Double-File restarts now the talk again at Indy After a crazy qualifying weekend and frantic deal-cutting Monday to get Ryan Hunter-Reay back into the race, Indy 500 drivers now can focus on the greatest controversy in IndyCar racing: the new double-file restarts.
Pole-sitter Alex Tagliani of Lachenaie, Que., calls the restarts "really stupid," and such short, curt responses have been the norm from drivers all month.
"That's what happens when you try to imitate NASCAR," Marco Andretti said after getting collected in a crash at the season-opener in St. Petersburg. "Our cars have too much power to start right nose-to-tail, you know. It creates disasters."
More than 100 Indianapolis 500 veterans signing autographs Saturday at IMS The most impressive gathering of Indianapolis 500 veterans in history - more than 100 drivers - will sign autographs at "The World's Largest Autograph Session" during A.J. Foyt Day festivities Saturday, May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
An added attraction to the autograph session will be the participation of 95-year-old Dick Harroun, the son of inaugural Indianapolis 500 winner Ray Harroun. Dick Harroun's father drove the famed Marmon "Wasp" to victory in 1911.
All activities during A.J. Foyt Day are free, including the autograph sessions. Public gates open at 8 a.m. Thirteen retired Indianapolis 500 winners will sign autographs with this year's starting field of 33 drivers, which includes five active past winners, from 9-10 a.m. in the Pagoda Plaza. More than 100 retired Indianapolis 500 veterans and Dick Harroun will sign from noon-4 p.m. in the Pagoda Plaza.
Stenhouse Jr. to Fill in for Bayne at Charlotte Ricky Stenhouse Jr., will fill in for Trevor Bayne in the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford in this Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race will mark the Sprint Cup debut for the 2010 Nationwide Series rookie of the year, who won his first Nationwide Series race last weekend at Iowa Speedway.
“Obviously its not the circumstances that you want to make your first Sprint Cup start,” said Stenhouse. “But you grow up dreaming about this moment and I am excited and grateful for the opportunity; to not only make my first start, but to be able to drive the No. 21 Ford of the Wood Brothers in one of the biggest races of the season.
Marco Andretti Hopes Past Success Continues At Indy And Texas
Marco Andretti’s start to the IndyCar Series season has been described as a “rollercoaster.” Having tallied just one top-10 finish in the first four races of the season, coupled with three finishes of 14th or worse, Andretti is focused on an upcoming schedule that features the series’ two marquee events – the Indianapolis 500 and historic Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway. Despite having to secure his spot in the Indy 500 during the final minute of Sunday’s Bump Day, Andretti has reason to remain optimistic about his turnaround. With Sunday’s Indy 500 and the June 11 Firestone Twin 275s on the horizon, he believes the learning curve the team has encountered in Indianapolis will help them as they prepare for race day at Indy and then head to Texas Motor Speedway.
Forklift almost squashes Button like a bug Jenson Button reported that he was almost hit by a reversing forklift truck in the Monaco paddock on Wednesday, with teams up and down the pit lane involved in a rush to get their respective motorhomes constructed in time. Despite almost being squashed like a bug, the 2009 Champion admitted that he would not have been ‘seriously injured’.
"I was walking along talking to the guys. I was looking but he wasn't as he was reversing," Button is quoted as saying by The Guardian.
"I was never going to be injured seriously. He wasn't going to kill me. He would have bumped into me. They are doing all they can but when it is back to back it is very difficult. The guys are working non-stop to get it built. It makes it a bit difficult and dangerous – maybe we should be wearing hard hats in the paddock."
As Monaco follows on from Barcelona as a back-to-back race, teams have had just three days to transfer their equipment from the Circuit de Catalunya to the streets of Monte-Carlo.
Jules Bianchi has been docked five places on the grid for the first GP2 race of the weekend in Monaco, with stewards awarding the penalty following his first lap incident with Giedo van de Garde at the Circuit de Catalunya last Sunday.
The Lotus ART driver was deemed to have caused the collision with van der Garde at the start of the Sprint Race, leaving both men out of the race and earning himself a visit to the hospital for precautionary medical checks.
De Silvestro Poised to Fill IndyCar Void Left By Danica Patrick The biggest cheers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway did not occur when Danica Patrick made her qualifying run late in the day on Sunday. No, the driver most often labeled the most popular in the IZOD IndyCar Series trailed in cheers to those for Simona De Silvestro, who qualified her backup car on Saturday just over 48 hours after a frightening wreck on the north end of IMS.
As Patrick continues to eye NASCAR in the future, it is De Silvestro who appears on the verge of filling that gap left by Patrick, even being able to exceed it in the coming years.
Patrick's slide in the eyes of some IndyCar fans started at IMS last year, when her car was surprisingly slow in qualifying. After completing her four-lap run, Patrick aired her complaints in a live interview broadcast throughout the track, saying:
Bayne to skip Charlotte; next Cup race at Michigan Trevor Bayne will make his NASCAR return next week in the Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. As a precautionary measure, Roush Fenway Racing and Wood Brothers Racing have decided to withhold Bayne from NASCAR competition this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but subject to any unforeseen changes, the 20-year old driver is expected to fully resume his regular racing schedule beginning at Chicagoland in the #16 Roush Fenway entry.
He will make his next Sprint Cup start in the #21 Wood Brothers Ford two weeks later at Michigan (June 18.) "By all standards Trevor had a great week," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "His symptoms have completely subsided. He tested at Virginia International Raceway on Tuesday, had one of the fastest Nationwide Series cars on the race track and his team was extremely pleased with his progress. As a result, we plan to have him back in competition next week in Chicago, and have consulted with his doctors at the Mayo Clinic and the NASCAR medical staff about that timetable".
Schumacher denies blocking Hamilton to help Vettel (GMM) Michael Schumacher has denied blocking Lewis Hamilton in Spain last weekend to help his friend, countryman and championship leader Sebastian Vettel win the Barcelona race.
British media said McLaren's Hamilton alleged the seven time world champion blocked him after letting Vettel, his regular teammate for the end-of-season Race of Champions event, easily pass while being lapped.
"I won't speak to him (Schumacher) about it," said Hamilton. "I don't want to waste my time or my breath."
Responded Schumacher: "That certainly must have been a misunderstanding. I try to get out of the way for anybody.
'No plans' to leave Monaco for F1 job - Berger (GMM) Gerhard Berger on Wednesday dismissed rumors he is set to return to formula one as a boss.
The great Austrian, who after retiring from formula one spent time as BMW's joint motor sport director before co-owning the Toro Rosso team, has been linked with Ferrari as well as his friend Dietrich Mateschitz's Red Bull outfit.
"I have no plans to move back to Austria -- on the contrary," he told the Austrian newsmagazine NEWS, addressing the Red Bull rumors.
"I love Monaco, where I have my office," he added.
Audi again rejects F1 Audi motor racing chief Wolfgang Ullrich has reinforced the Volkswagen Group marque's decision to stay away from Formula One.
As a debate rages about F1's 2013 rules, it had been hoped that the turbo 4-cylinder formula would entice new manufacturers - like VW - onto the grid. But Ullrich told Car Magazine that Le Mans-style endurance racing is the better bet for Audi.
"There's a very good reason why we are not in F1," he said. "There's no relevance to the road. At Le Mans, one of our cars will cover 325 miles more than an F1 car will cover in an entire season, our average speed including pitstops will be 20mph higher than an F1 car and we will use 42% less fuel.
Demand for Indy 500 race tickets rises; biggest crowd in years expected Suite tickets for the Indianapolis 500 will be even more difficult to come by this weekend as all have been sold, including the ones along Gasoline Alley, for the first time in at least five years.
Demand for other tickets is up, too, prepping Indianapolis Motor Speedway for one of its largest crowds in years.
"We're almost to a double-digit increase," IMS CEO Jeff Belskus told the Indy Star newspaper Tuesday. "It's the first time we've seen an uptick in three years."
A review of the Speedway's online ticket center supports strong sales. Thirteen of the 29 seating categories, including all penthouse, vista deck and paddock seats, have been sold.
Raikkonen tests Cup car at VIR; and wrecks Kimi Raikkonen spent Tuesday testing a Sprint Cup car for Robby Gordon Motorsports at Virginia International Raceway. "I called Robby because Kimi wanted to test a Cup car," said Todd Hirschfeld, who is managing Raikkonen's racing effort in the United States. "It worked out because Robby had another obligation. So Kimi is taking care of the car today, and Robby will show up tomorrow. And it's up to Kimi whether he stays tomorrow, heads back to Finland or stays to run the Nationwide race Saturday at Charlotte". Raikkonen has reportedly committed to running Saturday's Nationwide event, but Hirschfeld says otherwise. "I've seen the story where he's committed to run the Nationwide race at Charlotte, but he has not told me personally whether he'll do it or not," Hirschfeld said. "There's a car and team ready to go, but Kimi himself has not yet committed. He's taking this whole experience day by day. I was told before I started working with him, but this is the truth -- Kimi does what Kimi wants to do." ESPN
Kimi Raikkonen tested at Virginia International Raceway, the 3.27-mile road course in Danville, on Tuesday. And, according to multiple sources at the track, it took only a half-dozen laps for the former Formula One champ to rip the nose off the front end of the #7 Dodge he was testing for Robby Gordon Motorsports. FoxSports
Barrichello awaiting Coughlan's arrival at Williams (GMM) Rubens Barrichello on Wednesday admitted he is keenly awaiting the arrival at Williams of Mike Coughlan.
Coughlan, out of F1 since being sacked by McLaren and subsequently banned by the FIA amid the famous spy scandal, will join the British team in June, while departing technical director Sam Michael serves his last six months.
Until then, 39-year-old Barrichello admitted he is frustrated to be "driving my balls off and finishing nowhere", but insists he is not thinking of quitting.
"The car's not there, you are fighting all the way. But having said that it's just too early to think about walking away," he is quoted as saying by The Sun.
The Milwaukee race in 2010 drew a respectable crowd
The June Sprints at Road America are the same weekend as the IndyCar race in Milwaukee this year, some two hours south. Just something else for race fans to do and may effect attendance at the IndyCar race. Milwaukee should have been scheduled the week after Indy, like it was historically. Instead Eddie Gossage and TMS got the rights to have the race following Indy when Milwaukee dropped off the calendar, but they refused to move it to the week directly after Indy, which is now an open week. How smart was that?
Racing in Europe is so hard Conor Daly went from being a consistent front runner in America to a backmarker in the GP3 series.
MAZDASPEED driver Conor Daly, second-generation formula car racer, heads home this weekend to his native Indiana for some sponsor obligations in Indianapolis, and some reflection.
The talented 19-year-old racer completed all the scheduled laps in an action packed double header weekend taking place on the Circuit de Catalunya this past weekend. The GP3 series shared the race weekend with both the GP2 Series and the Formula One Grand Prix of Spain.
“Spain is a great track and overall the weekend went well. It didn’t translate into the results I would have liked, but we are learning a lot,” comments the GP3 rookie driver. “We were a bit unlucky in qualifying as I didn’t get a good lap in with yellows. I was still struggling with the perfect brake technique, as it’s much different then I am used to. But it is coming together.”
SPEED Set to Broadcast World of Outlaws Sprint Car Race from Charlotte SPEED is set to cover the May 27 World of Outlaws Sprint Car race from The Dirt Track at Charlotte starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The race is part of May speed week at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which culminates in NASCAR’s historic Memorial Day running of the annual Coca-Cola 600.
Long-time motorsports play-by-play voice Ralph Sheheen is leading the broadcast, while Sprint Car Hall of Famer Brad Doty is providing color commentary. Series expert Bobby Gerould and NASCAR Race Hub co-host Danielle Trotta are roaming the paddock to gather the latest news and notes.
A reader adds, At the very least, Michael Andretti should give Bruno Junqueira a ride at Las Vegas in an attempt at the $5M bonus and Randy Bernard should see that it happens. Russell Mill
05/24/11 The following are additional comments from Ryan Hunter-Reay and Michael Andretti regarding Monday's announcement of Hunter-Reay's assignment to the No. 41 A.J. Foyt Racing entry.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Driver:
(ON RUNNING IN THE INDY 500) "Am I happy to have the chance to run in the Indy 500? Sure, but this isn't at all how I wanted it to happen. I have the utmost respect for the Indianapolis 500, but this is not the way I wanted things to pan out. I'm in the race, but I'm not going to celebrate. This race has a legacy and tradition that is undeniable. The reality is our car didn't qualify and now I'm racing in the #41.
"I'm still very disappointed in the way our weekend turned out, but Andretti Autosport and A.J. Foyt Racing need me on Sunday, and I'm going to be ready to go."
Electric-powered rear and four wheel-drive variants of the Porsche Boxster E roadster sparked interest last week at the Michelin Challenge Bibendum in Berlin.
Porsche was demonstrating its Boxster E prototypes to a wide audience of representatives from politics, industry, trade and research at this global forum for sustainable mobility in the German capital. Around a sporting circuit, the Porsche showcased the Boxster E sports car concept; exhibiting the combination of innovation, performance and chassis responsiveness that is characteristic of the marque, and follows similar ground-breaking initiatives; the 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car, 918 Spyder super sports car and 918 RSR concept.
Kanaan, Carpenter pushing IndyCar retail sales to new high With ticket sales for this year’s Indianapolis 500 at a five-year high, it’s not surprising merchandise sales are up also.
But it is surprising, with all the rain this May, just how much they are up.
According to Dave Moroknek, CEO of MainGate Inc., the locally based firm that handles licensing and retail sales out at the Speedway, merchandise sales has been up more than 10 percent each day over the same day last year.
NJ track goes belly-up, emerges from bankruptcyUPDATE #2
NJ Motorsports Park
New Jersey Motor Sports, LLC (“NJMP”), one of the east coast’s premier operators of motorsports activities, is pleased to announce that it has proposed a definite plan to emerge from bankruptcy, following a court hearing scheduled for July 14th in Camden, NJ. At that time, NJMP’s Plan of Reorganization (“Plan”) is expected to be confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. This will mark the end of a remarkably quick restructuring process, whereby NJMP filed Ch. 11 bankruptcy on March 7th with an agreement with its secured lender, Merrill Lynch Mortgage Capital, Inc.
Pursuant to the Plan, Merrill Lynch is reducing its secured debt from $30.4 to $20 million, and will act as co-sponsor of the Plan, along with NEI Motorsports, LLC (“NEI”), who will pay $2,000,000 to fund certain obligations pursuant to the Plan. In the event this stalking horse $22,500,000 transaction is determined to be the highest and best, NEI will be a majority owner of NJMP upon bankruptcy emergence and Merrill Lynch will hold a minority interest, along with its $20,000,000 restructured secured loan. NEI’s shareholders include some of NJMP’s shareholders.
Kyle Busch cited for speedingUPDATE Kyle Busch just issued a sort-of apology for his 128 mph speeding ticket -- chalking up his ridiculous speed to a test drive gone wrong, and the blatantly obvious ... "I got carried away." In his statement Busch says , "I was test driving a new sports car and I got carried away. I went beyond the speed I should have been going on a public road. I apologize to the public, my fans, sponsors, and race teams for my lack of judgment."
The NASCAR bad boy was driving a Lexus LFA when cops in Troutman, NC pulled him over today ... doing 128 mph in a 45 mph zone. BTW ... the LFA packs about 552 horses!
Busch added, "I take responsibility for my actions and I can assure you that something like this will never happen again." TMZ
05/24/11 NASCAR driver Kyle Busch was cited for careless and reckless driving after deputies said they clocked him doing nearly three times the posted speed limit Tuesday afternoon. Iredell County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Chris Stone, a member of the Aggressive Criminal Enforcement (ACE) team, stopped a yellow Lexus sports car after he clocked it doing 128 mph in a 45 mph zone on Perth Road near Judas Road, between Troutman and Mooresville, NC. Busch, driver of the #18 M&Ms/Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, was cited for careless and reckless driving and speeding, said Lt. Troy Miller, who supervises the ACE team for the sheriff's office.
After missing Indianapolis 500, AFS Racing refocuses After missing out on the Indianapolis 500, AFS Racing owner Gary Peterson and his team are refocusing their efforts with the plan of being even more competitive this season.
"As the owner of AFS Racing, I feel so sorry for the team, especially, (Raphael) Matos who I feel I let down," Peterson said. "I am so proud of this crew who worked tirelessly for days leading up to qualifying. My original intent was to run the road and street courses only this season to prepare us for the 2012 season, but the draw of the centennial Indy 500 was too much for me to resist."
Matos, who was trying to qualify for his third Indianapolis 500, but was bumped out of the field after his first attempt on Bump Day and came up short as he tried to find the speed to get back in the field. Neil Micklewright, VP of Operations for AFS Racing said the lack of track time hurt the team's effort.
33 drivers, 13 cities, 24 hours for the '500' Alex Tagliani, who's been on auto-pilot since earning the PEAK Performance Pole Award presented by AutoZone for the Indianapolis 500, is an individual who tells it like it is (occasionally crossing between English and French in the process).
Congratulatory phone calls, e-mails, text messages and tweets have been flowing since his four-lap qualifying effort in the "Fast Nine" on May 21. So have interviews - scheduled and impromptu.
Tagliani had a gaggle of media members laughing over their videotape while explaining his extended absence at the Real Sports Bar - a slap shot from the Air Canada Center in Toronto and where the TV count on two levels surpasses 200 -- during a Victoria Day blitz of the city.
Transcript of ESPN on ABC Indianapolis 500 Media Conference Call A media conference call was held today to discuss ESPN on ABC’slive telecast of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, MParticipants on the call were ESPN senior vice president and executive producer Jed Drake, along with the three members of ESPN’s booth for the telecast: lap-by-lap announcer Marty Reid and analysts Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever. This is the 47th consecutive year that the Indianapolis 500 will air on ABC.
JED DRAKE: Do you know where you and what you were doing in 1965? ABC was televising the Indy 500 and it's a legacy that means so much to all of us today. We have put together an outstanding team for producing this telecast, and the three gentlemen on the call today are part of it. With Marty calling the race, he is the very best at this type of race, and with Scott, one of the great experts and strategists of what happens. And with Eddie, you know, you've got one of the most interesting guys on the planet. Eddie, sorry to talk about you in third person here, but I've often said that you can bring up any topic with Eddie and find yourself an hour having gone anyplace, and it was all thoughtful, meaningful and poignant conversation.
Special Offer to AR1.com readers To celebrate the 100th running of "The Greatest Spectacle in Sports" World renowned artist Ray Masters is offering AR1 readers a very special deal on his Very Limited Edition Driver Signed Serigraphs. This series of hand made prints depict several Indy 500 winners in Ray's inimitable bold and colorful style.
All are in very short supply so first come first served.
The numbered edition serigraphs are hand printed onto the finest archival paper . Then signed by both the featured driver and the artist.
The prints available are "Sweeping the Yard" - Rick Mears. "Pole Winner" - Arie Luyendyk. "Renaissance Man" - Danny Sullivan. "Happy Birthday Dad" - Al Unser Jr and Sr. (believed to be the only time both Unsers signed a print together)
U.S. Military To Be Honored On Indianapolis 500 Race Day The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will continue its long-standing tradition of honoring the United States military during pre-race ceremonies for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29, and a first-time event after the race also will pay tribute.
After the checkered flag falls, a special second flyover recognizing the 100th anniversary of U.S. Navy aviation will take place. A formation of U.S. Navy aircraft consisting of one A-4 Skyhawk and a T-2C Buckeye will soar over the track followed by the Navy flyover of four F/A-18E Super Hornets from Strike Fighter Squadrons 105 from Oceana, Va. and 137 from Lemoore, Calif. Representing the Navy at the Indianapolis 500 will be Vice Admiral Al Myers, USN, Commander, U.S. Naval Air Force.
NASCAR suspends RCR employee for drugs The following is a statement by Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing, regarding NASCAR's decision to suspend indefinitely an RCR employee after testing positive on a random drug test:
"Richard Childress Racing has zero tolerance when an employee fails a NASCAR drug test due to an illegal substance. As a result, that person's employment is terminated. It is important for our fans and our partners to know illegal drug use at RCR is simply not tolerated."
Statement From Kevin Harvick Inc. Regarding NASCAR Penalty NASCAR announced penalties today for the No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) team which competes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with driver Ron Hornaday. The penalties are a result of rule infractions found in post-race inspection following the May 20 event at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“This is an unfortunate situation but KHI respects NASCAR’s decision,” said KHI co-owner Kevin Harvick. “We receive the gears from an outside supplier which we trust and expect to be accurate according to the NASCAR rule book. It was not an intentional infraction by G-Force South and we are working to prevent any future incidents.”
“This was a human error within G-Force,” said Roger Chilton, President of G-Force South. “A process was missed when double checking the gear ratio which unfortunately caused this issue. We have made immediate steps to remedy this to ensure it won’t happen again. We sincerely apologize to KHI and to their partners.”
Centennial Golden Brick placed in 'Yard of Bricks' at IMS A Centennial Golden Brick was placed in the famous Yard of Bricks on Tuesday, May 24 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, celebrating the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 and re-creating an iconic moment in the storied track's history.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chairman of the Board Mari Hulman George, four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Belskus participated in the ceremony. Belskus placed the 37-pound golden brick in the center of the remaining exposed, 3-foot strip of the original bricks that were used to pave the 2.5-mile oval in 1909.
Scheckter, not Danica, named Indy's sexiest driver Tomas Scheckter, driver of the #07 REDLINE Xtreme Car in this year’s Centennial (100th Anniversary) Indy 500 on May 29th, won a race of a different sort today. The 30 year-old bachelor from South Africa took in the most votes as “Indy’s Sexiest Race Car Driver,” a poll conducted by leading online dating and relationship service PerfectMatch.com.
With 551,925 total votes cast, Scheckter received 152,900 votes. Marco Andretti in the #26 car for Andretti Autosport, who edged into the race with his last second qualifying run on a dramatic Bump Day on Sunday, finished 2n with 124,500 votes, while his teammate, Indy’s hottest female racer Danica Patrick placed a solid third with 118,950 votes.
Feud of the Week: Danica vs. Indy 500UPDATE See related rumor that says Danica is going NASCAR fulltime in 2012. She's either going to NASCAR for the money (chances are she will be a backmarker there as well) or running because IndyCar now has other female drivers that are outrunning her using inferior equipment and its only damaging her money-making image.
05/24/11 Danica Patrick is supposed to be the IndyCar Series’ biggest star. But after nearly failing to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, she has to be wondering about her chances of one day winning the circuit’s biggest event.
The 29-year-old driver, who is mixing 12 NASCAR Nationwide Series races this year into her full-time IndyCar schedule, almost didn’t make the Indy 500. Two of her teammates in the five-car Andretti Autosport stable did not qualify for the race.
Patrick ended up qualifying with about an hour left Sunday in the rain-interrupted final day of qualifying. She was too slow on the first day to make the field and then a technical inspection issue knocked her to the rear of the line on Sunday. If more rain had come, she wouldn’t have made the race.
That would have been devastating for Patrick, who makes no secret of her love of Indianapolis Motor Speedway – a love that could keep her from committing to NASCAR full time in 2012.
NASCAR All-Star race TV Rating SPEED coverage of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday scored an average household rating of 3.32 according to Nielsen Media Research, up 1% from last year’s 3.30. The race peaked at a 4.08 and averaged 3,993,000 viewers.
During the race, SPEED was the highest-rated basic cable network in Households, Men 35-54, and M55+; and the No. 2-rated basic cable network among M18-34 and M18-49.
Villeneuve to drive for Penske in Nationwide race One of the most accomplished racers in recent history will join Penske Racing for two upcoming road course races on the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) schedule.
Former world champion driver Jacques Villeneuve will compete behind the wheel of the No. 22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge Challenger in the Nationwide Series races at Road America (June 25) and Montreal (August 20). Villeneuve will fill in for reigning Nationwide Series champion, Brad Keselowski, at the two events, which will be run on non-companion race weekends with the NASCAR Cup Series.
Blundell feels bad for Conway Although Ryan Hunter-Reay has managed to get back into this weekend’s Indianapolis 500 by inheriting the car of Bruno Junqueira, fellow non-qualifier Mike Conway will be forced to remain on the sidelines. The result comes as a huge blow to the Sevenoaks driver, who won at Long Beach, and manager Mark Blundell.
“It was a very disappointing situation, when you’ve got two drivers – Mike Conway, who is already a race winner and is up there in the top four of the championship, and Ryan Hunter-Reay, a proven young gun as well – to be out of the race due to a lack of car speed,” Blundell told GPUpdate.net. “It’s a heavy hit and not something that we’re happy about.
“Regretfully, it still looks like we’re not going to be able to get into the race, although Ryan Hunter-Reay seems to have positioned something where he takes over another car. That’s the thing with the Indy rules – if a car is on the grid you can change a driver, but it’s something which is out of our control.”
Foyt and Andretti should be ashamedUPDATE A related SPEED.com article.
05/24/11 I checked the classified ads this morning. Turns out, there are Indianapolis 500 rides for sale.
Now that Andretti Autosport has bought out the A.J. Foyt car that was qualified by Bruno Junqueira, using the checkbook to install sponsor-friendly Andretti driver Ryan Hunter-Reay back into the race, this is no longer about the fastest, but the richest.
This is shameful, especially shameful given the fact it involves two of the greatest names -- Andretti and Foyt -- in the 102-year history of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Centennial Indianapolis 500 Continues ABC Memorial Day Tradition The 100th anniversary edition of the Indianapolis 500 will continue a Memorial Day weekend TV tradition that has been part of America since 1965 when the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” airs on ABC for the 47th consecutive year on Sunday, May 29. ESPN on ABC’s coverage from Indianapolis Motor Speedway begins at 11 a.m. ET with The Indianapolis 500 – A Centennial Celebration presented by Honda. The race telecast is presented by GoDaddy.com and begins at noon, with the race’s green flag at 12:12 p.m.
What began as highlights on ABC’s Wide World of Sports in 1965 moved to a same-day, prime time program in 1971 and finally became a live telecast (except in Indianapolis) in 1986.
“It is an honor for us to televise the Indianapolis 500 every year,” said Jed Drake, ESPN senior vice president and executive producer. “It’s with great pride that we carry on the stewardship of ABC’s history with this marquee event in the world of sports and look forward to bringing it to our viewers around the world.”
De Silvestro "I was so scared" IndyCar driver Simona De Silvestro wasn’t physically equipped to tackle her first boiled lobster. The 22-year-old Swiss star was at The Fours on Canal Street yesterday with fellow drivers Will Power and Justin Wilson on a promotional tour for the IZOD IndyCar series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon on Aug. 14.
Raikkonen to make Nationwide debutUPDATE The pieces to the Kimi Raikkonen Nationwide Series puzzle are coming together. FOXSports.com has learned that the car is being assembled by Kyle Busch Motorsports but the owner points will come from Joe Nemechek's #87 entry, registered under NEMCO Motorsports, which is currently 19th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series points standings. The crew will come from NEMCO with additional support from KBM employees. NEMCO will provide transporter, equipment and back up car for the race. Raikkonen finished 15th in his NASCAR Camping World Truck debut. The 2007 Formula One champion was approved to compete in next Saturday's Nationwide Series race prior to Friday night's event. FoxSports
05/23/11 Formula One 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Top Gear 300. Raikkonen will be in the No. 87 car fielded by NEMCO Motorsports, owned by Joe Nemechek. Raikkonen made his NASCAR debut in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he recorded a lead-lap 15th place finish. KBM is partnering with NEMCO Motorsports on the car for Raikkonen. SPEEDTV
Working the wheel in Monaco In times past, Formula One drivers negotiated the Circuit de Monaco practically one-handed, their right palms rubbed raw by the thousands of gear changes required during up to 100 laps of the tortuous track in the Principality. Today's drivers may have a slightly easier time of it, in that they can at least keep both hands on the wheel, but those hands are also significantly busier in 2011. The modern Formula One steering wheel also fulfils the function of dashboard, gear lever and clutch pedal, and the drivers have up to 32 individual controls that can be adjusted. With the increased in-cockpit workload for 2011 generated by KERS and the DRS, Monaco will present an even greater challenge for the drivers aiming to extract every last ounce of performance.
We are used to seeing the drivers' hands as a blur in Monaco as they make constant corrections to the car. How many steering inputs are made per lap? The steering wheel is in almost constant motion in Monaco - from major steering inputs for tight corners to the tiny corrections that they are making all the time. At the hairpin, for example, the wheel is turned through more than 180 degrees, and special front suspension is needed to generate the required turning circle. The circuit comprises 19 numbered corners but the drivers make a significant change to the steering angle approximately 130 times per lap.
IZOD IndyCar Drivers Get a New England 101 Fresh off their qualifying run for the 100th Indianapolis 500, three IZOD IndyCar drivers made a quick pit stop in Boston, Mass., for a crash course in all things New England.
IZOD IndyCar Series point leader, Will Power, along with top female racer, Simona De Silvestro and British motorsports sensation Justin Wilson joined NHMS executive vice president and general manager Jerry Gappens at The Fours Restaurant for a luncheon and question-and- answer session.
"Three of the best INDYCAR drivers were able to make the trip today after a busy qualifying weekend for the Indy 500," said Gappens. "All three will be part of one of the most anticipated events this season bringing the fastest racing on four wheels back to NHMS, during the Aug. 14 INDYCAR 225."
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