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DATE News (chronologically)
07/07/11
track news

More upgrades planned for Silverstone
Silverstone bosses hope to sign off plans for a major redevelopment plan of the home of the British Grand Prix on Friday, as they continue a push to find investors.

With the second phase of Silverstone's redevelopment - focused around the new £28 million 'wing' pits and paddock complex - now complete, attention is shifting to a wider update that will include hotels, a new kart track, music arenas, car showrooms and experience centers.

The board of Silverstone Circuit hopes to approve the scheme at a meeting ahead of the British Grand Prix, before it is then sent to the local authorities over the next few weeks for approval. It is hoped that the plans can then be signed off fully later this year.

Read more & Comment...
07/07/11
track news

IMS NASCAR deal puts screws to Lucas Oil Raceway
Lucas Oil founder Forrest Lucas said today that he expects to renegotiate his title sponsorship deal with Lucas Oil Raceway.

It was announced Wednesday that NASCAR's Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series would not return to the track in 2012, with the Nationwide race moving to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Lucas said a clause in the company's contract with the raceway allowed Lucas Oil to renegotiate its sponsorship of the track.

"It's a shock, really," Lucas said of losing NASCAR. "One of the reasons we did the sponsorship with the track was because of the NASCAR races. It was a big deal to us."

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07/07/11
nassprint

Fuel injection tests at Kentucky Speedway UPDATE NASCAR Sprint Cup engine builders got a good look at how the new fuel-injection systems work with their engines when teams got to spend Thursday at Kentucky Speedway with cars outfitted with the new units. During the nearly of six hours of open Cup testing at the track, teams only could test one car - but can have a second car outfitted with fuel injection. NASCAR plans to begin using fuel injection with the 2012 Daytona 500. McLaren Electronic Systems and Freescale Semiconductor produce the engine control units, and teams buy the system directly from McLaren. Five engine builders had cars on the track testing the new system - Hendrick Motorsports (with Aric Almirola driving), Roush Yates Engines/Roush Fenway Racing (Ricky Stenhouse NOT Greg Biffle/Matt Kenseth), Earnhardt Childress Racing/Richard Childress Racing (Austin Dillon), Toyota Racing Development/Michael Waltrip Racing (Mike Skinner) and Penske Racing (Sam Hornish Jr.) participated. Many teams have tested the systems at other tracks, but this will be the first open test at a track where the teams actually race. NASCAR plans to have more tests throughout the year, and it will have the Cup teams at Daytona next January for further testing. SceneDaily
Cars Testing testing fuel injection were assigned special numbers:
#121-Ricky Stenhouse, Ford
#122-Aric Almirola, Chevy
#123-Austin Dillon, Chevy
#124-Mike Skinner, Toyota
#125-Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge

07/03/11 The Sprint Cup Series will not be the only thing making its debut next weekend at Kentucky Speedway. The track will also host the first test of cars designed with electronic fuel injection. During an open test day Thursday, originally scheduled so Cup teams would have extra time on a track they have not previously competed, teams will also be allowed to test cars with fuel injection. NASCAR officials expect each of the four manufacturers to have at least one car with EFI on the track. They will all likely be driven by drivers not competing in Saturday's Cup race. Charlotte Observer

Comment
07/07/11
irl

Franchitti predicts mayhem at Toronto Indy
If it was up to Dario Franchitti the start of the Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday afternoon would be an orderly affair, with the drivers respecting one another's space and holding on to their 300 km/h IZOD IndyCar machines as they negotiate Turn 1.

But the two-time winner of the Honda Indy knows that won't be the case and that mayhem will surely ensue when the green flag signals the first of 85 laps around the 11-turn Exhibition Place temporary street course.

It has been that way ever since someone decided it would be a good idea to race motorized vehicles on a prescribed track.

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07/07/11
motogp

Capirossi confirms comeback for Germany
Loris Capirossi
Loris Capirossi will be back in action for the German MotoGP at the Sachsenring next weekend, it has been confirmed by the Pramac team. After dislocated his shoulder in a qualifying crash at Assen, the Italian has been forced to sit out both the Dutch TT and his home event at Mugello last Sunday.

Since Mugello, the 38-year-old from Bologna has engaged in intense fitness training in Monte Carlo but admits that – despite his comeback – he is yet to fully recover.

“I feel better, but my physical condition is still not acceptable,” he explains. “I'm doing daily physical therapy sessions at the medical centre IM2S of Monaco.

“I have already missed two races, but Mugello the most important for me. I want to ride my bike (again) as soon as possible.”

Comment
07/07/11
f1

Massa unfazed by exit rumors
Felipe Massa will not let speculation over his future prevent him from aiming to produce a vintage Ferrari performance in the British GP.

The 30-year-old Brazilian has been with the Italian team - with whom he was a test driver eight years ago - since 2006, and showed great promise when finishing third in his first season and then second in the 2008 Drivers' Championship.

Nevertheless, reports persist that Massa is set to be replaced, with McLaren's Jenson Button a possible target.

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07/07/11
nassprint

Miss Sprint Cup Paige Duke fired
Paige Duke, formerly one of three Miss Sprint Cups representing NASCAR's top series, was fired from her job recently after nude pictures from her college days surfaced on the Internet -- pictures intended only for her boyfriend at the time, Duke told TV station Fox Charlotte (WCCB).

On Miss Sprint Cup's Facebook page, a June 29 entry confirmed the 24-year-old Duke's departure, saying, "Hey fans, Paige Duke is no longer with the Miss Sprint Cup team. We wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors."

Duke told the FOX affiliate, "These were pictures I had sent an ex-boyfriend when I was 18. This is the most embarrassing thing that could have ever happened to me."

Sporting News

Comment
07/07/11
nascar

France asks federal court to seal divorce papers
NASCAR chairman Brian France is again trying to keep secret new details about his messy divorce - this time in federal court where he has accused his former wife of tape recording telephone conversations to extort money from him. France has asked a federal judge to seal documents surrounding those telephone conversations, which involved property distribution, custody of their two children and what's described in one court document as "sensitive personal and financial matters." Although virtually all divorce filings and related documents are public record under N.C. law, France argues that disclosure of the information could harm him both personally and professionally. "If this Court were to allow the record to remain unsealed, large portions of those illegally recorded conversations and information would be filed on the record for the entire world to see," France's attorneys wrote in a request to seal filings in the case. "This case is a private matter, involving private conversations about private issues.  The only interest in allowing the public access to the judicial records and documents in this action is the promotion of a divorce scandal involving a highly regarded public figure." Attorneys for the Observer and news partner WCNC-TV on Wednesday filed motions and memoranda opposing the sealing of the documents. They urged the federal judge to reject "Mr. France's overbroad and unconstitutional attempt to prospectively seal virtually the entire court file. Mr. France is entitled to no better treatment  and deserves no worse  than any other litigant," the attorneys said. "If any legitimately sensitive information arises over the course of this litigation, this Court has the power to place a particular document containing such information under seal or redact it." The Observer's attorneys said France "trivializes" the public's interest in obtaining access to the records in the case. The attorneys for the newspaper and television station said their clients' "primary interest is ensuring that civil justice is applied fairly and evenly, irrespective of the wealth and power of the parties involved.  See more at Charlotte Observer

Comment
07/07/11
irl

Sam Schmidt Motorsports to field second car UPDATE Team owners Sam Schmidt and Gary Peterson have competed in Firestone Indy Lights since its inception. Now they'll partner for an IZOD IndyCar Series entry in seven races, beginning with the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 7.

"This is a fantastic win-win for both AFS Racing and Sam Schmidt Motorsports," said Schmidt, who fields the No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins full-season entry with driver Alex Tagliani. "In our pursuit to develop partnerships and relationships to enable the team to compete with two full-time entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012, we have secured sponsorship for select races starting with Mid-Ohio, but we didn't have the equipment or personnel to facilitate the program. Obviously, Gary Peterson and AFS Racing did."

The No. 17 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc., car with Raphael Matos behind the wheel competed in the first four events of the season. He had a best finish of seventh in the season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. Schmidt said the driver for the remainder of the season will be announced later.

Read more & Comment...
07/07/11
racing news

TRG Running an Amazing Eight Cars in Four Series this Weekend
The TRG empire headed by owner Kevin Buckler takes a big bite out of the racing world this weekend.  Hoping to leave lasting impressions, the Racers Group (TRG) will run eight cars in four different series, spanning from California's Monterey Peninsula through Kentucky and onto the rolling hills of Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.  The team has cars entered in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, American Le Mans Series (ALMS), Grand-Am and the IMSA Challenge Cup, all will be racing on the same day - Saturday, July 9.

At one end of the country in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron, TRG will run five cars in the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.  Duncan Ende and Spencer Pumpelly will share the No. 66 Racer's Roast Fox River Coffee/TRG/Porsche with Dion von Moltke and Porsche Club of America (PCA) standout Mike Piera driving the No. 68 South African Airways/ PR Newswire/TRG/Porsche completing two TRG entries in the main event.  The race can be viewed live on ESPN3.com starting at 1:50 p.m. ET, July 9 with a tape delayed televised program airing on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. ET, July 10.

Read more & Comment...
07/07/11
f1

News of the World shutting down
Max Mosley gets the last laugh
(GMM)  The British newspaper News of the World is shutting down.

The scandal-rag is famous in F1 circles for exposing Max Mosley's encounter with five prostitutes, for which the former FIA president won legal action against the newspaper's claim it was a "sick Nazi orgy".

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch's son James announced late on Thursday that Sunday will be the last edition in the newspaper's 168 year history, in the wake of the long-running and ultimately tragic phone hacking scandal.

"Having consulted senior colleagues, I have decided that we must take decisive action with respect to the paper," said Murdoch in an email to staff.

"In addition, I have decided that all of the News of the World's revenue this weekend will go to good causes," added the News International chairman.

Rupert Murdoch is said to be interested in buying F1's commercial rights.

Comment
07/07/11
f1

Glock hopes McLaren boosts Virgin to midfield in 2012
Timo Glock
(GMM)  Timo Glock is hoping Virgin takes a big step forward -- in 2012.

The new-in-2010 team has split with technical boss Nick Wirth and tied up instead with banned former Renault engineer Pat Symonds.

And also announced is a new deal with McLaren to take advantage of the famous British team's state-of-the-art facilities at Woking.

"I don't have to say much about McLaren -- it's a very experienced team," German driver Timo Glock told the SID news agency at Silverstone on Thursday.  "I hope that with them we can make the jump towards the midfield.

Read more & Comment...
07/07/11
f1

Button hoping English rain keeps falling
(GMM)  Jenson Button is hoping for more English weather at Silverstone this weekend.

Rain swept through Northamptonshire on Thursday ahead of the British grand prix, raising the McLaren driver's hopes of a good result at home against the usually-dominant Red Bulls.

More rain is forecast on Friday and Saturday, ahead of a drier race-day Sunday.

"If the weather's like this," Button said on Thursday, "we're going to have one hell of a race at the weekend.  I'm hoping that this beautiful English summer weather continues!"

Comment
07/07/11
track news

Bickmeier named track president of Richmond
International Speedway Corp. on Wednesday announced it has named Dennis Bickmeier president of Richmond International Raceway, effective immediately. Current RIR president Doug Fritz, who resigned to pursue other career opportunities, will transition out during the next several weeks.

Bickmeier most recently served as vice president of consumer sales and marketing for Michigan International Speedway. Joining MIS in 2007, Bickmeier, 44, was responsible for the oversight of three primary departments -- communications, corporate partnership sales, and ticket sales and operations.

Read more & Comment...
07/07/11
track news

ISC Reports Financial Results for the Second Quarter
International Speedway Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: ISCA; OTC Bulletin Board: ISCB) ("ISC") today reported results for its fiscal second quarter ended May 31, 2011.

"Through multiple initiatives designed to enhance the long-term performance of the Company, we are pleased to report growth in operating income for both the second quarter and the first six months of fiscal 2011," stated ISC Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy. "The decrease in revenues year-over-year were primarily attributable to the event schedule changes at Kansas Speedway which last year hosted an IZOD IndyCar and NASCAR Camping World Truck series weekend during the second quarter. The performance of our events-to-date, coupled with the cost reduction commitments we outlined last year, continues to generate results in line with our expectations."

Ms. France Kennedy continued, "While the economy remains our biggest hurdle to admissions-related revenue growth, we feel confident that our commitment to improving the guest experience is positioning the Company for long-term growth. Recent and on-going capital improvements at our facilities continue to elicit raves from our customers. We believe that delivering unique and memorable experiences, working in concert with attractive pricing options and fantastic racing, will generate stronger revenues as well as improved bottom-line results." 

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07/07/11
nnw

Carpentier calls it a career
Patrick Carpentier
Canadian driver Patrick Carpentier says he will retire after the NASCAR Nationwide Series race next month at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.

"It's been a few years that I've thought about it," Carpentier told QMI Agency. "I discussed it with my wife. We talked about my situation on several occasions and I came to the conclusion that I must move on.

"I remember when I was speed skating. When I decided it was over, it was over."

For the 39-year-old from Joliette, it is fitting that he'll end his racing career in his native province.

"My first big race was at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, my third race in the Atlantic series," he said. "It is important to finish my career in Montreal."

Comment
07/07/11
irl

IndyCar's Servia feels like a Canadian
Oriol Servia
Oriol Servia has come so close so many times to winning the Honda Indy Toronto one might conclude he is snake bitten when it comes to the Exhibition Place temporary street course.

Servia doesn’t think so.

The 36-year-old Spaniard thinks just the opposite. He said on Wednesday that Toronto is one of the tracks on the IZOD IndyCar schedule where he is, in fact, very good.

The record reflects Servia’s confidence that he can do well at the Honda Indy.

Read more & Comment...
07/07/11
f1

Q and A with Renault's Eric Boullier
Eric Boullier
Just the one point in Valencia, the team must have been looking for a stronger weekend?
It was obviously a disappointing weekend, which was not reflective of our level of performance and the level of work and dedication that the team has been putting in. I’m hopeful that we have understood why we didn’t have the right pace and got to the bottom of our problems. We will continue to work closely together, and stick together, to make sure we get stronger and stronger.

There was more overtaking in the race than we had seen in previous years – is that proof that Formula One has become a better spectacle this year?
Yes, I know there were a lot of comments in the media about the Valencia race. Perhaps it was not as dramatic as some of the others this season, but still I think it was a good show and we definitely had an excellent level of reliability from all the team’s cars this weekend. It’s clear, however, that not every race can be as hectic as the one we saw in Montreal.

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07/07/11
superleague

Superleague Formula adds more champions!
Mikhail Aleshin
Mikhail Aleshin will become the first Russian racer to take the wheel of a Superleague Formula car when he gets behind the wheel of the new Russia team at the Belgian GP of the 2011 championship.

The 24 year old, who was born in Moscow, became the first Russian driver ever to win an international single-seater championship last year when he took the 2010 Formula Renault 3.5 series, after finishing runner-up in the 2009 FIA Formula 2 Championship. He has also tested for the Renault F1 team.

“It is great to be coming to Superleague Formula and to race for Russia”, says Aleshin. “I’ve watched the series on TV and I’ve been told how good the cars are to drive. I know some of the guys on the grid and there are some very good racers in the championship. I’m confident that I will be quick straight away, and I hope to be challenging from the very beginning.”

Read more & Comment...
07/07/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Vettel's controversial finger gesture
    Force India considered KERS axe for Silverstone
  • Red Bull visit was Hamilton 'misjudgment' - boss
  • Montreal's other car race faces axe
  • Vettel vows to annoy some with victory finger
  • Only one 'DRS' zone for British GP - Whiting
  • FIA clampdown to be 'intriguing' - steward Mansell
  • Williams calls off F1 test in rain

    Read more & Comment...
07/06/11
nassprint

Q&A with NASCAR CEO Brian France


Brian France
NASCAR has been led since its inception by the same family. Formed by the late Bill France Sr. during a 1947 meeting at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla., the organization today is led by his grandson.

Brian France took the reins as chairman and chief executive officer from his father, the late Bill France Jr., in October 2003.

Ahead of the inaugural Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway, Brian France talked with The Enquirer about the race, the season and the sport overall.

What is your assessment of the season so far?

We’re pleased obviously with the competition level. The racing’s probably never been better. I think most people would agree with that. Having Trevor Bayne win the Daytona 500, the Wood Brothers and all that, was a trip down memory lane. And it was neat to see. I would say, our ratings have been up and attendance generally has been up. But we still, like everybody else, we still have to deal with a sputtering economy and high fuel prices, all of which are unhelpful for us. But with that said, the season is going very well.

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07/06/11
nhra

This Week in Ford Racing: NHRA Edition
Robert Hight, driver of the Auto Club Ford Mustang Funny Car, enjoys statistics as much as the next racer. Now he's pushing for his place in history by claiming the 200th NHRA Funny Car win for Ford Racing. After winning the 200th for the John Force Racing Team, he wants to make it a “double whammy” to wrap up two historic wins in one racing season.

THE 200TH WIN FOR THE FORD FUNNY CAR PROGRAM IS A PRETTY BIG DEAL. IT WOULD PUT YOU AT THE TOP OF THE LIST AMONG FORD WINNERS. I KNOW YOU TALK ABOUT A LOT OF STATS, BUT WHERE DOES THIS FALL WITHIN THE THINGS YOU WOULD WANT TO SAY YOU’VE DONE?

Robert Hight, driver of the Auto Club Ford Mustang: “Well, to me it would be an honor to get Ford’s 200th Funny Car win. I got John Force’s 200th win just a couple races ago, so to get Ford’s at the same time, in the same year, being on a list with the greats of all time and the people I’ve grown up following in drag racing, Raymond Beadle and Kenny Bernstein and, you know, all the guys before me. Mark Oswald was one of them, and just to be on a list with those people and obviously, my boss John Force, that would be huge. So we definitely know the way the Fords are running this year, it’s gonna happen. And I can’t think of a better way to have it happen than in the next race in Chicago, which is very close to a lot of the Ford people, and hopefully, some of them will be there to enjoy it.”

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07/06/11
irl

IndyCar heads north of the border to Toronto
Dario Franchitti took over the points lead after the June 25 race at Iowa. Franchitti holds a 20-point advantage over Will Power, who is hoping to rebound after his hard crash in the Iowa event.

Power sustained a slight concussion when he slammed into the outside wall in the early going at Iowa. Four days after his accident, IndyCar medical personnel cleared him to drive. Per IndyCar rules, Power had to take the ImPACT (Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) test and was re-evaluated.

"It was a hard hit at Iowa, but I didn't actually get knocked out or anything," Power said. "I just had a headache for the first night and some neck soreness. I needed to get checked out by the IndyCar officials, and it was more precautionary than anything, but that's good, because you can never be too careful."

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07/06/11
irl

Introducing Andretti's #26 Team Dr Pepper Car

Marco Andretti will field the #26 Team Dr Pepper car for the Honda Indy Toronto and Edmonton Indy IZOD IndyCar Series races on July 10 and July 24.

The livery will carry the Dr Pepper branding as part of a broader marketing effort employed by Dr Pepper Snapple Group with Andretti Autosport. To learn more about Dr Pepper Snapple Group and its iconic brands, please visit www.drpeppersnapple.com.

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07/06/11
irl

Honda Civic Coupe SI takes on role as INDYCAR Safety Car
Honda introduces 2012 Civic Si Coupe as new Safety Car: Johnny Rutherford will enjoy his new ride during the Honda Indy Toronto race weekend. A 2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe will take on the duties as Safety Car for the IZOD IndyCar Series, beginning this weekend, with the three-time Indianapolis 500 champion the driver.

"The high-performance new Honda Civic Si is the perfect match for the IndyCar Safety Car fleet," said John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president, auto sales. "With its larger and more powerful 2.4-liter engine and enhancements provided by HPD, it is ready to lead the IZOD IndyCar Series field at the Honda Indy Toronto and beyond."

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07/06/11
irl

Bourdais returns to Coyne at Toronto
Much has changed in Sebastien Bourdais' racing career in the four years since competing at Toronto, but he expects the 1.755-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place circuit to have retained its challenges to drivers.

Bourdais, who competed in the IZOD IndyCar Series early-season round of road/street course races for Dale Coyne Racing, returns for the second set (five of the next six events) in the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America car, starting with this weekend's Honda Indy Toronto.

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07/06/11
nassprint

CEO leaves RPM
Lisa Brown has left her position as CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports to become senior adviser to Andrew Murstein, president of Medallion Financial Corp. Brown orchestrated the restructuring of the Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup program under its new ownership group and guided the company through that transition. She will now help Murstein build his latest venture, Medallion Sports Media, which was launched in April. Brown introduced the Nautical brand to NASCAR and will roll out several additional new sponsors for RPM through the remainder of the season. FoxSports

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07/06/11
nastruck

NASCAR series to drop Lucas Oil Speedway
Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis has confirmed that the Nationwide and Camping World Truck series will not compete at the track on their traditional dates in 2012. The series will race there again this season, on the final weekend of July. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is expected to announce plans to move the Nationwide race to its schedule, in conjunction with the Sprint Cup race, next season. "We are disappointed that the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series will not return to Lucas Oil Raceway on their customary race weekend. The Kroger 200 and the AAA Insurance 200 have long been one of the 'can't miss' events for race fans in the Midwest," said Wes Collier, general manager of Lucas Oil Raceway. "We want to use this coming Kroger SpeedFest weekend to celebrate the rich and dynamic history Lucas Oil Raceway has developed with both series and the past events by packing the stands with fans who crave thrilling race action.

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07/06/11
track news

Traffic Plans Set for Kentucky Speedway's "Quaker State 400" Weekend
Kentucky Speedway, Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet have collaborated on a comprehensive traffic and parking plan to accommodate more than 100,000 race fans who will converge at the Speedway July 7-9 for a NASCAR tripleheader weekend that will feature the inaugural "Quaker State 400." Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger said a plan was carefully crafted to ensure maximum ease and efficiency for race fans traveling to and from the Speedway, just off Interstate 71 at Sparta, in Gallatin County. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet suspended highway construction activity on I-71, beginning Thursday, June 30, to allow northbound and southbound lanes to operate at full capacity. Construction is scheduled to resume on Monday, July 10. Kentucky Speedway is able to accommodate approximately 33,000 vehicles in its 10 parking lots. Fans can access free KOI Auto Parts shuttle buses and speedway trams at eight locations on a new access road that encircles the Speedway. Complete information regarding traffic and parking and tips for fans can be found in the maps section of the official Kentucky Speedway Fan Guide at www.kentuckyspeedway.com. Kentucky Speedway PR

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07/06/11
f1

Vettel title loss would be 'strange' - Brawn
(GMM)  It would be "very strange" if Sebastian Vettel did not go on to win his second drivers' title in 2011.

That is the claim of Mercedes GP team boss Ross Brawn, who told the SID news agency he has no qualms nominating Red Bull's runaway championship leader as the unassailable favorite for 2011 spoils.

"I think it would be very strange if Sebastian did not win the championship," said the Briton.  "He has a great car, he is driving fantastically -- it's hard to imagine why we wouldn't do it."

Brawn does not think the blown exhaust clampdown, to take its real effect this weekend at Silverstone, will overly affect the pecking order.

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07/06/11
f1

Red Bull seat unlikely for Ricciardo - Horner
Ricciardo
(GMM)  Christian Horner will keep a "very close eye" on Daniel Ricciardo this weekend, but a seat at Red Bull's premier team in the very near future is unlikely.

With Mark Webber's contract expiring and Lewis Hamilton now ruled out for 2012, attention has turned to Australian Ricciardo, the cream of Red Bull's junior program who at Silverstone is making his F1 race debut with HRT.

"It will be interesting to see how he now progresses," Red Bull Racing team boss Horner is quoted by Sky Sports.

It had been believed that Ricciardo, 22, would make his debut mid this season at secondary team Toro Rosso, but Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi have for now kept their drives.

Horner however suggested that a full time Toro Rosso seat for Ricciardo is the logical next step, rather than a rapid rise to the energy drink company's premier team.

"Daniel has no experience of grand prix racing, he has an awful lot to learn, and HRT and Toro Rosso are the best environment for him to do that, as Sebastian (Vettel) did with Toro Rosso in 2007 and 2008," he said.

"He needs to develop, it would be wrong to rush him through.  He now has to prove himself in formula one after proving himself in the lower categories.

"But we'll certainly be keeping a very close eye on him," added Horner.

Comment
07/06/11
irl

Q and A with Servia and Hinchcliffe
Telemundo driver Oriol Servia returns to compete in his eighth Indy car race here while Sprott driver James Hinchcliffe will make his Indy car debut in his home event after having competed on this track in the 2006 and 2007 Atlantic races and 2009 and 2010 Firestone Indy Lights races. Hinchcliffe is from Toronto suburb Oakville and first attended the race as an 18 month old. He has returned to the event annually since then with the exception of 2008, when the race was not held.

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07/06/11
f1

Silverstone confirms Sunday sellout
(GMM)  Sunday's British grand prix is a sellout.

Organizers of the Silverstone event have confirmed that while tickets for Friday and Saturday are still available, the maximum capacity of more than 120,000 spectators has been reached for race-day.

"We expect this year's grand prix to attract one of the biggest three-day crowds in the event's history," said circuit managing director Richard Phillips.

He said nearly 90,000 will attend the upgraded Northamptonshire venue on Friday, and more than 100,000 on qualifying day.

Comment
07/06/11
superleague

IWI Watches and Superleague Formula in official timing partnership
Superleague Formula today announced that they have reached agreement with English watch-maker IWI Watches for the highly prestigious brand to become the Official Timing Partner of the international single-seater motor racing championship.

IWI Watches is the inspiration of watch-maker Ian Walsh, who builds, finishes, inspects, calibrates and tests each individual watch produced. The watches themselves have all been designed to pay homage to motorsport, with classic dials evoking images of Fangio and Moss charging for the line.

As part of the agreement IWI Watches will receive prominent brand exposure including on-screen TV graphics, trackside signage, branding on live streaming, and on-car presence.

“We are truly delighted to welcome IWI Watches to the championship”, says Robin Webb, Superleague Formula Competition Director. “The watches themselves really speak of motor sport and it is great to have partnered with a young, dynamic company who are ready to take on the world.”

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07/06/11
SCORE

SCORE mourns loss of Ted Johnson
SCORE International, the world’s foremost desert racing sanctioning body and race organizer, lost one of its founding members recently when former Vice-President for business affairs, Ted Johnson, passed away on June 18, 2011.

Born January 23, 1919 in North Freedom, Wisc., Johnson, 92 passed away near his long-time California home in Woodland Hills, Calif. from the lingering affects of the serious stroke he suffered over one year ago.

“Ted was the financial administration backbone of SCORE International from the days Mickey Thompson founded the company in 1973 until the last few years when he stepped back from an active role in the company, but he has been and will always be with us in spirit,” remembered Sal Fish, SCORE CEO/President recently. “Ted was a dear, dear friend and a true financial genius when it came to handling the financial end of SCORE International and several other companies that he was involved with over the many decades of his professional career. While we certainly have missed his wisdom and business acumen since he stepped down from the company a few years ago, we will miss even more his friendship and the amazing counsel he so graciously gave to me for nearly 40 years.”

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07/06/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • Bernie Ecclestone
    Ecclestone facing corruption charge on Wednesday
  • Button brightened by Silverstone dampener
  • Hamilton not best choice as Vettel teammate - Horner
  • New engines give Ferrari reason to stay on the track
  • Silverstone is all about high speed corners

Ecclestone facing corruption charge on Wednesday
(GMM)  The Gribkowsky corruption affair is expected to return to the F1 headlines on Wednesday.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone was questioned by Munich prosecutors in April on suspicion of being involved in the mysterious $50 million payment to the jailed German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky.

The affair surrounds the sale of formula one's commercial rights to CVC some years ago, with 80-year-old Ecclestone insisting that he will ultimately be "exonerated" of "any wrongdoing".

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07/05/11
nascar

NASCAR Reinstates Two Members; Suspends Two Members
NASCAR has reinstated Jack Smith, a driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Gary Frost, a crew member in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Smith's reinstatement comes following his Sept. 7, 2010 suspension for actions detrimental to stock car racing. Smith remains under NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Frost has successfully completed NASCAR's Road to Recovery Program following his May 24, 2011 suspension for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy.

Troy Hartman and Denise Harmon-Mixon, both crew members in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, have been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating NASCAR's substance abuse policy. NASCAR PR

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07/05/11
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Bruno Andrade Joins BHA Firestone Indy Lights Line Up
Bryan Herta Autosport team owners Bryan Herta and Steve Newey today announced they have expanded their presence in the Firestone Indy Lights Championship with the addition of Brazilian driver Bruno Andrade. Andrade will make his North American racing debut aboard the #29 William Rast entry in the Toronto 100 this weekend in support of the IZOD IndyCar Series Honda Indy Toronto.

Andrade, 20, of Sao Paulo, was most recently a contender for the 2010 South American F3 title. After posting five wins, seven pole positions and 16 podiums in the 24 rounds of competition, the championship battle went down to the wire in a controversial finale which remains under judgment. Andrade’s strong performance earned a Formula Renault 3.5 test with Junior Lotus Racing at Alcaniz, Spain, in October of last year.

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07/05/11
track news

Clement Family Becomes Principal Owners of Iowa Speedway UPDATE Iowa Speedway announced Tuesday in a press conference the track’s principal ownership of the Central Iowa race track has switched to Featherlite, Inc., founder Conrad Clement and his family.
Clement and his sons, Tracy, Eric and Stand, all originally from Newton, purchased the track from U.S. Motorsports Corporation, which took effect June 30.

“My family has a 20-year history in the motorsports industry through our involvement with Featherlite,” Conrad Clement said. “We’ve been intimately involved with Iowa Speedway since it was founded in 2006, and we’re looking forward to building on the momentum created over the last five years.”

The Iowa Speedway will remain intact.

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07/05/11
irl

Video: Indy Cars Test at NHMS
Will Power, driver of the No. 12, and Pippa Mann, driver of the No. 30, tested at NHMS on July 7. The tests should prepare them for the MoveThatBlock.com INDY 225 on Aug. 14.

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07/05/11
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Pippa Mann Completes First Test With RLL at Loudon
With 20 Indy Car race wins and 150 top-10 finishes on tracks around the globe, there isn’t much that is new to Rahal Letterman Lanigan. But the addition of New Hampshire Motor Speedway to the IZOD Indy Car Series schedule and the blossoming relationship between RLL and Indy Lights star Pippa Mann brought many new variables to today’s test at the one-mile oval in Loudon, New Hampshire.

The British pilot will open a three-race deal with RLL to drive the team’s #30 Dallara/Honda/Firestone Indy Car at Loudon on August 14, so Mann and the Ohio-based squad took the opportunity today to join Will Power for a one-day test session. The young driver had a solid day in her first outing in the RLL Indy Car, turning 168 laps on the challenging oval. Mann logged 75 laps in the morning and 93 in the afternoon, whittling tenths of seconds off of her time until she was able to circumnavigate the Loudon layout in less than 23 seconds.

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07/05/11
irl

More on the noose around IndyCar's neck
We have repeated this for years now about how the Versus TV deal was a noose around IndyCar's neck.  We're not alone as this story sings the same death knell.

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07/05/11
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Dempsey joins Andretti Autosport
Peter Dempsey will return to Firestone Indy Lights at this weekend's Honda Indy Toronto to compete for Andretti Autosport as a teammate to Stefan Wilson.

Dempsey, a 25-year-old from Ashbourne, Ireland, has three top-10 results, including two podium finishes, in four starts in the 2011Firestone Indy Lights season.

He sits 11th in the championship point standings after competing with O2 Racing Technology.

"I'm really looking forward to getting back on track," Dempsey said. "I'm grateful for this opportunity at Andretti Autosport, and I'll be working hard to put out a good result in Toronto.

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07/05/11
irl

Free Friday kicks off Honda Indy Toronto
The Honda Indy Toronto is celebrating 25 years of Indy car racing in the city, and there's a multitude of activities for fans throughout the weekend.

July 8 is Free Friday at the circuit, courtesy of the Ontario Honda Dealers Association. All grandstands and paddocks will be open to the public free of charge.

"Part of the idea is to let people come down and experience the Toronto Honda Indy, maybe for the first time, maybe bring the entire family down," Honda Indy Toronto general manager and vice president Charlie Johnstone said. "When we say free, we literally mean free. It's free grandstands, free admission, it's free paddocks ... come down and see what is the hype and excitement."

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07/05/11
irl

HVM signs Holtec as associate sponsor
Simona de Silvestro has been inside a nuclear power plant and has stood next to the containers holding spent nuclear fuel. Now the manufacturer of the dry cask containers is standing behind de Silvestro.
Entergy and HVM racing announced today that HOLTEC International signed on as an Associate Sponsor for the Nuclear Clean Air Energy #78 IndyCar race team driven by Simona de Silvestro.

Over 80% of all spent fuel produced in the U.S., Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, and the U.K. is stored in Holtec-supplied ultra-high density wet storage equipment and dry cask storage units across the world.

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07/05/11
nassprint

Ford to stick with the Fusion
Ford Racing will continue to run the Fusion when the new Sprint Cup cars hit the track in 2013. Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing, said the company looked at different models, including the Mustang, for Cup competition. But, after much consideration, Ford believed it was in its best interest to continue promoting its top-selling car in stock car's top racing series. "Initially we submitted a Mustang, even back when we were looking at the Nationwide car," Allison said.

"We were really excited about what happened in the Nationwide Series when we put Mustang in. We saw the interest from the fans, the media - and even a whole swatch of consumers that never really followed NASCAR but loved Mustang started to follow Nationwide and NASCAR because Mustang was in. It kind of gave of a view of what could potentially on a grander scale happen if we moved Mustang into Cup." But Ford officials kept coming back to the Fusion. "The Fusion is so important to our company, it's our best-selling car, and when we launched the Fusion, we launched it here in NASCAR," Allison said. "We believe that NASCAR is a platform that can help us compel the fans to the fact that we have an exciting sedan in Fusion, as well as Mustang." Ford will continue to run the Mustang in the Nationwide Series, Allison said. FoxSports

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07/05/11
nassprint

Fox Sports boss David Hill discusses NASCAR TV coverage
Fox Sports Chairman David Hill was at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, chatting with car owners and meeting with NASCAR officials before the drivers meeting.

A lot of buzz lately has been about showing the race and commercials on the screen together. Fox experimented with that, doing it during the final break at Dover, Charlotte and Kansas. Tonight’s Daytona race on TNT featured such coverage throughout and ESPN previously announced that it will do so in the second half of each of the 10 Chase races.

I was able to get with Hill briefly before he went into the NASCAR hauler to meet with NASCAR President Mike Helton and others. Here’s what Hill had to say about a few things:

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07/05/11
irl

It's Official: IndyCar returns to Fontana UPDATE The IZOD IndyCar Series will return to Auto Club Speedway for a night race in 2012, INDYCAR and speedway officials announced today.

"We feel the time is right to bring IndyCar racing back to Auto Club Speedway," said Randy Bernard, chief executive officer, INDYCAR.  "We want to maintain the diverse line-up of ovals on our schedule and the addition of Auto Club Speedway adds a great venue that was built for the high-speed, wheel-to-wheel excitement of IndyCar racing under the lights." 

The 2-mile oval played host to CART from 1997-2002 and the IZOD IndyCar Series from 2002 to 2005. 

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07/05/11
f1

McLaren extends F1 deal with Paffett
(GMM)  McLaren has extended its contract with Gary Paffett.

The Briton recently signed a new long-term deal with Mercedes-Benz to keep racing in the DTM, sparking reports the 30-year-old is now first in line to race for Mercedes GP should the Brackley team's regulars be unable.

But although Pedro de la Rosa has the primary role, Paffett actually remains a test and reserve driver at McLaren, and that deal now extends into 2012, the British team announced on Tuesday.

The new deal "allows him to continue dovetailing his formula one test duties with his racing career", read a media statement.

"Gary has become a vital part of our technical support and development team, both at the track and in the simulator," said team boss Martin Whitmarsh.

Paffett, managed by former McLaren driver Mark Blundell, joined the team in 2005.

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07/05/11
f1

Barrichello ready for new Williams deal
A happy Rubens Barrichello
Rubens Barrichello says he is ready to sign a new contract with Williams for 2012 on the back of the team's switch to Renault engines. The Brazilian says that the raft of technical changes made at the team over the past few months, which includes the arrival of Mike Coughlan, plus the change of power plant, have lifted spirits and made him keen to stay on.

When asked if the new situation at Williams has increased his motivation to sort out a new deal, Barrichello told AUTOSPORT: "Yes, it does.

"My intention was always to be driving next year and more. Like everything, they can see that I am pushing very hard. I am still losing weight. I am still pushing the team to its limits. The car is not good but I am still keeping my motivation. So they have everything from me.

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07/05/11
f1

Alonso would welcome Hamilton challenge
Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso revealed that he had not set foot in the McLaren motorhome since he left the team in October 2007. But he said he would not have a problem if his ex-McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton came to Ferrari.

"Why not? I have no problem with Hamilton and neither did we have one at McLaren. I have the absolute respect for him. As long as it wasn't at McLaren, sharing a team with Hamilton would be good.

"I don't have problems in sharing a team with anybody. I have been lucky to be with great drivers, although when they share with me it seems that they have lost speed and have become bad drivers. Therefore, I like to beat my team-mate, I like to race to the maximum and if a great driver comes and I also manage to beat him, perhaps what I do is valued more."

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07/05/11
f1

Season hinges on Silverstone update - Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso has said his 2011 season will hinge will on an update at the British Grand Prix, but warned miracles are not possible.  Ferrari has been targeting the British Grand Prix as a turning point in its season for some time and Alonso said the success of an "important improvement" would determine his ability to fight for wins this year.

"Everything depends on the car," he told the Formula Santander website. "If the car is equipped to win races, there is enough time to come back. But being on average one second behind Red Bull on all the times makes it impossible to come back. Therefore, right now, we are awaiting an important improvement to the car. If it arrives in the next few races we will be on fighting terms, but if everything continues to be the same, logically this is impossible. Miracles cannot be done."

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07/05/11
f1

The Silverstone Chase Movie with Lewis and Jenson
A thrilling narrated preview of the 2011 FORMULA 1 SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX through the eyes of Formula 1 World Champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers deliver a high octane fuelled narrated race between themselves. The Silverstone Chase movie features 3D action simulation footage and a unique ‘fly-through’ of the new Silverstone grand prix circuit. The concept for ‘The Silverstone Chase’ movie drew inspiration from movies such as Tron.

Watch the movie on our Home Page.

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07/05/11
irl
alms

Baltimore Racing Development Raises $1.8M of $2.8M Goal
Baltimore Racing Development has raised $1.83 million towards its goal of $2.75 million for the Baltimore Grand Prix, taking in the amount from 17 investors.

The capital represents a modest increase from the $1.53 million that Baltimore Racing raised last December, as citybizlist reported.

Race organizers altered earlier plans of finding a title sponsor for the inaugural three-day racing festival, instead electing to pursue a number of smaller backers.

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07/05/11
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cart

IndyCar now 100% CART, but it's too late
A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I really enjoy reading the constant news stories regarding Indy Car aka IRL, as they continue to seek out all of the new and exciting venues that keep emerging.  Am I like the" crazy uncle in the basement", or is the corporate amnesia running rampant thru Indy car?

AR1 has been very succinct on the history of CART , Champ Car, and now Indy Car. CART was a powerhouse series with huge corporate dollars, great venues, massive crowds, great TV on ABC and ESPN, and was holding it's own against the NASCAR cartel.

When I walked in the paddock for my first ever CART race as a member of the Indy Car safety team at Homestead, I was in awe of the cars, drivers, teams, hospitalities, crowds, etc. It was electric and amazing.

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07/05/11
v8
irl

V8 Supercars Agrees to Five-Year Deal With Circuit of The Americas UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Interesting to see that the Australian Surfers race promoter who IndyCar dismissed by no longer racing in Surfers Paradise, Australia put it too IndyCar by showing them that a race series can indeed race internationally by pulling the reverse on IndyCar by coming to race in their backyard and on what is sure to become Americas best road circuit.  With F1, MotoGP and now V8 Supercars racing at the Circuit of the Americas (and probably one of the NASCAR series), IndyCar finds themselves on the outside looking in once again, cancelling a huge road race and choosing instead to race at loser tracks like Milwaukee, New Hampshire, and Fontana where you will be able to shoot a canon into the grandstands and not hit anyone.  Like he was with the Milwaukee race, Randy Bernard has been buffaloed by the die-hard oval minions who have his ear into thinking IndyCar must maintain a balance of 50% oval races even if that means racing in front of near empty grandstands and coming out looking like a complete and utter loser.  Steve Lockwood, Dallas, Texas

Governor Rick Perry Rick Perry and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh are flanked by Tony Cochrane (L) and Tavo Hellmund (R)
06/30/11 V8 Supercars and Circuit of The Americas, along with Texas Governor Rick Perry and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, announced today a five-year agreement to bring the famous Australian V8 Supercar series to the new Circuit of The Americas beginning in 2013.

“While Texas has established itself as the nation’s place for business, it’s quickly becoming the nation’s place for big sporting events, as well,” said Governor Rick Perry. “V8 Supercars now joins Formula One, MotoGP, NASCAR, the NFL, NBA, NCAA and USTA, among the many that have chosen Texas to host major events in the last few years. This is more good news for the Lone Star State, and will provide a significant boost to the economy of Central Texas.”

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07/05/11
v8

Irwin Tools welcomes V8 Supercars to America
It’s July 4 and what better day for US hand tool and power tool accessory business, and V8 Supercars sponsor, IRWIN Tools to give a big tick to the expansion of the Australian sport into America.

When V8 Supercars announced on Friday that the series would race at the new Austin, Texas purpose built Formula 1 and Moto GP track, known as the Circuit of the Americas, from 2013, IRWIN Tools was one of the first championship sponsors to publically applaud the decision.

IRWIN Tools is one of the largest sponsors of motor sport on both sides of the Pacific. It supported NASCAR team Roush Fenway Racing for several years and is the current naming sponsor of the world famous IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (Tennessee).

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07/05/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • The new 'Caterham' livery for Silverstone on the Team Lotus' car during Kemble (airport) Straight-line Test 4th & 5th July (today)
    Ferrari happiest with exhaust clampdown - Hamilton
  • Newey not ruling out Ferrari switch
  • Polish authorities recreate horror Kubica crash
  • Ferrari 'very happy with Massa' - Montezemolo
  • Artificial DRS makes F1 'boring' - Villeneuve
  • Lotus adds Caterham branding
  • Mansell advises Hamilton to stay at McLaren
  • Force India to present F1 Art Car 

Ferrari happiest with exhaust clampdown - Hamilton
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton agrees with Red Bull's Helmut Marko that Ferrari are happiest with the blown exhaust clampdown.

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07/05/11
v8
irl

Aussie IndyCar teammates turn rivals in October
International Australian stars Will Power and Ryan Briscoe have both been confirmed as starters for this year’s Armor All Gold Coast 600 on the streets of Surfers Paradise, October 21-23.

Both Aussies are in contention for this year’s US-based IZOD IndyCar Series with Power sitting in second place behind Dario Franchitti by just 20 points and Briscoe not that many points away back in sixth place.

Both drivers have been given permission to drive in this year’s event by their regular team owner, Roger Penske, who is one of the most successful identities in US motorsports.

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07/05/11
irl

Video: Penske Indy car crash at Goodwood Festival of Speed


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07/05/11
nnw
irl

Danica revels in the NASCAR spotlight
The crash that sent Danica Patrick’s wrecked No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet — with sparks cascading out from under it — across the finish line in the Nationwide Series Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday signaled a lot more than her 10th place position.
It signaled, for one and all to see, that Ms. Patrick has made up her mind on where she wants to race next season.

And it won’t be in the IZOD IndyCar Series that makes its annual stop in Toronto this week.

In what ESPN called Patrick’s “Wow” moment, the 29-year-old had her most complete outing of her part-time, two-year voyage into the world of NASCAR at stock car racing’s most famous track.

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07/05/11
nassprint

Dale Earnhardt Jr. not happy
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was not happy after he finished 18th in Saturday's 400. NASCAR's most popular driver does not like tandem racing, not one bit. "It is weird racing," Earnhardt said. Last week Earnhardt said he didn't like the fact he had to depend on another driver in order to be competitive at Daytona. He would rather have his destiny in his own hands.

"What kind of move can you make?" Earnhardt groused. "I mean, man. What kind of move can you make in racing like this? There ain't no move you can make. You just hold it on the mat and try not to wreck into each other. You see how good we are at that."

The more questions he was asked about tandem style racing, the more aggravated Earnhardt became.

"I don't know what to say," he said. "I don't know. You guys need to get your own opinions and write what you all think about it. I think it is probably pretty damn close to mine. Stop putting my damn mouth with y'all and getting my (butt) in trouble. Y'all write what y'all think, man. Come on, y'all are good. Y'all have an opinion about it. I read y'all's stuff. You put us in the damn crow's nest." Daytona Beach News Journal

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