Sunday Morning Update from Iowa (3rd Update)UPDATE #3 Yesterday, there was a rumor going around the paddock that IndyCar would not be back at Iowa Speedway. The media got wind of the rumor when Graham Rahal mentioned it in passing after his qualifying attempt.
Anyway, Hulman and Company CEO Mark Miles has been seen making the rounds here today at Iowa Speedway. And according to Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star , Miles has apparently told members of the local media that IndyCar will be back in Iowa. Now, no deal has yet been signed. Also, what remains to be determined according to Cavin, is the length of the contract and what the date the race will be in coming years. I imagine IndyCar is seeking a way to give its some relief from this six race 5 weekend stretch that began with the Indianapolis 500, while Iowa Speedway would like to maintain some date equity.
LeMans 22 Hours: Kristensen 2 hours from record 9th win Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Loic Duval are just two hours away from a dominant Le Mans victory and for Kristensen it would mean a record 9th overall win, a record unlikely to ever be broken.
Kristensen holds a one-lap lead over Anthony Davidson's 2-seond per lap slower #8 Toyota.
The #8 Toyota has lost third to Oliver Jarvis' #3 Audi but the fight is close.
Allmendinger returning to #47 at Kentucky AJ Allmendinger will drive for JTG Daugherty next week at Kentucky Speedway, car owner Tad Geschickter told Motor Racing Network on Saturday. It will be the second of five races Allmendinger is scheduled to drive the #47 car in place of Bobby Labonte, as JTG Daugherty seeks to uncover what has caused its struggles this season. Labonte is driving the car at Sonoma and starts 20th in Sunday's race. Allmendinger drove for the team last week at Michigan, finishing 19th - the team's best result since Richmond in late April. Allmendinger also is scheduled to drive for the team at Watkins Glen. The other two races he's scheduled to run with JTG have not been determined. Geschickter said that Labonte will drive for the team in all three NASCAR Sprint Cup races in July: Daytona, New Hampshire and Indianapolis. MRN
Earnhardt's engine problems not related While Toyota has taken a public relations hit over the last month from multiple engine problems, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 39th at Charlotte and 37th last weekend at Michigan after engine failures knocked NASCAR's Most Popular Driver out of contention in both races. Team owner Rick Hendrick said both failures were "random" issues and "unrelated."
The engine at Michigan was valve train-related while the issue with the Charlotte engine was a piston problem. "It started with a valve spring - just one of those valve spring problems," Hendrick said of Junior's engine which expired after he led 34 laps at Michigan.
Teams to test at New Hampshire NASCAR'S top drivers will be visiting the Granite State for a test session on Tuesday, June 25 and Wednesday, June 26. Hometown favorites Roush-Fenway Racing along with Penske and Stewart-Haas Racing drivers will all be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in preparation for next month's New Hampshire 300 weekend on July 11-14. Grandstands will be open free of charge from 9:00am-5:00pm. Several NASCAR drivers visited the Magic Mile last month for a two-day Goodyear Tire Test.
AJ Allmendinger won the first NASCAR Nationwide Series race of his career, surviving a grinding, thrilling race at Road America that saw leaders and contenders get wiped out in a variety of factors throughout the afternoon and into the evening.
Allmendinger led 29 laps in the Johnsonville Sausage 200 presented by Menards. He emerged from a spirited battle with a handful of drivers in a finish that included two attempts at green-white-checkered finish.
Karam wins Sukup 100 in Iowa Results Saturday of the Sukup 100 Firestone Indy Lights event on the 0.894 mile Iowa Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, laps completed and reason out (if any):
1. (5) Sage Karam, 115, Running 2. (6) Gabby Chaves, 115, Running 3. (2) Jack Hawksworth, 115, Running 4. (8) Peter Dempsey, 115, Running 5. (4) Jorge Goncalvez, 114, Running 6. (7) Juan Pablo Garcia, 114, Running 7. (3) Zach Veach, 114, Running 8. (1) Carlos Munoz, 112, Running
Dixon and Rahal win Iowa Heat races Scott Dixon and Graham Rahal won Saturday's IndyCar heat races at Iowa Speedway. Takuma Sato finished second to Dixon in Heat 1, while Ed Carpenter surrendered the lead to Rahal with 5 laps remaining in Heat 2 and finished second. All 4 will advance to Heat 3, which will determine the top-10 grid positions for tomorrow's Iowa Corn Indy 250. Helio Castroneves will start on pole for Heat 3, scheduled to begin shortly.
Video Highlights of Iowa IndyCar single-car qualifying Helio Castroneves sets a new track record in single lap qualifying. Helio automatically advances to the final IndyCar heat that will decide pole for the Iowa Corn Indy 250.
Afternoon Report from Iowa (Update)UPDATE Quite a few drivers were visibly upset after their qualifying runs. Dario Franchitti, for one, headed to back to his garage without speaking to the assembled media on pit road. Simona de Silvestro, usually very upbeat no matter the circumstances, looked quite frustrated.
Graham Rahal was understandably not a barrel full of sunshine and daisies himself, but did speak for a few minutes with the media.
Castroneves blisters Iowa Qualifying (Update)UPDATE We added results below.
06/22/13 Helio Castroneves set fast time in IndyCar qualifying for the Iowa Corn Indy 250. With a 185.687 mph lap Castroneves eclipsed Tony Kanaan's track record set earlier today. Rounding out the top 5 were fellow Chevrolet drivers Marco Andretti, Will Power, and James Hinchcliffe. Scott Dixon was the fastest Honda in 8th place.
Scott Dixon was the fastest Honda in 8th position. We will have a breakdown of the fields for the upcoming heat races shortly.
LeMans Hour 5: Audi running 1-2-3 Audi continues to lead the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours, with all three of its R18s ahead of the Toyotas. The #1 e-tron quattro of 2012 race winners Benoit Treluyer, Marcel Fassler and Andre Lotterer continues to lead the way, although poleman Loic Duval began to close heading into the final stages of the hour.
In spite of occasional problems coming through traffic, Frenchman Duval ended the fifth hour just 38 seconds behind Treluyer, a reduction of 16s since the start of the hour.
Saturday Morning Update from Iowa (Update)UPDATE Tony Kanaan posted the best time today's IndyCar practice session with an average speed of 184.063 miles per hour. Kanaan's speed set a track record by more than 2 miles per hour.
Will Power, Marco Andretti and Helio Castroneves were next as Chevrolet cars too the top fours spots and seven of the top 10. Scott Dixon was the fastest Honda in fifth place.
Overall, the 24 car field was separated by less a second with Ana Beatriz's 24th place time just 0.88 seconds off Kanaan. Results here.
IndyCar Series qualifying begins at 3 p.m. Brian C. reporting from Iowa
Notes From Iowa IndyCar practice is scheduled to start here in about 10 minutes. The paint scheme on Dario Franchitti's car this week is black and yellow with Glad sponsorship on the sidepods. So, go ahead and add trash bags to diapers, sun tan lotion, shampoo, fabric softener, camera equipment, and whatever else has adorned the sidepods of the 10.
Also, Ana Beatriz's #18 has been repainted with the orange that ran through the middle of the car now black. Of course, the team has Bardahl sponsorship for this weekend.
Lemans Hour 2: Toyota giving Audi fits Audi assumed control of the Le Mans 24 Hours race during the second hour, although superior fuel economy meant the #8 Toyota topped the times at the top of the hour.
Eight minutes into the second hour at Le Mans, the safety cars finally came in after Allan Simonsen's big crash at Tertre Rouge and racing was at last able to recommence.
At least the hour-long pause in proceedings had allowed the weather to clear up and the track to lose some of that treacherous greasy finish to the surface that had been so problematic to the cars at the start of the race. However, the change of weather proved costly to the Toyotas neither of whom showed the aggressive race pace that they had enjoyed at the very start in the inclement conditions.
LeMans Hour 1: Audi leads Audi's No. 1 car driven by Andre Lotterer led Nicolas Lapierre's Toyota at the end of an opening hour of the Le Mans 24 Hours that was mostly run behind the pace car due to a heavy crash by Allan Simonsen's Aston Martin.
Simonsen had been leading the GTE Am class when he spun into the barriers at Tertre Rouge on lap three.
The extensive repairs needed to the barriers meant that the safety car was still on track as the 60-minute mark was reached.
NHRA will return to Phoenix in 2014 NHRA officials announced Friday the world’s largest motorsports sanctioning body has entered into a multi-year agreement with the Sun Valley Marina Corporation, a corporation of the Gila River Indian Community, to bring an NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event to newly-named Wild Horse Motorsports Park outside Phoenix beginning in 2014.
Since 1985 the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series has visited the Valley of the Sun and this agreement ensures the stars of NHRA will continue to make an annual trek to the greater Phoenix area for years to come. Beyond the national event, preserving the right to race for the local and regional racers is very important to NHRA and this agreement ensures the track will remain open for business.
Villeneuve doesn't take any shit from NASCAR drivers Sprint Cup drivers are a bit leery about having Jacques Villeneuve in the field for Sunday’s race at Sonoma Raceway.
But none more than Danica Patrick. Villeneuve, the former Formula One champion, wrecked Patrick while she was running fourth on the final lap of the road course race at Road America last year. Villeneuve also caused a big wreck in the Nationwide race at Road American in 2011 and has built a reputation for being over aggressive and running over other drivers on road courses.
Villeneuve is driving the No. 51 car for Phoenix Racing this weekend. Patrick was not happy to see him at the track Friday.
F1 2014 Renault V6 Turbo Engine Sound Preview Did they ruin the signature sound of an F1 car? You bet they did. We saw that with IndyCar. The new engines don't excite one iota and the series continues its downward spiral. A huge blunder.
Rahal won't drive a taxicab at Mid-Ohio Izod IndyCar Series team owner Bobby Rahal says that although Graham Rahal will not contest the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 17, he hopes his son and IndyCar driver will figure out a way to do so in the future.
“That's his desire,” Bobby Rahal said ahead of this Sunday's IndyCar race at Iowa Speedway. “I think it would be great for him to try. I drove [in the old International Race of Champions] and I drove a NASCAR race, and it's all interesting. Anything you can drive in, you get better. Now, I think he's more concerned with making it happen next year. It would be really great for him to try and I think he would do very well at it.”
Police rule mechanical problem as cause of Leffler's accident New Jersey state police said Friday that a mechanical problem was to blame for the dirt-track racing crash that killed NASCAR driver Jason Leffler. The state police released some findings from a not-yet-complete report on the June 12 crash at Bridgeport Speedway in Logan Township. The report finds that a torsion stop came off, causing part of the sprint car's suspension system to become lodged between a wheel and the steering system.
As a result, the report found, Leffler was unable to control the car's steering as he came out of the fourth turn and spun out, slamming into the concrete wall along the side of the track. The report does not say how fast Leffler was going, but says cars in the race were averaging 135 mph and hitting 150 mph on straightaways. Blunt-force neck injuries were cited as his cause of death. Associated Press
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has welcomed the fact that the FIA Tribunal confirmed Mercedes broke the rules in testing its 2013 Formula 1 car - but drew short of saying whether the penalty handed to the team was enough.
Horner was an observer at the Tribunal hearing inside the FIA's Paris headquarters on Thursday. Red Bull had been the first outfit to protest against Mercedes when it emerged the team had run a 2013 car in its test for Pirelli.
Having previously made it clear that he believed Mercedes had been wrong to think it could test its current car, Horner welcomed the Tribunal's agreement with that view.
Aero and tire specs for Iowa The Firestone tire specification features the same left-side tires used at Iowa Speedway in 2012, combined with the same right-side tires run three weeks ago at Texas Motor Speedway.
Because of the higher constant speeds and loading placed on the cars, a more durable superspeedway tire specification is necessary.
Aerodynamic specs remain the same as written in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook. Mandatory parts: road/street course mainplane, rear flap 34.00 degrees maximum, standard rear wheel guard, underwing strake, front brake backing plate. Optional parts: Radiator inlet shutter, rear wing wicker.
Can a make-believe snail rescue IndyCar racing? We’re about to find out.
In four weeks, DreamWorks Animation will release TURBO, a 3D computer-animated film about a snail who wins the Indianapolis 500. The film is steeped in Indy 500 lore, IndyCar images and big-money licensing, with partnerships that include several corporations that sponsor IndyCar teams.
The hope among executives at Hulman & Company, which owns Indianapolis Motor Speedway, is that the film will take root among people who aren’t watching or attending the Indy 500 and provide a bump in ticket sales and TV ratings for the 500 and the rest of the Izod IndyCar Series races.
Peterson wins Elkhart Trans-Am race Results from Friday's 25 lap 101.2 mile Trans-Am Championship Trans-Am Championship Series Round 5 race, part of the NASCAR ARCA TRANS-AM Weekend at Road America, with finishing position, class, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out (if any).
1. TA, (1), Doug Peterson, Bonita Springs, Fla., Chevrolet Corvette, 25.
2. TA, (3), Cliff Ebben, Appleton, Wis., Ford Mustang, 25, -1.443.
3. TA, (11), Kyle Kelley, Huntington Beach, Calif., Chevrolet Corvette, 25, -7.413.
4. TA, (2), Simon Gregg, Ponte Vedra, Fla., Chevrolet Corvette, 25, -25.196.
5. TA, (10), David Fershtand(R), Fort Worth, Texas, Chevrolet Corvette, 25, -35.993.
6. TA, (9), Rick Dittman, Prairieview, Ill., Chervolet Corvette, 25, -42.857.
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