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DATE News (chronologically)
05/31/13
ga

Jordan Taylor Leads Detroit Qualifying, Captures First DP Pole
Jordan Taylor already has enjoyed his share of success at Detroit Belle Isle, taking the Rolex Series GT class victory in last year’s inaugural Chevrolet GRAND-AM 200.

Taylor is looking to carry that success to the Daytona Prototype ranks for Saturday’s race. He captured the TOTAL Pole Award on Friday, running a lap of 1:27.675 (96.903 mph) in the No. 10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette DP co-driven by Max Angelelli.

Taylor will lead the field for the start of Round 5 of the 2013 season Saturday at 12:30 p.m. (SPEED, same day, 5 p.m. ET).

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05/31/13
f1

Renault looking to finalize 2014 teams
Renault are set to announce their newest customer deal for 2014 "within a matter of days" after bidding farewell to Williams earlier this week.

Two years after rekindling their partnership, Williams confirmed on Thursday that they would swap to Mercedes-Benz power for 2014.

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05/31/13
IRL

IndyCar makes last minute change to doubleheader qualifying procedures
INDYCAR has updated its qualifying procedures for Race 2 of its IZOD IndyCar Series doubleheader weekends. All cars will continue to participate in one of two groups for 12 minutes each, with five minutes of guaranteed green-flag time. The procedures for determining the starting lineup for Race 2 have been updated as such:

1. The pole position will be awarded to the best overall lap time in the Race 2 qualifying sessions. The reminder of the cars from the pole sitter's qualifying group will occupy the odd-numbered positions on the starting grid, ranked by lap time, beginning with third.

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05/31/13
irl

Mid-day update from Belle Isle
As I write, we're about two-thirds of the way through the first IndyCar practice session here in Detroit.

Unfortunately, there has been very little running in the near 50 minutes the Indy cars have had the track, as the session has been characterized by numerous interruptions.

Of course, the start of the session was delayed about 10 minutes as a concrete barrier needed to be fixed.  Shortly after going green, Josef Newgarden came to a stop on the backstretch bringing out a red flag.  Ryan Briscoe would bring out another red flag with a spin.

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05/31/13
irl

Morning update from Belle Isle
Gorgeous morning here on Belle Isle. The sun is shining, temperature is in the low 70s. A few Grand-Am GT cars are on the track now, in their first practice session. The Indy cars will have their first and only practice session of the day from 11:10-12:25. Qualifying for tomorrow's race starts at 3 p.m. today

Also, the Indy cars will not practice again until Sunday's morning warm-up, as qualifying for Sunday's race will be tomorrow morning.

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05/31/13
irl

Mark Miles on a possible return to Phoenix
When former IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard (ousted after last season) and PIR President Bryan Sperber met last year, the series’ standard sanctioning fee was $1.5 million. Other costs brought the total to at least $3.2 million — that didn’t add up for PIR.

Mark Miles said he expects to engage directly with Sperber in June and called those talks “a priority.”

Miles sat down with azcentral.com sports before last week’s Indy 500.

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05/31/13
autogp

Karthikeyan (Super Nova) tops opening practice
The new partnership between Narain Karthikeyan and Super Nova International started in the best possible way at Silverstone. The Indian racer, who comes from positive Formula 1 stints with Jordan and HRT, logged the fastest lap of the first free Auto GP practice session at the UK venue.

The Super Nova car recorded a time of 1’47”183, with Karthikeyan edging team-mate Vittorio Ghirelli by 0.025s. The British squad's pair delivered an 1-2 performance to edge Kimiya Sato (Euronova Racing) by almost half a second, while Kevin Giovesi, making his debut for Ghinzani Motorsport, topped Meindert van Buuren, who rounded out the top-5.

Hungarian racer Tamas Pal Kiss, moving for this round from MLR71 to Zele Racing, ended up in 6th place trailed by Ghinzani's Robert Visoiu. Ibiza Racing Team's Sergio Campana took 8th place in front of the MP Motorsport duo of Riccardo Agostini and GP2 Series runner Daniel De Jong.

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05/31/13
IRL

A.J. Allmendinger looks to repay Roger Penske's faith in him
A.J. Allmendinger feels fortunate to get a second chance driving for Roger Penske, and plans to pay him back by giving his best effort.

"He's done everything for me," Allmendinger said of Penske. "I feel like he truly cares about me and I feel blessed to have him and want me to be a part of his organization and family so much, and there's nothing I could do to even come close to repaying him so I just go out and give everything I got and hopefully that's enough."

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05/31/13
nassprint

Aerial camera company says mechanical parts didn’t fail
Officials could know Friday what caused a rope to snap on an overhead camera at last weekend’s Coca-Cola 600, injuring at least 10 fans.

A spokesman for CAMCAT, an Austrian company that operated the aerial camera rig for Fox Sports, said it would know by next week at the latest what caused the rope attached to a TV camera to break during Lap 121 of Sunday night’s race. The incident caused cuts and scrapes to fans and sent three to the hospital.

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05/31/13
irl

Indy 500 win makes Belle Isle weekend interesting for Tony Kanaan
Tony Kanaan’s feet haven’t hit the ground since his incredibly popular Indy 500 victory last Sunday.

The Brazilian IZOD IndyCar Series veteran has been busy with TV and radio appearances around the country.

So, what about the hair — when did he find time to dye it?

"The hair — well, that was a bet between me and Rubens Barrichello," explained Kanaan at Thursday’s Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix media luncheon at the Rattlesnake Club. “Being a good friend in the series — he’s going bald, you know — the bet was if I win the 500, he has to shave his head because I know he’s not going to grow it back up. He fired back at me, ‘I will do it, but you have to dye your hair blonde (if you win).’ I think I’m getting the best of it."

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05/31/13
nassprint

More Fortune 500 companies involved in NASCAR
Nearly one-in-four (117) Fortune 500 companies use NASCAR as part of their marketing mix, according to an analysis of sponsors currently in the sport when compared to the magazine's annual list released this month. For the second consecutive year, the number of Fortune 500 companies involved in NASCAR increased; and is an eight percent improvement over 2008.

The analysis encompassed companies currently involved as a sponsor of NASCAR's sanctioning body, teams, tracks and/or as media partners. Findings from a study commissioned by NASCAR and conducted by Toluna prior to the start of the 2013 season show that approximately one out of four NASCAR fans strongly agree that they support NASCAR sponsors more than sponsors of other sports.

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05/31/13
ga

Grand-Am Belle Isle Race Preview
After a month long break, teams are ready to get back on track and continue the fight for the championship. Competition in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is both intense and exciting and figures to become even more so on Saturday when teams visit the 2013 schedule's only street course for the Chevrolet GRAND-AM 200 at Belle Isle Park in Detroit.

A month's break in the 2013 campaign has given DP and GT teams the opportunity to assess what worked and what didn't over the first four races. It's a given they'll return to the track hoping to extend championship leads or to overhaul the pace setters.

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05/31/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
  • Jean Todt backs Bernie
    Todt backs Ecclestone amid corruption charge
  • FIA asks Pirelli for secret test 'dossier'
  • Lauda accepts Pirelli's tire tweak debut delay
  • Massa, Maldonado to be fit for Canada
  • 2014 McLaren-Mercedes deal 'not pleasant' - Wolff
  • Trulli to sue Caterham's Fernandes
  • Grosjean is 'an idiot' - Ricciardo
  • Pirelli says Mercedes has not tested Canada tweak New

    Read more & Comment...
05/31/13
irl
nassprint

Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Form Athletic Apparel Partnership
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced a multi-year partnership with C9 by Champion, Target's exclusive brand of performance activewear, to become the official athletic apparel provider to all six of the organization's race teams across the NASCAR, INDYCAR and GRAND-AM series. The performance collection will be worn for working out in the gym and training for race days. The lifestyle pieces will be worn by drivers, crew and executive staff at the track. In addition, the C9 by Champion branding will be carried on multiple assets across all six teams and eight drivers, including race cars, team transporters, firesuits and team gear. EGR

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05/31/13
f1

Ecclestone Says F1 Is Ready For IPO (Update) UPDATE One of the men behind the proposed flotation of F1 on the Singapore Stock Exchange "has revealed the plans may again be put on hold until next year," according to the PA. CVC Capital Partners co-Founder & co-Chair Donald Mackenzie has now suggested that "the IPO may yet be delayed further."

Mackenzie said, "Our position on the IPO is when the market is right and the company is ready we'll look at it. Although the IPO market is better than it was a year ago, the company still has a few issues to sort out." The IPO would appear to suggest CVC "will end its involvement in the sport for good, but not so according to Mackenzie." He said, "We'd like to retain a stake in the business. We like being a shareholder, even though we get a bit of grief every so often from people who don't really know what they're talking about in my opinion." PA

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05/31/13
dtm

DTM Reschedules Qualifying Session
The German Touring Car Championship (DTM) "has agreed to reschedule its qualifying session in order to allow German public broadcaster ARD to bundle it with the DFB-Pokal (German Cup) final" on Saturday evening. Instead of its regular time in the early afternoon, the DTM's qualifying session from the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria "will start at 5:50pm." Immediately after the DTM qualifying, ARD "will live broadcast the German Cup final between Bayern Munich and VfB Stuttgart from the Berlin Olympic Stadium." Motorsport Total

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05/30/13
f1

Alexander Rossi  gets Canada GP practice call
Alexander Rossi
Alexander Rossi will get his first practice outing of the year when he drives the Caterham CT03 on Friday ahead of next week's Canadian Grand Prix.

The American was appointed the team's reserve driver earlier this year but is yet to drive the 2013 car on a circuit, having only carried out aero testing with it.

Rossi, also competing with Caterham in the GP2 series, last drove in practice in last year's Spanish Grand Prix.

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05/30/13
nnw

Johnny O’Connell to make NASCAR debut at Road America
Add Johnny O’Connell to the list of NASCAR “road course ringers,” at least in the Nationwide Series.

O’Connell, who races full-time for Cadillac Racing’s Pirelli World Challenge GT class program, will make his Nationwide debut in JR Motorsports’ No. 5 CorvetteParts.net Chevrolet at Elkhart Lake’s Road America on June 22.

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05/30/13
irl

Four face grid penalties for first Detroit race
The entries for Dario Franchitti, Charlie Kimball, Josef Newgarden and Graham Rahal will incur 10-grid spot penalties for the first IndyCar race at Belle Isle this weekend because of unapproved engine changes at Indianapolis.

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05/30/13
irl

Briscoe replaces Hildebrand at Panther Racing
Two-time IndyCar Series champion Panther Racing announced today that Ryan Briscoe will drive the team’s No. 4 National Guard Chevy for this weekend’s Chevrolet Indy Duel in Detroit. Briscoe, a seven-time IndyCar race winner, spent most of the past five seasons with Team Penske after making his IndyCar Series debut with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2005. The open-wheel veteran most recently made his return to the series with Ganassi for the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500, where he finished 12th in the No. 8 NTT DATA entry.

“We couldn’t be happier to have Ryan Briscoe join Panther Racing this weekend,” Panther Managing Partner John Barnes said. “He’s a championship-caliber driver who’s proven he can win races on any type of track in the IndyCar Series. We have no doubt he can jump right into our program and put the No. 4 National Guard Chevy at the front of the field. In his career he’s gone toe-to-toe with the best drivers in this series and won a lot of races. We’re all very excited that he’s going to become part of our family here at Panther and look forward to getting him on the track this weekend in Detroit.”

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05/30/13
irl

Panther Racing and JR Hildebrand Terminate IndyCar Contract
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. Panther Racing and JR Hildebrand announced today their mutual agreement to terminate JR’s contract with the team that was scheduled to continue through the end of the 2013 season. Hildebrand, the 2009 Indy Lights Champion, made a total of 37 starts in the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet over the course of the last three seasons. He recorded his best career IndyCar finish of second place in the 95th Running of the Indianapolis 500, and led seven races during his tenure with the team.

“We’d like to thank JR Hildebrand for his contributions to Panther Racing, and especially the work he put into supporting the National Guard and all of our programs to support its soldiers,” Panther Managing Partner John Barnes said. “JR is a great young man, a class act, and somebody who has been a great representative of our race team and all of our partners since 2011. We certainly wish JR, his family and his representatives all the best in the future.”

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05/30/13
nassprint

Daytona 500 Tickets On Sale Today
Tickets to the 56th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23 – NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race – will go on sale today at 9 a.m. (ET).

Tickets for the Daytona 500, which was won earlier this year for a second time by Jimmie Johnson, will start at $65.

“The tradition, excitement and drama of the Daytona 500 are unmatched in motorsports,” Daytona Int’l Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “From the pageantry of kicking off the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season to the classic nail-biting finishes, the Daytona 500 is an event that all race fans should experience in person.”

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05/30/13
nastruck

Missing team trailer leads to Truck Series feud (Update) UPDATE A strange story from the world of NASCAR racing has one driver accused of stealing vehicles from another driver. Police recovered two cars and five trucks from two of NASCAR driver Mike Harmon's garages. WBTV reports that the cars were stolen from fellow racer Jennifer Jo Cobb at the end of last year.

They are both drivers in NASCAR's truck series. Cobb is competing this year in the Camping World Truck Series for her own team, the Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing Team. Harmon used to be the team manager for when Cobb raced for the Nationwide team, and has said in public tweets that he is involved in litigation with Cobb.

These stolen vehicles came to light only after Harmon was arrested two weeks ago on a separate charge of theft. He was charged with breaking into Cobb's headquarters and stealing the hauler she used to transport cars and trucks. Harmon is denying the allegations.

"I've never stolen as much as a piece of bubble gum. To be arrested for a felony is ridiculous," Harmon told WBTV.

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05/30/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Toto Wolff waiting for the FIA hammer to slam his Mercedes team for conducting the illegal tire test
    Teams must agree to Pirelli tweak race debut
  • Wolff not talking about 'secret test' consequences
  • Hamilton identifies brakes as main problem
  • F1 'no place for Grosjean to practice' - Salo
  • Domenicali, Alonso tip Ferrari to bounce back
  • F1 'a bunch of politics' - Castroneves
  • Williams F1 Team and Mercedes-Benz announce long-term engine partnership
  • Renault content with loss of customer Williams

    Read more & Comment...
05/30/13
ga

No Negri again
Ozz Negri had expected to return to competition this weekend when the Grand-Am Series resumes after a month-long hiatus.

Instead, Michael Shank Racing will hold Negri out as he continues to recover from the leg injury suffered in a preseason training accident. Michael Valiante will continue to sub for Negri alongside John Pew.

"We were hoping that everything would be good to go for Detroit, but the doctors think that I should wait a bit longer, so Michael will race with John again this weekend," said Negri. "It really is the hardest thing to do, to be out of the car and not race. But, looking at the long term it is what I have to do so we'll just focus on being at the best I can be when I do get back in the car. We are lucky to have a driver like Michael available like this and hopefully we can have a strong weekend as a team."

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05/29/13
ga

Cessna to Sponsor No. 01 in Detroit
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) and co-drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas will run a Cessna-sponsored Daytona Prototype in this weekend’s GRAND-AM 200 at Belle Isle (Saturday, 5:00pm on SPEED) – Round 5 of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.  They enter the weekend as the series’ point leaders with a seven-point advantage over their nearest competition (Jon Fogarty, Alex Gurney- 121).

In January, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced a multi-year partnership with Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, to sponsor cars across all three series in which CGRT competes.  The world’s leading general aviation company will sponsor multiple races on the No. 1 Chevrolet SS of Jamie McMurray in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) sharing assets with sister Textron companies Bell Helicopter and E-Z-GO golf cars and light transportation vehicles.  Cessna will also sponsor one race on the No. 10 Honda with Dario Franchitti in the IZOD IndyCar Series in addition to this weekend’s race with Pruett and Rojas in the No. 01 Cessna Dinan-Prepared BMW/Riley.

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05/29/13
usac
irl

Foyt: Quote of the week
In comments published in Saturday's Arizona Republic, Foyt was quoted by writer Michael Knight, noting "I don't want to be smart-assed...but you've got these drivers today who are a flash in the pan." Foyt explained that "(fans) followed me, Parnelli (Jones), Al and Bobby Unser, Mario (Andretti) for many, many years. We run midgets and sprint cars about every week, all over the country ... that's what built our fan base." Foyt went on to add, "Some of these boys today probably say: 'We could have beat him or Parnelli any day of the week.' Well, I've got news for them: They probably couldn't even carry our helmet bags."

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05/29/13
irl

2013 Virtual Lap of Belle Isle


Comment
05/29/13
irl

Andretti vaults to top of IndyCar standings
Consistency has paved the way for Marco Andretti to climb to the top of the championship standings with top-seven finishes, including podiums on two street courses, in each of the five races. He leads Takuma Sato of A.J. Foyt Racing by 11 points and Team Penske's Helio Castroneves by 16.

"It's great to head to Belle Isle with the points lead. We need to keep the momentum going with consistency," said Andretti, who last year at Belle Isle advanced from 22nd on the starting grid to finish 11th. "The new layout should be good for passing so we're looking forward to two great races for the fans."

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05/29/13
irl

Coyne to run Conway in Detroit
Long Beach race winner IndyCar driver, Mike Conway will be joining Dale Coyne Racing for a double-header race at Belle Isle this upcoming weekend in Detroit.

Mike Conway, who last drove at Long Beach earlier this year, will be back in his familiar surroundings this weekend for the Grand Prix of Belle Isle.

“I am very thankful for this opportunity with Dale and look forward to having a race weekend where I will have two chances to race with my fellow competitors,” reported Englishman Mike Conway.  “I miss being in the car full time, and teaming with Justin Wilson again will be quite exciting for me.”

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05/29/13
irl

Added Race, New Sponsors To Boost Revenue At Detroit's Belle Isle Grand Prix
The addition of a "second IndyCar Series race for next weekend's Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is predicted by organizers to fuel up to a 10 percent increase in the event's total revenue," according to Bill Shea of Crain's Detroit Detroit Business.

Belle Isle Grand Prix Chair Bud Denker said that corporate sponsorships will "generate millions more in revenue and have increased" 10% over last year. New sponsors "paying for exposure to car enthusiasts and race fans include watchmaker Shinola and vehicle sales sites Cars.com and Autotrader.com." Denker said that Quicken Loans is "upping its financial sponsorship commitment."

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05/29/13
irl

Tony Kanaan's Indy 500 Win Relieves Financial Pressure On KV Racing Team
Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan on Monday said that KV Racing Technology co-Owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser "went into Indianapolis unsure if they'd finish the season" due to a lack of sponsorship, according to Jenna Fryer of the AP.

However, Kanaan's win, which comes with a $2.3M windfall, has "relieved the financial burden" on the team. Kanaan had been "piecing together corporate support since right before the season opener when the team announced Hydroxycut had signed on for nine races." That deal "left five unsponsored" races for the team.

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05/29/13
f1

Lotus firm as Pirelli continues with old tires
(GMM)  Pirelli's move to merely test rather than race its tweaked tires in Canada is almost certainly due to the refusal of some teams to agree.

The rules state that F1's sole tire supplier can only make changes on the grounds of safety or with the unanimous approval of every team.

But it emerged on Wednesday that, despite reportedly wanting to debut tweaked rear tires in Canada that are less likely to delaminate, some teams almost certainly remain opposed on sporting grounds.

The tires, featuring a kevlar rather than a steel internal belt to reduce overheating, will now only be tested in Canada, with Pirelli hoping to debut them in the subsequent British grand prix.

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05/29/13
f1

No Canada debut for Pirelli tire tweak
(GMM)  Tweaked Pirelli tires will not debut next time out in Montreal, it emerged on Wednesday.

Previously, it was believed Bernie Ecclestone had pushed through the planned changes for the Canadian grand prix, despite the opposition of some teams.

"I did it like the old days," the F1 chief executive was quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.  "I told the teams that they should be united.

"Pirelli will modify its tires as planned," Ecclestone added.

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05/29/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday (Updated) UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

Vettel set fastest lap in Monaco at end to prove current Pirelli tires make F1 a parade not a race
05/29/13

  • Big spenders pushing out smaller teams - Mallya
  • Vettel smashed fastest lap after Monaco boredom
  • Sauber slams 'unsportsmanlike' Bottas
  • Marko compares Mercedes test with 2007 'spygate'
  • Pirelli's planned change from steel to Kevlar upsetting to some
  • Domenicali wants Ferrari tire test if Mercedes test was legal
  • Leaked letter reveals teams were warned last year against testing
  • Williams sacks Alex Burns
  • New Pirelli F1 contract "close", says president New
  • Thai Grand Prix attracts opposition New
  • Michael Schumachers onboard lap at the Nordschleife New

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05/29/13
irl

IndyCar needs new shot in South Florida
IndyCar puts on a far better show that NASCAR, and that is EXACTLY the problem.  When NASCAR owns IndyCar then, and only then, will ISC and SMI promote the races to succeed.
[Editor's Note:  This author fails to realize that IndyCar has never and will never succeed at a NASCAR owned facility - arch enemy #1.  Yes IndyCar is a better show and that is exactly the problem, they are not going to help any form of racing that shows up their stock car product.  IndyCar needs to race in Ft. Lauderdale but the streets need widening and no one wants to foot the bill.]

Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 fell only two final green flag laps from being the best of the 97 Indy 500s. Three South Florida residents, led by winner Tony Kanaan, occupied the podium positions.

And IndyCar and Homestead-Miami Speedway can’t iron out differences to get an IndyCar event back at Homestead and make it work?

Granted, the last visual of IndyCar at Homestead couldn’t have been more depressing: about 5,000 fans at a 65,000-seat track despite Penske Racing’s Will Power and that year’s Indy 500 winner, Dario Franchitti, dueling for the 2010 series title. The funereal atmosphere — everybody knew IndyCar wouldn’t be back for at least a few years — that hung over the weekend didn’t help. Franchitti won in a rolling stroll when Power’s lousy night ended with a wall smack.

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05/29/13
irl
ga

Panther/DRR engineer joins 8Star Grand-Am squad
Open-wheel racing engineer Yves Touron has joined 8Star Motorsports as race engineer for its Rolex Grand-Am Series Daytona Prototype program. The Frenchman previously worked with Oriol Servia on the Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing IndyCar squad, which was forced to shutter following the Indianapolis 500 due to lack of sponsorship.

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05/29/13
wec

24 Hours of Le Mans coming up soon
The 90th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is fast approaching. Less than four weeks separates the 56 invited teams from the moment of truth. The competitive dress rehearsals have been held and, while a test weekend still beckons, the top teams know the die has all but been cast. Polishing perfection is the all-consuming challenge for the remaining days leading to the race start at 15:00 CET on Saturday the 22nd of June.

Le Mans Prototypes, particularly the eight competitors in LMP1, take the front row in speculation about the destination of overall honors. The three Audi 'works' or manufacturer teams head into the race with huge confidence following dominant displays at the 6 Hours of Silverstone and Spa Francorchamps earlier this season.

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05/29/13
f1

Monaco postscript
The prestige of the Monaco Grand Prix often tempts sponsors and teams to go that little bit further when it comes to activating deals and this year it was Lotus, one of the sport's more innovative outfits, who led the way. The team carried band-of-the-moment Daft Punk's logos throughout the race weekend as part of its previously announced tie-up with Columbia Records. Unsurprisingly, however, Lotus driver Romain Grosjean’s various accidents and incidents throughout the weekend led some wags to suggest it was less a case of Daft Punk, more ‘daft, punk’.

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05/29/13
irl

Miles: IndyCar won't run Labor Day weekend at IMS because of NHRA
A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Interesting that the Kentucky Derby this year got a 10.4 TV rating… a pretty impressive number for an iconic event.  What is IndyCar's excuse for their record low 3.8 overnight rating? Steve Saddleman

Dear Steve, The problem is simple and easy to resolve.  The Kentucky Derby does not run on a holiday weekend.  It is something we have written about on numerous occasions here at AR1.com.  The Indy 500 TV ratings will continue to plummet until they reach a lowly 1.0 if they do not move the race under the lights on Saturday night.  In today's day and age people are not going to sit in front of a TV on a Sunday afternoon for three hours on Memorial Day weekend.  Just isn't going to happen.  Too many family events that weekend.  So the 'IndyCar blind' can continue to say they can't break tradition and leave the race Sunday afternoon and watch it downward spiral into TV oblivion, or they will move it under the lights on Saturday night and watch the TV ratings double immediately. When it used to run on Sunday night on ABC, TV Share was over 30% (# of households tuned in).  Yes you read that right, not 3.0, thirty as in 30.00 (See related article).  It's that simple really. However, I don't expect they'll change it.  It's tradition after all.  Maybe they can write that on IndyCar's tombstone. Mark C.

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05/29/13
f1

Double Ferrari debut for Kobayashi
Kobayashi with the Ferrari F10 he will drive on Russian streets
The Fiorano track was the scene of Kamui Kobayashi’s first drive at the wheel of a Ferrari Formula 1 car, the F10 with which the Maranello team competed in the World Championship three years ago. Kobayashi has been part of the Ferrari family since March, flying the Prancing Horse flag in GT races. Kobayashi didn’t take long to get to grips with the car in what was a preparatory test for when he will drive it in the Moscow City Racing event, which will see the F1 car shoot through the streets of the Russian capital over the weekend of 21 July.

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05/29/13
irl

IMS apologizes for parking, crowd movement issues before Indianapolis 500 (Update) UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I was glad to see the report about IMS apologizing for the crowd flow issues on Sunday.  I arrived an hour and a half before the green flag and finally got to my seat on lap 103. 

Will-call at the Northwest Vista was downright scary. We stood in line for well over two hours.  People were pushing and shoving to the point that folks were having panic attacks.  Several fights broke out when idiots started cutting in line.  Finally the state police shut the whole thing down until two distinct lines were formed, something they should have done to begin with.

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05/29/13
irl

Miles: IndyCar won't run Labor Day weekend at IMS because of NHRA
NHRA star Courtney Force visited with the Chip Ganassi team on Carb Day
Relax, NHRA fans. The new CEO of the Indianapolis 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway respects you and drag racing.

Specifically: Despite widespread reports in recent weeks that the Speedway might host the 2014 Izod IndyCar series finale on its road course on Labor Day weekend -- the date of the U.S. Nationals at nearby Lucas Oil (Indianapolis) Raceway Park since 1961 -- that's not going to happen.

"Drag racing fans don't have to worry about that," Mark Miles told CompetitionPlus.com Friday afternoon during a lengthy interview in his Speedway office.

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05/28/13
f1

Unanswered questions remain over illegal Mercedes tire test
Why do Pirelli and Mercedes believe the test was legal?
Both Pirelli and Mercedes insist they received permission from the governing body to run the test prior to its staging and that, despite the ban on in-season testing, the test was legal because, as the FIA have themselves acknowledged, Pirelli have authorization to run 1000km of testing with any team.

But if the FIA admit there is a stipulation within the rules to run a tire test, why the threat of further sanctions?
Because, as ever, the devil is in the detail. According to the FIA, the test would only have been permitted had a) 'Pirelli, as opposed to the team that would provide the car and driver', carried out the test and b) every other team was offered an equal opportunity to take part.

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05/28/13
f1
irl

Monaco GP TV Rating (Update) UPDATE NBC’s live broadcast of the Monaco Grand Prix this past Sunday morning was watched by nearly 1.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched Formula One™ race on U.S. television in six years, and up 241% vs. last year’s race, which aired on SPEED, according to Fast National data provided today by The Nielsen Company.

The Monaco Grand Prix (7:59-10:30 a.m. ET/4:59-7:30 a.m. PT), which was broadcast live on U.S. network television for the first time, was watched by 1.456 million viewers and scored a 1.0 household rating. It is the most-watched F1 race on U.S. television in six years, since FOX broadcast the Canadian Grand Prix in the afternoon in 2007 (6/10/07, 1.494 million).

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05/28/13
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NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 TV Rating (Update) UPDATE Fox earned a 4.1 overnight for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night, flat compared to the rating for last year’s race. The NASCAR race had strong competition from TNT’s Heat-Pacers Game 3, which drew a 5.5 overnight.

05/28/13 The overnight TV rating for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Coca-Cola 600 Sunday night on Fox for adults 18 to 49 was a 1.9/6 share with 6.98 million viewers watching.  This is down 10 percent from a 2.1 'adult'  final rating for last year's race on Sunday, May 27, 2012, but even with last year's fast nationals.  That coupled with the massive number of empty seats at the track does not bode well for NASCAR's recovery.

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05/28/13
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Justin Marks to Make NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Debut
Justin Marks will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in next month's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. Marks will continue his long-standing relationship with GoPro, piloting the No. 7 GoPro Chevrolet SS in the road course race for Tommy Baldwin Racing.

Marks has previous NASCAR stock car experience, competing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series as well as the ARCA Racing Series, earning a total of one win, five poles, 12 top fives and 30 top-10 finishes across the three series.

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05/28/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday (Updated) UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

05/28/13
  • Kobayashi is a Ferrari driver now
    No engine price drop for 2014 - Renault
  • Rival teams not asked about 'secret' Mercedes test
  • Kobayashi tested Ferrari at Fiorano
  • Raikkonen delivers punchy quote after Perez run-in
  • Hamilton hits back at Vettel's 'silver buses' jibe
  • Di Resta signed new deal on eve of Monaco GP
  • Boullier will have a word with Grosjean
  • Grosjean: Ricciardo at fault in tangle
  • Chilton unaware of Maldonado's position
  • Buemi the key to Red Bull's Monaco turnaround New
  • Valsecchi 'not yet' in line for Grosjean's seat New
  • Prost resigned to Vettel's quadruple success New
  • Suspension failure caused Massa's crash in the Monaco GP New

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05/28/13
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France calls the Air Titan track drying system a success
NASCAR chairman Brian France said during a Saturday state-of-union address that the new Air Titan track drying system has been a success, particularly at Talladega Superspeedway where it allowed Saturday's Nationwide Series race and Sunday's Sprint Cup event to be completed on the same day.

So why doesn't every track have the system? France said NASCAR, which owns the right to Air Titan, is in the process of educating tracks on the cost savings from getting the event completed on the scheduled day versus the cost of purchasing the machines.

"In fairness to different tracks, they hadn't seen that work in a real live condition [before Talladega],'' France said. "Now they have. My hope is that we will get the cost down, number one, and that every track who is in risk of having rain will be using the system.''' ESPN

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05/28/13
irl

Servia finishes 11th for Panther DRR’s likely last start of 2013
Oriol Servia
Tony Kanaan was as popular a winner as you’ll see at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But few would have begrudged his longtime competitor Oriol Servia a chance to drink the milk in what was likely his and the Panther DRR’s team last start of the 2013 season.

Servia did his typical “hang around the fringes of the top 10 without ever being noticed on camera” act in the No. 22 Mecum Auctions Chevrolet. Come half distance, he’d snuck into the top 10, got as high as seventh, and was doing well to position himself for another top-five result.

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05/28/13
irl

A great day for Tony Kanaan and IndyCar racing
After a long, arduous journey that took him from Brazil to Europe and finally to America, Tony Kanaan came through for a very popular win in the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, realizing a lifelong dream. In one of the most scintillating Indy car races ever run, Kanaan averaged 187.433 mph, the fastest Indianapolis 500 in history. There were a race-record 68 lead changes among fourteen drivers, which was also a record.

For the sport of Indy car racing and the INDYCAR organization Sunday's race couldn't have come at a more opportune time. The racing enthusiast public, the NASCAR-centric American sports media and the global racing audience witnessed a magnificent Indianapolis 500. It was the kind of memorable race that served as a reminder to everyone that when INDYCAR is on its game, there are few other forms of racing that can compete with it.

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05/28/13
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Study Confirms Value of Sports Sponsorships to National Guard Recruiting
JR Hildebrand in the Army National Guard car
IndyCar/IMS
A respected independent research firm has confirmed the value that professional sports sponsorships provide the National Guard in recruiting and retaining high-quality soldiers. Alan Newman Research of Richmond, Va., found that 90% of Army National Guard soldiers who enlisted or re-enlisted since 2007 were exposed to the Guard through recruiting or retention materials featuring NASCAR (Earnhardt Jr.) and IndyCars (Hildebrand) and/or drivers.

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05/28/13
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France and Hulman-George families honored
The France family and the Hulman-George family were honored Saturday with the Bob Russo Founders award for dedication to auto racing, in a ceremony during Speedweeks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Bill France Sr. founded NASCAR in 1947 and later built Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. Son Bill France Jr. took over as NASCAR's president in 1972 and was the driving force into making NASCAR the country's most popular racing series.

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05/28/13
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Coca Cola 600 Red Flagged After SkyCam Falls (3rd Update) UPDATE #3 Charlotte Motor Speedway said 10 fans were injured Sunday at the Coca-Cola 600 and three of them were taken to the hospital after a nylon rope supporting a Fox Sports overhead television camera fell from the grandstands and landed on the track surface. CMS vice president of communications Scott Cooper said after the race that all three fans were treated and released from the hospital. He said he couldn't discuss the nature of their injuries due to privacy laws. Cooper said seven other people were treated with minor cuts and scrapes at the track and released. Associated Press

05/27/13 FOX Sports issued the following statement today: Everyone at FOX Sports is relieved and thankful to know that the injuries to fans caused when CAMCAT malfunctioned Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway were minor, and those who received hospital treatment were released last night.  As stated previously, we regret that the race was affected, and we apologize to the racers whose cars were damaged, to everyone at CMS, NASCAR, and NASCAR fans, especially those who were hurt.  At this time, we still do not have a cause for what happened, but a full investigation is underway, and use of the camera is suspended indefinitely.

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05/28/13
irl

Arrests up at Indy 500
If you’ve been hoping the Indianapolis Motor Speedway would recapture some of its, er, more “colorful” charms from years past, the 2013 Indianapolis 500 weekend showed signs of promise.

Most notable: Police reported nine arrests for public indecency or public nudity.

State excise police and Speedway police also made 168 arrests for illegal possession of alcohol, public intoxication and furnishing alcohol to minors. That’s more than the 125 tickets issued last year by excise police for all infractions.

There also were 20 drug arrests: possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana or possession of paraphernalia.

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05/28/13
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f1

Honda's F1 Return In '15 Has No Effect On World Touring Car Championship Involvement
Japanese car manufacturer Honda recently announced its return to F1 as McLaren's engine supplier starting in '15, however the comeback "has no effect on Honda's World Touring Car Championship involvement," according to Stefan Ziegler of Motorsports Total.

Honda Motorsport Dir William de Braekeleer said, "We won't stop our WTCC involvement just because we return to F1. We are still very determined to win the championship. That's the goal." He added that the F1 project could "only be positive" for it. De Braekeleer: "It is the same technology. Both series use turbo engines with direct injection. I think both projects will profit for each other." Motorsports Total

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05/28/13
f1

Big TV audience for Monaco GP
The SID reported German free-to-air TV channel RTL "recorded top ratings with its broadcast of Sunday's Monaco F1 race." A peak audience of 8.56 million viewers tuned in to watch Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg's victory. RTL attracted an average of 7.47 million viewers to its broadcast, which equaled a 36.3% market share. [This is just in Germany.  If you add up all the other countries around the world, it is possible close to 100 million watched the Monaco GP.] SID

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05/28/13
f1

Formula One’s $12bn flotation on track (Update) UPDATE In London, Sylt & Reid reported CVC "is planning to pay a dividend of about" $290M after the motorsport company lists its shares on the Singapore Stock Exchange. The flotation prospectus for F1 reveals that "once the business is listed it is expected to pay a dividend of 80pc of its adjusted total security-holder benefit" -- the net profit after factoring out inter-company loans. This came to $358.3M on revenue of $1.5B in '11, according to F1's most recently filed accounts, putting the 80% dividend at $286.6M. Telegraph

05/18/13 Formula One’s proposed flotation on the Singapore stock exchange is still on track to be completed in the next twelve months.

Despite rumors recently circulating that private equity firm CVC was looking at postponing the flotation for a second time, a source close to the company has confirmed that everything is going to plan.

The source told The Guardian that CVC “isn’t planning to sell more stakes before the float,” with the company selling 28.4% of the sport for $2.1bn. The initial date set for the flotation was June 2012, but this was postponed due to the ensuing Eurozone financial crisis. However, the source believes that F1 has increased in value in the meantime.

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05/28/13
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Whitmarsh believes that F1 is in cost ‘crisis’ (Update) UPDATE F1 "is in crisis as it faces up to" a $2B bill that "it cannot afford to pay and which could spell the end for a number of teams," according to Paul Weaver of the London Guardian. The warning came "from one of the sport's biggest players," McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh, who is also chairman of the Formula One Teams' Association, on the eve of the Monaco Grand Prix. The teams, which "are absorbing the terms of the next Concorde Agreement, are already angry" that the private equity firm CVC Capital, which holds a controlling stake in F1, takes out more than half of the sport's $1.5B income.

With so much money going out, the teams "cannot cope with rising costs" and Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley claimed CVC is "the worst thing that had happened to the sport." The 11 teams "pay a fortune to be involved in" F1. Whitmarsh said the situation "really is a threat to the sport." He added, "I cannot see in their shoes [the seven smaller teams] how you can construct a sustainable business model."

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05/27/13
irl

Mario Andretti: Current TV package is the only thing keeping IndyCar from mainstream
Mario Andretti
Mario Andretti says IndyCar racing is better than it ever has been, but a stronger television package would help deliver it to a wider audience.

Mario Andretti believes the IndyCar Series is on the right path to returning North American open-wheel racing to the glory of days gone by.

While he would like to see speeds increase to challenge the current Indianapolis Motor Speedway track record of 237.49 mph, he feels the only thing preventing the Series from capturing the imagination of the mass audience is a better television package.

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05/27/13
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Tony Stewart on Ricky Stenhouse: 'I'd choke him right now'
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. used to drive open-wheel cars for Tony Stewart. The two friends even joke about how many torn up chassis from Stenhouse’s wrecks now serve as artificial reefs on Stewart’s property. But that doesn’t mean it’s all friends on the race track, and Stewart was apparently angry at Stenhouse on Sunday night following the Coca-Cola 600.

Late in the race, Stenhouse slid into Stewart-Haas Racing driver Danica Patrick, who then had contact with Brad Keselowski, damaging Keselowski beyond repair and ruining a potentially good run for Patrick.

Oh, did we mention that Patrick is Stenhouse’s girlfriend?  Ricky Stenhouse, I'd choke him right now if I could get to him," Stewart told Sirius XM Radio, according to a USA Today report. "One more lap of having to mess around with him ... "

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05/27/13
irl

Kanaan Earns $2.3 Million For Winning 97th Indianapolis 500
Kanaan and wife Lauren pose for the traditional morning after photo shoot with the Borg Warner trophy
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, May 27, 2013 - Tony Kanaan earned $2,353,355 from an overall purse of $12,020,065 for his victory Sunday, May 26 in the 97th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Brazil native Kanaan, who started 12th, set a record winning speed of 187.433 mph, breaking the previous mark of 185.981 set by Arie Luyendyk in 1990. Kanaan won "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" for the first time in 12 career starts, tying an event record for earning a victory latest in a driver's Indy 500 career. The other driver to win the race for the first time in his 12th career start was Sam Hanks in 1957.

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05/27/13
irl

Disagrees with 'Thin Ice' article
Dear Ar1.com, In response to the Stephen Cox article: I don't particularly like spec cars either, but dear God, we just witnessed one of the greatest 500s in history. More than 10 cars with a legitimate chance to win it with 10 laps left, nearly 70 passes for the lead (without it ever looking like NASCAR-like 'pack' racing or commentators secretly promoting 'the big one') a green flag stretch of more than 100 laps which helped break a 23 year old Indy 500 speed record (sorry Arie), a team outside the big buck 'top 3' scoring an extremely popular victory for a 'hard luck' Champion by doing things the old fashioned way, starting their 500 preparation with a dedicated 'Indy Special' race car last fall.

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05/27/13
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Video Highlights Tony Kanaan wins first Indy 500


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05/27/13
irl

Video: Tony Kanaan Emotional Interview After Indy 500 Win


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05/27/13
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Video: Danica Patrick Crashes with Boyfriend Stenhouse
Watch highlights of Danica Patrick slamming into the back of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Brad Keselowski, sending them all into the outside wall. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wasn’t going to allow Danica Patrick to come between him and Brad Keselowski on Sunday night. Unfortunately, Patrick, his girlfriend, and Keselowski received the worst of it as Stenhouse took his fellow drivers three-wide on the Lap 319 restart in the Coca-Cola 600.

Stenhouse bumped off of Patrick and sent her spinning into Keselowski’s rear quarter panel to ignite the eighth caution of the Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“I’m all right,” Keselowski said. “I didn’t know we were three-wide, dude.”

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05/27/13
irl

Kanaan makes front page of the Chevy website
In today's USA racing world of NASCAR domination, it is good to see that Tony Kanaan made the front page of the Chevy website.  The Indy 500 was a great race and much better than the Coca Cola 600.  Did anyone notice all the empty seats at the 600? Attendance appeared down 50% from just a few years ago.

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05/27/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Felipe Massa
    Massa to recover in time for Canada
  • FIA not ruling out penalties after secret test
  • Money and driver trouble for Lotus
  • Pirelli 'approaching' 2014 F1 contract - president
  • Alonso: Only McLaren can be happy with Perez
  • Raikkonen: Sergio Perez should be punched

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