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Montiero chasing $5M IndyCar bonus  
Portugal's Tiago Montiero
Former Formula 1 and Champ Car racer Tiago Monteiro is in talks to chase the $5m bonus for the IZOD IndyCar Series season finale at Las Vegas.

The series is offering a $5 million bonus for any non-IndyCar regular driver who can win the race, although Monteiro said that it was not just the prize money that appealed.

"I know a few teams from my time there and some of them asked if I was interested," he told AUTOSPORT. "I said, 'Yes' right away. Even if there was no $5 million, I would do it." Racer.com

Honda Puts Both Engines, Marketing Into IndyCar  Honda, which became sole provider of the Indy V-8 engines that power the cars in the IndyCar series starting in the 2006 season, has a big marketing push on deck for this year's keystone event of the series, the Indianapolis 500. Besides sponsoring the pre-race show on ESPN, as well as on ESPN.com, Honda has a whole fleet of print, TV, and interactive ads both during the coverage.

Honda will also have a branded venue at the race. The Torrance, Calif., company, whose has been running banners on ESPN.com all month, and will expand that to a web site takeover on the day before the race (May 28). The company is also doing print ads and custom creative around Indy 500 editorial content in Road & Track and Sports Illustrated, plus a full-page USA Today ad in Indy editorial this week. More ...

Power's 227.778 mph lap tops Thursday Brickyard practice  UPDATE Report updated with additional information below.

Will Power
IZOD IndyCar Series points leader Will Power topped the speed charts as practice for the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 resumed following a two-day weather-related break. Patrick posted a quick lap of 226.267 mph to place 10th on the speed chart.

With 12 minutes left in the six-hour session, Verizon Team Penske's Power unseated Alex Tagliani atop the speed chart with a lap of 227.778 mph (fastest of the month) to earn the $5,000 Grady Brothers Construction Fastest Lap of the Day award. All 40 entrants took on the track, recording a total of 2,394 laps, and the top 38 cars were separated by one second.

Tagliani, driving the No. 77 Bower & Wilkins car for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, had a quick lap of 227.652. Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe (227.217) and three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves (226.927) followed, and Townsend Bell in the No. 99 Herbalife Schmidt Pelfrey Racing car was fifth (226.741). More ...

Medal of Honor recipient Crandall to serve as Indy 500 starter  Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Bruce P. Crandall has been named honorary starter for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 29, waving the green flag to begin racing for the field of 33 drivers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Retired Col. Crandall, who flew more than 900 missions as a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, received the Congressional Medal of Honor - the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government - in 2007.

"I'm thrilled and honored to be selected as the honorary starter for the Indianapolis 500 in its 100th anniversary year," Crandall said. "The race is an American tradition, and I'm very grateful for the continued tributes to the U.S. Armed Forces during the pre-race ceremonies every year. I can't wait to get into the starter's stand." More ...

Nitro rewind Topeka edition  This week’s episode of Nitro Rewind will preview the 23rd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Summer Nationals on the NHRA YouTube channel. The show, an internet based broadcast, is hosted by Bill Stephens and features interviews from Top Fuel and Funny Car NHRA competitors as they look ahead to Topeka and review Atlanta’s national event.

“We are actually split this week’s episode into two parts. When we were first talking about getting Nitro Rewind started we were worried about getting enough compelling content to keep people interested. This past weekend in Atlanta we got so much good stuff previewing Topeka as well as unbelievably good interviews from race winners Jack Beckman and Antron Brown that we broke the show into two parts,” said Ashley Force Hood, John Force Entertainment president. More ...

De Silvestro released from hospital  IZOD IndyCar Series driver Simona de Silvestro, who was involved in a crash 25 minutes into the practice session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was released from Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after being treated for second-degree burns on the back of her right hand and superficial burns on her left hand.

She will meet with the INDYCAR medical staff May 20 to evaluate her driving status.

De Silvestro, the 2010 Chase Rookie of the Year for the Indy 500, walked without assistance from the Holmatro Safety Team to Command One for the trip to the infield care center. IndyCar.com

Franchitti, Andretti Featured on ESPN Platforms  Indy 500 Front Row to be at ESPN on Tuesday

With the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 running on Sunday, May 29, star drivers Dario Franchitti and Marco Andretti are featured on two of ESPN’s media platforms later this week. “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will air on ABC for the 47th consecutive year, with coverage beginning at 11 a.m. ET.

In addition, the three drivers composing the front row for the race are scheduled to be at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn., on Tuesday, May 24. The drivers will appear on various ESPN television, radio and digital outlets. The starting field will be determined in time trials this weekend. More ...

Video: De Silvestro burned in crash at Indy  UPDATE

05/19/11 IZOD IndyCar Series driver Simona de Silvestro, who was involved in a crash early in the practice session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis to be treated for second-degree burns on her right hand and superficial burns on her left hand.

De Silvestro, the 2010 Chase Rookie of the Year for the Indy 500, walked without assistance from the Holmatro Safety Team to Command One for the trip to the infield care center. More ...

tv news
Breaking News: Ebersol leaving NBC Sports  [Editor's Note: So much for Dick Ebersol doing something big with Versus and NBC Sports to help IndyCar grow.]  In a surprise move, Dick Ebersol is stepping down as NBC Universal Sports & Olympics chairman over a contract dispute.

Dick Ebersol, an industry giant who helped launch "Saturday Night Live" and built the network into the home of the Olympics, resigned Thursday as NBC Sports Group chairman.

"It has been a sincere privilege to tell so many remarkable stories that have inspired me throughout my entire career," Ebersol said in a statement released through the network.

Ebersol had run NBC Sports since 1989, and his departure comes just three weeks before the International Olympic Committee opens bids on the next set of lucrative Olympic broadcast rights in the United States.

The network said NBC Sports Cable Group president Mark Lazarus would take over for Ebersol. More ...

U.S. Postmaster General To Issue Indy 500 Stamp Friday At IMS  U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahue will dedicate and issue for the first time the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 United States Postal Service commemorative stamp at a ceremony Friday, May 20 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The event will take place at 10 a.m. at the IMS Pagoda Plaza on the Coca-Cola Stage.

The 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 stamp, which features the Marmon "Wasp" driven by inaugural Indianapolis 500 winner Ray Harroun, is one of 25 subjects highlighted in the USPS 2011 Commemorative Stamp Program. The stamp will be a "Forever Stamp," always equal in value to the current First Class Mail 1-ounce letter regardless of price changes in the future.

How the ACO will try to equalize performance of LeMans cars  Following the Spa-Francorchamps 1000 kms (7th May), the second round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest has decided to adjust performances between cars in the same category as foreseen by the regulations before the Le Mans 24 Hours (11th-12th June).
Vincent Beaumesnil, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s sports manager, explains the reasons in a question and answer session.

“Vincent, why has the Automobile Club de l’Ouest decided to adjust performances between cars in the same category?”
VB: “2011 has seen the introduction of new technical regulations. If, in theory, things were evaluated beforehand, it is important to analyze what really happens on the track. When the 2011 petrol/diesel equivalences were announced last year, they received almost unanimous approval. Teams entering petrol-powered cars said that the new regulations gave this type of engine a real boost compared to the 2010 equivalences. To evaluate the results on the track, the ACO bases its calculations on the performances of the cars in the race only: qualifying and free practice don’t come into the equation. Performance is an overall concept that takes into account all the factors that can influence the results of a car. Thus, not only lap times, but also everything that contributes to the final result, power, torque, aerodynamics, cornering speeds, pit stop times, fuel consumption tires etc, are evaluated.” More ...

New Alonso deal not Ferrari lock-out - Vettel  (GMM)  Fernando Alonso's new long-term deal with Ferrari does not mean Sebastian Vettel is locked out of the famous Italian marque.

The reigning world champion has said many times that he would like to join Ferrari one day, but the presence of Alonso through 2016 - an extended contract that was announced on Thursday - would seem to make that unlikely in the foreseeable future.

German Vettel, however - whose own Red Bull contract extends through 2014 - said in Barcelona that Ferrari is still an option.

"I never said it's impossible (to go there) if Fernando, Felipe Massa or anyone else is there.  I know a team is always two drivers," the 23-year-old runaway championship leader is quoted by the German news agency SID. More ...

Danica Patrick press conference transcript  MODERATOR: We are joined by Danica Patrick. Danica, this is your seventh Indianapolis 500.Seems like yesterday was your first day here.

DANICA PATRICK: Yeah, just a wee girl racing at Indy. Now I'm old. Seventh Indy, turning 29, those kinds of things. It seems like it was not that long ago that it was my first time here. I feel like I've always been some kind of an inexperienced driver at some level. I don't think I'm going to get away with this anymore after this being the seventh one. That’s a good thing. If I could go back in time with the experience I have now, I would. So having the experience is a good thing. Hopefully it pays off Race Day.

MODERATOR: Is there one moment that stands out or one race that stands out of the six that you've been part of so far?

PATRICK: Really? More ...

Sutil not losing his seat amid scandal - manager  (GMM)  Adrian Sutil on Thursday said he is concentrating on the Spanish grand prix rather than worrying it might be one of his last in formula one.

The German is embroiled in a scandal, with Renault co-owner Eric Lux vowing to press criminal charges after he was cut with a broken glass following the recent Chinese grand prix.

"Of course it's a bit difficult at the moment," Sutil told a swarm of reporters in Barcelona, according to the German press.

"But when I'm in the car, the world will be in order.  I look forward to it," he said. More ...

Intimidator Camaro is out  Dale Earnhardt Chevy, Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Earnhardt Technologies are proud to present the production 2011 Intimidator Camaro! This pack leading machine boasts 704hp with 695 ft-lbs of torque all wrapped up in a truly unique, menacing body. More info at www.intimidatorcamaro.com. Dale Earnhardt Chevy
IndyCar drivers take to 'pranking' to kill time  It's rained so much in Indy this month the drivers are bored "stiff".  So did they do yesterday in Indy? 

Why they prank of course.

Planking, apparently, is the hottest viral craze since flash mobbing.

Planking is the action of lying face down with arms to the sides of the body, in unusual public spaces and photographing it.

That's the definition. The intent, like many fads through the years, is more nebulous.

Within minutes Scott Dixon using his race car as a prop in the Target Chip Ganassi Racing garage at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his head-and-toe variation, multiple IZOD IndyCar Series drivers added their own planking photos to social media outlets. More ...

Classic Indy 500 broadcasts to air on ESPN networks  ESPN Classic will present a week-long tribute in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. The 2011 edition of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" airs Sunday, May 29, on ABC, with pre-race at 11 a.m. ET.

All week long beginning Monday, May 23, ESPN Classic will air classic Indy 500 races and SportsCentury programming.  On the actual 100th anniversary, May 30, ESPN Classic will present a 27-hour marathon anchored by a re-air of the 2011 race. More ...
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  
  • Ferrari locks in Alonso through 2016
    Alonso signs new Ferrari contract through 2016
  • Red Bull denies breaking in-season test ban
  • Abu Dhabi now delaying layout change decision
  • Alguersuari thinks Toro Rosso seats safe in 2011
  • Ecclestone scoffs at 'emotional' Montezemolo
  • Other tire marques feared for 'image' - Ecclestone
  • June 3 is final deadline for Bahrain go-ahead - Ecclestone
  • Ecclestone disappointed with Schumacher comeback
  • Klien pessimistic about stalled F1 career
  • Money Service Group signs deal with Sauber  More ...
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