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DATE News (chronologically)
06/04/09
nassprint
NASCAR Newscast: Pocono 500 Preview  The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes on the only three-turn track on the circuit this weekend in Pennsylvania. Tops in Driver Rating at the track, Denny Hamlin tells you what it takes to get around the Tricky Triangle. Ryan Newman checks in as well, and find out who else you should pick with the top five in Driver Rating at Pocono.

06/04/09
nassprint
NASCAR Announces “Double-File Restarts – Shootout Style”  The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) today announced a change to its race format with the addition of “Double-File Restarts – Shootout Style” throughout each race. Beginning with this weekend at Pocono Raceway, the first- and second-place drivers will line up side-by-side as the green flag flies for each restart.

“We’ve heard the fans loud and clear: ‘double-file restarts – shootout style’ are coming to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “This addition to the race format is good for competition and good for the fans.”

“I’m excited about it,” said two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart. “The good thing is that when they drop the green, you’re going to be racing with the guys you’re racing for position instead of trying to clear lapped cars. More ...

06/04/09
nastruck
NASCAR Texas Truck Race Preview  NASCAR's ultimate tail gate party will hit high gear Friday evening when they arrive at the ultra fast 1.5 mile oval at the Texas Motor Speedway. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be running the Winstar World Casino 400 backed by live television coverage from the Speed Channel beginning at 8:30 pm Eastern Time. The 167 lap race has 33 entries vying for the Texas World Speedway's special victory lane ritual which includes a fancy cowboy hat plus the right to fire a pair of six shooters into the air.

While this event is only the eighth race of 25 the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be bringing a rather intense points battle to the Dallas-Fort Worth area this Friday. Ron Hornaday Jr continues to maintain his series points lead despite the early in the race problems he experienced in last Saturday's race at Dover. More ...

06/04/09
alms
lms
Johnny O’Connell saying goodbye to GT1, hello to GT2  Just because he has competed in two American Le Mans Series events this year doesn’t mean things aren’t busy for Johnny O’Connell (and for that matter, anyone at Corvette Racing. On the contrary, it has been one of the more productive pre-Le Mans periods the team has undertaken in several years.

Aside from the GT1 farewell at next week’s 24 Hours of Le Mans – where Corvette is going for its sixth class victory since 2001 – development work continues on the team’s new GT2 entry that is set to debut at Mid-Ohio in August. So it has been a mixed bag of emotions during the last couple of months.

“This has been a difficult season in saying good-bye to the GT1 car while at the same time developing the GT2,” O’Connell said. “We certainly have business to take care of at Le Mans but we all remain dedicated to having a new car that can contend right away. Everyone is looking forward to getting more work with it. More ...

06/04/09
f1
Mosley told teams to lodge conditional entries  (GMM)  Mario Theissen on Thursday said the F1 crisis remains "critical", but another interesting detail emerged during his meeting with the press at Istanbul Park.

While the FOTA teams insist they will not accept the announced 2010 rules, and Max Mosley insists the FIA must write the regulations, BMW chief Theissen was asked about the 'conditional entries' lodged by the deadline last Friday.

"The term 'conditional entry' came from Mosley," the German is quoted as saying by the SID news agency.

It is suggested that, at the Monaco meeting in Monaco nearly two weeks ago, the FIA president advised FOTA to lodge the entries attached to their conditions for competing next year. More ...

06/04/09
f1
F1 crisis still 'very critical' - Theissen  Mario Theissen on Thursday insisted the political situation in the sport is still "very critical".

FIA president Max Mosley is engaged in an intense standoff with nine of the current teams, but after meetings two weeks ago many players departed Monaco admitting optimism.

But BMW motor sport director Theissen, whose Hinwil based outfit is not yet unconditionally signed up for 2010, said in Istanbul that nothing significant has developed since Monaco.

The situation is likely to escalate further on June 12, when presumably the FIA publishes a 2010 entry list that does not feature the FOTA teams, i.e. Mosley's way of telling the team owners who like to push their weight around, to go pound sand.  Mosley has entries for at least 20 cars without the pompous FOTA teams who want to spend $400M per year if they could.

"After the last meetings in Monaco I was the most cautious. Nearly everyone was saying only very positive things," the German is quoted as saying by the SID news agency.

"But my point of view was different, and I continue to stand by that," Theissen added.

06/04/09
f1
Heidfeld concerned about F1's future  (GMM)  In the wet paddock of the Istanbul Park, it was clear that F1's grim politics - not the weather - would again be the main talking point of the weekend's events.

The biggest fear, as admitted by the German driver Nick Heidfeld, is that the current teams will carry through their threats to quit the sport, leaving the door open to a grid of unfamiliar names.

"If it's going to be something like formula 3, it would not necessary be a place you would want to stay," the BMW-Sauber driver, out of contract at the end of the season, told reporters.

"The last months have been extreme, and the current situation is that it is impossible to predict what is going to happen.  You follow the news more attentively than usual, naturally you have concerns," the 32-year-old is quoted as saying by the SID news agency. More ...

06/04/09
f1
Ferrari needs 'an Alonso' - Minardi  (GMM)  Ferrari needs a more consistent and technical driver, in the form of Fernando Alonso, according to Gian Carlo Minardi.

Minardi, who recommended the then rookie Spaniard to Paul Stoddart as the Australian took over his Faenza based team at the end of 2000, believes the former double world champion would do better not only than the Scuderia's Kimi Raikkonen, but also 2008 runner-up Felipe Massa.

"Ferrari needs a driver like Alonso to rise again, although I must admit that Raikkonen had a good weekend in Monaco," Minardi, 61, said.

"A formula one driver however should be more consistent in his results.  At this time Ferrari also needs to be able to blindly trust a driver in the development of its single seater. More ...

06/04/09
f1
Mosley tells FOTA teams to go pound sand  Motor racing head Max Mosley has told Formula One teams to set up their own series if they are not prepared to compete under rules laid down by the governing body.

"I say (to them): If you want to formulate your own rules, then you can organize your own championship - assuming the rules satisfy the safety requirements," he told Swiss weekly Motorsport Aktuell.

"But we have the Formula One world championship and we make the rules for that," he added in an interview conducted at a Formula Two race in Valencia last weekend.

"We've been doing it for 60 years and we'll continue to do it in the future. Now we have a dispute and we'll see who prevails."

The FIA plans to introduce an optional £40 million budget cap next season to keep teams in the sport and encourage new ones to enter at a time of global recession.

Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali said last week that if the nine FOTA entries were not accepted as a whole, and subject to the conditions laid down by them, they would be invalid.

The FIA is due to publish its entry list on June 12.

The standoff has been complicated by at least 10 applications from teams eager to enter Formula One under the proposed budget cap.  Meaning the FIA does not need any of the FOTA teams to have an f1 series next year.

They include familiar names from the sport's past such as Lola, Brabham and March as well as a Kuwaiti-financed Prodrive team that is likely to compete eventually under the Aston Martin sportscar marque. [Editor's Note: Meaning Max Mosley is telling the teams we don't need you FOTA.  You will play by our rules or you can go pound sand.  There is only one F1 series and anything else you try to do on your own will be meaningless. We'll see who blinks first, but you can bet it won't be Mosley.]

06/04/09
f1
Villeneuve laments no 'hate' in today's F1  (GMM)  Jacques Villeneuve has nominated his favorites of F1's latest generation.

"The problem with formula one is that there are no more warriors," the 1997 world champion, who admits he would jump at the chance to return to the grid, said in an interview with Germany's Sport Bild.

"Alonso is one (a warrior), but who else is there?  These days no-one says anything unless a PR person has told them they are allowed to.  There are no more fights.

"I realized it last year, when Massa was fighting Hamilton for the title; you didn't get the impression that these guys want to win so badly that they hate each other.

"It was different with myself and Michael Schumacher or Eddie Irvine."

Like Fernando Alonso, French-Canadian Villeneuve, 38, also likes Sebastian Vettel, but not because the German hates his rivals. More ...

06/04/09
f1
Heidfeld uncertain about future, no KERS in Turkey  (GMM)  Nick Heidfeld on Thursday admitted his future in formula one is currently insecure.

In his tenth season on the grid, the 32-year-old is still yet to achieve his maiden victory, while his team BMW-Sauber flounders in its 2009 championship effort.

German Heidfeld confirmed at the Istanbul circuit ahead of the Turkish grand prix that he does not currently have an assured contract for 2010.

"As always, at the appropriate time I will consider the relevant options that promise the most success in the future," he is quoted as saying by Deutsche Presse Agentur.

Heidfeld also told reporters that, while his car will feature a double diffuser for the first time this season in Turkey, BMW has opted against reintroducing KERS this weekend.

06/04/09
f1
Brabham Family to sue Formtech  Sir Jack Brabham and the Brabham family have expressed their surprise at the recent news reporting that an entry has been submitted for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship by Formtech with the intention of operating as Brabham Grand Prix Limited.

The family would like to make it clear that they are in no way involved with Brabham Grand Prix Limited and received no consultation regarding the company’s plans to resurrect their historic name in Formula One.

The family is taking legal advice and will take necessary steps to protect their name, reputation and its goodwill.

06/04/09
f1
New F1 steward to debut in Turkey  (GMM)  A new formula one steward will make his debut at this weekend's Turkish grand prix.

It has emerged that Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the United Arab Emirates' automobile club president and FIA vice president for sport, will be one of the three officials on duty at the Istanbul Park circuit.

He is the first Arab to fulfill the stewarding role, and will reprise the task later this season in Hungary.

"This is a new responsibility and something that cannot be taken lightly," said Ben Sulayem, who in April crashed Renault's formula one car in a demonstration.

06/04/09
f1
Turkish GP Driver Preview quotes  
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes:
“I love racing in Turkey: it's a real challenge because you need to attack the lap to get a good time, but you also need to be careful with your tires – if you push too much, particularly through Turn Eight, then your tires are going to suffer. It's all about finding the perfect balance in practice and being disciplined in the race so you don't overdo it. I also love the fact that it's a new circuit that has really captured the flavor of some of the older, classic tracks – it's got a bit of everything and is fantastic to drive. Also, as it's anti-clockwise, it gives your neck a bit of a workout – but you just need to make sure you've exercised the left side of your neck a little more than usual before getting in the car.”

Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes:
“Turkey is all about Turn Eight – the high-speed, four-apex left-hander. On a good day in qualifying, it's flat-out – and that's a pretty good feeling when you get it right. It's also very important to look after your tires through Turn Eight – you put a lot of load through the tires, particularly the fronts, so it's a good idea to look after them during the race. The best place to overtake here is into Turn 12, the corner at the end of the back straight. You can get a good tow and slipstream past – with KERS we should hopefully see some exciting racing.” More ...

06/04/09
nassprint
Mayfield Motorsports mulling sponsorship options  The #41 Mayfield Motorsports car did not pull out of Dover because of sponsorship issues, Mayfield Motorsports' team manager Bobby Wooten said. But it sounds like things are a bit in flux, as you'd expect. Wooten said that they withdrew from the race to give themselves time to organize and catch their breaths a little bit. He said the team would like to get J.J. Yeley back in the car, but very vaguely said that's in the works. "Everything's on hold," Wooten said. Of course, Mayfield has filed suit against NASCAR to lift his suspension at least until the conclusion of a court case. If he succeeds, he can get back in the car. Asked about sponsorship, Wooten said the team is still trying to figure out options. He wouldn't give any names of companies the team is involved with and said previous sponsors "may or may not be" associated with the team in the future. This season Mayfield Motorsports has been sponsored by All Sport, Big Red Soda and Smallsponsor.com. Orlando Sentinel
06/04/09
racing news
Persistent Rain Postpones Fifth Annual Prelude to the Dream  Persistent rain has forced officials at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, to postpone the fifth annual Prelude to the Dream. The all-star dirt late model race has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 9. A decision regarding the broadcast of the event will be made at a later date. The wet weather made it impossible to run the event that was slated to benefit four military-themed charities – Wounded Warrior Project, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Operation Homefront and Fisher House. “We worked really hard to make sure everything was right for the drivers, fans and viewers at home on HBO Pay-Per-View, but the weather was the one element we couldn’t control,” said Tony Stewart, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and owner of Eldora Speedway. Those who have already purchased the Prelude to the Dream on HBO Pay-Per-View will be refunded. Those who purchased a ticket to the event can apply the value of their Prelude to the Dream ticket toward any remaining event on the 2009 Eldora Speedway schedule. To view the schedule, please visit www.EldoraSpeedway.com or call the track office (937) 338-3815.
06/04/09
f1
Glock to race Toyota in 2010 - manager  
Timo Glock
(GMM)  If Toyota stays in formula one beyond this season, it seems clear that Timo Glock will drive one of the Cologne based team's red and white cars.

The 27-year-old, who actually debuted for Jordan in 2004, returned to formula one as GP2 champion with Toyota last year.

It was said at the time that Glock had penned a multi-year contract, and his manager Hans Bernd Kamps has confirmed that his charge is indeed assured a Toyota seat for a third consecutive season in 2010.

Referring also to the Japanese marque's stance with FOTA amid the budget caps conflict, Kamps is quoted by sport1.de as insisting that "Timo will be together with Toyota in 2010.  Of that there is no doubt."

Glock, however, has recently been quoted as worrying about how the current crisis will end, but at the very least he is not concerned about becoming unemployed.

"If next year there is no more formula one, then I would return to working with my Dad in his scaffolding company," he said.

06/04/09
f1
Even without FOTA, 2010 grid already full  
Max Mosley can now tell Ferrari, McLaren, BMW, Renault, Toyota and Red Bull to go pound sand
(GMM)  Even if the nine rebel FOTA teams do not race in formula one next year, there are already more than enough valid 2010 entries to potentially fill the grid.

It has emerged that yet more teams have lodged paperwork to abide the announced budget cap rules: Epsilon Euskadi and N. Technology, whose applications swell the potential entry list to ten teams and 20 cars.

Additionally, it is rumored that junior motor racing outfits Carlin and Manor Motorsport might also have thrown their hats into the 2010 ring, as may have a so far unannounced Italian team.

Alongside current team Williams, already officially signed up with the FIA for 2010 are Prodrive, Lola, USF1, Superfund, March, Campos, Litespeed and Brabham. More ...

06/03/09
irl
Luczo to miss TMS race  Luczo Dragon team co-owner Steve Luczo will be missing the IndyCar race in Texas this weekend as he delivers scholarships to students and receives honorary citizenship in his family's hometown of Corleone, Sicily.
06/03/09
automotive
Argonne's lithium-ion battery technology to be commercialized by BASF  
Argonne National Laboratory battery researchers (from left) Khalil Amine, Chris Johnson, Sun-Ho Kang and Mike Thackeray flank a continuously-stirred tank reactor used to produce scaled-up quantities of cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries. Argonne’s lithium-ion battery technology will be commercialized by chemical company BASF under a licensing agreement announced on June 3
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and BASF, the world's largest chemical company, have signed a world-wide licensing agreement to mass produce and market Argonne's patented composite cathode materials to manufacturers of advanced lithium-ion batteries. The patented cathode materials licensed to BASF are part of a large and diverse suite of lithium-ion battery inventions and patents developed at Argonne with funding from DOE's Vehicle Technologies Program. 

BASF will conduct further lithium-ion battery material application development in its current Beachwood, Ohio facility. Contingent upon winning a DOE grant under Recovery Act – Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative (DE-FOA-0000026), BASF plans to build one of North America's largest cathode material production facilities in Elyria, Ohio.

The patented cathode materials licensed to BASF are part of a large and diverse suite of lithium-ion battery inventions and patents developed at Argonne with funding from DOE's Vehicle Technologies Program. The further development and commercialization of the cathode materials will result in advanced batteries that are higher-performing, longer-lasting and safer when compared to the existing technology that has dominated the market for nearly two decades. More ...

06/03/09
f1
Horner: It isn't over yet  Red Bull boss Christian Horner says the fight for the World Championship is far from over.

"The cards have definitely fallen in favor of Brawn so far," Horner told Autosport. "Perhaps KERS cars have impacted our races (been in our way).

"We're just looking forward to having a straight fight in clean air with the Brawns. Other than in China, we haven't really gone head-to-head with them."

Jenson Button has a 28-point lead over third-placed Vettel while Red Bull are 43.5 points behind Brawn GP in the Constructors' Championship.

Horner, though, is confident the Milton Keynes-based outfit can catch Brawn once they've added "some great developments" to the RB5.

"Brawn has a huge lead in the constructors' and a significant lead in the drivers'," he said. "We're going to focus on every race as it comes.

"We believe that the next couple of races should play to the strengths of our car and we have some great development in the pipeline.

"Jenson is only four points off a maximum score, which is a remarkable achievement but things can change very quickly. We're going to take every race as it comes and the Championship will take care of itself."

06/03/09
f1
Brawn GP to introduce new front wing in Turkey  The Brawn GP team is leading the Formula 1 championship with 86 points at the moment. The team is well ahead of Red Bull (42.5 points) and Toyota (26.5 points). The team is travelling to Turkey where the team will introduce a new front wing for the BGP 001 car. Speaking about the upcoming Grand Prix weekend team principal and owner Ross Brawn said:

"After a week back at the factory in Brackley to reflect on our successes in Monaco, the team is now looking forward to our next challenge at the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul this weekend. The Monaco Grand Prix was a wonderful weekend with Jenson and Rubens, the team and our engine partner Mercedes-Benz, performing at the top of their game to bring home our third one-two finish of the season. However Monaco is a unique track and we know that our competitors will be very strong in Turkey this weekend. Development work on the BGP 001 car has continued apace at the factory and we will be bringing a new front wing to Turkey along with some aerodynamic updates and new rear suspension elements.

"Istanbul Park is a thoroughly modern race track which presents an interesting engineering challenge to get the best out of the car through the high-speed sections and the slower turns at the end of the lap. It's hard to believe that we are already over a third of the way through this season and it's been a very intense but immensely rewarding start for the Brawn GP team."

06/03/09
automotive
Tesla delivers 500th Roadster to New Jersey man  From the first to the 100th and now to the 500th, the story of Tesla Motors and their first offering, the Roadster, has been pretty heavily documented. The trend is unlikely to stop any time soon and, in that vein, Tesla is making sure to note its latest milestone, the delivery of the 500th Roadster.

The lucky recipient is New Jersey's Martin Tuchman, who Tesla describes as chairman of The Tuchman Foundation and a board member of The Parkinson's Alliance and Parkinson's Disease Foundation of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York. Tuchman is apparently a car fan, with a 1967 Mercedes 250 and a 1993 Jaguar convertible in his stable. Those cars will get even less of a workout now that the Roadster is around, as it is scheduled to become Tuchman's main commuter car. Interestingly, Tuchman will reportedly use solar power to charge his new toy whenever possible, which ought to make for a clean getaway. More ...

06/03/09
lms
Peugeot confirms Le Mans lineups  Peugeot has confirmed its driver line-up ahead of its bid to win the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 13-14.  Nicolas Minassian, Pedro Lamy and Christian Klien will team up together for the first time in the #7 car, having been part of three different crews in last year's race.

Stephane Sarrazin and Sebastien Bourdais will be reunited in the #8 car, following their second place finish in 2007, and will be joined by Franck Montagny.

Meanwhile, Marc Gene will be partnered with team newcomers David Brabham and Alexander Wurz in the #9 machine, as he was in the Le Mans Series race at Spa last month.

06/03/09
f1
Renault announces partnership with MegaFon  The ING Renault F1 Team is delighted to announce the beginning of a new partnership with MegaFon, one of Russia's major telecommunications companies. The agreement sees MegaFon's branding appear on the drivers' suits and on the carbon fiber floor (in front of the rear wheels) of the team's cars at this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix and at all other races this season.

The ING Renault F1 Team is proud to be the chosen partner of MegaFon for their new venture in Formula One and looks forward to a productive partnership building on the synergy that exists between both companies that share high technology, speed, and efficiency as common goals.

ING Renault F1 Team Managing Director, Flavio Briatore, commented: "Russia is a market of significant and growing interest to the global economy and is therefore important for Formula One. Our partnership with MegaFon will help enhance our ability to communicate with a huge number of potential Formula One fans across Russia." More ...

06/03/09
f1
Bridgestone goes hard and soft for Istanbul  Bridgestone’s soft compound appears for the first time at the harsh proving ground of the Istanbul Park Circuit where it will partner Bridgestone’s hard compound for the trials and undulations of the Turkish Grand Prix.

Round seven of the FIA Formula One World Championship takes place on the first anti-clockwise circuit of the season and Bridgestone’s tires will encounter almost every type of corner and force loadings over the 5.34 km of the Hermann Tilke designed course. Of particular note is Turn Eight. This long, multi-apex, left-hand turn places fierce loads on the tires, particularly the front right.

Only a small portion of the track is on level ground, the majority being either uphill or downhill to present drivers with a real roller-coaster drive.  The final combination of corners before heading on to the start-finish straight will also give competitors plenty to think about. The left-right-left of turns 12-14 are the lowest speed areas of the track and come straight after the highest-speed straight. More ...

06/03/09
nassprint
Crew Chief Changes for Germain Racing  Germain Racing has added veteran NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief Peter Sospenzo to lead the efforts of the #13 GEICO Camry and driver Max Papis. This move allows general manager Mike Hillman Sr. to work with the #15 Pilot Travel Centers/HYPE Energy Drinks Camry team and driver Michael Annett in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series. “When we started our season, we knew it would be a learning experience running rookie drivers in each of NASCAR’s top two series. Germain Racing is a very competitive organization. We expect a lot of ourselves and after watching both of our Camry programs at Dover, we saw some opportunities to strengthen each of those teams. Peter Sospenzo is taking over as crew chief for Max Papis and the GEICO Camry, and I’m going to head to Nashville this weekend with Michael Annett and the #15 Camry crew to see if there is more we can bring to the track for Michael,” said Hillman. Peter Sospenzo has been with Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR), which is the engineering partner for Germain Racing’s GEICO Camry program. Mike Hillman Sr. has served as crew chief for Germain Racing in each of NASCAR’s top three divisions. He holds two NASCAR championship titles. Hillman will call the shots for Annett and the #15 Pilot Travel Centers/HYPE Energy Drinks Camry on Saturday at Nashville. Germain Racing/GEICO Racing PR
06/03/09
irl
Danica riding hot streak  Danica Patrick heads to Texas Motor Speedway as the only IndyCar Series driver riding a streak of four consecutive top-five finishes. The streak has come on a diverse set of circuits that makes the IndyCar Series so challenging.

Patrick finished fourth on the streets of Long Beach (after starting 22nd), fifth on the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway, third on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway and fifth on the short 1-mile oval at Milwaukee.

She ranks fourth in points, just 22 behind series leader Scott Dixon, and one spot behind her career-best points position of third, which she reached after her victory at Twin Ring Motegi last year.

"I had a strong car all weekend, so I'm happy with the top-five finish," Patrick said after the race at Milwaukee. "We have been really consistent so far this year, and that's what's important when you are working towards the championship." More ...

06/03/09
irl
Shaq to be Grand Marshal at Texas  Shaquille O'Neal, who recently joined Luczo Dragon Racing's charity team of champions, will be the Grand Marshal and will ride in the pace car with three-time Indy 500 champion Johnny Rutherford to start the Bombardier Learjet 550k.

"I am excited about being the Grand Marshal and coming to my first IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend," O'Neal said. "Since they won't let me enter the race, I'll do the next best thing and start the race in the pace car. I'm sure Johnny Rutherford can teach me a few things during the ride so when the day comes and I do get to race an IndyCar, I'll be ready."

06/03/09
track news
ISC gets millions back in settlement with IRS  A settlement announced today between the IRS and International Speedway Corp. brings $97 million back to company coffers.

The tax settlement stems from a 2002 IRS probe into ISC’s depreciation of its facilities. The inquiry included federal taxes from 1999 through 2005. ISC deposited $118 million with the U.S. Treasury during the investigation and will get $97 million of that back in the settlement, plus about $14 million in interest.

Now that the federal case is settled, company officials are working on similar settlements with several states, which could cost the company $6 million to $9 million.

ISC officials also said this morning they are reactivating a $250 million stock repurchase plan they suspended in September due to tight credit markets and the company’s desire to build cash reserves.  Daytona Beach News Journal

06/03/09
irl
Indianapolis 500 veteran Christie dies at 85  Eight-time Indianapolis 500 starter Bob "Caveman" Christie, whose rather fearsome nickname belied one of the nicest and most mild-mannered gentlemen ever to pull on a racing helmet, died Monday, June 1. Christie, who turned 85 on April 4, had been in ill health for some time.

The steadily running and dependable driver from Grants Pass, Ore., who made at least one departure from the qualifying line at Indianapolis every year from 1954 through to 1967, earned a starting position for the eight consecutive "500s" from 1956-63. He finished 10th in 1960, and 13th in three other years, losing out on a potential eighth-place finish in 1958 when taken out by another driver with only 11 laps to go.

The third-ranking AAA Stock Car driver of 1953, Christie made 14 starts in USAC National Championship competition, by far his best performance coming in the blindingly fast 100-mile race at the then-brand new Daytona International Raceway on April 4, 1959. Christie, who was celebrating his 35th birthday that day, finished an impressive third behind Jim Rathmann and Rodger Ward. Rathmann won in slightly more than 35 minutes at the extraordinary average speed of 170.261 mph. More ...

06/03/09
nassprint
TNT takes over NASCAR broadcasts  TNT’s coverage of NASCAR action revs up on Sunday, June 7 with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing from Pocono as the network hits the track for the NASCAR on TNT Summer Series.  The network will air exclusive coverage of the Pocono 500 beginning at 2 p.m. ET with play-by-play announcer Bill Weber calling the race alongside analysts Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach in the booth.  In addition, analyst Larry McReynolds will make frequent contributions from the in-field as he breaks down crew strategy and analyzes car adjustments.

The network will rev up its pre-race coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET with NASCAR on TNT Live! with Marc Fein (host), Petty and McReynolds.  Current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion and winner of last week’s Autism Speaks 400 in Dover No. 48 Jimmie Johnson will also join TNT’s infield rig for an interview prior to the race. 

TNT’s acclaimed Pride of NASCAR series will return this season, with the premiere episode profiling NASCAR legend Dave Marcis, Cup Series driver from 1968 – 2002. Marcis had 883 starts on the circuit, second only to Richard Petty and stands as the last successful non-factory supported independent owner/drivers, racing while wearing wingtip shoes to absorb the heat in the car.  More ...

06/03/09
f1
Button attends London's Glamour Awards  (GMM)  Runaway championship leader Jenson Button took time out this week to soak up some of the sparkle of his return to British sports fame.

The Brawn driver on Tuesday night presented Australian pop star Kylie Minogue with the 'woman of the year' trophy at the Glamour magazine awards, held in London.

Button, 29, commented on the current FIA-FOTA conflict, telling BBC Newsbeat that he hopes the big teams like Ferrari stay in formula one next year.

"Hopefully they will sort everything out and we'll be racing next year with the full grid," said the Briton.

06/03/09
f1
Ferrari has some hope in Turkey  Going into the seventh round of the world championship, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro is in fourth place in the Constructors' Championship, a long way behind the leading team. Nevertheless, the Scuderia arrives in Istanbul in optimistic mood, based on strong showings in the last two rounds in Barcelona and Monaco and the fact that it has a fantastic track record at the Istanbul Park circuit.

As of this race, the F60s driven by Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa will benefit from further modifications to the aero package, including an update to the double-deck diffuser. These changes are not as major as those introduced for the Spanish Grand Prix, but they do represent a small step forward in terms of development. More significantly, while the many changes introduced in Barcelona were mainly a reaction to the FIA's ruling on the double diffuser issue, opening up new areas that could be looked at from an aero point of view, the changes in Istanbul represent a return to the team's planned development program, based on the principle of introducing minor updates at every race. More ...

06/03/09
f1
F1 teams' demands 'unrealistic' - Mosley  (GMM)  Max Mosley on Wednesday sounded unlikely to end F1's political conflict by surrendering to the existing teams' demands.

With Williams suspended from the FOTA alliance, every other current outfit last Friday lodged 'conditional' entries, as the deadline for signing up for next year's world championship expired.

They made clear their entries would be 'invalid' - thus potentially locking themselves off the 2010 grid - if the FIA did not sign a 2012 Concorde agreement, tear up the proposed budget cap rules, and agree their own cost-limiting proposals.

But when quoted by the Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell, FIA president Mosley sounded unwilling to submit to the demands. More ...

06/03/09
f1
Toyota wants to stay in F1 through 2012  (GMM)  Toyota wants to commit to formula one until "at least the end of the 2012 season", team president John Howett insisted on Wednesday.

Amid the Japanese marque's hard-line stance in the FIA/FOTA battle, the potential withdrawal of the Toyota-owned venue Fuji Speedway, and even a sale of some of the Cologne based team's used parts, speculation has recently steadily increased that Toyota's life-expectancy on the grid may be looming.

But in a team-distributed interview on Wednesday, Howett said he hopes the conflict with the governing FIA will be resolved soon.

"We have consistently said we want to continue to participate in formula one and if our conditional entry is accepted we will commit to the sport until at least the end of the 2012 season.

"If and when that happens, the unfounded rumors surrounding our future should stop," said the Briton.

The FOTA alliance, whose vice-chairman is Howett, is demanding that the FIA repeals the announced 2010 rules, signs the Concorde agreement before June 12, and agrees to the group's own proposals for cost reductions.

06/03/09
Racing news
Newgarden Scores Emotional Win at Rockingham  
Josef Newgarden
American race car driver Josef Newgarden helped the Joe Tandy Racing team begin the healing process of losing its founder Joe Tandy over the weekend (May 30-31), scoring the win in Round Four of the MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain. In addition to visiting victory lane in the first of three races at the event, the rising open-wheel talent stood on the podium in Round Six and earned a top-five result in Round Five at the Rockingham Motor Speedway in England.

For Newgarden, the second event of the British Formula Ford season was about not only winning races, but also honoring his mentor and team owner Tandy. With that in mind, it came as no surprise to anyone in attendance at Rockingham that the American was immediately one of the drivers to watch when the action officially got underway via qualifying on the modified oval course. At the end of what was a highly entertaining session, the Joe Tandy Racing rookie had posted the second quickest time, a mere 0.055s back of the fast time. More ...

06/03/09
nassprint
Long slams NASCAR management  As the realization that the National Stock Car Commission on Tuesday upheld the record 200-point, $200,000 penalty against him sunk in, Carl Long became increasingly frustrated. Frustration turned to anger. In minutes, he was livid. "Big Bill France, NASCAR founder and Bill Jr. ruled the sport like a father -- at the end of the day they took care of their family," Long said. "These guys don't care. They don't have any heart. Basically, it seems like they don't care about the sport, they just want to make a dollar. I truly have a sour taste of the management in our sport. They've forgotten the roots of how this sport was created, and who are the people buying the tickets, sitting in the stands. The people in the stands are me." Multiple calls to NASCAR for comment were not immediately returned. When Long had to change engines prior to the Sprint Showdown, NASCAR surveyed the first engine and determined it to be illegal. He was confident entering Tuesday's appeals hearing. He thought he'd go in, plead his case, and come out with nothing more than a revamped concept of the lucrative engine-building-and-selling business in NASCAR. Not so. More at ESPN.com
06/03/09
racing news
General Motors to stay in auto racing (for now)  For now, bankruptcy won't park General Motor Corp.'s long and successful involvement in auto racing. As the Detroit carmaker began retooling after filing for bankruptcy protection, a company spokesman said Monday he did not expect further cuts to GM Racing's budget, which supports NASCAR, NHRA, ALMS and short-track racing activities around the country and adheres to the "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" mantra. "Racing equals good ROI (return on investment)," said Steve Janisse, group manager for Chevrolet Communications. "There are no expected budget cuts right now." Detroit Free Press
06/03/09
nassprint
Knaus Named Wipers Crew Chief of the Race at Dover  Chad Knaus, crew chief for the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevy driven by Jimmie Johnson, has been named the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race following Sunday's Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway. Johnson climbed from eighth to first by lap 49 of the 400-lap race, eventually leading a total of nine times for 298 laps. Knaus and crew worked effortlessly to help guide their driver to yet another victory at the famed "Monster Mile". Atop the leaderboard, Knaus summoned his driver to pit road with 36 laps to go for a four-tire change. Unfortunately a faulty exchange by the crew slowed him down, dropping him back in ninth place. Luckily, Knaus was able to calmly coach Johnson back to the front of the pack, passing Tony Stewart for the lead with just two laps to go. In addition to the $1,000 check, the winning crew chief will receive signage to announce the win on their pit box the following week. The crew chief with the most weekly wins will be honored as the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year and will be presented a $20,000 check at the season finale in Homestead. Wypall Wipers PR
06/03/09
nassprint
Biffle’s Team Grabs Tissot Pit Crew Award in Dover  Greg Biffle’s #16 crew captured the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway. It was the second Tissot win of the season for Biffle’s crew, which also won the award at the March Cup race in Las Vegas. By claiming its second pit road win of the season, the #16 crew takes over sole possession of second place in the Tissot standings. Jeff Gordon’s #24 crew leads with three victories while eight teams are tied for third with one win.

Biffle’s crew won the award in Dover as a result of the team’s #16 Ford Fusion spending the least amount of time on pit road – 320.935 seconds. The quick work by the crew helped lift Biffle to a third place finish in the 400-mile race. The #16 over-the-wall crew consists of: Todd Zeigler (front-tire changer), Colin Pasi (front-tire carrier), Kyle Power (rear-tire changer), Kevin McDowell (rear-tire carrier), Rodney Fetters (jackman), Billy Manchester(gasman), Ryan Dextraze (catch can) and Chris Elliott (windshield). The team's crew chief is Greg Erwin and the pit crew coach is Andy Ward. The #16 team will receive $5,000 for the pit road win. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award victories at the completion of the 36-race schedule will earn a $100,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the crew and driver. Tissot
06/03/09
nassprint
Prelude to the Dream Sold Out Once Again  For the fifth consecutive year, the Prelude to the Dream (preview video) at Eldora Speedway is a sellout. The only way left to see such racing icons as Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Robby Gordon and Kasey Kahne competing in dirt Late Models to raise money for injured and fallen heroes is via HBO Pay-Per-View. The live, commercial-free broadcast will begin at 7:00pm/et (4:00pm/pt), followed by an immediate replay. HBO Pay-Per-View’s racing telecast has a suggested retail price of $24.95 and is available to more than 71 million pay-per-view homes. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming in the pay-per-view industry. Ordering information and up-to-the minute racing information is available at www.hbo.comMore ...
06/03/09
f1
Q & A - John Howett, President Toyota F1 team  
John Howett
What are the team's chances for the Turkish Grand Prix?

I believe we have a very good chance in Turkey. We are third in the Constructors' Championship and, with the exception of Monaco, we have been competitive everywhere this season. Both our drivers are performing really well at the moment and we know our car is fundamentally strong on normal circuit layouts so we are optimistic.

Why was the Monaco performance so disappointing?
In Barcelona we saw that in sector three - the slowest part of the track - our car was not performing as well as expected and this was magnified in Monaco, where the whole track is low speed. Basically our car is not particularly strong on slow-speed sections and we have to improve this.

What have you done since Monaco to address the problem?
The team back in Cologne has worked extremely hard to understand what happened in Monaco. We have analyzed the Monaco situation based on the actual weekend data, specific wind tunnel tests and even a straight-line aero test. A solution is now being developed from these results. More ...

06/03/09
f1
Fans asked to choose venue for Polish GP  (GMM)  Poland could be among the next names to feature on future formula one calendars.

The electronics firm LG, a global sponsor of the world championship, is backing a campaign in the central European country to select a location for an inaugural Polish grand prix.

Polish fans, whose numbers have grown enormously since the debut of Poland's first F1 driver Robert Kubica in mid 2006, are being asked to select between the locations Warsaw, Krakow, Breslau and Gdynia for a circuit.

Votes will be accepted until August, when one of the four locations will be recommended by LG to formula one authorities.

"Formula one has become much more popular in Poland than when I was growing up, when there was nothing," Kubica, who was born in Krakow before as a young teenager relocating to Italy to advance his karting career, said recently.

06/03/09
f1
Kubica bitter after missed title chance  
Robert Kubica
(GMM)  Robert Kubica is now bitterer than ever about his missed opportunity to win the 2008 world championship.

The Pole was in the running for last year's title until late in the season, when he mysteriously fell off the pace after declaring that BMW-Sauber had instead decided to focus on its 2009 campaign.

But the failure of the Hinwil team's current title bid was starkly demonstrated last time out at Monaco, when Kubica and his teammate Nick Heidfeld qualified a dire eighteenth and seventeenth respectively.

"Situations like this are common in motor racing; you never know where you are going to be next year.  That's why I was disappointed last year when we did not seize our chance when we were very close to the front," said the 24-year-old in an interview with Germany's Sport Bild. More ...

06/03/09
f1
F1 aces to play before endangered Turkey GP  (GMM)  The F1 drivers' football team will be back in action on Wednesday, at Istanbul's Ali Sami Yen stadium.

The Nazionale Piloti will be raising money for children's charities by taking on a Turkish all-star team.

In action will be grand prix racers including Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel, Giancarlo Fisichella, Jarno Trulli and Sebastien Bourdais.

At a press conference on Monday, organizers said they are expecting a big crowd at the 24,000-capacity ground, but the same cannot be said for the fifth running of the Turkish grand prix.

Only 40,000 attended Sunday's race last year, and a smaller crowd is expected this weekend at a circuit that is closed for 362 days of every year.

When the Istanbul Otodrom was opened in 2005, races for MotoGP, DTM, world touring cars and Le Mans sports cars were held "and it all lost a lot of money," track general manager Can Guclu told The Times.

The circuit is owned by the Istanbul chamber of commerce and rented by Bernie Ecclestone, who may not want to continue to promote the event post 2011, Guclu admitted earlier this year.

06/03/09
irl
Texas Motor Speedway Schedule  
Wednesday, June 3

8:00am Coach-Net VIP & Outside Camping Opens
9:00am – 5:00pm Texas Motor Speedway Credentials Office Open
12:00pm IndyCar Mfg’s Load In
5:00pm – 6:00pm NCWTS Haulers Enter  More ...

06/02/09
nassprint
NASCAR discusses drug policy and new car  UPDATE Here is a copy of the NASCAR substance abuse policy.

05/26/09 NASCAR officials talked about their drug-testing policy, the new model Sprint Cup car and marketing initiatives with drivers and owners during their first of two closed town-hall meetings today at the NASCAR Research & Development Center.  NASCAR Chairman Brian France and NASCAR President Mike Helton led the meeting, which also was attended by NASCAR Executive Vice President Lesa France Kennedy and seven other NASCAR officials. NASCAR Vice President Jim Hunter said there were more than 50 drivers, owners and team representatives in attendance.

“I think today was a really great step toward Brian, Lesa and all those folks answering questions and taking some criticism and explaining why some things are like they are and giving everybody a chance to speak up,” Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick said following the first session. “I think if we can do more of these … we can see that we all can work together to make this thing better. There’s a lot of smart people in that garage area.”

Both Hendrick Motorsports’ Mark Martin and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Ryan Newman said they received information that clarified NASCAR’s drug policy, especially when it comes to the testing and prescription medication.

“I feel much better now than I did before the meeting, and I’m much more comfortable than I [was] after talking to [NASCAR drug-testing administrator] Dr. [David] Black.”

Newman said there was talk about the chassis, the tires, weight distribution in the cars and the engines.

“It was interesting to hear different people’s opinions about the speeds of the cars, what the racing would be like if we didn’t have as much horsepower,” Newman said. “In the end, to me personally, it’s important to have driver control. Driver control is what we’re out there to see.

“Mr. Helton said that a true sport is where the athletes can do things that people on the street can’t. The more we have control of the cars as drivers, the better the racing.”

The agenda was very broad and included talk about NASCAR’s demographics, Newman said. He said drivers were not told what to do or say following the meeting.

“In the end, it was all about what we can do in the future to have another meeting like this to have an impact as well,” Newman said. “In the end there was no answers, but we talked about things we needed to talk about.”

Another thing that the drivers and owners might have felt more comfortable about was that NASCAR seems to be more open to input from drivers and owners.

“It’s a new form of communication for us and for them,” Hunter said about the open forum. “I think it was very positive. There was a lot of give and take, open forum, speak up, give us your opinion, and we got a lot of opinions. … Hopefully, this is the beginning of a new form of communication. We haven’t had this type of meeting in the past. Maybe once several years ago at [Joe] Gibbs [Racing]. We will do more of this. We had some great input.”

NASCAR officials will meet with another group this afternoon.

“No solutions,” Martin said. “A lot of great ideas. And I’m really expecting NASCAR to formulate little groups to really drive a lot of different issues, sort of task-force groups that would include the drivers and the owners.”

Hunter said while there are many short-range and long-range decisions that need to be made on a variety of issues, there was no one issue that NASCAR was looking for answers on to make any immediate decisions.

“We’re in a tough economic environment for everyone in this industry, and now is the time for all of us to get together,” Hunter said. “We have some very, very talented people. On every team, there is someone who can bring something to the table in the way of ideas and in the way of what we might do to make this sport better, and that’s our goal.” Scenedaily.com

06/02/09
irl
More changes for Texas race  Jaques Lazier will replace series newcomer Stanton Barrett in the Team 3G IndyCar this weekend at TMS. No. 98. Team owner Greg Beck said Barrett could return later in the season, but at the moment the car needs an experienced driver.

Milka Duno will be back in the No. 23 car of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing after Tomas Scheckter drove it in Milwaukee.

06/02/09
nassprint
Long suspension upheld by NASCAR appeals board  UPDATE NASCAR STATEMENT:
On June 2, 2009, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of 3 penalties issued by NASCAR relative to the #146 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car following inspection of the car's engine on May 16, 2009 for an event at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

The penalties concern Section 12-1 of the NASCAR Rule Book "Actions detrimental to stock car racing", Section 12-4-I "Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR rules", and Section 20-5.4A "Engine exceeded the maximum engine size of 358.00 cubic inch displacement."

The penalties assessed were:

-A loss of 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Car Owner Points; suspension from the next 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until August 18, 2009; and probation until December 31, 2009 for owner, Danielle Long

-A loss of 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Driver Points; suspension from the next 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until August 18, 2009; and probation until December 31, 2009 for driver, Carl Long  More ...

06/02/09
f1
Turkey expected to be hot and dry  Although there is a small chance of rain for when the F1 community meets on Thursday in Istanbul for the fifth edition of the Turkish Grand Prix, when the cars hit the track on Friday, conditions will be warm, sunny and dry. Temperatures are expected to hit a high of 27 degrees C, while sunshine may be hazy at times. Moving to Saturday, highest temperatures will reach 28 degrees C with some scattered cloud in the sky, while on race-day Sunday, the mercury will jump again, this time to 29 degrees C.
06/02/09
alms
Preparation key to LeMans success  The numbers from Le Mans grow more and more staggering each year. On a circuit that measures 8.3 miles, the average lap speeds for prototypes are in excess of 150 mph. And the winning Audi R10 TDI raced for 381 laps and more than 3,220 miles in a 24-hour span. Yes, it's the ultimate test of both man and machine.

In all of racing, there is nothing like Le Mans and the sheer physical and mental strain that it places on a team. Drivers, however, routinely push themselves to - and often beyond - their limits to win the greatest race in the world. Like the race itself, preparation is about endurance and not necessarily strength. More ...

06/02/09
automotive
Brembo aims to mass produce carbon-ceramic brakes  New technologies always cost the early adopters big bucks. But higher demand leads to increased supply, and costs eventually go down to the level accessibly by the common man. So while carbon-ceramic brakes might be a big ticket item right now – often dipping into five figures as optional equipment on European exotica – Brembo has formed a new joint venture with carbon-fiber supplier SGL Group with the specific goal of mass-producing the brake technology for widespread application.

Carbon-ceramic brakes offer several major benefits over cast-iron discs -- specifically light weight and the ability to dissipate heat quickly, preventing fade -- with few drawbacks. The only downside is that the extant manufacturing process is labor-intensive, driving the cost up, which is why they're currently only available on high-end exotic supercars. Brembo SGL Carbon Ceramic Brakes, however, which just began operations at its Milan headquarters on the first of this month, aims to streamline the production of the rotors so that they can be implemented across the industry. (That's a good thing.)  Read the press release below for more details. More ...

06/02/09
irl
Carpenters and Lloyds welcome new arrivals  The IndyCar Series paddock expanded the past two days with the births of Ryder Everette Carpenter (8 pounds, 1 ounce) to Ed and Heather Carpenter on June 1 and Bethany Amelia Lloyd (6 pounds, 12 ounces) to Alex and Samantha Lloyd on June 2.  All are doing well.  The newborns have siblings born four days apart (Ava Lloyd on Oct. 5, 2007, and Makenna Carpenter born Oct. 9). When Heather Carpenter was admitted to the hospital, she was taken to the same birthing room in which Samantha Lloyd delivered. It was the same nursing staff, too.  See photos on IndyCar.com
06/02/09
nassprint
Papis to Headline NASCAR Day in Sacramento  NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Max Papis will headline the festivities on Saturday, June 6, as the 5th annual NASCAR Day in Sacramento returns to the State Capitol.

In just four years, this has developed into one of the biggest celebrations leading up to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Infineon Raceway, June 19-21 (Father’s Day weekend).

The event has been kicked up a notch this year as Papis, a road-course specialist and driver of the No. 13 GEICO Toyota, will be on hand for a Q&A with race fans, as well as to sign autographs. More ...

06/02/09
nassprint
NASCAR asks to move Mayfield case to federal court  NASCAR on Tuesday moved Jeremy Mayfield's challenge of his indefinite suspension to federal court, a move that could keep the driver out of his car another week. The notification came a day before a North Carolina Superior Court was scheduled to hear arguments pertaining to Mayfield's suspension for failing a random drug test. NASCAR's action automatically stayed that proceeding. Mayfield had hoped a judge would reinstate him in time to compete this weekend at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. His attorneys will now have to either fight the suspension in federal court, or petition the case be moved back to the state level.

"Administration of NASCAR's substance abuse policy extends to every state in which it races, which is why the logical forum is federal court," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said. NASCAR has not revealed what substance Mayfield tested positive for, but his attorneys said in court he tested positive for amphetamines. Bridges warned both sides not to discuss Mayfield's test results. Associated Press
06/02/09
nastruck
Speed’s coverage of Dover Truck race up 5 percent  Speed says its coverage of Saturday’s AAA Insurance 200 at Dover International Speedway earned a 0.86 Nielsen household rating, a 5 percent increase over the 0.82 the 2008 race earned.

This year’s race, which was run on Saturday after being rained out on Friday, averaged 626,000 households, up from 597,000 last year.
06/02/09
irl
Inside Track: Bombardier Learjet 550k Fast Facts  
06/02/09
track news
Montreal track to be resurfaced  Stock-Car Montréal, promoter of the NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge, initiated major track resurfacing work this week on crucial portions of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the upcoming August 29-30 NASCAR race. The work, carried out by contractor Construction DJL in close cooperation with Shell Bitumen, will enable drivers of the Grand-Am and NASCAR Nationwide Series to negotiate the Montreal track's demanding bends on a smooth surface worthy of the great international racetracks.

"It's no secret that we have had serious problems with the track pavement in several corners of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve these past few years," explained François Dumontier, promoter and spokesperson for the event. "In the tight segments of the track, those that are the hallmark of le circuit and offer the greatest challenges to the drivers, the asphalt has to withstand the extreme punishment from hard braking into the corners followed by harsh acceleration. We firmly believe that the formulation of the premium grade Bitumen binder selected for the project combined with the expertise of the contractor will greatly increase elasticity and allow enhance road performance during the NAPA Auto Parts 200, presented by Dodge next August 29-30." More ...

06/02/09
British F3
Wickens joins Carlin at Hockenheim  Robert Wickens will rejoin the Carlin team this weekend, at the Hockenheim round of the 2009 Cooper Tires British F3 Series.  The Canadian raced with Carlin in last year’s Formula Renault 3.5 championship and will make his debut in British F3 this weekend with the multiple championship winning squad.  Wickens will be racing alongside the team’s regular racers of Daniel Ricciardo, Max Chilton and Henry Arundel, all of whom have finished on the podium in the first six rounds of the 2009 season. 

Carlin’s British F3 team have already taken three wins, four pole positions and six podium finishes from just six rounds.  Red Bull racer Daniel Ricciardo currently leads the championship, despite a disappointing weekend last time out at Rockingham.  The 19 year-old Australian racer crashed out whilst fighting for the lead in race one at Rockingham and finished fifth in race two. 

06/02/09
f2
Motorsport legends give their verdict on Formula Two's debut  A number of key dignitaries and motor racing greats attended the opening two races of the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship - including FIA President Max Mosley, FIA Formula One Race Director Charlie Whiting and Patrick Head, Director of Engineering at the AT&T Williams F1 team.

FIA President Max Mosley hosted the podium ceremony for the opening race of the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship, before heaping praise on the new series. "I'm astonished with how successful the day has been," Mosley declared. "Jonathan Palmer and Williams have done an absolutely fantastic job; the championship, the racing and the whole set up is extraordinary and it has been a really great success.

"I think the championship fits precisely with the cost cutting measures that are being adopted in Formula One. The barriers to entry have just been too big and too expensive in the past, and this championship is a means for people to get into Formula One without spending a fortune. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see some drivers from this year's Formula Two championship progress into Formula One." More ...

06/02/09
irl
Milwaukee IndyCar TV rating plummets  The overnight TV rating for Sunday's IndyCar series race at Milwaukee was a dismal 0.6 (462,000 households) on ABC, down 25% from last year.

The race ended up with a lower rating than six weekend NCAA women's softball tournament games on ESPN, a cable channel.
06/02/09
f1
Mercedes trying to undermine Cosworth's return to F1  
Norbert Haug
Now that Cosworth is poised to return to F1 in 2010 after a false start the last two years when teams decided to buy engines from the big factories - Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes, Norbert Haug said McLaren and Mercedes would be ready to technically assist new formula one entrants.

In other words, Mercedes would like to snag that customer engine business from Cosworth.

With prospective new cost-limiting rules aimed at bringing up to three new teams onto the 2010 grid, Mercedes' Haug also suggested that chassis partner McLaren may be willing to help, but since their chassis is horrible this year, who wants their help?

"If the appropriate regulations are in place, then definitely we are ready to assist, but it must be clear that formula one is not a charity," the German said. More ...

06/02/09
f1
Bernie reserves 'Gran Premio di Roma' title  (GMM) The prospects of a grand prix on Roman city streets has taken another step forwards.

Following speculation that the Italian capital is hoping to organize a formula one race, it emerges that the sport's chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is also serious about the project.

London's Evening Standard reports that the 78-year-old billionaire last month applied for a pan-European trademark to the name 'Formula 1 Gran Premio di Roma'.

It is suggested the event, slated for the city's modern EUR district, could be added to the 2011 calendar.

The Gran Premio di Roma title was last used in 1991, when Alex Zanardi won the formula 3000 race at Vallelunga. Previously, dating back to the 50s and 60s, the race ran to Formula 2 rules.

In 1954 and 1963 F1 cars contested the Rome grand prix, but the event was not included on the world championship calendar.

06/02/09
nassprint
Gunselman Motorsports taps Mike Wallace for Pocono  Gunselman Motorsports has called upon veteran driver Mike Wallace to drive the #64 Toyota for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. Wallace has gone to victory lane three times at the 2.5-mile track in ARCA competition. Being without a full-time ride right now, the St. Louis-native is making his second Sprint Cup points-race attempt of the year. More ...
06/02/09
nassprint
Dodge support "on hold", Chevy next?  Team owner Richard Petty says the Chrysler bankruptcy has put cash flow from the manufacturer to the Richard Petty Motorsports organization he co-owns with George Gillett "in a holding pattern." From the point of view of the Dodge Motorsports program, however, the commitment to racing is undiminished. "They've stopped everything," Petty said in the garage at Dover International Speedway this past weekend. "They went into bankruptcy, and they're sort of in a floating stage right now. They're trying to see where they come out of this at. If they've got new people running the show, are they still going to continue to back everything exactly like they are, or whatever? They're in a holding pattern right now. I think GM's that way -- I don't know about Ford -- and I know Chrysler's that way. The rest of them I don't know. I don't deal with them."

Walter Czarnecki, vice chairman of Penske Racing, which has three Dodge teams, said the legal proceedings also have held up payments to his organization. "In the legal procedure, you have to file what's called a 'Cure Letter' that lists all the things that you are owed. And when it's submitted and approved, they'll pay. We have money that was due April 30 that has not been received yet and probably won't be received for several weeks." Mike Accavitti, director of brand marketing and strategy for Chrysler, acknowledged the reorganization has affected the flow of cash from Chrysler but affirmed the company remains committed to Cup racing and that at-track services provided to the teams continue to be available. NASCAR.com/Sporting News
06/02/09
automotive
GM to close 40% of its dealers  UPDATE General Motors Corp. will pare 2,100 dealers from its business, and has until July 10 to complete the remix of its assets in bankruptcy court paid for by the Obama administration, according to filings today.

In an affidavit, GM Chief Executive Fritz Henderson also reveals that the company looked for investments from foreign governments and considered selling OnStar, but was unable to do either as the economy collapsed last year, leaving the Obama administration plan as the only choice.

“There simply is no viable alternative,” Henderson said in the filing. “There is no other sale, or even other potential purchasers, present or on the horizon.”

Under the plan GM will sell “substantially all” of its assets to a new company that’s owned by the U.S. and Canadian governments, the UAW health-care trust fund and bondholders. The U.S. government will lend $30.1 billion, with the Canadian and Ontario governments pitching in an additional $9.5 billion.

For the first time, Henderson said the new GM will accept 4,100 dealer contracts out of 6,000, leaving 2,100 in the old company. GM had sent letters earlier this month to 1,100 dealers, saying their contracts would be ended by late next year. More ...

06/02/09
nassprint
Goodyear: Brickyard tire troubles solved  Goodyear officials in town today for a NASCAR tire test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway said they have fixed problems that plagued the company’s tires at last year’s Brickyard 400. NASCAR officials last year had to throw a yellow flag every nine or so laps to keep the shredding tires from blowing out.

Goodyear officials, who will be in town testing through Wednesday, said they believe they have developed a rubber compound which will hold up to the IMS track for 33 to 35 laps. The track will not be open to the public or press during testing.

“We have a lot to do, and we wanted to keep everyone focused on that,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear director of race tire sales. “We’ll have another test June 15 and 16, which will basically serve as a dress rehearsal to the race, and that will be open to the media.” More ...

06/02/09
track news
Management Changes at Miller Motorsports Park  Greg Miller, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, announced the following management changes at Miller Motorsports Park (MMP) today.  MMP falls under the Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment division whose President and Chief Operating Officer is Randy Rigby.

Dan Davis, who has been President and Chief Operating Officer for the track since September 2008, has stepped down in order to pursue new opportunities nearer to his home in Michigan.

“Dan has been an asset to the track these past seven months and we wish him only the very best in his future endeavors,” said Greg Miller. More ...

06/02/09
racing news
New radio race talk show debuts Wednesday  John Force, the 14-time NHRA Full Throttle Series Funny Car champion, will be the guest on the debut of The Race Reporters radio show, Wednesday, June 3, 7 p.m. EDT, on www.PowerUpChannel.com.

The Race Reporters can be heard “live,” downloaded into an iPod, or accessed for listening on a delayed basis by clicking on the show icon at www.PowerUpChannel.com. Listeners can bookmark the show and sign-up to receive a free “E card” with news on upcoming guests, at the show’s page, http://www.modavox.com/voiceamerica/vshow.aspx?sid=1549

Host of The Race Reporters is Michael Knight, a 40-year motorsports industry insider, and award-winning publicist and journalist. The one-hour show’s format is a “good, hard, honest, Constitutionally-protected conversation on the issues of the day.” More ...
06/02/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • BMW not ready to scrap 2009 campaign
  • Massa doesn't blame KERS for Ferrari struggle
  • Also Toro Rosso apologized for Piquet shunt
  • New teams held back by budget cap crisis
  • Crisis won't influence Mosley's personal plans

BMW not ready to scrap 2009 campaign
(GMM)  BMW-Sauber is not considering scrapping development of its 2009 car, technical director Willy Rampf insists.

It emerged on Monday that McLaren-Mercedes, also grappling with a difficult championship campaign, is contemplating the move, after Honda made a similar decision last year and gave birth to the dominant Brawn car.

The case of BMW's F1.09 is starker even than McLaren's.  After three consolidation years, the Hinwil based squad wanted to challenge for the titles in 2009, but instead is just eighth in the constructors' championship.

But when asked if the season should simply be written off in favor of turning early focus to 2010, Rampf said: "Currently we are not thinking about or discussing this scenario.

"Ok, next year will be a different car because we have a higher amount of fuel, so a slightly different car concept, but since the aero regulations are not changing then things you learn this year you can use next year," he told GP Week.

"It's not so easy to say that you will stop this project and concentrate on next year.  There's no guarantee that will work," added Rampf.

Massa doesn't blame KERS for Ferrari struggle
(GMM)  Felipe Massa has refused to blame Ferrari's competitive struggle in 2009 on the decision to use KERS.

The new and controversial energy re-use technology was the talk of the winter period, but so far a KERS-equipped car has failed to win a single race this year.

BMW, Renault and McLaren also kicked off the season with respective systems fitted to their cars, but at present only the latter has used KERS consistently this year. More ...

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