If Danica Patrick goes to NASCAR maybe IndyCar won't be known as the DaniCar Series anymore and other drivers will become the heroes of the sport
If prevalent reports are true, and Danica Patrick becomes a full-time Nationwide Series driver next year, NASCAR's gain will be IndyCar's loss.
Nevertheless, Patrick's former teammate, IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan, believes the open-wheel series can flourish without the GoDaddy girl.
"I think we have a lot more personalities in IndyCar than just her," Kanaan told Sporting News on Wednesday at Eldora, where he was competing in Tony Stewart's Prelude charity race for the second time. "If we're going to think that IndyCar is depending only on her, I think people have the wrong idea. She's a big asset to the sport, but if she makes that decision—as far as girls, we have a couple of them, including Simona (De Silvestro), who have shown they have a lot of potential.
TNT's Coverage of 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Gets Underway on June 12th TNT gears up for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing on Sunday, June 12 live from Pocono Raceway. The network will air exclusive coverage of the race beginning at 1 p.m. (ET) with play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander calling the race alongside analysts Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach in the booth. In addition, analyst Larry McReynolds will make frequent contributions from the infield as he breaks down crew strategy and analyzes car adjustments.
The network will rev up its pre-race coverage beginning at 12 p.m. (ET) with Countdown to Green delivered by Pizza Hut with Lindsay Czarniak (host), Petty and McReynolds with reports from pit reporters Chris Neville, Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum. No. 18 Kyle Busch will join TNT’s infield rig for an interview prior to the race to discuss his season both on-and-off the track.
Hildebrand tears ACL of left knee in PR stunt at Texas Motor SpeedwayUPDATE JR Hildebrand, who crashed while leading on the last lap of the Indianapolis 500 two weeks ago, suffered a torn ACL in his left knee Wednesday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway, sources confirmed Thursday. The only statement by Panther Racing officials is that Hildebrand suffered a knee injury, but they did not want to comment further.
Hildebrand still will compete in the Twin 275 IndyCar Series races Saturday night at TMS.
Hildebrand was taking part in a TMS promotion at the track Wednesday, called "Driven To Fitness," a boot-camp style obstacle course to prove race car drivers are athletes. Drivers Ryan Briscoe and Will Power also participated in the promotion. Track star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson was the instructor for the drivers.
Colin Edwards declared fit for Silverstone Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Colin Edwards will participate in this weekend's British Grand Prix at the world famous Silverstone circuit having passed a medical assessment on his right shoulder today.
The 37-year-old missed last weekend's Gran Premi Aperol di Catalunya after breaking his right collarbone in a practice crash at the Montmelo circuit.
The American had a titanium plate and 13 screws inserted in the shoulder during a three-hour operation performed by Dr Xavier Mir and Dr Victor Marlet at the USP Institut Universitari Dexeus last Saturday.
Montreal could be wet With the Formula 1 community having already been greeted by a large Thursday thunderstorm in Montreal, more showers are forecast to hit the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve across the weekend. Canada last experienced a wet race in 2000, with Michael Schumacher leading home Rubens Barrichello in a Ferrari one-two.
For 2011, maximum weekend temperatures are being predicted at anything between 57-68°F, with rain expected on Saturday before heavier showers arrive for Sunday.
The FIA World Endurance Championship is unveiled! Today, Thursday 10th June Jean-Claude Plassart, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and Jean Todt, President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile presented the 2012 World Endurance Championship in greater detail.
This presentation was made during the ACO Press Conference on today 9th June, two days before the start of the 79e Le Mans 24 Hours. Both presidents took advantage of this occasion to unveil the main guide lines of the future championship.
Promoter The l’Automobile Club de l’Ouest will be the promoter of the FIA World Endurance Championship. A three-year contract has been signed between the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile. When this expires the future contract will link the two parties for ten years.
Calendar The calendar of the current series, the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, will form the base for the 2012 season. The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has committed to integrating the Le Mans 24 hours into this calendar. The event, however, will remain the exclusive property of the ACO and will not be included in this agreement.
Office Depot Stores Nationwide To Carry NASCAR Unites Wristbands The NASCAR Foundation today announced that Office Depot, the Official Office Products Partner of NASCAR® and co-primary sponsor of Tony Stewart and the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™, will offer new NASCAR Unites wristbands at more than 1,100 Office Depot stores nationwide.
Starting June 10, fans can get their own NASCAR Unites wristband by making a $5 donation at any participating Office Depot store location. The wristband showcases a supporter’s passion for children’s causes and encourages acts of service. Funds raised will benefit the charitable work being done by The NASCAR Foundation and The Office Depot Foundation.
Vettel's rivals need 'very good luck' - Ecclestone (GMM) If Bernie Ecclestone were to bet a few dollars of his fortune on the outcome of the 2011 title, he would safely back his young friend Sebastian Vettel.
The F1 chief executive is famously friendly with the 23-year-old German who last year became the sport's youngest champion and this year is running away with the spoils.
"Put it this way," Ecclestone, 80, told the German magazine Speed Week. "Someone else would have to have very good luck to win this world championship.
"When I look at the speed of his car, I think only his own teammate has a chance," added the Briton.
Clint Bowyer Wins Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway The box score says that Clint Bowyer led all 30 laps in Wednesday night’s Prelude to the Dream all-star dirt Late Model race at Eldora Speedway, but the native of Emporia, Kan., had to fend off strong charges from J.J. Yeley and Aric Almirola to finally capture a victory in the prestigious race that’s a who’s who of racing’s elite.
After finishing second in the past two Prelude to the Dream events, Bowyer sealed his first Prelude triumph by .531 of a second over Yeley, a former USAC champion who has logged numerous laps at Eldora.
“It’s just so much fun to be able to come here and compete,” said Bowyer, whose victory was presented live to the entire nation on HBO Pay-Per-View®, with the net proceeds from the telecast supporting four of the nation’s top children’s hospitals. “What an awesome racetrack. I’ve always loved this place and I’m very proud of Tony Stewart and everybody behind him that makes this event awesome. There’s a lot of hard work to put on something like this, and we are very lucky to have him put forth the effort.”
Stewart, owner of Eldora Speedway and a three-time Prelude victor, finished 20th in the race he created in 2005.
Auto GP TV ratings underscore the Versus noose around IndyCars neck
Auto GP in Hungary
Great audience for the start of the Auto GP season: the races of the opening Event, held in Monza on the 15 May weekend, were watched on Eurosport and Eurosport 2 by more than 3 million people. It's a remarkable result, moreover considering that this figure refers to detections regarding broadcasting on European territory. So this doesn't include the over 4 million households reached in 14 Countries by Eurosport Asia Pacific, nor the Countries reached through agreements with individual national broadcasters.
Compare that to the 250,000 or so viewers IndyCar will get for this weekend's Texas race on Versus. Auto GP is not considered a 'top' level series and yet it can draw 3 million TV viewers and IndyCar, which is trying to sell itself as a top level series is lucky to get 1/12th of that. Unfortunately Randy Bernard is being tasked with growing a race series that has a noose around its neck in Versus.
Anyway, the fans' enthusiasm goes well beyond TV, with massive crowds reaching the tracks: thanks to the partnership with WTCC, the Budapest weekend was an amazing success, with 75.000 people on the grandstands over the weekend, 60.000 of them on Sunday cheering the drivers and enjoying the roar of the Zytek V8. Now the teams' trucks are heading to Brno, where on 18-19 Auto GP will be ready to give the fans another thrilling show.
Circuit of Americas government subsidies being called out
Ecclestone called British Monopolist who is bilking Austin taxpayers out of $250M
.......So how is it that the Texas Legislature appropriated $25 million to give to British monopolist Bernie Ecclestone as an annual fee to allow an annual Formula One race in Austin? He controls Formula One racing, purportedly the globe's largest spectator sport after soccer. The plan is to pay Ecclestone every year for a decade, which amounts to a cool quarter of a billion dollars transferred from Texas taxpayers to the head of Formula One.
Texas cannot afford its current roster of teachers, but it can afford Ecclestone's monopoly fee to license an automobile race? It can afford a subsidy of $41.66 for each of an estimated 300,000 fans, supposedly nearly all from outside Texas, to attend an annual road race? And yet it cannot afford the 300 or so teachers whose pay and benefits come to $25 million per year?
The race fee is part of a growing list of Texas subsidies to major entertainment events. Since 2004 those subsidies have ballooned as the controls have become weaker.
Hamilton almost got suspended from F1 for trying to falsely use the race card on the FIA for calling him on the carpet due to his aggressive driving. He claimed he was being picked on because he was black. He's actually half black. Like golfer Tiger Woods and USA President Barrack Obama, his mother was white but Hamilton of course did not claim he was being picked on because he is white, he tried to use the race card and that pissed off FIA President Jean Todt.
Bahrain official slams 'shameful' F1 backflip
Vettel recalls Canada 'sex club' memory
Economy not right for F1 tire war - Pirelli
Todt considered banning Hamilton after racial joke
De la Rosa tips 'extremely interesting' Canada GP
Webber admits struggle with Pirelli tire switch
Bahrain official slams 'shameful' F1 backflip (GMM) Bahrain has hit out at Bernie Ecclestone's claim F1 can "of course" not return to the kingdom this year.
The government was delighted less than a week ago when the FIA World Motor Sport Council, including member and F1 chief executive Ecclestone, voted unanimously to reschedule the earlier postponed event to late October.
Ecclestone's about-face is apparently due to widespread opposition from the drivers and teams, as well as the sport's own rules about late schedule changes.
Referring to the 80-year-old's comments published on Wednesday, Bahrain chamber of commerce tourism chief Nabeel Kanoo said: "It is a shameful decision and smacks of hypocrisy.
True to his word, Childress punched out Kyle Busch Kyle Busch's reaction to the penalties levied on Richard Childress was measured and terse. NASCAR fined Childress $150,000 and placed him on probation through the end of the year for punching Busch multiple times after Saturday's Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway.
"NASCAR decided to make the decisions that they felt were necessary, and that's pretty much the end of it," Busch said Wednesday at Eldora Speedway before the Prelude to the Dream charity race at the half-mile dirt track.
On the cool-down lap after the Kansas race, Busch gave a slight door-slam to the Childress-owned truck of Joey Coulter, who had contact with Busch while passing him for fifth place on the final lap. In the wake of an early May run-in between Busch and RCR driver Kevin Harvick at Darlington – which damaged Clint Bowyer's car and Harvick's car and landed both Busch and Harvick on probation through June 15 – Childress had promised to damage Busch if Busch damaged another Childress race car.
Baltimore GP construction causing pain downtown This Grand Prix race the city has planned for September had better turn out to be worth all the traffic hassle it's causing.
Because if it doesn't prove to be the best event to come to town since the Preakness, it's time for an aroused citizenry to reach for the pitchforks and head to City Hall.
The folks who are bringing us this extravaganza — Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake first among them — insist the spectacle of Indy cars racing through the streets of Baltimore will bring an influx of money and the kind of exposures other cities would kill for.
Maybe they're right, and 10 years from now the Baltimore Grand Prix will be a beloved civic institution and a source of pride for us all.
After the first qualifying session for the 79th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours (start at 3 p.m. on Saturday), Audi continued its domination over Peugeot. Before Stephane Sarrazin put the 908 #8 at the top of the timesheets. The First qualifying session was full of incidents.
The six hours of track time scheduled for this Wednesday provided confirmation that this 79th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be very hotly disputed. With six cars separated by 1.1 seconds, free practice set the tone for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, which looks set to be very close.
With around half an hour of the session remaining, Stéphane Sarrazin grabbed provisional pole position with a lap of 3’27’’033. Nobody could get close the time of the French driver this evening. The three time Polesitter at Le Mans is now in with a great chance of claiming a fifth consecutive pole position for Peugeot. With two two-hour sessions scheduled for tomorrow evening, however, the final positions are far from decided.
LM P1. After a favorable start in free practice, Audi continued its domination. But the qualifying session was marred by numerous off - track excursions and the crash of the #1 Audi with Aston Gulf AMR, #60, forcing the race director to deploy the red flag. A fright for Romain Dumas and end of the qualification in Audi R18, #1. Leading the standings for a long while, Audi finally conceded in the last half-hour after a blistering lap by Stéphane Sarrazin.
Video: Troy Lee dresses up Flying Lizard Porsches Flying Lizard revealed today a commemorative livery for the No. 80 and No. 81 Flying Lizard Porsches for the 2011 24 Heures du Mans. Created by California-based artist Troy Lee, the livery celebrates the history of Porsche at Le Mans, featuring the 28 drivers who have won the 24 Heures du Mans overall in a Porsche. The No. 80 and No. 81 designs are identical, implemented in complementary colors: candy metallic orange for the No. 80 and candy metallic blue for the No. 81; both anchored by a deep ocean blue. Primary colors provide a backdrop for the driver names and flags which weave throughout the design on the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Ferrari and Puma extend sponsorship deal Ferrari has announced a long-term extension to its commercial connection with Puma. The sport-lifestyle brand will continue to be the official licensing partner for the prancing horse, with their six-year collaboration now being increased for a ‘further lengthy period’.
“We have enjoyed a very successful relationship with Puma over the past six years and we are very happy that this will continue long-term,” Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo commented on Wednesday afternoon.
“Their commitment to product design, development and race wear technology is unrivalled in the industry and they continue to impress us on all counts. We look forward to continue working with Puma for many years to come.”
NBC's Olympic coup should boost Versus, IndyCar Series The winning bid by NBC—and its parent company Comcast Cable—to air the Winter Olympics in 2014 and 2018 and the Summer Olympics in 2016 and 2020 is good news for the IndyCar Series.
Comcast also owns the cable channel, Versus, a fledging sports channel that someday hopes to rival ESPN. The IndyCar Series signed a 10-year deal, which started in 2009, to air its races on Versus.
While there have been complaints that some cable systems don’t carry Versus, and the cable channel doesn’t have the clout to attract casual sports fans to televised IndyCar events, officials for the cable channel have tried to muster a critical mass of programming, including National Hockey League games, that will elevate the channel to a new level.
Still, Versus reaches about 20 million fewer homes than ESPN.
But the Olympics deal could help. Officials for NBC/Comcast, which paid $4.4 billion for the right to air the Olympics through 2020, are promising to use many of their channels to air Olympic events. Although Comcast/NBC hasn’t yet released any broadcast plans for the Olympics, Versus is likely central in those plans.
Brands Hatch promises a classic Formula 3 battle Teammates and title rivals Felipe Nasr and Kevin Magnussen look set to continue their tussle for supremacy in the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series next weekend (18/19 June) when the UK’s top single-seater championship blasts back in action on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.
Two days of testing this week at the Rockingham circuit have underlined the Carlin men’s speed, with Brazilian Nasr setting the pace on Tuesday only for his time to be eclipsed today - by five-hundredths of a second - by Danish driver Magnussen.
Nasr, with three race wins under his belt, has led the championship from the opening round at Monza in mid-April. Magnussen, who scored twin wins at Snetterton last month, heads for Brands Hatch with half the number of points of his rival and with plenty of catching up to do.
Firestone Indy Lights to race twice at Edmonton The Firestone Indy Lights schedule has expanded with the addition of a second race during the Edmonton Indy race weekend July 22-24 at the new City Centre Airport circuit.
The first race of the doubleheader will precede IZOD IndyCar Series qualifications July 23, and the second race will take the green flag a few hours before the IZOD IndyCar Series feature July 24.
"We are glad to host two rounds of the Firestone Indy Lights Series at this year's Edmonton Indy," said François Dumontier, president of Octane Motorsports Events, the Montreal-based event promoter. "Our spectators will get a real open-wheel racing treat, no less than 12 hours of track time with IndyCar and Indy Lights racing. With this doubleheader, coming to Edmonton is now very attractive for teams and drivers."
Knowles joins INDYCAR staff as director of engine development INDYCAR, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series, has hired Trevor Knowles as director of engine development.
Knowles, who will report to INDYCAR's Vice President of Technology Will Phillips, will work in developing the rules and performance standards for the three IZOD IndyCar Series engine manufacturers beginning in 2012.
"Trevor's primary role will be to monitor all engine manufacturers' performance and competition for the 2012 INDYCAR program and beyond," Phillips said. "This will ensure they are competing within the rules defined by INDYCAR. I'm happy to have someone of Trevor's experience join the team."
Knowles has an extensive motorsport background with experience in INDYCAR, NASCAR and Formula 1. He worked with Penske Racing and Evernham Motorsports in NASCAR and also worked with Honda Performance Development, helping develop the 2003-2006 Honda Indy V-8 engine and the Acura's P2 engine for ALMS.
Doubleheader format returns to Indy car at Texas INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard and Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage announced last August that almost 20 years after Rick Mears won both races at Atlanta Motor Speedway that the IZOD IndyCar Series would revisit the twin race format.
Excitement for the Firestone Twin 275s (formerly the Firestone 550k) on June 11 - consisting of two full-field races on the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval - has been building ever since.
"IndyCar Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have never disappointed, and with a record 30 cars on the track the excitement of the Firestone Twin 275s will reach a whole new level," Gossage said. "Texas Motor Speedway hosting the first twin races in IndyCar Series history makes it big and this only enhances the significance."
SSM secures Malloy to serve as engineer Todd Malloy will be the race engineer for the No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins car driven by Alex Tagliani for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in this weekend's Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway.
He replaces Allen McDonald, who earlier this week returned to Andretti Autosport as director of engineering and race engineer for the No. 27 car driven by Mike Conway.
"We are very fortunate to have Todd with us this weekend," team manager Rob Edwards said. "Since he was part of the engineering group (Nos. 77, 98 and 99 teams) working together at Indy, it will help the transition. At the same time, Allen was part of the founding group of this team; so much of the continuity that has built up over the last 18 months will be lost. Instead of work happening intuitively, we will have to learn to work together as we go."
McDonald was the chief race engineer for Tagliani, who earned the PEAK Performance Pole Award presented by AutoZone for the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500.
More open wheel action than ever at the Edmonton Indy Future stars of open-wheel racing will have a unique opportunity to display their talent in front of the 2011 Edmonton Indy crowd, as the July 22-24 event at City Centre Airport will feature two rounds of the Firestone Indy Lights Series (FIL). Octane Motorsports Events, promoter of Western Canada's major auto racing weekend, has also announced the return this year of the NASCC Eurasia GT Invitational and of the Canadian Drift Mania Championship programs.
"We are glad to host two rounds of the Firestone Indy Lights Series at this year's Edmonton Indy," said François Dumontier, President of Octane Motorsports Events. "Our spectators will get a real open-wheel racing treat, no less than 12 hours of track time with IndyCar and Indy Lights racing. It also guarantees the fans a maximum number of entries on the Indy Lights grid. With this doubleheader, coming to Edmonton is now very attractive for teams and drivers. There is going to be good money and lot of points to collect as they will get to challenge our new exciting course twice in one weekend," also said Dumontier. "Last year, only 13 cars made the field and adding more cars on the track for 2011 means more action for the fans!"
Spanish channel pays for false Alonso report (GMM) A Spanish television station has been ordered to pay Fernando Alonso EUR 73,000. The case dates back to December 2009, when the channel Antenna 3 reported that the double world champion had separated from his wife Raquel del Rosario, the lead singer of the band El Sueno de Morfeo.
La Voz de Asturias and El Mundo said on Wednesday that a Madrid court has finally agreed to 29-year-old Ferrari driver Alonso's charge of slander.
The judge is ordering Antenna 3 to correct the information and, as per Alonso's request, pay the 73,000 euros in full to the United Nations Children's Fund Unicef.
Video: BTCC 2011 at Oulton-Park, Honda team-mates crash out Jason Plato won the 2nd BTCC race at Oulton Park on June 5th after Honda teammates Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden took each other off the track at the very last corner while disputing the lead.
Funny, as the whole Honda team is seen already hanging over the pit-wall fences to celebrate this victory, until ... well, see for yourself ... ;)
To win both Twin 275s in Texas you must be fast, and stay fast It's always a good race strategy to go fast. But Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway, it will be a good idea to go fast -- and do it fast.
The track is hosting two 114-lap races when the Izod IndyCar Series visits for the Firestone Twin 275s, an open-wheel racing doubleheader of the kind that hasn't been run in the United States in 30 years.
It's two races, each worth half points and half money, with a TMS-record 30 entries on the 1.5 mile tri-oval. Each race is half the distance of the normal distance run by IndyCar at the Fort Worth track, so that's half the time as normal to get to the front and stay there.
Fittipaldi to serve as Montreal steward Double World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi will return as FIA driver steward for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, having first taken up the role in Montreal 12 months ago. The Brazilian will be joined by Garry Connelly, Executive Committee Member of the FIA Institute, and Tim Mayer, son of late McLaren Team Principal Teddy.
Fittipaldi spent the 1970s in F1, racing to 14 Grand Prix victories and six pole positions. Now 64, 'Emmo' was the first title winner from Brazil, claiming championships for Lotus and McLaren in 1972 and 1974, respectively.
Fittipaldi also represented the FIA as a steward at the 2010 Italian Grand Prix.
2013 engine changes approved, but postponement possible Following a meeting of its World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in the Spanish city of Barcelona on Friday, the FIA has released details of regulation changes which could come into force for the 2013 season. The sport’s governing body, however, also revealed that a vote could be taken to change the timing of their introduction.
One of the major revisions approved by the WMSC is the establishment of a new engine formula, which will see the current 2.4 liter V8s replaced with 1.6 liter four-cylinder units, with high pressure gasoline injection up to 500 bar and extensive energy management and energy recovery systems. Rev limits on the new engines will be reduced from the current 18,000rpm to a maximum of 12,000.
SPEED Teams with Tracks to Sell Tickets SPEED is using its growing Web presence to strengthen its relationships with race tracks, creating SPEED Inside Deals, a micro-site offering specially priced ticket packages, pit passes and access to driver and SPEED on-air personality meet-and-greets.
“The tracks continue to be great partners with SPEED,” said network President Hunter Nickell. “To keep the sport growing, we need to do our part in getting fans to the race track.”
SPEED is the only television network offering live, on-site programming from every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series venue all season long with shows like NASCAR RaceDay, NASCAR Victory Lane and Trackside. In addition, SPEED is the exclusive home of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and delivers the vast majority of television coverage for practice and qualifying sessions from all three of NASCAR’s national touring series.
Japan to be honored at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Following the tragedies that hit Japan this year, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest has decided to mobilize support for Japan at the 79th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Twenty years ago a Mazda won on the Le Mans circuit. A historic achievement that was both a first in the history of the event and remains a feat unrepeated since then. Despite many attempts by the largest Japanese automakers, the trophy 24 Hours of Le Mans has never returned to the Land of the Rising Sun.
To commemorate this success but also and especially to be with all the Japanese friends of the 24 hours; fans, drivers, technicians, builders ... struck by the terrible tragedy of last March, in a country where the race of La Sarthe is legendary, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest is mobilizing special support.
Farmers Insurance to sponsor Kahne in 2012 Beginning in 2012, Farmers Insurance will be the majority sponsor of the #5 Chevy fielded by Hendrick Motorsports and driven by 11-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner Kasey Kahne. Covering the 2012, 2013 and 2014 racing seasons, the agreement secures primary paint schemes for Farmers Insurance in 22 Sprint Cup Series events annually and prominent brand placement in all non-primary races. A new #5 Farmers Insurance Chevy car design will be unveiled at a later date. "Kasey Kahne is a very talented driver and a class act," said Paul Patsis, president of Enterprise Marketing for Farmers Insurance. "He will represent Farmers well, and we are all so proud to have him driving what will be a successful partnership, both on and off the racetrack."
Updates for Williams in Canada Williams will head to the Canadian Grand Prix with several new parts as they look to pick up points for only the second time this season.
After a disastrous start to the 2011 campaign, Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado showed in Monaco that there is still some life left in the former Champions with some gutsy displays. Barrichello broke the team's duck with a ninth-placed finish while Maldonado was on course for his first points in F1 only to have it snatched away when McLaren's Lewis Hamilton collided with him.
The team now hopes to build on that performance and, besides taking a new front wing and brake ducts to Montreal, they will also be using a modified diffuser during practice.
"Set-up is geared towards aero efficiency on the straights and maximizing traction out of the slow speed corners," technical director Sam Michael said.
NASCAR FOX TV ratings still way below 3 years ago Viewership for the first 13 Sprint Cup races on Fox rose nine percent over 2010, the largest year-to-year increase since Fox began televising Cup races in 2001, but still over 20% below NASCAR's best years three years ago.
Fox finished its Sprint Cup telecast schedule with an average rating of 5.0 and 8.6 million viewers per race, according to the network. Ratings increased 4 percent from a 4.8 last year.
According to the network, average ratings among men ages 18-34 increased 20 percent, from 1.5 to 1.8. The network also had increases in households (up 4 percent), men ages 18-49 (up 6 percent), men 25-54 (up 5 percent) and adults 18-49 (up 4 percent).
Force, Edwards in National Ford Racing Commercial John Force, 15-time NHRA Funny Car champion, and Carl Edwards, 19-time NASCAR Sprint Cup winner, are featured in a national television commercial promoting the Ford 40 MPG aspect of the all-new 2012 Ford Focus. If Ford Racing drivers win their respective championships in NASCAR Sprint Cup, NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car and the FIA World Rally Championship, then 40 fans who have entered the promotion will receive a free Ford Focus. At least one fan will win the 2012 Focus no matter what happens.
“It’s simple. If we win, 40 consumers win as well,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “This is a great opportunity for our fans to keep track of our efforts at winning championships in the top three series we compete in, and also to learn more about the great, fun-to-drive, fuel-efficient 2012 Ford Focus.”
Andretti team makes it official Andretti Autosport announced today it has hired motorsports veteran Allen McDonald as its new director of engineering and as race engineer for the #27 IZOD IndyCar Series entry, driven by Mike Conway.
McDonald, a native of London, most recently worked at Sam Schmidt Motorsports as chief race engineer for the car driven by Alex Tagliani and previously served as a race engineer for Andretti Green Racing, which became known as Andretti Autosport following the 2009 season.
Ferrari now understands hard tire issues Ferrari insists it is on top of the tire warm-up problems that plagued its performance on Pirelli's hard tires at Spanish Grand Prix last month.
Fernando Alonso finished a lap down on race winner Sebastian Vettel at Barcelona despite leading the race for the first 20 laps. Both Alonso and team-mate Felipe Massa struggled to get enough heat into the new hard compound tires and as a result the performance deficit to the leading Red Bulls and McLarens was exaggerated.
Speaking in a video interview on Ferrari's official website, technical director Pat Fry said the team was working on a solution ahead of the hard tire’s next appearance at Silverstone.
"Trying to makes the hard tires work is quite difficult and, if you look at some of the smaller teams they could not get the hard tire working at all," Fry said. "So you have quite a large spread of the speed of various cars and that grows as the tires get harder. We had a few issues that we were working on last week and we now understand. They were giving us some particular issues that exaggerated the problems that people have on the hard tire. Hopefully we have an understanding of it now, and we've been working on fixing it."
NASCAR Kansas TV RatingUPDATE SPEED coverage of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Kansas scored a Nielsen Household Rating of .92, up 28 percent from last year’s equivalent-date Texas weekend (0.72), and 44 percent over last year’s Truck race (.64) from Kansas Speedway. It was the highest rated Truck Series race ever from Kansas and the third consecutive race to average more than one million viewers.
It marks the fifth consecutive NCWTS race to score a year-to-year ratings increase (Martinsville 4 percent, Nashville 18 percent, Dover 26 percent, Charlotte 42 percent). Ratings for the series are up 6 percent overall versus last year at this point.
06/07/11 Kansas Overnight TV Ratings: FOX concluded its portion of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season with a 3.9/10 for the race from Kansas (6.3 million viewers). Because this is FOX's first race from Kansas, there are no comparisons to last year. Greensboro led all markets with a 12.4/24, followed by Charlotte (9.8/20), Greenville (9.2/18), and Nashville (8.7/16), while host city Kansas City was #11 with a 7.4/16. For the complete 2011 Season, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX averaged a 4.4/10 in the meters for 13 races, flat with last year's average for 11 races (4.4/9). Last year two races were rained out. Therefore, on a total rating points basis NASCAR is actually up +19% over 2010 (53.5 GRPs vs. 48.3).
Cunningham's opportunity arrives at Texas Wade Cunningham readily addresses the occasional impatience, the uncertainty and the business machinations of motorsports. In a more reflective tone, the New Zealander also speaks to how he believes he's persevered, learned and grown in the past six-plus years competing in North American open-wheel racing and pursuing an opportunity to compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
That time has come.
Cunningham, who announced his limited 2011 program with Sam Schmidt Motorsports in February, will join a track-record 29 other competitors for the Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway on June 11. He'll also participate in the Kentucky Indy 300 on Oct. 2 and the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 16 in the No. 99 Creatherm Sam Schmidt Motorsports car (the one Townsend Bell drove to the fourth starting spot for the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 on May 29).
Record 30-car field for Texas IndyCar races A track-record 30 entries will compete in the Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday night, eclipsing the previous high car-count of 28.
The last time an IZOD IndyCar Series race outside the Indianapolis 500 featured more than 30 cars occurred during the season-finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 11, 1997. The first of two 114-lap races around TMS’ 1.5-mile quadoval is scheduled for 8:45 p.m. (EDT). The grid for the first race will be set by traditional qualifying on Friday, with the starting lineup for the second race determined by a blind draw during a one-hour intermission following the first race.
Teams must agree to Bahrain calendar reshuffle - MosleyUPDATEEditor's Note: There will be no change to the calendar, Indian GP 30 October and Bahrain GP will not happen. It is all politics and there has to be a procedure that is followed to change the calendar.
06/07/11 (GMM) The FIA will have broken its own rules if the Bahrain grand prix goes ahead in October without the teams' consent.
That is the claim of the governing body's former president Max Mosley, as the intrigue surrounding the rescheduled race in the troubled island Kingdom deepens this week.
Last Friday, the FIA - now led by Jean Todt - stunned the F1 world by announcing October 30 as the new date for the 2011 Bahrain grand prix, shunting India to an unprecedentedly-late December 11 season finale.
But Mosley told BBC Radio 4's Today program on Tuesday that he thinks there is not "the slightest chance" the change will ultimately stick.
Buemi: DRS to make passing easy in Canada Sebastien Buemi believes overtaking will be easy in Canada thanks to the believes the Drag Reduction System (DRS) will make overtaking easy at this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will be the first venue to feature two DRS zones this year, with the activation area stretching from the turn 10 hairpin to the final chicane - where the wing will be returned to its full-downforce position - and then along the pit straight. At some circuits this year the DRS has made overtaking relatively straightforward and Buemi is expecting more of the same in Canada.
Asked by Red Bull's official website if drivers would wait until the second part of the DRS zone to overtake, the Toro Rosso driver replied: "No. I think you'll pass more after the hairpin, because the back straight is so long. The DRS is going to work immediately, and with that 10-15kph extra, you're going to be able to pass easily, on the inside or the outside. So far, we've seen that DRS works best on a circuit with a very long straight, like China or Turkey. The back straight in Canada is like that.
Senna movie breaks box office records in UK The film about the life of Ayrton Senna has broken the record for the highest grossing opening weekend for a documentary film in British cinema history. And its success means that more cinemas will start showing it from next week. The film opened in UK cinemas on Friday June 3rd and took $614,000 for the weekend (£375,000), which is a new record for a documentary. For comparison the acclaimed documentary “Touching the void” had gross sales of less than a third of Senna in its opening weekend.
Senna has received rave reviews from critics, with Jeremy Clarkson calling it “unmissable” and BBC movie critic Mark Kermode describing it as one of two “must-see” films this year. It has also had a great deal of publicity in the last couple of weeks, as audiences and media have cottoned on to the visceral quality of the film and its compelling storyline. It seems the film has strong crossover appeal with non-F1 fans equally moved by the treatment.
Childress fine was typical NASCAR slap on wrist Richard Childress’ assault on Kyle Busch after a NASCAR Truck race Saturday will cost Childress $150,000.
But the powerful team owner was not suspended and only has been put on probation until the end of the season.
"We feel this action is appropriate and are confident all parties involved understand our position on this matter and will move forward appropriately," NASCAR said in a statement released Monday morning.
Singapore ticket sales ahead of 2011 Robust sales throughout the 77-day early bird phase that started on 3 March 2011 saw 47% of Grandstand tickets taken up and 50% of 3-Day Walkabout (Zone 4 and Premier) tickets for the 2011 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX sold.
“We had targeted to sell one third of the Grandstand and Walkabout inventory during the early bird phase, and we’re delighted to have exceeded the target,” said Michael Roche, Executive Director, Singapore GP. “With over 110 days to go and seeing such a great start, we are looking forward to another sell-out crowd this year based on past selling trends.”
Jensen MotorSport announces new technical partner Jensen MotorSport is pleased to announce that EnerSys® and its ODYSSEY® battery brand will become a feature team partner for the 2011 racing season.
Team owner Eric Jensen states, “During this year’s Indy 500 event, our Freightliner Team Jensen Indy Lights race car – which is powered by an ODYSSEY® battery – set a new Lap Record at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with an average speed of 192.672 mph. So we are thrilled to this week announce one of our valued suppliers will become a feature team partner.”
It may sound counter-intuitive but being quick in Formula One isn't just about going fast - stopping well is also a major part of the equation. Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve features seven braking events in all, of which six are considered to be 'heavy' and four involve braking from over 295 kph. It amounts to one of the toughest circuits of the year for the brakes. Getting the braking system right for Montreal involves fitting revised air ducts to optimize the cooling, and using different materials to ensure consistent performance for each one of the race's 70 laps. It's no small challenge...
How severe a test is Montreal for the brakes? The energy input to the brakes is roughly double that measured in Spa. At both circuits, the drivers spend around 15 seconds of the total lap time braking; in Montreal this accounts for 20% of the lap spent on the brakes, while in Spa it only represents 14%.
For the last week, JR Hildebrand dealt publicly with "what if?" Privately, the circumstances surrounding the 23-year-old Californian's runner-up finish in the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 were resolved soon after the checkered flag.
Hildebrand dutifully recounted the final lap of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race during a break while testing the Milwaukee Mile June 3 for the upcoming IZOD IndyCar Series race.
"I've always been sort of a math/science type of guy. I'd like to think I have a pretty logical perspective on what goes on, and I think that allows all of us to look back at what happened and take it for what it is," he said. "There's a lot of fairly complex things that went into what ended up transpiring on the last couple of corners.
Todt: Situation now stable in Bahrain FIA President Jean Todt has revealed that a detailed report played a fundamental role in the decision to put Bahrain back on the 2011 Formula 1 calendar, with the current situation throughout the country being described as ‘stable and quiet’. Vice President Carlos Gracia visited the Gulf State to meet with local people and assess any potential dangers, reporting back to Todt before the FIA gave its verdict last Friday.
"Our special envoy had many meetings in Bahrain, even with the human rights people responsible," Todt told the BBC. "He found a stable situation, a quiet one, and we unanimously agreed. Carlos's report was discussed by the World Council and the decision was taken to accept to re-program the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2011.
Childress fined $150,000, placed on probation for punching Kyle Busch at KansasUPDATE The following is a statement by Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing, regarding the penalty announced today by NASCAR regarding an incident he was involved in June 4 incident at Kansas Speedway:
First of all, I'm responsible for my actions, plain and simple. As you know, I am a very principled person and have a passion for what we do at Richard Childress Racing. I believe passionately in defending my race teams and my sponsor partners. In this instance, I let that passion and my emotions get the best of me. I accept the penalty NASCAR announced today and, as a company, we will now focus on this week's races at Pocono Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway.
06/06/11 NASCAR team owner Richard Childress was fined $150,000 and placed on probation Monday for punching Kyle Busch multiple times in the Camping World Truck Series garage at Kansas Speedway Saturday.
Childress, the owner of Richard Childress Racing, was placed on probation through Dec. 31 for “actions detrimental to NASCAR” and for being involved in an altercation in the garage. The probation applies to all NASCAR series.
“The penalty we have announced today for Richard Childress reflects NASCAR’s response to the incident at Kansas Speedway on Saturday,” a statement by NASCAR said. “We feel this action is appropriate and are confident all parties involved understand our position on this matter and will move forward appropriately.”
Childress did not apologize for the incident but explained his actions in a statement released after the penalties were issued Monday.
“First of all, I'm responsible for my actions, plain and simple,” Childress said in a statement issued by his team. “As you know, I am a very principled person and have a passion for what we do at Richard Childress Racing. I believe passionately in defending my race teams and my sponsor partners. In this instance, I let that passion and my emotions get the best of me. I accept the penalty NASCAR announced today and, as a company, we will now focus on this week's races at Pocono Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway.”
Hutchens out at Stewart Haas Stewart-Haas Racing has promoted Matt Borland to vice president of competition. Matt has been with Stewart-Haas Racing since its inception as technical director, and with his extensive racing background that includes being a crew chief and competition director, he's well-suited for this new role. "Bobby Hutchens, who served as our director of competition since 2009, has been released. Bobby played an integral part in building Stewart-Haas Racing into a team that wins races and contends for championships. We're grateful for all his hard work and dedication, and I am personally appreciative for the responsibilities he took on Friday through Sunday that allowed me to be just a driver. We wish him nothing but the best. In his new role as vice president of competition, Matt Borland will serve as Stewart-Haas Racing's interim director of competition. Once that position is filled, the director of competition will report to Matt." Stewart Haas Racing
How scripted viral video can dwarf traditional ad outlets On May 10th we published the Brian Mackey article called It's 2011 already.We need to start thinking that way that dealt with alternative media outlets that can provide sponsors fantastic return on investment. The article was mentioned by Dave Despain on Wind Tunnel that weekend and here is another article called How scripted viral video can dwarf traditional ad outlets that references the article.
Video: Old Champ Cars put on heck of a race in Holland Some fun and games from Assen during the first Superleague Formula race yesterday morning. See how strong the ex-Panoz ChampCar chassis is whilst jumping over curbs and continuing the race in front. Further in the race some very exciting racing in the dying minutes of the race ... Unfortunately there were only 14 cars.
Pedrosa will not race in Silverstone Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa will not race in Silverstone next weekend.
Dani's right shoulder, that suffered a fracture during the crash in Le Mans, has had a plate and screws attached which are much smaller than the common ones used, hoping to reduce the chance of further vascular problems he endured after the left shoulder surgery in October last year, which forced him to remove the screws and plate before the Estoril GP.
With such a small plate and screws, recovery time is not as rapid as similar surgeries and to avoid any further complications Dani has decided, with doctors recommendations to postpone his comeback until he is 100% fit.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Celebrates Team's Past and Present With New Website One of the top teams in all of motorsports of the last 20 years, Rahal Letterman Lanigan is now giving its fans a new portal to keep track of the Ohio-based team’s exploits, while also providing a link to its past glories.
The team today launched its new-look website at www.rahal.com where fans can get the latest information on the championship-winning BMW Team RLL program in the American Le Mans Series as well as the efforts in the IZOD Indy Car Series. The site will feature all of the latest results, schedules and news from the team, as well as photos from races around the world.
Howard gets ride for Texas: Jay Howard will reprise his Indianapolis 500 role as the driver of the No. 88 Service Central Sam Schmidt Motorsport/Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing car in the Firestone Twin 275s on June 11 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The 1.5-mile oval will play host to two 114-lap races (with a one-hour intermission) on the same evening. The grid for the first race will be set by traditional qualifying on June 10, and the starting lineup for the second race will be determined by a blind draw following the first race.
'Indian GP track will be ready in time' Indian GP organizers insist circuit construction will be complete ahead of time and the only reason the event was rescheduled from October was to restore the Bahrain GP to the 2011 season.
F1's governing body, FIA, decided last week to reinstate the Bahrain GP to the program in the October time slot originally designated for the Indian GP, and to make the Indian race the season finale on a date to be decided in December.
The Bahrain GP was scheduled as the season-opening race in March, but it was called off amid anti-government protests.
Vicky Chandok, president of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs in India, told The Associated Press on Monday that the rescheduling "has nothing to do the race track, which is getting ready well ahead of schedule."
TNT To Mic Up NASCAR Crew Chiefs During Sprint Cup Coverage TNT today is expected to announce that it will "microphone some crew chiefs and their teams" during its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coverage, which begins Sunday. The move is a "first for Turner Sports." Other coverage features will include Turner-managed NASCAR.com giving users access to "10 camera views not seen on TV during races – up from five last year – including shots of pit road as well as ones focused on head-to-head competitions between drivers." NASCAR.com on Friday will debut "30 Minutes You Will Never Get Back," a video chat series hosted by Kyle Petty USA TODAY.
Virgin plays down Leafield move rumors (GMM) After splitting with Nick Wirth, the next rumor at Virgin is that the struggling team is set to move into the former Arrows and Super Aguri facility in Leafield (UK).
Since entering formula one based on the F3 team Manor, the outfit has been located at Dinnington, but with the crucial technical headquarters at Wirth Research in Banbury.
It is rumored Leafield has been proposed as the ideal base after the Wirth split by team consultant Pat Symonds.
Symonds is the previously highly-respected engineer who was banned from a direct operational role in F1 following the Renault crashgate scandal two years ago.
Dale Coyne Boy Scouts of America car driven by Sebastian Bourdais and Alex Lloyd
INDYCAR proudly announces today that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is now an official sponsor of the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights. The BSA was introduced to motorsports in 2010 through an association with Dale Coyne Racing — an experience that convinced the 101-year-old organization that INDYCAR was an ideal partner with whom to align and to advance their youth leadership and education initiatives. The BSA expects to use the INDYCAR relationship to teach Scouts about the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) aspects of racing.
"Racing is a modern way to connect with youth and to further Scouting's dedication to expanding tomorrow's leaders through STEM," said Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive of the BSA. "INDYCAR adds fun and entertainment to these educational exercises, providing a cool way to get kids excited about learning. We are thrilled about this relationship and the opportunities it gives our young people."
Buck wins the Grand Prix ICAR of Mirabel Almost everyone was expecting Alex Tagliani to be there at the finish to accept the winner's trophy as he had led 24 of the first 27 laps of a race scheduled with 30. The Lachenaie, Quebec driver, who had started from the pole, was aware of the progress of his teammate Andrew Ranger but he did not expect to see him in his rear mirrors on lap 26 of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series inaugural Series visit to the Grand Prix ICAR of Mirabel on Sunday. Two laps later, Ranger, who failed as a Champ Car/IndyCar driver, made contact with Tagliani while battling for the lead in Turn 11 of the 15-turn 3.401-kilometer road course sending Tag into the guard rail and to the back of the pack.
Andrew Ranger, a two-time series champion and winner of 12 Canadian Tire Series events including nine on road courses, flew in from Chicago just in time for the start of the race. The Roxton Pond, Quebec, driver finished fifth in the ARCA race on Saturday night after starting from 15th on the grid. Starting from the back of the field at Mirabel, Ranger passed eight drivers on the first lap and four more on the next one. Slowly pushing his way towards the front, Ranger was ready for his big move on lap 28. He led the last six laps, crossing the finish line first, but series officials assessed Ranger a pass-through penalty for aggressive driving, a penalty he ignored. The penalty pushed him back to 21st overall.
Busch should file criminal charges against Childress
Kyle Busch never hit Childress
NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner Richard Childress should be ashamed of himself.
He tackled Kyle Busch after the Camping World Truck series race at Kansas Speedway on Saturday and struck him in the face after putting him in a headlock as a result of Busch’s contact with RCR’s Joey Coulter during the cool-down lap.
Let’s get this straight right away: Childress — owner of Richard Childress Racing — is a 65-year-old man who knows very well that he had 26-year-old Busch in a no-win situation.
If Busch fights back he is seen as picking on a senior citizen and if he doesn’t — as he did not at Kansas — he is seen as a somewhat wimpish.
Night race would help beat the heat at Kansas Speedway They threw ice bags on top of Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Carl Edwards sarcastically asked for a cup of hot chocolate. Denny Hamlin asked how hot a sauna is, and, told it could be 180 degrees or so, said sitting in one for four hours could show you what it’s like to drive a race car on an unrelenting Midwestern summer afternoon.
And that’s just the drivers, the ones who are paid millions to be here, contractually required to show up and say nice things about Kansas Speedway and the inaugural STP 400 on Sunday.
The fans? They had it even worse, sweating through an afternoon deciding when to scramble toward the grandstand’s shade — which meant missing the race they’d paid to see. Temperatures went into the mid-90s, and the Speedway’s location and the logistics of auto racing mean the track always feels five to 10 degrees warmer than the thermometer.
Sprint intends to continues title sponsorship Dan Hesse, chief executive officer of Sprint Nextel, said his company is in talks with NASCAR to extend its title sponsorship of the Sprint Cup series. "Our intention is to continue the sponsorship with NASCAR," Hesse told The Star before Sunday's STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. Sprint is in the eighth year of a 10-year, $750 million sponsorship that goes through the 2013 season. Besides the title sponsorship of the series, Sprint lends its name to the Sprint All-Star Race in Charlotte, N.C., and supports NASCAR in other ways, such as delivering 15 to 20 cell phone towers to each race as well as The Sprint Experience, a mobile, interactive display at each track. Kansas City Star
Tire worker injured at Charlotte dies A contract employee of Huggins Tire Sales Inc. has died from injuries sustained when he fell May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Marvin Near fell from the back of a slow-moving pick-up truck driven by a Huggins employee while delivering Goodyear racing tires for the weekend's events at CMS. The accident was investigated by Concord Police and no charges were filed. "We extend our sympathy to Mr. Near's family and our thoughts and prayers are with them," said Stu Grant, general manager of global race tires for Goodyear. Charlotte Observer
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