USAC Silver Crown champ Dave Steele, 42, killed (Update) UPDATE Funeral services for Dave Steele, the veteran driver who died in a crash last weekend at Desoto Speedway, will be held Saturday in his home of Tampa, the family announced through Mr. Steele’s obituary.
The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran, 304 Druid Hills Road.
A pair of visitations will be held prior to the funeral. On Friday, the family will host a formal visitation from 5-8 p.m. at Garden Of Memories Funeral Home, 4207 E. Lake Ave. in Tampa. There will also be a visitation beginning at 9 a.m. at Christ Our Redeemer before the funeral Saturday.
Forever In Your Mind To Sing National Anthem at INDYCAR Grand Prix
Ricky Garcia, Liam Attridge and Emery Kelly
Billboard-charting pop group Forever In Your Mind will perform the national anthem before the start of the INDYCAR Grand Prix on Saturday, May 13 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Forever In Your Mind (FIYM), comprised of band members Ricky Garcia, Liam Attridge and Emery Kelly, has amassed more than 30 million video views from its self-titled debut EP released by Hollywood Records in 2016. The stylish trio also has sold out concerts nationwide and has a combined global reach of more than 2 million followers on social media.
USA Australian GP TV rating NBCSN continued to deliver stellar TV ratings for the 2017 season. The Australian GP final USA TV rating on NBCSN in the wee hours of Sunday morning was a 0.22 with 238,000 viewers tuned in, up very slightly over 2016. In case you missed it: Comment
NASCAR Fontana TV Rating (Update) UPDATE The final TV rating for the Auto Club 400 at Fontana was a 3.16 (5.188 million viewers) down 21% from last years final rating of 4.0 also on Fox. The final rating for the Xfinity race at Fontana was a 0.93 on FS1 with 1.46 million viewers tuned in.
03/27/17 The overnight TV rating for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 (Fontana) on Fox Sunday was a 2.9 down 18% from a 3.52 in 2016 and down 27.5% from a 4.0 overnight rating in 2014 and 2015.
UPDATE After an in-depth review and exhaustive consultations with NASCAR, Goodyear, race teams and drivers, Atlanta Motor Speedway has elected to postpone its plan to resurface the 20-year-old 1.54-mile racing surface at least until after its 2018 NASCAR weekend.
The aged, abrasive surface, last paved in 1997 when the track was reconfigured into its current quad-oval layout, is well-known for producing slick and challenging racing conditions and causes some of the fastest tire fall-off of any track on the circuit. AMS is a favorite among many active drivers in all three of NASCAR's national touring series, and a large number of them voiced their preference to delay the new surface.
Ford plans to invest an additional $350 million in Michigan plants Ford Motor Co. will add $350 million in new investments at two Michigan assembly plants on top of previously pledged spending.
The automaker said Tuesday it will invest $200 million in its Flat Rock Assembly Plant for an advanced data center. It will also spend $150 million at its Michigan Assembly Plant in addition to what was pledged two years ago as part of the automaker’s contract with the UAW.
DCR Enters Pippa Mann into Indy 500 for Fifth Straight Year
Pippa Mann is returning to Dale Coyne Racing for a fifth consecutive year to pilot the team’s third entry in the 101st Indianapolis 500. Mann will be back behind the wheel of the #63 Dale Coyne Racing Honda as she looks to make her sixth start at the famed 2.5-mile superspeedway.
The British driver will once again be paired with engineer Rob Ridgely. Ridgely was Mann’s engineer when she scored her best IndyCar Series finish in 2015 (13th), as well as her best Indy 500 result (18th) last year.
Preferred Freezer Services renews With Jr Hildebrand And Ed Carpenter Racing
Preferred Freezer Services first teamed up with Ed Carpenter Racing to field a car for Hildebrand in the 2014 Indianapolis 500.
(SPEEDWAY, Ind.) – Preferred Freezer Services announced today an expansion of their partnership with Ed Carpenter Racing and driver JR Hildebrand. Hildebrand’s No. 21 Chevrolet will showcase the white and blue Preferred Freezer Services colors at four Verizon IndyCar Series races this year, including the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500. 2017 marks the fourth consecutive year that the partnership between Preferred Freezer Services and Ed Carpenter Racing has grown to include additional events.
Preferred Freezer Services (PFS), a global leader in advanced design and engineered temperature-controlled warehouses, first teamed up with Ed Carpenter Racing to field a car for Hildebrand in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. The company has supported the 29-year-old’s Month of May program each year since, with all three Indianapolis 500 efforts yielding Top 10 finishes. After much success during his May starts, as well as serving as an indispensable test driver during the summer of 2016, Hildebrand was named as the driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet for the entire 2017 season.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing can confirm its full driver line-up for the 2017 season, with Yuji Kunimoto and Nicolas Lapierre joining the team for races at Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans.
Yuji and Nicolas will line-up in the #9 TS050 HYBRID alongside lead driver Stephane Sarrazin in the second and third races of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season.
Yuji, 26, has a wealth of endurance experience from his eight seasons in Super GT and he wrote headlines last year by beating several world-renowned drivers to win the Super Formula championship. A former Japanese Formula Three champion, Yuji will continue to compete in single-seaters as he defends his Super Formula crown in 2017 alongside another Super GT campaign.
FIA Formula 2 test opens in Bahrain The second pre-season test of the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship kicks off tomorrow, with another three day session taking place this time out at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain. The teams and drivers will look to improve their cars from Wednesday 29th to Friday 31st
March at the circuit which will see the racing debut of the new championship in just a few weeks’ time, on April 14th at the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
Porsche to unveil 2017 WEC car and team Friday After test drives on the circuits of Valencia (ES), Aragon (ES), Vallelunga (IT) and Paul Ricard (FR), Porsche now will present the new 919 Hybrid on March 31st. Venue is the high-speed race track in Monza, Italy, set in the famous Royal Park close to Milan. There the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) teams will gather for the first time to conduct a joint two-days test on April 1 and 2, better known as the official WEC Prologue.
In both 2015 and 2016, with the innovative Le Mans Prototype 919 Hybrid Porsche took overall victory in Le Mans and won the World Championship titles for both, Manufacturers and Drivers. The first public appearance of the title defender car is eagerly awaited. Here is what the 2017 car looks like.
Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM announce teams for 2017 DTM season
2017 Mercedes DTM drivers
Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Mercedes me: Robert Wickens & Gary Paffett
Mercedes-AMG Motorsport SILBERPFEIL Energy: Paul Di Resta & Maro Engel
Mercedes-AMG Motorsport BWT: Edoardo Mortara & Lucas Auer
Final preparations for the new DTM season will be well under way in the next few weeks. The last test runs of the pre-season are set to take place next week in Hockenheim following homologation of the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM on 1st March. The teams, in which the six Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM drivers will race this year, have also now been finalized.
Richmond Int'l Raceway Turns To WWE Promoter To Spice Up Its Fall NASCAR Race
Paul Heyman (R)
Richmond Int'l Raceway has hired Paul Heyman and his N.Y.-based Looking4Larry agency to "handle the marketing and promotion" for the track's September Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, according to Damon Martin of FOXSPORTS.com.
Heyman, the "advocate" for WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar, was hired to "revamp and widen the appeal of the upcoming event after NASCAR has reportedly suffered some losses in attendance."
Thursday Thunder at The Pike Outlets Set for April 6
Thunder Thursday at The Pike Outlets, the free-to-the-public festival that annually kicks off the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race weekend on Thursday, April 6, will have plenty of action for the entire family.
Beginning at 6:30 p.m., Thunder Thursday at The Pike Outlets will feature Verizon IndyCar Series pit stop competitions on Shoreline Drive, west of Pine Ave. at 6:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. with three-time Long Beach winner Sebastien Bourdais and his #18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda facing off against Spencer Pigot and the #20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet. Freestyle motocross demonstrations will take over Shoreline Drive at 7:05 p.m. and 8:05 p.m. and Tony Carabjal’s stunt motorcycles will wow the crowd at 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 8:50 p.m. Spectator viewing for these events will be located in and around the three grandstands adjacent to The Pike Outlets at Pine Ave. and Shoreline Drive.
Edsel Ford to serve as honorary pace car driver at Martinsville A Ford will lead the field to green in more than one way Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Track President Clay Campbell announced today that Edsel Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford, will be the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the STP 500.
Ford, who also serves as a board member for the Ford Motor Company, will drive the Ford Shelby 350GT pace car at the start of the race.
New track layout revealed for Berlin ePrix Tickets are now back on sale for the Berlin ePrix double-header on June 10 and 11 - with the all-electric Formula E cars using a modified configuration of the track at Tempelhof Airport.
The Berlin ePrix - round seven and eight of the 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship - returns to the original location used in the inaugural season on a redesigned version of the circuit. The drivers will navigate a 2.25km track on the apron section of the historic Tempelhof Airport.
NHRA officials have announced that Toyota has extended its agreement to be the official car of NHRA.
"Toyota is such an integral part of the NHRA Mello Drag Racing Series at all levels," said Brad Gerber, NHRA vice president of sales & chief development officer. "NHRA is very excited to have Toyota’s continued support going forward. We hope to further solidify and grow the already successful partnership NHRA has with Toyota."
Officials from Auto Club Speedway and the Automobile Club of Southern California announced a multi-year race entitlement extension for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at ACS.
The three-year deal marks 14 years of race sponsorship from Auto Club and the 20th year as a marketing partner. Auto Club has been a partner with the Speedway in Fontana since it opened in 1997, then sponsoring the Winston West Series.
Tomy Drissi Dominates Inaugural 2017 Trans Am West Championship
From left, Carolla, Drissi and Wall
ROSAMOND, Calif. - As the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli held the inaugural round of the 2017 Trans Am West Coast Championship at Willow Springs International Raceway, Los Angeles native Tomy Drissi emerged victorious in the No. 8 Ghost in The Shell Chevrolet Corvette. The win marked the first Trans Am victory awarded on the West Coast since 2009 at Portland International Raceway, a win also secured by Drissi. The 100-mile, 40-lap, multi-class race on the 2.5-mile "Big Willow" course also saw Brad McAllister and Tyler McQuarrie secure victories in the TA2 and TA3 classes.
Zanardi is getting ready to tackle two long distance triathlons in 2017
Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) discovered his passion for #triathlon, and now he is preparing to tackle more of the challenges in 2017. On 2nd July, the #bmw brand ambassador and #bmw works driver will compete in the long distance #triathlon Austria-Karnten in Klagenfurt, and in October, he plans his third entry in the legendary event in Hawaii (USA). Zanardi successfully completed the Kona #triathlon in Big Island in 2014 and 2015, on both occasions reaching the finish in a time under ten hours.
In 2016, Zanardi did not take part in #triathlon events as he fully focused on his para-cycling competitions in Rio de Janeiro with success: he added two more gold medals and one silver medal to his collection, becoming a four-times Paralympic champion. Now he will take on the challenge of #triathlon again – and he will do so not only in a single event, but on a regular basis.
Video: Hamilton's hospitality tour Ever wondered what’s behind the secretive walls of a Formula One team hospitality unit at Grand Prix weekends? Wonder no more, as Lewis takes us on an access all areas tour of the Silver Arrows base camp in Melbourne! Comment
Ecclestone understood the importance of huge collective global TV viewership. IndyCar hasn't a clue.
A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, How come F1 draws such huge worldwide interest - huge attendance and huge worldwide TV audiences - while IndyCar is happy with 20,000 people in the grandstands and such small TV audiences? Tom Price, Houston, TX
Dear Tom, It's quite simple really, F1 thinks big and hence is big, IndyCar thinks small and hence is small......and will remain small. When IndyCar was run by CART it began to think big and the sport took off. Big TV ratings with a good international TV package that generated viewership of over 10 million per race, and a growing international fanbase. Bernie Ecclestone developed good F1 TV deals in well over 100 countries and those cumulative TV networks bring in over 30 million viewers per race. When you have 30 million viewers each race sponsors and manufacturers are willing to pay huge amounts of money to participate - hence the sport is huge.
Todt is 100% wrong and now he confirms it (Update)
Jean Todt is 100% wrong. Not a single fan goes to an F1 to watch F1's silly hybrid engines. Stick with your silly hybrid engines Jean Todt and the costs will continue to skyrocket, and for what?
UPDATE The BBC reported FIA President Jean Todt said that F1 is "too expensive, too complicated and the cars are too reliable."
He added that it was "the responsibility of the FIA to make the rules, in the context of a desire by new commercial rights holders to make changes."
Todt added that it was "essential" there was "less disparity in pace between teams." [And they can start by scrapping Todt's silly hybrid engines - even Honda can't get them right, and for what? They don't put a single extra fan in the grandstands. A normally aspirated engine is much simpler and much less expensive to build.] BBC
Formula 1 Owner Liberty Unwilling To Abandon Pay-TV Push
A move to pay TV will see viewership drop by 90% and sponsors, with little exposure to eyeballs, will walk away from the sport. IndyCar is proof of that - very few sponsors because most races are on NBCSN with near zero viewers
Formula 1 Managing Dir, Commercial Operations Sean Bratches said that grand prix racing "will not abandon its recent push" to pay-TV -- but "hinted at new digital offerings to allow fans to keep following the sport for free," according to Jonathan Noble of MOTORSPORT.
With much of the decline of F1’s viewing figures "being put down to the transition to pay-TV channels, the sport faces a dilemma in how best to keep interest high while enjoying the lucrative financial offerings from big networks."
When asked "how to balance the money on offer" from pay-TV against the smaller audiences, Bratches said, "I think it a dynamic that many sporting organizations are looking at -- more so than not, organizations are finding themselves on pay [TV] because that is where the money is.
Video: Vettel Wins 2017 Australian Grand Prix | Race Highlights Sebastian Vettel claims victory for Ferrari in the opening race of the 2017 Formula One season. Watch Toto Wolff pound his fist in frustration. Oh how he hates to lose. Comment
Fans storming track to celebrate Ferrari win under investigation
The Aussie fans rushed the track after the race. It was great.
Australian Grand Prix officials have launched an investigation into how fans were permitted access to the track before all the cars had returned to the pitlane.
Following the conclusion of the race on Sunday, fans poured onto the circuit at various points as race leader Sebastian Vettel, as well as several other cars, were completing their cool down lap on the way to the pitlane.
"When I was coming back to the pits and people were running on track, unbelievable," commented race winner Vettel.
Ganassi hoping Honda brings team another Indy 500 win
Ganassi driver Scott Dixon back in a Honda at Indy
It's been four years since Scott Dixon drove a Honda-powered Chip Ganassi Racing car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and he's nine years removed from winning the Indianapolis 500 with that engine manufacturer.
So while the setting was familiar on an unseasonably warm Friday in March, this wasn't just another test session for Dixon or Ganassi teammates Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton.
Auto Club Speedway Celebrates 20th Anniversary With NASCAR Race
Auto Club Speedway gives many good racing lines
Auto Club Speedway in Fontana "celebrates its 20th anniversary" with today's Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, and Roger Penske remains "proud of the 568-acre track he built on the site of a former steel mill despite the highs and lows the speedway has endured in the last two decades."
Penske: "We didn’t know what the reaction would be in such a major metropolitan market to what we were doing. It’s become one of the best stops on the NASCAR schedule." The track has become one of the "favorite tracks among drivers and fans." Auto Club Speedway President Dave Allen: "The on-track racing product is better than it's ever been." L.A. TIMES
F1 Kicks Off Season Entering New Era Without Ecclestone At Helm
From left, Bratches, Carey and Brawn
The '17 F1 season officially kicked off today with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel winning the Australian GP in Melbourne. The race marked the "first time in 43 years that Bernie Ecclestone will not be running the racing series."
It is "unclear what changes" new owners Liberty Media will make, but over the last few weeks, F1 Chair Chase Carey, Managing Dir of Motorsports Ross Brawn and Managing Dir of Commercial Operations Sean Bratches have been "canvassing opinions, taking stock."
Uber suspends self-driving car program after Arizona crash
An image from a video distributed by Fresco News shows a Volvo flipped on its side after an apparent collision involving two other vehicles in Tempe, Ariz.
Uber Technologies Inc. has suspended its pilot program for autonomous vehicles after a vehicle equipped with the nascent technology crashed on an Arizona roadway, the ride-hailing company and local police said.
The accident, the latest involving a self-driving vehicle operated by one of several companies experimenting with autonomous vehicles, caused no serious injuries, Uber said.
Even so, the company on Saturday said it was grounding the vehicles involved in a pilot program in Arizona, Pittsburgh and San Francisco pending the outcome of investigation into the crash Friday evening in Tempe.
Jimmie Johnson was asked about the status of his contract during his media availability on Friday at Auto Club Speedway
Johnson: "Yeah, that's a good question. We are always talking and working on the details. We don't have anything ready yet, but I'm sure we will announce before long. As you can tell, I'm not overly concerned. I feel very confident we will get something put together with Lowe's as our primary sponsor. Hendrick is my home, so I'm not worried about where that stuff will actually be executed and what point the season it will be executed, but I know it will happen soon." Team Chevy
Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin will take bragging rights to the next Virgin Australia Supercars Championship event in Tasmania after securing victory at the Rolex Australian Formula One Grand Prix.
The Shell Fords were unlucky not to record a clean sweep of wins when Coulthard blew a tire when holding a commanding lead but still did enough to secure the most points for the weekend from team-mate McLaughlin and Sunday winner Chaz Mostert.
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