AJ Foyt embarrassed by team's performance SundayUPDATE Here is Paul Tracy's take on things....
06/01/09 Embarrassing. That is the only word (well the only word fit for print) to describe my team’s performance in the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt 225 Indy car race at the Milwaukee Mile this weekend. Making things worse is that the race is named in honor of me and sponsored by our team sponsor who brought in over 600 guests to cheer us on.
Paul Tracy talks to Chief Engineer Adam Schaechter (L) and AJ Foyt (R)
We hired Paul Tracy to fill in for our driver Vitor Meira who was hurt at Indy. Paul has won four times at Milwaukee so he knows how to get around that race track, a flat one mile oval that can be very tricky. We knew it was a tough position for any driver to step into so we hired the best guy available. But not even the best driver can get around a track when the car is handling as bad as our car was this past weekend.
With the short amount of track time you get (two hours in our case) the car better be in the ballpark set-up wise. Our car wasn’t and we fuddled around with it for two practice sessions. For qualifying we went in a totally different direction. Hey, I figured we couldn’t get any worse and we might find something. We did because Paul ran his four quickest laps in qualifying with a set-up he hadn’t tried until that qualifying run.
Head of USADA calls Danica Patrick ''totally irresponsible"
As underscored by our weekly NASCAR Cheating report, Cheating to try and beat the rulebook is widespread in NASCAR, which is where Patrick is rumored to possibly be going
IndyCar racer Danica Patrick insists she was joking when she said using performance-enhancing drugs would only be cheating if she got caught.
Not so funny, says the leader of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
USADA CEO Travis Tygart said Patrick's comments, printed in Monday's edition of Sports Illustrated, were "totally irresponsible."
"In one interview, she undercut what millions of parents try their best to teach their kids everyday in this country, that winners never cheat and cheaters never win," Tygart said. In an interview with Dan Patrick published in Sports Illustrated, Danica Patrick was asked, if she could take a performance-enhancing drug and not get caught, would she do it if it allowed her to win the Indianapolis 500.
"Well, then it's not cheating, is it? If nobody finds out?" she said.
Dan Patrick responded: "So you would do it?"
Danica's answer: "Yeah, it would be like finding a gray area. In motorsports, we work in the gray areas a lot. You're trying to find where the holes are in the rule book."
GM receives OK to continue Vehicle Protection and Incentive programs General Motors Corporation today reported that it has received U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval to continue honoring all vehicle warranty programs and dealer incentive plans. This and other Court orders today enable GM to assure consumers that warranty coverage on GM vehicles will continue without interruption, whether they already own a GM vehicle or intend to buy a new one; that genuine GM parts will be supplied; and that GM-trained Goodwrench specialists will perform all services.
The Court also granted approval for GM to access a new approximately $33.3 billion debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing facility from the U.S. Treasury and the Canadian and Ontario governments. The court authorized GM to use up to $15 billion of the facility on an interim basis pending a final order approving the full facility. This credit facility will be used, among other things, for the company’s normal liquidity requirements, including employee wages, healthcare benefits, supplier payments, and other operating expenses.
Ford statement on GM bankruptcy DEARBORN, Mich., June 1, 2009 – Today's announcement that GM is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is another important development during this unprecedented period for the auto industry and the global economy.
The Ford team continues to monitor the industry environment and plan for all contingencies to ensure our transformation plan remains on track. At this time, we do not expect any major disruptions to our operations as a result of today's news.
RML explains why it did not submit F1 entry Ray Mallock Ltd (RML) has revealed that its failure to submit an entry into Formula 1’s new ‘low-cost’, budget-capped era in 2010 was prompted by the ongoing ‘uncertainty’ over the exact details regarding the cap – but it has refused to rule out graduation to the top flight at a later stage.
‘During the last ten weeks, RML Group have evaluated the exciting opportunity offered by the FIA to potential new Formula 1 entrants, and prepared an application to join the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in 2010,’ read an official statement.
‘Our analysis indicated that the technical and financial regulations as published by the FIA on 30 April were extremely well-suited to our organization, whose attributes have attracted many motor manufacturers to partner with RML over the past 25 years and yielded numerous international and national sportscar, touring car and rally championships. In this process, we also enjoyed significant interest from prospective partners attracted by the FIA’s proposed changes.
‘However, the recent uncertainty regarding the details of the application of the budget cap and participation of the other teams and manufacturers has meant that we were not in a position to lodge an entry prior to the 29 May deadline. Nevertheless, RML remain open to participating in Formula 1 in the future and will monitor developments closely. In the meantime, we wish to express our appreciation for the efforts of the FIA and Formula One Management to create the conditions for a new approach to grand prix racing and secure the future of the sport.’
Raikkonen to do more rallies in 2009 (GMM) Kimi Raikkonen's affair with the world of professional rallying is not over for this year, his co-driver has revealed.
After two outings in the winter, the Ferrari driver crashed out of his latest foray last weekend in the Rally della Marca, again at the wheel of his own Fiat Abarthe Grande Punto.
But Kaj Lindstrom, who also famously sat alongside multiple world rally champion Tommi Makinen's career, told wrc.com that the 29-year-old Finn's impact with a stone wall was triggered by a handling problem due to a broken differential.
"Looking forward, yeah, there is a plan," he revealed. "I'd say it's most likely he will do more rallies this year."
Broken thigh bone for Pedrosa The Repsol Honda team has released a statement confirming the extent of Dani Pedrosa's fresh injuries following his accident in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix. The crash was the latest in a series for the Spaniard, who has not yet completed his recovery after a huge accident in Germany last year.'Pedrosa had started the race injured after a big rear wheel slide and subsequent shake from his bike in Saturday morning's practice session caused the unlucky Spaniard to incur severe stretching in his right hip. The scans today also showed that the initial diagnosis at the circuit on Saturday had been correct and that Pedrosa had pulled the gluteus medius muscle, which caused a small crack in the greater trochanter (thigh) bone where the muscle attaches.
'Pedrosa had started the race injured after a big rear wheel slide and subsequent shake from his bike in Saturday morning's practice session caused the unlucky Spaniard to incur severe stretching in his right hip. The scans today also showed that the initial diagnosis at the circuit on Saturday had been correct and that Pedrosa had pulled the gluteus medius muscle, which caused a small crack in the greater trochanter (thigh) bone where the muscle attaches.
Chrysler sale to Fiat approved Chrysler LLC won court approval late Sunday night to sell its best assets to Italy's Fiat SpA, clearing the way for a new Chrysler-Fiat alliance to begin operating in the coming days.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez approved the asset sale and tie-up with Fiat in a 47-page opinion, after hearing more than 30 hours of testimony.
"The only other alternative is the immediate liquidation of the company," Gonzalez wrote, although he will still hear objections from many of the 789 dealers that Chrysler wants to close later this month.
Eurointernational to run BMW Pacific Eurointernational Group is pleased to announce today that will enter the last three events of the 2008 Formula BMW Pacific Championship starting at the Singapore F1 GP on Sept.25-27, 2009, to continue with the WTCC event at Okayama, Japan on Oct.30-Nov.1 ending in Macau on Nov.20-22, at the famous WTCC and F3 international event.
Eurointernational Group is planning to enter at least 3 FBMW cars at these three events but will be able to increase the number of entries, giving priority to Team drivers entered already in the FBMW Europe and Americas Championship, adding further cars following the requests already received from several drivers.
Castroneves on Late Show with David Letterman Helio Castroneves, Penske Racing, winner of the 2009 Indy 500, will be a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight, Monday, June 1. The show airs at 11:30 pm – 12:35 am ET/PT on CBS. Please check your local listings for your time zone.
GM officially files for bankruptcy General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM) today announced that it has reached agreements with the U.S. Treasury and the governments of Canada and Ontario to accelerate its reinvention and create a leaner, stronger "New GM". Pending approvals, the New GM is expected to launch in about 60 to 90 days as a separate and independent company from the current GM ("GM"), with two distinct advantages: it will be built from only GM's best brands and operations, and it will be supported by a stronger balance sheet due to a significantly lower debt burden and operating cost structure than before. The New GM will incorporate the terms of GM's recent agreements with the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) unions and will be led by GM's current management team.
Dixon takes over IndyCar point lead Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon recorded the team’s 67th open wheel win Sunday at The Milwaukee Mile, giving the defending IndyCar Series champion the point lead heading into next weekend’s race in Texas where he is also the defending race winner. Teammate Dario Franchitti gave the Target team a double podium finish with his third place result in the No.10 TomTom car.
After finishing second in last year’s event to Ryan Briscoe, Dixon turned the tables on his Team Penske rival with a three-wide pass for the lead on lap 201 of the 225-lap event. With the win, Dixon became the first driver to go to victory lane for the second time in 2009.
Plug-in Hybrid Toyota Prius to attempt 1,100 mile trip The Advanced Vehicle Research Center (AVRC) announces that a Toyota Prius converted to a plug-in hybrid vehicle by AVRC will attempt a 1,100 mile run from North Palm Beach to Washington, DC on 1 tank of gas. The vehicle is owned by Earl Stewart Toyota of North Palm Beach and will be driven by Rick Kearney, a Toyota Hybrid-Certified Master Diagnostic Technician.
The plug-in hybrid Prius, called the Electric Green Machine, will be leaving Earl Stewart Toyota of North Palm Beach, FL at noon on Monday, June 1, anticipating arrival in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, June 11. In a ceremony at 11:30 a.m., Monday, June 1, the fuel tank of the Electric Green Machine will be filled and then sealed with a tamper-proof cover. Upon its arrival in Washington, D.C., it will be verified that the fuel tank has not been opened and the trip has been completed on one tank of gas. The Electric Green Machine is expected to be near Raleigh on June 8, 2009.
Hendrick doesn't expect GM Bankruptcy to effect racing Rick Hendrick met with members of the media at the conclusion of the race at Dover, on item discussed: CAN YOU DISCUSS GENERAL MOTORS AND WHAT IS EXPECTED TO COME DOWN TOMORROW, JUNE 1ST, AS YOU UNDERSTAND IT? “From what I’ve heard, and I don’t know a lot more than what you read in the media, but if they do file for Bankruptcy tomorrow, which all indications are that they will, it’s kind of a planned get-in, get-out situation. I’ve got a lot of faith in GM and especially Chevrolet. I’ve been with them for a long, long time. Our business is good; the products are good. And this economic downturn we’ve had has hurt everybody. It’s hurt every manufacturer; Toyota and everybody else. But I think some people, maybe their pockets were deeper than others. But I feel like we’re going to be good and we’re going to be okay. They’ve got great products right now so I’m hoping that if it happens, that they’ll get in and get out in a hurry and we’ll just take it a day at a time.”
Mario Andretti is the only driver in history to win a major race in five different decades. He says that is a testament to luck and divine intervention. What he left out was that it takes a driver of unparalleled talent and desire to be that good for that long. He is also the only driver to be named Driver of the Year in three different decades.
But not only was Andretti winning races for a long time, he was winning all kinds of races in all kinds of cars. He has won the Indy 500, Daytona 500, 12 Hours of Sebring, and he won his class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He is a four-time Champ Car national champion, USAC dirt track national champion and a Formula One world champion.
We caught up with Andretti after last week's Indy 500.
Trading Paint: Talk about the atmosphere at the Indy 500, what's it like?
Mario Andretti: I think it’s very tense and exciting at the same time. It’s a very important event, from a career standpoint it carries so much importance. For a young driver it can change the direction of your career.
TP: They say the Indy 500 is the greatest race in the world, what was it like to win it?
MA: I felt relief, if you will. I was relieved in a sense because I wanted it so bad. It’s the race you really strive for and people remember you for it. I finished third in 1965 and I was rookie of the year. I also won my first national championship and I was the youngest driver to do so. But I made an appearance on the Johnny Carson show and they introduced me as the driver who finished third at the Indy 500. That’s when I realized how much everyone identified with that one race.
Generali ups involvement in MotoGP Generali, which has also signed a deal with Ducati in the last few days, will be title sponsor of the final round of motor cycling's top-tier MotoGP series in Valencia in November for an estimated $600K.
The move will also include trackside advertising and corporate hospitality at a number of other MotoGP races.
"We are very happy that a company like Generali, with a presence in over 60 countries, has come to an agreement to use MotoGP as a promotional and communication platform," said Dorna Sports managing director Pau Serracanta. "It is a particularly interesting agreement for us, as we welcome a new sector – that of insurance."
A statement from Generali: "The MotoGP World Championship is an ideal sponsorship context, perfectly matching with the international scope of the Generali Group which is glad to title with its brand the highly attended final round of this season."
Raikkonen crashes out of tarmac rally (GMM) Kimi Raikkonen at the weekend crashed out of his latest foray into the world of professional rallying.
The Ferrari driver, having entered two rounds of the Finnish rally championship in the winter, entered the same Tommi Makinen-prepared Fiat Abarthe Grande Punto into the Rally della Marca.
But on the third stage (SS3) of the event in northern Italy's Treviso region, while running 8th in his category, he crashed and struck a rock verge, terminally damaging the right rear corner of his white car.
Before the event, the Finn thanked Ferrari for giving him permission to compete.
"I really enjoy myself (rallying) and it will be my first experience on tarmac after some tests on snow last winter," Raikkonen had said.
"As I'm coming from the race track it will be interesting to see what I will be able to do behind the wheel on the roads."
Two more new teams filed 2010 entries (GMM) Two more prospective small entrants are reported to have signed up to compete in next year's formula one world championship.
While nine of the current teams lodged only conditional entries before last Friday's deadline, former champions Williams as well as new entrants USF1, Campos, Lola, Prodrive and Litespeed confirmed the filing of their official paperwork.
At the weekend, it then emerged that the veteran of nearly 70 grands prix Alex Wurz is bidding to run a team next year, to be called Team Superfund in deference to the Austrian investment company.
Also reportedly hoping for a spot on the 2010 grid is the iconic team name March, which while founded by a group involving Max Mosley in 1969 has been controlled since 1992 by Andrew Fitton.
Should the nine active FOTA teams ultimately be granted berths on next year's grid, then at least half of the hopeful new teams will not be green-lighted by the FIA.
The governing body's 2010 entry list, to feature a maximum of thirteen team names, will be published on June 12.
"It's never Junior; it's always the crew chief. He's [Dale Jr.'s new crew chief, Lance McGrew] got his hands full, I guess, having to deal with what's going on. And if Junior doesn't run well, then he [McGrew] is going to be the 'problem' again. You've got to make the most popular driver in the sport competitive, so you gotta do what you gotta do, I guess." Kyle Busch, NASCAR driver, Joe Gibbs Racing, commenting on the dismissal of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew chief, Tony Eury Jr.
"The fact that Mayfield is taking this approach raises two questions: is he incredibly innocent or is he incredibly crazy?" Dave Grayson, NASCAR journalist, commenting on Jeremy Mayfield's disregard for the restrictions of his suspension, and his contradiction of information released by NASCAR, after he failed a random drug test. Mayfield is now considering legal action against NASCAR and Aegis Sciences Corporation.
"So the drivers nowadays have big attitudes and they're highly confident in themselves, never think they're wrong about anything. I think if I did some of the stuff that goes on on the tracks today at the age of some of these young kids, running guys, you know, down into the grass and into the pit wall, I mean, if I did that when I was 21, 22 years old to a guy like A.J. or Mario, they'd come down and pull me behind the garage and kick the crap out of me." Paul Tracy, IndyCar driver, commenting during a press conference with A.J. Foyt about driving for Foyt's team at Milwaukee
Dixon will soon surpass Hornish Jr. Scott Dixon earns his second victory of the season and his 18th career IndyCar Series victory Sunday in Milwaukee. He also won at Kansas this season. He is the first driver to win for the second time in 2009 and now ranks second all-time in the IRL with 18 victories. With one more victory, he will tie Sam Hornish Jr. for the most in IndyCar Series history.
Big crowd in Milwaukee Today's attendance for the AJ Foyt 225 at the Milwaukee Mile appears to be the biggest crowd since before Tony George split IndyCar racing by forming the IRL in 1995. No official numbers yet, but something north of 40,000 appears about right.
Romancini goes wire-to-wire to win Indy Lights race Polesitter Mario Romancini led all 100 laps of the Husar's House of Fine Diamonds 100 Sunday at the Milwaukee Mile to give RLR/Andersen Racing its second Firestone Indy Lights victory ever.
The 21-year-old driver from Sao Paulo, Brazil impressed everyone with his come-from-behind podium finish at the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway nine days ago. This time the rookie made the crowd on hand in Milwaukee take notice of his total domination of the event, even though he never turned a lap here before Saturday morning's first practice session and this was only his third oval-track race ever.
Romancini's No. 5, which is sponsored by Andersen Racing, Revita Recycling, Win Brazil Marketing, Allied Interior Products and Lafarge North America, had a 1.0907-second advantage over a former RLR/Andersen Racing driver, J.R. Hildebrand, when the checkered waved after 100 laps of competition on the tight, 1.015-mile oval.
Romancini also set the fastest lap of the race when his lap 13 took 25.3397 seconds for an average speed of 144.201 miles per hour.
Robert Wickens took a lights to flag victory in the second race of the FIA Formula Two Championship this afternoon (Sunday) at Valencia, Spain.
Italian Mirko Bortolotti finished in second, with Philipp Eng completing the podium placings. The trio received their trophies from Patrick Head, Director of Engineering at the AT&T Williams F1 Team.
Wickens got a clean start from pole, but soon came under pressure from Red Bull teammate Mirko Bortolotti. Andy Soucek made a poor start from second on the grid, and was passed off the line by Bortolotti, Philipp Eng and Nicola De Marco. Soucek was back up to fourth by the end of the opening lap after making a good move past De Marco.
Bortolotti tried everything to force Wickens into a mistake, but by the middle phase of the 17 lap encounter, both drivers settled into their respective positions. Behind the Red Bull pairing, Soucek was putting Eng under intense pressure for third. The 19-year-old Austrian held strong to take his maiden podium in F2, whilst Soucek had to settle for fourth. De Marco stayed in close contention throughout and crossed the line in an impressive fifth place, having seen off the attentions of Mikhail Aleshin - the Russian completing a top six result for all three Red Bull Junior drivers.
In the second flag-to-flag race in two rounds Casey Stoner ended Valentino Rossi’s Mugello winning streak with a polished performance to give Ducati their first ever victory at the circuit.
Much of the race came down to tactics again in front of the 80,000-strong Italian crowd as the riders once more started on a wet surface and completed the 23 lap contest on slicks, with Stoner this time judging things to perfection.
The Australian retook the championship lead as he crossed the line a second in front of former leader Jorge Lorenzo, who also rode well after the scare of crashing on the sighting lap.
Lorenzo’s Fiat Yamaha colleague Valentino Rossi completed the podium in third place as his seven-year wining run at his beloved home track came to an end, the Italian hero crossing the line two seconds behind Stoner and less than one tenth in front of Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso.
It was a shame for Dovizioso to miss out on the rostrum on the last lap once again, having held the race lead early on, on wet tires. Likewise, his compatriot Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) was leading at one stage – later in the race – but he fell away in the final laps to finish fifth.
Webber hopes for breakthrough wins in 2009 (GMM) Mark Webber is certain he will record his breakthrough grand prix victory in 2009.
The 32-year-old Australian is only 3.5 points behind his highly rated young teammate Sebastian Vettel, who after winning the Chinese grand prix last month was named as perhaps Jenson Button's most serious threat for the 2009 title.
"I really do think I'll win a grand prix this year and hopefully more than one because for the first time in my career, I think I've the chance to do that," Webber said.
Andretti still upset over crash at Indy Vitor Meira and Raphael Matos have reconciled since crashing together in last week's Indianapolis 500. Mario Moraes and Marco Andretti have not. Moraes and Andretti have not talked to one another since their first-turn accident at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and by the sound of it, they don't plan to.
"I sent him a text message, but he didn't reply to me," Moraes said Saturday at the Milwaukee Mile. "I have nothing to say (to him)."
Andretti said the text didn't come to him, but he isn't worried about discussing the accident that saw them collide off the first turn with Andretti on the outside.
Moraes said a radio malfunction kept him from hearing his spotter say Andretti was alongside him, but he still thinks Andretti could have prevented the contact.
IndyCar teams express support for their cash cow Last night at Milwaukee, the 12 teams participating in the full IndyCar season released a statement reiterating that George had their full backing.
"During the past week there have been many rumors and innuendos about our CEO Tony George," said the statement.
"We, the IndyCar team owners, want to express our full support to Tony. As an innovator and leader of our sport, he continually strives to help and improve IndyCar racing, and for that we are exceptionally grateful."
Beatriz out of money, parked After reading over the rather small Firestone Indy Lights entry list for the Milwaukee Mile, you will notice that Sam Schmidt Motorsports ride-buyer Ana Beatriz is notably absent. She's out of funding caused by recent huge crash damage bills.
The nine teams currently making up the Formula One Teams Association signed up for the 2010 Formula One season ahead of the deadline for entries – although with conditions attached.
Following that announcement, Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali gave his reaction to the news…
Q: The FOTA press release talks of conditional entries: what does that mean?
Stefano Domenicali: It’s very simple. The nine teams – Williams membership having been suspended – that currently make up FOTA, have put in entries for the 2010 championship that will only be valid if the Concorde Agreement is signed and if the regulations will be those currently in use, but modified as per FOTA’s suggestions. The action taken yesterday is completely in keeping with Ferrari’s principles, as stated at the Main Board meeting on 12 May and with those of FOTA.
Q: What will happen if these conditions are not met?
Stefano Domenicali: Once again, the answer is simple: the entries from the nine teams will be invalid.
Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing's Robert Doornbos invites all the nose-in-the-air F1 types from F1 to try their hand at oval racing. They would be surprised at how hard it is.
“We were a bit too risky on the gearing. Our gear was definitely too long and you don’t want to be shifting at this place. Unfortunately it didn’t work out. I go from one surprise to another on these ovals because they have all been different so far. I want to invite all my mates from Europe, in F1 or whatever series, to try this because it is so different from what I am used to. Every weekend is a new surprise. I got dizzy actually this morning after the first couple of laps.
"The car changes every lap in the race. I wish everyone had an on-board camera to show how much work we do on every lap during the race -- especially here. I’m going to be a busy man in the race. People in the US love the oval racing and I am starting to enjoy it as well. We had a good run in Kansas. At this one, we have struggled a little bit more but we should be fine tomorrow in the race.”
Indy Lights team penalized Firestone Indy Lights officials have penalized the No. 36 Genoa entry 20 entrant points and fined the team an undisclosed amount for a technical violation found during the recent event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
During inspection, the team was found to be in violation of Rule 13.11(J) (Oil Supply).
Genoa may appeal the penalty as prescribed in the Firestone Indy Lights Rule Book. An appeal may result in an increase, decrease or no change to the penalty.
Bernie - There will be a cap Despite FOTA signing up for next year's Championship, they could still be on a collision course with Max Mosley as Bernie Ecclestone says he's "sure" there will be a budget cap next season.
On Friday, the nine FOTA teams submitted a block entry for next year's Championship, however, they made it clear that their entry was conditional. Those conditions include the signing of a new Concorde Agreement before 12th June and regulations being based on the 2009 rules.
Where this means FOTA stands on a budget cap remains to be seen as while their comments suggest they are rejecting any cap, earlier reports claimed that they were willing to compromise with Mosley on a figure of $87.5m.
"I am sure there will be a cap," Bernie Ecclestone told The Times of London newspaper. "I think we are seeing the start of what is going to be a huge row - no, this is the beginning of something positive."
NASCAR confiscates Robby Gordon's rear axle housingUPDATE Sprint Cup Series owner/driver Robby Gordon says he will appeal NASCAR penalties levied against his Robby Gordon Motorsports team May 27. Gordon was penalized 50 owner and 50 driver points while crew chief Kirk Almquist was fined $50,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
“The bottom line is we were no more ‘body yawed’ than anybody else,” Gordon said May 30, “even though our rear end had more toe.
“We ... pulled our right-side trailing arm forward and our left-side trailing arm backwards. We fit the template on the right side before the race. So we aren’t doing anything funny there; there was no advantage.”
Gordon, 40, said the rear axle measurement was one degree outside the NASCAR limit, and said he felt the penalty was “excessive” for the infraction.
“We missed the one-degree rule by one degree, but we missed ... off the frame rails, which gives us the amount of yaw that we get in our cars,” he said.
“In this economy and these times, I think they need to re-evaluate it. Just like the Carl Long deal. That’s ridiculous. Carl doesn’t build his engines.”
05/26/09 NASCAR kept the rear axle housing of Robby Gordon's car following the Coca-Cola 600 and will do further inspections of it this week at its Research and Development Center, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Monday night. If there are any penalties to Gordon and his Robby Gordon Motorsports team, they will be announced later this week, Tharp said. Gordon finished third in the rain-delayed race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. SceneDaily
Tyler Tadevic is losing his house but not his drive.
A lifelong motorsports fanatic, he went from cleaning wheels and sweeping up a shop to building and managing his own racing team, Oxnard-based Pacific Coast Motorsports.
In just a few short years, it came within fractions of a second of racing in the Indianapolis 500, the pinnacle of open-wheel racing. Tadevic rose from worshiping names such as Andretti and Penske to sitting in owners’ meetings with them in Indianapolis.
But a huge change in the open-wheel racing industry and crashes on the Brickyard and in the stock markets brought it all to an end.
Tony Eury Jr. - the fall guy for Earnhardt's lack of driving skill
Tony Eury Jr., the former crew chief of Dale Earnhardt Jr., is "pretty beat down" after losing his position with Earnhardt's team, said his father, Tony Eury Sr. "Nobody works harder in that garage than him. He has worked so hard, he is worn slap out," said Eury Sr., whose driver Brad Keselowski won Saturday's Nationwide race at Dover International Speedway.
"My advice to him when this happened was to go do the (research and development) deal, get a breath of air and decide what you’re going to do at the end of the year, whether you stay at Hendrick Motorsports or not."
On Thursday, Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick named Lance McGrew interim crew chief for Earnhardt's Sprint Cup Series team beginning next weekend at Pocono. Eury Jr. was given a position in the HMS research and development department.
"He fits in good over there, but I’m not sure he wants to be on the R&D team. The media has wore him out, everybody has just wore him out. He’s beaten himself to death," Eury Sr. said of his son.
Eury Jr. to oversee road course testing for #48 team next week
Tony Eury Jr. talks to media
Tony Eury Jr. is getting off to a quick start in his new role with Hendrick Motorsports' research and development group. On Tuesday, Eury will accompany the #48 Chevy team to Carolina MotorSports Park in Kershaw, S.C., to supervise road course testing with three-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. The private two-day session is closed to the public and the media. Eury will lead the effort and refine the #48 team's setup for the June 21 Sprint Cup event at Infineon Raceway -- the first road race of the 2009 season.
In addition to his research and development duties, Eury will crew chief Hendrick Motorsports' #25 GoDaddy.com Chevy Sprint Cup effort with driver Brad Keselowski for the remainder of 2009. "Having someone of Tony's caliber in this role is an asset," said Doug Duchardt, vice president of development for Hendrick Motorsports. "He will be partnering with our lead chassis engineer on various projects, and his experience will make him a great fit with Brad. Having that veteran leadership is important for a young driver." Keselowski and the Eury-led #25 team will next attempt to qualify at Chicagoland Speedway in July. Hendrick Motorsports
Chad McDaniel, 34, of Concordia, Kansas, succumbed to injuries suffered while racing during Friday night’s midget race in Knoxville, Iowa. McDaniel was transported to Knoxville Hospital, then airlifted to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines suffering from head and neck injuries. McDaniel is survived by his wife Trish and children Trevor and Taylor.
Chad was leading the SMRS Great Plains Midget Series standings at the time of the accident and had scored five top-10 finishes in six races so far this season.
“On behalf on the entire USAC Racing community, we are deeply saddened and carry heavy hearts today with the passing of Chad McDaniel” stated Kevin Miller, CEO of USAC Racing. “Our sport has lost a passionate racer today, and our sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to his family during these most difficult times.”
“He was not only a friend, but a gentleman who loved his family and his sport,” said John Stewart, President/CEO of USAC/SMRS Racing. “He will be deeply missed by all of us.”
A full investigation to determine the cause of the injuries is underway by USAC. While the United States Auto Club Benevolent Fund is addressing the families immediate needs, USAC has established a charitable fund for the family and is asking the racing community for their support. Donations can be made online at usacracing.com/store. or mailed to USAC offices at 4910 West 16th Street Speedway, Indiana 46224.
Wolfe, Finch, Miller, Gurss guests on Wind Tunnel The featured guests on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain on Sunday night, May 31, will be Brian Wolfe, Director of North American Motorsports, Ford Motor Company; and James Finch, NASCAR Team Owner, Phoenix Racing.
Also joining Dave Despain this Sunday will be Expert Analysts Robin Miller, SPEED Open Wheel Journalist; and Jade Gurss, SPEEDTV.com Columnist.
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain airs on Sunday night, May 31, 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm ET live on SPEED.
Romancini wins Indy Lights pole Although neither RLR/Andersen Racing driver had ever driven a lap at the Milwaukee Mile before the first Firestone Indy Lights practice session Saturday morning, they qualified first and third Saturday afternoon for tomorrow's Husar's House of Fine Diamonds 100 presented by Charter.
Mario Romancini gave the Palmetto, Fla.-based team its first pole in this series and he established new one-lap and two-lap track records with the RLR/Andersen Racing No. 5 sponsored by Andersen Racing, Revita Recycling, Win Brazil Marketing, Allied Interior Products and Lafarge North America.
The 21-year-old from Sao Paulo, Brazil ran two laps in 24.8030 seconds (147.321 miles per hour) and 24.6423 seconds (148.282 mph) for a new two-lap record of 49.4453 seconds (147.800 mph), cutting 0.7129 of a second off the old mark.
Dover rain washes out truck race, to run today The trucks race scheduled at Dover International Speedway was postponed because of rain and has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday. Friday's race was washed out after about 40 minutes. It was rescheduled for Saturday after the Nationwide Series race.
Ron Hornaday Jr. won the pole in qualifying. He ran a lap of 155.541 mph for his 21st pole in 232 career trucks races. He earned his second pole of the season.
Colin Braun, Brian Scott, Johnny Sauter and Chad McCumbee round out the top five.
Kanaan cleared to race at Milwaukee Tony Kanaan is expected to drive at the Milwaukee Mile despite bumps and bruises he received in a hard crash at the Indianapolis 500. Andretti Green Racing made the announcement on Friday ahead of the race on Sunday.
Kanaan's rear suspension broke near the halfway point of last Sunday's race, sending his car bouncing off the wall twice at over 180 miles per hour. The crash was the latest in a series of hard-luck incidents at Indy for Kanaan, who also lost the series points lead.
Kanaan wrote on his Twitter feed earlier this week that he didn't break any ribs in the crash.
"Feels like (it's) broken but it's not so," he wrote. "Great news."
Canadian Robert Wickens, a member of the Red Bull Junior Team, has won the first F2 race to take place in 25 years after taking a commanding victory at Valencia today (Saturday).
Robert took the win and the points lead of the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship after a flawless drive from pole position. Carlos Iaconelli was second and Kazim Vasiliauskas third, with the trio receiving their trophies from FIA President Max Mosley. Tobias Hegewald retired after running into a slowing Andy Soucek, causing a safety car period.
Wickens got a fantastic start off the line, followed by Soucek and Iaconelli, who were able to pass Hegewald after the German got bogged down from the start. Mikhail Aleshin was fourth until Lithuanian Kazim Vasiliauskas made a great move on Aleshin at the final turn to move into fifth before the end of the opening lap.
Lorenzo wins battle for Mugello pole The fans at Mugello were treated to a great battle in qualifying on Saturday afternoon with Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo upstaging his team-mate Valentino Rossi on the World Champion’s home track, with the Spaniard taking pole and the Italian off the front row.
In brilliant sunshine at the Gran Premio d’Italia Alice four riders fought for pole right at the death with Lorenzo eventually emerging on top, courtesy of a 1’48.987 time on the 29th of his 30 laps, beating Casey Stoner by a tight margin (0.021s).
Ducati star Stoner will be satisfied to have placed himself on the front row and given his practice performances should be in contention for victory on Sunday.
Team 3G withdraws from Milwaukee race Team 3G won't compete in the ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 at The Milwaukee Mile because of damage sustained to the No. 98 car during a morning practice crash in Turn 2.
Team co-owner Greg Beck said the incident damaged the bellhousing and gearbox. Driver Stanton Barrett and the team will be listed in last place - Did Not Start -- on the box score and receive half the points. Barrett had turned 19 laps on the oval.
"We are going back to the shop," Beck said. "Unfortunately, the car was damaged just enough that we couldn't really finish repairing it here. We are going to get ready for Texas and get ready for the rest of the season and just keep plugging away at it.
"It is tough not to race here. We were really looking forward to it but we will move on to (the Bombardier Learjet 550k on June 6)."
FOTA teams not accepting budget caps (GMM) Some observers saw Friday as an easing of hostilities, but in truth dissident teams are no closer to accepting plans for budget capping in formula one.
Stefano Domenicali, team boss of the sport's longest serving and most influential and important competitor Ferrari, clarified on Saturday that FOTA is "absolutely not" willing to accept Max Mosley's budget cap concept.
With the exception of suspended member Williams, all the existing F1 teams on Friday lodged entries for next year's world championship.
Truex Jr. discusses future contract plans From a Team Chevy Driver Press conference transcript with Martin Truex Jr.:
DOES THE FACT THAT YOU ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RUMOR MILL ANNOY YOU? “It is what it is, there is no way to stop it. I don’t get annoyed. I think it is kind of comical sometimes. But we all understand that you all are trying to get the story and you want to get it before the next guy. It is no different than us wanting to beat the next guy. We understand all that. Hopefully, we’ll be able to put all of it to an end shortly.”
HOW SOON? “Within a few weeks, I would say.”
DAVID REUTIMANN SAID EARLIER TODAY THAT THE BEST REASON FOR A DRIVER TO CONSIDER COMING TO MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING WAS THAT HE WAS THERE, BEING SERIOUS, IS THERE SOMETHING THERE TO ATTRACT A DRIVER? “That is a good answer (laughs). He did win last week. They seem like a great organization. They have come a long way. I think they have a lot going for them. We will just have to see what happens.”
Kyle Busch calls Dale Jr. a wankerUPDATE DALE JR., ARE YOU SURPRISED ABOUT KYLE BUSCH’S COMMENTS EARLIER TODAY ABOUT YOUR CREW CHIEF SITUATION?: “Not really, that doesn’t really surprise me what Kyle (Busch) says. He’s always had a chip on his shoulder for me. I expect anytime he gets an opportunity to throw a jab in there he’s going to do it. That’s just his personality. We’re working toward trying to figure out how we can make our deal work and that has nothing to do with Kyle (Busch). We’ll see how this weekend goes and then move forward next week.” Chevy Racing
Without saying it, Kyle Busch called Dale Earnhardt Jr. a wanker
05/29/09 Kyle Busch said it point-blank: "It's never Junior; it's always the crew chief." Busch fired that opening volley of driver reaction Friday morning to Hendrick Motorsports' dismissal of Tony Eury Jr. as Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew chief on Thursday. Asked about Eury's replacement, Lance McGrew, with whom Busch worked in the Nationwide Series at Hendrick in 2004, Busch expressed pity for McGrew. "He's got his hands full, I guess, having to deal with what's going on," Busch said. "And if Junior doesn't run well, then he [McGrew] is going to be the 'problem' again." Still, Busch said he understood the move to bolster the driver who replaced him at Hendrick last season, both because of Earnhardt's star power and Busch's salary issues. "You've got to make the most popular driver in the sport competitive, so you gotta do what you gotta do, I guess," Busch said. ESPN
Gunselman Motorsports parts ways with Bodine Gunselman Motorsports and driver Todd Bodine have parted ways so Bodine can concentrate on his championship efforts in the Camping World Truck Series. As a result, team owner Larry Gunselman is searching for a qualified driver who can possibly bring some sponsorship support to the #64 Toyota team’s efforts. He has been talking to several drivers, but no firm terms have been reached with anyone at this time. The team withdrew from the Dover race to concentrate on future events. Doug Richert, a NASCAR Champion crew chief, remains with the team in building, setting up and calling the shots atop the pit box. Larry Gunselman, team owner: “First, I want to thank Todd Bodine for his efforts in what we’ve been trying to do here at Gunselman Motorsports. He is a NASCAR championship driver and brought a lot to the team. Second, I totally appreciate him wanting to concentrate on his Truck Series efforts and hope he gets back up to the top of the points chart. I have all the faith in the world he can do it, too. Having someone like Doug (Richert, crew chief) with the team is a great value to me and whoever comes on board with Gunselman Motorsports. We both remain very focused on being a part of this sport for quite awhile. As far as who is going to drive the #64 next; that’s something I’ve been talking to a few drivers about already. Nothing is solid as of this moment, but I know one thing for sure – we are committed to getting back on the track to achieve our goal of becoming a competitive team. Our search for a sponsorship partner is still ongoing and we remain a very affordable alternative to someone wanting to get involved in NASCAR racing.” Gunselman Motorsports
Jimmie Johnson grew up in southern California, worlds away from stock car racing. In fact, open-wheel racing was the route he originally considered when he began talking to Chevrolet years ago.
Up in Dover Johnson talked with reporters about those initial dreams and how the Indy 500 was what he grew up dreaming of. He wanted that so much he'd hang on the fence to watch, sneak into hospitality rooms at the Long Beach Grand Prix and hope one day he could drive a CART IndyCar.
"My early conversations with Chevrolet were going the open-wheel route and moving in at the time maybe to TransAm, then maybe Toyota Atlantic, then IndyCar," Johnson said. "And when their direction changed and they were pulling out of open-wheel, my options were pretty clear at that point. I packed up and moved to North Carolina (laughs). So I would love to do it."
GM sets bankruptcy announcement for Monday in NYC General Motors, which is expected to file for bankruptcy reorganization Monday, announced today that CEO Fritz Henderson will hold a midday news conference Monday at the GM Building in New York City.
Bankruptcy experts have said GM would most likely file for bankruptcy in New York.
The White House, meanwhile, braced to lead GM into bankruptcy Monday, as officials cheered the progress in Chrysler LLC’s bankruptcy case and called it “a hopeful example” for GM.
President Barack Obama will discuss the auto industry in a separate event set for Monday, and White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president’s daily economic briefing focused on the state of GM and Chrysler. Steven Rattner and Ron Bloom, the leaders of the president’s auto task force, were seen walking into the White House late this afternoon.
Even as it prepares for a GM bankruptcy designed to pare much of the company’s debt while granting the government a 72.5% ownership stake, the administration said it was still discussing how to manage its investments.
Judge denies Mayfield A North Carolina Superior Court judge denied NASCAR driver/owner Jeremy Mayfield's request for a temporary restraining order against NASCAR to have his indefinite suspension for a positive drug test overturned Friday afternoon.
The judge issued a gag order to prevent NASCAR and Mayfield from talking about what drug was involved and set a hearing for a preliminary injunction for Wednesday.
During the hearing Friday, a Mayfield attorney disputed the results of the drug test administered May 1, which Mayfield’s attorney said was a positive test for amphetamines. NASCAR’s attorney said in court that it was a dangerous illegally banned substance, but did not specify what it was.
Mayfield’s legal team argued that Mayfield should have been allowed to have his second sample tested at a different lab than the first test and that the seal on the second sample had been broken prior to the test.
Text of F1 teams statement Text of statement issued Friday by the Formula One Teams' Association confirming conditional entry of all teams in 2010 F1 championship:
"All FOTA teams have today submitted conditional entries for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship.
FOTA confirms all its members' long-term commitment to be involved in the FIA Formula One World Championship and has unanimously agreed further and significant actions to substantially reduce the costs of competing in the championship in the next three years, creating a mechanism that will preserve the technological competition and the sporting challenge and, at the same time, facilitate the entry in the F1 Championship for new teams.
These measures are in line with what has already been decided in 2009 within FOTA, achieving important saving on engines and gearboxes. All FOTA teams have entered the 2010 championship on the basis that:
Nemechek Retains Charlotte Cup Sponsor for Dover Race Joe Nemechek said that G.P.'s Enterprises, which sponsored his No. 87 Toyota Camry Sprint Cup car in Charlotte last week, will continue the primary sponsorship this weekend at Dover International Speedway.
G.P.'s Enterprises is a highway construction company based in Auburn, Ga., specializing in site development, new roads, bridges and road grading.
LubePro's, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary as the pioneer of the fast and professional oil change, will carry a major associate sponsorship on Nemechek's Cup car. The Cherry Valley, Ill. quick lube company has more than 30 locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Tennessee.
Huckleberry's BBQ and Motorsportcruise.com will also grace the No. 87 Toyota with an associate sponsorship.
Q&A with Renault's Adam Khan Adam Khan recently put Renault's R29 through its pace in an aerodynamic test. The test driver shares his thoughts on the test and life at Renault.
Q: Adam, you've spent a couple of days in the R29? How did it go? AK: Both the aero tests have been a great experience for me and I've enjoyed the opportunity to drive the R29 and help with its development. Even though I was only doing straight-line aero runs, I was able to learn a lot about the car and hopefully gave the engineers some useful feedback.
Q: You also demonstrate last year's car, the R28, at various events - how does it compare to the R29? AK: This year the cars have reduced aerodynamics and I definitely felt that during the aero test as I'm used to driving the R28. Inside the cockpit both cars feel almost exactly the same, although there are a few different buttons and functions on the steering wheel in this year's car, but I quickly got used to them.
GM stock sinks to 87 cents Shares of General Motors Corp. fell below $1 in early trading three days before the embattled automaker is expected to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Shares were trading at 87 cents, down 25 cents or 22 percent, as investors continued a prolonged sell-off ahead of the bankruptcy filing and restructuring that will dilute existing shareholders.
Tesla Motors and Lotus announce matching recall notices Tesla Motors has announced its first-ever recall, affecting all 345 Roadsters the Silicon Valley automaker produced in 2008. According to the official recall notice from the NHTSA, the rear hub flange bolts on some vehicles may not be torqued to proper specifications, which could lead to "degradation in vehicle handling and a rubbing noise from the rear of the vehicle." That, as you would imagine, would be bad, and if left unresolved could result in a crash.
The problem can be traced back to the Lotus factory in Hethel, England where the Roadster's main chassis is constructed before being shipped to the States to have its electric drivetrain installed. This being the case, Lotus has issued its own matching recall on the 27 Elises and Exiges that have shipped so far in 2009. As always, you are advised to contact the manufacturer as soon as possible if you've yet to be notified of the recall.
Indy 500 TV ratings tumbleUPDATE The final Indy 500 TV rating on ABC last Sunday was 4.0/11 Share, down 11.2% from last year's 4.5 final rating on ABC.
05/26/09 As a result of having its early races on Versus and no continuity and marketing with ESPN/ABC on all their media platforms leading up to the Indy 500, the 93rd Indianapolis 500 on ABC Sunday earned a 4.2 overnight Nielsen rating, down 17.6% from a 5.1 overnight for the '08 race.
Mayfield and NASCAR the bully A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Since its inception, Bill France, and now his heirs, run NASCAR like bullies. From how they handled the driver boycott for the 1969 Talladega race, to reprisals on drivers like Kyle Petty (1994) who revealed how NASCAR had implemented ‘the call’ to manipulate results good for TV ratings and the sucker fans who buy their product as real racing, or Tony Stewart’s many apologies after revealing things like how NASCAR’s rule book is on some erasable ink board, there’s a long history of non-transparency in NASCAR. Just try and get a NASCAR rules book, the fact you can’t should be cause to ridicule the use of ‘NASCAR’ and ‘sport’ in the same sentence and really undermines any integrity of the sanctioning body and series itself.
I suspect Mayfield has been wronged, because you can have all the policies in place for drug testing, but unless the integrity of both the testing service and NASCAR the sanctioning body can be proven, its hard to take this testing program serious. While Aegis Sciences Corporation has over 20 years experience in professional athletic drug and blood doping testing, they’ve never really been scrutinized. Sued, yes, but there is no federal oversight of their practices, which is sorely needed when you consider the fiasco with Lance Armstrong and the French national drug testing laboratory that reported he had tested positive for a banned substance. After Lance challenged the report, for the first time in that lab’s history folks took a very close look at their operational procedures and found a host of improper practices, mainly in the handling of the samples themselves. Perhaps the same thing finally needs to happen with Aegis, but more importantly, the press should also take a look at the history of how NASCAR has managed its entertainment product with bully tactics. There have been plenty of shady events that should be cause to seriously question their integrity and hence the validity of such a testing program to begin with, but unfortunately the press has allowed NASCAR to bully them as well. Few reporters out there seem willing to put it all out on the line for the sake of finding out the truth because they could quickly find themselves unemployed, and at the minimum, never be able to get near a NASCAR event or ISC track again. Andy Fogiel, Lansing, MI
Boris Said Confirmed for Sonoma Road-race veteran Boris Said has confirmed that he will compete in the Bennett Lane Winery 200, presented by Supercuts, NASCAR Camping World West Series race at Infineon Raceway on Saturday, June 20.
Said will drive the No. 57 entry for DenBeste Motorsports & Biagi Brothers, which is dedicated to the career of legendary Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler.
The car features a special silver-and-black paint scheme, with hints of snake-skin colors throughout. Stabler was recently named the Grand Marshal of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Infineon Raceway, June 19-21.
Robert Wickens celebrates after claiming the maiden pole of the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship
Canadian Robert Wickens took pole position for the first round of the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship at Valencia, Spain, ahead of Tobias Hegewald and Andy Soucek.
Wickens set his time early in the session, claiming the top spot by just 0.014s. The Red Bull driver was on an even quicker lap in the final moments, but was caught in traffic during the final sector.
Tobias Hegewald was extremely close to a maiden pole, but had to settle for second on the grid after setting his fastest time on his first flying lap. Andy Soucek was just over a tenth behind in third, with the Spaniard admitting to being too conservative during his quickest run.
Soucek's late lap pushed Brazilian Carlos Iaconelli down to fourth after he had been in the top three for much of the session. Russian Mikhail Aleshin was fifth and Julien Jousse enjoyed his best session of the weekend so far - he will start tomorrow's season opener from sixth. Aleshin and Jousse set identical times around the 2.5 mile circuit.
Edoardo Piscopo, who had set the fastest time in final practice earlier today, was seventh whilst Serbian Milos Pavlovic was eighth. 2009 will be the first full season of racing for Kazim Vasiliauskas and the 18-year-old Lithuanian impressed by taking ninth place, with Henry Surtees rounding out the top ten.
The whole field was evenly matched, with less than a second covering the top 15 drivers. There were a few incidents during the session, most notably when Jack Clarke went off on the run down to turn twelve - ending a promising start to qualifying for the young Briton.
Robert Wickens: “It’s definitely an honor to take the first pole position in Formula Two. All through testing and practice I’ve been relatively quick so it’s nice to say I got the first pole of the year, but it’s the first race of a long season so I’ve just got to get my head down and focus on the rest of the weekend. I don’t want to give too much away but perhaps I could have gone faster; in the end though my lap was good enough for pole position and I’m very happy.
Tobias Hegewald: “I did quite a good lap on my first set of tires – unfortunately 14 thousandths too slow for pole! On my second set on tires I hit traffic so I couldn’t improve my time. I’m happy with second, and the overboost may well be useful in overtaking Robert tomorrow!
Andy Soucek said: “I’ve been really happy with how things went in the first and second practice - I think I have been quickest by a good margin. I thought I would be faster on my second set of new tires – in the end I just tried to do my best and it was not enough, so well done to these guys. Tomorrow the race is long and tires could be a big factor; I’m quite used to that from GP2 so hopefully I have an advantage there. I’m hoping to get a good result for my home fans – obviously starting from third is not the best, but I can still win the race.”
Valentino Rossi, "The Professor" shows off at Mugello
The Fiat Yamaha pairing of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi got off to a flying start at the Italian Grand Prix today, taking the top two spots in the opening practice session at Mugello. After the rain-interrupted French round, sunny Tuscany is a welcome change for the riders and the Spaniard and the Italian looked in fine fettle around the 5.245km track this afternoon.
Lorenzo leads the championship from his team-mate by just one point and he looked in top form once again this afternoon. He was the only rider to dip under the current lap record as he quickly found a good setting for his M1 and Bridgestone tires for the undulating, high-speed track.
Home-town hero Rossi also spent time at the top of the standings but finished up just under two tenths behind his team-mate in second position. He is confident that a few small set-up tweaks in the morning will improve things further as he seeks an incredible eighth consecutive win at his favorite racetrack.
FOTA teams lodge 'conditional' 2010 entries (GMM) The nine FOTA teams on Friday said their entries to contest the 2010 world championship are "conditional".
Five new teams, and suspended FOTA team Williams, have already met the FIA's midnight deadline.
Attached to the block entries by Ferrari, Toyota, McLaren, BMW, Renault, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Brawn and Force India, however, is the stipulation that the sport's governing body tear up its published 2010 rules and revert to this year's regulations "amended in accordance with proposals ... submitted to the FIA".
It has been reported that a compromise agreed in principle is for a 100m euro cap next year, granting special assistances to small entries, before the 45m euro cap arrives in 2011.
The FIA is yet to comment.
In a media statement, FOTA also vowed to sign a new Concorde agreement by June 12 - the day of the announcement of the 2010 entry list - with the teams committing until 2012 and ensuring "stability via sound governance".
Three more F1 teams lodge 2010 entries (GMM) F1's potential entry list for 2010 swelled to six names on Friday, even if nine of the current teams are yet to lodge their paperwork by the midnight deadline.
USF1, Campos and former champions Williams had submitted their entries prior to May 29, which is the last day of the FIA's one-week registration window for next year.
By mid afternoon on Friday, three more teams - all new ones - confirmed they have signed up: Lola, Prodrive and British F3 outfit Litespeed, whose bid is supported by the well-known engineer Mike Gascoyne.
Litespeed boss Nino Judge also said he, like Team USF1, has paid the deposit for a supply of Cosworth's new 2010 customer engine.
"We wish all teams the very best whilst the decision process is taking place and look forward to the potential of being on the grid in 2010 and beyond," he said.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. talks about crew chief change When Rick Hendrick announced he was replacing his cousin Tony Eury, Jr. as crew chief of the #88-National Guard/AMP Energy Drink Chevy, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was up in Michigan helping to promote the June 14th Sprint Cup Series race at MIS. Measuring his words carefully, Junior was clearly saddened by the split, but also said he understood why the move was made.
“It was a very difficult situation. Obviously, when me and Tony Jr. went to work with Rick we expected to have a lot of success and be in a totally different situation than we are now. It's really disappointing, I guess, that we aren't making that happen. It's a situation, it's a relationship that's very important to me, the one with Tony Jr. We are family and it was a pretty big risk, I guess, for me and him both to make the move.
Litespeed lodges F1 entry with Cosworth power ahead of deadline Having expressed an interest in joining the Formula One grid under the new budget cap rules, British F3 outfit Litespeed GP has confirmed that it will lodge its entry for the 2010 F1 season with the FIA today [Friday].
The team has already announced that it will be working with the MGI company run by out-of-work F1 designer Mike Gascoyne as it seeks to secure an entry and will now look to secure its place on the grid in what would be only its third season of competition.
As well as confirming that its entry will be lodged with the FIA, team principal Nino Judge also revealed that a deposit has been placed with Cosworth to supply engines and said the Norfolk-based outfit was 'extremely serious' about its plans.
There is some hope for the IRL on Versus The Red Wings' series-clinching overtime win over the Blackhawks drew a 2.1 cable rating and 2.3 million viewers on Versus Wednesday night, the most-watched program ever on Versus in terms of households, and the fourth-most watched telecast in total viewers. Can the IRL ever achieve such numbers?
Generali signs up to multi-million Ducati deal Insurance provider Generali will sponsor the Ducati MotoGP bikes of Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden after signing a three-year deal.
The company's logo will appear on the front of the two riders' bikes as well as on the leathers of Stoner and Hayden, both former world champions. In addition, Generali will take up significant trackside advertising space at a number of MotoGP circuits.
"We are proud of this important partnership with Generali," said Gabriele Del Torchio, Ducati Motor Holding chief executive. "This is an agreement which confirms the great value which can be brought worldwide by the cooperation between two outstanding Italian brands, who will actively promote the motto 'Made in Italy' all over the world. We hope this will be the beginning of a long and fruitful cooperation, confirming once again the credibility and highly professional skills of our technicians and employees."
NASCAR Notebook - Thursday Thursday morning's announcement that said Tony Eury Jr was going to be replaced as the crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr's #88 team came as no surprise to anyone. We all knew this move was coming and it was just a matter of when team owner Rick Hendrick was going to make the change.
The official announcement states that Lance McGrew will be the interim crew chief and will take over Earnhardt's pit box effective June 6th at the Pocono race. Team Manager Brian Whitesell will lead the team during next Sunday's race at Dover.
From a prepared statement team owner Rick Hendrick said "our performance hasn't been where it should be. It's impossible to pin that on any one factor, but a change is the right decision at this point. We have a plan in place and we're going to move forward with it."
Hendrick's comment on the performance levels of the #88 team is actually a major understatement. Earnhardt's best finish, in the past six races, is a 20th. The decision to replace Eury likely came following an extremely poor outing in last weekend's Coca-Cola 600, at the Lowe's Motor Speedway, where the team finished an extremely disappointing 40th two laps down. The handling of the car was so bad that it was described as being "evil loose."
Chrysler chairman expects sale to be complete Friday Chrysler LLC Chairman Robert Nardelli created a stir in bankruptcy court here today when he testified that Friday is the day he expects the sale of the automaker's assets to a new company will be complete, regulatory approvals will be finalized and he will leave the company.
He said he plans to report to work at former employer Cerberus Capital Management LP Monday morning. Nardelli worked for Cerberus until July 2007. When the hedge fund bought a majority stake in Chrysler, Nardelli was asked to run the automaker, a post he assumed in August 2007.
During testimony on the second day of hearings to sell Chrysler's good assets to a group headed by Fiat SpA, Nardelli said he doesn't have an office ready at Cerberus, but added that didn't matter much because he'd be visiting clients away from the company's New York headquarters.
The Chrysler chairman said he expects regulatory approvals in the U.S. to be wrapped up Friday as well.
Ferrari in U-turn as they agree peace deal Ferrari will reluctantly submit their entry for next year's world championship, marking the beginning of the end to Formula One's civil war.
The Italians had threatened to quit the sport after six decades' involvement unless the ruling body, the FIA, dropped their plans to introduce a $40million budget cap.
Ferrari are willing to accept a compromise solution, whereby all teams will operate under a £85m restriction in 2010 with the $40m ceiling coming in for 2011.
Today marks the deadline for entry into the 2010 championship, and all the existing teams - possibly other than Toyota, who are expected to announce their departure at the end of this, their eighth and so far winless, season in Formula One - are likely to sign up.
Edmonton GP adds sponsors Northlands is proud to welcome a number of new corporate sponsors to the Rexall Edmonton Indy, scheduled from July 24-26, 2009.
Edmonton City Centre has secured title sponsorship of the Tailgate Zone, the exclusive track-level hospitality area where the corporate community can host and network with staff, clients and suppliers. With less than two months to go until the checkered flag is waved, the Edmonton City Centre Tailgate Zone is already 90% sold out and moving fast!
Visions Electronics will also be tuned into the Rexall Edmonton Indy as the title sponsor of Adrenalin Alley, our specialty car display. A collection of Alberta's most impressive private vehicles will be exhibited in the Visions Electronics Adrenalin Alley tent for auto enthusiasts to appreciate.
Developers greenlight $200 million Aurora racetrack
The proposed $200 million motor sports facility would be on 1,500 acres in Aurora
A group led by Colorado Springs developer Bill Schuck announced plans Wednesday to build a new racetrack in northeast Aurora.
The $200 million racetrack would feature a 1-mile oval speedway, a 4-mile road course and a karting facility. It would seat between 65,000 and 100,000 fans on 1,500 acres on the TransPort property near Front Range Airport, east of E-470 and just north of Interstate 70.
The private venture is expected to break ground next year and will host numerous racing events, such as stock car, open wheel, midget and road racing.
The developers said today that the decision to move forward with plans for the track was influenced by the recent passage of Senate Bill 173, the Colorado Tourism Act, which could provide the group access to up to $50 million in state sales-tax revenue to pay off construction bonds over a 30-year period. The bill has not yet been signed by Gov. Bill Ritter.
TMS gives away more IndyCar tickets for almost free Thanks to Helio Castroneves and Texas Motor Speedway, 850 fans will watch the Bombardier Learjet 550k on June 6 for a greatly reduced price.
On May 28, the speedway offered 550 (race length) frontstretch tickets for $3 each (in honor of Castroneves' three Indianapolis 500 victories and his car number). The ticket promotion sold out in 23 minutes.
Earlier this month, the track offered "Helio's Blue Plate Special," in which the price of 300 tickets was to be determined by Castroneves' starting position in the Indy 500. He won the pole.
"Helio has brought some great deals to our race fans and I know he will have a huge following next Saturday during the Bombardier Learjet 550k," Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage said. "It's great to see the fans respond to this promotion as well as the previous one we did with Helio. It offers new fans the opportunity to get a taste of the exciting racing in the IndyCar Series at an unbelievable price."
Retweet: Shaq vs. Danica? Could "The Diesel" be the heading to IndyCar Series racing? NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, who has used "The Diesel" among his many nicknames, sent the following message to IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick via social networking site Twitter recently:
O'Neal: "vroom vrooom I challenge u to a race, vroom$ vroom, naaa good luk, u r a true legend, I'm proud of u u r da best"
Patrick, the first female to win an IndyCar Series race responded: "I will race you! I think I have a slight weight/height advantage so I feel confident! Haha."
The race isn't the only connection to the IndyCar Series for O'Neal, who also issued a challenge to race Lance Armstrong (a former Indianapolis 500 Pace Car driver) via Twitter.
O'Neal recently joined forces with Luczo Dragon Racing to raise money and awareness for charity throughout the 2009 race season and will be a guest of the team at Texas Motor Speedway in June.
Briscoe returns to Milwaukee Ryan Briscoe expected a breakout IndyCar Series season with the full-time move to Team Penske in 2008.
Initially, the breaks didn't go his way. No top-five finishes in the first five races despite three top-five starts, including a front-row perch for the 92nd Indianapolis 500. That might have been the most difficult to swallow -- 23rd place after a pit lane incident involving Danica Patrick's car (and her subsequent brief march toward Briscoe's pit stall that was a YouTube sensation).
A week later, though, Briscoe's fortunes changed at The Milwaukee Mile in the ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225. Starting 11th in the No. 6 Team Penske car, he persevered through 225 laps on the crowded oval to earn his first IndyCar Series victory and the 300th in motorsports for team owner Roger Penske.
Rahal interview of actor/Indy 500 pace car driver Josh Duhamel Check out McDonald's driver Graham Rahal's IndyCar Series V-Blog on this link. He interviewed actor/Indy 500 pace car driver Josh Duhamel for the Indy segment.
Marco Andretti to Bump and Bang Have you ever wanted to compete with an IndyCar Series driver? On Tuesday, June 2, fans will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do some bumpin’ and bangin’ with IndyCar Series driver Marco Andretti at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia, just outside of Richmond.
Andretti, the son of open-wheel great Michael Andretti and grandson of racing legend Mario Andretti, will take to the track of the Dodgem Bumper Cars at Kings Dominion to “race” with ticket holders at Kings Dominion. Marco will also sign autographs for fans in attendance. Additionally, IndyCar simulators will be available for fans to test their skills in an open-wheel car video game, and the Richmond International Raceway Official Pace Car will be on display all day.
Scheckter to drive #23 in Milwaukee Tomas Scheckter will drive the No. 23 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car in the ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 this weekend at The Milwaukee Mile.
Scheckter is coming off a s 12th place in the Indianapolis 500 in a Dale Coyne Racing entry.
"We are excited to have Tomas join our team," team co-owner Dennis Reinbold said. "We have talked to him on a number of occasions about doing something together and this opportunity came up to pair him with Mike (Conway) for the weekend. We feel like we are going into Milwaukee very strong as a team."
GM to announce 14 factory closings General Motors Corp. will identify 14 factories it will close by the end of 2010 as part of its restructuring plan, according to a person briefed on the plans.
The announcement could coincide with GM's all-but-inevitable bankruptcy protection filing, expected to come by Monday.
Factory-level union leaders have not yet been told which plants will be shuttered, but four vehicle assembly plants will be among those to be closed, along with parts stamping, engine and transmission factories, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the plans have not been made public.
GM has said it plans to close 16 more U.S. factories by the end of next year, shedding 21,000 jobs. Two have already have been announced — an engine plant in Massena, N.Y., and a parts stamping plant near Grand Rapids, Mich.
McGrew new Earnhardt Crew Chief Hendrick Motorsports today named Lance McGrew as interim crew chief of the No. 88 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team of driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. beginning with the June 7 event at Pocono Raceway. Team manager Brian Whitesell will lead the team this weekend at Dover, Del.
"Our performance hasn't been where it should be," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "It's impossible to pin that on any one factor, but a change is the right decision at this point. We have a plan in place, and we're going to move forward with it."
Whitesell and Rex Stump, Hendrick Motorsports' lead chassis engineer, have been assigned to support McGrew on a full-time basis. Whitesell, who won two of seven races as Jeff Gordon's interim crew chief in 1999, will join McGrew and team engineer Tom Stewart on the No. 88 pit box to assist with race strategy.
"We're going to put our full resources toward improving the situation and winning races," Hendrick said. "It's going to be a collective effort that includes all of our drivers, all of our crew chiefs and all of our engineers. Everyone in our company will be involved on some level."
Eury Jr. axed Dale Earnhardt Jr. will have a new crew chief starting with this weekend's race at Dover. The team said Thursday that Tony Eury Jr. was replaced as crew chief of Earnhardt's No. 88 team. The two are cousins and have worked together Earnhardt's entire career.
They left Dale Earnhardt Inc. last season to drive for Hendrick Motorsports, but they've yet to find consistency despite driving for NASCAR's top team.
They have one win in 48 races with Hendrick and are 19th in points. They hit rock bottom with Monday's 40th-place finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Team manager Brian Whitesell will be the crew chief this weekend. Lance McGrew will take over next week on an interim basis as team owner Rick Hendrick figures out a long-term plan for NASCAR's most popular driver.
Tracy: NASCAR too impatient with open-wheelers Many NASCAR fans believe Sprint Cup drivers are better than Indy-car drivers because most of the open-wheelers who have switched to NASCAR haven't fared well lately. [NASCAR drivers who have tried open wheel have done even worse].
But Indy-car racing veteran Paul Tracy, who competed in a few NASCAR events, said it isn't that simple. Tracy said he believes most open-wheelers haven't been given a fair shot.
"It's hard to get in the best stuff over there," Tracy said of NASCAR at the Indy 500 last week. "It's very difficult to get a decent ride."
Visteon files for bankruptcy Auto parts supplier Visteon Corp. said Thursday it -- along with some of its U.S. units -- has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, as the company struggles with reduced demand from automakers amid plans for extended plant shutdowns this summer.
The company filed its petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The company's Visteon UK Ltd. unit separately filed for bankruptcy protection last month and closed three British plants.
Coca-Cola 600 TV Ratings The Coca-Cola 600 was victimized by a rainout on Sunday and multiple rain-delays on Monday that ultimately forced the race to be called after just 227 of the scheduled 400 laps. Last year's Coke 600 drew a 4.4/9 when run as scheduled on Sunday night (-25%). This year's Coca-Cola 600 will not be included in FOX's season average, which therefore remains a 4.6/10, down -13% compared to last year's 5.3/11. FOX's rating held up remarkably well during the four Coca-Cola 600 rain delays on Sunday and Monday. The four rain-impacted segments averaged a 2.9/7 over more than five hours of non-race programming. Overall, the non-race segments rated just -12% lower than the race segments (2.9/7 vs. 3.3/8)
MIS makes fans the VIPs Often, to get a garage tour, pace car ride or wave the green flag for a NASCAR event you had to be a VIP. Now, Michigan International Speedway is making the fans the VIPs by focusing on appreciating their loyal guests.
Michigan International Speedway has officially launched a fan appreciation program.
“It’s important for us to show our fans how much we appreciate them for choosing Michigan International Speedway during both good and bad economic times,” track President Roger Curtis said. “You can’t buy loyalty — you earn it. So we’re going to show fans how much their loyalty means to us by providing opportunities that are unique experiences that will create lasting memories of their time at MIS.”
Star Mazda Iowa Test Day 1 Iowa Speedway – A scheduled two-day Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear test at Iowa Speedway in advance of the upcoming Pizza Ranch 100 on July 10 got off to a late start today despite the best efforts of track workers to dry a racing surface still weeping the residue of earlier rains.
Thirteen cars finally took to the track in the afternoon, with Louisiana racer Alex Ardoin ultimately turning the fastest lap of 22.109 (145.589 mph) in his #51 JDC Motorsports / Oral & Facial Surgery Center / Twister Trailer Mazda. By the time the final lap was run, the top-9 cars were within 3/10ths of a second of each other, and speeds are expected to increase still further with ideal weather – and several more cars - expected tomorrow.
NASCAR suspends another for drugsUPDATE We have been notified that Andrew Crnkovic, a former member of the SS-Green Light racing team failed a random drug test last week at Charlotte. It is and always has been the philosophy of the SS-Green Light Racing team that substance abuse has no place in sports or on our team. We have a "no-tolerance" substance abuse policy and we intend to uphold that policy and follow through with the standards of conduct we have established for our team. Additionally, we have great respect for the drug testing policies NASCAR has in place and believe the changes have made a positive difference for NASCAR. SS Green Team PR
05/27/09 NASCAR has suspended a crew member for Truck Series driver Chad McCumbee for failing a random drug test. Andrew Crnkovic failed a random drug test conducted at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 15. He has been suspended indefinitely.
He becomes the sixth crew member suspended this season under NASCAR's toughened drug policy. Jeremy Mayfield is the only driver to be suspended since NASCAR began random testing this year.
NASCAR does not reveal the substance found in an individuals' positive test.
Reutimann’s Team Claims Tissot Pit Crew Award at LMS
Reutimann gets fast service from his pit crew in Charlotte
David Reutimann’s #00 team won the Tissot Pit Crew Precision Award in Monday’s rain-delayed Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup race in Charlotte, NC. It was a double win for the Michael Waltrip Racing team with Reutimann scoring his first career Cup victory. Reutimann’s crew became the 10th different winner of the Tissot competition in the 12 Cup races contested in 2009.
Reutimann’s pit crew consists of: Cory Quick (front-tire changer), Josh Houghton (front-tire carrier), Shannon Myers (rear-tire changer), Dwayne Moore (rear-tire carrier), Brian Chase (jackman), Danny Harrington (gasman) and Keith Koppenhal (catch can). The pit crew coach is Greg Miller and the strength coach is Kevin Sharpe. The #00 team will receive $5,000 for the pit road win.
The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award victories at the completion of the 36-race schedule will earn a $100,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the crew and driver. Jeff Gordon’s #24 crew leads in the Tissot standings after 12 races with three victories. There are nine teams tied with one win. Tissot
Boss says Williams move not political (GMM) Team chief executive Adam Parr insists Williams' decision to sign up for the 2010 world championship was not politically motivated.
The move this week led to the former champions' suspension from the formula one teams association FOTA, whose previously total unity has therefore been weakened.
At the same time, questions about Parr's personal friendship with FIA president Max Mosley, also a former barrister, have been raised.
"There is no agenda on the part of Williams," he insisted to the Daily Telegraph. "We are not trying to split the teams. We are not even trying to dissuade them," Parr said.
In a media statement on Wednesday, Williams said it broke ranks and signed up because it is a "racing team" that is "legally obliged" to compete next year and until 2012 due to an existing agreement with the sport's ruling bodies.
Parr explained: "As a team we have a certain philosophy and this is an inevitable and necessary development. It may well be that other teams have a different view. I completely respect that.
"We feel there is a huge chance to resolve this and very much hope that all the existing teams, plus one or two new ones, will be on the grid with us next year," he added.
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