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Corvette team to add third car for Fellows
Corvette Racing will enter a third Corvette C6.R driven by Ron Fellows and Andy Pilgrim in the Grand Prix of Mosport to be held at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada on August 26, 2007. Former teammates Fellows and Pilgrim will be reunited for the ninth round of the American Le Mans Series at the famed Canadian track near Fellows' home in Mississauga, Ontario.

"I'm excited, and I know that Andy's excited," said Fellows. "It should be good fun. Andy and I are both a part of Corvette Racing history, and this will be a real treat."

Fellows and Pilgrim raced together at Mosport in August 2000, finishing second on a track that went from wet to dry in the closing laps. One month later, the pair won at Texas Motor Speedway, scoring the first of Corvette Racing's 55 victories.

"I'm thrilled to be running with Ron in Canada," Pilgrim said. "Mosport is a very special place for Ron, and I'm excited about the prospect of being his teammate there. It's always great to race with Ron, and it's even better to be doing it at his home track. Mosport is extremely fast, and it's an eye-opening experience to race a GT1 Corvette there." The third Corvette C6.R will run in Arctic White paint that celebrates the limited edition Ron Fellows American Le Mans Series GT1 Champion Corvette Z06.

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racing news

Earnhardt Jr, Patrick and Wallace make top-20 list
TSE's Athlete Business Index ("TAB" score) is calculated by combining survey results of Fortune 500 executives who use talent for corporate purposes. Executives surveyed are asked to score athletes' ability to succeed in ten specific corporate categories or functions. These categories include trade show appearance, keynote speech, sales promotion, clinic/demonstration, meet and greet, and others.

Athletes are graded on a point system from (1-10 highest) in each category. They are given a score for both local market presence and national marketability. TAB scores are calculated on a quarterly basis by TSE Sports & Entertainment.

Companies interested in viewing a complete list of TSE's Athlete Business Index and it's associated rankings should contact Will Steinberg at wsteinberg@tseworld.com.

TSE Athlete Business Index Top 20 - April 2007

Rank Name "TAB" Score
1. Magic Johnson 99.85
2. Peyton Manning 99.80
3. Michael Jordan 99.75
4. Tiger Woods 99.70
5. Cal Ripken, Jr. 99.50
6. Lance Armstrong 99.45
7. LeBron James 99.25
8. Terry Bradshaw 99.00
9 Shaquille O'Neal 98.75
10 Charles Barkley 98.70
11 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 98.70
12 Annika Sörenstam 98.65
13 Yogi Berra 98.60
14 Steve Young 98.50
15 Danica Patrick 98.25
16 Rusty Wallace 98.20
17 Derek Jeter 98.15
18 Tiki Barber 98.10
19 Venus Williams 98.05
20 Bill Walton 98.00


Video: The work of an F1 race engineer
The work of a race engineer is key to the success of a Formula One team such as Panasonic Toyota Racing. Francesco Nenci and Gianluca Pisanello, the Italian race engineers for the Team provide a link between their drivers – Gianluca works with Jarno Trulli and Francesco works with Ralf Schumacher – and the engineers and mechanics working in the garage and paddock offices. Spending around two thirds of each year on the road, race engineers travel to races and tests to help drivers dissecting the latest data from a practice session or making make-or-break decisions via the radio during qualifying or the race, in order to give them the fastest possible car.


Injury forces Ammermuller out, Russian in
Michael Ammermuller (right) has been forced out of the weekend's GP2 action in Barcelona by a wrist injury. The ART Grand Prix driver will be replaced by Mikhail Aleshin, who steps up from the World Series by Renault.  The German Ammermuller has been out of action since breaking his wrist at the season-opening race in Bahrain, and had hoped to be back for the Spanish GP but lost his race against time.  "We had no complications, the operation went to plan, but the healing of a fracture like that is difficult and can last up to 12 weeks," said Ammermuller's doctor.

industry news

Senate panel OKs 35 mpg fuel economy plan
A key Senate committee today adopted a fuel-efficiency plan that would require automakers' products to average 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

Democrats said the measure is on a fast track to be voted on next month by the full Senate, bolstering momentum for a rule change automakers have successfully blocked for nearly two decades.

By a voice vote, the Senate Commerce Committee today unanimously approved a compromise bill, but was still considering amendments this morning, said U.S. Sen., Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii.

"This is not a perfect bill," Inouye said.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, said he would offer an amendment that would increase the requirement to 40 mpg on the Senate floor.

The bill adopted also would give automakers $50 million a year in advanced battery research funding.  More at Detroit News


Indy 500 to be broadcast in High-Def
The Indianapolis 500 is finally going to air in high definition digital television this year. The technology has been available for nearly three years, but Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ESPN Sports officials have decided this is the year to switch equipment. ESPN Sports, in conjunction with IMS Productions, delivers all the programming for the May 27 on ABC, plus shows on qualification days. The change required a significant financial investment, perhaps as much as twice that of the standard equipment. Fifty-three cameras will be utilized. IndyStar

[Editor's Note: Any race series not being broadcast in High Definition is bringing less value to their sponsors because the sponsor name is definitely more visible on TV in high-def. All NASCAR races have been shown in high-def for two years now.]


Students get chance to help in San Jose
Eleven interns from San Jose State University will personally hear engines rev, tires screech and people cheer for their favorite racecars this summer when the Champ Car Grand Prix motor races come to downtown San Jose in July.

It will be the third race in San Jose, but this will formally partner the Grand Prix event along with the Canary Foundation, a cancer research organization, with SJSU's Career Center.

Student applications are currently being reviewed for 11 paid internships, said Monyrith King, a senior majoring in hospitality management.

King, the coordinator of the student internships under the guidance of advisers from the Career Center said that the internships focus around majors such as marketing, administration, event planning, hotel management and recreational leisure.

King said that the deadline to submit an application for an intern opportunity was May 4. But the president of Grand Prix, Dale Jantzen, said on Monday that there are still eight positions available for students who are interested.

The available positions are listed at the Career Center's Web site with information on how to apply.

The Grand Prix is scheduled to have corporate sponsors, and "with sponsorships come a lot of given things," King said.

"Now we're looking for ... some students to help with the other aspects of the event," said Lucille Surdi, SJSU policy development manager, who referred to lifting equipment and setting up the event as the other aspects.

Surdi, the person who came up with the idea of partnering Grand Prix with SJSU, said Michael Fallon, an SJSU faculty member, is a part of the partnership project.

"It's not just volunteerism," Surdi said, "but it's service learning."

Surdi said that there would be tasks, responsibilities and "that it is a meaningful learning experience."

"By formalizing this partnership we don't want it to just be arbitrary," Surdi said. "We want as many opportunities for students to participate in this cause as possible." More....


Barrett Takes Wins 3 and 4 at Buttonwillow
Patrick Barrett claimed his third and fourth wins of the 2007 Pacific F2000 Championship Series season on May 5 and 6 at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in Central California. Rounds Five and Six of the series were held in conjunction with the Vintage Auto Racing Association’s annual British Extravaganza. The 17 year old from Los Osos, Calif. claimed his first pole of the season on Saturday in his #3 Jim Russell Racing School/Alpinestars/Go Pro /PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen and led all laps to finish 2.5 seconds ahead of fellow PR1 Motorsports teammate Thomas Merrill. Merrill outpaced Barrett by 5 thousands of a second for fast lap of the race. Shaun Modisette, also from the PR1 stable finished third to give the team their first 1, 2, 3 finish in two years.

“I’m really happy that Thomas, Shaun and I were able to bring home a 1-2-3 finish for PR1 Motorsports today,” said Barrett. “It’s a big accomplishment by all of us and really gives us great confidence heading into the last half of the season.”

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Wheldon fastest, Herb crashes
IndyCar Series point leader Dan Wheldon topped the speed charts in the first day of practice for all cars for the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500.

Shortly after Happy Hour began at 5 p.m., Wheldon, the 2005 Indianapolis 500 champion, posted the day's quickest lap of 39.9868 seconds, 225.074 mph in his No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Team Penske's Helio Castroneves, a two-time Indy 500 winner, posted the second-quickest lap - 40.0007, 224.106.

Vision Racing's Tomas Scheckter (224.783 mph), Andretti Green Racing's Tony Kanaan (224.622 mph) and Target Chip Ganassi's Scott Dixon (224.564 mph) rounded out the top five.

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Stremme fastest on Day 2 at Lowe's
David Stremme posted the fastest lap on day one of a scheduled two-day testing session at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Monday, as 51 NASCAR Nextel Cup teams took to the track in preparation for the upcoming Nextel All Star Challenge and Coca Cola 600 later this month.

Stremme’s fast lap of 187 mph in the evening session was the fastest time among the 81 cars that took time on the track.

"The tires are still really hard and there's not a lot of grip. You've got to be really careful," said Stremme. "Other than that, things are going well. We are just taking our time and working through things."

Jeremy Mayfield, who along with the other Toyota teams have struggled just to make the field this season, ran the second quickest lap of 185.134 mph.  Paul Menard, one of the part-time teams looking to make the show in the Coca-Cola 600, lead the Chevrolet camp with a lap of 184.932 mph. Ward Burton was fourth fastest in a Chevy with a lap of 184.767 mph, followed by Reed Sorenson, the fastest Dodge with a lap of 184.319 mph.

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NASCAR lawsuit hinges on unwritten agreements
AT&T Mobility's case against NASCAR regarding the branding of the No. 31 car owned by Richard Childress and driven by Jeff Burton hinges on a meeting with representatives of the sport's governing body in June 2003, during which "promises" were made by NASCAR.

NASCAR, however, dismissed the "alleged" promises and introduced compelling testimony by a former Cingular employee designated as the "point person" for the sponsoring of the car, in a 94-page filing in U.S. District Court.

The document filing was made Monday in Atlanta.

AT&T and NASCAR have been in court since April 26 for an injunction that would allow AT&T, which merged with Cingular last December and is phasing out the Cingular brand, to put its logos on the car.

A decision is expected from Judge Marvin H. Shoob by the end of this week or early next week. More at ESPN.com


Jeff Gordon’s Team takes Pit Crew Challenge Honors
Jeff Gordon’s over-the-wall crew earned its first win of the season in the weekly Checkers®/Rally’s® Double Drive-Thru Challenge by spending the least amount of time on pit road during Sunday’s rain-delayed Nextel Cup event.

The No. 24 crew spent 201.593 seconds on Richmond International Raceway’s pit lane, and lifted its team to a fourth-place finish in the Jim Stewart 400 presented by Crown Royal.
"We made a lot of changes to the No. 24 crew at the beginning of 2006 and the guys have really worked hard," said Matt Clark, pit crew coach for the No. 24 DuPont team. "I'm glad they've received this award and the recognition that goes along with it.”

Clark continued, "We're happy with our recent performance, but we want to continue to improve through the end of the year."

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A1 TEAM USA named co-entrant for Indy 500
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announced today the partnership with A1 TEAM USA owner Rick Weidinger for the No. 15 entry in the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race set for Sunday, May 27, 2007, at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 The No. 15 Honda-powered Dallara car driven by 2004 Indy 500 Champion Buddy Rice of Phoenix, Ariz., will be known as the A1 TEAM USA/Dreyer & Reinbold Honda throughout the month of May including qualifications and the 200-lap classic. Last year Weidinger teamed up with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the 2006 Indy 500.

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Red Bull confirms seamless gearbox debut
(GMM)  As originally reported nearly a month ago, Red Bull will use a seamless shift gearbox for the first time at the Spanish GP this weekend.

The Austrian squad announced on Tuesday that the change is one of several updates to the RB3 single seater after the first three races of the season, including to the bodywork, following the Barcelona test last week.

Red Bull now joins other top teams in using the double-clutch transmission technology, after the late confirmation of the switch to Renault power for 2007 held up the introduction of the gearbox for the start of the season.

The team, which is based in Milton Keynes (UK), held off confirming the item's Spanish grand prix debut until it was fully tested prior to the first European race of 2007.

"Right from the beginning we decided  for logistical reasons to target the Barcelona test for the introduction of our transmission development and happily the testing was successful in this respect," said technical director Mark Smith.

industry news

Delphi losses mount
Delphi Corp., the largest auto-parts supplier operating in Chapter 11, widened its first-quarter net loss as charges, lower production from former parent General Motors Corp. and raw-material prices took a toll.

The company also said Monday it may make a $1.3 billion payment to its pension plan upon exiting Chapter 11 after shifting $1.5 billion in unfunded liabilities to GM, according to tentative agreements outlined in its quarterly statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The report comes as Delphi's largest union, the United Auto Workers, prepares what it calls a final contract proposal to the company. Delphi has sought wage and benefit cuts for its hourly employees. Delphi said its performance "continues to reflect its uncompetitive U.S. cost structure."

The supplier reported a first-quarter net loss of $533 million, or 95 cents a share, compared with a loss of $363 million, or 65 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

This year's net loss included $160 million in asset-impairment charges and $73 million in employee-termination benefits and other exit costs. More at Detroit News


Earnhardt not good enough to drive COT UPDATE Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he expects to be frustrated with the car of tomorrow at Darlington this weekend.

NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Director John Darby says that's how it's supposed to be.

He has heard drivers talk about the cars being more difficult to turn since the start of testing with the new car. But drivers will learn.

"There should be a level of frustration - obviously different levels," Darby said Monday during a break in testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "I would imagine anybody yesterday other than [Richmond winner] Jimmie Johnson had a concern or a frustration at some point because that's the way our sport works.

"Frustration to the point where we're going to change anything going forward, probably not."

In addressing car of tomorrow competition issues, Darby said he is not concerned about the dominance of Hendrick Motorsports (four wins) and Chevrolet (which has led all but 63 of the 1,716 laps in COT events).

"I don't think we've ever seen that many laps with that many competitors running side-by-side," Darby said about the car of tomorrow. "The great thing about this garage area is there are no secrets and if somebody has got one, it won't last long.

"It's been that way for 58 years. Somebody may have an early lead in the deal. Essentially what it does is make the other teams work harder. It will catch up." Scenedaily.com

05/08/07 A jovial, if not laissez-faire Dale Earnhardt Jr. stood outside the No. 8 transporter Monday afternoon at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Washington Redskins fitted cap flipped around backward, signature sunglasses shading his eyes, red beard masking his face.

Amid a throng of tape recorders and television cameras, he waxed current on NASCAR's hottest topics.

Not a fan of the COT, huh? Should we run it full time next year? You gonna leave Chevy? Are you the voice of the garage? And of course, the inevitable: What's up with the contract?

He answered most everything, pausing often to collect his thoughts before speaking.

He's not much into the notion that Hendrick Motorsports is unbeatable. And he's not big on the Car of Tomorrow at present, said it won't turn through the corner worth a damn and that it's all but driving him crazy.

In fact, he said it's the most frustrating thing he's ever had to deal with in his racing life.

That's not to say he'd do away with it, mind you. He knows it's a safer car, and if he had his druthers, he'd run the thing full time already.

"I don't like doing two different kind of cars -- it's [got to be] one or the other," said Earnhardt, on hand to test a pair of No. 8 Chevrolets for the All-Star Challenge and the Coca-Cola 600. "I'd go full time with the COT right now. Why not? We're all pretty frustrated with it and struggling with it.

"We may as well get as much time in it as we can get -- week in, week out -- even if it drives us all crazy." More at ESPN.com

[Editor's Note: Inside racing circles Earnhardt Jr. is a mediocre driver at best. Yet he is their biggest star (sort of like Danica Patrick in the IRL - all show and no go) riding on the coattails of his famous father.  Funny how he can't get the COT to turn yet the better Hendrick Motorsport drivers are using their talent to drive around the problem and beat drivers of Earnhardt's skill-level on a regular basis.]


Ducati president denies cheating allegations
Ducati president Federico Minoli has denied allegations of cheating surrounding his team and even went as far as responded on the Ducati website's official blog.

"As an Italian, as a Ducatista, and as the President of Ducati, I am happy and proud of Stoner's smashing victory in China and of the entire start of the GP racing season.

"However, as a fan, speaking for all Ducatisti, I feel the need to express my anger and protest against the false allegations of technical irregularities expressed in the Italian TV show 'Fuori Giri'.

"Ducati is an Italian manufacturer that is incredibly small compared to its adversaries. We won today because of hard work and ingenuity, both inside and outside the factory.

"We would like all Italians to share our pride. It is, however, our duty to demand respect and recognition for our accomplishments — no ifs, ands, buts, or lies."

Industry News

Video: Self-driving cars

Vehicles that operate without a driver and allow passengers to safely use their mobile devices are being tested by the U.S. Department of Defense. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has created Boss, a Chevrolet Tahoe, designed to drive itself. Boss is a robotic vehicle equipped with 25 lasers, cameras and radars to enable it to sense objects and know which direction to go. The self-driving vehicle is scheduled to be tested in November during The Urban Challenge, a 60-mile course in which various robots race across a city or suburban environment. In addition to helping the military, General Motors officials expect this new technology will also play a future role in dangerous tasks such as mining.

tv news

Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
Few race tracks are as steeped in NASCAR tradition as Darlington Raceway, the egg-shaped superspeedway that hosted its first race in 1950. ESPN2 will have live primetime coverage of Friday night’s 200-mile NASCAR Busch Series race from the 1.366-mile South Carolina track beginning at 8 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. The race will start at 8:30 p.m.

With the first and second turns radically different from the third and fourth turns, and a very narrow racing groove, Darlington Raceway was challenging enough for drivers in the daytime, but an entirely new level of difficulty was added several years ago when the track was lit for night racing. Ryan Newman holds the NASCAR Busch Series qualifying record of 170.301 mph on the track billed as “Too Tough to Tame,” while Denny Hamlin is the defending champion of the event. Mark Martin, who leads all drivers with eight NASCAR Busch Series wins at Darlington, will make his first start for Hendrick Motorsports in the #5 Chevrolet usually driven by Kyle Busch.

Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion and one of the founding drivers of the NASCAR Busch Series, will join two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree in the ESPN booth for analysis during the telecast. Jarrett is filling in for ESPN’s lead auto racing analyst, Rusty Wallace, who will rejoin NASCAR coverage in June. Dr. Jerry Punch will handle play-by-play duties for ESPN. Dave Burns, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake will report the action from the pits.

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NASCAR to get F1 wind tunnel technology
NASCAR has been getting an increasing amount of engine technology from F1 in recent years, with a number of firms with F1 experience working closely with teams to develop the old stock block V8 engines that are still being used in the series.

Now it seems the series is about to get F1 style aerodynamics as well. Windshear Inc, a company owned by Haas Automation owner Gene Haas, has started work on the construction of a $40m, 185mph full-scale wind tunnel which is being designed to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This will be located next to the Concord Regional Airport in North Carolina, and will be rented out to teams when it is completed at the start of 2008 - and interest in the tunnel has also been expressed by Formula 1 and Indycar teams. It uses a stainless steel belted rolling road which is developed by MTS Systems, the Minnesota-based company that supplies rolling roads for most of the Formula 1 teams, and will have a larger test section than any currently in use in F1. The project was spearheaded by ex-Formula 1 and Indycar designer Ken Anderson. Grandprix.com


Q and A with Heikki Kovalainen
Q: Heikki, the European season begins with round 4 of the championship in Barcelona. How have you prepared for this race?

Heikki Kovalainen: "The main preparation came during testing at this circuit last week. We ran through our usual pre-race program, working on car set-up, while I focused on my driving, finding the right lines and good braking points.

"It was our normal series of preparations before we race at a circuit, and of course, we also carried on collecting data to continue the analysis of the problems we have experienced since the start of the year."

Q: What factors do you need to take into account to set-up the car for this circuit?

Kovalainen: "Barcelona is a very demanding circuit for the car. You need a good chassis balance in the long corners, good aerodynamic grip, and also good mechanical performance - particularly on the exit of the slow corners.

"The track is very hard on the tires, and you have to pay attention to the wear levels, particularly on the long runs. With that in mind, you also need to tune control systems such as the traction control properly, in order to be quick over a full race distance."

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Q and A with Giancarlo Fisichella
Q: Although the team's overall performance so far has been disappointing, you have driven three aggressive races. How will you be approaching the Spanish Grand Prix?

Giancarlo Fisichella: "At the first three races, we managed to get the maximum out of our package, and that was something positive. But we know that the car is not competitive enough yet.

"The team has been working very hard over the last few weeks to understand the problems, and how to solve them. Personally, my focus is on the race, and on taking every opportunity to make sure we continue performing to the car's maximum."

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Q and A with Pat Symonds
Q: Formula One has enjoyed a four-week break between the Bahrain and Spanish Grands Prix. What has been the agenda for the ING Renault F1 Team?

Renault's head of engineering, Pat Symonds: "Leaving Bahrain we knew that the "break" to the next race would be one in name only - and that's exactly how it has proved. There has been a huge amount of research and analysis conducted, as we work on finding the solutions to our current problems.

"In parallel with that, we have been pushing forward with our usual performance development, testing new parts for the coming races."

Q: What areas has you work focused on as you look to resolve the current performance problems?

Symonds: "Of prime importance has been the ability to run on track, with additional instrumentation that cannot be used during the race weekends. We have collected gigabytes of data and conducted detailed analysis of them.

"As we have always said, this initial phase is very much a process of elimination: our approach has been to look at every possible cause, then discard them as our work advances in order to pin-point the areas for more detailed investigation. It is painstaking work, but we have made good steps forward since we raced in Bahrain."

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Yeley to drive for Foyt at Darlington
J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz., who swept USAC’s “Triple Crown” in 2003, winning all three USAC National driving championships, will pilot A.J. Foyt’s Greer Special C & R/Chevy in Thursday’s “USAC Showdown at Darlington” K & N Engineering Silver Crown Championship race. The 50-lap contest marks USAC’s return to the “track too tough to tame” after a 51-year hiatus.

Yeley, who finished ninth in Darlington’s Busch Series race last year and has two Nextel Cup starts at the storied oval, hopes to be the third driver in a row to post a victory in the familiar #14. Tracy Hines won the March 23 race at Homestead, Fla. and Bobby East won Saturday’s 100-lapper at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Yeley has a dozen career USAC Silver Crown triumphs, including pavement wins at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. in 1998 and O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Ind. in 2003. J.J. also has 11 career Silver Crown poles to his credit.
Yeley, who finished ninth in the 1998 Indianapolis 500 at age 21, will team with Pablo Donoso of Chile in Thursday’s race. Donoso finished 11th in Saturday’s race at Iowa Speedway. His USAC career includes five National driving championships and 56 total National feature victories, which ties him with Mario Andretti for 15th on USAC’s all-time winners list. He won the USAC Sprint Car title in 2001, the Silver Crown title in 2002 and matched Tony Stewart’s 1995 “Triple Crown” feat with his 2003 Silver Crown, Sprint and Midget championships. In 2003 he also broke Foyt’s 42-year-old USAC single-season victory record of 19, scoring 24 total feature wins! The old record of 19 was also shared by Sleepy Tripp and Jay Drake.


Latest F1 news in brief
  • Hulkenberg set for F1 test with Renault
  • Schu visit to be low-profile - spokeswoman
  • Aguri, STR, announce car upgrades for Spain
  • Spyker have taken step back - Monteiro
  • Alonso can cope with Hamilton hype

Hulkenberg set for F1 test with Renault
(GMM) Newly crowned A1GP champion and teenager Nico Hulkenberg will test a formula one car for the first time later in 2007.

That is the promise of the German's manager, Willi Weber, who is famous for steering the career of the most successful and highest earning grand prix driver of all time, Michael Schumacher.

Weber told the German magazine Sport Bild that he is already in contact with Renault boss Flavio Briatore about organizing a test for Hulkenberg, who drove for his 'Team Germany' in the A1GP open wheel series in 2006/2007.

"After we cooperated together with regard to Michael between 1991 and 1995, Flavio and I know each other more than well," Weber is quoted as saying.

In the meantime, Hulkenberg is racing this year in the F3 Euroseries.

Schu visit to be low-profile - spokeswoman
(GMM) Michael Schumacher's role at the Spanish grand prix this weekend will be low-profile.

But the retired seven time world champion's media spokeswoman, Sabine Kehm, also insisted that Schumacher will be an active member of the Ferrari team - rather than merely a guest - at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.

"He will be watching structures in the background and looking at where things can be improved," Kehm is quoted as saying by the Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Kehm's warning follows earlier reports that said the 38-year-old German would probably not even speak to the media this weekend.

The Spanish GP is the first formula one event Schumacher will attend since he raced for the last time last October.

But it is believed that Ferrari and Schumacher's PR representatives have deliberately not organized any structured events to coincide with his visit, despite the obviously large media interest.

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FOX belittles Danica in interview
Neil Cavuto interviewed Danica Patrick on FOX Business and after questioning her about IndyCar's poor popularity vs. NASCAR he actually asked her if there was anything 'there there'....meaning is she all sex kitten and not a very good driver. For a moment she was tongue-tied, but see how she responded.....not so well. While he was interviewing her they had a sex kitten video of Danica playing in a split screen with her doing all sorts of provocative poses. Video

With FOX needing NASCAR to succeed to get better ratings and generate more advertising income so they can afford to pay NASCAR all the money they owe them, one has to wonder if this interview was a setup to belittle the IRL's biggest star and paint NASCAR in a positive light.


F1's 'professor of mechanics' dies
Respected former Formula 1 chief mechanic Peter Kerr has died at the age of 73.

Kerr, a New Zealander, worked with the likes of Ronnie Peterson and Niki Lauda at the March team co-founded by Max Mosley.

He later moved to the Shadow outfit and thence to Arrows, where he stayed until his retirement, working in a research and development role.

Such was his expertise that he became known as the “professor of mechanics”, which was in fact his job title at Arrows.

Latterly Kerr worked with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone on the development of F1 pass technology, instigating the upgrade from a paper to a plastic system.

industry news

First Look - 2008 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet
Stuttgart, Germany based Porsche AG today shared initial details about the new 911 Turbo Cabriolet.  When it goes on sale in September 2007 in North America, the 2008 911 Turbo Cabriolet will take its rightful place at the top of Porsche’s sports car hierarchy and will continue Porsche’s 20-year tradition of offering an open-top turbocharged 911 sports car for those who yearn for the ultimate open-air Porsche driving experience either on the track or on the boulevard.

The 911 Turbo Cabriolet features the same 3.6-liter, six-cylinder, twin-turbocharged boxer engine found in the 911 Turbo Coupe.  Using Variable Turbine Geometry (VTG), the powerplant generates 480 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque at 1950 rpm.  The heart of the Variable Turbine Geometry technology is the turbocharger’s adjustable guide blades, which can vary in angle to most effectively guide engine exhaust flow onto the turbocharger’s impeller wheel. The result is a system that provides the advantages of both a small and large turbocharger, thus eliminating the turbo lag or old and, instead, offering unheard of flexibility and awesome acceleration, particularly at low engine speeds.

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industry news

Porsche to Build Limited Edition Boxster
Wearing eye-catching orange paint normally found on the awesome 911® GT3 RS, Porsche’s Boxster ‘styling exercise’ shown at The Porsche Lounge @ Splashlight Studios during the New York Auto Show ignited the auto media and Porsche customers and enthusiasts. The Stuttgart, Germany based car manufacturer heard the declarations that it must build this car, and now the wheels are in motion. Production of the Limited Edition Boxster and Boxster S roadsters will commence in the near future.

Only 500 (250 Boxster and 250 Boxster S versions) will be produced. They will have many standard features that normally are options on the Boxster/Boxster S line, including black wheels with silver rims, Porsche’s SportDesign body-kit package and an Alcantara-trimmed interior.

Topping the value-added standard exterior and technical features is the SportDesign package that includes spoiler lips that mount on the standard front trim, an automatically extending and redesigned rear spoiler, and modified rear trim with integrated diffuser not only provides a more striking and sportier appearance, it also improves aerodynamics by reducing lift on both the front and rear axles without increasing aerodynamic drag.

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Point standings after Shanghai race






1.  Casey Stoner  AUS  Ducati  86 
2.  Valentino Rossi  Yamaha  71 
3.  Daniel Pedrosa  Honda  49 
4.  Marco Melandri  Honda  41 
5.  John Hopkins  USA  Suzuki  39 
6.  Antonio Elias  Honda  35 
7.  Colin Edwards  USA  Yamaha  31 
8.  Loris Capirossi  Ducati  30 
9.  Nicky Hayden  USA  Honda  30 
10.  Chris Vermeulen  AUS  Suzuki  30 
11.  Alexandre Barros  BR  Ducati  27 
12.  Carlos Checa  Honda  20 
13.  Randy De Puniet  Kawasaki  19 
14.  Alexander Hofmann  Ducati  19 
15.  Shinya Nakano  Honda  15 
16.  Sylvain Guintoli  Yamaha 
17.  Olivier Jacque  Kawasaki 
18.  Kenny Roberts  USA  Kr212v 
19.  Makoto Tamada  Yamaha 


Unsers Indy return delayed
Two more drivers topped 220 mph at Indianapolis Motor Speedway late Monday, while A.J. Foyt Racing chose to put off two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr.'s return to the track.

Unser, in his first time in a car since last year's 500, did not attempt to complete his refresher course Monday, the last day of rookie orientation before full-field practice begins Tuesday.

"Our cars were literally scary to drive last year," said Larry Foyt of A.J. Foyt Racing, who drove one of the cars last year. "We just want to make sure we have the cars where they need to be before we run. We don't want to take any chances."  Indy Star


Truex on top in opening day of testing at Lowe's
Pos No. Name  Best Tm
1 1B Martin Truex Jr.  29.901
2 40A David Stremme  29.902
3 12A Ryan Newman  29.902
4 01A Mark Martin  29.915
5 36A Jeremy Mayfield  29.973
6 14A Sterling Marlin  29.982
7 01B Mark Martin  29.997
8 66B Jeff Green  30.034
9 13B Joe Nemechek  30.050
10 20A Tony Stewart  30.056

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Burton to Make 450th Career Series Start
Jeff Burton is set to reach another career milestone when he takes the green flag at Saturday’s Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington Raceway for his 450th start in NASCAR’s premier series.

In his 15th year of NASCAR Cup Series competition, Burton has captured 19 victories, including his first at Texas Motor Speedway’s inaugural event in 1997, back-to-back wins at Darlington Raceway in 1999, two Coca-Cola 600 wins at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 1999 and 2001, and under the lights at Daytona International Speedway in 2000.

With eight top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in 24 starts, including the 1999 sweep, Darlington might just be the place where Burton secures his next milestone – his 20th series victory.

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NASCAR Launches "NASCAR Cooks!"
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) announced today a new brand extension and logo to further support the sport’s more than 25 licensed food and official partner products. “NASCAR Cooks!,” an umbrella brand, will allow NASCAR’s food partners and other tailgate-related licensees to effectively promote to the most passionate, casual and new NASCAR fans the excitement and enthusiasm this sport produces for food, cooking and the tailgating lifestyle that is NASCAR.

To introduce “NASCAR Cooks!” to consumers and retailers nationwide, NASCAR will launch a nine-week consumer contest that will run from July 1 through August 27 under the banner, “NASCAR Cooks! Race Day Recipe Contest.”

Fans interested in participating will be able to download contest rules and an application online at NASCAR.com later this summer.

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Veteran Andretti again fastest on rookie day
Rookie Phil Giebler (right) completed the final two phases of the Rookie Orientation Program as IndyCar Series teams geared up for the first official practice day for the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500.

Giebler, driving teammate Jaques Lazier's No. 21 Playa Del Racing Panoz/Honda/Firestone, quickly completed the final high-speed phases shortly after the track opened for the day.

"I went through my ROP segments quite quickly and easily," said Giebler, who is attempting to become the 10th driver to graduate from the Indy Pro Series to the Indianapolis 500. "It's just part of the process that we had to do. It was a little frustrating. As a racing driver, you always want to go quicker."

Giebler, who recorded 52 laps on the day, lapped the 2.5-mile oval in 41.4572 seconds, 217.091 mph. He was satisfied with the work done by the Playa Del Racing team.

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track news

"Drive The Mile” a huge success
The Sunday, May 6 “Drive The Mile” event was deemed a big success by Milwaukee Mile officials.  The fifth annual opportunity for race fans to drive their own car around the historic speedway involved over 1,000 enthusiasts.

An estimated 2,700 pounds of non-perishable food items for the Hunger Task Force and families in need in the Milwaukee area were collected, as participants were encouraged to donate two items as part of their admission to take three laps around The Mile.

Mini-vans, hot rods, motorcycles, even a large dump truck were among the throng of fans who took advantage of the traditional “Drive The Mile” event held on the first Sunday in May at The Mile, the worlds oldest active motor speedway.

Over 500 “Drive The Mile” car show participants took laps around The Mile in the morning, with the general public allowed in from 11am until 3pm.

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Papis to chat with Watkins Glen fans
Other than exciting racing, there is only one thing that race fans cannot get enough of; access to their favorite drivers.  Watkins Glen International will provide that coveted opportunity by giving fans the chance to chat LIVE on the WGI Fan Talk Forum each week with a driver from the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series leading up to the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, June 8-10.  Star driver Max Papis will be the featured guest for the first live chat on Wednesday, May 9th, at 7:30 PM.   

The live chats are open to all race fans that are registered on the WGI Fan Talk Forum.  Not registered yet?  Simply log-on to the WGI homepage (www.TheGlen.com), fill out the registration form and you are ready to post! 

The 30-minute live chats will be held every Wednesday at 7:30 PM beginning this week and leading up to the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen weekend.  Every live chat will feature a different driver from the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and fans can expect an announcement on the participating driver several days prior to the weekly chat.  

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Brack’s video about AJ Foyt
Kenny Brack and his rock band put together this video titled 'Legend of the Speedway' celebrating AJ Foyt's racing career.


Knaus wins Crew Chief of the Race award
Chad Knaus, crew chief for the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, faced multiple obstacles during the Crown Royal Presents the Jim Stewart 400 at Richmond International Raceway.  A rescheduling of the race from Saturday evening to Sunday afternoon due to rain was only the beginning of a tough day for Knaus as he dealt with a loose car, hot breaks, air pressure and more.  However, Knaus kept a cool head while working on the multiple problems his driver, Jimmie Johnson, radioed in, calling for the necessary adjustments during pit stops.  Knaus’ communication with Johnson combined with quick and accurate assessments of the problems, lead the 2006 Nextel Cup Champion to the checkered flag, capturing the team’s fourth victory for the season.  For his outstanding race day calls along with team leadership and direction, Chad Knaus was awarded the WYPALL* Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.

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Still no TV for Aussie Champ Car fans
It would be an understatement to say that Australian Champ Car fans have been rather irate since the season opener at not being able to view the first Australian-born driver to be victorious in a Champ Car race. Let alone witness him start the first three races of the season from the front row of the grid.

According to Channel 7, they hold the rights to broadcast the Surfers Paradise Champ Car race only and no-one from Champ Car (or their Australian representative) has approached them in an effort to televise the remaining races. Understandably, their main focus is the V8 Supercar series but would almost certainly be open to any approaches to broadcast the Champ Car series in its entirety.

Likewise with Channel 10, who claim that they too do not hold any rights to televise the Champ Car races, and as they state “why would they want to”. Imagine building the excitement all year generated from the coverage of the earlier races only to lose the momentum gained (as well as advertising revenue) to a rival FTA network for the cream of the crop, the Surfers Paradise Indy event.

Champ Car, to their credit, state that they are working on the ‘lack of Australian television coverage’ with their promoter to ensure that the issue is rectified as soon as possible.

Surely the momentum started when Will Power sensationally grabbed the pole last year in Surfers Paradise must have been noticed by the, excuse the pun, powers that be.”

Personally, I have been to every Champ Car race on the Gold Coast since 1999 and was pleasantly stunned by the response of the crowd with respect to Power’s qualifying effort at Surfers 2006. The ‘Go Team Australia’ banners abundant on race day simply overawed me, as my understanding had always been in that the crowd were predominantly V8 Supercar fans. Gladly I was proven wrong that day.

The momentum gained by Power’s pole in Australia, and subsequent podium finish in the season ending race in Mexico City, has been only furthered by his feats in the opening three events of this year’s season. Surely this must be worthy of television coverage for the Australian fans.

Even Power himself is well aware, not to mention disappointed, that the Aussie fans are not being able to witness his Champ Car accomplishments.

Australian racing fans are loyal, passionate and truly patriotic about their native drivers and the series that they race in, something I hope will not be lost due to a lack of television coverage in this country.


Glock says new turn meant to cause mistakes
This weekend will see the fourth round in the 2007 Formula 1 world championship. The race will take place in Spain at Circuit de Catalunya. The track made changes this winter as it added a chicane in the finale corner ahead of the circuit's long straight.

BMW Sauber F1 Team test driver Timo Glock explains the background to this modification and reveals details regarding the ideal setup for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Until now, the 'Circuit de Catalunya' has been one of the high-speed circuits on the Formula One calendar, with overtaking maneuvers having been rare. The new chicane in the final third of the lap, however, is supposed to change all that. "Obviously, it slightly spoils the characteristics of the Spanish GP venue, which has previously been a very fast circuit," says Glock. "But the chicane before the final turn will hopefully see mistakes and out-braking maneuvers which will allowing for overtaking on the long straight that follows. We've got to wait and see if this will work as planned. Personally, I doubt it will, but it's always difficult to make such an assessment from the outside."

When it comes to commenting on the setup of the BMW Sauber F1.07, however, the 25-year old doesn't have any problems, after all, he has already contested races at Barcelona. "Obviously, the aero set-up must be as perfect as possible as Barcelona is an extremely fast circuit," reveals Timo. "However, there are a number of tight corners, such as the hairpin and the slow chicane. For this mix of slow corners and fast bends, a perfect aero balance is a must. Therefore, we must find a well-balanced compromise."


Roush buys Shaker Rig
Jack Roush said he’s just ordered the latest piece of high-dollar racing technology, a seven-post shaker rig, a computerized machine that a race car can be mounted on, which uses large hydraulic pistons to mimic the bumps and lumps of a 500-mile race. Richard Childress has had one for several years; Rick Hendrick just installed one himself, and Jeff Gordon said that exotic piece of equipment has been key to the team’s dominance.

“We’ve got a seven-post rig test machine now in our facility,” Gordon said. “Last year was about getting it put in and then trying to figure out how to utilize the information that we get from it. Now it’s really starting to pay off for us.

“And if you look at Childress’ success, I would say that is one of the main reasons they’ve stepped up so much over the last year, because they were one of the first teams to have one.”  Winston-Salem Journal


NASCAR teams testing at Lowe’s
NASCAR drivers won’t get any time off this week. They’re heading straight to Concord’s Lowe’s Motor Speedway for two days of testing for next week’s All-star race and the 600.

For a change, teams expect to be using the same tires at Concord this time that they used last year. And drivers are glad not to be running those small 13-gallons fuel cells.

Jeff Gordon has one word for that: “Hallelujah.

“I’m not a fan of small fuel cells. Now, I’m not saying I’m crazy about the tire; the tire was too hard the last time, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s still too hard.

“But at least we have some consistency in what we’re taking to the track. That’s nice.

“It just blows me away when we have a tire issue (like at Concord the last few years and at Las Vegas this year), and we ask Goodyear to build a tire that can withstand the heat and stress. And then NASCAR gives us a smaller fuel cell on top of that. Pick one. Do one thing or the other; don’t do both.” Winston-Salem Journal

Industry News

Workers on strike at Ferrari
The Ferrari factory in Modena, which is annually voted the best place in Italy to work, has suffered the first strike on its production line in more than 20 years. Around 80pc of our workers, who build our Gran Turismo models, went on strike," said Renzo Ferri, the head of Ferrari's union. "Several office workers did go in but none of the engineers."

The workers on the picket line sang: "We have a dream in our hearts - to see Cordero driving a tractor." They were referring to Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, the company's president.

The strikers said the Ferrari factory, where the F430 and F599 models are produced, increasingly resembled one of the mass-market factories run by Fiat, which owns Ferrari.

They complained that they had been fined for "disturbing a tour of journalists" and that they were asked to cover up when they had injuries. They are also upset at not receiving a larger pay rise after upping their productivity.

The factory has 2,800 employees and builds 6,450 cars a year. The top 800 engineers work on Formula One cars.


Latest F1 news in brief
  • Bernie should buy Brit GP - Mansell
  • Brundle honored, criticized
  • Massa 'not interested' in Coulthard record
  • Prost tips Massa to bag first title
  • Gascoyne not muscled by Spyker chiefs
  • Heidfeld reveals soggy secret
  • Renault, Vettel, Paffett in action
  • Vettel accepts BMW's Friday axe

Bernie should buy Brit GP - Mansell
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone should secure the future of the British grand prix by buying Silverstone.

That is the view of 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell, who is a staunch advocate of formula one remaining at the Northamptonshire venue.

"I think it would be wonderful if Bernie ended up buying the whole thing and doing something very special," Mansell told the Daily Telegraph in Britain.

Silverstone's current GP contract runs only until 2009.  The circuit is perpetually high on Ecclestone's list of gripes as he demands upgrades.

But Mansell said of the 76-year-old: "He is the only person who could afford to do that.  It would cost a lot of money but Bernie is the godfather of motor sport."

The former Ferrari, Williams and McLaren racer, however, refuses to pin the blame for Silverstone's flagging fortunes on the diminutive ringmaster.

"Silverstone have been their own biggest enemy by not investing in the infrastructure," Mansell charged.

Brundle honored, criticized
(GMM)  Former formula one racer Martin Brundle has become an honorary Doctor of Civil Law.

After contesting more than 150 grands prix for teams including McLaren and Williams until 1996, the 47-year-old was awarded the degree by the University of East Anglia also in recognition of his current career as a commentator for British TV.

The news interestingly coincides with former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn's observation from semi-retirement that relying on British broadcaster ITV's live coverage of the sport is a "very frustrating business".

Brawn also referred disparagingly to the "quality of commentators" of Britain's F1 coverage.

"I sympathize with you," he told readers of the British magazine Autosport.

"Our commentators don't seem very good at conveying what is going on.

"It's very frustrating to watch a race and not have that information which is available to everyone at the track.  So condolences for that."

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Industry News

Video: Save money with car sharing program
Consumers looking to save money, drive where they need to go and benefit the environment may have found an alternative in car-sharing programs. Rather than borrowing a friend’s vehicle, members pay a flat annual fee and then pay $8 to $10 every hour for use of a vehicle. Through car-sharing programs officials say consumers not only save money, they also help the environment. Research indicates every shared vehicle replaces an estimated six individually owned cars, thereby helping to reduce the level of emissions. There are 18 car sharing programs throughout the United States with 134,094 members sharing 3,637 cars. See video on our Home page.

racing news

Quotes of the week
GERHARD BERGER, co-owner F1 team, Scuderia Toro Rosso
"I have been observing him [Bruno Senna] for some time," Berger said, referring to the Brazilian whose mother Vivianne was Ayrton's sister. "If he can now confirm the great potential he showed in Bahrain, then Formula One is the next step." Berger's affection for Senna is bad news for Californian Scott Speed, whose seat already came into doubt after his moderate debut last season. Champ Car sensation Sebastien Bourdais is already waiting in the wings for 2008, and Berger said of Speed this season: "He has not yet awoken from his winter sleep."
KYLE PETTY, NASCAR driver, CEO Petty Enterprises
"We're in the entertainment business, if they want to throw a caution every 40 laps to keep everybody bunched up, so the fans have a better experience, more cautions, the better."
MATT KENSETH, NASCAR driver, Roush Fenway Racing
"There's for sure entertainment cautions, there's no doubt about that, but we're in the entertainment business and you're going to get some of that and group the field every once in a while."

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Indy 500: Foyt family
A.J. Foyt, Anthony Foyt IV, Larry Foyt, Darren Manning, George Snider, Al Unser Jr.
Sunday, May 6, 2007, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

MODERATOR: As we kick things off here for the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500 here in the Economaki Press Room. Great sight wasn't it? Down across the Yard of Bricks representing 50 years of participation. As I think back to the career of the man in the middle there (A.J.) and certainly the one next to him on the right (Anthony). A.J., you scored a big victory at Olympic Stadium in Kansas City in about 1957 or so. Anthony, A.J. IV, scored a big victory in his career at Kansas Speedway. It's been quite an odyssey of speed and success here at Indianapolis and it's always great to see you. Talk about your emotions, A.J., as we saw those cars stream by.

A.J. FOYT: It brought back a lot of memories. I didn't realize time flies by as fast as it did, and like I said, I had many, many great days here. You know, good days and bad days. The good offset the bad in the long run. I think Anthony was talking about the '77 car "How'd you get in this thing and take the steering wheel off?" I said, "Anthony, they don't." You got to put your legs in straight and slide down. So, Darren thought it was a modern sequential shift. He realized it wasn't and kept stalling, and he looked like an amateur. But it's a lot different day, and I look the same way with the cars now. All the controls are right on the steering wheel where with the older cars, you had to have a little finesse. That's all, boys.

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Rahal delivers Ethanol message to Washington
WASHINGTON D.C. - Rahal Letterman Racing and the IndyCar Series have been at the forefront of the use of Ethanol in 2007 as the series has become the first in racing history to compete on a renewable fuel source - in this case, 100 percent fuel-grade Ethanol. Friday, RLR co-owner Bobby Rahal was part of another historic first as he became the first Indianapolis 500 winner to address the exclusive National Press Club in Washington D.C.

Rahal was the keynote speaker at Friday’s National Press Club luncheon, addressing the packed house on the benefits of Ethanol, how it has performed in the IndyCar Series as well as in the team’s two Indy Cars and its American Le Mans Series GT2 Porsche, and also shared stories about his career, his automotive dealerships and the career path of his son Graham, who currently competes in the Champ Car World Series.

The three-time series champion gave a 25-minute speech to the assembled media, which included representatives of many of the major news gathering organizations of the world. Upon the conclusion of the speech, Rahal answered questions from the media representatives, touching on topics ranging from Ethanol to the state of open-wheel racing.

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Silver Crown divisions still languishing
This the third year and the NASCARized Silver Crown series still has only 15 cars on the grid and attendance is horrible.

Results: May 5, 2007 – Newton, Iowa – Iowa Speedway

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Bobby East, 14, Foyt-23.802; 2. Mat Neely, 17, RW-24.007; 3. A.J. Fike, 91, Hemelgarn/RFMS-24.042; 4. Pablo Donoso, 11, Foyt-24.177; 5. Jerry Coons Jr., 27, RW-24.219; 6. Paul White, 99, Mucci/Matczak-24.305; 7. Brian Tyler, 21, Team Six-R-24.375; 8. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-24.480; 9. Wayne Reutimann Jr., 00, Reutimann-24.517; 10. Tim Barber, 28, Pierson-24.587; 11. Cameron Dodson, 199, Edwards/RE-24.872; 12. Ryan Moore, 41, Paternoster-25.156; 13. Bud Kaeding, 29, BK-25.201; 14. Mike Murgoitio, 19, Team Six-R-25.205; 15. Billy Wease, 12, Western Speed-25.237.

FEATURE: (100 laps) 1. Bobby East, 2. Aaron Pierce, 3. Cameron Dodson, 4. A.J. Fike, 5. Tim Barber, 6. Bud Kaeding, 7. Paul White, 8. Wayne Reutimann Jr., 9. Mike Murgoitio, 10. Ryan Moore, 11. Pablo Donoso, 12. Jerry Coons Jr., 13. Brian Tyler, 14. Mat Neely, 15. Billy Wease. NT


Andretti leads Opening day at Indy
Rookie Milka Duno (Right) completed the four phases of the Rookie Orientation Program on the Opening Day of preparations for the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500.

Duno, driving the No. 23 CITGO Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, lapped the 2.5-mile oval in 42.0310 seconds, 214.128 mph.

"I understand now why drivers say Indianapolis is the most difficult track in the world. Everything happens so quick, so fast. You have to be precise in every corner.  All four corners are different.  You have to drive with so much concentration and focus and so precisely."

Rookie driver Phil Giebler passed two of the four phases of rookie testing while several veteran drivers turned laps as part of refresher tests, including Michael Andretti, Ryan Briscoe, Jon Herb, Jaques Lazier and Davey Hamilton, who turned his first competitive IndyCar Series laps since he was involved in a crash in 2001. Andretti led all drivers with a fast lap of 40.9330, 219.871 mph.

"It was great to get back out there today, get a few laps in and get all of the cobwebs out," Andretti said. "I'm looking forward to a great month of May."

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Milka Duno-Davey Hamilton transcript
Milka Duno, Davey Hamilton
Sunday, May 6, 2007, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

MODERATOR: Welcome to the Economaki Press Room for the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500. A familiar face and a new face to the Speedway here. Of course, many of us know Davey Hamilton's story. Suffice it to recall, he finished second in Indy Racing League IndyCar Series points and one of the really stalwart drivers in the early days of the Indy Racing League. We're delighted to have Milka Duno with us, who comes from a great deal of fanfare. Those of you who have been on the IndyCar trail will recall her win in a very exciting Grand American Rolex Series race at Homestead Miami Speedway a couple of years ago, so Milka also comes with some great credentials. Davey, we'll start with you. I talked to you this morning and you said, "We've got to knock a little rust off." Did you get that done this afternoon?

HAMILTON: Yeah, we did. We're going fast around here. I remember that now. It was good. The car was solid. We just went through one set of tires and just got comfortable, and I did that. I was excited coming into the day, and it's been a long time, like I said. Vision (Racing) gave me a great car and made it easy, so hopefully it just stays as it was today. It was really good.

MODERATOR: Milka, of course, you were at Kansas Speedway and went through all of the tests there and completed the race, which was your goal. Your first time out at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, tell us about your first day here.

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Miller exposes flaw in Champ Car strategy
Reiterating what we have preached for several years now, Robin Miller hammered Champ Car on Wind Tunnel Sunday night by saying that Champ Car's street festivals are a great party atmosphere but they do not build a fan base because these people attend the festivals to have a good time, but don't tune in on TV week in and week out to watch the races, because they don't become fans of the drivers, hence their low TV numbers.  i.e. they become fans of the particular festival that they attended, but that is about it. 

As we have stated for years now, the only way Champ Car is going to be successful is if the focus is on the drivers - the athlete - like every other successful sport

In this 6-week hiatus Champ Car, which is running its marketing and PR on a shoestring budget,  will become largely invisible just like it did in the off-season, with almost zero marketing and zero driver exposure.  Is Red Bull, McDonald's, CDW, etc. featuring the Champ Car drivers in funny commercials on TV that raise the consumers awareness of these drivers?  Nope, nothing.  And if Champ Car can't get the sponsors they do have to activate in this way then the series is never going to get past first base. 

The small 17-car grid doesn't help either.  That's only 17 drivers for fans to root for.  Fans certainly don't sit in the grandstands rooting for the festival, they are there to root for a particular driver, and when there are not many to choose from, they simply don't come back again.

And, from a media perspective, on the biggest racing weekend of the year in the USA - Memorial Day - where is Champ Car racing?  Champ Car is invisible with no race while the others all get featured in newspapers globally with F1 at Monaco, the IRL at Indy, NASCAR in Charlotte and Grand-Am at Lime Rock.


Rossi: Stoner enjoys huge advantage UPDATE "After the race FIM technical director Mike Webb checked the engine capacity of Casey Stoner's GP7 and everything was okay," confirmed Ducati MotoGP project manager Livio Suppo. "This was a standard FIM procedure and not the result of any protests. Already this season the FIM has checked the fuel tank capacity and fuel temperature of the Ducati Marlboro Team GP7."

Ducati Desmosedicis again dominated the top speed charts at the Chinese Grand Prix circuit, which boasts the longest straight on the MotoGP calendar, with Rossi's Yamaha around 10km/h slower in the race even with the aid of a slipstream.

05/06/07 Valentino Rossi says Ducati's horsepower advantage is the largest he has ever seen in MotoGP.

"In my career I've never seen a bike that goes so much quicker than any other bike," Rossi told Italia1 television.

"Stoner has great merits because he's riding extremely well, but it's easy when you go 20km/h quicker on the straight.

"He races with a big psychological advantage, because you don't need to do anything extra in the turns because on the straight there's too much difference.

"I'd like to be able to race with two bikes that go the same.

"Anyway, he's having a great season, he's riding really well, makes no mistakes and he's always very precise, so big congratulations to him."

"At that point I had to decide whether I had to be content with finishing second or to go for it," Rossi told Italia1.

"Unfortunately I went a bit wide, I was really on the edge.

"Anyway, I'm happy with second, I was quick all the way to the end.

"I must thank Michelin because the tires were fine and also the bike was really good to ride. It was great under braking.

"The only problem is that there's a lot of difference on the straight, so I struggle to attack Casey, but we knew this track would be difficult for us and if I didn't make that mistake we would have fought with him all the way to the end.

"The championship is long. Now we'll go back to Europe, where there are lots of track I like," said Rossi.

"I'm really sorry about Turkey, because otherwise we would be even on points, but this is a track where we knew we would suffer."


NASCAR operations keep getting bigger
Doug Yates is wearing a patient, if pained, expression as he sits on the couch deep inside the rig that hauls David Gilliland’s Fords around the country.

Gilliland, just an unknown rookie, was a quick pick last summer when Elliott Sadler bailed to Ray Evernham’s. That was just a couple of weeks after teammate Dale Jarrett announced he was splitting at the end of the year to join Toyota, with $20-million-a-year sponsor UPS going with him. Not until very, very late in the season did the Yateses, Doug and his father, Robert, lure Ricky Rudd out of quasi-retirement to continue as a two-car team.

Yes, it has been a rough few years for the legendary Yates operation, and that double front-row start at Daytona three months ago apparently wasn’t a turning point. The two teams came here 25th and 34th in the standings, with only two top-10 finishes.

The Yateses once ran one of NASCAR’s powerhouse franchises. But that 1999 championship is now way back there in the dust, and the Yateses are scrambling to get everything back on track. Their latest move - a possible merger with Dale Earnhardt Inc. - has shocked and perplexed the NASCAR garage. There are so many unanswered questions and loose ends that now, a week later, rivals are still scratching their heads.

“It’s really simple,” Yates said. “We’re trying to figure out how to get to where Rick Hendrick is: strong and good.

“So we’re looking at every option. We’ve looked at every scenario in the garage.”

It’s part of the mad dash to four that is sweeping this sport. With Hendrick mowing down the competition with his four solid Chevy teams, and with Jack Roush boasting five top Ford teams, the smaller NASCAR operations are all in a rush to reach the four-team limit that NASCAR’s Brian France has set.

But why it should take a four-team operation to be successful in NASCAR is still unclear. Maybe France should have gone further and set a two-team limit, or three-team limit, for more diversity. Maybe France should make both Hendrick and Roush divest. More at Winston-Salem Journal

Racing News

Rider Donnan killed at Tandragee
The Tandragee 100 motorcycling meeting was abandoned on Saturday following the death of a competitor. Ardglass rider John Donnan was killed during the Supersport 600 race at the Northern Ireland road racing event. The 42-year-old crashed at the chicane near the start-finish area when attempting to avoid another competitor.

Donnan's bike was catapulted into the nearby paddock area by the crash and narrowly avoided hitting a number of team officials and spectators.

Donnan was a former Irish Superbike Champion and had also run his own road racing team for a number of seasons. He had competed in motorcycling events for 20 years. Clerk of the course Bobby Edgar said that the meeting had been abandoned "as a mark of respect to John's family".

"The North Armagh Motorcycling Club extend its sympathy to John's family. We have done a lot of work on the circuit to improve safety but it's a dangerous sport," said Mr. Edgar.


Peugeot diesel wins again
Following its win at Monza three weeks ago, the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP showed the same winning form today in Valencia where it was this time the turn of Pedro Lamy/Stéphane Sarrazin to finish in first place after leading practically from flag to flag without the slightest problem. The same can't be said, however, of the second car which was sidelined by a clutch problem.

Despite starting from pole position, Nicolas Minassian was swiftly passed by Stéphane Sarrazin who was quicker off the line. With no fewer than 45 cars on the track, the two 908 HDi FAPs started to come across backmarkers as early as Lap 4 and, after that, spent their time weaving through the traffic round the twisty 4km Valencia circuit. Even so, the gap between the two cars never exceeded 20 seconds until the safety car was sent out on Lap 121 following a tangle between two cars. The teams profited from this neutralization to refuel and Pedro Lamy chose to stay on the same tires, while Marc Gene preferred to fit fresh rubber. This made it possible for the Spaniard to home in on his team-mate, prompting a spectacular stand-off between the Peugeot pair. Gene finally succeeded in passing, but he did so under yellow flags and later received a stop and- go penalty.

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Racing News

Two deaths cause rally to be cancelled
A second person has died following a crash that led officials to call off the rest of the Gumball 3000 rally, and a British driver blamed for the accident was stopped trying to leave the country. Hospital officials in Skopje said Saturday that the wife of a man killed in the accident also had died. Vladimir and Margarita Cepuljoski, an elderly couple, were critically injured in Wednesday's accident in Struga, about 120 miles from Skopje.

Nicholas Morley was charged with endangering traffic and abandoning an accident victim. He was released from custody in the southern town of Ohrid late Friday after posting bail of $33,900. Authorities said they stopped Morley at an airport hours later as he was prepared to board a private jet.

"He was prevented from leaving the country at Skopje's airport late Friday," police spokesman Ivo Kotevski said.

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Lowe’s bans NASCAR’s Talladega Bubbas
Unruly fans banned from Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway after pelting Jeff Gordon's car with beer cans and debris last Sunday also are being punished in North Carolina. Fans charged with disorderly conduct following Gordon's win at the 2.66-mile track -- the win that allowed him to surpass Talladega favorite Dale Earnhardt Sr. on the series all-time win list with 77 -- are permanently banned from races at Lowe's Motor Speedway, track president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler said. "We join other tracks in prohibiting fans who threw objects at Talladega from buying tickets for our races," Wheeler said. "This is not only a crime but a terrible thing to do." cupscene


Valsecchi wins at Nurburgring
Full race results for the fourth round of the 2007 World Series by Renault at Nurburgring, Germany.

1. Davide Valsecchi ITA Epsilon Euskadi 41mins 08.308secs 23 laps
2. Filipe Albuquerque POR Epsilon Euskadi +0.406secs
3. Miguel Molina ESP Pons +8.769secs
4. Guillaume Moreau FRA KTR +9.552secs
5. Alvaro Barba ESP Draco +10.332secs
6. Sebastian Vettel GER Carlin +11.344secs
7. Ben Hanley GBR Prema +12.192secs
8. Charlie Kimball USA Victory +13.767secs
9. Yelmer Buurman NED Fortec +15.803secs
10. Alvaro Parente POR Tech 1 +18.268secs
11. Alejandro Nunez ESP Comtec +35.175secs
12. Daniil Move RUS Interwetten +37.705secs
13. Carlos Iaconelli BRZ Pons +38.093secs
14. Pasquale di Sabatino ARG GD Racing +38.676secs
15. Mikhail Aleshin RUS Carlin +39.023secs
16. Ricardo Risatti ESP GD Racing +41.143secs
17. Xavier Maassen NED Prema +46.182secs
18. James Walker GBR Fortec +46.508secs
19. Giedo van der Garde NED Victory +48.069secs
20. Michael Herck MON Comtec +52.157secs
21. Alex Ciompi ITA Eurointernational +1min 00.142secs
22. Fairuz Fauzy MAL Cram P1 +1min 29.023secs
23. Clivio Piccione MON RC Motorsport +1min 39.910secs
24. Milos Pavlovic SCG Draco +1 lap


Biagi and Salo win FIA-GT race
The Vitaphone Racing Team claimed its second consecutive win in the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy - the second round of the 2007 FIA GT Championship - at Silverstone today, when Thomas Biagi and Mika Salo drove their nr 1 Maserati MC 12 to victory.

They finished ahead of two Corvettes - the nr 5 Carsport Holland C6R of Hezemans and Deletraz, and the nr 4 PK Carsport C5R of Longin and Kumpen.

In GT2, AF Corse Motorola saw Dirk Müller and Toni Vilander take their second win, finishing ahead of both Racing Team Edil Cris cars, making a Ferrari one-two-three.  Ruberti and Pasini were second, with Cressoni and Rugola third.

The first-ever Citation Cup was won by Belgian team SRT, with drivers Tom Cloet and Pertti Kuismanen.  The G2 class was won by another Citation competitor, Red Racing, with the Chrysler Viper of Thierry Stepec and Sébastien Carcon.

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industry news

Top-Paid USA auto execs
Executives at the top U.S.-based auto companies received compensation packages worth an average of $4.2 million in 2006, a year in which two-thirds of their companies failed to post profits, according to a Detroit Free Press analysis.

Rules for reporting executive compensation changed for this year's filings, but a comparison of similar categories showed that total compensation for these executives rose 22% from 2005 when the average compensation was $3.5 million.

Ford Motor Co. chief executive Alan Mulally ranked first in the analysis with a total compensation package of $39.1 million, which included an $18.5-million bonus for leaving the Boeing Co. to take the top job at the Dearborn-based automaker. Ford executives accounted for six of the top 15 spots in the rankings, which looked at 80 executives for 14 publicly traded companies. 
Name           Company           Pay
Alan Mulally Ford Motor Co. $39,128,100
John M. Barth  Johnson Controls $30,756,614
James Padilla Ford Motor Co. $15,489,659
Stephen A. Roell  Johnson Controls $14,514,725
A. M. Cutler Eaton Corp. $12,096,994
Keith E. Wandell  Johnson Controls $11,461,499
Mark Fields Ford Motor Co. $10,858,886
John C. Plant TRW Automotive $10,376,215
Rick Wagoner General Motors $ 9,573,556
Don Leclair Ford Motor Co. $ 7,992,593
Richard E. Dauch American Axle  $ 7,541,367
Lewis W.K. Booth Ford Motor Co. $ 7,425,983
R. Bruce McDonald  Johnson Controls $ 6,745,781
Mark A. Schulz Ford Motor Co. $ 6,590,366
William Clay Ford Jr. Ford Motor Co. $ 5,343,841
Michael F. Johnston Visteon Corp. $ 5,271,987
Timothy M. Manganello BorgWarner Inc. $ 5,153,799
José Maria Alapont Federal-Mogul $ 5,101,314
Bob Lutz General Motors $ 5,086,120
Steven Lunn TRW Automotive $ 5,066,441

industry news

Maserati raising its game in U.S., may be joined by Alfa Romeo
Maserati, the exotic Italian car manufacturer, has ambitious plans for the future, which may well entail linking up with its fellow countryman Alfa Romeo in the U.S. to boost sports car sales there.

Maserati, owned by Italian mass car maker Fiat which itself recently emerged from a messy divorce from General Motors Corp., is lucky to be alive.

It has been a serial loss maker and last year notched up its 17th year in a row of red ink. That is set to end in 2007.

"Maserati will finally return to profitability in 2007, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne told financial analysts after announcing its results for 2006.

Maserati dealers in the U.S. are expected to begin selling Alfa Romeos in a couple of years.

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Hornish continues to perform poorly in NASCAR UPDATE Another article underscoring just how bad Sam Hornish is doing in NASCAR.

And this article says, Hornish, at Richmond International Raceway for a Busch Series race Friday night, will begin practice Tuesday in defense of his Indy 500 victory. A start in the July 29 Allstate 400 Nextel Cup race at the Indianapolis track isn't out of the question yet, but Hornish isn't optimistic it would happen in 2007.

"I think that's kind of a long shot for us, especially for how much of a process it would be to be able to go in there to do that, to have the cars prepared, the crew around and things like that," Hornish said. "I think that would be pretty tough. But I haven't gotten an absolute 'No' yet, so I don't know if we will or not.

"I'd say that it looks like something that will come hopefully in the future, but probably not this year."

And of course his poor performance isn't just in NASCAR. He has made IROC starts at Indy, finishing 10th and 11th out of 12 drivers.

05/05/07 The IRL's supposedly best driver, Sam Hornish Jr., continues to perform poorly week in and week out in NASCAR despite driving for the mighty Penske team. He qualified 28th at Richmond for this weekend's Busch Series race and then crashed out yet again in the race Friday night, finishing dead last. Like all IRL drivers, he looks cool in those sunglasses though doesn't he? We mention that because in most media photos IRL drivers are sporting sunglasses to look cool. We suggest they take some driving lessons first because except for restrictor plates races, NASCAR isn't 100% throttle racing. You actually have to be able to drive. This is why you never see Hornish contending for wins on the IRL road courses. Likewise he did nothing coming up through the CART ladder system where you had to be good to excel. Somehow he does well on the IRL 100% throttle tracks, though of late Dan Wheldon appears to have his number there as well.


NASCAR isn’t falling in the Ethanol trap
Unlike the IRL which is riding the ethanol sponsorship angle for all it's worth, NASCAR is not falling for the Ethanol trap and, much to their credit, is waiting to see whether Ethanol really is the better way to go.  Dailypress.com


Barrett wins Pacific F2000 at Buttonwillow
Patrick Barrett led flag-to-flag this afternoon at Buttonwillow Raceway Park to record his third Pacific F2000 Championship victory of the season, and he headed up a 1-2-3 podium sweep for the Fresno-based PR1 Motorsports squad. Barrett's second consecutive win extends his points lead to 26, and the 17-year-old driver, who pilots the No. 3 Russell Racing School/Alpinestars/PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen, will look to make it three in a row in tomorrow's half of the double-header.

The race, Round Five of 12 scheduled in the 2007 season, was slowed right from the start, after a three-car pileup in the first turn forced series officials to call for a red flag. The accident eliminated Ira Fierberg, Bob Negron and Scott Rarick from competition, but all three drivers were uninjured.

When racing resumed, Barrett set sail, never being seriously challenged and receiving the checkered flag 2.58 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Tom Merrill's No. 81 Merrill Farms/Smith & Hook Wineries/Winner's Circle/PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen. Completing the podium was Shaun Modisette, driving the No. 26 Carson Trailer/PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen, who came home nearly two seconds further back. The race was shortened to 7 laps from its scheduled 15 due to the lengthy accident cleanup.

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Stoner uses Ducati power to win in Shanghai
The MotoGP race at the Sinopec Great Wall Lubricants Grand Prix of China saw a great battle between Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner and Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, with the young Australian Stoner eventually emerging on top as he pulled away in the final laps using the huge horsepower advantage in his Ducati.

It was, of course, a third win of the season for Stoner, who made full use of the powerful Ducati machinery at his disposal at the Shanghai International Circuit - to extend his World Championship lead to 15 points ahead of Rossi.

Stoner again made maximum use of the Desmosedici GP07, reaching a top speed of 333.5 km/h - 7.8 km/h quicker than Rossi - on the track with the longest straight on the MotoGP calendar, and finishing the 22 lap race with a 3.036s lead.

Rizla Suzuki’s John Hopkins deservedly secured his first ever podium with a great ride into third place, the Anglo-American joining the leading pair in the second half of the race and eventually crossing the line 6.663s behind Stoner.

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TV News

Weekend USA TV reminders UPDATE #2 Robin Miller has been added as a guest on Wind Tunnel tonight on SPEED at 9:00pm-10:00pm (L)

05/04/07 The Sunday TV reminders have been added below.

Courtesy of TVRacer.com
NASCAR Nextel Cup Practice Richmond
11:00am-1:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Live! Richmond
3:00pm-3:30pm (L) SPEED
Survival of the Fastest Talladega
3:30pm-4:00pm SPEED
NASCAR Busch Qualifying Richmond
4:00pm-5:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Live! Richmond
5:30pm-6:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup Qualifying Richmond
6:00pm-7:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Busch Series Circuit City 250 Presented by Funai Richmond
7:30pm-11:00pm (L) Incl Preshow  ESPN2
Inside Drag Racing -International Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gainesville
8:00pm-8:30pm Outdoor Channel
NASCAR Trackside Richmond
12:00am-1:00am SPEED
10:00am-11:00am ESPN2
Hot Rod TV
12:00pm-12:30pm ESPN2
Star Mazda Virginia
1:00pm-2:00pm (4/28/07) SPEED
Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race Long Beach
2:00pm-2:30pm (R) SPEED
NASCAR Performance
3:30pm-4:00pm SPEED
Tradin' Paint Richmond
4:00pm-4:30pm SPEED
NASCAR RaceDay Richmond
5:00pm-7:00pm (L) SPEED
NHRA Qualifying Madison, IL
5:00pm-7:00pm ESPN2
NASCAR Nextel Cup Crown Royal Presents The Jim Stewart 400 Richmond
7:00pm-11:00pm (L) FOX
AMA Supercross Las Vegas
10:00pm-2:00am (L) SPEED
NHRA Race Day
11:00am-11:30am ESPN2
MotoGP World Championship  Shanghai
5:00pm-6:00pm (SDD) SPEED
The SPEED Report
7:00pm-8:00pm SPEED
NHRA O’Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals Madison, IL
7:00pm-10:00pm (SDD) ESPN2
NASCAR Victory Lane Richmond
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Guest: Tom Deery (CEO -DIRT Motorsports)
Robin Miller (Open Wheel Analyst)
9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED

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


Paffett wins in year-old car
Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) is back: the 2005 DTM champion scored his first win of the season in the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. With his 2006-spec AMG Mercedes C-Class, the Brit crossed the line after 44 laps ahead of his fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Paul di Resta. Mike Rockenfeller completed the podium in third place with his 2006-spec Audi A4 DTM.

“Rocky” claimed third place on the penultimate lap as he overtook Mika Häkkinen, who was third up to that point. After the collision with Rockenfeller, the Finn dropped back to 17th. Best-placed driver with a current Audi model was Timo Scheider in fourth while Bernd Schneider was sixth with the fastest new C-Class. In the drivers’ standings, there are three drivers jointly in the lead after two of ten rounds: Martin Tomczyk (Audi), Paul di Resta (Mercedes-Benz) and Mattias Ekström (Audi) each have 12 points.

Pos  Driver             Make      Time
 1.  Gary Paffett       Mercedes  1h 03:30.763
 2.  Paul Di Resta      Mercedes    +    3.753
 3.  Mike Rockenfeller  Audi        +   15.044
 4.  Timo Scheider      Audi        +   19.306
 5.  Martin Tomczyk     Audi        +   19.818
 6.  Bernd Schneider    Mercedes    +   20.043
 7.  Mattias Ekstrom    Audi        +   22.808
 8.  Alex Margaritis    Mercedes    +   24.646
 9.  Adam Carroll       Audi        +   25.567
10.  Christian Abt      Audi        +   27.910
11.  Jamie Green        Mercedes    +   28.390
12.  Lucas Luhr         Audi        +   32.443
13.  Mathias Lauda      Mercedes    +   33.234
14.  Daniel La Rosa     Mercedes    +   35.418
15.  Marco Werner       Audi        +   45.648
16.  Susie Stoddart     Mercedes    + 1:03.690
17.  Mika Hakkinen      Mercedes    + 1:13.762
18.  Frank Biela        Audi        +   2 Laps

Not classified/retirements:

     Bruno Spengler     Mercedes
     Vanina Ickx        Audi


McDowell shatters track record at Winchester
ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie of the Year contender Michael McDowell, in the No. 2 Z Line / Make-A Wish / Beck Dodge, did not let a lack of experience at Winchester Speedway slow him down on Saturday evening. The 2007 Rookie of the Year contender earned his second career ARCA Sim Factory Pole Award, circling the .5-mile high-banked oval in 16.319 seconds and breaking a track record set by Tim Steele in 1997.

"It was awesome to break the track record and to get a second pole," said McDowell. "It just shows how great of a program Eddie Sharp has. I think we have a shot at the win (today)."

The Winchester ARCA 200 rolls off on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.

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