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DATE News (chronologically)
05/03/13
irl

Old National To Sponsor Armed Forces Bump Day At IMS
Old National Bank has been named the title partner of the annual Armed Forces Bump Day on Sunday, May 19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the 97th Indianapolis 500, Old National and IMS officials announced May 3.

Old National Armed Forces Bump Day is the final day of qualifying for "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." All active members of the military in uniform or who show military identification at the gate will be admitted free.

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05/03/13
irl

Sato logs miles to get to Sao Paulo
A.J. Foyt Racing's Takuma Sato flew 12,900 air miles (20,760km) this week to get to Brazil from Tokyo, where he went following his win at Long Beach. He won't return to Japan until summer.

Sato attended a victory press conference in his home country and said becoming the first Japanese driver to win an Indy car race has raised the profile of the series in Japan.

But now, Sato has a new goal: "The championship is my target now that I have won a race," he said. "The series is so competitive and consistency is the key. Every weekend you need to be best of the best."

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05/03/13
irl

Power hopes to maintain dominance in Sao Paulo
Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay joked that Will Power has at least two trophies bigger than the two he's earned for finishing second in the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300.

"Actually, I have all of them," Power quipped.

The Team Penske driver is the only IZOD IndyCar Series competitor to win on the streets of Sao Paulo, after winning the races in 2010-12.  He enters this year's race eighth in the championship with a best finish of fifth at Barber Motorsports Park last month.

"The first three races have been interesting," Power said in the event's pre-race press conference. "We've had the pace this year, but haven't been able to put it together. I've had some success here at this track, but the competition will be tight. It will be tough to get a good result this weekend."

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05/03/13
irl
nassprint

NASCAR Champ Busch To Test IZOD IndyCar Series Car
Kurt Busch previously tested a Rahal Champ Car at Sebring years ago
After two days of testing the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup car this week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kurt Busch left the track knowing he was going to get more seat time at the famed oval before the Crown Royal presents the "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard in July. But this time, the additional seat time will be behind the wheel an IZOD IndyCar Series car.

2004 Sprint Cup Series champion Busch will test a Chevrolet-powered Andretti Autosport Indy car Thursday morning, May 9, just two days before IMS officially opens for practice for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500. Andretti Autosport team owner and IMS legend Michael Andretti will be on hand to provide driver coaching and assist in getting Busch up to speed quickly.

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05/03/13
dtm

DTM extends Hankook tire deal until end of 2016
DTM at Eurospeedway in 2012
The DTM has announced it has extended its tire supply deal with Hankook until the end of the 2016 season.

The South Korean manufacturer replaced Dunlop as the series' sole supplier at the start of 2011.

"The first two years of our partnership with Hankook absolutely convinced us of the competitiveness of this company," said DTM Boss Hans Werner Aufrecht.

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05/03/13
automotive

So Long SUV…The Big Family Car is Back!
Auto Industry Analyst Jeff Fortson and Head of Consumer Affairs for GM James Bell talk about why Americans are falling in love with the latest full-size sedans

It's no secret that prices at the pump have soured us on gas guzzling SUVs and crossovers and people are looking to downsize to a vehicle that is more affordable and has increased fuel efficiency. And while there are alternatives, not everyone is ready to squeeze into mini hybrid or EV. For those who still want space and riding comfort, the increasingly popular choice among everyone from young professionals to families to empty nesters is the full size sedan!

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05/03/13
ARCA

Milka Duno gets ARCA pole
Taking a page right out of NASCAR's playbook to gain huge free media PR,  Milka Duno became the first female ARCA Racing Series driver since 1988 to win the pole at Talladega Superspeedway on Thursday.

Duno had the second-fastest time in the Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell, but when the time of Venturini Motorsports teammate John Wes Townley was disallowed following post-qualifying inspection Duno was announced as the pole winner.

“This is fantastic,” Duno said following qualifying. “We have been trying, trying, trying for the pole ever since Daytona. All day, I made my crew chief (Kevin Caldwell) crazy, saying ‘what do we need to do?’”

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05/03/13
motogp

Lorenzo tops Friday times in Jerez
Jorge Lorenzo maintained his position at the forefront of the timesheets as Free Practice continued in Jerez on Friday afternoon. The MotoGP World Champion this time led Cal Crutchlow, pushing Dani Pedrosa down to third position as riders from three a trio of different teams occupied the top three positions.

There was off-track drama in the way of a power cut that resulted in the session starting seven minutes late. Once it did get underway, with perfect weather, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo reduced his morning lap time by two tenths of a second to post 1’39.562. Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) were both two tenths inside that, with Valentino Rossi going fourth quickest.

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05/03/13
track news

Pocono Completes Extensive Road Course Upgrades
Pocono Raceway announced today the completion of their extensive road course renovation project. This includes the resurfacing of all infield road courses, the addition of multi-directional curbing and upgraded participant amenities.

Each of the 17 track layouts can be run in either clockwise or counter clockwise directions, allowing for a total of 34 configurations. The courses range in distances from a technical half-mile layout to a 2.53-mile national circuit. FIM multi-directional curbing was added to all the corners and the run-offs were smoothed and leveled.

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05/03/13
irl

IndyCar Series drivers weigh-in on second Indianapolis race debate
[Editor's Note: AR1.com will address this issue in further detail in an upcoming article. See previous AR1.com article that briefly addressed the topic.]  IndyCar is discussing the possibility of running a second race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- either on the oval or the F1 road course. Several drivers shared their opinions to SB Nation over the past few days and most agreed it was a bad idea. he great debate in IndyCar right now centers around the suggested idea that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway should host a second IndyCar Series race at the historic 2.5-mile Speedway -- either at night, on the oval, or on the Formula 1 road course.

Fan response has been generally negative, seemingly in universal agreement that a second race at the Speedway will be to the detriment to the month of May and the Indianapolis 500.

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05/03/13
f1

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

05/03/13
  • Marko, "I have final say"
    'I take the final decision' at Red Bull - Marko
  • Pirelli still listening to teams' feedback - Bottas
  • Brawn warns more changes could hurt Mercedes
  • Next Red Bull junior 'very close' to F1 debut
  • Williams clarifies reports of financial loss
  • Mercedes would offer Kubica F1 test
  • HRT buyer to run cars in BOSS New
  • Sauber bringing new rear wing to Spain New
  • 'It's going to be hard to catch Vettel' - Raikkonen New

    Read more & Comment...
05/03/13
automotive

The CLA is voted Germany's most beautiful car
Mercedes CLA
A style rebel has been voted Germany's most beautiful car by readers of the motoring magazine AUTO BILD. The new Mercedes  CLA came through in assured style as the overall winner among all automotive new arrivals.

In addition, the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class was voted the winner of the beauty stakes in its own particular category. In honoring Mercedes-Benz with the AUTO BILD Design Award 2013, the jury of readers acknowledged the brand's innovative styling, which confidently sets bold and intelligent new design trends in all categories.

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05/02/13
irl

2014 Corvette Stingray to pace 97th Indianapolis 500
The all-new, seventh-generation 2014 Corvette Stingray will serve as the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car, leading the field to green at the start of the 97th running of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on Sunday, May 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It marks a record 12th time the Corvette has served as the Pace Car, starting in 1978.

"It is an honor to help inaugurate the all-new Corvette Stingray at the hallowed Brickyard and further the legacy between Chevrolet and the Indianapolis 500," said Jim Campbell, GM vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "The 2014 Corvette Stingray's performance was influenced by racing, making this prestigious assignment even more fitting."

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05/02/13
f1

Susie Wolff pushing Williams for proper F1 test
Susie Wolff
Development driver Susie Wolff is pushing Williams to give her a proper test in July and keep alive her distant dream of one day racing alongside the men in Formula One.

"For me the next logical step is to do the young drivers test, and do it well, and then see what the next step is after that," the 30-year-old Scot told Reuters at a sponsor event on Thursday.

"I think there's quite a big movement just now, people want to see a woman in Formula One, the momentum is definitely there," added the wife of Williams shareholder and Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff.

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05/02/13
v8
motogp

Stoner misses riding bikes, but....
Australian Casey Stoner admits he misses riding motorbikes, but says fans shouldn't expect him back in MotoGP ranks any time soon.

Stoner, a two-time MotoGP champion, shocked the sport of motorcycling last year when he announced he was switching to V8 Supercars.

The 27-year-old's V8s debut at Adelaide's Clipsal 500 in March ended with a crash due to a dodgy front tire, but he fought back from last on the grid in the second race for a respectable 14th-place finish.

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05/02/13
nassprint

Hamlin plans to start at Talladega (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin has received medical clearance to return to on-track activity beginning with this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in the #11 FedEx Express Toyota. Hamlin was injured during an accident at Auto Club Speedway and has missed the past four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races while recovering. Exact plans for this weekend will be determined by the team at Talladega. JGR

05/01/13 NASCAR confirmed that medical clearance has not yet been given for Denny Hamlin to return to racing the #11 FedEx Toyota

05/01/13 Denny Hamlin plans to start Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, but don't look for him to be in the car long. Assuming nothing changes during practice or qualifying, it will be the first race back for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver since suffering a compression fracture in his lower back on the final lap of the March 24 event at Auto Club Speedway in California.
Hamlin tweeted on Tuesday that he was cleared "just to start,' Hamlin told ESPN.com at Kansas he would drop to the back of the pack at Talladega and ride around until the first caution, then give way to backup driver Brian Vickers. ESPN

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05/02/13
fil

Larry King selects Veach as interview subject
Zach Veach
Larry King has selected 18-year-old Firestone Indy Lights driver Zach Veach as an interview subject through the "Pick Me Larry" contest.

The interview will be broadcast on Ora TV at a time/date to be announced.

"I'm really grateful that Larry and his producers felt my story should be told through his channels," Veach said. "I think so many kids are bullied away from their true dreams and we must continue to speak out on the subject.  We are also far from where we need to be on the subject of distracted driving and I'm anxious to also talk to Larry about this topic as well."

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05/02/13
irl

Kanaan to reach milestone in Brazil
Tony Kanaan
Tony Kanaan will reach a milestone in his racing career in his home race.

Kanaan, who hasn't finished better than 12th in three previous starts in Sao Paulo, is scheduled to make his 200th consecutive Indy car start at Sao Paulo - a streak that began more than a decade ago. He would be the second driver to reach 200 consecutive starts, joining his team co-owner, Jimmy Vasser.

"You don't get to 200 races by accident," Kanaan said. "I have a lot of racing left in me."

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05/02/13
irl

Castroneves hopes to celebrate win in home country
Helio Castroneves
Helio Castroneves knows he will have to be on offense this weekend in order to defend his IZOD IndyCar Series championship point lead.

The Brazilian leads Japan's Takuma Sato by six points heading into the May 5 Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle and hopes to become the first Brazilian to take the winner's trophy in the event.

"Someone told me earlier that this is the best start of my career," Castroneves said. "We have achieved consistent results this season. The last race wasn't great, but no one else had great results. I get a lot of support in Brazil and I hope to stop my teammate."

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05/02/13
irl

Bridgestone names Lisa Boggs
Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) today announced a new director of motorsports and promotion for chief engineer of its consumer tire division, effective May 1, 2013.

Lisa Boggs has been named Director, Motorsports, BATO. In her new role, she will be responsible for managing, directing, planning and coordinating all of BATO’s motorsport and motorsport marketing activities.

Boggs has an extensive background developing brand programs that leverage motorsports sponsorships and assets. Before joining Bridgestone, she spent seven years at Edelman Public Relations leading  programs for clients in IndyCar and NASCAR including IZOD, Office Depot, Shell, Armor All and STP, as well as overseeing the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 public relations campaign. Additionally, Lisa held positions with Philip Morris as part of the team dedicated to the Marlboro brand sponsorship of Team Penske in IndyCar and at Leo Burnett Advertising working with clients Procter & Gamble and Philip Morris. Boggs earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University of Ohio.

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05/02/13
irl

Andretti considers himself an IndyCar title contender
It might take more than five guesses to name the IndyCar Series driver who this week acknowledged himself as a championship contender.

This driver has never finished higher than seventh in the standings in seven seasons, but he enters this weekend’s race in Sao Paulo, Brazil — the fourth event of the season — with more points than former series champions Tony Kanaan, Sebastien Bourdais, Dario Franchitti or Ryan Hunter-Reay.

It’s Marco Andretti.

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05/02/13
automotive

Mercedes extends U.S. luxury lead over BMW
Mercedes-Benz extended its lead over BMW in the U.S. luxury sales race, with a 5.8 percent gain in April.

Sales for the Mercedes brand rose to 23,635 in April, led by gains for the C-class sedan and M-class SUV. The BMW brand posted a 10 percent increase in April to 23,225, the company said today in a statement.

The April results widened Mercedes' 2013 lead to 4,695 vehicles as the two German automakers compete for the sales crown BMW secured the past two years. BMW won last year with a December surge, based on reported sales. Measured by vehicle registrations, Mercedes topped BMW, according to researcher R.L. Polk & Co.

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05/02/13
ga

Grand-Am Fines Two Teams
Grand-Am Road Racing has issued fines to the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford/Riley and No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP teams that compete in the Rolex Sports Car Series, as a result of a post-race incident at the end of the April 20 event at Road Atlanta.

The No. 6 and the No. 10 teams were found in violation of Sections 2.8 (“each member is expected to conduct themselves in a professional and sportsmanlike manner”) and 2.9.3 (“entrants are at all times responsible for the conduct of their competitors”) of the Grand-Am Rule Book.

No. 6 driver Antonio Pizzonia and No. 10 driver Max Angelelli were involved in the incident at the pit lane entry.

As a result, both teams have been fined $2,500.

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05/02/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday (Updated) UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

05/02/13
  • Like Schumacher before him, Brits hate seeing their drivers trounced by the latest German sensation - Sebastian Vettel
    Vettel's success hurting Silverstone ticket sales
  • Loss of F1 income 'really hurts' - Marussia
  • Marko says Lauda triggered Red Bull quit rumor
  • Red Bull dumped alternator supplier Magneti Marelli
  • Wurz becomes F1 driver manager
  • Kovalainen tests 'vanity panel' at Magny Cours
  • Grosjean 'can forget troubles now' - engineer
  • Laffite doubts F1 return for Magny Cours
  • FIA set to solve electronic cockpit warning issue New
  • Williams F1 Team and TAK Group Announce New Partnership Agreement New

    Read more & Comment...
05/01/13
irl

Travel Channel Seeks Enthusiastic Indy 500 Fans for New Show
Passionate Indianapolis 500 fans are encouraged to contact The Travel Channel to appear on a new show celebrating great food, amazing tailgate setups, one-of-a-kind traditions and the best parties at "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

The show will be taped in and around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway beginning on Coors Light Carb Day, Friday, May 24, through Race Day on Sunday, May 26. The episode will air in August or September.

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05/01/13
irl

Virtual Lap of Sao Paulo
Watch a virtual lap of the Sao Paulo Indy 300 Circuit.



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05/01/13
irl

Drivers Preview 2013 Brazil IndyCar race
Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan preview the 2013 Brazil Race.



Comment
05/01/13
irl

Inside The Indy Challenge: Episode 1
'Inside the Indy Challenge' highlights the emotional journey of a #HondaRacing IndyCar team, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, as they strive for success at the ultra-competitive grand-daddy of auto racing, the Indianapolis 500. This original documentary-style series of video vignettes shows an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team, featuring drivers Simon Pagenaud and Tristan Vautier. Producers are embedded with the team as they compete in three Indy races including the Long Beach Grand Prix, the Sao Paolo Indy 300 and culminating at the Indianapolis 500.

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05/01/13
irl

Inside The Indy Challenge: Episode 2
'Inside the Indy Challenge' highlights the emotional journey of a #HondaRacing IndyCar team, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, as they strive for success at the ultra-competitive grand-daddy of auto racing, the Indianapolis 500. This original documentary-style series of video vignettes shows an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team, featuring drivers Simon Pagenaud and Tristan Vautier. Producers are embedded with the team as they compete in three Indy races including the Long Beach Grand Prix, the Sao Paolo Indy 300 and culminating at the Indianapolis 500.

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05/01/13
irl

Statement on the Future of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
Panther DRR, known to long-time fans and supporters as Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, will be scaling back its participation in the IZOD IndyCar Series following the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 26, 2013. Panther DRR is committed to competing in this weekend's Sao Paulo Indy 300 and the Indianapolis 500; however, does not currently have plans to enter the No. 22 in the remainder of the 2013 season.

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05/01/13
nassprint

Jeff Hammond comments on Penske appeal loss
Former crew chief Jeff Hammond, a NASCAR analyst for both FOX & SPEED, talked to NASCAR Race Hub about NASCAR upholding the fines, penalties and suspensions levied on Penske Racing after unapproved suspension components were found following the Sprint Cup Series race from Texas Motor Speedway last month.

Penske Racing has one final appeal with National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer, John Middlebrook, which takes place Tuesday, May 7 at 10 a.m. ET.

Hammond spoke to NASCAR Race Hub co-hosts Steve Byrnes and Danielle Trotta on the ruling;

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05/01/13
irl

Course modifications may spice up Sao Paulo race
Sao Paolo street circuit
Tony Cotman won't be surprised if the track record falls on the streets of Sao Paulo during qualifications for the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300.

A modification to Turns 1 and 2 of the 2.536-mile street circuit was made with the goal of maximizing passing opportunities for the drivers. It will also give them a chance to post faster lap times.

"The biggest change is that we've moved the curbing in Turn 1 and 2, particularly in Turn 2, where they have been moved quite a bit to the driver's right," said circuit designer Tony Cotman, whose NZR Consulting is responsible for the track build.

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05/01/13
track news

SMI Reports $1.3M Loss For Q1
SMI today reported a loss of $1.3M for the start of the year and said the economy continues to weaken its revenue. The company, which manages eight NASCAR tracks, reported total revenue for Q1 of $84.2M, down slightly from the $84.8M it reported for the same period last year. SMI saw decreases in ticket sales and event-related revenue, which includes sponsorship sales, suite rentals, merchandise and concessions.

Ticket sales fell to $21.7M from $22.4M last year and event-related revenue fell to $23.7M from $24.7M. SMI still has “catching up to do” on sponsorship sales. It has not landed a race title sponsor for its Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July and also needs to find title sponsorship for three Nationwide Series races.

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05/01/13
irl

With Chevy power, Simona has become a serious threat
You couldn’t blame Simona de Silvestro for losing confidence last year.

She was trying to run in the IndyCar Series with an engine from Lotus, a troubled engine maker which eventually quit the series. Some races, she couldn’t even maintain minimum speed.

But others didn’t lose confidence in her. KV Racing Technology signed her, put her in its Chevy-powered cars, and she has taken off. She has been sixth, 18th and ninth in three starts and sits eighth in points as the series heads to Sao Paolo, Brazil, this weekend.

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05/01/13
automotive

Small electric car company files for Bankruptcy
A green car start-up, Coda Holdings, filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday after selling just 100 of its all-electric sedans. The filing with the federal Bankruptcy Court in Delaware will allow the Los Angeles company to get out of the auto sector and refocus on energy storage, a far less capital-intensive business. The company uses the same technology it used in cars to build systems for utilities and building operators to store power.

A group of lenders led by Fortress Investment Group plans to extend debtor-in-possession financing and will seek to acquire the company for $25 million through the bankruptcy process, Coda said in a statement.

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05/01/13
usac

Jarett Andretti Secures USAC Silver Crown Seat with Window World
Jarett Andretti
Continuing to fill out a busy summer schedule, Andretti Autosport Short Track announced today that third generation driver Jarett Andretti will compete in every pavement United States Auto Club (USAC) Traxxas Silver Crown Series event. The Silver Crown Series is one of the most prestigious in all of open wheel racing and lists Jarett's father John and great uncle Mario Andretti as graduates.

Window World, Inc., a long time supporter of both Jarett, and his father, will be the primary sponsor of the No. 4 Window World machine. The car will also carry associate sponsorship from Superior Auto and Stoops Freightliner during the series' five-race pavement schedule. For Andretti, who is already committed to a full dirt sprint car schedule throughout Indiana, the Silver Crown races will add additional experience to his promising racing career.

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05/01/13
automotive

GM's U.S. Sales up 11 percent for Best April in Five Years
General Motors Co. sold 237,646 vehicles in the United States in April, up 11 percent compared with a year ago. Retail sales increased 10 percent, fleet sales were up 16 percent and the fleet mix was 28 percent of total sales.
"
Car-buying conditions are strong and will continue to release pent-up demand," said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations. "We're very optimistic because GM’s market share is growing, the economy continues to move forward and important car and truck launches are just getting underway."

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05/01/13
track news

Indy reduces grandstand seating
Out at the Indy Motor Speedway track for the annual Mutt-Strut last weekend and noticed IMS tore out the NE Vista Backstretch stands. Made a few inquires and found out they will not be replaced. Overall reserved seating capacity reduced ala NASCAR track owners. 

At least on the plus side the aerials won’t show all those empty seats. Below are a previous years and current map. Note the NE Vista stands. 

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05/01/13
irl

Video: Hot Lap of Long Beach with Newgarden
Oakley Racing's Josef Newgarden let One Icon Productions attach a camera for a pre-race hot lap last week at the 2013 Long Beach Grand Prix. Go full-screen, turn up the volume, and enjoy.



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05/01/13
irl

Video: JR Hildebrand talks about Detroit race
IndyCar driver J.R. Hildebrand talks about upcoming Detroit Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix.



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05/01/13
nassprint

Gordon likes idea of lights at the Brickyard
Instead of running Taxicabs under the lights at Indy and further diluting the IndyCar product, all other series should be kicked out of the Brickyard and the season ending IndyCar race should be a 400-miler under the lights at Indy.  Indy should be for IndyCars.  Period, end of story. The Indy 500 hasn't been anywhere near a sellout since Anton let IndyCar's #1 enemy onto its hallowed ground.
Jeff Gordon is in favor of Indianapolis Motor Speedway having night races (of course he would be - anything to help NASCAR be more successful at Indy and diminish IndyCar further).

Of course, the decision is not his, but with IMS expected to soon receive access to public funding, lights could be on the horizon.

That’s good, NASCAR’s four-time Brickyard 400 champion said after today’s test at IMS even though he wasn’t always sure night events were viable at stock car racing’s highest level.

“I remember the very first announcement of lights at a track,” he said of Sprint Cup races at Daytona International Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. “I thought there was no way that we could do that.

Read more & Comment...
05/01/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • Kubica confirms Mercedes simulator run reports
  • F1 shouldn't panic over Pirelli deadline - Domenicali
  • Hard racing 'should not be punished' - steward Salo
  • Caterham not affected by owner's football woes - report
  • F1 sticking with troublesome telemetry supplier
  • McLaren not yet thinking about 2014 - Whitmarsh
  • Red Bull hopeful Ricciardo says Vettel 'nice'

    Read more & Comment...
04/30/13
nassprint

Edwards introduces golfer to NASCAR
Westwood and Edwards
UPS NASCAR driver, Carl Edwards, introduced fellow UPS ambassador and PGA Tour golfer, Lee Westwood, to the world of NASCAR prior to Westwood’s participation in the Wells Fargo Championship Tournament at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Edwards provided NASCAR driving tips to Westwood as the two athletes took laps around a road course set up next to zMax Dragway. After riding along as a passenger in a two-seater UPS NASCAR stock car, Westwood got behind the wheel of the No. 99 UPS Ford Fusion and successfully completed his stint in the driver’s seat including a victory burnout.

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04/30/13
nassprint

NASCAR Suspends Crew Members After Fight
NASCAR has responded to an incident that started on track during Friday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Richmond (Va.) Int’l Raceway and later spilled into the parking lot at the three-quarter-mile oval.

Thomas Costello and Michael Scearce, both crew members on the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing team, have each been fined $15,000 and suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next four NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship events.

Costello and Scearce reportedly were involved in an altercation with Turner Scott Motorsports driver Nelson Piquet Jr. and another man after Friday’s race that resulted in local police arresting the RCR crewmen.

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04/30/13
nastruck

Chevrolet backs first Canadian Nascar Truck Series race
GM-owned automotive brand Chevrolet has been announced as the title sponsor of the first ever Nascar Camping World Truck Series race held in Canada.

The Chevrolet Silverado 250, as the race will be known, will be held at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario during Labour Day Weekend on 30th August and 1st September.

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04/30/13
nassprint

Oversaturation is slowing killing NASCAR
[Editor's Note:  What this very true article written by Peter DeLorenzo fails to talk about is NASCAR's saturation of the media.  Everywhere you turn it is NASCAR this, or NASCAR that. If a driver goes to the Porta-John some reporter is going to write a story about it.]

NASCAR has a relentless unwillingness to deal with one major issue: oversaturation. The NASCAR schedule is killing what's left of the high-flying golden goose that for a brief moment in time was NASCAR in the early to mid-2000s. The TV networks haven't helped because by signing new deals with NASCAR the powers that be in Daytona Beach think they're actually doing "just fine," as Brian France always says, when in reality they are a fair piece away from being "fine." (The TV deal was the result of one driving force: the networks insatiable desire for original content. If it wasn't for that, we might be looking at a very different media landscape for NASCAR at this juncture.)

Oversaturation is the Bad News slowly but surely weaving its tentacles in and around NASCAR, tightening its grip on everything they do. For instance oversaturation leads to the embarrassing in-person attendance at last Saturday's night's Richmond show. What's behind the lagging in-person attendance at NASCAR races? It is because the mind-numbing oversaturation has deleted the specialness about NASCAR to the fans over time. As in, if you don't feel like making the effort to attend a race, wait until next week and go to another one. Oh wait a minute, you can just watch it on TV, why bother making the effort, right?

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04/30/13
nassprint

NASCAR Richmond TV Rating UPDATE For the third straight year, overnight ratings were flat for NASCAR Sprint Cup action from Richmond. Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Toyota Owners 400 from Richmond International Raceway earned a 3.4 overnight rating on FOX, even with last year, 2011, and 2010 (3.4 each year). The 3.4 is tied as the second-lowest overnight ever for NASCAR Sprint Cup racing on FOX. The only race to earn a lower overnight was the 2009 Subway Fresh Fit 500 from Phoenix (3.3). Of note, the two lowest rated NASCAR races of the season in the metered markets  the Richmond race and the April 13 NRA 500 from Texas (3.5)  aired on Saturday nights. Despite the relatively low numbers, NASCAR still earned the third-best overnight of the weekend for a sports program on broadcast. Sports Media Watch/Sports Business Daily

04/29/13 The overnight TV rating for the Toyota Owners 400 from Richmond Saturday night on FOX was a 3.4, the same as last year.  Over 5 million viewers were tuned in, about 14 times higher than the average IndyCar race.

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04/30/13
Fil

Firestone Indy Lights teams test at IMS
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports rookie Jack Hawksworth of England said it best: "IMS is a racetrack that every driver growing up knows about, whether you're brought up racing in America, Europe, Asia or anywhere else in the world for that matter."

The landmark venue will host 11 Firestone Indy Lights drivers for a May 2 Open Test as they begin preparations for the Firestone Freedom 100 as part of Coors Lite Carb Day May 24.

In addition to racing on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time, Hawksworth will be testing at the track for the first time in a Firestone Indy Lights car. Teammates Gabby Chaves and Sage Karam, along with Andretti Autosport rookie Zach Veach, have tested in Firestone Indy Lights cars on the road course at the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy test in October. Hawksworth participated in the 2011 test in a Pro Mazda car.

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04/30/13
irl

Pippa Mann to drive 3rd Dale Coyne car in 500
Pippa Mann
Dale Coyne Racing has confirmed that Pippa Mann will drive for the team in this year’s Indianapolis 500.

The 29 year-old joins fellow Briton Justin Wilson and Brazil’s Ana Beatriz to complete three Honda-powered entries for the team into the 97th running of the Indy 500.

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04/30/13
irl

Lexar Partners with Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Dario Franchitti in Brazil
Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) and Lexar announced today a continuation of their partnership that will see a primary paint scheme for the second-straight season on the No. 10 Honda of four-time INDYCAR Champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner Dario Franchitti.

The No.10 Lexar Honda will debut this weekend in the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 on the streets of Sao Paulo on Sunday, May 5 (11:00 AM ET, NBC Sports Network).

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04/30/13
f1

Alexander Rossi to drive Caterham in Montreal
Alexander Rossi
Caterham reserve Alexander Rossi has confirmed that he will take part in the opening free practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix in June, marking the American's second Formula 1 weekend appearance and his first of the 2013 campaign.

Rossi had been due to complete his first run in the CT03 in Bahrain, but a late call up to Caterham's GP2 team and the return of Heikki Kovalainen delayed the outing. The 21-year-old is hoping for "at least one more" FP1 chance as the season progresses.

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04/30/13
nassprint

JGR, Penske Penalty Hearings Set
The National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel will hear the Joe Gibbs Racing appeal of penalties on May 8 at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C.

The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota that Matt Kenseth drove to victory in the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on April 21 failed post-race engine inspection April 23 at the NASCAR Research and Development Center because of the use of a connecting rod that was deemed too light.

Team owner Joe Gibbs stated over the weekend that the team does not plan to appeal the reason for the penalty. Instead they plan to appeal the severity of the penalties, which included the loss of 50 driver and owner points as well as the suspension of the owner’s license for the No. 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car for the next six championship points events.

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04/30/13
f1

Symonds insists: Marussia will survive
Pat Symonds
Technical chief Pat Symonds insists that the Marussia team can survive in F1 despite plans to restrict the prize money in the sport to the top ten teams.

"It's really tough in Formula 1 at the moment,” he told Sky Sports. "The fact is, outside the top four teams everyone has some financial concerns. And even in the top four you've got Mercedes who, while they haven't financial concerns, there must be other concerns there - that they don't go the way of Honda and Toyota.

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04/30/13
nassprint

Gen-6 car more competitive so far
Through nine races, the on-track action with the Gen-6 is much improved from a year ago, when fans were screaming about how boring NASCAR had become. The races haven't been perfect, but there's been no shortage of story lines and few runaway wins. "I'm telling you, whoever designed this new car, we should kiss `em every weekend. It's creating drama," Clint Bowyer said after Saturday night's race at Richmond.

"We haven't seen racing like this in years, since I first started in this sport (in 2004). When you can leave a race track and there's people in tears because they won, and in tears because they got crashed, that's what brings us to the race track, that kind of racing and determination and passion."

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04/30/13
track news

Diana Brennan to Head Sonoma Raceway’s PR and Community Affairs
Diana Brennan
Diana Brennan, who has worked in the Sonoma Raceway Media Relations department since 1999, has been named Senior Director of Media & Community Relations, raceway officials announced.

In her new role, Brennan will take over management of the raceway’s department, overseeing all media communications, as well as the facility's community initiatives, including the local chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.

"It has been inspirational to watch Diana's development over the years from college intern to one of the industry’s most respected professionals,” said Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway president & general manager. “She is more than ready to assume this leadership position and we are fortunate to have her on board."

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04/30/13
irl

Brazil IndyCar preview
Can Power win his 4th straight?
The Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle will mark the IZOD IndyCar Series' fourth visit to South America. Indy car racing has been extremely popular in Brazil; CART hosted five races on a 1.864-mile oval in Rio de Janerio from 1996 to 2000. The Sao Paulo Indy 300 will feature three Brazilian drivers - Ana Beatriz, Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan. Can any of these drivers become the first Brazilian to find their way to Victory Lane in their home country?

Power looks for four in a row on streets of Sao Paulo

The Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 is the fourth and final street/road event of the IZOD IndyCar Series' first quarter. Will Power is the only driver to win on the streets of Sao Paulo but hasn't found winner's circle since last year's race. Can Power break his winless drought and see the checkered flag first again in 2013?

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04/30/13
f1

Ferrari: no panic over '14 tire supplier
Ferrari not worried about who will supply 2014 tires
Ferrari says that teams are not unduly concerned by the fact that Formula 1 has yet to secure a new tire supply contract for next year.

Pirelli has been seeking an extension of its current deal, but no agreements are yet in place with the teams and the FIA has yet to sanction the move - or open up the official tire tender process.

With Pirelli well aware of the timeframe needed to prepare tires for next season, a deal needs to be sorted out in the next few months if F1 is to avoid the risk of being left without a supplier.

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04/30/13
nassprint

In wake of Boston bombings, NASCAR asks teams to be more vigilant
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, NASCAR teams have been warned by the sanctioning body to be on the lookout for errant backpacks and other packages in the garage area. NASCAR called a special, crew chiefs-only meeting Saturday morning at Richmond International Raceway, asking race teams to increase their level of vigilance this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway and beyond. The warning is not believed to be the result of any specific threat against NASCAR or Talladega Superspeedway, but part of a broader focus on safety at major sporting events across the country.

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04/30/13
f1

Marko wants tire improvements 'as soon as possible'
Dr. Helmut Marko
(GMM)  Dr Helmut Marko has admitted he is not satisfied with the minor tweak made by Pirelli ahead of next weekend's Spanish grand prix.

So far in 2013, world champions Red Bull have been putting pressure on F1's official supplier to significantly change this season's heavily-degrading tires.

But, after the first four 'flyaway' grands prix, Pirelli has announced that only a minor tweak will be made to the 'hard' compound tire for Barcelona and beyond.

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04/29/13
irl

Indiana State Senate honors Andretti team
Indiana State Sen. Tom Wyss recalled attending his first Indianapolis 500 in 1952 with his father.

"He would save all year to take my brothers and me to the ‘500’ and all we got were infield tickets, and when I got my career going I would take my dad. We had better seats, but I’ll never forget that first year," the representative from Fort Wayne told Michael Andretti during a presentation of Senate resolutions recognizing the IZOD IndyCar Series team for its accomplishments during the 2012 season and its contributions to the state.

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04/29/13
f1

Williams Holdings up, but.... UPDATE #2 Alex Duff reported the F1 team’s sponsorships did not "offset costs and investment on hybrid technology." Williams "relies on sponsorship and prize money for most of its revenue." In '08, the team "began developing energy-saving flywheels for cars and public transport." The shares have lost 12% of their value this year. CEO Alex Burns said that non-F1 revenue from the Williams Advanced Engineering brand rose to £38M ($58.8M) in '12 from £16M a year earlier. Burns said, "The growth of these new investment businesses at a time of global financial instability" puts the company on a sound footing to deliver its long-term strategy. Bloomberg

04/29/13 REUTERS' Keith Weir reported "the highlight on the track for Williams last season was a victory in the Spanish Grand Prix for Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado." The team finished eighth out of 12 in the constructors' championship. Founder & Team Principal Frank Williams said, "There is still a way to go for the team to get to where we should be, but improvements on previous seasons are evident." Reuters

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04/29/13
racing news

Robby Gordon wins on off-road return to L.A. Coliseum
Making its return to the birthplace of stadium off-road racing, SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks invaded the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Sunday with three distinct divisions testing their skills on the dirt and asphalt course. Robby Gordon, Larry Swim, and Jerry Whelchel were able to conquer the multiple challenges to record wins in Round No. 3 of SST Competition.

Gordon, driving the No. 7 SPEED Energy / MAPEI / Toyo Tires truck, held off points leader Rob MacCachren to capture his first win in Stadium SUPER Trucks.

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04/29/13
irl

Kimball to be featured on INDYCAR 36 on NBCSN
Charlie Kimball’s Long Beach weekend will be featured in the first 2013 episode of INDYCAR 36. It airs at 6:30 p.m. ET this Saturday, May 4, on the NBC Sports Network.

Kimball has had the best three-race qualifying streak of his career to open his third season in IndyCar. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing driver has started 14th, fifth and ninth in the first three races, after starting better than 13th only once in 2012.

He finished fourth at Barber Motorsports Park in what was widely considered his best weekend in three seasons.

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04/29/13
irl

Can you believe it? Power winless in over a year
Winless for a year? Not even Will Power can believe it.

Once considered all but unbeatable in the IndyCar Series, Power’s drought has reached a full calendar year.

The anniversary of his last win — in the street race in Sao Paulo, Brazil — was Monday.

Since then, IndyCar has had 14 races won by nine other drivers: Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Justin Wilson, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe, Ed Carpenter, James Hinchcliffe and Takuma Sato. Hunter-Reay has won five times, Dixon twice.

Power’s average finish is 11.7, hardly Power-like.

"I know," Power said, repeating the words twice more Monday before moving on with his thoughts. "You can’t believe we didn’t win one of those races at the end of last year." More at Indy Star

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04/29/13
f1

Video: Dougie does Red Bull Racing
12-times World Trials Champion and UK Red Bull athlete Dougie Lampkin (@dougielampkin) came to play at the Red Bull Racing Factory. As well as driving through offices, upstairs and riding on transporters, he jumped a Formula One Car on two wheels. Here's what happened...



Comment
04/29/13
automotive

Penske Q1 net income jumps 23%
Stronger new- and used-vehicle sales for Penske Automotive Group pushed up net income 23 percent in the first quarter on an 8 percent rise in revenue from the year-earlier period, the company said today.

Penske's net income rose to $57.7 million in the quarter as revenue climbed to $3.4 million, the company said in a statement.

Income from continuing operations rose 14 percent to a record $56.9 million.

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04/29/13
TV News

Motorsports This Week on ESPN
NASCAR Nationwide Series at Talladega
The NASCAR Nationwide Series competes on NASCAR’s largest track, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, on Saturday, May 4, and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards will be a guest analyst in the ESPN booth during the telecast of the race. NASCAR Countdown airs at 2:30 p.m. ET and the race’s green flag is at 3:35 p.m., with the telecast airing on ESPN and WatchESPN. Also from Talladega on Friday, May 3, ESPN2 will televise qualifying at noon.

Announcers:
Booth: Lap-by-Lap announcer Allen Bestwick; analysts Carl Edwards, Andy Petree.
Pit reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch, Vince Welch.
NASCAR Countdown: Nicole Briscoe (host); Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty (analysts).

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04/29/13
f1

Daly back testing with Sahara Force India
About week before he climbs into a GP3 car for the opening rounds of the season in Barcelona, May 10-12th, American Conor Daly will spend Wednesday, May 1st doing aero testing in Sahara Force India's 2013 F1 car. The test will take place at Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire, England. Formula One testing has resumed at the Imperial War Museum facility having been suspended since Marussia test driver, Maria de Villota suffered serious injuries in a crash while testing there in July 2012.

Daly will have a new seat made at the Sahara Force India factory on Monday prior to a simulator session on Tuesday.

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04/29/13
wec

SPA debut for Toyota's updated TS030 Hybrid
2013-specification TS030 Hybrid
Toyota Racing's 2013-specification TS030 Hybrid will make its race debut in this weekend's Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

After finishing third and fourth in the Six Hours of Silverstone earlier this month with the 2012-specification TS030 Hybrid, the team will bring one updated car to Belgium.

The #7 car of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima - competing for TOYOTA Racing for the first time in 2013 after missing Silverstone due to Super Formula commitments - will drive the updated car.

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04/29/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Ecclestone says only top-10 F1 teams will get paid
    Only top ten teams to be paid - Ecclestone
  • Vettel 'camaraderie' quotes 'rubbish' - Webber
  • Gutierrez must perform eventually - Kaltenborn
  • Force India 'too far away' says Ricciardo
  • Wolff hints Brackley staff members could go
  • Season 'going well' despite Williams struggle - Bottas
  • F1 'no longer real racing' - Mateschitz
  • Webber can race Vettel 'freely' in 2013 - Mateschitz
  • Friend Raikkonen as teammate would be 'fine' - Vettel
  • Perez denies apologizing to Button
  • Voice 'stronger' after Schumacher exit - Rosberg
  • Hulkenberg not regretting Sauber switch
  • Interlagos to sign 2020 extension in May - mayor
  • Razia reveals talks with Force India
  • Briatore plays down F1 return chances

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04/28/13
nassprint

Kyle Busch says leave it to NASCAR 'to make a bad decision'
Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch radio talk during Saturday night's Richmond ToyotaOwners 400 that had him going to the rear of the field for a commitment line violation because he didn’t have two tires on the red box at the edge of the line on his pit stop:

Busch: "Just like four years ago when I did touch the box but I didn’t touch the box at Bristol? Right? Sure."

Crew chief Dave Rogers: "To me, you had both left-side (tires) on it by one inch, but it was really close."

Busch: "That’s all that matters."

Rogers: "They said the scoring loop said you were too far out."

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04/28/13
nassprint

Patrick to tour Talladega Boulevard, judge campsites
The world famous Talladega Boulevard, a strip of land in Talladega's infield known as NASCAR's "Party Capital" for providing fans with the most fun in all of motorsports, just got even better! When the Aaron's Dream Weekend rolls into Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick will walk the Boulevard, mingle with fans, and award a one-of-a-kind "Coke Zero Tailgate Champion" trophy to the best decorated campsite.

Plans are for Danica to award the "Coke Zero Tailgate Champion" trophy Saturday afternoon, at some point following the conclusion of the Aaron's 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The most notorious strip of real estate in NASCAR, Talladega Boulevard, is an innovative corridor like no other and has been a mainstay in NASCAR circles since the track was built in 1969.

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04/28/13
track news

Talladega Fans can access tickets using smartphones
It just got even easier for fans to purchase tickets to NASCAR's most exciting and unpredictable venue - Talladega Superspeedway. It's now literally at a consumer's fingertips. To directly gain access to Aaron's Dream Weekend, May 3-5 - which is less than two weeks away - fans can now use their smartphones. The new mobile-friendly fan experience, created by Moovweb, gives users quick and easy access to purchase event tickets as well as other opportunities such as the Talladega Experience  NASCAR's ultimate hospitality venue  and much more. Simply log onto talladegasuperspeedway.com on the mobile device and select the "Buy Tickets" link.(TSS)

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04/28/13
f1

Grosjean would love to see a F1 race at Pau
Romain Grosjean
Swiss-born Frenchman Romain Grosjean says the Pau street circuit would be his chosen venue for an extra Grand Prix, with the Lotus driver eager to bring the sport back to the country he represents after a five-year absence from the calendar.

"It would be Pau," said Grosjean, when asked which track he would add to the roster. "A fantastic street circuit in the South West of France that is like a mix of Macau and Monaco. I’ve had six races there and won four which makes it even more special!"

Despite interest from Magny-Cours and Paul Ricard over the winter break, attempts to resurrect the French Grand Prix for the 2013 campaign ultimately fell through.

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04/28/13
f1

Perez: I have not apologized to Button
Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez has denied claims that he apologized to McLaren team-mate Jenson Button following the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the Mexican unwilling to take sole responsibility for their "very aggressive" wheel-to-wheel battles.

Although the former Sauber driver at one point made contact with Button and lost a segment of his front wing, he only expressed remorse to the outfit as a whole and does not believe that apologizing to the 2009 World Champion was required.

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04/28/13
nassprint

Patrick, Gilliland meet about differences
Before NASCAR Sprint Cup practice began at Richmond International Raceway, Danica Patrick visited David Gilliland at his transporter to discuss their differences. Patrick wanted to set the record straight with her fellow competitor regarding how she felt he was racing her last week. Over her radio at Kansas Speedway, Patrick said, "He tries to take me out every time." After the race, Gilliland delivered the message through his public relations representative, "shut up and drive."

"Where our cars seem to run on the racetrack is probably the hardest racing on the racetrack, realistically, you know," Gilliland said.

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04/28/13
nassprint

NASCAR and Gibbs talk about #20 team penalties
NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton discussed NASCAR's penalties to the #20 team Friday afternoon:
PEMBERTON: As everyone knows there are a few things that are understood in the garage area that are big. When you talk about engines, you talk about tires, and you talk about fuel. That's a common thread that's been understood, and it's stood the test of time for the last 65 years. Don't mess with those areas, and the penalties are severe. But when you look in the case of an engine, the only time we really get a chance to look internally at an engine is post-race. Some of our most severe penalties over time have surrounded engine infractions.

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04/28/13
nassprint

Toyota recalls three Bowyer engines
A parts review by Toyota after #20-Matt Kenseth's penalty led the manufacturer to pull three engines from Michael Waltrip Racing's inventory as a precautionary move. All three engines recalled were earmarked for #15-Clint Bowyer. One was his engine for Saturday night's race at Richmond; the other two were his primary and backup engines for Talladega. "We took every connecting rod in our inventory and removed anything that was too close for comfort," Toyota Racing Development vice president David Wilson told The Associated Press.

The review found that there was at least one connecting rod in each of the three Bowyer engines that left TRD uncomfortable in the wake of Kenseth's issue. The issue began when the manufacturer shipped the connecting rod to TRD even though it was outside the tolerance the manufacturer allows on weight. It came with paperwork that clearly stated its weight, and that was missed by TRD employees. Now the manufacturer is backtracking to double-check everything in inventory while also reviewing its own quality control practices. Associated Press

Comment
04/28/13
f1

Briatore rules out F1 return
Flavio Briatore
Former Benetton and Renault team principal Flavio Briatore  says he doesn't want to return to Formula One because it "makes no sense financially".

Having initially been banned from Formula One for life for his part in the 2008 Crashgate scandal, Briatore's ban was subsequently overturned on appeal. However, in an interview with F1 Racing magazine, Briatore says he has no motivation to return to the sport.

"No, I don't think so," Briatore said. "Now I have a son, three years old; I'm working 20 hours a day for different businesses, different investments, different situations, both here and over in America; I'm very happy. This restaurant [Cipriani], for example, is the most popular in Monte Carlo.

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