassi Racing No. 1 Chevrolet), Austin Dillon (Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet), Brian Scott (Richard Petty Motorsports No. 44 Ford) and Martin Truex Jr. (Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota) are scheduled to take part in a two-day Goodyear tire test Tuesday and Wednesday, March 8-9, at Charlotte Motor Speedway

It is the second of eight tire tests scheduled by Goodyear officials and NASCAR for 2016 as part of the 2016 Unified Testing plan.

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03/08/16
irl

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg weekend schedule
Friday, March 11
7:30 – 8:00 a.m. USF2000 practice #2 
8:05 – 8:35 a.m.Pro Mazda practice #1
8:50 – 9:20 a.m. Indy Lights practice #1
9:35 – 9:55 a.m.Pirelli World Challenge GT, GTA and GT Cup qualifying
10:10 – 10:35 a.m.USF2000 qualifying
10:50 – 12:05 p.m.Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1
12:20 – 1:20 p.m. 
Pirelli World Challenge GTS race #1
1:35 – 2:05 p.m. Pro Mazda practice #2
2:10 – 2:40 p.m. Indy Lights practice #2
2:55 – 3:25 p.m.Stadium Super Trucks practice
3:40 – 4:55 p.m. Verizon IndyCar Series practice #2
6:30 p.m.
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg 5K presented by MBA

Saturday, March 12

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03/08/16
irl

Andretti signs hhgregg for select key IndyCar races
INDIANAPOLIS (March 8, 2016) – The partnership portfolio at Andretti Autosport continues to grow with the addition of Indianapolis-based hhgregg, a home appliance, electronics, and furniture retailer that operates stores across 20 states. The first appearance for the brand will come through primary sponsorship of Marco Andretti and the No. 27 hhgregg/Snapple car for the April 24 Grand Prix of Alabama with major sponsor branding on the No. 27 Snapple car continuing throughout the historic month of May.  

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03/08/16
F1

Alonso plays down early podiums in 2016

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso
(GMM) Fernando Alonso on Tuesday said the podium is too high a target for McLaren-Honda early in 2016.

But as he spoke in Baku as an ambassador for the inaugural grand prix in Azerbaijan later this year, the Spaniard suggested he has high hopes for rapid improvement after the team's disastrous 2015.

"I will be more optimistic when I come back here in June," he said.

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03/08/16
F1

Taffin: Mercedes sandbagging big-time
According to Renault engine technical director Remi Taffin, World Champions Mercedes did not show anyone their full force while the teams were at pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Despite Ferrari setting the fastest times on five of the eight days in Spain, with Mercedes only doing so once, Taffin feels that it is difficult to compare their car to the Mercedes as they have been hiding their performances.

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03/08/16
track news

Phoenix extends deal with O'Reilly Auto Parts
Phoenix International Raceway announced the extension of a successful long-time partnership with O'Reilly Auto Parts, as the Missouri-based company will continue as the track's Official Auto Parts partner.

"We are pleased to have a great partner like O'Reilly Auto Parts and it's always great when we continue to build our long term relationships," said track president Bryan Sperber.

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03/08/16
wec

Manor adds Bradley
Manor will extend its driver line up for WEC with the addition of 2015 LMP2 winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Richard Bradley.

Richard has extensive experience in both single seater and sports car racing and also benefits from an in-depth knowledge of the ORECA 05 sports car having raced it throughout 2015.

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03/08/16
usf2000

Martin Fastest as USF2000 Teams Complete Two-Day Spring Training
Australian Anthony Martin
Australian Anthony Martin
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Drivers from the first two rungs on the Mazda Road to Indy, in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, today wrapped up a two-day “Spring Training” open test at the Barber Motorsports Park road course in Birmingham, Ala. A total of 18 USF2000 drivers took advantage of perfect weather conditions and an opportunity to make final preparations for next weekend’s opening rounds of their 16-race championship chase which will begin on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.

The test also will have provided a valuable chance to gain experience in advance of the series’ return to the challenging 2.3-mile, 17-turn track for a pair of races during the Grand Prix of Alabama Verizon IndyCar Series weekend on April 23-25.

Read more & Comment...
03/08/16
F1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Ecclestone under scrutiny
    Ecclestone under scrutiny
    F1 board dossier puts Ecclestone under scrutiny
  • Renault to make Ferrari-like engine step - Horner
  • Haryanto may struggle to qualify - Doornbos
  • Maldonado linked with Indycar switch
  • Coulthard sides with qualifying, 'halo' criticism
  • Drivers to 'fend for ourselves' in 2016 - Rosberg
  • Court may stop Mallya's F1 travels
  • Sainz says 2016 could be last chance at Toro Rosso
  • Formula One Teams Race Off With $1.5B In Revenue
  • Renault to unveil revised 2016 F1 livery in Melbourne
  • Fernando Alonso Visits Baku City Circuit

Read more & Comment...
03/07/16
promazda

Telitz Edges O'Ward in Two-Day Pro Mazda Spring Training
Aaron Telitz
Aaron Telitz
Aaron Telitz, from Birchwood, Wis., and Patricio O’Ward, from Monterrey, Mexico, today turned the fastest time for Team Pelfrey as drivers from the first two rungs on the Mazda Road to Indy, the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, wrapped up a two-day “Spring Training” open test at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

A total of 11 Pro Mazda drivers took advantage of perfect weather conditions and an opportunity to make final preparations for next weekend’s opening rounds of the 16-race championship chase on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. The test also provided a valuable chance to gain experience in advance of the series’ return to the challenging 2.3-mile, 17-turn road course for a pair of races during the Grand Prix of Alabama Verizon IndyCar Series weekend on April 23-25.

Read more & Comment...
03/07/16
irl
f1

Dixon: Ferrari F1 Halo good, but needs work for IndyCar
Dixon says the part of the Halo we circled would block the drivers vision on banked ovals
Dixon says the part of the Halo we circled would block the drivers vision on banked ovals

Reigning and four-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon has welcomed the Halo device, tested on the Ferrari SF16-H Formula 1 car, as a significant move forward for open-wheel racing in general.

Speaking ahead of his first column for Motorsport.com, Dixon said: "It"s great to see someone's invested time and money and actually created the thing to where it can be tested. How often have we heard this kinda thing and it"s just talk or it"s just a drawing? This is a massive step in the right direction.

"Are there better ways to do it? Possibly. But every breakthrough needs a starting point and this looks like a good starting point.

Read more & Comment...
03/07/16
Irl

IndyCar has new venues, big birthday
Armed with fresh race markets on the schedule and the prospect of capitalizing on the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, IndyCar this week starts the 2016 season with momentum to exploit despite a somewhat rocky offseason.

Since the end of last season, the Indianapolis-based open-wheel series saw a couple of team owners drop out of the sport, another feel compelled to merge his team with another operation, and yet another make public comments that the sport's ownership model needed to improve markedly.

Read more & Comment...
03/07/16
racing news

Driver testing race car dies
A man died Saturday when the race car he was testing crashed in Rowan County, NC, the NC State Highway Patrol said.

Troopers said the man was thrown from the car on Performance Road shortly before 11 a.m.

The crash happened near Mooresville Dragway.

Read more & Comment...
03/07/16
nassprint

Grandson of Richard Petty to make stock-car debut in late model
Thad Moffitt, the 15-year-old grandson of NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven-time champion Richard Petty, will make his stock-car debut on Sunday in a limited late model stock car race at Caraway Speedway in Sophia, North Carolina.

Thad, who is the son of Richard Petty's daughter, Rebecca, and husband Brian Moffitt -- the CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports -- will drive a No. 46 Ford Mustang clad in familiar Petty blue colors that is being fielded in a partnership between RPM and Empire Racing Group.

Read more & Comment...
03/07/16
irl

KVSH Racing announces Mouser Electronics and Molex Sponsorship
KVSH Co-Owner Kevin Kalkhoven
KVSH Co-Owner Kevin Kalkhoven
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – KVSH Racing announced today that Mouser Electronics and Molex, LLC will partner with the team for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
 
“We are excited to welcome back both Mouser Electronics and Molex to help us chase the 2016 Verizon IndyCar championship,” said KVSH Co-Owner James “Sulli” Sullivan. “Mouser and Molex fuel us with the resources we need to “Stay Connected” to the cutting-edge components world and enable us to stay at the sharp end of the grid within the IndyCar series." 
 
With its broad product line and unsurpassed customer service, Mouser caters to design engineers and buyers by delivering What’s Next in advanced technologies. Mouser offers customers 21 global support locations and stocks the world’s widest selection of the latest semiconductors and electronic components for the newest design projects.

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03/07/16
irl

Vintage Indy Cars Returning To Pocono Raceway
Pocono Action
Pocono Action
For the third consecutive year, the Vintage INDYCAR Celebration is returning to Pocono Raceway, Chief Operating Officer Nick Igdalsky announced today.

Pocono Raceway will host the ABC Supply 500 on August 21 and Vintage Indy Cars will be included in some of the weekend’s festivities.

Read more & Comment...
03/07/16
f1

Palmer denies 2015 'caution' will carry over
Jolyon Palmer
Jolyon Palmer
(GMM) Jolyon Palmer has dismissed claims he might take too "cautious" an approach to his job of being a formula one driver.

Last year, the British rookie was Lotus' reserve and Friday driver, and was signed up to race for 2016 before Renault took over the struggling Enstone team.

But even Lotus admitted to having some doubts about the 25-year-old, as trackside chief Alan Permane went on the record to question Palmer's aggression during his numerous outings in Friday morning practice sessions.

Read more & Comment...
03/07/16
wec

ByKOLLES Racing Signs Webb For 2016 WEC Season
Oliver Webb

ByKOLLES Racing has completed its driver line-up for the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season: Oliver Webb (GB) will share the CLM P1/01 with Simon Trummer (CH) and Pierre Kaffer (D).

"With the signing of Oliver Webb our desired driver line-up for the 2016 WEC season is now complete," says Boris Bermes, ByKOLLES Director of Racing Operations. "Oliver is a young and fast sports car driver, who was able to gain a lot of experience in the past few years. His achievements in endurance racing speak for themselves.

Read more & Comment...
03/07/16
irl

Bobby Rahal on father-son racing
Bobby Rahal
Bobby Rahal
Just ten weeks left until the gates reopen at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a former winner was back in the city this weekend to share some personal memories on a special anniversary.

It was a packed gym. Nearly 400 people gathered for a father-son breakfast Sunday on the south side to hear from 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal.

Bobby is part-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. His son is the primary driver. Graham had two wins in the Indy Car series last year.

I asked Bobby, "What age was Graham when he decided to choose the same career as you?"

Read more & Comment...
03/07/16
f1

Vijay Mallya cannot access $75-million payout from Diageo
In a major setback for Vijay Mallya, the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) on Monday said the UB Group promoter will not get access to the $75-million settlement he received from Diageo till the case with the State Bank of India is settled.

Diageo has been asked not the disburse the money for now. The tribunal set March 28 as the next date of hearing. The ruling is a temporary reprieve for the SBI, which had sought DRI's intervention in seeking the lenders' first right on the $75-million payout from Diageo to Mallya under a recent deal.

Read more & Comment...
03/07/16
wec

Piquet Jr. joins Rebellion for LeMans
Nelson Piquet Jr
Nelson Piquet Jr
One of the most famous names in motorsport will return to the Le Mans 24 Hours this season as Rebellion Racing is pleased to confirm today that Nelson Piquet Jr will join forces with Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld at the wheel of the #12 Rebellion R-One LMP1 AER powered car in the French classic in June.

To ensure Nelson Piquet Jr gets the most racing experience and mileage aboard the #12 Rebellion R-One LMP1 ahead of the 24 hour endurance event, the Brazilian ace will race at the opening rounds of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship at the 6 Hours of Silverstone and the 6 Hours of Spa.

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03/07/16
wec

Matt Rao joins Manor
Matt Rao
Matt Rao
Manor has extended its driver line up for the 2016 WEC with the addition of young British driver Matt Rao, a member of the All Road Academy.

21-year-old Matt started his racing career at karting level in 2009, and then rose through the ranks to race in Formula 3. Matt finished as runner-up in the 2014 British Formula 3 Championship and went on to impress during his first taste of LM P2 during the 2015 end-of-season WEC Rookie Test held in Bahrain.

Read more & Comment...
03/07/16
F1

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Dieter Zetsche pans Ecclestone's criticism
    Dieter Zetsche pans Ecclestone's public criticism of F1
    F1 figures hit back at Ecclestone
  • Tost's podium target 'not possible' - Sainz
  • Sauber falls behind in February staff salaries
  • Vettel yet to name 2016 title contender
  • Massa wants new nose 'as soon as possible'
  • Alonso still not ruling out Mercedes move
  • Alonso to decide future after trying 2017 cars
  • Grosjean praises Haas for quick fixes
  • Palmer: Pre-season 'a little bit disastrous'
  • Haryanto feels 'well prepared' for debut

Read more & Comment...
03/07/16
irl

Rahal: Sponsorship money doesn't just fall in your lap
Having a last name of Rahal helps Graham and his team land sponsors
Having a last name of Rahal helps Graham and his team land sponsors
Graham Rahal’s regular season as driver of his No. 15 Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, in the Verizon IndyCar Series, starts this weekend.

Yet he’s coming off a stretch since the end of the 2015 season, where without too much on-track activity (testing and the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GLTM), the focus has been on finding the dollars for 2016.

It’s a necessary part of the business because driving talent isn’t all that keeps you in a seat anymore, with a few exceptions.

Read more & Comment...
03/07/16
automotive

Video: Car Washes Can Be Confusing
This woman is washing her brand new car at the car wash. Her boyfriend must have said clean the car 'inside n out.'  Or maybe she had a dead body in it the night before and she was trying to wipe away all evidence.

Comment
03/07/16
track news

Abbie KinneyFlorida woman faces charges after crashing in Daytona racetrack infield
A Florida woman faces drunk-driving and other charges after plowing through the infield at the Daytona International Speedway and injuring four people, police said.

Abbie Kinney, 43, of Cocoa Beach, Florida, remained in jail on Sunday after she crashed her Toyota pickup into four people and six motor homes and vehicles in track's infield, where race fans were camping, early Saturday, according to a report by the Daytona Beach Police Department.

She told officers she had drunk three beers and "shouldn't have been driving," the report said.

Read more & Comment...
03/07/16
Miscellaneous

Photos of Week Corrected
Our Photos of the Week found on our home page each Sunday night had a technical glitch that has been fixed. When you clicked on the photos to view the larger version, the smaller version was displaying. That has been rectified.

Comment
03/07/16
v8

V8 Supercars Lining Up Multi-Million Dollar Naming-Rights Sponsor
V8 Supercars making all the right moves before the AR1.com predicted buyout by NASCAR
V8 Supercars making all the right moves before the AR1.com predicted buyout by NASCAR
V8 Supercars will "rejoin the ranks of major sports with title sponsorship" of their main competitions later this year after securing a multi-million dollar naming rights deal, according to Mark Fogarty of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD.

Unlike the Australian Football League, National Rugby League and A-League premierships, the V8 Supercars Championship has not had a title sponsor "for 15 years and no main series backer for the past three seasons."

Previous V8 management had "eschewed branding" of the national championship in favor of non-naming rights commercial partnerships, but since the appointment of former TV Exec James Warburton as CEO in mid-'13, "the series has actively pursued a title sponsor."

Read more & Comment...
03/06/16
nassprint
nasx

Video: NASCAR Las Vegas Interviews
Race winner Brad Keselowski, crew chief Paul Wolfe and vice chairman Walt Czarnecki (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford); second place finisher Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford) and highest finishing Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Ryan Blaney (No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford)

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03/06/16
pwc

PWC: O'Connell, Fuentes and Urry Win Round 2 in GT/GTA/GT Cup at COTA
Johnny O'Connell
Johnny O'Connell

Austin, Texas – Johnny O'Connell, Martin Fuentes and Sloan Urry scored victories at the Circuit of the Americas in GT, GTA and GT Cup respectively, in Round 2 of the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge season at the Nissan Grand Prix of Texas presented by VP Racing Fuels.

With the green flag flying, Bryan Heitkotter, in the No. 05 AE Replay XD Nissan GT Academy Always Evolving/Replay XD/Nissan Nismo GT3 GT-R, led from pole on the rolling start but contact between Saturday Round 1 winner Patrick Long, in the No. 31 EFFORT Racing Porsche GT3, and JD Davison, in the No. 33 AE Replay XD Nissan GT Academy Nissan GTR GT3, led to Long's car sliding into the wall at the end of the front straight bringing out a full-course caution. Long exited the No. 31 car under his own power immediately following the incident. 

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03/06/16
usac

Clauson Sweeps Weekend With "Sokola" Victory At Perris
Bryan Clauson
Bryan Clauson
Perris, CA -- Bryan Clauson of Noblesville, Ind. completed a “sweep” of USAC Sprint car victories Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway, winning the “Sokola Classic” USAC/CRA AMSOIL series debut at the half-mile dirt oval. Wheeling the Mike Martin owned Cancer Treatment Centers of America/Jonathan Byrd’s Racing machine, Clauson passed Richard Vander Weerd on lap 13 and proceeded to lead the final 18 laps to beat Vander Weerd, Brody Roa, Josh Hodges and Mike Spencer. The victory was Clauson’s sixth in USAC competition this season and places him atop the USAC/CRA standings entering the April 16 race at Perris.

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03/06/16
nassprint

Weather an issue in Las Vegas today?
Will they run today?
Will they run today?
While the threat of rain remains for Sunday's Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it will be more about the wind than the rain. There's currently a wind advisory for Las Vegas from noon Sunday until 8:00pm/pt Sunday evening. Winds are going to increase during the afternoon out of the southwest. Sustained winds will be between 20-30 mph while wind gusts could reach 40 to possibly 45 mph.

As for the rain, while there could be some rain showers or an isolated storm through the morning and into the early afternoon, any shower that could impact the track would be brief due to the strong winds pushing the precipitation quickly through the area. By mid- to late-afternoon skies are expected to clear out but winds will remain.

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03/06/16
il

Urrutia Tops Indy Lights Spring Training Pre-Season Testing Times
Santiago Urrutia
Santiago Urrutia

Santiago Urrutia, from Miguelete, Uruguay, set the pace today for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian at Barber Motorsports Park as the top rung on the Mazda Road to Indy development ladder, Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, took to the 2.3-mile road course for one final opportunity to prepare for next weekend's championship-opening races on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Urrutia, who won last year's Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, turned a best lap of 1:12.4479 this afternoon, fractionally slower than the record 1:12.3865 lap turned in qualifying last year by eventual series champion Spencer Pigot.

"We put the lap together on the last run, on new tires, and I was P1," said Urrutia, who claimed a pair of podium finishes at Barber last year during his championship-winning Pro Mazda campaign. "This track is very physical, like [the oval at] Phoenix, so I need to train my neck a little bit! I'm happy but there's a long way to go. Everyone is quick so I need to be quick."

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03/06/16
ta

Kenny Bupp grabs first career Trans Am victory at age 79
L to R: Hitt, Bupp and Burtin
L to R: Hitt, Bupp and Burtin
When the dust settled at Sebring International Raceway, Kenny Bupp, Lee Saunders, Steve Kent, Jr., and Mark Boden emerged victorious in their respective classes as Round 1 of the 2016 Trans Am Championship, Trans Am's 50th Anniversary Season, came to a close.  

For Kenny Bupp, driver of the No. 80 Hamilton Safe Security Chevrolet Camaro, the TA class victory was a career first in his 14 years and 35 starts in Trans Am as well as his first podium appearance since finishing third at Road America in 2012.  The Florida native savored the win surrounded by friends and family, 31 years after he made his first Trans Am appearance.  The victory also makes Bupp the oldest race winner in Trans Am history at 79 years of age.

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03/06/16
nassprint

Stewart hoping X-rays on fractured vertebra show progress
From left, Rusty Wallace, Tony Stewart and Don Prudhomme before they and others including Ray Evernham, Jeff Gordon and Greg Biffle hit the sand dunes this past Sunday in Southern California. (Photo courtesy Don Prudhomme)
From left, Rusty Wallace, Tony Stewart and Don Prudhomme before they and others including Ray Evernham, Jeff Gordon and Greg Biffle hit the sand dunes in Southern California. (Photo courtesy Don Prudhomme)

Tony Stewart already has defied his doctor's orders, but there is one order he won't ignore: The order that he won't return to racing until the broken bone in his back has healed.

The three-time Sprint Cup champion said Friday he will be ready to race once doctors give him the OK. He just has no clue when that will come. His first X-rays since the Feb. 3 surgery for his fractured L1 vertebra will be Wednesday, and that will let him know his progress and possibly set the schedule for his rehab and potential return.

Stewart also wouldn't rule out making the Chase for the Sprint Cup in his final season, hopeful that NASCAR will award him a waiver to miss races, just like it did with Kyle Busch, while still requiring a win and a top-30 regular-season finish in the standings to make the Chase. Busch missed the first 11 races in 2015, won four races to make the Chase and then won the 2015 championship. The only difference is Busch was injured during a NASCAR event (an Xfinity Series race at Daytona) while Stewart was injured driving a dune buggy in the California dunes.

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03/06/16
nassprint

Is NASCAR in Viewership Free Fall Again?
As long as Earnhardt, Jr. remains in the sport, it will remain popular. Even he may not be capable of keeping it going at present levels.
As long as Earnhardt, Jr. remains in the sport, it will remain popular. Even he may not be capable of keeping it going at present levels.

Yes, NASCAR is in free fall once again. Before you break out the pitchforks or water-board, it’s happening to motorsports all across the globe. However, for the purpose of this writing, I’ll restrict it to NASCAR.

To date, which is only two races in, the racing itself seems to be good. The low down-force package that I witnessed at Atlanta made for good solid racing. Those of you expecting to see passing for the lead on every lap will be disappointed, but you shouldn’t be, it’s never been that way.

It will undoubtedly be four to five races in before a verdict can be reached as to whether or not NASCAR has achieved what it set out to do. Make the racing better. In the meantime, expect to see the old familiar faces at the front and why not? They should be, they are the best and they have been the best for the past few seasons whether they’re your favorite driver or not.

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