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Q and A with Heikki Kovalainen
Heikki Kovalainen
McLaren racer Heikki Kovalainen didn’t have the best of Monaco Grand prix’s the Finnish driver qualifying fourth on the grid, but due to a technical glitch was forced to start from pitlane instead. However, despite all the chaos the rain produced together with a great strategy from the team and some expert driving, he managed to cross the finish line in eighth place overall.

Now it’s time for Canada and Heikki is hoping for a much more favorable result….

What are your expectations ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix?
"I am going to Montreal to get a good result with the team. The last few races have been pretty difficult for one reason or another, but all the time we know the car is quick and now I am hoping to be able to demonstrate that."

How competitive do you feel the MP4-23 will be at the Canadian Grand Prix?
"Lewis won there last year and, if that is anything to go by, I hope and think the car will be fast again this year. It’s another track that is not that normal, it is almost like a street circuit and a key characteristic that we have to manage over the race is the big change in grip levels throughout the weekend. You have to chase the track a little bit some times with the set up, and also wait for the track to come to you. It’s such a different character after Monaco, which is a lot of slow, tight corners. Montreal is all about straight lines and heavy braking. I always look forward to going there, it is another big challenge and the racing is normally pretty good."

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Aussies excel in IndyCar
Sydney's Ryan Briscoe has secured his maiden IndyCar Series win this morning with victory in the ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 IndyCar Series race at the Milwaukee Mile, leading Brisbane-born Kiwi and Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon across the line.

All three of the Trans-Tasman drivers in the IndyCar Series this year have now won a race within the unified 2008 season with 2007 IndyCar Series runner-up Dixon winning both the season-opener at Homestead-Miami and the legendary Indy 500 just last weekend, and Queensland's Will Power taking the win at the Champ Car World Series Finale in Long Beach.

Tony Kanaan, who won the past two years at The Mile, finished third and Dan Wheldon was fourth. Helio Castroneves finished fifth and Oriol Servia was a season-high sixth.


ALMS teams test report from LeMans
A tight battle between Risi Competizione and Flying Lizard Motorsports highlighted the showing of American Le Mans Series teams at the annual Test Day for the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Sunday. The two teams sat 1-2 in the GT2 standings on a soggy day in the Sarthe region France, two weeks before the 76th running of the world’s most famous race will take the checkered flag.

The weather at Le Mans on Sunday was just as bleak as it was when last year’s race finished. As a result, it was very difficult for teams and drivers to find any dry laps and do any meaningful work in preparation for the June 14-15 race.

Risi Ferrari
The No. 82 Risi Ferrari F430 GT of Jaime Melo, Mika Salo and Gianmaria Bruni went quickest in GT2 at 4:05.561 (199.805 kph) with Melo posting the time. He and Salo have added Bruni after the Risi entry crashed out in last year’s race after leading for 11 hours. Salo and Melo have failed to finish any better than ninth in any American Le Mans Series race after winning nine times and the class title last season.

Indeed, the Salo/Melo/Bruni trio led in class at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring just before the halfway point before Melo crashed out the car.

“We have had a good day and we were able to do everything we wanted to within the parameters of the conditions, which obviously affected everyone else as well,” said team principal Giuseppe Risi. “I’m happy with the progress made during our time out there on the track.”

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Peugeot beats Audi on LeMans test day
There have been three main stories here at testing. The first has been the weather, the second the battle between Peugeot and Audi and thirdly two accidents that resulted in drivers having to go to hospital.
The weather has been difficult with the day started cool and damp and then was punctuated by some long periods of heavy rain followed by a drying track. This made life difficult for the teams since this is the time when they would normally be testing various settings prior to the race. It was also hard for the teams to plan how to get their drivers qualified. The weather did disrupt proceedings but not before the various teams had had a chance to show us what they might be capable of during the race.

It was Peugeot that set the pace just after lunch when Stephane Sarrazin put in a series of incredibly quick laps. His really fast lap was four seconds inside last year’s pole position time. The car was no doubt on soft qualifying tires but the fuel load must have been quite heavy because it allowed Sarrazin to do four very fast laps immediately after his record lap. Audi really didn’t have an answer to this but at least they now know how quick the Peugeot can be when required. Audi did put in a few quicker laps with McNish but the feeling was that these were ‘race pace’ laps to see how the car would perform in the race. By the end of testing Peugeot were lying 1st and 2nd with Audi 3rd. However Peugeot have not had a particularly good day because Gené crashed the #7 car heavily, so heavily that it may well not be available for the race. This will put pressure on the team to rebuild one of the other cars. Audi will not have this problem. The quickest ‘petrol’ powered cars were 6th and 7th fastest, these are both Pescarolo Sport Judds. The #17 car which was 6th and the #16 car 7th fastest. However they were 5.5 secs a lap slower that the 5th placed Diesel Audi.

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Milwaukee Sunday Notebook - 1
  • Vitor Meira was cleared to race this morning by the IRL doctors.  He was not immediately cleared last night after a hard hit, in which he punched a hole in the SAFER barrier. 
  • The major complaint of "unified" ("unified" is the official IRL word for former Champ Car teams and drivers) teams this weekend is a lack of time.  They have been working 60-80 hour weeks since they got their cars in an attempt to become competitive.  They simply don't have the time to do wind tunnel testing, or on-track testing, or even in some cases, to assemble their spare cars.  None of them anticipates time to catch their breath until after the Chicago race in September. 
  • There are more than a few CART and Champ Car shirts and hats here this weekend.  It turns out that Wisconsin still has lots of Champ Car fans, and many of them tell me that they read AutoRacing1.com. 
  • When the IRL sits down with engine manufacturers this summer to look toward the next generation of Indy motors, virtually everything is open to discussion, including diesel power.  Indy is keeping an eye on emerging alternative power sources, and should a group of manufacturers want to pursue biodiesel then discussions would begin on that front.  Indiana has a booming soybean-based biodiesel industry, akin to the Midwest's booming corn-based ethanol industry.  No word on the possibilities of turbine power, steam power, or dilithium crystal warp cores. 
  • Don't look for changes in the Honda - Dallara formula in the near future.  The IRL is aware that making the unified teams go from DP01 to Dallara to something new in the space of 2 years would spell disaster for some of the teams.  Most likely, any new motor and chassis changes would take effect for the 2011 season for the Indy series, and either one year earlier or one year later for the Indy Lights. 
  • Have a camera?  Want to make the IRL people nervous?  If you do, take pictures of the Indy cars when the engine covers are off.  As it turns out, little black boxes are sprouting like spring mushrooms under those engine covers, measuring things like ride height (or so we're told).  Then again, it's not above some of the teams to play mind games with the competition by installing bogus parts.
  • The engine noises from an Indy Lights car is not far removed from the sounds of the vintage Indy roadsters that are putting on an exhibition at Milwaukee.  That will change this winter, as all motors are being rebuilt with a different crankshaft configuration to make them higher-revving, and therefore sounding more like an Indy car should sound.  This motor has been tested on both ovals and road courses, and the crews are eagerly anticipating the change. 
  • Should Graham Rahal win today's race, it will be the 8th time that Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing has seen victory lane at Milwaukee in an Indy car.  N/H/L is followed by Team Penske (6 wins), and AGR (3 wins).  Tim Wohlford reporting from Milwaukee


Bobby Wilson holds off Simmons to win Indy Lights race
Local Wisconsin resident Bobby Wilson beat off a late challenge by Jeff Simmons to win the Milwaukee 100 Indy Lights race.  Post-race, pole winner Pablo Donoso squared off with Micky Gilbert.  Donoso was penalized earlier for blocking Gilbert, and the two banged wheels on the cool down lap.  Wilson took the lead on lap 13 of 100, and wasn't challenged until the last lap when he was caught behind back markers. 


Driver Start Pos Gap to 1st Behind Laps
1 Bobby Wilson (17) 2 ... ... 100
2 Jeff Simmons (2) 3 0.0893 0.0893 100
3 Raphael Matos (27) 7 16.3217 16.2324 100
4 Andrew Prendeville (5) 6 17.3626 1.0409 100
5 JR Hildebrand (25) 14 17.7737 0.4111 100
6 James Davison (11) 4 18.9383 1.1646 100
7 Pablo Donoso (22) 1 25.2189 6.2806 100
8 Arie Luyendyk Jr. (26) 5 27.0732 1.8543 100
9 Logan Gomez (23) 10 27.4847 0.4115 100
10 Sean Guthrie (4) 12 27.4992 0.0145 100
11 Brent Sherman (16) 9 1 lap 1 lap 99
12 Wade Cunningham (33) 8 0.8941 0.8941 99
13 Chris Festa (24) 16 1.1783 0.2842 99
14 Dillon Battistini (15) 20 8.0636 6.8853 99
15 Jonny Reid (9) 13 10.3099 2.2463 99
16 Richard Antinucci (7) 11 19.8384 9.5285 99
17 Micky Gilbert (54) 19 2 laps 1 lap 98
18 Cyndie Allemann (18) 18 4 laps 2 laps 96
19 Ana Beatriz (20) 21 22 laps 18 laps 78
20 Mark Olson (8) 17 82 laps 60 laps 18
21 Marc Williams (3) 15 93 laps 11 laps 7
22 Jon Brownson DNS

Race Statistics
      Winner's average speed: 112.260 mph
      Time of race: 54:14.9446
      Margin of victory: 0.0893 of a second
      Cautions: 3 caution flags for 17 laps
      Lead changes: 1 among 2 drivers
      Lap leaders: Donoso 1-12, Wilson 13-100.
      Point standings: Antinucci 193, Battistini 192, Hildebrand
178, Matos 162, Luyendyk 143, Simmons 135, Wilson 132,
Beatriz 132, Guthrie 130, Prendeville 125.


Dover patching pit road asphalt
Dover International Speedway workers were patching the asphalt near the first few stalls on the Turn 4 side of pit road Sunday morning in preparation for the Best Buy 400 Sprint Cup race later in the day.

While drying pit road just prior to the green flag of the Nationwide Series event Saturday, the heat of the jet drier burned the asphalt and then the force of the air blowing from the jet drier ripped up the burned pieces of asphalt across pit road.

There were no incidents in that area during the Nationwide race, but NASCAR officials asked the track to put down a patch of new asphalt in the area for the race today.

The patch is about 25 feet long and 10 feet wide and is next to the pit stalls of Hendrick Motorsports’ Casey Mears and Michael Waltrip Racing’s David Reutimann. Scendaily.com


MotoGP point standings after Mugello
World championship classification Rider
1 Valentino ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team 122
2 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team 110
3 Jorge LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team 94
4 Casey STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team 76
5 Colin EDWARDS USA Tech 3 Yamaha 58
6 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 51
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP 44
8 James TOSELAND GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 43
9 Nicky HAYDEN USA Repsol Honda Team 40
10 Shinya NAKANO JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini 35
11 Chris VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 31
12 John HOPKINS USA Kawasaki Racing Team 26
13 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini 24
14 Marco MELANDRI ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 24
15 Toni ELIAS SPA Alice Team 24
16 Randy DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP 18
17 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA Alice Team 12
18 Anthony WEST AUS Kawasaki Racing Team 6
19 Tadayuki OKADA JPN Repsol Honda Team 2

Constructor Points
1 YAMAHA 140
2 HONDA 110

Team Points


Coulthard to attend NASCAR race UPDATE #2 Photos below of David Coulthard with Red Bull driver Brian Vickers at Dover Sunday by AutoRacing1.com's Jim Garrahan.

05/27/08 (GMM)  David Coulthard, F1's oldest active race driver, will visit the world of NASCAR racing this weekend.

But his formula one team, Red Bull, pre-empted any rumor-mongering about the North American stopover by insisting that Coulthard's stock car foray will for now be "only for the day!".

"Note to rumor writers," the always humorous Milton Keynes based press office cheekily explained in a press release.

"Please note that David is visiting this event solely to shoot a film for Red Bull and we would appreciate it if you did not start a load of silly rumors about him switching from F1 to NASCAR in 2009.  Yee Ha!" Red Bull wrote.

The team revealed that, before he moves on to Montreal for the Canadian grand prix, 37-year-old Coulthard will visit Red Bull's own NASCAR team as it races in Delaware on Sunday.

05/26/08 Coulthard to attend NASCAR race……but only for the day! Red Bull Racing's David Coulthard will be heading out early to North America prior to the Canadian Grand Prix to pay a visit to Red Bull's NASCAR team. The weekend before the F1 race in Montreal sees the NASCAR boys racing at Dover in Delaware, on a track known as the Monster Mile. David will be a guest of the NASCAR Red Bull Racing Team, which is now in its second year of competition, racing Toyota Camrys, driven by Brian Vickers and AJ Allmendinger.

"I'm interested in all sorts of racing, but hardly ever get a chance to see anything other  than  Formula  1.  So when Red Bull came up with the idea of shooting a promo film around their NASCAR operation on the week before the Canadian GP, it seemed like a great opportunity to go and see why this form of racing is so popular in the States." DC arrives in time for race day, Sunday 1st June, when he will get a chance to sit in the race car as well as sitting in on the team's pre-race engineering briefing, before watching the "Best Buy 400" so called  because it consists of 400, yes you read that right, 400 laps of the one mile track. We're not sure if DC will stay to the very end! That's over twice the distance of the following weekend's Formula 1 Grand Prix.


Rossi takes 7th Italian GP at Mugello
Rossi leads Stoner and Pedrosa
Valentino Rossi brought the house down once again in Mugello today with an emotional seventh straight victory at his home track in front of 96,000 adoring fans. It was the Fiat Yamaha Team Rider's ninth win in total and fifth for Yamaha at this track and also his third win in a row this season, the first time he has won three consecutive races since 2005. His 91st victory is also a first for Bridgestone at this track.

Starting from pole for the first time in almost a year, Rossi set nerves on edge when he slipped a few places at the start, exiting turn one in fourth. He soon passed his compatriot Loris Capirossi however and crossed the line for the first time hot on the heels of Stoner and Pedrosa. Lap three saw him pass Pedrosa and then Stoner next time around, leaving him in the lead. From then on it was the Italian's race and he stretched the gap to more than three seconds at one point, before rolling off slightly in the later stages as the temperature increased. He eventually crossed the line 2.201 seconds clear of Stoner, with his army of yellow-clad tifosi singing him home from the hillsides before invading the track, as is tradition here, and swarming under the podium.

The supporting cast to the Rossi show was headed by Ducati Marlboro rider Stoner, on the podium at Mugello for only the second time in his Grand Prix career. The result helps Stoner make up ground in the MotoGP standings, in which he maintains fourth place but narrows the gap between himself and Jorge Lorenzo.

Second in the World Championship, Dani Pedrosa completed the podium places, having got off to a fantastic start courtesy of his Repsol Honda RC212V launch control. The Spaniard will next week be chasing victory on home soil in Catalunya.

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Milwaukee Saturday Notebook - 3 UPDATE Added a photo of Paul Newman below.

  • Paul Newman at Milwaukee Saturday
    Mark Scheuern/AutoRacing1
    He's FINE!  AutoRacing1.com's Tim Wohlford caught up with Paul Newman on pit road at Milwaukee.  Paul Newman was walking around without any assistance, including crossing over the pit lane walls, even venturing near the press in the bullpen.  When asked how he was doing, he flashed a smile and said in a loud voice, "FINE!"  There, that settles that!!!  And that's about as much of an interview as anyone gets from Paul these days.
  • All things old are new again at Milwaukee.  Marco Andretti's late qualifying run at Milwaukee knocked off Graham Rahal, making it an Andretti-Rahal front row for tomorrow's ABC Supply - AJ Foyt 250.  Scott Dixon and Will Power share row 2, with Helio and Tony Kanaan on row 3.  Before qualifying, Roth Racing pulled Marty Roth's #25 out of the contest, much to the relief of many in the garage area.  Vitor Meira crashed his machine during his qualification attempt, and will start shotgun on the field tomorrow. 
  • In 1992, there were 2 Rahal-Andretti front rows.  Bobby won two of those races, and finished ahead of Michael in the third (second place). 
  • Helio is ready to break the curse.  The Penske cars usually run at the front at Milwaukee, only to have something happen to take them out — witness last year's rear wing failures on both cars.  "Tomorrow will be fun... It seems like I've got the curse, but tomorrow we're going to break the curse."
  • The consensus is that the former Champ Car teams have a good shot at gaining lots of points, perhaps scoring a win tomorrow.  Milwaukee is a setup and driving track, not an aero track like, say Texas.  Graham Rahal said, "This is a setup track, it doesn't come down to all of the aero tweaks that we don't have.  This place comes down to having a really good setup and driving the car hard."  And, as it turned out, much of Graham's setup came from Newman/Haas's years of setup information.  And, the course is much closer to being a road race, which plays into the hands of many of the former CCWS drivers. 
  • However, comparisons are inevitable.  Ryan Hunter-Reay said that, given the chance to run the CCWS car that he won with (leading 250 laps) in 2004, "I'd be on the pole by about 2 seconds."  He continued, "Coming from Indy, you know, it feels like I'm driving around in a Chile bowl."  Asked if his previous experiences with Champ Car gave him any advantages, he replied, "No, too different... right now I feel like I'm driving an 18-wheeler."  Hunter-Reay starts 10th tomorrow in his, uh, 18-wheeler.
  • Ed Carpenter would love to return with USAC in Milwaukee — "I came up through USAC, and I used to watch USAC cars run around here, but by the time I got to Silver Crown they weren't coming here.  The first time I got to come here was in an Indy car... I'd love to get back into a Silver Crown car, or sprint car anywhere, I miss doing it, and hopefully someday I'll get back in one. 
  • If Danica has a home track, then it is Milwaukee.  Born in Beloit, growing up in Roscoe (Illinois) and racing karts in Broadhead, many local residents remember her as a 5 year old karting prodigy.  "I came here as a teenager" she explained, "and watched some races, but I never raced here..."  She explained that most of her fans now follow her to Indy, but in the beginning, they definitely rooted her on at Milwaukee. 
  • John Andretti feels at home too.  In the press room at Milwaukee, there's a picture of him, and his cousin Michael, and his uncle, all sharing the podium in the 1991.  "Yeah, I look younger then... a little bit... not a lot" he joked to reporters.  John had an eventful day, brushing the wall earlier in the day, and fighting the balance in the car all day.  Asked if he feels his skills are vindicated due to his ability to jump in the Roth cars and instantly make them a lot faster, he responded, "I know that I'm definitely having a lot of fun.  I get to see both cousins more often... trying to get Nancy to attend too..."  Comparing life in the IRL to his stint in NASCAR, he continued, "Yeah, it's blood here."  When I noted father Aldo's presence in his pit, John smiled and joked, "Yeah, if they took my lap time from him, I'd be on the pole!".... Tim Wohlford reporting from Milwaukee


Indy 500 attendance up
If the Indy 500's crowd seemed larger than last year's, that's because it was, George said.

Even with the removal of the infield grandstand in the first turn, George said the crowd increased by about 16,000. He said the gain was "about four or five percent."

He did not give additional information except to say 5,000 more general admission tickets were sold, resulting in a larger infield crowd.

"You could really see it in (high-definition) TV," he said. "They were really jammed in there." Indy Star


Pagenaud to race Courage instead of Acura at LeMans
Simon Pagenaud sits in his Acura LMP2 car that won't be going to LeMans again this year
Simon Pagenaud's first test for his debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans was eye-opening to say the least. Magny Cours was a familiar enough venue earlier this week but it was his first time in the ORECA Courage-Judd that he will drive in LMP1 at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

And it was dark. And it was wet. Both were conditions unfamiliar to Pagenaud, which is nothing new. He drove in his first American Le Mans Series race two weeks ago in Utah but acquainted himself quite well in the transition from open-wheel racers to sports cars. Along the way to a third-place overall finish with team owner Gil de Ferran, Pagenaud posted the fastest lap of the race in the de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-01b.

“It was the worst weather you can get,” Pagenaud explained. “And it is completely different (from the Acura). Every team does different things from where they put the electrical system, pedals and dash. It is a completely different although the cockpit is the same size. But there is a bigger engine, bigger tires and different aerodynamics.”

Pagenaud is a not-so unlikely fill-in for Stephane Ortelli. His fellow countryman is recovering from a horrific shunt at Monza that saw the Courage fly, flip and roll over and over before crashing into a tire barrier

“ORECA came to me at the beginning of the year to see if I was available,” Pagenaud said. “At the beginning it was very difficult to ask (de Ferran), so I told them I couldn’t do it. But then Stephane crashed and they called again. I talked to Gil and he gave me the green light to do it.

“I am really excited,” he added. “Le Mans is such a legendary race for a Frenchman and it is something I’ve always wanted to do. It was important for me to do it in a prototype.”

The 76th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans runs from 9 a.m. ET (3 p.m. local time) from the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France. Forty-one drivers will represent the American Le Mans Series, whose teams have captured seven overall victories and 22 class championships since 1999. SPEED will televise the event live, and Radio Le Mans will have flag-to-flag coverage of the race as well as the June 1 test day, and practice and qualifying on June 11 and 12.


Riggs tries to defend team for cheating
Scott Riggs believes NASCAR blew the call. Riggs said the penalties levied against Haas-CNC Motorsports for alterations to its new car were too steep. The penalties crippled Riggs' No. 66 Chevrolet in the points standings and put him in serious danger of falling outside the top 35 and losing his guaranteed spot in the field.

Riggs said the severe penalties - which included suspensions, fines and docked points - simply "don't fit the crime."

"If it was something we had done one time and we're trying to get by with something and it was affecting the car, I'd say yeah, we were doing something wrong," Riggs said on Saturday. "But it was something that had been on the car all year that NASCAR had seen. All of a sudden, somebody else from another team saw it, didn't like it. And since the other team didn't like it, NASCAR decided it didn't like it."

Crew chiefs Robert "Bootie" Barker and Dave Skog and car chiefs Derick Jennings and Thomas Harris started suspensions for tampering with their Chevrolets' rear wings last weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The team personnel were suspended for six weeks for violating rules with the wing mounting locations. The crew chiefs also were fined $100,000, while the drivers and teams were penalized 150 points.

NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said there could be a slim possibility that the infractions had been missed in previous inspections, but that, "it doesn't mean it was right."

"Once we found it, we reacted swiftly and severely," he said. AOL Sports


Stewart drops libel threat against Mosley
(GMM)  Sir Jackie Stewart has retracted his threat of legal action following comments made last year by the FIA's now scandal-ridden president, Max Mosley.

Long before the sex scandal broke, former triple world champion Stewart, and the similarly aged Mosley, were intense adversaries, who memorably locked horns over the handling of the McLaren-Ferrari spy saga.

After Stewart, also 68, described the affair as an anti-McLaren "witch hunt", Mosley ridiculed the tartan-wearing Scot as a "certified half-wit" who dresses up "as a 1930s music hall man".

Stewart, however, took offence at the description, consulting with lawyers for a possible libel action.

It now emerges that he believes Mosley's attack was a reference to his dyslexia.

"Those sort of comments show him up," Stewart told the Scotland on Sunday newspaper.

"Once upon a time I'd have been horrified by him talking about my dyslexia, but not now.  I'm a certified dyslexic -- so what?  So what if I can't recite the alphabet?

"I did think about suing him and was told I had a cast iron case, but it was so petty and I didn't want to come down to his level.

"What it showed was that his decision-making - especially when he's in a rage - is worryingly faulty," Stewart charged.


Dentist makes Wheldon look feminine UPDATE
Dan Wheldon and his pearly white smile
Dan Helrigel/IRL
Wheldon admits to owning more than 400 pairs of shoes.  JSOnline.com

[Editor's Note:  400 pairs?  That's scary.  With that said Wheldon did recently get married, so the 'girly' image must be for PR purposes.]

01/12/08 The IndyCar.com article shows the recent makeover of IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon.  Note his pearly white teeth and red lipstick (photo was later removed from the article by IndyCar.  At least in this photo we show now his lips are no longer red).  Oh my.  Is this what American open wheel racing has become - a pretty boy show?


Franchitti plans to make Cup return at Pocono
Dario Franchitti was back in the Sprint Cup garage on Friday, but only as a visitor. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who broke an ankle in an accident April 26 at Talladega Superspeedway, won't return to NASCAR's premier division until next week's event at Pocono Raceway.

Franchitti took part in Sprint Cup testing at Pocono earlier this week, and planned to compete in Saturday's 200-lap Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway. A 400-mile bruiser on the tough, physical Monster Mile seemed a little too much, too soon. They thought it was a bit much to do both in one weekend, so I think it's a smart decision to do that," Franchitti said. " We'll run Nationwide here, and then next week we'll do Cup."

Franchitti's No. 40 Sprint Cup car is being driven this weekend by Jeremy Mayfield, who on Friday qualified a surprising 10th for Sunday's main event.

"This is probably the best car I've had in two years," Mayfield said. "It amazes me how they have worked with me. They wanted to know what I wanted in a car, and I haven't had that in a long time. [Crew chief] Steve [Lane] and I have worked together before, so we're just being reunited. This is a great day. I appreciate Chip and [minority owner] Felix [Sabates] giving me the opportunity. I had a lot of fun [Friday]." NASCAR.com


Can Dixon repeat this weekend?
This weekend marks the 51st time that an Indy car race at The Milwaukee Mile has followed on the weekend immediately after the Indianapolis 500. Scott Dixon, who won the 92nd Indianapolis 500, will attempt to become the tenth driver to follow up on his win at Indianapolis with a victory at Milwaukee.

Since 1956, the following drivers have won at Indianapolis and gone on to win the next weekend at Milwaukee:
            1956 Pat Flaherty
            1964 A.J. Foyt
            1971 Al Unser
            1974 Johnny Rutherford
            1982 Gordon Johncock
            1983 Tom Sneva
            1988 Rick Mears
            1994 Al Unser Jr.
            2000 Juan Pablo Montoya

tv news

Weekend USA TV Reminders UPDATE The final TV reminders for Sunday are shown below.
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
NASCAR Nationwide Series Replay Heluva Good! 200 Dover 
1:30am-4:00am (R) ESPN2
60 Minutes on Classic: Richard Petty 
8:00am-8:30am (R) ESPN Classic
60 Minutes on Classic: Like Father, Like Son/NASCAR Family
9:00am-9:30am (R) ESPN Classic
10:00am-11:00am ESPN2
NASCAR in a Hurry 
11:00am-11:30am SPEED
NHRA Raceday Topeka 
11:00am-11:30am ESPN2
NASCAR Raceday Dover 
11:30am-1:30am SPEED
NASCAR Sprint Cup Best Buy 400 Dover
1:30pm-6:00pm (L) FOX Sports
IndyCar AJ Foyt 225 Milwaukee
4:00pm-6:00pm (L) ABC
NHRA O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals Topeka
4:00pm-7:00pm (SD) ESPN2
SPEED Report 
7:00pm-8:00pm SPEED
NASCAR Victory Lane Dover 
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED
Movie: Days of Thunder (1990)
8:00pm-10:45pm CMT
Check local listings for your time zone
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Humpy Wheeler (Lowe's Motor Speedway)
Brad Keselowski (Dale Earnhardt Jr's Nationwide Driver)
Ryan Briscoe (IRL Driver)
9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED
MotoGP World Championship Italian Grand Prix
10:00pm-11:00pm (SD) SPEED
Movie: Dale (2007)
Dale Earnhardt documentary
10:45pm-1:00am CMT
Check local listings for your time zone
Monday (Partial)
IndyCar Replay AJ Foyt 225 Milwaukee 
9:00am-11:00am (R) ESPN Classic
NHRA Replay O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals Topeka 
11:00am-1:00pm (R) ESPN Classic
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Replay AAA Insurance 200 Dover 
12:00pm-12:30pm (R) -Pre-race
12:30pm-3:00pm (R) -Race SPEED

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


Grand-AM announces rules adjustment
In an attempt to maintain a competitive balance in the ACXIOM GT category of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, the sanctioning body announced Wednesday that Pontiac GXP.R and GTO.R entries will race with an additional 100 pounds of vehicle weight. In addition, the maximum rear weight percentage for these Pontiac entries will be 49 percent, meaning that 51 percent or more of the weight must be on the front tires.

The rule change will be in effect for the series' next race, the June 7 Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International.

"Grand Am has an obligation to maintain competitive balance in the GT field to the best of our ability," said David Spitzer, Grand-Am Vice President of Competition. "The biggest new variable that has been introduced for the 2008 race season is the Pirelli tire. While the tire has more grip for all cars, it allows greater durability on the Pontiac entries than for the Porsche and Mazda cars. This change will bring the competition into balance both in terms of outright lap time and tire durability over the race distance.

"Our analysis included consideration of all races this season, and analysis of all the tracks where we raced in 2007," Spitzer said. "We understand that some tracks naturally favor some cars more than others - that is part of racing, just as teams and drivers have favorite tracks."

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Milwaukee: Donoso wins Indy Lights pole

Row 1
Pos. 1
Pablo Donoso
Pablo Donoso
Car # 22
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 145.699/50.1582
Pos. 2
Bobby Wilson
Bobby Wilson
Car # 17
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 145.263/50.3087
Row 2
Pos. 3
Jeff Simmons
Jeff Simmons
Car # 2
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 145.117/50.3592
Pos. 4
James Davison
James Davison
Car # 11
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 144.862/50.4481
Row 3
Pos. 5
Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Car # 26
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 144.000/50.7501
Pos. 6
Andrew Prendeville
Andrew Prendeville
Car # 5
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 143.446/50.9460
Row 4
Pos. 7
Raphael Matos
Raphael Matos
Car # 27
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 142.428/51.3103
Pos. 8
Wade Cunningham
Wade Cunningham
Car # 33
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 141.909/51.4979
Row 5
Pos. 9
Brent Sherman
Brent Sherman
Car # 16
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 141.816/51.5315
Pos. 10
Logan Gomez
Logan Gomez
Car # 23
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 141.470/51.6575
Row 6
Pos. 11
Richard Antinucci
Richard Antinucci
Car # 7
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 141.035/51.8168
Pos. 12
Sean Guthrie
Sean Guthrie
Car # 4
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 140.824/51.8946
Row 7
Pos. 13
Jonny Reid
Jonny Reid
Car # 9
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 140.533/52.0022
Pos. 14
J.R. Hildebrand
J.R. Hildebrand
Car # 25
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 140.383/52.0577
Row 8
Pos. 15
Marc Williams
Marc Williams
Car # 3
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 139.829/52.2639
Pos. 16
Chris Festa
Chris Festa
Car # 24
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 137.198/53.2659
Row 9
Pos. 17
Mark Olson
Mark Olson
Car # 8
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 136.129/53.6845
Pos. 18
Cyndie Allemann
Cyndie Allemann
Car # 18
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 134.943/54.1561
Row 10
Pos. 19
Micky Gilbert
Micky Gilbert
Car # 54
D/ /F
Speed/Time: 133.532/54.7286
Pos. 20
Dillon Battistini
Dillon Battistini
Car # 15
D/ /F
Speed/Time: DNQ/No Time
Row 11
Pos. 21
Ana Beatriz
Ana Beatriz
Car # 20
D/ /F
Speed/Time: DNQ/No Time


Johnson fastest in first Saturday Cup practice
Jimmie Johnson posted the fastest lap of Saturday's early NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Dover International Speedway, circling the 1-mile oval at 151.847 mph in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Johnson was followed by Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch at 151.585 mph, and Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon at 150.768. JGR's Denny Hamlin and Roush Fenway Racing's Greg Biffle posted the fourth and fifth best times.


Milwaukee: Dixon tops practice 2
Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon topped the 2nd practice session for the IndyCars at Milwaukee Saturday but Graham Rahal remained fastest overall.  Next up are qualifications.

Combined Results


Car Driver Name Session Time Speed
1 06 Rahal, Graham Practice 1 00:21.9381 166.560
2 9 Dixon, Scott Practice 2 00:21.9975 166.110
3 3 Castroneves, Helio Practice 2 00:22.0458 165.746
4 8 Power, Will Practice 1 00:22.0587 165.649
5 27 Mutoh, Hideki Practice 1 00:22.0765 165.515
6 26 Andretti, Marco Practice 1 00:22.1169 165.213
7 6 Briscoe, Ryan Practice 1 00:22.1682 164.831
8 33 Viso, EJ Practice 1 00:22.2215 164.435
9 4 Meira, Vitor Practice 1 00:22.2559 164.181
10 36 Bernoldi, Enrique Practice 1 00:22.2854 163.964
11 11 Kanaan, Tony Practice 2 00:22.2863 163.957
12 18 Junqueira, Bruno Practice 1 00:22.3014 163.846
13 02 Wilson, Justin Practice 1 00:22.3467 163.514
14 10 Wheldon, Dan Practice 2 00:22.3703 163.342
15 5 Servia, Oriol Practice 1 00:22.4669 162.639
16 14 Manning, Darren Practice 1 00:22.4977 162.417
17 7 Patrick, Danica Practice 1 00:22.5482 162.053
18 17 Hunter-Reay, Ryan Practice 2 00:22.6438 161.369
19 20 Carpenter, Ed Practice 1 00:22.6934 161.016
20 23 Bell, Townsend Practice 2 00:22.7366 160.710
21 2 Foyt IV, AJ Practice 1 00:22.7715 160.464
22 15 Rice, Buddy Practice 1 00:22.8105 160.189
23 24 Andretti, John Practice 2 00:22.9794 159.012
24 34 Camara, Jaime Practice 2 00:23.0937 158.225
25 19 Moraes, Mario Practice 1 00:23.4602 155.753
26 96 Dominguez, Mario Practice 1 00:23.4813 155.613
27 25 Roth, Marty Practice 1 00:23.8792 153.020


Milwaukee Saturday Notebook - 2 
  • The teams brought out their qualification setups for the second round of practice.  Graham Rahal lead the combined charts, followed by Dixon, Helio, Will Power, and Hideki Mutoh.  Marco posted the 6th fastest speed, followed by Briscoe, EJ Viso, Vitor Meira and Enrique Bernoldi. 
  • Will Power's crew remarked to AutoRacing1.com, "We're new to this series.  We're NOT rookies."  Tomorrow, they're likely to prove it.  It would not surprise people here if one of the former CCWS teams (or drivers) wins this race. 
  • Vitor Meira is an avid bicyclist, and Wisconsin is one of the most bicycle-crazy places on earth.  He declined an offer to take a quick ride after today's practice (he would've kicked AutoRacing1.com's Tim Wohlford's butt, who foolishly offered), claiming that the laps on the Milwaukee Mile were enough exercise for one day.  He did mention, however, that he's made three visits to the nearby Trek (Whitewater, WI) bicycle factory. 
  • With leased motors and identical chassis, there is precious little that teams can do to tune their cars.  One major exception is in the area of the front wing.  Viewers for Sunday's race should concentrate on the front wings when the TV coverage allows.  Some teams — notably Roth Racing — are running bone stock front wings.  Others have one or two vertical planes, curved or slanted at various angles, with varying heights.  Many teams are experimenting with "wickerbills" on the trailing edge of the front wing.  One wonders how much time — and money — teams are putting into engineering and wind tunnel time to tweak the front wings, and equally, one wonders when the IRL will put a halt to such development.
  • There's something in the IRL water supply.  Five drivers now have newborn / toddler-aged kids.  Ed Carpenter's wife, Heather, is happy to be seen with baby Makenna, both of whom have their own headphones (Makenna's is pink).  When not sleeping in the midst of 27 IRL cars practicing, Makenna is keen to check out credentials of anyone within reach.  Word has it that the IRL drivers have formed a babysitting co-op.  .... Tim Wohlford reporting from Milwaukee


Ford will invest $3B in Mexico
Ford Motor Co. announced a series of new investments in Mexico Friday worth $3 billion -- the largest automotive investment ever in the country.

The Dearborn automaker confirmed plans to build the North American version of its new Ford Fiesta subcompact at its Cuautitlán Assembly Plant.

Ford also will add a new diesel line at its Chihuahua Engine Plant and is planning to build a new joint-venture transmission factory with German supplier Getrag in Guanajuato. It provides a cost advantage making it in Mexico," said Erich Merkle, a product analyst at IRN Inc. in Grand Rapids.

CEO Alan Mulally was on hand for the announcement, along with Mexican President Felipe Calder¢n Hinojosa.

"Ford is absolutely committed to leveraging our global assets to accelerate the shift to more fuel-efficient small cars and powertrain technologies that people really want and value," Mulally said. "Our investments in these facilities in Mexico are part of our plan to further realign our manufacturing capacity in line with the introduction of more small cars and crossovers."

The moves are expected to create about 4,500 new Ford jobs south of the border, as well as 30,000 direct and indirect support jobs.


Milwaukee: Rahal fastest in first practice
Newman/Haas/Lanigan driver Graham Rahal was fastest in morning practice at Milwaukee.  KV Racing Technology's Will Power completed a one-two for the ex-Champ Car drivers by taking second behind Rahal.

The practice session saw crashes by the two Roth Racing cars. John Andretti brushed the Turn 1 wall in the final 20 minutes, and then his teammate and team owner Marty Roth brought the session to a premature end by crashing heavily at Turn 2 with five minutes remaining.



Driver Team Time Behind Laps
1. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 21.9381 0.0000 65
2. Will Power KV Racing Technology 22.0587 0.1206 71
3. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green Racing 22.0765 0.1384 80
4. Helio Castroneves Team Penske 22.0946 0.1565 78
5. Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi Racing 22.1009 0.1628 69
6. Marco Andretti Andretti Green Racing 22.1169 0.1788 81
7. Ryan Briscoe Team Penske 22.1682 0.2301 87
8. EJ Viso HVM Racing 22.2215 0.2834 68
9. Vitor Meira Panther Racing 22.2559 0.3178 77
10. Enrique Bernoldi Conquest Racing 22.2854 0.3473 71
11. Bruno Junqueira Dale Coyne Racing 22.3014 0.3633 74
12. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing 22.3382 0.4001 57
13. Justin Wilson Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 22.3467 0.4086 68
14. Oriol Servia KV Racing Technology 22.4669 0.5288 63
15. Darren Manning A.J. Foyt Enterprises 22.4977 0.5596 63
16. Danica Patrick Andretti Green Racing 22.5482 0.6101 74
17. Ed Carpenter Vision Racing 22.6934 0.7553 93
18. Dan Wheldon Target Chip Ganassi Racing 22.7305 0.7924 80
19. AJ Foyt IV Vision Racing 22.7715 0.8334 77
20. Buddy Rice Dreyer & Reinbold 22.8105 0.8724 55
21. Ryan Hunter-Reay Rahal Letterman Racing 23.0836 1.1455 55
22. Townsend Bell Dreyer & Reinbold 23.2367 1.2986 54
23. Jaime Camara Conquest Racing 23.2680 1.3299 80
24. John Andretti Roth Racing 23.3718 1.4337 37
25. Mario Moraes Dale Coyne Racing 23.4602 1.5221 70
26. Mario Dominguez Pacific Coast Motorsports 23.4813 1.5432 61
27. Marty Roth Roth Racing 23.8792 1.9411 87


Milwaukee Saturday Notebook - 1 UPDATE
Marty Roth's crash and the extent of damage
Shawn Payne/IRL
Correction — it was Marty Roth, not John Andretti that spun his car in the first practice session.  Roth made heavy contact with the wall, but was unharmed in the incident.  His comment was the same as Indy Lights drivers who found the wall earlier — "It just stepped out on me."

  • It would not be a stretch to imagine another "blendification" (merged?  former CCWS?) team winning on Sunday.  Will Power lead most of the morning practice session, with most teams running race setups until he was bumped to second spot by Graham Rahal.  Hideki, Helio, Dixon and Marco rounded out the top 5.  John Andretti brought out the only yellow flag of the session.
  • Psych.  Speaking of John Andretti -- Jay Howard was told at Indy that John Andretti would only have Jay's ride (Marty Roth Racing) for Indy.  Last Thursday, Jay was told that John would be back in the #24 car for this weekend.  Obviously Jay is learning many things in his rookie season in the IRL, among them that this can be a very disappointing business. 
  • Sarah Fisher is at the speedway, but not in the race.  No word from her (yet) about future plans.  Even if she has the money, the spare parts situation is still described as "tight" for the teams that rely on factory original stuff.  Word has her aiming for the Kentucky race. 
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay commented that he's lacking in speed.  They ran the race setup during morning practice, and are hoping to find a bit more speed later on today.  Hunter-Reay is not deemed a rookie here — something about dominating the 2004 CART race at Milwaukee, leading all 250 laps. 
  • Gusting winds, sections of new pavement and tire rubber from the Hooters Pro Cup series combined to make for tricky track conditions for the Indy Lights drivers.  John Brownson
    Cyndie Allemann
    (twice), Richard Antinucci, JR Hildebrand, and Cyndie Allemann all brought out yellow flags, and all but Brownson's car were damaged.  Brownson finally found the wall in the second practice session.  Bobby Wilson lead the morning practice.
  • Imagine the driver with the looks of Danica and the sexy foreign accent of Milka.  While the jury is still out on her driving skills, Swiss driver Cyndie Allemann is certain a fan favorite.  Then again, Danica wasn't always a top driver, and Milka has shown considerable improvement.... Tim Wohlford reporting from Milwaukee


Rossi wins pole for home GP
The top of Rossi's helmet made us laugh

Valentino Rossi brought out the best for his home fans once again in Mugello this afternoon, taking a stunning pole position to ensure he will start tomorrow's quest for a ninth Mugello victory in the best possible way. The Italian's 50th career pole has been a long time in coming, his last one having been at Catalunya last season, almost one year ago. It is also his first for Bridgestone and Yamaha's fifth from six races this season.

Rossi greeted his fans in slightly unusual fashion today as he unveiled his traditional one-off Mugello helmet, which this year carries a picture of his face on top of it. Joking aside however this morning's practice was another disjointed session with the track drying throughout after yet another rain shower and Rossi finishing sixth. After his crew made some slight, but important modifications to his M1 over lunch it was a different story this afternoon, as Rossi dominated a hot and sunny qualifying session. He was consistently fast on race tires and then improved with the first three of his four Bridgestone qualifying tires, bettering the existing pole position lap by more than 0.8 seconds with the third.

For the rider who has seemingly done everything in the premier class, pole position signified a new milestone for the Fiat Yamaha rider. His first of the season and first with Bridgestone tires, Rossi’s most recent top spot is also his fiftieth in the World Championship and keeps alive Yamaha´s dominant pole record thus far in 2008.

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Edwards wins Nationwide pole
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Save a Lot Ford Fusion, captured the pole for Saturday afternoon’s Heluva Good! 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway.  This is Edwards ninth pole in 120 career NASCAR Nationwide Series starts and second pole of the 2008 season.  He has one win (2007), two top-five and four top-10 finishes at Dover.

CARL EDWARDS – No. 60 Save a Lot Ford Fusion – POLE WINNER “This is a tough place to pass.  I think that the concrete surface stays pretty much the same in qualifying to the race and everything.  If you’re fast in qualifying, hopefully, I guess historically, that’s translated into a fast race car for the race.  I’m just so proud of my Save a Lot guys.  We worked really hard in practice and we tried a bunch of different things. We haven’t been running as well as I think we should lately.  It’s really cool for PK [crew chief Pierre Kuettel] and the guys to work extra hard to get us a fast race car.  It’s good.  My just really proud of my guys.  I stopped in at Save a Lot down the street this week and hopefully that’s good luck. Hopefully we get a good race in today.  My guys have done a great job.  PK, Darrell Morrow and all the guys.  We haven’t run as well as I think we should have run for a while now and we’ve been working really hard.  This is a great start to our rebound.  Hopefully it translates to a win.  This is a fun race tracks.”

YOU’RE SO GOOD ON CONCRETE, TODAY MIGHT BE THE DAY FOR A WIN.”  Yeah, I don’t know why we’ve run really well at these places.  The just usually have great race cars for me.  I hope this ones one of them.  To win a race for Save a Lot, it would be great.  We’ve been really close.  I think we’ve wrecked almost every time I’ve been in one of these race cars, so hopefully, we turn that around today and we can get a win.  That would be spectacular."

track news

Milwaukee Mile - Beechwood Distributing and Budweiser
The Milwaukee Mile announced today an agreement with Beechwood Distributing, one of Wisconsin’s largest Anheuser-Busch distributors, that will provide greater exposure at retail locations for the historic speedway.

This agreement names Beechwood Distributing and Budweiser as official partners of The Mile in the domestic beer category.  Terms of the agreement were not announced.

In the coming weeks, Beechwood Distributing will use the Budweiser brand to unveil a wide-ranging retail promotion which will enable race fans to receive a free NASCAR Nationwide Series race ticket with purchase.

“We are pleased to have an activation-minded partner in Beechwood Distributing, who will raise our involvement at the retail level for one of our most popular race nights, the Saturday night, June 21 NASCAR Nationwide Series event,” said Aaron Hart, The Milwaukee Mile’s VP – Sales.

The Budweiser Pavilion has been a popular destination for Wisconsin State Fair-goers each year, and through this agreement, the permanent entertainment building will be open each race weekend at The Milwaukee Mile, including this weekend’s IndyCar Series action.

“With 1,080 employees in Wisconsin and $237 million in capital investment in the Badger State, we are an American beer that salutes a Wisconsin tradition, and are thrilled to be involved with the rich heritage of auto racing at The Milwaukee Mile, America’s Legendary Oval,” said Dave Hock, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Beechwood Distributing.

racing news

Firestone Racing announces switch to non-lead
Beginning at this weekend's Indy Racing League IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights events at The Milwaukee Mile, Firestone Racing will switch from traditional lead wheel weights to the 3M(tm) Wheel Weight System for all of its operations.

Firestone switches to 3M glue-on non-lead wheel weights
"This change to non-lead wheel weights is just one of many efforts to protect and conserve our environment under Bridgestone's global 'One Team, One Planet' program," commented Al Speyer, Executive Director, Bridgestone Firestone Motorsports.  "As a very visible part of Bridgestone Americas and Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC, Firestone Racing has been looking at ways we can be more ecologically sensitive, and the 3M Wheel Weight System provides us with the perfect opportunity to put our company's principles into action. When it comes to protecting the environment, we're all in this together."
The 3M Wheel Weight System is constructed of a non-lead composite material for reduced environmental impact and corrosion-free results. Unlike traditional metal weights, the 3M material is flexible and can be custom cut to weight so wheels are precision balanced for increased performance and a better ride.

"We at 3M are working continually to develop technologies and products that have less impact on the environment while meeting the highest standards of performance. The 3M wheel weight system meets this objective, and helps support our customers' environmental and performance goals," said Scott Taylor, technology manager, 3M Automotive Market Center.

The wheel weights are attached using 3M(tm) Automotive Attachment Tape, a known and trusted technology that 3M has been providing to the industry for decades, which provides reliable, long-term performance for the 3M wheel weight system.


Ecclestone advises Mosley to step down
With just three days to go before members of the FIA cast a vote of confidence on their President, Max Mosley, in regard to the Nazi orgy that came to light prior to the Bahrain Grand Prix earlier this season, FOM chief and long time friend of Mosley’s, Bernie Ecclestone, has added his voice to many others on the subject and called for Mosley to step down voluntarily from his role as head of the FIA before he is officially made to do so.

"The last thing most people involved in the sport, including the clubs, would want to see is Max in a position where he could be forced to stand down. I don't want to see that. I've been a friend of Max for 40 years. I would hate to see him go in this way after all he has done for the sport," Ecclestone said in the telegraph. “Since the story broke I have been under enormous pressure from the people who invest in Formula One, sponsors and manufacturers, over this issue. They point out that as a chief executive or chief operating officer of a major company they would have gone either immediately, or within 24 hours, in the same circumstances. They cannot understand why Max has not done the same.”

Mosley has rejected all calls to step down from his current role and has even attempted to stop the video proof of his five hour love fest with five prostitutes. He is now currently suing the tabloid, News of the World, for publishing details of his private life. However, he believes his work at the FIA is far from finished but Ecclestone feels there is still a way out…

"Max is a strong man. Once he makes a decision he sticks to it. He feels that there is still important work to do at the FIA,” he added. “But in my view there is a way to accomplish this and retire at the end of the year at the FIA general assembly in November. I would be happy to sit at his side to help him to achieve that. He should stand down out of responsibility for the institution he represents, including F1. Everyone who I speak to in a position of authority across F1 rings me to say he should leave. It is regretful that he has not made that decision."

Despite saying this, Ecclestone has not abandoned his friend and has admitted that he is being punished for all the wrong reasons. His private life has nothing to do with the job he has done and is still doing as head of the FIA but…

“…the big problem is that he can no longer represent the FIA worldwide because of these incidents. The general feeling is that people would no longer be comfortable speaking to him in the same way. I have spoken to Max about this and advised him to stand down in November and not to go to the vote next Tuesday. Max is being punished for the wrong reasons. He has done a first-class job as president. Like all of us he has made some mistakes but 90 per cent of the decisions he has taken have been to the benefit of all. He deserves to be remembered for all the positive work he has done, not for an expose in a tabloid newspaper. That is why he should announce his decision to resign now and not go through with a vote of confidence. That is not in his best interests, the FIA's or the sport's."


Q and A with Scott Dixon and Danica Patrick
An interview with Danica Patrick and Scott Dixon: 

THE MODERATOR: Thank you for joining us today, Danica Patrick. Danica is driver of the No. 7 Motorola Andretti Green race car. It's been an interesting season, Danica. This is the closest race to your hometown of Roscoe, Ill., closer than Chicagoland. Great to have you back. Finished as high as fourth in a Toyota Atlantic race and an IndyCar Series race here at the Mile. I'm sure it would be pretty cool to back up that big Japan win with a win close to home.

DANICA PATRICK: Yeah, absolutely. I always enjoy coming here to Milwaukee. I liked it back in my Formula Atlantic days. I can remember passing around the outside, thinking this is a good time. It was the only oval racing I had ever done.

I have always liked coming here. I think that this track produces really good racing. You can go on the high line and keep more on the throttle, or you can go on the low line and be a shorter distance and lift more. It's like it balances out very much. Our cars are much better in the racing situations on these flatter tracks.

THE MODERATOR: A 27-car field potentially on Sunday. A track like this accommodating that many cars, your thoughts of that big of a field here?

DANICA PATRICK: I think it's going to make it that much more important to have your car dialed in for traffic. You're going to have to play a smart race. You're going to have to make sure you keep the car underneath you for the duration of the stints. But it's going to be a matter of making it to the end because a lot goes on in these short ovals. We race pretty close.

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Q and A with Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed his DuPont sponsorship contract extension, the season to date, the upcoming race at Eldora, the Pocono facility, and more.

ON COMING BACK TO DOVER. “I’m always excited to be here in Dover. I love this track and we’ve had great success here and of course we always get an opportunity to go up to Wilmington and see all the great employees at DuPont so being in their backyard this is always a special event. Of course yesterday we announced our extension signing with DuPont through 2010 so it’s been a great week and it has been a pretty good day so far too.”

HOW ABOUT CLARIFYING THIS, THE FIRST THOUGHT THE PEOPLE SAW WHEN THEY DID THE RELEASE THAT SAID DUPONT AND JEFF GORDON, THEY THINK WELL DOESN’T JEFF GORDON HAVE A LIFETIME CONTRACT WITH HENDRICK. IS THIS JUST DUPONT RE-UPPING WITH HENDRICK OR IS THIS ALSO A PERSONAL CONTRACT BETWEEN YOU AND DUPONT? IN OTHER WORDS I’D LIKE TO KNOW EVERYTHING YOU’RE WILLING TO TELL US. “I try to cover everything between the lines. I don’t have any personal agreement with DuPont. I feel like I’ve been an employee of DuPont’s for 16 years. They’ve been a great company, the only primary sponsor we’ve ever had. What happened is when you sign these contracts a lot of times they’re three year contracts or two year extensions and so that was the case in this one. We basically just are talking about our sponsorship agreement.

“I do have a lifetime agreement with Hendrick, I won’t be driving for anybody else. I’ll be driving that 24 car and hopefully a DuPont 24 car as long as I’m driving the car. It’s really just about the sponsorship agreement because unfortunately we don’t have any lifetime sponsor agreements. We’d like to have that but haven’t found a way how to structure that one yet.”


HAVE YOU EVER HAD A SEASON HONESTLY LOOKING BACK WHERE YOU GUYS DIDN’T DO WELL BECAUSE YOU WEREN’T ON YOUR GAME? “Sure. There’s no doubt that the sport goes through transitions with cars changing, engineering and technology evolving and sometimes, I always say its hard to teach an old dog new tricks and so what happens sometimes you’ll see a young driver come in and just have a lot of success early.

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Q and A with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. met with media and discussed the strength of his team with a 5th place finish at Charlotte, the Dover and Pocono facilities, the NASCAR penalties on his Nationwide team, not going to Eldora, and more.

YOU’VE BEEN THE MOST CONSISTENT OF THE HENDRICK DRIVERS THIS YEAR. WAS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO START THE YEAR LIKE THAT? “It’s important to run that way all the time, no matter what you’re doing. You want to run good all the time.”

HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO BREAKING THROUGH? “We’re running in the top five every week. That’s pretty close.”

DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD HAVE BROKEN THROUGH BY THIS TIME? “I’m satisfied and happy with how I’m running. The wins will happen when they happen.”


AND WHAT IS THAT? “The important part is my crew guys and my team. I’ve got to get along with them first so we can be a good team. No matter how great I get along with my teammates, if I don’t get along with my own guys, that’s not very good and we won’t run well. Everything is going good.”

IS DOVER A TRACK THAT FAVORS YOU? “I don’t like concrete. I wish it was asphalt. I ain’t a fan of concrete. It’s real bumpy and rough. You look at the old races they run here on asphalt, and they looked pretty fun.”

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Q and A with Martin Whitmarsh and Norbert Haug
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes travels across the Atlantic for round seven of the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship, the Canadian Grand Prix, which is being staged in the North American country for the 40th time.

Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula 1, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes:
Coming out of Monaco, what is the mood within the team?

"Overall the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team comes out of Monaco a third of the way through the season leading the Drivers’ Championship and second in the Constructors’ title. Consequentially, particularly on the back of a fabulous win in Monaco, the mood is very good. The feeling is that there is good development momentum in the team and that we have an exciting season ahead of us. Inevitably Lewis comes out of Monaco in a very positive frame of mind and firmly believing that he can build upon that success and have a strong Championship fight. Heikki of course has performed quite brilliantly in his first six races with the team and therefore has to come out of it with some disappointment. Whilst there is underlying satisfaction with his personal performance, Heikki has suffered some misfortune, which has taken from him the opportunity to win his first Grand Prix. But he is an extremely positive guy who realizes that he has a great career ahead of him and there is no doubt that he is going to enjoy many Grand Prix victories during the course of his career."

Next stop Montreal where track characteristics are completely opposite to the narrow streets of Monaco.
"We have a car which excels in high speed corners and there aren’t too many of those in Canada, however, we have a reasonably good track record at this event. It is about high speed down the straights, braking stability, durability of the braking system, traction out of the corners, which are relatively short but with high speeds into them. All this means it is an unusual circuit that is not the easiest to forecast, but we have every reason to believe we have made improvements on the car and the whole team is looking forward to carrying our championship campaign forward."

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Hamilton eyes Canada repeat
Lewis Hamilton wins in Canada in 2007
Lewis Hamilton is eagerly awaiting next weekend's Canadian Grand Prix, where he's looking to repeat his breakthrough victory in last year's race.

The Montreal success was the Briton's maiden win in Formula One, Hamilton earning it the hard way by keeping his cool following three Safety Car interventions.

The McLaren Mercedes driver is intent on putting in a repeat performance next Sunday, which he says is a strong possibility given his improvement over the last 12 months.

"Last year in Canada was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life, to take my maiden pole and victory in Formula One was incredible, even more so as it was with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes," Hamilton said.

"It would be great to go back there and do the same, and that is what we are working hard to achieve. Since then I think I've matured a lot, I think I have grown stronger as a driver and have become closer to the team."

Hamilton's strength was fully evident last Sunday in Monte Carlo where the 23-year-old put in a superb drive to clinch the victory and take the lead in the Drivers' Championship. Sky Sports


Milwaukee qualifying will be daunting for drivers
As if two laps of IndyCar qualifying at the Milwaukee Mile weren't treacherous enough, drivers will face four today, and all of them will count, not just the best. That's daunting, admitted veteran Scott Dixon, who nearly crashed on his second time around last year.

"You need to make sure you've got a consistent car for the four laps of qualifying," Dixon, the Indianapolis 500 winner, said Thursday.

"Last year I think Helio (Castroneves, the pole-sitter) and myself could only string one lap together because the cars were so loose." JSOnline


ALMS teams and drivers ready for LeMans challenge
For teams and drivers in the American Le Mans Series, the first steps toward victory in the world’s most prestigious auto race begin Sunday. The lead-up to the 24 Hours of Le Mans officially begins with the now-annual Test Day at the Circuit de la Sarthe, less than two weeks before the green flag falls on the globe’s greatest endurance event.

Ten entries and 41 of the best drivers from the paddock will represent the American Le Mans Series. The group has combined for a total of 25 overall victories, 58 class wins and 231 starts at Le Mans over the years, dating all the way back to Emanuele Pirro’s first start in 1981.

The Audi R10 leads a Corvette at Long Beach
Pirro is seeking a third consecutive victory with Audi Sport North America teammates Marco Werner and Frank Biela behind the wheel of Audi’s diesel-powered R10 TDI. Three Audis will be on the grid to face off against three factory Peugeot 908s - also diesel-powered - in a renewal of one of Le Mans’ most anticipated matchups.

Two other LMP1 entries from the American Le Mans Series will race at Le Mans: Autocon Motorsports with its Judd-powered Creation CA07 and Team Cytosport (under the banner of Charouz Racing) with its Lola-Judd.

Corvette Racing is shooting for its sixth Le Mans GT1 victory since 2001 with a pair of works Corvette C6.Rs. Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin and Jan Magnussen won three straight for Corvette from 2004 to 2006 before Aston Martin Racing ended the GM factory team’s run with a one-lap victory in last year’s rain-soaked race.

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racing news

Chuck Daigh dies
Chuck Daigh
This comes as a bit of late news but back on April 29th Chuck Daigh died in a hospital in Newport Beach, California after a brief battle with heart and respiratory problems at the age of 84.  Born on November 29, 1923, Daigh was an American racing car driver. He broke into F1 Grand Prix racing through Lance Reventlow's Scarab team, through the virtue of being one of the resident engineers.

Born in Long Beach, California, he participated in six World Championship Formula One races, debuting on May 29, 1960 and scoring no championship points. He also participated in one non-Championship Formula One race.

He served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne during WWII and saw action in France, Belgium and Germany, including fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. On his return he went to work for Bill Stroppe and Clay Smith preparing the Bob Estes entered Lincoln Capris for the Carrera Panamericana Mexican road race. He was the co-driver on three occasions, in 1952 and 1953 with Walt Faulkner, finishing 8th in 1953 and with Chuck Stevenson in 1954 when they failed to finish.

Chuck Daigh also drove Stock Cars in NASCAR as well as many other venues of racing. On the 29th of May 1960 he debuted in F1 and participated in another five Grands Prix at the wheel of a Scarab and a Cooper. What you will not see is the little known fact that he was the chief engineer that designed and built the Scarabs that became so famous. It was Daigh that drove the Scarab to victory in the 1958 Riverside International Grand Prix beating a field of international factory teams including famous race car driver Phil Hill and the Ferrari Team. Carroll Shelby drove the Scarab sports car built by Daigh to victory at the Continental Divide raceway in Castle Rock Colorado setting a new course record. He was also a successful sportscar driver in America, winning the 1959 Sebring endurance classic and also tried to qualify twice for the Indianapolis 500.


Tech 3 Yamaha agree new sponsorship deal
The Tech 3 Yamaha team will have a new logo on their bike from this weekend, courtesy of their latest sponsorship addition.

Running an American and an Englishman within a French structure, Tech 3 Yamaha add Italy to their international presence with a new sponsorship deal announced at Mugello.

Herve Poncharal´s satellite outfit have come to an agreement with Antonio Lupi S.p.a, a company specializing in bathroom furniture design and production. The one year deal has an option for 2009, and will see the Florentine company’s logo displayed on the bikes of Colin Edwards and James Toseland for the rest of the season.

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Pedrosa tops final Mugello practice ahead of qualifying
Dani Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa was the fastest rider in the MotoGP Saturday morning run at Mugello, with a 1´49.975 lap.

Dani Pedrosa was the early beneficiary of a drier day in Mugello, recording the fastest MotoGP time of the weekend so far at the Italian circuit on Saturday morning. The Spaniard undertook the most laps of any rider in the morning session, the fastest of which was a 1´49.975 run that moved him to the head of the timesheets.

Behind the Repsol Honda rider, reigning World Champion Casey Stoner also put together a series of mercurial laps, although his quickest time was some four-tenths of a second down on that of his rival.

Despite rainfall with just a quarter of the session gone, most riders tried their luck with slick tires in order to prepare for any condition. However, the fastest laps by and large were recorded at the end of the run, indicating that things were not too uncomfortable on-track.

Loris Capirossi was the third fastest in the morning outing, ahead of Alex de Angelis, whilst the biggest improvement came from Tech 3 Yamaha´s Colin Edwards. The American experienced difficulties on Friday, but managed some overnight progress to claim the fifth quickest time.

Six-time Mugello MotoGP winner Valentino Rossi was the only other rider to go round within the same second as Pedrosa, ahead of San Carlo Honda Gresini´s Shinya Nakano, Alice Team man Sylvain Guintoli, yesterday’s fastest rider John Hopkins and 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden. Hopkins and Hayden both ran off track during the session.

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tv news

Humpy Wheeler to be guest on Wind Tunnel
Humpy Wheeler, former President and General Manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, will be a featured interview on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain this Sunday, June 1, to talk about his recent decision to leave the track where he spent the last 33 years.  Also joining Dave Despain will be Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr's. Nationwide Series driver.  Coming off a career best 3rd place finish at Lowe’s Motor Speedway last weekend, Brad has jumped to 5th in the series standings...the highest of the non-CUP drivers.  Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain airs at 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm ET live on SPEED.


Renew 2009 Indy 500 Tickets Online By June 9
Existing ticket holders who renew their seats online for the 2009 Indianapolis 500 by Monday, June 9 will receive a free, Collector's Edition DVD of highlights from the exciting 2008 race.

Fans can renew or request an upgrade of their Race Day tickets online in the new, improved Tickets section at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com. The 93rd Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 24, 2009.

Specific seating assignments cannot be guaranteed on any reorder received after June 9.
Ticket applications for new customers also are being accepted. New customers should provide at least three choices of seating locations in various price ranges so the ticket office can accommodate all new requests.

Scott Dixon won the 92nd Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 25 after starting from the PEAK Motor Oil Pole and leading 115 of 200 laps.


Scheckter to run Texas too UPDATE Luczo Dragon Racing will compete in the Bombardier Learjet 550k at Texas Motor Speedway June 7 and the PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway Sept. 7, the team announced today.

The team made its first start of 2008 with driver Tomas Scheckter at Kansas Speedway in April, qualifying fourth. The team qualified 11th for the Indianapolis 500 and was running as high as third in the race before a broken driveshaft ended its day after 156 laps.

The team also will compete at Infineon Raceway Aug. 24 and is considering adding additional races.

"Given the strong performance of the car at the Indy 500, and the exceptional driving displayed by Tomas, we feel that it makes sense to expand our effort this season in order to position LDR as competitively as possible for our full run next year,” Luczo Dragon co-owner Steve Luczo said. “Tomas has won at Texas before and we feel that this is a great opportunity to build on his and the team’s success."

Scheckter won the race at Texas in 2005 and has led 371 laps on the 1.5-mile oval in eight starts.

“I am really looking forward to Texas. I am so happy the team has decided to go,” Scheckter said. “I have shot the guns in victory lane there before, and I look forward to doing so again in a Luczo Dragon car. We really have a strong team. We have been getting better and better every weekend. We had impeccable stops at Indy and I look forward to the same kind of performance in Texas.”

05/30/08 Luczo Dragon Racing has added the IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on June 7 to its list of 2008 races for driver Tomas Scheckter.


Mutoh tops rookie practice
Eleven IndyCar Series drivers took advantage of a one-hour practice session at The Milwaukee Mile in preparation for Sunday’s ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 500.

Series officials have allocated extra practice time for rookies and drivers transitioning from the Champ Car World Series at Milwaukee, Richmond and Nashville.

Andretti Green Racing’s Hideki Mutoh was fastest on the 1-mile oval, lapping the circuit in 22.7518 seconds, 160.603 mph. KV Racing Technology’s Will Power was second (160.168 mph) and Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal was third (158.506 mph).

Practice for all drivers and PEAK Motor Oil Pole Qualifying are scheduled for Saturday. The 225-mile race is set for 4 p.m. (EDT) Sunday.

HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 27 Formula Dream, fastest): “I think my car is really good. I could have gone faster, but my team, Kim (Green) and my engineer (Ray Gosselin) told me to be patient because this is a fast track. I think we’re in good shape (for tomorrow).” (How does this track compare to other tracks?): “It’s more like a road course because of the low banking. I’m more used to this kind of track. I feel really good here.” (How much faster do you think you can go?) “I think we can pick up one second in qualifying.” (About help from teammates): “Danica (Patrick) was in my pit during practice. She told me which line to take and I did it, so it was good advice. I’m very thankful that Danica helped me.”

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Senna not thinking of F1 yet
Senna sprays the champagne in Monaco
Bruno Senna has played down suggestions that he is on the brink of breaking into Formula 1 after winning the Monte Carlo GP2 race.  "One win does not make you ready for Formula 1," he told Autosport magazine. I need a lot more results like this to win the championship, and that is my goal."

"I've told Bruno to go and win the championship," Gerhard Berger told Autosport.  "Now he needs to get everything together, win the title, and then take the next step."

"I don't think it's a question of a test, it's a question of how he can get to F1," Berger said.  "He needs the right car, and we need to ask if he's the right guy for us.  I don't want to start any speculation, but he has my full support."


Ben Devlin to make LeMans debut
Ben Devlin
Ben Devlin could hardly believe he finally gets his shot at Le Mans. But as the old saying goes, the best things come to those who wait. So Devlin will suit up in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Team Bruichladdich and its Radical SR9-AER in LMP2 with his first taste of La Sarthe coming Sunday at the annual Test Day.

Devlin, the lead driver for B-K Motorsports’ Mazda-powered Lola in the American Le Mans Series’ LMP2 class, will team with Marc Rostan and Yutaka Yamagishi at Le Mans.

“This is the best of the best,” Devlin said. “You learn never to give up, and appropriately our slogan in the American Le Mans Series is ‘The Will to Never Give Up.’ It’s really great to be here. I’ve been here as a fan many times.”

Devlin’s inclusion brings the number of drivers representing the American Le Mans Series up to 42.

“What strikes me the most is the unbelievable support and following … how far people travel to come to this race,” he said. “And the atmosphere is unbelievable. Seeing the grid before the race makes your hair stand up on end. To see what the teams go through to get there is definitely something very special.”

Considering Devlin’s standing with Mazda in the States and the Japanese marque’s return to Le Mans this year, the ideal situation would have been for Devlin to drive the Lola-Mazda of the Kruse Schiller Motorsport team from Germany. But that lineup already had been filled before Radical came calling.

“I had raced Radical SR3s for a number of years in Europe,” Devlin recalled. “We were leading the 2006 SR3 championship in England, and the last race was the same weekend as our race at Laguna Seca when van der Steur Racing was running an SR9.

“It’s a great car and great little package,” Devlin added. “It would have been great to be back with Mazda being back at Le Mans. The engine is a good engine and Le Mans would be a good fit for it. This is something I couldn’t pass up.”

track news

Smith, Carroll differ on appeal
Kentucky Speedway Chairman Jerry Carroll reiterated Thursday that he is confident Bruton Smith will bring NASCAR’s marquee series to the Gallatin County track. However, the two differ on the fate of Carroll's antitrust lawsuit appeal against NASCAR.

Smith, the chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc., said at last week’s news conference announcing his company’s purchase of Kentucky Speedway that he wanted to hold a Sprint Cup Series race next year at the facility.

NASCAR officials quickly pointed out that it is late in the sanctioning process and the sanctioning body had no intentions of being able to bring a Sprint Cup race to Kentucky Speedway in 2009.

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Andretti to drive 2 more races for Roth
After running Indy for Marty Roth, John Andretti will stay in Jay Howard's seat for 2 more races, this weekend at Milwaukee and then Texas.


Indy 500 TV ratings up, NASCAR down UPDATE #2 The final NASCAR Nationwide Series: Carquest Auto Parts 300 TV rating on ESPN2 last Saturday was a 1.7.

05/28/08 The final Indy 500 TV rating was a 4.5 final national Nielsen rating on ABC Sunday. The rating is up 4.7% from a 4.3 for the '07 race. Meanwhile, Fox' coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 earned a 4.7/10 share final national Nielsen rating up 4.4% from a 4.5 last year.  After the final came in this is the "fifth time this NASCAR race outdated Indy since 2002.

05/27/08 The Indianapolis 500 earned a 5.1 overnight Nielsen rating on ABC on Sunday, up 6.3% from a 4.8 overnight last year. On Sunday night, Fox earned a 4.4 overnight Nielsen rating for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 from Charlotte, down 2.2% from a 4.5 overnight in ’07.


Button to contest serious triathlon
(GMM) British formula one driver Jenson Button plans to take part in another triathlon.

The 28-year-old Honda racer, who regularly takes part in such events, finished a competitive 16th of the 250 triathletes - eight minutes behind the winner - in the Sevenoaks Triathlon in England last month.

He won a similar event in Lanzarote over the winter.

Button's next triathlon outing, it has emerged, will be the tough Nokia Windsor Triathlon, which is regularly named 'event of the year' by the British Triathlon Association.

The event will take place on June 15 in Windsor Castle, Eton College and the River Thames, in the south east of England.

"I don't expect to be 16th at Windsor," Button told The Times.

"My aim is to be in the top 10 per cent of the finishers. That will be difficult. It's pretty close stuff."

The veteran of more than 140 grand prix starts, and winner of one, revealed that he got into triathlon while training at his favorite off-season destination, Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands, north of Africa.

"I go to Lanzarote to train at the Club La Santa, which is used by Olympic athletes because it's warm all year round. They do mini-triathlons there, so I got into doing it," Button explained.

The Windsor triathlon, to feature some professional athletes, features a 42km cycle ride, a 500m river swim and a 10km circuit run.

"There's some stiff competition," Button continued, revealing that Olympic rower James Cracknell will be among the 2000 starters.

"I wish I had more time for training because I'm flying a lot for the grands prix and that's quite tiring," he added.

Button insists he has thrown off his earlier image as a lazy Playboy and is now among the fittest drivers on the grid.

"Mark Webber takes it very seriously, too. He runs the Webber Challenge in Tasmania. I would love to do it."


Lauda first on kidnap victim's TV show
(GMM)  Triple world champion Niki Lauda has become the first person to be interviewed by fellow Austrian Natascha Kampusch, the former kidnap victim who was held in a dungeon by her captor for eight years.

The 20-year-old escaped from her captor Wolfgang Priklopil in late 2006, and on Sunday she will make her television debut as the host of a chat show entitled 'Natascha Meets'.

After the taping of his interview, 59-year-old Lauda said: "She was very professional, and asked me questions no one has ever asked me before."


Vermeulen Tops MotoGP practice
Inclement weather and changeable track conditions dominated today’s proceedings at Mugello, riders contending with a damp track this morning and heavy rainfall this afternoon.

Free Practice 1 lap times
1 1 John HOPKINS USA Kawasaki Racing Team KAWASAKI 1'54.053
2 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP SUZUKI 1'54.520
3 Anthony WEST AUS Kawasaki Racing Team KAWASAKI 1'55.021
4 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini HONDA 1'55.141
5 Shinya NAKANO JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini HONDA 1'55.528
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP HONDA 1'55.718
7 Chris VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP SUZUKI 1'55.774
8 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team HONDA 1'55.805
9 Casey STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team DUCATI 1'58.618
10 Valentino ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team YAMAHA 1'58.672
11 Randy DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP HONDA 1'59.240
12 Nicky HAYDEN USA Repsol Honda Team HONDA 1'59.436
13 James TOSELAND GBR Tech 3 Yamaha YAMAHA 1'59.899
14 Jorge LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team YAMAHA 2'00.004 16 16
15 Marco MELANDRI ITA Ducati Marlboro Team DUCATI 2'00.162
16 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA Alice Team DUCATI 2'01.718
17 Tadayuki OKADA JPN Repsol Honda Team HONDA 2'02.810
18 Toni ELIAS SPA Alice Team DUCATI 2'03.305
19 Colin EDWARDS USA Tech 3 Yamaha YAMAHA 2'03.774

Free Practice 2 lap times
1 C. VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 2'01.500
2 N. HAYDEN USA Repsol Honda Team × 0.510
3 C. STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team × 0.805
4 V. ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team × 0.827
5 J. TOSELAND GBR Tech 3 Yamaha × 0.912
6 J. LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team × 1.062
7 A. DOVIZIOSO ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP × 1.069
8 R. DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP × 2.068
9 C. EDWARDS USA Tech 3 Yamaha × 2.086
10 D. PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team × 2.199
11 A. DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini × 2.265
12 J. HOPKINS USA Kawasaki Racing Team × 2.450
13 L. CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP × 2.549
14 A. WEST AUS Kawasaki Racing Team × 3.897
15 S. NAKANO JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini × 4.134
16 T. OKADA JPN Repsol Honda Team × 4.603
17 S. GUINTOLI FRA Alice Team × 4.757
18 T. ELIAS SPA Alice Team × 7.480
19 M. MELANDRI ITA Ducati Marlboro Team × 12.612


Audi R10 to use next Biofuel
Audi R10 engine bay
At the 2008 Le Mans 24 Hours on 14/15 June, the three Audi R10 TDI prototypes entered by Audi Sport Team Joest will race for the first time with the next generation of Biofuel manufactured from Biowaste and promising a reduction in the emission of CO2 by almost 90 per cent when compared with traditional diesel.

Audi fields the 650-hp plus R10 TDI, which has already won the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans twice, in sportscar races since 2006. Shell V-Power Diesel race fuel produced by development partner Shell has been used since the very beginning. It’s a particularly powerful and efficient synthetic fuel which is created from Natural Gas in a process called Gas To Liquids (GTL). Fuels with these components are already available at the pumps.

For the third appearance of the Audi R10 TDI at Le Mans, a small amount of Biofuel of the next generation is mixed for the first time with the previously well-proven GTL components: BTL (Biomass To Liquids), as it is officially called, is extracted from Biowaste that is unfit for use in foodstuffs, for example from waste wood. BTL promises a reduction in the amount of CO2 emission by almost 90 per cent compared to traditional diesel. 

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Di Montezemolo test-drives new Ferrari
Ferrari California
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo was offered a unique opportunity this week. The Italian got the chance to test Ferrari's brand-new road car, the new Ferrari California, 2+ convertible. Luca di Montezemolo put it through its paces over several laps at Ferrari's Fiorano circuit.

"I am very satisfied indeed with the work that the women and men of Ferrari have done," declared Luca di Montezemolo. "The California is an extraordinary car and I was delighted with the performance, comfort and driving pleasure it delivered. The California is, like all of our models, the epitome of cutting-edge innovation. Its gearbox, suspensions and chassis are the most advanced possible. This is the first dual-purpose Spider/Coupé with a retractable hardtop that closes in just 14 seconds. Despite its extraordinary performance, the California 2+ is also exceptionally easy to drive and has a space behind the front seats that makes it supremely flexible in terms of usage."


Hoosier 100 will not be rescheduled
The 56th annual Hoosier Hundred dirt-track event, postponed by rain last Friday, has been canceled.


Hunter-Reay new to series, not to Mile
He wasn't at the Milwaukee Mile last year; he didn't join until nearly two months later. He was the highest finishing rookie Sunday and was named rookie of the year in the Indianapolis 500.

You don't get more rookie than that, do you?

Hunter-Reay on the grid at Indy last Sunday.  He went on to win Rookie of the Year
Gail Miller/AutoRacing1
So there's an hour of track time set aside today for IndyCar Series newcomers to practice at the Milwaukee Mile. Hunter-Reay is entitled to participate, right? His team, Rahal Letterman Racing, thought so. That's what its officials told Brian Barnhart, the president of the Indy Racing League's competition division.

Makes sense, doesn't it? Please?

"Yeah," Barnhart said, rolling his eyes. "He won Milwaukee.

"Those guys will try anything they can."

Hunter-Reay didn't just win Milwaukee in 2004, he dominated Milwaukee. He turned winners into back-markers. He frustrated the heck out of Paul Tracy and Sebastien Bourdais and Patrick Carpentier when he started from the pole and set an unbeatable Champ Car record by leading all 250 laps.

Different car, yes. Different competition for the most part, yes. But the track hasn't changed, and the 27-year-old Hunter-Reay should be able to locate the corners just fine once full-field IndyCar Series practice opens Saturday in preparation for the ABC Supply / A.J. Foyt 225.

Some experiences are simply unforgettable.

"It was one of those weekends where we never made a change that was wrong," Hunter-Reay said recently when asked to relive that night. "I had such a good car, slicing through lapped traffic, leaving second place, leaving Paul Tracy and (Sebastien) Bourdais and those guys in the mirrors behind."  More at Milwaukee Sentinel Journal


Latest F1 news in brief
  • Hamilton lucky to win Monaco with puncture
  • Improved Massa can win 2008 title
  • Too early to write off 'shocking' Coulthard
  • New street tracks can be safe - Niki Lauda
  • Schu to race motorcycle this weekend
  • Facelift for famous Montreal curbs

Hamilton lucky to win Monaco with puncture
(GMM)  Pedro de la Rosa has confirmed reports that his McLaren colleague Lewis Hamilton was lucky to win last Sunday's Monaco grand prix.

After the 23-year-old Briton delightedly took the checkered flag in the Principality, it was rumored that one of his tires was flat shortly after it returned to parc ferme.

It was suggested that he sustained the slow right-rear puncture late in the race, probably by running over the debris of Nico Rosberg's crash.

"It is true that he finished the race with a slow puncture," de la Rosa, the British team's Spanish test driver, confirmed to the Spanish press at a Madrid motor show this week.

Improved Massa can win 2008 title
(GMM)  Ferrari's Felipe Massa has turned around his disappointing early form to emerge as a true candidate for the 2008 title.

That is the admission of rival team Renault's sporting director Steve Nielsen, who said the Brazilian driver started the season looking like he couldn't cope with the ban on traction control.

With his driver errors recently ironed out, however, Massa has outqualified his highly rated teammate Kimi Raikkonen on five out of six occasions this year, winning two races, and is now only one point behind the reigning world champion in the drivers' standings.

Nielsen told Renault's post-Monaco podcast that following his abysmal opening races, 27-year-old Massa "looks like a different guy and you have to say there is a real possibility he might do it.".

"He is certainly in the mix and fighting for it," Nielsen added.

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Power hopes to be more competitive at Milwaukee
Will Power, driver of the  #8 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia IndyCar thinks he has a better chance this weekend at the Milwaukee Mile than he has had at other IRL ovals because he ran there before in a Champ Car.

“I’ve definitely been looking forward to Milwaukee for lots of reasons,” said Power.

“It’s the only oval on the schedule that I’ve been to before and I ran reasonably well there in the Champ Car.

“My aim is that the Aussie Vineyards car will be a bit more competitive at Milwaukee than the other ovals.

“Because Milwaukee is quite a flat oval, you run a lot of downforce and the set-up almost resembles a road course package. So our team will not be quite as far behind the top teams with all their oval experience as would usually be the case.

“We hung on there in the end to get a solid result at Indy despite a problem with the right rear wheel towards the end. This year is going to be tough on the ovals but our goal is to be continually improving so that we keep getting closer and closer to having a consistently fast package.”

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