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Logano wins Pocono ARCA race
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie Joey Logano turned his test and tune day Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway into an ARCA RE/MAX Series triumph. Logano, in the Venturini Motorsports-prepared Home Depot Toyota, entered the Pocono ARCA 200 to get seat-time for the next-day Pocono 500 Cup race. The Middletown, Connecticut driver got that and plenty more as he led the most laps en route to his second series victory in his fourth series start.

"It's a good series to learn a lot," said Logano, who led 52 of 80 laps during the 200-mile race "For me, it helped me out a lot today to get some experience for the Sprint Cup race coming up here tomorrow. I definitely had a great race car today. We led, I'd say, most of the laps. The one time we got a little challenge but I think we were able to adjust the car and make it better. All the guys did a great job, we had good stops, came out first every time out of the pits so that was pretty cool. I had fun out here and I learned a lot."

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Brad Coleman hits Coyote
Coyote impaled on the front of the Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing driver Brad Coleman was testing a Gibbs NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car at Toyota Arizona Proving Grounds earlier this week and came onto the radio and told his crew something rather unusual.

“Guys, I hit a coyote,” Coleman said.

Coleman was running close to 200 mph around the 10-mile test track when he saw the animal wander under the outside guardrail.

“I’m in the middle of the corner, and I’m doing like 190,” Coleman said Friday at Nashville Superspeedway before practicing his Nationwide Series car. “I’m just cruising. You run the high line there, because that’s where the most banking is. It’s the high-speed lane. There’s just a guardrail there like on the freeway.

It made quite a mess of the car
“I see this thing, it must’ve been 100 feet in front of me, just jump out. Right when I saw it come out from under the guardrail, I was like, ‘That’s a coyote.’”

“It just started smoking like crazy,” Coleman said. “And it smelled terrible. I didn’t see anything in the mirror, so I was like, ‘I wonder where it went?’ I said, ‘Guys, I hit a coyote. I’m going to come in because I think it screwed up the radiator. I think it clogged up the grille a little bit.’”


Hamlin tops final Pocono practice
Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin paced final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice Saturday in preparation for Sunday's Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway.

Hamlin turned a speed of 165.317 mph to lead the one-hour session. Stewart-Haas Racing's Ryan Newman was second with a speed of 165.213 mph.

Rounding out the top five were Greg Biffle (Roush Fenway Racing), Clint Bowyer (Richard Childress Racing) and Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick Motorsports), respectively.

Sixth through 10th were Tony Stewart (Stewart-Haas), Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing), AJ Allmendinger (Richard Petty Motorsports) and Kurt Busch (Penske Racing).


Sahlen's Six Hour Standings after 4 hours
Pos No. CL CLPos Driver Laps Behind Team/Car
1 01 DP 1 Scott Pruett 140 0.000 Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus / Riley
2 10 DP 2 Max Angelelli 140 3.217 SunTrust Racing Ford / Dallara
3 12 DP 3 Timo Bernhard 140 6.669 Penske Racing Porsche / Riley
4 60 DP 4 Oswaldo Negri Jr 140 14.322 Michael Shank Racing Ford / Riley
5 76 DP 5 Ricardo Zonta 140 15.110 Krohn Racing Ford / Lola
6 6 DP 6 Michael Valiante 140 16.420 Michael Shank Racing Ford / Riley
7 59 DP 7 Joao Barbosa 140 18.010 Brumos Racing Porsche / Riley
8 55 DP 8 Christophe Bouchut 139 1 LAP Supercar Life Racing BMW / Riley
9 45 DP 9 Bill Auberlen 139 1 LAP Orbit Racing BMW / Riley
10 13 DP 10 Jordan Taylor 139 1 LAP Beyer Racing Pontiac / Riley
11 22 DP 11 Ryan Dalziel 138 2 LAPS Alegra Motorsports BMW / Riley
12 61 DP 12 Burt Frisselle 137 3 LAPS AIM Autosport Ford / Riley
13 91 DP 13 Roger Schramm 133 7 LAPS RVO Motorsports Pontiac / Riley
14 87 GT 1 Dirk Werner 133 7 LAPS Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche GT3
15 07 GT 2 Paul Edwards 133 7 LAPS Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R
16 57 GT 3 Robin Liddell 133 7 LAPS Stevenson Motorsports Pontiac GXP.R
17 66 GT 4 Spencer Pumpelly 133 7 LAPS TRG Porsche GT3
18 86 GT 5 Eric Lux 133 7 LAPS Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche GT3
19 69 GT 6 Emil Assentato 133 7 LAPS SpeedSource Mazda RX-8
20 70 GT 7 Nick Ham 133 7 LAPS SpeedSource Mazda RX-8
21 2 DP 14 Rob Finlay 132 8 LAPS Childress-Howard Motorsports Pontiac / Crawford
22 40 GT 8 Charles Espenlaub 131 9 LAPS Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8
23 88 GT 9 Steve Johnson 129 11 LAPS Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche GT3
24 42 GT 10 Joe Sahlen 125 15 LAPS Team Sahlen Corvette
25 68 GT 11 Scott Schroeder 124 16 LAPS TRG Porsche GT3
26 71 GT 12 Carey Grant 124 16 LAPS Synergy Racing Porsche GT3
27 99 DP 15 Alex Gurney 121 19 LAPS GAINSCO/ Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac / Riley
28 58 DP 16 David Donohue 119 21 LAPS Brumos Racing Porsche / Riley
29 30 GT 13 Dane Cameron 114 26 LAPS Racers Edge Motorsports Mazda RX-8
30 67 GT 14 RJ Valentine 103 37 LAPS TRG Porsche GT3
31 43 GT 15 Wayne Nonnamaker 73 67 LAPS Team Sahlen Corvette
32 21 GT 16 Matt Connolly 43 97 LAPS Battery Tender/ MCM Racing Pontiac GTO.R
33 77 DP 17 Brad Jaeger 24 116 LAPS Doran Racing Ford / Dallara
34 09 DP 18 Guy Cosmo 16 124 LAPS Spirit of Daytona Racing Porsche / Coyote
0 20 DP 19 Dallenbach / Schramm 0 RVO Motorsports Pontiac / Riley
0 31 GT 17 Connolly / von Moltke 0 Battery Tender/ MCM Racing Porsche GT3

racing news

Bernstein, Hobbs, Parker, Richter, Unser Jr., Wheeler and Weatherly to be inducted
Racing legends Kenny Bernstein, David Hobbs, Scott Parker, Les Richter, Al Unser, Jr., H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler and Joe Weatherly will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America when the organization stages its annual induction ceremony on Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit.

“Innovation and competitive spirit are hallmarks of the class of 2009,” says Hall of Fame president Ron Watson.  “These men have exemplified leadership and teamwork both on the track and in the front office.”

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Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen One-Hour Report
Weather At Watkins Glen International:

2:09 p.m. - Start of Race: Sunny/76 degrees Fahrenheit, 24 degrees Celsius.

Distance Completed:

34 laps/115.6 miles

Margin of Lead:

0.663 seconds (under yellow)

Overall Lap Leaders:

Scott Pruett, Laps 1-21; Michael Valiante, Laps 22-23; Ozz Negri, Lap 24; Christophe Bouchut, Lap 25; Timo Bernhard, Laps 26-34.

Full Course Caution Periods:

Lap 34 (No. 21 incident in Turn 4)

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Polesitter Stewart wrecks at Pocono
Points leader Tony Stewart benefited from the rained-out qualifying session at Pocono Raceway this weekend, but not for long.  Stewart spun and wrecked his No. 14 Chevrolet during Saturday's first practice session while exiting the tunnel turn.

"I went off into the grass, but I hit the right-front of the splitter with, I guess, one of the access roads or something and ripped the whole nose off of it," said Stewart, who then pulled his car into the garage to allow crew member to pull off needed parts, shocks, etc. to be place on his backup car.

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racing news

Pi Research changes name
In order to emphasize that Pi Research is a key part of the Cosworth Group of companies, Pi Research is changing its name to Cosworth Electronics.

Cosworth Electronics will continue to provide the high performance electronics that have delivered success to customers throughout a range of markets around the world. The brands of Pi Research, Pectel Control Systems and Performance Wiring Solutions will continue to be used on the range of data acquisition and analysis software, control systems and high performance wiring looms that are designed developed and manufactured by the company.


Brawn committed to FOTA
Ross Brawn has pledged his total commitment to the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA), ending speculation that his outfit could follow Williams and Force India in lodging its own entry to next year’s championship.

“I understand Frank’s position, Frank had contractual agreements with Bernie and the FIA which we don’t have, so he had some difficulty in that respect,” said Brawn about the impact of the Williams entry.

“But the existence of this team was dependent on the support of FOTA teams - McLaren and Mercedes in particular are the reason why we are here, and I think the FOTA initiatives are good.

“We seem to have had a disconnection in terms of liaising and negotiating with the FIA, and that has perhaps been the problem because FOTA has got a lot of good ideas and the FIA has got a lot of good ideas. Hopefully those ideas will be brought together to find a solution.

“We seem to have disconnected somehow in this process and what we need to do is reconnect, and I feel that I want to be part of FOTA. It is a good initiative and I feel I can help more towards finding a solution being a member of FOTA than I can stepping out of it, so I intend to remain within FOTA.”

“I don’t think so, I don’t see it going any more than that,” he said. “Force India had their reasons which you will have to ask them about, and Frank had his reasons. And it was obviously more difficult for them.

“But I don’t see it fracturing any more, and there is a whole lot of work that FOTA does that is not just this current controversy. There is a whole raft of technical proposals that we have for 2010 which we intend to save a lot of money.

“Next year the FOTA proposal is that we only have three bodywork upgrades during the season – what you start with and then two upgrades during the season. That saves an enormous amount of money because any time that you are doing new bodywork, you are doing this and you are doing that, it is very expensive.

“FOTA proposed homologated gearboxes at 1.5 million Euros for next season, FOTA members are providing engines for teams for 5 million Euros next year, all of those are FOTA initiatives. There is some great stuff that FOTA is doing, we just need to move away from the confrontational situation that we have got in with the FIA.”


Theissen wants Friday practice for testers
(GMM)  Mario Theissen intends to propose that Friday morning practice in future be reserved for reserve and test drivers.

The BMW-Sauber team boss laments that a side effect of the almost total ban on testing has resulted in the near-death of the role as a dedicated 'third' driver.

"It was overlooked," the German is quoted as telling the New York Times, referring to the fact that it is still a requirement for teams to have on standby a driver able to replace at short notice their nominated race drivers.

But, because test drivers are now becoming so out of practice, Theissen rhetorically asks: "How can you rely on him jumping in the car?  It is a safety issue."

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Corvette Racing aims for 6th LeMans win in GT1
Corvette Racing has unfinished business at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The most successful team in American Le Mans Series history has won its class five times in the classic 24-hour French endurance race (2001-02, 2004-06), establishing Corvette as a global performance icon. Now after runner-up finishes in Le Mans in 2007 and 2008, Corvette Racing is focused on winning its sixth Le Mans title at the immense Circuit des 24 Heures on June 13-14.

This year's edition of the world's most prestigious sports car race has special significance for Corvette Racing. The team's Corvette C6.Rs will make their final run in the GT1 category before Corvette Racing begins its transition to a global GT class in 2010 that is chiefly based on current GT2 regulations.

"From Corvette Racing's inception, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has always been our objective," said program manager Doug Fehan. "GM leadership shared that vision, and Le Mans became the cornerstone of our program for two important reasons.

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Chris Dyson on significance of LeMans
Chris Dyson Lola Mazda
The surroundings will be familiar even if the team is not for Chris Dyson next week at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For the first time since 2004, Dyson will drive in the world’s greatest auto race, this time with RML in a Mazda-powered Lola coupe - just as he does in the American Le Mans Series’ LMP2 class for his Dyson Racing team. Although he has participated at Le Mans once, Dyson is well aware of the significance and mystique it holds on both competitors and fans.

“Le Mans is unlike any event in the world because it so international and so historical,” he said. “The heritage goes back several decades. The character of the race has evolved but never changed. To be an American competing over there, I find the people are very receptive. There are 250,000 or 300,000 people there and you’re racing on what are effectively commuter roads the rest of the year and driving between towns at 200 mph. It’s really unbelievable.

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British F3

Marcus Ericsson wins at Hockenheim
Marcus Ericsson scored his second successive victory in the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series this afternoon (Sat), leading virtually all the way from the start of the championship's seventh round at Hockenheim.

The Swede in his Raikkonen Robertson Racing Dallara made a superb start from third on the grid, blasting past bogged-down pole man Renger van der Zande and championship leader Daniel Ricciardo to assume command in to the first corner. Then, but for a brief mid-race blip, Marcus led van der Zande all the way to the checkered flag, with Walter Grubmuller third to make it a Mercedes power 1-2-3 on home ground.

"By mid point I pulled a gap on Renger," said Ericsson, "but then I made a silly, silly mistake into the hairpin and he overtook me, so I had to fight back at the next corner. I did it thank goodness because otherwise I would have been very disappointed."

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Title favorite role 'stressful' - Button
(GMM)  Jenson Button on Saturday admitted he is beginning to understand the pressure associated with setting the pace in formula one.

The British driver, second on the grid for Sunday's Turkish grand prix, is on course to beat Michael Schumacher's record for the number of wins - six - in the opening seven races of a season.

But with 6 career wins and no world championships to his name, the runaway leader in 2009 is a long way from matching the achievements of F1's most successful driver Schumacher, who retired in 2006 with an incredible 91 wins and seven titles.

"I understand why that guy retired," Button, 16 points ahead of his nearest challenger and teammate Rubens Barrichello, said in Istanbul.

Referring to German Schumacher's 16-year run of success, he added: "I am sure it must have been the most stressful time of his life.

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Pole sitter Vettel lighter than Brawns
(GMM)  As per Ross Brawn's prediction, pole sitter Sebastian Vettel is running slighter lighter than the Brawns ahead of Sunday's Turkish grand prix.

"We're (going to stop) on lap 17 -- if Vettel and Mark Webber are longer than that they have a strategic advantage, if not we do," Brawn told the BBC after qualifying, when Vettel narrowly outpaced the Mercedes-powered BGP001 cars.

The FIA published the qualifying weights on Saturday evening, showing that while Vettel ran 44.5kg of fuel in Q3, championship leader Jenson Button's Brawn is carrying an additional 6kg.

Fourth placed Webber's RB5, meanwhile, is heavier than teammate Vettel's, but his fuel load is similar to the Brawns.

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Hülkenberg surges to Istanbul pole
Nico Hülkenberg has taken his first pole position in the main series with a forceful display of power and finesse in this afternoon's qualifying session in Istanbul, taking the top spot by a tenth from Luca Filippi and Romain Grosjean.

The German bided his time throughout the session before unleashing a lap of 1:34.404, setting all three fastest sectors with just five minutes remaining, and with Vitaly Petrov and Pastor Maldonado stopping on track immediately after with mechanical gremlins there were two yellow flag zones, and the session was effectively over.

With the drivers taking to the track once again in steaming conditions Hülkenberg set an early quick lap before Petrov took the top spot: the Russian driver looked untouchable, but his competitors kept nibbling away at his time, with Lucas di Grassi, Filippi and Karun Chandhok all closing in from behind.

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Turkey GP: Vettel fastest in Q1
Sebastian Vettel has set the fastest lap time in the first session of qualifying at Istanbul Park today.  The main shock was that Lewis Hamilton was knocked out in the bottom 5.  Not shocking at all was Sebastien Bourdais in dead last.

Vettel 1.27.330
Button 1.27.355
Barrichello 1.27.371
Webber 1.27.466
Massa 1.27.508
Rosberg 1.27.517
Trulli 1.27.529
Raikkonen 1.27.556
Nakajima 1.27.691
Kubica 1.27.788
Heidfeld 1.27.795
Alonso 1.27.988
Glock 1.28.160
Kovalainen 1.28.199
Sutil 1.28.278
Hamilton 1.28.318
Piquet 1.28.582
Buemi 1.28.708
Fisichella 1.28.717
Bourdais 1.28.918


Gordon: no surgery planned
Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon met with media at Pocono about his nagging back pain.

HOW IS YOUR BACK AND HOW WILL IT HOLD UP HERE AT POCONO VERSUS A TRACK LIKE DOVER?: “I think this track is probably one of the easier tracks. You get a lot of resting period on those long straightaways. About the only place that it might be an issue will be under braking getting into turn one. I had to do a test at Road Atlanta this week – that was one of the real tests and I was surprised that we got through it pretty good. Especially after the wreck last Friday during qualifying. I was pretty sore from that. I think the road courses and Martinsville, Bristol – those are the toughest tracks on it. This one should be pretty easy.”

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Castroneves could be fastest to 4th Indy win
Helio Castroneves
After driving to his third Indianapolis 500 victory May 24, Helio Castroneves is standing on the edge of motorsports history.

Castroneves could join the most elite club in auto racing - a four-time Indianapolis 500 champion - faster than any driver in history by winning the 2010 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He would stand alongside icons A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears as a four-time winner of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," and he would achieve the feat in record time.

If Castroneves wins with Team Penske next May, he will have earned four victories in just 10 starts at Indy. Mears is the fastest to four in the "500," earning his fourth victory in his 14th start, in 1991.

It took Foyt 20 starts to achieve four victories, Unser 22.

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Double-File restarts for Allstate 400
Double-file restarts at Indy: NASCAR will use double-file restarts at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on July 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, adding more shootout-style duels between the race leaders after caution periods.

The first- and second-place drivers will line up side-by-side as the green flag flies for each restart. Under the previous format, cars on the lead lap would restart in a single-file line while cars that had been lapped would start in an adjacent line.

NASCAR instituted the new system effective at the race June 7 at Pocono Raceway.

"I'm excited about it," said two-time Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner 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.

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Goodyear officials pleased with results UPDATE #2 Goodyear officials were pleased with the results of NASCAR Sprint Cup tire testing June 1-2 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for the 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on July 24-26, as drivers completed several full-fuel runs on the 2.5-mile oval.

Nine drivers representing all four manufacturers in Sprint Cup combined to turn more 1,200 laps during two days of testing: Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Patrick Carpentier, Bill Elliott, Robby Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Juan Pablo Montoya, two-time Brickyard winner and Indiana native Tony Stewart and Indiana native David Stremme.

Goodyear has scheduled another test June 15-16 at IMS for final confirmation of the tire combination for the race. Twelve drivers are scheduled to test, again representing all four manufacturers in Sprint Cup: Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, four-time Brickyard winner Jeff Gordon, Kahne, Matt Kenseth, 2000 Brickyard winner Bobby Labonte, Indiana native Ryan Newman, David Reutimann, Reed Sorenson, Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip.

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Future of British GP at Donington assured
The future of the British Grand Prix was assured on Friday when a dispute between Donington Park's chiefs was resolved just before court action scheduled for next week.

Landowners Wheatcroft & Son Ltd had launched legal action against leaseholder Simon Gillett's Donington Ventures Leisure Limited (DVLL) over £2.47 million of unpaid rent.

But in a statement issued on Friday it was announced that the dispute had been settled - and steps forward were also being made in fulfilling council requirements needed to ensure planning permission was not withdrawn.

Gillett said: "This is another positive boost for Donington Park. We were always aware that saving the future of the British Grand Prix was an enormous task, but it is one that we are fully committed to and will make happen.

"So far, all of our efforts have been achieved in the face of adversity and it's reassuring to know that the Wheatcroft family shares our vision and passion for British motorsport."

Kevin Wheatcroft, the son of track owner Tom Wheatcroft, said: "We are pleased that significant progress has been made in recent weeks and I am delighted that we have now reached an amicable agreement.

"We have always shared and supported the vision of ensuring that Formula 1 returns to Donington Park and are hopeful that, with the settlement achieved, that vision will be turned into reality."


Turkey GP: Massa fastest, new engine for Vettel
Felipe Massa
(GMM)  Felipe Massa on Saturday morning showed he is serious about winning a fourth consecutive Turkish grand prix.

The Brazilian driver took his Ferrari to the top of the final pre-qualifying practice session at Istanbul Park, ahead of three Toyota-powered cars in the form of Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock and Williams' Kazuki Nakajima.

Tenth quickest was Sebastian Vettel, with a new Renault engine fitted to the rear of his Red Bull following his Friday problem.

The Brawns were sixth and seventh, again led by Rubens Barrichello, while Fernando Alonso was a perturbing 19th.

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Pedrosa sets MotoGP speed mark
Dani Pedrosa set a MotoGP top speed record of 217.1 mph during a practice session May 29 at the Italian Grand Prix in Mugello, Italy. For comparison, that's only 13 mph slower than the top straightaway speed of 230 mph recorded last month during Indy 500 practice by Ryan Briscoe on Friday, May 8. But Briscoe wasn't on a motorcycle, with no roll hoop and no seat belt!

MotoGP riders should reach 200 mph on the front straightaway this year during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 28-30 at IMS. Marco Melandri recorded the top speed of 194.4 mph in dry conditions during practice Sept. 13, 2008, but there was a strong headwind that day due to the approaching Hurricane Ike.

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NASCAR Dover TV Rating UPDATE A challenging season of NASCAR on Fox came to an end this weekend with a 4.0/10 (6.1 million viewers) for racing from DOVER. Sunday's 4.0/10 is down -11% compared to last year's 4.5/11 for the same race, making nine straight regularly scheduled races that have been down double-digits compared to 2008. The 2009 season of NASCAR on FOX concludes with an average rating of 5.1/11 (8.5 mill.), down -11% compared to last year's 5.7/12 and a new low in the nine-year history of NASCAR On FOX.

FOX's NASCAR season suffered from a trio of negative on-track trends: more cautions, fewer lead changes, and lower average speeds. 649 laps were run under caution on FOX this season, a +15% increase over last year. Put another way, there was one caution flag for every 40 miles of racing this season. Last year it was one every 45 miles, in FOX's first NASCAR season (2001) it was one every 63 miles. Ten years ago it was one every 72 miles. Lead changes were down this year, with one coming every 20 miles compared to last year's once every 17 miles. That's at least one extra lap between lead changes, sometimes more. Average speed, which is obviously tied to number of cautions, was also down this year. This year's average speed during FOX races was 118mph. Last year it was 124mph. In 2001 it was 128mph, and in 1999 it was 130mph.(Fox)

06/01/09 Fox’s broadcast of Sunday’s Autism Speaks 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway earned an overnight Nielsen Media Research rating of 3.6 and a 9 market share, Street & Smiths’s SportsBusiness Daily reports.  The rating is 14.3 percent lower than the 4.2 Fox earned overnight for the race in 2008.


NHLR team has made gains on ovals, but not enough
It was apparent to Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing senior engineer Craig Hampson - among others - that the team needed to build a superspeedway baseline to be more competitive on ovals in the '09 season.

Texas Motor Speedway fit the profile for testing in October with Graham Rahal and in early April with Robert Doornbos. Data from both sessions was compared to last June's Bombardier Learjet 550k, when Rahal and Justin Wilson competed for the first-year IndyCar Series team.

In the first oval event of this season -- on the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway - Rahal won the pole and Doornbos joined him on the front row. He qualified fourth at Indianapolis. Last week at Milwaukee, Rahal started second and finished fourth.

It's not a coincidence.

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NASCAR countersues Mayfield
Stick a fork in Mayfield, he's done
NASCAR filed a countersuit against Jeremy Mayfield on Friday, accusing the suspended Sprint Cup driver of willfully violating the substance abuse policy, breach of contract and defrauding competitors of earnings. The suit stated that Mayfield knowingly participated in sanctioned competition using a combination of drugs in violation of the substance abuse policy that he agreed to follow. "And in doing so violated his contract with NASCAR and the standards of care for other drivers," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said from Pocono Raceway.

"You will see in [the lawsuit] he competed in a number of races that had we known he had been on a medication he was on and certainly known there were illegal substances involved we wouldn't have allowed him to compete," Poston said. According to Poston, drivers are required in their contract with NASCAR to notify Dr. David Black, who runs the drug testing program at AEGIS Lab in Tennessee, of any prescription drugs they are taking.

The suit alleged that Mayfield did not notify anybody with NASCAR that he was on a prescription drug until the May 1 drug test, and that Mayfield already had participated in two races while on the drug. The suit said that Mayfield crashed in three of the five races in which he competed this season, including races in which he was under the influence of the drug he failed to report to NASCAR, a combination of drugs and the illegal drug that was blacked out in the suit. The suit also said Mayfield earned more than $150,000 in those races that would have gone to other competitors. More at ESPN.com


Nashville Nationwide Preview
The NASCAR Nationwide Series will be given the opportunity to do something this Saturday that they both need and deserve. NASCAR's second racing tier will be in a stand alone event meaning they will not be sharing the bill with any other series including their usual supportive role for the Sprint Cup teams.

This solo venture is the Federated Auto Parts 300 and will be held at the Nashville Super Speedway. The race is 225 laps on a very challenging 1.33 mile D shaped concrete oval. The 43 starters will also racing for the highly coveted custom electric guitar that serves as the winner's trophy.

This race officially launches what is known as the Nationwide Series' "stand alone season." Over the period of the next three months seven of 13 races will either feature the Nationwide teams or, in the case of Saturday's race, they will be the marquee event. This stand alone event is a genuine opportunity for the full time Nationwide Series team to rise and shine and show us what they're capable of accomplishing.

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Double File restarts should spice up action
The Thursday morning announcement by NASCAR that said they planned to implement double file restarts, effective this Sunday at the Pocono race, has already been lauded as a major move in the right direction by both the racing media and the fans.

NASCAR tried the double wide restart during their recent Spring All-Star Weekend at the Lowe's Motor Speedway where it created a brand new level of excitement especially at the end of the race. The response was immediate. There were reports of NASCAR receiving telephone calls and emails from the fans telling them that they would like to see these restarts on a full time basis. The racing blog sights also went into overdrive while singing the praises of the idea.

From a prepared statement Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO, said "we've heard the fans loud and clear: double file restarts are coming to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. This addition to the race format is good for competition and good for the fans."

The procedure for the double file restarts are as follows:

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Briscoe tops Friday afternoon practice at TMS
Rank Car Driver Name Time Speed Diff Gap Total Laps
1 6 Briscoe, Ryan 00:24.3977 214.692 --.---- --.---- 36
2 3 Castroneves, Helio 00:24.4507 214.227 0.0530 0.0530 26
3 4 Wheldon, Dan 00:24.4672 214.083 0.0695 0.0165 20
4 9 Dixon, Scott 00:24.4718 214.042 0.0741 0.0046 30
5 5 Moraes, Mario 00:24.4788 213.981 0.0811 0.0070 25
6 10 Franchitti, Dario 00:24.4819 213.954 0.0842 0.0031 26
7 02 Rahal, Graham 00:24.5031 213.769 0.1054 0.0212 41
8 20 Carpenter, Ed 00:24.5512 213.350 0.1535 0.0481 20
9 67 Fisher, Sarah 00:24.5649 213.231 0.1672 0.0137 26
10 06 Doornbos, Robert (R) 00:24.5790 213.109 0.1813 0.0141 23
11 18 Wilson, Justin 00:24.6106 212.835 0.2129 0.0316 27
12 14 Foyt IV, AJ 00:24.6487 212.506 0.2510 0.0381 19
13 11 Kanaan, Tony 00:24.6511 212.485 0.2534 0.0024 29
14 34 Tagliani, Alex 00:24.6570 212.435 0.2593 0.0059 31
15 13 Viso, EJ 00:24.6772 212.261 0.2795 0.0202 28
16 24 Conway, Mike (R) 00:24.7477 211.656 0.3500 0.0705 53
17 2 Matos, Raphael (R) 00:24.7774 211.402 0.3797 0.0297 32
18 21 Hunter-Reay, Ryan 00:24.8040 211.176 0.4063 0.0266 24
19 98 Lazier, Jaques 00:24.8757 210.567 0.4780 0.0717 43
20 43 Scheckter, Tomas 00:24.8940 210.412 0.4963 0.0183 26
21 27 Mutoh, Hideki 00:25.1336 208.406 0.7359 0.2396 14
22 23 Duno, Milka 00:25.2691 207.289 0.8714 0.1355 19


Rain washes out NASCAR qualifying
NASCAR Sprint Cup practices and qualifying were rained out Friday at Pocono Raceway, along with the ARCA schedule of on-track activity.

Sunday's starting lineup is being set according to NASCAR rules, based in part on car owner points. That awards Tony Stewart, a two-time Cup champion, with the pole and puts Jeff Gordon second on the grid.

An all-day rain forced the cancellations. NASCAR officials announced their call shortly before 3 p.m. at the 2.5-mile triangular track at Long Pond, Pa.

Both Saturday and Sunday look a lot better, according to most weather forecasts, with sunshine and mid-70s expected. There's about a 30 percent chance showers could return on Sunday.

ARCA teams will line up for Saturday's race based on current owner points.


IndyCar drivers to test at Richmond
With the SunTrust Indy Challenge IndyCar Series race coming to Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, June 27, several open-wheel teams will be testing their open-wheel machines this Wednesday, June 10.  The grandstands will be open to the public at no charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Guests should enter the property at the main entrance, located at the corner of Laburnum Avenue and Richmond-Henrico Turnpike.  Parking and grandstand entry will be at Gate 70.

Drivers from Team Penske, Panther Racing and Luczo Dragon Racing will turn laps around Richmond’s ¾-mile surface—the shortest track the series visits—to prepare their cars for a 300-lap spectacle “under the lights” on Saturday, June 27.

Here is a rundown of the drivers expected to participate:

Helio Castroneves (Team Penske) – three-time Indianapolis 500 champion; 2005 SunTrust Indy Challenge champion; finished second at Richmond in 2003 and 2008; currently fifth in points; won ABC’s Dancing With the Stars competition in 2007.

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HDNet to broadcast Atlantic races
The speed and excitement of the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda will be on display in high definition for the first time this season as officials from HDNet and MAZDASPEED today announced that the television network is scheduled to broadcast five Atlantic events through the end of July.

The schedule for HDNet’s Atlantic Championship coverage includes four live telecasts and gets underway tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET with coverage of the March 20 VISIT FLORIDA Grand Prix from Sebring International Raceway. HDNet’s first live offerings are planned for Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14, when the Atlantic Championship contests its first doubleheader of the season at the Mazda Formula X presented by Cooper Tires at New Jersey Motorsports Park. HDNet will also be on hand for live coverage of the Autobahn Grand Prix Presented by Mazda at Autobahn Country Club in suburban Chicago on Saturday and Sunday, July 25 and 26.

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Renault decided against KERS for Turkey
(GMM)  Renault decided against reintroducing its KERS system for this weekend's Turkish grand prix.

Having dropped the controversial energy re-use and power boost technology for Barcelona and Monaco, team engineering boss Pat Symonds said that decision would be "reassessed" ahead of Istanbul.

Unlike Monaco, where even getting the engine's normal power down around the twisting curves is difficult, the Turkish layout features three long straights.

Some calculations predict that at Istanbul, KERS-equipped cars could wield an advantage of up to three tenths of a second per lap -- and several meters in the run to the first corner.

But after Friday practice at the circuit, Fernando Alonso confirmed that the R29s do not feature KERS at this event.

"Yes, you are right that we have some straights, but also some high speed corners, where the weight distribution is very important," he told F1's official website.

The 27-year-old said he is expecting to qualify near the bottom end of Q3 on Saturday.


Texas Notebook - Thursday UPDATE Did you know that the Versus races are broadcast only to a total of 46 countries and territories worldwide. The ESPN on ABC races are broadcast to a total of 180 countries and territories worldwide. By contract, ESPN holds the international distribution rights to the five ESPN on ABC races for its networks worldwide.  So any race on Versus will be seen by far less countries worldwide than the races on ABC.  Latin America, including Mexico, is an example of a region that will see only the 5 races shown on ABC in the USA.  Mark C.

06/05/09 This is the 20th IndyCar Series event at Texas Motor Speedway. Scott Dixon won the race in 2008. Gil de Ferran holds the single-lap qualifying record with a lap of 23.5031 seconds, 222.864 mph set in October 2003. Scott Dixon holds the four-lap qualifying record of 214.878 mph set last year. Past winners Scott Dixon (2008), Helio Castroneves (2006 and Oct. 2004), Tomas Scheckter (2005) and Tony Kanaan (June 2004) are entered in the event.


Danica Patrick is on Forbes' Celebrity 100 list, joining luminaries such as Angelina Jolie (first on the list), Oprah Winfrey (second) and President Barack Obama (49th).

The Celebrity 100, which includes film and television actors, models, chefs, athletes, authors, and musicians, is a measure of entertainment-related earnings and media visibility (exposure in print, television, radio and online). The earnings estimates consist of pre-tax income between June 2008 and June 2009. Management, agent, and attorney fees are not deducted.

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New entrants just 'shell companies' - Briatore
(GMM)  Flavio Briatore on Friday dismissed small teams vying for budget-capped spots on next year's formula one grid as "shell companies".

In Istanbul, the Renault boss as well as colleagues Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari) and Toyota's John Howett denied suggestions the teams' association FOTA is aggressively and selfishly trying to prevent newcomers from entering the sport.

But Briatore, in the mist of attempting to replace the departing title sponsor ING, expressed frustration that the political situation is being described as a "war" that could result in famous names quitting.

"It is not nice when somebody says that next year Renault will not be in formula one anymore, Toyota is not in formula one anymore and BMW is not in formula one anymore, and in the meantime we are trusting Mike Gascoyne, with all respect to Mike Gascoyne, and Mr. Campos with all respect to Mr. Campos.

"Yet this bunch of shell companies is putting in the entry.  I think it is very destructive in a moment we are negotiating with sponsors, with supporters," Briatore said in a news conference.

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Childress Elected to NRA Board of Directors
NASCAR championship-winning team owner Richard Childress realized a long-time dream when he was recently elected to the board of directors of the National Rifle Association.

The NRA Board of Directors is elected by the Association’s four million members and has a broad spectrum of constituents with varying backgrounds, from law enforcement to competitive shooting, political activists to elected officials. Notable NRA Board members include Lt. Col. Oliver North, Karl Malone, Ted Nugent and Tom Selleck. The Board of Directors oversees the policies and programs developed by the organization.

Childress, of Clemmons, N.C., is a lifelong supporter of the Second Amendment, a big-game hunter and an outdoor conservationist. The 12-time NASCAR championship-winning team owner is a Life Member of the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Grand Slam Club/Ovis (Grand Slam #901). He was named a Board Member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation in 2008.

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Le Mans debut for new Audi R15 TDI
Logical lightweight construction, downsizing, efficiency and the best possible aerodynamics – the same subjects which currently occupy the brains of the automobile industry development departments are also key elements in the 24 Hours of Le Mans held for the 77th time on the weekend of June 13/14.

In the world’s most famous endurance race it is, in addition to speed, also more a question of reliability and efficiency – and to set trends afterwards. Audi has used Le Mans since 1999 to test technical innovations under racing conditions and has, in the process, repeatedly set milestones thanks to its technology leadership. In this way, the Audi R8 successfully introduced gasoline direct-injection TFSI, with the Audi R10 TDI in 2006 a diesel powered car won for the first time in the history of the race.

The Audi R8 and Audi R10 TDI have one thing in common: Both were victorious on their Le Mans débuts. Audi Sport Team Joest now aims to continue this phenomenal trend with the new Audi R15 TDI in Audi’s 100th anniversary year. A ninth victory – with only eleven participations – would see Audi draw level with Ferrari in the French endurance classic’s all-time winners list. Only Porsche has achieved more victories in its long Le Mans history.

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Legal hurdle cleared for Donington
(GMM)  The legal dispute between 2010 British GP venue Donington's leaseholder and owner has been settled out of court.

It emerged earlier this year that owner Tom Wheatcroft, who has leased the circuit long term to current operator Donington Ventures Leisure, is suing track CEO Simon Gillett for alleged unpaid rent.

The action threatened the entire F1 project, for Wheatcroft had the power not only to thwart the planning approval for renovations, but also to completely repeal Gillett's lease.

The confidential settlement means that Monday's scheduled court proceedings have been cancelled.

"These positive developments, combined with the ongoing encouragement from ... Bernie Ecclestone, demonstrates that (Donington) is committed to pushing forward with its 2009 racing plans and 2010 formula one preparations," read a joint statement.


Force India defects from FOTA, lodges 2010 entry UPDATE (GMM)  Force India officials on Friday would not confirm reports that the team has broken ranks and signed up to contest the 2010 world championship.

Multiple sources claim the Silverstone based team, despite lodging a conditional entry with the other eight FOTA teams a week ago, have now indicated to the FIA that they are happy to accept the budget cap conditions for 2010.

But an unnamed representative close to the team on Friday said no additional paperwork has been submitted to the FIA, while commercial director Ian Phillips told BBC Five Live that "we submitted a joint entry last Friday, and there's nothing more to say".

06/05/09 (GMM)  Like suspended member Williams, Force India has broken ranks with the FOTA teams' alliance and unconditionally signed up to contest the 2010 world championship.

The move, reported by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, leaves just eight current teams, including top outfits Ferrari and McLaren, threatening to sit out next season over the budget cap rules dispute with FIA president Max Mosley.

The eight teams have no official meetings planned for Istanbul, but Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali was on Thursday spotted entering the FIA motor home for a sit-down with Mosley's representative Alan Donnelly.

The Italian then moved on to the McLaren building.  Mosley, and the FOTA chairman Luca di Montezemolo, are not in Turkey this weekend.

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Engine problem for Vettel in Turkey
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel's attempt to get back in the fight for the 2009 title went awry on Friday afternoon, when his Red Bull ground to a halt in the second Turkish practice session.

Initial reports from the paddock were of a driveshaft problem.  "When we got the car back it turned out it was the engine," said the 21-year-old, who still ended the 90-minute session fifth, less than four tenths off the pace of the pacesetter Heikki Kovalainen.

The timesheet looked distinctly topsy-turvy; also right on the pace were Fernando Alonso and Robert Kubica, while championship leader Jenson Button was a distant 12th.


Empty grandstands at Istanbul
(GMM)  Seldom have grandstands at the edge of a formula one circuit during an active session looked as empty as they did on Friday, as drivers conducted three hours of practice ahead of the Turkish grand prix.

It is believed that, at the Istanbul Park circuit, a crowd of just 20,000 can be expected for the race, moving Formula One Management to withdraw two of its planned camera angles for the television broadcasts.

"The live crowd is important -- and we don't have any in Bahrain or here in Turkey," Mark Webber told the Red Bulletin.

"You want to have the fans and the people that understand it and are excited about it.  So, yeah, it's still important to compete in front of people because it gives the place atmosphere," he added.


Turkey GP: Kovalainen tops practice 2
Heikki Kovalainen
Heikki Kovalainen has set the fastest lap time in the second official practice session of the weekend in Turkey, with a time of 1:28.841.  Fernando Alonso, Robert Kubica and Kazuki Nakajima followed.

Fifth place went to Sebastian Vettel, who missed much of the session after an early mechanical problem left him stranded on the circuit. The car was retrieved by marshals and sent out again.

Behind the Red Bull driver was the Toyota of Jarno Trulli and the Williams-Toyota of Nico Rosberg. Rubens Barrichello was eighth quickest in his Brawn-Mercedes ahead of Mark Webber, Nelson Piquet, Felipe Massa and Jenson Button.

Lewis Hamilton was next up ahead of Timo Glock, Kimi Raikkonen, Nick Heidfeld and then the two Force Indias and the two Toro Rossos.

Several drivers had spins, while Fisichella and Nakajima had a minor collision and both spun.



1. Heikki Kovalainen Finland McLaren-Mercedes 1:28.841
2. Fernando Alonso Spain Renault 1:28.847
3. Robert Kubica Poland BMW Sauber 1:29.056
4. Kazuki Nakajima Japan Williams-Toyota 1:29.091
5. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1:29.202
6. Jarno Trulli Italy Toyota 1:29.207
7. Nico Rosberg Germany Williams-Toyota 1:29.257
8. Rubens Barrichello Brazil Brawn-Mercedes 1:29.305
9. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1:29.383
10. Nelson Piquet Brazil Renault 1:29.401
11. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari 1:29.416
12. Jenson Button Britain Brawn-Mercedes 1:29.430
13. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1:29.435
14. Timo Glock Germany Toyota 1:29.518
15. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari 1:29.520
16. Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber 1:29.550
17. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes 1:30.081
18. Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Force India-Mercedes 1:30.091
19. Sebastien Bourdais France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.295
20. Sebastien Buemi Switzerland Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.629


Abu Dhabi GP to cancel resold tickets
Organizers of the capital’s inaugural Formula One Grand Prix said they will cancel tickets found to have been sold for more than their face value.

Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management (ADMM), who are organizing the race, said they would cancel tickets sold to agents who are selling them on again for heavily inflated prices, according to The National newspaper.

It is reported that some touts are selling tickets for November’s race online for prices far more than their official retail value.

The tickets, though available since March, most of them were snapped up in quick time.


Logano to Pull Double-Duty in Sonoma
Joey Logano will compete in the Bennett Lane Winery 200, presented by Supercuts, NASCAR Camping World West Series race at Infineon Raceway on Saturday, June 20. Logano joins road-race veteran Boris Said as the latest two entries for the Camping World West Series race, which is part of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend, June 19-21. Logano will pull double-duty for Joe Gibbs Racing, competing in both events. Logano competed in the West Series event at Infineon Raceway two years ago, but was sidelined by engine trouble. Infineon Raceway


NASCAR's Most Valuable Teams
To date, all 13 races have been won by five of the sport's most valuable teams; six have come from Hendrick Motorsports, which tops Forbe's list this year. No. 2: Roush Fenway Racing. Richard Childress Racing is third. Since Forbe's valuations last year, four of the top 15 most valuable teams have disappeared, either through mergers or an exit from the sport, leaving a bigger divide between the haves and have-nots. Forbe's estimate the average top 10 team fell in value by 6% to $148 million in 2009 from $158 million last year. Partly to blame: Sponsors renewing deals with teams now have more leverage than ever to negotiate a better deal. Hendrick Motorsports is ranked #1, worth $350 million followed by Roush Fenway Racing ($270m), Richard Childress Racing ($167m), Joe Gibbs Racing ($144) and Richard Petty Motorsports ($131). See full story at Forbes.com

The Most Valuable NASCAR Teams

Rank Team Name
[Sprint Cup/Nationwide Cars]
Current Value ($mil)1 % Change Projected Revenue
($ mil)2
Operating Income3
1 Hendrick Motorsports [4/2] $350 4% $195 $15
2 Roush Fenway Racing [5/3] $270 -14% $165 $10
3 Richard Childress Racing [4/2] $167 28% $114 $14
4 Joe Gibbs Racing [3/2] $144 -22% $94 $6
5 Richard Petty Motorsports [4/0] $131 NA $88 $4
6 Penske Championship Racing [3/1] $111 11% $82 $14
7 Michael Waltrip Racing [3/1] $100 16% $70 $2
8 Stewart-Haas Racing [2/0] $80 96% $53 $9
9 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing [2/1] $70 NA $54 $2
10 Red Bull Racing Team [2/0] $55 3% $44 -$2
. AVERAGES (All figures in millions) $148 -6% $96 $7

NA: Not Applicable. 1 Estimates based on past and pending deals, sponsorship agreements and scale of operations.


Tomas Scheckter to announce sponsorship deal UPDATE Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announced Thursday that South African driver Tomas Scheckter and sponsor MonaVie will join the team's IndyCar Series effort for more events this season, beginning this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

Scheckter, who qualified 10th and finished 13th for the team at Milwaukee, is currently slated to run nine additional races with the team in 2009 season with MonaVie as the primary sponsor.

TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 43 MonaVie/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing): "I'm really excited about it. I think we proved in a short time in Milwaukee that we are competitive. Dennis (Reinbold) and Robbie (Buhl) have given me a great opportunity, and I'm lucky to have MonaVie onboard. They have been extremely supportive, and I'm looking forward to getting the MonaVie car on the track in Texas and hopefully put it in victory lane."

DENNIS REINBOLD (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing co-owner): "We are excited to have Tomas and MonaVie join our team for more events.

DALLIN LARSEN (MonaVie Founder and President): Our relationship with Tomas and team Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will help introduce MonaVie's new energy drink to those looking for the perfect equation of health and energy to recharge both mind and body."

06/04/09 According to his twitter, Tomas Scheckter has a big announcement today.


Wheldon tops opening IndyCar practice
Dan Wheldon
Dan Wheldon, who has a trio of third-place finishes at Texas Motor Speedway, will attempt to give Panther Racing its sixth victory at the track June 6 in the Bombardier Learjet 550k. He started quickly on the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval.

Wheldon, driving the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car, posted the quickest lap (215.783 mph; 24.2744 seconds) in a twilight practice session. Andretti Green Racing's Danica Patrick was second (214.884; 24.3759) in the No. 7 Boost Mobile/Motorola car.

Ryan Briscoe (214.652), Dario Franchitti (214.433) and Scott Dixon (214.399) - the top three in the championship standings in reverse order - also were in the top five in the 45-minute all-car session that followed 45 minutes of practice for rookies and drivers not in the top 10 in points.

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A1GP News Round UP
London, Great Britain. With two events now confirmed for Season Five of A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, the teams and drivers are still keeping busy both on-and-off the track during the summer break.

A1 Team Malaysia has linked with the Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM) to launch a new breakdown assistance program for young drivers.

The AAM A1 Team Malaysia Unicard is a new initiative by the AAM which offers young drivers a host of benefits and capitalizes on the popularity of the A1GP team to encourage uptake of the new card.

A1 Team Malaysia has been supported by the AAM over the last 2 seasons of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport and the team is proud that the organization has harnessed the value of the team’s popularity and used this association for the new card.

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Turkey GP: Low-fuel Rosberg tops practice 1
Nico Rosberg
Williams F1
Initial free practice at Istanbul Park had to be red-flagged briefly on Friday morning when some of the artificial carpet-like turf came loose on the exit of turn one.

The action resumed after marshals pulled up the offending 'grass', and by the end of the 90 minute session, Williams' Nico Rosberg emerged with yet another practice scalp.

"Yeah, well, it doesn't count because we just run less fuel than everybody else," the German had explained earlier in Turkey.

Lewis Hamilton trailed the 23-year-old's pace by three tenths of a second, while Jarno Trulli showed that Toyota may have recovered from its Monaco slump by setting the third best time.

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Latest F1 news in Brief
  • Button not ready to consider 2010 contract
  • New Turkey GP deal 'won't be easy' - chief
  • News briefs from Turkey
  • Vettel, Alonso, skeptical about 'new' F1
  • F1 teams expecting Mosley letter on Friday
  • Mercedes shedding 50 F1 engine jobs

Button not ready to consider 2010 contract
(GMM)  Jenson Button in Turkey refused to admit he is already thinking about improving the terms of his current contract.

The British driver agreed to slash his retainer for 2009, negotiated by Honda before the Japanese giant pulled out of formula one, as new owners Brawn finalized its management buyout.

But with the 29-year-old now dominating the world championship, team CEO Nick Fry insisted two weeks ago in Monaco that he aims to nail down a long-term agreement with Button, complete with a substantial pay-rise.

Button said at Istanbul: "I don't want to talk about anything that is irrelevant at the moment.  I am very happy, all I think about is racing."

He admits he read about Fry's comments after winning in Monaco, but has made no moves to take up Fry's invitation for negotiations.

"I haven't spoken to anyone in the team about it because I'm not interested," added Button.

"I'm here to race.  I don't want to talk about money.  I continued with this team because I thought the car would be competitive, and that's my only interest at the moment."

New Turkey GP deal 'won't be easy' - chief
(GMM)  The boss of Turkey's motor racing sanctioning body admits Istanbul Park may struggle to reach an agreement to keep formula one at the circuit beyond 2011.

It is already known that Bernie Ecclestone, who rents the track from the Istanbul chamber of commerce, has given notice that the agreement is to be reconsidered beyond the 2011 edition.

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