Rain, cold postpone NHRA final Persistent rain showers and cold weather has forced NHRA officials to postpone the balance of Sunday's racing at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville. Racing will resume Monday at 10 a.m. with the semifinals of Top Fuel.
Cale Gale, the 27-year-old from Mobile, Ala., returned to his home town this week for the "Thank You Mobile" tour and brought home the race win in a green-white-checkered finish in front of his lifelong fans and supporters at Mobile International Speedway. After spending the week with his fans, Gale returned to the track where he was the first driver to win both the track championship and the rookie of the year title ten years ago, to become the first driver to win an ARCA Racing Series event.
NASCAR President Mike Helton stands in between the passenger version of the 2013 Dodge Charger and its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series counterpart
Getty Images for NASCAR
The Fans asked for it. NASCAR agreed. SRT Motorsports and Dodge delivered. SRT Motorsports unveiled the 2013 Dodge Charger that will compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway today in front of the people that asked for the change -- the fans. Just as they did with the Dodge Challenger when it was introduced in the NASCAR Nationwide Series two years ago, SRT Motorsports designers and engineers created a race car fans will have no problem identifying on the race track. The defining features of the street Charger have been expertly incorporated into the racing version.
"From the start, it’s been a collaborative effort with NASCAR," said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT Brand and Motorsports. "NASCAR provided the manufacturers with basic specifications, but offered encouragement to venture beyond the look of the current race car. Our design and engineering group, working with Penske Racing, seized the opportunity. We had a fantastic benchmark – the Dodge Challenger – introduced in 2009. This endeavor goes beyond the trend the Nationwide Series Challenger started with a Dodge Charger that amazingly embodies many of the design features of the street version into the race car. We’re extremely proud that the Dodge Charger street car is the only rear-wheel-drive model in Sprint Cup competition that is available with a V-8 engine."
Kyle Petty Criticizes the NASCAR Appeals Process Former driver and SPEED analyst Kyle Petty sounded off on the NASCAR appeals process, through which Hendrick Motorsports and crew chief Chad Knaus will navigate on Tuesday, during Sunday’s NASCAR RaceDay broadcast from Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Following is a transcript of Petty’s assessment of the appeals process:
Petty: “You want to talk about a crapshoot. This appeals process is a crapshoot. There are 45 members on this board. If you go the NASCAR rule book, you’ll see these people’s names. Some of them may have passed away since their names were put in here. That’s how old these people are. These people shouldn’t be judging Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus and some of this stuff. I challenge anybody out there to find me more than eight or 10 out of this 45 who have been to the race track in the last 12 to 24 months. These people don’t go to the race track, they don’t understand the process. They don’t understand sometimes where this sport is. They’re great business people. They’re past drivers, champions, past sports car racers, past engine builders. Doesn’t make any difference. I think they should be judged by their peers. In this environment, in this environment we race in today, if you commit a crime or you do something, you should be judged by people who understand the sport and what is going on. And I don’t think the appeals process is a good process, but at the same time, I don’t think the fine or what they’ve done to Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus is anywhere near legit. It’s total BS. They never should have fined them because the car never made it onto the race track.
Ecclestone tells F1 teams to take off rose colored glasses
Tighten your belts and ditch the rose-tinted glasses. That is Formula One group CEO Bernie Ecclestone’s advice to F1’s other big players as he ponders the future health of the sport. As for 2012, with six world champions on the grid a fascinating campaign is all but assured. Ecclestone, of course, wants to see it go down to the wire at the very last race - though he admits that could be a case of him wearing the rose-tinted specs…
Q: Bernie, how long is your current workday? Bernie Ecclestone: Well, I get up around seven in the morning and almost immediately start working - with an open end! (laughs)
Q: Is this workload to some degree connected to the fact that some teams seem to have budget shortfalls? BE: Let’s put it this way: there are still too many people in Formula One running around with rose-tinted glasses. They obviously like to see the world as they want it to be - wonderful, the sun is shining, isn’t life delightful - and not how it is. The downside of these glasses is that they blind you to reality.
Electric vehicles fail to generate sales These are dark days for electric cars.
Sales for the nascent plug-in electric vehicle industry aren't meeting expectations for several companies, causing some to rethink goals and others to fold.
General Motors will stop making the Volt for five weeks starting March 19. Sales are below expectations, though stronger this year than those of the competing plug-in Nissan Leaf.
Meanwhile, for the first two months of this year, Toyota sold more than 10 times as many hybrid Priuses than all plug-in electric vehicles on the market, even as gasoline surged to $4 a gallon. The Prius and other similar hybrids are not plug-ins, using a combination of gas and battery power.
Roush cars still not fully sponsored Roush Fenway Racing has the past two Daytona 500 winners and the defending Nationwide Series champion in its stable. All of them are in the top five in their respective series points standings. None of them have a full season of sponsorship.
Daytona 500 champ Matt Kenseth doesn't have a full-season sponsor, but that isn't keeping him from staying upbeat on what the season holds.
Matt Kenseth, winner of this year's 500, had a press conference Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to announce a new deal with Zest, but he's still only got primary sponsorship for about half of the 36 Sprint Cup Series points races.
PEAK Pole Award for Star Mazda The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear today announced a new partnership with PEAK Performance Products to sponsor the PEAK Performance Pole Award at each of the 17 races on the 2012 schedule. The pole-winner at each event will receive a commemorative flag, and will collect a $1,000 per pole bonus at the year-end banquet.
PEAK Performance Products, an IZOD IndyCar Series partner, is also the presenter of the PEAK Performance Awards in the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda, which consist of year-end cash prizes to the two drivers who accumulate the most 'fast race laps' in both the Championship and National Classes.
"We're delighted to welcome powerhouse brand like PEAK Performance Products as a partner of the Star Mazda Championship and the Mazda Road to Indy," says series founder and President Gary Rodrigues. "We view this partnership as a significant development both because it creates added income, exposure and opportunity for our top-performing drivers and because it's another indicator of a clearly-visible trend that was part of the original planning for the Mazda Road to Indy - the migration of not just drivers, but also teams and commercial partners, to all areas of the program. We have drivers moving up to Indy Lights and IndyCar, IndyCar teams running programs in our series and USF2000, Star Mazda teams expanding in to USF2000 and Indy Lights; and now we have IndyCar partners recognizing the marketing value of the Mazda Road to Indy. Open-wheel racing is definitely on the right track... and accelerating."
Spring Training a Success for Team Barracuda - BHA
Herta Autosport's Barracuda Networks car
After unveiling the brand new #98 car at Sebring International Raceway on Thursday, Alex Tagliani and his Team Barracuda - BHA crew accomplished their goals for the first official team test.
The Canadian driver had completed one successful Lotus engine test earlier in the year with a Lotus test team, but this was the first opportunity to run with his official car and the regular crew. With only this "spring training" test on the schedule before the IZOD IndyCar Series season opener, maximizing track time was the goal.
"I'm very impressed with the Team Barracuda - BHA crew," remarked Tagliani after his second day on track. "Obviously we wish we were faster but we knew exactly where we were losing most of our lap times. Overall though, my team worked very well together and I look forward to working with these guys for the 2012 season."
Tagliani explained that Thursday was more of a shakedown, allowing the team to be able to play with different items on the car for day two. He added, "The setup from Todd [Malloy] was great and the team should be very proud of what we did out there."
In less than two weeks, the Team Barracuda - BHA car will be aimed at Victory Lane on the streets of St. Petersburg, FL. The IZOD IndyCar Series opener will be broadcast live on ABC at 12:30 p.m. ET.
"Formula 1 is too much by the aerodynamics. We build more airplanes than cars." This was Luca Montezemolo's reaction to a question posed by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport in 2011.
This year, after a poor opening test program for the Scuderia, he is not the happiest of motorsport legend presidents. Speaking in Geneva at the launch of the new Ferrari F12 Berlinetta he said, "I hope that the predictions about us are wrong. And if they are true I will want to know why this has happened and how many seconds it's going to take to put it right."
At the same time he bemoaned the sport's absolute dominance by aerodynamics and how little of the intense research and multi-million pound spend lavished on F1 cars can be applied to road cars.
And worryingly, I agree with him. Agreeing with Luca's view is something I never ever do, it's like enjoying an episode of Shameless or thinking 'cyclists, they're all very sensible'. But he's right.
Dodge to unveil 2013 Sprint Cup Dodge Charger The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Dodge Charger is a good-looking car, with a body that brings back the brand identity to fans of the brand. But beauty isn't skin deep -- a lot of work has gone into developing the Charger race car for next season's planned on-track debut at the Daytona 500. David Bailey, senior manager for SRT Motorsports Engineering, was in it from the beginning. "In late 2010, NASCAR called the meeting with all the manufacturers," Bailey said, and all four were unanimous in their desire to race a car that looked a lot more like their road-going counterparts. NASCAR agreed.
Johnson going to backup car after incident in final practice
Chad Knaus lowers Johnson's backup car off the truck
Add five-time champion Jimmie Johnson’s name to the list of those going to backup entries for Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver was on his first lap of the day’s final practice session Saturday when the back end of the No. 48 Chevrolet slid around as he exited Turn 2, sending Johnson into the outside wall.
Kyle Busch had scrubbed the wall in the day’s first practice, and his team spent the break in between sessions preparing its backup entry for the final session.
Krawiec, Lucas, Pedregon, and Johnson lead Gainesville Morgan Lucas raced his GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fueler to the No. 1 qualifying spot at the 43rd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville.
Cruz Pedregon leads Funny Car in his Snap-On Tools Toyota Camry heading into eliminations Sunday, Allen Johnson topped Pro Stock in his Mopar Dodge Avenger, and two-time Gatornationals champ Eddie Krawiec ran the quickest pass in Pro Stock Motorcycle history en route to the No. 1 spot on his Harley-Davidson.
The GEICO/Lucas Oil driver earned the second No. 1 of the season and sixth of his career Saturday with a 3.766 second pass at 321.88 mph. In just the third race of 2012, Lucas equaled his career high for No. 1 qualifying positions in a single season.
The KV Racing Technology trio of Rubens Barrichello, E. J. Viso and Tony Kanaan concluded their second and final day of IndyCar Spring Training at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida.
Barrichello led the way for KVRT and was the fastest Chevrolet powered driver participating in the two-day test. He placed third on the practice report both days with a best time of 52.2228 seconds (115.122 mph) which he recorded on Thursday. A total of 15 drivers participated in the two-day test session. Barrichello, 39, who signed with KVRT on March 1, is a veteran of 19 Formula One seasons. Driving the No. 8 BMC | Embrase – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone machine, Barrichello’s best lap was on Friday, in much warmer conditions (52.2242 seconds, 115.119 mph). The talented and extremely popular Brazilian, the only driver in F1 history to make 300 or more starts with 322, scored 11 wins and finished second in the championship in 2002 and 2004.
Fans refuse to get raked over coals by NASCAR promoters Refusing to get raked over the coals by outrageous ticket prices, race fans are still buying tickets to races, they’re just buying cheaper ones, according to track operator Speedway Motorsports Inc.
SMI’s ticket revenue declined from $139.1 million in 2010 to $130.2 million in 2011. About 78 percent of that decline came as a result of purchases of cheaper tickets rather than attendance, the company stated in its annual report filed this week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
In 2010, a decline of 14.7 percent in ticket revenue was attributed evenly to a decline in attendance and the sell of cheaper tickets.
Questions about Austin F1 tax money could lead to changes New questions about whether Formula One races are eligible for state taxpayer money have the potential to affect state funding for other major events, such as future Super Bowls and college basketball tournaments, and could lead to changes in laws governing such funds.
In a request filed March 1, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson asked Attorney General Greg Abbott for an opinion on whether F1 races planned near Austin are eligible for the Major Events Trust Fund, a state economic development fund administered by Comptroller Susan Combs' office.
Specifically, Patterson claims that because Circuit of the Americas was selected to host races without an application to the state from a local entity, no trust fund money should go toward the race.
Ex Indy Lights driver and model Carmen Jorda joins Ocean Racing
After the official announcement of the participation of the Portuguese team in the GP3 Series, it is now time to announce two of the drivers who will integrate within the structure: Spanish driver Carmen Jorda who is experienced in the F3 championships and Robert Cregan who recently drove in V8 Supercars.
For Carmen this is an excellent opportunity: "I am delighted with this agreement, especially because Ocean is an experienced team in GP2. I think we can develop a good relationship together. I'm sure they will help me to improve my performance. I am eager to test the car that I am sure is very different from the Indy Light that I was used to. I'll be a rookie in the championship but I'm sure I'll improve race by race. I must thank all those who helped me build this project", said the Spanish driver.
Introducing the Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM Crowne Plaza, part of InterContinental Hotels Group, will celebrate its debut in the DTM in 2012 as "Premium Partner BMW Motorsport". BMW Team RBM’s Andy Priaulx will drive the Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM.
Swiss-Greek racer Alex Fontana is the latest driver to be announced for the FIA Formula Two Championship for 2012, having secured last year’s European F3 Open title.
The 19-year-old impressed throughout 2011 to take the F3 Open honors with two wins, one pole and nine podiums driving for the Corbetta Competizioni team. He also sampled a one-off round of GP3 last season where he finished sixth in only his second race in the category.
More recently, Fontana took part in F2’s winter test program with two days of running in Barcelona where he was a regular top 10 finisher, ending the second day fourth quickest overall.
A solution for the IndyCar Catch Fence issueUPDATE
Design published below this Sicking article
[Editor's Note: We'll see if Dr. Sicking can come up with a system to eliminate the fence posts. Meanwhile, the ideas we published below this Sicking article contains horizontal parallel steel bars in front deformable posts to prevent the car from reaching the netting and getting into a pocket behind the posts as Sicking describes. So the design below addresses Sicking's concerns. The question is whether Sicking can indeed come up with a post-less system that does not block the view of the fans. The only thing we would change on the design published by AR1.com would be to make the holes in the netting larger so the fans have a better view.]
Dr. Dean Sicking's career spent preventing the injury and death of race car drivers has earned him a major say in motorsports safety matters—and in the debate between the Izod IndyCar Series, its drivers and Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage about the positioning of the track's catch-fence poles, Sicking told Autoweek in an email he “cannot say that having the posts in front of the wire [as they are at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway] was a major safety issue. It is a bigger problem than having the posts behind the netting, but not much.”
Langdon, Neff, Line, Krawiec first-day leaders at Gatornationals
Mike Neff raced his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to the Funny Car qualifying lead at the 43rd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville. Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Jason Line (Pro Stock), and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also lead their classes heading into Saturday.
Neff’s Mustang was the quickest Funny Car on the property Friday thanks to his 4.080 second pass at 309.06 mph during the opening day of qualifying at the historic track in the Sunshine State. If the defending event champ can remain on top after qualifying action Saturday, it will be the fifth No. 1 of his career.
Montoya crashes in practice; Busch's car damaged Juan Montoya's trip to Las Vegas Motor Speedway got off to a decidedly rocky start in Friday's first Sprint Cup practice. And his problem inadvertently became Kyle Busch's, as well.
Montoya crashed his No. 42 Chevrolet shortly after getting up to speed on his first lap around the 1.5-mile oval. And Busch wound up sidelined, as well, when a piece of Montoya's car -- perhaps a broken brake rotor -- punched a large hole in the left-front valance of Busch's No. 18 Toyota.
"It felt really good in [Turns] 3 and 4," Montoya said. "I went into [Turn] 1 and got a little tight over the bumps. So I got on the gas and it just stepped out on me. I thought, 'My God,' and I was in the fence."
For the second day in a row, a Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver topped the time sheet as the IZOD IndyCar Series completed its four-day Open Test at Sebring International Raceway.
Scott Dixon was quickest (on his final lap of the afternoon session) at 51.7938 seconds over the 1.67-mile, 11-turn short course as drivers, teams and manufacturers prepared for the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. He was the only driver to post a sub-52-second lap during the Open Test, which was divided into two groups (10 cars in the first group and 15 in the second). His time was almost 2 seconds slower than the Champ Car lap record.
Teammate Dario Franchitti was 0.2219 of a second back, and Rubens Barrichello of KV Racing Technology had a best lap of 52.2242 seconds (0.4305 of a second behind Dixon). Mike Conway, driving the No. 14 ABC Supply car for A.J. Foyt Racing, had another strong outing (52.2243) to place fourth, and Graham Rahal was fifth (52.4692) in the No. 38 Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing car.
Bourdais finally gets time in Lotus Sebastien Bourdais was chatting about relocating his family back to St. Petersburg, Fla., the mild Midwest winter and already the time changing (remember to spring ahead March 10) when he asked for the time.
"Gotta go," he said as the Lotus Dragon Racing car on the pit lane of Sebring International Raceway was ready for a romp on the 1.67-mile 11-turn circuit in the morning session of the final day of an IZOD IndyCar Series Open Test.
NASCAR Phoenix TV RatingUPDATE #2 Fox earned a 5.6 'national' rating and 9.2 million viewers for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Subway Fresh Fit 500 on Sunday, topping all sports telecasts last weekend. Those figures are down 5% and 11%, respectively, from the same race last season THE DAILY....ESPN earned a 1.5 U.S. rating and 2.4 million viewers for last Saturday's Nationwide Series Bashas' Supermarkets 200, marking the net's most-viewed NNS race at Phoenix Int'l Raceway since ESPN re-acquired NASCAR rights prior to the '07 season ESPN.
03/06/12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX posted a solid 5.0/10 final rating Sunday for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 from Phoenix. Though off -6% from last year’s 5.3/11, yesterday’s 5.0/10 ranked as the second highest-rated event of the weekend in the metered markets. It is estimated that once the national ratings are released, the Subway Fresh Fit 500 will be the highest-rated and most-watched event of the weekend. The race rating grew throughout the telecast peaking at a 5.8/11 from 6-6:15pm, but last year's race ran later and faced less competition in the closing laps which allowed last year’s race to peak at a 6.4/12 in the final quarter hour. Through the first two races of the season, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing is averaging a 6.4/11, down -6% from last year's 6.8/15.
03/05/12 Fox earned a 5.0 overnight for Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 from Phoenix Int’l Raceway, which was the second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season. The 5.0 overnight is down from a 5.3 rating for the same race last year.
RLL Adds F1 Veteran Gerry Hughes to Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced today that Gerry Hughes has joined the team and will be the race engineer for Takuma Sato in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Hughes has 24 years of trackside engineering experience in series such as Formula One, GP2, A1GP, British Touring Cars, Formula 3 and Opel Lotus. The move reunites Hughes with team co-owner Bobby Rahal, Technical Director Jay O’Connell and driver Sato.
“Gerry worked for me when I was at Jaguar Formula One and he worked with our technical director Jay O’Connell as well.” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. “I have known Gerry since 2000 and we have always stayed in touch. He went on to bigger and better things and was involved with Takuma at Super Aguri in F1 and when Honda stopped that program they were a bit adrift. He was looking at making the move to come to the United States long term and so we talked. It is particularly good timing because, since he had worked with Takuma, there was a comfort level there and a level of communication that usually takes time to build up between two people and in this case it is already established. For Takuma it’s good to have someone he is familiar with and had confidence in and for us, Gerry is a long term team member for us. He has a lot of experience in a lot of different formulas and that will be of value to us as a team.”
BMW has unveiled the livery that Bruno Spengler will use in the DTM this year.
The Canadian, who moved across to the Munich manufacturer during the winter after seven years with rival Mercedes, will drive a matte black M3 DTM, reminiscent of the car unveiled publicly last summer, and backed by BMW Bank.
Spengler is driving for the Schnitzer team this year, alongside GT convert Dirk Werner.
Lola announce new key appointments The Lola Group, a worldwide leader in engineering, design and manufacturing, has today announced two key new appointments.
Jean Marchioni has accepted the position of Lola Cars International Managing Director and starts with immediate effect. Jean is well known in the international racing community coveting important positions with top racing organizations for over 20 years. He has very recent top level experience in LMP competition as technical director with championship successes.
Hulman & Company Expands Board Hulman & Company, which owns Indianapolis Motor Speedway among other holdings, has expanded its board of directors with the appointment of four successful, visionary business leaders. John F. Ackerman, Jeffrey G. Belskus, Mark D. Miles and James T. Morris have accepted their respective appointments, expanding the board from eight to 11 members. Hulman & Company appointed three new directors Feb. 17, 2011 to expand its board from five to eight members, but a board vacancy was created with the death of Jerry Throgmartin on Jan. 22, 2012.
“Our experience in the last year with an expanded board has brought about significant new opportunity and has been beneficial in taking advantage of growth opportunities for our family of companies,” Hulman & Company Chairman of the Board Mari Hulman George said. “We are pleased to welcome John, Jeff, Mark and Jim to the board. We look forward to their contributions as they use their extensive experience in business, sports and civic activities to help guide and ensure the success of Hulman & Company.”
Campana tops Friday AutoGP practice at Monza The fight between Sergio Campana and Sergey Sirotkin seems to be the leitmotif of this first day of the 2012 Auto GP World Series. In the second Free Practice session, the Italian driver of MLR71 topped the timesheets with a 1'37"115 that was one second quicker than the best laptime from the first session. Behind him, Sirotkin was just one tenth adrift with the Euronova car, with a 0.9 improvement from his morning laptime. As in the first practice, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs was third thanks to a 1'37"538 that allowed him to keep Giacomo Ricci at bay.
Cooper Tire Extends Commitment to IMSA’s Prototype Lites Cooper Tire has extended its commitment to the motorsports development ladder by extending its partnership with the International Motor Sports Association’s (IMSA) Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series through 2015. The contract, which includes options for further extension, also includes sponsorship of the Cooper Tires Tech Center (CTTC), the all-new home for the series’ technical inspection and staff.
"Cooper Tire is proud to be part of the IMSA Development Series with the Prototype Lites, and the extension of our agreement showcases that excitement," stated Chris Pantani, director of motorsports for Cooper Tire. "It's been a great partnership with IMSA, and the recent inclusion of Mazda really shows the strength of what the Prototype Lites has to offer."
Lewis Hamilton has revealed that Monaco will be his new place of residence for the 2012 season, with the McLaren driver explaining that the time he spent in Switzerland was 'a bit boring'. The Briton, who embarks on his sixth Formula 1 campaign this year, is looking forward to Monaco becoming a so-called second home event.
"I just fancied a change," Hamilton explained. "It was a bit boring where I was living before, not many people around, so it was good to move.
American Alexander Rossi Confirmed as Caterham F1 Team Test Driver
Things are looking up for Alexander Rossi, the next American in F1
Alexander Rossi has today been confirmed as Caterham F1 Team’s Test Driver, joining Race Drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov, and Reserve Driver Giedo van der Garde in the Anglo / Malaysian team’s driver line-up. In his F1 role he will be taking part in FP1 sessions in 2012, helping him to gain further experience at the highest level of global motorsport and further embedding him within the Caterham F1 Team.
In addition, Alexander has confirmed today that he will be competing for the second year in World Series by Renault 3.5, the championship in which he finished third in his rookie season. In 2012 he will be driving for the newly formed Arden Caterham team, aiming to fight for the outright championship victory from the first race in Motorland Aragon, May 5th / 6th.
If Dodge courts Ganassi and Petty, just say no In case you somehow missed the first breaking silly season news of 2012 last week, here it is...Roger Penske is bringing his organization back to the blue oval brigade in 2013 after nine seasons with Dodge. Penske became the top performing Dodge manufacturer rather quickly with Ryan Newman and Rusty Wallace from 2003 to 2005.
However, over the course of the last few years, the Dodge contingent continued to shrink. In fact, in 2009, Penske was virtually the only horse left in the Dodge racing stables. While they were the focal point of the manufacturer for the last few years, the time arrived for Penske to reunite for Ford.
This leaves Dodge with no contending teams. Robby Gordon, who occasionally start and parks, is, thus far, the only team owner planned to field the new Dodge Chargers in 2013.
Stewart-Haas Racing goes Hollywood in appeal to sponsor The dichotomy of sweat equity and equity capital required to race in Sprint Cup was on display — and illuminated by klieg lights — last month at Stewart-Haas Racing. As crewmembers scurried around the shop floor of team headquarters making last-minute touchups on the Daytona 500 Chevrolets for Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart, a crew of a few dozen production assistants, sound technicians and creative personnel scouted camera angles and checked scripts.
In between takes of a commercial for new sponsor Quicken Loans, the firesuit-clad drivers chatted with their pit crews (who doubled as co-stars) and checked on seat fittings.
"It's convenient for everybody and important it doesn't take away from what's happening in the shop," Newman said. "This is crunch time for everybody nutting and bolting the cars. It's the best of both worlds."
Three big concerts highlight off-track entertainment at Belle A mix of musical talent will be featured June 1-3 as part of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels (6:30 p.m. June 1), the B-52s (7:15 p.m. June 2) and Ronnie Dunn (2 p.m. June 3) will perform on the MotorCity Casino Hotel Entertainment Stage in the Meijer Family Fun Zone. The concerts are free for race event ticket holders.
“We are very excited to partner with MotorCity Casino Hotel to bring these terrific musical acts to the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix,” event chairman Bud Denker said. “We know we’ll have exciting action on the racetrack the first weekend of June, and with these great bands offering something for everyone it’s sure to be great time away from the track as well.”
Local bands and entertainment will be featured on the MotorCity Casino Hotel Entertainment Stage all weekend. Visit www.DetroitGP.com or call 866-464-PRIX for tickets and information.
The 12-hour race at Sebring (U.S. state of Florida) on March 17 is shaped by major developments. For Audi, the new FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is ringing in a completely new era. The brand with the four rings last won a world championship title in 1984 - then in rallying. At the same time, Audi has the chance of clinching its tenth overall victory on the 60th anniversary of the classic endurance race.
Audi is starting into its most important sports car season so far. For the first time, the brand with the four rings will be battling to clinch a world champion’s title in road course racing. Audi has been successfully competing in sports car races since 1999 and has won many series, including the American Le Mans Series on nine occasions. This year, for the first time since 1992, the FIA is again awarding a world champion’s title for Le Mans prototypes, the race cars that currently feature the most sophisticated technology of all.
Tony Stewart talks Peyton Manning Three-time and defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart joined SPEED’s NASCAR Race Hub tonight via satellite from Las Vegas, site of this weekend’s race.
Stewart, an Indiana native and Indianapolis Colts fan, spoke with host Steve Byrnes and gave his reaction to quarterback Peyton Manning’s release. He also talked about his thoughts on possibly competing in the upcoming and inaugural Grand-Am Rolex Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27.
NASCAR suspends Knaus for six weeks; Hendrick to appealUPDATE #2 Team owner Rick Hendrick and #48 crew chief Chad Knaus will get to explain next Tuesday why they think NASCAR erred in penalizing Hendrick Motorsports for the C-posts on the Daytona 500 car of Jimmie Johnson. NASCAR confirmed that the appeal will be heard Tuesday morning at its Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C. A three-member panel will determine whether NASCAR officials were justified in suspending Knaus and car chief Ron Malec for six weeks as well as penalizing five-time Cup champion Johnson 25 points and fining Knaus $100,000. Both Hendrick and Knaus have said they believe templates should have been put on the car before it was confiscated Feb. 17 at Daytona International Speedway. While teams often aren't successful on appeal, Hendrick has won one appeal of a suspension of Knaus in 2005. Knaus has been suspended three other times in his career. Sporting News
MWR tabs Brian Vickers for six races Brian Vickers, sidelined since the departure of Red Bull Racing from NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series following the completion of the 2011 season, will compete in six races for Michael Waltrip Racing, according to a team news release.
Vickers, 28, will compete in the organization’s No. 55 Toyota, which is currently shared by Mark Martin and co-owner/driver Michael Waltrip.
“I am thrilled to get back behind the wheel of not just a race car, but a very fast race car,” Vickers, who finished 25th in points for Red Bull last season, said. “I’m lucky to find a ride of this qualify so early in the season. That Toyota won the pole last weekend in Phoenix and you saw it up front throughout the race.”
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