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DATE News (chronologically)
07/15/13
tv news

ESPN launches new commercial to promote NASCAR coverage
With ESPN's coverage of the final 17 races of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starting July 28 at the Brickyard 400, the network is launching a brand campaign to promote the race and build anticipation for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The first spot, "Burnout," debuts Monday on ESPN as well as on social media. The 30-second ad, produced in collaboration with creative agency Wieden + Kennedy New York, emphasizes the NASCAR legacy each champion aims to build, with the tagline "43 Drivers. 12 Spots. 1 Champion." It showcases a victory burnout, with glimpses of cars belonging to some of the greatest racers in history, including Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Bill Elliott and Jimmie Johnson. ESPN PR

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07/15/13
tv news

Motorsports This Week on ESPN
NASCAR Nationwide Series at Chicago on ESPN
The NASCAR Nationwide Series races at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., on Sunday, July 21, and ESPN will have a live telecast of the 300-mile race. NASCAR Countdown airs at 2:30 p.m. ET with the race’s green flag at 3:17 p.m. Also from Chicagoland, ESPN2 will air qualifying on Sunday at 11 a.m. All NASCAR programming on ESPN networks is also available on computers, smartphones and tablets through WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app.

The Chicagoland race will be the third of four consecutive events that comprise the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dash 4 Cash, a bonus program that will award an extra $100,000 to the highest-finishing of four eligible drivers in each of the four designated races and could award an additional $600,000 at the fourth race at Indianapolis next month.

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07/15/13
irl

Toronto sweep nets Dixon big pay day, points haul
Scott Dixon, knocking them off one at a time
Becoming the active Indy car leader with 32 victories is something that Scott Dixon will reflect on after the IZOD IndyCar Series season.

Through the finale Oct. 19 at Auto Club Speedway, he'll be focused on securing his third series championship.

Dixon, who was seventh in the standings (92 points behind front-runner Helio Castroneves) following the June 23 race at Iowa Speedway, has vaulted into second (29 points arrears of Castroneves) courtesy of victories at Pocono on July 7 and sweeping the July 13-14 Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader.

The run tied Mario Andretti's streak of three race wins in eight days (July 30 to Aug. 6, 1968, which included Langhorne, Pa., and a doubleheader at St. Jovite, Quebec). Al Unser won four consecutive races in eight days in July 1969 (a doubleheader at Indianapolis Raceway Park and a doubleheader at Langhorne), and the total was five in a row with a win July 13 at Nazareth, Pa.

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07/15/13
irl

Briscoe Undergoes Successful Surgery on Broken Right Wrist
National Guard Panther Racing driver Ryan Briscoe had successful surgery to his broken right wrist today at Indiana Orthopedic Hospital in Indianapolis. IndyCar orthopedic consultant Dr. Kevin Scheid performed the surgery, which included the fitting of a small t-plate and screws into the fracture on Briscoe’s distal radius bone. Briscoe will be evaluated in two days and then again on July 30th, at which point he is expected to be fitted for a carbon fiber splint.

“Big thanks to everybody at the Indiana Orthopedic Hospital for the great hospitality and speedy surgery,” Briscoe said. “Everybody at the hospital, and all of the IndyCar medical staff, have done a great job taking good care of me and I can’t thank them enough. I’m feeling good and can’t wait to get back behind the wheel.”

Briscoe’s availability for the IndyCar Series race on August 4th at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will be announced at a later date.

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07/15/13
irl

IndyCar Doubleheader In Toronto Deemed A Success (Update) UPDATE A reader writes, When reading this I could not help but think that this was another idea implemented by Randy Bernard.  Doubleheaders, Standing Starts, Returning to Pocono, moving more races in ABC, replacing Barnhart with Barfield, a new car.  I can go on.  So what did the mental midgets do?  They fired the guy.  Joe Morgan (P.S. Please add that little cartoon of the guy banging his head against the wall, thanks.)

07/15/13 An official attendance figure for the two Izod IndyCar Series races in Toronto this weekend was not announced, but the event is "starting to look like the old Toronto crowds back in the '80s and '90s," according to NBC Sports Network's Robin Miller. Fans packed the "grandstands and the standing-room-only" areas around the street course.

Savoree Racing Promotions co-Owners Kevin Savoree and Kim Green, the promoters of the event, "really wanted" a doubleheader when former IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard announced the idea last year, and while it is unknown whether the series will continue to hold two races in the same weekend going forward, "these guys want to keep a doubleheader for next year." NBCSN's Leigh Diffey noted Savoree and Green have "increased some of the grandstand sizes, they've included some additional grandstands and they've got a great fan area out in the back" "Honda Toronto Indy," NBCSN

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07/15/13
irl

IndyCar racing scratching to line up sponsors to replace Izod
The IndyCar Series’ quest to find a presenting sponsor that could eventually replace Izod as title sponsor—a task series officials earlier this year called their top sales priority—has taken a blow.

Greg Gruning, IndyCar’s executive vice president of corporate sales and the series’ point man in brokering big sponsorship deals, resigned in late June. Gruning could not be reached for comment.

Izod’s high-profile title sponsorship deal expires following the 2014 season, but many motorsports industry insiders expect the clothing maker will try to end the agreement early.

Some of the talks that began last year to bring in a new presenting series sponsor, along with some new ones, were heating up this summer when Gruning exited, sources close to the series said. Now, time may be running short to ink a deal.

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07/15/13
f1

Russian savior thinks teen son ready for Sauber
(GMM)  Sergey Sirotkin's father has played down suggestions the teenager is too young to make his formula one debut later this year.

It is reported that, off the back of the ailing Swiss team's rescue deal in the form of partnerships with Russian entities, 17-year-old Sirotkin will make practice appearances in 2013, ahead of his full race debut next season.

Sirotkin's father, Oleg, is at the helm of one of Sauber's new savior partners.

"There will be a number of preliminary tests," he told the Russian website f1news.ru on Monday, "and if these tests prove to be competitive, then we will talk about (Sergey Sirotkin) joining the team.

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07/15/13
f1

Boy racer: 17-year-old set to become F1's youngest driver (Update) UPDATE
Sergey Sirotkin
(GMM)  Sauber's next driver is closely linked to the group of Russian sponsors who on Monday were hailed as the saviors of the embattled Swiss team.

Amid reports financial worries could soon silence Sauber's engines, the Hinwil based team announced a timely deal with a group of Russian entities closely aligned with president Vladimir Putin.

A media statement said Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin, who is just 17, would as part of the deal be prepared "as a racing driver for the team in 2014".

It is already being reported that Sirotkin, currently racing in the Formula Renault 3.5 series, will appear in the grey Sauber in practice sessions later in 2013.

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07/15/13
irl

Toronto Standing Start gets thumbs-up
Imagine a 3-wide standing start on the wide front straight at Pocono.  NASCAR and F1 can't do that!!!!!
At least it worked this time.

After the Formula One-like standing start was aborted on Saturday because of a stalled car on the grid, IndyCar decided to try it again on Sunday in Toronto.

It went off pretty much flawlessly, much to the cheers of the fans and drivers.

The reaction on the social media sites was negative on Saturday when IndyCar did not try the standing start a second time after the first was aborted, but turned very positive on Sunday after it went off without a hitch. 

IndyCar needs to implement standing starts at more races.  Why not mix it up?  Why not try a standing start on an oval - to distinguish the series from NASCAR?  Why not try a 3-wide start at Pocono next year on the VERY wide front straight and see how the fans like it?  We bet it would be sensational. 

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07/15/13
irl

Toronto race making a strong comeback
The one thing all the drivers and teams agreed on is outstanding support and enthusiasm the Toronto Indy continues to accrue.

Just five years ago, there was no Indy car race in Toronto. If not for the work of Michael Andretti to bring it back, there still might not be.

Now, to a man, the Indy car fraternity feels the Toronto race once again is becoming one of the marquee events in the series.

“The bleachers were full. Even on the back straight in the trees, there was a ton of people sitting on the grass. I hadn’t seen that for a long time,” Dixon said.

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07/15/13
nassprint

Video: Patrick, Stenhouse wreck each other for 2nd time
Danica Patrick's car was propped up on two wheels, he crew banging away on the battered No. 10.

Right behind her, the No. 17 was being dragged past her stall in the New Hampshire garage.

That would be the car belonging to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - her boyfriend.

For the second time this season, Stenhouse and Patrick connected on the track. Coming off a restart, Patrick lost control and slid sideways into Stenhouse and Travis Kvapil. Patrick and Kvapil were done for the day.

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07/15/13
f1

Williams F1 Team confirms Young Driver Test line-up
The Williams F1 Team today confirmed that it will run its Development Driver Susie Wolff and rising star Daniel Juncadella at the Young Driver Test at Silverstone Circuit on 17-19 July. Pastor Maldonado will also take part to conduct tire evaluation under the revised test regulations announced following the German Grand Prix.

Susie has been part of the Williams F1 Team since becoming Development Driver in April 2012. She made her Formula One debut putting the FW33 through its paces at a Williams partner event at Silverstone last October and was given an increased program in the team’s simulator for 2013. She was the first to get behind the wheel of this year’s race car when she drove the FW35 at Idiada for aerodynamic testing in February.

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07/15/13
f1

Russian deal helps embattled Sauber eye 'long-term' future
(GMM)  Amid reports the Swiss team is on the brink of collapse, Sauber on Monday announced a Russian tie-up.

A day after Peter Sauber confirmed he and team boss Monisha Kaltenborn recently travelled twice to Moscow, the embattled team announced deals with the "Investment Cooperation International Fund, The State Fund of Development of North-West Russian Federation and the National Institute of Aviation Technologies".

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07/15/13
f1

Ferrari admits 2013 'key year' for Bianchi
Jules Bianchi
(GMM)  Jules Bianchi has emerged as a real contender to replace Ferrari's Felipe Massa in 2014.

In the wake of Brazilian Massa's flow of crashes and spins dating back the Monaco grand prix almost two months ago, bosses Luca di Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali have publicly backed the beleaguered 32-year-old.

But at the very same time, reports are gathering steam that the cream of Ferrari's driver development 'academy' - Frenchman Bianchi - is in the running to take Massa's place alongside Fernando Alonso next year.

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07/14/13
miscellaneous

Motorcyclist killed in 285 mph crash in Maine
A motorcycle racer trying to top 300 mph died Sunday after losing control and zooming off a runway at a former air base in northern Maine.

Bill Warner, 44, of Wimauma, Fla., was clocked at 285 mph before he lost control but it was unclear how fast the motorcycle was traveling when it veered off the paved runway and crashed, said Tim Kelly, race director the Loring Timing Association, which hosted "The Maine Event" at Loring Air Force Base.

Warner was conscious and talking after the crash just before 10 a.m., Kelly said, but he died about an hour and 15 minutes later at a hospital in Caribou.

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07/14/13
IRL

Walker claims he has final word in Race Control
IndyCar's new president of competition said Sunday he was in agreement with acting race director Brian Barnhart to penalize Dario Franchitti in the first race at Toronto, then later overturn the call.

Derrick Walker also said he has final authority on all calls in race control during a candid interview Sunday with The Associated Press about specific officiating decisions in Saturday's race. Walker believes IndyCar officiating needs to be more consistent, and the series needs to urgently invest in upgraded technology to improve race control.

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07/14/13
wc

Cadillac finishes 1-2 in Toronto
Johnny O'Connell, driver of the Cadillac #3 CTS-V Coupe, races to victory Sunday, July 14, 2013 during the he Pirelli World Challenge Toronto Grand Prix GT on the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Andy Pilgrim, driver of the Cadillac #8 CTS-V Coupe, finished second. (Photo by Richard Prince for Cadillac Racing)

Johnny O'Connell, driver of the Cadillac #3 CTS-V Coupe, races to victory Sunday, July 14, 2013 during the he Pirelli World Challenge Toronto Grand Prix GT on the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Andy Pilgrim, driver of the Cadillac #8 CTS-V Coupe, finished second. (Photo by Richard Prince for Cadillac Racing)

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07/14/13
nascar

NASCAR HOF attendance down third year in row
The NASCAR HOF's attendance in its third year was 176,838, a 10% "decrease compared with the year before." It is "unknown how it fared financially," but the facility "lost money in its first two years of operation." The Hall in its first year attracted 272,000 fans, while second-year attendance was 197,410. The decrease "isn’t a surprise, as museums and attractions often see attendance declines after opening." Charlotte Observer

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07/14/13
f1

Button: No reason to leave McLaren
Jenson Button
Jenson Button has dismissed reports linking him with a move away from McLaren, stating that he is perfectly happy with the British team.

Button, who won the world championship in 2009, was rumored to be unhappy with the team’s performance this season and subsequently looking into a move away from Woking. However, the Briton has rubber-stamped his faith in McLaren to bounce back soon.

“If this was a team that was consistently finishing fourth or fifth in championship then of course I would look elsewhere,” Button told Autosport. ”In that case, I would look to one of the front running teams to step up to, somewhere that could give me a race-winning car.

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07/14/13
autogp

Race 2: Karthikeyan goes back to victory
Narain Karthikeyan, driving for Super Nova International, went back to victory in Race 2 at Silverstone, as the 2013 Auto GP completed its 5th round of the season at the Northamptonshire venue. The Indian drove a masterful recovery race from the third row where he had started after yesterday's second place due to the reverse grid rule . The former F1 racer edged his team mate Vittorio Ghirelli: the Roman, part of the CSAI Young Driver Program, handed David Sears and his men a valuable 1-2 finish, enough for them to retain the lead in the teams' championship with 210 points. The final podium spot went to Kimiya Sato (Euronova Racing). The Japanese was able to make his way back to the top of the overall standings, although tied with Ibiza Racing Team's Sergio Campana. After winning Race 1, Campana was off to a tougher run today as he was stopped by a pit-stop issue. Rounding out the top-5 were Tamas Pal Kiss (Zele Racing) and Kevin Giovesi. The Ghinzani Motorsport runner had ended the day in the lead but was later penalized 25 seconds for not respecting the track limits in the opening stages of the race.

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07/14/13
irl

Castroneves tops final warm-up in Toronto
Helio Castroneves topped the final warm-up for the 2nd half of the Honda Toronto IndyCar doubleheader on the streets of Toronto Canada.  An amazing 11 drivers turned lap times that were near their qualifying lap times, which is unusual for Sunday morning warm-up, indicating the track has rubbered in and the track is getting faster.

Ganassi drivers Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti, early favorites to win Sunday, were 2nd and 3rd.  Will Power and James Hinchcliffe rounded out the top-5.

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07/14/13
motogp

Marquez wins in Germany to take overall lead
This is all anyone saw of Marquez in Germany
Marc Marquez has won the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, picking up his second MotoGP victory and seventh podium finish from eight races. In the absence of both Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, the same three riders were on the podium as at the Dutch TT, with Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi second and third.

The Sachsenring delivered another highly dramatic weekend, not least as numerous riders have suffered crashes. Crutchlow was one of them, heading into the race with injuries to his arms, hands and left leg, but heavy impacts for World Champion Lorenzo and erstwhile championship leader Pedrosa left both on the sidelines; the Yamaha Factory Racing rider bent the titanium plate in his shoulder, while the Repsol Honda Team rider sustained a small fracture, also to the left collarbone.

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07/14/13
irl

Turbo could bolster IndyCar
It's a big week for IndyCar, with a double-header this weekend in Toronto, a new president at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a new animated film based on the famed oval about to hit theaters.

The movie "Turbo," set for release next week, comes at a crucial time for the sport. It provides the kind of publicity any sport craves, but for IMS and the series, it's a portal to what executives hope will be a new generation of race fans.

A preview audience got to see the film based around the Indianapolis 500 on Saturday.

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07/14/13
autogp

Klien wants to continue racing in AutoGP
Klien closest to camera
Former F1 ace Christian Klien enjoyed his maiden AutoGP weekend in Mugello and wants to continue in the series. In Sunday’s second run, he finished ninth, while Zele Racing teammate Tamas Kiss came fourth.

Klien crossed the line in ninth on Sunday, but the 30-year-old, who started from Pole, had some difficulties. "At the start, his revs briefly dropped and then he battled with a lot of oversteer. After his pitstop though, Christian was very quick, but stuck in traffic, team boss Michael Zele summed up the Austrian’s race.

Nonetheless, Klien was content with the weekend saying: "We all knew I was going to be on a learning curve. But I had a lot of fun, as driving a monoposto is simply my thing. Now I have to get used to the car and gain even more experience."

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07/14/13
irl

Franchitti's third place finish reinstated (Update) UPDATE Quote of the week: “The biggest thing is, this bullshit at the end,” Franchitti said of the penalty. “I don’t see how (the incident) has anything to do with me, really,” he said. “I was defending the inside, I gave (Power) the outside, as is my right, and that was it. It will be very interesting to know how (IndyCar officials) make decisions up there sometimes,” Franchitti said. “I think it involves a (set of) dice and a blindfold.” Brian Barnhart, who was previously removed by Randy Bernard for bad calls, was back and it did not take long for the accusations to fly.

07/13/13 After the race, INDYCAR officials met with Dario Franchitti and Target Chip Ganassi Racing team members to further review the blocking penalty issued on the final lap of today’s Honda Indy Toronto. The team presented car data showing steering trace and braking points from the Lap 85 incident with the No. 12 car driven by Will Power. The group also viewed additional video.  Upon further review, INDYCAR has reinstated No. 10 Franchitti to his original third place finishing position.

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07/14/13
f1

Hulkenberg helmet raises money for flood victims
A helmet worn by Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg during the Malaysian and Bahrain Grand Prix weekends has fetched nearly 6,500 British Pounds in an online charity auction.

The helmet, which has been personally signed by Hulkenberg, was put up for sale on eBay to raise money for the thousands of victims displaced from their homes as a result of the south German floods. Occurring in June, the floods affected large swathes of eastern Europe, with the Danube river water levels rising to a 500 year high.

After running for 14 days with a starting price of 1 Euro, the auction came to an end on Sunday, with a final total of 7,449 Euros (6,445 British Pounds) being raised.

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07/14/13
nassprint

NASCAR explains decision to not issue Daytona penalties
Typically when NASCAR blows the whistle and confiscates parts and pieces from a team, it comes back a few days later and announces a penalty. So when NASCAR on Wednesday said it would not penalize 16 Sprint Cup teams and 15 Nationwide teams found with illegal roof-flap spacers last week at Daytona International Speedway, it certainly raised eyebrows.

All cars at New Hampshire have the correct spacers in them, NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said Friday. Roof flap are designed to keep cars on the ground during spins and crashes at high speeds.

"We realize 31 teams didn't roll over on Monday morning before the week and decide to do that," Pemberton said.

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07/14/13
nassprint

Vickers tops final Sprint Cup practice
Brian Vickers, in his last Sprint Cup race for a month in the Michael Waltrip Racing car he shares with Mark Martin, had the fastest speed in Saturday's final practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Vickers posted a lap of 133.417 mph on the 1.058-mile flat oval. He was one of five drivers — along with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson — fasters than 133 mph.

Vickers also had the top 10-lap average speed at 132.16 mph, followed by Bowyer, Earnhardt, Jamie McMurray and Kasey Kahne.

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07/14/13
tv news

Wind Tunnel Sunday
15-time NHRA Funny Car champion, John Force, will be a guest this Sunday. John has been a regular and outspoken guest the past 11 years Wind Tunnel has been on the air. Recently, John has been in 3 final round appearances in the past 4 events; winning one of those, earning 2 poles, and has moved from 10th to 5th in the championship standings. Next week, NHRA will begin their 3-week Western Swing in Denver, CO then will move onto Sonoma, CA and Seattle, WA.

We will also have coverage from the Sprint CUP race in Loudon, NH as well as the IndyCar double-header in Toronto, Ontario.

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07/14/13
motogp

Lorenzo pulls out of German MotoGP (Surgery Successful) UPDATE Following his crash at the Sachsenring on Friday, in which he bent the titanium plate attached to his left collarbone, Jorge Lorenzo has undergone another operation. The MotoGP™ World Champion has now revealed that he is set to miss two races before making a comeback at Indianapolis in mid-August.

Lorenzo broke the collarbone in Thursday practice for the Dutch TT just over two weeks ago, returning to Barcelona where the plate was attached with eight screws. In Germany on Friday, the plate was damaged after the Yamaha Factory Racing rider highsided on the exit of Turn 10.

Having been ruled out of this weekend’s race, he underwent surgery at the Hospital General de Catalunya on Saturday morning.

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07/13/13
irl

Fans boo IndyCar (Update) UPDATE We didn't get any practice really," Bourdais said. "Personally, I don't understand why you have it for just one race. If you don't have it for race one, you don't need it for race two. We should have much more opportunities to practice this.

"I was a little shaky on the grid and once I saw the yellow flag waving, I was like, ‘Yes, thank you.'"

Franchitti nodded in agreement but Marco Andretti said he could go either way on the decision.

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07/13/13
irl

Briscoe sent to hospital (breaks wrist) UPDATE National Guard Panther Racing driver Ryan Briscoe sustained a fracture to the distal radius bone in his right wrist in an incident during Saturday’s IndyCar Series race at Toronto, and will miss Sunday’s race as a result. Briscoe’s injury will require surgery, but he is expected to have a quick recovery and could be available as early as the next IndyCar Series event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Briscoe was running 12th during Saturday’s event when Justin Wilson and Charlie Kimball made contact, sending Wilson’s No. 19 car into the path of Briscoe’s National Guard car. With nowhere to go Briscoe made contact with Wilson’s car, and injured his wrist while holding onto the steering wheel during the contact.

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07/13/13
nnw

Busch wins 7th Nationwide race of year
Despite a snafu in the pits that cost him six positions -- temporarily -- Kyle Busch steamrolled the field in Saturday’s CNBC Prime's 'The Profit 200' at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Never mind that it took the maximum three attempts at green-white-checkered-flag finishes before the issue was decided, and never mind that the extra laps left the gas tanks of most competitors either empty or very close to dry at the conclusion.

Busch, the pole sitter, led 141 laps in collecting his seventh NASCAR Nationwide Series victory in 14 starts this season, his fourth at the Magic Mile and the 58th of his career, extending his own series record.

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07/13/13
irl

IndyCar to try standing start again on Sunday (Update) UPDATE The last time each driver in the Honda Indy Toronto 2 in T.O. participated in a race with a standing start:
Driver Year, Series Driver Year, Series
Simon Pagenaud 2013, Pikes Peak Josef Newgarden 2010, GP3
Takuma Sato 2013, Super Formula Dario Franchitti 2010, V8 Supercars
Ryan Briscoe 2012, V8 Supercars Scott Dixon 2010, V8 Supercars
James Hinchcliffe 2012, V8 Supercars Helio Castroneves 2010, V8 Supercars
Marco Andretti 2012, V8 Supercars Simona de Silvestro 2009, Atlantic
Will Power 2012, V8 Supercars Graham Rahal 2008, Champ Car
Justin Wilson 2012, V8 Supercars Charlie Kimball 2008, Formula 3
Mike Conway 2012, V8 Supercars Sebastian Saavedra 2008, Formula 3
Sebastien Bourdais 2012, V8 Supercars E.J. Viso 2007, GP2
Tristan Vautier 2011, Pro Mazda Tony Kanaan 1995, Formula 3
Alex Tagliani 2011, V8 Supercars Ed Carpenter None
James Jakes 2010, GP3 Ryan Hunter-Reay None


07/13/13 INDYCAR officials announced a standing start will be used in the IZOD IndyCar Series’ Honda Indy Toronto 2 in T.O. Race #2 on Sunday, July 14.

“The fans deserve to see a standing start, so after consultation with the promoter, we have made the decision to implement a standing start for Sunday’s race,” said Brian Barnhart, senior vice president of operations, INDYCAR.

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07/13/13
promazda

Brabham dominates ProMazda race
Matthew Brabham showed no mercy to his rivals in Friday morning during the Allied Building Products Grand Prix of Toronto at Exhibition Place, the seventh round of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

The runaway championship leader made his usual exemplary start from the pole in the No. 83 MAZDASPEED/Team Andretti Autosport entry and never looked back en route to his sixth successive victory.

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07/13/13
irl

IndyCar puts Sato on probation
Takuma Sato on probation
INDYCAR officials have placed driver Takuma Sato on probation through the next five races for actions during the IZOD IndyCar Series event July 7 at Pocono Raceway.

Sato violated Rule 9.3.1.1, which states "a driver must not engage in reckless, careless and/or overly aggressive actions or unsportsmanlike behavior toward other members," when his car made avoidable contact with the car driven by Ryan Hunter-Reay while entering pit lane on Lap 61 of the 160-lap race.

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07/13/13
usf2000

Alberico wire-to-wire in Toronto
Neil Alberico vaulted from eighth place to third in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda standings following a finely judged victory in Friday’s Analytic Systems USF2000 Grand Prix of Toronto held at Exhibition Place.

Alberico controlled the race from the pole and refused to be flustered by no fewer than three full-course cautions which ensured a frantic one-lap dash to the finish line. Alberico (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) held on for his third win of a topsy-turvy season which has also included three non-finishes in the six races held to date.

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07/13/13
automotive

Mercedes probably won't win U.S. luxury race, Zetsche says
Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz probably won't win the U.S. luxury car sales race this year, CEO Dieter Zetsche said.

“I don’t think we’ll be No. 1 at the end of the year and that’s OK,” Zetsche told reporters here today. “We won’t play any games. I’m not sure that applies to our competition.”

Mercedes led the BMW brand in U.S. deliveries by 1,519 vehicles after the first six months. BMW captured the crown the past two years and secured the No. 1 spot in 2012 with a December surge, based on reported sales. Measured by vehicle registrations, Mercedes topped BMW for the year, according to researcher R.L. Polk & Co.

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07/13/13
nassprint

Cut tire sends McMurray into wall
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S/MONOPOLY CHEVROLET SS – INVOLVED IN AN ON-TRACK ACCIDENT DURING THE FINAL PRACTICE SESSION
LOOKS LIKE THE TIRE WENT DOWN BEFORE YOU WERE GOING INTO TURN 3.  IS THAT CORRECT?
“Yeah, I actually felt it pop or go flat really early.  I just couldn’t get slowed down.  Every time I got on the brakes it wheel hopped.  I felt like I was going to turn right.  I was trying to get the car slowed down and I knew for a long time I just couldn’t get slowed down enough.

“We cut a left rear tire down. It’s the exact same thing that happened to the No. 42 car (Juan Pablo Montoya) the third lap of practice yesterday. It’s weird, because we had just put new tires on and actually added air to the left rear, trying to make it better. We hadn’t had a problem, but we were just trying to be safe. So it’s a little puzzling that it actually blew out now, when we were trying to be more conservative.”

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07/13/13
fil

Hawksworth puts on a clinic in Toronto
Jack Hawksworth dominated every Firestone Indy Lights practice and qualifying session this weekend in Toronto, and on Saturday he led from flag-to-flag in a dominating win.

Peter Dempsey was 2nd after a long battle with Gabby Chaves, but not until Chaves lost 2nd gear, which made him a sitting duck.

Carlos Munoz was 4th and Juan Pablo Garcia rounded out the top-5. 

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07/13/13
nassprint

Danica might someday pose nude
Danica Patrick has done plenty of scantily clad photo shoots but so far she’s never posed nude.

It’s not because she can’t, and not because she won’t.  She’s just not ready yet.

With ESPN’s “body issue” out this week, Patrick was asked during her weekly press conference Friday whether she would ever appear in that issue, which this year features NHRA drag racer Courtney Force among its nude athletes in artistic poses. Patrick said she gets asked every year about posing for the issue, but so far has declined. She also has declined to pose for the body paint section of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue.

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07/13/13
motogp

Marquez beats Crutchlow, Rossi to pole
It's been another day of mixed fortunes for the Repsol Honda Team at the GP of Germany. Rookie Marc Marquez took his third pole position of the season and his third successive pole here at Sachsenring, but unfortunately his teammate Dani Pedrosa suffered a huge crash in this morning's FP3 session and didn't take part in qualifying.

Dani, was on the first flying lap of his second exit when he had a huge high side crash in turn one with the bike tossing him into the air. He landed heavily on his left shoulder and also hit his head very hard. He was taken to the medical centre and later flew to Chemnitz Hospital for a CAT scan and additional checks. It has now been confirmed that he didn't suffer and concussion but there is a small fracture in his left clavicle (collar bone). The circuit medical staff have declared him fit to race, subject to a further medical check tomorrow morning at 08h20. If he is able to race, his time from FP1 would be used placing him in 12th position.

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07/13/13
irl

Franchitti tops Group 1 qualifying for Race 2
Polesitter for today's IndyCar race in Toronto, Dario Franchitti, turned the fastest lap in group 1 of qualifying for Race #2 to be run Sunday.  His lap of 59.1905sec was a record for the current IndyCar sled.  However, Gil de Ferran still owns the track record in the 57 second range in a CART IndyCar.  So today's cars are slower than 20-year old IndyCars.

Ryan Hunter-Reay was second and led a 5 car Chevy brigade behind Franchitti's Honda.

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07/13/13
f1

Negative media coverage 'extremely hurtful' - Sauber
(GMM)  Peter Sauber has admitted the recent media coverage of his formula one team's financial crisis is "extremely" hurtful.

Amid rumors Nico Hulkenberg terminated his contract because he was not paid, team boss Monisha Kaltenborn admitted recently that the Swiss team is in trouble, but said talks with potential sponsors or investors are taking place.

But then it emerged that dozens of unpaid suppliers have filed formal debt claims against Sauber, amounting to about EUR 1 million, and that the team is lacking the many millions it needs even to complete the 2013 season.

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07/13/13
autogp

Karthikeyan cruises to AutoGP pole
Narain Karthikeyan cruised to his second straight Auto GP pole today at Mugello as he topped the qualifying session for the 5th round of the 2013 series. The Indian-born racer, lined-up by Super Nova International, was able to repeat his Silverstone run by edging Kevin Giovesi with a best lap of 1:34.583. Giovesi also repeated the front row start scored in the UK, a remarkable accomplishment considered his so far short experience in the Coloni-promoted championship.

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07/13/13
dtm

DTM's North American debut delayed until 2017
The new North American-based DTM series will start in 2017 at the earliest - at least a year later than planned.

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07/13/13
fil

Toronto 100 Firestone Lights starting lineup
Qualifying Saturday for the Toronto 100 Firestone Indy Lights event on the 1.755-mile Streets of  Toronto, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, time and speed in parentheses:

1.  (77) Jack Hawksworth, 01:04.3994 (98.107)
2.  (26) Carlos Munoz, 01:04.4363 (98.050)
3.  (7) Gabby Chaves, 01:04.6693 (97.697)
4.  (4) Jorge Goncalvez, 01:05.2988 (96.755)
5.  (2) Juan Pablo Garcia, 01:05.3911 (96.619)
6.  (56) Matthew Di Leo, 01:06.1460 (95.516)
7.  (5) Peter Dempsey, 01:06.2447 (95.374)
8.  (12) Zach Veach, 01:06.5859 (94.885)
9.  (8) Sage Karam, no time (no speed)

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07/13/13
irl
fil

Morning update from Toronto UPDATE

07/13/13 Saturday has dawned sunny and nice here in Toronto and we are in store for a lot of action.  Indy Lights are on track qualifying now and Jack Hawksworth is fastest so far.  Hawksworth led both practice sessions yesterday.

The IndyCars qualify for Sunday's race in about two hours.

Turn 1 is slippery this year.  Whatever mix they used to repave Turn 1 it's like driving on grease according to the drivers.

“They resurfaced Turn 1,” said Dario Franchitti, the pole-sitter for Saturday’s Toronto Indy Race No. 1. “And I don’t know what they used, but I don’t think they could have made it any slipperier.

“At one point, we saw water there after Takuma Sato had driven over it. I just told my crew over the radio not to worry about it because the water couldn’t possibly make it any slipperier than it already was.”

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07/13/13
irl

IndyCar hasn't a clue (Update) UPDATE Another reader writes, Dear AR1, They need to put a  bigger fuel in their cars and maybe this won't happen so often and if it does then they throw a caution flag for something on the track. Give the fans what they paid to see. If I drove from Cleveland to Pocono for 6 hours and saw a fuel economy run instead I would think twice before going back.  What a PR boost it would have been if Marco Andretti had won the race on his home track. But I don't think Indy Car cares about the fans in the stands I have felt that way for a long time. I haven't been to an Indy Car race since 2007 and I  will pass again this year. I just DVR it and save my money even though Mid Ohio is only 90 minutes from my house in Olmsted Falls. Mike

07/13/13 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Maybe NASCAR does do it right.  Maybe IndyCar just does not get it.  How do you get fans to buy tickets for a race year in and year out?  By sending them home happy or home furious.

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07/13/13
nassprint

Childress planning on at least 3 cars in 2014
Richard Childress Racing will have at least three Sprint Cup teams and possibly four in 2014. There has been speculation that RCR might shrink from three to two teams after losing Kevin Harvick and primary sponsor Budweiser to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. Team owner Richard Childress told ESPN.com on Friday that he will have a lineup of Jeff Burton, Paul Menard and "question mark." "We're going to have three race teams for sure," Childress said between practices at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "Not 100 percent on a fourth." Asked if the third team would be fielded by grandson Austin Dillon, who has run six Cup races this season in anticipation of moving up from the Nationwide Series next year, Childress reiterated, "question mark." Childress recently said Ryan Newman, in his last year with SHR with Harvick filling out that three-driver lineup, is a candidate for the #29. He also has left open the possibility that Dillon, who drives the 3 made famous by Dale Earnhardt at RCR, could drive the #3 in Cup. Kurt Busch also has been mentioned as a potential candidate at RCR. Busch is ninth in points for Furniture Row Racing that has an alliance with RCR. Sources said RCR has a gentleman's agreement not to pursue Busch. Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone said negotiations to re-sign Busch are on hold as the single-car team attempts to make the Chase for the first time. ESPN

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07/13/13
racing news

Continental GT3 unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed
Bentley debuted its new Continental GT3 race car at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed Friday, unveiling a racing machine set to explore the extreme potential of Bentley’s iconic Grand Tourer, the Continental GT. Member of the Board for Engineering, Rolf Frech, comments: “The Continental GT3 exploits the incredible performance beneath the skin of every Continental GT. We’ve removed over 1000 kilograms of weight, reconfigured our 4.0-litre V8 to produce 600 bhp in race specification, and developed a comprehensive aerodynamic package to ensure that we perform competitively. We are now looking forward to getting the car on the track and proving its potential.”

The Continental GT3 is powered by a race-prepared and dry-sump version of Bentley’s powerful but efficient 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, with many components carried over from the road-going engine. Developing up to 600 bhp in unrestricted race configuration via a motorsport engine management system, the V8 provides the GT3 with highly competitive power in a compact and lightweight package that’s perfect for racing. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a carbon fiber propshaft to an Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox with a limited slip differential, mounted as a transaxle for optimized weight distribution. Gear actuations are completed via a pneumatic shift system, controlled by paddles mounted to the steering wheel.

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07/13/13
nassprint

Newman will not return to Stewart-Haas
Tony Stewart was asked about the status of #39-Ryan Newman Friday morning after the announcement that Kevin Harvick was joining Stewart-Haas next season:

WITH THIS ANNOUNCEMENT WITH NOW HAVING THREE DRIVERS FOR NEXT YEAR HOW DOES THIS IMPACT RYAN NEWMAN, HIS PROGRAM, ARE YOU GUYS READY TO EXPAND TO A FOURTH TEAM?
"No, we are not ready to expand to a fourth team. Unfortunately, this will be the last year that we have Ryan (Newman) with us. That's probably what has made this a bittersweet day. I'm bringing in another one of my friends to the organization, but also knowing that I'm losing a friend at the end of the year to the organization. The number one thing when Ryan and I spoke is that our friendship will not change. This was a business decision that was Gene's (Haas) as well as mine and it was a hard decision. There is a personal side and there is a business side. For Ryan and I we had to put the personal bit of it aside to work through the business part. I'll do everything I can to help Ryan in any way I can moving forward to try to help him in his effort to find another team next year. I'm behind him 100 percent. I believe in him 100 percent. I truly wish we were able to facilitate four teams at this time. We are just not able to do that. Down the road I'm sure if that becomes a possibility that he will most definitely will be on the list to fill the fourth seat again." Chevy PR

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07/13/13
f1

Juan Manuel Fangio's F1 Mercedes fetches $29.6M
Juan Manuel Fangio classic Mercedes-Benz race car driven by Formula 1 legend Juan Manuel Fangio sold for 19.6 million pounds ($29.6 million) at auction in England on Friday.

The 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 single-seater was driven by the five-time world champion racer when he clinched his second title in 1954. The Argentine drove the car to victories in the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prix races.

Robert Brooks, chairman of Bonhams auctioneers, which handled the deal, called the car the most important historic Grand Prix racing car ever offered for sale.

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