Wilson steps out of Indy 500 ride for good of IMS, INDYCAR racing
Stefan Wilson had to sleep on this decision for a few nights writes Phillip B. Wilson.
How could a young, ambitious driver step aside from an Andretti Autosport ride in May’s 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil?
It wasn’t because the 27-year-old Englishman would be giving up the seat to two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso or making possible McLaren Racing’s return to the race for the first time in 38 years. And it wasn’t just to make his sponsors happy, although they will undoubtedly receive immense exposure nationally and internationally as a result of Wednesday’s announcement that Alonso will be driving a McLaren-Andretti Honda.
Following the announcement of Fernando Alonso's shock entry to the 101st Indianapolis 500 for 2017, fellow Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez has thrown his hat into the ring for a future run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Alonso confirmed on Wednesday that he would be skipping this year's Monaco Grand Prix to enter the Indy 500 with McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport, giving a boost to this year's running.
The news has led to a number of his peers expressing an interest in crossing codes and trying out another series, with Lewis Hamilton saying on Thursday that he would like to enter NASCAR's Daytona 500 one day.
Sebastian Vettel turned the fastest lap in opening practice for Sunday's Bahrain GP with a time of 1m32.697s, 0.4sec faster that Daniel Ricciardo in the first Red Bull and 0.8 sec faster than Max Verstappen in the 2nd Red Bull.
Vettel's Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen clocked just six laps before his identical SF17-H stopped because of an overheated turbo.
Oliver Rowland has topped the timesheets in the first FIA Formula 2 Championship free practice session with a blistering lap under scorching conditions this morning at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, leading the way for most of the session by less than a tenth from Artem Markelov and Charles Leclerc.
The Briton stopped the clocks at 1:42.221 just nine minutes into the session, which opened under a cloudless sky, with track temperatures at 45˚C as the lights went green to open the session. All of the drivers headed straight out onto the circuit to get the day started, with Johnny Cecotto setting the first competitive lap 6 minutes in, before being usurped by Nobuharu Matsushita next time round.
Musk says Tesla to soon reveal all-electric 18-wheeler, and pickup truck
Musk is about to send more shock waves through the auto and truck industry
Perhaps no individual in recent memory has captured the world’s and the automobile market’s imagination quite like Elon Musk. Just last month, Musk said in a tweet that building an electric big-rig with sports-car-like acceleration would be "no problem."
Now, Musk is claiming the unveiling of the long-anticipated Tesla Class-8 semi truck is mere months away and that it will be unveiled in September. In his tweet, Musk said the development team had done an "amazing" job and that the truck would be "seriously next level."
Musk further elaborated and said that the reveal of the Tesla pickup would come within the next 18 to 24 months.
Musk tells disgruntled shareholders to buy Ford stock
Musk tells demanding shareholder to buy Ford stock. Ouch.
A group of Tesla Inc investors has urged the luxury electric car maker to add two new independent directors to its board, without ties to Chief Executive Elon Musk, to "provide a critical check on possible dysfunctional group dynamics."
A defiant Musk took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to suggest the investors buy stock in Ford Motor Co instead. The Ford family controls the Detroit automaker through two classes of stock.
In a letter dated Monday, five investment groups including the California State Teachers Retirement System, Hermes Equity Ownership Services and CtW Investment Group urged Tesla to have all of its directors re-elected annually.
Ward's family fights back Tony Stewart isn't in the clear just yet in regards to the death of Kevin Ward Jr., who died of blunt trauma injuries after being struck by Stewart's car in 2014. Criminal charges against Stewart were dropped two years ago, but Ward Jr.'s parents have since filed a civil lawsuit that they're fighting to be heard.
Tony Stewart's legal team asked a federal court judge in Utica, New York, to dismiss the family's claims regarding negligence, wrongful death, and pain and suffering last month, according to WETM 18.
Gil Martin Leaves Richard Childress Racing Veteran crew chief Gil Martin has parted ways with Richard Childress Racing according to a report by Motorsport.com.
Martin, who had been working as the XFINITY Series manager for RCR, had been with the organization since 2001. During his time at RCR he worked with a number of different drivers, including Kevin Harvick, Robby Gordon and Clint Bowyer, in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Video: 2017 Bahrain - Paddock Pass (Alonso at Indy 500 talk) Fernando Alonso describes the preparation and challenges leading into the Indianapolis 500. Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo give early updates on their season ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix and discuss Fernando Alonso entering the Indianapolis 500. Comment
Video: 2017 IndyCar Drivers on Alonso running in Indy 500 - Part 2 Part 2 of IndyCar driver reaction to the announcement that two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will be competing in the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Comment
NASCAR wishes F1 drivers would try the Daytona 500
Hamilton is dreaming if he thinks he would ever get a top ride in NASCAR. NASCAR will want to prove their drivers are best so any F1 driving trying NASCAR will never get a ride in a car capable of winning. Therefore, why bother?
Three-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton would like to try his hand at NASCAR one day, saying an entry to the Daytona 500 would be of interest.
The F1 paddock was left stunned on Wednesday when Fernando Alonso announced he would be entering the 101st Indianapolis 500 as part of a joint entry between McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport.
Alonso's decision to skip the Monaco Grand Prix and enter the Indy 500 comes in an era when few F1 drivers sample other series, but has got many thinking.
"I think it's great that a driver is able to do that. I think us drivers should be able to do more than one series," Hamilton said on Thursday.
Miles will ride Alonso's popularity for all it's worth
Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles thinks that F1 driver Fernando Alonso driving in this year's Indianapolis 500 could produce a host of positive results for the event writes Adam Stern of Sports Business Daily.
Miles, who oversees Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Verizon IndyCar Series, said the move by F1 team McLaren to have Alonso race for Honda-backed Andretti Autosport in the 500 will “have an effect on all kinds of levels."
Miles also noted it was "busy" yesterday at IMS’s ticket-sales office after the announcement, which trended worldwide on Twitter and was splashed on the back pages of Spanish newspapers.
Until Miles fixes the horrific TV deal IndyCar has OEMs will continue to reject IndyCar
There have been rumblings in the paddock recently about IndyCar's continued efforts to land a third official engine manufacturer (OEM) but when manufacturers see the minuscule TV ratings on NBCSN they all say no. All IndyCar races need to be on Network TV until they can rebuild their fanbase. If the new TV contract doesn't put 100% of the races on Network TV, and also include a strong international package, IndyCar will continue to be rejected by OEMs.
While talk about Toyota has continued to build, Miles told Sports Business Daily yesterday said that it is the "same status" with Toyota as last year, when the brand indicated that it had no current intent to join the series.
Q&A with IndyCar Chief Mechanic Billy Vincent at the Long Beach GP Ever wonder how someone becomes at IndyCar Chief Mechanic? Simon Pagenaud's Chief Mechanic Billy Vincent tells AR1.com how he got started in racing and got to where he is today as one of the best Chief Mechanics in the business Comment
McLaren's Zak Brown details Fernando Alonso's decision to race in Indy 500 McLaren's executive director Zak Brown discusses Fernando Alonso's decision to race in the Indy 500 and how the deal went down. Comment
Video: Ferrari 2017 Bahrain GP Preview In a few days, Formula 1 faces a complete change of scene. From the metropolis to the desert, from the cold and damp of Shanghai to a sweltering Sakhir and temperatures around 40 degrees. The only thing the Chinese and Bahrain Grands Prix have in common is that they both first appeared on the calendar in 2004. The circuits have very little in common: while Shanghai is all flowing corners, the Bahrain International Circuit juxtaposes straights with hairpins and heavy braking.
NASCAR Texas Motor Speedway Penalties Announced NASCAR issued penalties Wednesday to the Roush Fenway Racing No. 17 team for post-race infractions after last weekend’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove the No. 17 Ford to a 14th-place finish in last Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, but NASCAR officials found one of the car’s 20 lug nuts was improperly installed in a post-race check. Wednesday, RFR crew chief Brian Pattie was fined $10,000 for the safety violation.
Video: Fernando Alonso Indy 500 Announcement Double F1 World champion, Fernando Alonso, has announced his intention to race in this season's Indy 500 at the expense of the Monaco Grand Prix. Peter Windsor talks to Alonso about his decision Comment
Penske loses appeal of Keselowski penalty Brad Keselowski crew chief Paul Wolfe will be suspended for the next two races as a three-member NASCAR appeals panel ruled against Team Penske following a hearing Wednesday. Keselowski's fifth-place car failed postrace inspection March 19 at Phoenix International Raceway as it had a rear steer of more than 0.56 degrees of skew. NASCAR suspended Wolfe for three races, fined him $65,000 and docked Keselowski 35 points. Wolfe sat out one race before Penske decided to appeal the penalty. He is expected to miss the upcoming races at Bristol and Richmond.
IndyCar Drivers react to Fernando Alonso running in Indy 500 Footage of IndyCar driver reaction to today's announcement that two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will be competing in the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Comment
Trump calls on California to bend on emission standards The White House has told automakers it will seek to broker an agreement on emissions standards with California to avoid a patchwork of rules writes Camille von Kaenel of E&E News.
Car companies that have pushed the administration for relief on stringent emissions and mileage requirements are also urging consistency around the country.
President Trump has vowed to review the federal vehicle emissions standards for 2025 to ensure that they are not hurting manufacturing jobs, reversing an Obama-era decision.
IndyCar hit a home run on Wednesday in more ways than one. It was almost as big a news story as when Nigel Mansell quit F1 to run CART IndyCar in 1993.
It was announced today that not just Fernando Alonso will race in this year’s Indy 500, but McLaren is back too.
That has sent shockwaves through the motorsports world, as it’s huge that Alonso is skipping Monaco to race at Indy. If Bernie Ecclestone was still running F1 he would be having a conniption about now.
Michael Shank Racing Set for Indianapolis 500 with Jack Harvey for Andretti Autosport
Michael Shank Racing will team with Andretti Autosport to campaign the No. 50 Michael Shank Racing with Andretti Autosport Honda/Dallara with driver Jack Harvey for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500.
The collaboration marks the newest chapter for Columbus, Ohio-based Mike Shank, who competed as a driver in the open wheel ranks and made one IndyCar start in 1997 before moving to focus on team ownership.
That focus saw his team flourish in endurance sports car racing, having won the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona as well as leading the race in the team’s first-ever Le Mans 24 Hour start in 2016.
F1 Secret Drivers Meeting Every Friday night ahead of the Grand Prix weekend, the drivers meet up with Race Director Charlie Whiting. Lewis and Valtteri reveal the type of thing that is discussed behind closed doors. Comment
Darrell Waltrip says NASCAR schedule is 'too long'
NASCAR will take this Easter weekend off before resuming next weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Darrell Waltrip won 12 Cup Series races at Bristol, including seven straight from 1981 to 1984. Now a color analyst with Fox Sports, Waltrip was a recent guest of "Press Row" on Chattanooga's ESPN 105.1 FM to discuss the state of the sport and more.
Several Honda cars will not participate in Texas Motor Speedway open test INDYCAR confirmed today that several Honda-powered entries will not participate in the Verizon IndyCar Series open test today at Texas Motor Speedway.
The entries in question arrived at the 1.455-mile oval track mounted with higher-mileage engines, and officials decided to take a cautious approach.
2017 Chinese Grand Prix Race Highlights Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel had huge smiles after this battle in Shanghai, while Max Verstappen came back from P16 on the grid for a podium finish. Check out their drives and all the race incidents. Comment
2017 F1 Steering Wheels explained How different are the steering wheels used by the individual Formula One drivers? What is the purpose of all the buttons? And how tricky are the race starts in 2017? We met up with Valtteri Bottas and got him to answer our questions. Comment
Art St. Cyr quote on Fernando Alonso racing at Indianapolis
Art St. Cyr
Art St. Cyr, president, Honda Performance Development, on Fernando Alonso racing in the 101st Indianapolis 500:
"Obviously, we're delighted to have Fernando Alonso join Honda for the Indianapolis 500. It strengthens our overall effort to win a 12th '500', and is a great addition to the race for fans of motorsport worldwide. This accomplishment is truly a reflection of Honda's global motorsports footprint.
"No company, outside of Honda, could join Andretti Autosport, McLaren and Fernando Alonso in a united effort to compete in the Indianapolis 500. We warmly welcome Fernando to the HPD family and eagerly look forward to working with him in May."
Two-time F1 champion Alonso to compete in 101st Indianapolis 500
Fernando Alonso - tired of having no chance in F1 because it is 99% car and 1% driver, will race in the Indy 500 with a real chance at victory
The Indianapolis 500 has attracted another world champion to its driver field.
McLaren announced today that Fernando Alonso, Formula One's two-time champion and three-time runner-up, will compete in the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 28.
Alonso will drive for Andretti Autosport, which has won four Indianapolis 500s, including last year's race with Verizon IndyCar Series rookie Alexander Rossi at the wheel of the Honda-powered Dallara. Honda also powers Alonso's car on McLaren's grand prix team.
Starting races earlier if it is going to rain makes sense
NASCAR has a new policy where, with 24 hours notice, it could start a race one hour earlier than the listed start time in the event of a forecast of inclement weather. NASCAR previously would not move the start time because of logistical concerns amid prerace activities held by the tracks and teams as well as concerns ticketholders would not get notified.
NASCAR Executive VP Steve O'Donnell said: "We worked with the tracks to say what is the best way and the best notification [period]."
Marcus Smith, CEO of track operating company Speedway Motorsports: "Any weather forecast in 24 hours, it's hard to really know so [we'd have to be] very convinced. I'm just glad we haven't had to worry about that this year." ESPN.com
21 drivers to test at TMS Wednesday All 21 full-season cars plus the Indianapolis 500 entry for Gabby Chaves are scheduled to participate in the daylong test on the 1.455-mile oval in Fort Worth, site of the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 in June. The track has undergone major renovations since last year’s race.
The primary objective for the test is to establish the best aerodynamic configuration for the Indy cars when the series returns for the June 9-10 race weekend. Bill Pappas, INDYCAR’s vice president of competition, engineering, explained that the test will be split into two three-hour sessions. In the first session, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. ET, teams will be permitted time to set up their cars individually before a full-field run will be completed.
Ganassi high on IndyCar despite dropping TV ratings
Ganassi has struggled to find a sponsor to replace Target on Scott Dixon's car. Because IndyCar TV ratings are plummeting on NBCSN it's hard to find real sponsors. If you cannot deliver eyeballs most sponsors have zero interest.
Despite TV ratings for 2017 that are in a steep death spiral, Chip Ganassi is firm in the belief that things are going in the right direction.
"I think it's on an uptick," he stated. "I like the job that management's doing. I like the new car. I like the new attitude. I see a lot of buzz on social media about it. The ratings are obviously a little better, I think that's good. All the signs are pointing in the right direction."
"I think the input the teams had came a long way," he said. "You have an IndyCar that I think is very apropos as to what an IndyCar should look like. Everything that an IndyCar should be, I think that car represents. It's a new look, yet it's a look that people look at and say ‘Hey, that's an IndyCar.' I'm excited about it."
"Obviously, we have to have a good May, and part and parcel is having good weather in May!" he said. "We went through a period when we had so many bad years of weather that it sort of brought things down a little bit. It didn't have the buzz that IndyCar usually has. So, if we have some good weather in May, I think we're going to have a good summer."
Race car drivers love grip, and at this year's Monster Energy All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Saturday, May 20), they will have an option to get more of it, at least after one strategic pit stop.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will offer two different tire set-ups for this year's event - a "Prime" tire combination, which is what Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams will run throughout the two weeks at Charlotte, and one set of an "Option" tire combination, which can be used at any point during the four-stage race.
New 500 Forward Initiative To Accelerate Celebration of 101st Indianapolis 500
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced today a new collaborative community effort, 500 Forward, to elevate and extend celebrations surrounding the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil and the Month of May.
500 Forward consists of 13 partner organizations paired with IMS to execute programming and events that celebrate the Greatest Month in Racing and support worthy civic initiatives through the legacy and appeal of the Indianapolis 500.
As the engines fired, the lightbulbs buzzed - a first for the annual non-points extravaganza. Never before had an all-star race been run under the lights. Dubbed "One Hot Night," the 1992 race signaled a new era, one that became tradition for the fan-favorite event.
And now, 25 years later, past meets present ... as another new era begins with the first all-star race under the Monster Energy banner.
NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway today announced the format for the 2017 Monster Energy All-Star Race, one that rewards winning, and incorporates a fascinating strategy component.
IMSA places Alon on probation IMSA officials have placed driver Robert Alon on probation for the next three IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship events for his role in an incident in turn 11 on the last lap of the April 8 race in Long Beach, Calif.
Alon was determined to have violated Rule 30.6 (unjustifiable risk) of the 2017 IMSA Sporting Regulations & Series Supplementary Regulations for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Video: Q&A with Indy Motor Speedway President Doug Boles (2nd Update) UPDATE Indianapolis 500 race organizers said that they have "already exceeded their ticket sales goal and are making slight tweaks to the event" with fewer than two months to go before the 101st running of the race. IMS President Doug Boles said that this year’s attendance will "easily top" '15's. He added that he will be "disappointed if the figure doesn’t crack 300,000." SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Adam Stern notes that would represent at least a 36% uptick from '15, though it would be an approximately 15% drop from the attendance last year. While not ruling it out, Boles "does not expect to fully sell out the 250,000 seats that comprise IMS’s sprawling grandstands"SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL
Grand Prix Renews Partnership with City of Windsor for 2017
Building on a partnership that showcases a unique “two-nation destination,” the City of Windsor and the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear proudly announced their renewed partnership for 2017 today.
This marks the eighth year that the Grand Prix and the City of Windsor, Ontario, Canada have teamed up to highlight the beauty of the shared Detroit and Windsor waterfronts through three days of racing, entertainment and family fun on Grand Prix weekend at Belle Isle Park.
LaSalle Solutions to be an Associate Sponsor for Rahal
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR) announced today that LaSalle Solutions, a leading provider of technology lifecycle asset management services, will be an associate sponsor of the Honda-powered entry of Graham Rahal at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 13 as well as both Rahal and Oriol Servia at the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28.
Based in Rosemont, Illinois, LaSalle Solutions helps customers simplify and integrate their technology operations to increase efficiency and ROI. LaSalle operates nationally with other offices in California and New York. Their logo will appear on the front wing end plates.
Vettel: Shanghai wasn't good track for Ferrari chassis
Give Vettel a competitive car and he is magic
Speaking to Sport Bild after finishing second in the Chinese Grand Prix, Vettel reflected on the race, "I think that was the optimum. We had bad luck early with the safety car because we could not use the fresh slicks."
"After that it was a good race, it was fun, we can be very satisfied with the result. I look forward to the coming week [in Bahrain], we are really good on a good path."
"We hope this would be a good news for us. We travel to Bahrain without great expectations. Mercedes remains the measure of things, but we were relatively close [in Shanghai] on a circuit that is not ideal for us."
The noose is NBCSN, the lifeless body is that of IndyCar
UPDATE The final TV rating for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach IndyCar race on NBCSN Sunday dropped even further from the overnights to 0.21 with 321,000 total viewers. In the all-important 18-49 year old category only 83,000 were tuned in. The 0.21 final rating represents a drop of 43.2% from 2016. Over 1 million were tuned in for the ABC broadcast of the season opener from St. Petersburg. 100% of IndyCar races must be on Network TV but IndyCar management still doesn't understand this simple concept. Can't blame the Masters because their ratings were their lowest in a decade so IndyCar fans were not watching golf.
Long Beach Grand Prix, new events get fans' applause
Honorary starter Mickey Mouse
The 43rd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach didn’t put TV stars and pro athletes behind the wheel this year -- but did provide the colorful sights and high-decibel sounds of vintage race cars and an all-star rock concert writes Andrew Edwards of the Long Beach Press Telegram.
Those new attractions -- combined with yet another year of rain-free racing -- left the Grand Prix’s lead organizer pleased with the result.
Sam Bass looking to have kidney transplant Sam Bass, the affable artist who designed some of NASCAR's most iconic cars and program covers, announced Sunday morning that he is starting dialysis and needs a kidney transplant.
Bass, who created the design for Jeff Gordon's rainbow #24 car, has Type 1 diabetes. In 2008, Bass lost the lower portion of his left leg. In 2014, a blood infection led to septic shock and he needed four surgeries within three weeks to survive.
Video: Ready, Set, Race - Porsche Vs. Toyota With the 2017 WEC season almost upon us, all eyes will be on Porsche & Toyota, whose rivalry in the LMP1 class is set to intensify as the teams prepare to do battle on track at Silverstone this weekend. Mobil 1 The Grid met the runners & riders at the official pre-season test – the 2017 World Endurance Championship Prologue, from Italy’s famous Autodromo Monza. Toyota’s Anthony Davison, Sebastien Google and Jose Maria Lopez, and Porsche’s Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer all feature.
Daly Celebrates Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix with the Detroit Tigers
A rising young American star of the Verizon IndyCar Series will be the guest of honor for Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear Day Tuesday when the Detroit Tigers host the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park starting at 1:10 pm.
Conor Daly, driver of the No. 4 ABC Supply Co. Chevrolet for A.J. Foyt Racing, will be honored before the game as he will be featured in a video introduction before he throws out the ceremonial first pitch. Daly will also have the opportunity to meet with a current Tigers player on the field before the game and swap jerseys for a unique photo opportunity prior to the first pitch. Daly will participate in a Detroit media tour Tuesday morning to promote the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, June 2-4 on Belle Isle Park.
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