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DATE News (chronologically)
06/20/14
nnw

Road America Set For Nationwide Series Race With New Sponsor
Road America "lost money last season on its NASCAR Nationwide Series race, and this weekend will have its third title sponsor in three years."

Fewer cars "are entered than for any of the first 13 events of this season." Hard costs for a three-day weekend total an "estimated" $1.5M. Gardner Denver Industrial Products Group CEO Luis de Leon, whose company is title sponsoring the race, said that it “has the opportunity to tout the move of its headquarters to Milwaukee, to freshen an old brand, to entertain dealers and introduce products to customers." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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06/20/14
gp2

Johnny Cecotto charges to Spielberg pole
Johnny Cecotto
Johnny Cecotto has given Trident their second ever GP2 pole position thanks to a laptime of 1:15.312 set in this afternoon’s qualifying session at the Red Bull Ring. The Venezuelan came out on top of a close session with Jolyon Palmer and Felipe Nasr a hairsbreadth from him and the twenty-six cars separated by only 1.3s.

The track conditions were blustery as the pitlane opened, but the laptimes tumbled down rapidly as the drivers feared the grey skies would open and ruin their chances to set a time. Stoffel Vandoorne topped the timesheet early into the session, but Cecotto was firmly set on taking today’s pole position and he lapped the track under 1m16s.

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06/20/14
f1

F1 to adopt standing re-starts in 2015
(GMM)  Hot on the heels of exhaust trumpets and titanium sparks, the latest radical F1 innovation has now emerged.

Multiple authoritative sources are reporting that, at last week's F1 Commission meeting, it was agreed that standing re-starts will spice up the show from 2015.

Currently, after the customary grid start at the beginning of the race, safety car periods are followed by a rolling re-start.

But, in an atmosphere of soul-searching within the Red Bull Ring paddock this weekend, it emerges that it has been agreed that mid-race standing re-starts would inject more excitement back into the sport.

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06/20/14
f1

Austrian GP: Hamilton tops practice 2
Hamilton gets some opposite lock as he works to bury his German teammate
Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes 1-2 on the opening day of practice for the Austrian Grand Prix, outpacing Formula 1 title rival Nico Rosberg by almost four tenths of a second.  The rest of the teams and drivers were not even close.

Hamilton put in a time 0.377s seconds faster than Rosberg.

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso was third fastest, just over nine tenths off the pace, while Williams driver Valtteri Bottas was fourth.

Felipe Massa fifth overall, both Williams using their superior Mercedes power.

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06/20/14
gp2

Julian Leal leads the way in GP2 at the Red Bull Ring
Leal fastest in opening practice
Carlin’s Julian Leal has opened the fourth round of the season in fine style: the Colombian set the quickest laptime of this morning’s free practice session in a 1:15.652 ahead of Racing Engineering’s teammates Raffaele Marciello and Stefano Coletti.

The session opened on a treacherous track as light rain fell on the Austrian circuit. The twenty-six drivers however all opted to get a taste of the Red Bull Ring on Pirelli Medium tires. Series leader Jolyon Palmer set the early pace, but as the drivers got to grips with this new venue, the lap times rapidly tumbled down and after ten minutes it was Alexander Rossi who was sitting pretty at the top in a 1:16.544.

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06/20/14
f1

Video: Vettel's 720-degree spin
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel spins his Red Bull on the final corner during P1 of the Austrian Grand Prix.



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06/20/14
nassprint

Chevy continues to eat Ford's lunch (Update) UPDATE
Carl Edwards will never be NASCAR champion driving a Ford.  History has shown over many decades that Chevy powered cars eat Ford's lunch far more than the other way around.
Based on the entire company's performance, it's going to take a lot of blind faith for Carl Edwards to remain at Roush Fenway Racing after this season.

The flagship team for Ford Racing has struggled with new rules that give teams more latitude with setups.
And there don't seem to be any quick fixes.

Last Sunday's race at Michigan International Speedway magnified the problems for Roush Fenway. The track is fast and wide, which puts a premium on both engine power and handling.

All three Roush cars were woeful, especially compared to the Chevrolets at Hendrick Motorsports. Greg Biffle was a team-best 20th, while Carl Edwards was 23rd and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was 27th.

"We've just got to get better as a group," Edwards said. "That's the way it is." [Editor's Note: The team would be better off switching to Chevys]

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06/20/14
nassprint

Part Two of NASCAR's Mike Helton Interview on "State of the Sport"
Mike Helton
NASCAR President Mike Helton continued his exclusive two-part, sit-down interview with NASCAR RACE HUB co-host Danielle Trotta on Thursday, June 19, covering topics facing NASCAR heading into 2015, including the move toward a more technologically-policed pit road, a horsepower reduction and the possibility of adding a road course to the Chase.

Below are excerpts from the interview:

ON REMOVAL OF THE HUMAN ELEMENT ON PIT ROAD IN 2015 AND REPLACING IT WITH TECHNOLOGY:

Helton:  "We're excited about it, actually, not removing the human element, but about using technology to advance our sport. And this is one of the things that we put on the front burner. One of those components is what we can use, NASCAR can use, and the NASCAR industry can benefit from up and down pit road, being our officials on pit road. We've had, on a couple of occasions, to run beta programs up and down pit road already this year, and so the goal is by '15 for the referees and umpires, so to speak, to be replaced with technology and innovation that fans in the grandstands and fans at home can participate and be interactive with the officiating of the sport."

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06/20/14
v8

Whincup still circling as V8 Supercars return in Darwin
Jamie Whincup is far from out but nor is Ford Performance Racing as tires were the topic of conversation leading into V8 Supercars return in this weekend's SKYCITY Triple Crown in Darwin.

A refreshed and revitalized Whincup was second in his Red Bull Racing Australia Holden in today's practice session to Kiwi flier Shane Van Gisbergen in the Tekno VIP Petfood's Holden. Holden Racing team's James Courtney was third.

With a reduced allocation of tires in the NT Whincup, who has made his way back into fourth in the Championship, was braced for an interesting weekend as he continues his quest to catch Mark Winterbottom, his team-mate Craig Lowndes and Lockwood Racing's Fabian Coulthard.

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06/20/14
f1

Austrian GP: Rosberg tops practice 1
Under threatening skies that finally let loose in the last 30 min of the session, Mercedes continued their dominance of the 2014 F1 season Friday at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Nico Rosberg was fastest in first free practice for the Austrian Grand Prix with his teammate Lewis Hamilton not far behind.

Rosberg's 1m11.295s best lap was done early in the session before periods of rain began.

Fernando Alonso was third for Ferrari, the Spaniard ahead of Felipe Massa's Williams and Jenson Button, these three the only other drivers to break through the 1m12s barrier.

The Red Bull Renaults were out to lunch on a track where horsepower is king. World champion Sebastian Vettel endured a difficult session on Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz's home circuit, was only 15th fastest and did a 720-degree spin across the grass exiting the final turn.

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06/20/14
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
  • Mercedes driver tension still simmering
  • FIA vows to ease driver penalties
  • Traffic chaos mars first day at 'Red Bull Ring'
  • F1 to create 'sparks' in Austria practice
  • Ecclestone to 'comply with' Hockenheim contract
  • Wolff sells 5pc Williams stake

    Read more & Comment...
06/19/14
irl

Pocono IndyCar testing ends with Andretti in wall
Five Verizon INDYCAR Series teams endured scattered showers at Pocono today to find sunny skies and a solid two and one half hour test session that began at 5:30 PM.

Andretti Autosport teammates; Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Carlos Munoz as well as Ed Carpenter of Ed Carpenter Racing participated in today’s test.

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06/19/14
irl

IndyCar Pocono Test UPDATE #3

06/19/14 The sun is trying to peek out, the teams are getting the cars ready, and drying trucks are circling The Tricky Triangle. We may have testing after all at Pocono Raceway today.

Because many of the track staff have gone for the day, detailed information is pretty hard to come by. What I'm hearing however, is that cars may begin running laps at around 4:15 p.m. ET. Check back in with AutoRacing1 for details.

Brian C. reporting from Pocono

06/19/14 If you enjoy seeing 15 pickup trucks circle the race track amidst a constant light mist and overcast skies, then you should have come to Pocono Raceway today.

Yes, there’s been no real change in the weather since our earlier update. While there’s hope the Indy cars may hit the track at some point today, we’re probably at minimum a couple hours from seeing any wheel turned.
Without any cars taking to the track, the eight drivers scheduled to test just finished up speaking with the media. Below, are a few notes:

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06/19/14
f1

FIA to review Perez Montreal penalty
The move follows an official request from Force India which is understood to involve "new elements" that have emerged since the Montreal event.

Perez was handed a five-place penalty for the incident which saw Felipe Massa crash into the back of the Mexican and almost taking out Sebastian Vettel who went on to finish third.

While both Perez and Massa blamed one another, and most pundits and fans saw the incident as 50/50, the decision to solely penalize the Mexican was met with widespread disbelief, not least from the driver and his team.

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06/19/14
irl

Latest from Pocono
The rain has stopped here at Pocono. The track is expected to decide at 2:30 p.m. whether or not there will be Verizon IndyCar Series testing today. If no laps are turned today, we are hearing the teams will run tomorrow.

We will pass along more information as we receive it.

Brian C. reporting from Pocono Raceway

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06/19/14
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday (Update) UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

06/19/14
  • Hamilton and Rosberg continue rivalry in Austria
    'Fight' sticker to stay on Mercedes after Schumacher coma
  • Title rivals take 'mind games' into Austria
  • Beating Vettel 'says a lot about me' - Ricciardo
  • F1 figures in crucial meetings before Austria GP
  • Trulli adds to F1's 'worry' about formula E - report
  • Tax tribunal turns down McLaren 'spy fine' claim
  • 'Alternatives' to Renault do exist for Red Bull - Mateschitz New
  • F1 abandons short GP weekend idea - report New

    Read more & Comment...
06/19/14
grc

Video: Rallycross Car Races By National Monuments In Washington, DC
Today, the most recognizable spots of our nation's capital were visited by the latest in motorsports as a Red Bull Global Rallycross car got the presidential treatment, motorcade-style, on its way to the race this Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22 at RFK Stadium.

For the first time in over ten years, Washington, DC will feel the thrill of revving engines, precision driving and the smell of burning rubber as the intense action of professional motorsports racing parks itself on iconic American turf.

Tire smoke wasn't the only thing left in the wake of one of the most respected performance and Rallycar drivers in the world, Rhys Millen, as he toured his adopted country's famous landmarks during the height of tourist season. Getting escorted through the city within a motorcade, Millen was struck by the view of both the US Capitol Building and the Washington Monument. His journey ended at the dirt and gravel racetrack at RFK stadium where Red Bull Global Rallycross will take place this weekend. View the action on Youtube here.

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06/19/14
track news

Questions surround buyer for Nashville Superspeedway
Robert "Robb" Sexton and his company, NeXovation, have big plans for the dormant Nashville Superspeedway.
His goal is to turn the track near Lebanon into a "52-weeks-a-year" operation providing "hundreds of people with living-wage jobs."

But there's a lot of mystery about the 60-year-old Sexton, the inventor of an innovative "Flatwire" technology, who has no experience in the motor sports business. Questions abound, including: Who is he? Where is his money coming from? And how, with no motor sports background, can he expect to turn around a business that couldn't survive under an operator with decades of experience running tracks like Dover Motorsports?

"I can't disclose it all now," Sexton said during an interview last week at the modest NeXovation headquarters in a warehouse park off Harding Place in Antioch. "We have a definite plan, not just from the perspective of motor sports. But it will definitely remain a motor sports facility, as well as a showcase for our other technologies."

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06/19/14
nassprint

Tomy Drissi To Drive #66 Hercules Car for The Toyota/SaveMart 350
Tomy Drissi announced he will be teaming up with Jay Robinson Racing and the #66 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team to drive The Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, June 22.  The Toyota/Save Mart 350 is a 218.9 miles (352.3 km) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event held annually at Sonoma Raceway at Sears Point in Sonoma, California. This race is one of only two Sprint Cup races annually run on a road circuit (the other being Watkins Glen).

Always thrilled to drive in front of the NASCAR fans, Tomy anticipates a great race and big fan response to the #66 Hercules liveried Cup car.

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06/18/14
f1
irl

Hockenheimring Infuriated with F1, will it lure IndyCar?
Tuesday's announcement that the German F1 Grand Prix will take place at the Nürburgring for at least five years starting in '15 "has infuriated the alternative host of the event, the Hockenheimring," according to the DPA. Hockenheimring Managing Dir Georg Seiler said, "I find it outrageous to make such an announcement public at this moment, only a short time before our grand prix."

F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "confirmed negotiations with the Nürburgring on Tuesday," saying, "I've met with the people from Capricorn and talked with them about how we could reach a long-term agreement. I'm willing to do it." Ecclestone also "hinted at an exit clause in the contract with the Hockenheimring."

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06/18/14
racing news

Driver gets onto Brands Hatch track
A British bloke takes his girlfriend's VW onto the Brands Hatch track while a race is going on.

As this video reveals, you could expect to hear a lot of screaming.

Recently, the aforementioned video surfaced of a man driving a Volkswagen onto Brands Hatch racetrack during a VW Fun Cup race in Kent, England.

According to reports, a 21-year-old drove his frantic girlfriend's car onto the track during a live race. The race was red flagged, and all drivers left the track.

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06/18/14
track news

Toyota Renews Sonoma Sponsorship
Toyota Motor Sales and Northern California Toyota Dealers signed a multi-year agreement to continue as co-title sponsor of the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway on Wednesday.

Toyota has served as co-title sponsor of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 since 2007, as well as the raceway’s official vehicle. The three-year extension will mark 10 years of sponsorship with Sonoma Raceway.

The 2014 season marks Toyota’s 10th anniversary participating in NASCAR national series competition. In 2004, the manufacturer entered the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with the Tundra and moved into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series with the Camry beginning in 2007.

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06/18/14
nassprint

Ambrose talks about his contract status
Marcos Ambrose
Marcos Ambrose was on the NASCAR Cam Teleconference Wednesday morning, and one of the subjects brought up was his contract situation with Richard Petty Motorsports:

Q) You said last fall when you announced you were going to resign with RPM, this was going to be critical for you, but are you starting to work through that in your head about what's next after this season in terms of NASCAR or elsewhere?

MARCOS AMBROSE: "Yeah, certainly that's right. I'm in a renewal year with Richard Petty for 2015. I'm not really thinking about myself here. I just want the best for RPM. They have decisions to make along the way here. I want to help them make their decisions and be where they want to be. I haven't really thought about anything much but that. I want to make sure that RPM are on the right path and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure I help them do that. NASCAR/RPM

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06/18/14
nassprint

Part One of NASCAR's Mike Helton Interview on "State of the Sport"
NASCAR President Mike Helton sat down with NASCAR RACE HUB co-host Danielle Trotta for an exclusive, two-part "state of the sport" interview whose first installment aired Wednesday, June 18 on FOX Sports 1.  Part 2 continues on NASCAR RACE HUB on Thursday, June 19 at 5:00 PM ET. 

On Wednesday’s show, Helton discussed a variety of topics that have made headlines in the 2014 NASCAR season, including the new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format; the "Dale Earnhardt Jr. effect;" race attendance; the youth movement in the NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES; and the possibility of limiting NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES drivers in the lower series. 

Below is a transcript from the interview:

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06/18/14
automotive

Too Funny: King of recalls, GM, receives Quality Awards
You should be sitting down before reading this. The king of product recalls, General Motors, continues its strong performance in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study taking more initial quality awards than any other automaker for the second year in a row. GM also has the most models ranked in the top three in their respective segments.  Initial quality apparently has little correlation with long-term quality and design flaws.

GM’s plant in Ingersoll, Canada, where the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain are built, was awarded a Silver Plant Assembly Line Quality Award.

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06/18/14
wec

Porsche wants balance of power change
Porsche factory drivers Frederic Makowiecki and Marco Holzer have called for a GTE Balance of Performance re-evaluation despite finishing on the class podium in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Having won the French endurance race last year, both Porsches struggled for pace compared to the other three GTE Pro manufacturers Aston Martin, Ferrari and Corvette.

The Manthey-run 911 RSR has carried 25kg [55lbs] of ballast since winning the opening round of the World Endurance Championship at Silverstone, while Aston Martin received two weight breaks in the build up to Le Mans that amounted to a 35kg [77lbs] loss.

Read more & Comment...
06/18/14
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday (Update) UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

06/18/14
  • Two DRS zones in Austria
    Hockenheim furious as Ecclestone eyes F1 axe
  • Hospital admits Schumacher outcome uncertain
  • Ferrari made 'absurd' offer to Newey - Marko
  • Finishing the main goal for last-place Caterham
  • No power loss for new turbo engines in Austria
  • Austrian Grand Prix to feature two DRS zones
  • Ferrari position marginally improved, says Allison
  • Haas Hopes New Formula One Team Will Help Boost Sales By $1B
  • Red Bull 'Committed To Formula One For Long Term' Despite Newey's Breakaway Plan
  • Clock ticking on Leimer's Marussia chance New
  • Hockenheim deal 'has no exit clause' New

    Read more & Comment...
06/18/14
fe

Jarno Trulli to race in Formula E with own TrulliGP team
Jarno Trulli
Formula One race winner Jarno Trulli today announced he is to form and manage a new team for the FIA Formula E Championship – entitled TrulliGP Formula E Team – with which he will race in the unique all-electric series. The 39-year-old Italian has taken over the entry of Drayson Racing.

Following approval from the FIA, TrulliGP has been granted the 10th team entry for the Formula E Championship, following the withdrawal of Drayson Racing. Drayson Technologies will be entering into a supply and sponsorship arrangement with TrulliGP to be the squad’s principal technology partner. As part of this, TrulliGP will begin work on Drayson’s wireless charging technology – which offers the potential to free electric vehicles from the constraints of cable-based charging.

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06/18/14
nassprint

Panasonic Backing Gordon’s No. 24
Jeff Gordon
Panasonic has expanded its relationship with Hendrick Motorsports with a new multi-year agreement that includes primary sponsorship of the No. 24 team of four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and current points leader Jeff Gordon.

Panasonic will be featured as a primary sponsor of the No. 24 team in two Sprint Cup races annually and as an associate-level partner in all other events. It will mark the first on-car branding for Panasonic since joining Hendrick Motorsports as a technology partner in 2007. The agreement covers the 2014, 2015 and 2016 NASCAR seasons.

Gordon’s No. 24 Panasonic Chevrolet SS will debut this weekend at California’s Sonoma Raceway and will again appear Aug. 31 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Panasonic’s Toughbook brand will be featured on the car’s quarter panels at Sonoma.

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06/18/14
irl

IndyCar stars test Pocono
Montoya jokes with media while Huertas burns up the asphalt
Indy cars were once again zipping around the 2.5 mile Pocono Raceway for one of two test days on Tuesday.

Penske Racing and Dale Coyne Racing were the teams shaking down their cars for the July 6 Pocono IndyCar 500.

The Penske stable consists of Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves and Will Power, while the Dale Coyne fleet has Justin Wilson and rookie Carlos Huertas.

Power is the current points leader and has a different approach to points racing this season.

“I just don’t care and don’t care about points and race to win,” Power said. “It’s race to race. Try not to think about it and race to win.”

The Australian-born Power finished runner-up in points three consecutive years from 2010 to 2012 and was aware he is the points leader.

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06/18/14
irl

Toronto GP to minimize impact on traffic
With a month to go before the 2014 Honda Indy Toronto 2inTO weekend,  construction of the race track, grandstands and hospitality suites is already underway at Exhibition Place and organizers of the event have pledged to do three things to minimize their impact on the city's traffic problems.

"We pledge to do three things to help alleviate traffic, especially along Lake Shore Boulevard where the Verizon IndyCar Series will be run on Saturday and Sunday, July 19 and 20," said Charlie Johnstone, President of the Honda Indy Toronto. "First, we will only do track work at night, long after the major traffic of the day has dissipated and Torontonians have made their way home. Second, we normally begin our work on Lake Shore Boulevard in June, but this year we won’t start until July when there is less traffic on the roads because of summer holidays. And third, we will not fully close any arteries in and around Lake Shore Boulevard while we work; there will be partial lane closures only and we guarantee that when a lane is blocked it will be for used essential track work."

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06/18/14
nassprint

Stewart OK after Indy test crash
Six drivers hit the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday afternoon for a tire test ahead of July's Brickyard 400. During the closed portion of the test, #14-Tony Stewart made contact with the Turn 1 wall. He was not transported by paramedics, according to IMS officials. He is, however, in contact with NASCAR medical personnel.

In addition to Stewart, #31-Ryan Newman, #15-Clint Bowyer, #22-Joey Logano, #18-Kyle Busch and #16-Greg Biffle were part of the test. Drivers go through tire tests all the time throughout the year, and Bowyer candidly summed up what the drivers get out of them.

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06/18/14
nassprint

NASCAR Michigan TV Ratings
The NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Michigan earned a 2.7 U.S. rating and 4.254 million viewers on TNT Sunday, down 4% in ratings and 6% in viewership from last year (2.8, 4.5M), down 16% and 19%, respectively, from 2012 (3.2, 5.3M), and the lowest rated edition of the race since at least 1996. The previous low was a 2.8 rating for last year's race.

Sunday's race also ranks as the lowest rated and least-viewed regular Sprint Cup telecast of the season. Of the thirteen Sprint Cup races that can be compared to last year, twelve have had declines in ratings and eleven have had declines in viewership. For the week, NASCAR on TNT was the #4 program on cable and the top sporting event - topping all World Cup telecasts on ESPN.

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06/18/14
f1

Haas eyes 'pay driver' for 2016 seat (Update) UPDATE (GMM)  Gunther Steiner has denied rumors that a rift with team owner Gene Haas is endangering the entire F1 project.

The rumors in the Italian press hinted that arguments between team boss Steiner, and founder and owner Haas, including over the possible signing of Danica Patrick, could result in Steiner's departure.

And given that former Jaguar and Red Bull chief Steiner was at the centre of the team entry negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA, his exit at this early stage might have serious implications for the entire 2016 project.

"I want to say that there is no break with Gene," Steiner, a German-speaking Italian, is quoted by Italy's Omnicorse.  "The plans of the team are in continuous development according to the timeframes that we have.

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06/17/14
automotive

Is your car on the GM recall list?
General Motors has recalled 20 million vehicles since February. Here's the updated list:

Read more & Comment...
06/17/14
irl

IndyCar news bits
Dario Franchitti was among sports figures last weekend to be honored in Queen Elizabeth II's birthday list. The four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner from Scotland was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to motor racing. Franchitti, who retired from competitive auto racing in November, is serving in an advisory capacity with Chip Ganassi Racing during the Verizon IndyCar Series season...1986 Indianapolis 500 winner and Verizon IndyCar Series team owner Bobby Rahal will serve at grand marshal of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston on June 28-29.

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06/17/14
irl

Catching up with... Carlos Munoz
Carlos Munoz
Carlos Munoz burst on the scene with a runner-up finish in his first Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 2013. The 22-year-old Verizon IndyCar Series rookie from Colombia has continued on the fast track in the first half of the season.

Munoz is sixth in the championship and leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings through eight races. Munoz's four top-10 finishes have been punctuated by third place at Long Beach, where he advanced eight positions relative to his qualifying. Sixth for Dual 2 at Belle Isle on June 1 is his best qualifying effort.

Catching up with Munoz, 22, a Miami resident, heading into the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers: 

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06/17/14
f1

Caterham to test Will Stevens
Caterham F1 Team has confirmed that its Test Driver and Caterham Racing Academy member Will Stevens will drive the team’s 2014 CT05 F1 car on July 8th at the Silverstone F1 test, taking place after the British Grand Prix.

Will is currently fourth in the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series with 68 points, having won the opening race of the season in Monza and with two further podium finishes to his name. In addition to his commitments in that championship he has also been playing a central role in the development of Caterham F1 Team’s driver-in-the-loop simulator at its Leafield Technical Centre HQ in the UK. The simulator is now an integral part of the team’s engineering toolbox and as well as helping to develop and fine-tune its technical capabilities, Will has also been providing race weekend support in the cockpit in his role as the team’s Test Driver.

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06/17/14
irl

Castroneves: Soccer guys pull more chicks, but there is a reason
TMZ catches up with Helio Castroneves at an airport
Indy superstar Helio Castroneves knows ... in the race for chicks, his fellow drivers can't keep up with pro soccer players -- but Helio says there's a very good reason why.

The 3-time Indy 500 winner was out in L.A. this weekend when he spelled it for us -- and acknowledging he had a good run back when he was single, the footballers have definitely taken the lead.

Watch the video. TMZsports.com

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06/17/14
f1

Doctors urge caution after Schumacher 'good news'
Only the family knows the real condition of Michael Schumacher
(GMM)  Doctors have urged caution following Monday's official news that Michael Schumacher is no longer in a coma.

Lewis Hamilton summed up the mood of almost the entire world when he hailed the statement issued by Schumacher's management as "amazing news".

"I've been trying to keep an ear out for what's going on but not really hearing much improvement," said the Mercedes driver.  "To hear this is really encouraging."

As well as saying the seven time world champion's almost six-month coma is now over, Monday's statement revealed Schumacher left the hospital in Grenoble for a "long phase of rehabilitation".

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06/17/14
f1

Lotus F1 PR chief 'sacked' over 'gay' tweet
(GMM)  A Lotus employee has revealed he was fired for posting a 'tweet' on the F1 team's official social networking account earlier in 2014.

In February, as the winter Olympics began in Russia, Lotus posted a photo of two men kissing with the caption wishing "all athletes a successful" campaign.

The Sochi games had attracted criticism because of Russia's controversial laws against 'gay propaganda'.

Lotus, whose 'tweets' are often humorous and irreverent, promptly removed the "unauthorized" tweet.

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06/17/14
il

PFC Brakes Announced as Official Supplier for the 2015 Indy Lights Series
PFC Brakes is proud to be the official brake supplier for the 2015 Indy Lights Series and will be featured on the Dallara IL-15 car. The new PFC full brake package utilizes purpose built, shape optimized 6-pot Monobloc calipers, PFC discs with patented slot pattern, and PFC race pads.

The new Indy Lights full PFC brake package will feature the all new PFC ZR81 6-piston monobloc calipers, PFC ZERO FAILURES™ discs and PFC pads on the front and rear.

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06/17/14
automotive

GM says it will 'rework or replace' ignition keys on 3.4 million cars
General Motors today said it is recalling 3.4 million cars in North America because bumpy terrain could move the ignition switch out of the run position if the driver’s key chain is too heavy -- the same basic problem that began its recall crisis earlier this year. GM said Ray DeGiorgio, the engineer who was fired for his role in the Chevrolet Cobalt recall, also approved the ignition switch used in the vehicles covered by the latest recall.

GM said it has increased its estimate of recall-related repair charges for the first half of this year to $2 billion, which is $300 million more than its previous figure. The company announced five additional smaller recalls today.

All told, GM has recalled more than 20 million vehicles in North America this year, 9 million of which are for ignition problems, though some vehicles are counted more than once because they are subject to multiple recalls.

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06/16/14
irl

Graham Rahal turns laps at Bristol – in a Mustang (VIDEO)
Accustomed to pedaling the open-wheel, open-cockpit machines of IndyCar at a variety of speedways, the Series' youngest winner, Graham Rahal, took the reins of a Mustang this morning to test his skills on the legendary banks of Bristol Motor Speedway.



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06/16/14
irl

Rahal Named Houston GP Grand Marshal
The Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston has announced that Bobby Rahal will serve as grand marshal for the event, scheduled for June 27-29.

Rahal is a former Indianapolis 500 winner and owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series, which compete in a pair of events June 28-29 at the 1.7-mile Reliant Park street course.

The three-day event includes the Verizon IndyCar Series, the SCCA Mazda MX 5 Cup and the Pro Mazda Championship. New additions on the Houston circuit this year include the Gulf Coast Vintage Racing Series, which includes sedan and open wheel racing, and the UK-produced Radical Cup.

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06/16/14
motogp

Marquez tops Barcelona post-race test
Marquez leads Sunday
After yesterday’s fantastic race, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and the other MotoGP riders were back on track today for the Official Post-Race Test.

Marc worked on electronics and mapping settings and tested a new Ohlin fork and the new front Bridgestone tire, confirming the tire felt safer and provided better feedback than the current one. This morning he tested the proposed new circuit layout which uses the tighter F1 corner at the end of the back straight as a possible safety change and agreed it would be better as riders are not so close to the wall..

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06/16/14
irl

Indianapolis 500 Winner to Host Racing for Cancer Houston Fundraiser
Ryan Hunter-Reay to host Yellow Party in Houston on June 26th.
Indianapolis, IN. (June 16). 2014 Indianapolis 500 Champion and Verizon IndyCar Series driver Ryan Hunter-Reay returns to Texas this June not only to contest in the Grand Prix of Houston, but to also host The Yellow Party: a night of live entertainment, food, drinks and an auction all for the purpose to raise funds in the fight against cancer. Ticket holders will have VIP access to mix and mingle with the 2012 IndyCar Champion as well as other Verizon IndyCar Series drivers, all while helping in the fight to Beat Cancer. Proceeds from the June 26 event will benefit Racing for Cancer and the MD Anderson Cancer Center. AutoNation, America's largest automotive retailer and The Yellow Party presenting sponsor, will match every dollar Racing For Cancer raises.

Hunter-Reay has teamed up with AutoNation and Lennar to help bring cancer prevention and awareness to various IndyCar race markets through the growing popularity of The Yellow Party: a can't miss event for IndyCar drivers, partners and fans. Through five unique Yellow Party events throughout 2014, Hunter-Reay has set out on a goal of raising $2 million this year to aid in the fight against cancer, a disease which took the life of his mother and prompted Hunter-Reay in co-founding Racing for Cancer in 2010.

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06/16/14
uscc

Bentley Motors Returns to North American Motorsport with Dyson Racing Team Bentley
After an absence of more than a decade, Bentley Motors is competing again on the racing circuits of North America again, beginning this weekend at the Road America race track in Elkhart Lake, WI. Dyson Racing Team Bentley is fielding a Bentley Continental GT3 in the Pirelli World Challenge with Butch Leitzinger, a championship-winning driver with long-time connections to both halves of the new Anglo-American motorsports partnership, at the helm. Bentley will be taking on the competition in a pair of no-holds-barred sprint races (June 20-21) at one of the continent’s classic road-racing venues.

“Motorsport is an integral part of Bentley’s DNA and we’re excited to return to the racetrack in North America,” said Christophe Georges, President and CEO, Bentley Motors, Inc.  “We’re thrilled to work with the successful Dyson Racing organization.

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06/16/14
f1

Pirelli predicts two pit-stops in Austria
Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli is predicting two pit-stops at this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull Ring, formerly known as the A1-Ring and before that the Osterreichring, returns to the calendar after a 10-year absence this season, with Pirelli opting to provide its Super Soft and Soft tire compounds.

"It's always exciting to go to a new circuit: everyone starts on a level playing field, with the teams and drivers who dial themselves into the new conditions soonest coming out on top," said Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery.

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06/16/14
roc

Motor sport and football to join forces at the ROC World Cup
The Race Of Champions and Frankfurt’s Commerzbank Arena will bring motor sport and football together under the same roof at two all-new events to coincide with Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The centerpiece of the month-long festivities will be a race featuring past and present drivers from the world’s big football nations such as Germany, France, England, Italy, Spain and Brazil. The format will be based on the annual end-of-year ROC Nations Cup with head-to-head racing in identical cars – but seeing what happens when you take some of football’s biggest rivalries and transfer them from the pitch to ROC’s unique parallel racetrack.

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06/16/14
tv news

Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
NASCAR Nationwide Series Goes Road Racing on ABC
The NASCAR Nationwide Series goes road racing at picturesque Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., on Saturday, June 21, and ABC will have a live telecast. NASCAR Countdown airs at 2:30 p.m. ET with the green flag at 3:06 p.m.  Also from the 4-mile racing circuit, ESPN2 will televise qualifying at 11:30 a.m. on race day. The race telecast also will air live in Canada on TSN and will air in Spanish on ESPN Deportes on June 22 at 4 a.m.

Announcers:
Booth: Lap-by-Lap announcer Allen Bestwick; analysts Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree.
Pit reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch.

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06/16/14
f1

Mixed reaction to Monday's Schumacher news
(GMM)  News on Monday that Michael Schumacher is out of his coma and hospital met a mixed reaction.

Overwhelmingly, the response was positive, with figures like Ferrari's Fernando Alonso tweeting that he is "So happy this is going in the good direction!"

Niki Lauda told German television RTL: "I'm extremely happy.  I always believed this news would come.

"Now I wish he gets through the rehab as quickly as possible and is back with us in formula one."

Not everyone is as convinced.

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06/16/14
nassprint

Legendary Engine Builder Ray Fox Dies (Update) UPDATE The following is a brief statement from NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director Winston Kelley on the passing of Ray Fox.

"On behalf of the entire NASCAR Hall of Fame team, I would like to offer our most sincere condolences to the family of NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Ray Fox. Mr. Fox was an accomplished engine builder, innovator, car owner and NASCAR inspector, building engines and owning cars for some of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history including NASCAR Hall of Famers Junior Johnson, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Buck Baker, Herb Thomas, Tim Flock, Fireball Roberts, Fred Lorenzen and nominee Buddy Baker. He also served as a NASCAR engine inspector from 1990 - 1996. Mr. Fox was uniquely talented and a multi-dimensional pioneer, innovator and contributor to the success of NASCAR for many decades. Mr. Fox will be deeply missed, but his memory and legacy will live on forever."

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06/16/14
nassprint

NASCAR’s new Chase format downgrades great finishes
Brad Keselowski
It's probably a by-product of NASCAR’s new Chase format more than anything else.

Brad Keselowski has finished second, second and third in his past three Sprint Cup Series races and in any other season that would be a necessary ingredient toward running for the series championship.

With a Chase format now based almost exclusively on wins, great finishes are good for team morale, but he’s uncertain of any other benefits.

“We have consistency, which is good. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean much right now at this time of the year in terms of points,” said Keselowski after his third-place finish in Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

"It does mean a lot in the sense of overall morale and our ability to really make a push as the fall comes for the Chase. That’s important to us, even if it might not show a tangible result in the short-term."

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06/16/14
f1

Schumacher Out Of Coma And Leaves Hospital
Michael Schumacher wife Corinna Schumacher in happier times
Former Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher is no longer in a coma and has left hospital after a ski accident last December.

The 45-year-old has been in an induced coma since suffering a serious head injury in a skiing accident in the French Alps resort of Meribel in December.

His management company said in a statement: "Michael has left the CHU Grenoble to continue his long phase of rehabilitation. He is not in a coma anymore.

"His family would like to explicitly thank all his treating doctors, nurses and therapists in Grenoble as well as the first aiders at the place of the accident, who did an excellent job in those first months.

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06/16/14
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Webber says Vettel will win again
    Vettel will win again - Webber
  • Ferrari wants meeting amid F1 'worries'
  • Forza Rossa still waiting for green light
  • Danica Patrick admits F1 with Haas 'possible'
  • Button recovering from wasp sting

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06/16/14
wec

Video: Highlights of the 2014 24 Hours of LeMans


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