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Frisselles enjoying Unser reunion at the Glen Frisselles enjoying Unser reunion at the GlenBurt and Brian Frisselle have been sporting the biggest smiles in the Rolex paddock this weekend at Watkins Glen, thanks in part to a fast race car, and thanks as well to having the chance to share it with one of their childhood heroes as two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Al Unser Jr. has joined with Synergy Racing for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen in the A1 TEAM USA/GlycoMax Porsche-powered Doran.
“It’s been great having him with us this weekend,” said Brian. “We didn’t get to run yesterday, so we ended up just hanging out in the bus and having dinner together and catching up with the families, so it was great.”
But there is racing to be done this weekend, and after a legal matter was straightened out and the Rolex Daytona Prototypes were allowed to take to the track on Friday, it was time to get to work and find the best set-up for Saturday’s six hour enduro with three practice sessions on Friday. zzzz
Unser, who won races with Synergy Racing lead engineer Gary Grossenbacher in the 80’s, was feeling right at home in the A1 TEAM USA GlycoMax Porsche-powered Doran despite not having run in a Daytona Prototype before. The threesome took turns sharing the car throughout the sessions, and set a fast lap time of 1:46.852-seconds on the 3.4-mile upstate New York road circuit.
“We are right in the thick of things I think with the car, right where we need to be,” said Brian, who staged a storming drive to the front at the Glen last season. “Working with Al has been great. He is a great team player, really laid back, and even though he has this amazing background and record of success, he’s been all about making sure that the car is right for everyone and not just for him. I can’t wait to go racing tomorrow.”
The legal situation meant that the grid was set by points, meaning that the A1 TEAM USA car will start from the eleventh row.
“The car is as good as we’ve ever had it here for the Glen-and we’ve been plenty fast in the races here before, so that’s pretty encouraging for tomorrow,” said Burt. “Brian did some great times with tires that were pretty much shot, so we know we can be fast late in our stints. It’s too bad we didn’t get a chance to qualify, but we have six hours to make up for that tomorrow.”
Rockenfeller fastest, Pruett on pole Rockenfeller fastest, Pruett on poleWATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 2, 2006) – On a day that included three practice sessions but no qualifying owing to Thursday’s legal action, which prevented Daytona Prototypes from practicing, German hotshoe Mike Rockenfeller posted the quickest lap in the final session in preparation for Saturday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen (SPEED, Live, 2:30 p.m.).

Although Rolex Series points leaders Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz of CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates finished ninth in today’s final practice with a top time of 1:46.377 (115.062mph), the duo will start tomorrow’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on pole position after the field was set on team points.

Pruett will lead the no.01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley from pole position as the team starts from the inside of Row 1 for the third time in 2006 (Mexico City, Long Beach). It also marks the fourth front-row start of the season after Diaz qualified second in Phoenix in Round 7.

Rockenfeller posted a lap at 1:45.466 (116.056 mph) in the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche Crawford to lead both the evening session and the day overall. As the starting grid was set based on team points, Rockenfeller will start fifth for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in the car he is sharing with American co-driver Patrick Long. The duo is looking for its third feature race victory of the season.

“We missed a lot of practice yesterday and this our first time here with this car,” Rockenfeller said.  “Like usual, we are working on the setup of the car to be as good as possible in the race.  The track really has every kind of turn except a first gear hairpin.  The banked, high speed turns are really fun to drive.  Patrick and I are up to speed on the circuit and now we are making the small adjustments to the car so we can run at the front for six hours tomorrow.  If we can have a trouble free run mechanically, I am confident we can return to our winning form.” zzzz 

Second-quickest on the day was Ryan Dalziel in the No. 89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Casino Pontiac Riley with a lap at 1:45.596 (115.913 mph) also in the evening session. Dalziel and his Pacific Coast Motorsports co-driver Alex Figge head into the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on the strength of Rolex Series career-best results with a second-place run three weeks ago in the GAINSCO Grand Prix at Phoenix International Raceway. Dalziel will start 12th in Saturday’s race.

“We’re happy, but it was a tough day,” Dalziel said. “I think that everybody had a tough day. We made the most of the conditions and we’re coming off a good run at Phoenix so we’ve got some momentum. To be honest, we just made small changes to the car because it was quick right off the truck. We’re a little disappointed that we’re starting on championship points, because our car is much quicker than that, but in a six-hour race, it doesn’t really matter where you start. We’re stoked.”

Oswaldo Negri Jr. turned in the day’s third-quickest time with a lap at 1:45.711 (115.787 mph) in the No. 60 Flight Options Lexus Riley for Michael Shank Racing. Negri is returning to Rolex Series competition after missing the GAINSCO Grand Prix due to a one-race suspension for causing a multi-car accident in the qualifying race at Phoenix. Negri will co-drive the No. 60 machine with Mark Patterson, and will start eighth in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

Renault confident as testing ends Renault confident as testing endsThe Renault F1 Team completed a diligent final day of testing in Barcelona on Friday to round off a productive week's work.

Perfect testing conditions in Barcelona saw Renault F1 Team drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen complete over 1000 km as they completed the final day of a three-day test. The duo ended the day third and fourth fastest.

Both drivers concentrated on long run performance during the day, finalizing the tire selection ahead of next weekend's British Grand Prix as they conducted endurance running on the Michelin tires. Both drivers showed encouraging first lap pace and consistency as they set third and fourth-fastest times respectively.

"It was a strong final day for the team today in Barcelona," stated Chief Test Engineer Christian Silk. "The team has worked well this week, and we have completed a lot of reliable laps to make good progress with our programmes. Michelin have developed an interesting range of products for the coming race, and we feel we have some good answers for Silverstone. We can be optimistic of another strong Renault performance next weekend." Source Renault
Lacroix tops final practice at Milwaukee Lacroix tops final practice at MilwaukeeMichael Potekhen, of Tempe, Arizona, edged out series rookie Kevin Lacroix by two-thousandths of a second to set the fastest time of the day in practice for Round Four of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, being held this weekend at the Milwaukee Mile as part of the Champ Car World Series Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225. Driving the Apex Racing Avenue Communities Mazda, Potekehen posted a best time of 27.691 (134.166 MPH) around the 1.032-mile oval to lead the field of 29 competitors. Lacroix, from St. Eustache, Quebec, clocked a time of 27.693 (134.157 MPH) in his John Walko Racing Uni-Select Auto Parts Mazda during the final practice session of the day.
Wilson fastest overall at Milwaukee Friday Wilson fastest overall at Milwaukee FridayKnowing that any driver that has any designs on running down Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford points leader Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald’s Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) had better do it this weekend, the field spent the day circling the Milwaukee Mile in hopes of finding speed for this weekend’s Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225.

Bourdais has yet to find success on the 1.032-mile West Allis oval, going winless in his three previous starts, and the rest of the Champ Car field is well aware that this weekend’s event could pose an opportunity to eat into the huge advantage Bourdais has built in winning each of the year’s first three races.

Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) showed that he was ready to take up the chase on a sunny Milwaukee Friday, leading the 17-car field in today’s open testing, stopping the clocks in a day’s-best time of 21.215 seconds (175.121 mph). He posted his time in the three-hour morning session and then saw it stand up over a long afternoon, giving him an advantage of nearly two-tenths of a second over second-placed Bourdais.

Bourdais led the afternoon session and was second overall after posting a time of 21.406 seconds (173.559 mph), but warned that there are a lot of variables in testing, and that today’s performance doesn’t automatically carry over into tomorrow’s qualifying. zzzz

“It’s a promising result for us but you never know what the other guys are working on and how they got their times,” said Bourdais. “We’re fairly happy with what we have but we’ll have to wait and see how the weather cooperates tomorrow because the temperature makes a huge difference in your car here. We feel good right now, but we can’t get too optimistic yet.”

Times could have changed dramatically in the last 15 minutes of the session as most drivers were planning late-session runs in qualifying trim, but a crash involving Nelson Philippe (#4 CTE Racing – HVM Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) scrapped that strategy. Philippe spun between the third and fourth turn and hit the wall, and was later taken to Froedtert Hospital for precautionary x-rays and an MRI exam after complaining of neck soreness.

2003 Milwaukee polesitter Alex Tagliani (#15 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) found speed late in the session to move into the third spot, logging in with a best time of 21.457 seconds (173.146 mph). In posting his best lap, Tagliani vaulted ahead of Bruno Junqueira (#2 Hole In The Wall Camps Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and Mario Dominguez (#7 Orgullo de Mexico Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), who rounded out the top five ahead of Philippe.

“We feel really confident in our car and I think there’s still a couple of tenths (of a second) in there to come out,” Tagliani said. “I love this track, it’s challenging and you really have to drive the car here. You have to respect this track or it can bite you, but having a good car gives you the confidence to go out and push. I think we’re in good shape.”

Saturday’s action will begin at 9 a.m. Central Time with a two-hour practice, followed by single-car qualifying for the Bridgestone Pole Position, beginning at 1:00 p.m. Fans can follow all of the action via the Race Director feature available on the official website of the series, www.champcar.ws.

Official results from today’s testing follow:

1) Justin Wilson - #9 CDW Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone – 21.215 seconds/175.121 mph
2) Sebastien Bourdais - #1 McDonald’s Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone – 21.406/173.559
3) Alex Tagliani - #15 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone – 21.457/173.146
4) Bruno Junqueira - #2 Hole In The Wall Camps Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone – 21.526/172.591
5) Mario Dominguez - #7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone – 21.580/172.159
6) Nelson Philippe - #4 CTE Racing – HVM Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone – 21.633/171.738
7) Paul Tracy - #3 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone – 21.670/171.444
8) Oriol Servia - #6 Gulfstream/Bell Micro Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone – 21.710/171.129
9) A.J. Allmendinger - #10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone – 21.933/169.389
10) Will Power - #5 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone – 22.016/168.750
11) Cristiano da Matta - #19 Sonny’s BBQ Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone – 22.276/166.780
12) Dan Clarke - #14 CTE Racing – HVM Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone – 22.454/165.458
13) Katherine Legge - #20 Optium/Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone – 22.473/165.318
14) Charles Zwolsman - #34 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone – 22.612/164.302
15) Andrew Ranger - #27 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone – 22.632/164.157
16) Jan Heylen - #11 Sonny’s BBQ Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone – 23.344/159.150
17) Nicky Pastorelli - #8 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone – 23.909/155.389 

Champ Car

Rain stops NASCAR qualifying Rain stops NASCAR qualifyingA rain shower has interrupted qualifying for the Neighborhood Excellence 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Dover International Speedway.  The session had just been restarted following a red flag caused by Chad Chaffin crashing in Turn 1 when the rain started falling.  38 of the 47 drivers had already qualified when the session was stopped, with Ryan Newman on provisional pole ahead of Jeremy Mayfield and Jeff Gordon.
Alex Lloyd tops Corning 100 practice Alex Lloyd tops Corning 100 practiceEnglishman Alex Lloyd topped the opening day of practice for the Indy Pro Series T Corning 100.

Lloyd, driving the No. 25 AFS car, turned a lap of 1:38.2044, 123.538 mph, slightly quicker than defending series champion Wade Cunningham, who recorded a lap of 1:38.7434, 122.864 in the No. 1 Brian Stewart Racing entry.

"We ran well, but today means nothing," Lloyd said. "We were quick today but we need to be quick tomorrow and obviously in Sunday's race. But I couldn't ask for a better start to the weekend."

Phil Giebler, making his debut with Kenn Hardley Racing, recorded the third-fastest lap of the day, 1: 39.3865, 122.069 mph. All three drivers were faster than Cunningham's 2005 qualifying record of 121.801 mph.
Pos Driver Diff Best Time
1 Alex Lloyd (26) ... 1:38.2044
2 Wade Cunningham (1) 0.5390 1:38.7434
3 Phil Giebler (42) 1.1821 1:39.3865
4 Bobby Wilson (24) 1.9464 1:40.1508
5 Sean Guthrie (4) 2.1602 1:40.3646
6 Raphael Matos (41) 2.3145 1:40.5189
7 Jaime Camara (11) 2.4217 1:40.6261
8 Jonathan Klein (27) 2.6277 1:40.8321
9 Jay Howard (7) 2.7627 1:40.9671
10 Arie Luyendyk Jr (25) 4.0723 1:42.2767
11 Chris Festa (51) 4.3408 1:42.5452
12 Jon Herb (6) 4.3650 1:42.5694
13 CR Crews (9) 4.5582 1:42.7626
14 Nick Bussell (52) 4.9523 1:43.1567
15 Matthew Hamilton (2) 5.1454 1:43.3498
16 Mishael Abbott (8) 9.0189 1:47.2233

Helio fastest again Helio fastest againFor the second year in a row at Watkins Glen International, Helio Castroneves will select the order (straight up or inversed) for single-lap qualifying June 3.

It's the third time in five IndyCar Series street/road course events that the driver of the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone topped the combined speed chart in first-day practice, earning the right to select the qualifying order. His quick lap of 1:30.6783 (133.792 mph) was just off his pole-winning 1:30.6688 (133.806 mph) in September.

Under the IndyCar Series format, the quickest driver selects the qualifying order. The fastest six from single-car qualifying return for the 10-minute, all-car "Firestone Fast Six," which determines the first three rows.

"The car seems to be very good," said Castroneves, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner who crashed in the race five days earlier. "We had a little issue this morning, actually a lot of issues. We had to stay in the pits for a long time, but Marlboro Team Penske did a hell of a job. They fixed the car in time, and with 20 minutes to go, I was able to get out there and come back with a time. Every time you're in the pits here, you lose time, because the track gets better and better. So it was good to be able to come out and set a fast time."

Tony Kanaan (1:31.0462; 133.251 mph) in the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone was second on the chart. Rookie Marco Andretti, who was the runner-up to Sam Hornish Jr. in the 90th Indianapolis 500 on May 28, was third (1:31.1722; 133.067) in the No. 26 NYSE Group Dallara/Honda/Firestone.
Target Chip Ganassi teammates Scott Dixon (1:31.2363; 132.973) and Dan Wheldon (1:31.5971; 132.450) completed the top five. Hornish, coming off the first portion of his Victory Tour, was sixth quick on the chart (1:31.8463; 132.090). IRL

Servia crashes Servia crashesPKV driver Oriol Servia crashed going into Turn 3 at Milwaukee during Champ Car practice Friday afternoon. We asked Servia what happened.

"I told my crew on the radio that something was breaking because I had to turn the wheel more and more going into Turn 3 each lap. Then all of a sudden on the lap I crashed the right front steering broke and when I turned into 3 the car just went straight into the wall. It was scary and it was a big hit, but the SAFER Barrier did its job and I am OK." Mark C.
Castroneves leads practice 1 at The Glen Castroneves leads practice 1 at The GlenFriday morning IndyCar practice times from Watkins Glen
Rank Car Driver C/E/T Time Speed
1 3 Castroneves, Helio D/H/F 01 30.9112: 133.449
2 11 Kanaan, Tony D/H/F 01 31.2734: 132.919
3 9 Dixon, Scott P/H/F 01 31.6956: 132.307
4 6 Hornish Jr, Sam D/H/F 01 31.8463: 132.090
5 27 Franchitti, Dario D/H/F 01 31.8669: 132.061
6 26 Andretti, Marco D/H/F 01 32.4445: 131.235
7 15 Rice, Buddy P/H/F 01 32.6968: 130.878
8 7 Herta, Bryan D/H/F 01 32.7477: 130.806
9 10 Wheldon, Dan P/H/F 01 33.0226: 130.420
10 5 Briscoe, Ryan D/H/F 01 33.1985: 130.174
11 4 Meira, Vitor D/H/F 01 33.2805: 130.059
12 17 Simmons, Jeff P/H/F 01 33.4455: 129.830
13 55 Matsuura, Kosuke D/H/F 01 33.6336: 129.569
14 8 Sharp, Scott P/H/F 01 33.6719: 129.516
15 16 Patrick, Danica P/H/F 01 33.8748: 129.236
16 2 Scheckter, Tomas D/H/F 01 34.0311: 129.021
17 14 Giaffone, Felipe D/H/F 01 35.1044: 127.565
18 51 Cheever Jr, Eddie D/H/F 01 35.1132: 127.553
19 20 Carpenter, Ed D/H/F 01 35.8856: 126.526
Q and A with Matt Kenseth Q and A with Matt KensethMatt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Power Tools Fusion, has been very consistent so far this season, producing seven top-five finishes and eight top-10s through the first 12 races, and is in second place in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings. Kenseth has seven top-10s in 14 career starts at Dover.

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 DeWalt Power Tools Fusion – YOU HAVE SEVEN TOP-FIVES A THIRD OF THE WAY THROUGH THE SEASON. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE TEAM’S SUCCESS UP TO THIS POINT? “It’s been great. You always look at things that they could be better, but I know they sure could be a lot worse. It’s been a great start. We’ve had real good competitive cars almost every week. There’s been a few races we haven’t run that great, but most of the time we’ve had real competitive cars. We’ve had a couple problems and not finished, but mostly we’ve had good cars and good luck.”

BESIDES SIMPLY RUNNING WELL, ARE THERE ANY OTHER FACTORS THAT GO INTO THE CONSISTENCY THIS TEAM HAS SHOWN THIS SEASON? “There’s a lot of factors: Preparation, things haven’t fallen off the cars; not running over something and getting flat tires; not getting caught up in people’s wrecks. There’s a lot of stuff. You’re out there racing with 43 cars, 500 miles a week, so there’s a lot of things that can definitely go wrong, and to collect points and get good finishes you need them to go right.”

IS THERE ANYTHING SPECIFICALLY THAT YOU CAN POINT TO THAT’S DIFFERENT THROUGH THE FIRST 12 RACES OF THIS YEAR AND THE FIRST 12 RACES OF LAST YEAR? (THROUGH 12 RACES IN 2005, KENSETH WAS OUTSIDE OF THE TOP 20 IN POINTS.) “A lot of things, a lot of things that I just talked about. Last year we didn’t run as well, so certainly we’ve been doing a better job of getting cars running better this year. Also, we haven’t had as many silly things go wrong – flat tires, breaking parts and that kind of thing.”  zzzz

ON DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY. “They’re all difficult. This is a difficult track, but it’s a fun track. It’s got a lot of banking and you go real fast. So, it’s a track that I’ve always really enjoyed.”

HAS YOUR APPROACH TO THIS TRACK CHANGED OVER THE YEARS? “Not really. I should probably try to change it a little bit because it seems like I have more trouble here than most – right-front tires, stuff like that. It’s a track that I really enjoy. You can run real fast.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THREE FAVORITE TRACKS? “Probably Atlanta, Rockingham and here – even though we don’t race at Rockingham anymore. Those are probably my three favorites.”

ON RACING WHEN INJURED. “I think you race the same all the time. If you crash running a 30-flat or you crash running at a 30.50 it’s not going to make any difference as far as getting hurt. I mean that one or two miles an hour is not going to matter. Usually, you’re always the best off running as hard as you can and try to run up front. You’ve got less chance, I think, of being in a wreck or getting in trouble.”

DIFFERENT RACING STRATEGY WHEN A DRIVER IS INJURED? “The most points possible is trying to win, and I think you go out each week and try to win, lead races. I don’t think there’s really a different strategy.”

ON RICKY RUDD WORKING AS A RELIEF DRIVER FOR THE NO. 20 CAR THIS WEEKEND. “It’s happened before. One time Bobby Labonte broke his shoulder – he started the race, I filled in for him and finished the race. It’s part of it, but we don’t see it that often with people getting hurt and people getting out of the car, but that’s always a risk you take being out there.” Ford Racing

Glen Six Hours to run as planned Glen Six Hours to run as plannedThe Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen weekend schedule will proceed as originally planned—with Daytona Prototypes and GT cars competing simultaneously—as officials from the Grand American Road Racing Association have reached a settlement agreement with Krohn Racing.

One day after a New York State Supreme Court judge granted an injunction for 17-year-old driver Colin Braun to compete in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, Krohn Racing has elected to withdraw Braun from the team’s No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Riley entry in the best interests of all Daytona Prototype teams and the parties involved in the dispute. The contract between Watkins Glen International and the Indy Racing League—with whom the Rolex Series shares the bill this weekend—does not allow for drivers under the age of 18 to participate in any on-track activities on the same weekend at the same track the IRL is racing.

“We want our fellow teams and drivers in the Rolex Sports Car Series to be able to race this weekend as scheduled,” said Krohn Racing owner/driver Tracy Krohn. “It was never our intention to disrupt the competition, but instead to provide a mechanism for Colin Braun to be racing here this weekend. Circumstances have ultimately prevented this, but it is important that the race goes on, not only for the competitors, but the race fans here at Watkins Glen and the viewers watching on SPEED.” zzzz

Road racing star Boris Said has been named as Braun’s replacement in the No. 76 machine and will co-drive with German standout Jörg Bergmeister, who currently ranks third in the Daytona Prototype driver standings. Krohn Racing cars finished first and second in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen last year, with Bergmeister and then-co-driver Christian Fittipaldi trailing winners Krohn and Nic Jönsson. Braun will return to Rolex Series competition in two weeks in the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on June 24.

“We are pleased that we have been able to reach an amicable settlement with Krohn Racing over this matter,” said Grand American President Roger Edmondson. “It is important to understand that the Grand American Road Racing Association and many in our paddock think the world of Colin Braun, and are just as disappointed as he and Krohn Racing are that Colin will not compete in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. He is obviously an extremely talented young driver with an incredibly bright future, and we look forward to watching his career continue to develop on the Rolex Series stage. On behalf of Grand American and all of our Daytona Prototype teams, I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Krohn Racing for deciding not to pursue this matter further this weekend.”

A replacement driver will also be brought in for Braun—who turns 18 on September 22—in the penultimate round of the 2006 Rolex Series at Infineon Raceway on August 26, which will be the third and final race weekend of the year that the Rolex Series shares with the IRL.

Wilson tops Friday morning practice at Milwaukee Wilson tops Friday morning practice at Milwaukee
Pos Driver # Team Lap Time Mph
1 J. Wilson 9 RuSPORT 21.215 175.121
2 A. Tagliani 15 Team Australia 21.457 173.146
3 M. Dominguez 7 Forsythe Championship Racing 21.580 172.159
4 P. Tracy 3 Forsythe Championship Racing 21.677 171.389
5 O. Servia 6 PKV Racing 21.710 171.129
6 N. Philippe 4 CTE Racing - HVM 21.812 170.328
7 S. Bourdais 1 Newman/Haas Racing 21.866 169.908
8 A. Allmendinger 10 RuSPORT 21.933 169.389
9 W. Power 5 Team Australia 22.244 167.020
10 B. Junqueira 2 Newman/Haas Racing 22.339 166.310
11 D. Clarke 14 CTE Racing - HVM 22.454 165.458
12 A. Ranger 27 Mi-Jack Conquest Racing 22.632 164.157
13 C. da Matta 19 Dale Coyne Racing 22.736 163.406
14 C. Zwolsman 34 Mi-Jack Conquest Racing 23.126 160.650
15 K. Legge 20 PKV Racing 23.155 160.449
16 J. Heylen 11 Dale Coyne Racing 23.732 156.548
17 N. Pastorelli 8 Rocketsports Racing 23.909 155.389
Schumacher stays fastest in Barcelona Schumacher stays fastest in BarcelonaFriday test times:
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:14.119 112
 2. Kubica BMW-Sauber (M) 1:14.136 133
 3. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:14.504 118
 4. Kovalainen Renault (M) 1:14.505 122
 5. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:15.010 104
 6. de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:15.122 98
 7. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:15.177 113
 8. Rosberg Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:15.229 85
 9. Doornbos Red Bull-Ferrari (M) 1:15.508 102
10. Davidson Honda (M) 1:15.524 139
11. Rossiter Honda (M) 1:15.629 107
12. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (M) 1:15.674 80
13. Coulthard Red Bull-Ferrari (M) 1:15.807 125
14. Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Cosworth (M) 1:16.489 121
15. Panis Toyota (B) 1:16.532 87
Rossi reigns at Mugello Rossi reigns at MugelloValentino Rossi celebrated his new Yamaha contract by setting the pace in both Friday free practice sessions for his home grand prix at Mugello.  More to follow.....
JV to drive F1 car in Hyde Park JV to drive F1 car in Hyde Park(GMM)  Hyde Park in London will resonate to the tones of  Jacques Villeneuve's V8 when the French Canadian shows off his BMW-Sauber.

The 35-year-old world champion of 1997 is scheduled to demonstrate the Hinwil-built car for about half an hour on a 380-metre circuit on the Tuesday after next weekend's British grand prix.

The UK is BMW's third-biggest market.

At the Silverstone race itself, however, Villeneuve is not expecting to shine.

''At the (recent Silverstone) test we were not extremely competitive,'' he said, ''but the track has some fun corners to drive even though I am not that fond of the chicanes.''

Schumacher breaks record in Barcelona Schumacher breaks record in BarcelonaFerrari ace Michael Schumacher was 81 thousandths of a second better than the previous unofficial Barcelona record, held by Jenson Button in April of last year as he worked through his program of Bridgestone tire development and testing new components. Thursday test times:

Pos Driver Constructor Time Laps
1 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1m13.473 82
2 Heikki Kovalainen Renault 1m14.168 121
3 Rubens Barrichello Honda Racing 1m14.213 98
4 Ricardo Zonta Toyota 1m14.697 102
5 Nico Rosberg WilliamsF1 1m14.729 87
6 Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 1m14.854 113
7 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1m15.131 111
8 Pedro de la Rosa Team McLaren Mercedes 1m15.240 85
9 Jacques Villeneuve BMW Sauber 1m15.525 114
10 Jenson Button Honda Racing 1m15.589 108
11 Luca Badoer Ferrari 1m15.639 27
12 Juan Pablo Montoya Team McLaren Mercedes 1m15.652 61
13 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1m15.780 130
14 Christian Klien Red Bull Racing 1m15.870 75
15 Alex Wurz WilliamsF1 1m17.185 85
16 Neel Jani Toro Rosso 1m17.221 94
17 Robert Doornbos Red Bull Racing 1m17.256 108

Germain Racing announces Toyota Cup deal Germain Racing announces Toyota Cup dealUPDATE Todd Bodine will be the featured interview on Wind Tunnel Sunday night so we're sure this announcement will be a topic of discussion.

06/02/06 CONCORD, N.C.  --  Germain Racing announced today that it will be part of NASCAR'S Car of Tomorrow program by running a partial Nextel Cup schedule in 2007 with a Toyota Camry and driver Todd Bodine.  

Germain Racing currently fields two Toyota Tundra teams in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, driven by series points-leader Todd Bodine and Ted Musgrave, who is second in the points standings.   The team has been very successful in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, which has influenced Germain Racing's decision to expand its racing program into the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.   As with their truck program, the Germain Racing team will lease its engines from TRD , U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development).

"We're extremely excited to be joining the Nextel Cup Series and running in select races next year," said Bob Germain. "The fact that it's a completely new program will level the playing field a little and allow us to be more competitive.  Plus with the limited schedule, we can continue to focus on truck racing as we expand our team to the next level." zzzz

Germain Racing's driver, Todd Bodine who is currently leading the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver points will drive the Germain Racing Toyota Camry in 2007.  Bodine will drive the partial NASCAR Nextel Cup schedule as well as continue to complete a full season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series next year.

"I look forward to running our Tundra again next year as well as help Germain Racing build a new NASCAR Nextel Cup program," said Todd Bodine.

Heading up the Germain Racing NASCAR Nextel Cup program will be GM, Mike Hillman, Sr.   Hillman will oversee both the Craftsman Truck Series program and its Nextel Cup program for Germain Racing.

"I am very excited about getting back into NASCAR Nextel Cup racing," said Mike Hillman, Sr.   "This is a great opportunity for us here at Germain Racing to build our Cup program slowly.  We want to bring the success of our truck program into our Cup program.   It is going to be an even busier season for us next year, but I am looking forward to it."

Germain Racing has obtained some associate sponsorship for its NASCAR Nextel Cup program but is still actively seeking a primary sponsor.

Industry News
BMW reports USA sales increase BMW reports USA sales increaseThe BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI brands combined) reported strong demand for its vehicles in May, with sales of 28,360 vehicles, up 5.3 percent over the 26,926 vehicles sold in the same month of 2005.  The BMW Group also reported an increase of 10 percent in year-to-date sales, for 129,511 vehicles over the 117,844 vehicles reported in May 2005.
Aston Martin adds drivers for LeMans Aston Martin adds drivers for LeMansAston Martin Racing has confirmed their driver lineup for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.  Team regulars Tomas Enge and Darren Turner will be joined by Andrea Piccini in the #007 DBR9 while Pedro Lamy, Stephane Sarrazin and Stephane Ortelli will be onboard #009.  Turner will not be present in this weekend’s test day as the Englishman has British Touring Car Championship commitments.  The ACO has granted the team to sport the numbers 007 and 009 and it will be the first time any car has raced with a three-digit number at Le Mans.  More importantly, the cars will run on Michelin rubber in the twice around the clock classic.
“We have a great driver line-up. Four of the drivers were with us last year and have driven for us in the first three ALMS races of this year,” said Aston Martin Racing Team Principal George Howard-Chappell. “Stephane (Ortelli) drove for us at Sebring in 2005 and, although Andrea is new to our team, he has shown great potential driving a DBR9 for one of our customer teams.  

In the car’s debut at Le Mans last year, they had a troubled race coming home third in class and ninth overall.

“Relative to last year and to our opposition in the GT1 class we have been handicapped,” said Howard-Chappell on the prospects of Aston Martin Racing at Le Mans in 2006. “We have been given an additional 25kg of weight, we are no longer allowed to run our low down-force front bumper and we have had our engine performance reduced via a smaller restrictor. We were fast last year but as always in motor racing, this year will be an unknown and we won’t really know where we are in comparison to the opposition until we get to the race.”

Fellows to wheel No. 32 Fellows to wheel No. 32PPI Motorsports (PPIM) announced today that road course expert Ron Fellows will once again drive the #32 Tide/Downy Chevy in the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway on June 25. As for the team’s full-time driver Travis Kvapil, he will take over the reigns of the #78 Furniture Row Chevy for Kenny Wallace who has a Busch Series commitment. Both drivers will be racing identically prepared chassis built by Pratt and Miller Engineering and Fabrication … the same company responsible for the highly successful Corvette Racing program and its domination of the American Le Mans Series for which Fellows is a driver. So far, Kvapil and Fellows have participated in three days of testing at Virginia International Raceway (May 16, 30 & 31) with another test scheduled with Kvapil going solo since Fellows is in France participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans festivities and race. PPI Motorsports Site
MotoGP inks deal with Misano MotoGP inks deal with MisanoSan Marino’s Misano circuit has agreed a provisional five-year deal to stage a MotoGP race – starting next year.

The deal will see the MotoGP Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini staged at Misano from 2007-2011, and see a long-term economic investment from all three public and private parties involved in the project.

The public investment will contribute to the acquisition of the event and to its promotion, whilst the private sector will supply the funds to perform the necessary track improvements and to sustain the massive organizational challenge that such an event requires.

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of MotoGP rights holders Dorna Sports, said: “We now have made the agreement which will allow us to propose to the FIM to insert the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini on the official 2007 calendar, to take place at the Autodromo Santamonica di Misano. With this move we have satisfied a strong demand, both on riders' and fans' behalf to have another MotoGP event in Italian territory.”

Grand Prix of Cleveland Celebrity Go-Kart Race Grand Prix of Cleveland Celebrity Go-Kart RaceDuring the colorful history of the Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank, the event has been known not only for high speed thrills on the track, but also charitable giving off the track.  This year, during the 25th anniversary of the popular Northeast Ohio tradition, high speed thrills and charitable giving will be intertwined more than ever before with the Race for Rainbow Pro-Am/Celebrity Go-Kart Race, part of the Grand Prix of Cleveland festivities taking place at Burke Lakefront Airport, June 23 - 25.

The Race for Rainbow Pro-Am/Celebrity Go-Kart Race will take place on Saturday, June 24 at 12:45 p.m. and will be contested on a state-of-the-art go-kart racing and timing facility being constructed on the Grand Prix grounds. Lending their talents to this event will be legendary actor/racer Paul Newman, racing legends Bobby Rahal and Al Unser Jr., and a host of area celebrities and sports stars.   Proceeds from the event will benefit Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital through Cleveland Grand Prix Charities.

Participants will not only enjoy the opportunity to rub shoulders with racing legends and celebrities during the go-kart event, they will also receive four prime grandstand seats, four hospitality passes to the Cleveland Grand Prix Charities tent on Saturday and Sunday of race weekend and two VIP Parking Passes. Participation packages are being sold for $5,000 each.  zzzz

Individuals interested in competing in the Race for Rainbow Pro-Am/Celebrity Go-Kart Race should contact  the race's downtown business office at (216) 619-RACE (7223).

In addition to hosting the celebrity event, the go-kart track will be available to the general public and corporate groups throughout the Grand Prix of Cleveland race weekend. Fans will be able to don racing suits and test their driving skills using 12 horsepower, competitive racing Go-Karts, which will propel the driver around the course at over 40 mph.

During the Grand Prix of Cleveland, individual fans will be able to purchase go-kart rides for $20 for 10 laps, and corporate groups will have the opportunity to lease the Go-Kart track on an hourly basis for a unique and exciting corporate outing. All proceeds generated through the weekend, during both the celebrity event and public racing periods, will benefit Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

The track is open and available for race fans over the age of 18, and for riders between the ages of 14 to 17 if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. All riders must have closed-toe shoes.

Cleveland Grand Prix Charities was born in 1981, when a small group of area businessmen rallied Cleveland's business leaders to get involved in a new event in town, the Champ Car race at Burke Lakefront Airport.  The Cleveland business community responded by coming together to form a large Board of Directors, and creating a host of special events surrounding the Race.  Over the years, proceeds from these events have benefited many charitable causes, including Easter Seals, Providence House, Shoes & Clothes for Kids, and The Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland.

Tickets for the Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank are available by phone at 216-241-5555; online at www.grandprixofcleveland.com or in person at Ticketmaster locations including all Kaufmann's and select Giant Eagle stores. Corporate sponsorship, hospitality or group sales are available by calling the Grand Prix of Cleveland office at 216.619.RACE (7223) or toll-free 888.817.RACE.

For more information on the Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank contact the event's downtown business office at (216) 619-RACE (7223) or visit www.grandprixofcleveland.com.

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
F1 team Red Bull is British, not Austrian
Schu leaves Monaco storm behind
Brundle takes top TV plaudit
I'm not Schu's enemy - Rosberg
JV pushes BMW for '07 decision
Button tells Schu to stay in F1
Rubens rejects 'lies' about Monaco speeding
Jani to keep F1 ride despite GP2 call-up
TV News
USA TV reminders for Saturday USA TV reminders for Saturday
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
Formula 1 Replay Monaco
12:00am-2:30am (R)
Originally broadcast on CBS SPEED
NASCAR Busch Qualifying  Dover
12:00pm-1:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup Happy Hour Dover
2:00pm-3:00pm (SDD) FX
Rolex Sports Car Series Watkins Glen
2:30pm-8:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Busch Series  Dover
3:00pm-6:00pm (L) FX
Speed News Saturday  
8:30pm-9:00pm SPEED
Tradin' Paint (NASCAR)  
9:00pm-9:30pm SPEED
NASCAR Performance  
9:30pm-10:00pm SPEED
AMA Superbike  Road America Elkhart Lake, WI
10:00pm-11:00pm (SDD) -Race 1
Sun, June 4: 6:00pm-7:00pm (SDD) -Race 2 SPEED

All times listed are ET.  For a complete listing of Saturday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.

Honda passes "500" test Honda passes "500" testJust before the start of the year, Honda committed to being the sole engine supplier to the IndyCar Series and supplying the entire 33-car field at the Indianapolis 500. Six months later, Honda passed its biggest test with flying colors.

The 33 Honda-powered cars turned 5,035 race laps or 12,587.5 miles during the Indianapolis 500 without experiencing any issues.

"We believe this is the first time the Indianapolis 500 has been run without a single engine problem," said Robert Clarke, president of Honda Performance Development. "It's an amazing accomplishment for everyone at Honda Performance Development and our technical partner at Ilmor. I'm both extremely proud of the result and grateful for the incredible effort put forth by all of our associates leading up to the race."

Industry News
Jeep to sell diesel-powered Grand Cherokee Jeep to sell diesel-powered Grand CherokeeThe Chrysler group will begin selling a diesel-powered version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee in the U.S. market early next year. The diesel Grand Cherokee will be powered by a turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 and goes on sale in the first quarter of 2007, the Chrysler group said early Thursday. The engine will be supplied by Mercedes-Benz, and the vehicles will be assembled at the automaker's plant in Detroit.
Legal matters in Watkins Glen Legal matters in Watkins GlenUPDATE #2 Following an injunction granted today to Krohn Racing and driver Colin Braun by New York State Supreme Court Judge Judith O’Shea, Thursday’s Daytona Prototype practice sessions for Saturday’s Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International were canceled.

At issue is the contract between the Indy Racing League and Watkins Glen International, which prohibits competitors under 18—such as the 17-year-old Braun—from participating in any on-track activities at the same racing facility on the same weekend that the IRL is also competing. The defendants in the case have filed an appeal, which will be heard on Friday morning. A decision is expected by midday on Friday.

“It is important to point out that Krohn Racing and Colin Braun are well within their rights to take this action,” said Grand American President Roger Edmondson. “It is also unfortunate that the rest of our Daytona Prototype teams must wait until Friday for a decision on the status of their event. However, we must respect both the decision of the court as well as our race promoter, and are prepared to alter our plans if necessary.”

Braun did not compete in March’s Linder Industrial Komatsu Grand Prix of Miami, which was also run in conjunction with the IRL, as a result of a similar contract between Homestead-Miami Speedway and the IRL. Grand-Am

06/01/06 Only the GT cars took practice at 7PM tonight.  the Daytona Prototypes sit idle because of the injunction.  If something does not change soon, they might have to cancel the race for the DP's.

06/01/06 The Grand-Am Series had to cancel today's 3 p.m. practice session at Watkins Glen International for this weekend's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen because of an injunction, brought by Krohn Racing because their 17-year-old driver Colin Braun is not allowed to take part in this weekend's event because it would violate contracts involving the race track, the IRL IndyCar Series and Philip Morris Tobacco Co. - Sponsors of Team Penske and drivers Helio Castroneves and Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr.

Rossi signs with Yamaha for 2007 Rossi signs with Yamaha for 2007Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd is delighted to announce that Valentino Rossi will remain with the Japanese factory in 2007, racing for a fourth year with Yamaha’s Factory Team in the MotoGP World Championship. Rossi will continue to spearhead Yamaha’s Grand Prix challenge and bike development, as MotoGP enters a new era of 800cc racing in 2007.Rossi has enjoyed huge success with Yamaha since he joined the factory just over two years ago and every one of his races has captured the true spirit of ‘Kando’, the Japanese word for the sensation of intense excitement that we experience when we encounter something of supreme quality.

The Italian won the championship with the YZR-M1 on his first try in 2004 and again in 2005,when Yamaha took a clean-sweep of Riders’, Team and Manufacturers’ Championships in the year of it’s 50th Anniversary. 2006 has proved more difficult for the World Champion, with just one win so far this season after a series of unfortunate occurrences, but Yamaha has every faith that Rossi will recover his winning-form, starting at his home Grand Prix in Mugello this weekend. zzzz

Speaking from Mugello today, Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director Lin Jarvis commented, “We are firstly delighted that Valentino has chosen to stay in MotoGP. He is a great ambassador for motorcycle racing in general and extremely important to the global image of this sport. He is the most talented and the fastest rider on the grid and the benchmark to which others aspire. “We are extremely happy that Valentino has chosen to continue his illustrious MotoGP career with Yamaha in 2007. Yamaha and Valentino have an excellent relationship and we have enjoyed great success together since our partnership was born in 2004. It’s exciting news for Yamaha’s fans; Valentino’s worldwide appeal unites them under one banner and brings more and more people daily into the Yamaha ‘family’.

“Of course it’s of key importance to us that Valentino will now be in a position to lead the development of Yamaha’s new 800cc project for 2007. His input will be invaluable and we believe we will be able to challenge to win the title next year with the new bike. Both Valentino and Yamaha relish the new challenge ahead.

“In the meantime our short term goal is to provide him with the means to defend his MotoGP title this year. We are confident that Valentino can recover from an unlucky start to his title defense, starting at our Factory Team’s home race in Mugello this weekend.” “I’m very pleased to be staying with Yamaha next year”, announced the 27-year-old from Tavullia, “These past two years with Yamaha have been two of the best of my career and I am extremely happy to stay with them and with my team. I believe I have made the right choice and I am very excited about the new class of racing with Yamaha next year.

SunTrust, XM Satellite Radio to sponsor Richmond event SunTrust, XM Satellite Radio to sponsor Richmond eventFor the sixth consecutive year, SunTrust Banks, Inc. will serve as the primary sponsor for the IndyCar® Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

This year, SunTrust will partner with XM Satellite Radio to showcase the SunTrust Indy Challenge Presented by XM Satellite Radio "under the lights" on June 24, as part of the fastest weekend of racing at Richmond International Raceway.

"We are pleased to have SunTrust on board for our IndyCar Series race again this year," track president Doug Fritz said. "We are proud to have such a great partner sponsor the fastest race at Richmond International Raceway. The addition of XM Satellite Radio to our IndyCar (Series) race helps us as track promoters and SunTrust as our title sponsor to reach an even wider audience." zzzz

"SunTrust prides itself on supporting the communities we serve through the sponsorship of entertainment, educational and cultural events," said Michael Newbrand, Director of Marketing for SunTrust Mid-Atlantic.  "We are looking forward to another thrilling weekend."

"XM is committed to broadcasting exciting racing action to our millions of subscribers across the country," said George Perry, Director of Partnership Marketing for XM Satellite Radio.  "We are happy to be on board with SunTrust to bring the SunTrust Indy Challenge Presented by XM Satellite Radio to Richmond International Raceway." IRL

Wurz crashes Wurz crashesWilliams Cosworth had both Nico Rosberg and test driver Alex Wurz in action for the team today, recording the fourth and 16th fastest times respectively. “Nico had a mixed test program, including some engine control software, underbody temperature mappings, some set-up work and a short tire test in the afternoon," explained Test Team Manager Mike Condliffe.

"Meanwhile, Alex was testing a family of aerodynamic parts for direct comparison all day, providing useful data for correlation with the wind tunnel."

"Unfortunately, just before the end of session, Alex suffered an impact.
I am pleased to say that he is fine, but the car sustained some damage.”

The team continue for the final day at the circuit tomorrow. Source Williams Cosworth

NASCAR fines two more cheaters NASCAR fines two more cheatersNASCAR announced Wednesday that fines have been issued to two NASCAR Busch Series crew chiefs resulting from rule violations this past weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Bryant Frazier, crew chief of the #64 Dodge driven by Jamie McMurray, was fined $5,000 for violating Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing), Section 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules) and Section 20A-5.10.1B(4) (carburetor throttle bores must not be larger than 1.438 inches and must be straight, without taper, from top to bottom) of the NASCAR Busch Series rule book. The infraction was discovered during opening day inspection. Brad Parrott, crew chief of the #42 Dodge driven by Casey Mears, was fined $1,000 for violating Sections 12-4-A, 12-4-Q and 20A-12.3S (left rear shock absorber must fully compress and fully extend). The infraction was discovered during post-race inspection. NASCAR PR
TV News
USA TV reminders for Friday USA TV reminders for FridayUPDATE Added the 2006 Indy 500 replay to the Friday TV schedule below. ESPN Classic will televise the race as an "Instant Classic" from 9-11 p.m. (ET) Friday, June 2. The broadcast will feature much of the green-flag action, including the spellbinding final eight laps in which the lead changed hands between four drivers, with Hornish driving past Chase Rookie of the Year Andretti on the front straightaway to win by just 0.0635 of a second. It was the second-closest finish in the history of the race and the first time that the lead changed on the final lap.

It's the second consecutive year that the Indianapolis 500 has earned "Instant Classic" status. The 2005 race, featuring a late-race duel between winner Dan Wheldon and Chase Rookie of the Year Danica Patrick, also received the same accolade.

Courtesy of TVRacer.com

USAC Thunder -Midgets Indianapolis Raceway Park
8:00am-9:00am Outdoor Channel
NASCAR Live! Dover
5:00pm-5:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup Qualifying  Dover
5:30pm-7:00pm (SDD) SPEED
Trackside Dover
7:00pm-8:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Craftsman Truck  Dover
8:00pm-10:30pm (SDD) SPEED
Instant Classic: 2006 Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis
9:00pm-11:00pm  ESPN Classic

All times listed are ET.  For a complete listing of Friday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.

George and Kalkhoven at Indy George and Kalkhoven at IndyUPDATE Here is another photo of Kalkhoven at Indy before the race submitted to us by Earl Ma. 05/31/06 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I stumbled across these photos on a discussion forum of Tony George and Kevin Kalkhoven talking on the grid before the 500 Sunday.  I take this as a positive sign that their relationship continues to flourish.  Kevin Skeels, Omaha


Track News
ISC downplays local track work in Washington ISC downplays local track work in WashingtonWith Int’l Speedway Corp. (ISC) looking to build a $345M speedway in Kitsap County, Washington, the owners of Pacific Raceways in nearby Kent are trying to “expand their operations and upgrade a 2 1/4-mile racecourse to professional standards,” according to Jennifer Langston of the SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER. Pacific Raceways President Jason Fiorito wants to finance $15-20M in improvements that, in addition to track upgrades to the road course, would “build a new drag strip, go-kart course, a smaller track, new access roads, a clubhouse, condos and space for racing-related businesses.” Fiorito said that his plans “wouldn’t hinge on attracting a Nextel Cup event.” However, ISC marketing consultant Rich Johnson indicated that a road course “isn’t what [ISC is] looking for” and that ISC is “exclusively focusing its efforts” on the Kitsap County proposal. Meanwhile, Langston notes the Pacific Raceways proposal still has “substantial hurdles to cross, such as county approval of a development plan that might need to accommodate some structures on slopes or sensitive areas” SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
Badoer destroys Ferrari in test crash Badoer destroys Ferrari in test crash(GMM) Luca Badoer did not return to test duty at Circuit de Catalunya after a huge accident on Thursday.

Ferrari's veteran test driver left the right-rear but also the front section of his '248' car totally destroyed after losing it in the ultra-quick turn three sweeper and smacking conveyor-belt covered tires.

Italy's Badoer, 35, emerged from the red car as a few flames emerged from the bodywork, but was unhurt. The car, however, is beyond repair.

Lapierre breaks back, Jani to sub Lapierre breaks back, Jani to subUPDATE Following Nicolas Lapierre’s accident at the Monaco GP2 race last weekend, the young Frenchman will be replaced by Neel Jani for the next race at Silverstone.

Nicolas was injured in a multi-car collision at the start of the race, which left two of his vertebrae compressed.  Despite being in pain from this injury, Nicolas is recovering well but will need to rest for four to five weeks. 

Neel Jani finished 7th in the GP2 Championship last year, winning races in Hungary and Monza.  Jani is currently third driver for F1 team, Scuderia Toro Rosso and will have a busy weekend fulfilling his Friday driver test duties and racing in GP2.

05/29/06 Nicolas Lapierre is "recovering well" in hospital after sustaining back injuries in the first corner accident at this weekend's Monaco GP2 series race.

"Nicolas has compressed two vertebrae - D6 and D7," his manager Didier Coton told www.gp2series.com. "He is in a lot of pain but is recovering well.

"He sustained the injuries when he landed following the first corner accident in Monaco on Saturday. It's a clean compression, very painful but nothing major. Nicolas is well and should be going home today. He needs to leave time for his injuries to heal."

The duration of this healing process is unknown, but Nicolas has been ruled out of the forthcoming races in Silverstone in two weeks and the mid-season test at Paul Ricard in July.

"He will have a further X-Ray in a week and after that we will know more. At the moment he has been told to take it easy for four to five weeks, but we will have an exact timescale once doctors have seen how well his back has healed in the week between X-Rays.

"For now, we will get him home, make sure he is comfortable and let the healing process begin. He will be wearing a corset to stabilize his back, and he should be allowed to walk this afternoon," Coton concluded. "Overall he is well, in very good spirits, and looking forward to getting back to racing."

Phoenix Sheriff against street race Phoenix Sheriff against street racePhoenix Sheriff Arpaio is coming out against a proposed Indy-style race in Downtown Phoenix.  The sheriff says a Champ Car Race would impede operations at the Sheriff's Office 9-1-1 call center by creating excessive noise.

According to a news release, the sheriff says the race would put public safety at risk and is an irresponsible decision that he plans to fight.

The sheriff also lashed out at the organizers of the race for not having the courtesy of notifying his office about the proposed November, 2007 race. AP Story

What to look for in Milwaukee What to look for in Milwaukee
Four for Bourdais? – This weekend Sebastien Bourdais will be attempting to continue his clench on the top podium spot. So far this season he is three-for-three in wins and has two pole positions to his credit. He also leads the series in laps led and is one of four drivers to have completed every lap this year. Keeping up his dominance this weekend will be a challenge as Milwaukee is one of the few tracks that the Flying Frenchman has not yet scored a victory at or led any laps. His highest qualifying effort on the track came in 2004 when he qualified on the outside pole and his highest finish was last year when he brought his car home in the sixth position.

Tracy a Master of Milwaukee - Paul Tracy returns to the Milwaukee Mile as one of the most successful drivers in the storied track’s history. He scored his fourth Milwaukee win a year ago, leading 192 laps of last year’s event. The Canadian also has two pole positions and eight top-six finishes on the oval. Only Rodger Ward (7) and Michael Andretti (5) have more victories at the West Allis track, than the 2003 series champion.

Historical Greatness - As the track that has hosted the most Champ Car events in history, the Milwaukee Mile on the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds is a hotbed of Champ Car nostalgia.  The one-mile oval has hosted 109 Champ Car races since 1933 with 52 different drivers visiting the winner's circle.  The list of winner's reads like a who's who of open wheel racers as two generations of Andretti's and Unser's have won there as well as Jimmy Bryan , Rodger Ward, Rex Mays, Ted Horn, A.J. Foyt, Jim Clark, Lloyd Ruby, Rick Mears, Gordon Johncock and Tom Sneva.  More recently another list of all-star drivers have emerged victorious at the mile including Jimmy Vasser, Greg Moore, Juan Montoya, Kenny Brack and Paul Tracy. zzzz

Mile Ace Allmendinger – In two starts on the historic Milwaukee Mile A.J. Allmendinger has yet to finish outside of the top-five. The American recorded his best finish last year when he crossed the finish line runner-up to Paul Tracy.

Brewing Partners - In a new marketing initiative between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Milwaukee Mile, Brewers fans can take their ticket stub from any May home game at Miller Park and redeem it at The Milwaukee Mile ticket office for $5 off a race ticket to the Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225, Sunday afternoon, June 4 at The Mile. On Friday evening before qualifying Champ Car Star A.J. Allmendinger will be throwing out the first pitch at Miller Park as the Brewers battle the Washington Nationals. Then on Sunday the World Famous Klement’s Racing Sausages will be involved in the promotion, but with an added twist to their traditional race. The Sausages will be competing in go-karts on the Milwaukee Mile track just prior to the Champ Car Race in the Klement’s World Famous Racing Sausages Mile Long Classic.

Wilson in pursuit – Justin Wilson has been on Bourdais heel’s in 2006 recording two second-place runs this season. In Monterrey, he paced Friday qualifying and led 28 laps before bringing his car home in second right behind the Frenchman. Last year in Milwaukee Wilson qualified third, before crossing the finish line in the fourth position.

Milwaukee Debutants – A number of rookies will be making their oval debuts this weekend at the Milwaukee Mile. After two opportunities to test on the West Allis track Will Power, Katherine Legge, Dan Clarke, Jan Heylen, Charles Zwolsman, and Nicky Pastorelli are ready to try out their skills at turning left. 

Mile Domination - In the 98 previous Champ Car races held at the Milwaukee Mile, only eight times has the race been won wire-to-wire, the latest of those coming in 2004 when Ryan Hunter-Reay led all 250 laps. Hunter-Reay, Al Unser Sr. (1970), Jimmy Clark (1963) and Johnny Boyd (1956) are the only drivers to lead as many as 200 laps in a single Milwaukee event.

Rounding up the Rookies - Will Power has been the top rookie so far this season recording two-top ten finishes and has been the top rookie in two events. Currently he leads the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year race by nine points over Jan Heylen, who is closely being pursued by Katherine Legge who is just three points back.

Milwaukee Legge - Katherine Legge set a new Champ Car high for best finish by a female driver with an eighth-place finish in Long Beach. No female driver has ever earned back-to-back top-10 finishes in Champ Car competition. She currently sits in third in the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year points standings.

Triple Threat? –Sebastien Bourdais is chasing history to join Ted Horn as the only driver to win three consecutive Champ Car titles. In Houston Sebastien Bourdais became the third consecutive driver to defend his Champ Car title with a win in the following year’s season opener. He then became the first driver since Rick Mears (1982) to defend his title by winning the first two races of the following season. Al Unser Sr. (1971) is the last driver to win the first three races of a season after winning the title the year before .

Filled with Talent - The field preparing to take the green flag in Milwaukee has combined to score 73 Champ Car victories, 67 poles and four series titles despite the relative youth in the lineup. The average age of the 2006 driver roster, which contains six rookies, is 26.8. Paul Tracy and Alex Tagliani are the only drivers in the field to have made over 100 Champ Car starts. Eight members of the 2006 lineup have Champ Car victories on their resumes while 10 of them have podium finishes to their credit, a number that is more impressive when you consider the lineup for the Time Warner Cable Road Runner 2005 features six rookies. Champ Car

Playboy Racing partners with MSR Playboy Racing partners with MSRPlayboy Racing announced today that Playboy Enterprises and Palms Hotel will sponsor the No. 6 Lexus-powered Riley starting with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen and through the remainder of the 2006 Rolex Sports Car Series Season.
The No. 6 car is the sixth Playboy Racing entry brought to the Grand American Road Racing Series by TCR and features the stunning trademark all Black paint scheme. 
Mears Motor Coach, the Orlando-based transportation services company, will also continue to be an important partner for the Columbus based team.
“We are really pleased that everything finally came together and now we will be proudly carrying the Playboy and Palms Hotel colors along with Mears Motor Coach,” said team owner Mike Shank. “The Rolex Series has become so competitive and having good corporate partners for the team is an important part of our ability to produce strong on-track results. Playboy Racing has clearly identified MSR and the Rolex series as a good place to market and grow their brand, and we are excited to be a part of it.” zzzz
Tommy Constantine will share the driving duties in the Playboy Racing/Mears Motor Coach machine with Mike Borkowski and Paul Mears Jr. for the Watkins Glen round, marking the Daytona Prototype debut for Constantine, who also currently competes in the Grand Am Cup Series with Mike Borkowski and has a long history of success in the open-wheel ranks.
“TCR, as the Agency of Record for Playboy Racing looked to partner the Playboy program with Michael Shank Racing from the beginning and we are thrilled that the opportunity to work with them has developed. We have chosen only very capable, competitive teams and MSR certainly falls into that category,” said Constantine. “From the driver’s perspective, Borkowski and I have both been fast in the cup series and I am looking forward to stepping up and driving with him and MSR in the Rolex Series on behalf of Playboy.”
Racing News
What if Roger had said yes? What if Roger had said yes?If Roger Penske said yes, who knows whether Mario Andretti would have ever gotten his big start in Indy Cars with Al Dean, Clint Brawner and Jim McGee. 

"I had a job, Jim McGee called me and wanted me to take my rookie test here at Indy," Penske said recently. "I had a family and a job responsibility, so Mario Andretti took his rookie test in that car. I made a decision at the end of 1965 that I was going to get out of racing. I had an opportunity to get a Chevrolet dealership in Philadelphia, and back then you couldn't get a dealership and be a race-car driver at the same time.  I couldn't get insurance or a loan at the bank if I was a race driver."

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
No test for Senna, Williams says
McLaren hit out over FIA snub
Ferrari reputation intact, Todt insists
Massa takes blame for Monaco shocker
No fire problems for Silverstone, says Haug
Jordan would 'consider' F1 return
Alonso is F1's new Schu - DC
Schu bears down on another record
Potter Named Executive Director of Museum Potter Named Executive Director of MuseumBob Bailey, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Saratoga Automobile Museum, has announced the appointment of Steve Potter as Executive Director of the museum, effective June 1st. 

“Steve is arriving at an opportune time, as the museum enters its fifth year,” Bailey said.  “His extensive experience in the automobile and motorsports industries, and his background as a journalist are important resources for our museum.” 

Formerly the Vice President and General Manager of Lime Rock Park, a road racing course in Lakeville, CT., Potter has had a long career in the sports marketing and automotive public relations field, following nine years as motorsports correspondent for the New York Times.

Potter was the manager of sports marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA from 1995 to 2001 and was a provider of consultant services to the New York Auto Show, Ford Motor Division, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda Motors of America and Jaguar Cars of North America.  He spent six years as East Coast Public Relations Manager for Mazda Motor of America.  During his time as a journalist, Potter also served as senior editor of Turner Broadcasting’s MotorWeek Illustrated.  zzzz

During his tenure with Mercedes-Benz, Potter handled programs in men’s professional golf through the PGA Tour, tennis with the ATP Tour and the CART FedEx Championship Series and the US Grand Prix in motorsports.

“Steve has worked in the automobile industry most of his life and is recognized throughout the country” said search committee member Jean Hoffman.  “Also impressive is the fact that he is personable and goes out of his way to make people feel welcome.  That is a hallmark of this auto museum, so I think he’ll fit in perfectly with our professional staff and volunteers.”

Along with his professional experience on the business side of motorsports, Potter spent 15 years behind the wheel, winning a pair of Sports Car Club of America divisional championships and competing for a season in the rough and tumble modified division at New Jersey’s Wall Stadium.

Potter holds a bachelors degree from Harvard University and did graduate work in clinical psychology at Rutgers University.  His wife, Kathy Drake, is a retired editor at Money Magazine and a Skidmore graduate.  They are in the process of relocating to the Saratoga area.

Orsi to team with Fittipaldi Orsi to team with FittipaldiEx-Toyota Atlantic standout Hoover Orsi will co-drive this coming weekend in the Grand-Am with Christian Fittipaldi in the Cheever Car.  Hoover is currently leading the championship in the Brazilian Stock Car Series.
track news
CARA Charities Hosts "Track Walk with the Drivers" CARA Charities Hosts "Track Walk with the Drivers"CLEVELAND  - Racing fans will have the opportunity for a unique experience at this year's Silver Anniversary Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank on the Burke Lakefront Airport racing surface.

For 25 years, the tarmac of the airport next to Lake Erie has always been one of the most interesting and exciting racing facilities with its uniquely wide straight-aways and legendary turns. The first turn at the Grand Prix of Cleveland now is one of racing's most famed corners and has produced some of the wildest action in all of auto racing in North America.

As part of the 25th annual Grand Prix of Cleveland, the fans will have the opportunity to gain a "close-up view" of the legendary temporary circuit when CARA Charities presents the "Track Walk with the Drivers" on Saturday evening, June 24. The "Track Walk" event will have several Champ Car drivers and other series competitors on the Burke Lakefront Airport track describing how the lines are taken with their racecars.  zzzz

"Track Walk" participants may purchase tickets through the CARA Charities office at (317) 299-2277 or at the Grand Prix main ticket office. This year's "Track Walk" will begin at 6:15 p.m. and tickets are $10 per person.

All of the proceeds are to CARA Charities, one of auto racing's leading charitable organization that donates thousands of dollars to needy causes annually.

"Last year's walk was a new experience for the fans," said Rena Shanaman, Managing Director of the Grand Prix of Cleveland. "It is a great chance for our racing fans to examine the track and see the nuances of the famed Cleveland circuit. The interesting aspect is that the rest of the year the facility is an airport. No one is allowed to walk on the runaways and taxiways except during this CARA Charities event. It is truly a unique opportunity for the fans. It will give them a new perspective of the track."

Other than the three days of the Grand Prix of Cleveland, the Burke Lakefront Airport is strictly utilized for aircraft transportation throughout the year.

"Walking a track like Cleveland gives the racing fan a new perspective on how the drivers see the racing surface," said Mary Lou Bogner, executive director for CARA Charities. "I can't think of a more interesting way for the fans to get the driver's view from where they travel at close to 200 m.p.h."

For more information on tickets and activities for the "Track Walk with the Drivers," contact the CARA Charities headquarters at (317) 299-2277 or the Grand Prix of Cleveland offices at (216) 619-RACE (7223).

Tickets for the Grand Prix of Cleveland are available by phone at 216-241-5555; online at www.grandprixofcleveland.com or in person at Ticketmaster locations including all Kaufmann's and select Giant Eagle stores. Corporate sponsorship, hospitality or group sales are available by calling the Grand Prix of Cleveland office at 216.619.RACE (7223) or toll-free 888.817.RACE. www.grandprixofcleveland.com

Montezemolo speaks out Montezemolo speaks outFerrari president Luca di Montezemolo has expressed his displeasure with the punishment given to Michael Schumacher after Saturday’s controversial qualifying session.

“Ferrari do not comment on the decisions of judges,” he told Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

“I never like it whatever the judgment – sporting or otherwise – when there is a presumption of guilt.

“I particularly don’t like it when the presumption of guilt can decide the world championship.”

“Schumacher honored his role as a great champion,” said the Italian.

“I believe it was the best possible response in sporting and technical terms on the part of Ferrari.

“On Saturday and Sunday we had by far the fastest car so we must not give up and continue to work.”

AMA/Champ Car doubleheader at Road America AMA/Champ Car doubleheader at Road AmericaThe finest racing on four wheels comes to Road America September 22-24 when the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford hits the 4.048-mile Elkhart Lake road circuit, but this year’s event will bring some two-wheel excitement to the show as well.

At today’s joint Champ Car/American Motorcycle Association pre-event press conference at Elkhart Lake, it was announced that the AMA Super Moto series would run alongside the Champ Car World Series, the Champ Car Atlantic and the Rotax Max Challenge Series at this year’s Champ Car Grand Prix of Road America. The motorcycle event will be run Saturday night under the lights as the on- and off-road series competes during a Champ Car weekend for the first time.

“We are always looking for ways to bring more excitement to the fans during our three-day festivals of speed and the AMA Super Moto series will help us do that,” said Champ Car President Steve Johnson. “We are looking forward to a great weekend in our return to Road America and AMA Super Moto will add to the weekend’s value for our fans.” zzzz

Nelson Philippe (#4 CTE Racing – HVM Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and Will Power (#5 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) were on hand on a sunny Wednesday at Road America to help build excitement for the September race weekend. The Champ Car Fast Lap team was on hand to give pace-car rides around the fabled circuit as were some of the stars of the AMA Superbike series, who gave Philippe and Power high-speed rides on the back of their Suzuki GSX-R motorcycles.

Former Green Bay Packer All-Pro defensive lineman and current Milwaukee Mile executive Gilbert Brown was one of the first riders to climb aboard a Ford Mustang GT/CS for a ride with the Champ Car Fast Lap team, and emerged with a new perspective on speed.

“Man do these ladies know how to roll!” Brown exclaimed upon getting out of the car. “I could barely look but I didn’t scream. That was a great ride.”

The Champ Car World Series makes its first visit to Milwaukee this weekend with the June 3-4 Time Warned Cable Road Runner 225 at the Milwaukee Mile. Qualifying takes place on Saturday with Sunday’s race getting the green flag at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Fans can watch all of the action live on SPEED, or via the Race Director feature on the official website of the Champ Car World Series, www.champcar.wsChamp Car

Montreal announces changes for '06 Montreal announces changes for '06Montreal – Racing fans will be closer than ever to the action when the fifth edition of the Champ Car Grand Prix of Montreal is presented on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve road course, August 25-27.

“The Champ Car race in Montreal has always been extremely fan-friendly, and we want to make this year’s edition even more accessible and affordable,” said race promoter Alan Labrosse at a news conference today outlining plans for the 2006 event. “We are introducing a seating configuration which we believe will provide fans with a different perspective and further enhance the experience of watching North America’s premier open-wheel racing series.”

Fans purchasing tickets in the Senna curve for this year’s race will be 75 feet closer to the action than they have ever been for any type of open-wheel racing on Ile Notre-Dame as organizers introduce stadium-style seating, which will offer a truly unique vantage point. The three-day Senna stadium package includes a Champ Car paddock pass and on Friday and Saturday permits the holder to move from grandstand to grandstand, and watch on-track activities from any available seat. zzzz

The other novelty in the seating configuration, which involves the start-finish grandstand, is remarkable in more ways than one. Three-day passes in this section, which also include paddock access, are available exclusively at Wal-Mart stores throughout the province of Quebec. Wal-Mart, in partnership with the Champ Car Grand Prix of Montreal, is donating one-third of the ticket money to Opération Enfant Soleil, a non-profit organization devoted to improving the quality of care for sick children.

“We are thrilled to see Wal-Mart Canada making such a bold statement of support, not only to the event, but also to a great cause,” said Labrosse.  “I believe people will really get behind the idea of purchasing a ticket, which will be offered at a discount, knowing they are making a significant contribution to a fund-raising initiative aimed at helping kids in need.”

Kevin Kalkhoven, co-owner of the Champ Car World Series, who joined Labrosse at the news conference, is confident that Labrosse and his team will stage an event that will again showcase the city of Montreal to a worldwide audience, including viewers of the NBC network, which is televising the race live.

track news
Unser and Andretti reject TMS offer Unser and Andretti reject TMS offerCiting a lack of proper preparation time and exhausted resources, teams for Michael Andretti and Al Unser Jr. respectfully declined Texas Motor Speedway’s sponsorship offer Wednesday to compete June 10 in the Bombardier Learjet 500k IRL IndyCar Series race at “The Great American Speedway.”

“We would have very much liked to have had both of these Indy car legends run here but we understand and respect their decision,” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. “They gave it thoughtful consideration and tried hard to put it together, but coming on the heels of an exhausting month at Indy there just wasn’t time to make it work properly. I wish we had come up with this idea earlier and made the offers so the teams could plan, budget and staff accordingly.”

Both drivers came out of retirement to run Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. Andretti finished third while his 19-year-old son, Marco, finished an astonishing second in his Indy 500 debut. Unser Jr., who’s last Indy car win came at Texas Motor Speedway in 2003, finished 24th Sunday as a result of an accident after running over debris on the race track.

Gossage, intrigued that both stars came out of retirement to compete at Indy, offered a $100,000 sponsorship fee if Andretti and Unser Jr. would “un-retire” one more time and participate in the Bombardier Learjet 500k. Had they both participated in the race, each driver’s team would have received a $50,000 check. Both drivers had to compete in “America’s Original Nighttime Indy Car Race” to activate the $100,000 sponsorship.  zzzz

“Had we been given a few months to work on this, we may have been able to make it work,” said Kevin Savoree, part of the ownership team at Andretti Green Racing. “We must be in a position to win every race we enter and their just isn’t sufficient time to prepare and plan. Our key resource – our staff – is flat out preparing AGR’s four full-time entries for a stretch of back-to-back-to-back races.”

“We’re a one-car team and we simply are not in a position to prepare a car for Al to run in Texas,” said Robbie Buhl, a team owner of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. “We can’t afford to take anything away from the preparation we have committed to support our regular driver, Buddy Lazier. We talked with some additional sponsors, but we simply could not put things in place to run Al at Texas properly.”

Both teams indicated that they considered the offer and were intrigued to find a way to make it work, but in the end realized they simply could not put the program together to give the drivers the proper chance to win “America’s Original Nighttime Indy Car Race.”

“Clearly, the Bombardier Learjet 500k is the most important IRL race of the season outside of the Indy 500,” Gossage said. “The work and consideration these teams gave to running here proves that. We wanted to honor both Al and Michael during our 10th season as part of our ‘10 Years Strong’ celebration. Perhaps, though, we can work on it down the road and pay tribute to both these drivers at a future IndyCar race here.”

In case you missed the exciting Indy 500 In case you missed the exciting Indy 500The 90th Indianapolis 500 will be rebroadcast at 9 p.m. (EDT) on June 2 as an "Instant Classic" by ESPN Classic.
Massa fastest in Barcelona Wednesday Massa fastest in Barcelona Wednesday
1. F. Massa - Ferrari 248 F1 - 1'14"924 (+0"000) - 99 laps
2. G. Fisichella - Renault R26 - 1'15"053 (+0"129) - 66 laps
3. H. Kovalainen - Renault R26 - 1'15"264 (+0"340) - 90 laps
4. O. Panis - Toyota TF106 - 1'15"534 (+0"610) - 123 laps
5. J. Button - Honda RA106 - 1'15"535 (+0"611) - 102 laps
6. R. Zonta - Toyota TF106 - 1'15"541 (+0"617) - 91 laps
7. P. de la Rosa - McLaren Mercedes MP4/21 - 1'15"826 (+0"902) - 70 laps
8. L. Badoer - Ferrari 248 F1 - 1'15"876 (+0"952) - 40 laps
9. R. Barrichello - Honda RA106 -1'16"190 (+1"266) - 111 laps
10. R. Kubica - BMW Sauber F1.06 - 1'16"520 (+1"596) - 95 laps
11. J. Villeneuve - BMW Sauber F1.06 - 1'16"627 (+1"703) - 75 laps
12. S. Speed - Toro Rosso Cosworth STR1 - 1'17"282 (+2"358) - 87 laps
13. C. Klien - Red Bull Ferrari RB2 - 1'17"291 (+2"367) - 68 laps
14. R. Doornbos - Red Bull Ferrari RB2 - 1'17"345 (+2"421) - 85 laps
15. G. Paffett - McLaren Mercedes MP4/21 - 1'17"478 (+2"554) - 70 laps
Take a Gold Coast Holiday During Indy Take a Gold Coast Holiday During IndyThe Surfers Paradise Champ Car race has become one of Australia’s and even the world’s premier sporting event holidays.

The Lexmark Indy 300 combines the beautiful weather, beaches and leisure activities of the Gold Coast with world class motor racing and a myriad of entertainment options.

In its 16th year, the Lexmark Indy 300 will hit the streets of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast from Thursday October 19 to Sunday October 22.

From this year, Gold Coast Tourism, Gold Coast City Council and the Lexmark Indy 300 have joined forces to promote the combined features of the location and the event in a “whole of city” approach.

“The Lexmark Indy 300 is much more than an annual event – it is a holiday experience,” said Lexmark Indy 300 General Manager and IMG Director of Motorsport Ken Freer.

“We are delighted to work with Gold Coast Tourism, with its VeryGC campaign, and the Gold Coast City Council, to sell the Gold Coast and Lexmark Indy 300 to the rest of Australia and throughout the world.

“You get to experience some of the finest motorsport you will find anywhere in the world, be entertained day and night both on and off the track, plus soak up the Gold Coast’s great weather and beaches, and accommodation and leisure options all over the region.” zzzz

People already travel from all over Queensland, Australia and the world to experience the four hot days and four hot nights of entertainment – an event also regarded as a ‘crown jewel’ in international motorsport and acclaimed in the Queensland Tourism Awards Hall of Fame.

Last year a record 316,459 patrons filed through the gates to continue the growth of Queensland’s premier event and generate more than 173,000 visitor nights for the region.

Gold Coast Tourism CEO Pavan Bhatia said the Lexmark Indy 300 is a significant annual event marked on the international motorsport calendar and one that Gold Coast Tourism is pleased to be associated with.

“Lexmark Indy 300’s challenging circuit will showcase some of the Gold Coast’s spectacular beaches and landmarks, forming the perfect VeryGC backdrop,” said Bhatia.

“Indy provides enormous economic benefits to the Gold Coast and the chance to further profile the destination throughout Australia and the rest of the world.”

Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke reaffirmed the Council’s ongoing commitment to Indy.

“We are 100 per cent behind Indy and all the efforts to make it bigger and better, and as a council we will do everything within our power to assist and promote this wonderful event,” said Mayor Clarke.

“Our city continues to build on its reputation as a major player in the events landscape, evidenced by the fact that we host a wide variety of major events throughout the year, none more important than Indy.”

The Lexmark Indy 300’s motorsport program includes a round of the Champ Car World Series featuring 750-horsepower open wheel racing machines driven by 18 of the world’s best.

The V8 Supercars also headline the event as the rivalry between Ford and Holden hits the extreme in qualifying, top 10 shootout and three races around the challenging 4.47km Surfers Paradise street circuit.

The Champ Cars and V8 Supercars are supported by the power and precision of the all-Porsche Carrera Cup, the grunt of the V8 Utes and the speed of the tiny Aussie Racing Cars.

And that’s not all. The Lexmark Indy 300 is as much known and acclaimed for its entertainment off the track.

There is the Sea FM Air Show including the breathtaking F111 ‘Dump and Burn’, the world famous Bartercard Miss Indy and Bartercard Miss V8 Supercar competitions, spectacular stunt shows, a wider motoring extravaganza featuring burn-outs, drifting and drag displays, pit tours, event and team merchandise and much more.

Creating an atmosphere that is electric, a vibe that is positive and streets that are abuzz, are more than 40 official off track events all over the Gold Coast.

Holiday packages to the Lexmark Indy 300 have never been easier.

Indy Travel, the Official Travel Agency of the Lexmark Indy 300, can organize accommodation, flights, tickets, car hire and transfers. Contact Indy Travel on phone 1800 300 055.

A visit to the VeryGC website at www.verygc.com also provides a comprehensive listing of accommodation options, leisure activities and ‘must-do’ Gold Coast experiences.

Packages can also be arranged through Queensland Travel Centers on phone 13 88 30 or Qantas Holidays on phone 13 14 15.

Tickets to the Lexmark Indy 300 can be purchased through Ticketek on phone 1300 303 103, via the new event website at www.indy.com.au or at any Ticketek agency.

Corporate hospitality packages from individual tickets to groups of up to 70 people are also available by contacting the Lexmark Indy 300 sales team on phone 07 5588 6800.

The annual Lexmark Indy 300 on the Gold Coast is a partnership between the Queensland Government and IMG.

Mobil 1 to sponsor Mosport round Mobil 1 to sponsor Mosport roundBOWMANVILLE, ON – Mosport International Raceway and Imperial Oil today announced the renewal of a sponsorship agreement that will include the renaming of Canada’s biggest sports car event of the year to Mobil 1 Presents The Labor Day Weekend Grand Prix of Mosport.

“Mobil 1 is excited to be the presenting sponsor of the Labor Day Grand Prix of Mosport for 2006. We believe that our support for this thrilling event will contribute to an even more successful race weekend," said Colin Cochran, Line of Business Advisor with Imperial Oil.

The three-day event runs September 1-3 and is the only Canadian stop in the American Le Mans Series, North America’s premier sports car championship. The 10-race series boasts a world-class field of drivers and cars.

“Mobil 1 has been a great partner on this event and we’re thrilled to see them return in a larger capacity for 2006,” said Myles Brandt, Mosport’s President and General Manager. “The fan and corporate support for our American Le Mans weekend has grown tremendously over the last few years and this is now one of Canada’s elite automotive and motorsport happenings of the year.”

Edwards to drive Truck at Dover Edwards to drive Truck at DoverRoush Racing officials announced that Carl Edwards will return to the Craftsman Truck Series this weekend at Dover International Speedway, driving the team's No. 50 Ford in Friday's AAA Insurance 200.

"This is awesome to get back and race in the truck series again," said Edwards. "I've been bugging Jack Roush for months to let me run a race or two. I'm glad he finally caved in and let me do this deal. The trucks are so much fun. They really are a blast to drive. I'm really looking forward to getting out there Friday and seeing what we can do."

Pruett to replace Stremme at Infineon Pruett to replace Stremme at InfineonVeteran road racer Scott Pruett will replace David Stremme in Chip Ganassi Racing's No. 40 Dodge for the June 25 Dodge/Save Mart 350 Nextel Cup race at Infineon Raceway.

"I have been very pleased with the strides that David and the 40 car have made over the last several weeks, and David is an important part of the future of Chip Ganassi Racing," team owner Chip Ganassi said. "But in Scott Pruett we have one of the best road-course drivers in all of racing and once again have the luxury of being able to utilize that expertise."

track news
California Speedway names Francis California Speedway names FrancisLos Angeles, Calif. — California Speedway today announced the creation of a new position and has named Andrew Francis Director of Entertainment Integration. California Speedway President Gillian Zucker made the announcement.

Francis will oversee the integration of the music, film and television industries into California Speedway events, expanding initiatives that bring the stars and buzz to the track as NASCAR’s stop in Hollywood. A main focus will be to help create events and activities to keep California Speedway and its ticket sales efforts top of mind 12 months a year and solidify NASCAR as part of the fabric of the community. Francis will be based out of the Speedway’s Los Angeles office.

“Andrew’s enthusiasm and knowledge of pop culture and of NASCAR is second-to-none,” said Zucker. “Having someone of his caliber to focus on creating events and activities that maximize opportunities in the nation’s second largest media market is sure to provide benefit for not only California Speedway but NASCAR, our competitors, sponsors and broadcast partners.” zzzz

Since 1999, Francis has served as Director of West Coast Sales at Wilhelmina Artist Management where he is responsible for signing talent and developing endorsement, sponsorship and licenseship deals for a powerhouse roster including: Usher, Jessica Simpson, Brandy and Jimmie Johnson, among others. Francis signed to exclusive representation contracts Usher, Jimmie Johnson, Martin McBride, Vendela, the TV Show “America’s Next Top Model” and Star Search. He played an integral role in bringing Jessica Simpson to Daytona International Speedway as Grand Marshal for the 2002 Pepsi 400.

He is a 1995 graduate of the University of Southern California, Annenberg School of Communication. Francis began his career in the entertainment/sports business while in college as the assistant to the Director of Merchandising for the Los Angeles Kings, where he was instrumental in developing numerous marketing plans centered around the launching and marketing of the acquisition of Wayne Gretzky. He left the Kings in 1996 to explore opportunities in the film business by joining the team at Savoy Pictures for Producer Gigi Pritzker and helped to develop and produce “The Wedding Planner” with Jennifer Lopez and “Richochet River” starring Kate Hudson.

“I am so excited to have this great opportunity to work at California Speedway,” said Francis, 34, who resides in El Segundo, Calif., with his wife Jane and they are expecting their first child in July. “I plan to use my knowledge and experience of the entertainment industry to further solidify California Speedway in the mindset of fans and help drive ticket sales. It’s important that Los Angeles knows that the greatest spectator sport in the world is NASCAR. I can’t wait to get started.”

Cooper Tire signs on with Atlantic series Cooper Tire signs on with Atlantic seriesINDIANAPOLIS – Champ Car Atlantic Championship officials announced today that the series will enter into an exclusive partnership with the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company in 2007. Under the terms of the three-year agreement, Cooper Tire will become the Official Tire of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship beginning next season and the company will also serve as the presenting sponsor of North America’s premier open-wheel development series.

Well-established as one of the world’s leading tire manufacturers, as well as a top marketing and promotional partner across many levels of motorsports, Cooper Tire will help bolster a dynamic competition package for the Atlantic Championship in ’07. Working closely with exclusive series chassis manufacturer Swift Engineering and engine partners Mazda North America and Cosworth, Inc., Cooper Tire will produce and supply the exclusive high-performance racing slicks and rain tires that will equip all Champ Car Atlantic Championship cars beginning next season.

“We’re very excited to welcome Cooper Tire to both the Atlantic and Champ Car family,” said Vicki O’Connor, Managing Director of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship. “We’re certainly proud of the legacy and the high level of competition that has become a staple of Atlantic racing over the last 33 years and the Atlantic Championship is looking forward to beginning a new partnership with Cooper Tire in 2007. With Cooper’s experience and knowledge in motorsports, we know that the racing will be as exciting as ever and we’re looking forward to growing the series even further next season with Cooper Tire as a series sponsor and a proactive marketing partner.” zzzz

Based in Findlay, Ohio, Cooper Tire will support the Champ Car Atlantic Championship both on and off the track through its new partnership with the series, in addition to supplying all series teams with racing rubber designed specifically for Atlantic competition.  More details on the Cooper Tires/Atlantic partnership will be unveiled in the coming months.

”The Champ Car Atlantic Championship series is well known throughout the world,” said Tom Dattilo, Cooper Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.  “This new strategic partnership positions Cooper squarely at the forefront of the motorsport world.  It provides an excellent platform to showcase our ultra-high performance racing products and technological capabilities to enthusiasts around the world. 

We are thrilled at the prospects this relationship provides for Cooper and are obviously pleased about joining forces with one of the premier organizations in motorsport racing.  Together with Cooper’s rich racing heritage, this partnership will create an all-new competition portfolio that will allow drivers to compete at even higher levels of racing.”

“Cooper Tire has demonstrated a tireless commitment to racing over the years and Champ Car is happy to team up with such a well-established industry leader for the future,” said Steve Johnson, Champ Car President. “We look forward to developing this partnership as both companies continue to grow and move forward.”

Testing for the 2007 Cooper Atlantic tires will begin this week. The Team Australia Atlantic squad will be putting the new rubber through its paces during a private test session at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida on Thursday. Several more series tire tests are also planned over the next few months.

About Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company is a global company that specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sales of passenger car, light truck, medium truck tires and subsidiaries that specialize in motorcycle and racing tires, as well as tread rubber and related equipment for the retread industry.  With headquarters in Findlay, Ohio, Cooper Tire has 60 manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design facilities within its family of companies located around the world.  For more information, visit Cooper Tire’s web site at www.coopertireandrubber.com. Champ Car

tv news
Monaco GP TV Rating Monaco GP TV RatingThe tape delayed Monaco Grand Prix on CBS Sunday garnered a 1.0/3 share overnight rating, which is consistent with other F1 races on CBS this year, but down 9.1% from 2005.
tv news
SPEED announces new award SPEED announces new awardSPEED Executive Vice President & General Manager Hunter Nickell today announced the inaugural SPEED Performance Awards, a series of motor sports honors to be voted on by racing fans around the world, all culminating in a one-hour television special to air in December 2006.

“We wanted to create an awards program that SPEED viewers and SPEEDtv.com visitors had a vested interest in,” Nickell said. “Whether it’s through our race coverage, our news and highlights or our lifestyle programming, SPEED is thoroughly immersed in the world of racing, giving us a truly unique perspective. The SPEED Performance Awards are the perfect way to highlight that perspective and connect legions of race fans in a meaningful way.

“Whether you are a fan of NASCAR, Formula One, sports cars, motorcycles or all of the above, SPEED is your network,” Nickell added. “The SPEED Performance Awards will provide the platform to bring all of those audiences together.”   zzzz

Beginning in November, SPEED will air highlights from multiple categories and multiple race series, allowing fans to vote on their favorites by visiting SPEEDtv.com or through their mobile phone. With categories still in development, “Fantastic Finish” … “Unbelievable Pass” … and “Outstanding Achievement in a Post-Race Celebration” are at the top of the early list.

The top honor, SPEED Performer of the Year, will be voted on by a panel of SPEED on-air racing analysts and writers from SPEEDtv.com and announced at the end of the show. With top racers from every racing series eligible for the honor, SPEED will begin a “Performance Watch” later this season, tracking the top candidates for the award on multiple SPEED programs and on SPEEDtv.com.

Pitfit Training helps Hornish and Cunningham to Indy wins Pitfit Training helps Hornish and Cunningham to Indy winsPitFit Training (PitFit), the recognized leader in developing driver-specific fitness, nutrition and human-performance programs to expressly address the physical and mental demands of the motorsports industry, today announced two of its clients were winners during this past weekend’s racing events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Sam Hornish, Jr. won the Indianapolis 500 pole position and went on to win The Greatest Spectacle in Racing by one of the closest margins in Indy500 history. Another PitFit Training client, Wade Cunningham, also won his Indy Pro Series racing event from the pole position.

Hornish capped off a successful month of practice leading up to the famous race and gave fans plenty to cheer about during the closing laps leading to the checkered flag. Hornish crossed the Yard of Bricks just 0.0635 of a second faster than rookie sensation Marco Andretti. Hornish had an average speed of 157.08 mph during what was the fourth hottest Indy500 race day. zzzz

Hornish recognized the intense heat of the day and gave credit to the staff of PitFit for preparing him for these tough racing conditions.

“This was one race where my focus and concentration had to be strong,” said Hornish. “The heat did not affect me like some other drivers, and I was able to dig deep when I needed it.”

Cunningham also had a close finish beating out fellow Freedom 100 contender Jay Howard by just 0.6889 seconds. Cunningham was the fourth consecutive pole sitter to win this event, and he did so in convincing fashion by leading all 40 laps.

“It wasn’t really that physical of a race, but I knew I had to be mentally strong,” said Cunningham. “Jason Smith, my trainer at PitFit, really worked on my concentration training this month. It’s safe to say I was up to the task at the end.”

“We’re so proud of these two racers,” said Jim Leo, President of PitFit Training. “They faced some incredible challenges, including one of the hottest racing weekends on record. Hydration, concentration and endurance were critical items for success, and PitFit Training is proud to have provided both racers with the elements necessary to help them reach Victory Lane.”

Hornish current sits in second place in the IRL point’s standings behind teammate Helio Castroneves, while Cunningham is just 80 points out of first place in the IRL development series.

Hornish appears on Live with Regis and Kelly Hornish appears on Live with Regis and KellySam Hornish was one of the guests on Live with Regis and Kelly this morning.  It was a routine interview with clips of the exciting finish of the race and the victory celebration.  Donald Trump was the host today, rather than Regis Philbin.  At least Donald Trump had watched the race and actually knew a little bit about racing.  He and Sam discussed the weight advantage of some of Sam's competitors.  Surprisingly enough, Danica's name never came up during the interview.  Sam made some very complimentary comments about Marco which we thought was gracious of him.  Trump mentioned that he is friends with both Mario and Penske.  Kelly Ripa did ask one very funny (silly) question.  She asked Sam why he was licking the ground after the end of the race.  Sam laughed and told her that he was kissing the bricks because he had won.  Kelly said she thought he had dropped his gum!
Stephan Gregoire to Race with Spirit of Daytona Stephan Gregoire to Race with Spirit of DaytonaAs Spirit of Daytona heads into Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen in the Grand American Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve the team will welcome back 2005 driver Stephan Gregoire. The Frenchman has returned to Spirit of Daytona after coming from the 90th Indy 500 race weekend. Even though Gregoire's last stint was on a 2.5 mile oval course he will have no problem adjusting to the 3.4 mile 11- turn historic Watkins Glen circuit.

Gregoire is a veteran open-wheel racer, among a long list of other race credits gained in Europe and in the United States. He has started seven Indianapolis 500 races, during which he qualified as high as eighth and scored a seventh-place finish. He will be teaming up with Doug Goad to tackle the 6-hour endurance race. Last year at the Six Hours of the Glen the duo were looking for a solid top-10 race finish until the last few moments of the race when an on track altercation caused the Crawford Daytona Prototype (DP) to finish 18th. Watkins Glen happens to be one of Goad's favorite racetrack and expects to perform smoothly and efficiently on the course.

SunTrust Racing Team Adds Briscoe SunTrust Racing Team Adds BriscoeWatkins Glen, New York – The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series begins the second half of the 2006 season with Round 8 of 14 races this weekend with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen race on Saturday, June 3, at the 3.4-mile Watkins Glen International long circuit.

The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team dominated at Watkins Glen International last year by winning two of three races and going on to capture the 2005 Daytona Prototype Team and Driver Championships.

“Watkins Glen is my favorite track in North America,” said SunTrust car owner/driver Wayne Taylor. “I’ve always loved The Glen because it’s a real race track. But the six hour is the race that has eluded us, which is why we hope this weekend will turn that around.” zzzz

In addition to the championship-winning Grand American driving duo of Taylor and Max “The Ax” Angelelli, the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley line-up for Watkins Glen will include open wheel stand-out Ryan Briscoe. Briscoe previously was part of the 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona campaign for the defending winners, along with Emmanuel Collard. Unfortunately, Briscoe never got a chance to race after the team was forced to withdraw following a collision with a GT car just four hours into the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic.

“It’s extremely exciting for me to be back with the SunTrust Racing team,” said Australian Ryan Briscoe. “The 24 hours was definitely a disappointment since we had the lead and, in the end, I didn’t get to drive. This weekend is a great chance to come back and get a good result for the team. Watkins Glen is one of my most favorite circuits in the world, so I’m really looking forward to it. I have never raced at The Glen, only tested there and loved the place. The SunTrust team has been one of the fastest teams in the last few races. It is definitely one of the teams that are a force to be reckoned with for the Six Hours this weekend.”

“It will be good to get back to Watkins Glen to race. I like the circuit and it suits my style of racing,” said Italian Max Angelelli. “It will be particularly great to have Ryan racing with us. With the three of us pushing hard, maybe we can finally get the six hour win that Wayne has been seeking for so long at The Glen.”

“Watkins Glen is always one of our strongest race tracks,” added Bill Riley, who oversees the preparation and running of the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley. “We have a real solid set-up for the track which we haven’t changed much over the last few years. Wayne and Max do well at The Glen and it will be good to have Ryan as the third driver. Our main concern is how tough the competition will be out there.”

Rain was a big factor on the results of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen race in 2005, in which the SunTrust team finished sixth overall in the sixth race of the season.

“Last year at the Six Hours, we felt that we had the car to win the race,” added Riley. “Unfortunately, we had problems with a set of rain tires but we learned a lot from the past. We will be able to use that information this year if we run into more rain for the race.”

“We are used to rain at Watkins Glen,” said Taylor. “When have we been to Watkins Glen when there isn’t rain? Everyone is in the same boat though…excuse the pun.”

Racing News
SPEED Weekly Driver Ranking SPEED Weekly Driver Ranking
Updated 5-31-06
Pos. (LW) Driver (Series) Pts
1 Alonso Fernando 10.124 F1
2 Bourdais Sebastien 9.023 CCWS
3 Johnson Jimmie 8.43 NASCAR
4 Kenseth Matt 7.789 NASCAR
5 Hornish Jr. Sam 7.593 IRL
6 Martin Mark 7.455 NASCAR
7 Kahne Kasey 7.29 NASCAR
8 Wilson Justin 7.26 CCWS
9 Burton Jeff 7.091 NASCAR
10 Edwards Carl 6.898 NASCAR
11 Wheldon Dan 6.894 IRL
12 Earnhardt Jr. Dale 6.88 NASCAR
13 Biffle Greg 6.839 NASCAR
14 Hamlin Denny 6.511 NASCAR
15 Kanaan Tony 6.214 IRL
16 Stewart Tony 6.072 NASCAR
17 McMurray Jamie 6.052 NASCAR
18 Schumacher Michael 5.951 F1
19 Green Jeff 5.839 NASCAR
20 Castroneves Helio 5.766 IRL
21 Sorenson Reed 5.648 NASCAR
22 Riggs Scott 5.628 NASCAR
23 Bowyer Clint 5.578 NASCAR
24 Dixon Scott 5.566 IRL
25 Dominguez Mario 5.492 CCWS
26 Allmendinger A.J. 5.422 CCWS
27 Tagliani Alex 5.394 CCWS
28 Tracy Paul 5.295 CCWS
29 Franchitti Dario 5.063 IRL
30 Ranger Andrew 4.686 CCWS
31 Montoya Juan Pablo 4.673 F1
32 Sharp Scott 4.513 IRL
33 Meira Vitor 4.482 IRL
34 Andretti Marco 4.376 IRL
35 Servia Oriol 4.317 CCWS
36 Matsuura Kosuke 4.08 IRL
37 Fisichella Giancarlo 4.054 F1
38 Raikkonen Kimi 3.775 F1
39 da Matta Cristiano 3.571 CCWS
40 Barrichello Rubens 2.964 F1
41 Power Will 2.873 CCWS
42 Coulthard David 2.471 F1
43 Massa Felipe 2.352 F1
Dropped out of Top-20: Jeff Gordon (NASCAR), Kyle Busch (NASCAR), Casey Mears (NASCAR)

Provided by STATS Inc.
Current year results, last 10 races, last five races and last race are factored in equally, with an adjustment factor to compensate for the series different scoring systems. In addition, a competition difficulty factor has been included to balance the competitive depth of each series.

Hornish 3rd straight Atlantic graduate to win Indy 500 Hornish 3rd straight Atlantic graduate to win Indy 500INDIANAPOLIS – With a thrilling last-lap pass to capture the checkered flag Sunday, Sam Hornish Jr. earned his first-ever victory in the Indianapolis 500 and continued the strong tradition of recent Champ Car Atlantic Championship graduates to excel at Indy.

Hornish, the 26-year-old Marlboro Team Penske driver, became the third Atlantic series graduate in the last three years to win the prestigious Indy 500 event. Buddy Rice, the 2000 Atlantic series champion, won at Indy in 2004 while Dan Wheldon, who finished second to Rice for the Atlantic title in 2000, captured victory at the grueling 500-mile race last season.

On Sunday, Hornish led a strong contingent of eight Atlantic series graduates among the 33-car field that excelled at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. In fact, three of the top four finishers in the race all came up through the Atlantic racing ranks. While Hornish earned the right to taste the milk in Victory Circle, 1983 Atlantic series champion Michael Andretti led four laps late in the race before securing a podium result in third place while Wheldon led the most laps on the day (148) on his way to a fourth-place finish.

“We want to congratulate Sam on a tremendous victory and we’re happy that Atlantic graduates once again played such a prominent role at the Indy 500,” said Vicki O’Connor, Managing Director of the Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. “This continues to prove that some of the world’s best racers get their training in Atlantics and we’re so proud of the talent that the series helps cultivate and graduate year in and year out.” zzzz

Hornish, a native of Defiance, Ohio, led a total of 19 laps and earned the dramatic victory when he passed Marco Andretti, Michael’s 19-year-old son, for the lead on the final lap to win by .0635 of a second for the second-closest finish in Indy 500 history. It represented the 15th career victory for Hornish, who captured the Indy Racing League title in both 2001 and 2002. Before graduating to the next level, Hornish developed his skills in Atlantic competition. He raced for Michael Shank Racing during the 1999 Atlantic season, finishing seventh in the championship standings while claiming his lone series win at Chicago. Hornish captured Atlantic Rookie of the Year honors after the dynamic debut season.

This weekend’s win by Hornish marked the eighth time that an Atlantic graduate has claimed victory in the Indy 500, joining the impressive performances from notable series grads including Danny Sullivan, Bobby Rahal, Al Unser Jr., Jacques Villeneuve and Rice.

In addition to the strong results by Hornish, Andretti and Wheldon, the other former Atlantic drivers in the Indy 500 field also performed admirably. Last season’s Indy Rookie of the Year, Danica Patrick, recorded her second strong finish at The Brickyard. Patrick, who competed from 2003-2004 in the Atlantic Championship, claimed eighth place after finishing fourth last season at Indy. Roger Yasukawa, a 2002 Atlantic competitor, claimed 16th on Sunday while 1991 Atlantic racer Bryan Herta finished 20th. Returning to compete at Indianapolis for the 17th time in distinguished career, Unser Jr. finished 24th after an accident put him out of action early. Rice also suffered an early end to his day due to contact as he finished 26th.

After three rounds of racing in the 2006 Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, Germany’s Andreas Wirth (#37 INDECK/Wirth Solar) leads the series championship standings. Wirth, who won the first two races of the season at Long Beach and Houston, holds a slim five-point advantage in the standings over talented French rookie Simon Pagenaud (#15 Team Australia/Location U/Cons. Gen. Vienne). Graham Rahal (#18 Gehl Company), the 17-year-old son of racing legend and former Atlantic stalwart Bobby Rahal, is third in the championship after he won in Monterrey, Mexico at the most recent series race, becoming the youngest winner in the history of Atlantic competition. The Atlantic series returns to action June 16-18 at the Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland.

The Champ Car Atlantic Championship continues to be the premier open-wheel development series in North America. In its 33rd season in 2006, the championship is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into Champ Car competition and has helped produce past Champ Car champions Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve. 2006 Champ Car competitors Alex Tagliani, Andrew Ranger, Katherine Legge, Tonis Kasemets and 2005 Atlantic champion Charles Zwolsman are established Atlantic graduates along with 2004 Champ Car Rookie of the Year and 2003 Atlantic champ A.J. Allmendinger. Competing in newly-designed Swift 016.a chassis powered by a 2.3-liter Mazda-Cosworth engine riding on Yokohama ADVAN Racing Slicks, 2006 competitors will fight for the 12-race championship and the unique $2 million Champ Car series champion’s bonus. For more information on the series and to view this season’s races on demand, please visit www.champcaratlantic.comChamp Car

Post Monaco, F1 is 'go' again Post Monaco, F1 is 'go' again(GMM) The wail of formula one engines resumed on Wednesday morning, with fifteen drivers buckling up helmets at Circuit de Catalunya for a Spanish test.

But activity in all eight team garages will fall silent at 2.30pm, for a minute's silence to mark Edouard Michelin's death last Friday.

Two days after the checker fluttered at Monaco, teams this week are preparing for the next race, at Silverstone in two weeks.

But Barcelona did not entirely cooperate on Wednesday, with - following overnight rain - a damp and cold track putting the brakes on too much early morning activity.

Runners for Bridgestone-shod Ferrari and Toyota, though, braved the conditions, but at midday Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella was setting the pace, followed by Felipe Massa.

The pair are in the headlines at the moment, with Flavio Briatore praising Fisichella's race through the traffic at Monaco.

''You'll see,'' the Italian chief told Autosprint, ''in Silverstone he will win.''

Ferrari's Massa, on the other hand, appears more out of favor. The Brazilian struggled to move through the Monte Carlo field after crashing during qualifying.

He told Gazzetta dello Sport: ''Ferrari know my worth ... so it (wasn't) an error that can change everything.''

In Paris, F1's governing body confirmed speculation that McLaren and Toyota are the big losers of the restructured Formula One Commission for 2008, while the news out of Maranello is that Jean Todt signed a notable agreement on Tuesday morning.

Representing circuit owner Ferrari, the Frenchman guaranteed that MotoGP will race at Mugello through to 2011.

Wilson hopes third time's the charm Wilson hopes third time's the charmThis weekend Justin heads to the Milwaukee Mile in Wisconsin, the only oval race on the 2006 Champ Car schedule. It will be Justin's third time at the Mile, a challenging track that's steeped in motorsport history. After a tough induction to oval racing in 2004, last year Justin qualified third and narrowly missed out on a podium finish. This year the teams get a full test day at the track on Friday, which should help Justin and his engineers in their attempt to qualify well and find a good race set-up.

Looking ahead to the race, Justin said "Last year I finished fourth at Milwaukee. I hope to improve on that result this year, and I'm cautiously optimistic that I will. The CDW #9 car team and I will be working hard to qualify close to the front, therefore keeping me out of trouble and the wall! Milwaukee is a short lap and the car's set-up is critical. it's especially difficult as there is only one oval per season. Finishing on the podium at Milwaukee will mean a lot to me, because it's such a unique challenge."

Zwolsman enjoying America Zwolsman enjoying AmericaCharles Zwolsman smiles. 

He's still a stranger in America, homesick sometimes for the Netherlands, where his girlfriend still lives and works. He is a little overwhelmed by the foreign concept of racing an oval track such as the Milwaukee Mile. He is struggling to get going as a rookie on the Champ Car circuit, 16th in points without a finish better than 12th.

Yet he smiles.

"Life is good, you know," Zwolsman says. "You bet.

"I get to race these cars and travel around this country. It's all good."

It's also all about perspective.

Zwolsman, who will race at the Milwaukee Mile this weekend in the Time Warner Cable Roadrunner 225, could grouse about the setbacks he has suffered in life, beat himself up about the misfortune he's had in his career or he could torture himself with the classic question, what if?

Instead the 26-year-old racer chooses to count his blessings, be thankful. . . and smile. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Monaco postscript Monaco postscript
Montoya says McLaren will challenge Renault
: Juan Pablo Montoya, winner of the 2000 Indianapolis 500, believes that his McLaren-Mercedes team has closed the gap on Renault and will continue to do so in the upcoming races, including the seventh United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 2.

"We had the pace - we probably even had the pace to win the race, but I think second is great," Montoya said after finishing second in the Monaco Grand Prix behind Renault driver Fernando Alonso. "From where we've been in the last few races, it's shown that McLaren and Mercedes have stepped up their game quite a lot, and we're fighting them (Renault). We're definitely heading in the right direction. Now the important thing is to try and translate this into the next few races."

Berger praises Speed and Liuzzi: Gerhard Berger, the 50 percent owner of Scuderia Toro Rosso, praised the performances of his drivers - American Scott Speed and Italian Tonio Liuzzi.

"They are both very talented and they are doing a great job," said Berger, who spent 14 seasons driving in F1 for teams such as Benetton, Ferrari and McLaren. "If you look at Scott (Speed), he came to us very inexperienced and with very little test mileage - and in all the races until now and in all the testing he has had just one spin. He was off the track one time, and he is quite competitive on lap times. Obviously, you see some ups and downs because they are young and inexperienced, but I think Scott is doing very well.

"And Tonio - you can see the results. He is more consistent; he has a little more experience. I think both drivers have a good natural speed and both are very committed, and I think both should have a good future."

Superman attends Monaco Grand Prix: Brandon Routh, who plays Superman in the new film "Superman Returns", and Kevin Spacey, who plays the role of Lex Luthor, attended the Monaco Grand Prix. zzzz

McLaren's 40th Anniversary: McLaren made its F1 debut 40 years ago in the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix. Team founder Bruce McLaren drove a McLaren M2B in what would be the first of 603 Grands Prix that the team has competed in to date.

His McLaren was painted white with a green stripe for the race, as the car was part of the John Frankenheimer movie "Grand Prix" that was filming during the event.

In 1966, McLaren had a total of four crewmembers in Monaco. In 2006, McLaren-Mercedes brought 137 people including drivers, engineers, mechanics, support crew, marketing and hospitality personnel.

Two people who joined McLaren in 1966 are still the team: American Tyler Alexander travels with the team as a systems engineer and Ray Rowe works as a gearbox mechanic. McLarens have won 148 Grands Prix, 122 pole positions, 11 Drivers World Championships, eight Constructors World Champions, three Indianapolis 500s, five Can Am Championships, and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Montagny looking forward to United States Grand Prix: Rookie Franck Montagny will continue to drive for Super Aguri in the upcoming races in England, Canada and the USA.

"I am thrilled that I will be taking part in one of the three most legendary races in the world," he said, "and I will do everything I can to make sure it goes well."

Speeding Speed: Officials fined Scott Speed $1,750 for pit lane speeding. Fines are calculated at $250 for each kilometer over the 60-kph limit.

Senna races in Monaco: Bruno Senna, nephew of six-time Monaco and five-time United States Grand Prix winner Ayrton Senna, competed in the Porsche Michelin Supercup race in Monaco. His goal was to gain experience of the track for racing on it in the future, but he retired on the first lap. Richard Lietz won the race. The Porsche Michelin Supercup series will stage two races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year during the United States Grand Prix weekend of June 30-July 2.

Hamilton wins again: Fast rising star Lewis Hamilton won the GP2 race in Monaco. It was his third victory this season and he now leads the championship over Nelson Piquet Jr.

Next event: The next race on the schedule is the British Grand Prix on June 11. The United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, round 10 of 18, will take place July 2. USGP

Armstrong enjoys pit lane experience in Monaco Armstrong enjoys pit lane experience in MonacoSeven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong attended Thursday’s opening practice sessions at the Monaco street circuit and had the rare opportunity to chat with Ferrari’s seven-time world champion, Michael Schumacher in the process, a thrilling event in anyone’s books. To top it off he even listened in on radio transmission between the driver and the pits and loved every moment.

“We were totally behind the ropes there, with the engineers in the pits when Michael Schumacher was in the car,” Armstrong said. “I had the headset on when he was giving feedback during testing. That’s a pretty interesting experience.”

Unfortunately Armstrong didn’t have the pleasure of staying for the race as he had a more pressing engagement that involved leaving for Indianapolis the same evening so that he would be back in time to drive the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Pace Car in the 90th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race….

“What’s cool about F1 is all the drivers there said, ‘Are you coming to the race on Sunday?’ and I said, ‘No, I’m going to drive the Pace Car at Indy,’ and they all thought that was a big deal. They’re like, ‘Really?’ It was Thursday there, and they’re like, ‘When are you leaving?’ So that was cool.”

Klien 'annoyed' by missed podium Klien 'annoyed' by missed podium(GMM) Christian Klien has expressed frustration that his car did not make it to the checkered flag at Monaco.

As it happens, the Austrian's Red Bull teammate, veteran David Coulthard, was the caped superhero on the Monte Carlo podium. In the intervening days, the Scot's chances of a continuing race ride in 2007 similarly skyrocketed.

But Klien, 23, actually led Coulthard around the street circuit until his 'RB2' broke down.

''I have had a lot of bad luck,'' he told motorline.cc.

Klien said: ''It's really annoying, because I was ahead of David Coulthard and would very likely have been the one on the podium.

''David's result proved that the car is not bad, but we must reach the finish more often. We must work on the reliability even more.''

Team principal Christian Horner admitted that Klien drove well in Monte Carlo.

He said: ''We should not forget about Christian. It was only due to bad luck that he had his problem, but he left a strong impression on us at Monaco.''

At the next race, however, both Klien and Coulthard will have another reason to push for the checkered flag -- a new aerodynamic package, courtesy of lauded designer Adrian Newey.

The Briton, who formerly worked at McLaren and Williams, said: ''I believe that we will have an improved performance there.''

Jacques gets married Jacques gets marriedUPDATE (GMM) The 'Blick' publication claims that Villeneuve, F1's world champion of 1997, said 'I do' to fiancée Johanna Martinez the day after Sunday's Monaco grand prix.

It is also understood that the new Mrs. Villeneuve is expecting a baby.

While getting to know his future wife in Paris over the winter season, Villeneuve also spent time in a recording studio, with his debut album to be released later this summer.

''My grandfather was a piano tuner, my father Gilles played piano and trumpet, my sister is a good musician too -- it's in the genes,'' Jacques enthused to Auto Hebdo.

Villeneuve said one of the songs is a duet with sister Melanie about the death at the 1982 Belgian grand prix of their great father, Gilles.

05/30/06 Yesterday afternoon Jacques Villeneuve married his fiancée Johanna at a civil ceremony in Switzerland surrounded by 30 members of their families and close friends. The marriage took place in the Chateau d’Aigle and was followed by an evening meal in Villars, where they will live. The religious ceremony will take place within the next week at a church in Paris.
Schu's manager slams Spanish steward Schu's manager slams Spanish steward(GMM) Willi Weber has accused one of the stewards who sent Michael Schumacher to the back of the grid in Monte Carlo of prejudice.

This week, Joaquin Verdegay defended his ruling that the Ferrari driver deliberately wrecked title rival Fernando Alonso's quest for pole position by parking his car at Rascasse.

''This gentleman is a Spaniard, just like Alonso,'' Schumacher's 63-year-old manager and countryman, referring to Verdegay, told 'Bild' newspaper.

Weber said: ''It was therefore not a good idea to let him be a judge in this matter.

''Would you let a wolf make a judgment against Red Riding-Hood?!''

Weber ridiculed Verdegay's assertion that Schumacher left evidence of his guilt by braking much more strongly than usual in the moments before obstructing the circuit.

He said: ''If you make a mistake and lose control of your car, then of course you brake more. Anyone who drives a normal car knows that.

''This supposed 'proof' is ridiculous.''

Schumacher's long-time manager also denied that the 37-year-old German was planning to apologize to his fellow drivers in order to prevent a crisis in the 'GPDA'.

''Apologize? For what?'' Weber insisted.

''Michael has the greatest respect for his colleagues, but what they might demand and what Michael does are two separate things.

''This will all soon be forgotten, especially if he wins the next grand prix at Silverstone.''

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo joined Schumacher's defense, telling La Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy: ''I particularly don't like it when a presumption of guilt can decide the world championship.''

National Sprint Tour Announces $2.4M Points Fund National Sprint Tour Announces $2.4M Points FundNearly a dozen of the top Sprint car drivers in the world had reason to join the new National Sprint Tour over the winter.
Now they have 2,400,000 more reasons to stay.
Brownfield Promotions Inc. announced today that the National Sprint Tour will pay $2.4 million in point fund money to its contracted race teams over the course of the next three seasons. This season $700,000 will be paid, with $800,000 in the kitty for 2007. The point fund will reach $900,000 in 2008.

This season, the champion of the National Sprint Tour will earn $150,000. The top 15 finishers in the final point standings will each earn a portion of the money up for grabs.
“Racing these sprint cars across the country week in, week out is a very expensive proposition,” said Steve Kinser, 20-time World Champion sprint car driver, and car-owner of cars currently ranked first and second in NST points. “The point fund will sure give a lot of our race teams more financial resources to allow them to continue to have the best equipment, and the best people working for them.

“Every team in this series is 100 percent committed to it, and $2,400,000 allows the series to reward that commitment,” Kinser added. “On the other hand, we were all committed to the series before we had a point fund, so this is just like icing on the cake.”  zzzz
The National Sprint Tour was founded by Fred Brownfield ‘on the fly’ in a few short days in December 2005. By that time, many tracks and promoters were already under contract with other major sanctioning bodies for their special events and were unable to host the new organization in 2006.
This latest development will enable many of the nation’s top 410 teams to remain steadfast with the series. To date, ten races have been held in the 2006 season.
“For having such a short time to accomplish things, we are pleased with what we have done so far,” Brownfield said. “As days turn to weeks, and weeks to months, we can see a positive progression.”
Drivers and teams that have raced in each NST race this year include Kinser (Quaker State), points leader Tim Kaeding (Slick 50), Jason Meyers (Elite Racing), Danny Lasoski (Roth Motorsports), Tim Shaffer (Casey’s General Store), Jason Sides (Mafia Motorsports), Paul McMahan (Bass Pro Shops), Jason Solwold (Carnahan Motorsports), Brian Paulus (Arnold Transportation Services), Shane Stewart (Snap-On), and Lucas Wolfe (Selma Shell Racing).
“It’s a big deal,” Kaeding said. “It gives everyone an incentive to come and run with us now. Hopefully we can attract some cars, in addition to the ones we already have.”
Both Lasoski and Meyers point to the stability that comes with the points fund.

“I think the largest impact will be the credibility it adds to Fred Brownfield and the NST as an established series,” Lasoski said of the new infusion of funds. “The three-year deal proves the NST is here to stay and will continue to grow from here on out.”

Meyers concurs. “Obviously, the announcement of a point fund will add solidarity to the series which should welcome more promoters to come on board,” Meyers said. “The NST is the only series that has a guaranteed three year point fund in Sprint car racing.”

Kaeding also feels the points fund is a positive step.
“It helps out a lot,” Kaeding said. “Fred’s done a lot for Sprint car racing. He just knows what to do. He’s a race car driver turned promoter, trying to keep Sprint car racing alive and out there.”

Kaeding, currently in the best position to grab the $150,000 for winning the title, noted all NST drivers come out ahead.
“Everyone’s going to get paid extra at the end of the year for putting on a great show,” he said.

Kinser summed it up, “Fred Brownfield and his people are the ones that should get all the credit. There were a lot of people in this industry that didn’t think Fred could do what he’s done: announce a new traveling series in December, get a bunch of races scheduled even in the first year, have the field of cars that we do, and have them stay united. And now this, a $2.4 million point fund. My hat’s off to him. But we’ve got work left to do, and Fred knows that. We’re not done just yet.”

The next event for the National Sprint Tour is Friday June 2, 2006 at Bloomington Speedway in Bloomington, IN followed by a June 6 race at Fremont Speedway in Fremont, OH. For more information on the NST, please visit www.nationalsprinttour.com NST

Miller Beer terminates deal with 'The Snake' Miller Beer terminates deal with 'The Snake'Having enjoyed one of the longest running sponsorships in the history of NHRA Drag Racing, Don Prudhomme Racing announced today that Miller Brewing Company will not return as the primary sponsor of two-time NHRA Top Fuel Champion driver Larry Dixon and Don Prudhomme Racing’s Miller Lite dragster upon the conclusion of the 2006 season.

Don Prudhomme’s Snake Racing team is currently exploring potential primary sponsorship partners for the 2007 NHRA season and beyond.

“Our time with Miller has been very productive and enjoyable and I would like to thank everyone at Miller, from the folks in Milwaukee to the many distributors that have supported Larry and our team through the years,” said Team Owner and President, Don Prudhomme. “Snake Racing has always prided itself in representing our sponsors in a professional, responsible and successful way, both on and off the race track. I believe we have done an excellent job on behalf of Miller Brewing Company, not only in our numerous race wins and championships, but in helping increase excitement, visibility and product sales for Miller over the past decade.” zzzz

Jackie Woodward, Miller’s vice president of programming, media and marketing assets, said this was a difficult but necessary decision as the company strives to make the most effective use of its marketing expenditures.

“We want to thank Don Prudhomme, Larry Dixon and the entire Prudhomme Racing team for being such great partners and brand representatives over the past 11 years,” Woodward said. “It’s been an honor to be associated with them – including NHRA Top Fuel championships in 2002 and 2003 -- and we look forward to celebrating several successes on the track together during the rest of this season.”

Stewart breaks scapula in Lowe’s accidents Stewart breaks scapula in Lowe’s accidentsUPDATE #3 Tony Stewart will not require surgery for the fractured right scapula he sustained in an accident during Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. Stewart's #20 Chevy suffered a right front tire failure on lap 33 of the 400-lap race, sending the #20 machine into the SAFER barrier on the outside retaining wall of turn one. Stewart was running in the 25th position when the accident happened. "Tony sustained a non-displaced fracture at the tip of his right scapula," said Dr. Jerry Petty, a neurosurgeon who has consulted with many NASCAR drivers. "It is a non-surgical injury that only time and rest can heal." While Stewart's fractured right scapula won't require surgery, it will limit his participation in this weekend's Nextel Cup event at Dover.

Veteran NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd has been secured by Joe Gibbs Racing to serve as the relief driver for the #20 team this weekend at Dover. Rudd, a winner of 23 Nextel Cup races - four of which came at Dover - will practice and qualify the #20 Chevrolet while Stewart will start the 400-lap race. Rudd will be on standby in the pit area to relieve Stewart at any point during the event. By starting at Dover, Stewart will receive all points toward the Nextel Cup driver's championship. "Tony's injury is unfortunate, and we are going to do everything we can to get him healed up quickly," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Tony is as tough as they come, but we aren't going to take any chances on making his situation worse. We're very appreciative of Ricky Rudd for being able to drive the #20 car at Dover. He's a proven winner who will allow us to stay in contention for the championship." Stewart is currently fourth in the championship point standings, 231 points behind series leader Jimmie Johnson. zzzz

"Tony's our driver and we'd love to have him in the car, but we want him to be 100%, not just for one race but for the rest of the season," said Greg Zipadelli, crew chief for the #20 team. "We'll do what we have to do until he heals up. This is a strong race team that's no stranger to adversity, so I know we'll make the best of this situation at Dover and in the weeks to come." Al Shuford, a certified athletic trainer formerly with the NFL's Carolina Panthers, will work with Stewart to get him ready for his limited participation at Dover and what is expected to be his full participation during the Nextel Cup race weekend at Pocono June 9-11. Shuford joined Joe Gibbs Racing in October 2000. "Basically, we're just going to work with Tony to make him comfortable," said Shuford. "As Dr. Petty said, Tony's injury is something that only time and rest can heal. But we can help speed up that timetable with a rehabilitation program specific to his injury and his profession." JGR/True Speed Communication

05/30/06 Defending Nextel Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will start Sunday's Neighborhood Excellence 400 at Dover International Speedway, Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs said Tuesday afternoon.

Gibbs said during a break of the test of the "car of tomorrow" that the team would release an official statement later in the day updating the condition of Stewart, who broke his shoulder blade in a crash during the Coca-Cola 600 last Sunday.
"He's definitely sore, no doubt about it," Gibbs said. "We'll know more here in a little bit."

05/29/06 Tony Stewart sustained a fracture of his right scapula in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 Nextel Cup Series race when a flat right front tire sent his #20 Home Depot Chevy into the SAFER barrier on the outside retaining wall of turn one. Stewart was running in the 25th position when the accident happened on lap 33 of the 400-lap race. According to doctors at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, a CT scan revealed a minimally displaced fracture at the tip of the right scapula. Stewart is scheduled to meet with Joe Gibbs Racing's team physicians on Tuesday for further evaluation. An update on Stewart's condition will be provided following that evaluation. True Speed Communication PR

05/28/06 Tony Stewart ended up in the hospital for the second straight day at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Stewart wrecked 33 laps into the Coca-Cola 600, apparently because of a flat right tire, and his Chevrolet slammed hard into the wall. It took safety personnel several minutes to help Stewart get out of the car, and he was wincing in pain and favoring his right side when he finally made it through the window. Stewart was taken directly to the hospital for evaluation. He was seen and released about two hours after the accident, but NASCAR would not give an update on his condition. He was already nursing a bruised right shoulder from a hard crash in Saturday night’s Busch Series race that sent him to the hospital for X-rays, which were negative for breaks. Crew chief Greg Zipadelli was concerned about his health and Stewart’s stamina before the event began. “They thought that he had chipped or cracked his scapula bone, but it wasn’t that, it was just a bad bruise and swollen,” Zipadelli said. “Like a cracked or bruised rib, it just takes time to heal.”  Word is he has a cracked Shoulder Blade.

track news
Edmonton construction begins Edmonton construction beginsIn their ongoing effort to provide race fans with the ultimate experience in spectator events, organizers of the Grand Prix of Edmonton is investing $1.5 million dollars (Canadian) in construction costs in order to relocate the main grandstand and pit lane closer to the race track. The West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix Presented by The Brick will be held July 21-23, 2006

Ernie Pasemko, General Manager of Grand Prix Edmonton and Tom Doerkson, Director of Operations note that the investment in the modifications to the race site reflect the Grand Prix's long-term commitment to the City of Edmonton and event investors.

The Edmonton event is the eighth round in the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.

''We had other options that would not have cost us this investment,'' says Pasemko. ''However we believe that race fans will benefit from these changes and at the end of the day, enhancing the fan experience keeps them coming back and helps the event to grow year after year. It is the right thing to do.''

Construction is already underway.

''From a spectator's point of view, the sightlines are incredible,'' adds Doerkson. ''We are moving the grandstand within meters of the pitlane which will provide an unparalleled racing experience. The only way the fans could be closer is if they were part of a race team.''

NASCAR catches another cheater NASCAR catches another cheaterJeremy Mayfield's car failed post-race inspection following the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

The roof was one-eighth of an inch too low. There is a quarter-inch tolerance given for settling during the race, but the Evernham Motorsports car was an eighth of an inch below that tolerance, NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Director John Darby said Tuesday.

Penalties likely will be announced Wednesday. Being too low typically is a 25-point penalty accompanied by a $25,000-$35,000 fine.

"The way we run these cars now, these [front] springs settle and you never know how much," team owner Ray Evernham said. "They were low, no doubt about it." NASCAR Daily Scene

COT tests at Lowe's COT tests at Lowe'sCONCORD, N.C. – For the first time in its developmental stages, NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow ran in groups of 6-8 cars with the aerodynamic wing attached to the rear, as the first of a two-day test session got underway Tuesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The feedback NASCAR received from the drivers was positive and all indications are that the aero push in the group runs should make for some compelling racing.
Teams from Hendrick Motorsports (Brian Vickers), Richard Childress Racing (Jeff Burton), DEI (Martin Truex, Jr.), Penske Racing South (Ryan Newman), Evernham Motorsports (Scott Riggs), Joe Gibbs Racing (Denny Hamlin), Chip Ganassi (Casey Mears), and MB2 Motorsports (Joe Nemechek) participated in Tuesday’s test.
“We received some excellent feedback from the teams and drivers today,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President for Competition. “They were able to run in a pack today for the first time with the wing and for the most part, everyone liked what they saw out there. We’ll take this information, discuss it as a group, and come back Wednesday and test again. We’re optimistic about running this car with the wing and the type of aero push it is able to give us.” zzzz
Following a series of single car runs in the morning, the teams met following a lunch break and then went through a pair of 20-lap group runs. The purpose of the morning session was to allow each driver to get comfortable driving the car, while the afternoon segment was designed to determine how the cars would run side-by-side and in groups.

Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge, said that while this was his first time driving the Penske Racing South’s Car of Tomorrow model, he was encouraged with the performance.
“This was our first Car of Tomorrow test and we have something to work from now, that’s for sure,” said Newman. “Our car was a little tight, but it really felt like it was easier to pass than in the regular (NASCAR NEXTEL) Cup cars. The aero push was pretty good. I think we took some pretty big steps out there today.”
Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 31 Cingular Chevrolet, has participated in three of the four Car of Tomorrow tests this year, and continues to be impressed by the way the car handles on the track.

“I really like how our car drove out there today,” said Burton. “Simply put, it drives like a race car. I think you will continue to see some subtle changes in the body of the car, but for the most part, we’re locked in with the center part of the chassis. I think this is the fourth Car of Tomorrow we’ve built and we’ve been able to accumulate a great deal of track time and gather a lot of information. To NASCAR’s credit, they’ve really moved this project along.”
The teams are scheduled to test again Wednesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, beginning at 9 a.m.

The Car of Tomorrow is the culmination of a five-year design program by NASCAR’s Research and Development Center. Of primary significance are safety innovations; performance and competition; and cost efficiency for the teams. The new car will begin competition in 2007 at the spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway and will race at 16 different events next season. The 2008 Car of Tomorrow implementation schedule includes 26 events. Teams will run the entire 2009 schedule with the Car of Tomorrow. NASCAR

track news
Sell rating for SMI and ISC Sell rating for SMI and ISCFurther evidence that NASCAR has peaked, A.G. Edwards has issued a sell rating for stockholders of ISC and SMI, forecasting that earnings will be off. After raising ticket prices for years, empty seats are starting to appear at ISC and SMI race tracks as fans begin to realize they cannot afford to continue to be raped. Four decent tickets on the frontstraight at the Daytona 500 now cost a family $1,200. Add in travel costs, hotel, meals, souvenirs, etc. and you start to realize that going to a NASCAR race can set a family back $2,000 to $3,000. Mark C.
12 ALMS teams await LeMans test 12 ALMS teams await LeMans testBRASELTON, Ga. – The 74th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans still is more than two weeks away. But in some respects, the race begins this weekend with a nine-hour Test Day scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time Sunday (3 to 11 a.m. EDT). All 12 entries from the American Le Mans Series are scheduled to take part.

Last year marked the first time the Automobile Club de l’Ouest positioned the Test Day two weeks out from the 24 Hours, the most prestigious auto race in the world. Prior to 2005 the Test Days were held near the middle of May, meaning teams left their cars, equipment and many times personnel in France (or elsewhere in Europe) for upwards of a full month.

It also allowed the American Le Mans Series to schedule races between Sebring and Le Mans, a tremendous development for the Series, its teams and its fans.

“It’s good because you really can test hard and get the car ready, then go home for four to five days before you have to go back,” said Johnny Mowlem of ACEMCO Motorsports.

track news
Pepsi renews with Watkins Glen Pepsi renews with Watkins GlenWatkins Glen International President Craig Rust announced today that The Pepsi Bottling Group, Inc. (PBG) has signed a five-year agreement to continue its successful partnership with Watkins Glen International as its “Official Soft Drink.”

”Watkins Glen International is a valued customer and partner, and we look forward to building on our success,” said Michael Matney, Vice President and General Manager of PBG’s Upstate/Western New York Market Unit. “Together, we will continue to develop exciting sweepstakes and promotions for racing fans across Upstate New York.”

“Watkins Glen International is proud of our long standing partnership with Pepsi Bottling Group and we are excited to continue the relationship,” said Rust. “PBG is at the forefront of motorsports facility marketing, so to be able to continue working with such a great brand for the next five years is very rewarding.”

baja 1000
Gordon to pull Triple Duty in NASCAR and Baja Gordon to pull Triple Duty in NASCAR and BajaRobby Gordon, who is widely regarded as the world’s most versatile race car driver, will put that reputation to the test once again next week when drives three different race cars in two countries on the same weekend.
Gordon will defend his title in the Baja 500 in Ensenada, Mexico, where he will drive two different vehicles, and will also drive his NASCAR Nextel Cup Series car in Dover, Del.

Having pulled the famed Indy-Charlotte double three times, Gordon is accustomed to the difficult travel logistics necessary to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, but the challenge of racing in the Baja 500 and Dover NASCAR races presents an even greater test.
The 37-year-old driver will travel approximately 11,200 miles by air during the odyssey (nearly half the distance around the world) and more than 1,100 miles on the ground.  zzzz
Less than eight hours after the completion of Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, his journey will begin with his first cross-country flight to Ensenada where he will spend three days practicing (or pre-running) both a Red Bull/Toyo Tires-sponsored Chevrolet CK1500 Trophy Truck and a Jim Beam/Toyo Tires-sponsored Hummer H3.  Gordon will make the 2,800-mile flight to Dover on Thursday evening before practicing and qualifying his Mapei and Menards-sponsored Chevrolet Monte Carlo Friday.  Following Friday’s NASCAR sessions, he will again return to Ensenada where he will take the green flag in the Baja 500 at approximately 9 a.m. (PDT) Saturday.
He will start the Baja 500 in the Trophy Truck and drive approximately half of the race before turning the wheel over to his teammate Andy McMillin who will take the truck to the finish line (McMillin campaigns the Team Gordon truck full-time in the SCORE International Off-Road Series). 
Shortly after Gordon starts the 500, his father, Bob, will start in the Hummer H3 where he will also drive half way and then turn the truck over to the younger Gordon who will in all likelihood complete the 424-mile course in the H3.
Immediately following the completion of the estimated seven-hour race, which begins and ends in Ensenada, Gordon will re-board his plane and take an overnight flight to Dover where he will start the Neighborhood Excellence 400 Sunday at 2:10 p.m. EDT.
“This is the sort of thing that I live for,” Gordon said.  “Obviously my primary focus is on our Nextel Cup effort but when I have an opportunity to compete in our Trophy Truck I take it.  On paper the travel logistics look tough, but when it’s over it really doesn’t seem like it was all that hard.
“The only thing different from last year is that we’re also driving the H3, which is the same truck we raced in the Dakar Rally in January.  By running both trucks we’ll be able to put a lot of development miles on the H3 in preparation for the next Dakar, and we also hope to defend our title.  The H3 has been a very reliable truck but it was built to conform to the rules of the Dakar Rally, and that’s the way we will race it in the 500, so it will be at a horsepower disadvantage to the unlimited horsepower Trophy Trucks.  But my dad has still got what it takes to get the job done, and he doesn’t make many mistakes, and if the H3 is as reliable as it has been in the past we could win with either truck.”
Bob Gordon is himself a former Baja 1000 winner and for many has been affectionately known as “Baja Bob.”

“I’m looking forward to having my dad back in a Team Gordon truck, and I hope that Andy gets his first win in the Trophy Truck class.  He’s a heck of a talent and if all goes well I expect to see him be the first to get back to Ensenada.

“The best thing about having such a long flight Saturday night back to Dover is that I’ll get to sleep on the plane the entire trip and be ready for 400 more miles on Sunday.  Getting our team’s first win of the season there would put a topper on the whole weekend.”

Hornish's dream realized Hornish's dream realizedWhen Sam Hornish Jr. was a boy, he dreamed of winning the Indianapolis 500.  His dream was finally realized May 28, when he claimed the 90th Indianapolis 500, with a thrilling, last-lap pass of rookie Marco Andretti.

"I don't think it's fully sunk in yet," Hornish said on May 29, one day after winning the biggest race of his career. "I don't think it will fully sink in until after I see my face on the Borg-Warner Trophy or get my Baby Borg."

The 26-year-old native of Defiance, Ohio had claimed two IRL IndyCar® Series championships and a series record 14 wins over the last six seasons, but he had never completed the full 500 miles or finished in the top-10 in six previous Indianapolis 500 starts.

That changed with his domination of the Month of May, where he led virtually every practice day and claimed the WorldPoints Visa Card Pole Award. zzzz

Still, a mid-race penalty for a pit-road mistake left Hornish behind and forced him to charge past JPMorgan Chase Rookie of the Year Andretti. As a reward, Hornish claimed $1.74 million of the record $10,518,565 purse. He also received a Digital Rebel XT Camera and an engraved Special Edition Indy 500® Chronograph from TAG Heuer, the official timekeeper and watch of the Indy Racing League.

"It's so much more special than what I thought it was going to be," Hornish said. "I've taken care of (the Indy 500) on my resume. No one will ever ask me the question 'Are you ever going to win the Indy 500?' again."

And with that he also made good on the promise that owner Roger Penske had when he hired Hornish to drive the No. 6 car.

"Everybody on the team told me how exciting the finish was, and that they'd never seen anything like it," Hornish said. "I guess this was my way of making it up to them for beating them at Texas in '02 and winning the championship in the same way. I feel really special about this win. That's why I came to this team was to win the "500." That's why Roger hired me because of what I can do. I'm glad I finally did that for him."

Giebler joins Hardley at Glen Giebler joins Hardley at GlenAmerican Phil Giebler (right) will drive Kenn Hardley Racing's second car in the Corning 100 on June 4 at Watkins Glen International. Giebler, 26, will drive the No. 42 car with Bobby Wilson as his teammate.  "We're glad to have Phil drive for us at Watkins Glen," team owner Kenn Hardley said.  "Phil is certainly a qualified road racer and super young man."

Giebler has made nine Indy Pro Series starts in his career, including the Freedom 100 May 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Giebler finished 16th driving for Guthrie Racing. The Oxnard, Calif., native's lone start last season came at Watkins Glen where he finished sixth for Vision Racing.

"I'm excited to be in one of Kenn Hardley's cars as they always run up front," said Giebler of the Kenn Hardley team that won last year's Corning 100 with driver Jeff Simmons.

Giebler made seven Indy Pro Series starts in 2004, winning his debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He had a third-place finish at California Speedway.

Giebler, whose diverse racing background includes go-karts and European formula cars, represented the U.S. earlier this year in the A1GP race in Dubai.

Hornish breaks $11 million in earnings Hornish breaks $11 million in earningsWith his win in the Indianapolis 500, Sam Hornish Jr. became the first IndyCar Series driver to make more than $11 million in career earnings. Hornish has made $11,286,905 since debuting in the IndyCar Series in 2000.  "That's a pretty special deal to be the first person to get to 10 (million), and then take it to 11(million) is even better," Hornish said. "Of course we don't get all that. It would be nice if I did. I think I'd have a lot more fancy jewelry and things like that."
Crews to Become Youngest IPS driver Crews to Become Youngest IPS driverINDIANAPOLIS -  CR Crews of Dallas is poised to become the youngest  driver ever to compete in an Indy Pro Series race with today's announcement that  he has been signed to drive for Michael Crawford Motorsports in Sunday's  Corning 100 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Crews is celebrating his 18th birthday today, May 30, so he'll be 18 years  and five days old on race day.

"I am looking forward to my first start with the Indy Pro Series and with all  the guys at Michael Crawford Motorsports," Crews said. "I wish I could have  tested before this weekend, but with my 18th birthday just two days before the  first practice at Watkins Glen it just wasn't possible.

"I know that this weekend is going to be a big challenge and I think that I  am up to it," he added. "We have a very specific plan that we want to  accomplish during each of the practice and qualifying sessions. When it comes race  time, I will be ready."  zzzz 

Michael Crawford Motorsports is a new team, although its principal was the  general manager for Sam Schmidt Motorsports since the end of the 2002 season  through the end of the 2005 season.  The latter team won the Indy Pro Series  championship in 2004 and fielded three cars that finished in the top six in points  in 2005.

"CR comes to our team with a great resume and a ton of potential," Crawford  said. " He's a road-course racer with a lot of experience in the various  formula that lead to the Indy Pro Series.  The team had a competitive car at Watkins  Glen last year and our expectations are to work with CR to achieve our best  finish ever.  We would also like to wish CR a happy 18th birthday today.  This  means that he will be the youngest driver to compete in the Indy Pro Series,  which is another first to add to his impressive resume."

Although this will be Crews' Indy Pro Series debut, he is very accomplished  in other forms of open-wheel racing.  He hopes to drive the remaining four Indy  Pro Series road-course events this year and to compete in the series  full-time in 2007.  In addition to the Glen's 3.37-mile road course, the series'  remaining road-course races for 2006 will be on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's  2.6-mile road course July 1-2 and a doubleheader on the 2.4-mile road course at  Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Aug. 26-27.

Crews also hopes to participate in the IndyCar Rookie Orientation Program  (ROP) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next May with the goal of landing a ride  in the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500.

Crews has worked extremely hard during the "off season" on mental and  physical conditioning. He has been training under the guidance of the professionals  at ZOOM Sports in Frisco, Texas.

Crews was winning local kart races at the age of 8.  He continued winning on  the national karting circuits before moving into formula cars.  He won the  first Formula Mazda race he ever entered at age 14. He missed two North American  Pro Mazda Championship races in 2004, one due to age restrictions, but he  still finished in the top-10 in the point standings that year.  He became the  youngest driver to ever test a Daytona Prototype when Forest Barber let him drive  the 2004 Rolex 24-winning Bell Motorsports DORAN JE4 at Homestead-Miami  Speedway that December. Crews also tested a Renault Formula V6 at both Donington  Park and Silverstone in England last year. He was slated to compete in Formula  Atlantic this year but that program is currently on hold due to budget  constraints.

Indy Pro Series practice will start on Friday morning at the Glen, followed  by two qualifying sessions at 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Saturday and the 29-lap  race at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

The race will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis at 2 p.m. Eastern time  June 8 on ESPN2.

No rest for Indy 500 winner No rest for Indy 500 winner90th Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr. will continue to run wide-open this week in the wake of his thrilling victory in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," traveling around the United States on the Indianapolis 500 Victory Tour.

Hornish, a native of Defiance, Ohio, earned his first career Indianapolis 500 victory Sunday, May 28 with a stunning pass of rookie Marco Andretti literally in the closing seconds of the 500-mile race.

It appeared Andretti had the win in hand with a half-lap to go, but Hornish, driving the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone, closed in on Andretti in the final two turns and passed him just before the finish line, winning by a margin of .0635 of a second.

Activity started for Hornish almost immediately after taking the checkered flag. He completed countless media interviews in the hours following the race, then Hornish returned to Victory Podium - located just above the place he took the traditional gulp of milk in Victory Lane celebrations - to do a satellite media tour with television media from around the country until 10 p.m. on Race Day.  zzzz

Hornish was up early on Monday morning, May 29, to do an interview with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on ESPN Radio's popular "Mike & Mike in the Morning" show. He then took part in three photo shoots, the final one being the traditional winner's photo shoot on the main straightaway of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Monday night, he collected his winner's check of $1,744,855 at the Indianapolis 500 Victory Celebration.

Hornish's victory tour hit high gear Tuesday, May 30 with a trip to Dallas for a media luncheon at the observation deck of the Dallas Hyatt Reunion Hotel. Hornish will race in the IRL IndyCar Series' Bombardier Learjet 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in nearby Ft. Worth, Texas, on Saturday night, June 10.

Following the luncheon, Hornish flew to New York City to throw out the first pitch at 6 p.m. at the New York Mets vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Major League Baseball game.

On May 31, Hornish will be a guest on the popular morning talk show "Live with Regis & Kelly" at 9 a.m. (ET), followed by a visit to the New York Board of Trade that includes an 11:30 a.m. photo opportunity, ringing of the world market closing bell and 1 p.m. press luncheon.

Guest appearances on CNN's "Paula Zahn Now" and "Anderson Cooper 360," Fox News Channel's "Your World w/Neil Cavuto" and "Daily News Live" on SportsNet New York will follow.

On Thursday, June 1, Hornish heads to Corning, N.Y. as preparations begin for the IndyCar Series' next race, the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix on June 4. Hornish will participate in a media availability at the Corning Museum of Glass at noon on June 1 before returning his attention to driving for Marlboro Team Penske.

Following the Watkins Glen race, Hornish wraps up his whirlwind Indianapolis 500 Victory Tour with a visit to Richmond, Va., and an appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman" on June 5.

Track News
Milwaukee hoping to add 2nd Truck race Milwaukee hoping to add 2nd Truck raceMilwaukee Mile Holdings President & CEO Andy Randall and Chair Craig Stoehr “hope to add another” NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race and there is “talk of setting up a racing school” as well, according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Milwaukee Mile has sold more than 12,000 season-ticket packages this season and added “more sponsors this year.” The track is not only trying to get “longtime racing fans energized, but casual fans as well.” Milwaukee Mile is taking an interactive mobile exhibit to more than 40 festivals and events this year and is launching the Victory Club, a new fan hospitality venue that offers food and ticket packages. Earlier this month, the track held an event in which fans could drive on the racetrack in exchange for a charitable donation. Also, fans attending home Brewers games this month can redeem their ticket stubs for $5 off the price of a ticket to the Champ Car Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 on June 4. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Francis Wins Crew Chief Award Francis Wins Crew Chief AwardCONCORD, North Carolina – After taking home wins in Texas and Atlanta, the Kasey Kahne/Kenny Francis tandem continued their dominance at the mile-and-a-half tracks this weekend at the Coca-Cola 600.  Kahne picked up his third win of the season at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, dethroning the reigning champion Jimmie Johnson.  With crew chief Kenny Francis calling the shots, Kahne was a picture of consistency throughout NASCAR’s longest, most grueling race.  The No. 9 Dodge led a race-high 158 laps and was rarely spotted outside of the top-10.  Francis’ winning strategy earned him the WYPALL® Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. 

As solid as Kahne’s car was during the course of the event, the Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge indicated it might begin to fade on the night’s final run if left untouched.  Francis called for adjustments to loosen up the No. 9 machine during the race’s last pit stop, which was just what Kahne needed to recapture the lead.  Kahne stormed from third-place position on the restart into the lead on lap 371 and never looked back.  “We got tight there at the end and we needed to free up our car,” commented Kahne following the race.  “Kenny Francis, the whole team made a great pit stop and made some good adjustments at the same time.  We were able to get out front after that. Another huge win; great team effort.” zzzz

A panel of voters; including Jim Utter of the Charlotte Observer, Robbie Reiser and a WYPALL® Wipers representative; all voted for Francis as the crew chief that made the biggest impact on his team.  “The No. 9 team was strong from start to finish,” said Reiser. “It’s really tough to have a car that good, especially when the race is so long.  When the track changes as much as it does during this race, your car is usually good at the beginning or the end, but not both.  Kahne was the exception to that rule.  Kenny (Francis) gave him a good car with a lot of adjustability in it and that let him keep up with the track.”

For winning the Crew Chief of the Race award, WYPALL® Wipers presented Francis $1,000.  At the end of the season, the Nextel Cup crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000 and be crowned the WYPALL® Wipers Crew Chief of the Year.  This was Francis’ third Crew Chief of the Race award in 2006, which moves him into first place of the standings. Robbie Reiser and Tony Eury Jr. are tied for second-place, each with two wins.  Darian Grubb, Todd Berrier Chad Knaus, Doug Richert and Roy McCauley are tied for third-place, all with one win. 

Industry News
GM has a new President GM has a new PresidentTroy Clarke has been appointed president of GM North America and GM group vice president, effective July 1, General Motors Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner announced today.
Second Place for Andretti Is Victory for IRL Second Place for Andretti Is Victory for IRLSandy Andretti said she was so thrilled by her son Marco's second-place finish in the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday that she could only blubber her congratulations to him afterward. She was in shock, she said.

But she seemed to know what it meant in a larger perspective. She nodded back at the stands behind her at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and smiled.

"I think they saw a heck of a race, didn't they?" she said of the estimated 300,000 fans in attendance.

Sam Hornish Jr. passed Marco Andretti, the 19-year-old rookie who is the grandson of the racing icon Mario Andretti, with about 150 yards to go to win by a car length — the second-closest finish of 90 Indianapolis 500's.

"He'll get that as soon as he calms down," Sandy Andretti said, referring to her son's grasp of the historical significance.

It was the second exhilarating Indy 500 in a row. Danica Patrick, then a 23-year-old rookie, led the 2005 race with 10 laps to go before she was passed by Dan Wheldon, the eventual winner. She became the first woman to lead the Indy 500.

What the Indy Racing League may have found Sunday is a star in the making, from a family whose name is synonymous with driving fast.  More at NY Times

No more teams, Williams warns F1 No more teams, Williams warns F1(GMM) Sir Frank Williams has warned the formula one world against allowing more than twelve teams to compete in the future.

The Briton, co-owner and principal of one of the sport's most successful teams, welcomed the arrival in 2008 of David Richards' 'Prodrive', but says F1 could not sustain any more.

''Since 1970 we have had precisely sixty-one formula one teams that have come and gone, for one reason only -- money,'' Williams told Motorsport Aktuell magazine.

Sir Frank, whose squad is based in Oxfordshire, argues that team failures - like Arrows and Prost in recent years but Jordan, Minardi and Jaguar were sold - is damaging to the sport's reputation.

But he also thinks that having too many cash-strapped teams could upset the apple-cart for everyone because they would devalue the cost of sponsorship deals.

And he added: ''There are not enough sponsors with money for more than twelve teams at the moment.''

FIA president Max Mosley recently said that, in theory, more than the maximum twelve teams could be allowed to compete in formula one.

''If all the organizers and promoters want to make the investment (to update circuit facilities),'' he said, ''there's no fundamental reason why it shouldn't be done.''

ALMS Mid-Ohio TV Rating ALMS Mid-Ohio TV RatingUPDATE The final rating for the ALMS race at Mid-Ohio was a disappointing 0.6/2 share, down 25% from its overnight rating.

05/22/06 The overnight TV Rating for the ALMS race from Mid-Ohio on CBS Sunday was a 0.8/2 share.

Indy 500 Pole and Bump Day TV Rating Indy 500 Pole and Bump Day TV RatingUPDATE #2 The final rating for Bump Day qualifying at Indy was a 1.0/3 share, up slightly from 2005.

05/23/06 Ironically the rained out pole qualifying TV Rating from last year on ABC was the same as the rainout this year - 0.7/2 share on ABC.  And even more ironic is the fact that bump day overnight rating was the same as this year, a 1.2 overnight on ABC, but it fell to a 0.9/3 share for the final.  In a nutshell so far the ratings remain flat from a year ago. 

05/22/06 The overnight TV Rating for Bump Day qualifying at Indianapolis was a 1.2/3 share on ABC Sunday.

The final TV Rating for rained out pole day qualifying last Saturday at Indy on ABC was a 0.7/2share

Evidence pointed toward Schumacher guilt Evidence pointed toward Schumacher guiltOne of Monaco's Stewards, Joaquin Verdegay, said the evidence was clearly stacked against Michael Schumacher in Monaco.

"It was a painful decision because we could not make a mistake and put the reputation of a driver at risk," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"We don't know if the entire maneuver was deliberate, but in that spot he had certainly not done anything like it throughout the weekend: he braked over 50% more heavily than on the other laps.

"Then he performed some absolutely unnecessary and pathetic counter-steering, and that lasted five meters, until there was no more chances of going through the turn normally.

"He lost control of the car while traveling at 16km/h! That's something completely unjustifiable. And the engine shut off because he wanted it to, by losing enough time before hitting the clutch. And the excuse that he did not engage reverse because there was traffic doesn't make sense."

"If he had damaged the car we would have probably filed the matter as an error. As it is, to 'park' it that way, you only do it deliberately," he added.

"We've only applied article 116 of the sporting regulations: if a driver affects the results of other drivers by committing an error, you can cancel all his lap times."

Q and A with Renault President Carlos Ghosn Q and A with Renault President Carlos Ghosn
Renault President Carlos Ghosn met the press on Sunday at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Mr. Ghosn, what is your opinion on the current state of Formula 1?
CG: I believe Formula 1 is getting stronger, and becoming increasingly popular, thanks to a healthy competitive situation. Four or five years ago, you knew who would be on pole and win. Now, there is more suspense, more competition, and at least three teams capable of winning at the highest level. That is important, because we are here for the public – to give them a good show including technology, including heroes and a competition between the teams. Formula 1 now has a good commercial agreement in place, a good vision for the technology in the sport, and healthy competition. These are good signs for the future.

You mention the commercial deal that the Renault F1 Team signed two weeks ago. What is the perspective for Renault’s commitment to Formula 1?
CG: We have a long-term perspective on Formula 1. For me personally, and for Renault, there was never uncertainty about our commitment to Formula 1. We are here to attract people and promote our brand, and we are doing it with good results and in the right spirit. The question for Renault was and is how we convert that F1 involvement into growth for the brand. That will become concrete with Renault Contract 2009. There are a lot of cars arriving in the next three years that will benefit directly from the halo effect of our Formula 1 victories. zzzz

Will Renault continue to provide the investment required to win?
CG: When we are in Formula 1, we want to be at the top level, and we will provide the necessary funding. The Renault-Nissan Alliance has the second-highest market capitalization in the automotive industry, and it is second in terms of profitability. Providing a budget is not the issue, and indeed we are in a stronger position than many of our competitors. Our team exists to achieve performance. We will not set a budget, and see how much we can achieve with it. Quite the reverse: the team is winning, they are doing a very good job, and we will give them the means to carry on doing so.

So what about the ‘efficiency’ that the Renault F1 Team often highlights?
CG: The fact is that we have a professional team with gifted people, and they do not over-spend. They are responsible. We are achieving the best results on one of the smallest budgets, and that is something that makes me very proud of the team. It would be embarrassing if things were the other way round, and we had the biggest budget with no results.

You have said that you want the Renault F1 Team to keep winning, yet it will lose a world champion at the end of the year. How will the team cope?
CG: I think that seeing people come and go is part of everyday life in Formula 1 – it is not a disaster. When Renault put Alonso in the car, people did not know him, and he became champion surrounded by a good team. I don’t think an exceptional driver can win races surrounded by an ordinary group of people, he does it with an exceptional team, a good car, and the right technology. I have full trust in Alain (Dassas) and Flavio (Briatore) to find the best talent for our team, and I hope Renault’s results in the future prove me right. Renault

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Zanardi to test BMW-Sauber in 2006
Briatore calls for end to Schu saga
Start of Spanish test delayed
Button rules out home win
Alonso plays down Brit GP struggle
'B' car has not solved Toyota problem - Ralf
BMW content with '06 so far
Sato still waiting for 'new' Aguri
Alonso on cruise to second crown - press
France family trying to block Phoenix Champ Car race France family trying to block Phoenix Champ Car race
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