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Busch wins for Busch at Richmond  
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota, crosses the finish line ahead of Denny Hamlin, in the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota
Getty Images for NASCAR
By the thinnest of margins, in a breathtaking finish that featured two cars sideways and side-by-side at the finish line, Kurt Busch beat Denny Hamlin to the checkered flag by .062 seconds to win Friday night's Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway.

Busch delivered the first-ever Nationwide Series victory to the team owned by his brother, Kyle Busch. The win was Busch's fourth in the series and his first on a short track. Hamlin came up two feet short after a phenomenal drive from the rear of the field after a pit road mistake.

Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick ran third, followed by defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Sam Hornish Jr. Elliott Sadler finished sixth to cling to the series points lead by two points over Stenhouse. More ...

Patrick Long (Weber photo)Patrick Long Takes Pirelli World Challenge GT Pole  
Patrick Long, of Belleaire, Fla., grabbed the Pirelli World Challenge pole in the GT class on Friday at Miller Motorsports Park with a flying lap late in the session to start the Privacy Star Utah Grand Prix Presented by Bondurant from the lead position. Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., extended his series career best pole record to 47 with the top time in the GTS class.

Long waited until there was a gap in traffic around the 14-turn, 3.048-mile Outer Course configuration and laid down a lap of 1:50.834 (99.002 mph) in his No. 1 Privacy Star/Entrust/Truspeed Porsche 911 GT3.

The defending GT Drivers’ Champion is piloting the car normally driven by Lawson Aschenbach, who is missing the Round Four race for a prior commitment. More ...

David Donohue leads Grand Prix of Miami Practice Day  
David Donohue
It took David Donohue only two laps to post the quickest time in the first of two GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series practice sessions on Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway and that time held up as the fastest of the day in preparation for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Miami (SPEED, Live, April 29, 1 p.m. ET).

Donohue turned a best lap at 111.646 mph (1:14.163) on the 2.3-mile course in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP.

“We tried to go quick today,” Donohue said. “Our main goal was to see how the tire plays out. Having a good car on old tires is going to be the key here, although having fresh tires – if there’s a late-race caution – could be a game changer.” More ...

96th Indy 500 Notebook  Race fans can purchase Bronze Badge credentials for the 96th Indianapolis 500 now at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Credential Office.

Each Bronze Badge is only $100 and grants gate admission and Gasoline Alley garage access from Opening Day, Saturday, May 12 through Saturday, May 26. The badge is not valid on Race Day, Sunday, May 27.

The Bronze Badge provides garage access and a great value, a $40 savings over regular gate admission.

Bronze Badges are non-transferable, and individuals must be at least 18 years old to purchase and use the pass. The Credential Office is located on the first floor of the IMS Administration Building at the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Road in Indianapolis. More ...

Harvick on pole for Richmond Nationwide race  
Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick edged fellow Sprint Cup Series competitor and Virginia-native Denny Hamlin in Friday's qualifying to take the pole for the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

Harvick turned a lap at 124.625 mph, which was only 0.003 seconds faster than Hamlin's qualifying lap. He earned his 24th career Nationwide pole, including his second at this 0.75-mile racetrack.

Hamlin, who hails from nearby Chesterfield, is the defending race winner. More ...

Pedrosa fastest under difficult weather conditions in Jerez  The Grand Prix of Spain, second round of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship, got under way at Jerez circuit today with Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, who makes his 100th premier class start on Sunday ,leading the time sheets with a fastest lap of 1'50.780.

The first day of practice was affected by sporadic rain. The riders didn't get out on track in the morning session and they started working with the wet set up in the afternoon to prepare the first European race that is expected, and most likely to be under rain conditions. More ...
Busy Barrichello feels at home entering fourth race  
Rubens Barrichello
Rubens Barrichello appears comfortable on stage, answering questions from mainly Brazilian media alongside compatriots Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves and Ana Beatriz.

Really, why shouldn't he comfortable? He's competing in his hometown for the first time in the IZOD IndyCar Series on a street circuit that will be packed April 29 with spectators chanting his name and waving flags. He's been in the country for the past 10 days, getting more TV time than President Dilma Rousseff while working off a 30-plus-page document of his appearance schedule. He's loved (most of) it. More ...

Shell To Sponsor Legends Day at Indy Honoring Roger Penske  Shell will serve as the presenting sponsor when Roger Penske, the most winning team owner in Indianapolis 500 history, is saluted for his remarkable career during Legends Day Honoring Roger Penske Presented by Shell on Saturday, May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).

As part of the sponsorship, Shell will provide fans with the opportunity to receive a free ticket voucher to the event with a minimum $10 purchase at participating Shell stations on c-store offerings, fuel, or a combination of both including Shell V-Power, the No. 1 premium gasoline brand in America. Fans can bring their receipt to the station cashier to receive their ticket voucher, which can be redeemed at the IMS Ticket Office with the purchase of one General Admission ticket. More ...

NASCAR Kansas TV Rating down 17%  UPDATE FOX posted a 4.3/10 (6.8 million viewers) on Sunday for the STP 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race from Kansas Speedway. Though that’s down -17% from last year’s 5.2/13 (9.0 million) for the race from Talladega, it’s up +10% over last year’s 3.9/10 (6.3 million) Kansas race which aired later in the season [June 6, 2011]. Sunday's 4.3/10 also ranked as the highest-rated and most-watched event of the weekend. Through eight races, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 5.2/11 (8.6 million viewers).

04/23/12 Fox earned a 3.7 overnight for coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup STP 400 yesterday. Last year the race aired in early June, earning a 3.8 overnight.
Valsecchi steals the show in Sakhir  
Davide Valsecchi
It was a hat trick for DAMS’s Davide Valsecchi: the mighty Italian pocketed his third win in a row in today’s Feature Race at Bahrain International Circuit. Starting from P2 on the grid, Valsecchi stole the lead from poleman Giedo van der Garde before the compulsory pitstop and kept it until the checkered flag. Fabio Leimer ended up second for his first podium finish of the season ahead of van der Garde.

The Dutchman from Caterham Racing made a good start from pole and kept Valsecchi and Leimer at bay at Turn 1. Behind the trio, Marcus Ericsson stormed to P4 from ninth on the grid and sat ahead of Luiz Razia and Rio Haryanto. Van der Garde tried to pull away but was soon struggling with tire wear giving Valsecchi the opportunity to close the gap and take the lead on Lap 8. Whilst the Italian dashed  off at the front, Leimer was also able to catch up with van der Garde who was powerless and gave way to the Swiss. All cars at the front pitted early, Valsecchi on Lap 11 along with Leimer and Ericsson, van der Garde a lap earlier. The Swiss slowly closed in on Valsecchi who, in turn, clocked in a series of fast laps putting him safely out of reach. More ...
Honda wins turbo decision and appeal, Chevy response  UPDATE #2 This morning Honda issued this press statement:  We are gratified that an independent panel has upheld INDYCAR's ruling of April 18, 2012, which approved use of the 0.74 A/R compressor cover for single-turbocharged engines competing in this year's IZOD IndyCar Series. INDYCAR committed well in advance of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season to structure engine regulations that would ensure parity in turbocharger performance for both single and twin turbo configurations, and this commitment played a significant role in our decision to adopt a single turbocharger configuration for the new HI12RT Honda Indy V-6.

The new compressor cover helps to offset the performance disadvantage of the current IndyCar single turbo hardware as measured by INDYCAR's turbo supplier.  This correction was designed and provided by the turbo supplier under the direction of IndyCar and was approved prior to the 2012 season.

We look forward to deploying the new compressor cover to optimize performance of the Honda Indy V-6, as we continue to do battle with our worthy adversaries from Lotus and General Motors. More ...

Bacheta leads the way in opening Portimao practice  
Luciano Bacheta
British driver Luciano Bacheta set the pace during today's (Friday) first Formula Two free practice session at a wet Portimao circuit in Algarve, Portugal.

The 22-year-old posted a best time of 1:39.325s to edge out nearest rival and fellow countryman Dino Zamparelli by just 0.192s with Markus Pommer in third. 2011 F2 runner-up Christopher Zanella finished fourth after setting the early pace with Polish driver Kevin Mirocha completing the top five.

The morning's rain continued to fall as the 45-minute session got underway with Zanella, Bacheta, Pommer and Swiss teenager Matheo Tuscher all looking quick. More ...

NASCAR TV Talk Heats Up  As the Sprint Cup Series heads toward the beautiful Richmond International Raceway, the talk about the TV coverage of the sport is heating up. Things got very interesting this week on Twitter.

It started innocently enough late Sunday night with these Darrell Waltrip posts:

"If you watched our telecast today I hope you enjoyed the coverage, thought we did a really good job of finding the action all over the track."

"The Digger shots were amazing, I bet he has a headache after today's race, this was another record setting day, fastest race at Kansas."

"Our entire team, director, producer, pit reporters, worked hard today to be sure we didn't leave anything on the table, emptied the bucket!" More ...

Castroneves praises work of new race director Beaux Barfield  
Everyone us happy with Barfield (2nd from left).  Here he stands with his handpicked race stewards
Helio Castroneves  is happy with Beaux Barfield's job as IndyCar's new race director despite disagreeing with the penalty he received after the Long Beach race.

Castroneves said Thursday that Barfield is doing a better job than former director Brian Barnhart, with whom the three-time Indy 500 winner had a few spats.

The Brazilian driver said ahead of the Sao Paulo 300 on Sunday that Barfield is letting the "races flow" this year and drivers like it. More ...

Herta team happy to shed Lotus  
Alex Tagliani now happy to shed Lotus
Alex Tagliani won't be racing in this weekend's Izod IndyCar Series event in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but he's had an uplifting week.

When Bryan Herta Autosport was confirmed to leave the struggling Lotus engine program, Tagliani suddenly got an adrenaline rush for next month's Indianapolis 500.

"The good news is, I'm going to have a shot at the pole again," he said. More ...

Giedo van der Garde flies to Sakhir pole  
Giedo van der Garde signals he's #1
Giedo van der Garde is a happy man: the Caterham Racing driver claimed today’s pole position at the Bahrain International Circuit in 1:42.451, one tenth quicker than Davide Valsecchi. Fabio Leimer took P3 in an thrilling qualifying session.

Esteban Gutiérrez was the first driver to take to the track in the session in Sakhir. He set the early pace with a 1:43.213, but Series leader Valsecchi on Prime Pirelli tires claimed P1 after a stellar lap that saw him set the quickest times in sectors 2 and 3. The Italian’s rival Luiz Razia also improved and moved up to P2, two tenths behind Valsecchi. More ...
track news
SMI ignores fans and repaves anyway  
Bristol getting rid of progressive banking
While the signs at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday blared “FANS SPOKE … WE LISTENED,” many fans and drivers asked track officials not to make any changes to the racing surface.

So while track officials might have listened, they ultimately decided to make changes to the track even though 60 percent of the fans it surveyed asked them not to change it.

Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., the track’s parent company, announced Wednesday that the top groove in the turns of the 0.533-mile track will undergo grinding to take away some of the banking, making it more difficult to race in the top groove. More ...

Max Chilton sets the pace in Sakhir practice 1  
Max Chilton
One week following the second round of the 2012 GP2 Series season, the thirteen teams remained in Bahrain for a standalone round 3. Max Chilton set the fastest lap time of free practice this morning in 1:42.136, three tenths quicker than Series leader Davide Valsecchi. Rival Luiz Razia ended up in P3.

Both Scuderia Coloni cars were the first ones onto feed the track as the session opened in high temperatures at the Bahrain International Circuit. It was a quiet first fifteen minutes with only nine cars on track. Both Lotus GP drivers chose to do only one installation lap and sit out for the remainder of the session.

Giedo van der Garde set the early pace, but his lap time was soon improved by seven tenths by Chilton. His Carlin teammate Rio Haryanto moved up to P2, but remained six tenths behind the Brit. By mid-session, Valsecchi moved up to P3 ahead of Haryanto, van der Garde, Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson. More ...
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  
  • Fabiana Flosi and Bernie Ecclestone
    Button not keen to test at Mugello next week
  • Pirelli getting credit and blame for unbalance of power
  • 'Tactical' retirements for gearbox rule gain - report
  • Alguersuari ended Lotus seat talks last November
  • Ecclestone to marry Fabiana Flosi
  • Hamilton will not drive in Mugello test

Button not keen to test at Mugello next week
(GMM)  Jenson Button has admitted he sees no point to changing McLaren's Mugello test program next week.

After the British team struggled for pace on Pirelli's complex tires last weekend in Bahrain, Button's teammate Hamilton admitted he wanted to test at Mugello. More ...

Nationwide teams have bumper covers confiscated  All three Richard Childress Racing teams and all three Turner Motorsports teams replaced the upper front bumper covers on their Nationwide Series cars Thursday after NASCAR confiscated modified bumper covers during inspection.

Nationwide teams went through inspection Thursday at Richmond International Raceway to prepare for practice Friday morning and the race Friday night.

Any penalties will be announced next week. No crew members were ejected from the track. More ...

Servia, Franchitti carry new liveries in Brazil  UPDATE
Oriol Servia will carry the WIX Filters livery for this weekend's Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle. WIX, whose filtration products have become a staple in auto racing, has been an associate partner on Lotus DRR's entries since the 2011 season and served as primary sponsor of Paul Tracy's DRR entry in the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500.

"Our international races are great for our partners and with WIX's international presence in the marketplace it's nice for them to take advantage of events like these," said Robbie Buhl, Lotus DRR co-owner.

Dario Franchitti will carry a Lexar Media livery on his No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda in Sao Paulo as part of a two-race sponsorship deal.

The No.10 Lexar Honda will also run at the Baltimore Grand Prix. More ...

Sao Paulo tire specs announced by Firestone  
IZOD IndyCar Series - Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300
Anhembi Sambodrome and Streets of São Paulo, Brazil
April 28-29, 2012 - Round 4 of 16
Race Distance: 190.2 miles/306.08 km (75 laps on the 2.536-mile/4.081-km, 11-turn temporary street circuit).

Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied:
- Primary (black-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 644, each entry receives five sets (20 total tires);

- Alternate (red-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 342, each entry receives three sets (12 total tires);

- Wet-condition (rain) tires with grooved tread pattern: 332, each entry has five sets of the street-course rain tire available this weekend. More ...

Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Welcomes new Sponsor  Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) competes in one of the most competitive and technologically advanced racing series in the world – the IZOD IndyCar Series. Racing and winning over the competition requires high endurance and performance products.

As an official SFHR sponsor and technical partner, Quaker Chemical Corporation seeks to create proprietary greases and lubricants specifically engineered to combat the forces of friction, heat and wear for the unique demands of the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Team – including in the car driven by Josef Newgarden in the IndyCar Series and in the car to be driven by Bryan Clauson in the Indy 500. More ...

Coastal Contacts Inc. Partners with Sam Schmidt Motorsports in Brazil  Performance has been key for the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports entry driven by Simon Pagenaud, currently third in points, after three rounds of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar season.

That kind of performance does not go unnoticed….especially to the keen eyes at the planet's biggest online eyewear company.

Canadian-based Coastal Contacts Inc., (www.Coastal.com) announced today a partnership with Sam Schmidt Motorsports to become the primary sponsor for the team’s entry in the upcoming IndyCar race in Sao Paulo, Brazil on April 29, 2012. The No. 77 Coastal.com/Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Dallara/Honda/Firestone car will be driven by Frenchman Pagenaud, who is also leading the Rookie of the Year standings. More ...

IndyCar sets turbo protest hearing date  UPDATE INDYCAR, the sanctioning body for the IZOD IndyCar Series, announced that Hans Peter Kollmeier, Jack Snyder and Jim Voyles are serving as the three-person panel hearing the April 26 proceedings for a protest filed by General Motors regarding INDYCAR’s April 18 decision to approve the use of a 0.71 A/R compressor cover for the single turbocharger.

The panel consists of:

• Hans Peter Kollmeier, former head of the Engine and Powertrain development department at Mercedes-Benz Motorsport in Stuttgart, Germany
• Jack Snyder, attorney and member of the Board of Directors for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
• Jim Voyles, partner at the law firm of Voyles Zahn & Paul More ...

Graham Rahal offers Bus Packages for Milwaukee IndyFest  Graham Rahal, a second-generation star of the IZOD IndyCar Series and driver of the Service Central No. 38 car for Chip Ganassi Racing, is offering race fans two exclusive tour bus packages from Indianapolis to the Milwaukee IndyFest, June 15 and 16 at the Milwaukee Mile.

Each package includes transportation from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to the Milwaukee IndyFest, a reserved seat for Saturday's 225-lap IndyCar race, a paddock pass to access the garage area and more. The packages can be purchased from the Milwaukee IndyFest website at www.MilwaukeeIndyFest.com or the Wisconsin State Fair Park box office at 414-266-7100. More ...
racing news
RRDC Evening with Jim Hall video  Video coverage of the RRDC Evening with Jim Hall presented by Firestone, with support from Honda and Chevrolet, that was held on April 12 before the running of the 2012 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.), is now available below.

Included is the masterful tribute to Jim Hall written and voiced by Road Racing Drivers Club member Sam Posey, and produced by RRDC member Tom Davey. As RRDC president Bobby Rahal said, “It was a magical evening.”.

Video: FIA tests forward roll-hoop for F1 cars  UPDATE (GMM)  F1's governing body is looking into mandating 'forward roll-hoops' to boost driver safety.

The innovation would be to prevent the kind of incidents that, in 2009, seriously injured Felipe Massa, and killed the young F2 racer Henry Surtees.

The FIA tested the roll-hoop at an airfield in Suffolk, England; firing a formula one wheel at 225kph at a F1 helmet that sat behind the titanium roll-hoop, which was designed and supplied by the Lotus team.

F1's governing body has previously tested jet fighter-style canopies and windshields, and now the forward roll-hoop, theoretically to be fitted on the front edge of the cockpit opening.

"The roll-hoop basically did a very good job," said the FIA Institute’s technical advisor Andy Mellor. More ...

Sauber confirms line-up for Mugello test  Sauber has confirmed to GPUpdate.net next week’s line-up for Mugello, which is hosting the first in-season test for Formula 1 race drivers since the 2008 season.

With proceedings beginning on Tuesday, Kamui Kobayashi will be in the car and remain for Wednesday, before Sergio Perez steps in for a single day on Thursday.

The action will take place between 9am and 6pm (BST +2) on the three days, with an hour-long lunch break meaning the red light comes on at one o’clock. More ...

Speeds expected to be up at Pocono after repave  Expect the track record at newly repaved Pocono Raceway to fall when the Sprint Cup Series returns in June, according to the drivers involved in this week's Goodyear tire testing at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. But it's not necessarily the same reason why Michigan International Speedway proved lightning quick when cars had the chance to check out that facility's new asphalt surface. At Michigan, cars reached 215 mph at the end of the straightaways, carrying more straight line speed. On Wednesday, #1-Jamie McMurray was making the biggest gains in speed in Pocono's three long, flat corners. #5-Kasey Kahne was running consistent lap speeds more than 2 mph faster than Kahne's Cup qualifying record of 172.533 mph set in June 2004. And that was without all the little tricks used to squeeze every ounce of speed out of the car in qualifying trim. A lot of that had to do with optimal weather conditions during the tire test. Cool temperatures make more horsepower, and the thermometer was struggling to break the 50-degree mark on Wednesday. Plus, the new surface has a tremendous amount of grip, according to Kahne. NASCAR.com
NASCAR fans only watch for the wrecks  
In NASCAR wrecking is racing
Stick-and-ball sports fans often share the same question about NASCAR: What’s the big deal?

Why are so many fans attracted to a sport in which drivers seemingly spend hours racing around in circles?

The answer is simple, yet one most NASCAR fans—and competitors—don’t like to admit: They love to see racecar drivers wreck.

It’s not just the speed or the daring or the remarkable skill that it takes to drive a 3,400-pound stock car at 200 mph. More ...

Official IndyCar Game Announced by SimRaceWay  There hasn’t been a lot of sim racing community love for SimRaceWay and Ignite GT in recent years but today’s news might change that with immediate effect as the San Francisco based developer goes Indy! Ignite GT has announced an official IndyCar game, via the press release below, featuring all the cars and tracks of the popular American open wheeler series.

Ignite Game Technologies and INDYCAR today announced the Silicon Valley-based video game company will develop the next official INDYCAR game and release it on its online racing platform, Simraceway. More ...

Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar Set to Debut on Streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil  
Last year's race was wet
Next on the schedule for the Chevrolet V-6 powered teams in the IZOD IndyCar Series is the São Paulo Indy 300 on the Streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil; a 2.536-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit. As has been the case for the first three events of the season, it will be the first appearance in Brazil for the 2.2 liter, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected purpose-built Chevrolet racing engine powered by renewable E85 ethanol fuel. 

After a well-organized journey of over 5,000 miles, the Bowtie teams and drivers will face a circuit that presents a set of circumstances unlike any other. The engineers from Chevrolet and its partners have been working tirelessly with our team engineers in preparation for a successful trip to South America. More ...

Wood Brother’s Winning Daytona Car Finds its Place in Henry Ford Museum  
The 2011 Daytona 500 winning car now rests in the Henry Ford Museum
Wood Brothers Racing and Trevor Bayne brought Roush Yates' FR9 engine to Victory Lane in one of the sport's most memorable Daytona 500 races just over one year ago. Now Bayne, along with Eddie, Len, Jordan, Jon, and Kevin Wood have officially turned over the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

The Wood Brothers Racing car was inducted on March 23, 2012 into the "Driving America" exhibit next to the Indy 500-winning Lotus that cruised to victory in 1965 behind the quick pit stops designed by Wood Brothers Racing, and Sweepstakes, the car that Henry Ford himself drove to victory against Alexander Winton on Oct. 19, 1901. More ...

Red Bull not ready to resume F1 dominance  
How often will we see Vettel display the single digit signifying he is #1 after an F1 race this year?
(GMM)  Red Bull has poured cold water on expectations the reigning back to back world champions could be set to resume their reign over formula one.

After a victory drought spanning the opening three races of the 2012 season, Red Bull broke through with Sebastian Vettel's familiar win-from-pole triumph in Bahrain last weekend.

It means he has leapt to the top of the drivers' standings, while the Milton Keynes based team is now 9 points clear of its nearest rival, McLaren.

"King Sebastian is back!" exclaimed the authoritative Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport after Bahrain.

"Vettel and Red Bull dominated like old times. More ...

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