President Barack Obama got his first exposure and seat time Thursday in the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range capability during a visit to the Compact Power battery plant in Holland, Mich. LG Chem, the parent of Compact Power, is making the battery cells for the Volt, which goes on sale late this year in California, the Washington, D.C. area, and Michigan.
The Volt has a range of about 340 miles and is powered with electricity at all times. For up to the first 40 miles, the Volt is powered solely by electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery, using no fuel and producing no emissions. When the Volt’s lithium-ion battery runs low, an engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 300 miles on a full tank of gas.
The Volt battery pack will be assembled in Brownstown Township, Mich., and shipped to the Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant for mating with the Volt. Chevrolet announced Wednesday the Volt battery will have a standard eight-year, 100,000 mile warranty.
Delta Wing disappointed by IRL snub DeltaWing Racing Cars, of Indianapolis, issued the following statement:
We wish to congratulate the ICONIC Committee and the IZOD IndyCar Series on their decision regarding the 2012 chassis strategy. However, we are extremely disappointed that they have decided to pursue a strategy that does not include the DeltaWing.
The DeltaWing concept was designed to provide a relevant solution to the environmental, economic and social realities that must be addressed by all premier status racing series. We proposed a revolutionary solution that met or exceeded all of the IndyCar Series criteria for the new car, resulting in a chassis with half the weight, half the drag, half the cost, half the horsepower and half the fuel consumption of the existing IndyCar. This was accomplished with a design that would provide more on-track excitement and performance on every circuit where the IZOD IndyCar Series competes and the potential for 235 mph or faster laps at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Our many partners and supporters have invested significant time, financial resources and effort into DeltaWing. We want to thank them for their commitment, courage and vision for the future. We have initiated the process of reviewing options for DeltaWing which we will present to our investors, industrial partners and governmental advisors. We will announce our plans for the DeltaWing in the near future.
Q&A with Jenson Button McLaren driver Jenson Button wasn't too positive ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix. He qualified in fourteenth so finishing in the points was his main goal. Button did finish in the points and even managed to work himself up to fourth during the race.
Would you have put money on finishing fourth on Saturday evening, after you'd qualified 14th? "Heh, well I was pretty downbeat on Saturday night, just because you know that, in modern Formula 1, when you start 14th, you're only really likely to just scrape into the points and, even then, only if you're lucky.
"So I went into the race knowing that I had nothing to lose. I knew I was going to be aggressive at the start, and just see where it took me. As it happened, I got a decent getaway, pushed hard, managed to get past four cars, and was helped by Sebastian and Felipe's punctures to make up six places.
"After that, I knew I was in with a shot at some decent points. The retirement of Robert and Fernando's drive-through also helped. I think I could have even been in with a shot at the podium, but I was stuck behind Michael's car for much of my first stint, and I lost ground.
"I'm disappointed not to have been on the podium, because I'd have liked to have given the home fans something extra to cheer about, but I can't complain. I only lost six points to Lewis in the championship, and that on a weekend which, on Saturday evening, didn't look like being too kind to me. So no complaints.
Q&A with Lewis Hamilton Lewis Hamilton finished second at last weekend's British Grand Prix. The Briton is leading the Formula 1 championship at the moment. .
Another second place, and 86 points from a possible 100 in the last four races. It’s not going too badly, is it? “Wow, 86 points from 100? That’s 86 per cent – I’d have loved those marks when I was at school! Haha! When you look at it like that, it does sound good, yeah, absolutely. I’ve said it before, but I think I’m able to get those kinds of results because our car is just so fantastic to drive. My car in 2008 was fantastic, but, even though we’re not quite as quick as the Red Bull, this year’s car is still the best Formula 1 car I’ve ever driven.
“You can just plant it, particularly through the high-speed stuff, and the car will just go where you tell it. And, as a driver, that gives you so much confidence, so you’re not worrying about the car, you’re just focusing on the racing. On Sunday at Silverstone, I just raced my heart out; I knew our car wasn’t as quick as Mark’s, but I just gave it all I had. I really enjoyed the race.
“And when you’re having fun out there, the results just come. So I’m just incredibly happy at the moment. Eighty six points out of 100 – I still can’t believe that!”
NASCAR TV Ratings continue to tumble TNT averaged a 3.0 U.S. rating and 4.948 million viewers for its six NASCAR Sprint Cup telecasts this season, down 9.1% and 2.9%, respectively, from a 3.3 rating and 5.098 million viewers last year, and down 16.7% and 13.5% from '08. The Daily
No Cup plans for Earnhardt team JR Motorsports is still evaluating drivers for its No. 88 car, and young drivers Steve Arpin, Coleman Pressley and Josh Wise are still in the mix for a full-time ride in 2011. What JRM is not considering is a move to the Sprint Cup Series.
“No Cup plans,” team co-owner Kelley Earnhardt said on Wednesday. “No Kasey Kahne. No Mark Martin. Nothing for JR Motorsports. At this point, we would need to get started on that, and it’s definitely not in our future for 2011.”
Toro Rosso confirms same drivers for 2011 (GMM) Toro Rosso on Thursday announced it will keep the same driver lineup in 2011.
2010 is Swiss 21-year-old Sebastien Buemi's second full season in formula one, while Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari made his debut with the Faenza based team last July.
"I believe our drivers will be well prepared for 2011, which is why they are both confirmed for next year," team boss Franz Tost said.
"It is also logical, because one key role of Scuderia Toro Rosso is to bring on young drivers from the Red Bull young driver program and at the ages of 21 and 20 respectively, both Seb and Jaime certainly still meet the right criteria," he added.
Rossi cleared to ride in Germany Valentino Rossi has been officially cleared to ride at this weekend's German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring, six weeks after his accident in Italy.
The Fiat Yamaha rider was examined by the Chief Medical Officer for this event, Dr. Huber Fischer, who found him fit enough to compete this weekend. Rossi will be present at the Official Press Conference at Sachsenring at 1700 CET today.
Quick Trim to back Rahal Quick Trim® and Rahal Letterman Racing joined forces at this year’s Indianapolis 500 to make a big splash with Graham Rahal driving an Indy Car for his father for the first time, qualifying seventh and overcoming a disputed blocking call to finish 12th.
A diet system marketed and promoted by Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Quick Trim® quickly realized the benefits of competing in the Indy Car Series with RLR and Graham Rahal, and announced Tuesday that it would continue its partnership for five more races in the 2010 season.
Rahal Letterman Racing had intended to continue running its own #30 Quick Trim Honda/Dallara/Firestone Indy Car with Graham, but a number of the proposed race dates were direct conflicts with the team’s American Le Mans Series efforts with the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team M3, where it currently leads the GT Manufacturer Point Standings. Therefore, the team loaned the sponsorship to Newman/Haas Racing for those events, ensuring that Quick Trim® would have a presence in the series and that Graham would continue to have a competitive car in the latter races of the season.
Azzi pledges long-term commitment to Canadian racing
Canadians should be able to compete in international motorsports; companies and investors should be able to support talented Canadian drivers while reaping at least some commercial benefits from it. This is what Andre Azzi, a successful Canadian businessman and CEO/owner of FAZZT Race Team, announced today just days before the country hosts its two IZOD IndyCar Series events - the Honda Indy Toronto and Edmonton. During a meeting held today in Toronto with members of the press Mr. Azzi committed to fielding at least one Canadian driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series and to spearheading the rebirth of a Canadian driver development program.
“This country has a wonderful history in motorsports,” said Azzi. “I still remember watching Gilles Villeneuve and admire how his achievements brought so many Canadians, and people from other nationalities, together. After careful reflection, I have made a decision to spend the next years of my life building a Canadian race team and driver development program that ensures that young drivers in this country get the support they need to reach the higher echelons of the sport. No one can do this alone, so I will be reaching out to corporate Canada to join me in filling this important need.”
Quote of the week During Wednesday's rambling about the new 2012 IndyCar -- hard to call it an "unveiling" because so much is still so veiled -- through such a lofty, nebulous, unfinished plan, well.....First I got this image of the IRL sprinting headlong toward a cliff and taking a flying leap off … then of it hanging in midair, flapping its arms with all due intensity. I'm not saying it won't fly. But I am warning: Look out below! - - Ed Hinton on it's a huge leap of faith, without strong commitments from several manufacturers (Ford, Mercedes, Boeing, BMW, etc.), to develop complete aero kits for a car - The idea that a Ferrari or a Boeing would spend big money to develop an aerodynamics package for a 21st century racecar, only to sell it to competitors for a maximum of $70,000 per car, seems tenuous at best.
Disagreeing with $150K IndyCar incentive A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I have the following comment on a particular sentence in this article: IndyCar announces innovative new car for 2012
... "Dallara will build the car in Speedway, Indiana, rather than Italy where the existing one was made, which is good news for the local economy - it will bring a minimum of 75 new jobs to Indianapolis. At least half the suppliers will come from Indiana. Dallara has offered a $150K discount to the first 28 cars sold to teams located in Indiana" ...
Comment: It's great Dallara is building a factory in Speedway, Indiana, this is fantastic news for many people and especially for those who will benefit from this most, the 75 (or more) who will get a (new) job because of this initiative! I was really impressed by this announcement.
But, what surprised me more, in a much more negative way, is why only Indiana based race-teams receive a $150K discount ... this is insane, this makes no sense at all!
Fans to have access to better merchandise The new NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust will change the way NASCAR’s merchandise industry operates, but NASCAR and its teams hope that by bundling their licensing rights together, it also changes the business for fans as well.
“It’s a win-win for everybody,” says Jeff Gordon, whose stepfather, John Bickford, is on the board of the new licensing group. “The fans are going to see a better product line spread out to further resources and distribution centers that I think [the products] will be more readily available, and I think the products are going to be quality products that they will enjoy and be proud of.”
Teams and NASCAR believe that the trust, which will be run by a 14-person board of directors mostly made up of team executives, will make the sport more attractive to the best brands by creating one licensing agency to deal with. Teams have handled their licensing independently in the past.
Famed No. 3 Visits NASCAR Hall of Fame after Daytona Victory Lane
Perennial backmarker Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove his father's colors and number to victory at Daytona July 3rd
The NASCAR Hall of Fame, an expansive new interactive entertainment attraction in Charlotte, N.C., now is the temporary home of one of the most talked about race cars of 2010. Beginning July 14, included with the price of admission, guests can get a close-up look at the No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet Impala that Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove to victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race July 2, 2010 at Daytona International Speedway. The car carries the same design of the race cars Earnhardt Jr.’s father, Inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Dale Earnhardt, made famous in the 1980s.
“Long before we ever raced the No. 3 car to honor my dad, I had already considered lending it to the NASCAR Hall of Fame regardless of how it finished, because the whole point of the program was to pay tribute to my dad’s induction into the Hall of Fame,” said Earnhardt Jr. “The fact we won with it makes it even more meaningful, and hopefully it will attract more people to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in the coming months while it’s on display. This No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet put me back into Victory Lane, and it stirred up a lot of old memories for a lot of people. I was happy for my fans, my dad’s fans, my family, Richard (Childress), Teresa (Earnhardt) and everybody involved. It was definitely an honor to drive it.”
Danica Patrick now known as NASCAR driver In this ESPY article Danica Patrick is listed as a NASCAR driver not an IndyCar driver. Looks like most journalists in sports now associate her with NASCAR....much to IndyCar's loss.
Weekly NASCAR substance abuse reportUPDATE Officials from Randy Moss Motorsports made the following statement regarding the penalty handed out by NASCAR earlier today: “Randy Moss Motorsports is a firm supporter of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy and we recognize and support their effort,” said Chip Wile, Vice President of Randy Moss Motorsports. “Our team has a zero-tolerance policy for substance abuse. As an organization we support and agree with NASCAR’s decision. We appreciate NASCAR’s diligence in keeping the garage area a safe environment where we can compete at the highest level week in and week out.”
07/14/10 Phillip Gibson, a crew member for the No. 5 team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. On July 11, Gibson was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book.
Chicago Nationwide Series ratings The NASCAR Nationwide Series race from Friday night at Chicagoland Speedway earned a 1.3 final national rating on ESPN, the network reported today. The race last year also was a 1.3. This year’s telecast averaged 1,817,234 viewers, according to the network.
Eddie Gossage chimes in on new IndyCar The following is a statement from Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage regarding today's announcement in Indianapolis by the Indy Racing League IZOD IndyCar Series about their future car strategy. Gossage served on the eight-member ICONIC (Innovative, Competitive, Open- Wheel, New, Industry Relevant, Cost-Effective) IZOD IndyCar Series Advisory Committee that was tasked with reviewing, researching and recommending a future chassis and engine platform to the IRL since mid-April.
On the cost-cutting measures to assist IZOD IndyCar Series teams: "Cutting the cost of the chassis by 40 percent is a game-changer for the sport. After spending countless hours working with the ICONIC Committee, it became very clear that only one chassis supplier could be chosen because of the economics. For the fans, we've ensured that team owners currently in the sport can continue to participate and we can entice new teams to join affordably. When is the last time you ever heard of the cost of a high-tech race car -- the fastest in the world -- dropping?"
Volt battery gets 8-year/100,000-mile warranty The Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range will provide customers with an unprecedented, standard, eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on its advanced, lithium-ion battery. It is the automotive industry’s longest, most comprehensive battery warranty for an electric vehicle, and is transferable at no cost to other vehicle owners.
“The Chevrolet Volt’s batteries have exceeded our performance targets and are ready to hit the road,” said Micky Bly, GM executive director, global electrical systems. “Our customers are making a commitment to technology that will help reduce our dependence on petroleum. In turn, we are making a commitment to our customers to deliver the highest standards for value, safety, quality, performance and reliability for an unprecedented eight years/100,000 miles.”
The Volt’s comprehensive battery warranty covers all 161 battery components, 95 percent of which are designed and engineered by GM, in addition to the thermal management system, charging system and electric drive components.
NASCAR schedules news conference to upstage IndyCar announcement In an effort to take away from today's IndyCar big media announcement on their new 2012 chassis at 2 PM today, NASCAR has announced a 2 PM media teleconference on the NASCAR Hall of Fame. A coincidence? We doubt it. Everything happens in NASCAR for a reason.
Webber should have kept grievance inside team - Vettel
(GMM) Sebastian Vettel reportedly believes his teammate Mark Webber should have kept a lid on his unhappiness at Silverstone last weekend.
Although the controversial recipient of Webber's front wing in Britain, and accused of being favored by his Red Bull bosses, the 23-year-old German's voice has been the quietest throughout the latest saga.
At Silverstone he hinted that Australian Webber had shown his "true face", adding: "The most important thing is the atmosphere within the team. We have a really strong car and the only thing that can stop us is ourselves."
The implication is that Webber should have saved his grievances about the front wing so that it could be handled internally.
(GMM) Felipe Massa vowed to "talk" to his teammate Fernando Alonso about their first-lap collision at Silverstone.
Largely overlooked by the media amid the Red Bull controversy and Alonso's penalty for overtaking Robert Kubica, Massa's race was ruined in Britain after he touched the sister Ferrari in the Beckett's complex. The Brazilian sustained contact to his front wing, but more damagingly a punctured rear tire that had to be replaced in the pits.
He is quoted by the Portuguese language aeiou.pt: "I'll talk to Alonso to find out why he has touched my car. You really must not touch your teammate's car," added the 29-year-old.
Will new IndyCar reinvigorate the sport? Dear AutoRacing1.com, I am very happy to hear that the IRL is taking yet another step to mimic CART/Champ Car from 15 years ago. The new chassis announcement should be exciting. Do you think it will restore IndyCar Racing to what it was 15 years ago under CART? Dave Darwin, Seattle, WA
Dear Dave, Just like we saw with NASCAR's new Car of Tomorrow, the car does not make the sport. In fact NASCAR has seen a drop-off in attendance since the new car was introduced. It will take much more than a new chassis to reinvigorate the sport, but it's a step in the right direction, if it is done right.
Fans don't come to a race track or watch on TV to see a Dallara, Lola or Swift win. In open wheel racing the chassis is more or less irrelevant to the race fan. As we have written on many occasions - "it's the driver stupid." The athlete makes a sport, any sport. The bat, the ball, the net, the goal posts are all by and large irrelevant. It is the driver, their personality and their skill behind the wheel that matters.
If the driver can't wheel a car and bring home the bacon they are quickly labeled a wanker and soon put out to pasture. Mark C.
Wallace apologizes for calling Kyle Busch 'dumbass'
ESPN officials say that analyst Rusty Wallace will not be suspended for a derogatory comment he made in reference to Kyle Busch that was aired following Friday night’s Nationwide Series telecast from Chicagoland Speedway.
At the end of Busch’s victory lane interview, in which the Joe Gibbs Racing driver commented on negative fan reaction following his win, Wallace was heard to say “Dumbass.”
On Monday, Wallace issued a statement through ESPN apologizing for the remark.
1993 Michigan 500 Note the size of the crowd and how popular CART was on oval tracks. Then Tony George started the IRL in 1995 and when CART lost its biggest race, the Indy 500, IndyCar Racing was subsequently brought to its knees. Now with George gone and Randy Bernard in control, there is some hope again.
Last year Rahal drove the No. 02 McDonald's car for NHR
Newman/Haas Racing (NHR) announced today that Graham Rahal, 21, will return to the team beginning with the Honda Indy Toronto IZOD IndyCar Series event, July 16-18, and will pilot the No. 02 Dallara/Honda/Firestone entry for six of the remaining series races. Five of those races will see Rahal sponsored by Quick Trim®, which joined him at this year’s Indianapolis 500 when he ran with his father’s Rahal Letterman Racing team. Rahal became the youngest race winner and pole sitter in series history while with NHR. He will team with Hideki Mutoh, who drives the No. 06 Formula Dream/Panasonic entry.
“It’s nice to be back with Newman/Haas Racing, a group that I have been with for so long and have a lot of fond memories with, and it’s also great to be reunited with Quick Trim who made this possible,” said Rahal, who resides in New Albany, Ohio. “Quick Trim really enjoyed their experience in May and we had a great run. We have been talking about this for a long time and I’m happy we were able to extend the deal. I’m looking forward to getting back in the car and back in the series. To know what I am going to be doing for the rest of the season feels so good. The plan is to go out there and pick up where we left off.”
Palmer leaves it late to head a British 1-2-3 in testing Jolyon Palmer left it until the final few minutes to set the fastest lap of the entire day during the official F2 test at Brands Hatch.
The championship leader produced the kind of lap in keeping with his magnificent performances so far this season, with his lap time of 1:16.111s enough to edge out compatriot Will Bratt, who had led the running for much of the day.
It seems there is every chance that British fans could witness a home win in Formula Two this weekend as Dean Stoneman rounded out an all British 1-2-3, having topped the order briefly in the final 15 minutes.
Colin Braun talks about Gateway race This weekend, the NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to Gateway International Raceway for a stand-alone weekend. Colin Braun, driver of the No. 16 Con-way Freight Ford Fusion might be a rookie in the series, but he’s no stranger to the track. Braun, who won the pole during the Camping World Truck Series race there last year, talks about what makes Gateway unique and how he feels going into this weekend’s race.
COLIN BRAUN – No. 16 Con-way Freight Ford Fusion – WHAT MAKES GATEWAY UNIQUE? “Gateway is one of the most unique race tracks we go to because both ends of the race track are different. You’ve got turns one and two which are really tight and three and four which are really flat and sweeping and a lot more open. It’s a pretty big challenge to get your car driving well on both ends of the race track. It seems like if you get it driving well in one and two you’re too loose in three and four. If you get it good in three and four you’re too tight in one and two. You really have to balance that and try to work around it.”
Whitmarsh says FOTA must work with Bernie closely Martin Whitmarsh has insisted that the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) will do all it can to work constructively with Bernie Ecclestone and the Formula One Group.
Last week, Ecclestone launched a verbal attack on FOTA, telling Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport that there was no room for the organization in Formula One.
However, Whitmarsh, who is current chairman of FOTA as well as team principal at McLaren, does not want there to be any tension between both sides and is hopeful that the teams will be able to work with the sport’s commercial rights holder.
McMurray’s Crew Wins Tissot Pit Road Award at Chicagoland Jamie McMurray’s crew grabbed the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Saturday night’s (July 10) NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.
It was the second Tissot win of the season for the No. 1 McDonald’s crew, which also took top honors at the May 8th Cup race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.
McMurray No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on pit road – 189.002 seconds – during the LifeLock.com 400. The fast and accurate work by the McDonald’s crew helped McMurray to a fifth-place finish.
Lotus eyes same driver lineup for 2011 - Gascoyne (GMM) Lotus will announce its 2011 driver lineup "pretty soon", according to Mike Gascoyne.
Although there are rumblings the Malaysian-owned team could be considering its Kuala Lumpur born test driver Fairuz Fauzy for a race seat, the team's technical boss said he is happy with Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli.
"I think the intention is to stick with the drivers we've got. I think they're doing a great job," said Gascoyne.
When asked when official confirmation might come, he answered: "I think we'd like to do that pretty soon."
NASCAR Sprint Cup hauler parade, festival set for July 22 in Speedway Brickyard 400 fans can get an up-close view of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series "haulers" - the semi trucks carrying the stock cars competing July 25 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - at the second annual Hauler Parade and Festival on Thursday, July 22 on Speedway's Main Street.
The event takes place from 5-8:30 p.m., with live music featuring local country music act KJ & TKJ's kicking off activities at 5 p.m. at the corner of 15th and Main Streets - across the street from popular local restaurant Dawson's on Main.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers - approximately 50 are expected - will arrive at 6 p.m. in parade fashion behind the 2010 Brickyard 400 Pace Car and park on Main Street from just south of 15th Street in two lines stretching to 10th Street.
Whiting told Ferrari to let Kubica re-pass 'immediately' (GMM) Charlie Whiting has hit back at Ferrari's latest criticisms about the timing of F1 officials' in-race decisions.
After Valencia, the Italian team was furious that Lewis Hamilton's penalty for overtaking the safety car arrived so late it had little effect on the McLaren driver's race.
And at Silverstone, this time with Fernando Alonso penalized for overtaking Robert Kubica on the grass, Ferrari said the instruction to allow the Pole to re-pass his Spanish rival came so late he was far behind and already slowing with a technical problem.
In a website report on Monday, Ferrari repeated La Gazzetta dello Sport's claim that F1 had become 'Formula Lullaby' because of the slow decision-making.
Q&A with Sam Michael from Williams Director Sam Michael is pleased with Williams' progress following Sunday's British Grand Prix, which saw the squad from Grove pick up its first double points finish of the season. The fifth and tenth placed results of Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hülkenberg also allow Sir Frank's team to move to within 16 points of Force India and sixth spot in the Constructors' Championship.
The team introduced a blown diffuser at the British Grand Prix. What performance benefits did it bring and did you have any reliability issues with it?
Using the exhaust to blow the diffuser improves downforce during on-throttle conditions. Besides some minor work on heat shielding, we had no reliability issues with it.
The FW32 also featured some other upgrades, such as a new rear wing. How did they perform?
All the other parts worked as expected and improved the downforce of the car.
Genevieve Marie Johnson Jimmie Johnson’s daughter finally has a name: Genevieve Marie Johnson. A birth announcement posted Sunday on Johnson’s fan club website revealed the name and a picture of the four-time Cup champion’s first child.
Johnson’s wife, Chandra, gave birth Wednesday afternoon in Charlotte. Johnson had said Friday that at the time, the couple was still undecided on a name.
Free digital Brickyard 400 Guest Guide available Fans can enhance their experience at the Brickyard 400 on July 23-25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by reading the event's digital 2010 Guest Guide available now at the IMS website.
The 16-page guide, available exclusively online, includes information about the event, including the schedule, directions, parking and transportation, a facility map, storylines, merchandise and concession locations and much more. The interactive guide also is enhanced by embedded video and photos, creating a rich multimedia experience for fans.
NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust Enters Into Joint Venture The NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust (NTLT) announced that it has formed a joint venture with Lionel Electric Trains to make and sell NASCAR replica die cast race cars. The joint venture is not a traditional licensee agreement. Both NTLT and Lionel will actively manage and develop the business, in which it will be partners. Lionel has plans to offer fans and collectors die-cast models representing all of the NTLT teams and more than 30 NASCAR national series drivers. The joint venture will take over the category from Motorsports Authentics, a Concord, N.C.-based company that will focus on its core competency of trackside retail and be the exclusive die-cast car retailer at NASCAR tracks. Press Release
Senna film to be released this fall The film celebrating the life of the legendary Ayrton Senna is due to be released in cinemas this autumn.
Reports back in 2001 had suggested that a film starring the Spanish actor Antonio Banderas could be produced that would focus on the lead up to the incident at Imola where Senna lost his life, but those plans never came to fruition.
Instead, the film due for release later this year takes on the form of a documentary and will span Senna’s F1 career, from his debut in the sport with Toleman back in 1984 through to his final, fateful race with Williams.
Ferrari wearing rose colored glasses Ferrari will still win the Formula One championship despite failing to score any points in Britain over the weekend, according to their double world champion Fernando Alonso.
The team website (www.ferrari.com) quoted the Spaniard as telling his team not to be downhearted after he and Brazilian Felipe Massa finished 14th and 15th respectively at Silverstone on Sunday.
"OK guys, keep your heads up. We will win the championship," Alonso said over the team radio after setting the fastest lap right at the end of the race.
"We are only halfway through the season and there is plenty of time to recover. We have a great car and we proved that to everyone this weekend and confirmed it with this fastest race lap.
"It is only the first half and we know we have to do better in the second one and we will do exactly that."
Warring drivers in tune after wing-gate - Horner (GMM) Amid reports of civil war within Red Bull, boss Christian Horner phoned British newspaper reporters on Monday with a tale of team harmony.
Even though photographers captured Australian Webber, 33, unable to smile as he sternly shook his teammate Sebastian Vettel's hand at Silverstone, Horner said the team then decamped to his nearby house in Oxfordshire on Sunday evening for a night of singing.
Mere hours after Niki Lauda described the atmosphere at Red Bull as "poisonous", Briton Horner insisted that, with both the drivers on stage alongside himself and Adrian Newey, they sang a karaoke version of the 70s classic American Pie.
Williams enjoys status but eyes carmaker alliance (GMM) Williams wants to remain an independent formula one team, new chairman Adam Parr has insisted.
Now into a sixth consecutive season without a win, and thirteen seasons on since Jacques Villeneuve's title, the famous British outfit might be ruing life in the paddock.
But Parr says Williams is "not actively looking" for a partner. "We are independent and we enjoy that independence," he is quoted as saying by the Motorsport Aktuell website.
Lotus boss and owner Tony Fernandes, whose AirAsia brand sponsors both his own team as well as Williams, admitted last weekend that he did have talks "about buying into Williams but it never worked out".
Chevrolet Takes Showroom App to iPhone, iPad and iTouch Chevrolet is among the first automakers to create a shopping app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad which allows users to research and locate the vehicle they desire.
The Chevrolet Showroom app, available now for free on the App Store, features the entire line of Chevrolet cars, trucks and crossovers. It allows users to pick interior and exterior colors and search for a matching vehicle in a nearby dealer’s inventory.
“The Chevrolet Showroom app allows customers to shop nearly anywhere and share their virtual vehicle with their friends,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet Marketing. “This is a natural addition to the ways people shop online for vehicles today.”
LeBron James snubs Panther Racing Panther Racing regrets to announce today that it was unable to come to a contract agreement with reigning NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James, who plans to announce his future destination live on ESPN this evening at 9 p.m. (EST). Several attempts to reach James’ agent were unsuccessful as Panther Racing management had hoped to lure LeBron to Indianapolis to sign with the two-time IZOD IndyCar Series champions.
The team intended to add LeBron in 2011 as a teammate to current No. 4 National Guard driver and former Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon.
“I think, like a lot of teams, we really felt like it was our obligation to give our best efforts to sign LeBron to join Panther Racing,” team co-owner John Barnes said. “He’s a tremendous athlete and obviously he would have been a great addition to both Panther and the IZOD IndyCar Series, but we knew it was a long shot going into negotiations. We wish LeBron and his family all the best in his future endeavors and hope that when he hits the free agent market again he’ll consider Panther Racing.”
Can Toronto and Edmonton recover or is Canada now NASCAR country The creation of the IRL and the split of the sport of IndyCar Racing took it from the heyday of CART to what it is today, a mere shadow of its former self. Last year the Toronto race ran as an IRL race for the first time and the attendance was about 1/10th of what it was in CART's heyday. The split also gave NASCAR a foothold in Canada and they are now converting what were once IndyCar fans into stock car fans in record numbers.
The split took IndyCar racing to such lows no one is certain if it can ever recover, but the IRL is starting to make some smart moves now that Tony George (the man who singlehandedly destroyed the sport) is out of the picture and Randy Bernard has taken over.
The Honda Indy Toronto is Sunday while the Edmonton race goes July 25.
British F3 to begin pitstops Teams and drivers from the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series have welcomed the introduction of pit stops as an exciting addition to the format of the innovative junior single-seater championship.
Mandatory pit stops along the lines of those employed in F1 will be tried for the first time in the second of this weekend’s (17/18 July) trio of Rockingham races, and drivers and team managers are excited by the prospect of the introduction of a race strategy element.
Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne said: “Sometimes overtaking can be difficult in Formula 3, so this will be good for the drivers and for the spectators. Working out the strategy will be good for the race engineers, and the experience will be helpful for the drivers as they move on to their next series. They must learn how to make a good in-lap and out-lap, without losing too much time.”
Webber 'declares war' on Vettel and team (GMM) The international press saw Sunday's events as Mark Webber fighting hard to avoid being a number two driver.
The Australian said his win at Silverstone was "not bad" for teammate Sebastian Vettel's subordinate, before revealing he would not have signed up for 2011 if he thought he would be playing second fiddle.
Asked by the Guardian if he stands by those comments now, Webber declared: "Absolutely", adding that the race win was "an Australian response, a little upper-cut".
Build Your Own Engine Option Offered to Corvette Enthusiasts For enthusiasts who want to be personally involved in creating their Corvette, Chevrolet’s new Corvette Engine Build Experience allows them to literally build the engine for their new car.
In what is believed to be the world’s most hands-on super car program, customers who order a 2011 Corvette Z06 or ZR1 can choose an option to help assemble their cars’ LS7 or LS9 engines at General Motors’ Performance Build Center (PBC) in Wixom, Mich.
“Corvette owners are some of the most passionate – and most involved – enthusiasts in the industry,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet marketing. “The Corvette Engine Build Experience offers customers an unprecedented opportunity to participate, hands on, in creating the car.”
Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC NASCAR Nationwide Series Live from St. Louis in Prime Time
The NASCAR Nationwide Series races in prime time at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis on Saturday night, July 17, and ESPN2 will have a live telecast in high definition. NASCAR Countdown airs at 7 p.m. ET, while the race telecast starts at 8 p.m. with the green flag at 8:15 p.m. ESPN2 is the home of the series all season, with selected races airing on ESPN and ABC.
Also from Gateway, ESPN2 will air coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
Dave Burns will be the lap-by-lap announcer, joined in the booth for analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and former Sprint Cup race winner Ricky Craven. Pit reporters will be Mike Massaro, Dr. Jerry Punch and Shannon Spake while reports from two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer will originate from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.
NHRA statement on Seattle deathUPDATE #2 Officials will conduct an autopsy Monday on Mark Niver, a drag racer who died when the parachute came off the back of his dragster -- sending him slamming into the netting at the end of the track. Niver, 60, was taking part in the National Hot Rod Association's Lucas Oil Northwest Nationals in Seattle, Washington, on Sunday.
After the parachute came off, he was able to slow the car a bit before plowing into the net fencing at the end of the drag strip.
The death was the second this year in the association's drag racing series. Race announcers called Niver "a true craftsman and an innovator" who hand-built all his race cars from start to finish -- he machined his engines and components and fabricated the car bodies. Niver had been racing in the hot rod association for more than 20 years, but won his first race just two years ago in a race at Topeka, Kansas. CNN.com
07/11/10 Top Alcohol dragster racer Mark Niver, 60, from Phoenix, was involved in a fatal incident today when his dragster crashed in the shutdown area during eliminations at the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways. NHRA officials are investigating the accident.
NHRA and Pacific Raceways officials extend their deepest sympathies to the entire Niver family.
07/11/10 A drag racing driver has died after he crashed at the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways outside Seattle. Sixty-year-old Mark Niver of Phoenix was competing in the Top Alcohol dragster class in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing series, the top feeder circuit for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing series.. Niver's death is the second in a month at an NHRA event. Neal Parker, a 58-year-old from Millville, N.J., died of head injuries after crashing during a qualifying round at the NHRA SuperNationals in June.
Valentino Rossi to test in Brno today Following his first test ride at Misano last week, Valentino Rossi will test again in Brno today. He will again ride a YZF-R1, provided by the Yamaha WSB Team to the Fiat Yamaha Team.
After this test Rossi will decide whether or not he will ride at the German Grand Prix this weekend. The Team will send an update this afternoon about his condition and his decision.
Nationwide race helping grow stock-car fan base in Montreal NASCAR’s Nationwide Series returns to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal Aug. 28-29 for its fourth trip to the 2.710-mile road course.
In the meantime, Francois Dumontier, promoter of the event, says it’s important that officials with the city and specifically with Octane Management, which promotes the race, continue to educate the fans.
“Even though in Quebec we have a big tradition of stock cars, it was more outside the Montreal region,” Dumontier said.
McLaren has had more than 2700 firm expressions of interests from people interested in buying its new MP-12C.
The initial expressions of interests, if converted into sales, are enough to account for at least two years of MP4-12C production.
The MP4-12C was first seen in public at the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this month and it proved to be a hit with showgoers, as well as prospective customers.
The MP4 is now entering its final stages of development - having completed more than one million test miles on five continents - and building work is underway at the McLaren Production Centre where the car will be built from early 2011, although initial production will commence at the McLaren Technology Centre later this year.
Ferrari suffered a miserable afternoon at Silverstone on Sunday, with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa coming home in only 14th and 15th positions as the Italian squad failed to score. On a day which included contact between the Scuderia's own two cars, a puncture, spin and drive-through penalty, Team Principal Stefano Domenicali was left pondering what might have been.
Ferrari's British Grand Prix troubles started as early at Lap 1, with Massa and Alonso twice coming together at Becketts, leaving the Brazilian with no option but to pit with a deflated right-rear tire. Alonso was then handed a drive-through penalty for an off-track pass on Robert Kubica, without yielding the position, but was caught out and had to take the punishment immediately after the Safety Car pulled off the track.
Sauber's Pedro de la Rosa has been handed a hefty fine of €4,200 (£3,500) for speeding in the Silverstone pit lane during the British Grand Prix.
Throughout the race, the pit lane is limited to a speed of 100km/h (62mph) for safety reasons although de la Rosa, who was running in the points before retiring from the race, was clocked at 120.3km/h (75mph).
The total of the Spaniard's fine is calculated by Formula 1 governing body the FIA, which charges €200 euros for every kilometer over the limit.
13th team must pay 19m euro entry deposit - Ecclestone (GMM) F1's unnamed 13th team for 2011 must pay a EUR 19 million deposit, Bernie Ecclestone has revealed. In a bid to attract new teams, the sport recently abolished the long-standing requirement of a $48m bond, with the F1 chief executive even offering this year's newcomers a multi-million startup fund.
But according to London's Evening Standard, the last spot on next year's grid will only be filled if a team can prove it is healthily funded.
FIA president Jean Todt's son Nicolas recently withdrew the 2011 application of his GP2 team ART, but others including US group Cypher and Spanish Le Mans team Epsilon Euskadi, and possibly the Serbian hopefuls Stefan GP, remain interested.
(GMM) Rubens Barrichello has revealed he is committed to staying with the Williams team in 2011. The veteran Brazilian, on the verge of notching up 300 career grands prix, joined the British team this year and has proved the regular pacesetter alongside highly-rated newcomer Nico Hulkenberg.
Grove based Williams is also delighted with the 38-year-old's technical contribution to the team, but it is believed only a single-year contract exists.
"I have not signed any contract (for 2011) but I am not in any talks with other teams," Barrichello is quoted as saying by the website of Motorsport Aktuell. He added: "Leaving Williams would be exactly the wrong thing, because they are already working on the program for next year. It would be a waste not to be here.
"I want to be back on the podium with this team this year, and next year I want to be winning races."
(GMM) Christian Horner has said he is happy to meet with Mark Webber in the wake of the team's tumultuous British grand prix. Australian Webber, who won at Silverstone on Sunday, said afterwards that he would not have signed with Red Bull for 2011 if he thought he was going to be teammate Sebastian Vettel's number two.
But boss Horner said that if a similar situation arises in the future, he would once again take the decision to remove a new front wing from one car and attach it to the other.
Asked if this means he would receive the best parts at Hockenheim now that he is ahead in the championship, Webber told reporters: "I should do."
Quote of the week After Mark Webber crossed the line for the victory in Sunday's British GP, team boss Christian Horner said over the in-car radio, said: "Well done Mark, you can smile now." "Well done guys - not bad for a number two driver!" Mark Webber after winning the race despite his front wing being taken off his car and put on teammate Sebastian Vettel's car during qualifying
Black No. 3 returned to Victory Lane Sunday The iconic black No. 3 returned to Victory Lane Sunday at Iowa Speedway for the first time since Dale Earnhardt’s October 2000 win at Talladega Superspeedway.
Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing rookie, drove the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Silverado to his career-first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win in dominant fashion only one week after Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the famed yellow-and-blue Wrangler No. 3 to victory in the Nationwide race at Daytona.
Dillon, grandson of Childress and son of Mike Dillon, former driver and RCR VP of Competition, started the race from the pole position, his third-consecutive pole effort, and led the majority of the race. Iowa marked Dillon’s 12th Truck Series start.
F1 Safety car rule tweaks scrapped before Silverstone (GMM) The FIA introduced a further tweak to the safety car rules ahead of Sunday's British grand prix.
It emerged earlier at Silverstone that, following the post-Valencia furor, drivers would have to circulate no faster than the safety car while the race order is being determined upon deployment of the silver Mercedes gullwing.
The new slow pace was tested at the end of Friday practice at Silverstone, before a slightly faster pace was tried by competitors after another pre-British grand prix session.
But on safety grounds, the changes were scrapped a few hours before the race.
Montoya and Martin exchange words Juan Pablo Montoya says veteran driver Mark Martin, who has 40 career Sprint Cup victories, needs driving lessons. That’s what Martin said Montoya told him after Martin passed him for 15th on the final lap of the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.
“He didn’t like the way I passed him there on the last lap, [saying] borderline stupid driving and suggested I take some smart driving lessons from him,” Martin said. “I’m not going to take no shit.”
After the race, Martin parked his Hendrick Motorsports car on the side of the garage where Montoya’s Earnhardt Ganassi Racing hauler was parked and the two drivers had words before retreating to their respective haulers.
IndyCar racing dead in Cleveland for good? Change is coming to the Indy Racing League. However, will Cleveland be a part of it? By 2012, the IRL will unveil a new chassis and engine package that figures to be cutting edge. With new internal management and an aggressive new title sponsor in Izod, the IRL is out to jump-start its image and its open-wheel product.
But does Cleveland fit into the IRL's future? All parties -- the city of Cleveland, the IRL and Mi-Jack Promotions -- agree, it's about money. Specifically, finding a title sponsor willing to offset what industry sources say can be a $6 million project annually to set up, tear down, pay fees and administrative costs, and more for the race at Burke Lakefront Airport.
"It is mainly a financial issue," said Ken Silliman, chief of staff for Mayor Frank Jackson. [Editor's Note: The Cleveland race failed for two reasons - 1) It was held every year during a hot and humid week and 2) fans are not going to sit in the flat rinky-dink bleachers on a hot day and roast. Plus the flat bleachers made it impossible to see the entire track even though race officials claimed you could. Bottom line - the race was lightly attended because fan comfort were horrible and they stopped coming.]
MWR to make announcement at IndyUPDATE A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, If it is also announced that Tums has signed on to sponsor Reutimann for more races or the entire season then it gives more credence to the rumor that everything happens in NASCAR for a reason - Reutimann won last night's Chicagoland race with Tums on the car. Tums only signed to do 5 races and I believe this is how NASCAR lures a sponsor in to do more, i.e. give them a pole or a win. Yehuda Rabinowitz
07/11/10 David Reutimann, who won Saturday night's Spring Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway, has signed a new contract with Michael Waltrip Racing. The team scheduled a news conference for July 23 in Indianapolis to announce the deal. "We're in good shape," Reutimann said after his win. "We basically shook hands and got things all lined up. I'll be at Michael Waltrip Racing next year. I may be cutting grass, but I'll be at Michael Waltrip Racing." General manager Ty Norris confirmed an announcement is scheduled and that Reutimann and crew chief Rodney Childers will not be going anywhere. "Both these guys proved tonight they deserve a contract," Norris said. "They deserve to be around.". ESPN.com
Sergio Perez has made up for his recent bad luck by dominating this morning’s sprint race in Silverstone, blasting past the front row starters and walking away with the race to finish 15 seconds ahead of Oliver Turvey and Dani Clos.
The Mexican made a sharp getaway when the lights went out to tear past Christian Vietoris, who struggled to get off the line, and slot himself just behind the iSport duo of Turvey and Davide Valsecchi, with Clos and Pastor Maldonado making the most of the Sam Bird sized gap on the grid (the Briton was out with mechanical gremlins) to also dispatch the German into turn one with Jules Bianchi slotting in behind him.
(L to R) Bortolotti (Italy), Morad (Canada) and Rossi (USA)
Status GP’s Daniel Morad claimed his first GP3 win in an action packed race at Silverstone today.
Overnight rain meant conditions weren’t ideal for the thirty strong grid, but Morad made the perfect start from second taking a lights to flag victory over his rivals. Addax Team’s Mirko Bortolotti got bogged down at the start and was unable to capitalize on his reverse pole position. The Ferrari development driver was chased down by Dean Smith into the first corner and the pair fought wheel to wheel before hard pushing Carlin driver Smith went wide allowing three cars to pass – he eventually rejoined in eighth spot. At the same time Jenzer’s Nico Müller passed ART Grand Prix’s Alexander Rossi for third position.
Wing decision risks Red Bull harmony - McLaren (GMM) Martin Whitmarsh has chimed in on the tension at Red Bull by insisting the same situation would not occur at McLaren.
Mark Webber was obviously angry after qualifying the sister RB6 at Silverstone, with his new front wing given to pole sitter Sebastian Vettel after the young German's broke in morning practice.
Boss Christian Horner said the decision was based on Vettel's higher position in the world championship and better pace at Silverstone, surmising that giving both drivers the older specification wing would have "hurt the whole team".
Austin F1 promoter has globe guessingUPDATE This article in the Austin Chronicle, Austin's "alternative" weekly newspaper, is a good read on the proposed Austin, Texas F1 race.
Austin F1 race promoter Tavo Hellmund. His father Gustavo promoted the two CART races in Mexico City in the early 80s
An eccentric billionaire calls him a family friend. Millionaires want to throw money at him. He always flies coach but now attracts jet-setters. He can bring a dead cell phone back to life. Without using a charger.
No disrespect to the star of the Dos Equis beer commercials, but he is, for the moment, the most interesting man in the world.
Ever since late May, when it was announced that Austin would become the U.S. stop for a Formula One Grand Prix race, fans from Singapore to Istanbul have been asking the $250 million question: Who in the world is Tavo Hellmund?
"That's what is so cool about this, the mystery," said Bill Dollahite, a former race car driver.
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