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DATE News (chronologically)
06/30/15
f1

Silverstone Expects Record-Breaking Crowd At British Grand Prix for Hamilton
The organizers of this weekend's British Grand Prix are "expecting a record-breaking crowd for Sunday's race," according to Phil Duncan of the Daily Mail.

While F1 has "come under heavy criticism this year for tepid and predictable races, British fans have been undeterred," with 140,000 people "anticipated to descend" on Northamptonshire on Sunday. Silverstone chiefs have also vowed to give $15 "back to every fan who attends the race, which is likely to cost them" in the region of $1.5M.

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06/30/15
nassprint

NASCAR Sonoma TV Rating (Update)
UPDATE NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Sonoma, CA, earned a 2.4 overnight rating [3,723 million viewers] on FoxSports1 Sunday afternoon, down 8% from last year (2.6) and down 20% from 2013 (3.0), both on TNT. The 8% decline is the smallest of the season for a Sprint Cup race on the network, with each of the other five down by at least 18%. The 2.4 overnight is also the second-highest of the season on FS1, trailing only coverage from Martinsville in March (2.5). The network's four other races drew overnights of 2.3 (Dover and Pocono), 2.0 (Michigan) and 1.5 (Kansas). Sunday's race had the second-highest overnight for any sporting event over the weekend, trailing only Friday's USA/China FIFA Women's World Cup match on FOX (4.2). It edged competing coverage of the PGA Tour on CBS (2.3). Sports Media Watch / Show Biz Daily 

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06/30/15
irl

NBCSN now stands for 'NASCAR Broadcasting Continuously Sports Network'
One common recurring complaint from IndyCar fans and many participants as a group over the past twenty years or so involves a perception of increasing lack of respect accorded the series by its broadcast partners. IndyCar was long ago relegated to bastard stepchild status on ESPN as NASCAR and other stick and ball sports squeezed it out. ESPN was largely responsible originally for the rise of NASCAR following the network launch in 1979 because they made it featured programming during formative years. That was largely due to ESPN badly needing content.  In subsequent years the folks in Bristol (Connecticut) milked it for all it was worth up until they were over capacity with stick and ball sports.

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06/30/15
irl

IndyCar Fontana TV Rating (Update) UPDATE For the 0.37 TV rating for Fontana, the average audience was 512,000, which is the highest this season on NBCSN, and the highest since Baltimore 2011. This year's Texas race averaged 431,000 and ranks 2nd on NBCSN.

06/29/15 IndyCar pulled a 0.37 rating on NBC Sports Network 4:00 pm Saturday for the MAVTV 500 in Fontana, CA, up 105% from last year's Fontana race (0.18 rating), which was the season finale, also on NBCSN. College Football had started last year by that weekend, so this rating increase proves that getting the races out of the football season really does improve them.

As AR1 recommended ten years ago, the IndyCar season needs to begin the last weekend in January and run no later than Labor Day. The first race of the year should be the week before Super Bowl and continue every two weeks thereafter. The season must start in Fontana in January (could be cool some days but otherwise OK) and two weeks later be in Homestead, Florida. Fontana should not be during football season nor in June, July or August if you want fans in the grandstands and viewers on TV.

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06/30/15
nassprint

Jeff Gordon's No. 24 To Get Throwback Paint Scheme For Bristol
A young Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 22 will see the "return of the rainbow-painted No. 24," as Axalta will revive the paint scheme Gordon has long been associated with during his career, according to CBS' Norah O'Donnell.

Gordon, who is retiring at the end of the season, unveiled the paint scheme on today's episode of "CBS This Morning." He said, "It's such an iconic paint scheme. It’s what I got introduced to NASCAR with.”

Gordon noted DuPont, which was bought by Axalta Coating Systems bought in '13, originally "came out with this bright-colored paint scheme, and the fans loved it, especially young fans."

Gordon: "They were attracted to this car because it was so bright. It always stood out." He noted one reason Axalta is bringing back the paint scheme is that fans on social media, specifically Twitter and Facebook, "want this car out on the track" CBS This Morning

NBCSPORTS.com's Dustin Long notes the rainbow paint scheme "has been a part of some of Gordon’s greatest moments in the sport from 1992-2000 when he won three of his four championships and 52 of his 92 career series victories." NBCSPORTS.com

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06/30/15
nassprint

NASCAR, Team Owners Discussing How To Improve Long-Term Equity In Sport
NASCAR and team owners have had "discussions on ways that teams can have more long-term value," whether that is through "franchising or NASCAR offering a select number of licenses that guarantee starting spots remains to be determined," according to Bob Pockrass of ESPN.com.

Asked Sunday about possible '16 franchise or license models, Michael Waltrip Racing co-Owner and Race Team Alliance Chair Rob Kauffman said, "What I can say is both NASCAR and the teams recognize that the teams building up some kind of long-term equity for participating in the sport, year in and year out and putting on the show, is a good thing."

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06/30/15
f1

More penalties looming for Alonso
Alonso is not a happy camper these days
(GMM)  This weekend will not be a happy home grand prix for McLaren.

The British team's season hit new lows in Canada and Austria, and the hits will keep on coming this weekend at Silverstone.

"It's never the way you want to get to the British grand prix after the two weekends we've had," said Jenson Button, "but the reason for last weekend is I didn't want to take penalties at Silverstone."

He is referring to his 25-position grid penalty after running through his allocation of four 'power units' for the season, amid Honda's disastrous return to F1 this year.

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06/30/15
track news
f1

Construction Work For Baku's Temporary F1 Street Circuit Set To Kick Off This Week (Update) UPDATE (GMM)  Once considered an unlikely fit for formula one, Azerbaijan is racing into its grand prix future.

Bernie Ecclestone has inked a deal for a street race in Baku, the oil-rich former Soviet country's capital, and asked if it is going ahead, the F1 supremo insisted: "Yep.  Sure.

"It's going to be great.  People are going to love that place."

And the country may not be content to just host a race, as the sports minister has said the government is willing to back either an "Azerbaijan team or sponsorship" of an existing F1 outfit.

As for the street layout, F1 circuit builder Hermann Tilke said he is ready to start construction now that the European Games have ended.

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06/30/15
f1

Ricciardo admits eye on Raikkonen's seat (Update) UPDATE (GMM)  Christian Horner on Tuesday said there is "no risk" Red Bull is set to lose Daniel Ricciardo to Ferrari.

Ricciardo, whose frustration with the situation at Red Bull is beginning to show, earlier told reporters that Ferrari's apparent interest for 2016 is "nice" and "a compliment".

But he also acknowledged that he is under firm contract.

"I don't have experience with contracts," said the Australian, "but I would never rule anything out completely."

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06/30/15
track news

Sebring Boss Stephenson Stepping Down
Sebring International Raceway announced today that Tres Stephenson has announced that the 2016 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida will be his last as President and General Manager of the facility.

"We are grateful to Tres for his many years of dedicated service to Sebring International Raceway," said IMSA President Scott Atherton. IMSA owns and operates the facility.

"The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida and the track in general experienced a period of tremendous growth and development during his tenure.

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06/30/15
irl

Mario Andretti gets Jay Leno up to speed - and then some
Jay Leno and Mario Andretti at Fontana this past weekend
Comedian and former late-night talk show host Jay Leno has spent his career making millions laugh.

But recently at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., the joke was on Leno, so to speak - but in a good way.

Racing legend Mario Andretti, who Leno calls "my racing hero," took the comic on some hot laps around the two-mile, high-speed track in Honda's "Fastest Seat in Sports" two-seater Indy car.

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06/30/15
nassprint

2016 plans in limbo, David Ragan working to secure future at MWR
David Ragan
As awkward situations go, David Ragan finds himself in a bit of one as it relates to his 2016 plans.

Filling in for Brian Vickers in Michael Waltrip Racing's No. 55 Toyota through the end of the season, Ragan would obviously love to keep a ride with the two-car organization for next year.

At the same time, Ragan also wishes a speedy recovery for Vickers, who has experienced multiple health setbacks in recent years with the latest coming in March when MWR announced he would be sidelined indefinitely after a recurrence of blood clots.

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06/30/15
f1

Attention returns to F1 Strategy Group on Wednesday
(GMM)  F1's attention will return to the Strategy Group on Wednesday.

Six weeks ago, as the sport's main protagonists insisted formula one must turn a corner, the group met and voted on a package.

But, since then, it has become clear that the proposed changes are not ready to be pushed to the World Motor Sport Council, while some have been scrapped altogether.

And most of the changes were for 2017 anyway.

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06/30/15
track news

Fifth Third To Become Daytona Int'l Speedway's Bank Sponsor
Looking for a deal with an ISC property to round out its NASCAR sponsorship portfolio, Fifth Third Bank this morning will announce that it has filled Daytona Int’l Speedway’s long-open banking category with a multiyear pact. The Cincinnati-based bank becomes the official bank of DIS. The sides are not disclosing the precise amount of years for the deal, but DIS President Joie Chitwood III indicated that it is in the single digits. The bank gets IP rights to all DIS marks and logos, hospitality and signage at the track, and will have its ATMs throughout the property. It also will look to deploy experiential marketing at the track. Adam Stern/Sportsbusinessdaily.com

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06/30/15
irl

IndyCar drivers are their own worst enemy
'The
The best race in the history of motorsports was ruined by the drivers and Tim Cindric badmouthing it in public instead of behind closed doors. In NASCAR they would be hauled into the NASCAR red trailer and read the riot act "Boy if you ever badmouth this series again you will need to find another job. There are plenty of other great drivers out there to fill your seat. Have a nice day boy, and don't let the door hit you in the posterior on the way out"

The following two stories were written by bloggers on the Disciple of IndyCar blog:

My patience has all but ended and I have heard enough. 'Leading IndyCar drivers' (as described by Racer Magazine) really ought to try and clamp a lid on disingenuous hyperbole. If they ever wonder why there are so few fans in stands or watching in general perhaps this holdout fan can shed a little light. Those guys put on the absolute best show anywhere in years at Fontana on Saturday but did not even wait until the end of it to start ripping it to shreds. The definition of the words 'pack racing' seem to have expanded to mean 'racing on any oval except Indianapolis or Milwaukee.' Also, any invoking of the Dan Wheldon accident in Las Vegas to decry the racing at Fontana race is sleazy, gratuitous and misleading. As a 50+ year fan that sentiment seems offensive. Dan Wheldon died after his car hit another car, went airborne and impacted a post with his head. A freak accident. Just like the one that killed Jeff Krosnoff on a street course. Similar to the one that ended Dario Franchitti's career. In racing freak accidents happen. There were so many other tangible differences between Vegas in 2011 and Fontana in 2015 that attempting to link the two events is, at best, desperate.

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06/30/15
nassprint

New TV show being developed based on NASCAR
Another NASCAR show on NBCSN to make IndyCar even more irrelevant on NBCSN

Roma Downey and Mark Burnett have joined forces in a deal with NASCAR to develop a scripted television drama based on the legendary racing world. The series will weave exciting dramatic stories within the backdrop of this beloved sports franchise.

"We have wanted to develop an original, scripted drama inside our sport for some time, but have been waiting to find the right partner," said Zane Stoddard, NASCAR vice president of entertainment marketing and content development. "Mark and Roma are two of the biggest, most well-respected names in Hollywood. They share our vision for this project and we are very excited to collaborate with them on the show."

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06/30/15
nassprint
irl

NASCAR takes over NBCSN
Looking ahead to motorsports programming on NBCSN, NASCAR shows are 90% of them.  IndyCar will now be buried as an afterthought at NBCSN as NASCAR brings in the advertisers and hence money to NBCSN while IndyCar is costing them money. IndyCar will soon learn that the NBCSN noose around their neck is about to get tighter.

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06/30/15
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Mark Webber trying to sell books
    Red Bull not commenting on Webber claims
  • Todt tells Ecclestone to keep criticism quiet
  • Raikkonen says future not in his hands
  • De Villota family still considering legal action
  • Lombardy says Ferrari to help Monza keep F1
  • Formula E means 2016 'not lost year' - Abiteboul
  • Toro Rosso shines amid Red Bull-Renault debacle
  • Calls for engine rules fix grow louder
  • Cavall begins partnership with Sahara Force India

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06/30/15
nassprint

NASCAR talking with owners about long-term equity in sport
NASCAR and team owners have had discussions on ways that teams can have more long-term value. Whether that is through franchising or NASCAR offering a select number of licenses that guarantee starting spots remains to be determined. Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman, who heads the Race Team Alliance business coalition of team owners, wouldn't go into details of the discussions the owners have had with NASCAR.

Asked Sunday about possible 2016 franchise or license models, Kauffman said, "What I can say is both NASCAR and the teams recognize that the teams building up some kind of long-term equity for participating in the sport, year in and year out and putting on the show, is a good thing. You look at a lot of other sports around the world, and that's how they work. "So the question is can you come up with some model within the framework of NASCAR that makes sense for everybody. It's a very sensible concept. The hard part is the details. So we're having productive discussions to see if we can figure out how to do it. It's an ongoing project." More at ESPN.com

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06/30/15
f1
irl

Formula One stars Alonso, Vettel aren't ruling out future drive in Indianapolis 500
Mario Andretti used to regularly compete in both the Monaco GP and Indy 500. But now this man purposely schedules Monaco on Memorial Day weekend to prevent that. Memorial Day has no significance in Europe so the only reason why its scheduled that way now is because Bernie doesn't want F1 drivers to embarrass themselves and look inferior to IndyCar drivers
Competing in the Indianapolis 500 is enticing to Formula One stars Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel because of its status as one of the greatest races in motorsports, and both aren't ruling out a future drive.

"There are three races in the world are very attractive: Indy 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Monte Carlo Grand Prix in Monaco," said Alonso, the 2005 and '06 World Champion.

The 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race is May 29, 2016, but because of their racing commitments that would likely be too soon.

Vettel said he's intrigued about racing on the 2.5-mile oval if not next year than in the near future, but would need to take measures to prepare.

"Just jumping in and doing a good job, oval racing is very different to racing in Formula One,”  he said.



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06/30/15
irl

It was the scariest race I have ever seen
I was at Auto Club Speedway Saturday for the MAVTV 500. I could easily write thousands of words about what I think was the scariest auto race I've ever seen. IndyCar fans got enough to debate out of this one race to fill all of the long off-season. I choose to focus on a few points:

* I talked with series CEO Mark Miles for 20 minutes before the race. You can go to my Twitter @SpinDoctor500 to read his quotes. I'll have some more of that conversation in this space in upcoming weeks.

* I think it's more likely than not that Derrick Walker has lost the confidence of the garage area. I don't know if he can regain it. The last time drivers were this concerned, only a couple of years ago, it led to major changes in the IndyCar management.

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06/29/15
usac
irl

Racing legend Parnelli Jones featured in upcoming Indy 500 film
Parnelli Jones should have won the 1967 Indy 500 in the STP Turbine
Parnelli Jones should have won the 1967 Indy 500 in the STP Turbine until it broke with a few laps to go.

If you're a big fan of the Indianapolis 500 and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, put this on your bucket list for next year.

To coincide with Saturday's MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway, numerous motorsports celebrities including Mario Andretti and Johnny Rutherford on Friday attended a “first rough cut” screening of "Behind the Indianapolis 500 with Parnelli Jones," a movie that promises to be a great addition to next year’s 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.

The projected one-hour film - which producers hope to sell to a major TV network that will air it in time for the 2016 500 - revolves around Jones’ five-plus decade of involvement with the Greatest Spectacle of Racing, as well as IMS.

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06/29/15
irl

It was the greatest IndyCar race in history (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 Another reader writes, Dear AR1.com, The race featured a total of 3,173 on-track passes - 2,537 for position. Wow! It was indeed the greatest race in motorsports history and absolutely the best race I have ever witnessed firsthand. I want to see more of it. I saw your other recommendation that Fontana should be the season opener in late January. Could not agree more. But Firestone will have two bring two tire compounds, because every once in a while it can be cold and a softer compound would be safer. The race must start at 1 PM PT, which should be warm enough. Starting the season before NASCAR with an exciting race like we saw Saturday would get the IndyCar season off on the right foot. Dan in Laguna Hills, CA

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06/29/15
irl

Why Rahal wasn't give a stop-and-go penalty
Question: Why was Graham Rahal not slapped with a pit safety violation when he left the pits with the fuel hose still attached? That was clearly a situation with no ambiguity, like an on-track racing incident that calls for further review and action after the race has been completed. Such incidents like this, running over air hoses, or hitting tires in pit lane have traditionally resulted in immediate drive through penalties in the past. (John, Los Angeles)

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06/29/15
f1

Pirelli wants 19" or 20" F1 wheels
Paul Hembery is dead wrong in AR1.com's view.  20" wheels on a passenger is one thing, but 20" wheels on a small, low to the ground open wheel car looks downright hideous.
Pirelli Motorsport Dir Paul Hembery said that F1 should "make a 'huge jump'" in tire size and not get fixated on proposals for 18-inch wheels, according to Ian Parkes of AUTOSPORT. With Pirelli and Michelin "going head-to-head" for F1's new tire-supply contract from '17, a "battle is on to convince the FIA which firm has the right technical and sporting approach for the future."

Michelin has "joined the push for 18-inch wheel rims, but despite showcasing such a design on a GP2 car ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix in May, Pirelli has reservations over that concept."

Hembery said, "To be honest the only appetite for going to 18, or something else, has come from external factors. The teams are actually very consistent by saying they want to stay with 13. ... In reality, if you want to do something dramatic, you'd sit on 19 at least, but probably 20 or 21 because that's where the top-end [road] cars are these days. ...

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06/29/15
fe

Renault To Invest More In Formula E, maybe not F1
Carlos Ghosn
Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said that the manufacturer will "invest more in Formula E after a successful debut season for the world's first electric racing series," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS.

Ghosn: "We are going to be bigger in Formula E. You are going to see us much more involved in Formula E. We are committed to this. We want to continue to promote zero emission and electric cars so there is no way you are going to see us less involved in Formula E. You can expect to see more investment and engagement."

The inaugural Formula E team title was "won by e.dams Renault," with France's four-time F1 world champion Alain Prost also involved. Renault will have new rivals in Citroen's DS brand next season after it "announced a partnership with Richard Branson's Virgin team."

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06/29/15
fe

Virgin Racing and DS brand announce partnership in Formula E
The Virgin Racing Formula E team backed by Sir Richard Branson, and the DS Brand, represented by CEO, Yves Bonnefont, have today announced a new partnership and the creation of the DS Virgin Racing team taking effect ahead of the 2015/16 FIA Formula E season.

The new partnership will see the DS brand, through its Motorsport Division, bring its technological expertise in research and development of the race car, together with the design strategy of Virgin Racing Engineering.

The aim is to deliver the infrastructure, racing experience and design and integration expertise to compete at the highest levels and to win Championships.

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06/29/15
irl

Karam Posts Best Finish of Young Career
Sage Karam
Sage Karam
Sage Karam's budding career received a shot of confidence with a fifth-place finish in the MAVTV 500. Underneath the best result through nine Verizon IndyCar Series races for the 20-year-old from Nazareth, Pa., was the realization that he could run up front in Chip Ganassi Racing Teams' No. 8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chevrolet.

Karam showed it by leading his first career laps (five) early in the 250-lap race.

"I think everyone in the field thought they could win at some point. It was fun running up front," said Karam, the 2013 Indy Lights champion. "The Comfort Rev/Big Machine car was fast all day and I led my first laps in the Verizon IndyCar Series, got my first top five. After a rough season, that's what I needed right there and that's some confidence for me that I'm going to put in my bag and take forward."

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06/29/15
irl

Rahal, Andretti Names Share Podium Again
From left, Kanaan, Rahal and Andretti
From left, Kanaan, Rahal and Andretti
Drivers with two of the most recognizable surnames in Indy car racing shared the podium following the exciting MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway on June 27, when Graham Rahal won and Marco Andretti finished third.

Surprisingly, it's the first time in their Indy car careers that the two - who each now drive for teams owned by their fathers - have celebrated together in Victory Circle. The last meeting on the podium for a Rahal and an Andretti was Sept. 1, 1996, in the Molson Indy Vancouver street-course event. Marco's father, Michael, won that day and Graham's dad, Bobby, finished second.

The MAVTV 500 in Fontana, Calif., was the 42nd time in which a Rahal and an Andretti, including Marco's grandfather, Mario, and cousin John, have been on the podium together in an Indy car race. There were three occasions when Bobby Rahal and Mario and Michael Andretti swept the podium in their careers.

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06/29/15
fe

Formula E crowns it first champions
The outcome of the FIA Formula E Championship was decided at the final round in London. Sam Bird (Virgin) won the last ePrix of the season, whilst the all-electric series’ inaugural titles were won by Nelson Piquet (Nextev TCR) and e.dams-Renault.

At the end of the London double-header, the team led by Alain Prost and Jean-Paul Driot saw its drivers Sebastien Buemi and Nicolas Prost finish in second and sixth position respectively. All the drivers and teams will now be stepping up their preparations in order to be ready for the start of the second season, which kicks off this coming autumn in Beijing.

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06/29/15
track news

IMS Eyes Start Of Goal To Use Venue For More Non-Racing Events
The July 4 Rolling Stones show at Indianapolis Motor Speedway "is the first time in the facility's 106-year history that a concert will happen on a date outside a race weekend," and live music "is part of an overall strategy" to build IMS' brand and its core business of auto racing, according to David Lindquist of the Indy Star.

IMS President Doug Boles said that track officials "explored the idea of a stand-alone music festival about four years ago but lacked the showbiz expertise to move forward." The venue last summer then "formed a relationship with concert company Global Live, a new enterprise led by the former CEO of AEG Live."

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06/29/15
irl

What we learned from the MAVTV 500
Round 11 of the Verizon IndyCar Series took place at a sweltering Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Saturday afternoon. After a series-record 80 lead changes over 250 laps and 500 miles, Graham Rahal scored his first win since 2008 in a race that saw plenty of varying opinions circulating afterward.

Here is what we learned from the MAVTV 500:

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06/29/15
f1
fe

Richard Branson Says Formula E Will Overtake Formula 1 In Five Years
Quiet electric cars will replace fossil fuel polluting cars on the city streets, but as race cars they are uninspiring and will not make fans wanting to come back for more. Right now it is just a novelty that will soon wear off as soon as ticket prices go up
Quiet electric cars will replace fossil fuel polluting cars on the city streets, but as race cars they are uninspiring and will not make fans want to come back for more. Right now it is just a novelty that will soon wear off as soon as ticket prices go up
British entrepreneur Richard Branson has predicted that electric racing will overtake F1 in popularity "within five years," according to Alan Baldwin of Reuters.

Announcing a partnership between his Virgin Racing Formula E team and Citroen's DS brand, the billionaire also said that he "was willing to bet all new cars would be battery-driven in 20 years' time."

Branson said, "I think there's still going to be room for Formula 1 for another few more years. But there will come a time when Formula E will overtake Formula 1. I think four or five years from now you'll find Formula E overtaking Formula 1 as far as number of people."

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06/29/15
irl

IndyCar's scheduling and marketing problems
IndyCar Now
IndyCar under CART at Fontana before (packed grandstands)
IndyCar Now
IndyCar at Fontana Now. Tony George's 'vision' realized (empty grandstands)

FONTANA, Calif. — Ryan Hunter-Reay's family lives a moderate Southern California commute from Auto Club Speedway, well within the marketing reach of a world media capital. But if not for being related to the former IndyCar series champion and Indianapolis 500 winner, they wouldn't have known the 11th race of the IndyCar season was even taking place, he said.

And that, he said, is a problem the series should address as it devises its 2016 schedule.

"I'd like to get rid of the ovals where there's nobody in the stands," Hunter-Reay told USA TODAY Sports as a smattering of fans wandered the grounds of the track on Friday. "I think there's no reason to go racing at a place where nobody shows up. And I think the first problem with that, that whole scenario, the whole equation, is that it's not marketed. I have my family living right here on the coast and they haven't even heard about the race. There's problem one, right?

"Well, problem two is we don't have anybody in the stands and that needs to be changed. Let's go racing where people are, and where people will show up at certain ovals."

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06/29/15
Racing News

Electric car wins Pikes Peak Hill Climb
History was made Sunday at the Broadmoor Pikes Peak Int’l Hill Climb. Rhys Millen became the first driver to win the event with an electric racer, and he set a new record time (for battery-powered cars) of nine minutes, 7.222 seconds in the process.

Underlining the rise of electric machines, Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima drove his Rimac-engineered e-Runner up America’s Mountain in 9.32.401, to capture second place.

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06/29/15
F1

Video: Lewis Hamilton previews the British GP
"It's the proudest moment when you win at your home Grand Prix and you win in front of your fans." MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team Driver Lewis Hamilton chats about the Silverstone circuit. The 2014 FIA Formula One World Drivers’ Champion shows the most crucial parts of the track in the simulator.

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06/29/15
nassprint

No second team for Furniture Row in 2016
Furniture Row Racing currently fields only the #78 Chevy of driver Martin Truex Jr. Speaking Saturday at Sonoma Raceway, Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone indicated there's no rush to add a second team and that the earliest the Denver, Colorado-based organization would likely expand is 2017. "It's still not a priority for us," Garone said.

"It kind of falls in getting sponsorship. So while we're working on getting additional sponsorship for the 78 car, we're also working on a second team, but it's really, in priorities, it's funding for the 78, support funding for the 78 and then a second program. So it's not a huge priority right now, especially with the way the 78 has performed this year, and then being in the Chase, we want to keep 100 percent focused on what's ahead of us here. We don't have to have a second team. I think long-term we certainly do, but it's got to come in the right steps."

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06/29/15
nassprint

NASCAR's stance on the Confederate Flag is confusing
NASCAR has always been a Confederate Flag worshiping sport. Now, because forced by media pressure, they ban their sale
NASCAR has always been a Confederate Flag worshiping sport. Now, because forced by media pressure, they ban their sale
For a sport with a strong Southern following and a symbol with deep Southern routes, NASCAR isn't looking to associate itself with the Confederate flag anytime soon.

NASCAR released a statement detailing its stance on the Confederate flag early last week, saying it supported South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's request to have it removed from the state's capitol grounds and the flag wouldn't be allowed "in any official NASCAR capacity."

Since then, some of NASCAR's biggest names have come out supporting the banishment of the Confederate flag at events, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon. Still, Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Sonoma in California could be the first test for NASCAR's noncommittal ban.

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06/29/15
nassprint

Goodyear explains early unusual tire wear at Sonoma
Tire issues affecting at least four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams during Sunday's Toyota/SaveMart 350 were the result of the soft compound and harsh race conditions, according to Goodyear. The teams of McMurray, Truex Jr., Gordon and Johnson saw unusual tire wear after early pit stops in the 110-lap race. According to a Goodyear spokesperson, the tire being used for Sunday's race was on the softest end of the range of compounds. Compared to what was used previously at Sonoma, this tire featured increased thickness for improved wear, however some tires were showing signs of tearing. Individual set-ups by the teams were not considered factors in the unusual wear. NASCAR.com

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06/29/15
nassprint

NASCAR tower now controls pit-road entrance light
NASCAR officials in race control will now be in control of the indicator light at the entrance to pit road which began with Sunday's race at Sonoma Raceway. The light and flags, previously both controlled by a NASCAR official at the opening of pit road, indicate whether pit road is open or closed at various points during a race. An issue with that system last weekend at Chicago during an NASCAR XFINITY Series event resulted in 19 drivers pitting under caution before pit road was officially open - because most had heard on the radio officials in the tower announce pit road was open. The change is for all three national series - Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series. NASCAR.com

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06/29/15
irl

IndyCar straddling line between speed, safety
FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — Organizers in every motorsport try to walk a fine line between creating fast, entertaining racing and keeping drivers and riders safe. Finding that middle ground is particularly vital in IndyCar, where cars occasionally go airborne in accidents.

Many drivers at Saturday’s 500-mile race at Auto Club Speedway believe IndyCar officials crossed the line by putting too much downforce on the cars, adding speed and risk at the 2-mile oval.

Now the series needs to figure out what to do next.

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06/29/15
irl

Video: Robin Miller with Fontana Winner Graham Rahal
The RACER Channel's Robin Miller interviews an ecstatic Graham Rahal after he earned his second career victory at Auto Club Speedway.



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06/29/15
irl

IndyCar Remains Its Own Worst Enemy
The racing was fantastic in Fontana but the drivers move to ruin it for the fans over safety reasons
Saturday in Fontana, California the micromanaging blind squirrels of IndyCar management found a nut and the drivers of the Verizon IndyCar Series unleashed the most edge-of-the-seat exciting race since the early 2000s. 80 lead changes among more than half the field. The start featured a long initial green period with more slicing and dicing than a culinary arts school. It was simply amazing; almost awe inspiring. Even the television staff in the booth lost all pretense of being objective announcers who just call the race and simply became high heart rate, oohing and aaahhhing, cheering fans like everyone else toward the end. Fans were absolutely mesmerized.

The bitching began before the race even concluded. Tim Cindric. Will Power. Juan Montoya. Tony Kanaan. Their common message? Decrying 'pack racing.' Using words like 'crazy.' Comparing the race to Las Vegas in 2011. Invoking the name of the late Dan Wheldon. Trying to position themselves as knowing more than IndyCar, any fan, or anyone else.

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06/29/15
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Closed cockpit research continues for F1, but IndyCar needs it more
    More bidders join race to buy F1
  • Leimer expects Friday drive at Silverstone
  • F1 'not interesting' for VW brands - Winterkorn
  • 'Ferrari should threaten to quit over Monza exit'
  • FIA clears top teams over oil concerns
  • Button says Honda 'committed' to F1
  • Rosberg working to keep up top form
  • Vettel wants Raikkonen to keep Ferrari seat
  • F1 drops Jerez as 2016 test venue
  • 'Red Bull to decide future before summer break'
  • Closed cockpit research continues

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06/28/15
nassprint

Can Busch make The Chase???
Kyle Busch en route to victory at Sonoma Raceway
It's about 90 minutes after The Toyota/Save Mart 350 concluded with Kyle Busch taking his first victory of 2015. Sonoma Raceway is clearing out although there are many in the media here still grinding away at their laptops.

During the winner's one topic of conversation was the possibility of Busch making The Chase. Remember, NASCAR granted Busch an exemption after his injury at Daytona in February which caused him to miss the first 11 races of this season so long as Busch:

1. won a race
2. finished in the top-30 in points

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06/28/15
dtm

Wickens leads Canadian 1-2 in Germany
A happy Wickens
Canadian Robert Wickens wins from local boy Christian Vietoris and fellow Canadian Bruno Spengler in the second DTM race at the Norisring this weekend.

Sheer joy for Robert Wickens. At the Norisring, the only street circuit on the DTM calendar, the Mercedes-Benz driver scored his third victory in the DTM.

At the end of an action-packed race, the Canadian finished well ahead of his fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Christian Vietoris. At the finish line, he had a margin of 7.239 seconds.

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06/28/15
nassprint

Martin Truex, Jr. Sonoma Accident Quotes
Truex Jr. races hard before he crashes
Truex Jr. races hard before he crashes
Involved in an on-track accident on lap 29

YOU JUST MADE SOME ADJUSTMENTS TO MAKE THE CAR BETTER. WHAT HAPPENED?

“We were going to be okay. It’s just a product of restarts here. When you are in mid-pack, it’s not a good place to be. It’s just really congested. We were a lot faster than a couple of guys around us. You’re trying not to get run over. You’ve got to make moves. Every time I passed the No. 55 (David Ragan), he would just stay on the side of me and not give me three or four inches to get clear, so we can all kind of get going. After the fourth time of doing that, it’s just, we both ran out of room and I guess he turned me on purpose. I ran into the side of him first, so I kind of had it coming. But that was an accident. I thought I gave him enough room there, coming out of the esses, and I felt like he probably just turned me on purpose where it happened and how it happened. But, it’s just a product of the racing here and we’ll go on and do our thing.”

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06/28/15
nassprint

Pre-race notes from Sonoma
Arnold Schwarzenegger
The Terminator is here at Sonoma Raceway. Yes, movie actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is here as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for this afternoon's Toyota/Save Mart 350.

It's about 20 minutes until the green flag falls Here are a few quick facts.

Laps: 110
Track Length: 1.99 miles, 12 turns
Distance: 218.9 miles
Pit road speed: 40 miles per hour
Purse: $5,735,702

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06/28/15
irl
nassprint

AR1 speaks with Chip Ganassi about the greatest race in motorsports history
Chip Ganassi
I stopped by the Chip Ganassi Racing Teams hauler area here this morning at Sonoma Raceway, and had the pleasure of speaking with team owner Chip Ganassi. Amongst the topics of conversation were yesterday's IndyCar race at Auto Club Speedway, IndyCar driver Sage Karam, and his organization's foray into Red Bull Global Rallycross.

BC: "Yesterday, was an rather eventful race at Auto Club Speedway. There was some controversy and disagreement yesterday about the race package and downforce levels. Is that the right package for IndyCar at places like Fontana?"

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06/28/15
fe

Bird wins Formula E finale, Piquet champion
Stephane Sarrazin crossed the finish line first in the London GP Formula E race on Sunday, but Sam Bird won the race because Sarrazin was penalized for an infraction. Nelson Piquet Jr. won the title by a single point over Sebastien Buemi, the first year for Formula E that spanned between 2014 and 2015. Buemi lost the championship by himself by spinning.

Final point standings:
1. Piquet 144
2. Buemi 143
3. di Grassi 133

A full report to follow later.... Race Results below.

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06/28/15
irl

Highlights of the greatest race in the history of motorsports
Watch race highlights from the action-packed MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway - the greatest race in the history of motorsports.



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06/28/15
irl

Closed IndyCar Butt Bumpers stop cars from flying
The Butt Bumpers are now sealed per Cipolloni's recommendation
Unlike the Indy 500 where the Chevy cars would immediately take off as soon as they got backward, that did not happen Saturday in Fontana. The problem was identified immediately by engineer Mark Cipolloni of AR1.com, including the solution to fix the problem. It took a week or so but IndyCar finally mandated that the Chevys remove the sloped surface inside their Butt Bumpers that was causing the lift. He recommended that they be removed from the cars or completely closed off to prevent airflow inside that was causing the lift.

The following two videos show the Chevys of Helio Castroneves (3:10 mark) and Will Power getting backwards at over 200 mph Saturday at Fontana and the cars remained planted to the ground. And before you ask, what about Ryan Briscoe getting airborne, it happened when the car hit the grass and was traveling sideways, not backwards when liftoff occurred. No one has asked Cipolloni to solve that problem for IndyCar....yet.

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06/28/15
irl

Many, many race fans missed great IndyCar race, maybe last at Fontana
Red-Flag with 5 laps to go. Some idiot scheduled the Fontana race in the summer in the California desert. Most of the grandstands looked like this.
Lucille Dust/AR1.com
In case you missed Saturday's Verizon IndyCar Series MAV TV 500 at Auto Club Speedway - and let's face it, that was most of you - it featured consistent good competition and a storybook finish.

How good was it? The field of 23 cars were so close at high speeds that it resembled a Saturday night program at a short track. There was a record number of lead changes (80), breaking a mark of 73 set at the very same two-mile superspeedway in 2001. It was so good the NBCSN announcers made their viewers turn down the volume to soften their screams.

And it was done without injuries. Graham Rahal ran the 250 laps at an average speed of 168.846 mph. The race was fast, but cautions in the last 10 laps slowed the race although racers were going around at more than 216 mph and at times four- and five-wide.

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06/28/15
nassprint

Good morning from Sonoma
Kurt Busch talked a little about the Indy 500 yesterday
It's a few minutes after 7 a.m. here at Sonoma Raceway. It’s a slightly breezy low-60 degree morning with the sun beginning to peak through the clouds. Temperatures are expected to rise to the high 70s by race time. And there is 0% chance for rain during today's race.

In other words, it's your run of the mill glorious day here in California's picturesque wine country.

I haven't unearthed any pearls of information as yet. Only a few minutes ago was the gate to the garage even opened to the teams. One item from my notepad from yesterday is I asked Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet if he had plans to do the Indianapolis 500 again.

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06/28/15
irl

Will Power: 'Someone is going to die'
The MAVTV 500 was the greatest race in the history of IndyCar. If the series wants to put on a breathtaking but dangerous show like that all the time, then they are going to have to build in canopies on the new 2018 car to further protect the drivers. What they shouldn't do is rob the fans of the greatest racing on the planet.
Will Power was fire-eyed and striding quickly through the garage at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday afternoon. His ruined car had been deposited in front of a garage bay, his race over after a wreck with Takuma Sato with nine laps left in the MAVTV 500.

The rumble beyond the infield suites indicated that a red-flag period had been lifted and the defending series champion threw himself onto a motor scooter to tear off to pit road to watch the final laps, drawn to the spectacle he dreaded would ensue.

"Someone is going to die. This is the Las Vegas situation all over again, but 500 miles," Power told USA TODAY Sports. "Someone or multiple people need to lose their jobs over this, because this is an absolute disgrace."

The day was rich in contradiction for IndyCar.

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06/28/15
irl

Only thing missing for IndyCar's MAVTV500 was the crowd
Very few were in attendance to see the greatest IndyCar race of all time
Lucille Dust/AR1.com
Saturday's MAVTV 500 was just about everything a race fan could ask for.

Thrills, as in a record 80 lead changes. Chills, every time - and there were many - that the fellas went five-wide at more than 200 mph. And spills, with four major crashes that fortunately ended with no one seriously injured.

But could it have been IndyCar's last stand at Auto Club Speedway?

A great show was witnessed by an embarrassingly small crowd, maybe 10,000 (more like 3,000 to 5,000) and change in the 68,000-seat grandstand and a little more than a handful of RVs in the infield campground.

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06/28/15
irl

Penske: Team 'committed' to four IndyCar drivers
Penske committed to 4-car juggernaut
In case there was doubt, Roger Penske affirmed Saturday his desire to continue employing four IndyCar Series drivers.

This season is Penske's first fielding four full-time entries: Helio Castroneves, reigning IndyCar champion Will Power, Indianapolis 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya and newcomer Simon Pagenaud.

"When you've got those four guys - four aces - why would you give them up?" Penske said to The Indianapolis Star on Saturday at Auto Club Speedway. "We're committed (to them)."

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