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DATE News (chronologically)
05/02/07
cc
Gommendy only driver to test Wednesday  Tristan Gommendy (#22 Pay By Touch-MegaSpiera Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) was the only driver to brave the rainy weather at Portland International Raceway, running about 30 laps in the wet conditions.

"Even though it was raining it was good to drive today and get a feel for the DP01 in the rain," said Gommendy. "It was very important to us a PKV Racing to run in these conditions, because what if it rains in the race? The track condition was consistent which was good for us because we were able to make changes and improve the car. During my last run the car was good for the conditions and not to difficult to drive."

The rookie, Gommendy earned a fifth place finish in his Champ Car debut at Las Vegas and led late in the race in both Long Beach and Houston using an alternate fuel strategy.

Testing continues at Portland International Raceway tomorrow in preparation for the race June 8-10.  Champ Car

05/02/07
nascar
Matt Kenseth show car stolen  One of Roush Fenway Racing's show cars, adorned like Kenseth's Nextel Cup Series No. 17 Ford, was stolen from a Hampton Inn parking lot between 5 and 5:45 a.m. Wednesday in Atlanta, according to the Dekalb County Sheriff's office.

Not only was the mock race car stolen, but the 2006 Ford F-350 dually with crew cab and the Featherlite trailer that were transporting it were taken as well.

The F-350 and Featherlite hauler were located Wednesday afternoon but police were still searching for the missing race car Wednesday evening.

If you have any information as to the missing show car, contact the auto theft unit of the Dekalb County Sheriff's office at (770) 724-7650.

05/02/07
dtm
Biela replaces Kristensen  Audi factory driver Frank Biela makes a comeback in the DTM this coming weekend: The 1991 DTM Champion and four-time Le Mans winner jumps, at short notice, into Tom Kristensen’s cockpit at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben for Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline.
 
The Dane was involved in a bruising accident on the first lap of the DTM opener at Hockenheim. Owing to the high-level of passive safety exhibited by the Audi A4 DTM, Tom Kristensen remained uninjured, apart from whiplash and bruising, and was able to leave hospital only two days after the accident.
 
Since being at home in Denmark, Kristensen has almost fully recovered from the after affects of the heavy accident. After talking to the consulting physicians, the DMSB and Audi Team Docotr Christian John, Audi has however decided not to enter Tom Kristensen at Oschersleben.
 
"The health of our drivers is of the highest priority,” explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "We want to give Tom the opportunity to recover completely before climbing back into the cockpit of his A4 DTM. In view of the severity of the accident this simply needs time.” More ...
05/02/07
nascar
NASCAR drivers fined  NASCAR announced today that Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Chevrolet and Jamie McMurray, driver of the #26 Ford, have been fined $25,000 each and placed on probation until Oct. 3, 2007 for being involved in an altercation with each other’s cars during this past Sunday’s Nextel Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. The altercation occurred during the final caution period that came on the white-flag lap. Both drivers were found to be in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing – involved in an altercation with another competitor’s car during a caution period) of the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book. NASCAR PR
05/02/07
cc
Cosworth makes big improvement  Champ Car's Tony Cotman tells AutoRacing1.com that "the standing starts are working much better in Portland testing than they were at Laguna Seca. Cosworth has done a great job." We predict that Champ Car will do their first ever official standing start in Portland as planned.
05/02/07
Industry News
Video: Leaving kids in car dangerous  

Leaving a child inside a car, even for a short period of time, may often prove fatal. In the past nine years, an estimated 320 children have died due to heatstroke after being trapped or intentionally left inside a vehicle. While the temperature outside may not be unbearably hot, the temperature inside a sealed car can reach levels between 45 to 50 degrees higher. Tests from GM and Safe Kids Worldwide indicate the temperatures inside a car with the windows rolled up can increase by 19 to 20 degrees in 10 minutes. These rising temperatures compiled with the fact that a child’s core body temperature increases at rates three to five times faster than adults create deadly combinations, safety experts warn.
05/02/07
racing news
SPEED Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking  
Updated 5-2-07
Pos.  (LW) Driver (Series)                     Pts  
1. (2) Jeff Gordon (NASCAR)                    9.350
2. (1) Sebastien Bourdais (CCWS)               8.982
3. (9) Dan Wheldon (IRL)                       8.317
4. (6) Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR)                 7.937
5. (3) Matt Kenseth (NASCAR)                   7.460
6. (7) Felipe Massa (F1)                       7.436
7. (26) Jamie McMurray (NASCAR)                6.952
8. (5) Denny Hamlin (NASCAR)                   6.883
9. (24) Kurt Busch (NASCAR)                    6.808
10. (11) Fernando Alonso (F1)                  6.746
11. (4) Jeff Burton (NASCAR)                   6.705
12. (18) Kevin Harvick (NASCAR)                6.636
13. (23) Dale Earnhardt Jr. (NASCAR)           6.574
14. (16) Scott Dixon (IRL)                     6.465
15. (10) Will Power (CCWS)                     6.426
16. (28) Helio Castroneves (IRL)               6.290
17. (15) Kimi Raikkonen (F1)                   6.240
18. (NR) David Stremme (NASCAR)                6.099
19. (NR) Martin Truex Jr. (NASCAR)             5.904
20. (17) Bruno Junqueira (CCWS)                5.898

 
Dropped out: Tony Stewart (NASCAR), Tony Kanaan (IRL), Carl Edwards (NASCAR), Kyle Busch (NASCAR), Oriol Servia (CCWS), Alex Tagliani (CCWS)

Provided by STATS Inc.
Current year results, last 10 races, last five races and last race are factored in equally, with an adjustment factor to compensate for the series different scoring systems. In addition, a competition difficulty factor has been included to balance the competitive depth of each series.

05/02/07
nascar
Talladega track bans 14 fans for life  UPDATE If Talladega Superspeedway president Grant Lynch has his way, the 14 fans he banned from ever again having the opportunity to purchase a race ticket at his speedway won't ever have the opportunity to buy a NASCAR race ticket again.  To any race. At any track.

"I'm going to be notifying all my fellow track presidents across NASCAR of the people we've banned to see if they'll also [participate in the ban]," Lynch said. "They'll make their own decisions, but I expect great participation from the [International Speedway Corp.] tracks."

Lynch said he will make personal calls to Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz, as well as Lowe's Motor Speedway president Humpy Wheeler, since races at their tracks are coming up on the schedule.  Lynch also said he is looking into additional steps to ban those 14 individuals from Talladega track property completely.

"Certainly you can refuse to sell tickets to basically anyone you want to," Lynch said. "The law I'm checking into [is] can we notify them they're no longer allowed on track property, and what legal means can we take if they choose to be."

Lynch said a team of attorneys is exploring that option now.  "If we catch these people, the ramifications need to be as serious as we can make them," he said.  ESPN.com

05/02/07 Fourteen auto racing fans who were identified as throwing objects onto the Talladega Superspeedway track after Sunday's Aaron's 499 will never again be allowed to purchase a ticket at the track, speedway officials said Monday. The fans were arrested Sunday and charged with disorderly conduct, according to Talladega County Sheriff Jerry Studdard. All posted bond at jail facilities located at the speedway and were released, Studdard said. Disorderly conduct is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $500. Numerous fans peppered the track with beer cans following Jeff Gordon's win Sunday. That win allowed Gordon to surpass the late Dale Earnhardt in career wins on what would have been Earnhardt's 56th birthday. Talladega Speedway officials had warned all week that fans caught throwing objects over the fence that separates the grandstands from the track would be arrested. Track President Grant Lynch also made that announcement over the public address system before the race, and warnings were posted on track guides issued to fans before the race. Additional security was placed in the stands. Lynch said he knows that more fans than 14 threw objects, but pinpointing the culprits was more difficult than he imagined. He was in the stands at the race's conclusion but was unable to identify a single person throwing an object onto the track. AlabamaLive.com
05/02/07
cc
Bourdais appears unaware of standing start software changes  In this Portland Oregonian article Sebastien Bourdais doesn't think that the new Champ Car is ready for standing starts.  He fails to say that by the end of the test in Laguna Seca in March the drivers were figuring out that if you do not hold the engine against the rev limiter the car launches just fine.  He also appears unaware that the first edition of software updates to help the situation are being tested in Portland this week.
05/02/07
track news
Kudos for new Road Atlanta surface  The new racing surface at Road Atlanta has received favorable reviews from American Le Mans Series teams. Both Rahal Letterman Racing and Tafel Racing tested their Porsche GT2 entries at the 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course that was repaved earlier this year.

“There’s more grip right now for sure,” said Rahal’s Tom Milner. “I didn’t feel many more bumps, certainly nothing substantial. I liked not having concrete patches in turns 5 and 6 but some drivers think those are more technical. But it’s still the same Road Atlanta.”

Both teams were conducting the first proper tests of their Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs as the Series takes a break before the Utah Grand Prix on May 17-19 at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City. Porsche is in the unfamiliar position of trailing the manufacturers championship as Ferrari and Risi Competizione have taken wins at each of the four opening rounds. Recent tests by Porsche teams could even things up for the final stretch run, which includes Petit Le Mans on Oct. 6 at Road Atlanta. More ...

05/02/07
irl
St. Pete extends IRL deal for 2 years  ST. PETERSBURG - IndyCar racing will stay in town for at least two more years.

The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is returning to downtown St. Petersburg through 2009, Mayor Rick Baker announced Monday. Promoter Andretti Green Productions also set next year's race date for April 6.

The news ends any speculation that this year's race was the city's last. Andretti Green exercised a two-year option to extend the original contract.

"This race is going to happen on the first weekend in April for many years to come, " said Andretti Green co-owner Kevin Savoree. "We want people to mark their calendar 'St. Petersburg' and think, 'great car race.' "

Savoree would not say if the race, which is in third year, made a profit last month. But he said crowds exceeded expectations.  More at SPTimes.com

05/02/07
irl
Unser Jr., Foyt to team up  Al Unser Jr. will tote six Indianapolis 500 driving victories and a lot more history when the No. 50 ABC Supply Co. entry makes its qualifications attempt for the 91st Indianapolis 500.

Unser, a two-time winner of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," is joining forces with A.J. Foyt Racing and its full-time IndyCar Series driver, Darren Manning, for the Month of May. Their Honda-powered Dallaras will take the track for the first time May 8. The run for the AAMCO Transmissions Pole Award is May 12.

The No. 50 car is in recognition of Foyt's 50th anniversary in Indy car racing. The 91st Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 27, will be Foyt's 50th in a row as a participant. He won in 1961, 1964, 1967 and 1977 as a driver and in 1999 as a team owner.

Unser will be the 50th driver - and second Unser -- to run for Foyt since he began owning race cars in 1965. More ...

05/02/07
nascar
McCumbee and Andretti Named To Fill In For Petty  Level Cross, N.C. -  Petty Enterprises announces that Chad McCumbee and John Andretti will drive the #45 Marathon/Wells Fargo/Tire Kingdom Dodge this summer.  The duo will be filling the seat of full time driver Kyle Petty. 

Petty, with permission from primary and associate sponsors will step out of the car in a five race hiatus to join TNT during their six-race broadcast schedule. Petty will return to the car during the road course event at the Infineon Raceway and provide in-car race analysis.  Petty will complete the season after the July 15 event at the Chicagoland Speedway in the #45 Marathon/Wells Fargo/Tire Kingdom Dodge.

McCumbee, 22, will attempt to make his NASCAR Nextel Cup debut at the 2.5-mile Pocono (Penn.) Raceway on June 10 during the Pocono 500.  Veteran driver John Andretti will race the remaining four open races for Petty.  More ...

05/02/07
F1
Ferrari/Shell TV ad  We think you will find this Shell TV ad done using the Ferrari F1 team it sponsors, a perfect example of how a sponsor can activate the sponsorship program and have the race team or drivers it sponsors featured prominently.
05/02/07
TV news
Kenny Brack to be on David Letterman show  Kenny Brack will be a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman on Thursday night, May 3.  Kenny will be sitting in with the band.  The show airs at 11:35 pm - 12:35 am ET on CBS.  Check local listing for your time zone. 
05/02/07
f1
Barcelona: Wed.: Massa maintains Ferrari advantage  
Pos  Driver       Team                     Time     Laps
 1.  Massa        Ferrari             (B)  1:21.506  103
 2.  Webber       Red Bull-Renault    (B)  1:21.804   95
 3.  Trulli       Toyota              (B)  1:22.309  107
 4.  Kovalainen   Renault             (B)  1:22.378  121
 5.  Alonso       McLaren-Mercedes    (B)  1:22.579   73
 6.  Kubica       BMW Sauber          (B)  1:22.653   83
 7.  Button       Honda               (B)  1:22.765  114
 8.  Davidson     Super Aguri-Honda   (B)  1:23.027  112
 9.  Speed        Toro Rosso-Ferrari  (B)  1:23.713   96
10.  Albers       Spyker-Ferrari      (B)  1:24.870   63
11.  Rosberg      Williams-Toyota     (B)  no time     2
05/02/07
nascar
It's a Baby Girl for Andrea and Ryan Pemberton  Andrea Pemberton, wife of Ginn Racing crew chief Ryan Pemberton, gave birth Tuesday (May 1) to daughter Britton Ladera at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center in Mooresville, N.C. Britton weighed in at 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. Britton joins 3-year-old sister Payton Lucia in the Pemberton household.  
05/02/07
f1
Crash makes Williams abandon test  (GMM) Williams has abandoned the remainder of the Barcelona test after Nico Rosberg destroyed the sole FW29 chassis on Wednesday.

Most teams will continue running at the Catalan circuit also on Thursday, after the session was hit with bad weather on Tuesday, but Rosberg's shunt made morsels out of the Grove based team's revised bodywork package.

Scarce spare parts had already been flown out to Spain following test driver Kazuki Nakajima's crash on Monday at turn 9.

Rosberg's sizeable impact was at turn 10, and while he emerged unscathed, the car was badly damaged at the front and the right side, and the rear wing was also knocked off.

It is understood that the cause of the accident was driver error after the German got too high on the curbs, and photographs show team personnel and marshals at the scene collecting broken pieces of the Toyota-powered single seater after it spun through 180-degrees and connected with the tire barrier.

05/02/07
nascar
SPEED sets lineup for coverage of All-Star Challenge  Speed will deliver a full week of special All-Star programming in support of the network's inaugural exclusive broadcast of the Nextel All-Star Challenge on May 19 at 7 p.m. ET. Coverage will culminate with 48 consecutive hours of NASCAR programming over the All-Star Weekend. Highlighted by exclusive coverage of the NASCAR Nextel Pit Crew Challenge, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, NASCAR Nextel Open and NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge, SPEED also will deliver special All-Star episodes of Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain, The SPEED Report, NASCAR RaceDay and NASCAR Victory Lane. s part of a special three-hour NASCAR RaceDay All-Star Edition on May 19, SPEED will cover the inaugural Crew Chief Race from Lowe's Motor Speedway, an event featuring SPEED on-air personalities Larry McReynolds, Jeff Hammond and Chad Knaus. In addition, SPEED is working with NASCAR Images to deliver a series of specials, All-Star Spotlight and All-Star Memories, taking a look at some of the most memorable All-Star events in NASCAR history. Fox Sports
05/02/07
irl
Kansas attendance  Attendance for last Sunday's IndyCar race at Kansas Speedway was estimated to be 40 to 45K out of 80K seats. Over half the motorhomes that were present Saturday for the NASCAR Truck race were gone on Sunday morning, both on the outside rim of the backstretch and those parked in the infield along the backstretch.
05/02/07
a1gp
Teixeira bullish over A1GP future  A1GP chairman Tony Teixeira was in a bullish mood when he took to the stage at the A1GP gala awards in London – insisting to the audience that there should be no doubting the future of the World Cup of Motorsport.

Shortly before introducing seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher to present A1 Team Germany with the champion’s trophy, Teixeira announced to the guests that the financial recourses are already in place for the third season of the series.

“The critics said it would never happen,” Teixeira told the guests in his welcoming speech.

“At our first race the critics said we would never make the end of season one, and here we are at the end of season two.

“We are looking forward to season three and, you can be assured from me and our seat holders that there will definitely be a season three. And it will be as exciting, if not more exciting, than what we have seen up until now. More ...

05/02/07
a1gp
A1GP backers insist future bright  Trying to head off Bernie Ecclestone's threat to kill his series off, RAB Capital chief executive Phillip Richards has insisted that A1GP does not need to worry about what other racing series are doing, and should instead focus on continuing to provide its own strong product.

RAB Capital, the London-based investment management company, became the majority shareholder of A1GP in December 2006.

Richards was speaking to guests of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport gala awards at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

He told the audience: “What I really wanted to say tonight is that this series is here to stay. Everyone needs to know that. Our future sponsors, team owners, drivers and especially our fans. For next season, the season after that and the season after that and so on. More ...

05/02/07
Industry News
Video: New Volvo Safety System  

Volvo Cars unveils its new City Safety system, which is designed to help drivers avoid or minimize damage from low-speed rear-impact collisions. If the system senses that a collision is imminent, the car will brake automatically through hydraulic pump activation. Depending on the speed of the two vehicles, the system can either help reduce speed as much as possible before the impact or stop the collision entirely. The City Safety System will be on the market within two years.
05/02/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief   
  • De la Rosa likes criticized chicane
  • Valles hopeful of Friday drive in Spain
  • Brawn to decide F1 future in July
  • Crash can't dent Kimi's better mood
  • Better Barca weather for Wed, Thurs
  • Ralf predicts mid-year comeback
  • Heidfeld hopes BMW keep up with 'big boys'
  • F1 engine ace hits rock bottom with two wheels
  • FIA wants to spice up F1 - Mosley

De la Rosa likes criticized chicane
Countryman and fellow McLaren employee Pedro de la Rosa disagrees with world champion Fernando Alonso about the new chicane at Circuit de Catalunya.

Spaniard Alonso commented that he didn't like the slower solution, which has altered the two sweeping corners at the end of the lap, after testing it for the first time in February.

But de la Rosa, who is a test driver for the Woking based team, insisted in Barcelona this week that it is hypocritical to complain on the one hand about the loss of quick corners and on the other about wanting better safety.

"If we want things to be safer then we cannot be sorry about sacrificing those two corners," the 36-year-old is quoted as saying by the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

De la Rosa said he personally likes the chicane, which now feels better to drive than in the winter tests.

"Firstly, it is safer, and secondly it is easier to overtake at the end of the straight.

"In February there was no grip but now there is almost as much as the rest of the circuit," de la Rosa added.

Valles hopeful of Friday drive in Spain
Spyker test driver Adrian Valles says he is hopeful of driving for the Dutch team in official practice next Friday ahead of the Spanish grand prix.

The 20-year-old Spaniard is not flavor of the moment at the Silverstone based squad at present after heavily damaging the only F8-VII single seater at the Barcelona test.

But he told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo that Spyker chiefs are currently deciding whether to buck the trend of the season and sit out a race driver for Friday practice at the Circuit de Catalunya.

"I will know in the coming days," Valles said.

He indicated that his prospects of the drive appear positive.

"When I spoke to the team before this test they said it was essential that I gather enough kilometres so that I qualify for the Super License," Valles said.

We can confirm that, despite his heavy shunt on Monday which was apparently caused by a brake disc problem, Valles did indeed pass the mandatory 300km mark and should therefore obtain the necessary FIA document.

The only spanner in the works for Valles may be a lingering stiff neck; a slight injury triggered by the 240kmh side-impact into the barriers.

Valles said that, accident aside, he was "very happy" with his performance at the test.

"And so is the team," he added.  "I adapted quickly to the car, drove consistently and was quicker than (Giedo) van der Garde." More ...

05/01/07
cc
Portland Day 1: Bourdais fastest  [Editor's Note: The Panoz is already under the lap times of the Lola Champ Car.] On the heels of three straight races to start the 2007 Champ Car World Series season, teams and drivers barely had time to take a breath before returning to the track to continue testing the new DP01. Five teams with ten drivers made the trek to the Great Northwest and Portland International Raceway to continue to log miles and gather valuable data from the new car.

Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald’s Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and his Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing teammate Graham Rahal (#2 Medi|Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) rode the momentum of their 1-2 finish at the Grand Prix of Houston to unofficially take the top-two spots on the laps charts with laps of 57.18 and 58.13 seconds respectively.

Sitting third on the lap sheet is RSPORTS driver, Alex Tagliani (#8 LXN2 Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) who turned a lap 58.18 seconds. Tagliani is impressed with the DP01 on the permanent road course and is happy to be testing at Portland International Raceway. More ...

05/01/07
racing news
HANS Device saves HANS Stuck  After a collision with a standing car during the third round of the Long Distance Championship at the Nürburgring, Hans-Joachim Stuck has been taken to hospital. Considering the circumstance, the 56-year-old is well.

On lap 3 of the four-hour race at the Nordschleife, Hans was on his way to lapping another competitor. Both cars collided, and afterwards Hans’ BMW Z4 M Coupé crashed into the rear of another car that had stopped next to the track.

Following a first check in the medical centre, Hans was flown to Koblenz by helicopter, where he was further checked in hospital. The doctors diagnosed a broken lumbar vertebra and a bruise of the heart. However, Hans is well, considering this serious crash.

Hans was flown to the military hospital in Koblenz immediately after his collision with a car standing next to the track during the 49th ADAC ACAS H&R-Cup. There, the doctors diagnosed a fracture of the second lumbar vertebra, several severe bruises, as well as a contusion of the heart. "There is, however, no more danger of developing a blood clot. I really was very fortunate,“ Hans said following the examination. More ...

05/01/07
irl
Kanaan wants IRL to not only promote its backmarkers  [Editor's Note:  This article questions why the IRL continues to promote its backmarker drivers while the league's better drivers largely get ignored.] Over the last couple of years, Tony Kanaan has emerged as the unofficial leader for the IndyCar Series drivers. On Sunday, the 32-year old Brazilian met with Indy Racing League officials in a constructive effort to boost the series' profile with the media and the public.

Over the last couple of years, media coverage of the IndyCar Series increasingly has focused on Danica Patrick and her female driver counterparts. The return of Sarah Fisher and the arrival of Milka Duno to the series has diverted even more attention from the drivers at the sharp end of the field who are fighting for race wins and a championship. More at ESPN.com

05/01/07
f2000
Fierberg to pay off bet at Buttonwillow  Formula 2000 Pacific competitor Ira Fierberg will pay off a lost bet with Star Mazda driver Cole Morgan at the upcoming round of the F2000 Pacific Series at the exciting Buttonwillow Raceway Park Circuit May 5-6.

Fierberg, an alumnus of UCLA, bet Morgan, a University of Florida Student, on the outcome of the UCLA-Florida Basketball game in the Final Four of the recent NCAA Championships. Florida won the game handily. Accordingly, Fierberg is obligated to run his Dave Freitas Racing RF-05 Van Diemen at the Buttonwillow races with Morgan's name emblazoned on the sidepods. Morgan's name will be in pink, per Morgan's request. Morgan will be at Buttonwillow to witness Fierberg's embarrassment and to gloat as much as possible.

Fierberg stated, "I hope that Cole's name on the car brings us good luck. If so, we may well run his name all season. If not, I will personally peel the stickers off before the tires cool".

For more information, contact Cole Morgan at (954)448-5120 or Ira Fierberg at (310)990-2727

05/01/07
track news
Gate, grandstand information for 91st Indianapolis 500  Information on the gates and grandstands open to the public for practice and qualifying days and Race Day during the 91st Indianapolis 500, May 6-27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

All seats are general admission up to Race Day, May 27. There is reserved seating and general admission on Race Day.

Date
Gates Open to Public

May 6-10 (Practice)
2, 3, 4/4A, 7, 10/10A, 10 Walk-In

May 11 (Fast Friday)
1/1A, 2, 3, 4/4A, 6, 7, 9, 10/10A, 10 Walk-In

May 12 (Pole Day)
1/1A, 1C, 2, 3, 4/4A, 6, 7, 9, 10/10A, 10 Walk-In More ...

05/01/07
tv news
Brian France to discuss state of NASCAR  Tonight NASCAR Chair & CEO Brian France and Sprint Nextel Chair & CEO Gary Forsee will discuss the state of NASCAR and motorsports-related issues on PBS’ “CEO Exchange.”
05/01/07
TV news
2006 Indy 500 coverage earns Sports Emmy  For the second-straight year, ABC's coverage of the Indianapolis 500 earned a Sports Emmy Award. The Indianapolis 500 coverage was recognized for the Outstanding Open/Tease, which featured several drivers meshed with historical footage from the race's 90-year history.  Executive Producers John Skipper, Norby Williamson, Jed Drake, Mike Pearl and Bob Toms were recognized along with Senior Coordinating Producer Rich Feinberg, Coordinating Producer Jill Frederickson, Producers Shawn Murphy and Chris Pfeiffer and Editor Chris Reinhart.
05/01/07
usac
Auto racer Hines hurt in bike wreck  One of Indiana’s most successful race car drivers is in Methodist Hospital today following a serious dirt bike accident.   Tracy Hines, a two-time U.S. Auto Club series champion, suffered multiple leg and hip fractures after crashing into a fence near his New Castle-area home.  Details of the accident or the extent of Hines’ injuries have not been released.  Hines drives A.J. Foyt’s Silver Crown car and is the series’ points leader after two races. He won the March 23 race at Homestead, Fla., and was scheduled to race Saturday at Iowa Speedway.
05/01/07
cc
RSPORTS hopes Portland test will lead to improvements  RSPORTS did not even have a chance to stop and smell the roses while campaigning in the 2007 Champ Car season opening races in Las Vegas, Long Beach, or Houston as the three-in-a-row schedule kept the crew and drivers on the tips of their toes. This week, the team, along with drivers Alex Tagliani and Justin Wilson, hope to do just that when they hit the Rose City’s road course at Portland International Raceway in an attempt to reflect where they are at as a team and prepare for the upcoming challenges on road course circuits.

The excitement will reign for the 23rd time as the Champ Cars return to Portland International Raceway’s scenic 1.960-mile permanent road course on June 8-10. But before those festivities begin, the Pacific Northwest will have the chance to witness the sights and sounds of the new Champ Car DP01 on the Portland track this week. Several Champ Car teams will take the opportunity for some testing time at a track they will see in a few weeks as a battle field when they return for the G.I. Joe’s Presents The Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland. More ...

05/01/07
irl
Giebler, Lazier join Indy 500 field  INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- Phil Giebler (right) will make his IndyCar Series debut in the biggest race of the year. The Indy Pro Series graduate will team with veteran Jaques Lazier to compete for Playa Del Racing in the 91st Indianapolis 500 on May 27.

"It's an amazing feeling," said Giebler, who passed his Indy Racing League rookie test April 23 at Kentucky Speedway. "I've wanted to do this for years. I got the opportunity to do the Indy Pro Series car with Playa Del Racing (at St. Petersburg), and we hit it off great. Everybody wanted to do the same thing - go to Indy. That really came up fast for me. "It's the biggest race, the Super Bowl of racing. It's an amazing feeling. I just hope to do well and bring home a good result for the team."

Giebler will drive the No. 31 Playa Del Racing Panoz/Honda/Firestone and Lazier will drive the No. 21 entry. Giebler will participate in the Rookie Orientation Program at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 6-7.

"Leading up to the (rookie) test, I couldn't wait to get in the car and see what the IndyCar Series car is all about," said Giebler, who won at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2004 in his Indy Pro Series debut. "I was real impressed with the car and with the Playa Del Racing team." More ...

05/01/07
irl
Actor Patrick Dempsey to drive Pace Car  Actor Patrick Dempsey will drive the 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible Pace Car at the 91st Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 27.

Dempsey will bring the field of 33 starters to the green flag at the start of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," the world's largest single-day spectator sporting event. The race is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. (ET) and will be televised by ABC and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, XM Satellite Radio and the Armed Forces Radio Network.

Dempsey, a native of Lewiston, Maine, has played Dr. Derek Shepherd on "Grey's Anatomy" since 2005. The show is one of the highest-rated programs on American television.

"We're excited to welcome Patrick Dempsey as the Pace Car driver for the 91st Indianapolis 500," said Joie Chitwood, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and chief operating officer. "His acting performances throughout his career have captivated millions of fans, and he has become one of the biggest stars in television through his role on 'Grey's Anatomy.' More ...

05/01/07
racing news
NASCAR continues to lead in USA popularity  UPDATE #2 This poll is not of ESPN readers—but the public as a whole.

http://www.sportspoll.com/about_sportspoll.htm

Methodology
The ESPN Sports Poll provides measures that encompass all of these avenues of fan interest. We have found, through over eleven years of experience analyzing the sports market, that fan avidity and favoritism toward a particular sport are highly correlated with fan activity. Using these measures in conjunction with a corporation's target segment definitions and sponsorship investment data, we can provide the cost per reach per year for each segment. This information will allow corporations and/or properties to evaluate their overall sponsorship and sports marketing programs. This resource also provides the ability to price and negotiate sponsorship proposals for different sports, based on reaching specific consumer or business-to-business segments.

The ESPN Sports Poll methodologies include the following:

Representative of US population, 12+ in age
Random sample, 2,200 telephone interviews per month, approximately 26,400 annually
CATI and RDD employed
Sport/event fan screener
Interviews occur 360 days of the year
Questionnaire approximately 27-30 minutes in length
Results are weighted to be representative of the Total US Population (12+) by gender, race, region and age.



04/30/07 A reader points out, Reading this made me think, does this actually reflect on the whole country or just those who pay attention to ESPN.com’s motorsports pages? This poll doesn’t reflect realistically beyond their web page. Really it is poor form to say that this represents America’s tastes in motorsports. Although NASCAR’s popularity is obvious, the numbers and remaining positions on the poll seem so off. Brian Defreese

04/30/07 ESPN Sports Poll, asked their auto racing readers the past two years what their favorite form of motorsports is.  NASCAR continues to be the most popular form of motorsports in the USA by a wide margin.

FAVORITE TYPES OF AUTO RACING AMONG RACING FANS
RACING TYPE
2006
 
RACING TYPE
2005
NASCAR
58.7%
NASCAR
59.5%
Motorcycle
11.6%
NHRA
13.4%
NHRA
10.9%
Motorcycle
9.7%
Formula 1
7.0%
Formula 1
6.3%
IRL
6.5%
IRL
6.1%
Champ Car
1.4%
Champ Car
1.4%
Other
0.5%
Other
0.4%
None
3.4%
None
3.3%
05/01/07
nascar
Michael Jordan to be Grand Marshal  Michael Jordan is an all-star again. Jordan, managing member of basketball operations for the Charlotte Bobcats, will be grand marshal for the Nextel All-Star Challenge, the Charlotte Observer reports.

As an NBA player, Jordan appeared in 14 All-Star games. A North Carolina graduate, he virtually rewrote the NBA record book. He joined the Bobcats' front office in June.

Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships and was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player during each of those series. His career scoring average of 30.1 points is the highest in NBA history.

As grand marshal, Jordan will give the command, "Gentleman, start your engines," for the all-star race, which will pay $1 million to the winner.
05/01/07
f1
I've learned to be quiet - Alonso  (GMM) World champion Fernando Alonso says he has learned how to zip his lip whilst chatting with formula one's media.

"The less I say, the fewer problems I get," Spaniard Alonso, 25, told the website abc.es.

Before switching to McLaren from Renault last year, he famously declared that formula one is "no longer a sport" after his controversial qualifying penalty at Monza. More ...
05/01/07
f1
Rain puts damper on Tuesday testing  (GMM) Heavy and often torrential downpours at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on Tuesday put a damper on day two of the Spanish test. It is now certain that the session will be extended for another day to also include Thursday, but most teams continued to send their cars out of pitlane throughout Tuesday, even though mileage was significantly limited.

Unofficial morning times from Barcelona:
1. Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) - 1:33.324, 8 laps
2. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Toro Rosso-Ferrari) - 1:34.354, 16 laps
3. Nico Rosberg (Williams-Toyota) - 1:34.721, 27 laps
4. Takuma Sato (Super Aguri-Honda) - 1:36.067, 8 laps
5. Heikki Kovalainen (Renault) - 1:36.077, 7 laps
6. Rubens Barrichello (Honda) - 1:36.509, 9 laps
7. Jarno Trulli (Toyota) - 1:38.176, 13 laps
8. Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber-BMW) - 1:51.803, 2 laps
9. Mark Webber (Red Bull-Renault) - 1:53.751, 2 laps
10. Fernando Alonso (McLaren-Mercedes) - 2:04.818, 1 lap

05/01/07
TV News
irl
Danica Patrick to be on Jimmy Kimmel Live!  Danica Patrick will be a guest on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show.  The show airs at 12:05 am - 1:05 am ET early Thursday, May 3, (late Wednesday night) on ABC.  Check local listings for your time zone.
05/01/07
TV News
a1gp
Brands Hatch A1GP race to be televised  The Brands Hatch A1GP race run on April 29, will be televised Wednesday afternoon, May 2, at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET on SPEED. 
05/01/07
nascar
NASCAR auto tag wins Senate OK  "Trees are Cool." And NASCAR is, too. So says the Florida Senate, which voted Monday to create five new auto specialty plates, including a "Florida NASCAR" plate and one that proclaims the coolness of trees.

Sponsored by Sen. Carey Baker, R-Eustis, the bill would add to the 109 specialty plates already authorized by lawmakers. Money from the $25 annual fee for the NASCAR tag would be split among NASCAR, the charitable NASCAR Foundation, and the Florida Sports Foundation, which markets sports in the state. But the NASCAR tag hasn't crossed the finish line. The House version of the bill, which includes eight additional military-themed tags, hasn't been scheduled for a vote.

05/01/07
industry news
Trucks hold back GM  A slumping pickup market is hindering General Motors Corp.'s turnaround effort in North America just as the automaker was gaining momentum.

GM was counting on its new full-size GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado pickups to be smash hits, but the new trucks launched late last year are taking longer to sell than the outdated models they replaced, and they're leaving showrooms with just $420 less in incentives.

GM sold 200,505 of the trucks through the first three months of 2007, according to Edmunds.com, a figure one GM insider said fell well below internal projections.

The impact of the sagging truck market will come into sharper focus this week as GM and other major automakers report April sales today and GM releases its first-quarter financial results Thursday.

The prolonged slowdown in the U.S. housing and construction markets, combined with rising fuel prices, is weighing on pickup sales nationwide -- a high-profit segment on which Detroit's automakers are heavily dependent.

"Things aren't falling apart, but those external factors are having an impact," Jesse Toprak, chief economist for Edmunds.com, said of GM's pickup sales.  Detroit News

05/01/07
a1gp
Hulkenberg said to have bright future  German teenager Nico Hulkenberg can look forward to a bright future after steering his country to the A1GP title, according to seven-times Formula One world champion and compatriot Michael Schumacher.

Schumacher, who retired at the end of last year, put in a surprise appearance to present A1 Team Germany with the series trophy at an awards ceremony in London on Monday night.

The team's franchise holder is Schumacher's long-term manager Willi Weber.

Hulkenberg, 19, won nine races this season including the Brands Hatch finale last Sunday. Germany scored 128 points to New Zealand's 93 and Britain's 92.

"Nico's driving and A1 Team Germany's achievements this year have been excellent," organizers quoted Schumacher as telling the audience.

"Nico has everything he needs for the future -- it is a long way to go but he is working hard, so why can he not achieve everything?" added the former Ferrari driver.

05/01/07
nascar
Cup, Busch, Truck teams test dates at Lowe's Motor Speedway set  Testing sessions for Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series teams have been scheduled at Lowe's Motor Speedway in preparation for the track's calendar of May races, including the May 19 Nextel All-Star Challenge and the May 27 Coca-Cola 600. Each division will participate in a two-day testing session with a third day reserved in case of rain. The Nextel Cup Series is scheduled to test on May 7-8 (1-9pm/et; May 9 Rain Date); the Craftsman Truck Series is scheduled to test on May 10-11 (9am-9pm/et; May 12 Rain Date); and the Busch Series is scheduled to test May 14-15 (1-9pm/et; May 16 Rain Date). During each testing session, Lowe's Motor Speedway's frontstretch grandstand will be open free of charge and fans should enter through Gate 5A, located next to the main ticket office. LMS PR
05/01/07
nascar
Ford Racing aware of DEI-RYR merger talk  In response to media reports from this past weekend, Ford Racing confirmed it is fully aware of merger talks that have taken place between Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) and Robert Yates Racing (RYR) officials. “Ford is fully committed to Robert Yates Racing for the long-term, and they have assured us that are similarly committed to Ford,” said Kevin Kennedy, Ford Racing Technology Communications Manager. “Robert and Doug have been in contact with Ford about the nature of the discussions. We have a valued partnership with them, and they are keeping us informed of those discussions like a true partner would. We fully expect they will remain with Ford for many, many years.” Robert Yates Racing and Ford have a relationship that goes back to the formation of the race team in the late 1980s, and Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology, has repeatedly stated that the manufacturer is fully committed to bringing RYR back to the top of the field. Media reports this past weekend also stated that Ford had been in discussions with DEI about a switch from Chevrolet to Ford for the 2008 season. Davis has repeatedly said that Ford is interested in adding championship-level teams to its Cup roster. “We definitely have been talking with DEI. Truthfully, we’ve been having informal talks with them for several years,” said Kennedy. “We have not yet made a formal offer to them, but we know that their GM contract is up at the end of the year. We had some discussions with them, and we’ve made it clear that we’d love to have them in our program.” Ford Racing
05/01/07
Track News
Miss Milwaukee Mile contest announced  The Milwaukee Mile, America’s oldest active motor speedway, is into its second century of holding world-class championship auto racing events, and announces its second annual Miss Milwaukee Mile contest.

Over $25,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded throughout the contest, with an excess of $16,000 in cash and prizes going to the to-be-crowned Miss Milwaukee Mile.  The highly anticipated launch event for the Miss Milwaukee Mile Contest presented by Bacardi will be held Friday evening, May 4th at 8:00 p.m. at Zen Den at the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Milwaukee.

Last season’s Miss Milwaukee Mile Contest drew almost 1,000 entrants, culminating with the crowing of Mondovi, Wisconsin’s Alisha Olson at The Mile’s Governor’s Cup stock car racing weekend.

This year, the Miss Milwaukee Mile Contest presented by Bacardi will be promoted in part by Entercom Communications, one of the contest’s media partners that operates radio stations  Milwaukee’s SportsRadio 1250 WSSP and WXSS 103.7 KISS FM.  It will also be promoted by the contest’s online media partner, OnMilwaukee.com. More ...

05/01/07
alms
Road Atlanta testing for Tafel Porsche team  With a little time now to breathe and get things sorted, Tafel Racing will spend Tuesday at Road Atlanta doing a first proper test of its Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs in advance of the Utah Grand Prix and the second half of the 2007 American Le Mans Series.

All four team drivers – Robin Liddell, Wolf Henzler, Dominik Farnbacher and team owner Jim Tafel – all will drive in the test.

“We have a very extensive and specific program of things to run through,” said team technical director Tony Dowe. “We got the cars about a week before having to leave for the Winter Test, then by the time we got home for a couple of weeks to get ready for the race, you had very little time to test. Then after Sebring we went to St. Petersburg, then had two weeks to get to Long Beach and Houston the week after that.”

The Tuesday test will give Tafel plenty of time to travel to Churchill Downs for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. Tafel and his father James own Street Sense, which was listed Monday afternoon at 5-to-1 to win the 133rd Derby.

The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the Utah Grand Prix, set for 5:05 p.m. CT on Saturday, May 19 from Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City. CBS Sports will air the race at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 20. MotorsTV in Europe, SPEED Latin America and 7TV in Russia also will provide international coverage. American Le Mans Radio and IMSA’s Live Timing and Scoring will be available at americanlemans.com. ALMS PR

05/01/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief   
  • Rain in Spain!
  • Schu's still keeping busy
  • Ecclestone still F1's richest
  • Shunts and dodgy lap times in Spain
  • Williams inks new $42m 'RBS' contract
  • Ferrari debut new sidepods in Spain
  • Work continues at 'new' Spa
  • Alonso plays down 'radical' McLaren

Rain in Spain!
(GMM)  Bad weather will blight Tuesday's testing in Barcelona after heavy rain fell on the Circuit de Catalunya.

It is believed that most teams will run their cars anyway, however, following an agreement to extend the session to include a fourth day on Thursday in the event of wet weather.

Schu's still keeping busy
(GMM)  A few races into the first formula one season since 1991 without him, Michael Schumacher is still keeping busy.

The retired seven time world champion, to attend the Spanish grand prix next weekend in his advisor role for Ferrari, showed up at the awards night for the 'A1GP' category on Monday.

To a standing ovation at the gala event in London, Schumacher gave the champions' trophy to Team Germany and Nico Hulkenberg, who are both run by Schumacher's long time manager Willi Weber.

"Nico has everything he needs for the future -- it is a long way to go but he is working hard, so why can he not achieve everything?" Michael, 38, commented.

Later this week, the former Ferrari driver will set sail in Valencia with a sponsor and the New Zealand America's Cup team, according to Radio New Zealand. More ...

05/01/07
f1
Heineken and Spyker open first Formula 1 sports bar  Zoeterwoude - Heineken and the Spyker Formula One Team have signed an agreement to launch an innovative concept: the first-ever Formula 1 sports bar in the Netherlands. Alongside this ambitious plan, Heineken also becomes the official beer supplier of trackside events organized by the Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team during the FIA Formula One World Championship.

Further details regarding the sports bar concept, location and opening date of the bar are to be announced ultimately 1 July 2007. Besides the Formula 1 experience, the hospitality concept will carry both the Spyker and Heineken brands, but also the platform 'Enjoy Heineken Responsibly'. 'Enjoy Heineken Responsibly' encourages alcohol users to consume the beer to a safe and reasonable level.

Herwin van den Berg, Marketing Director of Heineken Nederland believes the cooperation between the two leading brands is a perfect match. 'Developing and realizing innovative bar concepts is a main priority for our company and this Formula 1 sports bar fits with our ambitions of being the most innovative brewer. Furthermore, the co-operation with Spyker gives us access to the Formula 1 experience with millions of international fans.'

Michiel Mol, director Of Spyker Formula One added, 'Having Heineken, one of the most international breweries of the world, as a partner for this concept and as a hospitality instrument proves that the marketing strategy of the Spyker team is working as planned. I'm very proud to join forces with such a well known brand; a brand that, as with our team, has its roots in the Netherlands.'

The partnership between Heineken and the Spyker Formula One Team was facilitated by Gr8industries.com, brand and marketing agency in the Benelux and China regions.

04/30/07
irl
Pieces in place for Wheldon for Indy  Dan Wheldon heads into the grueling month of May with all the pieces for a successful run in the 91st Indianapolis 500. The latest piece was added April 29 in the Kansas Lottery Indy 300.

The Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who lost by the blink of an eye in 2005 to then-Andretti Green Racing teammate Tony Kanaan on the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway tri-oval, paced 177 of 200 laps and led Dario Franchitti across the finish line under caution.

Wheldon now in his career has won at each of the five racetracks on the front end of the IndyCar Series' 17-race schedule, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This season, he's won two of the three speedway events, and - save for a communication device problem at Twin Ring Motegi - could have a wider cushion in the points championship. More ...

04/30/07
nascar
In Jeff Gordon, Earnhardt saw a star  Dale Earnhardt's fans have lambasted Jeff Gordon for a dozen years, showered him in beer cans, mocked his appearance and minimized his success.

They've missed the point, or maybe the joke, completely.

When Gordon tied the late legend with 76 victories at NASCAR's highest level at Phoenix on April 21, he had a unique opportunity. He had the win, a share of sixth on NASCAR's all-time wins list, and the forum to put it back in their faces.

But as Gordon, 35, rolled to a stop, a call came over the team radio that crewman Aaron Kuehn was rushing over a flag the team had stashed in its hauler since late last summer, when Gordon pulled one win behind Earnhardt. Kuehn handed it inside, unfurling it.

Earnhardt's iconic "3" in black and red.

This was not the gesture of a scorned man. It was the gesture of a friend, a colleague, an apprentice. And an accomplice in a ruse, a manufactured class war and textbook rivalry that benefited not only both men, but NASCAR as it readied to welcome in millions of new fans in the mid 1990s. More ...

04/30/07
nascar
Busch's HANS device cracked during Talladega crash  NASCAR on Monday tried to figure out why Kyle Busch's HANS device cracked during a spectacular crash at Talladega Superspeedway.

The frustrated driver, meanwhile, was trying to make sense of two hard wrecks that ruined his weekend.

Busch wrecked in Saturday's Busch Series event, when he was hit from behind and his car ended up on its roof before rolling several times through the grass. His HANS device, a NASCAR-mandated head-and-neck restraint system, cracked in the accident.

"It performed the way it was supposed to, but it had a slight stress crack in it after the accident," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said.

NASCAR sent the device back to manufacturer Hubbard Downing in Georgia for examination.

Busch, who also wrecked hard in Sunday's Nextel Cup event, has not seen the device but was told by his crew it had cracked. He wasn't overly concerned about it since he wasn't injured in the accident.

"I've been in some pretty bad wrecks, but that was the first time I ever got upside down or anything," he said. "It wasn't fun. It wasn't too terribly bad when I was on the roof going down the straightaway, but when it headed toward the grass I planned for the worst.

"I flipped my visor open and put my hands in my helmet to grab on, then I tucked down and got in the fetal position and planned for the worst. I just wanted to support my head as best I could for when it started flipping." More at ESPN.com

04/30/07
nhra
Ashley Force beats her father  Ashley Force won the first father-daughter race in NHRA history Sunday, edging 14-time series champion John Force in the first round of Funny Car eliminations as Robert Hight ran to his seventh career victory in the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

Ashley finished in 4.779 seconds to easily edge John (5.783 seconds). The 24-year-old rookie advanced to the semifinals, equaling the best Funny Car effort for a female driver in NHRA history, before losing to eventual runner-up Mike Ashley.

"Today, I'm a proud father," John said. "I've dreamed of this day for a long time and it makes me emotional to think it finally came true. She's a great young driver and she's probably gonna whip me a bunch, but I'm OK with it because she's my baby." More ...

04/30/07
nascar
Dodge to Sponsor of First NASCAR Busch Race in Canada  Stock-Car Montréal l.p., promoter of the NAPA Auto Parts 200, the first-ever NASCAR Busch Series race in Canada, is proud to announce today that Dodge will be the presenting sponsor of the August 3-4, 2007 race event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. This sponsorship gives Dodge cars and trucks exclusive promotional presence at this milestone racing event, and makes Dodge the official supplier of the cars and trucks of the event.

Dodge has a long standing association with stock car racing in Canada. The Dodge Charger will return for another season of high-speed action and will be joined by the new Dodge Avenger. The all-new 2008 Dodge Avenger is in dealer showrooms now, bringing the Dodge Charger heritage to the mid-size segment. It features the signature Dodge crosshair grille, muscular rear shoulders and modern, yet menacing, quad headlamps embodying the Dodge brand attributes of bold, powerful and capable. We are very happy to welcome Dodge as the presenting sponsor of the event," said Martin Spalding, General Manager of Stock-Car Montreal. "This new partnership helps us achieve our sponsorship goals for the Montreal event and assure its timelessness to the benefit of all Canadian NASCAR fans. In Dodge, we renew with a partner with whom we have had a great and productive relationship during past events. We are very confident that the agreement announced today will be fruitful for both parties." More ...

04/30/07
motogp
Ilmor disband MotoGP team  Ilmor have disbanded their MotoGP team in order to devote their energies to developing their engine. The team have had a disappointing 2007, being forced to suspend their racing activities after the season's first race. Team boss Mario Illien said he hoped they would return in 2007, and have kept riders Andrew Pitt and Jeremy McWilliams contracted. However, many other team members will be released from their contracts at the end of May.

"It is senseless to employ an entire race team when our track activity has ceased, albeit on a temporary basis," said Illien.

"I remain upbeat and I still strongly believe that we will find a financial partner for the team. In the meantime we have to restructure and put in place a smaller team dedicated to engine development."

04/30/07
f1
Valles uninjured after Barcelona shunt  The Spyker Formula One Team concluded the first day of its three day test program at the Circuit de Catalunya on the outskirts of Barcelona, Spain on Monday where Giedo van der Garde covered 37 laps in the morning, recording a best complete lap time of 1:24.99secs.

Over the course of the morning he focused on evaluating hydraulic systems and the hard and medium Bridgestone Potenza tires in advance of next week's Spanish Grand Prix, to be held at the same circuit from 11 to 13 May.

'This morning we concentrated on testing tires and hydraulics, and got lots of useful data. We had some problems with the hard tires, which didn't give a lot of grip on the cooler track, but with the medium tires it was a lot better,” he said. “From the last time I was in the car back in Valencia in February to now, you can definitely feel the improvement in the car and I can tell I have improved too. The track was very slippery after the rain yesterday, so it did take me a while to get up to speed again with the car but I got a good rhythm towards the end of the laps. It's great to be back in the car.' More ...

04/30/07
a1gp
Schu honors German A1GP success  Seven-times Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher has honored the success of his county in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport tonight, presenting A1 Team Germany with the World Cup trophy at the series' end of season awards ceremony.

He received a standing ovation from the gathered crowd when he was announced on stage.

Schumacher said: 'Nico's driving and A1 Team Germany's achievements this year have been excellent. Nico has everything he needs for the future - it is a long way to go but he is working hard, so why can he not achieve everything? I am proud as German, but it also because of the personal connections I have, that make this special to me.'

Nico said: 'It is what a driver always wants to achieve. Winning races and winning a championship. That's what we did this year. It is a good championship and it's great to represent your country. I'm proud to have won this title.

'You just need to open your eyes and look around at the race tracks. I have a good feeling for drivers. I am proud and very happy and we did a fantastic job this season.' More ...

04/30/07
ips
Leilani Münter to try Indy Pro Series  Up and coming stock car driver Leilani Münter has decided to kick off her fenders to try out some open wheel racing. After attending the Indy Pro Series open test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on April 27 as a guest, Münter will be testing an Indy Pro Series car in preparation to enter the Indianapolis Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 25 during the Indy 500 weekend. The race will air live on ESPN2.
 
The move to open wheel cars was somewhat unexpected as Münter had planned on moving into the ARCA Re/Max Series this season, a stepping stone to NASCAR. She attended the ARCA test in Daytona in December and was 24th quick of 59 racecars with a top speed of 177.644 mph.
 
"Obviously my career has been focused entirely on stock cars," said Münter, "but the opportunity to try open wheel came about and I am excited to be a part of the Indy Pro Series. I know I have a lot to learn about these open wheel cars, but I'm ready and anxious to learn." More ...
04/30/07
alms
Overnight Houston ALMS TV rating  The overnight TV rating of the tape delayed ALMS race from Houston, Texas (run a week ago) on CBS was a 0.6/1 share.
04/30/07
f1
Day 1 Barcelona: Raikkonen fastest  

Pos Driver Team Time Laps  1.  Raikkonen      Ferrari      (B)  1:21.195   98
 2.  Sato           Super Aguri-Honda    (B)  1:21.858   99
 3.  de la Rosa     McLaren-Mercedes     (B)  1:21.906  101
 4.  R.Schumacher   Toyota               (B)  1:21.983   92
 5.  Heidfeld       BMW-Sauber           (B)  1:22.114   74
 6.  Barrichello    Honda                (B)  1:22.665  132
 7.  Piquet         Renault              (B)  1:22.763  125
 8.  Liuzzi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari   (B)  1:22.771   56
 9.  Coulthard      Red Bull-Renault     (B)  1:23.165   47
10.  Valles         Spyker-Ferrari       (B)  1:23.343   44
11.  van der Garde  Spyker-Ferrari       (B)  1:23.466   37
12.  Nakajima       Williams-Toyota      (B)  1:24.248   43
04/30/07
nascar
Larry Carter wins Crew Chief of the Race award  Planning for the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, the second restrictor plate race of the season, had crew chiefs preparing for drafting, fuel strategies and how to avoid “the big one.”  For the No. 26 Roush / Fenway Ford Crew Chief Larry Carter, it was also essential to rekindle the momentum they had seen in previous races in hopes of projecting driver Jamie McMurray further up the leader board.  And that he did, by keeping his driver on the track at the right times and calling for a pit stop at the most appropriate moments, giving the team a solid top-5 finish for the race.  For his strategic decision-making and calculated race strategy, Carter won the WYPALL* Wipers Crew Chief of the Race. 
 
Throughout the race, Carter managed to keep the No. 26 team focused on steady pit stops while keeping McMurray out of harms way.  Starting from the 25th position, McMurray was quick to move closer to front of the pack.  When the caution flag waved with only 30 laps remaining of the 191-lap marathon, Carter opted to keep McMurray on the track, locking him into the lead group for the final sprint to the finish line.  The decision to stay on the track enabled McMurray to edge to the front, leading several laps to gain those coveted bonus points.  In the end, McMurray ran solid with the veterans, finishing the race with a much needed and well-deserved top-5 finish, which also gained him five positions in the overall drivers standings.
 
At the conclusion of the race, Carter emphasized the importance of their finish and what it meant to his team.  “We are continually striving to make this team better,” said Carter on his No. 26 Team.  “I really do work with a great crew.  Jamie was out there racing hard with some veterans today and did very well.  It is always great to bring your car home in one piece after a race like this.” Carter also added on winning the WYPALL* Wiper Crew Chief of the Race, “It is a honor to win this award.”
04/30/07
f1
McLaren test radical wing in Spain  (GMM) After trialing the innovation during the Menorca straight-line test last week, McLaren on Monday publicly tested a radical new front wing design as the group test at Circuit de Catalunya kicked off in dry conditions.

Test driver Pedro de la Rosa was at the wheel of the concept; a more aggressive version of the sort of front wing design pioneered by teams including Williams and Toyota.

The upper plane on the new McLaren wing, which was compared back-to-back with an older design on Monday morning, extends uniquely above and across the entire tip of the MP4-22's front nose.

The other significant talking point in Barcelona is the possibility that puffy overhead clouds could dump rain on the Spanish layout on Tuesday or Wednesday, perhaps extending the test to also include Thursday.

04/30/07
irl
Danica ruins teammate’s day  UPDATE A reader writes, After reading the write-up about the IRL race it seemed as if Danica was the blame for the pit mishap with TK.  As I saw it and everyone else did on TV it was clearly a mess up by the team itself for not holding her before Tony arrived or radio him to let her get out. She was told to go. That mishap was not her fault and I hope TK realizes that.  Robert Ryan, NY

04/29/07 Tony Kanaan, driver of the #11 Team 7-Eleven car, suffered damage to his car during an early pit lane incident and finished 15th at Sunday's running of the Kansas Lottery Indy 300.  Starting from the pole position, Kanaan was fine-tuning the Team 7-Eleven car during the first stint of the race while dealing with a slight understeer condition. 

While in second place and under green-flag racing conditions, Kanaan was entering the Team 7-Eleven pit box for his initial stop on lap 49 and was hit by the Motorola car driven by Danica Patrick as she exited the pits (right).  Kanaan spent several laps in the pit box for repairs to the inside front of his car before returning to the race.

Tony Kanaan, #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "This is an extremely disappointing day.  The Team 7-Eleven car was capable of winning."

George Klotz, Race Strategist, #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  "I don't know what to say.  It is definitely unfortunate.  Tony is mad and I feel bad for Danica too.  It is just something that happened.  Team 7-Eleven has found some speed so we'll go to Indianapolis and hopefully give Tony a car to win with."

04/30/07
f1
Iacconi maintains his innocence  Former Ferrari employee Mauro Iacconi still insists he is innocent of charges of stealing design secrets from Ferrari and giving them to the Toyota f1 team, despite being found guilty by a Modena court last week.

"It's true that the Toyota TF103 looked like a copy of the F2002, also because of its red color, but it's normal for F1 cars to resemble the winning machine," Iacconi told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.

"In the trial, my last aerodynamic chief at Maranello, Nick Tombazis, defended me by highlighting the fact that the Ferrari parts found in the CD-ROM were obsolete and unusable, so there was no point copying them.

"Who knows, maybe the whole point of the accusation was to put a stop to the brain drain from Ferrari. I'm known in my village for the social work I do; I don't want a stain I don't deserve."

"At 43 years of age I hope I'll be able to find a job soon, even if it's not car-related, just to start over," he added. "This story has burned me out."

04/30/07
f1
Toyota testing new suspension  Like several of their rivals the Panasonic Toyota Racing team are working hard to ensure they have the best possible package ready in time for the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix and as part of their preparations, third driver Franck Montagny spent two days in Italy straight line testing.

“I think that we are getting better and it is going well, but there is still a lot of work in prospect. While returning from Bahrain, I headed over to Italy for two days of aero testing,” he said on his official website. “It is necessary to continue to collect more data, a big part of off track work. I spent two days stabilizing speed: 200, 240, 280, 300, 320.”

During the test, the Frenchman tried out various wing values as well as other new parts for the car, however, as these tests were done in a straight line they need to be corroborated with work on a normal circuit. Therefore, it was time to head to Vallelunga where they were busy checking new suspension.

“We have a new solution, which should be very effective, but there are still many questions and therefore we are not yet ready to use it in race conditions,” Montagny explained.

04/30/07
motogp
Repsol Honda team looks to rebound  The Repsol Honda Team goes to this weekend’s Grand Prix of China looking for a repeat of last season’s success where Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden recorded a dominant one-two finish. The impressive 5.281km (3.280 miles) Shanghai International Circuit plays host to the MotoGP paddock for the third year, and all eyes will be on the performance of the new 800cc MotoGP machines at a track which, like Istanbul Park two weeks ago, hasn’t hosted winter testing.

Dani Pedrosa will be eager to quickly forget the events of the previous race in Turkey where he was the innocent victim of a first lap crash. Despite suffering bruising to his chest and neck in the unfortunate tumble, the 21-year-old Spaniard arrives in Shanghai full of confidence having taken the clean sweep of pole position, race win and fastest lap here last year. Pedrosa lies in third place in the world championship on 36 points after three rounds – this in spite of his no-score in Turkey – and the 2006 Rookie of the Year will be targeting another strong performance this weekend. More ...

04/30/07
nascar
Roush hopes to complete separation deal  Roush Racing officials are in talks with Ameriquest to finish a separation arrangement. Ameriquest had requested to be replaced as sponsor of Greg Biffle's #16 car this season. That could be completed by Darlington in two weeks. Roanoke Times
04/30/07
nascar
Red Bull in it for long haul  Team Red Bull director of competition Guenther Steiner reassured Yahoo Sports Bob Margolis this weekend that despite his team's difficult entry into Nextel Cup competition, they were "in it for the long run. If Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz had wanted to do it the easy way, he would have just sponsored one of the Hendrick cars," Steiner said. Yahoo Sports
04/30/07
nascar
No injuries, some arrests at Talladega 'Bubba-fest'  Talladega Superspeedway officials said no injuries were reported from the postrace beer-can barrage. Less than 10 people were detained, but hundreds of cans littered the track. NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter and Talladega Superspeedway president Grant Lynch released statements three hours after the Aaron's 499, which Jeff Gordon won to earn his 77th career victory and pass Dale Earnhardt on the all-time list. "We warned our fans about throwing debris on the racetrack and the consequences of such actions," Lynch said in the statement. "Additional security was brought in for the grandstands. We had a plan in place. I was in the grandstands at the conclusion of the race, and as promised, we enforced our policies and took appropriate action on individuals we were able to accurately identify. We aren't going to let less than one percent of out fans spoil a record-setting weekend," Lynch added in the statement. Hunter's statement echoed Lynch's comments. "It's very unfortunate a few unruly fans can ruin things for a lot of people," Hunter said in the statement. "The track put a lot of effort into preventing this type of behavior. Our fans are passionate, but this type of behavior doesn't represent the majority of our fans." ESPN.com
04/30/07
irl
Penske: Teams separate  Roger Penske insisted Sunday the car to be driven by Ryan Briscoe in the 500 will be independently operated even though the team owner is Penske's son, Jay.

"It's all people we know (working on the car), and many of them are people from our organization," said Penske, who also has NASCAR and American LeMans programs in his facility in Mooresville, N.C. "But as far as it being our team, no, it's not. It's a separate program.

"My son found the sponsor (Norton 360, a software company), he put it together and his group will be running the show."

Briscoe's No. 12 car, leased from Penske, will be led by IROC president Jay Signore and engineered by Nigel Beresford, a Penske employee who is the lead engineer on the ALMS program. Indy Star
04/30/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief   
  • Red Bull boss denies near Schu coup
  • Ralf tries to spark silly season
  • Renault yet to understand '07 struggle
  • Winkelhock hopes for Friday outing
  • $40m pledge to keep F1 in Germany
  • F1 bursts back into life on Monday
  • Kerr - I could make it in F1
  • Theissen vows to keep BMW small

Red Bull boss denies near Schu coup
(GMM)  A move for Michael Schumacher from Ferrari to Red Bull was never on the cards last year.

That is the insistence of Red Bull magnate and Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, despite widespread speculation last year that said 38-year-old Schumacher was weighing up whether to retire or simply move to another team.

Ferrari boss Jean Todt at the time dismissed the Red Bull gossip as "fantasy"; a description now backed by the man purportedly at the middle of the saga.

"Schumacher never received an offer from us," Mateschitz told the German newspaper Die Welt.

"It would have been wrong both for him and for us."

He agrees with Todt that if the seven time world champion ever returns to the grand prix paddock, it will be with one of the big teams.

"Schumacher's is the biggest name in formula one," Mateschitz insisted.  "If he comes back, surely it would be with Ferrari or one of the other top teams.

"It would of course be fantastic for formula one, but I think it is too premature a topic for the moment." More ...

04/29/07
Racing News
Quotes of the Week  
TONY STEWART, NASCAR driver, Joe Gibbs Racing
"I guess NASCAR thinks 'Hey, wrestling worked, and it was for the most part staged, so I guess it's going to work in racing, too,'" Stewart said. "I can't understand how long the fans are going to let NASCAR treat them like they're stupid before the fans finally turn on NASCAR. I don't know that they've run a fair race all year.  It's like playing God. They can almost dictate the race instead of the drivers doing it. It's happened too many times this year.”  Stewart was so upset at the officiating at Phoenix on Saturday that he blew off a NASCAR-mandated appearance in the Media Center following the race to show NASCAR his frustration.  “I didn’t want to go to the media center and bash NASCAR,” Stewart said. “It’s about the integrity of the race and the integrity of the sport and when I feel like our own sanctioning body isn’t taking care of that, it’s hard to support them.  It’s hard to feel proud about being a driver in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series when they’re throwing debris cautions.”  (On his weekly radio show "Tony Stewart Live” on Sirius Satellite Radio’s NASCAR channel, Stewart vented his frustration at the seemingly endless string yellow flags waved for debris which have influenced the outcome of several races so far this season, following a rash of suspect yellows in the Nextel Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, comparing NASCAR to the likes of World Wrestling Entertainment)

FELIX SABATES, NASCAR team co-owner, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
"He's a spoiled little brat," Sabates said.  "NASCAR should suspend him.  If he was my driver, I would have fired him on the spot."  (Commenting on Tony Stewart's stinging commentary of NASCAR as a result of Stewart's frustration over several “debris” caution flags that have been called in several races this season, and for Tony refusing to address the media following his second-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway) More ...

04/29/07
nascar
Busch pans NASCAR’s ’Bubbas’  Third-place finisher Kurt Busch was incensed by the reaction of fans at Talladega to Gordon’s victory.

“I’ve been working on my fan base for years,” Busch said, “and I probably won’t have any after this comment, but it’s very disappointing to see race fans throw Miller Lite beer cans all over the racetrack. It’s very unfortunate.”

Miller Lite is the sponsor of Busch’s No. 2 Dodge. Cup Scene Daily

04/29/07
nascar
Drunken NASCAR ’Bubbas’ pelt cars with beer cans  Talladega is considered Earnhardt country. The fans here loved the late Dale Earnhardt, who won at the Alabama track 10 times, and they adore Dale Earnhardt Jr., the living legacy of his father and a five-time winner here. Right, The race isn’t even over yet and already you can see the beer cars hitting the track thrown by the classless drunken 'Bubba' NASCAR fans.

When Junior drove into the lead late in the race, the roar from the 140,000 throats was louder than the engines on the track. The disappointment was palpable when Earnhardt faded from contention and wound up finishing fifth.

Then the race finished under caution and the hated Jeff Gordon – the anti-Earnhardt, as far as many fans here are concerned – was declared the winner. It was his 77th career victory, breaking a tie for sixth on the career win list with the elder Earnhardt – which also didn’t sit well with some in the big crowd.

Even before the field drove slowly around the 2.66-mile oval for the final lap under the yellow flag, beer cans were raining down on the track. More ...

04/29/07
nascar
Jeff Gordon moves into sixth on All-Time Win list  Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) won the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway to move into sole possession of sixth place on NASCAR’s all-time wins list.  Gordon’s victory was the 77th of his career, moving him ahead of Dale Earnhardt. Gordon won last week at Phoenix International Raceway to end a 25-race winless streak and tie Earnhardt with 76 victories.

Gordon’s win was another milestone in an already impressive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series career. Gordon has four series championships (1995, ’97, ’98 and 2001), second to Earnhardt and Richard Petty who have seven apiece. In addition, Gordon has 60 Budweiser Poles (fourth all-time), 220 top-five and 295 top-10 finishes. His to-date career winnings total is in excess of $84 million, over $20 million more than the next highest competitor, Mark Martin. More ...

04/29/07
ga
Angelelli, Magnussen victorious at VIR  Max Angelelli and Jan Magnussen scored a double-milestone victory in Sunday’s Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series VIR 400 in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley of Wayne Taylor Racing. It was the 10th victory for SunTrust Racing in 42 starts since joining the series in 2004, and the very first for the newly formed Wayne Taylor Racing team, which took on the responsibility of carrying the SunTrust Racing banner just this past off-season.

Most importantly, today’s 3.5-second victory over the polesitting No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac of Max Papis and 18-year-old driving phenom Colin Braun hoisted SunTrust Racing into the series championship lead after the season’s fourth of 14 events. The SunTrust team, which won the series championship in 2005 with Angelelli and Wayne Taylor sharing the season-long driver’s seat, leapfrogged the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates entry in the standings and leaves here with a nine-point (127-116) lead after scoring its fourth consecutive podium finish to open the season. The SunTrust team started the day trailing the Ganassi team by one championship point, and the No. 01 finished eighth today. Angelelli, Magnussen and Taylor were joined by four-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon in a season-opening third-place finish at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Angelelli and Magnussen followed that up with another third-place finish at Mexico City, a runner-up finish at Homestead, Fla., and today’s landmark victory at Virginia International Raceway. More ...

04/29/07
Formula Palmer-Audi
Justin Wilson's brother wins Brands Hatch race  Stefan Wilson followed in the footsteps of his elder brother Justin by taking his maiden Formula Palmer Audi win in Round 4 on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.

The 17-year-old Yorkshireman started second on the grid and hunted down Round 3 winner Tim Bridgman, passing him down Pilgrim's Drop with four laps to go. The win came in only Stefan's 10th car race, as he aims to emulate Justin, who won the first-ever FPA championship in 1998 before going on to race in Formula 1.

Behind the leading pair, Jolyon Palmer headed the chasing pack in the early stages, with Luciano Bacheta making the break past him at Stirling's on lap six, with Jack Clarke making it past at the same corner. Jolyon eventually fell to sixth after Jason Moore made it through into fifth three laps later, but held off a sustained last-lap onslaught from Dominik Jackson to remain in the top six. But there was no denying an emotional Wilson his first win in stunning fashion.

"It's an incredible feeling to win for the first time," said the Solvents With Safety-backed driver. "It means a lot to me, especially as I didn't win a race in karting last year, and I've got to thank my dad Keith for being so supportive!" More ...

04/29/07
irl
Reader Opinion
IRL welcomes American enemy  UPDATE Another reader writes, There seems to be an assumption in the racing media that all racing fans are from the right side of the political spectrum.  Well, I am  not, and I'm sure that many other fans are not.  I don't give a damn that Milka Duno is from Venezuela.  I agree with some of what Chavez says about George Bush.  If more people in our own country had been critical of the Bush Administration, we wouldn't have a steady stream of body bags coming home from Iraq.  I am a staunch opponent of Tony George.  He ruined open-wheel racing in this country.  That's what he did wrong.  But letting someone from whatever country race here is not wrong.  I frankly think that AutoRacing1.com should steer clear of non-racing politics.  But in any event, all racing fans do not share the right-wing xenophobic views of this reader.  Milka Duno might not be a great driver (we shall see), but where she is from is fine with me.  If your website is going to give space to one political view,  then be fair and post this too.  Dean Abramson

04/29/07 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I have to wonder why no one has written anything about CITGO as Duno's sponsor. Isn't the owner one of America's enemies? How can they allow this to happen without writing a word?  President Hugo Chavez has made many deleterious statements about and against America.  And on top of it the IRL now has three women, all getting more media attention than the men that beat them easily on the track week in and week out.  Face it -- they are inferior and belong in a girls league, which proves that the IRL is not a sport, but a hyped-up for all the wrong reasons show. Craig Smith, Indianapolis
04/29/07
a1gp
Hulkenberg spoils the Brit's party  Germany's Nico Hulkenberg took the lead at the start and led all the way to defeat the British A1GP team in Sunday's feature race at Brands Hatch. A lot of British fans went home disappointed after their British team won both the pole and the sprint race held earlier today. Robbie Kerr stayed right behind Hulkenberg all the way but could never find a way past despite having the faster car. Full report to follow later......

04/29/07
nascar
Waltrip stuck in vicious circle  No matter what Michael Waltrip does, every Sunday is the same. A NASCAR Cup race is held and he's not driving.

The colorful personality, sponsor-savvy NASCAR driver and rookie owner's life seems like a song stuck on repeat.

He failed to qualify for the Cup race in Phoenix last week, wanted to quit and then watched teammates David Reutimann, a rookie, and veteran Dale Jarrett drive to 32nd- and 29th-place finishes, respectively. Waltrip said he felt depressed, went testing, felt more optimistic by Thursday and thought to himself, ``I'm bigger than this, it ain't going to get me.''

But it did, and so he's caught in this vicious cycle. Waltrip will miss his eighth consecutive race since competing in the season-opening Daytona 500, after Reutimann bumped him out of the 43-car field in qualifying for today's race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Another Sunday, another race that will further bury Waltrip in the standings.

''We've failed so far,'' Waltrip said as he sat outside his No. 55 Toyota hauler Friday. ``If you had said we're eight races in and only made one and, by the way, the one I made I got minus points [through a NASCAR penalty], I wouldn't have dreamed it. We haven't performed at a level anywhere near what I expected, we haven't performed at a level anywhere near what our sponsors expected.''

Welcome to Waltrip's world. He's a poster boy for Toyota's struggles. No drivers are in the top 35. Four of seven Toyota drivers did not make today's race based on their qualifying efforts -- a trend that has persisted throughout the season.

Waltrip, who owns a first-year, three-car Toyota Cup operation, expected some growing pains but not this: underwhelming performance, personal and professional embarrassment and no escape.

''It could not have gone any worse unless somebody got hurt,'' Waltrip said of this season.

Rick Hendrick, who broke into the Cup series as an owner in 1984, said Waltrip building a three-car team is a ''major accomplishment'' and said, ``I feel for him.'' More at Miami Herald

04/29/07
nascar
Busch Walks Away From Scary Crash  Kyle Busch walked away from a spectacular crash early in Saturday's Busch Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. Busch was running second as the field drove off turn four on the 2.66-mile oval to complete lap 27 of the 117-lap Aaron's 312. Busch suddenly darted up the banking as he prepared to pass #9-Kasey Kahne for the lead. Tony Stewart, in third, followed and appeared to hit Busch's car. Busch then bounced off the car driven by Casey Mears and turned across the track and into the wall. Busch's car was on its side as it struck the outside barrier, then skidded on its roof down the banking and onto the grass infield, where it began barrel-rolling as flames erupted from under the hood. The #5 Chevy finally stopped on its wheels and Busch quickly scrambled from the cockpit. He walked straight to a waiting ambulance for the mandatory ride to the infield medical center. Associated Press
04/29/07
irl
Steep learning curve for rookie Duno  The moment was symbolic of the new days of Indy-car racing.

Danica Patrick was standing alone on pit road, frustrated by her qualifying run Saturday at Kansas Speedway. Sarah Fisher came walking up. Few noticed either of them because Milka Duno, a rookie, had the spotlight.

Duno, a 35-year-old Venezuelan, is the new spark, a fresh face with a dazzling smile. She has already been on several magazine covers. She talks fast and turns heads even quicker, Charo-like.

The question is, can the sports car driver with very little open-wheel experience -- and next-to-no time on oval tracks -- handle an Indy car? She's only beginning to find out.

Duno has spent only three days driving these cars, and two of those came while running 320 solitary laps in private tests. She passed her rookie test Thursday and experienced other cars zooming around her for the first time Saturday.

Today, as the slowest qualifier in a 21-car field, Duno will try to keep learning on the fly while avoiding packs of hell-bent drivers.

Duno's plan?

"Stay out of the way," she insisted.  More at Indy Star

04/29/07
nascar
Darnell Dominates Kansas truck race  KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Erik Darnell started at the back Saturday in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 Craftsman Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway. He didn't stay there long.

Darnell was impressive from the drop of the green flag, driving through the field to his first truck series victory in 31 starts. The Roush Fenway Racing driver led 92 of 167 laps on the 1.5-mile track and finished 10.440 seconds in front of runner-up Rick Crawford.

Darnell qualified in 10th position, but his No. 99 Ford was forced to start at the back of the 36-truck field for making unapproved adjustments. More ...

04/29/07
a1gp
Kerr takes easy win in Sprint race  Great Britain has made A1GP history today dominating the Brands Hatch Sprint race from start to finish so becoming the first team to win a home race in the series. Driver Robbie Kerr led from pole, setting a new circuit record on his final lap, and closing the gap in its battle with New Zealand for second place in the championship.

Great Britain's Robbie Kerr stormed off the grid slipping the red, white and blue car ahead of Germany's Nico Hülkenberg and pulling away throughout to build a lead that was never threatened. Behind them, all 23 teams made a clean start with the Netherlands, South Africa, Ireland and Mexico all gaining two places on their original starting positions.

The action began later into the first lap with a collision between Ireland and New Zealand. Irish luck was with the team as the car continued undamaged while Black Beauty lost its front wing, forcing a pit stop at the end of the lap, and pushing the team, currently defending second place in the championship from the Brits, to the back of the field. While driver, Matt Halliday fought to re-gain places, it was the retirement of others that eventually got the team to 16th on the Feature Race grid. More ...

04/29/07
Reader Opinion
nascar
Tony Stewart is right  A reader writes, Pathetic!  Look at the NASCAR qualifying times.  Michael Waltrip was 20th fastest and didn't make the field!  Five cars got in that were slower than the slowest of the nine who "did not qualify".  The real ones who did not qualify are the ones who were pampered into the field with provisionals.  To add insult to injury, these losers will get full points, which will protect their future top-35 positions, while faster cars are locked out.  Tony Stewart is right.  NASCAR is a joke which shares more in common with pro wrestling than a true sport! Wes Barton
04/29/07
starmazda
Cameron Wins Mazda Race  Sonoma, CA – Dane Cameron maintained his status as the ‘body in motion’ with his second consecutive victory in this afternoon’s Star Mazda Championship event at Virginia International Raceway.

Cameron, starting third on the grid, moved his #19 JDC Motorsports Pro Formula Mazda into second place before the first turn, and took the lead on the re-start after a full-course caution early in the race. He held the lead throughout the remainder of the 45-minute race. Ron White finished second, with Marco DiLeo coming in third.

“The team had the car balanced really well for the race and I won’t say it was easy because we had to hustle all the way to the checkered flag,” says the 18 year-old native of Sonoma, California. “But the car was much better than qualifying where we had a set of mismatched tires that really upset the handling. We got it all back on track this morning and were fastest in the warm up session and maintained our winning momentum in the race.” More ...

04/29/07
ga
Pedro Lamy joins SunTrust Racing  ATLANTA -- Max Angelelli, the 2005 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series co-champion with team owner Wayne Taylor, will share the driving duties of the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley of Wayne Taylor Racing with a new teammate beginning May 20 at Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, Calif.

Former Formula 1 driver and two-time Le Mans European Series (LMES) champion Pedro Lamy of Portugal is slated to co-drive with Angelelli at the remaining Rolex Series events on the 2007 schedule that Angelelli's regular co-driver this season, Jan Magnussen of Denmark, is unable to attend due to conflicting, preexisting driving commitments. Magnussen will be back in the SunTrust Racing machine at selected events later this season.

Lamy, the 35-year-old out of Lisbon who is the first Portuguese driver to score a championship point in F1 competition, was a GT-class champion in the European-based LMES both in 2004 and 2006, and the FIA GT champion in 1998. He also competed as a factory Aston Martin driver in the U.S.-based American Le Mans Series (ALMS) the past two seasons, scoring GT1-class victories in 2006 at Laguna Seca, Lime Rock (Conn.) and Mosport (Canada). More ...

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