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Dreyer & Reinbold team relish Indy 500
The thrill of competing on the world’s greatest race track is never lost on an IndyCar driver or team owner.  Even the most experience Indy 500 competitors get excited. For the three Dreyer & Reinbold drivers, Buddy Rice, Townsend Bell and Milka Duno, that thrill begins on Tuesday, May 6, when they return to action in the famed 2.5-mile oval at the Indianapolis Mo- tor Speedway in practice runs for the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500.

For Rice, he has had his number at the top of Indy’s scoring pylon and his face emblazed on the coveted Warner-Borg trophy.  The 2004 Indy 500 champion still holds the record for the largest winner’s purse ($1,761,740 ) after pulling off the clean sweep of winning the pole position, the pit stop champion- ship and 500 title. But the popular Phoenix driver still gets chills driving into the “Brickyard” grounds for a chance at another 500 crown. 

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Jani 'The greatest moment of my career'
Jani gets well wishes from his team in Brands Hatch
Neel Jani has described winning the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport for A1 Team Switzerland as ‘the greatest moment of his career.’

After a topsy turvey season, where Switzerland pulled out points leads only for them to be quickly eradicated, Jani finally clinched this season’s title with fourth place in the Sprint race at Brands Hatch.

He was then able to celebrate the title with a podium finish in the Feature race, the final race of the season.

‘This is the greatest moment of my career,’ said an emotional Jani. ‘I can’t put it into words this moment. A1GP has been getting tougher every season and this year we got the title.

‘After the first race, winning the title with fourth place felt a little empty but after the podium it feels fantastic. I was a little bit worried by still being sixth after the first pit stop but we had a great second pit stop, and we great pace afterwards.’

‘Brands Hatch gave us a fantastic atmosphere and a great place to win the title.’

At the end of the race, Jani and the rest of the podium finishers completed some popular smoking-tire donuts for the large crowd. However, Jani had to grab a lift back to the pits with Great Britain’s Robbie Kerr.

‘I broke the driveshaft with all the donuts,’ Jani explained.


Busch paces second Monday session at LMS
Kyle Busch paced the afternoon session Monday of the Sprint Cup Series test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, turning a lap of 179.736 mph in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota.

Busch was 0.053 seconds faster than Roush Fenway Racing’s Carl Edwards, who went 179.420 mph in the No. 99 Ford. Jeff Burton was third at 179.200 in Richard Childress Racing’s Chevrolet, with Kurt Busch (Penske Racing) fourth and Elliott Sadler (Gillett Evernham Motorsports) fifth.

Morning Session

Rank Car# Driver Manu Time Speed
1 88B Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chv 29.613 182.352
2 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chv 29.899 180.608
3 31B Jeff Burton Chv 29.901 180.596
4 70 Brad Keselowski Chv 29.980 180.12
5 29B Kevin Harvick Chv 30.065 179.611
6 29 Kevin Harvick Chv 30.127 179.241
7 24 Jeff Gordon Chv 30.223 178.672
8 70B Brad Keselowski Chv 30.289 178.283
9 31 Jeff Burton Chv 30.295 178.247
10 07 Clint Bowyer Chv 30.504 177.026

Afternoon Session

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Renault Turkey GP tech-file
Istanbul track
The purpose-built anti-clockwise circuit on the outskirts of Istanbul offers a mix of challenging low and high-speed corners. Overtaking is difficult, especially in the first half of the lap, but the long back straight leading into the tight hairpin of Turn 12 offers the ideal opportunity for outbraking. Combine this with the challenge of Turn 8, which is one of the most demanding of the year, and you have all the ingredients for an exciting Grand Prix.

As a new facility the track surface at Istanbul is in good condition and the curbs are not especially aggressive making it relatively straightforward to find a stable car balance. The team will seek a compromise between stiffer settings for the high-speed part of the lap to give a good change of direction, and softer settings for the low-speed section of the lap to ensure good mechanical grip.

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50 cars testing today at Lowe's UPDATE Testing sessions for NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams have been scheduled at Lowe's Motor Speedway in preparation for the track's calendar of May races, including the May 17 Sprint All-Star Race and the May 25 Coca-Cola 600. Each division will participate in a two-day testing session with a third day reserved in case of rain. Sprint Cup Series May 5-6; May 7 Rain Date with testing to run 9:00am to 12:00pm; 1:00 to 5:00pm; and 6:00 to 9:00pm. 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

05/05/08 Fifty cars are entered for testing today and Tuesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, with teams hoping to learn more about NASCAR’s new race car on a 1.5-mile track.

Teams are allowed to run in four of the six scheduled sessions. There are three sessions each day – 9 a.m. to noon, 1 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. EDT each day.

The 45 full-time teams are entered for the test as well as a fourth Penske Racing car with David Stremme (No. 06), a fourth Richard Childress Racing car with Scott Wimmer (No. 33), the No. 50 Ski Motorsports car with Stanton Barrett, the No. 47 JTG Racing car with Marcos Ambrose and the No. 08 EM Motorsports car likely with Tony Raines.

Testing the No. 70 today is Brad Keselowski, while Johnny Sauter will test for the team Tuesday. Ken Schrader will drive for the team at Darlington, said team competition director Matt Borland.


All Star Race increased to 100 laps
Twenty-One drivers are eligible for the Sprint All-Star Race with one race to go, three drivers from the Sprint Showdown will transfer to the All-Star race, the 1st and 2nd place drivers and one fan vote. Drivers not already eligible for the Sprint All-Star Race who have been approved by for Sprint Cup Series competition and have met all other eligibility requirements. Those requirements include, but are not limited to, competing in a Sprint Cup Series event during the 2007 or 2008 seasons; finishing in the top 50 of the final 2007 Sprint Cup Series point standings or attempting to qualify for a 2008 Sprint Cup Series event as of March 10, 2008. The Sprint Showdown will consist of 40 laps, 60 miles, and will be run in two 20-lap segments. The Sprint All-Star Race is now 100 laps [up from 80 in 2007], 150 miles (run in four segments of 25 laps each). Green flag and yellow flag laps will be counted during segments 1, 2 and 3. Only green flag laps will be counted during segment 4. All restarts will be double file and the free pass rule is maintained throughout the event. The Purse is and event record $3,308,251 with the winner getting at least $1,012,975.


Franchitti returns to Indy
Dario Franchitti meets the press
Dana Garrett/IRL
Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Dario Franchitti visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today. Below are select quotes from his availability with the media.

DARIO FRANCHITTI (2007 Indianapolis 500 champion): “It’s really cool to be back. It felt kind of strange to be back and not driving, but this is a really special place and particularly after last year a place that has a special place in my heart. We knew the whole month last year that we had a really strong car. Both Tony (Kanaan) and myself in particular were working closely together, opposite Danica (Patrick) and Marco (Andretti). We just got in this rhythm where both cars were really feeding off each other and we knew we had a great car, and going into the race there was something that happened with one of the dampers in the car, from the very start. It took us most of the race to dial that problem back out because the car had a lot of understeer and it took us until at least the rain delay to get the car back under balance, and from that point on we were, I felt, a s strong as anybody in the race.”

(About following the IndyCar Series) “I’ve been paying a lot of attention. When I was racing IndyCar, I watched a lot of NASCAR on TV. Now I’m watching a lot of IndyCar on TV. I watch all types of motorsport. Obviously keeping a close eye because I have a lot of friends here racing and also working with the teams. It was great news when the series unified and we got one open-wheel series. It was a great move and a great first step to the future. I think its going to work really well. Obviously Danica winning that first race was great. I had a vested interest though, I won 300 bucks. I had a bet with Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates, so I won some money there. She did a terrific job and I think it’s going to be a really interesting month of May for all kinds on reasons.”

(About advice for rookies) “Advice? I remember coming here in 2002 and the biggest advice I could give is respect this place. It is the most difficulty track I have ever driven. It changes so much with the weather. You think you’ve got everything right and the next thing it bites you. This is a very difficult place, and the race is incredibly difficulty too. Like I said, respect, and I think the guys who haven’t raced here before - I don’t like when they are referred to as the ex-Champ Car drivers or transition, because it’s one series now, I think it just be referred to as that. I think the rookies, the guys who haven’t been here before, are going to have their work cut out. The rookie teams as well, they are going to have their work cut out because there are certain tricks to making these cars go fast and it takes a while to learn those, both as a driver, an engineer and as a mechanic. It will be tough. And then you look at the drivers at the top of their game and the teams at the top of their game, it makes it difficult. I think as far as the talent of the drivers and the teams, it’s definitely up there. They just need some experience.”


Bernoldi passes rookie test
Enrique Bernoldi became the 11th driver to pass the Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program on the second and final day devoted to newcomers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fellow rookies Mario Dominguez and Mario Moraes completed three of the four phases of ROP and may complete the final phase later in the month.

Also on Monday, veterans Davey Hamilton and Max Papis completed refresher tests.


Indy: Lloyd tops Monday times for rookies
Alex Lloyd
Chris Jones/IRL
Alex Lloyd, driver of the No. 16 Rahal Letterman with Chip Ganassi Dallara/Honda/Firestone, topped the speed chart with a fast lap of 40.3528 seconds, 223.033 mph on the historic 2.5-mile oval.

Andretti Green Racing’s Hideki Mutoh was second while KV Racing Technology teammates Will Power and Oriol Servia were third and fourth, respectively.

The only incident came just before 1 p.m. when Jaime Camara spun entering Turn 1 and made moderate contact with the SAFER Barrier. Camara was transported to Methodist Hospital for X-rays as a precautionary measure. The results were negative, and he will be reevaluated Tuesday.

The track opens to all drivers Tuesday for practice for the 92nd Running of the Indianapolis 500. The top 11 starting positions, including the PEAK Motor Oil Pole Award presented by AutoZone, will be determined Saturday.

Practice Monday for the Indianapolis 500 IndyCar Series event on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine and speed:

1. (16) Alex Lloyd, Dallara-Honda, 223.033
2. (27) Hideki Mutoh, Dallara-Honda, 222.600
3. (8) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 222.267
4. (5) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 222.089
5. (06) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 221.155
6. (02) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 221.029
7. (17T) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 220.839
8. (36T) Enrique Bernoldi, Dallara-Honda, 220.314
9. (18) Bruno Junqueira, Dallara-Honda, 220.289
10. (22) Davey Hamilton, Dallara-Honda, 219.901
11. (33) EJ Viso, Dallara-Honda, 219.558
12. (44) Max Papis, Dallara-Honda, 219.101
13. (34) Jaime Camara, Dallara-Honda, 218.264
14. (19) Mario Moraes, Dallara-Honda, 215.616
15. (24T) Jay Howard, Dallara-Honda, 214.597
16. (96) Mario Dominguez, Dallara-Honda, 214.358

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track news

Infineon teams with electronic toll collection agency
Infineon Raceway today announced a partnership with electronic toll-collection system FasTrak for the '08 racing season. FasTrak allows customers to pre-pay bridge tolls instead of stopping at S.F.-area toll booths. The racetrack and FasTrak will partner on a special entrance lane and parking lot at the track for customers of the service. The program will be in effect for the track's NASCAR Sprint Cup, IndyCar, NHRA Powerade Drag Racing Series and motorcycle events.  Infineon Raceway PR


A1GP 2007/08 Gala Awards
A1GP World Cup of Motorsport celebrated the end of its 2007/08 season with a glittering Gala Awards dinner at the Hilton Park Lane in London on Monday 5 May. Teams, drivers, sponsors and officials gathered to pay tribute to the memorable achievements of the season, including Switzerland clinching the championship, Ireland being the most improved team and Canada's Robert Wickens claiming the Rookie prize.

Tony Teixeira, Chairman of A1GP, presented A1 Team Switzerland with the World Cup trophy and congratulated all 22 nations on an incredible third season of competition.

'I want to say well done to A1 Team Switzerland. Max Welti and his team have done a great job and I know the fight has been long and hard with the likes of New Zealand, Great Britain and France never letting up and keeping the most amazing amount of pressure on them. But I also want to congratulate all the other teams who have made the year so memorable and contributed to the title fight going down the wire at Brands Hatch.'

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Richmond Overnight TV Ratings up slightly
NASCAR on Fox notched a slight increase for the second straight week with a 4.2/8 for primetime racing from Richmond. Saturday night's 4.2/8 is a tenth of a point gain over last year's 4.1/10 when the race was rained out of its schedule window and aired on Sunday afternoon. FOX's 4.2/8 in primetime was good enough to win the night, narrowly beating out second-place CBS's 4.0/7. FOX's primetime advantage will likely grow larger when the nationals are released and NASCAR delivers its typical meter-to-national improvement. For the season-to-date, NASCAR On FOX is averaging a 5.5/11, +2% better than last year's 5.4/11. Fox PR


More proof Champ Car teams were handed down junk cars
Just 14 days ago the Pacific Coast Motorsports (PCM) crew familiarized themselves for the first time with their #96 Visit Mexico City/Dallara. Since then the car has been stripped, painted, re-built before making the 3-day traverse across the country.

Mario Dominguez was scheduled to make his rookie debut Sunday at Indy in orientation, but some last minute details kept the PCM squad from taking to the track for the first time. "Once we rolled through tech, three of the four wishbones on the car were deemed unusable by the series. These are suspension pieces that we received with our car and we were not aware these parts are no longer being used," said team owner, Tyler Tadevic. "The guys have been working hard, we're back to being rookies again. We disseminating tons of information trying to catch up and we'll make sure Mario gets through his orientation tomorrow."

Rookie orientation practice kicks off Sunday, May 4th and continues through Monday, May 5th. Practice for the entire field kicks off Tuesday, May 6th at noon.

Noteworthy: Five drivers from Mexico have previously competed at the Indy 500; Josele Garza, Bernard Jourdain, Michele Jourdain Jr, Hector Rebaque and most recently, Adrian Fernandez. Adrian Fernandez holds the highest finishing position by a Mexican driver in the History of the Indianapolis 500; he started sixth and finished seventh in 2004.

Eight rookies have won the Indy 500. This year, 13 rookies have entered.  PCM PR


Workers strike GM Malibu plant
Members of a United Auto Workers union local went on strike at General Motors Corp.’s Fairfax facility — hitting the plant that makes GM’s popular Malibu sedan. 

During talks over the weekend, UAW Local 31 set a strike deadline of 10 a.m. EDT today after union negotiators decided that a settlement was not near. The Fairfax plant employs more than 2,500 UAW members.

The plant makes the Chevrolet Malibu, a medium-sized sedan that was named “Car of the Year” at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The strike today hits a key GM product at a time when the company can ill afford it. Last week GM announced that it lost $3.3 billion in the first quarter, due largely to one-time charges and North American losses.

tv news

All-Star Race on SPEED
SPEED will deliver nearly 90 hours of All-Star programming in support of the network’s second consecutive year as exclusive home of NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race XXIV on May 17 at 7 p.m. ET.

“We started thinking about this year’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race about 30 seconds after Kevin Harvick crossed the finish line at last year’s event,” said SPEED President Hunter Nickell. “This event is all about having a great time, celebrating the sport we are all very passionate about. When fans finish watching All-Star Week on SPEED, we want them to feel totally spent … like they just left the greatest party they’ve ever experienced.”

Highlighted by live coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge (May 15, 9 p.m. ET), the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race (May 16, 8 p.m. ET), a special three-hour NASCAR RaceDay Built by The Home Depot (May 17, 4 p.m. ET), the NASCAR Sprint Showdown and the 24th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race from Lowe’s Motor Speedway, SPEED’s weeklong coverage will culminate in 48 consecutive hours of All-Star coverage beginning at 6 a.m. ET on May 16.

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Suzuki 'can't believe' Turkey lockout
(GMM)  Aguri Suzuki on Monday added his disbelief to reports that his Super Aguri team has been locked out of the Istanbul paddock just days ahead of the Turkish grand prix.

Sources have explained that, as well as the struggling team's cars being inexplicably quarantined at parent outfit Honda's Brackley (UK) base, circuit officials barred Super Aguri's equipment and motor home transporters from entering the track this week on the instruction of Nick Fry and Bernie Ecclestone.

"I cannot believe it but it is true," Aguri Suzuki, the Leafield squad's co-owner and team principal, is quoted as saying by the daily Tokyo Chunichi Sports.

Suzuki told the newspaper that the development makes no sense after Super Aguri "normally raced" at Barcelona two weeks ago.

It has been suggested that the move is aimed at reducing Honda's embarrassment when the executive board votes down the proposed Weigl buyout in Tokyo on Tuesday.


Danica Patrick Indy Car is donated to IMS Museum
Danica Patrick in her Panoz 2005 IndyCar
Steve Snoddy/IRL
The 2005 edition of the Indianapolis 500 will live in the annals of IndyCar racing for as long as record books are written as Rahal Letterman Racing’s Danica Patrick became the first female driver ever to lead a lap at the fabled Memorial Day classic.

Now racing fans from around the world will have the opportunity to see the car that launched a phenomenon as the RLR IndyCar that Patrick piloted in the 2005 Indy 500 becomes part of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. The car was donated to the museum by its present owner Stanley Ross, who owns and maintains a number of historic race cars, including ones driven by RLR co-owner Bobby Rahal throughout his legendary career.

“I first heard about Danica through some of my vintage racing friends, and was particularly impressed by her showing at the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch,” Ross recalls. “So I worked with Rahal Letterman to provide some Atlantic cars from the team that my son, Malcolm, ran.  This got her started here, and when Bobby wanted to run her at Indy I jumped aboard to help with this car for her.  My aim was to put open wheeled racing back into the public's eye, and in this we succeeded. It was great fun being a part of this.”

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FIA appoints lawyer to probe 'Nazi' claim
(GMM)  Senior FIA officers have appointed a top English lawyer to independently investigate the News of the World's claim that Max Mosley was involved in "Nazi style" activities, F1's governing body announced on Monday.

A statement revealed that the embattled FIA president "welcomed" the appointment of Anthony Scrivener QC.

His opinion as to whether the available evidence supports the News of the World's claim will be available to FIA member representatives when they vote on Mosley's future on June 3.

In 2006, Scrivener was elected to serve as a judge on the FIA International Court of Appeal.


Vision Racing fires Larry Curry UPDATE Tony George acknowledged Sunday that his role as head of the IndyCar Series trumped his role as a team owner in his decision to remove Larry Curry as team manager of Vision Racing.

Curry was fired Friday for rules infractions that resulted in the qualifying times of Vision drivers Ed Carpenter and A.J. Foyt IV being disallowed at the season-opening race March 29 at Homestead, Fla.

"Any other team probably would have dealt with it in a different way than we dealt with it and it would not have meant a separation," George said. "But we have had discussions internally since this team was formed (about what was expected) and after reviewing the facts, it was obvious to me there was a breakdown."

George said he wanted to thoroughly investigate before taking action. He termed the infraction minor and said it involved the use of an unapproved part.

"After I uncovered the facts, I believe the league hasn't done a good enough job ensuring things like this haven't happened in the past," he said. "There was no performance advantage to it, but there's no excuse for it. (Curry) had knowledge of it and the ability to stop it."

Curry accepted responsibility for the team using the part, although it was not his initiative.

"But I knew about it, and I could have stopped it, and I didn't," he said.

With George's blessing, Curry is helping Roth Racing driver Jay Howard get through rookie orientation. Curry is unsure what he will be doing after today. George said he has "left the door open" for Curry to work with the team this month as a consultant and possible race-day strategist for Carpenter. Indy Star

05/02/08 In addition, the team has made some organizational changes effective immediately. Former crew chief, Keven Kukuliwicz (a.k.a. Keven Kaye) has been named to the post of team manager, taking on the additional responsibility for the operation of the race team. Kukuliwicz follows Larry Curry as Vision Racing’s team manager.

Curry fired for cheating
Curry was one of the first employees of Vision Racing when team owners Tony and Laura George formed the team from assets purchased through the sale of Kelley Racing in 2005.

“Larry has been an asset to the growth and building of Vision Racing,” George said. “However, after full review of the facts surrounding the disallowance of the teams qualifying runs at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Larry and I agreed that a breach of what amounts to the teams code of conduct had occurred and as team manager he was expected to uphold a very high standard, but in this instance fell short.”  [Curry previously spent time in jail for stealing from John Menard's team.  Since Menard's sponsors one of Visions cars, do you think John Menard had anything to do with this?]

Kukuliwicz has also been with the team since its inception, boasting racing experience that stretches far and wide. “This is a decision that will allow the team to grow organically and as we head into what promises to be a very exciting month, it provides continuity.”  Before joining Vision Racing in 2005, Kukuliwicz held a variety of positions with such teams as Carl Haas Auto/Newman-Haas Racing, Players/Forsythe Racing, Mo Nunn Racing, and Cheever Racing.

“Keven was a natural choice to name as our new team manager, George added. “His experience and rapport amongst the crew makes him the ideal candidate. This is a pivotal moment in the growth of Vision Racing and Keven is ready to lead the team starting with the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Vision Racing


Podlesni and Westphal Share Pacific F2000 Honors
The battle between talented young Californians Jeff Westphal and Robert Podlesni for the Pacific F2000 Championship Presented by Hankook Tires intensified during the third double-header race weekend of the season at Buttonwillow Raceway Park.

Podlesni, 20, from Thousand Oaks, Calif., maintained his perfect sequence of pole positions at the challenging 2.89-mile road course by securing the fastest time in qualifying on each day. But he had to share the race wins when Westphal, 21, from San Carlos, Calif, countered Podlesni’s Saturday victory by taking the lead at the first corner the following afternoon and holding a narrow advantage until the checkered flag.

With each driver claiming an additional two points for fastest race lap during the weekend (Westphal on Saturday and "Poodles" on Sunday), Westphal saw his five-point advantage in the championship eroded to just a solitary marker as the season reached its halfway stage.

"This is Robert’s track," declared Westphal on Sunday afternoon, alluding to his rival’s previous record of six poles and five race wins at Buttonwillow. "On the out-lap [before the start] I thought to myself, ‘This race is going to be won at the start,’ and I think I got the perfect start."

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Indiana Jones Scheme for Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch's #18 M&M'S Toyota Camry will sport a special Indiana Jones-themed paint scheme, and Busch will wear a matching fire suit during the Dodge Challenger 500 Sprint Cup race in Darlington, South Carolina, on May 10. The special paint scheme features: Movie title decals on the hood, trunk and TV panel; An image of Indiana Jones with his iconic hat and whip on the left rear panel; and The M&M'S Brand Red, Green and Yellow characters sporting various Indiana Jones-themed outfits. The M&M'S Brand Racing team also plans to feature fun Indiana Jones-themed activities for fans attending the Darlington race, giving them a literal taste of the adventure. PWR New Media


Q&A with Sato on Super Aguri lockout
Takuma Sato
The situation at Super Aguri is unclear at the moment for many. Not just for the media and fans but even for the team's driver Takuma Sato the team's future is unclear. On Sunday it became clear that the Super Aguri team trucks are not allowed to enter the paddock in Istanbul. The news came as a big surprise to Sato - who hopes the team's future will soon be secured with the help of Honda.

The news that the SAF1 trucks apparently haven't been allowed to enter the paddock in Turkey, what do you know about this?
Takuma Sato: I was simply very surprised when I got the news from my manager. I have no idea why this has happened as I understood that no decision has been made by Honda yet and that a decision will be made in the next few days about whether we will be able to race or not. I heard that FOM was told that we are not racing so they wont let the trucks in but I don't understand why they have been told this when no decision has been made yet.

What is the current situation at Super Aguri?
Really still uncertain. As everyone knows now, the recent DIC investment with the Magma Group failed right at the last moment, which has created a huge problem for the team. Everyone thought this deal was going to happen and I had spent a lot of time with Magma and was excited about their plans to develop the team. So I was very disappointed that it didn't happen and it was only with great support from Honda that we were able to race at Barcelona. It is worth mentioning that it is only just over a week since this deal collapsed, a deal everyone thought was basically done. So for Aguri-san and the rest of the SAF1 management to try to find a new solution in a week is almost impossible.

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Fastest rookie calls Indy daunting
Will Power
Chris Jones/IRL
”Initially when I went out I thought, ‘How the hell do you go flat here?’ But we crept up to it. We had a pretty safe and stable car there at the end, it was pretty solid," said Australian Will Power

”I was happy to get flat all the way around because that takes you to the next level and now we start trimming out. We did plenty of mileage because we’re a bit wary of what the weather’s going to be like later in the week, so I’m very happy for the Aussie Vineyards team.

”You run a little downforce to make the car safe to begin with. Obviously the track’s a little dusty and we’re rookies and a rookie team as well. At the end of the day it makes the car more settled and plus, when you’re going quicker there’s more downforce, so it makes the car feel nice and solid and consistent throughout the corner.

”Now the challenge is to start heading toward 225 mph, you do that by trimming the car out, that’s when the driving really comes in and you’ve got to be smart with the setup. You don’t want the car to bite you and end up in the wall, it’s going to cost you a lot of time.”

”The KV Racing Technology team wanted to get in as many laps as possible today, which is what we achieved. To be quick today means we are gradually getting there and I was able to go flat the whole way.

”I felt really comfortable with the Aussie Vineyards – Team Australia car and once I was able to go flat, the car felt better and I was able to start letting some of the front wing out.

”The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is something I have never driven on and I found it unique because it was so fast. It’s not really like an oval because of its four corners and flat banking, but almost a mixture between a banked oval and a road course.

”It was something more than I had expected - daunting, and as far as ovals go, its more technical and therefore you can’t make a mistake.” 


Latest F1 news in brief
  • Slow track may host fast win - BMW's Kubica
  • Ferrari may not use 'hole nose' at every race
  • Sutil 'better than Glock' - Colin Kolles
  • Jones backs Mosley amid sex scandal
  • Sato 'surprised' by Istanbul lockout
  • Toro Rosso to delay new car

Slow track may host fast win - BMW's Kubica
(GMM)  BMW-Sauber's first sniff of a maiden grand prix victory could come in Monaco or Hungary this year, the team's Polish driver Robert Kubica says.

While now believed to be consistently on or near McLaren's pace with its 2008 contender, the Hinwil based team is yet to truly challenge current pacesetter Ferrari.

BMW wants to secure its first win at the pinnacle of motor racing this season, and 23-year-old Kubica - already with a pole position and two podiums under his belt in 2008 - admits that the feat is getting close.

He thinks the slower circuits, such as Monaco and Hungary, will be particularly competitive for the F1.08.

"We are always very strong in slow corners and slow sectors ... so I think we can be stronger in slow tracks like Monaco and Budapest, the kind of tracks where there are no long straights and many corners," Kubica is quoted as saying by the news agency Reuters.

"Maybe there we will have some chance.  But a lot will depend on how quick we develop compared to the others," he added.

Even Norbert Haug, Mercedes-Benz's competition boss, admits that Ferrari is currently fielding the quickest car, as proved by perhaps the first true "yardstick" of performance for this year, the Circuit de Catalunya.

The German said McLaren's MP4-23 was simply not fast enough to win the Spanish grand prix there.

"Our aim is to improve further over the next few races, however it is possible the Turkish grand prix might be a challenging race for the team," he conceded.

Ferrari may not use 'hole nose' at every race
(GMM)  As rival teams frantically assess the benefits of Ferrari's 'hose nose' that debuted at Barcelona, the Italian outfit has hinted that it may not use the innovation at every race.

Maranello based Ferrari were pleased with the performance of the aerodynamic feature at the Spanish grand prix, where Kimi Raikkonen took pole and led his teammate Felipe Massa home for the dominant win.

BMW-Sauber's technical boss Willy Rampf has already indicated that his crew will assess a similar concept in the Hinwil wind tunnel.

But the Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell reports that Ferrari may not even be intending to run the 'hole nose' - christened the 'shark mouth' by Massa at the pre-Barcelona test - everywhere this season.

"We are going to Istanbul with basically the same package that we used in Spain," team boss Stefano Domenicali said.

"But we also have other solutions," he added.

Ferrari currently fields the fastest car on the 2008 grid, and the omens are similarly good for the team's driver lineup ahead of the Turkish grand prix.

In 2005, Istanbul's debut on the F1 calendar, Raikkonen - then driving for McLaren - won the race.  In 2006 and 2007, driving for Ferrari, Massa was the first past the checkered flag.

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Racing News

Quotes of the week
“They [Earnhardt fans] were going crazy and you see it, but you don’t pay attention to it.  I don’t know why they were telling me I was number one (giving him the middle finger), I was in second place.  Clint Bowyer got the lead from me -- they were all confused I guess, too many old (Dale Earnhardt) Jr. Budweisers.” Kyle Busch talking about what happened after he took out Dale Earnhardt Jr.

"They [Coulthard and other rivals] can shut right up.  When you can hardly see what the hell is going on because the car is shaking around so much, and you're just fully focused on keeping the damn thing on the track, the last thing you can do is be bothered about others trying to lap you.  I'd love to swap cars with these drivers.  I really believe some of them would struggle, or even crack, if they were in our position."  Davidson reluctantly referred to his 2008 mount, a mismatched alliance of Honda's 2007 and 2008 cars, as a 'botched job'.  "The team won't like me for saying that." Anthony Davidson, F1 Super Aguri driver

"He's gone beyond anything they would tolerate.  Therefore it's very difficult to see how he could stay under these circumstances.  I think it's going to be very difficult commercially for the companies involved in Formula One to carry that and the motor clubs to carry it. I think that's quite serious." Stewart said Max Mosley's behavior would have contravened the companies 'corporate moral guidelines' and that motor clubs around the world, which also come under the auspices of the FIA, would not approve either. Sir Jackie Stewart, Three-time World Champion 

"You cannot go from kindergarten to university overnight.  Even the great Tiger Woods has a man with him."  Sir Jackie Stewart, Three-time World Champion, advising that Lewis Hamilton needs a coach.

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track news

Andy Hillenburg: 'The Rock' is back
For the first race since NASCAR left the Rockingham, NC track in 2004, new track owner Andy Hillenburg said he was proud to successfully stage an event just six months after completing the purchase from Speedway Motorsports Inc.

"We put Rockingham Speedway back on the racing map," Hillenburg said. "We did this kind of the way I've always worked my way through racing. We just jumped in and did our best."

Hillenburg said he sold out more than 4,000 seats in the track's suites and estimated grandstand ticket sales in the 12,000 range.

"We had enough people here to pay a record purse for ARCA and pay the bills," he said. "We're going to try harder the next time. I know some things I can do better and we'll start trying to fill those seats one fan at a time.

"I think we can do this, I really do."


Joey Logano wins as racing returns to The Rock
Joey Logano celebrates
Rhonda McCole/AutoRacing1
After two years, racing has returned to the sand hills of North Carolina as Rockingham Speedway hosted its first major stock car race since 2004, welcoming the ARCA RE/MAX Series to the high banked 1-mile oval for the richest race in series history.

Joey Logano put on a dominating performance as the 17-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing prodigy blew away the field to win Sunday’s inaugural Carolina 500.

Logano proved his mettle against a stout field of seasoned stock car veterans, passing NASCAR driver Ken Schrader in the final laps to go to pick up the victory in his first ever series start.

“I have to thank the Joe Gibbs crew for pitting me,” said Logano. “They kept me out front. We're going to get a shot at Dover coming up, and hopefully we'll see victory lane there too. I wasn't running flat out the whole race. You've got to pace yourself. That's a really big deal here at The Rock.”

Schrader finished second, followed by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Matt Hawkins and Michael Annett. 

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Indy: Rookie Orientation notebook
Entry List update: Davey Hamilton is the driver of the #22 Hewlett-Packard/KR Vision Racing entry.

DAVEY HAMILTON: “You know, I love this place. It’s hard to, as a racing driver, get this particular race out of your system. There’s a handful of races I love. This is one of them, the Oswego Classic, which I participated in last year and I’ll do again, the Copper Classic, which unfortunately is no longer there, they always just stood out as the thrills of my career and I love to do. I’m just fortunate that Hewlett-Packard and Kingdom (Racing) came aboard to allow me to negotiate with Tony (George) to put together a third entry for Vision Racing. It was down to the last minute, it has worked out, we’ll be in the car tomorrow and the car looks fantastic. I feel really confident because I think we have a better program, and Vision has a better program, than last year so hopefully we pick up where we left off and try to make it bet ter.” (Did last year’s ninth-place finish exceed all your expectations?): “Yeah, it did actually. It’s one of those things where you go into the month, a top-10 finish at any race is pretty good with the competition level the way it is, and that was my goal last year. Just a top-10 finish was my goal, if I could just get in the top 10 I’d be a happy guy. We were very fortunate to be able to go beyond that and get a ninth and actually run in the top-five at times. Absolutely, I was very happy with the result.”


Despite their rookie status, several of the ROP candidates have previously competed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Lloyd, Howard, Mutoh and Camara competed in Firestone Indy Lights events on the oval. Camara won the Firestone Freedom 100 in 2005 and finished third the last two seasons. Lloyd won the Firestone Freedom 100 in 2007. Mutoh finished second in last year’s race, while Howard was the runner-up in 2006.

Bernoldi and Wilson made Formula One starts on the Speedway’s road course. Bernoldi finished 13th in the 2001 United States Grand Prix. Wilson was eighth in 2003.

Rahal led 21 laps in the Firestone Indy Lights race on the road course in 2006.

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Power fastest as 10 drivers pass Indy rookie orientation
Ten drivers completed all four phases of the Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the track opened for the 92nd Running of 500-Mile Race.

Will Power
Steve Snoddy/IRL
Will Power was the quickest among a class of 13 rookies, the most since 1997. The rookies have two days of practice on the historic 2.5-mile oval before the track is opened to all drivers on May 6.

Power’s fastest lap in the No. 8 Aussie Vineyard-Team Australia entry was 40.7804 seconds, 220.694 mph.

Eleven rookies and two-time Indianapolis 500 starter Max Papis, who along with Davey Hamilton must complete a refresher test, combined to complete 661 incident-free laps. All Indianapolis 500 rookies must pass a four-phase orientation program, demonstrating consistent car control for 10 laps each at four increasing levels of speed.

Power, Jaime Camara, Jay Howard, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alex Lloyd, Hideki Mutoh, Graham Rahal, Oriol Servia, E.J. Viso and Justin Wilson passed all four phases. Enrique Bernoldi completed three phases and may complete the fourth phase at any point later in the month.

Mario Dominguez could only smile
Dana Garrett/IRL
Mario Moraes completed three laps late in the day, while Mario Dominguez did not take the track. Both drivers must complete the first three phases of ROP Monday to remain eligible to compete in the Indianapolis 500 on May 25. 

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tv news

Brands Hatch A1GP race to be televised UPDATE Please note that the ending time for the Brands Hatch A1GP season finale has been changed from 10:00 am to 10:30 am ET.  The race will be shown on Monday, May 5 at 7:30 am - 10:30 am ET on Setanta Sports.

05/04/08 The A1GP series season finale run at Brands Hatch on May 4 will be televised on Monday, May 5 at 7:30 am - 10:00 am ET on Setanta Sports.


Victory for Jamie Green in Mugello
With a double victory, Mercedes-Benz has proven to be back in the battle for the DTM title. After 33 laps at the 5.245 kilometers long track, the longest circuit featuring on the DTM calendar, British driver, Jamie Green won the third round of the season in Mugello in Italy. With the third DTM victory of his career, the 25-year old driver also secured the first win of the season for Mercedes-Benz.

“I am happy with this victory, especially after the start of the season that has been particularly difficult for all of us“, said a delighted Green. His fellow-Mercedes-Benz driver, Paul di Resta (GB) came home in second place, 3.166 seconds down. Third place went to Audi driver Tom Kristensen from Denmark, who was already on the podium after having finished third in the season opener at Hockenheim. In the drivers’ standings, Timo Scheider remains in the lead with 18 points, just ahead of today’s winner Green (17) and Mattias Ekström (Audi/S) with 14 points. The race result from Mugello has led to a situation in which there are now seven drivers within seven points, all with good chances in the drivers’ standings.

At the start, Green and di Resta had the upper hand over the leader in the points’ standings, Timo Scheider (Audi), who had started from pole position. Both drivers didn’t lose their positions until the race was over. For Scheider, the racing weekend in Tuscany brought mixed emotions. On Saturday, the 29-year old made it to pole position in the final minutes, but in the race, he started a little bit too early. A drive-through penalty for his jump start deprived the Austrian-based German of all his chances of a possible race win. After a recovery with fascinating overtaking maneuvers, Scheider eventually came home tenth. Canadian Bruno Spengler, who had been the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver in the points’ standings in fourth place before Mugello, only finished one place better. Having started sixth, he was involved in a collision on the opening lap and lost six places.

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Conquest Racing’s Return to Indy
It’s been five years since the Conquest Racing team has competed in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”. This year, thanks to the unification of American open-wheel racing, Conquest Racing will be making their return to Indy and will attempt to qualify for their second Indianapolis 500.

Enrique Bernoldi
Their first step towards making the 33-car field starts today with the two-day Rookie Orientation Program in which the team’s two drivers, Jaime Camara (#34 Sangari) and Enrique Bernoldi (#36 Sangari) will be participating and getting their first taste of the 2.5-mile historic oval aboard the IndyCar Series Dallara.

Jaime Camara is no stranger to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway having competed there in Firestone Indy Lights the past three seasons which included a win in his rookie season in 2005 and two third place finishes.

“It’s going to be an amazing feeling to drive an IndyCar here since it’s always been my goal. This is the biggest race in the world, it’s such a different vibe. Every time I come to this track I look around and it’s just different, the energy is so good and it makes you even more excited for the race. It’s going to be somewhat new for me because I am going to be driving an IndyCar Series car but I know the track pretty good and I won here before in Indy Lights.

“My goal is always to do my best,” continued Camara. “I always think positive and think that we are going to do a really good job. My goal is to qualify in the first week and finish the race in a good, competitive position. It’s hard to be more specific because we don’t know where we are yet. After ROP and the first week I think we are going to know where we are in speeds and then we will be able to set more specific goals for ourselves.”

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Aguri future 'in Honda's hands' - Weigl UPDATE (GMM) One week before the start lights shine on the Turkish grand prix gantry, Super Aguri's future is still hanging in the balance.

Not long after it was officially confirmed on Friday that the German automotive company Weigl was poised to rescue the team, Honda's F1 CEO Nick Fry cast doubt on Weigl's ability to make its touted investment work.

The executive board of Honda - Super Aguri's creditor, sponsor and technical supplier - will meet in Tokyo to rule on the Weigl proposal on Tuesday.

Amid speculation that Weigl's proposed offer is only for a partial shareholding and initial funds only to cover the 2008 season, it has emerged that the company is also only willing to pay back the team's nearly $100m in debt to Honda over a three year period.

Magma Group, the prospective Aguri saviour whose Dubai backing recently fell through, was apparently willing to pay back the debt to Honda in one hit.

Weigl CEO Franz Josef Weigl, however, insists that his Bavaria-based company has the ability to prop up Super Aguri into the long term.

"The Weigl group's offer is backed by strong business finance partners who along with the Weigl group would like to invest long term and not just short term," he said.

"With our partners, the offer is not only about rescuing the team, but about constructing a future for Super Aguri and Takuma Sato."

Weigl also claims that F1 chief executive Ecclestone "confirmed to us that he wants the team to survive", despite emerging reports on Sunday that Super Aguri's transporters have been prevented from accessing Istanbul's Otodrom venue just one week ahead of the grand prix there.

Weigl said: "The decision is now in Honda's hands."

Franz Josef Weigl
"Super Aguri must survive, live and be successful"

Franz Josef Weigl is a German business man now living in Munich, and who turned 50 years old on Wednesday March 26, the week between the Malaysia and Bahrain Grand Prix.

After Barcelona, Franz Josef Weigl was hoping to relax and go back to his home and company headquarters in Pottmes in Bavaria (Germany), located between Nuremberg and Munich having completed some additional key business meetings with investors associated with his company before finalizing an offer to Honda to partner Super Aguri F1 and to patiently await a decision by the board of Honda in Tokyo.

In making this official offer, the CEO of the medium sized company Pottmes-based Weigl Group AG also took a serious business decision for the company that he started as a salesman 29 years ago back in the 1970s. Now he is the CEO of a company which has sales in excess of $200M a year. This move is not only about rescuing a Formula One team, but also about making a long-term promotional plan that Franz Josef Weigl on behalf of his group and his investors.

This plan will be submitted to Honda board members on Tuesday and is aimed at properly rescuing the Super Aguri team by bringing the small team to a high competitive level.

Franz Josef Weigl explains to Kyodo why as he says: "Super Aguri must survive, live and become successful":

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Super Aguri trucks barred from paddock
Super Aguri's future has been cast into fresh doubt after the team's trucks and motorhome were prevented from entering the Istanbul circuit today.

Sources have told itv.com/f1 that Formula One Management ordered its staff not to allow Super Aguri's personnel into the paddock after Honda team boss Nick Fry informed Bernie Ecclestone that Aguri Suzuki's squad would not be racing in Turkey next weekend.

Super Aguri is set for a crunch meeting with the Honda board this week, at which the Japanese manufacturer will decide whether to accept the Weigl Group's bid to rescue its second team.

But Fry has already expressed his scepticism about the Weigl deal.It would appear unlikely that a company the size of Weigl is able to support a competitive Formula 1 team, unless of course there are other partners of which we have not been made aware," Fry told the Reuters news agency.

Weigl CEO Franz Josef Weigl believes his company has the resources to sustain Super Aguri, despite Fry's concerns.

"The Weigl group's offer is backed by strong business finance partners who along with the Weigl group would like to invest long term and not just short term," he said.

"With our partners, the offer is not only about rescuing the team, but about constructing a future for the Super Aguri F1 team and Takuma Sato.

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I would pick Kubica - Ecclestone
(GMM) Ferrari and Renault are moving to acquire the services of Polish formula one race driver Robert Kubica.

The 23-year-old has been a star of the 2008 season so far for BMW-Sauber, and is currently third in the drivers' championship classification.

The German newspaper Bild am Sonntag quotes F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone as saying: "If I was a team boss, I would pick him."

Bild claims that officials both for Renault and Ferrari have made enquiries as to how long Kubica, who has outqualified his German teammate Nick Heidfeld on every occasion so far this season, is under contract to BMW.

It is understood that he is committed to the Munich manufacturer only until 2009, whereafter an option to extend the deal can only be made by mutual consent.


Tracy's Indy 500 options continue to dwindle
Tracy still looking for Indy 500 ride
Paul Tracy's options for racing in this month's Indianapolis 500 shrunk by one on Friday after Vision Racing confirmed that Davey Hamilton would fill the seat in the No. 22 car.

Vision, which is owned by IRL founder Tony George, had entered three cars for the May 25th race with regulars A.J. Foyt IV and Ed Carpenter taking up two seats.

George is believed to have previously offered Tracy an opportunity to race in the unified series with Vision but the Toronto racer has maintained he would like to join one of the top tier teams.

Four teams still have not confirmed their driver for the upcoming Indy 500 - Playa Del Racing, Penske Racing, Panther Racing and PDM Racing.

It was believed that Penske was holding the No. 77 entry open for former IRL champion Sam Hornish Jr. but he recently confirmed he will not attempt to race at Indianapolis this year.

Tracy does have a history with Penske, having driven for him in the former CART series.

Tracy has also been linked to a possible Indy entry with Walker Racing, however, that is dependent upon sufficient sponsorship being found.

Tracy competed last month in the Champ Car finale at Long Beach with Forsythe Racing. He and owner Gerald Forsythe agreed to work out a deal which would release him from his contract with the team following that race.  TSN.ca


NASCAR parks Waltrip for aggressive driving
NASCAR parked Michael Waltrip for aggressive driving following an accident with Casey Mears in the Crown Royal 400 on Saturday at Richmond International Raceway.
On lap 355, Mears cut in front of Waltrip, pinching Waltrip into the wall. Waltrip’s car then pushed Mears for several hundred feet following the initial contact. On his in-car radio, Mears told his spotter that he didn’t realize Waltrip was there.

NASCAR parked Waltrip, who had completed 352 laps of a race that went 410 laps, for the retaliation against Mears.

“I got run into the wall and then for a split second I lost my cool and hit him back,” Waltrip said. “You can’t do that, so I got parked.”


Toyota staying out of Stewart negotiations
Toyota officials don't want to lose #20-Tony Stewart to another manufacturer, but they won't get involved in negotiations to keep the two-time Sprint Cup champion at Joe Gibbs Racing after his contract expires in 2009. "We're not a company that gets in the middle between owners and drivers," Lee White, the general manager of Toyota Racing Development, said before Saturday's race at Richmond International Raceway. "If there is a manufacturer out there that is spearheading or brokering or promoting an activity like this, I can promise you it will not be Toyota. We don't consider that to be our role in the garage." There has been speculation that Chevrolet is behind a move to lure Stewart, who uses the manufacturer for his Sprint car organization, to CNC Haas Racing. Part-ownership of the team also is on the table, which Stewart has acknowledged. "I'm going to go out on a limb and say Tony really likes to win," White said. "I think Tony's best opportunity to win races, multiple races, and continue to threaten for championships is right where he is." ESPN.com


Rossi ends drought with win in China
Rossi returns to winning ways
Valentino Rossi ended his seven-race winless streak with a vintage display in the Pramac Grand Prix of China, repeating his 2005 triumph at the Shanghai International Circuit to take his first victory since the 2007 Portuguese Grand Prix last September. He battled with new MotoGP World Championship leader Dani Pedrosa for the majority of the race.

Starting from second on the grid, Rossi was involved in an inseparable front group for the opening laps. Eager to avoid a breakaway from Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa, the five-time MotoGP World Champion matched his Spanish rival lap-for-lap before finally sticking a move on him the ninth time around the track. After assuming control, he upped the pace to take his first victory with Bridgestone tires, setting a new circuit record of 1´59.273 on his 18th lap.

Rossi lies just nine points behind Pedrosa in the standings after becoming the fourth winner in as many races in 2008. Pedrosa tried hard to assume the early advantage, but eventually finished second to continue as the only rider to have placed on the podium at every race so far.

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tv news

Weekend USA TV Reminders UPDATE The final TV reminders for Sunday have been added to the schedule below.

Courtesy of TVRacer.com
Documentary: Birth of a Racer (2007)
Profiling Michael Czysz, who is building a superbike
  capable of competing at the Laguna Seca MotoGP   
10:00am-12:00pm Discovery HD Theater
Check local listings for your time zone
Movie: The Racers (1955)
10:00am-12:00pm FOX Movie Channel
NHRA Raceday Madison, IL 
11:00am-11:30am ESPN2
Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race Long Beach 
11:30am-12:00pm (R) SPEED
AMA Supercross Year in Review
12:00pm-1:00pm CBS
ARCA RE/MAX Carolina 500 Rockingham
12:00pm-4:00pm (L) SPEED
Documentary: Absolute Evel -The Evel Knievel Story   
1:00pm-3:00pm (R) History Channel
Check local listings for your time zone
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix of China Shanghai
4:00pm-5:00pm (SD) SPEED
Risk Takers -Race Track Rescue   
4:00pm-5:00pm (R) Discovery HD Theater
Check local listings for your time zone
AMA Supercross Las Vegas
6:00pm-7:00pm (5/3/08) SPEED
SPEED Report   
7:00pm-8:00pm SPEED
NHRA O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals Madison, IL
7:00pm-10:00pm (SD) ESPN2
NASCAR Victory Lane Richmond 
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Roger Edmondson (CEO, Daytona Motorsports Group)
Frank Kimmel (ARCA RE/MAX Series)
Robin Miller (Open Wheel Analyst)   
9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED
Monday (Partial)

A1 Grand Prix Brands Hatch           
7:30am-10:30am (5/4/08) Setanta Sports
NHRA Replay O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals Madison, IL           
11:00am-1:00pm (R) ESPN Classic
Rolex Sports Car Series Replay Bosch Engineering 250 at VIR           
12:00pm-3:00pm (R) SPEED

All times listed are ET. For a complete listing of TV Programs, see TVRacer.com


Kyle Busch talks about taking Earnhardt out
What happened between you and Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the final laps?
“It was just a bummer deal -- we were both just racing there.  Denny (Hamlin), first off, had the class of the field today -- his car was awesome -- that FedEx Joe Gibbs Toyota was great.  (Dale Earnhardt) Jr. and I were just racing hard there and getting into turn three, from the front end replay, it looked like he came down a little bit.  It’s just a part of racing.  I probably could have moved down a little lower getting into the corner and he probably could have moved up higher -- it’s just a product of good, hard racing.  I apologize to those guys -- they had a great race car tonight and they probably could have finished, if not winning the race, probably second.  For us to go on the way that we have since all of this has gone on has nothing to do with any of that stuff.  To me, Rick Pigeon (88 crew member) coming on down here, was a friend of mine and has always been a great friend to Dale (Earnhardt) Jr., that was a little uncalled for and it’s not all about him all the time and he’ll know what I mean by that.”

What will the perception of ‘Junior Nation’ be about the incident tomorrow?
“’Junior’ nation assumption is probably going to always be right.  It’s just a product of hard racing with both of us going into the corner and running out of room together and we got together.”

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Rahal Letterman drivers will get extra time at Indy
Rahal Letterman Racing will expand to a two-car IndyCar Series program for the first time this year with the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500, and won’t waste any time in getting those cars on track as preparation gets underway Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The fact that this will be the first IndyCar appearance at the fabled 2.5-mile oval for both Ryan Hunter-Reay (#17 Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone) and Alex Lloyd (#16 Rahal Letterman with Chip Ganassi Dallara/Honda/Firestone) will net them extra track time when things get underway on Sunday afternoon.  Both drivers will have two days to complete the IMS Rookie Orientation, which calls for a driver to complete a four-step process in which drivers increase their speed at each step.

“I am really looking forward to tackling the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in an IndyCar,” Lloyd said. “I have been fortunate enough to win on the famed oval, so for me Indy is the ultimate. ROP is a great opportunity for me to get up to speed and learn about the car and get comfortable before the real action starts on opening day. My expectations are high and I have been waiting for this day for a long time.”

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Rain arrives as forecast at Shanghai
Early morning rain falls on Shanghai circuit
After wet weather arrived overnight the Sunday morning warm-up sessions in the three respective MotoGP World Championship classes will see some frantic work from the teams at the Shanghai International circuit, as they try to get their riders as comfortable as possible on wet tires at the fourth round of season.

Having worked exclusively on dry set-ups throughout the weekend thus far in China, the teams now have to switch focus to dealing with the tricky conditions, with little relevant data and only the experience of previous visits to Shanghai in the rain – such as the inaugural visit to the track in 2005 – to go by.

Casey Stoner recorded the best MotoGP time of the morning warm-up session, recording a time of 2´13.055 at the Shanghai International Circuit. The Australian will start from the front row for the first time this season, and proved to be equally comfortable in the wet as he maneuvered his way around the soaking Chinese track.

Fellow front row starter Valentino Rossi –the winner of the only previous wet weather race in Shanghai, was second quickest, nearly nine-tenths of a second behind his rival. Another past winner, Dani Pedrosa, was third onboard his Repsol Honda RC212V.

tv news

Roger Edmondson to be guest on Wind Tunnel
Roger Edmondson, CEO of the Daytona Motorsports Group, will be a featured guest on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain on Sunday, May 4.  Roger and his partner, Jim France, have been running Grand-Am and its Rolex Sports Car Series for the past 9 years, and recently have taken on a new venture...running AMA Pro Racing.  Also joining Dave Despain as a featured interview will be 9-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion, Frank Kimmel.  Robin Miller, Expert Open Wheel Analyst, will give a live report to Wind Tunnel from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where Rookie Orientation will have begun for this year’s Indy 500.  Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain airs at 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm ET on SPEED.


Richmond fails to sell out UPDATE Spurred on by local favorite Denny Hamlin's pole position and win in the Nationwide race Saturday night, Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz announced Saturday afternoon all grandstand seats for that nights NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Crown Royal Presents The Dan Lowry 400, have been sold.

“Ticket sales were steady and we remained optimistic leading into this weekend,” said Fritz.  “The hard work of our staff and our continued effort to provide a first class experience for our fans continues to pay off.”

“Richmond International Raceway is known as a fan favorite and selling out tonight’s race is a testament to the dedication of our fans,” continued Fritz.  “Even in these tough economic times, our fans at Richmond International Raceway continue to show they are the most loyal in the industry.”

05/02/08 The large sign outside Richmond International Raceway off Laburnum Avenue on Friday said it all.

"Tickets Available Now!"

This has been a common sight at tracks that host Sprint Cup events this season, but it is alarming when it occurs at RIR.

The track has sold out every Cup race, 32 in all, over the past 16 years. Most of the sellouts are announced a week before the event, the Thursday before at the latest.

That tickets remain 24 hours before Saturday's race reinforces what track presidents and NASCAR officials have said and feared for the past few months: rising gas prices and tough economic times are keeping fans away.

"It's not the sport. It's not the competition. It's the economy," team owner Richard Childress said. "It's like that in every business right now."

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