Practice One: P4 at 1:10.4496 Practice Two: P2 at 1:09.8471 Overall: P3 at 1:09.8471 Best start on the streets of Houston is 10th (USF2000, 2013)
" Today was good! We ended up P2 in the second practice which is great. Other than that, we have a little bit to work on here and there, but the Lander Property Management/DaVinci Foods car should be good for tomorrow. The track here in Houston seems to have improved a lot from last year; they did a good job smoothing it out, and I really enjoy coming to this race."
Pagenaud tops 2nd IndyCar practice in Houston (Update)UPDATE Added photo and driver quotes below.
Pagenaud puts his Honda on top on Friday
Simon Pagenaud topped the afternoon practice session for the Shell and Pennzoil GP of Houston with a quick lap of 1m0.1415s seconds on the 1.634-mile, 10-turn temporary street circuit.
Like the companion 45-minute morning session -- in which Pagenaud was second quick -- five different teams were represented in the top five of the time chart. The top dozen cars were separated by less than a second.
"We just need to keep up with the track on the (alternate) Firestone tires for qualifying," Pagenaud said. "The car is providing good rear grip, which suits my driving style."
Andersen Promotions adds go-karts to the IndyCar ladder The Mazda Road to Indy - the most successful driver development program in the world - is now further engrained in the grassroots level of the sport following today's announcement that Andersen Promotions has formed a partnership with MAXSpeed Group, the United States distributor of the Rotax MAX engine platform. The nationwide professional karting series - with 21 Rotax MAX Challenge (RMC) divisions throughout the country - will become an Official Partner of the Mazda Road to Indy effective immediately to foster the next wave of up-and-coming drivers.
Rotax is the largest racing series in the world in any form of motorsports with over 15,000 drivers competing each year. The United States program entered a new era at the beginning of 2011 when MAXSpeed Group took over the administration, led by President Richard Boisclair. Continued growth and the largest Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals in history with 288 of the world's best karters representing 60 nations descending on NOLA Motorsports Park last year are just a few of MAXSpeed Group's accomplishments.
Power tops opening practice in Houston Under sweltering heat and humidity, Verizon Penske driver Will Power topped opening practice for the Shell GP of Houston IndyCar race with a lap of 1m00.443s in his Chevy. That was enough to top the Honda of Simon Pagenaud who lapped at 1m00.696s.
Sebastien Bourdais, Takuma Sato and Tony Kanaan rounded out the top-5.
Aleix Espargaro takes Assen pole in rain affected Q2 The MotoGP race at the Iveco Daily TT Assen will see Aleix Espargaro get away from pole position on the grid on Saturday, ahead of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa on row one, after light rain disrupted Q2.
A group of riders were bunched up in an early dash from pit lane as they sensed light rain could become heavier right at the beginning of the Q2 run, with NGM Forward Racing’s Espargaro initially hanging behind that group and judging the conditions best for the first pole of his Grand Prix career.
Stefan Wilson lands full-time IndyCar ride for 2015 with Fan Force United
Fan Force United & Xclusive Marketing Agency has confirmed that Stefan Wilson has signed with the team to be its driver for its INDYCAR program in 2015. In addition, the team is working to try to compete later this season in one or two events with Wilson at the wheel.
Fan Force United has been seeking the opportunity to expand its operation outside their Indy Lights program and make the move to run a full time program in IndyCar. Fan Force aligned with Xclusive Marketing Agency to make that thought a reality over the past month. The partnership aligns the likeminded race enthusiasts and businessmen together as they begin their journey of running in the elite Verizon IndyCar Series. "We are extremely excited to have Stefan as our driver to build our team around. He embodies what FFU is about. Aside from being quick, he has that never say die attitude. He does whatever it takes to get on the track, racing is his life and he’s one of the most fan friendly drivers in the paddock. We can't wait to get him on track." Said Co-Owner Chris Williams.
Legge lands Formula E ride British racer Katherine Legge has become the first female driver, and the eleventh in total to be confirmed to race in the FIA Formula E Championship after signing for the newly rebranded Amlin Aguri Formula E team.
The 34-year-old former Champ Car racer becomes the first of the team's two drivers to be announced which has since changed its name from Super Aguri following a new sponsorship deal with insurance company Amlin.
Legge joins previously confirmed drivers Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi at Audi Sport Abt, Sam Bird and Jaime Alguersuari at Virgin Racing, Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok at Mahindra Racing, Nick Heidfeld and Stephane Sarrazin at Venturi, Franck Montagny at Andretti Autosport and Jarno Trulli at TrulliGP.
Heat, humidity, hydration to play huge role at Houston GP
Tony Kanaan started hydrating Monday — constantly drinking water and taking salt pills — because he knew what was in store for him this weekend.
Heat and humidity are expected to be the primary issues facing IndyCar drivers when they race twice this weekend in the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. Temperatures are expected to approach 90 degrees, with humidity hovering around 80 percent.
The biggest heat-related concern for most drivers is muscle cramps.
"It's the one thing that can ruin a race for you when the weather is really hot," Kanaan told USA TODAY Sports. "I used to have a tendency to cramp a lot because I sweat so much and get dehydrated, mostly in my arms and abs. But now I have a way of rehydrating before the race, and that helps to prevent cramping."
Kyle Busch plans to win all 3 Kentucky races this weekend Older brother Kurt Busch did the so-called “Double” in May, competing in IndyCar’s Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.
Now it’s younger brother Kyle Busch who is making it very clear that he plans on winning the NASCAR “Triple” — going for triumphs in the Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup races — this weekend at Kentucky Speedway.
After winning Thursday night’s UNOH 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, it’s now one down, two to go for Busch, who goes for his second win in Friday night’s John R. Elliott Hero Campaign 300 Nationwide Series race.
Kingdom Racing on home track at Grand Prix of Houston
Left to right- Alan Litvak, Executive Director, George Del Canto, Owner Kingdom Racing and driver Davey Hamilton in the No.22 HP/ Kingdom Racing
There are few home dates on the INDYCAR circuit. As a result this weekend will be one to savor for Kingdom Racing founder George Del Canto.
The Katy-based business is partnering with Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports and fielding the No. 77 car driven by Simon Pagenaud at the Grand Prix of Houston, June 27-28 at Reliant Park. Pagenaud will race both days, giving Houston-area fans an opportunity to watch him and his team in person.
“It’s really exciting to have our home race and be able to have our friends and local supporters actually get to go to the track and see what we do live,” Del Canto said.
Del Canto hopes to have as many eyes as possible on the No. 77 car. Each lap Pagenaud drives potentially assists Kingdom Racing in its primary goal of “delivering God’s word through motorsports.”
Kyle Busch cruises in Kentucky Kyle Busch won the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway as he eyes a sweep of the tripleheader at the 1.5-mile track.
Busch led 91 laps en route to his fifth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory in as many starts this season. Going back to the end of the 2013 season, he has won a series record six consecutive starts.
The win is Busch's second in the Truck Series in Kentucky and the 40th of his career in the 120 Truck Series starts.
A restart with eight laps to go gave the field another shot at Busch and the driver of the No. 51 Dollar General Toyota had to hold off his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate, Darrell Wallace Jr. for the win.
2015 24 Hours of LeMans dates set The chapter concerning the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours closed just 10 days ago, and already the Automobile Club de l’Ouest is preparing for the 83rd event, which will take place on 13-14 June 2015.
Like this year the next Le Mans 24-Hours race will be held during the 24th week of the year.
It’s the seventh time in 92 years that the Le Mans 24 Hours will be run on 13-14 June. The last time was in 2009 and prior to that the years were: 1931, 1953, 1970, 1981, 1987 and 2009.
Patron Endurance Cup Returns For Round 3 At Watkins Glen The Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup is back in the spotlight this weekend as the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship heads to Watkins Glen International for Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen (FOX Sports 1, 11 a.m. ET).
Through two events – and 36 hours of competition – the Patron Endurance Cup has lived up to its billing as a true “endurance” championship, one that spans the four longest races on the TUDOR Championship schedule and a total 52 hours of racing. In addition to January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, March’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida and this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours, the Patron Endurance Cup closes with the 10-hour Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta on Saturday, Oct. 4.
A lap around Watkins Glen with Scott Sharp Extreme Speed Motorsports owner Scott Sharp, co-driver of the No. 1 Tequila Patron Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD) tests a new prototype on-board visor cam at Watkins Glen International during the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship test session. It provides a true Driver's Eye point of view.
Work At Russian F1 Racetrack In Sochi Continues; New Stand Set To Open Organizers of the first Russian F1 Grand Prix are continuing with their preparations and announced the opening of another stand, according to the SID. The new construction in the Olympic host city of Sochi "will be located at the end of the start and finish straight and provides seating to 7,000 spectators."
Race promoter Sergey Vorobyov said, "Due to huge demand we have decided to install another stand at an interesting point on the track."
The FIA and organizers in Sochi "confirmed the 16th round of the 2014 season will take place as scheduled on Oct. 12 despite recent doubts due to the Russian-Ukraine crisis." SID
Caterpillar Renews Sponsorship Of RCR's No. 31 NASCAR Ride Richard Childress Racing and Caterpillar today announced a renewal of their sponsorship deal for RCR's No. 31 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chevrolet driven by Ryan Newman. Financial terms were not disclosed (RCR). Newman is in the first year of a three-year contract with RCR, and Caterpillar "has extended its deal at least through Newman’s contract." The heavy machinery manufacturer "is on the car for about two-thirds of the season with Quicken Loans on for the other third"
Other FIA announcements today SINGLE-SEATER COMMISSION
It has been agreed to establish a 2015 FIA Formula 3 Middle East Cup which will take place in January 2015. The first edition will be held in Bahrain. A call of interest for promoters will be launched.
Changes to the FIA F3 technical regulations have been made to reduce running and development costs. The homologation period of the current chassis has been extended until 31 December 2017.
The 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours will be held on 13-14 June (with a test day on 31 May).
Nick Heidfeld and Stephane Sarrazin to drive for Venturi in Formula E Venturi has today announced that Nick Heidfeld and Stephane Sarrazin will join the team for the inaugural season of the new FIA Formula E Championship.
The duo will represent Venturi when they line-up on the grid at the start of the world’s first fully-electric racing series in Beijing on September 13 2014. Neither Heidfeld nor Sarrazin are strangers to the international racing scene, having both competed in various forms of motorsport including Formula 1, WRC and Le Mans.
Boingo Joins RLL as Official Team Partner Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) and Boingo Wireless, the leading DAS and Wi-Fi provider that serves consumers, carriers and advertisers worldwide, today announced that Boingo has become an Official Team Partner of the Verizon IndyCar Series program.
Boingo has launched an exclusive discount program for enlisted members of the Army National Guard, also a Rahal Letterman Lanigan sponsor. National Guard soldiers can sign up for Boingo’s Unlimited plan for $7.95 per month, a discount of 20%. The Boingo Unlimited plan – Boingo’s most popular regional plan – provides unlimited access to thousands of hotspots in North and South America on any two devices.
Starworks Motorsports and the iconic Martini livery.
Qu: Peter, it's your first year in the Prototype Challenge class in the new TUDOR United Sportscar Championship, how are you finding it?
Peter: “It is exactly how we envisioned it; very tough and competitive. We feel that we are catching up to the teams who have run these cars for multiple years and have three drivers in striking distance for a championship. It's a shame it's considered an amateur series because most of the Silver/AM drivers are only a fraction of a second off the Pro's. I'm sure many are better than some Pro's! I would say the only surprise is how good some of them are. But the cars are great to work on, the racing is competitive and it's the most modest budget in the TUDOR series. It's a shame they capped the entries.”
Qu: The Martini liveried 8 car is on a roll! With a first time overall win for a PC at Laguna Seca too, the driver/team package seems to be working well......
Peter: “The pairing of Renger [van der Zande] and Mirco [Schultis] is just awesome. Both are very supportive guys that enjoy working with the team and we are thrilled to have them with us. I knew from how they did last year with their limited outings that if they just got some time and a proper program behind them that they would have a fantastic year. I'm sure will see them in Victory Lane more times this year and competing for the championship at Petit Le Mans.”
Who scheduled Houston races in the afternoon in the summer? The Verizon IndyCar series has had some dubious ideas. The Grand Prix of Houston this weekend threatens to top all of them.
Day racing in the sweltering summer in Texas. What could possibly go wrong?
The racers return from a two-week break after Ed Carpenter's win on the oval of Texas Motor Speedway for what will be the most physically demanding weekend of the season. It could also turn into the most forgettable weekend.
The 90-lap street-course races on Saturday and Sunday will start in the mid-afternoon during the first week of the Texas summer. The temperature at race time, scheduled for 2:45 p.m. each day, is expected to be about 90 degrees with 60 percent humidity (they are lucky it is only 60%). Each day will test the mettle of everyone in a fire suit.
Simona de Silvestro's Formula 1 debut on Ferrari's Pista di Fiorano On the 26th of April Simona de Silvestro became the first female racing driver in history to test a Formula 1 car on Ferrari's legendary Fiorano Circuit. She made her debut in the 2012 Sauber C31 and completed 112 laps.
Pro Mazda Championship Battle Moves to the Streets of Houston The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires will continue this weekend, following a month's hiatus, at the 1.7-mile MD Anderson Cancer Center Speedway temporary circuit at NRG Park in Houston, Texas. The Allied Building Products Grand Prix of Houston Presented by Marlin CNG Services will comprise a pair of 40-minute races held in support of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston.
The 14-race season is finely poised at the halfway stage, with American Spencer Pigot and Canadian Scott Hargrove separated by just three points. At stake is a MAZDASPEED scholarship prize worth in excess of $550,000, which will assist the series champion's graduation to the next level of the Mazda Road to Indy, Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, in 2015.
Silverstone: Lewis Hamilton in the Formula One Simulator A home race for both driver and team – no event provides greater motivation for Lewis Hamilton than the British Grand Prix! "This is a very special one for me. The support I have is incredible and winning here in 2008 was just unreal!" Join Lewis on a virtual lap of the legendary Silverstone circuit in the team’s state-of-the-art simulator from AR1.com's YouTube channel.
IndyCar, Dallara to Allow Cooling Modifications IndyCar and Dallara will allow modifications to create air flow in to the cars to help drivers deal with the heat during this weekend's doubleheader in Houston.
The modification came after drivers requested a provision for additional cooling of the cockpit and footbox in anticipation of temperatures expected to hit the 90s.
IndyCar authorized a modification that will allow air to flow into the footbox through an opening in the nosebox cap. Dallara in turn built two trimming templates that teams can pick up at the temporary street course on Thursday. ABC News/AP Story
IndyCar needs to move the Houston races to a cooler month. Period.
Investigators close on Schumacher file thief (GMM) Investigators are closing on the identity of the individual attempting to sell Michael Schumacher's stolen medical file.
Bild newspaper reports that the dossier, reportedly a doctor's letter outlining the F1 legend's precise condition prior to his recent transfer from Grenoble to Lausanne, is being touted to media outlets for about EUR 50,000.
The report said the seller is contacting the international outlets and publications by email, signing off with the name 'Kagemusha'.
Kagemusha, literally 'Shadow Warrior', is a Japanese term ordinarily meaning a political decoy.
It is also the title of a 1980 film, and according to the movie database IMDb it is about a "petty thief with an utter resemblance to a samurai warlord".
(GMM) F1's chief legal officer ended her day in tears after appearing as a witness during the Bernie Ecclestone bribery trial.
Earlier this year, it emerged that, with Ecclestone's powers diminished during the scandal and high-profile trial, 44-year-old Sacha Woodward-Hill would help her boss with the day-to-day running of the sport.
"She'll be Bernie's rock," an insider told the Daily Mail in April.
But in Munich on Wednesday, Woodward-Hill found her emotions in turmoil.
The German news agency DPA reports that, as she was repeatedly questioned as a witness by the prosecution, Woodward-Hill had to have a break after succumbing to tears.
Video: Austin Dillon visits Indy ahead of BY400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Austin Dillon was in Indianapolis on June 25, 2014 where he visited with Indianapolis Colts players Pat McAfee and Matt Overton at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, and also appeared at Eagle Creek Park where he challenged segments of the Go Ape obstacle course.
Dillon, 24, is a two-time NASCAR Champion (2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion and 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion) and will compete in the 2014 Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com at IMS on Sunday, July 27 in the No. 3 Mycogen Seeds Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. Dillon finished 26th in his Brickyard 400 debut last year.
NASCAR facing short Cup field for first time since 2001 For the first time in nearly 13 seasons, a NASCAR Sprint Cup race could start with fewer than 43 cars.
The Sprint Cup entry list for the Quaker State 400 on Saturday has only 42 cars. Inspection for Cup cars begins at noon Thursday at Kentucky Speedway, so any late entries likely would have to be at the track at that time.
The 42 cars entered for Kentucky are the 42 cars that have been entered for every race this year. There have been 51 different cars at some point during the season, but none of the part-time teams are entered for Kentucky. The series has seen a decline in start-and-park teams this year, with only two cars parked early in 16 races.
INDYCAR to live stream all practice activity from Houston
All practice sessions from Houston will be live streamed on IndyCar.com.
INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, June 25, 2014) -- INDYCAR announced today that it will live stream all Verizon IndyCar Series practice activity for the remainder of the 2014 season on IndyCar.com, the official website of the sanctioning body. The package also will include the IMS Radio Network broadcast, anchored by legendary motorsports announcer Paul Page, and real-time Timing & Scoring.
Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying and race activity is televised on NBCSN, and will continue to be streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra - NBC Sports Group's live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets.
"We're thankful to our partners at NBCSN for allowing us to stream Verizon IndyCar Series practice on IndyCar.com," Hulman Motorsports CMO C.J. O'Donnell said. "INDYCAR fans across the globe are unbelievably passionate about our sport and we're happy to be able to provide them with additional live coverage from our events."
NBC F1 and IndyCar ratings NBC’s live broadcast of the Canadian Grand Prix on June 8 (2:00-3:48 p.m. ET) delivered 1.462 million viewers, ranking as the most-watched F1 race in seven years (2007 Canadian Grand Prix, FOX, 1.494 million), and the most-watched F1 race on NBC and NBCSN since NBC Sports Group acquired F1 broadcasting rights prior to the 2013 season.
NBCSN’s live presentation of the Austrian Grand Prix on June 22 (7:30-9:42 a.m. ET) averaged 413,000 viewers, making it the third-most watched F1 race to date on NBCSN, up 58% against NBCSN’s 2013 F1 average race viewership in the 7:30 a.m. ET window.
IndyCar Quote of the Week (Update)UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I worked on the Porsche 2708 Indy car and was at Laguna Seca when Al was driving it in 1987. I was always amazed at how fast he was in that car ever though it was at the back of the grid. The car was about 100 lbs overweight and had a spool instead of a differential!
The gearbox was a dog box like a Hewland, not a syncro box like on a 962, the "hockey stick" that swings through the gates on the end of the shift rails normally is polished with generous radii on it to allow it to swing through the gates smoothly. The one fitted to the gearbox was razor sharp and it could hardly be shifted. The German gearbox mechanic refused to let me radius the corners and actually replaced it with a nice new razor sharp one after every practice!
New Endeavor For Justin Wilson as IndyCar pilot set for Rumble in the Rockies What do you get when a former racer and creative automotive event guy joins forces with an IndyCar star and ex-Formula One driver?
The formation of a really cool driving event company catering to car aficionados.
Paul Shippey and Justin Wilson recently teamed-up to form IGNITION, an event company that aims to produce high-end, exclusive driving events, starting out in Colorado this year. ‘Rumble In The Rockies’ will be the inaugural event, which runs September 2 - 4, 2014.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 25, 2014) – Teams competing in the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge will have a bit more time to celebrate the holidays – but will have a quick turnaround to prepare for the 53rd Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Officials from the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and Daytona International Speedway today announced dates for both the Rolex 24 – which kicks off the 2015 TUDOR Championship and the Tequila Patr¢n North American Endurance Cup – as well as the annual Roar Before The Rolex 24 test.
The Rolex 24 At Daytona will be contested on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 24-25, 2015. Teams will move into the “World Center of Racing” on Tuesday, Jan. 20, with official on-track activities getting under way on Wednesday, Jan. 21.
The Roar Before The Rolex 24, which was held on Jan. 3-5 in 2014, moves back one weekend in 2015. On-track activity is slated for Friday, Jan. 9 through Sunday, Jan. 11, with move-in set for Thursday, Jan. 8. Teams will have only one weekend off between the Roar and the Rolex 24 in 2015, as opposed to two in 2014.
Mario Andretti Question-and-Answer Session Announced at Pocono Pocono Raceway will host an exclusive, fan question-and-answer session with racing legend Mario Andretti prior to the Pocono INDYCAR 500 Fueled by Sunoco on Sunday, July 6. Interested fans are asked to visit www.poconoraceway.com/mario for more information and to purchase the Pocono Raceway Gift Card.
The first 150 Pocono Raceway Gift Card purchases, which can be purchased by visiting the aforementioned link, will be eligible to attend the Mario Andretti Q&A. The purchase of both a Sunday Gate Admission ticket and a Paddock Pass for the July 6 Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway are also required for access. Sunday Grandstand tickets are available for $25 and Kids Grandstand tickets, for those ages 12 and under, are half price.
Volunteers still needed for Milwaukee IndyCar race Fans who want a behind-the-scenes view of the production of a Verizon IndyCar series race still have the chance to sign up for volunteer positions at the ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest Presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers. Volunteers receive several benefits, including special event T-shirts and tickets to race weekend for friends and family. Even if you're not available to work during the race August 16-17, there are still opportunities to get involved. Visit milwaukeeindyfest.com/volunteer to sign up.
Black & Decker debuts on the #9 at Kentucky (Update)UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, A new sponsor for Ambrose. Does NASCAR award them with a pole soon. You have to keep new sponsors happy you know - make sure they think they are getting their monies worth. Mordichai Rosen, Los Angeles, CA
06/25/14 Marcos Ambrose will debut the colors of Black and Decker this weekend on the Richard Petty Motorsports #9 Ford Fusion. Coming off a Top-10 finish last weekend, Ambrose hopes to bring the Black and Decker Ford another Top-10 to move closer to a Chase position in points. Ambrose has three previous starts at Kentucky with RPM. The track has proven to be one his best ovals on qualifying day with an average start inside the Top-10. His best start is fifth just last season. He has completed every lap he's ever raced. RPM
There are many reasons for this, which Brian discusses. However, the larger concern seems to be the racing industry's denial of the problem. Whereas, strategic solutions are necessary to ensure the health and prosperity of the sport going forward, racing organizations seems married to the paradigm of tactically treating the symptoms. Yes, while racing organizations spend precious time and resources concocting silly playoff formats, double-points systems, aero-kits, and branded-grill designs for boring spec-cars, racing slips further and further into the abyss of irrelevance.
With you Japan, the program founded by Takuma Sato in 2011 to assist families following the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country's northeastern coast, will receive $31,350 thanks to the auction of the helmet Sato wore in the 98th Indianapolis 500 Mile race on May 25.
A longtime supporter of Sato who lives in Japan submitted the winning bid for the helmet, which was signed by Sato and four-time Indianapolis 500 winner and Verizon IndyCar Series team owner A.J. Foyt. Another donor matched the winning bid for the grand total.
"It is great news that this auction raised a huge amount for With You Japan," Sato said. "A big congratulations to the successful bidder, and I really appreciate all donors who put in extra contributions. Japan is still struggling from the effects of the tsunami so with your help, we will continue to support children in a way to have some fun activities and encourage their dreams."
Proper planning helps IndyCar drivers prepare for Texas heat
Whoever scheduled the Houston races in the heat of the day in the summer must want the event to die
Even with the forecast of cloud cover for the June 27-29 Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers, Verizon IndyCar Series participants will have to address the area's ever-present heat and humidity.
For the 23 drivers, the physicality of a pair of 90-lap races 24 hours apart - in addition to separate qualifying rounds - on the 1.683-mile, 10-turn temporary street circuit is taxing under mild mid-afternoon weather conditions. The Houston event marks the start of six races over four consecutive weekends.
"When you sit in that seat you're really wrestling the car," said Mike Conway, who won at Long Beach in April in the No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet. "Especially qualifying laps when it's on edge everywhere and you're trying to wring its neck. It's quite heavy steering; when you don't have power steering and these bumpy courses it takes it out of you.
Understandably, Helio Castroneves is happy that organizers of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers have made corrections to Turn 1 of the temporary circuit at NRG Park.
The veteran Team Penske driver could point to that location on the 1.683-mile MD Anderson Cancer Center Speedway as the undoing of his 2013 Verizon IndyCar Series championship hopes during the last October's doubleheader.
"I'm very pleased that they made some changes," said Castroneves, who enters this weekend's event second in the series standings. "We didn't finish last year because of an issue that was outside of our control. Hopefully we'll continue what we're doing and continuing on to the championship."
NASCAR cuts staff as Brickyard 400 nears NASCAR this month has trimmed its staff, laying off more than 20 employees.
The cuts, which were spearheaded by new Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar, will affect eight divisions of the stock car series. Though NASCAR officials declined to comment about the cuts, sources close to the series said they are meant to improve efficiencies of the North Carolina-based series.
Dewars, who left General Motors Corp. in January to join NASCAR, has spent six months evaluating staff efficiencies. Those evaluations, series sources said, continue. So the staff cuts may not be done.
IMS apron delayed a year; would give taxicabs more room Seldom has an eight-foot-wide stretch of asphalt been so anticipated and yet so delayed.
But as preparations build for next month's NASCAR race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, track officials have decided another year must pass without the apron, the proposed racing room below the white boundary line in each corner.
The reason: NASCAR officials want time to study the effects of changes made to the track. The Brickyard 400 is July 27.
IMS had planned to begin apron installation June 9, the day after its vintage car weekend, but NASCAR thought that was too late.
"They asked if we could postpone (the project) so they could test it," IMS president Doug Boles said Tuesday. "We said, 'That makes sense; we understand that.' "
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