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Danica Patrick goes to backup car after early wreck at Bristol  Danica Patrick lost control of her car on just her third lap on the track Friday, turned into Parker Kligerman and then hit the wall at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Patrick will have to go to a backup car for the remainder of the Food City 500 weekend. Kligerman, who suffered damage to the front end of his car, sat in his car as his team made repairs after the accident. More ...

12 Hours of Sebring part of United SportsCar future  
Bourdais signals #1 after winning the pole
For racing fans, the new United SportsCar Championship means a simplified schedule and only one major North American series to follow.

For St. Petersburg resident Sebastien Bourdais and two teammates in today's 12 Hours of Sebring, it means something simpler: the chance at the first Florida double in more than 15 years.

IndyCar regular Bourdais teamed with Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi to win January's 24 Hours of Daytona in a Corvette Prototype for the Action Express team. The trio goes into today's race with a shot of sweeping Daytona and Sebring, America's two longest and most prestigious sportscar races, which are now under one sanctioning body. More ...

New Camaro Z/28.R Gets First Win  Robin Liddell took the lead on a restart with 30 minutes remaining and went on to capture Friday’s inaugural Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Sebring International Raceway.

After the opening one hour and 33 minutes of the two-and-a-half-hour race was run under the green flag, a pair of on-track incidents caused much of the final hour to run under caution. In between yellow flags, Liddell went from third to first on a restart that proved to be the key to victory for the No. 6 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R started by Stevenson Motorsports teammate Andrew Davis.

The pole-winning No. 46 BMW M3 of Fall-Line Motorsports teammates Trent Hindman and John Edwards dominated the opening stages of the race, leading all but four of the opening 42 laps. The first caution waved with 31 minutes remaining, with Edwards leading the top nine Grand Sport (GS) cars into the pits while allowing Shane Lewis to take the lead in the No. 12 Porsche 911 of Bodymotion Racing. More ...

Twelve Hours of Sebring Friday Notebook  
Sebring Crowd
The legendary Green Park infield at Sebring International Raceway for years was auto racing's answer to Woodstock, peaking -- if that's the right word -- when some risqué activities during the 1980 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring were featured in a Hustler Magazine piece accompanied by grainy photos entitled, "Sebring Swings." It should be added that in this case, grainy was a good thing.

Things are far less extreme these days out in Green Park but one thing has not changed -- the place is still packed, year after year. The raceway doesn't divulge exact attendance figures because it's somewhat hard to do so accurately, considering that many of the motor homes parked for the week are packed themselves. More ...

What They're Saying: INDYCAR-Verizon Entitlement Partnership  What some INDYCAR participants are saying about the Verizon multi-year entitlement of the Verizon IndyCar Series, which will benefit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, other race venues, teams, partners and fans:

"The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 has long been recognized as a technological proving ground and an association with Verizon positions the racetrack with the global leader in technological innovation and communication. As we work to enhance the fan experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway leading up to the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016, we are excited about the new avenues in information delivery and access that Verizon will be able to help us explore for our fans."

-- Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles  More ...

Verizon promising to go faster, farther than previous IndyCar title sponsors  IndyCar Series honchos on Friday made it official that Verizon Wireless will be the series' new title sponsor. The series will now be known as the Verizon IndyCar Series.

IBJ first reported the news March 7.

IndyCar has been down this bumpy road before, but those close to this deal say Verizon is far different than the open-wheel series' prior three title sponsors.

Pep Boys and Internet search engine Northern Light both had financial problems. Pep Boys also had a serious lack of commitment in the latter stages of its relationship with the series. More ...

Hunter-Reay and Rahal happy with Honda Twin-Turbo  Ryan Hunter-Reay admits he had concerns about his Andretti Autosport team's off-season switch from Chevrolet to Honda power for the upcoming IndyCar season. But he says that he is now optimistic about the Japanese manufacturer's efforts to master its twin-turbo unit.

Honda will join rival Chevrolet in using a twin-turbo layout for its V6 unit after having raced a single-turbo configuration for the past two years.

Although the change was mandated by IndyCar, Honda's plans to switch to a twin turbo for 2014 had been in the works for some time. Hunter-Reay, who won the 2012 championship with Chevrolet power, believes Honda has some lost ground to make up, but says that it is bridging the gap. More ...

Verizon IndyCar announcement teleconference audio  

More ...

Sebring Practice 4: Ganassi Fords stay on top  The two Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford EcoBoost DPs jumped to the top of the timesheets in the closing minutes of the one-hour session in the hands of Scott Pruett and Scott Dixon to ensure a clean sweep of all the practice sessions by the Ganassi Fords.

Pruett ended up fastest with a time 1m53.241s, which was just over two tenths of a second ahead of his teammate Scott Dixon.

The LMP2 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan driven by Olivier Pla ended up third with a 1m53.567s.

The GT Le Mans class was led by the best of the Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs driven by Antonio Garcia. More ...
F1 fans to new sound - cars sound like vacuum cleaners  
Will Hoover Vacuum Cleaners step up to sponsor F1?
Team officials told fans to get used to the new, quieter Formula One engines on Friday after complaints that the previously deafening cars now sounded more like vacuum cleaners.

Turbo-charged hybrid engines have replaced the ear-splitting V8s, giving the year’s opening practice sessions a decidedly sedate feel.

Some likened the “underwhelming” sound to a “sewing machine on wheels”, while others said it sounded like a race between 22 vacuum cleaners and wondered why it was so quiet in the F1 paddock. More ...

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

  • A little tension between Hamilton and Rosberg?
    Ferrari warns FIA about team 'trickery' in 2014
  • Lotus promote from within for new team boss
  • Signs of strain between Mercedes duo
  • Bottas prefers Massa over ex-teammate Maldonado
  • Pirelli denies new approach to avoid criticism
  • Renault giving teams full power in Melbourne
  • No team orders despite Mercedes dominance
  • Bosses defend F1 sound New
  • One-on-one with Bernie Ecclestone New
  • Relief at Red Bull after giant step in Melbourne New More ...
Volvo and Nissan impress in Melbourne  Nissan has proved the surprise packets of the MSS Security Challenge at the Formula One Rolex Australian Grand Prix, with drivers predicting the two to continue to run at the front throughout the V8 Supercar season.

Scott McLaughlin and Michael Caruso have shown great pace in the first two races of the Formula One weekend, with double race winner Shane Van Gisbergen surprised at how quickly the Volvo has come on and how much the Nissan has improved.

Van Gisbergen watched in the first race as McLaughlin pushed current Champion Jamie Whincup in race one to finish third and was then fifth in race two. Caruso was fourth in both races in his Nissan Altima. It surprised Van Gisbergen and Craig Lowndes, who was second to the Kiwi in race two. More ...

Hamilton and Rosberg run 1-2 in 2nd practice in Australia  
Lewis Hamilton in the superior Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton did not set a time in the morning session due to a mechanical issue but recovered to top the first day of practice for the Formula 1 season-opening Australian Grand Prix in his Mercedes. Teammate Nico Rosberg was 2nd ahead of the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso who was fastest in the morning session.

The surprise was Sebastian Vettel in 4th in the Red Bull Lemon.  It appears the team may be turning the lemon to lemonade faster than anyone thought possible.

The reliability problems which have dogged Lotus since the team made its belated start to testing remained on the first day of the new season.

The teams’ two drivers only managed to participate in one session each as their E22 chassis were afflicted with a series of glitches. More ...

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