NASCAR All-Star race TV ratingUPDATE Ratings for the Sprint All-Star Race televised live on Speed, dropped 10.3 percent from 3.68 in 2009 to 3.30 in 2010, according to a network spokesman. The race peaked at a 4.38 this year, compared with a peak of 4.69 in 2009. Speed reached the most households of any basic cable network during the race in the 35-54 male category and 55-and-over male category. It ranked second in the 18-34 male category. The overall number of households watching the race was 2,496,000. Speed also provided live coverage of the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which drew a 0.92 (694,000 households).
05/24/10 The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Challenge earned a 2.1/4 Share Saturday night on SPEED, which matched last year's overnight ratings.
Prelude to the Dream: Jimmie Johnson Four time Sprint Cup champ has met his challenges on the dirt but in 2009 he finally won a heat. The 2010 Gillette Fusion ProGlide Prelude to the Dream takes place Wed., June 9 live on pay-per-view. Contact your cable or satellite provider to order! For more information, log onto HBO.com.
A sparkling new car and the smiles of adoring young fans gave Paul Tracy the lift he needed following one of the worst weekends of his career. The Toronto native returned to his hometown Tuesday to unveil the car he'll drive at the Honda Indy Toronto in July. The car, sponsored by the Make-a-Wish Foundation, is the same light-blue design as the one he drove during his tenure with Team Players.
Tracy was all smiles afterwards, posing for pictures with his new car. Two days earlier, the veteran driver was seething after missing out on a spot in the Indianapolis 500, erasing a time that turned out to be good enough.
ESPN to launch iPhone App Everyone is jumping on the iPhone bandwagon. Like AutoRacing1.com and its recent launch of the AR1 iPhone/iTouch App, ESPN is expanding its mobile reach by introducing six local-based apps for the iPhone and iPod touch. The five ESPN Local apps will give fans in Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York a mobile platform to access all the latest breaking news, scores and information from the hometown teams. Additionally, ESPN Passport will allow fans to chronicle their at-the-game experiences by building a digital sports scrapbook via the app on their mobile devices while also capturing real-time perspective with the ability to upload photos and share commentary while at the game.
Romancini receives Fastest Rookie of the Year award
Mario Romancini was honored today during the American Dairy Association of Indiana’s Fastest Rookie Luncheon that took place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Plaza Pavilion.
Romancini received the Fastest Rookie of the Year award, which is presented to the Indianapolis 500 fastest qualifying rookie. The Brazilian registered a four-lap qualifying speed average of 224.641 mph, which was the 15th fastest overall speed of the 33-car field.
The rookie driver was presented with a plaque commemorating his feat as well as a $5000 cash award. He also sees his name and speed engraved on the Fastest Rookie of Year trophy, which is on permanent display at the Speedway’s Hall of Fame Museum.
In an effort to provide more horsepower to the sport the IZOD IndyCar Series turned to Bull Riding for its future when it hired Randy Bernard as the CEO of the Indy Racing League earlier this year.
Bernard, who turned Professional Bull Riders (PBR) from a staff of one to a viable sporting entity, is ready to tackle the “Bucking Bull” that threw off its founder Tony George last summer. Of course, George was pushed out by his three sisters and mother who comprise the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation board of directors last year, ending a tumultuous era in the sport.
Rather than choose another auto racing “insider,” board member Josie Krisiloff was introduced to Bernard and impressed with his attitude and approach. By hiring a leader from outside of the sport the Indy Racing League found an innovative and aggressive CEO to guide the sport into a more successful future.
Indy 500 changes to restore to top of the heap in racing Many of the proposed changes center around the car and innovation. The current IndyCar is expected to be replaced by IndyCar's version of the COT in 2012 (just as long as it's not the Delta Wing, please) so there will already be sweeping changes across the board.
But according to Mike Hull, Scott Dixon's crew chief, and Dennis Reinbold, co-owner of Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, there also needs to be more connection between the consumer auto industry and open wheel racing. From the Journal:
"Changes need to be made in IndyCar to make it relevant with what people in the automotive industry are talking about today-green technology; smaller, more efficient engines; fuel use and performance; and lighter cars and engines," Hull said.
Indy 500 ABC program highlights A Memorial Day weekend TV tradition since 1965 continues on Sunday, May 30, when the Indianapolis 500 airs on ABC for the 46th consecutive year. ESPN on ABC’s live, high definition telecast from Indianapolis Motor Speedway is presented by GoDaddy.com and begins with a one-hour pre-race show at noon ET. The race coverage begins at 1 p.m.
"As one of the world's marquee sporting events, the Indianapolis 500 is something that sports fans look forward to every year,” said John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president, programming & acquisitions. “We join in that enthusiasm and consider it an honor to televise the race in America and on our international platforms."
FAZZT Racing has been a consistent front runner all season long. Many new teams come to Indy and drown in the challenge and spectacle of this track and event. Tagliani and his young team seem to be taking it all in stride, and getting the job done. Though a new team, the team is comprised of carefully selected veterans from around the paddock, all with winning resumes. So it is not too much of a surprise that they are staring down the pitlane at a possible Indy 500 win in their first season as a team.
But Tag and his team know that they need to keep pushing if they are going to have any chance of mounting a challenge against the big powerhouse teams. Penske and Ganassi have strong cars and drivers, and then there are the super-teams running four or even five cars this weekend to contend with.
"Now the work starts," said Tagliani. "You have a long race, a lot of things happen. You each have a consistent car. I think there's more unpredictable things that could happen in the race.
"I think for us, looking at it about this week, it's amazing. No glitches, no mistakes. A little bit more intensity in the garage. The guys are under pressure a lot pushing back and forth, back and forth. The way they are conducting themselves, it's actually amazing for being our first effort here at Indy together. We have some more work to do on the car and hopefully we'll be able to battle with (Penske and Ganassi)again."
It's a 500 mile race that is run more like a sprint race now. Gone are the days when you had to save the car just to get to the end. You have to run fast from the green to the checker, and the FAZZT team is making this year's Indy a bit more interesting, hoping we could see a break in the Penske/Ganassi run of victories in recent years.
Delta Wing revealed to Indy 500 fans Gordon Kirby talks about the Delta Wing display to the public this past weekend. There are some good pictures that give a better feel of the relative size. The images of the car by itself make the car look very big, and it actually looks quite small and more on par with the current car size than the previous images seem to indicate.
From Kirby's article: "...As we all know, innovation has always been the driving force behind racing and that spirit continues today in Formula One and international Le Mans-type sports car racing. But it's been largely driven out of American racing and there's no question that most fans want to see the sport return to this spirit. Many traditional fans dislike the trend to spec cars and want to see new and different cars and engines.
While Lola, Swift and BAT have produced intriguing proposals for the 2012 Indy car, the Delta Wing is the only one of the five contenders for the contract whose goal is to buck the spec car trend and encourage a variety of engines and manufacturers. This week on the eve of this year's 94th Indianapolis 500 I'm going to explore the Delta Wing in more detail..."
Pikes Peak expands media reach Pikes Peak International Hill Climb officials have reached an agreement with Race Central for promotion and news across the motorsport media giant's television, radio and web-based outlets.
The coverage will not only boost awareness and attendance at the nation's second biggest racing event, but will broaden an already growing international audience for American auto racing, said Sports Corp. consultant Mike Moran. Following the 2007 race, Nobuhiro Tajima's performance drew almost 100,000 hits on YouTube alone.
Williams secures key appointments AT&T Williams today confirmed that two key appointments have been made at the Williams Technology Centre (WTC) at the Qatar Science & Technology Park in Doha, Qatar. The Randstad Group have been managing the recruitment program for the WTC and has placed the key positions of a Chief Engineer for its flywheel project and a Program Leader for WTC’s Simulator project.
The WTC is the first Formula One-inspired technology centre outside Europe. It will develop and commercialize technologies that have their origins in Formula One. Initially this will focus on two commercially-driven R&D projects. They are the development of a large composite electromechanical flywheel energy storage system for mass transportation & electric power stabilization as well as the application of Williams F1’s vehicle simulator know-how to develop solutions for motorsport beyond Formula One, as well as road car and emergency services training.
Danica wearing out her welcome? It looks like there might be another good reason for Danica Patrick to head to NASCAR full time sooner rather than later. She may be wearing out her welcome in the IndyCar Series.
At one time, Danica was beloved in IndyCar. As beloved as she was when she drifted over to NASCAR at Daytona this past spring.
And at Indianapolis in May in years past, she ruled. She always practiced, qualified and raced well at the sport’s most important event. Kids, women, casual fans, long-time fans; they all loved Danica.
People pointed and whispered when she whizzed past in a golf cart or a team tow vehicle. And they smiled as they did so.
MAHLE Engine Builder Showdown Results / Winners: Pro Motor Engines once again made history Thursday, capturing their fourth consecutive MAHLE Engine Builder Showdown championship with a record-breaking build time. In a fierce neck-and-neck battle, the Pro Motor Engines team of Josh Hypes and Matt Jackling built a complete Chevrolet R07 race engine and successfully ran it for one minute in an astounding 18 minutes, 3 seconds, beating last year's record by over a minute and defeating the Hendrick Motorsports team of Mike Maiwald and Scott Vester.
Team Hendrick Motorsports and team Pro Motor were neck-and-neck in the competition, with Pro Motor firing their engine first. Maiwald and Vester were close behind, but while their engine was running during the mandatory one minute, it became silent at the 57-second mark due to a disconnected fuel line. Hendrick reconnected and re-fired their engine, ending with a final build time of 20 minutes, 1 second.
Classic NASCAR collectibles announced In conjunction with some of the sport's greatest legends including champions Bobby Allison and David Pearson, the estate of original racing "Bad Boy" Curtis Turner and Hall of Famer Junior Johnson, Smyle Media announced the launch of "Checkered Past Collectibles." A new and unique line of collectibles will highlight the drivers, teams and machines that make auto racing The Great American Sport. smylemedia.com.
Richard Childress, owner of RCR, and driver Kevin Harvick (#29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevy) held a press conference to announce a multi-year contract extension between RCR and Harvick, and discussed various elements of their agreement. Full Transcript:
MODERATOR: "Thank you all for coming today, I am the Director of Communications for Richard Childress Racing and we have a very important announcement for the present and future of RCR. As some of you may have seen on a Twitter post or somewhere else, RCR and Kevin Harvick have agreed to a multi-year contract extension for Kevin to continue in the RCR No. 29 Chevrolet Sprint Cup Series car. As I said, multi-year agreement, no we aren't going to tell you the exact years and all of that good stuff. At this time I would like to turn it over to Richard Childress. Richard, if you would, tell the folks where things stand right now and your thoughts on Kevin continuing on now well past a decade at RCR."
When Red Bull driver and two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekström visited Red Bull Racing Team in 2008, he "dreamed" of driving a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. Fast-forward two years, and Ekström finally gets his chance. The 31-year-old Swede will drive the #83 on Tuesday at Virginia International Raceway to provide the team testing support for the upcoming road race in Sonoma, Calif.
Both of the Red Bull Toyotas [also #82-Scott Speed] will test at VIR a road course of varying configurations and distances in southern Virginia. Considering Ekström's current résumé, the #83 team expects to have its car dialed in come June 18-20 at Infineon Raceway.
No. 23 Mile Maroney takes the lead from pole sitter No. 26 David Cheng
Monterey, Calif. – After round five having been completed this morning the Pacific F2000 Championship Presented by Corsa Car Care returned to the track this afternoon for round 6 in conjunction with the USF2000 Championship Series.
Starting positions were determined by fastest laps in the morning race which meant that David Cheng from Sammamish, Washington emerged as the pole sitter and claiming the two points that go along with it. Alongside David #26/Speedware Motorsports/Zerlag Communications/PR1 Van Diemen is rookie teammate Miles Maroney #23/Maroney Company/PR1 Van Diemen followed by round five winner Scott Rarick #34 PR1 Van Diemen and Bob Negron #9/ FengshuiMeBaby.com Van Diemen completing the front two rows of the grid. Lining up fifth just .003 of a second behind Negron is Ira Fierberg #27 Barry I Goldstein, CPA/Sparco/DFR Van Diemen with Bill Kincaid #46 Van Diemen next to him. They are followed by Peter West #99 Clout/DFR Van Diemen, Peter Thomas #44 Refrigeration Control Co./Hytech Exhaust/Church Automotive Testing Van Diemen, Michael Murphy #18 Mygale and Peter Hastrup #5/Western Building Materials/Nuttall & Coleman/DFR Van Diemen having been sidelined on the first second lap of the morning race.
Schu denies kart race hobby too dangerous (GMM) Michael Schumacher has denied that his ongoing hobby of semi-professional kart racing is an unnecessary risk. Many F1 driver contracts forbid dangerous extra-curricular activities, but last weekend seven time world champion Schumacher was back at the wheel of a competitive kart.
On the free weekend between the Monaco and Turkish grands prix, the 41-year-old German finished second in two DMV championship races at the Oppenrod circuit.
To Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, the highly-paid Mercedes driver played down suggestions he is risking injury by keeping up his hobby of kart racing.
African stowaways hid in F1 trucks (GMM) Five illegal immigrants made their way into Britain last week by hiding inside trucks operated by Formula One Management. The canvas-sided trucks, boarded by the African stowaways in Calais, were returning to FOM's Biggin Hill headquarters in Kent from the recent Monaco grand prix.
The trucks were also carrying F1's broadcasting equipment, and the drivers only discovered the extra cargo once the journey was complete.
FOM staff phoned police and the illegal immigrants were handed over to authorities, a UK Border Agency spokesperson confirmed. A FOM spokesman said: "This is the first time we have had such a problem."
(GMM) Sebastian Vettel insists he is happy that his "main opponent" at present is his own teammate Mark Webber.
The Red Bull pair are tied for points at the top of the drivers' world championship, after 33-year-old Australian Webber dominated the last two grands prix from pole.
"At the moment my main opponent is Mark and that is a good thing," German Vettel is quoted by Sport Bild.
However, other reports have indicated that the young German is far from happy about his recent struggle to keep up with Webber, even though team boss Christian Horner insists Vettel should be relaxed and confident.
Indianapolis 500 Drivers Spend Day at ESPN The 33-driver starting field for the Indianapolis 500 spent Monday on the ESPN campus in Bristol, Conn., as the drivers appeared on multiple ESPN platforms and programs both domestic and international.
ESPN’s production of the Indianapolis 500 airs on ABC on Sunday, May 30, beginning at noon ET. The race is on ABC for the 46th consecutive year, one of five IZOD IndyCar Series events on ABC this season.
All 33 drivers were photographed in front of ESPN’s iconic satellite dish farm, and all appeared in the studio on ESPN2’s First Take. Defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti officiated a tire changing contest on an actual IndyCar between First Take’s Dana Jacobson and Reischea Canidate, won by Canidate.
Quote of The Week "This is the worst car I've ever had. There's no stability or grip. It's just scary, really scary...It's awful, really awful. I think I'm still shaking." Danica Patrick after qualifying for the 2010 Indy 500 as the slowest woman in the field.
Danica Patrick Showing She is Still Not Ready To Run with the Big Boys
The IRL's biggest star, Danica Patrick, scared herself silly
Once the foundation begins to crumble, it’s just a matter of time before the rest of the building comes crashing down. You can call them words of wisdom, or you can take it for whatever it's worth and move on. Either way the consequences are always going to be there, waiting in the midst for just the right time to come out and strike that person dead.
Danica Patrick, who drives the Andretti Autosport Honda GoDaddy.com-sponsored IRL car, has been the poster girl ever since she first entered the series back in 2005. Patrick, who built her career by overshadowing her less than skillful driving abilities by posing for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, literally threw her team under the bus during qualifying for next weekends Indianapolis 500.
Patrick, who was close to tears after qualifying 23rd, was heard over the public-address system saying that, "This is the worst car I've ever had. There's no stability or grip. It's just scary, really scary...It's awful, really awful. I think I'm still shaking."
When Jackie Stewart describes Mark Webber as a "really modern grand prix driver", it is meant as high praise.
his 1960s and 70s heyday, when the sideburns were long and drivers' careers all too often tragically short, the triple Formula One world champion and multiple Monaco winner was himself exactly that.
The grand prix great who battled for driver safety while leaving no doubts about his bravery and talent was, as Stirling Moss once said, someone who drove fast enough to win but at the slowest possible speed.
The second weekend of the 2010 FIA GT3 European Championship at Brno was one of the most successful for Callaway Competition built Corvette ever. The first heat on Saturday saw a triple victory for the Corvette Z06.R GT3, developed and built by Callaway Competition in Leingarten/Germany. A Callaway built Corvette also won the second race on Sunday. Callaway Competition drivers Christian Hohenadel (GER) and Daniel Keilwitz (GER) took the driver’s championship lead at Brno with a second and third place finish.
TNT Races Toward its 2010 NASCAR programming Turner Network Television (TNT) announced today that it has joined forces with Hall of Fame rockers AC/DC to feature the band’s single “T.N.T” as the network’s theme song for its 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coverage. The song will serve as the primary musical bed for all six of TNT’s races, which begin with the Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 presented by Target on Sunday, June 6 in Pocono, Pa., as well as for the network’s multiplatform marketing campaign surrounding its exclusive race coverage, which includes a presence on social media, print outlets, national television, local radio and print. The song has been rereleased on the band’s latest album, AC/DC: Iron Man 2 which features 15 of the band’s classic songs.
The network’s full-length NASCAR video featuring “T.N.T.” will make its television debut on Tuesday, May 25 during TNT’s exclusive coverage of Game #4 of the Western Conference Finals on the Emmy-award winning Inside the NBA post-game show. Additionally, the video will be available for view on Turner-operated NASCAR.COM at: http://www.nascar.com/tnt/
It was a natural fit to incorporate AC/DC’s legendary “T.N.T.” to our on-air product and marketing campaign, given how much the music reflects the same excitement and intensity as the sport of NASCAR and the NASCAR on TNT telecasts,” said Christina Miller, senior vice president of Turner Sports strategy/marketing/promotions.
Bruno Junqueira put on a professional performance yesterday, taking a car he had no time in, and putting it solidly in the field. The relationship with his team, and the shaky status of funding for the car, created a situation that is refreshing to see in the sport.
Everyone knows this sport takes a check to turn a wheel. But the team, despite not getting any follow-through on promised funds, decided to do the right thing and get Bruno in the field.
A year ago, Bruno jumped out of his seat and gave Tagliani a shot at the field, and this is a refreshing case of someone simply doing the right thing and returning the favor and showing some loyalty and integrity.
Tony Stewart and Office Depot announce winner When Mary McCuan of Edmond, Okla., read about the new Office Depot “Smokin’ Hot” Instant Win Game earlier this year, she decided to enter with the hope of winning one of the game’s $100 Office Depot gift card prizes. However, the 70-year-old NASCAR fan got that and much more when she won the grand prize package for the Office Depot “Smokin’ Hot” Instant Win Game.
As the grand prize winner, McCuan will enjoy a VIP trip for two to this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Sunday, May 30, 6 p.m. EDT, FOX). She’ll spend time with Tony Stewart at the track and even have dinner with members of the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice team crew. Plus, she’ll take home a $1,400 Office Depot gift card and receive a trip for two to Stewart’s “Smoke Show” fantasy driving experience at Texas Motor Speedway later this year.
Gibbs plays referee between Busch and Hamlin The angry Kyle Busch was back. The driver who always seems to run up front, yet can also come unglued at any moment, had parked his mangled car within inches of Denny Hamlin's hauler [after the incident between Busch and #11-Hamlin]. The All-Star race was still going on late Saturday night, but car owner Joe Gibbs knew he had to act immediately to avoid a potentially season-altering crisis after Busch had just declared on the radio that, "I swear to God, I am going to kill (him)." Gibbs hustled to catch up to Busch, who climbed out of his ruined car, punched the air and stormed into Hamlin's trailer. Hamlin was still on the track, but Busch was waiting to confront him for his move with eight laps left that caused Busch to hit the wall and end his chances of winning $1 million. Gibbs relied heavily on his people skills. "I think in pro sports, if you've been on the sidelines or you've been in racing you're going to have people get mad about things," Gibbs said. "It's spur of the moment type things. I think what was much more meaningful is we met in there." Not before forming a plan. Gibbs joined Busch in Hamlin's hauler.
Times have changed at Indy It wasn’t that long ago that Americans dominated the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Indy 500.
However, times have changed, and not for the best.
In the past decade, only Buddy Rice (2004) and Sam Hornish Jr. (2006) have had a drink from the milk bottle and lifted the Borg-Warner trophy.
Since the inaugural Indy 500, which was won by American Ray Harroun in 1911, Americans had a stranglehold on the Indy 500 championship, claiming 60-plus crowns. And then 1989 hit, and Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi drove his car to the Winner’s Circle. Since then, 13 winners have come from foreign soil.Why that is depends on who you ask.
Racing this week on ABC/ESPN One of the longest-running relationships between a sporting event and a network will continue on Sunday, May 30, when the Indianapolis 500 airs on ABC for the 46th consecutive year. ESPN on ABC’s live, high definition telecast from Indianapolis Motor Speedway is presented by GoDaddy.com and begins with a one-hour pre-race show at noon ET and the green flag at 1 p.m.
Brent Musburger hosts the telecast, while Marty Reid will call the race with analysis by former IZOD IndyCar Series star Scott Goodyear and 1998 Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever. Reporting from the pits will be Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.
Jorge Lorenzo stormed clear of Valentino Rossi to take his second win in a row in Le Mans this afternoon, making it three victories from three races for the Fiat Yamaha Team this year. Rossi overcame a few problems with both his bike and his shoulder to finish second, with Spaniard Andrea Dovizioso third.
Rossi started from pole and got a brilliant start to lead out of the first turn, in front of some 80,000 fans delighting in the balmy weather. Lorenzo has suffered lately when starting but recent work in testing paid off as the 23-year-old slipped just one place to third, before passing Pedrosa back soon after to retake second. The Italian and the two Spaniards soon stretched out a gap from the chasing pack and Lorenzo started to look menacing on his team-mate's rear wheel, trying to pass a few times but failing as Rossi braked deeper and deeper.
Indianapolis native Conor Daly converted his pole position start to a victory in today's Round 3 of the 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This is Daly's second win in a row from the pole this season driving the #22 Juncos Racing / INDECK / The College Network / Merchant Services Ltd. / Tom Lange Co. Mazda; he dominated Round 2 at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and heads into Round 4 next weekend at O'Reilly Raceway Park and the 125-lap 'Night Before the 500' with both team momentum and a solid lead in the championship points battle.
Milan does the double AC Milan and Yelmer Buurman scored a Superleague Formula by Sonangol double by adding Super Final victory and a check for €100,000 to their earlier race 1 triumph at a sun-drenched Magny-Cours on Sunday.
The Dutch driver started the weekend-ending, five-lap dash-for-the-cash from second on the grid, but nailed his start to blast past pole-sitter Craig Dolby (Tottenham Hotspur) to take the win for the Italian giants.
Dolby made a poor getaway and was down to fourth by the end of the opening lap as RSC Anderlecht’s Davide Rigon and FC Basel’s Max Wissel followed Buurman through. Rigon did his best to get on terms with Buurman but ultimately settled for second place, while Wissel completed the podium.
One-two Audi victory at DTM’s debut at Valencia Audi struck back: after the disappointing season opener at Hockenheim Mattias Ekström and Martin Tomczyk clinched a commanding one-two Audi victory at the second round of the 2010 DTM. With five A4 DTM cars in the top eight places, the brand with the four rings was the strongest manufacturer at the DTM’s debut at Valencia (Spain).
In front of the eyes of Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, the Chairman of the Management Board of the Volkswagen Group, Mattias Ekström delivered a perfect weekend: pole position, victory and fastest lap. The Swede took the lead at the start, managed to extend the gap to his rivals, achieved an advantage of up to six seconds, and then continued to control the pace in blazing heat of almost 30 degrees centigrade in the shade and track temperatures of about 50 degrees.
Ever the risk-taker, Paul Tracy made the ultimate gamble Sunday — and lost. The Toronto native failed to improve upon his qualifying time Sunday and was eliminated from competing in next weekend’s Indianapolis 500.
Tracy had posted an earlier time that left him on the bubble with less than 10 minutes remaining in the qualifying session. Faced with the possibility of being knocked out — he held the 33rd and final qualifying position — Tracy wiped out his previous time and got back on the track, hoping to improve his spot.
It didn’t happen — so Tracy will be on the outside looking in for open-wheel racing’s signature event.
Tracy, the 2002 runner-up, was devastated afterward.
Indy fans boo backmarker Danica PatrickUPDATE On Saturday night, a couple of hours after Danica Patrick had been roundly booed by race fans at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Tony Kanaan met with his teammate. His message to her was that she needed to adjust her attitude.
“She definitely needs to change her attitude. Not against the public or the fans,” Kanaan said. “In herself. She’s not happy with herself right now. And I can understand that. I can relate to that because I’ve been there. I had a terrible year last year.”
“At closed doors, we spoke last night,” Kanaan said. “I think she realized what she did. And we sometimes say thing we don’t want to say and regret.”
“I think my best advice to her, which I told her last night, is you’ve got to learn from the tough times,” Kanaan said. “The same guys that she finished fifth in the championship last year and won her first race, they’re still there. Those are the same people. In racing, besides having a good setup and a good car, I believe that your attitude counts a lot.
Loeb to compete in 2010 ROC Six-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb will compete at this year’s Race of Champions in Düsseldorf on November 27-28. The Frenchman is the most successful rally driver of all time, having won the last six world rally championships. He has already added three more rally victories in 2010 as he begins his bid for title number seven. Loeb will partner racing legend Alain Prost in the ROC Nations Cup, making up a formidable duo for Team France.
Rosberg 'suffers' as Mercedes upgrades car - Lehto One of Michael Schumacher's former teammates, who can't stand the fact that Michael Schumacher destroyed him when they were teammates, believes Mercedes is working to tailor its 2010 car exclusively to the tastes of the seven time world champion.
After Nico Rosberg had the upper hand for the first four races of the season, Schumacher bounced back onto the pace in Spain, where a raft of updates for the W01 were debuted.
This weekend in Turkey, even more developments will feature on the silver car, moving JJ Lehto to sympathize with 24-year-old Rosberg.
44-year-old Finn Lehto was Schumacher's teammate at Benetton in 1994, before he was replaced after a handful of races by Jos Verstappen.
"Poor Nico," he told Germany's Auto Bild Motorsport. "Michael is back into the process of building the car and the team around him. Nico suffers."
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton will not have to appear in a Melbourne court just two days before he is due in the Spa-Francorchamps paddock late in August. After it emerged the McLaren driver has now received an official charge and court summons over his 'hoon-driving' in the Australian city earlier this year, some reports said Hamilton, 25, will have to appear personally in Melbourne Magistrates' Court on August 24.
That is the Tuesday before the 2010 Belgian grand prix.
But the Daily Telegraph believes Briton Hamilton will instead only need to pay "a small fine which can be paid by a local lawyer on his behalf". The silver AMG C63 car in which Hamilton over-exuberantly drove sold at auction last month for $158,000.
(GMM) Red Bull will not favor one of its drivers over the other, team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has insisted. With the dominant RB6 car, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel are currently tied for points at the top of the world championship.
Vettel, 22, is seen as the Austrian team's star and long-term hope, but his experienced teammate Webber has won the last two grands prix from pole.
"We will have no team orders, instead the better one or the luckiest one should win," billionaire Mateschitz told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
Moreover, Red Bull's F1 advisor Dr Helmut Marko said the rivalry between Vettel and Webber is crucial. "Neither of them would be where they are today without the strong competition within the team," he told Austria's APA news agency.
Overheard at Indy Bump Day - 5UPDATE In one of the most bizarre Bump Days ever, the 35th fastest time qualified for the last position for the 2010 Indy 500. In the 500 next Sunday are Tony Kanaan and Takuma Sato. Out are Paul Tracy and Jay Howard, who both withdrew cars that, in the end, had times that were fast enough to make the show.
The final hour was prefaced by Sebastian Saavedra trying to find speed in anticipation of being bumped, and crashing heavily in turn 2. Saavedra was taken to Methodist Hospital complaining of back pain, and when Tony Kanaan bumped his way into the field during happy hour with his 223.805 mph run, most were sure that Saavedra's run for this Indy was over.
Overheard at Indy Bump Day - 4 Going into the last hour of qualification, the track temp is still some 37 degrees hotter than it was during morning practice. Since the ambient air temps aren't supposed to start going down until after 6:00, the track we have now is pretty much what the happy hour qualifiers will have.
Those who have not qualified:
- Ana Beatrice, who hasn't gone much past the 219 mark all day. As of 4:15, her team was removing the rear wing to track down some issue.
Overheard at Indy Bump Day - 3 Indiana summer weather set in at the ole Brickyard, and what was a frantic qualification day has become a long practice session. Sato's team reported to AutoRacing1.com that track temps went up by 25 degrees while they waited in line to qualify, a huge factor in their miserable effort. Teams might be waiting until late in the day in hopes of a break in the temperature, but forecasts don't call for cooling until after the 6:00 pm closing gun.
Overheard at Indy - Bump Day - 2 The field is filled for the 2010 Indy 500, and bumping has begun.
The big news for the day so far is that AJ Foyt pulled his grandson, AJ IV, out of the car in favor of Jaques Lazier. AJ IV wasn't comfortable in the car, and certainly couldn't find the speed to qualify -- his morning practice speed was only 221.823. Jaques has yet to attempt a qualification attempt.
Bruno Junqueira has the fastest speed of the day, in the sister car to Alex Tagliani's car. Having only 8 laps of practice today, his 225.662 is fast enough to have been in the top nine shootout yesterday. Sponsor problems prohibited this purchase of enough go-fast parts for both cars to be qualified on the first day.
Overheard at Indy - Bump Day - 1 - Kanaan wads up another car Tony Kanaan hit the wall in turn 2 this morning, filling the Speedway with a resounding "boom" and heavily damaging this car in the process. Kanaan had a similar incident yesterday that damaged the 11 car, and today's crash damaged the 11T car. Within minutes of the crash the tub from the 37T car (Hunter-Reay) was wheeled into Marco's garage. However, word from the garage says that the team believes that they can repair this damage in time to make a qualification run today.
Danicamania has once again gripped the Speedway. Once again, Danica is all the press can talk about. However, this time the buzz concerned Danica's comments on the PA system after her run, plus her comments during the press conference. She told the crowd that her slow speeds weren't her fault, but that of the car. The crowd booed her, and I'd be surprised if she didn't hear boos for the rest of the month.
A.J. Foyt IV and his grandfather part ways A.J. Foyt IV and his famous grandfather parted ways this morning and the elder Foyt said veteran Jaques Lazier will attempt to qualify the team’s No. 41 car on bump day today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
A.J. Foyt IV (right), who took leave of his job with the Indianapolis Colts to try to qualify for his seventh Indianapolis 500, apparently was critical of the car after practice this morning. - BOB GOSHERT / For The Star
Foyt IV, who took leave of his job with the Indianapolis Colts to try to qualify for his seventh Indianapolis 500, apparently was critical of the car after practice this morning. He was bumped from the field on pole day Saturday.
Lazier, younger brother of 1996 Indy winner Buddy Lazier, has made six Indy starts, most recently in 2007. Indy Star
Financial burden has Kyle Busch wishing he never started teamUPDATE Busch has lined up some companies for single-race sponsorships and other smaller deals, but it hasn't been nearly enough to cover the costs, even as Busch's #18 team sits first in the owner's standings. "Our trucks really run well, we're fast," Busch said. It just hasn't paid the bills. The Charlotte Observer reported nearly a dozen companies involved in the construction of Busch's race headquarters in Mooresville, N.C., have filed liens or intend to file liens because they are collectively owed about $1 million. Earlier this week, Brian Ickler, who was driving the #18 truck when Busch could not due to Sprint Cup conflicts, took a job driving a car for Roush Fenway Racing in the Nationwide Series. Busch will use Johnny Benson, who he had hoped to drive the scrapped third car he had planned, in Ickler's place starting in two weeks at Texas. "I have no reason to hold Brian Ickler back. It's all for his best interest," Busch said. "I feel like I've done what I've needed to do to help him move up, so hopefully he can make a name for himself and a place for himself over there at Roush and do a good job." But the satisfaction of helping Ickler -- who has two top-five finishes in Busch's truck -- doesn't ease the financial burden Busch is feeling. It's led him to question his decision to become a boss. "Is it painful? Yeah, you work your whole life to make the money you make and do everything you do," Busch said. "I'm not saying I'm throwing it away, but to see it all go away, it's unfortunate. "What it all boils down to is if I get hurt. If I get hurt I can't go forward. There's disability and there's this and that, but I don't need to put my family in that position. I think that's a bad idea. I've just got to stay healthy and keep going." ESPN/AP
Kyle Busch vows to "kill'' teammate after late-race crash Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch were battling for the lead late in the Sprint All-Star Race, Hamlin used defensive driving to protect his lead, Busch didn't have room on the outside and slammed into the all, pushing in his right front fender that would later cut down a tire and end the night for Busch, Busch was so angry he threatened to kill Hamlin over his team radio and camped out in the #11 hauler, waiting for Hamlin....so
Denny Hamlin, #11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, answers questions in this Toyota PR/quotes:
Lewis Hamilton charged for Aussie stunt Lewis Hamilton has been officially notified of the charge he faces over an incident on the eve of the Australian Grand Prix when he was stopped by police and charged with intentionally losing control of a vehicle.
Hamilton apologized for "over-exuberant" driving outside Albert Park track after the first day of practice for the race. "What I did was silly, and I want to apologize for it," he said in a statement at the time.
Police allege that Hamilton's car had "accelerated heavily and lost traction to the rear wheels" in making the turn. The case will be heard in Melbourne Magistrates Court on August 24. ESPN.co.uk
Watching the Indy 500 in the UK The call it the greatest spectacle in motorsport, but when the field of 33 drivers takes the start for the Indianapolis 500 on May 30th it will not be easy to watch them on television in the UK.
According to the series website, the race will be televised by two stations available in this country – Sky and the American services network AFN. Since AFN is, for obvious reasons, not the most accessible of stations for most Brits that’s generally going to mean Sky Sports 4 from 5.30pm.
Talent pool lacking in NASCAR For years, NASCAR has undergone a seamless transition at the top. In the '90s, Dale Earnhardt was king, followed by Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and now four-time champ Jimmie Johnson. So it's only natural that the next young superstar coming up the ranks to challenge Johnson is ...
Who? Having no up-and-coming talent is a scary thought. But in NASCAR, it's a stark reality as the economy, combined with bad driving and a failing minor league system leaves the sport looking for someone, anyone to flash signs of future potential.
Indy 500 Saturday Press Conference HELIO CASTRONEVES TIM CINDRIC 2010 Indianapolis 500 Pole Day, Saturday, May 22, 2010, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
THE MODERATOR: 16th pole position for Penske Racing. Helio Castroneves was won the pole for the fourth time. That ties him with A.J. Foyt, awfully good racer that racing should remember, Rex Mays. As a quiz, who is all time No. 1 for poles with six?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: That guy is amazing, Rick Mears.
THE MODERATOR: Helio and Tim, congratulations on a great day. We'll open it up for questions from the media.
Q. Was the strategy about going out first in that last session to put up big numbers and deflate everyone else? What was the thought there?
TIM CINDRIC: There's a lot of different ways you can look at that. We knocked it around internally as far as when we go, what we do.
A lot of this place has to do with what you think, what you believe in, when you know the driver is ready to go, that's more important to you than a few degrees of track temperature. I knew our driver was ready to go.
All Martin Truex, Jr. needed to do was finish second in Saturday night’s Sprint Showdown to advance in the field for the 26th running of the NASCAR Sprint All Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
He was having none of that. Second wasn’t enough – he wanted to win.
Truex slid past Greg Biffle in a side-by-side battle to take the lead with eight laps to go and cruised to his second Sprint Showdown victory and into his fourth all star race.
“We knew it was going to be a challenge coming in, having to start back there because of the rain,” said Truex, Jr. “You get on these big tracks and the dirty air is really tough, so at the beginning we just fought that track position, got real tight in traffic. We us two tires there and got some track position and then just one at a time, picking them off.
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