Firestone previews Firestone 550 at TMS Race Distance: 331.74 miles/533.976 kilometers (228 laps on the 1.455-mile/2.342-kilometer superspeedway oval).
Television/Radio Broadcast: Live - Saturday, June 9, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, IMS Radio Network and XM Radio 94 and Sirius Radio 212. A qualifying recap show airs at 7:30 p.m. ET Friday, June 8 on NBC Sports Network.
Drivers set record times in Pocono test Twenty-two of the 36 drivers who tested around the newly repaved Pocono Raceway on Wednesday afternoon broke the previous Sprint Cup qualifying record of 172.533 miles per hour. More testing is scheduled for Thursday as NASCAR gives teams two days to acquaint themselves with the 2.5-mile, three-sided track that will host a 160-lap, 400-mile race on Sunday afternoon.
"We're in for a really good race come Sunday,” said John Darby, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director. “Goodyear's done an excellent job at matching the tire to the new surface. Basically all the way up and down through the garage we've heard zero complaints which is a good feeling. It will only continue to get better throughout the weekend, because more of the racing surface gets rubbered in, grooves get wider and offer the ability to the competitors to turn into some multiple lane racing, especially through corners where it counts come Sunday. So we're pleased.”
Update on Guillaume Moreaus conditionUPDATE While Moreau underwent emergency surgery at the University Hospital of Angers Sunday evening to relieve pressure around his spinal cord, the procedure was considered a success and no further injuries were found, according to the team.
"Despite the short time frame since surgery, initial signs appear positive," a statement from OAK Racing read. "Post-procedure has been straightforward with Guillaume recovering sensations in his legs and tests revealing greater strength in the area compared to on arrival.
"Such encouraging progress has seen thoughts now turn to a bespoke rehabilitation program tailored to his condition. Nevertheless, Guillaume is fully aware that this will take much time and patience.
"But thanks to his unquestionable mental strength, the team is in no doubt that Guillaume will rise to the challenge presented. Everyone at OAK Racing would like to wish him a full and speedy recovery."
NASCAR Dover Nationwide TV rating drops 35% ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway on Saturday, June 2, earned a 1.2 household coverage rating (1.1 U.S. rating), averaging 1,455,858 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company.
The rating was down from a 1.7 for last year’s race, which also aired on ESPN but was run earlier in the year on May 14. Of the 12 NASCAR Nationwide Series races that have aired across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC this season, the Dover race was only the third to see a ratings/viewership decline from last year.
Video: Nissan DeltaWing debuts at Le Mans Nissan has released a video of the test at Le Mans. This will be the only chance for entrants to this year's Le Mans 24 Hours to set their cars up for the big race on June 16/17.
Trim Nutrition Partners with IndyCar to Fight Obesity, Promote Fitness Trim Nutrition, a Florida based maker of weight loss products has partnered with IndyCar as their official Nutrition Sponsor. TrimNutrition.com provides quality vitamin and nutrient injections for weight loss as well as a variety of other nutritional products.
One in three adults and nearly one in five children in the United States fight obesity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These alarming statistics follow a 20-year trend of dramatic weight gain across the U.S. To help combat this epidemic, IndyCar has teamed up with Trim Nutrition to educate fans and drivers alike about fitness, nutrition and overall wellness.
NASCAR appoints leadership for Broadcasting and Productions NASCAR announced a number of strategic moves designed to further strengthen its broadcasting and production units. Steve Herbst, who has overseen NASCAR's broadcasting and global media rights since May 2011, has been selected to lead what was formerly known as NASCAR Media Group Productions as vice president, broadcasting and production. This unit is being rebranded as NASCAR Productions and will join NASCAR Broadcasting, NASCAR Digital Media and NASCAR Entertainment in being more closely aligned with the company's other fan engagement and development departments.
Austin GP tickets on sale Circuit of The Americas Tuesday announced the date when members of the public can purchase three-day reserved grandstand bleacher seats and general admission tickets to the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™, set for Nov. 16-18, 2012. The soon-to-be-completed center for premium sports and entertainment in Austin, Texas, will host the return of the world-famous Formula 1™ racing series to the United States for the first time in five years. Three-day reserved grandstand bleacher seats and general admission tickets to the highly anticipated event go on sale Sunday, June 10, at 10 a.m. EDT, at www.CircuitofTheAmericas.com/tickets.
Prelude To The Dream Pre-Race Quotes TONY STEWART (Three-Time and Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion & Three-Time Prelude Winner):
What are your overall thoughts on the Prelude To The Dream?
“It’s great for us as competitors because we get a chance to go out and do something that we don’t get the chance to do all season long with each other. There are a lot of us drivers who get a chance to race at dirt tracks or run at Late Model pavement tracks across the country, but we never get to do it together as a group. So, to go to Eldora Speedway, to run Late Models on dirt, and to have a night where we can do this all for charity and for kids – it’s just an unbelievable night for us.”
In the past Bernie Ecclestone would play one circuit against another in order to extract as much from the local government or race promoter's pockets as he could when negotiating a race deal. Now unionized, the circuits will be able to compare notes and tell Ecclestone to go pound sand if the deal put forward is thought to be too high.
Grand prix circuits create union to influence F1 rules
F1's American future speeding ahead
Red Bull floor ruling 'is what it is' - Vettel
New minister says 'no agreement' for French GP return
More surgery as Kubica's F1 return bid continues
Ferrari denies Alonso paid EUR 30m
Grand prix circuits create union to influence F1 rules (GMM) Formula one's circuits have created a union designed to give them a greater say on the future of the sport, according to business journalist Christian Sylt.
He revealed in the Independent newspaper that the Formula One Promoters Association, created in May, is chaired by Australian grand prix chief Ron Walker.
Watch flying wheel almost take off IndyCar driver's head IndyCar does not want to put canopies over the drivers head because apparently losing Dan Wheldon wasn't reason enough. Somehow the sport thinks the word open 'wheel' means open 'cockpit' even though they are called open wheel cars not open cockpit cars. Watch Sarah Fisher hit this tire in the 2001 Davey Hamilton crash at Texas Motor Speedway. A foot over and the tire would have hit Fisher square in the head and likely killed her.
TMS fence with poles on racing side rather than spectator side of catch fence....just like Las Vegas Motor Speedway where Dan Wheldon was killed. This very TMS catch fence destroyed Davey Hamilton's feet and ankles in a 2001 IndyCar crash
After a third Indianapolis 500 victory, a runner-up finish in Detroit and a surge from 13th to fourth in the Izod IndyCar Series points standings, Dario Franchitti will enter Saturday's Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway with many reasons to smile. But the three-time defending series champion admittedly is feeling trepidation, too.
"It's not going to be my favorite race of the year," Franchitti told USA TODAY Sports recently. "But I'm going there and absolutely will try to win it."
Texas will mark the first race on a high-banked, 1.5-oval since Dan Wheldon's Oct. 16 death at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and drivers have fretted for months about the Fort Worth track, which will be the only one of its kind on this season's schedule. Much of the focus has been on the design of the catchfencing that serves to keep cars from flying into the grandstands.
Wheldon died when his head struck a catch fence post after his Dallara-Honda sailed 325 feet through the air in a fiery, 15-car crash. At Las Vegas, the poles are positioned on the inside of the mesh fencing -- as they are at Texas.
Driver sues NASCAR, claims he was excluded from diversity program for being ‘too Caucasian’UPDATE #2
A discrimination lawsuit filed by a former candidate for NASCAR's Drive For Diversity program was settled Tuesday afternoon. Michael Rodriguez, a former two-time Pennsylvania karting champion and youngest Super Late Model winner at Mountain (St. John's, Pa.) Speedway, claimed in his lawsuit that he lost his opportunity to participate for appearing "too Caucasian," and that's why NASCAR rejected him at age 15 and 16 from trying out for the Drive For Diversity program in 2005 and 2006. Rodriguez filed the suit against NASCAR and Access Communications, the company NASCAR hired from 2004-2008 to administer its diversity program to increase minorities' participation in the sport, in U.S. District Court in January 2010, and the trial began Monday in Charlotte.
Kurt Busch Suspended from Pocono raceUPDATE #2 Bob Pockrass, writer for The Sporting News, joins NASCAR Race Hub tonight discussing his interview with Kurt Busch. The show starts on SPEED at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. For more information, log onto http://www.speedtv.com/programs/nascar-race-hub/
06/04/12 #51 car owner James Finch told ESPN.com he would meet with Busch over the next couple of days to discuss whether they would keep the handshake agreement they made before the season. He didn't sound like a man convinced the arrangement could or would work. "If he's going to kill himself, I'm not going to be in the airplane with him," Finch said by phone. "If that's what he's planning on doing, I am going to get out." Finch made it clear after Busch was released by Penske Racing following a profanity-laced tirade against ESPN's Dr. Jerry Punch at Homestead-Miami Speedway last November that if Busch embarrassed him like he did Roger Penske "he would have gotten his ass beat on pit road. He needs to simmer down a while," Finch told ESPN.com in December. "There are a lot of people that don't like Kurt. He's never done anything to me personally. He just needs to look in the mirror and see what the problem is." Now Busch has done something to Finch personally, even though the incident came while Busch was driving a Kyle Busch Motorsports Nationwide car for his little brother. Finch made it clear there are several qualified drivers to take over Phoenix Racing's #51 Chevy. ESPN
IndyCar owners again nix new body kits The car owners of the IZOD IndyCar Series met with CEO Randy Bernard over the weekend to address their concerns over costs and their unified plea was clear: They don’t want new aero kits in 2013, just as they didn't want them for 2012, but they do seek some immediate relief from Dallara and other vendors over the prices of parts.
“We’re all in agreement that nobody wants new aero kits next year because it’s not really necessary right now,’’ said Dennis Reinbold, who co-owns Oriol Servia’s car along with Robbie Buhl.
Massa to use Monaco setup in Canada (GMM) Although the complete opposite of Monaco, Felipe Massa on Tuesday was bound for Canada with his mind still firmly on the famous Principality.
Trapped in a worsening slump since the start of the 2012 season, Massa's tumbling form had triggered speculation the Brazilian was fighting for his career in Monaco.
But on those fabled streets, he appeared to turn the corner.
"I really liked the car there," the 31-year-old said on Tuesday, "and it was working in the right direction to suit my style and I hope this positive trend can continue, starting with the race in Canada and then through to the end of the championship."
Indeed, Monaco was apparently such a turning point that his engineering team, led by Briton Rob Smedley, intend to use Massa's Monaco car setup as the foundation for this weekend, in spite of the diametrically opposed lines of Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Massa admitted that "the setup required for Monaco is very different to that at other tracks", but "even if the street circuit is unique, we can at least follow the direction we took there and make it work at other tracks".
"It might not be a normal situation, but maybe it is the best direction to go in to make the F2012 work for me," he added.
Fixing IndyCar? Good luck with that. - Autoextremist.com Mark Reuss, GM North America's president and the company's Chief Enthusiast is the man responsible for getting Chevrolet back into IndyCar, and for that he was promised that the Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle would be put back on the IndyCar schedule. Randy Bernard, the IndyCar CEO was eager to accommodate Mark's wishes and thanks to Roger Penske, the prime mover behind any IndyCar race in the Motor City, the race was resurrected. And just when it seemed safe to have a shred of hope for IndyCar after the scintillating Indianapolis 500 of over a week ago, and with the table set for the return of IndyCar to Detroit after a four-year hiatus, the reality for the series and its participants - combined with the ever-present politics involved - threatened to swallow the sport whole.
The GP3 Series is a one-make championship consisting of identical cars designed for three years. The first generation car – the GP3/10 – has already crowned Esteban Gutiérrez and Valtteri Bottas as 2010 and 2011 Champions respectively. It is currently in its final season, with the first two rounds of 2012 down and four different race winners in four races.
Time has come to design and develop the second generation car which will be running in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The technical process and philosophy of this new machine are aimed at making the GP3/13 a faster and more powerful car, thanks to a naturally aspirated 400hp engine. Although the car will keep the same level of downforce, its design will be modified with a new nose, sidepods and engine cover. In spite of these major improvements, the Series goal is to keep in line with today’s costs and budget.
Detroit: They tried to put lipstick on a pig Why is Detroit getting so much praise for screwing up? Grand Prix organizers tried to put lipstick on Belle Isle, but the ugliness of a neglected island came out during the race when the track got beat up by the roaring cars.
Yes, race organizers should be applauded for getting the event back in Detroit. And yes, what happened Sunday — with track divots being exposed by the cars — has happened at other tracks. But that doesn't mean it should have happened.
We've ignored Belle Isle for years. I took a spin around the island three times in the last month and during every stop I saw someone repairing a road that was full of cracks, potholes and crumbling pavement. It was literally a patchwork repair job, and the net result was a two-hour delay and a race shortened from 90 to 60 laps Sunday.
The one-hour weekend edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now will air on Sunday, June 10, at 9 a.m. ET with a preview of that day’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono (PA) Raceway. Michael Yam will host, joined by analyst Ricky Craven, with reporters Mike Massaro and Jim Noble at the track.
Scott Dixon waves to crowd after taking the checkered flag
The maximum 53 points acquired by Scott Dixon in winning the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix from the pole has tightened the IZOD IndyCar Series championship race for the second consecutive week.
Dixon, a two-time series champion, jumped to second in the standings after six events with the 50 points for his first victory of the season plus three bonus points for the pole start and leading the most laps. Will Power, who finished fourth, had taken a 36-point advantage over teammate Helio Castroneves and James Hinchcliffe of Andretti Autosport.
McReynolds Reacts to Busch's Suspension and Actions NASCAR on Monday suspended Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet, until June 13 following a confrontation with a reporter following Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway.
SPEED analyst Larry McReynolds joined host Steve Byrnes and Matt Clark on Monday’s NASCAR Race Hub, offering his perspective on Busch’s situation and the resulting punishment. Following are excerpts from McReynolds’ analysis:
Servia sorry for angry tweet about Texas Motor Speedway
IndyCar driver Oriol Servia has apologized for blasting Texas Motor Speedway been reached for comment.
"First of all, I'm really sorry for my tweets about Texas," he wrote at @OriolServia. "It was the wrong channel and the wrong way period. I love Texas and the Texas race fans. They have always shown their support to IndyCar and myself. I would hate to disappoint them and I have total admiration for the people of the sport and those who promote the series. My tweets were unprofessional and I apologize for my language to Texas Motor Speedway, (track president and general manager) Eddie Gossage, our sponsors, the fans, and IndyCar. I should not have said those things and I'm sorry."
An IndyCar spokesman said CEO Randy Bernard is aware of the tweet but has not acted on it. Panther Racing owner John Barnes was fined $25,000 last month for a tweet deemed detrimental to the series. Indy Star
Honda thumps Chevy in their backyard Honda went 1-2-3 in the Chevrolet-sponsored Detroit Grand Prix in the shadow of General Motors world headquarters. That probably did not sit well with the Chevy brass. Honda made significant gains to its engine when they did an update prior to Carb Day at Indy.
Will Chevy respond or will Honda continue to eat their lunch the rest of the year?
DeltaWing gets first taste of LeMans The Nissan DeltaWing completed its first running on the famous 8.5 mile Circuit de la Sarthe today – the home of the upcoming 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Invited to compete under the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s “Garage 56” classification that showcases new and innovative technology, the Nissan DeltaWing completed 54 laps with drivers Michael Krumm, Satoshi Motoyama and Marino Franchitti at the wheel.
The team enjoyed a virtually trouble-free day and completed every lap but one on a single set of Michelin slick tires. A sole lap on wet tires during a brief rain shower was the only time the team switched tires all day.
Marco Andretti led 59 laps at the Indianapolis 500, more than anyone, and didn't win.
That kind of missed opportunity stings any driver.
But for a 25-year-old driver, there is time. To get over it. And to win it one day.
"Hopefully, that's one thing I have going for me, is time," Andretti said last week as he got ready to run at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. "I'm already in my seventh year in the game, but I'm only 25."
It was an excellent crowd until just about everyone got up and left when the track fell apart
The Detroit GP IndyCar race was considered a sellout, as organizers confirmed more than 30,000 tickets sold in the grandstands after confirming that only 800 tickets were left by noon. (See what we had to say about it in yesterday's race report).
Denker said sales of tickets came after a record day for Saturday's races that generated 10 percent of the Grand Prix's total ticket sales for the entire year.
"We had a great day on many fronts," Denker said. "We had the highest single-day ticket sales — ever." Saturday had 10,000 paid attendees bringing the weekend total to 40,000.
Damaged race track an image problem for Detroit, to be resurfacedUPDATE
When CART raced at Belle Isle the track was 2.346 miles. Note the long straight between turns 2 and 3. Then Tony George came along, thought he had a better idea, shortened the track to a Mickey Mouse 2.07 miles (below) and ruined it all.
Bud Denker, chairman of the Detroit Grand Prix Association, didn't give up under the extraordinary situation, and neither did the drivers. He and workers rebuilt the surface, patched the holes and got the race started again.
Denker, who got soaked by rain and soiled by tar in the construction efforts, said The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix likely will have a slightly different look next year.
Denker said he wants to lengthen the track, probably to about 2.5 or 2.6 miles, restoring it more to the circuit length of 2001 (he is mistaken - see layout used by CART to the right, it was 2.346-miles in length, and there were other obstacles preventing it from being longer than that).
Denker said he wants to make the straight to Turn 3 longer.
"That would give a great passing zone down the straightaway," Denker said Sunday. "We need more passing zones."
The Grand Prix returned to Belle Isle over the weekend for the first time since 2008. The race took a three-year hiatus because of the economy. The layout for Sunday's face was 14 turns over 2.07 miles.
Grand Prix in Detroit hits a speed bump with potholes, flying asphalt
Chunks of sealer were even flying into the suites
There were such high hopes for the return of the Grand Prix to Detroit.
But the world’s elite race-car drivers quickly learned what Michiganders have known their whole lives: Potholes are a pain in the butt, not to mention the tires and the undercarriages of expensive racing machines.
Problems with the 2.1-mile track at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle, including large gashes and potholes, caused a crash, sent asphalt flying and delayed the nationally broadcast race on Lap 45.
Protest threats cause Canadian GP to cancel opening day Protester threats in Montreal have forced organizers of the Canadian Grand Prix to cancel the free opening day of the event.
Formula One fans were to have had access to Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve at the open house event Thursday. Instead the event was scrapped due to security concerns.
Francois Dumontier, president of the Canadian GP, said in a statement Sunday that organizers had no choice in the cancellation.
"Considering the various disruption threats made public recently, the free admission and the naturally openness character of the open house day, revealed some risks that we could not neglect," said Dumontier.
O’Connell’s Cadillac Sweeps Belle Isle Johnny O’Connell, of Flowery Branch, Ga., and Andy Lee, of Colorado Springs, Colo., defended their Saturday wins with a Sunday victories in the Pirelli World Challenge Cadillac V-Series Challenge at Belle Isle. The Cadillac and Camaro gave General Motors a weekend sweep on the temporary street circuit in the shadow of their world headquarters.
O’Connell’s No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V won overall and in the GT class during the 27-lap Round Seven race, which was shortened to a 50-minute timed race after being slowed twice for 12 laps for full course cautions. The race finished behind the safety car, with the Cadillac averaging 66.719 mph in the 56.16-mile race.
O’Connell started from pole in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V, but lost the drag race from the standing start to the first corner to Lawson Aschenbach’s No. 1 Privacy Star/Entrust Porsche 911 GT3. Aschenbach led the first 14 laps, including seven laps under the first caution caused when the No. 2 Hawk Performance Nissan GT-R made heavy impact with the wall.
Bernard felt like a 'dead man walking' IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard took a week to ponder how he wanted to address swirling speculation about discord within the series. Bernard chose to post a message on his Twitter account, two days after a successful Indianapolis 500, to let it be known that a team owner was trying to get him fired.
"I felt like dead man walking," he said before Sunday's Detroit Grand Prix. "I had seven days to think about how I wanted to put it out. I didn't want to take anything away from the Indy 500."
Dress rehearsal for the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans The dress rehearsal for the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans which took place this Sunday, 3rd June was an out-and-out success as far as both spectators and teams were concerned. The majority of competitors present were here to prepare for the race which will take place on the 16/17th June.
Set two weeks before the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Test Day was a fantastic appetizer for the main course, and 23,000 spectators were present this Sunday to enjoy it. They were able to feast on the quality of the sights and sounds produced by the 61 cars on track. In the LMP1 category, the Audis showed themselves to be quickest, the two R18 e-tron Quattro hybrids Nos. 2 and 1 heading the No. 3 R18 Ultra. Allan McNish, the quickest man of the day (3m25.927) ended his test following a small error which saw him hitting the barriers at the Tertre Rouge corner and being unable to continue.
Red Flag 2 -- Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Arcane IndyCar rules dictate that the race can be called at the halfway point, which appears to be lap 46 out of 90 (don't ask me, I'm a journalist and therefore don't do math or something). The race was stopped at lap 45......
Detroit Belle Grand Prix red-flagged to repair track The IndyCar race has been red flagged at the halfway point due to multiple issues with the track falling apart. The pavement has large sections of rubber "expansion strip" sealer, and the weekend of racing -- including that with larger, heavier sports cars -- has caused those rubber strips to come up. The situation caused a crash by James Hinchcliffe shortly before halfway. It is possible for the race to be called at the halfway point.
Edo Mortara scores maiden DTM race win at Spielberg
Huge joy at Audi Sport Team Rosberg: After starting from the pole position, the Italian Edoardo Mortara won the fourth round of the 2012 DTM at the Red Bull Ring in Austria in front of 48,500 spectators (throughout the weekend). The new Audi A5 DTM thus celebrated its first victory. Mattias Ekström improved to second place in the standings.
The Red Bull Ring is apparently a good track for premieres. After Audi Sport Team Phoenix had clinched its first DTM success at Spielberg last year, which laid the foundation for the subsequent title win, the time had come for Audi Sport Team Rosberg - the team founded by ex-Formula One World Champion Keke Rosberg - to do so this year - in an extremely thrilling race.
Sunday AM report - Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Morning practice went off without a hitch, with Graham Rahal leading the speed charts. Scott Dixon was a few inches slower, followed by Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastien Bourdais.
Rubens Barrichello has been dropped to 24th on the grid after switching chassis overnight.
The penalty was imposed in accordance with Rule 18.104.22.168 of the IndyCar Series rulebook, which outlines the procedure for reassigning a grid position after an original grid position has been disallowed.
To quote Emily Litella, "Nevermind". (I will note that the pretty young thing sitting beside me, keeping the Detroit Grand Prix Facebook page updated, doesn't know who Emily Litella was.) By the time IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard makes his appearance in the Detroit media center in an hour, all that will need to be explained is why he Tweeted that the car owners were out for his head.
Kevin Magnussen took his first Formula Renault 3.5 win at Spa on Sunday.
The Carlin driver led the early stages of the race after a start behind the safety car due to heavy rain at the Belgian circuit. He briefly lost that place to Robin Frijns when the pair pitted together at the end of lap eight, but Magnussen charged past his fellow rookie at Les Combes on their out lap to resume the effective lead of the race.
Video: Busch tells NASCAR Bubba reporter where to go stick it Hot head Kurt Busch tells NASCAR's #1 Dale Earnhardt and Danica Patrick reporter (he gushes over the two almost daily) where to stick it after the Dover Nationwide race.
Lorenzo storms to victory in Spain Jorge Lorenzo stormed to victory at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya in front of his home crowd ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso.
After a wet morning warm-up, the field got way in dry conditions this afternoon, and it was Repsol Honda Team’s Pedrosa who got the holeshot from the second row, hotly pursued by Yamaha´s Ben Spies, who also had a tremendous start from fourth. Lorenzo pushed his way past Casey Stoner into third, as the whole grid was tightly bunched in the first lap.
Bacon Leads Toyota 1-2 At Hut Hundred Brady Bacon passed Jerry Coons, Jr., on Lap 99 of 100 to win the 60th running of the Hut Hundred, while Wilke-Pak teammate Chris Windom crossed the finish line right behind him to give Toyota a one-two finish Saturday night at the Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind.
The victory gives Toyota its third win at one of USAC’s most prestigious races in a nine-day span after winning the ‘Hoosier Hundred’ and ‘Night Before The 500’ events last weekend. The triumph is the fourth straight for Toyota-powered cars in USAC National Midget Car Series competition.
“Right before the red (on Lap 86), we were right on (Coons) and got up beside him a couple times. I think our car was getting better than his as the race went on,” said the 23-year-old Bacon. “Unfortunately, he broke at the end. I think we still had a shot at him anyway, but I’ll take it. The last 50 laps we were running pretty hard, and the last 10 laps we were running really hard, determined to get by him.”
The second qualifying session was held in the rain for the Renault FR 3.5 series. After a few laps getting to grips with the conditions Sam Bird set provisional pole in 2m 20.517s. The British driver led Kevin Magnussen and Alexander Rossi when the session was neutralized to move Lucas Foresti’s car that was stopped on the track.
Nico Müller and Robin Frijns upped the pressure on Bird in this wet session. The Swiss and the Dutchman swapped provisional pole, but Bird got back in front with a lap in 2m 20.007s. He improved to 2m 19.605s when the red flag was hung out again to move several cars off the track. At that moment Sam Bird was in first place in front of Robin Frijns and Jules Bianchi.
IZOD IndyCar Series: 5 burning issues to watch The Indianapolis 500 is the fifth of 16 races in the Izod IndyCar Series, but it is, effectively, the halfway point for competitors.
Going forward, the most important prize is points. Gather enough and the championship is delivered. Gather more than Dario Franchitti and the Scotsman's three-year domination ends.
Like at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Franchitti will be the center of attention the rest of the way. He hasn't lost an IndyCar season he has been part of since 2006. (He spent 2008 in NASCAR.) He enters today's race at Belle Isle sixth in the standings.
The driver many consider to be the greatest of all time -- and I apologize here to Mario Andretti, who could be the best ever -- sat in his hauler in the IndyCar paddock Friday afternoon at Belle Isle and fought off drowsiness.
This bull of a man who has danced with death virtually all of his life admitted he could sleep for an hour, though his old wounds usually wake him when he does.
"I'm glad to be back here (in Detroit)," A.J. Foyt said. "I've always enjoyed it here."
Foyt is lucky to be at Belle Isle. He could have died from a staph infection he caught this year after an operation on a banged-up knee.
Video: Hornish Jr. takes out Danica again Sam Hornish Jr. and Danica Patrick, two drivers who have been having at it since their days of racing go-karts against each other as kids, had another incident on Saturday, with Patrick getting the worst of it.
In Saturday’s 5-Hour Energy NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway, Hornish, Patrick and Brad Sweet attempted to go three-wide into Turn 4 on Lap 133 of the 200-lap race. The track had just gone green on Lap 130 after a previous caution.
The three-wide maneuver proved to be spectacularly ill-advised for all concerned.
Canada 2011 brought one of, if not the, best race of Michael Schumacher’s second career in F1. The Mercedes driver ran in as high as second position before being passed by Jenson Button and Mark Webber to drop back to fourth. Heading back to Montreal, the seven-time Champion has more reasons to be confident.
On the 44th race weekend of his F1 comeback, Schumacher grabbed provisional pole position in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix; this became sixth place on the grid after the German took his five-place penalty for hitting Bruno Senna in Spain. He now crosses the Atlantic with high hopes for the Brackley-based outfit.
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