Torrence, Hagan, Anderson, Krawiec Top Friday Qualifying at zMax
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) topped Friday’s qualifying session for Sunday’s seventh-annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway in Concord N.C.
Rain showers limited Friday’s qualifying to just a single afternoon session, where Hagan blasted to the top of the speed charts with a record-breaking run of 323.50 mph in 3.941 seconds to reset both the track speed and ET records.
Torrence ran a 3.736 at 326.48 mph for the provisional pole in Top Fuel while local favorite Greg Anderson rocketed to the top of the ladder in Pro Stock with a run of 6.577 at 209.65 mph. Eddie Krawiec led the Pro Stock Motorcycle division turning in a run of 6.818 at 192.85 mph.
Qualifying continues with two sessions scheduled for Saturday, following by final eliminations on Sunday starting at noon.
Qualifying for Sunday’s Toyota Owner’s 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway has been cancelled due to inclement weather.
The starting grid has been set per the provisions in the NASCAR rulebook. Starting positions are based on the times from the first practice session held on Friday for 400-laps/300-miles of racing at the 0.75-mile track.
2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and three-time Richmond winner, Kevin Harvick, piloting the No. 4 Busch Light Chevrolet SS, will start from the top spot as he posted a quick lap of 20.919 seconds/129.069 mph in the first practice session. This will be the second time in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career that Harvick will lead the field to the green flag at Richmond.
Thunderstorms moved through Barber Motorsports park in early afternoon. The downtime between sessions provided an opportunity to admire various sculptures around the track - you might say that, here at Barber, animals strike curious poses.
IndyCar practice started at 4 pm. We still have not used the new rain tire on any track since it was redesigned last year. Afternoon practice started on a damp track but dry tires were in order. Everyone is so close together and tires make a big difference here. It depends how many sets of new tires you will have for qualifying and the race, so saving tires was the order of the day today.
Both of the AJ Foyt racing cars are on the top of the timing chart. Sato and Hawksworth are both seasoned road course drivers and it really showed today. Hawksworth loves this course because it really shows what the IndyCar can do.
The interesting thing will be qualifying tomorrow. Will the Hondas make the first few positions on the timing charts? Or will the Chevys continue their run for the pole position?
Thompson wins U.S. F2000 race at Barber Second-year driver Parker Thompson blitzed the field today in the first of two races which will comprise the Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix of Alabama this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. Thompson, 18, from Red Deer, Alb., Canada, led throughout the 22-lap race en route to a long overdue maiden victory in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, the first level on the Mazda Road to Indy open-wheel development ladder.
Brazilian Victor Franzoni (ArmsUp Motorsports) and Thompson’s teammate, outside front row qualifier Anthony Martin, from Australia, completed the podium following an all-green 30-minute race.
Cooper Paces Pirelli World Challenge GT Division Friday at Barber
Michael Cooper posted the fastest time in Friday afternoon’s second 30-minute Pirelli World Challenge GT, GTA, and GT Cup practice session at Barber Motorsports Park, at the Grand Prix of Birmingham presented by Porsche, part of the 7th annual Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Martin Fuentes and Alec Udell posted the fastest times in GTA and GT Cup respectively.
The session was held in sunny 75 degree weather conditions. Cooper, driving the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R. posted a 1:23.831 ahead of Andrew Davis, in the No. 76 Calvert Dynamics Phoenix Performance Porsche 911 GT3 R who posted a 1:23.864. Adderly Fong, driving the No. 88 Bentley Team Absolute Bentley Continental GT3 posted the third fastest time with a 1:23.920.
Who would have thought Hondas would run 1-2-3 in IndyCar practice at Barber Motorsports Park Friday but that is just what they did. And even more surprising, it was Foyt Racing, who are known more for their oval track prowess, ran 1-2, led by Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth. Sato and Hawksworth are both seasoned road course drivers. Hawksworth loves this course because it really shows what the IndyCar can do on a natural terrain road course.
James Hinchcliffe (Honda) was third just 0.03 sec off fast time.
Carpentier joins Go Fas for Sonoma and Indy Go Fas Racing announced that Patrick Carpentier will pilot the No. 32 Can-Am, Kappa, Cyclops Ford Fusion at Sonoma Raceway in June, and at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July. Carpentier has 40 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from 2007-2011. The Ville LaSalle, Quebec, native has two NSCS starts at Sonoma with a best finish of 11th in 2009, and one start at Indianapolis where he finished 18th.
"Even if I say that I'm retired, I could not miss the opportunity to drive in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, especially on circuits as interesting as those of Sonoma and Indianapolis," Carpentier said. "I'm really happy to wear the colors of Can-Am, Kappa and Cyclops Gear because I love to use their products."
VW posts $4.6 billion 2015 operating loss on emissions-cheating Volkswagen Group today said it had a 4.1 billion euros ($4.61 billion) operating loss for 2015 as the company took a 16.2 billion euros hit to pay for its diesel emissions test-rigging scandal.
"The current crisis is having a huge impact on Volkswagen’s financial position," CEO Matthias Mueller said in a statement, adding that the "repercussions of the emissions issue are now quantifiable."
Mahindra, Pininfarina unveil Formula E concept designs w/closed cockpit PARIS – Mahindra Racing has teamed up with Italian automotive design firm Pininfarina to offer a glimpse of what Formula E’s future may look like with a set of concept cars. Formula 1 has recently been going through a period of evaluating its future image, with McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari all designing concept cars.
Formula E announced earlier this year that it was looking for a single chassis provider for season five, issuing a call for an expression of interest.
In response to this, Mahindra and Pininfarina have unveiled a set of radical designs earlier this week ahead of Saturday’s Paris ePrix.
Daytona-based Motorsports Hall of Fame nabs $2.5 million grant
Daytona One rendering
The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, which will soon make its home at Daytona International Speedway, has received a $2.5 million grant to fund the construction of a theater in the facility.
The Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation, based in Los Angeles, is providing the grant money to the hall. The museum will be located in the facility which once housed the Daytona 500 Experience, currently called the Ticket and Tours Building.
Pocono Raceway, Penn State Working To Eliminate Waste
LONG POND, Pa. – The goals for Pocono Raceway are set extremely high, especially when it goes to green initiatives.
That’s why the 2.5-mile raceway has partnered with Penn State University.
Pocono Raceway President & CEO Brandon Igdalsky started a project last year with Penn State to make the raceway a “near zero waste” facility. Meaning that a majority of the waste produced during Pocono’s operating season will be diverted from landfills.
VISA To Power Formula E Gaming Visa has teamed up with the FIA Formula E Championship to deliver a world-leading partnership in eSports. The world’s first all-electric racing series has been blazing a trail for eSports in motor racing, running the Race Off series – where two Formula E stars race head-to-head and against members of the public, the Race Off Pro Series – where leading gamers compete in time trials ahead of each ePrix for the opportunity to race at the championship finale in London, and the eRace - where nine Formula E stars and one member of the public compete in simulators in the eVillage ahead of each ePrix.
An AR1 Reader has some strong words for Mr. Ecclestone
(Editor's note: The letter below is from an AR1 reader regarding Bernie Ecclestone's recent comments about the possibility of a female driver in Formula One. The longtime commercial chief recently said he did not believe women were strong enough to compete in the pinnacle of motorsport.)
Mr. Ecclestone is absolutely correct when suggesting it will be almost impossible for a woman to get into F1; but that will not be for lack of ability, or strength, or talent, or competitiveness, or because she should really be just an appliance in the kitchen!
The problem is that no major sponsor will risk investing in getting a woman into an F1 car because of all the perceived issues Bernie keeps re-articulating. And in a world where money is everything, unless the woman is Ivanka Trump, she has no chance of moving all the way up the ranks thanks to the huge costs involved and the prejudice inherent at every level of the sport.
IndyCar: Morning update from Barber Good morning from the lush, greenery of Birmingham, Alabama. Such a contrast from Southern California Palm trees and sunshine. It is party cloudy and dry at the moment but thunderstorms are expected this afternoon.
Rules seemed to be the hot topic in Long Beach. Some drivers showed disappointment over the Q3 qualifying time after Will Power caused the red flag. Then the racing incident with the blend line upset Scott Dixon, who said what he needed to say in the post race press conference and then moved on. We have heard that the 3 Stewards got together after Long Beach and reviewed their calls to see if they can improve their process.
Video: 2016 Baku European GP Preview Just a few weeks away from the first Grand Prix of Europe in Azerbaijan, heartbeats rise in Baku. Fans are thrilled with anticipation, and the road workers are breaking a sweat due to time pressure. Final sprint in Baku, but the city has done it's homework and is ready for F1's initial run. Comment
Stewart to return, granted Chase waiver by NASCAR (2nd Update) UPDATE #2
Tony Stewart has been granted a Chase waiver, but he will still have a lot of work to do if he intends to make it into NASCAR's post-season. In a statement from Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer:
"NASCAR received the appropriate medical clearance documentation allowing Tony Stewart to resume normal racing activities. We also have granted the request from Stewart-Haas Racing for a waiver for Tony to be eligible to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. As he begins his final season, we wish Tony the best of luck."
Stewart will still have to get himself a race win and reach the Top 30 in the driver's championship standings in order to make the Chase itself. He currently has 112 points to make up to reach 30th (Matt DiBenedetto) and 18 races to do it.
IndyCar announces competition rules, procedural changes Three incidents that occurred at last week’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach have prompted IndyCar to announce changes to add clarity and better serve both its drivers and the fans. INDYCAR announced the following rules and procedures changes effective at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park from April 22-24:
Segment 3 of road/street course qualifying (the Firestone Fast Six) shall consist of six minutes of guaranteed green-flag time (Rule 126.96.36.199 of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Rule Book). The timing clock stops during any red-flag situation. If a red flag occurs near the end of the session and the remaining time is not enough for entrants to complete a timed lap, all entrants will be given an opportunity to complete one timed lap when green-flag conditions return. In order to receive the one guaranteed lap, cars must leave pit lane within 30 seconds of the green being called. Previously, the rule called for Segment 3 to run for 10 minutes, with five minutes of guaranteed green-flag time.
Danica Patrick see-through on Sports Illustrated Website Sports Illustrated's Swim Daily website posted a "Throwback Thursday" gallery featuring pictures of Danica Patrick from 2008. Buried within the gallery was an old selfie of Patrick, one that featured an unremarkable amount of nipple. The picture went unremarked upon until TMZ spotted it, prompting SI to pull the picture from the site. This is all noteworthy for one reason: you can still see Danica Patrick's nipple on Swim Daily. Here is another:
Video: The Battle of the Red Bulls. The RB7 and RB8 at Catalunya David Coulthard joins Dany and Daniel as they go head to head around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya circuit, in a pair of RB7's for their boys and an RB8 for their old boy. Comment
Honorary Starter, Grand Marshal Announced for the GEICO 500
Senior Airman Maxime V. Copley (Left), Aerospace Medical Services Technician, from Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, will serve as the Honorary Starter for the GEICO 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday, May 1, while Master Sergeant Larry D. Nix (Right), also of the Maxwell Air Force Base, will serve as the race’s Grand Marshal
Talladega Superspeedway announced today the Grand Marshal and Honorary Starter for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 on Sunday, May 1.
Master Sergeant Larry D. Nix, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, will serve as the Grand Marshal and give the most famous words in motorsports, “Drivers, Start Your Engines,” bookending pre-race ceremonies at the 2.66-mile superspeedway. Bringing 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers to the green flag as Honorary Starter will be Aerospace Medical Services Technician Senior Airman Maxime V. Copley, also from the Maxwell Air Force Base.
MSgt Nix is currently responsible for the training of 1,700 students annually that are commissioned in the Chaplain, Healthcare and JAG Corps. MSgt Nix enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1998. In addition to being awarded the Bronze Star, MSgt Nix has acquired numerous prestigious decorations and awards including: Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with One Silver Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal and Air Force Achievement Medal with Three Oak Leaf Clusters.
NASCAR's Winningest Owner 'Honored' by NASCAR Hall of Fame Nomination
In 1988 Jack Roush ventured into the unknown territory of NASCAR racing, starting a single car team out of Liberty, N.C. His No. 6 Ford Thunderbird lasted only 19 laps in its Daytona 500 debut that year. Twenty-nine years later, Jack Roush stands as the winningest owner in NASCAR history, having taken his Fords to victory lane on 322 occasions in NASCAR competition and having lifted NASCAR season championship trophies on eight occasions. For his efforts, contributions and accomplishments, he has been nominated for the 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame class.
"I'm extremely honored to be in this exclusive group," said Roush. "It wouldn't have happened without the support of the teams that we've had through the decades and all the people who have made this success possible.
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