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DATE News (chronologically)
05/13/11
irl
Conquest announces Indy sponsors  Conquest Racing is pleased to announce the addition of several affiliate sponsors to its cars for the 2011 Indianapolis 500. Nov.us, Smart File, Sign Craft, Fineline Furniture, and Conrad Hotel Indianapolis have all signed on with the team for the historic race to be run Sunday, May 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.“We are honored to have these fine companies on board with Conquest Racing for the 100th Anniversary of the Indy 500,” said Conquest Racing team owner Eric Bachelart. “Some of them have been loyal to the team for a number of years, so it feels good to have them with us. They are joining full-time partners such Zentality, Delp, and Pulp & Fiber.” More ...
05/13/11
nassprint
Kevin Harvick discusses Darlington incident  Kevin Harvick met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed the incident with #18-Kyle Busch and penalties from last week at Darlington, the transcript in part:

Q) KYLE CALLED YOUR RACING UNCALLED FOR AND UNEXCEPTABLE, IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU THOUGHT YOU DID LAST WEEK THAT FITS THAT DEFINITION AND HOW DO YOU RACE HIM GOING FORWARD?
"Well I think when you look  after I got the I hooked you after I got a flat tire comment yesterday, the incident started off of turn two. We came off of turn two, I was driving straight behind the car in front of me. We can talk about being three feet off the wall or whatever, but I was directly behind the car in front of me coming up off the corner and at the time I didn't even know it was the #18. The car hit me in the door and as soon as he hit me in the door I drove it to the left, we got to the other end, I let it go and ran into the back of him and ran him up the race track, took the position back. At that moment we got three wide and there wasn't really a lot of room and things happened and he hooked me on the straightaway. Look the wrecking doesn't bother me but the only thing that bothers me is the right-rear quarter panel because in my mind I know what that means. I don't mind getting wrecked back. If you think it's a payback for Homestead that's fine. Those parts don't bother me, I understand how it all works but when you throw them off its time to handle it." More ...
05/13/11
nassprint
Kyle Busch discusses Darlington incident  Kyle Busch met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed the incident with #29-Kevin Harvick and penalties from last week at Darlington, the transcript in part:
Q) Where was your team following the incident at Darlington?
Busch: "To be honest with you, I don't know if they were aware of the antics. I had already unplugged my radio, so I don't know what was going on over the radio, but we were pitted down in pit stall three or four or something like that last week. I do know that it was an awfully long way to haul, if you ask me. As I did turn in to the garage area after what happened down on the end of pit road, I did see some guys coming from that way. They were behind the pit wall, they weren't out on pit road. When I turned into the garage area, some of them were turning in with me and following the car. When I got back to the truck, there were about four or five at the truck. They were where they were supposed to be, I will say that." More ...
05/13/11
nhra
Don Schumacher Racing continues development of dragster enclosed cockpit  The year-long research and development work by Don Schumacher Racing to design and implement an enclosed cockpit to increase the safety for drivers of Top Fuel dragsters continues at a measured pace with no specific deadline for introduction.

According to Mike Green, crew chief on Tony Schumacher’s U.S. Army dragster and DSR lead on developing the unique safety design which borrows technology from fighter jets, the project is moving forward because a positive outcome will reduce the risk of racing the 320-mile-per-hour-plus cars.

“We’re looking to improve driver safety for everyone in Top Fuel,” explained Green. “The enclosed-cockpit design would seriously reduce the risk of debris – or even fire – getting into the cockpit, thus making it considerably safer for the driver. More ...

05/13/11
f1
Breakaway talks have F1 minnows worried  

The four biggest names in F1- Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull and Mercedes - will discuss the future of the sport in Stuttgart in a meeting which has the other competing teams looking on anxiously.

The heads of the four most powerful teams will discuss the recent interest in Formula One shown by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and Exor, the Italian investment company, with Luca di Montezemolo, the chairman of Ferrari, leaving open the possibility of the teams forming a breakaway series of their own.

However, the threat of the big four running the show themselves has got many of the smaller teams worried. One team principal – who did not want to be named – said: "The most important thing we do now is to stick together. We had a Fota [Formula One Teams' Association] meeting in Istanbul on Sunday and there was unprecedented unity among all 11 teams." Hispania Racing Team is not a member of Fota. More ...

05/13/11
fil
Wilson paces Indy Lights open test day at Speedway  Stefan Wilson hopes that a good test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is an indication of things to come later this month.

The Englishman led the 18 drivers who participated in the one-day Open Test on the famed 2.5-mile oval with a lap of 190.571 mph in his No. 5 Andretti Autosport car.

"We had a bit of help to get (the fastest) lap, but at the end of the day, everyone had a bit help to get their fastest lap," Wilson said. "The car felt really good. We had a few laps in traffic at the end, and the car felt even better. We were working hard all day and tried to run by ourselves for most of the day. When I got the fastest lap, it was the only time I had an actual tow." More ...

05/13/11
f2
Monras fastest of all in Magny-Cours practice  Spain's Miki Monras built upon his flying start to the 2011 FIA Formula Two season by topping the times in both practice sessions at Magny-Cours today (Friday). The only driver to break the one minute thirty second barrier, 19-year-old Monras lapped just a tenth slower than his benchmark time during Wednesday's official test.

In perfect conditions, Mirko Bortolotti, the only other man to have won a race in F2 this season, was second fastest of the day, the Austro-Italian lapping two-tenths off Monras' pace but was unable to repeat this in the later session and was only eighth quickest. It was Romanian Mihai Marinescu who tailed Monras this time, improving upon his earlier pace with third spot. More ...

05/13/11
autogp
Monza, Qualifying: Venturini grabs first 2011 pole  The first pole position of the 2011 Auto GP season goes to an Under 21 driver: Giovanni Venturini, one of the series' rookies, confirmed the great pace he showed in the Free Practice sessions and on a slower track compared to the morning, mainly due to hot temperatures, he took the Griffitz Durango car at the top of the sheets, being the only driver to break the 1'36" mark with 1'35"936.

Venturini also confirmed Auto GP as the quickest car of the Monza weekend, with nearly an 1"5 advantage on the fastest Ws by Renault car. Behind Venturini was Fabrizio Crestani, but with just a 0.08 gap: the Lazarus driver tried to grab pole until the last seconds of the session, with Adrien Tambay doing the same behind him. More ...

05/13/11
autogp
Monza - injury to a vertebra for Campos jr.  The 2011 season didn't start well for last Adrian Campos junior. Last year’s Indy Lights Team Moore Racing driver Campos went off today at Ascari corner at Monza. The Spaniard suffered a injury to a vertebra. He was taken to hospital and tomorrow he will fly to Spain for further medical checks.
05/13/11
motogp
Stoner fastest in afternoon MotoGP practice  Casey Stoner continued to set the pace during second practice at Le Mans this afternoon, posting an effort of 1:33.782 to finish the session almost half a second quicker than Marco Simoncelli. Estoril winner Dani Pedrosa completed the top three runners, almost seven tenths shy of his Repsol Honda team-mate.

Nicky Hayden was the leading Ducati rider this time out, leading championship leader Jorge Lorenzo by seven thousandths of a second. Italy’s Andrea Dovizioso was next up in sixth, almost a full second behind team-mate Stoner who has sent out a clear message to his rivals during the two practice session so far this weekend.

Colin Edwards moved ahead of fellow Tech 3 Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow in the afternoon, setting the seventh quickest time. Hiroshi Aoyama claimed eighth ahead of seven-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, while Ben Spies ended the session narrowly ahead of Frenchman Randy de Puniet for the last spot inside the top ten. More ...
05/13/11
f1
Sauber outlines raft of Barcelona updates  Sauber plans to race with a substantial upgrade to its chassis at the Circuit de Catalunya next weekend, with a brand new aero package, brake duct adjustments and various other minor updates being made to the C30. Technical Director James Key is confident of gaining ‘a good few tenths of a second’ in the process, with the squad currently fighting for the lower points scoring positions.

"Barcelona is familiar to everyone," Key began. "We tested there twice over the winter, but I’m sure in hotter conditions we have to re-evaluate how the tires are working on the track. It’s another circuit which is quite hard on tires, and turn three in particular is hard on the left hand side of the car. It’s going to be a case of looking at tire degradation and durability on Friday, and trying to come to some conclusions. More ...

05/13/11
irl
Indy TV schedule  UPDATE From TVRacer.com we learned here in the USA, the following TV schedule for this year's Indy 500

May 21 Pole Day
11:00am-2:30pm (L) Versus
4:30pm-6:30pm (L) Versus

May 22 Bump Day
12:00pm-6:30pm (L) Versus

May 29 Race Day
12:00pm-3:30pm (L) ABC



05/13/11 A reader asks, Dear AR1.com, I just tried to find the broadcast schedule for the upcoming month of May at Indy on the Versus web site. Aside from being redirected to the NBC Sports site, now there is not one single word about the event other than a generic TV listing for the race itself. Are these guys kidding!

What the hell is going on?

It's the centennial year and I cannot find one word about it. Yes, I know the race is on ABC but that should not preclude Versus from covering this huge occasion. Every single news item on the "Motors" page is about NASCAR.  Down the page there is a section titled "More on IndyCar" which has links to 3 news items and results and schedules. THAT'S ALL! More ...

05/13/11
f1
Di Resta would be 'happy' with Mercedes seat  (GMM)  Paul di Resta on Friday admitted he can see himself wearing silver overalls in the near future.

The Force India rookie has impressed so far in 2011 and his existing links with Mercedes have triggered rumors he could replace the struggling Michael Schumacher.

"I certainly would not mind a Mercedes.  It would make me happy but there is currently no agreement," the 25-year-old reigning DTM champion with Mercedes told Germany's Sport Bild.

"I still feel a part of the Mercedes family and I certainly wouldn't mind being a full member again one day," added di Resta. More ...

05/13/11
f1
Massa staying at Ferrari in 2012 - Montezemolo  (GMM)  Luca di Montezemolo on Friday said there is "no question" Felipe Massa will keep his seat at Ferrari in 2012.

The Brazilian already has a contract for next year, but after his disappointing 2010 season there had been rumblings Mark Webber or Nico Rosberg could be drafted in to replace him.

30-year-old Massa has however had a better start to 2011 and team president Montezemolo told CNN he will still be alongside Fernando Alonso next season.

"Yes.  He has a contract with us for this year and for next year.  So absolutely yes, no question about it," answered the Italian. More ...

05/13/11
USAC
irl
Bernard gets Dirt Track ride  Yesterday a PR event was held at the Indy Fairgrounds to help promote the Hoosier 100 and the ticket deal for the two events (Hoosier 100 and Indy 500) that the Speedway has done. They had Jack Hewitt's 2-seat Dirt Sprint car, the 2-seat Indy Car and Kenny Schrader's dirt modified.

Hewitt gave Scheckter a ride in the dirt car, Clausen gave Randy Bernard a ride in the dirt car, Schrader drove his car around and then let Scheckter drive the Modified and then they did a drive around with all three cars out side-by-side.

Both Randy and Tomas have a new appreciation for the dirt drivers - both had goo goo eyes and big smiles when they came in from the rides.
05/13/11
automotive
Video: From the too funny department  From the too funny department.  Lada presented the new Granta, a brand new four-door sedan in the presence of Prime Minister Putin. Putin is allowed to start the car himself, though this appears to be a difficult task ... After six attempts to Grante still doesn't start ... how embarrassing.

05/13/11
irl
Chinese rookie one to watch at Indy  
Ho-Pin Tung
Jeff Andretti knows Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a son, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, a driver and now as a coach, and he couldn’t have been more exited Thursday to discuss the driver he’s working with this month.

"I think he's going to be one to watch," Andretti said of Ho-Pin Tung, one of eight rookies entered for this year's Indianapolis 500. "We'll try to have him fly under the radar, but he's super smooth. He's going to get better and better."

Tung, 28, is the first Chinese driver to compete for a spot in the 500, but he's not the only Dragon Racing driver to watch in this event. Month-of-May teammate Scott Speed has Formula One and NASCAR experience, and he, like Tung, a GP2 Series driver, looked sharp Thursday in initial oval-track laps at the Speedway. More ...

05/13/11
nassprint
Harvick & Busch meet with NASCAR at Dover  Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch were called to the NASCAR hauler before Thursday's Truck Series practice at Dover International Speedway, their second meeting with the governing body since Saturday's post-race pit road confrontation at Darlington.

The meeting came two days after each driver was fined $25,000 and placed on four-race probation for the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. Neither was eager to discuss details of the second meeting, which included NASCAR president Mike Helton and vice president of competition Robin Pemberton, or the fine before heading onto the track for the first of two practices.

"I've got better things to do," Busch said. "NASCAR has to police their series as best as they feel they need to. I'm all for it. I think it was fine." Harvick smiled and repeatedly said he would answer all questions during Friday's media availability. ESPN
05/13/11
Racing News
Ganassi Earns Two Sports Business Awards Nominations  
Chip Ganassi
After a banner 2010 that included a sweep of America's biggest auto racing events, NASCAR race team owner Chip Ganassi and his organization are among the nominees at next week's Fourth Annual Sports Business Awards. Ganassi is the first race team executive to be nominated for Sports Executive of the Year, and Chip Ganassi Racing Teams is the second race team to receive a Professional Sports Team of the Year nomination.

The awards, given by Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal, honor excellence in sports business and will be announced next Wednesday, May 18 in New York City. Ganassi and his racing organization operate teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the IndyCar Series. In 2010, the teams had unparalleled success, both on and off the race track. NASCAR
05/13/11
nassprint
irl
Stewart could had driven for Hendrick in 1997  When Tony Stewart was a hot prospect in the IndyCar Series, Rick Hendrick (whose Hendrick Motorsports team was in the midst of four consecutive Sprint Cup championships from 1995-98) offered him a full-time ride in the Nationwide Series for the 1997 season. Stewart (who had run eight races in NASCAR's second-tier series) declined because he felt his experience didn't merit the ride.

"I just didn't want to make that move too soon and not succeed and lose that opportunity," Stewart said. "As hard as it was, I thanked him and didn't accept that offer. I knew it was the opportunity of a lifetime. It's the first time I ever was in a situation I had to turn somebody down." It might have turned out for the best. Stewart won the 1997 IndyCar championship, joined Joe Gibbs Racing and won two Cup titles. When he decided to buy into Stewart-Haas Racing two years ago, the deal united him with Hendrick. USA Today

05/13/11
motogp
Stoner leads Honda 1-2-3 in first practice  Casey Stoner was the man in charge during first practice for the French Grand Prix this weekend, setting a time of 1:34.133 to lead team-mates Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso. The Repsol Honda trio were the only riders to make it under the 1:35.000 barrier, with Marco Simoncelli the best of the rest for his Gresini squad.

Reigning Champion Jorge Lorenzo had a steady start to the weekend in fifth, just over a second behind the pace-setting Honda RC212V of Stoner. Valentino Rossi was the highest placed Ducati rider in sixth place, while home favorite Randy de Puniet recorded the seventh fastest time for Pramac Racing. More ...

05/13/11
autogp
Venturini tops First Practice in Monza  
Giovanni Venturini
Giovanni Venturini was the quickest on the opening session of the 2011 Auto GP season, topping the sheets with a 1'36"629 with new tires: it was an impressive performance from the Griffitz Durango driver considering that the 2010 pole (posted by Romain Grosjean) is just half a second adrift. Just 0"1 behind Venturini was Onidi, boasting a great drive on used tires. Onidi was also the only expert driver mixing it up with rookies: the 4 other drivers of the top 5 are all Under 21 indeed, and this is the first hint of how close will be the battle in the special Under 21 Trophy. 

Behind the Lazarus driver was a good Samuele Buttarelli, already at ease with the TP Formula Car and last driver to lap under the 1'37" mark with 1'36"930. Ceccon was immediately on his tail with a 1'37"135 posted on old rubber, a clear hint that there's much more to come from him for the next sessions. More ...

05/13/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday  
  • Troubled waters for F1 plans in India, US, Greece
  • Schumacher still strong insists Rosberg
  • Glock would enjoy Mercedes switch
  • Todt scraps plans for F1 commissioner
  • Barrichello offers to help with Williams shakeup
  • Hulkenberg splits with famous manager Weber More ...
05/13/11
f1
Sutil gets into fist-fight with Renault official, facing court  UPDATE #2
Drunk as a skunk Sutil faces court charges
(GMM)  One of the next pitstops made by Adrian Sutil could be in court, it is reported.

The German driver this week apologized after it emerged he injured Renault team owner Genii's chief executive Eric Lux during a private nightclub party for Lewis Hamilton's win in Shanghai.

Lux was wearing a bandage on his neck in Turkey last weekend amid rumors Sutil attacked him with a broken champagne glass.

It has also been rumored Lux required more than a dozen stitches, that he has suffered hearing problems since the incident, and that Force India driver Sutil may have been drunk. More ...

05/12/11
Racing News
Video: Spa crash places spotlight on sportscar safety  UPDATE
Spa
The place of Joey Fosters accident wasn't at Eau Rouge but at Raidillion, the next corner up the hill from Eau Rouge (which, just as it turns uphill, is the lowest part of the circuit).

05/12/11 Joey Foster suffers a massive accident during testing at Spa-Francorchamps.  Foster lost control of his works WF03 at around 220kph in the infamous Eau Rouge corner. Whilst in yaw the car took off and flew into and over the barriers on the outside of the circuit.  Foster was hospitalized but was alive.

05/12/11
nastruck
Raikkonen will make his NASCAR debut Friday, May 20th  Kimi Raikkonen will make his NASCAR debut Friday, May 20 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, marking the first time in its 52-year history that a former Formula 1 champion has competed in a NASCAR-sanctioned event at the track.

What's that you say? Mario Andretti ran a NASCAR stock car at Charlotte? While that's true, it was 11 years before he won the F1 title in 1978.

Jimmy Clark and Jacques Villeneuve also raced in NASCAR events, however, neither competed in a race at Charlotte. More ...
05/12/11
irl
A.J. Foyt Pace Car Press Conference  
Jeff Belskus and AJ Foyt
THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference center. Very exciting press conference this afternoon. We're going to start with Sam Coomes, manager with Chevrolet. Has some remarks for us.

SAM COOMES: Good afternoon. Thank you, everybody.

Chevrolet's history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway runs deep with our founder Louis Chevrolet's statue in front of the Speedway museum. By the way, it's Chevrolet's 100th anniversary in August as well by our founder Louis Chevrolet.

Chevrolet and the Central Indiana Chevrolet dealers are proud to be part of the Chevrolet's official vehicle relationship with the Speedway as it's continued on. Chevrolet and the local Chevy dealers are honored to have the first four-time winner, A.J. Foyt, drive the 2011 Camaro pace car. Mr. Foyt's deep racing history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway makes Mr. Foyt a great pace car driver for us and the Speedway. More ...

05/12/11
IMS
Stewart and McGee get Hall of Fame nod  1966 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Sir Jackie Stewart and legendary chief mechanic and race strategist Jim McGee are the 2011 inductees into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame, officials announced May 12.

The induction ceremony will take place Thursday, May 26 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. An esteemed panel of nearly 150 electors, comprised of Hall of Fame members, leading auto racing participants, motorsports journalists and officials, votes annually for Hall of Fame inductees.

"It's a great honor to welcome Jackie Stewart and Jim McGee into the Hall of Fame," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. "Their skills and achievements are a significant part of the history of IMS and, in particular, the Indianapolis 500. They're both very deserving of motor racing's highest honor on this 100th anniversary year for the '500.'" More ...

05/12/11
irl
Rookies earn their stripes at Indy ROP  While many Midwesterners were completing lunch, Pippa Mann dutifully completed the paperwork for engineers and exited the stuffy conference room with a broad smile. An hour earlier, she systematically completed all four phases of the Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program and exited the confines of the No. 36 Conquest Racing car with a broad smile.

"I really enjoyed it. It surprised me how difficult it was to stay within the limits that were set, especially toward the end when we put on our second set of tires," said Mann, who seeks to make her IZOD IndyCar Series debut in the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 on May 29. "I went out there and got into a rhythm really quickly because the new tires have so much grip, but was told to back it down a little. We completed all 35 laps of ROP in 35 laps so the boss (team owner Eric Bachelart) is happy. More ...

05/12/11
Industry News
NASCAR Hall marks a year of cuts, losses  The NASCAR Hall of Fame, which celebrated its first anniversary Wednesday, said it has attracted 274,000 visitors since opening – second only nationwide to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority stressed the positives about the city-owned hall at its monthly meeting, and said the hall has been a boost to the city’s hospitality industry.

But the hall is still losing money.

The hall lost $184,672 in March, on attendance of 15,881, according to the CRVA. That brings the hall’s loss in the first nine months of the fiscal year to $1.33 million. More ...

05/12/11
nassprint
With attendance down, three tracks use banners to cover empty seats  NASCAR fans first saw banners covering seats this year at Auto Club Speedway in late March, they saw them again at Talladega Superspeedway in April, and they’ll see them for a third time this weekend at Dover.

The banners are the manifestation of a sport wrestling with attendance woes following the recent recession. Soft attendance for those Sprint Cup races compelled the three tracks to cover several thousand of their seats. Dover first covered seats four years ago. Auto Club and Talladega followed suit this year. The coverings amount to less than 10 percent of the track’s total capacity. As of now, no other tracks have plans to follow suit.

The tracks’ motivation was designed to reduce operational costs, tighten ticket supply and, in some cases, create inventory for new or existing sponsors. By eliminating a section of seating, they were able to cut the costs of ushers, security and cleaning services. They also could sell or give sponsors logo exposure on the banners that cover the seats as both Dover and Auto Club Speedway have done, respectively. More ...

05/12/11
irl
de Silvestro Fans Get a Glimpse into Life Outside the Car  Before she steps into the cockpit for the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, Simona de Silvestro wants to show her fans what life outside the car is like. Her team, HVM Racing, has once again partnered with social media company, Zideo, to produce an insider's look into de Silvestro's trip to the Geneva Motor Show and her hometown.

Not only does the new video cover Auto Salon Geneva, but also gives fans a look at de Silvestro's childhood home and lifestyle in Thun, Switzerland. There, she shows off her favorite car and talks about her goals for the 2011 season.

"I had a lot of fun making this video," said de Silvestro. "The show was absolutely amazing and I even got to meet Micheline Calmy-Rey (president of the Swiss Confederation). This video, along with the other social media avenues we're exploring at HVM, is what sets us apart from some of the other teams. It's about success on the track and for our partners." More ...

05/12/11
nassprint
Dale Earnhardt Jr. calls team meeting, apologizes  Dale Earnhardt Jr. called a team meeting following Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway and apologized for his pit road mistake that cost the team a top 10 finish -- and possibly a win. Earnhardt was running sixth coming to pit road with 38 laps remaining when he came in too fast and hit the commitment cone, knocking it onto the track. Because he wasn't all the way inside the cone, Earnhardt Jr. most popular driver was given a pass-through penalty under green conditions, dropping him to 21st.

Despite rallying to finish 14th and maintaining his position of fourth in the points standings, Earnhardt felt bad enough about his mistake to gather his team and apologize. "It was a good thing to do, especially immediately after the event, to clear the air," Earnhardt said on Tuesday during a demonstration at Charlotte Motor Speedway to show off the world's largest HD screen. "That way nobody goes home wondering what anyone's thinking. They know how I feel and I know how they feel. It was just a good way to put it behind us as quick as we could." Earnhardt knew the penalty was coming as soon as he hit the cone. He said crew chief Steve Letarte and the rest of his team told him post-apology that they "were fine and they understood." More ...

05/12/11
nassprint
NASCAR "Needed To Send A Message"  NASCAR's Senior Director of Communication Kerry Tharp told Sirius/XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that the $25,000 fines and four-race probations handed down to drivers Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch are in response to what happened on pit road after Saturday night's Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, and not for anything that transpired in the final laps of the race. "We look very closely at what happens on the race track," said Tharp. "But more importantly after the race, (where) the actions of those two competitors led to putting some people in harm's way on pit road. We've got to maintain a safe environment on pit road, and we're going to maintain a safe environment there. That's why we reacted with the penalties. More ...
05/12/11
nassprint
Mayfield filing claims lawsuit about regaining reputation  
Mayfield alleges Brian France (above) was out to destroy him for personal reasons
In his latest court filing, Jeremy Mayfield rebuts NASCAR’s claim that he is trying to extort a settlement from the sanctioning body in a lawsuit over a disputed May 2009 drug test that NASCAR said was positive for methamphetamine.

Mayfield’s final appeal brief was submitted by attorney Daniel Marino late Monday night in the U.S. Court of Appeals and takes NASCAR to task over its characterization of Mayfield’s legal pursuit over what Mayfield claims is a false positive resulting from a combination of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

“This case is not, as [NASCAR officials] falsely claim, an attempt to ‘extort a settlement’ from [them], but rather [the Mayfields’] attempt to regain the reputation and livelihood wrongfully stripped from them,” Mayfield’s filing states. More ...

05/12/11
f1
Q and A with Jenson Button  
Button in Turkey last weekend
Thanks to his smooth driving style, McLaren’s Jenson Button is one of the drivers best placed to cope with Pirelli’s less durable tires. But at last weekend’s Turkish race Button fell foul of a bold three-stop strategy, which saw him initially pitting earlier than necessary before being lumbered with a long final stint. He eventually crossed the line in sixth. According to the Briton, in an interview with his official website, lessons have been learnt and with upgrades expected on his car at the forthcoming Spanish round, he’s targeting a return to the front…

Q: Turkey was a race where you seemed to hold all the right cards yet couldn't play them at the right times…
Jenson Button:
Yeah, pretty much. I think, like everyone else, we went into the race believing that a three-stopper was the best strategy. And while it quickly became quite apparent that most people were being pushed into a four-stopper, I looked after the tires in that first stint, managed to gain a few laps on the cars around me and still looked set to make a three-stop strategy work. I think we were on course for a decent result, but I suffered a bit when, in the team’s attempt to get me into clear air, I was boxed a bit too soon into the tires' life. Plus, I was released into traffic and then those earlier-than-necessary stops left me with a bit of a final stint, which meant that I really struggled for pace on tires that were really past their best. More ...
05/12/11
Racing News
Marlboro boss says quitting cigarette's easy  I've known only one person who easily gave up cigarettes. He threw his last pack away and simply stopped then and there. It truly was that simple. Of the other ex-smokers I know, quitting was a nightmare.

Perhaps it was this person that Philip Morris International's (PM) chief executive was thinking about recently when he said that it's "not that hard to quit" cigarettes. Louis Camilleri was asked about the issue at the company's annual shareholder meeting. A nurse said that one of her patients told her it was harder to quit cigarettes than crack, cocaine or methamphetamine.

Camilleri acknowledged that cigarettes are harmful and addictive. "Whilst it is addictive, it is not that hard to quit," he told the nurse. "There are more previous smokers in America today than current smokers." [Editor's Note:  More dead ones than alive ones too.] More ...

05/12/11
Racing News
Prelude to the Dream in June  UPDATE The last thing any racecar driver wants to be called is “dirty,” but they’ll make an exception to this rule on Wednesday, June 8 when the most celebrated dirt track in all of motorsports hosts the Prelude to the Dream. Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, will once again be the site of the all-star dirt Late Model race featuring more than 25 world renowned drivers as they battle for dirt supremacy on the half-mile clay oval, all of which will be presented live to the entire nation on HBO Pay-Per-View with proceeds from the telecast supporting four of the nation’s top children’s hospitals: More ...
05/12/11
automotive
Penske's Bugatti Veyron on the block  Want to own Roger Penske's 2008 Bugatti Veyron?  Bid here.
05/12/11
f1
An app for Japan – “You are connected”  
A new electronic Formula One book featuring contributions from all the drivers and team principals gives fans a new way of helping the process of reconstruction in Japan. The “You are connected” app can be purchased via iTunes for €0.79. All the money received will go to the Red Cross in Japan.

The book features photos of all the drivers and team principals accompanied by handwritten and – in some cases – very personal messages for those affected by the disaster. There is also a selection of action shots of all the Formula One cars. More ...
05/12/11
f1
Audi R18 TDI with efficient aerodynamics for LeMans  
Old (L) vs. new (R)
Audi contests the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans with a closed car for the first time since 1999. Aerodynamic efficiency was the focus of attentions during development of the new Audi R18 TDI because it plays an even larger role at Le Mans than in the past.

"A closed car is not necessarily more efficient," stresses Dr. Martin Mühlmeier, Head of Technology at Audi Sport. "Race cars designed to generate very high downforce levels, in Formula 1 for example, are also very efficient ‘open’ designs. If you want to go in the direction of low drag or must, like now at Le Mans with the engine power being reduced and the circuit characteristics still dominated by long straights and high speed, then a ‘closed’ car is more efficient than an ‘open’ one."

For this reason, Audi Sport has dropped the ‘roadster’ concept with which the four Rings brand recorded nine Le Mans victories between 2000 and 2010. Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich has mixed feelings: "I really liked the ‘open’ cars but there are beautiful ‘closed’ sports prototypes as well - and I think that the R18 TDI is a typical Audi making a very good visual impression." More ...
05/12/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  
  • After a 3rd for Alonso in Turkey, more Ferrari upgrades in the works
    Ferrari returning to Vairano for Barcelona upgrade
  • Salo follows F1 drivers to NASCAR trucks
  • Turkey matched record for most overtaking moves
  • Glock denies wanting 'coffee' over Virgin tests
  • Mateschitz insists F1 return for Austria unlikely
  • Massa reveals racy pre-race ritual
  • Hamilton too aggressive in Turkey - Whitmarsh  More ...
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