Jeff Gordon prepared to endorse fake NASCAR caution flags
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 PEPSI MAX CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Daytona International Speedway and discussed, his strategy for this weekend’s race at Daytona, Bruton Smith’s suggestion for scheduled time outs, his Chase chances and other topics. Full Transcript:
AT THE END OF THE RACE AND YOU ARE TRYING TO DECIDE WHO TO WORK WITH, DO YOU WORK MORE WITH A FRIEND OR SOMEBODY YOU TRUST OR DO YOU JUST HAVE TO WORK WITH WHICHEVER CAR WORKS BEST WITH YOURS? “I’ve never believed in the whole whichever car works best. It’s more of the driver’s style and how they push or get pushed. Assuming that we can do that on the closing laps of a race, I think it just depends on if there is a caution or not a caution. More than likely there will be and if there is then I think you are just going to have to team up with whoever is in front of you or behind you and hope you have been working together with that person. The way things get shuffled up if you are in the outside lane and the guy you want to work with or your teammate is in the inside lane that just doesn’t work. I think on the restarts in the closing laps you just have to go push the guy in front of you or if you are the first guy be pushed by the guy behind you and take the momentum wherever it goes and hope it gets you to victory lane.”
IndyCar CEO and team owners at crossroads Earlier this season, at least one IndyCar team owner wanted series CEO Randy Bernard fired. While some owners more recently have come to Bernard’s defense, the relationship between owners and IndyCar’s chief executive seems tenuous. The two sides certainly have their differences of opinion.
Bernard wants aero kits for 2013. Team owners are skeptical of what they’ll do to the sport and its financial viability.
Bernard wants the series to grow from 15 races this season to 19 races in 2013 and 22 in 2014. Team owners say growth must happen in the right markets or it threatens to put them out of business and will inhibit new teams from joining the series.
NASCAR looking marginalize IndyCar TV again Having followed this sport for decades one pattern is apparent, no matter what TV broadcaster CART, Champ Car or IndyCar did a deal with, it wasn't long before NASCAR races were on that same channel and their large media buys essentially smothered IndyCar and forced them into a worse deal somewhere else. History is about to repeat itself once again.
Officials from the France-family controlled track-operating company International Speedway Corp. hope that the recent rebranding of Versus to the NBC Sports Network will drive up television rights fees by adding a potential additional bidder in the negotiating room.
The current eight-year, $4.48 billion NASCAR television contract with FOX, TNT and ESPN/ABC runs through 2014, and negotiations have begun for 2015 and beyond. NASCAR chairman Brian France said in January that he hoped that all three of the current partners extend their deals.
But with recent changes at NBC Sports Group, which is run by former Turner Sports president Mark Lazarus, there is a belief that it could be a bidder.
Hamlin will miss Thursday practices because of sore back Denny Hamlin will skip Sprint Cup practice Thursday because of a sore back. His JGR teammate, Joey Logano, will take Hamlin's car out Thursday, splitting time during the 4 p.m.-5:20 p.m. and 6:35 p.m.-8 p.m. ET sessions, which are the only practices scheduled for the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday. Drivers typically don't practice during both of the entire sessions because they want to make sure their engines are fresh and so they don't wreck their primary cars. JGR officials said Wednesday that they didn't expect to have a standby driver for Hamlin, who is fifth in the Cup standings and must start the race Saturday in order to earn the points for the event. Hamlin already has decided not to run the Nationwide Series race Friday. Sporting News
A Statement from the De Villota Family “Maria remains in a critical but stable condition here at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. While there is no further news than that at present, we have at least been able to take encouragement from the fact that Maria has remained stable throughout since the accident, particularly during the first night following such a lengthy surgical procedure as she experienced yesterday.
We, the family, are supporting each other here at Maria’s side and we take great comfort from the remarkable medical care she has been receiving. We remain positive and this is due, in no small part, to the overwhelming expression of love and support for Maria from every corner of the world. We would also wish to thank everyone at the Marussia F1 Team for all the care and attention they have shown us over the past few days."
Q&A with Jenson Button Looking ahead to the 2012 Santander British Grand Prix, Jenson Button talks about the season so far and racing on home ground.
You began the season with a win in Australia but it’s been tough going for you since then, and there have been seven different winners in eight races. Why is Formula 1 so unpredictable this year?
Jenson: “There were a few changes to the technical regulations before the start of the season, and they have done a really good job of bringing the teams closer together. The tires have changed as well – the way the grip arrives when they come up to temperature really is like turning on a light switch, and if you work them too hard or stay out on them too long, they drop off again just as quickly.
Fans hurting, but ISC still raking in big profits ISC today reported a modest increase in revenues for the first half of the year but said admission revenue continues to be challenged by the economy. Total revenues for the first six months of the year increased to $307M from $287.4M over the same period last year. Net income was relatively flat at $62.9M when compared to $63.4M in '11. ISC Vice Chair & CEO Lesa France Kennedy said, "While generally pleased with our financial results, attendance-related revenues at our events generated mixed results. Our core fan demographic, which is Middle America, still lacks confidence due to slow job and income growth. Until these trends change, we expect our consumer revenues will remain under pressure.”
James Hinchcliffe once spent three hours waiting for the chance to meet his hero. When Greg Moore finally emerged to speak to the 12-year-old outside his team truck, Hinchcliffe was too awe struck to say much during what ultimately turned into a life-changing chat for the aspiring driver.
"I barely could spit out any words, my sister had to ask most of the questions because I was just staring up at this guy like he was God," Hinchcliffe said. "It changed my life, to this very day. He influenced the design of my helmet, he's why I wear red gloves, he's who I model myself after—and it only took 10 minutes for him to make that impression on me."
Canadian drivers are revered in their home country, and Moore was quickly moving up through the ranks when he met a young Hinchcliffe at the 1999 race in Toronto. Moore died about four months later in an accident at the season-ending race in California. He was 24.
Pace Electronics Backs Conor Daly It was announced today that Sodus, New York based, PACE Electronics will back American race car driver Conor Daly for the rest of the 2012 season. It is a return to open wheel racing for PACE Electronics founder and motorsports enthusiast, Pat Kehoe, who is a former team owner at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The motorsports platform will be used to promote the PACE brand on Conor's race helmet and he will also wear a PACE branded hat at all race events. Conor's Lotus GP race car will carry the Snug as a Bug product branding on its engine cover starting this weekend at Silverstone.
Chevrolet to leave the World Touring Car Championship Following a strategic review of Chevrolet’s motorsport and marketing programs, Chevrolet will leave the World Touring Car Championship at the end of the 2012 season.
The eight-year program has so far resulted in two Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships (2010-2011) and 59 race wins for Chevrolet. For three consecutive years, Chevrolet’s racing team has proven the on-track abilities of the Cruze, the brand’s best-selling nameplate, against major contenders in motorsports.
Road America Shines with Nationwide and IndyCar Series
Compared to the awesome speed of IndyCars, the Nationwide cars around Road America are like watching paint dry, but they still draw a good crowd
What’s the likelihood that two major racing circuits would be arguing over a patch of land hidden away in the woods of Central Wisconsin? It’s pretty good when you discover that clearing in the forest is home to Road America.
Both NASCAR’s Nationwide bosses and IndyCar big shots love the 4-mile road course track in Elkhart Lake – about halfway between Green Bay and Milwaukee. In fact, when foreign officials cancelled a schedule IndyCar race in China, that racing series looked to book an emergency race at Road America to fill the gap in the schedule.
Pikes Peak Hill Climb postponed because of Colorado wildfiresUPDATE As the Waldo Canyon fire approaches what may be containment in a few days, organizers of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb have announced a new date for this year's race – Sunday, August 12, “barring any further threats to safety.”
The race, originally scheduled for July 8, was postponed last week when the Waldo Canyon fire rounded the mountain and forced 32,000 people from their homes around Colorado Springs at the base of Pikes Peak. The fire has so far destroyed almost 350 homes, claimed two lives and has been called the most destructive in the state's history.
Maria De Villota, seen above at a previous Lotus Renault test, has unfortunately lost her right eye in the Marussia F1 crash when she lost control of the car in the pits and rammed the team's truck. We are saddened by this knowing many driver head injuries can be avoided if open wheel cars had a canopy. Maybe someday. We can only hope.
Further to the accident at Duxford Airfield yesterday involving the Marussia F1 Team Test Driver, Maria De Villota, the Team can now provide a further update on Maria’s medical condition.
Subsequent to yesterday’s official statements from the Marussia F1 Team, the surgical team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge embarked on a lengthy procedure to address the serious head and facial injuries sustained by Maria in the accident. The operation began yesterday afternoon and she was in theatre until this morning. Maria remains in a critical but stable condition.
John Booth, Team Principal of the Marussia F1 Team, with the consent and support of Maria’s family, would like to give the following update, which provides as much detail as is possible at this time:
Red Bull dominance in doubt for Silverstone (GMM) Nervous eyes will be on Red Bull this weekend, after Sebastian Vettel stunned his rivals with the RB8's pace last time out at Valencia.
Team boss Christian Horner had described the car's improvements as "small", but Vettel was suddenly a second per lap faster than any rival on the Spanish street circuit, recalling his utter dominance of the 2011 season.
"It was very impressive and so all the teams will be looking closely at what they do at Silverstone," Mercedes' Ross Brawn is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.
Firestone tires for Toronto Indy The Firestone primary and alternate tire specifications for Toronto remain the same as those used earlier this season on street circuits at St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Brazil and Detroit. The specs feature updated tread compounds for 2012 applied to the same Firehawk street-course tire construction used throughout 2011. Firestone Racing has available this weekend the new-for-2012 rain tire specification that debuted last month in Detroit. The tread pattern design of the new rain tire is inspired by the Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500 passenger-car tire.
Helio Castroneves is within striking distance of an IndyCar series championship. And heading into this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto event, the Brazilian driver wants to stay there.
Especially considering how well he’s traditionally fared in Edmonton, which is the following stop on the circuit.
“Our goal is to win the championship and we have few more races to go and we want to keep running well,” Castroneves said on Tuesday. “I think as long as we keep the opportunity alive, we have a good chance.
“We’re only 25 points behind, which is very, very possible to make up. I’ve seen teams be a lot worse than that that go on to almost win the championship.”
With Sergio Pininfarina passing away last night the Prancing Horse loses one of the men most closely connected to Ferrari.
"An exceptional person," Luca di Montezemolo said, "who connected his name indissolubly with our history and our success. Sergio was one of the most important advocates of Made in Italy all over the world, a man, who gave Italy credibility and splendor. An example not just of an entrepreneur, but also known for his civic duties, he spread with great passion for his country. He demonstrated it as President of Confindustria, Member of Parliament and Senator for life. Calling his relation with Ferrari legendary is insufficient.
Each year media giant ESPN hosts the ESPY Awards (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly), which recognize individual and team athletic achievement and other sports-related performance. Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Stewart has been nominated in two categories -- Best Driver and Best Championship Performance.
Other nominees for Best Driver honors include four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti, Formula 1 champion Sebastien Vettel and National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) champion Del Worsham.
Simona de Silvestro will have a new and hopefully improved Lotus engine this weekend at Toronto.
De Silvestro said Tuesday the new engine has been installed and she will get her first laps on track with it at Toronto. IndyCar last week approved upgrades for Lotus intended to help the struggling manufacturer, but de Silvestro thinks it could be a month before HVM Racing sees on-track improvement.
"Lotus is going to bring us an update, we think, before every race," she said. "We'll see how Toronto works out, but we think if we keep focusing on what we are doing, if we get to Baltimore (Sept. 2) and can run in the top 10, that would be really good for us. I think we are going to go to Toronto pretty open and excited to see what this new engine can do."
IndyCar seeks presenting sponsor, bigger schedule IndyCar Series officials have approached two existing sponsors, Verizon Wireless and Firestone, about becoming the open-wheel race series’ presenting sponsor in a deal motorsports business experts said could be worth $3 million annually.
Sources familiar with discussions said series officials are pitching a multiyear deal valued in the high seven-figure range, plus an advertising commitment to the series’ television partners, ABC-TV and NBC Sports Network.
A racing industry source said Sunoco Inc., the official fuel partner of IndyCar, and another company not currently involved in IndyCar sponsorship are also possibilities.
NASCAR Kentucky Sprint Cup TV Rating NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing on TNT did a 2.6/5 overnight rating on Saturday night for the Quagder State 400, down -4% from last year's 2.7/5 when the race ran on Saturday night, 7/9/11. This brings TNT's positive start for the Sprint Cup season to a halt as the previous three races were either flat or up over 2011.
Dempsey joins Belardi Auto Racing for remainder of 2012 Irishman Peter Dempsey will drive the No. 9 Firestone Indy Lights car for Belardi Auto Racing for the remainder of the 2012 season beginning in Toronto.
"Peter has been on our radar since he was a competitor at Andretti Autosport last year," team owner Brian Belardi said. "We saw how immensely talented and quick he was, and mentally put him into consideration for the future. At the beginning of this season we had two great drivers fill our two full-time seats, so things just weren't right at the time.
"Unfortunately, this season has not worked out the way we had anticipated. With Peter now on our team, we expect this to be a step in the right direction. Everyone is looking forward to his first race with us in Toronto."
Push-to-pass available to test in practice INDYCAR will set the engine control unit to allow one push-to-pass activation per run (service stop) in practice July 6 for the Honda Indy Toronto. The overtake assist feature, introduced to the series in 2009, allows a driver to add turbocharger boost and additional RPMs with the press of a button on the steering wheel to complete a pass. It is being re-instated for the final five street/road course races of the season.
Push-to-pass will be disabled for practice and the three rounds of qualifications July 5, but will be re-enabled for the warm-up session July 8 and race.
New wishbones available to teams Dallara will provide one set of revised rear top wishbones to each entry for the Honda Indy Toronto race weekend. The failed wishbone on the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car driven by Dario Franchitti at the Milwaukee Mile was analyzed by an independent metallurgist, and the reason for failure was cited as component fatigue.
Dallara quickly underwent a design review of the wishbone and eyelet, and the revised component went into production. The former spec wishbones are safe to run, with a recommended 2,500-mile limit.
Rahal and Sato talk about Toronto INAUGURAL TORONTO WINNER RAHAL ON EVENT Team co-owner Bobby Rahal competed in Toronto from 1986-1991 as a driver and from 1992-1998 as a team owner/driver. He earned one win (1986), two poles (1987, 1992), and seven podium finishes in 13 races here. He also started on the front row three times, earned 10 top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in those 13 races. He always looks forward to returning to one of the premiere races on the schedule.
“From the first year it was held, Toronto has always been a great race,” said Rahal. “I think the biggest thing is that the Canadians truly understand and appreciate road racing so from our first time there it was always a very popular event and just got huge over the years. I love going to Canada to race; I spent most of my early career racing in Canada so in some respects it’s a little bit like going home. I’m always excited to go there. I think the Toronto event is equal or similar to Long Beach. It’s certainly one of the premiere races that the series has.”
Today, on July 3rd 2012, Moscow Raceway, first Russian world class racing track, was approved to host international standard races following the homologation inspection
The Inspection was conducted by F1 Race director and FIA delegate on safety issues, Charlie Whiting, who highly praised the level of track completion "The track is 99.9% ready to host international races and meets the standards of FIA Grade 1T".
The official opening of the track will take place on July 15th 2012, and the participation of chief architect Herman Tilke, the leading architect for Formula 1 tracks worldwide, is confirmed.
Maria de Villota fighting for life after F1 crashUPDATE #5 “Further to the accident involving the Marussia F1 Team’s Test Driver Maria De Villota this morning, the team can confirm that Maria was transferred by ambulance from Duxford Airfield, where the accident happened, to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
“Since Maria’s arrival at the hospital at approximately 10.45hrs this morning, she has been receiving the best medical attention possible at the hospital, which is the region’s major trauma centre. Maria is conscious and medical assessments are ongoing. The team will await the outcome of these assessments before providing further comment.
“The team’s first priority at this time is Maria and her family.” Marussia PR
NASCAR Kentucky Nationwide TV rating ESPN2’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway on Friday night, June 29, earned a 0.9 household coverage rating, averaging 1,153,792 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company.
Due to severe power outages in parts of the country over the weekend, ratings information for the race telecast does not include the Baltimore, Columbus, Ohio, Dayton, Ohio, Philadelphia, Richmond and Washington, D.C., markets.
The rating was down from a 1.2 for last year’s race, the first time the track had staged a Nationwide Series race on a Friday night. All previous events had been run on Saturday nights.
Sergio Pininfarina, whose family company designed almost every Ferrari since the 1950s and whose name is still synonymous with some of the world's most glamorous cars, has died aged 85. The company said on Tuesday he died overnight in his Turin home.
Pininfarina had been groomed by his father Gian Battista, a onetime Turin carriage maker who founded the influential car design house in the 1930s, to succeed him in the business since he was a child.
Born in 1926, he joined the family firm after graduating in mechanical engineering from Turin's Polytechnic University, became chief executive in 1961 and then chairman when his father died in 1966.
Turner Motorsports making Cup debut at Daytona with Elliott This weekend will mark a major milestone for Turner Motorsports, which fields three teams in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and three teams in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The team will make its debut in the Sprint Cup Series with veteran and legend, Bill Elliott. Elliott, who has accumulated 44 series wins over the course of his career, will drive the #50 Walmart Chevy in conjunction with the company's 50th birthday celebration. This will mark Elliott's 828th career NSCS start. Turner Motorsports PR
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