ABC Earns 4.3 Overnight For Indy 500; Fox gets 4.0 For NASCAR ABC Earns 4.3 Overnight For Indy 500; Fox gets 4.0 For NASCAR ABC earned a 4.3 overnight Nielsen rating for Sunday afternoon’s Indianapolis 500 from 12:00-3:45pm ET, up 7.5% from a 4.0 overnight for the race last year. Indianapolis (14.5) and Dayton (10.3) topped all U.S. metered markets for the telecast. The IndyCar telecast topped the 4.0 overnight earned by Fox for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 from 6:30-11:00pm. Fox’ rating was flat compared to the same race last year. THE DAILY
Indy Fans can win Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Pace Car Indianapolis 500 fans still feeling the excitement of the stunning finish to the 100th Anniversary edition of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on May 29 have more reasons than ever to reorder or apply for tickets to the 2012 race.
Any fan who reorders or applies online for tickets to the 96th Indianapolis 500 at www.imstix.com between midnight (ET) Tuesday, May 30 and 11:59 p.m. Monday, June 13 will be registered to win a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible Pace Car Replica. The 2012 Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The grand prize Camaro SS Convertible Pace Car is a mirror image of the car in which four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt paced the historic 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 to the green flag, with IMS Chairman of the Board Mari Hulman George as his passenger.
Tissot, a manufacturer of Swiss watches since 1853, announced that it will be the primary sponsor on Danica Patrick’s No. 7 Chevrolet in Saturday night's (June 4) NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.
Driving the No. 7 Tissot Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, Patrick will make her return to NASCAR competition after competing in the first four Nationwide Series races of the 2011 season. She is in her second year as a part-time NASCAR driver and is scheduled to enter 12 Nationwide races this season.
Indy winner drops in on Texas to promote race Dan Wheldon, just two days after his stunning victory in the Indianapolis 500, was greeted like a hero on his visit Tuesday to Fort Worth – the first stop on his Indy 500 champion’s tour.
Wheldon arrived at Frankie’s Sports Bar in Sundance Square as only an Indy 500 champion can – in an Oak Farms Dairy milk truck. With approximately 100 fans greeting Wheldon, he and Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage toasted with champagne glasses filled with milk, the traditional drink given to the winner of the historic 500-mile race.
“As an IndyCar driver, we are extremely excited about coming to Texas,” Wheldon said to the crowd about his return to the Lone Star State. “It’s always a fantastic crowd and this race has been part of the calendar for a long time. I thank you for always coming out in the thousands to the speedway because we love racing there.”
Can't say we didn't tell you Versus was noose around IndyCar's neck The most obvious thing would be for VERSUS to shift at least its race broadcasts to sister network NBC. The Fast Nationals overnight rating for the Indy 500 was higher than NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 this year, but that hasn't always been the case.
Drivers have privately complained about the situation for years. Team Penske president Tim Cindric told the Indianapolis Business Journal last week that changing the television package should be a priority for IndyCar.
“The TV contract is something that needs to change,’’ Cindric said. “We need to try to get on a network with a larger viewing audience. That’s the bottom line. For our sponsors, we have to do anything we can to drive ratings.’’
Coke 600 Overnight TV Ratings: Indy Beats NASCAR, Maybe NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 from Charlotte Motor Speedway earned a 4.0/8 in the metered markets Sunday night, matching last year's performance. In overnight ratings the Coke 600 fell a tenth of a point shy of the 4.1/11 earned by the Indianapolis 500 earlier in the day on ABC, but that narrow deficit would still seem to put the NASCAR race in position to beat the Indy 500 in the nationals. The Indy 500 typically declines from overnight to national, while the Coke 600 tends to hold steady or increase. Last year, for example, the Coke 600 beat the Indy 500 by one-tenth of a point in the overnights, and four-tenths of a point in the nationals. Heading into the final race of FOX's 2011 NASCAR schedule, NASCAR is averaging a 4.5/10, up +2% over last year's 4.4/9. That comparison, however, doesn't fully capture the good luck FOX has had this year with weather, with zero races thus far being rained out. Last year two races were rained out. Therefore, on a total rating points basis NASCAR is actually up +21% over 2010 (53.7 GRPs vs. 44.3).
Wheldon sent packing on Victory Tour Waiting for the initial volley of early-morning TV and radio guest appearances, Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon reflected on the hectic race that transpired a few hundred feet from his victory podium perch at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
His milk- and champagne-soaked firesuit washed overnight for a photo shoot, Wheldon also put into perspective his place in the race's history.
"For me, winning the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 is very special," said Wheldon, 32, a resident of St. Petersburg, Fla. "I love this racetrack. I love this race and what it's done for my career even before being a two-time winner. That is an emotion that didn't come into it before, and because I'm more experienced I'm able to appreciate this more and you have more time to appreciate it.
"It's certainly different from the last one. I remember I was out for most of the night with my sponsor, Jim Beam. Last night, I went to a driver party for about an hour and then I retired to bed. (Two-year-old son) Sebastian crawled into bed with us about 4 o'clock in the morning and kind of took over the bed."
Indianapolis 500 telecast ratings rise over 2010 ABC's high-definition broadcast of the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 on May 29 delivered a 4.3 preliminary overnight rating in metered markets - up from 4.0 in 2010.
Viewership increases were realized in Chicago, Las Vegas, Tampa, Fla., Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, among others, of the 56 markets during the noon-3:30 p.m. (ET) race broadcast. ESPN on ABC's one-hour pre-race show hosted by Brent Musburger -- with a blend of compelling features and the sights and sounds of the pre-race ceremonies on Memorial Day weekend - also attracted strong viewership numbers.
It was the 47th consecutive year that ABC telecast the 500 Mile Race -- one of the longest-running relationships between a sporting event and a network.
Teams use off week to test Milwaukee Fourteen IZOD IndyCar Series drivers will put in a day on the oval June 1, while 10 more will test June 3. Thirteen Firestone Indy Lights driver/car combinations will be on the track June 2.
Fans can watch testing each day (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) in Turns 1-2, and Milwaukee 225 promoters will host a watching party (food, drinks, apparel, ticket purchase) June 3 in the Turn 2 parking lot.
Both series return to the historic track after a year's absence. Scott Dixon, who won the IZOD IndyCar Series race in 2009, will be among those getting re-acquainted with the flat racetrack on June 3.
Tagliani to drive in Montreal race Thanks to the support from the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram Quebec Dealers, Alex Tagliani will have the chance to compete in two NASCAR races the weekend of August 19 and 20 during the NAPA Auto Parts 200, presented by Dodge. As the curtain rises on the weekend and before his home crowd at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the Lachenaie, Quebec driver will participate in the NAPA Autopro 100, NASCAR's Canadian Series event, before taking the green flag for the 200-mile NASCAR Nationwide Series race. For the first event, Tagliani will be at the wheel of a Dodge Avenger prepared by Dave Jacombs Racing. For the main event, he will drive a Dodge Challenger. Both of Tagliani's racecars will support the number 12.
Bahrain pushing to reclaim F1 race in 2011 (GMM) Bahrain is ready to host formula one, the chairman of the island Kingdom's grand prix circuit declared on Tuesday.
It is the eve of the end of martial law in the troubled state, and two days before the FIA meets to discuss the possible rescheduling of its 2011 season opener that was cancelled in March due to political violence.
Zayed Rashid Alzayani, chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit, told the Associated press the Sakhir track is ready to "host the race today".
"We feel we are in position to have that event back," he said.
Monaco to move chicane barrier The FIA is set to create more run off area at the Monaco chicane by removing the crane that normally sits there, Adam Cooper's blog reveals today.
The barrier hit by Sergio Perez has been moved back since the Karl Wendlinger and Jenson Button accidents. The limiting factor until now has been the presence of the crane, which is parked before a row of trees.
It’s hoped that without the crane the barrier can be moved back to the trees and an extra 20 meters of space can be gained. The TV camera position, currently in front of the crane, would be moved to the trees.
o the great relief of all who witnessed Saturday qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, Sauber’s Sergio Pérez ultimately escaped uninjured from his heavy accident at the Nouvelle Chicane. After being dispatched from the Princess Grace Hospital on Monday afternoon, the 21-year-old Mexican shared his latest feelings.
How do you feel?
I feel okay. I have little bit of pain in my leg and in my neck, but this comes from muscles and is nothing to worry about. On Sunday I still felt a bit dizzy but that is all. Thank God I’m healthy and I’m looking forward to being back in the car soon. They treated me very well in the hospital.
I want to thank the staff for this and also want to thank everyone else who was worrying about me – the people from the team who came to see me and other visitors as well. My family has also been with me. I want to say thank you for all the messages I received.
I’m very grateful for all the support and feel sorry for not having replied to all of the messages. There were so many and my phone very quickly ran out of battery.
Christopher Zanella Q&A Despite being a newcomer to the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship, Swiss Christopher Zanella has already won more races than any other driver and currently leads the championship standings. During the opening rounds at Silverstone, the 21-year-old secured his maiden F2 podium - from 10th on the grid - and followed that up with a commanding weekend in Magny-Cours with his first pole and back-to-back wins. What's even more impressive though, is that he's done all this whilst juggling a full-time college course. Formulatwo.com talks to the rookie about his impressive season so far.
This year is your first season in F2, did you think you would be leading the series at this stage? I always hoped I would do well but I never thought it would be this good. I never expected to be leading the series at this early stage but I'm very happy that I am. I thought I would have to fight in more races to get to this point so this is really good for me.
Herta hopes to capitalize on team's Indy 500 win Indianapolis 500-winning car owner Bryan Herta recognizes he has something special in two-time race winner Dan Wheldon and still-young Bryan Herta Autosport, and he wants to capitalize on it.
That’s why Herta said today he’s willing to “stay the course” with the program aimed for being a full-time Izod IndyCar Series team in 2012.
Herta said the No. 98 car, which has only competed in two IndyCar races, probably won’t race again this season unless IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard agrees to let the 500 winners compete for the $5 million bonus Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
NJ native Antron Brown wants to feast on home cooking Antron Brown, driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster, hopes a dose of “home cooking” will result in continued success at the NHRA SuperNationals here this weekend at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
The Chesterfield, N.J., native has racked up two victories (2002, 2005), as well as a number-one qualifier (2005), as a Pro Stock Motorcycle pilot and consecutive runner-up finishes (2009, 2010) and a one number-one qualifier (2008) since dropping the bike for a Top Fuel dragster in 2008, at this historic venue.
“It’s definitely good times when I come here, back to New Jersey,” said the 35-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver. “This track has a lot of history for me and New Jersey is where it all began.
SPEED Quotes: Mario Andretti, Robin Miller on Wind Tunnel Dave Despain welcomed 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti to Wind Tunnel on SPEED Sunday night alongside SPEED/SPEED.com open wheel reporter Robin Miller. Andretti discussed a variety of topics ranging from Sunday’s centennial running of the Indianapolis 500 to rookie driver JR Hildebrand’s last-lap crash in the Indy 500 to Formula One points leader Sebastian Vettel. Following are excerpts from the interview:
On his reaction to the soap opera-style drama of the Indy 500 finish:
Andretti: “You just said it. Just about everything that could be exciting really happened. Above all, it was very unpredictable. I don’t think you could have thought (Dan) Wheldon was going to win, even though he was up front right to the end. But even midway, who was going to be up there? Nobody dominated today. In fact, when you look at the whole month, yes, there was domination on the part of Alex Tagliani in practice and so forth, but what we saw, which is actually good, is the small teams were a factor, a big factor, throughout. Something is working there. We saw the end result today continued. The small teams were a factor throughout the day and that’s good.”
The four Musketeers. That's what Bryan Herta calls them.
They were big winners individually and collectively for Andretti Green Racing in its heyday, as well as tight-knit friends.
Now they're racetrack rivals. But nobody was happier to see Herta and Dan Wheldon chug milk Sunday after the 95th Indianapolis 500 than the other two Musketeers, Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan.
"We had an opportunity, the four of us got together for dinner about a week ago," said Herta, who quit racing in the IndyCar Series at the end of 2006 and has since become a team owner. "Literally we laughed till our sides hurt just reminiscing about those times.
Richard Petty Named Grand Marshal of STP 400 NASCAR’s most decorated driver will give the command to start engines for the inaugural STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. Known simply as “The King”, Petty’s association with STP made him a natural selection for the June 5th event. “As our partnership with STP developed we became excited at the many opportunities it presented. STP’s return to the sport and longtime relationship with Richard lends an element of our sport’s history to Kansas Speedway.” said Pat Warren, president of Kansas Speedway.
Dan Wheldon was not among the drivers honored earlier this month as one of the Greatest 33 in Indianapolis 500 history. Maybe it's time to reconsider.
Winning Sunday's race made Wheldon one of only 18 drivers with multiple Indy-car wins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In addition to the others all making the list, Wheldon's record here stands as one of the modern era's best.
In nine races, Wheldon has finished in the top four six times with two wins, two seconds, a third and a fourth.
Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon, who made the Greatest 33 list, have only four top-four finishes between them. Wheldon also has led more laps at IMS than Helio Castroneves, a three-time winner who also made the list.
Wheldon earns $2.56 million for 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 victory
Dan Wheldon earned $2,567,255 from an overall purse of $13,509,485 for his victory Sunday, May 29 in the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
Wheldon's No. 98 William Rast-CURB/Big Machine car for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb/Agajanian passed JR Hildebrand's No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car on the final straightaway of the race after Hildebrand drifted high to avoid traffic in Turn 4 and hit the SAFER Barrier. It was the only lap of the race that Wheldon led, breaking the record for the fewest laps led by a winner, two, set by Joe Dawson in 1912.
England native Wheldon, who started sixth, became just the 18th driver to win the race at least twice. He also triumphed in 2005, when he also captured the IZOD IndyCar Series championship. Wheldon has six top-four finishes in nine career Indianapolis 500 starts, including second, second and first in the last three years, respectively.
A quarter mile from immortality. A stinking quarter mile, one more simple left turn after having navigated the first 799 corners without incident. Rookie JR Hildebrand was all alone, nearly four seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Dan Wheldon, well on his way to winning the centennial Indianapolis 500.
It was a tap-in for the Masters title. A layup for the NBA championship. One final stride for the Olympic 100-meter gold.
And then the 23-year-old rookie made a rookie mistake, one he will sadly regret the rest of his life. Instead of slowing down to accommodate back-marker Charlie Kimball on that final fourth turn on lap 200, he kept cruising, got high on the track, found some marbles and . . . bang.
Broken car, broken heart.
Maybe some day Hildebrand will move past this.
But probably not.
"It's a helpless feeling," he said later. More at Indy Star
Carpentier Returns to NASCAR Sprint Cup Competition this Weekend Patrick Carpentier will return to the NASCAR circuit next weekend driving Frank Stoddard Jr's #32 Ford at Kansas Speedway. The Canadian driver, who now lives in Las Vegas, has confirmed that he will compete in his first NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the year on June 5 at the 1.5-mile (2.414 km) banked oval, round 13 of the 2011 schedule.
"This will mark the first time in my Sprint Cup career that I will be driving a car that is already qualified for the race," said Carpentier who will be making his 40th Sprint Cup start. "There will be a lot less pressure when we practice on Friday, because we will be able to work both on qualifying and race set ups. I am thrilled that Frank (Stoddard) chose me to drive the number 32 car in Kansas. With the confirmation of my ride in the Nationwide race in Montréal with Michael Waltrip's team next August, it's two good news items out of three. (Editor's note - Carpentier was alluding to the fact that he crashed during qualifying at Indianapolis last May 22). This latest news makes for a fantastic end of the month of May."
Perez leaves hospital, eyes Canada return (GMM) Sergio Perez left hospital on Monday, two nights after his horror Monaco crash.
The Mexican rookie suffered concussion and a bruised thigh in a high speed qualifying crash against the notorious barrier at the end of the tunnel.
"I feel okay," said the 21-year-old Sauber driver. "I have little bit of pain in my leg and in my neck, but this comes from muscles and is nothing to worry about. On Sunday I still felt a bit dizzy but that is all."
Perez admits he can't remember key moments about the crash.
"I remember how I started Q3 and I also remember some of the accident. For the time being I am missing some memories about what happened after the first impact and the rescue procedures," he said.
He said he is "pretty sure" he will be well enough to drive in Canada in two weeks.
Asked what he will be doing in the coming days, Perez answered: "Pretty simple -- everything to make sure I can drive in Canada."
Pirelli: Vettel tire change shouldn’t have been allowed Paul Hembery, Motorsport Director for Pirelli, has echoed the sentiments of many by saying that tires should not have been changed during the red flag period in Monaco on Sunday. Taking advantage of a generally unfamiliar regulation, Sebastian Vettel was able to coast to victory in comparatively easy fashion at the final restart.
“I can understand there is a safety consideration but I am thinking about it more from a fans' perspective, to be honest,” Hembery told Autosport. “I've had a lot of people shout at me from the boats around the harbor and say, ‘Why were they allowed to change?’
Petrov feared legs were broken Vitaly Petrov feared a broken leg after crashing out of the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday. Being lapped into the Swimming Pool Complex on his 68th lap, the Russian Renault driver collided with the Armco when avoiding a collision between Jaime Alguersuari and Lewis Hamilton, resulting in a red flag stoppage.
Unable to feel his legs after the impact, Petrov was soon transported to the Princess Grace Hospital which continues to house Sauber’s Sergio Pérez. However the 26-year-old from Vyborg was able to return to the paddock just several hours later, having suffered no more than bruising.
Justin Timberlake's car WINS Indy 500! Well ... Dan Wheldon was actually driving the winning car at this year's Indy 500, but Justin Timberlake's clothing line -- William Rast -- sponsored it.
Wheldon -- sporting William Rast on his chest and his #98 car -- took the checkers at Indy for the 2nd time in his career. He crossed the finish line seconds after rookie JR Hildebrand wrecked in front of him.
Timberlake hit his Twitter to celebrate right after the race ...
Double-file restarts draw mixed reviews at Indy The double-file restarts drew cheers from fans and a mixed reaction from drivers.
But in the end, the new wrinkle created excitement.
For the first time, the Indianapolis 500 switched from traditional single-file restarts to two-wide action after cautions.
Whether it was apprehension of something horrific or anticipation of something spectacular, the change created some stunning moments during Sunday's 100th anniversary race. On the next-to-last restart, cars were four-wide heading into turn one, creating a roar from the fans at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Motorsports This Week on ESPN NASCAR Nationwide Series Live in Prime Time from Chicago on ESPN
ESPN continues its coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend with a live telecast of the event at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., on Saturday night, June 4. NASCAR Countdown airs at 7:30 p.m. ET with the race’s green flag at 8:16 p.m. Also from Joliet, ESPN2 airs coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
Marty Reid will call the action with analysis by Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree. Reports from two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer will air from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Dr. Jerry Punch.
NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Allen Bestwick with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty, a team owner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.
Tagliani will log lots of mileage promoting Quebec race This is how you define having racing in your blood: Alex Tagliani crashed out of Sunday’s 100th anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500 when he kissed the wall on the 147th of 200 laps, having made history as the first Canadian to start from the pole.
On Tuesday, the 38-year-old from Lachenaie, Que., will fly to Calgary for a promotional pit stop to talk up the July 24 Edmonton Indy, which he’ll race.
Tuesday night, Tagliani will board a flight to Montreal for a Wednesday news conference in Mirabel, Que., where he’ll promote next weekend’s NASCAR Canadian Tire Series stock-car event, which he’ll run at Circuit iCar on the apron of the former passenger airport.
(GMM) Six races and five Sebastian Vettel victories down, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso has admitted the German is well on track for his second world championship in 2011.
"There's only one occasion that (many early wins) happened, (it was) a couple of years ago with Jenson (Button) and we know Jenson's result," said the Spaniard, referring to Jenson Button's 2009 title after a stellar start to the season with Brawn.
"I think we saw in the last couple of years that if you win five or six grands prix you've nearly won the championship, so if you win five of the first six, you are in a very good position," added Alonso.
Also after Red Bull driver Vettel's Monaco win, his third race victory on the trot, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton agreed: "It's not too late (to win the championship) but it's not looking great."
December calendar shakeup 'unacceptable' - Brawn (GMM) Ross Brawn has strengthened his words a few days before the World Motor Sport Council meets to consider arguably the most arduous calendar in the history of formula one.
Paddock figures are unhappy with Bernie Ecclestone's plans to make room for Bahrain in the 2011 schedule by pushing out the date of the season finale to mid December.
Mercedes boss Brawn warned recently that the decision could mean some hard-working staff quit their jobs.
"That (December) is too much," he is quoted as saying by spox.com in Monaco.
Hamilton uses race card in explosive interviewUPDATE #2 (GMM) Pastor Maldonado has revealed he will not be talking to Lewis Hamilton after the Monaco grand prix.
McLaren's Hamilton was penalized 20 seconds for their crash and after the race ranted about the Williams rookie, who had driven a strong race in the Principality, as well as his 2008 title rival Felipe Massa.
"These drivers are ridiculous," said the Briton. "It's stupid.
"People want to see racing, but you get done trying to put on a show," added Hamilton.
Maldonado told Germany's motorsport-magazin.net he won't bother trying to talk it through with Hamilton, 26.
Asked if the McLaren driver apologized, he replied: "No, and I won't try to discuss the incident with him. That wouldn't serve any purpose."
The orange arrow shows clearly the green light was still on when Wheldon passes Hildebrand
Mike Levitt/LAT USA
Dan Wheldon has been declared the official winner of the 2011 Indy 500. The green light was still on when Wheldon passed Hildebrand.
IndyCar says Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon was not expected to stay behind runner-up JR Hildebrand when the rookie slammed into the wall on the final turn of Sunday's race. IndyCar president of competition and racing operations Brian Barnhart says he gave that explanation to Panther Racing team manager Chris Mower, avoiding a protest of the finish.
Barnhart says Mower wanted to make sure IndyCar looked at everything. Barnhart added that "it would be impractical" to stay behind cars involved in accidents.
05/29/11 Dan Wheldon's victory in the 100th Anniversary of the race is being reviewed by IndyCar Series officials because Hildebrand's car was able to cross the start/finish line under its own power.
The rules state that once the yellow light is turned on, the field is frozen. That means Hildebrand would still be the leader at the time of the caution period and because his car made it across the finish line, Wheldon's race-winning pass could be wiped out.
But for now, Wheldon is the driver celebrating the victory in one of the most stunning final laps in the 100-year history of the Indy 500.
McMurray To Run Special Paint Scheme To Support Joplin
McMurray's special paint scheme
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jamie McMurray will be running a special paint scheme in Sunday's Coca Cola 600 in support of his hometown of Joplin, Missouri, which suffered through a devastating tornado on May 22.
McMurray, who grew up in Joplin, will be driving his usual no.1 Chevrolet Impala with Convoy of Hope and "Joplin, MO" on the quarter-panels in place of his usual sponsor, Bass Pro Shops, who will also be helping McMurray in raising funds and donations to help support the victims of the tornado.
Boullier: Vitaly is okay Vitaly Petrov sustained bruising to the legs, but didn't break any bones during his heavy shunt at the Monaco GP, according to Renault team boss Eric Boullier.
The Russian was taken to hospital after he crashed into the barriers at the Swimming Pool following an incident involving Lewis Hamilton, Adrian Sutil and the lapped Jaime Alguersuari during the latter stages of Sunday's grand prix.
The race was red flagged as medics removed Petrov from his car and the 26-year-old complained of a leg injury while was being tended to.
Ricciardo wins 2nd in row Daniel Ricciardo secured his second World Series by Renault victory in a row on the streets of Monte Carlo this morning, backing up his Race 2 victory at Monza two weeks ago. The ISR driver controlled the race from the start, jumping off the line well to ultimately lead home rivals Robert Wickens and Brendon Hartley.
As the lights went out Ricciardo was untroubled at the front, but Alexander Rossi a couple of places behind dropped down to fifth after being forced to take a wide line into the first corner by Hartley. In doing so the New Zealander was also passed, as Wickens made his way through into second at the same time as numerous drivers - who were penalized with ten second penalties at the checkered flag - cut the circuit at Turn 1.
Conflicting reports at IndyUPDATE Georgetown Road is once again open after two separate incidents closed the road overnight, creating traffic headaches for race fans. The first incident happened at 21st and Georgetown. Police said two people were stabbed outside the Speedway. One person was transported to the hospital in serious condition. No word on the condition of the second victim. According to police, the second happened at 25th and Georgetown when a pedestrian was struck by a drunk driver. That victim was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Police arrested the driver. Police are not allowing traffic down Georgetown Road until their investigations are complete. Police said alcohol was believed to be involved in both incidents. The person who was struck was reported to be in critical condition.
05/29/11 As we tried to get into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this morning at 5 AM, workers and others in the media were diverted from our intended route as the road was closed off with flashing emergency vehicle lights ablaze. Conflicting reports say there was a stabbing around 3 AM and another report says there may have been a drunk pedestrian hit by a vehicle and killed. More if we hear further details.
Meanwhile the gun just sounded, the gates are open and the day has officially started on the 100th anniversary of this the greatest race in the world. The forecast calls for party cloudy skies, warm and humid, but no rain.
Tire testing at Kentucky June 1st Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Travis Kvapil, Joey Logano, Mark Martin and David Reutimann are scheduled to test Goodyear tire compounds in preparation for Kentucky Speedway's July 9 "Quaker State 400" on Wednesday, June 1. Kentucky Speedway will become the first new venue on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule since 2001 when the inaugural 43-car "Quaker State 400" field takes the green flag at 7:30 p.m., July 9. Fans can reserve tickets, Fan Zone Pit Road passes, Fan Zone Prerace passes for a "Quaker State 400" race day concert with country music artist Clay Walker and Sprint Cup driver introductions in addition to Pit Road Club hospitality tickets online at kentuckyspeedway.com, by phone at 888-652-7223 or by visiting the Kentucky Speedway offices.
Foyt and Andretti to lead Indy 500 field Will America's two greatest race drivers in history try to beat each other today like they did for decades on the race track? Four-time race winner A.J. Foyt will lead the 33-car Indy 500 field around the 2.5-mile oval today in the Camaro Pace Car, and just behind him, in the two-seater, will be 1969 race winner Mario Andretti.
Indy 500 Restarts tweaked IndyCar Series officials have compromised with angry drivers and agreed Saturday to make a slight change to the new double-file restart rule that will be in place at the Indianapolis 500 for the first time.
Instead of throwing the green flag for restarts when the cars are even with the first pit box on pit lane, the restart zone will, as previously done, allow the drivers to accelerate in the area between Turns 3 and 4.
The change will enable the outside line of cars to avoid some of the loose rubber (known as marbles) that builds up on the outside area of the turns.
The drivers were concerned about coming out of Turn 4 in the outside line and getting debris on the tires from the turn before accelerating.
Tagliani signs on to race Surfers V8 Supercar race
Indy 500 polesitter Alex Tagliani (R) with his object of desire, wife Bronte
Today’s 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 polesitter Alex Tagliani will race for Kelly Racing at the Armor All Gold Coast 600 this October.
On the eve of the biggest race of Tagliani’s life, team co-owners Todd and Rick Kelly have confirmed the return of the popular Canadian driver for the unique Gold Coast event, where all 28 full-time V8 Supercars drivers will be paired with an international import.
Tagliani earned pole position for the Indy 500 last weekend driving for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, becoming the first Canadian to earn the honor in the 100-year history of the prestigious race.
Tagliani is a familiar face to Australian fans. He has three previous V8 Supercars Championship starts, at Sandown and Bathurst in 2005 and in Kelly Racing’s #11 Commodore at Surfers Paradise last year.
Renault mechanic cut in Monaco pitlane (GMM) A Renault mechanic has returned to work on Sunday despite suffering an injury in the cramped Monte Carlo pitlane.
He was struck with the sharp front wing endplate of a passing car and on Saturday was nursing a deep gash on his knee, but will be back in action for the prestigious Monaco grand prix.
At the same time, disappointed to learn he has definitely been sidelined for the race, Sergio Perez nursed his concussion and sprained thigh in the local Princess Grace hospital by watching the GP2 race on television.
De Phillippi Wins Star Mazda Round 3 at the Night Before the 500
Connor De Phillippi
Connor De Phillippi, staring from the pole and leading from flag-to-flag, won Round 3 of the 2011 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, the 85-lap 'Night Before the 500' at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; this was the California driver's second victory of the season driving the #11 Team Pelfrey / Justice Brothers Products / Trademark Garage Floors Mazda; he won the season-opener at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
De Phillippi crossed the finish line two hours late due to a rain delay, but still with 2.4 seconds in hand over his Team Pelfrey teammate Nick Andries of St. Petersburg, Fl, who started from the outside of the front row in the #81 Team Pelfrey / Lithionics Battery / GS610 Brake Fluid / Trademark Garage Floors Mazda. Andries started from the pole in St. Pete and finished 2nd in Round 2 at Barber Motorsports Park.
Fernando Alonso says Hamilton should be on pole today
(GMM) Oddly, nemesis Fernando Alonso defended McLaren's strategy call on qualifying, while Lewis Hamilton was angry with his team.
"The engineers advised we should do one run at the end of Q3 and I didn't contest it," rued the Briton, disrupted by the Sergio Perez red flag and his seventh quickest time becoming just ninth on the grid due to jumping a chicane.
"Here you can't take risks like leaving it right to the end. You can't win from there but I won't give up," said Hamilton.
It was therefore odd to hear Alonso with words of near-encouragement for Hamilton, his track nemesis, and the strategists at McLaren, a team he fell out with badly during their single season together in 2007.
Wind Tunnel Sunday Featured Interview 2011 Indy 500 Winner Featured Interview Mario Andretti (1969 Indy 500 Winner) Featured Interview Max Biaggi (2010 World Superbike Champion) Expert Analyst Robin Miller (SPEED Open Wheel Racing Reporter)
This Week’s Races: · CUP and Nationwide in Charlotte · 100th Anniversary Indy 500 · Formula 1 in Monaco · Rolex Series at Lime Rock Park in CT · World Superbike and AMA SuperBike in Utah · AMA Motocross in Wortham, TX
Marmon 'Wasp' to drive on IMS oval in two special pre-race laps Sunday The Marmon "Wasp" that Ray Harroun drove to victory in the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911 will be featured in two ceremonial laps during pre-race ceremonies for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones will drive the No. 32 Marmon "Wasp" during both laps. It will be only the third time the car has been driven on the famed IMS oval on Race Day since Harroun crossed the finish line in 1911.
The first lap with the "Wasp" also will feature cars built during the era of the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911. Other drivers and cars in this lap:
De Phillippi on Star Mazda Pole for Night Before the 500
Connor De Phillippi speeds to pole
Connor De Phillippi, shattering the existing lap record by more than 6/10ths of a second in his #11 Team Pelfrey / Justice Brothers Products / Trademark Garage Floors Mazda, scored his second pole of the 2011 Star Mazda Championship season in qualifying for tonight's 'Night Before the 500' at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. De Phillippi's lap of 19.999 (123.486 mph) decisively disposed of the previous record, a 20.665 set last year by current Indy Lights driver Mikael Grenier.
And it will be an all-yellow front row with De Phillippi's Team Pelfrey teammate, Nick Andries, starting on the outside of the front row with a lap of 20.202 (122.245 mph) in his Team Pelfrey / Lithionics Battery / GS610 Brake Fluid / Trademark Garage Floors Mazda. De Phillippi won Round 1 of the 2011 Star Mazda Championship at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, and set the fastest lap of the race. He is currently second in the championship points battle. Andries started from the pole at St. Peteand finished 2nd in Round 2 at Barber Motorsports Park.
Dale and Gail Coyne Bestowed Boy Scouts of America Highest Honor
Dale and Gail Coyne receive applause after being awarded the Silver Buffalo by the Boy Scouts of America
At the annual Boy Scouts of America 2011 National Council Recognition Dinner held Friday night in San Diego, Dale & Gail Coyne, owners of Dale Coyne Racing, became the first couple since Ronald and Nancy Reagan to receive the prestigious “Silver Buffalo” award, the Boy’s Scouts of America highest commendation.
The Coynes received the “Silver Buffalo” award for their outstanding support of America’s youth through their generous contribution and engagement of Scouts and Leaders across America. Past recipients include: President Teddy Roosevelt, Bob Hope, President George Bush, Sr., President Bill Clinton and last year’s recipient Bill Gates.
Two free Pit Passes for Sunday's Indy 500 Indy Lights team Jensen Motorsport in conjunction with AutoRacing1.com is giving away two free pit passes to tomorrow's Indy 500 to one lucky winner. To win the passes, post on their Facebook Team Page www.facebook.com/jensenmotorsport before 10 pm tonight to enter the random drawing. The winner will be notified and can go to the IndyCar credential office to pick-up their passes in the morning.
In their very first oval race, Jensen MotorSport driver Juan Pablo Garcia set a new Indy Lights lap record yesterday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a speed of 192.672 during the Freedom 100. They are quite proud of this accomplishment - Dividends from a lot of hard work on body fit and painting the cars for Indianapolis.
Rosberg calls for changes to barrier Nico Rosberg has called for alterations to be made to the barrier where Sergio Perez had an accident in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.
Perez crashed in to the barrier at the Nouvelle Chicane after losing control of his car under braking coming out of the tunnel, and was taken to hospital with concussion. Rosberg had a similar accident in FP3, but was fortunate that his car just went to the left of the barrier after being launched off some curbs. Rosberg said that he was lucky his accident had not been more serious, but that there had been enough incidents to warrant changes to both the barrier and the bump in the braking zone.
Ronald Reagan Centennial Car to Race in Indy 500 For the first time ever, an IZOD IndyCar Series car will bear the seal of a U.S. Presidential Foundation this Sunday during the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. Dan Wheldon, 2005 Indy 500 winner, will drive the Bryan Herta Autosport/Curb-Agajanian #98 William Rast/aigo/Curb/Big Machine/Forsythe Solutions entry with the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration seal on the nose to observe the 100th anniversary of Reagan’s birth.
Reagan was a fan of auto racing and established a strong relationship with several major racing series. As presidential candidate, Reagan drove the pace car in the 1976 Indianapolis 500. In 1984, he became the first sitting president to attend a NASCAR race. From aboard Air Force One, Reagan gave the “Gentlemen, start your engines” command for the Firecracker 400 in Daytona Beach, Fla. After landing at Daytona International Airport, Reagan joined the television broadcasters calling the race, harkening back to his days as a sports radio announcer.
Charles Pic dominated his rivals from pole position to claim the sprint race win this afternoon in Monaco, leading from lights to flag in a display of cunning and speed to lead home Josef Kral and Romain Grosjean.
The Frenchman's only threat came when the lights went out: Pic had a sharp start but Kral's was even better, getting almost alongside the poleman but having to give way when the pair reached Ste Devote. Behind them, Grosjean too was fast off the line, with front row starter Max Chilton making a poor start and local driver Stefano Coletti stalling completely, providing a road block for the rest of the field.
Lewis Hamilton has been demoted to tenth on the grid for the Monaco Grand Prix.
The stewards deleted his best time after deciding he cut the chicane on his qualifying lap. This was the only lap time Hamilton set during Q3 so he will start tenth on the grid. He will start ninth if Sergio Perez does not start following his crash.
Stenhouse, Jr. Takes Charlotte Nationwide Series Pole
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s week just keeps getting better, as the 23-year old driver picked up his third career NASCAR Nationwide Series pole on Saturday for the Top Gear 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Just a week after scoring his first Nationwide Series win and two days after securing his first Sprint Cup Series start, Stenhouse, Jr. paced the 1.5-mile quad oval at 186.994 mph to beat out Kevin Harvick for the top spot. Harvick held onto the outside pole position, followed by Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards.
Perez conscious and talkingUPDATE #2 It was with great relief the Sauber F1 Team received the news that Sergio Perez has no serious injuries after his heavy accident in the closing minutes of the final part of qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix. Shortly before 15:00 hrs he had crashed into the barrier after the fast tunnel section of the circuit.
The 21-year-old Mexican was taken to the Hospital Princess Grace in Monaco from where the team received further information at 16:25 hrs: The doctors said Perez had suffered concussion and a sprained thigh, but no broken bones and, following a scan, they could find no further injuries.
The reason for the accident will be investigated and the team will update the media as soon as it has any further information. Sauber PR 05/28/11
Sergio Perez, who suffered a heavy accident in Q3 for the Monaco Grand Prix, is conscious and talking according to a statement from the Sauber team.
Perez lost control of his Sauber C30 in the same place as Nico Rosberg crashed in the final session of free practice, on the exit of the tunnel under braking for the Nouvelle Chicane.
The Mexican rookie went sideways into the barrier and suffered a heavy impact. Rescue crews carried out the extraction process carefully, with the conclusion of qualifying delayed 40 minutes. Perez has been taken to the Princess Grace hospital in Monaco and Sauber said more news will be issued later.
Three drivers uncertain for Monaco GP (GMM) The participation of three drivers is in doubt for Sunday's Monaco grand prix.
The two HRT drivers, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan, have failed to qualify. Liuzzi crashed on Saturday morning and his F111 was not repaired for qualifying some hours later.
Indian Karthikeyan, meanwhile, also failed to set a time in Q1 with a reportedly unrelated suspension problem. Neither driver has looked competitive all weekend and are therefore unlikely to receive dispensation by the stewards to race.
Sergio Perez, meanwhile, is in hospital on Saturday afternoon nursing a sore head and leg.
The Mexican crashed heavily on the exit of the tunnel despite qualifying for the 'Q3' segment in Monaco.
Video: Rosberg's scary Monaco crash His teammate Michael Schumacher appeared to have his steering wheel fail and crashed yesterday and today Nico Rosberg had this frightening crash in his Mercedes where he came close to T-boning the chicane barrier like Karl Wendlinger did.
Q&A with Nick Heidfeld Nick Heidfeld shares his thoughts on life with Lotus Renault, saying they are the "most open of all the teams I have driven for in my career"...
Q: Five races into the 2011 campaign, how has the Lotus Renault GP experience been for you? NH: It's been a great experience so far. Obviously it was a very late call for me to come into the team; from the first day on I felt extremely welcome and I have really enjoyed working with the guys. We started trying to improve things together during winter testing and I'm still trying to work together with everyone to improve things further. As the season progresses, it becomes trickier to go into specific details (like you can when you are testing) because you are focusing just so much on the actual racing, but all in all it has been a positive experience so far.
As he did last year, Daniel Ricciardo (ISR) will start from pole at 11:10am on Sunday in the curtain-raiser event for the Monaco F1 Grand Prix. The Australian will line up on the front row alongside the New Zealander Brendon Hartley (Gravity-Charouz). It is going to be crucial to get it right on the brakes into Sainte-Devote. Robert Wickens (Carlin) and Alexander Rossi (Fortec Motorsports) will be trying to find a way through from the second row to prevent Daniel Ricciardo from becoming the first driver to take two Formula Renault 3.5 Series victories in Monaco.
Rossi just missed pole and will be the next American in F1 with a real chance to be F1 world champion someday
In fact the fastest three drivers overall were really Ricciardo, Hartley and Rossi, all three separated by just 4/100th of a second and all three drivers, along with Wickens, will likely be in F1 soon, they are that good.
In order to keep the traffic fluid on the streets of Monaco, the 26 drivers in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series were divided up into two groups, according to their standings in the Drivers Championship. Group A, the group containing championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne (Carlin), was the first to go into action.
A.J. Foyt is still the towering presence at any Indianapolis 500
AP Photo/HamiltonA.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti have not always seen eye-to-eye.
A.J. Foyt is raising ever-lovin' hell at his team managers, just like always (but this is just the other day, mind you, on his cell phone), ordering them to change the electronic combination locks on his equipment trucks. Otherwise, "them Andrettis and Penskes, they'll just go up there and take what they need, and I'm tired of that crap."
After all these decades, you reckon you can razz him a little without getting decked. That wasn't always the case.
"Foyt's Soup Kitchen, huh?" you say. "Just stand in line for your handout from A.J."
"The motherf---ers," he says of teams that for years hardly gave old A.J. the time of day but come to him for help now that he's running competitive cars again.
Invited -- you'd damn well better be invited or you're out of here on your ass -- you sit down across the table from him in his million-dollar motor coach, parked on the same hallowed ground where in 1958 he waited for days, sleeping in a '57 Chevrolet, because nobody knew who he was and wouldn't let him through the gates of Gasoline Alley.
Izod Revs Up Sales Growth With IndyCar Sponsorship Who's going to win the 100th anniversary running of Sunday's Indy 500? Dario Franchitti? Danica Patrick? Pole-sitter Alex Tagliani?
How about Izod?
The Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. brand took a chance 18 months ago by becoming one of the few apparel brands not named Nike or Reebok to engage a big sports sponsorship when it took over as the title sponsor of the IndyCar Racing Series.
What might have seemed a gamble in November of 2009 now has Izod and IndyCar coming in with the checkered flag. The brand better associated with preppies and the 1980s has somehow managed to revive itself and open-wheel auto racing at the same time.
Alonso's new helmet colors for this weekend were on display Thursday.
05/25/11 Fernando Alonso will sport a special gold-colored helmet during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. The helmet is a similar design to his regular one, but uses gold and white colors in place of blue and yellow.
It will be auctioned at the end of the season to raise money for the Fondazione Fernando Alonso which promotes road safety initiatives for children.
Alonso will also wear the helmet at the Singapore Grand Prix.
CNN dedicates TV special to Ferrari’s fascination The US-American media giant CNN dedicates an over seven minute long special to Ferrari in its TV show "Icon", discovering the secret behind the Prancing Horse, turning it into one of the most popular brands in the world. On a trip around the premises of the Works in Maranello, accompanied by Chairman Luca di Montezemolo, followed by test drivers with a 458 Italia and a California, the US-network was looking for the answer to the question “What makes a Ferrari a Ferrari?” or better how and why the cars from Maranello became a universal synonym of speed, success and technical perfection.
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