2016 NASCAR Talladega Xfinity Post Race Interviews NASCAR XFINITY Series managing director Wayne Auton, race winning driver Elliott Sadler, car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and crew chief Kevin Meendering (No. 1 OneMain Chevrolet); second place finisher Justin Allgaier (No. 7 Breyers Chevrolet) and third place finisher Brennan Poole (No. 48 DC Solar Chevrolet) Comment
NASCAR Richmond TV Ratings (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Richmond earned a 3.1 'final' rating and 4.7 million viewers on FOX last Sunday afternoon, down 6% in ratings and 16% in viewership from 2014, the last time it was run as scheduled on a Saturday night (3.3, 5.6M). Last year's race, which was postponed from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon, had a 3.3 and 5.2 million. The 3.1 rating is the lowest ever for a Sunday Sprint Cup race on FOX, falling below the previous mark of 3.4 for Bristol one week earlier, and the third-lowest regardless of day. The past three races on FOX rank among the network's five lowest rated ever, with Texas dead last, Richmond third, and Bristol fifth at 3.4.
Reports this week were that Ferrari was blowing its wad again on more engine upgrades for the Russian GP. But AR1.com told you Mercedes has plenty in hand and will always stay a step ahead of the Ferrari. So far this year, and through three practices in Sochi, Mercedes has completely dominated the proceedings.
Row 1: Mercedes Row In final practice in Sochi Lewis Hamilton grabbed top spot over Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by 0.068 seconds. It really does not matter who is driving the Mercedes car, they will turn near identical times because F1 is 99.9% car and the Aldo Costa designed Mercedes is superior.
Boston Mayor crashes and burns as IndyCar waves red flag
Democrat Mayor Martin J. Walsh is left with as much egg on his face as Mark Miles
Mayor Martin J. Walsh was behind the wheel of the Grand Prix of Boston and got burned by its fiery crash, ignoring a series of repeated wrong turns and warning signs that the race would never get off the starting line.
Walsh’s administration spent a year pushing an idea that seemed ludicrous to many Bostonians: hosting a high-speed IndyCar race in a city that can’t even fill potholes or sync up its traffic lights.
The mayor also enabled the race promoters, who made repeated false claims about winning approvals and were ill-prepared to deal with the half-dozen city, federal and state agencies that controlled roads where they wanted to build the course.
Despite good corporate backing Boston GP was doomed to fail
The day it was announced that the City of Boston was not partnering with the GP and all costs had to be borne by the race promoter was the day AR1.com predicted the race would never happen. That was last September and that prediction has come true. IndyCar was clueless.
The thing that makes me think INDYCAR wanted to make Boston work is that the race -- and the people who worked for it -- appeared to have a lot of corporate partners lined up.
And to be honest, it takes a lot of corporate partners to get an event off the ground -- particularly a first-year street race.
Start first with the Grand Prix of Boston powered by LogMeIn presenting sponsor -- LogMeIn -- which was announced last October.
Official statement from the organizers of the GP of Boston (Update and from the City) UPDATE BOSTON - Friday, April 29, 2016 - Below is a statement from Patrick Brophy, Chief of Operations for the City of Boston:
"The City of Boston will always be open to opportunities that will positively showcase our city, however as we continued to work with Boston Grand Prix they were unwilling or unable to meet the necessary requirements to hold an event of this size. The Mayor feels strongly in protecting the taxpayers and limiting the impact to residents, and we are not shy that we held them to very high standards."
Attached is a letter of agreement signed by all parties involved.
Talladega Super Speedway Announcement From the AR1.com YouTube page: Talladega Superspeedway announcement with Tony Stewart (No. 14 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) and Danica Patrick (No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet); Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Toyota) and Carl Edwards (No. 19 ARRIS Toyota) Comment
Video: NASCAR Talladega Xfinity Q&A with Darrel Wallace Jr and Ty Dillon From the AR1.com YouTube page - Darrell Wallace Jr. (No. 6 Kleen Performance Ford, NASCAR XFINITY Series) and Ty Dillon (No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, NASCAR XFINITY Series) Comment
Boston IndyCar race cancelled (Update) UPDATEThe following is a statement from INDYCAR:
IndyCar gets egg on its face yet again.
INDYCAR was made aware of the news involving the Grand Prix of Boston this evening. We are obviously disappointed with these media reports and are in the process of gathering additional details and will respond accordingly at the appropriate time. At this stage it is premature for INDYCAR to comment further on the situation locally in Boston or the prospect of an alternate event.
AutoRacing1.com predicted this race would never happen last September. That prediction has come true (See rumor update on rumors page).
Days after Boston GP CEO John Casey told racer.com that all systems were go for the race, AR1.com published an article that said it probably would not happen. We explained to you that the Army Corp of Engineers Permit process for building in a flood zone could never be completed in time. And it's not.
Grand Prix Promoters of an Indycar race in the Seaport this fall are peeling out of Boston and will not race here, said John Casey, president of the Grand Prix of Boston.
IMSA Monterey Friday Notebook Mazda Prototypes Go 1-2 in Friday Practice at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
MONTEREY, Calif. – It would certainly be appropriate, but “appropriate” doesn’t always mean much in motorsports: The fastest cars in the two practice sessions for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda, taking place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, are Mazdas.
It’s the first time the Mazda Prototypes have led a practice day in the nearly two-and-a-half years they have raced in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Stewart talks about his fine, splitting duties with Dillon
Tony Stewart, dressed as a fairy, talks to the media at Talladega Friday while Danica Patrick looks on
Tony Stewart met with the media Friday at Talladega Superspeedway:
WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE WHOLE LUGNUT CONTROVERSY, WHICH HAS BEEN RESOLVED WITH THE RULES CHANGE? WHAT WENT INTO YOUR DECISION TO MAKE THE DONATION TO THE AUTISM SOCIETY?
Stewart: "I've been trying to figure out how many more $35,000 rules changes I want to make (laughter). I'm glad that something has been done. Scott Miller is a huge asset to NASCAR right now. And from what I understand, he's the one who spearheaded getting something done.
Joe Gibbs Racing driver Carl Edwards was made available to the media at Talladega Superspeedway:
CARL EDWARDS, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What is your outlook this weekend at Talladega?
“Now we go practice and we’ve been doing great. The cars have been fast and we’re working well together as a team. Dave Rogers (crew chief) and I are having a blast and that’s cool to have those two wins. We’ve been just running well. We’ve had a couple races where we’ve struggled, but we’ve just kept digging and never quit and we just come here and just duplicate as a group what we were able to do at Daytona, I was really proud of that.”
Logano and McMurray top Talladega practice sessions
Jamie McMurray hits 199.7 mph
The Aspen Dental Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway got off to a roaring start on Friday, with a total of five practice sessions between the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards taking to the 2.66-mile oval track.
Jamie McMurray topped the speed charts at 199.737 mph in the first session of practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 in the No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet. McMurray is a two-time winner, 2009 and 2013, at NASCAR’s Biggest and Baddest track.
Carl Edwards, winner of the past two consecutive NSCS races, said he enters the weekend encouraged by the success displayed by Toyota during February’s Daytona 500, which was won by teammate Denny Hamlin. “It was something like I’ve never been a part of. I don’t know if that same type of thing will work at Talladega, but it’d be hard not to try. We’ve got a really good group that understands what teamwork is.”
Renault board maintains Ghosn's 2015 pay despite shareholder revolt
Carlos Ghosn laughing all the way to the bank
Renault's board stuck by its decision to pay Carlos Ghosn 7.2 million euros ($8.2 million) for 2015 in defiance of a non-binding shareholder vote against the chief executive's package on Friday.
Shareholders representing 54 percent of voting rights at the French carmaker opposed Ghosn's pay package at its annual meeting.
In a hastily convened session after the gathering, Renault said its board decided to maintain Ghosn's payout, which includes 1.23 million euros in fixed salary, 1.78 million in variable pay and a further 4.18 million in deferred bonuses and stock.
Rucker to sing national anthem at 100th Indianapolis 500 Three-time GRAMMY Award winner and multi-platinum recording artist Darius Rucker will perform the national anthem before the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Rucker will sing in the traditional spot on Indy 500 race day before the 33 drivers are called to their cars and the singing of "Back Home Again in Indiana."
Vettel hit with five-place grid penalty for gearbox change
Vettel can't catch a break as the new Ferrari is quite the 'lemon' from a reliability perspective
Sebastian Vettel will start the Russian Grand Prix five-places lower than he qualifies, with Ferrari forced to change his gearbox ahead of qualifying on Saturday following yet more reliability troubles for the German.
Vettel stopped on track during second practice on Friday resulting in a brief Virtual Safety Car whilst his car was cleared by marshals. He and the team later confirmed he suffered an "electronics failure", but the team will also change his gearbox according to the FIA - the two incidents aren't related, with Vettel sustaining gearbox damage in China.
"The above driver [Vettel] did finish the last race in Shanghai and this gearbox change was before the six consecutive Events expired. Therefore this is not in compliance with Article 23.6a of the 2016 Formula One Sporting Regulations."
Ricciardo: Rain and oil no problem for canopy (Update) UPDATE
Ricciardo says visibility not a problem and tearoffs and Rain X will take care of maintaining visibility
Ahead of his first lap with Red Bull's aeroscreen, Daniel Ricciardo said the device has no major impact on his line of vision.
Ricciardo has already had a feel for the device having spent some time in his RB12 fitted with the aeroscreen in the team's garage on Thursday afternoon.
"First impressions it seems okay," he said.
"Basically the part of the structure is in line with the mirrors, where the mirror structure is, so it does not really block any more vision than what we do have already with the mirrors, and the front is pretty open.
Lewis Hamilton topped the practice 2 timesheets at Sochi for the Russian Grand Prix Formula 1 race on Sunday. Hamilton's time in the Mercedes of 1m37.583s was a full 7/10ths of a second faster than Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari but it appears Ferrari is still sandbagging.
Nico Rosberg was third in the 2nd Mercedes ahead of the 2nd Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen and the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.
ESPN's Bob Pockrass reports, "Dover International Speedway will replace the guard rails it had on the inside of Turn 3 with approximately 500 feet of SAFER Barrier by the time NASCAR visits for its May 13-15 race weekend.
The steel-and-foam barrier is designed to absorb energy in a crash." ESPN.com
Will pit crew changes give Danica what she needs to finally win?
In an effort to improve pit stops, Stewart-Haas Racing has moved around several crew members between its teams. This past weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway saw different faces on different teams.
So let's start with the easy stuff: The #4 (Kevin Harvick) and #41 (Kurt Busch) looked to be the same as at Daytona. Both teams have been performing at a top level for years, and we didn't see any changes as of Richmond.
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