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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. More ...
Kristensen, McNish, Duval win LeMans  Story moved to feature article.
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. More ...

LeMans 21 Hours: Three hours from victory for Audi  
The #2 Audi has led all through the night and Sunday morning
Morning has come to Le Mans and Frenchman Loic Duval kept his #2 Audi in the lead with three hours to go in the 81st running of the 24 Hours of LeMans.

Toyota's run second and third, but the #3 Audi, currently in the hands of Oliver Jarvis, is catching them and with three hours to go is just over one minute behind Nakajima.

Andre Lotterer took over in the recovering #1 Audi that now sits fifth overall, eight Laps down on Jarvis.

Zytek Nissan-engined cars continue to lead the LMP2 class. The two OAK Racing Morgans have been battling throughout the night with a pair of Zytek’s own Z11SN chassis in pursuit. More ...

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. More ...
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. More ...
Allmendinger wins Nationwide race at Road America  
Rebuilding AJ Allmendinger's image
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. More ...
Latest F1 news in brief - Sunday  
  • Mercedes banned from 'young drivers' test
  • Renault reveals sound of 2014 V6 engine
  • Mercedes not appealing test-gate penalties
  • Ferrari furious, Pirelli may sue as 'test-gate' rolls on
  • Brawn says his future wasn't under threat
  • Brawn: Test storm made Mercedes stronger More ...
LeMans 12 Hours: Audi still in control  Allan McNish kept Audi at the front of the field at the halfway point of the 81st Le Mans 24 Hours.

The two-time Le Mans winner continued to edge away from Toyota, which in turn saw its hold on second and third weakened as Oliver Jarvis moved the #3 R18 onto the same lap.

The Briton dived past Davidson on the outside of the Porsche Curves to effectively unlap himself and gain parity with the second TS030. More ...

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 More ...

Iowa Corn 250 Qualifying results  Moved - see feature article.
Castroneves Wins Heat 3; Takes Pole For Iowa Corn Indy 250  Moved - see feature article.
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.

Brian C. reporting from Iowa
Sukup 100 qualifying results  Qualifying Saturday for the Sukup 100 Firestone Indy Lights event on the 0.894-mile Iowa Speedway, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, and speed:

1. (26) Carlos Munoz, 159.457
2. (77) Jack Hawksworth, 158.794
3. (12) Zach Veach, 158.742
4. (4) Jorge Goncalvez, 157.949
5. (8) Sage Karam, 157.947
6. (7) Gabby Chaves, 157.838
7. (2) Juan Pablo Garcia, 157.713
8. (5) Peter Dempsey, 157.198  That's right just 8 cars.  Pathetic.

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.
Allan Simonsen killed in LeMans accident (Update)  UPDATE Watch Simonsen get his left side tires onto the paint and he loses control sending him headed right toward the barriers on the left.

Allan Simonsen
Aston Martin Racing's Allan Simonsen has died following an accident in the early stages of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Simonsen had started from pole in the GTE-Am class at the wheel of the #95 Vantage but was involved in a heavy accident at Tertre Rouge on just the fourth lap of the race. More ...

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. More ...
LeMans Hour 8: Kristensen leads for Audi  Audi's Tom Kristensen assumed the lead of the Le Mans 24 Hours under caution at the Hour 8 mark at LeMans.

The advantage held by Kristensen's #2 R18 e-tron quattro over the second-placed #8 Toyota of Stephane Sarrazin was a full lap when Sarrazin got caught behind the safety car.

Kazuki Nakajima, driving the #7 Toyota continues to hold third.

Bruno Senna continues to lead GTE Pro in the #99 Aston Martin that was brought to the front earlier in the race by Frederic Makowiecki. More ...

Iowa Heat Race Lineups  
Heat Race 1
1. Scott Dixon
2. Takuma Sato
3. Josef Newgarder
4. Alex Tagliani
5. Sebastien Bourdais
6. Sebastian Saavedra
7. Dario Franchitti
8. Ryan Hunter-Reay
9. Ana Beatriz
More ...
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. More ...
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. More ...

Kanaan tops Iowa IndyCar practice  
Rank Car Driver Name Engine Time Speed Diff Gap Laps
1 11 Kanaan, Tony CHEVY 00:17.4853 184.063 --.---- --.---- 58
2 12 Power, Will CHEVY 00:17.5292 183.602 0.0439 0.0439 81
3 25 Andretti, Marco CHEVY 00:17.5773 183.100 0.0920 0.0481 59
4 3 Castroneves, Helio CHEVY 00:17.5905 182.962 0.1052 0.0132 90
5 9 Dixon, Scott HONDA 00:17.6022 182.841 0.1169 0.0117 100
6 5 Viso, EJ CHEVY 00:17.6705 182.134 0.1852 0.0683 57
7 27 Hinchcliffe, James CHEVY 00:17.7102 181.726 0.2249 0.0397 77
8 16 Jakes, James HONDA 00:17.7264 181.560 0.2411 0.0162 101
9 20 Carpenter, Ed CHEVY 00:17.7588 181.228 0.2735 0.0324 85
10 77 Pagenaud, Simon HONDA 00:17.8281 180.524 0.3428 0.0693 55
11 7 Bourdais, Sebastien CHEVY 00:17.8318 180.487 0.3465 0.0037 72
12 98 Tagliani, Alex HONDA 00:17.8466 180.337 0.3613 0.0148 101
13 1 Hunter-Reay, Ryan CHEVY 00:17.8534 180.268 0.3681 0.0068 56
14 55 Vautier, Tristan (R) HONDA 00:17.8607 180.195 0.3754 0.0073 78
15 67 Newgarden, Josef HONDA 00:17.8615 180.186 0.3762 0.0008 91
16 10 Franchitti, Dario HONDA 00:17.8915 179.884 0.4062 0.0300 75
17 15 Rahal, Graham HONDA 00:17.9415 179.383 0.4562 0.0500 94
18 4 Servia, Oriol CHEVY 00:17.9674 179.124 0.4821 0.0259 67
19 14 Sato, Takuma HONDA 00:18.0014 178.786 0.5161 0.0340 65
20 19 Wilson, Justin HONDA 00:18.0896 177.914 0.6043 0.0882 79
21 83 Kimball, Charlie HONDA 00:18.0938 177.873 0.6085 0.0042 98
22 78 De Silvestro, Simona CHEVY 00:18.2341 176.504 0.7488 0.1403 69
23 6 Saavedra, Sebastian CHEVY 00:18.2621 176.234 0.7768 0.0280 75
24 18 Beatriz, Ana HONDA 00:18.3702 175.197 0.8849 0.1081 87
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 More ...

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. More ...
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. More ...

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. More ...

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. More ...
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. More ...

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.” More ...

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
Horner declines to criticize FIA verdict  
Horner and Newey
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. More ...

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?  
A family poses with Turbo at Indy
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. More ...

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. More ...

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